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Adult Scoliosis: Diagnosis, Measurements, and Chiropractic

Adult Scoliosis: Diagnosis, Measurements, and Chiropractic

Scoliosis in adolescents and teens can be corrected with proper bracing, adjustments and lead a normal life. For adult scoliosis correcting the problem is more difficult. Fortunately, cases of adult scoliosis are rare. Scoliosis cases that follow from childhood into adulthood require a comprehensive diagnosis to determine severity. Thoracolumbar scoliosis adult-onset scoliosis requires an understanding of the catalysts to develop an effective treatment plan. Chiropractors use a full range of diagnostic tools to measure the severity of adult scoliosis.

Adult Scoliosis: Diagnosis, Measurements, and Chiropractic

Diagnosis

Adult scoliosis is the presentation of abnormal curvature of the spine. It can happen in the thoracic, lumbar spine, or both. This can have varying degrees of severity. Severe adult scoliosis can be apparent through visual assessment and examination. Cases that are not as obvious require utilizing diagnostic tools. These include:

Imaging

X-rays will show any asymmetry that is associated with scoliosis. This asymmetry can be present in the hips or shoulder and is usually qualified by spinal misalignment.

Walking Gait Examination

Inspecting how worn out an individual’s shoe/s are and having them perform various walking tests can reveal problems with gait. In adults, this can present instability. For example, having problems with balance or fast-twitch muscle response.

Neuromotor Exams

These exams are general and first performed to get a baseline diagnosis for the presence of adult scoliosis. Tests look at the left and right coordination along with the sense of touch capabilities. This measures the severity of the improper spinal curvature and how much it has affected the development of an individual’s motor functions. It is also done in the context of how it’s affecting the body’s biomechanics. Following these exams are quantitative tools/techniques for measuring the severity of adult thoracolumbar scoliosis. These include:

Cobb Angle Measurement

This tool determines the maximum degree of spinal curvature variation and provides a context for severity.

King Classification Tool

This examines the vertebral alignment to determine the spinal variance in specific vertebrae from the neutral center position.

Lenke Classification Tool

This spinal exam relies on measurements of three positions and looks for flexibility.

Combined Approaches

When assessing adult scoliosis, this is important to understand and helps determine how to proceed with treatment. The body is no longer in development as an adolescent. This means bracing does not come with a one-size-fits-all approach. Chiropractic can help with the assessment modalities used to investigate adult scoliosis cases. These measurement and analyses tools are often used in combination to develop a complete picture of what is going on.


Body Composition


Fill Up With Prebiotics

Individuals can help their gut bacteria thrive in the digestive tract by consuming prebiotics. Prebiotics are a form of soluble fiber. The body cannot digest these prebiotics, but gut bacteria can. Recommended sources of fiber-rich prebiotics can be found in nutrient-dense foods like:

  • Leeks
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Fruits
  • Legumes
  • Raw chicory

A diet with various fiber types has been shown to reduce the risk of obesity and prevent weight gain. Resistant starches like plantains, green bananas, and cooled potatoes have increased beneficial bacteria in the colon. Barley, oats, and wheat bran are insoluble high-fiber grains that are also recommended sources.

References

Aebi, Max. “The adult scoliosis.” 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. 14,10 (2005): 925-48. doi:10.1007/s00586-005-1053-9

Haenen, Daniëlle et al. “A diet high in resistant starch modulates microbiota composition, SCFA concentrations, and gene expression in pig intestine.” The Journal of nutrition vol. 143,3 (2013): 274-83. doi:10.3945/jn.112.169672

Lowe, Thomas et al. “The SRS classification for adult spinal deformity: building on the King/Moe and Lenke classification systems.” Spine vol. 31,19 Suppl (2006): S119-25. doi:10.1097/01.brs.0000232709.48446.be

Bursitis Types

Bursitis Types

Bursitis types: This is a condition that affects the bursae, which are the small, fluid-filled sacs that provide cushion for the:

  • Muscles
  • Tendons
  • Bones near joints

The bursae make it easier for tissues to slide over each other. The body has around one hundred and sixty bursae. However, only a few become clinically affected. These include the:

  • Wrist
  • Elbow
  • Shoulder
  • Hips
  • Knees
  • The base of the big toe and heel

The condition typically presents near joints constantly being used repetitively, like a job, sports, house/yard chores, etc. What happens is one or more of the bursae sacs become inflamed, resulting in pain.

Bursitis Types

Causes

  • Inflamed or irritated bursae typically cause it from overuse or intense/vigorous activity.
  • It can also be caused by bacterial infection.
  • Arthritis and gout can also cause bursitis.
  • Another cause is age.
  • As tendons age, they can tear easily, lose their elasticity, and can’t take too much stress.

Intense physical activities can lead to bursitis. These include:

  • Gardening
  • Typing
  • Working with a computer mouse
  • Throwing
  • Golf
  • Tennis
  • Manual tasks
  • Carpentry

These types of activities can lead to incorrect posture, overuse, and injury/damage.

