SOCC
South Orange Chiropractic Center

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60 1st St
South Orange, NJ 07079

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Open: T 9pm-11pm

973-761-0022
 
60 1st St  |  South Orange, NJ 07079  |  973-761-0022

Wellness Blog

The blog for South Orange Chiropractic Center, South Orange NJ

About the Sigma Ultralign Adjustment

The Non-Manual Chiropractic Adjustment

About the Sigma Ultralign Adjustment
Published Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Many people avoid chiropractic treatment because they have anxieties or fears about the bending, the quick movements, and the cracking sounds that are traditionally associated with chiropractic. This is unfortunate. So many people that could benefit from chiropractic care opt out and either suffer reduced range of motion, pain or rely on painkillers to get by.

That’s where the Sigma Ultralign adjustment system comes in. This high-tech chiropractic care system has the potential to change many people’s perspective on what chiropractic is and what chiropractic can do. Read on as we discuss what the Sigma Ultralign adjustment system is and what it can do for you:

What is the Sigma Ultralign Adjustment?

The Sigma Ultralign is a computerized chiropractic adjustment system that uses specialized software and adjustment tools to gently and accurately reset skeletal joints and nerves. This takes sudden movements, fear, and potential physical strain out of the chiropractic adjustment process.

How Does the Sigma Ultralign Adjustment Work?

To start, the patient is seated in a specialized treatment chair. The chiropractor holds a handheld sensor instrument over the affected areas. This measures the joint and soft tissue stiffness, providing immediate feedback via the computer workstation. The instrument is then switched to a treatment mode, providing gentle force to adjust the area with precision.

What Sort of Measurements Can the Sigma Ultralign Do?

The Sigma Ultralign measures the mobility/stiffness of the soft tissue (muscles, tendons, ligaments) as well as joints. The system also measures and displays the motion dynamics of the affected area – and it also shows the area before and after treatment.

With this information, the computerized system can pinpoint the adjustment needs and deliver accurate, gentle treatment to the area.

Does the Sigma Ultralign Adjustment Hurt?

No. The Sigma Ultralign Adjustment is designed to deliver a gentle, precision treatment, without pain. The amount of pressure administered is controlled digitally by the computer and is customized to your specific needs based on the analysis of your mobility/stiffness.

The doctor can, of course, make manual adjustments to the pressure and positioning of the instrument if they feel the need. All of this will be a gentle process, with you sitting in a special chair. No bed/laying flat required.

 

I Understand the Sigma Ultralign Adjustment is Performed in a Chair. Do I Have to Lay Down?

Nope! The Sigma Ultralign Adjustment treatment is delivered while you are seated in a specialized C-posture treatment chair that is expertly engineered for comfort and precision use of the instruments.

This style of treatment is especially great for those who have trouble laying down, getting up from laying down or moving around comfortably on a standard chiropractic adjustment table.

What Types of Conditions Can Be Treated With the Sigma Ultralign Adjustment?

The Sigma Ultralign Adjustment can treat the same conditions that are treated with standard, traditional chiropractic adjustments. For adults and children, this machine provides treatment of lower back pain, neck pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel syndrome, frozen shoulder, and other shoulder mobility issues, knee and ankle pain, headaches, degenerating disks, and foot pain.

Is The Sigma Ultralign as Successful In Treating Pain as a Normal Chiropractic Adjustment?

Absolutely. Treatment with the Sigma Ultralign delivers fantastic results with a highly controlled, gentler adjustment than a traditional chiropractic adjustment, with immediate feedback given to both the doctor and patient via the computer, as once the adjustment has been done, the Ultralign retests the area treated to ensure the adjustment has been done effectively.

How Do I Get A Sigma Ultralign Adjustment?

If you are in the South Orange, Maplewood, Milburn, Summit, or West Orange, NJ area, contact us at South Orange chiropractic for an appointment today!

Building Your Core Strength - Why & How

Building Your Core Strength - Why & How
Published Tuesday, 04 June 2019

When you think about core strength, you envision a flat stomach or six-pack abs. However, core strength goes far beyond looking good in a swimsuit and focuses on more than the abdominal muscles. Our core consists of multiple layers of muscles and not just the abdominals.

