Chiropractor Rancho Cucamonga shares low back exercises for beginners.

Here is a simple exercises that you can do at home with no equipment.
It works the multifidus, erector spinae, transverse abdominus, oblique muscles.
The purpose of this exercise is to Increase low back strength and muscular endurance. By doing this exercise you can have the benefits of Improved stability, functional strength and injury prevention

Begin lying on your back.
Extend arms above head flat on floor.
Activate core and lift knees above hips and maintain a 90/90 hip and knee position.
Activate core.
Lift one arm off the floor and raise it towards ceiling until above shoulder level while simultaneously extending one leg downward towards floor.
Pause momentarily.
Return to start position, alternating sides.
Core activation should be maintained throughout entire exercise.
Repeat for recommended repetitions and sets.

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Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy: The Benefits

7004627103_10658cb981Back pain is a common problem faced by women during their pregnancy. This occurs when pregnant women put on extra weight causing extra pressure on the spine. Receiving spinal treatments can reduce such pains through chiropractic, and pregnancy issues like delivery can be made more comfortable and faster.

Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care is a conservative form of treatment that addresses the spinal cord, discs and related nerves without the use of surgery or drugs. It involves the adjustment of spine to align it back to its normal position. This reduces the spinal nerve stress which can cause various other health complications in the woman and later on in the child. Hence, chiropractic treatment addresses the whole body to promote health and well being.

Safe during Pregnancy

Many complications can occur during pregnancy that can be triggered by spinal problems. These complications can get transferred to the newborn, as they affect the nervous system of a mother. Babies can develop colic, breathing problems, allergic reactions, bedwetting, and neural disorders. The Webster Technique is commonly employed for pregnant women to reduce the spinal nerve stress and balance pelvis, ligaments and muscles.

Throughout the stages of pregnancy, specialized chiropractic care plans are devised to suit the patient. Research shows there are no known potential contradictions to chiropractic treatment during pregnancy. Chiropractic professionals are known to adjust treatments to better suit the body of a pregnant woman. They follow tables and employ techniques which avoid unnecessary pressure on the stomach.

Benefits of Chiropractic Care

Many medical experts recommend chiropractic care during pregnancy as it helps maintain pelvic balance. A balanced pelvis gives a baby more room to move into the correct birth position. This avoids some of the potential fallbacks of delivery. Other benefits include:

  • Reducing back, neck and joint pain
  • Reducing nerve stress to promote healthy development of the mother and baby
  • Relieving pressure from the spine and maintaining better posture
  • Restoring joints to ensure optimum range of motion
  • Reducing symptoms of nausea
  • Reducing time of labor and delivery
  • Stimulates optimal functioning of reproductive organs
  • Preventing potential cases of cesarean
  • Maintaining a healthy pregnancy

 

A visit to the chiropractic clinic begins with physical evaluations, and then a treatment plan is made, involving therapies, nutrition and exercise. Chiropractic care aims to provide comfort for mothers during and after pregnancy, and also ensuring their babies enjoy proper bone and neural development.

Image Used Under Creative Commons Licensing: Profile of a pregnant woman by Jason Pier in DC

The Bonus of Blueberries

9254525480_2074aa6e42_zEvery summer, blueberries become available throughout the country. They are native to North America and have been around for thousands of years. They’re not only good for blueberry muffins and blueberry pancakes, but for many other uses as well.

Native Americans ate blueberries as food, pounded into dried meat to make pemmican for long journeys. They also used blueberries as a source of medicine. Aviators in the UK during WWII were found to have sharper eyesight after eating bilberry jam (a cousin to the blueberry) every morning for breakfast.

Not only are blueberries tasty and good for your eyes, they offer significant other benefits as well. We’re avoiding the use of the term “super food” but if we weren’t, blueberries would be high on that list.

Cancer. Most foods that are naturally blue or purple have an antioxidant called anthocyanins. These chemicals have some serious cancer-fighting power. In studies involving mice, cancer, and blueberries, the animals who were given blueberries were able fight off both prostate and liver cancer.

