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Lower Back Pain

Back Clinic Lower Back Pain Chiropractic Team. More than 80% of the population suffers from back pain at some point in their lives. Most cases can be linked to the most common causes: muscle strain, injury, or overuse. But it can also be attributed to a specific condition of the spine: Herniated Disc, Degenerative Disc Disease, Spondylolisthesis, Spinal Stenosis, and Osteoarthritis. Less common conditions are sacroiliac joint dysfunction, spinal tumors, fibromyalgia, and piriformis syndrome.

Pain is caused by damage or injury to the muscles and ligaments of the back. Dr. Alex Jimenez compiled articles outline the importance of understanding the causes and effects of this uncomfortable symptom. Chiropractic focuses on restoring a person’s strength and flexibility to help improve symptoms of lower back pain.


Playing Tennis With Back Pain

Playing Tennis With Back Pain

Tennis is a sport that can be enjoyed by individuals of all ages and provides optimal physical activity and cardiovascular exercise. Although it can be leisurely, it does require being light on the feet with quick, starting, stopping, turning, and twisting movements for those new to playing tennis. If back pain is present, playing can be difficult. One study showed almost 40% of tennis players missed one or more tournaments because of low back pain/problems. A 2016 study found that tennis players with low back pain have difficulty moving their muscles with ease.

Playing Tennis With Back Pain

Know and Understand the Risks

Playing tennis has its risks when it comes to back pain. What can bring on or worsen back pain are the repetitive motions, like swinging, serving, volleying, and the uneven force placed on the body. This force is the power and momentum that is used for certain swings like serving and forehands. What happens is it does not evenly distribute through the body, increasing the potential to cause strains and sprains. For example, the serving motion repeatedly puts a hyperextension force through the spine. The result is overuse injuries.

Preparation

No one wants to injure their back for those new to tennis and those who have been playing for years. This is where off-court conditioning comes in and preventive measures. This includes:

  • Work on endurance and stamina
  • Strengthen the core muscles without aggravating the back
  • Ease into playing
  • Don’t play for too long when starting or multiple days in a row
  • Gradually increase the frequency and intensity
  • Focus on the fundamental skills rather than trying to blast the ball like the pros.
  • Trying to smash the ball too soon can result in a rotator cuff injury.

Stay Aware of Your Body

Playing tennis can cause an individual to become distracted; however, it’s crucial to be mindful of the body and what’s going on.

  • Pay attention to the heat.
  • Humidity
  • Proper rest between games
  • Hydration to prevent muscle cramping
  • Stretching before and after playing
  • Warming up and cooling down
  • Take a break and stretch out if pain symptoms present.
  • Never play through the pain that could result in worsening or creating new injuries.
  • Pay attention to proper form.
  • Apply modifications to prevent and avoid worsened back pain. This could be serving more simply or hitting around a stroke that generates pain symptoms.

Cooling Down

After a match, rehydrate the body and cool down. This could be a little walking around the court, if possible getting in a pool or water splash park, and let the musculoskeletal system recover. Do some spinal exercises afterward, like yoga poses. Applying anti-inflammatory creams or gels can help keep the muscles loose and promote circulation. Anti-inflammatory foods can help with pain and inflammation.

Spinal Conditions

There are individuals with spinal conditions that should not play tennis. These include:

  • Acute disc herniation
  • Active bone injury/s – fractures and stress fractures
  • Spinal instability – spondylolisthesis
  • Post-spine surgery
  • A spinal condition involving nerves and/or the spinal cord

Consult a doctor before adding tennis to a physical regimen.  Tennis is an aerobic activity that has several benefits. It keeps the body physically active for mental and physical wellness. The hormones released can help mitigate musculoskeletal pain and negative emotions like depression and anxiety that can come from experiencing back pain.


Body Composition


Magnesium

Magnesium supports a healthy immune system. It helps maintain:

  • Healthy bone structure
  • Muscle function
  • Insulin levels
  • Facilitates the body with energy
  • Acts as a calcium blocker
  • Reduces cramping
  • Aids muscle relaxation after exercise/physical activity

Magnesium is essential in several biochemical reactions; a slight deficiency can increase cardiovascular disease risk. Deficiency can also lead to an increased risk of insulin resistance. Magnesium-rich foods are also high fiber foods. Dietary fiber helps with:

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

Recommended sources of Magnesium include:

  • Green vegetables – spinach, swiss chard, and turnip greens
  • Nuts – almonds and cashews
  • Seeds
  • Legumes
  • Cocoa
References

Clinics in Sports Medicine. (April 1988) “Low back pain in the competitive tennis player.” https://europepmc.org/article/med/2968850

Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport. (April 2016) “Trunk muscle activation, fatigue and low back pain in tennis players” https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1440244015000845

Jahnen-Dechent, Wilhelm, and Markus Ketteler. “Magnesium basics.” Clinical kidney journal vol. 5,Suppl 1 (2012): i3-i14. doi:10.1093/ndtplus/sfr163

Katz, David L et al. “Cocoa and chocolate in human health and disease.” Antioxidants & redox signaling vol. 15,10 (2011): 2779-811. doi:10.1089/ars.2010.3697

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

Lower/Lumbar Back Total Disc Replacement or Fusion Options

Lower/Lumbar Back Total Disc Replacement or Fusion Options

Many doctors/surgeons rely on the widely adopted lumbar spinal fusion. However, experts have asserted that lumbar total disc replacement or TDR should be made available and increased for treating degenerative disc disease and other spinal conditions. Individuals interested in total disc replacement, the ability to have it done, and if insurance will pay? What to know about TDR and fusion before deciding and moving forward.

Lower/Lumbar Back Total Disc Replacement or Fusion Options

Total Disc Replacement

Spinal fusion has been the traditional approach for relieving lower back pain. In this procedure, a bone graft is inserted between two or more vertebrae. This eliminates movement that causes pain or could be dangerous to the individual. Total disc replacement demands more on a technical level than spinal fusion. However, the worn-out, injured, or damaged disc is fully replaced, even a completely degenerated disc, with a metal and/or plastic one. Benefits from lumbar TDR surgery include:

  • Shown to be a safe procedure with minimal complications
  • Significant improvement in health and quality of life
  • High rates of successful outcomes
  • Mobility is preserved

Who Needs Disc Replacement?

Low back problems affect more than a third of the population. This can come from:

  • Personal
  • Work
  • Sports
  • Automobile injuries
  • Aging
  • All are risk factors

Fusion or Total disc replacement

Fusion reduces and eliminates motion around the affected area which also changes with the spine’s mechanics. It can also place increased stress on the surrounding segments. However, the lack of motion is to eliminate the pain. Total disc replacement does increase mobility, but it can’t fully relieve the pain.  It can relieve pain generated from the disc but not from other causes. TDR has been shown to:

  • Provides motion preservation
  • Reduces staying at the hospital
  • Provides long-term durability
  • Lower reoperation rates compared to fusion

Total disc replacement issues:

  • The procedure is more time-consuming
  • A lot of time making decisions
  • A lot of time preparing

An example could be the patient has a narrow disc space. Looking at the X-rays of the discs above and below, the surgeon has to make sure they choose the right size. Next, the narrow space needs to be mobilized back to a normal height that cannot be too high or too short. Finally, the surgeon has to make sure that the disc is anchored and fits properly.

Why Surgeons Still Choose Fusion?

Despite the benefits, there are reasons why surgeons still choose fusion.

  • There are strict rules as to when TDR can be used. This means insurers are prone only to approve fusion procedures.
  • The surgical technique is challenging. TDR surgery is a highly demanding procedure. As a result, many doctors specializing in fusion for 20 years or more can be reluctant to perform the procedure.
  • Complications and revision surgeries. Reoperations are sometimes necessary, but this happens in both fusion and TDR.

Individual Needs

Fortunately, most individuals with lower back problems never need total disc replacement. And those that do have severe pain/conditions are recommended to try non-invasive/surgical treatment. This ranges from:

  • Chiropractic
  • Physical therapy
  • Massage

Imaging and lab tests will be required. However, if an operation is necessary, ask questions about both procedures. For example, if a surgeon insists that fusion is the only option, ask why total disc replacement is not an option?


Body Composition Testing


Protein and Weight Loss

Protein is one of three basic macronutrients found in food. Proteins are made up of smaller units called amino acids. There are 22 amino acids, with 9 of these being essential. This means the body needs them, as the body cannot produce them. These essential amino acids can be obtained by eating protein-rich foods like:

  • Eggs
  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Vegetarian/vegan options include:
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Beans
  • Tofu

Generally, all the essential amino acids cannot be obtained from just one food. Therefore it is recommended to eat a variety of animal and plant-based proteins. Protein is in almost every structure and function of the body.

Antibodies

These proteins fight off any infections, bacteria, etc.

Repair, maintenance, and structural

Proteins are the building blocks of the body’s muscles, bones, skin, and hair.

Hormones

Chemical messenger proteins are how cells and organs communicate. For example, Growth Hormone affects muscle gain and fat loss.

Enzymes

Not all proteins are enzymes; however, all enzymes are proteins. These proteins are catalysts or starters for chemical reactions in the body.

