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Back Pain? See a Chiropractor First

It’s no secret that low back pain is the leading cause of disability. Keeping a lot of us not only out of work, but on the side lines of life as well. In fact, it is one of the most common reasons for missed work. Statistically, it has been estimated that more that 30 million people are effected by back pain at any given time. Low back pain is also one of the most common reasons for a visit to a doctor’s office. Many patients however are frustrated when their PCP seems unsure. The truth is, most primary care medical doctors have little training in the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal conditions (admittedly). This leaves many patients dissatisfied with the outcome.

Board Certified Chiropractic Physicians are portal of entry providers that have undergone 4 years of musculoskeletal specific medical training in order to diagnose, treat, and manage conditions of the muscles and joints. A Chiropractor will be able to diagnose, make recommendations, and treat the specific cause of your problem, instead of masking it with medications. Majority of low back pain is mechanical in nature, meaning it is caused by tight muscles and joints. A Chiropractor will mobilize the joints, stretch the muscles, and correct the movement. You will quickly notice relief that will last. The leads to improved over-all outcomes, higher patient satisfaction, and most importantly keeps you moving!

If you or someone you know is experiencing back pain, don’t wait call or schedule online today! (781) 460-0939

Keep Moving.

Dr. James Ellis

www.evolvedhealthchiropractic.com

Boost Your Golf Game With Chiropractic

With the summer months upon us, many of us  are dusting off the clubs and hitting the links for the first time in a few months. For many of us, this is the most activity we have had in months! This can be a recipe for disaster (especially if you are holding on to a few of those winter lbs).

Statistically, many golfers suffer from lower back pain. Injuries such as golfers elbow, and tendonitis, are often compensation injuries due to a back problem.Why? Golf is a sport that requires great skill and technique, but alsomobility. The harmonious interaction of joints and muscles that must take place in order to accomplish a successful swing can be a  lot for the deconditioned body to take on. This combination of deconditioning and poor mobility will eventually lead to an injury. Golfers on the PGA tour routinely undergo chiropractic visits to restore their mobility, and flexibility.

How Can Chiropractic Help? It has been estimated that over 50% of golfers on the PGA tour routinely undergo chiropractic visits to restore their mobility, and flexibility improving their game and lessening a chance for injury.  As a Board Certified Chiropractic Physician I am an expert of the musculoskeletal system, and body biomechanics. Like a car, each component of your body works together to function. When all of the parts (joints and muscles) in your body are not moving the way they are suppose to, you are going to have compensations with adjacent structures. This compensation is what will lead to Injuries such as lower back pain, golfers elbow, tendonitis, and rotator cuff problems. By restoring normal movement to the joints and muscles your body will be able to function at it’s best. Most importantly, restoring normal joint movement will limit compensation injuries keeping you healthy and feeling your best!

 

Contact us today to see how we can help improve your game! (781) 460-0939

 

Keep Moving.

Dr. James Ellis

www.evolvedhealthchiropractic.com

3 Gym Exercises to Avoid if You Have Shoulder Pain

This weeks blog post is inspired by a question I get frequently. “What exercises should I avoid for my shoulder?”Shoulder injuries are extremely prevalent in an athletic population. I would bet everyone knows someone who deals with chronic shoulder pain. Often times, the exercises we are doing can aggravate that condition making it worse, and more likely to undergo a more serious injury such as a tear.

What makes shoulder injuries so common? First off, the shoulder and the hip joint are two of the most mobile joints in your body, allowing for all ranges of motion. This also means that they can be quite unstable in many people. Much of this instability comes from muscle imbalances from poor, or improper posture. The forward drawn, rounded back posture wreaks havoc on your shoulders. The space needed for the rotator cuff muscles to pass through the subacromial space becomes too small, leading to friction, tendonitis, and eventually a tear. Whats more, the rounded shoulders locks down the joints in your neck and back. Since the scapula sits on the thoracic cage there is a direct correlation. With no extension present in you thoracic spine it is impossible for you to raise your arm above your head impingement free. Certain gym exercises can exacerbate this problem making it more likely for you to be seriously injured.

Avoid these 3 exercises and increase the health and longevity of your shoulders:

1.) Flat Barbell Bench Press: Many people with shoulder injuries find that they have more pain when doing chest press than shoulder press. Barbell bench press is an unatural movement and for those with tight, immobile shoulders can lead to a serious injury.

