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Dr Tony Tsai, Chiropractor in San Jose, CA for chiropractic, health and alternative medicine

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Lower Back Pain by Dr. David Kulla DC

Dr. David Kulla is a New York City chiropractor and the owner of Synergy Wellness, a wellness clinic specializing in chiropractic, nutrition and massage.

Back pain is an experience most people will have at some point in their lives. Lower back pain is the most common cause of job-related incapacity and nonattendance from work.  Lower back pain is any type of pain or distress throughout the back portion of your lower trunk area, extending down to your pelvis. The lower back is also referred to as the lumbar area or lumbar spine this type of back pain may last for a short time or it may be long-lasting, which means lasting more than three months. You may feel a gloomy, irritating pain or a sharp, bursting sting. Some pain can be so intense it may cause you to lie in bed unable to move. Severe lower back pain often resolves with simple self-care methods within a few weeks, but it can become chronic and lead to more serious problems over time.

Below are listed a few common reasons for lower back pain

  1. Lower Back Sprain is the most common reasons for back pain. When the ligaments holding bones together are torn from their attachments you just experience a lower back sprain. This usually happens with quick, unexpected movements. This could transpire at work or in a car accident, or playing a weekend sport without properly warming up.
  2. Spinal Subluxations are caused by stress, accidents, and if these injuries are left untreated this will cause you problems; spinal subluxations are misalignments or loss of normal movement in one of the bones in your back.
  3. Trigger Points can cause blistering pain in areas in your muscles when they are pressed on. You know when you have found one because they are very sensitive to touch.
  4. Arthritis is another of the most common reasons for back pain. The type of arthritis most often seen in the spine is Osteoarthritis, sometimes called Degenerative Joint Disease.
  5. Poor Quality Mattress is blamable for more back pain than you can believe. Sleeping on a firm mattress can do wonders in relieving backaches…
  6. Too much sitting puts excessive strain on the muscles of your back often causing Back Pain. This is a common problem in the United States today with so much time being spent sitting at computers, typing on keyboards, playing video games, driving, etc.
  7. Spinal Stenosis is an age-related disease caused when the openings in the spine where the nerves come out of, become smaller. This often causes pain running down the leg (sciatica), which makes walking difficult.
  8. Osteoporosis It is a deteriorating ailment which deteriorates the bone. It is most common in females over fifty, is another of the common reasons for back pain which affects both men and woman as they become older.
  9. Herniated Discs are common reasons for back pain. Most people who have a herniated disc have suffered with back pain for some time. Wear and tear on the spine can weaken the disc, allowing the jelly-like center of the disc to squirt out.
  10. Pregnancy is one of the reasons for back pain that the majority of pregnant women experience. You could gain 25-50 pounds during pregnancy. Most of the weight gain is in the stomach which causes your weight center to shift forward putting strain on your back.

The primary causes of low back pain can be difficult and are not always obvious. This article is aimed at helping patients understand how physicians evaluate the area of pain distribution in helping to diagnose the source of a patient’s low back pain and determine initial treatment options.

 

ChiroWorks Care Center
Anthony Tsai, D.C.
Chiropractor in San Jose, CA
Graston Technique Certified
FAKTR Certified

Disclaimer: The content in this blog is for informational purposes only and an opinion for specific individualized circumstances. It is not a prescription for therapy or diagnosis for you. All opinions expressed in these articles are solely those of the particular author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Anthony Tsai, Graston Technique®, its employees, providers or affiliates. Any opinions of the author on the site are or have been rendered based on scientific facts and/or anecdotal evidence, under certain conditions, and subject to certain assumptions, and may not and should not be used or relied upon for any other purpose, including but not limited to for use in or in connection with any legal proceeding. If there is any issue with the content or images on this blog, contact us an we will remove it immediately. Please refer to http://fairuse.stanford.edu/Copyright_and_Fair_Use_Overview/ for more information.

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DC Physician Status in Federal Health Plan Successfully Restored

Here is a brief except from the press release. Not health related but it is nice to see chiropractic moving a step more toward mainstream acceptance in healthcare. Here is the full press release.

ACA‘s Efforts to Restore DC Physician Status in Federal Health Plan Successful

“After months of intensive negotiations between the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) and Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA), doctors of chiropractic are once again designated as “physicians” in the BCBSA Federal Employee Plan (FEP), the world’s largest health plan and one that President Obama has identified as a template for future health care reform. The 2010 FEP benefits brochure confirms the change.”