Transportation and storage

Some proteins carry molecules where they are needed. For example, hemoglobin or the red blood cells carry oxygen to cells, then transport carbon dioxide away.

Not getting enough protein in one’s diet can have serious consequences on the body’s health. Without enough protein, the muscles can begin to atrophy or waste away, taking Lean Body Mass, strength, and energy away as well.

General Disclaimer *

The information herein is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified healthcare professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional. Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. In addition, we provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.

We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

phone: 915-850-0900

Licensed in: Texas & New Mexico*

References

Salzmann, Stephan N et al. “Lumbar disc replacement surgery-successes and obstacles to widespread adoption.” Current reviews in musculoskeletal medicine vol. 10,2 (2017): 153-159. doi:10.1007/s12178-017-9397-4

Hopkins overview of Lumbar TDR (for consumers) https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/treatment-tests-and-therapies/lumbar-disk-replacement

“Comparison of Lumbar Total Disc Replacement With Surgical Spinal Fusion for the Treatment of Single-Level Degenerative Disc Disease: A Meta-Analysis of 5-Year Outcomes From Randomized Controlled Trials”, Zigler J, et al., Global Spine Journal, June 2018, PMC602295 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6022955/

“Overview of Lumbar TDR” (for consumers); Johns Hopkins Medical Center https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/treatment-tests-and-therapies/lumbar-disk-replacement

Lower Back Muscle Knots Can Be Broken Down With Chiropractic

Lower Back Muscle Knots Can Be Broken Down With Chiropractic

Muscle knots are common and can occur anywhere on the body. They can cause aching and pain in the muscles and joints. When examining a muscle knot also known as myofascial trigger points, it can feel swollen, tense, or like a bump. A particular area where these knots present is in the low back. This happens from excessive wear-and-tear on the lower spine from work, school, daily tasks, and chores. This causes the muscle fibers to tear, and with restricted or no time to rest the area and let it heal properly leads to the fibers bunching/clumping together forming a painful knot.11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Lower Back Muscle Knots Can Be Broken Down With Chiropractic

Muscle Knots In The Lower Back

A muscle knot in the lower back causes aching, soreness, and full-on pain. They tighten and contract even when the muscle is resting. The affected area often becomes inflamed or swollen causing pain and aches to radiate/spread to the gluteal muscles, as well.

Development

These knots develop when the tissue fibers pull apart and bunch up together. They start to stick together and with time the area becomes thicker. This results in the muscle knot. They can be caused by:

  • Stress
  • Tension
  • Poor posture
  • Muscle overuse
  • Muscle strain
  • Sedentary habits

Body dehydration and an unhealthy diet can also contribute to muscle knots. They look like a small bump under the skin. The bump can be red and is usually tender/sore when touched. However, not all muscle knots are visible, but when touched there is soreness and/or pain.

Do They Go Away?

They can go away on their own, but this comes from proper rest and recovery time. However, muscle knots should not be ignored, as even the smallest knot can compress surrounding nerves and muscle tissues. This can cause irritation and weakness. Larger muscle knots could cause movement/mobility issues.

Therapies

Stretching

Stretching will help stretch out and release tight muscle knots. Stretching loosens the muscle fibers and prevents them from becoming attached. Stretches to release a muscle knot include:

Start with these simple stretches/exercises and slowly work up to more vigorous ones.

Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care can break down muscle knots through various adjustments. They are experts on the musculoskeletal system and understand where the problem is occurring along with the connected muscles.

  • A chiropractor will palpate the spot where the most pain presents and the surrounding area.
  • They will begin with a soft massage. This warms up the area getting the blood circulating. The blood circulation helps prevent pain making the adjustment/s far more effective.
  • Then pressing on nearby joints that the muscle knot is connected to breaks up the tight fibers.
  • Then the section/area is stretched out. This extends the fibers and prevents them from winding back into a knot.
  • They will recommend stretches and exercises

Therapeutic Massage

A massage helps to release tension and encourages muscle knots to loosen up and break down. A massage therapist will perform a deep tissue massage or a Swedish massage. Massage helps to release endorphins, which are the body’s natural painkiller. These calm the body and reduce pain. They will also recommend simple massages at home. These can include:

  • Rolling a massage ball/roller on the muscle knot
  • Self-massage using the fingers in circular motions on the affected area

Heat and Ice

Hot and cold therapy can calm and prevent inflammation. Heating pads are best if the area has stiffness or is painful. The heat relaxes tight muscles and increases blood flow. Cold therapy stops the swelling. If the muscle knot gets bigger or begins turning red, icing the area is recommended. Alternating between the two can eliminate symptoms and assist with quicker healing.


Body Composition


Building Functional Strength

There are exercises to improve functional strength. Functional training targets specific areas:

These types of exercises should be incorporated into a workout routine. One exercise is:

Pushup to Arm and Hip Raise

The muscles worked include:

  • Pectoralis major/minor
  • Rectus abdominus
  • Obliques
  • Deep abdominals
  • Hip abductors and rotators
  • Scapula stabilizers

To do the exercise

  • Start with doing a normal pushup.
  • When the top of the movement is reached
  • Lift one arm up, turn the shoulder, and reach up
  • Then lift the outside leg up as high as possible and hold for 10 seconds
  • Repeat on the other side
  • Do 6-10 repetitions on each side

This exercise builds shoulder, arm, and hip strength. It engages the core and abdominal muscles and improves flexibility in the shoulders, back, and hips.

Disclaimer

The information herein is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional. Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the musculoskeletal system’s injuries or disorders. Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, CTG*
email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com
phone: 915-850-0900
Licensed in Texas & New Mexico

References

Cramer, Holger et al. “Postural awareness and its relation to pain: validation of an innovative instrument measuring awareness of body posture in patients with chronic pain.” BMC musculoskeletal disorders vol. 19,1 109. 6 Apr. 2018, doi:10.1186/s12891-018-2031-9

Malanga, Gerard A et al. “Mechanisms and efficacy of heat and cold therapies for musculoskeletal injury.” Postgraduate medicine vol. 127,1 (2015): 57-65. doi:10.1080/00325481.2015.992719

Gaining Relief From Back Pain During Menstrual Cycle

Gaining Relief From Back Pain During Menstrual Cycle

Women are familiar with abdominal cramps, Pre Menstrual Syndrome, and headaches that accompany their menstrual cycle. However not as many are aware of backache to throbbing back pain sometimes before and/or after a monthly cycle. Many women go to over-the-counter pain medication like ibuprofen. In a study, the regular use of NSAIDs found that it can lead to:

  • Stomach problems
  • Bleeding ulcers
  • Fluid retention
  • High blood pressure
  • Kidney
  • Heart problems

11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Gaining Relief From Back Pain During Menstrual Cycle

Why Back Pain Presents During Menstrual Cycle

When the uterus is in a contracting state, the nerves around the pelvis feel the sensations. The uterus only contracts for a few seconds, but repeatedly for hours. Sometimes, the uterus compresses blood vessels in the region. This can limit or completely block the blood vessels supplying the muscles around the pelvis. This is a major contributor to back pain during a period. This is known as referred pain, which means the body feels the pain in one area, in this case, the lower back. But the pain is caused by another area of the body, the uterus. This can cause cramping and low back pain before, during, and after a period. If cramps and back pain become debilitating or worsen over time, it could indicate:

  • Fibroids
  • Endometriosis
  • Infection
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • If fever is present along with back pain seek professional help as soon as possible.

Here are a few ways that can help bring relief from back pain during the monthly cycle.

Heat Therapy

Heat generates increased blood circulation, specifically where it is applied. Therefore any blood vessels that are blocked by the uterus will have improved circulation to the muscles surrounding the uterus, allowing them to relax. This could be the use of:

  • Heating pads
  • Hot water bottle
  • Warm bath or shower

If at work, many pharmacy stores and regular stores sell heat patches that are applied with adhesive tape. These can be used on the lower abdomen or lower back, providing soothing heat.

Light Exercises

Most doctors refer to exercise throughout the month, just not during the period. As staying in shape will maintain the body’s proper circulation and keep the muscles strong. However, some women can perform light exercises like yoga or swimming. This helps decrease back pain even on the first or second day of a menstrual cycle which for many women is the heaviest and most painful.

Meditate

Meditation can help gain control and insight from feelings about life situations. It takes practice, but once an individual gets the hang of it they are amazed at how much pain can be reduced with a 15-minute meditation session.

Supplemental Support

Taking omega 3’s and magnesium supplements can help with the pain. Omega 3s reduce blood clotting and improve circulation. They are natural anti-inflammatories that decrease prostaglandin, which is associated with backaches and cramps. Magnesium supplements, especially those that contain vitamin B6, can help relieve back pain before and after a period. Magnesium can also be found in:

  • Beans
  • Beets
  • Salmon
  • Shrimp

Chiropractic Care

The uterus, like every organ in the body, sends and receives nerve signals, from the brain to the uterus. The menstrual cycle has a close relationship with the spine because of its location. Regular chiropractic adjustments can maintain proper communication between the brain and uterus. Chiropractic realigns the entire spine back to its proper position. This relieves the pressure on the nerves of the reproductive organs. Seeing a chiropractor is the right step towards stopping the pain and healing the body naturally.


