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September 2021 Health Newsletter

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The information contained and the opinions expressed in this newsletter do not necessarily represent the opinions of Dr. Ross and Island Chiropractic Centre.

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Current Articles

» Avoid Pain with the Right Backpack
» Exercise, the Easy Way
» Better Sleep: 7 Mindful Practices to Improve Your Risk
» Class IV Therapeutic Laser Treatments
» Chiropractors Play An Essential Role In Auto Accident Injuries
» Can Your Mental Workload Affect Your Muscles?
» Vitamin D and Calcium for a Longer Life?

Avoid Pain with the Right Backpack

Back pain is pervasive among American adults, but they are not alone: Young children are suffering from back pain much earlier than previous generations, and the use of overweight backpacks is a contributing factor for some, according to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA).

“In my own practice, I have noticed an increase in the number of young children who are complaining about back, neck and shoulder pain,” said ACA member Dr. Scott Bautch, who practices in Wausau, Wis., and is president of ACA’s Council on Occupational Health. “The first question I ask these patients is, ‘Do you carry a backpack to school?’ Almost always the answer is ‘yes.’”

This back pain trend among young people isn’t surprising when you consider the disproportionate amounts of weight they carry in their backpacks—often slung over just one shoulder. Surveys show children today carry everything from books, laptops and school supplies to sports uniforms, shoes and water bottles in their backpacks at any given time.

One study examining the impact of backpacks on children found that over 70% of children surveyed had a backpack that exceeded the recommended 10% of their body weight. Of these children, 32% complained of back pain.

Another study on backpack weight and schoolchildren’s posture showed that head and spinal posture were affected by backpack weight, with heavier backpacks causing a child’s head and spine to bend farther forward.

What Can You Do?

Dr. Bautch suggests using an ergonomically designed backpack. He offers parents the following tips on choosing the right backpack for their child and wearing it properly:

  • Make sure your child’s backpack, when packed, weighs no more than 10 percent of their body weight. A heavier backpack will cause your child to bend forward to support the weight on the back, rather than the shoulders.
  • The backpack should never hang more than four inches below the waistline. A backpack that hangs too low increases the weight on the shoulders, causing your child to lean forward when walking.
  • A backpack with individualized compartments helps in positioning the contents most effectively. Make sure that pointy or bulky objects are packed away from the area that will rest on your child’s back.
  • Bigger is not necessarily better. The more room there is in a backpack, the more your child will carry and the heavier the backpack will be.
  • Urge your child to wear both shoulder straps. Lugging the backpack around by one strap can cause the disproportionate shift of weight to one side, leading to neck and muscle spasms, as well as low back pain.
  • Wide, padded straps are very important. Non-padded straps are uncomfortable and can dig into your child’s shoulders.
  • The shoulder straps should be adjustable so the backpack can fit to your child’s body. Straps that are too loose can cause the backpack to dangle, causing spinal misalignment and pain.
  • If the backpack is still too heavy, talk to your child’s teacher. Ask if your child could leave the heaviest books or items at school and bring home only lighter hand-out materials or workbooks.
  • Roller packs—or backpacks on wheels—should be used cautiously and on a limited basis by only those students who are not physically able to carry a backpack. They present their own risks if they clutter hallways, potentially resulting in dangerous trips and falls.

Chiropractic Care Can Help

If you or your child experiences any pain or discomfort resulting from backpack use, call your chiropractor. Doctors of chiropractic are licensed and trained to diagnose and treat patients of all ages. In addition, chiropractors can recommend ­­exercises designed to help children develop strong muscles, along with instruction in good nutrition, posture and sleeping habits.

