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Health Tips from Spine Universe

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SpineUniverse is the most trusted source of quality, doctor-written information on spine health. Check out the following tips below to get help on back pain, proper posture and back care.

Three-Step Program for Chronic Low Back Pain

Workstation Ergonomics: Guidelines for Computer Use by Children

Backpack Syndrome

Ergonomic Chairs and Seat Adjustment

Driving and Back Care

Back Care for Sitting Work

Chiropractic Treatment of Sciatica

5 Easy Steps Toward De-flaming Your Body, Preventing Disease and Promoting Health

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Warning: These health tips are intended for the use of Maimonides’ patients under the supervision of the Doctor of Chiropractic. Before beginning any program of exercise or dietary recommendations always consult with your healthcare provider.

  • Drink lots of water, 6-8 glasses per day — more when you exercise. Your nervous system runs because of the catalytic effects of water. It helps remove wastes and inflammation from the body and keeps the digestive system moving smoothly.
  • Remove ALL grains from you diet. That includes: wheat, barley, corn, oats, rice, etc. (If you must eat any, keep it to one small serving per day.)
  • Eat YUMMY Anti-Inflammatory Salads.
    • Place in a bowl: chopped onions, red bell peppers, avocado. Add to this mixture: ORGANIC extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard, spices (ginger, turmeric, garlic and sea salt). Then add sautéed chicken, fish or meat into the salad. Don’t use oil to fry your meats. Try using just water and a non-stick pan (oils break down and lose their anti-inflammatory properties with heat and it will keep calories low.)


  • Enjoy De-Flaming Breakfast Shakes!
    • Recipe:
      Frozen cherries, blueberries and bananas (according to your taste), water (about 1 1/2 cups), one scoop of whey or soy protein powder (GenSoy makes a nice product), glutamine power (1 teaspoon or 4 capsules worth), almonds (about 10-12), pumpkin seeds or walnuts soaked in water overnight, 2-3 tablespoons of fresh ground flax (I like a product called Fortiflax, which I buy at Fresh Fields). Dump all ingredients into a blender and blend on high setting until creamy and smooth! Yummy! Takes about five minutes to make in the morning. Kids love it! I recommend leaving your blender on the counter as a semi-permanent fixture.


  • OOOSS Juice (Why is it called this? Legend says you’ll know when you taste it!)
    • Use a high quality, heat retaining, stainless steel 2-3 gallon pot. Boil 1 gallon of water; add 1/2 pound of sliced ginger and lightly boil for 5 minutes. Then turn the heat off and keep it off. Add 2-6 ORGANIC green tea bags. Steep for 30-60 minutes and then remove. Strain out ginger, place juice in a glass jar and cool in the fridge. Drink cold or re-heat (but if you do re-heat, do NOT boil — it’ll kill the tea leaves). If the tea is too strong for you, may be suggest that you dilute it according to your tolerance with either water or apple juice (for sweetness).

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Guidelines to Proper Lifting

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Warning: These health tips are intended for the use of Maimonides’ patients under the supervision of the Doctor of Chiropractic. Before beginning any program of exercise or dietary recommendations always consult with your healthcare provider.

Many of us work in professions that require heavy and/or repetitive lifting. Here are some things to remember when lifting to help keep your body as healthy as possible:

  • Always bend your knees when leaning forward to pick up something heavy.
  • Find a partner or two to help you lift heavy objects whenever possible.
  • When lifting and twisting your body, be sure to turn your entire body and do not just twist your back toward one side.
  • If you engage in repetitive lifting, we recommend stretching at the beginning and end of your shift to keep muscles limber (focus on stretching low back, hamstrings, quadriceps, biceps, triceps and trapezius muscles).
  • When lifting something off the ground, try to get your body down low to the ground to lift the object (unless your knees cannot support you, then you must find help).
  • When standing for long periods in between heavy lifting, place a phone book or short stool on the ground and stand with one foot on the book or stool. This removes pressure from your lower back.
  • Avoid sleeping or lying on your stomach – always sleep face-up with a towel/pillow under your knees or on your side with the towel/pillow between your knees, and only use one small pillow under your head.
  • Drink lots of water – this keeps your body hydrated and helps your muscles to carry their load with less chance or strain or injury.

