One common complaint in just about every Chiropractic clinic is that of the dreaded “Sciatica.” Contrary to many people’s beliefs “Sciatica” is not a diagnosis but rather a symptom. Sciatica simply means that someone is experiencing pain or discomfort in their back and leg. The question that the clinician must answer is always; “why is this happening?” Scatica can be the result of a few different diagnoses. It could be the result of a nerve being pinched by a disc herniation, it could be the result of arthritis, or quite commonly it is caused by tight muscles in the back, glutes and hips.
So what is “Piriformis Syndrome” and what does it have to do with sciatica? One common cause of sciatic nerve impingement is the piriformis muscle. This muscle lies deep to your glutes and works as and external rotator of the leg. In majority of people the sciatic nerve passes underneath the piriformis muscle, however in some the nerve passes through the muscle making it more susceptible to impingment. Most patients presenting with this condition complain mainly of deep, dull gluteal pain. This can also be experienced as burning and tingling in the leg which is noted by many people depending on position. One of the main causes of piriformis symdrome is poor biomechanics of the pelvis and spine. This could be due to muscle imbalances, poor posture, or simply an increase in training intensity or change in terrain. When the muscle becomes too tight, it spasms compressing the neve causing you pain!
Runners pay attention, this is one of the most common problems runners present with in my office! Why? Running is very linear, relying mostly on the glute maximus for hip extension and the quads for hip flexion. This means that the glute maximus will often develop trigger points causing spasms which will compress the prirformis muscle.
A few tips for prevention:
- Your body is like a high peformance car, it is very in-tune and even the smallest deviation can cause major problems. See a Chiropractic Physician! Poor biomechanics will always lead to issues.
- Warm-up before your work-out’s with light jogging or walking.
- Stretch your hamstrings, calves, and glutes
Think you may have Piriformis Sydrome ? We have successfully helped many runner’s and athletes with this condition. Give us a call! (781) 460-0939
It’s that time of the year again. Many kids and teens are gearing up to go back to school. For many people that will mean a decrease in activity compared to their summer schedule. This decrease in activity level and increase in time sitting can cause problems with the muscles and joints of the back and neck, throw in a back pack that is too heavy and not properly fitted and you will have one unhappy back! Follow these tips below and stay healthy and pain-free this school year.
1.) Do not buy a backpack that is too large. A medium sized back pack is recommended. This will help to avoid over-loading.
2.) Be sure that the your back pack is tight to the back. It should not hang more than a few inches below the waist line.
3.) Be sure to wear both shoulder straps. This will evenly distribute the weight throughout your body lessening the load on your back.
4.) Load the heaviest books into your backpack first, keeping them closest to your back.
5.) Have your posture checked by a Chiropractic Physician to ensure that your muscles and joints are functioning appropriately.
The bench press is a great way to build strength and power. The problem is, even when done correctly a serious injury is possible and some in some cases likely. Read below to find out why.
The shoulder is one of two ball and socket joints in your body (your hip being the other). This means that the joint is capable of going through 360 degrees of motion (think of a golf ball sitting on a golf tee, that’s your shoulder.) If you can picture that analogy, you can see how the shoulder is an inherently unstable joint.
What does all this have to do with the bench press? Theoretically, If you have balanced, symmetrical shoulders you are less likely to have a serious injury. This does not include the majority, however. If you look around the room right now you will likely see many people slumped over their phones, shoulders and head forward. This rounded shoulder posture unfortunately represents many of us to some degree. With the shoulders pulled forward there is insufficient room for the rotator cuff muscles to pass under the acromion, leading to an impingment, or possible tear. Bio-mechanically, the barbell bench press fails from the get go. In a barbell bench press your shoulders are fixed in one plane (due to the bar), this means that your body cannot even compensate to avoid impingement. That pain you feel in your shoulder during the movement, don’t ignore it!
If you love to bench here are a few recommendations that will help you avoid injury, and actually get stronger!
- Get adjusted! majority of us lack extension in our back, this motion is necessary to avoid shoulder impingement.
- Try starting out with some light, high repetition pectoral fly’s. This will allow for a more dynamic warm-up, stretching and activating the muscles.
- Stretch your pecs regularly
- Strengthen your back using exercises like the seated row.
- Avoid barbell shrugs
If you are experiencing shoulder pain don’t wait, call or schedule online now: (781) 460-0939
We have all been there, the previous months have some how slipped away and now you have only a few weeks before your beach vacation that you were hoping you would be 10 lbs lighter for. For many people this may mean a diet of chicken, lettuce, and water for the next few weeks in order to lean out. The problem is, the calories consumed in the aftermath will likely cause you to gain twice the weight back, not to mention wrecking your metabolism! This method is not sustainable and will lead to “yo-yo dieting.”
