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Fitness Health

Keeping Your Spinal Discs Healthy

Keeping Your Spinal Discs Healthy
Keyword(s): spinal disc health
Meta description: Maintaining your spinal disc health is an important part of living a life free from pain.
Here is a quick list of our best recommendations.
Bottom Line:
Ain’t no one got time for back pain!
Proactively doing things today to help your spinal discs stay healthy in the future is a smart idea.
Every day, your spinal discs absorb stress related to gravity, your posture, and your movement patterns.
Over time, this stress can cause wear and tear to your discs that can become painful.
The good news? There are a few key ways you can keep your discs healthy… starting today!
Why it Matters:
Not surprisingly, movement and exercise are the top ways to keep your spinal discs healthy.
Each day try to move your spine through its full range of motion and be cautious about sitting for hours on
end.
If you have to sit for long periods, try to change positions every 15 minutes. If you have to work at a
computer for hours at a time and you have the option, bring in a standing desk. These small steps can
help both reduce stress on your discs and engage the small muscles supporting your spine – both of
which are essential for disc health.
Also, mind your posture. The combination of inactivity and long periods in an unbalanced posture can
wreak havoc on your spinal discs.
Next Steps:
Keeping your spinal discs healthy is one of the best things you can do to reduce your risk of experiencing
neck or back pain.
If you spend long hours at the computer especially, you need to take proactive steps to counteract that
stress.
We’d be happy to work with you on a plan to keep your spinal discs healthy for years to come. Just shoot
us a message or give us a call!
Science Source(s):
Disc Changes Associated with Prolonged Sitting. PMR. 2014.

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Fitness Health

How to Strengthen Your Spinal Discs

How to Strengthen Your Spinal Discs
Keyword(s): spinal disc strength
Meta description: Strengthening your spinal discs isn’t hard if you have a plan. Discover how we
recommend our patients strengthen their spinal discs in this article.
Bottom Line:
No one wants to deal with back pain.
Whether you’re living with pain today or looking to reduce your risk of injury in the future, you may be
curious about how you can strengthen your spine.
When it comes to strengthening spinal discs, it’s wise to start with the body’s core — the set of muscles,
ligaments, and tendons that support your spinal column and help your spinal discs move.
Why it Matters:
Your core needs to have a balance of strength and flexibility to perform at its best.
A strong core allows your body to have the support it needs to move, bend, and twist without causing
injuries, and a flexible core is crucial to allowing the body to move well and through a full range of motion.
Together, these physical qualities help you keep your spinal discs healthy, just like movement-based care
such as the adjustments we provide.
 Core exercises can help your back maintain a balance of strength and flexibility.
 Movement of the spine promotes the delivery of nutrients to the spinal discs.
 Spinal adjustments can improve your range of motion and help to decrease pain.
Next Steps:
It’s been said that we don’t get old and stiff, we get stiff then old.
It’s much easier to keep your spine moving than to get your spine moving, and our practice is here to help
you stay active, healthy, and happy.
Reach out to us today to schedule a visit to assess your movement and create a plan of action to keep
you pain-free and at the top of your game.
Science Source(s):
Exercise and Physical Therapy for Treatment and Pain Management. Spine-Health. 2006.
Exercise for Sciatica from a Herniated Disc. Spine-Health. 2019.

Categories
Health

Types of Spinal Disc Problems

Types of Spinal Disc Problems
Keyword(s): spinal disc problems
Meta description: Discover the different types of spinal disc problems and what you can do to find
relief.
Bottom Line:
If you’ve had a spinal disc problem, you know how painful it can be.
Every movement seems to hurt, and it can feel like you’ll never be back to your old self.
That pain is the body’s way of signaling you to “Pay Attention Inside Now” — it’s a warning sign from your
body. It’s your body’s way of letting you know it’s been pushed past its limits.
However, with the proper care and a little time, you can get your life back.
Why it Matters:
The most common type of spinal disc problem is called a bulge or herniation, and these injuries most
commonly occur between 45-65 years of age when discs are naturally more dehydrated and stiffer.
A disc bulge or herniation occurs when a disc’s inner portion is trying to (or has) pushed through its tough
outer layer.
When this happens, it can cause pain in two different ways.
 If the disc bulges far enough to press on a spinal nerve, you may notice pain that travels down
your arms or legs.
 If the inside of your disc pushes through the outer layer, it could also cause severe inflammation
resulting in pain.
Next Steps:
The good news is that your spine is incredibly resilient.
Research has proven that movement-based care, such as spinal adjustments and spinal rehab, are
incredibly effective at helping you heal from spinal disc injuries. In fact, exercises that “centralize” your
spinal disc may be able to prevent future episodes of sciatica.
If you have spinal pain or pain that travels down your arm or leg, let us know. Our practice focuses on
using the latest research-based treatments to help you heal, improve, and regain your quality of life.
Science Source(s):
Bulging Disc vs. Herniated Disc: What’s the Difference? Mayo Clinic. 2019.
Exercise for Sciatica from a Herniated Disc. Spine-Health. 2019.

