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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.


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.
Chiropractic Prevention and Relief For Degenerative Disc Disease

Chiropractic Prevention and Relief For Degenerative Disc Disease

Chiropractic prevention for degenerative disc disease. In between the bones of the spine or the vertebrae are the protective shock-absorbing intervertebral discs. These protective cushions naturally begin wearing down or degenerating as the body ages. The common term for this is degenerative disc disease or DDD. It is not a disease, but the body’s natural aging process. The reason it is called degenerative disc disease is that it is a condition of the spine with deteriorating effects.  
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Chiropractic Prevention and Relief For Degenerative Disc Disease
 
One of the things seen in degenerative disc disease and aging of the spine is that the soft disc, made up of a vast amount of water, slowly begins to dry out and dehydrate. The protein/sugar that is within the disc begins to dry out and that starts a degenerative domino effect along with tearing of the outside rings of the disc.  

Causes and Risk Factors

The most common cause of disc degeneration is aging. With age comes the loss of fluids/water. This means the discs get thinner and provide less protection. The shock absorbers don�t absorb weight, impact, pressure like they used to. However, disc degeneration does not always occur later in life. Genetics can be a catalyst for development when young.  

Individual environment vs. genetics

  • Stresses
  • Strains
  • Wear
  • Tear
  • Discs dry out
  • Rings crack or tear
If involved in an occupation that requires heavy lifting, twisting, and bending, this can generate disc damage, but physical stressors do not automatically enhance disc erosion. An individual can do this type of work their entire life and not experience problems. It depends on the environment and the overall health of the individual that can be assessed through chiropractic prevention and body composition analysis.  
 

Chiropractic Prevention and Preserving The Discs

Individuals need training on proper body posture and body mechanics. A major contributing factor that increases the risk of nerve, spine/back pain due to disc damage. The back/spine should be moved like a crane. This means not bending over at the waist, but squatting down with the hips and knees when lifting an object. Not everything can be done this way, but if an individual can eliminate too much bending at the waist, it will definitely help. Do not neglect the core muscles. Core exercises will maintain the muscles around the waist, which also strengthens the rest of the body. All the muscles front, back, around the trunk, hips, and knees to the chest are all the core muscles.  
 

Healthy Weight Less Spinal Stress

Beyond physical stressors, another important factor in preventing degenerative disc disease is maintaining a proper weight. Society has adapted more and more to a sedentary lifestyle. And home quarantine means being more sedentary. Emotional factors like:
  • Boredom
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
This can cause excessive junk food consumption and rapid weight gain.  
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Chiropractic Prevention and Relief For Degenerative Disc Disease
 

Lifestyle Adjustments Health Coaching

Implementing a preventive lifestyle to prevent degenerative damage is challenging. Everyone really should try to live as healthy a lifestyle they can.

Education and training

Continual education on slowing disc degeneration is essential. This is what chiropractic prevention focuses on. Then an individual can begin implementing various tools for avoiding weight gain and learn proper posture and lifting.

Quitting smoking

Smoking accelerates the aging process by drying out the tissue, especially the spinal discs. It is known as desiccation and is why smoking is a major risk factor for degenerative disc disease.

Disc stress

Anything that stresses the discs for any amount of time can generate pain. For example, standing too long even carefully standing straight can induce discomfort and pain. Sitting can help, but caution needs to be observed. Sitting too long places more pressure on the low back than when standing. There must be a balance between sitting and standing. Experts suggest getting up and moving every 20 to 30 minutes. This is a perfect time to get up and do in-home walking exercises, physical chores, anything that gets the body up and moving around.

Stretching

Regular bending and stretching need to become a natural reflex. When the body begins to feel sore, stretch out the area.  
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Chiropractic Prevention and Relief For Degenerative Disc Disease
 
The good news is that everyone, even those with a genetic predisposition to greater disc loss or fusion, there are options for slowing down and minimizing disc damage. Maintaining a healthy weight, strengthening the core, and learning proper techniques for lifting for work, exercise, or sports will all help. If diagnosed with disc degeneration, talk to a doctor, physical therapist about developing a chiropractic prevention treatment plan. They�ll be able to develop a program specifically designed to help.

