Improving Posture

Posted: December 30, 2013
By: Bella Nobles


Improving Posture Could Save America Millions in Healthcare

As a child, you were probably told a few times to “Stand up straight!”, “Sit up straight!” or my favorite “Stop Slouching!” Good posture isn’t really about being “straight”. The basis for good posture is a “neutral and balanced” position that minimizes asymmetrical strain on the various joints of the body. That means that we should try to carry the same amount of weight through our joints on both sides of our body as well as from the front to the back.

Why is Posture So Important Today?

Posture has always been important. Historically much more so than in modern times. This importance was passed down from teacher to student, parent to child or grandparent to grandchild through those wonderful affirmations, “Stand up straight!” I not sure that our teachers, parents and grandparents necessarily knew how important posture was in relationship to our health but they did know that their teachers, parents and grandparents reinforced it for them – so it had to be good enough for us. However, in more recent times this “importance” of reinforcing posture has been slipping for various reasons. Over the last 30 years we have witnessed a significant change in the teacher to student, parent to child and grandparent to child dynamic. Telling a student, child or grandchild to “sit up straight” or “stand up straight” to reinforce their posture is no longer an integral part of our cultural experience.

When we couple together the facts that today’s children are not receiving positive postural reinforcement along with regularly taking part in activities that reinforce poor posture such as: television, computers, and video games it is no surprise Doctors of Chiropractic are regularly treating young patients suffering from repetitive strain injuries (RSI). Twenty years ago RSIs were primarily reserved to people working in the data entry or secretarial services. Problem like carpal tunnel syndrome, chronic pain in the hands, back pain, neck pain, headaches and shoulders pain which are symptoms normally related to bad workplace ergonomics. Today we are seeing these conditions rising at an alarming rate in high school students.

A New York Times article reported that over 70% of America’s elementary school students are now regularly using computers in school. It is only a matter of time until the other 30% of students will also be using computers. While this is good for the minds and the future work prospects of these children, it can be damaging to their bodies.

Researchers from Cornell University published a study revealing that 40% of the elementary school children they studied were using computer workstations that created a significant postural risk. While all of the students in the study used work stations that at the very least raised “some concern” about the affects on the students posture.

It is not enough to teach children how to use computers; more emphasis has to be placed on teaching them how to properly use the actual workstations. These are the formative years for an individual, mentally, emotionally and physically. Poor work habits when young can lead to serious health effects that plague that person for the rest of their life. While parents know to watch out for signs of substance abuse in their children, few have any idea of the long-term health effects that can arise from postural problems.

What can you do?

Thankfully, there are certain things you can do to lessen the chances of your child suffering painful and potentially disabling injuries. First and foremost ensure that your child understands how important their posture is by reminding them to “Stand up straight” and “Sit up straight” in a loving way but regularly.

To maintain good posture while standing, it is important to:

Position your head directly over your shoulders, which should be positioned directly over your pelvis

Keep some space between your feet, one foot slightly in front of the other

Keep your abdominal muscles taut (tighten the “core” muscles) and your bottom tucked in

Bend slightly at the knees

To maintain good posture while sitting, remember to:

Keep your feet flat on the floor with your hips and knees at a 90 degree angle

Keep your chin level – practice with a book on your head if it helps!

Keep your lower back slightly arched – use a “lumbar roll” to maintain proper posture in the lower back if you sit for long periods of time

Remember to take periodic breaks from sitting and move around a bit or adjust your sitting position from time to time to prevent stress on your spine

If you or your child are suffering from posture related pain despite your best efforts to avoid it, your next stop should be a doctor of chiropractic to prevent the injury worsening and to promote healing. Having your posture and spine fully evaluated if the first step to designing a program to help your body recover

What Are The Options For Scoliosis

Posted: September 25, 2013
By: Back On Track Physical Medicin

What are the Options for Scoliosis


Scoliosis, an abnormal sideways curvature of the spine, primarily affects girls between the ages of 8 and 18. It will often onset with what appears to be a postural distortion: one shoulder higher than the other or the torso shifted or twisted to one side. However, if it is allowed to advance it can become a permanent deformity and may interfere with the function of vital organs such as the lungs and heart.