What Is the “Core?”

When you hear “core strength,” your mind likely goes straight to that image of a bikini-clad woman in an ad for the latest ab gadget infomercial. While she may, in fact, have a strong core, there are many more components to core strength beyond having washboard abdominals.

The core muscles are found in multiple layers and include muscles in the hips, lower back, chest, and of course, abdominals. These muscles act as stabilizers, allowing you to move and balance properly.

Benefits of Developing and Maintaining a Strong Core

There are many life-improving benefits to having a strong core, from preventing falls to reducing back pain and many points between. Some of the more important benefits are:

Balance and Stability: Your core’s primary function is to stabilize your trunk and offer a strong functional base for your arms and legs, which do a more dynamic movement. A strong core at its most basic function allows you to walk, sit, get up from sitting, lay down flat, and get up with ease.

Injury Prevention: Research has shown that people with increased core stability have a lower risk of injury. The increased strength in the core muscles provides protection against injury to the spine in everyday situations.

Pain Reduction: A body that is held in proper alignment by strong core muscles will be less prone to back and neck pain. A weak core forces other muscles that aren’t suited for the job to jump in and compensate, which can cause further instability, muscle strains, and pain – most commonly the lower back.

Better Posture - Better Breathing: A strong core helps you hold your body in good alignment, which over time lessens the wear and tear on other muscles. Good posture also allows for better, deeper breathing.

Strength and Speed in Sports and Other Exercises: Beyond the basics of helping you easily move throughout your day without fear of injury, having a strong core can help you perform better in sports and other exercises. A strong core can help you run faster, move better overall, and even lift heavier weight - helping you be more efficient in the sport overall.

Basic Moves to Improve Core Strength

As we’ve established, core strength goes beyond the abdominals alone, so to develop core strength, you’ll need to go beyond the standard “ab exercises” of crunches or sit-ups. Here are a few basic full core exercises that you can do at home:

Plank Holds: Place your forearms on the ground, with elbows in line with the shoulders, and arms parallel to your body, shoulder with apart. Push toes into the floor, squeeze your glutes, and stabilize yourself with your head, back, and legs in line. Hold for 20-30-60 seconds as you become more comfortable.

Hollow Body Hold: Lying down on your back with your arms overhead, contract your abdominals, pushing your belly button to your spine. Slowly raise your shoulders and legs up from the ground.

Refer to this video for a detailed demonstration: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VyrUmzIHmzw

Side Planks: Beginning in the plank position, rotate your body so that you are resting on one arm and foot, the body now perpendicular to the floor. Keep your middle tight as you hold your body straight in this position. Repeat with the other side.

Bird Dog: From the plank position, reach one arm straight out in front of you and the opposite leg straight out behind you, stretching and stabilizing, keeping your trunk still and straight.

Refer to this video for reference on these three exercises: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ql8qf61rCDo

Single Leg Glute Bridge: Lying on your back with both heels close to your bottom, knees up. Extend one leg, and squeezing the glutes, raise your hips to parallel with your knees, keeping both hips even.

Refer to this video for reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4iIHsttaac

Superman Hold: Lying face down with arms stretched out overhead (as if you are flying like Superman), squeeze your glutes and back to raise your chest and legs off the floor. Keep your head neutral, looking down. Release and repeat.

Refer to this video for reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4iIHsttaac

Of course, if you have any questions about if any of these exercises are appropriate for you, would like to discuss modifications or alternatives to these exercises, or you’re wondering how core strength can benefit you specifically, connect with us at South Orange Chiropractic Center.

Make an appointment today!

The Powerful Practice of Mindfulness and Its Unexpected Benefits

The Powerful Practice of Mindfulness and Its Unexpected Benefits
Published Wednesday, 15 May 2019

We’re all so busy. From the minute we wake up until we finally collapse into bed (perhaps only a few hours before needing to get up again), our days are often rigidly scheduled. With work, family, and personal priorities, it can be nearly impossible to find quiet time to just sit, breathe, and pay attention to ourselves.

