Archive for the 'Low Back Pain' Category

Heals Off the End of the Bed

I recommend sleeping with legs elevated while undergoing treatment for low back pain. It decreases the pressure on the nerve roots and joint spaces in the back of the spinal column and drains the excess fluid, plus it relaxes the muscles in the front of the spine.

Move down a bit so the heals drop-off the end of the mattress. This prevents the back of the knees from out-stretching and the legs from rotating outward. The back of the end of the calves contact the sleep surface and provide for a more comfort sleeping posture.


Shoveling Tips – Part One

Understanding the proper way to shovel can prevent low back pain.

While bending forward to scoop keep the low back arched and knees bent with each push to fill the blade. Bend the knees even more to lift the snow off the ground. Throw the snow forward, not to the side, which prevents the trunk from twisting.

This tips is most often not performed and it is as important as keeping the back arched with knees bent. Switch hands and alternate sides every ten shovels-full. This will prevent the dominant shoveling side from over-working.

Dr. Saracino
610 337 3335

Vertebral Hypomobility More Common than Subluxation

Vertebral Hypomobility More Common than Subluxation

  ‘Vertebral Hypomobility’ is when a motion segment, two mobile, articular and contiguous hard tissues, has compromised range-of-motion in any or all of its respective planes-of-motion.  Only ‘motion palpation’ can determine if two adjacent segments have a reduction of motion and each range-of-motion should be tested.  Although vertebrae may not appear ‘out-of-place’ from palpation or radiography its ranges may be diminished.  Hypomobility is a biomechanical aberration of the spine most commonly observed.

‘Vertebral Subluxation’, a term too often used and misinterpreted, is when a bone is juxtapositioned.  This may be verified with static palpation and radiographs, however, static palpation only reveals the location of the spinus process not its articular facet from where the motion segment originates.  Often, due to ossification center malformations during development, derivations of the length and midline orientation of the spinus process make the spinus process NOT a good indicator of vertebrae location.  Trauma to the spine is the usual etiology of subluxation and it is seldom seen, because it is mostly a transient state of the vertebrae.

‘Vertebral Fixation’ is when a vertebral is locked and not moving through all of its ranges-of-motion.  ‘Locking-up’ is often found in severe and acute spinal conditions only. It usually progresses to hypomobility after the acute phase of therapy.

Please read the entire article under the heading “Low Back Pain” at:  at

Low Back Pain Does NOT Go Away On Its Own

Spontaneous Resolution of Low Back Pain- A Misnomer Introduction Eighty percent of Americans will experience low back pain (LBP) at some time in their lives1 with one-month prevalence between 35 and 37 percent.2 This makes LBP the second leading reason for visiting medical physicians and the leading reason for visiting chiropractors3,4, including chiropractic neurologists, in the U.S. Unfortunately, it is generally believed that most incidences of LBP are short-term with 80 to 90 percent of cases resolving within six weeks, irrespective of the administration of treatment.5 The implication of this often-quoted study is that the LBP resolves when, in fact, patients without medical or chiropractic discharge simply terminate their own care.

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Disc Conditions Can be Treated Successfully with Chiropractic Neurology

Conditions of the intervertebral disc, such as herniation, protrusion, degeneration (diminished disc height and/or fragmentation) and primary disc (discogenic) pain, are most often associated with spinal alignment in the absence of blunt trauma.  Scientific evidence suggests abnormal alignment of the spine and bad posture as predisposing causes of disc disease as seen below.  This issue of Chiropractic Neurologic Research Brief will, also, discuss the efficacy of chiropractic neurology in the treatment of disc lesions.

Read more at…

Car Accidents Cause Low Back Pain

Although neck pain is more commonly experienced after a car accident, low back pain hurts more!  The low back being nestled in the seat and supported by the back rest, is, as most think, less often hurt after an impact, but the contrary is true for its suffering.  Here’s how.

Most commonly, one is stopped then struck on the rear behind by another vehicle during an accident.  Driver and passengers in the stopped vehicle usually do not see or hear the approaching vehicle until impact.  Being able to see ahead, the striking vehicle’s passengers can prepare for impact and brace themselves.  The trunk moves backward into the back rest of the seat, then forward onto the shoulder harness which braises the chest wall and twists the trunk.  The shoulder harness causes more irritation than the seat belt, because the pelvis is better stabilized on its bottom being firmly planted onto the seat cushion.

The muscles that rotate the trunk become injured which initiated a reflex making the muscles that extend and hold the trunk erect to become excessively tight, too.  The resulting muscle spasm effects the middle back through pelvis because the muscles that hold us erectly start in the rib cage and run down to the top of the hip bone right below the belt.  This instinctual reaction, known as muscle spasm, prevents the trunk from moving as it should and it compresses the low back spinal nerves sometimes causing pain which radiates into the legs.  The backward movement of the trunk from the impact rapidly stretches the muscles in the FRONT of the low back, the abdominal and psoas muscles. This prevents us from standing erectly after getting out of the car or sitting for periods of time.  The shoulders compensate for the forward bending while standing by pulling backward which adds even more muscle tightness and pain.

The low back muscles, front and back, are quite large so they drain more energy from the body than neck muscle spasm.  The excessive muscle tightness takes large amounts of nutrients from the blood which decreases the nutrient and energy supply to the organs.  All of us know how draining pain is, additionally, this produces sluggish digestion, fatigue and restless sleep.  Adhesions are excess repair fibers that form in really tight muscles as early as two days after the onset of spasm!  Treating oneself with bed rest and pain killers only compounds the deleterious effects of the spasm and its resulting adhesion formation, because each are left unabated. When lots of adhesions form in muscles from waiting too long to receive therapy after an accident, it becomes more difficult to reduce the spasm, thereafter.  Careful manipulation, massage and physical therapy, which I render, should be started immediately after a car accident.

Do not try stretching on your own or have it rendered by a therapist, because it will irritate the spasm.  Soft-tissue (massage) and physical therapy work best in the initial phase of therapy.  Chiropractic neurologists are well-qualified to treat such conditions not only because of the nerve involvement, but because we have substantial training and experience in massage, physical and manipulative therapies.

Read more at “Health Information” under “Low Back Pain”

Prevent Low Back Pain from Shoveling Snow

Shoveling snow often creates low back pain, leg and shoulder soreness and, at times, neck pain this time of year, especially when the snow is heavy and deep.  To avoid such injuries, shovel with the knees bent and back straight AND alternate the side the shovel is held.  Take breaks often by standing and leaning backward gently and rehydrate with fluids to prevent dehydration. 

It is biomechanically safer to, first, push the snow forward, with two hands on the shovel’s handle, while standing erect.  Then, after a row of accumulated snow is formed, bend at the knees to pick up the white stuff alternating the side the shovel is held every ten scoops.  This minimises forward bending, allows each sides of the body to work equally and reduce the chances of injury.  

Often, we start shoveling with the shovel on the most-favorable side and keep it there for the duration of the job.  The best way to change this habit is to START shoveling on the LESS-FAVORED side.  Remembered to switch sides every ten scoops thereafter. 

Hot epsom salt baths are effective after shoveling, as long as the body is not chilled afterward and shoveling does not resume for several hours.  Stir one cup of the salts, found in supermarkets and pharmacies, into dilution, then lay supine with knees bend for ten minutes in the tub.

If you have any questions about this article or the others at,  “Health Information” link, email

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