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Sciatic Nerve Injury

Sciatic Nerve Injury

Sciatic nerve injury happens from trauma to the nerve and can cause numbness, tingling, loss of muscle power, and pain. The traumatic experience can be a muscle spasm that pulls and/or pinches the sciatic nerve, force/pressure impact injury, over-stretching injury, or a laceration/cutting injury. A slipped disk, or herniated disk, is the most common cause of irritation on the sciatic nerve. A slipped disk occurs when one becomes slightly dislodged, pushing out from the spine. This places pressure/compression on the sciatic nerve.

Sciatic Nerve Injury

Sciatic Nerve Injury Causes

Trauma

  • Hip dislocation
  • Acetabular fracture
  • Trauma to the lower back, buttocks, or leg from an automobile accident, sports injury, work injury.

Medical treatment causes:

  • Direct surgical trauma.
  • Total hip replacement surgery can cause nerve compression and stretch during the procedure, causing damage to the sciatic nerve resulting in dysfunction.
  • Faulty positioning during anesthesia.
  • Injection of neurotoxic substances.
  • Injection injuries via intramuscular injection in the gluteal region. This is a situation where there is a loss of movement and or lack of sensation at the affected lower extremity with or without pain.
  • Injection palsy can begin suddenly or hours following damage to the sciatic nerve.
  • A misplaced intramuscular injection at the gluteal region is the most common cause of injury. It is attributed to frequent injections or poor techniques resulting from inadequately trained or unqualified staff.
  • Tourniquet-Induced Sciatic Nerve Injury.
  • Dressings that are too tight.
  • Casts that impinge the nerve.
  • Faulty fitting orthotics.
  • Post radiation treatment can cause acute and delayed muscle damage.

Clinical Presentation Symptoms

The common symptoms are pain and abnormal walking gait. Other clinical symptoms include:

Medical History

  • Complaints of radiating pain in the leg, which follows a sensory nerve pattern.
  • Pain radiates below the knee, into the foot.
  • Complaints of low back pain, which is often less severe than leg pain.
  • Report of electrical, burning, numbing sensations.

Diagnosis

A detailed subjective and objective physical examination is necessary to figure out the severity of the sciatic nerve injury. Diagnostic studies include:

  • X rays
  • Electromyography
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Chiropractic and Physical Therapy Management

Conservative treatment is the first-line approach for managing a sciatic nerve injury.

Pain Management

Exercise and Stretches

  • Chiropractic and physical therapy exercises and stretches improve nerve regeneration after nerve damage.

Electrical Muscle Stimulation

  • TENS and Electroacupuncture have been shown to help enhance nerve regrowth.
  • Bio-laser stimulation can help with nerve nutrition and regeneration.

Joint or Soft Tissue mobilization

  • Helps to retain muscle, nerve, and soft tissue flexibility and prevent deformity.

Balance Training

  • Coordination, strength, and flexibility exercises help to restore balance.

Splinting

  • In the early stages after a sciatic nerve injury, bracing may be needed to prevent deformity and new injury or re-injury risks.
  • Ankle Foot Orthosis – AFO can help prevent foot drop, muscle damage, and falls risk.

Body Composition


Optimize Diet for Fat Loss

Individuals that want to lose fat need to create a calorie deficit. Individuals need to consistently eat less than they need for Total Daily Energy Expenditure – TDEE. The safest way to handle a caloric reduction is to reduce calorie intake in small doses like 200-300 calories, for example. After a week or two, perform a body composition analysis. If Fat Mass numbers begin to drop or not, adjust calorie needs accordingly. Restricting calories is the most common way, a deficit can also be created by increasing calorie needs through exercise.

References

Kline, D G et al. “Management and results of sciatic nerve injuries: a 24-year experience.” Journal of neurosurgery vol. 89,1 (1998): 13-23. doi:10.3171/jns.1998.89.1.0013

Schmalzried, TP et al. “Update on nerve palsy associated with total hip replacement.” Clinical Orthopedics and related research,344 (1997): 188-206.

Shim, Ho Yong et al. “Sciatic nerve injury caused by a stretching exercise in a trained dancer.” Annals of rehabilitation medicine vol. 37,6 (2013): 886-90. doi:10.5535/arm.2013.37.6.886

Suszyński, Krzysztof et al. “Physiotherapeutic techniques used in the management of patients with peripheral nerve injuries.” Neural regeneration research vol. 10,11 (2015): 1770-2. doi:10.4103/1673-5374.170299

Chiropractic and Spinal Health

Chiropractic and Spinal Health

Chiropractic and spinal health. Most individuals seek out chiropractic care only after an injury and when pain presents. Because traditional medical care tends to focus on treating disorders and diseases, individuals are used to seeking care only when something is imbalanced. For many, chiropractic is known for its ability to resolve back and neck pain, correct postural misalignments, manage acute or chronic conditions and accelerate the healing of injuries. Chiropractic is different in that it is a tool for increasing overall wellness and vitality when no injury or imbalance is present.

Chiropractic and Spinal Health

Chiropractic and Spinal Health

Chiropractic is an invaluable treatment that raises the baseline of an individual’s health by:

  • Increasing performance
  • Extending lifespan and longevity
  • Improving overall comfort
  • Increasing agility in the body

Chiropractic helps to achieve these transformational results by improving the function of the:

  • Circulatory system
  • Immune system
  • Respiratory system
  • Muscular system
  • Nervous system
  • Skeletal system

Circulation Increased

The circulation system includes the heart and its chambers, arteries, veins, lungs, lobes, and capillaries. The structures within this system move blood, nutrients, and waste throughout the body. The quality of health and life depends on the level of functioning in this system. The better and more efficient the tissues receive clean blood, nutrients, and oxygen, the better the body is able to utilize these building blocks to achieve whatever function is required. The slower and more unclean these building blocks, the lower quality of function. The nervous system is the communication system that includes the brain, spinal cord, and nerves that run throughout the body. Everything in the body and the work functions as a result of this communication system.

The circulatory system relies on the communication that runs through the nervous system, which is housed in the spine. If the spine is misaligned, moving improperly, or sustaining an injury, it can interfere with the function of the communication. Regular chiropractic care increases the health levels of the nervous system by keeping the spine as healthy and flexible as possible. The muscles are kept loose, which promotes blood flow, and the flow and movement of waste in the lymphatic system. Individuals that receive regular adjustments report:

  • Enhanced perception of sensations in their extremities.
  • Warmer hands and feet.
  • Improved cognitive response and clarity.
  • Decrease or eliminate tingling and numbness.
  • Maintaining the proper range of motion of the spine also facilitates better function and movement of the whole body.

Immune Response Improvement

Regular chiropractic improves immune responses that leads to improved response against foreign invaders and disease, fewer instances of illness, exhaustion, fatigue, and inflammation. When expert chiropractic and spinal health intervention is delivered it helps to realign bones and joints, alleviate muscle tension, and restore nerve function. The body immediately experiences a decrease in stress, downregulation of stress hormones and chemicals in the body leads to a reduction in inflammation.

Increased Mobility & Flexibility

Chiropractic helps to improve physical mobility and flexibility in the muscular and skeletal systems. This is accomplished through manual manipulation to restore ideal posture and achieve a balanced skeletal structure. Manual manipulation is also used to soften and relax tense muscles which have developed abnormalities to compensate for incorrect posture. When skeletal structure, muscular imbalances, and strain are corrected, the result is improved mobility and flexibility.

Pain Symptoms Are Decreased

Pain originates from the nervous, muscular, and skeletal systems. Chiropractic can help with back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, migraines, nerve and sciatic pain, and other conditions and forms of discomfort. The origin of the pain can include:

  • Postural imbalance
  • Muscle tension
  • Damage from accident or injury
  • Spinal degeneration

Chiropractic and spinal health care helps soothe and de-inflame the comprised areas, allowing the natural healing systems to intervene and promote long-term reduction of discomfort and pain.

Bending, Standing, Sitting Activities Improve

For many individuals, bending, standing, and sitting are normal movements they engage in every day. This can be part of work occupation, school, house chores, etc, and for many these movements and positions can become painful over long durations of time and when it is repetitive. Regular chiropractic and spinal health treatment can restore optimal posture in the body, soothe strained and tense muscles, and resolve disrupted nerve energy flow which often leads to nerve pain like sciatica.


Body Composition


Pregnancy Hypertension

Hypertension in pregnancy falls into one of three categories. It can range from benign and easily controlled to serious with increased medical risks. This makes monitoring blood pressure important to individual health risks. The risks for hypertension in pregnancy include:

  • Early delivery
  • Decreased oxygen to the placenta
  • Potential heart disease

The main types of hypertension in pregnancy.

Chronic hypertension

Chronic hypertension is a pre-existing condition known prior to pregnancy.

  • Individuals that are aware of elevated blood pressure before becoming pregnant, a doctor will diagnose the individual with chronic hypertension.
  • A doctor will use diagnostic criteria to determine if chronic hypertension is present prior to getting pregnant.

Gestational hypertension

Gestational hypertension develops during pregnancy.

  • Gestational hypertension is not preventable and typically returns to normal levels postpartum.
  • However, risk increases for later developing chronic hypertension is higher if gestational hypertension presents.
  • According to Mayo Clinic, gestational hypertension is diagnosed by the following criteria:
  1. At least 20 weeks gestation
  2. Blood pressure is greater than 140/90 on two occasions
  3. Must be documented more than four hours apart
  4. No other organ damage is present

Preeclampsia

Preeclampsia is the most serious.

Preeclampsia develops after 20 weeks of pregnancy and is associated with a sharp spike in blood pressure levels. Notable symptoms include:

  • Sudden fluid swelling
  • Chronic headaches
  • Changes in vision
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Weight gain
References

Brown, Richard A. “Spinal Health: The Backbone of Chiropractic’s Identity.” Journal of chiropractic humanities vol. 23,1 22-28. 8 Sep. 2016, doi:10.1016/j.echu.2016.07.002

Bussières, André E et al. “Spinal Manipulative Therapy and Other Conservative Treatments for Low Back Pain: A Guideline From the Canadian Chiropractic Guideline Initiative.” Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics vol. 41,4 (2018): 265-293. doi:10.1016/j.jmpt.2017.12.004

Maher, Jennifer L et al. “Exercise and Health-Related Risks of Physical Deconditioning After Spinal Cord Injury.” Topics in spinal cord injury rehabilitation vol. 23,3 (2017): 175-187. doi:10.1310/sci2303-175

Meeker, William C, and Scott Haldeman. “Chiropractic: a profession at the crossroads of mainstream and alternative medicine.” Annals of internal medicine vol. 136,3 (2002): 216-27. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-136-3-200202050-00010

TMJ: Jaw Disorders

TMJ: Jaw Disorders

The temporomandibular (tem-puh-roe-man-dib-u-lur) joint TMJ acts as a sliding hinge that connects the jawbone to the skull. There is one joint on each side of the jaw. TMJ jaw disorders are also known as temporomandibular disorders – TMD. These disorders affect the connecting point between the jaw and the skull that causes swelling and pain in the joint and the muscles that control movement. The disorder can be caused by a combination of factors, like stress, genetics, arthritis, or injury. The symptoms, pain, and discomfort are often temporary and can be relieved with self-care and nonsurgical treatment like chiropractic.