You’ve probably heard people talk about mindfulness. Perhaps you wonder whether it might be a useful antidote to being perpetually “on the go” and feeling rushed most of the time. Maybe you’ve heard the term in discussions about meditation or seen social media posts about it. You haven’t followed up to see what, exactly, mindfulness is--after all, you’re scheduled for two meetings in the next 15 minutes and then have to run to a dentist appointment. 

We want to take at least one thing off your plate today. We’re going to tell you what mindfulness is, share with you some of its benefits, and a few ways that you can practice it. We know you’re busy, but this will only take a few minutes of your time--we promise! And, one of the great things about mindfulness is that doesn’t have to be a time-sensitive activity, either.

What is mindfulness?

When someone tells us to “be mindful” of something or someone, they are telling us to be careful, and to pay attention to ourselves, others, and our surroundings. Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you practice mindfulness, you pay attention to what you are sensing or feeling, without interpretation or judgment. You become aware of, and acknowledge your current state of being, your thoughts, and your feelings without allowing yourself to get distracted by them.

When you practice mindfulness, you focus on being in the present moment rather than thinking about what you had for breakfast this morning, an argument you had yesterday, or what you are going to do after dinner or the meeting you have next week. Spending time worrying about the past, trying to plan for the future, continually problem-solving, daydreaming, or getting bogged down in random thoughts can be draining. 

Those behaviors can also make you more likely to experience stress, anxiety and symptoms of depression. Engaging in mindfulness can help you shift your thinking away from these potential pitfalls and, instead, allow you to engage with your immediate surroundings.

What are the benefits of mindfulness?

There are many possible benefits of mindfulness, including:

  • Reduced stress, anxiety, and depression
  • Less negative thinking and distraction
  • Improved mood
  • Improved overall health
  • Better ability to cope with rejection and social isolation
  • Offers a healthy way to identify and manage hidden emotions that may be causing problems in our relationships

Sounds great! How can I effectively practice it?

Glad you asked! There are numerous ways that you can practice mindfulness. Here are three:

Idea #1: Engage your senses

Use all of your senses (or as many as possible) to engage with the world around you. For example, where are you sitting as you read this? Are there other noises in the room where you are? Is a delicious-smelling meal cooking? It might seem silly at first, but by paying attention to what your senses are telling you, you are focusing on yourself in the present, and not on the future or the past.

Idea #2: Focus on your breathing

Read this over, and then close your laptop or put your phone down: 

Sit in a quiet place with your back straight, but relaxed. Feel your breath move in and out of your body. Let your awareness of everything else fall away. Pay attention to your nostrils as air passes in and out. Notice the way your abdomen expands and collapses with each breath. When your mind wanders, gently redirect your attention to your breath. Don't judge yourself for getting distracted. You're not trying to achieve something specific, only be aware of what's happening around you.

Idea #3: Pay attention to others

At work, you’re likely to interact with lots of people throughout the day. The next time you talk with someone, pay attention to their words--what they mean, and what the person’s intention is. Focus on listening to understand what another person is telling you, rather than on being ready to respond quickly, possibly with judgement or criticism. 

You should aim to practice mindfulness every day. Start with one week, then try two, then try a month, and so on. Over time, you may discover that it becomes easier to do. Remember, don’t judge yourself if you forget a day or two (or ten), or if you find yourself easily distracted. 

The amount of time that you spend practicing it depends, of course, on your schedule and what activity you are going to do. You may have only a few minutes in the morning to actively focus on your breathing before getting ready to go to work, but discover that you enjoy it and are able to make more time at night. If you want to focus on paying attention to others, that will depend, of course, on the length and content of your conversations, as well as how many people you are able to speak to during the day. But a good starting point may be for 15 to 20 minutes, four to eight times a day.


How can the doctors at South Orange Chiropractic Center help you? Contact us today to set up an appointment.

Poor Posture Affects More Than Your Appearance

Poor Posture Affects More Than Your Appearance
Published Monday, 29 April 2019

The way you stand or sit isn’t just about the way that you look. We all grew up hearing “Stand up straight” or “Don’t slouch. Sit up!” from our parents or teachers. The way we sit, stand, and even sleep impacts the health of our bodies and minds. 

