The Joplin City Health Department/Women, Infants and Children (WIC) announces a contract continuance to provide WIC services for the federal fiscal year 2023 has been signed with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

Women, Infants and Children (WIC) is a special supplemental nutrition program providing services to pregnant women, new mothers, infants and children up to their fifth birthday based on nutritional risk and income eligibility. The primary services provided are healthy, supplemental food, risk assessment, nutrition education and counseling, breastfeeding promotion and support, health screening and referrals to health care. To be eligible for WIC, applicants must have an income of less than or equal to 185% of the poverty level and be at nutritional risk. Migrant families are also eligible.

WIC supplemental food packages are specially chosen to provide foods high in protein, iron, calcium, and vitamins A and C. Eligible women and children receive fortified milk and cheese, eggs, whole grain bread products, hot or cold cereals, 100% fruit juices, and fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables. The WIC program recommends breastfeeding and provides breastfeeding support, baby foods, and infant cereal. For women who cannot or choose not to breastfeed, infants may receive supplemental, iron-fortified formula. WIC participants obtain their food by using their eWIC cards for specific items at participating local grocery stores and pharmacies.

Studies confirm that pregnant women who enroll in WIC during the early months of pregnancy have fewer low birth weight babies, experience fewer infant deaths, see the doctor earlier in pregnancy, and eat healthier.

WIC is administered in Jasper County by the Joplin City Health Department/WIC program. Persons interested in applying or who are in need of more information should contact the Joplin City WIC office at 417.623.1928, option three and leave a message. WIC clinics are offered at 321 E. 4th Street, Joplin Missouri 8:00 am to 12:00 pm and 1:00 to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday.

In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.

Program information may be made available in languages other than English. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication to obtain program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language), should contact the responsible state or local agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at 202.720.2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at 800.877.8339.

To file a program discrimination complaint, a Complainant should complete Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, which can be obtained online here, from any USDA office, by calling 866.632.9992, or by writing a letter addressed to USDA. The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) about the nature and date of an alleged civil rights violation. The completed AD-3027 form or letter must be submitted to USDA by mail.


Joplin Health Department
417.623.6122, ext. 1256

Learn about what’s new in local health care with Freeman Health System’s online newsletter, Freeman in a Flash. Read about new doctors at Freeman, Breast Cancer Awareness month, upcoming events, and much more below. 

New 3D Mammogram with Patient-Assisted Compression

Freeman Women’s Pavilion is equipped with the latest generation of 3D mammography equipment with patient-assisted compression. Freeman is thefirst and only in region to invest in GE’s Senographe Pristina™ Dueta, a 3-D mammography system that enables women to determine the pressure applied for compression, improving women’s experience and delivering better images. This self-compression tool helps give women a sense of control by enabling them to manually adjust the degree of breast compression.

Fear of pain is one of the most common reasons why women do not schedule a mammogram. A recent study conducted found that painful exams explain why 25% to 46% of women failed to return for further breast imaging. The Pristina approaches this problem in two ways: by making the paddles that compress the breast more flexible and by putting compression control in the hands of the patient.

Call 417.347.7777 to schedule your mammogram today and learn more here.

Interventional Cardiologist Added to the Freeman Team

Freeman Health System is pleased to welcome rheumatologist Dr. Justin Reed to its medical staff. Dr. Reed brings with him his expertise in a new specialty at Freeman. Freeman is expanding its services with Freeman Rheumatology, located at 931 E. 32nd Street, Joplin, in the Freeman Center for Geriatric Medicine.

Rheumatologists diagnosis and treat diseases that affect the muscles, joints, ligaments, tendons and bones. They also treat systemic autoimmune diseases, such as lupus and scleroderma.

Dr. Reed said he is excited to be able to bring a limited but much-needed service to the community.

“Rheumatologists deal with very complex diverse set of diseases,” Dr. Reed said. “It’s challenging because a lot of our diseases present insidiously. They can masquerade as other diseases before they fully present themselves in the textbook fashion. So, it takes some patience and diligence and getting to know your patients on a personal level.”