Body Composition


Weight and Strength Training For Women

Key points to remember include:

  • Women can gain as much muscle as men
  • Protein helps with body composition but there should be a balance of carbohydrates and dietary fat.
  • Positive body composition changes can be seen with higher load volume and less explosive tempo that is combined with shorter rest periods when weight or strength training.
  • When lifting weights or resistance training, it could be difficult to gain muscle mass if on birth control, near the perimenopausal stage, or officially on menopause.

One of the benefits of weight and strength training is that it can help an individual feel better about themselves. Weight training is associated with significant improvements in:

  • Body image
  • Quality of life
  • Physical activity behaviors
  • Overall satisfaction
  • Well  being

Disclaimer

The information herein is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional. Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the musculoskeletal system’s injuries or disorders. Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, CTG*
email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com
phone: 915-850-0900
Licensed in Texas & New Mexico

References

Brynhildsen, J O et al. “Does the menstrual cycle and use of oral contraceptives influence the risk of low back pain? A prospective study among female soccer players.” Scandinavian journal of medicine & science in sports vol. 7,6 (1997): 348-53. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0838.1997.tb00165.x

Forozeshfard, Mohammad et al. “Short term effects of Kinesio taping on pain and functional disability in young females with menstrual low back pain: A randomized control trial study.” Journal of back and musculoskeletal rehabilitation vol. 29,4 (2016): 709-715. doi:10.3233/BMR-160673

Seguin, Rebecca A et al. “Strength Training Improves Body Image and Physical Activity Behaviors Among Midlife and Older Rural Women.” Journal of extension vol. 51,4 (2013): 4FEA2.

Belly Fat Can Cause Back Pain and Injury

Belly Fat Can Cause Back Pain and Injury

Belly fat is a gateway to back pain/spinal issues that can lead to various health problems. The bulging belly population has grown a bit since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. 37% of individuals have gained weight since it began, according to a global Ipsos survey. If back pain is presenting and there is excess weight around the abdomen known as abdominal obesity, this could be a contributing factor.

11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Belly Fat Can Cause Back Pain and Injury

Belly fat and posture

When the natural curves of the spine are normal, the core is stable and well-supported. Excessive weight, including a large abdomen, shifts these curves out of correct alignment. Excessive abdominal fat has been associated with lordosis, which is an excessive inward curve of the spine toward the lower back. One study found that severely obese individuals had pain and changes in posture. This was especially visible in the spine, knees, and feet.

Front-loading shift

The back pain felt from a bulging belly can be caused by a shift in posture and body mechanics. Studies show these can have a negative impact on back pain and body positioning. All or most of the weight is placed on the lower back.

Overloaded discs

Abdominal obesity can damage/injure the discs/shock absorbers of the spine. This leads to:

And a bulging belly can flatten the height of the intervertebral discs.

Fat pollutants in the blood

Fat can accumulate and secrete toxins that contribute to swelling and inflammation that can be painful. Over time, these toxins wear down components of the skeletal system. A study found potential links between obesity and degenerative disc disease. Scientists found a connection in obese men, but not obese women. This is believed to be because men tend to store fat in their bellies, and women tend to store fat in the buttocks and thighs.

11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Belly Fat Can Cause Back Pain and Injury

Damage to the musculoskeletal system

The bones constantly renew themselves, but when there is excess body fat it can interfere with the process. This has the potential to turn into osteoporosis over time. Studies associate visceral fat with lower bone mineral density, and an increase in the risk of fractures.

11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Belly Fat Can Cause Back Pain and Injury

Ankylosing spondylitis treatment and fat interference

Ankylosing spondylitis is an inflammatory disease that causes chronic back pain and can cause the vertebrae to fuse. The back can be extremely stiff, and the condition can lead to a permanently hunched posture. There are medications to improve symptoms and slow the disease. However, being overweight reduces the drugs’ effectiveness. This is because belly fat can cause medication absorption problems.

Rare spinal condition linked to obesity

Obesity along with a high Body Mass Index increases the risk of a rare condition called spinal epidural lipomatosis or SEL. This is an overgrowth of body fat in the spinal canal. Spinal epidural lipomatosis can cause various types of back pain. This is why it is recommended to have a doctor examine and evaluate any aches or pains.

Body Composition

Kombucha beneficial for gut bacteria

Kombucha contains a wide variety of bacteria and fungi that helps ferment the sugar in kombucha drinks. It is able to affect the existing microbes in the gut by inhibiting the growth of various gut-dwelling pathogens. These include:

  1. It is a probiotic drink made from fermenting green or black tea
  2. It is made up of healthy bacteria that produce acetic acid that is beneficial for blood sugar, insulin levels, and body composition
  3. It helps the body process food by lowering insulin levels after a meal
  4. It contains polyphenols that reduce oxidative stress, to help fight disease risks
  5. It destroys unhealthy bacteria in the gut
  6. It helps increase healthy bacteria

Kombucha can be thought of as a natural antibiotic. However, it does not come with the weight-gain side effect. Improving the health of the gut through fermented foods like kombucha help reduce the risk for weight gain/obesity, as well as restore gut health for those trying to lose weight by creating a healthy gut environment.

Disclaimer

The information herein is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional. Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the musculoskeletal system’s injuries or disorders. Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP, CIFM, CTG*
email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com
phone: 915-850-0900
Licensed in Texas & New Mexico

References

Osong Public Health and Research Perspectives. (2016) “Influence of Obesity on Postural Stability in Young Adults.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5194219/

Obesity Surgery. (2005) “Postural changes in morbidly obese patients.” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16105399/

Arthritis Research & Therapy. (2017) “Fat mass and fat distribution are associated with low back pain intensity and disability: results from a cohort study.” https://arthritis-research.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13075-017-1242-z

Clinical and Investigative Medicine. (2014) “Visceral fat reflects disease activity in patients with ankylosing spondylitis.” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24895992/

European Spine Journal. (2012). “Rapid progression of spinal epidural lipomatosis.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3369035/

Spinal Misalignments Pain And Discomfort Root

Spinal Misalignments Pain And Discomfort Root

When spinal misalignments happen the body experiences soreness, inability to rotate the neck, or after sitting/standing in one position for too long hip and leg discomfort/pain. This is why spinal alignment is so crucial to healthy living. These examples help to illustrate the delicate balance required in the spine to maintain optimal health, stay pain-free, prevent injury, and the ability to conduct everyday chores/responsibilities without the fear and anxiety of setting off pain symptoms.
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Spinal Misalignments The Root Of Pain And Discomfort

Understanding how pain is processed

Pain is a complex sensation. Neural pain receptors, also known as nociceptors detect harmful stimulation/s in the form of:
  • Body Temperature changes
  • Mechanical forces and pressure on the body
  • Chemical changes in the body brought on by inflammation or cell damage
How the signal transmits from the stimulated nerve and how it is perceived depends on the upper levels of neural activity in the body. Specifically, the spinal cord, brainstem, and the brain. Examples of pain perceptions:
  • Beliefs
  • Mood levels
  • Stress levels
  • General health
  • Other sensations the body could be experiencing
  • Previous pain generating experiences – auto accident, work injury, etc.

Spinal Misalignments and Balance

Pain is essential for alerting the body when engaged in activities, and body positions that can cause damage to the tissues like poor postures, work/sports/personal injuries, inflammatory foods, etc. The nerves’ pain pathways can experience overstimulation when the system is overloaded.
Excessive stimulation can be brought on by chronic inflammation, mood disorders, and poor health. One overlooked issue with the perception of pain is the health/effectiveness of the actual neural pathways. The nerve’s energy is affected by spinal misalignments. Proper nerve health and circulation are crucial for the body to transmit proper pain signals. Spinal misalignments can be brought on by:
  • Chronic poor posture
  • Injury
  • Other imbalances in the body
  • Can lead to major dysfunction of the nerves pathways
The longer the pain and discomfort go on the more intense/severe the issues can become. This is when pain and discomfort become chronic leaving individuals feeling hopeless, frustrated.

Symptoms

The spine does more than provide stability. Any type of spinal misalignments will affect the rest of the body as well. Possible symptoms that the spine is out of alignment includes:
  • Chronic headaches
  • Frequent illnesses
  • Fatigue
  • Lower back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Hip pain
  • Knee pain
  • Numbness/tingling in the hands or feet
  • Walking gait abnormalities causing one shoe to wear out quicker than the other
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Spinal Misalignments The Root Of Pain And Discomfort

Chiropractic Management

Many treatments focus on masking the pain rather than addressing the underlying root cause. This can lead to a chronic pain cycle and dependence on pain medications and invasive treatment. Chiropractic is a science-based approach that focuses on getting to the root issue. Chiropractic utilizes gentle and effective techniques like:
  • Manipulation
  • Exercise regimen
  • Stretching regimen
  • Body mechanics training
  • Health nutritional education
When the body is aligned and the spinal nerves are healthy, an individual’s pain perception will be changed for optimal functionality.

