The Ultimate Guide to Lower Back Pain

The Ultimate Guide to Lower Back Pain

Oh, the woes of persistent pain! If you’re nodding your head in agreement, you’re not alone. Millions around the world grapple with this nagging condition that just won’t quit. Today, we will uncover the triggers behind chronic lower back pain. 

Together, we’ll delve into the intricate design of the lower back and unravel the mysteries that shroud this discomfort.  So, grab a seat (a comfy one!) and let’s dive in.

The Marvels of Your Back

The lower back—a remarkable structure designed to bear the weight of the world and protect your spinal cord. Picture five lumbar vertebrae, intervertebral discs as shock-absorbing heroes, and facet joints that bring flexibility to the party. And let’s not forget the sacrum, the lumbar spine’s loyal companion, joined at the hip—literally—at the sacroiliac joint (SIJ). It’s an intricate team working hard for your support and mobility.

The Culprits

Back pain can have various triggers. From herniated discs and spinal stenosis to osteoarthritis and SIJ dysfunction, the causes can range widely. Pinched nerves in the lumbar region might induce pain that radiates to the legs or cause numbness or tingling. Poor posture, spinal misalignment, and muscle strains can also instigate lower back pain.

How to Diagnose

To pinpoint the exact reason for your pain a chiropractor will conduct a comprehensive examination. Based on your symptoms and signs, they will perform tests assessing your back’s nerve and joint functionality. For instance, if a patient describes leg pain, the chiropractor will examine reflexes, sensation, and muscle strength to see if a herniated disc is pressing a nerve. Any identified nerve damage will be addressed to remove the pressure and restore leg sensation and strength.

Chiropractic Interventions

Chiropractic care is a proven, non-invasive method. Depending on the identified cause, a chiropractic doctor can use spinal adjustments, manual therapies, and rehabilitative exercises to realign the spine, restore function, and reduce pain. Chiropractic interventions can also enhance your posture and prevent future episodes. 

Don’t allow back pain to dominate your life. Contact us today or schedule an appointment to uncover the root cause of your pain and discover effective strategies for lasting relief.

How Helping People Drives Me

How Helping People Drives Me

Why do I do what I do at Ultimate Health Chiropractic? It’s a question that I get asked from time to time and today, I want to share my story with you.  Whether you’re a current patient, someone who hasn’t visited in years, or even if you’ve never stepped foot in my clinic, I believe it’s important for you to understand my “why.” 

In a nutshell, it all boils down to one simple truth: I genuinely love helping people. If you’re into details, stick around as I take you on a journey behind the scenes of my practice and the goals I’m striving to achieve.

Injury Care – Solving the Puzzle

When we first crossed paths, it was often because you were seeking relief from pain, an injury, or a troubling problem. In the realm of Injury Care, my mission was clear: understand the root cause of your issue, identify your care goals, provide effective treatment, equip you with at-home action steps for a speedier recovery, adjust any activities or habits that may have contributed to the problem, and guide you back to your normal routine. I believe in educating my patients, ensuring they grasp the nature of their injuries and have realistic expectations regarding recovery time and treatment duration. I also make it a priority to demystify insurance complexities, because nobody wants surprise bills. Ultimately, my “why” is to make you feel cared for, heard, and supported throughout your healing journey.

Wellness Care – Nurturing the Best Version of You

For those of you who have transitioned from Injury Care to Wellness Care, my focus has shifted to helping you maintain optimal well-being and peak performance. During these visits, I aim to address any minor issues before they escalate, emphasizing proactive rather than reactive care. By getting to know you better, I gain deeper insights into your overall well-being, allowing me to offer a higher level of personalized care. It’s not just about physical health; I also consider the impact of mental, emotional, and spiritual stresses, as they often contribute to chronic injuries. 

My goal is to nurture your entire being and prevent problems from arising. Life can be tough, but it’s always better when we support one another.

Making a Lasting Impact

Even if you’ve only visited my practice once, a few times, or never at all, that’s completely fine. My “why” extends beyond the treatment room. I strive to provide valuable information and be a resource you can turn to whenever you’re in need. I hope the tips and topics I share have been helpful, and that they’ve given you a glimpse into who I am. 

By opening up about my own experiences and vulnerabilities, I hope to offer support and inspiration to navigate life’s challenges. As I continue to learn and grow, I’ll eagerly share any insights I come across that may benefit you.

So, there you have it—my “why”

Stretch Away Shoulder and Neck Tension

Stretch Away Shoulder and Neck Tension

Who is feeling stressed right now? [Everyone raises their hands.] It has been a challenging time for many, to say the least. One of the stretches I recommend may help release some of the tension, and that’s the upper trapezius stretch.  

WHAT does it do? The upper trapezius is a postural muscle which shrugs the shoulder, steady the shoulders, and tilts and assists in turning the head.   

WHY should I stretch it? The upper trapezius is what I’ve nicknamed the “Minnesota Muscle” in the winter because many people are shrugging their shoulders to keep their neck warm, or from increased tension of driving or cold weather. The shoulder shrug movement is often a stress response in many people. The muscle can become very tense causing increased tightness or pain in the upper back and neck. If the muscle becomes too tight, it can also decrease the neck range of motion when tipping the head to the side. This muscles often has increased tightness or soreness when a shoulder injury occurs as well.  

HOW do I stretch it? Here is how I teach this stretch:  

Place one hand on top of head, and gently pull ear to the shoulder. No pain or tingling into the arms/hands should occur while performing the stretch. Hold for 10-15 seconds.  

