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Back Pain

Back Clinic Back Pain Chiropractic Treatment Team. At the El Paso Back Clinic, we take back pain very seriously.

After diagnosing the root cause of your discomfort/pain, we’ll do everything within our power to cure the area and relieve your symptoms.

Common causes of back pain:
There is an infinite number of forms of back pain, and a variety of injuries and diseases may cause discomfort in this area of the body. One of the most Frequent ones we see one of our patients in East Side El Paso and surrounding areas comprise:

Disc Herniation
Inside the backbone are flexible discs that cushion your bones and absorb shock. Whenever these discs are broken, they may compress a nerve leading to lower extremity numbness. StressWhen a muscle at the trunk is overexerted or hurt, causing stiffness and pain, this type of injury is generally classified as a back strain. This can be the consequence of attempting to lift an item that can result in excruciating pain and impairment and is too heavy. Diagnosing the underlying cause of your pain.

Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is characterized by the slow wearing down of protective cartilage. When the back is affected by this condition, it causes damage to the bones that results in chronic pain, stiffness, and limited mobility. SprainIf ligaments in your spine and back are stretched or torn, it’s called a spine sprain. Typically, this injury causes pain in the region. Spasms cause back muscles to overwork they may start to contract, and can even stay contracted– also called a muscle spasm. Muscle spasms can present with pain and stiffness until the strain resolves.

We want to accomplish the diagnosis straight away, integrating a background and exam along with state-of-the-art imaging, so we can provide you with the most efficient therapy choices. To begin, we will speak with you regarding your symptoms, which will provide us with critical information regarding your underlying condition. We’ll then perform a physical exam, during which we’ll check for posture issues, evaluate your spine and assess your backbone. If we guess injuries, like a disk or neurological injury, we’ll probably order imaging tests to obtain an analysis.

Regenerative remedies to your back pain. At the El Paso Back Clinic, you may be certain that you’re in the best possible hands with our Doctor of Chiropractic and Massage Therapist. Our purpose during your pain treatment isn’t only to relieve your symptoms — but also to avoid a recurrence and to treat your pain.


Camping With Back Pain, Modifications and Adjustments

Camping With Back Pain, Modifications and Adjustments

Going camping for an extended weekend can be exciting and fearful for individuals with back pain. Being in nature is exhilarating, setting up tents with the family, fishing, and hitting the backpacking trails. For those that struggle with back and/or neck pain or conditions that cause pain, the objective is to be prepared for the worst. The weather, steep hills, physical activities, sitting in chairs that are not spine supportive, and sleeping on hard ground can contribute to all kinds of back issues. There are adjustments and modifications, as well as, tools to help the experience remain pain-free and be highly enjoyable.

Camping With Back Pain, Modifications and Adjustments

Camping Back Pain

Not everyone with back pain or conditions that cause pain will struggle with camping out. There are individuals that prefer an ultra-firm sleeping surface like the ground as it provides their spine with the necessary support. Research has found that medium to fully firm mattresses and surfaces are the least to cause back pain. Many individuals go mattress-free a few nights a week and report that it helps reduce their pain.

  • Mattresses that are too soft sink in too much, provide no support to the spine that leads to spinal problems and more aches, and pains.
  • Sciatica from pinched nerves can become irritated or flare up when sleeping on the ground.
  • Individuals with arthritis in the spinal joints can present with stiffness and more pain.
  • Carrying and moving heavy equipment
  • Hiking
  • Backpacking with heavy bags
  • Setting up tents
  • Repeatedly bending over
  • Using traditional camping chairs can position the spine at unnatural angles and can aggravate certain spinal conditions.

Modifications and Adjustments

As with most physical activities for individuals with back pain, it’s all about preparation and modification. Here are a few ways to adjust the camping trip to prevent and avoid back pain:

  • Don’t sit for too long.
  • Move around throughout the day.
  • Stretch out
  • Don’t take long hiking or biking trips.
  • Use the pockets in cargo pants/shorts or a jacket for essential items.
  • Rent a camper with a bed.
  • Get a cabin if necessary.

Equipment

Individuals with spinal conditions and pain will benefit from using proper and advanced gear to provide back support.

Do a little research and see what options are available. Overall, aim for equipment that is sturdy and supportive. Listen to your body, follow a doctor or chiropractor’s advice, and enjoy nature.


Body Composition


Food Journaling

Individuals can keep track of their food choices by logging their food intake into a personal food journal. This is where food choices and calorie intake can be examined, analyzed, and learned from. A study showed that individuals who diligently track their food and calorie intake had a greater amount of weight loss. For those that want to lose body fat, the body needs to be in a caloric deficit. After a week of logging meals, snacks, and drinks, an individual is in a better position to correct and adjust a weight loss plan. For example, journaling helps with:

References

Most comfortable sleeping: Sleep Health. (December 2015) “Effect of different mattress designs on promoting sleep quality, pain reduction, and spinal alignment in adults with or without back pain; a systematic review of controlled trials.” https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S2352721815001400

Triathlon Training With Back Pain Issues

Triathlon Training With Back Pain Issues

Triathlon training involves running, biking, and swimming. This much fitness training takes a toll on the body. Pulled hamstrings, twisted ankles, and sore heels are common, but triathlon training can also cause or worsen back pain. Because the back muscles are connected to many other muscles, certain types of movement after a tough training session can present with back pain. There was an Ironman triathlete study that found that 90% of the athletes suffered some form of soft-tissue injury during training, with 70% reporting low back pain and/or sciatica. A 2020 study in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders found that 14% of recreational half-marathon runners presented with low-back pain.

Triathlon Training With Back Pain

Triathlon Training Hard on the Back

High-impact activities/exercises, constant repetitive motion, places a heavy pounding on the body that impacts the joints and spine. Using improper techniques will aggravate any issues. The stresses applied from repetitive motions, and poor form can lead to the joints breaking down. If new to intense training the muscles might not be strong enough yet, which could also cause back pain and injury. The back stabilizer muscles tend to get neglected in the training, but these muscles support the structures in the midline, spine, and joints. Strengthening the:

  • Base muscles
  • Glutes
  • Back muscles
  • Core
  • Ensures stability of the spine and joints from all the wear and tear.

Training and Overtraining Errors

Even veteran athletes can make mistakes during their training that can lead to sore backs. The biggest mistake individuals make during triathlon training is that they only swim, bike, and run. Training for the specific sport/s is important; but weight lifting, core strengthening, and flexibility training are just as important. Proper rest can become neglected as the individual wants to get in as much training as possible that often gets overlooked, leading to overuse injuries. However, rest is a vital part of training to allow the body to fully recover and operate at full and optimal potential.

Preventing and Avoiding Back Pain When Training

How to sidestep back pain altogether during training includes:

Sleep

A healthy lifestyle includes proper sleep cycles and is even more important during training. The mental aspects a triathlon competition can create require proper rest. Fatigue can also lead to poor technique/form, placing excess stress on the joints and the spine, leading to injury.

Flexibility

Muscles need to maintain flexibility to preserve function and recovery ability. After a training session stretching and working on flexibility will help with overall performance. Stretching should be done after activity when the muscles are warm, and the fibers can be stretched/elongated for optimal recovery.

Proper nutrition

The body needs high-performance fuel to support high-calorie deficits that are associated with intense training and competition.

Strengthening the body

Having a solid body foundation is the objective. Everything is balanced with strong muscles supporting healthy bones. Specific exercises that target the multifidus muscles. These are the body’s back brace. Strengthening these muscles will help prevent spinal injury/s. Back-strengthening exercises include:

Rest days no matter what

Plan rest days no matter what. Pushing through will not make the body stronger or able to perform better, and could cause performance to decrease leading to injury. This does not mean sleeping all day, but engaging in active recovery where the body gets the rest it needs while still maintaining fitness. Active recovery includes:

Technique Improvement

Proper form and technique can really make the difference between staying injury-free and injury/s. Using the right form promotes healthy function. It could help to have gait, swim stroke, and bike techniques evaluated by a professional to ensure that proper form is being utilized.

Body awareness

Stop if the body signals one to stop. This is why the body feels pain. It is the internal mechanism that tells the individual something is wrong. It is not recommended to follow the phrases train through the pain, and no pain, no gain. Individuals are recommended to:

  • Always pay attention if pain presents and does not go away after exercising or warming up.
  • Pain that limits function.
  • Pain that interferes with daily activities.
  • These could significantly exacerbate a spinal injury and should be checked by a doctor.