Bodily Composition


 

Human Immune System

The immune system is highly complex and essential in maintaining optimal health. The main function of this system is to neutralize pathogenic microorganisms like bacteria that get into the body and affect the body’s homeostasis, eliminate any harmful substances from the environment, and fight the body�s own cells that can cause illnesses like cancer. The defense system consists of innate and adaptive immune processes. The innate system includes exterior defenses like the: Any organisms that get past the first line of defense, have to face the adaptive system, which is made up of T and B cells. The adaptive immune system is a learning defense that constantly adapts and evolves to be able to identify changes in pathogens that mutate over time. Together, these systems provide a fortified resistance to any long-term survival of infectious agents in the body. Healthy lifestyle adjustments can help strengthen and boost these systems working to keep the body safe.  

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
Mayo Clinic. (May 11, 2020.) �Packing on pounds during COVID-19 and how to turn it around.��https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/packing-on-pounds-during-covid-19-and-how-to-turn-it-around/
Strengthening The Immune System With Chiropractic Support

Strengthening The Immune System With Chiropractic Support

The immune system is made up of a network of cells and proteins that defend the body against infection/s. It is made up of specialized organs, and chemicals that fight microorganisms, specifically that are bacterial and can cause infection/disease. The system keeps a record of every germ so it can recognize and destroy any microbes if they enter the body again. Immune system abnormalities can lead to:
 

The Immune System

Protection from viruses and bacterias requires a long term solution/s for building and strengthening immunity. Chiropractic adjustments along with health coaching can help. The main organs of the immune system are:
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Strengthening The Immune System With Chiropractic Support
 

The Microbiome

The health and variety of bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract have been shown to have significant effects on overall health, including immunity. When gut health is optimized, it helps the body�s natural processes for detecting and fighting microorganisms. Simple ways to strengthen gut health include:

Diet

A healthy diet rich in a variety of whole foods and vegetables will promote diversity in the gut.  

Supplements

Probiotics can significantly help strengthen gastrointestinal health.

Get Out In the Sun

Being outside provides the microbiome vitamin D which helps fight inflammation and strengthens the sense of well-being.

Nerve Signal Optimization

The central nervous system has a primary role in gastrointestinal motility and overall balance. Proper spinal alignment will help blood and nerve synapse circulation.  
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Strengthening The Immune System With Chiropractic Support
 

Maintaining Body Balance

A strengthened immune system is about maintaining whole-body balance. The body is a complicated system that operates/functions in top form when tuned up and in proper alignment.

Spinal Alignment

Chiropractic can provide expert treatment to restore spinal misalignment/s. This keeps the body functioning at an optimal level.

Exercise

A moving body is a healthy body. Regular exercise will benefit the immune system and keep it strong.

Stress Management

A high level of stress can compromise the immune system’s health. Regular physical activity/exercise, chiropractic, being aware of any health issues can help manage stress. Chiropractic immune system management will help promote a healthy gastrointestinal tract, help manage stress, get in more physical activity, and stay pain-free. Chiropractic can help kick in the body’s natural immune response and keep the flow going. Call today to see how we can help build a healthy immune system.

Lower Back Pain Chiropractic Treatment


 

Dr. Alex Jimenez�s Blog Post Disclaimer

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas& New Mexico*
Reference
Colombi, Andrea, and Marco Testa. �The Effects Induced by Spinal Manipulative Therapy on the Immune and Endocrine Systems.��Medicina (Kaunas, Lithuania)�vol. 55,8 448. 7 Aug. 2019, doi:10.3390/medicina55080448
Taking An Active Role In Personal Spinal Health

Taking An Active Role In Personal Spinal Health

Taking an active role in personal spinal health could mean the difference between having to deal/manage back pain for the rest of your life and not having to. Most of us have experienced some form of back pain, whether lifting an object, bending, reaching, twisting, etc. Fortunately, it is usually not serious and we move on with our lives. However, not paying attention to those not so serious backaches can lead to chronic backaches that can lead to serious chronic back pain. Chronic backache/s can be annoying, frustrating, and debilitating, especially when the cause is not obvious, cannot be found, or figured out. When back pain occurs from trauma or an automobile accident it’s a lot easier to diagnose. But when it is the result of a gradual build-up of activities like sitting all day at a desk, in a truck or lifting objects, loading, unloading, pushing, pulling, stocking for several years, it could be a lot more serious than the individual might think. This is because although they are barely beginning to feel the ache or pain, the damage has been ongoing/worsening and has finally reared its ugly head.  
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Taking An Active Role In Personal Spinal Health
 

