Posts by Espinosa
Just as water can, you can be consumed with weight loss, so too can water be used as a workout medium that is less physically stressful to the body than other sports such as running. As a chiropractor, I wholeheartedly endorse the aerobic, low-stress nature of swimming as a means of losing weight and feeling great. Assuming you are comfortable in the water, here are a few reasons why you might want to consider making swimming your new go-to workout:
- Being buoyant: studies link being in the water with improvement in mood for both men and women. Perhaps this is because as you float, gravity is partially suspended and muscles can relax for a minute.
- Less repetitive trauma: running is the most thought-of aerobic activity, but it comes with one significant detractor, the repetitive shocks to the joints that wear them down over time. This is not the case with swimming.
- Better respiratory function: water is denser than air, meaning that your diaphragm and the accessory muscles must work harder to capture and supply oxygen to your cells. Essentially, you are toning your breathing muscles which will benefit you during your everyday life.
- Whole body workout: water provides a natural resistance that tones the entire body, without you necessarily being aware of it. You may even feel less fatigued, even though an hour of vigorous swimming can burn up to 500 calories.
Swimming is a great thing to add to your life if you have been lacking movement. However, we realize that no exercise can be comfortably attempted if you are restrained by pain. We offer treatment modalities that can treat a body wracked by the stiffness and aching of a sedentary lifestyle and show you why swimming a few times a week may be desirable. Give our office a call to schedule an appointment today.
Water for Weight Management
Weight management is an integral part of any health plan and the importance only becomes more pronounced as we get older. When we decide to “diet,” to lose weight or use nutrition to maintain a healthy weight, it is important to take stock of your pantry. Diet is about attitude: if you choose to believe it and pursue it, eating healthy ingredients can be as easy as eating conveniently. A nutrient that exemplifies this: H2O. The plain and simple truth: drinking more water can help you lose more weight.
Drinking water helps boost your resting energy expenditure, which is measured by the amount of calories you burn without activity. With no exercise involved, drinking water boosts REE by up to 30% for about an hour after consuming 1/2 liter of water.
Drinking water helps curb your appetite. Perhaps because it makes you feel full, drinking water before meals reduces appetite, leading to less calorie consumption and more weight loss.
Replacing soda, alcohol or coffee with water is one of the best things you can do to impact your health immediately. Each of these liquid alternatives come with their own set of negatives, whether it is empty calories or high sugar content, they are at best mildly refreshing and, at worst, fat-building and dehydrating. If you made no other lifestyle changes at all in terms of exercise or other dietary considerations, drinking more water would still help you lose weight over a 12 month period.
Alcohol and Healing
For people trying to rehabilitate from a variety of back-pain inducing conditions and injuries, the pain-masking effect of alcohol could be causing you more trouble than the consumption is worth. Alcohol is known for it’s anesthetic quality which make it an easy go-to when severe pain or stiffness has got you down. However, along with this comes a host of other side-effects which could be sabotaging your rehabilitation progress.
- Pain is a signal: we shouldn’t try to block out clear distress calls from our body. Instead, we should focus on finding the root of the problem, healing it, and strengthening to prevent further injury.
- Alcohol is an impediment: muscle growth, hydration and energy levels are all affected negatively by alcohol.
- Sleep deprivation: faulty logic leads us to think that the sedative effect of alcohol helps us reap a restful and productive sleep. While it may help you to clock out, achieving the full benefits of REM sleep is made more difficult with alcohol consumption.
- Encouraging a sedentary lifestyle: Alcohol inhibits us from following through with activities that would have gotten our bodies moving and strengthening.
At our office, we help people find balance. When seeking success in injury recovery, we want to stack as many odds in our favor as possible. Alcohol, for all its effects negative and positive, could be counter-productive to your rehab plan. We can provide you with chiropractic adjustment, therapeutic massage, and teach you stretching and corrective exercise that will keep your joints limber and muscles strong. From there, minor lifestyle adjustments can make the difference between an efficient recovery and a drawn-out one.
The Perfect Pillow
It’s time to take stock of your pillow flock. How many of them are providing you with the comfort and support needed to sleep productively? On the flip side, how many of them are causing you to toss and turn in discomfort, and putting you at risk for obesity and depression? If assigning such serious outcomes to an inanimate object seems excessive, the logic is simple: a less perfect pillow causes you to get less rest. Less rest and sleeping at an improper angle will worsen the following symptoms:
- Neck pain
- Back pain
- Mental clarity
- Physical performance
If you have been holding on to a beloved bag of feathers, it may be time to toss it aside and invest in a better pillow. The elements of a good pillow are simple: while brands vary in quality, you want to seek out a pillow that maintains the neutral alignment of your spine by assuming the space between mattress and neck. In this picture, your spine would maintain a straight line through the neck region. This means different things to different sleepers:
A side-sleeper wants a firmer pillow to assume the distance between the mattress and neck, as measured from the outside of the shoulder.
