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Exploring the Connection Between Spinal Nerve Roots and Dermatomes

  When sciatica or other radiating nerve pain presents, can learning to distinguish between nerve pain and different types of pain help individuals recognize when spinal nerve roots are irritated or compressed or more serious problems that require medical attention?  Spinal Nerve Roots and Dermatomes Spinal conditions such as herniated discs and stenosis can lead to radiating pain that travels down one arm or leg. Other symptoms include weakness, numbness, and/or shooting or burning electrical sensations. The medical term for pinched nerve symptoms is radiculopathy. ( National Institutes of Health: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. 2020 ) Dermatomes could be contributing to irritation at the spinal cord, where the nerve roots are causing symptoms in the back and limbs. Anatomy The spinal cord has 31 segments. Each segment has nerve roots on the right and left that supply motor and sensory functions to the limbs. The anterior and posterior communicating branches c

The Role of Physical Therapy in Treating Cervicogenic Migraine Headaches

  For individuals who suffer from migraine headaches, can incorporating physical therapy help decrease pain, improve mobility, and manage future attacks? Migraine Physical Therapy Cervicogenic migraine headaches can cause pain, limited motion, or confusing symptoms like dizziness or nausea. They may originate from the neck or cervical spine and be called cervicogenic headaches. A chiropractic physical therapy team can assess the spine and offer treatments that help improve mobility and decrease pain. Individuals may benefit from working with a migraine physical therapy team to perform treatments for specific conditions, quickly and safely relieving pain and returning to their previous level of activity. Cervical Spine Anatomy The neck is comprised of seven stacked cervical vertebrae. The cervical vertebrae protect the spinal cord and allow the neck to move through: Flexion Extension Rotation Side bending The upper cervical vertebrae help support the skull. There are joints on either si

The Pros and Cons of Dried Fruit: Nutrition and Serving Size

Can knowing the serving size help lower sugar and calories for individuals who enjoy eating dried fruits? Dried Fruits Dried fruits, like cranberries, dates, raisins, and prunes, are great because they last a long time and are healthy sources of fiber, minerals, and vitamins. However, dried fruits contain more sugar and calories per serving because they lose volume when dehydrated, allowing more to be consumed. This is why the serving size matters to ensure one does not overeat. Serving Size Fruits are dried in dehydrators or left in the sun to dehydrate naturally. They are ready once most of the water has disappeared. The loss of water decreases their physical size, which allows individuals to eat more, increasing sugar and calorie intake. For example, around 30 grapes fit in a single measuring cup, but 250 raisins can fill one cup once dehydrated. Nutritional information for fresh and dried fruit. One cup of grapes has around 15 grams of sugar. ( FoodData Central. U.S. Department of

Choose the Right Size and Firmness for Your Exercise Stability Ball

  For individuals wanting to improve core stability, can using the right size exercise or stability ball help improve workouts and achieve goals? Exercise Stability Ball An exercise ball, stability ball, or Swiss ball is a piece of fitness equipment used in gyms, Pilates and yoga studios, and HIIT classes. ( American Council on Exercise. 2014 ) It is inflated with air to supplement bodyweight workouts or improve posture and balance. It can also be used as a chair. They add a core stability challenge to almost any exercise ( American Council on Exercise, N.D. ) Getting the appropriate exercise ball size and firmness for your body and purpose will ensure an optimal workout. Size The exercise ball size should be proportional to individual height. Individuals should be able to sit on the ball with their legs at a 90-degree angle or slightly more, but not less. The thighs should be parallel to the ground or angled slightly down. With the feet flat on the floor and the spine straight, not le

Footwear for Back Pain: Choosing the Right Shoes for Spinal Health

  Footwear can cause lower back pain and problems for some individuals. Can understanding the connection between footwear and back problems help individuals find the right shoes to maintain back health and relieve pain? Footwear Back Pain The back provides the strength for physical activities. Back pain affects daily life and can have various causes. Unhealthy posture, walking, twisting, turning, bending, and reaching can contribute to back problems that result in pain. According to the CDC, 39% of adults report living with back pain ( Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2019 ). Improper footwear can also contribute to back pain. Selecting footwear carefully can help bring pain relief and help maintain spinal health. Individuals can enjoy less pain and manage symptoms by choosing shoes that maintain spinal alignment and protect the feet from blunt impact. Understanding the Back Pain-Footwear Connection Improper footwear could be the cause of lower back pain. What impacts the bo

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The information herein is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional. Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to contact us. Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN* email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com phone: 915-850-0900 Licensed in: Texas & New Mexico*