If you've been reading about how stretching before working out is beneficial, what you're reading is correct. If you've been reading about how stretching before working out is a waste of time, what you're reading is also true. So, what's the real information? Should you spend precious time before a workout stretching your body? Or should you go straight into your activity with cold muscles?
It depends. That answer may surprise you, but it all depends on what activity you'll be performing for your workout and what kind of stretching you will do before that activity. Just like a workout isn't a one-size-fits-all activity, neither is stretching.
Muscles and Stretching
Muscles are not one large block; in fact, they are comprised of small bundles of fibers. A muscle strain can occur when small tears appear in those fibers. In theory, one would think that stretching would make those muscle fibers looser, like stretching a rubber band, thus making the muscles less likely to tear during a workout. Unfortunately, in some cases stretching as a warmup to exercise can cause injury instead. Why? Because many people include stretching as their warm-up routine. This means they begin stretching tight, cold muscles, making it more likely that they will have sore muscles or an injury.
If you’re stretching before a workout, try to understand why you’re making an effort to stretch. Is it to avoid sore muscles? Is it to increase flexibility? Or is it because everyone always told you to stretch? Understanding what you hope to achieve can help you to gauge if stretching is for your particular exercise.
Benefits of Stretching as Warm-Up
Stretching is meant to increase flexibility, which is a plus for overall good health, fitness, and agility. It loosens tension within the body and increases blood flow to the muscles. For people who want to gain flexibility, stretching is a great option.
However, for many people, stretching is used as a warm-up exercise for activities like aerobics or their usual gym workout. It sounds great in theory, but not in practice. Most people will stretch while standing in one place. This is called a "static stretch." Static stretching pulls cold muscles, tearing fibers, and then subjects those torn muscle fibers into a vigorous workout. If your goal is to avoid sore muscles, then cold static stretches may not be the way to go.
Dynamic Stretching As a Warm-Up
If the goal is to prevent muscle soreness, a better way is to perform dynamic stretches as part of a warm-up routine. This is an activity that gets a person slowly moving, like walking on a treadmill or using an elliptical, while performing a range of motions with the arms. Dynamic stretching uses major muscle groups and gradually builds up the heart rate. This allows the body to slowly work up to more strenuous exercises.
Picture a rubber band again. Rather than taking it and suddenly stretching it one way, risking it snapping apart, imagine stretching the rubber band slowly in different directions. This is how dynamic stretching works. Should you stretch before a workout? Sure. But make sure to use dynamic stretches rather than static ones. For most activities, a dynamic stretch warm-up is the way to go.
Static Stretching As a Warm-Up
There are times when static stretching before a workout is beneficial, which is why consulting with a trainer or physical therapist is essential.
Swimmers, for example, are encouraged to perform static stretches before working out in the water. The type of activity swimmers perform requires long, reaching movements that are repetitive and forceful. Static stretching prepares their bodies for the shock of sudden cold water, stretching of the muscles, and the flurry of activity.
Static stretching can help after a workout. By assisting the body to cool down and preventing muscles from tightening up, static stretches may work better post-workout than as a warm-up.
Benefits of Stretching in General
Stretching on the whole, whether static or dynamic, provides the body with numerous health benefits. Stretching can even be done throughout the day in small increments, separately from a workout routine throughout the day.
Stretching loosens muscle fibers and gets the blood flowing to the muscles and joints. This allows your body to deliver oxygen, energy, and nutrients to these areas more efficiently. This also allows the removal of waste byproducts, ensuring a less toxic environment within the body.
Enhances Flexibility and Range of Motion
Without realizing it, excess energy when the body isn't flexible, causing fatigue. Bending down to tie shoelaces or reaching for a book can cause strain and tire the body. By increasing flexibility, simple tasks become more manageable. Stretching also improves athletic ability, allowing the body to become more responsive and agile.
Relaxation and Stress Relief
Believe it or not, muscles store the stress that is felt throughout the day. Stretching releases this stress and helps the body and mind to relax!
So, What’s the Verdict?
Should you stretch before working out? Yes. Although what kind of stretching (static vs. dynamic) depends on the type of workout you will be doing. For the most part, dynamic stretching used as part of a warm-up is the most beneficial. If you’re facing any sports injuries, then the team at Southwest Chiropractic can help. Give us a call today to learn more about what we can do for you!
