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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Frustrated with Lower Back Pain?

Cox Flexion Distraction

Lower back pain? Unsure why it flares up or when it will happen again? Do you get tingling or numbness down your legs? Let me tell you a couple reasons why and how I can treat it at O2 Chiropractic and Wellness.

Cox Flexion distraction treatment is a popular chiropractic technique I use in my office to treat patients with severe lower back pain that may be a result of: herniated discs, bulging discs, osteoarthritis and/or severe lumbar degeneration. This specific technique is based on chiropractic and osteopathic principles noted in the Manual of Osteopathic Technique written by a well-known Osteopathic Doctor.

Flexion-Distraction is a well-known treatment technique that I have used to help countless people find relief from their lower back pain. It is a safe and conservative approach to treating acute lower back pain. In addition, Cox Flexion-Distraction technique is a nearly painless alternative to back surgery.

The key to this treatment is that I use a custom table to help separate the lumbar spinal joints. The Flexion-Distraction table allows me to apply pressure to specific areas of contact intended to relieve pain, as well as restore range of motion and realign the spine. I apply slight pressure to the lower back throughout the process, and the goal is to decrease pressure and decompress the inflamed areas around the lumbar spine to restore normal nerve function.  Results are sometimes instantaneous, although it may take weeks to get complete relief, depending on how long the problem has been present. The earlier you can get the lower back pain treated, the quicker the recovery.

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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What is causing that Headache?

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Everyone gets the occasional headache, but some headaches get so bad they won’t go away. While drugs treat the symptoms, they often ignore the underlying cause of the problem.

The worst headaches can be slow to respond to the intended effect of the medications. The stronger medications can have negative and long-lasting effects to the rest of your body when used for extended periods. They is why many people finally decide to look to other, more natural (and safer) solutions for their problem such as chiropractic.

Different Kinds of Headaches

In order to better treat any problem it is first important to understand what causes it. There are many different kinds of headaches, some which can be treated by chiropractic better than others. Headaches are most commonly caused by

-changes by vascular constriction

-tension of the muscles

-sinus congestion

These headaches can radiate pain all over the head and feel centered in many different locations, but it is most important to know that chiropractic is a great solution to those headaches centered around muscle tension and changes in vascular flow. Sinus headaches may be treated as well but the cause is likely to be more complicated.

The three main types of headaches most often found in chiropractic offices are:

-migraine headaches

-tension headaches

-cervicogenic headaches (from the neck)

The last type of headache mentioned sounds a bit scary, but it just simply means a headache that is caused by referred pain that originates within the bone, muscles, or nerves of the neck.

Tension Headaches

When we become stressed, frightened, or angry, the body will respond with increased muscle tension in the neck, shoulders, or head. This reaction, often called a fight or flight response, is how we respond to stress. If stress becomes very constant in our lives, that muscle tension can become just another habit.

This can lead to imbalances in the body, which then leads to more muscle tension and pain. Chiropractic care can will relax the tight muscles and realign the spine underneath to end this vicious cycle of pain. Those that are seeking treatment for tension headaches may often see a drastic improvement with just a few spinal adjustments as the nerves become less irritated and the muscles become more relaxed.

Migraine Headaches

Migraines are brought about by changes in vascular flow, triggered by a variety of factors such as different smells, foods, weather, hormonal changes, and stress. These often very painful headaches do not always start off as pain. They can begin with nausea or the person may experience a halo effect called a visual aura.

Recent studies have shown chiropractic treatment may play a significant role in reducing the number of migraines a person has. By careful manipulation of the neck and spine, chiropractic adjustments may be able to reduce nerve irritation in the spine, thus preventing radiating or referred pain, and improve vascular flow.

Treatment Types

Chiropractic treatment centers around the idea of manipulating the spinal column and neck to improve posture and blood flow. To treat a headache, Dr. Dana Laridaen, D.C. uses specific cervical spine adjustments as well as myofascial release and special pain modalities after the adjustment. She will also likely recommend some stretching exercises and basic changes in posture to help keep things balanced in between visits.

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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Chiropractic….The way to a better life. What are you waiting for?

In US professional football, 77% of NFL trainers incorporate chiropractic care for the teams and players. 31% of NFL teams have a Chiropractor officially on staff. 

Fortunately for Major League Soccer (MLS) players, Chiropractic treatment is part of their training/rehab treatment.

Follow Jacksonville Jaguars star running back Maurice Jones Drew the day after a playoff game…first stop is his Chiropractor. He then explains how his Chiropractor has become one of the most important tools to maintaining his healthy body so he can stay competitive!

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