InBody Composition


Body composition goals

The first step is to reduce caloric intake by changing/adjusting dietary nutritional habits. Individuals can experiment with various types of diets and regular exercise regimens, and getting into the habit of getting the proper amount of sleep. Depending on an individual’s existing muscle mass, gaining Lean Body Mass first could be an option. An individual may be able to lose fat and gain muscle because:
  • Increased muscle mass will increase the Basal Metabolic Rate/metabolism, and if no extra calories are added body fat can be shed while building muscle.
  • Lifting weights can increase Total Daily Energy Expenditure, causing the body to burn more calories.
Circuit training is one option for improving changes in body composition while not affecting changes in overall body weight. This means muscle gain and fat loss is happening at the same time.

Dr. Alex Jimenez�s Blog Post Disclaimer

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas& New Mexico*
References
Dubinsky RM, Miyasaki J.Assessment: Efficacy of transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation in the treatment of pain in neurologic disorders (an evidence-based review). Report of the Therapeutics and Technology Assessment Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology.�Neurology. 2010;74:173-176. Shrier I. Does stretching help prevent injuries?�Evidence-based Sports Medicine. Williston, VT: BMJ Books; 2002.
Strengthening The Core Muscles For Back Pain Relief

Strengthening The Core Muscles For Back Pain Relief

The core and the muscles involved are a group of muscles that wrap around the body’s torso. The front, back, and sides. Strengthening these muscles will improve and ultimately alleviate lower back pain. One of the main muscles that are overlooked is the transverse abdominis muscle. It is vital to a healthy core, especially if back pain is presenting. It’s known as the seatbelt muscle as it is deep in the abdomen and wraps around the waist. It has everything to do with long-term core strength and function. A properly developed transverse abdominus functions like a lumbar support belt that protects the spine. When the transverse abdominus is strong the muscle contracts to generate the correct amount of support and stability when in motion. �

11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Strengthening The Core Muscles For Back Pain Relief

For example, individuals that do not have low back pain engage the transverse abdominus around 30 milliseconds before moving the shoulder, while individuals that have low back pain have a delayed contraction of the transverse abdominus muscles that makes them take on awkward postures, and move in an awkward fashion contributing to back pain and continuing to weaken the core muscles. Individuals that regularly do transverse abdominus strengthening exercises greatly reduce the risk of experiencing low back pain for the first time and reduce the recurrence of those already with back pain. �

Core Muscle Anatomy

The first step to strengthening is understanding the moves and how to do them correctly with basic anatomy. Think of the core as a muscle box where the:

  • The front is the abdominals
  • The back is the spinal stabilizing muscles
  • The base is the pelvic floor
  • The top is the diaphragm
  • The sides are the hip muscles

The core moves in three ways:

  • The body flexes and extends whenever bending forward and standing up
  • The body does a lateral side bend when bending the trunk to one side
  • The body rotates the trunk when twisting the torso

Muscle Weakness

The transverse abdominus tends to suffer from neglect which is one reason why it becomes weakened. This increases the risk of developing back pain. Another reason is that individuals have a weak muscle is they exercise in one-plane of movement. Not working out the core muscles in all planes of motion can contribute to back pain. For example, if an individual performs pelvic tilts, they are only moving in one plane when tilting the hips forward and back, known as flexion and extension. To achieve optimal/functional strength, the core workout needs to include side bending and twisting movements. �

Strengthening The Transverse Abdominus

 

Pigeon Pose

Many individuals sit for extended amounts of time and are excessively tight along the sides and hips. The first step should be to increase the hip’s mobility before strengthening the core. If the hip muscle’s fibers become shortened, it can affect hip joint function and efficiency during core movement. The Pigeon Pose is a hip opener. How to do it:

  • Get on the floor with the knees and palms on the ground.
  • Slide the left leg back so the hip is extended, then externally rotate the right hip/turn the right leg out from the hip. Focus on positioning the right shin perpendicular to the body.
  • Extend the trunk so the body is upright, lifting the chest, arching the back, and looking toward the ceiling, while resting the fingertips on the floor a little forward of the hips.
  • Hold the pose for 30 seconds and switch sides.
  • This stretches the hip flexor muscles in the extended leg and the rotator and outer hip muscles in the flexed leg.
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Strengthening The Core Muscles For Back Pain Relief

Pay Attention To The Engaged Muscles

Individuals can train the transverse muscles to activate faster and more effectively throughout the day by slowing down and paying attention to moving with more intent. Place the hands around the waist and engage the core to feel the muscles contracting. This will help get a feel for the movement. Once comfortable remember to engage these abdominal muscles before and while reaching, twisting, or lifting items. �

Pelvic Tilt

This exercise is vital for building the smaller muscles that support a healthy core. How to do it:

  • Lie on back with knees bent and feet on the floor.
  • Engage the transverse muscles and gently tilt the pelvis upward.
  • Return the pelvis to a neutral position.
  • Repeat.
  • Start with 3 sets of 10-12 reps.

When this is no longer challenging and can be completed without increasing back pain, advance to more challenging exercises like the bird dog, planks, or plank variations.

11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Strengthening The Core Muscles For Back Pain Relief

Standing Exercises

Translating core strength into functional strength and pain-free movement progresses to standing exercises that require rotation. One example is a standing lunge with rotation. How to do it:

  • Get into a lunge stance with the front leg flexed 90 degrees at the hip, knee, and ankle. The rear leg should be extended at the hip with the knee touching or almost touching the floor.
  • Twist from the waist. When comfortable doing this movement, hold weight like a dumbbell, medicine ball, or gallon jug of water in both hands, and gradually increase the weight as the muscles get stronger.

When in the process of strengthening the core, consistency is the key. Commit to a short workout every day instead of one massive workout once or twice a week. Ten minutes a day is enough to build strength, improve function, and decrease back pain. �


Improved Body Composition

 


Functional fitness and the ability to move about comfortably not only benefit physical wellness but also improves body composition. The aging process reduces the metabolic rate, which leads to increased body fat. Lean Body Mass gets lost from age and inactivity. Lean Body Mass contributes to the overall Basal Metabolic Rate, also known as the body’s metabolism. It is the number of calories the body needs to support essential functions. Engaging in strength training or resistance exercises will help regain the muscle loss from aging/inactivity, and can lead to an increase in lean body mass.

Dr. Alex Jimenez�s Blog Post Disclaimer

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.*

Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas& New Mexico*

References

People who regularly engaged in TVA-strengthening exercises were less likely to experience a recurrence of low back pain:�Australian Journal of Physiotherapy�(2002), �Specific spinal exercise substantially reduces the risk of low back pain recurrence��https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S000495141460283X?via%3Dihub

Any Low Back Tingling, Discomfort, or Soreness Should Not Be Ignored

Any Low Back Tingling, Discomfort, or Soreness Should Not Be Ignored

Participating in any sports or physical activities strengthens the mind and body. But working out and engaging in these types of activities too much or without rest periods wears down the body. There is the feeling of a good workout with some sore muscles and achiness that lets you know the activity is working positively. However, soreness can quickly lead to pain and further injury if ignored. The lower back is a common area of soreness after working out playing sports, and where muscle spasms, pulls, and pinches occur. Being able to distinguish between workout soreness and pain is critical for maintaining a healthy spine.  
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Any Low Back Tingling, Discomfort, or Soreness Should Not Be Ignored
 
A constant-sore back or feelings of sharp pains is not normal. If there is a feeling of low back pain during or after a physical routine, stop and take a moment to examine the tingling, discomfort, or pain being experienced. If unsure if the soreness or pain is a cause for concern call or video conference with a chiropractor to discuss what is going on.  

Physical activity and pain

Individuals participating in physical/sports activities have an increased risk of low back pain because of the consistent running, twisting, and jumping. Any of these movements place pressure on the spine along with the surrounding ligaments and muscles, which can lead to injury. Repetitive twisting and turning, stresses the muscles around the spine, which can cause frequent muscle sprains. Running and jumping also wears down the vertebrae and discs. Impact activities can also cause injuries to the spine, nerve roots, and surrounding tissues. The most common back problems include:
  • Muscle sprains
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Bulging discs
  • Herniated discs
  • Sciatica
  • Fractures are less common but still pose a risk
Individuals should watch for achiness or stiffness that lasts longer than a few days and does not alleviate with ice or anti-inflammatory over the counter medication, or sharp pain that happens with specific movement/s, along with any pain, numbness, tingling that runs down the leg/s or to other areas should consult a medical professional.  
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Any Low Back Tingling, Discomfort, or Soreness Should Not Be Ignored
 

Treatment and prevention

Maintaining the body’s health is critical. If the lower back begins to present discomfort or hurts, do not ignore it. Many will play through the pain when they should be taking a break. And ignoring any back pain could create new injuries or worsen the condition. Continued pressure on the back will worsen any strains or fractures and will hinder the body from healing properly. Individuals tend to take on awkward/uncomfortable postures and move in awkward ways to avoid or compensate for the pain. This places added pressure in the wrong places and can cause/worsen an injury or condition. Pay attention to the pain. Try ice and heat therapy at home to see if it eases up. Using a foam roller or self-massage device can help if the back pain is muscular. However, if the pain is sharp, shooting, or does not go away, visit a chiropractor for diagnosis and treatment. A chiropractor will conduct imaging tests and physical exams to identify the root cause. Once a diagnosis has been reached a treatment plan will be implemented through:
  • Massage
  • Stretches
  • Therapeutic exercises
  • Spinal adjustments
  • Health coaching
Visiting a chiropractic professional will improve the condition and strengthen the spine.