Dr. Reed is currently accepting patients by referral only. Learn more here.

Be a Flu Fighter with Worksite Clinics

It isn’t too late! Maintaining your annual flu vaccination is important because flu viruses evolve quickly and immunity can decline over time.

Freeman offers employers the option to be billed directly or to file insurance, if this is a covered benefit of your plan. On-site flu clinics offer:

  • Convenience – clinics visit your work site
  • Flexible scheduling – appointments available for all shifts, including nights and weekends
  • Efficiency – ability to vaccinate about 45 people per hour

To schedule an on-site flu clinic, please contact Raenna Diaz, Freeman OccuMed On-Site Coordinator, at 417.347.6934. For more information on billing your group health insurance, please contact Shelby Allen, Freeman Prevention & Wellness Supervisor, at 417.347.5646.

National Health Observances

As you plan your Employee Wellness programs and communication, you can find resources at the Department of Health and Human Services Monthly Observances Calendar. Each month focuses on approximately three to six topics of interest. Here are just a few resources for September:

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Did you know that 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime? Early diagnosis is critical to survival. Check with your primary care provider to see if you need to schedule a mammogram, and visit to learn more about Freeman’s breast cancer services.

Freeman also sponsors the Espresso Yourself Breast Cancer Support Group on the first Tuesday of each month at Joplin Avenue Coffee Shop. To RSVP, to Marcella at 417.347.2662.

Early Detection Screenings Save Lives

Freeman Screen Team offers four screenings for just $100.

  • Stroke Screening/Carotid Artery
  •  Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screening
  • Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) Screening
  • Osteoporosis Risk Screening

If you’re interested in learning more about these screenings, check out the poster below or call the Screen Team at 417.347.6555.

Want to Stay in the Loop?

Subscribe to Freeman in a Flash and the newsletter will be shared with you each month via email. Sign up today!

Learn about what’s new in local healthcare with Freeman Health System’s online newsletter, Freeman in a Flash. Read about primary care in Neosho, flu shot clinics, upcoming events, and much more below. 

Electronic Authorization Form Simplifies Approval for Freeman OccuMed Services

Employer authorization is required before services can be provided at Freeman OccuMed (with the exception of emergencies falling under EMTALA guidelines). Employers can provide authorization by email, phone, fax, or an authorization form carried in by the patient.

Freeman OccuMed provides an editable PDF authorization form, which is free to download. Freeman OccuMed also provides an after hours authorization form for Freeman Urgent Care and Emergency Rooms. Employer authorization is required to obtain after hours drug and alcohol testing. You can submit an authorization form for each patient, or put a pre-approved protocol on file.

Access the Freeman OccuMed Authorization Form here, and the after hours form here. Register your company’s after hours protocol here.

New Internal Medicine Physician in Neosho

Freeman Neosho Physician Group is pleased to welcome Dr. Shelby Tinney-Edge, an internal medicine physician, to its staff. A native of the Joplin area, Dr. Tinney-Edge considers Freeman home.

“I always knew I was going to come back home and help the people in my community,” Dr. Tinney-Edge said. “I felt like the physicians at Freeman Neosho Physician Group were very close knit. I liked the small town feel of Neosho, and there is a great need for primary care.”

Dr. Tinney-Edge is accepting new patients at Freeman Neosho Physician Group, 336 S. Jefferson St., Neosho. To schedule an appointment call 417.455.4200.

Interventional Cardiologist Added to the Freeman Team

Freeman Heart & Vascular Institute is pleased to welcome Dr. Vigyan Bang, a board-certified interventional cardiologist, to its staff. Interventional cardiologists perform many interventional procedures, including cardiac catheterization to diagnose and treat heart disease, stenting, angiogram, angioplasty and intravascular ultrasound. They also provide general and preventive cardiology care.

Dr. Bang, the son of two physicians, said he is looking forward to working with Freeman and the community.

