Eagan Chiropractor describes intermediate neck exercise

Here is a simple exercise that you can do at home with no exercise equipment.
It works the longus capitis, longus colli, SCM (sternocleidomastoid) muscles.
The purpose of this exercise is to increase neck strength and muscular endurance.
The benefits are improved stability, functional strength and injury prevention.

Begin by lying on the back with the head extended off the table, maintaining a chin tuck position.
Slowly extend the head back towards the floor and then raise the head, returning to the initial neutral starting position and repeat as instructed.
Move slowly through the range of motion.
Slowly return to start position.
Repeat for prescribed repetitions and sets.

© 2005-2010 WebExercises, Inc., Patent Pending, All Rights Reserved.

Ergonomics and Employee Productivity

020614-N-0552D-001Ergonomics has become a very popular field, which deals with designing suitable furniture, which is comfortable for individuals, both at home and in the office environment. The absence of ergonomically fit furniture and surroundings, results in different muscular problems in individuals like back pain, neck ache, strains, and carpal tunnel syndrome. Chiropractors provide treatment for alleviating the pain caused because of engaging in strenuous activities throughout the day.

How Is Employee Productivity Linked To Ergonomics?

Ergonomics or human factors, focuses on designing furniture and workplaces, so as to ensure convenience and ease for individuals, both at home and at the office. An ergonomically fit work environment is designed to ensure, that the working stations and the furniture used, are in accordance with the industry standards. It facilitates the functioning and activity of employees, engaged in work at the computer or at the factory floor.

Employees working in an environment, in which the work spaces and the computer equipment are stationed within easy reach, and do not cause any strain, will remain fit and healthy, resulting in efficient productivity. A considerable percentage of employees, contract different muscular pains and strains, which affects their work efficiency. In cases of extreme pain, sometimes individuals have to take time off from work in order to regain enough fitness to resume work.

Benefits of Ergonomically Fit Surroundings

An office having a work station and space, specifically designed keeping in mind the ergonomic standards prevalent in the industry, facilitates the factory workers and office employees in performing their duties efficiently and on time. This improves the overall productivity, resulting in increasing profits for the business.

By designing a safe and ergonomically fit factory production site, companies can ensure minimum accidents and absences of workers. The suitably designed production lines, with the appropriate equipment, increase productivity and worker efficiency, and reduce the wastes to a minimum.

The correct usage of lights and space in the workplace improves productivity and minimizes errors, which results in high job satisfaction.

An ergonomically fit work place is not only convenient for the employees and workers, but it also benefits the business by improving the productivity levels of the company. The improved morale and work efficiency of the employees, increases job satisfaction, and also minimizes the risk of accidents and muscular strains, caused because of inconveniently and unsuitably designed work places. Chiropractors provide treatment to employees suffering from various muscular strains and pains, contracted while working in an office.

Image Used under Creative Commons license. Photo Credit: US Navy 020614-N-0552D-001 SPAWAR award winning employee.jpg

Eagan Chiropractor shares ankle exercises for beginners.

Here is a simple exercise that you can do at home with no equipment.
It works the peroneus longus/brevis, tibialis anterior, tibialis posterior, gastrocnemius, soleus muscles.
The purpose of this exercise is to improve muscular endurance, ankle strength, and proprioception.
By doing this exercise you can have the benefits of Improved stability, functional strength and injury prevention.


Begin seated in a chair with good posture.
Extend leg.
Attempt to write alphabet from A through Z with toes, moving ankle in all directions.
Repeat for prescribed sets.

© 2005-2010 WebExercises, Inc., Patent Pending, All Rights Reserved.

Computer Ergonomics

images (18)Ergonomics is a field which is fast becoming popular, because of its focus on designing and providing working spaces and stations, suitable and convenient for humans. The need for ergonomically fit furniture and work environment has become tenfold, because of the highly competitive and stressful work requirements in the industry these days. Absence of ergonomics at work and home puts strain on individuals and they tire out easily. The different muscular pains and strains contracted because of a stressful working environment are treated efficiently by chiropractors.

Computer and Ergonomics

Many individuals spend a major portion of their day working on computers in the office or at home. The long hours spent in front of computers and laptops have a harmful effect on the physical health of an individual, causing different musculoskeletal disorders.

Such individuals run a high risk of contracting back aches, neck pains, shoulder and arm aches and carpal tunnel problems. These medical conditions are very painful and hamper the work of the individual, both at home and in the office.

Ergonomically designed furniture and working environments are specifically constructed with an eye to provide a suitable and stress free work surrounding to individuals, which minimizes the risk of contracting various muscular strains, which ultimately affect the efficiency of an individual.

