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Spinal Hygiene

Back Clinic Spinal Hygiene. The spine is the protective housing for the nervous system, a system so powerful that it controls every function in the human body. The nervous system tells your body to breath, tells your heart to beat, tells your arms and legs to move, tells your body when and how to produce new cells and it even has the power to control healing. A damaged or misaligned spine can dramatically interfere with the signals constantly being sent through the nervous system, eventually resulting in bodily pain, internal deterioration and loss of many of the everyday functions we take for granted.

Spinal hygiene is extremely important, yet 89 percent of the world’s population does not realize the importance of maintaining proper alignment of the vertebrae through chiropractic adjustment, as well as protecting the spine from injury through healthy living practices. Instead we neglect our spines. As children we start our lives with tumbles and trips that jar our spines, we grow into adults with poor posture, we lift things that are too heavy, carry overloaded back packs, and we suffer injury through car accidents, sports impacts and stress.

Get in on the health trend of the future-today. Join the growing percentage of the population that enjoys greater health and wellness through regular care of their spines. Talk to your chiropractor today about ways you can improve your spinal hygiene.


Oblique Muscle Strengthening: El Paso Back Clinic

Oblique Muscle Strengthening: El Paso Back Clinic

The 0blique muscles support and aid in side-to-side movement, helping maintain back strength and healthy posture. There are two oblique muscle sets, the internal and external obliques. Maintaining a strong core is one recommended way to protect the body and spine. However, many forget to train and strengthen all of the oblique muscles. Individuals tend to focus on the superficial core muscle, or rectus abdominis, and not enough or any attention goes to the lateral stabilizers or the internal and external obliques. Chiropractic and functional medicine can restore musculoskeletal flexibility, mobility, and function.

Oblique Muscle Strengthening: El Paso's Chiropractic TeamOblique Muscles

The external obliques make up a large part of the trunk area. There are two external obliques on either side of the body, located on the lateral sides of the abdominal region. These muscles have an essential role in daily movements.

External

  • External obliques help with trunk rotation and support spine rotation.
  • They assist with pulling the chest down to compress the abdominal cavity.
  • They help with bending from side to side.
  • Any strain or injury to these muscles can lead to abdominal, hip, and back issues.
  • Maximizing external oblique strength is important to maintain a strong core.

Internal

The internal oblique is a muscle deep within the lateral side of the abdomen.

  • The internal oblique muscle is one of the main stabilizers and functions to flex the trunk and compress the chest.
  • Its positioning makes it invisible, but it still has an essential role in body movement.
  • This muscle can function bilaterally, meaning both sides can operate at the same time.
  • These muscles provide spinal and posture support.
  • Strain or injury in this area can cause posture problems and abdominal, hip, and back issues.

Rotation and Mobility

The internal and external obliques are the primary rotators of the spine and provide thoracic spine mobility.

Inhibition

If the internal obliques are inhibited, compensation can cause an alteration in the sequence patterns of the posterior oblique subsystem.

  • When this system is not functioning correctly, individuals usually complain of discomfort in the hips and shoulders.
  • A common sign of oblique inhibition is individuals holding their breath during basic movement patterns to gain stability, indicating dysfunction in the intrinsic stabilization subsystem.
  • Simple movements include walking gait, single-leg stance, flexion, extension, etc.

Symptoms of Dysfunction

  • Rounded shoulders
  • Shoulder pain
  • Flexion posture – Janda’s upper-crossed syndrome.
  • Internally rotated hips.
  • Decreased hip extension.
  • Knee instability and discomfort.
  • Sacroiliac joint locking and soreness.
  • Lower back discomfort and soreness.
  • Lumbopelvic hip destabilization.
  • Decreased ability in acceleration and deceleration when walking.

Dysfunction in one area leads to imbalances in other areas, affecting movement and causing impairment syndromes that can include:

  • Muscle imbalances.
  • Decreased stamina.
  • Decreased strength.
  • Increased fatigue.
  • Central sensitization
  • Increased stiffness and tightness in myofascial structures and kinetic chains.
  • Increased risk of injury from unbalanced movement patterns and reaction times.

Chiropractic Reset

Chiropractic care, massage, and decompression therapy can restore body balance through:

  • Soft-tissue release of the thoracolumbar fascia.
  • Mobilization to subluxated areas of the thoracic spine, pelvis, and hips.
  • Manual therapy
  • Instrument-assisted soft-tissue release. 
  • Muscle stimulation
  • Laser therapy
  • Ultrasound
  • Corrective and strengthening exercises

Chiropractors and spinal rehabilitation specialists recommend specialized exercise regimens to target these muscles that include:

  • Power Plate training
  • Bodyweight exercises
  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • High-intensity interval training – HIIT

If you are experiencing waistline, hip, and low back stiffness or tightness and pain, consult our professional chiropractic team. We’re ready to help!


Oblique Anatomy and Movement


References

Calais-Germain, Blandine, and Stephen Anderson. Anatomy of Movement. Seattle: Eastland, 1993.

Cook G. Movement: Functional Movement Systems: Screening, Assessment, and Corrective Strategies. Aptos, CA: On Target Publications, 2010.

Elphinston J. Stability, Sport and Performance Movement: Practical Biomechanics and Systematic Training for Movement Efficacy and Injury Prevention. Lotus Publishing, 2013.

Huxel Bliven, Kellie C, and Barton E Anderson. “Core stability training for injury prevention.” Sports health vol. 5,6 (2013): 514-22. doi:10.1177/1941738113481200

Myers TW. Anatomy Trains: Myofascial Meridians for Manual and Movement Therapists. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone, 2001.

Neumann DA. Kinesiology of the Musculoskeletal System: Foundations for Physical Rehabilitation. St. Louis: Mosby, 2002.

Starrett K, Cordoza G. Becoming a Supple Leopard: The Ultimate Guide to Resolving Pain, Preventing Injury, and Optimizing Athletic Performance. Las Vegas: Victory Belt Pub., 2013.

Weinstock D. NeuroKinetic Therapy: An Innovative Approach to Manual Muscle Testing. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic, 2010.

Lateral Recess Stenosis: El Paso Back Clinic

Lateral Recess Stenosis: El Paso Back Clinic

The spine is the body’s central highway, with the spinal canal as the main lane that handles all the traffic. There are entrances and exits, or spinal cavities, that allow the nerves to branch off the spinal cord and run throughout the body. A traffic jam develops during lane closures, accidents, or construction at an entrance or exit. Lateral recess stenosis causes the narrowing of the spine’s lateral recess/Lee’s entrance, which can compress nerves, impede nerve circulation, and cause painful symptoms.Lateral Recess Stenosis: Injury Medical Chiropractic

Lateral Recess Stenosis

The spinal column provides a strong and flexible structure for the spinal cord. The nerves travel from the spinal cord through various openings and passageways to the rest of the body. One of the openings is known as the lateral recess. Stenosis means narrowing. When a lateral recess in a vertebra develops stenosis, the nerve in that area can get jammed/pinched with no room to move, causing varying symptoms and sensations.

Symptoms

Depending on where the stenosis is taking place (neck, middle or low back), common symptoms of lateral recess stenosis can include:

  • Back pain that can spread out to other areas.
  • Cramping that can spread out to other sites.
  • Radiating pain that worsens with movement and eases with rest.
  • Numbness or weakness of the legs or arms.
  • Electrical tingling sensations down the leg or arm.

Causes

The National Institute of Health lists the major causes:

Natural Wear and Tear

  • Natural aging with gradual degeneration remains the most common cause of stenosis.

Congenital – Born With Stenosis

Disease

Natural Aging Process

Traumatic Injury

  • Automobile crashes and accidents
  • Work Injuries
  • Sports injuries

Treatment

Lateral recess stenosis has no current cure, but there are options to treat stenosis symptoms.

Chiropractic and Physical Therapy

  • A chiropractic physical therapy team can relieve symptoms, restore function, and strengthen the muscles.
  • Muscle groups around the stenosis area are built up to take the pressure off of the area, alleviating symptoms.

Medications

  • A doctor or spine specialist may recommend or prescribe medication to ease symptoms. These include:
  • Tylenol – acetaminophen.
  • NSAIDS – Advil/ibuprofen or Aleve/naproxen.
  • Muscle relaxers

Steroid Injections

  • According to a study, neurogenic claudication is the main reason for disability and loss of independence in the elderly.
  • Neurogenic claudication describes pain and weakness in the buttocks and legs during physical activity that originates from the nerves, not the vessels.
  • This can happen from inflammation and swelling around a compressed nerve.
  • A steroid injection can decrease inflammation for several months.