“This health system is very intertwined in the community,” Dr. Bang said. “The cardiology group are well-trained physicians who work well together to take care of complex patients. Freeman gives me the opportunity to hone my sub-specialty training, which is structural cardiology.”

Dr. Bang’s clinic is located at Freeman Heart & Vascular Institute, 1102 W. 32nd St., Suite 300. To schedule an appointment, call 417.347.5000.

Be a Flu Fighter with Worksite Clinics

Maintaining your annual flu vaccination is important because flu viruses evolve quickly and immunity can decline over time.

Freeman offers employers the option to be billed directly or to file insurance, if this is a covered benefit of your plan. On-site flu clinics offer:

  •  Convenience – clinics visit your work site
  • Flexible scheduling – appointments available for all shifts, including nights and weekends
  • Efficiency – ability to vaccinate about 45 people per hour

To schedule an on-site flu clinic, please contact Raenna Diaz, Freeman OccuMed On-Site Coordinator, at 417.347.6934.

For more information on billing your group health insurance, please contact Shelby Allen, Freeman Prevention & Wellness Supervisor, at 417.347.5646.

September National Health Observances

As you plan your Employee Wellness programs and communication, you can find resources at the Department of Health and Human Services Monthly Observances Calendar. Each month focuses on approximately three to six topics of interest. Here are just a few resources for September:

The 988 Suicide and Crisis Line Network is Now Active

Crisis staff at Ozark Center, an entity of Freeman Health System, will answer the new 988 dialing code for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

“Ozark Center is one of 200 crisis centers nationwide to join this new 988 network,” said Paula F. Baker, Freeman Health System President and Chief Executive Officer. “Staffed by specialists with extensive training in supportive counseling and self-harm risk reduction, the Ozark Center 988 line will receive calls from Barton, Jasper, Newton and McDonald counties. Suicide is the most preventable, leading cause of death in the country, and we encourage anyone having an emotional or mental crisis to call 988 for help, day or night.”

Ozark Center will also continue to operate other crisis lines for those in distress, including a local number for Joplin 417.347.7720 or toll free at 800.247.0661.

Read more here.

Free Trauma-Informed Workplaces Workshop

Trauma-informed care is helpful in everyday life. Incorporating trauma-informed care principles and practices can help with how you do business, engage employees and interact with family.

Trauma-informed care promotes a culture of safety, empowerment and healing. During the presentation, you will hear from Kaley Routledge, Trauma Informed Care Specialist at Ozark Center, an entity of Freeman Health System. She will guide us through:

  • Defining trauma-informed care
  • Discussing major principles
  • Examining best practices

Most importantly, you’ll take away ideas and resources for workplace implementation.

Learn more and register to attend virtually or in-person here.

Support Group

The Freeman Caregiver Support Group will meet on Thursday, January 20 at 10:30 am in the Freeman East Conference Rooms.

Join fellow caregivers for this support group meeting to gain advice on what lies ahead, make new friends and learn how to better take care of family members. Door prizes will be given out.

RSVP to Kathy Mason at 417.347.8463 or To see the full list of upcoming events offered by Freeman, click here.

Want to Stay in the Loop?

Subscribe to Freeman in a Flash and the newsletter will be shared with you each month via email. Sign up today!

The Joplin Health Department is now offering cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) classes for the community, with the first classes offered on Thursday, September 8. Three different courses, including Friends and Family, Heart Saver, and Heart Code Basic Life Support, follow American Heart Association’s criteria with two of the three classes offered each month. The first sessions include HeartCode BLS Skills Checkoff from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., and Friends and Family offered from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on September 8. All classes will be held in a meeting room of the Joplin Public Library. To determine which class fits specific needs, please see descriptions below.

Friends and Family CPR AED  – The Family & Friends CPR Course teaches the lifesaving skills of adult Hands-Only CPR, adult CPR with breaths, child CPR with breaths, adult and child AED use, infant CPR, and mild and severe airway block for adults, children, and infants. Skills are taught in a dynamic group environment using the AHA’s research-proven practice-while-watching technique, which provides students with the most hands-on CPR practice time possible.

