Category Archives: Spine

6 Ways to Improve your Posture

Better Posture: 6 Ways to Straighten Up

Slumping your shoulders doesn’t just make you resemble one of our long-extinct ancestors—if you don’t stand up straight, no amount of exercise will give you the hot bod you’re after. Here’s why: Over time, poor posture takes a serious toll on your spine, shoulders, hips, and knees. In fact, it can cause a cascade of structural flaws that lead to back and joint pain, reduced flexibility, and compromised muscles, all of which limit your ability to burn fat and build strength. But you can head off all these problems by taking the simple self-test to the right, then using the exercises below to fix your form, soothe your pain, and get your curves moving in the right direction.

1 FORWARD HEAD
The problem Stiff muscles in the back of your neck
The fix Moving only your head, drop your chin down and in toward your sternum while stretching the back of your neck. Hold for a count of five; do this 10 times a day.

2 ROUNDED SHOULDERS
The problem Weakness in the middle and lower parts of your trapezius (the large muscle that spans your shoulders and back)
The fix Lie facedown on the floor, with each arm at a 90-degree angle in the high-five position. Without changing your elbow angle, raise both arms by pulling your shoulders back and squeezing your shoulder blades together. Hold for five seconds. That’s one rep; do two or three sets of 12 reps daily.

3 ANTERIOR PELVIC TILT
The problem Tight hip flexors
The fix Kneel on your left knee, with your right foot on the floor in front of you, knee bent. Press forward until you feel the stretch in your left hip. Tighten your butt muscles on your left side until you feel the front of your hip stretching comfortably. Reach upward with your left arm and stretch to the right side. Hold for a count of 30 seconds. That’s one repetition; do three on each side.

4 ELEVATED SHOULDER
The problem The muscle under your chest (running from your ribs to your shoulder blades) is weak.
The fix Sit upright in a chair with your hands next to your hips, palms down on the seat, arms straight. Without moving your arms, push down on the chair until your hips lift up off the seat and your torso rises. Hold for five seconds. That’s one repetition; do two or three sets of 12 reps daily.

5 PIGEON TOES
The problem Weak glutes (butt muscles)
The fix Lie on one side with your knees bent 90 degrees and your heels together. Keeping your hips still, raise your top knee upward, separating your knees like a clamshell. Pause for five seconds, then lower your knee to the starting position. That’s one rep. Perform two or three sets of 12 reps on each side daily.

6 DUCK FEET
The problem Your oblique muscles and hip flexors are weak.
The fix Get into a pushup position with your feet resting on a stability ball. Without rounding your lower back, tuck your knees under your torso, using your feet to roll the ball toward your body, then back to the starting position. That’s one rep. Do two or three sets of six to 12 reps daily.

Assess your posture
Wear something form-fitting and take two full-body photos—one from the front, one from the side. Relax your muscles and stand as tall as you can, feet hip-width apart. Then refer to the fix-it plan (below left) to diagnose your posture problems.

1 / Look at your ear. If it’s in front of the midpoint of your shoulder, your head is too far forward.

2 / Can you see your shoulder blade? That means your back is too rounded.

3 / If your hips tilt forward and you have a belly pooch (even if you don’t have an ounce of fat on your body) and your lower spine is arched significantly, this means you have an anterior pelvic tilt.

4 / Look at your shoulders. One shouldn’t appear higher than the other.

5 / Check out your kneecaps. Do they point inward, causing your knees to touch when your legs are straightened?

6 / See if you’re duck-footed. Your toes will point outward more than 10 degrees.

 

Source: http://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/good-posture

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Why is a healthy spine important?

The function of the spine is:

  1. movement
  2. support
  3. protection
  4. coordination, and
  5. control

Movement is one of the primary signs of life and any change in the structure or function of the spine may adversely affect human movement.

Support for the head is paramount because the neck is involved in quick coordinating movements for survival and protection and in general daily activities. The shoulder and pelvic girdles are also attached and supported. All these structures are related to the spine.

Protection of the central nervous system allows it to function optimally via the spinal cord, housed within the spine, which controls the function of every single cell, tissue and organ in the body.

Therefore a healthy spine, coupled with a healthy nervous system, is crucial in terms of maintaining whole body health. Any alteration of spinal structure or function may cause irritation of the central nervous system or the outer spinal nerves that are protected as they travel to organs or muscles. This alteration is known to chiropractors as “vertebral subluxation”.

