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Cold Weather Muscle Spasms, Cramps

Cold Weather Muscle Spasms, Cramps

Muscle spasms also referred to as muscle cramps, are painful contractions and tightening of the muscles. They are common, involuntary, and unpredictable. Temperature drops and cold weather can cause the muscles and joints to contract and tighten, leading to spasms and pain. Chiropractic, physical therapy massage, exercises, stretching, and an anti-inflammatory diet can bring relief and help strengthen the muscles to prevent future episodes.

Cold Weather Muscle Spasms, Cramps

Muscle Spasms

Spasms are common and can affect any of the muscles. They can involve part of a muscle, all of a muscle, or several muscles in a group. Spasms occur when the muscle/s involuntary and forcibly contract uncontrollably and are unable to relax. The most common sites for muscle spasms include:

  • Hands
  • Arms
  • Abdomen
  • Back
  • Legs
  • Thighs
  • Calves
  • Thighs
  • Feet

How Cold Affects the Muscles

As the weather gets colder, this causes the muscles in the body to lose heat, causing them to contract. As a result, the muscles and joints become tighter, stiffer, and decrease mobility and range of motion. This forces the muscles to work harder than usual to compensate. This can increase the fatigue of the muscles, leading to more prolonged bouts of pain and discomfort after physical activity, movement, exercise, etc.

Symptoms and Causes

A cramp can last a few seconds or last up to 15 minutes. During a muscle spasm, the following may be experienced:

  • Twitching in the muscle.
  • Pain in the muscle.
  • Throbbing.
  • Hardness and/or stiffness.
  • The muscles appear physically distorted.

Because the muscles have to work harder, the cold weather can increase muscle spasms. One of the most common causes of muscle spasms is overuse and fatigue. However, exact causes vary from person to person. Some experts believe that one or more of the following contribute to the spasms/cramps, and they include:

  • Dehydration.
  • Stress.
  • Not stretching the body regularly.
  • Muscle fatigue.
  • Restricted blood circulation.
  • Involuntary nerve discharge/s.
  • Over-exercising.
  • Exercising in the heat.
  • Exhaustion of salts and minerals:
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Calcium

Possible causes for leg cramps at night or nocturnal leg cramps specifically include:

  • Sitting for too long without moving around to keep circulation healthy.
  • Sitting with unhealthy posture.
  • Overusing the muscles.
  • Standing or working on hard floors.

Dealing With The Cold

One way to deal with the cold is to warm up before any physical activity. Taking a few minutes to get the heart rate up can increase the blood flow and flexibility of the muscles. This will ensure the muscles are functioning correctly and avoid the need to work harder to stop spasms. When a cramp strikes, there are a few steps to try to alleviate the spasm:

  • Stretching the affected area.
  • Massaging the affected area manually with a massage roller, percussive massager.
  • Stand up.
  • Move around.
  • Apply heat or ice.
  • A warm bath, shower with massage setting if possible.
  • Ibuprofen and acetaminophen.
  • Vitamin B12 complex can help prevent cramps.

Body Composition


Getting Back To Fitness

Get back into regular exercising with a few tips for making the transition as smooth as possible.

Start Slow

  • Don’t try to jump back into exercise in attempting to crush out a challenging workout.
  • Commit to a few light workouts a week that integrate stretching pre and post-exercise.
  • Over-exerting the body increases the risk of injuries, motivation loss, and prolonged exhaustion.

Create a Workout Schedule That Works For You

  • Routines and habits can help stay on track.
  • Build a sustainable exercise routine to stay focused and committed.
  • Find times that work.
References

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Muscle Cramp. (http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00200) Accessed 3/1/2021.

American Association of Osteopathy. Muscle Cramp—A Common Pain. (http://www.osteopathic.org/osteopathic-health/about-your-health/health-conditions-library/general-health/Pages/muscle-cramp.aspx) Accessed 3/1/2021.

Herzberg J. Stevermer J. Treatments for Nocturnal Leg Cramps. (https://www.aafp.org/afp/2017/1001/od3.pdf) Am Fam Physician 2017;96(7):468-469. Accessed 3/1/2021.

Young G. Leg Cramps. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4429847/) BMJ Clin Evid 2015; May 13;1113. Accessed 3/1/2021.

Neuromuscular Massage For Muscular Pain

Neuromuscular Massage For Muscular Pain

A neuromuscular massage is a form of manual massage used to release strained muscles. Strained areas are also known as trigger points that tend to be the cause of muscular pain symptoms. Trigger points are small areas of the muscle that contract the tissue. The lack of blood and nutrients in these areas causes an inability for the muscles to relax. The area becomes hypersensitive, causing fatigue, weakness, inflammation, and pain. Trigger points can lead to referred pain in which other areas of the body experience sensations of pain, tingling or numbness.

Neuromuscular Massage For Muscular Pain

Neuromuscular Massage

Neuromuscular massage treatment involves applying alternating levels of concentrated pressure on the trigger point/s done through manual and instrument manipulation. Neuromuscular therapy is also called trigger point myotherapy. The American Academy of Pain Management recognizes this form of treatment as an effective treatment for pain caused by soft tissue injury.

Deep Tissue Massage

A deep tissue massage is generally used to address muscle aches and pains and is administered on an on-off basis. Neuromuscular manual therapy techniques are specialized and designed to correct pain and movement dysfunction by treating:

Problems are usually caused by:

  • Specific trauma
  • Repetitive movements
  • Unhealthy posture

Neuromuscular massage is considered an ongoing treatment.

Massage Reduces Pain

Muscles, when spasming, are painful to the touch. The pain is caused by ischemic muscle tissue. Ischemia means the muscle is lacking proper blood flow because of the spasm. This causes adverse effects because the muscles are not receiving enough blood; the muscles also do not receive enough oxygen.

  • The lack of oxygen causes the muscles to produce lactic acid.
  • The lactic acid causes the muscles to feel sore following physical activity.

Neuromuscular massage therapy relaxes the muscles releasing the lactic acid, allowing the muscles to receive enough blood and oxygen. Neuromuscular therapy can feel painful at first, but the pressure of the massage will alleviate the muscle spasm/s. It is crucial to communicate with the chiropractor and massage therapist about the pressure – whether it is too much, too little, feels better, feels worse, etc. Massage therapy pressure should never be overly painful. Individuals often describe the pressure as good pain, where they can feel the difference. Following a neuromuscular massage, the soreness should fade after twenty-four to thirty-six hours. The tight muscles should remain relaxed for four to fourteen days, depending on activities and stress levels.

Massage Treatment

Medical issues and conditions for which neuromuscular massage can treat include:

  • Tendonitis
  • Headaches
  • Temporomandibular joint pain – TMJ disorders
  • Jaw pain
  • Carpal tunnel
  • Upper back pain
  • Low back pain
  • Sciatica
  • Hip pain
  • Knee pain
  • Iliotibial band syndrome
  • Calf cramps
  • Plantar fasciitis

Neuromuscular Massage Benefits

Individuals who undergo neuromuscular massage therapy can experience the following benefits:

  • Reduced and/or complete elimination of pain.
  • Increased blood circulation.
  • Body toxin release.
  • Increased flexibility and strength.
  • Better movement.
  • Improved posture.
  • Balanced musculoskeletal and nervous systems.
  • Increased energy and vitality.

Body Composition


Fatigue

When it comes to getting fit, remember it is a long-distance marathon, not a quick sprint. Whether physical, mental, or a combination, fatigue is a common obstacle for successfully reaching health goals. Physical fitness requires energy:

  • Energy for work or school.
  • Energy to set up the gear or get to the gym.
  • Energy for the workout.
  • Energy to prepare regular healthy meals.

Combined with the pressures of everyday life can make it a challenge to work out consistently. The objective is to make gradual changes rather than significant immediate changes. This will help prevent/avoid early burnout and help lead to maintaining healthy habits. One tip could be scheduling the workouts and meal prep time for the day or week when most active. For example, knowing that after work or school, the body can’t take a workout and needs to crash at the end of the day, set up the exercise for the morning or afternoon. And once the workouts become a routine, energy levels will improve, allowing for more activity.

References

Bervoets, Diederik C et al. “Massage therapy has short-term benefits for people with common musculoskeletal disorders compared to no treatment: a systematic review.” Journal of physiotherapy vol. 61,3 (2015): 106-16. doi:10.1016/j.jphys.2015.05.018

Field, Tiffany. “Massage therapy research review.” Complementary therapies in clinical practice vol. 24 (2016): 19-31. doi:10.1016/j.ctcp.2016.04.005

Furlan, Andrea D et al. “Massage for low-back pain.” The Cochrane database of systematic reviews,9 CD001929. 1 Sep. 2015, doi:10.1002/14651858.CD001929.pub3

Qaseem, Amir et al. “Noninvasive Treatments for Acute, Subacute, and Chronic Low Back Pain: A Clinical Practice Guideline From the American College of Physicians.” Annals of internal medicine vol. 166,7 (2017): 514-530. doi:10.7326/M16-2367

Sports Hernia: Core Muscle Injury

Sports Hernia: Core Muscle Injury

A sports hernia is a soft tissue injury that happens in and around the groin area. It is a strain or tear of any soft-tissue muscles, tendons, or ligaments in the lower abdomen or groin area. It usually happens during physical sports activities that require fast, quick, sudden changes of direction and/or intense twisting movements. Despite its name, a sports hernia is not a hernia in the classic sense. The condition’s proper term is athletic pubalgia. However, a sports hernia can lead to an abdominal hernia. The condition can happen to both men and women.

Sports Hernia: Core Muscle Injury

Anatomy

The soft tissues most affected by sports hernias are the oblique muscles in the lower abdomen, along with the tendons that attach the oblique muscles to the pubic bone, are the most at risk. In many cases, the tendons that attach the thigh muscles to the pubic bone or adductors are also stretched or torn.

Core Muscle Injury

A core muscle injury is when the deep layers of the abdominal wall weaken or tear. This can cause nerve irritation and contribute to uncomfortable symptoms of numbness or tingling. The most common causes include:

  • Planting the feet and turning or twisting with maximum force.
  • Constant repetitive hip and pelvic twisting motions.
  • Imbalances between the hip and abdominal muscles can also, over time, cause overuse injuries.
  • Weakness in the abdominals and improper or no conditioning can also contribute to injuries.
  • Aggressive abdominal exercises can cause and/or aggravate a core muscle injury.

Symptoms

  • Chronic groin pain is the primary symptom of a core muscle injury.
  • Sharp groin pain with exertion.
  • Basic movements like sitting down or getting out of bed can also present with pain or discomfort.
  • Pain on one side of the groin.
  • Pain or numbness that radiates into the inner thigh.
  • Pain when coughing or sneezing.
  • Tenderness or pressure on the lower abdominal area.
  • Pain decreases with rest.

Diagnosis

A doctor will discuss symptoms and how the injury occurred. They will run a series of strength tests like a sit-up or trunk flex against resistance. If it is a sports hernia, there will be tenderness in the groin or above the pubis, along with discomfort and pain. Further tests will include MRI, ultrasound, or X-rays to rule out hip, low back, or pelvis injuries to confirm a core muscle injury.

Non-Surgical Treatment

Rest

  • In the first 7 to 10 days after the injury resting and icing the area is recommended.
  • If there is a bulge in the groin, compression or a wrap can help relieve symptoms.

Chiropractic and Physical therapy

  • Two weeks after the injury, chiropractic adjustments and physical therapy exercises are recommended to improve strength and flexibility in the abdominal and inner thigh muscles.
  • For most cases, 4 to 6 weeks of chiropractic and physical therapy will resolve any pain and allow the individual to return to their exercise or sports activity.

Anti-inflammatory Medications

  • A doctor could recommend non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications to reduce swelling and pain.
  • If the symptoms persist over a prolonged period, a doctor may suggest a cortisone injection.

If the pain comes back when resuming the physical activities, surgery could be needed to repair the torn tissues.

Surgical Treatment

Repairing the torn tissues can be done with a traditional open procedure that involves one long incision or a minimally invasive endoscopic procedure. In an endoscopy, the surgeon makes smaller incisions and uses a small camera, called an endoscope, to see inside the abdomen. The results of traditional and endoscopic procedures are the same. Most individuals can return to sports and physical activities 6 to 12 weeks after surgery.


Body Composition


Muscle Gain

Individuals can’t lose fat forever. At some point, they need to work on developing muscle or work to preserve the muscle that is already present. This requires a different diet and exercise plan than one designed for fat loss. Instead of getting the body into a catabolic state, the body needs to be in an anabolic state where the body builds tissue instead of breaking it down. To build muscle, the body needs resources meaning proper nutrition and sufficient protein intake to increase muscle mass. Maintaining an energy surplus of around 15% is appropriate for developing musculature, meaning a moderately active individual with a BMR of 1,600 calories would want to their intake to about 2,852 calories a day.

References

Hoffman, Jay R et al. “Effect of protein intake on strength, body composition and endocrine changes in strength/power athletes.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition vol. 3,2 12-8. 13 Dec. 2006, doi:10.1186/1550-2783-3-2-12

Larson, Christopher M. “Sports hernia/athletic pubalgia: evaluation and management.” Sports health vol. 6,2 (2014): 139-44. doi:10.1177/1941738114523557

Poor, Alexander E et al. “Core Muscle Injuries in Athletes.” Current sports medicine reports vol. 17,2 (2018): 54-58. doi:10.1249/JSR.0000000000000453

Thorborg, Kristian et al. “Clinical Examination, Diagnostic Imaging, and Testing of Athletes With Groin Pain: An Evidence-Based Approach to Effective Management.” The Journal of orthopedic and sports physical therapy vol. 48,4 (2018): 239-249. doi:10.2519/jospt.2018.7850

Tyler, Timothy F et al. “Groin injuries in sports medicine.” Sports health vol. 2,3 (2010): 231-6. doi:10.1177/1941738110366820

Job Related Back Injury

Job Related Back Injury

Any job-related back injury can significantly complicate an individual’s life. Dealing with the pain, trying to figure out how to get things done while in recovery, and workers’ compensation to protect individuals who are injured on the job, getting them healthy without the stress of worrying about losing money from missing work.

Job Related Back Injury

Job-Related Injury

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration or O.S.H.A, a job-related injury is one that either contributed to or is caused by something in the work environment that injures an individual or exacerbates/worsens a previous injury. This is a general overview of the definition, and there are some exceptions. For example, being at the place of work as a general public citizen and not working when an injury happens will not be covered. If not sure whether a back injury is job-related, it’s better to be cautious and report the incident as soon as it happens.

Common Back Injuries

Back injuries are the most common job-related injuries. Back injuries are the number one reason individuals cannot work, whether they hurt their back at home or on the job. The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that nearly 40% of all musculoskeletal injuries that resulted in lost workdays were because of back injuries. The most common back injuries include:

  • Sprains
  • Strains
  • Herniated Discs
  • Whiplash
  • Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Vertebral Fractures

Compensation

Every state’s workers’ compensation program is different; however, the basic components are the same throughout. This means that if a workers’ compensation claim is approved and an individual cannot work because of their injury, they can expect to receive a regular base salary during treatment, rehabilitation, and recovery. Individuals also continue to receive medical coverage through the company, while the workers’ compensation fund should pay for treatment and diagnostics related to the injury.

When A Back Injury Occurs at Work

When a back happens at work, inform the employer as soon as possible. Do not be embarrassed or feel as it is not a big deal to seek workers’ compensation.  It is an insurance program for both the individual and the employer. An employer pays into the state’s workers’ compensation program for limited liability when employees get injured. Individuals don’t pay for the program, but it protects the individual in case something happens.

Letting an injury go untreated might not be anything at first, but months and years later, it can come back and be worse than when it first happened, causing greater damage, added medical costs, and procedures that the individual has to pay for out of their pocket. 

Once an individual knows they have a back injury, it is recommended to seek treatment as soon as possible to prevent worsening the injury or create new ones and develop a treatment, rehabilitation, and strengthening program. If an individual needs emergency care, tell the doctors about the work injury and precisely what happened. Emergency medical care should be sought out when:

  • There is a loss of function in any of the limbs.
  • There is a persistent numbness with the back pain.
  • There is nausea, dizziness, or vomiting after the injury.
  • There is a fever with back pain.
  • Loss of consciousness.
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control.

If the injury is not immediate and progresses gradually, but suspect that it is from work, it should be reported and examined by a medical professional.

Treatment

Proper treatment for a back injury depends on the severity of the injury. Those that prefer non-invasive, medication-free treatment are able to recover with chiropractic or physical therapy. Chiropractic doctors are experts in the spine and the musculoskeletal system. Chiropractic treatment is safe, proven, and can help relieve the pain, restore function, to get back to work safely.


Body Composition


Resistance Exercise

Resistance workouts are made to stress the muscles resulting in muscle gain. Resistance exercise makes the body adapt by growing the muscles to make them more capable of handling intense forces without strain. The stress of resistance exercise causes the muscle fibers to tear at the cellular level. Then, special muscle cells, known as satellite cells, jump into action to repair, rebuild, and grow the muscle. These types of exercises include high-intensity workouts or compound exercises that increase muscle growth. However, there needs to be a healthy balance between workouts and rest to support healthy hormone levels and maximize muscle gain.

Hormones

There are three primary hormones that stimulate muscle hypertrophy. They are:

  • Insulin-like growth factor 1 IGF-1
  • Growth hormone GH
  • Testosterone

Muscle protein synthesis is a critical process in muscle hypertrophy and happens after weight training. The hormones signal to the muscle to repair and rebuild after workout sessions. GH is released in high quantities during sleep, which is why proper sleep is needed to help reach body composition goals. When nutrition, workouts, and hormonal effects are combined, muscle-building happens. Figuring out the right balance is essential for reaching health goals.

