Exercises for Sciatica and Back Pain

Sciatica refers to pain that radiates along the path of your sciatic nerve, which branches from your lower back at L1-S1, goes through your hips and buttocks, and down each leg. Next Tuesday we will be talking about what causes this and what you can do to help manage and prevent it.

Our June workshop is coming up NEXT Tuesday June 11. We will begin with a short anatomy and physiology review, where Dr. Karo will explain how your lumbar spine works, and how it integrates with your hips and lower extremities.

Afterwards we will get interactive, and go through some of the foundational exercises for improving the function of your lower back and hips.

Wear athletic type clothing that you can move freely in.

RSVP below. Space is limited, but friends and family are always welcome!

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Sciatica, Lower Back Pain, Leg Pain

Sciatica refers to pain that radiates along the path of your sciatic nerve, which branches from your lower back at L1-S1, goes through your hips and buttocks, and down each leg. At Platinum Chiropractic we approach this problem from the roots.

Sciatica, Lower back pain, leg pain …. it is likely that yourself or someone you know has or is currently experiencing one or more of these symptoms. But what is sciatica really? 

Sciatica refers to pain that radiates along the path of your sciatic nerve, which branches from your lower back at L1-S1, goes through your hips and buttocks, and down each leg. Irritation to this nerve bundle anywhere along the pathway may cause lower back pain and, or leg pain, muscle weakness, or foot drop, just to name a few. Because of the wide variety of potential secondary conditions, sciatica is a very loose diagnosis with no effective long term treatment under standard medical care.

However, the way we approach this problem at Platinum Chiropractic is from the roots. Since these nerves originate from the lumbar spine, our first assessment is of the lower spinal vertebrae. We asses for Neuro-Structural shifts that could be irritating the nerves running down the leg. Usually, when we can correct the problem at the cause, the secondary symptoms such as leg pain, cramps, foot drop, etc. tend to go away on their own. We also include specific exercises to address any imbalances and help strengthen after we’ve corrected the problem. This is why we get such great results with our patients who have sciatica, or back pain in general. 

We invite you to our next workshop, June 11 at 6:30: Mobility for Low Back Pain to learn more. RSVP below:

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Fish Oil (Omega 3's)

How to know you are getting the best

Let’s say that we have two different (brands) of fish oil sitting side-by-side. Each bottle has 1,000 mg capsules. Are the capsules the same? The answer is NO. 

Here’s why: With regards to Omega-3 there are HUGE differences with regards to sources, quality, and quantity. The best source of Omega-3 oil is from cold salt-water fish such as sardines, anchovies, herring, and mackerel. Warm water and fresh water are not acceptable sources. Does that mean that eating warm water and fresh water fish is bad? No, they just aren’t good sources of Omega-3. 

With regard to quality, much of it has to do with the extraction process of the oil from its source, as well as the elimination of PCB’s, dioxins, furuns, PAHs, mercury, and of course other heavy metals. You obviously want to remove unwanted junk while still preserving the quality of the oil. 

When it comes to the right amount, here is what you need to know: At the very least, an average adult should be taking 1000 EPA per day. We did not say 1000mg of omega-3 fish oil per day. We are specifically saying 1000mg of EPA.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids (FAs), EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid) and DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid). EPA (Eicosapentaenic Acid) is the heart and soul of fish oil. It, along with DHA (which is much more important for little ones and nursing moms), are what counts when it comes to omega-3 oil. Two 1000mg capsules may have very different levels of EPA. Some have as little as 70 mg, and others have as much as 750mg. EPA and DHA are important structural components of cell membranes, affecting membrane fluidity, flexibility, and permeability, as well as the efficiency and character of cellular signaling. Omega-3 FAs are especially critical for proper immune system function, and help to maintain cardiovascular and joint health. Omega-3 FAs are concentrated in eye and brain tissues, where they help to promote proper function of the central nervous system and support eye health. The point? Oil…is not oil…is not oil.

There should also be a natural balance of EPA and DHA as you would find in nature, like when you eat a fish. Most other brands either have low EPA/DHA, or they hyper inflate one or both using chemical processing. You should strive to be as close to nature as possible with an 18:12 full complement fatty acid profile. This way your body can utilize it efficiently. 

Now, we all know what to look for in our Omega-3 oil. In our practice, we carry only the finest quality omega-3 oil, in both liquid and soft gels. We take pride in carrying high quality products and we are constantly looking for the best. You can learn more about our Protocol for Life Balance Ultra Omega-3 here or by clicking on the images above.

