forgotten muscles

Are you forgetting to train important muscle groups?

More importantly, what are you foregoing when you don’t train them? All your muscles need to be moved occasionally but some are more important than others. As an office of chiropractic, we see people who go to the weight room three times a week and never target certain muscle groups that make a big difference in stability of the back. Developing these muscles can not only help you prevent pain, but also certain spinal conditions, and they will make you look great as well!

The forgotten muscle groups 

  • The neck: there are many muscles in our neck alone. This makes it a densely packed trunk that is susceptible to stiffness and soreness. Exercising the neck and stretching it regularly helps to counteract the stiffness and pain that comes with sitting at a desk all day. Verdict: strengthening your neck will prevent a lot of stiffness and make an upright posture easier.
  • The lower back: strengthening these muscles is perhaps the most important for people who suffer back pain. With more strength in the lower back muscles, there is less burden on the vertebrae and they also act as a stabilizing force. Verdict: strengthening this region will help you experience less back pain and mitigate the everyday load we put on our lower vertebrae.
  • Obliques: these are the most neglected muscles in the core region, which is unfortunate because they contribute to range of motion in the rotating, twisting and side bending department. Verdict: strengthening the obliques completes your core workout and prevents injury from everyday motions such as looking over your shoulder. 
  • The traps: these rarely come in for attention unless they are stiff. This is unfortunate because the trapezius stabilizes your shoulders, helps to perform overhead rotation of the arms. Outcome: strengthening and stretching this region can help defeat shoulder and upper back stiffness that comes from sitting at your desk for too long. 

Now is the time to start working out these muscle groups

Dedicating even one session a week to these groups can help to round out your muscle building schedule and give the crucial regions of your body some extra support. If you need help identifying parts of your exercise routine which might be leaving you short, give our office in Houston a call. We can help you mitigate pain in your back and focus on ways to strengthen the muscles that matter for keeping pain out of your life completely! 

Dr. Randall Holmes, D.C. 

deep sleeping

Are you awakened by the slightest sounds?

Light sleepers are at the mercy of factors both internal and external that serve to prevent them from getting a deep, restful night’s sleep. Sleeping is an individual struggle and light sleepers often feel themselves at the mercy of sounds. While genetics and the possibility for a sleep disorder certainly play a role, there are lifestyle choices that you can exercise control over to help yourself get a better night’s rest.  

Why do you want to sleep deeper?

Here are just a handful of ways that getting a full night’s rest benefits you:

  • Immune function
  • Energy levels throughout the day
  • Sleep helps to balance the onset of anxiety and depression 
  • Metabolism is regulated
  • Memory is improved

How to start sleeping more soundly in the city of Houston

With all these benefits in mind, here are some ways you can start impacting your sleep in a positive manner today:

  • White noise: to help you fall asleep and normalize the excess sounds. 
  • Melatonin: a natural chemical produced by the brain, it is also sold over-the-counter in most pharmacies to help effect the onset of sleep. 
  • Magnesium and calcium supplements: both have been found effective for the treatment of insomnia. 
  • A cool and dark sleeping environment: while you should feel free to get cozy underneath the blankets, keep the ambient temperature cool and as little light as possible. 
  • Keep a regular sleep schedule: aiming to get to bed at the same time every night is a boon for the rhythm that your body seeks when trying to sleep. 

And a few things to avoid when trying to sleep deeply…

  • Electronics before bed: the blue light of the screen interferes with feeling tired. 
  • Limit caffeine: caffeine takes hours to leave the body- if you have your last cup at 4 p.m., caffeine can still be active in your system at midnight. 
  • Booze before bed: alcohol may help you pass out, but you will not get restful sleep. And chances are that once your blood alcohol level lowers and the effects wear off, you may just wake up. 

Pain is another limiting factor when it comes to sleep- if you are struggling with long standing pain related to a spinal condition, give our office in Houston a call to schedule an appointment so we can detect the root of your pain and set a course for treatment. It’s time we start getting you the rest you deserve. 