ChiroWorks Care Center
Anthony Tsai, D.C.
Chiropractor in San Jose, CA
ChiroWorksCareCenter.com
Graston Technique Certified

Disclaimer: The content in this blog is for informational purposes only and an opinion for specific individualized circumstances. It is not a prescription for therapy or diagnosis for you. All opinions expressed in these articles are solely those of the particular author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Anthony Tsai, Graston Technique®, its employees, providers or affiliates. Any opinions of the author on the site are or have been rendered based on scientific facts and/or anecdotal evidence, under certain conditions, and subject to certain assumptions, and may not and should not be used or relied upon for any other purpose, including but not limited to for use in or in connection with any legal proceeding.

References:
http://www.acatoday.org/press_css.cfm?CID=3583
http://www.bcbs.com/
http://www.fepblue.org/

Cell Phone Elbow Tips & Prevention

If you do not know what Cell Phone Elbow is, take the time to look at my blog entry about Cell Phone Elbow. This is condition is more correctly called cubital tunnel syndrome. Your first step should be to avoid activities or improper techniques which can cause this condition. Avoid bending the elbow beyond 90 degrees for any prolonged period of time. When you have to bend your elbow beyond 90 degrees, pay attention  to your posture or the position of the neck, shoulder and hand position. Try to keep these in the mid range of their range of motion with the muscles as relaxed as possible. Pay attention to your work environment and proper ergonomics especially if you have to work at the computer. Look for future blogs about proper computer ergonomics. Buy hands-free devices and more ergonomic devices.  Take frequent breaks trying to avoid any prolonged position for more than 20 minutes.  A splint or brace may be used to remind you to avoid any incorrect position from habits. A simple brace can be a towel wrapped around your elbow. In my practice, I may use an elastic tape called Kinesio Tape to tape the bottom of the elbow which will prevent extreme elbow flexion. When treating nerve entrapments, I use a technique called nerve flossing which allows the nerve to glide easier preventing inflammation from too much friction and the nerve is allowed to stretch evenly along the nerve when elbow is flexed past 90 degrees. The closest that I could find to demonstrate this is a video I found on YouTube from Doug Alexander. While it is focusing on a different nerve, you may still get some benefit since the ulnar nerve branches from the brachial plexus like the median nerve in carpal tunnel syndrome. Just follow the precautions and ask your doctor before trying this. I would also highly recommend some type of massage/myofascial therapy to loosen any tight muscles and ligaments causing the nerve compression. I personally use Graston Technique instruments which I have found excellent results compare to using my hands alone and they also have their own research regarding results with carpal tunnel syndrome. I am also certified or trained in using the metal instruments for conditions like cubital tunnel syndrome or carpal tunnel syndrome. In my references section, there are more excellent resources and tips. I handpicked the best information that I also tell my patients.

 
ChiroWorks Care Center
Anthony Tsai, D.C.
ChiroWorksCareCenter.com
Chiropractor in San Jose, CA
Graston Technique Certified with emphasis in shoulder pain & nerve entrapment such as carpal tunnel syndrome

References:
http://chiroworkscarecenter.blogspot.com/2009/06/cell-phone-elbow.html
http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00069
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xi_yAWCqhI
http://www.nervemobilization.com/
http://www.handuniversity.com/topics.asp?Topic_ID=8
http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00069
 http://www.handhealthresources.com/problems%20pages/cubital%20tunnel.htm
http://www.eorthopod.com/public/patient_education/6469/cubital_tunnel_syndrome.html
http://www.grastontechnique.com/Findings_and_Presentations.html?%3E%3CFONT%20face=

Disclaimer: The content in this blog is for informational purposes only and an opinion for specific individualized circumstances. It is not a prescription for therapy or diagnosis for you. All opinions expressed in these articles are solely those of the particular author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Anthony Tsai, Graston Technique®, its employees, providers or affiliates. Any opinions of the author on the site are or have been rendered based on scientific facts and/or anecdotal evidence, under certain conditions, and subject to certain assumptions, and may not and should not be used or relied upon for any other purpose, including but not limited to for use in or in connection with any legal proceeding. If there is any issue with the content or images on this blog, contact us an we will remove it immediately. Please refer to http://fairuse.stanford.edu/Copyright_and_Fair_Use_Overview/ for more information.

Don’t Let Housework Be a Pain in Your Back

Household chores can be a pain in the sacroiliac. Unless you’re careful, routine activities around the home— washing dishes, vacuuming, even talking on the phone— can strain your back, including the sacroiliac area near the tailbone, and result in debilitating discomfort.

Household chores can be a pain in the sacroiliac. Unless you’re careful, routine activities around the home— washing dishes, vacuuming, even talking on the phone— can strain your back, including the sacroiliac area near the tailbone, and result in debilitating discomfort.

