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Exercising with a Herniated Disc: What to Watch For

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Strengthening your back with a herniated disc is possible

In fact, it is one of the most effective ways to go about rehabilitation. Long gone are the days when doctors recommended bed rest for spinal injuries. And while most herniated discs will require a few days of heavy rest and recuperation, especially during the acute injury phase, it is important to get moving again as soon as possible. Herniated discs are uncomfortable and this carries over into the realm of exercise- they limit range of motion and performance. But that makes it all the more important that you continue building strength and stability into the muscles that will support your spine in its endeavor to recover. 

Read more: Exercising with a Herniated Disc: What to Watch For

Spinal Stenosis in Our Spotlight

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One of the lesser known spinal conditions

Nonetheless, one of the most brutal. Spinal stenosis involves a narrowing of the spinal canal, which shelters and protects the spinal cord. When this narrowing happens, space is naturally reduced and the ensuing tightness pinches the spinal cord and the nerves around it, causing pain, tingling and numbness, throughout the spine and to the extremities. So how does this narrowing of the spinal cord happen?

Read more: Spinal Stenosis in Our Spotlight

Preventing Weak Bones and Osteoporosis

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Key word: preventing weak bones

That means that you start the process sooner rather than later. Though osteoporosis carries a strong genetic component, there are many lifestyle factors within your control that can make or break your bones' density and strength. While you may think of osteoporosis as a condition of the elderly, the truth is that every choice you make throughout all of your life counts. We can see the importance of this in under-30s: at this point in life, you are still accumulating bone mass; the choices you make at this early stage in life will have ramifications later down the years. 

  • Smoking directly interferes with bone accumulation by impeding the hormone calcitonin from building bones. It makes your bones brittle and more likely to fracture. 
  • Excessive drinking, especially during adolescence and young adults years, can dramatically affect bone density and increase your risk for osteoporosis in old age. 

So if you needed any more incentive to moderate or quit your bad habits, your future self should be one of them. Let's take a look at more ways that you can live a preventive lifestyle that supports strong bones even against genetic factors.

Read more: Preventing Weak Bones and Osteoporosis

The Standing Hip Shift Addresses Musculoskeletal Imbalance

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A challenging exercise with a great reward

The Standing Hip Shift is an answer for people who have chronically tight hip flexors, anterior pelvic tilt, spinal misalignment and back pain. In other words, if you sit a lot, or feel stiff a lot, this movement can directly address some of the muscular imbalances that are causing your pain. As always, consult with a health professional to ensure you will not incur injury, and that your body is in good enough shape to begin a new exercise plan to account for your back pain. Otherwise, the standing hip shift is a good movement to start performing daily in order to address the stiffness and tension that accumulates throughout the day. 

Read more: The Standing Hip Shift Addresses Musculoskeletal Imbalance

Mobilizing Your Spine: One Simple Movement

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Relaxing your spine to achieve better mobility

Mobility in the spinal joints is one of the most important factors in spinal health. But so many of us let our mobility decrease day by day until it reaches a point of causing serious damage. One way you can overcome this degenerative cycle is to practice mobilizing your back on a daily basis- even 5 minutes a day can give your back a serious boost in the fight to preserve mobility and integrity. Relaxation is the key: always approach these stretches with a calm attitude and breathe deeply throughout, to relieve tension in the musculature. 

Our move of the week: seated lower and middle back mobilization

  1. Sit with your legs extended straight in front of you on a carpeted floor 
  2. Bring one foot up and cross it over the other leg, coming to rest on the side of the knee. 
  3. Now cross your opposite arm over your raised knee, letting your elbow rest on the knee and your forearm on the shin if possible.
  4. Push your arm against the raised leg and turn your body to look over your shoulder on the side of the raised knee.
  5. Hold 10-20 seconds.
  6. Repeat on the other side

Taking spinal mobility seriously in Sacramento

If you are interested in finding out about more small ways to keep your spine in a state of health and balance, give our office in Sacramento a call to schedule an appointment today. We are standing by to help you take a more holistic and preventive approach to caring for your spine.