The vertebral disc in the spine is an interesting and unique structure. There are a total of twenty-three vertebral discs in the spinal column that all help act as shock absorbers in the spine. They are tough ligaments that hold the vertebrae of the spine together, and they also allow for slight mobility in the spine. With physical activity, daily routine, injuries, and age the spine may get weaker and lead to pain and symptoms. If the injury is caused in the upper part of the spine pain in the neck, arms, and hands, and shoulders can occur. When the injury is in the lower part of the spine it can lead to lower back pain, hip pain, leg pain, and other symptoms of numbness or weakness. Spinal disc problems are misunderstood for a number of reason such as where the pain is coming from and what it’s caused by. Sometimes the most difficult cases are not due to subluxation in the vertebrae but to subluxation of the disks. A chiropractor can easily locate and adjust a subluxated disk. In most cases, even a herniated or ruptured disk can heal with simple adjustment and manipulation of the spine. Most heal spontaneously.
When a disk is subluxated the normally soft connective tissues surrounding it transforms into taut bands. These band-like tissues help anchor and stabilize the disk to protect it from further injury and often reach many inches away. With chiropractic, carefully adjusting these bands can often produce healing results. Another way to heal is to stay hydrated. Over time, spinal discs dehydrate and become stiffer. Severely dried out disks start to weaken and compress on itself. Drinking at least one cup of water every hour or so can help restore life back into the spine. At birth, approximately 80 percent of the disc is composed of water. In order for the disc to function properly, it must be well hydrated.
We all go through our “healthy” phases and our not so healthy portions in our life. It is not easy to always keep everything on track. Our days get busy and we forget to bring our healthy lunch with us and end up grabbing a quick burger, sometimes 2 or 3 times a week. We also skip out on working out, claiming we are too tired or there are too many things going on and just can’t seem to make the time. However when you start creating healthy habits the time factor doesn’t seem like an issue because we make the time for it. I know when I am working out daily and eating healthy my body feels like I am craving my next work out and to move my body after sitting at a computer all day. When I fall out of my routine is when I start to feel aches and pains in my body, especially my lower back and neck.
Staying focused is not always easy but there are ways that can help you to keep healthy habits. One mindset that is helpful is to remember that you need to continually find balance in your life. Don’t get so hard on yourself if you had a few days that you were unable to exercise. I know some weeks I am able to make it to 3 yoga classes and then the following week my calendar fills up with social activities. Remember it’s all about balance. Maybe one day you get up early and get in some movement or a class so you can have your night free.
Another great way to keep healthy habits is to find things you like to do! You are not going to be as committed if you sign up for boot camp and hate it. Find a style of exercise and classes you actually enjoy. Even when we are exercising regularly our bodies do have aches and pains and sometimes that can prevent us from continuing to work out. Visiting your local San Deigo Chiropractor is a great way to ensure your body is in proper alignment and functioning properly. Many San Diego Chiropractors say that most of their patients exercise on a regular basis, get sick less often and see more mobility in their body.
Spondylosis is a general term for age related wear and tear of the spinal discs, however can affect anyone at any age. Cervical spondylosis specifically affects the neck area and can cause major pain to those who suffer from it. Because the pain can be so debilitating many people who suffer from cervical spondylosis choose to take medications such as; pain killers, muscle relaxers and anti-inflammatory drugs. These drugs can be helpful to ease the pain however many of them come with side effects and can affect your overall health if taken long term. Although there is no cure for cervical spondylosis there are things you can do to help treat it.
Rather than taking medications that act like a Band-Aid there are exercise that you can do that will help to relieve symptoms. Backward extension of the neck can be very helpful to keep the natural curvature of the neck. This is an easy exercise that can be done right from your bed. Begin by lying on your back with your head hanging off of the edge of the bed make sure to slowly come into this posture and to breathe. Keep your head like this for 2-3 minutes for the first couple of times you do this and after a week start adding a few more minutes of keeping your head back. This will help to move the neck back towards its natural “C” curvature. You should do this daily for at least 5 minutes a day.
Next find a comfortable sitting position on the floor, sit up tall with your spine long. Begin by bringing your right ear towards your right shoulder; this should give you a great side stretch of the left side of your neck. Hold this stretch (while breathing) for 15-20 seconds and slowly bring your head back up to a natural position. Change sides by bringing the left ear to the left shoulder and stretching out the right side. Please remember once you feel the stretch stop and breathe. You do not want to force your neck more than it is capable of going. Do each side 3-5 times holding each stretch for 15-20 seconds. After doing this stretch for a few weeks you should see better range of motion and less pain.
I would also recommend seeing your local San Deigo Chiropractor and seeing if getting an adjustment would help relieve any cervical pain. Most San Diego Chiropractors have seen great results in patients who suffer from cervical spondylosis in relief in the surrounding areas such as the shoulders and upper back. Remember there are always ways to help relieve pain and strengthen the body without having to take medications!
Not everyone has the time to go to the gym before or after work. Lots of us juggle a crazy work schedule with kids and social activities (to keep us sane). But there are little things you can do to ensure you are staying healthy. It’s always hard to make changes when you are in a routine but remember to not be so hard on yourself, take baby steps. It doesn’t all have to be done over night but one healthy step can lead to another. Make the time and necessary changes to stay strong so you can juggle life’s craziness.
Walking is a great way to stay healthy, if only for 15 minutes a day. Walking at least 15 minuets a day can help boost your metabolism and immunity. Walking for 15 minutes per day or more can also help you to sleep better at night and boost energy levels in the morning. One of the main perks about having a dog is that you’re forced to get outside and walk. I love taking my walks while during dawn or dusk with my dog and we have seen some beautiful sunrises and sunsets that I would have missed otherwise. Find a work out partner. Some times the hardest part of going to the gym is just going to the gym. When you have a workout partner keeps you committed. If they are there waiting for you your less likely to just forget about it and go home. You can also do a few things in the morning to get your blood flowing and give you a little bit of energy. I practice yoga and like to do a few sun salutations when I first get up in the morning right in the living room.
Take a look at your refrigerator and do a little healthy organization. Place foods that are healthy in visible and easy to reach places. This makes it so when you open up the fridge looking for a snack or something to eat you are more likely to choose items are better for you. Doing the same organization in your pantry can also be helpful to keep your diet healthy, like changing out potato chips for baked pita chips or chickpea chips. Ordering your groceries online can also help to prevent us from wondering around the store and choosing foods that are less healthy for us. When I go to the grocery store to by my groceries cookies are usually not on my list when I enter the store but they seem to make it into the basket by the time I leave. Thanks to technology it can prevent you from impulse buying and lessens those cookie and junk food temptations.
Adding chiropractic care can also be a great way to ensure you are staying healthy. Seeing your local San Diego Chiropractors and getting weekly to month adjustments (depending on what is going on with your body) can help to ensure your central nervous system is functioning properly. All too often we only worry about the things we can see regarding our health, don’t forget out what makes your body function, so stop in and see your local San Diego Chiropractor!