Total Back Newsletter

5 tips to set up a proper computer workstation

John Naumann Uncategorized Leave a comment  


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“.

9 words you don’t say to your insurance company

John Naumann Uncategorized Leave a comment  

Over the years of working with patients that are processing reimbursement for auto accidents we have to agree, in order to process your insurance claim there are right and wrong words to say to your insurance carrier.  This is good advice provided by Ed Leefedt at

1. Sorry- You may say “I’m sorry” out of habit or embarrassment after a car crash, but hold your tongue at the scene of an accident. There’s no need to admit fault or assign blame – let a police officer determine fault. You don’t want your words to cause confusion about your role in an accident, especially if you weren’t at fault.

2. Whiplash- Say “whiplash” and the insurance adjuster will probably speed-dial the in-house counsel. Whiplash claims are the bane of insurance companies, which are on constant alert against bogus medical claims. Don’t self-diagnose your injuries from an accident. If you suspect trauma, see a doctor and get the medical report. After a car accident, never speak to the other party’s insurer before you speak to your own.

3. Intentional- Insurance will cover bad luck and bad judgment, like driving too fast on ice and crashing, but it won’t cover intentional acts. If your wife took a bat to your car hood during an argument, or you broke your car window in order to get your keys, get ready to pay for damage yourself.

4. Customized- Your souped-up car might be your pride and joy, but auto insurers are not interested in covering drivers who are careening around in modified vehicles trying to look cool. Remember that customizing and upgrades to your car may not be covered by insurance — or only up to $2,000, warns’s consumer analyst Penny Gusner. In fact, some modifications can void your auto insurance policy.

5. Breakdown- Your car won’t start in the morning. Your axle snaps while you’re turning a corner. You don’t have an insurance claim; you have a mechanical breakdown. And breakdowns aren’t covered by auto insurance unless you specifically added mechanical breakdown coverage to your policy. If your insurer offers it, make sure you understand the details. Does it include roadside assistance and a rental car? What is the coverage limit for repairs and what is excluded?

6. Fine- Many people have a misplaced tendency to assure everyone they’re fine after an accident, says Gusner, even when they can barely crawl out of the wreck. Let the doctor say you’re fine before you give this information to your insurer — or anyone else.

7. Ride-share- Ride-sharing services are flourishing in urban areas, but that doesn’t mean they’re a smart choice. If your car is used for a purpose other than that for which the policy was issued, you may not be covered. Renting out your car as a taxi service could void coverage. So don’t turn your car into a side business unless you’ve checked with your agent.

8. Off-premises- “Off-premises” could indicate that your problem isn’t covered by your policy. Amy Bach, executive director of United Policyholders, a non-profit group that helps consumers, tells of a man who told his insurer that his water damage may have been caused by a backup from an outside sewer rather than a problem inside his property. The insurer told him that the damage had to originate on-premises or it wasn’t covered. The case went to court, but the owner lost.

9. Coincidence- Insurance companies cast a wary eye on anyone who insists an unusual situation was just “coincidence,” according to Jim Quiggle, director of communications for the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud.  “It’s just a coincidence that my car was in that vacant lot on the other side of town and the driver’s seat mysteriously caught fire,” says Quiggle as an example. Insurers will suspect your car fire was on purpose rather than coincidence.

Yoga moves that can help save your back!

John Naumann Uncategorized Leave a comment  

f0505_Hot-YogaCertain exercises can help reduce back and neck pain.  Yoga is very popular for maintaining flexibility, balance, and proper core strength.  These are all fundamental to ensure a healthy neck and back.  Check out  this recent article from Time magazine: These 5 Yoga Moves Will Save You From Back Pain.

Getting Older and Back Injuries

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Lower Back Pain

As we get older our body’s mechanisms to repair tissues decreases in its ability to heal.  This is why younger people who have back sprain/strain injuries can sometimes heal fairly quickly with little or no treatment, while people over 35 begin to take longer to recover from these same types of injuries. A recent article in ChiroNexus on Why Aging Aggravates Spinal Injuries, helps explain some of the science behind this phenomenon.  As chiropractic and physical therapy providers our job is to help encourage the body’s ability to heal itself and speed up the recovery process.  As we get older it is important not to ignore or try to “work through” these types of injuries, because there is a strong likelihood they will only get worse.  If you are struggling or know someone struggling with a back injury, have them contact us at 480-633-8293.

