Attleboro, MA Chiropractor
Miller Chiropractic Health Center
1237 South Main Street
Attleboro, MA 02703
(508) 226-2333
(508) 226-2421 fax

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By [email protected]
July 10, 2017
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged

By Dr. David Ryan

If you haven't noticed, millions of people are on a singular quest to develop firm, toned, well-shaped rear ends. Yes, we're talking about the bottom, the buttocks, the gluteus maximus (and minimus) - pick your favorite descriptor, depending on whom you're talking to and in what social situation. Many of us spend millions of dollars and countless more hours each year trying to achieve the ideal backside, often without success. That's because before you can shape it, you've got to understand it. You can do thousands of squats, and lunge from Tokyo to New York and back, but there's much more to it than that.

For most people, the biggest problem with toning and tightening this area of the body is lack of muscle control and getting rid of the fat layer that sits on top of the muscle. Diet and fat-burning exercise are the keys to losing unwanted inches. Getting your glutes to respond to exercise requires that you understand the muscles. The next important step is to learn to control the muscles while exercising.

The buttocks are comprised primarily of muscles, although many would argue that their rear ends are completely loaded with just fat. This becomes a main issue for many women since the body chooses to store fat in the area of the buttocks. Eventually, your body can store so much fat in that area it would appear to look like cottage cheese (cellulite). This type of fat is very resistant to diet and exercise, but over a period of time, it is possible to remove cellulite from the body almost completely.

It is also very important to recognize that the body does not "spot reduce." The exercises listed in this article will tone and tighten the muscles, but you will have to lose body fat all over, including your gluteal area, to achieve your butt-tightening, backside-toning goals.

MUSCLES 101: BUTT BASICS

The main muscles of the buttocks are the gluteus maximus, medius and minimus. These are the three primary muscles, although there are other muscles in this area that are also worth considering: the deep obturators, which are buried deep under the surface; the piriformis muscle (often associated with sciatic pain); and the quadratus femoris.

It is important to learn how to control the buttock muscles - beginning right now! While you are reading this article, start squeezing your buttocks together. That's right; while you are sitting there, start flexing your butt muscles. Try to flex the right side and then the left. Do you have control yet? It's pointless to start to begin exercising until you can completely control those glutes.

Learning how to flex the gluteal muscles while you use them will enhance any exercise and result in the use of more muscle fibers. That means faster results. Recruiting more muscle fibers provides a greater response to the stimulus. For some people, this flexing is easy and natural; for others, it is a constant battle.

KEY EXERCISES TO TIGHTEN AND TONE

Camel Walks: This exercise is as old as the hills, but it works. Start with your legs stretched out together on the floor in front of you. It is important to be sitting up straight with your arms crossed (so you don't use them). Now squeeze your right buttock, then your left, so you can rock back and forth on the buttocks. As you begin to rock, slightly raise your entire right leg and inch it forward, then, as that side is moved forward, rock and squeeze the opposite side. The leg moves forward, then as you rock to the opposite side, the left leg moves. As you do this, you will have the ability to move forward or backward. As you get stronger, you may even be able to hold something (a light weight, a small child) as you're inching forward and backward.

Free-Standing Squats: Learning to master the basic squat movement is key. Stand with each foot pointed out about 45 degrees. Start the squat by raising your toes slightly off the ground and keeping the lower legs (shins and calves) very still as you push back with your buttocks. Don't let your knees move forward over your toes. Build tension as you lower yourself down and then coil up (think of the movement in terms of tension on a spring). It helps to stand against a kitchen counter to practice this movement, especially at first. With squats - as with many movements and exercises - it takes balance to achieve success.

Once you've mastered the basic movement, place a bench (you can also use a chair) about 12 inches behind your heels. Remember, your chest should stay upright and parallel to the wall while you focus your eyes at a point 10 feet above face level. It's important for you to determine the point at which the upper legs (between the hips and knees) are parallel to the floor. Keep your weight on your heels; it often helps if you have something to hold on to, since you will often feel as if you are falling backward.