Bladder Health. Like cranberries, blueberries have a compound in them that prevent bacteria in the bladder from multiplying. Further, it keeps the bacteria from being able to attach to the wall of the bladder. They are especially effective against E. coli, which is often the culprit when it comes to bladder or urinary tract infections. The next time you have a UTI and are reluctant to pour one more glass of cranberry juice, stock up on some blueberries.

Brain Booster. Another compound in blueberries is the antioxidant called flavonoids. A recent study discovered that women who ate the most blueberries managed to stave off any mental decline as they aged by as much as two and a half years. To keep that memory going, munch on blueberries.

Artery Cleaner.

When our arteries become inflamed, they begin to collect material inside, becoming narrower, providing the potential for a full blockage that could result in a heart attack. Blueberries are excellent anti-inflammatories and one study demonstrated that they can reduce the production of the proteins that promote arterial inflammation. Of special note to women, eating more blueberries reduces their chance of a heart attack by as much as thirty percent.

Improved Digestion. Move over probiotics, here come blueberries. A study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry shared that a group of men had a wild blueberry drink every day for six weeks. There was a significant increase in the good bacteria that promotes better digestion and overall improved gut health. When your digestion works well, you generally enjoy improved health.

Enjoy your blueberries as an addition to muffins and pancakes, but branch out. Eat them alone, in smoothies, in salads, in meat stews. They don’t have to be included in a dessert to be enjoyed.

Photo Credit :
Reward for work: Blueberries
from @rsseattle via Flickr

Dietary Tips

3829063385_8e46d16540_oA Good Diet Equals Healthy Living

In order to live a healthy lifestyle, there are some essential nutrients which need to be present in your diet. A good chiropractor will also include a diet plan in his treatments to reduce the risk of disease. Here are some dietary tips you can use to improve your health.

Avoid Junk Food

Avoid junk foods with low nutritional values and additives such as artificial flavoring and coloring, as most of them contain chemicals that your body isn’t familiar with and can cause certain problems such as abdominal pain, diarrhea and irritable bowel movements.

Eat Foods with Good Nutritional Values

Let’s suppose a person has a calorie requirement of 1600 calories a day. He can either get these calories from healthy foods with good nutritional values, such as beans, vegetables or salads, or he can get them through unhealthy foods such as bagels, donuts or junk food. The calorie requirement is the same but he would be getting a more nutritious diet by choosing the former option, thus making him healthier.

Add Unrefined and Uncooked Foods in Your Diet

Natural foods contain relatively more nutrients as compared to their refined counterparts. For example, refined flour lacks the fiber and other nutrients that whole grain contains. Cooking can also destroy many of the beneficial nutrients in food, so it is important to add some raw fruits and vegetables in your diet to balance out the nutrient requirement.

Avoid Fried Food Items

Though they may seem tempting, a high consumption of fried foods can directly lead to certain health problems such as high cholesterol and heart problems. If you live a busy lifestyle which doesn’t give you time to exercise, fried foods can also cause obesity.

Don’t Use Too Much Salt and Sugar 

Too much salt results in high blood pressure, increasing the likelihood of developing health problems. High levels of sugar can also increase the risk of diabetes. Try to reduce the amount of salt or sugar you use in food items.

Ask Your Chiropractor for Advice

As most chiropractors have information on nutritional requirements, you can ask your chiropractor to advise you further on what you should include and what you should exclude from your diet. A chiropractor can also formulate you a proper diet plan which you can follow to stay healthy.

Image used under Creative Commons Licensing: A Matched Set by Tony Alter

Ergonomic Essentials – Tips on Improving and Maintaining Good Posture

images (6)As the years pile on, poor posture can be brought about due to a number of reasons – sitting in office chairs and looking at computer screens, driving, or standing for extended periods at a time. Even sleeping in a mattress that’s too hard, too soft, or uneven can lead to postural problems.

Luckily, these prime suspects that affect posture as a result of poor ergonomics are indeed within your control and you can turn things around. It’s never too late. Let’s take a brief look at how we can accomplish this. You might even come across some of these tips at chiropractic clinics.