Finding the Right Help

Getting on the right track means searching for a spinal professional that can identify and treat the source of the back pain, help with posture, diet advice, and help reach optimal health. Finding the source of the pain can be a challenge, but it is not impossible. The key is finding a knowledgeable, experienced back pain specialist and taking an active role in your spine’s health. Chiropractors, doctors, and physicians begin with at least 4-6 weeks of non-invasive treatment. These start with tests, scans, x-rays, then move on to treatment, which can consist of ice/heat, physical therapy, adjustments, re-alignment combined with exercises, stretches. Prescription medication/s or surgery is the last option for fear of worsening conditions along with medication abuse. This approach has seen an increase in relief and favorable outcomes.

Patient Active Role

Many individuals have gone down the path of being over-medicated and are exhausted with the whole experience of being constipated, constant brain fog, etc. Those same individuals are taking that active role and getting involved by dealing with their back pain in a natural non-invasive way. Preparing before meeting with a spine professional is important to give as much information as possible.

Tips

Preparation

  • Write down notes about what is being felt in and around the body, not just the back. This is because of the psychological aspect of pain, which can manifest in a variety of ways.

Try To Go Back To When The Pain Started

  • Think about when the pain first began
  • Sitting at work/home one day when there was what you thought was a little shift or tingle
  • Sports activity
  • Exercising
  • Popping, clicking, grinding sensations and sounds
  • Warming, electrical, shooting sensation/s pain
  • Tingling/numbness in the leg, foot, toes
  • Try to describe all the details with the doctor/chiropractor even what you might consider trivial
 

Emotions/Stress Triggers need to be taken into account

  • Work
  • Bills
  • Marriage
  • Divorce
  • Children
  • Major life changes and stress affects the whole body, especially the spine

Family Friend Perspective and Support

Bringing along a close family member or friend that knows your activity habits could help the doctor get a better idea of what is causing the pain. Family or friends can remember a trip, fall, dance moment that didn’t go so well, work accident, etc.

Medical History

Prior medical injuries and conditions will help provide additional information as to whether there is a pattern when back pain strikes. This can be extremely important even if it does not seem to be related to the pain symptoms. Tell the doctor about any physical therapy or other holistic/conservative treatments performed before and after the pain began. Also, inform them of any medications, supplements, vitamins, herbs, over-the-counter medications that were taken prior to the pain and currently being taken. If there has been unexplained weight loss, fever, urination/bowel changes, should also be discussed.

Physical Tests

Unless the patient is in too much pain, the meeting with the chiropractic physician will be active, meaning the doctor may have the patient perform a series of movements like:
  • Sitting
  • Standing
  • Walking
  • Bending forward, backward, and to the side
  • Lifting the legs straight up while standing and lying down
  • Inform the doctor of any numbness or tingling pain while performing these musculoskeletal exercises/tests.
With a patient that can’t perform the exercises, the doctor will examine the patient while lying down, by carefully and slowly palpating the painful area/s, moving the leg/s, and raising the patient up, all the while taking notes of what position/s cause discomfort and pain.  
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Taking An Active Role In Personal Spinal Health
 

Options

Depending on the physician’s assessment, initial treatment will take time, require the individual to take an active role, and possibly recommend the individual try different treatment options. Ask the doctor all the questions you have during the visit like:
  • Could there be more than one cause for my back pain?
  • Do the treatments hurt?
  • The treatment will keep me pain-free or just tolerable?
  • Are there self-therapies to assist healing and recovery?
  • If seeing a general physician you could ask for a recommended spine specialist
The ultimate goal is for the individual to live a happy, fulfilling life that is pain-free. The doctor will do everything they can to bring an optimum level of care. If the quality of life still does not improve or when various attempts for pain relief have proven unsuccessful, then a doctor could recommend stronger medications and surgical options. Don’t wait to get professional medical help! The longer an individual waits the worse the cause of the back pain gets. Get involved and take an active role in your spinal health.

