Sunday, December 20, 2009

Our Discs Are Made Of Water, Don’t Keep Them Thirsty!

Water is essential to keep our discs healthy. Our disc is made up of an inner nucleus and an outer annulus. The inner part is more fluid filled. It was made this way to support the body weight and also to support you against the forces of gravity.

These discs also function to allow us to twist, move, lift, and so on. Dehydrated discs will not only have limited support, but also decreased tensile strength.

Also, muscles put pressure and tension on the spine and discs. Muscles that are not properly hydrated often cramp or spasm easier. Muscle spasms put unwanted stress on our structure and therefore our nerves and spine are irritated.

It tends to be a downward spiral … As one area gets aggravated, it tends to cause problems in other areas. For example: muscle alignment problems may cause disc problems, and disc issues may cause more serious nerve problems … The point is- keep your body hydrated, it will not only keep your muscles happy, but it will keep your discs healthy.

Keep in mind too, that the discs are the whole way up the spine. The spine has 24 vertebrae or spinal bones and there is a disc between each one with exeption of the 1st and 2nd cervical bones which is a slightly different joint. There is also one between L5 (your 5th lumbar) and S1 (the sacrum - basically the tailbone). We typically find that L5 and then L4 take the most amount of stress but every disc must remain healthy to keep your spine healthy.

One fact also to remember is that, if you feel thirsty your body has already been dehydrated for some time. So, keep yourself hydrated and drink more water.


CT Spine and Disc Center is located in central Connecticut- Specializing in patients who suffer from sciatica, disc degeneration, bulging disc or herniated disc in the lumbar spine. Call us at 860-633-8756 to see if you are a candidate for non surgical spinal decompression

Additional Reading Resources:

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Differences In Various Lumber Disc Conditions…

Lumbar MRI showing normal study and a herniated disc I often have patients that bring in their MRI report page with a very confused look on their face. Doctor- can you tell me what this word means?

The lumbar spine consists of five vertebrae or spinal segments. Between each segment is a disc. This disc acts as a shock absorber so we can do things like: run, jump, twist, and lift. It also acts as a spacer between segments forming a hole between spinal vertebrae. L1 refers to Lumbar 1, L2- Lumbar2, and so on. There is an L1 to L5, then you hit the sacrum which is often referred to as S1.

Disc problems are often classified into one or more of the following conditions:

  • Disc Degeneration- this is age related breakdown of the disc. This is often synonymous with disc desiccation and is accompanied with fibrosis and osteophyte formation of adjacent vertebrae.

  • Disc Desiccation- a disc that has fibrosed or hardened due to loss of water content. You see the disc is made up of an annulus (outer fibers which are slightly harder), then the inner nucleus which is more of a gel-like material.


  • An annular tear refers to any disruption in the outer disc fibers. Besides a tear you can also have a rupture of the annulus fibrosis. The annulus is the outer ring of the disc.

  • When someone has a herniated disc they have disc material that has broken out through the annulus. The nucleus pulposis is displaced beyond the margins of the vertebrae.

  • Next is a Disc Protrusion- It is basically another name for a herniated disc. There are two types; focal disc protrusions or broad based disc protrusions. Focal is when the disc protrusion is less than 25% of the disc circumference. A broad based protrusion is when the disk protrusion encompasses 25-50% of the disc circumference.


  • When the disc that has herniated out is more wide than it is long (meaning how far it is reaching outward) it is a Protruding Disc vs. the next definition.


  • Extruded Disc- this means the disc has come outward further than it is wide. Extruded discs can also be classified as sequestered or migrated discs.


  • Sequestered disc- Also called a migrated disc, is when that extrusion breaks free from its connection to the rest of the disc material and is now a free fragment or “fragmented disc.”

Additional Reading Resources






CT Spine and Disc Center is located in central Connecticut- Specializing in patients who suffer from sciatica, disc degeneration, bulging disc or herniated disc in the lumbar spine. Call us at 860-633-8756 to see if you are a candidate for non surgical spinal decompression

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Are you Afraid of the H1N1 Virus....

Is This Plentiful And Inexpensive Berry The Answer To Swine Flu?


More you should know: If you want to kill germs - Is it better to wash your hands in hot or cold water?

Are you afraid of the H1N1 virus… or what is commonly know as “swine flu?” If you are – you are not alone.

Everywhere you look H1N1 is the hot topic. It’s all over the news – every day. It’s the talk at the water cooler and public schools. Even the President of the United States, Barack Obama, and his staff have made several speeches and announcements about the possible dangers and implications of this virus.

Some say H1N1 is extremely dangerous… while others say it is over-hyped and no more harmful than the seasonal flu.

There are many places you can go on the internet to read about it; however, it is not the purpose of this newsletter to try to convince you one way or another about it.
But, one thing is clear: Whether H1N1 is deadly… or just makes you miserable for a week or two or three…

Chances Are, You Don’t Want To
Deal With It… PERIOD!!!


Right? Seriously – who even wants a little head cold for a day or two – much less “the swine?”

So, if there was a way to make sure you and your family doesn’t get H1N1… would you be interested?

Better yet: if this prevention were easy to get, inexpensive, and had absolutely NO SIDE EFFECTS… wouldn’t that be great?

