sleeping

When it comes to buying a pillow, we should consider it an investment in the health of our body, especially the neck. A proper-fitting pillow is one that provides you with the comfort and support needed to sleep restfully and wake up feeling refreshed and ready for the day. An ill-fitting pillow is one that causes you to get less rest because of discomfort. Sleep deprivation and sleeping with your head at an odd angle can create and exacerbate the following symptoms:

  • Headaches
  • Neck and Back pain
  • Reduced Respiratory function
  • Lack of Mental acuteness
  • Poor physical performance 

At Scorca Chiropractic Center, we want you to believe in the power of the pillow! A good pillow is one that: assumes the space between mattress and neck in order to preserve the proper, neutral alignment of the spine. This means that your pillow needs to place your neck at the same angle as the rest of your body. 

For a side-sleeper, this means that a firmer pillow should be sought out, in order to make up the space between neck and the outside of the shoulder.

A back-sleeper should choose a pillow that doesn’t throw their head into a forward angle. 

A stomach-sleeper may consider ditching the head pillow entirely and placing it under their stomach to prevent against the accumulation of low-back pain. 

Pillows should be taken seriously. If you are having trouble falling or staying asleep because of pain, give our office in Fremont a call. We can identify problem areas together and create a plan that incorporates chiropractic care, massage therapy and lifestyle adjustments such as selecting a new pillow to help you get a better night’s sleep. 

Dr. Francis Scorca, D.C. 

text neck

Take a second to define the role of your cell phone within the context of your life: is it even a phone? A recent survey found that the least used app on the iPhone is, “Phone.” So, what is it then? Social media manager, notebook, business tool, camera, wallet? The point is that such a tiny object increases the time you spend looking down exponentially. In the timeline of history, only books could be said to cause humans to look down as consistently as cell phones. This is problematic because the act of looking down puts pressure on the spine and causes the premature onset of spinal conditions, particularly in the cervical region. 

Chances are you don’t hold your phone at arm’s length and eye level. Most people feel awkward doing this and it places a muscular strain on the arms, so we hold the phone in our lap or at hip-level and look down instead. This immediately moves the spine out of neutral position and magnifies the weight of the head in relation to the spine. Your shoulders slump forward and your neck is craned downward; essentially, all the muscles involved in supporting the head, from the core up through the shoulders and neck, have taken on an increased burden. In this scenario, muscle strain is a reasonable outcome. 

From here, we see the onset of muscle spasms, stiffness and pain in the upper back, shoulders and neck and limited range of motion. Who is most at risk? Teens and adults between the ages of 18 and 44 who can’t go a minute without the cell phone by their side. This sets the bar pretty low for spinal health and can create a lot of problems later in life. At Scorca Chiropractic Center, we want to help people realize that their spine is being damaged from overusing their cell phones and all screens for that matter. We have the expertise and treatment to help you prevent injury to your spine from such a mundane task. 

Dr. Francis Scorca, D.C. 

 

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You could probably devote an entire book to the subject of stretches for people who find themselves deskbound by their jobs. Being tethered to a desk and computer has become the modern proverbial ball and chain. As a chiropractor, this is grim news: we are seeing more people than ever come through our doors with prematurely degenerated spines and joints that are subject to a 9-5 lifestyle. However, knowledge is growing and we hope to foster a little bit of this awareness in our community. Taking a break and standing up could be the best thing you do for your spinal muscles during an intense work day. So let’s start there: simple. After you’ve stood for a minute, perhaps you’ve walked to the water fountain and had a drink and now it’s back to work. Stop right there! just 60 more seconds of stretching at your desk could make all the difference in whether you feel stiff at the end of the day or not. 

While stretching facilitates circulation, it also requires circulation as an input. Take a deep breath and let a greater flow of oxygen circulate through your body as you reach for the sky, holding this position for as long as feels right. Then relax, take another deep breath, exhale and try this stretch for the shoulders, hips and back:

  • Place your palms on your lower back
  • Stretch your upper body back (against your hands)
  • With your pelvis and lower stomach now thrusted forward, hold this position for 5 seconds. 
  • Release and repeat 3 times. 

The benefit of this simple stretch to your entire upper body is enormous. It is a great stretch for making you acutely aware of how much tension accumulates in these trigger points throughout the day. If you need extra help getting rid of tension or pain, chiropractic is a great option. Call our office in Fremont and start feeling healthier and happier at your place of work. 

Dr. Francis Scorca, D.C. 

lose weight

There is a lot of misinformation on the internet regarding calories. For people looking to minimize the burden on the muscles and structures of their spine, maintaining caloric balance is essential. This means that your diet and exercise habits must be balanced so that calories consumed = calories burned. 

Calorie facts: 

A calorie is a unit that measures the energy in food. The components of food that contain calories include fat, carbohydrates and protein. 

Calorie and weight gain: 

Calories that are consumed and not burned are then stored as potential energy, to be called upon in times of need. These calories are usually stored in the form of body fat. As we grow larger, the amount of calories we consume goes up because our larger bodies need more energy for basic functions. 

