Why muscle weakness can lead to back pain and other injuries

In my previous blog post I wrote about a patient who had lower back pain caused by a problem in another area of his spine. His condition was due to a loss of motion in his middle back which he compensated for by twisting his lower back while playing golf.

In over 25 years of practice, I have seen many other patients who came in with injuries caused by weakness that was far removed from the area of pain. One person had a hamstring tear because of a long-standing weakness in the muscles of his hip. Another patient had headaches because he was using the muscles in his neck when trying to lift his arm with a damaged rotator cuff muscle. One patient hurt his shoulder while trying to lift something because he was unable to use the muscles of his back properly.

When examining my patients, I have found that it is important to look at all of them, not just the spot that hurts. Their injury is often due to compensations for deeper problems and fixing those issues may become the primary focus of my treatment. Simply “cracking” the part that hurts doesn’t do the job! Treatment here at The Back Care Center of Dumont, NJ could include spinal decompression therapy, chiropractic adjustments and massage therapy, as well as newer techniques like kinesio taping.

If you are suffering with a problem and would like to investigate the cause, please give us a call at 201-387-7463 to schedule an initial exam or an appointment.

I feel your pain.

After more than 25 years of as a chiropractor, I sometimes forget how dramatically pain can change a person’s life. This past winter I was reminded how important getting adjusted can be by my own pain.

The pain in my left hip started in early December. At first it was nothing too severe. Just enough to cause me to ice my back and hip after working out and to go running up to my office in between patients to sit down for a rest. Frequently, I couldn’t sleep through the night, because when I moved the pain would wake me. My wife told me that I often moaned in pain when I did manage to sleep. I tried changing my exercises, doing therapy on my hip, massage, rest – I even tried using some “over the counter” pain medication but the situation continued to get worse.

I really began to get worried when I wasn’t able to lift my left leg without feeling sharp pains. I had to use my hands to physically lift my leg when getting into and out of the car. I have been hurt many times in my life, but this scary. It was the first time my weekly visits to my own chiropractor were not doing the trick. I began to think that I was going to need surgery.

Finally I went to see a different chiropractor. After a full examination found the problem to be in my back, I began getting adjusted and getting spinal decompression therapy 3 times a week. The change has been amazing. My pain began getting better almost immediately.

After a short time, I have gotten so much better that now I am able work with little or no pain and have returned to the gym. Sadly, it is not all “butterflies and rainbows” yet. I have had setbacks and times when I pushed myself a little too hard or too fast. And like so many of my patients, every time I feel the pain I have to fight back the panic and remember that getting better takes time.

I am looking forward to getting back to doing the things I love and know that without chiropractic and spinal decompression therapy, my future would be looking very different.

Have a great and healthy day!
Dr. David Schwartz,
The Back Care Center of Dumont, NJ
For appointments, call 201-387-7463

How Come I Am in Pain?

Whether it’s back pain, or neck pain, or sciatica, or any other kind of pain, the one question that almost all of my patients ask is, “How did this pain happen?” Since I was usually not there when it occurred it is hard to give an exact answer. However, there are some things that might help explain how people can develop back conditions.

Without even being aware of it, people compensate for life’s stresses. They move, lift, sit, stand or even walk in ways to avoid more pain. When those stresses build up to the point beyond your ability to cope, then injuries seem to come out of nowhere.

The thing about stress is it can be sudden or cumulative and can be physical, emotional, mental or even chemical. But no matter the cause, your body reacts the same way to all of them.

This is why some people can be emotionally on edge for a long time and then when you ask them to pick up or carry something very light, their back can mysteriously “goes out.”

Chiropractors are very effective at helping you recover from the effects of all types of stress and making your body strong enough to deal with future issues. Here at The Back Care Center of Dumont, NJ, we offer a wide range of treatments, from chiropractic adjustments to massage therapy.