Body Composition


Rest and Recovery

During rest and recovery, the body goes back to normal or homeostasis. This is the body’s resting rate or normal phase. The body is always trying to go back to homeostasis. This is done by:

  • Maintaining core temperature
  • Blood pressure stable
  • Muscles refreshed

When exercising/training, the homeostasis phase is disturbed, meaning the body needs a period of rest to return to normal. The process of homeostasis uses a lot of energy, which results in an abundant amount of calories burned. After exercise, there is an increase in excess post-exercise oxygen consumption or EPOC. The body uses up more oxygen during recovery than it does before or during exercise. This increase results in burned calories and strong muscles. The most important part of recovery is the rebuilding of muscle. When working out, especially resistance training, tiny tears are made in the muscle fibers. For the tiny tears to turn into growing muscles, they need to repair themselves. This happens during rest. Apart from the physiological benefits, rest helps prevent injury caused by overuse and assists in healing when injuries do occur. Time off helps with mental health as well to refocus, reassess, and apply what has been learned. What rest and recovery can do for the body includes:

  • Burn massive calories
  • Build muscle
  • Refuels the muscles
  • Prevents injury
  • Improves mental health and motivation
References

American journal of physical medicine & rehabilitation/Association of Academic Physiatrists. (October 2014) “Efficacy of Aerobic Exercise for Treatment of Chronic Low Back Pain: A Meta-Analysis” https://www.researchgate.net/publication/266682158_Efficacy_of_Aerobic_Exercise_for_Treatment_of_Chronic_Low_Back_Pain_A_Meta-Analysis

Scientific Reports. (April 2017) “Running exercise strengthens the intervertebral disc” https://www.researchgate.net/publication/316262547_Running_exercise_strengthens_the_intervertebral_disc

Stretch Before and After Journal of Chiropractic Medicine. (Winter 2003) “Changes in low back pain in a long-distance runner after stretching the iliotibial band” https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0899346707600718

Weight Training To Strengthen The Back Muscles

Weight Training To Strengthen The Back Muscles

When back pain presents for a prolonged period, the back muscles reduce in mass but increase fat content, resulting in more stiffness. This leads to chronic muscle fatigue and results in chronic pain symptoms. Adding resistance to a workout routine in weight machines, free weights, and/or resistance bands helps reduce back pain. Studies have shown that specific therapeutic back muscle weight training is safe and can help relieve pain. A sports chiropractic specialist can recommend appropriate exercises for individuals and their specific condition/s to safely participate in strength training.

Weight Training To Strengthen The Back Muscles

Back muscles development

With time, back pain and increased fatigue can lead to a fear of moving the body and engaging in physical activity. This results in spinal deconditioning and instability. Weight training works on incrementally/progressively increasing the load that the back muscles can tolerate. This technique gradually improves the body’s ability and strength to perform regular daily activities without strain and in optimal fashion. Weight training improves whole-body health because:

  • Back muscles and core muscles increase in function and performance.
  • Muscles are strengthened.
  • Lean muscle mass increases.
  • The range of motion of the spine increases.
  • Body fat decreases.

Guidelines while using weights

When weight training, it is important to understand safety guidelines to help relieve back pain and not worsen or cause further injury. Weighted treatment exercises are for individuals that have been cleared by their physician or chiropractor and are specific to their injury and /or condition. Depending on the underlying pain source, weight training may not be suitable for individuals that have:

  • Severe pain.
  • Back pain that originates from:
  • Previous spinal surgery
  • Tumor
  • Nerve root compression
  • Neurological symptoms
  • Sciatica
  • Spinal fracture/s
  • Spinal infection/s

Medical professionals and chiropractors can accurately diagnose and determine if weight training is safe and which specific exercises to perform. Guidance from a trained therapist or therapeutic trainer is recommended for optimal results.

  • Weight training techniques to alleviate back pain are different from regular weight or resistance exercises.
  • Trained physical/occupational therapists and sports chiropractors can educate an individual on:
  • Correct techniques
  • Frequency
  • Type of training that will help an individual’s condition.
  • Therapeutic training can significantly reduce the risk of further injury and damage to the spine.
  • After initial training, individuals are encouraged to exercise to maintain back muscles and total body health.

Smaller weights build strength progressively

Effective ways to strengthen the spine.

  • Begin with small/light weights and exercise slowly.
  • Fast rapid movements or incorrect lifting and pulling techniques can cause additional damage to the tissues.
  • It is recommended to start with:
  • Low-load motor control exercises without weights activate and stretch the muscles and improve balance.
  • Simple stretches

Exercise machines can be recommended instead of free weights.

  • Exercise machines can provide safe, effective, and progressive resistance to the exercises.
  • The machines can help reduce/prevent injury compared to free weights.
  • The machines can maintain proper support on the back and spine.

It is recommended to combine regular walking activity with a weight training program.

  • Low impact aerobic exercises increase blood circulation along with essential nutrients to the muscles and soft tissues.
  • This promotes healing and reduces stiffness.

Training program and benefits

Gaining the most benefits from strength training, tips to keep in mind:

  • Warm up for a few minutes using heat therapy and simple stretches.
  • Try for 2 or 3 times a week for 30 minutes.
  • Focus on building strength in the core muscles – back, abdominals, obliques, buttocks, and pelvic leg muscles.
  • There is no need to join a gym or buy expensive equipment.
  • Work out at home with small hand weights, resistance bands, and body weight.
  • The therapist or chiropractor will inform the individual on which exercises to avoid, which require extreme or quick moves.
  • Slow, steady resistance training takes advantage of muscle lengthening exercises and muscle shortening exercises for strengthening.
  • If back pain presents with a sustained increase, take time off or modify the strength training exercises.
  • Some soreness is to be expected, but sharp pain is not. If any sharp, sudden pain presents while exercising, stop immediately.
  • Ice therapy can be beneficial after exercising to decrease inflammation and alleviate pain.

Record the amount of weight when beginning the training and note when progressing to a heavier weight. Consistent improvements in pain, flexibility, strength, and function will help maintain motivation. Consult with a professional sports injury chiropractor today to see if weight training is a suitable and safe treatment.


Body Composition


Carbohydrates and Muscle Growth

Simple carbs are a quick, periodic source of energy. Complex carbs are a recommended source of steady energy. Complex carbs are not as readily available for immediate energy as simple carbs are but are more efficient and healthier. Complex carbs offer sustainable energy, meaning the energy is constant with no crash like simple carbs. Because complex carbs have slow-release properties, they should be the largest component of daily energy consumption.

Carbs prevent muscle weakness.

Some glycogen is stored in the muscles. When those muscles are used during exercise, the body taps into the glycogen stores in that specific muscle. Lifting weights with the arms, for example, access the glycogen in the biceps. Athletes take advantage of glycogen by loading up on carbs by consuming a day or more before a workout. This maximizes the muscle glycogen stores. This delays muscle fatigue, making for a better workout and stronger muscles, and can improve athletic performance.

Carbs help muscles recover after exercise.

Recovery goes back to the glycogen stores. Right after exercising, the body needs to replenish its glycogen stores to prevent glycogen depletion. Glycogen depletion, when the stores run out, causes gluconeogenesis. What happens is the body forms glucose from new sources. This is to compensate for the lack of glucose from carbohydrates. This is when the body turns to sources like fat and protein to fill the need. Protein is the last line of defense when energy is required, meaning that energy is running low. When the body breaks down protein for glucose production, it takes what it needs from the muscle/s, causing them to shrink and break down.

References

Dreisinger TE. Exercise in the management of chronic back pain. Ochsner J. 2014;14(1):101–107.

Lee JS, Kang SJ. Strength exercise and walking effects on lumbar function, pain level, and body composition in chronic back pain patients. J Exerc Rehabil. 2016;12(5):463–470. Published 2016 Oct 31. doi:10.12965/jer.1632650.325

Michaelson P, Holmberg D, Aasa B, Aasa U. High load lifting exercise and low load motor control exercises as interventions for patients with mechanical low back pain: A randomized controlled trial with 24-month follow-up. J Rehabil Med. 2016;48(5):456-63.

Welch N, Moran K, Antony J, et al. The effects of a free-weight-based resistance training intervention on pain, squat biomechanics, and MRI-defined lumbar fat infiltration and functional cross-sectional area in those with chronic low back. BMJ Open Sport Exerc Med. 2015;1(1):e000050. Published 2015 Nov 9. doi:10.1136/bmjsem-2015-000050

Baastrup’s Syndrome aka Kissing Spine Syndrome

Baastrup’s Syndrome aka Kissing Spine Syndrome

Baastrup’s syndrome is named after Christian Ingerslev Baastrup. He discovered and described the condition in 1933. In this syndrome, pain and inflammation are triggered when the spinous processes of two adjacent vertebrae begin to touch each other. This is where the term kissing spine came from. Most back and neck pain is attributed to inflammation or degeneration of the spinal vertebrae, discs, muscles, and nerves. This is a spinal condition that can cause problems with age. If experiencing pain that worsens when arching the back, consult a professional chiropractor. A physical examination and imaging could reveal the spine is going through this underdiagnosed condition.