Learn more about Omega 3s by reading our article on Good Fats vs Bad Fats here.

Massage, Physical Therapy, & Chiropractic

How do these different approaches to physical care help to resolve your health concerns?

If the foundation of a house shifts from its normal structural alignment, the resulting damage can be devastating. 1) Cracks in the walls, 2) creaky floorboards, and 3) windows that don’t open properly are just a few of the symptoms of the underlying cause, a structural shift of the foundation.

Similar to the foundation of a house, structural damage to the spine may be the underlying cause of a myriad of symptoms. Simply bandaging your symptoms is unlikely to correct the true cause of your condition, and may eventually lead to further spinal decay and more aggressive deterioration.

Each of these approaches have their place in your care, but each work in different ways. Let’s use a house as an analogy. Imagine you start noticing difficulty in sliding the house windows up and down, or the doors not shutting correctly, or even noticing a fissure in the wall. Now, you could treat these problems one by one. First, you could start by putting some WD-40 on the window tracks to help them go up and down more smoothly. Then you could shave the door down so that it will shut into the frame better. You can even put paint on the fissure to cover it up. But how long will these patches last for? Usually they come back, over and over again or lead to larger more costly repairs in the future. 

Until one day you get a builder out to check the foundation of the house. The builder notices that your home’s foundation has shifted and is causing many of these secondary problems you are experiencing with the house. By fixing the houses’ underlying structure and doing a little bit of work on the secondary repairs, you find things to be right again, and future expenses are avoided. No more need to keep shaving down your doors over and over again or re-patching and painting the walls!

Similar to the house, the foundation of your body is your spine. Structural damage to the spine may be the underlying cause of a myriad of symptoms you are experiencing. When your spine shifts from its normal position, the shifts may impede your body and nerve signals from functioning correctly. Some of the secondary conditions you might experience are tightness in your neck and shoulders, pain in your hips and/or legs, headaches and migraines, and digestive issues just to name a few. 

Now just as before, you can treat these problems one by one. You can go to a massage therapist who will look at the soft tissues that hang on the frame of your body. They will find tight spots and loosen them up giving you temporary relief. Massages, however, don’t work on your foundation as much as they work on the outer muscles of your body. This is similar to putting WD-40 on a squeaky window that doesn’t go up and down correctly. 

When it comes to your health, there’s no silver bullet. As a healthcare professional, our Doctors of Chiropractic are focused on the best possible outcome. Once your structure is being addressed, the massage and physical therapy may work synergistically with your chiropractic care to achieve optimum results.

Then, let’s say your massage visits don’t quite do the job and your problems keep coming back until someone recommends you visit a physical therapist. The PT will check your areas of complaint and find areas that need to be stretched and/ or strengthened. They might say your muscles aren’t “firing” in certain places which is why you can have dysfunction in your back or leg. They will try to stretch and strengthen certain body parts to improve their function. Often times this will begin to help, but might lose momentum as the stretches and exercises are not addressing the true root cause of your conditions. 

You see, neither the massage therapist or the physical therapist is taking a look at correcting your foundation, nor do they have the tools. Instead they are working on the surface areas and secondary conditions. Doctors of Chiropractic who focus on Neuro Structural Correction examine your foundation with many objective measures to see if your structure is shifted from a normal position. These shifts cause pressure on your nerves and can be causing symptoms or dysfunctions down stream, leading to pain and dysfunction. Only when theses spinal shifts are corrected, are your secondary symptoms able to resolve naturally. Once your structure is being addressed, the massage and physical therapy may work synergistically with your chiropractic care to achieve optimum results.

Shoulder Mobility & Rehab

Look at this good looking group of people! great to see everyone who made it to our workshop on Tuesday night. We hi-lighted some strategies everyone can do at home or at work to keep their shoulders healthy and happy. We went through some basic, but powerful movements starting from the neck out to the hands. 

Take a look the video below for an except from the event. If you're not already following us, for more videos and tips, make sure to like us on our social media channels: 

Vitamin D... What's all the fuss?

Vitamin D is a profoundly important nutrient that provides a vast array of health benefits. The question is, do we really need to supplement? And if we do, what’s the proper dosage? 

It is estimated that up to 85% of people have insufficient levels of vitamin D and are unaware of their deficient state. While conventional media and medicine promote sun avoidance, doing so can actually put your health in grave danger and cause vitamin D deficiency (Mercola.com). 

