Back Clinic Functional Medicine Team. Functional medicine is an evolution in the practice of medicine that better addresses the healthcare needs of the 21st century. By shifting the traditional disease-centered focus of medical practice to a more patient-centered approach, functional medicine addresses the whole person, not just an isolated set of symptoms.
Practitioners spend time with their patients, listening to their histories and looking at the interactions among genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that can influence long-term health and complex, chronic disease. In this way, functional medicine supports the unique expression of health and vitality for each individual.
By changing the disease-centered focus of medical practice to this patient-centered approach, our physicians are able to support the healing process by viewing health and illness as part of a cycle in which all components of the human biological system interact dynamically with the environment. This process helps to seek and identify genetic, lifestyle, and environmental factors that may shift a person’s health from illness to well-being.
Not getting enough fiber in one’s diet can lead to fiber deficiency. Fiber helps support gut and microbiome health. Individuals not getting enough fiber may experience irregular bowel movements, constipation, blood sugar fluctuations, not feeling full/satisfied after eating, or rising cholesterol levels. About 100 trillion microorganisms in the gut are integral to maintaining a healthy immune system. Fiber is the food these microorganisms eat that helps them to do their job. Without the proper amount, the immune system’s health may also be compromised.
Fiber and Gut Health
Fiber and gut health benefits include regulating the body’s sugars, helping to keep hunger and blood sugar in check, helping to maintain a healthy weight, its ability to prevent or relieve constipation, reduce the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer.
Dietary fiber, or roughage, is the part of plant foods the body can’t digest or absorb.
It passes through the stomach, small intestine, and colon and out of the body.
It is found mainly in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes.
Soluble and insoluble forms are important to overall health.
This type dissolves in water to form a gel-like substance.
It can help lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels.
It is found in oats, peas, beans, apples, citrus fruits, carrots, and barley.
This type of fiber promotes the movement of material through the digestive system.
It increases stool bulk, benefiting individuals who struggle with constipation or irregular stools.
Whole-wheat flour, wheat bran, nuts, beans, and vegetables, such as cauliflower, green beans, and potatoes, are good sources.
Healthy Bowel Movements
Dietary fiber increases stool weight and thickness and makes it soft.
Fiber helps to solidify the stool by absorbing water and adding bulk.
A thicker stool is easier to pass, decreasing the potential for constipation and other problems.
Maintains Bowel Health
A high-fiber diet can lower the risk of developing hemorrhoids and small pouches in the colon/diverticular disease.
Studies have also found that a high-fiber diet can help lower the risk of colorectal cancer.
Some fiber gets fermented in the colon.
Researchers are looking at how this can help prevent diseases of the colon.
Soluble fiber found in beans, oats, flaxseed, and oat bran can help lower blood cholesterol levels by lowering low-density lipoprotein or unhealthy cholesterol levels.
Studies also have shown that high-fiber foods can help reduce blood pressure and inflammation.
Regulates Blood Sugar Levels
In individuals with diabetes, fiber, particularly soluble fiber, can slow the absorption of sugar and improve blood sugar levels.
A healthy nutrition plan that includes insoluble fiber can help reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Helps Achieve Healthy Weight
High-fiber foods can be more filling than low-fiber foods, helping individuals eat less and stay satisfied.
High-fiber foods can also take longer to eat and are less energy dense, meaning they have fewer calories.
Getting More Fiber
Ideas for adding more fiber to meals and snacks:
Fiber to Start The Day
Choose a high-fiber breakfast cereal with five or more grams of fiber per serving.
Choose cereals with whole grain, bran, or fiber in the name.
Add a few tablespoons of unprocessed wheat bran to the cereal.
Add Whole Grains
Try to make at least half of the grains eaten whole grains.
Look for bread that lists whole wheat, whole-wheat flour, or another whole grain as the first ingredient, with at least 2 grams of dietary fiber per serving.
Experiment with whole-wheat pasta, brown rice, wild rice, barley, and bulgur wheat.
Substitute whole-grain flour for half or all white flour when baking.
Add crushed bran cereal, unprocessed wheat bran, or uncooked oatmeal to muffins, cakes, and cookies.
