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Athletes

Sports Spine Specialist Chiropractic Team: Athletes strive to achieve their body’s maximum performance by participating in numerous training regimens consisting of strenuous exercises and physical activity and ensuring they meet all of their body’s nutritional requirements. Through proper fitness and nutrition, many individuals can condition themselves to excel in their specific sport. Our training programs are designed for athletes that look to gain a competitive edge in their sport.

We provide sport-specific services to help increase an athlete’s performance through mobility, strength, and endurance. Occasionally, however, the excess workouts can lead many to suffer injuries or develop underlying conditions. Dr. Alex Jimenez’s chronicle of articles for athletes displays in detail the many forms of complications affecting these professionals while focusing on the possible solutions and treatments to follow to achieve overall well-being.


Enhance Exercise Program With Chiropractic

Enhance Exercise Program With Chiropractic

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

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

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

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

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

Enhance Exercise Program With Chiropractic

Nervous System

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

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

Muscular System

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

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

Skeletal System

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

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

Keep The Chiropractor Informed

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

Time Sessions Appropriately

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

Health Goals

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

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

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


Body Composition


Improve Insulin Sensitivity

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

Insulin Sensitivity and Weight Loss

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

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

Improve Insulin Sensitivity

References

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

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

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

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

Planks For Spine Support and Back Pain Prevention

Planks For Spine Support and Back Pain Prevention

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

Planks For Spine Support and Back Pain Prevention

Core Anatomy

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

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

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

Inner Core

The inner core consists of:

Multifidus Muscles

Quadratus Lumborum

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

Transversus Abdominis

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

Pelvic Floor

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

Diaphragm

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

Outer Core

Rectus Abdominis

  • These are more commonly known as the abs.

External Obliques

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

Internal Obliques

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

Erector Spinae

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

Planks and Back Pain Prevention

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

Proper Form

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

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

Plank Variations

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

Side Plank

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

One-arm Plank

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

Single-leg Plank

Walking Plank

Reverse Plank

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


Body Composition


Band Lateral Raise

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

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

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

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

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

Getting Fit and Staying Active

Getting Fit and Staying Active

Many individuals are trying to get fit and stay active through physical activity and exercise. Getting back to a previous fitness routine is an achievable and realistic goal. Fitness means having the energy and strength to perform physical activity and the body feeling as good as possible. Getting fit improves total health. But it does not require training like an athlete. Just walking for a half-hour every day can help individuals reach an adequate fitness level that helps them feel better and increase energy levels.

Getting Fit and Staying Active

Benefits of Getting Fit

Getting the body fit and in shape:

  • Increases endurance
  • Increases muscle strength
  • Delivers oxygen and nutrients to tissues
  • Improves cardiovascular health
  • Helps release toxins
  • Improves overall energy levels
  • Improves sleep
  • Handle stress better

Being fit allows the body to work harder without as much work, the mind is better focused, the body burns more calories, even when at rest, and proper weight is maintained. Fitness reduces the risk of falls, heart attack, diabetes, high blood pressure, and certain cancers.

How Much Physical Activity Is Needed?

Experts say the goal should be one, or a combination, of these:

  • Moderate aerobic activity, like brisk walking, for at least 2½ hours a week.
  • It is up to the individual how many days to exercise, but it is best to be active at least three days a week.
  • Activity is recommended at least 10 minutes at a time. For example, an individual could:
  • Take a 10-minute walk three times a day, five days a week.
  • Take a half-hour walk three days a week.
  • On the other four days, take a 15-minute walk.
  • Take a 45-minute walk every other day.

Vigorous exercise is recommended at least three days a week for at least 10 minutes at a time. This activity makes the body breathe harder and increases heart rate. More vigorous activities, like running, could be included for at least one hour a week. This can be spread out 75 minutes, whichever way is more convenient for the individual. For example, an individual could:

  • Run for 25 minutes 3 times a week.
  • Run for 15 minutes 5 times a week.

Children as young as preschool age need activity as well. Encourage children ages 6 to 17 to engage in moderate to vigorous exercise for at least 1 hour every day.

Types of Physical Activity

Aerobic fitness

  • This makes the body breathe faster and makes the heart work harder.
  • Activities include walking, running, cycling, and swimming.
  • It is also known as cardio or cardiovascular training.

Muscle fitness

  • Muscle strength means building stronger muscles and increasing the length of time they can be used.
  • Activities like weight lifting, push-ups, squats, and resistance bands can improve muscular fitness.

Flexibility

  • Flexibility is the ability to move the joints and muscles through their full range of motion.
  • Stretching exercises can help generate flexibility.

Being More Physically Active

Moderate physical activity is safe for most individuals, but it’s recommended to talk to a doctor before engaging in physical activity/exercise. To help get started:

Make physical activity part of everyday

  • Make a regular habit of using stairs, not elevators, and walking, bicycling to do errands near home.

Start walking

  • Walking is a great fitness activity that most individuals can do.
  • Make it a habit to take a daily walk with family, friends, coworkers, or pets.

Find a workout partner

  • Working out with a partner can make exercising more enjoyable.

Find fun activities that you can stick with

  • Vary activities, so they don’t become boring and monotonous.
  • Use a calorie-burning application to determine how many calories are burned during exercise and daily activities.

Body Composition


Damaged Collagen

There are several reasons the body’s collagen production can slow down or become less efficient. The quality of the collagen made can decrease as well. Environmental factors can be avoided to protect collagen production; however, damage from disease and natural processes is inevitable. Aging is the most common cause of decreased natural collagen. As the body ages, collagen production and quality decrease. This leads to thinner, more fragile skin and achy joints. Certain chronic diseases like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis cause collagen deficiency, leading to issues that include:

  • Joints
  • Blood vessels
  • Organs
  • Skin

To avoid collagen damage, avoid environmental factors like:

  • Smoking
  • UV exposure can accelerate the average rate of collagen damage that comes with aging.
  • UV exposure damage can also play a role in certain skin cancers.
  • Excessive sugar and fat intake increases inflammation and decreases protein synthesis.
References

American College of Sports Medicine, et al. (2009). Position stand: Exercise and physical activity for older adults. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 41(7): 1510–1530.

Anspaugh DJ, et al. (2011). Building muscular strength and endurance. Wellness: Concepts and Applications, 8th ed., pp. 111–137. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2004). Strength training among adults aged 65 or older. MMWR, 53(2): 25–28.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2008). 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans (ODPHP Publication No. U0036). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. Available online: http://www.health.gov/paguidelines/guidelines/default.aspx.

Williams MA, et al. (2007). Resistance exercise in individuals with and without cardiovascular disease: 2007 update: A scientific statement from the American Heart Association Council on Clinical Cardiology and Council on Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Metabolism. Circulation, 116(5): 572–584.

Mini Workouts Over The Day Just As Effective

Mini Workouts Over The Day Just As Effective

Trying to fit exercise into a busy day can be a struggle to find a 30–45-minute window. However, research has found that mini workouts and accumulated exercises over the day are as effective as one complete session. Studies show that short workout sessions take the place of one long workout by breaking up the routine into several small ones and are just as effective.

