Back Clinic Mobility & Flexibility: The human body retains a natural level to ensure all its structures are functioning properly. The bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and other tissues work together to allow a range of movement and maintaining proper fitness and balanced nutrition can help keep the body functioning properly. Great mobility means executing functional movements with no restrictions in the range of motion (ROM).
Remember that flexibility is a mobility component, but extreme flexibility really is not required to perform functional movements. A flexible person can have core strength, balance, or coordination but cannot perform the same functional movements as a person with great mobility. According to Dr. Alex Jimenez’s compilation of articles on mobility and flexibility, individuals who don’t stretch their body often can experience shortened or stiffened muscles, decreasing their ability to move effectively.
When it comes to the body, many factors can cause low back pain without a person knowing they encounter it. Simple actions like sitting, standing, and walking can be difficult or helpful, depending on the person’s actions. Since low back pain tends to vary from person to person and the possible factors that can cause low back pain make diagnosing a bit difficult. Fortunately, there are available treatments that can help manage low back pain symptoms and can help alleviate its associated symptoms in the body. Today’s article examines the causes and symptoms of low back pain, aqua therapy for low back pain, and how chiropractic care goes hand in hand with aqua therapy. We refer patients to certified providers specializing in musculoskeletal treatments and hydrotherapy to help many individuals with low back pain. We also guide our patients by referring to our associated medical providers based on their examination when it’s appropriate. We find that education is the solution to asking our providers insightful questions. Dr. Alex Jimenez DC provides this information as an educational service only. Disclaimer
Have you been feeling aches along the sides of your back? Do you feel stiff when hunched over for an extended period? Or does sitting down make the pain go away or worsen? Many of these factors are associated with signs that you could be suffering from low back pain. Low back pain is considered the leading disability causes worldwide, as studies reveal, which can be influenced by many factors that a person is going through. Anyone can risk developing low back pain as it can derive from different sources that overlap many potential issues. Some of the causes associated with low back pain vary depending on how severely the factors affect the individual, which includes:
Muscle and ligament sprain (Overused muscles and ligaments from injuries, poor posture, or lifting heavy objects)
When it comes to the symptoms of low back pain, many individuals will experience pain ranging from a dull ache to a sudden shooting burning pain that travels down the legs. Many individuals often feel pain from one location of the lower half of the body; instead, it is located on the other side, known as referred pain. Low back pain can potentially mean that another issue is affecting the body. Some of the symptoms associated with low back pain include:
Limited mobility on the hips and pelvis
All is not lost, as treatments are available to manage low back pain symptoms and alleviate the body’s pain.
Aqua Therapy For Spine Health-Video
Have you been experiencing muscle stiffness in your lower back? Do hip pain and sciatic symptoms cause mobility issues in your legs? Or does it hurt when you are bending down to pick something up? You could be dealing with low back pain associated with chronic symptoms affecting the body, so why not try aqua therapy? The video above demonstrates what aqua therapy does to the body and the exercises used to relieve low back pain. Studies reveal that the therapeutic purposes of water have dated back to ancient Egypt, Greek, and Roman civilization; that helps cleanse the body from ailments. Many physical therapists utilize aqua therapy to enable individuals with low back pain. Aqua therapy engages the waters, buoyancy, resistance, and hydrostatic pressure that helps rehabilitate injuries and maintain health.
Aqua Therapy For Low Back Pain
Many individuals that suffer from low back pain will try to find ways to alleviate the pain. Aqua therapy is one available treatment that doesn’t strain the lower back and has therapeutic properties. Studies reveal that the beneficial properties of aqua therapy allow the body to improve muscle strength and range of motion while reducing muscle fatigue by using water buoyancy to take the pressure off the spine. Since low back pain is a common health issue associated with environmental factors for many individuals, studies reveal that water buoyancy can eliminate the gravitational forces impacting the body weight by counteracting it. To that point, this reduces joint stress on the body to perform the water aerobic exercises with ease. Individuals who incorporate aqua therapy in their health and wellness journey may be more motivated to exercise in the water without worrying about constant pain.
Aqua Therapy Goes Hand In Hand With Chiropractic Care
Like any treatment, chiropractic care and aqua therapy have an excellent relationship as they work together to assess and analyze the individual’s problem and devise a plan for them. Chiropractors utilize spinal manipulation to determine where the pain is located. So when a person is dealing with low back pain due to spinal subluxation or misalignment, a chiropractor can help the individual by loosening the stiff muscles and increasing the range of motion back to the spine. At the same time, aqua therapy incorporates the same benefits associated with land-based physical therapy, including a treatment plan tailored to the individual. Chiropractors and physical therapists work together to determine the best possible action to speed up the recovery process when it comes to a person’s pain, giving them the best chance to get back their quality of life.
Low back pain is one of many individuals’ most common complaints worldwide. The many factors associated with low back pain vary and range from a dull ache to a sharp pain radiating down the legs as part of the symptoms of low back pain. Treatments like aqua therapy can help take the load off the spine through water buoyancy and can help reduce the stress on the joints in the lumbar spine while reducing muscle fatigue. Combined with chiropractic care, many individuals can recover faster from their low back pain and bring back their quality of life without being in so much pain.
Abadi, Fariba Hossein, et al. “The Effect of Aquatic Exercise Program on Low-Back Pain Disability in Obese Women.” Journal of Exercise Rehabilitation, Korean Society of Exercise Rehabilitation, 31 Dec. 2019, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6944883/.
Carayannopoulos, Alexios G, et al. “The Benefits of Combining Water and Land-Based Therapy.” Journal of Exercise Rehabilitation, Korean Society of Exercise Rehabilitation, 26 Feb. 2020, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7056478/.
