Inside this Issue
The #1 cause of low back pain
Sprains: What are they? How to know if you have one
Dr. Wohar to attend insurance seminar
Back pain and Belly Fat
Losing Belly Fat 1 pound per week
DVD recommendation: “Stretching”
Thanks for your referrals
Sacroiliac Joint Sprains: The Number 1 Cause of Low Back Pain
Its springtime and that means yard work, gardening, sports and outdoor fun and recreation! It also has meant flare-ups or episodes of low back pain for many of you. The most common cause of low back pain involves overstretching or tearing of the ligaments holding your tailbone (aka SACRUM) and hips (aka ILII) together. Injuries to ligaments are called SPRAINS. Sacroiliac joint ligament sprains are a common occurrence at this time of year. Their frequency far surpasses that of disc herniations and bulges, which are usually the long-term consequence of untreated sacroiliac joint problems. With that in mind, let’s review what these joints are and how to know if they are causing your low back pain:
Are YOU experiencing the #1 cause of low back pain?
The most common condition I treat in the office, without question, is Sacroiliac Joint Syndrome . It involves one or both of the joints near the dimples of the lower back which connect the hipbones to the tailbone. These joints are supported by some of the strongest ligaments in our bodies because we use them constantly while walking, bending, twisting, and getting up and down. Despite their strength, sooner or later, constant wear and tear leads to injury.
Sacroiliac injuries can be extremely painful and restricting. Common symptoms of sacroiliac syndrome include pain while getting up after sitting or sleeping, difficulty in activities such as going up or down steps, getting into or out of the car, rolling over in bed, gardening, and twisting activities such as swinging a golf club or baseball bat. Pain occurs primarily in the low back, though sciatica (pain in the leg) frequently accompanies it.
Common signs include a short leg, one hip higher than the other, muscle weakness, spasms, or imbalances in the low back, hip or knee. Disc problems often develop because malfunctioning sacroiliac joints increase the stress on the discs, resulting in bulges or herniation.
Fortunately, sacroiliac problems are easy to identify and generally respond exceptionally well to chiropractic care. They occur in both children and adults. They are nearly as epidemic as cavities in teeth!
Sacroiliac syndrome is clearly the most common condition I see as a Chiropractor. Keeping the sacroiliac joints functioning well with periodic chiropractic adjustments is essential to a healthy, active lifestyle .
How can you tell if you have a sprain?
Ligament injuries can be extremely painful and restricting. Simple movements will be difficult or even temporarily impossible. Diagnostic testing such as MRIs and x-rays have limited usefulness in diagnosing sprains.
Muscle strains are usually not as severe as sprains. If a muscle is hurt, your ligaments can still hold you together. Tear your ligaments, however, and your body is in a crisis. That’s why even strong pain pills and muscle relaxers typically give very minimal relief with sprains. Your body “wants” you to feel the pain to keep you from doing things which could make the problem worse. The spasms, likewise, serve a protective function to stop you from further damaging the injured area.
Dr. Wohar to attend insurance seminar June 14 th
As most of us are aware, there are a lot of changes happening as a result of the implementation of Obamacare. Many of us are experiencing significant hikes in our insurance premiums while at the same time seeing our deductibles increase to thousands of dollars. At the same time, insurance companies appear to be cutting their costs by covering fewer services. They are requiring more and more documentation for even the most basic services. All of these changes have resulted in confusion and frustration for many Americans.
In order to keep up with these changes and help you receive the benefits you should be entitled to under your insurance plans, Dr. Wohar will be attending a seminar in June that will review the changes imposed by Obamacare and what must be done to receive the coverage due to you according to your insurance contract. We will pass along any useful information to you in an upcoming newsletter .
