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Dr. Adams

Does your posture really matter?

Lower Back pain poor posture

Let’s talk POSTURE! 

From a very young age, we are reminded of the importance of good posture. Patients often talk about how their parents, grandparents, teachers, etc always told them to “sit up straight” or “stop slouching”. When we think about how many hours a day we spend looking at screens with our heads tilted forward and/or our back rounded over, it would make sense why people who care about us would give us this advice. We may be watching TV, reading a book, or doing the dishes and notice that our posture isn’t the best. We are reminded of our “bad posture” by our own bodies alerting us of the discomfort it’s feeling. 

What is Posture?

Posture involves a sustained position of the body for prolonged periods of time. This position may be held while standing, sitting or lying down. Being in sustained positions is not harmful. However, the accumulation of sustained positions over an extended period of time may inevitably cause discomfort in some individuals. Especially those who have preexisting musculoskeletal pain. 

What causes poor posture?

Poor posture can be due to a number of reasons such as obesity, pregnancy, stress, and muscle fatigue. Contrary to popular belief, poor posture is not caused by a weakness in core strength. Dr. Yoav Suprun, faculty with the Mckenzie Institute USA, debunks this common myth. He states that core strength does not hold someone in an upright position. In other words, the muscle development around the abdomen and low back will not help you achieve perfect posture. Instead, Dr. Suprun proposes that we learn how to sit, stand, lie down properly to avoid mechanical stresses especially when this stress is contributing to neck and low back pain that radiates down the arm or leg.  

How can posture affect you?

Long term poor posture can lead to various health problems that can contribute to conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome, sciatica, neck pain, thoracic outlet syndrome, breathing problems, and more. It is important to address postural stresses for the prevention and treatment of musculoskeletal pain. 

Good posture can:

  • Decrease stress on the joints that support the spine
  • Maintain correct alignment of bones and joints
  • Reduce stress on ligaments, minimizing the risk of injury
  • Prevent muscle strain, overuse, and pain

How can we maintain the correct posture?

The first step is body awareness! It is important to pay attention to your posture as you sit, stand or lie down. Keeping your spine in a neutral position can help decrease the discomfort of postural stress. Using back support when sitting and bringing screens to eye level can drastically reduce discomfort in the low back and neck. Taking short breaks to stand, walk, or stretch when sitting for prolonged periods of time can also help decrease pain. Slouch – Over Correct is a simple exercise to perform to help train your body to recognize proper posture. Sit slumped in your chair and round your back, then slowly raise up and over-arch your lower back. Do this about 10 times every few hours to improve seated posture and decrease back pain.

It is also important to monitor our posture during sleep. Be sure to find an ergonomically friendly pillow and mattress to support your sleeping postures at night. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to posture. Be sure to find the pillow, mattress, back support, exercise, and/or stretching routine that works for YOU.

If you are experiencing numbness, tingling, or burning sensations in your arm, hand, leg, and/or foot in certain postural positions, it is possible that you may be experiencing Sciatica or Carpal Tunnel like symptoms. With this particular presentation, it is important that you receive a proper movement assessment by your healthcare practitioner. Night pain that is constant and is unchanged by position may be a more serious health presentation and it important to seek medical attention as soon as possible.

How can Chiropractic Care help?

Your chiropractor can help you to maintain and correct your posture through chiropractic adjustments, soft tissue therapies, exercises and recommendations on proper positions during different activities. At Miami Spine + Performance we take a thorough look at your body’s biomechanics to address the root cause of your postural imbalances as well as teach you strategies to stay pain-free. It is our mission to build resiliency in your body and equip you with the tools necessary to prevent future episodes.

If you or someone you know is currently dealing with a postural pain and looking for permanent relief, we are here to help! Please click the link below to book an appointment.

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Maximizing your Mobility while at Home

stretching mobility exercise at home

Why Focus on mobility training now?

We are currently in a state of affairs in which most individuals are working from home and exercising at home. Many commercial gyms have closed down and individuals are looking for ways to stay active during this time. While home exercise programs involving bodyweight exercises are a great option for maintaining health and in some cases, sanity, this experience we are all going through is an excellent opportunity for us to work on some of the mobility deficits we’ve all been neglecting during our busy work, social and training lives.

One of the principles that we are always reinforcing with our patients is to regularly train their mobility just as they train for strength, skill and cardiovascular health depending upon their goals. Simply warming up before activity and occasionally stretching will not result in long term gains to your range of motion and functional control of that range. Additionally, mobility training does not require any equipment and can be performed from any location including your home or outside. Regular Mobility training can prevent conditions such as lower back stiffness, shoulder pain, and hip arthritis.

 

What causes a limitation in mobility?

Mobility can be defined as the ability of an individual to control soft tissues at their end range of motion. This is contrasted to flexibility, which is the ability to passively stretch muscular, tendonous and ligamentous tissues beyond its resting length. Flexibility is, therefore, a prerequisite for mobility, and mobility is a prerequisite for efficient movement.