Running to a Healthier Lifestyle

Dr. Jolley Uncategorized Leave a comment  

Running is one of the best forms of aerobic conditioning for your heart and lungs. It can significantly increase your metabolic rate and the amount of calories you burn, leading to loss of excess body fat. Those who run regularly are also less likely to experience bone and muscle loss due to the body’s positive response to additional physical demands.

Pay attention to your shoes:
Shoes wear out after 300 to 500 miles. You often can’t see the wear, but, your knees, hips and back will feel it. Visit a running specialty store for quality shoes and talk to your doctor for suggestions on the best shoes to get. Not just any shoe will do.

Run on different surfaces:
See how many different surfaces you can run on in a month: asphalt, gravel, trail, grass, track, treadmill and beach. Each stresses your leg muscles in a slightly different way, helping to prevent overuse injuries. (If possible, avoid concrete, the hardest and most harmful surface for runners.)

Keep a training journal:
A journal can be a great way to maintain motivation and consistency. Keep it filled with running times, routines, motivational quotes and how your body reacts to various routines. You should have a documented road map for reaching your running goals.

Introduce high-intensity interval training into your running routine:
Alternate, pace, speed, tempo and rest periods during a single running session. For example, keep a steady pace for a mile and then sprint for 30 seconds. Do this for several cycles and notice how your heart rate and muscle fatigue threshold increase by your efforts.

So, now that you know more information than the “average Joe” about running, it’s time to take that first step toward a healthier you. Every great journey starts with a single step; now just put one foot in front of the other to see how far this new journey takes you. I have a feeling you will discover a passion for the open road you never know existed. Welcome to the wonderful world of running.

Source: to your Health –By: Perry Nickelson, DC

Achieving Maximum Results By Perry Nickelson, DC

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Achieving maximum results with your workouts, requires preparation, discipline, and consistency.  Here are 5 key step to optimizing your results.

1) Dynamic Warm-Ups
How can you possibly expect to get maximum results if you don’t establish a base foundation and get your body ready to perform? The purpose of a dynamic warm-up is to prepare your body for your workout. It’s value comes from taking your body through all the planes of functional human movement, including bending, twisting and rotating.
Example dynamic warm-up exercises: Squat-to-stand movements (10 reps), lateral lunges (10 reps), and reverse lunges with twist and overhead reach (five reps each side).

2) Interval Training
What’s the best-kept secret when it comes to intense workouts? Studies have shown that about five minutes of high-intensity exercise, consisting of eight rounds of 20 seconds of exercise per round followed by 20 seconds off for recovery, is superior to 60 minutes of continuous cardio. Read that one more time so it sinks in! An important thing to remember when implementing this into your program is to never substitute duration for intensity. When working only a short period of time, you must ensure that your exercise form is perfect on each repetition.

3) Timed Workouts
This is a similar concept to interval training, except the “bursts” of exercise are a bit longer and you’re generally doing only one particular exercise at a time, rather than performing a whole-body workout all at once. The purpose is essentially the same: to maximize the benefits of a resistance training program by creating maximum metabolic disturbance. That means you burn up body fat keeping your heart rate constantly elevated while training. Your metabolism never reaches an equilibrium set-point due to the alteration in timing.

4) Super-Set Training Using Your Body-Weight
Intensify your weight training by adding “super sets” of body-weight training to truly engage your muscles. Super-setting is a technique in which you take an exercise targeted for a specific muscle group and immediately perform a similar exercise with no rest. With this technique, you don’t use weights or machines for the second exercise. This is a time-efficient, intensive way to maximize strength and lean muscle development. Best of all, you can use this principle for any workout.
Example exercise, Chest Combination: flat-bench dumbbell presses (15 repetitions), super-setted with wide-grip push-ups (25 repetitions). Back combination: machine pull downs (15 repetitions), super-setted with body-weight pull-ups (maximum number of repetitions you can perform).