Good posture isn’t something we always think about. However, the effects of poor posture are so significant, it’s probably time to start. The negative impact of poor posture affects much more than your appearance. It can lead to high blood pressure, digestion issues, increased headaches and much more. While some effects take time to show, it’s best to develop good posture habits now.

What is posture?

Posture is the position in which you hold your body while standing, sitting, or lying down. Good posture, as defined by the American Chiropractic Association, is “the correct alignment of body parts supported by the right amount of muscle tension against gravity.”

This is accomplished via the postural muscles, which includes muscle groups like your hamstrings and back muscles. They help maintain your body’s position and balance while sedentary and in action.

6 Effects of Poor Posture

Poor Posture Effect #1: Knee and Foot Pain

Poor posture can create aches and pains or make already achy knees and feet worse. The malalignment of your spine puts extra stress on your legs. Through poor posture, you are forcing your body to carry weight and move in a way that it wasn’t designed to do. This stresses your joints, muscles and bones. 

If you already suffer from arthritis, over time, additional weight and stress will make it worse and cause increasing pain.

Poor Posture Effect #2: Poor Air & Blood Circulation

Slouching your body, rolling your shoulders forward, or rounding your back impacts your body’s circulation; from your breathing to blood pressure. This particularly impacts those that may be sitting for longer periods, such as at a desk or in the car.

Getting up to move regularly throughout the day and being aware of your sitting posture can help your body’s blood flow improve. Poor blood flow can result in high blood pressure, varicose veins, as well as poor breathing and oxygenation.

Poor Posture #3: Digestion & Constipation Issues

Similar to the impact on blood circulation, being in a slumped or slouched position impacts the way that your internal systems function. A weak core or abdominal muscles, and thus poor posture, results in your intestines being squeezed together. This can impact your digestion and your bowel movements, potentially resulting in constipation issues.

Poor Posture #4: Increased Headaches

Typically when we think of posture we think of the position of our spine, shoulders, and hips. However, your head positioning can also be impacted. With poor posture, the head can be placed slightly forward and over time resulting in stiff muscles in your neck, back, and shoulders. Those tightened muscles can get strained causing occasional or frequent tension headaches if posture isn’t improved.

Poor Posture #5: Decreased Energy & Worsening Depression

Posture can affect more than just your body physically. Mentally, posture can affect your energy levels and can even make depression worse. Not only does it impact the way that others see them -- less approachable and less motivated -- but it also affects their own personhood. Multiple studies have found that people with slouched posture are less focused, have lower confidence and less energy.

Although good posture has not been proven to eliminate depression, it can make existing depression worse. In a study by the University of Auckland in New Zealand, “for severe, disabling depression, sitting posture is not likely to make much of a difference. But for mild or moderate depression, sitting up straight may help patients manage their mood and be more productive.”

Poor Posture #6: Fatigue

Studies have also verified the connection between posture and fatigue. Physically, through good posture, your body has improved blood and air flow; your muscles are not working against their intended movement, and our joints and ligaments are bearing less stress. Poor posture requires extra energy to maintain. It’s inefficient and exhausting.

Tips for Improving Your Posture

Developing good posture is a matter of breaking an old habit and developing a new one. This requires you to actively think about the way you carry your shoulders, head, and spine.  Here are some quick tips to help you improve your posture.

 

  • While sitting, keep your feet on the floor or on a footrest.
  • Don’t cross your legs in a sitting position. Your knees should be at or below the level of your hips.
  • Keep your head up. If you are texting or working at a computer, keep your vision up by moving the devices instead of tilting your head down. That will reduce the strain on your neck muscles.
  • In a standing position, keep most of the weight on the balls of your feet.
  • Stand straight and roll your shoulders back to prevent slouching.
  • If you are standing for a long time, occasionally from your toes to your heels, or from one foot to another.  
  • Avoid sleeping on your stomach. Sleeping on your side or back can be more helpful.
  • Adding a special pillow for your knees or head can also improve your posture.

Chiropractic sessions target the body as a whole and can improve your general state of health and wellbeing by boosting your pain-coping capabilities, straightening your spine, and allowing you to battle daily stressors in a more effective manner.