Well, there is no “perfect” way to avoid H1N1. No one knows how effective the vaccine is going to be… yet. Or what the side effects will be. Only time and research will tell.

Your choice to vaccinate yourself and your family is a personal one and should come with some education on the issue. The purpose of this newsletter is not to make that decision for you or sway you in any way. Instead, it is to inform you about H1N1.

For example, did you know that there is an inexpensive and plentiful berry that has been shown to be helpful in treating Influenza A and Influenza B?

This berry is the elderberry. The extract of the black elderberry is called “sambucol.”

A small study published in 2004 showed 93% of flu patients given Sambucol were completely symptom-free within two days, while those taking a placebo recovered in about six days. This study treated people who had Influenza B.

H1N1 is a subtype of Influenza AH1N1 is subtype of Influenza A and now a study shows that it works for Influenza A as well.

Ering Thom with the University of Oslo in Norway reported the findings at the 15th Annual Conference on Antiviral Research.

Here are the findings according to WebMD and Wikipedia: There were 60 patients who had been suffering with flu symptoms for 48 hours or less. Ninety percent were infected with the A strain of the virus and 10% were infected with type B.
Fifty percent of the infected group took 15 milliliters of Sambucol (Elderberry extract). The other 50% took a placebo four times a day for five days.

Elderberry Extract for Flu Symptoms? Patients who took 15 milliliters of Sambucol had "pronounced improvements" in flu symptoms after three days. “Nearly 90% of patients had complete cure within two to three days. Also, the Sambucol group had no drowsiness, the downside of many flu treatments.”

The placebo group didn't do nearly as well. Without the elderberry extract, they did not recover until at least day six. They also took more medications such as painkillers and nasal sprays.

Erin Thom said Elderberry extract could be an "efficient and safe treatment" for flu symptoms in otherwise healthy people and for those with compromised immune systems, such as the elderly.

Russell Greenfield, MD, a leading practitioner of integrative medicine and Medical Director of Carolinas Integrative Health, is quoted on WebMD as saying: "It can be given to children and adults with no known side effects or negative interactions."

Is It A “Cure-All”?


Is Elderberry a “cure-all” for Influenza A (like H1N1) or Influenza B? Not even close. But, it is obviously something that should be further researched and the facts should be known so you can make an educated decision based on fact and not just clever marketing, hysteria or fear.

It is important to look into your options BEFORE you get sick. No matter what route you choose. Being informed early is the key.

Is It Better To Wash Your Hands In
Hot Or Cold Water To Kill Germs?


One last tip about staying “swine flu” free

It is commonly known that one of the best ways to not get sick with common colds or the flu is to keep your hands away from your mouth and eyes and wash them with soap and water frequently. But, is it better to wash your hands in hot or cold water?

Hot… right? Even the FDA, in its literature, recommends hot over cold because it removes bacteria harboring oils. Not according to a recent study. In a 2005 report in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, scientists found NO DIFFERENCE in bacterial reduction between the use of hot or cold water.

Bottom line:
wash your hands in water that is comfortable.


CT Spine and Disc Center is located in central Connecticut- Specializing in patients who suffer from sciatica, disc degeneration, bulging disc or herniated disc in the lumbar spine. Call us at 860-633-8756 to see if you are a candidate for non surgical spinal decompression

Additional Reading Resources:

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Do I Have Spinal Stenosis?

Spinal stenosis is diagnosed typically from looking at an MRI along with the usual medical history and physical exam. Spinal stenosis is a closure of the spinal canal. This can result from inflammation of certain ligaments, spinal degeneration, disc bulging and/or disc herniations, spinal deformities, or possibly a tumor.

Imagine a hose, water can travel through it with no difficulty. Now put a bunch of crud at one pint in the hose, or kink the hose and you start to get problems. Your spinal cord carrying important nerve impulses travels down this canal; any blockage inhibits the flow of this information.

Due to low back stenosis, you can get pressure causing back pain, leg numbness, or something even worse. Typically the pressure from stenosis is gradual. The scary thing is that this pressure can be building and you don’t necessarily know it. Then eventually when the stenosis becomes sever and the pressure on the nerves is more severe or more continuous, then you get symptoms. Symptoms like back pain, sciatica, leg numbness, or something similar.

Lumbar Spinal Stenosis

Surgery may be recommended if bowel or bladder control is lost, or if there is a tumor, or severe stenosis is discovered. Mild-moderate, and even in some cases of severe lumbar stenosis, the following treatments may provide significant relief:
1. Chiropractic care- which has been proven to be the most effective and safest treatment for lower back issues.
2. Physical Therapy or specific lower back exercises- this helps restore ranges of motion and strengthens lower back muscles needed to heal the back.
3. Lumbar Inversion- a form of lumbar traction that’s cheap, effective, and easy to do.
4. Lumbar Spinal Decompression- (Non-Surgical Decompression with the DRX9000). This is my favorite option because it has an extremely high success rate with very low recurrence rate of back pain or leg pain. Much more effective than simple traction or inversion, but you have to find a medical doctor or chiropractor that provides this service.


CT Spine and Disc Center is located in central Connecticut- Specializing in patients who suffer from sciatica, disc degeneration, bulging disc or herniated disc in the lumbar spine. Call us at 860-633-8756 to see if you are a candidate for non surgical spinal decompression

Additional Reading Resources:

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Dr. Bellinger’s Favorite Neck Pillow- The Cervical Traction Neck Pillow

My Cervical traction neck pillow dilemma...


