Blog

Stretching on the Job

stretching

How to be a professional…sitter?

Think of all the time you spend commuting, working, sitting in front of the TV. Look around on the bus, the airplane, the train; how are people sitting? To be sure, a good percentage are looking down at phones. Whatever the setting, sitting for a long period of time, even in good posture is going to leave you stiff. So if work or relaxation calls upon you to sit for large swaths of time, use computer and desk stretches to relieve muscle tension and ease the burden on the lower back.

The most important piece of stretching in front of the computer is repetition. Do whatever it takes to make periodic stretching breaks the norm. Set a timer for an hour, or write yourself a sticky note; anything it takes to get you moving.

Here are some stretches that take just a few seconds but can make all the difference:

  • Clasp your hands together in front of you, with palms facing outward and arms fully extended, and stretch by pushing your fingers against the backs of your hands.
  • Do this same motion above your head and lightly lean over to each side for a few seconds.
  • Shrug your shoulders and shake your hands for a few seconds.
  • Put one leg over the other and then gently twist your body the opposite direction.

These stretches combined take under 5 minutes out of your busy day. Performing them once an hour can provide you with an immeasurable upside: even your brain will work harder. At Family Chiropractic & Spinal Health Care Center, we know that posture and motion are secrets to spinal health. We want people to be aware, at all times, of the things they are doing to harm their backs. Call our office at (201) 995-9900 to schedule an appointment today.

Dr. Moe Abtahi, D.C. 

Office Ergonomics

ergonomics

At Family Chiropractor & Spinal Health Care Center, we believe that the power is within you to decrease tightness of the muscles supporting your spine, improve your range of motion and boost your potential productivity from the very seat you are sitting in. Let us take care of spinal misalignment and teach you how to focus on the daily factors that determine your overall spinal health: posture, exercise, nutrition and sleep. When things reach a breaking point, we also offer massage that releases endorphins to reduce stress and pain while improving blood flow and circulation to injured regions.

In the office:

Make sure your equipment is not working against you: We are looking at you, office chairs. Counseling you on how to make sure your ergonomic support network is doing its job fully is one of our duties. For example, the weight burden on the lower spine is increased by 3 times in a seated position. Sitting with poor posture only increases this burden more and destabilizes the muscles which are trying to support the spine.

Not everyone is in the position to buy a new office chair, but using a rolled up jacket or a lumbar support pillow to encourage the lordotic curve is something that everyone can do. Adjust the height of the monitor, which helps you face forward instead of down or up. This is easily the best way to encourage your body to stay neutral: facing forward generally encourages the head to stay balanced atop the spine. Armrests that keep the arms at 90 degrees and the shoulders relaxed are crucial.

The office can be a brutal place for backs. Many people come home with muscles tender and necks tight, to exacerbate the problem by falling into a sunken couch. It is a dangerous trend to set for yourself, and one that we specialize in preventing: we can help you to appreciate and prioritize a healthy back care lifestyle. Call us at (201) 995-9900 to schedule an appointment today.

Dr. Moe Abtahi, D.C. 

Corrective Exercise

corrective exercise

At Family Chiropractic & Spinal Health Care Center, we treat more than just the individual’s condition: we seek to impart upon you a thirst for a more healthy back care lifestyle. This goes beyond the adjustments and massage that we offer at the office and include advice on nutrition, exercise and ergonomics that can make huge differences in your life.

Corrective exercises improve the effectiveness of a spinal adjustment, strengthening muscles and connective tissue to keep the back balanced and healthy. Whether you are rehabilitating an injury without surgery or recovering post-surgery, the body can always benefit from simple exercise to speed the process. With severe injuries, NO exercise should be performed unless specific stretching movements can be performed pain free. From this vantage point, we then introduce gentle stretches and exercises that seek to restore balance and strength. 

Corrective exercises are specific to the individual and their condition. They can be performed from home at little to no expense, but their upside is limitless. Many injuries result from jobs that put muscle groups in a state of imbalance. Prolonged static posture, whether sitting or standing, creates strain on muscles that are yearning to move. Gently rotating your upper body, neck or going for a quick walk around the office relieve the burden of inactivity from aching muscles.

Often times people will come in and a quick examination will tell me that both the back and core muscles are already strained or overworked, without them knowing it. In this case, I prescribe light aerobic activity such as incorporating a regular walk or jog into their daily routine to get the muscle groups moving. For tips on working simple corrective exercise and stretching into your health care routine, call our offices in New Jersey and schedule an appointment today.

