How Should You Warm-Up?

I spoke on my Vlog earlier this week about the difference between a “warm-up” and a “stretching protocol”. Both are commonly referred to as stretching such as when a coach tells his/her players – “stretch before you come to bat”. A Stretching Protocol involves a group of exercises with the intent to elongate the muscles and improve ranges of motion in a more permanent manner. This could include a yoga program or a series of stretches all meant to combat taut muscles and decreased joint motion; which can develop from the course of daily living or may develop from a hypertonic exercise program. The Warm-up is meant to prep your muscle and joints to prevent injury and maximize athletic performance. The purpose of this blog is to explain the different types of Warm-Up stretches.

An example of a static stretch

There are basically two types of warm-up stretches: Static Stretches and Dynamic Stretches. A Static Stretch is when the action is held for a period of time. It doesn’t matter if it is pulled, leaned on or if someone else is doing the work for you; such as when one person lifts the stretchers leg up to aid the hamstring muscle. Isometric exercises are also consider a static stretch because they hold the position. These types of exercises stretch the muscle in a particle linear range of motion in hopes to increase circulation, remove lactic acid and break up micro-adhesions.

A dynamic stretch: walking hamstring stretch

The Dynamic Stretch is when the stretch is an actual movement which puts the joint through a full range of motion. Examples include squat stretches, hip swings, pendulum shoulder exercise and even some ballistic movements. These exercises are best performed prior to an athletic event as many of them duplicate the activity the athlete will be performing prior to getting on the field.

When I prescribe rehabilitation exercises I first start with mild static stretches. These exercises are an important aid with healing as they encourage the soft tissue cells to line-up in the manner that they were anatomically meant to be, as well as slowing or preventing the development of scar tissue. As the patient improves I begin to introduce dynamic stretching which fire certain nerve cells and moves the healing into the next level of improvement. It is important during rehab that each stretch is introduced at the correct time and nothing is tried too early.

Warming-up prior to any athletic action, which includes working-out is very necessary. There have been some studies that found static stretching done too close to when the athlete is to perform could actually dampen the performance, and that dynamic stretching is the preferred pre-game stretch. Either way it is important that you warm-up properly and sufficiently no matter how much time it takes, or how much of a drag it may seem. It is always BEST to prevent any injury.

Until Next Time,

Dr. Michael Guadagnino

Chiropractic Physician

To reach Dr. Guadagnino at his Ramsey, NJ office: DrMGuad@gmail.com and follow him on Instagram @Dr._Guadagnino

credit: my daughter for being the model for this blog.

Vitamin D….it’s not Boring it’s Important

What is it that can help boost your immune system, enhance brain activity, be an important anti-oxidant and is necessary for calcium to absorb into your body? If you read the headline, you would know it is Vitamin D. One study even showed that decrease levels of vitamin D made people more susceptible to contracting COVID-19, but more follow up studies are necessary. (1)

Vitamin D, like all vitamins are essential to your metabolism, but are chemicals that we cannot synthesize ourselves. That means we have to obtain it from an outside source. Other than eating Vitamin D tablets or foods that contain this vitamin, we can get a good source of Vitamin D from the sun. Sunlight creates a biochemical process in your body that will produce Vitamin D. This is why it is common for people who live very north to be deficient of Vitamin D during the winter months.

Some other good sources of Vitamin D include fish oils especially from salmon. Dairy foods contain Vitamin D but is a bit controversial as to the pH of dairy foods and whether this allows for absorption through the digestive system. There are some excellent plant based sources of Vitamin D such as mushrooms, particularly portobello, maitake, morel, button, and shiitake. Soy products like tofu are another great plant based source for D.

Helping combat the aging process, Vitamin D is necessary in fighting osteopenia and osteoporosis. Calcium absorption requires a healthy level of D. (2) This vitamin also helps in maintaining good muscle tone and strength, and helps to prevent muscle wasting which could come with advanced age.

As we see there is nothing boring about Vitamin D. It is an essential nutrient and vital in many aspects of health and staying young. If you are unable to acquire Vitamin D from your diet or sunlight, there are always supplements. Speak with your health care professional to recommend a good brand for you. As with all dietary supplements, if you are taking any medications please check with your prescribing doctor before beginning any regime. Doses vary depending on the purity and how the product is made, so follow the instructions on any bottle.