When done properly, the squat recruits maximal involvement of the butt muscles. Learn to keep the muscles flexed in both directions - while lowering into the squat and back raising up. After mastering 50 repetitions, you can work at increasing speed and also add some weight in the form of light dumbbells or a barbell (with or without weight). Don't add weight until you can master the body-weight squat with perfect form and balance.

It's important to feel the muscles contract as you lower deeper into the squat. Work on building speed prior to adding weight. Move slowly and take it a workout at a time, one week at a time, etc. Remember, if it's taken you 10 years to get to this point, it will take some time to get out of the situation your butt is stuck in now.

Step-Ups: To perform this exercise, you need a bench or solid box to step up on, and it should be higher than shin level. For beginners, the box/bench should be at mid-shin level; if advanced, it should be above the knees. Using one leg at a time, place your foot up on the box/bench and step up until both feet are squarely in place at the new height; then step back down to the floor. Now step up again using the opposite foot. As you master the step-up, learn to do the exercise with more spring, and flex the buttocks all the way through the movement, specifically at the top of the movement.

Cardio Flex: Whenever you're walking, learn to flex your buttocks muscles with every step. In fact, you can do this on any elliptical machine, stair climber or even a bike. This technique can even be done while you are walking or jogging. It is such a simple concept, but learning to flex while you walk forces a much stronger muscle contraction and significantly increases the effectiveness of your workout.

In addition to flexing during cardio, mixing in some exercises during cardio is a great way to tighten up the buttocks and make the muscles respond faster than by simply walking on a treadmill. For example, follow every five minutes of cardio with 50 deep-knee squats. It's simple, but effective; it mixes up the cardio and forces more muscle stimulus to the buttocks area.

As with any exercise program, the key to success is to start slowly, stay focused, and continually try to improve. Trust me, you'll see results before you know it if you stay the course. Have fun, talk to your doctor or personal trainer if you have any questions, and enjoy the process.

The Do's and Don'ts of Proper Squat Performance (in order of importance)

The squat is a key exercise to tone and tighten your backside, but there's a right way and a wrong way to do them. Here are the "Do's" and "Don'ts" of proper squat performance; constantly refer to them until you've got the proper squat movement down. In the beginning, it might be easier to focus on a few of these recommendations each workout until you've memorized them all - covering it all in one day might be too much for you to handle.

Do:

  • Stand with feet a few inches wider than shoulder width
  • Point your toes away from center at 45 degrees
  • Keep your toes raised and weight on heels
  • Keep your lower shins straight up and down
  • Begin by rocking buttocks back
  • Slowly lower into the squat and stay flexed
  • Keep your chest and eyes up
  • Keep the buttocks flexed during the entire movement

Don't:

  • Stand with your feet too close to one another
  • Stand with toes pointed straight
  • Allow your toes to touch the floor completely
  • Let your knees extend past your toes
  • Keep your buttocks tucked under you
  • Simply drop down to a low position
  • Look down to the ground or straight ahead
  • Move through the exercise relaxed

Sample Cardio (Treadmill) Programs to Tone and Tighten Your Buttocks

Cardio Program #1

  1. Walk for five minutes at 3.0
  2. Do 50 deep step-ups
  3. Walk for five minutes at 4.0 (incline optional)
  4. Do 50 deep knee squats
  5. Jog for five minutes at 5.0
  6. Do two minutes of camel walks
  7. Walk for five minutes at 4.0

Cardio Program #2

  1. Walk for five minutes at 3.0
  2. Do 50 deep step-ups
  3. Lunge on the treadmill for five minutes at 2.5
  4. Do 50 deep knee squats
  5. Jog for five minutes at 5.0
  6. Do five minutes of camel walks; then walk for five minutes on full incline at 3.0
  7. Walk for five minutes at 4.0
By [email protected]
July 10, 2017
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged

When you experience back pain, chiropractic care can help relieve the pain and identify the underlying cause. But your care shouldn't stop once the pain stops (or comes back, which can frequently happen). A new study suggests maintenance chiropractic care (defined by the researchers as "treatment at regular intervals regardless of symptoms") is more effective than symptomatic treatment (receiving chiropractic treatment only when you're experiencing pain).

