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ARTHRITIS & SPINAL DEGENERATION

When most people hear the word ARTHRITIS they picture in their mind an old person with deformed fingers and hands unable to move and walk and bound to a chair.  Well, this isn’t the type of arthrtitis I am talking about.  I am talking about Osteoarthritis that is more commonly associated with “wear and tear” which has for years been associated with aging.  As your chiropractor Lake Forest CA and chiropractor Laguna Niguel, I am seeing more and more young adults with beginning signs of arthritis in their spine.  If this is associated with aging, then why are these younger patients presenting with signs of Arthritis?

You may not believe this, but out of all the illnesses that plague mankind, this type of arthritis is the most widespread.  Recent studies indicate that this type may be detected in about 35% of the general population by the age of 30.  Another study showed that it can be seen on X-ray of 10% of 15 year olds.  I have seen more than that percentage in my clinical experience of recent years.  Historically, arthritis has always been regarded as a slowly progressive disorder most often seen in the elderly population and which affects the weight-bearing joints like the knees, ankles, hips, spine, etc.  It has also traditionally been viewed as an integral part of aging.  That this is something you get automatically when you age.  Then why is it being seen more and more in children and younger adults?

Essentially, osteoarthritis is a well designed, self-initiated, self-contained remodeling process. It is your own body attempting to repair a damaged or physically altered joint that has been under undue physical stress.  So, arthritis in the spine is a deterioration process initiated by the body to repair joints that have lost their normal bio-mechanical movement pattern.  The bones of the spine are called vertebra and they are separated from one another by a cartilage called a disc which is a joint allowing us to move in all different directions.  In the spine, misalignments of the vertebrae change the normal bio-mechanics and movement of each joint complex (vertebra-disc-vertebra.)  This leads to an unstable joint complex which then initiates the body’s “repair” process of attempting to stabilize an unstable region by forming bone spurs (calcium deposits,) and microfissures and decrease in the size of the discs between the vertebrae.

This degenerative process undergoes 4 distinct phases each with its own signs and symptoms.  The point I am making is that this “wear-and-tear” type of arthritis has nothing to do with normal aging and may present itself at any age if there are enough of these vertebral subluxations in the spine that go unchecked and uncorrected.  Numerous studies out of Canada and the US in recent years have shown positive results in patients who have received Chiropractic care on an ongoing maintenance basis.  The breakdown process of arthritis was shown to slow down considerably and even stop in those patients as compared to those who did not receive Chiropractic care.  This is huge!

As your chiropractor Lake Forest CA here at Lakeview Chiropractic & Wellness Center, I really believe in prevention and maintenance as a true form of healthcare.  Think about it.  Isn’t it better to prevent illness before it happens by engaging in healthy lifestyle choices than to wait till its too late and you are already in pain and desperately reaching for pain medications that will not solve anything other than to give you some temporary relief by masking your pain until it comes back again?  Intervention is always more costly. It will cost you your precious time and efforts…time away from work, time away from doing fun things with your friends and family and a lot of effort to get you on the road to recovery and back to your normal life.

As your chiropractor Lake Forest CA here at Lakeview Chiropractic & Wellness Center, I emphasize preventative Chiropractic care for the entire family especially children because they are constantly active falling, bumping, bruising, running, climbing, jumping and being a “kid” causing misalignments of their spine.  Bring your whole family and come join me for some excellent chiropractic care to help maintain the integrity and  health of you and your family’s spine so you can enjoy your life free of pain.

How A Laguna Hills Chiropractor Can Help Improve Your Sleep

CHIROPRACTIC & SLEEP

If you are having trouble sleeping at night, a visit to the Laguna Hills chiropractor will do you a world of good.  Research shows that visiting the chiropractor not only helps alleviate your aches and pains, but also will help you get more restful sleep and deeper sleep at night.

Although the Laguna Hills chiropractor, chiropractor Lake Forest, or the chiropractor in Mission Viejo aren’t the first health care professionals one thinks of to help with sleeping issues, studies show that over a third of those who receive chiropractic adjustments experience immediate improvements in their sleep patterns.

If you’re staying awake at night due to aches and pains whether it is neck pain, low back pain, headaches chiropractic care can help alleviate those pains and help improve the quality of your sleep.  Adjustments by your Laguna Hills chiropractor can help to increase blood flow and improve the messages sent by your brain (the central nervous system) to different areas of your body and thus, help to decrease pain and help your body to function at a more optimal level.

Chiropractors are trained experts at diagnosing and treating various spinal conditions that help to decrease your pains and improve the quality of your life.  They can also help point out various optimal sleeping positions and whether you are using the right pillow and mattress.  It is worth noting that most chiropractors discourage any sleeping positions that involve sleeping on your stomach.

Chiropractic is not only for adults, but also for children.  Studies show that over 40% if babies who receive chiropractic adjustments experience deeper and better sleep after just one session.  Of course, better sleeping baby means a more restful sleep for you!!

