Lower Back Pain, Your Workplace & Quality Of Life

It is commonly accepted among experts that lower back pain is related to prolonged sitting. Let’s face it, as a nation we spend plenty of time during our day doing that.

  • We sit in the car
  • We sit most of the day at work
  • We sit watching television after our workday

It seems that the only time we are not sitting is when we’re moving from one location to the next. It should come as no surprise that back pain is a pretty common problem.

I’m not suggesting that we stop sitting; what we should do is take some simple steps to minimize the impact by making our environment more back friendly.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Take interval breaks throughout your day
  • Change your position as often as you sensibly can
  • Get up and walk every 45 min
  • Try leaning back in your chair when you can
  • Stretch your spine throughout the day

Dr. Bryan Siegel of North Scottsdale Chiropractic Center has helped people live healthier, happier lives for over 20 years.

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Do Your Batteries Need a Recharge?

A man had experienced weight gain and low energy for about three years, but since he was in his 50s he was told by his physician that was normal. But when his legs began to ache, his hair fell out, his libido waned and he experienced shortness of breath and an irregular heartbeat, he began looking for more answers. Since he did not show any sign of disease (yet) his physician wrote him off as suffering from old age. A chiropractic exam, however, revealed he was suffering from adrenal stress syndrome, commonly known as “burnout”. His very stressful lifestyle had caused his reserves to be depleted: his batteries desperately needed a recharge!

Fortunately, our body is equipped with a battery that can give us extra juice when we really need it (fight or flight). The adrenal glands are primarily the organ responsible for this and are actually designed for short bursts of energy, not the sustained demand that many of us experience with a stressful lifestyle. Therefore, it is imperative we pay attention to signs that our body has become run down, such as aching muscles and joints that don’t feel better with rest, fatigue, migrating pain, craving sweets or stimulants, poor memory or concentration, poor sleep and digestive upsets… and that’s just the start! Chronic inattention to these symptoms gives disease a foothold. That’s right: thyroid and autoimmune disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, cancer, heart and vascular disease and many more result from sustained and poorly managed physical, chemical and emotional stress. There are several tests that can be ordered to confirm a diagnosis of adrenal stress syndrome.

Remember that symptoms are warning signs to remind us when we need to recharge or change our ways, but we can easily be swayed by Big Pharma to take medications that block or hide symptoms. Many people are unaware that something is wrong or out of balance since symptoms are sometimes subtle. Check to see if you are getting good nutrition, sleep, downtime and enough good drinking water. Please don’t put your batteries in danger!

Dr. Erich Parks of Dynamic Chiropractic helps Auburn, California residents recharge their batteries and maintain better overall health!

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Shock Discovery…Spinal Degeneration Found in 10 Year Old Children

According to a new discovery, 9% of children are showing signs of low back disc degeneration by the age of 10!

Probably the most alarming fact of all in this study is actually in what they didn’t check! Out of the 23 discs residing in the spine, only the five lower back discs were checked.

Now why on earth didn’t they check them all, you ask?

Simply put, it was a study focused on the lower back and the potential causes of low back pain.

So if the discs in the lower back are degenerating, the possibility of similar degeneration going on in any of the remaining 18 discs is quite likely. If that’s the case, the number of children suffering with spinal degeneration is sure to be far greater than 9%.

Fear not, though for there is good news in this article. But before we get to that, here’s a little more information on the findings of the study…

MRI scans of the lower back discs in the spines of 154 children showed that they had some degeneration as well as bulging and protrusion of the discs. The important point to grasp here is that while this degeneration was going on, none of the children experienced any pain or symptoms of any kind! Because approximately 9% of nerves transmit pain in an adult (and even less in children) it is very common for nerves to be irritated without apparent symptoms.

So how did this degeneration come about in children so young?

If you’re a parent, or anyone who has ever come in contact with, or been a kid, then you’d know only too well that they spend a lot of their time falling over, scraping their knees and bumping their little heads. Over time all of those little accidents can cause the spinal bones to misalign or to stiffen up. Chiropractors call this a spinal subluxations.

To illustrate. Picture a car tire that’s out of alignment. Over time if it’s not realigned it will wear unevenly and thus does not last as long as it should. Like that tire, a spine out of alignment will wear out more quickly. The only thing is, you can’t replace it when it does…

Now here comes the good news! All of the above is avoidable…

You can’t stop your children from receiving bangs and prangs throughout their childhood (that comes with the territory of being a child). What you can do, however, is have them regularly checked by a chiropractor. They don’t have to be a certain age to receive the benefits, they can literally begin getting adjustments from birth! Chiropractors help to unlock and re-balance these misaligned spinal joints which takes pressure of the nerves exiting the spine.