Until Next Time,

Dr. Michael Guadagnino

Chiropractic Physician

To reach Dr. Guadagnino at his Ramsey, NJ office: DrMGuad@gmail.com and follow him on Instagram @Dr._Guadagnino

  1. Can vitamin D protect against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)? – Mayo Clinic
  2. Vitamin D, calcium homeostasis and aging – PubMed (nih.gov)

Dr. Michael Guadagnino, DC

Multiple Links that May be of Help for You……..

Blog Page click picture for latest article

#FitnessOver50 click the picture

Lower Back Pain click the picture

Carpal Tunnel Pain click the picture

Pregnancy Back Pain click the picture

YouTube Page click the picture

Random Articles where Dr. Guadagnino was published:

Coach Guad Recognized – The Oakland Journal

Roll Tribe – The Oakland Journal

Oakland Recreation Commission Chair Mike Guadagnino Credits Dedicated Volunteers for Success of Past Projects, and Shares Vision for Future Ones | Borough of Oakland NJ (oakland-nj.org)

Oakland’s New Roller Rink in Only 2 Years……and Using No Oakland Tax Payer Dollars | Borough of Oakland NJ (oakland-nj.org)

Your New Great Lawn | Borough of Oakland NJ (oakland-nj.org)

Subtle Character Along Oakland’s Walking Path | Borough of Oakland NJ (oakland-nj.org)

June 7th 2014 – Possibly the Greatest Day in Oakland Recreation History! – The Oakland Journal

Stop Your Brain From Slowing Down After 50

“I’m over 50 and my mind doesn’t feel as sharp as it once did.” Have you ever heard this or even thought it to yourself? It is not imagined, as we age our thoughts and reactions begin to slow as we hit that half century mark. Over time our brains, like our other body parts begin to wear, and just like our muscles, joints and other organs, we can slow this trend with a just a few lifestyle changes.

The phrase “if you don’t use it you’ll lose it” is very much true. The brain needs to be constantly stimulated and exercised. By making the cortex work you are forcing those neurons throughout your brain to fire and not be dormant. Some of the best ways to exercise the brain is by reading, doing puzzles and involving yourself in intellectual discussions. Keep yourself thinking, learn something new but whatever it is don’t become a couch potato glued to the television or your smart phone.

Another aspect of brain wellness is to get enough sleep. I know that sounds good in theory but the reality is we live in a high pace “rat race”, especially if you work, are raising kids or enjoy grandkids etc., life doesn’t always afford the luxury of getting “your 8-hours” every night. You may try catching a catnap during your lunch time or at another break during the day. A quick 15-20 minute rest can do wonders for your daily sharpness and mental acuity.

Don’t forget exercise. I harp on movement all the time, but for brain health exercise has shown to be a real benefit. As you exercise you move your blood throughout your body, raise your heart rate, expand oxygen intake to all your cells and increase your endorphins. Any form of training enables you to help your nerves build new pathways and enhance your ever present motor memory. Don’t ever take for granted the power of physical effort; it works more than just your muscles. If you need help on what exercises to start doing, you can always begin with some basic stretching, as can be found on my You Tube Page.

Always keep you nutrition in mind. Junk foods, unhealthy snacks and other toxins force our bodies into clean-up mode as opposed to building and developing. There are specific things we can ingest that may help the brain such as essential fatty acids or specific herbs, but in the bigger picture we should not load our body with pollutants. It takes a strong will-power to combat the urge but the best way to fight it is to not keep these things in the house.

The one thing I tell all my patients regardless of condition or diagnosis, don’t ever get frustrated, don’t beat yourself up, keep the eye on your goals and stay focused. Work on increasing your memory, focus and sharpness….you can do it!

Until Next Time

Dr. Michael Guadagnino

Chiropractic Physician

To reach Dr. Guadagnino at his Ramsey, NJ office: DrMGuad@gmail.com and follow him on Instagram @Dr._Guadagnino

*Make sure you have checked with your doctor before starting any exercise program

Getting Fit Over 50

I’ve heard from people who want to get in better shape, want to get healthy but… really have no idea how. There is no shame in asking for help and no shame in admitting you want to change your lifestyle. So where to start?

