Sunday, November 5, 2017

Dynamic Cupping - How it helps your Soft Tissue

Prieto Chiropractic

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Sitting in Front of the Computer is Literally Killing Us!

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My name is Doctor Brian Prieto from Yorba Linda, California and welcome to our section called “Questions that patients ask us”.

Did you know that sitting in front of a Computer for long periods of time is literally killing us?
We are starting to understand more that living a sedentary life like sitting for long periods of time in an office chair for 8 hours a day can’t be good for our bodies. Our bodies will function better when it is moving and if we are sitting all the time this will add up over time. Studies have shown that people with sitting jobs have twice the rate of heart disease as those who stand for a living.
So, what do we do? Simple get up and move around every 30 – 60 minutes. If you're sitting in front of your workstation for hours at a time, tension tends to build up in the neck, upper back, and the lower back and this will create problems. So, if you think about that over a cumulative period of time, you can develop neck and back pain and you may have to see someone like myself.

So, to avoid this problem let’s do a couple of simple stretches, however we will need a reminder to get us to get up and move. Go to the App store and download this free App called “Hourly Chime”. You can schedule the chime to go off every 30 – 60 minutes. Get up and go to the restroom, go to the copier machine, just get up and do something.

Here are the stretches you can do, stand up and stretch to the ceiling, lean to the left and then to the right, shrug your shrugs and this will engage your upper back muscles. Rotate and twist your body back and forth, rotate your head in circles and look to your left and right. The next thing you do are some lunges with your arm reaching forward and the other reaching backwards and you switch back and forth. And then you can walk in place.

You just want to get your body pumping with some blood to your muscles so get some stretching in every 30-60 minutes so your muscles don't tighten and shorten because of the length of time you're in front of the computer.

This is a really simple process that you can do every hour when you're at your workstation. So we hope this helps and that you can do this at home or at your work. Until next time, thank you for visiting.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Why Your Computer Mouse Can Give You Neck Pain!

My name is Doctor Brian Prieto from Yorba Linda, California and welcome to our section called “Questions that patients ask us”.

A real common problem in our society right now is the use of the computer mouse. Everyone uses the computer mouse and if used improperly, it can create issues in our neck and upper back. While on the computer using the mouse, typically our elbows are away from our body, and if we are in this position for a long period of time, it can tighten up and cramp up a muscle in the neck area, we call the trapezius muscle. This muscle is going to get tired and become fatigued, and cramp up. If our elbow is closer to our body, then the trapezius muscle most likely is not going to get tired and fatigued, because the muscle is not contracting. The muscle has to contract and is being pulled when the arm is extended outward. When our elbow is near our body, then the trapezius muscle doesn't have to contract and pull and it won't become fatigued.

For an example here, you can try this at home, put your left hand on top of the right trapezius muscle and move your arm up and down and feel the muscle contracting underneath your left hand.

Now try doing the same motion while you keep your elbow close to your body and see if you can feel the muscle contracting, because you shouldn’t. By doing this demonstration you will get a sense of how this muscle basically works when using the computer mouse. Our elbow away from our body is not good and our elbow close to our body is good.

The tip is this: Keep your mouse closest to your body. Therefore, when you're sitting there for hours at a time working on your computer, you won't get so tired and fatigued on the upper trapezius area.

We'll see you next time.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Why looking downward can give you neck pain!

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My name is Doctor Brian Prieto from Yorba Linda, California and welcome to our video series called “Questions That Patients Ask Us”.
Today's topic is about is about neck and upper back pain caused from the forward head posture position. We see a lot of patients with complaints in the lower neck and the upper back area. Why is this a problem? Because when our head is too far forward when sitting at a desk or when looking downward at our electronics the neck and upper back muscles can become tense and will have to counterbalance the head. When your head is in the neutral position and centered over your shoulders your neck and upper back muscles don't have to work as hard. When the head is in the flexed position or in the downward position for long periods of time, then the neck and upper back muscles are going to have to work a lot harder to counterbalance the head, and over a period of time that's going to create symptoms of neck and upper back pain with headaches.
There was a recent study by New York spine surgeon Kenneth Hansraj performed assessing the incremental effects of a forward-tilted head posture on your cervical spine. His conclusions, published in Surgical Technology International in November 2014 were summarized as follows:
"The weight seen by the spine dramatically increases when flexing the head forward at varying degrees. Loss of the natural curve of the cervical spine leads to incrementally increased stresses about the cervical spine. These stresses may lead to early wear, tear, degeneration, and possibly surgeries. While it is nearly impossible to avoid the technologies that cause these issues, individuals should make an effort to look at their phones with a neutral spine and avoid spending hours each day hunched over."
He talked about the weight of our heads being approximately 10 to 12 pounds, and when leaning forward the weight becomes heavier on our neck and upper back. Well, that's approximately the same weight as a bowling ball. So, if you are holding a bowling ball centered and balanced over your arm and your arm representing the neck see how long you can hold that position? Probably you can hold it for a while as long as the bowling ball is balanced over your arm. However, if you lean the bowling ball to one side or the other you won’t be able to hold it for very long because your arm will get fatigued right away and it's going to start cramping. Yes, this is just an example, of a bowling ball, but over a period of time if your head is in the forward head posture for sustained periods of time then your neck and upper back will end up giving you symptoms.
So, the key thing is, is try to keep your head in the neutral position for as long as you can when you're on your electronics or on your computer and to get up and take a break for there is not a buildup of tension in the neck and upper back muscles.
Until next time, thank you for visiting.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

What Position is Best to Sleep In?

