Very much like the lessons learned from smoking cigarettes, over the last three decades, the chiropractic community has learned lessons about the negative effects of prolonged sitting at a desk. In my practice, Soft Touch Chiropractic in Porter Ranch, CA, anywhere between 30%-40% of my patients come to me with pain caused by prolonged sitting.
When the personal computer became ubiquitous, we realized that hunching over the keyboard was bad for our posture and caused neck pain. Chiropractors began advising patients then to sit up straight instead of bringing their shoulders forward towards the monitor. The sale of ergonomic chairs and back support devices skyrocketed. In the 1990’s we found out that sitting up straight was not optimal, so we advised patients to bring their monitors to eye level. In the early 2000's we found that all that was not enough to ameliorate the problem so we advised patients to sit back on their chairs 135 degrees and bring the monitor above eye level. In 2021, we now have come to the conclusion that standing is the best position for working at a desk and sitting is detrimental to a person’s overall health. Each solutions brought progressive relief but it was not enough. None of them were optimal solutions. The conclusion is, don’t sit.
Sitting for prolonged periods of time interferes with the natural movement of the ribs, constricting the flow of breath. It also interferes with the lymphatic system which is responsible for carrying toxins out of the body.
The absolute best thing to do, if you have to work at a desk in front of a desktop or laptop, is to stand with a soft surface under your feet whether it be well-soled shoes or a cushioned mat. Raising work stations are now available in many different forms. It’s fine to stand for a while and sit for a while, but it’s best to spend the majority of the time standing. While standing, the screen you are working on should be at a level where you don’t have to hunch over at the shoulders.
If your work requires you to spend the majority of your time in front of a screen, consult your chiropractor on solutions to relieve back pain, neck tension and improve your posture. If you are in the Valley area of Los Angeles, call Dr. Masoud for a free exam 818-831-0100.
Do you know anyone who suffers from Type 2 diabetes? You can bring them hope by encouraging them to watch the documentary below: Simply Raw - Reversing Diabetes in Thirty Days.
Although not an easy journey, it is possible to use nutrition to heal the body of insulin resistance.
If you or someone you care about is looking for answers, or an alternative to medicine, watch the video and then call our office for a nutritional consultation.
A chiropractic appointment is not like a medical appointment. In order for me to accurately diagnose a patient at my practice, Soft Touch Chiropractic in Porter Ranch, CA. I need to palpate a patient’s muscles, spine and other joints. This is the method by which I analyze pain.
The best thing to wear is loose, comfortable clothing which does not restrict body movement. The shirt or top should be easy to lift for me to examine the back. In my office, I perform physiotherapy which involves the use of gels and balms which may end up on a patient’s clothes in spite of my best efforts to keep the gel contained.
Wearing old t-shirts, sweat pants, loose leggings and the like are best. Clothes like tight jeans, overalls, jumpsuits, suits, or tight tops make it difficult to work with the patient. It’s best to dress in clothes you don’t mind washing and maybe staining.
My goal is to give each patient the best possible experience while at my practice. A patient’s ease of movement helps me do that. For further clarification please call Dr. Masoud 818-831-0100.
During my tenure at Soft Touch Chiropractic in Porter Ranch, CA, I noticed the speed with which my patients recover from pain depends on whether or not they follow my post-care recommendations at home. Those who follow my recommendations recover faster and their results last longer. One of the top recommendations I make is to stay away from anything that causes inflammation.
Meat, especially processed or salted meat, causes a great deal of inflammation. Remember these products can hide in dishes like pasta, pizza and stews. Products like deli meat, salami, pepperoni, sausage, prosciutto and canned meat can keep a person in prolonged pain. Undigested meat can remain trapped inside the villi of the small intestine anywhere from 72 hours to 1 year. When it ferments, it causes severe acidity and inflammation. Our bodies react by producing antibodies which cause allergies and greater inflammation.
If you need to find an alternative, you can eat a plant-based product such as Impossible Meat.
Cheese, yogurt, milk and milk products have the same effect as meat. Dairy contains casein protein which is also a source of inflammation. Instead, you can find cheese products made out of almond, coconut, cashew or rice. Coconut yogurt is just as tasty as cow milk yogurt. It is surprising how similar the taste of these alternative products is to dairy.
Sugar, Corn Syrup and Sugar-Filled Products
We’re all too familiar with cookies, candy, muffins, pastries and the like. However, sugar can hide in other products like ketchup, canned food, sports beverages and of course soda.
Sugar can overwhelm the nerve cells. Imagine standing next to a loudspeaker. Even if you like to listen to music, when it is too loud, it’s no longer enjoyable and you might lose your hearing. Glucose molecules play the same role in the nerve cells. The cells like the sugar but too much of it is like the loud music and over time the nerve cells get irritated and die. Thankfully we have billions of them, however, when you have severe musculoskeletal pain your nerves are under great attack and irritation already and you don’t want to stimulate your nervous system with sugar.
Also stay away from sugar substitutes such as xylitol or aspartame. Instead, I recommend you use stevia or coconut sugar.