TMJ: Jaw Disorders

Jaw Disorders

If the jaw is not moving correctly or becomes imbalanced, it can stress the temporomandibular joint. If this happens, the jaw muscles and the neck and shoulder muscles can tense up and over time become fatigued as they overwork to compensate and keep the jaw balanced. The bones that interact in the joint are covered with cartilage and are separated by a small shock-absorbing disc to maintain smooth movement. Jaw disorders can happen if:

  • The disc erodes or moves out of alignment.
  • The joint’s cartilage is damaged by arthritis.
  • The joint is damaged by impact trauma like hitting the head from a fall or sports accident.
  • Individuals that have been in an automobile accident.

Other factors include:

Symptoms

Symptoms of TMJ vary from case to case. These symptoms might include:

  • Problems with opening or closing the mouth
  • Difficulty or pain while chewing
  • Pain or tenderness of the jaw
  • Pain in one or both of the temporomandibular joints
  • Aching facial pain
  • Neck and shoulder pain
  • Headaches
  • Aching pain in and around the ear
  • Dizziness
  • Locking of the joint
  • Clicking sound
  • Grating sensation

Chiropractic Relief

Chiropractors can help with TMJ by alleviating tension and dysfunction in the shoulder, neck, and jaw. Once the dysfunction is relieved, it reduces the pressure on various nerves. Treatment includes:


Body Composition


The Glycemic Index

Not all carbs are equal, with some having a more significant effect on insulin levels than others. For individuals with diabetes or insulin resistance, this is important. A food’s Glycemic Index – ranging from 0 to 100 – indicates how a particular carbohydrate will affect blood sugar and insulin levels.

  • Foods that digest quickly are high on the index.
  • Foods that digest slowly are lower on the index.

Foods high on the GI scale, include potatoes and white bread, are quickly broken down. This is what happens when going through a sugar rush that comes crashing down minutes later. Foods low on the GI scale, include sweet potatoes and whole oats, are digested gradually. This results in a steady rise in blood sugar levels. The following factors may influence the GI scale:

Food processing

  • The more processed the food, the higher the GI.

Fat and acid content

  • Foods high in fat, acid, or carbs eaten with fat or acid tend to have a lower GI.

Fiber content

  • Fiber slows down the rate of digestion, leading to a gradual, healthy rise in blood sugar levels.

Ripeness

  • Ripened fruits tend to have a higher GI than unripened fruit.
References

Alcantara, Joel et al. “Chiropractic care of a patient with temporomandibular disorder and atlas subluxation.” Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics vol. 25,1 (2002): 63-70. doi:10.1067/mmt.2002.120415

DeVocht, James W et al. “A pilot study of a chiropractic intervention for management of chronic myofascial temporomandibular disorder.” Journal of the American Dental Association (1939) vol. 144,10 (2013): 1154-63. doi:10.14219/jada.archive.2013.0034

Pavia, Steven et al. “Chiropractic Treatment of Temporomandibular Dysfunction: A Retrospective Case Series.” Journal of chiropractic medicine vol. 14,4 (2015): 279-84. doi:10.1016/j.jcm.2015.08.005

Rubis, Lisa M et al. “A collaborative approach between chiropractic and dentistry to address temporomandibular dysfunction: a case report.” Journal of chiropractic medicine vol. 13,1 (2014): 55-61. doi:10.1016/j.jcm.2013.10.003

Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome: Shin Splints

Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome: Shin Splints

When stress is placed on the shins with physical activity from walking, running, or exercise, the connective tissues attaching the leg muscles to the tibia can become inflamed, causing medial tibial stress syndrome, more commonly known as shin splints. This inflammation is caused by tiny tears in the muscles and tendons of the shin. Chronic shin pain could be related to foot arch problems, underlying issues with the muscles, or shoes that don’t support the feet properly. Although it usually goes away within a few days, it’s important to monitor to ensure that it does not progress into a stress fracture. A chiropractor can offer treatments to relieve the pain and help prevent shin splints from recurring.

Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome: Shin Splints

Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome

Medial tibial stress syndrome can impact anyone. It can come from walking far distances or in awkward positions like going downstairs with small steps, jumping rope, and playing with the kids on the playground can all cause burning, tightness, and pain in the shins. Shin splints affect individuals differently. For some, the pain recedes when the triggering activity is stopped. For others, the pain can become a chronic condition that results in continuous pain, even when at rest.

The Shin

  • The shin is a part of the tibia bone in the lower leg.
  • This bone absorbs the shocks when moving through daily activities.
  • The muscles that run along the shin support the foot’s arch and raise the toes during movement.
  • Medial tibial stress syndrome is caused by excessive force on the shinbone and the tissue around it, which causes the muscles to swell and increases pressure around the bone.
  • If left untreated, small tears in the muscle and the bone can form, leading to chronic pain and stress fractures.

Medial tibial stress syndrome is more likely to happen from:

  • Not stretching before physical activity or exercise.
  • Constantly walking or running on hard surfaces.
  • Wearing the wrong shoes that don’t provide enough cushioning or arch support.
  • Over-exertion on the body with activity and movement.
  • The body is not given the proper amount of time to recover.
  • Athletes often experience shin splints when they’ve intensified their training routine or changed it up.

Symptoms

  • Pain during exercise or activity.
  • Pain in the front of the lower leg.
  • Soreness in the lower leg.
  • Swelling in the lower leg.
  • Shin is hot to the touch.

Treatment

Whenever pain is being experienced, some muscles will either get tight or weak in response. By identifying the weak and/or tight muscles, a chiropractor can prescribe stretches and exercises that will help alleviate the pain and prevent it. One of the main principles of chiropractic is to treat the body as an interconnected system. A chiropractor may work on an unrelated part of the body to treat the symptomatic area. For example, they may work to align the spine and pelvis to lessen the impact on the lower legs.

Part of a treatment plan may include:

Soft Tissue Mobilization

  • A handheld instrument loosens tight tissues during soft tissue mobilization therapy and breaks scar tissue around the tibia.
  • Massaging tight muscles in the leg keeps them loose and alleviates the pain.
  • Percussion massage can be added to reduce muscle knots, improve blood flow, and loosen up scar tissue.
  • The treatment relieves pain and can help avoid shin splints when returning to normal activities.

Ultrasound and Low Laser Therapy

  • Ultrasound and low laser therapy use heat to warm the deep tissues in the lower leg gently.
  • The treatment eases pain, reduces inflammation, swelling, and increases blood flow.

Kinesio Taping

  • Applying flexible Kinesio tape to the foot and lower leg can reduce stress on the shins.
  • The chiropractor or physical therapist will show how to apply the tape correctly.

Foot Orthotics

  • Individuals may be more likely to develop shin splints if they have high or low arches or their feet tend to roll inward or outward when walking.
  • Prescription foot orthotics can be made to keep the feet properly balanced and supported.

Stretching Exercises

  • Shin splints could be related to tight muscles in the back of the calf and weak muscles in the front of the lower leg.
  • A chiropractor or physical therapist will show stretching and strengthening exercises to maintain muscle balance.

Body Composition


Retaining Water Due To Salt Intake

Salt/sodium is everywhere and hard to avoid.

It might not be a surprise that a single patty cheeseburger contains over 500 mg of sodium – almost a quarter of the daily recommended level, but it is a surprise to know that the ranch dressing on a salad contains as much as 270 mg or a tablespoon of soy sauce on a healthy, vegetable-only stir-fry has 879 mg of sodium. The Mayo Clinic estimates that the average individual consumes about 3,400 mg of sodium a day: close to double what is recommended. Sodium is linked with water retention, and it is the kidneys’ job to expel unneeded sodium out of the body. Until the kidneys activate, an individual will temporarily be retaining extra water. If daily water and sodium intake habits change daily, this can contribute to water retention, causing fluctuations in daily weight. So, if an individual was on a diet but flooded the body with more salt than usual, expect to see a temporary increase in weight.

References

Bates, P. “Shin splints–a literature review.” British journal of sports medicine vol. 19,3 (1985): 132-7. doi:10.1136/bjsm.19.3.132

Chiropractic Economics: The Science Behind Percussion Massage.

Gross, ML et al. “Effectiveness of orthotic shoe inserts in the long-distance runner.” The American journal of sports medicine vol. 19,4 (1991): 409-12. doi:10.1177/036354659101900416

Heer, Martina et al. “Increasing sodium intake from a previous low or high intake affects water, electrolyte and acid-base balance differently.” The British journal of nutrition vol. 101,9 (2009): 1286-94. doi:10.1017/S0007114508088041

McClure, Charles J. and Robert Oh. “Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome.” StatPearls, StatPearls Publishing, 11 August 2021.

Physical Wellness, Diet, and Chiropractic

Physical Wellness, Diet, and Chiropractic

A healthy diet and proper nutrition are essential for the body’s overall health and physical wellness. Improper nutrition can lead to the body’s inability to repair muscle, affect muscle density, affect fluid levels in the cells, organ function, and nerve function. Individuals who receive chiropractic treatment regularly tend to experience fewer colds and illnesses, reduced aches and pains, and improved mood overall. There are nutritional options and certain foods individuals are recommended to follow to get the most benefits from the chiropractic treatment. A healthy diet, proper hydration, exercise, and rest can help keep the body on the road to optimal health.

Physical Wellness, Diet, and Chiropractic

Poor Diet Inflammation

A poor diet and bad eating habits cause the body not to operate efficiently. The body becomes weary and tired, causing it to break down. Those who favor processed foods, sugar, and empty calories that have no nutritional value put their bodies at risk for inflammation. Inflammation can lead to muscle pain, joint pain, and other health conditions. Chronic inflammation over time can lead to:

  • DNA damage
  • Tissue death
  • Internal scarring
  • All are linked to the development of several diseases, including cancer.

Physical Wellness Foods

Individuals begin to feel much better and healthier when eating whole foods. It can be hard to make the switch for those that have been eating poorly for years, but once begun, most individuals feel better almost immediately.

Steamed Vegetables

  • Eat a variety of tolerable vegetables.
  • Steaming improves the utilization/availability of the food substances and reduces the irritating residue in the gut, allowing it to restore itself.
  • For anti-inflammation, it is recommended to avoid tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, and bell peppers.

Nuts

  • Any nut that is tolerable except peanuts, like almonds, cashews, brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, and walnuts are all recommended.

Legumes

  • Any legumes tolerable like split peas, lentils, kidney beans, pinto beans, soybeans, mung beans, garbanzo beans, and adzuki beans.

Grains

  • It is recommended to eat one to two cups of cooked grains per day.
  • These include millet, basmati or brown rice, quinoa, barley, buckwheat, oatmeal, and amaranth.
  • It is recommended not to eat wheat, whole grain, or otherwise.
  • No bread, plan meals so that bread is not required, as bread can raise sugar levels and increase an inflammatory marker.

Fish

  • Deep-sea fish is preferred that includes salmon, halibut, cod, sardines, tuna, mackerel.
  • The fish should be poached, baked, steamed, or broiled.
  • No shellfish or swordfish.

Chicken and Turkey

  • Eat only white meat and do not eat the skin.
  • The chicken should be baked, broiled, or steamed.
  • Free-range or organic chicken is preferable.

Fruit

  • Raw is best, can be baked at a low temp and made into juice.
  • Apples, avocadoes, blueberries, cherries, fresh pineapple, guavas, lemons, limes, oranges, papaya, raspberries, strawberries.

Sweeteners

  • One of the essential things that chiropractors recommend is to cut out artificial sweeteners and excess sugar.
  • Small amounts of maple syrup, rice syrup, barley syrup, and honey can be used.
  • Sugar cravings can be avoided by eating protein with each meal.

Water and Herbal Teas

  • Drink 8 to 10 glasses of water every day.
  • Drink 2 to 4 cups of herbal tea, sipped slowly in the evening.