Stretching, yoga, pilates and other forms of flexibility training provide a lot of value both physically and psychologically to their practitioners, however training mobility is a specific form of training and needs to be treated as such. Static stretching and spending extended periods in specific positions have been shown to improve flexibility and tissue elasticity over time but do not necessarily result in improved functional mobility that will carry over to activities of daily living and athletic pursuits.

The first step in performing at-home mobility training is to break down mobility into 3 groups: upper body, spine and lower body. 

 

Upper body mobility includes shoulder, elbow, and wrist

Spine mobility includes cervical (neck), thoracic (middle back), and lumbar spine (lower back). 

Lower body mobility includes hip, knee, and ankle.

 

There are going to be areas in your joints that you feel are particularly limited, we advise that you spend some time in each of these 9 key body areas while increasing your focus to the joint(s) that feel particularly limited. After performing your “Controlled Articular Rotations”, also known as CARS, you will have a much better sense of which particularly joints may require more specific mobility training. 

The first component of mobility training we like to address is using CARS to both assess, warm-up, and train the joint. In our office, we use these exercises as one of the key indicators for overall joint function because they demonstrate all the movements of the joint as well as transitions between movements. For ball-in-socket joints such as the shoulder and hip, we will utilize full joint CARs as well as capsular CARS (movements that target the tough outer sheath that encloses the joint). For the spine, we will be using segmental motion as well as rotation motion for the cervical and thoracic spine.

For “Controlled Articular Rotations” to be effective, the technique of the movement must be the number one priority. The movements are very simple but the true benefit is hidden within the fine details of the movement. Every joint in your body, not being moved through the joint rotation, should be kept still and slightly contracted to isolate the joint being trained. The idea is to move only the joint being worked and not any of the surrounding joints. 

Controlled Articular rotations increase mechanoreceptor activity in the joints, which is how the nervous system collects information about the environment which sends signals to the joint indicating that it is safe to move. By regularly moving the joint through a full range of motion your body will lift any “neurological restriction” brought on by poor posture or lack of movement. There is also evidence to support that muscle spasm and stiffness around the joint, designed for protection, will also be lessened by regular joint movement.

If you are planning on performing an at-home workout using bodyweight, bands, kettlebells, dumbbells or other equipment you have around the house, you can perform each of the CARs variations below for 5 repetitions to warm your body up and prepare yourself for your workout. Additionally, at the end of your training, you can perform each of these for 3 repetitions to ensure that you have maintained a full range of motion throughout your exercises program and your joints will be ready for activity the rest of the day.

Another benefit of using an active exercise such as “CARs” as a warm-up/ cooldown is that this movement will increase the total volume of your workout and ultimately increase the total caloric expenditure. If you are low on equipment at home, controlled articular rotations with added resistance, range of motion or active blocking can be used as a workout in themselves. At our clinic, we regularly use ankle and wrist weights to increase the difficulty, as well as yoga blocks to keep the range of motion strict and place more emphasis on the joint you are intending to work.

Below we have attached videos of “Controlled Articular Rotations” for a few of the major body areas. Keep in mind while you are training your mobility using these movements that there are unlimited variations such as partial CARs, half CARs, and many more.

We are also uploading home mobility workouts on our Instagram as well as our youtube channel. Utilize the principles discussed in the article as well as the videos and get creative with your mobility training!

5 Things You Need to Know About Pain

Neck and Back pain

Pain is one of the most complicated and interesting topics in modern healthcare because of the unique blend of biology, neurology, and psychology behind it. No matter what condition an individual is dealing with, their pain experience is going to be inherently different. It is nearly impossible for us as healthcare providers to compare one individual’s pain levels to another because we are always working off a different scale. 

Being in pain can be frustrating and scary, so here are 5 things you need to know about your pain

1. Your Pain is real

One of the most frustrating occurrences for a patient is going to see a doctor, being given a physical exam and imaging only to be told: “there is nothing wrong with you”. Just because there are no or very few objective findings associated with your pain does not mean that it is not real. The experience of pain is a biological, neurological and psychological experience. 

For example, you may sit and watch a funny movie and forget about your back pain but while you are stressed at work your back pain flares up. Even if all variables are the same, just the fact that you are in a stressful environment increases your lower back pain. Do not ever let a medical professional or otherwise convince your that your pain “is not real” and you need to somehow just convince yourself to be pain-free. Central and Affective pain are very real and require unique treatment plans of their own.

2. Your Pain is a message from your body

When you remain in a static postural position or perform a movement and feel pain in your body, it is your body’s way of sending you a message that the particular activity your are performing does not feel safe. There are numerous reasons why the body sends a painful message including improper joint alignment, injury to soft tissue and moving outside of your controllable range of motion. Your body’s job is to protect you from serious injury. However, this does not mean that pain always means to avoid a particular movement (see the video in #5 for details).

Feeling pain does not necessarily equate to a serious structural injury, even an activity such as sitting in a static posture may cause pain after a few hours, which is your body’s way of saying “Time to stand up and move your joints”. The body doesn’t like sustained postures or doing activities beyond its capabilities. If you are unable to lift your shoulder over your head normally, then your body will send you a pain signal if you try to do so with a barbell. This is protective!