Vitamin D is a very special vitamin because it has so many uses in the body; it’s actually more like a hormone. Over 3,000 genes that we know of are symbiotically using Vitamin D. 

Dr. Robert Heaney, a professor and one of the most well respected researchers in the field, has studied osteoporosis, vitamin D, and calcium physiology for over 50 years. Trained as a physician and endocrinologist, he has been working at the Creighton University’s Osteoporosis Research Center, which he founded, since the late 1960s, with a focus on bone biology. “Inevitably, when you deal with bones, sooner or later, your path crosses with vitamin D, which is vital and important for a whole host of functions,” says Heaney. According to him, vitamin D is involved in the biochemical cellular machinery of all cells and tissues in your body. When you do not have enough, that “machinery” does not work very well. Consequently, your entire body struggles to operate as programmed into our genomes. 

Optimal vitamin D levels can slash your risk of cancer by as much as 60%. Keeping your levels optimized can help prevent at least 16 different types of cancer, including pancreatic, lung, ovarian, prostate, and skin cancers. Moreover, vitamin D can build your defenses against cancer and other diseases by:

  • Enhancing the self-destruction of mutated cells (which can replicate and cause cancer)

  • Slowing down the production and spread of cancer cells

  • Reducing the risk of other conditions as well, including type 2 diabetes, chronic inflammation, age-related macular degeneration (the leading cause of blindness), and Alzheimer’s disease.

  • Exhibiting its infection-fighting abilities in the treatment of tuberculosis, pneumonia, colds, and flu. 

  • Improving seizure control in epileptics.

The best way to attain Vitamin D is through sun exposure without the use of sun block between 10am and 2pm. The sun provides beneficial UVB wavelengths that are needed to optimize your levels. It emits two types of wavelengths at different periods in a day: UVA rays and UVB rays. Your body requires UVB for vitamin D production. Unless you’re living in a tropical region, you can not get vitamin D from the sun year round. That is why a good vitamin D supplement is essential for health.

Experts agree that adults need about 5,000 IU’s and children need about 3,000 IU’s per day to maintain healthy levels. Take a look at Dr. Karo's recommended Vitamin D supplement in our online store where Platinum Preferred Patients receive 5% off. Both of these supplements are of the highest quality and are coupled with both vitamin K, specifically K2 as MK-7 since they work better synergistically. Vitamins D and K are essential for optimal bone and blood vessel health and for maintaining the immune system in proper balance.

Mobility Workshop: Shoulder Rehab

ShoulderRehab

Join us on Tuesday April 9 at 6:30 pm for our Shoulder Rehab Mobility Workshop. Dr. Karo will be going over how our shoulders work and what you can do to decrease your risk of injuries and rehab injuries you may already have experienced.

Space is limited for this interactive workshop, so RSVP today to save your spot.

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Segmental Movement Dysfunction

SMD takes the same principals as MDS and relates them to the joints or segments of the body. Each and every one of your segments are designed to move throughout their full range of motion everyday in order to stay healthy. When these segments don’t move, become fixated, or distort the proper alignment, a toxic or negative sensation is sent to the brain beginning a decrease in the normal functions of your body, increasing your body’s stress response, increasing muscular tension, and leading to degeneration and disease.

SMD takes the same principals as MDS and relates them to the joints or segments of the body. Each and every one of your segments are designed to move throughout their full range of motion everyday in order to stay healthy. When these segments don’t move, become fixated, or distort the proper alignment, a toxic or negative sensation is sent to the brain beginning a decrease in the normal functions of your body, increasing your body’s stress response, increasing muscular tension, and leading to degeneration and disease.

Similar to that of the Movement Deficiency Syndrome (MDS), which we talked about a few weeks ago, we are living in an epidemic of Segmental Movement Dysfunction (SMD). SMD takes the same principals as MDS and relates them to the joints or segments of the body. Each and every one of your segments are designed to move throughout their full range of motion everyday in order to stay healthy. When these segments don’t move, become fixated, or distort the proper alignment, a toxic or negative sensation is sent to the brain beginning a decrease in the normal functions of your body, increasing your body’s stress response, increasing muscular tension, and leading to degeneration and disease. Your most important segments are located in your spine, protecting your central nervous system, and in particular your upper neck region where your brain-stem is located. 

Why is this daily movement through a correct and full range of motion so important? Believe it or not, the only way joints receive nutrients in and push waste out is by moving. There are no blood vessels within joints, therefore your joints need to move fully each and every day to maintain themselves, or else they start to decay. 