Not to worry, there’s no actual problem with the pillow itself, just not enough of them to go around. Here’s what happened. My parents traveled here to Connecticut from Florida for the Thanksgiving holiday. I completely forgot that my mother uses a traction pillow and loves it. The problem was I use one too and I only had one upstairs. There was not one in the guest room.The Cervical Linear Traction Neck Pillow

We always have a supply of the pillows at the office but I didn’t want to go get on because it was late; plus, this time of year especially we get extra orders so I din’t want to disturb the supply.

I gave my mother mine and I used one of my other pillows. Needless to say, my mother slept like a baby while I missed my favorite pillow. I’ve learned my lesson. Now I have ones for my wife and I as well as one in the guest room.

I can honestly say, sleeping without it for a couple of nights, combined with trying to catch a cold, I woke up with an achy neck for the 1st time in a year.

There are a lot of great benefits from using this neck pillow but just having a pillow that you like, that’s comfortable, and helps give you a good night’s sleep is worth much much more that the pillow actually costs. Its really a win win win – correct neck posture, reduce neck pain and sleep comfortably. Do yourself a favor and get one if you don’t already have one and get one for a loved one. Tell them Dr.B sent you !


CT Spine and Disc Center is located in central Connecticut- Specializing in patients who suffer from sciatica, disc degeneration, bulging disc or herniated disc in the lumbar spine. Call us at 860-633-8756 to see if you are a candidate for non surgical spinal decompression

Additional Reading Resources:

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

"What Kind of Arthritis Do I Have?"


When degeneration is found in the spine or other joints, we often simply are told it’s arthritis. When we are a little more stiff in the morning, we call that arthritis. When we have back pain from years of wear and tear on our body, we refer to it as arthritis.

To many, a surprise is that this may be true, but we can get much more specific; there are many types of “arthritis.” Based on our examination, patient history, and radiological findings we can determine which type of arthritis an individual with joint pain may have.

There are three basic type: degenerative arthritis, inflammatory arthritis, and metabolic arthritis. Degenerative arthritis is often called DJD (Degenerative Joint Disease) or Osteoarthritis. Patient's with DJD often present with joint stiffness with reduced range of motion particularly in the morning.

Inflammatory arthritis includes rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, lupus, and scleroderma. Symptoms include inflammation of the joints as well as bilateral presentation (both sides of the body similar). For example: both SI joints vs. DJD which is often a unilateral presentation (one side more than the other).

Metabolic disorders are a third type of arthritis, and one that people commonly hear about is gout. This can have common features of both degenerative and inflammatory arthritis, but will often have positive blood work or laboratory findings. For example, with gout we often find an increase of uric acid in the bloodstream.

Over time arthritis will work its way into the spine and that means breakdown of the discs in the back. Talk to chiropractors Dr. Bellinger or Dr. Gill to find out if chiropractic treatment or spinal decompression may help you get pain relief in your back.



CT Spine and Disc Center is located in central Connecticut- Specializing in patients who suffer from sciatica, disc degeneration, bulging disc or herniated disc in the lumbar spine. Call us at 860-633-8756 to see if you are a candidate for non surgical spinal decompression

Additional Reading Resources:

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Home Treatment Of Lower Back Trigger Points

Everday I see patients who can benefit from muscle work along with their adjustments or spinal decompression. For example a patient may present to the office with lower back discomfort. He or she may have a misalignment of their pelvis, SI joint (sacroiliac joint), lumbar vertebrae, or slippage of a disk.

Once this happens it puts unwanted preesure on nerves. The muscles will often get irritated because the shift may alter the balance not to mention, if their is preesure on the nerves suppling information to that muscle and that information is blocked, there will be a problem.

When the muscles become imbalanced they will often knot up. Muscle fibers work by sliding across one another for motion, when something is interfering with this, the fibers often adhese together or form knots. Through muscle fibers run smaller nerves which may also create a pain response making your back pain even worse.

Often something that may help the pain relief is to massage the knots (also refered to as muscle adhesions or trigger points). This may hurt slightly when working on these muscles but will feel much better later on.

At home I recommend using the TheraCane because one can easily reach any trigger point and they can save their hands (your hands will be sore after doing alot of muscle massage; trust me - Iknow!).

CT Spine and Disc Center is located in central Connecticut- Specializing in patients who suffer from sciatica, disc degeneration, bulging disc or herniated disc in the lumbar spine. Call us at 860-633-8756 to see if you are a candidate for non surgical spinal decompression

Additional Reading Resources:

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

What Does It Mean To Have FibroMyalgia?

Today’s blog post comes from Dr. Bellinger’s November Newsletter.

At my Glastonbury CT office, I often see patients who have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is not a condition that you can say has a specific cause with a clear origin and means of diagnosis. It is one of those conditions that are obscure and can only be diagnosed by eliminating other, more common conditions. Fibromyalgia is one of those conditions where the degree of pain and disability can be profound and life quality interrupting, yet all the tests come back negative and there are no other conditions to explain the collection of symptoms. It is at that point when the diagnosis of fibromyalgia is typically made.