 

3. You can control your pain better than you think

Every Painful Condition has behaviors. For example, certain conditions have constant pain, others are intermittent, some respond well to NSAIDs, while others respond to movement. As pain medicine clinicians, our first take when we see a patient is to first understand their goals and then do figure out the behaviors of conditions. If we know what times of day conditions act up, which movements are pain, and which postures are relieving, we are able to not only narrow down an effective treatment plan but also closely control the symptoms.

If your pain is intermittent (meaning that there are certain times it is painful and others it is not) then you are able to control your pain. For example, if sitting causes you lower back pain, then you are able to work standing or take frequent micro-breaks to offset the hours of sitting. Additionally, we know from the medical literature that symptoms that are intermittent and activity dependant are much more likely to be resolved quickly and conservatively than those that are constant because we are able to control when and where symptoms occur.

 

4. Your diagnosis does not tell the story

Diagnoses such as “Arthritis”, “Disc Herniation”, and a number of soft tissue injuries can be very disheartening to hear and if not accompanied by proper education on the part of your clinician, can lead to a life of disability. The truth of many of these diagnoses is that they are a normal part of aging and being active. Of course, this doesn’t mean to simply ignore your diagnosis or MRI, but there are many individuals with arthritis, disc herniations, rotator cuff tears and meniscus tears that are completely asymptomatic and have had these conditions for years.

Because in some cases the diagnosis or finding on imaging may be irrelevant or may have been present long before you felt symptoms, it is a better assessment to look at movement and symptom baselines. For example, the ability of your shoulder to function during work, activities of daily living and exercise are a better indicator of shoulder health than what you MRI says. When you are being assessed for a musculoskeletal injury, we advise that you see a conservative care physician first to see if your injury is manageable without the use of invasive surgery or medication.

5. You can stay active even when in pain

 

If you are currently dealing with pain and want a thorough assessment and a treatment plan specifically tailored to you, please give us a call or book online. We are here to help!

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Disclaimer: If you are in pain, please get a thorough assessment from a chiropractor or medical doctor! These tips are not designed to replace a visit to the doctor, but rather to be educational.

 

 

What does it mean to move well?

Yoga Exercise hallandale beach

For our Sports Chiropractors at Miami Spine and Performance, we consider movement quality to be one of the most important diagnostic criteria for an individual’s musculoskeletal health. We use movement to assess, treat and re-assess our patients to ensure that they are meeting their own personal goals and build long-term resiliency to stay injury-free. Below we will discuss how good movement is defined in our current healthcare and fitness systems as well as how we approach it at our own clinic.

The Current State of “Movement”

In 2020 there is a wealth of information available through Google, Youtube, continuing education, books, audiobooks, and distance learning in the world today, many individuals have a wealth of information at their fingertips. Having all of this information available and individuals taking learning into their own hands rather than through traditional means (modern academics, master’s degree, doctorate degree), it can be hard to know who what professional you can turn to. This is particularly true in the world of movement medicine, rehabilitation and training. Many physicians are implementing manual therapy, rehabilitation, and training in order to reduce pain and improve movement quality of their patients. Likewise, many trainers are becoming educated in manual therapy and using “prehab” with their clients to not only improve fitness but also improve the quality of movement and prevent injuries.

All of the different professions in conservative healthcare and fitness (chiropractors, physical therapists, massage therapists, strength and conditioning coaches, sports coaches and personal trainers) are becoming more educated on biomechanics, anatomy, and movement, there is an excellent opportunity for potential patients and clients to have access to an expert, but it can also be challenging to know which type of provider to see. Some conditions will require that you see a physician and be given an appropriate diagnosis while others may just be based upon poor movement mechanics and can be corrected with corrective exercise alone. 

It is our job as sports chiropractors and movement specialists to address what pieces may be missing in assessing and treatment movement impairment disorders as well as laying down some foundational principles for defining high-quality movement.

How can we objectively define good movement quality?

Every individual has different goals. For example, Alex Honohold, the legendary free-solo climber, for example, needs an incredible amount of dexterity and strength at end range whereas Terrence Crawford, the number one pound for pound boxer in the world, requires the ability to make subtle reactionary movements combined with quick bursts of power transferred from the hips to the hands. With this in mind, should every individual is held to separate movement standards depending upon their goals and lifestyle? And if your goals change, should the approach to movement, therapy, and function also change?

It is the responsibility of your healthcare professional to prepare you for not only the movement you currently do but also movements you want to do. Of course, a thorough activity and medical history are necessary to know your starting point and any limitations you may have going forward, but within the physiological limitations of your body, we are responsible for creating a system that is designed for fitness.

The next question that must be considered is, should we care more about movements or joints? Is there a required degree of ankle, hip, and midback range of motion that should be mandatory for an individual to perform an overhead squat. Elite athletes are masters at compensating to perform, so should we only be worried about whether or not you can perform the movement pain-free and chalk the rest up to individual variation?

The truth is, there ought to be a hierarchy when we are preparing an individual for movements. We know that if each joint is able to move through a full range of motion for that individual free of pain or obstruction, that we are prepared for much of the demands of activities of daily life and sport. This is where the relationship between physicians, trainers, sports coaches becomes crucial. A team approach is necessary for any individual to excel. The role of the physician is to prepare the patient or athlete for sport-specific activity.