11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Baastrup's Syndrome aka Kissing Spine Syndrome

Kissing Spine

Spine problems mostly involve the vertebrae and the discs. However, the spine has other components, which include spinous processes. These are thin segments of bone that protrude off the back of each vertebra. Kissing spine syndrome, also known as Baastrup’s disease, or interspinous bursitis, happens when these spinous processes begin to move close together and touch/kiss. Pain and inflammation can be triggered by this.

It is believed to develop as a result of degeneration in the spine that comes with age. As vertebral discs break down from all the wear and tear of life, this can cause the spinous processes to move closer together and touch. This typically develops in the lumbar spine/lower back, but can also affect the cervical spine/neck. The most common symptom of kissing spine syndrome is back pain that worsens when touched or arching the back. For some individuals slumping forward or rounding the back, can help diminish the pain.

When the spinous processes touch, they begin abrasively rubbing against each other. This wears them down and can lead to other types of spinal degeneration. Over time secondary problems can begin to present including neurological conditions caused by compressed nerves. The condition is common in older adults from the natural wear and tear on their spines. But young individuals specifically athletes, can develop the syndrome.

  • Poor posture
  • Obesity
  • Spinal injury/s are additional risk factors.

Diagnosing the condition involves a physical exam and imaging scans to confirm that the spinous processes are in fact touching.

Chiropractic Care

A chiropractor can help manage the pain caused by degenerative disc disease and kissing spine syndrome. Treatment protocols for kissing spine syndrome include:

  • Spinal adjustments
  • Physical therapy massage
  • Spinal manipulation
  • Stretches
  • Exercises
  • Anti-inflammatory diet

Spinal decompression techniques can open the spinal segments so that the spinous processes don’t touch. Manipulations can facilitate proper joint mobility and alleviate inflammation. Physical therapy exercises and stretches will help stretch the spine and the supportive tissues. If experiencing neck or low back pain, contact Injury Medical Chiropractic and Functional Medicine Clinic. Our spine specialists will listen, discuss, and develop a personalized treatment plan. We provide non-invasive approaches for long-term pain management and spinal correction for lasting comfort.


Body Composition


The Paleo Diet

The Paleo diet consists of eating foods that would have been available to humans before modern agriculture was established. If the food was not available to these human ancestors and they did not eat it, then it is not part of the Paleo diet. This includes eating:

  • Lean meats
  • Fish
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Eggs
  • Nuts

The Paleo cuts out foods like:

  • Grains
  • Legumes
  • Dairy
  • Sugars
  • Processed oils

One study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition compared the Paleo diet to other control diets based on United States nutritional guidelines. The researchers found that the Paleo diet generated improvements in waist circumference, triglyceride levels, and blood pressure.

Disclaimer

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

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

References

Philipp LR, Baum GR, Grossberg JA, Ahmad FU. Baastrup’s Disease: An Often Missed Etiology for Back Pain. Cureus 8(1): e465. Published January 22, 2016. https://www.cureus.com/articles/3982-baastrups-disease-an-often-missed-etiology-for-back-pain. Accessed December 20, 2018.

Filippiadis DK, Mazioti A, Argentos S, et al. Baastrup’s disease (kissing spines syndrome): a pictorial review. Insights Imaging. 2015 Feb; 6(1): 123–128. Published online January 13, 2015. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13244-014-0376-7 Accessed December 20, 2018.

Sleep Apnea and Back Pain

Sleep Apnea and Back Pain

A good portion of the population deals with night back pain. But there is another group that can attribute their back pain to sleep apnea. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine says that 26% of adults between 30 and 70 have this disorder. Sleep apnea back pain can turn into a vicious cycle. Unrestful sleep caused by sleep apnea can make an individual more susceptible to pain. Back pain can cause sleep problems, and the cycle begins again.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a chronic sleep disorder in adults in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. Symptoms include:

  • Excessive sleepiness during the day
  • Snoring
  • Abrupt waking during sleep

Risk factors include:

  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Narrow airway
  • History of sleep apnea in family

There is ongoing research about risk factors for sleep apnea.

11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Sleep Apnea and Back Pain

The Sleep Apnea and Back Pain Connection

Back pain could be a symptom of a vertebral fracture. Sleep apnea has been found to be associated with a higher risk of vertebral fractures. Research has found a connection between obstructive sleep apnea and vertebral fractures in women. The study found that women with a history of obstructive sleep apnea had an increased risk of vertebral fracture compared to individuals with no history of sleep apnea. Research is looking into how sleep apnea impacts bone health, specifically in the vertebrae. Doctors believe there are multiple ways in which sleep apnea can affect bone health like:

  • Low oxygen levels
  • Acidosis or a build-up of acid in the blood after intermittent hypoxia or a lack of oxygen in the tissues
  • Increased inflammation
  • Modulation/variation of sex hormones
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Sleep Apnea and Back Pain

Lifestyle Adjustments and Treatment

There are treatments that include lifestyle changes that can help to lessen the effects and alleviate back pain.

  • Around 70% of individuals with sleep apnea are obese. This is according to the Obesity Medicine Association.
  • Smoking can increase the severity by lowering the functionality of the airway causing inflammation.
  • CPAP machines or continuous positive airway pressure, have proven to be beneficial.

Treatment options need to be discussed with a healthcare provider if diagnosed with this condition. Treatment is important because if left untreated it can lead to serious health issues increasing the risk for:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Post-surgery complications
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Sleep Apnea and Back Pain

Better Sleep

If experiencing sleep apnea neck or back pain, make an appointment to see a doctor for an accurate diagnosis. A treatment plan that works for the individual will be developed to ease symptoms, resulting in back pain alleviation and better sleep.

Body Composition

Proper Sleep and Fat Loss

Losing fat mass is strongly linked to proper sleep. For the body to lose fat the body needs to be in a caloric deficit, which means more energy gets used than the amount of energy the body takes in. This can be accomplished by restricting calories through diet and burning more calories through exercise. This can be referred to as calories in/calories out.

Losing sleep can sabotage fat loss goals significantly altering the body’s hormonal profile. This includes hormones that regulate appetite. Ghrelin is associated with hunger, and leptin is associated with feeling full. Ghrelin spikes right before a meal prompting an individual to eat. Losing sleep interferes with the body’s ghrelin/leptin balance. This results in an increase in ghrelin and a reduction in leptin levels.

Disclaimer

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

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

References

Intro: Rheumatology International. (May 2013) “Prevalence and severity of insomnia in chronic low back pain patients” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23124732/

How Sleep Apnea and Back Pain are Related: Journal of Bone and Mineral Research. (September 2020) “Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Risk for Incident Vertebral and Hip Fracture in Women” https://asbmr.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1002/jbmr.4127

Sleep Apnea Treatments: Obesity Medicine Association. (2021) “Obesity and Obstructive Sleep Apnea” https://obesitymedicine.org/obesity-and-sleep-apnea/

Mental Strategy Exercises For Chronic Pain Relief and Improvement

Mental Strategy Exercises For Chronic Pain Relief and Improvement

Mental strategy exercises for chronic pain relief and improvement. Living with chronic pain is difficult especially if a doctor is saying that it is all taking place in an individual’s head. However, the pain is very real and happening in the brain, literally. Neuroimaging studies show that certain areas of the brain become active when chronic pain presents. This is not the only way to know the brain’s role in how an individual experiences pain. What is also known is:
  • Anxiety, depression, and pain activate similar areas of the brain.
  • Certain psychiatric drugs used to relieve pain can also alter an individual’s mental state.
  • Chronic pain can lead to depression.
  • Clinical depression can cause physical symptoms, including back pain.
A health care provider could recommend/suggest psychological support for chronic pain. Psychological help and mental strategy exercises for chronic pain are not about how to reduce the pain, but more on how to reduce the dominance, interference, and impact of the pain and getting a healthy quality of life back. Consider a few evidence-based, psychological approaches to reduce back pain.  
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Mental Strategy Exercises For Chronic Pain Relief and Improvement
 

Cognitive-behavioral therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy or CBT trains an individual to modify specific thoughts and behaviors. Experts consider this approach a gold standard of psychological interventions for pain. It helps:
  • Reduce pain
  • Improves function
  • Improves quality of life
Individuals work on:
  • Pain coping strategies
  • Relaxation skills
  • Setting goals
  • Shifting perspectives on pain
A study found that two years after a two-week, intensive course of cognitive-behavioral therapy, patients took fewer pain meds than they did before the therapy.  
 