We want to help! Contact the doctors at the South Orange Chiropractic Center today to set up an appointment.

Food As Medicine?

Preventing Chronic Disease With Simple Nutrition Changes

Food As Medicine?
Published Wednesday, 24 April 2019

We all want to be our healthiest selves and, if possible, prevent chronic diseases from developing at some point in our lives. The prospect of living healthier is attractive, of course, but it can be overwhelming because we aren’t quite sure where to start and how to alter our routines.

There are simple nutrition changes that you can make today that can help you prevent chronic diseases. All they require is a quick trip to the grocery store, your local farm stand, or even your own garden.

Chronic Diseases: What are they?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explain that chronic diseases are “defined broadly as conditions that last 1 year or more and require ongoing medical attention or limit activities of daily living or both.”

Some of the most common are heart disease, cancer, chronic lung disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and chronic kidney disease. 6 in 10 adults live with a chronic disease; 4 in 10 live with two or more. They are the leading causes of developing disabilities or dying.

How can food help prevent chronic disease?

Make sure that you are eating a balanced diet of fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean meats, and low-fat dairy products. Getting regular exercise, quitting smoking, and limiting alcohol consumption are also helpful behaviors in the prevention of chronic disease.

We’re going to give you 6 tips for what you should avoid and what you should eat more of to help you prevent chronic disease.

Tip #1: Reduce red meat and processed meat

We know that lots of people love a cold-cut sandwich for lunch and a great burger or steak for dinner. However, reducing or eliminating red meat as well as processed meats is one way to prevent cardiovascular disease (CVD).

According to research presented by Dr. Michelle McMacken during 2018’s American College of Physicians Internal Medicine Meeting, if you eat no meat, you’ll have a 24% to 29% decreased risk of mortality and a 32% decreased risk of cardiovascular disease incident cases.

Processed meat can increase your chances of developing type 2 diabetes by 37%. Consuming 100 grams of red meat per day increases a person’s risk of developing colorectal cancer by 17%. 50 grams of processed meat per day increases the risk by 18%,

What can you eat instead? Try:

  • fish
  • chicken and turkey
  • nuts
  • beans
  • low-fat dairy products
  • whole grains

Tip #2: Eat less sugar and salt

We know that sugar and salt are incredibly hard to avoid and they make foods taste delicious, but try to be mindful of how much you are consuming every day. Sugar is empty calories, and contributes to risks for developing diabetes, coronary artery disease (CAD), and weight gain that can lead to obesity. Limiting salt (sodium) will lessen your risk of developing high blood pressure which is a risk factor for stroke and coronary disease.

Tip #3: Don’t consume more calories than you need

Many of us eat because we enjoy it (beyond being hungry), and because there are some foods that we love. One way to limit unnecessary consumption of food (and, so, calories) is to add more fiber to your meals.

Adding only 14 more grams of fiber to your daily meals will help you reduce your caloric intake by 10%–18%, according to Dr. McMacken. Rather than focusing on what you might have to actively choose to not eat, by consuming more fiber, you will reduce your hunger naturally, and it will be easier to avoid eating when you aren’t actually hungry.

Tip #4: Eat more fruits and vegetables

Some people love fruits and veggies, while others aren’t as excited to eat them, we know. If you can get them fresh from your garden or local farm, they will be more likely to be more flavorful than fruits and veggies that have been picked, packaged, stored, and shipped to your grocery store. The more you can eat, the better.

Dr. McMacken points out that two-and-a-half servings of fruits and vegetables a day lowers your risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) by 8%, having a stroke by 16%, and dying of anything by 10%. If you love fruits and veggies, you’re really in luck, because seven-and-a-half daily servings are associated with a significant 14% reduction in total cancer risk. Eating fruit daily can also decrease your risk of developing diabetes. If you currently have diabetes, eating fruit daily can lower your risk of complications or mortality.

Tip #5: Eat whole grains

The fiber from whole grains has been associated with lower risks of coronary artery disease and type 2 diabetes. Whole grains also reduce your risk of developing colorectal cancer and whole cancer mortality by 17%, according to Dr. McMaken’s research.