5) Recovery and Regeneration
Working out breaks your muscles down; in order for them to heal properly, you must give your body adequate time and opportunity to rest. Without appropriate recovery time, you risk overtraining, which can lead to injury and lethargy. Moreover, too much exercise limits your progress and your body becomes catabolic, meaning it begins to degenerate. Eventual loss of lean muscle mass and bone density occurs. How can your body thrive when you do not allow proper healing? No amount of exercise will positively affect your body if you are in a state of overtraining. Serious weight training creates microtrauma; tiny tears and strains in your muscles and connective tissues. To ensure that you are not damaging your body, it is recommended to weight train no more than three times in a seven-day period.” Incorporate regeneration programs such as active isolated rope stretching and myofascial foam rolling techniques on rest days for accelerated recovery.

Source: to your Health –By: Perry Nickelson, DC

Get Up and Get Moving Big Benefits Of Physical Activity By Drs. Ronald Klatz and Robert Goldman

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1) Help Your Heart
While a routine program of physical exercise has been shown to reduce the risk of premature death in people with coronary artery disease, Richard V. Milani, from the Ochsner Clinic Foundation, and colleagues investigated how psychosocial stress influences the effects of exercise training. The team followed 522 cardiac patients, including 53 who had high stress levels and 27 control patients who had high stress levels but did not engage in cardiac rehabilitation. The study subjects were offered 12 weeks of exercise classes consisting of 10 minutes of warm-up, 30 to 40 minutes of aerobic exercise (walking, rowing, jogging, or similar), and then a 10-minute cool down stretch.

The classes were given three times a week and subjects were also asked to engage in one to three exercise sessions a week on their own. The researchers found that the subjects who became physically fitter during the study period (by exercising) were 60 percent less likely to die in the following six years. Exercise also helped reduce stress levels from one in 10 patients to fewer than one in 20 patients, which lowered the overall death rate for stressed subjects by an impressive 20 percent. Now that’s a great way to lower your stress and increase your life span at the same time!
Source: Richard V. Milani, Carl J. Lavie. “Reducing Psychosocial Stress: A Novel Mechanism of Improving Survival From Exercise Training.” American Journal of Medicine, October 2009.

2) Build Strong Bones
Wolfgang Kemmler, from Freidrich-Alexander University (Germany), and colleagues analyzed data on 246 older women enrolled in the Senior Fitness and Prevention Study. The researchers found that women who exercised had higher bone density in their spine and hip, and also had a 66 percent reduced rate of falls. Fractures due to falls were twice as common in control subject vs. the exercise group. The authors’ conclusion: “Compared with a general wellness program, our 18-month exercise program significantly improved [bone mineral density] and fall risk.”
Source: Wolfgang Kemmler W, et al. “Exercise Effects on Bone Mineral Density, Falls, Coronary Risk Factors, and Health Care Costs in Older Women: The Randomized Controlled Senior Fitness and Prevention (SEFIP) Study.” Archives of Internal Medicine, January 2010.

3) Grow Brain Cells
In that a number of previous studies have suggested regular exercise improves brain health, David J. Creer, from the National Institute on Aging, and colleagues studied the underlying mechanisms dictating how exercise improves information processing. The researchers prompted adult mice to use running wheels, finding that doing so increased their number of brain cells and enabled them to perform better at spatial learning tests compared to mice that did not exercise) The exercising mice were better able to tell the difference between the locations of two adjacent identical stimuli, an ability that the team found to be closely linked to an increase in new brain cell growth in the hippocampus portion of the brain.
Source: Creer DJ, et al. “Running Enhances Spatial Pattern Separation in Mine.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Jan. 19, 2010.

Source: To Your Health –By: Drs. Ronald K

RUNNING ON EMPTY By Dr. Perry Nickelston

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Are you running on empty? Is your life spiraling into one prolonged episode of fatigue? There are many factors that can contribute to fatigue, including stress, poor eating habits, altered sleeping patterns, poor breathing, lack of exercise, too much exercise, and sometimes an underlying health condition. Most of the time, fatigue can be traced to one or more of your daily habits or routines. More than likely, you already know what’s causing your fatigue; you’re just not doing enough about it. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most powerful changes you can make today to fight fatigue.

Whatever happened to getting eight hours of uninterrupted sleep? When was the last time you actually hit that goal? Almost never, right? That’s a shame because adequate sleep is one of the most effective ways to help your body recover and regenerate from the stressors of life. It is paramount to do whatever you can to get eight hours of sleep a night.