Mini Workouts Over The Day Just As Effective

Time of Exercise

According to the CDC and its Physical Activity Guidelines, adults should focus on a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise weekly, along with strength training at least two days per week. The workouts should focus on total-body targeting the major muscle groups. However, a long session can be broken up into several mini workouts to achieve the same benefits and achieve the same number of minutes.

Benefits of Mini Workouts

The benefits of short, multiple exercise sessions are that they provide increased flexibility in an individual’s daily schedule, allowing them to focus on their health while navigating family, work, and other obligations. Performing mini-workouts throughout the day makes it easier to stay committed to an exercise program, experience the benefits, and achieve their health goals.

Increase Brain Health and Mood

  • Shorter duration workouts save time, allow multiple forms of exercise into a single day, and improve neurological, physical, and psychological benefits.
  • Performing an exercise as short as 3–5 minutes throughout the day can benefit the brain and mood.

Lower Blood Pressure

  • A study compared the effects of short aerobic exercise sessions and continuous exercise on 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure.
  • The study found that doing three 10-minute walks during the day morning, midday, and late afternoon lowered blood pressure more than doing one 30-minute walk in prehypertensive individuals.

Easier to Exercise

  • Performing high-intensity workouts for a long time is not easy, even for seasoned athletes.
  • This is why mini workout sessions appeal to fitness fans of all levels.
  • Decreasing the time allows the individual to exercise at higher intensities.

Reduce the Stress of Working Out

  • Incorporating shorter workouts can reduce the stress or fear that individuals have towards working out.
  • When looking at fitness from this perspective, shortened workouts naturally become a part of the day that helps relieve stress.

Achieve Fitness Goals

  • Shorter workouts allow individuals with busy schedules to focus on what they can perform in controlled sessions throughout the day without feeling overwhelmed by committing to an entire workout session.
  • Mini workouts are easy to schedule, more sustainable to perform, and easier to commit to long-term.
  • They allow for more focused and intensive exercise, especially when easily distracted.

Plan Ahead and Follow Through

The recommended way to accumulate a balance of strength, cardio, and mobility exercises throughout the day is to set up a plan. Find a routine that is enjoyable and not a chore, then set up the office space, work area, home to accommodate the exercises. For cardiovascular and strengthening benefits, an example of Tabata or HIIT workout.

  • Five exercises.
  • Two minutes on each exercise with a work-rest ratio of 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off.
  • Depending on an individual’s fitness level, the work-rest ratio can be modified.
  • To improve mobility and strength, use weights or resistance bands.
  • Focus on proper form.

Try shorter workouts for a quick burst of exercise:

  • Pick two to three exercises like bicep curls, shoulder presses, bodyweight squats, calf raises, lunges, or planks.
  • Set a watch for 3 minutes.
  • Perform 30 seconds of one exercise.
  • Switch to another exercise for 30 seconds.
  • Alternate until the 3 minutes are up.

Body Composition


Bodyweight Workout 1

  • Ten bodyweight squats.
  • Ten pushups.
  • Twenty jumping jacks.
  • Twenty-second plank.
  • Ten glute bridges.
  • Twenty seconds of rest.
  • Repeat as many times as possible in 10 minutes.

Bodyweight Workout 2

  • Thirty seconds of bodyweight squats.
  • Thirty seconds of jumping jacks or high knees.
  • Thirty-second plank.
  • Thirty seconds of rest.
  • Repeat 4–5 times.

Yoga Stretching

References

How much physical activity do adults need? (2015, June 4) cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/adults/

Mayo Clinic Staff. (2014, October 10). Depression and anxiety: Exercise eases symptoms mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/in-depth/depression-and-exercise/art-20046495

Mayo Clinic Staff. (2015, April 16). Exercise and stress: Get moving to manage stress mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/exercise-and-stress/art-20044469

Restore Range Of Motion With Chiropractic

Restore Range Of Motion With Chiropractic

Moving every part of the body freely, without pain or stiffness, is necessary for a high quality of life. As the body ages, it begins to lose its natural flexibility. One of the most common problems with mobility and flexibility is tight and misaligned backs, shoulders, necks, and legs that can cause pain when moving. This means having a limited range of motion that can cause negative body compensation patterns that can lead to further dysfunction and injury. Maintaining healthy mobility requires a conscious effort to keep every joint, muscle, ligament, and tendon in shape. Chiropractic treatment can restore range of motion and strengthen the body.

Restore Range Of Motion With Chiropractic

Restore Range of Motion

Range of motion or R.O.M. is the measurement of movement around a joint or body part expressed in degrees. It is tied with the flexibility around a joint and plays a role in moving well without pain or discomfort. After an injury, trauma, or medical problem, the range of motion can be limited. Individuals with back, neck, shoulder, and leg pain feel stiff, tight, and sore in these areas and cannot move freely. Range of motion is vital for physical activity, athletic activity, and preventing injuries. When an individual pushes the body too hard and tries to move in an uncomfortable way, they can cause a tear or sprain, leading to added inflammation, stiffness, and further limited mobility.

Factors That Contribute To A Lack Of Flexibility

Age

Body age impacts flexibility. As the body gets older, it becomes stiff and can begin to present with pain, which restricts movements.

Limited Physical Activity or Exercise

Being sedentary with minimal physical activity contributes to a lack of flexibility, muscle loss, disrupted circulation, and weight gain.

Work

An individual’s profession can affect the body’s flexibility. A job that has little to no movement regularly, like being seated for most of the time, will contribute to reduced flexibility.

Obesity

Carrying additional body weight can significantly limit movement and decrease flexibility.

Flexibility Improvement

Staying Active

Regular physical activity/exercise will help maintain body health and flexibility. Activities can include:

  • Sports
  • Walking
  • Jogging
  • Weight lifting
  • Swimming
  • Yoga

Regular Stretching

  • Regular stretching will keep the muscles loose and the joints flexible. Incorporate stretching into a daily routine throughout the day and a wind-down stretch before going to bed.

Maintaining Proper Hydration

  • When the body is dehydrated, it causes the muscles to stiffen and tighten up, decreasing elasticity. Staying hydrated will help maintain flexibility by re-lubricating the muscles, ligaments, and tendons.

Healthy Diet

  • Losing excess weight and maintaining a healthy weight range through proper nutrition will reduce inflammation, improve mobility and flexibility.

Chiropractic Restoration

When normal movement is not possible, discomfort and pain will worsen as the muscles become tighter, causing the tendons and ligaments to shorten and stick together, placing added stress on the areas, leading to pain and inflammation. The body was made to be in motion, and when it does not move and stretch out, it stiffens up. Trying to use the muscles even when they are stiff and strained can make the condition worse, limiting the range of motion further causing the slightest movements to cause discomfort and pain. A chiropractor can provide adjustments, soft and deep-tissue massage to the tight areas to loosen the muscles, improve circulation, flexibility, mobility, and restore range of motion.


Body Composition


Myth Eating at Night Causes Fat Gain

The myth is eating right before sleeping causes the body to turn whatever was eaten straight into fat. However, the fact is that it is not about when an individual eats but rather the calorie intake and exercise level. According to the C.D.C., it’s the calories that are burned over a 24-hour period that determine fat gain/loss, and not when those calories are taken in. Far from being a fat gain guarantee, healthy nighttime meals were shown to:

  • Improve protein synthesis in healthy individuals that ate small meals that were high in nutrients and low in calories before sleeping.
  • They were shown to build muscle, not fat.
  • They had no effect on weight gain among overweight and obese individuals that participated in a high-intensity cardiovascular exercise program during the day.