References

Burton, A K, and E Erg. “Back injury and work loss. Biomechanical and psychosocial influences.” Spine vol. 22,21 (1997): 2575-80. doi:10.1097/00007632-199711010-00021

https://www.osha.gov/laws-regs/regulations/standardnumber/1904/1904.5

https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2018/back-injuries-prominent-in-work-related-musculoskeletal-disorder-cases-in-2016.htm

Marjorie L Baldwin, Pierre Côté, John W Frank, William G Johnson, Cost-effectiveness studies of medical and chiropractic care for occupational low back pain: a critical review of the literature, The Spine Journal, Volume 1, Issue 2, 2001, Pages 138-147, ISSN 1529-9430, https://doi.org/10.1016/S1529-9430(01)00016-X.(https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S152994300100016X)

Randall, Sara. “1. Avoiding back injury.” The practicing midwife vol. 17,11 (2014): 10, 12-4.

Taking It Slow After Spine Surgery

Taking It Slow After Spine Surgery

Taking it slow after spinal surgery is recommended to optimize a full recovery. What usually happens is that an individual starts feeling normal/better, so they begin to engage in a few daily activities. Then pain presents, letting the individual know that they have done too much too soon. The pain does not necessarily signal re-injuring the area, but recovery should be treated seriously. More than 50% of patients have successful spine surgery, but repeat surgeries do not tend to be quite as effective. Doing too much too early during recovery can result in severe re-injury or creating new injuries. So when can an individual get back to everyday life?

Taking It Slow After Spine Surgery

Surgery Recovery

Recovery after back surgery is different for everyone. Low back lumbar fusion surgeries usually require more recovery time than lumbar non-fusion surgeries, like:

  • Laminectomy – when the lamina portion of a vertebra is removed.
  • Microdiscectomy – the removal of abnormal disc material
  • Cervical spine surgeries.

Individuals who have undergone a procedure where two or more vertebrae have been surgically fused should expect a longer recovery. A typical timeline for lumbar fusion usually involves around three months. What happens is individuals want to get up and move, doing household activities almost immediately because they feel so good, but this is because of the pain medications. Strong pain medication use ends by four to six weeks. It is not until after 12 weeks or three months with post-operative chiropractic rehabilitation and physical therapy that individuals are encouraged to engage in specific physical activities that will optimize the healing process.

Taking It Slow With Certain Activities

Specific activities should not be engaged in after lumbar fusion surgery, as it requires a higher level of caution during recovery.

No Bending, Lifting, and Twisting

Bending, lifting, and twisting all require the direct use of the back muscles. Performing these movements can cause serious damage and hinder proper healing. Therefore it is recommended not to bend, lift, or twist for six weeks.

No Taking Baths or Swimming

Taking showers can be done right away with protective plastic or a sponge bath for a few days after surgery, but it is advised not to take baths or go swimming for three weeks.

No Cardiovascular Exercise

While the back may be feeling better after the spine surgery, cardiovascular exercise is not recommended for at least six to 12 weeks as it is too strenuous on the back. Light walking is fine, but the doctor and a chiropractor and physical therapist will develop a controlled, progressive exercise program for the individual. The program usually starts between 6 weeks and three months after surgery. This can include working out on an elliptical machine, a stationary bike, or easy treadmill walking.

Listening to The Body

The doctor will be clear about what can and can’t be done immediately following back surgery. Therefore it is crucial to follow the instructions to avoid any complications and listen to the body. Don’t push through activity or try taking on too much. Give the body and spine time to heal, taking it slow. There is time to get back to normal activities, but if re-injury or new injuries occur, rehabilitation/recovery could become the regular activity.


Body Composition


Malnutrition

Malnutrition is defined as deficiencies, excesses, or imbalances in an individual’s energy intake and/or nutrients. Protein-energy deficiency is one of the most common forms of malnutrition, and this health condition has an immediate and negative impact on body composition. The deficit wreaks havoc on skeletal muscle mass as the body progressively goes into starvation mode, breaking down the protein stored in the muscle for fuel.

Micronutrient deficiency is a lack of minerals and vitamins that support vital bodily processes like cell regeneration, immune system health, and eyesight. Common examples include iron or calcium deficiencies. Micronutrient deficiency has the most significant impact on normal physiological functions, processes and can happen in conjunction with a lack of protein-energy. This is because most micronutrients are obtained from food. Nutritional deficiencies of specific micronutrients can affect processes like building and repairing muscle; protein deficiency has a more pronounced effect on body composition because lowered protein intake can lead to muscle mass loss. Malnutrition and nutritional deficiencies in adults include:

  • Not enough energy to get through the day.
  • Unintended weight loss.
  • Physical function, including handgrip strength and physical performance, diminishes.
  • Serious medical conditions can result from fluid accumulation like edema.
References

Daniell, James R, and Orso L Osti. “Failed Back Surgery Syndrome: A Review Article.” Asian spine journal vol. 12,2 (2018): 372-379. doi:10.4184/asj.2018.12.2.372

Kinesthesia: Body Sense Positioning

Kinesthesia: Body Sense Positioning

Kinesthesia is the body’s ability to sense movement, position, action, and location, also known as proprioception. An example is when moving the arm, the brain and body are aware that the arm has moved. When dealing with chronic back pain, individuals are unable to function normally with regular everyday movements causing discomfort.

Chronic back pain can make an individual feel like a stranger in their body, altering their perception. Tension develops throughout the body due to the pain, causing tightness and positional adaptations that are unfamiliar, awkward, and unhealthy for the musculoskeletal system. These body positioning changes continue while the individual is unaware of what they are doing, causing further strain and injury.

Kinesthesia: Body Sense Positioning

Kinesthesia

Kinesthesia is essential for overall coordination, balance, and posture as long as the movements are done correctly with proper form. Chronic back pain can affect kinesthesia differently. Individuals can misjudge and estimate that their bodies’ ability to lift, carry, or open something is more complicated or easier than it is. This can exceed the body’s tolerances, causing:

  • Strains
  • Sprains
  • Severe injuries

Once the back starts to hurt, this causes the individual’s sense of kinesthesia to compensate for the pain. As a result, individuals may knowingly or unknowingly attempt to carry out uncoordinated, awkward movements and positions, making things worse.

Motor Control

Motor control is the ability to control movement. When experiencing back pain, individuals adjust their motor control to avoid specific movements that cause back pain. Motor control adaptations and kinesthesia involve body positioning and heightened responsiveness to stimuli, like muscle spasms. Even moderate back pain can cause awkward and dangerous responses causing individuals to overcompensate or become too cautious, worsening or creating new injuries in the process. The body is performing movements that do not follow proper form, even though an individual thinks they are protecting themselves.

Building Healthy Proprioception

A recommended strategy for building kinesthesia to benefit the back and the rest of the body is yoga. Yoga helps build bodily sensory awareness. It trains the body when sending significant signals from the muscles, joints, and tendons back to the proprioceptive centers in the brain. This happens immediately and increases over time.

Yoga Poses

Creating positive awareness of the body’s movements will help relieve back pain as the body learns to feel, understand, and control the muscles. Here are a few poses to help, along with video links.

Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose

  • Lie with the back flat on the floor.
  • Grasp the big toe, foot, or ankle in both hands, or use a yoga strap or towel if you cannot reach the toes.
  • Hold the pose as long as possible while comfortable.
  • Repeat steps two and three on the other side.
  • Perform twice a day.
  • This pose stretches the lower back muscles, prevents spasms, and alleviates pain.
  • Avoid this pose if you have a herniated disc or retrolisthesis.

Bridge Pose

  • Lie flat on the floor with knees bent.
  • Arms bent on the floor.
  • Press down on the elbows and feet to raise the torso off the floor.
  • Hold and Repeat 4 to 5 times
  • Perform daily to relieve herniated disc, retrolisthesis, and vertebral fracture pain.
  • Avoid this pose if dealing with spinal stenosis, anterolisthesis, facet syndrome, or quadratus lumborum spasm.

Lord of the Fishes Pose

Body awareness is critical, but if an individual moves in a way that’s not natural to the body, it can cause injury. Kinesthesia and healthy posture can help avoid back pain and other health issues. A professional chiropractor can alleviate back pain, educate on proper form and recommend specific stretches and exercises to strengthen the body to prevent injury.


Body Composition


Magnesium

Magnesium supports a healthy immune system. It helps maintain:

  • Healthy bone structure
  • Muscle function
  • Insulin levels

Magnesium assists the body with ATP energy metabolism and acts as a calcium blocker. This reduces cramping and aids in muscle relaxation after physical activity/exercise. Magnesium is essential in biochemical reactions in the body. A slight deficiency can lead to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and a higher risk of insulin resistance. Many magnesium-rich foods are high in fiber, like:

  • Dark leafy greens
  • Nuts
  • Legumes
  • Whole grains

Studies have shown that consuming a diet rich in Magnesium also provides a higher intake of dietary fiber. Dietary fiber aids in:

  • Digestion
  • Helps control weight
  • Reduces cholesterol
  • Stabilizes blood sugar

The best sources of Magnesium include:

  • Spinach, swiss chard, and turnip greens
  • Almonds and cashews
  • Flax, pumpkin, and chia seeds
  • Cocoa

References

Meier, Michael Lukas et al. “Low Back Pain: The Potential Contribution of Supraspinal Motor Control and Proprioception.” The Neuroscientist: a review journal bringing neurobiology, neurology and psychiatry vol. 25,6 (2019): 583-596. doi:10.1177/1073858418809074

Tong, Matthew Hoyan et al. “Is There a Relationship Between Lumbar Proprioception and Low Back Pain? A Systematic Review With Meta-Analysis.” Archives of physical medicine and rehabilitation vol. 98,1 (2017): 120-136.e2. doi:10.1016/j.apmr.2016.05.016

Wang, Jinsong, et al. “Dietary magnesium intake improves insulin resistance among non-diabetic individuals with metabolic syndrome participating in a dietary trial.” Nutrients vol. 5,10 3910-9. 27 Sep. 2013, doi:10.3390/nu5103910

Making It Possible With Functional Medicine | El Paso, TX (2021)

Introduction

In today’s podcast, Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, Health Coaches Adriana Caceres and Faith Arciniega, Massage Therapist Amparo Armendáriz-Pérez, and Clinical Nutritionist Ana Paola Rodriguez Arciniega discuss today what they do and offer with Functional Medicine.

 

Discussion

Dr. Alex Jimenez introduces his guests.

 

[01:00:11] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*:  Welcome, guys. We’re here talking today about what we do. Today is a special day. It’s my father’s birthday, Alberto Jimenez. Alberto Augusto Jimenez. He is an immigrant from Colombia who gave me my knowledge. My amazing father. So happy birthday, dad. We’re going to be talking today is we’re going to be talking about what we do. We have a group of wonderful individuals here. We have five individuals. We have a whole lot more people in the background. So what we’re doing today is we’re beginning a process of notifying ourselves of a change that is going on. We’re going to be talking about nutrition, wellness, exercise, what we do in the office, how we do a little bit different techniques within the office, and how we compare and contrast to other services and let people understand what we do as we do change. So today, we’re in a new podcast room where we left the Push Fitness Center, which is now going to be another big, fantastic thing. So as they do the construction, we moved our podcast here. So you’re going to notice that we’re going to be communicating from this particular podcast. Still, we’re so connected to our Push counterparts and our Push Fitness centers and Daniel Alvarado, and we’ll be making that happen as it starts coming up. So today, we’re going to be talking about nutrition. I have Ana Paola Rodriguiez Arciniega here, so say hello there. We have Faith Arciniega. We have Adriana Caceres, and we have Amparo Armendáriz-Pérez as a massage therapist there. So we are going to be talking about different things. So each one of us has different specialties. So I’m going to start with some of the unique things we’re doing in our office, such as the types of treatments we do. We deal with a lot of inflammation, many injuries, a lot of trauma, and many soft tissue injuries. But you can’t get away from soft tissue injuries without discussing inflammation. So at the basis of inflammation, what we do is we associate, collaborate, find out the coincidence of inflammation to injuries, and we deal with the true causation of inflammation and come up with treating protocols and health care plans that affect people and their disorders. So many people come to us with a back injury or a neck injury after, let’s say, a motor vehicle accident, a car accident, or a work-related accident. But they may also have, you know, subclinical issues of inflammation that are just looming and then aggravate the direct trauma that’s going on. So what we’re going to do is introduce our team here one at a time so we can see what’s going on. And we’re going to start with Ana Paola Rodriguez Arciniega. Ana, how are you doing?

 

[01:02:57] Ana Paola: I am doing fine, and how are you doing?

 

[01:03:00] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Good, can you hear us OK over there?

 

[01:03:02] Ana Paola: Yes, I can hear you, OK.

 

[01:03:04] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Excellent. Tell us a bit of what you do, and we actually because you work hand-in-hand with us all here, and you are our virtual eye in the sky for nutrition at this point. But the nutrition that you deal with works a little bit with functional medicine. Tell us what you do and how we integrate that particular type of practice in our office.

 

Ana Paola Rodriguez Arciniega

Clinical Nutritionist Ana Paola Rodriguez Arciniega introduces herself and talks about what she does.

 

[01:03:23] Ana Paola: OK, so I am the head nutritionist, and basically, what I do is I take care of their nutritional assessment. But as you said before, we try to look for the root causes, and this allows us to create a more integral treatment plan for our patients, so that is focusing a little bit more on finding what is the root cause of the inflammation because it is related to injuries, accident, and stress, and to maybe delay the recovery part of our patients. So this is what we are trying to do to get like a fast track recovery for our patients for nutrition because it has to do with that.

 

[01:04:09] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Yes. And then? Don’t worry. 

 

[01:04:17] Ana Paola: OK, I’m here.

 

[01:04:18] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*:  It’s all technology. Just keep on going and telling me. We’ll figure it out as we go.

 

[01:04:22] Ana Paola: So what we always start doing is very simple. I try to focus on what is going on with my patient physically, which has a lot to do with the body composition of my patient. So I find that that is the principle, not the principle, but the first step could do it that way. So we try to integrate this body composition analysis with the Inbody 770 machine that we use. And that way, we can correlate all the body composition, either a fat mass percentage or BMI or muscle mass or lean body mass, that our patient has and try to associate with injuries or correlated with inflammation. And it is often, very often, or all of the time, that we find a direct correlation with inflammation or this type of injury. Specifically, talking about intracellular and extracellular water is one of the most exciting starting with my patients. But the thing about nutritional assessment is that even if it’s like separated into different parts, it kind of overlaps within each other, and that is like the thing that has in common with functional medicine, functional nutrition, then trying to treat your patient as a holistic, like a whole person and try to integrate the nutritional part of it, the fast recovery of an injury, the massage therapist and of course, all the wellness part of their recovery that has to do with our health coaches. So mostly, what I think that I do right here is that I perform for that. I am part of a team that integrates like a holistic care plan for patients.

 

Adriana Caceres

Health Coach Adriana Caceres introduces herself and explains what she does.

 

[01:06:28] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Well said. That is very, very good. I have to tell you there is no separating inflammation, nutrition, and injuries that there’s no way. So as we deal with it, we can learn about it. It’s almost like saying exercising and not talking nutrition. We have to deal with nutritional components. Now, specifically that we are talking about exercise. Adrianna, here, she’s our specialist and our expert on exercise physiology. She works with nutrition. She has extensive experience of working with clients online and in video as well as in your home. So she gets in there and exercises with you as she does her thing. Adriana, tell us a bit of your experience and what you do and what you offer these particular dynamics with our team here.

 

[01:07:14] Adriana Caceres: Sure. Well, my name is Adriana Caceres, and I’m your health coach, fitness trainer, and of course, exercise specialist. And as Ana was saying, nutrition and exercise go hand in hand. Nutrition is the base, but exercise gives you the mobility and gives you that range of mobility that you need to live a proper and, well, life until you know when you age. So definitely, it’s the base for a lot of recovery for injuries. The stretching is super important, and we use that a lot here to stretch our patients and make them do their small stretching so they can grow their range of mobility and have a better life in their daily life, their daily style. Right now, I work online a lot. So since COVID started, we started working out online with our patients and clients, and it’s different. But at the same time is super fun. The difference between going to an in-person exercise session and doing an online session is that you don’t have the time. We always hear excuses like; I can’t make it. I don’t have the time. I’m too busy. I know that I’m in pain, but I just think it’s too far. So the online cuts all those excuses. I mean, you’re doing that from the comfort of your home. You are just opening your TV or your computer, laptop, or tablet and connecting to a session. It’s on your time. So that helps a lot. The second excuse we always hear is if we are parents who watch our kids, what will I do? There’s no daycare, and this is just the same thing. It’s at your home, so you can even involve your family in this new and different lifestyle. Usually, when we have somebody who is overweight, it is a family. It’s the household. Because of course, it’s the same poor nutrition that they have or bad nutrition that they have and the same habits. So starting with the workouts online helps you realize, or your household realize that it’s a group thing, it’s a whole lifestyle, and you want to be the role model for your kids. You always want the best for your kids, so you want to be the role model for them. Normally they will. If you’re overweight or have a little extra pounds on, your kids usually will have the same habits. And of course, we’ll tend to be with the same kind of overweight that you have. So this helps them see a life change experience and get involved in this new experience.

