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The Cervical Spine: Small Bone, BIG Job

The health of your cervical spine is crucial as it allows all range of motion of your head and neck. Have you ever thought about how your daily activities, like looking at a smart phone or staring at a computer, could be putting your neck mobility at risk? You may be surprised to know it is also the most thin and fragile bone in your body. Because such a small bone has such a big job, it is important to exercise and or massage this area of your body regularly to promote healthy blood flow to the surrounding muscles that protect it.

Normal ranges

To maintain optimal cervical spine health, you must ensure your neck movement is always functional within the normal movement ranges:

 

Flexion This movement involves touching the chin to the chest, this normal range of motion is 80-90 degreescervical_flexion
cervical_extension

 

Extension This movement is the opposite direction of flexion, with a normal range of motion of 70 degrees

 

Lateral Flexion This movement involves titling the neck as if you are trying to touch your ear to your shoulder, the normal range of motion is 20-45 degrees, being equal on each sidecervical_lateral_flexion
cervical_lateral_rotation

 


Rotation
This movement occurs when looking over the shoulder, with a normal range of motion of 90 degrees, being equal on each side

 

Effects of Cervical Spine Imbalances

There are seven vertebrae in the cervical spine, connected by paired facet joints that allow the neck to move side-to-side, and up and down. These vertebrae are cushioned by six cervical discs that act as shock absorbers and provide flexibility in neck movement.

1024px-cervical_vertebrae_lateral2

Overtime, wear and tear on the facet joints and cervical discs can lead to health problems such as stiff neck, head-aches, cervical spinal stenosis, or even osteoarthritis. The spinal cord also runs through the cervical spine and is responsible for millions of nerve processes vital to our health. Any disruptions inside the spinal canal can cause various neurological concerns such as numbness in the extremities or muscular weakness.

The most common issues related to cervical spine imbalances are postural. These occur most often in individuals who are on a computer, or smart device for extended periods of time on a regular basis. In this position the body is hunched over, shoulders are rounded, and neck is tilted down. Related muscles will start to tighten when shortened (front of the neck) and weaken as they are lengthened (back of the neck), causing postural imbalances that lead to neck and back pain, headaches, or even injury.

 

SFMA (Selective Functional Movement Assessment) for Cervical Spine Screening

It is important to assess the health of your cervical spine and range of motion in order to prevent these various health issues that result from poor maintenance. SFMA is, “A systematic way to identify the vital impairments of mobility and motor control associated with functional movement patterns complicated by pain” (functionalmovement.com) This test allows your chiropractor to assess pain and problems areas related to the cervical spine through three different exercises that activate the seven vertebrae, six cervical discs, and surrounding muscles.

These exercises are:

Active Cervical Flexion      Active Cervical Extension      Cervical Rotation Bend

flex                               ext                                      bend

Each exercise is given one of four scores based on the ability to perform and pain level; FN (functional and non-painful), EP (functional and painful), DP (dysfunctional and painful), DN (dysfunctional and non-painful). These cervical movement patterns are then broken down and scored in each exercise.

This system ensures that the source of discomfort or restricted movement is clearly defined and a rehabilitation method can most effectively be put into place. The areas that are causing the most pain are addressed first, and then on to areas of restricted movement, and finally a focus on optimizing cervical spine movement ranges and increasing muscle strength.

 

Corrective Treatments and Exercises (See Video Below)

There are several corrective treatments and exercises that can be done with the assistance of your chiropractor to promote a strong, healthy cervical spine. Maintenance of this area of your body will prevent a number of health issues such as chronic headaches, stiffness, and pain.

Dr. Myers has a video on the way that will show you exactly what some of these exercises are…

 

 

Dr. Tri Myers

Omega Chiropractic Sports Performance and Nutrition

Ph: 919-462-0016

 

Chiropractic Care for Digestion

Digestive disorders are an extremely common problem that people face today and the epidemic only seems to be getting worse. We have all experienced digestive discomfort in some form, but far too many people deal with this on a chronic level. Most people even choose to live with it until it becomes too unbearable without assistance of drugs for relief. Every year we spend 80 billion dollars on drugs related to digestive issues like bloating, constipation, diarrhea, acid reflux, and heartburn (NewsTarget). Yet, our body has all of the necessary tools properly digest. So, why are we being pushed to rely on these drugs for relief.

detox-yoga

There are many different factors that could contribute to digestive issues, but first thing is first, you must evaluate what you are eating. Just because your neighbor can effortlessly digest a cheeseburger and fries, does not mean your body should as well. Avoiding fried, spicy, fatty, processed foods can alleviate the systems of digestive dysfunction almost immediately.

