Iron Abs, Part I

Sep 09
abdominal muscles, back pain, core exercises, lower back pain, sciatica

If you look at a skeleton you’ll notice something odd; there is an area of the body where there are no supportive or protective bones.  I’m speaking, of course, about the abdominal region.  While the spinal vertebrae provide support along the back of this area the front is completely exposed; no ribs, no sternum.  So, how do our bodies manage to stay upright, day after day?  The answer is: muscles!  We use our abdominal muscles and our back muscles to stand up straight as well as to protect our many delicate internal organs situated within the abdominal cavity.

Of course, this odd structure gives us the ability to bend, lean, stretch, and fold at the waist and means, in the end, that we need these muscles to be strong, limber, and balanced.  It is the imbalance, in particular, of front vs. back muscles that can cause many of the painful spinal conditions that interfere with most people’s way of life, including low back pain and sciatica.  It is therefore incredibly important to strengthen and condition our abdominal muscles, as well as our back muscles.

In this article we will be outlining the different muscles that make up the front of the abdomen as well as their functions.  The second and third parts will be exercises designed to build muscle strength as well as stretches for muscle elasticity.

Muscular Structures

Rectus Abdominus:  This is more popularly known as the 6-pack muscle.  It runs down from your ribcage to the front of your pelvic bone.  This muscle’s function is to allow your body to crunch forward at the waist.

External Obliques:  These muscles start at the rib cage and end both at the pelvis and the linea alba (a line of cartilage that runs down the middle of the abdomen).  These muscles allow for the body to crunch forward at an angle or while twisting.

Internal Obliques:  These muscles also start at the rib cage and end both at the pelvis and the linea alba.  These muscles also allow the body to crunch forward at an angle or twist.  The internal obliques are set up perpendicularly to the external obliques and work in conjunction with them; When the left internal oblique contracts it does so with the right external oblique, as is the opposite.

Transverse Abdominus:  These muscles start along the ribs and the sides of the body and end at the pelvis and along the linea alba.  These muscles serve to hold in your internal organs and also act as a natural stabilizer for the spinal cord and pelvis.

As you can see, all four of these muscle groups are important in the movement and stabilization of the torso, as well as the vitally important task of assisting  breathing.  Now that we have outlined how important all of these muscles are, the next step in this process is to find out how to strengthen them.  For now, take the time to experiment: see if you can recognize which muscles you are using in every day life to move your torso side to side, to crunch forward, to crunch to the side.  This way,when you see the exercises available to strengthen these muscles you may already have a better knowledge of how they work.

Sports Injuries

Jul 07
back pain, neck pain, sports chiropractor, sports injuries

If you are a professional athlete or just play frequently for the love of the game, you may at some point in time end up supplanted on the couch in pain. This is when a sports injury chiropractor can provide the type of service you need. A sports injury chiropractor can provide sports medicine advice, give useful health information, nutritional advice and orthopedic chiropractic treatment. A sports injury chiropractor can help the sports enthusiast in many different areas.

A sports injury chiropractor will help you to restore the normal function of your body. This is done by fixing the blockages that occur in the nerve and spine areas. Because of this, they are able to provide pain relief to those individuals who have caused themselves injuries due to strains. They help aid in the prevention of running injuries as well by keeping the body maintained. This will all help to improve and enhance the physical performance during games.

A sports injury chiropractor can have many years of experience. This makes them qualified to deal with the experience that was a trauma to your body and you can find some very reputable chiropractors that have helped with many of the professional sports players.

You should go to a sports injury chiropractor that provides routine help, as they will help by looking at your nutritional aspects of your life. They will give you guidance to foods and diets that will improve your life and they will also counsel you on the different levels of fitness. They have helped athletes in the Olympics, runners, stunt people, professional athletes, football players, tennis professionals, marathoners, baseball players, and body builders.

A sports injury chiropractor is also educated in providing chiropractic care beyond the sports fields. They can help people with automobile injuries as well, and they help people with low back pain. They help with neck pain, joint pain, wrist pain, and shoulder pain. There is also evidence in help with hip pain, shin splints, lower leg injuries, muscle spasms, whiplash, carpal tunnel, fibromyalgia, and many other areas.

If you have any of these injuries, you will want to consult with a sports injury chiropractor. This is a form of alternative medicine and this is a completely natural form of medicine that can be used with regular medical technology. Fixing the injury or joints will help to relieve the pain you are feeling. There is no need to suffer any more. If traditional health care is not helping you, turn to the alternative.

Contact us at The Head, Neck and Spine Center of San Diego for a consultation or visit

Achilles Injuries

Jun 06
Achilles tendon injuries, back pain, chiropractor, la jolla

Our bodies induce a formidable amount of force through the Achilles each time we stand up, not to mention run, walk or jump. Tiny rips and tears can occur every day and heal themselves at night when we sleep. When the Achilles experiences repeated and harsher stresses, the tears can lead to tendonitis. Because relatively small blood supple, healing can take longer. Overuse, imbalance and poorly fitting shoes are huge offenders. Minor rips, tears, and tendonitis can certainly occur from imbalances in the foot or sports activity. However, this tendon is more at risk for injury caused by long-term overuse.

Achilles Tendonitis
Avid runners and athletes frequently experience inflammation or Achilles tendonitis. It is important to protect the feet during any activity. An injury to the Achilles tendon will surely inhibit activities as simple as walking. Proper healing is also critical to prevent chronic pain from injury. Tendonitis can be fought with plenty of rest and ice.

Excessive pronation of the feet can have a considerable effect on the Achilles tendon. Pronation creates imbalances that off-center the foot and ankle, which can lead to injury. Injury caused by pronation can affect men and women of all ages. The tendon becomes weakened or stretched beyond its normal limits and can be timely to restore back to health.

Given the location of the Achilles tendon, and the critical role it plays each day, it is important to recover this part of the body effectively. Rest and ice should be incorporated even for the most severe cases. Ice will help reduce inflammation and rest will take stress off of the injured tendon and help restore its natural range of motion.

In addition to rest and ice, proper recovery and prevention can be supported by proper footwear, and stretching. Proper stretching is beneficial for restoring the natural range of motion in the feet. A chiropractor’s knowledge of the body’s functionality is an excellent approach for recovery. Footwear that offers a solid medial arch and extra support for the foot and ankle will help prevent injury. It will also support an injured ankle from further injury.

Contact Dr. Goldstein for a consultation at 858-558-3111 or go to for more information.