2.) Smith Machine Shoulder Press: Since the bar is set on a fixed path it leaves no variability for changes in movement which will cause potential compression of the shoulder tendons.

3.) Barbell Shrugs: Many people have developed rounded shoulders due to lifestyle as discussed above. carrying any amount of weight in front of your body is only going to further contribute to compression leading to injury.

We have helped many people recover from shoulder injuries. If you are experiencing pain in your shoulder don’t wait, call or schedule online today: (781) 460-0939

Keep Moving.

 

Dr. James Ellis

www.evolvedhealthchiropractic.com

Effective Relief for Golfer’s Elbow

Summer is upon us and that means a lot of Golf for many people. The problem is, many people have done little all winter in terms of exercise. This leads to deconditioning, and often times injury.

Tendinitis is one of the most common musculoskeletal ailments. I am sure many of you have experienced tendinitis at some point, many of you are probably dealing with it as you read this. Medial (Golfer’s Elbow), and lateral (Tennis Elbow) account for many tendinitis injuries. Medial epicondylitis also known as “Golfer’s Elbow” results when the muscles that flex the forearm and wrist (inside of the elbow) become irritate and inflamed due to over-use or repetitive motions such as swinging a golf club. Even simple activities such as typing or yard work can contribute to the condition. In many cases, the condition is caused by lifestyle (exercise, yard work, computer work, etc.) Repetitive motions can cause the muscles to continue to be inflamed and irritated. Without treatment this could lead to a more serious injury such as a tear.

What are the symptoms? Characteristically, most patients present with pain on the inside of the elbow and forearm. This pain may be sharp at times, patients often report burning, numbness, or tingling around the area as well. Grip strength weakness, swelling, or elbow stiffness may also be noted.

What is the recommended treatment? At initial onset, if swelling and heat are noted ice may be advised to reduce swelling. I typically recommend making the switch to moist heat after the first 24-48 hours. For chronic cases, heat is recommended. The first goal of treatment is to decrease pain and increase range of motion. Secondly, we want to strengthen and balance the muscles. This is accomplished by a combination of manual therapies including electrical stimulation, ultrasound, and manual therapy. Instrument Assisted Soft-Tissue Manipulation (IASTM) is a highly effective, specialized treatment for tendinitis. This procedure works by stimulating local inflammation triggering a healing response on a cellular level, to produce normal, healthy collagen and promote healing.

If you are experiencing pain or discomfort don’t wait, call or schedule online today: (781) 460-0939

Keep Moving.

Dr. James Ellis

www.evolvedhealthchiropractic.com

Preventing “Text Neck”

Though the increases in technology over the last few years have certainly streamlined many of our daily tasks, it has began to wreak havoc on our musculoskeletal system. In fact, some studies have found that such technology may actually be shortening our lifespan. Much of this comes from the poor posture associated with doing tasks such as texting. At the very least, this is leading to conditions such as thoracic outlet syndrome, tendonitis, and degenerative change.

What is “text neck” ? Text neck is a modern ailment that many people will experience from looking down at their phone, tablet, or computer too frequently, for too long. It has been estimated that the average smart phone user spends about 2 hours per day on their phone. The average human head weighs about 12lbs but as we bend forward to look down the weight increases putting extra strain and pressure on the joints, muscles, and ligaments. As a rule of thumb, for every inch your head bends forward, the weight on the spine doubles. This prolonged strain causes inflammation and irritation of the neck and upper back, and over-time may actually change the curve in the spine potentially leading to more serious conditions.

What can you do to prevent it? Avoiding prolonged periods of usage is a good start. The problem is, over-time the inflammation causes the muscles to change length, position, and consistency leading to permanent changes in the muscle and spine. Imagine a 60 lb child hanging from your neck all day. Under this added stress the muscles begin to develop micro-tears causing scar tissue to build which will limit normal muscle function. If you do nothing, this problem tends to build and become worse. Spinal manipulation is a safe effective way to release the tight joints and stretch the tight muscles.
•Visit a Chiropractic Physician to ensure proper biomechanics of your neck and back
•Instead of looking down at your device, try to hold it in front of you to limit forward translation of your head
•Strengthen your rhomboids, and stretch your neck muscles

 

Keep Moving.