Fit Body Composition

 

 

Muscle recovery

When engaging in physical activity there is microscopic damage to the muscle cells. The stress and fatigue the body goes through during physical activity cause hormone and enzyme levels to fluctuate, increasing inflammation. This leads to:
  • Fat loss
  • Increased metabolism
  • Increased strength
  • Muscle growth
However, it happens through proper recovery. There are different types of recovery: immediate, short-term, and training.
  • Immediate recovery is the short time between movements. For example, when jogging, immediate recovery is the time between each stride.
  • Short-term is the time between sets of exercises. For example, the rest periods between exercise intervals.
  • Training recovery is the period between one workout session ending and the next beginning.
Research has shown that rest time is not a one size fits all. Everyone is different and therefore should consult a fitness trainer, or sports chiropractor and experiment with what feels right. For some individuals, 24 hours works. For others, it can be 48 or 72 hours to feel fully recovered. It depends on age, fitness level, physical activity intensity, diet, sleep, and more.  

Dr. Alex Jimenez�s Blog Post Disclaimer

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas& New Mexico*
References
Smith, Jo Armour et al. �Risk Factors Associated With Low Back Pain in Golfers: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.��Sports health�vol. 10,6 (2018): 538-546. doi:10.1177/1941738118795425
Remote Working/School and Learning/Forming Spine-Healthy Habits

Remote Working/School and Learning/Forming Spine-Healthy Habits

Remote working and learning have changed the way we operate, but too much sitting and no physical activity is the perfect set up for back pain. Here are a few tips for spine friendly remote working and learning. Spine-health is just as important working or learning remotely, if not more so because it is easy to fall into bad posture habits that will affect the spine. Poor home working/learning habits can cause upper and lower back pain that could become chronic. Individuals become too comfortable making the home working environment a damaging experience on spinal health. For chiropractors, the pandemic brought an influx of individuals of all ages with upper, middle, and lower back pain. This was caused by poor posture when video conferencing on the couch, slouching at the table and sitting for way too long, and never getting up and moving around.  
 
Children tend to present with pain and aches on the side of the spine versus pain directly centered. This is from side slouching, often when staring at the computer monitor. Adults, especially over 40 complained of pain and stiffness in the upper and lower back. Herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, and sciatica risks increase as bad habits continue and do not improve. However, this can all be helped with a little exercise, work/school space optimization, and forming healthy work and schooling from home habits.  

Stretching Out

When working/schooling remotely, there�s a tendency to be more sedentary. Individuals need to learn to take time to stretch out and keep the body limber. It is easy to use breaks to scroll through social media or binge on movies, videos, etc. This can still be accomplished, but stretch out and move around while taking breaks. An exercise program of stretching daily during the workday and endurance training twice a week will help reduce back pain and increase flexion. Results vary for everyone and the type of stretching exercises they are performing.  
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Remote Working/School and Learning/Forming Spine-Healthy Habits
 

Core Exercises

Core exercises are a perfect way to work out muscle stress and back pain resulting from poor posture. Slumped over a computer can place significant stress on the trapezius muscle causing the muscle to knot up and tighten. The trapezius muscle is crucial to neck and shoulder movement and helps stabilize the shoulder blades.  

Trapezius stretch with band

  • Holding an elastic band between the hands, place the band at the back of the skull.
  • Slowly tilt the head back to its full range of motion as the resistance is felt.
  • Return the head back to the neutral position maintaining alignment with the spine.
  • Repeat ten times

Shoulder shrugs

  • Choose 2 items of equal weight such as 2 books, 2 quarts of water, or 2 hand weights, and hold one item in each hand.
  • Position keeping hands near your sides
  • Slowly raise up and shrug your shoulders for several seconds
  • Gently release shoulder shrug and bring back arms to neutral
  • Repeat for 10 reps
 

Posture

Proper posture is a learned process that requires practice. Using a mirror to check posture can help maintain proper posture while seated when working/schooling. Self-assessing posture correctly is important and viewing oneself in a mirror is an easy way to figure out what adjustments are needed. Questions to ask oneself while self-assessing include:
  • Is the head far too forward?
  • Is there slouching?
  • Are the shoulders curling/rounding around the body?
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Remote Working/School and Learning/Forming Spine-Healthy Habits
 

Posture tips when seated:

  • Keep the feet flat on the floor or on a footrest
  • If in the habit of crossing ankles and knees change position often
  • Position the back against the chair. If the spine does not align with the chair use a cushion or backrest
  • Position knees at hip height or a little lower
  • Maintain some space between the back of the knees and the chair�s edge
  • Look straight ahead but make sure the neck is comfortable
  • Position forearms parallel to the floor
  • Maintain relaxed shoulders

Adjust the Light

When lighting is not optimal there can be a tendency to strain forward in various positions. This can cause excessive stress and inflammation to the upper spine area. Natural ambient lighting is recommended. In general, the lighting set-up should be adjusted to easily see the screen without causing glare or any type of discomfort to the eyes.

Take a Walk

A daily routine that will support spine health is to take walk breaks every half hour for a few minutes. If every half hour is not doable then take a 5 or 10-minute break to walk around and stretch every hour. It is important not to remain seated for too long. Remember the body was meant to move and be active.  
 

Optimization Work Station

Using ergonomic office furniture for home use can help prevent the development of unhealthy posture along with the development of further musculoskeletal issues. Laptops are great for their portability and ability to work-from-anywhere. However, actually placing them on your lap and working on them for too long will cause back and neck strain. It is difficult to position the keyboard and screen for maintaining a proper line of sight and hand position. The most spine-healthy way to work on a laptop is to position the screen at eye level with the keyboard level with slightly extended hands. A recommended long-term solution is using a screen and keyboard that can be adjusted. One type of computer set up is an iPad positioned at eye-level with a stand and a wireless external keyboard/mouse on a table or desk. A lot of money does not have to be spent on the setup. Books or boxes laying around the house can be used to prop up the screen to the proper height. The goal is when working/schooling remotely is to ensure the body is not hunched over, bent, or straining forward and to maintain proper posture with optimal spinal alignment. There are unique spinal health challenges when working/learning remotely. However, they can be avoided with a little planning and small adjustments. Taking time to stretch, do a little exercise, walk around the house, have adequate lighting, and making some ergonomic desk, chair, and computer changes that will help maintain a healthy spine.

Back Pain Rehabilitation


 

Dr. Alex Jimenez�s Blog Post Disclaimer

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas& New Mexico*
References
Moretti A, Menna F, Aulicino M, Paoletta M, Liguori S, Iolascon G. Characterization of Home Working Population during COVID-19 Emergency: A Cross-Sectional Analysis.�Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020;17(17):6284. Published 2020 Aug 28. doi:10.3390/ijerph17176284
Spinal Issues or Kidney Problems and An Accurate Diagnosis

Spinal Issues or Kidney Problems and An Accurate Diagnosis

Trying to understand what is causing back pain that comes out of nowhere, whether a spinal issue or a kidney issue can be quite challenging. Doing a self-examination, retracing steps, and constantly thinking about it is exhausting. The right healthcare professional that has experience in spinal issues, as well as, understanding various health conditions that can contribute to spine pain, and making the correct diagnosis can help in developing the proper treatment plan or refer the individual to the proper specialist.

The Kidneys

The organs are located below the ribs, close to the middle/thoracic back. Healthy kidneys support and help with:
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Spinal Issues or Kidney Problems and An Accurate Diagnosis
Individuals with a kidney condition can sometimes experience back pain caused by the disease or condition. Kidney problems like: These can easily be mistaken for mid and upper back pain. However, if there is persistent soreness or irritation it could mean a more significant health issue associated with the kidneys could be present.

Spine Problem or Stone/s

If there is a feeling of kidney pain it is possible to come from one of two places and/or both. This could be distension/ballooning of the capsule called the ureter that surrounds the kidneys. The ureters are the tubes that are attached to each kidney and transport urine from the kidneys to the bladder. Urine contains salts and minerals. These minerals can clump together creating a kidney stone and block the ureters. The ureter contracts from the stone that is creating the blockage.
When there is a blockage from a stone, the urine can back up and cause the capsule to expand causing pain. The pain location is usually on one side and is categorized as a dull ache – meaning the pain is constantly present and causing discomfort. Chronic back pain caused by nerve compression is typically on one side like sciatica. The pain from a stone can be only slight unless the stone is trying to move. Then the pain can be severe and last for several minutes before it passes. However, if the pain is excruciating and a kidney stone is suspected, go to the hospital and get an examination. Collecting the stone is crucial when it passes in order to be analyzed. A stone analysis will help in figuring the proper treatment to prevent another kidney stone/s from developing.