Chen Y-L, Mu Y-C. Effects of backpack load and position on body strains in male schoolchildren while walking. PLoS ONE. 2018;13(3): e0193648.
Perrone M, Orr R, Hing W, Milne N, Pope R. The impact of backpack loads on school children: A critical narrative review. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2018;15(11):2529. Published 2018 Nov 12. doi:10.3390/ijerph15112529
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Brought to you by the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) and reviewed by the ACA Editorial Advisory Board. This information is for educational purposes. It is not a replacement for treatment or consultation with a healthcare professional. If you have specific questions, contact your doctor of chiropractic.
For more information on injury prevention and wellness, or to find a doctor of chiropractic near you, visit

Author: ACA
Source: ACA

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Exercise, the Easy Way

Many years ago, Americans walked regularly throughout their day. Today, we are lucky if we can reach 3,000 steps in one day. As a country, we are not getting enough movement in our daily lives. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to take a lot of time or effort to incorporate exercise into your schedule.

Start Small

If all you can manage is a five-minute walk, do it. Five minutes are better than none. Eventually, you will be able to work your way up to 30 minutes or more, and you will be taking a big step toward maintaining the flexibility and mobility of your joints.

For those in a time crunch, consider taking small breaks from work. Simply getting up from your desk and walking around the office or the parking lot, or going up and down the stairs a few times, is enough to get your blood flowing and to trigger feel-good endorphins to get you through the rest of your day.

You can also think about incorporating exercise into the activities that you enjoy, such as shopping. Next time you take a trip to the mall, walk around the entire perimeter before going into a store. Or you can turn household chores and yard work into exercise. Consider washing your car by hand rather than using a drive-through car wash. Next time you have to mow the lawn, don’t groan and put it off. Instead, think of it as an opportunity to get in some exercise and work up a sweat. The same is true of raking leaves and vacuuming the living room—anything that gets you on your feet and moving around is going to be beneficial to your health.

What’s My Motivation?

With busy schedules and the rising cost of gym memberships, it’s easy to make excuses for not exercising. The important thing is to remember what motivated you to start working out in the first place. Do you want to be able to keep up with your grandkids? Play 18 holes of golf? Run a marathon one day? Avoid the diabetes that runs in your family? Wear a new outfit hanging in your closet? Whatever it is, keep your goal in mind to keep your body moving toward it.

Vary Routines

If you already have a workout routine that you enjoy, think about how you can tweak that plan to get the greatest health benefit. Regardless of how you choose to exercise, experts agree that it is important to vary your routine at least every few weeks to avoid plateaus and see maximum results.

Variety can be as simple as changing the machines on your weight-lifting circuit or switching from a treadmill to an elliptical. If you’d prefer to continue with the same activity, such as running, consider altering how far or how fast you run. Switch from interval training to hill training, or from one-mile sprints to three-mile jogs.

New Exercise Options

Tired of running on a treadmill? Check out these exercise options to spice up your workout routine:

  • Practice yoga. With a variety of styles and poses, yoga can fit into many different lifestyles and address a variety of health and fitness needs. The physical benefits of yoga, such as increased flexibility, strength, endurance and balance make it an excellent option for athletes to complement the often repetitive motions of training. The same benefits are valuable to less active people looking for a way to add more movement to their days.
  • Diving in for a few laps is a great workout option because it provides cardio and resistance training without any added stress on your joints. You can also “run” in the water for even more variation. Either strap on a flotation device and hit the deep end for minimal resistance while running, or try the shallow end (with the water level hitting about mid thigh) for much stronger resistance.
  • Do weight training. You can use free weights or grab those soup cans from the cupboard and fill an old gallon milk jug with water to create your own. Start small—with light weights and only a few repetitions—and work your way up to more sets with heavier weights.
  • Go for a bike ride. Biking is good for your body because it provides a great cardio workout without putting extra stress on your joints. You can hit the trails for an outdoor ride or try a spin class at your local gym for a more structured workout.
  • Take a dance class. Dance classes are fun, so you won’t realize you are exercising and you can make the workouts as high impact as you’d like.