Seems simple enough right? But when joints become fixated or displaced from their proper alignment, it becomes more complicated. One of the major reasons we develop fixated, immobile or shifted segments and joints is due to physical traumas. Physical traumas come in two fashions. One is a sudden trauma, like a car accident, falling while learning to walk, or a difficult birth. The second is repetitive postural micro traumas, such as sitting and/or working for long periods of time in poor positions. This causes segments of the spine to distort, shift, lock, and create a cascade of dysfunction of the brain and immediate structures of the body.

Regular spinal hygiene in the form of chiropractic care is necessary for the maintenance of these segmental joints throughout a life time. Chiropractic at its most basic level is all about motion and how that motion creates homeostasis (balanced function of your physiology) in the body. 

Some of the effects of SMD:*

Joints:

  • Shrinks joint capsule

  • Increases compressive loading

  • Leads to joint contractures (shortening and hardening)

Ligaments:

  • Lowers failure or yield point

  • Decreases thickness of collagen fibers

  • Changes Disc Bio-chemistry

  • Decreases oxygen

  • Decreases glucose

Bone:

  • Decreases bone density

  • Eburnation (bone degeneration)

  • Osteophyte formation (bone Spurs)

Muscle:

  • Decrease thickness of collagen fibers

  • Decreases oxidative potential 

  • Decreases muscle mass

  • Decreases mitochondria

  • Increases connective tissue fibrosis

At Platinum Chiropractic our focus is to reduce the SMDs in your body through our Neuro-Structural Corrective care. This is exactly what we are doing when we check and adjust your body. We are restoring your body to normal movement, so that it can function as it was designed.

Health Challenge Day 21: Omega 3 Rich Foods

Health Challenge Day 21: Omega 3 Rich Foods

Omega 3's are anti-inflammatory to our bodies and are the required building blocks for a healthy brain and nervous system. The normal ratio ratio of Omega 3 to Omega 6 (which is pro-inflammatory) should be 1:2. The average American has a ratio of 1:24!!!! No wonder everyone has aches and pains all over and can't think straight, we’re inflamed because of our food. 

So what can we do about it? In order to get the recommended dosage

Read More

Health Challenge Day 15: Get Outside

Platinum Health Challenge Day 15: Get Outside

Day 15… Get Outside.

While it is still too early in the year to synthesize Vit-D directly from the sun (because of our latitude and longitude), there are many other benefits to getting outside. Taking a break can make you more productive and help you see things in a new light, so step outside and get some fresh air to clear your mind. 

If you are missing your Vitamin-d, check out Dr. Karo's recommended supplement in our online store to hold you over until we can start to get it from the sun again. Both of these supplements are of the highest quality and are coupled with both vitamin K, specifically K2 as MK-7. Vitamins D and K are essential for optimal bone and arterial health and for maintaining the immune system in proper balance.

How to Win:

  • Raffles include prizes from WholeFoods, ButcherBox, Beautycounter, Squatty Potty, Altos Mobile Massage and more!

  • To qualify for the raffles, post about you and/or your family and friends completing the Challenge of the Day on social media.

    • This could be a photo or text on facebook, instagram, or twitter, sharing the original Challenge of the Day post, or commenting on the blog post.

    • Don't have Social Media? Talk to Kristen about how to qualify.

    • Be sure to include the #platinumhealthchallenge so we can find you!

  • To qualify for the Weekly Raffle Drawing, complete 5/7 challenges for the week (Sun - Sat). To qualify for the Grand Prize Raffle drawn at our Patient Appreciation Party on March 12 complete 13/21 challenges throughout the month. Party details will be in this week’s edition of the Platinum Advisor. Not signed up yet? send us a message or you can subscribe here: www.platinumchiroca.com 

**Weekly Raffles will be drawn on Sundays. To win you must be able to come by the practice to pickup your prize. We will not be mailing items.**

Health Challenge Day 14: Meditate for 15 min

Platinum Health Challenge Day 14:

Meditate for 15 minutes

Today marks the last challenge for week 2! Make sure to get all of your challenge submissions into Kristen by Sunday at 6 pm and use the #platinumhealthchallenge so we can find you. 

For Day 14 we are upping the anti in our meditation practice, Meditate for 15 minutes. Again, feel free to meditate using any technique you like, but a basic meditation is outlined for your reference below: 

Sit up tall with your spine straight, either in a chair or on the floor. You could also do a walking meditation if sitting is troublesome for you. Close your eyes or just gaze softly downward. Breathe slowly and fully through your nose. As thoughts go through your mind, return your focus to the sensation of your breathing. Set a timer so you know when you’re done, or try a guided meditation via a meditation app.

