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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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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:
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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

Natural Pain Killers & Anti-Inflammatories for Arthritis

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) reduce pain and inflammation by inhibiting COX enzymes. Any medication should be taken with caution even over-the-counter drugs. NSAIDs can cause stomage ulcers or bleeding and liver or kidney damage. Ice also reduces inflammation. Medicine Net has an article on ice or heat for arthritis. Here is also a self-care tips for ice. The following is an except from Bottom Line health magazine. Pay attention to the therapeutic taping section because it indirectly states how joint alignment helps with pain:

1. Drink Tea
Yes, tea. Research shows that green tea is rich in polyphenols – compounds that suppress the expression of a key gene involved in arthritis inflammation. Black tea is made from the same leaves and may be as beneficial, even though it is processed differently. Drink one or 2 cups of hot or cold tea daily.

2. Boost Your C and D
Vitamin C is believed to slow the loss of cartilage due to osteoarthritis, while a diet low in vitamin D has been shown to actually speed the progression of osteoarthritis. In a recent high-profile study, doctors discovered that patients who ate a diet high in vitamin D (or who took vitamin D supplements) reduced their risk for worsening their arthritis by 75%. Another study of over 25,000 people concluded that a low intake of vitamin C may increase the risk of developing arthritis. Take daily supplements that provide 500 to 1,000 mg of vitamin C, and 400 IUs of vitmain D.

3. Try Willow Bark/Boswellia
Willow bark is where aspirin comes from. And boswellia has been used for centuries to reduce inflammation and maintain healthy joints. A study showed that taking these 2 herbs is just as effective as taking a drug like Motrin. Take 240 mg of willow bark and 1,000 mg of boswellia per day.

4. Eat Grapes
Grape skin contains resveratrol, a natural compound known to act as a COX-2 inhibitor. Resveratrol both suppresses the Cox-2 gene and deactivates the COX-2 enzyme, which produces inflammation at the site of injury or pain. A study published in the Journal of BIological Chemistry confirmed that resveratrol acts as an antioxidant and a COX-2 inhibitor. Eat one cup of white or red grapes daily. Good news: Purple grape juice and wine contain resveratrol, too.

5. Therapeutic Taping
Wrapping tape around a joint to realign, support, and take pressure off it has great benefits for arthritis sufferers. In an Australian study, 73% of patients with osteoarthritis experienced substantially reduced symptoms after just 3 weeks of therapeutic taping. The benefits were comparable with those achieved by standard drug treatments and lasted even after taping was stopped! Important: Taping must be done properly to be effective. Consult a physician or physical therapist who can show you or a family member the proper technique.

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.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=18347
http://healththing.com/treatment1.htm
“5 Little-Known Ways to Reduce Arthritis Pain Without Painkillers and Anti-Inflammatories”, Bottom Line, Summer 2008, p 9.