Poor Ergonomics and Back Discomfort

In most cases, poor ergonomics and posture can be the cause of chronic back pain. Over the course of the day, your muscles tend to tire as you slouch and slump over your desk, pushing the limits to keep up with your respective deadlines. If this goes on for too long, you’re most likely going to experience undue stress in your neck and back. Change positions from time to time to maintain a relaxed but proper posture. Take a break from your desk every hour or so. Stretch a little, stand up and walk around. 2 to 3 minutes is all you need.

Make Use of Posture-friendly Props and Ergonomic Chairs   

Ergonomic-friendly “props” can really help take the load off your spine. In case ergonomic office chairs are in short supply, use footrests, portable lumbar back rests, or even a small pillow that supports the natural lumbar curve of your spine a bit better. Wearing the right spectacles that support your vision and keeping them clean in addition to positioning your computer screen properly, will prevent you from leaning or straining the neck just to view the contents properly. Avoid tilting your head forward.

Be Aware of Ergonomics in Every Setting Not Just Work 

One ought to be aware of ergonomics in every environmental setting, not just work. Instilling good posture in everyday activities is paramount. Try to establish a connection between episodes of pain and fatigue and certain situations where bad posture or ergonomics have been largely to blame. Make changes accordingly.

Exercising Promotes Good Posture 

Regular strength or cardio training really strengthens the core muscles – the abdominal and lower back region. Keep these running like a well-oiled machine, and you’re quite likely to never experience postural problems. A lot of therapeutic and chiropractic methods revolve around strengthening the core, while improving flexibility. This protects your entire spine, as that’s your “postural hub”.

Image used under Creative Commons Licensing: Deluxe kneeling chair.jpg

Why Spinal Surgery is a Bad Idea

Illu_vertebral_columnBecause it takes the smallest mistake to permanently paralyze a healthy individual, a fact that any chiropractor will attest to. There is always a risk of injury involved in spinal surgery.

Almost 80% of the people in the country will complain about lower back pain at some point in their lives. More work days are missed because of spinal pain than any other sort of ailment. This also places it as one of the most common causes of disabilities right after cardiovascular disease.

However, most people would rather seek the services of certified chiropractors than their doctors. Doctors usually prescribe numbing medication or painful surgical procedures like spinal surgery for patients who complain of repetitive chronic pain. But that is hardly a permanent solution and also involves a great deal of risks.

What can go Wrong:

Transitional Syndrome

Perhaps one of the most interesting aspects of the spine has to do with its behavior. Your spine behaves like a chain of repeated segments. Each of the individual segments works as a whole to share the workload that is involved in moving the body by sharing the load along the spinal column. In other words the stress that is imposed on the spine during the movement is shared amongst the segments.

However such a process can only happen seamlessly when the spine is healthy. When one or more of the segments doesn’t work as they should their neighboring segments have to pick up the slack and work harder. The segment that is closest to the dysfunctional one gets most of the stress. This means that the area near where the spinal surgery was performed takes on more stress.  This is what is known as transitional syndrome since it occurs due to the transition of a healthy area of the spine to the fused area.

General practitioners and even orthopedic surgeons can never claim to know what causes pain in the back. To them, complex procedures like spinal surgery appear as handy default treatments. This is not to mention the disastrous residual pain that is caused by inappropriate surgery. Such a complication is more of a possibility after common spinal surgeries, such as laminectomies, in which a disc is removed to give the nerve near the central spinal cord more space to move, or fusion, in which a vertebra is surgically joined to another to restrict excess movement.

Image used under Creative Commons Licensing: Illu vertebral column.jpg

Shoulder Sport Injuries and Chiropractic Care

1361740537_7c6bbebfceAthletes and sports enthusiasts suffer from different sports injuries, the most common one being shoulder injuries, contracted during the strenuous activities and efforts required during various sports. Chiropractors provide effective treatment methods to rid the patients of the pain and suffering of a shoulder injury.

How Are Shoulder Sports Injuries Contracted?

