Total Back Newsletter

What you may not know about scoliosis!

John Naumann Uncategorized Leave a comment  

Did you know this about scoliosis?

scoliosis

Scoliosis

Scoliosis is a common condition that we treat at The Center for Total Back Care. Our goal is to decrease pain and increase spinal stability with people affected by this condition.  Here are some things you may not know about scoliosis.

  1. Scoliosis affects about 3% of the population.  You may have scoliosis and not be aware of it!
  2. Women are more likely to have scoliosis than men.
  3. Scoliosis often doesn’t require surgery and can be treated by a physical therapist or chiropractor that specializes in spinal conditions
  4. The position and spine curve size doesn’t determine the severity of the condition.  Often people with the most severe spinal curvatures may experience little or no symptoms, while people with mild scoliosis may have very pronounced symptoms.
  5. There are 2 types of scoliosis.  One is degenerative scoliosis and the other is idiopathic scoliosis.  Degenerative scoliosis usually occurs as one ages and progresses based on normal wear and tear.  Idiopathic scoliosis develops at an earlier age and can get progressively worse as one ages.
  6. Smoking can contribute to scoliosis progression.  Recent studies suggest that smoking has a very negative impact on the spine by increasing the rate of disc degeneration.
  7. Keep exercising.  It is important to maintain a proper exercise and core stabilization program to improve symptoms and potentially reduce the degeneration of the spine related to scoliosis.  Make sure you consult with a spine care specialist before you start exercising.

The Center for Total Back Care specializes in the treatment of many spinal conditions including scoliosis.  Contact us today for more information about how we can help you treat scoliosis!

 


Tips to cut 1000 calories from your Thanksgiving meal

John Naumann Uncategorized Leave a comment  

 

Thanksgiving mealDid you know the average Thanksgiving meal is over 2,000 calories and that is before you have a second serving!  Here is the average Thanksgiving meal:

  • Turkey, white & dark meat, with skin, 6 ounces
  • Gravy, 1/3 cup
  • Mashed potatoes, 1 cup
  • Cranberry sauce, 1/3 cup
  • Green bean casserole, 1 cup
  • Sweet potato casserole topped with marshmallows, 1 cup
  • Dinner roll, 1
  • Butter, 1 tablespoon
  • Apple pie, 1 slice
  • Vanilla ice cream, ½ cup

 

To burn 1,000 calories you would have to:

  • Run – 9 miles
  • Bike – 22 miles
  • Jump Rope – continuously for 90 minutes

 
For many, it may be easier to just cut 1,000 calories from the meal.  Here are some simple ways to do this.

  • Turkey – eat only 3 oz. of Turkey without the skin (Average calorie savings 200)
  • Sweet potato casserole – ½ cup, without marshmallows (Average calorie savings 270)
  • Green bean casserole – ½ cup, without the french onion topping (Average calorie savings 140)
  • Mashed potatoes – ½ cup instead of 1 cup (Average calorie savings 200)
  • Butter – Eliminate the butter for the dinner roll (Average calorie savings 100)
  • Apple pie – ½ cup low-fat vanilla or low fat whipped cream (Average calore savings 160)
  • Total calorie savings – 1060 calories!

By eating slowly you will feel the sensation of being full quickly and will be less inclined to go back for seconds.  Have a Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving!


Top Low Back Stretches: Prayer Stretch

John Naumann Uncategorized Leave a comment  

Top Low Back Stretches: Prayer Stretch

The prayer stretch is a great stretch that primarily targets the extensor muscles of the back.  The prayer stretch is excellent because it limits the loading placed on the low back while performing the stretch and allows you to fully relax, letting gravity do the work for you. The prayer stretch is one of the best stretches you can do to protect yourself from a low back injury and to help relieve pain during the rehabilitation from a low back injury.  When people injure their low back, the muscles surrounding the area of the injury will tighten to guard the area from further injury.  The problem is that this constant tension in these muscle groups, can increase pain when a nerve is involved and decreases blood flow to this area.  Decreased blood flow increases the time for healing.  So stretching the muscles in this area help break this cycle and allow for the body to heal.

Prayer Stretch

To perform the prayer stretch first consider the surface you are performing it on.  Due to your knees making direct contact with the surface you will probably want to perform this stretch on some form of padded surface. Also if you have knee pain you may want to place a pillow between the backs of your thighs and calves when you are kneeling.

Prayer stretchprayer stretch 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

-On your hands and knees, sit back so your buttocks is resting on your heels.

-Reach your hands forward to lengthen your spine and feel a stretch in your middle back.

-You can reach your hands to either side to focus the stretch on the opposite side of your spine.

-Hold for 10-30 seconds and perform 2-3 repetitions.

When should I perform the prayer stretch?

The prayer stretch can be performed prior to or after any workout program, especially with back loading is involved.  This will help prevent injury.  Performing this stretch after injury will help expedite the healing process.

When should I avoid performing the prayer stretch?

The prayer stretch needs to be approached with caution if you are dealing with back pain.  Some people with severe knee pain will have difficulty performing the stretch.  If you feel an increase in pain or numbness, stop and contact your doctor.