Symptoms

The main symptom is pain in and around the affected area that worsens with movement. Depending on the severity of the strain and the length of time it has been going on, the pain can be intense with active and passive movements. Other symptoms include:

  • Tenderness
  • Stiffness
  • For some individuals, it can present as acute, with the intensity increasing.
  • This happens when movement aggravates the condition.

Bursitis Types

Four major types include:

  • Prepatellar
  • Trochanteric
  • Olecranon
  • Retrocalcaneal

Prepatellar Bursitis

Prepatellar is an inflammation of the sac situated between the skin and the patella/kneecap. The most common causes are trauma from a fall and direct pressure/friction from repetitive kneeling. This is one of the bursitis types that can get infected. Overproduction of liquid places pressure on the other areas of the knee, causing swelling. Most individuals report swelling and knee pain just over the front of the knee.

Trochanteric Bursitis

This bursitis type goes over the lateral area of the hip. There is a distinctive tenderness and aching pain. This type is more common for individuals with arthritis conditions and fibromyalgia. This condition is also seen after surgery, mainly osteotomies. The bursa can become inflamed in case of injury or overuse. It tends to affect middle-aged or older folks. Common causes include:

  • Muscle tears
  • Hip injuries
  • Tight hip or leg muscles
  • Disc disease of the low back
  • Leg-length inequality
  • Improper walking technique from a minor injury or strain
  • Overuse of the gluteal muscles
  • Flat feet
  • Improper footwear

Olecranon Bursitis

Olecranon is a common bursitis type. It is diagnosed by the appearance of swelling over the elbow. The swelling happens just behind the olecranon process of the ulna. The bursa can become infected. This bursitis does cause blood to rupture out, and fluid could be present. Individuals are advised to avoid leaning or resting on the elbows.

Retrocalcaneal Bursitis

This is characterized by pain in the Achilles tendon. Chronic inflammation of the bursa is brought on by friction, supination, and overpronation.  The flexibility of the calf muscles can be significantly reduced. Severe pain and swelling of the posterior soft tissue in front of the Achilles tendon are common symptoms. This bursitis type is often accompanied by mid-portion insertional tendinosis.

Risk Of Getting Bursitis

Anybody at any age can develop bursitis, but older individuals, specifically those in their forties and beyond, are more susceptible. This comes from all the wear and tear of the muscles and bones.

Risk Factors

  • Overpronation of the foot
  • Leg length deviation
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Obesity
  • Tight hamstring muscles
  • Incorrect physical training
  • Not stretching properly

Body Composition


When Inflammation Becomes Permanent

When white blood cells cause inflammation, it’s signaling that the body’s immune system works properly. The process works like this:

  • Inflammation activates
  • White blood cells attack the foreign invader
  • The invader is neutralized
  • The inflammation deactivates

This is how the body’s defense system naturally works. But, white blood cells are not the only type of cell that emit cytokines. Adipocytes or fat cells are another type of cell that can emit cytokines and cause inflammation. Scientists have learned that fat is an active endocrine organ that secretes various proteins and chemicals, including inflammatory cytokines. The body stores excess calories as fat to be used later for energy. When the body keeps adding more adipose tissue, cytokines are released by the fat cells, triggering inflammation. Obesity is characterized as a state of low-grade, chronic inflammation. Increased fat cells place the body in a constant state of stress activating immune responses. This means the body is in a constant state of inflammation with the immune system switch permanently on.

References

Aaron, Daniel L et al. “Four common types of bursitis: diagnosis and management.” The Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons vol. 19,6 (2011): 359-67. doi:10.5435/00124635-201106000-00006

Coelho, Marisa et al. “Biochemistry of adipose tissue: an endocrine organ.” Archives of medical science: AMS vol. 9,2 (2013): 191-200. doi:10.5114/aoms.2013.33181

Khodaee, Morteza. “Common Superficial Bursitis.” American family physician vol. 95,4 (2017): 224-231.

Drinking Tea For Inflammation and Back Pain

Drinking Tea For Inflammation and Back Pain

Individuals and doctors have praised the anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving properties of drinking tea. Inflammation is the body’s natural immune response when injury and infection present. This is good. However, it’s meant to be a temporary response that deactivates when there is no longer any danger. When the body is exposed to various irritants like industrial chemicals, inflammatory foods like sugar, refined carbohydrates, and autoimmune disorders can cause the immune system to go into overdrive. Chronic inflammation can develop, circulating powerful hormones and chemicals through the body, causing damage to the cells. One consequence of chronic inflammation is back pain. Besides standard backaches, some chronic conditions are directly tied to inflammation. These include forms of arthritis:

  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Transverse myelitis
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • These conditions involve inflammation of the central nervous system.
  • Drinking tea can help with back pain and pain in general.

 

Drinking Tea For Inflammation and Back Pain

Teas With Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Certain teas contain anti-inflammatory compounds. These compounds are called polyphenols and work to decrease the chemicals in the body responsible for pain and inflammation. There are varieties of teas that contain anti-inflammatory properties.