Spine Problem or Infection

A kidney infection could be another cause of back pain. Kidney infection/s are typically caused by bacteria. A dull throbbing could be sensed in the middle and/or upper back.

Symptoms

Signs and symptoms associated with infection often include back, side, and groin pain as well as a combination of symptoms like:
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Burning sensation when urinating
  • Constant sensation of needing to use the bathroom
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Causes

Causes that can increase the chances of developing an infection.
  • Kidney stone/s
  • Nerve damage that affects the bladder
  • Spinal damage that does not allow the bladder to be emptied
  • Urinary tract infection
Older individuals can develop kidney infections without any underlying conditions. There are rare genetic diseases like polycystic kidney disease and Fabry disease that can cause kidney pain and be mistaken for back pain.
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Spinal Issues or Kidney Problems and An Accurate Diagnosis

Telling the Difference

There is no quick and easy way to figure out if it is back or kidney pain. Especially, if a constant aching is present. Seeing an experienced doctor or chiropractor is the recommended option for getting a formal and accurate diagnosis. A physical exam, family, and personal medical history will be collected along with various tests. Tests can include:
  • Urine analysis
  • Culture
  • Abdominal X-ray
  • CT scan
  • MRI
Pain medications and specific fluids are usually prescribed along with time to pass the stone. Antibiotics can be prescribed for kidney infections, chiropractic treatment can be suggested for spinal alignment/myofascial tense muscle release, and home remedies can help treat any discomfort. These can include:
  • Using ice/heat on the area where there is discomfort
  • Self-massage
  • Staying properly hydrated
  • Diet adjustment/s
  • Taking over the counter pain meds when necessary

Back Pain Specialist

 
 

Dr. Alex Jimenez�s Blog Post Disclaimer

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas& New Mexico*
References
Tozzi, P et al. �Low back pain and kidney mobility: local osteopathic fascial manipulation decreases pain perception and improves renal mobility.��Journal of bodywork and movement therapies�vol. 16,3 (2012): 381-391. doi:10.1016/j.jbmt.2012.02.001
Hip Issues Could Be Source of Lower Back Pain

Hip Issues Could Be Source of Lower Back Pain

Back discomfort and pain could be caused by hip issues and could be resolved with hip replacement. According to a recent study, a total hip replacement solved back pain in four out of five individuals dealing with spinal discomfort and pain. When the hip/s are stiff or cannot move normally, this places added pressure on the spine. Studies show that low back pain was resolved in 82% of individuals after a total hip replacement known as total hip arthroplasty or THA. The body is designed as a fluid chain with fluid motion connecting the neck all the way down to the toes. When a region like the hip tightens/stiffens, it generates added stress/pressure on the other areas of the body, which in this case happens to be the lower spine. Individuals with mild arthritis of the spine are able to experience increased pain reduction than individuals with severe arthritis. An insight into the relationship between the hips and low back that can lead to accurate diagnoses and optimal treatment plans.  
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Hip Issues Could Be Source of Lower Back Pain
 

Hip Issues

The hip/s move with the lower back during activities like walking, sitting, bending, etc. Tight muscles, normal wear-and-tear, and osteoarthritis can reduce hip movement, forcing the lower back to make awkward and poor posture causing adjustments. Individuals usually relieve the painful position by increasing the curve of their lower back. If an individual has severe arthritis of the hip, they put a lot of stress and pressure on the low back that often results in low back pain. Advanced hip osteoarthritis is the breakdown of joint cartilage and the most common type of arthritis. Individuals with this type experience low back pain 50% of the time, and even higher depending on the individual’s condition. 80% to 90% of individuals with hip or knee arthritis, unfortunately, develop low back arthritis. There is not yet a clear reason as to why this occurs. It is theorized that some osteoarthritis risk factors like obesity and high-impact/force activities can be modified with lifestyle adjustments. Other risk factors that include injury, trauma, age, and congenital conditions like hip dysplasia, cannot be avoided. Hip osteoarthritis isn�t the only hip issue that can also cause lower back pain. Other hip issues.

Sacroiliac joint dysfunction

The sacroiliac joint connects the sacrum to the pelvis. It is a shock absorber between the upper body, the pelvis and can stiffen with time. Sacroiliac joint pain affects around 15% to 25% of individuals with low back pain. It worsens when climbing stairs, getting up from a seated position or running. Symptoms include:
  • Low back pain
  • Pain in buttock/s
  • Groin pain
  • Stiffness
  • Instability

Piriformis syndrome

About 200,000 individuals each year are affected with piriformis syndrome and is often misdiagnosed as symptoms resemble sciatica. What happens is the piriformis muscle, which connects the sacrum to the top of the femur, tightens/irritates the sciatic nerve. Symptoms are often mistaken for sciatica with pain in the buttocks, numbness, and tingling that travels down the back of the leg and into the feet.  
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Hip Issues Could Be Source of Lower Back Pain
 

Diagnosis

A doctor or chiropractor will use a combination of diagnostic tools. This typically includes a physical exam, X-rays with other specific tests to help identify the source of pain. What typically happens is a patient will undergo a hip and lumbar spine X-ray, but the thoracic spine, pelvis, and hip areas are missed. Getting the middle segment is critical to see how the spine and hips are working together. It is critical to understand the hip-spine connection. All spine patients should have X-rays of the hips to make sure any problems don’t go undetected. The overlap of symptoms with these two areas could be overlooked. If necessary a diagnostic injection into the hip joint can help precisely locate the pain source. This can be done at the clinic or doctor’s office using ultrasound or X-ray to guide the needle. If no pain relief results from the injection, hip replacement is still not considered because the pain could be coming from the spine. A critical part of the diagnosis is not just imaging. One of the most important parts is getting a thorough history of symptoms. X-rays and MRI show what the problem could be, however, the symptoms could coming from another area.

Treatment Options

Before total hip replacement is considered there are nonsurgical approaches to be considered. All diagnoses should start with conservative treatment. Physical therapy, chiropractic, gait training, and core strengthening can optimize the spine to better manage hip issues and arthritis. Conservative therapies could also include:
  • Weight loss
  • Activity modification like walking instead of running
  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Cortisone injections
Total hip replacement is the last option for individuals experiencing pain, difficulty walking, and limited mobility. The procedure removes the damaged cartilage and bone from the hip joint. This includes the head of the thighbone along with the socket where it fits and replaces it with artificial parts.  
 

Conclusion

Get a second opinion. Individuals are encouraged to educate themselves as much as possible on the condition. The hip and spine is a complex relationship. The most important information for patients is that they understand along with their doctor where the pain is coming from, the hip, spine, or both.

Reduce Plantar Fasciitis Foot Pain

 

 

Dr. Alex Jimenez�s Blog Post Disclaimer

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas& New Mexico*
Sacrum and Coccyx Vertebrae Possible Cause of Low Back Pain

Sacrum and Coccyx Vertebrae Possible Cause of Low Back Pain

The sacrum and coccyx are part of the vertebral spinal column and could contribute to low back pain. They are not like the other bones in the spinal column. The sacrum, also known as the sacral vertebra, sacral spine, and S1 is a large, flat triangular-shaped bone that is between the hip bones and below the last lumbar vertebra known as L5. The coccyx, known as the tailbone, is positioned below the sacrum. The sacrum and coccyx are made up of smaller bones that fuse and grow into a solid bone mass by the age of 30. The sacrum is composed of 5 fused vertebrae known as S1-S5 and 3 to 5 smaller bones that fuse creating the coccyx. Both are weight-bearing bones and are integral to walking, standing, and sitting functions.  
 
StructureoftheSacrumDiagram ElPasoChiropractor
 

Sacrum and the Lumbosacral Spine

The sacrum forms the back of the pelvis. Along with the coccyx and the two sacroiliac joints make up the pelvic girdle. S1 is at the top of the sacrum and connects to the last lumbar vertebrae L5. Together they create the lumbosacral spine. Where they join forms the lumbosacral curves known as lumbar lordosis and lumbar kyphosis. The curvature works to support the upper body, weight/force distribution maintains spinal balance and flexibility. Lordosis is the inward curve of the spine, but too much can cause swayback that can be associated with spondylolisthesis. Loss of this curve can cause spinal imbalance and can lead to Flatback syndrome.  
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Sacrum and Coccyx Vertebrae Possible Cause of Low Back Pain
 
Kyphosis is the outward curve of the spine. The location of the sacrum at the intersection of the spine and pelvis means it has an important role in the movement of the low back and hips. The sacrum�s joints help to bear weight and help stabilize the spinal column along with the ligaments, tendons, and muscles help support/stabilize joint movement.

Lumbosacral joint

Joint L5 and S1 connect the lumbar spine to the sacrum. The pressure at this meeting point can be massive as the curve of the spine shifts from the lordotic forward curve to a kyphotic backward curve. The L5-S1 region bears weight, absorbs, and distributes the upper body�s weight when moving and resting. Disc herniation and spondylolisthesis are more common at L5-S1 for this reason.

