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Hollywood

5 Key Reasons you May Be Experiencing Headaches

Headache Treatment and Therapy

1. Stress

  • Stress can come in the form of
    • Emotional stress
    • Physical Stress such as clenching teeth or poor posture
    • Physiological stress in the form of excessive sugar or caffeine
  • Stress is a normal human reaction that can be used to improve productivity and awareness, but when excessive stress begins compounding, it can detrimental to your health.
  • Though a cycle of stress can be difficult to manage, simple strategies can help such as
    • Deep Breathing
    • Meditation
    • Quality Sleep
    • Eating nutrient-dense foods
    • Proper hydration

2. Posture

  • Common postural stressors include sitting with a rounded back, chin protrusion, or tilting/rotating the head to one side for a period of time.
  • These postures may lead to excessive tone in the muscles of the neck, leading to increased pressure on the nerves and joints.

3. Food/Drink Consumption

  • Food intolerances are one of the least known causes of headaches
  • Food/Drink triggers are very individualized, so be aware of what you are consuming when you are experiencing headaches
  • Common foods and beverages that may trigger headaches include:
    • Caffeine
    • Alcohol
    • MSG containing foods
    • Aged Cheeses
    • Excessively processed or salty foods

4. Hydration

  • Dehydration is a very common and overlooked reason you may be experiencing headaches, particularly living in South Florida.
  • Do not wait until you are thirsty to drink water, try and always have a bottle of water to sip throughout the day.
  • If you are physically active and sweat often, be sure to include electrolytes in your hydration program to replenish what is lost during activity.

5. Movement Quality

  • Poor movement quality and range of motion in the neck, shoulders, and upper back can lead to strain on sensitive structures such as joints, ligaments, and nerves.
  • Regularly moving the joints and muscles of the neck through a full range of motion can reduce the likelihood of excessive strain and headaches.
  • Strengthening the small stabilizing muscles of the neck and shoulder blades can balance muscles and reduce the over-use of larger muscle groups in the neck

 

If you or someone you know has been dealing with headaches and would like to schedule and evaluation with one of our physicians please give us a a call or click the link below!

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5 Ways to Optimize your Workstation for Productivity

Workstation ergonomics

Most individuals spend more time at their desks or workstation than they do at home. The workstation should be a place that you are able to be productive and comfortable but unfortunately, for many, the workstation is a place associated with stress, discomfort and often times, pain in the neck and back

Below we are going to give you 5 practical tips in order to optimize your workstation so that your body feels great at the end of the workday and you don’t need to be distracted by neck and back pain during your workday.

 

 

1. Ensure the Brightness and Text size on your screen are appropriate

 

This first pointer for workstation ergonomics is one that is often overlooked when an individual is looking to make their workspace neck and back-friendly. The reason that improper brightness and text size can affect neck and back pain is that if you cannot read your screen you will be more inclined to lean forwards towards your computer, resulting in excessive protrusion of the chin, upper back flexion, and lower back flexion.

 

 

2. Place your Desk and Chair at a height that allows you to sit upright 

 

Often times, individuals will neglect the importance of chair and desk height for ergonomic safety and health. Ideally, you want to have your chair at a height that allows you to have two feet on the floor and allow your forearms to rest on your desk.

If your desk is too high, you will be required to have your arms higher and ultimately this will lead to tension in the neck as well as an increased likelihood of carpal tunnel syndrome. Conversely, If the desk is too low, you may be more likely to lean forward or flex your spine excessively to reach the level of the screen.

 

 

3. Have lumbar support on your chair to maintain your natural spinal curvature

 

Contrary to popular belief, your spine is not meant to be “straight”. Your spine has three distinct curves and is shaped more like the letter “S”. When individuals sit for an extended period of time, they are likely to round their lower back. Naturally, the lower back is meant to hold a slight arch, meaning that sitting oftentimes reverses its intended curvature. 

Over time, when this flexed position of the lower back is held for an extended period of time, you are likely to experience lower back discomfort. We often recommend to our patients to use a Mckenzie Lumbar Roll or purchase a chair that allows them to maintain a normal lumbar curvature.

 

 

4. Take breaks regularly to move your hip and hips through a full range of motion

 

Microbreaks are an area of workplace ergonomics that most individuals partake in by necessity. After sitting for hours working on a project, it is natural to walk to get up, stretch, and walk around. Though walking around the office for a few minutes is a great start, we want you to be even more specific with your microbreaks. We recommended getting up for 5 minutes from your desk every hour or two.