Mindfulness meditation

Meditation is not all about sitting with crossed legs, hands resting on the knees, although this is a recommended pose for meditative purposes. A modern approach can be done anywhere, in any position that�s comfortable and will help soothe back pain. By oneself or with help from a therapist mental strategies can include
  • Incorporating breathing techniques
  • Guided imagery
  • Intense focus on thoughts and feelings
A study suggests that mindfulness meditation can be highly beneficial for older adults that are not as able to get an adequate amount of physical activity to improve pain levels. A group of older adults that participated in eight weeks of a mindfulness program, which consisted of four days a week for 30 minutes per session physical function and pain reduction improved.  
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Mental Strategy Exercises For Chronic Pain Relief and Improvement
 

Mindfulness stress reduction

Mindfulness stress reduction is a program that teaches individuals meditation techniques, that include basic stretches and postures. It teaches how to separate the physical and psychological aspects of pain. Medical centers across offer this treatment option for a range of disorders, including chronic back pain. It helps reduce pain intensity and improves function in individuals with arthritis as well as back and neck pain from various causes. It has also been found to be effective for fibromyalgia, which can cause intense widespread pain. A study found that mindfulness stress reduction improved:
  • Wellbeing
  • Pain episodes
  • Sleep problems
  • Fatigue in participants with fibromyalgia
  • More than half reported significant improvement
 

Acceptance and commitment therapy

Acceptance and commitment therapy or ACT teaches acceptance and mindfulness strategies with commitment and behavior mental strategies, to change the way pain is experienced. Numerous studies along with the American Psychological Association validate this approach as an established treatment for chronic pain.  
 

Changing expectations

In one study several chiropractic patients who expected their back pain to improve were 58% more likely to improve than those who did not expect favorable outcomes. This mental strategy of manifesting a positive outcome through the power of positive thinking and beliefs about pain influence an individual’s actions. For example, when thinking that physical activity will cause back pain, individuals are less likely to be active. This is known as fear avoidance. For most individuals with back and neck pain, gentle physical activity is essential because avoiding it will worsen the pain. Having the right mental strategy can go a long way in battling chronic pain, at Injury Medical Chiropractic and Functional Medicine Clinic we can help individuals experiencing/dealing with chronic pain.

Body Composition


 

Depression and physical health

Depression is debilitating and, in severe cases, a life-threatening disease that affects over 16 million people nationwide. Depression causes are not always clear and can be brought on by:
  • Biological factors – genetics
  • Individual brain chemistry
  • Certain medications
  • Stress
  • Unhealthy diet/nutrition
Mental illness and becoming overweight or obese often happen in conjunction, whether as a result of each other or from common risk factors that include:
  • Smoking
  • Poor diet
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Alcohol consumption
Prescribed medications for depression and anxiety disorders are have been shown to be successful in maintaining mental health. However, a side effect of these medications is weight gain. Like genetics, being educated on the potential side effects will help in reducing the risk of, and controlling weight gain when taking medication.  

Dr. Alex Jimenez�s Blog Post Disclaimer

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas& New Mexico*  
References
Pain and Therapy.�(Jun 2020) �Rehabilitation for Low Back Pain: A Narrative Review for Managing Pain and Improving Function in Acute and Chronic Conditions.��https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7203283/ Journal of Psychosomatic Research. (Jan 2010) �Mindfulness-based stress reduction for chronic pain conditions: variation in treatment outcomes and role of home meditation practice.� European Journal of Pain.�(Jan 2019.) �Beliefs about back pain and pain management behaviors, and their associations in the general population: A systematic review.��https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6492285/
Achieving Better Sleep With Chronic Back Pain

Achieving Better Sleep With Chronic Back Pain

Achieving better sleep with back pain through strategies that will address the pain. The spine is an amazing but highly complicated structure. It is made up of:
  • Bones
  • Joints
  • Ligaments
  • Muscles
All support the body’s weight, protect vital organs and nerve structures while maintaining flexibility. When the spine gets:
  • Injured
  • Strained
  • Sprained
This can make standing up, lying down, and sleeping a consistently painful experience.  
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Achieving Better Sleep With Chronic Back Pain
 

Achieving Sleep Solutions

The connection between sleep disturbance in individuals who suffer from acute or chronic back pain is high. Fortunately, back pain does not have to ruin the sleep experience. There are strategies to achieve better sleep. These include:
  • Adjusting sleep positions
  • Improving sleep hygiene
  • Better understanding the source of pain

Sleep Positions

When back pain presents, finding a comfortable position leads to endless tossing and turning. But sleeping in the wrong position can worsen chronic/acute back pain, or create new injury and pain. Here are some options for alleviating pain:  
 

Back sleeping

Sleeping on the back is the best position anatomically, especially for back pain. It evenly distributes the body’s weight putting less strain on the back. For optimal results, use a soft pillow with minimal height to keep the spine aligned with the neck through the low back. Placing a pillow under the legs can also reduce stress on the low back. Back sleeping is also not recommended for pregnant women in their second or third trimester. This is because the weight can press against the spine causing strain. It can also press on the main vein that carries blood back to the heart from the lower extremities. This can interfere with circulation causing dizziness. For this stage sleeping on the side is recommended.

Side sleeping

Sleeping on the side is considered a safe position for those with back pain. However, this is only if the mattress has proper support. Side sleepers need a mattress that maintains spinal alignment. Any strain while sleeping translates into backaches. Side sleepers should also utilize a pillow with enough height to hold their heads so that the spine stays aligned. To keep the mid-spine from sinking into the mattress, place a pillow in the waist area below the ribcage above the pelvis. This will maintain a neutral position. Using a pillow between the legs and slightly with the knees up toward the torso in a relaxed position along with a body pillow for extra comfort and support.

Stomach sleeping

Stomach sleeping is strongly discouraged by a majority of medical professionals, including the American Chiropractic Association. This is because this flattens the natural curve of the spine, straining the low back placing unnecessary pressure on the neck from twisting the head for prolonged periods. If stomach sleeping is a must use a pillow with a very little height so that the neck stays aligned with the backbone. Also, place a thin pillow under the pelvis, this gives the lower back more support.  
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Achieving Better Sleep With Chronic Back Pain
 

Achieving Pain-Free Sleep

Here are some other strategies for achieving pain-free sleep.

Mattress quality

Mattress quality affects healthy sleep, especially when it comes to back pain. Older, sagging mattresses lose performance factors needed to support the lower back, relieve pressure points, and maintain spinal alignment. Newer mattresses with memory foam, latex, or a hybrid with a core of innerspring, have been proven to help back pain and achieve better sleep.

Getting in and out of bed

Getting into and out of bed can be a challenge. There are techniques that limit movement and put minimal pressure on the back, reducing back pain. One technique works by sitting on the edge of the bed and then leaning to the right or left making sure to keep the spine aligned and ease down onto the mattress. Bring the knees up so the body is entirely on its side. Then, in one smooth movement, gently roll onto the back. To get out of bed do the same steps reversed. Because getting into and out of bed requires sitting or lying on the edge of the mattress, make sure the mattress has enough edge support so it won�t sag when sitting.

Healthy sleep habits

Adopting healthy sleep habits ensures proper sleep. Establish a consistent sleep schedule going to bed and waking up at around the same time every day, including weekends. Schedule at least 7-9 hours of sleep every night. Establish a relaxing nighttime routine around half an hour to an hour before sleep to help release any tension.
  • Take a warm bath
  • Practice yoga or meditation
  • Listen to gentle music
  • Read a little
  • Avoid electronic devices
  • Don�t drink caffeinated drinks from mid-afternoon on
  • Drink warm caffeine-free tea to help the body calm down before sleep
  • Sleep in an environment that is cool, dark, and comfortable
 

Back Pain Types

Pain can be severe or persistent. Understanding the source is one of the first steps toward knowing how to treat and manage it.

Posture

The bones and muscles can slip out of alignment with poor posture and not switching positions to allow the muscles, and bones to relax and recover. This can lead to:
  • Muscle tightness
  • Headaches
  • Back pain upper to lower
  • Muscle fatigue
  • Tingling
  • Numbness

Muscle Strain

Muscle strains happen when the muscles or attaching tendons get damaged. This can happen when lifting something heavy or working out too hard. However, it can also happen during regular activities if the muscles are not warmed up. Muscle strain can cause swelling, bruising/redness, and pain in the muscle/s even when resting.

Nerve Pain

Nerve pain can is unpredictable. Nerve-related back pain usually involves the sciatic nerve. When the sciatic nerve becomes irritated, inflamed, pinched, or compressed, the pain can be felt in the low back and radiate down the leg to the foot.

Fractures and Bone Spurs

Bone pain is usually caused by a fracture or bone spur. Fractures cause a deep ache. Bone spurs, or bony growths that appear on the edge of a bone, often along the spine. If bone spurs press on the nerves, it can cause:
  • Weakness
  • Numbness
  • Tingling in the arms or legs
  • Muscle spasms and cramps
The main cause of bone spurs is joint damage.

