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Ways to Avoid Becoming The HunchBack Of Palm Beach

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The exaggerated anterior curvature of person’s middle back is termed hyperkyphosis of the thoracic spine.  There are several factors that may contribute to the development of this condition such as genetics, age, gender, nutritional deficiencies and physiological influences.
However the most common etiology is POSTURE!  Slouching at a computer desk for an extended period time can sway the vertebra, tendons, ligament and muscle into a hyperkyphosis.

Listed below are helpful exercises; however, proper evaluation should be obtained first to structure a custom treatment plan.

1.       The Anterior Pelvis– Sitting at a computer desk can cause the hip flexor muscles to become shortened and weak.  As a result the pelvis will tilt forward due to the pulling action of the overstressed hip flexors

The Exercise- Soft Tissue Work on the hip flexor muscle is highly uncomfortable and may make you cry a little bit but it is necessary.  (Static hip flexor stretching I find not very efficient)

Hip Flexor Release

2.       The Chest– Pectoralis Minor is the  muscle located underneath the main chest muscle( Pectoralis Major).  It can become overactive causing the shoulders to roll forward and the scapula to protract.

The Exercise- Self Myofascial Release of Pectorals .

Pectorals Release

3.       Postural Muscles Stimulation– Postural back muscle tend to get overstretch and weak as a result from the prolonged round of our backs. The body recognizes movement patterns and less on what each individual muscle is doing.   Telling our brain to get these muscles fired up again by way of mechanical appropriate movement can significantly help with the correction of the alignment.

Exercise – Wall Angles and Back Extensions on Exercise Ball.

Back Extensions on Exercise Ball

Wall Angels

The Lounge Chair Will Get Ya!

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A few weeks ago, the family and I enjoyed a weekend in Hollywood Beach, Florida. I decided to sit and not move for a few hours appreciating sunny South Florida (I may have indulged in a couple well-deserved adult beverages too).  My only regret was my chair choice…a lounge chair.  

I’ll admit it: I’m a hypocrite.  Sitting in a lounge chair, La-Z-Boy, or any recliner for an extended period of time is what I advise my patients NOT to do.  The inevitable occurred, of course, and my lower back has expressed its “anger” for the past two weeks.

Why Are Lounge Chairs Evil? When laying in a reclined position, a gap is created between your middle back and your bum allowing your lower back (lumbar spine) to slouch down. You then lose your core’s ability to do its main job —  to stabilize the lumbar spine — and damaging sheering actions occur between the vertebra. This mechanism is called “creep.”  The majority of the time your body does not approve of this damaging position and will respond by causing soreness and pain.  

The lumbar spine will drop into the space created resulting in the painful mechanism called “creep.”  
What Can I Do About This?  

1. Do not sit in a lounge chair, La-Z-Boy, recliner for more than 20 minutes at a time.

2. Use lumbar supports when in a seated position for an extended period of time.(A rolled up towel behind your back will work.)

3. If you do experience discomfort, seek chiropractic care, posture correction, Graston and Active Release Technique.

4. Core engagement exercises.  The video below is called the Pallof Press. It activates your core muscles (specifically your obliques) by resisting the rotational forces being applied to your body.

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That’s One Pesky Leg Muscle

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A long muscle located behind your shin bone (tibia) is called the Tibialis Posterior.  Its purpose is to move your foot down (plantar flexion) and in (inversion).  From repetitive stresses such as walking, running, jumping this muscle will develop tiny tears called micro-tears. Scar tissue will then form to heal the area; however, it can bind tissues together resulting  in restricted function of the affected muscles.  As a result referred pain can be felt in the knee and/or the ankle.  

TibPostPic

Sorry to get “anatomy nerdy” on ya!  So long story short….Check out the exercise in the video below to help with knee and/or ankle discomfort. Or just setup an appointment with me.  I’ll fix you up!  🙂
-Dr. Steve

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Could This Simple Addition Eliminate Many Chronic Discomforts?

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One Of My Legs Is Shorter Than The Other?!