It is always best to know where you are, so you can lay out a path to where you want to be. I tell my patients to first get a calendar book; a nice big book that allows for a lot of writing on each date. Then for the next 3-weeks, without judging yourself, write down everything that goes into your mouth both food and drink. Don’t be shy write EVERYTHING in this book.

I say 3 weeks as it will give you a good baseline, but as you write you will start to see what you should and shouldn’t be eating. As you evaluate, you can create a food plan that fits your goals. As you change your eating habits you will notice those hunger pains. The objective here is to change the perception as to what those pangs mean. Don’t think of them as hunger, think of them as the sign that you are losing weight. Look forward to being hungry, if you really work and focus on this new paradigm, you will actually look forward to being hungry, believe it or not.

So you evaluated your diet, made changes to what you are consuming, time to start moving. You may have been in shape when you were younger, you may have lifted weights, or possibly you really haven’t done much exercise most of your life……it doesn’t matter. We’re talking about getting fit after 50-years old, you can start fresh today.

The first thing you can do are some basic stretches. Allow your joints and muscles to move, get your blood circulating and lymph nodes to work harder. I have a great basic stretching video on my You Tube channel that introduces some very basic yet very effective stretching exercises. *As you feel a bit better with the stretching, move on to some mild walking. As you walk you will begin to expand your lung capacity and circulate your blood throughout you body. As you move along you can begin a more intense exercise plan, but the bottom line you have started your way onto your Fitness Over 50 plan.

It is never easy to get started on a new venture, even if it involves your health and fitness. Don’t get frustrated, don’t beat yourself up, keep the eye on your goals and stay focused.

Until Next Time

Dr. Michael Guadagnino

Chiropractic Physician

To reach Dr. Guadagnino at his Ramsey, NJ office: DrMGuad@gmail.com and follow him on Instagram @Dr._Guadagnino

*Make sure you have checked with your doctor before starting any exercise program

Can CoQ-10 Help Slow the Aging Process? And what exactly is CoQ10?

A little known coenzme manufactured in your body is called CoQ-10 or ubiquinone. This compound is stored in every cell of your body in a place called the mitochondria; which is the powerhouse for energy production in the cell.  As we age the production of CoQ10 decreases in essence making the cell work harder to create the necessary energy for the cell as well as well creating oxidative damage.

Decrease in the body’s production of CoQ10 has been found to accelerate ageing in certain organs. Heart disease specifically muscle damage as found in heart failure has been linked to decrease levels of CoQ10. Research (1) on 420 people with heart failure who were treated with supplemental CoQ10 for two years showed improved symptoms and the risk of dying reduced. There have been further studies (2) on CoQ10’s positive effects with heart disease. 

In the same way returning normal levels of CoQ10 in your cells may help the heart it can be helpful to the skin (3). Our skin is exposed to a number of environmental factors that weather and age it. CoQ10 can help in the repair of not only the outer layers but of the collagen that supports the skin.  It also acts as a strong anti-oxidant to prevent all kinds of diseases such as diabetes (4), cancers (5) (6) and brain issues (7).  It is not a wonder drug, rather it’s a supplement that along with healthy living can help reverse oxidative stress (8) as well as energize the cells of your body and possibly slow the aging process altogether.

CoQ10

When someone begins ingesting CoQ10 as a supplement it takes 3-months before any benefit is realized. The lag time is because your body will not store CoQ10, rather it utilizes it immediately. The body needs to return to it’s normal levels before it begins to repair and move forward.

As with all supplements, if you are taking any medications please check with your prescribing doctor before beginning any supplement regime. Doses vary depending on the purity and how the product is made, so follow the instructions on any bottle. For the highest quality of CoQ10 visit a reputable vitamin or nutrition center. The tablet itself should be in a gel form as it is oil soluble. 

