Chiropractor South Elgin shares low back exercises for beginners.

Here is a simple exercises that you can do at home with no equipment.
It works the multifidus, erector spinae, transverse abdominus, oblique muscles.
The purpose of this exercise is to Increase low back strength and muscular endurance. By doing this exercise you can have the benefits of Improved stability, functional strength and injury prevention

Begin lying on your back.
Extend arms above head flat on floor.
Activate core and lift knees above hips and maintain a 90/90 hip and knee position.
Activate core.
Lift one arm off the floor and raise it towards ceiling until above shoulder level while simultaneously extending one leg downward towards floor.
Pause momentarily.
Return to start position, alternating sides.
Core activation should be maintained throughout entire exercise.
Repeat for recommended repetitions and sets.

© 2005-2010 WebExercises, Inc., Patent Pending, All Rights Reserved.

Chiropractic hip exercises for South Elgin

Here is a simple exercise that you can do at home with no equipment.
It works the gluteus medius/minimus, piriformis and hip lateral rotators muscles.
The purpose of this exercise is to Increase hip strength and muscular endurance. By doing this exercise you can have the benefits of Improved stability, functional strength and injury

Begin lying on side on the floor with legs extended.
Top leg should attain a straight line through hip and shoulder.
Bottom leg may be bent for added stability.
Activate core muscles.
Lift top leg upward, abducting leg as foot simultaneously rotates. This will result in a toe-up position.
Slowly return to start position.
Repeat for prescribed repetitions and sets.

© 2005-2010 WebExercises, Inc., Patent Pending, All Rights Reserved.

S. Elgin Chiropractor Helps HeadAche sufferers

Most of us experience the occasional headache. Whether it’s throbbing, aching, pounding or stabbing, a head-ache can make our lives miserable. It also affects our ability to focus and may increase our sensitivity to external stimuli.

There are several types of headaches, and each one has a different cause. The most common headaches are tension, migraine, cervicogenic and cluster. Migraines are often considered to exist in a category of their own. (We’ll discuss migraines in the next issue of Topic of the Week.)

Tension Headache

The tension headache is the most frequent type of headache in the general population.1 It usually occurs most frequently in people susceptible to the effects of stress. This headache usually starts with tightness in the neck and shoulders, then progresses to pain at the base of the skull. The forehead and temples may also ache.

Cervicogenic Headache

A cervicogenic headache originates from disorders of the neck. This type of headache is often preceded by awkward neck movement or position-ing (such as painting a ceiling, or washing a floor). It’s usually accom-panied by restricted range of motion in the neck and pain in the shoulder, neck or arm.

Treatment for Tension and Cervicogenic Headaches

A frequent cause of both tension and cervicogenic headaches is irrita-tion of the nerves leading to the scalp. These nerves exit the spine close to the base of the skull and pass around or directly through several layers of muscle tissue. If this area of the spine is restricted or the muscles in this location are extra tight, the nerves in the scalp can get irritated. When related with neck pain and stiffness, these headaches can generally be effectively treated with chiropractic.2- 5 Sometimes the relief from chronic headaches can be immediate and dramatic.6

Massage and trigger point therapy applied to the tight muscles may also reduce the symptoms associated with this type of headache.

Cluster Headache

Cluster headaches are relatively rare, affecting only 0.1% of the population. About 85% of cluster headache sufferers are male.7This headache is distinct from migraine and tension headaches. It typically features intense bouts of stabbing pain felt in very specific focal areas of the skull. The pain usually occurs in clusters, and it can last from minutes to hours. The discomfort typically centers around one eye, and this eye may be inflamed and watery. Nasal congestion sometimes occurs on the affected side of the face. It’s suspected that cluster headaches are related to the sinuses. This type of headache is not usually as responsive to chiropractic treatments as other headaches. But it’s a good idea to have your chiropractor check your neck to rule out any involvement of this area.

What Can I Do to Prevent Headaches?

Follow these simple tips: Manage your stress – try meditation, relaxation exercises and taking regular breaks from your schedule. Exercise regularly – cardiovascular exercise helps your muscles, circulatory system and sense of well being.Watch your posture – the muscles that hold your head upright are the same as those that contribute to headaches. Practice good posture to reduce stress on these muscles. Drink plenty of fresh water, dehydration is a common cause of headaches, muscle tightness and fatigue. Drink a minimum of eight cups per day.Have your spine checked regularly for misalignment/subluxations by your South Elgin chiropractor, DR Tim Schening – correcting misalignment before symptoms appear can save you a lot of grief.

