Occipital Neuralgia

I treat all sorts of headaches in my Woodbridge, Dale City VA Chiropractic office and I have noticed that many headaches that people classify as migraines are actually not migraines at all. Two of the most common headaches confused with migraines are sinus headaches and occipital neuralgia.

Occipital neuralgia can be debilitating but there are treatments, including chiropractic, that are very effective. Understanding occipital neuralgia can help patients better manage it so they can minimize the pain and symptoms of the condition.

 

What is occipital neuralgia?

Occipital neuralgia is a neurological condition that affects the occipital nerves which run from the top portion of the spinal cord, through the scalp, transmitting messages to and from the brain. There are two greater occipital nerves, one on each side of the head, from between the vertebrae located in the upper neck through the muscles that are located at the base of the skull and back of the head.

While they do not cover the areas on or near the ears or over the face, they can extend over the scalp as far as the forehead. When those nerves are injured or become inflamed, occipital neuralgia is the result. A person with this condition may experience pain at the base of their skull or the back of their head.

 

What are the symptoms of occipital neuralgia?

Pain is the prevalent symptom of occipital neuralgia. It often mimics the pain of migraine headaches or cluster headaches and is described as throbbing, burning, and aching.

There may also be intermittent shooting or shocking pain. Typically, the pain begins at the base of the skull but may radiate along the side of the scalp or in the back of the head. Other symptoms include:

Pain is experienced on one side (but sometimes both sides)

Pain behind the eye of the side that is affected

Tenderness in the scalp

Sensitivity to light

Pain triggered by neck movement

 

What causes occipital neuralgia?

Irritation or pressure to the occipital nerves are what actually cause the pain. This may be due to tight muscles in the neck that squeeze or trap the nerves, injury, or inflammation.

However, much of the time doctors are unable to determine the cause. There are several medical conditions linked to occipital neuralgia:

 

Tight neck muscles

Diabetes

Trauma or injury to the back of the head

Gout

Tension in the neck muscles

Whiplash

Inflammation of the blood vessels in and around the neck

Infection

Neck tumors

Cervical disc disease

Osteoarthritis

 

What are the treatments for occipital neuralgia?

Occipital neuralgia treatment focuses on pain relief. It often begins with conservative treatments that include:

Chiropractic

Rest

Heat

Physical therapy

Anti-inflammatory over the counter medication

Massage

In more severe cases the patient may be prescribed a stronger anti-inflammatory medication, muscle relaxants or in some cases an anticonvulsant medication.

If these therapies are not effective or do not bring about the desired level of pain relief, then doctors may recommend percutaneous nerve blocks and steroids. Sometimes surgery is recommended in cases where the pain is severe, chronic, and is unresponsive to more conservative treatments.

 

Chiropractic for occipital neuralgia

Chiropractic was once considered an “alternative” treatment for occipital neuralgia, but now it is often a regular part of recommended patient care. The advantage of chiropractic over medication or surgery is that chiropractic does not come with the side effects of drugs or the risks of surgery.

 

Another advantage is that chiropractic seeks to correct the root of the problem, not just manage the pain like other treatments.

Chiropractic treatment for occipital neuralgia may include lift adjustments, heat, massage, and traction. This will bring the body back into proper alignment and take the pressure off of the nerves as it loosens the neck muscles.

 

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Doroski Chiropractic Neurology

3122 Golansky Blvd, Ste 102

Woodbridge VA 22192

703 730 9588

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Winter Weather Alert

This recent run of bad weather has even prompted the ACA to issue a back weather alert!  As your Chiropractor in the Woodbridge, Dale City VA area I feel the need to forward it.

 


When snow, ice and frigid weather blast into town, watch out for injuries, advises the American Chiropractic Association (ACA). Winter recreational activities and chores can pose problems for the outdoor enthusiast whose body is not in condition. Winter sports like skating, skiing and sledding can cause painful muscle spasms, strains or tears if you’re out of shape. Even shoveling snow the wrong way, clambering awkwardly over snow banks, slipping on sidewalks and wearing the wrong kinds of clothing can lead to spasms, strains and sprains.