Sacroiliac joints

The sacroiliac joints connect the sacrum to the left and right sides of the pelvis. The range of movement of the sacroiliac joints is minimal compared to other joints like the knees. However, the joints are essential for walking, standing, and stabilization of the hips. Sacroiliitis and sacroiliac joint dysfunction are two spinal disorders related to the joints. Other spinal disorders related to the sacral spine include:
  • Sciatica
  • Tarlov cysts
  • Spinal chordoma, a common type of spine bone cancer

The Coccyx�s Function

The coccyx commonly known as the tailbone is just below the sacrum. It is smaller than the sacrum and has an important weight-bearing function. It helps supports weight while sitting. An example is leaning back while sitting. This motion and position increase the pressure/weight on the coccyx. An injury in this area can cause tailbone pain. Inflammation of the coccyx�s connective tissue that results in tailbone pain that gets worse when sitting is a common symptom. A traumatic event like a fall or auto accident that causes a tailbone fracture can also cause this pain.

Sacral and Coccygeal Nerves

The spinal cord ends at L1-L2, which branches out into the cauda equina, which is a bundle of nerves that looks like a horse’s tail. In the sacrum, there are sacral nerves known as the sacral plexus. Plexus means a network of nerve structures. The sacral and lumbar plexus compose the lumbosacral plexus. This is where the sciatic nerve, which is the largest nerve in the sacral plexus converges into the band. Sciatic nerve compression causes a combination of symptoms known as sciatica. It is very well known for causing low back and leg pain. The coccygeal nerve serves the tailbone. There are five sacral nerves numbered S1 through S5 and are part of the spinal cord.
  • S1 supports groin and hip function
  • S2 the back of the thighs
  • S3 the middle of the buttock area
  • S4 and S5 the anus and vagina
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Sacrum and Coccyx Vertebrae Possible Cause of Low Back Pain
 
Injury or trauma to the sacral spine can cause mild stress fractures to severe bone fractures. These fractures can cause sacral nerve compression and intense pain. Symptoms include:
  • Low back pain
  • Leg pain
  • Bowel dysfunction
  • Bladder dysfunction
  • Unusual buttock/s or groin sensations
  • Osteoporosis or spinal inflammatory arthritis increases the risk of a sacral fracture.

Sacrum and Coccyx Injury Prevention

A doctor or chiropractor, physical therapist are excellent sources for information to help prevent sacrum and coccyx pain. These medical professionals will utilize a patient’s medical history, recommend lifestyle changes and injury prevention guidelines.
  • If at risk of developing osteoporosis then a bone mineral density test could be recommended.
  • Activities that stress the lower spine should be avoided. Extreme flexing could cause or contribute to low back/leg pain, numbness, and weakness.
  • Moderate exercising like walking, jogging, yoga, and strength training all help keep the spine strong, flexible, and healthy.
  • The core or abdominal muscles should be strengthened. Proper core muscle strength will stabilize the sacrum.
  • Proper posture must be maintained. Avoid slouching as this places added pressure on the lumbosacral spine and the sacroiliac joints.
  • Proper body mechanics when engaging in any activity needs to be observed.
  • Use leg strength to lift objects.
  • Avoid twisting while lifting or holding heavy objects, as this can cause sprain, strain, or serious injury of the lower spine.
  • Put on the seat belt. Auto accidents are a major cause of spine trauma. Exercise restraint when driving or riding in any vehicle even a golf cart.

Sciatica Pain Relief


 

Dr. Alex Jimenez�s Blog Post Disclaimer

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas& New Mexico*
Acetaminophen Usually the First Choice When Back and Neck Pain Strike

Acetaminophen Usually the First Choice When Back and Neck Pain Strike

Acetaminophen, best known as Tylenol, is one of the most common medications for headaches and general pain. More than likely the most common back, neck, and overall pain medication around. However, it is only a pain reducer, and will not reduce inflammation. Doctors often recommend this medicine before moving on to prescription medication. A member of the analgesic pain reliever class of medications. These can vary in strength along with side effects, but their purpose is to reduce pain. Acetaminophen can be found in over 600 prescriptions and over-the-counter medicines, including certain opioids. Other acetaminophen brand names include:
  • Tylophen
  • Tempra
  • FeverAll
  • Mapap
  • Pharbetol
  • Panadol
 

Strength and Weakness

When neck or back pain presents, over-the-counter medicines fall into two categories. These are acetaminophen or non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs also known as NSAIDs. Acetaminophen and NSAIDs like Advil, aspirin both relieve pain. However, non-steroid anti-inflammatories also help in reducing inflammation. Although non-steroid anti-inflammatories have this added benefit, they can also present potential side effects like stomach and gastrointestinal problems. A spinal sprain or strain can cause acute back pain. Acetaminophen is typically recommended for acute back or neck pain and for pain that comes and goes quickly. Individuals that experience periodic pain usually take acetaminophen when the pain flares up. Individuals with chronic spinal pain report acetaminophen help to alleviate/reduce the pain. Many with chronic pain use acetaminophen regularly and not only when the pain presents. This helps manage before pain strikes.

Safety

Acetaminophen is gentle on the stomach, making some individuals preferring it over the non-steroid anti-inflammatories. But just like any other medication acetaminophen has its risks and can cause severe damage if used improperly. Taking acetaminophen in large doses can cause severe liver damage. The Food and Drug Administration reports that acetaminophen overdoses send over fifty-thousand individuals to the emergency room every year. And over one-hundred Americans die yearly from accidental overdoses. Using acetaminophen safely means taking no more than 3,000 milligrams a day and no more than 1,000 milligrams at a time. Take extra precautions when taking extra-strength. These can include as much as 650 mg per pill/capsule. Before taking acetaminophen for back and neck pain, talk to a doctor or pharmacist about the proper dosage. And tell the doctor about all the medications being taken including natural herbs and holistic. Another reason for telling the doctor is that many other medications have acetaminophen included without you knowing it. Part of the discussion should include alcohol consumption. This can elevate the risk of negative reactions.  
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Acetaminophen Usually the First Choice When Back and Neck Pain Strike

Resources

If non-pharmacological treatments/therapies done for at least 4 months prove ineffective then an acetaminophen regimen could be a safe and effective part of a back and neck pain treatment plan. While this medicine is one of the most common treatments, it is not without risks and side effects. Talk to a doctor or pharmacist about all the medications and supplements to ensure the regimen supports health for the long-term. To learn more along with safety information go to Acetaminophen Patient Guide.
 

Severe Back Pain Chiropractic Treatment


 

Dr. Alex Jimenez�s Blog Post Disclaimer

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas& New Mexico*
Women With Low Back Pain and Possible Causes

Women With Low Back Pain and Possible Causes

Women experiencing low back pain will find there are a variety of possible causes. Lower back pain can stem from the reproductive system or the spine itself. Finding the possible cause of low back pain can be difficult to diagnose. As well as, pinpointing the pain can be a very challenging task. Women wonder how it’s possible to mistake menstrual cramps for back pain and then it happens to them. There are certain conditions that make the low back and core region a central location of continual pain. And unfortunately, women could be more susceptible.  
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Women With Low Back Pain and Possible Causes
 
Most individuals will experience low back pain at some point during their life. However, there is a slight prevalence and is more common in females than males across all ages. Low back pain in women increases with age. A research comparison studying middle-aged individuals reported an increase of low back pain in females versus males post-menopause. Some possible low back pain causes include.

Menopause and Hormone Issues

Chronic lower back pain is one of the most reported musculoskeletal issues women face during menopause. About sixty-seventy percent of perimenopausal women present symptoms associated with estrogen deficiency. And over half in perimenopause report chronic musculoskeletal pain. Many of these studies show increasing menopausal symptoms and the correlation to chronic low back pain symptoms.

Menstruation and Uterine Dysfunction

Dysmenorrhea is a uterine dysfunction that involves frequent and severe cramping during menstruation, which often leads to low back pain. The condition is classified as primary or secondary. Both types include low back pain as a common symptom. Primary dysmenorrhea starts when a woman begins menstruation and continues throughout their life. Intense contractions can cause continual and severe menstrual cramping. Secondary dysmenorrhea usually starts later and is caused by another condition like endometriosis or pelvic inflammatory disease.

Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a condition that can contribute to back pain in women. Tissue that behaves like endometrial tissue begins to grow outside of the uterus, in the pelvic cavity or other areas. The new tissue responds to the body’s hormonal changes and can cause swelling, pain, spotting, and bleeding. Endometriosis growths bleed monthly as well. Without a place for the blood to go, the excess irritates and inflames the surrounding tissue. The condition can cause heavy periods, chronic pain, and scar tissue build-up. Symptoms can present at any menstrual cycle stage. Pelvic pain that runs down the legs is common. Some women have also reported throbbing, shooting pain that can be mild to severe. Symptoms include:
  • Abdominal pain
  • Low back pain
  • Pain when walking or standing
  • Pain during ovulation
  • Pain when urinating
  • Urinary urgency
  • Pelvic inflammation
  • Constipation
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Bowel movement pain
  • Rectal pain that radiates
  • Pain caused by scar tissue build-up within the bladder, fallopian tubes, bowels, and ovaries
  • Chronic fatigue
Endometriosis can be diagnosed by a doctor during an initial pelvic exam. Further imaging tests to assist in the identification could be requested.  
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Women With Low Back Pain and Possible Causes
 

Spinal Issues

The reproductive organs can sometimes contribute to back pain. However, women can also be susceptible to degenerative conditions that affect the spine’s structure. Low back pain is common with an average patient experiencing one to two episodes a year. Low back pain can start in early adulthood and become a chronic problem that can be triggered by various events or activities. Most back pain issues are resolved within six weeks. This is known as acute low back pain. When the pain doesn’t stop for more than 12 weeks it is considered chronic lower back pain.