Five Frequent Causes of Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain is no laughing matter. Many people go through it, and that can be for several reasons. Our backs provide lots of support for our bodies, so it is very important that we take good care of them. Scheduling an appointment with a chiropractic clinic is a good step towards relieving your pain and making sure your back is nice and healthy. Here at Southwest Chiropractic, we can help you out with various kinds of back pain and assist you in seeking treatment. In order to provide as much knowledge and insight into back health as possible, we’ve compiled a few of the most common causes of lower back pain.
1) Muscle and Ligament Strain
Muscle strain is damage to the muscle caused by stretching it too far and therefore causing it to tear. Your ligaments are what connect your bones together, and ligament strain is when over-stretching and tearing affect those ligaments. If you experience this kind of lower back pain, then it might be time to make some adjustments.
One cause of muscle and ligament strain is lifting very heavy objects or twisting the spine while lifting heavy objects. A way to avoid this is by not lifting too much at the gym, and by being a little more careful the next time you decide you want to rearrange the furniture in your house.
These kinds of strains can also be caused by sudden movements such as a really bad fall. Also, keep in mind not to slouch. A common cause of muscle and ligament strain is general poor posture over time. If you play sports that involve twisting, large forces of impact, or both, then please be wary of back pain.
The curvature of the spine, with conditions such as scoliosis, can cause lower back pain. Scoliosis is a sideways curvature of the spine and often results in uneven ribs, a shoulder protruding more than the other, a shoulder or hip being higher than the other, and clothes hanging unevenly. These conditions can cause lower back pain if they lead to the breakdown of discs, facet joints, or sacroiliac joints. While the cause of scoliosis is unknown, it is known that the condition tends to run in families. Our office is readily equipt to help you seek proper scoliosis treatment suited to your needs.
3) Herniated Discs
A herniated disc is a problem that occurs with the discs in between the spinal bones. The pain typically associated with a herniated disc is found either in the neck area (cervical spine) or the lower back. This condition can form because of an injury, lifting heavy objects, or just normal wear and tear. The probability of being diagnosed with a herniated disc can be affected by serval risk factors such as being overweight, genetics, and having a physically demanding occupation. Here at Southwest Chiropractors, you may undergo an x-ray so we’ll be able to properly diagnose the herniated disc, and begin herniated disc treatment. We encourage you to call and schedule a visit with us if you experience symptoms of a herniated disc.
It goes without saying, but trauma to any part of the body is very serious and should be treated as soon as possible. Acute fractures and dislocations of the spine can lead to severe pain. In other words, if your spine gets broken, it will definitely hurt. If you experience back pain after trauma such as a car accident or a really big fall, you should immediately seek help and medical attention.
5) Less Common Conditions
There are some other conditions that can cause pain in the lower back, but they are very rare and may require medical attention from someone other than a chiropractor. It is very important that all possibilities are considered, however. Kidney stones, for example, can cause back pain, most typically on one side of the lower back. While it is very rare, tumors can cause back pain. They rarely ever begin on the back, but they typically spread from elsewhere in the body. Women who suffer from endometriosis can also experience a lot of back pain depending on how severe their condition is.
Don’t Let Lower Back Pain Bring You Down
Lower back pain is a difficult thing to get through. No one wants to suffer from pain, especially if it’s coming from the place that allows us to walk properly and perform basic everyday functions. No one wants to be able to miss out on the fun and adventurous parts of life because they are in too much pain. You should be able to play with your children and go hiking if you want to. Having severe lower back pain can also affect how you perform at your job and how you simply move around your own home. If you’re experiencing a lot of lower back pain, then you should visit a chiropractor in order to receive a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. Our doors here at Southwest Chiropractor are open for you, so don’t be afraid to contact us and make an appointment, today!