Looking to drop a few pounds fast, the healthy way? Try skipping breakfast. Yes, skip breakfast. For many years we have all been told that breakfast is the “most important meal of of the day”, however recent research has suggested skipping a meal such as breakfast could have many positive health benefits, including weight-loss! The idea is better known as “fasting.” Fasting is the idea that you do not consume any calories for a period of time. Research has indicated that fasting any where from 15-24 hours may actually jump start the metabolism, allowing your body to burn more body fat, naturally! Sounds good, right? If you are interested in learning more I have a more detailed post on intermittent fasting here.
If you are interested in learning more about Fasting, or would like to set-up a consultation to develop an eating plan that works for you, we can help. Click Here to schedule a consultation.
I hear it every day; ” I thought all you guys work on is backs.” It is a very common misconception that all chiropractic is good for is back pain. While we are now the recommended treatment for chronic back pain by the AMA, chiropractic is effective in treating many other musculoskeletal disorders. Chiropractors are musculoskeletal specialists, trained in the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal and nervous system disorders. Unlike medical doctors whom have a variety of different training, Chiropractic Physicians undergo 4 years of specific training in the anatomy of joints, muscles, and body biomechanics.
That being said, we have a plethora of knowledge on more that just the spine! Check out these 3 very common conditions below that Chiropractic commonly treats:
Headaches- Much research has been done on chiropractic care’s (spinal manipulation in particular) effect on headaches. Headaches can occur for many reasons, your Chiropractic Physician will complete an examination and determine the cause of your headaches before recommending treatment. Chiropractic care is specifically touted in the treatment ofTension (Cervicogenic) Headaches.It has been estimated that as many as 80% of common head aches are Tension (Cervicogenic) Headaches. These headaches are characterized by tightness in the neck, upper back, and head.Characteristically settling on the sides and front of the head after a long day.
Carpal Tunnel- Carpal Tunnel is a common condition that affects nerves in the neck, hands and wrist. In particular the median nerve is effected, which originates from the cervical spine. Often times, tight muscles, known as trigger points can be the cause of the characteristic hand and wrist pain. By freeing the joints and muscles around the nerve this may serve to lessen the pain and improve function.
Vertigo and Balance- Chiropractic Physicians are experts of the muscles and joints. Inside and around your joints aremechanoreceptors. These sensory receptors respond mechanical pressure (touch, vibration, etc.) and they are responsible for regulating proprioception. Proprioception allows you to know where your body is in space (balance!) There is much research that shows positive effects with spinal manipulation and increased proprioception and balance.
Initially, most patients present to my office due to pain. Whether it be shoulder shoulder pain, back pain, knee pain or the like. The first thing that most people want to know is logically ,“how long until I am better?” While this is not a clear cut answer, most patients are symptom free within a few visits. If you have read my blog before you know that I am a firm believer that posture has a lot to do with many sports injuries. While on their quest to be pain free many patients begin to notice improvements in range of motion, coordination, and of course posture. I am sure many of you have heard the stigma “once you go to chiropractor you have to keep going.” While you don’t have to do anything, most will continue care periodically for “tune-ups” or what many people will call “maintenance” in order to keep your problems away and keep you feeling and performing your best.
So what is maintenance, exactly? It may seem cliche to compare yourself to a car but the analogy actually is quite appropriate. Many patients initially present frustrated, stressed, or just plain mad that they cannot do what they want to do. The truth is, many problems can be prevented from occurring just by taking better care of your body!
Imagine, if you were to never get the oil changed in your car? How long do you think it would run, or run well for that matter? Much like a car your body is composed of a many parts that work together to accomplish a task. Joint and muscle imbalances interfere with your bodies mechanics leading to declines in range of motion, and even coordination leading to eventual injury. Much like a car, pain is your bodies check engine light. Left untreated, that nag that you feel while sitting at your desk can turn into a much bigger problem.
If you are experiencing discomfort now think of that as you “check engine” light. Taking care of your body is a must; unlike a car you only get one! An ounce of preventative maintenance goes a long way. Most importantly it will keep you on the road, performing at your best!
Call or schedule online today, and stay high performance!
How many of you have a nagging injury that seems to flare-up from time to time but has not been bad enough to actually do something about it?
Statistically, many people are injured being active every year. Many of you likely have desk jobs, or jobs that cause you to be seated most of the day. You may of even noticed that after you began your post-college career you began to experience discomfort in your neck, back, or shoulders. If you thought there might be a correlation you are most likely correct, your job could actually be bad for your health!
It turns out, many people have postural issues that predispose them to sports injuries. In fact, while sports are often blamed for injuries, many times it is something that we are doing everyday that has likely triggered a problem allowing the injury to happen. If all of the muscles and joints were functioning properly this injury would of been much less likely to occur.
