In today’s big data informational era, there are many disorders, diseases, and clinical presentations that demonstrate concomitant associations, coincidences, correlations, causations, overlapping profiles, overlapping risk profiles, co-morbidities, and risks of associated disorders that clinically intermingle in presentations and outcomes.
The clinician is mandated by the depth of our present clinical understandings and our oath to our patients to see the complete clinical picture within these integrated clinical paradigms and to treat accordingly.
Somatic dysfunction is defined as the “impaired or altered function of related components of the somatic (body framework) system: skeletal, arthrodial, and myofascial structures, and related vascular, lymphatic, and neural elements.”
A viscerosomatic reflexis the resultant of the effect of afferent stimuli arising from a visceral disorder on the somatic tissues. The reflex is initiated by afferent impulses from visceral receptors; these impulses are transmitted to the dorsal horn of the spinal cord, where they synapse with interconnecting neurons. These, in turn, convey the stimulus to sympathetic and peripheral motor efferents, thus resulting in sensory and motor changes in somatic tissues of skeletal muscle, viscera, blood vessels, and skin.
As an example only,visceral afferents play an important part in the maintenance of internal equilibrium and the related mutual adjustments of visceral function. They are also responsible for the conduction of pain impulses that may be caused by distention of a viscus, anoxia (particularly of muscle), irritating metabolites, stretching or crushing of blood vessels, irritation of the peritoneum, contraction of muscular walls, and distention of the capsule of a solid organ.” Because pain-sensitive nerve end- ings are not numerous in viscera, pain sensation or a visceral reflex response may result from the combined input of several different types of receptors rather than as a specific response to a particular receptor. A variety of visceral receptors have been mucosal and epithelial receptors, which respond to mechanical and epithelial stimuli; tension receptors in the visceral muscle layers, which respond to mechanical distention, such as the degree of filling; serosal receptors, which are slow adapting mechanoreceptors in mesentery or
serosa and which monitor visceral fullness; Pacinian corpuscles in mesentery and pain receptors; and free nerve endings in viscera and blood vessels.
The information herein is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified healthcare professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.
Our information scopeis limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.
We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.
Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.*
Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. 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 DC or contact us at 915-850-0900.
Nowadays, many individuals are incorporating various fruits, vegetables, lean portions of meat, and healthy fats and oils into their diet to get all the vitamins and minerals that their bodies need. The body needs these nutrients biotransformed into energy for the muscles, joints, and vital organs. When normal factors like eating unhealthy foods, not getting enough exercise, and underlying conditions affect the body, it can cause somato-visceral issues that correlate with disorders that push many individuals to feel unwell and miserable. Luckily, some supplements and vitamins like magnesium help with overall health and can reduce the effects of these environmental factors that are causing pain-like symptoms in the body. In this 3-part series, we will look at the impact of magnesium helping the body and what foods contain magnesium. Part 1 looks at how magnesium correlates with heart health. Part 2 looks at how magnesium helps with blood pressure. We refer our patients to certified medical providers that provide many available therapy treatments for individuals suffering from underlying conditions associated with low magnesium levels affecting the body and correlated to many underlying conditions affecting a person’s health and wellness. We encourage each patient when it is appropriate by referring them to associated medical providers based on their diagnosis. We accept that education is a marvelous way when asking our providers’ hard-hitting questions at the patient’s request and acknowledgment. Dr. Jimenez, D.C., only utilizes this information as an educational service. Disclaimer
An Overview Of Magnesium
Have you been experiencing muscle numbness in different locations in your body? What about muscle cramps or fatigue? Or have you been experiencing issues with your heart? Suppose you have been dealing with these overlapping issues that are affecting not only your body but your overall health. In that case, it could correlate with your body’s low magnesium levels. Studies reveal that this essential supplement is the body’s fourth most abundant cation when it comes to magnesium since it is a co-factor for multiple enzymic reactions. Magnesium helps with cellular energy metabolism, so the muscles and vital organs can function properly and helps replenish intracellular and extracellular water intake. Magnesium helps with the body’s metabolism, but it can also help reduce the effects of chronic conditions affecting the body.
How Magnesium Helps The Body
Additional studies reveal that magnesium is important in lowering chronic conditions’ effects on the body. Magnesium could help many individuals dealing with cardiovascular issues or chronic diseases associated with the heart or the muscles surrounding the upper and lower extremities of the body. How can magnesium help with overlapping health disorders that can affect the body? Studies show that taking magnesium can help prevent and treat many common health conditions:
Many of these conditions are associated with everyday factors that can affect the body and lead to chronic disorders that can cause pain to the muscles, joints, and vital organs. So, taking magnesium can reduce pre-existing conditions from elevating the body and causing more harm.
Magnesium In Food
Biomedical physiologist Alex Jimenez mentions that magnesium supplementation usually causes diarrhea and explains what foods are high in magnesium. Surprisingly, avocados and nuts have a chaulk full of magnesium. One medium avocado has about 60 milligrams of magnesium, while nuts, especially cashews, have approximately 83 milligrams of magnesium. One cup of almonds has about 383 milligrams of magnesium. It also has 1000 milligrams of potassium, which we covered in an earlier video, and around 30 grams of protein. So this is a good snack to break up the cup into about half-cup serving throughout the day and snack on as you’re going. The second one is beans or legumes; for example, one cup of black beans cooked has around 120 milligrams of magnesium. And then wild rice is also a good source of magnesium. So what are the signs of low magnesium? The symptoms of low magnesium are muscle spasms, lethargy, irregular heartbeat, pins and needles in the hands or legs, high blood pressure, and depression. This video was informative for you regarding magnesium, where to find it, and the best supplemental forms to take it in. Thank you again, and tune in next time.
Foods Containing Magnesium
When it comes to taking magnesium, there are many ways to incorporate magnesium into the body’s system. Some people take it in supplemental form, while others eat healthy, nutritious foods with a chaulk full of magnesium to get the recommended amount. Some of the foods that are riched in magnesium include:
Dark Chocolate=65 mg of magnesium
Avocados=58 mg of magnesium
Legumes=120 mg of magnesium
Tofu= 35 mg of magnesium
What is great about getting these magnesium riched foods is that they can be in any dishes we consume for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Incorporating magnesium in a healthy diet can help boost the body’s energy levels and help support the major organs, joints, and muscles from various disorders.
Magnesium is an essential supplement that the body needs to boost energy levels and help reduce the effects of pain-like symptoms that can cause dysfunction in the body. Whether it is in supplemental form or eating it in healthy dishes, magnesium is an important supplement that the body needs to function properly.
Fiorentini, Diana, et al. “Magnesium: Biochemistry, Nutrition, Detection, and Social Impact of Diseases Linked to Its Deficiency.” Nutrients, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 30 Mar. 2021, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8065437/.
The cardiovascular system allows oxygen-rich blood and other enzymes to travel throughout the body and allow the various muscle groups and vital organs to function and do their jobs. When multiple factors like chronic stress or disorders begin to affect the heart, it can lead to cardiovascular issues that mimic chest pains or heart disorders that can affect a person’s daily lifestyle. Fortunately, there are many ways to ensure the heart stays healthy and prevent other chronic issues that can disrupt the body’s function. Today’s article looks at one of the essential supplements known as magnesium, its benefits, and how it corresponds with heart health in this 3-part series. Part 2 looks at how magnesium lowers blood pressure. Part 3 looks at the different foods containing magnesium and improves health. We refer our patients to certified providers that consolidate many available treatments for many individuals suffering from low magnesium levels affecting the cardiovascular system and correlating to chronic conditions that can cause overlapping risk profiles in the body. We encourage each patient by referring them to associated medical providers based on their diagnosis when it is appropriate. We understand that education is a fantastic way when asking our providers intricated questions at the patient’s request and understanding. Dr. Jimenez, D.C., only utilizes this information as an educational service. Disclaimer
What Is Magnesium?
Have you noticed that your blood glucose levels are elevated? What about feeling low on energy? Or have you been dealing with constant headaches? When many individuals are dealing with these issues that affect their health, it could be due to low magnesium levels affecting their bodies. Studies reveal that magnesium is the fourth most abundant cation that is a cofactor for 300+ enzymes in the body. Magnesium is an essential supplement that is an important electrolyte that hydrates the intracellular water intake in the body. Additional studies have revealed that magnesium plays a huge role in the body’s metabolism and involves hormone receptor bindings to allow muscle contraction, cardiac excitability, neurotransmitter release, and vasomotor tone. Magnesium is also necessary for the body as it is an active transport for potassium and calcium to go across the cellular membrane for proper functioning.
The Benefits Of Magnesium
When it comes to magnesium, there are many beneficial properties that it can provide to the body. Some of the benefits of taking magnesium include:
Boost exercise performance
Reduce depression and anxiety
Regulate blood glucose levels
When many individuals have low magnesium levels, studies reveal that common health conditions like migraines, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and cardiac arrhythmias. These various health conditions can affect not only the vital organs in the body, but when a person has low magnesium levels, their energy levels are low, and they begin to feel sluggish. Additionally, a person with low energy levels from magnesium deficiency can affect their health and wellness. Studies reveal that magnesium deficiencies could cause overlapping risk profiles in the body, which can develop into chronic disorders like cardiovascular issues, hypotension, and osteoporosis.
An Overview Of Magnesium
Biomedical physiologist Alex Jimenez will be going over magnesium with you. But before we get started, it’s important to define some things. The first one is glycolysis. So if we break that down, glyco means carbohydrates or sugar. Lysis implies the breakdown of such glycolysis, the breakdown of carbohydrates. The next one is the co-factor. A co-factor is defined as a non-protein chemical compound that is required for enzymatic activity. You can think of this as the enzyme being the car, and the co-factor is the key. With the key, the vehicle can get started. So what is magnesium? Magnesium is a positively charged cat ion and an electrolyte we need for our bodies. So why is magnesium important? Because it supports proper muscle and nerve function? It regulates glucose metabolism or the breakdown of carbs in glycolysis. And five out of the ten steps in glycolysis require magnesium as a co-factor. So that is over 50% of the breakdown of carbs requires magnesium as a co-factor. It helps regulate our bone density.
Magnesium & Heart Health
As stated earlier, magnesium is an essential supplement that helps with intracellular water intake and helps with the body’s energy levels. So how does magnesium help the heart? Studies reveal that the many diverse roles that magnesium offers to the body allow it to regulate blood pressure and glycaemic control associated with the heart. Many cardiac patients take magnesium to ensure the intracellular membranes travel through the heart. Additionally, additional studies reveal that foods rich in magnesium can help lower the risk of major cardiovascular risks like ischemic heart disease and coronary heart disease. Magnesium also helps reduce pain-like symptoms associated with metabolic syndrome and hypertension that can affect the various muscle groups and joints. When the intracellular membrane is supported by magnesium and travels from the heart to the rest of the entire body, fewer pain-like symptoms can affect joints, muscles, and vital organs.
Magnesium is the fourth most abundant essential supplement that provides intracellular water intake in the body and can provide support to the cardiovascular system. This supplement plays a huge role in the body as it supports its metabolism and makes sure that it reduces cardiovascular issues. When many individuals have low magnesium levels, chronic problems like cardiovascular disorders, metabolic syndrome, and musculoskeletal disorders will develop and affect the body’s function to work properly. Incorporating magnesium-rich foods or supplements can lower the risk of these issues from progressing further and help regulate the elevated hormone levels affecting the body. Part 2 will look at how blood pressure is reduced when taking magnesium.
Al Alawi, Abdullah M, et al. “Magnesium and Human Health: Perspectives and Research Directions.” International Journal of Endocrinology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 16 Apr. 2018, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5926493/.
Allen, Mary J, and Sandeep Sharma. “Magnesium – Statpearls – NCBI Bookshelf.” In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL), StatPearls Publishin, 3 Mar. 2022, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK519036/.
Rosique-Esteban, Nuria, et al. “Dietary Magnesium and Cardiovascular Disease: A Review with Emphasis in Epidemiological Studies.” Nutrients, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1 Feb. 2018, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5852744/.
As more and more people start to keep track of their health, many often try to figure out what foods contain the right amount of vitamins and supplements to benefit their bodies and support the vital organs and the body’s gene levels. Many fruits and vegetables have a chock-full of vitamins and minerals that the body needs for energy and to prevent chronic issues from affecting the body. Today’s article looks at the most beneficial mineral the body needs, potassium, its benefits, and what kind of foods have potassium for the body. We refer our patients to certified providers that consolidate many available treatments for many individuals suffering from low potassium levels affecting a person’s body and correlating to chronic conditions that can cause overlapping risk profiles. We encourage each patient by referring them to associated medical providers based on their diagnosis when it is appropriate. We understand that education is a fantastic way when asking our providers intricated questions at the patient’s request and understanding. Dr. Jimenez, D.C., only utilizes this information as an educational service. Disclaimer
Have you been experiencing muscle cramps and aches throughout your entire body? What about feeling tired constantly or experiencing low energy? Or have you noticed that your blood pressure is elevated? Many of these chronic issues are correlated with low levels of potassium in the body. Studies reveal that potassium is an essential mineral that the human body needs to function properly. Potassium is important since it is an electrolyte to replenish the body when a person sweats. Many athletic people need to fill their bodies with electrolytes after an intense workout session to ensure that the extracellular and intracellular compartments are hydrated. Additional studies also mentioned that potassium is one of the shortfall nutrients that many people often forget because of the adequate intake that needs to be met for the body to have the recommended amount of potassium to function throughout the entire day. However, incorporating different types of food that have potassium can provide the recommended amount that the individual needs and provide beneficial results.