A back-sleeper wants a thinner pillow to avoid moving the head at too much of a forward angle.
Stomach-sleepers may not need a pillow at all. However, using a pillow under the stomach can prevent the lower back pain that befalls many stomach sleepers.
A pillow can be a very important and sentimental purchase. Taking the time to find the right one can make all the difference in your well-being. For help maintaining spinal alignment throughout all phases of day and night, give our office a call to schedule an appointment.
Herniated disc prevalence is on the rise in America. As modern trends lead us into more sedentary lifestyles, the cards become stacked against the spine’s chance at longevity. Cell phone obsession, desk-bound work schedules, and the wide availability of electronic entertainment have taught us to sit more than ever. At our office we are concerned with protecting the integrity of your spine, the superhighway of the nervous system, so that you can enjoy old age without the incursion of back pain and stiffness. While most herniated discs will heal themselves given enough time, the time frame can vary depending on how much attention and care is devoted to the injury. Being proactive about your pain is the best way to heal and prevent the recurrence of injuries in the future.
Herniated discs are most commonly a wear and tear injury. Performing the shock-absorbing function for the spine, these discs are located between each vertebra and are composed of cartilaginous material. A disc herniation refers to a condition where the disc bulges or breaks and moves outside of its normal space. This bulge often puts pressure on nerves that are exiting the spinal column nearby, creating the pain, inflammation and stiffness that is associated with the injury.
Most commonly, herniated discs are caused by the wear and tear of age: because we don’t pay enough attention to the nutrition and exercise that is needed to maintain their health, these shock absorbers degenerate until they reach a breaking point. Herniated discs can also be caused by more acute forces such as whiplash.
So, do you want your injury to be one that heals in 6 weeks or 1 year? Do you want your injury to be one and done, healed and strengthened against future injury? We can help you enact a plan that involves chiropractic adjustment, spinal decompression and therapeutic massage that will reduce your pain and get you back on your feet. From here, the trajectory is upward: paying attention to nutrition and exercise can help you have a happy, healthy back long into life.
How Stress Creates Pain
On the whole, our society operates with levels of stress that are bound to cause damage. Feeling great physically begins with feeling great mentally; how can you reasonably expect to overcome pain, lose weight or achieve any health objective if your mind is clouded by stress? We want to give you some reasons to consider using our treatment to reduce stress and feel less pain.
While stress is the word used to describe a state of mental or emotional tension, it often manifests itself physiologically. High blood pressure is frequently linked to chronically high-stress levels, such as headaches and muscle tissue deterioration. We often hear people complain of joint pain when they are experiencing prolonged stress. Here is a concrete example of stress creating pain: Do you ever feel tense or tight in the shoulder and neck region during a day of work? Your body is accumulating tension as you work and, as stress levels rise, tension increases. This kind of prolonged tightening can also create a misalignment in the vertebral column which will result in undue pressure on the nerves and pain.
Chiropractic can be used as a successful therapy for stress. Through spinal adjustment, we ensure that your spine is properly aligned and nerves are free and functioning effectively. By addressing regions that are causing you pain, we remove the need to worry about a problem area that adds to the build-up of stress. Furthermore, we focus on boosting your blood circulation to ensure that all the processes of your body are adequately supplied with oxygen and nutrients. Call our office today and find out how we can help you stress less and feel better today.
Stretching with Resistance
Resistance stretching is about optimization: it allows you to achieve the flexibility improvements of a stretch routine while simultaneously building muscle. The idea is counter-intuitive, relying on the notion that a muscle can be shortened and lengthened simultaneously, giving you the best bang for your buck when it comes to your time. The 2016 Olympics brought this modality into the spotlight, as many elite athletes have made it a part of their greater fitness plans. But you don’t have to be an Olympian to reap the benefits of resistance stretching; it can be helpful for anyone interested in maximizing the value per minute ratio in their personal fitness plan. Stretches we can show you at our office include:
- Resisted neck twists
- Resisted hip flexion
- Partner-resisted upper back stretching
- Partner-resisted hamstring stretching
- Core development stretching
Of course, none of these stretches should be undertaken unless your body is in conducive shape, meaning free of pain and with an appropriate range of motion that will prevent you from incurring injury. A chiropractic adjustment helps keep your spine balanced so that you can pursue any physical activity and feel confident that your body will not falter. Here are the benefits to be had from resistance stretching:
- Improves core stability
- Encourages spinal balance
- Improves flexibility and, thereby, range of motion
- Contributes to the longevity of the body, pun intended
- Improves joint mechanics
- Reduces joint stress and pain
Stretching and exercise are more about commitment than intensity; instilling a penchant for working out is a key way that you can influence your well-being. Call our office if you want to learn more about how resistance stretching can fit into your life.
