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How to avoid heat exhaustion during heat waves

Dogwood

DogwoodNice weather oftentimes has us outside. We want to get out and move, do some gardening, maybe get some exercise outside. However, when temperatures start to rise into the 80s and 90s with high humidity, it can be difficult to not only stay comfortable, but to stay safe outside.

Recognizing the signs of heat exhaustion is important. Preventing it in the first place is even more important. Let’s take a look at both:

Preventing heat exhaustion

1. Wear light colored, loose fitting clothing

If you’re planning on running a marathon or walking a long distance in the sun during the heat, don’t wear skin-tight clothing and skinny jeans. Wear something loose and breathable like a loose fitting white t-shirt. Dark clothing attracts and absorbs sunlight, so avoid wearing black or excessively dark colors.

2. Drink lots of fluid

And we don’t mean coffee! Caffeinated drinks may taste good, but caffeine is a diuretic, meaning that it will help you expel water from your body rather than retain that precious resource you may need in a time like a hot run. Go for water and sports drinks. The first sign of dehydration is being thirsty, so make sure you quench that thirst!

3. Avoid hot spots & seek cooler areas

If possible, avoid direct sunlight and look for shady, cool areas. Being in air conditioning for a short period of time can help to prevent heat exhaustion. It may seem like a no brainer, but don’t sit in an enclosed car, truck, or otherwise for an extended period of time. Make sure you air out your car before you start driving.

4. Avoid sunburn

We know that you’ve been told to wear sunscreen, but the importance of wearing it can’t be stressed enough. Sunburn can turn to sun poisoning, and you may not realize when you’re on the road to heat exhaustion. Wearing a wide brimmed hat can help, too.

Heat exhaustion can have a range of symptoms that sometimes, if mild, can be easily reversed, but if left untreated too long can cause permanent damage. Some symptoms of heat exhaustion are:

  • Faintness, dizziness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Weak pulse
  • Pale face or even flushed face
  • Headache
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle cramps
  • Severe sweating with cold, clammy skin

If you or someone you know may be suffering from the start of heat exhaustion symptoms, you’ll want to move yourself or the person to a cool area (preferably air conditioned) and lay down. Remove any tight, heavy, or excess clothing. Spray the person with water and attempt to cool them down by letting them drink cool water or a non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated drink. Fainting, seizures, fever, and confusion will require medical assistance – immediately dial 911.

An ounce of prevention goes a long way. Make sure you stay cool during this heat wave and many to come!

5 Reasons for regular Chiropractic, Physical Therapy or Massage Therapy Treatments

Restoration of Function

Most people will seek out chiropractic or physical therapy treatments when they have a problem. This problem is usually phrased as “I have pain here” or “It hurts when I do this.” While this is completely normal, pain is NOT the problem but rather a symptom of the problem. Too often we find patients are focused on their pain rather than function, and will stop receiving treatment once their pain is gone.

Call it maintenance, wellness or check-ups, continued treatment is absolutely necessary for long term health benefits. Think of it this way, would you go to the gym 6 times then stop because you feel better? Of course not! You keep going because it helps you continue to feel great.

Here are 5 reasons we recommend regular visits for Chiropractic, Physical therapy or Massage therapy:

Reduce or eliminate daily aches & pains.

Knee PainLet’s face it, there is no cure for the common aches we all experience. And as we age, these aches seem to become more prevalent. The preferred treatment for these complaints is manual therapy. Depending on the exact cause and location will lead a practitioner to choose the proper treatment method. Therapeutic exercises, joint manipulation and soft tissue mobilization or treatments such as ultrasound, taping or electrical stimulation can help relieve pain and restore muscle and joint function. Such therapies can also prevent pain from returning.

Improved mobility, balance and stability.

Restoration of FunctionStretching and strengthening exercises help restore your ability to move, especially when performed after a chiropractic manipulation. If the chiropractic adjustment is like hitting the “reset” button, than physical therapy is like rewriting the software. You can do them separately, but the results just aren’t the same. Furthermore, regular treatment helps you correct you exercise form, add exercises to your repertoire, and maintain progress. Feeling stiff? Have you lost flexibility? Want it back? Then regular massages are the treatment choice for you.

Improved posture.

Seated XrayA common problem we see these days is our unnatural habit of sitting down all day. We sit for meals, commuting, working, and relaxation. In fact, the average person sits about 13 hours a day! This does a number on our spines — not to mention our posture! We’re glued to our cell phones, iPads, laptops and televisions! This constant sitting can lead to what doctors call “forward head posture.” It has been said for every inch your head sticks out from a true center of gravity, your neck bears an extra 10 pounds of stress. This inactivity and poor posture will affect everything from your spine, to circulation, to muscle tone, and even breathing.

While periodic treatment may not cure your horrible posture, it will prevent it from getting worse.

Manage age-related issues.

Age RelatedAs individuals age, they may develop arthritis, osteoporosis or need a joint replacement. Often these issues are easily managed with a combination of Chiropractic, Physical therapy and Massage therapy. If physical therapy helps you eliminate pain or heal from an injury, surgery may not be needed. And even if surgery is required, you may benefit from pre-surgery physical therapy. If you are going into a surgery stronger and in better shape, you will recover faster afterwards in many cases. Also, by avoiding surgery, health care costs are reduced.

Stress Management.

Weight LiftingThe ability of Chiropractic, Physical therapy or Massage therapy to reduce your stress is very well accepted. We know it works, and we know too much stress can be detrimental to your health. Stress can lead to physical symptoms including headaches, upset stomach, elevated blood pressure, and problems sleeping. Utilizing alcohol, tobacco, or medications for stress relief tends to keep the body in a stressed state and cause more problems.

Consider the following:

  • Forty-three percent of all adults suffer adverse health effects from stress.
  • Seventy-five percent to 90% of all doctor’s office visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints.
  • Stress can play a part in problems such as headaches, high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, skin conditions, asthma, arthritis, depression, and anxiety.
  • The lifetime prevalence of an emotional disorder is more than 50%, often due to chronic, untreated stress reactions.

No matter how you choose to do it, you must take care of your health. Regular Chiropractic, Physical therapy and Massage therapy treatments are a fantastic way to keep yourself in tip top health so you can continue to enjoy the activities which bring quality to your life.

REMEMBER: If you don’t MAKE time for health now, you will be FORCED to make time for illness later.