Postmenopausal Compression Fractures

Around twenty-five percent of women will go through a vertebral compression fracture of the middle or lower spine. The risks increase with age, with around a 40 percent chance at 80 years of age. Small cracks in the vertebrae can cause severe disability and limit function. Osteoporosis is the most common cause of vertebral compression fracture/s. Postmenopausal women are at an increase of developing osteoporosis. This comes from hormonal changes that decrease bone mineral density, leaving the bones open to fracture.

Spondylolisthesis

This is when one vertebral body, or the thick oval bone segment in front of the vertebra, slips against an adjacent body. The result is pain or mechanical symptoms. The pain can spread throughout the spine to the hip, buttocks, into the legs, and possibly the foot. The condition can be congenital, from an unknown cause, or acquired. There is some research on childbirth and hysterectomies putting women at risk for spondylolisthesis. It is common in the lumbar spine/lower back, but can also present in the cervical spine/neck region. The thoracic/middle spine is extremely rare except in trauma cases. The thoracic spine is the longest region of the spine. It is between the cervical and lumbar regions. One cause of the increased pain is longer times spent sitting in chairs that are not ergonomic. A second is being confined to smaller workspaces. The key is to get up and move around or use a sit-stand desk to alternate sitting and standing. Irregular and localized low back pain is typical for low back spondylolisthesis. The pain usually worsens when the area/region is flexed or directly touched.

Piriformis Syndrome

Back pain sometimes isn�t back pain, but piriformis syndrome. The piriformis muscle is a small muscle that extends from the lower spine to the top of the femur. It can involuntarily contract and compress or irritate the sciatic nerve. The muscle helps rotate and turn the leg and foot outward. Symptoms are consistent with sciatica. It typically presents with buttock pain that shoots, aches, or throbs along the leg�s backside, thigh, calf, and foot. Tingling along the nerve along with numbness is common. Causes include:
  • Buttock injury
  • Hip injury
  • Weight training specifically the gluteal/buttock, hips, and hamstrings
  • Sitting for a long time – Examples include truck drivers, desk job workers, etc.
  • Damage to the piriformis muscle
  • Sciatic nerve wraps around the piriformis muscle
piriformis detail
 

Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction

Sacroiliac joint dysfunction involves inflammation of the joints, located at the connection of the pelvis and lower spine. It can present as low back or buttock pain that radiates down the leg/s. The pain worsens when climbing stairs or standing for an extended amount of time. Sacroiliac joint dysfunction can be tough to diagnose, as it is often mistaken for other low back pain causes.

SI joint dysfunction causes:

  • Pregnancy – the increased weight and altered movement/s can cause additional stress and wear.
  • Joint infection – in rare cases, the joints can be subject to infection.
  • Arthritis – the joints can develop arthritis from normal wear and tear.
  • Traumatic Injury – the joints can be injured from a forceful impact from a fall or auto accident.
Most cases do not end up requiring medication or surgery. It is when the pain lasts more than six weeks that there could be something more taking place like neurologic symptoms or other conditions, spinal or otherwise.

Personalized Chiropractic Spine Treatment


 

Dr. Alex Jimenez�s Blog Post Disclaimer

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas& New Mexico*
Sacroiliac Joint Stretches and Exercises for Pain Relief

Sacroiliac Joint Stretches and Exercises for Pain Relief

A doctor, chiropractor, or physical therapist could recommend therapeutic stretches along with exercises as part of a sacroiliitis or sacroiliac joint pain treatment plan. Sacroiliitis refers to inflammation in one or both of the sacroiliac joints. This could be caused by:
  • Pregnancy
  • Injury
  • Infection
  • Arthritis
  • Ankylosing spondylitis
Sacroiliac joint pain is a symptom related to sacroiliac joint dysfunction. The symptoms of sacroiliitis and sacroiliac joint pain can be felt in the lower back, buttocks, hips, and legs. These symptoms can be similar to sciatica and can mimic other lower back disorders.  
 
Blog Image  Treating Sacroiliac Diagram
 
Some of the stretches and exercises included are common for treatment plans for various low back conditions/problems. Talk with a chiropractor or doctor to get their recommendation prior to starting any exercise or stretching program.

Stretches

Piriformis stretch

The piriformis muscle extends over the hip and can aggravate the sacroiliac joint when it becomes tight. To help stretch the muscle:
  • Lie on back with knees bent
  • Feet flat on the floor
  • Slowly raise the right leg
  • Bring the right knee toward chest
  • Gently pull the leg in until there is a comfortable stretch in the buttock
  • Exhale during the stretch movement
  • Hold the stretch for 30 seconds
  • Lower leg
  • Repeat on the left leg
  • Repeat each side 3 times daily, as needed
The stretch helps the muscle fibers to lengthen/elongate and relax.  
 

Trunk rotation

Trunk rotation increases flexibility in the low back and hips. This can help relieve pressure on the sacroiliac joints. To do this stretch:
  • Lie on back with knees bent
  • Feet flat on the floor
  • With knees together
  • Slowly rotate to one side
  • Feet, hips, and back should stay on the floor
  • Hold 3-5 seconds
  • Move knees to the opposite side
  • Repeat 5-10 times on each side
 

Bridge

This is a stretch that strengthens the muscles in the lower back, buttocks, and hips.
  • Lie on back with arms at side
  • Knees should be bent, and feet flat on the floor
  • Slowly raise hips while squeezing buttocks and hamstrings
  • Hold raised position for 5 seconds
  • Repeat 10 times
11860 Vista Del Sol Ste. 128 Sacroiliac Joint Stretches and Exercises for Pain Relief
 

Water Therapy and Yoga Exercises

Aquatics and yoga are a gentle and natural form of exercise that is recommended for staying active. Talk to a doctor before starting any exercise program. Aquatic therapy, known now as hydrotherapy/water therapy, is one of the gentlest forms of exercise and is highly effective. Exercising in water creates an almost weightless environment without gravity. Hydrotherapy uses the resistance from the water to improve strength and flexibility without straining the muscles. Regular exercise can cause pain by placing added pressure on the sacroiliac joints. Water therapy conditions the spine and hip muscles without generating muscle stress. Another option for individuals with back pain is yoga. The following poses are recommended and beneficial for the sacroiliac joints:

Child�s pose

This pose stretches the hips and thighs and is a great yoga pose for beginners.  
11860 Vista Del Sol Ste. 128 Sacroiliac Joint Stretches and Exercises for Pain Relief
 

Cobra

Cobra pose can help strengthen and stabilize the sacroiliac joints.
  • Lie flat on the stomach
  • Hands beneath the shoulders
  • Slowly push up as far as the arms extend
  • Bring upper body off the ground
  • Keep the pelvis and legs on the floor
  • When extended, be sure low back and buttocks are relaxed
  • Hold for 15 to 30 seconds
  • Gently lower to the floor
 

Triangle pose

Triangle pose helps to strengthen the sacroiliac joints and makes them less susceptible to pain. However, this pose involves twisting, so make sure to do this pose only when the joints are stable and pain-free.  
 

Before stretching and exercise

Before starting any stretching or exercise program, check with a doctor or chiropractor, if the joints are able then the stretching/exercise could begin right away. However, in most cases, a doctor will refer the patient to a physical therapist or chiropractor to create a customized exercise and stretching plan. The therapist will show exactly what activities will strengthen the joints and how to do them properly and safely. These movements can help condition the spinal and abdominal muscles. This can help prevent future episodes of back pain. If an individual just had surgery for sacroiliac joint pain, the surgeon more than likely prescribed a customized rehabilitation stretching/exercise program. Follow instructions, and get the surgeon�s approval before engaging in anything outside of the plan.

Staying fit safely

When dealing with sacroiliac joint dysfunction or sacroiliitis, physical activity may need to be redefined after treatment. As regular exercise could mean strenuous activity and could do more damage. Exercises like heavy weightlifting, contact sports, and intense biking could place excessive pressure on the joints. A doctor or chiropractor will offer the best stretching and exercises for every individual. Physical activity combined with gentle stretching and conditioning exercises can effectively reduce low back and hip pain. Talk to a doctor, chiropractor, or physical therapist about incorporating healthy exercise into a daily regimen. For some, the workout might not feel like there’s anything going on, but the effects on the pain will be.

Chiropractic Hip Pain Treatment

 
 

Dr. Alex Jimenez�s Blog Post Disclaimer

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas& New Mexico*