In the study, patients with recurrent / persistent low back pain who received maintenance care (scheduled every 1-3 months) after their initial treatment reported an average of 19.3 less days of "bothersome" low back pain over a 12-month period compared to patients who received only symptomatic chiropractic care. Overall, during the 12-month period, maintenance care patients made seven visits, on average, to their chiropractor, versus five visits, on average, for symptomatic patients.

So, if you're suffering low back pain and your chiropractor suggests you come in periodically for treatment, you may want to heed his/her advice. It's a research-supported suggestion that could dramatically reduce the amount of time you spend in pain.

By Miller Chiropractic Health Center
June 27, 2017
Category: Chiropractor
Tags: Sciatica  

All forms of back pain are not created equal. Knowing what is causing the pain is important in order to know when to seek to treatment. A sciaticacommon cause of back pain is sciatica, which results from strain or pressure on the sciatic nerve from several possible causes. Dr. Jason Miller, a chiropractor in Attleboro, MA, offers diagnostic and treatment options for sciatica and other chiropractic injuries and conditions that affect the neck and spine.

Treatment for Sciatica in Attleboro, MA

The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body. It connects the spine to the legs and feet and spans the length of the lower body from the bottom of the spine down the back of the legs to the base of the feet. Sciatica refers to symptoms that result from compression or injuries to the sciatic nerve.

The most common symptoms of sciatica include:

  • Low back pain that radiates from the lower back and through the buttock and back of the leg (most often on either the ride or left side but rarely both at the same time)
  • Pins and needles sensation
  • Numbness or weakness in the affected leg while walking or standing
  • Sharp/shooting pain while walking or standing

Symptoms vary and generally depend on the location of injury along the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is made up of a bundle of several nerve roots that pass through the lumbar (lower) spine and sacrum. Compression along one nerve root may cause pain and weakness in the feet, while another will cause lower back and/or leg pain.

Some of the most common causes of sciatica include:

  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Lumbar spinal stenosis
  • Isthmic spondylolisthesis
  • Sacroiliac joint problems

Find a Chiropractor in Attleboro, MA

If you are suffering from symptoms of sciatica or other forms of back pain, contact Miller Chiropractic Health Center by calling (508) 226-2333 to schedule a consultation today.

By Miller Chiropractic Health Center
May 04, 2017
Category: Medical Conditions
Tags: Arthritis  

Periodic joint pain due to overuse or injury is an unfortunate situation which can often be treated with simple rest and relaxation. However, joint pain when caused by arthritis is a whole different ballgame. When should you be concerned about your joint pain? Find out about arthritis, its causes and what your chiropractor can do about it with Dr. Jason Miller at Miller Chiropractic Health Center in Attleboro, MA.

What is arthritis? 
Arthritis is a condition that causes painful swelling and irritation of the body’s joints. When the cartilage between the joint’s bones begins wearing away, it causes the pain and swelling associated with arthritis. The joint may become stiff over time and cause the pain to become chronic. According to the Arthritis Foundation, there are over 100 types of arthritis and conditions relating to arthritic joint pain and is the number one cause of disability in America.​

Treating Arthritis in Attleboro, MA 
Chiropractors are experts in the musculoskeletal system, including the joints. While chiropractic is famous for “cracking” the bones in the back, it encompasses many more treatments than just manual spinal manipulation. Physical therapy including specialized stretches and exercises can help treat arthritis, managing the pain associated with the condition and helping prevent future pain and swelling. If you suffer from arthritis, you can consult with your chiropractor to determine the best treatment plan for your condition.