 

Simply walking outside in the freezing weather without layers of warm clothing can intensify older joint problems and cause a pain. As muscles and blood vessels  contract to conserve the body’s heat, the blood supply to extremities is reduced. This lowers the functional capacity of many muscles, particularly among the physically unfit.  Preparation for an outdoor winter activity, including conditioning the areas of the body that are most vulnerable, can help you avoid injury and costly health care bills.

 

Warm Up

Simply put, warming up is essential. When pressed for time, it’s better to shorten the length of your work­out and maintain a good warm-up than to skip it and dive right into the workout. You can complete a good warm-up in 15-20 minutes, and it will make your workout more pleasant and safe. ACA suggests that:

 

Skiing: Do 10 to 15 squats. Stand with your legs shoulder width apart, knees aligned over your feet. Slowly lower your buttocks as you bend your knees over your feet. Stand up straight again. It’s a good idea to wear layers because you may be going from a cold environment (outdoors) to a warm environment (indoors).

Skating: Do several lunges. Take a moderately advanced step with one foot. Let your back knee come down to the floor while keeping your shoulders in position over your hips. Repeat the process with your other foot.

Sledding/tobogganing: Do knee-to-chest stretches to fight compression injuries caused by repetitive bouncing over the snow. While either sitting or lying on your back, pull your knees to your chest and hold for up to 30 seconds.

Don’t forget cool-down stretching for all of these sports. At the bottom of the sledding hill, for instance, before trudging back up, do some more knees-to-chest stretches or repetitive squatting movements to restore flexibility.

 


Shoveling Snow

Shoveling snow can also wreak havoc on the musculoskeletal system. ACA suggests the following tips for exercise of the snow shoveling variety:

 

If you must shovel snow, be careful. Listen to weather forecasts so you can rise early and have time to shovel before work.

Layer clothing to keep your muscles warm and flexible.Shoveling can strain “de-conditioned” muscles between your shoulders, in your upper back, lower back,

buttocks and legs. So do some warm-up stretching before you grab that shovel.

When you do shovel, push the snow straight ahead (don’t try to throw it). Walk it to the snow bank. Avoid sudden twisting and turning motions.

Bend your knees to lift when shoveling. Let the muscles of your legs and arms do the work, not your back.

Take frequent rest breaks to take the strain off your muscles. A fatigued body asks for injury.

Stop if you feel chest pain, or get really tired or have shortness of breath. You may need emergency assistance.

 

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Doroski Chiropractic Neurology

3122 Golansky Blvd, Ste 102

Woodbridge VA 22192

703 730 9588

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Same spare tire, same New Years resolution!

Well we made it!  Like most of you I am dragging a 2017 spare tire into 2018!  Like most of you I will swear to anyone that will listen that I am done with this thing!  If I look closely that spare tire is actually the 2010 model!  Here are a few easy weight loss tips from your Woodbridge, Dale City VA Chiropractor!

Make veggies the star of your meals

Time to load up on those vegetables. I’m talking at least one to two cups (a cup is the size of a tennis ball) at each meal, even breakfast. In addition to being low in calories, veggies are rich in nutrients and high in both fiber and water. By making them the main component of every meal, you’ll eat fewer calories without sacrificing nutrition, and you’ll still feel full.

For breakfast, scramble a few eggs in extra-virgin olive oil, Italian seasoning, turmeric, and black pepper, with a handful or two of chopped veggies, like spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms, and bell pepper; enjoy with a side of fresh fruit. At lunch, opt for a salad rather than a sandwich or wrap. And whip up dinners comprised of “noodles” or “rice” made from veggies (spiralized, chopped, or shredded) paired with a lean source of protein (like salmon, chicken breast, or lentils) and a healthy fat (such as avocado, nuts, or seeds).