Many live with chronic discomfort and pain regularly in one or both knees. This could be from past injuries, being overweight, lack of physical conditioning, degeneration, or arthritis. Many take prescription or over-the-counter pain medication to deal with the discomfort. Pain medications only dull and mask the pain and discomfort associated with the symptoms. As a result, living with masked knee pain can worsen the condition, and the surrounding bones, joints, and tissues can begin to deteriorate. Chiropractic combined with massage, decompression, and traction therapy can significantly reduce or eliminate knee pain.
Knee Discomfort and Pain
The knee’s joint and ligaments need to be strong and healthy to support activities. The most common issues that individuals develop include:
Knee injuries can be caused by auto accidents, physical strain, playing sports, work accidents, workplace ergonomics, and walking up and down stairs.
Chronic or inflammatory medical conditions can wear down the cartilage cushion between the upper and lower leg bones.
Most common include gout, septic arthritis, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Unhealthy postures and obesity can also contribute to the chronic degradation of the knee joint.
Knee discomfort and pain can present in various ways. Some might hear an acute popping in the knee followed by swelling. Others might notice the gradual development of stiffness and weakness over time. When injured or compromised, localized pain is one of the first indicators. Chronic knee and joint pain can lead to weakness, nerve damage, or create new injuries/problems. Not all knee pain is caused by injury; in many cases, a triggering incident, like an awkward step or misstep, a stretch that went too far, or a walk, can create an injury. Even a sedentary lifestyle can contribute to knee degeneration as the surrounding muscles can lose strength, placing unnecessary strain on the joints when movement is necessary.
A chiropractor will examine the knee through a series of analyses, including x-rays, digital imaging, and a physical exam. The chiropractor will develop a personalized treatment plan to treat, rehabilitate, and strengthen the knee. The treatment can include:
Posture correction to distribute body weight evenly, lessening the stress on an affected knee.
Targeted exercises and nutritional recommendations will ensure long-term healing.
Q Angle of the Knee
Cimino, Francesca, et al. “Anterior cruciate ligament injury: diagnosis, management, and prevention.” American family physician vol. 82,8 (2010): 917-22.
Donnell-Fink, Laurel A et al. “Effectiveness of Knee Injury and Anterior Cruciate Ligament Tear Prevention Programs: A Meta-Analysis.” PloS one vol. 10,12 e0144063. 4 Dec. 2015, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0144063
Hoskins, Wayne, et al. “Chiropractic treatment of lower extremity conditions: a literature review.” Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics vol. 29,8 (2006): 658-71. doi:10.1016/j.jmpt.2006.08.004
Neogi, Tuhina, et al. “Sensitivity and sensitization in relation to pain severity in knee osteoarthritis: trait or state?.” Annals of the rheumatic diseases vol. 74,4 (2015): 682-8. doi:10.1136/annrheumdis-2013-204191
Many people worldwide know that exercising has impressive benefits that help improve the body’s overall wellness. The body has different muscle groups that have a casual relationship with the vital organs inside the body. Organs like the heart, lungs, gut, and bladder correlate with the different muscles through the nerve roots that connect them. When the body suffers from various factors that affect it, it causes referred pain to the body where one pain is at one location but radiates from the other side. Exercising can help the body recover through physical rehabilitation by reducing inflammation and scarring on the muscle tissues. One of the many exercises that helps strengthen the muscles, increase flexibility, and even improve posture is Pilates. Today’s article looks at Pilates, its benefits, and how it can help alleviate back pain. We refer patients to certified providers specializing in musculoskeletal treatments to help many individuals with low back pain issues affecting their bodies. We also guide our patients by referring to our associated medical providers based on their examination when it’s appropriate. We find that education is the solution to asking our providers insightful questions. Dr. Alex Jimenez DC provides this information as an educational service only. Disclaimer
Have you been feeling sluggish or having low energy throughout the entire day? What about experiencing pain in your lower back? Have you experienced muscle stiffness in certain areas around your body? Many of these symptoms are associated with musculoskeletal issues that correlate with different factors that affect the body; why not try an exercise regime like Pilates? Pilates is a system of exercises that uses a particular machine or body to improve a person’s physical strength and posture while increasing the body’s flexibility and enhancing mental awareness. Joseph Pilates developed Pilates in the early 20th century as an exercise program to help World War I soldiers improve their physical fitness levels. Pilates was used as rehabilitation therapy for injured individuals by incorporating resistance, stretching, and target muscle strengthening. Pilates is now utilized for all individuals with different bodies and fitness levels and can provide tremendous benefits.
What Are The Benefits?
Pilates, like any other form of exercise, has many beneficial properties that help improve a person’s health and wellness. Studies reveal that Pilates helps many individuals, including older adults, by improving their posture by decreasing thoracic flexion while increasing lumbar extension for pain relief. Some of the beneficial properties that Pilates offer to the body include:
Increasing core strength: The deep muscles in the abdomen, back, and pelvic regions become stronger and help stabilize the body more.
Strengthen muscle groups: Pilates helps make the muscles not only strong but also helps stretch them so that they can look long and lean. This makes the individual look toned.
It’s a whole body workout: As many exercises work on specific body parts, Pilates focuses on each muscle part of the body and helps muscle development.
Posture Improvement: Pilates help keep the spine aligned while strengthening the body and core. Over time a person’s posture will improve naturally, making them stand taller, stronger, and even more graceful.
Increases energy: Like all exercises, Pilates will give a person the energy boost they need. This is due to the focused breathing and increased blood circulation that stimulates the muscles and the spine.