 

[01:10:12] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: You know, now that you mention that, you know, it’s essential to be the change that you expect in the world. I think Gandhi or something that says, might that be the change you want to see? Right. So the thing is, when you go purchase foods or exercise in front of your kids and see what you do, this is who they will become and what do we want for our children? We want the best. Our legacy is our family sometimes or our friends. And when you have family, they’re watching you. They learn they observe and appreciate mom, you know, wiggling around the living room and dealing with it. Everyone’s got memories of their parents exercising or doing something. And then, you know what happens, later on, we end up becoming our parents? Right. So if we have good habits, we eventually will become habits. I have become my father, and it’s the truth. The reality is in my son, and I listen to him. He doesn’t realize it, but he says everything I used to say. So it’s a continuous change. So if you’ve got nutrition and exercise, which seems to be one of the most extraordinary kinds of collaborative associative and treatment protocols, you can’t separate exercise from recovery. So Parkinson’s… exercise, Alzheimer’s… exercise, diabetes… exercise, brain disorder… exercise, health issues… exercise is such an essential component of fitness that by not doing it and not being part of it, you’re going to minimize the ability to return to an optimal configuration. Now, whether you like it or not, exercising mobility is one of the most important key factors. I realize that when you start working on so many patients over the years, you kind of start kind of seeing the intent of God. Right. So the intent of God is mobility, and he gives you tons of joints. I mean, why does he give you so many joints so we can wiggle, OK? To move, right? So using that and integrating the brain and the function of the brain with your body moving and pumping, and blood does heal a lot of issues and should be part of most treatment protocols. Even if exercise doesn’t look like, let’s say, a Zumba class, maybe it’s just wiggling around in a chair or doing certain things. We can do it for a lot of people. People think that I’ve seen from, you know, a nine-month literally about to have a baby, women doing CrossFit, and the baby is born fine. The body is designed to handle certain things too. Older adults about 100 years old, exercising. And children, they love to exercise. So it’s an essential component. So yes, that is what you do, Adriana, and we integrate that in the office, and we look or minimize the excuses to do that, so that’s very important. So do you also do nutrition a little bit?

 

[01:13:06] Adriana Caceres: Yes, I do. I’m a nutrition consultant, so I do help a lot with that part. As I said, it goes hand in hand, definitely to have a higher health span. You want to have a healthy habit, so one thing is lifespan, and one thing is healthspan, and lifespan comes out of years we’re going to live. Yes, eventually, we’ll die, and then our health span is how we want to live them. Are we going to leave them healthy our last ten years? Are we going to be able to walk? Are we going to able to say, are we going to be able to get out of a bathtub? So that’s what you want to have, and that’s what we don’t think about when we say, Oh, you know what? I know what I’m doing, and I don’t think exercising is for me. Everybody has a fitness level, and everybody has a way. And the trick for this is to find what you want to do. And what we do here is a lot of that we build up people and save injury, save from injuries and, you know, prolong their life and prolong how they live, their life, their daily activities.

 

Amparo Armendáriz-Pérez

Massage Therapist Amparo Armendáriz-Pérez introduces herself and talks about what she does.

 

[01:14:15] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: You know, it’s excellent that approach. Now we also have a young lady named Amparo Armendáriz-Pérez. So for Amparo, she does our massage. And what she does is she works on individuals with a deep level of knowledge of fitness. Now, she comes to us with a vast amount of personal experience working with people and her desire for health care. So I would like her to tell us. Welcome. And tell us about what you do in terms of massage as a component within this group.

 

[01:14:55] Amparo Armendáriz-Pérez: Thank you. Being here as a part of this family, this community of servers, because that’s what we do. We serve those that come to us. We’re all about education. So we’re listening to, you know, nutritional education, physical education on how to help them to make better choices for themselves. What I do is I discuss with our patients what I’m going to do for them, what’s happening as I put my hands on their muscles. What I feel, and they even ask me questions, Well, what is that? Why do I feel so restricted? What’s happening? So I enjoy helping them understand their own body with all my heart because they’re in their own body. We exist in our body, and we know we have hands and feet and all these components. But sometimes, when they’re not operating correctly, we don’t know why, and that’s very frustrating. And so, I enjoy discussing with the patients. OK, well, this is what I’m feeling, and how do you feel as I’m, you know, applying pressure here as we’re moving and grooving here? And the feedback is what helps them to accelerate. They want to learn more. They want to know; well, what else can I do? You know, when I go home, how do I prolong this feeling of feeling like I’m standing up straight now? Like I feel more empowered? You know, I didn’t realize my feet felt that way. I didn’t know my arm felt that way. And I understand where they’re coming from because massage therapy was one of my avenues of healing when I went through a healing process. So it’s just a fantastic tool to reach out to the patients and allow them to know that this is another way that we support them is not just OK; we’re going to do this one two three. No, it goes further than that. These are your muscles, and this is how you can assist yourself, and this is what we’re going to do for you. And you can take it a step further and understand that you have the power to help these muscles become more pliable through nutrition, exercise, movement, and anyway, shape or form. And you can put your hand on yourself and feel like, you know, that’s tight today. I think I can kind of touch that a little and massage that, and you don’t need a license to touch your arm. And I think that that’s what’s beautiful about what we do. We empower our patients, and that’s important.

 

[01:17:16] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: You know, when you were saying that in your approach, because I see that when you work on the patients, sometimes there are areas in the body that hurt. However, the human dynamics is that the body was designed with duality, such as one muscle affects another. The tricep, you know, pushes the bicep disengages. There’s a constant synergy with the muscular structure. Sometimes the pain or discomfort in those areas is remote or not, even in the area where you had, you know, you were initially told where the person’s issues were. Tell us a bit of that, Amparo. How you kind of tracked down the discomfort in, let’s say, an area over a problem that you’ve treated in the past.

 

[01:18:07] Amparo Armendáriz-Pérez: One of the most common areas I’ve experienced with many patients is when they discuss low back pain or sometimes even sciatic pain. And they tell me, you know, this is restricting me from sitting up straight. It’s restricting me from just going in the grocery store and walking to and from and not having to feel like I need to sit. And so, OK, I understand. And then they get on the table, and as I’m working on their back, I’m listening to what they’re saying. I also married together, what my hands are saying, and basically, my hands are just interpreting what their muscles are saying because sometimes, we can say something. I know in and out ourselves, OK, I feel this pain right here. However, the muscle is saying, well, something else is happening, and it’s extending, so they’ll tell me my pain is in the lower back while I follow the connection from that low back. And as I’m feeling alongside the side of their leg, I feel how tight it is, and it’s like, that’s got to be very restrictive down to the knee. And I’m like, OK, so let’s release that. And then as I’m working on that, it’s very powerful to hear the patient say, Wow, I can feel that, but you’re on my knee, and I’m like, It all goes together because the knee attachments go straight into the low back or into the hip area. And it was beautiful. Is that when they love to, everybody loves to learn about themselves? Why wouldn’t you want to know about yourself? It helps you become a better you. And so when I love to explain that to them, they’re like, Wow, so if I do this, I can feel better doing this. Absolutely. You know, ma’am or sir, right in here is where I’m touching. I’m massaging, and I’m applying compressions. It’s straightforward. It’s even over your clothes. I’m just playing some pressure right there, gently releasing, and they’re like, Wow, the movement is a lot better. And it’s interesting that just to the right around the knee, in the back and the front even, and it helps to release that low back pain.

 

[01:20:05]  Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: You know, you mentioned just like the referral pain patterns, it’s incredible. How the body adapts is like that gecko, you know, when it’s hot and lifts its left leg and throws up on a different leg; that’s what the human body works. So if you have a lower back problem, it will affect the mid-back. It will affect your knees. The knees and lower back are directly and indirectly related. So as we look at those dynamic changes. One of the things we look at as we track down the problem. OK, it’s not just so easy to treat a low back problem for what it is. We have to find out the problem for every person and every person’s design, and we can track it down quickly after a couple of minutes of working in your body. We got the suspect in, and it’s not so apparent many times that it’s just a low back problem. You mentioned sciatica. Sciatica is one of these things where it isn’t a disorder. It’s a group of syndrome disorders that creates a lot of drama, and it almost has its mind. It’s like, it’s like you’ve got stress or sciatica flares up. You got, you know, you get upset about financial worries, sciatica flares up. It’s like it sits there looming, and it bites you, and it causes a whole array of problems and hinders a lot of people, which we don’t want to do surgically. And sometimes, there are issues where it does require surgical intervention. We have diagnostic procedures to determine the differences over a thousand reasons, and I would venture to say there are even more than a thousand reasons for causing sciatica. So we got to get to the root cause of it. And does nutrition play? Yes. Will exercise play? Yes, we have to look at all these components. Now we have another individual here, that is Faith Arciniega. So Faith comes to us with a lot of great experiences. She’s going to be an incredible doctor, nurse practitioner. That’s the goal right now. She’s in the process of going through that, but she also does our health coach integration. So she does many different things from, you know, body compositions, as Ana mentioned, all the way to in laboratory tests and X-rays are integrated with Ana. So we facilitate the ability to communicate the issues, treat the problems, and develop an appropriate care plan. So Faith, tell us a bit of what you do here in this particular group of people?

 

Faith Arciniega

Health Coach Faith Arciniega introduces herself and explains what she does.

 

[01:22:27] Faith Arciniega: Absolutely. So as Dr. Jimenez mentioned, my name is Faith Arciniega. I bridged the gap between Ana and Adriana, and Amparo. We all work very closely together to ensure the patients leave here to understand better how their bodies should operate and function. So if the doctor goes in and finds out they’re having issues with their sciatica, I will go in before that gather together their medical history, see what’s going on, and see if they have problems with the gut. Depression, anxiety. And then, I would then communicate with Ana about those issues, and we can work together to find supplements or with the correct diet for them. So I work together with Ana and Adriana to ensure that the patient leads healthier and better understands their body because a car wouldn’t operate correctly. If we fill it with water, the human body will not function if we don’t fuel it correctly, so we teach them. How they should eat, what supplements they should take, and how they should exercise so that they’re moving and operating as they should be like the body was created to.

 

[01:23:26] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: You know, as like you, as you kind of work with patients, we mean right before we have this little unified meeting together. We noticed that we had a patient that had, you know, chronic inflammation and pain everywhere. And it’s crazy. But you know, the problem comes as a low back problem and leads to ankle issues. But we could see that there was a dietary issue, and it was almost like inflammation. No injury; keeps on inflaming. Then we find out that there’s a lot of sugar, many processed foods, a lot of meat. Well, to say that those are bad, it’s not just that easy, but we have to figure out the cause for that particular individual. We assess food sensitivities, and we do laboratory diagnostics. We figure out what it is the root cause. Not everything is a surgical procedure; as a matter of fact, most things are non-surgical. So what we try to do is is allow the intelligence of the body wants to figure it out, using the knowledge that we have and the expertise that we have in functional wellness and functional nutrition to be able to come up with a treatment plan that’s appropriate with exercise and the protocols that we use. So we have a lot going on here. So we wanted to do this as a beginning because we will be doing quite a few different presentations. But as we do changes, we haven’t been communicating well. So now what we’re going to be doing is we’re going to be coming back at different presentations, discussing particular topics. If you have a specific topic that you want us to discuss, particularly about an injury, inflammation, and a disorder that falls into the world of functional wellness and even functional medicine, we commonly associate and look for corporations related to the musculoskeletal system. So what we want to do is to be able to assess and determine the true causes because once we fix you, we want to improve you, right? We want to give you the tools to go on and live an extraordinary life because everyone here knows that I touted as much as possible. And man, if we’re designed to live 100 years and probably more, according to even the statisticians out there, if you take care of everything, the heart will continue to pump years after it’s removed from the body. So our body doesn’t get clogged with some atherosclerotic plaques or inflammatory disorders or some diseases or cancers; if we can keep it healthy, we will live a good life. God willing, God wants you to take you now. OK, so we all know that. So the focus of today was to present a little bit of a review. So Ana, thank you very much for helping us out. You know, a little bit of information there. You know, Faith, you’re out there. You’ve got the calm, soothing voice, and she’s cool with her voice there; you’ve got Amparo, which is our therapist that finds and tracks down. We got everyone here. We have many massage therapists that track down the issues. She’s just the one that has been able to formulate the ability to communicate the intention of the human body, which is and also the results, and that takes years to do. You can’t just go ahead and present yourself. Doctors worldwide will tell you a doctor that graduates, whether it’s in any clinical practice on his first day, is not the same doctor ten years later. And they’re like wine. They get better each time, and most of the time, you’ll find that doctors, the wiser they become, the more they rely on the wisdom of the body to manipulate and facilitate the healing process. So for Adriana, she’s our exercise, and she’ll have you dancing and doing the Zumba and seeing, you know, what’s best for you. And by the way, if you feel ugly that day, you can put the screen off, so you don’t have to be showing your body. You just know that she’s there, and you just tell her you’re doing the exercise. It’s pretty funny. Someone probably has the video off and is sitting there, you know, eating something. Yeah, I’m exercising, but we do have tools for that, like a cardio thing. They’ll tell us what your heart rate’s at; we will know if you are fibbing, but it doesn’t happen anyway. But anyway, it was a tremendous little connection today. It was the first, and we looked forward to more. Thank you, guys. Thank you very much, and does anyone have anything else to say. Faith, anything good, anything you want to add.

 

Conclusion

Dr. Alex Jimenez and crew recap on Functional Medicine.

 

[01:27:40] Faith Arciniega: No, just super excited for you all to come in here so that we can work together to find the best treatment plan for you. We’re all very passionate about patient care, and we’re excited to work with you.

 

[01:27:49] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: All right, Amparo?

 

[01:27:50] Amparo Armendáriz-Pérez: Just like, she said. We’re ready to help you be empowered. Understand that you are the boss of you.

 

[01:27:58] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: I’m the boss of me. I tell my wife that you know what she says all the time; you think you’re the boss of you, right?

 

[01:28:02] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: And like I’m saying, OK. Anyways.

 

[01:28:05] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Ana, anything you have to say.

 

[01:28:10] Ana Paola: We’re so excited to work with all our patients, and we try to follow through and listen to all of the symptoms you’re having. So I guess that from our part, you will always have ears to follow through. 

 

[01:28:32] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Thank you so much. Adriana, anything?

 

[01:28:34] Adriana Caceres: Well, we are here waiting for all of you, and we have a great team, all very passionate, as you see. And we are just here waiting for you to come in, and we will help you resolve.

 

[01:28:47] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: We’re going to tear it up, guys. We’re going to tear it up. We’re going to make it. We’re going to happen. OK, so this is called Cobra Kai Chiropractic Center. OK, so if you think you’re going to come in here and just have a little talk? We’re going to get it on. We’re going to get it on with your body, and we’re going to take it to the next level. And yeah, we got to go, OK, we’re going to make the body what it should be, OK. And we’re going to release it without in pain, and it’s going to be a very comfortable dynamic. So thank you, guys, and we look forward to being connected the next one. So God bless you guys. Have a good one.

 

[01:29:21] Adriana Caceres: Thank you. 

 

Disclaimer

Psoriatic Arthritis Knee Pain

Psoriatic Arthritis Knee Pain

Psoriatic arthritis can develop in individuals who have psoriasis, affecting various joints, especially the knees. Psoriasis is a skin condition that causes skin cells to build up and form patches of itchy, dry skin known as plaques. Psoriatic arthritis is a long-term inflammatory disease that can cause inflammation, stiffness, and pain. Symptoms can progressively worsen over time without treatment. Early diagnosis is vital to minimize damage to the joints and slow the condition’s progress with treatment.

Psoriatic Arthritis Knee Pain

Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis symptoms like stiffness and swelling can present differently from person to person. For example, some individuals with psoriatic knee arthritis will experience stiffness or pain in one knee, while others experience symptoms in both knees. Psoriatic arthritis in the knee can also cause swelling in the surrounding:

  • Ligaments
  • Tendons
  • Synovial membranes
  • Symptoms can also present in the:
  • Elbows
  • Feet
  • Hands

Symptoms

Symptoms usually begin between the ages of 30 and 50. Common symptoms include:

  • Stiffness after resting or sleeping.
  • Swelling.
  • Inflammation in the knee and surrounding area.
  • Warm or hot skin on the knee from the inflammation.
  • Pain in and around the joints, tendons, or ligaments.
  • Joint sticking, difficulty moving, or reduced range of motion.

Other symptoms include:

  • Back pain
  • Fatigue
  • Pain and redness in the eyes
  • Swollen fingers or toes
  • Difficulty walking from pain in the feet or Achilles tendon.
  • Nail pitting or separation.

The severity of psoriasis does not determine psoriatic arthritis symptoms. Symptoms can go through a pattern of relapses and remissions. Individuals can have a sudden attack where symptoms get worse over a short time. After the flare-up, symptoms can improve as the condition goes into remission. Symptoms may not present for a long time until another flare-up. For example, an individual may have severe psoriasis but only mild psoriatic arthritis.

Causes

Psoriatic arthritis develops when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells and tissues. The faulty immune response causes the body to quickly generate new skin cells that stack on top of each other forming plaques. When the condition affects the joints, it leads to inflammation. While there is no apparent cause for psoriatic arthritis, researchers have found connections to genetics and the environment, as well as, individuals with close relatives that have psoriatic arthritis could be more likely to develop the condition. Other factors that could influence the development include:

  • Severe psoriasis
  • Traumatic injury/s
  • Obesity
  • Nail disease
  • Smoking

The condition can happen at any age, but according to the National Psoriasis Foundation, most individuals first notice symptoms about ten years after their psoriasis begins. However, only 30% of individuals with psoriasis develop psoriatic arthritis.

Diagnosis

Doctors use imaging tools to diagnose psoriatic arthritis in the knee. They will use:

  • MRI
  • X-rays
  • Ultrasound
  • To help them check for irregularities or signs of inflammation in the joint and surrounding tissues.
  • Additional tests are used to rule out other common forms of arthritis like rheumatoid and osteoarthritis.
  • Blood tests check for inflammation and specific antibodies.
  • In some cases, a small amount of fluid from the joint is taken to help eliminate the possibility of other underlying conditions like an infection.