Shoulder sport injuries are contracted by professional athletes and individuals who pursue a certain sport as a hobby. The strenuous and exhausting practice procedures, along with the constant exertion on the body, result in acute muscular pains in the arm and shoulder regions, for the sports professionals. In extreme cases, the pain spreads throughout the entire arm, causing sore and stiff shoulder muscles and tingling pain up to the fingers.

The sports which require extensive physical effort like basketball, baseball, football, etc., require the players to engage in different repetitive movements, which sometimes cause shoulder sport injuries.

Symptoms of Shoulder Injuries

Shoulder injuries which are very common among sports athletes and professionals present certain symptoms and signs which help in the diagnosis of the form of injury. A patient with a shoulder pain which persists for a couple of days has a high risk of suffering from a shoulder injury which needs to be treated promptly.

Recurring episodes of shoulder pain is also a sign of a shoulder injury, while inability to carry objects highlights the extent of damage suffered by the shoulder of an individual. In extreme cases, the shoulder injury causes a deformity in the joint and damages the muscles of the shoulder, which leaves the individual in extreme pain.

Shoulder injuries also include bruises and swellings around joints or the arm region of the body, which results in stiff muscles that are difficult to move. In some cases, the patient suffers from a fever and swelling with an infection, if there is acute damage to the muscles and joints of the shoulder region. Some individuals also face difficulty in moving their injured shoulder and experience pain in the area throughout the day.

Treatment Options

Shoulder injuries require prompt and efficient medical treatment, carefully administered, to ensure that there are no further damages to the injured area. Rest and anti-inflammatory medicines are prescribed by doctors to bring down the swelling in the shoulder. Various painkillers are prescribed which only serve to alleviate the pain for a short period of time. Chiropractors provide effective treatment for the shoulder sports injuries contracted by different individuals.

Image used under Creative Commons Licensing: Mikko with dislocated should… by Aleksi Aaltonen

How Lack of Exercise Affects Health

The_'weigh'_he_was_--_weightloss_at_GuantanamoA lack of exercise results in numerous health problems, starting from seemingly harmless weight gain to cardiovascular diseases and a much higher chance of suffering a stroke.  Research has concluded that as many people die because of the effects of lack of exercise as the number that die from smoking.

This is why chiropractic exercises are strongly recommended to maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle and avoid all complications that can lead up to a stroke.

The following problems can occur due to lack of exercise:

1. Obesity

Obesity is one of the major effects of a lack of exercise.  Various health problems can surface due to obesity such as diabetes, breathing issues, high blood pressure and a far greater risk of suffering a heart attack.

Besides the physical effects, many psychological effects also accompany obese people.  Low self-esteem that leads to depression can be a devastating experience.

It is no doubt that obesity can result from genetic factors, but a lack of exercise is usually a major reason.

2. High Blood Pressure

Being overweight can lead to hypertension.  The blood vessels clog up which restricts blood flow.  Hypertension exposes a person to various other risks, such as heart attack, kidney failure and many other ailments.  A hypertensive individual is more likely to develop diabetes.

3. Decline in Brain Function

Exercise helps in increasing the flow of blood to the brain, while lack of exercise does the opposite.  A brain that is deprived of blood cannot function normally as it would otherwise.  The brain can also physically shrink due to the lack of blood supply – a research states that this ‘shrinkage’ can be avoided and mental abilities can be enhanced by regular exercise.

4. Reduction in Strength of Bones and Muscles

A sedentary lifestyle can weaken the bones and muscles, thus exposing an individual to a greater chance of injury as well as diseases such as arthritis.  Lack of exercise can make a person more prone to fractures in case of a fall along with knee-joint and hip problems later on.

5. Increased Chances of Developing Cancer

Research was carried over several years and the results show an increased chance of cancer from a lack of exercise.  Also, people who were physically fit when they developed cancer had a far greater chance of survival than those who had led a sedentary lifestyle.