The Benefits Of Potassium
When it comes to the body and potassium, there are many beneficial factors that this essential mineral can provide. Research studies have revealed that increasing potassium intake with healthy, nutritious foods can benefit body health. Some of the beneficial properties that potassium can provide include the following:
Lowering blood pressure
Reduce the progression of renal disease
Decrease the risk of osteoporosis
Prevent diabetes development
All these chronic issues that can affect the body are correlated with low potassium levels. When the body doesn’t have the right amount of vitamins and supplements to help prevent these issues, it can lead to pain-like symptoms associated with the muscles, joints, and vital organs. So when pain specialists like chiropractors or functional medicine doctors thoroughly examine patients and ask questions to determine if the patient’s body has low potassium levels. When the body has low potassium levels, studies reveal that chronic issues like hypertension and elevated glucose levels could potentially lead to cardiovascular problems associated with chest pain and diabetes. When these overlapping issues affect the body, it is known as somato-visceral pain. Somato-visceral pain is when the affected organs are causing problems to the body’s muscles and causing referred pain in different locations.
An Overview Of Potassium
Biomedical physiologist expert Alex Jimenez is going to be going over potassium. He mentions that potassium is a cat ion that is positively charged. So potassium is important for a few different reasons. It helps us regulate our heartbeat. It helps us regulate how our muscle and nervous tissue work, and it’s important for synthesizing protein and metabolizing carbohydrates. The recommended daily amount of potassium is 4.7 grams for the U.S. and 3.5 for the U.K. So, an average of three and a half grams. When we think about potassium and what foods are high in potassium, what’s the first that comes to mind? The banana, right? A banana only has 420 or 422 milligrams of potassium. So to get our daily amount of potassium, that’s going to require us to eat eight and a half bananas. I don’t know anybody eating eight and a half bananas unless you’re a monkey. So let’s look at other foods high in potassium to help counterbalance the nutritional amount instead of just eating eight and a half bananas. Some foods high in potassium are dried fruits, specifically dried apricots and raisins, which have about 250 milligrams per half-cup serving.
Foods That Are High In Potassium
It is easy to incorporate potassium into a person’s daily habits. Many pain specialists like chiropractors work with associated medical providers like nutritionists and physical therapists to restore the body, prevent chronic conditions from progressing further, and reduce muscle and joint pain. Everybody knows that bananas are one of the more known fruits with potassium; however, eating bananas alone can be tiresome. So many fruits and vegetables have higher potassium levels and can help replenish the body’s electrolytes. Some of the nutritious foods that have potassium include:
Dried Fruits (Apricots, Raisins, Peaches, Prunes)
Now eating potassium-riched foods can help the body’s intra- and extracellular water intake but combined with treatments and exercises can prevent chronic issues associated with muscle and joint pain. When people utilize these healthy habits in their daily lives, they can feel better and function throughout the day.
Trying to be healthier should not be difficult and can begin small with the right motivation. Incorporating a healthy diet combined with exercises and therapy treatments can restore the body to its healthier version and prevent overlapping issues affecting the muscles, joints, vital organs, and gene levels. Eating whole, nutritional foods filled with potassium can help restore lost electrolytes and help prevent chronic disorders from progressing further in the body to avoid muscle and joint pain.
He, Feng J, and Graham A MacGregor. “Beneficial Effects of Potassium on Human Health.” Physiologia Plantarum, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Aug. 2008, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18724413/.
Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents how chronic stress can impact the body and how it is correlated with inflammation in this 2-part series. Part 1 examined how stress correlates with various symptoms affecting the body’s gene levels. Part 2 looks at how inflammation and chronic stress correlate with the various factors that can lead to physical development. We refer our patients to certified medical providers who provide available treatments for many individuals suffering from chronic stress associated with the cardiovascular, endocrine, and immune systems affecting the body and developing inflammation. We encourage each of our patients by mentioning them to associated medical providers based on their analysis appropriately. We understand that education is a delightful way when asking our providers questions at the patient’s request and understanding. Dr. Jimenez, D.C., only uses this information as an educational service. Disclaimer
How Stress Can Impact Us?
Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: Stress can create many emotions that can hugely impact many of us. Whether it is anger, frustration, or sadness, stress can make anyone reach a breaking point and cause underlying conditions that can develop into cardiovascular issues. So those people with the highest level of anger, when you look at the cardiovascular literature, have the least probability of survival. Anger is a bad player. Anger causes arrhythmia. This study looked at, now that we have people with ICDs and defibrillators, we can monitor these things. And we see that anger can trigger ventricular arrhythmias in patients. And it’s easy now to follow, with some of our technology.
Anger has been linked to episodes of atrial fibrillation. When you think about it, it’s adrenaline outpouring into the body and causing coronary constriction. It’s increasing the heart rate. All of these things can lead to arrhythmia. And it doesn’t have to be AFib. It can be APCs and VPCs. Now, some very interesting research has come out about telomerase and telomeres. Telomeres are little caps on the chromosomes, and telomerase is the enzyme linked to telomere formation. And now, we can understand through the language of science, and we’re starting to use technology and use science in a way that we could never do before to understand the impact of stress on telomeres and telomerase enzymes.
The Factors That Lead Up To Chronic Stress
Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: So one of the key people to study this is the Nobel Prize-winning, Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn. And what she said is that this is a conclusion, and we’ll come back to some of her other studies. She tells us that the telomeres of babies from women in utero had a lot of stress or were even shorter in young adulthood compared to mothers who did not have the same stressful situations. Maternal psychological stress during pregnancy may exert a programming effect on the developing telomere biology system that is already apparent at birth as reflected by the setting of newborn leukocyte telemetry length. So children can come in imprinted, and even if they do, this can be transformed.
What about racial discrimination these boxes here show high racial discrimination leading to low telomere length, which most of us have ever thought about. So, shorter telomere length leads to an increased risk of cancer and overall mortality. Cancer incidence rates are 22.5 per 1000 person-years in the shortest telomere group, verse 14.2 in the middle group, and 5.1 in the longest telomere group. Shorter telomeres can lead to instability of the chromosome and result in cancer formation. So, now we understand, through the language of science, the impact of stress on the telomerase enzyme and the telomere length. According to Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn, 58 premenopausal women were caregivers of their chronically ill children verse women who had healthy children. The women were asked how they perceive stress in their lives and whether it impacts their health by affecting their cellular aging.
That was the question of the study as they looked at telomere length and telomerase enzyme, and this is what they found. Now, the keyword here is perceived. We are not to judge each other’s stress. Stress is personal, and some of our responses may be genetic. For example, someone who has homozygous comps with a sluggish gene may have much more anxiety than someone who doesn’t have this genetic polymorphism. Someone who has an MAOA in an MAOB may have more anxiety than someone who doesn’t have that genetic polymorphism. So there is a genetic component to our response, but what she found was perceived psychological stress. And the number of years caring for chronically ill children was associated with shorter telomere length and less telomerase activity, providing the first indication that stress can impact telomere maintenance and longevity.
How To Transform Our Stress Response?
Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: That’s powerful, and many healthcare providers are under some form of stress. And the question is, what can we do to transform our response? Framingham also looked at depression and identified clinical depression as a bigger risk for cardiovascular events and poor outcomes than smoking, diabetes, high LDL, and low HDL, which is crazy because we spend all of our time on these things. Yet, we don’t spend much time dealing with the emotional aspects of vascular disease. This is affected depression, inventory, a simple screening test for depression, looking at people with high levels of depression versus low levels of depression. And you can see that as you go from the low to the highest level, as you work your way through, the chance of survival becomes less.
And many of us have our theories as to why this occurs. And is it because if we are depressed, we don’t say, “Oh, I’m going to eat some brussels sprouts, and I’m going to take those B vitamins, and I’m going to go out and exercise, and I’m going to do some meditation.” So post-MI independent risk factor for an event is depression. Our mindset regarding depression makes us incapable of functioning normally and can make our bodies develop issues that affect our vital organs, muscles, and joints. So, depression is a big player, as 75% of post-MI deaths are related to depression, right? So looking at patients, now, you have to ask the question: Is it the depression causing the problem, or is it the cytokine sickness that’s already led to the heart disease causing the depression? We have to factor all of this in.
And yet another study looked at over 4,000 people with no coronary disease at baseline. For every increase of five points on the depression scale, that increased risk by 15%. And those with the highest depression scores had a 40% higher coronary artery disease rate and a 60% higher death rate. So mostly everyone thinks it’s a cytokine sickness that leads to MI, vascular disease, and depression. And then, of course, when you have an event, and you come out with a whole host of issues around it, we know that people who are depressed have a twofold increase in mortality, a fivefold increase in death after a heart attack, and poor outcomes with surgery. It’s like this, what came first, the chicken or the egg?
How Depression Is Linked With Chronic Stress?
Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: Every surgeon knows this. They don’t want to do surgery on depressed people. They know the outcome is not good, and of course, they are less likely to follow through on all of our great functional medicine recommendations. So what are some of the mechanisms of autonomic dysfunction have been evaluated heart rate variability and low levels of omega-3s, which have a profound effect on the brain, and low levels of vitamin D. There are those inflammatory cytokines we talked about not getting restorative sleep, and many of our heart patients do have apnea. And remember, don’t just think it’s the heavyset heart patients with thick short necks; it can be quite deceiving. And it’s really important to look at the structure of the face and, of course, social connection, which is the secret sauce. So is autonomic dysfunction a mechanism? One study looked at heart rate variability in people with a recent MI, and they looked at over 300 people with depression and those without depression. They found that four heart rate variability indices will lower in people with depression.
Gut Inflammation & Chronic Stress
Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: So here are two groups of people having a heart attack and heart rate variability, rising to the top as a possible etiology. One of the many things that can also affect chronic stress in the body is how the gut microbiome plays its part in oxidative stress. The gut is everything, and many heart patients laugh because they would ask their cardiologists, “Why do you care about my gut microbiome? Why would this affect my heart?” Well, all that gut inflammation is causing cytokine sickness. And what a lot of us have forgotten since medical school is that many of our neurotransmitters come from the gut. So chronic inflammation and exposure to inflammatory cytokines appear to lead to alterations in dopamine function and the basal ganglia, reflected by depression, fatigue, and psychomotor slowing. So we can’t emphasize the role of inflammation and depression enough if we take a look at acute coronary syndrome and depression, which was associated with higher markers for inflammation, more elevated CRP, lower HS, lower heart rate variability, and something that never gets checked in the hospital, which is nutrition deficiencies.
And in this case, they looked at omega-3s and vitamin D levels, so at a minimum, an omega-3 check and a vitamin D level are warranted in all of our patients. And certainly, if you can get a full diagnosis for stress-induced inflammation. Another condition you must look at when it comes to stress-induced inflammation is osteoporosis in the joints. Many people with osteoporosis will have muscle loss, immune dysfunction, fat around the midline, and high blood sugar are associated with aging, and it can come from elevated cortisol levels in the body.
High cortisol heart disease risks are two times higher in people taking high doses of steroids. Small amounts of steroids don’t have the same risk, so it is not as big a deal. Of course, we try to get our patients off of steroids. But the point here is that cortisol is a stress hormone and is a stress hormone that raises blood pressure and puts weight on the midline, makes us diabetic, causes insulin resistance, and the list is endless. So, cortisol’s a big player, and when it comes to functional medicine, we have to look at the various tests that pertain to elevated levels of cortisol like food sensitivity, a 3-day stool valve, a nutra-valve, and an adrenal stress index test to look at what is going on with the patients. When there is a heightened sympathetic nervous system and high cortisol, we discussed everything from coagulopathy to decreased heart rate variability, central obesity, diabetes, and hypertension.
Parental Relationships & Chronic Stress
Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: And turning on the renin-angiotensin system it’s all linked to stress. Let’s look at this study that looked at 126 Harvard Medical students, and they were followed for 35 years, a long research. And they said, what’s the incidence of significant illness, heart disease, cancer, hypertension? And they asked these students very simple questions, what was your relationship with your mom and your dad? Was it very close? Was it warm and friendly? Was it tolerant? Was it strained and cold? This is what they found. They found that if the students identified their relationship with their parents as strained 100% incidence of significant health risk. Thirty-five years later, if they said it was warm and close, the results cut that percentage in half. And it would help if you thought about what it is and what can explain this, and you’ll see how adverse childhood experiences make us sick in a few minutes and how we learn our coping skills from our parents.
Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: Our spiritual tradition comes from our parents often. Our parents are the ones who frequently teach us how to get angry or how to resolve conflict. So our parents have had a profound effect on us. And when you think about that, our connection is also not very surprising. This is a 35-year follow-up study.
Chronic stress can lead to multiple issues that can correlate to illness and dysfunction in the muscles and joints. It can affect the gut system and lead to inflammation if it is not taken care of immediately. So when it comes to the impact of stress affecting our daily lives, it can be numerous factors, from chronic conditions to family history. Eating nutritious foods high in antioxidants, exercising, practicing mindfulness, and going to daily treatments can lower the effects of chronic stress and reduce the associated symptoms that overlap and cause pain to the body. We can continue with our health and wellness journey pain-free by utilizing various ways to lower chronic stress in our bodies.
Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents how stress can impact many individuals and correlate with many conditions in the body in this 2-part series. We refer our patients to certified medical providers who provide multiple available treatments for many people suffering from hypertension associated with the cardiovascular, endocrine, and immune systems affecting the body. We encourage each of our patients by mentioning them to associated medical providers based on their analysis appropriately. We understand that education is a delightful way when asking our providers questions at the patient’s request and understanding. Dr. Jimenez, D.C., only uses this information as an educational service. Disclaimer
How Stress Impacts the Body
Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: Now everyone responds to changes in the environment differently. When it comes to many individuals doing everyday activities from working at their job, opening on the weekends, traffic jams, taking exams, or preparing for a big speech, the body goes through a constant state of hyperreactive to a stage of emotional, mental exhaustion that leaves the individual to be exhausted and stressed out. And the key is to recognize this before it happens, as we see this impact of stress on our patients and ourselves. And the first thing to realize is what the initiating event is causing this impact.
Whatever the initiating event, the most important part is our perception of the event. What does it mean to us? Is it our perception? When the body goes through this initiating event, it can cause the perception to lead to the response and the effect on our body. So perception is everything as we talk about stress and the stress response. Now, we have over 1400 chemical reactions that occur in the body. So for this talk’s purpose, we’ll discuss the three key ones: adrenaline and neuro-adrenaline, aldosterone, and of course, cortisol.
And why are these important? Because every one of these has a huge impact on cardiovascular disease. Now, in the 1990s, many doctors were starting to understand the effect of stress on the physical body. And what happens to people when their HPA-axis signals that they are under threat and start flooding their bodies with stress hormones? Well, we see enhanced coagulation. We see a shift in the renin and angiotensin system. It revs up. We see weight gain in people and insulin resistance. What a lot of people don’t realize is that lipids become abnormal with stress. Almost every one of our patients knows that tachycardia and arrhythmia occur when our adrenaline is flowing, and our blood pressure increases. Now, think about this through the language of medicine.
Around the 1990s, doctors were giving aspirin and Plavix at the time for coagulation. We continue to provide ACEs and ARBs to our patients. The impact of cortisol causes weight gain and insulin resistance. We give statins; we give metformin. We provide beta blockers for that, tachycardia, and calcium blockers for that high blood pressure. So every single hormone that gets turned on with stress, we have a drug that we’re using to balance that. And quite frankly, for years, we talked about how good beta blockers were for the heart. Well, when you think about that, beta blockers do block adrenaline. So when doctors look at this, they begin to think, “Well, maybe we need to medicate and meditate, right? We’re using all these drugs, but we may need to look at other ways to transform the stress response.”
What is Vasoconstriction?
Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: We won’t read every one of these symptoms because there are so many, but it all comes down to the same thing. Stress. We have to think of someone who’s in an auto accident, for example, and that person is bleeding. So the body is beautiful in that it puts together a way to stop the individual from bleeding or vasoconstriction. Vasoconstriction is constructing these blood vessels and making the platelets sticky so they form a clot, and the blood can stop. This increases the cardiac output by raising the heart rate and increases aldosterone, which causes salt and water retention to raise the blood pressure. So for someone in a medical emergency, like an accident, bleeding, or losing volume, this is the beauty of the human body. But unfortunately, we see people living this way, literally 24/7. So we know the vasoconstriction and the platelet stickiness, and we see increases in markers for inflammation, homocysteine, CRP, and fibrinogen, all of which increase cardiovascular risk.
We see the impact of cortisol, not only raising blood pressure, not only causing diabetes and insulin resistance, but also depositing abdominal fat around the midline. And then, as you’ll see in a few minutes, there are links between stressful events and arrhythmias like atrial fibrillation and even ventricular fibrillation. For the first time in medicine, in cardiology, we have a syndrome called takosubo cardiomyopathy, which is affectionately called broken heart syndrome. And this is a syndrome in which the myocardium becomes acutely stunned to the point of causing severe left ventricular function or dysfunction. And usually, this is triggered by bad news and an emotionally stressful event. It looks like someone needs a heart transplant. So when we think about the old Framingham risk factors, we say, which of these are impacted by stress?
Symptoms of Stress
Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: People have all sorts of maladaptive behaviors to stress, whether 20 friends in this pack of cigarettes, eating this Cinnabon because it makes me feel good right now, or all the cortisol will make me fat and diabetic. Lipids go up under stress; blood pressure goes up under stress. So every one of these risk factors is impacted by stress hormones. And, of course, we know that with the turning on of the RAS system or the renin-angiotensin system, we always see a worsening in heart failure. And this is very much described in the literature. And, for those of you who may work in the emergency room, ask your patients what they were doing before coming in with their episode of congestive heart failure or chest pain. And you’re going to hear stories like, I was watching a bad movie, or I was watching a war movie, or I got upset over the football game, or something like that.
We’ll talk about heart rate variability, which gets impacted by stress. And, of course, stress affects our ability to resist infections. And we know that people are under stress when they’re vaccinated. For example, Cleco lasers work but don’t produce antibodies to the vaccine when they’re under stress. And, of course, as you’ll see in a minute, severe stress can cause sudden cardiac death, MI, and so on. So it is a bad player that’s overlooked. And for many of our patients, stress drives the train. So when we’re talking about eating brussels sprouts and cauliflower and, you know, lots of green leafy vegetables, and someone is under so much stress that they’re trying to figure out, “How am I going to get through the day?” They’re not hearing any of the other things that we’re recommending.
So, chronic stress and affective disorders, whether depression, anxiety, or panic, put our foot on the accelerator and rev up the sympathetic nervous system. We know that the same things we see with aging, as you’ll see in a minute, are linked to increased levels of stress hormones, especially cortisol. So whether it’s osteoporosis, decreased bone density, endothelial dysfunction, platelet activation, hypertension, central obesity, or insulin resistance, this comes from a stress response. And we have to have a plan for our patients on how to handle this. American Institute of Stress says that 75 to 90% of all healthcare provider visits result from stress-related disorders. And that’s way too high, but by looking at the patients and where they were coming in with, they tell their stories to their doctors. The results are the same; it doesn’t matter whether it was headaches, muscle tension, angina, arrhythmia, or irritable bowel; it almost always had some stress trigger.
Acute & Chronic Stress
Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: There’s a difference between acute and chronic stress with our perception and social connection. Even though we gain some strength from a higher power, stress can impact anyone, and most of us might not be able to handle it well. So a great study was done many years ago by Dr. Ray and Holmes that stated, 50 years ago, put together a method for quantifying life-changing events. So let’s look at some areas, such as life-changing events. How do life-changing events and how do they rank? Which are the big ones, and which are the little ones?
And how does that ranking lead to major medical problems like cancer, heart attack, and sudden death in the future? So they looked at 43 life-changing events, ranked them originally, and re-ranked them in the 1990s. And some of them remained the same. They gave an adjustment score to the event, and then they looked at numbers that would be linked to major illness. So, for example, a life-changing event. Number one, 100 life-changing units, is a death of a spouse. Anyone could relate to that. Divorce was number two, separation number three, and the end of a close family member. But also noticed that some things got ranked that are, you might not equate with, being a major life-changing event that can impact a stress response like marriage or retirement.
Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: So it wasn’t the actual single event that made the difference. It was the adding up of events. And what they found after looking at 67 physicians was if you had a life-changing unit score of somewhere between zero and one 50, not a big deal, no real major illness, but once you hit that 300 mark, there was a 50% chance of major illness. So this timeline of events in the patient’s life. We want to know what was going on in their life when their symptoms started and then bring it back earlier to understand the environment in which this individual was living. The impact of stress can make many individuals develop chronic conditions and mask other symptoms that can lead to muscle and joint pain. In part 2, we will dive in more about how the impact of stress affects a person’s body and health.
Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents how hypertension affects the human body and how to find ways to manage the symptoms associated with hypertension affecting many individuals in this 2-part series. Part 1 looked into the various factors that correlate with hypertension, and part 2 looked at the different genes and body levels affected by hypertension. We refer our patients to certified medical providers who provide multiple available treatments for many people suffering from hypertension associated with the cardiovascular, endocrine, and immune systems affecting the body. We encourage each of our patients by mentioning them to associated medical providers based on their analysis appropriately. We understand that education is a delightful way when asking our providers questions at the patient’s request and understanding. Dr. Jimenez, D.C., only makes use of this information as an educational service. Disclaimer
What Are ADMA Levels In Hypertension
Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: Okay, so what affects ADMA levels? Upregulation of NRF-2 can decrease ADMA levels. So that’s great. So looking at things high in EGCG, think of green tea, sulforaphane, resveratrol, and exercises that reduce ADMA levels in the body. Improving blood sugar control improves ADMA levels, addressing the homocysteine pathway and looking at acidencial homocysteine. So this asks the question, what is the most common over-the-counter medication in the United States for gastroesophageal reflux or hyperacidity of the stomach that increases ADMA levels? And that is proton pump inhibitors, a poor diet, or elevated homocysteine. These are a couple of touch points on the ADMA that you can consider.
Let’s shift a little bit. Remember we talked about increased oxidative stress? There’s a whole enzyme system orchestra that addresses oxidative stress. And chronic oxidative stress can lead to hypertension. It also leads to fibrosis or gradual fibrosis of end organs. And so when you have elevated, reactive oxygen species, cell proliferation, migration changes, apoptosis changes, there’s increased inflammation. Reactive oxygen species make your tissue at the basal membrane level stiffer; your tissue becomes stiffer when you have increased oxidative stress. You start shifting with increased oxidative stress, extracellular matrix enzymes, and structure, and then you start getting endothelial dysfunction.
Many enzymes are influenced by nutrition and our genetic makeup that shift our balance of oxidative stress. Some of those enzymes are glutathione and glutathione peroxidase. The fifth enzyme down is GPX, which is the enzyme that helps us react to inflammation and toxins by altering the glutathione balance. We mentioned glutathione multiple times. We’ll talk about glutathione as a biomarker that you can check to assess oxidative stress in your patient. So is your oxidative stress because of mitochondrial dysfunction, or is your increased oxidative stress due to inflammation? We’ve seen this as a side effect in many patients, as increased inflammation leads to increased oxidative stress associated with increased mitochondrial dysfunction. This triangle is a matrix of interaction between the energy node, mitochondrial dysfunction, reactive oxygen species, and the defense and repair node inflammatory markers. We have seen this multiple in multiple different conditions.
How Oxidative Stress Is Associated With ADMA Levels?
Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: When we see oxidative stress findings in many different organ systems in many other conditions in our medical practices, in many patients, we often see all these chronic conditions associated with oxidative stress as part of their symptoms. When this happens, we have to consider how to modulate them by asking them a few simple questions. We would ask them what kind of spices and herbs they use when they cook. Or what is their diet plan? These questions are important to analyze and assist the patient because culinary spices can affect many aspects of our body’s metabolism that could influence blood pressure.
By looking at the list of various spices, it is important to add them to food preparations or to alter the taste of food to add flavor and improve your health. Another thing to look for when it comes to lowering blood pressure is by adding these various spices into your food as part of your daily routine and being referred to a health coach or a nutritionist, whose main job is to add more spices to a patient’s diet and coming up with numerous recipes that have these spices. Remember, it doesn’t take a lot; a teaspoon to a tablespoon of mixed herbs in your food throughout the day could help normalize your blood pressure.
How To Come Up With A Plan To Lower Hypertension
Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: Okay, how will you address oxidative stress, and what biomarkers might you look at? Well, oxidative stress affects many different levels of our cellular and subcellular levels. Oxidative stress can cause damaged DNA and change the fats in the membranes of the mitochondrial cell. It can induce increased lactation and disrupt protein structure in our bodies. So we start looking at total antioxidant capacity. Total antioxidant capacity is influenced by the nutritional adequacy of essential fats of too many simple carbohydrates of enough minerals, vitamins, and phytonutrients. So you can check glutathione levels in the serum, cysteine levels, enzymes, glutathione peroxidase, superoxide dismutase, and lipid peroxide on this list to see what is elevated in the body. You can check these different markers and get a clue of what portion of the cells or organ system is influenced by oxidative stress.