Fibromyalgia is typically a chronic (symptoms have been present for at least 3 months) condition where the patient complains of widespread, generalized muscle, ligament and tendon pain accompanied with fatigue and multiple tender points on the body that hurt with only light pressure. To be considered “widespread,” it usually affects both sides of the body and is both above and below the waist. It occurs in approximately 2% of the population in the US and women are 3-4 times more likely to develop fibromyalgia. The risk of fibromyalgia increases with age and can be secondary to other physical or emotional trauma, or it can occur all by itself. No obvious pattern usually exists as signs and symptoms can vary depending on weather, stress, physical activity, and even the time of day.

Sleep quality is an issue that seems well agreed upon as regardless of the number of hours in bed, the deep, restorative stages of sleep are seldom reached. Other sleep disorders frequently associated with fibromyalgia include sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome.. “central sensitization”. This is basically a low threshold for pain because of increased sensitivity in the brain to the incoming pain signals. Certain chemical (neurotransmitters) changes in the brain have been identified resulting is hypersensitivity creating an overreaction to pain signals.

The American College of Rheumatology has established two diagnostic criteria that include
  1. widespread pain lasting at least 3 months
  2. at least 11 out of 18 positive tender points using just enough pressure to whiten the fingernail bed.
What are these 18 tender points that have been identified?

Tender Points seen in Fibromyalgia patients


  1. Lower neck in front (2)
  2. Edge of upper breast bone (2)
  3. 2 cms below side bone at elbow (2)
  4. Just above knee on inside (2)
  5. Attachment of neck muscles at the base of the skull (2)
  6. Midway between neck and shoulder (2)
  7. Muscle over upper inner shoulder (2)
  8. Upper outer buttock (2)
  9. Hip bone (2)
There are no direct blood tests to confirm a diagnosis of fibromyalgia but other conditions can affect or cause Fibromyalgia can be diagnosed with blood testing. These include:

Saturday, October 24, 2009

New Study Shows Smoking Linked To Chronic Low Back Pain

New Study Shows that Smoking is Linked to Chronic Lower Back Pain
A recent Canadian study showed that regular smokers were more likely to have chronic low back pain. The study looked at survey data of over 70,000 people and showed that the daily smokers had about an 8% higher likelihood of back pain than the non-smokers.

The Study was published in the Clinical and Investigative Medicine.

We know smoking regularly has a lot of negative effects on the body, here’s yet another one. But you must remember, this is only one factor. If you stop smoking it may be only one piece to the ‘lose the pain’ puzzle.

Mental health (stress), proper rest, fitness, diet, sleep, and posture play the biggest role with your back. In fact these factors play a major role in your overall health. The most important thing to know is that you must take action to get rid of your back pain. Look at your lifestyle- if you know you smoke too much- cut back. If you know you don’t do any exercise- start doing some.

Source: Cigarette smoking and chronic low back pain in the adult population

CT Spine and Disc Center is located in central Connecticut- Specializing in patients who suffer from sciatica, disc degeneration, bulging disc or herniated disc in the lumbar spine. Call us at 860-633-8756 to see if you are a candidate for non surgical spinal decompression

Additional Reading Resources:

Monday, October 12, 2009

“I Squat Down When I Lift, But I Still Get Back Pain!”

Lifting the correct way will prevent low back pain. Why Take A Chance At Injuring Your Back?
There are a few reasons for this. First, bending your knees and squatting helps, but you still may not be maintaining your normal lumbar lordosis. To do this, it’s recommended to hold your stomach in tight and keep your head up.

Next, avoid lifting things that are much too heavy. No matter how perfect your technique you can still injure your back by being foolish. The same goes for carrying something; don’t do it if it’s too heavy. Also, keeping things in close to the body helps with lifting or carrying things as well.

Lastly, keep in mind your lumbar discs are biggest early in the morning, making them more susceptible to injury. This combined with the fact your muscles are often more rigid in the morning can be a big negative for your low back.

Remember “practice makes perfect.” So keep these tips in mind when lifting and your back will stay healthier, and the proper way to lift will become habit.


CT Spine and Disc Center is located in central Connecticut- Specializing in patients who suffer from sciatica, disc degeneration, bulging disc or herniated disc in the lumbar spine. Call us at 860-633-8756 to see if you are a candidate for non surgical spinal decompression

Additional Reading Resources:

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Dr Oz Talks About Prescription Pain Medication

Pain Medication Can Be Addicting- Use Natural Treatments For Long Term Care

Yesterday my wife was watching Oprah and said I should watch this episode. I did and was shocked at some of the ststs I saw. It's so scary to be addicted to pain medication, and even scarier is that it really can happen to anyone.

In our office we see alot of people on different medications. These meds are meant to help in the short term and are not something to be taken for months and/or years. At our office we use natural methods to get rid of your pain so that you can get off of these medications.

Medications are drugs, there is no difference between a street "drug" or a prescribed "drug", as Dr Oz mentions. Becareful, they both have nasty side effects.

Watching this reminded me of another show I had watched and it was about heroin addicts. To be honest, most started by taking prescriptions for their back pain and ended up switching to heroin because it was cheaper and easier to get.

If you are suffering with severe back pain and have tried almost everything, don't give up hope - DRX9000 Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression has been a life changer for many.