Body Composition


Antibiotics

Antibiotics are designed to cure bacterial infections by killing invading bacteria. However, antibiotics don’t separate the good bacteria from the bad. As a result, antibiotic therapy of only three to four days can alter gut microbe population and diversity. Studies have shown that children are particularly at risk as reduced gut bacteria diversity has been linked with childhood obesity. For this reason, make sure to follow a physician’s instructions when using antibiotics. Spending time outdoors regularly can help increase the body’s exposure to microbial diversity. Gardening is a great way to get dirty with soil to reacquaint the gut flora and maintain the body’s physical wellness.

References

Fritsche, Kevin L. “The science of fatty acids and inflammation.” Advances in nutrition (Bethesda, Md.) vol. 6,3 293S-301S. 15 May. 2015, doi:10.3945/an.114.006940

Kapczuk, Patrycja et al. “Żywność wysokoprzetworzona i jej wpływ na zdrowie dzieci i osób dorosłych” [Highly processed food and its effect on health of children and adults]. Postepy biochemii vol. 66,1 23-29. 23 Mar. 2020, doi:10.18388/pb.2020_309

Ricker, Mari Anoushka, and William Christian Haas. “Anti-Inflammatory Diet in Clinical Practice: A Review.” Nutrition in clinical practice: official publication of the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition vol. 32,3 (2017): 318-325. doi:10.1177/0884533617700353

Serafini, Mauro, and Ilaria Peluso. “Functional Foods for Health: The Interrelated Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Role of Fruits, Vegetables, Herbs, Spices and Cocoa in Humans.” Current pharmaceutical design vol. 22,44 (2016): 6701-6715. doi:10.2174/1381612823666161123094235

Wahlqvist, Mark L. “Food structure is critical for optimal health.” Food & function vol. 7,3 (2016): 1245-50. doi:10.1039/c5fo01285f

Thoracic Back Pain

Thoracic Back Pain

The thoracic spine, also known as the upper or middle back, is designed for stability to anchor the rib cage and protect the organs in the chest. It is highly resistant to injury and pain. However, when thoracic back pain does present, it is usually from long-term posture problems or an injury. Thoracic back pain is less common than lower back and neck pain, but it does affect up to 20% of the population, particularly women. Treatment options include chiropractic for quick and long-term pain relief.

Thoracic Back Pain

Thoracic Back Pain and Soreness

The thoracic area is vital for various functions related to:

Common reasons for experiencing thoracic back pain include:

  • A direct hit or high-impact injury from a fall.
  • Sports injury.
  • Automobile accident.
  • Unhealthy postures that put the spine in chronic misalignment, causing strain.
  • Repetitive overuse injury from bending, reaching, lifting, twisting.
  • Poor core or shoulder mechanics, causing muscle imbalance.
  • Muscular irritation, the large upper back muscles are prone to developing strains or tightness that can be painful and difficult to alleviate.
  • De-conditioning or lack of strength.
  • Joint dysfunction can come from a sudden injury or natural degeneration from aging. Examples include facet joint cartilage tear or joint capsule tear.

Upper back pain usually feels like a sharp, burning pain localized to one spot or a general achiness that can flare up and spread out to the shoulder, neck, and arms.

Types of Upper Back Pain

These include:

  • Myofascial pain
  • Spine degeneration
  • Joint dysfunction
  • Nerve dysfunction
  • General spinal misalignments

Depending on what specific tissues are affected, pain can occur with breathing or arm use. It is recommended to have a healthcare professional perform an examination and get an accurate diagnosis. A chiropractor understands the delicate balance and functions that the thoracic spine provides and can develop a proper treatment plan.

Chiropractic

Treatment options will depend on the symptoms, underlying dysfunctions, and individual preferences. ​Recommendations for treatment often include:

  • Spine adjustments to improve alignment and nerve integrity.
  • Posture training to maintain spinal alignment.
  • Therapeutic massage.
  • Exercise training to restore muscular balance.
  • Non-invasive pain-relieving techniques.
  • Health coaching.

Body Composition


Plant-Based Diets for Weight Loss

Individuals who follow vegan, vegetarian, and semivegetarian diets have reported and shown they are less likely to be overweight or obese. This can indicate that reducing intake of meat and animal products is beneficial for weight loss. Studies have found that individuals who follow a vegan diet may lose more weight than individuals on a more conventional weight loss diet, even with similar calories consumed, and often have significant improvements in blood sugar and inflammation markers.

Plant-Based Protein and Muscle Gain

Some plant-based proteins are just as effective as animal protein at promoting muscle gain. A study found that supplementing rice protein following resistance training had similar benefits to whey protein supplementation. Both groups had:

References

Briggs AM, Smith AJ, Straker LM, Bragge P. Thoracic spine pain in the general population: prevalence, incidence and associated factors in children, adolescents and adults. A systematic review. BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2009;10:77.

Cichoń, Dorota et al. “Efficacy of Physiotherapy in Reducing Back Pain and Improve Joint Mobility in Older Women.” Ortopedia, traumatologia, rehabilitacja vol. 21,1 (2019): 45-55. doi:10.5604/01.3001.0013.1115

Fouquet N, Bodin J, Descatha A, et al. Prevalence of thoracic spine pain in a surveillance network. Occup Med (Lond). 2015;65(2):122-5.

Jäger, Ralf et al. “Comparison of rice and whey protein isolate digestion rate and amino acid absorption.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition vol. 10,Suppl 1 P12. 6 Dec. 2013, doi:10.1186/1550-2783-10-S1-P12

Joy, Jordan M et al. “The effects of 8 weeks of whey or rice protein supplementation on body composition and exercise performance.” Nutrition journal vol. 12 86. 20 Jun. 2013, doi:10.1186/1475-2891-12-86

Medawar, Evelyn et al. “The effects of plant-based diets on the body and the brain: a systematic review.” Translational psychiatry vol. 9,1 226. 12 Sep. 2019, doi:10.1038/s41398-019-0552-0

Newby, PK et al. “Risk of overweight and obesity among semivegetarian, lactovegetarian, and vegan women.” The American journal of clinical nutrition vol. 81,6 (2005): 1267-74. doi:10.1093/ajcn/81.6.1267

Pope, Malcolm H et al. “Spine ergonomics.” Annual review of biomedical engineering vol. 4 (2002): 49-68. doi:10.1146/annurev.bioeng.4.092101.122107

Nerve Injury

Nerve Injury

A nerve injury is often caused by a sudden traumatic event, like a slip and fall, personal or work injury, an automobile accident, or a sports injury. Overall stresses of the body from poor posture and being overweight can also lead to nerve pain over time, known as cumulative trauma. Where ligaments and bones are not aligned correctly, nerve pain and damage can occur. When nerve pain presents, there is pressure being placed on that nerve/s. Nerve pain symptoms include burning, tingling, or numbness-type sensations in the tissues controlled by that nerve. Orthopedic and neurologic testing will determine what specific nerve is affected. Chiropractic adjustments realign the spine and relieve the pressure on the nerve, thus eliminating the pain and correcting the problem.

Nerve Injury

Nerve Injury

Too much pressure from surrounding tissues compresses and irritates the nerve and interrupts its ability to function correctly. Pinched nerves are most vulnerable at points in the body where they pass through narrow spaces and have little to no soft tissue protection. Symptoms include:

  • Pins and Needles Sensation
  • Numbness
  • Pain
  • Weakness

A pinched nerve can decrease the range of motion and cause muscle spasms. If left untreated, a nerve injury can leave an individual with chronic pain and lead to permanent nerve damage.

Tingling and Numbness

Tingling and numbness are unusual or unpleasant physical sensations, most commonly experienced in the arms, hands, fingers, legs, feet, and toes. Tingling and numbness come in two forms:

Paresthesia

  • A feeling of pins and needles on the skin or the sensation of the hand or arm having fallen asleep.
  • Paresthesia can be a result of reduced blood flow to the region. This can be caused by external pressure that constricts the blood vessels.

Dysesthesia

  • This is a more persistent sensation resembling itching, burning, electric shock, or tightening pain.

 Injuries to the nervous system can also produce numbness and tingling, even in areas nowhere near the actual injury. Examples include:

  • Neck pain from a neck injury can cause numbness or tingling in the hand or arm.
  • A low back injury can result in tingling in the back of the leg.

Other possible causes include:

  • Inflammation that puts pressure on nerves
  • Trigger points in the muscles
  • Enlarged blood vessels
  • Tumors
  • Myofascial adhesions
  • Scar tissue
  • Infection
  • Lesions on the spinal disc/s
  • Diabetes
  • Calcium deficiency
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency
  • Liver disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Alcoholism
  • Drug abuse

Chiropractic Treatment

To determine the appropriate course of treatment, a doctor of chiropractic must diagnose the cause of the nerve injury. Depending on the nature or severity of the sensation, the examination will include:

  • Muscle tests
  • Range-of-motion tests
  • Neurological tests
  • Orthopedic tests

The chiropractor will palpate the effective areas and order imaging tests like X-rays if necessary. If further testing is needed to diagnose the source of the nerve injury, the doctor may order an MRI or CT scan. Once the underlying condition is diagnosed, a chiropractor will develop a treatment plan to eliminate irritation, correct misalignments causing pressure, and restore proper nerve function. Treatment plans vary from case to case but can include:

  • Therapeutic Massage
  • Body adjustments
  • Spinal manipulation
  • Heat and Ice

The objective is to relieve/release the pressure on the nerves. Chiropractic adjustments help reposition the muscles and nerves. Deep-tissue massage helps to release tension and eliminate toxins that worsen the sensations. Treatment improves circulation and relieves pressure on the neural pathways necessary to restore normal neural signaling between the body and the brain.


Body Composition


Why The Brain Needs Sugar

The brain needs half of all the body’s energy supply because of its complex nerve cell system. The brain requires glucose for brain cell energy. Because neurons can’t store energy, they need a continuous fuel supply to function correctly from the bloodstream. The ability to think, learn and recall information is closely associated with glucose levels. When blood glucose levels are low, the ability to think is inhibited as the production of chemical messengers/neurotransmitters, are reduced, disrupting communication between the neurons. Natural sugar can boost brain health because it requires glucose for functioning. Sugar is released slowly into the bloodstream when taken naturally from sources like apples and bananas, keeping the energy levels steady, without craving more sugar.

References

Ameh, Victor, and Steve Crane. “Nerve injury following shoulder dislocation: the emergency physician’s perspective.” European journal of emergency medicine: official journal of the European Society for Emergency Medicine vol. 13,4 (2006): 233-5. doi:10.1097/01.mej.0000206190.62201.ad

Nichols, J S, and K O Lillehei. “Nerve injury associated with acute vascular trauma.” The Surgical clinics of North America vol. 68,4 (1988): 837-52. doi:10.1016/s0039-6109(16)44589-5

Ruggiero, S L. “Trigeminal nerve injury and repair.” The New York state dental journal vol. 62,8 (1996): 36-40.

