Posts Tagged ‘back pain’

Understanding Back Pain and How to End It

Posted on: November 7th, 2018

Most people will experience lower back pain at some time in their lives. For some, it may come and go, but for others it can be chronic pain, lasting for several years.

Chiropractic care should be your number one go-to for treatment. Chiropractors will look to find the main cause of your pain and will work with you to relieve your pain and reverse the problem.

Even if you’ve already seen an orthopedist, have had injections, surgery, or are on medications, and you’re still in pain, it’s not too late to seek chiropractic help.

To understand why you may be having lower back pain, it’s important to first understand the areas of the spine that make up the lower back.

Pelvis. The pelvis is a large bony structure that you rest your body on, and it includes your pelvic bones, also known as hip bones.

Sacrum. The sacrum is connected to your pelvis and is a triangular bone at the lower part of your spine.

Vertebrae are the individual segments that are stacked on top of the sacrum.

Spinal discs are located between each vertebra. They provide shock distribution and act as spacers for nerves to come out of the sides.

These parts of the spine need to stay in alignment for your body to function properly and feel its best.

In most cases, lower back pain occurs from misalignments in these areas, which puts pressure on nerves. The nerves overreact, trying to protect the affected area. They may connect to muscles in the lower back, causing spasms. They may go down the leg and cause numbness, tingling, and weakness. These nerves also lead to organs in the lower back and include the nerves leading to the digestive system and reproductive system.

Research shows there is a specific design you should have in your lower back in order for it to function properly.  This design should be a 40-degree bend with the lower portion of the back having about 90 percent of that curve. The upper portion of the lower back should be flat.

This research also showed that many people with lower back pain had a lumbar curve of fewer than 40 degrees (closer to 34 degrees). This is known as an irregular curve. This irregular curve can be the cause of pain.

If you’re experiencing lower back pain, it’s best to look for someone who can manage the pain conservatively, before seeking other, invasive treatments (such as injections or surgery).

Looking to find the root cause of the pain is the best option so you can use natural ways to correct the problem. You may be able to treat your lower back pain with chiropractic care, massage therapy, a personal trainer, or rehabilitation.

If the cause of your pain is not found, you may need to undergo invasive treatments such as medications, surgery, or injections, and it is best to avoid these treatments if possible.

How can you help your lower back pain naturally?

If you have lower back pain there are things you can do at home that may give you some relief.


Whether your back pain comes from a disc injury, sciatica, facet syndrome, or any other problems with the lower back or further up your spine, stretches are a great way to loosen up your hips and gain more mobility.  These are my 3 favorite stretches to help people with lower back pain:

  • Stretch #1

  1. Lie on your back, bend one knee, keeping the other leg down.
  2. Use your hands under your thigh to pull your knee as close to your chest as you’re able to.
  3. Hold this position for about 10 seconds.
  4. Next, keeping your hands in the same position, straighten your leg up as much as you can (not completely straight, and you should feel no pain). You should feel a stretch on the back of your leg.
  5. Hold this position for about 10 seconds as well.
  6. Place your leg back down and hold in the first stretch position.

Repeat these stretches with the other leg, holding about 10 seconds for each stretch.

  • Stretch #2

  1. Lying on your back, bend up one knee, placing your hands on top of your knee.
  2. Use your hands to pull your knee up toward your chest and slightly across your body.

You should feel this stretch in the back of your leg. Some people may feel this stretch in the crease of the hip. If this happens, you need to modify the stretch and place your hands under your thigh, straightening your leg, shifting it over slightly. Hold this stretch for 10 seconds.

Repeat this stretch for 10 seconds on the other side.

  • Stretch #3

  1. Lie on your back and bend your right knee up.
  2. Cross your left leg over your right knee, with your left ankle resting on your knee.
  3. Use your hand to push down on your left knee and hold for about 10 seconds if possible.
  4. Staying in that position, use your hands to grab behind your right knee, placing one hand between your legs and the other on the outside. You can grab just under the thigh, or on top of the shin if you prefer.
  5. Bring your right knee back toward your chest as far as you can and hold for 10 seconds.

Again, repeat this stretch for 10 seconds on the left side.

It’s important to note that you should not feel pain during any of these stretches and you don’t want to do anything to cause pain. If you feel pain during any of these stretches, stop the stretch.

Get in your car properly so you don’t aggravate your lower back.

If you have a long commute to and from work, sitting in your car for that amount of time can do a number on your back pain. You want to make sure you’re getting in and out of your car properly to avoid this.

While getting in your car, sit first. Then place one leg in the car, and then the other.