Beans, peas, and lentils are recommended sources.
Add kidney beans to soups or salads.
Make nachos with refried black beans, fresh vegetables, whole-wheat tortilla chips, and healthy salsa.
Fruit and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are rich in fiber and vitamins and minerals.
Try to eat a favorite fruit daily.
Fresh fruits, raw vegetables, low-fat popcorn, and whole-grain crackers are healthy choices.
Try for a handful of nuts or dried fruits; however, be aware that nuts and dried fruits can be high in calories.
High-fiber foods are beneficial for the body’s health.
Adding too much fiber can promote intestinal gas, abdominal bloating, and cramping.
Increase fiber gradually over a few weeks.
This allows the natural bacteria in the digestive system to make adjustments.
Maintain hydration, as fiber works best when it absorbs water.
Individuals not sure how to incorporate more fiber can consult a nutritionist and health coach to help begin the process.
Anderson, James W et al. “Health benefits of dietary fiber.” Nutrition Reviews vol. 67,4 (2009): 188-205. doi:10.1111/j.1753-4887.2009.00189.x
Cronin, Peter, et al. “Dietary Fiber Modulates the Gut Microbiota.” Nutrients vol. 13,5 1655. 13 May. 2021, doi:10.3390/nu13051655
Fuller, Stacey, et al. “New Horizons for the Study of Dietary Fiber and Health: A Review.” Plant foods for human nutrition (Dordrecht, Netherlands) vol. 71,1 (2016): 1-12. doi:10.1007/s11130-016-0529-6
Gill, Samantha K et al. “Dietary fiber in gastrointestinal health and disease.” Nature reviews. Gastroenterology & hepatology vol. 18,2 (2021): 101-116. doi:10.1038/s41575-020-00375-4
Although salt is satisfying to the palate and necessary for survival, when the body craves salt, it can be a symptom of a health condition/s. The body needs sodium, but many foods contain more than the body needs. Most individuals’ sodium intake comes from packaged foods, pizza, burgers, and soups. The body craves salty foods for various reasons, often related to a sodium imbalance. To help curb cravings and limit consumption, incorporate seasoning blends, spices, and vegetables into a nutritional plan. Injury Medical Chiropractic and Functional Medicine Clinic can provide expert diet recommendations and health coaching to develop a personalized nutrition plan.
The body needs 500 milligrams (mg) of sodium daily for optimal functioning.
That’s less than one-fourth of a teaspoon (tsp).
But because most individuals take in around 3,400 mg every day, the American Heart Association recommends that adults reduce consumption to 1,500-2,300 mg of salt daily.
Individuals who crave salt often shouldn’t ignore this as cravings could signal a health condition.
It is recommended to seek a healthcare provider’s advice to evaluate nutrition and lifestyle.
Craving salt could mean the body needs hydration. A sodium deficiency triggers systems that generate cravings for sodium, and the body feels rewarded after consuming salty foods. Individuals that find themselves dehydrated often should consider following these tips to maintain healthy body hydration:
Carry a water bottle throughout the day, take frequent sips, and try to refill two or more times.
Add fruit or fresh herbs to the water for flavor.
Freeze water bottles to have ice-cold water readily available.
Ask for water alongside other beverages when dining out.
When electrolytes are out of balance, the body can crave salty foods.
Electrolytes are minerals in the body with an electric charge.
Electrolytes are in the blood, urine, and tissues, and levels can spike or plummet.
This occurs when the amount of water taken does not equal the amount lost because of excessive sweating, sickness, and/or frequent urination.
Electrolytes are important because:
They help balance the body’s water equilibrium and pH levels
Move nutrients and waste into and out of the cells
Ensure the nerves, muscles, and brain are at optimal function.
Eating behavior can quickly be disrupted when experiencing stressful situations.
A stressed body can feel better after eating the foods it is used to, especially for individuals that consume a lot of salty foods when things are normal, and there is no stress.
Eating because of boredom is an emotional eating behavior similar to stress eating.
This response to negative emotions can happen to anyone.
Individuals are recommended to work through their negative thoughts with stress reduction strategies that include:
Individuals can make a no-salt seasoning mix using cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and cayenne pepper.