Pilates Exercises For Back Pain-Video
Are you looking for a new exercise to tone your muscles? Have you been dealing with pain in your lower back? Do you have muscle weakness in some regions of your body? If you have been experiencing pain-related issues, why not try Pilates? The video above goes through a 10-minute Pilates workout for back pain. Studies reveal that non-specific low back pain is a highly prevalent condition many individuals associate with disability and work absence worldwide. Many environmental factors affect many individuals, causing them to suffer back issues. Pilates can help encourage many individuals to regain their health and wellness by incorporating core strength and stability while improving their posture.
Pilates Alleviate Back Pain
Many people don’t realize that some low back pain symptoms are related to poor posture. Poor posture can lead to associated symptoms of headaches, back pain, improper balance, and pelvic issues. What Pilates does is that it creates body awareness and helps improve the lower back muscles by strengthening them and relaxing the stiff muscles. Studies reveal that incorporating Pilates as physical therapy for individuals suffering from low back pain can help address the mental and physical pain aspects with core strengthening, flexibility, and relaxing the tense muscles. Many individuals should never put off exercising when it comes to back pain. Incorporating an exercise routine can benefit the body and prevent future injuries.
An exercise regime can provide many beneficial results for those looking for ways to be healthy, those suffering from injuries, or those who want to add something else to their workout routine. Pilates is one of those exercises that incorporates resistance, stretching, and muscle targeting as it is a full-body workout. Pilates is used in rehabilitation therapy for injured individuals and can provide tremendous benefits. Pilates can help many individuals with back issues associated with environmental factors like poor posture. Many individuals that utilize Pilates as part of their exercise regime will begin to feel stronger and healthier as their backs will thank them.
When many individuals look for ways to relax after a stressful event in their daily lives, many people have an exercise regime that allows them to take their minds off of their hectic lives. When finding the proper exercise, it is best to consider that everybody is different and has different fitness levels. Many individuals could be dealing with chronic issues that affect them drastically and with so much pain in their bodies. When these chronic issues overlap with muscle and joint pain, it can make the body dysfunctional while potentially being involved in environmental factors. Yoga is a low-impact exercise that helps tone muscles, relax tension in the body, and focus on deep breathing. Today’s article looks at the benefits of yoga for the body, how chiropractic care works together with yoga, and different yoga poses can help manage various chronic issues. We refer patients to certified providers specializing in musculoskeletal treatments to help many individuals with musculoskeletal problems affecting their bodies. We also guide our patients by referring to our associated medical providers based on their examination when it’s appropriate. We find that education is the solution to asking our providers insightful questions. Dr. Alex Jimenez DC provides this information as an educational service only. Disclaimer
Have you been dealing with chronic stress affecting your quality of life? Have you been dealing with bladder or gut issues constantly? What about feeling muscle stiffness in your back, neck, shoulders, or pelvic regions? Some of these symptoms are signs that you could risk developing musculoskeletal problems associated with pain. Dealing with musculoskeletal issues related to pain can make a person feel miserable and have stress affecting their bodies. Yoga is a low-impact exercise that doesn’t put pressure on the joints and will provide a full-body workout through strengthening and stretching weak muscles. Yoga has many benefits for many individuals that are dealing with the following:
Studies reveal that environmental factors are involved in non-specified chronic pain in the spine, overlapping musculoskeletal disorders causing many individuals to try to find relief. Many individuals incorporate yoga because it is a safe and effective way to alleviate various forms of back, neck, or pelvic pain causing issues to the body. Yoga utilizes gentle stretching and strengthening of weak, injured muscles while increasing blood circulation to promote healing in the body.
Chiropractic Care & Yoga
When people are dealing with health conditions or injuries that have affected their bodies, it can make them feel frustrated and think their injuries are taking forever to heal. Many individuals don’t realize that incorporating yoga practices provides impressive health benefits while mirroring the similar foundations of chiropractic care. Both chiropractic care and yoga provide many beneficial results to an aching body that needs a good stretch and ready the body to heal itself naturally. Chiropractic care includes spinal manipulation to the spinal joints while reducing inflammation and strengthening weak muscles. Yoga allows the body to increase its flexibility and stamina, reduces stress and blood pressure, and provides a better sense of breathing and balance.
Yoga For Chronic Pain-Video
Have you felt muscle stiffness in your neck, back, or body? Have you felt sluggish or overly stressed from your day-to-day lives? Do you want to improve your balance? If you have been experiencing these issues affecting your quality of life, why not incorporate yoga as part of your exercise regime? The video above shows that yoga poses for chronic pain affect the body, including the neck, back, and pelvic regions. Studies reveal that yoga can help relieve intense neck pain while improving pain-related function disability. Yoga allows the muscles to not only relax but strengthen them as well. Yoga can also help improve the body’s range of motion through deep breathing and give more awareness of how the body holds tension in places a person hasn’t realized they were holding onto.
Yoga Poses For Different Issues
When a person does yoga, they will go through various poses and repeat them constantly as their body begins to get used to the movements. This allows the body to challenge itself and helps the individual focus more on deep breathing. A good example would be an individual taking a yoga class due to experiencing pelvic pain. By going through each yoga pose, many individuals suffering from pelvic pain will reduce the pain intensity while improving their quality of life. Below are some yoga poses that anyone can do to reduce pain associated with their back, neck, or pelvis.