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Spinal Exercises for Rehabilitation and Flexibility

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Warning: These health tips are intended for the use of Maimonides’ patients under the supervision of the Doctor of Chiropractic. Before beginning any program of exercise or dietary recommendations always consult with your healthcare provider.

Neck rolls – Drop head gently toward chest. Slowly roll head around to the other side and forward again. If you cannot complete a full circle, go to the point of restriction/pain and slowly go back the other way until you reach that point on the other side. Repeat 5 times per side and perform 2-3 times/day.

Posterior Neck Muscle Stretch – Lace together fingers and place in lap. Drop head gently toward chest. Place laced together hands on back of head. Slowly try to look straight ahead of you while at the same time applying resistance with your hands. Use gentle resistance and stop if pain felt at any time. Hold for 5 seconds and then relax neck and stop applying resistance. Drop head further forward toward chest. Repeat 3 times and perform 2-3 times/day.

Side Neck Muscle Stretch – Tip head as far as comfortably possible to one side. Place one hand on your head opposite of the side you are leaning toward. Try to straighten head while applying gentle resistance to the straightening. NOTE: Make sure you are attempting to straighten out your head and not simply pushing tilted head up into your hand. Hold for 5 seconds and then relax head to the side, letting it drop further. Repeat 3 times and perform 2-3 times/day. Also repeat for other side of neck.

Shoulder Shrugs – Slowly shrug shoulders forward (do not go backward in this stretch) for 10 circles and perform 2-3 times/day.

Towel Stretch – Hold a bath towel at each end out in front of you so arms are straight. Slowly lift straightened arms over your head and behind your shoulders. Stop at any point where pain or limitation begins. Hold towel behind you for 3 seconds and then slowly bring back over head to the front. Repeat 3 times and perform 2 times/day.

Wall-pushups – Stand close enough to a wall that you can touch it with arms straight in front of you. Place hands and feet shoulder-width apart. Bend elbows out to the sides as you bring your nose closer to the wall. At end of stretch, gently squeeze shoulder blades together if you do not feel enough of a stretch. Repeat 10 times and perform 2-3 times/day.

Upper Back Stretch With Weights – Take a small weight (2-5 lbs. for most people) and bend over a chair or bench with one knee. Hold weight with opposite hand and let arm straighten toward floor. Slowly bring weight up toward your chest keeping arm close in to your body. Do not hold. Repeat 10-15 times and perform 2 sets at once 1 time/day. Also repeat with other side.

Knee to Chest – While lying face-up, simply bring one knee toward your chest. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat 3 times, 1-2 times/day. Then repeat with other knee and then bring both knees to chest.

Superman Exercise – Lying face-down on floor, rest neck comfortably to one side (or prop forehead on a towel and look down at floor) and raise alternating arm and leg toward the ceiling remembering to keep neck relaxed. Repeat 10 times and perform 2 times/day.

Hamstring Stretch – While seated, cross one leg over the other in a figure 4 position. Relax arms down by sides and slowly lean forward trying to touch your chest to your leg. Stop at point of restriction/pain. Repeat 3-5 times on each side and perform 2 times/day.

Piriformis Stretch – While lying face-up, cross one leg over the other in a figure 4 position. Lift non-crossed leg slightly off the floor while you hold the crossed leg’s knee with both hands. Gently pull knee toward opposite side of your body (crossing it over you) until you feel resistance in the deep buttock muscles. NOTE: The more you pull across your body, the more stretch you will feel. Repeat on each side 3-5 times and perform 1-2 times/day.

** Before beginning intensive exercise programs, consult with your Doctor. If you feel dizzy, weak or pain when performing these or any exercises, stop immediately and contact your Doctor.

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