When we see these results, we need to develop a plan to increase the fat-soluble antioxidants, which can be fat and water-soluble, like alpha-lipoic acid. Or, say, for example, somebody has elevated eight-hydroxy-deoxy guanosine. What are the things that help you repair their DNA sequence? Well, it’s the components in one cellular, one-carbon metabolism. It’s your B vitamins. It’s methyl groups from essential fats. But then you have to ask, why is this elevated? Is it elevated because of micronutrient deficiency, mitochondrial toxicity, chronic inflammation, or hyperglycemia? So it’s common for your cardiometabolic patients to frequently see increased DNA oxidation marker eight-hydroxy-deoxy-guanosine.
Okay, those are biomarkers you can check in the urine or the blood. What’s another biomarker that you can check by looking at the nitric oxide angiotensin balance? What are ways that you can check endothelial function? What are ways that you can improve endothelial function even without checking? Well, there are different things that you can do to enhance nitric oxide. We’ve mentioned them before, like improving the bacterial balance, eating more flavonoids, increasing foods rich in nitrates, or even adding yoga to your regimen. There are ways that you can improve endothelial function without medications like sildenafil, as noted, that could potentially correlate with sleep apnea. It may address whether they have sleep apnea, need a mandibular split, and address some of the conditions they carry with them. Or, at the very bottom, it may manage their high-fat meals.
Okay, if you have somebody on a ketogenic diet, you must recognize potential oxidative stress and address it with your patients. So what are some early ways to detect vascular or endothelial dysfunction? One of the outpatient tools you can use is the vascular reactivity index. This detects vascular disease and looks at the pliability of the flexibility of the small capillaries and how well you profuse tissue downstream of an obstruction. So instead of looking at coronary arteries or carotids, it’s looking down at the level of the arterial, and we look at what’s called reactive hyperemia. So, it gives you some prognostic inflammation.
Measuring Blood Pressure
Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: And there have been studies that follow people with reactive hyperemia to look at endothelial dysfunction and how that interacts with the Framingham risk score. And we know that when somebody has an abnormal index that predicts cardiovascular events, combining it with the end path lowers the lower endothelial function readings, which is associated with long-term cardiovascular disease. So how does it happen? You put a blood pressure cuff on your arm with a monitor on your finger. You blow the blood pressure cuff up to obstruct blood flow. You then, after five minutes, release it, and your vascular response to that surge of blood after having the blood flow occluded predicts hypertension and coronary heart disease. On the left, you see the normal endothelial function; the blue line on the top graph on the left is the obstruction of blood flow.
And then, after five minutes, you release the cuff, and you see this almost bell-shaped flow of blood down to the capillaries. You know the response, the endothelial function. That is a normal curve on the right. It is poor endothelial function. You can see there are no signs of arterial capillary flexibility. And so this is predictive up to seven years later. So then you ask yourself, is there anything that can improve endothelial function when I expect endothelial function dysfunction, or do I have an abnormal vascular reactivity index? And yes, let’s choose one as an example. Eating blueberries twice a day or taking them in powder form is rich in anthocyanins. To that point, you can add them to a smoothie that you have incorporated into your diet and have antioxidants in your system. The anthocyanins and their metabolites can help improve vascular function while increasing the mediated flow dilation and lowering 24-hour systolic blood pressure.
We use a lot of carotid in medial thickness because if I have somebody with hyperlipidemia, hyperglycemia, or hypertension, I want to use it as a leverage point to see if they have inflammation, their carotid bull or their internal carotid on each side to track to see if we’re getting systemic improvement in inflammation or can we get reversal with plaque. And so we’ve successfully done that through testing our clinic, advanced lipids, and education through group medical visits along with lifestyle interventions with nutraceuticals. And we have had a reduction in plaque and mark modulation and improvement in inflammation. If you don’t do anything helpful, the average increase in carotid intimal medial thickness per year is between 10 and 20% of the abnormal level. You can use this as a tool, as an outpatient, very easily to monitor the reduction in systemic vascular inflammation in plaque.
Looking At The Emerging Markers
Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: Some other emerging markers, like HSCRP, uric acid, heavy metals, nutritional deficiencies, and TMAO, correlate with hypertension. And by improving those markers, you get improvement in blood pressure. Here’s the thing to remember. When you look at an HSCRP and see that it’s above one, here’s the connection. Now HSCRP inhibits endothelial nitric oxide synthase. So when you see an elevated HSCRP, you make a connection to lower nitric oxide. If you see an elevated HSCRP that downregulates the angiotensin-two receptors, it can increase blood pressure and is associated with increased cardiovascular risk.
How often do you check uric acid? It’s important to prevent uric acid in hypertensive patients. If it’s above six, you need to address it. How do you manage elevated uric acid levels? Well, by removing purine-rich foods or improving the metabolism of urine through your one carb metabolism, b12, fully b6, limiting their alcohol or avoiding a lot of extra high fructose sugar or improving their body weight, or addressing insulin resistance. All these mediate uric acid. If you have somebody who’s hyperemic, remember these five areas of modifiable physiologic imbalance. So I hope you’ve seen that hypertension is a syndrome. It’s not one thing; it’s not stiffness; it’s a syndrome in that you have three areas that you have to consider inflammation, oxidative stress, and immune response. You can look at a lot of the different imbalances around this dial.
Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: You can look at your patient; you can look at what ways you can further evaluate them. And so, when you see a patient with hypertension, consider the treatments outlined in your clinical decision tree. And then, you can apply the modifiable lifestyle factors and the things to lower their blood pressure. Incorporating these lifestyle applications can improve the root cause and help you find the root cause of hypertension through the functional medicine lens.
Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents how hypertension affects the human body and some causes that can increase hypertension in many individuals in this 2-part series. We refer our patients to certified medical providers who provide multiple available treatments for many individuals suffering from hypertension associated with the cardiovascular and immune systems affecting the body. We encourage each of our patients by mentioning them to associated medical providers based on their analysis appropriately. We understand that education is a delightful way when asking our providers questions at the patient’s request and understanding. Dr. Jimenez, D.C., only makes use of this information as an educational service. Disclaimer
How To Look For Hypertension
Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: Let’s go back to the decision tree so you can begin to think about how you will apply the go-to-it model in functional medicine to hypertension and how you will start better assessing somebody with hypertension rather than telling them that their blood pressure is elevated. Is the body influenced by inflammation, oxidative stress, or immune response? Is it affecting endothelial function or vascular smooth muscle from those three categories of reactions, inflammation, oxidative stress, or immune response? Do we choose a diuretic calcium channel blocker or an ACE inhibitor? And so to do that, it’s really important in our gather section. Taking the medical history and the timeline of their hypertension, you get a clue about the organ damage to the questionnaires. You’re looking at their anthropometrics.
This includes the following questions:
What are the inflammatory markers?
What are the biomarkers and clinical indicators?
Those are outlined through the clinical decision tree. And already just doing that, you’re going to expand and fine-tune your lens on what you might see in your hypertensive patient. Let’s add to the timeline when does hypertension begin? The timeframe of hypertension begins actually in prenatally. It’s important to ask your patient if they were early or large educational age. Was their mother stressed? Were they born early or premature? Was there nutritional stress in their pregnancy? If they know that, you can have two people with the same kidney size, but the person who didn’t have enough protein during pregnancy can have up to 40% less glomeruli. Knowing that will change how you adjust the medication decades later if you know they possibly have 40% less glomeruli.
The Timeline For Blood Pressure
Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: So it’s important to take the timeline of their blood pressure. Then it’s also important to recognize what is happening when we begin to organize and collect data through the biomarkers; the basic biomarkers will give you clues about whether they have issues with insulin lipids, whether they have problems with vascular reactivity, autonomic nervous system balance, imbalance, coagulation, or immune toxin effects. So this is a reasonable thing to print off because, in your hypertensive patient, this is through just the biomarkers you can begin to get a clue as to what areas of dysfunction affect inflammation, oxidative stress, and immune response and how these biomarkers reflect that information for you. This is very reasonable to have in front of you to help change your thoughts about hypertension and also enables you to refine some of the characteristics of the person on the other side of your stethoscope in a more personalized, precise way.
But let’s start at the very beginning. Does your patient have high blood pressure? We know that depending on the end organ effects of their comorbidities, you may run someone a slightly higher blood pressure if you have a profusion issue in the brain and the kidneys or the heart, but some guidelines are there. Our 2017 American Heart Association guidelines for blood pressure categories are listed here. They’ve waxed and waned back and forth over the last couple of decades, but this is very clear. Having elevated blood pressure, anything above 120, really shifted how many people we start seeing or considering addressing the root causes of their blood pressure. So we will come back to this, especially in the case to help us look at how we categorize people with blood pressure issues.
The Criteria To Mesure Blood Pressure
Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: What is the first step? It’s how do you have the blood pressure taken in your patient? Do they monitor it at home? Do they bring those numbers to you? How do you monitor blood pressure in your clinic? How do you get accurate readings in your clinic? Here are the criteria to accurately measure blood pressure and the questions to consider whether you’re doing all these.
Do you ask your patient whether they’ve had caffeine in the last hour?
Whether they’ve smoked in the previous hour?
Were they exposed to smoke in the last hour?
Is the place where you’re taking blood pressure warm and quiet?
Are they sitting with their back supported in a chair with their feet on the ground?
Do you use the roll-around side table to rest your arm at the heart level?
Are they sitting at the exam table with their feet dangling, and a nurse aide elevates their arm and puts in their axillary fold to hold their arm there?
Are their feet on the ground?
Have they sat there for five minutes?
Have they exercised in the previous 30 minutes?
You may have systolic blood pressure if everything is in the criteria. Here’s the challenge. There are 10 to 15 millimeters of mercury higher when it comes to sitting and taking blood pressure. What about the cuff size? We know last century; most adults had an upper arm circumference of fewer than 33 centimeters. Over 61% of people now have an upper arm circumference greater than 33 centimeters. So the size of the cuff is different for around 60% of your adult patients, depending on your population. So you have to use a large cuff. So take a look at how blood pressure is collected in your office. Let’s say the blood pressure is elevated in your patients; then we have to ask, is it normal? Great.
The Different Types Of Hypertension
Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: Is it elevated because of white-coat hypertension? Do they have normal blood pressure, elevated outside the clinic, or masked hypertension? Or do they just have sustained hypertension which is a challenge? We’ll talk about that. So when you interpret, it is also important to consider ambulatory blood pressure monitoring. So if you have somebody who’s hypertensive and don’t know whether the blood pressure goes down and you’re trying to figure out whether they have sustained hypertension, you can use 24-hour blood pressure monitoring. The mean daytime blood pressure above 130 over 80 is hypertensive the mean nighttime blood pressure above 110 over 65 is hypertensive. So why is this important? The average blood pressure dips to around 15% at night because of the issue with blood pressure dipping. Failure to have blood pressure drop while you sleep at night could develop problems that can affect a person throughout the day.
If your patient sleeps at night, it should drop about 15% when they sleep. If they have non-dipping blood pressure, it is associated with comorbidities. What are some of those comorbidities in non-dipping blood pressure? Some of the conditions correlated with non-dipping blood pressure include:
Congestive Heart Disease
Congestive Heart Failure
Chronic Renal Failure
Silent Cerebral Infractions
Co-morbidities Associated With Non-Blood Pressure
Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: These are the comorbidities associated with non-blood pressure. All of us agree that elevated blood pressure is not necessarily good in all those conditions. So when you look at different people groups or other comorbidities, non-dipping blood pressure is most commonly associated with sodium-sensitive folks, people who have renal insufficiency, people who have diabetes, people who have left ventricular hypertrophy, people who have refractory hypertension or autonomic nervous system dysfunction and finally, sleep apnea. So, non-dipping blood pressure increases your association with subclinical cardiac damage. Okay, Reverse dipping means you are more hypertensive at night and is more ascent associated than during the day is more related to hemorrhagic stroke. And if you have somebody with nocturnal hypertension, you have to start thinking about things like the carotid arteries and increased carotid, internal medial thickness. You start thinking about left ventricular hypertrophy and may see it on EKG. Here’s what we know about nocturnal hypertension. Nocturnal hypertension is a nighttime blood pressure greater than 120 over 70. It is associated with greater predictability of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.
If you have nocturnal hypertension, it increases your risk of mortality from cardiovascular disease by 29 to 38%. We must know what’s happening at night when we sleep, right? Well, what’s another refinement? Another refinement is recognizing that resting blood pressure is controlled by your renin-angiotensin system. Waking blood pressure is controlled by your sympathetic nervous system. So let’s talk about how their renal angiotensin system drives their nighttime hypertension, and you think about what medication they’re taking. You might change the medication dosing to nighttime. Well, studies have shown that if you have nighttime hypertension and are a non-dipper, it’s best to take your ACE inhibitors, ARBs, calcium channel blockers, and certain beta blockers at night before bed. But it makes sense that you wouldn’t move your diuretics to nighttime, or you will have a disruptive sleep.