Again, because fiber makes you feel fuller quicker, you are less likely to continue eating when you aren’t hungry. That is a great way to help you maintain or lose weight, preventing obesity, which is a contributing factor to many chronic diseases.

Tip #6: Eat more unsaturated fats and omega-3 fats

Unsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature can improve cholesterol, lessen inflammation, stabilize heart rhythms and reduce the risk of developing coronary artery disease. They are found in various plant sources.

There are two types of unsaturated fats: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated.

Great sources of monounsaturated fats are:

  • Olive, peanut, and canola oils
  • Avocados
  • Nuts such as almonds, hazelnuts, and pecans
  • Seeds such as pumpkin and sesame seeds

Great sources of polyunsaturated fats are:

  • Sunflower, corn, soybean, and flaxseed oils
  • Walnuts
  • Flax seeds
  • Fish
  • Canola oil (again!)

Omega-3 fats are a type of polyunsaturated fat that the body cannot make. Fish, flax seeds, walnuts, and canola and soybean oil are great sources of omega-3 fats.


ChooseMyPlate.gov is a website created by the USDA that offers resources, meal suggestions, and tips to help you create nutritious meals to help you maintain your health. If you have questions about your wellness journey, we’re here to help! Contact us today.

How Do You Know if You Have Scoliosis

How Do You Know if You Have Scoliosis
Published Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Many people assume that scoliosis begins at a young age, but the onset can happen at any age.  Local lore about what causes scoliosis should be disregarded. Childhood sports injuries cannot cause scoliosis, nor can carrying heavy backpacks or bad posture. Unfortunately, it is unclear what causes scoliosis.

Mild scoliosis may have few or no symptoms and can go undetected for years particularly in adults.  School screenings are often unable to spot the initial warning signs of scoliosis in children.

What is Scoliosis?

The spine has a natural curve that helps you bend and move.  When you have scoliosis, your spine curves more than it should.  It forms a C or S-shape. The angle of the curve may be small, large, or somewhere in between.  But anything that measures more than 10-degrees is considered scoliosis.

Usually, the curve is mild and doesn't affect your appearance or health. Yet it can get worse over time.  Typically scoliosis affects the mid-back area and lower back (lumbar) portions of the spine.

What are the Risk Factors?

Although relatively little is known about the risk factors that can cause abnormal spine curvature to develop, there are a few risk factors associated with a less common type of scoliosis, called structural scoliosis.  In structural scoliosis, the curve of the spine is rigid and cannot be reversed.

These causes include:

Also, scoliosis appears to involve hereditary factors, because the disorder tends to run in families.  

Adult Scoliosis vs. Juvenile Scoliosis

Symptoms differ in kids and adults.  Because scoliosis can occur in kids and adults, it is important to know what to look for.

Adults

Older adults who develop scoliosis typically have adult degenerative scoliosis.  In this form, degeneration, or aging of the discs and joints in the spine occurs asymmetrically, causing tilting and even slipping between the vertebrae. As this degeneration descends from one level to the next, a curve of the spine can develop. This form of scoliosis primarily affects the lumbar spine.  As you get older, wear and tear damages the bones and joints in your spine. The discs that sit between them begin to break down. As this happens, the disks lose height and start to tilt. This causes the spine to curve.

Scoliosis causes these symptoms in adults:

  • Uneven shoulders and/or hips
  • Bump in the lower back
  • Numbness, weakness, or pain in the legs
  • Trouble walking
  • Trouble standing up straight
  • Tired feeling
  • Shortness of breath
  • Loss of height
  • Bone spurs: bony bumps in the joints of the spine from bone and joint damage
  • Feeling full quickly while you eat. This is because your spine is putting pressure on your belly.

Juveniles

Early prevention depends mainly on parents. A home scoliosis test should be performed if you believe your child is at risk of developing the condition.  Scoliosis is most likely to afflict:

  • Kids ages 8 to 14 (during growth spurts).
  • Girls, who are eight times more likely to get scoliosis than boys.
  • Those with thin or lean body shape.
  • A child whose parent or sibling has scoliosis.