Categories
Fitness Health

Moving Your Way to Better Health in 2021

Moving Your Way to Better Health in 2021
Bottom Line:
You’ve heard it before: regular exercise is good for your physical and mental health.
Daily exercise can help you lose weight, lower your risk of future health challenges, reduce your stress,
and improve your mental outlook.
But, if you’re like many people (over 80% to be exact!), you just aren’t getting enough exercise each
week.
Why it Matters:
As chiropractors, a primary focus of ours is movement-based care.
Your overall health is influenced by three types of movement:

  1. Segmental: how well your body’s individual joints move.
  2. Regional: how well your neck, low back, arms, and legs move.
  3. Whole body: how well your whole body moves.
    Here’s how…
     Segmental Movement: Regular chiropractic adjustments can positively influence the function of
    your nervous system, help decrease aches and pains, and help relax your muscles
     Regional Movement: Regular stretching can help to improve your range of motion and
    biomechanics and your energy levels.
     Whole Body Movement: Daily exercise can help to improve your mood and your sleep and help
    to lower your risk of chronic disease.
    Next Steps:
    Millions of people make New Year’s resolutions to get more active each year… and each year, they seem
    to come up short…but this year, you have the tools and resources to succeed!
    By setting smart health goals and cultivating a positive mindset, you have the right foundation to begin
    moving your body towards better health in 2021.
    And if you notice you’re struggling to stay on track, or you’re sidelined by chronic aches and pains, let us
    know. We’re here to help you get healthy and stay healthy so you can stay active and reach your goals!
    Science Source(s):
    80% of American Don’t Get Enough Exercise. Cleveland Clinic. 2018.
    The Use of Spinal Manipulation to Treat an Acute on Field Athletic Injury. JCCA. 2016.
Categories
Health

What are Spine Discs Made of?



What are Spinal Discs Made of?
Keyword(s): spinal discs
Meta description: We’ve all heard of spinal discs… but what are they made of?
Bottom Line:
We all know spinal discs are important — but to understand why, the real question is… what are they
made of?
Simply put, your spinal discs are the little cushions that sit between the bones (vertebrae) in your spine.
Each disc is made up of a tough, fibrous outer layer (annulus fibrosis) and a jelly-like inner layer (nucleus
pulposus). The tough outer layer contains and protects the softer inside layer.
These small discs have a big job.
They enable your spine to move in all directions.
Why it Matters:
Your spinal column has 24 moveable bones with spinal discs between each pair. Each disc acts like a
small swivel to allow your body to tilt and rotate.
A disc’s inner layer is mostly made up of water, and that high water content helps keep it supple and
moveable. However, as you get older, your discs tend to lose their high water content, which can lead to
degeneration.
Degenerative discs don’t move as well, are more prone to cause pain, and even contribute to the
compression of your spinal nerves.
Next Steps:
Movement is one of the best ways to keep your spinal discs healthy.
Since the spinal discs don’t have a particularly good blood supply, movement is how they bring in
nutrients. Those nutrients help the discs stay healthy and push out waste that can contribute to pain and
inflammation.
If your neck or back hurts, let us know! We’ll help get your spinals discs moving and working together
better so you get your life back from pain!
Science Source(s):
Intervertebral Disc: Anatomy-Physiology – Pathophysiology -Treatment. Pain Practice. 2000

Categories
Fitness

How To Improve: Body Health- In 3 Easy Steps

So many people in the United States and throughout the world have pain in the neck and low back. The problem is that for the majority of us in our younger years we get away with focusing on exercise only and don’t learn how to take care of our bodies in the correct way. When you are in gym class they do a good job of starting with stretching first and then you are allowed to compete in games or do sport. This is an important and fundamental building block in body health that is often overlooked.

In my practice (located in Monroe, MI) I specialize in Atlas Orthogonal chiropractic. This type of chiropractic is specific to realigning the head on the neck and then helping the rest of the body to naturally fall into the alignment that we were born with. Remember health is your birth right.

I would like everyone to understand something that is very important. I cannot stretch or exercise for you!