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My name is Doctor Brian Prieto from Yorba Linda, California and welcome to our video series called “Questions That Patients Ask Us”. Today's topic is about sleeping posture. It's a very common question in our office. "Hey doc, what position is the best position to sleep in?" Well, let's talk about that. We're going to start off on the first position that's not good, and that's sleeping in the prone position, or sleeping on your tummy. When sleeping on your tummy your head has to go to one side or the other, so it's not going be really good on your neck if you're sleeping like this for five, six or seven hours a night. Also, in your lower back area it’s going to create a little tension here as well because the back will be in the extension position, and that can create some back issues in the lower back especially if you're dealing with lower back pain.

The best position, however, is sleeping on your back. We call this a very neutral position. When your body is in the neutral position, your head is on a pillow, as long as it's not a very thick pillow, so to remain in the neutral position, and then your legs can be straight. Should you have a lower back problem, it would be best to put a little pillow underneath behind your knees and that can open up your spine a little bit, create a little flexion in the lower back. So that's a really, really good position to sleep in.

The next best position to sleep in is the side posture position. You should use a thicker pillow for your head and neck and you can use a pillow underneath your legs as well. The reason why we need a thicker pillow if you are a side posture sleeper, because you need the pillow to be the distance between your ear and your shoulder, because if you don't, if you have a small pillow, then your neck's going to be titled downward,  or if you have too big of a pillow then your neck will be tilted upward. So it kind of depends on your size distance between your ear and your shoulder, so you'll rather have a thicker pillow if you're sleeping on your side. And if you're a back pain sufferer, then you can put a pillow underneath your knees for your leg doesn't go over and put a lot of tension on your lower back.

So those are two great little positions here that we recommend that you sleep in. Until next time, thank you for visiting us.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Heat vs Ice - How Do You Know Which To Use for Neck or Back Pain?

My name is Doctor Brian Prieto from Yorba Linda, California and welcome to our section called “Questions that patients ask us”. Today's topic is when to use a heat (hot pack) versus ice (cold pack). "When do you use heat such as a hot pack? When do you use ice such as a cold pack?"

Let’s start off with a cold pack. If you have an acute injury or you just injured something or you're in a lot of pain, you're back or neck is stuck, you threw your back out and you're on the floor, then that’s the time to use a cold pack. Why? Because we need to knock down inflammation in your body. Your body goes into an inflammatory state after an injury and when it goes into an inflammatory state, it starts to bleed and you want to put ice on it to calm it down, to basically prevent those pain fibers from firing. So using an ice pack is really, really good to use when you have a new injury.

Now let's say you suffer from arthritis and your back is tight, you have stiffness all the time in your neck and back and you suffer from low-grade dull pain, well that's the time to use heat (hot pack). A hot pack on the area helps to bring blood flow to the area and loosen things up, which brings more oxygen in the soft tissues. So that's when you want to basically use a hot pack.

When you use an ice pack, there's typically not too many times that you're going to go wrong when using an ice pack, but when you use a hot pack, you can basically go wrong if you use it at the wrong time.

So know this, the general rule is this: When in doubt, use an ice pack. It's really, really good for injuries and really good for knocking down pain and inflammation. When you're a little stiff or a little sore with neck and back tightness, that's when you can get away with using the heat (hot pack). Until next time, thank you very much for visiting our blog.

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

How Can Your Pillow Hurt You?

Patients ask me all the time "Which PILLOW is the best to use when sleeping?" My answer to that is the pillow that keeps your neck in the most NEUTRAL POSITION. First, what kind of sleeper are you? Do you sleep on your BACK? Do you sleep on your SIDE? Do you sleep on your TUMMY? Or do you MOVE ALL AROUND during your sleep?

If you’re a BACK SLEEPER then a big pillow or multiple pillows are not favorable for your NECK, because it puts a strain on your neck by keeping your neck in the flexed position. Therefore, using a smaller pillow is highly recommended.

If you’re a SIDE SLEEPER then a small pillow isn't good for your neck, because your head and neck will collapse downward, therefore a bigger pillow is highly recommended and it will keep your head more in the neutral position, as long as it is not too big of a pillow.

If you’re a TUMMWY SLEEPER, then there is no pillow that keeps your head in the neutral position. Sorry to say, but there is nothing positive about being a TUMMY SLEEPER in regards to your Neck, because your head always has to be rotated to one side.

So how Can Your Pillow Hurt You? Simply by you not using the right size of pillow for your favorite position that you sleep in. The MOST COMMON problem I see are when people fall asleep in bed while watching TV with either 2 pillows behind their neck or their pillow folded in half to raise their head up in the flexed position when watching TV.

If you suffer from these type of symptoms or if you’re not quite sure about your pillow I am available to help you, just give us a call at 714 577-0200.

Dr. Brian Prieto