Posts Tagged ‘spine’
Welcome to the second part of our three-part series, outlining our office technology. This blog is all about a chiropractic staple in our office : the Ultralign.
Here is the break down: A subluxation is a misaligned vertebrae. Chiropractors remove subluxations. Our chiropractor, Dr. Michael Sapienza, identifies and removes the subluxations with the a computer-generated system, called the Ultralign.
Seems simple enough, right? The Ultralign is just another form of chiropractic, just like manual adjustments – in that it realigns the spine. However, there are some benefits that are specific to the computer-generated adjustments.
1- It’s relaxing. Some of our patients come to us scarred from past experiences with manual adjustments – and are fearful of the popping noises that can occur during the process. That fear can cause you to tense up and not get a proper adjustment. When you get adjusted by the Ultralign, you are in a seated position, face down, and are able to relax.
2- It comes with options. The Ultralign has protocols specific for your ailment – from lower back pain, to neck pain, to even migraine headaches. Telling the chiropractor what is bothering you will help him choose the right option, and have you leaving our office feeling like a new person.
3- It can be safer. While manual adjustments are generally safe, sometimes they run the risk of aggravating a bulging or herniated disc – a common condition that we treat in our practice. The Ultralign removes that risk, since it is a gentler option, and is a great compliment to the decompression table.
Interested in trying out this cool piece of technology? Just call our office at 973-943-4300 to schedule your complimentary medical consult with Dr. Sapienza.
Harvard Health recently wrote about how posture can help keep back pain at bay- noting that it isn’t just your standing posture you should worry about. How you sit in your chair at work, as well as performing tasks such as lifting or reaching, can have a negative effect on your back health.
Here is an excerpt of the 4 tips they provided to improve your posture:
- Imagery. Think of a straight line passing through your body from ceiling to floor (your ears, shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles should be even and line up vertically). Now imagine that a strong cord attached to your breastbone is pulling your chest and rib cage upward, making you taller. Try to hold your pelvis level — don’t allow the lower back to sway. Think of stretching your head toward the ceiling, increasing the space between your rib cage and pelvis. Picture yourself as a ballerina or ice skater rather than a soldier at attention.
- Shoulder blade squeeze. Sit up straight in a chair with your hands resting on your thighs. Keep your shoulders down and your chin level. Slowly draw your shoulders back and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Hold for a count of five; relax. Repeat three or four times.
- Upper-body stretch. Stand facing a corner with your arms raised, hands flat against the walls, elbows at shoulder height. Place one foot ahead of the other. Bending your forward knee, exhale as you lean your body toward the corner. Keep your back straight and your chest and head up. You should feel a nice stretch across your chest. Hold this position for 20–30 seconds. Relax.
- Arm-across-chest stretch. Raise your right arm to shoulder level in front of you and bend the arm at the elbow, keeping the forearm parallel to the floor. Grasp the right elbow with your left hand and gently pull it across your chest so that you feel a stretch in the upper arm and shoulder on the right side. Hold for 20 seconds; relax both arms. Repeat to the other side. Repeat three times on each side.
Looking for additional tips? Stop by the office to talk with Dr. Sapienza about your posture and back pain.
As the weather becomes warmer, country clubs across the country gear up for golfing season. For me, golfing is synonymous with my father – I can remember him golfing on Sunday mornings since I was little. To this day, every Father’s Day, my dad gets some variation of golfing paraphernalia as a gift. Golfing is, of course, popular with many fathers, and thus often a great source for Father’s Day gifts. However, I thought this Father’s Day it would be wise to point out another synonym for golfers alike… back pain.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, 25-35% of all injuries reported by recreational and professional golfers is located in the low back. This is due largely in part to the forces that are produced during a golfer’s swing – the repetitive motion causes significant muscular activity and movement that contributes to high reports of back pain and injury.
There are various factors in a golf swing that can affect your entire body, and how good it will feel following those 18 holes. Cleveland Clinic sites the following swing faults;
“S-posture, reverse spine angle, early extension, restricted right leg follow-through, and reverse C finish. The “modern swing” with more hip-shoulder separation (X-Factor) creates more stress on the spine. Golfers with limited mobility of their lead hip (the left hip in a right-handed golfer) may have an increased incidence of low back pain.”