Image used under Creative Commons Licensing: The ‘weigh’ he was — weightloss at Guantanamo.jpg

Take Your Kids to a Chiropractor

kid8118About Chiropractic care

Chiropractic care has become very popular among parents with kids who suffer from back pain. While conventional treatments continue to be used and provide results, there is more to chiropractic than just alleviating back pains. Many health complications can occur in a child which may go undiagnosed. It is essential to achieve proper development for kids, and chiropractic care aims to serve that.

Take Your Child to a Chiropractor

The methods and treatment plan of chiropractic care in children has been proven as being safer than conventional treatment. Chiropractic treatments involve adjustment and aligning of the spinal cord through hands and by stimulating muscles. It seeks to improve range of motion and bodily functions by relieving back and neck pain. However, regular visits to a chiropractor can improve general health and, on the long run, promote well being and vitality.

Effective chiropractic treatment on children:

  • Encourages neural development ( brain and nerves)
  • Improves the child’s immunity
  • Assists in dealing with irritable baby syndrome and colic
  • Helps in dealing with behavioral disorders
  • Improves immunity and prevents injuries
  • Helps in relieving breathing problems and allergies
  • Assists in sleeping disorders and bed wetting issues
  • Improves posture
  • Increases concentration

Better Alternative

Research has shown chiropractic care as a better alternative over conventional treatments in many ways. Conventional treatments like surgeries and prescription drugs are known to provide a temporary solution to back pain. Chiropractic care, on the other hand, is a non-invasive method that addresses the whole body of a child. It does not involve any use of medications or spinal surgery.

Conventional treatments can be expensive, and on many occasions go uncovered by medical insurance. However, a chiropractic treatment is highly recommended by medical experts, and is cost effective as well. There are also potential fall backs and side effects of getting a spinal surgery or medicinal use in such an early age. These may lead to development of disorders, addictions, and health complications later on in the child’s life. Studies and personal experiences of parents show that chiropractic care is much safer with very few and mild, to no side effects at all.

Makes the Difference

Every parent wishes their child reaches milestones like first steps, first words, and first day at school, etc. in optimum health. Chiropractic care seeks to promote proper development in children to ensure they grow up healthy and strong.

 

Image Used under Creative Commons license. Photo Credit: Kids8118 by I Should Be Folding Laundry

Spondylolysis and Lower Back Pain

385px-Spinal_column_curvature_2011Spondylolysis is one of many conditions that chiropractic practices have to deal with. The condition occurs due to a weakness in the section of the vertebrae that is known as pas interaticularis. This is a thin piece of bone that is responsible for connecting the lower and upper portion of the facet joints. These join in the vertebrae’s upper and lower section to form a comprehensive network of bone that allows the spine to move.

The defect can lead to small fractures in the spine that cause certain vertebrae to slip out of place.

Some chiropractic practices say that Spondylolysis is a hereditary disease especially considering infants who are born with a thin vertebrae, a condition that puts them at a higher risk for fractures.   Repetitive trauma to the lower back may also cause the pars interarticularis to weaken over time.

Symptoms

Those who have spondylolysis do not experience any symptoms and which is exactly why they might not be aware of it once it does occur. Low back pain is the most common symptom once the pain from the condition spreads. It feels like a muscle in the lower back has been sprained and usually gets worse with exercise or activity. It can also occur during a teenager’s growth spurt after puberty which is why the typical age of a person who acquires the condition is usually between 15 to 16 years.

The condition usually occurs in 3 to 4% of the population and is the most common cause of lower back pain in children or people below the age of 26. Spondylolysis is more common in kids or teenagers who take part in vigorous activities that over extend their spines such as weightlifting, gymnastics and football.

Treatment

The condition calls for a more conservative approach. Chiropractic care of Spondylolysis would aim to reduce the pain, let the fracture heal and help return the patient to normal activities. Patients are also advised to refrain from any vigorous physical activities such as exercise or sports to help them heal faster. Treatments for severe cases often involve the use of a back brace or support which helps stabilize the back and prevent lower back pain to aid the healing process.

The condition might not be preventable in some cases however certain steps can be taken to reduce the risk of fractures in the lower back.

Image Used under Creative Commons license. Photo Credit: Spinal column curvature 2011.png