Medical Emergency

Sometimes back pain requires a visit to a medical professional to rule out more serious causes, like fractures, tumors, or infections of the spine. Symptoms to look out for include:
  • Fever could indicate an infection
  • Trauma, like a fall, could indicate a fracture
  • A diagnosis of osteoporosis could mean a fracture has occurred
  • Numbness or tingling could indicate nerve irritation/inflammation damage
  • History of cancer
  • Foot drop condition and needing to lift the foot higher to prevent dragging, which could be a sign of a nerve or a muscle condition
  • Pain that presents only at night when sleeping
  • Unexplained weight loss can accompany infection or tumors
  • Advanced age increases the risk for infections, tumors, and abdominal issues

Better Sleep

Around 80% of the world�s population will experience backache, and back pain at some point. When the spine’s bones, joints, ligaments, and muscles become injured, strained, or sprained, it can interfere with sleep. Try some of these strategies to help reduce the pain so sleeping well and waking up refreshed can be achieved.

Body Composition


 

Increase Movement with Exercise

One reason the body could be holding on to extra weight could be from high cortisol levels. Cortisol increases when stressed. Stress can derail exercise routine, diet, and sleep, increasing the chances of becoming overweight/obese. With exercise, the body releases endorphins or hormones that help reduce pain and stress. Exercise does not mean intense gym workouts. It can be as simple as taking small parts of the day, moving around to get the blood flowing, and muscles, tendons, ligaments stretched out. For example, if an individual uses the elevator or escalator regularly, take the stairs instead. Or take a short walk. All it takes is small and consistent adjustments to achieve health.

Dr. Alex Jimenez�s Blog Post Disclaimer

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas& New Mexico*
References
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. (2010.) �Advice to rest in bed versus advice to stay active for acute low-back pain and sciatica.��https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20556780/ National Library of Medicine. MedlinePlus. (Updated April 30, 2020.) �Back Pain.��https://medlineplus.gov/backpain.html
Back and Neck Pain Therapeutic Tools for Wish List

Back and Neck Pain Therapeutic Tools for Wish List

Individuals with neck and back pain should consider adding a few pain-relieving therapeutic tools to the holiday wish list. Spine specialists/experts have some tools for their patients and others who are dealing with back and neck pain. Looking at various points, these therapeutic tools offer the gift of helping to reduce neck and back pain, when unable to see a chiropractor or physical therapist.  
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Back and Neck Pain Therapeutic Tools for Wish List
 

Foam Rollers

Foam rolling is effective for different types of aches and pains, especially backaches. Foam rolling benefits include:
  • Releasing muscle knots and tension
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Decreases pain
  • Improves range of motion
  • Returns flexibility
 

Wedge Pillow

A wedge pillow for the back is a necessity. A wedge pillow removes the stress from the spine and neck when lying down. Flipped around will take the tension off the legs also bringing back pain relief.  
 

Deep Percussive Massager

Percussive massagers can provide a deep massage to various areas of the body especially the lower back. There are a variety of brands available with different levels of technology. However, careful use of these instruments must be exercised. This is because the massage can be intense and can exacerbate or cause further injury, and individuals can develop a tolerance making the massage no longer effective.  
 

Seat Cushion

If sitting at a desk throughout the day or working from home a proper seat cushion is mandatory. Many individuals who sit the majority of their day utilize a combination cushion that includes the seat cushion with lower back support. Individual cushions are great because they can be moved easily and adjusted to fit where needed. Therapeutic seat cushions come with various features available, here are a few to keep in mind. Memory foam and air cells offer the most pressure relief. If there is tailbone pain, focus on a seat cushion with the tailbone cut out for extra relief. An office chair with these features should also be considered.  
 

Inversion Table

Inversion tables are available at reasonable prices, starting around $100. Used correctly this therapeutic tool can successfully help relieve back pain. Inversion tables and cervical traction provide decompression and postural alignment for the spine helping with pain relief. These devices offer gentle decompression through the angle used. Wider angles or full inversion provides more decompression on the back. Individual spinal needs should be discussed with a chiropractor, physical therapist, or physician before using this therapeutic tool.  
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Back and Neck Pain Therapeutic Tools for Wish List
 

Pain Patches and Topical Agents

Pain-relieving patches like Lidocaine, IcyHot, and Salonpas patches are widely recommended for tight and sore areas of the body.  
 

Sitting Standing Desk

A sitting and standing desk can be highly beneficial to back pain. In addition to burning off bonus calories throughout the day, Changing positions and postures throughout the day are recommended. This is to keep the muscles, ligaments, tendons moving, and not in a static position for too long. Changing every 20 to 30 minutes is the recommended time. Sitting and standing desks can provide positional changes that will help with posture, core stability, and circulation. This will help reduce and alleviate pain in the low back, neck, and shoulders. However, the desk needs to be stable and adjusted to the proper height.  
 

Lower Back Sitting Support

These therapeutic tools help reinforce the low back region when seated. Most of us start to slouch forward with the head and shoulders hunched forward after some time at the computer. This strains the whole body, specifically the low back. Lower back supports can help maintain proper alignment of the spine when seated.  
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Back and Neck Pain Therapeutic Tools for Wish List
 

Knee, Thigh, Pelvis Pillow

These pillows have different names but are used in the same way. This is a pillow that can be placed between the legs while sleeping takes the pressure off the pelvis and spine. These types of pillows are great for individuals that sleep on their side. This is because the top leg often shifts down, leading to increased stress on the hips and low back. These pillows help keep the legs aligned during sleep relieving pressure on the low back.  
 

How To Self-Care for Back Pain Books

There are a variety of books that offer tips, and therapies for self-care. These products are not a cure-all. They are intended to help in combination with proper treatment, especially for certain spinal conditions. If pain is limiting daily function, consult a chiropractor, physical therapist, or physician about using the above therapeutic tools.

Doctor of Chiropractic Near Me

 

Dr. Alex Jimenez�s Blog Post Disclaimer

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas& New Mexico*
References
Furlan, Andrea D et al. �Massage for low-back pain.��The Cochrane database of systematic reviews,9 CD001929. 1 Sep. 2015, doi:10.1002/14651858.CD001929.pub3
Weakness, Pain, Numbness, Radiculopathy, and Chiropractic

Weakness, Pain, Numbness, Radiculopathy, and Chiropractic

Weakness, pain, and numbness can find their root in the spine. It is known as radiculopathy. If left untreated, health problems will only continue to get worse, with the potential to become a chronic condition. When it comes to degenerative pain conditions they usually start small. There is occasional discomfort that gradually develops into pain, then weakness and numbness.  
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Weakness, Pain, Numbness, Radiculopathy, and Chiropractic
 
Usually, by the time an individual seeks help, the original condition has devolved into radiating pain. This is why it is important to address the issue right away. Chiropractic works with individuals to help them understand the degenerative nature of pain and how to address and prevent it. Early intervention will prevent minor discomfort from turning into debilitating, chronic pain.

Radiculopathy

Radiating pain root cause is a compressed or inflamed nerve. It happens at the site of compression and spreads outward growing larger with time. It can be a catalyst for different pain conditions and syndromes like sciatica or complex regional pain syndrome. There are a variety of terms for nerve pain, they are typically a form of radiculopathy.  
 

Stages

The pain can spiral as fast as the underlying condition/s that is causing it. A compressed nerve that generates pain but does not become worse in severity is usually because the compression stays the same. Conversely, minimal discomfort brought on from shifted vertebrae can rapidly progress into weakness, numbness, and reduced mobility as a nerve is continually and severely getting compressed. Radiculopathy pain usually follows a pattern. Understanding the signs and symptoms will help determine to what extent the condition has progressed, and how it can develop into a worsening nerve injury:
  • Discomfort is the first stage. Subluxation, rotation, or a spinal shift is what is occurring, with the nerve not yet affected.
  • The pain signals that come from nerve compression along with the severity can help determine the cause of the condition.
  • Weakness usually follows pain. The nerve that is affected begins to take on permanent damage and cannot function properly.
  • Numbness follows the weakness reaching the most severe level. Mobility is limited along with a high increase for permanent nerve pain.
Being aware of these radiculopathy symptoms will help an individual stay ahead of nerve injury. Acting on discomfort can prevent progression into pain, addressing pain can stave off weakness, and acting upon weakness may prevent permanent nerve damage. The sooner an individual seeks help for any type of pain, the better chance they have to prevent degeneration.  
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Weakness, Pain, Numbness, Radiculopathy, and Chiropractic
 

Long-Term Prevention

It is crucial to consult with a chiropractor at the first sign of discomfort in the spine or if there is radiating/spreading back pain. A chiropractor will be able to provide decisive treatment that will bring relief and prevent the pain from worsening. The pain, weakness, and numbness can be avoided, along with long-term damage to the nerves.

