Tips to Reduce Back And Neck Strain At The Office

Dec 12

Dr. George Traitses

Meetings, data processing, switchboard work, telephone customer service and a host of other office duties may seem easy but sitting all day actually is stressful on the spine, according to Dr. George I. Traitses of Scarborough/Markham, local representative of the Ontario Chiropractic Association (OCA).

“This can lead to irritation of the nerves in the neck, and middle and lower back, resulting in general discomfort and stiffness,” says Dr. Traitses. Whether you choose a specialty chair – designed for keyboarding, reception, executive seating or drafting – or simply place a back (orthopaedic) support form between you and your old chair – following these few simple rules for good posture and work habits can help minimize problems:

  1. Adjust your chair properly. Here’s how:
    Stand in front of your chair and adjust the seat so that its highest point is just below your knee cap. Sit so that there is large enough space to fit a clenched fist between the front edge of the seat and the lower part of the legs. Ensure that the back rest supports the hollow of your lower back. Adjust the height of your chair so that your work surface is at elbow height when you are seated; determine elbow height by holding your arms straight down at your sides. Use a foot rest if, after adjusting the seat to the proper height, your feet still are not resting flat on the floor.
  2. Rearrange your work station so that your body faces your work at all times. Avoid chronically turning your head or body in the same repetitive way.
  3. Take frequent mini-breaks to roll your shoulders up and back, to relax the upper back muscles.
  4. When talking on the phone, hold the receiver in your hand; do not cradle it between your neck and shoulder. If you are on the phone a great deal, use a hands-free phone or headset.
  5. Always sit up straight with your lower back supported; elbows close to your body and shoulders relaxed.
  6. Do not cross your legs at the knees; this twists your pelvis and lower back. Cross at the ankles, if you wish.

Chiropractors are licensed as doctors, authorized to diagnose and treat conditions concerning the spine, muscle and nervous systems. Chiropractors work to promote optimal health and wellness through positive lifestyle changes.

Stretch, Flexibility, and Chiropractic

Dec 12

By: Michael Stefano

Michael Stefano is the author of The Firefighter’s Workout Handbook as well as a twenty year veteran of the New York City Fire Department. His simple yet highly effective training programs are used by firefighters across the country and, the general population.

A sensible flexibility program will not only enhance physical fitness, but can actually give you a more youthful body. Stretching increases suppleness by stimulating the production of chemicals that lubricate connective soft tissue. But besides becoming more limber, your ability to learn physical skills will be improved due to increased dexterity and coordination. Stretching after an intense resistance or cardio workout will also help reduce next-day, muscle soreness, promote healing of microscopic tears, as well as prevent future injuries to overused, tight muscles. Stretch training promotes relaxation, both physical and mental. Body awareness, good posture and proper breathing patterns will be enhanced, and carry over beyond the training session.

Types of Flexibility
Flexibility is defined as the absolute range of motion in a joint, or series of joints. We can further categorize flexibility into the following:

  1. Dynamic flexibility: the ability to bring a limb through its full range of motion.
  2. Active flexibility: the ability to assume and maintain an extended limb position, using only your own muscles.
  3. Passive flexibility: the ability to assume and maintain an extended limb position, using body weight, a partner or prop.

Connective Tissue
Extended periods of inactivity bring about chemical changes that can limit flexibility. Underused connective tissue loses elasticity as it becomes stiff and dense. The human body goes through a similar pattern as it ages. A properly executed stretch routine can reverse this process. It’s theorized, stretching stimulates the production of lubricants between connective tissue fibers and promotes hydration and suppleness of all connective tissue.

Stretch and Strengthen
Both flexibility training and strength training are necessary to achieve overall fitness. As a matter of fact, one of the best times to stretch is right after a resistance exercise. Static stretching of pre-fatigued muscles, done immediately after the movement that created the fatigue, increases the effectiveness of the stretch. A fatigued muscle is inhibited from contracting as hard, and thus limiting the stretch reflex. This allows an even further elongation of the muscle and surrounding tissue than would have been possible without the muscle being in a state of pre-fatigue. Immediately stretching a muscle after intense exercise also promotes muscular growth and reduces post workout soreness. Stretching hastens the delivery oxygen and other nutrients, and while speeding up the removal of lactic acid, and other waste products.