References and Sources:

1. Loder E & Rizzoli P. Clinical Review:Tension-type headache. BMJ 2008; 336: 88-92.2. McCrory DC, Penzien DB,HasselbladV & Gray RN. Evidence Report: Behavioral and Physical Treatments for Tension-type and Cervicogenic Headache.Duke University Evidence-basedPractice Center, Center for ClinicalHealth Policy Research. Durham NC.3. Bronfort G, Assendelft WJ, Evans R, Haas M & Bouter L. Efficacy of spinal manipulation for chronic headache: a systematic review. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2001; 24(7): 457-466.4. Haas M, Groupp E, Aickin M, Fairweather A, Ganger B, Attwood M, Cummins C & Baffes L. Dose response for chiropractic care of chronic cervicogenic headache and associated neck pain: a randomized pilot study. J Manip Physiol Ther. 2004; 27(9): 547-553.5. Nilsson N, Christensen HW & Hartvigsen J. The effect of spinal manipulation in the treatment of cervicogenic headache. J Manip Physiol Ther. 1997; 20(5): 326-330.6. Lisi AJ & Dabrowski Y. ChiropracticSpinal Manipulation for CervicogenicHeadache in an 8-Year-Old.J Neuro – musculoskeletal System 2002; 10(3): 98–103.7. Fischera M, Marziniak M, Gralow I & Evers S. The incidence and prevalence of cluster headache: a meta-analysis of population-based studies.Cephalgia. 2008; 28(6): 614 – 618.

Auto Accidents

55% of auto accidents result in an injury each year. Pain from car crashes can become worse over time.

Migraines –NOT A Typical Headache

Although they often resemble other types of headaches, migraines exist in a class of their own. The World Health Organization ranks migraine headaches at 19 on its list of health conditions causing disability.1 Anyone experiencing migraines on a regular basis would confirm how disabling these headaches are.2 Most often, the typical migraine sufferer finds a dark, quiet room and rests there until the pain subsides. What Is a Migraine, and What Causes It? Migraines differ from other head-aches because they occur in phases. And the painful phase of the migraine is almost always associated with other bodily symptoms. The specific causes of migraines remain elusive. It’s believed vascular changes in the brain are responsible for the pain. Researchers have noted that certain people experience blood vessel contractions and dilations in the brain just prior to a migraine occurring.Because these contractions and dilations can be influenced by neuro-logical or hormonal factors, experts are investigating these areas for potential solutions to migraines.
Common triggers for migraine headaches include:
Lack of sleep
Changes in weather
Environmental chemicals
Liver problems
Rapid change in hormone levels
Dental pain
Certain foods (cured meats, redwine, onion, eggs, nuts and cheese)
Medical conditions (depression, severe hypertension) Medications
The Phases of a Migraine
There are four phases involved with migraines:
and postdrome And Aura.2
Although not all migraines involve all four phases, most patients experience a combination of these symptoms. Most migraines are preceded by a specific phase called the prodrome, and it may occur hours or days before the actual headache. During this phase, sufferers may experience depression, food cravings, neck stiffness, nausea, hyperactivity or fatigue.The next of the four phases is the aura. This is a collection of neurologi-cal symptoms that usually involve a person’s visual experience (e.g. flashingor wavy lights). Other symptoms of an aura may include things like strange smells, tingling sensations and cogni-tive difficulties. According to one medical expert, only about 20% of patients with migraines experience an aura, and it’s likely to occur shortly before the onset of the headache.3
The prodromal and the aura phases warn a person that a migraine is on the way. By taking action during these earlier phases, a migraine sufferer may be able to avoid the more painful stages of this type of headache.
The main characteristics of the headache phase are… Moderate to intense pain with a pulsating quality that lasts 4 to 72 hours. It may be aggravated by bright light or loud noise. Nausea and vomiting Depression and severe anxiety Hot flashes and chills Dizziness Confusion Dehydration or fluid retention
Post drome At this phase the pain has subsided. But most sufferers will tell you the migraine episode is definitely not over. The postdrome phase may take hours or days to complete. During this time, a migraine sufferer may experience…
Low mood, especially depression
Feelings of euphoria and well being
Poor concentration and comprehension
How Do You Treat a Migraine?
For most people who experience recurring migraines, the best option is to find a dark, quiet place, and focus on relaxing. Migraines respond well to peace and quiet. For those who can’t endure the painful stages of a migraine, they may require migraine specific medications such as NSAIDs, Triptans or Ergot. Many studies show chiropractic as a very effective tool used to treat migraine headaches.4-5 Sometimes chiropractic treatments result in instant and significant relief, but most cases require ongoing care to manage painful episodes
References and Sources: 1.International Headache Society- J, Findlay H, Tugwell P,Pryse-Phillips W, Nelson RF & Murray TJ. Impact of migraine and tension-type headache on life-style, consulting behaviour, and medication use: a Canadian population survey. Can J Neurol Sci. 1993; 20(2): 131-137.3. Bronfort G, Assendelft WJ, Evans R, Haas M & Bouter L. Efficacy of spinal manipulation for chronic headache: a systematic review. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2001; 24(7): 457-466.4. Tuchin PJ, Pollard H, Bonello R. A randomized controlled trial of chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy for migraine. J Manipula-tive Physiol Ther 2000;23(2):91-95.5. Tuchin PJ. A case of chronic migraine remission after chiropractic care. J Chiropractic Medicine. 2008; 7(2): 66-70