Individuals experience physical strains, while working on computers, because of their negligence in maintaining a suitable body posture, which results in pains in the back, neck and shoulders. Computers need to be placed in a suitable way to facilitate working, without any strain.

Different musculoskeletal disorders are contracted by individuals, who work on computers and laptops, for long periods of time, without ergonomically fit desk spaces and laptop stands. Computers and laptops need to be positioned according to the ergonomics specified guidelines, in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle and body posture.

The absence of ergonomically designed computer desk spaces and furniture, results in different painful medical conditions, like:

Carpal Tunnel: The median nerve in the wrist contracts, due to over exertion, which results in a tingling and sometimes numb sensation in the thumb, index and ring finger. In extreme cases, the patient experiences great pain and swelling which requires a few weeks of healing time.

Repetitive Strain Injury: Caused by repeated tasks and forceful exertions, in which the body experiences pain in the back, neck and shoulder area. In some cases, this might also affect the legs and thighs of an individual.

Bursitis: It is a condition which involves the inflammation of the bursa, a sac filled with lubricating fluid which facilitates in movement. It is a very painful condition for the affected individual.

By using ergonomically fit furniture and computer desk spaces, individuals can reduce the risk of contracting different painful strains and muscular disorders. Chiropractors provide effective treatments to the individuals suffering from different musculoskeletal problems.

Image used under Creative Commons Licensing: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.png

Causes of Back Pain

Back pain may occur due to various reasons; be it a sports injury, pulling a heavy object or a fall/ injury to the spine. If you are suffering from back pain, it would be wise to have a look at some of the common risk factors and causes of back pain by consulting a Chiropractor.

Risk Factors

The risk of back pain varies in different individuals, depending on their lifestyle. People who work in a mentally stressful job, smoke or go through strenuous physical work are more susceptible to back pain than those who don’t. Other factors such as pregnancy, anxiety, depression and obesity can also lead to this condition. Age is also a factor, as older individuals are at a higher risk than younger ones.

Causes Of Back Pain

 

Strain

The most common cause of back pain is strained muscles and ligaments, which may be a result of lifting something heavy or a sudden awkward movement. It can also be caused by improper posture due to a bad mattress or sitting position.

Structural Problems

The human body is a complex structure composed of bones, muscle, ligaments and joints. A fault in any of these can cause numerous problems, including back pain. Some particular structural problems that may affect the back are as follows:

Arthritis

Arthritis can cause various joint problems in the hips and lower back.

Bulging And Ruptured Disks

The vertebra in our spine is cushioned by a disk, so a ruptured disk would result in more pressure on the nerves, resulting in back aches. A bulging disk would put even more pressure on the nerves.

Sciatica

A bulging disk can also press on a nerve in the spine, causing a shooting pain through the buttocks and down the legs.

Curvature Of The Spine

An unnatural curvature of the spine can cause the space around the spinal cord to narrow, causing back pains.

Osteoporosis

A vertebra fracture can be caused by the bones becoming more brittle.

Conditions, There are also some conditions which may cause back pains.

Spinal Cancer

A growth or tumor on the spine may press against a nerve.

Infections

Infection on the nerves (shingles) and spine may also cause pains.

Cauda Equine Syndrome

The growth of nerve roots at the bottom of the spinal cord can cause a dull pain, as well as lack of feeling in the upper buttocks.

Types of Diets Recommended by Chiropractors

4846334195_77c3c91886_oChiropractic Care gives great importance to a healthy and balanced diet.  A lot of ailments and diseases can be avoided just by adhering to a proper diet.  A good diet can help a person to lead a long, healthy life, control weight, blood pressure and heart rate.

It is a fact that Americans are overfed, while being undernourished.  Scores of fast food chains have made unhealthy eating habits a part of the American lifestyle.  Such high cholesterol foods coupled with a sedentary lifestyle can lead to obesity.  With obesity come a lot of complications including heart diseases and blood pressure problems.

There is no doubt that a well-balanced diet consists of a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, a reduction in caffeine intake and saturated fats.

A chiropractor may recommend one of the following diets based on your body’s needs:

High Protein Diet

A high protein diet is recommended for those who aim to build muscles without accumulating too much fat. High protein foods include:

  • Turkey breast
  • Fish
  • Cheese (low fat varieties)
  • Beef (low fat)
  • Tofu
  • Beans
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Nuts

Heart-Healthy Diet

A heart healthy diet usually consists of a lot of vegetables and fruits along with large intakes of whole grains.  It may also contain low-fat meats, including fish and poultry. Special emphasis should be given to fish as it is a very healthy source of protein, Omega 3 and little fat.