Sciatica Pain Therapy


 

Dr. Alex Jimenez�s Blog Post Disclaimer

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas& New Mexico*
References
Stochkendahl, Mette Jensen et al. �National Clinical Guidelines for non-surgical treatment of patients with recent-onset low back pain or lumbar radiculopathy.� The European spine journal: official publication of the European Spine Society, the European Spinal Deformity Society, and the European Section of the Cervical Spine Research Society�vol. 27,1 (2018): 60-75. doi:10.1007/s00586-017-5099-2
Chiropractic Posterior Adjustments for Bulging Discs

Chiropractic Posterior Adjustments for Bulging Discs

Bulging discs usually present in the lower back. Chiropractic studies have shown that the L4 and L5 segments are more susceptible to stressors that enable and cause the discs to bulge.  
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Chiropractic Posterior Adjustments for Bulging Discs
 
These vertebrae shift and become compressed with stress and time. The bulge eventually reaches a point that causes symptoms that include:
  • Pain
  • Limited range of motion
  • Mobility issues
Bulging discs are a common ailment that chiropractors specialize in treating and is one of the most common reasons individuals seek treatment. There is a surprise when individuals learn that spinal adjustments are only part of the solution for relief from bulging discs. Once a chiropractor realigns the vertebrae back into place, the individual must put in the work of preventing any re-bulging.  
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Chiropractic Posterior Adjustments for Bulging Discs
 
Once relief has been attained individuals can become hesitant when a chiropractor informs them of the need for posterior chain strengthening. Posterior chain adjustments along with strength exercises are very important for the prevention of further bulging discs and overall optimal spine health. Restoring the lower back’s curvature and maintaining alignment requires strengthening the support system. Part of the chiropractic experience is educating patients on how to best maintain their spines.  

Posterior chain Identification

A bulging low back disc is more than low back pain. A chiropractor will help an individual identify the posterior chain stimulus that is causing their bulging discs. An example to identify the posterior chain root that is causing the pain, a chiropractor will have an individual perform certain movements to figure out where along the chain the problems are occurring. It could be a weakness in the gluteal muscles or if the chiropractor asks the individual to touch their toes from a standing position and they are unable could show inflexibility.  
 

Chiropractic Adjustments

Bulging discs begin with proper chiropractic adjusting and re-alignment. Palpitation along with radiological imaging will allow a chiropractor to determine which lumbar disc/s is bulging and to what extent. This will determine the treatment protocol that the chiropractor will take. It can include drop table adjustments that will help shift any misaligned vertebrae, and traction to alleviate compression and inflammation. Depending on age, the severity of the bulge, and the cause of the condition, a combination of adjustment techniques could be utilized.  

Strengthening

Once the pain has been addressed, a chiropractor will recommend exercises and stretches to strengthen the posterior chain and its support system. The disc/s that are bulging will be able to realign properly while any further bulges can be avoided. Strengthening is focused on the:
  • Gluteal muscles
  • Hamstrings
  • Quadriceps
  • Hip flexors
  • Low back
Core strengthening will increase the strength of these muscle groups. This means enhanced support for the entire spine promoting the spine’s ability to handle stressors and avoid bulging. Individuals have found benefits from yoga or a specific stretching regimen of the posterior chain. This helps reduce stress in overused/worked muscles that improve flexibility and mobility support systems.  
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Chiropractic Posterior Adjustments for Bulging Discs
 

Bulging disc relief

Bulging discs should not be ignored. If left untreated it could lead to more severe complications. To prevent recurring bulges along with low back pain, an individual needs to strengthen the posterior chain. Strengthening, and stretching are all crucial to the chiropractic adjustment process. A customized chiropractic treatment plan will ensure every individual gets the proper support their body needs.

Herniated Disc Treatment


��

Dr. Alex Jimenez�s Blog Post Disclaimer

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas& New Mexico*
References
Djuric, N et al. �Lumbar disc extrusions reduce faster than bulging discs due to an active role of macrophages in sciatica.��Acta neurochirurgica�vol. 162,1 (2020): 79-85. doi:10.1007/s00701-019-04117-7
Sciatica Fitness and Chiropractic Wellness

Sciatica Fitness and Chiropractic Wellness

Because sciatica is an inflammatory condition, with the sciatic nerve specifically being the target, sciatica fitness and exercise is one of the first recommendations from chiropractors. Sciatica is a series of symptoms from a variety of underlying medical causes and condition/s. This could be:

  • Too much sitting, which most of us are doing these days
  • Work injuries
  • Automobile accident injuries
  • Sports injuries
  • Awkward movements/motions that pulled the sciatic nerve in the wrong direction
  • Twisted sciatic nerve with other muscles
  • Back and leg muscle spasms
  • Herniated disc
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Hernia
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Sciatica Fitness and Chiropractic Wellness

A Proper/Correct Diagnosis Is Essential

A correct diagnosis of the cause is essential to help the chiropractor formulate a customized optimal treatment plan. Individuals can experience the same symptoms across the board, however, despite the similarities, sciatica requires a careful, customized precision approach to treatment. An ideal treatment plan often requires a very specific exercise regimen and chiropractic adjustment schedule. Therefore, there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

Sciatica can be treated effectively with the right chiropractic approach with a high success rate for alleviated symptoms. Effectively treating sciatica requires direct treatment to the specific cause, rather than using techniques that only mask the pain. Example: If a herniated disc is the root cause, sciatica can be relieved by reducing the bulge of the disc, thus bringing down the irritation/inflammation and compression of the sciatic nerve.

Sciatica treatment/s depends on the cause

A stretching regimen for sciatica caused by a low back herniated disc will be different than stretches for treating low back spinal stenosis. Understanding how sciatica is the key to unlocking a treatment plan that will work to minimize pain and inflammation.

Exercise Can Help

Exercising and sciatica fitness will help relieve sciatic pain in various ways. These include:

  • Alleviates the pressure on the sciatic nerve
  • Helps reduce inflammation
  • An increase in cortisol produced during exercise can reduce inflammation
  • Improves the range of motion, which reduces stress on the spine
  • Higher activity levels generate adrenaline and endorphins, to help combat the pain

Specific exercises/stretches need to be done that target the sciatic nerve and the root cause. Working with a chiropractor will bring an understanding of specifically how the body should be worked out, the intensity of the workout, and where on the body the focus should be.

For example, if the nerve is irritated from a pelvic tilt and low back compression, a chiropractor could recommend a minimal cardio workout with combined strength exercises for the hamstrings, glutes, and lower body. A strength and conditioning regimen will increase stability in the lower body, prevent pelvic tilt, and reinforce the chiropractic adjustments/alignment.

11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Sciatica Fitness and Chiropractic Wellness

Chiropractic Benefits

However, sciatica fitness and exercise on its own is not the complete solution for dealing with chronic sciatic pain. Chiropractic adjustments along with chiropractic prevention are necessary to restore the stability and integrity of the spine. When used in combination with exercise, the re-alignment and corrections can take effect sooner and maintain optimal spinal health. When individuals condition and strengthen their body, The musculature that supports the spine gets massive reinforcement. This minimizes the chances of a reoccurring pelvic tilt from weakened core muscles. The long-term effects of sciatica fitness/exercise and chiropractic spinal/hip manipulation work together to form a perfect combination.

Sciatica Fitness

For truly long-term effects of pain relief and a better quality of life, a chiropractic treatment plan is highly recommended. Specific targeted adjustments and re-alignment with a sciatica fitness program will promote optimal health and wellness.


Whole Body Wellness Foot Orthotics

 


 

Dr. Alex Jimenez�s Blog Post Disclaimer

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

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

References

Beavers, Kristen M et al. �Effect of exercise training on chronic inflammation.��Clinica chimica acta; international journal of clinical chemistry�vol. 411,11-12 (2010): 785-93. doi:10.1016/j.cca.2010.02.069

Coulombe, Brian J et al. �Core Stability Exercise Versus General Exercise for Chronic Low Back Pain.��Journal of athletic training�vol. 52,1 (2017): 71-72. doi:10.4085/1062-6050-51.11.16

Disc Pain and Nerve Root Pain Understanding Spinal Disc Problems

Disc Pain and Nerve Root Pain Understanding Spinal Disc Problems

Back or disc pain is becoming increasingly common for individuals of all ages. The spinal discs are prone to injury because of the extreme amount of pressure/stress placed on the lower back and neck. Fortunately, most cases of back pain heal on their own, while others can cause long-term chronic pain that can be difficult to manage, without proper treatment.  
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Disc Pain and Nerve Root Pain Understanding Spinal Disc Problems
 
Different types of pain can be caused by problems with the spinal discs. The spinal discs are elastic sections of the spine that sit between the vertebrae. They are made up of materials called annulus fibrosus on the outside and a gel-like material called nucleus pulposus on the inside.  
 
These discs are flexible, which allows for a range of motion to the spine and body shock absorption to increase comfort when in motion. When an individual visits a chiropractor, the practitioner will not know the exact cause of the pain, but only that it hurts around a certain area. Our spinal experts will help individuals understand the different types of ailments or conditions that could be affecting the spine. Then a customized treatment plan can be developed.  

