Issue No. 20
January 2014
In This Issue
Memory Foam Mattresses and Back Health: The Pros and Cons
10 Chiropractic Resolutions for a Healthy, Pain-Free Year
Five Simple Ways to Lose Weight This Winter

bandaged heartHow Healthy Is YOUR Heart?
Find out at our next Heart Screening on
Wednesday, February 19

  • Are You At Risk For Heart Attack or Stroke?
  • Do You Have Plaque In Your Arteries?
  • Are You Genetically Predisposed to Heart Disease?
  • Are You at Risk for Peripheral Neuropathy? 
Get answers to these and other questions with the latest technology that measures hypertension and nervous system health, and learn how we can predict, identify, and monitor patients
with hypertension and other cardiovascular illnesses  
This simple 20-minute screening will
  • help you determine your risk for heart attack or stroke;

  • detect plaque in your arteries;

  • indicate whether you're predisposed to heart disease; and

  • determine your risk for peripheral neuropathy.

You receive a copy of the results immediately, including heart rate,  

blood pressure, pulse wave (circulation testing) and heart rate  

variability (how well the nervous system controls the heart function)  


This life-changing screening is just $40 for first-time patients, or $20 for those who were screened in October and want to learn their 90-day progress. The cost may be covered by your insurance.


Call 630-513-7770 today to schedule your screening!
Appointments available between 8:00am and 6:00pm 

Memory Foam Mattresses and
Back Health:  

The Pros and Cons

Could a memory foam mattress help you get a better night's sleep? Could it help relieve your aching back? If you're not getting enough sleep every night or you're waking up every morning with a backache, you might be willing to pay almost anything to stop the suffering. But should you?

It's important to start with one important idea: Everyone's body is different. Some people swear by memory foam mattresses, and some people hate them. But first, let's examine what a memory foam mattress actually is.


As the name suggests, these mattresses are made of a foam-like material that cushions the body. Designed for NASA in the mid-1960s, this material was perfect for cushioning astronauts from the heavy forces of acceleration during liftoff. The qualities of the memory foam mattress allow it to custom fit any person. The specially-made foam molds around the body, giving way to pressure and temperature to mold to each person's unique shape. The foam is designed to spring back to its original shape once the person gets up.


There have not been many sleep studies on the various kinds of mattresses. During one such study, many of the subjects actually stopped participating early because the lack of sleep became unbearable for them. And even once the study was completed, it was impossible for researchers to clearly identify any "best mattress" based on the experiences of those subjects who remained. This sort of thing means that any specific mattress recommendations need to be regarded with caution. According to the National Sleep Foundation, however, memory foam mattresses may provide the right amount of "give" to promote better sleep in those with back pain. But before you spend a small fortune on a memory foam mattress, consider the following pros and cons.



  • The foam molds to your individual body, reducing pressure points and pain.

  • The mattress bounces back to its original shape, so it is never lumpy.

  • The material is durable and long-lasting.

  • This kind of foam absorbs movement, so you will be less likely to feel it when your partner moves or "tosses and turns".


  • The foam tends to smell when new, giving off a distinct chemical odor. This can be reduced by airing out the mattress for a day or so before putting it to use.

  • The foam material is dense, making the mattress heavy and hard to turn over or reposition.

  • Heat can build up, making the mattress uncomfortable for some who are heat sensitive. This effect can be particularly pronounced on a hot night or if the air-conditioning fails.

Alternatives to memory foam mattresses

  • Box spring mattresses, especially the kind with individually wrapped springs, which most reputable brands carry.

  • Air mattresses. Here, we're not talking about the simple, blow-up air pad for overnight guests. These more sophisticated models have multiple chambers for separate levels of comfort for each sleeping partner.

  • Waterbeds. There are many different kinds. Some will slosh a lot, some a little and some not at all. Some water beds allow you to have separate mattresses for each partner allowing less disturbance during the night when the other partner moves or gets up.

One of the most effective ways to deal with back pain or difficulty sleeping is to see a chiropractor. Your spinal health has a major impact on your overall wellness, and a visit to your chiropractor may help you sleep better with less back pain.

10 Chiropractic Resolutions for a Healthy, Pain-Free Year
Start the new year off right by committing to a healthier lifestyle.  A few simple and practical lifestyle changes can make a positive impact on your health and can also prevent you from experiencing a painful injury in the year ahead, according to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA).