Dr. Randall Holmes, D.C. 

stretch for sleep

What is more dreadful than not being able to fall asleep?

Getting comfortable feels impossible and your feet are restless; your brain is flickering through the day and won’t seem to switch off; even your eyes begin to feel weary and tight from keeping them closed while you can’t fall asleep. It is a helpless feeling that is nothing other than frustrating. If you deal with this on a regular basis, it is worth trying some easy and natural solutions for making the process easier. 

A few simple stretches to help you sleep

Rather than looking at your news feeds for an extra ten minutes before bed, try using these stretches to relax your body and release any lingering muscle tension. The focus here should be on slow movements and mindfulness- take deep, full belly breaths in and out during the stretches to nourish the cells of your body and brain with the oxygen they need to find some calm before bed.

  • The Happy Baby: Life on your back, bring your knees up toward your chest and grab the inside edges of your feet with your hands, with palms facing out. Stretch your knees out to the sides then lower them down toward your armpits. Gently rock from side-to-side and hold for 10 breaths. 
  • The Seated Side Bend: Sit, preferably on a pillow, with legs criss-crossed. Put your right hand on the floor to the side of your hip and extend your left arm up by your ear. Lean to the right keeping your butt on the floor. Hold 10 breaths, switch sides repeat. 
  • Figure four: Lie on your back with legs extended. Cross your right leg over your left so that your right ankle rests on your left thigh. Clasp your left thigh from behind and pull your knee up toward your chest. Hold for 10 deep breaths then switch sides and repeat. 

We want to help you improve your sleep life

You’ll notice that a lot of these stretches target regions that accumulate tension throughout the day. The idea is that you are not only toning your muscles and increasing their flexibility, but also relaxing your body and putting it in a conducive shape for sleep. At Holmes Chiropractic, we believe that sleep is a key element of wellness and we want to help you get the sleep you deserve. If you are having trouble falling or staying asleep due to back pain or mechanical dysfunction, give our office in Houston a call to schedule an appointment today. 

Dr. Randall Holmes, D.C.

junk food

^Water is critical for keeping your body balanced. If you don’t like it plain, try adding a splash of flavor! 

How to balance out a diet heavy in junk

With an on-the-go lifestyle, maintaining a perfect diet can be flat out impossible. Constraints on our time force us to skip out on a full morning meal and pay visits to fast food joints at lunchtime; running errands have us running to the drive-thrus; worst of all are weekends, the time when we want our diets to be at their most relaxed. Eating all this processed food can leave us low on nutrition and subsequently make us feel low, so it is important to be proactive about fitting in some junk-fighting ingredients whenever you can!

Here are a list of ways to balance the damage that is caused by poor eating habits. 

  • Fluids! Water is critical for flushing out the junk. Keeping yourself optimally hydrated (between 64-100 ounces of water a day) will help your body stay on top.
  • Focus on anti-inflammatory: poor eating and processed foods are linked to a raise in inflammation which causes all kinds of havoc in the body. You can fight inflammation by consuming omega-3, whether in food or supplement form. Spices such as turmeric, cloves and ginger are other great sources of anti-inflammatory properties. 
  • High-water and high-fiber foods to clean the gut: get ready for the vegetables, including artichokes, peas and spinach, and fruits, including strawberries, grapefruit and melon! 
  • Focus on healthy starches: vegetables and grains are good sources of healthy starches, which are the opposite of the processed starch we are eating at the drive-thru; they actually have some health benefit for us! Whole grains including oatmeal, whole-wheat bread and pasta; legumes such as beans; and vegetables such as corn, squash and yams offer more health benefits for your dollar. 

Being honest about your diet

If you know you are going to eat junk-food at some point during the week (or more often), try to maintain a balance by choosing food and drink that supports your immune system at least as often. We can help you identify patterns in your life that leave you short on nutrition and turn them around into healthy choices.  At our office in Houston, we help your body with chiropractic adjustment and attention to muscle dysfunction to alleviate pain and make focusing on healthy choices all the easier! Give our office a call to schedule an appointment today. 

