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backs

Preventing back pain: one of the most cost-effective things you can do for your life. Spines do not lend themselves to exact science: they are such complex structures, that absorb so much during their lifetime that every case is unique. If you develop through to adulthood without back pain, do not take it for granted: you have been blessed. It therefore behooves you to take the onus upon yourself to keep your spine and back muscles in good shape to prevent a future of pain. 

Some of these ideas may seem overstated, but I believe everyone can benefit from seeing them again:

  • Limit excess weight 
  • Stop smoking
  • Sleep 
  • Exercise
  • Posture
  • Lift weighty objects properly
  • Choose luggage accessories carefully
  • Make sure your wallet is not overstuffed
  • Avoid high heels 

You may have seen all of these things before, but they are always worth repeating.  Something that all of these suggestions have in common is that they all begin with YOU: you have the power to make all these changes in your life. At Espinosa Family Chiropractic, we want to help you start because we believe in the power of prevention as the most effective front line treatment in the fight against back pain which, by some estimates, affects up to 85% of Americans at some point in their lives. 

Call our office in Sacramento at (916) 457-8825 to schedule an appointment today. Converting your lifestyle into one that focuses on back care is not the easiest of tasks, but the upside is enormous. We have the knowledge and support that will keep your spine healthy into old age. 

Dr. Raymond Espinosa, D.C. 

no movement

When it comes to preserving the health of your body, every little movement counts. Starting small is the best way to instill the habit. Once you have taught yourself an appreciation for leaving laziness behind, it is easy to spend more time moving. For example, going for a walk after dinner is a great way to help your body process the nutrients and digest your food. Even a 10 minute walk is better than nothing.

Tips:

  • Combine exercise with entertainment. Treadmill with tunes or a podcast; practice yoga poses in front of the television; do crunches on the deck.
  • For every little trip to the corner store, consider walking or biking. It will save you the gas and get you outside and walking.
  • If you do drive, don’t look for the closest possible parking spot. Park on the top floor of the parking garage and get those extra steps.
  • Do housework and work in the lawn by yourself or with family and friends. Make sure you protect your back.
  • Walk as you talk on telephone calls.

Sitting really is becoming a disease. If your lifestyle requires a mix of commuting, sitting at work and your leisure demands a lot of sitting at home call our office so we can start finding some ways to fit in exercise and movement and break the cycle.

Dr. Raymond Espinosa, D.C. 

ParaspinalWith all the attention paid to vertebrae, people often neglect the spinal muscles, who play a crucial role in spinal health. Spinal problems are often caused by decreased mobility in the surrounding muscles and often times, poor posture and biomechanics leave the muscles imbalanced. With more and more people living sedentary lifestyles, it is no wonder that they come in complaining of non-specific back pain. At Espinosa Family Chiropractic, we focus on strengthening all of the muscles in the back, particularly as they apply to your specific condition. Often times, it only takes a conversation and a spinal assessment to determine muscle groups that have been strained to the brink. A stronger set of back muscles can only make your overall spinal health better.

Muscle groups in the back include:

  • Paraspinals
  • Iliopsoas
  • Gluteus muscles
  • Rectus abdominus
  • Quadratus Lumborum
  • Piriformis
  • Trapezius group

At our office in Sacramento, we counsel you on how to use your body’s mechanics better and make your posture work for you. There is a common misconception that a stronger core means a more mobile back; this is a fallacy that comes from lack of knowledge: the abdominal muscles are used for stability, in effect, limiting movement rather than encouraging it. Having an awareness and knowledge of which muscle groups perform which function helps you become a more efficient mover. In any case, the worst thing you can do for your back is sit or stand stagnant for long periods of time. Intervertebral discs absorb fluid when they are not moving, making them stiffer and you less mobile.


Dr. Raymond Espinosa, D.C.  

Child's pose

The child’s pose is a yoga stretch that provides a plethora of benefits to people suffering from chronic low back pain.

  • Promotes circulation
  • Calms the mind and body
  • Stretches hips and thighs
  • Lengthens and stretches the spine
  • Relieves neck and back pain
  • Releases tension that is contained within shoulders, back and chest.

Yoga is synonymous with purposeful movement. This is a resting pose that focuses heavily on breathing control. Child’s pose can be done from the comfort of your own living room and is performed thus:

  • Kneel with knees together and buttocks touching feet.
  • Exhale and lower your torso over the thighs, with your forehead touching the ground.
  • Lift the buttocks slightly and stretch your arms over your head, with palms touching the floor, until you feel the shoulder blades stretching across the back.

You can rest in this position for 1-3 minutes, or however long it takes for you to feel the spine stretching, relieving tension from tight areas. Child’s pose is an easy way to take a quick break from the couch and give your spine an invigorating stretch, without too much physical exertion. At Espinosa Family Chiropractic, we want to get people moving. Finding ways to break the monotony of a sedentary lifestyle is truly important for those who want to elongate the lifespan of their spines. Call our office in Sacramento at (916) 457-8825 to create a plan for a healthy back care lifestyle that will get you feeling fit.

Dr. Raymond Espinosa, D.C.

thoracic healthSlumping shoulders are a common site across the forlorn landscape of 21st Century American posture habits. More jobs than ever are putting people in front of screens in poor ergonomic situations, leaving their posture and, consequently, the health of their spines at the mercy of long days spent stagnant, typing away with shoulders rounded and head forward. The amount of stress this puts on the spine is quantifiable only to the individual, but the general antagonistic qualities of poor workplace posture is that the weight of the head is magnified over an unstable spine, leaving joints immobile, muscles strained and vertebrae misaligned.

At Espinosa Family Chiropractic, we are no stranger to poor posture, but we seek to impart you with the awareness of just how powerful posture is in changing your back health for the better. Understanding the mechanics of the spine is a good place to start, as it has been said that some people treat their spine as though it was one long bone. This is not true: each region has a different set of characteristics and functions. For example, the cervical vertebrae support the weight of your head and allow it to move, while the lumbar vertebrae support the greater mass of the body and provide stability.

But what about the thoracic vertebrae? The least injured, seemingly incognito part of the spine that still has a great purpose: to ease the burden on your lumbar. Learning how to use your thoracic vertebrae helps improve your overall range of motion, impacts lung capacity, and improves shoulder mechanics. The thoracic spine should not be a passerby in the daily posture battle. Call our office in Sacramento at (916) 457-0107 to start learning how all of the parts of your back contribute to your health.

Dr. Raymond Espinosa, D.C.