The Magic Pill

81MdT65IfFL._RI_SX200_A patient suggested I was a movie on Netflix called, “The Magic Pill”. Both He and I were struck by a line in the beginning of the film.

The narrator stated “When you look at every other species on our planet, they all control their weight automatically. The only exception was us (humans) and any animal unfortunate enough to be fed by us.”

The statement is painful to contemplate. Obesity is related to so many chronic health issues. To not actively address these health concerns, is almost like planning to become sick. While the movie spoke about the health benefits of a Ketogenic diet, I am not advocating that approach for all my patients. Instead, I recognize that there are multiple ways to modify diet, exercise and lifestyle.

We utilize a variety of tools to help our patients deal with this problem and assist with chronic disease like arthritis, cardiovascular diseases and auto-immune conditions. Our plans are customized for our individual patients but include nutritional advice, chiropractic, exercise and stress management.

If you or someone you know in the Dumont, Cresskill, Tenafly or Englewood areas is suffering with obesity and chronic illness, we may be able to help. Gives us a call at 201-387-7463

Stay in the Race – How Chiropractic Adjustments Can Help

Stay in the race with Chiropractic adjustments like my patients did at the Spartan Race shown here

Last weekend there was a “Spartan Race” in Killington, Vermont. For those who are not familiar with this type of race, there are obstacles along the way like walls to get over, fire to jump, water to cross, hills to climb and things to carry. This particular race is hardest of all the Spartan events, was about 15 miles long and is called “The Beast”.

These races have become very popular and I know lots of people who are doing them, including many of my patients. Two of them came to me last week. Less than a week before the race something happened to them. One had severe lower back pain and the other had middle back and shoulder pain. Both of them were very concerned because they felt the pain was so bad that they might not be able to do the race.

Luckily, I was able to get them moving and out of pain with a couple of chiropractic adjustments and they both finished in good form. I was so excited when I learned of their results. They had trained very hard for the race and being able to help them get out there and reach their goal is one reason I love being a chiropractor.

Helping athletes is fun, and over the years I have helped people with injuries from activities like bike riding to golfing to football. But for me, helping ANYONE get back to doing something they love and want to do is thrilling. Things like, gardening, taking care of a family, cooking and working are just as important as finishing a race or winning the next football game.

Chiropractic care really is for everyone and is frequently exactly what is needed to help people get over the hills and hurdles that life can throw at us. If you or someone you know needs some help getting back to something they love, give us a call at 201-387-7463 at the Back Care Center of Dumont, NJ so we can help them too.

 

How Diet Contributes to Arthritis Pain

How Diet Contributes to Arthritis, from The Back Care Center of Dumont, NJThere are many different types of arthritis but most of us don’t care if it is degenerative or autoimmune arthritis. It’s the pain and stiffness that gets our attention. As the condition goes on, joints become swollen and inflamed and any type of movement or activity can become difficult

Medical treatment has been the same for years. Treat the swollen joints with drugs like steroids or “NSAIDs” and hope for the best. The problem is that nobody tries to find out why the problem has happened and, over time, the effects of those drugs can make the problems worse.

So why do your joints get swollen? One reason is that many people have hypersensitive immune systems. Your own defense system is so revved up that the slightest irritation triggers a very strong reaction. Since about 95% of your immune system is in your gut, your diet is an important key to controlling the problem.

Eating healthy foods like fruits and vegetables will nourish your body and improve healing. However, eating the wrong foods like wheat, processed sugar and dairy can irritate your immune system causing inflammation and lead to joint and muscle pain. You don’t even have to be suffering with belly problems for it to happen.

In our office we correct mechanical problems of the spine by using chiropractic adjustments and therapeutic exercises. Fixing the mechanical cause of irritation helps to get rid of your pain and restore your health. But looking at what foods (and sometimes drugs) patients are putting into their body is an important part of treatment and is why our arthritis patients get great results.

If you are having problems with arthritis and want help, call The Back Care Center today.

Your Spine Is Not Static

Spine and back pain at The Back Care Center of Dumont, NJNothing about your health stays the same. It is in a constant state of flux, improving or degrading, depending upon both internal and external factors. This continuous change can be frustrating for people. So many times I have been asked by both patients and friends, “Why is my back hurting again? I thought we fixed it!”