Load up on liquids

If you start your day with coffee, go ahead make it the usual way (even if that includes some sweetener). But limit yourself to just one cup. Then switch to water, or an antioxidant-rich, unsweetened tea (iced or hot); and try to have four 16-ounce servings throughout the course of the day. If you’re craving a little flavor in your water or tea, add fresh mint, basil, ginger root, or a bit of mashed berries.

However, be sure to nix any other drinks that contain sweeteners (even zero-calorie versions) or bubbles. The former may stoke a sweet tooth, or wreak havoc on your appetite, while the latter can leave you bloated. Also take note: To ensure a good night’s sleep, stop drinking any caffeinated tea at least six hours before bed. And cut off all fluids, even water, fairly early in the evening to avoid late night trips to the bathroom.

Streamline your snacks

You should really only snack under two circumstances. The first is when you’re truly, physically hungry (and not just bored or procrastinating or in the habit of nibbling at a certain time of day). The second is when you need some nourishment to tie you over between meals. For example, if you have lunch at noon and dinner isn’t till 7 p.m., a healthy snack can keep your metabolism revved, and help stabilize your blood sugar, insulin, and energy levels to prevent overeating later on.

In lieu of processed foods, like chips or sweetened bars, commit to noshing on something more nutritious. Try a golf ball-sized portion of nuts or seeds along with a tennis ball-sized serving of fruit; or a cup of raw veggies (like sliced red bell pepper and cucumber) paired with hummus or roasted chickpeas.

Make dark chocolate your sweet treat

Over the next month, try this simple experiment that’s helped many of my clients in a major way: Build what I call a “dark chocolate escape” into your day. That means enjoying a few squares of high-quality dark chocolate (with at least 70% cacao) during “you time,” without any distractions. So no laptop, no TV, and no phone.

Research shows that a small, daily dark chocolate indulgence curbs cravings for both sweet and salty foods. This trick can help you resist temptation for other goodies. Having one square after lunch and one after dinner may be a smart way to break up your treat, and keep your sweet and/or salt tooth adequately satisfied.

 

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Doroski Chiropractic Neurology

3122 Golansky Blvd, Ste 102

Woodbridge VA 22192

703 730 9588

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Safely start exercising

Keep this handy for January 2nd.  Coming from a person who wears drawstring scrub pants you have to watch it around the holidays.  That being said wait until after them to start exercising.  As your Chiropractor in the Woodbridge, Dale City VA I have to give you some tips so you can start and exercise regime safely.

 

Before You Start an Exercise Program

Before you start an exercise program, there are a few things your need to figure out:

 

Question Yourself

What are your goals?

Lose weight… Increase cardio performance…   But if you’re of a certain age or have certain cardiovascular risk factors, you may need to see your physician before beginning a program that involves vigorous (as opposed to moderate) aerobic activity.

 

Here’s how exercise intensities are typically defined:

 

Low-to-Moderate

Something you can do for about 60 minutes.  Usually included in the 60 minutes is a slow gradual warm up leading to brisk pace.

 

Vigorous

Name says it all.  Usually after 20 minutes of this type of exercises fatigue starts to set in.  Heart rate and breathing significantly increased.

Are you planning to participate in vigorous activities and are a man over 45 or a woman over 55? You should receive a medical exam first. The same is true for individuals of any age with two or more coronary artery disease risk factors. If you’re unsure if this applies to you, check with your physician.

Now the standard questions you need to ask yourself:

A “yes” to any one of the following questions means you should talk with your doctor, by phone or in person, before you start an exercise program. Explain which questions you answered ‘’yes’’ to and the activities you are planning to pursue.

 

Have you been told that you have a heart condition and should only participate in physical activity recommended by a doctor?

Do you feel pain (or discomfort) in your chest when you do physical activity? When you are not participating in physical activity? While at rest, do you frequently experience fast, irregular heartbeats or very slow beats?