Take Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for example. If we see a Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner in our office, it is most likely because they performed or were forced by their partner to perform a hip movement for which their body was not prepared. As a result, their body responded with the protective measures of producing pain and obstruction to a movement that required medical attention. Once we abolished the patient’s pain and restored the hip to its original state before the injury, is this where we should stop? What have we done to ensure the patient we have taken measures to prevent further injury, that is just as much our responsibility as treating the initial insult.

Where does this leave us? Healthcare and Performance care are on a continuum. Our job as conservative musculoskeletal healthcare and performance providers is not to build a fear-mongering environment for our patients and clients to feel that they aren’t qualified to participate in activities they enjoy but rather to build battleships, unsinkable and resilient.

To gain more insight into how to improve movement, check out our trainer series on our youtube channel where we interview movement experts throughout Hallandale Beach, Hollywood, and Aventura or our blogs, written by our movement-focused chiropractic physicians.

5 ways to avoid injuries in your Crossfit gym

Crossfit Athlete Aventura, FL

Over the last ten years, CrossFit and functional group exercise have exploded onto the fitness scene, particularly in South Florida. It is difficult to drive more than one block through Hallandale Beach or Aventura without seeing a CrossFit box, boot camp, or other group fitness gym setting.

Not only do individuals enjoy the high-intensity nature of the classes themselves, but also the challenge of learning and applying new movements in the gym.

Performing challenging movements at high speed or intensity can be an excellent way to get into great shape but can also put you at risk for a sports injury if you are not taking the right steps in and out of the gym to keep yourself healthy.

In the steps below, we are going to walk you through 5 ways to make sure you stay healthy in the gym but also improving your fitness and maximizing your performance on a regular basis!

 

1. Find the “hardest thing you can do well”

Every individual that has stepped foot in a CrossFit or functional fitness gym for the first time looks around and may feel intimidated by the individuals around them performing movements they’ve never seen, with weights they’ve never touched at speeds they don’t think possible.

Prior to joining a CrossFit box, most individuals have not performed a single barbell snatch, let alone. 30 snatches at 135 pounds consecutively for time.

To start your CrossFit journey, the first principle you must become comfortable with for long-term success is the concept of “scaling” or modifying a workout in a way that meets your current fitness, strength, and skill level.

CrossFit workouts were originally written to be standardized so that one individual could measure his or her success against other competitors across the country. Over time, however, to accommodate individuals of skill levels and different backgrounds, the concept of “scaling” was introduced to keep members safe while still providing them with the appropriate fitness stimulus.

When it comes to making significant gains in fitness over the long term, injury prevention and incremental fitness gains are key. Find the hardest movements and workouts that you can complete with sound technique and train them with intensity regularly.

 

2. Be sure that your body is prepared for the task

Taking on a new workout regimen can be challenging and intimidating but ultimately very rewarding.

The human body is an incredible organism capable of tremendous physical capacity, and that capacity should be challenged regularly. It is critical that before partaking in new forms of exercise, you take the time to be sure that your body is ready to handle the demands you are about the place on it.

Every new task you ask your body to perform in the gym requires a certain level of physical capacity for the execution of the movement to be safe and efficient. Often, individuals will jump into a new exercise regimen early in the year only to stop in the first month due to injury or overtraining.

Before partaking in a new physical exercise regiment, get a thorough assessment from a movement educated physician or sports-based chiropractor that can help identify deficiencies early and give you strategies to prevent injury as you embark on your fitness journey.

Even if you don’t feel any pain at the moment, getting a “movement-based” physical exam from a sports-based chiropractor and checking to make sure that all of your joints are moving adequately can pay huge dividends in the long run of injury prevention and help set a path of success for you during your journey towards health and fitness.

 

3. Train to improve your joints capacity

When most individuals think about training physical capacity, the phrases that generally come to mind are “endurance,” “strength,” “skill,” etc. Most individuals neglect to actually take time to train the capacity of their joints.

For example, to perform a technical and efficient snatch, you must have adequate ankle dorsiflexion, hip flexion, and thoracic extension, shoulder flexion, and wrist extension.

Often athletes use the movement itself to train capacity, i.e., snatching to improve mobility. This is a misconception in how the body adapts.

First, the proper environment in your body must be established via the joint range of motion and proper muscle activation, and the exercise (in this case, the barbell snatch) is simply the expression of that physical capacity.

Not only does improving the physical capacity of the joints decrease the chance of shoulder injuries, disc herniations, and other sports injuries but also allows you to efficiently train the capacity of your skill and fitness.

If, for example, you do not have the necessary prerequisites in upper body mobility to perform a proper handstand, you will struggle immensely with performed handstand pushups for repetition and for time.

How do you go about preparing your joints for exercise?

It all starts with a thorough assessment! Miami Spine and Performance is one of the few chiropractic clinics in Hallandale Beach trained in Functional Range Conditioning (FRC), which is a system that uses a specific joint assessment to design a corrective exercise system specifically tailored to your body.

If you are interested in receiving a full-body joint-by-joint assessment and an individualized corrective program, click below!

