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driving

Don't take for granted the number of minutes you spend commuting on a weekly basis. The minutes add up quick and very few cars are equipped to support or even encourage a neutral sitting position for the spine. Many people can recall the feeling of being stiff and sore from a road trip. This feeling is an outcry from muscles which have accumulated tension from lack of movement during the drive. Your intervertebral discs have absorbed fluid during this time, further limiting your range of motion. We often take the rest stop exit to relieve our bladders, but rarely to give our muscles and spine the attention they deserve. Driving truly is a rigorous undertaking for the back; at Espinosa Family Chiropractic we encourage you to help out in any way you can by using posture.

Sitting up straight is the best way to begin: with your butt back in the seat and your head balanced above your spine, the rest of the body will follow suit. Do you ever find yourself leaning on the center console? Now is the time to stop, as this encourages a muscular imbalance that will compound over the long drive. Holding the steering wheel at 9 and 3 is good, but are your shoulders relaxed? It might be appropriate to adjust the height of your seat or steering wheel (if possible). Finally, car seats are not conducive to supporting the lordotic curve. Use a small pillow or rolled up jacket to give your back a boost and see how it immediately makes you feel better.

At our office in Sacramento, we are keen on showing people how the little things add up. Just as poor posture can defeat your well-being, so can proper posture change the way you feel at the end of a long drive for the better. For a whole range of holistic lifestyle adjustments and counseling, call our office in Sacramento at (916) 457-8825.

Dr. Raymond Espinosa, D.C. 

posture headache

The term desk-bound describes how a significant portion of people spend their 8 hour working days in the 21st century. Many people come into our office complaining of daily headaches and it has become clear that these two situations are not mutually exclusive: a day at the office can cause a headache in more ways than one. Consider one of the simplest explanations of all: your posture in front of the screen.

How many people can truly hold their head up high and say that they have perfect posture at work or that they regularly take breaks to stretch, move and hydrate? If you are one of these people, we applaud you and your back thanks you. But for many people, posture is not an easy proposition: spending long windows of time in front of the screen tends to lull people into a hunched forward position, where their head is leaned toward the screen and their back is rounded. As they work away, muscles in the neck and shoulders are being asked to compensate and support the weight of the head which is no longer balanced above the spine. Tensing and muscle strain ensue which can quickly lead to muscle spasms which will refer the pain to nerves in the head. 

This may not be the sole contributing factor to your headache, but fixing your posture can go a long way to influencing a myriad of conditions that are backs and heads suffer from on a daily basis. Call our office in Sacramento to find out the small things you can change to make a positive impact on your headaches: we can be reached at (916) 457-8825.

Dr. Raymond Espinosa, D.C. 

cervical

What if there was no pivot point in the neck: if it was just an immobile trunk that attached the head to the rest of the body? Every time you wanted to look up or down or to the side, it would require the coordinated effort of your entire upper body. Fortunately for most, this situation is nothing more than a nightmare. But the less care you take of your cervical spine, the more limited your motion becomes. Necks can end up so stiff and sore that even the slightest movement can cause excruciating pain. 

Seven vertebrae support the weight and movement of your head. Because of this movement, and their location at the base of the skull, the cervical vertebrae are among the most vulnerable to injury in the entire back. There are many factors that can limit range of motion in the neck: poor posture and traumatic injury are among the most common. But anyone who has woke up with a crick in the neck knows that more intangible factors are also at play: simply sleeping at an odd angle for a few hours in a night can leave your neck stiff. 

At Espinosa Family Chiropactic, we are experts in the realm of necks. We know that they are sensitive instruments and we provide the kind of sensitive treatment that ensures their range of motion. Chiropractic adjustments are beneficial to maintaining the alignment of the spine right through the neck. If muscles in the shoulders and neck are sore, we focus on reducing inflammation and improving blood flow to the tender region. 

If your neck is feeling out of sorts, call our office at (916) 457-8825 to schedule an assessment so we can start getting you back on the road to health. 

Dr. Raymond Espinosa, D.C. 

massage

When you think of how you use your back throughout the day, do the thoracic vertebrae even factor into your thoughts? Put it this way, do you ever catch yourself with your shoulders slumped forward or your upper back rounded? This is a good indicator that you may have poor thoracic mobility. The spine is not one long bone, but many people treat it as such: this is why we end up with pervasive slumping, slouching, and general poor posture. These can cause serious conditions such as back pain and premature degradation of the vertebrae. Fortunately, by gaining an awareness of proper spine mechanics, you can limit the damage that your spine absorbed on a daily basis. 

The thoracic spine refers to the region of your spine corresponding to the chest and ribcage. It is made up of twelve vertebrae and forms the thoracic cage which protects the hart and lungs. The range of motion in this part of the spine is limited, but letting the health of these vertebrae fall by the wayside can have serious consequences. 

Here are a few of the benefits to be had by ensuring the alignment and overall health of the thoracic spine:

  • Improved spinal mechanics
  • Increased range of motion
  • Greater lung capacity
  • Greater diaphragm functioning
  • Better shoulder mechanics

The thoracic spine's range of motion is limited but it is not meant to be immobile. Call our office in Sacramento at (916) 457-8825 to schedule an appointment and find out how you can maximize your spine's mechanical advantage. 

Dr. Raymond Espinosa, D.C.

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.