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A conscious 21st century citizen wants to avoid the kind of chronic neck, shoulder and back pain that is onset by excessive cell phone use. The pain is a derivative of posture: texting and browsing increases the amount of time you spend stooping over your phone, multiplying the weight of your head in relation to the spine for every further degree forward. Over time, this position creates imbalance as muscles compensate to make up for the increased weight, becoming strained in the process. Here is some minute, yet significant adjustments you can make to your lifestyle to prevent these injuries.

Utilize the eye muscles! Rather than moving your entire head forward to interact with the phone, practice this posture: keep the elbows anchored to your side and raise the phone ever so slightly, then lower your eyes, keeping the neck straight and the head forward. Though it may feel awkward at first, your neck will thank you!

Be cognizant and take breaks when texting and browsing for long periods of time. If you can remember, incorporate simple stretches into your breaks to relieve the accumulating tension in your neck:

Gently rotating your neck left and right, forward and backward is effective for giving static muscles a break.

Move the neck from side to side, touching ears to shoulders a few times. This keeps the joints in your neck supple. Remember, it is your head moving to the shoulder, rather than the opposite.

Forward flexion: move the chin downward until you feel muscles in the back of the neck kick in, telling you to go no further. Hold this position for about 30 seconds.

The goal is to keep the muscles limber and increase their strength, making them more resistant to injury.

Do not stretch until you feel pain! Practice these exercises slowly and within your comfort range. At Espinosa Family Chiropractic, we offer expertise on proper stretching techniques for many injuries. These exercises can be used to prevent and relieve neck pain caused by any number of conditions.

If your texting habit has created a literal pain in your neck, call our office in Sacramento at (916) 457-8825.

Dr. Raymond Espinosa, D.C.

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.

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.

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.