When in the car, scoot your bottom all the way to the back. If you have a mechanical lumbar support on your seat, push it all the way forward. If you don’t, make sure your head and your bottom are all the way back to get a good curve in your lower spine. You also may need to consider adding some lumbar support.

Get out of the car the same way you got in with one leg out first, then the second leg. Place both feet on the ground and then stand up.

What can a chiropractor do for me?

If you’ve tried the methods listed above and still need further relief from your pain, a chiropractor may be the solution for you.

  • Exercises for spinal remodeling.

    A chiropractor can instruct you in specific exercises to change your posture and reshape your spinal curves in a process known as spinal remodeling. This process can reverse problems such as spinal, back, and leg pain, even pain that has been going on for years.

Spinal remodeling has been introduced and studied in over 250 peer-reviewed articles and has been shown to help reverse the problems that may have been building up over years. This process takes the pressure off muscles that are contracting in the wrong way and lets the spine flow like it’s meant to, helping you feel your best.

  • An adjustment is one of the main tools of chiropractic care. First, the doctor has you lie down and checks for misalignments.

There are a couple tools he may use to make adjustments. The first is an ArthroStim. This is an instrument that provides rapidly beating, gentle impulses into the spine to help vertebrae go back into place.

The chiropractor may also use his hands to make adjustments.

After any adjustments, he will then go back to check the alignment.

  • Tractioning is a sustained hold in a certain position. A tool commonly used in tractioning is a Denneroll and is designed to conform to the arch where the lumbar spine should be.
  • You will lie down and this tool will be placed under your lower back. You’ll most likely begin with a short time frame of about 3 minutes, increasing it over time.

These are all ways in which chiropractic care can help relieve your pain and reshape your spine. It is always best to go this route first, before undergoing any invasive treatments such as medication, surgery, or injections.

Even if you’ve already gone through other, unnatural treatments and have found no relief, it’s not too late to take a different approach. A chiropractor may be a better option to help you understand and treat the cause of your pain.

maybe use invasive instead of unnatural?  I don’t know which one would you more likely to do something?  You are our target.  I can’t tell if you have hit the 30 yoa mark but female, parent focused on their health and the health of their family.  We usually target 30-65 YOA Women.

Reach Your Goals with Personal Training

Posted on: March 10th, 2014

Working with a personal trainer is one of the best ways to improve your quality of life.  A personal trainer’s job is to help his/her clients build strength & endurance, increase bone density, and potentially lose excess body fat.  There are lots of additional benefits of personal training such as disease prevention, weight loss, and enhancing your self-image.

Why do we hire personal trainers?  We all have our individual reasons but some of the most common are education, aesthetics, enjoyment, or escapism.  Accountability is an added benefit.   Keeping that appointment with the trainer will keep you on track for success.

Whether you are a high-performance athlete, a stay-at-home mom, or a senior citizen, personal training can guide you to a healthier, more fulfilled life.  Your trainer will discuss your goals and customize a plan based upon your unique needs and aspirations.

Your trainer will design a resistance training workout based upon the health and skill parameters that you want to train on.  Health related parameters include cardiovascular/muscular endurance, muscular strength, and flexibility.  Skill related parameters include balance, coordination, agility, speed, and power.

A personal trainer’s key responsibility is to make sure you do each exercise correctly, effectively, and safely.  Your trainer will help you find the optimal positioning for each movement based upon your own personal fitness level and exercise performed.  You will learn to master each exercise.  Selecting the right exercise and level of difficulty is also crucial. Too advanced of an exercise can lead to injury.

In addition, your trainer will help you find the inner strength and dedication to be successful.  Results may come slowly for some, so encouragement is needed to push through those tough spots.  Personal trainers are masters at helping you develop the mindset necessary to meet your goals.

So, why not take the plunge and jump into a personalized training program?   Align Wellness Center has several packages to choose from and a time to fit your busy schedule.  Call us at 847.564.9500 and let the health begin!

If you have any questions, please e-mail me at  We provide pain management, rehabilitation, injury prevention, and wellness programs for Chicago and the northern suburbs of Chicago including Northbrook, Deerfield, Highland Park, Glencoe, and Glenview as part of a chiropractic wellness program.  To learn more about the office visit


Posted on: February 24th, 2014

Post-surgical scar technique is a focused deep tissue massage applied directly to the adhesion site which helps to loosen restrictions caused by scar tissue and other post-surgery conditions.  After surgery, scar tissue forms at the incision site.  This adhesion decreases mobility and strength and prolongs the healing process.

The overall purpose of a scar tissue massage is to control the development of a fresh scar.  It improves blood circulation and promotes collagen remodeling by the application of pressure to the scar.  Massage breaks down the thick layers of collagen, which in turn prevents tightening of the scar.