We are, as a people, addicted to smartphones. Almost everyone cranes their necks on a regular basis in order to look down at their phones, to scroll through Instagram, or to order some food from Grubhub. As useful and entertaining as our smartphones can be, it’s crucial to practice proper usage in order to avoid any issues relating to neck pain. So many people avoid doing this, in fact, that a new term came into existence in order to accurately and succinctly describe this conundrum. “Smartphone neck” or “text neck” are names given to the constant act of craning one’s neck down to look at a smartphone screen. As you can surmise from its name, smartphone neck is rampant among those of us who use our phones on a daily basis. Perhaps you’ve never experienced extreme pain from simply looking down at your phone, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be careful! If you’re experiencing pain in your neck, be it due to your smartphone or any other issue, then it’s time to visit Southwest Chiropractors in El Paso.
Text Neck Can Damage Your Neck, Posture, and More
It may seem like a small, seemingly insignificant action, but craning your neck to look down at your phone screen can actually lead to serious aches and pains. In fact, doing so regularly can lead to issues such as a damaged posture. When you move your head forward to look at your phone screen, you’re adding 26 pounds of strain on your neck. Usually, our heads weigh around 11 pounds but by moving the head forward slightly, the pressure doubles! The weight actually increases the more your neck cranes. Not only can this lead to neck strains, but it can also cause further issues. Thankfully, it’s possible to build up positive habits in order to retroactively avoid any issues relating to “text neck.”
Tips to Tackle Text Neck
You can avoid neck pain relating to text/smartphone neck by following these three tips. First, check your posture and neck alignment by looking at a reflection of your profile. You can easily accomplish this by using your bathroom mirror. In order to see if you have correct posture, you should try to draw an imaginary line from your ear to your shoulder. If your posture is off-center, then it’ll be necessary to do some adjustments in your life. There are many ways to effectively improve your posture. What’s important is for you to maintain these improvements in order for your back and neck to grow stronger, thus avoiding any instances of neck and back pain in the future. A great way to improve your posture, and in turn avoiding text neck, is by arching your back and doing shoulder extensions.
One of the best ways to tackle text neck is by making a conscious decision to look forward while using your phone instead of looking down. By raising your phone to eye level, you’ll avoid any muscle strain in your neck. It might be easier to simply look down at your phone whenever you get a text, but that seemingly insignificant action can act as a small snowball at the top of a snowy mountain. Before long, the pain may become unbearable. Instead of ending up with neck pain thanks to your phone, you can make a conscious decision to improve your posture on a daily basis.
What To Do When You Have Neck Pain
Neck pain is nothing to scoff at. Small actions, such as looking down at your phone or computer screen for long periods of time, day in and day out, can eventually cause neck pain. If the pain doesn’t dissipate in a few days, then it’s in your best interest to seek medical attention from a chiropractor. Southwest Chiropractors, led by Dr. Fred Aguayo, DC, is El Paso’s top line when it comes to chiropractic care and neck pain treatment. When you schedule a meeting with us, you can expect Dr. Aguayo, DC to conduct an exam to uncover the source of your pain. Your doctor may also take x-rays to get a better understanding of the underlying issues. Once Dr. Aguayo has all the information he needs, he’ll be able to create an appropriate treatment plan for your needs.
Contact Southwest Chiropractors, Today!
Whether your neck is starting to hurt after long hours at the office, or you’ve been experiencing chronic neck pain for weeks now, it’s time to schedule a consultation at Southwest Chiropractors. Give us a call today to learn more about how we can help!
We’ve all been there—minding your own business when a massive migraine nests in your head and disrupts your whole day. Unlike a headache, a migraine can be disruptive enough to keep you from doing normal activities, like driving, going out, or doing work. It’s not uncommon to have migraines every now and again due to stress or bad diet, but chronic migraines should be addressed right away. In this article, we’ll go over some of the most common causes of chronic migraines.
What is a Migraine?
A migraine is often thought of as an intense headache. While this is true, they may have other symptoms such as:
Common Causes of Chronic Migraines
Here at Southwest Chiropractic, we’ve dealt with many clients experiencing chronic migraines, and have successfully helped people reduce their pain. Contact us if you’d like to find out more about migraine relief.
Life is stressful, demanding, and difficult. At the same time, injuries and accumulated physical ailments can take a toll on our bodies; we often begin to see the repercussions of that as we grow older. We are often faced with challenges—personal, professional, and spiritual—that take our bodies and emotions through wild ups and downs.