 


Top Low Back Stretches: Piriformis Stretch

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Top Low Back Stretches: Piriformis Stretch

The piriformis stretch is one of the best stretches you can do to protect yourself from a low back injury and to help relieve pain during the rehabilitation from a low back injury.  When people injure their low back, the muscles surrounding the area of the injury will tighten to guard the area from further injury.  The problem is that this constant tension in these muscle groups, can increase pain when a nerve is involved and decreases blood flow to this area.  Decreased blood flow increases the time for healing.  So stretching the muscles in this area help break this cycle and allow for the body to heal.  The piriformis muscle is one of the muscles that commonly tightens to guard the affected area.

There are many ways to perform the piriformis stretch, so the best thing to do is to find the most reasonable and comfortable way you can perform the stretch. When performing this stretch you should feel the stretch across the back of the leg being stretched.   You may feel increased tension in the buttocks or back of the knee area.  It is important that when performing stretches that the individual does not have pain or numbness, but a mild stretching sensation in the muscles of the targeted area.  Please consult with a doctor if you have any questions about this exercise.  Below are 2 examples of how you can perform this stretch.

Less Aggressive Piriformis Stretch

Perform this stretch when in significant low back pain and you cannot perform the more Aggressive Piriformis Stretch

piriformis stretch pain-First lie on your back and bend both knees keeping feet flat on floor

-Take one leg and lift it so the ankle is crossing the other leg at the knee (refer to picture)

-Gently apply pressure on the “crossed” leg’s knee, pushing away from the body (refer to picture)

-Hold stretch for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times, then switch legs and repeat.

-Perform stretch 2-3 times daily as needed.

 

More Aggressive Piriformis Stretch

Perform this stretch when low back pain is less or back is healthy.  This more aggressive version of the stretch will allow you to get a deeper stretch for the piriformis muscle.

Active piriformis stretch-First lie on your back and bend both knees keeping feet flat on floor

-Take one leg and lift it so the ankle is crossing the other leg at the knee (refer to picture)

-Reach behind leg that is supporting the crossed leg and gently pull towards chest (refer to picture)

-Hold stretch for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times, then switch legs and repeat.

-Perform stretch 2-3 times daily as needed.

FAQ
When should I perform the Piriformis Stretch?

The Piriformis Stretch can be performed prior to or after any workout program, especially with back loading is involved.  This will help prevent injury.  Performing this stretch after injury will help expedite the healing process.

When should I avoid performing the Piriformis Stretch?

The piriformis stretch needs to be approached with caution if you are dealing with back pain.  If you feel an increase in pain or numbness, stop and contact your doctor.

 


Top Low Back Stretches: Hamstring Stretches

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Top Low Back Stretches: Hamstring Stretches

The hamstring stretches are some of the best stretches you can do to protect yourself from a low back injury.  Most low back injuries happen when our posture is not set up to take the load that one is lifting.  People with tight hamstring muscles have a difficult time maintaining proper spinal alignment during the lift which can minimally cause a strain in the muscles of the lower back, but potentially it can cause a more serious disc injury and lead to a lifetime of pain.

There are many ways to perform the hamstring stretch, so the best thing to do is to find the most reasonable and comfortable way you can perform the stretch. When performing this stretch you should feel the stretch across the back of the leg being stretched.   You may feel increased tension in the buttocks or back of the knee area.  It is important that when performing stretches that the individual does not have pain or numbness, but a mild stretching sensation in the muscles of the targeted area.  Please consult with a doctor if you have any questions about this exercise.

Back Lying Hamstring Stretch

The back lying hamstring stretch is most often comfortable for people experiencing back pain.  This position decreases pressure on the spine when compared to the other positions.

Hamstring Stretch Supine– Lie on back and bend one leg placing hand behind the knee

-Slowly raise the knee perpendicular to the ground

-Extend lower part of leg you are stretching until you feel a stretch (pull the toes towards the knee to increase stretch)

-Hold stretch for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times, then switch leg.

 

 

Seated Hamstring Stretch

Best when in an office environment.

seated hamstring stretch-Carefully sit on the edge of a chair

-With one leg extended fully, place heal into the ground

-Maintain a straight back posture and slowly lean forward until you feel the stretch

-Hold stretch for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times, then switch leg.

 

 

 

Standing Hamstring Stretch

Best when you cannot sit or lie down.  Make sure you have something to hold onto to maintain balance

Standing Hamstring Stretch-In standing position, extend one leg forward putting heel into ground and pull toes toward knee

-Staying balanced, keep back straight and lean forward slowly until you feel a stretch.

-Hold stretch for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times, then switch leg.

 

 

 

 

FAQ
When should I perform the hamstring stretch?

The hamstring stretch is good to use when you are feeling tension in the back of the legs, or have difficulty touching toes in a standing position.  Perform after working out or if you are sitting for long periods of the day

When should I not perform the hamstring stretch?

The hamstring stretch needs to be approached with caution if you are dealing with back pain.  If you feel an increase in pain or numbness, stop and contact your doctor.