Surgery

If activity modification, NSAIDs, bracing, and physical therapy don’t work or provide adequate relief, a doctor or specialist could recommend surgery.


Back Problems Chiropractor


References

American College of Rheumatology (n.d.) “Spinal Stenosis” www.rheumatology.org/I-Am-A/Patient-Caregiver/Diseases-Conditions/Spinal-Stenosis

Arthritis Foundation (n.d.) “Corticosteroids” www.arthritis.org/drug-guide/corticosteroids/corticosteroids

Drug Design, Development and Therapy (2014) “Steroid for epidural injection in spinal stenosis: a systematic review and meta-analysis” doi.org/10.2147/DDDT.S78070

Lee, Seung Yeop, et al. “Lumbar Stenosis: A Recent Update by Review of Literature.” Asian spine journal vol. 9,5 (2015): 818-28. doi:10.4184/asj.2015.9.5.818

Liu, Kuan, et al. “Steroid for epidural injection in spinal stenosis: a systematic review and meta-analysis.” Drug design, development, and therapy vol. 9 707-16. Jan 30, 2015, doi:10.2147/DDDT.S78070

Medline Plus (n.d.) “Achondroplasia” medlineplus.gov/genetics/condition/achondroplasia/

Microspine (n.d.) “Endoscopic Decompression” www.microspinemd.com/microspine-surgery/endoscopic-decompression/

National Institutes of Health (n.d.) “Spinal Stenosis” www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/spinal-stenosis

Northwest Medical Center (2022) “Lateral Recess/Foraminal Stenosis” nw-mc.com/lateral-recessforaminal-stenosis/

NSPC Brain and Spine Surgery (n.d.) Lateral Recess Stenosis nspc.com/lateral-recess-stenosis/

Raja A, Hoang S, Patel P, et al. Spinal Stenosis. [Updated 2022 Jul 17]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK441989/

Disc Protrusion Back Clinic Chiropractor

Disc Protrusion Back Clinic Chiropractor

Spinal disc deterioration from aging is normal, but health issues or injuries can advance the degenerative process. Disc protrusions are related to herniated discs but are the mildest form of the condition and are a common form of spinal disc deterioration that can cause neck and back issues. However, individuals may have a small protruding disc that can go undetected unless it irritates or compresses the surrounding nerves. Chiropractic care, decompression, and massage therapy can realign the disc back into position, relieving discomfort and pain. 

Disc Protrusion Chiropractor

Disc Protrusion

A disc is like a sturdy soft rubber shock absorber/cushion with added gel inside. The gel acts as a shock absorber. When the gel begins to protrude out slightly, this is a disc protrusion. Once a protruding disc begins to develop, it usually remains in that position. The disc can sometimes reabsorb on its own and realign back into position, but there is no way of knowing that will happen or how long it will take. With age and/or injuries, the body’s parts change. The spine’s discs dehydrate and lose elasticity weakening the discs and making them more vulnerable to herniation stages:

First Stage

  • Following natural weakening can be classified as a disc protrusion when the disc’s core begins pushing into the spinal column.
  • Disc protrusions can be tiny or push out an entire side of the disc.

Second Stage

  • Disc deterioration often consists of a bulging disc when the core pushes out farther around the circumference beyond the disc’s outer layer, called the annulus fibrosus, creating the telltale bulge.
  • A bulging disc involves more than 180 degrees of the disc’s circumference.

Third Stage

  • The third stage is a herniated disc, meaning the disc’s outer wall has torn, allowing the inner gel to leak out, usually irritating the surrounding nerves.

Fourth Stage

  • The fourth stage is sequestration, a herniated disc in which a piece of the nucleus breaks free of the vertebral disc fragments and falls into the spinal canal.

Types

A disc protrusion is one type of disc herniation that pushes out but remains connected. Different types compress and irritate the discs differently and produce various symptoms, including:

Paracentral

  • This is the most common, where the disc protrusion jams the space between the central canal and the foramen.

Central

  • This is where the disc protrusion impinges into the spinal canal, with or without spinal cord compression.

Foraminal

  • The disc intrudes into the foramen, the space through which nerve roots branch off the spinal cord and exit the vertebrae.

Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Chiropractic Care

Individuals with a disc protrusion can have symptoms similar to sciatica, which includes back, buttock, and leg discomfort, numbness, and pain sensations.

  • Treatment for disc protrusion will be based on the individual’s symptoms.
  • A chiropractor will take a detailed medical history and perform a physical examination.
  • A spinal MRI test could be ordered depending on the injury or condition.
  • A customized treatment plan will be developed to fit the individual’s medical needs.

Most disc protrusions improve after a few weeks of rest, avoiding strenuous activities, activity modification, an anti-inflammatory diet, and gentle exercises that the chiropractic team will provide.


True Spinal Decompression


References

Fardon, David F et al. “Lumbar disc nomenclature: version 2.0: Recommendations of the combined task forces of the North American Spine Society, the American Society of Spine Radiology and the American Society of Neuroradiology.” The spine journal: official journal of the North American Spine Society vol. 14,11 (2014): 2525-45. doi:10.1016/j.spinee.2014.04.022

Mysliwiec, Lawrence Walter, et al. “MSU classification for herniated lumbar discs on MRI: toward developing objective criteria for surgical selection.” The European spine journal: official publication of the European Spine Society, the European Spinal Deformity Society, and the European Section of the Cervical Spine Research Society vol. 19,7 (2010): 1087-93. doi:10.1007/s00586-009-1274-4

www.ninds.nih.gov/low-back-pain-fact-sheet#3102_7

Urban, Jill P G, and Sally Roberts. “Degeneration of the intervertebral disc.” Arthritis research & therapy vol. 5,3 (2003): 120-30. doi:10.1186/ar629

Chiropractor Recommendations Neck Pain and Cervical Spinal Stenosis

Chiropractor Recommendations Neck Pain and Cervical Spinal Stenosis

Cervical spinal stenosis is a condition that causes narrowing of the neck region of the spine. This narrowing can compress the nerves causing pain and discomfort. The symptoms are caused by the misalignment/subluxation of the neck, which is usually the c1 and c2 vertebrae. Misalignments can be caused by daily wear and tear; injuries and tumors can cause or worsen the condition. Cervical spinal stenosis is a severe condition that worsens as time progresses and can cause permanent damage and paralysis. Chiropractor recommendations and non-invasive techniques can alleviate the symptoms, along with therapeutic stretches and exercises, and diet is all part of a personalized treatment plan.

Chiropractor Recommendations: Cervical Spinal Stenosis

Stenosis Symptoms

The most common symptom is neck pain. Doctors recommend avoiding all activities that worsen the pain; however, chiropractors suggest remaining as active as possible to keep the muscles strong. This is because inactivity over time can lead to muscular deterioration around the neck. Other symptoms besides neck pain include:

  • Neck discomfort and pain
  • Headaches
  • Numbness, tingling in the shoulder, arm, hand
  • Difficulty maintaining balance
  • Walking problems

Chiropractor Recommendations

Pain Or Stiffness In The Neck Should Not Be Ignored

  • Pain or stiffness in the neck that worsens rapidly or does not ease up or go away after two weeks requires medical attention.
  • Ignoring or dismissing the pain or stiffness can worsen the condition.

Looking Down At A Phone Too Long

  • Looking down too long increases the strain on the neck.
  • Keeping the head forward for extended periods increases the chances of pinching/compressing nerves and causing radiculopathy.

Exercises That Roll The Neck Around

  • Exercises that roll or pull the neck are not advised as they can exacerbate the condition.
  • A chiropractor will recommend specific neck stretches and exercises on a case-by-case basis.

Heavy Bag, Purse, BackPack On One Shoulder

  • It is recommended to carry a backpack with both shoulders to distribute the weight evenly.
  • Over time, a backpack, bag, or purse on the same shoulder will disrupt the walk cycle and pull down on one side of the neck, exacerbating cervical spinal stenosis.
  • For bags and purses with one strap, it is recommended to alternate shoulders or use a crossbody strap.

Sleeping On The Stomach

  • Sleeping on the stomach means having to turn the neck to one side.
  • This stresses and aggravates cervical stenosis.
  • It is recommended to sleep on the side or back.

