Is Sitting Bad For My Back?

sitting

A major manufacturer of workstations reports that 86% of work computer users have to sit all day, and when they do rise from sitting, more than half (56%) use food as the excuse to get up and move. In addition to sitting at work, for meals, and commuting to/from work, 36% sit another one to two hours watching TV, 10% sit one to two hours for gaming, 25% sit one to two hours for reading/lounging, and 29% use their home computer for one to two hours. In summary, the average American sits for thirteen hours a day and sleep for eight hours. That’s a total of 21 hours a day off their feet!

The manufacturer’s survey also notes 93% of work computer users don’t know what “Sitting Disease” is but 74% believe that sitting too much can lead to an early death. “Sitting Disease” represents the ill-effects of an overly sedentary lifestyle and includes conditions like “metabolic syndrome” (obesity and diabetes), which is rapidly becoming more prevalent, especially in the young – even in adolescence and teenagers! Recently, the American Medical Association (AMA) adopted a policy encouraging employers, employees, and others to sit less citing the many risks associated with sitting including (but not limited to): diabetes, cancer, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. Standing is SO MUCH BETTER as it burns more calories than sitting, tones muscles, improves posture, increases blood flow, reduces blood sugar, and improves metabolism. Standing is frequently overlooked as “an exercise” and it’s both simple and easy to do!

So, what about the low back and sitting? You guessed it – sitting is hard on the back! The pressure inside of our disks, those “shock absorbers” that lie between each vertebra in our spine (22 disks in total) is higher when we sit compared with simply standing or lying down. It’s estimated that when we lay down, the pressure on our disks is the lowest at 25mm. When lying on one side, it increases to 75mm, standing increases disk pressure to 100mm, and bending over from standing pushes disk pressure to 220mm. When we sit with good posture, our disk pressure may reach 140mm but that can increase to 190mm with poor posture. To help relieve the pressure on our disks, experts recommend: 1) Getting up periodically and standing; 2) Sitting back in your chair and avoiding slouched positions; 3) Placing a lumbar roll (about the size of your forearm) behind the low back and chair/car seat; and 4) Changing your position frequently when sitting.

Because certain low back conditions “favor” one position over another, these “rules” may need modification. For example, most herniated disk patients prefer low back extension while bending over or slouching hurts. In those with lumbar sprain/strains, bending forwards usually feels good and extension hurts. Modifying your position to the one that is most comfortable is perhaps the best advice.

We realize you have a choice in whom you consider for your health care provision and we sincerely appreciate your trust in choosing our service for those needs.  If you, a friend, or family member requires care for back pain, we would be honored to render our services.  Visit www.olsonchiropracticcenter.com for more information or call 605-665-2434.

EFAC Hope Science – How does EFAC compare to other joint products?

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Double blind clinical trial results have clearly demonstrated that EFAC is far more effective and much faster acting than the traditional approach of using glucosamine and chondroitin for joint. health.

Researchers using EFAC as a supplement were awarded 1st prize out of 90 papers.  After just 2 weeks, pain levels decreased and walking distance improved.  Presumably patients with knee discomfort would walk slower due to pain and stiffness.  The results just got better and better with time.

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EFAC Hope Science

EFAC by Hope Science in double blind clinical trials has clearly demonstrated it is far more effective and much faster acting that the traditional approach of using glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health.

After just 2 weeks, pain levels decreased and walking distance improved.  Presumably patients with knee discomfort would walk slower due to pain and stiffness.  The results just got better and better with time.  Order online EFAC Hope Science

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How Does Chiropractic Work?

Many people seek chiropractic care when their back goes out or their neck tightens up. But how does this form of care actually work? What are the benefits of receiving chiropractic care for nerve dysfunction compared with other healthcare options? Let’s take a look!

First, let’s discuss how the nervous system “works.” We have three divisions of the nervous system: the central, peripheral, and autonomic nervous systems. The central nervous system (CNS) includes the brain and spinal cord, and it’s essentially the main processing portion of the nervous system. The spinal cord is like a multi-lane highway that brings information to the brain for processing (sensory division) and returns information back to the toes, feet, legs and upper extremities from which the information originated (motor division).

For example, hiking on a mountain trail or simply walking requires constant input to and from the CNS so we can adjust our balance accordingly and not fall. These “sensory-motor pathways” are essential and allow us to complete our daily tasks in an efficient, safe manner as information is constantly bouncing back and forth between the brain and the rest of the body.

The peripheral nervous system (PNS) includes a similar sensory/motor “two-way street” system relaying information back and forth from our toes/feet/legs and fingers/hands/arms to the spinal cord (CNS). And if this isn’t complicated enough, we also have “reflexes” that, for example, allow us to QUICKLY pull our hand away from a hot stove to minimize burning our fingers.

