Category Archives: Pain Management

Ice and Heat Therapy

Ice or heat? Which do you use when you have #pain or #tension? Watch our new video as Dr. Dana explains what to do!

Ice and heat therapy to heal injuries and muscle tension.  Use ice to heal acute injuries or pain for up to 3 days for 15 minutes every hour.  After 3 days switch to a combination of heat and ice.  For any chronic tension heat should be sufficient to relax the muscles!

By Dr. Dana Laridaen, D.C.
Need a Santa Monica Chiropractor? Consider seeing me for a chiropractic visit on Ocean Park Blvd. in Santa Monica.

For more information visit our website and profile on Google+.

www.o2chiropracticandwellness.com
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Upper Back Exercises

Exercise is important to keeping a strong and healthy body.  The more we strengthen, the more we can prevent pain and injury.  Here, I’ve demonstrated a few exercises you can do at home with a resistance band to build upper back strength.

By Dr. Dana Laridaen, D.C.
Need a Santa Monica Chiropractor? Consider a chiropractic visit to see me on Ocean Park Blvd. in Santa Monica.

For more information visit our website and profile on Google+.

www.o2chiropracticandwellness.com
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Essential for Individuals Who Work Out and/or Have Soft-tissue Injuries

Fruit EnzymesFibrin rescues us whenever our bodies are injured. Fibrin, shaped like long threads, interlaces together to form a barrier over the site of injury.  This barrier is critical for preventing wounds from deteriorating even more and allows the skin to become healthy again.  Imagine you are cut, fibrin is what binds the wound back together to prevent further bleeding.

Once the wound is healed, our body will naturally clean up the fibrin from the site.  This clean up process uses proteolytic enzymes to get rid of the excess fibrin on the soft tissue.  However, our bodies aren’t working in perfect conditions and such clean up is minimal.  These tissues stiffen and form masses that interfere with our normal range of motion and function.  This is when we begin to feel pain, inflammation or re-injure ourselves from the accumulation of fibrin tissues, also known as scar tissue.

Luckily we can support the clean up process by increasing our intake of proteolytic enzymes.  These enzymes break down fibrin masses, increase blood circulation, reduce inflammation and strengthen the immune system.  Unfortunately, your regular diet alone won’t overcome the drop in natural enzyme production as you age and even the best naturally occurring proteolytic enzyme food sources are not a significant part of our normal diet.  Our bodies naturally produce these enzymes yet when we eat predominantly processed foods and lack a diet rich in raw fruits and vegetables, or simply not chew food well, our bodies rarely have the ability to produce enough enzymes.  Therefore, most people will benefit by supplementing their diet with these enzymes.

My best recipe to conquer scar tissue is to take enzymes and use the foam roller (see blog post here).  When you use these supplements in conjunction with the foam roller you will break up fibrin built up around overused muscles and increase tissue turnover.  We stock these enzymes and foam rollers here at the office, so come by and pick them up.

By Dr. Dana Laridaen, D.C.
Need a Santa Monica Chiropractor? Consider a chiropractic visit to see me on Ocean Park Blvd. in Santa Monica.

For more information visit our website and profile on Google+.

www.o2chiropracticandwellness.com
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Get A Standing Desk and Be on Your Way to a Happier and Healthier Self

This day in age, so many people are required to sit at a computer all day at work. Today a dedicated worker tends to be defined as a person who puts in long hours crouched in front of a screen. However, in the 19th and 20th centuries office workers mostly stood and sitting was considered slacking. As scientists are discovering, there are health hazards of sitting for long periods of time, even for those who have active lifestyles.

Scientific research has determined that after an hour or more of sitting our body produces less fat-burning enzymes by as much as 90%! Extended sitting, slows the metabolism and lowers the levels of good cholesterol. “There has been an explosion of research in this area because the health care cost implications are so enormous,” according to Dr. James Levine of the Mayo Clinic. There has been extensive development in ergonomic work stations that allow modern workers to stand and even walk on treadmills while at their computer. Standing workstations are an ergonomic must for most people. People should sit less, get up and move around more.

My advice to you, get a standing work station and be on your way to a happier and healthier self. I believe everything is best done in moderation; so rotate throughout your day by standing and sitting at your computer if possible. This will allow you to save your health, neck and back from a world of hurt.

By Dr. Dana Laridaen, D.C.
Need a Santa Monica Chiropractor? Consider a chiropractic visit to see me on Ocean Park Blvd. in Santa Monica.