Addressing Daytime & Nighttime Blood Pressure
Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: So if we don’t address daytime and nighttime blood pressure, we have to consider the effect of blood pressure load. What is your average daytime blood pressure and your moderate sleeping blood pressure is. We know that blood pressure load in young adults is hypertensive only about 9% of the time. So meaning the systolic load is about 9% versus in the elderly, about 80% of the blood pressure load is systolic. And so when you have a higher systolic load, you have more complications and end-organ damage. So what we’re talking about is helping identify your patient with hypertension; what is their timeline? What is their phenotype? Are they only hypertensive during the day, or they’re hypertensive at night also? We have to look at what helps balance that.
Here’s the other point, only about 3.5% of people with hypertension do it have a genetic cause. Only 3.5% of people their genes cause hypertension. The power is at the bottom of the matrix and recognizing these patterns, right? So you look at exercise, sleep, diet, stress, and relationships. So we know that these four autonomic balances help determine blood pressure. We will examine the renal angiotensin system, plasma volume where they hold onto too much fluid, secondary salt load, and endothelial dysfunction. Abnormalities in any of these can lead to hypertension. We’ve been talking about another one that can lead to hypertension: the link between insulin resistance and hypertension.
This diagrammatically gives you an idea of the physiologic interactions between insulin resistance and hypertension. It affects increasing sympathetic tone and increasing renal-angiotensin system balance. So let’s spend a few minutes on the renin-angiotensin system pathway angiotensinogen down to angiotensin two. We take advantage of these enzymes by giving inhibitors to angiotensin-converting enzymes in our hypertensives patients. Elevated angiotensin two leads to cardiovascular hypertrophy, leads to sympathetic phase constriction, increased blood volume, sodium fluid, retention, and aldosterone release. Can you inquire about your patient biomarkers? Can you ask whether they have elevated renin levels?
Look For The Signs
Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: Well, you can. You can check plasma renin activity and aldosterone levels. It’s important to do this if your patient is hypertensive and has never been on medication because this is where nitrous oxide is so important. This is where your endothelial nitric oxide synthase is present. This is where you have sheer and hemodynamic stress. This is where dietary intake of arginine or the environment that affects nitric oxide plays such a role in the health of this layer of endothelia. If you lay it all together somehow, miraculously, or at least in your mind’s eye, it’ll cover six tennis courts in the average adult. It’s a huge surface area. And the things that cause endothelial dysfunction are not new news to people in functional medicine. Increased oxidative stress and inflammation are two things we mentioned that play an effect.
And then, look at some of these other components, your ADMA being elevated and correlated with insulin resistance. It all begins to form together in a matrix that interacts. So you look at one comorbidity in cardiometabolic syndrome, and it affects another comorbidity. You suddenly see the interrelation between them or hyperhomocysteinemia, which is a one-carbon metabolism marker, meaning you’re looking at the adequacy of folate, b12, b6, riboflavin, and that activity of your one-carbon metabolism. So let’s look at some of these emerging risk markers to improve and track in patients with hypertension. Let’s reanalyze ADMA again. ADMA stands for asymmetric dimethyl arginine. Asymmetric, dimethyl arginine is a biomarker of endothelial dysfunction. That molecule inhibits nitric oxide synthase while impairing endothelial function, and in all of the comorbidities associated with cardiometabolic syndrome, ADMA can be elevated.
So, as a quick review, L-arginine is converted to nitric oxide via nitric oxide synthase, and nitric oxide adequacy leads to vasodilation. ADMA blocks this conversion. And if your ADMA levels are elevated and your nitric oxide levels are low, then you have decreased nitric oxide platelet aggregation increases in LDL oxidation. So many things reduce nitric oxide or are associated with lower nitric oxide levels, sleep apnea, low dietary arginine, protein, zinc insufficiency, and smoking.
Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents how anti-inflammatory phytochemicals can reduce inflammation and treat other chronic conditions that inflammation is correlated with. We dive into what medicines can trigger inflammatory cytokines and some treatments that work together to reduce chronic inflammation. We refer our patients to certified medical providers incorporating multiple therapies for many individuals suffering from chronic inflammation and its correlating symptoms affecting the body. We encourage each of our patients by mentioning them to associated medical providers based on their analysis appropriately. We understand that education is a delightful way when asking our providers questions at the patient’s request and understanding. Dr. Jimenez, D.C., only makes use of this information as an educational service. Disclaimer
How Medications Associate With Inflammation
Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: When it comes to a person’s health and wellness, it is important to know that when you are introducing them to potential antigenic medication, that person’s immune system is already imbalanced and much more likely to make abnormal immune responses, which then can lead to inflammatory effects in the body’s system. You see them mostly with chimeric human marine antibodies, which are the ones that make antibodies for the immune system, to that point, will elicit a much higher immune response. When this happens, it becomes a challenge to long-term pharmacotherapy. So when people go to their doctors for a prescription, about 20-30% of medication prescriptions are never filled because, most of the time, the prescription will never fill them in the drugstore, which can cascade into various issues.
And when people follow their prescription, sometimes they’ll take it for a little while, and after six months, they stop taking it. So the drop in prescriptions taken for longer than six months is quite low. In the last article, we discussed NSAIDs, DMARDs, and biologics, and we will touch base with acetaminophen. Acetaminophen is another one that’s just really widely used, and it’s because it’s put into all of these different cold and flu, and pain products. They sneak it into many other medications; you must read the labels. This is because some people metabolize acetaminophen quickly, which can become toxic. This can lead to individuals getting random headaches throughout the day and causes their glutathiones to be used promptly. So when looking for cold and flu medicine, it is best to look at the labels for acetaminophen because it doesn’t have anti-inflammatory responses since it is used for pain control.
How Acetaminophen Affects the Immune System
Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: So even though we do not know how exactly how the analgesic effects work when people take cold and flu medicines, however, we do know that when people take a ubiquitous amount of acetaminophen, it could increase the pain threshold by inhibiting nitric oxide pathways in the body through mediation through the receptors for NMDA and substance P. We still don’t have a great handle on that, but that’s how it works. So, these drugs can be quite useful in the short term, but long-term use has serious side effects.
When looking for medications, it is important to read the labels that have a black box warning, which is the highest warning that the FDA issues for any potential overlapping risk profiles that the FDA issues. This can include severe liver injuries or serious possible allergic reactions that can develop into chronic inflammation of the muscles and joints. Now there are ways to reduce inflammation and prevent the body from being in more pain by slowly introducing anti-inflammatory botanicals and phytochemicals to detoxify the medication causing these complications.
Some individuals may not realize that constant medication for various pains and issues affecting the body can mask other problems involving the body’s systems. This can include:
When these systems have been affected by medications, they can develop inflammatory markers in the vital organs and cause lead to visceral-somatic dysfunction in the body. When pain medications target pain localized in one location, but the issue is in a different area, this is known as referred pain. Referred pain is where the pain is in one muscle group location but is felt in another area of the body. When the organs are involved, it can cause inflammatory symptoms in the system. To that point, this causes the immune system to be induced into autoimmunity.
How The Immune System Is Induced Into Autoimmunity
Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: When the immune system has been induced with autoimmunity, the corticosteroids can develop side effects that can be long termed and delay the healing process. Some of the physical symptoms that are visible with autoimmunity include:
High blood pressure
Delay wound healing
When dealing with these inflammatory symptoms associated with pain, there are fundamental functional treatment approaches that can reduce the inflammatory cytokines causing joint and muscle pain.
Treatments To Target Inflammation
Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: Some of the treatments that target inflammation include the following:
Slowly incorporating healthy lifestyle choices into a person’s daily lifestyle can reduce the effects of inflammatory cytokines affecting the vital organs, muscles, and joints. It is important to know that incorporating antioxidants, phytonutrients, and anti-inflammatory supplements can reduce residual symptoms in the body. All these treatments are some of the foundations that can address these inflammatory triggers and help reduce muscle and joint pain associated with inflammation.
Anti-Inflammatory Vitamins & Supplements
Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: Another important note about these treatments is that vitamins and supplements can combine to help treat inflammatory effects that are causing issues in the body. These anti-inflammatory botanicals and phytochemical agents can not only act on the different pathways in the body but also have different mechanisms similar to healthy nutritional foods. Incorporating anti-inflammatory botanicals and phytochemical agents into the body will help modulate the inflammatory cascades and provide multiple synergistic activities to the body.
These agents down-regulate the inflammatory pathways caused by NF-kappaB. They can act as modulators that dissociate the cytokines from causing more issues like oxidative stress or infections triggering inflammation. However, we need inflammation to heal the body from wounds and infections. We mustn’t want the cytokines too high to cause inflammatory effects. So incorporating anti-inflammatory botanicals and phytochemicals provides a much safer option to the body and can be used in many chronic inflammatory conditions.
Since many botanicals and phytochemicals have anti-inflammatory properties, it can be difficult to find a good amount that the body needs to reduce chronic inflammation. Since many cultures and places have used many nutritional plants and herbs for years worldwide, it can be exhausting. Some of the botanical supplements include:
Green tea extract
To summarize how it is important to know which supplements have anti-inflammatory properties, doing research and incorporating small changes into a daily lifestyle can provide amazing results and allow the individual to be pain-free and have good health when combining botanicals and phytonutrients.
Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents how anti-inflammatory botanicals and phytochemicals can reduce inflammatory cytokines that can cause pain-like issues in the body. We dive into how different pharmaceuticals could influence NF-kappaB and how chronic conditions can affect inflammation. We refer our patients to certified providers that incorporate techniques and multiple therapies for many individuals suffering from inflammation, and its correlating symptoms can affect the musculoskeletal system. We encourage and appreciate each patient by referring them to associated medical providers based on their diagnosis when it is appropriate. We understand that education is a fantastic way when asking our providers intricated questions at the patient’s request and understanding. Dr. Jimenez, D.C., only utilizes this information as an educational service. Disclaimer
How Does The Body Deal With Inflammation
Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: Our objectives are to look at the evidence for using selective phytochemicals and botanicals as anti-inflammatory and analgesic agents. Controlled studies have grown into mass numbers over the years, and we can feel more confident in some of their findings because a lot of these studies have been done with good-quality investigators and well-designed studies. And even though we get those studies published, the problem is that we rarely hear about them. The media needs to pick them up, and they usually don’t make it into the medical community despite their studies. If you compare that to when pharmaceutical research is done, you know it often makes the headlines and news. Let’s look at some of these botanicals and phytochemicals today.
In autoimmune conditions, pain is a huge issue in the body, and we also want to use its analgesic properties. And then, we have to identify the most appropriate phytochemicals and botanicals for specific inflammatory and pain conditions. So, before we jump into that, we want to review some of the mechanisms of the pharmaceuticals that are very commonly prescribed for inflammatory and autoimmune conditions. Even some of the newer biologics we’ve referred to a little bit, we want to look into them and, and look at how they work and some of their drawbacks, and then we’ll delve into these botanicals that are at our disposal. So it is important to remind anyone that all degenerative diseases have this pro-inflammatory state or inflammation as part of their underlying biochemical ideology. And that inflammation is a final common pathway for all these different dysfunctions. Diabetes, Alzheimer’s, atherosclerosis, cancer, and even some psychiatric disorders like schizophrenia and depression all have inflammation as one of their root causes. Now in this module, we’re focusing on the ones that are in the circles and these.
As you know, most chronic diseases are linked to excessive, persistent inflammation. We’ve pounded that point home well enough, as chronic inflammation occurs when the injury is ongoing or when a predisposed immune system just doesn’t shut off. It fails at counter-regulation and acute inflammation, which is beneficial; however, it can turn into a chronic inflammation if left untreated. Many chronic diseases have been associated with excessive or persistent inflammation. When it comes to chronic inflammation develops when an injury or traumatic event is ongoing, causing the muscles to tense up or when the immune system begins to attack the body when there are no pathogens that are affecting the body. And that the conventional pharmacological treatment focuses on specific pathways that are often really downstream in that inflammatory process, and from a functional medicine perspective, we want to look a bit more upstream to figure out what is the cause of chronic inflammation that is causing this many issues to this person and how anti-inflammatory botanicals and phytochemicals can dampen these inflammatory effects in the body.
How Do Pharmaceuticals Affect The Body?
Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: One of the factors that can enhance inflammatory markers is pharmaceutical drugs. So, for example, pharmacologic controls like NSAIDs can inhibit the COX enzyme, while leukotriene inhibitors inhibit the LOX enzyme. DMARDs can affect various immune mechanisms that can influence the development of chronic inflammation. Biologics can inhibit multiple cytokines in the body, including the TNF-alpha and steroids, which can affect NF-kappaB and phospholipase-A2. So there are numerous ways to influence the inflammatory pathway and cause muscle and joint pain issues.