 


Top Neck and Shoulder Stretches: Chin Tuck

John Naumann Uncategorized Leave a comment  

Who doesn’t use a computer related product today?  Whether it is a desktop, laptop, tablet or cell phone, it is inevitable that you will have a forward head posture when using these products.  Forward head posture contributes to most neck and shoulder pain because it positions your head in front of the shoulders.  The Chin Tuck stretch is a great way to help address this forward head posture.  When performing this stretch you should feel the stretch at the base of the back of the head to the spine in between the shoulder blades.   It is important that when performing stretches in the neck that the individual does not have pain or numbness, but a mild stretching sensation in the muscles of the targeted area.  Please consult with a doctor if you have any questions about this exercise.

Chin Tuck

chin tuck– First sit or stand straight and tall

– Then, imagine that you are lying flat on your back with a pillow at the base of the neck

– Keeping your gaze straight forward, press back imagining you are pressing your neck into the pillow.

– Hold this stretch for 10 seconds, then relax

– Repeat 3 times

 

FAQ
When should you perform the chin tuck?

Every hour that you use a computer, tablet, cell phone, or reading a book, you should take a break and perform this exercise.

When should I avoid performing the chin tuck?

If you experience an increase in localized pain during and prolongs after stretch, numbness, dizziness, or radiating pain during stretch, discontinue stretch and consult a doctor.

 


Get an accurate diagnosis before you treat back pain

John Naumann Uncategorized Leave a comment  

Middle Back PainGet your physical therapy on track with an accurate diagnosis first

Not all back pain is alike and definitely shouldn’t be treated the same way.  This is why it is important to get an accurate diagnosis of what is going on in order to effectively treat the problem.  The pain you are experiencing is just a symptom and just treating the symptom results in continued recurrence of the problem.  Back pain can be related to joint integrity issues, disc issues, nerve issues, strength imbalance issues, strain injuries, etc.  The list can go on and on.  As a specialized neck and back pain treatment facility, we create an individualized back pain treatment program to meet your individual needs.  A recent article on lohud.com, interviews a physiatrist on the importance of getting the right diagnosis.  Check out this article at Back Pain:  Correct diagnosis is vital.


How a back injury can redefine your life

John Naumann Uncategorized Leave a comment  

tiger woods

Just Google “Back Injury” in the news and you will see a long list of athletes that are dealing with back pain.  Often these types of injuries redefine the athletes career as pre and post-back injury.  One of the most notable examples is Tiger Woods.  While Tiger has been plagued with knee injuries over the years, he was still able to win multiple tournaments and majors while dealing with some considerable knee issues.  But this past year Tiger has been dealing with back issues that have contributed to him posting some of his worst scores as a professional and at times has literally brought him to his knees.   Will his career be defined as pre and post-back injury?  That is still to be seen.

A majority of people will deal with back pain of some kind in their lifetime.  Back pain is often a result of overexertion, repetitive motion, or slip/fall, but often you can limit the impact of these types of injuries by addressing them immediately with the right kind of treatment.  Tiger Woods is known to try to push through his injuries to achieve his goals, but he recently began heading his medical professionals to take his back injury seriously.  Make sure you do too, listen to your body and seek professionals that specialize in treating back pain.  How are you going to let your back injury define you?

 


5 tips to set up a proper computer workstation

John Naumann Uncategorized Leave a comment  

Office

Did you know that seated postures increase pressure in the spine by 50% versus standing?  This can be compounded by a slouching posture and can lead to workstation back pain.  Here are 5 tips to make sure that your workstation is set up properly:

  1. Have the right chair – The proper chair is the most important thing to providing proper postural support.  A good chair has good adjustable lumbar support, adjustable armrests and seat height adjustment. When seated your thighs should be parallel to the floor with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Set the right keyboard and mouse height – Arms should be 90 degrees at the elbow with upper arms at the side of body.
  3. Set the right monitor height – With uncorrected or standard corrected vision the monitor height should be set so when you look straight ahead you are looking 2 inches below the top of the monitor.  If you wear bifocals, position the monitor so you are looking directly at the top of the monitor.
  4. Use a telephone headset if you are on the phone 20% of the day or more –  Most people multitask when on the telephone over 20% of the workday.  This encourages people to pinch the telephone handset between head and shoulders, leading to back and neck pain.
  5. Take frequent stretch breaks – When you are sitting at a workstation your neck, shoulders, chest and forearm muscles tighten, reducing blood flow.  This leads to potential strain/sprain injuries.  It is recommended that you take a short 2 minute stretch break every 30 minutes.

If you want to know more, or have questions contact Dr. Jolley 480-633-8293.

 


Acetaminophen may not help with back pain

John Naumann Uncategorized Leave a comment  

A recent Australian finds that acetaminophen may not help treat back pain.  The researchers found the drug was no more effective than a dummy pill for more than 1,600 people suffering from acute lower back pain.  Besides showing no effect in easing discomfort, the study also found the drug was no help in improving sleep woes tied to back pain, nor did it improve patients’ overall quality of life.  For more details about this check out WebMD’s article “Acetaminophen May Not Help Against Back Pain, Study Contends“.


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