But He Shouldn’t Be “Cracked”

We recently had a consultation cancelled by an 85-year old man because his medical doctor told him not to see a Chiropractor; he told this gentleman he shouldn’t be “cracked” at his age. My first thought was, why would I ever “crack” an 85-year old man and why would his medical doctor even say I would “crack” him.

As a Chiropractor I understand that the general description of a chiropractic adjustment or manipulation is to call it by the sound it often makes – crack; but Chiropractors do a lot more than just “crack” all their patients. I would say that at least 40% of all my patients do not receive a typical chiropractic adjustment (crack). Instead our office utilizes multiple therapeutic techniques including ultra-sound, electrical muscle stimulation, interferential stimulation, cold laser, spinal decompression, flexion-distraction technic, percussion massage and activator adjusting techniques.  None of which offers the “crack”.

pexels-photo-1635907I also see many patients that do receive traditional adjustments and some of those do not wish to have their neck adjusted or their lower back manipulated. The treatment we perform in the office is very diverse, it isn’t the cookie-cutter “crack” that is often thought of when you visit a chiropractor’s office.

To go back to the 85-year old gentleman who wanted to visit the office and see if we could offer him relief without drugs, it’s a shame he was given such false information and a reinforcement of common misunderstanding that occurs in my office or another chiropractor’s office. We have learned over the years that medicating seniors isn’t the safest option, which could increase confusion and symptoms of dementia. A safe drugless option would be a better solution. One thing I can tell you, the odds that I would perform a traditional chiropractic adjustment on an 85-year old are basically zero.

Our office does receive referrals from medical doctors and many times before the patient arrives the doc will call me to ask what are my methods of treatment.

“Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it.”
Albert Einstein

Until next time,

Dr. Michael Guadagnino, DC

@Dr._Guadagnino        NY NJ Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression Center

 

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Can I be Helped with DRX9000 Spinal Decompression?

Many times when people with back pain enter the office they invariably ask if the big machine in that room can help them. I always respond with “it depends on what is causing your back pain”. Not everyone can be treated on the DRX9000 and not everyone should be treated on the DRX9000 – regardless of what ad you may have seen online or in the paper. I usually explain to the patient that someone has to have a real bad back issue before we consider putting them on the machine.

What is a “really bad back issue” that requires the DRX9000? The first condition we always discuss is a lower back disc injury. Disc bulges and herniations may be a reason someone can be treated on the DRX9000. It is important to assess if the disc is actually causing the lower back or leg pain.  Recent studies have shown that positive disc findings on MRI have a high degree of NOT causing back or leg pain. A thorough history and examination can determine if the disc in question is actually causing the pain.  If it is not, then we do not treat it symptomatically, we may prescribe some exercises to keep that disc from one day causing pain.

12193670_10153079288422007_5420899305940277484_n-2-2Should it be identified that the disc in question is causing the pain, then we need to look further into the patient’s symptoms.  Do they have any stenosis, and if so what is the cause?  As discussed in a previous article, stenosis is just the closing in of a hole; in this definition the hole that the nerve enters and exits. That could be the sciatic nerve or other spinal nerves.  If there is stenosis is it boney or soft tissue?  Boney stenosis is self-explanatory; for some reason a bone is impinging on the hole that the nerve transverses through.  In this case we do not proceed further with DRX9000 treatment.  If it is soft tissue, such as the disc or an adjacent ligament, then spinal decompression treatment is very much indicated.

We follow this process with all lower back injuries to see if they could be treated with the DRX9000. Other injuries that could be helped are facet arthrosis/arthritis (joints that connect one vertebrae to the other that are injured or inflamed) and some forms of scoliosis that cause back pain.

There are true contraindications for spinal decompression which include surgery within the last 6 months, metal implants, mesh and other hardware.  We generally do not treat anyone with the DRX9000 if they have boney central canal stenosis because they have poor outcomes.

Back to the first question, who can be helped with the DRX9000? Someone who may suffer with any of the above issues without the contraindications; in these cases we will consider DRX9000 as a viable treatment option.  If someone cannot be treated with spinal decompression,  we do offer other treatment options and therapies that have excellent out comes; again depending on the results of the full analysis.

Until Next Time,

Dr. Michael Guadagnino, Chiropractic Physician

www.NYNJDRX.com

Competitive Athletes Should be Seeing a Chiropractor, That Goes Without Say.

I received a lot of inbox questions from my last blog “Everyone Who Exercises Should be Seeing a Chiropractor”. A common theme I read is that it is even more important for anyone who regularly competes athletically to get chiropractic adjustments. As stated previously, if you exercise you should see a chiropractor on a maintenance schedule; but if you are a competitive athlete, especially one in-season, you may need to see a chiropractor a couple times a week.