Heartsaver CPR AED – This course is for anyone with little or no medical training who needs a course completion card for their job, regulatory (e.g., OSHA), or other requirements or anyone who wants to be prepared for an emergency in any setting. Upon successful course completion, students receive a course completion card, valid for two years.

HeartCode® BLS Skills Checkoff –HeartCode® BLS Online is a self-directed, comprehensive eLearning program that uses adaptive learning technology to allow learners to acquire and demonstrate Basic Life Support skills using a personalized learning path that adapts in real-time to a learner’s performance. The program is designed for healthcare professionals who need Basic Life Support training for their clinical duties. Utilizing a variety of eLearning assets such as dramatizations, Cognitive Assessment Activities, illustrations, knowledge checks, and interactive activities, this program teaches BLS knowledge and skills. This method of learning provides training consistency and adaptability to different learning styles. Students can work at their own pace applying their knowledge to real-time decision-making. Debriefings and coaching are provided immediately after each knowledge check and each Cognitive Assessment Activity. Students who successfully complete the cognitive portion and the hands-on session (skills) will receive an AHA BLS Provider course completion card (eCard), valid for two years.

Fees for the classes are Friends and Family is $25, HeartSaver is $50 (full in class setting), and Heart Code Basic Life Support is $20 for the skills check-off.  Participants can register and pay for any of the classes on the Joplin Parks registration website of their online catalog. Classes are listed under the Adult Programs division of the registration site. Citizens can also call the Health Department at 417-623-6122, ext. 1256.

The remaining schedule for upcoming months includes:

September 8, 2022 Conference Room 1 4:00pm-7:00pm X 2:30pm-3:30pm
October 18, 2022 Conference Room 1 9:30am – 12:00pm 1:30pm-4:30pm X
November 10, 2022 Community Room East X 12:00pm-4:00pm 9:30am-10:30am
December 13, 2022 Conference Room 1 4:00pm-7:00pm X 2:30pm-3:30pm

Submitted By:      Lynn Onstot, Public Information Officer, 417-624-0820, ext. 1204


One person giving a pint of blood can save as many as three lives. In fact, someone just like you donated the blood Sid McConnell needed to recover from a quadruple bypass, giving him the chance to have more adventures with his daughters.

Currently blood usage is up while donations are down due to cancelled blood drives. Freeman Health System hopes to help by holding a blood drive with Community Blood Center of the Ozarks (CBCO) on Tuesday, March 22.

CBCO is the sole provider of blood and plasma products to Freeman, as well as more than 44 other hospitals in its 40-county service area. Many patients depend on blood transfusions, and Freeman Health System uses more than 500 pints of blood each month.

Giving blood is a safe, easy way to ensure our friends, family and neighbors will have the lifesaving blood they need. Donors 17 or older who weigh at least 110 pounds and have not given blood in the past eight weeks are encouraged to participate. Donors will receive a free quarter-zip pullover while supplies last.

Please eat well and drink plenty of water before your appointment. Photo identification is required. CBCO follows current CDC guidelines regarding masks. CBCO follows current CDC guidelines regarding masks.

Appointments are strongly encouraged to manage donor flow. To schedule your appointment, call 417.227.5006 or you can go to

What: Freeman Blood Drive

When: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, Tuesday, March 22

Where: Freeman Hospital West, Conference Rooms 1W – 4W

Health is a lot more than how one looks and feels. Conversations about health should include all eight dimensions or areas of wellness—that is mental, social, emotional, spiritual, financial, occupational, environmental, and intellectual. That’s the focus of Living Well Month, a national event in March promoting overall wellness and the education provided by Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) professionals to improve the lives of people, families, and communities.