Certain Teas Reduce Inflammation

Drinking specific teas with more polyphenols can better decrease inflammation. For example, green tea is higher in polyphenols than black tea. Recent studies centered on individuals with rheumatoid arthritis over six months found significant improvement in symptoms in those who drank green tea. Green tea works best when part of an anti-inflammatory and nutritional lifestyle adjustment. This supports combating inflammation. Other teas that are believed to reduce inflammation include:

  • Turmeric
  • Holy basil
  • Ginger

Three Cups a Day

The amount of tea depends on the quality of the tea and how it is prepared. Doctors recommend around three cups a day for individuals with rheumatoid arthritis. However, these could contain caffeine. If this is an issue, there are decaffeinated versions with the same anti-inflammatory properties.

Drinking Tea Works Best When Combined with Other Treatments

If experiencing back pain or looking to combat a specific condition, it’s recommended to utilize various treatment approaches combined with drinking tea. This includes:

  • Chiropractic care
  • Physical therapy
  • Acupuncture
  • Mindfulness meditation
  • Yoga
  • Dietary supplements
  • Anti-inflammatory diet

Tea Is Not For All Types Of Pain

Certain back conditions benefit from drinking tea regularly; however, spine structural issues or fractures will not benefit from tea’s mild anti-inflammatory properties. It is vital for individuals with back pain that a spine specialist or chiropractor perform a proper and thorough examination, especially for Individuals that take medication that could directly interact with anti-inflammatory teas.

Drinking Tea for Back Pain

For most individuals, drinking tea is safe to help treat back pain conditions and added health benefits. For example, studies have found that green tea has mild anti-cancer, anti-diabetic properties and can help in maintaining a healthy weight. If tea helps reduce pain, it’s worth trying. Remember, pain is the body’s way to alert the individual that something is wrong.


Body Composition


Alcohol and Heart Health

According to the Mayo Clinic, consuming more than three alcoholic drinks in one sitting causes a temporary blood pressure elevation. Foods often served with alcohol are usually high in salt, which can also raise blood pressure. A few alcoholic beverages on a night out is fine, but heavy or binge drinking can lead to short-term spikes in blood pressure that could cause cardiac health problems. These are the short-term effects of alcohol on blood pressure. Heavy alcohol consumption can lead to long term health risks like:

  • Hypertension
  • Heart disease
  • Digestive issues
  • Liver disease
  • Stroke

It’s recommended that individuals incorporate regular exercise/physical activity and healthy diet changes and watch alcohol intake to improve heart health.

References

The Clinical Journal of Pain. (October 2019) “Nonspecific Low Back Pain:

Inflammatory Profiles of Patients With Acute and Chronic Pain” https://journals.lww.com/clinicalpain/fulltext/2019/10000/nonspecific_low_back_pain__inflammatory_profiles.2.aspx

Certain Teas Bring Down Inflammation More Than Others: Journal of Physical Therapy Science. (October 2016) “Green tea and exercise interventions as nondrug remedies in geriatric patients with rheumatoid arthritis” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5088134/

The Bottom Line: Proceeding of the Japan Academy, Series B Physical and Biological Sciences. (March 2012) “Health-promoting effects of green tea” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3365247/

Losing Weight To Alleviate Back Pain

Losing Weight To Alleviate Back Pain

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

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

Losing Weight To Alleviate Back Pain

Overweight, Obesity and Back Pain

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

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

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

Added Weight Places Pressure On the Spine

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

  • Infection
  • Issues recovering from anesthesia
  • Overall recovery struggles

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

Exercise

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

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

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

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

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

Overall Health

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


Body Composition


Healthy Kidneys

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

Proper Hydration

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

Maintain healthy diet

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

 Supplements, antibiotics, and OTC medications

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

Maintain fitness and physical activity

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

References

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

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

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

Playing Tennis With Back Pain

Playing Tennis With Back Pain

Tennis is a sport that can be enjoyed by individuals of all ages and provides optimal physical activity and cardiovascular exercise. Although it can be leisurely, it does require being light on the feet with quick, starting, stopping, turning, and twisting movements for those new to playing tennis. If back pain is present, playing can be difficult. One study showed almost 40% of tennis players missed one or more tournaments because of low back pain/problems. A 2016 study found that tennis players with low back pain have difficulty moving their muscles with ease.

Playing Tennis With Back Pain

Know and Understand the Risks

Playing tennis has its risks when it comes to back pain. What can bring on or worsen back pain are the repetitive motions, like swinging, serving, volleying, and the uneven force placed on the body. This force is the power and momentum that is used for certain swings like serving and forehands. What happens is it does not evenly distribute through the body, increasing the potential to cause strains and sprains. For example, the serving motion repeatedly puts a hyperextension force through the spine. The result is overuse injuries.

Preparation

No one wants to injure their back for those new to tennis and those who have been playing for years. This is where off-court conditioning comes in and preventive measures. This includes:

  • Work on endurance and stamina
  • Strengthen the core muscles without aggravating the back
  • Ease into playing
  • Don’t play for too long when starting or multiple days in a row
  • Gradually increase the frequency and intensity
  • Focus on the fundamental skills rather than trying to blast the ball like the pros.
  • Trying to smash the ball too soon can result in a rotator cuff injury.

