Visit Us
205 Main Avenue Norwalk, CT 06851
Give us a Call
(203) 840-0000
Send us a Message
frontdesk@drslovin.com
Opening Hours
Mon – Fri: 9AM-6PM

Should You Get A Standing Desk for Back Pain?

Should You Get A Standing Desk for Back Pain?

We do it all the time.  We do it while driving, working, eating, watching TV, waiting for appointments, and even while going to the bathroom.  We sit constantly, and because of too much sitting, symptoms of neck and back pain worsen. Back pain is the most common medical problem we treat as chiropractors. In the U.S. alone, it affects 8 out of every 10 people, so isn’t it time we find ways of combatting this rising problem?  With other healthy lifestyle measures, a standing desk can help improve back pain.  

Sitting with Back Pain: The Science

First, let’s review some of the bad things that happen to our bodies in a sedentary (primarily sitting) lifestyle. In 2017, a study published in Annals of Internal Medicine reported that sitting throughout the day for long periods contributes to an increased risk of death. Plenty of studies exist that warn us against a sedentary lifestyle too.  Prolonged periods of sitting can lead to:

·         Chronic neck and back pain

·         Weight gain

·         Heart disease

·         Type 2 diabetes

·         Hypertension

·         High cholesterol

Much can go wrong when we don’t move our bodies. A standing desk could be a simple solution to combat any of the above, but there are other benefits. 

The Benefits of Using a Standing Desk for Back Pain

Standing desks are still relatively new to the market, but they’re touted as helping improve posture, increase productivity, and relieve aches and pains in the back, shoulders, and neck. There haven’t been extensive studies, so some of the benefits are observed and assumed based on a comparison to sitting all day.

·         Researchers found that those who spend more time standing have better-regulated blood sugar.  Levels return to normal faster after meals on those days.

·         That same study found there’s a slightly higher calorie burn when you’re standing.

·         People who use standing desks report higher energy and productivity.

·         There are also reports of better focus and concentration.

A standing desk may not be for everyone, though.  Jobs that require fine motor skills, for instance, may be better done while sitting.  When appropriately used, standing desks are an excellent addition to any healthy living initiative you may be taking on.  But as with all interventions, doing it wrong could lead to problems like exacerbated back and neck pain and new foot and ankle pain.

How to Use a Standing Desk

It’s surprisingly easy to get standing wrong. Whether you’re using a standing desk, making one with stacks of books, or using a laptop stand, there are a few basic rules to keep in mind. 

1.       Don’t overdo it on time. The enthusiasm for standing at your workstation all day is admirable, but don’t overdo it.  Work yourself up to standing for long periods. Don’t stand for more than an hour at a time.  If that’s too much, try alternating standing to sitting positions every 20-30 minutes until you’re ready to move up the timing. 

2.       Wear good shoes. The fun of standing at your desk can dissipate quickly if you’re standing on a hard surface or wearing the wrong shoes. Make sure your feet, ankles, and back are well supported with good shoes and soft ground to stand on.  If you don’t have control over that, or it’s too costly to change, try a grounding or standing mat

3.       Ergonomics is key. Make sure your elbows are close to your body, and your wrists aren’t at odd angles while you’re standing and working.  Shoulders and neck should be aligned straight; screens should be directly in front of your eyes.  It’s best not to look up or down at them. If you use more than one monitor, don’t keep your neck turned at one screen for more than a few minutes at a time.

4.       Move! If you can, find ways to move around while you’re standing and working.  Sway side to side or walk in place for a few seconds.  Use the chair legs to put yourself in a stepping position for a few minutes, and alternate feet. 

Standing desks can make a real difference in your back pain and other areas of your life; however, be careful when using this tool.  If you’ve been using a laptop stand or standing desk for back pain and you find it’s getting worse, you may be using it wrong.  Try these tips, and if you’re still struggling, we can help you here at Slovin Chiropractic Center.  Whether you’re here in Norwalk or too far to come in, we can help you find a regimen that works for back pain.  

Sources:

UT Southwestern Medical Center: Can a standing desk help my back pain?

Harvard Health Publishing: The truth behind standing desksStart Standing:  10 Things You’re Doing Wrong at Your Standing Desk

Lower Back and Gut Pain: Are They Related?

Lower Back and Gut Pain:  Are They Related?

You have a second brain. 

If that’s not the coolest thing you’ve read today, you should take a nap and wake up to reread it. 

Not many people realize they can see a chiropractor for back and gut pain.  They are related systems, and therefore should be treated together.  It’s not something you will need drugs or surgery for; thus, chiropractors can help you manage and relieve those symptoms.

What’s most interesting about how quickly our patients recover under our care is the connection their food and drinking habits have on their back pain and mood.  Now we know why.  It’s because we have a brain inside our gut, and it communicates with everyone else.

The Brain-Gut

Remember the last time you had to give a presentation, go on a first date, or do something new, and you felt those butterflies in your stomach?  How about when you made a difficult decision based on a “gut feeling”? 