Do you ever become dizzy and lose your balance, or lose consciousness? Have you fallen more than twice in the past year (no matter what the reason

Do you have a bone or joint problem that could worsen as a result of physical activity? Do you have pain in your legs or buttocks when you walk?

Do you take blood pressure or heart medications?

Do you have any cuts or wounds on your feet that don’t seem to heal?

Have you experienced unexplained weight loss in the past six months?

Are you aware of any reason why you should not participate in physical activity?

If you answered “no” to all of these questions, and you passed the first round of questions, you can be reasonably sure that you can safely take part in at least a moderate-intensity physical-activity program.

 

But again, if you are a man over 45 or a woman over 55 and want to exercise more vigorously, you should check with your physician before getting started.

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Doroski Chiropractic Neurology

3122 Golansky Blvd, Ste 102

Woodbridge VA 22192

703 730 9588

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Managing Low Back Pain

Low back pain is one of the most common things for people to see a Doctor.  As your Chiropractor in the Woodbridge, Dale City VA area this works out pretty good for me.  Just kidding…  But there are some tings you can do to prevent the low back pain.  One of the best things you can do is stretch.  And stay hydrated.

Here are some daily stretches you can do to keep your back stretched and relaxed so the muscles function correctly.

  1. The Deep Squat

Stand up straight with your arms folded across your chest. Place your feet shoulder-width apart and toes pointing out slightly.  Squat down as far as you can, keeping your heels on the floor. As you squat ensure your weight goes into your heels and not your toes. For a full range of movement, your bum should sit down by your heels and your head should be tall and looking forward. Perform the exercise slowly when lowering down, giving yourself time to keep control and lower all the way – or as far as your range of movement will allow.  Pause for a count of two at the bottom of the squat, allowing your groin area to relax. Your knees should be directed slightly outwards in alignment with your feet. Keeping your knees out, squeeze your gluteals and stand up out of the squat.  Only go as far as you can without any pain. As you perform the exercise regularly you will slowly but surely be able to achieve greater flexibility.  Do this for 2 sets of 10.

 

  1. Knee to Chest

Lie on your back, flex your knees up and do a pelvic tilt so you press your lower back flat to the floor.  Slowly and gently pull your right knee to your chest at a slight angle towards your left shoulder.  Hold for 5 seconds and release back to the bent position.  Then repeat with the opposite leg.  Do this 10 times in alternating fashion

  1. Downward Dog

Place your hands and feet on the floor, shoulder-width apart, knees bent and hips high.  Your heels should be off the floor at this point. Relax your head and neck so you are looking towards your knees.  Do a pelvic tilt so your lower back is arched and your spine is straight.  Now straighten your arms and pull your shoulder blades together. Straighten your knees as well.    You may lose the arch in your low back but don’t allow your lumbar spine to flex.  This will require a good abdominal squeeze to maintain the lumbar arch.  Hold for 30 seconds and relax.  Repeat 5 times.

  1. Spine twists

Sit down with your legs loosely crossed. Pull your back up tall and stick your chest out so that you are sitting upright with perfect posture. Fold your arms across your chest.  Tighten your abs so that your pelvis is stable. Then slowly turn your head and shoulders to one side. Turn as far as you can and you will feel the stretch in the rib area. Hold the end position for a count of two and then turn across to the other side and repeat.  Perform two sets of 10 repetitions each side.

Do not force any of these exercises and if you feel any discomfort stop.  Keeping your low back stretched will help you prevent some low back injuries but routine chiropractic visits with these stretches can help prevent the big injuries.  Of course injuries are inevitable but if your try to prevent the preventable ones you can eliminate a lot of pain from your life.

 

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Doroski Chiropractic Neurology

3122 Golansky Blvd, Ste 102

Woodbridge VA 22192

703 730 9588

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Get rid of your desk chair

If you sit for long periods in your day you already know it isn’t as great as it seems.  Sounds amazing but in reality, it creates more problems and pain.   As your chiropractor in the Woodbridge, Dale City VA area I see tons of sitting related back pain.   A stability ball is a good alternative to the desk chair.   Plus, it helps keep up your core strength and helps with low back mobility.   Here are some benefits of the stability ball from the AFPA.