What can make the myth true is when eating and drinking foods/drinks with a high caloric content: This includes:

  • Processed foods
  • Alcohol
  • Carbohydrates
  • Foods that are filled with calories.

An extra 500-1000 calories after 8 pm is easy to add if not careful. Remember, it’s about the calories themselves, not the time.

References

Marcano-Fernández, Francesc et al. “Physical outcome measures: The role of strength and range of motion in orthopedic research.” Injury vol. 51 Suppl 2 (2020): S106-S110. doi:10.1016/j.injury.2019.11.017

Mortazavi, Fatemeh, and Ali Nadian-Ghomsheh. “Stability of Kinect for a range of motion analysis in static stretching exercises.” PloS one vol. 13,7 e0200992. 24 Jul. 2018, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0200992

O’Sullivan, Kieran et al. “The effect of warm-up, static stretching and dynamic stretching on hamstring flexibility in previously injured subjects.” B.M.C. musculoskeletal disorders vol. 10 37. 16 Apr. 2009, doi:10.1186/1471-2474-10-37

Simão, Roberto et al. “The influence of strength, flexibility, and simultaneous training on flexibility and strength gains.” Journal of strength and conditioning research vol. 25,5 (2011): 1333-8. doi:10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181da85bf

PUSH Fitness: What Is It? | El Paso, TX (2021)

Introduction

In today’s podcast, Dr. Alex Jimenez and PUSH Fitness owner, Daniel Alvarado discuss how PUSH was created and demonstrate how the right motivation can help people achieve their goals as well as, improving their overall health and wellness.

 

Discussion

Dr. Alex Jimenez and PUSH Fitness owner, Daniel Alvarado introduce today’s podcast.

 

[00:00:01] Daniel Alvarado: You know what keeps them moving and growing and living? Tell me. It is another catfish or that predator. So we never have predators in our lives. We stay stuck, and we don’t progress anything. So every time we ask God to take away the stress or God take away this issue. We’re asking God to make us weaker, not stronger. OK. Because instead of asking like, “Hey God? Make me more creative. Make me more passionate, make me more patient.” We ask for, hey, take away this, but then we still want everything else that comes along with it. How does that work? It’s not easy.

 

[00:00:41] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: I don’t know. I mean, if you think about it’s from the first time we’re born. It’s not easy. You got to be one in a trillion sperm, really, and only God is very clear that if you don’t get to that egg first, you’re done. So from the moment where we’re given a chance, we’re on the point of destruction from the beginning. Exactly. So, in essence, why did that sperm get to that egg? So you can pass and fight through it.

 

[00:01:19] Daniel Alvarado:  All right, so then you think of everything else as far as how people complain, how people say, you know, I want more money, I want this, but they don’t look at everybody’s backstory, the backend and the behind the curtains. They think, “Oh man, Jimenez, you are a doctor?” You don’t know how many times you’ve lost and rebuilt your practice or if you’re a gym owner and you haven’t made it. You don’t know how often you have to go in at 4:00 in the morning to get a workout in because you have to train people all day long to ensure that this business stays afloat. You know, people don’t see the back. You see, they’re quick to say, Oh, must be easy. No, it’s not easy until you step into the person’s shoes because you’re the one that has to sign the checks. You’re the one that has to stay up at night and figure out payroll. You’re the one that has to be creative and figure out how you’re going to make ends meet. You are the one that constantly has to be on it. You know, as much as you want to kick back and say whatever and do this, and I would love to work out four or five hours a day. That’s my passion and your passion.

 

[00:02:23] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: It’s my passion too.

 

[00:02:24] Daniel Alvarado: And can we? No, right. What do we have to do? Do we have to be meticulous? We have to be disciplined and ensure we have a proper order to stay on top of the schedule. Yes or no? Absolutely. Exactly. You know, so I’m saying at the end of the day that if you don’t have something chasing you, I mean, you become fat and dormant and become lazy.

 

[00:02:45] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: I think nature is designed to eliminate you. Alex would say, you know, it’s survival, the fittest limiting the species or whatever he’d call it when he’s in biochemistry. You see, I got to tell you it’s not easy to be a business owner. It’s not. It’s not easy when you have no sleep. Ever since I’ve known you, you’ve put the time in from early hours, and you here at 4:30 in the morning and here what time it is? Now you’re here, and we’re here sharing some stories. You know, it’s one of those things where it’s going to be nonstop all our lives. But here’s the thing if you don’t do it, it doesn’t stimulate you to become good at what you do, right? You become lethargic. Everything goes bad. You slowly begin the process of ceasing to exist. 

 

[00:03:36] Daniel Alvarado: Right. So we all need rest to rejuvenate. Get creative. It’s scientifically proven. You need that to reset. You have to. Otherwise, you burn out. Right? But after how many days of rest, one or two where you get this disconnect spastic. Then afterward, you are like, “Alright, cool. I rested enough.” So you don’t stay stuck there.

 

[00:04:04] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: No, and I pray for vacation, right? And when I get it, after about three days, I’m like, OK, all right. I’m done.

 

[00:04:10] Daniel Alvarado: Let’s go.

 

[00:04:11] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Yeah, OK, what I’m going to break. What am I going to do? That’s how we are.

 

[00:04:15] Daniel Alvarado: Exactly. But that’s what makes you so successful.

 

[00:04:17] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Yeah. Well, it drives us, and it drives us to create who we are. And it also gives us a vision as to what we’re going to do. When we start this podcast, you know, Daniel, we want to get or tell the people a bit of the story of what you do and tell them about, you know, where you’ve been and what’s been happening with you. OK. So for me, it’s very important to share with the people what is happening. I’ve always been one to say, you know, I see how hard you work, and I see how much effort you put into things. But I’d like to know a bit of you as to what made you and what kind of makes you click a little bit. When I discuss these things, I want to ask you what made you begin PUSH? What made you start this massive organization?

 

How PUSH Fitness Started

PUSH Fitness owner, Daniel Alvarado explains how PUSH started.

 

[00:05:16] Daniel Alvarado: I want to reach the masses of people and help people. So in all reality, my sister, my brother-in-law, my brother, we’ve all come from platforms as far as I’m speaking, preaching, singing, whatever it is. I was always kind of the black sheep. And I mean it in a good way because I wasn’t trained differently. I just was very rebellious. That makes any sense. I wanted to create my own. So if someone is going right, I go left. If the people go right, I go left. I was always trying to find a different way, and I was stubborn enough to become the most successful by the end. But that’s what allowed me to create this place to reach the masses of people and have my platform of change in people’s lives.