Stay Aware of Your Body

Playing tennis can cause an individual to become distracted; however, it’s crucial to be mindful of the body and what’s going on.

  • Pay attention to the heat.
  • Humidity
  • Proper rest between games
  • Hydration to prevent muscle cramping
  • Stretching before and after playing
  • Warming up and cooling down
  • Take a break and stretch out if pain symptoms present.
  • Never play through the pain that could result in worsening or creating new injuries.
  • Pay attention to proper form.
  • Apply modifications to prevent and avoid worsened back pain. This could be serving more simply or hitting around a stroke that generates pain symptoms.

Cooling Down

After a match, rehydrate the body and cool down. This could be a little walking around the court, if possible getting in a pool or water splash park, and let the musculoskeletal system recover. Do some spinal exercises afterward, like yoga poses. Applying anti-inflammatory creams or gels can help keep the muscles loose and promote circulation. Anti-inflammatory foods can help with pain and inflammation.

Spinal Conditions

There are individuals with spinal conditions that should not play tennis. These include:

  • Acute disc herniation
  • Active bone injury/s – fractures and stress fractures
  • Spinal instability – spondylolisthesis
  • Post-spine surgery
  • A spinal condition involving nerves and/or the spinal cord

Consult a doctor before adding tennis to a physical regimen.  Tennis is an aerobic activity that has several benefits. It keeps the body physically active for mental and physical wellness. The hormones released can help mitigate musculoskeletal pain and negative emotions like depression and anxiety that can come from experiencing back pain.


Body Composition


Magnesium

Magnesium supports a healthy immune system. It helps maintain:

  • Healthy bone structure
  • Muscle function
  • Insulin levels
  • Facilitates the body with energy
  • Acts as a calcium blocker
  • Reduces cramping
  • Aids muscle relaxation after exercise/physical activity

Magnesium is essential in several biochemical reactions; a slight deficiency can increase cardiovascular disease risk. Deficiency can also lead to an increased risk of insulin resistance. Magnesium-rich foods are also high fiber foods. Dietary fiber helps with:

  • Digestion
  • Helps control weight
  • Reduces cholesterol
  • Stabilizes blood sugar

Recommended sources of Magnesium include:

  • Green vegetables – spinach, swiss chard, and turnip greens
  • Nuts – almonds and cashews
  • Seeds
  • Legumes
  • Cocoa
References

Clinics in Sports Medicine. (April 1988) “Low back pain in the competitive tennis player.” https://europepmc.org/article/med/2968850

Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport. (April 2016) “Trunk muscle activation, fatigue and low back pain in tennis players” https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1440244015000845

Jahnen-Dechent, Wilhelm, and Markus Ketteler. “Magnesium basics.” Clinical kidney journal vol. 5,Suppl 1 (2012): i3-i14. doi:10.1093/ndtplus/sfr163

Katz, David L et al. “Cocoa and chocolate in human health and disease.” Antioxidants & redox signaling vol. 15,10 (2011): 2779-811. doi:10.1089/ars.2010.3697

Wang, Jinsong, et al. “Dietary magnesium intake improves insulin resistance among non-diabetic individuals with metabolic syndrome participating in a dietary trial.” Nutrients vol. 5,10 3910-9. 27 Sep. 2013, doi:10.3390/nu5103910

Everyday Wear and Tear Stretches Chiropractic Recommended

Everyday Wear and Tear Stretches Chiropractic Recommended

Stretching out for everyday wear and tear. The body was designed for movement, mobility, and physicality. When discomfort, aches, and pain present in the neck, shoulders, back, and joints, it is often from a decrease of natural body movement. Many think that sitting still and resting is the best solution to alleviate the pain. While it is important to rest, it is the type of rest that helps the body. Sitting still with no movement is not recommended. The muscles, ligaments, and tendons need to flex and stretch out to help reduce pain and prevent injury. Safe, chiropractic-approved stretches can increase mobility and fluidity, helping the body stay flexible and loose.

Everyday Wear and Tear Stretches Chiropractic Recommended

Stretching Out For Everyday Wear and Tear Is Important

Whether experiencing pain or are getting ready for the day, there are many reasons why stretching is important. One, stretching is essential to optimal joint health. When muscles surrounding the joints become tight/tense, this significantly reduces mobility in the joint. Regular stretching lengthens the muscles, relaxing the joints to move without discomfort/awkwardness. Stretching optimizes blood circulation to flow smoothly through the body. Routine stretching helps reduce stress and improves energy. Other benefits include:

  • Post-workout/exercise/physical activity soreness and pain relief
  • Improves athletic performance
  • Prevents injury/s
  • Helps heal existing injuries
  • Improves posture

Stretching Safe at Home

Chiropractors often recommend stretches for patients to follow to help improve their progress between appointments. If persistent pain is presenting, consult with a qualified chiropractic doctor before performing any stretches. If done incorrectly, they can exacerbate pain and cause further damage. No matter an individual’s lifestyle, the wear and tear of everyday life can cause tightness, inflammation, or generalized pain. Developing a regular stretching routine can address any tense, tight, sore areas that will help keep the body pain-free.