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4. Use diet and hydration to gain an edge

 Injury prevention is not a one-dimensional process; there are several factors even unrelated to the physical capacity that can improve your body’s ability to adapt to exercise safely. Two of which are hydration and nutrition.

 

Hydration

It is no secret that South Florida can be very humid during certain times of the year, which can put you at risk for dehydration even if you aren’t visibly sweating.

Because our muscles are nearly 70% made up of water and most of our body’s metabolic processes require adequate hydration, if you are not keeping up with regular water consumption, as well as electrolytes, you may be putting yourself at risk for dehydration, cramping or predispose yourself to a muscle strain during activity.

Nutrition

In addition to hydration, nutrition can play a crucial role in how your body recovers and adapts to training. There are a lot of excellent resources for general nutritional recommendations as far as good sources of proteins, vegetables, fruits, and fats to help your body perform optimally.

If you are looking to take your training to the next level, we highly recommend you see a physician specializing in nutrition that can create a custom-tailored program based on your medical history, training schedule, and blood chemistry. At Miami Spine and Performance, we offer Functional Medicine and nutritional consultations for athletes and individuals looking to optimize their health and improve performance for the gym

 

5. Take time to deload regularly

The last factor in managing your training load, staying injury-free, and performing at a high level is taking regular deloads in training to allow your body to recover.

Every 6-8 weeks, it is recommended you take one week to reduce the intensity and volume of exercise by at least 50% and take advantage of recovery modalities in your community. One of the most beneficial ways to recover properly during hard training and your deload is to regularly visit your Hallandale beach chiropractor at Miami Spine and Performance.

Some examples of recovery modalities utilized at our practice:

  • Chiropractic adjustments
  • Active Release Technique
  • Fascial Stretch Therapy
  • Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue
  • Normatec Compression
  • Compex Recovery System
  • Dry Needling

Blending chiropractic manipulation with manual therapy and specific rehabilitation exercises can help decompress your joints from hard training, restore your muscles to proper function, and address any nagging injuries you may be experiencing. If you are just starting your fitness journey or are looking to stay injury-free during your training please give us a call or book online for a comprehensive assessment

If you are currently participating in crossfit workouts and are currently injuried or would like to prevent future injuries and optimize performance, please give us a call or book online below!

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How to Beat Lower Back Pain

Lower Back pain treatment

Is Lower Back pain an epidemic?

Lower Back pain is one of the most common reasons an individual visits a doctors office. Over 80% of Americans suffer from lower back pain at some point in their life, and 50% of these individuals have multiple occurrences within 1 year’s time of their first episode. Many companies, large and small are seeing increases in medical cost as it related to back pain as well as a greater number of disability claims. These increase in costs and disability are driven by poor diagnostics, over-utilization of procedures, rising costs of invasive procedures/medications, increased length of disability claims and high recurrence of injury. Current research in the field of orthopedic spine pain indicates that the following factors result in increased disability during the course of treatment for the presenting complaint: early MRI, multiple MD providers, more than 5 MD visits, specialist consultations, early use of narcotics. Conservative care has been shown to be highly effective in many cases as a first line of strategy to avoid the stress and pitfalls of invasive therapy.

 

What can cause lower back pain?

There are a number of sources of lower back pain and even more predisposing factors that make lower back pain a challenging puzzle and ultimately an epidemic.  Lower back pain can be caused by a seemingly harmless activity such as sitting in a poor posture to more serious conditions involving internal organs referring pain to the low back. The wide range of conditions responsible for lower back pain is why it is very important to get a thorough assessment once you start to feel symptoms.

 

                                 Specific Lower Back Conditions

Degenerative Disc Disease: DDD is a commonly diagnosed condition associated with the normal aging process of the spine. When you are younger, your spinal discs function as the perfect shock absorbers, but as you get older the disc(s) slowly loses hydration and the space between vertebrae decreasesBecause degeneration is a normal part of aging, not every individual with degeneration will experience pain, so if you are experiencing lower back pain and have been told you have “DDD”, be sure to see a clinician that performs a thorough movement assessment.  

 

Disc Herniation: Disc herniations are one of the most frequently diagnosed conditions of the spine but unfortunately because diagnostics are heavily reliant on imaging (MRI primarily), disc herniation can be mis-diagnosed as the pain generator or even operated on inappropriately due to a lack of understanding of the source of pain thus a thorough movement assessment is needed to compliment and confirm imaging findings. A disc herniation occurs when the disc material called “nucleus pulposus” leaves the outer casing called the “annulus fibrosus”. The severity of a herniation can range anywhere from a minor bulge (nucleus still within the annulus) to a disc sequestration in which the discal material is displaced into the spinal canal. A more severe disc herniation will produce symptoms into the leg and can potentially cause neurological deficit (weakness, numbness, tingling).

 

Lumbar Stenosis: Similar to degenerative disc disease, lumbar stenosis is often found in individuals over the age of 60. An individual with stenosis will prefer a bent-over posture and will generally feel discomfort walking around and standing for too long. Also, an individual with stenosis may not only feel symptoms in the lower back but down the leg as well. Physiologically, the stenosis is narrowing of the spinal canal itself that can be caused by bone spurs, hardening on the disc and herniation into the canal, spondylolisthesis (vertebra slips forward onto the bone below it) and a number of other space occupying lesions.