This has important potential overall health benefits as well. After all, what coordinates the growth and development of your children? Their nervous system!

Dr. Paul Lanthois of Be Healthy Chiropractic in Maroochydore Northshore has been helping children and their parents find better health for over 20 years!

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Straighten Up! Good Posture Matters

calceraIf you ever experience tension or pain across the upper back or shoulder blades, get frequent headaches, have low back pain or have poorly flexible and tight leg muscles, you probably have poor posture.

Poor posture shifts the body weight unevenly to some muscles, making them chronically tight and sore, while others get weak from under-use. Imbalanced muscles create un-even pull on the bones of the spine, shoulders and hips, causing misalignment and spinal nerve stress. That nerve stress leads to even tighter muscles, and the vicious cycle goes on and on. This is a common pattern in people with fibromyalgia, headaches, shoulder pain and upper back pain.

You can break this cycle in part by improving your posture – sit and stand up straight. However, that alone can’t un-do the alignment problems that developed gradually from years of poor posture. Chiropractic adjustments can correct the spinal problems, relieve the nerve pressure and stress, allowing the muscles to start adapting and get more flexible so you can more easily “straighten up”.

You didn’t get that way over night, and changing takes time, too.

Dr. Rick Calcara of Calcara Family Chiropractic has been helping Olympia chiropractic patients improve their posture and their health for over 25 years!

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Scoliosis Relief Without Surgery!

Scoliosis can be a debilitating, even crippling condition. Most often caused by the loss of the normal physiologic curves, the body seeks to alleviate the resulting stress on the spinal cord by developing abnormal sideways curves.

Those abnormal curves cause abnormal mechanics in the spine and musculature, wearing out joints and discs prematurely – eventually becoming a source of chronic, often severe pain. Additionally, the nervous system is impacted, so that the muscles, tissues and organs controlled by the affected nerves are disrupted in their function. Translation? Causing pain and loss of health.

There is hope other than surgery! Chiropractors that specialize in basic spinal correction get fantastic results with scoliosis simply restoring the normal curves of the spine. As this is accomplished, the body often does the majority of scoliosis correction.

For cases that are more severe or more stubborn, some Chiropractors specialize in the relief and correction of scoliosis. The main tools we employ in such cases center around custom Doctor designed home exercises. Using these specialized, specific techniques we can help nearly all those suffering this difficult condition!

Dr. David Basista has been treating the South San Jose area for over twenty years at Vitality Chiropractic.

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Anxiety: Garbage In – Garbage Out

The power of your nervous system! Homeostasis, balance, control… health? Why is the importance of your “Master System” mostly ignored by the medical profession when it comes to any dis-ease?

I had a new patient a few weeks ago come into me for neck and shoulder pain. He is in his early thirties, and has a sedentary computer career. Nothing too overly exciting here for me… just a typical case of loss of the normal cervical lordosis (curvature) resulting in multiple levels of subluxation complex.

So why write about it? Well, because his anxiety (which he hadn’t mentioned to me previously) went away after one adjustment! His anxiety had been consistent for over 10 years, despite psychological treatment and medication. But one chiropractic adjustment, and it was gone!

The moral of the story? Negative feedback into your nervous system, through a subluxation, can often result in undesirable and difficult to diagnose medical problems.

Dr. Paul van Berkel has been treating Phoenix chiropractic patients for over two decades at Agave Chiropractic.

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Chiropractic Common Sense – Sitting is Killing Us!

Last week I answered a question about flu shots posed by Emily. To me, and my profession, my thoughts are just common sense. It seems there are frequently stories in the news that are expressed as new enlightenment, when they are really nothing more than common sense.

On Friday night’s episode of NBC’s Rock Center with Brian Williams, Dr. James Levine, a brilliant researcher at the Mayo Clinic, said “Sitting all day long is literally killing us.” His research has proven that people who sit at work all day are getting fatter and less fit.

Really? Is this news that shocking? Unfortunately, the technological revolution is having a significant negative impact on our health and well being. When 80% of our local population spends more that 80% of their day chained to a seat at their computer, the outcome is predictable. Patients seeking my care are heavier, weaker, poorly balanced and struggling with sudden back pain onset from seemingly insignificant provocation. For 30 years, I have insisted on the need to get up from that computer every 20 minutes or so. And that’s just the beginning. We have got to get control of our lives!