Tailbone Stretch

Most individuals feel tailbone pain from sitting for long periods of time. Reasons for tailbone pain can result from:

  • Falling backward
  • Sitting in the wrong position
  • Childbirth
  • Hypermobility
  • All can injure the tailbone and/or the surrounding muscles and tissue.

Tailbone stretching improves movement and flexibility in these muscles and tissue, maintaining the tailbone’s health. One recommended stretch is the piriformis cross leg stretch.

  • Lie flat on the back.
  • Bring both knees toward the hips.
  • Rest the right ankle across the left knee.
  • Wrap both hands around the left thigh
  • Pull toward the chest.
  • Hold for 20-30 seconds.
  • Slowly bring down both legs and return to the starting position.
  • Repeat on the other side.

Wrist and Hand Stretch

For those that are constantly writing, typing, or lifting regularly, wrist and hand pain can begin to present. Stretches for the hands and wrists can:

  • Increase flexibility
  • Alleviate pain
  • Reduce the risk of injury

The prayer stretch for the wrists and hands is specifically designed to strengthen the muscles and tendons in the wrists.

  • Standing with the back straight and feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Place hands together in a prayer position.
  • Hands in front of the face.
  • Pressing both palms together, slowly spread the elbows apart.
  • Begin to lower the hands to waist height
  • Stop once the hands become level with the belly button or when the stretch is felt.
  • Hold the position for 10-30 seconds.
  • Return to the original position.
  • Repeat as needed.

Knee Stretch

When tightness or soreness presents in the knee, stretching the hamstrings can help. The hamstrings go through a great deal of wear and tear, supporting the hips and knees, maintaining mobility and flexibility.

  • Standing with the back straight.
  • Step forward with the left foot.
  • Flex the left foot and keep the right foot flat.
  • Loosen the hips and bend the right knee.
  • As the right leg is bent, keep the left leg completely straight with the heel pressing into the ground.
  • If maintaining balance is difficult, use a wall for support.
  • Hold the position for 10-15 seconds.
  • Return to starting position.
  • Repeat on the other side.

Body Composition Health


The Gut’s Hormones

When a meal enters the stomach and intestines, it triggers the digestive tract to release hormones that create the full feeling. These are the gut’s hormones, with each having a specific set of actions and effects. Examples include PYY, GLP-1, and GIP. Gut hormones are essential because they signal the body to slow down or stop eating. Therefore, the size of a meal influences the number of gut hormones that get released. The body releases larger quantities of gut hormones in response to meals with a higher caloric density. This is because larger meals usually contain more calories. This is one reason the body feels more satisfied after a large meal. Smaller meals are less satisfying, which means an individual will want to eat again after the meal.

After eating comes the digestion and absorption of macronutrients. This is known as the postprandial state. The body is in storage mode during the postprandial state. Even though the metabolic rate increases after a meal, the contents of that meal get broken down and stored for fuel. Four hours after a meal, the body goes back to its baseline state, which primarily burns through the stored fuel. Eating frequent, small meals throughout the day means the body spends more of the day in the postprandial storage state.

References

Bandy, WD et al. “The effect of time and frequency of static stretching on flexibility of the hamstring muscles.” Physical therapy vol. 77,10 (1997): 1090-6. doi:10.1093/ptj/77.10.1090

Freitas, SR et al. “Stretching Effects: High-intensity & Moderate-duration vs. Low-intensity & Long-duration.” International journal of sports medicine vol. 37,3 (2016): 239-44. doi:10.1055/s-0035-1548946

Hotta, Kazuki et al. “Daily muscle stretching enhance blood flow, endothelial function, capillarity, vascular volume and connectivity in aged skeletal muscle.” The Journal of physiology vol. 596,10 (2018): 1903-1917. doi:10.1113/JP275459

le Roux, C W et al. “Attenuated peptide YY release in obese subjects is associated with reduced satiety.” Endocrinology vol. 147,1 (2006): 3-8. doi:10.1210/en.2005-0972

Keeping The Neck In One Position For Too Long

Keeping The Neck In One Position For Too Long

Many individuals will be looking up at the fireworks this 4th of July weekend. A word of caution when keeping the neck in one position for too long can cause neck discomfort and/or pain. Neck discomfort and pain can cause significant disruption with everyday activities. The neck is an area that is constantly in motion. Keeping it in one position for an extended period can cause damage/injury and spinal misalignment. Although neck pain often resolves on its own in a few days. However, it can lead to headaches or an inability to concentrate, affecting an individual’s quality of life. Here are some potential causes and remedies for decreasing neck discomfort and pain.

Keeping The Neck In One Position For Too Long

Keeping The Neck In One Position For Too Long Can Cause

  • Mechanical issues and imbalances in the upper spine, known as the cervical spine
  • Muscle tension
  • Muscle strain
  • Spinal misalignment
  • Poor posture
  • Sleeping problems
  • Injury or trauma to the neck from the force and weight
  • Chronic neck misalignment

If symptoms come on suddenly, are severe, or result in neurological issues like severe shooting pain, tingling, numbness, or sudden loss of arm strength, seek medical attention immediately.