Treatment, Therapy, and Rehabilitation

  • Chiropractic is recommended for spinal stenosis because it corrects and re-aligns dislocated and herniated discs and decompresses the spine.
  • Treatment reduces pressure on the spinal cord and its joints and nerve networks.
  • Various techniques include physiotherapeutic massage, spinal adjustments, cervical traction, spinal decompression, and flexion-distraction, which will address stenosis symptoms, treat pain, reduce inflammation, numbness, and restore muscle function.

Non-Surgical Cervical Decompression


References

Clark, Aaron J et al. “Cervical spinal stenosis and sports-related cervical cord neurapraxia.” Neurosurgical focus vol. 31,5 (2011): E7. doi:10.3171/2011.7.FOCUS11173

Kukurin, George W. “The amelioration of symptoms in cervical spinal stenosis with spinal cord deformation through specific chiropractic manipulation: a case report with long-term follow-up.” Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics vol. 27,5 (2004): e7. doi:10.1016/j.jmpt.2004.04.009

Isaac Z. Evaluation of the patient with neck pain and cervical spine disorders. UpToDate. www.uptodate.com/contents/evaluation-of-the-patient-with-neck-pain-and-cervical-spine-disorders. Last updated May 2, 2016. Accessed February 25, 2018.

Gardening Tips and Stretches: Back Pain Prevention

Gardening Tips and Stretches: Back Pain Prevention

Gardening is healthy for the body and does count as exercise, which works the major muscle groups that include the neck, shoulders, arms, abdomen, back, glutes, and legs. However, gardening can cause stress to the body with unhealthy posture/positioning, not using proper lifting techniques, using the wrong tools, and not taking breaks to stretch out the body, move around, and rehydrate. This can lead to body soreness, pain, and injuries. Here are some recommended gardening tips and stretches for pain prevention.

Gardening Tips and Stretches For Pain Prevention

Gardening Tips and Stretches

A sore back and body can stem from staying in a single posture for too long and repetitive motions/movements. Here are a few tips to help maintain musculoskeletal health while gardening:

Tools

  • Choosing the right garden tools can spare a lot of pain and money.
  • Focus on the fundamental tools and purchase the best quality tools that the budget will allow.
  • Size weight, task level, material, grips, handle length, and attachments are things to consider
  • Maintaining quality tools will go a long way.

Digging

  • Digging requires the right tools to get the job done safely and efficiently.
  • Make sure the shovel is sharp enough to reduce using extra force to break up the dirt.
  • The shovel handle should be long enough to avoid excessive bending.
  • Utilize proper digging posture while using a shovel.
  • If using too much pressure, soak the soil to loosen it up.
  • Try not to twist when shoveling the dirt/soil; instead, move the whole body to where the dirt needs to be.

Lifting

  • Prolonged lifting of bags, plants, pots, and equipment can take a toll on the spine and spinal muscles.
  • Bend the knees and use the hips to lift, as the hip muscles are stronger than the low back muscles.
  • Do not bend the waist to come back; use the hips.
  • Investing in an elevated garden or gardening seat/stool is recommended to avoid bending.

Weeding

  • Weeding can require prolonged sitting or bending, depending on the number of weeds.
  • To avoid excessive sitting and bending, a gardening seat/stool can help, as well as a standing weeding tool will reduce the pressure on the back.
  • This is also helpful for knee and/or hip pain.

Mowing

Take Breaks

  • Do not push through; take a break even if the body feels great.
  • Every half hour, the body needs to rest.
  • Try to work in 30-minute increments then break to move around, stretch, relax, and rehydrate.
  • Squatting, bending, digging, lifting bags, and pushing wheelbarrows is a form of strength training that helps achieve stronger muscles, healthier bones, and joints.
  • But if there are no breaks, the chances for pain and injuries increase.

Stretches

Simple stretches can reduce the strain and pain of gardening. Stretching before, during, and after the gardening session is recommended.

Cat Stretch

  • This is a simple yoga pose that helps with back soreness.
  • On your hands and knees, keep the hands at shoulder distance and the knees at hip distance.
  • Pull the navel up to the spine and arch/round the back.
  • Slowly straighten the back.

Cow Stretch

  • The cow stretch is the opposite of the cat pose.
  • Start in the same position.
  • Drop the stomach to the floor and lift the head up and back.
  • The spine will arch and gently stretch the back.

Head Rolls

  • Head rolls will help with shoulder and neck pain.
  • Drop the chin down toward the chest.
  • Gently roll the head to one side going around back to the center.
  • Repeat in the opposite direction.

Supine Twists

  • Supine twists can help the lower back.
  • Lay down with the legs at a 45-degree angle and the arms out to the sides.
  • Twist the legs to one side and look in the opposite direction.
  • Hold the pose until the stretch is felt, and then move back to the starting point.
  • Repeat on the opposite side.

Chiropractic

Chiropractic medicine can help alleviate aches and pains and rehabilitate, realign, and strengthen the body to optimal health. Individuals are educated on the musculoskeletal system, injury prevention, nutrition, and exercise to maintain wellness and a pain-free lifestyle.


Pain-Free Gardening Tips and Stretches


References

Howarth, Michelle et al. “What is the evidence for the impact of gardens and gardening on health and well-being: a scoping review and evidence-based logic model to guide healthcare strategy decision making on the use of gardening approaches as a social prescription.” BMJ open vol. 10,7 e036923. 19 Jul. 2020, doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2020-036923

Masashi Soga A et al. “Gardening is beneficial for health: A meta-analysis” www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5153451/pdf/main.pdf.

Scott, Theresa L et al.”Positive aging benefits of home and community gardening activities: Older adults report enhanced self-esteem, productive endeavors, social engagement, and exercise” SAGE open medicine vol. 8 2050312120901732. 22 Jan. 2020, doi:10.1177/2050312120901732

Viscerosomatic Pain & The Spine

Viscerosomatic Pain & The Spine

Introduction

The body has many nerve roots that are intertwined and coming out from the spinal cord, which is part of the nervous system. One of the main components of the nervous system is the vagus nerve, which is part of the parasympathetic nervous system as it helps inform the brain about the state of the inner organs in the body. The vagus nerve helps maintain the body’s metabolism and homeostasis from diseases and injuries that occur either inside or outside the body. Many inner organs, muscles, or tissues get affected when a person has suffered from an injury or developed infections in their body. They can cause many symptoms that can dysfunction the body. It can affect the spine, nerve roots, internal organs, and joints, making the individual feel a sense of hopelessness. Today’s article will look at the unique connection of viscerosomatic reflexes and how it affects the body, as well as how viscerosomatic pain can affect the spine causing the individual many spinal issues. We refer patients to certified, skilled providers specializing in osteopathic and chiropractic treatments. We also guide our patients by referring to our associated medical providers based on their examination when it’s appropriate. We find that education is critical for asking insightful questions to our providers. Dr. Alex Jimenez DC provides this information as an educational service only. Disclaimer

 

Can my insurance cover it? Yes, it may. If you are uncertain, here is the link to all the insurance providers we cover. If you have any questions or concerns, please call Dr. Jimenez at 915-850-0900.

Lobzova.NYCOMEC.05.25.2017

What Are Viscerosomatic Reflexes?

 

Have you experienced pain in your arms, legs, or back? How about feeling dysfunctional in your urinary tract? Have you noticed that not only your chest has started to hurt but also your gut and lower back? Many of these are signs of you having pain due to your viscerosomatic reflexes in your body. Research studies have defined viscerosomatic as regular visceral activity in the body stimulated by the somatosensory nerves that can help recognize abnormal viscerosomatic reflexes. These nerves are connected to the central nervous system, which travels through the spinal cord and can affect the body. The best example is when a doctor is giving a reflex test and uses a rubber mallet to hit the knee to see if a person still has reflexes in their body. Since the vagus nerve is part of the parasympathetic nervous system, when it becomes damaged, it can cause numerous effects on the body research studies have found that any visceral disturbances that are affecting the human body can cause an increase in muscle tension and decrease the pain in the corresponding spinal ligament that can restrict the muscle mobility to the tissues and affecting either the motor or sympathetic nerve. This causes the body to experience pain affecting one part of the body to the corresponding affected nerve.

 

How Does It Affect The Body?