Perhaps you have learned something, or better yet, I hope this just verifies your “common sense”.

Dr. David Dolberg of Family Chiropractic of Springfield has been sharing his common sense and helping Springfield families for over 30 years.

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10,000 Steps to Better Health

Do you have any idea how many steps you take each day? Could you even guess? Several studies conducted in both Japan and the United States have determined that you should walk 10,000 steps a day. That’s about five miles (8 km).

Estimates indicate that roughly 64% of American adults are overweight; of that, about half are obese. And the number of children falling into the “overweight” category tripled between 1980 and 2000. Does it come as any surprise that the major cause of weight gain is lack of exercise? Did you know that walking is one of the least expense and most effective ways to lose weight? And walking doesn’t require any fancy equipment or a pricey health club membership either. Walking moderately for just 30 minutes each day can produce measurable results.

Daily walks decrease cardiovascular disease and hypertension, improve sleep quality and duration, fight depression, and lower cholesterol. Walking also improves muscle strength and builds bone mass. Many other painful conditions, like headaches and back pain, are alleviated when you improve your strength and fitness.

One effective way to keep track of your steps is to invest in a pedometer. Clip this inexpensive device onto your belt or waistband to provide feedback on number of steps taken and associated calories burned. It can help you to “step it up” when you fail to meet the daily-recommended 10,000 steps!

These days, most of us will die from the effects of our lifestyle, not tuberculosis, small pox and other diseases that plagued previous generations. We encourage walking as part of the chiropractic lifestyle along with routine chiropractic care, sound nutritional choices and other choices you make to protect your health and improve the quality of your life.

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Journaling for Optimal Health

Health care professionals have long praised the benefits that keeping a journal has on one’s mental health. And it can certainly be proven that journaling or recording one’s life experiences is an aid to self-development and self-awareness, since it records information about one’s innermost feelings and ideas. In addition, it can be helpful in keeping track of your health, including things like what triggers your migraine headaches, for example.

In fact, much has been written about the benefits of keeping a journal, including:

  • Journaling helps clarify goals and dreams
  • Journaling helps quiet the mind; it provides you with the ability to focus on anything you want
  • Journaling provides you with “ME” time, time alone with yourself and your thoughts
  • Journaling provides a private arena to say and feel whatever you wish
  • Journaling provides a written account of where you’ve come from and where you’re going
  • Journaling helps with stress reduction – things don’t seem to bother you as much once they are written down
  • Journaling helps provide a written account of your personal history, something to look back on
  • Journaling can be done any way you choose, daily, randomly, when the spirit moves you, whenever; there are no rules, no musts
  • Journaling helps you speak what’s in your mind and in your heart
  • Journaling is a form a self-expression

Many use the excuse, “I don’t have the time to journal!” Try it for a few minutes a day for a month. See how it makes you feel. Many people admit that they don’t know how they lived without their journals after a month’s time. It becomes a valuable resource, a pleasurable pastime, and a trusted friend to process situations and maintain our emotional balance.

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Can Your Feet Actually Cause Your Low Back Pain?

They carry us everywhere we want to go and support virtually every sized and shaped body frame. They are thrust into narrow spaces, where they are pinched, or raised up on four-inch platforms to give us height. They fall victim to bunions, calluses, plantars warts, and blisters and we subject them to hot sand, hard gravel and stones in the summer. Once in awhile we treat them to a pedicure – how nice! And believe it or not – they may actually be the cause of that pain in your lower back! We’re talking about feet.

Perhaps the most important part of our feet are the arches. Normal arches are built to be strong and flexible, like “shock absorbers,” to provide the balance necessary to support the body. When arches are flat, the muscles in the lower back become strained as they work harder to balance the body over both feet.

One way to compensate for low arches and to reduce back pain is to invest in a good foot orthotics. Worn in each shoe, orthotics bring back form and function to the feet so that proper balance can be stabilized or restored. In order to heal, it’s important to wear orthotics in your shoes whenever you’re standing, walking, running or biking. Part–time use will offer little help.

Orthotics can be made to accommodate any size foot. They usually replace your current shoe insole. By changing the way your feet work, which can relieve the muscle strain, and therefore, the pain in your lower back. Many notice more energy and less fatigue.

Of course, orthotics are merely adjuncts to something even more important: your chiropractic adjustments!

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