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Acute back and neck pain respond well to ice, as discussed in the previous blog. They also respond well to isometric contraction, which means tightening the muscles of the target area without allowing motion. Muscles are hard-wired to relax following contraction. When spine system muscles are sore, irritable or even in spasm, gentle contraction, held for three or four seconds and then released fully, will bring the distress level down a notch or two. Be certain to allow no motion during the contraction and perform the isometric contraction from a position of neutral. Neutral means that the involved joints are in...

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When a physician sees a patient who is suffering severe back or neck pain, he or she understandably wants to prescribe potent pain relief, an opiate. Since back and neck pain is so common, it's also understandable that it's a primary reason so many opioids are prescribed and an all-too-common cause for opioid addiction. Needing non-addictive pain relief for our patients, we sought an option that is safe, effective, inexpensive and readily available for anyone when they need it. The solution is the aggressive use of ice, applied exactly as physics and physiology demand. Applied correctly and repeatedly, ice slows pain transmission to...

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After treating countless patients who suffered from back and neck complaints, it became obvious we needed to find a better way to help people help themselves. Government studies and our own research concluded that passive spine care requiring no effort from the sufferer has little if any, long-term value.   In an effort to better involve patients in their own care, we developed four measurable goals and asked every patient to do their best to meet each one. Patients were asked to improve: 1- Spine Shape 2- Spine Stability 3- Spine Mobility 4-Spine Protection We found ways to measure their progress...

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Most of us get away with less than ideal posture because, unlike Pisa's Tower, our framework is not rigid but flexible enough to adapt to our postural indiscretions, (see Blog #1). Our spine is infinitely complex and consists of three major, off-setting curves when viewed in profile. Those curves are made up of 26 bones and are not there by accident. They provide flexibility, shock absorption, and adaptability. They are part of a 200-joint spine system that permits breath-taking gymnastic agility and jaw-dropping strongman locomotive pulling. When one joint moves, they all move, at least a little. How the brain...

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Living and balancing on just two legs is a miraculous skill we never think about. In truth, it's amazing we don't fall over every time we sneeze or lift a gallon of milk from the refrigerator. Our healthy existence depends upon our marvelous ability to keep our relatively tall and slender column safely upright even while we thoughtlessly move, work, play and change positions. That we can instantaneously adapt to almost any position or any activity without toppling over is a scientific mystery, and yet most of us take our vertical brilliance for granted.    As with any physical structure that dares defy gravity,...

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