CT Spine and Disc Center is located in Glastonbury Connecticut- Specializing in patients who suffer from sciatica, disc degeneration, bulging disc or herniated disc in the lumbar spine. Call us at 860-633-8756 to see if you are a candidate for non surgical spinal decompression

Additional Reading Resources:

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Jerry Rice: Spokesperson for the Foundation of Chiropractic Progress

I was lucky that my father took me to his chiropractor when I was just a kid in high school. I had a sports injury and his chiropractor, my chiropractor, helped me get back out on the field. It was around this time, when I saw all the people he helped, that I knew it’s what I wanted to do…

I remember the super star 49ers team with Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Roger Craig, etc … and how chiropractic treatment was part of their regimen and how it was an integral part in keeping them healthy and at the tops of their game when they were winning games and even back-to-back Super Bowls.

Jerry Rice sees a Chiropractor to stay healthy

Here’s what Rice had to say when joining the foundation: “Chiropractic care has been instrumental in my life both on and off the field, and I’m excited to share this with the American public. I have been blessed with a long and healthy career as a professional athlete, and as I move forward into the next stage of my life, chiropractic care will continue to be an important part of my game plan.”

That’s the great thing about chiropractic care is it can help so many people, from athletes at any level, to people suffering from back pain after a work injury, to people who want to maintain their health or mobility.

Listen to Jerry and make sure to visit our office if you’re suffering with back or neck pain, and if it’s been awhile, come in to see one of the Chiropractors and get your spine checked.



Source:

CT Spine and Disc Center is located in central Connecticut- Specializing in patients who suffer from sciatica, disc degeneration, bulging disc or herniated disc in the lumbar spine. Call us at 860-633-8756 to see if you are a candidate for non surgical spinal decompression

Additional Reading Resources:

Friday, September 4, 2009

One of the Most Commonly Overlooked Sources of Back Pain…

The quadratus lumborum muscle is one of the most common muscles to cause back pain. This muscle runs from the last rib and the transverse processes of the lumbar vertebrae down to the top of the pelvis on each side.

If you have pain on only one side and commonly sit alot without good back support your pain my be arising from your QL muscle. Check with your doctor to confirm this however because your pain may be arising from another muscle or something else altogether.

The Quadratus Lumborum Muscle or 'QL' Muscle Is A Common Source Of Low Back Pain

Pain from this muscle typically travels down to the SI joint (sacro-iliac) and lower buttocks. Also pain can often be felt around the top of the pelvis and in the groin and lower abdomen on that side.

One good stretch to do often is to lie on your side with your back towards the side of the bed. Extend your top leg back and down towards the floor. Then turn your upper body slightly in the other direction while reaching up with your upside arm. Hanging that upper leg off the side of the bed will help increase the stretch. Having someone help assist the stretch as in the picture may help facilitate more stretch also.

A Lower Back QL Stretch with assistance - courtesy of stretchman.com


This muscle may be easier stretched or treated by your chiropractor. And be careful, if you are in a lot of pain, you may not be able to do the stretch for the QL’s.

If you have severe pain in your back or have a disc condition such as herniated disc, bulged disc, or degenerative disc, see your chiropractor or spinal decompression specialist for advice or treatment.


CT Spine and Disc Center is located in central Connecticut- Specializing in patients who suffer from sciatica, disc degeneration, bulging disc or herniated disc in the lumbar spine. Call us at 860-633-8756 to see if you are a candidate for non surgical spinal decompression

Additional Reading Resources:

Friday, August 21, 2009

Tips For Heavy Lifting That Can Save Your Low Back...

Here's 5 tips on lifting that can help you avoid back pain or a back injury:

1. Get help- have someone help you lift awkward shaped or extremely
heavy items. Also, use a cart or dolly if possible. If you already have a back injury then you may want to avoid heavy lifting altogether. Why chance it?

2. When possible, lighten your load- break up loads into smaller pieces
or quantities. It may take slightly longer but well worth it. Don't become a statistic.

3. Use your legs when lifting and lift and release something from a
straight-on position, never twist your body. Twisting is one of the most common ways to injure the back because it puts torsion stress on the discs and ligaments.

4. Minimize your reach and widen your stance. Your back doesn't have
to work as hard if you broaden your base and limit your reaching for things.

5. Hold items close to the body and at waist level. This is where you
are strongest and safest.

Keep these tips in mind when lifting. They will help prevent low back pain
and help you keep minimal stress on your low back discs.

Treat Your Low Back Pain And Prevent Injury With The Help Of Chiropractic Care & Spinal Decompression

CT Spine and Disc Center is located in Glastonbury Connecticut- Specializing in patients who suffer from sciatica, disc degeneration, bulging disc or herniated disc in the lumbar spine. Call us at 860-633-8756 to see if you are a candidate for non surgical spinal decompression

Additional Reading Resources:

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Shedding Pounds Will Help Shed Your Back Pain...

Hello. Dr Bellinger here. I’ve seen hundreds of patients in my chiropractic and spinal decompression office. One thing I can tell you about back pain is that if you take off extra weight you are carrying, it will most often reduce your pain.