 

[00:06:14] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Let me ask you when you first started PUSH; what was your reason you started it out? You were always into fitness ever since I’ve known you; you’ve always been into a deep understanding. You see, I love sharing that story with people about when I first met you; you were driven. I mean, you were hunting for knowledge. You were trying to figure out what it was that made people tick, and you wanted to teach people… A little cocky, I’d say. But being 18 years old, I mean, who isn’t right at that age? You haven’t been thumped in the head a couple of times. But you did, and you shared it with people, and you did that. But what made you? What drove you? Because I got to tell you, I’m a big believer, Daniel, about when you evaluate families, I see how hard your dad works. I see how your mom’s incredible in terms of what she does. She wins these CrossFit competitions just on meer drive. You have to turn off the lights to get her off the wall because she keeps on going, right? I mean, what is it that what do you feel drove you and what started the whole philosophy of trying to help people out?

 

[00:07:24] Daniel Alvarado: I mean, you put in my parent’s work ethic; they just never stop. They still don’t stop and try to move forward despite what life throws at them, and they’re successful in their way. They never stop working towards their marriage, towards their love, towards serving each other. They showed me that we always have to help people, and they serve each other. They serve at the church, and they serve wherever they go. No matter where my dad is, he’s always trying to help. It doesn’t matter. You try to take out your trash can and table; whatever it is, he will help. But that’s where I learned it from him. You don’t just go anywhere and just be wherever you go. You always serve. And that’s my interfaith mentality. You know, it’s biblical. Wherever you are, we are supposed to serve people as husbands and wives. We’re supposed to serve each other. That’s what makes us so successful. You know, you look at Jesus in the Bible, and what do you do? You serve people. He helped people. Not the norm. The most unorthodox, nonreligious people. You know, all the people there that needed the most help, not the most religious. And I think that’s what I love to do. I love helping the people that need the most help. The unconventional. Not the people that are all ready to let go. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I do love helping them. But I guess I like helping the unorthodox.

 

[00:09:08] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Yeah. You know what, when you mentioned that about your dad, one of the things I noticed is that I came here to work out at around six o’clock in the morning and it was freezing outside, literally freezing. You had a flat tire. Your dad was lifting in the car by himself to get that tire up. Yeah, it was crazy. By the time I got there, I was like, Is this guy working on it? There was no jack, and he was picking up the car himself. He’s pushing that thing up and lifting the vehicle to fit the tire on. I was like; You got to be kidding me. You didn’t even know until I told you, and you said, “Man, my dad never asked for help.”, you know, he does it. That’s one of the things you said, and that’s who we are. We are our parents. We eventually become our parents to some extent, and that’s very much how you are. Your philosophies have guided the PUSH fitness entourage, and the people who come here have been like extreme athletes. Tell me a bit of that in terms of what drove you to pick athleticism as your way of serving.

 

[00:10:11] Daniel Alvarado: I think I’ve seen the potential of what people can be pushed to if you believe in them. Often, people will, you know, people do believe in themselves, but it’s amazing what you see people become or individuals or athletes. When you say, Hey, I believe you. Someone that is not your mom, not your dad, because it’s kind of expected. You know, not that they have to tell you that, but you know, it’s kind of sometimes expected. You’re right. Yes, exactly. But then you have this stranger saying, I believe you genuinely wholeheartedly, and it brings out that much more in you. I know that’s how I was, and I still remember various times where you tapped me on the shoulder and said, you know. What are you doing? You can, and I’m very different; I don’t need someone to preach to me. It might get going, and that gets you going to move on to the next level of the mountain. And that’s what I love seeing as a potential that you could bring down in all individuals.

 

[00:11:32] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: When you see it, pretty much you’ve been able to see everyone crack. What is it you look for when you see them kind of hit that wall when you start working with an individual with a specific set, whatever sport they’re in, or whatever their dreams are? Weight loss or whatever it is. What is it you look for?

 

[00:11:50] Daniel Alvarado: To see the reason why they’re quitting. Are they genuinely tired, or have they been babied so much by society that they don’t know how to push for themselves anymore? It’s a sensitive society nowadays; you can’t push kids because they get their feelings hurt or feel this way or that way. And sometimes it’s like you got to wake your butt up; if not, you will not make it in this life. Nothing comes easy, and I think we’re expecting things to become easy because we’re, you know, microwave generation, where everything wants to be done so quickly. So I look for the reason as to why they’re quitting. This is genuinely why they are tired, and are they going to throw up? All right. But you remember firsthand that when I worked out with you, I went to the restroom and threw up. I came right back. Why? Because it’s what you build with that person that respect, you know, why would you want someone who is an equivalent you when he gets hard, you know?

 

[00:12:59] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Yeah, exactly right.

 

[00:13:00] Daniel Alvarado: How are you going to count on them? How do you depend on them? When it gets tough, they are going to jump off the wagon; that’s it. You are left alone.

 

The Right Motivation

PUSH Fitness owner, Daniel Alvarado explains to Dr. Alex Jimenez how the right motivation can influence not only kids but adults as well.

[00:13:09] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: You know you’re given responsibility. A huge one with a lot of the El Paso kids in whatever sports they do and whatever the sport, whether it be agility, sport-based or just some sort of sport-based system where they’re just kind of, you know, let’s say, hockey or even things like tennis or golf. But they all have a moment of reaching within. I love how you do that in terms of going ahead and seeing the depths of what is wrong with them, and you can connect with them like no other. I’ve noticed that every single time with my kids, too, when you train them. Did you ask why? So really, at that point, you know, no one cares what you know, they care that you care and that caring allows them to open up, huh?

 

[00:13:55] Daniel Alvarado: Right? Yeah, it does. You know, it makes them feel like, you know, I do have it in me. I need a quit babying in myself. And I need to get up and get after this because no one will give it to me, and I got to get up after it and work for it. Period.

 

[00:14:11] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: I would tell my daughter when they would come in and say, “You know what? I’m not coming in, you know, I’m not going today.” And I said, All right, well, let me call Daniel. “No!” Now they sense the obligation and trust you have put into their hearts like no other? Because that’s what they want. They want someone to believe in them.

 

[00:14:35] Daniel Alvarado: Exactly, to push them.

 

[00:14:37] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: That’s why the push to PUSH, you know, there’s another way there’s the adage the push. You know, these are vital points. Do you have to deal with the mind-stuff while working with them? How do you work on developing a child’s mind or working them through their mental impediments or their mental kind of dynamics to make them better of who they are? If that makes sense. 

 

[00:15:04] Daniel Alvarado: You had to build a foundation with them. First, you had to build trust with them. You can just go in and yell at them, Hey, let’s go. Move your butt! You know, you can’t do that. You have to build a relationship first, have them trust you, and understand why you’re pushing them. And then when they’re at the brink of giving up, and you yell at them, and they know why you’re screaming at them. A good parent after they spank them and ground them. They’ll tell them the reason why they did that. But they don’t stop loving them. They appreciate it because they know they’re wrong. Right? It’s the same concept here. Obviously, I yell at them after they know, like, hey yeah, I was sulking, and you start feeling sorry for myself and get after it, right?

 

[00:15:53] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: You know, from my own experience with what you did. You see, you have a lot of moms watching you train their kids. Moms are sharp. There’s nothing more intelligent than a mother in this world. And they intuitively, they understand, and they feel the depths of the change in the child. Right? So when they see the depths of the difference in the child, they trust you. And this is in mass because I have like a whole wall of families, moms, dads. They bring their kids no matter what. Tired, cold, sleet, rain, snow. They bring their kids here to train with you and your entire crew with the philosophies of pushing to those limits. You know, how does that feel when you see those kids excel?

