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Strong Bones and Core Strengthening - Good Tips for a Healthy Lower Back


Core Strengthening
The benefits of core strengthening include support for your lower back, improved heart and lung function, and improved coordination and stability.

This miracle set of exercises even helps reduce your waistline!

A basic core exercise starts with you lying on your back on an exercise mat. Your arms are extended to the side, perpendicular to your torso. Your thighs are flexed - perpendicular to the floor, and your knees are bent so that your calves are parallel to the floor.

Focusing on your deep abdominal muscles - visualizing these muscles working - gently lower your thighs to the floor on the right side. Your spine stays straight, maintaining contact with the floor, so the effect is that you're twisting your legs against the line of your trunk.

Using your abdominals to initiate the movement, return your legs to center and gently lower them to the left side. You've now done one repetition.

Start with six total reps, moving your legs gradually and making sure the movements originate in your abdominal muscles. Build up to 10 reps over a period of several weeks.

You could include this valuable exercise into your regular pre-workout routine.
Strong bones are important for all of us, not only for the aging baby boomers about whom we're hearing so much lately. And, "strong bones" are much more than a marketing ploy cooked-up by the dairy industry and pharmaceutical companies.

Bones are incredibly dynamic, constantly reshaping themselves in response to physical forces. Bones provide structure for our bodies, and they carry our weight around as we move from place to place. Long bones such as the thigh bone act as factories to produce blood cells. So, bones are an important part of our overall health and well-being.

Lots can go wrong when your bones aren't strong. If you suddenly fall onto an outstretched arm, you'll probably be OK if your bones are healthy. If not, you'll probably be in a cast for four weeks to help repair a wrist or forearm fracture.

If an older person falls, hip fractures are the main concern. A fit, healthy person can usually walk away. With weakened bones, hip fractures can result in many other problems, both immediately and long-term.

Bones lose their strength due to a calcium imbalance and/or not enough physical exercise. For most of us, these factors can be corrected. The best approach, of course, is to be proactive and ensure enough calcium in the diet and regular exercise.

How much calcium and how much exercise? Recommended daily calcium requirements1 vary, and 1000 mg per day is a good ballpark amount. Dairy products are the best natural source of calcium, and dark leafy greens such as spinach and broccoli, as well as dried beans, are also good sources. Vitamin/mineral supplements typically provide 25-50% of the daily calcium requirement.

Regarding exercise, both the American Heart Association2 and the American College of Sports Medicine recommend 30 minutes of exercise, five days a week. This takes some effort and planning, particularly if regular exercise is a new addition to one's routine. By making the effort and spending the time, we're saying "yes" to health and wellness, empowering ourselves as well as our family and friends.

Importantly, regular exercise in combination with sufficient dietary calcium is the key. Taking calcium alone will not be effective in maintaining strong bones. Unless long bones are undergoing consistent mechanical stresses, as with exercise, there's no need for them to use the calcium that's available. Exercise plus calcium makes the difference!

Core strengthening3 is a hot topic in the world of fitness - Pilates training and its offshoots. But the principles of core strengthening have been around for many decades - dancers, gymnasts, boxers, and wrestlers have been doing these things all along. Only the term "core fitness" is new.

Core fitness turns out to be critically important for all of us. By adding a handful of core exercises - 10 minutes at most - to your regular routine, you will profoundly improve the mechanics of your lower back, hips, and pelvis. And, these remarkable exercises improve the efficiency of your heart and lungs. A very big "bang" for your exercise "buck"!

Your chiropractor will be able to provide expert advice and guidance on these nutritional- and exericise-related topics.

1Daly RM, et al. Long-term effects of calcium-vitamin-D3 fortified milk on bone geometry and strength in older men. Bone 39(4):946-953, 2006.
2Haskell WL, et al. Physical Activity and Public Health. Updated Recommendations for Adults from the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association. American Heart Association, 2007.
3Akuthota V, Nadler SF. Core strengthening. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 85(3 Suppl 1):S86-92, 2004.

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Stamford, CT 06901

Located on the corner of Atlantic and Bedford Streets across from the Ferguson Library and McDonalds on the second floor of the Bank of America building

  • NORWALK

Conveniently located on Rt. 7 between the DMV and Merritt Parkway

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Located on the corner of Main Avenue and Valley View Road across the street from Merritt Building 301

We value our patients' experience at Stamford Sports & Spine. If you are currently a patient, please feel free to complete the following Client Experience Questionnaire. The Questionnaire is in Adobe Acrobat format, and requires the free Acrobat Reader to view.

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Dr. Andrew Zomick & Dr. David Avallon

I have been coming to Stamford Sports and Spine for almost 10 years. I am active and have unfortunately been in a few car accidents. The care and treatment offered at Stamford Sports and Spine is world class and without them I would be living with an inordinate amount of pain and discomfort. Going to Stamford Sports and Spine has made my injuries manageable.

--James


Very good team of therapists. Flexible and available schedule. They helped get my teenage athletes back on the field in half the time.

--Shawn


I was experiencing some pain in my right shoulder and numbness down my arm to my hand. The range of motion in my shoulder was limited and I could not participate in volleyball. Dr. Z came to our office offering a free chair massage and a chance to come in for an evaluation. I did this and we worked out a treatment plan that included therapy and adjustments. I noticed in the first few weeks the pain subsided greatly in my shoulder. The numbness in the arm and hand were present but noticeably better. After three weeks, the range of motion in my shoulder was back to normal and the pain was gone. Now after one month of therapy the numbness in the arm is extremely better and I do not notice the symptoms as often as I used to. Coming into the office has helped tremendously. I can now play volleyball pain-free.