Dr. James Ellis

www.evolvedhealthchiropractic.com

(781) 460-0939

Chiropractic: An Effective Treatment for Tension Headache’s

I would bet that most of us have experienced a headache at one point or another. The location and symptoms however can tell you a lot about the source of the headache and most importantly what you can do to fix it. As a Chiropractic Physician I see a lot of headache complaints. Headaches can vary from cluster type (most severe), which cause severe pain usually behind the eye, to migraines, and tension type headaches.

Tension type headaches rank as the most common among adults. in fact, more than half of all adults will develop tension headache’s at some point in their life. These headaches are characterized by a dull aching pain in the back of the head, neck, or forehead. Some patients will report that it feels like someone is squeezing their head. There is no known familial incidence for tension headaches unlike other types; they are usually a product of lifestyle.

What causes them? Poor posture and stress are two of the many causes. Many note that the headaches will begin during certain activities such as computer work, slowly building as the day progress’s. Due to many of our sedentary lifestyle’s and technology many of us have developed muscle imbalances in our neck, back, and shoulders. These imbalances slowly build overtime leading to conditions such as headaches, tendonitis, and low back pain.

What can you do to fix it? These imbalances are mechanical in nature and require some intervention (earlier the better!). When addressing tension headaches it is important to address both the muscles and the joints. One of the main culprits in the development of tension headaches is that of the suboccipital muscles. These are a tiny group of muscles attaching the skull to the upper cervical spine responsible for movements of the head. When muscle imbalances develop the overactive muscles (such as the suboccipital group) become irritated, and inflamed. This inflammation causes fascial restrictions (think scabs) on the muscles sheath not allowing for adequate movement and position of the muscle. A combination of specific soft-tissue work, and spinal manipulation is the perfect solution for tension headaches. By freeing the fascia, we may then release the joints allowing us to restore normal biomechanics immediately relieving tension!

If you are experiencing headaches don’t wait, give us a call today: (781) 460-0939

Keep Moving.

Dr. James Ellis

www.evolvedhealthchiropractic.com

Resolve Chronic Sacroiliac (SI) Pain

It is generally understood (perhaps too well!) that chiropractors fix back pain (even though we do other things as well!) This is for good reason, chiropractic care can be a successful treatment for mechanical lower back pain, even the AMA recommends spinal manipulation before more invasive options are considered. More recently, spinal manipulation has been found to produce the best outcome when combined with exercise (vs exercise alone).

What is the sacroiliac joint (SI) and what is it’s significance? The Sacrum is the triangular shaped bone at the bottom of your spine. Initially, it is composed of 5 separate segments which will typically fuse later in life. The area where the last lumbar vertebrae (L5) meets the sacrum is known as the lumbosacral junction. This is known as a transitional segment as the articulation of joints changes. This change make the sacrum susceptible to injury. The Sacroiliac (SI) Joint is the articulation between the sacrum and the pelvis on either side. This joint acts a shock absorber, absorbing forces as you move. Surrounding the joint is many ligaments which makes movement of the SI joint minimal.

What causes SI Joint pain? Improper bio-mechanics of the spine and pelvis are a common cause of SI joint dysfunction. Tight hips and lower back muscles will pull on the joints and the ligaments irritating the area causing, hip, buttock, or lower back pain. Spinal manipulation in combination with specific exercise and stretching has been shown to be a very effective, long term solution to those suffering from chronic SI pain.

Not sure if you are experiencing SI Joint pain? Call or schedule online today and start healing.

Keep Moving.

Dr. James Ellis

www.evolvedhealthchiropractic.com

(781) 460-0939

Eat These 3 Foods and Burn More Fat

Now that summer is approaching many of us are trying to slim down the waist line. The task of taking on a diet can be quite daunting. Who to listen to? Where to start? While there are many diet strategies (all of which are effective for someone but not everyone), sustainability has to be a priority. Consuming certain foods can increase your metabolism and burn more body fat, naturally.
So keep it simple, eat these 3 foods regularly to boost metabolism, burn fat, and eliminate harmful toxins!
1.) Broccoli Rabe- Broccoli Rabe is very high in phytonutrients which attack and eliminate free radicals in your body. This vegetable contains Sulforaphane which stimulates your fat cells and prevents conversion to adipose tissue!
2.) Wild Salmon- The key hear is wild caught. Wild caught salmon have the optimal ratio of Omega-3 fatty acids which improve insulin sensitivity and metabolism shrinking your waist line over-time.
3.) Coconut Oil- Coconut Oil contains a special type of fatty acid known as Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT). MCT’s have been shown to be beneficial in brain health and weight loss. Unlike other types of fats, MCT’s are absorbed into the liver and not broken down in the intestines so can be used directly for energy. Additionally, unlike olive oil, MCT’s can withstand higher temperatures without denaturing. Stick to Coconut Oil for cooking and Olive Oil for dressing.
Looking for some extra help with your own personal weight-loss plan? Click Here
Keep Moving.