Treatment

When the neck is strained or out of alignment, it disrupts nerve circulation integrity. Spinal misalignment is subtle in nature and can be difficult to detect without a professional examination. A chiropractor is trained to recognize any underlying issues to reset/realign the entire spine to optimal form. They will assess, guide, and treat the issue/s specific to the individual’s needs. Once the nerves are working uninhibited, a chiropractor can recommend neck exercises, stretches, and more to strengthen and prevent neck problems. When spinal alignment is restored, the body will begin to operate at full potential.


Healthy Body Composition


Meal Prep to Success

For individuals that want to eat less and change eating habits, change up the approach.

Meal prepping is a healthy habit that many have had success with because it helps achieve sustainable outcomes in weight loss. Every meal plan will vary for everyone.

  1. First, individuals have different health goals.
  2. Second, everyone has a different approach to their diet choices. For example, an individual might want to go low-carb and goes with the ketogenic diet. In comparison, some individuals are comfortable planning a week in advance and freezing labeled plastic containers.

Regardless of goals, dietary, or fitness preferences, a workable meal plan is recommended. The ultimate goal is to prevent feeling overwhelmed about planning the next healthy meal and resort to a junk food meal. To steer clear of unhealthy food choices and achieve a healthy body composition, here is a real-world tip to create and stick to a healthy meal plan.

Have a well-stocked fridge and pantry

Keeping to a meal plan is easier with a well-stocked fridge and pantry. Ensure to keep a list of essential groceries whenever going to the store to ensure plenty. This list of staples includes:

  • Eggs
  • A favorite protein
  • Whole grains
  • Yogurt
  • Healthy oils
  • Herbs and spices
  • Butter
  • Leafy greens
  • Beans

Having these ingredients ready to go means a healthy meal can be quickly put together when short on time.

Be realistic and make room for crazy days

You don’t have to come up with a seven-day weekly meal plan. It is important to change up the routine, so boredom doesn’t set in. Before planning and prepping several meals, double-check the calendar. Allow yourself some slack. This could be one or two lunches or dinners in a week just in case something comes up. If batch cooking, even schedule days for leftovers for that extra flexibility.

References

BMJ. 2017 Advances in the diagnosis and management of neck pain. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28807894/

Mayo Clin Proc. 2015. Epidemiology, diagnosis, and treatment of neck pain. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25659245/

Open Orthop J. 2016. A Qualitative Description of Chronic Neck Pain has Implications for Outcome Assessment and Classification. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5301418/

Phys Ther. 2018. A Mechanism-Based Approach to Physical Therapist Management of Pain. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6256939/

Auto Accident Hidden Injuries and Bio-Chiropractic Care/Rehabilitation

Auto Accident Hidden Injuries and Bio-Chiropractic Care/Rehabilitation

After an auto accident that might not have caused serious damage, individuals often believe that they’re fine only to find out later that there is a serious injury. How do these hidden injuries happen?  It is because of the body’s fight or flight response that it activates into high gear. It does whatever is necessary to get out of harm’s way. The result is that individuals might not realize/discover that they have been injured until after the dangerous circumstances have passed. Auto accident doctors and chiropractors are very familiar with these types of hidden injuries.

The injuries sustained from non-damage-causing auto accidents are often not visible. This can be internal injuries and joint and muscle misalignments that can often only be seen through extensive x-rays, MRIs, or detailed physical examination. However, a professional chiropractor can determine the root causes of an injury from a single consultation.

Auto Accident Hidden Injuries and Bio-Chiropractic Care/Rehabilitation

Hidden Injuries

Whiplash

Some injuries, like delayed whiplash, do not present immediately because it can take days for symptoms to develop. This is the most common injury caused by an auto accident. This is when the head snaps back and then forward rapidly/violently during a collision. The jolting back-and-forth motion causes muscle strain, sprain, which can stretch and/or tear the tendons and muscles in the neck. The injury can be worsened as the individual does not realize that they have this injury, and they turn, rotate, and crane their necks like normal. Symptoms include:

  • A stiff/tight neck
  • Dull neck pain
  • Upper back pain
  • Shoulder stiffness, aches, and pain

It is recommended to see a doctor or chiropractor as soon as possible for diagnosis and treatment.

Muscle, Tendon, and Ligament Injuries

Muscle, tendon, and/or ligament injuries can happen due to whiplash, but they can also happen in other parts of the body like the hands, elbows, knees, and ankles.

Contact Injuries Bruises and Swelling

Drivers and passengers can bruise and swell from contact with hard surfaces like the steering wheel, dashboard, and doors. Seat belts can also cause injury from quick/rapid braking or a crash.

Concussion

This is when the brain forcefully makes contact with the skull resulting in bruising/injury to the brain. It is recommended to see a doctor immediately if any of the following  are experienced after an auto accident:

  • Dizziness
  • Loss of balance/equilibrium when standing and walking
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty remembering things

Spinal Trauma

The spine can sustain separate injury/s or trauma as a result of an auto accident. This includes:

  • Dislocation/s
  • Fractures
  • Compressed vertebrae
  • Crushed vertebrae
  • More symptoms can present after the shock wears off.
  • This often reveals severe, debilitating injury/s that affect the nerves and muscle control of different organs and body parts.