This category includes: wine, beer, hard liquor and spirits, as well as over the counter medications which contain alcohol. Even the slightest hint of alcohol can bring back the inflammation which you are trying to get rid of.
If you are currently experiencing back pain, and have not seen a chiropractor, it would be in your best interest to stop eating these inflammatory foods and make an appointment to see your local chiropractor.
Parabens are a class of widely used preservatives in cosmetic and pharmaceutical products. They are considered xenoestrogens. In other words, these chemicals can mimic the hormone estrogen in your body. Parabens can cause a number of problems for your hair including drying, irritating your scalp, fading your color, and even hair loss.
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
PCBs can be found in coolant fluids and copy paper among other consumer products. Exposure to this toxin can cause damage to the prostate gland of fetuses, infants and children. It has been known to cause high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. PCB has also been known to cause brain damage.
Triclosan Trihalomethanes (THMs)
THM is found in many personal care products, carpets and toys.It causes birth defects and miscarriages. Currently, it is banned from use in food products in European Union countries.
As an herbicide, Atrazine is found in produce, turf, residential lawns and golf courses. Most alarmingly, it is found in drinking water. It has been known to cause fetal low birth weight as well as birth defects
Over the counter Acetaminophen can cause serious liver damage. It is responsible for 56,000 emergency room visits, 2,600 hospitalizations and 458 deaths annually in the US alone.
recommended reading by dr. Masoud
Doctor Yourself by Dr. Saul will teach you how to use vitamin therapy to cure many conditions that an average family might experience. There is advice for both children and adults.
Niacin: The Real Story is based on double blind research done in the 1950s by Dr. Hoffer himself. It tells about the many benefits of niacin also known as B3. The book lists recommendations for the use of B3 mega doses to treat conditions such as anxiety, arthritis, ADHD, schizophrenia and many others. Niacin: The Real Story gives advice for both adults and children.
Over-the-Counter Natural Cures is written by Shane Ellison, who previously worked for the pharmaceutical industry. He saw, first hand, the harm that pharma drugs can cause. He uses his knowledge of chemistry to prove with research that for many drugs, there are natural counterparts which don't cause harmful side effects. This is Dr. Masoud's favorite read as of 2021.
Thomas Levy, who wrote Curing the Incurable, is both a doctor and a lawyer. He focuses on the many benefits of vitamin C. He describes how to use it to treat many types of infections or toxicity. Especially during the time of COVID-19, many medical doctors and alternative care practitioners are using his recommendations.
You Are the Placebo, written by Dr. Joe Dispenza teaches about the body's power of self-healing through meditation. Although meditation is often linked to spiritual practices, Dispenza uses science-based research to show that the power of the mind and body connection is effective and real.
One of the services I offer in my practice - Soft Touch Chiropractic in Porter Ranch, CA is customized nutritional counseling to go along with a patient’s chiropractic care. Here are three of the most common areas that need nutritional support and their specific advice. Please watch the video below for more details.
Nutrition for Joint Support
Vitamin C helps synthesize collagen fiber which is an important compound for the joints. There are two types of Vitamin C, sodium ascorbate and liposomal Vitamin C. Both can be consumed in high dosages without side effects.
Glucosamine sulfate helps with cartilage formation and repair. If you are allergic to sulfate, you cannot take this, but if you are able to, this is great for combining with Vitamin C for joint repair.
MSM is a natural compound made of rain water and plant chloroform. It is a natural painkiller and anti-inflammatory supplement. Manufacturers will sometimes combine it with glucosamine, but a separate product is more effective. This works for any joint in your body that has cartilage.
You must keep in mind that these supplements work fundamentally better than a synthetic drug, but they work over time with longer lasting results and no side effects. They pose no threat to your liver and kidneys like synthetic drugs tend to do.
Our current health culture calls for immediate gratification, but for equipping your body better to heal itself, these supplements are better than drugs.
Muscle Health and Relaxation
My first recommendation for muscle relaxation is Epsom salt baths. Epsom salt contains magnesium sulfate which helps relax the muscles and relieve cramps.
If you don’t have a bathtub, you can still benefit by soaking your feet in the salts. If soaking is not your thing, magnesium chloride spray or magnesium glycinate pills are good alternatives to Epsom salt.
Arnica flower gel is a muscle relaxant. It’s also good for tendons and ligaments. I recommend it to reduce bruising. The gel is safe enough to use 3-4 times a day.
Valerian root is also a muscle relaxant and analgesic. It can be taken as a sleeping aid. I don’t suggest the gel, but rather the capsule to be taken at night, not in the morning.
Much of our muscle stress is aggravated during sleep, usually due to our natural hormonal system during our sleeping hours, which is why valerian root and passion flower are helpful especially if you have an existing musculoskeletal issue.
Nerve Analgesic and Repair
Passion flower is a natural analgesic. It also helps with sleep. The pills are fine to take but the liquid drops are better.
Vitamin B Complex helps to maintain a healthy nervous system. A complex is various B vitamins combined into one pill. Vitamin Bs are water soluble, which is why I recommend that a patient take 1 capsule in the morning and 1 in the afternoon.
