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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.


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

Explaining About Sciatica Nerve Pain | El Paso, TX (2021)

Explaining About Sciatica Nerve Pain | El Paso, TX (2021)

In today’s podcast, Dr. Alex Jimenez, health coach Kenna Vaughn, Truide Torres, biochemist Alexander Jimenez, and Astrid Ornelas, discuss how chiropractic care can ultimately help treat sciatica or sciatic nerve pain.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

The Underlining Truth About Sciatica | El Paso, TX (2021)

Introduction

In today’s podcast, Dr. Alex Jimenez and Dr. Mario Ruja discuss what sciatica does to the body and how it affects a person’s overall health and wellness.

 

What Causes Sciatica?

[00:00:06] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Hey Mario, we’re on a new podcast today. Today we’re going to be talking about sciatica and the complications with that. I got Mario here, and we’ve decided to chat and discuss the issues of sciatica.

 

[00:00:29] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: It sounds excruciating.

 

[00:00:31] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: You know, let me ask you this. In your practice, Mario, in terms of working with sciatica, what have you learned over the years in terms of sciatica?

 

[00:00:41] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Sciatica will put you down, Alex. It will make you feel like a baby and make you remember how vital chiropractic is and maintenance. It’s like having that car. For example, if you are driving Buggati and do not do the maintenance, you just put gas. It’s just like, rip it and run it. And then one day, it leaves you hanging in the middle of I-10, and everyone’s passing you, and you’re embarrassed.

 

[00:01:15] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: It is what sciatica is.

 

[00:01:18] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: It isn’t very pleasant.

 

[00:01:20] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: You know, I believe it’s kind of funny that we’re laughing at it, but it is a scourge. I call it of the low back. It catches you off a surprise. It creeps up on you. It looms around, too. Yeah. And when they bite you, I mean it classically defined as pain going down the leg. There’s a lot of reasons why that happens. What do you get when your patients show up with that? What do they tell you? What kind of symptoms do they sort of present?

 

[00:01:45] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: You got to be kidding me. First of all, their wife drives them in. Does that tell you what it is? Yeah, it’s like a knife stabbing them in the back, and it radiates down their leg, and then they’re usually leaning to one side or another. And then they have this story. Alex, there is this crazy story like, ” Well, I was only…” the only part is ridiculous. “I was only picking up my child,” or “I was only throwing the football, and all of a sudden, my back went out. And then I try to stretch it, and I have my wife rub it. And all of that didn’t work the following day. I couldn’t get out of bed and had to crawl to the bathroom.” Now that is when your attention is on.

 

[00:02:43] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Yeah.

 

Dr. Alex Jimenez and Dr. Mario Ruja Explain What Sciatica Does To The Body.

 

[00:02:44] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Our attention is on sciatica. This is a big topic, Alex.

 

[00:02:48] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: This is a vast topic, and let me just kind of throw this out there where we are going to begin the process of breaking down sciatica by no means are we going to be able even to know the breadth and width as this is like saying you can take down a sequoia with one bite. It’s not going to happen, and we’re going to have to chisel away from it. And as we go in there, we’re going to go deep. Are we going to get nasty with the science, Mario? 

 

[00:03:14] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: This is getting deep and nasty. Folks will have to strap on their seatbelts for this ride.

 

[00:03:21] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Absolutely. As we do that, we’re going to be able to kind of go deep into it. We’re going to touch on some subject matters, but follow us on this process because we’re going to be discussing real essential issues about sciatica that affects so many millions of people at any given point. I’d venture to say that one in every four people is suffering from chronic back pain, and half of those people are suffering from sciatica in some form or the other or some pain down the leg. So in that sense, we’re dealing with a huge issue that affects millions of patients and millions of people across the country with all different doctors and different types of protocols. And these protocols can be from really esoteric to invasive. And we all want to do it quickly, and we all want to do it a simple way. So I think modern medicine Mario has determined that we have to go basic and try everything before any surgical interventions.

 

[00:04:16] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: I mean, it’s common sense, and I always used the car model as an example. Before you get a rebuilt transmission, why don’t you maintain it before you drop a new engine? Why don’t you change the oil and get a tune-up? Unfortunately, again, you mentioned the unbelievable impact of low back pain in our society. I believe I don’t know if I may be in the ballpark. It is the number two or three reasons for work injuries and is one of the biggest reasons for the military to get med boarded out of the military. I mean, this is a big issue that impacts people’s lives, and then you would get into chronic pain management, things like that. But again, if we look at the most critical solution in our life, how can we prevent it? Prevention is the natural utilization of therapeutic arts that decrease the misalignment in the spine. Again, that misalignment is that torque where your back is out of alignment and calibration, right? Which causes uneven wear and tear on the disc. Then the other one is constant compression of sitting down and repetitive motion. The other one is just the injuries from everyday sports activities. More and more young kids are getting injured in sports football, basketball, more intense pain, more torque, and you can see pro basketball players and football players, all of them suffer from sciatica.

 

[00:06:19] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Yeah. Here’s the cascade. The cascade starts with a decalibration of the pelvis or the hips, or some injury trauma, some space-occupying lesion, or something on this path. I’m going to go ahead and demonstrate here on our pathway, and we’re going to show a little bit of what is in the nerves. 

 

[00:06:43] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: I love this 3-D model you are showing here.

 

[00:06:43] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Thank you.

 

[00:06:44] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: This is good stuff.

 

The Sciatic Nerve

 

[00:06:46] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: This is the complete anatomy provided for us and what we can see is a three-dimensional aspect of how and why someone has sciatica. Now when you look at this, Mario, what’s your first take? Because for me, it says it’s a complicated structure when we’re looking at this. When you look at the back, where it comes out, you see this big old cable called the sciatic nerve, but you see so many proximal areas and so many regions that are getting weird.

 

[00:07:11] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: That is a lot of moving parts, Alex.

 

[00:07:15] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Yes, it is. And you know what? One of the crazy things that I’m looking at here is the sacrum. 

 

[00:07:20] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: And that is the base.

 

[00:07:21] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: That’s the foundation. The way the creator created us was that this is where energy transmits this bone right here. The sacrum, right? But little to the front of it. You have the sacral nerve roots that come out as they form out. You can see on this particular area; you can see the nerve roots coming out as they come in posterior aspect, you can kind of turn this around and we kind of get this little area here and as we rotate this thing, we can see the sciatic nerve as it comes out of what we call the sacral notch. That sacral notches right there is enormous.

 

[00:08:03] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: That is crazy.

 

[00:08:04] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: I know, right? So what happens is when you see it here, you can understand that this big ol’ nerve influences the entire creature. You take this thing out, and you have limited the creature’s ability to move. Please look at it as it comes out; you can look from the inferior border to the superior border. You can see why a woman is pregnant; you can determine why this baby could sit in this pelvic cavity here can cause a lot of damage to the sacral nerve. 

 

[00:08:31] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Many of them suffer from back pain and sciatica.

 

[00:08:34] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: This is one of the reasons why right here that baby sits and dances in this whole area here. So when we look at this kind of stuff, we can make sense of all the presentations. As you hurt a nerve in one area, you can see that you would hurt as you would do something like this. And the nerve will hurt a distal or pull towards away from it. Once you hurt that region, our goal is to determine the nerve roots going down on that particular area. If this affects all the way down the leg, it will cause pain. Now, you can see in this specific region what goes on.

 

[00:09:18] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: This is it now. Now you see that this is what I like, and this is a creation. If you believe in miracles, you stop believing and just realize that you’re one walking. Here’s the sacral sacrum right here, the sacred bone, and that’s why it’s called sacrum because it’s sacred.

 

[00:09:42] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: I didn’t know that. I learned about the scared bone, and it is the base of the spine.

 

[00:09:48] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: This is where, as you mentioned, this is where the birth comes out. This is where the next legacy is created. So here is the ilium. OK, so that’s your hip bone. You have two of them. There is symmetry in our bodies, and that’s how God created us in symmetrical synergy. Then right here are pubic surfaces, and then you’ve got the operators right there, and then here is that L5 disc, and this is the one where I would say probably about 80 percent of disc herniations happened right there. So if you want to take a wild guess, this is it right here.

 

Intervertebral Foramen

 

[00:10:32] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Let me hone in on that right there so I can bring that in a little bit better. 

 

[00:10:42] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: This thing is dancing.

 

[00:10:43] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: As Dr. Ruja was explaining, he’s talking about in the disk space of the spine right here. 

 

[00:10:51] Dr. Mario Ruja: Right, so see, that is where you have the IVF.

 

[00:11:00] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Intervertebral foramen.

 

[00:11:01] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: IVF. Interverebral foramen. There it is, and all that is like a fancy word for it. There’s a hole where the right everything comes out.

 

[00:11:06] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*:  So here we start looking at the hole on the side, and as we look at it right there. You can see where the nerve roots come out right there.

 

[00:11:29] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: So at that point, you see it here.

 

[00:11:35] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Exactly, and as you turn the model.

 

[00:11:38] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: OK, right there.

 

[00:11:41] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: That is the nerve right there.

 

[00:11:43] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: So this is where how they sit on top of each other right there. Then you can see it from underneath right in there. Now at this point, these nerves, like the fiber optics, are traveling down through these canals and openings and everything. So there are so many places, Alex, that they can be entrapped, compressed, and they can be twisted again. Remember, the big word for us and in our talks is inflammation.

 

Does Inflammation Causes Problems In The Body?

 

[00:12:23] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*:  Inflammation yes.

 

[00:12:26] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Deep inflammation, yes. Now, these are all again if you’re looking like an electrician because I love how electricians work. You look at the fiber optics, and you have to trace it and find out where the issue is? Is it up here? Right here? Is it in the middle? Is it here in the canal? It is right there in that notch is the muscle compress.

 

[00:13:01] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Oh yeah, you can see it in the muscle compress.

 

[00:13:12] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: See where it’s pinched right there. That peraforma muscle is now critical. Again, that’s where you see a lot of times you need to release that muscle. Once it compresses, it just goes haywire right there.

 

[00:13:30] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Yeah, why do they call the peraforma muscle Mario?

 

[00:13:35] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*:  Tell me, Alex.

 

[00:13:37] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Because it looks like a pear. When you take it, it’s a fat muscle when you look kind of flat here.

 

[00:13:43] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: And I visualize in the pear, Alex.

 

[00:13:44] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Yeah. Here is the top of the pear, and that’s the wide part of the pear.

 

[00:13:49] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: That’s cute, Alex. I don’t know what kind of pear that is.

 

[00:13:52] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Exactly.

 

[00:13:52] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: But yeah, you’re right, it’s pear-shaped. Now I can see it.

 

[00:13:56] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: This is a crazy part. There’s a superior Escamilla right here in that area so that it can be trapped anywhere. As we look at this from the base point of view, you can see why people start having these symptoms.

 

[00:14:08] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Yeah, if we look at this pattern, we can also see an increased sedentary lifestyle, Alex. Can you see how all of these muscles are here? The glutes, gluteus minimus, Maximus, the hamstrings. Major squat muscles and the hips. Can you see all of these being deconditioned and compressing on a nerve?