No matter what workout you choose, be sure to talk to your doctor of chiropractic about exercising safely. For more information on health and wellness, or to find a chiropractor near you, visit

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Brought to you by the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) and reviewed by the ACA Editorial Advisory Board. This information is for educational purposes. It is not a replacement for treatment or consultation with a healthcare professional. If you have specific questions, contact your doctor of chiropractic.
For more information on injury prevention and wellness, or to find a doctor of chiropractic near you, visit

Author: ACA
Source: ACA

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Better Sleep: 7 Mindful Practices to Improve Your Risk

By Jamie Benjamin

If you struggle to fall asleep at night, endlessly toss and turn, or wake up stiff and tired, practicing mindfulness may help. The practice of being mindful means dedicating your full attention to something. To truly be mindful, you need to slow down, take a breather, and focus entirely on what you’re doing. 

When you relate mindful practices to sleep, there are specific ways you can shift your focus and ensure you improve your quality of rest.

These methods include:

Creating the ideal sleep environment 

Your bedroom should be a sanctuary dedicated to relaxing. Too often, our bedrooms are multi-purpose rooms that include televisions, computers, gym equipment and other items that don’t promote rest. It’s almost impossible to sleep properly when there’s so much going on in the room. Try to turn your bedroom into a space with just one focus—sleep.

A good sleeping environment has soft colors and minimal visual distractions. It’s also important for it to be quiet. Even devices with fans that run when they’re on standby can be noisy. Light from devices inside and from streetlights or cars outside can prevent you from sleeping, too. Use heavy curtains to block out external light and take all devices out of the room.

Eliminating distractions

It seems that people’s attention spans are getting shorter, and it is very easy to get distracted. Scrolling through social media on your phone or messaging friends just before you try to go to sleep can keep your mind awake.

Blinking lights from your computer or television can distract your body and prevent it from relaxing. All these distractions need to go, and you should discipline yourself to ignore the temptation of your phone.

Focusing on your breathing

There’s nothing quite like taking a moment to focus on your breathing to calm down and relax your body. If your breathing is relaxed, sleep becomes the next natural state.

When you want to go to sleep, this technique works incredibly well. Climb into bed and get comfortable, then bring all of your thoughts and attention to your breathing patterns. Start inhaling and exhaling in slow, measured breaths.

The physical act of measured, controlled breathing will calm your body and slow your heart rate, getting you into a state ready for sleep. When you focus your mind on your breathing, you cut out thoughts about your day, stress from work, or anything else that may distract you and keep you awake.

Stretching or mild exercising

The temptation to do intense cardio exercise before bed can be quite high because you think that tiring out your body will make you fall asleep quickly. This is not the case. Endorphins are running high after a run or a cycle or an aerobics class, making your body alert. Gentle exercise that allows your body to relax can help you fall asleep more easily. Consider doing some stretching to release tight muscles just before you hop into bed.

If your lifestyle only allows time to exercise in the evenings, you can do workouts like walking, swimming or even light resistance training in the four hours before you go to bed. Just try not to raise your body temperature or your heart rate too much. It’s best to finish your workout at least 90 minutes before you plan to go to sleep.

Scheduling meals correctly

Eating a large, heavy meal just before trying to fall asleep is not conducive to good rest. Your body will still be trying to digest the food while you’re trying to turn most of your internal systems into standby mode. Research shows you should eat your last meal for the day around three hours before you want to go to sleep. This will give your body enough time to digest the food so that it isn’t still in your stomach when you get into bed.

If you find that you’re hungry before you go to bed, you can have a small snack in that three-hour window. It’s best to eat something like fruit or vegetables or a small portion of protein. These are nutritious and will add value to your body, rather than breaking down into sugar that will turn into fat while you sleep.

Learning to quiet your mind 

A racing mind is one of the major complaints that people have when they’re unable to fall asleep. They’re too busy thinking about the past and future and not paying enough attention to being mindful of the present. An internal monologue that dwells on what’s already happened or fixates on what’s to come will keep you awake for hours.

It’s important to learn how to quiet your mind and let thoughts that keep you awake drift away at night. You can do this by reading a book, thinking about places or people you love, or simply observing and enjoying the quiet space you’re in. These activities will get you out of your own head and keep your mind from churning.

