Back pain is individual: it reflects a unique mix of circumstances ranging from beyond one’s control: genetic predisposition, injury, age, to those within our control: posture, level of activity and nutrition. The likelihood is, that if you are over the age of 25, you have probably felt a twinge of back pain at some point. Whether it went away immediately or developed into something more serious is beside the point; we should be taking active measures to combat the stiffness and pain that comes naturally with age. So, I pose this question: do you have 30 seconds to spare each morning and evening? If so, try out the posterior pelvic tilt, a powerful stretch that reverses anterior pelvic tilt, addresses pain and boosts vitality.
- Lie on your back with knees elevated and feet flat
- Place your hand underneath the small of your back to define the space you will fill with the stretch.
- Remove your hand, inhale and tilt your pelvis, raising the buttocks slightly and using your abdominal muscle until your back touches the floor.
- There should be a pull in the muscles of the pelvis and lower back.
- Hold for 5 seconds, exhale and return to the start
Repeating this stretch 3 times in the morning and in the evening can make a noticeable difference, especially for people suffering from anterior pelvic tilt, a pervasive posturing that comes from the hip flexors shortening and the hip extensors lengthening. 30 seconds a day, (or hopefully twice a day) to take preventative measures against back pain is a great deal! For more ways to add stretches seamlessly into your lifestyle and for help healing your back, in whatever condition you find it, give our office in Fremont a call to schedule an appointment today.
Dr. Francis Scorca, D.C.
Osteoporosis and the many forms of arthritis are conditions primarily associated with the elderly, as they should be, because our bodies and, in particular, our bones degenerate naturally with age. The problem is that with a more sedentary society, the age of onset for these conditions of degeneration is shifting forward to affect a younger demographic. Chronic poor posture, a serial lack of inactivity, and an ignorance of proper nutrition, well these are simply bywords for a 21st century reality. The thing is, it doesn’t have to be this way: there are minute changes you can make now that will help you set a proactive attitude toward aging. Nutrition is one of the greatest ways to get started. Food for spinal health:
- Eat your veggies for vitamins: if there’s a vitamin symbolized by a letter, you probably need more of it. Plant-based nutrition is the best way to capture the proper daily value you need of all your vitamins. For people concerned with back care, look to vitamins D, K and B12 in particular in order to keep bones growing and fortified. (leafy greens, fortified dairy products)
- If you have back pain, eat anti-inflammatory: omega-3s from fish oil, and consume herbs and cooking spices regularly! Make a delicious soup; eat a 3-ounce piece of salmon to provide you with 100% of the vitamin D you need in a day plus a helping of omega-3 fatty acid.
- Build strong bones: calcium, magnesium and vitamin D are your most important ingredients here (fortified dairy, egg yolks)
- Avoid these foods: hydrogenated oils, processed foods, saturated fats, and nightshade vegetables.
Diet is one of the strongest ways you can account for the incursions of age which occur in all organisms. As humans, we have the power to fight back by customizing our lifestyle to account for our particular condition. For help on creating a holistically-minded lifestyle for your well-being, give our office in Fremont a call to schedule an appointment today.
Dr. Francis Scorca, D.C.
If you are having trouble falling asleep at night, a stretch routine could be just the tonic you need. Pour yourself a cup of sleepy time tea, or a hot honey and lemon and try these easy stretches that promote relaxation and calm the nervous system. As with almost all stretches, there should be an emphasis on deep breathing to bring in oxygen your cells need to feel nourished after you open them up to the circulation that comes with a good stretch.
- Lay supine and bend your knees into the chest, grabbing the inside edges of the feet with your hands, palms facing outward. Push the knees out to the side then lower them toward your armpits, keeping the heels above the knees and feet flexed. Hold for 10 seconds, counted out by each deep breath you take.
- The simple bridge: Lie supine with knees bent and feet flat. Keep your arms extended with palms up. Use your abs and heels to lift the hips and back into the air to form a diagonal line between shoulder and knees. Hold for 10 seconds, then lower gently back to the starting position.
- Sit cross-legged and put the left hand on the floor to the side of the left hip. Extend your right arm up by the ear. Lean toward the left, keeping buttocks firmly on the floor and shoulders down. Hold 10 seconds, and repeat on the other side.
Stretching before bed, along with eating properly and perhaps treating yourself to a relaxing soak, are some great ways to get your body in a receptive state for sleeping. Mental quietude can be hard to come by, so we want to stack all the odds in your favor if you are struggling to sleep. If pain is a contributing factor, call our office in Fremont, so we can start you on a path toward healing and better sleeping.
Dr. Francis Scorca, D.C.
When it comes to stretching, there should be an impetus on starting simple. Too many people dive into yoga or advanced stretching and become disillusioned because there bodies are not in a receptive state to cope with the more strenuous motions. For people with chronic, non-specific back pain, the greatest reward can be reaped from the simplest stretches, as long as they are done consistently. Try to add the following stretches into your daily routine, whether in the morning when you wake up or right before bed (or both), and see how much vitality and pain-relief they can bring into your life.
- Strengthening and relaxing the glutes: lie supine, with legs raised and feet flat on the floor. Bring one knee up to your chest and hold for 15 seconds, then repeat with the other leg.