Major and chronic depression is a serious condition affects around 16. 2 million Americans and can have true health consequences if not treated or tended to. Every case is different and should be treated on a case by case basis, but massage therapy has seen some positive effects on people who are suffering from a bout of depression or persistent stress in their lives.
Both of these conditions can lead to tension in the muscles, poor diet, poor exercise regimens, and more; all of this contributes to one's overall state of health and wellness. Research even suggests that stress can be a cause of some medical conditions and illnesses. That’s why finding ways to mitigate stress and take care of our bodies is vital in the maintenance of our health.
What is Massage Therapy?
Massage therapy refers to the practice of manual movement of soft body tissue to enhance a person’s well-being. Soft body tissues include muscle, connective tissue, tendons, and ligaments.
Some of the Benefits from Massage Therapy
While massage therapy is not a cure-all for any physical and mental illness or disorder, it has proven benefits across the board. Massages have been used in ancient cultures like China for more than 3,000 years. Many ancient practitioners of massage therapy will argue that the method based on touch will help in the release of hormones and the creation of an emotional connection. Practitioners of the modern and contemporary study of massage therapy see some similar effects. Here are a few of the benefits:
For Back Pain, Massage Therapy Can Be Effective
Massage therapy can also be effective in reducing back pain and easing some of the tension builds up in patients with back problems. People that suffer from back pain can see a reduction of swelling and inflammation.
Call a Trusted Clinic and Ease the Tension
Whether you have tension due to stress, depression, or chronic back pain, massage therapy can be a great way to alleviate some of that tension in the body and mind. The release that patients see after a therapeutic massage can improve your overall health and help you face the day with confidence and strength. Call Southwest Chiropractic today and schedule an appointment. Find out how your muscles can work for you.
Scoliosis is the sideways curvature of the spine that generally takes place right before puberty. It can be caused by several conditions but the majority of those who have it experience a slight deformity during the growth spur. While some experience scoliosis more severely than others, there are several facts surrounding the condition that not many are aware of. As chiropractors, we believe it’s imperative to bring you as much awareness as possible about the condition, given the impact it can have on your spine and your life as a whole.
Here are three little known facts about scoliosis:
1. You More Likely to Have Scoliosis if Someone in Your Family Has It.
If someone in your family has scoliosis, you are 30% more likely to get it yourself. Although as a parent you might not have it and your child does, the family link can extend beyond parents. Parents with a mild condition can also pass it along to their children. Unfortunately, many times there is no known cause of scoliosis. That’s why as a parent, it’s important for your child to receive his or her regular check-ups, especially around the ages of 10 to 12, since this is when their bodies are experiencing more dramatic changes.
2. Females Are at a Greater Risk of Scoliosis.
According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, females are more likely to have scoliosis than males. The condition for females is also eight times more likely to worsen. One possible reason why girls have a greater risk of developing scoliosis is the higher amounts of the hormone leptin and higher amounts of activity in the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS). Researchers have also spent time looking at the development of females compared to males during puberty in order to find associations. Several studies have found that estrogen increases the curve severity of scoliosis.
3. It’s Not Caused by Bad Posture
While it’s important to sit up straight, slouching does not cause scoliosis. Bad posture, in general, will not result in scoliosis. If you do slouch; however, you may develop a temporary condition known as postural scoliosis (nonstructural scoliosis). This condition is a result of curving the spine, but unlike structural scoliosis, nonstructural scoliosis is irreversible and the structure of your spine is still considered normal.
And Remember, You’re Not Alone
Scoliosis affects roughly six to nine million Americans. Even if you’ve never met someone with the condition, know that there are many out there just like you. While it’s common for people with scoliosis to deal with the condition in silence, there are others who are more vocal about their condition given their public life.
For example, there are numerous accomplished athletes with scoliosis who serve as perfect examples that even physical hurdles can be overcome. Just think of former sprinter Usain Bolt. His nicknames include “Lightning Bolt” and the “Fastest Man in the World”. Up until his retirement in 2017, Bolt was the world’s fastest sprinter and earned several awards including eight Olympic gold medals.