Reflexes allow the information to “skip” the brain’s processing part so quicker reactions can occur. The autonomic nervous system (ANS) includes the sympathetic and parasympathetic divisions that basically “run” our automatic (organ) functions like breathing, heart rate, digestion, hormonal output, and more. There is constant communication between the ANS, PNS, and CNS that allow us to function in a normal, balanced way…unless something disrupts them.

There are obvious conditions that interfere with this communication process that include (but are not limited to) diabetes (with neuropathy), frost bitten or burned fingers, peripheral nerve damage from conditions like carpal/cubital tunnel syndromes, thoracic outlet syndrome, and/or pinched nerves in the neck, mid-back, low-back spinal regions, as well as conditions such as multiple sclerosis (MS), Guillain-Barre Syndrome, after a stroke (spinal cord or brain), and after trauma with resulting fractures where nerve, spinal cord, and/or brain damage can occur. These are “obvious” reasons for delayed or blocked neurotransmission.

There are many other less obvious injuries or conditions that can result in faulty neuromotor patterns and nerve transmission of which chiropractic services can benefit. The “subluxation complex” is a term some chiropractors use to describe the compromised nerve transmission that may occur if a nerve is compressed or irritated due to faulty bone or joint position along the nerve’s course. Reducing such nerve compression typically allows for a restoration of function. A good illustration of this is when a patient who suffers from a herniated disk in the neck with numbness and tingling down the arm to the hand. The goal of treatment (for all healthcare professionals) is to remove the pinch of the nerve.

To realize this goal, Doctors of Chiropractic utilize spinal manipulation and mobilization in addition to other non-surgical, non-drug approaches that may include exercises, nutritional advice, home-care such as a cervical traction unit, and other anti-inflammatory measures (ice, modalities like low level and class IV laser, electric stimulation, pulsed magnetic field, and more). Given the minimal side-effect risks and well-reported benefits, it only makes sense to try chiropractic FIRST and if you’re not satisfied, your doctor will help you find the next level of care!

Yankton Chiropractor Discusses the Many Faces of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

 

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) was first reported in the late 1800’s and the first surgery was noted in 1933. In the beginning, CTS surgery was rarely performed, reportedly because the nerve pinch was present somewhere before the median nerve reached the wrist or carpal tunnel. In brief, possible compression sites include the cervical nerve roots (C5-7), the brachial plexus, thoracic outlet, above the elbow, in the proximal and/or mid forearm, and finally at the wrist / carpal tunnel.

Estimating the frequency of CTS is challenging due to the fact that the pinch or entrapment may include more than one area before the wrist resulting in double and multiple crush syndromes. One European study reported the incidence of CTS at 5.8% in women and 0.6% in men while another reported 3.4% in the United States. Even the causation of CTS is all over the board. For example, the annual incidence of CTS in automobile workers ranges between 1-10%, while in a fish processing plant, it was reported to be as high as 73%! To make this even more challenging, the cause of CTS is commonly associated with other conditions such as diabetes and pregnancy. In diabetics, CTS ranges between 14% and 30% and those who are pregnant have a 2% incidence. Even harder to report is the incidence of median nerve pinching proximal to the wrist as this ranges between as little as 1% to as high as 75% for pronator tunnel syndrome in already symptomatic women. Gender is also a factor as women are reported to be four times more likely to develop CTS than men. If there is NO other condition associated with CTS, the term “idiopathic” is applied, and this reportedly occurs 43% of the time.

Another issue making CTS a challenge to diagnose is the many risk factors associated with it, and sometimes studies are published that contradict one another about the possible risk factors. There are studies that report CTS is more likely to occur with conditions including: 1) Jobs or activities associated with wrist flexion or extension; 2) Hysterectomy without ovary removal; 3) Obesity; and 4) Varicosities in men. Some studies indicate risk criteria such as: 1) Use of birth control pills; 2) Age at menopause; 3) Diabetes; 4) Thyroid dysfunction; 5) Rheumatism; 6) Typing; and, 7) Pinch grasping. One study reported the highest incidence to occur in those with previous wrist fracture (Colles’ fracture), and common conditions included rheumatoid arthritis, hormonal agents or ovary removal, diabetes, and pregnancy. Another study reported obesity and hypothyroid as being risk factors, but not all studies support that theory. Certain medications have been reported to be associated with higher CTS risk including: 1) Insulin, 2) Sulfonylureas (diabetes meds); 3) Metformin; and 4) Thyroxin.