Treatment

There is currently no cure for psoriatic arthritis, but treatments are being developed and show promise for long-term management. Current treatments focus on managing symptoms and improving the quality of life for the individual.

Biologics

Biologic medications like tumor necrosis factor or TNF inhibitors are recommended as the first-line therapy for most individuals with a new diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis. These meds help block TNF, which plays a crucial role in inflammation. They have shown to be effective at reducing the severity of symptoms and the frequency of flare-ups. Biologics can cause unwanted side effects, especially in individuals that experience frequent infections and need routine monitoring.

Small Molecule Medications

Individuals that cannot use biologic medications may be recommended a new class of medication called oral small molecules or OSMs. Examples include apremilast – Otezla and tofacitinib – Xeljanz.

Disease-modifying Antirheumatic Drugs

Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs – DMARDs are a long-term option. They are used to slow the progression of psoriatic arthritis, and examples include methotrexate and cyclosporine. DMARDs work best when an individual begins taking them as early as they can take time to work. However, individuals are encouraged to continue taking them, even if symptoms do not improve right away.

Easing Inflammation

A doctor may prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs – NSAIDs and corticosteroid injections when knee symptoms flare-up. These are short-term treatments that provide immediate relief, as long-term use can lead to side effects. Individuals can find relief with combined self-care that includes:

  • Taking over-the-counter NSAIDs like ibuprofen/Advil or naproxen/Aleve.
  • Applying ice and heat packs.
  • Gentle exercise to promote a full range of motion.
  • Gentle stretching or yoga can help relax tight muscles.
  • Chiropractic.
  • Acupuncture.
  • Therapeutic Massage.
  • Anti-inflammatory diet.
  • Electrical stimulation.

Chiropractic treatment can help to:

  • Relieve soreness.
  • Prevent muscle spasms.
  • Realign joints.
  • Improve mobility.

However, chiropractic is not the primary treatment for arthritis but is intended to be used in combination to relieve pain, loosen and stretch the muscles and balance the body.


InBody


Strength, Balance, and Improved Body Composition

Functional fitness is the ability to move comfortably every day. The benefits of physical activity also contribute to improved body composition. Working to reach a certain level of functional fitness can help the aging process that has been shown to reduce metabolic rate. Inactivity is why individuals lose Lean Body Mass as they age, leading to increased body fat. Lean Body Mass contributes to the body’s overall Basal Metabolic Rate or BMR, also known as metabolism. This is the number of calories the body needs to support essential functions. Everyone is encouraged to engage in strength training or resistance exercises, but specifically older adults. This can help regain muscle loss which can lead to an increase in lean body mass. The increase in Lean Body Mass increases BMR, which helps prevent fat gain.

References

Chang, K. L., et al. (2015). Chronic pain management: Nonpharmacological therapies for chronic pain [Abstract]. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25970869

Chiropractic care for arthritis. (n.d.). arthritis.org/health-wellness/treatment/complementary-therapies/physical-therapies/chiropractic-care-for-arthritis

Chiropractic: In-depth. (2019). nccih.nih.gov/health/chiropractic-in-depth

How to achieve remission in psoriatic arthritis. (n.d.). arthritis.org/diseases/more-about/how-to-achieve-remission-in-psoriatic-arthritis

Living with psoriatic arthritis. (n.d.). psoriasis.org/living-with-psoriatic-arthritis/

Sankowski, A. J., et al. (2013). Psoriatic arthritis. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3596149/

Photobiomics and Gut Health: Part 2 | El Paso, TX (2021)

Photobiomics and Gut Health: Part 2 | El Paso, TX (2021)

Introduction

The previous article talked about how photobiomodulation or low laser therapy can help improve the gut microbiome. Today’s article gives an in-depth look at how photobiomics can provide the therapeutic potential to the gut. When it comes to the gut, an individual must take care of it. Supplying it with wholesome, nutritional food feeding the good bacteria will provide outstanding results like more energy throughout the day, the feeling of being full, weight loss, and healthy brain function. By eating these nutritional foods, the body can feel good; however, when harmful bacteria come into play and starts attacking the gut, it causes the gut microbiome to have all sorts of problems that can turn into chronic pain. Some of the ailments can be leaky gut, IBS, and inflammation, to name a few. When these harmful pathogens affect the gut, it can cause the body not to function correctly and dampen a person’s ability to go about their everyday life.

Photobiomodulation Works With The Gut

 

 

So how does photobiomodulation work with the gut microbiota? Research studies show that when photobiomics are being applied to the gut, the low laser wavelength can help rebalance what is happening to the gut and maintain diversity in the gut microbiota. It can sustain a healthy production of vital metabolites, and the diversity can help the gut from getting many harmful bacteria from causing too much trouble in the gut. Not only that, but photobiomodulation therapy affecting the gut, directly and indirectly, gives it a mimicry of the circadian clock from the brain. Since the brain and gut are connected with the brain giving signals to the gut microbiota to regulate and produce the bacterial metabolites.

 

The Brain-Gut Connection

 

 

The brain and gut connection is more of consistent bidirectional communication between the brain and gut. Studies show that the gut and brain connection ensures the proper maintenance of gastrointestinal homeostasis and has multiple effects on motivation and cognitive functions in the body. When inflammation comes to play in the gut; however, it can affect the gut to not work properly and disrupt the signals it is receiving from the brain and vice versa. When there is a disruption in the bacterial diversity in the gut, it can decrease the brain’s circadian rhythm. The disruption of the bacterial diversity of the gut can even reduce vitamin D absorption in the gastrointestinal tract, causing inflammation and heightening the effects of autoimmune properties that the body is experiencing.

 

Vitamin D and Photobiomics

 

 

Studies have shown that vitamin D plays an essential role in bone health and regulating gastrointestinal inflammation. This is huge since vitamin D has anti-inflammatory properties and can dampen the effects of Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and IBD or inflammatory bowel diseases. Vitamin D has many beneficial properties since it can help improve the body’s immune system and has anti-inflammatory properties. Anyone who takes vitamin D in supplement form or food form as part of their daily ritual will notice that they have more energy in their system and feel good overall. That is because vitamin D can modify the integrity of the epithelial cell in the gut and increase the composition and immune response to the gut microbiome. When vitamin D and photobiomics are combined, it can restore the vitamin D receptors in the gut and cause improvements to body immunity and bone health and dampen the inflammatory effects that were causing harm to the body.

 

The Vagus Nerve

 

 

Another unique fact that photobiomodulation can help is that it can improve low vagus nerves in the brain. Since the brain and gut are connected, it shows that photobiomics can help the brain by decreasing the inflammation receptors that are disrupting the brain-gut connection and causing problems to the body. The vagus nerve is a part of this connection since it sends the information back and forth from the brain to the gut. Studies show that the vagus nerve is represented as the main component of the parasympathetic nervous system. This means that the vagus nerve can oversee many crucial bodily functions, including sending information between the brain and gut. Not only that, but the vagus nerve represents an essential link to neurological and inflammatory responses to the body. When inflammation affects the gut and the vagus nerves, it can disrupt the signals to the brain, causing the inflammation to become worse and hurting the body. Treatments like photobiomodulation can target the vagus nerve and help increase the vagal tone in the body and inhibit cytokine productions. 

 

The 4 R’s

 

 

When the body is being affected by inflammation, treatments can help the body feel a bit better and start recovering. With photobiomodulation therapy and natural foods that are beneficial to the gut can bring the balance of a healthy lifestyle back to a person. For a better gut, doctors have recommended the 4’s for gut health.

 

The First R: Remove

REMOVE– Removing foods that a person has a food sensitivity or allergic reaction to can help dampen the effects of inflammation to the gut. These can be common foods like dairy and wheat or processed food containing high fats and added sugars.

 

The Second R: Replace

REPLACE– By replacing processed food with wholesome, nutritional food that is chalked up with the necessary vitamins and minerals can give the body more energy and put the person in a good mood. Thus, helping the gut produce more enzymes to digest the nutritional foods.

 

The Third R: Reinoculate

REINOCULATE– Adding prebiotics and probiotics into your recovery process can help improve the beneficial bacteria in the gut. Fermented food is a great way to get the necessary probiotics and prebiotics into the gut.

 

The Fourth R: Repair

REPAIR– Eating certain food that can help repair the gut lining in the gut microbiota ensures that inflammation won’t flare up due to gut stress. Adding fermented foods, butyric acid, L-glutamine, and aloe vera into a person’s diet is excellent in gut repair.

 

Conclusion

Overall, gut health is essential to the human body as it helps the body function properly. With the help of photobiomodulation, it can help the recovery process. Since photobiomics are still providing excellent results to treat patients with inflammation, it is necessary to combine whole, nutritional foods and the proper supplements into the everyday lifestyle so the body doesn’t have specific ailments like inflammation. This new combination has opened the doors to many new avenues of effective treatments for inflammation and improving overall body health and wellness.

 

References:

Breit, Sigrid, et al. “Vagus Nerve as Modulator of the Brain-Gut Axis in Psychiatric and Inflammatory Disorders.” Frontiers in Psychiatry, Frontiers Media S.A., 13 Mar. 2018, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5859128/.

 

Carabotti, Marilia, et al. “The Gut-Brain Axis: Interactions between Enteric Microbiota, Central and Enteric Nervous Systems.” Annals of Gastroenterology, Hellenic Society of Gastroenterology, 2015, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4367209/.

 

Craig, Ian. “The 4 R’s of Gut Health.” The Nutritional Institute, 28 May 2018, https://thenutritionalinstitute.com/resources/blog/292-the-4-r-s-of-gut-health.

 

Silverman, Robert G. “Photobiomics: A Look to the Future of Combined Laser and Nutrition Therapy.” Chiropractic Economics, 5 Oct. 2021, https://www.chiroeco.com/photobiomics/.

 

Tabatabaeizadeh, Seyed-Amir, et al. “Vitamin D, the Gut Microbiome and Inflammatory Bowel Disease.” Journal of Research in Medical Sciences: The Official Journal of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Medknow Publications & Media Pvt Ltd, 23 Aug. 2018, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6116667/.

Disclaimer

Video Gaming Injuries

Video Gaming Injuries

Video gaming has grown to over 150 million individuals in the United States playing. Around 60% of Americans play video games every day, with the average gamer being 34 years old. Playing video games for an extended amount of time takes a toll on the body. Individuals are experiencing the same kind of pains and aches from sitting and standing all day at work or school. Sitting positions, holding the controllers, and the different accessories can impact the nerves, muscles, and Posture. E-sports professionals understand the physical toll their bodies take with constant practice, tournaments, clinics, etc. They do cardiovascular conditioning, strength train, and stretch to improve their gaming abilities and also take into account:

  • The correct sitting position.
  • Ergonomic chairs.
  • Screen height.
  • Ergonomic controllers.
  • Hand/wrist supports.
  • Take regular breaks.

Taking steps can prevent strain, injuries and minimize the risk of long-term damage. If strain and injuries are present, professional chiropractic treatment can help alleviate the pain, rehabilitate/strengthen the muscles, ligaments, tendons, and recommend exercises and stretches.

Video Gaming Injuries

Video Gaming Posture

Proper Posture is vital to maintaining spinal as well as overall health. Poor Posture is the most common cause of back and neck pain.

Video Gaming Positions

Common gaming positions include the couch slouch where the gamer is slumped back into the couch with their feet up. This can lead to low back pain and sciatica. The full-on position is where the individual leans forward, elbows on their knees, head tilted forward, and staring up at the screen. Hours in these positions cause the neck, back, and other body areas to stiffen, generating soreness from the restricted movement. Many gamers use ergonomic gaming chairs. They have found that using the gaming chair improves Posture, eliminating the forward head and rounded shoulders. Gaming chairs can provide the health benefit of sitting correctly, reducing and eliminating neck and back tension or strain.

Injuries and Health Issues

Common musculoskeletal issues caused by excessive gaming and lack of movement include:

  • Eyestrain
  • Headaches
  • Neck pain
  • Elbow, arm, wrist  pain
  • Thumb pain
  • General hand pain
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Postural stress
  • Back pain

Chiropractic Treatment

Shoulder Massage

The intensity of gaming can cause the shoulders to tense up and stiffen. When using the controller, the shoulders can slightly lift, building up lactic acid, interrupting blood circulation, causing an accumulation of unwanted toxins inflaming trigger points. A chiropractic massage will release tightened muscles, provide relaxation, and increase the blood flow.

Hand and Wrist Treatment

The most used body parts for video games include the hands and wrist. Individuals grip the controllers or constantly use the keyboard and mouse. No matter what form of input is used, prolonged use can cause hand and wrist injuries. Injuries include:

  • Inflammation
  • Hand muscle aches

Chiropractic focuses on specific areas to help treat the body through a hand and wrist massage. Advanced techniques include electrical muscle stimulation to help stimulate and loosen the muscles. A chiropractor will recommend stretches and exercises, and hand/wrist supports, guards, or special gloves to alleviate muscle pains while still playing.

Neck and Back Adjustments

Poor posture can result in a misaligned spine or back muscle spasms. During extended game sessions, pain and fatigue can begin to present. A chiropractic adjustment can realign the muscles and set them back in place. The tissue surrounding the neck may thicken and focus on a specific area. Leaning too far forward or using a heavy gaming headset can result in a forward head posture placing a constant strain on the neck. Chiropractic adjustments will loosen the tissue and release any tension. Stretches and exercises will be recommended as well.

Recommendations

  • Set up the gaming station correctly.
  • The monitor or TV should be directly in front and around eye level, taking the strain off the neck.
  • Support the low back by maintaining the normal curve known as lordosis.
  • Use a lumbar support pillow or a small pillow behind the low back to prevent strain and pain.
  • Take frequent breaks every hour, take 10 minutes to get up, walk around, and stretch.
  • Physical activity/exercise 30-60 minutes a day to improve health.
  • Healthy diet

Body Composition


Body Composition

Body composition refers to how various substances in the body are proportioned. A few examples of the components that make up the body include:

  • Water
  • Protein
  • Fat
  • Minerals

All of these components generate balance in the body. When individuals exercise, they begin to notice changes in their body composition. For individuals that exercise regularly, it is vital to track weight gain, weight loss, and changes in body composition. This is to ensure that they aren’t losing muscle mass. As individuals exercise, muscle fibers are torn. During the recovery process, muscles are rebuilt. Overtraining can lead to muscle mass reduction because the body cannot catch up and rebuild the number of muscle fibers, eventually leading to lost muscle.

References

Emara, Ahmed K et al. “Gamer’s Health Guide: Optimizing Performance, Recognizing Hazards, and Promoting Wellness in Esports.” Current sports medicine reports vol. 19,12 (2020): 537-545. doi:10.1249/JSR.0000000000000787

Geoghegan, Luke, and Justin C R Wormald. “Sport-related hand injury: a new perspective of e-sports.” The Journal of hand surgery, European volume vol. 44,2 (2019): 219-220. doi:10.1177/1753193418799607

McGee, Caitlin, et al. “More Than a Game: Musculoskeletal Injuries and a Key Role for the Physical Therapist in Esports.” The Journal of orthopedic and sports physical therapy vol. 51,9 (2021): 415-417. doi:10.2519/jospt.2021.0109

McGee, Caitlin, and Kevin Ho. “Tendinopathies in Video Gaming and Esports.” Frontiers in sports and active living vol. 3 689371. 28 May. 2021, doi:10.3389/fspor.2021.689371

Zwibel, Hallie et al. “An Osteopathic Physician’s Approach to the Esports Athlete.” The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association vol. 119,11 (2019): 756-762. doi:10.7556/jaoa.2019.125

Photobiomics and Gut Health: Part 1 | El Paso, TX (2021)

Photobiomics and Gut Health: Part 1 | El Paso, TX (2021)

Introduction

The body has a variety of functions that work simultaneously to make sure that it’s working correctly. From the musculoskeletal system all the way to the endocrine system, the body has good bacteria that cause each system to work as it should be. However, sometimes an injury or autoimmune factor comes to play when it affects the body, causing a person to feel pain or not function properly. Many remedies and treatments can help the body by dampening the harmful effects that trigger various problems like inflammation, IBS, leaky gut, and much more. One of the treatments that physicians have used to help patients is photobiomodulation or low laser therapy.

 

Photobiomodulation Explained

 

Low laser therapy or photobiomodulation is when the body is exposed to a cold laser in the affected area. The laser wavelength targets the area through the skin to the mitochondrial. Studies have shown that photobiomodulation mechanics can help the body at the molecular, cellular, and tissue-based level causing therapeutic relief. When exposed through treatment, the laser wavelength can help give the injured area of the body relief that can last for hours to months with regular treatment. 

Photobiomodulation Benefits

 

Another study found that photobiomodulation can heal and stimulate body tissue, thus relieving pain and inflammation, causing the microbiome to alter in the body. The study also mentions that photobiomics can indirectly affect the microbiome and cause harmful bacteria or inflammation to halt, causing the body to boot its immune system. One study has even found that even though photobiomodulation has been widely accepted to treat low-back pain, it can be highly effective when modulating the gut microbiome. This means that when photobiomodulation and nutritional therapy are combined, they can help treat gut issues, low vagal tone, and autoimmunity in the body.

 

The Gut System

 

The gut microbiome is one of the important biomes in the body that plays a huge role. The gut microbiota can help the body internally by regulating its metabolism and protecting itself from harmful pathogens; thus, a healthy gut flora is mainly responsible for an individual’s overall health. Studies have shown that the gut microbiota comprises two significant phyla, which are Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes. The study also mentions that a normal gut microbiome can help maintain the structural integrity of the gut mucosal barrier, immunomodulation, and metabolize xenobiotics.