Personal Injury Chiropractic Care

 
 

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*
The Spinal/Vertebral Column

The Spinal/Vertebral Column

The spinal/vertebral column extends from the skull to the pelvis and consists of individual bones known as vertebrae. It is what holds the body upright, allows the body to bend, twist, and is the conduit for major nerves running from the brain to the rest of the body. The vertebrae are grouped into four regions. They are the:

11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 The Spinal/Vertebral Column
Spinal Terminology Number of Vertebrae Area of Body Abbreviation
Cervical 7 Neck C1-C7
Thoracic 12 Chest T1-T12
Lumbar 5-6 Low back L1-L5
Sacrum 5 fused vertebrae Pelvis S1-S5
Coccyx 3 Tailbone None

Cervical Vertebrae

The cervical spine breaks down into two parts. The upper cervical C1 and C2, and the lower cervical C3 through C7. The C1 vertebrae are known as the Atlas and the C2 the Axis. The Occipital Bone is a flat bone that forms the back of the head.

Atlas

The Atlas is the first cervical vertebra and is abbreviated as C1. This vertebra supports the skull. It appears different from the other spinal vertebrae, as it resembles a ring and is made up of two masses joined at the front and back by the anterior and posterior arches. �

Axis

The Axis is the second cervical vertebra and is abbreviated C2. It is a tooth-like process that projects upward. It is referred to as the odontoid process or dens, which is Latin for tooth. It provides a kind of pivot and collar that allows the head along with the atlas to rotate.

Thoracic Vertebrae

The thoracic vertebrae become larger from T1 through T12. What makes the thoracic spine unique is that it is the only vertebrae that support the ribs and is made up of pedicles, spinous processes, and large neural passageways that help reduce nerve compression. Unfortunately, not everyone has a large intervertebral foramen, which can cause compression. �

  1. Vertebral Body
  2. Spinous Process
  3. Transverse Facet
  4. Pedicle
  5. Foramen
  6. Lamina
  7. Superior Facet

The thoracic vertebrae are attached to the ribs. However, at T11 and T12, the ribs are not attached and are called floating ribs. The region of the spine’s range of motion is limited because of the rib/vertebrae attachments and the long spinous processes. �

Lumbar Vertebrae

The lumbar vertebrae increase in size from L1 through L5. These are the vertebrae that take the body’s weight along with any loading force that can create biomechanical stress. The pedicles are longer and wider than the thoracic spine pedicles, and the spinous processes are horizontal and more square. The neural passageway is large but nerve root compression is very common due to disc herniation from poor posture, prolonged sitting, improper lifting, etc. �

11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 The Spinal/Vertebral Column

Vertebrae’s Purpose

The vertebrae range in size with the cervical region being the smallest. The lumbar low back region is the largest. The vertebral bodies of the spinal column are what bear the weight. The body’s upper weight is dispersed through the spine to the sacrum and pelvis. Thee natural curves in the spine provide resistance, flexibility by distributing the body’s weight, and axial loads/forces sustained when in motion. Vertebrae are made up of many elements critical to the overall function of the spine. This includes the intervertebral discs and facet joints. Functions of the spinal/vertebral column include: �

Protection Spinal Cord Internal Organs
Attachment Ligaments Muscles Tendons
Support Structure Head Shoulders Chest Connect Upper and Lower body Balance
Mobility and Flexibility Extension – bending backward Flexion – bending forward Side bending Rotation Combination
Other The bones produce red blood cells Stores minerals

Sacrum

The sacrum is located behind the pelvis. It consists of five bones that are abbreviated S1 through S5. They are fused together in a triangular shape. The sacrum fits between the hipbones and connects the spine to the pelvis. The last vertebra L5 moves with the sacrum. Right below are five more bones that are also fused together and they form the Coccyx or tailbone.

Intervertebral Discs

The intervertebral discs make up a quarter of the spinal/vertebral column’s length. There are no discs between the Atlas, Axis, and Coccyx. Discs are not connected to the body’s vascular system and so depend on the endplates to disperse essential minerals and nutrients. The cartilaginous layers keep the discs in place. They are fibrocartilaginous cushions that function as the spine/body’s shock absorbers. They protect the vertebrae, brain, nerves, etc. There is some vertebral motion that the discs allow but individual disc movement is limited. Significant motion is possible when the discs work together. �

11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 The Spinal/Vertebral Column

Annulus Fibrosus and Nucleus Pulposus

Intervertebral discs are made up of an annulus fibrosus and a nucleus pulposus. The annulus fibrosus is a strong radial structure made up of lamellae. Concentric sheets of collagen fibers connect to the endplates. These sheets are positioned at various angles. The annulus fibrosus encapsulates the nucleus pulposus. �

Both are made up of water, collagen, and proteoglycans. However, the larger amount of water and proteoglycans are in the nucleus pulposus. Proteoglycan molecules are essential because they attract and retain water. The nucleus pulposus consists of a hydrated gel-like substance that resists compression. The amount of water in the nucleus changes throughout the day. This depends on the activity or non-activity. All in all proper care and maintenance of the spinal/vertebral column is vital to general health and overall well-being.