Stretching Guidelines

  • The flexibility segment of your program should be done when the body is warm, preferably at the end of your workout.
  • Once the body is warmed up, stretching exercises can be intermixed with strength moves to save time.
  • Stretches should be held from 15 to 30 seconds. A sum total of at least 30 seconds is recommended to achieve any kind of permanent stretch, regardless of the number of sets performed.
  • Breathe out when going into the stretch, and inhale when coming out of it. Use the breath as a way to relax, and go further into the movement.
  • NEVER stretch to a point of feeling pain, only slight discomfort.
  • Unlike aerobic and strength training, stretching can be repeated every day.

Sports injuries and Chiropractic

Dec 12

By: Dr. John Zimmerman

As more athletes discover the benefits of chiropractic care not only for injuries but additionally for increased performance, more athletes and teams are using chiropractic to gain an important edge. A recent study published in the March/April 2002 issue of the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, (JMPT) examined the usage of chiropractic care by National Football League teams throughout the US.

The Journal article reported on the results of a survey of NFL trainers on their usage and referral to chiropractic care. Participants of the survey were head athletic trainers of the 36 National Football League teams. They were all men, and all had at least 17 years of experience and had served with their present team in their current position for a minimum of 1 year .

The results of the survey showed that 45 percent of the trainers themselves have been treated by a chiropractor. Presently 31 percent of NFL teams use chiropractors in an official capacity as part of their staffs. However, even though not necessarily on the staff of the NFL team a full 77 percent of the trainers have referred to a chiropractor for evaluation or treatment. Probably the most telling result of the survey is that 100 percent of trainers agree that some players use chiropractic care without referral from team medical staff.

Several other questions were also asked in the survey and the answers were as follows:
Should trainers refer players with suspected spinal subluxations to chiropractors? – Five percent of trainers strongly agree, 48 percent agree, 24 percent disagree, and 19 percent have no opinion.

Is there a role for the doctor of chiropractic in the NFL? Eighty-one percent agree that there is a role for the chiropractor in the NFL, 5 percent strongly agree, 14 percent have no opinion, and none disagree.
Is the role of the sport chiropractor different from that of the team physician? All (100 percent) of the trainers see these roles as different from each other.

Several other questions were also asked in the survey and the answers were as follows:
Should trainers refer players with suspected spinal subluxations to chiropractors? – Five percent of trainers strongly agree, 48 percent agree, 24 percent disagree, and 19 percent have no opinion.
Is there a role for the doctor of chiropractic in the NFL? Eighty-one percent agree that there is a role for the chiropractor in the NFL, 5 percent strongly agree, 14 percent have no opinion, and none disagree.
Is the role of the sport chiropractor different from that of the team physician? All (100 percent) of the trainers see these roles as different from each other.

In addition to NFL players, many athletes from many sports depend on chiropractic care. One such athlete is John Stockton, a professional basketball player and future hall of famer with the Utah Jazz. In an April 2, 2002 article that appeared in the Toronto Star, writer Doug Smith asks and answers the question concerning John Stockton’s longevity, “What is the secret to John Stockton’s continued success on the NBA basketball court at age 40? A Good Chiropractor,” When asked to explain his usage of chiropractic John’s response was, “I’m not a good enough expert on what that (chiropractic) entails, but it’s not just adjustments, it’s balancing muscles and overall health.” John then added, “it’s been great for me, and for my family.” The article reports that along with chiropractic, Stockton says that a love for the game and fun with his family are two other secrets to his continued success.

Pregnancy and Chiropractic, A winning Combination!

Dec 12

By: Brandon W. Goldstein, DC

Are you pregnant? Have you been experiencing low back pain, headaches, nausea, insomnia, or other symptoms? Chiropractic care may be able to help you and your baby achieve a happier and healthier pregnancy and delivery.

Upon discovering they are pregnant, many women become conscious of eating healthy foods, avoiding alcohol and cigarettes, exercising, and getting proper sleep; however, they are unaware of the importance of having their prenatal chiropractic checkups.

Pregnancy is a special time in a woman’s life. It is a period of rapid development with many physiological and endocrinological changes taking place. Chiropractic care helps to normalize nervous system function for mother and baby and allows for the best pregnancy possible.

Fifty percent of all women complain of low back pain during pregnancy partially due to ligament laxity and the protruding abdomen.

By relieving the discomfort many women experience during pregnancy, Chiropractic becomes an important component of prenatal care and can make both your pregnancy and delivery easier.

Clinical studies have shown the benefits of Chiropractic care during pregnancy. Irvin Henderson, MD, a member of the AMA board of trustees, conducted one study. The study concluded that women who received chiropractic care during their third trimester of pregnancy were able to carry and deliver with more comfort.