Since the body has so many connections like the gut-brain axis, which helps regulate the body’s metabolism and homeostasis, the endocrine system that allows the transport of hormones to the rest of the muscles, tissues, and organs through the nerve roots, and the nerve roots themselves are connected as they help with the sensory-motor function with the arms and legs, so the body can move around. When these connections are being damaged and start to affect the rest of the body, it can lead to other health problems that do affect the body. Research studies have found that when the body is suffering from visceral pain in the organs can affect different areas. A couple of examples include:

  • Bladder issues affecting the perineal area
  • Cardiovascular disorders causing arm and neck pain
  • GI disorders causing discomfort

Even though visceral pain’s effects are not life-threatening, it can dampen a person’s mood by causing a negative impact associated with distress, sleep, and work disturbances, and even causing sexual dysfunction in the body.


An Overview Of Viscerosomatic Reflexes-Video

Have you experienced cardiovascular issues that are causing arm and neck pain? Have you been feeling some discomfort in your gut or your pelvic area? Have you been experiencing pain that is negatively impacting your quality of life? This could be due to viscerosomatic pain affecting your body and causing these symptoms. The video above explains how the viscerosomatic reflexes are connected to their corresponding muscles and organs. When the body is suffering from issues that affect the related muscles, it is known as viscerosomatic pain. Research studies have shown that individuals suffering from viscerosomatic pain will have multifaceted problems in the viscerosomatic reflexes. This type of pain does affect the spinal neurons causing the visceral neurons to become overly sensitive in the body and the affected areas.


How Does Viscerosomatic Pain Affect The Spine?

 

Research studies have found that viscerosomatic can affect the spine by affecting the gut system. Many individuals that are suffering from IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) will often complain about being in pain in their torso areas. They don’t realize that processing the visceral and somatic stimuli can cause the gut to become hypersensitive and affect the spinal cord neurons to overlap. Another research study has mentioned that pelvic pain in an individual can cause more symptoms that involve many organ systems causing visceral symptoms combined with somatovisceral convergence. When viscerosomatic pain affects many body parts, it can be difficult for a diagnosis to be conducted. 

 

Conclusion

The body has many nerve roots that connect the body by branching out of the spine and providing sensory-motor functions to the corresponding muscles and tissues. When the body becomes injured, it can cause nerve not only damage to the body but also affect the muscles and organs. This is known as viscerosomatic pain and can be challenging to diagnose due to its being multifaceted with multiple symptoms. This pain can cause the affected organs to become hypersensitive and impact a person’s quality of life. When the body starts healing from viscerosomatic pain, the effects will become less for the individual as they heal the affected organs.

 

References

Bath, Megan, and Justin Owens. “Physiology, Viscerosomatic Reflexes.” In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL), StatPearls Publishing, 8 May 2022, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK559218/.

Hoffman, Donna. “Understanding Multisymptom Presentations in Chronic Pelvic Pain: The Inter-Relationships between the Viscera and Myofascial Pelvic Floor Dysfunction.” Current Pain and Headache Reports, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Oct. 2011, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21739128/.

Sengupta, Jyoti N. “Visceral Pain: The Neurophysiological Mechanism.” Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2009, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3156094/.

Sikandar, Shafaq, and Anthony H Dickenson. “Visceral Pain: The Ins and Outs, the Ups and Downs.” Current Opinion in Supportive and Palliative Care, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Mar. 2012, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3272481/.

Silva, Andréia Cristina de Oliveira, et al. “Effect of Osteopathic Visceral Manipulation on Pain, Cervical Range of Motion, and Upper Trapezius Muscle Activity in Patients with Chronic Nonspecific Neck Pain and Functional Dyspepsia: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Pilot Study.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine : ECAM, Hindawi, 11 Nov. 2018, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6252226/.

Verne, G Nicholas, et al. “Viscerosomatic Facilitation in a Subset of IBS Patients, an Effect Mediated by N-Methyl-D-Aspartate Receptors.” The Journal of Pain, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Sept. 2012, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3489925/.

Disclaimer

Eliminate Disc Pain With Decompression

Eliminate Disc Pain With Decompression

Introduction

Everyone worldwide has suffered from some reasonable amount of injuries in their spine. The spine is part of the musculoskeletal system that holds muscles, tissues, ligaments, and spinal cavities. In the spine, round, cushion-like discs are sectioned in each vertebra that helps protect the spine and spinal cord. As the body ages, so do the spine, causing the cushion-like disc to become stiff and compressed until they start to crack the outer layer. This crack allows the inner layer of the spinal disc to leak out and bulge out of the spine. This bulge then starts to press on the spinal nerve roots connected to the spinal cord causing the person to feel pain. When this happens, non-surgical treatments are available to help restore the spinal disc to the spine and allow the irritated nerve root to relax and repair itself. Today’s article explains how to take care of our spine, what happens when disc herniation is, and how decompression therapy can restore spinal discs and increase their height in the spine. Referring patients to qualified and skilled providers who specialize in spinal decompression therapy. We guide our patients by referring to our associated medical providers based on their examination when it’s appropriate. We find that education is essential for asking insightful questions to our providers. Dr. Alex Jimenez DC provides this information as an educational service only. Disclaimer

 

Can my insurance cover it? Yes, it may. If you are uncertain, here is the link to all the insurance providers we cover. If you have any questions or concerns, please call Dr. Jimenez at 915-850-0900.

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Taking Care Of Your Spine

Feeling wear and tear on your back? Do you feel stiffness in your joints as you twist and turn? How about aches and pains in random places in the lumbar or cervical area of the body? When something like this happens to the body, it could be how you take care of your spine. In many previous articles, the spine is an S-shaped curve part of the musculoskeletal system that allows the body to do everyday movements that help a person move around. When a person injures their back, their spine usually takes damage in pulled muscles, stiff joints, a momentary sense of instability when getting up, and low back pain. Research studies have stated that when there are spine disorders in the back, it can involve the entire intervertebral disc, joints, and tissues that are connected to the spine. 

 

Spine disorders are also associated with low back pain issues, causing them to lower the quality of life in a person and, if not treated right away, hinder their ability to move around. Additional information has mentioned that contributing factors affect when acute or repetitive trauma starts to cause low back pain issues. Compressing the spinal disc repeatedly through overtwisting and turning can increase the chances of internal disc disruptors and disc instability. When this happens, disc herniation does occur in the cervical and lumbar regions of the spine.

Disc Herniation

When there are spine disorders associated with low back pain, disc herniation is one of the factors for back sufferers. Studies have defined that disc herniation occurs in the cervical and lumbar regions of the spine, causing the spinal disc’s outer layer to crack and expose the inner walls to bulge out, causing the spinal nerve roots that are neck to them to be irritated and compressed. When the nerves start to become affected, it can cause pain and dysfunction in the spinal cord. Disc herniation can also progress to severe causes like loss of sensory and motor functions to the lower half of the body and lower back, causing muscle weakness. More research studies have stated that since disc herniation is so common for many people, it can be the pathogenesis of sciatica to develop. All is not lost, as there are treatments that provide the necessary relief for the spine and restore the intervertebral disc back to its original function.


Disc Height & Decompression- Video

Have you been experiencing numbness around some regions of your back? How about muscle stiffness that is occurring around your neck and lower back? Does it hurt when you stretch, and the pain radiates down your leg? Experiencing these symptoms is due to disc herniation and can cause severe spinal issues that affect the back and the spine. The best way to restore the spine is through spinal decompression therapy. The video above describes how spinal decompression can help improve spinal functionality by increasing the disc height and reducing the pain signals through gentle traction on the spinal disc leaving the nerve roots alone. This will allow the individual receiving spinal decompression therapy to have their sensory and motor functions back in their lower back and legs. Suppose you want to learn more about decompression and how it can benefit you in providing relief from disc herniation? This link will explain what decompression offers optimal comfort for disc herniation in the spine.


Decompression Therapy Helps Increase Disc Height

 

Since disc herniation has been associated with issues affecting the cervical and lumbar regions of the spine, some treatments are available to help with disc restoration, and it is none other than decompression therapy. Research studies have shown that when individuals go in for decompression therapy, they are first lying down on a traction table and are strapped in. This allows the provider to adjust and change the direction where the opposing force will begin to reduce the pressure that the herniated disc has caused on the irritable nerve root while increasing the hydration back to the cracked outer layer of the spinal disc. The continuous effects of spinal decompression allow the intervertebral disc to increase its height between the spinal columns and reduce the herniated material. Spinal decompression therapy can also help alleviate other low back and neck pain symptoms that a person could be suffering from.