Lie on your back
Bend both knees while placing the feet on the floor at hip-width apart
Arm on the sides with palms facing down
Press feet to the floor and lift the hips as you inhale
Engage the legs and buttock
Hold 4-8 breaths and exhale to lower the hips back to the ground slowly
Lie on your stomach with hands near the chest just under the shoulders and fingers facing forward
Keep elbows close to sides
Press hands on the floor and slowly lift your head, chest, and shoulders while slightly bending the elbows by inhaling
Exhale to go back down slow and rest your head
Be on all fours, hands under the shoulders and knees under hips (Think like a table)
Inhale to lower your core to the floor as your head looks up to the sky
Exhale slowly to lower your chin to the chest as you round your back
Continue fluid motion for a minute
Be in a standing position, and feet are at a hip distance apart
Lengthen the body as you lean forward while keeping the knees slightly bended
Place hands on either legs, yoga block, or the floor (Whichever makes you comfortable)
Tuck the chin into the chest, letting the neck and head relax
Gently rock your head side to side to relieve tension in the neck and shoulders
Slowly roll up to a standing position allowing the arms and head to be the last to rise
Supine Spinal Twist
Lie on your back while your knees bent and feet flat on the floor
Extend arms out of the side and place palms down on the floor
As you inhale, breathe into the gut and lower limbs
Exhale to lower knees on the left side (Look at the opposite way to slowly stretch the neck and shoulder muscles)
Pay attention to the stretches for 5 breathes as well as the lengthening sensations on the ribs
Return the knees to the middle and repeat on the right side
Sit back on the heels with the knees together (For added support, you can use a rolled-up blanket under your knees)
Bend forward and walk hands in front of you
Gently rest your forehead on the floor
Keep arms extended in the front while focusing on relieving tension in the back as the upper body falls to the knees
Stay in that pose for 5 minutes
Incorporating yoga as part of an exercise regime allows the individual to focus on deep breathing while calming the mind. Yoga is a low-impact exercise that helps strengthen weak muscles associated with pain and inflammation. Yoga provides a full-body workout that benefits many people dealing with chronic pain. Utilizing yoga as part of a daily practice might help individuals learn to be calm and practice mindfulness.
Crow, Edith Meszaros, et al. “Effectiveness of Iyengar Yoga in Treating Spinal (Back and Neck) Pain: A Systematic Review.” International Journal of Yoga, Medknow Publications & Media Pvt Ltd, Jan. 2015, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4278133/.
Saxena, Rahul, et al. “Effects of Yogic Intervention on Pain Scores and Quality of Life in Females with Chronic Pelvic Pain.” International Journal of Yoga, Medknow Publications & Media Pvt Ltd, 2017, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5225749/.
Everyone is trying to find what exercise works for them as they start looking for ways to improve their health and wellness. Many individuals who begin to work out would go with finding a personal trainer or a gym that helps incorporate muscle strength training and cardio training to improve their heart and lung capacity to make the body feel good while strengthening their muscles. One of the unique forms of exercise that involve both the heart and muscles is dancing. Dancing is a great way to not only improve musculoskeletal and cardiovascular health but can help reduce overlapping conditions that a person is dealing with in their bodies. Today’s article looks at how dancing helps with musculoskeletal health, affects the heart and brain, and how chiropractic care goes hand in hand with dancing. We refer patients to certified providers specializing in musculoskeletal and cardiovascular therapies to help those with heart and muscle issues. We also guide our patients by referring to our associated medical providers based on their examination when it’s appropriate. We find that education is the solution to asking our providers insightful questions. Dr. Alex Jimenez DC provides this information as an educational service only. Disclaimer
Have you ever noticed people take a cardio class with music playing in the background and see them happy afterward? How do athletes incorporate cardio into their exercise regime to improve their mobility and flexibility? Or how do particular video games make you get up and move around? All these scenarios imply that cardio exercises like dancing may help improve musculoskeletal function. Dancing is one of the many aerobic exercises that can help improve a person’s social skills and is something that can be taken up early while providing many beneficial qualities like:
Improve gait and balance
Reduce functional loss
Reducing the risk of falls
Rehabilitating musculoskeletal injuries
Stabilize core muscles
For the musculoskeletal system, dance would be considered an isometric exercise involving different muscle groups like the hips, shoulders, back, and abdominals without using the joints. When a person is dancing, each of the various movements is related to strengthening the core muscles by working thoroughly with the abdominals. Dance can even help improve posture by maintaining strength and enhancing stability in the body. Studies reveal that dance’s impact on individuals with chronic issues like Parkinson’s disease associated with motor and non-motor symptoms can increase their quality of life. So what does that mean? It means that dancing, even for just one song, can help with movement and foster balance, flexibility, and muscle endurance through repeated tasks while associating with accessible, social, and attractive aspects of a person’s physical abilities.
How Does Dancing Affect The Heart and Brain?
Dancing not only helps with musculoskeletal issues, but it can help improve brain and heart function in the body. Studies reveal that moderate-intensity dancing was inversely associated with a reduced risk for cardiovascular disease mortality. What dancing does to the heart is that it makes the body intake more oxygen to the lungs, which relates to the heart beating faster and circulating the blood to be transported throughout the entire body. But how does dancing correlate to brain health? Let’s look at dance fitness classes, like Zumba, and use it as an example. Studies show that dance fitness classes provide several health benefits that could reduce mood disorders like depression and anxiety while improving cognitive skills. This means that dance fitness classes like Zumba do repetitive movements to the beat of the music that engages the individual to repeat the steps while having fun. When the muscles begin to do repetitive movements, this motor function sends the signal to the brain, making the person remember the movements later, known as muscle memory. When an individual suffers from neurological disorders like dementia or Alzheimers, dancing could potentially be involved with music therapy, allowing the individual to reduce the risk of developing neurological disorders from progressing further.
How Does The Body React To Dancing?-Video
Have you felt terrific after listening to a good song? How about feeling like you just had a workout? Or have you noticed certain areas in your body like your abdominals, legs, and back looked more toned? All these are beneficial signs that you should add dancing to your regime. The video explains what happens to the body when people are dancing. Dancing could potentially be a mediator for many athletes that play sports.