If you would like to find out how chiropractic care can help you to deal with your stress, check us out at www.TheBackCareCenter.com or call us to make an appointment at 201-387-7463.

Have a great and healthy day!
Dr. David Schwartz,
The Back Care Center of Dumont, NJ
For appointments, call 201-387-7463

Invest in your own health

Recently a new patient came to me with lower back pain that radiated into the leg. He had been battling the problem for three years and it was gradually getting worse. After examining him and looking at his X-rays and his MRI report, I knew two things. First, if he didn’t get this problem taken care of he would end up needing a risky surgery on his lower back. The second thing I knew was that I could help him before it got that bad.

The only problem was his insurance coverage wasn’t great and he was going to have to be responsible for part of the cost of his care. I try to keep my fees affordable but he wanted to know if I could guarantee my results. Sadly, there are no guarantees with health care. All any doctor can do is provide the very best service possible and do what he believes is the right thing for the patient.

What I could guarantee was that doing nothing to deal with a growing problem would be a poor choice. He was concerned that pain was going to prevent him from being able to do his job, and with money so tight he didn’t want to spend anything on his health. But the truth was that if he didn’t “invest” in his health it would cost him not only much more money but also potentially his job and the quality of his life with his family.

In this case, the patient and I both felt very strongly that the treatment I recommended was his best choice. We gave him a reasonable payment option and he has chosen to begin spinal decompression therapy. I expect that his ROI (return on investment) will be excellent.

My concern is for others with problems like my patient. Insurance costs are climbing and coverage is more limited with each passing year. But in the end, ignoring your health will become the most costly investment you didn’t make.

Looking for Spinal Decompression Therapy? Talk to The Back Care Center of Dumont, NJ!

I recently had a patient referred to me by another chiropractor. The patient was suffering arm and shoulder pain due to several badly herniated discs in his neck. Pain from this type of problem can be severe and have significant effects on day-to-day life.

The doctor referred him to us because of our “Discforce” spinal decompression therapy table, something that very few other chiropractic offices in Bergen County, NJ have. This state-of-the-art equipment allows us to safely and painlessly treat “slipped” or herniated discs in the neck and in the lower back.

It was the doctor’s opinion that without spinal decompression therapy, the patient would have to undergo surgery in his neck. Both the patient and the doctor agreed that having someone cut open his neck would not be his first choice, so she made the referral to our office.

I am very happy to be able to help this man and all of the others who have come to the office for this type of treatment. If you have any questions about spinal decompression therapy and whether it can help you, please contact the office or send me an email. And if you’re in Dumont or one of our neighboring towns (Bergenfield, Closter, Cresskill, Englewood, Harrington Park, New Milford, Ridgefield or Teaneck), why not stop in and take a look at our Discforce spinal decompression table. It’s actually pretty cool, if we do say so ourselves!

Backpacks, correct posture and an exercise for your children

Backpack full of school supplies for Operation School Supplies at The Back Care Center

We at The Back Care Center of Dumont, NJ wanted to take a minute to talk to you about one of the most common causes of back pain and poor posture in students: backpacks. That’s right, backpacks.

Student backpacks frequently don’t fit well and are often overloaded with books, lunches, sports bottles and more. Carrying this type of load can lead to muscle fatigue and poor spinal posture, resulting in back pain, neck pain, shoulder problems and a host of other complaints.

So what can we do?

First make sure the backpack fits properly and your child is wearing it properly. The straps should be over both shoulders and should be cushioned to avoid digging into your child’s skin.

Second, here is a simple exercise you can have your children do correct poor postural habits:

Bruegger’s Exercise to correct poor postural habits

Perform this exercise for 30 to 60 seconds every hour or so. Sit on the edge of your chair with your feet flat on the floor and your hands by your sides. Lift your chest, arch your lower back slightly and point the crown of your head directly up at the ceiling — think tall. From this position, turn your palms outward, shrug your shoulders down and back and rotate your hips outward. Hold this position for the desired duration and then relax.

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