 

Conclusion

Utilizing treatments to take care of the body can allow it to live longer and reduce other ailments that can hinder one’s functionality. Overall, spinal decompression therapy can help restore spinal disc herniation by causing anti-gravitational or negative pressure on the spinal canals and help restore the functionality of the spine. Incorporating decompression therapy as part of a wellness lifestyle can benefit most people who suffer from low back and neck pain. Without it, many people will suffer from chronic pain and spinal issues that can cause them to become miserable

 

References

Choi, Jioun, et al. “Influences of Spinal Decompression Therapy and General Traction Therapy on the Pain, Disability, and Straight Leg Raising of Patients with Intervertebral Disc Herniation.” Journal of Physical Therapy Science, The Society of Physical Therapy Science, Feb. 2015, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4339166/.

Dydyk, Alexander M, et al. “Disc Herniation – Statpearls – NCBI Bookshelf.” In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL), StatPearls Publishing, 18 Jan. 2022, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK441822/.

Raciborski, Filip, et al. “Disorders of the Spine. A Major Health and Social Problem.” Reumatologia, Narodowy Instytut Geriatrii, Reumatologii i Rehabilitacji w Warszawie, 2016, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5090028/.

Tariq, Rayhan A, et al. “Back Safety – Statpearls – NCBI Bookshelf.” In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL), StatPearls Publishing, 29 Nov. 2021, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK519066/.

Vialle, Luis Roberto, et al. “Lumbar Disc Herniation.” Revista Brasileira De Ortopedia, Elsevier, 16 Nov. 2015, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4799068/.

Disclaimer

Degenerative Discs Can Affect Your Back

Degenerative Discs Can Affect Your Back

Introduction

As part of the musculoskeletal system located in the middle of the back, the spine helps the body stay up and provides everyday movements that a person goes from one place to another. Ligaments, soft tissue muscles, nerve roots, and other components help protect the spinal cord and spine from significant injuries like auto accidents, a slip, fall, work injuries, or acute injuries like a slipped disc or degeneration, herniation, pulled back muscles. These damages can affect the back in multiple ways and cause most people to suffer from pain. Thus many people start trying to find ways to relieve the pain in their spine or back. Today’s article immerses us in how degenerative disc starts to affect the spine and how treatments like decompression can help reduce the pain affecting the back and the spine. Referring patients to qualified and skilled providers who specialize in spinal decompression therapy. We guide our patients by referring to our associated medical providers based on their examination when it’s appropriate. We find that education is essential for asking insightful questions to our providers. Dr. Alex Jimenez DC provides this information as an educational service only. Disclaimer

 

Can my insurance cover it? Yes, it may. If you are uncertain, here is the link to all the insurance providers we cover. If you have any questions or concerns, please call Dr. Jimenez at 915-850-0900.

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The Spine Can Degenerate Naturally

 

Feeling tired and aching after a long workday? Do you think a variety range of pain starting to affect either your neck or lower back? How about feeling the wear and tear on your back due to normal activities? It is expected that the body naturally ages over time, causing muscles, joints, and even ligaments not to work correctly. For the spine, though, the spinal discs, which are located in-between the spinal joints, can also age and cause pain to the body. Studies have mentioned that degenerative disc disrupts the structure of the disc itself. In a healthy, average, functioning body, the spine allows mobility and stability to the person doing any activities without feeling discomfort. When habits and lifestyle choices begin to affect the body, it can develop over time into degeneration in the spinal joints, causing the spine to be afflicted. Other research studies have provided that disc degeneration on the spine affects not only the lumbar area but also the cervical area as it causes three stages during the degenerative process: 

  • Dysfunction
  • Instability
  • Stabilization

These stages gradually affect the lumbar and cervical area over time; it causes spinal issues like osteoarthritis and spinal nerve root pressure in the back. When the spinal nerve roots become pressurized, it radiates pain that promotes muscle weakness in some back regions.

 

How Does It Affect The Back?

Since the spine does age naturally, causing disc degeneration, other symptoms in the lumbar regions of the back will begin to show up over time. Symptoms of low back pain seem to work hand-in-hand with disc degeneration as research studies have found that degenerative discs are irreversible in the spine. In contrast, low back pain can have adverse effects on many individuals. Low back pain exerts an enormous burden on the back’s lumbar region while promoting long-term disability. Anytime low back pain is associated with degenerative discs on the spine, the body loses the necessary sensory and motor functions such as movement limitations, balance issues, pain, muscle weakness, and reflex issues will hinder a person’s quality of life; studies have concluded.

 


An Overview On Degenerative Disc-Video

Feeling pain along your spine? How about aches and discomfort in the lower regions of your back? How about muscle stiffness and discomfort around the cervical and lumbar region of the spine? Experiencing disc degeneration is no laughing matter; why not try non-surgical decompression to alleviate the severe symptoms of disc degeneration. The video above provides an overview of disc degeneration and how non-surgical treatments like spinal decompression can help promote relief to the spine. Decompression promotes traction through gentle pulling to elongate spinal disc height while releasing the compressed discs off the aggravated nerve roots causing low back and neck pain. Suppose you want to learn more about decompression and how it can benefit you in providing relief from disc degeneration and other low back conditions? This link will explain what decompression offers optimal comfort for disc degeneration in the spine.


How Decompression Treats Degenerative Disc

 

Since both the spine and body can age, naturally, many unwanted symptoms can pop up over time in random locations in the back. With disc degeneration, the spinal discs help cushion the spine from any injuries that it succumbs to. Treatments like decompression can help with low back pain and disc degeneration. Research studies have proven that decompression treatments allow the space in-between the spinal joints to be vertically expanded while lessening the pressure and restoring disc height to the spine. Utilizing decompression enables the spine to restore the natural beneficial substances for the spinal discs while loosening the muscles connected to the spine. 

 

Conclusion

Overall, the spine can age naturally, causing issues like disc degeneration to occur and causes unwanted symptoms like low back pain to cause long-term disability to many people. Disc degeneration is irreversible, causing sensory and motor dysfunction to the body, making it unstable, have muscle weakness in certain areas in the back, and affecting a person’s quality of life. Treatments like decompression therapy allow the spine to be decompressed while elongating disc height, causing relief to the individual while restoring spinal health. These types of treatments are perfect for many individuals that are looking to reclaim their health and wellness.

 

References

Apfel, Christian C, et al. “Restoration of Disk Height through Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression Is Associated with Decreased Discogenic Low Back Pain: A Retrospective Cohort Study.” BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, BioMed Central, 8 July 2010, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2912793/.

Fakhoury, Jordan, and Thomas J Dowling. “Cervical Degenerative Disc Disease – Statpearls – NCBI Bookshelf.” In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL), StatPearls Publishing, 25 Aug. 2021, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK560772/.

Jandrić, Slavica, and Branislav Antić. “[Low Back Pain and Degenerative Disc Disease].” Medicinski Pregled, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2006, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17345822/.

Kirnaz, Sertac, et al. “Pathomechanism and Biomechanics of Degenerative Disc Disease: Features of Healthy and Degenerated Discs.” International Journal of Spine Surgery, International Society for the Advancement of Spine Surgery, Apr. 2021, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8092938/.

Zheng, Chang-Jiang, and James Chen. “Disc Degeneration Implies Low Back Pain.” Theoretical Biology & Medical Modelling, BioMed Central, 9 Nov. 2015, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4640162/.

Disclaimer

Walking Technique Improvement

Walking Technique Improvement

Walking is the most natural form of physical activity for optimal body health. It is low impact and can provide health and longevity benefits. Walking is second nature, but sometimes individuals can forget how to walk correctly and begin to present with musculoskeletal discomfort and injuries. The proper walking technique increases breathing function, reduces stress on the body and mind, and is a recommended form of self-care for aches and pains, injuries, and conditions. Proper walking techniques rely on the simple form, proper body mechanics, and active adjustments. Walking technique improvement can be achieved through chiropractic musculoskeletal rehabilitation and retraining to keep the body balanced and in top health.

Walking Technique Improvement

Walking Problems

Forgetting proper walking technique is like forgetting healthy posture, which can lead to problems that include:

  • Walking with the head and neck bent down
  • Dragging the feet
  • Dropping the feet
  • Irregular, jerky movements when walking
  • Taking smaller steps
  • Waddling gait
  • Walking more slowly
  • Spastic gait pattern

Gait

Gait is the manner or way an individual walks. The average gait could be described as placing one foot in front of the other in a continuous motion from the heel to the ball of the foot. Walking problems are often brought on by poor posture, injury, or physical condition. Typical gait abnormalities:

Propulsive gait

  • This gait is a stooped, stiff posture with the head and neck bent forward.