Until Next Time,

Dr. Michael Guadagnino

Chiropractic Physician

To reach Dr. Guadagnino at his Ramsey, NJ office: DrMGuad@gmail.com and follow him on Instagram @Dr._Guadagnino

  1. The effect of coenzyme Q10 on morbidity and mortality in chronic heart failure: results from Q-SYMBIO: a randomized double-blind trial – PubMed (nih.gov)
  2. Contemporary Drug Development in Heart Failure: Call for Hemodynamically Neutral Therapies – PubMed (nih.gov)
  3. Topical treatment with coenzyme Q10-containing formulas improves skin’s Q10 level and provides antioxidative effects – PubMed (nih.gov)
  4. Novel CoQ10 antidiabetic mechanisms underlie its positive effect: modulation of insulin and adiponectine receptors, Tyrosine kinase, PI3K, glucose transporters, sRAGE and visfatin in insulin resistant/diabetic rats – PubMed (nih.gov)
  5. Low plasma coenzyme Q(10) levels and breast cancer risk in Chinese women – PubMed (nih.gov)
  6. Plasma coenzyme Q10 levels and prostate cancer risk: the multiethnic cohort study – PubMed (nih.gov)
  7. Evaluation of coenzyme Q as an antioxidant strategy for Alzheimer’s disease – PubMed (nih.gov)
  8. Oxidative stress, redox signaling, and autophagy: cell death versus survival – PubMed (nih.gov)

What is Sciatica?

Often times people come into my office saying they have “sciatica”. Their complaint could be leg pain, possibly back pain or even buttock pain. The word sciatica has become such a catch-all-phrase, that many really don’t know what it represents. I hope to explain it, as it is a very specific type of pain, but could be caused by a number of factors.

What actually is the sciatic nerve? There are specific nerves branching off the lower spinal cord. Starting at the 4th lumbar spinal nerve to the 3rd sacral nerve these 5 nerves come together to form two pairs of sciatic nerves; one down each leg.

This joining of the nerves or “sciatica nerve” is very large and as thick as the width of your finger. It then travels down the back of your leg. Branching off these sciatic nerves are other smaller nerves that go to the various parts of your leg: the groin region, your knee, the ankle, your foot etc. These nerves touch every part of the leg including the muscle, bone and all the leg skin except for the area around your thigh. When this nerve is irritated pain, discomfort or numbness may be felt anywhere along these nerve paths. Knowing the exact path allows me, or any other doctor to identify which part of the nerve is affected.

So sciatica is a diagnosis that means irritation of the sciatic nerve. It still does not say why your sciatic neve is hurting, only that there is some sort of dis-ease affecting it. Some of the issue that could cause sciatica are a pinched nerve in the leg, a disc injury in the back, lumbar stenosis, spasm in an adjacent muscle as well as a few other causes.

Should you ever suffer with sciatic pain, just know it is not a diagnosis labeling the cause of the injury, all it really describes is the type of pain you are in – i.e.: discomfort in the leg. A full consultation and examination will identify why your sciatica nerve is in discomfort which is…..why you are experiencing sciatica.

If you or someone you know is suffering with sciatica there is help; give us at the office (201) 825-6601 for an evaluation.

Until Next Time,

Dr. Michael Guadagnino

Chiropractic Physician

To reach Dr. Guadagnino at his Ramsey, NJ office: DrMGuad@gmail.com and follow him on Instagram @Dr._Guadagnino

How Do You Treat the Elderly or Others Who May Need a Very Gentle Treatment?

The headline is a common question I get from family members who would like to help their parents, grandparents or others who may be physically compromised. All adjustments and all treatments are different. Everything I do in my office is specifically tailored to the individual and I never “treat a diagnosis”, I always treat the person. Multiple people may have the same type of condition but one is a 50 year old office worker, another is an 18 year old athlete and yet the other is an 85 year old retiree. I cannot give them all the same type of treatment. This post answers, how do I treat an older person?

On my initial assessment prior to putting together any treatment protocol is to evaluate the structure of the individual. What is their muscle tone; do they have tight muscles, flaccidity, are they hypertrophic? What is their skeletal integrity; are they bent over, do they have osteopenia/osteoporosis, are wheel chair bound? What is the level of their daily activity; do they walk daily, exercise or are they basically sedentary? These are just some of the questions I ask myself during the examination period.

Once the assessment has been made and if it is determined they need something more gentle of a treatment I can use a variety of therapies. Typically with a senior I try to stay away from using heat. Hot packs could create burns especially if the patient is unable to truly feel the heat. Very importantly, if the the individual has any type of electrical heart device such as a pacemaker or defibulator the use of any electrical therapies (EMS, U/S) are strictly contraindicated. So what can I use?