They also point out that golfers carrying their own golf bags can cause stress on the spine and lower back muscles, and result in injury. Injuries can vary from a muscle pull or strain, to lumbar disc injury. Do what is a father to do? Make sure you give him these tips:
1- Stretch before the tee time. Make sure to properly stretch both back and neck muscles before the round of golf. It is also important to stretch the hips and shoulder muscles, as they participate in the mechanics of a golf swing as well.
2- Practice your swing. Get a few good, slow, practice swings in before the real thing, to ease into the more forceful, real deal swing on the course.
3- Minimize fatigue. Stay hydrated throughout the workout – yes, golfing is a workout. Whether you are at the driving range just practicing, or playing a full 18-hole game, you should make sure you maintain your energy by drinking lots of water and having some healthy snacks, in between holes.
4- Get adjusted. I can’t tell you how many phone calls we get Monday morning, saying they felt fine before they spent the whole weekend on the golf course. Maintaining regular adjustments with physical therapy throughout the month will help prevent risk of injury on the green.
Wishing all of the dads out there an early Happy Father’s Day!
Follow us on twitter @meccamedical
It has been well-documented that exercise can help ease the joint pain and stiffness associated with arthritis. Despite this, many men and women who suffer from arthritis have reported that they aren’t logging enough time at the gym. In fact, researchers at Northwestern University Feinberg School or Medicine reported only 13 percent of men and 8 percent of women with osteoarthritis of the knee met the federal guidelines for activity.
According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise is extremely beneficial for arthritis patients, especially with those with osteoarthritis, as it helps strengthen the muscles around the joins and aids in maintaining bone strength. Additionally, it will “increase your flexibility, reduce join pain, and combat fatigue.”
A New York Times blog outlined the study mentioned above, which was published in the journal Arthritis and Rheumatism. The findings shockingly showed that almost 50 percent of participants in the study did not exercise for at least 10 minutes THE ENTIRE WEEK!
What is the bottom line? Maintaining an active, healthy lifestyle includes daily exercise – whether you suffer from arthritis or not. For arthritis sufferers, including exercises that help with range of motion, as well as strengthening, will help tremendously. I must note that before beginning any exercise routine, you should check with your doctor first.
Additionally, regular chiropractic maintenance can help with arthritis as well. Making sure the spine is properly aligned sets your body up for its optimum level of health. Since summer is just around the corner, make sure that you get off the couch and get moving!
Follow us on Twitter @meccamedical
Earlier this month, TIME Healthland wrote about the 5 most common mistakes that gym-goers are making during their workouts. The first one listed was “going overboard on cardio machines”. The author, Alexandra Sifferlin, noted that failing to use cardio machines correctly could place them at risk for a less-effective workout, as well as injury. She notes:
“If you’re using an elliptical machine, for instance, don’t set the resistance so high that you can’t work out comfortably without leaning on the machine for support. “Hunching over or using a death grip on the machine handrail because your incline or resistance is too high for you cheats your body and can throw off your alignment, jarring your spine, shoulders and elbows,” says Scott Danberg, the director of fitness at the Pritikin Longevity Center in Miami.”
Now, I watch the Biggest Loser, so I know that when you are using a cardio machine, whether it be the elliptical or a treadmill, you should be keeping your HANDS OFF. Lord knows that Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper have screamed this advice (or would it be order?) at participants season to season. However, I thought it was important to share that excerpt with you, as I didn’t realize how much it could affect your spine and the rest of your body. I was practicing this advice based solely on the knowledge that using your hands for supports leads to a less effective workout.
Similar to your daily routine outside of the gym, you want to maintain awareness of your posture during your workout. A hunched stance, either on a cardio machine or while doing a free weight exercise, can lead to misalignment of the spine. This, in turn, will affect not only your back in terms of pain, but can affect other areas of your body. When a vertebra in the spine is misaligned, this can affect the closest nerve, causing pain in other areas besides your back.
“Maintaining good form while lifting will also improve your overall posture. “Generally, people who don’t have good posture have tight or weak muscles,” says Danberg. “If you do not think about your form while you are lifting, you are training poor posture.””
That is why it is so important to make sure that you take note of your form during your workouts. Mr. Danberg recommends leaving your books and magazines at home. These reading materials can distract you from concentration on performing an effective, and most importantly, safe, workout.
Supplementary to maintaining proper form and posture during your workout, maintaining regular adjustments by your chiropractor will also help keep your back pain at bay. Chiropractic adjustments will not only help decrease or eliminate pain, but encourage overall body health and wellness.
Follow us on Twitter @meccamedical