 

Car Accident Rehabilitation Chiropractor


 

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*

Thoracic Spine – Middle Back Basics

Thoracic Spine – Middle Back Basics

The thoracic spine known as the middle back starts below the cervical or neck spine at around the level of the shoulders. It continues down to the first level of the low back or lumbar spine. There are twelve vertebrae, numbered T1-T12 top to bottom, and it is these vertebrae that make up the thoracic spine. When seen from the side, a normal forward curve can be seen.  
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Thoracic Spine - Middle Back Basics
 
The ribs are attached to the thoracic spine�s vertebrae making this region of the spine strong and stable. However, this area has less range-of-motion than the neck region. Because of its location, the thoracic spine deals less with injury/s than other areas of the spine. But it is the most common area for fractures from osteoporosis. Scoliosis and abnormal kyphosis are also thoracic spine disorders.  
 
Getting to know the body’s spine and how it functions can help individuals have a better and thorough understanding of possible causes to upper and middle back pain, a doctor�s diagnosis, and the reasons for how simple lifestyle changes/choices can keep the middle back, as well as, the rest of the spine healthy.

Thoracic Support

The thoracic spine gives support to the torso, chest and provides an attachment point for each of the rib bones, minus the two at the bottom. The vertebral bodies are rounded with bony arches that project from the back of each and form a hollow protective space for the spinal cord. Facet joints are paired at the back of each and allow for limited movement.  
spinal arthritis el paso tx.

Intervertebral Discs

There is a fibrous pad called an intervertebral disc that is held in place by the endplates between each level�s upper and lower vertebral bodies. Each disc acts like a spacer creating disc height/space between the upper and lower vertebrae. This space opens nerve passageways called a foramen or neural foramina at both sides. Nerve roots branch off the spinal cord and exit the canal through the neural foramina.

Soft Support Structures Limited Movement/s

The entire spinal column consists of:
  • Ligaments
  • Tendons
  • Muscles
These soft tissues attach to the bones, the discs, and work together to stabilize the midback when resting and when in motion. Ligaments are the strong bands of tissue that connect/protect the vertebrae, discs, provide stability, and help with excessive movement. Muscles hold the body upright and allow spinal flexion which is bending forward, extension bending backward, and rotation twisting from side to side. And the tendons are fibrous tissues that attach the muscle/s to the bone.

Nerves Role

The twelve pairs of nerve rootlets that branch off the cord through the neural foramen are to supply and generate sensation/feeling along with function/movement to the body. These nerves provide nutrients to the midback and chest area and relay signals between the brain and major organs, including:
  • Lungs
  • Heart
  • Liver
  • Small intestine

Spinal Disorders

  • Osteoporosis raises the chances of a thoracic fracture. A vertebral compression fracture can cause one or more bodies of bone to flatten or become wedge-shaped creating spinal cord/nerve compression. Sudden and severe back pain can be associated with vertebral compression fractures.
  • Scoliosis is an abnormal side to side curvature of the spine and is well known to develop in the thoracic spine causing deformity.
  • Abnormal kyphosis means the forward curvature has become extreme. The appearance of a kyphotic deformity can be seen as a hump.
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Thoracic Spine - Middle Back Basics
 

Types of kyphosis:

  • Congenital or appearing at birth
  • Posture related
  • Scheuermann�s disease
  • Metastatic cancer where it travels from the chest, or lung causing spinal tumor/s that can develop and potentially lead to structural deterioration
  • Thoracic disc herniations are not common because of the middle back’s strength and stability created by the ribcage.

Spine Maintenance

Talk with your doctor, chiropractor, spine specialist about stretches and exercises that will work for your specific situation to strengthen the core, and middle back musculature. This will help significantly with injury prevention during flexion, extension, and rotation.
  • Pay attention to posture
  • Learn to use proper body mechanics
  • Quit smoking/vaping
  • Healthy diet
  • Learn about the risks for osteoporosis and talk with your doctor about a preventive bone maintenance plan.

Best Back Pain Chiropractor

 

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*