Low Back Pain and The Feet

If you want to build any structure, a strong foundation is one of the key components. The human body is no different. Alignment of the bones in the feet can influence the functional stability of the rest of the body! Each foot contains 26 bones. It takes 33 joints, 107 ligaments, 19 muscles and numerous tendons to hold the bones in place and to allow for proper movement. As a musculoskeletal specialist, your South Elgin chiropractor Dr Tim Schening, is well-aware of the amount of brain-body coordination needed to keep these structures working properly.

Syndromes Related to Your Feet The following is a list of common conditions that are related to your feet, plus recommended solutions from your chiropractor.

Plantar Fasciitis – a painful conditioninvolving inflammation of the soft tissue in the arch of the foot. This condition is usually related to overuse or fallingarches.Icing and rest help to decrease pain, and muscle or joint manipulation can help restore proper function. Orthotic shoe inserts may also help provide structural support and reduce strain.1

Shin Pain – often caused by strain of the posterior and anterior tibialis muscles. These two muscles help give the arch of your foot mechanical support during walking or running. With increased stress due to repetitive use or falling arches, strain on the tendons of these muscles can cause the muscles to pull away from their bony attachments on the shin. This can cause periostitis, better known as shin splints. Improper footwear, combined with increased physical activity, is often the culprit. Rest, ice, muscle manipulation and orthotic inserts can help with this condition.2

Iliotibial Tract Syndrome (IT band syndrome) – pain located on the lateral side of the knee, thigh and hip, related to an inflammation of the tendon of the TFL muscle as it crosses the knee. This is one of the most common leg/hip syndromes found in runners, and it can be related to instability of the foot or pelvic misalignment. It is very often related to over-pronation of the foot, whereby the ankle joint turns inward – usually associated with falling arches. Chiropractic adjustments for the pelvis, foot and knee joints may help, as well as muscle manipulation, reduced exercise, and orthotic inserts to correct for the over-pronation.

Stress fractures – represent incomplete fractures (cracks) in any bone that is under an increased mechanical load. This condition is usually related to a structural imbalance, which creates an abnormal distribution of stress and strain. Rest is often the only treatment that helps mend this problem. Your chiropractor should also check the movement and alignmentof the feet and/or pelvis to help identify potential causes for the abnormal stress patterns.

Nerve Pain/Sciatica – radiating pain from nerve irritation/inflammation can be felt in the feet. Numbness, tingling, burning or aching pain can be a sign of lumbar nerve irritation. Disc herniation is a common cause of nerve root irritation. Chiropractic adjustments are often used to help balance the mechanical causes of disc herniations.

Pelvic Conditions – with respect to the kinetic chain, imbalances in foot bio-mechanics can lead to imbalances in pelvic mechanics. Restrictions or instability in the joints of the feet can lead to recurring symptoms in your pelvis and lower back.3 Common painful syndromes in the pelvis may include SI joint dysfunction, piriformis syndrome, and lumbar facet joint irritation. If your chiropractic adjustments are not holding as long as you’d like, you should have your chiropractor check your feet. Bouts of low back and pelvic pain that follow increased periods of walking, running or climbing may be pointing to the mechanical instability of your body’s foundation.