The Three Reported Causes of Scoliosis

Congenital: if multiple family members are affected this is often time attributed to a genetic predisposition

Habitual: taking part in activities that are asymetrical such as carrying a school bag on one shoulder.

Idiopathic: When the doctors shrug their shoulders and say, “We have no idea!” This literally means the cause is unknown.

Regardless of what the cause may be the sooner it is identified the more likely a solution or plan for managing the condition can be implemented the better the long term outcome will be.

The Obvious Warnings

As humans when we look at one another we most often focus on the features of the face. This is also true when we look at ourselves in the mirror. It is very important as a parent to also be alert to your childrens posture. Some of the most obvious postural warnings to see include: their head tilting to one side consistently, a high shoulder or low hip may make clothes fit improperly or uneven tread wearing on the soles of the shoes. Teens that report regular bouts of back and leg pain should never be dismissed as “growing pains” as this can also be an early warning sign.

What are the Options if Your Child has Scoliosis?

Most parent start by using the “wait and see what happens” approach. With many health conditions such as a cold or a flu this can be the best approach. However, if the type of scoliosis a child has is progressive allowing it to “run its course” will simply allow the condition to worsen. In severe cases this could ultimately lead to unsightly bracing or even surgery that attaches steel rods to the spine to force it into a straighter position.

Chiropracic: The Natural Approach

A schedule of specific chiropractic combination of spinal adjustments or manipulation, therapeutic exercise, and electrical muscle stimulation. with exercises designed to improve posture may help to improve the function and structure of the spine. Improving the strength and condition of the postural muscles may improve the overall condition of the spine. Bring your child in so we can discuss your concerns and explore the possibilities.

FAQs on Scoliosis:

Isn’t a certain amount of sideways curvature normal?

Any sideways curvature of the spine is considered abnormal. From the back or front, the spine should appear straight and be centered and balanced. When scoliosis is present, there are usually two curves. A primary curve in one direction and a compensatory curve in the opposite direction.

Is scoliosis related to a calcium deficiency?

No. However, there are a growing number of people who believe uncorrected spinal damage from the birth process may be involved while others theorize that “early walkers” may prematurely interrupt the crawling stage that is essential for proper spinal development.

Can heavy backpacks or school bags cause scoliosis?

This is a significant concern for many parents. However, there is very little evidence that would suggest that the heavy bags would be the cause of scoliosis but it may be a contributing factor to the progression of the condition. Be sure that your children use both shoulder straps on their back-packs so the weight is evenly distributed. Weigh their bag and avoid it exceed 10% -15% of their body weight.

Scoliosis and Spinal Curvature

Posted: July 16, 2013
By: Back On Track Physical Medicin

Scoliosis and Spinal Curvature Treatments

Scoliosis is a spinal condition which affects between five and seven million people in the US alone, most often adolescents between the ages of 10 and 15, and more commonly girls, although it can affect any age. Over half a million visits to the doctor are made each year to either evaluate or treat scoliosis. As the condition can be inherited, a history of it occurring within a family, or current cases, should lead to evaluation of all the children by an appropriate professional.

What is scoliosis?

Scoliosis is a lateral (sideways) curvature of the spine where that curvature is greater than 10% from the vertical. Less than 10 degrees may simply be the result of postural changes. Although the nervous system works to keep your spine straight, problems can occur. Scoliosis may not exist in isolation, and lordosis (abnormal curvature toward the front) or kyphosis (abnormal curvature toward the back) may also be present. The vertebrae are also often rotated.

80% of the time, the cause of scoliosis remains unknown, and this is called idiopathic scoliosis. In the other cases, the condition will be the result of some form of trauma, neurological disease, tumor, or similar. Where postural problems, muscle spasms, or leg-length inequality cause the condition, it is known as functional scoliosis, and can often be corrected. Structural scoliosis, on the other hand, is not reducible with postural changes.