Extra weight causes extra pressure on your spine. This intern creates more pressure on nerves and stress to the discs. Muscles and ligaments along the spine also have to work harder to support the added load. This will also leave you at an increased risk for a back injury as well as speed up the wear and tear process.

Often times now we find that children that are obese accumulate extra breakdown and degeneration to their spine, discs, and joints. To illustrate the example try carrying around a 50lb back pack all day for just one day to see what your back might feel like with an extra 50 lbs. Now imagine doing that for 10 years.

Extra weight also can create postural shifts. For example, individuals with a large belly, it tends to pull their pelvis forward and create a hyperlordosis. This is an increased curvature of the low back spine. So, not only does the big stomach put increased stress on the back muscles and spine but it also causes spinal shifts that will automatically create nerve pressure.

Chiropractor and Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression specialist, Dr Bellinger can help put together a specialized plan to get your back healthy and loose the extra weight.

CT Spine and Disc Center is located in central Connecticut- Specializing in patients who suffer from sciatica, disc degeneration, bulging disc or herniated disc in the lumbar spine. Call us at 860-633-8756 to see if you are a candidate for non surgical spinal decompression

Additional Reading Resources:

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

How can Stress affect my Back?

How Does Stress Affect  Your Pain?
Stress is the response your body has to certain experiences. This response can be mental, physical, or both.

Stress tends to disrupt your body’s normal physiologic equilibrium (homeostasis). If your low back tends to be your weak area (sometimes you know it, sometimes you don’t) stress will often cause low back pain.

Speak to your chiropractor about ways to relieve stress, it can be vital to keep your body healthy and your back pain-free.


CT Spine and Disc Center is located in central Connecticut- Specializing in patients who suffer from sciatica, disc degeneration, bulging disc or herniated disc in the lumbar spine. Call us at 860-633-8756 to see if you are a candidate for non surgical spinal decompression

Additional Reading Resources:

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Unexpected Positive Side-Effects of Chiropractic Care and Spinal Decompression.

After chiropractic treatment we often have better posture, more energy and better range of motion
Most of us make our first visit to their chiropractor because of back pain or neck pain. After treatment not only is our back or neck pain better, but often we have better posture, more energy, and better flexibility. Seeing your chiropractor has also been shown to prevent colds, boost our immune system, and prevent spinal degeneration.

Take unwanted pressure off the nerves and the body will function at its best. This will get rid of pain but will also keep you healthy.

See your chiropractor for low back pain and neck pain, but also use him or her to maintain your health and prevent aches and pains. For more severe back pain or back and leg pain your chiropractor may recommend spinal decompression also.



CT Spine and Disc Center offers advanced chiropractic treatment and specializes in non surgical spinal decompression. Located in central Connecticut- Seeing patients who suffer from sciatica, disc degeneration, bulging disc or herniated disc in the lumbar spine. Call us at 860-633-8756 to see if you are a candidate for non surgical spinal decompression

Additional Reading Resources:

Friday, July 17, 2009

Washington Post Discusses Top-Rated Back Pain Treatments

The June 2nd Washington Post Health section included an article reporting on survey results in April, in which survey respondents rated chiropractic/spinal manipulation as the top treatment for back pain.

Most people who suffer with back pain have tried many things to get rid of it. Hands-on therapies like Chiropractic rated in the top.

Low back pain can severely limit your life. Most people report difficulty with sleep, work, and their daily activities.

CT Spine and Disc Center is located in Glastonbury Connecticut- Specializing in patients who suffer from sciatica, disc degeneration, bulging disc or herniated disc in the lumbar spine. Call us at 860-633-8756 to see if you are a candidate for chiropractic care or non-surgical spinal decompression.

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Connecticut Spinal Decompression – A Very Advanced form of Lower Back Traction

Spinal Decompression looks a lot like traction, however it is much more than a traction machine. The way decompression differs is that it creates a suction effect in the spine, which pulls any bulged or herniated discs back into place. Once done consistently, the disc material will stay there and the body has a chance to heal the outer fibers of the disc.

All traction really does is stretch you. This opens the holes that the nerves come out of usually giving some relief. The problem is that when one goes back to gravity (gets done with traction) the pressure on the nerves returns and therefore the pain comes back.

For more information on advanced back traction visit: Spinal Decompression Connecticut!

CT Spine and Disc Center is located in central Connecticut- Specializing in patients who suffer from sciatica, disc degeneration, bulging disc or herniated disc in the lumbar spine. Call us at 860-633-8756 to see if you are a candidate for non surgical spinal decompression

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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Consumer Reports says: "Chiropractor Best Choice For Back Pain Relief!"

Chiropractic in Connecticut
Consumer Reports lists chiropractors as your best choice for back pain relief.
When compared to seeing your medical doctor (treatment with medication), survey respondents said they were more likely to be “highly satisfied” with their chiropractic doctor.

Here are some of the great things about seeing your chiropractor:

1)Chiropractic care is safe and drug free- the chiropractic adjustments allow the body to function like it should by freeing up nerves from pressure. This allows the body to heal itself. Basically it is the body healing from the inside-out, not outside-in like with medications. Which, by the way, have harmful side effects too. Not to mention, for severe back pain sufferers, some are given very strong, even addictive medications.
2)The chiropractors at CT Spine incorporate therapies (stim, ice, muscle massage) and stretches, or exercises, to help with your condition or back pain. Often times without removing nerve pressure (the chiropractic adjustments do this) the body does not heal. So you can have physical therapy and get instructions for home exercises, but they may do more harm than help.
3)Because chiropractors use natural methods of treatment (adjustments, natural therapies, nutrition, muscle work) they take the time to listen, and are often open to newer, non-traditional treatments to help with your pain. One example of this is using the DRX 9000. For more information on CT DRX 9000 or CT Spinal Decompression visit CTSPINEDR.COM.