Welch, J A. “Peripheral nerve injury.” Seminars in veterinary medicine and surgery (small animal) vol. 11,4 (1996): 273-84. doi:10.1016/s1096-2867(96)80020-x

WOODHALL, B. “Peripheral nerve injury.” The Surgical clinics of North America (1954): 1147-65. doi:10.1016/s0039-6109(16)34299-2

Enhance Exercise Program With Chiropractic

Enhance Exercise Program With Chiropractic

Chiropractic can enhance the effectiveness of an exercise program. Chiropractic works on the neuromusculoskeletal system, which comprises the nervous, muscular, and skeletal systems. It produces an indirect effect on the immune system, involving the body’s processes resulting from exercise and muscle development. Most individuals are familiar with the benefits of regular exercise and physical activity. Regular physical activity and exercise:

  • Increases circulation
  • Improves strength
  • Increases immune system function
  • Produces brain-boosting endorphins and chemicals
  • Improves mood
  • Increase muscle mass
  • Contributes to enhanced flexibility and mobility

Exercise-boosting practices can multiply the effectiveness of a workout program. Exercise-enhancing methods that are well known include:

  • Incorporating rest days
  • Staying hydrated
  • Consistent and high-quality sleep
  • Utilizing supplements that enhance the body’s ability to produce and sustain muscle.

A chiropractor can develop a personalized treatment plan to support and enhance an individual’s workout/exercise program. This plan can include specific interventions to improve alignment or maintain muscle relaxation and prescribed stretches and movements to decrease the strain from an exercise regimen.

Enhance Exercise Program With Chiropractic

Nervous System

Chiropractic helps to balance the nervous system. Treatment allows pressure to be removed from compressed, bruised, and severed nerves. Chiropractic decreases and eliminates pain originating from inflamed muscles, joints, and tissues. When it comes to exercising, nerve pain usually originates from vigorous movement. Swelling and inflammation in the body can cause nerves to become inflamed or compressed. Misalignment in the spinal structure and joints can occur during strenuous exercise, particularly when weight resistance is involved. It can also constrict/pinch nerves, contributing to sciatic pain, which originates in the lower back and spreads down the gluteal muscles and back of the legs. Chiropractic can help:

  • Reduce pain and discomfort
  • Improve physical responsiveness
  • Decrease inflammation
  • Improve immune function

Muscular System

The muscular system is interconnected with the nervous and skeletal systems. Manual chiropractic manipulation helps to:

  • Reduce pain in inflamed muscles that have been utilized during exercise
  • Release tense and strained muscles
  • Remove muscular knots
  • Accelerate muscle repair
  • Improve exercise performance

Skeletal System

The skeletal system is the foundation for all physical movements and activities. It plays a role in physical activity/exercise, recovery, and the development of strength and musculature. During exercise routines, the joints can become misaligned, especially with weight-bearing or lifting activities. Chiropractic for the skeletal system can:

  • Rebalance the system
  • Realign bones and joints
  • Decrease muscular strain
  • Improve posture and form
  • Reduce and eliminate pain in the knees, wrists, and shoulders
  • Increase the body’s capacity for taking on additional weight healthfully

Keep The Chiropractor Informed

To receive enhanced exercise and performance-related benefits from chiropractic care, individuals must keep their chiropractor informed of goals and style of physical activity. The more the chiropractor knows about the types of exercises, the more they will provide a customized treatment plan for an individual’s specific needs. Any injury or strain experienced during an exercise session or a specific part of the body seems to be recovering at a slower rate than the rest of the body, inform the chiropractor. They can survey posture, stance, determine imbalances, and discover other body areas that may be over-straining to compensate.

Time Sessions Appropriately

Depending on the type of physical activity and exercises, individuals may be advised to seek care on rest days or the same days of the workout. Discuss with the chiropractor what days of the week are best for treatment and before or after workouts.

Health Goals

Movement and exercise practices are unique and vary with each individual. Individuals have different goals for their regimens that range from:

  • Increasing flexibility and agility
  • Building strength, endurance, and muscle mass.

Identify health goals and share them with the chiropractor. Depending on the purpose of the exercise routine, treatment may vary to support and enhance specific objectives.


Body Composition


Improve Insulin Sensitivity

When consuming carbohydrates, it is broken down into sugar. The body needs a certain amount of sugar to function. However, cellular damage occurs if the levels become too high for too long, like in diabetes. Insulin’s role is to guide excess sugar – glucose into the safety of the cells. However, more individuals are experiencing high blood insulin levels, called hyperinsulinemia. It’s dangerous to let glucose levels remain elevated, which is why more insulin is produced to bring the blood sugar down. After a time, constant hyperinsulinemia results in a condition called insulin resistance, where the cells become resistant to the effects of insulin and less effective.

Insulin Sensitivity and Weight Loss

A high insulin level in the blood can trigger weight gain and make it difficult to shed excess fat. Research shows that high insulin:

  • Inhibits lipolysis
  • Hinders the breakdown of fat
  • Increases possible fat accumulation
  • Increases the risk of regaining weight loss following a low-calorie diet

Improve Insulin Sensitivity

References

Erion, Karel A, and Barbara E Corkey. “Hyperinsulinemia: a Cause of Obesity?.” Current obesity reports vol. 6,2 (2017): 178-186. doi:10.1007/s13679-017-0261-z

Hawk, Cheryl et al. “Best Practices for Chiropractic Management of Patients with Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain: A Clinical Practice Guideline.” Journal of alternative and complementary medicine (New York, N.Y.) vol. 26,10 (2020): 884-901. doi:10.1089/acm.2020.0181

Hoogvliet, Peter et al. “Does the effectiveness of exercise therapy and mobilization techniques offer guidance for the treatment of lateral and medial epicondylitis? A systematic review.” British journal of sports medicine vol. 47,17 (2013): 1112-9. doi:10.1136/bjsports-2012-091990

Peluso, Marco Aurélio Monteiro, and Laura Helena Silveira Guerra de Andrade. “Physical activity and mental health: the association between exercise and mood.” Clinics (Sao Paulo, Brazil) vol. 60,1 (2005): 61-70. doi:10.1590/s1807-59322005000100012

Flat Back Syndrome

Flat Back Syndrome

Individuals believe that maintaining a straight/flat back is healthy. However, the back is made up of natural curves that allow flexibility and optimal movement. If there is a lack of these curves, it can lead to spine issues, discomfort, and pain. A common problem to develop from a spine lacking natural curvature is abnormal kyphosis. This is when the natural curve in the thoracic spine – mid-back or lumbar spine – low back disappears, which results in a flat back. Restoring the curvature can be challenging, as flatback syndrome requires chiropractic adjustments to gently shift and realign the spine back into a healthy curve and re-train the spine to maintain the curve.

Flat Back Syndrome

Causes of Flat Back Syndrome

Flatback syndrome is usually a result of muscle tightness in the lower back muscles, specifically in the psoas muscle. Or it could be degenerative disc disease, where the cartilage supporting the spine begins to weaken. Other causes include arthritis and osteoporosis. Practicing unhealthy posture habits can worsen these conditions, speeding up the loss of the spine’s curvature. Loss of spinal curvature does not occur rapidly, as the body will begin to present with symptoms. The following symptoms could be an indication:

  • Fatigue when trying to stand upright
  • Balance problems
  • Restricted mobility
  • Muscle spasms
  • Chronic low back pain
  • Thigh pain
  • Groin pain
  • Disc herniation

Back pain and problems with balance are the earliest warning signs of flatback syndrome.

Symptoms

Flatback symptoms usually get worse as the day progresses, with a sense of fatigue and increasing difficulty to stand upright. Individuals tend to flex or bend their hips and knees to get into an upright position. This can become an exhausting process as the day progresses. Individuals can also have symptoms of sciatica and/or spinal stenosis with leg pain and weakness that gets worse when walking. Neck and upper back pain can begin to present while straining to align themselves. The symptoms become disabling, often requiring pain medications that limit the individual’s ability to perform daily activities.

Realignment Treatment

A chiropractor must determine the severity of the deviation through a thorough assessment and examination. This shows the loss of curvature to help a chiropractor plan a realignment/remodeling adjustment schedule. Restoring a natural kyphosis is done through a combination of adjustments and bracing. Scheduled spinal adjustments will realign and shift the vertebrae back to neutral, while a back brace supports to prevent any deviation. Stretching and exercising relevant muscle groups is also part of a chiropractic treatment plan. An example is core exercises for strengthening the muscles supporting the spine.


Body Composition


Personalized Nutrition

Because the body is so complex and dynamic, there is no perfect fit when it comes to diet, exercise, or a combination. Fad diets typically recommend that individuals adhere to the same eating guidelines, indicating they will reach an expected result like fat loss. These diets work because they focus on a simple reduction in calorie intake, especially processed and fast foods. The problem is that some of these fad diets can restrict critical nutrients that negatively affect an individual’s health. More information about an individual’s body and how it works is an excellent resource in improving body composition and overall health. Personalized nutrition is an innovative and favorable approach to preventing and treating obesity and related conditions. This approach identifies:

  • Genetic markers
  • Dietary patterns
  • Environment
  • Metabolism

Educated recommendations can be made based on these factors.

References

Drabsch, Theresa, and Christina Holzapfel. “A Scientific Perspective of Personalised Gene-Based Dietary Recommendations for Weight Management.” Nutrients vol. 11,3 617. 14 Mar. 2019, doi:10.3390/nu11030617

Farcy, J P, and F J Schwab. “Management of flatback and related kyphotic decompensation syndromes.” Spine vol. 22,20 (1997): 2452-7. doi:10.1097/00007632-199710150-00025

Lee, Chang-Hyun, et al. “‘Lumbar Degenerative Kyphosis’ Is Not Byword for Degenerative Sagittal Imbalance: Time to Replace a Misconception.” Journal of Korean Neurosurgical Society vol. 60,2 (2017): 125-129. doi:10.3340/jkns.2016.0607.001

Lu, Daniel C, and Dean Chou. “Flatback syndrome.” Neurosurgery clinics of North America vol. 18,2 (2007): 289-94. doi:10.1016/j.nec.2007.01.007

Wiggins, Gregory C et al. “Management of iatrogenic flat-back syndrome.” Neurosurgical focus vol. 15,3 E8. 15 Sep. 2003, doi:10.3171/foc.2003.15.3.8

Musculoskeletal Disorders

Musculoskeletal Disorders

Musculoskeletal Disorders, or MSDs, are injuries, conditions, and disorders that affect the body’s musculoskeletal system. It includes the muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, discs, blood vessels, bones, and joints. MSDs are common, and the risk of developing them increases with age. The severity of an MSD can vary. They cause discomfort, recurrent pain, stiffness, swelling, and aching that interfere with everyday activities. Early diagnosis and treatment can alleviate symptoms and improve long-term health. Common disorders include:

  • Tendonitis
  • Tendon Strain
  • Epicondylitis
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Trigger Finger
  • Radial Tunnel Syndrome
  • DeQuervain’s Syndrome
  • Rotator Cuff Tendonitis
  • Muscle strain
  • Ligament Sprain
  • Rheumatoid arthritis – RA
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Tension Neck Syndrome
  • Thoracic Outlet Compression
  • Mechanical Back Syndrome
  • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • Ruptured Disc
  • Herniated Disc
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Digital Neuritis
  • Bone Fractures

Musculoskeletal Disorders

Musculoskeletal Disorders Discomfort and Pain

The term musculoskeletal disorder is used as it accurately describes the injury or condition. Other terms used are repetitive motion injury, repetitive stress injury, and overuse injury. When individuals are exposed to MSD risk factors, they begin to fatigue. This can start a musculoskeletal imbalance. With time, fatigue completely overtakes recovery/healing, and the musculoskeletal imbalance continues, a musculoskeletal disorder develops. The risk factors are broken into two categories: work-related/ergonomic risk factors and individual-related risk factors.

Ergonomic Factors:

  • Force
  • Repetition
  • Posture

High Task Repetition

  • Many work tasks and cycles are repetitive and are typically controlled by hourly or daily production targets and work processes.
  • High task repetition combined with other risks factors like high force and/or awkward postures can contribute to the formation of MSD.
  • A job is considered highly repetitive if the cycle time is 30 seconds or less.