Exercise is a fantastic way to combat fatigue and increase energy while becoming healthy. The key is to not exercise so much that you end up sending your body into a state of overtraining and more fatigue. More is not better with exercise; better is better. It is recommended that you exercise 20-45 minutes three to four days per week. You must allow sufficient time for your body to recover from intensive workouts, so adequate rest is crucial if you want to achieve optimal results. If you overdo it, your body will let you know with fatigue and/or injury.

Simply put, don’t put off until tomorrow anything that you can do today, whether it’s changing your car’s oil, going to the grocery store or doing any of the daily tasks that get put off again… and again. Get organized and make a plan of action to complete tasks. Procrastination leads to mental stress and anxiety. It’s the dread of anticipation that will take it out of you every time. To minimize the risk of perpetual procrastination, make a list of the “Top 5 Things to Do Before Noon” each day. Whatever task you want to do the least should be at the top of the list. Get these tasks over and done with before midday, and you won’t spend the day worrying and stressing about getting them done. Then you can start on your To Do List for the remainder of the day.

Eating frequently helps to maintain normal blood sugar levels, preventing energy crashes. If you wait too long between feedings, your insulin levels spike, causing your body to go on a hormonal roller-coaster ride. You will feel surges of energy followed by sudden crashes with tiredness, fatigue and lethargy. It is very difficult to maintain a normal state of energy with big swings in metabolic hormones.

Try consuming three regular meals and two snacks per day, waiting no longer than three hours between meals. Never skip breakfast. Breakfast sets the tone for the day in terms of your metabolism. Combine macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates and fats) each time you eat. Limit simple carbohydrates such as juice drinks, bread, pasta and crackers (especially the refined variety), and processed foods, as these are known to cause mood swings from blood sugar changes. Combining macronutrients normalizes the glycemic index effects of foods on your blood sugar levels. This index traces how much blood sugar spikes in relationship to the foods you eat. The lower the glycemic index number, the better for your body. Finally eat more protein and fibrous carbohydrates to reduce digestive fatigue on the body.

Source: To Your Health –By: Dr. Perry Nickelston



Dr. Jolley Uncategorized Leave a comment  

What are the high-risk times and events for your lower back? Why can you get into more trouble doing something as simple as picking up a loaf of bread from the trunk of the car, rather than doing something more challenging? What simple steps can you take to avoid injury and pain? Let’s get the answers to these questions and more.

When it comes to your lower back and injury risk, there are two critical times when you need to be especially careful. One is first thing in the morning. Your back is actually swollen at that time. You are substantially taller, and the discs have extra fluid in them. A careless forward bend or twist first thing in the morning can do substantial damage to your discs or other back structures. It doesn’t seem fair that such a simple thing, bending and twisting, something you have done thousands of times before, can suddenly cause big problems.

The other critical time is after you have been sitting. Long car drives or airplane trips are especially challenging. In this case, the culprit is something called “creep.” This means that your ligaments and tendons lengthen into the position that you have been in. Think of sitting in a bent-forward position, as your legs are forward. The ligaments and tendons do not provide protection properly when they have been lengthened by creep. When you first get up from sitting, you are at risk. The longer you have been sitting, the higher the risk. If you sit more upright, with good lumbar support, you will have somewhat less risk.

Don’t bend over immediately after sitting. Sitting, even in good posture, puts you at risk. The longer you end up sitting and the worse the seat is, the more at risk you are. Airlines are very risky; it’s hard to get up and move around because of the tight quarters, and the minute the plane stops, you bend over and get stuff from under the seat, or reach up and twist and lift to get your bag from the overhead compartment. After a long sit, give yourself at least a few seconds of backward bending and/or moving around to reset your spine. Then you can carefully, using your hips rather than your back, bend over to pick up something.

When you sit, don’t slump. Slumping reinforces the risks, making it more likely for something bad to happen to your discs or joints or muscles. So sit up straight and keep your back in neutral. Neutral means that you keep a bit of a lordosis (inward curve) in your lower back, keep the lumbar spine from slumping forward, stay more upright. This simple action can make a huge difference. Like any habit, this will require you to “Just Do It” for a few weeks.

Talk to your doctor about these and other high-risk moments for your lower back, and what you can do to relieve low back pain or avoid the pain altogether.

Source: To Your Health –By: Marc Heller, DC


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