Benefits of Regular Scar Massage:

  1. Tissue is softer and pliable
  2. Reduction of redness, itching, and pain
  3. Stimulation of new tissue growth
  4. Reduction of keloids
  5. Prevention of scar from being dry, cracked, and sore


Techniques used in Scar Massage:

  1. Cross-fiber Friction – Massage is performed perpendicular to the scar line.  This helps break down or loosen collagen fibers.
  2. Myofascial Release – Massage is gently using traction and twisting strokes to achieve full reflex range of the muscle.
  3. Stretching – This technique is used to help elongate the tissue and improve overall mobility.


It is important to seek a massage therapist right after surgery so that unnecessary suffering does not occur due to contractures, muscle adhesions, guarding muscles, and scar tissue resulting in lessened range of motions in the area of the surgical scar.

If you have any questions, please e-mail me at  We provide pain management, rehabilitation, injury prevention, and wellness programs for Chicago and the northern suburbs of Chicago including Northbrook, Deerfield, Highland Park, Glencoe, and Glenview as part of a chiropractic wellness program.  To learn more about the office visit


Turn Off Your Brain and Turn On Your Heart

Posted on: February 14th, 2014

Valentines Day is here and what I love about it is that it reminds us to use our heart.  It’s a day to give, to hug, and to kiss. As humans we forget to do these things on a daily basis, we get lost in our schedules and our busy lives that we forget what really matters!

Feeling like your heart is closed off? Try these amazing heart openers that will leave you ready to love!

Upward Facing dog    –  This is one of the most used poses in yoga

Fish pose (my favorite)  –  This opens your heart as well as your throat.

Bow pose  –  Opens the heart, as well as the shoulders.

Wheel  –  This is a full back-bend which increases flexibility in the spine, opens the shoulders, and of course the heart.

Camel  – Stretches the quads, shoulders, abdominal, and heart.


If you have any questions, please e-mail me at  We provide pain management, rehabilitation, injury prevention, and wellness programs for Chicago and the northern suburbs of Chicago including Northbrook, Deerfield, Highland Park, Glencoe, and Glenview as part of a chiropractic wellness program.  To learn more about the office visit

How to Beat the Winter Blues

Posted on: February 7th, 2014

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that occurs at a certain time of the year, usually winter.  The body’s internal clock is mostly controlled my melatonin.  Melatonin is a hormone that regulates sleep and wake cycles.  During the winter, longer nights cause the brain to produce and release more melatonin.  But this is done at the expense of serotonin, a neurotransmitter associated with the feeling of well-being.  The reduced production of serotonin from less daylight triggers mood-depleting feelings and behaviors.

Symptoms associated with Seasonal Affective Disorder:

  1. Increased appetite with weight gain
  2. Increased sleep
  3. Less energy and the ability to concentrate
  4. Loss of interest in work or other activities
  5. Unhappiness
  6. Irritability


What you can do to brighten these dark days:

  1. Use of a light box. A light box mimics sunlight and resets the body’s clock.
  2. Avoid Sweets. Craving sweet foods in the winter time may actually represent a depression-busting instinct.  Simple carbohydrates trigger and increase insulin.  This produces a rush of good feelings, but it does not last very long.
  3. Supplements. Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids help the brain use serotonin.  Fish oil supplements can reduce inflammation and help elevate mood.
  4. Exercise. A good workout is a great defense against winter depression. Exercise increases the neurotransmitter, dopamine, and helps in thinking clearly.
  5. Sleep. Excessive sleeping is a symptom of SAD.  Sleep quality counts as much as sleep quantity.  Getting up at the same time every day can help in enjoying the sunlight that is available during the winter months.
  6. Mind the Mind. Practicing yoga or meditation can help combat depression by chemically altering the brain thru mindfulness.
  7. Treat Yourself. Don’t forget to reward your body with a treat now and then. Whether it be booking a massage, an hour at the spa, or reading. A happy body and a happy mind are good companions.


Remember that a balanced combination of diet, exercise, and regular sleep can help most people overcome the winter blues.  In addition, continuing chiropractic care is essential to maximizing immunity and overall well-being. Follow the seven simple rules above during the winter months and you will be well equipped to battle the winter blues.

If you have any questions, please e-mail me at  We provide pain management, rehabilitation, injury prevention, and wellness programs for Chicago and the northern suburbs of Chicago including Northbrook, Deerfield, Highland Park, Glencoe, and Glenview as part of a chiropractic wellness program.  To learn more about the office visit

Align Wellness Center
5 Star Rating, 48 Google Reviews
900 Skokie Blvd Suite 113
Northbrook, IL 60062