Forceful Exertions

  • Many job tasks require high force loads on the body.
  • Muscle effort increases in response to high force requirements. This increases associated fatigue.

Repetitive or Sustained Awkward Postures

  • Awkward postures place excessive force on joints, overload the muscles and tendons around affected joints.
  • The joints of the body are most efficient when they operate close to the mid-range motion of the joint.
  • The risk of MSD is increased when the joints are worked outside of this mid-range repetitively for sustained periods without a proper amount of recovery time.

Individual Factors

  • Unhealthy work practices
  • Lack of physical activity/fitness
  • Unhealthy habits
  • Poor diet

Unhealthy Work Practices

  • Individuals that engage in poor work practices, body mechanics, and lifting techniques are introducing unnecessary risk factors.
  • These poor practices create unnecessary stress on the body that increases fatigue and decreases the body’s ability to recover properly.

Poor Health Habits

  • Individuals who smoke, drink excessively, are obese, or exhibit numerous other poor health habits put themselves at risk for musculoskeletal disorders and other chronic diseases.

Insufficient Rest and Recovery

  • Individuals that do not get adequate rest and recovery put themselves at higher risk.
  • MSDs develop when fatigue outruns the individual’s recovery system, causing a musculoskeletal imbalance.

Poor Diet, Fitness, and Hydration

  • Individuals who eat unhealthily are dehydrated, at a poor level of physical fitness, and do not take care of their bodies are putting themselves at a higher risk of developing musculoskeletal and chronic health problems.

Causes

The causes of musculoskeletal disorders are varied. Muscle tissue can be damaged with the wear and tear of daily work, school, and physical activities. Trauma to the body can come from:

  • Postural strain
  • Repetitive movements
  • Overuse
  • Prolonged immobilization
  • Jerking movements
  • Sprains
  • Dislocations
  • Falling injuries
  • Auto accident injuries
  • Fractures
  • Direct trauma to the muscle/s

Poor body mechanics can cause spinal alignment problems and muscle shortening, causing other muscles to be strained, causing problems and pain.

Treatment Rehabilitation

A doctor will recommend a treatment plan based on the diagnosis and severity of the symptoms. They may recommend moderate exercise and over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen to address occasional discomfort or pain. They often recommend chiropractic and physical therapy rehabilitation to learn how to manage pain and discomfort, maintain strength, range of motion, and adjust everyday activities. Different types of manual therapy, or mobilization, can treat body alignment problems. A doctor may prescribe medications like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories NSAIDs to reduce inflammation and pain for more severe symptoms. For individuals with musculoskeletal disorders like fibromyalgia, medications to increase the body’s level of serotonin and norepinephrine may be prescribed in low doses to modulate sleep, pain, and immune system function.


Body Composition


Types of Pain

Pain can be grouped into three categories:

Early Warning Pain

  • This is most recognizable after having just touched a pan, and the hand jerks away before realizing how hot the pan is, also known as the withdrawal reflex.
  • This is a protective mechanism that helps avoid danger and is vital for survival.

Inflammatory Pain

  • This type of pain happens after an injury or surgery while the body is healing and recovering.
  • Inflammation prevents the body from performing movements to prevent and avoid re-injury.

Pathological Pain

  • This type of pain can happen after the body has healed, but the nervous system has been damaged.
  • This is often the case with individuals who sustain an injury and inform doctors that the injured area is never the same.
  • If the rehabilitation does not correctly heal the nervous system, protective pain measures can generate a false alarm causing pain signals to fire off.
References

Asada, Fuminari, and Kenichiro Takano. Nihon eiseigaku zasshi. Japanese journal of hygiene vol. 71,2 (2016): 111-8. doi:10.1265/jjh.71.111

da Costa, Bruno R, and Edgar Ramos Vieira. “Risk factors for work-related musculoskeletal disorders: A systematic review of recent longitudinal studies.” American journal of industrial medicine vol. 53,3 (2010): 285-323. doi:10.1002/ajim.20750

Malińska, Marzena. “Dolegliwości układu mięśniowo-szkieletowego u operatorów komputerowych” [Musculoskeletal disorders among computer operators]. Medycyna pracy vol. 70,4 (2019): 511-521. doi:10.13075/mp.5893.00810

Musculoskeletal system diseases. (n.d.). dmu.edu/medterms/musculoskeletal-system/musculoskeletal-system-diseases/

Roquelaure, Yves et al. “Troubles musculo-squelettiques liés au travail” [Work-related musculoskeletal disorders]. La Revue du praticien vol. 68,1 (2018): 84-90.

Villa-Forte A. (n.d.). Diagnosis of musculoskeletal disorders. merckmanuals.com/home/bone,-joint,-and-muscle-disorders/diagnosis-of-musculoskeletal-disorders/introduction

Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs). (2014). ccohs.ca/oshanswers/diseases/rmirsi.html

Gentle Yoga Poses After Spinal Fusion Surgery

Gentle Yoga Poses After Spinal Fusion Surgery

Recovery and rehabilitation after spinal fusion surgery take time. Gentle yoga poses can help expedite recovery from spinal fusion surgery and are recommended in a rehabilitation program. The spine is the body’s central support structure that allows the body to stand upright, bend, and stay balanced. However, an individual may need to have vertebrae fused to repair painful back problems. Spinal fusion is a surgical procedure that permanently connects/fuses two or more vertebrae into a single bone. The procedure is done to help:

  • Correct a deformity
  • Improve stability
  • Reduce pain

At the beginning of the recovery process, the doctor may recommend light physical activity like walking. As the spine continues to heal, moderate exercise is essential for optimal recovery. Doctors are recommending gentle yoga to increase mobility, flexibility and regain strength.

Gentle Yoga Poses After Spinal Fusion Surgery

Gentle Yoga and Spine Surgery Recovery

Yoga has become a way to stretch the body, exercise, promote physical and mental well-being. There are different styles of yoga, ranging from gentle stretching to advanced poses. Yoga focuses on stretching, coordination, and balance. When stretching the body, the range of motion is improved. Yoga also helps improve balance and increases strength to reduce the risk of falls and injuries. Gentle yoga after spinal fusion benefits include:

  • Pain relief
  • Stress reduction
  • Improved mental health
  • Increased flexibility and strength
  • Improved balance
  • Increase in energy levels

Gentle yoga after surgery focuses on an improved range of motion/coordination of the arms and legs with the torso. This allows the spine to safely flex, not become stiff, and avoid strain, leading to fuller activity.

When To Begin Yoga After Spinal Fusion?

A reduced range of motion and loss of muscle mass is expected in the weeks and months following surgery. The healthcare/rehabilitation team will address this through exercise and physical therapy once the doctor clears the individual to begin rehabilitation training. The doctor will use some form of diagnostic imaging to determine if the vertebrae have fully fused before giving the ok for exercise. Most individuals can begin light physical activity four to six weeks after the procedure. If the fusion surgery was fused in only one place, individuals could start gentle yoga poses within two to three months. For a multi-level fusion surgery, individuals may need to wait four to six months after the procedure before they can safely begin.

Yoga Recovery Program

It’s essential to take it slow and steady when first beginning yoga after spinal fusion. As the body continues to heal, gradually add more challenging poses and stretches to the routine. This is a graduated recovery program separated into stages to help the individual build back strength and flexibility. In the first stages of recovery, gentle poses that have minimal effects on the spine are recommended. These include:

A few weeks to a month later, with the doctor’s clearance, the individual can advance to poses that stretch/flex the spine a little more, including:

Eventually, individuals can slowly increase the challenge further, with poses like:

Garudasana – Eagle pose
Gomukhasana – Cow Face pose
Vasisthasana – Side plank pose

It’s crucial to listen to the body as a guide when moving through the poses, no matter what stage of recovery. The fusion needs time to heal and stabilize, so any poses that involve twisting movements and flexing should be avoided. Seek advice if there is confusion about how or whether or not to proceed. It is recommended to work with an experienced yoga teacher after spinal fusion. A knowledgeable instructor can guide with the poses, inform which poses to avoid and make modifications to get the most out of the gentle poses.


Body Composition


How Heat Affects Basal Metabolic Rate

Gender, height, and age influence Basal Metabolic Rate. These are factors individuals cannot control or change. However, individuals can increase the calories the body burns by regulating body temperature. Both the internal and external temperatures influence metabolic rate. The chemical reactions that contribute to metabolism happen more quickly if the temperature is higher, as the body works harder to restore normal temperature balance. For example, when a fever is present, the Basal Metabolic Rate will jump up to a much higher rate than usual to increase the speed of cellular metabolic reactions to combat the fever and get the body back to a healthy state. When it comes to external temperature, it’s only prolonged exposure to heat that raises the Basal Metabolic Rate.

References

American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. (June 2018). “Spinal Fusion.” https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/treatment/spinal-fusion/

Gillooly, James F, and Andrew P Allen. “Changes in body temperature influence the scaling of VO2max and aerobic scope in mammals.” Biology letters vol. 3,1 (2007): 99-102. doi:10.1098/rsbl.2006.0576

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. (February 2020) “Yoga for Health: What the Science Says.” https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/providers/digest/yoga-for-health-science

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. (April 2021) “Yoga: What You Need to Know.” https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/yoga-what-you-need-to-know

Pelvic Floor Pain and Back Pain

Pelvic Floor Pain and Back Pain

The pelvic floor is essentially the spine, and when pain presents, it can be mistaken for back pain. However, these two conditions are frequently linked. The National Institutes of Health- NIH reported that a quarter of women are impacted by pelvic floor disorders and up to 16% of men. The pelvic floor is made up of muscles. If the muscles begin to spasm, they can spread pain upwards and even downwards. This is where the misdiagnosis of lower back pain comes in.

Pelvic Floor Pain and Back Pain

The Pelvic Floor

The pelvic floor is comprised of muscles and connective tissue, known as fascia. The muscles and fascia intertwine, creating a support system for the pelvic organs. The pelvic floor muscles act as a spring system that supports the organs. When downward pressure is applied, and the spring system is working correctly, they push back up to support the muscles. These muscles create the base known as the core. The core muscles support the abdomen, diaphragm, and back muscles, supporting the spine. This is why back, pelvic pain is prevalent as these muscles are interconnected.

Pelvic Floor Dysfunction and Back Pain

If there is pelvic floor dysfunction, there is an inability to control the muscles. There can be too much or insufficient tension, resulting in urinary incontinence or inability to complete bowel movements. It can also be mistaken for back pain or contributes to pelvic and low back pain. The core muscles support the torso and promote stabilization during movement. If they are not working correctly, the torso and pelvis become unstable. The SI – sacroiliac joints linked with the pelvis and the lower spine can begin to present with posterior pelvic and back pain.

Symptoms

Dysfunction can present in several ways, including:

Causes of Dysfunction

Causes of dysfunction include:

  • Weakness of the muscles or tight muscles.
  • Vaginal dryness by a lack of estrogen during menopause.
  • Tight inner thigh muscles.
  • Back pain itself can cause dysfunction.

Women make up the majority of cases that result from:

  • Pregnancy
  • Childbirth
  • Endometriosis – a condition in which uterine tissue grows outside the uterus.

Men can also develop problems. As a man’s body ages, prostate problems can cause urinary leakage and frequency problems. It can develop from activities like bicycling. The seat can compress the pudendal nerve, causing pain and dysfunction.

