What’s all the buzz over this freaky word Fascia?
Have you ever wondered what keeps all your organs and muscles in place? Well, that’s the fascia- a thin layer of densely wound connective tissue, mostly collagen, that surrounds, stabilizes and connects every organ, muscle and structure in your body. It allows for the articulation of all the different moving parts in your body by reducing friction and preventing them from simply sliding into each other. The fascia has recently come into the spotlight as an area of focus for the medical community because of its role in systemic tension. The truth is, we can’t live without the fascia, but it causes problems and pain for many of us.
Sleeping fetal feels right
No matter some estimates say that as many as 40% of adults in America prefer this position for sleeping each night. At least they aren’t sleeping on their stomachs- which most experts agree is the worst sleep position for the spine. On the flip side, sleeping on your back is recommended by most back care experts, including our office at Bay Area Spine Care Office. Chances are, no matter what anyone tells you, you are going to select the sleep position that feels the most comfortable, even if that happens to be on the stomach. But it is possible to train yourself into preferring a different position- it just takes a spark of awareness and a flame of discipline. So here’s the spark:
A road map of spinal compression
It happens like this: when we were born, the downward force of gravity began working on our spines; as we grew older, our spines naturally became less resilient; we became less active and started working more and the strength, stability and support for our spines became less; we began to sit more and never gave posture a passing thought. One day, we wake up and realize that our back has been aching since, “I don‘t know when.” This is the typical story for many a person who suffers from chronic back pain- the forces of compression are winning out against your poor, weak intervertebral discs. So what can we do to start fighting back? Focus on spinal decompression.
A successful pregnancy is one that puts the comfort of the mother first
That’s because the more comfortable the mother, the greater her uterine function, and the more space there is for healthy development of the child. In this sense, we have to redefine our parameters of comfort and change the troped conversation that has prospective mothers worrying about the back pain, headaches and nausea that are deemed an integral part of pregnancy. Chiropractic is helping to flip the script when it comes to pregnancy by prioritizing the comfort and wellbeing of mother and child. Numerous studies have pointed to the following benefits of chiropractic during pregnancy:
- Maintains spinal alignment and balances an unstable pelvis
- Mitigates nerve interference and allows for optimal uterine function
- Controls symptoms of nausea
- Relieves joint pain throughout the body, especially in the lower back where tenderness tends to accumulate
- Allows for sufficient space for the baby to develop
The end result is a pregnancy that accounts for the mother’s changing body, helping her to feel less discomfort and allowing for healthy in-utero development of the baby.
Nothing is worse than leaving work with a stiff, sore neck
It is rubbing salt in the wound of a hard day‘s work. That hard day’s work is so conducive to neck pain: whether you sit for a living or have a more labor intensive job, the neck still has to support the weight of your head. The average adults head weighs 10-13 pounds, and this weight is increased exponentially with poor posture. Unless we are proactive about caring for our necks, the actions we pursue after work are likely going to reinforce the stiffness.
90% of posture is awareness
Look at it this way: we all know to sit up straight, to avoid slouching and slumping, to keep our shoulders back and our heads up. But our bodies are fickle creatures and, from a young age, posture becomes a subconscious struggle. When we are young, our spines are more resilient and we are generally more active. The real problems begin when we get that first office job and are faced with hours per day in front of a computer screen. Our bodies mold to our jobs, and our lifestyles, and unless we take good care to be proactive about posture, it will get the best of us.
It’s been said that every setback leaves behind a path to make your comeback
But what if we could avoid that setback in the first place? As athletes push their bodies to new extremes, they leave themselves vulnerable to a host of injuries which threaten to derail their momentum. Our job as an office of chiropractic is to keep the chance of such an injury as low as possible. At our office in Alameda, we have helped hundreds of athletes from the whole spectrum of sports to specialize and strengthen their bodies against the risk factors of their chosen sport. We do this by identifying and correcting the underlying causes of injury which lurk in all of our bodies.
Back into the womb: spinal development reimagined
Unwind all the layers of pain and stiffness that have accumulated through the years and imagine a time when you were free to run unencumbered by the burdens of back pain. As a child, you can perform a seemingly unlimited range of motions with little potential for pain; naturally, the majority of us take such a blessing for granted. Without the guidance and discipline of our parents to keep us proactive about our spinal health, we reach adulthood without the awareness we need to take care of our spines. Our spines begin to degenerate, however slowly, and we are ill-equipped to deal with the pain and dysfunction that sets in. So let’s imagine this system differently: through the eyes of your child.
Tennis is one of the best sports for improving physical fitness with a low risk for injury
That being said, some studies estimate that up to 65% of players will still suffer some form of injury in a given year. These injuries are primarily due to repetitive trauma: because you perform the same motions over and over, certain parts of your body receive more stress than others. And while local injuries are bound to occur, this repetitive trauma can also have systemic repercussions; the repetitive movements involved in tennis can cause muscular imbalances and misalignment in the spine. At Bay Area Spine Care Office, we focus on repetitive injury prevention and body balance to help tennis players feel their best on the court.
Does your posture change with the times?
At Bay Area Spine Care Office, we argue that posture is more important than ever. With more people transitioning into white collar jobs, and more entertainment options shifting onto screens, the importance of posture has taken on a new significance. There is no disputing that as a whole, Americans are more sedentary than ever; we live in an age that is conducive to inactivity. And while 21st century lifestyles remain brutal for the spine, it is awareness that is the make or break factor. You have the power to take control of your posture and use it to establish a culture of spinal health and wellbeing in your own life.