Did you know that Elizabeth Taylor had scoliosis? The iconic star was born with scoliosis and suffered from several other complications throughout her life. In 1994 while filming National Velvet, Taylor broke her back, which led to chronic back pain for the remainder of her life. Despite her complications, life with scoliosis was never a setback for Taylor. She continued to star in numerous films including her biggest role as Cleopatra.
Other famous people with scoliosis include actress Venessa Williams, world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma, actress Shailene Woodley, superstar Liza Minnelli, Princess Eugenie, professional golfer Dudley Hart, and many others.
For Scoliosis Treatment in El Paso, Visit Southwest Chiropractic
Your condition doesn’t define you. The treatments available for scoliosis are prime examples that living with the condition is a matter of management. Like many aspects of life, dealing with a condition is how one improves and continues to move forward. That’s why the Southwest Chiropractic team places a strong emphasis on providing El Pasoans with comprehensive scoliosis treatment. We’re committed to helping improve your quality of life. Chiropractic care is a key aspect of this. Connect with us today to learn more.
As someone who suffers from bodily pain, avoiding exercises that will heighten or increase your pain is important. Even if your symptoms aren’t what they used to be, you may be feeling insecure or skeptical about partaking in exercises that require a lot of work from your body. Thankfully, there’s one form of exercise that provides physical benefits without taking a toll on the body — walking.
Walking has been long proven to provide both physical and mental benefits. According to the Mayo Clinic, walking not only helps to trim your waistline but it can also strengthen your bones and muscles and improve your mood. To experience these benefits, you want to aim for at least 30 minutes a day of vigorous walking. Remember, it’s okay to start off slow, especially if you’re recovering from an injury.
Walking With a Purpose
Walking provides numerous benefits. When it comes to your mind, walking improves your brain in a couple of ways. Walking increases blood flow to the brain, leading to improvements in memory and overall cognitive function. Moreover, if you’re suffering from headaches, walking can help alleviate the symptoms of pressure in the head. You may also find that if you suffer from migraines, walking will alleviate your symptoms.
According to a study from The Lancet Psychiatry, “People who exercised had 43 percent fewer self-reported “bad” mental health days.” The study went on to say that people who saw the greatest benefits walked 45 minutes a time, three to five days a week.
Moreover, for those who are walking with a goal of losing weight, you’ll want to pay attention to pace and time. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends walking for 60 to 90 minutes a day most days of the week. It’s important to keep in mind, when it comes to effort level, make sure your pace is comfortable and you are wearing shoes that support your feet. Pay attention to your body and any pain you’re feeling.
As a Chiropractic Patient, You Will Also Benefit From Walking
Whether you suffer from chronic back pain or are recovering from a spinal cord injury, in addition to the chiropractic care you’re currently receiving, walking can also provide the support your body needs. The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) recommends walking to help ease back pain since its a low impact exercise and since it helps increase circulation throughout your body.
With age, the body becomes more prone to injury. Additionally, the older we get, the more work it requires for us to recover. Walking, however, can help give the body the support it needs to improve circulation and flexibility, especially following an injury. Walking improves the body’s muscles, joints, ligaments, and your balance, without putting too much strain on it.
Begin a Walking Regimen Today
The best part about adding walking to your daily routine is that all it requires is some proper footwear! If you can commit to at least 30 minutes a day of walking, you will notice how much of a difference it makes on your body and mind.
Here at Southwest Chiropractic, your health and well-being matter to us! That’s why we’re committed to ensuring you take care of your body and mind. In addition to receiving chiropractic care, leading an overall active lifestyle will support your body’s needs. Connect with us today to learn more!
From a terrible mattress to sitting all day at a desk and then there’s our choice of food—all of these factors contribute to back pain. On the surface, it would seem like what we consume wouldn’t make much of a difference on our backs but there are indeed several reasons why certain foods negatively impact back pain. One is that certain foods increase or reduce inflammation. Keep in mind, if your back pain has persisted longer than 12 weeks, you should consult with a chiropractor as soon as possible.