Dr. Hertz suggests you adopt the following New Year's resolutions for a healthier 20014:
  1. I will limit my intake of caffeinated coffee, sodas and teas.  The caffeine in these drinks can cause dehydration and can rob the body of essential nutrients.  Stick to water, natural juices and other decaffeinated beverages. 
  2. I will avoid over medicating myself and my family.  Many over-the-counter and prescription medications have unknown side effects.  Discuss alternative remedies with a doctor of chiropractic. 
  3. I will not carry a heavy purse or briefcase with its strap over my shoulder, unless I place the strap over my head on the side opposite the bag.  Wearing a shoulder strap over one shoulder unevenly places the weight of the bag on one side of the body, potentially causing shoulder and back pain. 
  4. I will not allow my children to carry backpacks that weigh more than 10 percent of their body weight.  Beyond that weight, the backpack can cause the wearer to bend forward in an attempt to support the weight on his or her back, instead of the shoulders. 
  5. I will not lift heavy objects over my head.  These types of movements can strain muscles and affect nerves, causing severe neck, shoulder and arm problems. 
  6. I will not turn my torso while lifting relatively heavy objects.  This rotates the spine and can bring on a "back attack." 
  7. I will avoid the habit of consistently crossing the same knee over the other.  Such a habit can also eventually cause misalignment of the spine. 
  8. I will try to keep moving while I'm at work.  If sedentary for the majority of the work day, it is very important to take periodic stretch breaks.  Get up from the desk and take a brief walk, and stretch arms and legs as frequently as possible to avoid postural and spinal stress. 
  9. I will, when using a shovel - in winter or summer - remember to push rather than lift, whenever possible. 
  10. I will use luggage with wheels whenever possible.  Carrying, lifting and moving a heavy suitcase can ruin a vacation.

Call Dr. Hertz at St. Charles Pain & Wellness Center, 630-513-7770 for a no-obligation conversation on chiropractic, and whether it's right for you and your family members.


Richard W

Five Simple Ways to Lose Weight This Winter  

by Richard Wolff, RD, LDN,
MEDFITNESS of St. Charles
Health professionals are noticing an unhealthy trend: Americans gain weight, but never seem to lose it. In the past, holiday weight gain was always balanced with January weight loss. However, recent trends indicate fewer Americans are choosing to lose weight after the holidays. But, there are easy ways to control your weight. Here are five real-life strategies that can make a difference right away:

1. Two Weight-Loss Days per Week
A weight-loss day is simply an intentionally lower-calorie day that balances off your high days. To succeed, you must first commit to your two weight-loss days. I usually pick weekdays because they are more structured. I also like to choose Mondays to get my week off to a strong start. After a successful Monday, I am more likely to bring commitment and focus into my second weight-loss day of the week. To calculate your maintenance calories (the calories required to maintain your weight) multiply your weight by 11 (for men) and by 10 (for women). On a weight-loss day, your total calorie intake should be below your maintenance calories.
2. No Zero Days
One of the most effective weapons in the fight against winter weight gain is "daily" physical activity. I call this "No Zero Days" (doing something daily). Scientists have studied the effects of inactivity and concluded that an inactive lifestyle produces abnormal stress on brain chemistry. This kind of stress can contribute to poor decision-making and more overeating. To support better decisionmaking, try a 15-minute dose of physical activity every day. Over the years my most successful clients have been those who make a non-negotiable commitment to daily physical activity. Strive for a brisk, 15-minute walk (or comparable activity) every day. You will burn calories and improve brain chemistry for better decision-making!
3. Build a Successful Environment
Your environment is the strongest predictor of what you eat, so surround yourself with lots of low-calorie, high-nutrition foods to help ensure weight loss. Given our crazy environment, adding food you can "carry with" helps. I have a food bag that goes almost everywhere with me. I take it to work and it goes with me on the weekend (in my car). My food bag is a small insulated zipper bag. It usually contains several servings of fruit, a nutrition bar and a variety of other good-for- you snacks. My snack bag helps me eat less of the high-calorie stuff that seems to be within arm's length everywhere you go!

 Read the rest of the article here.

Richard Wolff the president of WOLFFfitness and a nationally acclaimed speaker and author. His fitness column has been published in award winning newspapers and magazines including The Daily Herald, Weightlifting USA and Nautilus America's Fitness Magazine. Richard has lectured to health professionals and physicians at UCLA and the University of Pennsylvania. To experience the trademarked MEDFITNESS program schedule a free trial workout by calling (630) 762-1784.  


Treat Yourself to a Massage: It Feels Good and It's Good For You!

Massage Therapist Carol Hayes Carol Hayes is nationally certified and a member of the Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals (ABMP), and been doing massage for three years. She graduated from the Elgin Community College Massage Program and is certified in both prenatal and post-partum massage. Stop in to meet Carol or call 630-513-7770 to make your appointment and take advantage of her one-hour massage for just $40.
Dr. J
Dr. Jacob M. Hertz
is a Cum Laude graduate of the Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa. Following graduation, Dr. Hertz practiced as an Associate Chiropractor in Peoria and for four years successfully treated over 5,000 patients and their families with many different health conditions. He moved to St. Charles in 2010 to open his own practice. 


He has been involved with chiropractic almost since he was born -- he was adjusted as an infant by his uncle, a chiropractor in Wisconsin where Dr. Hertz grew up.


Dr. Hertz uses a number of gentle and safe chiropractic techniques for adjusting the spine including Diversified, Activator, and Drop Table. He is also Nationally Board Certified in Physiotherapy and uses exercise and rehabilitation to help patients heal faster and reach optimum health.  


St. Charles Pain & Wellness Center also offers nutritional aids for those who seek to supplement their diet and improve their health, which have proved successful in preventing unnecessary surgeries for many patients.   

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