 

[00:16:45] Daniel Alvarado: I feel proud. I’m pretty much over the moon because you see the hard work you took to instill that time into them and make sure their full potential came out. So it’s rewarding, and it’s inexplicable.

 

[00:17:03] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Let me ask you this. You’re not young, and you’re in your 30s, which is a very young age. However, you’ve lived long enough to see some of these kids go on in to do their thing. Tell me how that feels in terms of you watching them develop in terms of their they’re who they are, and what they develop because of the foundation, or at least influenced by the foundation of just don’t give up and keep on pushing through it. How does it feel? What do you think?

 

[00:17:36] Daniel Alvarado: In a lot of sense, a lot of pride, because you can see what they could have been in there, what they couldn’t have been in times. Some kids do come from poor extremities. And so to see them excel believing themselves, go to college, get a successful job, and be something of a higher profession that otherwise they thought they couldn’t build or settle for less and not letting them settle for less is amazing. That’s why I keep doing what I’m doing.

 

[00:18:17] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Do these kids keep calling you and talking to you personally?

 

[00:18:21] Daniel Alvarado: Yeah, they do. They still keep up with me as far as what they’re doing, how they’re doing. They’ll come in and work out. So, you know, to share with me everything. It’s fun. You build that long-lasting relationship.

 

[00:18:35] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: If you could come up with a couple of words indicating what makes PUSH unique and you can look deep inside your heart and figure out what it would be a word to get an obituary being read about you. What would they say about PUSH and you, huh? Would you want them to say?

 

[00:18:55] Daniel Alvarado: Honestly, that they had somebody other than their parents believe in them.

 

[00:19:03] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: That’s amazing. That’s a considerable component of everything that’s going on. When do you think someone actually should be coming out to this place and enjoying the kind of lifestyle that this place, you know, helps enhance their lives with? When is that time?

 

[00:19:21] Daniel Alvarado: Whenever. Whenever you want to be a better version of yourself.

 

[00:19:25] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: What do you think people sometimes think about, you know, why shouldn’t they come in? What should not be an impediment of them coming in here?

 

[00:19:35] Daniel Alvarado: Their image. They can’t do it, that they’re not like, you know, they’re obese, having problems, low back problems, and looking foolish. You know, the whole thing is that in the day, we’ve all looked foolish to an extent or another. But the point is if I always assumed what others thought and paid attention to how I felt this was for members and not being good enough, then I wouldn’t be where I’m at.

 

[00:20:03] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: I tell you, I’ve learned a lot from you, and if anything, my kids have learned a lot from you by just your persistence. You know, I can honestly tell you that my son is better as an athlete because of your relationship with you. But let me ask you, what kind of physical and emotional changes have you watched your clients attain their goals?

 

[00:20:34] Daniel Alvarado: Hearing people say. “He saved me from diabetic medications.” We hear people say like I would have died, been in this obese state, and you saved my life. And that’s how do you not get emotional with things like that? How do you not get emotional and people saying, like, you know, I thought I couldn’t walk or had this muscle imbalance, or how do you say where I have this one client that couldn’t build muscle? I can’t remember the terminology, but the fact that she can build muscle now, where the doctor told her she wouldn’t be able to squat a bar, and now she’s squatting over one hundred and thirty-five pounds, that’s phenomenal. How does that not keep you motivated to get up every day when you don’t feel like getting up? You know, and I’ll repeat it, in King David’s words. You know when you had to encourage yourself because somebody is not always there to inspire you. So you do have to encourage yourself so you can be the best or somebody else that needs it more than you. Ultimately, someone has more complicated than you, and you can always help somebody under you.

 

Conclusion

Dr. Alex Jimenez recaps today’s podcast.

 

[00:21:52] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Well, Daniel, you said it is very short and essential keywords. You know, we appreciate you. We’re here at the push fitness center. You know you got some information there that you can use to find Mr. Alvarado. The PUSH fitness center is a monster center with many people who care and change people’s lives. Suppose you guys have any questions, comments, or ideas about what we do for people. Let us know, and we’re here to serve as Daniel is. Thank you very much, brother, and I appreciate everything you’ve done. And God bless, brother.

 

[00:22:32] Daniel Alvarado: God bless. Thank you.

 

Disclaimer

 

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

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.

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.

 

Pulled Shoulder Muscle

Pulled Shoulder Muscle

The shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint. The shoulder has several muscles that help it move and allow a wide range of motion. A strain or pulled shoulder muscle can affect the slightest movements, making simple activities difficult and painful. Pulling a muscle in the shoulder can be caused by an injury, overuse, and general wear and tear. Minor shoulder injuries usually heal on their own with rest and self-care. Severe shoulder muscle injuries should be addressed by a medical professional.

Pulled Shoulder Muscle

Pulled Shoulder Muscle Causes

Pulling a muscle in the shoulder can happen quickly. This could be from falling on the shoulder, an auto accident, or a work accident. It can develop after weeks, months, and years of repetitive motion and overuse. It is common among individuals that play certain sports or jobs that require repetitive activities with the shoulders. They can also happen with no apparent cause. Treatment and recovery depend on the type and severity of the injury.

How to Tell If It’s a Pulled Muscle

It can be hard to tell the cause unless the individual has experienced the specific type of pain before. Otherwise, it is recommended to consult a medical professional like a physical therapist or chiropractor. This is because shoulder pain can be caused by inflammation of the tendons and joints and/or the joint itself.

Pulled Muscle Shoulder Symptoms

A pulled muscle is characterized by:

  • Tenderness
  • Dull, sore, or aching pain.
  • Sometimes it can cause shooting pain between the shoulder blades in the front or back.
  • Pain when the shoulder is at rest.
  • Pain when the specific muscle is used.
  • Swelling of the area.
  • Shoulder instability.
  • The shoulder feels fragile.
  • Movement causes pain.
  • A bump may develop at the top of the shoulder near the end of the collarbone.
  • Inability to use the muscle at all.
  • If the pain is persistent, it could signify that there is something other than a pulled muscle like a pinched nerve or a joint issue.

Treatment and Recovery Options

Treatment and recovery vary and depend on the severity of the pull and the individual’s overall health. Many find that their pain is reduced with self-care in 2 or 3 weeks. Chiropractic treatment for a pulled shoulder muscle can provide relief within 1 or 2 weeks.

Self Care

Depending on the severity of the pull and how much pain is being experienced, individuals could be recommended to take an NSAID like Ibuprofen to reduce pain and swelling. Self-care can include:

Ice To Reduce Swelling

  • Applying ice or a cold pack to the area can help reduce swelling.
  • Place a cloth or towel between the skin and the cold pack.
  • Apply it for 20 minutes an hour.
  • The swelling should reduce in a day or two.

Rest

  • It is recommended to rest the shoulder for no more than 2 or 3 days.
  • This begins the healing process and prevents worsening the injury.

Wrap or Sling

  • During rest days, it can be hard to keep the shoulder from moving.
  • To avoid this, use a shoulder wrap or a sling to support the arm.
  • However, they should not be used for more than 2 or 3 days.