But you can protect your back by knowing the right way to go about such activities, according to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA).

Consider lifting. It doesn’t matter whether you’re picking up your child or a heavy bucket of water, you need to do it the proper way to avoid injury.

How? Bend from the knees, not the waist. As you lift, hold the item as close to your body as possible. If you have to turn to place it, step in the direction of the turn. That way, you’re not twisting your body and straining your spine.

Back-Saving Tips

The American Chiropractic Association suggest the following do’s and don’ts for chores and relaxation:

  • When you wash dishes, open the cabinet beneath the sink, bend one knee and put your foot on the shelf under the sink. Lean against the counter so some of your weight is supported in front.
  • When ironing, raise one foot a bit. Place it on a small stool or a book to take some strain off your back.
  • To vacuum, use a “fencer’s stance.” Put all your weight on one foot, then step forward and back with the other foot as you push the vacuum forward and back. Use the back foot as a pivot when you turn.
  • While talking on the phone, don’t cradle the phone between your ear and shoulder. That can lock up the spinal joints in the neck and upper back, and cause pain. Instead, hold the phone with your hand or use the speakerphone.
  • While watching television or relaxing, don’t use the sofa arm as a pillow. The angle is much too sharp for your neck.
  • Use a cold pack if your back begins to hurt. Wrap an ice pack in a towel moistened with warm water. The warmth gives way to gradual cold, which likely will alleviate the discomfort. (No ice? Try frozen veggies instead.)
  • If pain persists for more than a day or two or if you experience numbness, tingling or weakness in your arms or legs, see a doctor of chiropractic. A doctor of chiropractic is an expert in spinal health and can help identify and treat your problem.

ChiroWorks Care Center
Anthony Tsai, D.C.
Chiropractor in San Jose, CA
ChiroWorksCareCenter.com
Graston Technique Certified

Disclaimer: The content in this blog is for informational purposes only and an opinion for specific individualized circumstances. It is not a prescription for therapy or diagnosis for you. All opinions expressed in these articles are solely those of the particular author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Anthony Tsai, Graston Technique®, its employees, providers or affiliates. Any opinions of the author on the site are or have been rendered based on scientific facts and/or anecdotal evidence, under certain conditions, and subject to certain assumptions, and may not and should not be used or relied upon for any other purpose, including but not limited to for use in or in connection with any legal proceeding.

References:
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Food Diary May Double Your Weight Loss

In April as reported in this blog, a study showed that the Dash diet reduces heart attacks and strokes better than prescription drugs. Now, Kaiser Permanente produced a study with people who kept a food diary and used the guidelines in the Dash diet lost double the weight compared to the other group in the study. The participants also attended a support group and exercised 30 min a day. The bottom line in this recent study demonstrates how perception with eating food is important in losing weight. My personal philosophy is to understand what is the proper portion and eat whatever you crave but only occassionally knowing what is good and bad for you. To read more about this recent study in an article by Kendall Krause, M.D. from ABC News. To get you started, try here or websites with healthy recipies from Fitday.com, and 2000cal.com. A calorie calculator and food database article can be found here.

ChiroWorks Care Center
Anthony Tsai, D.C.
Chiropractor in San Jose, CA
ChiroWorksCareCenter.com
Graston Technique Certified

Disclaimer: The content in this blog is for informational purposes only and an opinion for specific individualized circumstances. It is not a prescription for therapy or diagnosis for you. All opinions expressed in these articles are solely those of the particular author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Anthony Tsai, Graston Technique®, its employees, providers or affiliates. Any opinions of the author on the site are or have been rendered based on scientific facts and/or anecdotal evidence, under certain conditions, and subject to certain assumptions, and may not and should not be used or relied upon for any other purpose, including but not limited to for use in or in connection with any legal proceeding.

References:
http://www.abcnews.go.com/Health/Fitness/story?id=5327486&page=1
http://www.abcnews.go.com/WN/story?id=5333650&page=1
http://health.usnews.com/articles/health/2008/07/08/health-buzz-food-diaries-and-other-health-news.html
http://www.usnews.com/blogs/on-fitness/2008/5/14/a-big-disconnect-calories-in-calories-out.html

Chiropractic and Aerobic Fitness

We think mostly of chiropractic treatment in terms of lower back pain, neck pain, and headaches. In fact, there are numerous additional wide-ranging benefits to chiropractic health care. Many of these benefits are related to getting more out of our exercise activities.

For example, aerobic exercise improves cardiovascular function.1,2 As a result, during periods of rest the heart rate is slowed and the ability of the lungs to take in air (vital capacity) is increased. A slower heart rate means the heart is working more efficiently. Likewise, increased vital capacity means the lungs are working more efficiently. Fewer heart beats per minute and fewer breaths per minute result in reduced “wear and tear” on these critical systems. Aerobic exercise makes us healthier.

