Better Back Health

Living with back pain is tough, and it can impact your quality of life. There are some things you can do to protect or improve your back health on your own. Here are some things that can help:

Avoid Common Back Pain Offenders

Watch Your Posture 

To improve your back health, you need to sit or stand straight with your shoulders back and head up. If your back is sore or you get tired, then you probably aren’t maintaining proper posture. Poor posture can lead to worse pain.  

Check your Workspace

The way you sit to work will have a considerable impact on your back health. It’s essential to have an ergonomic workspace. Your chair should be adjusted so that your knees bend at a 90-degree angle and feet are flat on the floor. Your arms should hang comfortably at your side. The arms on a chair should be low enough that your shoulders don’t lift when you use them. Adjust your computer screen to your eye height. Make sure you can keep your head straight while you work. Changing position is important as well. Take breaks where you stand and move around a bit.  

Be Careful When Lifting Heavy Objects

A typical action that results in back pain is incorrect lifting. Lift heavy objects using your knees. Don’t bend over at the waist to pick something substantial up. 

Preventative Actions

Exercise

Exercising is a great way to maintain your back health as well as your overall health. If you are hoping to improve your back, focus on core strengthening exercises, and make sure you stretch and warm-up before beginning your workout. If you’ve been especially inactive during recent stay home orders, it is vital to pick up your activity level. Consider hiring a personal trainer if you are new to exercise, or it’s been a while since you were on a program. Dr. Sciullo can make recommendations for a reputable trainer. 

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Extra weight puts stress on your body, particularly your joints and your back. Thus, if you want to improve your back health, you must maintain a healthy weight.

This goal can be achieved in a variety of different ways, from getting in regular exercise to eating correctly. If you’re unsure what your ideal weight should be or how to get there, talk to your doctor. Our office also offers some wellness products that can help you to maintain a healthy weight. 

Supportive Mattress

After relying on your back to keep you up and in motion all day, at night, it’s time to give your spine a rest. A quality mattress can help in this area. Medium-firm to firm mattresses usually keep your spine aligned best, as soft beds tend to sag. As you sleep, make sure your spine stays aligned. Placing pillows between the knees for side sleepers or under the knees for sleeping on your back can help. 

Ask Dr. Sciullo

If you have questions in any of these areas, Dr. Sciullo can discuss them with you at your next appointment. Reducing pain will improve the quality of your health and life.  

Photo by Samule Sun on Unsplash

The Importance of Vitamin D

I’ve been getting a lot of questions from my patients about how they can boost their immune system.  So, I’m going to focus on a few posts around this subject.

Boost Your Immune System with Vitamin D

One of the best ways that you can boost your immune system is with Vitamin D.  The best way to get it is from natural sunlight.  Now, coincidentally, it is a beautiful sunny day here in Pittsburgh, and I’ve been making a point to step outside myself today to get some rays.  Even if you can only grab ten minutes at a time, it can help.

One of the challenges of living in Pennsylvania is that we don’t have daily access to natural sunlight.  Here is a good overview of the importance of and how to get Vitamin D into your system in other ways as well, from an article published in the Washington Post back in January. 

Since we are heading into spring, and hopefully there will be more sunny days, take advantage when you can of that natural sunlight.

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What to Expect on Your First Visit

You may be considering chiropractic care for the first time, but are not sure what to expect.  I thought it might be helpful to outline what you can expect as a new patient visiting my office.    

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5 Things to expect on your first visit.  

Patient Intake:

First, you will complete some forms, which include a detailed health questionnaire. This information will help me to understand your medical history and direct me to specific questions I will have about your condition.   

Consult

We will discuss your personal health history and the reason you decided to visit my practice.   The consultation will direct me to a general approach to solving your condition.

Exam

The next step is an exam, where I will test your range of motion, joints, muscles, soft tissues, and neurology of your problem.  This process may include ordering additional tests such as X-rays, an MRI, or a referral to a specialist.

Treatment Plan

If I feel that I can help you, I will then give you a treatment plan using the latest guidelines of best practices to help you achieve your goal.

After the adjustment, I may ask you to walk around the office for several minutes to see how you are feeling.  

Follow Up

Based upon your situation, we will decide upon a good follow-up time for you to visit.  At that time, I will assess if further treatment is needed.

While regular chiropractic adjustments are beneficial and recommended for overall health and well being, often, it is not necessary to return for multiple treatments to relieve acute pain.  

If you would like to schedule an appointment, please call 412-343-2006.  

Photo by Cytonn Photography on Unsplash

Happy New Year!

We hope everyone had a great holiday season.  The office is now back to regular business hours.

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The start of a new year is a time for new beginnings and new habits.  It’s a new decade, so go big this year!    You can look forward to lots of new content on the blog this year to help you achieve optimum wellness.  To start, let’s focus on habits.

Here are five habits to focus on in the new year.

    1.  Get a good night’s sleep.  Limiting electronics and television before you go to bed is a positive first step.
    2. Clean up your diet.  Focus on whole foods and eliminate processed foods and sugar.
    3. Get moving.  Find ways to incorporate exercise into your schedule.  If you sit at a desk for work, make sure you stand up and move around every twenty-five minutes on average.
    4. Stay hydrated.  Choose water over soda, tea, coffee, or juice.
    5. Step away from the screen.  Do you remember the days when people talked to each other instead of looking at their phones?

We look forward to bringing you more information on these topics over the coming year.

Here’s to a happy and healthy 2020.

Exercise Your Way Through the Holidays

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The holiday season is often packed with the hustle and bustle of planning events, shopping for gifts and travel.  During this time, you can find yourself stressed out and lacking energy.   Be proactive in taking care of yourself during this busy time.  One great way to do this is through exercise.

An easy way to reduce stress and improve health is to get moving.  You can do this maintaining your active exercise routine or incorporating spurts of activity into your day.  This could include taking a walk or cleaning the house.   Make a point to do something every day.

I know it seems like a busy time, and exercise might not be a top priority but try to work it into your daily activity for a healthier holiday season this year.