How to Take Care of Your Feet There are several things you can do to keep your feet healthy.Avoid activities that cause recurring pain in your feet, knees or hips.Wear appropriate, properly-fitting athletic shoes when you exercise. It is recommended you replace your athletic shoes at least once per year if you exercise at least once a week. Orthotic inserts, when required, can provide customized support for your feet in every shoe that you wear. Be sure to have Dr Schening check the mechanical movement patterns of your feet, knees and hips when walking or running. A routine gait analysis can pick up minor imbalances before they create major problems.Active lifestyles are also recommended to stay healthy. The best form of general exercise is walking. A gentle weight-bearing exercise like walking is known to help improve circulation, contribute to weight control and promote overall well being. Be sure to have your feet checked by  chiropractor on a regular basis to ensure that they continue to take you where you want to go in a pain-free way.

References and Sources:1. Karl B. Landorf, Anne-Maree Keenan, and Robert D. Herbert Effectiveness of Different Types of Foot Orthoses for the Treatment of Plantar Fasciitis J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 2004 94: 542-549.2. Nawoczenski DA, Ludewig PM: Electromyographic effects of foot orthotics on selected lower extremity muscles during running. Arch Phys Med Rehab, 80:540-544, 1999.3. Dananberg HJ, Guiliano M: Chronic low-back pain and its response to custom-made foot orthoses.Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association 1999; 89(3): 109-117.


A new study published in Current Opinion in Endocrinology, Diabetes & Obesity looks at the impact of Vitamin D deficiency on diabetes and cardiovascular risk, and says more research is definitely warranted.

The study connects the well-known worldwide prevalence of Vitamin D deficiency to rising incidences of cardiovascular disease and diabetes mellitus types 1 and 2, as well as cancer, autoimmune and dental diseases.

Reviewing all relevant literature shows plausible molecular mechanisms of the role played by Vitamin D, leading the researchers to conclude that “treatment with Vitamin D supplements appears to be an effective and inexpensive treatment that deserves to be explored.”

The background that inspired the new study states: “Vitamin D deficiency is newly recognized as a common condition of increasing prevalence worldwide. Clinically, Vitamin D has an established role in calcium and bone metabolism and has recently been shown to be associated with increased risk of developing type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease (CVD), as well as with cardiovascular risk factors such as hypertension and obesity.”

The exact molecular mechanisms that connect all the dots are still not fully understood. But the active metabolite of vitamin D regulates numerous genetic effects, obviating its connection to diabetes and other disease states.

Presently, there are no recommendations to screen for Vitamin D deficiency. But there are many known risk factors:

Lack/reduced sun exposure
Nutritional/absorptive problems
Reduced Vitamin D synthesis
Reduced bioavailability
Increased requirements
Medications that accelerate conversion of Vitamin D to inactive metabolites

Although Vitamin D deficiency is frequently unrecognized clinically, here at Lifetime Health and Wellness we know that laboratory measurement is easy to perform and treatment of Vitamin D deficiency is relatively well tolerated and inexpensive, the study says. Rising vitamin D deficiency and the many health-related conditions associated with it suggest the need for appropriate Vitamin D supplementation.

SOURCE: Current Opinion in Endocrinology, Diabetes & Obesity, April 2010

South Elgin Chiropractor Links Obesity to Low Back Pain

Low back pain has been recognized

as a problem of epidemic proportions.

It’s estimated that approximately 80%

of the North American population will

experience debilitating back pain at

some point in their adult lives.1 It’s no

surprise that more and more people are

seeking chiropractors to find relief.

What’s even more alarming is the

apparent link between the incidence of

low back pain and obesity. According

to the American Obesity Association,

64.5% of adult Americans (about 127

million) are considered overweight or

obese.2 Recent evidence suggests that

obesity seriously impacts the musculoskeletal

system, increasing the risk of

low back pain as well as osteoarthritis,

spondylolisthesis, degenerative disc

disease and spinal stenosis.3 One study

in particular showed that people who

underwent surgery to help them lose

weight also experienced less low back

pain. 4

Causes and Effects of

Obesity and Back Pain

Some studies suggest that the link

between obesity and low back pain is

inconclusive.5 But they’re several

obvious reasons why an obese person

would experience more of this type of


First, we should look at the common

causes of obesity.