We often write these off as something that happens in our minds because we think about it.  But you’re getting signals from your second brain in the gut.  Scientists named this little brain the enteric nervous system, two thin layers made up of over 100 million nerve cells lining your tract from the esophagus to the rectum.  It communicates with and affects the central nervous system—the pain center in the skull brain. 

The gut brain’s primary role is to control the entire digestive process.  However, while the brain-gut can’t recite a speech or solve complex math problems, it still communicates with the other brain to help the body function. Issues within the enteric nervous system lead to familiar symptoms like:

·         Diarrhea

·         Irritable bowel syndrome

·         Leaky gut

·         Bloating

·         Pain and stomach upset

·         Constipation

Many people find that back pain goes away for at least a little while when they fix their digestive tract.  That’s a sign your back and gut pain are related.  The good news is now you can fix it. 

The Role of Diet in Back and Gut Pain

You are what you eat.  I know we’ve all heard it, but it’s just as accurate now as when it started circulating across our communities.  The food and drinks you put into your body are used or rejected by the two brains.  Something you’re eating is likely the reason for nearly every episode of back and gut pain.  Many people don’t realize that today’s food is not as nutritious as 50 years ago.  The soil and its vegetation are regularly leached of essential nutrients and treated with pesticides or forced to grow through genetic modification. 

Back pain is just one symptom closely related to food-related gut pain.  Food sensitivities or allergies include other symptoms as well, like:

·         Nausea and vomiting

·         Irritability and nervousness

·         Excessive gas and cramping

·         Heartburn

·         Headaches or migraines

What To Do For Back and Gut Pain

There are a couple things you can do now to start moving in the right direction:

1.       Start an autoimmune protocol (AIP) diet.  Also called an elimination diet, it’s an effective way to determine which ingredient is causing the problem.  You start by removing all known and popular trigger foods like dairy, gluten, and sugar.  Then, you reintroduce them one at a time, very slowly, and journal how you feel for a couple of days.

2.       Get a food allergy test.  Most food allergy tests can be done from the comfort of your own home.  A simple skin prick test can determine if you have an allergic reaction to a specific food.  While this is helpful for allergies, it’s doesn’t reveal sensitivities. 

The goal is to start moving in the right direction of health.  Norwalk has many great activities, so we understand the importance of getting and staying on top of your game.  Receiving care at Slovin Chiropractic Center means you’ll work with a partner who can help you change behaviors outside the office, so you can stop the pain yourself.   

We’re here when you’re ready to get started. 

Sources:

Medical News Today: Can stomach problems cause lower back pain

Hopkins Medicine: The Brain-Gut ConnectionEveryday health: Lower back pain and digestive health


Please submit the form below for our application

Body Pain & Aches: Is Your Food Killing You?

Body Pain & Aches: Is Your Food Killing You? 

You know the saying: “You are what you eat.” What if food is responsible for the total body pain and random joint, bone, and muscle aches you experience?

In the Scientific American article, Dirt Poor: Have Fruits and Vegetables Become Less Nutritious, the authors reported on a landmark study from the University of Texas that showed the fruit and vegetables of today, are not the same as what our parents and grandparents ate when they were kids. And it’s only getting worse.

Researchers from the study surveyed more than 40 different fruits and vegetables and found they all contained significantly lower levels of vitamin C, B12, iron, protein, calcium, and phosphorus. And the depletion isn’t happening in just fruits and vegetables either. Research from early 2018 published in Science Advances found nutrient loss in popular grains, too.

According to the Texas study, “Efforts to breed new varieties of crops that provide greater yield, pest resistance, and climate adaptability have allowed crops to grow bigger and more rapidly, but their ability to manufacture or uptake nutrients has not kept pace with their rapid growth.”  Humans need balanced nutrition, so is this essential nutrient depletion in our food killing us slowly and painfully?

The Health Dangers of Non-nutritious Food

Our supermarkets are stocked with preservatives, chemicals, and food-like products. These foreign substances can trigger serious health problems like obesity, diabetes, insulin resistance, headaches, lower immunity, and a laundry list of others.

Food allergies, sensitivities, and intolerances are on the rise. Leaky gut syndrome is a significant cause of chronic inflammation, and irritable bowel syndrome cases are steadily rising, affecting 7-10% of the global population. These conditions are directly related to the type and nutritional value of the food you eat. Improper nutrition makes it difficult for your body to recover from the assault on your digestive tract.

The BIG Picture Impact of Food Allergies and Sensitivities

Research shows that approximately 3.6% of Americans have a food allergy or sensitivity, and that number continues to climb. Food allergies, sensitivities, and intolerances wage a chemical war on the body, leading to conditions like fibromyalgia and generalized back and body pain. The damage isn’t always immediately apparent either. Food-related symptoms are rarely consistent.