Disc problems

Spinal disc pain has two major sources of pain related to spinal discs: They are disc degeneration and nerve root pain. They are most common in the neck and the lower back. Individuals need to be informed of the difference to understand what is happening with the spine and potential treatment options to alleviate the pain and heal the problem.  

Degenerative disc disease

Degenerative disc disease is when the spinal discs begin to dry out and deteriorate. The discs start to shrink and can tear, which leaves that segment with little or no cushioning. This can cause pain, as well as inflammation of the surrounding muscles and joints. Disc degeneration usually presents with low levels of consistent pain and occasional severe flare-ups.  
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Disc Pain and Nerve Root Pain Understanding Spinal Disc Problems
 
A chiropractor can utilize spinal manipulation to restore alignment, function, and mobility of the affected joint. Massages stretches and exercises will help alleviate the tension in the surrounding muscles along with strengthening them for better support.  

Nerve root pain

Nerve root pain does not take place within the disc but is usually caused by a bulging or herniated disc. This condition can be called a slipped disc or pinched nerve, affect the nerves that are in close proximity to the neck and lower vertebrae.  
 
The pain can lead to numbness, tingling, and weakness along the path of the nerve, and radiate out to the arms and legs. A bulging disc is when the spinal disc progressively protrudes through a narrow opening.  
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Disc Pain and Nerve Root Pain Understanding Spinal Disc Problems
 
This can irritate any nearby nerve roots causing inflammation and pain. If the disc herniates or breaks through then the outer protective material tears, letting the cushion/gel leak out and come in contact with the nerve root/s, which could also cause pinching and inflammation. Treatment for a bulging or herniated disc includes:
  • Spinal manipulation
  • Corrective exercises
  • Physical therapy
  • Massage
  • Diet adjustments
These treatments can help realign the disc/s, moving them away from any nerves, and minimizing inflammation.  

Proper Identification and Diagnosis

Spinal disc problems can be similar in their pain and symptoms. For example, degenerative disc disease can weaken the spinal discs to such a degree that nerve root pain follows creating a dual combination of pain. The conditions require various approaches and treatment methods often done in combination. However, they require a proper diagnosis to create a proper and custom treatment program for every individual. This will ensure the root cause of the disc pain is properly identified and handled. Call us to learn more.

Skateboarding Injury Treatment


 

Dr. Alex Jimenez�s Blog Post Disclaimer

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas& New Mexico*
References
Browning, J E. �Chiropractic distractive decompression in the treatment of pelvic pain and organic dysfunction in patients with evidence of lower sacral nerve root compression.��Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics�vol. 11,5 (1988): 426-32.
Spinal Chiropractic Mobilization Techniques

Spinal Chiropractic Mobilization Techniques

Chiropractic spinal mobilization techniques involve the slow and steady movements of the spine’s joints reestablishing their range of motion. Because it is a slower treatment style the techniques are done with the hands. However, a chiropractor can use various instruments/tools as well. Spinal mobilization treatment has the same focus as spinal manipulation. To get the body back to optimal health and allow the body to heal itself naturally. However, there can be a variety of reasons for utilizing spinal stabilization, with treatment depending on the patient’s needs, if there are underlying conditions, or previous injury/s, and individual preference. Some prefer mobilization because it is gentler and does not generate the pops or cracking sounds. And the chiropractor’s style/specialization comes into play. Some work in the firm manipulation high-velocity style, while others utilize the softer mobilization style and others work in combination.
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Spinal Chiropractic Mobilization Techniques

Manipulation High-Velocity Low-Amplitude Techniques

This adjustment re-alignment utilizes the necessary force to release the joint out of its restricted motion to improve mobility and reduce pain. There are various types of high-velocity low-amplitude manipulation approaches. These are the more common manipulation techniques:

Diversified Technique

 
This high-velocity low-amplitude technique is the one that is commonly associated with chiropractic manual adjustments. The chiropractor applies a short – low-amplitude, quick high-velocity thrust of the restricted joints. This is done one at a time with the objective to restore the normal range of motion. The patient is positioned in various positions to optimize the adjustment/alignment.

Gonstead Adjustment

 
The Gonstead technique is another high-velocity low amplitude adjustment. It is similar to the diversified technique. The difference is the evaluation performed to specifically locate the painful joint and positioning of the body as the treatment is performed. Chiropractic or physical therapy chairs and tables can be used to position the patient for optimal treatment, like a cervical chair or a chest-knee table.
 

Thompson Terminal Point Drop Technique

Here specialized treatment tables with sections that drop down during a high-velocity low-amplitude thrust. The idea is that as the table drops the piece dropped allows for easier movement of the joint. A cracking sound can sometimes be heard. It depends on the patient and their condition. This type of manipulation can also be done in a gentle fashion making it a form of spinal mobilization.

Spinal mobilization

Slow steady motion/movements are performed to mobilize the joint. Spinal mobilization can be recommended for certain individuals for different reasons like:
  • Individual preference for spinal mobilization over spinal manipulation
  • Individuals with a sensitive nervous system can benefit from the gentle technique. This can keep the body from experiencing a negative reaction that can cause muscle spasms or other issues.
  • Individuals with certain conditions could be given a recommendation for spinal mobilization. This could be:
  1. Advanced osteoporosis
  2. Bone pathology
  3. Spinal deformity
  4. Types of inflammatory arthritis
  • Individuals in the acute stage of their condition and experiencing severe pain
  • Obesity can be a factor as the positioning and the manipulation procedures can be a challenge for the provider and the patient requiring a low force approach.

Mobilization Approaches

The more common spinal mobilization approaches include:

Activator Technique

 
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Spinal Chiropractic Mobilization Techniques
The Activator is a hand-held, spring-loaded tool that generates a low-force impulse. A patient lies face down on the adjustment table, while the chiropractor:
  • Examines leg length
  • Performs muscle testing
  • Adjusts the spine and/or extremity joints

Cox Flexion-Distraction Technique

 
Here a gentle adjustment is designed to adjust the vertebrae by gently stretching the lower spine. This is usually performed in a series of repetitive slow movements like a steady rocking motion.

Toggle Drop

 
chiropractic toggle drop technique
Here gravity is utilized to apply the adjustment. The chiropractors’ hands are crossed and on top of each other. Then the chiropractor presses down quickly and firmly on the area of the spine while a section of the table drops. The table sections can be raised and dropped according to the localization of the spinal adjustment.

McKenzie Technique

 
This technique incorporates active patient involvement, empowerment, and self-care as part of the treatment.
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Spinal Chiropractic Mobilization Techniques

Spinal Release

The chiropractor separates the misaligned vertebrae by applying gentle pressure using the fingertips, with the objective to restore the spine back to a natural position.
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Spinal Chiropractic Mobilization Techniques

Sacro-Occipital Technique – SOT

This technique utilizes wedges/blocks under the pelvis. This allows gravity with added low-force to assist the chiropractor to realign the pelvis.

Sciatica Alleviation

All of these techniques can be utilized by a chiropractor for sciatic nerve pain alleviation or can discover other conditions that could be mimicking sciatica.
Nerve mobilization techniques have been recently used as a method to adjust radiating pain related to disc disease, and in particular, mobilization techniques for the sciatic nerves improve mobility of the sciatic nerves, decrease mechanosensitivity of the nervous system, and heighten compliance of nerve tissues, relieving low back pain. Jeong, Ui-Cheol et al. �The effects of self-mobilization techniques for the sciatic nerves on physical functions and health of low back pain patients with lower limb radiating pain.��Journal of physical therapy science�vol. 28,1 (2016): 46-50. doi:10.1589/jpts.28.46

Sciatica Rehabilitation Causes and Symptoms


 

Dr. Alex Jimenez�s Blog Post Disclaimer

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

Belly Dancing Can Help Alleviate Back Pain

Belly dancing has been found to be an effective way to help individuals managing low back pain. It could be utilized as a part of a chiropractic treatment plan. The dancing is beneficial for improving posture and allows an individual to improve their fitness with a light form of aerobic exercise.
 
Regular physical activity/exercise and a healthy lifestyle go hand in hand. For individuals with spinal issues, the right stretches and exercises can make a difference in their quality of life. It increases:
  • Strength
  • Flexibility
  • Helps with pain management
  • Improves posture
  • Maintains spinal alignment
Belly dancing can help with injury recovery, as well as overall health. For most the trouble with exercising regularly is that it becomes routine and boring. Individuals want to live healthily, but it can be a challenge to maintain interest and motivation. An alternative form of physical activity that qualifies as exercise could be the answer. Dancing has grown in popularity because of its fitness, flexibility, and spinal benefits. This form of belly dancing exercise does not require any special outfit or plenty of space. This utilizes the movements as a form of stretching and keeping the body moving in an aerobic fashion. They can be done at home with video instruction or an online class. Although the majority are women, men can and do belly dance.

Belly Dance

Information on the history of belly dancing. The dance has gone through various transformations since its inception. It was once considered burlesque entertainment, is now recognized as an important cultural expression, and today has been found to be a respected form of dance exercise.
 