Gentle Stretching

  • It is essential to get the muscle working again after 2 or 3 days of rest.
  • Stretches will help the muscle group heal and gain strength.
  • Not stretching the muscle could prolong recovery and worsen the injury, and possibly cause new injuries.

Stretches For a Pulled Shoulder

Stretching a pulled shoulder muscle after a few days of rest is recommended because not working out the injured muscle can cause more problems. Not using the muscle can cause it to atrophy, which will take longer to heal, and the surrounding muscles become weak.

Pendulum Stretch

  • Slightly bent support the body by placing the unaffected arm on a table or chair.
  • Let the injured arm hang straight down.
  • Swing the arm in small circles clockwise as far as the pain or discomfort allows.
  • Perform for 1 minute.
  • Go counterclockwise for one minute.
  • Repeat 4 to 8 times throughout the day.

Chiropractic

If self-care is not providing sufficient relief, then chiropractic treatment is recommended. A doctor of chiropractic can advise on the best treatment options and get to the root of the issue. Chiropractors have a treatment arsenal of modalities and approaches to help treat pulled muscles. These include:

  • Chiropractic adjustments
  • Physical therapy
  • Cold laser therapy
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Manual stretching
  • Correction exercises
  • Ultrasound
  • Health coaching

Body Composition


Three Somatotypes – Body Shapes

A somatotype is the overall shape and composition of the human body. Body types based on physique have three generalized divisions:

  • Endomorph
  • Mesomorph
  • Ectomorph

However, it is rare for someone to fall entirely into one somatotype. Individuals can have a combination of qualities from two somatotypes, like an ectomorph-endomorph hybrid or an endomorph-ectomorph, for example.

Ectomorphs

  • Naturally lean with long limbs, ectomorphs typically possess a slender look no matter what type of diet.
  • A lot of endurance runners and swimmers are ectomorphs.
  • Ectomorphs may have a decent amount of muscle but may appear to have less muscle development because of their long limb length.
  • Body fat also seems to get hidden by the long, slender figure, which means they can get away with a few extra pounds of fat.
  • However, if ectomorphs do not watch their health, they can become skinny fat.

Mesomorphs

  • Mesomorphs have a natural athletic look.
  • They can achieve a muscular physique without really trying.
  • The physiology tends to include:
  • Narrow hips
  • Wide back
  • A large frame contributes to a muscular appearance.
  • Many professional fighters, football, and basketball players are mesomorphs.

Endomorphs

  • Endomorphs have a larger structure with wide hips and shoulders.
  • Shorter arms and legs.
  • This type of body shape is excellent for activities that require a lot of strength.
  • Rugby players, strength athletes, and powerlifters are endomorphs.
  • This body type is considered to be a contributing performance factor in Ironman athletes.
References

Blache, Y et al. “Superficial shoulder muscle co-activations during lifting tasks: Influence of lifting height, weight, and phase.” Journal of electromyography and kinesiology: official journal of the International Society of Electrophysiological Kinesiology vol. 25,2 (2015): 355-62. doi:10.1016/j.jelekin.2014.11.004

Brantingham, James W et al. “Manipulative therapy for shoulder pain and disorders: expansion of a systematic review.” Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics vol. 34,5 (2011): 314-46. doi:10.1016/j.jmpt.2011.04.002

Kandel, Michel et al. “Somatotype, training and performance in Ironman athletes.” European journal of sports science vol. 14,4 (2014): 301-8. doi:10.1080/17461391.2013.813971

McFarland, Daniel C et al. “Spatial dependency of shoulder muscle demand during dynamic unimanual and bimanual pushing and pulling.” Applied ergonomics vol. 73 (2018): 199-205. doi:10.1016/j.apergo.2018.07.011

Low Laser Therapy Benefits for Ruptured Achilles Tendon | El Paso, TX

Low Laser Therapy Benefits for Ruptured Achilles Tendon | El Paso, TX

One of the most common tendons in the body that gets injured is the Achilles tendon, and this tendon tends to rupture when a person is doing recreational sports. Most people have opted for treatment for their Achilles tendon through surgery; however, low laser therapy can help the Achilles tendon recover a bit faster while providing beneficial properties during treatment. Low laser therapy has positive effects on the affected area where the pain resides and has helped progress the body’s natural healing process. 

 

Achilles Tendon and Symptoms

The Achilles tendon is a strong fibrous cord connected at the back of the calf muscles to the heel bone. When a person does recreational sports, the Achilles tendon stretches during the activity. However, when the Achilles tendon is overly stretched during the exercise, it can rupture completely or partially depending on how strenuous the body is being put through.

 

Some of the symptoms of a ruptured Achilles include:

 

  • A feeling of being kicked in the calf
  • A popping or snapping sound where the injury occurred.
  • Pain and swelling near the heel.
  • The inability to bend the foot downwards
  • The inability to stand on the toes

 

When these symptoms occur in the Achilles tendon, it is due to the lack of blood flow that the body is not providing. Studies have found that when the Achilles tendon is ruptured, it is a severe injury due to the scarce blood supply, and it could take weeks or even months before it is completely healed.

 

Low Laser Treatments and Benefits

Patients with a ruptured Achilles heel can get low laser therapy to help relieve the pain from the ruptured tendon. Studies found that when patients are being treated with low laser therapy has shown beneficial results. The results showed how the application of low laser treatment is very effective. The therapy provides a consequent relief from the motor function pain to the heel while also providing anti-inflammatory properties to the affected area. What this does is that the low-intensity laser concentrates on the inflammatory markers of the affected area, thus providing an increased blood flow (angiogenesis) in the treated area and decreasing inflammation. Low laser therapy can even help accelerate and enhance the repair of the injured Achilles tendon with frequent treatment sessions.

 

Conclusion

Overall, the Achilles tendon is one of the most frequent tendons that gets ruptured when a person is doing recreational sports. The healing process can take to about a week to a month for the tendon to properly heal. But through low laser therapy, the Achilles tendon can be repaired while providing relief from inflammation and enhancing the injured tendon recovery process. 

 

References:

Ferreira, Rafaela, et al. Achilles Tendon Vascularization of … – Medical Laser. 2015, http://medical.summuslaser.com/data/files/79/1585169982_6Niglp3dbBeG7Cm.pdf.

Jesus, Julio Fernandes de, et al. “Low-Level Laser Therapy on Tissue Repair of Partially Injured Achilles Tendon in Rats.” Photomedicine and Laser Surgery, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 15 May 2015, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24831690/.

Nogueira, Adelmário Cavalcanti, and Manoel de Jesus Moura Júnior. “The Effects of Laser Treatment in Tendinopathy: A Systematic Review.” Acta Ortopedica Brasileira, Sociedade Brasileira De Ortopedia e Traumatologia, 2015, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4544521/.

Staff, Mayo Clinic. “Achilles Tendon Rupture.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 31 July 2020, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/achilles-tendon-rupture/symptoms-causes/syc-20353234.