An example would be football and ballet. How do football and ballet relate to each other? Football utilizes efficient and precise movements that benefit every position on the field, while ballet requires speed to make them flawless on stage. Combining the two, many football players will increase their speed and agility associated with ballet to avoid tackles, jump higher, catch passes and avoid injuries on the field. Dancing is an excellent way to get some cardio exercises in, and combined with other treatments can make a difference in a person.
Chiropractic Care & Dancing
Like all athletic individuals, professional dancers utilize various treatments to recover and improve their performance. Treatments like chiropractic care are safe, effective, and widely used by young and professional athletes that want to prevent injuries from progressing. Chiropractic care for professional athletes and the general population can help prevent and treat injuries like back and neck pain or aggravating conditions like sciatica through spinal manipulation. Chiropractic care also helps restore an individual’s original well-being while increasing their strength, flexibility, and mobility. By working with an experienced chiropractor, an individual can regain their stamina by adopting new ways to prevent injuries caused by spinal complications from reoccurring in the body.
Dancing for 30 minutes to an hour can be used as part of an exercise regime and could potentially reduce chronic issues that affect the body’s brain, heart, and muscles. Dancing could also enhance a sports athlete’s performance by increasing their agility, endurance, and performance. Combined with chiropractic care, individuals will begin to see improvements in their range of motion, flexibility, and even an increase in their brain function to dance longer and improve their health and wellness. So whether you are a professional or not, dancing is for everyone.
Barranco-Ruiz, Yaira, et al. “Dance Fitness Classes Improve the Health-Related Quality of Life in Sedentary Women.” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, MDPI, 26 May 2020, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7312518/.
Gyrling, Therese, et al. “The Impact of Dance Activities on the Health of Persons with Parkinson’s Disease in Sweden.” International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-Being, Taylor & Francis, Dec. 2021, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8547839/.
Merom, Dafna, et al. “Dancing Participation and Cardiovascular Disease Mortality: A Pooled Analysis of 11 Population-Based British Cohorts.” American Journal of Preventive Medicine, U.S. National Library of Medicine, June 2016, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26944521/.
When the weather becomes hot, and everyone begins to plan fun activities to enjoy, one of the many activities that come to mind is hanging out in the pool. Swimming is an excellent way to combat the summer heat, but it can provide much more for the body. For athletes, it provides another form of cardio exercise to improve their quality performance when they are competing. While for individuals looking for an affordable exercise regimeor just some fun activity to do, swimming can become a form of therapy and be beneficial for them if they were previously injured. Today’s article looks at how swimming causes an impact on the musculoskeletal system, its beneficial properties to the heart, and how aqua therapy combined with chiropractic care helps optimize full-body health. We refer patients to certified providers specializing in musculoskeletal treatments and hydrotherapy to help those with musculoskeletal disorders. We also guide our patients by referring to our associated medical providers based on their examination when it’s appropriate. We find that education is the solution to asking our providers insightful questions. Dr. Alex Jimenez DC provides this information as an educational service only. Disclaimer
Swimming & Its Impact On The Musculoskeletal System
Water exercises or swimming can benefit those looking for different cardio exercises to build muscle endurance or have a clear sense of mind. Swimming is fantastic for all body sizes, and when it is done correctly, it can be highly recognized as a form of rehabilitation and injury recovery known as aquatic therapy. Research studies reveal that aquatic treatments and exercises can significantly reduce pain in individuals that suffer from low back pain while increasing physical function. Some of the impacts that swimming/aquatic therapy provides on the musculoskeletal system include:
Builds muscle strength
Improves poor posture
Swimming/ hydrotherapy is an excellent low-impact exercise that is easy on the back and spine, especially for individuals suffering from low back pain or spinal misalignments. Studies reveal that the efficacy of aquatic activities helps strengthen the abdominals and legs and stretch the back while managing musculoskeletal issues.
When individuals suffer from back pain associated with chronic issues can become concerning for the vital organs that have a causal relationship with the muscle as they are affected as well. When spinal joints and muscles begin to suffer from abnormal weight increases, the muscles and ligaments become misaligned. Misalignment or subluxation is defined as spinal vertebrates that are out of place and cause pressure on the surrounding nerves exiting the spinal cord. These spinal issues then become a risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders in the body. Unlike many aerobic exercises like running or cycling that may be hard on the spine, swimming has little to no impact on the spinal structures. So when individuals begin to take up swimming, they realize that the water buoyancy helps support their body weight while relieving stress on all joints and decompressing the spine. This gives the individual a greater range of motion, while the water gives off a sense of purification as it helps the body relax. Hence, hydrotherapy helps relax people who suffer from obesity or muscle injuries associated with muscle and joint pain as the water provides gentle resistance while relaxing the muscles to promote longer exercise sessions.
The Benefits Of Swimming For The Heart
Swimming or any form of water aerobics is not only beneficial to the musculoskeletal system but can help improve cardiac function in the heart and even the lungs. Studies reveal that swimming is an effective option for maintaining and enhancing cardiovascular fitness. Some of the benefits swimming provides for the cardiovascular system include:
Lowers blood pressure
Reduces heart rate
But how does swimming improve cardiovascular function in the body? Individuals submerge themselves underwater; they hold their breath until the air is needed. Being submerged underwater may help lung capacity while gaining control of how a person breathes. Breathing exercises associated with aqua therapy help promote stronger lungs and heart while increasing their capacity for blood and airflow to the heart and lungs. Say, for example, a person is having trouble breathing due to restrictive blood and air flow associated with cardiopulmonary issues, which potentially be involved in experiencing an asthma attack associated with obesity.