The cause of vertebral subluxation can be summed up as fatigue. Fatigue occurs when a system or structure undergoes loading or stress that alters its structure and function, and this injury overcomes the body’s ability to heal itself. This causes illness because it affects the nervous system’s ability to function normally.

Fatigue can occur via repeated physical stresses or instantly in a physical accident, but often it is brought on by too much psychological stress or lifestyle factors like inadequate nutrition or exercise.

Eventually effects may be varied – from tight or weak muscle groups, degeneration of spinal discs and general neck and back aches and pains – to common ailments such as headaches, jaw pain, rib (chest) pain, poor concentration, sleep disorders and even knee and foot problems.

 

source: http://www.chiropractorsnsw.asn.au/why-is-a-healthy-spine-important

“Quackery”

The American Medical Association (AMA), the Texas Medical Association (TMA) and its Political Action Committees, have a twisted concept of healthcare and if allowed to continue on their present course, will hinder and eliminate the availability of ALL patients, to see their chiropractor whenever they want. Let me explain.

Back in 1963, the AMA formed a Committee on Quackery as a way to try to destroy the profession of Chiropractic. The AMA boldly stated in an “internal memoranda” that its goal was to first contain and then eliminate, the profession of chiropractic. Several years later, in a land mark decision, “Wilk et al v AMA et al”, the AMA was found to have engaged in a “lengthy, systematic, successful and unlawful boycott” of members of the chiropractic profession. But apparently they didn’t learn their lesson. Now, the TMA’s PAC has been spreading lies again about a Dr. VanDeWalle, DC, who was running in a run-off election for the TX House. He lost that election, partly, I believe, because of the “quackery ads” that were ran by the TMA PAC just before the run-off took place. But why would the AMA do these things? Simple – MONEY, INFLUENCE and POWER!

Evidence from many trials and many research projects clearly demonstrate the superiority of chiropractic services in the treatment of musculoskeletal conditions; going back as far as 1972 to present. Chiropractic care in the past, as well as today, is safe and much more cost effective than traditional medical doctors can provide. But Chiropractors aren’t the only ones being subjected to these tactics. The AMA has ongoing issues with nurse practitioners and physician assistants who would be able to deliver primary care, but like Chiropractors, are considered by the AMA as competitors in healthcare – Competitors for patients and the healthcare dollars they spend with their healthcare providers.

Why do I bring this to your attention? Simply because if the AMA wins in their attempt to label Chiropractors and other providers as “quacks” or in their efforts to control Chiropractors and other professionals, ALL citizens of Texas will lose their right to affordable and safe musculoskeletal care. Cost-effectiveness, patient satisfaction, evidence based and outcomes, are clearly evident and not contested. All citizens HAVE THE RIGHT, to utilize whatever healthcare delivery system they choose. But to continue to have the choice to receive Chiropractic care, might come down to the will of the people to speak up and be heard and tell the AMA that Chiropractic care is what they want and demand.

 

Dr. Bobbie Stowe, DC

Some information provided by George McAndrews, Esq.

What is the Graston Technique?

About Graston Technique®

Changing the way soft tissue injuries are treated

Graston Technique® is an innovative, patented form of instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization that enables clinicians to effectively break down scar tissue and fascial restrictions. The technique utilizes specially designed stainless steel instruments to specifically detect and effectively treat areas exhibiting soft tissue fibrosis or chronic inflammation.

Originally developed by athletes, Graston Technique® is an interdisciplinary treatment used by more than 18,000 clinicians worldwide — including physical and occupational therapists, hand therapists, chiropractors, and athletic trainers.

GT is utilized at some 1,960 outpatient facilities and 53 industrial sites, by more than 284 professional and amateur sports organizations, and is part of the curriculum at 57 respected colleges and universities.

Outpatient Facilities (US)
Outpatient Facilities (Canada)
Companies/Industry
Colleges and Universities
Sports Organizations

For the clinician:
  • Provides improved diagnostic treatment
  • Detects major and minor fibrotic changes
  • Reduces manual stress; provides hand and joint conservation
  • Increases patient satisfaction by achieving notably better outcomes
  • Expands business and revenue opportunities
For the patient:
  • Decreases overall time of treatment
  • Fosters faster rehabilitation/recovery
  • Reduces need for anti-inflammatory medication
  • Resolves chronic conditions thought to be permanent
For employers and the healthcare industry:
  • Allows patients to remain on the job
  • Reduces the need for splints, braces and job-site modifications
  • Contributes to reduction of labor and healthcare costs, direct and indirect

Information via http://www.grastontechnique.com