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swim

Most injuries that cause back pain and stiffness are not forever. At Espinosa Family Chiropractic, we know that there is no written-in-stone method for a successful recovery from a back injury; each injury is unique and will require its own formula integrating physical therapy, nutrition and exercise. However, when it comes to rehabbing a specific injury, there are things to be avoided in order to give yourself the best chance of success. Bed-rest is therefore not your friend; one thing that most injuries share in common is reacting well to regular activity. For all but the most severe back injuries, we try to get you moving with low-impact aerobic activity as soon as possible. Other things you can do: 

  • Focus on core strength: keeping the stabilizing muscles conditioned is a great way to share the burden with those intervertebral discs in the lower back. 
  • Watch out for muscle atrophy: A chief side-effect of injury is that it limits our proclivity for activity. Staying sedentary contributes to muscle and joint weakness, and actually hinders the speed of your recovery.
  • Stay as flexible as possible: activities like swimming are great because they promote active-stretching: a one hour session in the pool helps preserve range of motion in nearly every joint. If you are not inclined toward water, we can show you land borne stretches that will provide the same benefit.  
  • What to avoid: running, if possible, because of its jarring effect on joints. Being sedentary for too long; lumbar flexion and rotation activities; leg lifts and sit ups. 

At our office in Sacramento, we utilize modalities including chiropractic adjustment, spinal decompression and lumbar traction to help you heal. After an evaluation of the state of your spine and a discussion about your limitations and health aspirations, we can help you get on the road to your most optimal recovery.

Dr. Raymond Espinosa, D.C. 

sleep

Sleep is integral to well-being. You can't reasonably expect to feel your best or perform to your highest standard after a single night of sleeplessness, let alone chronic sleep deprivation that is the result of many more serious conditions. Sleep is linked to quality of life on so many levels because too little sleep can contribute to conditions including:

  • Depression
  • Chronic headaches
  • Heart Disease
  • Obesity

Chronic sleep deprivation takes a toll on our cognitive function and emotional center. Often, physical and mental stress overlap and to solve one, we must necessarily untangle it from the other; to sleep your best, you must feel your best. Trying to fall asleep with a pain in your neck or back can snowball into a fretful night spent tossing and turning to no avail.

At Espinosa Family Chiropractic, we help by addressing problem areas including subluxation, trigger points and strained muscles that could be preventing you from accessing deep sleep. Massage therapy is particularly effective at opening up an injurious region to an influx of oxygen and healing nutrients. Along the way, endorphins, the body's feel good chemical, are released helping you to achieve a more relaxed mental state. From the vantage point of a healthy back, we help you turn the tide against mental stress by coming up with lifestyle adjustments to account for sleep health. Even with pain, restful sleep can be achieved with a proactive approach; give our office in Sacramento a call to start making changes today. 

Dr. Raymond Espinosa, D.C. 

arthritis

Cartilage is precious: the thin layer of tissue which cushions the ends of bones in a joint, is responsible for preventing your bones from grinding on each other. This cartilage can be compromised by a host of factors including injury, the wear and tear of age, and the more insidious auto-immune disorders which cause the body to attack its own healthy tissue. Of the more than 100 types of arthritis, there are two primary types: non-inflammatory and inflammatory.

Non-inflammatory arthritis, of which Osteoarthritis is the best known, is the type whereby years of wear and tear lead to degeneration of the cartilage and inflammation ensues. Don't let the name fool you: inflammation is created as a byproduct of the degeneration process and can be every bit as painful as the kind produced in, "inflammatory arthritis." This is why arthritis is thought of as a disease of the elderly, with some estimates stating that 1 in 2 Americans over the age of 65 suffer from some degree of arthritis pain. However, it is important to note that 2/3 of the total people with doctor-diagnosed arthritis are between 18 and 65. 

Inflammatory arthritis, best known as rheumatoid arthritis, is an autoimmune disease in which the body turns on its own tissue. As the cartilage degenerates, painful inflammation is created by the body which limits range of movement. This is most commonly felt in the wrists, hands and fingers. 

A happy life with arthritis is attainable. We offer the kind of support you need to enact a plan for management of your arthritis symptoms including chiropractic adjustment and the pursuit of simple lifestyle changes to the diet and level of activity that will ensure you can live with and beyond your pain.

Dr. Raymond Espinosa, D.C. 

cell hone

Today, a topic ripped straight from the pages of the 21st century: the growing prevalence of neck injuries related to text messages. Rewind about 40 years ago and there is no way you could convince me the average human was concerned about a pocket computer creating problems for the average neck. Now, it is our reality: overuse of cell phones is creating premature degeneration of the spine. The problem involves looking down; before cell phones, the things that made us look down the most were books and the laptop computer. If we were not heeding the advice to read at eye level and arm's length then, we certainly aren't doing so now with cell phones.

Holding the cell phone in a manner that keeps your spine in neutral posture puts strain on the arms; it is much easier to hold the phone in your lap or at hip-level to conduct social media management. However, when we look down for prolonged periods of time, we are exponentially increasing the weight of the head in relation to the spine. The body responds by calling on all of the muscles involved with posture: from the core, to the shoulders, upper back and neck, most of your upper body has now taken on more stress. When this stress accumulates over prolonged periods of time, muscle strain is a natural outcome. From muscle strain it is a natural progression to painful muscle spasms and limitation in range of motion and flexibility. 

Unfortunately, the groups most at risk are the younger generations. Various studies indicate that people between the ages of 18 and 44 cannot go 2 hours without a cell phone at their side. As a culture, the price of progress is shifting spinal problems to a younger generation. At Espinosa Family Chiropractic, we are hoping to raise awareness of this issue and get people to look up once in a while. Maybe it is not cool to hold your cell phone out in front of your face at a healthy distance, but is it cool to have back problems at age 18? We don't think so, and to this end, we offer you our expertise and treatment in support of backs that face more challenges than ever in the fight to stay healthy. 

Dr. Raymond Espinosa, D.C.

chia seeds

When it comes to diet in America, I think it is prudent to focus on how delicious, nutritious foods can be just as convenient and immediately gratifying as fast food. Foods like flax seeds and chia seeds are the new salmon and blueberries. They are foods that provide a full serving in 2 tablespoons but contain a range of health benefits that can boggle the brain. The verdict is in: super foods make your life simple. 

Here are some of the foods that you should look for next time you make a pass through the grocery store. 

  • Chia seeds: omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, protein, calcium and magnesium. What could be better for a person with arthritis than something packed with anti-inflammatory and bone strengthening properties. 
  • Hemp seeds: protein packed, containing all the essential amino acids necessary for growth and repair of muscle and also contain omega-3 and 6 fatty acids. 
  • Seaweed: Before you protest, it can be cooked deliciously. And when you consider the health benefits, it becomes a no-brainer: seaweed is packed with omega-3s, and is full of minerals that are important for bone health including calcium and magnesium. 

I selected these three superfoods because they all contain health properties that can be combined with a chiropractic treatment plan. Nutrition is amazing because it offers you the variety to specifically tailor a diet to your needs. Any and all of these foods can be found in concentrated forms such as powders that can be thrown into any meal for a boost. Sometimes, all it takes is a conversation to unlock the thirst for the power of nutrition in a person's life. At Espinosa Family Chiropractic, we are here to initiate this conversation. 

Dr. Raymond Espinosa, D.C.