The big answer is that nature doesn’t allow anything to stay static. Everything is constantly in motion. The world around you and the one inside you are always changing. On a personal level, if those changes are positive, they will create an improved state of health. That means less pain and illness. But if they are destructive changes it can lead to illness, pain and breakdowns in your ability have the type of life you want.

To those of you who have done something for your spine but it doesn’t seem to be enough, I would encourage you to be patient. Keep doing the things which lead to better health and you will see the results.

To those of you who have worked on your health before, seen positive changes but then stopped doing what was working (exercise, regular chiropractic adjustments, changes in your diet), don’t be surprised. The work needed for being healthy doesn’t stop when you feel good. It goes on for a lifetime.

If you would like to know how we can help you keep your health keep moving in a positive direction, please give us a call here at The Back Care Center of Dumont, NJ.

Should You Exercise When You’re Sick?

The choice to exercise or not sometimes depends on the sickness or disease. Our bodies work harder and use more energy when we are fighting an illness. If symptoms are above the neck (sore throat, runny nose), it is probably okay to exercise.

You should not exercise if you have body aches, fever, diarrhea or vomiting, shortness of breath or chest congestion, dizziness or light-headedness. In other words, if you have the Flu, stay in bed!

If you’re sick but still want to exercise, simply reduce your intensity and duration. When resuming your regular exercise routine, try starting with 50% effort and 50% duration.

And of course, if you are sick, make sure you come into the Back Care Center of Dumont, NJ for a chiropractic adjustment. It will help your immune system fight off whatever is attacking your system.

Is surgery the only answer when competitive athletes get hurt?

The other day was Sunday or “Football Day” as it is referred to by many of my friends. I watched a bit and caught the wrap up Monday before making it into the office. Several players, including Michael Vick, were hurt during the day and had to leave the games.*

Injuries really aren’t surprising considering how rough competition can get. Even at a college or high school level, sports are violent and players get hurt. The consequence of these injuries may stop an athlete from participating in any competition and the pain can be felt for the rest of their life.

The big question is. “What do competitive athletes do when they get hurt?” The pressure to get back into the game is immense. Often they are faced with the choice of losing their place on the team or undergoing some type of risky surgery.

It made me think about my own experience and that of several other chiropractors who were high school and college athletes. After potentially career ending injuries of different types we were all offered surgery as a cure but chose to undergo chiropractic care, recovered fully and got back to playing that same season. (Unlike surgery, where the recovery time and subsequent rehab often makes an injury “season-ending.”)

Over the past 25 years of practice here at The Back Care Center of Dumont, NJ we’ve helped many injured athletes. We’ve also kept many of our younger athletes injury free with good support programs, exercise regimens and regular chiropractic adjustments. And if you’re a golfer, we have specific and extensive experience in Golf fitness, with 2 Titleist Certified Golf Fitness Professionals and a PGA Golf Pro on staff.

So get out there and play safe. And if you do suffer an injury, think about giving us a call before you consider more radical treatments like surgery. We may be able to get you back in the game before it’s too late.

 

*By the way, Vick’s injury was a concussion, which thankfully the NFL is finally taking seriously. (Even Madden 12 Football is taking them seriously, with concussions resulting in the player being sidelined for the rest of the game, no exceptions. If you don’t play Madden, then you can learn all about it from this article by Alan Schwarz (no relation!) in the NY Times.

A little trick for avoiding some golf-related injuries

As a Titleist Certified Golf Fitness Professional, some of the most common injuries I see in my practice are to a golfer’s lower back, shoulder and arms. They are usually sprains or strains, but they can also include tears to muscles, ligaments or cartilage. There can even be serious injuries with long-term consequences such as arthritis and herniated spinal discs.

These injuries happen mainly for reasons like poor body mechanics, bad swing mechanics or poorly fitted equipment, but there’s also a cause that most people would never consider dangerous: excessive practicing.

Amateur golfers practice by going to the hitting range. At the range, a golfer must decide which size bucket of golf balls to choose: small, medium, large or in some cases even JUMBO.

After a typically cursory warm up of bending over two or three times and then swinging the club a couple of times, the amateur golfer will start hitting balls. That is a total of between 60 to 160 balls. If you count the practice swings between balls, it’s like playing three rounds of golf in under an hour!

