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The cell phone is a 21st century tool that occupies a variety of roles in our lives: social secretary, business builder and information insider. How convenient that such a tool should fit in our pocket, and how sad for our spines: when text messaging or e-mailing, most people are sending from the hip. In order to see the screen, we lurch and loom, craning the neck at a damaging angle- something about it just feels right.

In a certain respect, humans are lazy creatures, gormlessly sacrificing good posture for comfort. Cell phone posture is in the vein of most human-screen interaction: bad for the spine. The problem is that heavy cell phone use expedites the spinal degradation caused by poor posture: when you stare down at that phone, you are increasing the weight of your head, as it is burdening the spine, by 6-10 times. The muscles of the neck and shoulders are straining themselves to support this weight, creating imbalances that can lead to serious spinal problems.

There are ways to avoid the dreaded Text Neck. At Espinosa Family Chiropractic, we offer an awareness of the problem, expertise and counseling on improving posture, and chiropractic adjustment to reverse the damage that may have already been done. Call our office in Sacramento at (916) 457-8825 if you are interested in reducing the net effect of cell phone use on your body.

Dr. Raymond Espinosa, D.C.

Think about how your legs connect to the upper body and you will be thanking the structures known as sacroiliac (SI) joints. These powerful and pivotal points connect the pelvic bones to the sacrum, and are responsible for conducting force and weight between the upper body and the legs. They are supported by a complex system of ligaments and muscles that provide strength to the region. These joints are vulnerable to the wear and tear of aging, and can be damaged in extreme circumstances such as car accidents or severe sports injuries. Postural changes (growing of the abdomen during pregnancy) and muscular imbalance can also contribute.

The pain associated with SI syndrome is usually located in the lower back and can radiate downwards into the buttocks and legs. Many people confuse this type of pain with sciatica, making a proper diagnosis all the more important: knowing the correct underlying cause is the only way to achieve full recovery. When SI joint pain is diagnosed, we have seen symptoms respond well to our treatment at Espinosa Family Chiropractic. Our goal is to reduce pain and inflammation of the ligaments, relieve muscle stiffness and improve movement in the sacroiliac region. Chiropractic adjustments target the joints directly to achieve these effects. If you are experiencing lower back pain or pain in the pelvic region, call our office in Sacramento to schedule an appointment at (916) 457-8825.

Dr. Raymond Espinosa, D.C.

Just as there are myriad ways to cause a herniated disc, so there are, at least as many, ways to treat them. When devising a plan of physical therapy for herniated discs, it is important to do so under the guidance of a medical professional. This is where we come in: we want to teach people to use their physical activity to improve their herniated disc symptoms. At Espinosa Family Chiropractic, we offer you a range of professional services that we believe will create pain-relief and supplement recovery. We truly believe in the power of using the factors that are within your control to improve pain symptoms.

We begin by relieving pain and restoring movement. This is done through a combination of gentle adjustments and low-level stretching; movements that you feel comfortable with that will work to lengthen restrictive muscles and reverse the deterioration. From here, we slowly up the ante, focusing on core strengthening: this includes both the muscles of the lower back and the abdomen. Conditioning your back through exercise creates pain relief and helps the spine bear more stress without falling out of alignment.

We also want to focus on correcting muscular imbalance and poor posture. Both of these increase stress on the spine and are counterproductive to your healing. Once you are through the most intense period of pain, we institute advanced exercises that focus on building up the back so that the injury never recurs. This means addressing the asymmetry that may have contributed to the injury in the first place, and learning how to sit and stand without putting unnecessary pressure on the spine.

Your regimen for physical activity depends on the severity of pain and location of the injury: some people cannot comfortably lay prone and others cannot perform stretches standing up. If you are seeking relief from herniated disc injury, but want to heal naturally, call our office in Sacramento. Learning these stretches will benefit you for life: long after your injury is healed, you can reap the benefits of a stronger core for spinal health. We can be reached at (916) 457-8825.

Dr. Raymond Espinosa, D.C.

Treating yourself to delicious ingredients can provide treatment for your herniated disc; is it so far fetched? Your body will work more effectively to do what you want if you feed it the right fuel. There are many intangible factors that have led to your injury, but there are core elements within your control: nutrition, exercise and posture. The injury begins with a crack in the annulus fibrosus, the outer layer of the disc, which is made up of fibrous materials, in particular, collagen. Part of what is causing your pain is the swelling and inflammation as the body responds to the injury. There are many nutrients, sourced from the earth, which can fight inflammation and aid the body in repair and production of collagen.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids, found in flaxseed, fish oil and nuts are great natural anti-inflammatory agents.

Vitamin C is a stimulus for collagen production. Look for citrus fruits, leafy greens, bell peppers and to add more C into your life.

Sulfur is a supplementary mineral, which boosts the prowess of Vitamin C. Sulfur is found in high concentrations in: eggs, cruciferous vegetables, kale, Brussels sprouts and turnips  

Glucosamine-Sulfate is a naturally occurring chemical in the human body that helps helps repair cartilage.

Make the things you put in your body count. At Espinosa Family Chiropractic, we encourage people in the throes of spinal injury to use the factors within their control to effect a full recovery and ride the wave of health into the future. Call our office in Sacramento at (916) 457-8825 to schedule an appointment today.

Dr. Raymond Espinosa, D.C.

The discs that accentuate our spinal columns are hard workers. As the shock absorbers for one of the most crucial structures in our body, they accumulate an enormous amount of wear and tear over the years. Named for their location in the spine- cervical, thoracic and lumbar, these discs support the weight of our body, allow us to twist and turn and move our heads side to side. As we grow from youth into adulthood and old age, the discs are asked to support more weight and withstand more accumulated movement. More weight means more compression and the discs can only support so much. At a certain point, they may tear, allowing fluid to bulge from their center and pressurize nearby nerves. This is called a herniated disc and it can be cripplingly painful.

The three types of herniated discs:

In the neck we find the cervical discs, which support the weight of the head. Along this part of the spinal column is a pivot point that allows us to move our head from side to side. This repetitive motion of the head is responsible for the primary degradation and herniation of cervical discs. Besides being a pain in the neck, cervical disc herniation can radiate pain to the shoulders and arms and refer it to nerves in the head, creating painful headaches.

The thoracic discs are the least vulnerable to herniation. Tears in these discs are most often associated with poor posture, or traumatic injuries involving sports or automobile accidents. Depending on its location, pain can be felt in the lower and upper body.

Lumbar herniated discs are the most common form that we treat at Espinosa Family Chiropractic. These discs bear the most burden of our weight and a healthy lumbar region is critical to a full range of motion. As more weight is added, the disc experiences more compression. At a certain point, the disc may tear. Pain associated with these discs is usually localized but can impact the lower body and cause sciatica, if the sciatic nerve is pressured.

If you suspect you may be suffering from a herniated disc at any point in your spine, it is important to consult with a specialist. These are common, but serious injuries and the spine will usually heal itself in the matter of weeks to months. Our treatment intends to speed this healing process and provide you with pain relief in the meantime. Our office in Sacramento can be reached at (916) 457-8825. We look forward to hearing from and helping you with your herniated disc.

Dr. Raymond Espinosa, D.C.