Exercise

Belly dancing as physical exercise involves: Isometric exercises are contract specific muscles or groups of muscles. These types of exercise help with strength and stability enhancement. Both are vital for individuals recovering from back injuries or back pain management.

Posture

Dance posture is different than normal standing or sitting posture. Dance posture refers to the way an individual prepares/maintains their body to perform specific movements so that the motions are fluid, graceful, and with no presentation of pain. Belly dance posture maintains proper spinal alignment, which encourages reduced stress/pressure on the joints. This is beneficial for individuals managing back problems. The keys to spinal success are:
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Belly Dancing Can Help Alleviate Back Pain
 
When the abdominal and back muscles maintain/support a straight spine, this alleviates stress on the low back. Lower back issues have shown a positive response to a belly dance exercise therapy program. A study looked at the effects of belly dancing on pain and function in women with chronic lower back pain. The study found that belly dancing made movements of the trunk and pelvis that are known to influence low back pain much easier. A belly dance program in conjunction with a chiropractic or physical therapy treatment plan can help alleviate pain and improve function. A 45-minute belly dance routine/session promotes aerobic benefits, improves flexibility and core strength.

Core Strength

These are movements that train the muscles in the:
  • Pelvis
  • Abdomen
  • Hips
  • Low back
They help build strength, generate stability, protect against back pain, poor posture, and muscle injuries. Having core strength is crucial for individuals with back issues, as it increases the stabilization of the spine. Core strengthening is highly recommended and often prescribed for individuals recovering from lumbar issues.
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Belly Dancing Can Help Alleviate Back Pain
 

Depression/Anxiety Improvement

Individuals with back pain also tend to experience psychological issues like depression and anxiety. Back pain can affect:
  • Mood
  • Tiredness
  • Sleep problems
  • Self-esteem problems
Belly dancing as part of a treatment/therapy program can help an individual experience benefits that improve mental health and well-being. These include:
  • Regaining mobility
  • Having a positive body image
  • Social interaction is enhanced

For All Ages

Belly dancing is a fantastic creative outlet and a great way to exercise. Anyone that is able can participate. Children, seniors, and everyone in between can get into belly dancing. It enhances health and strengthens the body and mind. When the body is in the proper position/posture there are no joint issues or pain. In-person classes, at home with online instruction, DVDs, or video meeting apps can benefit the body and especially the spine.
 

Life-Changing Orthotics

 
 

Dr. Alex Jimenez�s Blog Post Disclaimer

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas& New Mexico*
Enjoy the Hobbies You Love Without Back and Neck Pain

Enjoy the Hobbies You Love Without Back and Neck Pain

We all have our hobbies that we are passionate about, love doing, and could see turning into a second career. However, certain hobbies can generate stress on the spine. This often leads to a decrease in being able to participate in these activities, which can lead to various health issues. Maintaining the body’s physical fitness and keeping the spine healthy is key to being able to continue without neck or back pain. Hobbies are an important part of life. Individuals need to enjoy what they love from sports activities to music to arts and craft projects. Having activities/hobbies help:
  • Boost mental health
  • Relieve stress
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Promotes weight loss
  • Meditative qualities
Here�s how to make sure the hobbies/activities are fun and safe.  
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Enjoying the Hobbies You Love Without Back and Neck Pain
 

Protecting the Neck

Poor posture is one of the leading causes of neck and back pain. Looking down or being in a standing/sitting hunched position regularly increases the load/stress on the neck increasing the chances for strain, injury, headaches, and chronic pain. In the neutral position, the skull weighs around 10-12 pounds. When leaning the head forward weight increases from let’s say 27 pounds at a 15-degree angle to 60 pounds at a 60-degree angle. The strain on the cervical vertebrae, joints, and muscles can be immense. A good example is text-neck. This has become a normal thing when using a smartphone, gaming, or other similar activities. Studies suggest that the average individual spends three to five hours a day on a smartphone or tablet. This means three to five hours of extra weight on the cervical spine. Engaging in a hobby that requires an individual to look down constantly in a similar fashion can lead to serious and chronic neck pain along with other cervical issues.  
 
Individuals are spending more time at home and getting more serious about their hobbies. This is fantastic, however, these individuals need to take time to stretch out, and get some physical activity into their hobby routine. Just like taking frequent walk-around, stretch out at work breaks, so to do hobbyists need to step back from their projects to keep a healthy balance. The position of the neck and the way it is held for activities like:
  • Sewing
  • Carpentry
  • Gardening
  • Painting
  • Pottery
  • Knitting
  • Music
Hobbies like this can increase the risk of neck pain, so the key is prevention, paying attention to head posture every now and again, and taking stretching breaks.

Proper Posture Makes a Difference

11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Enjoying the Hobbies You Love Without Back and Neck Pain
 
Many individuals stand and sit when working on their hobbies. This is quite common and is encouraged when doing these absorbing activities. But being immersed in these activities, most forget to check their posture when doing so. This is what leads to problems that at first are shrugged off as just soreness. Eventually, the individual begins to engage in bad/awkward posture habits that avoid the pain and think this will help. This worsens the problems and promotes further strain/injury. Leaning, bending, reaching, and twisting curves the spine increasing the load and stress. Performing these actions over and over for extended periods means:
  • Strain
  • Low back pain
  • Muscle spasms
  • Sciatica
  • Leg pain
  • Foot pain
Slouching is another posture problem that increases the likelihood of lower back pain. Slouching causes gaps between the lower back vertebrae. This stresses the facet joints or the connections between the vertebrae. The soft tissues elongate/stretch and lengthen like muscles and connective tissue. What elongation does is:
  • Cause the tissues to attempt to snap back to the original shape. This can cause painful spasms.
  • Muscles that are constantly elongated become weaker with time.
The longer an individual sits, stands, and slouches impacts the body’s health negatively, leading to a chain of health problems. Maintaining proper posture and keeping the spine straight minimizes the strain on muscles and the vertebrae. Prevent pain and discomfort.  
 

Ergonomics at the House

Ergonomic stressors include:
  • The force/s required to perform and complete a physical chore/task.
  • Adopted static and awkward working postures to complete task/s
  • The repetitiveness of the task/s
Any of these factors or combination places a higher risk for discomfort, pain, and injury. The immediate surroundings like the bench, work area, craft room, etc. and how the individual moves or does not move, and interacts in these areas is the focus of ergonomics. Proper ergonomics will help protect the spine, as well as the rest of the body. Improper ergonomics can cause damage like muscle strain, repetitive movements, and incorrect posture. Taking a look at the hobby workspace the ergonomics, and making any necessary adjustments can help prevent strain/injury.

Proper seating

Make sure the right type of chair, stool, bench, etc is being utilized. Adjustable types that have neck and lower back support are the way to go. Make sure the base is stable, the seat is comfortable and adjustable. Backrests and armrests can help maintain proper posture.

Correct table/desk/workstation height

Various drafting tables and lap desks have adjustable surfaces to adjust the height for working with a proper ergonomic posture. If the work surface is not adjustable adjust the chair or make adjustments as needed. The hips should be higher than the knees to take the strain off the sacrum and lower back. The upper back should be straight, with the shoulder blades together creating a supportive platform for the neck and head.

Tools

Using the best tools for working and organization will help avoid injuries and constant awkward positions like leaning/reaching over and around the workspace. Look for tools that can be adjusted to different heights, resistance levels, etc. depending on what is needed and what will reduce any strain.

Vision

If an individual needs to lean in to get a closer look then vision could be the problem. If an individual wears glasses it could be time for a check-up. Or if an individual does not wear glasses, it could be time to see an optometrist. Non-prescription magnifiers could be the answer.  
mobility flexibility el paso tx.
 

Stretching Regularly

Working too long in one position can be detrimental to overall health. It is very understandable when individuals get into the zone, working on something creative, and not wanting to stop the flow. However, frequent breaks are vital. Stretching regularly and getting up to move around is key to staying healthy.

Neck Stretch

  • Stretch the neck by turning the head from side to side in a gentle fashion.
  • Tip the head to each side so the ear almost touches the shoulder.
  • Lower the head so that the chin almost touches the chest.
  • Turn the to look diagonally down at the armpit. This stretches the trapezius and levator scapulae muscles.
  • Hold the stretches for 10-15 seconds.
  • Always perform slowly and gently.

Lower Back Stretch

15 minutes a day of stretches will maintain the health of the spine. If pain or discomfort becomes frequent or unmanageable, seek professional help. Physical therapists and chiropractors are trained in orthopedic issues and ergonomics without prescription. Call a doctor or physical therapist to find out if treatment is necessary. Following these guidelines can help keep hobbies fun and without pain.

Lower Back Pain Skate Boarding Injury Treatment


 

Dr. Alex Jimenez�s Blog Post Disclaimer

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