In the last article, I spoke about the stress being placed on one’s body when exercising regularly, but when talking about a competitive athlete you have to add hitting one’s body against ground, pounding against a competitor or expending more energy running?  These types of stresses are compounded, even more so than one would realize.

While playing or practicing in an athletic setting, your body will release endorphins  which act as the bodies natural pain medication.  This is why it is so common not to feel bumps and bruises until long after the game.  As you unwind, your body begins to rest and the output of endorphins eases. The level of insult placed on the body isn’t even realized at times until long after the game; or until someone on the bench tells you about a hit you took and got right back up.

football players

Photo by Joe Calomeni on Pexels.com

Not all sports like, tennis and track are contact sports. Although these sports do put a world of strain on the body; ask any long distance track runner what their body goes through during a meet.  The constant pounding, the pushing of one’s body further and mental anguish of these sports taxes the spine and extremity joints. The sooner full motion can be returned to all the body’s articulations the faster the athlete may recover. The same can be said about all contact sports including football, basketball, hockey, soccer etc. The level of trauma from impact, whether great of small will affect the body in similar ways.  Baseball and softball were not included here but they have their own contact/non-contact stress; whether it is sliding to a base, repetitive throwing of a ball, twisting with a swing or diving for a ball.

Competitive athletes do better when seeing a chiropractor and getting adjusted regularly. In-season I typically see an athlete two times a week; usually a day after their game while they recover, and the day before their next game for complete competitive fluidity. Of course this excludes treatment for true injuries they may suffer, for the sake of this article we are only speaking about optimizing full athletic ability.

Treatment usually consists of some mild therapy to relax the soft tissue musculature then an adjustment.  The therapy varies depending on the athletes body type and sport played; this is all determined at the initial consultation.  A visit typically lasts 10 – 15 minutes, which is plenty of time to get the athlete feeling his or her top self.

The same way an athlete eats right, sleeps enough and exercises regularly chiropractic treatment will enable him or her to reach a physical level of freedom of movement and post-game repair that will ultimately help their game and athletic potential.

 

Until Next Time.

Dr. Michael Guadagnino, Chiropractic Physician

www.NYNJDRX.com

 

Everyone Who Exercises Should Be Seeing a Chiropractor

The object of exercise is to stress your body physically, allow it to heal/repair, strengthen and then repeat.  This would apply for anyone in the entire gamut of those looking for better health to those who are competitive athletes. Whether your activity of choice is aerobic exercises, weight lifting or a little of both, the stresses you place on your frame need help with its repair.

If you break down what you do to your body, you will realize that in exercise you are not only “getting up a good sweat”, but rather you are creating a physiological effect to your entire body.  Yes we understand that the heart pumps faster, the blood moves quicker, there is a rapid exchange or oxygen to carbon dioxide in your lungs, that there is micro tearing in your muscles where such repair allows for growth etc.  There is something else such as a weight load on your joints and the build up of lactic acid that will sit in your muscle tissue; this is not something creating injury but a stressor to your body.

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Let’s break down some exercises and see what they can do:

  • Bench Press – we know this is a great power exercise for the chest but think about the weight that is placed on your mid-back while it supports you against the bench. This would apply to any lying down exercise.
  • Squats – another great power exercise this one for your legs, but that load of weight is resting on shoulders supported by the entire spine.  Same could be said about military presses, as they both create an axial load on your spine.
  • running/jogging – there is constant banging of your joints.  Every time your foot hits the ground your ankles, knees and spine absorb that shock.  It’s always best to run with great sneakers and on a better surface, but there is still impact upon those joints.
  • Bicep curls/Tricep extensions sitting – doing these sitting exercises may cause you to tighten your neck or put undo stress on your mid back as you perform the exercise

All exercises create lactic acid that rests in those muscles you worked until your blood takes these molecules, delivers them to your liver and breaks them down.

No matter how good your form and technique, basic physics says that the force of the weight (from iron or your own body weight) moves through your entire body and rests on the part making contact with a surface..be it bench, chair or running track.

Chiropractic’s can play an important role in the heal, repair and recover phase.  Allowing the spinal and extremity joints to return to their normal ranges of motion allows for faster recovery and more fluidity in those articulations.  More moment means more blood flow which ultimately means reduction in lactic acid clean-up time.  Adjunctive therapies such as ultrasound, electrical muscle stimulation, cold laser, heat/ice etc also moves the lactic acid out faster and increases the effectiveness of joint manipulation.

As some one who has exercised his entire life, and sees a chiropractor regularly for most my life, adjustments make a real difference in recovery and the ability to work harder in my training sessions.  This is a major reason why so many professional athletes utilize the care of a chiropractor and why they attribute it to helping them get back on the field quicker.