Every child with scoliosis is different.  Some don’t have any symptoms. Others have very obvious ones, including:

  • Their shoulders are two different heights.
  • Their head doesn't look centered with the rest of the body.
  • One hip is higher than the other or sticks out.
  • Ribs are pushed out.
  • When standing straight, the child’s arms don't hang down straight next to the body.
  • When bending forward, the two sides of the back are different heights.

The symptoms might worsen as the child grows, so it’s important to consult a doctor right away.

Treatment

Early detection is key. If the curve has already progressed to near 30-degrees, that’s far too late for early intervention. Surgery is necessary when the magnitude of the curve exceeds 45-degrees and when no other treatment has worked to prevent the progression of curving of the spine.

Chiropractors can address symptoms or issues a patient may be experiencing associated with scoliosis, preventing further degradation of the spine. Although traditional chiropractic procedures do not correct, cure, or reverse scoliosis— unfortunately, there is no cure for it— a chiropractor specializing in scoliosis understands the complexities of a sclerotic spine and will be able to help treat mild scoliosis.

Want to find out how to maintain a healthy spine? Contact us to find out which therapy is right for you.  With a team of skilled chiropractors focused on the total health of your spine, South Orange Chiropractic Center is committed to finding the right solution to alleviate your back pain.

How to Lift Things Without Ending Up in the Emergency Room

How to Lift Things Without Ending Up in the Emergency Room
Published Wednesday, 27 March 2019

This scenario is one you’ve probably experienced before.

You go to pick up something bulky to move it--maybe a small end table, perhaps a box of garbage to bring out to the curb, or maybe your collection of summer lawn decorations. Just as you’re about to pick up the table, box, or plastic flamingo collection, someone else says emphatically, “Be careful!” Or, “Don’t forget to bend your knees!” Or, “Watch your back!”

You roll your eyes, sigh, say, “I know!” Or, “I’ve got it!” But, you make sure to bend your knees, to be as careful as possible, and to pay attention to any protesting from your back. Later on, you might notice that a slight twinge, but you think, “Hey, I didn’t break it, so I’m fine.”

While we agree that not breaking your back is definitely a win, we’d like to share with you the proper lifting technique.

How to Properly Lift an Object in 7 Steps

Step #1: Plan your route


This is probably common sense, but we’ll say it anyway. Before you begin to lift anything, plan the path that you’re going to use to move it. Make sure there’s nothing in the way that you’ll need to step over (or could trip over).

If you think that you might need help, try to enlist aid before you pick up the object so that you all can work together.


Step #2: Get as close as possible to the object


You’ll want to position yourself as close as possible to the object that you are lifting. It requires more force to hold an object that is further away from your center of gravity. That end table does not get heavier if you hold it at arms’-length from you rather than closer to your chest. But, it requires more force to hold it up, which will require more work from your lower back.


Step #3: Get into a half-kneel


You’ll want to get into a half-kneel behind the object, resting one knee on the floor, the other bent in front of you. Don’t lift starting from a standing position with your waist bent or your knees locked.


Step #4: Tighten your core and maintain the natural curve in your lower back


Tighten your core muscles--the muscles in your abdomen, back, and pelvis. Lift the object between your legs, maintaining the curve of your lower back. Keep breathing normally— don’t hold your breath. Keep holding the object close to you and rest it on your bent knee as you get ready to stand up.

You can also squat to lift the object rather than kneel. In this case, you’ll still want to stand as close to the object as possible to start. Move it between your knees as you squat. You can keep your feet parallel to each other or put one slightly in front of the other.


Step #5: Use your leg muscles to lift the object


As you stand, whether you were kneeling or squatting, make sure to keep your core muscles tight and to maintain the natural curve in your lower back. Use your leg muscles to lift the object.

Please note: Do not twist your body as you are lifting the object. Step to the side if you need to turn.


Step #6: Use your feet to change direction and lead with your hips


Once you have lifted the object, make sure to keep it close to your body. Use your feet to change direction, and take small steps. Lead with your hips, keeping your shoulders in line with them as you move.


Step #7: Squat as you put down the object


Slowly and carefully squat with your knees and hips only as you set down the object. Try not to drop it on your feet!