We can be reached in Ramsey at (201) 995-9900.


Dr. Moe Abtahi, D.C. 

Lumbar Health

stand straight

One of the modern world’s most relevant afflictions is lower back pain: sedentary labor and leisure, lengthening commutes and sedulous poor posture are putting a pain in our collective lower back. Diverging from the spinal cord at the lumbar level is a network of nerves that influence many of our main functions, including the mechanics of hip and knee movement. There are so many reasons to put the integrity of your lumbar high up on your list of healthful priorities: taking steps early will prevent a world of pain in old age.

The five lumbar vertebrae are the largest of the spinal bones. Their foremost responsibilities (whether they like it or not) are to bear the weight of the body and absorb the stress of lifting and carrying heavy objects. Everyone has heard, “Lift with your legs, not your back,” but often times it is easier to just bend over and pick something up. This contradiction applies to all the maleficent actions we do to our lower back: yes, we know to sit up straight, but this becomes a drag after 2 hours of commuting or watching television and we inevitably slouch.

At Family Chiropractic & Spinal Health Care Center, we help people in the prevention of lower back injury: through muscle strengthening, attention to posture and how to use the mechanics of the body properly. For example, much of the burden on the lower back can be lessened by using how to use the thoracic region properly.

So many treatments purport to end low back pain forever; the inherent pitfall of these claims is that every pain is individual and therefore, there is no panacea. Your particular lower back pain requires an individualized approach that takes into account the root of the injury. Our office in Ramsey can be reached in Passaic at (973) 471-9585. Call our office to schedule an appointment today and find out how we can protect your lower back together.

Dr. Moe Abtahi, D.C. 

Burners and Stingers

A stinger or burner is a non-medical term that describes an injury where direct-force trauma to the neck causes a pinch to the brachial plexus nerve bundle that leaves the sufferer’s arm numb or weak. Most frequently seen in football, hockey and sports where players lead with the head and neck, brachial plexus stingers are often a scary experience but will usually resolve themselves in a matter of minutes. For some people however, actual damage has been done to the nerve and a more considered approach should be taken for treatment. At Family Chiropractic & Spinal Health Care Center, we have experience treating brachial plexus injuries.

The nerve bundle that facilitates communication from the brain through the arm to the hand is called the brachial plexus. These nerves diverge from the spinal cord between the C5 and T1 vertebrae, meaning any direct trauma to these vertebrae can interfere with their functioning. Because of the nature of a nerve injury, brachial plexus stingers often involve transient paralysis and paresthesis or loss of sensation to the entire arm. If full feeling does not return to the arm a few minutes after the trauma, it is worth seeking the opinion of a specialist.

If your pain or neurological deficiency remains in the wake of a brachial plexus stinger, call our offices in New Jersey to schedule an assessment. There is often a misalignment of the spine between C5 and T1, impinging on nerves that could be creating your numbness or weakness. We focus on releasing trigger points in the cervical region and correcting misalignments that could be impinging on your nerves.

We can be reached in Ramsey at (201) 995-9900 and in Passaic at (973) 471-9585.

Dr. Moe Abtahi, D.C. 

Chiropractic & Exercise

No matter where you find yourself on the health spectrum, the body can always benefit from exercise. The older we grow, the more support our body needs to stay one step ahead of injury and degeneration. Exercise is a great way to strengthen parts of the body that are vital to keeping you upright and pain free as the wear and tear of life begins to edge in. 

At Family Chiropractic & Spinal Health Care Center, we use exercise to help people manage their pain, repair injuries and move forward stronger than before.

For lower back pain, there are a multitude of stretches and exercises that can reduce pain. We focus on developing the core muscles, including the abdominals and trunk muscles to take some of the burden off the lumbar region. Teaching the patient about the thoracic spine’s role in movement helps them to use their spinal mechanics properly, shifting more of the burden from the lower back.

Of course, the level and type of exercise we prescribe is dependent upon the person and their pain: we will never encourage you to stretch your body into a position that exacerbates pain or worsens the injury. For example, if you feel most comfortable in a flexion-biased position, we will focus on exercises that strengthen using this kind of movement. Depending on the stage of your injury, we introduce exercise gradually, increasing their intensity as you feel your body’s ability increasing.

Call our offices in New Jersey: in Ramsey at (201) 995-9900 and in Passaic at (973) 471-9585 to schedule an appointment today. When combined with chiropractic care, exercise can be a boon to all aspects of your life.

Dr. Moe Abtahi, D.C.