Scoliosis symptoms

Scoliosis can cause pain, and impair lung function or heart function. It can also lead to psychological problems such as poor self-esteem, especially because it so often happens at an age when peer pressure is at its most powerful.

With 4 out of 5 scoliosis sufferers, the spinal curvature is less than 20 degrees, and this is not normally visible to the untrained eye. Provided these cases do not appear to be worsening, there is no great cause for alarm. However, as children and adolescents have bodies that are still growing, mild curvatures can bend by a further 10 degrees or more in a matter of months. For this reason, evaluations should be made frequently.

Scoliosis evaluation

Scoliosis is evaluated by conducting a detailed family history and a physical examination that includes postural analysis. If a curvature is detected, further investigation is required to establish if there is any obvious cause of the problem, such as a birth defects or any prior injury

X-rays are a useful tool when the curvatures are pronounced, to check more thoroughly on the structure of the spine, and if the scoliosis is impinging upon anything else. The wrist is also often x-rayed because this is used to assess the patient’s skeletal age, as a barometer of where that person is in relation to the accepted norm, and for monitoring the progression of the condition. X-rays may be needed anything from once every 3 to 4 months, to once every few years, depending on the doctor’s feelings about the possible rate of progression.

A device called a Scoliometer can be employed to monitor progression once diagnosis is certain. This measures changes in the rib humps that are linked to scoliosis, and is painless, being a non-invasive technique.

Progression in scoliosis

The vast majority of scoliosis cases are mild, non-progressive, and there is no need for treatment. This is not true for one category, though, which is young girls with a curvature of at least 25 degrees, who have not yet menstruated for the first time. As there is relatively fast growth in the year before the first period, it follows that any curvature will also progress quickly. After the first period, this slows down.

Scoliosis treatment

Traditionally, scoliosis is treatable in three ways: observation, bracing, and surgery. The first option is the most common and is not really a treatment because nothing is actually done to the sufferer, for the reasons outlined above regarding its usually non-progressive state. Bracing is normally only applicable to children whose skeletons have not fully matured whose curvatures are between 25 and 45 degrees. In progressive cases beyond 45 degrees, and/or if the function of the heart, lungs, or other vital organs may be affected, surgery becomes an option.

Today the treatment option which is showing the most promise is a combination of spinal adjustments or manipulation, therapeutic exercise, and electrical muscle stimulation. These can be especially helpful to anyone whose scoliosis is causing them spinal pain such as lower back pain, neck pain and also headaches. A general piece of advice, exercise is both advocated and well-tolerated for patients with scoliosis. Most importantly, it should be remembered that most people who have scoliosis lead their lives no differently to anyone else, however, as their spine is exposed to increased levels of strain mechanically it is important to ensure that extra efforts are made to help keep the spine healthy. Chiropractic care is a great method of ensuring spinal health.

Chronic Back Pain Shrinks Your Brain

Posted: June 14, 2013
By: Back On Track Physical Medicin

Chronic Back Pain Shrinks your Brain!

According to a study by Dr. A. Vania Apkarian of Northwestern University in Chicago, chronic back pain causes parts of the brain to shrink! The area of the brain that their research has uncovered to shrink is the Gray Matter. This is the part of your brain that contains the "active thinking cells" that are involved in the processing of information and memory. This part of the brain makes up the largest portion of the brain. The study revealed that not only was there less volume in the brains of chronic back pain sufferers, but the gray matter was less dense as well. In addition, Dr. Apkarian reported to Reuters Health that the changes were particularly noticeable in parts of the gray matter that are known to be important in making "emotional assessments,'" including decision making and control of everyday social behavior.

This raises a whole new set of concerns about back pain. It is not the back pain that we are concerned about, it's what is causing the back pain and the consequence of not addressing the underlying problem that worries doctors. The most common cause of back pain in science today is called the vertebral subluxation complex. Subluxations interfere with the proper function of our nervous system and may lead to devastating effects on our health and well-being if left uncorrected.

