Archive for the ‘Spinal Health-Self Care’ Category

Spinal Health-Self Care

June 7, 2011

Posted by ME…written by Editorial Staff of Dynamic Chiropractic June 3, 2011

An Education in Spinal Health

Side note from me: earlier blog post on   Spinal Decompession Seated Self Care Maneuver

Straighten Up working on three new activity modules

Even after years of progressive success and worldwide acclaim, the Straighten Up spinal health initiative isn’t resting on its laurels when it comes to sharing the message of spinal health with the public.

Three new activity modules are in the works, with Delphi review and input to be completed as of May 31, 2011.

The three new modules are “Upper Body Series,” “DoorWay Stretch” and “Bed Backs,” with Drs. Peter Gratale, Steven Weiniger and Sal Minicozzi the principal architects, respectively. (Dr. Ron Kirk, seed and Delphi panel coordinator for the Straighten Up initiative, teamed with Dr. Minicozzi on the Bed Backs module.)

According to Dr. Kirk, the global Delphi panel included “participants from the chiropractic profession, the Alliance for Health Promotion, the Forum for Health, the Bone and Joint Decade, the World Health Organization, the International Red Cross, World Spine Care and many international and national partners.”

It is expected that results of the review / voting process will be announced soon.

Here is a brief overview of the primary performance aspects of the proposed modules as provided to stakeholders participating in the review. Participants in the review process also had access to photos of each maneuver.

Straighten-Up Upper-Body Series (Seven Different Movements)

  1. Scarecrow Warm-Up: Arms shoulder level (this is the axle) with elbows locked at 90 degrees; slowly rotate the arms to rotate hands toward ceiling, then slowly reverse in opposite direction with hands pointing toward the floor. Only move within a range that is comfortable and keep head level to prevent neck strain.

     2.  Chest Press:  Holding a medicine ball of manageable weight at shoulder level, press straight forward with a little    upper lift. The stronger you are, the more you can try to straighten your elbows.

  1. Full Body CirclesHold ball at arms length with a bend in the elbows and make a complete circle around the front of your body. Reverse direction midway through set.
  1. Front Raise:  Squat down while keeping your upper body erect as far as is comfortable with ball between legs. In one smooth motion, raise ball forward up over head while straightening knees. Lower slowly as you squat back down.
  1. Hammer Throw / Wood Chop:  With slight squat, bring the ball low to right and lift diagonally, and extend to upper left. Slowly and in control, return to starting position. Reverse direction midway through set.
  1. Steering: Hold ball at arms length (closer to your body if weaker) and pretend you’re steering a car right and left. Make the rotations slow and controlled.
  1. Arm Circles Cool Down:  Hold arms out to sides and a little bit forward (15 degrees). Circle arms backward in a small circle. Midway through set, reverse direction.

Straighten Up Posture DoorWay Stretch (Three Exercises)

  1. DoorWay Lift and Drop: Align feet parallel to doorway. Lock knees, tuck pelvis slightly, activate abs (brace). Keep shoulders back and down. Keep head back, level and tall. Reach up with arms (or hands) on doorway. Lift chest and press head back (stay level). Reach high and belly breathe in. All motions slow and controlled.
  1. DoorWay Shoulder Opener
  1. DoorWay Chest Stretch

Note: The latter two exercises were not explained with text alone (illustrations were required), so we have chosen not to reproduce those descriptions here.

Suffice it to say both use the DoorWay Lift and Drop maneuver (reaching up to touch either side of the doorway) as a starting point.

For the Shoulder Opener maneuver, the patient leans to one side, then the other, bracing themselves against either side of the doorway with a single arm still in the reach position, entire arm parallel to the door frame.

For the Chest Stretch, the patient places their bent arms against either side of the doorway (lower arm perpendicular to door frame, upper arm parallel and bracing), then leans out, pressing the chest and hips forward.

Straighten Up Bed Backs (Seven Wake-Up Activities)

  1. Backs: Lying on your back with head level, arms out to the side, elbows bent at 90 degrees, fingers pointing up, gently press your head, back, arms and legs into the mattress in five easy pulses of 1-2 seconds each (15 seconds). Relax with hands down.
  1. Ceilings: Bring your palms together, moving your fingertips toward the ceiling as far as you can five times in gentle pulses of 1-2 seconds (15 seconds). Then bring your hands down and relax.
  1. Ins and Outs: Lying on your back, gently rotate your arms, hands, legs and feet inwardly and then outwardly five times to each side. Arms and legs may be done at the same time or separately (15 seconds). Relax.
  1. Helicopters: Lying on your back, arms at your sides, palms up, circle your hands and feet inwardly five times and outwardly five times (15 seconds).
  1. Twists: Make sure you stay toward the middle of your bed, not on the edge where you could fall off. Lying on your back, bend your knees to a 45 degree angle with your feet flat on the bed. Looking left, gently touch your right hand to your left shoulder while slowly, gently rolling both your knees to the right 45 degrees. Alternate sides five times each (30 seconds). Relax.
  1. Belly Breathing: As a warm-up, lying on your back with knees bent and feet flat, slowly arch your low back and then flatten your low back into the bed three times (15 seconds). Next, with flattened low back, slowly breathe in deeply (imagine filling your belly with air), then slowly breathe out completely, tightening your abdomen and bringing your belly button to your spine. Repeat 10 times (70 seconds).
  1. Wiggles:  Lying on your back, gently wiggle your whole body (10 seconds). Then wiggle your whole face (5 seconds). Relax. If you have time, the entire series of exercises could be repeated.

This video is on spinal decompression, but it gives you a good idea of what is happening as the spine moves and nourishes the discs/joints with exercise and movement:  DRX9000 Spinal Decompression Therapy:: Degenerative Disc Disease

The original Straighten Up spinal health initiative launched in 2004 with a training session at the Congress of Chiropractic State Associations convention in New Orleans.

The introductory spinal health module followed a similar path to implementation as the latest activity modules in terms of a comprehensive Delphi review process.

The Just Start Walking module launched in 2010. To learn more about Straighten Up and its wellness modules, visit

If you are suffering from: Sports Injuries, Sprains, Strains, Car accident,  Herniated Disc, Disc Bulge, Degenerative Disc Disease, Neck pain, Headaches, Low back pain, of just want to feel better and have better life performance– please call our office in Irvine, California- at 949.857.1888or visit our website at ADJUST2IT to learn more about Functional Fitness Chiropractic, Sports massage, Myofascial Release, Corrective Exercise, Non Surgical Spinal Decompression, Class IV laser, Functional Endocrinology and Functional Nutrition.