1.) Burn Extra Calories

As a personal trainer, you may not spend a large portion of your day sitting. However, many of your clients may sit for eight or more hours a day. That’s where you come in. While you probably focus on form and stance during each session, part of being a successful personal trainer is integrating your knowledge and expertise beyond the gym. You must be willing to go the extra mile and offer advice that your clients can take home with them. If your client is interested in replacing the office chair with a stability ball, remind him or her of the added bonus: extra burned calories.

2.) Relieve Back Pain

While you will have to focus on maintaining good posture while sitting on the stability ball, you won’t be as hunched over as you could be sitting in an office chair. But the truth is, sitting on a stability ball isn’t going to bring miracles or completely alleviate any pain you are experiencing. However, with regular exercise and stretching on a stability ball, you may be able to relieve some of the pain you are experiencing. We’ll take a closer look at those options below.

3.) Tone Core Muscles

While we already discussed the negative impacts that sitting in a chair can have on your core strength, did we mention that switching to a stability ball can also help you to sculpt and tone those stubborn abs and obliques? With a stability ball, you are no longer relying on the back of the chair to keep you propped up. Instead you must engage your core, which of course leads to an increase in your core strength. Looking for an extra challenge during the workday?

4.) Induce the Inspiration to Stretch

Maybe it’s just us, but it’s rather difficult as a trainer to sit on a stability ball without taking a break or two during the day to stretch out and relieve some tension. As we stated earlier in the post, the stability ball can relieve some strain you may experience in your back. It can also provide added support when you want to get a deeper stretch that you may not have been able to perform otherwise.

 

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Doroski Chiropractic Neurology

3122 Golansky Blvd, Ste 102

Woodbridge VA 22192

703 730 9588

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Mouse/Tennis Elbow

Elbow pain is commonly called tennis elbow.  But in recent years MOUSE ELBOW has taken it to a new level.  It is the same injury and affects people who have never held a tennis racket.  It is lateral epicondylitis and you get mainly from over use.  Your Woodbridge, Dale City VA chiropractor has some information for you that may explain why your elbow hurts while you are scrolling through this blog.

 

Causes

The part of the muscle that attaches to a bone is called a tendon. Some of the muscles in your forearm attach to the bone on the outside of your elbow.

When you use these muscles over and over again, small tears develop in the tendon. Over time, this leads to irritation and pain where the tendon is attached to the bone.

This injury is common in people who play a lot of tennis or other racket sports, hence the name “tennis elbow.” Backhand is the most common stroke to cause symptoms.

But any activity that involves repetitive twisting of the wrist (like using a screwdriver) can lead to this condition. Painters, plumbers, construction workers, cooks, and butchers are all more likely to develop tennis elbow.

This condition may also be due to constant computer keyboard and mouse use.

People between 35 to 54 years old are commonly affected.

Sometimes, there is no known cause of tennis elbow.

 

Symptoms

Symptoms can include any of the following:

Elbow pain that gets worse over time

Pain that radiates from the outside of the elbow to the forearm and back of the hand when grasping or twisting

Weak grasp

 

Exams and Tests

Your health care provider will examine you and ask about your symptoms. The exam may show:

Pain or tenderness when the tendon is gently pressed near where it attaches to the upper arm bone, over the outside of the elbow

Pain near the elbow when the wrist is bent backward against resistance

An MRI may be done to confirm the diagnosis.

 

Treatment

The first step is to rest your arm for 2 or 3 weeks and avoid or modify the activity that causes your symptoms. You may also want to:

Put ice on the outside of your elbow 2 to 3 times a day.

Take NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen, naproxen, or aspirin.

If your tennis elbow is due to sports activity, you may want to:

Ask your provider about any changes you can make to your technique.

Check the sports equipment you are using to see if any changes may help. If you play tennis, changing the grip size of the racket may help.