The Benefits Of Swimming-Video
Have you wanted to try a different form of cardio exercise? Have you been experiencing a limited range of motion in your arms, shoulders, back, and neck? Do you feel tightness across your chest? The video above gives an overview explanation of the health benefits of swimming. Swimming or aquatic therapy allows the individual experiencing chronic pain issues to do cardio activities without increasing or worsening pain, which is very therapeutic for the body. Many people are either training for an athletic event or finding a leisure activity that will benefit them in the long run. Swimming is considered an important factor in a person’s quality of life as it helps them become motivated to make small changes to better their health. Additionally, regular cardiovascular exercises/activities like swimming benefit pain reduction in a therapeutic sense. When individuals are trying to figure out and determine the proper training or therapy that can help alleviate their specific ailments, their goal is to see how those exercises should be done in a certain amount of time without causing fatigue or increased pain as the primary objective.
Aqua Therapy & Chiropractic Care
When looking for the proper exercise regime or treatment for pain issues, it can be challenging to see what works and doesn’t. For those with musculoskeletal disorders related to chronic issues, aqua therapy and chiropractic care go hand in hand in alleviating pain. Aqua therapy exercises can range from simple routines in shallow waters to high-tech equipment like underwater treadmills for muscle conditioning. Active water therapy exercises that are diverse in relieving musculoskeletal pain should be tailored to the person and the specific conditions that are ailing them.
But how does chiropractic care work hand in hand with aqua therapy? Well, chiropractic care and exercise have a casual relationship when it comes to treating musculoskeletal disorders. Many individuals do suffer from spinal misalignment, which becomes a risk of developing musculoskeletal issues that cause discomfort. Since many individuals associate chiropractic care with back issues, the reality shows that chiropractic care not only helps with back issues but various issues that affect the muscles, joints, and organs related to each other. An example would be an individual with low back problems who cannot do any activities for long periods while triggering gut issues. This is defined as somato-visceral pain where affected muscles associated with internal organs trigger pain. So for a chiropractor to adjust an individual dealing with back pain associated with gut or heart issues can slowly restore the person’s natural alignment by reducing the irritated nerve roots between the vertebrae and strengthening the surrounding muscles and tissues. Afterward, a chiropractor may recommend exercises like aquatic therapy to speed up the rehabilitation process, as studies reveal that physical activities are perceived to have a positive impact on health while being associated with perceived symptom reductions in musculoskeletal and injuries, as well as cardiovascular and blood conditions. Once a chiropractic regimen and exercise routine are in place, injury prevention kicks in, keeping the individual moving pain-free.
Whether it is having fun in the sun or finding a new exercise, swimming is not only for just playing but can be therapeutic for individuals dealing with chronic issues. Any aquatic exercise provides little to no impact on the body as it helps strengthen the musculoskeletal and cardiovascular systems with gentle force. Combined with chiropractic care, many individuals that are dealing with musculoskeletal issues associated with chronic organ issues will begin to become motivated to better themselves in the long run.
Shi, Zhongju, et al. “Aquatic Exercises in the Treatment of Low Back Pain: A Systematic Review of the Literature and Meta-Analysis of Eight Studies.” American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Feb. 2018, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28759476/.
Healthy sleep plays a vital role in the body’s overall health, as it ensures muscle growth, recovery, and illness prevention. This is especially true for home D.I. Yers’ fitness enthusiasts, weekend warriors, athletes, and physically active individuals. When sleeping, the body goes into recovery mode, releasing hormones and other chemicals to repair and restore muscle. A healthy night’s sleep provides the rest the mind and body need to perform at optimal levels.
Sleep is vital for recovering from workouts. This could be construction work, exercise, gardening, sports, landscaping, any activity that uses bodyweight or works against some form of resistance. The muscles cannot repair themselves properly without proper sleep. Sleep aids the muscles in releasing protein-building amino acids, helping them grow in size and strength.
Growth hormone is released during non-REM sleep that stimulates tissue growth and repairs muscle.
During REM or rapid eye movement sleep, blood pressure drops, breathing slows and deepens, the brain relaxes, and blood supply to the muscles increases, feeding them oxygen and nutrients.
Sleep maintains the muscles’ sharpness, coordination, function, and muscle movement patterns that improve physical performance. The body needs to sleep for at least 7 hours a night for muscles to grow properly. Not getting healthy sleep decreases protein synthesis activity and increases the activity of degradation that leads to muscle loss.
Less Sleep Leads To Eating More
Hormonal changes occur when the body sleeps less, causing individuals to feel hungry more often, increasing the amount of food taken in because after eating, the body does not feel full right away, so the individual continues to eat. Without sleep, the body decreases the production of a hormone that indicates when the body is full and activates a hormone that causes hunger. Insufficient sleep also lowers the body’s sensitivity to insulin. Because of this, the muscle fuel glycogen is not adequately replenished. Without the regular restoration of glycogen, individuals have less energy, insulin sensitivity decreases, increasing the risk of diabetes.
Unhealthy sleep also impacts overall physical health. Individuals that do not get healthy sleep have an increased risk of developing:
Sugar raises blood sugar, which triggers the pancreas to release insulin, fueling the cells causing overstimulation.
Eliminating sugar after dinner can help the body fall asleep.