Pharmaceuticals are not the only factors that can cause inflammatory triggers to affect the body; it can be the food we eat or the environment that we live in that can trigger NF-kappaB, which disassociates from I-kappaB while going into the nucleus and binding to the DNA. That point leads to the transcription of many different genes. The body’s genes not only make DNA but can make RNA. When the body makes RNA, it is then biotransformed into DNA, leading to the turning of different inflammatory pathways. So when the pharmaceutical starts entering the body, it can inhibit the other cytokines and enzymes from turning on and cause chronic inflammation, thus causing the anti-inflammatory markers to dampen and causing the immune system to focus on the NF-kappaB.
Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: So let’s start looking at the non-steroidal anti-inflammatories or NSAIDs, which are ubiquitous as they are very common for many people to reach for when they are in pain. And the reason they use them is that they do work. NSAIDs inhibit cyclooxygenase enzymes and prevent those inflammatory prostaglandins, which cause inflammation and pain in the muscles or joints. Now paracetamol is on here, or acetaminophen is not technically an NSAID, but we will look at that separately.
But these NSAIDs, you know, aren’t without issues, as 70 million prescriptions for NSAIDs are written in the U.S. annually. And that over-the-counter uses included 30 billion doses of NSAIDs. That’s an enormous amount, and it’s no wonder most of us have taken them; we’re part of that 30 billion. However, that amount can lead to a leaky gut in our body system. We know their association with peptic ulcers and G.I. bleeding while inhibiting that resolving pathway, which is important to shut off the inflammatory response. So let’s look at DMARDs or disease-modifying anti-rheumatic agents. They’re the first-line therapy for rheumatoid arthritis. And one of the reasons they’re the first line of treatment is that they’re inexpensive but are slow acting and do decrease inflammation, but they don’t work very well to relieve pain directly.
So methotrexate is hydroxychloroquine, or Plaquenil is a very well-known one right now, especially with its use today. Still, methotrexate inhibits RNA and DNA synthesis, which has been used as a chemotherapy agent in cancer. And when it inhibits, it affects the dihydrofolate reductase, which is needed to make DNA and RNA; however, it also suppresses T and B-cell activation while inhibiting IL1 beta from binding to its receptors. So, unfortunately, even though they’re the first-line therapy, they come with several fairly severe side effects. But we keep talking about this idea of side effects; it’s no side effects. They’re the direct effects of the medication.
The Effects Of Pharmaceuticals
Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: You know, they may be unwanted effects like rashes, stomach upset, liver, bone marrow, toxicity, congenital disabilities, and, of course, which we’ll see repeatedly. Any time that you shut down your immune system, you open yourself up for infections. So you become much more susceptible to infections. So, look at these biological DMARDs, which work as TNF-alpha blockers. These biological DMARDs work by curbing either T-cell activation or blocking TNF, which is the most common one, but they also can stop things like IL-six, deplete T-cells, and work in other ways. These biologics are called biologics because they’re actually monoclonal antibodies. And so these monoclonal antibodies, as antibodies do, they have very strong specific binding affinities.
And so, using antibodies as medications has been a great advance. Now, as we’re going to see, they may not be the ultimate solution for treating autoimmune disease, but they hold a lot of promise, especially when we need their specificity. So there are many chronic conditions that NSAIDs DMARDs or Biologic DMARDs that can mask inflammation and cause pain to the muscles and joints. Some of the chronic conditions include:
Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: These pharmaceuticals can reduce the pain that the person is experiencing with these conditions, but they are short-termed and only mask the issue until a person goes into treatment. When a person has an autoimmune or chronic disorder associated with inflammation, the cost of any medication is high. Even though good pharmaceuticals are important, we need to look at treatments that can examine the lesser-known or rarer conditions that can reduce the inflammatory effects that cause joint and muscle pain. Incorporating anti-inflammatory botanicals and supplements like:
Green Tea Extract
All have anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce inflammatory cytokines from the muscle and joints and combine with physical therapy. Physical therapy can allow the body to heal itself and will enable the individual to be pain-free naturally.
The hips in the lower portions of the body allow the legs to move the host from one location to another and provide stability to support the upper body’s weight. The hips will enable the torso to twist and turn without feeling pain. This is due to the various muscles and ligaments surrounding the pelvic bone and hip joint socket that allow the motion to be possible. However, when various injuries or factors start to affect the multiple muscles surrounding the pelvis or there is a chronic condition like osteoarthritis that causes wear and tear on the hip joints can cause underlying symptoms associated with the hips and cause many individuals to have difficulty when moving around. Luckily there are ways to improve hip mobility and the surrounding muscles in the hip and pelvic region of the body. Today’s article looks at the causes of the development of tight hips in the body and how different stretches can release tight hip flexor muscles. We refer our patients to certified providers that incorporate techniques and multiple therapies for many individuals suffering from hip pain and its correlating symptoms that can affect the musculoskeletal system in the hips, legs, and lumbar region of the spine. We encourage and appreciate each patient by referring them to associated medical providers based on their diagnosis when it is appropriate. We understand that education is a fantastic way when asking our providers intricated questions at the patient’s request and understanding. Dr. Jimenez, D.C., only utilizes this information as an educational service. Disclaimer
Have you been dealing with hip mobility issues? When you sit, do you feel uncomfortable, and your hip muscles become tight? Or do you have a decreased range of motion when moving your hips? It could correlate with your hips if you have been experiencing muscle pain issues in the lower extremities. The hips help stabilize the upper and lower portions of the body while providing the full leg’s range of motion. When a person begins to sit for long periods or twist their body in a weird position, it can cause the muscles that surround the hips to become shortened. Other issues, like chronic conditions, can play a role in developing tight hip flexors. Studies reveal that various pathologies affecting the hips, lumbar spine, and lower extremities could strongly correlate with restricted hip mobility that can cause harmful effects that can affect the hips. To that point, some of the symptoms associated with tight hip flexors include:
Limited range of motion
Reduce muscle strength in the groin
Sharp, sudden pain in the hips, pelvis, or groin
Low back pain
Other research studies mentioned that hypermobility disorders could affect the hip joints. Hypermobility disorders like EDS (Ehlers-Danlos syndrome) could cause micro or macro-trauma on the hip joint and affect the ligaments surrounding the hip joint. To that point, it can cause the hip flexor muscles to become tense and potentially affect how a person moves, which then causes soft tissue injuries and chronic pain.
Hip Flexor Stretches-Video
Do you feel tight along your hips? Do you see yourself hobbling around when walking? Or do you feel aches or strains when stretching? Many of these issues correlate with tight hip flexors that could result from hip pain in the lower extremities. When a person has tight hip flexors, it could be due to them constantly sitting down, causing the hip muscles to be shortened, or chronic conditions that can affect the hip joint and muscles. However, there are various ways to prevent tight hip flexors and regain mobility back to the hips. Studies reveal that stretching combined with core stabilization can help improve the hip’s range of motion while ensuring core endurance exercises can help strengthen the surrounding muscles in the hip area. The video above shows stretches targeting the hip flexor muscles and helps improve hip mobility.
Different Stretches To Release Tight Hip Flexors
Studies have shown that the hip flexor muscles are the main contributors to lumbar spine stability when releasing tight hip flexor muscles. So when there are tight hip flexors, it can cause overlapping risk profiles to the lumbar spine, which leads to pain and impairment in performance. The best way to reduce the pain-like symptoms associated with tight hip flexors is by stretching the lower half of the body to reduce muscle strain and tightness in the hip flexors. Additional studies have found that stretching combined with exercises targeting the low back can reduce the pain caused in the low back and help improve stability and strengthen the surrounding muscles located in the hips. Now it is important to remember that stretching for at least 5-10 minutes before and after working out allows the muscles to warm up and improve flexibility. Below are some different stretches that can release tight hip flexors.
High Crescent Lunge
While standing on the mat, take a step forward to allow your right foot to be in a staggard stance *Think in a lunge position.
Bend the front knee gently while keeping the back leg straight, as this allows the heel in the back leg to be lifted off the mat; the bent front knee enables the thigh to be parallel to the floor, and the right foot is pressed flat on the mat.
Square up the hips, so they face toward the mat’s front.
Extend the arm up towards the ceiling to stretch upwards while pressing into the mat to feel the hips stretch
Hold for five breaths before slowly rising out of the lunge position and repeating on the other side.
This stretch helps release tension in the hip flexors and quads while warming up the muscles and increasing blood flow to the legs.
Knee-To Chest Stretch
Lie on the mat with both legs extended out and feet flexed.
Pull on the left knee to the chest while keeping the right leg straight, and the lumbar portion of the back is pressed into the mat.
Hold the position while taking deep breaths for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
Release slowly and repeat on the right leg *You can lift both knees to your chest and rock slowly from side to side to relieve low back tension as an alternative.
This stretch is extremely helpful for tight hamstrings and allows the tense muscles on the hips and lower back to relax while increasing blood flow back to the muscles.
On the mat, sit with both legs extended out.
Cross the right leg over the left and place the other flat on the floor while the left foot is flexed
Place the right hand behind the body while the left elbow is on the right knee.
On inhale, press the right leg to the left while allowing the torso to twist on the right.
Take five breaths for a deeper stretch and switch sides to repeat the action with the left hand *If you have low back pain issues, the modified version allows you to use your left hand to pull the right quad in and out to the left and vice versa.
This stretch helps loosen tight muscles in the lower back, hips, and glutes. If you have sciatic nerve pain associated with piriformis syndrome, this stretch helps release muscle tension from the piriformis muscle aggravating the sciatic nerve.
Happy Baby Pose
Lie on the mat with both knees bent and feet on the ground.
On inhale, lift the feet off the ground and grab the outer sections of the feet with your hands.
Then gently pull the feet towards the chest and allow the knees to lower to the ground, on either side of the body, while keeping the back flat on exhale.
Hold the position for at least five breaths.
This stretch helps with the inner thigh muscles or hip adductors and helps them become loose and mobile without feeling any strain or tension.
On the mat, lie on your back and sides, and extend your arms while your feet are flat on the floor with your knees bent.
Press with your heels to lift the hips and allow the feet to walk a few steps toward the body. *Keep the feet and knees hip-width apart.
Clasp hands together underneath the body and press them into the mat
Hold the position for five breaths.
This stretch helps take the pressure off the hip muscles while strengthening the glutes and abdominal muscles.
When it comes to releasing tight hip flexors after sitting for a long time or having hip issues affecting your low back or pelvis, Doing different stretches that target the hips can reduce the pain and release tight muscles associated with other conditions that can affect the body. The hips are important to take care of since they provide mobility and stability to the upper and lower portions of the body. They support the upper body’s weight while providing a huge range of motion to the legs. Incorporating these different stretches can reduce the pain that they have been under and help warm up the other muscles that surround the lower extremities.
Lee, Sang Wk, and Suhn Yeop Kim. “Effects of Hip Exercises for Chronic Low-Back Pain Patients with Lumbar Instability.” Journal of Physical Therapy Science, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Feb. 2015, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4339134/.
Moreside, Janice M, and Stuart M McGill. “Hip Joint Range of Motion Improvements Using Three Different Interventions.” Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, U.S. National Library of Medicine, May 2012, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22344062/.
Reiman, Michael P, and J W Matheson. “Restricted Hip Mobility: Clinical Suggestions for Self-Mobilization and Muscle Re-Education.” International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Oct. 2013, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3811738/.
The various muscles and ligaments that encompass the back help protect the spine’s thoracic region. The spine has three sections: cervical, thoracic, and lumbar, which assist the body with bending, turning, and twisting. For the thoracic spine, various muscles like the rhomboid, trapezoid, and other superficial muscles provide functionality to the scapula or shoulder blades to stabilize the ribcage. When the body succumbs to injuries or traumatic forces, it can develop myofascial pain syndrome associated with upper back pain. Upper back pain can lead to unwanted symptoms affecting their quality of life. Fortunately, various exercises target the upper portion of the back and can strengthen multiple muscles from injuries. Today’s article looks at the effects of upper back pain in the body and shows a few stretches and exercises that can support the various muscle groups in the upper back region. We refer our patients to certified providers that incorporate techniques and multiple therapies for many individuals suffering from upper back pain and its correlating symptoms that can affect the musculoskeletal system in the neck, shoulders, and thoracic region of the spine. We encourage and appreciate each patient by referring them to associated medical providers based on their diagnosis when it is appropriate. We understand that education is a fantastic way when asking our providers intricated questions at the patient’s request and understanding. Dr. Jimenez, D.C., only utilizes this information as an educational service. Disclaimer
Have you been experiencing stiffness around or near your shoulder blades? Do you feel muscle strain when you are rotating your shoulders? Or does it hurt when you stretch your upper back in the morning? Many of these issues are signs and symptoms of upper back pain. Studies reveal that back pain is one of the most common complaints many individuals would go for emergency care. Back pain can affect the different regions in the back and cause unwanted symptoms in various areas in the upper back. Additional studies mentioned that persistent pain in the thoracic region could cause hyper-sensitization of the intercoastal nerves that mimic other conditions affecting the back. Some of the causes and effects that can lead to the development of upper back pain include:
When this happens, it can lead to overlapping conditions that mimic other issues and, if not treated right away, leave individuals with chronic disabling symptoms that correlate with upper back pain.