Retraining the Muscles

The dysfunction can be helped by reactivating and strengthening the pelvic and core muscles. Training the pelvic floor and the core muscles will help boost support for the spine and alleviate discomfort and pain. First, it is recommended to get a physical evaluation by a chiropractor or physical therapist to determine if the pelvic floor muscles are too tight or weak. The objective is to improve the strength of the pelvic floor muscles or relax them if they are too tight. A chiropractor and physical therapist can work on the muscles, educate on stretches, exercises, nutrition, and offer additional help and support.


Body Composition


Muscle Adaptation

The point of resistance training is to get the muscles to function more effectively. It begins with the contractile proteins that control muscle shortening and lengthening. Resistance exercise can cause some of the proteins to get pulled apart. The stress the muscles experience is the stimulus for the muscles to rebuild bigger, stronger, or more powerful. After resistance exercise, the muscle synthesizes proteins helped by nutritional stimuli and protein consumption. Satellite cells also activate to help build up the broken-down muscle. Resistance exercise causes activation.

References

Cleveland Clinic. (2020). “Pelvic Floor Dysfunction.” https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/14459-pelvic-floor-dysfunction

National Institutes of Health. (September 2008) “Roughly One-Quarter of U.S. Women Affected by Pelvic Floor Disorders” https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/roughly-one-quarter-us-women-affected-pelvic-floor-disorders

Smith, Christopher P. “Male chronic pelvic pain: An update.” Indian journal of urology: IJU: journal of the Urological Society of India vol. 32,1 (2016): 34-9. doi:10.4103/0970-1591.173105

World Health Organization. (2013) “Low back pain” https://www.who.int/medicines/areas/priority_medicines/Ch6_24LBP.pdf

Calf Muscle Tightness and Injury

Calf Muscle Tightness and Injury

Calf pain is common in individuals who spend a lot of time on their feet, whether standing at work, school, or training athletes. The calf muscle/s take on a tremendous amount of load throughout the day. Climbing stairs, jogging, running, and hiking increase strain on the muscles. In most cases, calf pain results from an overuse injury of the calf muscles. Improper footwear can also contribute to issues around the foot and ankle that include:

  • Tightness
  • Loss of strength of the foot
  • Decreased mobility

Short or tight calves can lead to dysfunctional movement, cramping symptoms, chronic pain, and stiffness. A combination of chiropractic active release treatment and physical therapy can help quickly eliminate calf pain.

Calf Muscle Tightness and Injury

Anatomy

The calves are comprised of two muscles, the gastrocnemius, and soleus.

  • The gastroc originates just above the knee.
  • The soleus is below the knee.

They both insert on the back of the ankle as they join to form the Achilles tendon. The gastrocnemius is the power muscle used for explosive movements like jumping. The soleus muscle is predominately a slow-twitch muscle. This means it is very active during extended activities, like standing, walking, exercising, and running. When dealing with calf and ankle issues, other muscles can also contribute. These include:

  • The posterior tibialis lies deep in the inner portion of the calf and plays a role in foot and ankle function.
  • The posterior tibialis is heavily involved with Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome or MTSS, also called shin splints.

Calf Muscle Pain

Most commonly, calf pain is caused by the overuse of the calf muscles. This is often the result of the consistent pounding of the feet and lower legs from standing, walking,  and working. Over time, the repetitive pounding can cause tiny tears in the muscles of the lower legs and calves. If detected, early rest and recovery are recommended to allow the muscles to relax, loosen, and heal. However, repeated use can lead to more severe injury without proper treatment, like compartment syndrome. Certain types of calf pain can signify a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment.

Compartment Syndrome

A tough and fibrous covering surrounds the calf called the fascia. During physical activity or exercise, blood flows into these muscles, causing them to increase in size. If the fascia cannot stretch enough when these muscles enlarge, pain and tightness can develop. This is known as chronic posterior compartment syndrome. The discomfort typically goes away when the activity stops but is likely to return without proper treatment.

Calf Overuse Injury

Soreness, tightness, and pain are usually felt along the back or inside of the lower leg. The calf muscles are generally not painful to touch but maybe tender when deep pressure is applied. Calf pain and tightness often come with extended physical activity, exercise and disappear once the activity is stopped. If the injury becomes chronic, calf stiffness can present even when not active, along with numbness and/or tingling in the lower leg or foot.

Treatment

It is recommended not to ignore any discomfort, pain, and stiffness in the calves. Continued overuse can lead to scar tissue formation and chronic pain potential without proper care. Active Release – ART, and chiropractic effectively treat this type of injury. ART breaks up scar tissue, returning normal function to the calf muscles. And chiropractic loosens up stiff joints in the hips, ankles, and feet that may be contributing to wear and tear on the calves. Together they can quickly and eliminate calf pain. Part of a treatment plan includes:

  • Joint manipulation or mobilization
  • Soft tissue mobilization
  • Nutritional recommendations
  • Rehab-based exercises and stretches

Body Composition


Metabolic Adaptations

Aerobic exercise substantially impacts the body’s muscles’ energy production system and cardiovascular adaptation. The blood delivers oxygen to the muscle cells to produce energy that powers all the exercise being done. Aerobic exercise primarily relies on oxidative energy production, which takes place within the cells called mitochondria. Aerobic exercise also breaks down fat molecules for energy, which can only happen within mitochondria.

  • Aerobic exercise training improves the muscle cells’ ability to burn fat by generating more mitochondria and enhancing their functionality. Specifically, the body burns more fat than usual in the hours following each training session.
  • With more precise quality and quantity of fat-burning machinery, aerobic training can increase the resting metabolic rate, resulting in more calories burned.
  • High-intensity aerobic exercise also increases the excess post-exercise oxygen consumption – EPOC, resulting in increased calorie burn in addition to what was burned during the exercising.
References

Alfredson, H et al. “Heavy-load eccentric calf muscle training for the treatment of chronic Achilles tendinosis.” The American journal of sports medicine vol. 26,3 (1998): 360-6. doi:10.1177/03635465980260030301

Bright, Jacob Michael et al. “Ultrasound Diagnosis of Calf Injuries.” Sports health vol. 9,4 (2017): 352-355. doi:10.1177/1941738117696019

Campbell, John T. “Posterior calf injury.” Foot and ankle clinics vol. 14,4 (2009): 761-71. doi:10.1016/j.fcl.2009.07.005

Green, Brady, and Tania Pizzari. “Calf muscle strain injuries in sport: a systematic review of risk factors for injury.” British journal of sports medicine vol. 51,16 (2017): 1189-1194. doi:10.1136/bjsports-2016-097177

Colder Weather Musculoskeletal Injuries

Colder Weather Musculoskeletal Injuries

As the weather gets colder, individuals may feel like their muscles and joints are frequently stiff and experience more aches and pains. This is even more evident for individuals that work outside in the winter or with specific ailments/conditions. Colder weather can increase the risk of suffering musculoskeletal injuries and intensify the condition.

Colder Weather Musculoskeletal Injuries

How Colder Weather Impacts The Muscles

Individuals with arthritic conditions might find that symptoms become exacerbated. This can keep individuals away from regular activities. Conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis tend not to react well to weather sudden atmospheric changes, worsening symptoms. However, individuals are well aware of how their body feels and moves when colder weather is present with or without existing conditions. Movement slows down, and when trying to move, the muscles can contract involuntarily, causing tension and stiffness. This usually results in soreness and pain. Feeling warm, safe, and comfortable is essential for the body’s overall health. Overuse and overexertion can increase the risk of injury in colder temperatures.

Barometric Pressure

  • When the weather gets colder, barometric pressure drops. The Body’s tissues like the muscles, tendons, and ligaments expand. This places pressure on nerves near the joints, causing discomfort and pain.
  • In cold weather, the fluid density in the joints lessens, causing the bones to rub against each other harder because the fluid is not thick enough to allow for proper lubrication.
  • The cold makes the muscles shiver, contract, and tighten. This can compress the nerves in the joints and increase pain symptoms.

Prevent Stiffness and Musculoskeletal-Related Injuries

Maintain an active lifestyle

Dress warm

  • Wear proper clothing to keep the body warm and protected.
  • Wear proper boots that are waterproof and have good treads to prevent falls.
  • Wear a warm hat to maintain head warmth, reducing the body heat that escapes from the head.

Warm-up during breaks

  • Try not to stay out in the cold for too long. If working outside, move indoors during breaks if possible.

Eat a healthy diet

  • Good nutrition helps maintain the whole body.
  • Omega 3 fatty acids help reduce inflammation. Salmon and nuts are recommended.
  • Leafy greens like spinach and kale are rich in vitamin K, which helps soothe pain symptoms.
  • Vitamin C from citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruit, red bell peppers, and tomatoes also help stop cartilage loss reducing friction in the joints.

Proper sleep

Chiropractic


Body Composition


Exercising

Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic exercise can include:

  • Running
  • Cycling
  • Hiking
  • Dancing
  • Walking

Resistance Training

  • Research has shown that resistance training with bands or weights can supplement aerobic exercise to reduce blood pressure.
  • It is recommended to complete 2 to 4 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions for each major muscle group during workout sessions.
  • Resistance training sessions should be spaced out throughout the week to limit muscle soreness and injury.

Resistance training can include: 

  • Resistance bands with freehand movements, squats, push-ups, bicep curls
  • Free weights dumbbells, barbells
  • Gym weight machines like the chest press and shoulder press
References

https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/coldstress/

Heil, Kieran et al. “Freezing and non-freezing cold-weather injuries: a systematic review.” British medical bulletin vol. 117,1 (2016): 79-93. doi:10.1093/bmb/ldw001

Kowtoniuk, Robert A et al. “Cutaneous Cold Weather Injuries in the US Military.” Cutis vol. 108,4 (2021): 181-184. doi:10.12788/cutis.0363

Long, William B 3rd et al. “Cold injuries.” Journal of long-term effects of medical implants vol. 15,1 (2005): 67-78. doi:10.1615/jlongtermeffmedimplants.v15.i1.80

Headaches and Treatment

Headaches and Treatment

Headaches and Treatment: Headaches can range from mild, dull aches to severe throbbing pain. They can be episodic and chronic. Tension headaches are the most common that present with pain around the head, scalp, or neck. Migraines are often chronic, with the pain lasting for a few hours to a few days. The location of the headache and the type of pain being experienced can indicate the type of headache. Sources of headaches include, but are not limited to:

  • Certain kinds of foods
  • Sounds
  • Excessive noise
  • Bright lights
  • Changes in blood sugar
  • Too much exercise

Headaches and Treatment

Headache relief can come from over-the-counter medications, prescription medications, rest, and ice/heat packs on the forehead or neck. Research shows that individuals suffering from chronic headaches and migraines benefit more from long-term chiropractic than drug therapy alone. Doctors of chiropractic offer safe, effective, long-term relief. This is because most headaches have a spinal, muscular, or repeated pattern/s, which chiropractors have been trained to identify and treat.

Tension Headaches and Treatment

Tension Headaches are usually worse in the afternoon and evening and are often work, school, and stress-related. The pain is usually felt on both sides of the forehead and/or the top of the neck. These headaches can last for long periods and can be triggered by something as simple as an airplane trip. Tension headaches are caused by tension and trigger points within the muscles that constantly contract and don’t relax. Chiropractic adjustments and muscle release techniques have proven to be highly effective.