Changing your diet is a great quick-fix to these issues, but it still may not be getting to the root of the problem. You must understand what’s going on internally. There are many different nerves that operate our digestive system. For example, the Vagus nerve runs from the brain stem to the atlas bone (connecting the skull to the spine) and controls all organs that operate digestion. Often a subluxation, or misaligned vertebra, will block nerves from firing in this region and digestive functions then struggle to perform. When this misalignment occurs it can be seemingly impossible to rid the discomfort, tempting us to rely on drugs for relief.

autonomicnervoussystem

 

The all-natural solution: regular chiropractic adjustments.

 

Chiropractic care to maintain alignment in your spine will prevent these subluxations from happening and cure that stubborn stomach discomfort with no medication needed. A recent study taking on individuals with chronic digestive problems showed that 70% of these participants were able to cure their digestive problems and keep them under control after just 12 weeks of chiropractic care and no help from drugs whatsoever.

It’s important to understand that you should first consider how to maintain the tools your body has given you before running to foreign substances like laxatives and antacids for temporary relief. There is no need to waste money on, or risk the integrity of your health for drugs. Your body is a powerful healing machine and when you help to assist it in performing its natural functions it is capable of anything.

Start solving your digestive issues now and schedule your visit with Dr. Tri Myers:

Make An Appointment

 

Omega Chiropractic | Sports Performance and Nutrition logo

Dr. Tri Myers
Omega Chiropractic Center
527 Keisler Dr., Suite 204
Cary, NC 27518
919-462-0016
www.omegachiro.com

www.facebook.com/omegachiro

Twitter: @DrTriMyers

 

Is Your Cardio Working?? Check This Out!

Which Cardio Are You Doing??

marathoner_vs_sprinter(1)

Which one of these athletes bodies appeals to you? The fellow on the left is a long distance runner, the fellow on the right, a sprinter.

The choice is quite easy for me, the long distance, marathoner look is not what I like on me or anyone else. It looks haggard, unhealthy, old, tired, weak, frail, not strong at all.

The sprinter? Holy Cow! Now that’s a body! This guy is what women must be naturally attracted to, when they are unconsciously looking for a mate- strong, virile, healthy, protective, full of energy.

Now if you are a woman, consider these two athletes:

Sprinter vs Marathoner

Again, the marathoner looks anything but healthy.

Keep the bodies in mind when you plan your cardio. Do you hit the gym and all you ever do is an hour or even longer on a cardio machine?

Endless, slow cardio will just eat away at your body producing an emaciated look, like our marathoners in the pictures above. You must stop doing this!

Ladies… Want firmer, toner legs and glutes??

female-sprinters

You can do this type of training on a machine, like an elliptical or a treadmill!!
Here’s a summary of what a typical High intensity (Innate cardio) routine might look like using a recumbent bike:

Warm up for three minutes
Exercise as hard and fast as you can for 30 seconds. You should be gasping for breath and feel like you couldn’t possibly go on another few seconds
Recover for 90 seconds, still pedaling, but at slower pace and decreased resistance
Repeat the high intensity exercise and recovery 7 more times
Below is a sample chart showing how your heart rate “peaks” eight times during a interval session. Also note how the anaerobic threshold rises with each repetition.

peak-8-heart-rate-chart

You will certainly want to work your way up to this point, but ultimately you want to exercise vigorously enough so you reach your anaerobic threshold as this is where the “magic” happens that will trigger your growth hormone release.

By the end of your 30 second period you will want to reach these markers:

It will be relatively hard to breathe and talk because you are in oxygen debt
You will start to sweat profusely. Typically this occurs in the second or third repetition unless you have a thyroid issue and don’t sweat much normally.
Your body temperature will rise
Lactic acid increases and you will feel a muscle “burn”
Be mindful of your current fitness level and don’t overdo it when you first start out. Also keep in mind that there’s no “magical” speed here. It’s entirely individual, based on your current level of fitness. Some may reach their anabolic threshold by walking at a quick pace, while others may need to perform a mad-dash to get the same effect.

If you are out of shape you may want to start with just two or three repetitions, and work your way up to eight, which is where the magic really starts to happen. If you can do a Innate Cardio workout twice a week you will increase your production of growth hormone (future article) and start to loose the weight and gain the muscle you are working sooo hard to acquire.

Try it and I promise you will succeed.

Dr. Tri Myers
Omega Chiropractic Center
107 Edinburgh South Drive, Suite 141
Cary, NC 27511
919-462-0016
www.omegachiro.com
twitter: @DrTriMyers
Linked in: http://www.linkedin.com/in/drtrimyers

P.S. if any of you are interested in doing a program like this Please visit New Order Crossfit and Get an additional 10% OFF!!!

neworder crossfit

http://www.newordercrossfit.com/