Doing your part to reduce back pain is one aspect of treating your condition. Chiropractic care is the other key component. Having your back examined by a chiropractor will reveal the underlying issues of your body and determine the treatment it needs to improve. On a daily basis, you can make choices to reduce back pain and it starts with your choice of foods:
Foods That Increase Back Pain
Since muscle inflammation is what you need to avoid, it’s important to stay away or limit the following:
Foods to Improve Your Back Pain
Contrary to inflammatory foods, there are foods that will provide your back the nutrition it requires to reduce or manage back pain. Foods packed with anti-inflammatory properties are the best source of nutrition for your back so be sure to add the following to your diet:
Consult With a Chiropractor in El Paso Regarding Your Back’s Needs
Food is a key component of ensuring your back is supported with the right nutrition. Seeking care from a chiropractor will help you better understand your body as a whole and to seek out the best form of treatment for you.
When you visit Southwest Chiropractic, we’ll introduce you to the various treatments available for treating symptoms of back pain and make sure you have a good understanding of your body including how everyday choices affect it. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.
Did you know that in between the vertebrae in your spine, there are small, rubber, disc-shaped cushions that help with the function of your spine? These discs are important and they help to keep your back from experiencing a ton of pain. So when something wrong happens to them, it can leave you in immense pain. When you have a herniated disc, you may experience pain throughout your body. Luckily, there are treatment options available so you can get on the right track to healing and feeling better.
Here’s what you need to know about herniated discs and what you can do to correct them.
What is a Disc?
Per the Mayo Clinic, you can think of a disc like you would a jelly donut. It’s a little sturdier on the outside, but gets softer and more jelly-like in the center. They essentially absorb the shock made to your spine when you move. Without them, certain motor skills would be too painful to do. They serve an important function in our bodies.
What Does it Mean When it’s Herniated?
When a spinal disc becomes herniated, essentially, the jelly part of the donut escapes through small tears made to the disc, causing it to bulge and become painful. A herniated disc is often referred to as a slipped or bulging disc. They commonly happen close to the neck and in the lower back.
What are the Symptoms?
If you have a herniated disc, you may experience tingling and numbness, arm and leg pain, muscle weakness, and back pain. You may experience a shooting pain when you sneeze or cough, and the pain may travel from your leg to your arm and vice versa. It may become difficult to sleep as you may struggle to find a comfortable position every night.
Thankfully, there are treatments available that you can receive to correct a slipped disc. This may include physical therapy, certain medications, steroids, and, in some cases, surgery. One or a combination of these treatments can help you to heal and alleviate the pain and numbness you may be feeling. If you believe you have a herniated disc, it’s important to seek professional help for it.
Contact Southwest Chiropractic Today!
At Southwest Chiropractic, we offer herniated disc treatment that can help to correct your slipped disc. Give us a call today to learn more about the chiropractic services we offer.
When you think of neck pain, you probably associate it with bad sleep, whiplash, or even stress, but there is a myriad of reasons why your neck may be killing you. And with these myriads of reasons comes a comprehensive list of ways you can treat it. But before you can receive the proper treatment for your neck pain, it’s important that you and your doctor try and get a better understanding of what may be causing your neck pain in order to figure out the best treatment plan for you.
Common Causes of Neck Pain
Some common causes of neck pain include poor sleeping positions and habits, stress and anxiety, whiplash, a mild form of which can be caused by simply slamming on the brakes too hard, sprains, and stretching improperly. This neck pain can last for a few days but can often clear up on its own when corrected, such as investing in a better pillow and stretching with more care to your form. Alleviating stress in your everyday life can also alleviate the neck pain caused by it.
However, sometimes these issues require treatments such as chiropractic care to be cured. Other times, the causes of your neck pain are a bit more complicated and require more than just a lifestyle change to cure.
Rare Causes of Neck Pain
In some cases, there may be some other underlying issue that is causing your neck pain. While these can be rare, they’re important to know about. These include:
Call Southwest Chiropractic Today!
At Southwest Chiropractic, we’re dedicated to helping people feel their best through comprehensive chiropractic care. If you’re suffering from neck pain, back pain, or conditions like scoliosis or fibromyalgia, we can help you find the best treatment options for your pain so you can get back to feeling better and focusing on the important things in life. Don’t wait. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment. We look forward to helping you!
We are a family practice and have been in business for over 19 years. We specialize in the treatment and management of work-related injuries and auto injuries; offering you the latest in quality therapy and care.