Think about how often you play, and whether you should cut back.

If your symptoms are related to working on a computer, ask your manager about changing your workstation or your chair, desk, and computer setup. For example, a wrist support or a roller mouse may help.

A chiropractor can show you exercises to stretch and strengthen the muscles of your forearm.

You can buy a special brace (night splint) for tennis elbow at most drugstores. It wraps around the upper part of your forearm and takes some of the pressure off the muscles.

Your provider may also inject cortisone and a numbing medicine around the area where the tendon attaches to the bone. This may help decrease the swelling and pain.

If the pain continues after 6 months of rest and treatment, surgery may be recommended. Talk with your orthopedic surgeon about the risks and whether surgery might help.

 

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Doroski Chiropractic Neurology

3122 Golansky Blvd, Ste 102

Woodbridge VA 22192

703 730 9588

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HOLIDAY STRESS!!

It is holiday time!  Which means normal stress gets escalated!  Either we are driving more which in this area is a complete nightmare.  Or we are having out of town guests.  Which can also be a nightmare!  Especially when they spend the first 40 minutes telling you how horrible their ride was.  Your Woodbridge, Dale City VA Chiropractor has some ways for you to deal with this extra stress.

 

Tips to Relieve Holiday Stress:

Go for a walk.

The rhythm of walking has a tranquilizing effect on your brain. Shoot for a brisk 20 minute walk each day.

Set a budget.

Overspending is one of the biggest causes of holiday stress. Remember, the best gift you can give anyone is your time and attention.

Get some sunshine.

There’s nothing like a little fresh air and the feel-good serotonin boost we get from the sun to give us a lift.

Stick with your daily routine.

Try to maintain your regular schedule as much as possible. Your body likes routine.

Get a good night’s sleep

It’s more important than ever to schedule enough time to get your zzz’s

Don’t over schedule

It’s okay to say “no” to events that aren’t important to you. Manage your time wisely and remember the time to relax is when you don’t have time       for it.

Stay well.

Though we can’t always dodge those winter germs, remind yourself and your family to take your vitamins and wash your hands.

Eat healthy.

Leave the belly to Santa. Don’t go overboard on sugary cocktails and party treats. Eat a balanced diet with lots of whole grains and veggies and drink lots of water.

Don’t sweat the small stuff.

Let go of the idea of a perfect holiday and enjoy the one you’re having. In the end, it’s all about spending time with the people you love.

Close your eyes and breathe.

Promise yourself more time to savor the best parts of the season and plan to have a worry-free, hurry-free, smile-filled holiday.

 

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Doroski Chiropractic Neurology

3122 Golansky Blvd, Ste 102

Woodbridge VA 22192

703 730 9588

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Neck Stretching

As your Chiropractor in the Woodbridge, Dale City VA area I see lots of neck problems.  Some can be trauma related like a whiplash from an automobile accident but others just seem to come out of nowhere.  The ones that seem to just happen don’t really just happen.  Lots of time it is a forward head posture that sets you up for this mysterious and very painful complaint.    Correcting this posture can help prevent the neck pain in the future.

 

Stiff Neck Treatment Options

With over 70 percent of Americans experiencing significant neck pain at some point in their lives, more and more Kansas City residents are looking for stiff neck treatment options.  A study  in the Annals of Internal Medicine recently found that 6 neck exercises done on a regular basis brought neck pain relief.


The Culprit: Forward Head Posture

Most neck problems are caused by improper posture – both at home and in the office.  An average head weighs 10 pounds when it’s positioned directly above your body, but for every inch the head moves forward, it gains 10 pounds in weight.  This puts an enormous amount of pressure on the neck and upper back and can result in stiff neck, neck pain and headaches.

 

Stiff Neck Treatment Through Chiropractic Care

Stiff neck is often treated by chiropractic care.  Chiropractors examine the joints in the neck to determine what areas are locked up or stiff.  They then restore motion to those joints – freeing up the joint so that your bones can bend and move as your body bends and moves.