I know it would be great if we could have another people accomplish tasks that we find boring or mundane. The reality is that we must do this on our own and on a regular basis. If you are not stretching or exercising on your own then you are missing our on very key parts in the total body wellness system.

Stretch

Stretching is for the different regions of the body.

Neck

Shoulder

Arms

Low Back

Legs

Stretching will help to keep the tendons and muscles lose and freely moving. When these become tight they pull on the joints and cause aches and pains.

Joints

Chiropractors help with the joints. We work on the joints to increase mobility and improve the structure. When you have properly gliding/moving joints then you will experience less aches and pains.

The decrease in aches and pains will help you to move through your stretches and exercises. Sometimes this the first step that is very important in order to get the person moving in the right direction.

If a joint has been immobilized for a long period of time then it can cause degeneration.

Chiropractic cannot always help, especially if a joint is very degenerated and the person needs surgery.

Exercise

Exercise is a total body modality that works to strengthen the muscles and keep the spine in alignment after adjustment.

If the tendons are lose enough that they are not pulling on the joints in the wrong way and the muscles are strong then you will have a very well functioning body.

The important part to remember is that you must work on all three body systems in order to improve joint aches and pains. There is nothing that substitutes for your own work.

Categories
Health

Atlas Orthogonal Patient Manual

Welcome!

Congratulations on starting your journey to health.  We are so excited that you have decided to delve into the realm of spinal health and expressing true wellness.

The spine has been neglected for too many years in mainstream medicine and we are here to remedy that problem.

Many people have experienced issues related to their spine and nerves without even realizing. 

  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Weakness
  • Stabbing Pain
  • Shooting Pain
  • Dull/ Aches
  • Changes in temperature, vibration
  • Migraines
  • Headaches

All of these are symptoms having to do with pressure on the nerves as they relate to the spine. 

The function of the vertebral column/spinal column is to act as a moveable protective encasement for the very delicate central nervous system. 

Central Nervous System– Brain and Spinal Cord

Peripheral Nervous System– Nerves after they have exited the spine and are in route to organs, muscles, and joints

The brain obviously has the best protection of all with the skull.

Spinal Degeneration

Even though the spine is made to protect the spinal cord and nerves sometimes things don’t go as planned.

Falls, accidents, and injuries can damage the ligaments that hold the bones together.

Each vertebra connects to other vertebrae through an interlocking mechanism and maintain movement by strong ligaments that hold the whole structure together as we bend, rotate, and move through life.

When we have a fall, accident, or injury we damage the ligaments that hold the vertebrae together.  Unfortunately, ligaments do not have good healing properties.  This means that when we damage them, they tend to stay somewhat damaged.

There are new regenerative medicines such as prolotherapy, and stem cell therapy. 

Regenerative Medicine

  • Attempts to heal tissues that are otherwise hard to heal
  • Prolotherapy – injections into the ligaments using ozone or glucose solution
  • Stem Cell Therapy- Injections into the ligaments using stem cells from your own body

Most of the time the body can heal itself from injuries; however, sometimes the body needs help and that’s where atlas orthogonal comes in. 

The most moveable bone in the body is the atlas bone and it connects to the skull via very tiny mounds on the bottom of the skull called condyles and to the rest of the spine via the axis bone

Accidents, injuries, micro traumas will cause the bones to ‘subluxate’ which is when they move out of alignment in such a way that they cannot get back into alignment.

Once the atlas and axis move out of alignment, they cause the rest of the spine to move out of alignment. The problem is when we let this sit there for years and years.  So, it’s pretty easy to understand that the longer it’s been out of place you are more likely to be in a later stage of degeneration.

Phase 1:  5-10 years

Phase 2:  10-15 years

Phase 3: 15-20 years

Phase 4: 20 + years

Atlas Orthogonal Treatment

Atlas orthogonal treatment cannot reverse the process of aging.  Unfortunately, science in general has not found a way to reverse the aging process in the spine.

This treatment is designed to realign the top two bones also called the cranio cervical junction. 

After your first or second treatment we will take a post film to check your progress.  This post film should show improvement from the original misalignment.

At this point, we will know if the ‘formula’ that we have derived from your x-rays is going to work for you. 

If there is not a marked improvement in the atlas bone at this step then we will re-calculate your atlas formula based on the changes between the pre and post film and attempt re-alignment again.

How long does this take?

Great question and that mostly depends on you.

This is a program that you must take seriously. The amount of effort that you put forth with determine the level of success you achieve. I will lay out some very simple but strict ground rules for you to follow and they must be maintained.