Exercises For An Aching Back

Exercises For An Aching Back

Reaching, twisting, walking, and driving are everyday activities that require upper and lower back strength. An aching back can easily affect daily activities, generate frustration, anger, and affect all-around health. The more back muscle strength an individual has, the more they can accomplish far more without injury. Immense power is not required to protect the body from a back injury. All that is needed is regular, consistent physical activity and exercise. A balance of body strength is vital for preventing injury. However, overdoing one fitness exercise or physical activity can imbalance musculature, leading to injury. Because the back/spine is the central part of the body, complete and proper care is necessary for optimal health and wellness. For individuals experiencing sore, aching, and tired muscles, here are some exercises that will help in the process.

Exercises For An Aching Back

Alternating Arm and Leg Extensions

Alternating extensions help build strength and coordination in the core areas. The back muscles increase their efficiency by creating muscle memory that supports the work shared by all the torso muscles. Upper and lower back muscles must work together to maintain a healthy balance and not overwork each other, causing strain and fatigue.

  • Start by placing hands and knees on the floor with the head directly between shoulders and facing toward the floor.
  • Feet are directly in line behind the buttocks and resting on the floor.
  • Hips and shoulders rest above the knees and hands.
  • Raise the right hand straight ahead with the arm at full length.
  • At the time same time, raise the left leg straight behind the body.
  • Try to keep the arm and leg as straight as possible.
  • Hold for 10 seconds.
  • Switch sides.
  • Repeat three to eight times, depending on strength level.
  • If it is difficult, a modified option is to raise the arm and leg separately.

Plank Hold

These can help build back muscles and strengthen the arms, legs, and the front torso area. Plank holds are a recommended starting point. Plank holds can be done on the elbows, palms of the hands, or closed fist hands. The key is to keep the shoulders, hips, and ankles straight like a wood plank parallel to the floor.

  • Place hands and feet directly on the floor like doing a push–up.
  • Toes should be on the floor.
  • Keep the abdominals tight and buttocks lifted to prevent straining the lower back.
  • Face straight down.
  • Hold for a count of 10.
  • Repeat three times.
  • For those with an aching back, keeping the hips level with the shoulders could be challenging at the beginning.
  • With practice, it will become easier; then, the individual is recommended to increase the length of time until 30 seconds is achieved.
  • Then increase the challenge to try more than three repetitions.
  • A modification for beginners is to start with the body resting on the floor, stomach down.
  • Then raise the body into the start position from the floor.

Hip Raises

Hip raises help to strengthen the lower back muscles to unite and support the lower half of the body. Training the body to work cooperatively is critical for reducing the aching and pain from muscle imbalance.

  • Rest the body flat on the floor, facing upward.
  • Place the hands flat at the body’s sides.
  • Knees should be about shoulder-width apart.
  • Keep the feet flat on the floor
  • Pull the feet toward the buttocks.
  • Look straight up.
  • Raise the hips as high as possible while pressing down with the hands.
  • Hold for 10 seconds.
  • Complete five to eight reps.

Cross Body Standing Lateral Arm Raises

Lateral raises or side lateral raises help strengthen and tone the shoulder muscles and the upper back muscles.

  • Begin with a single one-pound weight.
  • Face forward.
  • Stand with the feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Bring the weight to rest near the left hip bone.
  • Gently raise the weight across the body to arrive just above the right side with the arm at full length.
  • Make sure that shoulders and hips are stationary and that only the arms move. Do not twist.
  • Hold for 10 seconds.
  • Repeat three to eight times.
  • Switch sides.
  • Modification can be done by sitting in a comfortable chair with proper posture in a chair instead of standing.
  • If weights are too challenging to work with initially, complete the exercise with only the hands placed with the palms flat and together.

Aerobic Activity

This helps circulate blood throughout the body, helping to reduce muscle soreness. A few gentle and aerobic activities can include:

  • Brisk walking.
  • Stair climbing.
  • Bicycling, elliptical, or rowing machine workout.
  • Physical activity that keeps blood moving throughout the body. Examples include yoga, gardening, and dancing.

While the back is healing, go at a gentle even pace for any activity. Jerking and quickly stopping can be hard on joints and discs. When injured, the other muscles try to compensate to avoid causing a flare-up that could worsen the injury and/or create a new injury.

Aching Back Muscles

Strength-building exercises are great for preventing injury and avoiding re-injury. However, avoid overreaching or overstretching with any of the activities. Continuous aching or painful back muscles could indicate something else is occurring that could be:

  • A pinched nerve.
  • Shifted/misaligned discs.
  • Disc herniation.
  • The beginning of an arthritic condition causing inflammation.
  • Back muscle tear/s.
  • Pregnancy.

Body Composition


Sarcopenia – Loss of Skeletal Muscle Mass and Strenght Causes

Decreased Physical Activity

  • Physical inactivity is one of the primary contributors to sarcopenia.
  • Sedentariness can exacerbate the effects of sarcopenia.
  • Regular resistance exercise can help maintain muscle mass and build muscular strength.

Decrease in motor neurons

  • Aging is accompanied by a loss of motor neurons caused by cell death.
  • This can lead to a decrease in muscle fibers and size.
  • This decrease leads to:
  • Impaired performance
  • Reduced functional capacity
  • Decreased ability to perform everyday tasks.

Increase in Pro-inflammatory Cytokines

  • Poor diet and exercise also promote the storage of visceral fat.
  • This type of fat tissue produces pro-inflammatory cytokines.
  • This can accelerate muscle breakdown.
  • Obesity and muscle weakness are associated with high levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines.
References

Alfuth, M, and D Cornely. “Chronischer lumbaler Rückenschmerz : Vergleich zwischen Mobilisationstraining und Training der rumpfstabilisierenden Muskulatur” [Chronic low back pain : Comparison of mobilization and core stability exercises]. Der Orthopade vol. 45,7 (2016): 579-90. doi:10.1007/s00132-016-3233-1

Kim, Beomryong, and Jongeun Yim. “Core Stability and Hip Exercises Improve Physical Function and Activity in Patients with Non-Specific Low Back Pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial.” The Tohoku journal of experimental medicine vol. 251,3 (2020): 193-206. doi:10.1620/tjem.251.193

Smith, Benjamin E et al. “An update of stabilization exercises for low back pain: a systematic review with meta-analysis.” BMC musculoskeletal disorders vol. 15 416. 9 Dec. 2014, doi:10.1186/1471-2474-15-416

Suh, Jee Hyun et al. “The effect of lumbar stabilization and walking exercises on chronic low back pain: A randomized controlled trial.” Medicine vol. 98,26 (2019): e16173. doi:10.1097/MD.0000000000016173

Low Laser Therapy Repairs Tissues | El Paso, TX

Low Laser Therapy Repairs Tissues | El Paso, TX

When dealing with any kind of pain, many types of remedies can help alleviate the source of the pain. Whether muscle pain or cardiac tissue pain, the effects can be long-term if not appropriately treated. Doctors have discovered that low laser therapy can help repair injured muscles that patients have experienced. With low laser therapy, the beneficial effects can help repair injuries that the bodies’ skeletal and cardiac muscles have endured. 

 

 

When the body gets injured, many people endure the pain later or during the accident. Sometimes the pain is short-termed or long-termed, depending on how severe the injury is. Short-term pain or “acute” pain can be simple, like a sprained joint; however, long-term pain or “chronic” pain, it’s more severe to the body and can have lasting effects. Chronic pain can hinder a person’s body from doing the most straightforward task. When people deal with chronic pain, it can drastically affect the body’s musculoskeletal system and even their cardiovascular system. 