For more information visit our website and profile on Google+.

www.o2chiropracticandwellness.com
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Wellness Care Means Optimum Health

wellnessWellness care is a general term we all have heard but I’m going to explain what it really means. This type of care begins by you taking responsibility for your own health. Everyone has their own unique needs in order to experience optimal well being. This being said, some people need to correct diet and weight issues, while others need to become more physically fit and exercise more. Other people have diseases that are genetic such as heart disease, diabetes, back pain, headaches, etc., and some just want to slow the aging process as much as possible.

The point I want to get across to you is that there is no “quick fix”.  Below I will discuss a list I have compiled of factors you need to look over and see how they are addressed or not addressed in your own life.

1. Education– Know why you are having pain, discomfort, problems sleeping, weight issues etc.

2. Mobility – If joints and muscles of the body are not operating in their full, normal range or if muscles have become soft from disuse, optimal energy cannot be experienced. These issues are to be addressed by specific training or exercise that can be taught and performed in a home program.

3. Diet- This means eating well, not less and finding the correct balance for you.

4. Vitamins- The American Medical Association came right out and said that “Everyone needs extra nutritional supplements”.  This is important considering many prescription medications produce loss of specific vitamin combinations. Many people have also chosen to remove certain foods from their diet but have not considered the need to supplement for the missing nutrients.

5. Body Movement-  Do something you enjoy that requires body movement. This doesn’t mean you have to join a gym. Just get out there and move! There is not one activity worse for you than smoking tobacco, but the consumption of excess food and alcohol can become the second worse activity you choose.

I enjoy talking with patients during their visits to find out what they are missing in their life in regards to activity, nutrition, vitamins and sleep. Everyone has unique lifestyles so I enjoy helping each patient find ways to make small changes or modifications to their life to improve it.

By Dr. Dana Laridaen, D.C.
Need a Santa Monica Chiropractor? Consider a chiropractic visit to see me on Ocean Park Blvd. in Santa Monica.

For more information visit our website and profile on Google+

www.o2chiropracticandwellness.com
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How I Really Feel About Foam Rollers

FoamRoller1Foam rollers are such a great addition to almost anyone’s routine. I have been using them in my practice and have noticed a faster, more significant improvement in conditions.   Patients use foam rollers as a stretching technique, either done at the office or at home for a few days a week complementing their chiropractic treatment. A foam roller is a simple cylindrical pieces of hard foam. You use your own body weight to sandwich the roller between your body’s soft tissue and the floor. By using a foam roller on a regular basis you are helping your muscles become more flexible which can help prevent injuries as well as help stabilize the spine and help correct posture. A foam roller can be best described as SMR (Self Myofascial Release) or otherwise thought of as self massage.

The main benefits of the foam roller include:
– increasing blood circulation throughout the skin, fascia, muscles, tendons and ligaments
– breaking up scar tissue around the spine and joints such as the knees and hips
– breaking up adhesions also known as knots in the muscles in the upper and lower back
– breaking up adhesions in the Iliotibial (IT) band which runs from your outer hip to your outer knee region and gets tight in many athletes or people who exercise regularly
– breaking up scar tissue around the spine in the middle back which is caused from hunching over perhaps at work or sitting at a computer for hours at a time
– loosing up the muscles caused by your posture, job, workouts etc., which will help to stabilize your spine and joints, allowing your chiropractic adjustments to hold longer

Sometimes tight muscles and ligaments are the root cause of a joint region becoming dysfunctional and producing pain and stiffness. I have found that many of my patients suffer from lower back pain and stiffness that are associated with tight hip flexors, hamstrings, IT bands, gluteus, calves, and/or quad muscles. Together the patient and I can find out which muscle group is contributing or affecting their condition and the foam roller can be applied to each problem area. With their dedication to using the roller at home as well as the chiropractic treatment, we are able to fix the problem much quicker than with just traditional stretches alone.

By Dr. Dana Laridaen, D.C.
Dana Laridaen, D.C. is a Chiropractor. Need a Santa Monica Chiropractor? Consider a chiropractic visit to see me on Ocean Park Blvd. in Santa Monica.

For more information visit our website and profile on Google+

www.o2chiropracticandwellness.com
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Inflammation? Foods to Eat and Foods to Avoid

no inflammation zone

Learn more with your Santa Monica Chiropractor in the 90405. Meet Dr. Dana Laridaen today!