Regular chiropractic adjustments regulate the function of your nervous system and allow your brain to communicate better with the rest of your body(cells, organs, etc.) and keep you healthier and functioning more optimally naturally without harmful drugs/chemicals.

If you are one of those parents that prefers to take care of your health and that of your family naturally and without the use of harmful medications with loads of side effects, then chiropractic care is right up your alley.  It is safe, it is natural and it is EFFECTIVE!  Here in Lake Forest, Laguna Hills and Mission Viejo, I have been using natural chiropractic care to help patients who have difficulty sleeping.

In addition to Chiropractic care, you may also want to consider looking at your daily nutritional habits/supplements and other lifestyle changes.  Consider reducing your caffeine and sugar intake as they are both stimulants to the nervous system.  As part of lifestyle changes, consider taking up Yoga or other stress management exercises that may help you sleep better at night.  Supplements such as Valerian root, Magnesium, melatonin and tryptophan may also help your body produce more seratonin which is known as  the “sleep hormone” and lead to more relaxation and sleep.

I have been treating patients with sleep difficulties here in Lake Forest, Laguna Hills and Mission Viejo for a long time and it has worked in most cases along with lifestyle and nutritional changes.  Consider adding holistic, natural and safe chiropractic care to you and your family’s life.  Cheers!

Backpacks and Children

It used to be that when one would hear the words back pain, one would only think of adults.  These days there is a new and disturbing trend of back pain in children and teens.  In my own practice as a Laguna Hills Chiropractor, I have noticed an increase in children complaining of back, neck and shoulder pain to their parents.  I always ask if they carry backpacks to school and the answer is usually “yes.”

Advises of your Laguna Hills Chiropractor on How your Kids should carry their backpacks

This new trend is not surprising considering the amount of disproportionate weight they carry in their backpacks all day given the number of heavy books they carry.  As a Laguna Hills Chiropractor, I found that this is especially a problem in urban areas and school districts where lockers have been eliminated forcing kids to carry large heavy books all day.  The longer kids carry these heavy weighs around, the more chances they have to develop long term spinal curvature and postural issues.  In fact, this problem has become so big that some states have passed legislation forcing school districts to find ways of reducing the heavy weighs of students’ backpacks.

Here are some things you can do to help your children with the heavy weighs they have to log around all day.

  1. Remember this rule of thumb:  Make sure your child’s backpack weighs no more than 5-10% of their body weight.  Heavier backpacks will cause them to bend forward leading to bad posture.
  2. Make sure their backpacks don’t hang any lower than 4” below their waistline.  If it is hanging too low it causes them to lean forward when walking leading to bad posture again.
  3. Opt for smaller backpacks with more individual compartments to carry specific things in. Bigger backpacks tend to fit more and your child will be tempted to carry more.
  4. Make sure they are carrying their backpacks on both shoulders and avoid carrying it on just one shoulder at all costs!!  I know they think it isn’t “cool.”  Help them understand that is will be even less “cool” when they have pain.
  5. Make sure the backpack has well padded, wide and adjustable straps so the straps don’t dig into their shoulders and are fitted comfortably for them.

If you notice a postural change in your child’s spine and/or they are complaining of back pain consider a visit to the Laguna Hills Chiropractor.  Chiropractors like the one in Lakeview Chiropractic and Wellness Center is always at your service especially when your child complains of back pain.

I’m Dr. Maryam Assadi, your Chiropractor in Mission Viejo and also your Chiropractor Lake Forest. I am a licensed trained expert at treating all sorts of spinal condition in patients of all ages using gentle, safe and effective treatment methods. It is always my goal to address the root cause of your pains that way you can live healthier lives.

Can Chiropractic adjustments help with the common cold?

Recent research suggests that Chiropractic adjustments (Spinal Manipulation) by your Chiropractor in Lake Forest Ca may actually help strengthen your immune system which will, in turn, do a better job defending your body against the common cold.  A good DEFENSE system (strong immune system) is key to combating the common cold successfully.

Go To your Chiropractor Lake Forest Ca to stop common colds

Our immune system is our INTERNAL defense system.  It is responsible for fighting a load of bacteria, viruses and other invaders.  Daily, we come into contact with millions of these invaders and manage just fine except when our immune system is somehow compromised and we catch a “cold” and experience the symptoms associated with a common cold.

It is well researched and documented that there is a direct relationship between the Immune system and the Central Nervous System (the brain and spinal cord).  It is well documented that the Central Nervous System receives special protection from our Immune system and that the integrity of the Central Nervous System can affect the strength and function of the Immune system.

Recent studies published in various medical and chiropractic journals looked at whether Chiropractic adjustments to a certain area of the spine can have a positive effect on the Immune system and what they found WAS THAT IT DID INDEED!!  Studies found that Chiropractic adjustments did in fact, help with the symptoms of the common cold such as runny nose, fevers, general aches, cough, and ear infections in both children and adults.  Since the adjustments strengthen the Immune system your body is better able to fight off infections.