Dattilo, M et al. “Sleep and muscle recovery: endocrinological and molecular basis for a new and promising hypothesis.” Medical hypotheses vol. 77,2 (2011): 220-2. doi:10.1016/j.mehy.2011.04.017
Morselli, Lisa et al. “Role of sleep duration in the regulation of glucose metabolism and appetite.” Best practice & research. Clinical endocrinology & metabolism vol. 24,5 (2010): 687-702. doi:10.1016/j.beem.2010.07.005
Murray, Bob, and Christine Rosenbloom. “Fundamentals of glycogen metabolism for coaches and athletes.” Nutrition reviews vol. 76,4 (2018): 243-259. doi:10.1093/nutrit/nuy001
Stretching Fundamentals: Stretching benefits the body by keeping the muscles flexible, strong, healthy, and able to maintain optimal physical performance. As with any other discipline stretching correctly requires using the proper form, correct technique, and practicing regularly. The angles need to be accurate; the body has to move at the right speed and maintain correct posture. The focus should be moving the joint as little as possible as the muscle/s stretch and elongate.
Stretching should become a daily activity that turns into a healthy habit. The muscles need frequent maintenance from daily/nightly bending, twisting, reaching, carrying, and lifting work. This is especially true for individuals dealing with constant soreness, aches, pains, and problems with tight, tense, and stressed-out muscles. When the body is stressed, heart rate increases, and individuals tend to tighten up. Stretching benefits include:
Increased muscle blood flow.
Increased body flexibility.
Helps joints move through their full range of motion.
Improves performance in physical activities.
Decreases soreness, aches, and pains.
Preps the body for exercise and activities.
Improves mental health.
Human nature is to take the path of least resistance, which makes the body feel flexible and comfortable. This is a common reason individuals consider stretching unnecessary or too painful to engage in. However,stretching fundamentals need to be maintained as stretching carelessly or poorly can negatively affect other muscles and joints and worsen injuries/conditions.
To stretch safely, it is recommended to do a proper warm-up, stretch slowly, working the right muscles and joints. The guidelines make stretching safer, more effective, and increase body awareness.
Warming the muscles increases blood flow.
Warming up muscles before physical activity/workout is crucial for preventing injuries and maximizing effectiveness.
Dynamic stretching involves moving into and out of positions through a full range of motion rather than holding a stretch for a prolonged period.
Dynamic stretches are recommended to be held for 2-3 seconds for 4-6 repetitions.
Take It Slow
Stretching out too fast can make the body think that the muscle is about to get torn or injured.
To protect the muscle, it contracts, preventing it from reaching the full stretch.
This is why the correct technique needs to be observed.
A couple of degrees in the wrong direction can mean the difference between a healthy stretch and pulling a joint capsule causing injury.
When engaged in physical activity, exercise, or working, microscopic tears are happening to muscle cells. Because of the body’s stress and fatigue, hormone and enzyme levels fluctuate, and inflammation increases. This helps in fat loss, increases metabolism, increases strength and muscle growth. However, these benefits only happen with proper recovery. Different types of recovery include:
These are the quick moments’ in-between physical movements.
For example, the time between each stride when jogging.
This is the time between activities or sets of exercises.
This is the time between when one workout or job ends, and the next begins.
There is no one size fits all, as everyone’s body is different; it is recommended to consult with a trainer or fitness expert and experiment with what feels right.
For some individuals, 24 hours is enough.
For others, it can take 48 or 72 hours to feel fully recovered.
Other factors that affect recovery are:
Behm, David G, and Anis Chaouachi. “A review of the acute effects of static and dynamic stretching on performance.” European Journal of applied physiology vol. 111,11 (2011): 2633-51. doi:10.1007/s00421-011-1879-2
Freitas, S R et al. “Stretching Effects: High-intensity & Moderate-duration vs. Low-intensity & Long-duration.” International journal of sports medicine vol. 37,3 (2016): 239-44. doi:10.1055/s-0035-1548946
Hotta, Kazuki et al. “Daily muscle stretching enhances blood flow, endothelial function, capillarity, vascular volume and connectivity in aged skeletal muscle.” The Journal of physiology vol. 596,10 (2018): 1903-1917. doi:10.1113/JP275459
Kataura, Satoshi et al. “Acute Effects of the Different Intensity of Static Stretching on Flexibility and Isometric Muscle Force.” Journal of strength and conditioning research vol. 31,12 (2017): 3403-3410. doi:10.1519/JSC.0000000000001752
Post spine surgery physical therapy or PT is the next phase after a discectomy, laminectomy, fusion, etc., to gain optimal mobility and ease the transition for a full recovery. A chiropractor and physical therapist team will help with proper muscle training and activation, pain and inflammation relief, postural training, exercises, stretches, and educate the individual on an anti-inflammatory diet. Physical therapy post spine surgery reduces:
The therapy also identifies and treats any issues that caused or contributed to the spinal damage/injury. A study found physical therapy to improve postoperative ambulation, pain, disability, and decreased surgical complications.
Post Spine Surgery Physical Therapy Goals
Physical therapy goals are to return the individual to full function before chronic pain or injury. These include:
Decrease pain and stress around the surgical site.
Loosen and stretch the muscles surrounding the surgical site.
Strengthen the back and neck muscles.
Stabilize the back and neck muscles.
Learn to move around safely.
Prepare for everyday physical activities like standing up or sitting down, lifting, and carrying objects.
The therapy team will develop a customized treatment/rehabilitation plan as well as post-surgical recovery at home to help the individual and family to understand what to expect, including psychological factors like not wanting to perform the exercises or stretches to avoid pain, frustration, anger, depression, and wanting to give up. However, individuals can maximize the benefits to ensure an optimal outcome before surgery by pre-conditioning identifying structural and functional issues contributing to the injury.
Physical Therapy Involves
Therapy can be done at home, in a hospital or rehab setting, or at a chiropractic/physical therapy clinic. Therapists use:
A physical therapy session can last 45 minutes to an hour. It’s essential to discuss hopes and expectations post-surgery and after the therapy has finished. The therapists will explain the healing process, the treatment progression, and any questions a patient may have. Understanding the treatment process will help the individual want to engage in the treatment plan. The therapist team will also interface with the surgeon to prevent adverse outcomes.