When we have stress, our muscles get tight. Sometimes this tightness is prolonged, and the normal mobility of our bones and joints is compromised. Reduced mobility of the spinal column creates a spiraling effect of tight muscles, tight ligaments, and further loss of mobility in the neck, middle back, and lower back. We experience pain in these areas as a result.3

These patterns may persist. We all know people who have frequent neck pain or lower back pain. These patterns of pain and limited mobility may result in changes to the normal curves of the spine. Normal curves may become flattened, and these changes result in further discomfort, muscular tension, and pain.

Importantly, loss of the normal spinal curvature in the neck and middle back may place additional stress on the heart and lungs. The actual physical space in which these organs function may become reduced. Maximum function may be compromised and efficiency is lost. Brisk walking used to be easy. Climbing stairs used to be no problem. Now these normal daily activities may leave you out-of-breath. You’re huffing-and-puffing and don’t know what’s happened.

You begin doing aerobic exercises to try to improve cardiovascular function. But the potential benefits are limited by these underlying muscle, ligament, and joint problems. You spend a lot of time exercising but don’t seem to be making any improvements.

Chiropractic health care may be able to restore more normal functioning. Chiropractic treatment restores mobility to spinal joints. The gentle treatment relieves stress on the spinal muscles and ligaments, which in turn improves spinal range of motion. Muscle tightness eases, pain and stiffness are reduced, and you become more flexible.

In addition, this improved flexibility allows your chest and rib cage to expand much more fully when you breathe. Your heart and lungs have more room to function, and you can now actually begin to receive the full benefits of your aerobic exercise.

Chiropractic care helps you get fit and stay fit!

1Pivarnik JM, et al. Effects of maternal aerobic fitness on cardiovascular responses to exercise. Med Sci  Sports Exerc 25(9):993-998, 1993.
2Jackson EM, Dishman RK. Hemodynamic responses to stress among blackk women: fitness and parental hypertension. Med Sci Sports Exerc 34)7):1097-1104, 2002
3Petrella RJ, et al. Can primary care doctors prescribe exercise to improve fitness? Am J Prev Med 24(4):316-322, 2003

Reference:
For more ChiroMatrix wellness articles like this visit the free member section at:

ChiroWorks Care Center
Anthony Tsai, D.C.
Chiropractor in San Jose, CA
ChiroWorksCareCenter.com
Graston Technique Certified

Disclaimer: The content in this blog is for informational purposes only and an opinion for specific individualized circumstances. It is not a prescription for therapy or diagnosis for you. All opinions expressed in these articles are solely those of the particular author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Anthony Tsai, Graston Technique®, its employees, providers or affiliates. Any opinions of the author on the site are or have been rendered based on scientific facts and/or anecdotal evidence, under certain conditions, and subject to certain assumptions, and may not and should not be used or relied upon for any other purpose, including but not limited to for use in or in connection with any legal proceeding.

Scoliosis Success Story with Chiropractic

Here is a success story of a patient with mild scoliosis and low back pain. You can read more about her chiropractic treatment with Graston Technique instruments in the following link: Scoliosis patient.

I used various chiropractic and physiotherapy techniques and tools like Graston Technique instruments. Graston Technique doesn’t officially endorse using their tools for scoliosis so you may not have the same results. I used their tools on certain areas of restrictions and tight muscles in conjunction with chiropractic adjustments. It is was an interesting case primarily about pain that I would like to share but I still cannot say that chiropractic or Graston Technique instruments helped without more research. Again, you may not get the same results for yourself with myself or another practitioner. Feel free to examine these before and after photos and x-ray before treatment.

 Scoliosis Before
Before X-ray
 Scoliosis After
After
 Scoliosis After
After

ChiroWorks Care Center
Anthony Tsai, D.C.
Chiropractor in San Jose, CA
ChiroWorksCareCenter.com
Graston Technique Certified

Disclaimer: The content in this blog is for informational purposes only and an opinion for specific individualized circumstances. It is not a prescription for therapy or diagnosis for you. All opinions expressed in these articles are solely those of the particular author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Anthony Tsai, Graston Technique®, its employees, providers or affiliates. Any opinions of the author on the site are or have been rendered based on scientific facts and/or anecdotal evidence, under certain conditions, and subject to certain assumptions, and may not and should not be used or relied upon for any other purpose, including but not limited to for use in or in connection with any legal proceeding.

References:
National Scoliosis Foundation
ChiroWorksCareCenter.com