There are several therapies that can be uses such as the percussion massager and AISTM for soft tissue treatment. I can also us a gentle table distraction treatment that allows for mobilization of the lower back. The most gentle way I find to adjust or mobilize the spinal segments is with an activator instrument.

The activator is a gentle device that allows for an adjustment and segmental mobilization without creating the common “pop” or “crack” when used. The activator doesn’t “cavitate” the joint which is the most effective way to get immediate relief, but it does help to restore range of motion. This treatment is also used on younger people if they have an injury that creates massive muscle spasm, such as a whiplash injury. I have been treating patients with the activator for over 30 years and find its use to be a great alternative when that alternative is needed.

If you know of someone who might be a little fragile realize there is help for them; we can help, give the office a call at (201) 825-6601 for an evaluation.

Until Next Time,

Dr. Michael Guadagnino

Chiropractic Physician

To reach Dr. Guadagnino at his Ramsey, NJ office: DrMGuad@gmail.com and follow him on Instagram @Dr._Guadagnino

Help for Headaches!

First the disclaimer is that we are certain the headache is not from a tumor or anything organic.

We live in a society filled with lots of tension and strain; over the past year we have seen these stress levels escalate. Physically we hold our tension in the upper back and neck region, which is why a shoulder rub always feels good. This negative strain on our cervical-thoracic area has lasting effects on our health…. such as headaches.

Many headaches can be clearly pinpointed to the back of the skull and/or the neck.  Joint disfunction in the one or many of the neck joints creates nerve irritation that send pain signals to the back, front or side of the head.  It could also cause pain in the back of the eyes; you know that feeling when your head is pounding and you just want to close your eyes. Adding to this combustible cycle are the small muscles at the base of the skull, which when tightened can increase neck joint disfunction.

As discussed in previous blogs, when “noxious” information is sent in to the spine, noxious information is then sent out of the spine via the nerves.  As an example, if you are under a lot of stress, this information will be sent into the spine.  The nerves coming out of the spine will then send that signal out to the body causing muscle tightness, lack of joint mobility and pain.  If this happens in the neck those nerves that perceive pain travel to the head. Depending on how your pain is perceived it could feel like a vice around your head, or pain over an eye or aching in the back of the head.  If something isn’t done to alter this process, you may suffer with chronic headaches.

A chiropractor will reset these spinal joints through and adjustment (manipulation) and stop the noxious information from being sent into the spine.  By resetting the neck joints and restoring the regular motion, headaches are reduced. If this is a chronic situation where you get headaches often, repeated chiropractic adjustments may be needed to fully reset the spinal nerves.

In our office headaches are one of the most common conditions we treat. We start with a full analysis to see your neck joints show any disfunction and if so, what would be the best way to restore normal range of motion.  Chiropractic is a painless, drugless treatment for headaches.

If you are suffering with headaches and would like to do something about it give the office a call at (201) 825-6601 for an evaluation.

Until Next Time,

Dr. Michael Guadagnino

Chiropractic Physician

To reach Dr. Guadagnino at his Ramsey, NJ office: DrMGuad@gmail.com and follow him on Instagram @Dr._Guadagnino

References:

1.Dysafferentation: A Novel Term to Describe the Neuropathophysiological Effects of Join Complex Dysfunction. A Look at the Likely Mechanisms of Symptom Generation Manipulative Physiol Ther 1998 (May); 21(4): 267-280, David R. Seaman, DC and James F Winterstein DC

2. Evidence based guidelines for the chiropractic treatment of adults with headache. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2011; 34: 74-89.     Bryans R, Descarreaux M, Duranleau M, et al.

3. Chiropractic & Manual Therapies 2019 (Dec 18); 27: 65 
Dein Vindigni, Laura Zark, Tobias Sundberg, Matthew Leach, Jon Adams, and Michael F. Azari

4. The management of common recurrent headaches by chiropractors: a descriptive analysis of a nationally representative survey BMC Neurol 2018 Oct 17;18(1):171. doi: 10.1186/s12883-018-1173-6. Craig Moore, Andrew Leaver, David Sibbritt, Jon Adams