Next time someone tells you to watch your back while you’re lifting and moving something, you can say, “I know,” with confidence! Now you will be sure that you do, in fact, know what you’re doing.

Are you experiencing back pain after improperly lifting something? We want to help! Contact the doctors at the South Orange Chiropractic Center today to set up an appointment.

What are the Blue Zones, and what does it mean for our longevity?

What are the Blue Zones, and what does it mean for our longevity?
Published Wednesday, 13 March 2019

The National Geographic Society has recently published some shocking findings: they’ve located regions in the world where the “World’s Healthiest People” live long into their nineties, and many into their hundreds. These areas have been coined “Blue Zones,” where clusters of people live, disease free, happy, active, and fulfilled.

In an increasingly busy world focused on technology, these Blue Zones seem like an anomaly. We are immersed in our phones, we eat lunch at our desk, and we are always busy, but we also know more about our bodies than we ever have. So what do the people who live in these Blue Zones know that we don’t?

Exactly what is a Blue Zone?

There are five zones throughout the world that are considered Blue Zones. In these zones the average number of centenarians is much higher than anywhere else in the world. The life expectancy is higher, but why? And where are they?

Blue Zones can be found in parts of Europe, Latin America, Asia, and the United States. They include the following “official” Blue Zone locations:

  • Ikaria, Greece
  • Loma Linda, California
  • Sardinia, Italy
  • Okinawa, Japan
  • Nicoya, Costa Rica

These are not the only locations, however. Other Blue Zones have been pinpointed in Pakistan, Ecuador, the country of Georgia, and elsewhere. What do these regions have in common? The residents of these locations live quantifiably longer, healthier lives, frequently past the age of 100. For example, in most regions of the world, people have a 1 in 100,000 chance of living to turn 100 years old. In Okinawa, however, 1 in 2,000 live to see more than one century.

Older people who live in these areas are healthier, more active, more youthful, and more energetic, and as a whole, the populations of these Blue Zones incur less diseases like diabetes, cancer, and other ailments that most in the western world associate with aging.

The Secret of the Blue Zones

The longevity seen in these Blue Zones is not a geographic phenomenon. In fact, just 15 kilometers from Ikaria, where they claim that sometimes they just “forget to die,” Greeks living in Samos have a very different life. High-rise buildings, resorts, and million-euro homes pack the island, which is filled with hustle and bustle, and purportedly, a higher focus on material possessions and celebrations. Ikarians refer to the neighboring island as a “me”-focused place, not an “us” place.

What exactly leads to longer, healthier lives in these Blue Zones? A Blue Zone life is filled with simple joys, simple foods, community, and an active, driven life. They work to keep their bodies strong and their minds sharp. Those living in Blue Zones have a deep reverence for each part of their life: from the food they put in their bodies, to how they spend their time, and what they value.

Can We Create Our Own Blue Zones?

So if you aren’t lucky to live in one of these “blue zones,” then what can you do to improve your individual longevity? How can we take the knowledge of these Blue Zones into our own lives?

  • Focus on whole foods and a diet that is mainly plant-based, with antioxidants and anti-aging herbs (this includes foods that are great for spine health!)
  • Daily benefits of physical activity and exercise for the entirety of one’s life
  • Priority on family and a strong inner circle
  • Regular consumption of small amounts of alcohol like red wine
  • A smoke-free lifestyle
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Healthy ways to cope with stress, and reduced stress levels overall, like meditation
  • An overall positive attitude about aging
  • Emphasis on fulfillment and not material success
  • A strong sense of community and spirituality
  • A sense of purpose, including work, for all of one’s life

What else can help you to create your own personal Blue Zone? A focus on holistic health. On restoring the body to its ideal state, not only through diet and exercise, but on how you treat your body’s ailments as well.

Working with healthcare professionals like a chiropractor, massage therapist, and acupuncturist realigns your body in a non-invasive way that honors your body, with that same reverence for your body and mind that is seen in whole foods, physical activity, and relieving stress.

If you are looking to create your own personal Blue Zone, start by ensuring your body is in its very best state. Contact our office to start your path to longevity, peace, and balance today.

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