 

The Lymphatic System

 

[00:14:40] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Yeah, let me show you this, Mario because I wanted to show you this. When I first started seeing this, I thought this as you begin noticing that you have the venous system, but here’s what people don’t know about the venous system. Next to it is the lymphatic system. Now let me remove these muscles here, and you’re going to see the intricacies of the green lines. These green lines are in the circulatory system.

 

[00:15:02] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Wow, the green lines are the lymphatic system.

 

[00:15:05] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: The green is the lymphatic, and the red is arterial. When you start seeing red now, you can see that they have problems with their circulation when someone sits down a lot. And as you can see here, imagine sitting down all day on top of this thing? Can you see how the inflammation would happen in that region?

 

[00:15:25] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Alex, look at how much is happening in that pelvic area. I mean, this is like fiber optics just strapped, and this is like compress. Already, there is not that much space going on here, Alex. I mean, you’ve got nerves, arteries, veins, and lymph, all of those going through the same canal. So there is not a lot of what I call, you know, space and forgiveness. That’s why this radiating pain down the leg compresses that area that the flow down the leg is activated. That’s why your leg goes numb and your muscles to a large extent after a long time of having this problem. What happens, Alex, with a lot of my patients is they get muscle atrophy. You know, they gain muscle weakness, and that’s where your muscles shrink.

 

[00:16:40] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Let me show you the additional muscles here. You see, that’s why we train because all these muscles here are surrounding and covering up this area, and the muscle decalibrates.

 

[00:17:00] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Decalibrates.Is that like a fancy word for saying it just…

 

[00:17:05] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: De-conditions?

 

[00:17:06] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: That flops down?

 

[00:17:08] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: For me, I like the word calibration because it is a fine-tuned structure. Philosophically speaking, they got a bump at this ball that follows them everywhere when you look at humans. This power unit, right? This throttling system, it’s the glutes. Some have it more significant than others, right? But here’s where we propel from; it is the source of power. It is the way the creature creates its anchor. If the hips are gone, the beast doesn’t survive. So when we look at this, and we look at someone who was an athletic person when they were young and all of a sudden they get this job where they sit in front of a computer, they don’t go out. What happens to them? They decalibrated like a car. It doesn’t get used, and before you know it, it starts sinking and becoming flattered, and eventually, the inner workings that we just came from really start grinding. So when there’s congestion, the lymphatic system is responsible for the circulation. But the lymphatic system, unlike the arterial and venous system, which works primarily with the heart pumping, is functional by motion. So when you sit down, you are not moving.

 

[00:18:16] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: You know what, Alex? It is the sacral occipital pump; when you’re talking about the CSF cerebral spinal fluid, I can tell you right now when that sacrum is not pumping back and forth when you’re walking, you know what happens? It’s stagnating to flow to your brain.

 

[00:18:36] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: It does.

 

[00:18:37] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Yeah, all the way to your brain. Then the area that you talked about that I think is critical. You’ve got to keep the body moving. We are created as bipeds. We do not walk like gorillas who walk on all fours. I know sometimes you feel like one, but we’re not apes. That’s right; we’re not silverback apes. The thing is, we’re bipeds. So that means the whole body has to align and stand up. Alex, in every sport, I tell people I’m impressed with your biceps, but your core sucks. You know what? Your core determines your overall function. That is where you keep your body upright, and you create that calibration of your spine. Once that that lordosis, that curve into your back. Once that is lost, you’re degenerating; you’re aging. There it is, right there.

 

[00:19:41] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Let’s go ahead and take a look at that right there. Yeah, that’s the lordosis you’re talking about in the spine.

 

The Lordosis

 

[00:19:56] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Can you draw the lordosis out?

 

[00:19:59] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Of course.

 

[00:20:01] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Wow, that is crazy, Alex.

 

[00:20:06] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: That is crazy.

 

[00:20:10] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: OK, so let’s do the pink pen for pain on the lordosis.

 

[00:20:17] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: That curve along with this curve makes a big difference. So what happens is you end up understanding that this sacrum or this glute area influences a vast area. What I’ve learned in my practice is that when you have a person with a sciatic issue, there are upper back issues, and there are shoulder issues now if the lower back has problems…

 

[00:20:53] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: It throws everything off, and it’s like a domino effect.

 

[00:20:56] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Yeah. What do you think about when they tell you, Hey, the person only hurt their lower back, and this is a work-related job? And similarly, they say it’s only related to the back. Yet they come in with leg pain, arm pain, and it makes sense to us, but nobody wants to understand that.

 

[00:21:11] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Yeah, that’s because they don’t want to, Alex. That’s where they want to lie, and it’s a lie. Remember when your mama told you it is not OK to lie?

 

[00:21:34] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: You know what? Why don’t we just say for what it is? They’re lying. They understood why they don’t understand that the body is a biomechanical chain, and if it affects the hips, it starts affecting the lower back, which then affects the upper back. And everybody knows if you have a back that’s giving up, your shoulders will have issues. If you got shoulder problems, it is equally on the opposite side of the room; you’re going to have knee issues. So what happens is as we look at this dynamic model, we see that we can’t be telling a fib here.

 

The Trapezius

 

[00:22:06] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: The spine is one unit composed of many segments. OK, it’s not separate. So there is no way that you can have an injury to one part of the spine, and you can tell me 100 percent that it does not affect any other one. It’s impossible. I’m sorry, God didn’t create it. If you want to see it here, look at this ischium muscle as it goes all the way across. Look at this one. This one is amazing. I’m just going to do this. Here is here’s the muscle right here, trapezius. Now watch as it goes from here to where the shoulders are down, then go to the neck in the back of the neck.

 

[00:23:32] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Let me clear up the pen marks, OK?

 

[00:23:35] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Can you move the body down? 

 

[00:23:38] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Yes, I can, and there you go.

 

[00:23:44] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: So I want to show one example so you can see all the way to the base of the head.

 

[00:23:49] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: OK, I got you. 

 

[00:23:52] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Alright.

 

[00:23:57] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Well, here’s what you want to show. I think what you’re trying to show is that you’re trying to show the negative muscles and see all the good stuff in there. 

 

[00:24:06] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Yeah, but I want to show you just that top layer, the trapezius.

 

[00:24:10] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Oh, let’s go to the muscular portion.

 

[00:24:11] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: So it goes all the way from the base. Can you zoom out so we can see the whole thing?

 

[00:24:16] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Sure can. 

 

[00:24:18] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: OK, lift the model.

 

[00:24:20] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: I wish I could.

 

[00:24:23] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Now here it is, and this is how dynamic this is. When people say, Oh, you only hurt your neck, but not your mid-back. Here it is. Trapezius right here goes from the base of the skull down the shoulders, right there, all the way down to the mid-back. OK, and this is probably like T10 T11, right? Somewhere around there, right by the middle and all the way across. So this whole area right there, that’s one muscle, and if you have an injury here in this area, this will affect all the way here then if you go in deeper into the second and third layer of the muscle.

 

[00:25:50] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Let me click here for you to see it.

 

[00:25:53] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Now it gets crazy.

 

[00:25:55] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: When we start removing muscular layers or increasing muscle layers, you start looking at all the functions.

 

[00:26:02] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Oh, look at that, the super spinadeus, And look at this right here. Vader scapula and from the shoulder all the way to the head is scalenus calculus.

 

[00:26:24] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: OK, so what we’re looking at here, we’re looking at the unbelievable body, but let’s go back to the area of concern.

 

[00:26:33] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: All right, you see how connected it is, Alex.

 

What Are The Causes of Sciatica?

 

[00:26:36] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Here’s the deal, OK? You and I know that the whole darn thing is connected, right? We can determine what is going on after dealing with the many patients we’ve seen over the years. And we’re like violin instructors. We touch the violin, and we make this body move. Our job is to understand when someone comes in and physically to see where this problem is. Find out where the issues are; there are tons of issues, and we haven’t even begun. We’re just having a general conversation about sciatica and where the issues are. What we don’t want is we don’t wish to surgical intervention at any early state unless it’s really necessary. Now what we’re looking at is when we see this, nobody wants that. So how do we fix this? So there are tons of ways to do that.

 

[00:27:26] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Can we go back to the slides of the causation for sciatica? 

 

[00:27:34] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*:  Absolutely. I’m going to take you back to the causation when you get over there in a second. The causation is right here, and we are looking at it.

 

[00:27:51] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: The first one is compression.

 

[00:27:52] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Compression of the disc.

 

[00:27:54] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Compression due to the lack of calibration balance within the system. So you have uneven compression and then a lot of sitting down; we talked about that, right? And then inflammation again, inflammatory process. We spoke last week about metabolic syndrome, inflammation. Inflammation affects the whole body and the disc bulging. Number two right there is disc bulging. That one again is due to what? The spine is out of calibration, out of alignment, putting uneven pressure, and it’s just like squeezing a balloon or a donut. That’s a classic example. You put pressure on a donut on one side, and it will crack, then you go from this bulge to worse herniation. Herniation and then fractures. Of course, if you have trauma DDD, that’s a funny thing. Degenerative disc disease.

 

Degenerative Disc Disease

 

[00:28:58] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*:  Yes, early degenerative issues.

 

[00:29:00] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Right? And I love it because most people come into my clinic go, “Oh, I have degenerative disc diseases like I’m getting old,” and I say, “No. You had no maintenance on your back, and you’re not old. ” If you would have taken better care of your body, you wouldn’t have degeneration. They act as though this is normal; however, it is not normal; this is just a sign of the breakdown.

 

[00:29:23] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: You know, the magnitude of either of us uncovering or discovering where a person has an issue. All of these things have ways that we can help it. What’s crazy about it is that we have to go against the grain in our methods because you would not think exercise would be a helpful tool right for this. However, exercise is one of the best things for we have to calibrate that pelvis if it’s appropriate. It’s a herniated disc, and it’s a bad one. We have to go ahead and surgically remove that; if not, we do anti-inflammatories, do we do natural methods, and get that body working and calibrating. Sometimes what happens is these people come in. These individuals are patients who come in and suddenly have a pain that just crept up on them over the last couple of weeks. Sometimes they have a slipped injury, a slipped disc, or even a vertebra that’s been fractured for years and now presents with the issues. Sometimes it’s a neurological presentation. Sometimes it’s a metabolic disorder like metabolic syndrome, and they have an inflammatory condition. What I’ve noticed, and I’m sure you’ve seen it too, is that these people who have sciatica live with this looming monster. It’s almost like a snake that lives in their pants, and when it bites them, it gets their whole leg. It disrupts people’s lives. Figuring out where the cause is is very important. So as we go over these things, I mean, it’s essential to go over the regions. I’ve even seen patients where they come in thinking it was sciatica. And sure enough, it’s sad, but it’s a tumor. And in that situation, we move on too quickly. I got to tell you, in the situations where we’ve had it, we’ve had great teamwork and resolved many issues for a lot of patients.