The Microbiome of the Gut

 

Since the gut microbiome makes sure that the body is healthy, sometimes unwanted pathogens can affect the gut, disrupting the body. Studies show that the gut microbiota can ensure homeostasis while recognizing bacterial epitopes in intestinal epithelial and the mucosal immune cells. But when harmful bacterias invade the gut, either by food sensitivity or autoimmune factors, the gut takes a heavy toll, causing the body to feel unwell. These factors can cause body inflammation, leaky gut, or IBS, thus making the individual feel pain if it’s not treated, causing more problems.

 

Conclusion

Overall, doctors using photobiomodulation on the gut is beneficial in the overall wellness of the body. The photobiomics have proven extraordinary therapeutic effects by targeting the inflamed area and improving the area by raising the antibodies to combat the inflammation and reducing gastrointestinal wall damage. By utilizing photobiomodulation and natural food therapy together, the body can recover quickly and achieve overall wellness.

 

References:

Hamblin, Michael R. “Photobiomodulation or Low-Level Laser Therapy.” Journal of Biophotonics, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Dec. 2016, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5215795/.

 

Jandhyala, Sai Manasa, et al. “Role of the Normal Gut Microbiota.” World Journal of Gastroenterology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 7 Aug. 2015, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26269668/.

 

Liebert, Ann, et al. “‘Photobiomics’: Can Light, Including Photobiomodulation, Alter the Microbiome?” Photobiomodulation, Photomedicine, and Laser Surgery, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., Publishers, Nov. 2019, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6859693/.

 

Sekirov, Inna, et al. “Gut Microbiota in Health and Disease.” Physiological Reviews, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 9 July 2010, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20664075/.

 

Silverman, Robert G. “Photobiomics: A Look to the Future of Combined Laser and Nutrition Therapy.” Chiropractic Economics, 5 Oct. 2021, https://www.chiroeco.com/photobiomics/.

 

Disclaimer

Gastrointestinal Stress and Digestion

Gastrointestinal Stress and Digestion

Gastrointestinal stress and digestion issues/problems have become a familiar experience for many individuals. Gastrointestinal issues include:

  • Dyspepsia or indigestion 
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • General abdominal pain
  • Irritable bowel syndrome IBS
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Persistent stomach pains

All of these can deplete the body of nutrients and drain the body’s energy. As a result, individuals can be distracted throughout the day, unable to leave the house, and unable to accomplish regular tasks. Gastrointestinal stress can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Unhealthy diet
  • Interrupted sleep patterns
  • Work/school changes
  • Headaches
  • Medications
  • Fibromyalgia

Digestive issues are commonly associated with poor nutrition, but there could be an underlying cause in the spine and nervous system. Chiropractic can help manage gastrointestinal stress and stomach problems.

Gastrointestinal Stress and Digestion

Spinal Subluxation and Gastrointestinal Stress

The nervous system controls every function that the body performs, including digestion. The spine communicates with the stomach directly. The thoracic mid-back and lumbar low-back regions of the spine are responsible for regulating the rate of how food is physically broken down and digested. A subluxation or spinal misalignment can interfere with vital information transmissions from the brain to the digestive tract compromising digestive function.

Subluxation

Subluxation refers to a misalignment of the vertebrae that can cause health issues with the nerves in the spine, directly affecting digestion. If the vertebrae are out of alignment, this causes a misfire in the signals being sent to the nerves of the digestive system.  This can cause problems for the body absorbing nutrients, vitamins, and minerals from food. Because of this, no matter how healthy the diet is, individuals can still suffer from digestive issues.

Chiropractic

Many individuals deal with stress through meditation, breathing exercises, physical activity/exercise, and diet adjustments.

Lifestyle adjustments help counter the effects of stress, but if the nervous system is blocked from spinal misalignment, disrupting vital nerve flow through the body, specifically the digestive tract, gastrointestinal stress will continue to cause damage and malfunction. Individuals with:

  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Acid Reflux
  • GERD
  • IBS
  • Have experienced how chiropractic treatment corrects and helps manage symptoms.

Body Composition


Viscous and Nonviscous Fiber

Another way of classifying fiber is by its viscosity or thickness. Certain types of soluble fiber are thicker and are more likely to form firmer, stickier gels when mixed with water. When digesting food that consists of thick fiber it increases the thickness of the gel substance that passes through the gut. As a result, it reduces appetite because it makes the body feel fuller longer. Viscous fibers include:

The most frequently cited benefits of fiber include:

  • Reduces cholesterol levels
  • Improves glycemic control in type 2 diabetes
  • Improves stool form in constipation and diarrhea directly related to viscosity.

Nonviscous food sources tend not to have these benefits. A recommended strategy is to lean toward foods higher in viscosity.

References

Angus, Katherine et al. “What effect does chiropractic treatment have on gastrointestinal (GI) disorders: a narrative review of the literature.” The Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association vol. 59,2 (2015): 122-33.

Qu, Liuxin et al. “Irritable bowel syndrome treated by traditional Chinese spinal orthopedic manipulation.” Journal of traditional Chinese medicine = Chung i tsa chih ying wen pan vol. 32,4 (2012): 565-70. doi:10.1016/s0254-6272(13)60072-2

Walking For A Healthy Back

Walking For A Healthy Back

Walking for a healthy back. This simple form of exercise can:

  • Trim the waistline.
  • Elevate mood.
  • Reduce the risk of chronic disease.
  • Improve back health.

Chiropractors recommend walking because of the ease of the workout and the health benefits it provides. It is a simple, low-impact exercise that can significantly improve the body’s overall health in a short amount of time. It improves back health by:

  • Strengthening the muscles that support the spine.
  • Improves posture.
  • Facilitates strong circulation.
  • Improves bone strength.

Walking For A Healthy Back

Walking For A Healthy Back

Strengthens Muscles

  • Walking engages all of the muscles which keep the body upright, including the core, leg, and back muscles. Muscle strength increases, providing optimal support of the spine.

Optimize Bone Health

  • Bone is living tissue like the muscles, and exercise stimulates bone the same way as muscle, gradually increasing strength.
  • Studies have found that walking improves bone density and reduces bone loss.
  • Walking also helps reduce the risk of degenerative bone diseases.

Posture Improves

  • Poor posture is one of the most common reasons why individuals have back pain.
  • Poor posture affects mobility and places a significant amount of strain on the back.
  • Walking a few times each week engages and strengthens the back muscles keeping the body straight.

Reduces Weight

  • Many individuals have lower back pain that is caused by excess weight.
  • The added weight causes the front of the body to shift forward, placing additional strain on the lower back.
  • Walking reduces the load on the lower back.

Improves Flexibility and Range of Motion

  • Combined with stretching, walking improves flexibility and range of motion, making it easier to perform everyday activities reducing the risk of back injuries.

Improves Circulation to the Spinal structures

  • Walking improves blood circulation, delivers nutrients to the soft tissues, and removes toxins.

Added Benefits include:

  • Stress relief.
  • Better sleep.
  • Improved skin tone.
  • Lower risk of diabetes.
  • Reduced risk of depression.
  • Improved cardiovascular health that lowers the risk of:
  • High blood pressure.
  • Heart disease.
  • Stroke.

Before Exercising

Before beginning an exercise program, it’s essential to consult a doctor or chiropractor for individuals that have not exercised for a while or are dealing with underlying condition/s. They will educate and recommend how much exercise is appropriate given their current fitness level and overall health. To maximize the benefits of walking and prevent injuries:

Use High-Quality Tennis or Walking Shoes

  • Walking is much more enjoyable and safer when the body is comfortable.
  • Improving comfort levels is by using a pair of high-quality walking shoes or trainers.
  • They will provide proper support, cushioning, and adequate traction.

Maintain Proper Posture

Stay aware of body position when walking. A few key points to keep in mind:

  • Place the heel down first.
  • Then roll through each part of the foot, ending on the point of the toes.
  • Keep the shoulders back and head up.
  • Lift from the hips to reduce the impact on the lower joints.
  • Keep a slight bend in the arms and smoothly swing them back and forth.

Turn Walking Into a Healthy Habit

  • In the beginning, aim for at least 5 to 7 walks each week that last 25 minutes.
  • Speed does not matter as the objective is to get out and walk.
  • Once walking starts turning into a healthy habit with improvements in health, then start walking faster and longer.

Interval Walking

  • Interval walking involves short periods of high-intensity walking followed by a longer period of slow walking.
  • This increases cardiovascular fitness and muscle strength.
  • Begin with a 1-minute interval of fast walking.
  • This is followed by 2 minutes of slower walking.

Take On Easy Obstacles

  • Makes the walks more challenging by walking up or down a hill.
  • Walk over objects like tree stumps or rocks.
  • This increases calorie burn.

Add Hand or Leg Weights

  • Increase workout intensity by adding leg or hand weights.
  • They will help strengthen the arms, shoulders, and upper back.

Body Composition


Building Lean Body Mass

Lean Body Mass is the body’s total weight minus the fat. This includes all the weight of the muscles, organs, and total body water. The best way to develop muscle and Lean Body Mass is to adopt a resistance training program. As stronger muscles are developed, the size and amount of the muscle cells increases. The muscles then require more intracellular water, which allows them to function at optimal levels. As the muscles grow and take in more water, Lean Body Mass increases.

References

Morris, J N, and A E Hardman. “Walking to health.” Sports medicine (Auckland, N.Z.) vol. 23,5 (1997): 306-32. doi:10.2165/00007256-199723050-00004

Nauman, Javaid et al. “Walking in the Fast Lane: High-Intensity Walking for Improved Fitness and Health Outcomes.” Mayo Clinic proceedings vol. 94,12 (2019): 2378-2380. doi:10.1016/j.mayocp.2019.10.020

Vanti, Carla et al. “The effectiveness of walking versus exercise on pain and function in chronic low back pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized trials.” Disability and rehabilitation vol. 41,6 (2019): 622-632. doi:10.1080/09638288.2017.1410730

The Efficacy of Low Laser Therapy | El Paso, TX (2021)

The Efficacy of Low Laser Therapy | El Paso, TX (2021)

Around the world, pain, especially chronic pain, is widespread to an individual. When the body goes through a tremendous amount of activity, the muscle tissues will rip and tear to strengthen the body for the next activity it overcomes. But when the muscle tissues tear and cause pain to the body, it can take a week or even months for the tissue to recover. Many recovery treatments can help alleviate the pain that a person is in, and one of the recovery treatments that most physicians use is low laser therapy.

 

Low Laser Therapy & Musculoskeletal Pain

 

Doctors have used low laser therapy to help patients alleviate pain and repair muscle tissue in the affected area of the body. Studies have found that the effects of low laser therapy had a positive impact on the treated area. The study showed that the low laser treatment has helped with relieving pain and has promoted tissue repair. The effects of the low laser wavelength have enhanced the healing process by promoting cell proliferation, causing pain relief. One of the efficient ways that low laser therapy is beneficial to the body is to alleviate musculoskeletal pain. 

 

 

Musculoskeletal pain is a variety of issues in the body. From muscle pain to fibromyalgia, it can render a person miss out on everyday activities, causing them to miss work or school. Studies have shown that when a patient is going in for low laser therapy, the effects from the laser wavelength can reduce inflammation and edema in the affected area. The studies even show that the laser light effects are photochemical and not thermal. The laser light will trigger a biochemical change in the body, causing the photons from the affected area to be absorbed, thus triggering a chemical change in the area.

 

Efficient Uses of Low Laser Therapy

 

 

Other studies even show that the low laser wavelength triggers chemical alterations and potential biochemical benefits to the human body. This means that if a person is suffering from chronic pain when going for low laser treatment, the laser can relieve chronic pain symptoms and even osteoarthritic conditions. Another efficient use of low laser therapy is that it can suppress the MMP or mitochondrial membrane potential in the DRG neutron while reducing adenosine triphosphate or ATP production in the body. In other words, the effects of low laser therapy can suppress and reduce inflammation receptors in the body, thus causing long-term results that last for years, improving tissue healing.

 

Another efficient way low laser therapy is beneficial is that it can be combined with light exercises as a staple of rehabilitation. Studies have found that the combination of low laser therapy and exercise has merit. When an individual combines stretches and low laser therapy as part of their rehabilitation, the data shows a reduction in pain symptoms and fatigue in the body.

 

Conclusion

 

All in all, the efficient effects of low laser therapy are beneficial by reducing inflammation and damping the pain receptors in the body. Since chronic pain is worldwide and can cause harmful effects to the body, using low laser therapy can dampen the pain receptors. Having low laser therapy treatments as part of their daily regime and light exercises for anyone with chronic pain can get their body moving pain-free. Since the body goes through so much, having low laser therapy is one of the many recovery treatments that can provide long-lasting results and promote overall wellness. 

 

References:

Cotler, Howard B., et al. “The Use of Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) for Musculoskeletal Pain.” MOJ Orthopedics & Rheumatology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 9 June 2015, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4743666/.

 

Dima, Robert, et al. “Review of Literature on Low-Level Laser Therapy Benefits for Nonpharmacological Pain Control in Chronic Pain and Osteoarthritis.” Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 24 Sept. 2018, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28987080/.

 

Enwemeka, Chukuka S., et al. “The Efficacy of Low-Power Lasers in Tissue … – Medical Laser.” Medical Summus Laser, 2004, http://medical.summuslaser.com/data/files/77/1585165534_SpHfd8kFyVara63.pdf.

 

Kingsley, J. Derek, et al. “Low-Level Laser Therapy as a Treatment for Chronic Pain.” Frontiers, Frontiers, 19 Aug. 2014, https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphys.2014.00306/full.

Trendelenburg Gait

Trendelenburg Gait

A Trendelenburg gait is an abnormal walking gait resulting from a defective or weakened hip abductor. The gluteal musculature is the primary musculature that includes the gluteus medius and gluteus minimus muscles. Weakness in these muscles causes sagging/dropping of the pelvis on the opposite side while walking. There will be a noticeable side-to-side motion if the glutes are too weak to support the body’s weight when walking. It can look as though the individual is limping or missing a step. Individuals can minimize the effects with foot orthotics, core strengthening, chiropractic, and physical therapy.

Trendelenburg Gait

Trendelenburg Gait Causes

This gait often results from straining the hip abductor muscles during physical activity. Exercises specifically for the glutes done improperly are a common cause. When improper exercise form is the cause, the abnormal gait usually goes away as muscle inflammation fades. The gait can also present after total hip replacement surgery, as the procedure requires incisions in the gluteus medius muscle. This can weaken the muscle causing an abnormal gait. Weakness in these muscles can also be caused by:

  • Nerve damage or dysfunction in the nerves that run through the gluteal minimus and medius muscles.
  • Osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis that occurs when joint cartilage starts to wear down.
  • Muscular dystrophy is a condition that causes the muscles and bones to become weak over time.
  • Poliomyelitis is a condition associated with polio that weakens the muscles.
  • Cleidocranial dysostosis is a condition present from birth that can cause your bones to develop improperly.

Symptoms

The walking gait is made up of two phases:

  • Swing – When one leg moves forward.
  • Stance – The other leg stays still and maintains balance.

The main symptom of Trendelenburg gait can be seen when one leg swings forward and the hip drops down and move outward. This is because the hip abductor of the other leg is too weak to support the weight. Individuals may lean back or to the side slightly when walking to maintain balance, or they may lift the foot higher off the ground with each step to avoid losing balance or tripping as the pelvis shifts unevenly.

Diagnosis

Abnormal hip movement during a swing of one or both legs can give a doctor enough evidence to diagnose a Trendelenburg gait. A doctor will observe the individual’s walk in front and behind to get a detailed view. A doctor will also use the Trendelenburg test to diagnose the condition. The doctor will instruct the individual to lift one leg for 30 seconds. If the individual cannot keep the hips parallel with the ground while lifting, it could indicate Trendelenburg gait. X-rays of the hip will be used to identify any causes of weakness in the gluteus minimus or medius.

Treatment Options

Treatment options will depend on the severity and cause of the gait.

Medication

  • If the gait is causing pain, over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory NSAIDs, like ibuprofen or acetaminophen, will help ease symptoms.
  • In severe cases, a doctor may prescribe cortisone injections to help reduce pain.

Foot Orthotics

  • A doctor could also recommend using a foot orthotic in one or both shoes to compensate the hip abductor muscle weakness.

Chiropractic, Physical Therapy, and Exercise

Chiropractic and physical therapy can help adjust, realign, and strengthen the muscles to regain control of the Trendelenburg gait. The chiropractor or physical therapist will move the legs in various directions to help the joints become more accustomed to moving in certain directions and increase muscle strength and resistance. Exercises that can strengthen the hip abductor muscles include:

  • Lie on the side and extend the leg straight out.
  • Lie on the floor and move one leg up, over the other, and back in the opposite direction.
  • Step sideways and onto an elevated surface, then back down again.

Talk with a doctor or chiropractor before beginning any new exercise routine so they can recommend specific exercises and educate on proper form.

Complications

If left untreated, moderate-to-severe cases of Trendelenburg gait can become debilitating, leading to severe complications. These include:

  • Pinched nerves.
  • Sciatica.
  • Pain, stiffness, or grinding in the hips.
  • Loss of range of motion in the hips and gait.
  • Losing the ability to walk, which could require the use of a walker or wheelchair.
  • Paralysis of the lower body.
  • Osteonecrosis or death of bone tissue.

Trendelenburg gait is treatable with special shoes, orthotics, and exercises designed to strengthen the hip abductor muscles. Chiropractic and physical therapy can help limit the condition’s impact on the body’s health, the ability to walk, and reduce the risk of complications.


Body Composition


Heart-Healthy Foods

Citrus

  • The bright and tangy fruits are packed with vitamins and unique plant compounds known as polyphenols that can help lower blood pressure naturally.
  • However, it’s important to note that grapefruit and grapefruit juice could interact with certain prescription medications.