The physical therapy team will help the individual feel better with each session and stay motivated. Having a solid relationship with the therapy team makes it easier to share goals, worries, and challenges that the team can adapt to as progress is made. To gain the most from the therapy:
Try working with a therapist that the surgeon recommends can be helpful as they already have a working relationship.
Keep communication open between the surgeon and team.
Adhere to any precautions and restrictions set by the surgeon and therapy team.
Maintain recommended exercises at home between sessions.
Ease into activity and avoid overexertion.
Post spine surgery physical therapy helps accelerate the healing process and serves to help individuals regain their quality of life.
Power Of Protein
Protein is an essential component of muscle development, bone density, muscle mass, and lean tissue when building a healthy body. Protein is necessary for all the body’s physiological functions.
Adogwa, Owoicho et al. “Assessing the effectiveness of routine use of postoperative in-patient physical therapy services.” Journal of spine surgery (Hong Kong) vol. 3,2 (2017): 149-154. doi:10.21037/jss.2017.04.03
Atlas, S J, and R A Deyo. “Evaluating and managing acute low back pain in the primary care setting.” Journal of general internal medicine vol. 16,2 (2001): 120-31. doi:10.1111/j.1525-1497.2001.91141.x
Gellhorn, Alfred Campbell et al. “Management patterns in acute low back pain: the role of physical therapy.” Spine vol. 37,9 (2012): 775-82. doi:10.1097/BRS.0b013e3181d79a09
Jack, Kirsten et al. “Barriers to treatment adherence in physiotherapy outpatient clinics: a systematic review.” Manual therapy vol. 15,3 (2010): 220-8. doi:10.1016/j.math.2009.12.004
Lindbäck, Yvonne et al. “PREPARE: Pre-surgery physiotherapy for patients with degenerative lumbar spine disorder: a randomized controlled trial protocol.” BMC musculoskeletal disorders vol. 17 270. 11 Jul. 2016, doi:10.1186/s12891-016-1126-4
Flexibility and range of motion are essential elements for an individual’s overall health, physical fitness, and quality of life. Healthy flexibility helps the body:
Maintain a physically active lifestyle.
Flexibility and Range of Motion
Joint stiffness and pain can make it challenging to engage in everyday activities and maintain mobile, physical, emotional, and internal health. To keep the body flexible and moving, individuals need to use their entire body and range of movement. Becoming sedentary affects the body’s flexibility, leading to slowed/blocked blood circulation, nerve energy signal disruption, and sickness. To improve flexibility and range of motion, it is recommended to include:
Stretching the body
Regular exercise and physical activity
For individuals with stiffened muscles and joints, chiropractic medicine can increase the body’s flexibility, improving the range of motion in the joints. Chiropractic optimizes the function of the joints, improving mobility with less pain. When living with arthritis, chiropractic is an excellent therapy to decrease pain and activate the body’s natural healing abilities. Chiropractic adjustments align the spine and improve nervous system function.
Nerve pressure can cause pain or tingling sensations that can become difficult to manage. A shifted misaligned spine can compress nerve endings, causing pain that presents with or without movement. Getting the body in motion and moving around is essential to treat stiffness and joint pain. The objective of chiropractic is to align the spine and body and relieve pressure on the nerves helping the body gain back its flexibility and range of motion. Once the body is adjusted, the nerve endings are no longer irritated, relieving the pain. Chiropractic uses various techniques to deal with areas of compression, including stretching, percussive massage, low-laser therapy, ultrasound, and strengthening exercises.
Chiropractic adjustments relieve pain and improve mobility.
Strengthening exercises to keep the spine in proper alignment.
Exercising keeps the adjustments in place.
A careful assessment of the condition will determine the cause of stiffness and joint immobility. Chiropractic can treat the joints, bones, and muscles to improve flexibility manage muscle spasms and soft tissue tenderness to alleviate symptoms restoring and improving range of motion. Chiropractic adjustments are combined with therapeutically designed stretches and exercises to perform at home, along with an anti-inflammation diet and supplements.
Zinc is an essential nutrient that provides overall immune function. It is a powerful antioxidant that helps prevent and reduce oxidative stress and inflammation responses. Various bodily chemical reactions require Zinc. Zinc is necessary for muscle protein synthesisand hormone regulation. Zinc deficiency is common in older individuals and has been connected with degenerative diseases that include:
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
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
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.
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.
Carrying additional body weight can significantly limit movement and decrease flexibility.
Regular physical activity/exercise will help maintain body health and flexibility. Activities can include:
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.
Losing excess weight and maintaining a healthy weight range through proper nutrition will reduce inflammation, improve mobility and flexibility.
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.
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:
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.
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
Walking for a healthy back. This simple form of exercise can:
Trim the waistline.
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.
Facilitates strong circulation.
Improves bone strength.
Walking For A Healthy Back
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.
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.
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:
Improved skin tone.
Lower risk of diabetes.
Reduced risk of depression.
Improved cardiovascular health that lowers the risk of:
High blood pressure.
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 involves short periods of high-intensity walking followed by alonger 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.
They will help strengthen the arms, shoulders, and upper back.
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.
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
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.
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.
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, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28987080/.
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.
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 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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
A somatotype is the overall shape and composition of the human body. Body types based on physique have three generalized divisions:
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.
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 have a natural athletic look.
They can achieve a muscular physique without really trying.
The physiology tends to include:
A large frame contributes to a muscular appearance.
Many professional fighters, football, and basketball players are mesomorphs.
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.
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
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