If you exercise regularly and have never seen a chiropractor, give one a call. Our office is open 5 days a week which include 3 nights/evenings.

Until Next Time,

~Dr. Michael Guadagnino, Chiropractic Physician

I have Stenosis, what does that mean?

Another catchall phrase, like sciatica is “stenosis”.  This word by definition means the “closing in of a hole.” This interpretation alone can’t offer you back pain, but sometimes the effects of the stenosis may.  To understand how stenosis can cause pain in the back or legs we need to know which holes are being closed.

lateral recess stenosis and foraminal stenosisYour spine has a central hole, or more correctly called the central canal, which runs the entire length of your spine; from the base of your skull to the top of your buttocks.  Inside most of this hole is your spinal cord.  Located on the sides of your spinal cord are 32 pairs of (left and right) “lateral recess” ; which is where the nerves branch off the cord. As the nerve moves out from the lateral recess it pierces through another hole called the foramen (foramen literally means hole in latin).

We all have a central canal running the length of our spine and on the sides are lateral recess which move into the foramen.  By definition these are all holes.  Your spinal cord is located inside the central canal, the spinal nerves branch off the spinal cord and pass through your lateral recesses then out the foramen.   Anything that causes a closing in of these holes can be called “stenosis”.

There are several types of stenosis.  A slipped disc could move into a place that closes off a hole and be called stenosis.  A ligament could become scarred or calcify and create stenosis. The vertebrae could develop arthritis which may causes stenosis.  A vertebrae may shift creating what is called a spondylolisthesis which could causes stenosis.  The point, stenosis isn’t a diagnosis, it is more like a symptom of an underlying cause.

Some types of stenosis may be easy to correct, where others may be much more difficult.  Saying you have “stenosis” doesn’t fully answer the “why” or the “how” it may be treated.  MRI reports now explain the cause of the stenosis, which allows the doctor to know a correct course of treatment.  Only with a complete and precise diagnosis can true treatment options and risks vs. benefits be honestly discussed.

Don’t let anyone tell you your diagnosis is stenosis, there is an underlying cause. By knowing this cause treatment can be rendered that may fix or offer relief for your “stenosis”.

~Dr. Michael Guadagnino, Chiropractic Physician

What Actually Is “Sciatica”?

Often times people who are suffering with either back pain, pain in the leg or a combination of both will call the office and say they have “sciatica”. This has become a catchall phrase but does not really tell the doctor what is actually wrong with their back or leg.

Ounnamed-18ur lower spine has nerves that branch off and head down the legs.  Some of these nerves go to the thigh, others into the groin region while others make their way all the way down to the leg to the foot.  This bundle of nerves is called the sciatic nerve.  Anything that irritates or insults these nerves can be called “sciatica”.

Knowing the pattern of the pain, or where the pain travels to (the ankle, the knee or the top of the foot etc.) allows the doctor to understand where to begin the examination.  If the nerves are irritated into the upper leg region, this would lead the doctor to begin the examination at the upper lumbar spine area. If the pain goes down the leg into the back of the ankle, this would be an indication to check the lower lumbar region.  Like wise for any number of pain patterns.

The sciatic nerve may also be irritated from a muscle in the buttocks. Often times this occurs with weight lifters, blue-collar workers and other people who use their hips and body doing strenuous activities. The sciatic nerve may also be impinged in the lower leg, at the knees or anywhere else along its course down the body.  Finally the nerve may be affected in the lower back as well as in the leg, creating what is commonly called a “double crush syndrome” meaning the nerve is injured in more than one area.

When a patient conveys this information verbally the doctor may begin to focus in and locate the causes of the “sciatica“, which as mentioned above could be many.  Some of the causes of sciatica may be an injured disc (slipped, bulging, herniated), arthritis, taught lumbar musculature, sacroilliac joint issues, lumbar facet syndrome…..as well as a few others.

The point being made is that sciatica is a blanket name for anything affecting the sciatic nerve. Reasons for these symptoms must be identified as the cause has many layers and many diagnoses. There is no single “treatment for sciatica” rather sciatica is a red flag to any practitioner that something is assaulting the nerve, a clear and concise diagnosis needs to be made and treatment that falls within the parameters of the diagnosis will get the patient out of pain and back to pre-injury status!

~Dr. Michael Guadagnino

www.BackPainRamsey.com

 

 

Don’t Wrench Your Back Raking Leaves

The leaves have been taking their time coming down this fall. This has people scrambling to get them off their lawn before the holidays. That makes it even more important that you do not do anything that will hurt your back.