Beans and Lentils

  • Foods high in magnesium, potassium, and fiber can help maintain healthy blood pressure.
  • This is where beans and legumes come in, as they are high in fiber, potassium, and magnesium.
  • Individuals that swapped beans and lentils noticed a lower blood pressure, whether or not they had been diagnosed with hypertension.

Pumpkin Seeds

  • These seeds are packed with potassium, magnesium, and arginine.
  • Arginine is an amino acid used to make nitric oxide, which helps the blood vessels relax and dilate, allowing lower blood pressure.
  • A study found that postmenopausal women who took 3 grams of pumpkin seed oil daily for six weeks saw a significant decrease in their systolic blood pressure.

Garlic

  • Garlic contains nitric oxide, which has been shown to relax blood vessels.
  • Kyolic garlic, in particular, has been shown to help with arterial stiffness and can improve cholesterol levels.
References

Feyh, Andrew et al. “Role of Dietary Components in Modulating Hypertension.” Journal of Clinical & experimental cardiology vol. 7,4 (2016): 433. doi:10.4172/2155-9880.1000433

Gait abnormalities. (n.d.).stanfordmedicine25.stanford.edu/the25/gait.html

Gandbhir, Viraj N., et al. “Trendelenburg Gait.” StatPearls, StatPearls Publishing, 19 August 2021.

Giangarra CE, et al. (2018). Clinical orthopedic rehabilitation: A team approach.sciencedirect.com/science/book/9780323393706

Gilliss AC, et al. (2010). Use of osteopathic manipulative treatment to manage compensated Trendelenburg gait caused by sacroiliac somatic dysfunction.
jaoa.org/article.aspx?articleid=2093879

Maricelli JW, et al. (2016). Trendelenburg-like gait, instability and altered step patterns in a mouse model for limb-girdle muscular dystrophy 2i. DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0161984

Mayo Clinic Staff. (2017). Osteoarthritis.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/osteoarthritis/home/ovc-20198248

Michalopolous N, et al. (2016). A personalized monitoring and recommendation framework for kinetic dysfunctions: The Trendelenburg gait. DOI: 10.1145/3003733.3003786

Treating Complex Sciatica Syndromes | El Paso, TX (2021)

In today’s podcast, Dr. Alex Jimenez,  health coach Kenna Vaughn, Truide Torres, biochemist Alexander Jimenez, and Astrid Ornelas discuss sciatica or sciatic nerve pain in further detail to ultimately help educate patients on their symptoms.

 

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*:  Hey, guys, we’re live today. We’re going to be discussing the scourge of the back, the scourge of the back for myself. I’m a chiropractor practicing out here in El Paso, Texas. We usually have a disorder that’s typically there isn’t a day that we don’t see it, and it affects so many people. But there’s a lot of confusion with, and I call it, the scourge of the low back. It’s called sciatica. Sciatica is a disorder that has many, many reasons and many, many causes. One of the most important things is first to assess the reason and cause of sciatica. But most importantly, when it first hits an individual, it strikes them, usually with a shocking misunderstanding as to what’s going on in their legs. They feel pain in the low back. They sometimes feel pain in the leg. Different areas depend on where the issue lies, so a little bit of its anatomy breakdown and explanation of what it is. First of all, it’s a syndrome. It’s a syndrome that has many reasons and many causes. The issues that come about and are that that make sciatica arise are vast. I would venture to say that there are a million people that come in with sciatica. There are a million reasons that have presented each one of those patients. There is a majority of problems in and a subset of issues. We’re going to go over that. Today, our goal is to bring out the awareness that it is a problem, just like the present anemia. And there are many reasons why a person would have anemia. Many people are familiar with anemia, and they say that’s low blood, but you’re going to find out where the blood issue is to determine exactly what the causes of anemia are. Well, the same thing with sciatica. There’s a lot of reasons why the sciatic presentation occurs. So we’re here to kind of begin the process of explaining that. So we’re going to get real deep and down and nasty with the science of it. We’re going to try to give you some tools that you can look at and assess. So your provider can give you a better explanation, or you can ask better questions in terms of where your sciatica originates. So the first thing is to understand the anatomy, and I’ll go through the anatomy in a very visual way. But I want to first kind of take you to a visual, and my visuals are very three-dimensional and offered through complete anatomy. Complete anatomy has given us the ability to use this and show, and it is something that many medical students use. So in today’s modern-day, we don’t have to use some visceral or some sort of human anatomy. We can use these tools to help us present to the patients and to teach. So it’s probably one of the most used anatomical structured systems, and we use it to teach people in our patients every day, given the dynamics of sciatica. Here we have a picture of a sciatica HDMI, so we can see a presentation of what the sciatica nerve looks like when we can see it. The interesting dynamics here is that when you look at the interesting presentation, you can see as I go away how vast and how large it is. Now the first thing is I rotate this individual. You got to see that it comes from a large glute plexus in the lumbar spine to the sacral nerve roots. So anywhere down the line that anything is touching this thing, this beautiful, powerful nerve, you’re going to find that there is pain radiating down. So we’re going to discuss those issues. And as we kind of go over that, we want to understand that so away from HDMI. So what we’re looking at are the issues that present with us when we discuss it. So what are the causes, and what is sciatica? Sciatica is inflammation of the sciatic nerve, and as it presents what happens many times, it is the largest nerve in the body, and it’s how most people know it, and it travels from the lumbar plexus to the leg. So, anywhere that that thing is touched, it’s going to radiate pain. Now, what are the causes? Well, they could be from vascular. They could be compressive. They could be lymphatic. There could be a space-occupying lesion, such as a tumor causing the issues. Now, a good clinician will do a lot of different tests and a lot of different assessments to determine where it is having the problem. So when I have a patient, they come in when the first thing we have to do is a history we have to assess and find out what’s going on. So finding the history of something that suddenly someone starts sitting or they become active, or they get hit in the back, and they start having sciatica, it boats to a well, dynamics. So what happens is, what we need to do is we need to discuss the dynamics of where it begins and what goes on. So in terms of our direction, I would like first to take you to the physical assessment. When you explain to your doctor what’s going on, you need to tell him exactly when you started having it. That’s very important. The history is very like when these issues are? Do you have a sedentary life? So these are the types of issues that present most of the time a person comes into the office with having a severe presentation that they’re shocked? They didn’t expect this and what occurs in this particular area is that you can see where the nerve root comes in. So over here, you’ve got to figure out where it came from. As you notice, a lot of the reasons that many of these individuals have is because it’s a little bit of atrophy and muscular issues that arise. As you can see right here, there’s a lot of areas where the nerve can keep becoming trapped, and this is the main reason that most people have this issue now as they go through this and they present a symptom. I got to figure out, and we have to figure out where the problem originated with our team. So as I go through that, I want to give you a different dynamics here in what I’m going to explain. I’m going to present my team to you so that they’re all going to. Each one of them is going to explain a little different aspect of what goes on. Today, we will discuss how a coach, such as an individual helping the doctor, can assess the situation. We are going to talk to our coach Kenna. We’re going to talk to Astrid, who’s going to bring some science knowledge here. We will bring a patient in, discuss the experience with her, and bring in our top guy from the university at the biochemical level. He will teach us a little bit about some nutraceuticals and some applicational processes that we can do to help an individual with sciatica. So at first light to tell, I like to ask a question to Kenna. So Kenna, what I want to do is I want to ask you exactly what it is that you notice when a patient presents with sciatica and what kind of things we can do in the office and what’s our approach specifically more like the metabolic issues and the disorders that present that way? So when we’re looking at here, let me go ahead and head into this area, tell me a little bit about how we present a patient and what we deal with when we’re talking to an assessment or doing an assessment.

 

Kenna Vaughn:  So one thing that many patients with sciatica have is the pain they’re feeling, of course and that low back. But another thing is they don’t have a lot of movement due to that pain, and movement is essential. It’s what life revolves around. So we take that movement, and we look at how we can help this patient decompress that sciatic nerve with the adjustments that Dr. Jimenez does, but also how can I benefit from my side of things for this patient? So we do have a lot of great resources available to us. We send our patients to Push, which is a gym here that helps them get that calibration in their muscles that they need to build up those stronger muscles all around that sciatic nerve so that this nerve doesn’t get pinched frequently or as often. And another thing we have available to us is an app called Dr. J. Today. And what that does is it syncs with the bracelet that our patients wear, which allows us to track their movement. So we want to focus on that movement as part of it. And another thing we can do is nutraceuticals in supplements. So what are nutraceuticals and supplements? One of the main ones we focus on that almost every individual should be taking is vitamin D3, and we like it coupled with vitamin K. This will help your bones and circulation. And it’s going to help to decrease that glucose by increasing your insulin sensitivity. And this is where it comes into play with sciatica.

 

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: I had a question for you in terms of that. When you’re discussing that we’re dealing with and sciatica as a pain in the hips, we’re correlating, and we’re tying together, I guess, a disorder that many people have as metabolic syndrome and many times are overweight. And that was one of the presentations that many of the patients with sciatica, not that everyone is overweight, with sciatica. Still, many people who become sedentary and don’t move as much do suffer from metabolic syndrome. So to get that under order, one of the things is to bring the insulin under control. And once we do that, we start losing weight and getting more active with the exercise protocols. She mentioned Push because we began to calibrate the hips. Now, as you can tell from our picture here, there’s a whole lot of muscles in this region, OK? So as I kind of use the application, you can see a little bit more of the muscle tissue that is involved. So as we look at the muscle tissue, we can see that calibrating and these muscles that control the hip actually propel the creature, so propel humans, so to speak, right? So what happens is as this happens, if this becomes deconditioned through a sedentary lifestyle. Well, the thing that’s lying underneath also stops working, and the muscles stop working as effectively. So one of the ways that we treat people is through a coach to assess their body mechanics and put them through the Push Fitness protocols that can help them get a calibration of the structures. One of the things that we also do in this process is we look at the sitting issues and tell me a bit of what you do, Kenna, in terms of helping people adjust their lifestyle or modify their mobility issues.

 

Kenna Vaughn: So what their mobility, as I said, we use the app, and we also use Push Fitness, and the supplements have a lot that comes into play because like I said, with that increasing the insulin sensitivity, what we’re going to want to do it, that is it’s going to help to control the blood sugars. And you might not necessarily relate blood sugars to sciatica just yet, but as I said, everything is connected. So when we put our patients on a protocol and have them control these blood sugars, it also helps maintain their inflammation because sugars and chemicals cause that inflammation in the blood. And that’s also it’s going then to cause nerve damage to our body and our system. And then, once we have that nerve damage going, we’ll see many more patients sitting down, which relates to that lack of motion. And then we see a lot of patients coming in with sciatica.

 

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Sciatica. So basically, we’re going back to the same monster, which is called inflammation. Right. So inflammation is the deal. People that have sciatica will often tell the story of how it kind of looms with them. It’s like having this untrustworthy nerve back there that if they have stress or go through emotional dynamics, it affects sciatica. So this threshold that activates the sciatica presentation could have even an emotional component to it. So we want to bring that to light, too, because many people have normal lives, but they don’t have the presentation under normal situations. Suddenly, bam, they get an emotional, financial issue, family things, and sciatica just flares. Where is that even logical, right? The key is inflammation, inflammatory response, stress responses. And those issues do create an almost perfect storm to create a predisposition for inflammation. So that’s why we bring in the dietary components and the food to start eating better to prevent inflammation again. Those are some of the things. So she also mentioned the issue of Push. Push is our fitness center, where we actually put people through exercise protocols, and when we start putting people through exercise protocols, it’s there to calibrate. Now, what’s the biggest muscle in the body? Well, not too far from the anatomy to an anatomical structure. You can see the muscles in this particular area, and everybody knows that the glutes are the big muscles. So when you see this powerful muscle, if this muscle becomes decalibrated from a sedentary lifestyle, you’re going to notice that you’re going to have a lot of predisposition. So it’s like a car with flat tires. So if the car has flat tires, it starts swaying and moving to the wrong side. Well, if it’s swing, you can imagine that it affects the axis and the axles, and all that kind of stuff starts happening. Things like these happen, but in our human structure, there’s a finely calibrated system here. One of the things that many people don’t know and don’t think about is the lymphatic structure. Now, if you can see here, you can see the lymphatic. Now those guys ride directly next to the venous and arterial structures, and you can see it here. So as you can see that for progressing, you also look at the arteries. So if someone doesn’t have an arterial system that is working well and sitting on this, you can see congestion occurring around the structures, around the nerves. Now there’s a lot of nerves in here. So when you start looking at these dynamics, you start seeing that a person who is not using their muscles has an increased congestion level. So as I remove these muscles here, you can see this picture, and I’m going to remove every one of them. You start seeing the noticeable dynamics of how complex their nervous system is. So over here, you can see the complexity of how those nerves function. It’s amazing to see all the structures in here. So when you look at this, you can see the amount of influence that lack of movement would cause. It’s almost like a traffic jam. Imagine sitting on this thing all day long, OK, let alone be inactive. So one of the things we want to do is to assess exactly what it is. And one of the things that we do is to calibrate the system. So going back to removing these picked areas, you want to go ahead and work on the big systems. OK, well, as you can see, these muscles bring a huge component into helping sciatica. Now, where are the sciatic issues coming from? Now let’s go ahead and start discussing those particular issues as we can kind of go through this. And I want to take you through a little anatomy lesson here because it does require a little bit. As I remove these things, we’re going to see all of the structures that come in, and actually, but you can see if I can get the nervous system only out to the minimal component of it, the big ones. And as you can see here, you can look over this way and see anywhere down the line right here by where the nerves are. Them out where the disk comes out in this particular area as it penetrates forward, it goes this what we call the sacral notch, which is this guy right here. This hole is a sacral notch where it comes out, and you can see that it can be bumped into the bone and the actual femur here. So there’s a lot of areas that we can see that directly affect the sciatica regions. But having gone through that, I’m going to go into that in a little bit deeper. But I want to go ahead and get a little personal story right now. I want to ask an individual now what sits in here, and most women, you know, this is where they contain babies, right? So in a situation where you have an individual that is going through a lot of changes, such as an individual who’s having a child, you can see where the hips actually change and right down there, if you can see down there, this is where the sacrum has to open up to allow for the birthing canal. You see that big hole right there. A baby’s got to go through there, and if it can’t go through there, which it probably won’t until probably the ninth month where this area starts expanding, guess who’s going to go by, then kick in on the way down? OK, that would be a child. OK, so let’s talk about that. I’d like to present Trudy here because she has a story of how it affected her.

 

Trudy Torres: Well, I guess, you know, as a woman, you know, it’s an extremely joyful situation when you find out that you’re going to be a mom. If it’s your first-time baby, you’re in for a roller coaster. You know, like you guys were mentioning, there’s a lot of different scenarios that you go through emotionally, physically. So when you’re pregnant, you’re the perfect storm for something like this to come up. You know, you are just balanced from you’re so, so tired the first trimester. I’ve always worked out. So for me, I have never experienced sciatic pain before, and for me being so active, I went from being 100 percent active to just being so tired. I had to be super careful about spending my energy, especially in the first trimester. So on top of that, if you add, you know, everything else that’s going on physiologically with me and then my life became so sedentary. On top of that, you know, I have a desk job. So sitting at a desk and then not compensating, moving all of a sudden, that pain is so excruciating. I did not experience this with my first baby. I experienced this with my second child. And, of course, I gained more weight with my second child. So once again, you know, you’re adding problem over the problem. And just because you’re pregnant, that doesn’t mean you’re eating for two, because unfortunately, some of us, you know, have that misconception, and that’s when your weight tends to get a little bit out of control. So you’re adding a lot of different factors that create the perfect storm and are just super, super hard. One of the things that Kenna mentioned that helped me was becoming active and being exposed to Push. I had someone here that was able to work out specifically with me being pregnant. Obviously, my limitations as you start gaining more weight, it’s not the same thing that you can do when you’re not having a baby. So I was able to continue to work out later on in and, you know, after I was exposed to chiropractic and implementing exercise.

 

Kenna Vaughn: So the main symptoms you had when you had sciatica, and you were pregnant, was it mainly just pain, or did you also get that tingling feeling because there is more than one symptom of sciatica?

 

Trudy Torres: No. Unfortunately, it was just not pain. It was pain. It was burning all down my leg. I did not know what was going on. As I said, this was not with my first pregnancy, and every pregnancy is different with my first child. I watched more what I ate. I was still active, so I believe it was a combination of things, you know, that I felt like I was eating for two. I gained more weight than I should have.

 

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: I got a question: Was it when you rapidly gained weight during the final trimester?

 

Trudy Torres: I think everything kind of started happening a little at a time. I wasn’t that active in the first trimester, so I began having flare-ups not as bad as once I gained the weight. But, you know, once I gained more weight, that’s when I started having more severe symptoms, as I said, the burning, the lower pain. It was just excruciating, and it’s something that I don’t wish upon my worst enemy.

 

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Now, did you ever have a recurrence after you had your baby?

 

Trudy Torres: Yes, I did. I did, and unfortunately, I did, but one of the things has helped me keep that under control. It’s been being active, continue to watch my weight. My supplements were one thing that I would ask Coach or Dr. Jiménez when you’re pregnant. I know we were talking about the different supplements. What do you still recommend for pregnant women to get on the different vitamin D and K supplements?