Scissors gait

  • This gait is when the legs flex slightly at the hips and knees like a crouch, with the knees and thighs hitting or crossing in a scissors-like movement.

Spastic gait

  • This gait is a stiff, foot-dragging walk caused by a prolonged muscle contraction on one side.

Steppage gait

  • This gait causes foot drop where the foot hangs with the toes pointing down, causing the toes to scrape while walking, requiring the individual to lift the leg higher.

Waddling gait

  • This gait is a duck-like walk that can show up in childhood or later in life.

Walking Problem Causes

Different diseases and conditions can affect gait and lead to walking issues. They include:

  • Foot problems, including corns, calluses, and sores
  • Injuries, such as fractures/broken bones, sprains, and tendinitis
  • Arthritis of the spine, hips, knees, ankles, or feet
  • Neurologic diseases – multiple sclerosis and peripheral nerve disorders
  • Cerebellar disorders of the brain that control coordination and balance
  • Movement disorders like Parkinson’s disease
  • Infections
  • Abnormal development of the muscles or bones of the spine, legs, or feet
  • Vision problems

Walking Technique Improvement

Body posture continually needs to be assessed and adjusted. When an individual least realizes it they start to forget healthy walking techniques, posture, and their shoulders begin to bow forward or become rounded or their feet start turning out when they shouldn’t. Poor walking posture leads to body aches and pains. Walking technique improvement consists of:

  • Standing up straight like a string is attached to the head maintaining a plumb line with the sky.
  • Keeping the chin parallel to the ground.
  • Shoulders are back and relaxed to relieve tension.
  • There is no arching of the back.
  • Wear comfortable footwear.
  • Engaging the core.
  • Proper arm motion.
  • Breathing deep and full.
  • Letting the legs and buttocks create a natural stride.
  • Focusing on around 15-20 feet in front, so the head follows where the eyes are looking.

The body relies on muscle/form memory. Chiropractic adjustments make it possible to keep the body in alignment, allowing mobility and flexibility without pain. Walking with proper form will strengthen the muscles that support the spine, eliminate stress on the body, and relieve aches and pains. Circulation will improve, bringing vitamins and minerals to the muscles and tissues.


DRX9000 Patient Testimonials Spinal Decompression


References

Buldt, Andrew K et al. “The relationship between foot posture and plantar pressure during walking in adults: A systematic review.” Gait & posture vol. 62 (2018): 56-67. doi:10.1016/j.gaitpost.2018.02.026

Chambers, April J et al. “The Effect of Prolonged Walking With Intermittent Standing on Erector Spinae and Soleus Muscle Oxygenation and Discomfort.” Journal of sports science & medicine vol. 18,2 337-343. 1 Jun. 2019

Hackford, Jessie, et al. “The effects of walking posture on affective and physiological states during stress.” Journal of behavior therapy and experimental psychiatry vol. 62 (2019): 80-87. doi:10.1016/j.jbtep.2018.09.004

Russell, Brent S et al. “Walking Gait Before and After Chiropractic Care Following Fifth Metatarsal Fractures: A Single Case Kinetic and Kinematic Study.” Journal of chiropractic medicine vol. 17,2 (2018): 106-116. doi:10.1016/j.jcm.2018.02.002

Do’s and Don’ts After Chiropractic Adjustment

Do’s and Don’ts After Chiropractic Adjustment

Everybody is different in how the body reacts to a chiropractic adjustment. Body misalignment often leads to spinal misalignment or vice versa. Misalignments occur over time; individuals do not notice until soreness and pain begin presenting. Depending on the injury and/or condition, getting the full potential from a chiropractic adjustment means knowing the dos and don’ts following treatment. This involves maintaining a healthy posture, staying hydrated, getting proper rest, and staying active.

Do's and Don'ts After Chiropractic Adjustment

Adjustments

Adjustments are highly effective for the body. Benefits include:

  • Pain relief.
  • Restored full range of motion.
  • Increased strength.
  • Increased energy.
  • Improved sleep.
  • Lowered blood pressure in individuals with hypertension.

Do’s and Don’ts

Stay Properly Hydrated

  • One of the best things for the body is plenty of water every day. Water helps:
  • Circulate nutrients and oxygen to your cells.
  • Flush bacteria from the bladder.
  • Assist with digestion.
  • Prevent constipation.
  • Normalize blood pressure.
  • Stabilize heartbeat.
  • Cushion the joints.
  • Protect organs and tissues.

Stay Active

  • It is not recommended to take on intense workouts after an adjustment but to remain active to keep the muscles, tendons, ligaments flexible and strengthen the body during healing.
  • Activities should be done in moderation and include:
  • Walking
  • Jogging
  • Biking
  • Swimming

Proper Rest

  • Getting the proper amount of sleep is essential for the body to heal to the optimal level.
  • The body getting used to the adjustment can be an exhausting process.

Maintain Healthy Posture

  • Proper posture is essential to keep the body in healthy alignment and prevent further/new injuries.
  • A chiropractor and physical therapist will educate and train individuals on maintaining healthy, active postures.

Stretching

  • Stretching is prescribed as part of the treatment to maintain flexibility and strength.
  • A chiropractor will recommend and show how to perform specific stretches and exercises between adjustments.

What to Avoid

Recommendations on what to avoid after a chiropractic adjustment.

Explosive Movements

  • Stay active but limit any explosive movements for a few days after the adjustment.

Avoid Sitting Too Much

  • Too much sitting, even with a lumbar support chair, can cause the muscles to tighten pulling on the spine.
  • When sitting, get up and move around every 20 minutes.

Paying attention to the recommended do’s and don’ts will help expedite the healing and create new healthy habits.


Body Composition


Dairy Products

Conventional vs. Organic and Grass-fed Dairy

  • Studies have found that dairy cows consuming a diet of grass and hay significantly improved nutrient profiles of produced milk.
  • Milk from grass-fed cows has a higher omega-3 content when compared to organic and conventional grain-fed cows.
  • Omega-3s protect against:
  • Inflammation
  • Heart disease
  • Metabolic conditions

Fermented Products

References

Bourrie, Benjamin C T et al. “The Microbiota and Health Promoting Characteristics of the Fermented Beverage Kefir.” Frontiers in microbiology vol. 7 647. 4 May. 2016, doi:10.3389/fmicb.2016.00647

Licciardone, John C et al. “Recovery From Chronic Low Back Pain After Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment: A Randomized Controlled Trial.” The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association vol. 116,3 (2016): 144-55. doi:10.7556/jaoa.2016.031

Maher, C G. “Effective physical treatment for chronic low back pain.” The Orthopedic clinics of North America vol. 35,1 (2004): 57-64. doi:10.1016/S0030-5898(03)00088-9

Will, Joshua Scott et al. “Mechanical Low Back Pain.” American family physician vol. 98,7 (2018): 421-428.

Neuromusculoskeletal Optimization

Neuromusculoskeletal Optimization

Chiropractic is a form of neuromusculoskeletal care that repairs and re-optimizes the nervous system that helps to relieve tension, inflammation, pain and restore body health. Like any piece of machinery that requires regular maintenance to operate correctly without issues, so too is the body an exquisite machine that needs regular maintenance. Treatment restores and maintains optimal function to the nervous system, muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments, and joints.

Neuromusculoskeletal Optimization

Neuromusculoskeletal Care

Central Nervous System – CNS

  • The Central Nervous System or CNS is the body’s computer.
  • It processes functions in the body and mind.
  • It s made up of the brain and spinal cord.
  • It helps process external information through sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste.
  • The CNS interprets sensory information that goes through the spinal cord to the brain, and the body responds accordingly.
  • It controls voluntary movements like walking, talking, exercising.
  • It controls involuntary movements like blinking, breathing, digestion.
  • It allows thoughts, emotions, and perceptions to be created and expressed.

When the Central Nervous System works correctly, the body is coordinated, all senses send and receive information effectively, and cognition/thinking is clear. 

Peripheral Nervous System – PNS

  • The Peripheral Nervous System or PNS transmits signals from the outside to the Central Nervous System.
  • The PNS is comprised of all the nerve bundles that run throughout the body.
  • The PNS is responsible for transmitting information back and forth from the CNS to the rest of the body by electrical impulses and current.

When the PNS is functioning correctly, and there is thorough nerve circulation throughout the body, there are no issues like numbness, weakness, pain, and digestion is in top form.