CT Spine and Disc Center is located in central Connecticut- Specializing in patients who suffer from sciatica, disc degeneration, bulging disc or herniated disc in the lumbar spine. Call us at 860-633-8756 to see if you are a candidate for non surgical spinal decompression

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Monday, July 6, 2009

Do my leg and butt muscles play a role in my back pain and sciatica?

Most often your leg and butt muscles do play a role in your back pain and sciatica
Most often your leg and butt muscles do play a role in your back pain and sciatica. As I mentioned in the last blog, everything in the body works together. Having leg muscles that are extremely tight will limit the flexibility of your pelvis and therefore limit movement of the lower back.

If your calf muscles are tight it affects your hamstring muscles; if your hamstring muscles are tight it affects your gluteus muscles; if your butt muscles are tight it affects your low back muscles.

Just like we talked about previously, if one area of the body has a problem, something else must pick up the slack. For example, if the hamstring muscles are extremely tight your low back may have to flex more to make up for the lack of motion in the leg muscles. This can put excessive stress on the spine and discs which leads to injury.

Make sure you stay limber by stretching leg muscles as well because it can save your back from injury.

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Saturday, July 4, 2009

I get pain when its bad weather outside, does that make any sense?

A 2007 study by Tufts University showed that an increase in barometric pressure or an decrease in temperature caused an increase in arthritis pain…“the pain I experience in my neck and mid back are worse with the changing weather”. This is something I hear quite a few times from patients. In fact, some of my patients even let me know when a rain storm or snow storm is coming! They can “feel” it in their joints. Why does this happen, you ask?

When this occurs it tends to put more pressure on your spine and discs. This is why it is very common for our patients with herniated discs or bulged or degenerative discs to feel slightly worse on these days. It’s much like gravity putting slightly more pressure down on you. A 2007 study by Tufts University showed that an increase in barometric pressure or an decrease in temperature caused an increase in arthritis pain. Specifically, every 10-degree drop in temperature corresponded with an incremental increase in arthritis pain. Other studies in cadavers have found that barometric pressure affects pressure inside the joints. In one experiment, when pressure in the hip joints was equated with atmospheric pressure, it threw the ball of the hip joint about one-third of an inch off track.

Gravity pushes down, and your spine and discs are built to withstand these forces. But when a disc is injured (a disc tear, a bulged disc, etc . . .) or the spine is out of alignment (subluxations, scoliosis, and degenerative change) this extra pressure can be noticeable.

Keep your spine and discs healthy with spinal adjustments and DRX 9000 spinal decompression therapy by your chiropractor.

CT Spine and Disc Center is located in central Connecticut- Specializing in patients who suffer from sciatica, disc degeneration, bulging disc or herniated disc in the lumbar spine. Our Glastonbury office helps you find lower back pain relief. Call us at 860-633-8756 to see if you are a candidate for non surgical spinal decompression

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Thursday, July 2, 2009

"I Only Have One Bad Disc, I Think I Can Tough It Out And Wait For It To Get Better On Its Own..."

First, let me start off by saying that everything in your spine and back work together. You know the old saying: "A chain is only as strong as its weakest link". Well, this holds true for your back also.

We've seen hundreds of patient's in our Connecticut office at this point, and I can tell you your discs very rarely get better on their own. Occasionally, inflammation will go down, pressure from that inflammation comes off the nerves, and you may feel a little better. However, you better believe there is still a weak spot there and it can get re-aggravated.

Often times what happens is if there is one weak area, or bad disc le's say, usually the level above or below will pick up the slack. This means you are risking another disc level to have a problem.

We see this all to often. One has a bulged disc at L5 (making this area weaker than lumbar discs 1-4). The body has to help pick up the slack, and the L4 level has to work overtime. Now, because of this, you sustain injury to L4.

The more levels of damage and the longer they've been there makes it harder to fix.

A Disc Herniation in the Lower Back can be a cause for a lot of lower back painLuckily, with the DRX9000 Lumbar Decompression we can heal discs which we could not in the past. However, don't wait until it's too late. We have had to unfortunately turn people away who let their back deteriorate too much.

CT Spine and Disc Center is located in central Connecticut- Specializing in patients who suffer from sciatica, disc degeneration, bulging disc or herniated disc in the lumbar spine. Our Glastonbury office helps you find lower back pain relief. Call us at 860-633-8756 to see if you are a candidate for non surgical spinal decompression

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Lower Back Rehabilitation: A Vital Tool To Keep Your Back Pain Away!

Rehab for the lower back pain or sciatica patient should include natural, safe therapies such as chiropractic care, spinal decompression, muscle massage, low back stretches, and lower back strengthening exercises. Along with that, ice, heat, electrical muscle stimulation, endurance exercises, balance/proprioceptive exercises, nutitional advice, and support or postural improving products should be utilized.

