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S.M.A.R.T. Goal Making

January has come to a close and, despite our best intentions, our resolutions have as well. Why do resolutions always seem to fail? More than likely, the goals we make are too lofty, not relevant to
our life’s objectives, or are too difficult to track. To set yourself up for success, you must make a SMART goal. The acronym stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-based. Taking the time to think through a goal and write it down may seem unnecessary, but if we can write a SMART goal we are significantly more likely to follow through.

SMART Goals- Nashville TN- East End Chiropractic

 

Let’s take a look at the intricacies of the SMART goal acronym.

Specific refers to creating a goal that is well defined and narrow in focus. Specific brings us from a goal of “I want to lose weight” to “I want to lose 10 pounds.”

This brings us to our next requirement, which is to make sure the goal is measurable. In order to judge our progress, the goal needs to have some amount of traceability. In the initial example, it is easy to see that the goal is measurable, as pounds are easily tracked. If your goal is to be more successful at work, finding a way to make that measurable requires greater creativity. Progress could be tracked in terms of increased revenue, number or clients, articles written, or any number of other markers.

Ensuring that goals are attainable is another key factor in success. Making a goal that is too lofty or rushed is bound to fail. Making sure a goal is attainable also means ensuring there are direct steps that can be made toward a goal. For example, a goal that states “I want my boss to praise my work” is an external goal, and the quality of your work cannot guarantee your boss will give praise. However, modifying that goal to “I will ask my boss for feedback when I am proud of my work” puts the ball back in your court.

Forming goals that are relevant to your life’s objectives and your short and long-term plans is important. If a goal does not fit in with your broader needs it is unlikely to be a priority.

Setting target dates along the way for your goals, as well as a date the goal will be completed, makes it time-based. Breaking a goal up into smaller parts with due-dates keeps motivation high and makes time management easier.

I recommend writing out how your goal satisfies each of these requirements. Begin with your broad goal, such as “I want to lose weight,” and then go down the list to make it into a SMART goal. Here are some examples:

Broad Goal: I want to get rid of back pain.

Specific: I will reduce the pain in my lumbar spine from a pain number 6 to a pain number 2.

Measurable: I will be able to stand comfortably for 2 hours.

Attainable: I will call to schedule an appointment with my chiropractor within a week. I will then stick to the treatment plan of visits and home exercises prescribed by the chiropractor.

Relevant: Controlling my back pain will allow me to keep up with my grandchildren.

Time-Based: I will follow the treatment plan provided by my chiropractor for two months, after which I will reassess my level of pain when standing for 2 hours.

SMART Goal: I will follow the treatment plan prescribed by my chiropractor for two months, which will reduce my lumbar spine pain enough for me to stand comfortably for 2 hours so I may play with my grandchildren.

Broad Goal: I want to reduce my Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) symptoms by eating healthy.

Specific: I will eat 25 grams of inflammation-reducing fiber every day by increasing my whole grain, legume, and vegetable intake.

Measurable: Using an online nutrient tracker, I will input all of the foods I eat in a day to ensure I consume 25 grams of fiber.

Attainable: I will keep my refrigerator and pantry stocked with oats, legumes, broccoli, and other high-fiber foods. I will prepare these foods in advance so they are the easiest for me to grab when I am hungry.

Relevant: Reducing my symptoms of RA through eating anti-inflammatory foods will make my day-to-day movements more comfortable.

Time-Based: I will eat 25 grams of fiber daily for a month, at which point I will make another goal to get myself closer to following an anti-inflammatory diet.

SMART Goal: I will eat 25 grams of fiber per day for one month by increasing my whole-grain, legume, and vegetable intake. I will know if I am staying on track with my goal by entering my meals into a nutrient tracker and will encourage my success by keeping my house stocked with high-fiber foods that are ready to eat. Eating 25 grams of fiber a day will allow me to move with greater ease throughout my day as an anti-inflammatory diet has been shown to decrease RA related pain.

If you are looking to make effective goals, look to the SMART goal standard. Regardless of the area of your life, you are looking to improve – health, career, finance, etc… – a SMART goal will help you to succeed. Give it a try; maybe those resolutions still have a chance.