Not all calories are created equal: 

We must ask ourselves about our motives when selecting and consuming food. Are we really hungry? Are we eating for health’s sake or convenience. The 100 calories you take aboard from vegetables is not the same 100 calories you take from a piece of cake. The former is chalk full of bonus vitamins, minerals and compounds that we need for all biological functions while the latter’s nutritional value beyond calories is null.

Keep in mind that this is only one half of the equation. Exercise is crucial in maintaining caloric balance, but we must understand each side to find out how to make positive changes in order to lose weight and increase wellness. At Scorca Chiropractic Center, we are committed to your health. If you think it may be time to manage your weight more effectively, give our office in Fremont a call at (510) 656-9077.

Dr. Francis Scorca, D.C. 

sleeping

Are you getting between 7.5 and 9 hours of restful, productive sleep per night? While the number varies per the individual, it is agreed that, to function our best, we need to devote a healthy amount of the 24 hour day to sleep. Sleep, or to extract even further, rest, is one of the most ancient parts of nature and health for humankind. The importance and ramifications of a healthy sleep life are becoming all the more prominent as the human condition of being, “plugged in” at all hours seeks to interfere with our sleep patterns. Keep in mind that healthy sleeping means a longer life. 

Sleeping well

  • Boosts immunity
  • Sharpens the mind
  • Stabilizes emotions 
  • Makes it easier to maintain a healthy weight
  • Improves athletic performance

The body and brain need to be quiet sometimes. This is becoming harder to come by: insomnia is on the rise, as, inevitably, are prescription and over-the-counter medications which come with unidentifiable side-effects to the individual. At Scorca Chiropractic Center, we want to help you recover your lost sleep life without the benefit of pharmaceuticals. We offer chiropractic adjustment that can address pre-existing physical limitations such as subluxation that could be stopping you from sleeping. We also help to regulate blood circulation and make sure that your body is in the right shape to sleep. 

Next on the agenda is working together to create a picture of your pre-sleep routine. And this begins in the morning: how many cups of coffee do you drink during the day? Is it possible to cut out even one? How much television do you watch before bed? Can we limit your electronic exposure before bedtime to help your mind quite down? 

Everyone deserves to rest and recoup after a hard day’s work. We are here to help you do that.

Dr. Francis Scorca, D.C. 

plane stiffness

What’s that you say? You feel stiff and sore stepping off the plane after your flight? It’s no surprise given the minimal space and ill-fitting seat backs that are part and parcel of seemingly every airline. Only children seem to be immune to the kind of damage that accrues so quickly during a flight. So if your next vacation or work trip is taking you on a plane for more than an hour, make sure you exercise your right to stand up and stretch in the aisle! Here are some tips to make your next flight less burdensome for your back:

  • Stand up every 20 minutes: it may feel awkward or embarrassing at first, but it goes a long way toward breaking the tension that accumulates in your back. While you’re at it, keep your legs straight and bend over, reaching for your toes and hold this position for 20 seconds. 
  • Sit up straight and engage your core. You can do this by practicing leg lifts: keep your arms on the armrest, flex your core and lift your legs.
  • Roll your shoulders and stretch your neck: while the majority of acute pain may be felt in the lower back, the majority of tension and tightness is going to be felt in the neck and shoulders, which can also lead to pain. Easy simple stretches to be done from your seat are (gentle) neck twists, moving your neck from side to side, up and down. 

Finally, drink plenty of water. We promise you will come out on the other side feeling not quite so tight. The airplane is a brutal place for backs; we want to help you make it less so. Before you go on your next flight, check in at your Fremont chiropractor to ensure you have no pre-existing subluxation or muscular imbalance that could be contributing to pain on the plane. 

Dr. Francis Scorca, D.C.

 

 

school

The school year is just around the corner which means it is time to take stock of your child’s backpack health! Each year seems to require a heavier load of books and this can create problems and pain for spines that are trying to grow. Keep these tips in mind:

  • Weight: the ideal load should be no more than 15% of the carrier’s weight. Choosing a pack made of lightweight material and making sure they only take the essentials is a great way to stay around this target weight. Utilizing lockers to keep unnecessary books in between classes also helps to keep the weight off. 
  • Always use two straps to avoid creating an imbalance in the amount of weight that drags on one side of the body. Using two straps and a hip strap helps to distribute the weight properly and prevents all the weight from being on the shoulders and neck. 
  • Adjust the pack properly: don’t let your child fall victim to the strange fashion trend that is letting the back hang off the body with the shoulder straps all the way loosened. This is a great way to create strain and pain. 
  • Lift the pack using leg muscles and keep it close to the body. 

At Scorca Chiropractic Center, we can help by offering an evaluation of the child’s spine to determine what kind of backpack fits best and how to wear it! From there, the onus is upon the parent to keep the bag from creating pain. Call our office in Fremont to see how we can help your child enter this school year with a firm grasp of backpack etiquette and health!

Dr. Francis Scorca, D.C.