Using relaxation techniques 

If your body is tense, it’s alert and wide awake. Whether the tension comes from stress, worry, or a physical ailment, it’s important to learn how to relax.

Practicing mindfulness means paying attention to the here and now and focusing on a singular idea. Mental exercises that methodically take you away from thoughts of whatever is causing tension are an excellent way to do this.

Visualization techniques help your mind become calm and focus on relaxing your body, preventing you from thinking about things that stress you out. Try imagining a warm liquid filling your body, starting at your toes and slowly moving up to your head. 

Another great relaxation technique is to run through the muscle groups in your body as you lie in bed. Tense up your calves and then relax them. Then move onto your quadriceps, your glutes, your abdominal muscles and so on. Hold the tension for about five seconds in each section before releasing and then repeat after about 30 seconds.

Your lifestyle plays a role in sleep patterns, and improving the way you unwind will benefit you.

It may take time to create a new mindfulness routine, but regularly getting a good night’s rest goes a long way to keeping you happy, healthy, and revitalized.

Jamie Benjamin is a freelance contributor to Hands Down Better. With a passion for writing, she loves to get creative on topics covering health and wellness, self-care, mindfulness, and fitness. For Jamie, self-care means going on a hike with a friend, reading a good book by John Irving, or having a huge slice of apple pie (with a scoop of ice cream).

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Brought to you by the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) and reviewed by the ACA Editorial Advisory Board. This information is for educational purposes. It is not a replacement for treatment or consultation with a healthcare professional. If you have specific questions, contact your doctor of chiropractic.
For more information on injury prevention and wellness, or to find a doctor of chiropractic near you, visit

Author: ACA
Source: ACA

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Class IV Therapeutic Laser Treatments

Island Chiropractic Centre of Johns Island, SC is Now Offering Class IV Therapeutic Laser Treatments for Advanced Pain Relief and Enhanced Healing.

High-power therapy laser provides a safe, non-invasive solution for pain management, wound healing and rehabilitation.

Johns Island, SC – 12/4/2020

Dr. Anthony Ross of Island Chiropractic Centre proudly announces the addition of Class IV therapeutic laser that delivers advanced pain relief and enhanced tissue healing. “We are very excited to offer these treatments to our patients”, said Dr. Ross, “Laser therapy is an innovative drug-free and surgery-free solution for our clients. The therapy laser that we invested in, the Platinum P4 by Summus Medical Laser, is used by many health care providers and professional sports teams throughout the US and the world.”

Dr. Ross went on to say "We can help many more people than we could before. The P4 laser is absolutely the best thing to ever happen to our practice. It is very exciting to help people get the results they need with virtually no side effects”.

Island Chiropractic Centre chose the P4 by Summus Medical Laser because it is the most innovative and effective Class IV therapeutic laser. High-energy laser therapy with the P4 safely penetrates deeply into the body to diminish pain and stimulate healing. Laser therapy provides a safe solution for many peoples’ pain.

Laser therapy works by stimulating production of cellular energy in damaged cells and by enhancing the cell membrane permeability. This promotes the speed and the quality of healing, enhances the exchange of nutrients and wastes across the cell membrane and improves elasticity of injured tissues. Laser therapy also modulates pain and reduces inflammation. It can be used immediately on acute injuries, over broken skin and over metal implants. Laser therapy enhances the rate and quality of healing of acute injuries and can help with the resolution of chronic complaints such as arthritis.

“The Summus Medical Laser is being used in the very best health care clinics across the country, and by several professional sports teams, such as the New York Yankees. We are very pleased to offer the latest laser therapy technology to our patients”, continued Dr. Ross.