 

By John Olsen on March 6th, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Comments Off on S.M.A.R.T. Goal Making

Tight Hips & Back Pain

Low back pain can come from a variety of sources, but are you aware that one of the most common triggers of low back pain is tight hip flexors? Let’s look into the anatomy of this issue, the causes, and the solution. Tight Hip and Back Pain IMG- Nashville TN- East End Chiropractic-w800-h597

It takes multiple muscles to flex our hips, the dominant two being the iliacus and psoas major – together referred to as the iliopsoas. The iliacus runs down the front of the hip and inserts on the femur. The psoas major also inserts on femur and it wraps around to the back of the body, connecting to the lumbar spine, specifically to the T12 and L1-L5 vertebrae. When the iliopsoas shortens, or flexes, the knee is brought up toward the chest.
When discussing this issue, it is important to remember that muscles that remain in their shortened position for prolonged periods of time tend to stay shortened, or “tight,” when they are given the ability to lengthen. A tight iliopsoas that has been in a shortened position will resist lengthening, resulting in pulling on the spine, compressing the disks and causing stress. This will begin to limit the mobility of the spine. Over time, this can lead to serious pain or tightness in the low back, sometimes accompanied by pain or awareness of tightness in the hips.
Tight iliopsoas muscles are common in bikers and runners. Knowing the anatomy and physiology of the hips as described above, this makes sense! These athletes are pulling their knees toward their chest with every step or peddle. However, the muscles do not need to be actively contracting to tighten in the shortened position. When we sit at a desk, drive a car, or sleep in the fetal position our iliopsoas is in the same contacted position as someone who is out running or biking. Unfortunately the average person sitting or sleeping doesn’t think to stretch out these muscles because they aren’t usually sore, leading to tightness and pain in the spine over time.
Thankfully, this issue can treated and maintained to eliminate pain. Chiropractic adjustment is crucial to prolonged relief from tight hip flexors. As the iliopsoas compresses the spine over time, the joints lose their mobility. This causes the muscles to tighten even more, forming a splint of sorts for the immobilized spine joints. An adjustment will get the joints moving correctly, allowing the muscles holding them in place to release. Stretching is then more effective as the muscles have a greater ability to lengthen when they are not being told by the brain that they are needed to stabilize the spine. Not only does pain often immediately decrease following an adjustment, a chiropractor will work with you to eliminate the dysfunctional patterns causing the issue, not just relieve the symptoms.

Along with chiropractic adjustment to mobilize the strained disks in the spine, stretching tight iliopsoas regularly will greatly reduce pain and improve Tight Hips and Back Pain IMG 2- Nashville TN- East End Chiropractic-w800-h597biomechanics throughout the lower body. There are multiple methods to stretch the iliopsoas muscles; two of the most effective are deep lunges and foam rolling.
To perform the lunge stretch, begin by kneeling on the floor. Place one foot on the ground with the knee stacked over the ankle. The knee that is still on the ground should be at an angle slightly more than 90°. Be sure to keep the hips square to front of the body. Keeping the upper body straight, gently push the hips forward. Perform this stretch 3-5 times per day on each side.
Another passive way to release the hip flexors is to foam roll the area. This massages the muscles, increasing circulation and oxygen flow and releasing tension. Here is a link to a YouTube video on the proper method of rolling the psoas muscles.
The most important therapy to treat and prevent tight hip flexors is to stand up and move around! If you work at a desk or drive frequently, make sure to get up and walk around at least once an hour. Bonus points if you perform any iliopsoas stretches while you are up!

To summarize:

  • Tight hip flexors are a major cause of low back pain.
  • Hip flexors can become tight from running, biking, and most importantly: sitting for prolonged periods.
  • To relieve back pain caused by this issue, visit us for an adjustment to mobilize the lumbar spine and STRETCH your hip flexors!
  • Prevention is key! Make sure to stand up at least once an hour and move around to lengthen your iliopsoas.

If you have any questions regarding this post or think you may be suffering from tight hip flexors, call us at the office at 615-650-6533. We would be happy to tell you more, demonstrate stretches or foam rolling techniques, and help you get rid of your low back pain.

 

 

By John Olsen on August 18th, 2016 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Comments Off on Tight Hips & Back Pain

New Office Manager – Here to Stay

Change

Some embrace it, some resist it. After going through the five stages of grief when Meghan departed, East End Chiropractic has decided to embrace change. First we had Dr. John running New Office ManagerIMG- Nashville TN- East End Chiropractic-w800-h597around the office, doing it all. Then our friend Chris, the famous patient behind the desk, stepped in to help.

Next is where I come in. I am Katherine, the new office manager here at East End Chiropractic. Dr. John can now focus on what he does best – treating you – and Chris has returned to his position crafting tunes and sleeping late.

A little about me

I am a recent Tennessee transplant originally from Maine. I moved to Nashville in August 2015 with my husband, Wilson, and our two cats, Angus and Calvin. Prior to relocating I earned my degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of Maine. While Wilson spends his days in graduate school at Vanderbilt, I have been coming to know and love Nashville. I worked a few odd jobs before finding myself here, comfortably sitting behind the desk at EEC (Dr. John picked a chair with excellent back support).