“The Missouri Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences works through the University of Missouri Extension Service to offer information that will help families achieve a positive, healthy lifestyle,” says Lindsey Stevenson, nutrition and health specialist in Barton, Jasper, and Dade Counties. “Whether you are trying to manage your diabetes through meal planning and exercise, make decisions about health care and insurance, or get tips on effective parenting techniques, Extension FCS has a research-based answer.

To make every month a “Living Well Month,” consider these tips:

1. Engage children in at least 60 minutes of physical activity on most days of the week. Adults need at least 30 minutes of physical activity. Play sports or recreational games, turn on some music and dance, hula hoop, or make an obstacle course. Take a walk or a bike ride in your neighborhood. All movement counts.

2. Start planning a garden now to work in the spring and summer. Gardening is great physical activity. This activity could also nurture your mental and environmental wellness.

3. Rethink your drink. The average adult human body is approximately 60 percent water. Water regulates every living cell’s process and chemical reactions. It transports nutrients and oxygen. Water also helps to maintain normal bowel habits and prevent constipation. Reduce the amount of soda and fruit drinks consumed daily.

4. Eat a variety of healthful foods. Eat colorful fruits and vegetables every day. Most people need to increase their fruit and vegetable intake. Have a sliced banana on cereal for breakfast. Enjoy a sandwich loaded with vegetables at lunch. At dinner, steam some vegetables and prepare a fruit parfait with yogurt for dessert. Try new fruits and vegetables. If there’s a kind you don’t like, try preparing it in a different way. See for more information about nutrition for yourself and members of your family.

5. Read, read, read. Go to the library and check out books. Keep the mental stimulation flowing throughout the year regardless of your age. This will stimulate your intellectual health.

6. Talk to a friend or start a journal to get your thoughts and feelings off your chest. Staying in check with emotional health can be tough, but it’s important.

7. Check out parenting, finance, nutrition and/or food preparation classes offered by your Extension office. Scan the QR code for more information about upcoming offerings.

8. Maintain a healthy home. Check that your smoke detector is working correctly and test for the presence of Radon. Help manage allergies and/or asthma by cleaning and vacuuming regularly to reduce allergy triggers in the home. Avoid accidental poisonings by keeping medications locked up, and cleaning agents and other poisons out of reach of children.

9. Keep your family finances in check. Track your expenses and update your budget regularly. Eat at home often because meals outside of home usually cost more. Plan your menus and use coupons as a planning tool. Creating and sticking to a budget, along with paying of debt are great first steps to financial wellness.

All eight of the dimensions or areas of wellness are connected and support each other. Evaluate your overall wellness and take small steps to improve your health during Living Well Month and all year long.

March 2022 Living Well Calendar

Extension Family and Consumer Science professionals are part of a nationwide educational organization funded through the Land Grant University System and United States Department of Agriculture. Local Extension Family and Consumer Sciences professionals provide practical,
relevant, non-biased, research-based information.

Submitted by:
Lindsey Stevenson, County Engagement Specialist in nutrition and health
University of Missouri Extension

As we say goodbye to 2021, many people create New Year’s resolutions to become healthier versions of themselves.

The average American spends one-third of their life at work, so what better place to promote wellness than in the workplace.

As you develop wellness programs in the workplace, consider a whole-person approach. The Wellness Council of America (WELCOA) reports that successful workplace wellness initiatives require supporting employees in fulfilling their needs in seven areas.

Read more here,

Submitted By:
Margaret “Kris” Drake, RN, CHPD
Freeman Wellness Coordinator

November marks Lung Cancer Awareness Month –a time to raise awareness of the need for more research, innovation and better community understanding of this disease.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide. More patients die every year from the disease than from prostate, breast, and colon cancer combined.

More than 90% of people diagnosed with lung cancer do not survive in part because it is found at an advanced stage. Nodules are typically small, deep in the lungs and difficult to reach, making early-stage diagnosis and therapeutic applications difficult.

There are a variety of diagnostic options today for lung cancer, but all have limitations in cost, accuracy, safety or invasiveness. These limitations can lead to false positives, false negatives or side effects such as pneumothorax (collapsed lung) and hemorrhage, which can be serious complications and extend hospital stays.