Eating for Herniated Discs
There are no two ways about it: a healthy spine begins with the nutrients you ingest on a daily basis. The great thing about nutrition is that certain ingredients can be used to target certain conditions and help different parts of the body, so you can effectively customize your diet to account for any condition you have. Herniated discs are a great example of this: the recurrent inflammation and pain involved with a herniated disc can be affected positively by a diet that incorporates anti-inflammatory ingredients and those that encourage the production and maintenance of healthy cartilage.
The anatomy of the injury gives us clues as to what to eat. A herniated disc involves the cracking of the annulus fibrosus, which is made up of strong collagen fibers. Inflammation is a part of the body’s natural healing response, but it causes a great deal of discomfort. Foods and supplements to consider are therefore in the categories:
- Vitamin C: helps the body to form collagen, which binds to and supports tissue.
- Omega-3 fatty acids: found in high concentrations in fish oil, this is a great ingredient for combating inflammation.
- Foods rich in sulfur: sulfur is an essential mineral that supports collagen production. It can be found in cruciferous vegetables, arugula, dairy, eggs, and legumes.
- Glucosamine sulfate: often found in supplement form, this compound helps the body form chemicals that repair damaged cartilage.
Healing your herniated disc requires a holistic response. At our office, we can help you find relief from the pain and stiffness of the injury through a coordinated plan that involves chiropractic adjustment, spinal decompression, diet, and exercise.
Few things ruin a good day like a flare-up of sciatica. The condition characterized by pain and stiffness in the lower back, aching in the buttocks, and numbness and tingling in the lower extremities can make it difficult to stand up, let alone get on with your day. The longest nerve in the human body, running adjacent to the piriformis muscle, the sciatic nerve is responsible for powering many of the muscles in the back side of the lower body, which means that when things go wrong with the sciatic nerve, the results can be serious. The most common things that contribute to sciatic nerve compression are herniated discs, impingement by the piriformis muscle and a stiff, imbalanced lower back.
Chiropractic is a perfect treatment for easing the discomfort associated with sciatica. Chiropractic adjustment and the decompression associated with spinal traction are great modalities for responding to the kind of impingement to the sciatic nerve that results from a herniated disc or a subluxation. When muscles, especially crucial ones such as the piriformis, become strained, they can also put pressure on the sciatic nerve. This kind of condition responds well to trigger point therapy, which targets specific points and releases the area from tension.
But chiropractic is only the beginning; to truly break the grip of recurrent sciatica from your life means to make a commitment to regular exercise and stretching that will keep the area free of tension on a regular basis. At our office, we are concerned with your quality of life and we would like to help you improve it without the necessity of surgical or pharmaceutical intervention.
Herniated Discs – How To Recover
A herniated disc is the logical outcome of 21st-century lifestyles which require more time spent sedentary than in any previous generation. The degree of the injury dictates the severity of treatment: while some people may incur a herniated disc without even feeling it, for others the pain is so severe as to require surgery. Most often, herniated discs will heal themselves given enough time and attention to recovery. At our chiropractic office, we offer therapy that responds to the individual when they decide the pain is too much to bear but they are not ready to consider surgery. We can help you manage and reduce pain symptoms and improve recovery time.
The human spine is made up of vertebrae and between each vertebra is an intervertebral disc, made up of two primary layers. The annulus fibrosus is the outer layer, made up of strong collagen fibers and the nucleus pulposus is a softer, gel-like inner layer that performs the shock-absorbing function within the spine. A healthy disc allows for a full range of motion and allows the vertebrae to withstand a reasonable amount of compression. Herniation is the compromise of this delicate set-up: as we age, factors such as lack of exercise, poor nutrition, persistently poor posture, and others conspire to crack the annulus fibrosus, allowing the inner layer to leak out or bulge. Pain often follows because the bulge will impinge on a nearby nerve root.
Chiropractic does not claim to be a panacea for herniated discs. Our treatment does not correct the actual tear; instead it support’s the body’s natural attempt at healing itself. With modalities such as chiropractic adjustment and spinal decompression, we can help reduce the severity of pain and inflammation so that you can focus on eating well and exercising lightly until it is healed. If you are still considering surgery, improvements in pain and mobility from chiropractic care serve as good indicators for success post-surgery.