Laughter and confusion are the common reactions people have when I inform them they have one leg shorter than the other. Yes, it’s funny; however, it may be the most important examination finding.  Living in a house that is built on a slant may not be the most comfortable for the person residing in that home.  Unless you even out the foundation, the problem will not be fixed.  The same concept applies for certain load-bearing joints in your body.  If your foundation is off, then there is a good chance your body will express its anger by sending pain signals. Therapies may temporarily help but will not address the main cause.

Why Do I Have a Shorter Leg?

  • Spine and/or Pelvic Rotation
  • Developmental (Born Like That)
  • Hip or Knee Surgeries
  • Traumas
  • Posture
Conditions It Can Cause

  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Achilles Tendonitis
  • Shin Splints
  • Knee Pain
  • Hip Pain 
  • Sciatica
  • Lower Back Pain
  • Neck Pain 
  • Headaches
A Quick Test
The only definitive way to get an exact measurement of one’s leg length is by getting an entire lower body x-ray called a scanogram. Since this type of x-ray is complex to perform, checking your feet is a simpler method that can determine if there may be an imbalance.  Lay on your stomach and have a friend or family member push your shoes together. Look to see which one is shorter.  Again, this not definitive but it works.
The Treatment
Chiropractic adjustments, manual therapies (Active Release Technique and Graston) and correct exercises are my top tools for a solid treatment plan.  For chronic structural conditions I have more tricks up my sleeve.
To level a person’s foundation, I have been prescribing sole and heel lifts — a shoe insert that is placed in the shoe of the shorter leg.  I must admit that I didn’t recognize heel lifts to be beneficial until I started to experimenting with them.  In fact, one of the first patients I fitted for a heel lift was a triathlete with chronic sciatica pain of several years. Remarkably, within two weeks of using the lift, her sciatica pain subsided significantly and she was able to run pain free for the first time in years.

This simple and inexpensive addition to your shoe maybe what’s needed to resolve any chronic pain discomforts.
Get evaluated for heel lifts at New Path Chiropractic!

What To Do With That Stiff Neck

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Waking up with a stiff neck is an unfortunate, yet common, occurrence that can be extremely frustrating.

The good news is that it usually resolves on its own; the bad news is that it can take up to 3 days to completely disappear. Who wants to wait that long?

Below are a few exercises to help speed up the recovery process. 

Step 1.

Make “The Double Chin”

  • Retract your head straight back so your head is directly over your body
  • Keep chin straight,DO NOT drop chin down
  • This is the starting position for steps 2 and 3
  • Doublechin

    Step 2.

    Ear To Shoulder

    • Start in step 1 position
    • Using your opposite hand, gently pull your ear to your shoulder (lateral flexion). Gently hold  for 2-3 seconds when you’ve gone as far as you can
    • Keep chin straight – Do not tip down or forward
    • Complete 3 sets of 8 to 10 reps 
    •  

      DCIM100GOPRO

      Step 3.

      Rotate

      • Start in step 1 position
      • Gently push on cheek bone to help turn your head, rotating your head slightly past where it feels comfortable.  Hold for 2-3 seconds. 
      • Keep chin straight- Do not tip down or forward
      • Complete 3 sets of 8 to 10 reps 
      • Head Rotation for neck pain

        Click On The Picture Below For The Video

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Best Therapy to Help Decrease Fluid Buildup in Legs

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Fluid Buildup? Flush it out!

We all cringe when we see an athlete roll an ankle or buckle a knee.  While the athlete is on the ground in agony there are several mechanisms vastly occurring in the body.  First, the nervous system immediately and frantically sends a message to our brain telling it what just happened.  The brain, of course, freaks out and calls for backup: “Immune system….assess the damage, immobilize the area and send out the troops (immune cells).” 

Joint immobilization is the body’s way to prevent further damage from occurring.  Pain signals, muscles spasms and edema (fluid buildup) are some other ways our bodies attempt to protect us from further injury. 

Mr. Ed, featured above, fell on his knee resulting in lacerations and significant edema in his left knee/lower leg/ankle.  Everyday after the incident for over a week a nurse would wrap his entire leg and individual toes to help reduce the swelling.  His primary physician suggested an alternative to the timely treatment and referred Ed to Dr. Steve Muscari for NormaTec compression therapy.  To his and his wife’s surprise, the edema greatly decreased within the first session and after two weeks of therapy, the fluid in his leg has nearly resolved. Mr. Ed is back chasing around his puppy Charlie!