 

[00:31:06] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: That’s the beauty of how we think, Alex. We think in terms of integration. So, just because you have a hammer, everything doesn’t look like a nail. We are chiropractors, but at the same time, we are physicians. And what that means is that we know about physiology, anatomy, neurology, all of that. So we can understand that the pain sensor is not the problem. The pain sciatica is not the problem. We look for the causation of the problem, Alex. And that is in many ways, the misalignment, the compression, the inflammation, the disc bulging again, bone spurs, and many times people will say, Well, I have bone spurs because I’m getting old. No, bone spurs are created because there is a misalignment and lack of calibration in your spine where the body is attempting to self-regulate, self align, and it’s called the wolf’s law. You know, its law is the same principle that deals with the fracture healing fracture where you have pressure, that’s where you have increased calcification. Alex, is that correct?

 

[00:32:22] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: It’s the same thing when you work out; when you work out, you get calluses right because the body responds to stress by increasing and protecting the tissue. The same thing happens with the spine. Suppose it starts unloading improperly, then before you know it, the wolf’s law kicks in, the osteoclast start losing, which are the ones that take away bone, and the osteoblasts start winning. Then you have an increase of bone growth in a direction, usually in the direction of the force. So, in essence, the body tries to protect it, so you can imagine if someone’s going like in the leaning tower. Well, it’s on this side that the body protects it to prevent it from falling over. So, in essence, as we look at these degenerative diseases, we try to get them early on, and we try to mobilize. In most scenarios, we can help the individual by different methods and different techniques. And we use a lot of other methods and techniques to help individuals through this process.

 

Spinal Stenosis

 

[00:33:18] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: I want to go through a couple of points. You know, we’re talking about spinal stenosis. Again, the start of spinal stenosis is the misalignment of your spine, which chiropractic has the beautiful art. This is the art and science of correcting that. So the more alignment, the more clarity, the more balance you have in your spine. The more maintenance you receive to your spine, the less spinal stenosis you will have later on in your life. Or again, spinal stenosis. You know, the other one that we’re looking at is degenerative disc disease or disc herniation. I believe that I look at the body in the 25+ years of my practice; the better maintenance you give your body, the fewer issues, and the less breakdown wear and tear you will have later on in your life. So I look at is that we are anti-aging doctors in terms of biomechanics, so we help the body maintain its optimal function for a more extended period. So that way, when you’re in your 60s and 70s, and 80s, you can walk by yourself without a cane, and you can function. You can do a squat. I love fitness calibration every time, you know. Danny is awesome. With PUSH, Danny is tremendous in terms of a fitness core. And this is where the synergy comes in. The more miles, the more wear and tear, the more pounding you put on your body. The more maintenance you need, the more recovery work. And too many people, Alex, have this idea like, Oh, my back hurts, I just need to squat more. I just need to do more weights. I just need to be in a gym, no. It’s like me telling you I don’t need count maintenance and tune-ups on my car. I just need to drive it more now. So the more miles you put on your bag, the more you squat, the more calibration you need. Why? Because eventually, your body is going to go out of alignment.

 

[00:35:32] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: You know, as we look at disorders, like you said, spinal stenosis. There are many reasons we can have spinal stenosis, from a disc to just arthritic issues. But when we have an individual who suddenly has issues, OK, this is not a sudden, you know, kind of thing that the spinal stenosis doesn’t happen unless it’s a massive disc herniation that occurs in one moment. Yeah, but these things and what we’re talking about spinal stenosis, there are different reasons. And in the treatments are many methods are just, you know, microanatomy. There’s also a laminectomy which is to remove the pressure. But the bottom line is very little wrong with the nerve. The issue is compressive forces. So what do we have to do in the situation where there is a biomechanical imbalance in the pelvic girdle most of the time. 

 

[00:36:20] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: So it is structure impedes on the nerve.

 

[00:36:23] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Yes. And as we do that, we evaluate that there are certain things like age, obesity, or even less of a life of activity. What are other things, Mario?

 

What Are The Occupations That Cause Sciatica?

 

[00:36:33] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Sedentary lifestyle, repetitive occupational motion? 

 

[00:36:36] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: What kind of occupations would have sciatica? 

 

[00:36:40] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Truck drivers. Why? By sedentary vibration. Eight to ten hours by sitting down. Secretaries, I mean, you can go on and on, people working in banks and teachers even.

 

[00:36:57] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: We have patients that go to the Southern Union railroad, the engineers, the vibration, the bouncing over 30 years of vibrating. Eventually, the bone activates the spine clouds, or you have spinal stenosis, and they have back disc issues, and they have degenerative diseases.

 

[00:37:14] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Athletes have a repetitive toque like a golfer. How many golfers do you know that have no back pain? None. How about baseball players?

 

[00:37:25] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: How about our buddy, Tiger Woods?

 

[00:37:27] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Yeah, what happened to him?

 

[00:37:28] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Yeah, what did people think? People thought he might have been having some issues with alcohol. Still, the reality is he’s taking medication after surgery, and suddenly, he’s driving, and he probably forgot to take medicine. You know, they took a pill and started to get addicted, and this is the issue. We got to figure out how to fix these issues calibrating. But I got to tell you; there are a lot of ways we can help people. The issue is that once we understand where the problem comes from, the plan of attack can take off. There are different issues and different types of diagnoses. We have here a little bit of a window where you can take a look at that. You can see that sciatica is a symptom. It’s a presentation of syndromes. It’s a pain down the leg, but there are tons of reasons.

 

[00:38:14] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Now the causation is right there, right? 

 

[00:38:17] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Well, look at all of these things, and it is ridiculous.

 

[00:38:21] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Wow.

 

[00:38:22] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: The one people think about a lot is peraforma syndrome, and that’s only one component. Then when that doesn’t work, your little stretches, you try to figure out what’s causing it could be tendinopathy, it could be bursitis. Look at all these issues when we go in here; when we look at these particular issues, we can look at other subsequent areas causing problems. You mentioned it before the four sets; this degeneration redevelops the quadrant is formoral area.

 

[00:38:48] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: So let’s make this simple. Otherwise, you know, people will listen to us and go; it’s a lot. It’s a lot, and this is like a fire hydrant, and I just have my mouth over it. Alex, this is what we got. Number one, it all comes down to foundation and function, right? If we go back on each of these things from, you know, four-set syndrome, this degeneration, ridiculous hip, you know, formoral impingement, quadrennial femoral, you know, abnormalities all of these. The root of all of these is the misalignment and lack of calibration of the neuromuscular system. I mean, when you go down to it, the majority, I’m not saying 100 percent, let’s not do that. Let’s not be silly tonight. No. The point is the majority, if we can do a better job for our community, if we can do a better job in terms of our athletes, is to create a maintenance calibration system for them, we would decrease a lot of these degenerative disc diseases and diagnoses, we would stop them before they blow up in their face.

 

Different Methods To Treat Sciatica

 

[00:40:19] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Let me ask you this. What kind of things in terms of our diagnostic abilities, what we use different methods to diagnose?

 

[00:40:26] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: I love MRI.

 

[00:40:28] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: In terms of sciatica, X-rays are good, but MRIs can tell you what the problem is.

 

[00:40:34] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: That’s it, and we’re talking about like a Tesla ten. I don’t know if they have it, and I think it’s sorry about it. I just got crazy tonight. Nah, they didn’t make it. We’re going to get some calls. Tesla, what? 

 

[00:40:46] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: We got a great radiologist, and they help us hone in on particular areas.

 

[00:40:54] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: They have a three-point-o or something?

 

A Relationship With Your Radiologist

 

[00:40:59] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: The whole idea is a relationship with our radiologists. Our radiologists are our eyes and ears on the deep tissues. I can tell you that we do have the best radiologists working with us. We do. I mean, the city has some top-end radiologists people, and when we send them to them, they communicate with us and tell us where the problem is that from there we go at it from once we know where it’s at. We use cat scans. We use ultrasound. We use bone scans.

 

[00:41:29] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*:  Why is it a question? OK, this is going to get a little crazy and a little nasty tonight. Why is it that most doctors, Alex order X-rays first? Why is it? I can never understand for myself. You know what I tried to go straight to the issue was to go to MRI. Why is it?

 

[00:41:51] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: The standard of care is many insurance carriers will want an X-ray first to see if it’s a degenerative bone structure to be able to bleed on that. But we all understand that the best possible option for actually assessing it is to kind of rule out some things. If you want to look at bone, you do a cat scan to do the soft tissues. Well, this is soft tissue. So then you do an MRI with contrast, and you can see the deep tissues and the separation and the inflammation for any prolonged issues occurring.

 

[00:42:21] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: That’s why, to me, Alex, that makes sense if we’re looking at diagnosing disk and nerve issues, right? Why is it that we use an instrument many times and I see this and agree with you. All of the insurances are going in and saying, Hey, you need to do an X-ray first. We won’t let you do the MRI, do they? I’m like, but X-rays don’t show any soft tissues.

 

[00:42:46] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: I think it’s a common thing. It’s almost like when you go to a dentist, you know, they scan all the teeth. It’s pretty easy to generalize. You know, there are times when the standard of care is into that today? For the low back, the standard of care is an X-ray as an initial entry point. So from there, I’ve learned, and I have gotten this lately, that most insurance carriers are very open to allowing the individual based on a presentation to do whatever it takes. They don’t stop. That’s a real beautiful change that’s happened since I’d say for the last five years; it’s a whole different game. So we get to see that we do nerve conduction and nerve testing to see the speed at which the nerve pulses. So we can find that AMG’s electromyography and see how the muscles are. But you don’t need to be doing that stuff for sciatica when you know the person is in severe pain. Now, if you want to prove it, that’s when you do the NCBI. Other than that, the person will not come in telling you that they have pain. Now sciatica because I call it the scourge because it just annoys you. It stops you from doing, you don’t sleep, you get to lay down, and the darn thing just activates. And there you got this electric current preventing you sleep. People come in with their eyes bloodshot and unable to enjoy their lives. This changes the quality, and we need to fix these things. 

 

Does Sciatica Cause Inflammation?

 

[00:44:09] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: It affects families. Alex, let’s get down to it. You know what? It affects your relationship with your spouse, with your children, at work. You know, you go to work, and you’re angry. Yes, you’re just mad at the world, and people are trying to figure out, like, what’s wrong, man? And it’s like, “You know what? I’m dealing with stuff.” And then that chronicity after a while, you’re like, “I don’t know what to do. I’m taking too many meds. I’m taking 800 milligrams every day for like five months.”

 

[00:44:39] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*:  Let’s give the people out there who may want some information a little bit of insight into the other options they have. Because what’s the name of the game here? What are sciatica and inflammation? It’s what it always has and always will be. So what we got to do is do what we can, and many people ask me, What are my options? Well, we have here a breakdown of certain things, and we’re going to discuss these things in real extensive detail over the next couple of months. And we’re going to hit this thing as we will be dealing with sciatica and vitamin C, D, calcium. We’re going deep all these things, you can take a screenshot of this, and you can say berberine. We got glucosamine, ACL, carnitine, alpha-lipoic acid, ashwagandha, soluble fiber, vitamin E, green tea, turmeric. A lot of these things have a lot to do with metabolic syndrome. But guess what? When you have metabolic syndrome, which is what?

 

[00:45:36] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Inflammation.

 

[00:45:37] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: So what we’ve noticed, Mario, and correct me if you see something different. 

 

Ashwagandha

 

[00:45:44] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*:  I love that word ashwagandha.

 

[00:45:47] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Yeah, I love it too.