It has come to my attention that many people, including several of my patients, didn’t know certain foods can cause inflammation and other foods can help decrease inflammation. Today I will talk about foods to avoid at times you have an acute injury, have stress,and to prevent inflammation at all times. First of all, many people are intolerant to proteins in wheat and dairy, which if consumed over time with or without knowing you have an intolerance may cause chronic inflammation in the body.

I will first cover the inflammatory foods and what to avoid:

1. Sugar

2. High Fructose Corn Syrup (Some hidden foods that contain high HFCS are some, not all of the following):

Yogurts, breads, cereal bars, boxed macaroni and cheese, applesauce, salad dressing, peanut butter, jelly, cereals

3. Refined Grains

4. Dairy ( mik, cheese, ice cream)

Now there are several types of things you can consume which are anti-inflammatory:

1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

One cause of inflammation in the body is an imbalance in the consumption of Omega-6 and Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Most people get enough Omega-6 from nuts, seeds and vegetable oils. They actually need more anti-inflammatory Omega-3’s such

as salmon, trout, halibut, tuna, flaxseeds, walnuts, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, and bell peppers.

2. Antioxidents

Some of these items are in garlic and onions as well as non-citrus fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, papaya, apricots, cherries, plums and watermelons.

3. Extra Virgin Olive Oil 

4. Spices

Some spices to include in your diet are: ginger, garlic, cinnamon, turmeric, and cayenne

5. Green Tea

Most Importantly reduce your stress! Reducing your stress can promote anti-inflammation. Also, as you begin eating anti-inflammatory foods you will most likely feel better and be able to deal more effectively with daily stress. The best piece of advice I can give you on this matter is to read the ingredient labels on the food you eat.  Look for and avoid items such as sugar, enriched wheat or flour and high fructose corn syrup.

I really hope this information helps some of you and your questions with foods to consume and to avoid during time of pain and inflammation.

If you are ready to take care of your spine and your health or just want more information please contact me today! Once again, you can live without chiropractic care, but you can live a much better life with it!

By Dr. Dana Laridaen, D.C.
Dana Laridaen, D.C. is a Chiropractor. Need a Santa Monica Chiropractor? Consider a visit to this Santa Monica Chiropractor, Dr. Dana Laridaen, D.C. at www.o2chiropracticandwellness.com
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How Does Sitting Cause Injury?

Poor posture and inactivity are two factors involved in the creation of Repetitive Stress Injuries. Every muscle, joint, ligament and tendon work together to hold the body upright in the correct alignment to support the head and allow for full motion. When a person sits at a computer for hours at at time the body can actually break down. Sitting at a desk while looking at a computer or driving for a prolonged period of time can cause a person to lose the natural C-curve in their neck from forward head position, rounding their shoulders, and hunching their back. When this happens, joints misalign, muscles become strained and inflame, and nerves can be irritated. When this process continues for days and weeks at at time injuries can occur.

Most people believe you have to be involved in an automobile accident or significant injury in order to have debilitating injuries. This I have found is not true at all. Most of my patients are victims of “computer neck,” which causes constant or frequent tension in the upper trapezius muscles and neck muscles. The constant strain on these muscles caused from prolonged sitting at computers can cause headaches, neck pain, and even worse, tingling and numbness in the arms.

Muscles become stiff and sore from lack of oxygen, and weak from lack of use. When your joint-stabilizing muscles are weak, the tendons and ligaments work harder to compensate for the lack of activity by the muscle. When this occurs, the tendons and ligaments stiffen which leads to eventual misalignment of the joint. A person who has weaker muscles due to lack of exercise is easily injured and takes longer to heal.

It is important to strengthen the muscles that are involved in keeping your posture straight and properly align the neck. Once the joint is misaligned it is important to get it adjusted back into the right position to allow the muscles to relax.

If this reminds you of yourself or any of your co-workers make sure you address the issue. The longer the problems persist the longer the healing time will be. Chiropractors commonly treat conditions caused by “computer neck.”

Dana Laridaen, D.C. is a Chiropractor. Need a Santa Monica Chiropractor? Consider a visit to this Santa Monica Chiropractor, Dr. Dana Laridaen, D.C.at www.o2chiropracticandwellness.com

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INFLAMMATION…The Correct Way to Treat It

As your Santa Monica chiropractor, Dr. Dana Laridaen, D.C., I have come across too many patients that have made their condition worse simply by treating an acute injury incorrectly. When you first injure an area of your body, whether it be an ankle, a knee, your back, your neck, your shoulder, etc., what you do the first 24-48 hours are crucial in the recovery of that area. Inflammation occurs at the place of the injury and is helpful in the circulation of blood to that area for proper healing. Inflammation, however, is painful and causes swelling.