A healthy digestive system is critical to good physical and mental health. It’s responsible for breaking down and distributing food and nutrients.  Something as seemingly harmless as a few pieces of chocolate can lead to an immunologic, inflammatory, or toxic response, with symptoms like:

·         Headache

·         Muscle aches and joint pain

·         Diarrhea

·         Colitis

·         Asthma

·         Gout

·         Fibromyalgia

·         Generalized or chronic pain syndromes

·         Edema

·         Depression and anxiety

The food you eat matters more than anything else when it comes to good physical and mental health. 

Tips for Better Food Choices

Whether you’re going grocery shopping or out to eat, here are a few things to consider. These will help you focus on getting pain-fighting foods:

·         If you MUST eat fast food, choose a grilled chicken salad or something that’s not loaded with empty calories.

·         Be creative with home cooking so when you go out, you can eat a salad instead of something fried and smothered in butter.

·         Stay away from artificial sugars and sweeteners.

·         Buy organic every time you can. Most pesticides can’t be washed away.

·         Try the elimination diet to identify your food triggers.

See sources at the end of this article to learn more about these tips. 

At Slovin Chiropractic Center, we have over two decades of experience dealing with food-related problems that cause bone, joint, muscle, and total body pains. Pain isn’t easy to treat, but it always starts at home, inside your body and mind. We can help you find your way back to good health.  We’re accepting new appointments at our Norwalk office, and we’re available for telehealth consultations. 

Sources

Environmental Working Group: Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 Shopper’s Guide

Healthline: How to do an elimination diet

National University of Natural Medicine: Addressing Chronic Inflammation

National Institutes of Health: The Effects of Ketogenic Diets on Inflammation and Chronic Pain

This presentation contains images that were used under a Creative Commons License. Click here to see the full list of images and attributions: https://link.attribute.to/cc/2063572

Stress Causing Pain? 3 Things Your Doctor CAN’T Do


Stress makes everything—especially pain—worse. Unfortunately, medical science and a doctor’s skill can only take you so far. We can show you the water, but it’s up to you to drink.

How Stress Impacts Health

Stress increases brain activity, making your nervous system more sensitive, and tightens the brain’s blood vessels. It’s often a subtle culprit to chronic pain, but it’s manageable when you’re aware of your stressors.

Chronic stress—physical, mental, or emotional—forces the body into survival mode. Your adrenal glands atop each kidney constantly release stress hormones, which inhibit the gland’s proper functioning. That affects other glands and organs as well.

Anything that runs at full speed for long periods is bound to overheat and eventually break down; your body’s stress response is no different. Even the most minor problems—like a traffic jam or a bad day at work—can affect your physical and mental health. Consistently high levels of big and small stressors lead to:

  • An overworked endocrine system that can’t keep up with high-stress demands
  • Too much effort required of the heart
  • Cravings for unhealthy and damaging foods
  • Higher risk of prediabetes, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome
  • Muscle tension, headaches, and back pain
  • Menstrual irregularities (or your period stops completely)
  • An overwhelmed immune system
  • Increased risk for chronic stomach pains and inflammatory bowel disease
  • Memory loss and cognitive decline

Stress is common in this chaos-driven world. It’s essential to learn ways of coping with stressors, primarily if it’s affecting your health and quality of life. Pain lowers your tolerance and kicks you in the teeth if left unaddressed.

I know it’s tough to change behaviors and find new coping mechanisms, but you don’t have to do it alone. Your doctor can help you find practices that work with your schedule, preferences, goals, and personal situation; however, there are a few things doctors can’t do for you when it comes to treating stress-induced pain.

We Can’t Do the Hardest Work

The hardest part of relieving stress-caused pain is what you do at home and in the privacy of your thoughts. That doesn’t mean your doctor can’t help you discover new coping mechanisms and support to reach your goals. It means we can’t change the way you think about and deal with your troubled teen, wandering spouse, or terrible boss. As a chiropractor, I can help relieve some of the tension in your spine, giving your internal body a fighting chance to regulate stress’s chemical and hormonal response. I’m able to provide you with a wealth of information about coping techniques, and I have dozens of resources at your disposal. The rest is up to you

We Can’t Make Promises About a Cure

Doctors aren’t in the habit of making promises, especially in medical treatments. I can’t and won’t promise spinal manipulation will relieve your neck pain. It probably will if you follow treatment protocols, but that’s not a promise I can keep. As your chiropractor, I can only promise to provide you with all the necessary tools to improve your health and quality of life.

We Can’t Make it Stop Without Time

As much as we wish it were different, doctors know there’s no magic touch or cure-all pill. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for stress-induced pain because, like everything else about you, each case is unique. We’re doctors, but we’re also whole humans bound by Time. Good health doesn’t happen overnight. With patience, perseverance, and commitment, a good doctor can help you through the long-haul journey.

If you’d like to learn more about how we treat chronic pain at Slovin Chiropractic Center, let’s have a chat! Our doctors stand ready to help you take the next step to a healthier life.

Request an Appointment

Resources:

Healthline: The Effects of Stress on Your Body

Cleveland Clinic Health Essentials: 7 Strange Things Stress Can Do to Your Body

EXCLI Journal: Experimental and Clinical Sciences: The Impact of Stress on Body Function: A Review