Upper Back Pain Relief-Video
Have you been experiencing stiffness in your shoulders or neck? Do you feel aches and pains when stretching your arms? Or what about feeling muscle strain when lifting a heavy object? Many of these factors correlate with upper back pain affecting the thoracic spine region. When this happens, it can lead to overlapping risk profiles that can develop into different issues that can cause even more pain to the body. There are various ways to prevent upper back pain from causing further issues to the individual and can relieve the pain associated with it. Many people would go to chiropractic therapy to have their spine re-aligned to bring adequate relief or incorporate upper back exercises and stretches to relieve tension accumulated in the neck and shoulder regions. The video above explains how stretches work for different muscle regions in the upper back and provide relief to the thoracic spine.
Exercises For Upper Back Pain
Regarding the upper back, it is important to understand that incorporating various exercises that target the thoracic region can cause prolonged injuries. Studies reveal that different back exercises focus not only on the back but the shoulders, arms, chest, core, and hips providing stability, balance, and coordination to the individual. This allows the muscles in the back region to improve strength and endurance over time when a person continues to work out. More studies reveal that protocols like the McKenzie back exercise are effective programs to treat various musculoskeletal conditions that can cause pain in the back. Many physical therapists use this protocol on their patients to relieve back pain and help improve their muscular structure to have better posture.
Just like any individual that is starting to get back to their health and wellness through exercise, the most important step that anyone has to do is warming up their muscles before getting into a workout. Warming up each muscle group can prevent future injuries and increase blood flow before starting the exercise. Many individuals would incorporate stretches and foam rolling for 5-10 minutes to ensure that each muscle is ready to perform with maximum effort.
After the body is warmed up, it is time to begin the exercise regime. Many different exercise movements target each muscle group and help build muscle mass and improve functionality. It is important to build up momentum when it comes to working out. Starting slowly with minimum reps and sets is important to ensure the exercise is done correctly. Afterward, the individual can increase the workout reps and go with a heavier weight. Below are some of the exercise routines that are suited for the upper back.
Lie on your stomach and extend your arms above the head
Keep neck in a neutral position and lift legs and arms off the floor at the same time
Make sure to use the back and glutes to lift
Briefly pause at the top, then return to starting position
Complete three sets of 10 reps
This exercise helps strengthen the spine and surrounding muscles to support the spine and reduce any future injuries from upper back pain.
Reverse Dumbbell Flies
Grab light weighted dumbbells
Hinge at the waist at 45 degrees while standing
Make sure the arms are hanging down with the weights
Keep the neck in a neutral position while gazing down
Lift the arms (with the dumbbells) out to the side and upwards
Squeeze the shoulders together at the top during this movement
Complete three sets of 8-12 reps
This exercise is excellent for strengthening the muscles that surround the shoulder and upper back.
Use a resistance band or a light weighted dumbbell.
For the resistance band, affix the band to a stable surface above eye level. For the light weighted dumbbells, extend the arms in front of the body above eye level.
Use an overhead grip when holding the resistance band handles and the light weighted dumbbells.
Pull resistance bands or dumbbells toward the face.
Flare out the upper arms to the sides
Squeeze the shoulders together
Pause for a bit and then return to starting position
Complete three sets of 12 reps
This exercise helps strengthen the shoulder muscles and prevent future injuries from occurring in the upper back.
Some various muscles and ligaments encompass the back and help protect the spine’s thoracic region. These muscles help with the stabilization of the ribcage and help provide the functionality to the upper back. When multiple factors cause traumatic injuries to the upper back, it can lead to pain-like symptoms that can cause overlapping features and affect a person’s quality of life. Luckily, various exercises target the upper back and surrounding muscle groups. Each activity targets all the muscles in the upper back and allows a person to regain health and wellness without constant pain.
Atalay, Erdem, et al. “Effect of Upper-Extremity Strengthening Exercises on the Lumbar Strength, Disability and Pain of Patients with Chronic Low Back Pain: A Randomized Controlled Study.” Journal of Sports Science & Medicine, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1 Dec. 2017, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5721192/.
Casiano, Vincent E, et al. “Back Pain – Statpearls – NCBI Bookshelf.” In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL), StatPearls Publishing, 4 Sept. 2022, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK538173/.
Mann, Steven J, et al. “McKenzie Back Exercises – Statpearls – NCBI Bookshelf.” In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL), StatPearls Publishing, 4 July 2022, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK539720/.
When issues like autoimmune disorders start to affect the body for no reason, it can lead to chronic problems and conditions that can affect the various muscles and vital organs that cause overlapping risk profiles to the host. The body is a complex machine that allows the immune system to release inflammatory cytokines to the affected area when a person has acute or chronic pain. So when a person has an autoimmune disorder like fibromyalgia, it can affect their quality of life while amplifying painful sensations in their musculoskeletal system. Today’s article focuses on fibromyalgia and its systems, how this autoimmune disorder correlates with myofascial pain syndrome, and how chiropractic care can help reduce fibromyalgia symptoms. We refer our patients to certified providers that incorporate techniques and various therapies for many individuals with fibromyalgia and its correlating symptoms, like myofascial pain syndrome. We encourage and appreciate each patient by referring them to associated medical providers based on their diagnosis when it is appropriate. We understand that education is a fantastic way when asking our providers intricated questions at the patient’s request and understanding. Dr. Jimenez, D.C., only utilizes this information as an educational service. Disclaimer
Have you been dealing with unquestionable pain that is affecting your daily life? Do you feel fatigued when you are barely getting out of bed? Or have you been dealing with brain fog and aches all over your body? Many of these symptoms overlap with an autoimmune disorder known as fibromyalgia. Studies reveal that fibromyalgia is an autoimmune condition characterized by widespread chronic musculoskeletal pain that can correlate with neurosensory disorders that affect the nervous system. Fibromyalgia can affect about 4 million adults in America and roughly 2% of the general adult population. When people with fibromyalgia go through a physical examination, the test results would appear to be normal. That is because fibromyalgia can include multiple tender points in specific body areas and manifest as a primary or secondary condition while extending far beyond the defining criteria. Additional studies reveal that the pathogenesis of fibromyalgia could potently be linked with other chronic factors that affect the following systems:
Many individuals, especially women, have fibromyalgia, which causes symptoms of multiple somato-visceral issues. To that point, it can often overlap and accompany fibromyalgia. Unfortunately, fibromyalgia is challenging to diagnose since the pain can last for several months to years. Studies have shown that even though fibromyalgia is challenging to diagnose when many other factors like genetics, immunological, and hormonal factors potentially play a part in this autoimmune disorder. Also, additional symptoms and specific diseases like diabetes, lupus, rheumatic diseases, and musculoskeletal disorder can be associated with fibromyalgia. Some of the following symptoms that many fibromyalgia individuals deal with include:
Have you been having trouble getting a good night’s sleep? Do you feel pain in different areas of your body? Or have you been dealing with cognitive issues like brain fog? Many of these symptoms correlate with an autoimmune disorder known as fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is an autoimmune disorder that is challenging to diagnose and can cause immense pain to the body. The video above explains how to notice the signs and symptoms of fibromyalgia and what associated conditions correlate with this autoimmune disorder. Since fibromyalgia causes widespread musculoskeletal pain, it can even affect the peripheral and central nervous systems. This causes the brain to send out neuron signals to cause an increase in sensitivity to the brain and spinal cord, which then overlaps with the musculoskeletal system. Since fibromyalgia causes pain to the body, it can present unrecognized symptoms that can be difficult to recognize and can be arthritis-related.
How Fibromyalgia Is Correlated With Myofascial Pain Syndrome
Since fibromyalgia can correlate with different chronic conditions, one of the most chronic disorders can mask the effects of fibromyalgia in the body: myofascial pain syndrome. Myofascial pain syndrome, according to Dr. Travell, M.D.’s book, “Myofascial Pain Syndrome and Dysfunction,” mentions that when a person has fibromyalgia causes musculoskeletal pain, overtime if not treated, can develop trigger points in the affected muscles. This causes muscle stiffness and tenderness in the taut muscle band. Additional studies mentioned that since myofascial pain syndrome and fibromyalgia have common muscular pain symptoms, they can cause tenderness and refer pain to different body locations. Fortunately, available treatments can help reduce the muscular pain symptoms caused by fibromyalgia associated with myofascial pain syndrome.
Chiropractic Care & Fibromyalgia Associated With Myofascial Pain
One of the available treatments that can help relieve the muscular pain from fibromyalgia associated with myofascial pain syndrome is chiropractic therapy. Chiropractic therapy is a safe, non-invasive treatment option that can help alleviate symptoms of body pain and swelling from a spinal subluxation. Chiropractic care uses manual and mechanical manipulation to re-align the spine and improve nerve circulation while increasing blood flow back to the joints and muscles. Once the body has been re-balanced from chiropractic therapy, the body can manage symptoms better and reduce the effects of fibromyalgia. Chiropractic therapy also provides a customized treatment plan and works with associated medical professionals to achieve maximum results and ensure the highest quality of life for the individual.
Fibromyalgia is one of the most common autoimmune disorders that affect most of the population and can be challenging to diagnose. Fibromyalgia is characterized by widespread chronic musculoskeletal pain that can correlate with neurosensory disorders and cause pain symptoms in the body. People with fibromyalgia also deal with myofascial pain syndrome, as both disorders cause muscle and joint pain. Luckily, treatments like chiropractic therapy allow spinal manipulation of the body to be re-aligned and restore functionality to the host. This reduces the symptoms caused by fibromyalgia and causes the individual to be pain-free and function normally.
Bhargava, Juhi, and John A Hurley. “Fibromyalgia – Statpearls – NCBI Bookshelf.” In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL), StatPearls Publishing, 10 Oct. 2022, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK540974/.
Gerwin, R D. “Myofascial Pain and Fibromyalgia: Diagnosis and Treatment.” Journal of Back and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1 Jan. 1998, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24572598/.
Simons, D. G., and L. S. Simons. Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual: Vol. 2:the Lower Extremities. Williams & Wilkins, 1999.
Siracusa, Rosalba, et al. “Fibromyalgia: Pathogenesis, Mechanisms, Diagnosis and Treatment Options Update.” International Journal of Molecular Sciences, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 9 Apr. 2021, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8068842/.
Inflammatory bowel disease, or IBD, causes inflammation of the digestive tract lining, which often involves the deeper layers. Gastrointestinal or GI problems of the stomach and intestines often include diarrhea, weight loss, rectal bleeding, fatigue, and back pain. The inflammation can reach the spine’s joints, causing stiffness, discomfort, and pain symptoms. Injury Medical Chiropractic and Functional Medicine Clinic can help manage symptoms and guide individuals on treatment options.
IBD Back Pain
IBD is a set of conditions associated with chronic or intermittent inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. It includes Crohn’s disease – CD and ulcerative colitis – UC. Although there are genetic components that predispose individuals to IBD, environmental factors appear to contribute the most. Research shows that IBD is likely related to disturbances in the gut’s flora, which include:
Other environmental factors associated with IBD include the long-term use of birth control pills and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs/NSAIDs. Research theorizes that as the gut becomes inflamed, its normal integrity and structure become compromised and begin to leak out, causing an immune system overreaction response. This can cause non-gastrointestinal symptoms that include:
IBD can cause low back pain as the IBD can inflame the spine’s joints, especially the sacrum, as well as cause abdominal cramps and rectal sensations that radiate to the low back area. However, irritation, inflammation, or infection of any central, abdominal, or pelvic organs can cause low back pain.
Both procedures take a biopsy of the intestinal tissues, which is studied to determine the extent and degree of inflammation.
Depending on the circumstances, an X-ray could be used to show the depth or extent of the condition.
A chiropractor can help individuals decrease or completely alleviate musculoskeletal symptoms by realigning the spine and pelvis and massaging, releasing, and relaxing the muscles, which increases circulation and soothes inflammation. The reason why chiropractic care can effectively treat IBD is its ability to stabilize the internal systems. When the central nervous system and immune system communicate and function properly, this prevents the immune system from attacking the body’s tissue cells, preventing inflammation. The chiropractic whole-body approach can also help with recommendations regarding lifestyle changes and nutritional anti-inflammatory modifications.