Instead of one teaspoon of iodized salt, one teaspoon of fresh garlic can eliminate up to 2,360 mg of sodium and offers an intense flavor.
Reduce Salt Consumption
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says that reducing the amount of sodium can gradually lower cravings. Taking these steps can help:
Limit consumption of packaged foods, especially those with the word instant in the name. These often contain a significant amount of sodium.
If possible, prepare lunch to take to work or school.
Read nutrition labels to ensure the products contain at least less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium.
Stick to fresh, frozen vegetables with no seasoning added or no-salt canned vegetables.
Split meals when eating out or cut the meal in half and take the rest home to avoid the high amounts of sodium in restaurant food.
Use none or low-sodium salad dressings or place them on the side.
Learning About Food Substitutions
Bell, Victoria, et al. “One Health, Fermented Foods, and Gut Microbiota.” Foods (Basel, Switzerland) vol. 7,12 195. 3 Dec. 2018, doi:10.3390/foods7120195
Husebye, Eystein S et al. “Adrenal insufficiency.” Lancet (London, England) vol. 397,10274 (2021): 613-629. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(21)00136-7
Morris, Michael J et al. “Salt craving: the psychobiology of pathogenic sodium intake.” Physiology & behavior vol. 94,5 (2008): 709-21. doi:10.1016/j.physbeh.2008.04.008
Orloff, Natalia C, and Julia M Hormes. “Pickles and ice cream! Food cravings in pregnancy: hypotheses, preliminary evidence, and directions for future research.” Frontiers in psychology vol. 5 1076. 23 Sep. 2014, doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01076
Souza, Luciana Bronzi de et al. “Do Food Intake and Food Cravings Change during the Menstrual Cycle of Young Women?.” “A ingestão de alimentos e os desejos por comida mudam durante o ciclo menstrual das mulheres jovens?.” Revista brasileira de ginecologia e obstetricia : revista da Federacao Brasileira das Sociedades de Ginecologia e Obstetricia vol. 40,11 (2018): 686-692. doi:10.1055/s-0038-1675831
The right kind of bread can be an extremely healthful food. Eating more whole grains is associated with lower weight and reduced health problems, heart disease, and cancer risk. Keeping bread in a healthy diet begins with choosing varieties with the best nutrition. Certain types are naturally high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Others are made from refined grains with added vitamins and minerals. Nutritional experts evaluate healthy breads based on researched health benefits and fiber, protein, micronutrient content, and total calories.
100% Whole Wheat
100% whole wheat bread contains abundant fiber and nutrients and is one of the most nutritious varieties.
A slice of bread made with all whole wheat flour provides 80 calories, 5 grams of protein, 0 grams of fat, 20 grams of carbohydrates, and 3 grams of fiber.
One hundred percent whole wheat bread also contains essential minerals like calcium, selenium, manganese, phosphorus, and thiamin.
Increasing whole grains has been shown to reduce the risk of multiple chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.
Studies have demonstrated the positive effects of whole grains on weight control.
Many breads advertise themselves as whole wheat and might not contain 100% whole, unrefined grains.
Read labels to determine if store-bought bread was made with only whole wheat flour.
A 100% whole wheat bread will either be labeled as such or have whole wheat flour as its first ingredient and does not list other flours like wheat flour or enriched bleached flour.
Whole grains like oats, buckwheat, barley, amaranth, and millet can be included in multigrain breads for increased fiber, protein, and micronutrients.
Adding a variety of whole grains like these can help reduce the risk of certain chronic diseases.
Navigating to healthy multigrain bread can be misleading.
Breads labeled as multigrain can be difficult to tell whether the grains used to make the bread were whole or refined.
It’s recommended to look for a multigrain bread label that has 100% whole grain.
Oats are whole grains that can supplement whole wheat in healthy store-bought and homemade breads.
Oats contain a special fiber called beta-glucan, with benefits that include lowering bad cholesterol, regulating blood sugar, and lowering blood pressure.
Oats are high in soluble fiber, which helps reduce constipation.
Read the labels and look for brands that list oats and whole wheat flour as the first ingredients with minimal added sugars.