 

“It’s gonna blow!” The body is extremely intelligent, but very dramatic.  It’s almost comical to see our entire lower leg swell up from a knee or ankle sprain/strain. Although these processes are vital, there comes a point where medical and therapy intervention is necessary — especially in cases leading to compartment syndrome. (Constriction of blood vessels due to high amount of fluid and pressure build up in the limb.)

I came across the Normatec Boot Recovery System while working a Crossfit event in Miami. My discovery came at the perfect time because I was searching for performance and recovery therapy equipment for my practice, New Path Chiropractic. I can’t lie… it didn’t hurt (no pun intended) that they would be able to help me with post-workout muscle  as well.

What makes the boots effective is “Sequential Pulse Technology.” To put it simply, it mimics blood circulation. Each boot has 5 air chambers that work to push fluid up towards the heart, where it is then picked up by the lymphatic system, and eventually excreted out.

  •  The benefits– Increases circulation, reduces blood lactate acids, relieves muscle swelling and soreness.
  • Who can benefit– Anyone! Especially effective for people with sprained ankles, post knee surgery and lymphedema(please consult your doctor first)
  • How long does it take– each session last 30 minutes. Visible results can been seen within the first session.
  • What does it feel like? – Resembles the feeling a blood pressure cuff on your legs.  Several different compression settings for your comfort.  Bonus- a messaging chair while you sit back and relax.
  • How much? When are currently running a Groupon. https://www.groupon.com/deals/new-path-chiropractic

Sciatica – It’s a pain in the butt…and the leg

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During the stressful process of building out New Path Chiropractic’s office back in 2012 I had the pleasure of working with a delightful electrician (cough…sarcasms). He ran wires all over the place (majority probably unnecessary) resulting in me grasping for air thinking about the inevitable bill. However, I had to keep my composure and bite the bullet because obviously the electrical system is possibly the most important component to make an office functional…especially in Florida!

Nerves are our electrical system. They arise out of the spinal cord and travel to their destination to perform their jobs transferring information to and from the brain. If I was to use explicit language towards my electrician chances are high he would have took a hammer to my newly installed electrical work causing sparks to fly. The sciatic nerve can be thought of in the same manner. Irritation (the hammer) to the sciatic nerve can be triggered by an inflamed disc, joint dysfunction, angry soft tissues (muscles, ligaments and tendon) and/or physiological chemicals. This trick is discovering the instigator using the foul language and repairing the wiring system.

The sciatic nerve is mostly to blame for the knee dropping pain down the leg; however, there are several other nerves in the lower body firing pain signals as well. Reason being why it is important to identify the specific irritated nerve shooting “sparks” everywhere. Functional Movement Evaluation, corrective exercises and Active Release Techniques’ Long Nerve Entrapment Protocols are my efficient weapons for discovering the problem and repairing the issues. See below for quick and easy flossing exercise (not dental flossing) that can be effective for the pestering sciatica. This exercise can be performed twice per day 6-8 repetitions.

Fully extend neck(looking up at the ceiling),  extend affected leg(kick leg out)  and dorsiflex foot (point toes to the ceiling)

Fully extend neck(looking up at the ceiling),
extend affected leg(kick leg out)
and dorsiflex foot (point toes to the ceiling)

Fully flex neck(look down),  flex affected leg(fold leg in) and plantarflex foot (point toes to floor)

Fully flex neck(look down),
flex affected leg(fold leg in) and
plantarflex foot (point toes to floor)

10 Things You Didn’t Know About New Path Chiropractic

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We love getting to know our patients. But how much do YOU really know about our practice? We’ve set up a little list of fun facts about who we are and what we do so you can get to know us, too!

1. Our Greenwich Plaza office was destined to be the home of NPC.

When Dr. Steve & his wife, Dianna, first moved to Jupiter, they drove through the neighborhoods scouting out the area & daydreamed about making it the place for his practice. When he spotted the colorful buildings of Greenwich Plaza, Dr. Steve pointed them out and decided the space would be perfect for his future office. Three years later, the opportunity presented itself to make that a reality… and here we are!