Enteric Nervous System – ENS

  • The Enteric Nervous System or ENS is a branch of the peripheral nervous system that signals the digestive system.
  • It comprises nerves that stretch across the entire gastrointestinal tract.
  • It allows the nervous system to communicate with the digestive tract and regulate activity.
  • It can stop the digestive process when the body is under stress or strain, i.e., fight or flight response.
  • Chronic stress can create dysfunction in the digestive system.
  • Inflammation and stress can cause the enteric system to disrupt and cause digestive problems.

Pain Relief

Body pain can be an indication of an imbalance in the nervous system. Misalignment from work, home activities, trauma, injury, or posture problems, a subluxation/misalignment can turn into discomfort that leads to pain and neuromusculoskeletal system issues. Pain in the neuromusculoskeletal system can result from spinal misalignment and a shifting skeletal structure. The joints and misaligned bones compress the surrounding nerves and tissue, causing inflammation that results in pain symptoms. This causes the muscular system to compensate for the lack of stability support from the skeletal structure causing awkward body posturing. A chiropractor realigns the spinal structure, removing the compression/pressure from the nerves, tissues, muscles, ligaments, and tendons.


Body Composition


Chiropractic Medicine

The nervous system is highly responsive to chiropractic care because of chiropractic’s focus on the spine, which restores and rejuvenates. Chiropractic medicine and a properly aligned spine:

  • Reduces and eliminates pain.
  • Reduces and eliminates headaches and migraines.
  • Improves balance and coordination.
  • Improves digestive function.
  • Improves quality of sleep.
  • Increases energy.
  • Increases flexibility and mobility.
  • Enhances cognition and clear thinking.
References

Goudman, Lisa et al. “The Link Between Spinal Cord Stimulation and the Parasympathetic Nervous System in Patients With Failed Back Surgery Syndrome.” Neuromodulation: journal of the International Neuromodulation Society vol. 25,1 (2022): 128-136. doi:10.1111/ner.13400

Gyer, Giles et al. “Spinal manipulation therapy: Is it all about the brain? A current review of the neurophysiological effects of manipulation.” Journal of integrative medicine vol. 17,5 (2019): 328-337. doi:10.1016/j.joim.2019.05.004

Millet, Guillaume Y et al. “The role of the nervous system in neuromuscular fatigue induced by ultra-endurance exercise.” Applied physiology, nutrition, and metabolism = Physiologie appliquee, nutrition et metabolisme vol. 43,11 (2018): 1151-1157. doi:10.1139/apnm-2018-0161

Stoll, T et al. “Physiotherapie bei lumbaler Diskushernie” [Physiotherapy in lumbar disc herniation ]. Therapeutische Umschau. Revue therapeutique vol. 58,8 (2001): 487-92. doi:10.1024/0040-5930.58.8.487

Tremors and Spinal Cord Compression

Tremors and Spinal Cord Compression

Tremors are extremely rare, but they can result from spinal compression and not necessarily a brain condition like Parkinson’s disease. Tremors are abnormal, involuntary body movements with various causes, most of which are connected to the brain and not the spine. A study reports that more than 75% of individuals with Parkinson’s experienced a resting tremor, and about 60% experience tremors while moving. Sometimes the spine is the contributor caused by compression of the spinal cord.

Tremors and Spinal Cord Compression

Spinal Compression Study

A 90-year-old man was hospitalized after having tremors, with Parkinson’s being the initial diagnosis. The tremors progressed to the point where the man could not feed himself or walk without support. The case became the focus of a medical report published by physicians in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Division of the Spine, Singapore Tan Tock Seng Hospital. Along with the tremors, symptoms progressed to:

  • Difficulty with fine motor skills like buttoning a shirt.
  • However, it was ruled out because the patient was not presenting with other Parkinson’s symptoms.
  • What was found from the symptoms was cervical spondylotic myelopathy, which is a spinal cord compression in the neck.
  • The compression was caused by a herniated disc impinging the spinal canal and compressing the spinal cord causing spinal stenosis.
  • The compression was resolved by having an ACDF surgical procedure.
  • An anterior cervical discectomy and fusion or ACDF procedure can help manage the condition.
  • An ACDF treats spinal cord compression by removing a degenerative or herniated disc in the neck.

Cervical Myelopathy

Causes of cervical spondylotic myelopathy include:

Common symptoms include:

  • Balance problems
  • Coordination problems
  • Tingling in the hands
  • Numbness
  • Weakness
  • Impairment of fine motor skills

Tremors as a symptom are rare.

Cervical Myelopathy vs. Parkinson’s Disease

There are cases where cervical spondylotic myelopathy and Parkinson’s disease symptoms can overlap. Studies have shown difficulties between the two diagnoses, as well as, individuals with Parkinson’s may exhibit symptoms similar to cervical spondylotic myelopathy that can include:

  • Weakness
  • Lack of coordination
  • Bowel dysfunction
  • Bladder dysfunction

Treatment Cervical Myelopathy Tremors

For individuals with cervical spondylotic myelopathy tremors, surgery can be used to help the condition. However, with cervical myelopathy, there is often some permanent damage. Individuals have shown that post-surgery and decompression, symptoms still present, maybe not as much, but there will be a need for a symptom management plan.

Prevention

The best way to prevent tremors associated with cervical spondylotic myelopathy is to minimize the strain on the spine that can lead to herniated discs and/or other spinal injuries. The discs in the spine degenerate, dry out and start cracking with age, increasing the risk of rupture. If a tremor develops, contact a doctor, spine specialist, or chiropractor to help diagnose the condition. These doctors can perform physical and neurological tests to determine the cause and treatment options.


Body Composition


Aging Health

Steady weight gain throughout life can lead to adult-onset diabetes. This is partly caused by having more body fat and progressive muscle loss. Loss of skeletal muscle mass is linked to insulin resistance that involves:

  • The less muscle is available, the less insulin sensitive the body becomes.
  • As insulin sensitivity decreases, the body becomes more resistant, increasing risk factors for type II diabetes.
  • This can lead to osteoporosis, where the old bone is reabsorbed more and less new bone is created.

Both men and women can experience decreased muscle mass that can lead to:

  • Thinner bones
  • Weaker bones
  • Increased risk of osteoporosis and severe injury from falls.

To help prevent these issues, it is recommended to:

  • Eat sufficient protein throughout the day.
  • It is recommended to space out protein intake across meals rather than consuming it all at once. This helps to ensure the proper amount is acquired.
  • Monitoring body composition regularly can help minimize muscle mass loss and fat mass gain as the body ages.
  • A regular strength training routine will help strengthen bones muscles and maintain optimal circulation.
References

Heusinkveld, Lauren E et al. “Impact of Tremor on Patients With Early Stage Parkinson’s Disease.” Frontiers in neurology vol. 9 628. 3 Aug. 2018, doi:10.3389/fneur.2018.00628

Jancso, Z et al. “Differences in weight gain in hypertensive and diabetic elderly patients primary care study.” The Journal of nutrition, health & aging vol. 16,6 (2012): 592-6. doi:10.1007/s12603-011-0360-6

Srikanthan, Preethi, and Arun S Karlamangla. “Relative muscle mass is inversely associated with insulin resistance and prediabetes. Findings from the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.” The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism vol. 96,9 (2011): 2898-903. doi:10.1210/jc.2011-0435

Tapia Perez, Jorge Humberto et al. “Treatment of Spinal Myoclonus Due to Degenerative Compression Myelopathy with Cervical Spinal Cord Stimulation: A Report of 2 Cases.” World neurosurgery vol. 136 (2020): 44-48. doi:10.1016/j.wneu.2019.12.170

Spinal Goals

Spinal Goals

Setting spinal goals is important for an individual’s treatment plan to ensure a thorough and successful recovery following:

  • Surgery
  • Trauma
  • Spinal condition

When developing goals with a surgeon or spine specialist, utilizing a well-known method known as SMART is recommended. Individuals are encouraged to set goals to accomplish personal growth and improvement. It is a model for forming goals and objectives that for medical purposes include:

  • Pain management
  • Physical Rehabilitation
  • Mental health
  • Exercises
  • Stretching
  • Anti-inflammatory diet

Spinal Goals

S.M.A.R.T Spinal Goals

The acronym stands for:

Specific

  • Target a specific area for improvement.

Measurable

  • Find ways to track progress.
  • This could be fitness trackers, daily journaling – writing, video, health coach, etc.

Attainable

  • Determine if the goal is achievable.
  • Figure out what tools or skill sets are needed to reach the goal.