 

[00:45:55] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: It’s like, we’re going to meditate pretty soon, Alex. 

 

[00:46:01] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: So, as we kind of look at these options, we really can discuss deep levels of biomedical science here, OK. Because everyone wants to know what we can do, but since we’re dealing with, let’s say, just on the angle of metabolic syndrome, again, we got to tie in another beast insulin. Insulin inflammation susceptibility. And here, we correlate. It may seem far away, but if you take a hundred people with metabolic syndrome, these people are susceptible to sciatica and the stuff we hold on to.

 

[00:46:46] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Let’s make it simple. How many people do you know with metabolic syndrome that don’t have back pain or sciatica? OK, let’s make it. Let’s make it simple.

 

[00:46:58] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: We got to tie together, and this is where we do it. National in clinical practice, what we do is we make these connections. And the bottom line is we start changing people’s habits, you know, simple things like instead of having a pop or something else only option you should have as green tea. Green tea is an antioxidant anti-inflammatory. We start changing the metabolic processes, begin cutting the gut grease, and all that starts happening.

 

[00:47:27] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: OK. We’re mixing ashwagandha with gut grease. You know what? People are going to remember this forever, Alex.

 

[00:47:34] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: If you kind of see what we’re got, we’re saying it is complex. We can go down one rabbit hole and say we got the moment of truth or the thing that’s important. But the reality is that the low back causes neck pain. A lot of people will look at it and say, Why does that happen? Well, as Mario said, you know, God didn’t name it as neck pain. God didn’t call it lumbar spine. We named it the vertebral column. It’s the whole darn thing that is connected. From the moment you heal, strike your head feels the shockwave, right? So when we look at that, when we assess that, we can see that the body has a massive implication when some large nerve, late-deciding nerve, gets offset. So what we can do is first figure out, mitigate the issues, control them and come up with a treatment plan that works appropriately for the patients. So as we do these things, we will go over all those beautiful ideas that we have going on here. And I just wanted to let you know that we’re going to be discussing many more subject matters.

 

Vitamin D3

 

[00:48:35] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: There it is vitamin D3. That is why I love vitamin D3, and it’s everywhere.

 

[00:48:43] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Four hundred disorders. A 400 percent decrease in all risk mortality or times decreases disease mortality with vitamin D. This is like the magical thing? I mean, common sense. I mean, what’s our biggest organ, right? It’s the skin. So when we live in the sun city, right, what happens? 

 

[00:49:07] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: We absorb the sun’s rays.

 

[00:49:09] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: And that should be the healthiest.

 

[00:49:11] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Hey, I want to get crazy tonight. All right. Sun City vitamin D. We should be the healthiest on the planet.

 

[00:49:22] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: That’s it. I mean, it’s essential. So what did we get called about a couple of decades ago? Mario, you remember that we were named the fattest sweaty town in the country? 

 

[00:49:35] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: That angers me, and that should motivate and pump people up. That right there should be the wake-up call and the battle cry of El Paso and the whole region. Never again will you ever open your mouth and say that because we are the best.

 

Treatment Protocols

 

[00:50:00] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: We are. We are very family-based and a location and a community, but we suffer from metabolic syndrome, which implicates issues. And one of them is sciatica. I got to tell you; there isn’t a day that half my patients coming in have sciatica, and you and I have been doing this between 25 and 30 years, right? So as we’ve been pounding and fixing these disorders. And you’ve got to tell you there are studies where we see that when doctors of all different sorts refer for a surgical consult, there’s a high tendency to have surgical, you know, focus when you go to a nonmusculoskeletal special like a physical therapist or chiropractor, we kind of filter out the situation when in our path or an available position to see the lower back pain. They throw it into the orthopedic surgeon, and only five to 10 percent of most studies show that those become surgical the ones we send. About 50 percent are surgical. That means we do a great job of filtering out before they have that issue. In other words, we fix the problem, and the ones we do refer to these.

 

[00:51:17] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Yes, that’s right.

 

[00:51:19] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Game on. So we want to make sure you know that you know that we need that for your orthopedist out there. We require that option, that modality, but we don’t do that kind of procedure. But it’s necessary for terms of the common treatment protocol, you know, the mainstay of sciatica.

 

[00:51:38] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: It’s gabapentin. Just adding on to that, we refer to real cases, you know? When someone comes in, they need it. It’s not like, Oh, you know what? We’re going to waste people’s time. They need it. Because again, the new model now for back problems and especially sciatica is noninvasive. OK, noninvasive care first for at least two to three months.

 

[00:52:10] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Well, you know, I’m on my point of view on those guidelines. You know, every person is different.

 

[00:52:17] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Yeah. ODG guidelines, Alex.

 

[00:52:21] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: And what happens is that you can oversee the treatment protocols when we look at these dynamics. 

 

[00:52:31] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Yeah, there it is. The treatment protocols. You know, I look at treatment. Chiropractic care, a lifestyle change. Metabolic syndrome, we’re looking at physical therapy; we need everyone on board. Acupuncture, drugs again. Medication for pain. Anti-inflammatory muscle relaxers. Nutraceuticals, herbals, steroid injections. Yeah, those are what we call lying like the second you, even with a lot of the patients, it’s after conservative care by the time they get to that phase. And then, of course, you have surgery, surgical procedures. So yeah, you must go with our patients. We go from noninvasive to invasive care.

 

[00:53:36] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*:  These procedures are the ones we do.

 

[00:53:47] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Now with those. And that’s a foam roller right at the storm rolling, that means releasing the goods, the pure performance right there. And again, a lot of our viewers will think, hold on. I can’t even walk, and I can’t do that. But again, this is the secondary phase, Alex. This is the second phase. Furthermore, we’re not getting people out, and all of a sudden, they can’t walk in there. They’re, you know, doing box jumps. No, this is the secondary self first care correct release the pressure brake and the pain pattern and then stabilize and correct the muscle imbalance. So those are things because I think a lot of times, you know, many people ask me like, “Oh, you know what? I want to go work out.” I’m going on like, Hey, slow down, superstar, let’s not workout. You know, let’s not work out. Let’s correct the problem. Calibrate your back. Then you work out, and then you do a process of what I call periodicity. That means you scale it. You got to crawl before you walk and walk before you run. So let’s not be superheroes, and a lot of people just aren’t patient. 

[00:55:08] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: I agree with you.

 

[00:55:09] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: They’re not patient. They want things now. You know this has been created. This sciatica and back problems have been created for years. No maintenance for like 10 20 years. And they expect to walk into the office and, in one visit, do jumping jacks. You know what? Sorry but it’s not going to happen. So that’s where people want again. We do our best, but we don’t look for quick fixes. If you wish for the symptoms to go away but are not corrected, then you’re going to deal with the problem. That’s going to be lingering for years and years, and it’s going to get worse, you know, and those pain sensors. This is what’s so important. God created a body such as such a miraculous system, and we can’t even duplicate this. The most potent technology developed to wear the sensors, the awareness, proprioception within our body, and pain is effective. I often tell people, don’t block the pain because it is healthy because it tells you to stop. That pain is that red light on your dash that says, don’t drive the car, don’t park it, and fix it. Please don’t unplug the light and keep driving it. And this is where our society and our, you know, immediate care. I want things now. I can’t wait. Just like fitness, you know, people want to get fit in like like a week.

[00:56:47] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Like, come on, it’s not going to happen.

 

Conclusion

 

[00:56:50] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Same thing with your health. It takes time, and you have to get the proper diagnosis. You know, the intense lab work, the genomics, the inflammatory. I mean, this is like I tell people, you’ve got to invest in your health or your sickness. Either way, you’re going to spend the money, either way, but once, you’re going to enjoy the fruits of that investment. The other one, you’re just going to drag. So the process of diagnostics from MRI’s, the process of diagnostics to look at metabolic syndrome, to look at your inflammatory process, that’s an investment. And then with those tools with that information, you got to have created baselines, Alex. If you don’t know where you’re at, you don’t know where you’re going. Now that’s what I would say is I want to motivate and empower people to invest in that process because it’s not an overnight thing and people want it. I tell them that they have got to understand. Be disciplined, be relentless and see the results for life instead of patching up your health.

 

[00:58:15] Dr.Alex Jimenez DC*: This is very dear and near to all of us here because sciatica affects so many individuals. We’re going to be discussing all these issues one section at a time. We’re going to bring an explanation. We’re going to give you an answer. We’re going to provide you with options. We’re going to provide you with treatments. We’re going to come up with a way that we’re going to find the best possible treatment protocol for you. And if not, we’re going to give you at least a basis to ask your doctors exactly what the best approach is, and you’re going to at least know the different directions you can take because we must understand this disorder. It may be simple to many people, but it debilitates you. You integrate way when you have it. We’re going to bring this to you. If you ever want to ask us personal questions and call us personally, Mario makes himself available 24-7 via phone number (915)494-4468. Always has been, and you get called all the time as he is right now. My phone number is(915)850-0900. And here we have, Mario, and I want to thank you all for allowing us to go over these things. This is also Mario’s website at: rujahealth.com. It’s easy, and it’s a fantastic site. We got me over here. This is my address and my phone, and then there’s Daniel Alvarado, where he works from the PUSH Fitness center. So we welcome you guys to see what’s cooking here and seeing what’s happening, and we wish you the best of everything that’s happening. So as we go through that. Mario, it’s been a blessing, brother and I look forward to going over more details with you in the next couple of days, and we will start recording more and more as time goes on. God bless.

 

Disclaimer

Taking It Slow After Spine Surgery

Taking It Slow After Spine Surgery

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

Taking It Slow After Spine Surgery

Surgery Recovery

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

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

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

Taking It Slow With Certain Activities

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

No Bending, Lifting, and Twisting

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

No Taking Baths or Swimming

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

No Cardiovascular Exercise

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

Listening to The Body

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


Body Composition


Malnutrition

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

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

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

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

Infections of The Spine: Symptoms, Risks, Diagnosis

Infections of The Spine: Symptoms, Risks, Diagnosis

Anyone from young children, adults, and the elderly can get a spinal infection. Individuals can have an infection:

  • In vertebral bone tissue
  • An intervertebral disc
  • The spinal canal – space where the spinal cord runs through
  • The spinal cord’s protective lining

These types of infections can happen anywhere along the spine, from the atlas at the base of the neck to the coccyx all the way to the lowest part of the back. Individuals should expect unpredictability if dealing with a spinal infection. During testing, lab results could be misleading or inaccurate. What can happen is white blood cell counts are normal, X-rays might not show any abnormalities, and sensitive diagnostic tests like a CT or MRI scan might not show positivity of infection for a week or more. What to know about spinal infections.

 Infections of The Spine: Symptoms, Risks, Diagnosis

Spinal Infection Types

They are classified according to the type of tissue they infect. The most common include:

Vertebral Osteomyelitis

This is a common infection type. Bacteria most often cause the cause. It can develop after trauma to the spine, post-surgery, or bacterial infections located in other body parts that travel via the blood to the vertebra. Symptoms include:

  • Persistent, chronic back pain that can become severe worsens at night and becomes aggravated from moving.
  • The pain radiates/spreads into the arms and legs
  • Tingling, numbness, and burning sensations
  • Inflammation
  • Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Vomiting
  • Post-surgery wound drainage, redness, and swelling near the surgical site

Treatment includes:

  • Intravenous antibiotics
  • Antibiotics
  • Over-the-counter analgesics like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory meds for pain relief.
  • Prescription pain medications
  • Back brace
  • Surgery is recommended if antibiotic treatment fails, nerve damage develops, a spinal deformity develops, or to remove infected bone and/or soft tissues.