The many benefits that result from Chiropractic care during pregnancy are also especially wonderful during delivery. Patients often report that their deliveries, while under chiropractic care, are faster and more comfortable than they were in previous pregnancies.

Brandon W. Goldstein, D.C., owner of the Head, Neck and Spine Center of San Diego will keep your special needs in mind during this important time. Chiropractic care can be started at any time during your pregnancy; it’s never too early or too late. For these reasons and more, your chiropractor is the one doctor you should remember to call.

More Athletes Seek Chiropractic Care for better performance

Dec 12

By: Dr. John Zimmerman

In the October 16, 1998 issue of the USA Today, was an article that featured Emmitt Smith, a football star from the Dallas Cowboys. Emmitt Smith is one of the best players in the game and in his ninth season as a professional. The article discusses his healthy lifestyle which includes regular chiropractic care. “I started doing this about four or five years ago,” Smith said. “I believe that what I’m doing is what helps me go on. I think Warren Moon, (Seattle’s 41 year old quarter back) does the same thing. So I’ve become a big believer in servicing my body and making sure it is lined up properly and functioning the way it is supposed to on Sunday.”

Smith joins an ever-growing list of professional athletes who regularly receive chiropractic adjustments.

In June during the NBA basketball finals star players Scotty Pippin, and John Stockton were among those who received chiropractic care during breaks in the sixth and final game of the championship series. Even world heavyweight champion boxer Evander Holyfeild has been under care for years and regularly receives adjustments during training as well as immediately prior to his fights. These athletes and many more recognize the importance of a subluxation free body for maximum performance and health.

Headache Relief Through Chiropractic

Dec 12

By: Dr. John Zimmerman

According to the American Chiropractic Association 14 percent of the public who see chiropractors presently go for headaches. For these patients the good news has gotten even better. Researchers at Northwestern College of Chiropractic in Minnesota, compared chiropractic care to certain drug therapies used for tension and migraine headaches.

The study, published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, followed 218 headache sufferers who were given either chiropractic care or drug therapy or both. Pain was reduced 40 – 50 percent in all groups initially. However, four weeks after all care was stopped, only the chiropractic group still retained the benefits, while those who received the drug therapy lost about half of their improvement.

Golfers love this La Jolla Chiropractor

Dec 12

By: Larry Bowen

The Aug. 17 PRNewswire reported a story about professional golfers using chiropractic on a regular basis. Dr. Brandon Goldstein is a chiropractor who has traveled with the PGA tour and regularly provides chiropractic to the pros. Dr. Goldstein reports that up to 85 percent of the injuries on the PGA Tour and Senior Tour relate to the spine, and about 70 to 75 percent of those golfers receive regular chiropractic care.

The August 21, 2000 issue of the Salt Lake Tribune reported that senior pro golfer, Doug Tewell was delayed entering the Senior PGA tour due to spinal problems. Tewell injured his back while playing a round of golf with his son in Oklahoma. The injury kept him in bed for three days and required the use of a walker for two weeks. On the recomendation of fellow pro Bob Tway, Tewell decided to see a chiropractor.

His comments in the Tribune article summed up his reactions, “the most incredible thing, just a few little twists,” Tewell said. “I didn’t know it was that easy to fix.”

Professional women golfers also utilize chiropractic, Lisa Masters, an LPGA golf pro, uses chiropractic as a preventive measure for low back injuries caused by the extreme torque of the golf swing. Dr. Goldstein states, “Normally, each vertebra in the spine moves independently a certain number of degrees when our whole body is involved in an activity. If that is not happening, for example, if two or more segments move as a whole unit, rather than moving independently, it can lead to a vertebral mechanical dysfunction.”

Chronic Migraines Helped by Chiropractic

Dec 12

Study Shows By: Dr. John Zimmerman

A study published in the February 2000 issue of the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, (JMPT), showed that people suffering with migraine headaches were helped with chiropractic care. The study was conducted in Australia at the Chiropractic Research Center of Macquarie University. In this research 177 volunteers were studied who had migraine headaches for over 18 years on average. Many of the participants also suffered from neck pain. The average response of the group that received chiropractic care showed a statistically significant improvement in migraine frequency, duration, and disability. The study also showed that those who received chiropractic care were able to reduce their medication use, with a significant number reducing their medication usage to zero!

Additionally, 59% had no neck pain after a period of two months, and another 35% had a decrease in neck pain.

The researchers concluded this study, built on previous studies that had similar results. “There have now been several studies demonstrating significant improvement in headaches or migraines after chiropractic.” The Migraine Foundation of Australia estimates that some 12 percent of Australians ages 15 and over, experience migraines.