Realistic

  • Results-oriented goals.
  • Measure results or output, including accomplishments.

Time Frame

  • Set goals within a doable time frame.

Goal setting helps individuals monitor their progress when recovering from injury, surgery, and/or spinal conditions. Making goals smaller makes it easier to achieve improvements. It’s recommended to have a partner assistant during the goal-setting because the pain can compromise decision-making. Pain affects the mind’s abilities to assess improvement and treatment response rationally. Taking the most important goals and focusing on small building blocks helps individuals maintain motivation during a long recovery process.

Difference Between Goal Setting and Treatment

A standard treatment plan is structured for a specific result and is not set up for adjusting the way goal setting does. A treatment plan is created and prescribed to a patient with little patient input. Goal setting is a collaboration between a patient and a doctor setting objectives as stepping-off points to achieve goals. Goal setting empowers patients with education, skillsets, and tools to succeed and continue that mindset as their lives move on. Achieving short-term goals helps individuals reflect positively on small gains that set a solid foundation for more challenging future goals.

Spinal Treatment Goals

Goals are personalized/custom-tailored to the individual’s case and condition. For example, a patient could set a goal of returning to weekend sports activities. Therefore, achieving the goal could require the individual to engage in exercise five days a week for the next two weeks that could include physical therapy rehabilitation:

These activities are small goals that help the body adapt to handling additional physical stress.

Goal Setting When In Recovery

Spinal issues are dealt with by creating reasonable small objectives to reach a goal. SMART goal setting is an instrumental framework for medical providers to help identify what is important to the patient. Modifications on SMART goals can be done to adjust to the individual’s needs. Spinal goals help patients accomplish what is necessary, keeping them empowered and motivated.


Body Composition


Too Comfortable With Goals

An individual may have a great deal of success doing the same workouts initially but then notice they’re getting easier and are not seeing the same rate of progression. That same workout routine, same weights, and equipment will only go so far in goal achievement. In recovery, as the body gets stronger and fitness levels improve, it is recommended to consistently challenge yourself to avoid falling into a rehabilitation fitness plateau. Part of the recovery process is to change up workouts to challenge the body to achieve optimal health and healing. Individuals are recommended to:

Increase weight and or reps

  • Increase the amount of weight or the number of reps in each set.

Increase or decrease the tempo

  • Shorten the rest period between sets to keep the heart rate high or slow down to focus on muscle contraction.

Experiment with different types of workout sets

  • If you’ve been doing the same kinds of lifts, try drop sets, supersets, or AMRAP (as many reps as possible) to challenge your muscles differently.

Learn new exercises

  • Individuals doing a lot of weightlifting are recommended to engage in plyometric body exercises.
  • Individuals doing high-intensity interval training are recommended to incorporate a long run or bike ride.

Changing the workout routine will keep challenging the body, which is great for health progress.

References

Alexanders, Jenny et al. “Goal setting practices used within anterior cruciate ligament rehabilitation: An exploration of physiotherapists understanding, training, and experiences.” Musculoskeletal care vol. 19,3 (2021): 293-305. doi:10.1002/msc.1535

Bovend’Eerdt, Thamar J H et al. “Writing SMART rehabilitation goals and achieving goal attainment scaling: a practical guide.” Clinical rehabilitation vol. 23,4 (2009): 352-61. doi:10.1177/0269215508101741

Haas, B et al. “Rehabilitation goals of people with spinal cord injuries can be classified against the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health Core Set for spinal cord injuries.” Spinal cord vol. 54,4 (2016): 324-8. doi:10.1038/sc.2015.155

Chiropractic and Spinal Health

Chiropractic and Spinal Health

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

Chiropractic and Spinal Health

Chiropractic and Spinal Health

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

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

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

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

Circulation Increased

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

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

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

Immune Response Improvement

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

Increased Mobility & Flexibility

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

Pain Symptoms Are Decreased

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

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

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

Bending, Standing, Sitting Activities Improve

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


Body Composition


Pregnancy Hypertension

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

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

The main types of hypertension in pregnancy.

Chronic hypertension

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

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

Gestational hypertension

Gestational hypertension develops during pregnancy.

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

Preeclampsia

Preeclampsia is the most serious.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nutrition, The Nervous System, and The Spine

Nutrition, The Nervous System, and The Spine

Proper nutrition can be difficult for individuals with work, school, and busy schedules to prepare fresh, healthy meals. Healthy food is essential for a healthy nervous system and spine to promote a healthy musculoskeletal system, metabolism, bone strength, tissue growth, and repair. The body requires more nutritional value to heal itself to support damage or injury.

Nutrition, The Nervous System, and The Spine

Nervous System and The Spine

The nervous system runs throughout the body like an interstate highway and impacts every bodily function. Disrupting signals can cause a backup, like a massive traffic jam. At that point, no matter how healthy the diet is, the body is unable to process all the food thoroughly to break down all the nutrients. Chiropractic adjustments ensure that blood circulation and nerve energy flow function optimally so that messages sent from the brain and body are transmitted without disruption.

Disrupted Nervous System

The nervous system influences every part of the body, and digestion is no exception. The nervous system tells the body what it needs to do with the food/fuel. When the nervous system is unbalanced and experiencing problems, the nutrients that the body needs don’t get appropriately stored, broken down, or used correctly, leaving the body feeling not full and unsatisfied.

Nutrition Improves Musculoskeletal Health

It is essential to understand that nutrition and musculoskeletal health depend on a healthy nervous system and spine.

  • Food high in protein and calcium increases bone density.
  • Protein and calcium are vital as the body ages.
  • A healthy skeletal structure will ensure and maintain a healthy body.
  • Food is the primary source of nutrients for the body to rebuild and repair torn muscles.

The Relation Between Nutrition And Recovery

Nourishment plays a vital role in maintaining the body’s health and helps in reducing the risk of illness or injuries. There are several links between nutrition and recovery that includes:

Injury Rehabilitation

  • A diet rich in antioxidants like:
  • Berries
  • Apricots
  • Grapes
  • Milk
  • Nuts
  • The body becomes stronger to combat inflammation.

Foods rich in lean protein like:

  • Yogurt
  • Tofu
  • Beef
  • Provide the body with essential building blocks that help repair cellular damage.

Joint Or Back Pain Alleviation

  • Overweight and obesity generate unnecessary load on the spine or joints, resulting in back pain.
  • Reducing weight through proper nutrition filled with proteins and magnesium instead of unhealthy fats and calories will help reduce the strain being put on the musculoskeletal system.

Increased Energy Levels

  • Food high in sugar or preservatives makes the body feel sluggish and tired.
  • As a result, the body is constantly exhausted, fatigued, sleepy, and irritable.
  • Proper nutrition increases energy levels.
  • Maintaining the nervous system and spine’s overall health.

Body Composition


Malnutrition Risks

Malnutrition can be difficult to spot early, but there are various risk factors to recognize. These include:

  • Frailty is a strong predictor of malnutrition.
  • Decreased sense of taste or smell.
  • Constipation.
  • Impaired cognition.
  • Dysphagia – Difficulty swallowing.
  • Medications that affect appetite.
  • Tooth loss.
  • Parkinson’s disease.
  • Depression doubles the risk of malnutrition, especially among men.
References

Bollwein, J et al. “Nutritional status according to the mini nutritional assessment (MNA®) and frailty in community-dwelling older persons: a close relationship.” The journal of nutrition, health & aging vol. 17,4 (2013): 351-6. doi:10.1007/s12603-013-0034-7

Curtis, Elizabeth et al. “Determinants of Muscle and Bone Aging.” Journal of cellular physiology vol. 230,11 (2015): 2618-25. doi:10.1002/jcp.25001

Gentile, Francesco et al. “Diet, Microbiota and Brain Health: Unraveling the Network Intersecting Metabolism and Neurodegeneration.” International journal of molecular sciences vol. 21,20 7471. 10 Oct. 2020, doi:10.3390/ijms21207471

Oxland, Thomas R. “Fundamental biomechanics of the spine–What we have learned in the past 25 years and future directions.” Journal of biomechanics vol. 49,6 (2016): 817-832. doi:10.1016/j.jbiomech.2015.10.035

Pérez Cruz, Elizabeth et al. “Asociación entre desnutrición y depresión en el adulto mayor” [Association between malnutrition and depression in elderly]. Nutricion hospitalaria vol. 29,4 901-6. 1 Apr. 2014, doi:10.3305/nh.2014.29.4.7228