Discitis

This type of infection develops between the intervertebral discs. It is also rare, but it is more common in children and adolescents, but it can still happen in adults. Discitis can be potentially deadly, despite advanced treatment. The most common causes are bacterial and viral infections.

Symptoms
Individuals with discitis can present with minimal symptoms when the infection initializes, but it does worsen and can cause:

  • Abdominal pain and discomfort
  • Posture changes
  • Mobility issues
  • Difficulty performing everyday tasks
  • Fever
  • Severe back pain that worsens at night or by moving

Treatment options include:

  • Antibiotics
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Supportive devices
  • Rest
  • Steroids to alleviate inflammation in chronic and severe cases
  • Severe cases could require surgery to restructure areas of the affected spine to improve function and mobility

Epidural Abscess

This is an infection that can develop in the spaces between the bones of the spine, the skull, or soft tissues surrounding the brain and spinal cord. This is a medical emergency that needs to be addressed immediately. The infection is often caused by a bacterial or fungal infection in or around the affected area. This is commonly a Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. In some cases, an abscess can develop from an infection in another part of the body. This could be a urinary tract infection that spreads out to the spine. Symptoms include:

  • Inflammation and swelling
  • Mid to low back pain
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Neurological weakness, numbness in the arms and legs, bowel or bladder incontinence
  • Walking problems

Treatment consists of intravenous antibiotics to combat the infection that caused the abscess. In some cases, if there is difficulty moving around or are experiencing numbness, then surgery is required to drain the abscess or completely remove it.

Risk Factors

Spine infections can affect anyone. However, there are individuals with certain chronic health problems that have an increased risk. They include those with:

  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Auto-immune diseases
  • Immune systems compromised like cancer and HIV
  • Individuals that have undergone a spinal surgical procedure are at greater risk post-surgery

Risk factors include:

  • Individuals that have had a spinal infection could be more susceptible to developing another.
  • Age – older adults
  • Malnutrition
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Intravenous drug use
  • Certain areas of the back are more prone to infection. This includes the cervical/back of the neck and the lumbar/low back.

Surgical risk factors:

  • Long surgical procedure
  • Massive loss of blood
  • Multiple surgeries of the same area

Diagnosis

Early diagnosis can be the difference in treating the infection before damage to the spine develops or before the damage worsens. They are diagnosed through a variety of lab and imaging tests. These include:

  • Various lab tests
  • Blood work to examine white blood cell counts and markers for inflammation
  • X-Rays
  • CT scan
  • MRI

Outcome

These infections are rare, but they are serious and early treatment is recommended for optimal outcomes. Early diagnosis in the early stages can be successfully treated with antibiotics, rest, and spinal braces. Doctors, spine specialists, chiropractors, and physical therapists will work with the individual to provide a thorough diagnosis, personalized treatment plan, and long-term outcomes.


Body Composition


Practice Mindfulness

Practicing mindfulness can help identify triggers of negative thoughts and behavior. Mindfulness is unique to each individual. Sitting quietly and meditating for 20 minutes is not for everyone. Instead, try a five-minute guided meditation, writing, or music listening. The best time to meditate is in the morning after waking up. This helps set the day’s objectives, what’s important and what can wait in a clear fashion. Mindfulness practice has been shown to reduce stress and feelings of anxiety.

Journaling is a great way to find out about yourself. It can be done with pencil/pen and paper, on a computer, tablet, or phone. Take a few minutes to write some ideas, feelings, emotions that can help put things in perspective. Examples could be, writing something that makes you happy/proud, something that you want to improve, and a goal. There is also mindful listening that can help reduce stress by focusing attention. Instead of turning on the news or checking email first thing, listen to a favorite podcast or music. The same applies to over-phone use. During some downtime instead of scrolling through social media, etc, take a breath and listen to your mind and self.

References

American Association of Neurological Surgeons. Spinal Infections. http://www.aans.org/Patient%20Information/Conditions%20and%20Treatments/Spinal%20Infections.aspx. Published May 2016. Accessed December 29, 2016.

Stat Pearls. (2021). Diskitis. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK541047/

Stat Pearls. (2021). Spinal Epidural Abscess. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK441890/

Frontiers in Medicine. (2014). Surgical site infections following spine surgery: eliminating the controversies in the diagnosis. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmed.2014.00007/full

Microorganisms. (2020). Spinal Infections: An Update. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7232330/

The Spine Journal. (2021.) “Long term quality of life outcome after spondylodiscitis treatment.” https://www.thespinejournalonline.com/article/S1529-9430(21)00783-X/fulltext

Yoga Has Been Shown To Help Reverse Scoliosis

Yoga Has Been Shown To Help Reverse Scoliosis

A non-invasive method of treating scoliosis. Yoga Has Been Shown To Help Reverse Scoliosis. Scoliosis is the lateral curvature of the spine. The spine bends inward toward the front of the body at the neck region and lower back region. This curve is known as lordosis and bows outward in the middle-back region. This is known as kyphosis. If the spine curves to the side, this could indicate curvature that could be scoliosis. It can be painful and often can affect an individual’s appearance once the measurement goes beyond 25 – 30 degrees. One shoulder is usually higher than the other, and clothing cannot fit properly. If the curve goes beyond 60 degrees, it can affect breathing and cardiac function.

Yoga Has Been Shown To Help Reverse Scoliosis

Idiopathic Causes Unknown

This condition can consist of various components, especially with more intense curves. The ribs can shift backward on the side where the curve bulges. Most cases consist of adolescent idiopathic (without a known cause) scoliosis. Because the cause is unknown, there are not a variety of effective treatment besides surgery. Physicians carefully keep an eye for:

  • Curves under 25 degrees.
  • Bracing between 25 and 45 degrees.
  • Consider surgery for intense curvature.

Curves in individuals typically appear between 12 and 20 years old.

Yoga Shown To Reverse Scoliosis

Individuals are recommended to do just one yoga pose daily. However, depending on the type and severity of the curves, it could be more than one. They are asked to perform the pose for 5 minutes or less, depending on the condition. A yoga therapist, chiropractor, and physical therapist can generate significant spinal improvement. This could mean that a curve of 30 degrees could be reduced to around 18 degrees in 10-12 months. Individuals that do the poses at least 4 times a week have shown 80-90% improvement. The pose can be done at work during breaks, etc.

The biggest advantage of this technique is that it is non-invasive; it can help individuals with developing curves, reversing the curvature early. Most curves do not reach the point of surgery. In late adolescence and teen years, the spine is still quite flexible. This can help accelerate the effectiveness of the yoga pose to straighten the spine. The technique reduces the curve from worsening. X-rays will show if the curvature has improved or not. Patients could be asked to do the pose/s twice or more daily depending on the direction the condition is taking.


Body Composition


Gluten Effects

Gluten causes digestive issues for individuals that have celiac disease or autoimmune thyroid disease. Individuals with these conditions could experience a variety of uncomfortable and/or painful effects. These symptoms can vary based on their presentation. They fall into classifications.

Classical Celiac Disease

With classical celiac disease, symptoms include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Discolored stools
  • Constipation
  • Abdominal bloating and pain
  • Weight loss

However, these symptoms are more common in children than adults. In adults, symptoms are more similar to non-classical celiac disease.

Non-Classical Celiac Disease

With non-classical celiac disease, severe digestive symptoms may not present as classic celiac disease symptoms but develop other symptoms. These include:

Silent Celiac Disease

Silent celiac disease is less visible. Individuals might not see any symptoms. However, damage to the intestines is still happening from gluten consumption.

Autoimmune Thyroid Disease

Autoimmune Thyroid Disease or ATD. Autoimmune thyroid disease includes conditions like Hashimoto’s disease. This affects the thyroid gland and causes:

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Sensitivity to cold
  • Hair loss
  • Body aches
  • Joint aches
  • Negative health effects

Studies have shown that gluten-free helps alleviate symptoms.

References

Loren M. Fishman, M.D., B.Phil. (oxon). Healing Yoga. (New York: W.W. Norton, 2014).

Loren M. Fishman, M.D., B.Phil. (oxon). “Isometric Yoga-Like Maneuvers Improve Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis—A Nonrandomized Control Trial.” Global Advances in Health and Medicine. February 24, 2021. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2164956120988259

Fishman LM, Groessl EJ, Sherman KJ, “Serial Case Reporting Yoga for Idiopathic and Degenerative Scoliosis.” Global Advances in Health and Medicine. September 1, 2014. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.7453/gahmj.2013.064

Losing Weight To Alleviate Back Pain

Losing Weight To Alleviate Back Pain

Losing weight can be one of the hardest things to do. It is also one of the best things anyone can do to get rid of back pain and optimize overall health. Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight impacts the whole body, especially the spine. It is prevalent for individuals who are overweight to experience back pain. This comes from the added weight that the feet, legs, pelvis, and spine have to support. For many, once the weight comes off, the back pain reduces significantly and/or disappears completely. For those embarking on a weight loss journey,  our:

  • Chiropractic team
  • Physical therapists
  • Health coach
  • Nutritionist
  • Can provide resources to plan, encourage, and assist in reaching health goals.

Losing Weight To Alleviate Back Pain

Overweight, Obesity and Back Pain

Spine pain is one of the top reasons individuals see a doctor. The need to lose weight is based on body mass index/BMI. BMI can be an indicator that an individual’s weight might not be in a healthy range. BMI ranges:

  • Normal weight – Body Mass Index of less than 25
  • Overweight – Body Mass Index of 25 to 30
  • Obese – Body Mass Index of 31 to 35
  • Extremely obese – Body Mass Index of 36 or higher

If unsure about how to get an accurate BMI measurement, talk to our team about InBody Testing.

Added Weight Places Pressure On the Spine

Added bodyweight places added strain on the low back. Studies have linked obesity with degenerative disc problems. Combined with the physical impact the added weight has on the spine and overall health, it can also affect spine surgery outcomes. Studies have shown that some overweight/obese individuals have an increased risk for surgery-related complications like:

  • Infection
  • Issues recovering from anesthesia
  • Overall recovery struggles

The good news is that individuals do not have to lose a significant amount of weight to see and feel the benefits. Losing 15% of excess weight will improve chronic back pain.

Exercise

Successful weight loss is the ability to maintain the loss. It needs to be something that can be committed to and brought into an individual’s lifestyle. Trying to go hard with an extreme diet or intense exercise program is not recommended. This is like not having any long-distance running knowledge along with training but entering a 12345K race. An individual will collapse after a few blocks. And sustained weight loss is just that, a long-distance journey that requires:

  • Getting educated about what is going on with the body
  • Understanding how foods affect/impact the body
  • Understanding the body’s unique needs to lose weight
  • Developing a personal health goal plan
  • Following through

Lifestyle factors contribute to healthy body weight. Being able to embed healthy habits into one’s life is the objective. Although it can sound easy to do, it can be a challenging process. With professional help, individuals can:

  • Maintain a nutritious and balanced diet
  • Have an active lifestyle
  • Maintain healthy sleep habits
  • Keep stress under control

Discussing a weight loss plan is very important. A professional health coach, nutritionist, and chiropractor will develop the right program that considers an individual’s specific health status.