 

Facet Syndrome: Facet joint syndrome is a painful condition of the spine involving degenerative arthritis of the joints that connect the lateral ends of the vertebrae that ultimately results in poor movement and inflammation in the area leading to pain. Facet syndrome can also come as a result of aging, but staying active, maintaining good spinal mobility and performing strength training for the core can help prevent and/or mitigate symptoms of spinal discomfort. Inflammation of the facet joint itself can result in muscle spasm as well as referred pain into the lower back, buttock and lateral hip. An X-ray can help point out areas of degeneration but does not necessarily correlate to the cause of symptoms for this reason it is critical that an appropriate orthopedic and neurological exam follow an X-ray for the diagnosis of a facet issue.

 

How do we treat lower back pain?

The treatment for lower back pain is largely dependent upon dependent upon the findings of the orthopedic and neurological exam. If you are experiencing a neurological deficit (weakness, numbness, tingling) or pain that does not change with position, it is likely you may benefit from a referral to a pain medicine specialist or orthopedic doctor. If the pain is above the knee and intermittent (comes and goes with specific positions), it is more likely that your condition can be resolved with conservative therapy which may include chiropractic manipulation, soft tissue therapy and therapeutic exercise. The specific “diagnosis” must be supplemented with a functional diagnosis that includes a thorough history, palpation as well as a movement exam. X-ray and/or MRI imaging does not provide your healthcare provider with sufficient information to construct a treatment plan designed to reduce pain and improve function long term.

 

What are a few ways you can prevent future occurrences of lower back pain?

A few of the predisposing factors for lower back pain include being overweight, smoking, being physically inactive, poor posture, aberrant breathing, limited motion in the upper back and restricted hip range of motion. 

  • Breathing is one of the most overlooked aspects of spinal stability and decompression. Due to aesthetics and stress, individuals generally with through their chest and use the superficial musculature of their neck (scalenes, SCM, Upper trapezius, pec minor) to create a forceful inhale.
  • Posture can be a critical piece of the puzzle when it comes to preventing lower back pain. The lumbar spine

5 Ways to get the Most out of your Exercise Routine

Execise Routine Hallandale Beach, FL

 

1. Blend resistance training and cardiovascular training

The most important part of choosing your exercise routine is picking an activity that you enjoy. With that being said, the more variability that you can include in your routine, the more well rounded your fitness will be and the healthier your body will be in the long run. If your exercise of choice is primarily weightlifting, try and incorporate at least 2 days of moderate-intensity cardiovascular exercise. Likewise, if you are a runner or tennis player, try spending two days a week performing sport-specific resistance training to strengthen your muscles and joints to build durability.

 

2. Take time to train your joints specifically

Most active individuals know that cardiovascular training (running, cycling, swimming) and weight training (barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells etc.) should be supplemented with stretching and warming up, but most individuals don’t take the time to actually improve the capacity of their joints. Spending time during the week improving your joints capacity (range of motion, stability, etc) will not only improve your quality of exercise, but also help reduce injuries and improve your long term ability to pick up new activities.

 

3. Take recovery as seriously as training

Recovery is a very mutli-dimensional topic and is heavily dependent upon the frequency/intensity of your training as well as factors such as age, training history, etc. In general, recovery can include activities such as sleeping, eating, stretching, and using modalities such as heat and cold. There are many other ways of recovery but these are a few of the basics that can be used by an individual. Nutrition and sleep are two topics that can be covered at length but most individuals are aware that improving your quality and quantity of sleep as well as adhering to good nutritional guidelines most of the time will heavily impact your ability to recover. If you are training hard or are new to training, try and block out extra time for more sleep, be sure to eat a healthy meal before an after training and take time to stretch on your own during non-training days.

 

4. Be mindful of your posture and ergonomics at work

Often times when individuals injury their spine while training, it is not necessarily the activity they were performing at the time of the injury that perpetuated the injury, but rather an injury caused by partaking in strenuous activity after being sedentary and in poor posture throughout your day. If you are mindful of keeping a neutral spine while seated throughout the day and take frequent microbreaks to stand up and move around, you will be much less likely to come to the gym feeling stiff and being injury prone. It is also crucial that if you are training first thing in the morning or after a long work day that you take the time to warm up properly before partaking in any strenuous activity.

 

5. Breathe

Breathing is one of the most fundamental and frequent physical activities that our bodies perform throughout the day. If your normal pattern of breathing is not optimal you may not be stabilizing your spine properly during both activities of daily living and physical exercise. Additionally, taking shallow breaths through your chest can increase tension in the muscles attaching to your neck and your shoulder blade. Proper breathing through your diaphragm should have minimal chest elevation with 360 degree expansion through your abdomen. Building this habit throughout your day and taking the time to practice proper breathing will improve your spinal stability and lead  to decreased injuries and improved performance in the gym.