Bio-Chiropractic Treatment and Rehabilitation

One of the most effective and recommended ways to relieve pain and properly heal hidden injuries is chiropractic treatment and rehabilitation. A professional chiropractor can prevent further injuries from developing while easing and alleviating current pain.

No Medication Necessary

More people are becoming addicted to prescription medications following accidents and other trauma. Chiropractic care treats the cause of pain without medications. This allows the body to heal naturally and for movement to come back naturally.

Reduces Long Term Pain

Many continue to deal with back, neck, and other chronic pain conditions after an accident. Chiropractic gets to the root of the problem. The therapy sessions manipulate the body and help naturally restore the body’s total range of movement. A chiropractor will recommend exercises and stretches to keep the body strong and flexible to help prevent pain.

Reduces Scar Tissue

After the body goes through a trauma like an auto accident, muscles and ligaments can be stretched and torn. This can cause areas of internal scar tissue can develop. This can limit movement. Chiropractic helps reduce scar tissue by keeping the tissues loose and relaxed. This allows a normal range of movement.

Inflammation Alleviation

Auto injury/s can lead to long-term inflammation that can make life miserable. Chiropractors are trained to spot hidden micro-tears that x-rays are not able to scan. However, it is microscopic tears inside the muscles that are often the leading cause of inflammation. With physical manipulation, the body will be able to rerelease IL-6 substances naturally. This is a vital anti-inflammatory.


Healthy Body Composition


Personalized Functional Medicine

Personalized functional medicine is a new model of medicine that considers an individualized approach when making health recommendations. The body works as an integrated system, not as individual parts. This form of medicine combines new technology approaches, including recent gene expression and life and behavioral sciences discoveries. Personalized functional medicine looks at the subject of nutrigenomics. Nutrigenomics is defined as the relationship between nutrients and gene expression. Like identifying individual body composition, nutrigenomics testing can help individuals understand how dietary components influence their genes. This can help prevent the development of chronic diseases.

References

Calil, Ana Maria et al. “Mapping injuries in traffic accident victims: a literature review.” Revista latino-americana de enfermagem vol. 17,1 (2009): 120-5. doi:10.1590/s0104-11692009000100019

Dindi, Kuru et al. “Road traffic injuries: Epidemiology, challenges, and initiatives in India.” The National medical journal of India vol. 32,2 (2019): 113-117. doi:10.4103/0970-258X.275355

Minich, Deanna M, and Jeffrey S Bland. “Personalized lifestyle medicine: relevance for nutrition and lifestyle recommendations.” TheScientificWorldJournal vol. 2013 129841. 26 Jun. 2013, doi:10.1155/2013/129841

Palmnäs, Marie et al. “Perspective: Metabotyping-A Potential Personalized Nutrition Strategy for Precision Prevention of Cardiometabolic Diseases.” Advances in nutrition (Bethesda, Md.) vol. 11,3 (2020): 524-532. doi:10.1093/advances/nmz121

Sims, J K et al. “Automobile accident occupant injuries.” JACEP vol. 5,10 (1976): 796-808. doi:10.1016/s0361-1124(76)80313-9

Acute and Cumulative Soccer Injuries

Acute and Cumulative Soccer Injuries

Although many soccer injuries involve the legs and lower extremities, other body areas are susceptible to injury/s as well. Acute or cumulative is how soccer injuries are generally described. Acute injuries are traumatic. They are usually caused by a slip, trip, and fall, getting hit, and crashing into other players. Cumulative injuries involve repetitive stress on a muscle, joint, or connective tissue. This triggers progressive aches, pain, and physical impairment that gets worse with time. Understanding how and why they happen is the first step in injury prevention. The more common injuries experienced among soccer athletes include.

Acute and Cumulative Soccer Injuries

Concussion

This is a form of mild traumatic brain injury mTBI caused by a sudden hit/impact to the head. Players are trained to head the ball; however, concussions can happen if not ready for impact or heading at an awkward position.

Ankle Sprains

Ankle sprains are when there is stretching and tearing of ligament/s that surround the ankle joint.

  • Lateral ankle sprains or outside of the ankle can happen when a player kicks the ball with the top of the foot.
  • A medial ankle sprain or inside of the ankle can happen when the toes are turned out when the foot is flexed up.

Achilles Tendonitis

This is a chronic injury that occurs from overuse with pain in the back of the ankle. Players are constantly performing repetitive and sudden movements that, over time, can cause this type of injury.

Achilles Tendon Rupture

A rupture involves a partial or complete tear of the Achilles tendon. Often players say with a popping sound. This happens when players perform fast, explosive movements. Rapid stopping, starting, shifting, jumping can all contribute.

Groin Pull/Strain

This is a type of strain that happens when the inner thigh muscles are stretched beyond their limit. As a result, a player can pull the groin when kicking and/or resistance from an opponent trying to take the ball or kick in the opposite direction.