Migraine Headaches and Treatment

Migraines are broken down into two categories:

A migraine aura usually comes before the onset of a Migraine and consists of:

  • Visualizing a strange light
  • Strange smells
  • Confusing thoughts or experiences

Migraines are more common in women, but they do occur in men. Things that can trigger migraines include but are not limited to:

  • Medications
  • Certain foods
  • Environmental exposure
  • Sleeping habits

It is recommended to keep a headache journal to:

  • Account all foods eaten
  • Sleep patterns
  • Drinking patterns
  • Medications
  • Exercise habits
  • Stress scenarios
  • Headache frequency, duration, areas of pain, and discomfort.

Research has shown successful results from chiropractic manipulation applied to individuals suffering from migraine headaches. In addition to chiropractic adjustments, nutrition and supplementation have also shown positive and long-term effects.

Headaches and Treatment Chiropractic

Stress can manifest in many ways that lead to headaches. Chiropractic adjustments can improve acute and chronic neck pain, reducing the number of headaches, whether migraines, tension headaches, or some other kind. Chiropractors adjust the spine’s alignment to improve function and alleviate stress on the nervous system using a targeted methodology. This allows the body to function correctly and reduces stress and tension. A chiropractor will also recommend posture, stretches, exercises, and relaxation techniques.

Lifestyle Adjustments

Understanding how lifestyle affects the severity and frequency can be a large part of successful headache prevention. Specific adjustments can include:

  • Maintain regular sleep patterns.
  • Go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Aerobic exercise for at least 30 minutes three times a week.
  • Eat regular healthy meals.
  • Do not skip meals.
  • Limit stress by avoiding conflicts and resolving disputes calmly.
  • Take daily stress breaks.
  • Do not overuse pain medications, as overuse can make headaches worse.

Body Composition


Respiratory System

The respiratory system refers to the organs in the body involved in breathing, inhaling oxygen, and exhaling carbon dioxide. These include:

  • Nose nasal cavity
  • Throat – pharynx
  • Voicebox – larynx
  • Windpipe – trachea
  • Lungs

The respiratory system is critical because it delivers oxygen to all the body’s organs, supporting life-sustaining functions. If oxygen supply is insufficient, the energy production necessary for organ function becomes compromised, leading to poor overall health. The respiratory system is divided into the upper and lower respiratory tracts:

  • The upper respiratory tract includes the nose, nasal cavity, mouth, throat, and voice box.
  • The lower respiratory tract consists of the windpipe, lungs, and all sections of the bronchial tree.
  • When breathing, the hairs/cilia in the nose and trachea prevent bacteria and foreign substances from entering the body.
  • Occasionally, pathogens will make it past the cilia and enter the body, causing illness.
  • This is when the immune system goes to work neutralizing any invading pathogens.
References

Bryans, Roland et al. “Evidence-based guidelines for the chiropractic treatment of adults with headache.” Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics vol. 34,5 (2011): 274-89. doi:10.1016/j.jmpt.2011.04.008

Chaibi, A et al. “Chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy for migraine: a three-armed, single-blinded, placebo, randomized controlled trial.” European journal of neurology vol. 24,1 (2017): 143-153. doi:10.1111/ene.13166

Côté, Pierre et al. “Non-pharmacological management of persistent headaches associated with neck pain: A clinical practice guideline from the Ontario Protocol for traffic injury management (OPTIMa) collaboration.” European journal of pain (London, England) vol. 23,6 (2019): 1051-1070. doi:10.1002/ejp.1374

Daghlas, Iyas et al. “Habitual sleep disturbances and migraine: a Mendelian randomization study.” Annals of clinical and translational neurology vol. 7,12 (2020): 2370-2380. doi:10.1002/acn3.51228

Iwasaki, Akiko et al. “Early local immune defenses in the respiratory tract.” Nature reviews. Immunology vol. 17,1 (2017): 7-20. doi:10.1038/nri.2016.117

Neck Adjustment Techniques

Neck Adjustment Techniques

Individuals turn to chiropractic care neck adjustments to help ease neck problems and alleviate pain. Some of the different types of neck-cervical conditions that chiropractic treats include:

  • Cervical intervertebral disc injuries
  • Cervical sprain injuries
  • Degenerative joint syndrome of the neck
  • Facet joint sprain
  • Whiplash

A chiropractor will evaluate the whole spine because other regions may be affected and/or contribute to the problems. They will determine areas of restricted movement and will look at walking gait, overall posture, and spinal alignment. Before deciding which approach to use, the chiropractor will thoroughly examine the specific cause of the problems. Neck adjustments consist of various techniques and methods.

Neck Adjustment Techniques

Neck Adjustments

Cervical Mobilization

  • Cervical mobilization focuses on using gentle motions around the neck.
  • It incorporates the high-velocity low-amplitude technique, which uses quick pressure to release an area.
  • This adjustment is best for reducing pain and increasing the neck’s range of motion.

Cervical Drop

  • The cervical drop technique requires the individual to lie on their stomach or side as the chiropractor adjusts the neck, and to prevent any added pressure around the neck, the headrest drops.
  • After the chiropractor prepares the neck for the adjustment, they will work on specific points, release the headrest, and quickly twist the neck.
  • All of this is done within seconds.
  • A standard cervical drop is flexion-distraction.
  • This will release tension in the spine.
  • This technique improves spinal flexibility by placing the vertebrae in their correct position.

Manual Traction

  • The patient sits in a chair for this neck adjustment.
  • Manual traction allows the chiropractor to move the neck at different angles and helps them determine the right amount of force during the adjustment.
  • A chiropractor will cradle the head in the palms of their hands and quickly move it from side to side.

Soft Tissue Massage

  • This technique is often used after a complete adjustment.
  • A chiropractor will gently massage the neck and apply pressure to any inflamed areas.
  • This increases blood circulation and prevents muscles from tensing and contracting.

Chiropractic Benefits

The benefits that come with using chiropractic neck adjustments include.

Improves Flexibility

  • One benefit of chiropractic neck adjustments is that they improve your flexibility.
  • Tight muscles or joints out of place make it harder for the neck to move, limiting its range of motion.
  • Chiropractic works to reduce poor flexibility by ensuring the bones and muscles are in their proper position.

Prevents Tension

  • Individuals that deal with severe tension often notice their neck and upper back feeling sore.
  • Tension tightens the muscles and can cause them to press on nerves.
  • If too much pressure is on them, the nerves can send out painful pulses.
  • A chiropractor will feel around the neck and shoulders to identify areas of concern. After the examination, they will make the proper adjustments to reduce pressure on the nerves and calm inflamed muscles.

Prevents Arthritis

  • Arthritis causes inflammation throughout the body. If not treated, this inflammation can increase the wearing down of bones.
  • Worn-down bones reduce strength and can irritate nerves.
  • Chronic neck pain could indicate that the joints in the neck are misplaced.
  • If these joints are not correctly realigned, the constant friction can begin to break down the bones leading to arthritis.
  • Chiropractic neck adjustments prevent this by ensuring the joints are in place and maintaining joint health by flushing toxins in and around them.

Anti-Inflammatory Food

Most neck pain is the result of inflammation. Individuals can take synthetic medications to reduce inflammation, but they have side effects. It is recommended to add natural anti-inflammatory foods to one’s diet. These won’t only reduce inflammation but can increase energy levels and help the body heal quicker. A few recommended foods include:

  • Avocados
  • Peppers
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Turmeric
  • Salmon

Body Composition


Heart Disease

Heart disease is the leading cause of death of adults in the United States. Many factors can contribute to heart disease, and research has pointed to inflammation caused by obesity as one of the most significant factors contributing to the development. The main culprits are cytokines produced by excess fat in the body. These cytokines cause inflammation of the walls of the arteries, causing damage and increasing blood pressure. Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of the blood vessels. When high blood pressure is present, the heart does not pump blood effectively, causing the heart to enlarge. An enlarged heart is a significant risk factor for heart failure if steps are not taken to remedy it.

References

Bradley S. Polkinghorn, Christopher J. Colloca, Chiropractic treatment of postsurgical neck syndrome with mechanical force manually assisted short-lever spinal adjustments, Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, Volume 24, Issue 9,
2001, Pages 589-595, ISSN 0161-4754, https://doi.org/10.1067/mmt.2001.118985. (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0161475401836915)

Haldeman S. Principles and Practice of Chiropractic. York, PA: McGraw-Hill; 2005.

Hawk, Cheryl et al. “Best Practices for Chiropractic Management of Patients with Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain: A Clinical Practice Guideline.” Journal of alternative and complementary medicine (New York, N.Y.) vol. 26,10 (2020): 884-901. doi:10.1089/acm.2020.0181

Eric L. Hurwitz, Hal Morgenstern, Philip Harber, Gerald F. Kominski, Fei Yu, and Alan H. Adams, 2002: A Randomized Trial of Chiropractic Manipulation and Mobilization for Patients With Neck Pain: Clinical Outcomes From the UCLA Neck-Pain Study American Journal of Public Health 92, 1634_1641, https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.92.10.1634

Wang, Zhaoxia, and Tomohiro Nakayama. “Inflammation, a link between obesity and cardiovascular disease.” Mediators of inflammation vol. 2010 (2010): 535918. doi:10.1155/2010/535918

Planks For Spine Support and Back Pain Prevention

Planks For Spine Support and Back Pain Prevention

Regularly doing planks can support/strengthen the spine and prevent back pain no matter the fitness level. It’s estimated that 70% of adults will experience back problems and pain. One of the best ways to keep the spine healthy is by strengthening the core muscles. The more these muscles are built up, the healthier the body will become. The plank position activates the entire core taking the pressure off of the spine.

Planks For Spine Support and Back Pain Prevention

Core Anatomy

The core is the center of the body. It contains all the muscles surrounding the torso. These muscles work together to:

  • Stabilize the body during movement.
  • Prevent injury when engaged in physical activity/exercise.
  • Provide spinal support.

The core is split into two groups of muscles: The inner core and the outer core.

Inner Core

The inner core consists of:

Multifidus Muscles

Quadratus Lumborum

  • The deep abdominal muscle in the lower back sits on either side of the lumbar region of the spine.

Transversus Abdominis

  • Located between the lower ribs and the top of the pelvis.

Pelvic Floor

  • This base group of muscles stretches from the tailbone to the pubic bone.

Diaphragm

  • A dome-shaped muscle that rests below the lungs.

Outer Core

Rectus Abdominis

  • These are more commonly known as the abs.

External Obliques

  • These muscles are located on either side of the rectus abdominis.

Internal Obliques

  • These muscles are located below the external obliques, inside the hip bones.

Erector Spinae

  • These muscles surround the spine and extend up both sides of the vertebral column.

Planks and Back Pain Prevention

When the core is not strong enough, the spine and back muscles overcompensate to keep the body standing correctly. Studies have shown how planks effectively activate the muscles responsible for spinal stabilization. The exercise targets the entirety of the core and strengthens the shoulders and glutes. Strengthening these muscles improves posture, helping to alleviate back problems and pain. However, it’s recommended to talk to a doctor before beginning a plank regimen if back pain is present. If done incorrectly, they could aggravate the back muscles.

Proper Form

Choose an area clear of furniture where the whole body can stretch out. Follow these steps:

  • Begin with hands and knees on the floor.
  • Extend the legs back while keeping the elbows directly below the shoulders and the wrists below the elbows.
  • Keep the head down, looking at the space just above the hands.
  • Engage the abs and keep the body rigid.
  • Imagine a perfectly straight line from the neck to the toes.
  • Hold the position for 10 to 60 seconds, depending on fitness level.
  • Lower the body gently to the floor.
  • Make sure not to curve the back as curving means that the abdominal muscles are being engaged, and tilting the head up can strain the neck.
  • Both can lead to injury, which is why maintaining proper form is essential.