At often times with the initial chiropractic care we use muscle therapies such as trigger point massage, heat or ice, and tens. We also will give recommendations on support belts or low back and/or neck pillows or cushions to use.

After the initial chiropractic care or spinal decompression for acute back pain or sciatic pain, we often start with some simple low back stretches and exercises. This helps rehabilitate the back quicker and gets you back to your usual daily routine.

Initially using ice on the low back helps alleviate pain and decreases inflammation. When pain is less often, or to loosen up the back before physical activities, heat can be recommended.

The most common muscles I find patients need to stretch are the low back, glut muscles, hamstrings, and the calves. Stretching the low back and leg muscles helps increase flexibility, balance, musculature from one side of the body to the other, and gives pain relief.

Muscle massage or electrical muscle stimulation helps retore blood flow, decrease inflammation, and break up muscle knots (in other words- trigger points) to balance out the lower body and speed recovery as well.

Most often, once we heal the back significantly, we want to strengthen the core to help prevent future injury. Your core region is the mid-section of your body. If you put a hula hoop around your waist, this is your core. Start with walking, which actually helps build lower back muscle endurance and helps strengthen the core. Gradually work up to light back extensions and planks.

Building proprioception or the proprioceptive muscle is also key to healing and rehabilitating the back. These are smaller muscles that we don’t always think about but help with balance. Doing some light cardio with combined movements, standing on one foot or using a balance board helps with this.

For more information you can email us HERE.

CT Spine and Disc Center is located in central Connecticut- Specializing in patients who suffer from sciatica, disc degeneration, bulging disc or herniated disc in the lumbar spine. Call us at 860-633-8756 to see if you are a candidate for non surgical spinal decompression

Additional Reading Resources:

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Dear Doctor, I have Butt and Leg Pain. Can you Help me?

The lower nerve roots form together to create the sciatic nerve which travels down near your sacrum (or tailbone region) and exits out the buttock on each side and sends nerve innervation to the legs
Pain starts in my left rear-end and travels down my leg. Sometimes I even get numbness. I don’t really have much back pain. Is it back-related?

Over and over we see patients with pain in the legs and buttocks or numbness and tingling in the legs, but no back pain. Most often the problem still comes from the lower back.

The reason is that nerves have specific referral patterns, measuring pressure on one part of the nerve may refer or send symptoms to another area.

In the low back the lower nerve roots form together to create your sciatic nerve which travels down near your sacrum (or tailbone region) and exits out the buttock on each side and sends nerve innervation to the legs.

Depending where the pressure is and how severe it is will determine your symptoms. The nerve roots that branch off the spinal cord are a bundle of nerves; depending which fibers in those nerve roots are irritated will determine where your symptoms may occur- leg pain, foot numbness, back pain, shooting pain down the leg starting at the base of your rear-end, muscle cramping in your calves. . .

Some symptoms are more common for certain conditions or a disc problem at a specific level often causes similar symptoms. This is specifically why we do specific exam tests or lab tests, or take pictures of the spine and/or discs.

So, to answer your question in the title- the answer is often: yes! However, our consultation and exam with you will give us a clear yes or no.

If you suffer with symptoms in your lower extremity such as leg pain and tingling/numbness in the legs, call our office for a free, no obligation consultation right away.

CT Spine and Disc Center is located in Glastonbury, CT- Serving patients in central CT and MA. If you suffer from sciatica, disc degeneration, bulging disc or herniated disc in the lumbar spine, we can help you. Call us at 860-633-8756 to see if you are a candidate for non surgical spinal decompression.

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Sunday, May 31, 2009

How Does Chiropractic Care Help Put The Disc Back In Place?

Your chiropractor may use many different therapies and techniques to put the spine back in its best position. Aligning the spine helps the discs fall back in place.

Having the spine in its best position also increases the strength of your spine allowing it to better tolerate stress, strain, and simply gravity.

Making sure your spine is in normal alignment, most importantly, frees nerves from pressure. It gives the nerves adequate space between the vertebrae as well as allowing the body to work like it should. Down to even the cellular level your body processes nutrients, gets rid of waste, and functions 24/7.

Adjusting the spine (adjustments or manipulations) also helps mobilize the spine. This helps the body by allowing better blood flow and oxygenation of your system. Most often pain is due to internal inflammation putting pressure on nerves. Getting your body and spine moving allows for the inflammation to go away and allows oxygen and hydration in. Blood flow is important because cells created for healing can travel to the area of the body that needs repair and waste toxins can be pulled out.

At a neurological level, the nervous system can be more activated or the dysfunctional part can be reactivated) to balance your body's nervous system out. This may help restore immune system function so your body can heal as quickly as possible.

Chiropractor Giving An Adjustment To Help Relieve Pain And Improve Spine And Disc Function

So at one level, putting your spine in its best alignment (orthopedic) will help the strength and function of the spine and discs. At another level (neurologic) it will help your body function better by activation your nervous system which is the main control center of the body.


CT Spine and Disc Center is located in central Connecticut- Specializing in patients who suffer from sciatica, disc degeneration, bulging disc or herniated disc in the lumbar spine. Call us at 860-633-8756 to see if you are a candidate for non surgical spinal decompression or chiropractic care.

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