As the cliché goes “lift with your legs”. The same is true when it comes to raking. Don’t IMG_2634bend over to reach the leaves, squat with your legs; let your quads and hamstrings do all the work, not your back muscles, joints and discs.

Step towards the leaves, don’t bend over reach for them. This bending, and especially twisting puts a lot of torque stress on your lower back.

Take breaks and drink water. With December raking you may not feel hot or feel you need a drink. Your body is still working and muscles (even leg muscles) need the occasional break along with rehydration to prevent injury and cramps. As I tell all my patients who participate in cold weather sports, you MUST drink water to keep yourself hydrated.

We’re getting to the end of the year, the last thing you would want to do is hurt your back. Follow these easy raking instructions for good back health. If you ever need our services we are located at 161 N. Franklin Tpke in Ramsey, NJ – 201-825-6601.

~ Dr. Guadagnino

http://www.ChiropracticRamsey.com              www.ChiropracticRamsey.org

http://www.BackPainRamsey.com                    www.ChiropracticRamsey.org

Dr. Guadagnino Selected as One of (201) Magazine Bergen’s Top Chiropractors of 2017

Congratulations to Dr. Michael Guadagnino, DC of Ramsey, NJ for being selected as one of (201) Magazine Bergen’s Top Chiropractors of 2017

(201) Magazine is proud to present the results of the third annual Bergen’s Top Chiropractor survey, conducted by Professional Research Services (PRS) of Troy, Mich. IMG_2614PRS contacted each licensed and active chiropractor within Bergen County. PRS asked those chiropractors in an exclusive peer-review online survey which chiropractors they would recommend, other than themselves across the county. Each Chiropractor was allowed to recommend up to three colleagues. Once the ballots were complete, each nominee was carefully evaluated on the basis of the survey results, the legitimacy of their license and their current standing with the State Board of Chiropractic Examiners. Chiropractors who received the highest number of votes in chiropractic medicine are featured in the Top Chiropractors for 2017.

~(201) Magazine November 2017 issue page 96.

http://www.ChiropracticRamsey.com  www.BackPainRamsey.com   http://www.ChiropraticRamsey.org   http://www.ChiropractorRamsey.org

Low Back Surgery – A Last Resort

Once you cut you cannot uncut……that’s the truth.

Once a spine is fused, you cannot un-fuse it, or once a spine under goes a laminectomy you cannot return the cut bone to your body, the same as with laser disc surgery or arthroscopic spine surgery etc. So often people with lower back pain and/or sciatica think they need surgery, when there are plenty of other options. Choices that if tried could spare a person from the hospital stay, the operation and often failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS).  If all other non-invasive options are expended, then the final resort can be surgery.

One of the other options is non-surgical decompression with the DRX9000. We were one of the first offices in New Jersey to treat patients with the DRX9000; we started in February 2006. The treatment involves a series of visits aimed at restoring the injured lower back structures and moving them off the pain causing nerves. Once the nerves are free of any pressure they can heal and allow the patient to live pain-free.

If you suffer with lower back pain and/or sciatica you are welcome to a FREE consultation to see if DRX9000 treatment can help you. We will perform a free consultation and evaluation to find the underlying cause for your low back pain and/or sciatica. Should you have any MRI’s or x-rays you may bring them in so we can do a complete evaluation (although MRI’s and x-rays are not required for the consultation and evaluation).  Call the office at 201-825-6601 for your FREE office visit.  We are located at 161 N. Franklin Tpke in Ramsey (half way between Main St and the Interstate Shopping Center).

~Dr. Michael Guadagnino, DC

If you ever lose bowel or bladder function associated with lower back pain and/or sciatica this is a medical emergency and you need to call 911.

 

 

Being Treated by a Chiropractor is Not a Lifetime Commitment

A common question we are asked, do I need to see you forever?

Patients treated in our office are relieved of their pain, given some exercises to do at home then released. Our policy is NOT to treat patients forever.

The overwhelming numbers of patients that enter our office come in for aches or pains; which could vary from headaches, neck pain and back pain or disc injuries. This office’s modus operandi is to do a thorough consultation and examination; then determine if chiropractic can help the patient. If the answer is yes we put together a treatment plan to help the patient return to pre-injury status; if not we will refer that patient out to an appropriate physician.

Once we begin the treatment plan honest goals are set and the patient will know approximately how long it will take before they are back at full strength. As soon as they have reached those goals, and the patient can return to their daily activities without pain they are discharged. We do not treat people forever.

There are those few patients that may have an active work schedule, or are athletes and need regular tune-ups because of the constant impact they put upon their spine. Otherwise patients come in, they get treated and they return to their life, many times never to be seen in the office ever again.

So the next time anyone states that once you start with a chiropractor you need to see him forever, remember not in this office!

Dr. Guadagnino, DC