 

How to Build a Bulletproof body for Jiu-Jitsu

Chiropractor Hallandale Beach Jiu Jitsu

Essential exercises to keep you healthy and performing at a high level consistently in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

 

Jiu-Jitsu is a particularly unique martial art and sport in which the majority of a match is played with one or both competitors on the ground either on their back, on their behind, half kneeling or full kneeling positions.

What makes a jiu-jitsu athlete unique is that throughout their training they will learn to be comfortable in several positions and be able to both simultaneously attack their opponent and defend themselves from each of these positions.

To build a perfect body for longevity in jiu-jitsu, we must break down each position and the mobility and stability requirements from each position to be healthy and effective in the sport:

The Importance of Mobility in Jiu-Jitsu

Mobility can be defined as the ability for one joint to express a full range of motion independent of other motion in the body. An example of this in jiu-jitsu that most can relate to is the hips. At some point in your jiu-jitsu training, you have likely encountered an individual who has a near-impossible guard to pass due to his hips being extremely flexible as well as good speed to pummel their legs and recover guard. This is a prime example of using mobility to your advantage to improve your jiu-jitsu. In other cases, you have likely encountered an individual who is very prone to be “stacked” in the guard due to hip immobility. Even if an individual is taught the proper technique to retain and attack from the guard position, if their hips cannot keep up with the position or passing of their opponent, they leave themselves vulnerable to both being passed and being injured.

The Importance of Stability in Jiu-Jitsu

Stability can be defined as our body’s’ ability to keep certain areas of your body still and balanced while moving or being moved in other areas of your body. A great example of this is passing the guard. As a jiu-jitsu player, you have likely encountered the individual who has such a great base that they seem impossible to sweep or control from the bottom position. Even when controlling one of these individuals’ legs or having a deep grip on their collar, there is something about this individual that makes them an immovable object. Having excellent stability, particularly in your “core”, will allow you to move quickly, powerfully and efficiently on the mat, all while significantly reducing your chance of injury.

At Miami Spine and Performance we work with many jiu-jitsu athletes, both recreational enthusiasts, and high-level competitors throughout Hallandale, Aventura, and Hollywood. We have found that many of our jiu-jitsu athletes present to the clinic with neck and lower back pain that is ultimately a result of poor respiration, core stability, and hip control during training. In our Jiu-Jitsu Injury Prevention video series, we are going to share 3 of the primary exercises we use with our jiu-jitsu athletes to keep them healthy on the mats and performing at a high level in competitions. We will cover the basics of proper respiration, as well as how to properly train your hip for both stability and mobility.

For exclusive access to our Jiu-Jitsu Performance and Injury Prevention series please sign up below!

 

Jiu-Jitsu Injury Prevention Series: Breathing

Proper Respiration is the foundation of any good athletic movement but is particularly important for Jiu-Jitsu because of the dynamic nature of the sport and the regular transition between positions. To smoothly transition between positions, maintain cardiovascular performance and maintain a strong base is contingent upon your ability to use your respiratory and stability diaphragm muscle in sync.

Not only does proper diaphragm function and intra-abdominal pressure improve your performance, but it also protects your spine from injury during training. The actual strength of the core muscles does not prevent injury, but rather your ability to generate pressure in your abdomen to create stability around your spine and prevent bucking of the vertebrae.

Our goal with training the diaphragm is to produce pressure in the abdomen in 360 degrees with each inhale and to be able to maintain 20-30% of that pressure during exhalation. Once you can accomplish this task lying on your back with your legs elevated, challenge your breathing in different positions! (Example: Face down, side-lying, half kneeling, in guard)

Watch the video below for instructions on how to begin training your breathing and core stability for Jiu-Jitsu!

 

 

Jiu-Jitsu Injury Prevention Series: Hip Stability

Once you have established your intra-abdominal pressure, you have already successfully built the foundation for good stability in jiu-jitsu.

In addition to intra-abdominal pressure, it is also crucial that you have good centration and stability in your hips. This will allow you to sit back into your hips and use them explosively when shooting for a takedown. Hip stability means more than just strength, there are plenty of individuals with an impressive leg press but no hip stability.

Hip stability is a product of proper hip centration and the ability to produce force from all different angles. Not only will it strengthen your standing position, but also is beneficial in both the top and bottom position on the ground. When passing guard at higher levels, most individuals are standing and must have an excellent base to not be off-balanced by their opponent.

It is important to note that strength does not equal balance. Balance starts with centration. Many individuals are shocked when they can put up large numbers in the weight room on exercises like squat, lunge and leg press but are unable to properly bridge with their hip. A lot of the stability demands required for Jiu-Jitsu fall on the small musculature of the hip.

Watch the video link below for how to train hip centration and stability properly for Jiu-Jitsu!

 

Jiu-Jitsu Injury Prevention Series: Hip Mobility

Before we dive into the importance of hip mobility for jiu-jitsu and how to train it, let’s first discuss the difference between mobility and flexibility. Flexibility is the ability to passively stretch muscular, tendon and ligament tissue beyond its resting length. Mobility, on the other hand, is the ability to control soft tissues in their end range of motion. This means that flexibility is a prerequisite for mobility.

