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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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Testimonial

I slipped on ice in December, landing hard on my behind. I was in excruciating pain and could barely move. It was a Saturday night but I called the office and left a message (new patient, too, found them on Google.) I received a call back first thing Monday morning, they got me right in that day, and I just completed my 3- month treatment plan. I feel so much better and am happy to have found Dr. Ide and his staff.

  ~Amy Hawker

Dr. Ide and his staff are awesome. I had all but given up and I saw his ad. I am s happy to be out of partial pain and I have only gone twice, I cannot wait for the end results. Just to be pain free. Dr. Ide, I thank you so much.

   ~ Patsy Dimond-Spencer

Dr. Ide and his staff have given me my life back. The day I called to make my first appointment I had been suffering from a migraine and severe neck pain for 6 days. This was also after receiving multiple pain injections from my primary physician with no relief. His staff not only verified my insurance was accepted at this location before even offering me an appointment time (which multiple offices will not do this) over the phone but I was able to make an appointment for the same day. Dr. Ide took the time to obtain pertinent patient history and not only explain but he also showed me on my x-rays why I was experiencing pain. He addressed the root of the problem instead of pushing prescriptions to subside your symptoms. HE discussed my POA in detail and reiterated why finishing therapy and continuing home therapy was important. I was hesitant and nervous about my first adjustment but again, he took the time to walk me through each step. Paired with my weekly adjustments I also receive massage therapy. Monica, the massage therapist is incredible. She takes the time to ask specific questions before the massage to ensure she provides the best care possible. Kasey, Dr. Ide's assistant is extremely personable and continues to make sure you feel comfortable throughout your visit. The front staff also provides a warm and welcoming environment. Within my first month of treatment, I'm able to go das without a headache now and I have reduced the frequency of my pain medication. I highly recommend Dr. Ide and his staff!

    ~Leah Craig

Very friendly staff and knowledgeable doctor! After doing a 3 month program, I no longer have daily headaches, back pain or neck pain. Most doctor's adjust your back and send you on your way - Dr. Ide makes sure to turn it into a lifestyle change by improving your posture and fixing any issues you may have. I would definitely recommend him over any chiropractor.

    ~Lauren Dunigan

I always have good service and leave feeling good! The people are nice and all know my name. I really like how they do business for senior citizens... that's a big plus!
~Nancy Matson

Very extensive in the examination. Not like other chiropractors I'd seen who just do a quick adjustment. They diagnosed the problem and are working to correct it with me. They have even went so far as to work out payment arguments for the things my insurance wouldn't cover.

    ~Brandon Ogle

I had neck and shoulder pain since 2010. Ever since I started going to him I have felt better and better!

    ~Andrel Jacobs 

I had ankle problems all my life in my left foot. Dr. Ide adjusted my ankle for me and within one adjustment my ankle felt the best ever. Thanks Dr. Ide!

              A.H.
              Fenton, MI

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