Following combination of fruits and vegetables are extremely nutritious and a healthy choice for heart-healthy dieters:

  • Pineapples
  • Broccoli
  • Tomatoes
  • Blueberries
  • Watermelon
  • Oranges

Vegetarian Diet

A vegetarian diet can be recommended for those who prefer to lead a meat-free lifestyle, for whatever the reason.  Several types of diets are based on vegetarianism:

Lacto-Vegetarian: These diets include no meat of any kind or eggs.  However they do include dairy products like butter, milk, cheese and yogurt.

Ovo -Vegetarian: This diet contains no red meat, seafood, poultry or even dairy products, however it does include eggs.

Vegan: The strictest of all, excludes all meats, fish, eggs and dairy products.

Flexitarian: As its name implies, this diet is flexible. It mainly consists of vegetables and fruits, with occasional consumption of meat, fish or poultry.

No matter which diet is recommended by a chiropractor or dietician, a balanced lifestyle that includes plenty of activities can go a long way in extending the life of a person.

 

Image Used under Creative Commons license. Photo Credit: Blueberry Maple Quinoa by SweetonVeg

Non-Specific Neck Pain and Chiropractic

images (5)What is Non Specific Neck Pain?

Everyone feels a certain amount of pain in the neck at some point in their life. There might be a sudden onset of sharp pain where you find yourself massaging your neck and wondering what exactly caused the sudden stinging neck pain.  Mostly the underlying cause is not a disease or a degenerative story; rather it is either bad posture or prolonged strain to the neck.

Symptoms of Non-Specific Neck Pain

Always remember that your neck supplies nerves to the shoulders, arms and hands. This means that any disruption in the neck can cause an equal amount of disruption in the areas that it transfers messages to. Analogically, when a route becomes dysfunctional on the road, it affects every trade that takes place via that route.

With stiffness in the neck, the pain is carried along to the aforementioned parts and can cause weakness, numbness and the like. These symptoms can hamper your everyday functioning. When the passageway for nerves is irritated, the messages carried forward to other parts of the body are distorted with painful signals. Hence, even though non-specific in nature, neck pain requires special attention.

Dealing with the Issue

Wondering why you should visit a chiropractic practitioner for a condition that is harmless? Well. The answer is that such sudden onset of pain can be dealt with under this practice. Under chiropractics, the purpose is not alleviation of neck pain but also providing guidance for preventing neck pain in future. The fact that posture and pain in neck are well connected in nature, your doctor can guide you to maintaining a good posture which will protect you against non specific neck pain.

Without the use of medicine, you can quickly be on the road to recovery with this method.  Utilizing the techniques of spine manipulation, a chiropractic practitioner will first locate the area of concern followed by a careful application of force on the spinal joints.

Why a Chiropractic Practitioner?

Several people believe that chiropractic is a pseudoscience and does not result in successful healing of your neck pain. On the contrary these doctors, if they feel you need attention from doctor with a different medical background, will recommend you further to another professional for proper treatment. Additionally, these doctors make you undergo thorough examinations before application of any spine related techniques.

Image used under Creative Commons Licensing: sore neck? by Aidan Jones

Types of Back pain

Posterior_view_of_lumbar_region_for_electrostimulation_electrode_placementAs any good chiropractor would tell you, there is no single cause of back pain. This is because back pain can occur due to various reasons, and affect different areas. It is important that you have an understanding of the nature of your ailment before going to the chiropractor for treatment.

Location Of The Pain

Back pain is classified in two categories, depending on where the pain occurs.

Upper Back Pain

Pain in the upper back, shoulders or neck is termed as upper back pain. There can be certain causes of upper back pain, such as stretched tendons or damaged ligaments due to strenuous physical work. Upper back pains aren’t as common as lower back pains, and can be treated by taking pain relievers such as Paracetamol or by visiting a Chiropractor.

Lower Back Pain

Like the name suggests, lower back pains are directed at the base of the back, and occur due to the overstretching of muscles in the lower back or direct injury to that area. This pain can be caused by a variety of reasons, such as lifting something heavy or bending in an awkward position. Treatment for lower back pains is the same as for upper back pains.

Duration Of The Pain

Besides location, pain can also be classified according to duration.

Acute Back Pain

A short term pain, lasting from a few days to weeks, is called an acute back pain. There may be numerous causes of this pain, the most common being blunt trauma caused by Ankylosing spondilytis, arthritis or other medical conditions.

The symptoms of this pain can range from muscular aches and incorrect posture to shooting pains in the buttocks and back of the legs. Acute back pain can lead to serious problems, but is generally harmless, and most people tend to let it heal itself.

Chronic Back Pain

If the pain lasts for more than 3 months, it is termed as chronic back pain. The cause of chronic back pain can rarely be determined without the help of a Chiropractor or other medical professional. This long term pain gets progressively worse with time; immediate treatment is necessary to prevent further complications.