- Creating a 4 for releasing tension from the piriformis muscle: lay flat on your back with legs raised and feet flat. Cross the right ankle over the left leg, clasp hands behind left knee and pull up toward the chest. Hold for 30 seconds then repeat with other leg.
- Stretch the hip flexors: Kneel with the right leg down and left leg up. Place both hands on the left knee and lean forward, feeling a stretch in the hips and hamstring. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch and repeat
- Stretch the hamstrings: lay on your back with legs raised and feet flat. Lift one leg and point the flat of the foot toward the sky, while clasping behind the elevated leg’s knee. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat twice for each leg.
These stretches require very little investment of time and or energy, all are performed while lying down on a flat surface, and all of them can synergize to help your lower back feel a little bit of relief from the daily accumulation of stress. If you need help addressing deeper lying problems that are keeping you from feeling your best, give our office a call to schedule an appointment today.
Dr. Francis Scorca, D.C.
Scar tissue is part and parcel of post-surgery recovery- in fact, it is the only way you can heal. Despite what some medical professionals will have you believe, scar tissue is very likely not the cause of post-operative pain as there are no nerve endings in the new tissue. However, the new tissue is less elastic than the previous tissue and when scar tissue is allowed to proliferate unchecked, it can bind nerve roots in a process called fibrosis. So, while scar tissue may not be the true source of your pain post-operation, it can be problematic. Chiropractic treatment modalities including the Graston Technique, Myofascial Release and the Active Release Technique seek to prevent excessive scar tissue accumulation and prevent it from adhering to healthy tissue, which inevitably leads to pain and stiffness.
Staving off scar tissue accumulation is a microcosmic example of the kind of trials you may face after a spinal operation. A key to any successful back surgery story is the maintenance of an extensive rehabilitation program that requires a great deal of proactivity on the part of the patient. Strengthening, stretching and conditioning of the muscles One way we prevent the nerve from becoming trapped in the aforementioned scenario is by keeping the affected region moving with stretching.
Spinal surgery is sometimes the only method of recourse for alleviating a patient’s symptoms enough to begin a rehabilitation program. However, spinal surgery is rarely the be-all, end-all cure that some people believe it to be; much more often, in fact, it is only the beginning. To make a surgery truly successful, you must be diligent in your follow up and active in your recovery, with a little help from someone in the know; to this end we offer you our services at Scorca Chiropractic Center.
Dr. Francis Scorca, D.C.
So you’ve got a stiff neck, welcome to adulthood. Chronic neck pain with no direct cause can, at its least severe, be concerning and disruptive and at its worst, cause you to miss work and suffer. When neck or back pain is nonspecific in nature, it is usually the result of many factors combined: whether it be poor posture, lack of activity or exercise, a poor-quality pillow, the adhesion of scar tissue or the accumulation of stress, these are just a few among many malefactors that can contribute to a chronically stiff neck. A few of the ways we help people with chronic neck pain include:
- Treating muscle strain. Connecting the shoulder and cervical spine is the levator scapula, a muscle that is controlled by nerves exiting between the third and fourth cervical vertebrae. Everyday motions, along with the tightness that builds in the office can strain this muscle and the pain will be experienced in the neck region.
- Treating “pinched nerves.” While the term pinched can be a misnomer, it refers to the subluxation which often leads to pain. Ever woke up with a crick in your neck? This could be because you slept wrong and there is a rather severe nerve impingement occurring as a result.
- Treating Facet Joint Syndrome. This is a condition whereby the small facet joints that accentuate the vertebrae become pressurized and cause pain that is characterized by headache, muscle spasm and neck or back pain.
If your muscles are misfiring, your nerves are impinged or your joints pressurized, chiropractic adjustment and massage therapy is an excellent option. We begin by examining your spine to determine whether structural causes are the problem and once we have a clear picture, we can proceed with hands-on, non-invasive modalities that will help you feel great again.
Dr. Franics Scorca, D.C.
The first meal of the day is of ultimate importance: studies show that skipping out on a wholesome breakfast leaves you at a disadvantage. Even if it wasn’t linked to serious health conditions including diabetes, depression, heart disease and memory loss, foregoing breakfast starts your day off on the wrong foot. When you wake up, your brain needs to break the fast of the night in order to help you transition into a day full of frenetic activity; you are literally craving nourishment. In this scenario, a coffee and toaster strudel is not going to cut it. 25-30% of your total daily calorie intake should be consumed within 2 hours of waking. The benefits of breakfast:
- Weight management. A key benefit from the chiropractor’s perspective. Foregoing breakfast does not fit into any weight loss plan. In fact, it works against you because you will seek out extra calories and end up overeating later in the day.
- Cognitive function: does starving you brain of nutrients sound like a good precedent to set when you have deadlines to meet and projects to complete? Breakfast fortifies and stabilizes glucose levels which allows the brain to perform its essential functions.
- Energy levels: coffee may cut it for a while, but it also makes you unstable and shaky if you don’t have the right food in your system. Eating breakfast encourages balance throughout the day, preventing you from going up and down emotionally.
Breakfast should be a key part of anyone’s health plan. At Scorca Chiropractic Center, we seek to help people find balance in their life and breakfast is the best place to start establishing balance on a daily basis.
Dr. Francis Scorca, D.C.