Why is breathing important could be the most critical question you ask yourself today. It is an automatic process that we perform up to 20,000 times a day. Through the process of cellular respiration, every cell in the body inhales oxygen and exhales carbon dioxide. Essentially, the cells need a constantly refreshing supply of oxygen to produce the energy that keeps you going. An impaired flow of oxygen can lead to cellular dysfunction, damage and cell die-off. Cognitive function, emotional well-being, physical performance, and sleeping are the most essential parts of the body's daily existence and all of these can be made better or worse by respiration. At Espinosa Family Chiropractic, we want to help you breathe well and often, so that all the essential functions of your body can benefit.
Chiropractic's role in breathing centers around the diaphragm, the dome-shaped sheet of muscle that controls our breathing patterns. This sheet of muscle also separates the chest from the abdomen and its function is closely linked to the health and stability of the spine. When you breathe in, this muscle contracts until it reaches the top of the abdomen, at which point the lower ribs lift and the thoracic cavity expands; this entire process is crucial to receiving a full breath of air.
This process can be impeded by a number of factors including weakness or overuse of the accessory muscles, poor posture, lack of awareness about proper breathing techniques, or injuries that prevent you from taking a full breath. So the real question you should ask yourself is: are you getting enough oxygen with each breath. At Espinosa Family Chiropractic, we would like to see everyone breathing at their full potential. If you need help in this endeavor, give our office in Sacramento a call and schedule an appointment today.
Dr. Raymond Espinosa, D.C.
The pain of sciatica can be nightmarish: tingling and numbness in the lower extremities, pain and stiffness in the lower back; it can be difficult enough just to stand up out of bed. What if there was a way to quickly alleviate some of the pressure from your sciatic nerve so you could get on with your day? Stretching is the most reasonable answer, and there are specific stretches that can be done from your bedroom to help you start off the day or wind it down and get to sleep. As with any stretching routine, the emphasis should be on consistency: repeating these stretches regularly helps to condition the tissues surrounding the issue to combat stiffness and pain.
When your muscles are tight, such as the piriformis, which runs under the glutes, it can cause impingement to the sciatic nerve. Through stretching, we can release these muscles and thus, the sciatic nerve, from tension.
1. Lie supine with legs extended and lift your right leg in the air, supporting it with your hands.
- Pull your right knee across your body toward the opposite shoulder.
- Once you reach a point of resistance, hold for 30 seconds and release.
- Switch legs, 3 reps per leg.
2. Lie supine with knees bent and feet flat.
- Lift the right leg and cross the ankle over the left knee.
- With both hands, pull from behind the left knee, lifting your legs toward the chest while simultaneously pushing the right knee away from the chest.
- This motion should create a resistance; don't push unto pain.
- Hold 30 seconds, then release.
- Repeat 3 times with each leg.
Muscle tension is an unavoidable reality as we get older. However, if it is causing you sciatic nerve pain, it is worth doing something! Sciatica can be caused by a number of conditions including subluxation, herniated disc and muscle strain. At Espinosa Family Chiropractic, we are experts in helping people fight back against the incursion of sciatica in their life; give our office a call and schedule an appointment to find out how we can help you today!
Dr. Raymond Espinosa, D.C.