While sitting at work, generally, the joints of the spine, as well as your hip and shoulders, are in a flexed position. Standing and walking, however, are positions considered to be relatively neutral. We know that joints love to be moved in all directions regularly, so what we want to do during our microbreaks is not only stand and walk but actively extend our joints. Here are some examples of extension based movements that can be performed during your breaks at work!

 

5. Practice Proper  and Controlled Respiration through your abdomen

 

Proper respiration is one of the most significantly overlooked aspects of posture, ergonomics, and even physical activity. When individuals become stressed at work, their posture breaks down and they begin slightly hyperventilating (taking quick breaths). 

Taking these short, choppy breaths forces you to use your shoulder elevator and neck musculature to assist in the breathing process. This causes a buildup for tension in the upper back and neck and puts small degrees of compression through your spine.

By focusing on expanding your abdomen while breathing, inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth, you will be able to decompress your spine, protect your lower back and inhibition the muscles of the neck that commonly contribute to pain and tightness.

For more details on how to breathe properly and begin to train for respiration, please see the video below.

Get the scoop on POOP!

“What does my stool have to do with my health?! ”

Patients in my practice are often surprised when I ask about their bowel movements. Let’s face it, talking about our pooping habits can be embarrassing. We may feel shy or uncomfortable talking about something so private and as a result, we may choose not to discuss our symptoms with our healthcare provider. Sometimes we may not be aware that our pooping habits are irregular at all. We may be accustomed to bothersome symptoms like gas, bloating, constipation, and accepted them as part of our “norm”. Addressing our gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms can have favorable effects on our health. 

Our poop can offer us valuable insight into our health status. It can inform us about the health of our digestion, absorption, inflammation, gut health, brain health, and many other systems in our bodies. The gut is the gateway to our health. It’s the home of 80% of your immune system and powerful neurotransmitters are made there as well.1 Trillions of microflora work together to ensure proper digestive function. They aid in the production of essential vitamins such as B vitamins and act as a protective barrier for the immune system. The bacterial balance in our gut also discourages the growth of unfavorable bacterial, parasitic, and/or fungal infections from compromising our gut function. Because our stool is formed in our GI tract we investigate the integrity of our gut to understand it’s a contribution to our signs and symptoms. 

The Bristol Stool Chart is otherwise known as the “poop chart” is a very helpful tool used to characterize our stool. This chart was devised by doctors in the Bristol Royal Infirmary in England and it is used by doctors around the world to help characterize different types of stool.  

  • Type 1–2 indicate constipation
  • Type 3–4 are ideal stools as they are easier to pass
  • Type 5–7 may indicate diarrhea and urgency.

Every person will have different bowel habits, but there are a few important characteristics to consider when discussing our stool. Ideally, poop should be soft, well-formed, and easily passed within a few minutes of sitting down on the toilet. The bowel movement should pass without pain or straining, and you should experience complete emptying of the bowels.

 

The following situations may suggest that it’s time to get your poop checked:

  • You’re not pooping every day or not pooping enough. 
  • You see undigested foods in your stool except for some fibrous foods like beans, corn, grains, such as quinoa, peas, seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, sesame seeds, or skins of vegetables, such as bell peppers or tomatoes.
  • You’re exhibiting some other type of digestive discomforts such as consistently loose bowel movements, stomach cramping, bloating, gas, indigestion, and hemorrhoids.
  • You’ve been diagnosed with an autoimmune condition. Scientific evidence shows that imbalances in our gastrointestinal bacteria are related to inflammation and autoimmune conditions. 2
  • Gut imbalances can also present as chronic fatigue, brain fog, skin-related symptoms, and other symptoms.3

 

Testing our poop can give us valuable information about our symptoms. Stool testing can help you and your doctor identify the types of bacteria that live in your GI and any potential bacterial, yeast or parasitic infections in the gut. A comprehensive stool test also looks at how well you break your food down into fiber, screens your immune system, determines your level of digestive enzymes, and how well you are digesting and absorbing your fats.

I want to encourage you to speak to your healthcare provider about your bowel habits and gut health. Get comfortable sharing information about your poop and don’t allow embarrassment to discourage you! At Miami Spine + Performance we offer comprehensive stool testing via Doctor’s Data Lab, to understand your unique digestive system. If you are interested in learning more about stool testing, please give us a call.

 

*If you’re getting gut symptoms regularly and experiencing any of the following symptoms, make sure to see your doctor immediately: unexplained weight loss, changes in bowel habits, such as loss of bowel control, persistent diarrhea, persistent constipation, blood in the stool.

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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Top 5 Things you need to know about Chiropractic Medicine

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, 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 the 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

1250 East Hallandale Beach Blvd. #305.

Hallandale Beach, FL 33009

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We are proud to serve Hallandale Beach, Aventura and Hollywood, FL.