--Mary


After moving from London to the USA, two weeks into living in Stamford and having carried and unpacked a lot of heavy boxes my shoulder froze and I was in a great deal of constant pain. After finding Stamford Sports & Spine on the internet I made an appointment and the corrective programme S.S.S. put together for me meant that I immediately had some pain relief, and over the next few weeks the pain left completely. The programme is also ensuring that I am not only pain free but fully corrected so as this problem should not occur again. Very friendly staff and very detailed assessment programme that has ensured my full recovery.

--Laura


From my first visit to Stamford Sports & Spine I was extremely impressed and pleased with their service. Everyone including staff and doctors were very knowledgeable with their chiropractic services. I learned a great deal about my symptoms and overall care more than I expected. I have visited a few other chiropractors but none were as thorough as Stamford Sports & Spine. I was experiencing severe pain in my shoulder and arm and after a few visits my pain decreased substantially. I really appreciate all the services from the adjustments, rollers and even exercise room. I would highly recommend this facility to everyone. The entire staff are friendly, professional and just simply great!

--Sherri


Everyone was incredibly professional and helpful.  The staff is friendly and goes beyond what was expected to meet my needs and education me about my condition.

--Jon


Came in with severe and constant numbness and tingling in my legs and feet. The treatment worked quickly and resolved all of my symptoms. Thanks!

--Erik


My arms were falling asleep every night and had numbness and tingling during the day. I no longer have any of those symptoms during the day and have very rare episodes of pain at night due to my treatment here at Stamford Sports & Spine

--Eric


I came in for hip pain and stiff neck that also affected my right arm and hand. Using the relaxing rolling / traction bed and electrical muscle stimulation along with stretching and the adjustments my hip pain is gone. I can walk without sharp pains running up and down my legs. My neck range of motion has improved and my muscles are more flexible and less spastic.

--Karen


I had severe neck pain which was aggravated by a recent move. I have been coming to be adjusted for a few weeks now and not only has it helped with the neck pain I had been experiencing, but it has also made me feel better overall. I feel like I am able to sit up straighter, and my muscles are looser and less tense. I no longer have the intense pain I had once been experiencing

--Kim


When I came in my pain was a 10 out of 10. After just one week of care my pain went down to a 4 and has been improving ever since. The staff are very friendly and great educators. I learned a lot about my body and how to take better care of myself.

--Heidi


After a car accident,  I had to seek help for my upper back and neck pain. Slowly but surely I started to feel better, not immediately, but by keeping up with my visits with Dr. Q & Dr. Z. Now I can tell you that I feel leaps and bounds better, and am now looking forward to a pain-free summer.

--Rudy


I have been with Stamford Sports & Spine for more than a year now. I still remember how much pain I was in during my first session. I can now walk in and out without any aches or pains.

--Rick


When I first started going to Stamford Sports & Spine, my back had been seizing up with alarming regularity. After just a few months of working with Dr. Z and Dr. Q, I feel much more confident in my daily activities and have even been able to return to the gym.

--Dan


Thank you to Dr. Z, Dr. Q and the whole Stamford Sports & Spine team! For many years, I have been suffering from severe back pain that would sometimes keep me from going to work. The recurring pain would come and go and I couldn't figure out what I was doing to cause it. When I came to the office, Dr. Z took x-rays, did a complete examination and educated me as to what was happening and why. I began treatment and was given exercises to prevent these injuries from happening in the future. Since starting the treatment, I have seen a great improvement in my back. The pain is gone and I have an increased range of motion. Thanks again to the entire staff who are very friendly and always willing to accommodate my hectic schedule when I make appointments.

--Ron


The strabismus in my eyes caused a vertical deviation in my eye placement.  This resulted in my head naturally tilting to the right and throwing my muscular structure in my neck and shoulders off.  I had accepted the tilt and tightness as a way of life and a natural dis-figuration of my spine.  I almost didn't sign on for initial treatment.  After 3 visits I have already noticed a difference in the position of my head, my posture and regular comfort levels.  There is still a ways to go to rid that area of  a lifetime of dysfunction, but what a relief to know it's treatable and already improving.

-Jenn


I found Dr. Z and Dr. Q earlier in the week after experiencing some back pain and sciatica. After the consultation and x-rays I began therapy. After just 2 treatments I felt much better and had a significant reduction in discomfort in the area of concern. I am looking forward to continuing my treatment in an effort for long term recovery and a return to my heavy exercise routine.

--Tom


FANTASTIC. When I leave I feel like a whole new woman. I have been going there for my neck pain and headaches for about 1 year now; off and on and ever since I started treatment there my headaches have been reduced to one every few months instead of a few every month. The intensity of of my pain has also been reduced to almost nothing. The doctors seem to have a very friendly relationship with all of the patients and I feel very welcomed by the staff as well. Not to mention I love how they incorporate therapeutic massages into my treatment. I have since sent over many of my colleagues and family, who also share the same feelings. Thank you.

--Bri


I had a great experience. My low back pain is completely gone. I found the staff extremely knowledgeable, accommodating and friendly. I would highly recommend them.

--Jay F.

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