Plank Variations

There are variations of this exercise for different levels of physical fitness. Once the modified and full plank has been mastered, various planks can target other areas of the body. These include:

Side Plank

  • These involve shifting the weight to one forearm while extending the other arm into the air.

One-arm Plank

  • These involve lifting one hand off the ground, then alternating.

Single-leg Plank

Walking Plank

Reverse Plank

Anybody can work up to a plank at any age at any fitness level; it just takes time. Once achieved, it is a great way to keep the body’s core strong, healthy and helps prevent back problems.


Body Composition


Band Lateral Raise

The lateral band raise is an excellent workout for the shoulders. It works out the lateral deltoid, anterior deltoid, and serratus anterior.

  • Grasp one band in one hand.
  • Step on the free end with the opposite foot.
  • Right hand and left foot and vice versa.
  • Slowly extend and raise the arm until they are parallel to the floor.
  • Lower the arms in the same manner.
  • If the shoulders are healthy and strong enough, try adding dumbbells or kettlebells to increase the resistance.
References

Calatayud, Joaquín et al. “Tolerability and Muscle Activity of Core Muscle Exercises in Chronic Low-back Pain.” International journal of environmental research and public health vol. 16,19 3509. 20 Sep. 2019, doi:10.3390/ijerph16193509

World Health Organization. (2013) “Low back pain.” https://www.who.int/medicines/areas/priority_medicines/Ch6_24LBP.pdf

Youdas, James W et al. “Magnitudes of muscle activation of spine stabilizers in healthy adults during prone on elbow planking exercises with and without a fitness ball.” Physiotherapy Theory and practice vol. 34,3 (2018): 212-222. doi:10.1080/09593985.2017.1377792

Everyday Movements

Everyday Movements

Posture is how we hold our bodies while standing, sitting, or lying down. A healthy posture is the correct alignment of the body supported by the right amount of muscle tension. Our everyday movements and activities affect the body’s alignment. A postural imbalance can impact the body’s health in various ways. It can cause:

  • General soreness
  • Back pain
  • Muscular pain
  • Fatigue
  • Digestive problems
  • Poor self-esteem

Unhealthy posture can increase the risk of spinal dysfunction, joint degeneration, stress joints, and muscles, resulting in permanent damage if left untreated. The best way to prevent postural imbalances is to be aware of the causes utilize proper ergonomic and movement strategies that can help avoid these problems. As the everyday bad habits, behaviors, and activities are understood, it is much easier to prevent and correct them.

Everyday Movements

Everyday Posture Is Important

Specific muscles maintain the body’s posture, so we don’t have to think about it and constantly adjust. Muscle groups, including the hamstrings and large back muscles, are essential in maintaining healthy positions. When the muscles function correctly, the postural muscles prevent gravity from pushing the body forward. Postural muscles also maintain balance when moving. A healthy posture reduces strain on the supporting muscles and ligaments during everyday movement and weight-bearing activities. Engaging in healthy posture helps:

  • Keep the bones and joints in correct alignment so that the muscles function correctly.
  • Decrease the abnormal wearing of joints resulting in degenerative arthritis and joint pain.
  • Reduce the stress on the ligaments holding the spinal joints together, preventing injury.
  • Allow muscles to work more efficiently.
  • The body exert less energy.
  • Prevent muscle fatigue and muscle pain.
  • Prevent muscle strain and overuse disorders.

Unhealthy Posture

Unhealthy posture results when the body sits or stands with the spine in an abnormal position. When an individual practices unhealthy posture over a long period, it progressively leads to muscles and ligaments becoming elongated and weak, while others become short and tight. This creates a physical imbalance that leads to postural abnormalities like:

  • Rounded shoulders
  • Forward head posture
  • Thoracic kyphosis or hunched back
  • Lumbar lordosis
  • Swayback
  • Limited mobility
  • Increases the risk of injury

Causes

Habits

  • Individuals can begin to develop unhealthy habits that negatively impact their posture, like walking with their head looking towards the ground. This shifts the body out of alignment.

Sitting For Too Long

  • Spending too much time sitting even with the correct posture will impact the spine and muscles. It weakens the muscles, ligaments, and abdominals.

Weight

  • Carrying extra weight can force the spine into an awkward position. This is true for individuals with pot bellies, as it pulls the lower back forward, increasing the risk of lumbar lordosis.

Unhealthy Diet

  • If the spine does not have access to the vitamins and nutrients it needs, it can struggle to maintain its strength and flexibility. It is also more difficult for the body to repair damage to the spine’s muscles and ligaments.

Clothing and Footwear

  • Clothing and footwear can impact posture.
  • High heels, poor-fitting shoes, saggy jeans, large belts, heavy jackets, and other items can force the spine into an unnatural position.
  • These are fine to wear for short periods but avoid wearing them day in and day out.

Treatment

Chiropractors specialize in issues affecting the spine, especially posture. They can:

  • Perform a postural examination involving a complete assessment of the musculoskeletal system to identify any joint misalignments and issues that affect soft tissue.
  • Perform adjustments of misaligned joints using various techniques.
  • Recommend stretches to loosen/lengthen tight muscles and strengthen weak ones, leading to improvements. A chiropractor will develop an effective stretching regimen to target the correct muscles.
  • Recommend nutritional advice, exercise, and everyday habit adjustments.

Body Composition


Insulin Resistance

Individuals who sit for extended periods, don’t exercise and don’t watch their diet can experience insulin resistance. Insulin resistance happens when insulin cannot transport excess blood sugar out of the blood and into the muscles. One study found that women who sat for eight hours a day had a higher chance of developing diabetes. Individuals with diabetes tend to have more fat within their bodies, particularly visceral fat, increasing insulin resistance potential. Individuals with diabetes experience a faster loss of muscle mass as they age, further intensifying symptoms and deterioration of body composition.

References

Feldman, Anatol G. “The Relationship Between Postural and Movement Stability.” Advances in experimental medicine and biology vol. 957 (2016): 105-120. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-47313-0_6

Jaromi, Melinda et al. “Treatment and ergonomics training of work-related lower back pain and body posture problems for nurses.” Journal of clinical nursing vol. 21,11-12 (2012): 1776-84. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2702.2012.04089.x

Jung, Suk Hwa et al. “Visceral Fat Mass Has Stronger Associations with Diabetes and Prediabetes than Other Anthropometric Obesity Indicators among Korean Adults.” Yonsei medical journal vol. 57,3 (2016): 674-80. doi:10.3349/ymj.2016.57.3.674

Pope, Malcolm H et al. “Spine ergonomics.” Annual review of biomedical engineering vol. 4 (2002): 49-68. doi:10.1146/annurev.bioeng.4.092101.122107

Jackknife Tractor-Trailer Accidents and Crashes

Jackknife Tractor-Trailer Accidents and Crashes

Tractor-trailer semi-trucks are a vital part of our transportation/supply system. However, weather, drivers that are not careful and/or well-trained can cause dangerous and sometimes fatal accidents. One type of accident resulting from truck driver negligence is the jackknife accident. Jackknife accidents are extremely catastrophic because they can involve numerous vehicles. Almost all of them involve life-altering or fatal injuries. Here’s what to know about these violent truck crashes. ​

Jackknife Tractor-Trailer Accidents and Crashes

Jackknife Collision

A jackknife occurs when the trailer of semi-truck swings to one side at a 90-degree angle and uncontrollably overtakes other lanes of traffic. The term comes from the look of the tractor-trailer after the crash resembling a jackknife or the letter L. When a jackknife wreck happens, the trailer and cab can hit and crush other vehicles in its path. It can also block numerous lanes leading to additional collisions. Jackknife crashes can also be considered rollover crashes when the truck slides and rolls over onto its side, although not all rollovers end in a jackknife.

Causes

Jackknife collisions are often either the cause of driver negligence or inclement weather, other distracted drivers, truck maintenance, or a combination. These include the following:

Excessive Speed

  • If a truck driver is speeding, the trailer can slide sideways and jackknife when forced to stop too quickly.
  • The average tractor-trailer weighs about 80,000 pounds.
  • The average length of a trailer is between 70 – 80 feet.
  • Tractor-trailer trucks need 40% more time to brake.

Weather Conditions

  • If drivers do not take it slow enough, bad weather or road conditions can also cause a jackknife.
  • Ice, snow, rain, loose gravel, or loose asphalt can cause trailers to bounce and slide.
  • Hazardous road conditions, as accumulated oil can cause slipperiness.

Improper Following Distance

  • Truck drivers that do not provide an adequate following distance to allow for a safe stopping distance can cause the trailer to slide sideways and jackknife when having to slam on the brakes.
  • Drivers who do not exercise caution as they enter and properly maneuver down hills or curves can end up shifting out of position and possibly topple over.

Driver Operator Fatigue

  • Many tractor-trailer accidents/crashes happen when drivers have logged too many hours without proper rest.
  • When the body is tired, response time suffers.
  • If a driver is groggy, they lack the cognizance to maneuver out of a dangerous situation.

Inexperienced or Untrained Operators

  • Driving a truck is a demanding job that requires several skill sets and experience.
  • Truck companies try to lower costs by using inexperienced drivers that don’t have the training or experience for long hauls or driving on busy/dangerous highways and interstates.

Load Balance

  • Safe truck driving ensures the trailer’s cargo is loaded correctly and the weight is equally distributed.
  • When the load is unbalanced, it can shift, causing the trailer to tilt or tip.
  • Unbalanced loads are a common factor in rollover crashes.

Lack of Maintenance

  • Drivers or companies that ignore:
  • Routine maintenance
  • Alignment checks
  • Brake pad replacement
  • All can lead to accidents and crashes.

Research shows that jackknife crashes can cause widespread damage, as they usually spread across multiple lanes of traffic. Because of this, there is the danger of secondary crashes or vehicles not initially involved in the crash, running into the tractor, trailer, or scattered wreckage and debris.


18 Wheeler Accident Chiropractic Treatment


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Body composition is essential for understanding an individual’s physiological makeup and guiding a personalized treatment plan to target specific areas. InBody is non-invasive and convenient, making it ideal for rehabilitation practices. The InBody test provides comprehensive results that can educate and engage individuals in tracking their progress throughout their physical therapy. In less than 60 seconds, the InBody Test provides easy-to-understand, accurate, and objective measurements. Chiropractors and physical therapists use the InBody for:

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References

Girotto, Edmarlon et al. “Working conditions, and sleepiness while driving among truck drivers.” Traffic injury prevention vol. 20,5 (2019): 504-509. doi:10.1080/15389588.2019.1609670

Gray, Garry. “A bird’s eye view of driving safety culture: Truck drivers’ perceptions of unsafe driving behaviors near their trucks.” Work (Reading, Mass.) vol. 64,2 (2019): 187-194. doi:10.3233/WOR-192985

Smith, Joyce A et al. “Spine and spinal cord injury in motor vehicle crashes a function of change in velocity and energy dissipation on impact with respect to the direction of the crash.” The Journal of trauma vol. 59,1 (2005): 117-31. doi:10.1097/01.ta.0000171534.75347.52

Stavrinos, Despina et al. “Commercial Truck Driver Health and Safety: Exploring Distracted Driving Performance and Self-Reported Driving Skill.” Workplace health & safety vol. 64,8 (2016): 369-76. doi:10.1177/2165079915620202

Stein, H S, and I S Jones. “Crash involvement of large trucks by configuration: a case-control study.” American Journal of public health vol. 78,5 (1988): 491-8. doi:10.2105/ajph.78.5.491