 

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: That’s an excellent question, and one that I’ll answer very clearly as a wide disclaimer; you need to make sure that your doctor knows what you’re experiencing. Obstetricians, which are OB-GYN doctors. They’re very well astute as to what type of supplements. So in the world of supplementation, it is wise to have a doctor assess that, and many of them will make sure that you have good supplementation. The area where it’s the accurate assessment is you have to have supplementation. Your body’s trying to produce an enormous amount of cellular activity as it creates life. It draws upon a particular area that inflammation goes crazy, the body goes into dynamic changes. So nutrition becomes an essential thing from intestinal nutrition through metabolic nutrition. So one of the things is that you have to have a doctor, typically today’s individual who is in there as young childbearing age, they have a doctor evaluating. So yes, one of the essential things is from folic acid to vitamin E, D. These are a whole, complete gamut of vitamins that are assessed and given by their doctors. So most women will know that if they take some medication, they have to put it clearly by their doctor. That’s the most important thing. And the second thing is on the supplementation side; once your doctor knows, he’s probably going to give you something of a basic level of supplementation and nutritional assessment. So in terms of that, a dietitian can evaluate you and assess you and determine what’s going on in terms of the aggressive approaches where an individual is not pregnant; there’s a lot of things that can be done. But let me ask you this. I know that you do a little bit of a CrossFit, and you do that kind of stuff. And you mentioned that you had sciatica after. I want to go to the point that many people who have sciatica lead a predisposed life to sciatica now, meaning that once you get it, it’s not that your terminal is that you always have the potential of having it, so whether your body dynamics have changed. Typically, you’re not 18, and now you’re 40. What happens is your body is warning you that it’s not working as it should be. And suddenly, the nerve starts becoming flared up, either the compression through atrophy of muscle or imbalance of muscles. So all those things are essential; I notice that you mentioned something that you did. It also affected you after. Did you do some competitions later, and did it affect you?

 

Trudy Torres: I did do competitions after. What helped me keep it under control was that its different factors to keep it under control. You know that keeping moving makes sure that you’re taking the right supplements in chiropractic care. I’m a firm believer, you know, of a holistic approach, and I believe that a combination of all it has helped me keep it under control. I have not had flare-ups, but I believe it’s because I’ve had all these different combinations. As I said, you know, I kept active. I have, you know, been in average weight. I have also implemented chiropractic, you know, as maintenance.

 

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: You know, I would like to give people a kind of insight as to what happens when you first go to a doctor, and they assess you; there are many ways to figure it out. One of the ways that it’s an easy way if there’s degenerative and there are bone changes is an x-ray. And that’s what we typically look at, and we first start all assessments. But the definitive assessor who gives the vast amount of information is looking for some compression. And at that point, sometimes we have to look at the arterial-venous circulation. But the number one way to determine if someone has sciatica due to a disc injury or some compression or space-occupying lesions like a tumor or some arthritis or some sort of imbalance in the muscle is genuinely the MRI. The MRI is an excellent tool. Now, if there is bone involved, a CAT scan is used. The EMG is used to determine the muscular tone and the muscle’s ability to react and see which tone levels. But you don’t need to be a rocket scientist and put someone through that. They already know that their muscles are tight, and there is an issue. The ability to determine how the nerve functions is a nerve conduction velocity test that tells you how fast and slow the nerves could work. Now in the situation where we do a bone scan, we’re trying to look for any metabolic issues outside, and there could be a tumor or some problem. But that’s rare, and that’s not typical, but the number one way to assess an issue is through an MRI and an X-ray. Those will give you the most significant, broadest areas. Now I want to go ahead and talk a bit about nutraceuticals and specifically nutraceuticals. We’re going to go ahead in this about the treatments for it. And as we go through that, I’d like to go ahead and discuss certain areas and specific supplements. Now Astrid is our resident nutraceutical information gathering. We also have a biochemist in the background who will bring some insight to a different level. But what kind of things do we typically offer patients when they need it as a metabolic, a leaving protocol?

 

Astrid Ornelas: OK, well, first of all, I want to bring in an interesting statistic. According to researchers, approximately 80 percent of the population suffer from some type of back pain. Included in that are low back pain and sciatica. So with that being said, of course, it becomes a priority to know what is it and what can we do to assess this common problem? And like, Kenna and Dr. Jimenez, like you and Trudy have said, exercise is essential. And together with exercise, we want to bring in a diet. We want to eat foods and supplements. And because obesity or excess weight is one of the problems is one of the leading causes or one of the most common, commonly well-known causes of sciatica. We want to, you know, all together with exercise and following like a good, a good diet. We want to follow these things so that we can. If we lose weight, it can help improve sciatica. So with that in mind, there are several of them. I guess natural remedies, natural nutraceuticals, if you will, can help reduce or improve sciatica symptoms and, therefore, lose weight. So one of the ones that I want to talk about is that we have it here: turmeric or curcumin. So turmeric is a plant, it’s a flowering plant, and it’s related to ginger. And we eat the root. That’s what we know it. This yellow kind of orange-looking root is very commonly used in Asian foods and most commonly in curry and curcumin. You’ll hear turmeric and curcumin used a lot interchangeably together, and curcumin is the active ingredient that’s found in turmeric. So one of the things that I wanted to bring up with turmeric and curcumin is the benefits that many people can take, and they can either eat turmeric or take turmeric supplements. It can help to reduce sciatica or sciatic nerve pain. So turmeric has a lot of anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce pain and swelling, which is probably one of the most common symptoms of sciatica. There’s a lot of research studies that have found that turmeric or curcumin can reduce neural inflammation, which is inflammation in the nerves, which, as some of us here, know if your sciatica is caused by a disc herniation or a herniated disc, sometimes the substances or the chemicals that are inside of your disc, they can irritate the nerves. So taking turmeric and curcumin can help reduce the inflammation caused by these irritating compounds. It is also a powerful antioxidant that can help reduce oxidative stress, which can cause inflammation. And probably one of the highlights of taking turmeric or curcumin is that it can improve metabolic syndrome, as we previously discussed in a past podcast. Research studies have found that turmeric can help regulate body fat by reducing inflammation. It can also help lower bad cholesterol. It can lower triglycerides. It can improve blood sugar levels. And it has antibacterial properties as well.

 

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Let me ask you. We’re talking about the potential of someone having sciatica; since some people have sciatica, that kind of looms on them. Well, we’re trying to do with turmeric, and we’re trying to prevent it from kicking off. So it’s basically like prophylactic prevention. I like to go a little deeper, and we have our resident scientist here, Alexander, and he is right with us right now, and he’s got some points of view on some of those supplementations. Tell us a bit of what you learned in terms of supplementation and your point of view on how we can assist sciatica from a biochemical point of view.

 

Alexander Isaiah: Well, there are a couple of different ways of taking different perspectives and avoiding the whole. An inflammation response is a good way of saying it. Let me see. Can you guys see my screen here?

 

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Yes, we see you, we see you right now. So I saw your screen. Yes, I do. We see the screen entirely.

 

Alexander Isaiah: Awesome. So I’m going to go into a little bit of the biomechanics of what’s going on with sciatica. Then we’re going to break down a little bit of the muscles, and then we’ll go into the supplementation aspect of what we can do to have either prevention or active treatment during treating sciatica. So here we could see we have three individuals from left to right. The first one is an individual who has a neutral spine. And you can see that as we draw a line down the middle there. External auditory Matis, the ear, is in line with their deltoid and is in line with the median part of the sacrum. In the second person, we can see that they have a little bit of dysfunction in terms of their physical aspect. So here we have an individual whose sacral promontory, which is the anterior side of the sacrum, is tilted superior, and their posterior area is tilted, posterior, inferior. I’m sorry. And what this is called, this is called a counter mutation. So by having that sacrum pointed up, you’re putting more stress on the thoracic region and causing the areas to be more inclined to different stresses. And most of the time, this is caused by tight hamstrings. So these hamstrings are pulling down, forcing the anterior side to come up and stretching these quadriceps. So it can either be done from an imbalance of over-powerful hamstrings or tight hamstrings and weak quads. In the third individual as we draw the same line down the middle. We can see that they are almost in line, but on an individual like this, we could see that their sacral promontory, the front side of the sacrum, is tilted anteriorly, which is called mutations. So we have a counter mutation over here. It’s going to go counter. And then mutation over here on the right side, so an easy way to remember this. They’ll stick forever is that this is pretty much if you think plumber’s butt, this is what it looks like. This is what J-Lo looks like. Oh, so you’ll never forget it that way. But the difference is here is that here the pressure is on the thoracic spine. But in an individual with notated hips, the pressure is in the lower back. So let’s say someone is pregnant and developing another child in this area. They’re going to be putting more pressure on the lower back versus someone who has pressure on their thoracic area. They’re going to be more pressure there. So going into a little bit more of the anatomy. We can see that we have all the different muscles here, and we could see the piriformis, which is this muscle right here. I’m going to give you different colors for you guys, so that you can see better. It is muscle right here. And then we could see the superior gemellus is right under that. So sandwiched between the two is the sciatic nerve. And if we have someone who is mutated, they’re going to be stretching these muscles more and putting more compression on that sciatic nerve, causing that area to be more inflamed. More of those neuropathies are occurring, shooting down the leg. And then in other instances, when we have the piriformis, which is split in half and the sciatic nerve is running between them, and that’s 10 percent of the population that that usually happens. And so and these people have always had sciatic problems. So by strengthening and working on those conditions and going over those nutraceuticals, we’re about to go into, we can treat and alleviate some of those symptoms. So the first one I kind of want to go into is a little bit of niacin. So niacin, we all see it as the store brand as something popping up like that. And most of the time, it’s either in 250 mg or 500 mg of capsules or tablets. I always recommend getting the tablets just because you can take half of the tablets. And I tell people this is because most of the time, nicotinic acid is the main thing is, vitamin B3 causes a little bit of a flush effect, but that’s just the way it works. So we’re going into it here. We can see that nicotinic acid, as it’s going through its chemical pathway, actually produces lots of NAD+, and NAD+ is essential in the cellular metabolism of many tissues. So going into brief biology, we all know that the mitochondria are the powerhouse of the cells we were all beaten to death growing up in basic biology. But as we take a look more in-depth at the structure of the mitochondria, we could see that it has an outer membrane, an inner membrane, and then an interim membrane space. So we’re going to look mainly at this little section here that’s folded in between, which are called the cristae. And we could see that the first complex, known as complex one or all the known as any dehydrogenase, is responsible for using NADH, converting it and using its protons, and moving it across the gradient to make ATP. But we could see that more NAD+ is produced here, right? So that’s where niacin comes into effect. We supplement more with NAD+ to cause a reduction reaction between NADH and some other electrons, forcing it into NADH. So what does this all mean? Pretty much what we’re doing is we’re creating a boulder downhill effect, so we’re making more NAD, and we’re forcing it to go to product. And how does this happen? Just easy thermodynamics is you put a lot of it up the hill. The enzymes are going to force the work to go down the hill and make more energy. In doing so, and you have a more healthy metabolism of cells. And this does not only correlate to neuropathies, but it also helps with circulatory function, cardiovascular health; the main multi nucleotide muscle in the body is the heart, so you’re not only making sure that you’re neuropathies are covered, but as well as you’re making sure that you’re keeping a healthy heart just by supplementing with vitamin B3. Another great one, saying that you have more ATP produced and more functioning and healthy tissues, is green tea. I chose to use green tea because it has a very similar pathway to curcumin in the sense of anti-inflammatory effects. So the main ingredient in green tea in case you either have green tea in your house or curcumin available, whichever one’s easiest for you, they mostly have the same chemical pathways in that they inhibit either inflammation or cell proliferation neural damage. So the main chemical in green teas is called catechins, and catechins are similar to catecholamines, like epinephrine and norepinephrine, which is just adrenaline. And the main one is EGCG. The cool part about EGCG is that it inhibited NF Kappa B and ROS. ROS is just a reactive oxygen species, which is just free radicals, which can cause havoc and wreak havoc throughout your body, which is why it’s an antioxidant. So in doing so, it prevents NF Kappa B from producing any proliferating effects from cells or inflammation or neural damage. Now, if we go more into biochemistry, I can just break it down a little bit here. So EGCG will upregulate AMP. High levels of AMP will down-regulate this enzyme, called glycolysis, and allow for ATP to be converted to CATP. This is important because not only does the CATP break down things, but it mainly breaks down any adipose tissue and helps kill any cells that are proliferating too quickly, such as cancer cells. And it also keeps cells functioning properly, such as neural cells. So as we’re coming here, another cool part about green tea is it has small amounts of caffeine. If you are pregnant, we don’t recommend that you do any caffeine or stimulatory effects. Always consult with your doctor before taking any of these things. Specifically, something that does have caffeine and that we just doesn’t want to mix anything, especially during pregnancy. But if you are trying to make sure that you help your sciatica or your metabolic syndrome. Green tea has another effect. Using caffeine, which inhibits phosphodiesterase and phosphodiesterase diseases, is responsible for turning off CATP, so it’s a double whammy effect. Not only are you burning fat and shutting down glucose storage, but you’re also allowing for this catabolic or this structure that breaks down things to keep going. Here’s a little bit of an overview of the different things that green tea does and how it helps. And just kind of going into another cool part about green tea is that it binds to other very toxic things, such as iron. We know that we have iron in every red blood cell, but people who have hemochromatosis have too much iron in their blood, and they have to give blood about once a week. Someone who has hemochromatosis can take supplementation of green tea and reduce their iron levels, preventing any toxicity from those iron.

 

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: You know, when you’re talking about those pathway patterns, you remind me very clearly that many of the times, the whole idea behind our show is to try to give you natural ways. However, there are potent medications that work with these pathways, one of which is gabapentin, used for neuropathic pain. Many people don’t want to do that because of the side effects and the critical issues that it causes. We were looking at this in a natural format in a natural way. Going back to the metabolic, what are the things that we notice in the metabolic areas you have seen? What are the other supplements? Do you notice that I have been able to assist people in recovering from because Astrid mentioned turmeric, and that’s the line we’re using. We’re using the anti-inflammatory. They’re limiting, limiting the reactive oxygen species or the ROSs to prevent the inflammation from occurring. Is that correct?\

 

Alexander Isaiah: Yes. OK. The main thing is to inhibit the production of NF kappaB, which both curcumin, other known as turmeric, both have the same name. They’re interchangeable and green tea, and both inhibit these inflammatory pathways and cancer pathways.

 

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Yes. So let me ask you, Astrid, in terms of those inflammatory comments. Tell me a few of your thoughts on this particular matter.

 

Astrid Ornelas: Well, I wanted to add another compound that can benefit sciatica or sciatic nerve pain. And that is called alpha-lipoic acid or ALA. And so ALA is an organic compound, and it is produced naturally in the body, but of course, in smaller amounts. Or it can be found in foods such as red meat or organic meats or in plant foods such as broccoli, spinach, Brussel sprouts, and tomatoes. Or it can also be taken as a dietary supplement. And I wanted to discuss the effects or the benefits of alpha-lipoic acid. Because just like green tea and turmeric or curcumin, ALA is also a powerful antioxidant, and it helps reduce inflammation, according to several research studies. And it can also have a lot of benefits for people with metabolic syndrome because it can help lower blood sugar or blood glucose levels. It can improve insulin resistance, which is, you know, an effect, or it’s something that they can that can ultimately cause diabetes. And several research studies have also found that alpha-lipoic acid can also improve nerve function, which, you know, people with sciatica or sciatic nerve pain, especially caused by neuroinflammation. ALA can also help improve nerve function in these people.

 

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: OK. That’s an essential point of view. As you can see here on our list, we have quite a few different presentations and areas such as vitamin C, vitamin D, calcium, fish oils, omega 3s with EPA, berberine, glucosamine, chondroitin, alpha-lipoic acid, acetyl-l-carnitine, ashwagandha, soluble fibers, vitamin E, green tea, and turmeric. As you can tell, there’s a lot of things that we can do to stop the inflammatory cascade. We’re going to be going into all those because sciatica is so complex and diverse that we have to find the best for the patient from the millions of presentations that it has. So throughout the anatomy, as we discussed, and I’ll show you back the anatomy in a second here, you can see that there’s a lot of physiological and as Alex presented biomechanical imbalances that, if not taken into consideration, we will end up with issues in the future as a result of these predisposing dynamics. Now, as we recover these dynamics, we’re going to discuss many different topics. So I wanted to at least give a little more on the side of the things that we do now in terms of differential diagnosis. Many other issues can cause these presentations and from, you know, the dynamics of just a compressive nerve through space-occupying dynamics. We have other areas that come in and affect the patients. So what we’re going to do is in the following seminars, we’re going to go over specific types of things we can do, but let’s give you some guided ideas in terms of the treatment protocols that are out there. We have chiropractic care, which is a form of chiropractic. Chiropractic means mobilizing joints and moving the body, and there are thousands of ways we can do it. A lot of people think that it’s just manipulation or adjusting the spinal. We have to take a lot of things into consideration. We work on the bones; we work in the muscles; we work on the counter muscles. We have to formulate many dynamics to figure out what’s best in line to assist each patient. Once we find out the cause and find out what we call etiology or the pathology and the problem. We can go and use different methods. We use acupuncture, nutraceuticals. We work hand in hand with different providers to provide medications. We also do the goal ultimately in sciatica is to eliminate any chance of surgery if there is a surgical need or that needs to be done. But that’s such a small dynamic that we don’t want to go there unless we have to. We have different other protocols in different methods of treatment, like dry needling. We do aggressive rehabilitation. Now, why are we doing rehabilitation? Because as you saw in the picture earlier, the muscles we have were extremely involved in calibrating the hips. We want to make sure that we, we determine now over here, we got some basic care. We also got some aggressive care. Now, as you know, some basic care will be like ice-cold ultrasound, tens units, spinal adjustments, lifestyle changes, which is pretty much the biggest one because most people end up in a chiropractic office because their lifetime lifestyles change. Now, what do I have? I have a person who was an athlete at one point that suddenly got a desk job and now doesn’t move as much. Well, that’s easy. We can start getting that person back into yoga, pilates, tai chi, getting their bodies to align pelvically, and their whole body structure to get back to where it should be. Here’s the deal as soon as you can get past the inflammation and prevent that, and we can get you to move your body in a way that you did when you were a child, kind of like moving, dancing, and walking. That’s the way to calibrate the glutes. This is a powerful muscle, and as we’ve learned through technology and science, immediate atrophy occurs with the muscles not used. So imagine what happens when you start getting a job, and you used to be an athlete, and now you sit down eight hours a day, that’s going to give some great dynamic. So one of the crazy components is that as I look at this, I give you an idea of the types of exercises we can do. We can go into the extreme kind of CrossFit environment. And if we look at that, you just don’t look at the crazy structures, but you see people moving dynamically. A lot is going on here, and you can see that we can come up with our rehab centers. We have extreme athletes, too, even the people that are, you know, able to move just a little bit. But the point is that as we do this process, we can help someone with the treatments and protocols occurring, as you can see in this particular area. We can see Trudy and me. This is one of the things that the reason I was alluding to. But we can see when you were doing some self-treatment here. Tell me a little bit about what you were doing and what you were experiencing at that point.