Of course, when it comes to the common cold, there is no one magical cure.  Maintaining a healthy lifestyle by washing your hands frequently, following a good diet and nutrition protocol, getting enough sleep/rest, and receiving regular Chiropractic adjustments by your Chiropractor Lake Forest Ca or your Chiropractor in Laguna Niguel will continue to help improve your odds against catching the common cold.

So get out there, stay active, stay healthy, and make Chiropractic part of you and your family’s regular healthcare routine and witness the positive effects it will have on you and your loved ones.

Lakeview Chiropractic and Wellness Center is ready to serve your Chiropractic needs. Dr. Maryam Assadi is your Chiropractor in Lake Forest Ca, and I am also a Chiropractor for those residing in Laguna Hills Ca.

Headaches and Chiropractic Care

Statistics show that roughly 8 out of 10 Americans suffer from headaches.  Based on this stat, if you suffer from headaches then you’re not alone! For some these headaches are occasional, for some its frequent, and for others it may be chronic.  Headaches may be dull and achy, throbbing, some even debilitating and accompanied by nausea.  However they present themselves, what do you do if you’re suffering from them?  Do you lie down, do you sleep, ignore it and carry on, or do you pop a pill?  There is a better alternative.

The causes of headaches are many things such as food, stress, noise, light, lack of sleep, dehydration, and chemical and hormonal changes. Whatever their cause recent studies show that spinal adjustments of the neck provided by doctors of Chiropractic may be an effective treatment option for tension headaches and those that seem to originate in the neck.

What can Chiropractic do for you? 

Chiropractors are trained extensively on ways to naturally help the overall function of your body that goes beyond just neck pain and back pain.  They can help alleviate the headaches through a series of specific Chiropractic adjustments to the neck.  These adjustments will also help release the stress and tension in the joints and muscles of the neck and upper back/shoulder area  helping with the headaches.  Chiropractors can also show you home exercises, proper posture, proper work posture, stretching and relaxation techniques to help lessen the frequency of those headaches.

What can you do to help yourself?

If you have a “desk” job where you’re in front of the computer most of the day reading, typing, sewing etc. then try to take a break from what you’re doing for 10 minutes every hour to an hour and half.  During this break stretch your head and neck slowly and take your neck through a comfortable range of motion at least once.

Stay active through low impact exercises like yoga, walking and low-impact aerobics such as an Elliptical trainer or stationary bike.

Maintain a balanced diet, drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration, get plenty of sleep, and add a good B complex vitamins to your daily routine.

The key to true healthcare and the answer to keeping frequent headaches away is maintenance and prevention.  Receiving routine Chiropractic adjustments along with the above pointers may help prevent the re occurrence of headaches. Next time you are suffering from a headache, consider natural safe and effective Chiropractic care as an alternative to the harmful drugs and pain medications.

What is a “slipped disc” and can Chiropractic help?

We have 24 vertebrae in our spine and between each one (with the exception of the top 2 in the neck) there is a disc.  Discs act as a shock absorbers, shock distributors, and provide flexibility so we can move and do all the things we do.

Imagine if you jump up and down. What would happen to the stack of bony vertebrae that make up the spine without the cushioning and support of these discs? Now, move your back from side to side. Again, you can visualize the give and take of the discs between the vertebrae. Without these discs, the spine wouldn’t be able to function.

Discs are so strong they do not slip.  “slipped disc” has become a popular phrase that refers to bulging, ruptured, or herniated discs.  Since the correct term is herniated disc, that is what we’ll use.  General symptoms of a herniated disc are pain, pain with sneezing or coughing, shooting pains and or numbness and tingling into either the arms/fingers (if cervical) or down the legs (if lower back)

Your discs are made up of a tough outer layer and a soft gel-like center.  Cracks can occur in the outer layer of the disc causing the soft gel to get pushed out.  There are many factors that may cause a disc to herniate but there isn’t consensus as to one reason or other.  Some studies show sedentary lifestyles, as a cause.  While others attribute disc herniations to repetitive strenuous jobs/activities and excess weight.

Chiropractic is a non-invasive (non-surgical) and conservative treatment option.  Your xrays, MRIs (if any were ordered) will be looked at along with things such as loss of muscle strength, loss of sensation along a nerve path and reflexes such as tapping against your knees with a small hammer to see if your knees jerks up.

One of the best Chiropractic treatments for herniated discs is a technique called Flexion-Distraction Technique.   Flexion-distraction involves the use of a specialized table that gently “distracts” or stretches the spine. This allows for isolation of the affected area while slightly “flexing” the spine using a pumping rhythm.  The gentle pumping action allows for the gel like center to resume its position in the center of the disc.

This technique can help move the disc away from the nerve, reducing inflammation of the nerve root, and eventually any associated pain and inflammation into the leg.

With flexion-distraction, you generally need a series of treatments combined with adjunctive ultrasound, muscle stimulation, physiotherapy, supplementation, and at-home treatments.

In the meantime, what can be done to minimize the risks of a disc herniation?

Staying fit through a regular exercise program that includes flexibility and stretching routines, maintaining a healthy diet and learning proper lifting techniques, such as bending with your knees to pick up heavy objects and lifting them close to your body.