If we exclude certain

genetic or hormonal diseases, we

discover North American obesity is

primarily related to poor nutrition and

lack of exercise. Our meals are often

high in saturated fat and low in essential

fatty acids. This leaves us prone to

inflammatory states like arthritis. The

large amounts of caffeine we consume

also robs the skeleton of its bonebuilding

calcium.6 And if we take into

account our sedentary lifestyle, the

body lacks the necessary weightbearing

effects to maintain a fortified

skeletal structure. The result is an

increased incidence of osteoporosis and

bone fractures.As a person packs on more weight,

moving around becomes difficult.

Therefore, many obese people choose

to remain inactive. But this leads to big

problems. Lack of movement in the

joints can accelerate degenerative

changes, which are seen in cases of

osteoarthritis. If an obese person does

remain active, the extra body weight

puts additional stress and strain on the

muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints.

Postural changes are also common in

obese people, usually caused by

carrying extra weight in their abdomen.

As the size of the mid-section

increases, the person’s center of gravity

shifts forward and the lower back curve

is exaggerated to accommodate for

these changes. This adds more compressive

loads on the joints of the lower

back, increasing the risk of subluxation

and pain.

This South Elgin Chiropractor

Gives Tips On What You Can Do

About Weight Problems.

When faced with any health issue, the

first thing you should do is consult with

healthcare professionals. Your medical

doctor can order blood tests to rule out

hormonal imbalances or genetic

metabolic disorders. Your South Elgin

chiropractor is knowledgeable in nutrition and

exercise and is an excellent source for

help in these areas.

Secondly, take control of the two

most powerful factors controlling your

body weight: diet and exercise. Portion

control is one of the easiest ways to

reduce excess body fat. Eat slowly and

stop consuming when you’re no longer

hungry. Eating because your body

needs the fuel is different than eating

because you enjoy the food.

Think of the body as a machine with

moving parts, and give it the right fuel

to keep the engine running smoothly.

Before starting an exercise program,

also check with your chiropractor.

Weeks, months or years of

inactivity can leave your body too

weak to pick up where you left off.

Consider hiring a personal trainer. If

cost is a factor, have the trainer design

a starting program that you can do on

your own, then update the program

every six weeks or so. This gives you

the best chance for continued progress,

and keeps you more interested as your

exercise routine varies.

Above all else, keep a positive mental

attitude. Read about people who have

achieved what you’re setting out to do,

and tell yourself,

If they did it, so can I!”

Value your health, and experience

how the aches and pains get less and

less as your body gets lighter and

References and Sources:
1. Skinner HB. Current Diagnosis &
Treatment in Orthopedics.
Lange Medical Books. New York;
2. AOA Fact Sheets. 2002.
American Obesity Association.
3. Silveri CP & Spinasanta S.
Back pain and obesity: connection
to back pain and the development
of obesity.
4. Melissas J, Volakakis E,
Hadjipavlou A. Low back pain in
morbidly obese patients and the
effect of weight loss following
Obes Surg. 2003;13:389–393.
5. Mirtz TA & Greene L. Is obesity a
risk factor for low back pain? An
example of using the evidence to
answer a clinical question.
Chiropractic & Osteopathy 2005; 13(2).
Online source:
6. Hernandez-Avila M, Stampfer MJ,
Ravnikar VA, Willett WC, Schiff I,
Francis M, Longcope C, McKinlay
SM. Caffeine and other predictors
of bone density among pre-and
peri-menopausal women.
Epidemiology 1993 Mar; 4(2):

South Elgin Chiropractor shares ankle exercises for beginners.

Here is a simple exercise that you can do at home with no equipment.
It works the peroneus longus/brevis, tibialis anterior, tibialis posterior, gastrocnemius, soleus muscles.
The purpose of this exercise is to improve muscular endurance, ankle strength, and proprioception.
By doing this exercise you can have the benefits of Improved stability, functional strength and injury prevention.

Begin seated in a chair with good posture.
Extend leg.
Attempt to write alphabet from A through Z with toes, moving ankle in all directions.
Repeat for prescribed sets.

© 2005-2010 WebExercises, Inc., Patent Pending, All Rights Reserved.


Sciatica can be treated in a number of ways, from spinal decompression to massage therapy.