Danese S, Fiocchi C. Etiopathogenesis of inflammatory bowel diseases. World J Gastroenterol. 2006;12(30):4807-4812. doi:10.3748/wjg.v12.i30.4807
Limsrivilai, Julajak et al. “Systemic Inflammatory Responses in Ulcerative Colitis Patients and Clostridium difficile Infection.” Digestive diseases and sciences vol. 63,7 (2018): 1801-1810. doi:10.1007/s10620-018-5044-1
van Erp, S J et al. “classifying Back Pain and Peripheral Joint Complaints in Inflammatory Bowel Disease Patients: A Prospective Longitudinal Follow-up Study.” Journal of Crohn’s & colitis vol. 10,2 (2016): 166-75. doi:10.1093/ecco-jcc/jjv195
Zeitz, Jonas, et al. “Pain in IBD Patients: Very Frequent and Frequently Insufficiently Taken into Account.” PloS one vol. 11,6 e0156666. 22 Jun. 2016, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0156666
The body is a complex machine with various muscles, tendons, ligaments, and vital organs that each play a specific role in maintaining functionality and stability to the host. The body allows movement and mobility from the neck down to the feet. When the body suffers from pain or has been affected by various issues that correlate with pain, two things can occur, one, where acute pain can affect the body and cause the individual to be sore for a few days or two, where the body suffers from chronic pain that leads to the development of myofascial pain syndrome that can lead to referred pain in different muscle groups and cause the body to dysfunction. Today’s article examines how to diagnose myofascial pain syndrome, how the body reacts to this condition, and how various treatments can reduce myofascial pain syndrome in the body. We refer patients to certified providers incorporating techniques and therapies for individuals dealing with myofascial pain syndrome affecting different body areas and causing functionality. By locating where the trigger points are coming from, many pain specialists utilize a treatment plan to reduce the effects that trigger points are causing on the body while coming up with a diagnosis to minimize the referred pain impacting the body. We encourage and appreciate each patient by referring them to associated medical providers based on their diagnosis when it is appropriate. We understand that education is a terrific way when asking our providers intricated questions at the patient’s request and understanding. Dr. Jimenez, D.C., only utilizes this information as an educational service. Disclaimer
Have you been experiencing pain in different locations in your body? Do you have any areas of complaint that affect your daily lifestyle? Or do you have issues of stability and mobility when you are out and about? More often than not, approximately 25% of Americans are in some pain that can impact their lives and, if not treated right away, can cause the body to be dysfunctional. When there is constant pain in the body, it can cause overlapping risk profiles, known as myofascial pain syndrome. Myofascial pain syndrome is often defined as pain that originates along the musculoskeletal muscle groups and causes hyperirritable spots within the muscle fibers’ taut band, causing trigger points to develop. This means repetitive motions cause muscle strain and tightness along the muscle fibers when the body goes through repetitive movements daily.
When many people are dealing with myofascial pain syndrome, they would go to their primary doctor and explain that they are dealing with pain in different areas of their bodies, including their head, neck, shoulders, back, hips, etc. Afterward, their doctors conduct an examination to see where the issue is occurring. Many doctors often ask numerous questions to their patients about their daily activities before coming up with a diagnosis that myofascial pain syndrome is affecting their bodies. Studies reveal that the etiology of myofascial pain syndrome is not fully understood. Still, when the muscles, ligaments, and tissues are inflamed or undergo repetitive trauma, it can be accompanied by correlating conditions and disorders. To that point, doctors will work with their associated medical providers to develop a personalized treatment plan to diagnose and reduce myofascial pain syndrome associated with chronic conditions affecting the body.
How Does The Body React To Myofascial Pain Syndrome
Now when the body is dealing with myofascial pain syndrome, studies reveal that it can be a major health problem when it is not treated right away; it can cause the following:
According to “Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual,” by Dr. Janet G. Travell, M.D., the book mentioned that when myofascial pain syndrome becomes aberrant, it can lead to a disorder known as myofascial pain modulation disorder. This means that when a person is dealing with trigger points in their bodies, it can distort their referred pain patterns when being diagnosed. Active trigger points normally project pain in different body locations, known as referred pain. However, with myofascial pain modulation disorder, the pain is not localized but aberrant, which causes distortion to the central nervous system and sends pain signals to cause structural damage to the affected muscles in the body.
An Overview Of Referred Pain- Video
Have you been experiencing pain in different locations in your body? Do you have mobility issues when turning your neck or hips? Do you feel like you are losing your quality of life? If you have been dealing with pain-like problems in your body, it could be due to myofascial pain syndrome causing these issues. Myofascial pain syndrome is when the body goes through repetitive motions or trauma that causes symptoms of muscle strain and stiffness that are correlated with referred pain. The video above explains what referred pain does to the body and how it can affect the muscles and the corresponding organs. This is known as somato-visceral dysfunction, where the muscles and the related vital organs are affected, causing pain. An example would be chest pain associated with cardiovascular issues that mimic a heart attack. Various treatments can now treat myofascial pain syndrome associated with trigger points that can reduce the localized pain affecting the body.
Various Treatments To Reduce Myofascial Pain Syndrome
Several available treatments can help the body and bring back a person’s quality of life when it comes to reducing pain-like symptoms associated with myofascial pain syndrome. As stated earlier, when a person is diagnosed with myofascial pain syndrome by their primary doctors, their doctors will work with other pain specialists, like physical therapists, massage therapists, and chiropractors, that can locate where the referred pain is in the body and alleviate the symptoms. This allows the treatment plan to be personalized and catered to the individual. When myofascial pain syndrome causes the muscles to become tight and stiff due to repetitive factors, the pain specialists work with the body to restore functionality and help loosen the muscles. Not only that, but many individuals would take up meditative practices to allow their bodies to relax and reduce future trigger points from developing. This will enable them to have a clear mind and be pain-free.
Myofascial pain syndrome is when the body has pain-like symptoms affecting different muscle groups. It can cause numerous symptoms associated with pain that can cause mobility and dysfunction in the individual. Since the body is a complex machine that incorporates various muscles, tendons, ligaments, and vital organs to maintain functionality, myofascial pain can cause referred pain to a different location of the body and can be a major health problem. However, available treatments can reduce the pain-like symptoms caused by myofascial pain syndrome. When doctors work with associated medical providers specializing in myofascial pain syndrome, they can develop a personalized treatment plan to reduce future pain-like symptoms associated with myofascial pain syndrome from causing more issues to the body and even reduce correlating conditions that overlap that trigger myofascial pain.
Cao, Qi-Wang, et al. “Expert Consensus on the Diagnosis and Treatment of Myofascial Pain Syndrome.” World Journal of Clinical Cases, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 26 Mar. 2021, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8017503/.
Niddam, D M, et al. “Brain Structural Changes in Patients with Chronic Myofascial Pain.” European Journal of Pain (London, England), U.S. National Library of Medicine, Jan. 2017, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27352085/.
Travell, J. G., et al. Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual: Vol. 2:the Lower Extremities. Williams & Wilkins, 1999.
When exercising, it is very important to warm each muscle group to prevent injuries from occurring when working out. Stretching the arms, legs, and back can loosen up stiff muscles and increase blood flow to allow each muscle fiber to warm up and allow maximum power when each set is performed. One of the best ways to reduce muscle fatigue or stiffness before working out is to foam roll each muscle group for at least 1-2 minutes max to provide optimal functionality. Foam rolling allows the muscles to warm up before an extensive workout session. Still, it can also offer many benefits when combined with other therapies to reduce pain-like symptoms like trigger point pain from causing further injuries from reoccurring in the body. Today’s article focuses on the benefits of foam rolling, how it reduces trigger point pain, and how it is combined with chiropractic care to achieve optimal health and wellness. We refer patients to certified providers incorporating techniques and therapies for individuals dealing with trigger point pain affecting different body areas. By locating where the trigger points are coming from, many pain specialists utilize a treatment plan to reduce the effects that trigger points are causing on the body while suggesting different tools, like using a foam roller to reduce pain in the other muscle groups. We encourage and appreciate each patient by referring them to associated medical providers based on their diagnosis when it is appropriate. We understand that education is a terrific way when asking our providers intricated questions at the patient’s request and understanding. Dr. Jimenez, D.C., only utilizes this information as an educational service. Disclaimer
Have you been dealing with pain-like symptoms in different parts of your body? Do you feel stiffness in your muscles? Or have you been feeling exhausted throughout the entire day? Many people often feel stressed, overworked, and exhausted after a long day and need to find different ways to relieve stress. Whether going to the gym to work out or yoga class, many people should warm up for about 5-10 minutes to work out each muscle group to reduce muscle fatigue and stiffness. One of the tools that people should utilize is using a foam roller. Studies reveal that foam rolling before working out can improve muscle performance and flexibility and, at the same time, alleviate muscle fatigue and soreness.
Incorporating foam rolling as part of your warm-up can prevent issues like trigger point pain from causing more problems in the affected muscle group and causing more harm. Foam rolling has been known as a self-myofascial release (SMR) tool for many athletic people to relieve delay-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and can help the recovery process for muscular performance. Studies show that when athletes have DOMS, their muscles are tender and stiff that which causes restricted movement. By foam rolling, each sore muscle group can get rolled out on a dense foam roll from the person’s body weight to apply pressure on the soft tissue. When performed correctly, the body’s range of motion will increase, and soft tissue restriction is prevented.
Foam Rolling To Reduce Trigger Point Pain
When the body has been overworked, the muscle fibers will start to overstretch and cause various issues in different body parts. When this happens, tiny, hard nodules form over time and cause referred pain to other body locations in each muscle group. This is known as myofascial pain syndrome or trigger points. Studies reveal that trigger point pain is when the affected muscles are either acute or chronic and cause pain in the surrounding connective tissues. Dr. Travell, M.D.’s book, “Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction,” mentioned that myofascial pain could cause somato-visceral dysfunction in the body as the affected muscles and nerves are correlated with the corresponding vital organs. This means that if someone is dealing with back pain, it could be an issue with their gut system. Now how does foam rolling help prevent trigger point pain? As mentioned earlier, foam rolling each muscle group can alleviate muscle soreness and improve blood circulation. Studies reveal that foam rolling on the muscle group affected by trigger point pain can increase blood flow to the affected muscle and reduce fascial inflammation in the body.
What Foam Rolling Does To The Body- Video
Have you been dealing with muscle soreness? Do you feel like you are constantly bending over or shuffling your feet? Or have you been experiencing constant aches and pains when stretching? If you have been dealing with these musculoskeletal issues, why not incorporate foam rolling as part of your routine? Many individuals have some pain that is affecting their muscles that is causing them pain. Regarding reducing pain, incorporating foam rolling on the affected muscles can increase blood flow to the muscle and reduce any symptoms associated with chronic conditions. Studies reveal that the combination of foam rolling and stretching before working out can provide these amazing benefits, which include the following:
Ease muscle pain
Increase range of motion
Relieve back pain
Relive trigger points in muscles
The video above gives an excellent explanation of what foam rolling does to the body and why it provides relief to those different muscle groups. When people merge foam rolling with other treatments, it can benefit their health and wellness.
Foam Rolling & Chiropractic Care
As stated earlier, other various treatments can combine foam rolling to promote a healthy body. One of the treatments is chiropractic care. Chiropractic care incorporates mechanical and manual manipulation of the spine, especially in subluxation or spinal misalignment. When the spine is misaligned, it can cause muscle strain and mobility issues that can affect the body over time. So how does foam rolling play a part in chiropractic care? Well, a chiropractor or doctor of chiropractic can develop a plan to help manage the pain while treating the condition affecting the body. Since foam rolling is utilized in a warm-up session in association with physical therapy, many individuals who work with a personal trainer can incorporate foam rolling as part of their warm-up to loosen up stiff muscles and go to regular chiropractic treatments to improve muscle strength, mobility, and flexibility.
There are many beneficial properties that foam rolling can provide to the body. Foam rolling can allow blood circulation to the muscles while reducing muscle fatigue and soreness. Incorporating foam rolling as part of a daily warm-up can also prevent trigger points from forming in the muscle groups and can work out the tight knots that the muscle has occurred. At the same time, treatments like chiropractic care and physical therapy can combine foam rolling to promote health and wellness in the body and prevent muscle pain.
Konrad A, Nakamura M, Bernsteiner D, Tilp M. The Accumulated Effects of Foam Rolling Combined with Stretching on Range of Motion and Physical Performance: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. J Sports Sci Med. 2021 Jul 1;20(3):535-545. doi: 10.52082/jssm.2021.535. PMID: 34267594; PMCID: PMC8256518.
Pagaduan, Jeffrey Cayaban, et al. “Chronic Effects of Foam Rolling on Flexibility and Performance: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials.” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 4 Apr. 2022, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8998857/.
Pearcey, Gregory E P, et al. “Foam Rolling for Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness and Recovery of Dynamic Performance Measures.” Journal of Athletic Training, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Jan. 2015, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4299735/.
Shah, Jay P, et al. “Myofascial Trigger Points Then and Now: A Historical and Scientific Perspective.” PM & R : the Journal of Injury, Function, and Rehabilitation, U.S. National Library of Medicine, July 2015, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4508225/.
Travell, J. G., et al. Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual: Vol. 2:the Lower Extremities. Williams & Wilkins, 1999.
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