Now that you know what type of back pain you suffer from, you can act on them by looking up for home treatments online, or doing exercises which may stimulate the back. It is also recommended that you visit your nearest chiropractor who could suggest you treatment options.

 

Image used under Creative Commons Licensing: Posterior view of lumbar region for electrostimulation electrode placement.jpg

Disc Injuries -Thoracic Disc Herniation and Chiropractors

290644114_fa50ce417aThe demanding activities and tasks at the workplace and the lifting of heavy objects at home, causes pain in the back and neck region of the body, which if not treated appropriately, can result in serious disc injuries. Thoracic spine herniation is a medical condition, for which chiropractic offers effective treatment methods.

What Is Thoracic Disc Herniation?

Thoracic disc herniation is a type of disc injury in which the upper back region of the body is affected and a tingling pain permeates throughout the affected area. In some cases, the patient might feel pain in his chest and rib cage, which might be because of the pressure exerted on the nerves in the area.

The thoracic spine of the body consists of 12 vertebra, referred to by doctors as T1 to T12. The thoracic spine begins at the base of the neck, and continues until the end of the rib cage, where the T12 vertebra joins with the first vertebra of the lumbar region.

Thoracic disc herniation is a medical condition caused by the bulging or swelling of the pulpous and nerve material, located in the center of the disc. The material squeezes out of its narrow space and becomes exposed. The pressure exerted by the disc on the exposed nerves causes extreme pain to the individual which hampers him in engaging in different everyday activities.

Disc generation is also a probable cause of thoracic disc herniation, as the disc experiences wear and tear due to age and strenuous usage. This medical condition is more likely to develop in individuals who are in the 40 to 60 year age bracket.

Medical professionals conduct MRI scans in order to determine that there is no pressure and damage to the spinal cord because of the degeneration of the disc. In extreme cases, where the herniated disc exerts pressure on the spinal cord and the nerves, an individual can even suffer from a paralysis in the lower region of the body.

If the disc herniation is more to the side, it might cause pressure or impingement on the nerve root, causing pain in the abdomen and chest walls. In other cases, the pressure on the nerves might cause a combination of different symptoms ranging from upper back pain to tingling sensations all down the spine.

Chiropractic and Disc Injuries

Chiropractic offer non-invasive treatment methods for different spine, neck and disc injuries. They provide services for joint adjustment and relief from various musculoskeletal disorders.  Chiropractic is gaining popularity for effective treatment of different painful muscle strains and disorders.

 

Image used under Creative Commons Licensing: the neck thing. ouch. no really…ouch! by Beth Punches

Back Pain – Being Prepared for Your First Visit to a Chiropractor

Folks are often faced with this dilemma: I feel discomfort in my back, but it’s probably nothing, right? It’ll just go away in a matter of days or weeks. I probably just need to rest more or eat better.

It’s true that a handful of back pain dilemmas arise from notably bad posture, a poor or inadequate diet, bad sleeping habits or even using bad form while exercising. Unfortunately, the average individual is not qualified to properly diagnose these problems, which can often prove to be fatal down the road.

It may be wise to consult a Chiropractor at this stage; an expert who can provide extensive knowhow and diagnoses into each and every kind of back-related issue. This article aims to prepare you somewhat, so you know some of the things to expect when you visit a Chiropractor for the first time.

In the event that your back pain turns out to be more serious than just symptoms of discomfort or overuse, here’s how a Chiropractor would generally diagnose causes:

Potentially Serious

This can range from conditions like tumors, infections, a local open wound or burn to major neurological problems such as cauda equina – a rare but serious condition nevertheless that’s best described as extreme pressure and swelling of the nerves at the lower tip of the spinal cord. This is considered a serious medical emergency and may need urgent surgical attention.

Other conditions in this category include prolonged internal bleeding and joint infection.

Nerve Problem

In cases where the nerve root in the lower back is compressed or pinched, you experience sciatica. One of the typical causes of this condition is a lumbar herniated disc or spinal stenosis – with age, the general makeup of the spine often changes, leading to degeneration of the bones, muscles, ligaments and discs surrounding the spinal cord. A common symptom of this condition is leg pain. This pain is often accompanied by a tingling sensation in the buttocks and legs.

Non-Specific

This can be categorized as “mechanical back pain” in the lumbar region; also known as axial back pain, this is categorized as either a sharp or dull pain and can be either felt intermittently or constantly. It’s referred to as mechanical since the lower back pain can get worse with certain physical movements such as sports. Or symptoms can worsen as a result of sitting long hours for example. This is also a common type of back pain and is typically non-specific.