Simple stretching exercises can provide relief for people who are experiencing mild or moderate discomfort.

These movements use neck retraction which helps the joints and muscles work together.  The scientists who tested the movements at the Center for Clinical Studies at Northwestern Health Sciences University in Bloomington, MN found that a series of 6-8 times a day may prevent stiff neck from ever occurring.

 

The Six Movements are Listed Below:

Neck Retraction – Bring the head straight back, keeping your eyes forward then return to a neutral position.

Head Drop – Tip your head back as far as it can comfortably go pointing your chin toward the ceiling.  Return to a neutral position.

Side Bend – Reach over the top of your head with your left hand and gently pull your left ear to your left shoulder.  Repeat for the right side.

Rotation – Turn your head to the left so that your nose is over your shoulder.  Return to a neutral position.  Repeat on the right side.

Flexion – Clasp your hands behind your head and guide the head down – bringing your chin toward your the chest.

Shoulder Blade Pull – Bend raised arms at 90 degree angles.  Relax your shoulders and squeeze the muscles between the shoulder blades.

 

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Doroski Chiropractic Neurology

3122 Golansky Blvd, Ste 102

Woodbridge VA 22192

703 730 9588

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Sit up straight!

I can remember doing manual labor during college and envying the guy who sat at his desk.  Now if I sit at mine for more than ten minutes my back hurts, my right shoulder blade area gets a sharp pain, my hand tingles…  Than starts the butt pain!  As your chiropractor in the Woodbridge, Dale City VA area I also hear the same thing from my patients.  Sitting doesn’t have to be painful you just have to makes sure your workstation is correct!

The first step in setting up an office chair is to establish the desired height of the individual’s desk or workstation. This decision is determined primarily by the type of work to be done and by the height of the person using the office chair. The height of the desk or workstation itself can vary greatly and will require different positioning of the office chair, or a different type of ergonomic chair altogether.

Once the workstation has been situated, then the user can adjust the office chair according to his or her physical proportions. Here are the most important guidelines – distilled into a quick checklist – to help make sure that the office chair and work area are as comfortable as possible and will cause the least amount of stress to the spine:

Elbow measure

First, begin by sitting comfortably as close as possible to your desk so that your upper arms are parallel to your spine. Rest your hands on your work surface (e.g. desktop, computer keyboard). If your elbows are not at a 90-degree angle, adjust your office chair height either up or down.

Thigh measure

Check that you can easily slide your fingers under your thigh at the leading edge of the office chair. If it is too tight, you need to prop your feet up with an adjustable footrest. If you are unusually tall and there is more than a finger width between your thigh and the chair, you need to raise the desk or work surface so that you can raise the height of your office chair.

Calf measure

With your bottom pushed against the chair back, try to pass your clenched fist between the back of your calf and the front of your office chair. If you can’t do that easily, then the office chair is too deep. You will need to adjust the backrest forward, insert a low back support (such as a lumbar support cushion, a pillow or rolled up towel), or get a new office chair.

Low back support

Your bottom should be pressed against the back of your chair, and there should be a cushion that causes your lower back to arch slightly so that you don’t slump forward or slouch down in the chair as you tire over time. This low back support in the office chair is essential to minimize the load (strain) on your back. Never slump or slouch forward in the office chair, as that places extra stress on the structures in the low back, and in particular, on the lumbar discs.

Resting eye level

Close your eyes while sitting comfortably with your head facing forward. Slowly open your eyes. Your gaze should be aimed at the center of your computer screen. If your computer screen is higher or lower than your gaze, you need to either raise or lower it to reduce strain on the upper spine.

Armrest

Adjust the armrest of the office chair so that it just slightly lifts your arms at the shoulders. Use of an armrest on your office chair is important to take some of the strain off your upper spine and shoulders, and it should make you less likely to slouch forward in your chair.

 

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Woodbridge VA 22192

703 730 9588

 

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