Chiropractic Physicians are experts of the musculoskeletal system. Much of what we do is try to restore “normalcy” to the body. With chronic postural changes impingments, tendonitis, and tears are more likely to occur. The longer these muscle and joint imbalances are left untreated, the more likely they are to lead to injury. If you are experiencing discomfort, don’t wait. Make the change now, prevent the likelihood of an injury. Your body will thank you!
It’s no secret that low back pain is the leading cause of disability. Keeping a lot of us not only out of work, but on the side lines of life as well. In fact, it is one of the most common reasons for missed work. Statistically, it has been estimated that more that 30 million people are effected by back pain at any given time. Low back pain is also one of the most common reasons for a visit to a doctor’s office. Many patients however are frustrated when their PCP seems unsure. The truth is, most primary care medical doctors have little training in the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal conditions (admittedly). This leaves many patients dissatisfied with the outcome.
Board Certified Chiropractic Physicians are portal of entry providers that have undergone 4 years of musculoskeletal specific medical training in order to diagnose, treat, and manage conditions of the muscles and joints. A Chiropractor will be able to diagnose, make recommendations, and treat the specific cause of your problem, instead of masking it with medications. Majority of low back pain is mechanical in nature, meaning it is caused by tight muscles and joints. A Chiropractor will mobilize the joints, stretch the muscles, and correct the movement. You will quickly notice relief that will last. The leads to improved over-all outcomes, higher patient satisfaction, and most importantly keeps you moving!
If you or someone you know is experiencing back pain, don’t wait call or schedule online today!
With the summer months upon us, many of us are dusting off the clubs and hitting the links for the first time in a few months. For many of us, this is the most activity we have had in months! This can be a recipe for disaster (especially if you are holding on to a few of those winter lbs).
Statistically, many golfers suffer from lower back pain. Injuries such as golfers elbow, and tendonitis, are often compensation injuries due to a back problem.Why? Golf is a sport that requires great skill and technique, but alsomobility. The harmonious interaction of joints and muscles that must take place in order to accomplish a successful swing can be a lot for the deconditioned body to take on. This combination of deconditioning and poor mobility will eventually lead to an injury. Golfers on the PGA tour routinely undergo chiropractic visits to restore their mobility, and flexibility.
How Can Chiropractic Help? It has been estimated that over 50% of golfers on the PGA tour routinely undergo chiropractic visits to restore their mobility, and flexibility improving their game and lessening a chance for injury. As a Board Certified Chiropractic Physician I am an expert of the musculoskeletal system, and body biomechanics. Like a car, each component of your body works together to function. When all of the parts (joints and muscles) in your body are not moving the way they are suppose to, you are going to have compensations with adjacent structures. This compensation is what will lead to Injuries such as lower back pain, golfers elbow, tendonitis, and rotator cuff problems. By restoring normal movement to the joints and muscles your body will be able to function at it’s best. Most importantly, restoring normal joint movement will limit compensation injuries keeping you healthy and feeling your best!
Contact us today to see how we can help improve your game!
This weeks blog post is inspired by a question I get frequently. “What exercises should I avoid for my shoulder?”Shoulder injuries are extremely prevalent in an athletic population. I would bet everyone knows someone who deals with chronic shoulder pain. Often times, the exercises we are doing can aggravate that condition making it worse, and more likely to undergo a more serious injury such as a tear.
What makes shoulder injuries so common? First off, the shoulder and the hip joint are two of the most mobile joints in your body, allowing for all ranges of motion. This also means that they can be quite unstable in many people. Much of this instability comes from muscle imbalances from poor, or improper posture. The forward drawn, rounded back posture wreaks havoc on your shoulders. The space needed for the rotator cuff muscles to pass through the subacromial space becomes too small, leading to friction, tendonitis, and eventually a tear. Whats more, the rounded shoulders locks down the joints in your neck and back. Since the scapula sits on the thoracic cage there is a direct correlation. With no extension present in you thoracic spine it is impossible for you to raise your arm above your head impingement free. Certain gym exercises can exacerbate this problem making it more likely for you to be seriously injured.
Avoid these 3 exercises and increase the health and longevity of your shoulders:
1.) Flat Barbell Bench Press: Many people with shoulder injuries find that they have more pain when doing chest press than shoulder press. Barbell bench press is an unatural movement and for those with tight, immobile shoulders can lead to a serious injury.
2.) Smith Machine Shoulder Press: Since the bar is set on a fixed path it leaves no variability for changes in movement which will cause potential compression of the shoulder tendons.
3.) Barbell Shrugs: Many people have developed rounded shoulders due to lifestyle as discussed above. carrying any amount of weight in front of your body is only going to further contribute to compression leading to injury.
We have helped many people recover from shoulder injuries. If you are experiencing pain in your shoulder don’t wait, call or schedule online today: (781) 460-0939