Many people feel that they can just live with the pain. Most times the pain comes and goes or is mild in nature and the individual puts off care because "it's not that bad." This "living with the pain" may be the biggest mistake they make in their life. The pain may not be that bad, but the long term health concerns are. This mild chronic back pain may actually lead to permanent neurological problems.

Chiropractic and Pregnancy

Posted: May 28, 2013
By: Back On Track Physical Medicin



Do you think chiropractic and pregnancy don't go together? Think again.  There are many ligaments and tendons involved in pregnancy, tightness or misalignment of which can cause discomfort and pain, and possibly lead to malpositioned (breech, posterior, etc.) baby.

Back On Track Physical Medicine sees many pregnant patients for wellness throughout pregnancy. We have developed some specific stretches and exercises for our pregnant mothers that could help her for the purpose of relieving that tension.  Both mom and baby enjoy feeling a good stretch.

One exercise in particular is doing gentle squats using an exercise ball. You put the ball between your back and the wall. When you bend your knees slightly and then return to standing, the ball rolls with you down the wall slightly, giving comfortable support in proper alignment. You don't have to go down very far to begin to strengthen your legs and gluteal muscles. Strengthening your glutes is not only good for labor and birth, but can also help with urinary incontinence (in combination with kegels) and is another good life-long toning exercise.


Colic and Chiropractic

Posted: May 28, 2013
By: Back On Track Physical Medicin

Colic and Chiropractic

Over 1 million babies suffer from colic every year!

If you are a parent of a baby suffering from colic, you are bound to feel frustrated, stressed and helpless. Colic has been a source of great frustration for babies, parents and doctors alike. Colic is more defined by its symptoms than diagnostic findings. The symptoms are described as uncontrollable, relentless crying for hours at a time, at least three days per week in an otherwise healthy child. This crying behavior often lasts for up to three months before the baby seems to grow out of it. It’s enough to drive any parent batty! Parents and family members find it difficult to cope and are hopeful for a solution.

Medical doctors haven't discovered the cause or solution to this common problem. There are two common theories for the cause: an immature nervous system or an immature digestive system. The medical solution is not promising. Medical recommendations include attempting to sooth the baby and a suggestion to take time for yourself - not very comforting when you're pulling your hair out.

The solution may be as close as your Wellness Chiropractor who focuses on restoring a healthy nervous system. There are numerous case studies that have been published on the benefits of chiropractic care and colic babies, but the most compelling research is a study that included 316 babies with colic. In this study, 73 chiropractors treated 316 babies with moderate to severe colic. An incredible 94% of the babies demonstrated satisfactory results within 14 days of chiropractic care. 25% showed great improvement with just one treatment! In another study of 132 babies suffering from colic, an amazing 91% of the parents reported improvement within 1 week of care.

If you or someone you love has an infant suffering from colic, be sure to tell them about Wellness Chiropractic. A Wellness Chiropractor can quickly and safely evaluate a child's nervous system for hidden disturbances. If the child demonstrates a problem, your Wellness Chiropractor may be the solution.

What Is Chiropractic Care

Posted: May 10, 2013
By: Back On Track Physical Medicin

Chiropractic is widely recognized as one of the safest drug-free, non-invasive therapies available for the treatment of acute and chronic muscle and joint complaints.  It's a natural method of health care that treats the causes of physical problems rather than just the symptoms.  Special chiropractic techniques will relieve the pressure that is causing your pain.  

Your doctor of chiropractic looks at your overall health.  To help identify the cause of your problem, you and your chiropractor will discuss your symptoms, your family health history, and your lifestyle, including recreational and work-related physical activities.  This integrated approach helps determine the best treatment for you.  

Chiropractors use a combo of treatments that are designed on the specific needs of the individual patient.  A chiropractor can develop and carry out a comprehensive treatment and management plan that can include soft tissue therapy, prescription of exercises, and health counseling.