2. “Crack” isn’t on the menu.

One of the things we hear most often from first time patients or those new to chiropractic is that they fear getting “cracked.” Sadly, many have had negative experiences with practitioners who take a “one size fits all” approach to their patients.

Many times, getting “cracked” [a.k.a. manual adjustment] isn’t even the best approach to resolving an issue. Dr. Steve relies heavily on A.R.T. [Active Release Technique], which is a muscle-based therapy that can alleviate many injuries and pains without the crack! Regardless of whether or not you need a manual adjustment, Dr. Steve is conservative and careful with patients, ensuring that they get exactly what they need during a visit.

3. We offer massage therapy!

Did you know that we have a wonderful massage therapist available for all kinds of therapeutic massage? Dawn has more than 20 years experience and is an absolute pleasure to have as a part of our team. We’re happy to have her therapy be part of the services we offer.

Book your appointment at your next visit and give your muscles a treat!

4. Dr. Steve was almost a vet!

For many years, Dr. Steve hoped to become a veterinarian. Upon injuring his back when he was 18 and needing chiropractic care, he decided he loved what chiropractors could offer to patients and made the switch in his career path. Had he not sustained an injury, he may have been working on your pet instead of you!

He still loves animals {especially dogs} and we welcome friendly furry buddies in the office. In fact, we have one here all the time!

Farley, the official mascot of New Path Chiropractic.
Image Courtesy of Jorge Juerta Photography

5. We see patients young and old.

We really mean it. Our youngest patient was a tender 7 weeks old and our oldest in their 90’s! Dr. Steve uses safe techniques that can benefit people of all shapes, sizes and fitness levels. Little ones can benefit from chiropractic, too. In fact, there are tons of reasons why you may want to consider regular chiropractic visits for your kiddos. You can find more research and information on chiropractic for kids here and here, or call us with any questions you may have.

6. You’re getting the same care as the pros.

Dr. Steve has had the opportunity to work on all kinds of athletes: Marlins baseball players, golf professionals, CrossFit athletes and even UFC fighters! You can feel good knowing that you’re in the same hands as the pros.

7. Your assessment begins when you walk in the door.

Here’s a little secret: You’re being assessed the second you step foot in the office. Part of Dr. Steve’s approach to treatment is watching your movement and how it could be a contributing factor to aches, pains and injuries. You can tell a lot about a person just by watching their natural movement!

Don’t be nervous; seeing how you truly move is the best way to start your treatment process. Using the Functional Movement Systems assessment is another way Dr. Steve can evaluate what’s going on in your body.

8. Your chiropractor is a quadruple threat.

So, how much education does it take to be a chiropractor? Lots. Three Bachelors degrees and a Doctorate, to be exact. Dr. Steve’s degrees cover Food Science & Human Nutrition, Anatomy and Health & Wellness. Don’t forget the Doctor of Chiropractic degree, which makes it official!

9. Some patients get a 2-for-1 adjustment.

Did you know that pregnant mamas can benefit greatly from chiropractic care? Not only is chiropractic safe for moms-to-be, but it can also help with many of the unpleasant symptoms that come with pregnancy. When you come in for a visit, your care will help you AND your baby… sounds like a good deal! A healthy mom means a happy baby!

10. We like to eat!

We are big foodies around here. We also believe that nutrition is a big part of feeling your best. With a degree in Food Science & Human Nutrition, Dr. Steve can set you up with a healthy eating plan to assist you in achieving your weight and fitness goals. Together with his wife [who writes her own cooking blog with a mix of healthy and decadent treats], New Path Chiropractic is working on creating and sharing healthy recipes through our social media platforms.

We also carry our very own brand of non-dairy protein powder, No Udder Protein, which is sold in the office, in several CrossFit gyms, and a online!

Well… that’s New Path Chiropractic in a nutshell! We hope you are able to come in and check out our facilities for yourself. We always welcome visitors and questions, so don’t hesitate to give us a call or stop in for a chat.

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