Overall Health

Achieving a healthy weight will reduce to relieve back pain completely and significantly improve quality of life. Weight management is challenging, but once the benefits are seen and felt, it becomes second nature.


Body Composition


Healthy Kidneys

The kidneys pump more than 400 gallons of recycled blood through the body every day. These organs work nonstop to filter blood and remove waste. If the kidneys become impaired, the body can become overloaded with waste. Unhealthy lifestyle choices can harm/damage the kidneys. Kidney disease progresses slowly over the years. Individuals can lose 90 percent of kidney function before symptoms become serious. Chronic kidney disease is not reversible. However, with lifestyle adjustments, an individual can lower their risk of developing kidney-related diseases.

Proper Hydration

Drink plenty of water to clear sodium, urea, and toxins from the body and prevents kidney stones. Try to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day. Every individual’s body water levels are different. A body composition test can determine what is normal for the individual.

Maintain healthy diet

Poor diet contributes to visceral fat gain. This has been linked to chronic kidney disease. Reduce visceral fat by eating a healthy diet of vegetables, fruit, and lean protein. Cut down on salty, processed foods. Body composition testing can help form an individualized diet plan to reduce visceral fat.

 Supplements, antibiotics, and OTC medications

Overuse of common over-the-counter medications and supplements can cause kidney damage and disease. Consult with a doctor before taking medications and supplements if there is kidney function impairment.

Maintain fitness and physical activity

Cardio and strength training exercises are recommended. High blood sugar levels stress the kidneys. Building adequate muscle mass will help control blood sugar. A body composition test can make sure there are adequate amounts of muscle mass.

References

Liuke M, Solovieva S, Lamminen A, Luoma K, et al. Disc degeneration of the lumbar spine in relation to overweight. Int J Obes (Lond). 2005;29(8):903-908.

Ogden CL, Carroll MD, Fryar CD, Flegal KM. Prevalence of Obesity Among Adults and Youth: the United States, 2011–2014. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: National Center for Health Statistics.https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db219.htm. Page last updated: October 28, 2015. Accessed July 10, 2017

Samartzis D, Karppinen J, Chan D, Luk KD, et al. The association of lumbar intervertebral disc degeneration on magnetic resonance imaging with body mass index in overweight and obese adults: A population-based study. Arthritis & Rheumatology. 2012;64(5):1488-1496.

Summer Activities For Back Pain That Are Easy On The Spine

Summer Activities For Back Pain That Are Easy On The Spine

It is time for outdoor summer activities. Summer is iconic in its association with a wide range of outdoor activities. However, many can be physically strenuous and require a great deal of body movement. Summer gets individuals thinking of:

  • Hiking
  • Bicycling
  • Swimming
  • Water sports
  • Tennis
  • Golf
  • Gardening

This is when individuals have to figure out which activities will be easy on their backs. For those dealing with regular and/or chronic back or neck pain, athletic/movement-based activities can be done with:

  • Proper planning
  • Strain prevention/reduction
  • Activity modification/s
  • Most activities can be manageable.
  • Preventing/avoiding worsening the pain is the most recommended solution.

Individuals can still enjoy favorite outdoor activities for those who do have back pain, whether from an injury, herniated disc, muscle strain, arthritis, osteoporosis, or another cause.

Summer Activities For Back Pain That Are Easy On The Spine

Safe Summer Activities Safe For The Spine

Swimming

The best summer activity for the spine/back is swimming or any movement in the water. It is recommended and utilized in physical therapy for those with injuries and pain conditions and is shown to prove that it brings relief and exercise. Hot weather makes it easy to get in the water, whether a pool, river, or lake. Doing basic water stretches, exercises, or walking movements can bring significant pain relief. This is because the body’s weight is lessened, which lessens the spine’s pressure.

Walking

Getting outside every day and running can cause a great deal of strain. However, walking is extremely safe and effective, especially on the spine. The key is to take it slow and build up the ability to walk longer and further. However, those with spinal stenosis, which is the narrowing of the spinal canal, might find that walking increases pain. It is recommended to start with light walking sessions and modify them as much as needed. An example could be walking half a block; if pain presents, perform some other movement/s that does not cause pain, and then walk another half block. Taking it slow.

Hiking

It is not out of the question for individuals who like to hike, but caution should be taken. This is because hiking adds factors that can increase the risk for injuries or conditions if the activity is not modified. Most hikes involve hills, elevation changes, climbing, and uneven surfaces. This requires planning and preparation. It is recommended to choose hiking paths that will not exhaust an individual, and that can be easily backtracked if pain or issues arise. This is especially important for those that are flexion-intolerant.  This is when individuals feel pain when bending or leaning forward over the hips. This could be hiking up and down hills that are likely to cause flare-ups.

Fishing

Fishing is a favorite summer activity and is recommended because of the relaxed atmosphere and ability to be modified easily. Individuals can sit in a supportive chair and fish, or they can stand and fish. There is not a lot of quick bending or rotating and totally open to modifications.

Activity Moderation and/or Modification

Figuring out movement modifications or mix up the time. Activities can be enjoyed; it just requires making the right adjustment/s that will make the activity manageable. For those with back pain usually know what movements will cause pain. This can help make it easier to modify specific movements/motions. Activities that more than likely will cause inflammation flare-ups are about finding a way to do it so that the result is not as extreme.

  • One way to modify summer activities is by altering/changing the amount of time engaged. For example, instead of spending 4-6 hours fixing up the yard/gardening, break it up by doing the activity for an hour, stop, stretch, relax, rehydrate, and then continue, respectively.
  • Modification can also be done by changing the functional components of the activity/s. Rather than bending and picking up tools, pulling weeds, etc., get a work stool/bench and perform the activity sitting. This goes for any activity.

Body Composition Health


Can more fat be burned by exercising in the heat?

Individuals wonder if exercising when it’s hot out causes the body to burn more fat. After all, the body is hotter and sweating much more. However, it’s more complicated. Studies show that when exercise is done in high temperatures, the heat can affect the body’s hormonal and metabolic response. The same studies show a consistent shift from breaking down fat cells for energy and breaking down carbohydrates for energy. When exercising in extreme heat, the energy demand becomes too high to break down more fat.  Instead, it uses carbohydrates. So the extra sweat is just water, salt, and not fat. But heat can still play a positive role in improving body composition. Two ways include:

  • Heat shock proteins – HSP – Without exercise, exposure to heat can cause heat shock proteins to activate. Heat shock proteins live inside cells and aid in muscle protein synthesis and repair. When exposed to temperature/thermal stress, they increase to meet the demand.
  •  Human Growth Hormone – HGH – Synthetic Human Growth Hormone increases lean mass, reduces body fat, and improves performance. However, it is naturally produced by the body and can be enhanced through exercise.
References

American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. (February 2018) “Aquatic Exercises in the Treatment of Low Back Pain: A Systematic Review of the Literature and Meta-Analysis of Eight Studies”

Gobbo, Stefano et al. “Physical Exercise Is Confirmed to Reduce Low Back Pain Symptoms in Office Workers: A Systematic Review of the Evidence to Improve Best Practices in the Workplace.” Journal of Functional morphology and kinesiology vol. 4,3 43. 5 Jul. 2019, doi:10.3390/jfmk4030043

Grabovac, Igor, and Thomas Ernst Dorner. “Association between low back pain and various everyday performances: Activities of daily living, ability to work and sexual function.” Wiener klinische Wochenschrift vol. 131,21-22 (2019): 541-549. doi:10.1007/s00508-019-01542-7

Preventive Medicine Reports. (2017.)“Gardening is beneficial for health: A meta-analysis.” ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5153451/pdf/main.pdf

Selby, Sasha et al. “Facilitators and barriers to green exercise in chronic pain.” Irish Journal of medical science vol. 188,3 (2019): 973-978. doi:10.1007/s11845-018-1923-x

Spinal Misalignment Symptoms and Chiropractic

Spinal Misalignment Symptoms and Chiropractic

Individuals typically don’t think about their spine as they go through their everyday lives, bending, reaching, twisting, lifting, etc. However, it is through all of these movements/motions that spinal misalignments can occur causing discomfort, pain, and health problems. This happens gradually, with individuals learning how to live with the misalignment, accepting it as a normal part of life. Spinal misalignments, known as subluxations, are common but can be resolved through chiropractic treatment.Spinal Misalignment Symptoms and Chiropractic

Spinal Misalignment

The spine needs to stay strong, stable, and able to support the musculoskeletal system to keep the body upright and protect the central nervous system. When the spine is properly aligned the body stays strong and mobile. When the spine is misaligned, it can cause dysfunction of the central nervous system. Chiropractic is highly effective and a non-invasive way to improve the body’s health. An individual will want to know if their spine is out of alignment to know what to do and what to avoid when back pain presents. Symptoms that the spine is out of alignment includes:

Headaches, Back, and/or Joint Pain

Headaches, joint pain, and backaches can be misalignment symptoms and are the most common. Many individuals learn to live with chronic headaches and migraines but do not realize that chiropractic treatment can help to reduce, or in a case like this, can eliminate them. Back pain, especially low back pain is another symptom of misalignment. However, there can be a variety of causes, like a herniated disc, degenerative disc disease, a chiropractor will alleviate the pain without medication or surgery. A chiropractor will find the root cause and correct any misalignments.

The Heels of Shoes Wear Out Unevenly

This is a symptom that can come from cheap shoes, but often it is from a misaligned pelvis/pelvic tilt. What happens is the hips are shifted out of their proper position, which causes the feet to land on the ground unevenly.

Stiffness and/or Inability To Turn The Head or Hips

If the neck is stiff or there is difficultness, pain when turning, or you can hear the neck crack when turning, this is a sure symptom of cervical misalignment. The same is true with the hips. A subluxation can also cause muscles to tighten or damage the connective tissues, like the ligaments or tendons. Individuals can get used to feeling this way, but it can lead to losing the full range of motion along with pain, stiffness, and inability to perform certain tasks.

Joint Stiffness, Aches, and Pains

Trying to push through back stiffness, along with aches and pains is not healthy. Improper ergonomics and postures could be caused by spinal misalignment or could worsen a subluxation causing further injury. A chiropractor will:

  • Educate on proper ergonomics
  • Show how to improve posture
  • Perform adjustments
  • Recommend anti-inflammatory supplements
  • Perform physical therapeutic massage to eliminate stiffness, alleviate pain, and relieve stress.

Numbness or Tingling in Hands or Feet

This is a sure symptom that of a misaligned spine. Numbness and/or tingling sensations often indicate pinched/compressed nerves. The compression or irritation can result in pain or the aforementioned sensations. A chiropractor will ease the pressure on the nerves, allowing for proper circulation, bringing back the full sensation to the affected area/s.