Patients will now be able to reliably have a less invasive diagnostic procedure, which permits simultaneous tumor staging if necessary.

Facts About Lung Cancer:

  • Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide
  • More patients die every year from lung cancer than from prostate, breast, and colon cancer combined
  • The lung cancer five-year survival rate is only16.8%
  • Nearly 160,000 people die from lung cancer every year
  • 60% to 65% of all new lung cancer diagnoses are among people who have never smoked or are former smokers

At Freeman Health System, we are working to increase early detection, improve diagnostics, optimize treatment and accelerate recovery by providing our patients access to the most innovative technologies. The MONARCH® Platform, currently being used by Dr. Pierson, is a new robotic technology designed to transform the diagnosis of lung disease, with the goal of saving lives.

The Monarch Platform is designed to allow an accurate diagnosis without incisions from even the smallest and hardest-to-reach lung nodules –with the hope of catching lung conditions early. “At Freeman, we are excited to be among the first to offer this innovative technology, which uses the latest advances in robotics to diagnose lung conditions –with the least invasive approach for patients,” said Dr. Pierson, Pulmonologist. “Lung cancer doesn’t have to be a death sentence –we encourage the community to take an important step to be screened, so that we can find and treat lung cancer before it progresses.”  The MONARCH® Platform has potential to address the limitations of current bronchoscopy approaches by its ability to reach and access lesions that are located far out in the periphery of the lung, and by improved accuracy that comes from robotic technology.

Submitted By:
Grant Pierson, DO
Department of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine
Freeman Lung Institute

The term “epilepsy” derives from the Greek word meaning “to hold or seize.” Terminology and descriptions relating to seizures were first discovered in historic literature dating back to 2500 BC. Deciphered text corroborated a wide belief of the time period – that epilepsy was deemed a manifestation of evil spirits, demon possession, or some supernatural occurrence. For this reason, epilepsy carried a stigma for many centuries.

Today, 65 million people around the world have epilepsy and approximately 1 in 26 people in the U.S. will develop epilepsy at some point in their lifetime. Epilepsy is diagnosed after a person experiences two or more seizures that are not derived from another medical condition. These seizures are driven by disturbances in the brain’s electrical activity that may be provoked by brain injury, genetics, immune reactions, infections, or metabolic causes. Most often, however, the exact cause is unknown.

November is National Epilepsy Awareness Month. It is important to highlight how people live with epilepsy, a condition that can complicate everyday tasks such as cooking, driving, attending school, and even sleeping. The onset of a seizure can occur unexpectedly, in any location and during any activity. During a grand mal (generalized tonic-clonic) seizure, sudden falling can put a person at risk for head injury and tongue biting. On the other hand, a petit mal (absence) seizure can cause a person to blank out or stare into space for several seconds, even during a conversation. These most commonly affect children and can go undiagnosed, often with the child facing repercussions at school for daydreaming.

Adults may have a difficult time finding employment, face workplace discrimination, lose driving privileges, or feel a lack of independence. Children may be bullied or excluded from participating in sports. People with epilepsy live with these physical and emotional burdens on a daily basis and must take extra precautions compared to their peers. Raising awareness of these lifestyle differences can help foster more inclusive learning and working communities for people with epilepsy.

On the upside, advances in EEG, antiepileptic drugs, neuroimaging, and neurosurgery have radically improved the medical approach to diagnosing and treating epilepsy. Lastly, learning the basics of “Seizure First Aid” can enable bystanders to help in the event of a seizure. Follow these 3 steps, as outlined by the Epilepsy Foundation:

  1. Stay with the person until they are awake and alert. Time the seizure. Remain calm. Check for a medical ID.
  2.  Keep the person safe. Move them away from harm.
  3. Turn the person onto their side.