Flaxseeds are not grains, but they aren’t packed with nutrients.
Adding flaxseed might help protect against certain cancers and improve heart health.
Because the seeds are naturally gluten-free, flax seed bread can be an option for individuals with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.
Some commercially prepared breads combine flax with wheat, but individuals may have to make their own for a loaf made entirely with flaxseed.
Sourdough bread is made through fermentation, which adds healthy probiotics to the finished product.
A diet rich in probiotics from fermented foods has been linked with positive health outcomes.
Benefits include the bread’s natural probiotics, improved digestion, immune system function, extra fiber, protein, and minerals.
For the healthiest, choose a variety made with whole wheat flour.
Benefits of a Healthy Diet and Chiropractic
Aune, Dagfinn, et al. “Whole grain consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and all-cause and cause-specific mortality: a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies.” BMJ (Clinical research ed.) vol. 353 i2716. 14 Jun. 2016, doi:10.1136/bmj.i2716
El Khoury, D et al. “Beta glucan: health benefits in obesity and metabolic syndrome.” Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism vol. 2012 (2012): 851362. doi:10.1155/2012/851362
Freitas, Daniela, et al. “Lemon juice, but not tea, reduces the glycemic response to bread in healthy volunteers: a randomized crossover trial.” European Journal of Nutrition vol. 60,1 (2021): 113-122. doi:10.1007/s00394-020-02228-x
“Healthy Bread.” Hall’s Journal of Health vol. 3,7 (1856): 144-146.
Kikuchi, Yosuke, et al. “Effects of Whole Grain Wheat Bread on Visceral Fat Obesity in Japanese Subjects: A Randomized Double-Blind Study.” Plant foods for human nutrition (Dordrecht, Netherlands) vol. 73,3 (2018): 161-165. doi:10.1007/s11130-018-0666-1
Menezes, Leidiane A A, et al. “Effects of Sourdough on FODMAPs in Bread and Potential Outcomes on Irritable Bowel Syndrome Patients and Healthy Subjects.” Frontiers in microbiology vol. 9 1972. 21 Aug. 2018, doi:10.3389/fmicb.2018.01972
Parikh, Mihir, et al. “Flaxseed: its bioactive components and their cardiovascular benefits.” American Journal of Physiology. Heart and circulatory physiology vol. 314,2 (2018): H146-H159. doi:10.1152/ajpheart.00400.2017
P, Nirmala Prasadi V, and Iris J Joye. “Dietary Fibre from Whole Grains and Their Benefits on Metabolic Health.” Nutrients vol. 12,10 3045. 5 Oct. 2020, doi:10.3390/nu12103045
Tosh, Susan M, and Nicolas Bordenave. “Emerging science on benefits of whole grain oat and barley and their soluble dietary fibers for heart health, glycemic response, and gut microbiota.” Nutrition Reviews vol. 78, Suppl 1 (2020): 13-20. doi:10.1093/nutrit/nuz085
When it comes to our bodies, many functioning systems help the body regulate its temperature, provide mobility and stability when in motion, and protect the host from pathogens that enter inside to cause havoc. One of the systems that helps the body is the endocrine system, which produces many hormones to keep the body functioning properly. The thyroid, a small, butterfly-shaped organ at the base of the neck, produces the hormones in the body. The thyroid helps regulate hormone production; however, when pathogen factors affect the body’s hormonal production, it can lead to musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction. Today’s article examines how the thyroid produces hormones, how hormone imbalances are connected with musculoskeletal pain, and how MET therapy can help restore hormone imbalances from affecting the body in the future. We utilize information about our patients to certified medical providers using soft tissue therapies like MET to reduce musculoskeletal pain associated with hormonal imbalances. We encourage patients by referring them to associated medical providers based on their diagnosis while supporting the fact that education is a marvelous way to ask our providers the most interesting questions at the patient’s acknowledgment. Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., incorporates this information as an educational service. Disclaimer
How Does The Thyroid Produce Hormones?