Body Composition


 

Fiber Health Benefits

Fiber health benefits include lowering the risk of developing diseases like diabetes, obesity, hypertension, and more. It is also beneficial for those who have diabetes to improve insulin sensitivity. Adding more fiber to your diet can enhance weight loss goals. Fruits and vegetables are the highest-fiber foods available.

Fiber and Gut Health

The beneficial bacteria that live in the gut thrive from fruit and vegetable fiber. Because the body does not absorb fiber, the bacteria ferment the fiber. Anti-inflammatory fatty acids are released as a by-product of this process and help to protect the health of the gut. They can also help with appetite regulation.

Fiber-Rich Fruits and Veggies

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

Czaprowski, Dariusz et al. “Non-structural misalignments of body posture in the sagittal plane.” Scoliosis and spinal disorders vol. 13 6. 5 Mar. 2018, doi:10.1186/s13013-018-0151-5

Formica, M et al. “ALIF in the correction of spinal sagittal misalignment. A systematic review of the literature.” 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. 30,1 (2021): 50-62. doi:10.1007/s00586-020-06598-y

Granacher, Urs et al. “Effects of core instability strength training on trunk muscle strength, spinal mobility, dynamic balance and functional mobility in older adults.” Gerontology vol. 59,2 (2013): 105-13. doi:10.1159/000343152

The Importance Of The Spine’s Curvature

The Importance Of The Spine’s Curvature

Individuals believe that a straight spine is a healthy spine. This is a misconception, a chiropractor knows that a healthy spine has the proper curvature, specifically an S curve from the top to the bottom. This curve allows/enables the spine to properly function for balancing and stabilizing the body. There are three primary curves that make up the S shape. These are:

Lordosis is defined as an inward curve, while kyphosis is an outward curve11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 The Importance Of The Spine's Curvature

Curvature Significance

When the spine is properly curved and aligned there is flexibility and optimal support of the body. The curves of each section/area create a spring structure that enables the spine to perform as a natural shock-absorber. If the spine was straight, it would take a significant toll with all the wear and tear from constant vibration and shock. This would lead to fractures and other injuries. The curvature is important in aiding with weight distribution and the weight of gravity. Each curve works to distribute weight evenly throughout the spine so that the different muscle groups do not get overworked. This happens during dynamic movement.

  • Lifting
  • Bending
  • Reaching
  • Twisting
  • Turning
  • All require the spine to move harmoniously with the rest of the body, supporting the body’s weight and energy transfer.

The curves help reduce pressure between the individual vertebral discs. Because the discs are not stacked on top of each other, the weight from the above vertebra is not completely placed on the one below. So the lower vertebra takes only a portion of the weight, allowing the discs to perform as an absorbing cushion.

 

Maintaining The Curvature

An adult spine gradually becomes an S curve and is formed through development. Children are born with a C curve, with an outward curve until they begin to crawl. When the child begins to raise their heads up, the cervical portion of the proper S shape begins to take form. As the child learns to walk upright, the spine continues on its ultimate role of support. However, because spinal curvature is formed in the developmental stages, natural curvature formation has a limited time frame. Issues that happen at this time can disrupt the proper formation of the curves. This can result in malformations that could require long-term chiropractic treatment/rehabilitation to correct.

For adults that develop a normal S curve, spinal maintenance is critical. When subluxations/misalignments occur bulging, herniated discs, pinched nerves, and sciatica are sure to follow. Chiropractic adjustments will ensure the spine is reset and properly supported. As natural spinal development has passed maintenance is essential. Using precision tools and techniques, chiropractic treatment realigns the spine returning the natural S curve. Treatment plans and adjustments are customized to the individual and applied specifically to their unique spinal shape. This makes it possible to maintain a spine with precise curvature.


Body Composition


Fruit and Plant Antioxidants

Regular inclusion of antioxidant-rich foods in an individual’s diet will help reduce free radicals and prevent oxidative stress from accumulating. Fruits and veggies like:

  • Berries
  • Dark-colored grapes
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Carrots
  • All are great sources of antioxidants.

Purple-colored fruits like blueberries and dark grapes contain an antioxidant called resveratrol that has therapeutic properties for heart disease. Beta-carotene is an orange-colored carotenoid with antioxidant properties that can also protect against heart disease. Orange, yellow-colored plant foods, and leafy greens are a solid source of the antioxidant carotenoid beta-carotene or pro-vitamin A. Minerals like zinc and selenium have antioxidants that can be found in vegan sources. And minerals found in fruits and veggies contain blood pressure-lowering potassium, magnesium, and calcium.

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

Yang, Feng et al. “Balance chiropractic therapy for cervical spondylotic radiculopathy: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial.” Trials vol. 17,1 513. 22 Oct. 2016, doi:10.1186/s13063-016-1644-2

Taylor, J A. “Full-spine radiography: a review.” Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics vol. 16,7 (1993): 460-74.

Fedorchuk, Curtis et al. “Improvements in Cervical Spinal Canal Diameter and Neck Disability Following Correction of Cervical Lordosis and Cervical Spondylolistheses Using Chiropractic BioPhysics Technique: A Case Series.” Journal of radiology case reports vol. 14,4 21-37. 30 Apr. 2020, doi:10.3941/jrcr.v14i4.3890

Eating Healthy And Chiropractic Medicine

Eating Healthy And Chiropractic Medicine

Eating healthy and spinal health are interconnected. Eating healthier will help to lose weight, and provide a healthier body mass index. This means more muscle mass, especially when integrated with more protein. The spine sustains and supports the whole torso and upper body. When weight increases in these areas it can cause an array of issues like subluxations, curvature problems, sciatica, and more. The extra muscle mass takes the added stress from any extra weight off of the spine. Strong muscles can carry the weight of the body, taking the pressure off the spine and keeping it healthy and operating in top form.  
 

Making Healthy Adjustments

No matter where an individual is on their healthy eating plan, there are common practices that work for many and helps improve their diet. This involves integrating healthy food groups into the diet in different ways, and not giving up when mistakes are made, but learning from them. When developing new healthy habits it takes time, diligence, practice, and research to eat the right foods.  

Fruits and Veggies

It is easier and tastier to forget the nutritious foods and go for the carbs, fats, etc. Rather than trying to add more vegetables, or eating fruit as a snack every day can be tough. An easier, and better way to integrate fruits and vegetables into one’s diet is to substitute the carbs and fats for fruits and veggies in the main meals every day.
  • This could be spiralized zucchini, squash, or no-carb spaghetti instead of pasta spaghetti.
  • Instead of ice cream try real fruit sorbet.
  • Mashed cauliflower instead of white rice or mashed potatoes.
  • There are plenty of substitutes that are healthier and just as tasty and as the real thing.
  • Healthy recipes out there that can give you ideas on how to do this.
The benefit of substituting fruits and vegetables, rather than just adding them to a diet is individuals increase their health by reducing unhealthy dietary elements and adding healthy new ones at the same time. However, this does not mean doing it all at once. The goal is to gradually substitute these nutritious foods into everyday dishes for maximum health benefits.  
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Eating Healthy And Chiropractic Medicine
 

More Fiber and Protein

It is important that the body gets enough fiber and protein as a healthy energy source. Many individuals can become dependent on: Ingesting unhealthy foods all day every day takes a significant toll on the body. This includes:
  • Blood sugar
  • Weight
  • Energy
  • Mood
Fiber and protein are important because the two regulate the body’s systems to promote healthy bodily functions. Fiber helps the digestive system and regulates carbohydrate breakdown. This means the energy obtained from any carb will last longer and will not increase blood sugar when integrated with fiber. Most individuals know that protein builds muscle. But it also makes the body feel full much longer than carbs or sugars do. This allows for natural regulation of how much is eaten during the day so an individual does not eat more than the body needs. Carbs and sugars are not filling and can become addictive. This means that they can be eaten all day long without feeling full and just load up with empty calories. A few ways to integrate fiber and protein into a diet:

Breakfast

  • Eggs
  • Turkey bacon
  • Whole wheat/multigrain toast

Lunch

  • Whole wheat wrap or sandwich

Dinner

  • Brown rice and beans are loaded with protein and fiber.
  • A great substitution for vegetarians/vegans for more protein or fiber
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Eating Healthy And Chiropractic Medicine
 

Reduce Sugar Intake

Reducing sugar intake or switching to balanced sugars from fruits, yogurt, etc. A diet high in sugar can wreck the body, causing:
  • Weight gain
  • Mood swings
  • Overeating
  • Other unhealthy effects
Sugar is fine when practiced in moderation. But when it becomes a daily habit, that’s when it can start affecting the body. The objective is to drink more water, and use substitutions when cravings present. Try:
  • Yogurt instead of ice cream
  • Healthy fruit drinks instead of soda
  • Tea instead of wine
  • Keep the indulgences to once or twice a week if possible.

Eating Healthy Benefits

A few of the benefits from eating healthy that will improve quality of life:
  • Improved digestive health
  • Weight loss
  • Reduced to no back pain
  • Reduced to no foot pain
  • Healthy sleep patterns
  • Less fatigue
  • Improved focus
  • Improved brain health
  • Clear skin
  • Reduced to no irritability

Body Composition


 

New Health Issues

Steady weight gain throughout life can lead to adult diabetes. This is brought on by more body fat and muscle loss. Loss of skeletal muscle mass is linked to insulin resistance. The less muscle is available, the less insulin sensitive the body becomes. Loss of muscle can cause other problems with age. One damaging condition, especially for women, is osteoporosis. This happens when old bone is reabsorbed rather than new bone being created. Both men and women can have decreased muscle mass with thinner, weaker bones. This increases the risk of osteoporosis and the risk of serious injury from falls. Prevention includes Eat sufficient protein throughout the day. It is often best to space out protein intake across meals and not consume all at once to ensure the proper amount is being met daily. Regular body composition monitoring can help. The goal is to minimize muscle mass loss and fat mass gain as the body ages.  

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
Cena, Hellas, and Philip C Calder. “Defining a Healthy Diet: Evidence for The Role of Contemporary Dietary Patterns in Health and Disease.” Nutrients vol. 12,2 334. 27 Jan. 2020, doi:10.3390/nu12020334 Locke, Amy et al. “Diets for Health: Goals and Guidelines.” American family physician vol. 97,11 (2018): 721-728. Warensjö Lemming, Eva, and Liisa Byberg. “Is a Healthy Diet Also Suitable for the Prevention of Fragility Fractures?.” Nutrients vol. 12,9 2642. 30 Aug. 2020, doi:10.3390/nu12092642
The Body’s Proper Spinal Alignment Achieved Through Chiropractic Repair

The Body’s Proper Spinal Alignment Achieved Through Chiropractic Repair

When a machine isn’t working correctly because the mechanism’s parts have slipped, shifted, become loose, and are on the verge of breaking down, an expert/professional is called in to repair the damaged parts. The same can be said of the spine. From all the movement at home, work, shopping, activities the spine also compresses and falls out of place becoming misaligned. That’s when individuals need to call a chiropractor to repair/realign the spine. The spine is an integral component of the body’s functionality and health. This includes:  
  • Structure
  • Support
  • Flexibility
  • Shock absorption
  • Protection of the neural tissues
 
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 The Body's Proper Spinal Alignment Achieved Through Chiropractic Repair
 

Healthy Spinal Alignment

  For the spine to operate at its best proper alignment is necessary. The spine is impacted by everyday activities that shift, jolt, bounce, and stress the spine. Exacerbating the regular wear and tear includes:     Spinal misalignment disrupts the essential functions that can lead to illness/disease. Some simple ways to assess individual spinal alignment.  
  • The ears, shoulders, hips, and knees should be aligned with each other. From side to side when facing straight forward
  • Spinal rotation can be assessed by bending forward and touching the toes. Have a mirror or someone to look for a rib hump that is also used in scoliosis screening
  • The head, shoulders, and spinal curves align from the side in general creating an S shape
  Every individual’s spine varies significantly. This is why a professional chiropractic examination, diagnosis, and customized treatment plan will maximize spinal alignment and overall health.  
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 The Body's Proper Spinal Alignment Achieved Through Chiropractic Repair
 

Chiropractors are the Expert Repair Specialists

  Chiropractors are specially trained at spotting spinal misalignment/s and repair. This is done non-invasively through manual adjustments and mobilization techniques. When the spine is in optimal alignment it will prevent and activate the body’s natural healing abilities. Once spinal alignment is achieved the chiropractor can help maintain proper alignment with exercise, health coaching, lifestyle adjustments, and nutrition to maximize individual health.