Hamstring Injury

These injuries involve the three back muscles of the thigh and can vary from minor strains to complete ruptures/tears. This comes from running, sprinting, jumping, and stopping, leading to these types of injuries.

Iliotibial Band Syndrome

This is an overuse/repetitive injury that involves a tendon known as the IT band. This is the connective tissue that runs along the outside of the thigh. Constant running can create friction as the band gets pulled along the outside of the knee, which can cause tendonitis.

Plantar Fasciitis

This causes foot pain caused by inflammation of the tissue bands that run from the heel to the toes. Several factors can cause the condition. This could be players using inappropriate or not correctly fitting shoes, shoes that do not provide proper arch support or playing on a hard surface.

Calf Muscle Pull

This is when one of the muscles of the lower leg gets pulled from the Achilles tendon. Again, quick and spontaneous sprinting, running, or jumping is usually the cause.

Knee Injuries

The most common soccer injuries are those that involve the knee. This is because of the stopping and shifting directions quickly and suddenly. The explosive, spontaneous movements place extreme stress on the knees and the supporting ligaments. When the stress goes beyond the ligament’s limits, it can cause a sprain or tear in the joint. When there is an injury to the knee/s, it is diagnosed using a grading scale.

  • Grade 1 Mild sprain
  • Grade 2 Partial tear
  • Grade 3 Complete tear

Runner’s Knee

Patellofemoral pain syndrome, also known as runner’s knee, is a condition where the cartilage under the kneecap gets damaged from an injury or overuse. This happens when there is a misalignment in the knee and/or strained tendons.

ACL Injury

The anterior cruciate ligament or ACL is at the front of the knee. These are the most common knee injuries. This is because the ligaments are less retractable than muscles or tendons. And those in the knees are highly vulnerable to damage.

Cruciate Ligament Injury

This type of injury does not always cause pain but often causes a popping sound when it happens. Pain and swelling develop within 24 hours. This is followed by the loss of range of motion and tenderness around and along the joint.

Meniscus Injury

The Meniscus involves a C-shaped piece of cartilage that cushions the space between the femur and the shin bone. These tears are painful and are often the result of twisting, pivoting, decelerating, or quick/rapid impact.

Shin Splints

The term describes a variety of painful symptoms that develop in the front of the lower leg. This often happens from over/intense training, or the training gets changed. Players can also develop shin splints from training while not using appropriate shoes.

Stress Fractures

These types of fractures are usually the result of overuse or repeated impact on a bone. The result is severe bruising or a slight crack in the bone.

Tendonitis

When tendons get inflamed, it is referred to as tendonitis. This comes with repetitive overuse but can also develop from a traumatic injury that causes micro-tears in the muscle fibers.

Soccer Injuries Prevention

Many of these injuries result from overuse, overtraining, improper conditioning, and/or not warming up properly. Here are few tips to help reduce the risk.

Warm-up for at least 30 minutes before playing

Pay special attention to stretching the:

  • Groin
  • Hips
  • Hamstrings
  • Achilles’ tendons
  • Quadriceps

Wear protective gear

This includes:

  • Mouthguards
  • Shin guards
  • Kinesio tape
  • Ankle supports
  • Eye protection
  • Ensure they are correctly sized and maintained.

Check the field

Check for anything that could cause injury/s. This includes:

  • Holes
  • Puddles
  • Broken glass
  • Stones
  • Debris

Avoid playing in bad weather

Or immediately after heavy rain when the field is especially slick and muddy.

Allow enough time to heal after an injury.

This also goes for minor soccer injuries. Trying too fast to get back increases the risk of worsening the injury, re-injury, and/or creating new injuries.


Body Composition


Athletes and Carb Loading

Carb loading is a strategy that athletes use.

Endurance athletes

Utilize carb-loading to help them increase energy storage for long runs, bike rides, swims, etc. When timed effectively, carb-loading has been shown to increase muscle glycogen, leading to improved performance.

Bodybuilders and fitness athletes

Use carbo-loading to build size and mass before competitions. The timing and efficacy of carb-loading vary from person to person. Make sure to experiment before the next big competition.

References

Fairchild, Timothy J et al. “Rapid carbohydrate loading after a short bout of near maximal-intensity exercise.” Medicine and science in sports and exercise vol. 34,6 (2002): 980-6. doi:10.1097/00005768-200206000-00012

Kilic O, Kemler E, Gouttebarge V. The “sequence of prevention” for musculoskeletal injuries among adult recreational footballers: A systematic review of the scientific literature. Phys Ther Sport. 2018;32:308-322. doi:10.1016/j.ptsp.2018.01.007

Lingsma H, Maas A. Heading in soccer: More than a subconcussive event?. Neurology. 2017;88(9):822-823. doi:10.1212/WNL.0000000000003679

Pfirrmann D, Herbst M, Ingelfinger P, Simon P, Tug S. Analysis of Injury Incidences in Male Professional Adult and Elite Youth Soccer Players: A Systematic Review. J Athl Train. 2016;51(5):410–424. doi:10.4085/1062-6050-51.6.03