Colleen’s last day in the office on Monday, May 19 th
We announced in April’s newsletter that Colleen is leaving after 4 years of service in the office. Her last day will be Monday, May 19 th . I have appreciated all of her help, reliability and computer savvy! This year alone, she was instrumental in the office beginning to accept credit cards, offer Wi-Fi in the waiting area and upgrade our overplayed, outdated music to Siriusxm! So now her easy job will be done and her harder and more rewarding work continues, as she devotes more of her time to her two little ones! I am grateful for all her efforts and wish her the very best.
Congratulations to our Pittsburgh marathon runners!
This year a record number of you participated in the Pittsburgh marathon. Good job! The weather was perfect. It is inspiring seeing your self-discipline and commitment to an active lifestyle. You have me thinking about getting a good pair of running shoes and joining along in the future. Congratulations!
Office Closed May 22 nd thru Memorial Day, May 26 th
The office will be closed Thursday, May 22 nd thru May 26 th . Dr. Wohar will be driving out to Chicago to visit his daughter Stephanie. She will be performing in 3 different shows during his visit! Many of you remember Steph’s early years running around the office and then working out front on Saturdays. Now she is working hard in the Windy City pursuing her dream of making it to Broadway!
While away, you may call Dr. Steve’s brother, Dr. John Wohar, at 724-684-4551, if you need to be seen during Dr. Steve’s absence. The office will resume normal hours on Tuesday, May 27 th .
B ack pain and Belly Fat
Are you carrying around a few extra pounds in your midsection? If so, this may be contributing to your chronic low back pain or other back pain flare-ups. Being overweight or obese has been shown in The Journal of Epidemiology to have the strongest correlation when seeking care for low back pain or chronic low back pain.
Carrying extra fat around the midsection causes excessive strain and pull on the spinal column and pelvis; the spine compensates for the extra weight by tilting and stressing unevenly and the pelvis rotates forward causing an unnatural curvature of the spine. This instability of the spinal column is what may cause sudden herniated discs or sprains while performing basic tasks, such as household chores or picking up small objects.
Extra weight also is typically accompanied by weak abdominal and low back muscles. If the abdominals are weak, the excess strain of belly fat pulls the spine forward and down, the lower back muscles then shorten to compensate and the spine forms an unnatural deep curve in the lower region, often pinching nerves or causing disk bulges.
Losing Belly Fat 1 Pound per Week!
Looking for ways to lose just 1 pound per week? Research tells us that to lose 1 pound per week, we have to burn 3500 calories per week. This boils down to about 500 calories a day less than our normal routine. Investing in and regularly using a good stationary bike is a great way to burn calories. You can burn approximately 315 calories in 30 minutes of pedaling at a medium speed, or burn approximately 470 calories at an up-tempo speed in 30 minutes a day. Wow! You’re almost there! To account for the difference in calories, try cutting out one of the following food/drink choices each day to reach that 500 calorie goal:
1 can of soda ≈ 140 calories
1 Snickers candy bar ≈ 280 calories
1 can of beer ≈ 150 calories
Or, if you are a regular at McDonald’s, 1 Big Mac ≈ 550 calories!
There are 3 key components to healthy joints:
Of these three, flexibility is perhaps the most overlooked. Tight, tense muscles around joints limit mobility and leave us feeling stiff. Getting into a regular stretching habit can lengthen and relax stiff joints and muscles. While there are numerous aids available, one I would recommend is a DVD titled “Stretching” by Bob Anderson. It may seem a little outdated. However, this DVD goes over stretching in a slow, well demonstrated format. 3 or 4 routines are offered, each taking 15 minutes or less. It is a good DVD for beginners, like myself.
The DVD is available on Amazon.com for $19.95. You may also purchase the companion paperback book for $11.27.
Thank you for your referrals!
We hope you find the office to be a warm, caring place in which you find relief from your pain and get the help you need to live a healthier, happier life. For us, the office is a pleasant place to work because of all the nice people who come here. We believe the office environment is overwhelmingly positive because it is nearly 100% referral driven. That means almost everyone here has a friend or family member who cared enough to steer them this way. We deeply value and appreciate your confidence and trust and try our very best to help those you refer get the results they desire. Thank you!