Do you feel muscle weakness or pain in certain parts of your body? Do you feel out of breath after walking for a short distance? Or do you feel sluggish throughout the entire day? When many individuals are dealing with these numerous issues, it could be due to their hormones being imbalanced from their thyroids. When it comes to the body, the endocrine system is the mastermind of producing different hormones for the body to help regulate all the biological processes. One of the vital organs of the endocrine system is the thyroid. Studies reveal that the thyroid is an endocrine gland located in the inferior anterior neck of the body and produces T4 and T3 hormones for the body to function properly. The thyroid hormones affect many of the vital organs and body tissues as they help with the following:
Cardio output and increased resting heart rate
Increases BMR (basal metabolic rate), heat production, and oxygen consumption
Stimulates resting respiratory rate and the nervous system
Plays a role in reproductive health and other endocrine organ function
Additional studies have revealed that thyroid hormones help control the body’s metabolism, growth, and other bodily functions while having a casual relationship with the HPT (hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid) axis. What this relationship does is that it makes sure that the body is working properly in any environment. However, when unwanted pathogens start to affect thyroid hormone production, it can cause a hormone imbalance and lead to unwanted pain-like symptoms in the vital organs and musculoskeletal tissues.
Hormone Imbalances & Musculoskeletal Pain
When unwanted pathogens are associated with environmental factors affecting the body, it can lead to pain-like symptoms that can lead to musculoskeletal pain. In the book, “Clinical Applications of Neuromuscular Techniques,” written by Dr. Judith Walker DeLany, L.M.T., and Leon Chaitow, N.D., D.O., stated that there is a connection between hormonal imbalances and musculoskeletal pain as there are many environmental factors that can influence how much or how little hormone production is being produced from the thyroid. The book also mentions that some of the clinical signs of thyroid hormone deficiency include:
Dry skin and thinning hair
Unexplained weight increase
When the body is dealing with hormone imbalances associated with musculoskeletal pain, studies reveal that symptoms of fatigue, anxiety, irritability, and increased oxidative stress can cause the muscular tissues and ligaments to be weak and cause overlapping risk profiles when the body is in motion. To that point, hormone imbalances could lead to muscle and joint pain associated with myofascial trigger points and muscle shortness.
Finding Hormonal Harmony- Video
Have you been experiencing muscle or joint pain? Do you often feel anxious or irritable constantly? Or have you noticed that you are extremely sensitive to the cold? Many of these pain-like issues are signs and symptoms associated with hormone imbalances in the body and can lead to musculoskeletal pain. The body needs hormones to help regulate body temperature, control the body’s metabolism, and help stimulate the endocrine and body systems. Hormones are secreted from the thyroid and travel to the important muscles, organs, and tissues through the bloodstream to assist and help each body section function properly. When pathogens start to disrupt hormone production, the thyroid can overproduce or underproduce hormone secretion and cause many overlapping risk profiles to the body and musculoskeletal system. Fortunately, there are many ways to regulate hormones and reduce the effects of musculoskeletal pain. The video above explains that increasing certain vitamin intake, eating healthy, whole-nutritional foods, and getting adequate exercise and sleep can regulate hormone production and reduce the effects of musculoskeletal pain. These various treatments can be combined with therapy to help realign the body and restore it naturally.
MET Therapy Restoring Hormone Imbalances
Many available therapies can reduce the effects of hormonal imbalances associated with musculoskeletal pain. Treatments like MET (muscle energy techniques) allow many pain specialists to use soft tissue techniques to reduce pain-like symptoms and will enable the body to restore itself naturally. Research studies have revealed that soft tissue therapies like MET can reduce pain, improve body function, and reduce disability. MET therapy can be combined with nutritional foods, hormone therapies, and bodywork strategies that can help regulate hormone production in the thyroid. When a person starts to go to treatment for any ailments affecting their body, it allows these individuals to be more mindful of what is happening to their bodies and make small meaningful changes to their health and wellness.
When it comes to maintaining the body’s health and wellness, it’s important to ensure that unwanted pathogens don’t start affecting thyroid hormone production. The thyroid is a small gland located at the base of the neck that secretes out hormones to the rest of the body. When the thyroid over or under-produces hormones in the organs, muscles, and tissues, it can lead to pain-like symptoms that affect the body’s system and potentially lead to musculoskeletal disorders. Treatments like MET therapy combined with nutritional whole foods and exercises can reduce the effects of hormone imbalances associated with musculoskeletal disorders. This amazing combination allows the body to heal naturally and allows the individual to be pain-free.