Ice should be applied to the inflamed area for 15 minutes every hour for as many hours in the day as you can. Ice should never be applied directly on the skin. You should place a very thin T-shirt or thin cloth between the ice pack and your skin in order to prevent 2nd degree burns. This should be done for the first 24-48 hours. When you take a shower, do not let the hot water hit the area of inflammation because it will just make the inflammation worse. If you cannot avoid the hot water, simply apply ice as soon as you can.

If inflammation is not addressed correctly and left uncontrolled it may lead to scarring and dysfunctional muscle groups. In this case, uncontrolled inflammation can lead to an even more severe condition of improper motion and on-going pain. After the first 48 hours, you may start to add heat when treating the area in what is called Contrast Therapy. Contrast therapy is the application of heat and ice. When you are ready for this, you want to add heat for 15 minutes followed by Ice for 15 minutes. This should be done repeatedly, however always ending with ice to counter act any additional inflammation the heat may be contributing.  The purpose and effectiveness of contrast therapy can be explained by two rules in relation to your body:

1. Heat is a vasodialator- which allows the body to bring nutrient rich blood to surface areas

2. Cold is a vasoconstrictor- which drives blood to the body’s core to allow for nourishment and protection of the body

What this means in terms of treating the injured area- Heat can relax the muscle while cold reduces inflammation and inhibits pain.

We all know heat feels so much better than ice, however, heat will feel good on an inflamed area but then 2-3 hours later the pain and inflammation will be even worse and the recovery time will be even longer. When I treat a patient’s injury for the first time and they tell me they applied ice, I thank them and am so much happier because I know their injury will heal much faster. The patients that tell me they added heat right away know as soon as they see my reaction, they have done something wrong.  I tell everyone unsure of what to do on an acute injury, always error on the side of ice. You can do so much more damage adding heat right away, but applying ice won’t hurt you.

Lastly, the foods we consume have an impact on inflammation: sugar will increase inflammation and foods like watermelon will help to reduce it. You can continue researching foods that fit within your diet and can help reduce inflammation when these injuries occur.

Now, the best thing to do is to contact your doctor right away especially if you have any other health conditions that may affect your healing.

Dana Laridaen, D.C. is a Chiropractor. Need a Santa Monica Chiropractor? Consider a visit to this Santa Monica Chiropractor, Dr. Dana Laridaen, D.C.at http://o2chiropracticandwellness.com/

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The Importance of Stabilizing Exercises to Hold Adjustments Longer

As your Santa Monica chiropractor, Dr. Dana Laridaen, D.C., I advocate the use of back stabilizing exercises as well as core strength to hold the chiropractic adjustments longer. Subluxations are the underlying cause of many of the problems that we attribute to tight muscles and soreness. Subluxation is when a bone of the spine moves slightly out of place which affects the muscles and nerves. When a chiropractor adjusts you, they are removing these subluxations.  Now, as a chiropractor, I would be negligent if I didn’t give you stabilizing exercises and stretches to help the adjustments hold and last longer. Treatment in my office is a team effort between both you and I.  It is my job to give you the education and exercises to help your condition. If the bones are adjusted but the muscles are not addressed you will feel that you need to be constantly adjusted.

My goal is  for you to live a healthier lifestyle and you will achieve this by strengthening your back and performing specific exercises I demonstrate.  Many people know rehabilitation exercises are to address previously injured areas.  I believe it is equally if not more important to strengthen the back and neck to keep it in alignment and  prevent injuries. It is not that most people don’t want to do stretches and exercises to help their back and neck, I find that most people are just unsure of what to do.  Here at O2 Chiropractic and Wellness I will take the time to go over exercises for your specific needs. All of us work, move around, drive cars, workout etc., which means bones of the spine are going to move out of place slightly. We all have subluxations throughout our spine. It is just up to us to get rid of them and  get aligned to prevent pain and injuries in the future.

If you are ready to take care of your spine and your health or just want more information please contact me today! Once again, you can live without chiropractic care, but you can live a much better life with it!

Dana Laridaen, D.C. is a Chiropractor.

Need a Santa Monica Chiropractor? Consider a visit to this Santa Monica Chiropractor, Dr. Dana Laridaen, D.C. at http://o2chiropracticandwellness.com/

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