  1. No slouching – maintain good upright posture and make this a habit over the next 90 days.
  2. For every inch your head moves forward that multiplies the weight of the head on the neck, so if your head is one inch forward that will cause an extra 10-15 pounds on the next, if you head is two inches forward then that will cause an extra 30 lbs on the neck
  3. The same is also true for the low back but instead of 10-15 lbs were talking about an extra 50-60lbs on the low back. More if you are overweight or obese
  4. Sleep on your back or side. If you cannot commit to side or back sleeping then we recommend you do not start the program.  Stomach sleeping leads to premature again of the spine due to the extreme stress the neck is under while you are unconscious.  Stomach sleeping will lead to many many problems and it will immediately throw your adjustment out of alignment.
  5. No rollercoasters, no atvs, no extreme sports or activities. During the initial 90 days of treatment it is advisable that you do not participate in any activity that may lead to whiplash as this is damaging to the ligaments in the cervical spine, which we are trying to heal. It is recommended that you look at this period of time as one of healing. Pretend as if you have had neck surgery and try to move and operate from this mentality.  Would you go on a rollercoaster after having neck surgery? I don’t think so, so why would you now?
  6. Proper nutrition- what you eat affects so much of your body.  You need proper amount of good carbohydrates, good fats, and good protein.  Eat as much as you can organically and fresh farm food. Stay away from commercially grown produce, processed foods, caffeine, alcohol and other foods that are harmful to your health. 
  7. Remember you are trying to heal your body and this means giving your body healthy building blocks for growth.
  8. Rest- your body heals while you are sleeping. 8-10 hours of sleep is necessary for a healthy body. Remember to get to sleep early and to turn off electronics 3 hours before going to bed.
  9. Shift workers- do your best, turn off electronics, use blocking shades for the sun and support your body with good food and water
  10. Avoid sugar, flour, carbonated beverages, soda, and all other items that are not condusive to a healthy body
  11. Eat in moderation. Remember that your body can only handle so much at any one time.  Only provide what your body can handle.  If you are burping a lot that means you are eating too fast and consuming air with your food. SLOW DOWN.  Eat slowly, mindfully and listen when your body tells you are full.
  12. Learn to garden- no matter your living situation you can begin to garden.  There are gardening guides for apartments, townhomes, and homes, find your niche.  Herbs are a great way to start and they have many benefits to supply. Herbs are very medicinal and soothing to the body.

Exercise

For the first 90 days it is advisable to stay away from heavy lifting due to the fact that most people at some point have over developed some muscles due to their structural imbalances

Allowing muscle mass is reduce during the initial 90 days helps to reset the body and prepare for regrowth

The body needs a physiological rest during your healing phase, meaning that we need to allow the body to take a break and focus on what’s most important- healing your spine. If your body is in a state of constant physical stress with exercise then you will not be able to use your valuable resources on healing your body.

After your first 30 days in the program, the doctor may give you specific exercises to work on to help with certain weak areas

In general most people have very tight hamstrings and very weak gluteal muscles so it is recommended that people

Squat daily at least 25 times in the am and pm – do it while brushing your teeth and watch yourself in the mirror to maintain good posture

Bend down and try to touch your toes for 2 minutes every day

Standing doorway stretch for pectoralis muscles- stand with your arms in the door way and lean forward in order to stretch your pecs

Chin tucks- the chin muscles are often the most neglected muscles in the neck and lead to sagging ‘turkey neck’ every day you must chin tuck for at least 2 minutes a day to strengthen these muscles and this will help to relax the back of the neck muscles

Walking everyday is the best way to get cardiovascular exercise without damaging the spinal alignment until postural muscles strengthen

Nutrition

Water- you must drink ½ your body weight in ounces every day that means that you must drink 100 ounces of water every day if you are 200 pounds

No snacking at night before bed.  Stop eating at least 1 hour before bed

Chew your food 30 times before swallowing

Eat whole foods such as vegetables, fruit, organic meat and wild caught seafood

Stay away from packaged foods including breads, rices, grains, sugars, added sugars such as fructose, high fructose corn syrup, candies, sugary beverages, alcohol

Inflammation

So many people are inflamed systemically in their bodies due to poor dietary choices

Curcumin in turmeric

Green tea

Supplements

Vitamin D3 / K2

Melatonin

Omega 3, 6 essential fatty acids

Vitamin Bs – all of them

Alcohol

None

If you’re going to have some then organic red wine or clear potato based vodka- lower in sugar, no gluten, and less chance of toxic damage

Screen time

Get off your cell-phone at night

And ipad

And computer

You should not be looking down at your cell phone or ipad at any time of the day with your head held down – this puts a tremendous amount of strain on your body

Also stop using electronics 3 hours before bed