From this point forward I will be the voice on the phone, the scheduler of appointments, and the gal greeting you in the office. A certified queen of organization and lover of all things structured, I am ready to take on the challenge of navigating the ins and outs of EEC. I am refining my expertise in deciphering insurance benefits and in writing twitter posts, all to better serve you!

If you’d like to learn more about me, check out our MEET THE TEAM page on the website. Better yet, just ask! I love talking about food, things to do around Nashville, and how much cooler the summers are in Maine.

Thank you for understanding as the practice has gone through this period of adjustment. Change can be tough, but you have all taken it in strides!

By John Olsen on July 29th, 2016 | Tagged with: Tags: , | Comments Off on New Office Manager – Here to Stay

Patient Poses Behind Desk

I’m Chris. Some of you may have met me, or talked to me on the phone, in the past couple weeks. I’ve been a patient of Patient Poses Behind Desk IMG- Nashville TN- East End ChiropracticDr. John’s since I moved to Nashville almost 3 years ago. He has taken excellent care of me, as I’m sure he has for you as well.

When Meghan Jones – the face that East End patients are accustomed to being greeted by – moved on to a new career recently, I came in for my appointment to find Dr. John quite busy… possibly a bit overwhelmed. He was handling all of the office responsibilities while treating his usual busy schedule of patients. So, I offered to help. I’m a freelancer who’s lucky enough to make my own schedule, so why not get in the good graces of the guy who keeps my neck and shoulders working properly? Right?

I was glad he took me up on it, despite my being entirely unqualified for the position. I’m not a morning person, I have almost zero office experience, and I’m a creative-type — so organizational duties aren’t my strong suit. Regardless of all that, I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity. Not only have I gotten to know Dr. John a bit better, but meeting the people he helps function more effectively and comfortably has been a blast. You are all so friendly!

What I’ve found most inspiring about working at East End Chiropractic is that nobody seems to bring their stress here. It truly is a positive environment. People come in looking forward to chatting with Dr. John, getting treated, and going about their day feeling better. As much as setting an alarm clock for 7:00am pains me, seeing the relief each patient expresses from chiropractic care has made it worth the effort. I leave the office in a great mood each day, feeling like I’ve taken a small part in something that improves people’s lives.

As East End Chiropractic’s new office manager prepares to begin her tenure, I just wanted to express my gratitude to everyone who’s welcomed me, engaged me in conversation, and shown patience with me while I’ve tried to fill the shoes of a true pro.

Thanks! See you in the waiting room!

By John Olsen on July 11th, 2016 | Tagged with: Tags: , | Comments Off on Patient Poses Behind Desk

Goodbye + Thank You

Change is not easy and saying goodbye is even harder. So it is with some sadness and much gratitude that I say goodbye to my role as East End Chiropractic’s office manager. Meghan jones-nashville tn-east end chiropractic-w800-h800-325x216-w800-h597

It has been such a pleasure to meet the amazing people who have come through this office to receive relief for pain. I have loved getting to know you, helping you understand insurance, catch up about life and kids and school and so many other things. Thank you for trusting me to take care of your scheduling needs and so much more. I feel like I am saying goodbye to an extended family!

As for saying goodbye to Dr. John, or Dr. J as I call him, this is the hardest. I came here to work part time in a season of life that was very difficult for me. Everyone was super patient with me as I learned the ins and outs of working again. Dr. J led with a lot of grace and patience. As my role here has grown, his trust in my ability to manage this office has grown too and I am grateful for this. My time here at East End has helped me get my feet back on the ground and I cannot say thanks enough. I will continue to sing the praises of Dr. J and will recommend him, always, to those who ask me about chiropractic care.

I am staying here in Nashville and will be working at The Dispensary of Hope, a non-profit organization that connects surplus medications to organizations serving the poor and uninsured. I am sure that I will be back to East End for an adjustment from time to time and I hope to see some of you when I do.

One final note: if you are a regular patient of Dr. J’s or even a potential new patient, please send some encouraging words his way as he navigates the office on his own until he finds a new office manager. If you call and don’t get an answer right away, please call back. You can also send an email to info@eastendchiro.com to schedule appointments.

THANK YOU for making my time here so fulfilling.

-Meghan

By John Olsen on June 24th, 2016 | Tagged with: | Comments Off on Goodbye + Thank You

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953 Main Street, Suite 109
Nashville, TN 37206
Phone: 615-650-6533
Fax: 615-650-6541
Email: info@eastendchiro.com

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