How to Win:

  • Raffles include prizes from WholeFoods, ButcherBox, Beautycounter, Squatty Potty, Altos Mobile Massage and more!

  • To qualify for the raffles, post about you and/or your family and friends completing the Challenge of the Day on social media.

    • This could be a photo or text on facebook, instagram, or twitter, sharing the original Challenge of the Day post, or commenting on the blog post.

    • Don't have Social Media? Talk to Kristen about how to qualify.

    • Be sure to include the #platinumhealthchallenge so we can find you!

  • To qualify for the Weekly Raffle Drawing, complete 5/7 challenges for the week (Sun - Sat). To qualify for the Grand Prize Raffle drawn at our Patient Appreciation Party on March 12 complete 13/21 challenges throughout the month. Party details will be in this week’s edition of the Platinum Advisor. Not signed up yet? You can subscribe here.

**Weekly Raffles will be drawn on Sundays. To win you must be able to come by the practice to pickup your prize. We will not be mailing items.**

Health Challenge Day 13: Fermented Foods

Platinum Health Challenge Day 13: Eat Probiotic Foods

For Day 13 we are back on the nutrition train… Eat Probiotic Foods! As you know, we are always talking about Gut Health and the important roll it plays for our overall wellbeing, mentally and physically. In fact, you can check out this video that we posted on our blog a while back: https://www.platinumchiroca.com/…/20…/9/10/your-second-brain

Probiotic supplements are all the rage right now, but it is hard to know what ones to take and if they are working. That is why it is best to get your probiotics from your food, which allows for more diversity of strains and effectiveness in your lower digestive tract.

So get out the sauerkraut and get to it! Below are some examples of foods known for their probiotics. Just make sure you are buying high quality fermented (not with probiotics added in at the end) items without sugar. You can usually find these in the refrigerator section. 

  • sauerkraut

  • kimchi

  • kombucha

  • pickles

  • apple cider vinegar

  • yogurt (best to go with a non dairy yogurt such as coconut yogurt)

  • kefir (best to go with  non dairy kefir)

Still in need of a probiotic supplement? Check out our probiotic supplements below, both made from ingredients of only the highest quality and purity and is free of milk/casein, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat/gluten, corn, yeast, and soybeans.

How to Win:

  • Raffles include prizes from WholeFoods, ButcherBox, Beautycounter, Squatty Potty, Altos Mobile Massage and more!

  • To qualify for the raffles, post about you and/or your family and friends completing the Challenge of the Day on social media.

    • This could be a photo or text on facebook, instagram, or twitter, sharing the original Challenge of the Day post, or commenting on the blog post.

    • Don't have Social Media? Talk to Kristen about how to qualify.

    • Be sure to include the #platinumhealthchallenge so we can find you!

  • To qualify for the Weekly Raffle Drawing, complete 5/7 challenges for the week (Sun - Sat). To qualify for the Grand Prize Raffle drawn at our Patient Appreciation Party on March 12 complete 13/21 challenges throughout the month.

**Weekly Raffles will be drawn on Sundays. To win you must be able to come by the practice to pickup your prize. We will not be mailing items.**

Health Challenge Day 12: Plant Something

Platinum Health Challenge Day 12: Plant Something

Is it still raining!?! Looks like we are in store for a lush and green spring time in northern California. To help out, for Day 12 your challenge is to Plant Something

But it is cold and rainy out you say? You in luck, we have supplies in the office for indoor planting. Remember to stop by and pick them up!

How to Win:

  • Raffles include prizes from WholeFoods, ButcherBox, Beautycounter, Squatty Potty, Altos Mobile Massage and more!

  • To qualify for the raffles, post about you and/or your family and friends completing the Challenge of the Day on social media.

    • This could be a photo or text on facebook, instagram, or twitter, sharing the original Challenge of the Day post, or commenting on the blog post.

    • Don't have Social Media? Talk to Kristen about how to qualify.

    • Be sure to include the #platinumhealthchallenge so we can find you!

  • To qualify for the Weekly Raffle Drawing, complete 5/7 challenges for the week (Sun - Sat). To qualify for the Grand Prize Raffle drawn at our Patient Appreciation Party on March 12 complete 13/21 challenges throughout the month.

**Weekly Raffles will be drawn on Sundays. To win you must be able to come by the practice to pickup your prize. We will not be mailing items.**