As doctors of chiropractic, we perform a thorough history, examination, and offer MANY non-surgical, non-pharmaceutical ways of treating CTS. Some of these approaches include: 1) Joint and soft tissue manipulation of the neck, shoulder, elbow, forearm, wrist, and hand; 2) Wrist splinting, especially at night; 3) Vitamin B6 and anti-inflammatory nutrients; 4) Home exercises for the neck, arm and hand; 5) Work station / ergonomic evaluations; 6) Dietary counseling for various conditions listed previously; 7) Co-management with primary care, rheumatology, neurology, orthopedics, and others.

We realize you have a choice in whom you consider for your health care provision and we sincerely appreciate your trust in choosing our service for those needs.  If you, a friend, or family member requires care for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, we would be honored to render our services.  Visit http://www.olsonchiropracticcenter.com for more information.

 

Yankton Chiropractor discusses the “Aging” Lower Back – Part 1

 

Low back pain (LBP) can arise from many causes. Nearly everyone has or will suffer from LBP at some point in time, though it is most common in the 30-year-old to 50-year-old group and it affects men and women equally. However, what about the elderly population and low back pain? Let’s discuss back pain unique to the geriatric population…

We’ve all heard of the “wear and tear” factor as it applies to clothing, automobiles, shoes, and tires, but it affects our bones and joints too! A condition that none of us can fully avoid is called osteoarthritis (OA). OA is the “wear and tear” factor on our joints, particularly the smooth covering called hyaline cartilage located on the surfaces of all moving joints. It’s the shiny, silky smooth surface that we’ve all seen at the end of a chicken leg when we separate it from the thigh. Osteoarthritis is the wearing away of that shiny, smooth surface and it can eventually progress to “bone-on-bone” contact where little to no movement is left in the affected joint. Bone spurs can also occur and be another potential generator of back pain. OA is NOT diagnosed by a blood or lab test but rather by an accurate history, physical examination, and ultimately, an x-ray. However, when the low back is affected by OA, it may not even hurt! Yes, in some cases, there may be a significant amount of OA on an x-ray and that patient may not have significant problems. Or the opposite can occur and some patients with very little arthritis can have a lot of back trouble. It’s FREQUENTLY very confusing. The “take-home” message with OA is that, in and of itself, it does not always generate pain. This is why the history, physical examination, and the response to treatment (chiropractic adjustments, exercise, and possibly some lifestyle changes in diet and activity) are MORE important than the amount of arthritis found on the x-rays. Ultimately, we will ALL get OA sooner or later. It’s usually a slow, gradual process that may slowly change our activity level. Ironically, KEEP MOVING is the best advice we can give to the patient with OA.

There are a number of conditions associated with OA that affect the spine and respond well to chiropractic treatment. Degenerative disk disease (DDD) is one of those conditions found in association with OA. In fact, another name for OA is “degenerative joint disease” (DJD)! The normal anatomy of the intervertebral disk (IVD) consists of a thick, tough outer layer of fibroelastic cartilage and a central “nucleus” that is more liquid-like and allows the IVD to function like a shock absorber. As we age, the water content gradually “dries up” and the shock absorbing quality is lost.

As chiropractors, we address OA (DJD) and DDD with a number of HIGHLY EFFECTIVE treatments but most important (in many cases) is the use of spinal manipulation or adjustments. “Exercising the joint” with manipulation and mobilization reduces the tightness and stiffness associated with OA and DDD. Exercises are also important and can give the OA/DDD patient a way of controlling this condition on their own. Diet, activity modification/encouragement, and periodic adjustments help a lot! Next month, we will continue this discussion!

We realize you have a choice in whom you consider for your health care provision and we sincerely appreciate your trust in choosing our service for those needs.  If you, a friend, or family member requires care for back pain, we would be honored to render our services.  Visit http://www.olsonchiropracticcenter.com for more information.