Armstrong, Maggie, et al. “Physiology, Thyroid Function – Statpearls – NCBI Bookshelf.” In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL), 13 Mar. 2023, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK537039/.
Chaitow, Leon, and Judith Walker DeLany. Clinical Applications of Neuromuscular Techniques. Churchill Livingstone, 2003.
Day, Joseph M, and Arthur J Nitz. “The Effect of Muscle Energy Techniques on Disability and Pain Scores in Individuals with Low Back Pain.” Journal of Sport Rehabilitation, May 2012, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22622384/.
Shahid, Muhammad A, et al. “Physiology, Thyroid Hormone – StatPearls – NCBI Bookshelf.” In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL), 8 May 2022, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK500006/.
VandeVord, Pamela J, et al. “Chronic Hormonal Imbalance and Adipose Redistribution Is Associated with Hypothalamic Neuropathology Following Blast Exposure.” Journal of Neurotrauma, 1 Jan. 2016, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4700394/.
When the body shifts out of homeostasis or when something in the body is out of balance, the body sweats. Sweating is a process known as perspiration that releases salt-based fluids from the body’s sweat glands to help the body stay cool and regulate body temperature. Sweat is commonly found under the arms, on the feet, and on the palms of the hands. Body temperature, outdoor temperature, or emotional state changes can cause sweating.
An individual has around 2-4 million sweat glands, which begin to become fully active during puberty. There are two types of sweat glands: eccrine and apocrine. The most common areas of sweating include:
Palms of the hands.
Soles of the feet.
Sweating in normal amounts is an essential bodily process.
Not sweating enough or sweating too much can cause problems.
Sweat is mostly water but contains small amounts of salt.
Sweat also contains electrolytes and minerals – including potassium, chloride, magnesium, zinc, copper, proteins, urea, and ammonia.
Electrolyte levels need to be replenished after heavy sweating.
Sweating is normal. However, a variety of causes can stimulate increased sweating.
Elevated body temperature.
Elevated outdoor temperature.
Are the primary cause of increased sweating.
Emotions and stress
Emotions and conditions can also make the body break out in a heavy sweat.
Sweating may be a response to certain foods. This type of sweat is known as gustatory sweating, which can be caused by:
Caffeinated drinks – like soda, coffee, and tea.
Illness and Medications
Sweating may be caused by medication use and certain illnesses:
Individuals can become dehydrated and have an increased risk of heatstroke.
The nervous system coordinates and oversees all functions of the body. Some can be consciously controlled, and others are automatic. The autonomic nervous system– ANS regulates involuntary processes, including blood pressure, heart rate, digestion, respiration, gland function, sweating, etc. The ANS is divided into the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems.
The sympathetic nervous system – when activated, creates a state of elevated activity and attention or the fight or flight response.
This process increases blood pressure and heart rate, preparing the body to respond to various stressors.
The parasympathetic nervous system promotes resting and digesting processes that lower heart rate and blood pressure.
The parasympathetic calms the body.
Chiropractic adjustments have been known to affect the autonomic nervous system. This is achieved by increasing parasympathetic activity/relaxation and down-shifting the sympathetic/fight or flight response and inflammation. A chiropractic adjustment can remove subluxations, which cause interferences in the nervous system. Chiropractic restores and improves the brain and body system communication.