Repeat 3 times each side, 1-3x per day.   

If the stretch causes any pain or tingling, decrease stretching tension until it is only a pull. If pain persists, stop the stretch.  

Since this muscle is often involved as a stress response, another way to help decrease tension in this area is to do “shoulder checks” throughout the day. Basically, take a deep breath in and breath out. When you breath out try to drop the shoulders down, causing them to relax.   

You can also use a theracane to perform trigger point therapy on this muscle. A theracane is a handheld self messager cane, which is used to apply pressure to and sooth sore muscles.   

​Try implementing this stretch into your daily routine. Is it helping your neck tension? I’d love to hear your feedback! Comment below or send me an email.

Improving Musculoskeletal Health and Inflammation

Improving Musculoskeletal Health and Inflammation

Today we are going to focus on supplements and will discuss our anti-inflammatory supplement Traumeric.  

Why consider taking Traumeric?  

Inflammation in the body happens when you have an infection or injury. White blood cells are triggered to start repairing damaged tissue. Sometimes inflammation, when it is low-grade and chronic, spreads throughout the body.  

Traumeric is formulated to support healthy inflammatory balance and musculoskeletal health.  

Traumeric includes the ingredients turmeric root extract (the active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin), bromelain (a pineapple enzyme), quercetin (a flavonoid found in a variety of botanicals, vegetables, and fruits), rutin (also a flavonoid), and vitamin C.  

This combination of ingredients helps:  

  • Support a healthy inflammatory response  
  • Improves musculoskeletal health  
  • Boosts joint health, movement and physical function  
  • Enhances workout recover time  

Over the counter anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen, Advil, and Aleve can be hard on your system when taken for prolonged periods. Some potential side effects include stomach issues, headaches, and liver or kidney issues. If you want to try a more natural approach to anti-inflammatory, that is better for your gut and system, and can be taken daily, this may be a good option for you.  

What else have you have tried to reduce inflammation? Get in touch with us today. You can also follow us on Facebook for more tips and information.

Improved Posture with the Doorway Stretch

Improved Posture with the Doorway Stretch

It’s time to go over more stretching! But first, have you been practicing the stretches we discussed in previous weeks Hopefully the answer is yes because this week we are going over the doorway stretch.  

WHAT does it do? The doorway stretch is a great stretch for the chest, and front of the shoulder.  

WHY should I stretch it? Poor posture causes the body to slouch forward often times increasing tightness in the chest, which then increases stress to the middle back, or can even lead to shoulder problems. It is often an easy stretch to incorporate into the day since doorways are all over and it is easy to do. There are many benefits to incorporating this stretch to your daily routine.  

  • Shoulder, neck, and back pain relief.  
  • Improved shoulder and chest motion.  
  • Improved breathing and blood flow.  
  • Decreased stress and tension.  
  • Improved posture and anti-aging.  

​HOW do I stretch it? Here is how I teach this stretch:  

Place hands on the sides of the doorway about head level, or whatever height is comfortable.  Hold for 10-15 seconds.  Repeat 3 times, 1-3x per day.   

If the stretch causes any pain or tingling, decrease stretching tension until it is only a pull. If pain persists, stop the stretch.  

Do you have any questions about improved posture or feedback? I would love to connect. Reach out to me for assistance and don’t forget to like us on Facebook for more tips and information.

Stretch it Out: Piriformis

Stretch it Out: Piriformis

Tight hip muscles can cause a range of problems. Let’s talk this week about the piriformis stretch and the benefits.  

WHAT does it do?   The piriformis is one of the deep muscles in the hip that helps to rotate the thigh away from the body and helps stabilize the hip.  The piriformis attaches to the outside of hip and to the sacrum. ​ 

WHY should I stretch it?   A tight piriformis can cause the feet to turn outward which can alter walking and running movements. It can also cause the hips to feel tight. The sciatic nerve also runs just under the piriformis. If the piriformis becomes too tight it can compress the sciatic nerve causing one version of sciatica (called piriformis syndrome).  The muscle can become too tight due to repetitive exercises like running, prolonged sitting, or due to weakness in the gluteus musculature causing it to become overly stressed.  If too tight, it can put more stress and strain on the low back and hips.  This injury is often fairly preventable as it most often occurs from repetitive motions that cause increased tightness over time.  What can you do about it?  

Taking breaks every 45 minutes from seated desk work can help the muscle from getting too tight.  

Cooling down from exercise and stretching also relieves tension in the region.   

​Strengthening the hip area can also bring more stability to the area and not stress the muscles as much.   

Piriformis: HOW do I stretch it?

This stretch can be done sitting or lying down.  I prefer sitting down since it is more practical to get done during the workday.  Here is how I teach this stretch from a seated position:  

Cross ankle onto knee, keep low back straight, and lean forward until a comfortable pain free stretch occurs.  

Hold for 15-20 seconds and repeat 3 times per side.   

If one leg does not go as far, stretch that side more often until balance is created between the two sides.    

If the stretch causes any pain, tingling, or numbness into the lower leg decrease stretching tension until it is only a pull.   If pain persists, stop the stretch.   

​You can also foam roll or use a ball in the area the as well.  If you get any numbness or tingling into the leg, stop as you are compressing a nerve. Roll back and forth slowly 3-5 times or more until you feel some relief of tension.   

ENJOY and don’t forget to smile!  😃