Yankton Chiropractor discusses neck pain in children and chiropractic

Children have been treated by chiropractors for spinal problems ever since chiropractic was founded in 1895, and neck pain is no exception. Neck pain is surprisingly common in kids, though not quite as common as it is in adults, reaching a similar occurrence rate by age 18. Studies conducted in the United States and in other countries report similar findings, leaving one to conclude there is a high prevalence of neck pain in kids all over the world. There are many causes of neck pain with a few being unique to children and some that could be a warning sign of something dangerous, such as meningitis. But far more commonly, neck pain in kids is NOT dangerous. Let’s take a look! Looking at neck and shoulder pain in high-school-aged students, 931 males between 16 and 19 years of age were surveyed. More than two out of five students (44.3%) had recurrent neck and shoulder pain more than once a week with an overall prevalence of 79.1%. THAT’S A LOT! The study reported the student’s average sitting time was 10.2 hours a day, 59% did NOT sit up straight, and 11.9% reported that they stretched their neck and shoulders regularly throughout the day. Students with recurrent neck and shoulder pain also reported frequent fatigue and depressed moods. Looking specifically at 1,122 backpack-using adolescents, 74.4% were classified as having back or neck pain. When compared to non- or low use backpackers, there was nearly a two times greater likelihood of having back/neck pain! Also, females and those with a large body mass index (overweight) were also significantly associated with back/neck pain. Lastly, they found when compared to adolescents with no back/neck pain, those with pain carried significantly heavier backpacks. Another common cause of neck pain in adolescents is a condition called torticollis or, “wry neck.” This is basically a muscle spasm of certain neck muscles that rotate and extend the head from the neutral / normal position, often described as being “stuck” in this position. Though there are several types of torticollis, it can be triggered by almost anything including a change in weather, sleeping in a draft, following an infection like a cold or flu, maintaining a faulty prolonged posture, certain types of medications, and many others. Some studies describe torticollis as usually improving within one to four weeks, but in the hands of a chiropractor, it usually takes two to three days for the acute pain to subside and one week to completely finish the job! Of course, this varies depending on the case. Infants can be born with “congenital torticollis,” which occurs in 0.3 to 2.0% of newborns. Here too, chiropractic is VERY effective. We realize you have a choice in whom you consider for your health care provision and we sincerely appreciate your trust in choosing our service for those needs. If you, a friend, or family member requires care for neck pain, we would be honored to render our services.  Visit http://www.olsonchiropracticcenter.com for more information.

Low Back Manipulation – How Does it Work? | Yankton Chiropractor | Brian Olson DC

 

Low back pain (LBP) is such a common problem that if you haven’t suffered from it yet, you probably will eventually. Here are a few facts to consider:  1) LBP affects men and women equally; 2) It is most common between ages 30-50; 3) Sedentary (non-active) lifestyles contribute a lot to causation; 4) Too much or too little exercise can result in LBP; 5) A BMI around 25 is “ideal” for weight management, which helps prevent LBP; 6) Causes of LBP include lifestyle (activity level), genetics – including, but not limited to, weight and osteoarthritis; 7) Occupation; 8) Exercise habits, and the list can go on and on. Let’s next look at how an adjustment is done.

When spinal manipulation is performed in the low-back region, the patient is often placed in a side lying position with the upper leg flexed towards the chest and the bottom leg kept straight. The bottom shoulder is pulled forwards and the upper shoulder is rotated backwards at the same time the low back area receives that the manipulation is rotated forwards. This produces a twisting type of motion that is well within the normal range of joint motion. When the adjustment is made, a “high velocity” (or quick), “low amplitude” (a short distance of movement) thrust is delivered often resulting in “cavitation” (the crack or, release of gases). So, WHY do we do this?

Most studies show that when there is back pain, there is inflammation. In fact, inflammation is found in most disease processes that occur both within and outside the musculoskeletal system. We know that when we control inflammation, pain usually subsides. That is why the use of “PRICE” (Protect, Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate) works well for most muscle/joint painful conditions. We have also learned that IF we can avoid cortisone and non-steroidal drugs (like aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, etc.), tissues heal quicker and better, so these SHOULD BE AVOIDED! If you didn’t know that, check out:  http://www.benthamscience.com/open/torehj/articles/V006/1TOREHJ.pdf

Please see our prior discussions on the use of anti-inflammatory herbs and diets that are MUCH safer than non-steroidal drugs! But what does spinal manipulation DO in reference to inflammation?

Different things occur physiologically during a spinal adjustment or manipulation. We know that the mechanical receptors located in muscles, muscle tendons, ligaments, and joint capsules are stimulated and this results in muscle relaxation (reduced spasm or tightness), increased measurable range of motion, and a decrease in pain. A recent study also reported that inflammatory markers (CRP and interleukin-6) measured in a blood test, NORMALIZED after a series of nine chiropractic low back manipulations! So, NOT ONLY do spinal adjustments give immediate improvements in pain, flexibility, and muscle relaxation, they also REDUCE INFLAMMATION without the use of any pharmaceuticals!

So, let’s review what manipulation does for your low back pain: 1) Pain reduction; 2) Improved flexibility – now you can put on your socks with less pain and strain; 3) Improved functions and activities of daily living like sitting more comfortably, getting in or out of your car, bending over to feed the cat, etc.; 4) Improved sleep quality; and 5) Faster healing time by actually reducing the inflammatory markers in the blood! If you have LBP, PLEASE don’t delay – make that appointment TODAY!

We realize you have a choice in whom you consider for your health care provision and we sincerely appreciate your trust in choosing our service for those needs.  If you, a friend, or family member requires care for back pain, we would be honored to render our services.  Visit http://www.olsonchiropracticcenter.com for more information.