Island Chiropractic Centre has staff members who have been professionally trained to effectively provide laser therapy treatments.  They are ready to answer clients’ questions about suitability for their condition.  Clients interested in knowing more can contact the office at 843-559-9111 or visit their website at  Additional information about laser therapy can be found at

Platinum Web Page_Call to Ask

Author: Summus Medical Laser
Source: P4_MED Marketing File

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Chiropractors Play An Essential Role In Auto Accident Injuries

Chiropractors are arguably the best medical professional to see after you’ve been in an auto/motor vehicle accident. They're extensively trained in treating soft tissue injuries, including the most common auto accident injury: whiplash. Additionally, chiropractic methods are drug-free, natural, non-invasive, and focus on treating and rehabilitating the root cause of what hurts - the injured soft tissue itself.

Auto accidents are violent and almost always unexpected. The extent of occupant injuries can be minor to extreme and everywhere inbetween depending upon the many variables at play. Pain and other symptoms can be severe and immediate, but can also be insidious and not immediately noticed for days, weeks or even months post-accident. This makes obtaining a professional evaluation - a chiropractic evaluation - after any motor vehicle accident a necessity.

Your chiropractor will evaluate you from head to toe to determine the full extent of your injuries, if any. They can identify soft tissue injuries and discover painful areas that were previously unidentified and unnoticed. They can also swiftly develop an effective treatment protocol to get you back on the road to being healthy and pain-free. The sooner you get evaluated, the sooner you can receive the essential care your body and soft tissues need, giving you less downtime and a more optimal outcome.

For those without legal representation, the majority of chiropractors have existing relationships with law firms that can assist in your case, if appropriate. If legal representation has already been obtained, the majority of chiropractors will still gladly provide you with the essential medical care you need while dealing directly with your current attorney and legal team.

So if you have been involved in a recent or past auto injury accident, please reach out to our office today so we can get you out of pain, effectively heal and rehab any soft tissue injuries, or at minimum, evaluate you to perhaps simply put your mind at ease.


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Can Your Mental Workload Affect Your Muscles?

It's no secret that hard manual labor can have an effect on the body. But a new study suggests there may be a connection between musculoskeletal disorders and mental workload, too.  How does mental stress affect our bodies? Research published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics investigated bank workers' mental workload against pain throughout nine different musculoskeletal regions. The results demonstrated that the more subjective mental workload the employees experienced, the higher their musculoskeletal pain, particularly in the neck and back. Over time, we are beginning to understand the relationship between mental stress and musculoskeletal pain. Last year, a similar study was conducted on hospital nurses, revealing similar results, suggesting that increased mental stress leads to increased musculoskeletal pains.  For doctors of chiropractic, this research highlights a philosophy that chiropractic care has always embraced: the importance of holistic care. Exceptional and effective chiropractic care relies on a comprehensive approach that sees the body as a complete entity. Through a multifaceted approach including physical therapy, spinal manipulation, massage, nutrition, and more, chiropractic care helps individuals manage both their pain and their lifestyle to improve and eliminate discomfort from the source. Particularly for those with mentally stressful jobs, good posture can be easy to forget about, for instance. Emphasis and instruction on proper techniques and form for employees who stand or sit at a computer for long periods of time is an excellent example of preventing musculoskeletal aches and pains from developing. By taking appropriate breaks and learning tips and methods for minimizing physical and mental stress at work, a doctor of chiropractic can help guide stressed out workers towards a holistic method of resolving their mental and physical fatigue.

Source: J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2016 Jul-Aug;39(6):420-6.

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Vitamin D and Calcium for a Longer Life?

A review of several studies involving over 70,000 older individuals found that people who take vitamin D and calcium together may live longer than people who do not. The study, recently published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology, found that participants taking the supplements were 9% less likely to die over a three year period than individuals taking a placebo. Participants were administered 20 micrograms of vitamin D and 1,000 milligrams of calcium per day; both well within the guidelines suggested by US health officials. The reasons for the decline in mortality were unclear, although a decline in both hip fractures and cancer were suggested. Lead researcher Lars Rejnmark, of Aarhus University in Denmark, noted the effect as being comparable to the benefits of blood pressure medications and cholesterol-lowering statins. There was no effect noted by taking vitamin D alone.

Source: The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, May 17, 2012.

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