Thoracic Spine Pain
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Throughout the world, pain and stress are related to musculoskeletal disorders affecting joints and muscles. Many musculoskeletal disorders will have correlating symptoms with overlapping risk profiles that can make a person’s life difficult. Pain and stress have two forms: acute and chronic, which are associated with numerous everyday factors that a person goes through. Even though pain and stress can impact a person’s life, there are multiple ways to reduce these two by calming the mind and doing meditative breathing techniques to relax the body and clear the mind. What is truly amazing is that meditative breathing techniques can be combined with stretching techniques like MET (muscle energy techniques. Today’s article looks at how stress and pain affect the musculoskeletal system, the breathing connection for musculoskeletal pain, and how MET therapy is combined with breathing exercises. We utilize and provide valuable information about our patients to certified medical providers who use soft tissue stretching methods like MET to reduce musculoskeletal stress on the body. We encourage patients by referring them to our associated medical providers based on their findings. We support that education is a marvelous way to ask our providers the most interesting questions at the patient’s acknowledgment. Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., incorporates this information as an educational service. Disclaimer
Stress & Pain Affect The Musculoskeletal System
Have you been dealing with shoulder, neck, or back pain? What about feeling an overwhelming pressure that is causing you to stress out? Or do you feel muscle pain and joint stiffness affecting your daily routine? Many of these issues correspond with stress and pain from numerous factors associated with the musculoskeletal system. Research studies revealed that pain and stress are considered two sides of the same coin regarding the musculoskeletal system. Pain and stress are two distinguished symptoms that overlap each other when musculoskeletal disorders affect the body. Pain is a collection of emotional and sensory perceptions that work with musculoskeletal motor behavior. At the same time, stress is characterized by challenging emotional or physiological events that cause adaptive or maladaptive changes to regain homeostasis. With these two factors working together to affect the musculoskeletal system, the body may develop symptoms and cause the individual to be miserable.
The Breathing Connection For Musculoskeletal Pain & Stress
One of the major correspondents that work with pain and stress is anxiety. In “Clinical Applications of Neuromuscular Techniques,” authors Dr. Leon Chaitow, N.D., D.O., and Judith Walker DeLany, L.M.T., mentioned that anxiety aggravates all chronic pain and stress. However, there is a solution to reduce pain and stress in the musculoskeletal system. When pain and stress are combined with anxiety, it can cause breathing disorders and produce inflammatory cytokines and elevated cortisol levels to contribute. But incorporating some deep breathing techniques can help reduce stress and pain affecting the body. Research studies have revealed that slow deep breathing has been known to reduce the effects of musculoskeletal pain and help lower cortisol levels. Breathing techniques are popular in meditation and yoga practices. Deep breathing and mindfulness can help the body relax from everyday factors and calm the individual. Additional studies have mentioned that breathing exercise programs effectively improve lung function, reduce musculoskeletal pain associated with the back, and help improve a person’s quality of life.
The Natural Way To Heal- Video
Have you been dealing with musculoskeletal pain throughout your entire body? Do you feel constantly stressed throughout your whole life? Or have you felt anxious that it is making your muscles tense constantly? When many people feel constant stress and are in pain, it can lead to musculoskeletal disorders that can cause many individuals to be miserable. When this happens, overlapping risk profiles affect the musculoskeletal, organs, and nervous systems. At the same time, fortunately, numerous treatments can help reduce pain and stress that is affecting the body. Chiropractic care is non-invasive and can help many individuals be mindful of their bodies. The video above explains how chiropractic care can help realign the body from spinal subluxation and mitigate the effects of muscle pain and stress in the muscle fibers.
MET Therapy Combined With Breathing Exercises
When the body has been dealing with musculoskeletal pain on top of stress, it can cause the individual to be miserable and try to find some relief. Luckily there are available treatments that can help restore the body naturally and reduce the effects of stress and pain. Treatment like MET (muscle energy technique) and breathing exercises allow the muscles to relax and properly stretch to relieve muscle pain. Research studies have revealed that breathing exercises and MET therapy can reduce a person’s symptoms and help regain the muscle and joint range of motion. These two combined treatments can help many individuals dealing with musculoskeletal pain associated with stress to be more aware of what is affecting their bodies. They can help them along their health and wellness journey without medicine.
Overall, pain and stress are part of numerous conditions and disorders that can affect the musculoskeletal system and cause overlapping risk profiles that can cause the individual to be miserable. When pain and stress affect the body, it can cause the muscles, tissues, ligaments, joints, and organs to work harder than before and develop chronic musculoskeletal disorders. Fortunately, treatments like MET (muscle energy technique) and breathing exercises allow the body to relax and help reduce muscle pain symptoms affecting the body. When a person incorporates these treatments as part of their daily routine, they can become more aware of what is affecting their bodies and improve what is going on in their daily lives. This allows them to continue their health and wellness journey pain-free.