Dr. Randall Holmes, D.C. 

junk food

^Water is critical for keeping your body balanced. If you don’t like it plain, try adding a splash of flavor! 

How to balance out a diet heavy in junk

With an on-the-go lifestyle, maintaining a perfect diet can be flat out impossible. Constraints on our time force us to skip out on a full morning meal and pay visits to fast food joints at lunchtime; running errands have us running to the drive-thrus; worst of all are weekends, the time when we want our diets to be at their most relaxed. Eating all this processed food can leave us low on nutrition and subsequently make us feel low, so it is important to be proactive about fitting in some junk-fighting ingredients whenever you can!

Here are a list of ways to balance the damage that is caused by poor eating habits. 

  • Fluids! Water is critical for flushing out the junk. Keeping yourself optimally hydrated (between 64-100 ounces of water a day) will help your body stay on top.
  • Focus on anti-inflammatory: poor eating and processed foods are linked to a raise in inflammation which causes all kinds of havoc in the body. You can fight inflammation by consuming omega-3, whether in food or supplement form. Spices such as turmeric, cloves and ginger are other great sources of anti-inflammatory properties. 
  • High-water and high-fiber foods to clean the gut: get ready for the vegetables, including artichokes, peas and spinach, and fruits, including strawberries, grapefruit and melon! 
  • Focus on healthy starches: vegetables and grains are good sources of healthy starches, which are the opposite of the processed starch we are eating at the drive-thru; they actually have some health benefit for us! Whole grains including oatmeal, whole-wheat bread and pasta; legumes such as beans; and vegetables such as corn, squash and yams offer more health benefits for your dollar. 

Being honest about your diet

If you know you are going to eat junk-food at some point during the week (or more often), try to maintain a balance by choosing food and drink that supports your immune system at least as often. We can help you identify patterns in your life that leave you short on nutrition and turn them around into healthy choices.  At our office in Houston, we help your body with chiropractic adjustment and attention to muscle dysfunction to alleviate pain and make focusing on healthy choices all the easier! Give our office a call to schedule an appointment today. 

Dr. Randall Holmes, D.C. 

spring cleaning

Spring is right around the corner 

While new years is the time we make resolutions regarding our health, spring may be a better time to make a resolution that you can actually keep. As the winter passes, it is important to focus on getting our bodies out of the winter slump and into shape so that we can enjoy the colors of spring and the opportunities of summer.

Let’s focus on two important elements of a spring-season health plan:

Setting a goal is the best way to set yourself up for success in spring.

  • Create a fitness goal and be realistic: fitness trackers say 10,000 steps a day but does that really apply to you? Perhaps 10,000 steps is above or below your threshold, but the essential idea is that you set a goal that will get you out in spring. And for people who don’t know where to start, walking is a great idea. 10,000 steps can be achieved in about 30 minutes of walking, so it can hardly hurt! 
  • Find healthy food that you love: spring and summer are the seasons of abundance, especially when it comes to produce. I don’t think there’s a single person alive who can justifiably claim to hate fruit. Try shooting to eat 1-2 pieces of fruit per day and refine your fat-intake: focus on ditching bad fats and taking on the good ones. Cooking with coconut and olive oil in place of canola oil is a good place to start! 

How we will help you succeed in spring at Holmes Chiropractic

We support you feeling your best: to this end, we want to help you address long standing physical limitations so that you can focus on activities that make your happy. If you feel limited by chronic back pain, tight muscles and a body with little to no range of motion, we want to break you out of that mold. We will work with you to detect the true root of your body’s dysfunction and create a multi-dimensional wellness plan that will help you move on from the pain. Give our office in Houston a call to schedule an appointment today. 

Dr. Randall Holmes, D.C.