Unless your body is properly conditioned for that type of workout, injuries are very likely to happen.

Here’s a little trick that can help minimize golf-related injuries: buy a small bucket even if the jumbo one looks like a better deal. Balance this restraint with a sufficient warm up with gentle swings of your shorter irons before going for distance with the driver. And perhaps most importantly, work on your body when you are not working on your game.

Most golf injuries happen because the player’s body simply can’t do what is necessary to swing the club properly. Spend some time in the gym doing the golf related exercises your body needs to get into proper shape to avoid injuries.

And if you don’t know what to do, call us. With PGA Golf Pro Jon Manos and two on-staff Titleist Performance Institute Certified Golf Fitness Instructors, Nick Manoy and Dr. David Schwartz, The Back Care Center of Dumont, NJ can help you with a physical screening, golf swing biomechanics and video golf swing analysis, plus drills and exercises to improve your body and your game.

The Back Care Center is located in Dumont, NJ and we see patients from our surrounding towns including Bergenfield, Bogota, Closter, Cresskill, Englewood, Harrington Park, New Milford, Ridgefield Park, Teaneck and Tenafly. Call us at 201-387-7463 to schedule an appointment today.

Golf, Exercise and Conditioning: A Cautionary Tale

I have a patient who came to me for help with his golf swing. We did a full functional analysis and then video taped his swing. All told, we spent about an hour evaluating him and then I spent another half hour going over his results.

When he came back, we talked about what was going on with his body and why he was having certain difficulties with his game. We spoke about balance and exercises. I told him about the program I had planned for him and how it would help to fix him physically so he could play better on the course.

He was more interested in the videos we shot and his swing evaluation. He went right out and started working on fixing his swing and the next time I saw him, he happily informed me that he had shaved more than 5 strokes off his last 3 rounds. We spoke a little more about the golf fitness exercises and conditioning program, but he was happy with his improvement and didn’t see the need to start putting in more time.

The next time I saw him was about a week later. He had called the office because he had hurt his upper back and shoulder in the middle of a round of golf. It turned out that he had a moderate tear in one of the muscles in his rotator cuff and injured the joint where one of his ribs met his spine.

It took us about three months to get him out of pain and back to playing. In my opinion, backed up by my Titleist Certified Golf Fitness Training, this was all avoidable if he had only followed through with my initial recommendations. The moral of the story is to make sure the golfer is in good shape before trying to fix his game.

 

The Back Care Center is located in Dumont, NJ and we see patients from our surrounding towns including Bergenfield, Bogota, Closter, Cresskill, Englewood, Harrington Park, New Milford, Ridgefield Park, Teaneck and Tenafly. Call us at 201-387-7463 to schedule an appointment today.

Fix the golfer first, then work on their game

Golf is a funny game: for many players, the harder they try, the poorer the results. A major reason is that amateur golfers are usually weekend warriors. They put little or no work into conditioning, and then they power swing every time they tee up the ball. Aches, pains and even serious injuries can be expected…and predicted.

Most amateur golfers hurt themselves not because they have a poor swing but because they have poor body mechanics. In other words, they simply can’t move their bodies into the positions required by the sport. Instead, they will seek out the help of a golf pro, taking countless lessons hoping to stop slicing into the woods or hooking into the water. Sometimes they’ll get better, but the majority of recreational players fail to take the basic steps necessary to really improve their game.

“Fix the player first, then work on their game.” All of my education and all of my Titleist Certified Golf Fitness training tells me this is the only way to make a good golfer out of an average weekend player. More importantly, we can help them to avoid hurting their back or shoulder or knee or wrist at the same time.

In my office, we run golfers through an exhaustive functional screening. We look at how they move and focus on the exact areas of their bodies that are causing issues. It can be a joint problem, a soft tissue injury or simply a coordination issue. Most of the time, the problems we find are not causing the golfer any pain but are significantly changing the way they swing the club.

By discovering where the problem is, we can help with appropriate therapies, stretching, massage therapy and golf exercises. Only then do we look at your golf swing, evaluate it and turn you over to Jon Manos, our PGA golf pro to help you correct the problems you might still have in your swing.

If you really want to fix your golf swing and you don’t want to sacrifice your health to the game, talk to The Back Care Center. First, we’ll fix you. Then we’ll take a swing at your swing.

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.