Body Composition

 

 

A partner, spouse, friend, co-worker, professional for maintaining health

  Finding someone to share the highs and lows during an individual’s health journey will significantly help relieve stress and continue to be motivated. It can be a spouse, best friend, coworker, or licensed professional. When an individual vocalizes their thoughts and feelings, they gain confidence in their ability to handle whatever comes their way. This is an individual that will help navigate the negative emotions by listening and providing advice and encouragement. Take some time every week to share successes, failures, goals, etc. Whatever comes to mind to just get it out there so it can be evaluated and broken down into manageable parts. The great thing about sharing is that it can inspire positive changes.  

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
  Diebo, Bassel G et al. “Sagittal alignment of the spine: What do you need to know?.” Clinical neurology and neurosurgery vol. 139 (2015): 295-301. doi:10.1016/j.clineuro.2015.10.024   Caprara, Sebastiano et al. “Spinal sagittal alignment goals based on statistical modeling and musculoskeletal simulations.” Journal of biomechanics vol. 102 (2020): 109621. doi:10.1016/j.jbiomech.2020.109621   Senzon, Simon A. “The Chiropractic Vertebral Subluxation Part 10: Integrative and Critical Literature From 1996 and 1997.” Journal of chiropractic humanities vol. 25 146-168. 6 Apr. 2019, doi:10.1016/j.echu.2018.10.008
Self Cracking and Self-Popping The Spine

Self Cracking and Self-Popping The Spine

Self-cracking and popping the spine can feel good but should it be done without professional/chiropractic assistance? We’ve all done it getting up from bed or the couch, lean back, and wait for the sound of the spine cracking/popping. Some even have a friend help pop the spine to get that satisfying feeling. There are proper stretching techniques to follow, but cracking the spine without professional help is not recommended as it could lead to problems or worsen any underlying spinal issues.  

11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Self Cracking and Self-Popping The Spine

Sounds

Self cracking, popping the spine refers to the sounds the neck or back make with certain movements. The joints in the spine contain fluid and gas. When the body moves, stretches can create cracking popping sounds as different pressures are exerted. The sound is known as joint cavitation, is the normal exchange of gases like oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide around the joints.  

Spaces form in the synovial fluid that surrounds the joints. These spaces make an audible sound when the pressure changes/cavitation causing the gases to be released. The gases are naturally present in the body. A doctor of chiropractic mobilizes the joints very carefully through adjustments using their hands or specific instruments to increase the spine’s range of motion and stability. When adjustments and manipulations are not performed by a professional, problems can happen, that can include:

  • Loss of strength
  • Soft tissue swelling
  • Muscle spasms

When it’s done properly and safely injuries are prevented and any issues like swelling and tightness around the neck and spine are also avoided.

 

Self-cracking performed incorrectly can lead to excessive force bringing the joints to excessive ranges of motion that can potentially cause injury. Individuals need to be careful even when self-cracking as the spine can make sounds for other reasons.

  • Age-related arthritis can generate a crunching type of sound when moving known as crepitus
  • A ligament or tendon can rub over a bone or bone spur, creating different sounds
  • These sounds are usually not problematic, but when they are consistent with certain movements they could cause inflammation and/or pain.
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Self Cracking and Self-Popping The Spine

Chiropractic Professional Adjustments

The primary reasons most individuals seek chiropractic help are for problems, like pain, tightness, and weakness. Individuals can voluntarily see a chiropractor or they could be referred to one by a different doctor. Doctors routinely work with chiropractors to help patients recover from musculoskeletal injuries and conditions. A chiropractor performs manipulations in a safe, controlled manner. They are familiar with the sounds that the joints make and know they are safe. They usually have a multidisciplinary team that is involved in the management of various musculoskeletal conditions.  

Why chiropractic care is so helpful?

All doctors of chiropractic are trained to diagnose and treat neuro-musculoskeletal conditions. During the diagnosis, the chiropractor will go through the individual’s medical history and conduct a physical exam to determine what treatment plan is best for the individual and their injury or condition. Many are now flocking to chiropractic care to avoid taking pain medications. Scientific evidence supports the health benefits of adjustments for various types of musculoskeletal pain, as well as to improve function and mobility

It is also recommended to work with a chiropractor in addition to other health professionals, like orthopedic specialists and physical therapists. They can help decrease pain, provide increased mobility and stability. If there is a constant need to self crack the back, or are having other issues with pain and tightness, talk with a doctor to see if chiropractic adjustments and manipulation will help. This will ensure that the right diagnosis is made and will help to create the optimal treatment plan to develop a stronger healthier body.


Body Composition

Increasing muscle mass is a recommended way to improve body composition and increase immune system function. Research shows senior adults with a higher skeletal muscle mass have an increased number of immune cells in the blood. This indicates that the muscles and the immune system are connected. When working out myokines or hormone-type proteins are released that strengthen the immune system to help protect and fight diseases. Regular exercise with moderate intensity increases the release of T lymphocytes/T cells improving the body’s immunity. Regular exercise also helps reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases like:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Different types of cancer
  • Cardiovascular diseases

Improved body composition with regular exercise and a well-balanced diet helps maintain a healthy proportion of muscle and fat mass. The more developed the body’s muscle mass becomes strengthens the immune system and lowers the risk of diseases and various health conditions.  

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

“The audible release associated with joint manipulation.” Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. MarApril 1995. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7790795/#:~:text=Data%20synthesis%3A%20The%20audible%20release,released%20into%20the%20joint%20cavity.

“The Prevalence, Patterns, and Predictors of Chiropractic Use Among US Adults: Results From the 2012 National Health Interview Survey.” Spine. Dec 2017. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28459779/

“Chiropractic Use in the Medicare Population: Prevalence, Patterns, and Associations With 1-Year Changes in Health and Satisfaction With Care.” Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. Oct 2014. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0161475414001444

Getting Up In The Morning With Back, Neck Pain Chiropractic Brings Relief

Getting Up In The Morning With Back, Neck Pain Chiropractic Brings Relief

For individuals getting up with pain and stiffness in the back, neck, shoulders practically every morning becomes frustrating and depressing. For most, the pain wears off throughout the day but having to deal with it at the start of the day. Dr. Jimenez of Injury Medical Chiropractic and Functional Medicine Clinic offers some suggestions for pain reduction and prevention.  
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Getting Up In The Morning With Back, Neck Pain Chiropractic Brings Relief
 
The body spends around a third of each night sleeping because it is a vital part of life. Sleeping means it is time to relax and prepare for the next day. For many, sleeping can be uncomfortable and can be a cause of back and neck pain when getting up. There are steps an individual can take to ensure that correct sleep is achieved while preventing neck and back pain.  

Sleep Position Is Important

Sleeping in a position that maintains the natural curves of the spine is essential. It is recommended not to sleep on the stomach, as this places the spine in an unnatural position and allows the pelvis and lower back to sink into the mattress with no support. This position can also cause neck pain and headaches when getting up. If this is a position that can’t be changed from years of practice, place a pillow under the stomach and or pelvis to keep the lower back and pelvis straight.
  • Sleeping on the side or back is highly recommended.
  • Side sleepers should also place a pillow between the knees.
  • Back sleepers should place a pillow underneath the knees.
  • Placing a pillow between and underneath the knees gives the spine proper support to maintain the natural curves.
 

Check How The Bed Is Set Up

Make sure the bed/sleeping equipment is set up correctly. For example, most pillows do not provide the proper amount of neck support. This can cause neck soreness even if sleeping in the recommended side and back positions. If getting up with neck pain or headaches a cervical pillow can bring relief. A cervical pillow is designed to support the natural curves of the neck while sleeping and places the neck in the proper position. Cervical pillows are designed for side and back sleepers, but make it difficult to sleep on your stomach, which is an added perk to using them.  
Getting Up In The Morning With Back, Neck Pain Chiropractic Brings Relief
 
Using the proper mattress is equally important. The type of mattress being slept on can be a significant contributor to back and neck pain. Individuals that use a medium-firm mattress have less back pain compared to individuals that use too firm or too soft mattresses. Research has shown that mattresses should be replaced every 10 years. Mattresses that are 10 years old and beyond are shown to be a possible cause of back pain while you sleep.  

Getting Up and Out of Bed In A Way That Doesn’t Cause Pain

Getting up and out of bed properly will help as well. Most individuals sit up, twist their back to get into a standing position and use the back to stand. This is like lifting with the back and not the legs, which will cause back pain and a possible spinal injury like a herniated disc.
  • The recommended way to get up and out of bed after waking is to roll onto the side and use the arm to push up and off from the side-lying position.
  • From this position, scoot to the very edge of the bed and get up using the legs, and not the back.
Implementing these suggestions into your routine can be a great way to decrease pain while sleeping and increase getting up without experiencing stiffness, soreness, and feeling refreshed.

The Body’s Composition


 

Muscle Mass and Workout Recovery

Looking at muscle mass and the intake of certain nutrients into the evening can be beneficial. Protein intake is essential in muscle formation and muscle recovery after working out or engaged in physical activity. Research has shown that a little protein before sleep helps stimulate muscle protein synthesis. In a study, ingested proteins were shown to cause a rise in circulating amino acid levels, increased whole-body protein rates, and improved net protein balance. Following exercise, the muscles need to be able to recover properly and protein intake is essential. To achieve weight management goals, an individual must achieve a healthy amount of Lean Body Mass. Lean Body Mass is based on Skeletal Muscle Mass, and protein intake is essential.

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
Improving Sleep: Special Health Report. Boston, MA: Harvard Medical School; 2015. Bolash R, Drerup M. How to Beat Insomnia When You Have Chronic Pain. Cleveland Clinic Web site. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/2015/12/managing-insomnia-for-those-with-chronic-pain/. Published December 18, 2015. Accessed April 18, 2017. What is Sleep? American Sleep Association Web site. https://www.sleepassociation.org/patients-general-public/what-is-sleep/. Accessed April 18, 2017.