Abdallah, Chadi G, and Paul Geha. “Chronic Pain and Chronic Stress: Two Sides of the Same Coin?” Chronic Stress (Thousand Oaks, Calif.), U.S. National Library of Medicine, Feb. 2017, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5546756/.
Anderson, Barton E, and Kellie C Huxel Bliven. “The Use of Breathing Exercises in the Treatment of Chronic, Nonspecific Low Back Pain.” Journal of Sport Rehabilitation, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 24 Aug. 2016, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27632818/.
Chaitow, Leon, and Judith Walker DeLany. Clinical Applications of Neuromuscular Techniques. Churchill Livingstone, 2003.
Joseph, Amira E, et al. “Effects of Slow Deep Breathing on Acute Clinical Pain in Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials.” Journal of Evidence-Based Integrative Medicine, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2022, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8891889/.
Zaccaro, Andrea, et al. “How Breath-Control Can Change Your Life: A Systematic Review on Psycho-Physiological Correlates of Slow Breathing.” Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 7 Sept. 2018, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6137615/.
Body misalignment can cause various symptoms to be experienced, ranging from headaches, neck and back pain, sore feet, discomfort in the joints, muscles, or nerves, and digestive problems. Improperly aligned vertebrae can press against nerves, pinching or compressing them, causing the nerve signals of the digestive system, including those in the stomach and intestines, to misfire or fail to transmit at the appropriate moment. This can cause the organs to malfunction, resulting in heartburn, gas, constipation, cramping, diarrhea, and other symptoms. Chiropractic realignment adjustments are an effective treatment option for frequent stomachaches, reflux, constipation, and other gastrointestinal conditions.
Body Misalignment Digestive Problems
There are over a million nerve cells within the digestive system. A collection of nerves branch out from the lower part of the spinal cord and travels to the stomach and intestines. Nerve transmission plays an essential role in the following:
Movement of food through the gastrointestinal system.
Absorption of nutrients and minerals.
Removal of waste products.
Misalignments of the vertebrae are known as subluxations. Pressure on nerve roots caused by misalignment can interfere with the function of the bowel and other organs, which can lead to gastrointestinal issues. Muscle tension in the abdomen can also contribute to digestive problems, whether because of stress or sitting for long hours daily.
When the body is out of alignment, symptoms of discomfort begin to appear. The most common include:
Pain throughout the back.
Joint pain throughout the body.
Tingling, pins and needles, and numbness nerve sensations – sciatica.
Constantly getting sick.
A balanced healthy gut will have less difficulty processing food and eliminating waste, leading to reduced and eventually alleviated symptoms. The following show healthy gut function:
Regular, consistent energy levels.
Increased mental clarity.
Regular and healthy bowel movements.
No pain or discomfort symptoms.
A normal amount of gas and bloating.
Healthy stress levels.
Chiropractic care will realign the body to its proper form, improving gastrointestinal issues. The chiropractic team will use various tools and techniques to guide and correct any subluxations, relax the muscles, and increase nerve and blood circulation.
Healthy Diet and Chiropractic
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Hills, Ronald D Jr, et al. “Gut Microbiome: Profound Implications for Diet and Disease.” Nutrients vol. 11,7 1613. 16 Jul. 2019, doi:10.3390/nu11071613
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Leeming, Emily R et al. “Effect of Diet on the Gut Microbiota: Rethinking Intervention Duration.” Nutrients vol. 11,12 2862. 22 Nov. 2019, doi:10.3390/nu11122862
Li, Yuanyuan, et al. “The Role of Microbiome in Insomnia, Circadian Disturbance, and Depression.” Frontiers in psychiatry vol. 9 669. 5 Dec. 2018, doi:10.3389/fpsyt.2018.00669
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Valdes, Ana M et al. “Role of the gut microbiota in nutrition and health.” BMJ (Clinical research ed.) vol. 361 k2179. 13 Jun. 2018, doi:10.1136/bmj.k2179
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