 

Trudy Torres: That was, I believe, if I recall correctly, that was after my competition. I did compete for CrossFit. And, you know, it’s hard, after for a couple of hours. It takes a toll on your body. So I was kind of stretching my hip and stretching, you know, the rest of my glute area to avoid that flare up again. That’s something that once you experience it once and you have to go through the treatment, it stays in the back of your head because you certainly don’t experience pain again. That’s why you have to pay attention to all the different preventive areas and approaches to avoid ever having a flare-up.

 

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Well, I got to tell you that I led you there because I know you had a lot of experience with sciatica. Alex, let me ask you this. You know, you were an aggressive competitor in the world that you did things. Tell me a bit of the thing that you did that you noticed when you were working. Let’s say an as a collegiate athlete, did you ever have hip issues?

 

Alexander Isaiah: Only when I didn’t stretch or when I didn’t work on my core muscles, or when I wasn’t making sure that I was anatomically in line, I did have some issues either with joint pain or just lower back problems or even upper back problems that all just tied into either flexibility or I just wasn’t paying attention to either my diet as strictly as I should, especially at that level. So, yes, I did.

 

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Yeah. You know what? There’s a lot to be covered here, and we’re going to be discussing a lot of issues. Did anyone want to add something else before we kind of closeout? I want to thank my crew for what we’ve done here. We are going to continue with this. Because we’re going to go real deep, this story of sciatica is going to get nasty with information. This is the beginning of touching on the subject matter. Thank you, Alex, for bringing the information because extremely, very deep in terms. I want to thank Astrid for giving us insights into biochemistry. My true patient, Trudy, and my coach over here, Kenna, and the supporting staff. So I want also to go if you guys want to find us. We’re here, and we’re here in this area where we are available. If we can help you and you can contact us at any given time. I want to thank you all, and I appreciate it. We’re going to be hitting sciatica relentlessly because it was relentlessly the scourge. It is ripping apart a lot of people at their works. They just quietly suffer. They don’t sleep, they stress out, and it causes a disruption. And it happens in mommy’s world, and it disrupts the whole family directly because a happy mommy is a happy family. So the entire thing is what we want to do is to assess what’s going on here. Find out the treatment protocols and give you the best options possible. Thank you guys very much, and God bless.

 

Self-Care For Secondary Headaches

Self-Care For Secondary Headaches

Self-care for secondary type headaches. Different types of headaches range from mild to excruciating, and the frequency of occurrence also varies from person to person. Headaches are classified into three types that are primary, secondary, and nerve pain headaches. Primary are tension, migraine, and cluster headaches. Nerve pain headaches are also called cranial neuralgia headaches. This is when one or more cranial nerves that run down the neck from the brain become inflamed, causing pain and discomfort. Secondary headaches are a symptom of a bodily reaction or an injury. These types of headaches can be caused by:

  • Sinus problems
  • Allergies
  • Physical exertion
  • Dehydration
  • Caffeine
  • Hormones
  • Medications
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Concussion
  • Trauma

Self-Care For Secondary Headaches

Sinus Headaches

These can be caused by a sinus infection. If pain presents in the upper teeth, a fever, and yellow or green nasal discharge, this could mean an infection. A doctor can help with some antibiotics. For individuals that regularly get sinus headaches from changes in air pressure or other causes, here are a few self-care techniques:

Hot Shower

  • Steam can help drain the sinuses. Take a hot shower or hold your head over a pot of steaming water.

Nasal Irrigation and Neti Pots

  • This ancient remedy comes from India. The concept is simple; the teapot has a long spout that goes inside one nostril. The water/saline solution will go through the sinuses and come out the other nostril draining the nose and relieving the pressure.

Hot and Cold Compresses

  • Individuals can find relief by alternating between hot and cold compresses placed on the forehead. This reduces swelling and allows the sinuses to drain.

Eucalyptus Oil

  • This powerful oil from Eucalyptus leaves helps clear up sinuses. It can be done by smelling a few drops placed on a cloth for 10 minutes or placing a drop or two in hot water and breathe in the steam.

Allergy Headaches

Allergies are a common cause of headaches. Self-care can include:

Nitrates and Nitrites Avoidance

  • These are common food preservatives in processed types of meat like bacon, hot dogs, and sausages. It is a preservative, but many individuals can have an allergic reaction that causes headaches instead of hives.

Avoid Powerful Smells and Odors

This can be difficult with all the smells wafting around but try to pay attention to the surrounding smells as any could cause an allergic reaction. Strong odors can include:

  • Cleaning products
  • Nail polish
  • Perfume
  • Hair spray
  • Paint
  • Cigarette smoke

Elimination Diet

Food allergies often result in digestive problems, hives, and swollen airways but can also cause headaches. Even individuals that are not allergic to the food itself could be sensitive to other items like artificial colors or preservatives. The most common food items that cause headaches include:

  • Cheese
  • Chocolate
  • Citrus fruit
  • Coffee
  • Alcohol

Consulting with a health coach and/or nutritionist can help to create a customized meal plan.

Exertion Headaches

Exertion headaches can be produced by physical activity/exercise or strain. They usually begin with throbbing pain on both sides of the head and cause a red face or complexion. They can be caused by:

  • Prolonged physical activities, exercise.
  • Strenuous activity at work lifting objects or weights.
  • Self-care for stopping an exertion headache includes:

Cooling Down

  • An exertion headache is the body’s way of saying that it has overextended its ability.
  • Drinking some cool water
  • Take a break for 20-30 minutes.

Avoid Headache Triggers

  • Try to stay aware when these headaches present and pay attention to see if there is a trigger.
  • This can be caused by dehydration
  • Not enough sleep.

Chiropractic and Physical Therapy

These types of headaches can also be caused by incorrect posture when working or exercising.

  • Lifting heavy weights or running with the head too far forward or back limits blood flow, causing muscle tension.
  • A chiropractor adjusts the spine and whole-body
  • Educate on core strengthening exercises and proper form.

Caffeine Headache

Caffeine narrows the blood vessels that surround the brain. When an individual stops consumption, the blood vessels enlarge. This causes an increase in blood flow and pressures on the brain’s surrounding nerves. This can trigger a caffeine withdrawal headache. Self-care includes:

Peppermint or Lavender Oil

  • Massaging a drop of oil into the temples can open up the blood vessels and relieve the pressure.

Ice Packs

  • Applying an ice pack to the back of the neck can stop a caffeine headache.

Taking a Nap

  •  Lying down and taking a nap for 30-60 minutes can help bring relief.
  • Alternate decaf coffee with regular coffee.

Hormone Headache

Estrogen levels can affect various areas of a woman’s body, including headaches. Headaches experienced just before or in the first days of a menstrual cycle are known as menstrual migraines. Headaches that start when ovulating are called hormone headaches. Self-care can include:

Yoga

  • Practicing yoga can help prevent headaches from occurring.

Sleep

  • 7-9 hours of sleep are recommended every night to allow the body to flush out old hormones and create new ones.
  • This can help prevent a hormone overload.

Massage

Stress leads to headaches.

  • Massage therapy is highly recommended to reduce stress and keep the body loose and relaxed.

Changing Birth Control Pills

Certain types of birth control pills can have more side effects than others, including headaches.

  • Ask a doctor about switching to another type to see if it helps.

Body Composition


Master Cleanse Diet

The Master Cleanse Diet is a prescriptive program that focuses on a specific food or drink regimen. This diet is intended to last around two weeks and relies on:

  • Drinking a water mixture
  • Lemon juice
  • Maple syrup
  • Cayenne pepper
  • A salt-water flush can also be incorporated.
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, Aleksander, and Michael Bjørn Russell. “Manual therapies for primary chronic headaches: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials.” The journal of headache and pain vol. 15,1 67. 2 Oct. 2014, doi:10.1186/1129-2377-15-67

Green, Mark W. “Secondary headaches.” Continuum (Minneapolis, Minn.) vol. 18,4 (2012): 783-95. doi:10.1212/01.CON.0000418642.53146.17

Tense Hips, Hamstrings, and Back Pain

Tense Hips, Hamstrings, and Back Pain

The body is a connected whole and more than just separate parts and regions. When back pain presents, it might not be the back muscles or spine but could be tense, tight hips, and hamstrings causing low back pain. How it happens, how to stretch and loosen up, and target these areas could help alleviate the pain.

Tense Hips, Hamstrings, and Back Pain

The Hips and Hamstrings

When the hip flexors and hamstrings become tense, the tightness can alter the pelvic alignment. This affects spinal alignment leading to discomfort and low back pain. The hip flexors are a group of muscles around the front of the hips, and they activate when moving the leg and knee upward. The hamstrings are the muscles in the back of the thighs that allow for flexion of the knees and hip extension. Muscle tightness in the hips and/or hip joint stiffness can also contribute to low back pain. Not being able to rotate, flex, or extend the hip forward or backward can affect:

  • Walking
  • Running
  • Swinging
  • Twisting movements
  • This increases mechanical strain on the lower back.

Hamstring tightness can be a side effect of:

  • Low back pain
  • Pelvic positioning
  • Muscle guarding
  • Weakness
  • All can contribute to the hamstrings feeling tight.

Tense Hips and Hamstrings

The factors creating this tightness can come from:

  • A sedentary lifestyle
  • Little to no physical activity
  • Sitting too long with no stretching or movement.
  • Injury
  • Intense workout

Losing the ability to function through the entire length of motion can also indicate muscle weakness and a lack of joint movement where the joint around the muscle becomes stiff. This can be caused by:

  • A lack of movement
  • Arthritis
  • Age-related changes

Stretching and Treatment

Stretching exercises can be the first line of treatment. It is recommended to start with gentle stretches targeting these areas. What works best for the individual is the stretch they are comfortable repeating enough to make a difference. Warming up the muscles first will generate the best results. An easy place to begin is a gentle forward fold stretch.

  • Stand up straight, or sit with the legs extended out in front.
  • Then, reach with the fingers toward the toes. Don’t worry if you can’t reach them.
  • Don’t bounce.
  • Hold the position for a few seconds.
  • Repeat five to 10 times.

For the hip flexors, stretches include:

If the stretching does not bring relief, it is recommended to progress to a personalized treatment and stretching program with a chiropractor or physical therapist. Chiropractic and physical therapy can relieve the problems without medication, injections, or surgery and provide lifelong techniques for maintaining optimal flexibility, mobility, and strength. The hands-on treatment loosens and relieves the tense tightness, reinforcing the flexibility and range of motion. Treatment includes:

  • Joint mobilization to the hips and spine.
  • Soft tissue mobilization.
  • A personalized strengthening program with stretches and exercises that target the specific muscles.
  • Health coaching.
  • Anti-inflammatory diet recommendations.

Body Composition


Monounsaturated Fats

Monounsaturated fat is considered healthy fat. This type of fat makes up a significant component of the Mediterranean diet. Studies have shown monounsaturated fats like extra-virgin olive oil can help prevent adverse events related to cardiovascular disease. A meta-analysis evaluating diets high in monounsaturated fats indicated a significant reduction in:

  • Triglycerides
  • Bodyweight
  • Systolic blood pressure in individuals with type II diabetes.
  • A significant increase in HDL or good cholesterol.

Another study showed the protective effects of monounsaturated fatty acids reduced the risk factors associated with metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease. Monounsaturated fats can have a positive impact on overall health. Monounsaturated fat sources include:

  • Olive, peanut, and canola oil
  • Avocados
  • Almonds
  • Pecans
  • Hazelnuts
  • Sesame and pumpkin seeds
References

Estruch, Ramón et al. “Retraction and Republication: Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease with a Mediterranean Diet. N Engl J Med 2013;368:1279-90.” The New England journal of medicine vol. 378,25 (2018): 2441-2442. doi:10.1056/NEJMc1806491

Gillingham, Leah G et al. “Dietary monounsaturated fatty acids are protective against metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease risk factors.” Lipids vol. 46,3 (2011): 209-28. doi:10.1007/s11745-010-3524-y

American College of Physicians. (February 2017) “American College of Physicians issues guideline for treating non-radicular low back pain” https://www.acponline.org/acp-newsroom/american-college-of-physicians-issues-guideline-for-treating-nonradicular-low-back-pain

MedlinePlus. (2019) Hip flexor strain – aftercare https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000682.htm

NCBI. (2021) Hamstring Injury https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK558936/

Classes For Chronic Back Pain Management

Classes For Chronic Back Pain Management

Medical experts have seen how pain education and cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT classes effectively manage chronic back pain; even a one-time pain management class can help. Individuals experiencing back pain often try a variety of remedies to find relief. These include:

  • Eliminating activities
  • Over-the-counter medications
  • Prescription pain medications
  • Support devices and braces
  • Pain specialists
  • Surgery

All treatment options can help alleviate discomfort and pain, but sometimes taking a pain management class and getting educated on what is happening in the body has been shown to help individuals gain a better understanding helping them to find relief. A recent study suggests that a one-time class may be all that is needed. These quick classes can give more individuals immediate access to information and skill sets that can help reduce the pain and everything that comes with it.

Classes For Chronic Back Pain Management

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Classes

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for chronic pain provides individuals with information and pain management skills. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is handled by a therapist and can take multiple individual or group sessions that last one or two hours. A session can include:

  • Education on pain and how it works.
  • How thoughts and emotions influence pain.
  • How pain affects mood.
  • Sleep and pain.
  • Activity and action plan development.

Chronic lower back pain or CLBP is considered a physical ailment; cognitive behavioral therapy can provide mental health strategies to manage symptoms better. For example, individuals with chronic pain begin to fear doing activities that could increase their pain level and begin to constantly worry about worsening the injury or creating a new injury. This can lead to severe stress that exacerbates the chronic symptoms and can lead to other health issues.

Single Session Vs. Multiple

Doctors and medical experts are trying to make pain education and relief skills more accessible. They do not require multiple sessions and instead consist of single-session, two-hour management classes. A randomized clinical trial of adults with chronic low back pain was compared to:

  • 2-hour pain relief skills class known as Empowered Relief.
  • 2-hour back pain health education class with no skill set training.
  • 16-hour, 8-session cognitive behavioral therapy group class.

The study found that three months after treatment, the Empowered Relief group showed positive results. In the randomized trial, a single-session pain relief class was found to be non-inferior to an eight-session cognitive behavioral therapy class to:

  • Reduce pain-related distress
  • Pain intensity
  • Pain interference

Benefits

The individuals that completed the one-time 2-hour class reported positive results after three months. They found that the course had significantly reduced:

  • Pain intensity
  • Pain interference
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Depression

However, doctors caution that the two-hour class does not replace comprehensive cognitive-behavioral therapy. This is to get individuals on a positive path of pain management that can further develop into a healthy lifestyle. The objective is to create a range of options that meets an individual’s needs. The most significant advantage of a two-hour class is the convenience. Individuals can participate in these classes in person or online.


Body Composition


Supplements That Can Help Improve Lean Body Mass

A few dietary supplements that directly support body composition improvement.

Protein Powders

Protein powders are common nutritional/dietary supplements. Protein powders come in a variety of sources:

  • Milk-based – whey and casein
  • Egg-based
  • Plant-based – rice, hemp, pea, pumpkin seed, and soy.

Rice Protein

Rice protein is a plant-based protein powder used by vegans, vegetarians, and individuals who can’t tolerate dairy products. Research has found that rice protein has similar effects on body composition as whey. Scientists found that individuals who took rice protein and individuals that took whey protein both experienced positive body composition changes.

References

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. (Oct 2015) “Psychological therapies for the management of chronic neuropathic pain in adults.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6485637/

Darnall BD, Roy A, Chen AL, et al. Comparison of a Single-Session Pain Management Skills Intervention With a Single-Session Health Education Intervention and 8 Sessions of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Adults With Chronic Low Back Pain: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Netw Open. 2021;4(8):e2113401. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.13401

Future Neurology. (Nov 2014) “Neuroimaging chronic pain: what have we learned and where are we going?” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5289824/

HRB Open Research. (Aug 2020) “The relative effectiveness of psychotherapeutic techniques and delivery modalities for chronic pain: a protocol for a systematic review and network meta-analysis” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7459872/

Journal of Psychosomatic Research. (Jan 2010) “Mindfulness-based stress reduction for chronic pain conditions: variation in treatment outcomes and role of home meditation practice.”

National Institutes of Health. (March 2016) “Meditation and cognitive-behavioral therapy ease low back pain.” https://www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/meditation-cognitive-behavioral-therapy-ease-low-back-pain

Pain. (Feb 2008). “Mindfulness meditation for the treatment of chronic low back pain in older adults: A randomized controlled pilot study. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2254507/

Pain and Therapy. (Jun 2020) “Rehabilitation for Low Back Pain: A Narrative Review for Managing Pain and Improving Function in Acute and Chronic Conditions.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7203283/