For more information on arthritis, its causes, or its treatments, please contact Dr. Jason Miller at Miller Chiropractic Health Center in Attleboro, MA. Call (508) 226-2333 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Miller today!

By [email protected]
April 06, 2017
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged

By Brian Jensen, DC

Freeze. Don't move a muscle. As you read these words, notice the placement of your head – are you leaning into the page or the screen? What about your shoulders – are you hunched over a magazine or electronic device? Do a quick self-assessment: How does your current posture compare with ideal posture?

If you're like most people, you tilt your head when you read or use a smartphone or other electronic device, when you're at your desk at work, and pretty much any time you're examining something closely. The trouble is, smartphone use has dramatically increased the frequency and duration of this activity, particularly among young people. Some are referring to the resulting poor posture as "text neck," although I prefer the more comprehensive "tech neck."

The human head weighs about 10-12 pounds when in a neutral position: balanced between the shoulders, chin level, and eyes gazing forward, shoulders and shoulder blades retracted. In a study, Kenneth K. Hansraj, MD, found that this weight – and the resulting load on the spine – increases dramatically when the head flexes forward: "As the head tilts forward, the forces seen by the neck surge to 27 pounds at 15 degrees, 40 pounds at 30 degrees, 49 pounds at 45 degrees and 60 pounds at 60 degrees."

The long-term consequences of a tilted-head posture, according to Dr. Hansraj, are incrementally increased stresses about the cervical spine that could lead to early wear, tear, degeneration and possibly surgery.

"People spend an average of two to four hours a day with their heads tilted over, reading and texting on their smartphones and devices," Dr. Hansraj says. "Cumulatively, this is 700 to 1,400 hours a year of excess stresses seen about the cervical spine. It is possible that a high-school student may spend an extra 5,000 hours in poor posture."

The obvious answer to what some are calling an "epidemic" of poor posture isn't very practical – people aren't going to use their phones less. Strengthening exercises and mindfulness of one's posture can help alleviate some of the strain, but it's also important to look down the entire kinetic chain to ensure the neck has a stable foundation to start from.

Work From a Stable Foundation

The feet are the foundation of the body. While 99 percent of all feet are normal at birth, 8 percent develop troubles by age 1, 41 percent at age 5, and 80 percent by age 20. By age 40, nearly everyone has a foot condition of some sort.

The feet are literally inseparable from the neck – they're connected through what's known as the kinetic chain. Over the long term, the repetitive stresses of daily life lengthen the connective tissues in the feet, causing a slow breakdown of the normal support for the bones and joints and a decrease in elasticity, eventually leading to a sagging of the foot's arch. When this happens, those stresses move into the legs, the pelvis and ultimately, the spine.

When posture is already poor, the spine can't handle stress the way it could if fully supported. The force imposed from the increased weight of the head borne by the spine in a hunched or leaning posture is exacerbated by the stress imposed from below.

To stabilize the kinetic chain, I recommend the use of custom-made functional orthotics. Custom orthotics provide:

  • Static support. During a standing posture, the alignment of the arches in each foot has a significant impact on the position of the legs and pelvis. When the arches are low and/or pronating excessively, the knee will rotate medially. A research study using radiographic measurements found that custom-made, flexible orthotics can significantly improve the alignment of the arches when standing.
  • Dynamic support. During gait, the foot must permit a smooth transfer of the body's center of mass over the leg to conserve energy and keep the work expenditure to a minimum. This requires an orthotic to be flexible yet supportive, and orthotic designs must consider weight and intensity of forces; proper movement and function of the foot; and support of all three arches to prevent eventual arch collapse.
  • Postural benefits. Improving foot alignment can help maintain knee, hip, pelvis and even spinal postural alignment. Preventing hip, knee or spinal joint degeneration requires the additional support and shock absorption provided by orthotics. And a pelvic or spinal tilt or recurrent subluxations will often respond rapidly to orthotic support.

Ask your chiropractor to evaluate your posture and discuss whether custom-made orthotics could be added to your health and wellness program.





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