For example, If an opponent can push your feet behind your head and you feel a very little stretch in your back or hips, this would be an example of excellent flexibility, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that this position is safe or ideal for your body. However, if you can bring your feet behind your head on your own without compromising other areas of your body, this would demonstrate excellent mobility and means that you can safely control this position and use it as part of your game.

In addition to improving your jiu-jitsu game and giving you more options on the mat, having great hip mobility also reduces the strain on your lower back when training. The large majority of lower back injuries are the result of overloading on the joints of the lower back due to inadequate movement of the thoracic spine (middle back) and the hips. Therefore, improving the movement quality of your hips can greatly reduce your incidence of lower back pain and prevent injury in the long term.

Most individuals mistake flexibility training for mobility training. Holding stretches or rocking back-and-forth are not adequate means of improving mobility, particularly if your goal is to build strong and efficient hips to use in a contact sport such as jiu-jitsu. To improve hip mobility and create lasting changes that impact the long-term, it must be trained just like any other physical capacity.

Learn how to train your hip mobility by clicking the link below!

Top 5 Things you need to know about Chiropractic in Hollywood, FL

Hallandale Beach Chiropractor

 

1. Chiropractors are physicians

Though Chiropractors are traditionally thought of as “Spine adjusters”, we are much more than that. To become a chiropractic physician, we attend 4 years of undergraduate pre-medical schooling followed by 4 years of Chiropractic school which includes hundreds of hours in the physical exam, diagnosis, nutrition, and chiropractic manipulation. physical therapy and spend at least one year in a clinical internship treating patients. 

Our license gives us the full scope of practice of a medical doctor without the ability to prescribe medications and perform surgeries. This means that we do not require a referral and are trained to diagnose musculoskeletal and internal conditions using clinical history, physical exam, blood labs, and imaging if necessary. Because we take a “conservative first” approach, we are an excellent first option when you are considering seeking medical care or consultation.

 

2. Chiropractic Adjustments are just one tool in the toolbox

The chiropractic profession was founded on the premise that a disruption in spinal alignment can lead to excessive strain on the nervous system resulting in disease and dysfunction. One of the most powerful tools we have in conservative manual medicine today is chiropractic adjustment, as we can use a hands-on approach to restoring proper movement of the spine and ultimately high functionality of our nervous system.

While the adjustment is an excellent tool and treats a wide variety of musculoskeletal conditions, utilizing manual soft tissue work to ease muscular tension and physical therapy to improve movement quality leads to exceptional clinical outcomes and long-term relief.

 

3. Chiropractors take a holistic approach to your health

As conservative healthcare physicians, we pride ourselves on spending significant time with you as the patient, listening to your concerns, and establishing clear goals for us to accomplish together during your course of care. The initial consultation will typically last an hour because we will discuss your full health history and make sure that we understand not only what is not working well in your body but also what is working great. Our philosophy is that because your body is a closed system, we cannot neglect the whole picture to treat one area.

For example, if you are experiencing lower back pain, we may also ask about nutrition, sleep, stress, and what you do for a living. This not only gives us context for your treatment but also allows us to explore and utilize all avenues of care to make sure that we get you to 100% as quickly as possible. Improving lifestyle factors like these will not only potentially help you with your pain but also create an environment for health to prevent future occurrences. 

 

4. Chiropractors are extensively trained in hands-on care

One of the unique differentiating factors of seeing a chiropractic physician is that generally, a large portion of our treatment is hands-on. Taking a hands-on approach allows us to even better understand your condition by assessing joint motion and muscular tension, which is an important piece of our clinician assessment. Though a neurological, orthopedic and functional movement examination are an important part of telling the story of your condition, hands-on palpation will allow us as the clinician to interpret messages from your body in the form of muscular tension and joint restriction.

In treatment, we utilize a hands-on approach in several ways including chiropractic adjustments, active release technique, instrument-assisted soft tissue therapy, dry needling, and therapeutic cupping. The specific manual therapy tool that we use is always dependent on the findings of each case as well as patient preference. We want to make sure you are not only feeling better but also happy with your care.

 

5. Chiropractors can treat more than just joint and muscle pain

Most individuals consider chiropractors to be primarily specializing in musculoskeletal disorders (joint, muscle and nerve pain) but chiropractors are also trained extensively in acupuncture, nutrition, and functional medicine. Some chiropractors chose to specialize in Sports Chiropractic while others spend hundreds of hours in the training of internal disorders such as digestive issues, nutritional deficiencies, allergies, and hormone imbalances.

If you are dealing with any of the conditions listed previously, a chiropractor may be a great first option for resolving these issues. For Functional Medicine conditions, we take the same holistic approach we do with every patient but our visit will be more focused on your symptoms and lab work to find conservative solutions involving nutritional intervention, therapeutic supplementation, lifestyle recommendations as well as hands-on care or acupuncture as part of the treatment plan.

If you are currently dealing with musculoskeletal pain or would like to inquire about our functional medicine and acupuncture treatments, please give us a call or schedule below with one of our physicians. We are here to help and guide you through your health journey.

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Miami Spine and Performance

3325 Hollywood Boulevard. Suite 203.

Hollywood, FL. 33021.

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