Call 911 if the seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes or if the person is injured, pregnant, sick, or has difficulty breathing. Do not attempt to restrain them or put any medications into their mouth. To learn more, visit

Dr. Gulshan Uppal, MD

Elaine Lai


Dr. Uppal is a board-certified neurologist at Freeman NeuroSpine. If you have any questions about epilepsy, headaches, strokes, or other brain health concerns, you can contact Dr. Uppal at Freeman NeuroSpine, 1905 32nd St., Joplin, MO 64804, 417-347-7200.


National Chiropractic Health Month in October is the perfect time to reflect on how chiropractic care improves your life. The event helps to raises public awareness of the importance of musculoskeletal health and the benefits of chiropractic care as well as its natural, whole-person, patient-centered and drug-free approach to health and wellness. Not sure how to observe this important month? Try a few of these suggestions.

Keep Moving

Stiff joints and tight muscles are more likely to be a problem if you don’t get enough exercise or spend too much time sitting. Fortunately, increasing your activity level is a simple way to avoid pain and stiffness. In fact, movement is so important that the American Chiropractic Association has made “Keep Moving” its theme for this year’s National Chiropractic Health Month.

Synovial fluid surrounding your joints decreases friction when you move helping joints move easily. The more you move, the more fluid circulates around your joints. Movement also helps nutrients reach your joints and muscles, reduces muscle stiffness and spasms, and makes it easier for your body to remove old, damaged cells from your joints.

Regular exercise keeps your bones strong and strengthens the muscles, ligaments, and tendons that support your joints. Although exercising in the gym is an excellent way to increase your activity level, you don’t need to participate in a formal workout program to enjoy the benefits of moving more. Walking, riding your bike, dancing, and gardening will keep your joints limber and strong.

Use Proper Lifting Techniques

According to the National Safety Council, the way you lift boxes and other heavy objects may increase your risk of a back injury, which is the second most common workplace injury. Poor lifting techniques stress the joints and muscles in your back, causing mild to severe pain.

Prevent injuries by following these steps when lifting:

  • Tighten your core to brace and prepare for the movement; maintain this bracing throughout the entire movement.
  • Hinge at your hips and bend your legs to keep your back straight when you lower your body to lift an object.
  • Keep the object close to your body when lifting.
  • Don’t twist your spine while carrying something heavy.
  • Bend your knees and slowly lower the object when you’re ready to put it down.

Even if you follow safe lifting techniques, you can still hurt your back if you lift something too heavy. Pick up a corner of the box or object first if you’re unsure of the weight. If the object feels very heavy, ask for help.

Embrace a Healthy Lifestyle

Eating healthy foods lowers your risk of developing serious conditions ranging from heart disease to diabetes and also helps you avoid joint issues. Making smart food choices ensures that your joints receive the nutrients needed to function efficiently and may help you heal faster if you do experience an injury.

Limit the number of processed foods you eat and add whole grains, fresh meat and poultry, fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats such as nuts to your diet. Not sure what to buy at the grocery store? Try shopping around the outside aisles of the store because that tends to be where most grocery stores keep the fresh and unprocessed foods.  Also, giving up smoking or heavy drinking will also help you protect your joints. 

See A Chiropractor

Visiting the chiropractor when you first notice pain, muscle spasms, or reduced range of motion can help you feel better faster. At Active Health Chiropractic, Dr. Jones offers many treatments designed to ease pain and mobility, including:

  • Spinal Manipulation (adjustments)
  • Acupuncture and Dry Needling
  • Cupping
  • Heat Therapies
  • Soft Tissue Manipulation and Mobilization
  • Ultrasound Therapy
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) or Electrical Stimulation
  • Functional Movement Assessments

Chiropractic care in conjunction with your healthy lifestyle is a great recipe to keep you healthy and moving. If you are currently experiencing pain that is keeping you from doing the things that you love, scheduling an appointment for an exam can play a vital role in keeping moving. You can schedule an appointment by calling 417-365-3215 or online at

Austin R. Jones, DC
Active Health Chiropractic