Dr. James Ellis

www.evolvedhealthchiropractic.com

3 Exercises Every CrossFit Athlete Should Be Doing

CrossFit has certainly become very popular in the recent years, and for good reason, it is a very time efficient way to build muscle and burn body fat! With fatigue however comes laxity in form. This can be a recipe for injury, but it doesn’t have to be.

The amount of mobility required to complete many of the movements is lacking in many athletes; especially beginners. These problems stem mainly from lifestyle. Many of us sit at a desk all day, or have jobs that have altered our posture. This rounded posture that many of us develop may lead to shoulder, hip, or lower back issues.

Though CrossFit does a fantastic job of targeting your “functional fitness” goals, muscle activation is lacking in many athletes which will lead to compensation, and eventually injury. Try these 3 exercises below that target key areas in the shoulders, back, and hips and stay injury free.

1.) Seated Rows- Due to the explosiveness of many moves, and the focus on the entire kinetic system, the rhomboids are one muscle that is often forgotten about. This muscle group in particular is responsible for scapular retraction. Scapular retraction must occur in over-head movements in order for the shoulder to move impingement free. An extremely affective way to strengthen and activate the rhomboids is through the seated row, with a focus on pinching the shoulder blades together.
2.) Face-Pulls– The rear-deltoids are another group that is responsible for good posture, pulling your shoulder blades back. These are often inhibited by over-active or tight upper traps.  Likewise, in order for the shoulder to stay healthy these must be firing and functioning appropriately.
3.) Planks- Do your knees cave or does your lower back round during your squat? Contrary to popular belief, just because you squat and deadlift does not mean you have a strong core. Planks are a fantastic core activation exercise that address’s the entire circumference of the core (abs, oblique’s, glutes, and lower back).
Give these exercises a try and keep the PR’s rolling!

 

 

Keep Moving.

 

Dr. James Ellis

www.evolvedhealthchiropractic.com

(781) 460-0939

Find Relief From Back Pain While Building a Killer 6-Pack

Spring has finally sprung, and that means that bathing suit season is just around the corner. By this time many of you are second guessing that 2nd piece of pie on Christmas Day. With warmer weather, we also tend to become more active (many of us for the first time since fall). Not only does the extra body fat look bad, it wreaks havoc on your spine and muscles making you more susceptible to an injury.

The extra body weight tends to pulls your body forward, changing the curves in your spine and position of your muscles. With this change in posture it puts your spine in a “loaded” position (think of a car that is not aligned properly) adding unnecessary wear and tear to your body. A strong core is important for more than just aesthetics, it is responsible for supporting our upright posture, and providing us with flexibility and stability. When discussing effective core strengthing techniques it is important to note that we want to activate the entire core (abs, oblique’s, lower back muscles, pelvic floor, and the diaphragm). Try these exercises below and enjoy stronger, more appealing core!

Perform this routine 3x/week, 3 sets of 10 repetitions per exercise.

1.) Diaphragmatic Breathing– Lying on your back, knees bent, place on hand on your chest and one hand on your abdomen. Take a deep breathe in through your nose and focus on making the hand on you abdomen rise while limiting the rise in your chest (avoid chest breathing.)

2.) Pelvic Tilts- Begin lying on your back, knees bent. Place your hands under your lower back. Focus on pushing your back into your hands by contracting your abdomen, rocking your pelvis posteriorly.

3.) Planks- Begin face down, resting on elbows and toes (knees for beginners) maintain a level “neutral spine” by contracting your abdomen. Careful more to arch your back.

4.) Supine Leg Lifts- Lying on your back, legs straight, arms at side, slowly raise and lower legs careful not to allow your legs to touch the floor.

5.) Stability Ball Pull-In- Begin by lying on top of a stability ball, belly facing down. Slowly begin to walk your hands out until just your feet are on top of the stability ball. This will look like a push-up position with your legs resting on the ball. Slowly pull your feet toward your chest by contracting your abdomen.

Keep Moving.

Dr. James Ellis

www.evolvedhealthchiropractic.com

(781) 460-0939