When the body’s musculoskeletal system is damaged, many complications can start affecting the joints in many different parts of the body. Chronic pain can cause inflammation throughout the body, causing a person not to have the energy to do any task they planned for the day. Sometimes the pain can be excruciating where the body just completely shuts down. When doctors see their patients, they ask them, “Where does it hurt?” meaning where the pain feels more excruciating on the person’s body. The patient will always tell their physicians that the pain is on their joints or back. So doctors would recommend low laser therapy.

 

Low Laser Therapy

 

With low laser therapy or phototherapy, the effects from the treatment can alleviate the pain from the body. Studies show that the application of low laser therapy in injured muscles can significantly enhance muscle regeneration in multiple and frequent applications. Low laser therapy does target the injured muscles because it uses irradiation, which targets the affected muscle while increasing the body’s natural antioxidants and cytoprotective heat shock proteins (HSP-70i). Phototherapy can even help reduce muscle fatigue in athletes when they are in a post-exercise routine.

Studies have found that physical therapists use phototherapy as another form of recovery treatment for athletes. What the laser does is that when it is placed on the affected muscle and joint pain, the infrared wavelength penetrates the skin and starts to affect the targeted area. The infrared wavelengths cause therapeutic effects by decreasing oxidative stress accumulated by the body while also reactivating oxygen species production, improving the body’s mitochondrial function, etc. Another study also shows that phototherapy can also repair cardiac tissue. The study shows that when doctors use phototherapy, it directly affects the intracellular mechanisms in the heart while also activating heat-independent tissues without causing tissue damage to the heart. The study also shows that phototherapy can be effective in various complications, such as lymphoedema and muscular trauma. 

Conclusion

 

All in all, low laser therapy has beneficial properties in preventing muscle and cardiac muscle tissue damage. Its infrared radiation can help patients go about their day without the pain and suffering that their body endures. By reducing ventricular dilatation and preserving the body’s mitochondria while elevating the HSP-70i, the body can start on the road to recovery.

 

 

References:

Leal Junior, Ernesto Cesar Pinto, et al. “Effects of Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) in the Development of Exercise-Induced Skeletal Muscle Fatigue and Changes in Biochemical Markers Related to Postexercise Recovery.” Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, Aug. 2010, https://www.jospt.org/doi/10.2519/jospt.2010.3294.

Kazemi Khoo, Nooshafarin, et al. “Application of Low-Level Laser Therapy Following Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG) Surgery.” Journal of Lasers in Medical Sciences, Laser Application in Medical Sciences Research Center, 2014, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4291821/.

Oron, Uri. “Photoengineering of Tissue Repair in … – Medical Laser.” Photoengineering of Tissue Repair in Skeletal and Cardiac Muscles, 2006, http://medical.summuslaser.com/data/files/91/1585172203_ls8S6pcJwigZfZQ.pdf.

Kettlebell Strengthening For Back Pain Safety

Kettlebell Strengthening For Back Pain Safety

Kettlebell training for the back muscles and back pain prevention can be part of a recommended treatment plan. When experiencing low back pain, many sports medicine experts recommend kettlebell exercise to strengthen the core and posterior chain. However, if not used correctly, kettlebell exercises can worsen back pain.

Kettlebell Strengthening For Back Pain Safety

Kettlebell

They are made of cast iron or steel and are named for resembling a tea kettle with an oversized handle. They can be used in one and two-handed movements.

Exercises and Movements for Back Pain

For individuals that are not experiencing back pain, kettlebell training can be excellent for maintenance and injury prevention. They strengthen the core and back muscles.

  • The kettlebell swing is an essential exercise and is one of the most important exercises when dealing with back pain issues.
  • A kettlebell is placed on the floor about 12 inches in front while standing with the feet a little wider than hip-distance.
  • The hips become the hinge.
  • Extend the arms down to the bell and grip it.
  • Begin swinging it up and down through the legs and then upward and outward to chest level.
  • The shoulders are to stay relaxed.
  • The hips are used to thrust and create momentum to swing the kettlebell.
  • Keep the spine neutral throughout the exercise to prevent injury.
  • The arms are to hold the bell only.
  • Don’t swing with the arms or shoulders, but push through with the hips.
  • The exercise can be swung up over the head but is not recommended for those with back pain.

Benefits

  • They are portable and don’t require a lot of space.
  • With kettlebells, an individual can train more easily than with barbells.
  • Kettlebell workouts provide strength training and cardiovascular fitness.
  • Once the proper technique is learned, individuals can set up a regular regimen at home.

Proper Form and Mistakes

Proper form is crucial. The primary movement most individuals have difficulty with is getting the proper hinging motion at the hip. Most individuals flex at the lower back and place increased pressure on the discs. Proper hip hinge motion means:

  • Keeping the low back straight
  • Flexing at the hip
  • Pushing back out with the buttocks when performing the swing motion.
  • When done correctly, an individual should be able to stop at any stage and hold that position.

Posture Form Tips

Form issues with kettlebells include:

Hip Hinge

  • When picking up the kettlebell, remember to hip hinge instead of squatting to maintain the back in a neutral position.
  • Drive the hips back in the same way when sitting down on a low chair.

Arching the back

  • If the pelvis is tilted too far forward, the back arches a lot.
  • This can narrow where the nerves leave the spine in the low back.
  • Keep the abdominals tight to prevent the pelvis from tilting forward.

Using the incorrect weight can also cause problems; this could be going too heavy or too light.

  • Too heavy increases the risk of straining the body and back.
  • A kettlebell that is too light does not provide the correct resistance to strengthen the muscles.
  • Another common mistake is overtraining. Specifically, individuals over 50 whose bodies don’t recover as quickly.
  • Individuals over 50 are recommended to spread out the workout days with more than one rest day.

Common Injuries

Proper training before working with kettlebells is highly recommended, especially for those already dealing with back pain. Individuals are encouraged to work with a physical therapist, sports chiropractor, or personal trainer who can teach proper techniques and specific exercises, observe the individual’s process, and make corrections. Improper technique can lead to:

  • Muscle strains.
  • Muscle spasms.
  • Compressed or pinched nerves.
  • Added stress to pre-existing low back conditions.
  • Impact injuries to the wrist and forearm.

Body Composition


Exercise Ball Pikes

Exercise ball pikes are an advanced total body workout. Muscle groups worked out include:

  • Deep abdominals
  • Hip abductors
  • Quadriceps
  • Deltoids
  • Scapula stabilizers
  • Pectoralis major/minor

To do the exercise:

  • Start in a pushup position with the arms on the floor in front.
  • Lift the legs, so the tops of the feet rest on the exercise/stability ball.
  • Knees should be bent to start the movement.
  • Extend the legs out as straight as possible.
  • Hold the position for a few seconds.
  • Return to the starting position.
References

Common Injuries Associated with Kettlebells: ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal (March/April 2017) “Managing Risks of Training with Kettlebells to Achieve Optimum Benefits.” https://journals.lww.com/acsm healthfitness/Fulltext/2017/03000/MANAGING_RISKS_OF_TRAINING_WITH_KETTLEBELLS_TO.6.aspx