The following activities and conditions rob the body of Vitamin B: recreational drug consumption, drinking alcohol, smoking, vaping, erratic dieting, working graveyard shifts, frequent traveling, chronic illnesses and stress. If any of these apply to you, I highly recommend you take a B complex as your body is being drained of this important nutrient.
If you are in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles, CA and would like to schedule a free consultation, call 818-831-0100.
The reason I prescribe neck exercises to my patients here at Soft Touch Chiropractic in Porter Ranch, CA, is for them to gain muscle strength and improve posture, which in turn increases the health of the spine along the neck and upper back area thus reducing pain.
Many of my patients experiencing neck and upper back pain, come to me as a result of a car accident or personal injury cases where they have suffered whiplash or severe injury to the neck.
Upper back exercises and neck exercises go hand in hand because if there is a problem in the upper back, it will cause neck problems and if there is a problem with the neck, it will cause upper back problems. So the exercises prescribed should target both areas.
If you are my current patient, please watch the video below several times, wait a few days after your initial appointment, then follow the video while doing the exercises at home.
If you are not my patient, I would recommend that you schedule an appointment with your local chiropractor to discuss your neck and upper back pain and ask questions about the exercises in the video.
If you are in the Porter Ranch, Northridge area of Los Angeles, call to schedule an appointment for a free consultation. 818-831-0100
You may or may not already be a patient in my practice in Porter Ranch, CA. If you are a patient, you have seen my exam form where I noted the findings of your exam. The video below will dive into a deeper explanation of my notes on your exam form, so please watch it so that all the information stays fresh in your mind.
If you are not a patient, I encourage you to continue reading and to watch the video below so that you know what to expect from a chiropractic exam in my office.
The following are seven components of my chiropractic exam:
Vital signs such as your pulse, respiratory rate and temperature will tell me if you are a candidate for chiropractic care or if you need to be referred to another professional. It will give me a sense of your overall health.
Your posture tells me a lot about you. During this part of the exam, I observe how you stand. I then manually check the levels of your pelvis, shoulders, head and their tilt. I’m also able to assess the muscle tone at these parts of the body.
RANGE OF MOTION OF NECK AND SHOULDERS
Range of motion exams help me differentiate between muscle issues and joint issues. I normally start at the neck where the patient bends the neck forward and back, also known as flexion/extension. This tells me about the health of the joints. Then I ask the patient to rotate the head from side to side and this tells me about the condition of the muscles in that area. Bending the neck from side to side, also known as lateral flexion, will tell me about both the joints and muscles.
The range of motion test is done two ways, 1) you do it yourself and 2) the doctor does it for you. If the doctor is exerting the force to move the body, it is called passive range of motion. However if you are moving on your own, it is called active range of motion. This gives me a great deal of valuable information to tell if the issue is a muscle or joint disorder.
Oftentimes, I will have to combine the range of motion tests for shoulder, neck and back with the postural, orthopedic and neurological tests to arrive at a more accurate diagnosis.
Also, known as the art of palpation, this test is designed for me to look for four things: misalignments, fixation of the joints, pain and spasms or muscle tone. This is the most important part of the chiropractic exam.
During palpation, I will use my hands to palpate the joints and muscles of the head, neck, shoulders, spine, back and pelvis.
When I palpate the joints, I’m looking for misalignments, which means a joint is out of place. I’m also looking for fixation, which means there is no movement in the joints. When I palpate the muscles I identify their tone, whether they are soft or stiff. I am also looking for spasms. All along the way, I am watchful for areas of pain.
This series of tests are designed to test the muscles, nerves and joints. Each has a particular function. There are over 100 tests available. I obviously do not perform all of them in each exam. Depending on your health history, I will choose appropriate tests for your exam. For example, the Thoracic Outlet Syndrome test helps me diagnose circulation issues and the Straight Leg Raise test helps me diagnose muscle and joint issues of the low back specifically.
Here are some tests that appear in your form:
Shoulder Depression Test
Foraminal Compression Test
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome Test
Straight Leg Raise Test
Patrick Fabere Test
If any of these tests are marked positive on your exam form you can do further research online to find out more about your condition.
The first step in the neurological test portion of the exam is called dermatome mapping. Using an instrument called a pinwheel, I check every part of the spine. I gently run the pinwheel on the skin. Although the test is painless, it does cause sensation. I am looking for sensation to be exactly the same on both sides of the body. Checking the sensory part of your nerves, tells us if there are interferences in your peripheral nerves closer to the spine. If one side is more sensitive than the other, that is a telling sign about the source of the nerve interference. If you have a history of numbness in your hands, feet or numbness that radiates from the back to the feet and ankles, it indicates a neurological problem such as a bulged disc.
Lastly, I perform a reflex test. While the dermatome mapping checks for your peripheral nerves, the reflex test checks your spinal cord. The reflex test will show if there are any abnormalities in the cord and at which level the abnormalities exist. This test is crucial for any patient with suspected or confirmed bulged discs or space-occupying lesions in the spinal cord. The test will show how severe the condition is. I use a reflex hammer to tap the tendons and note the reaction. The reactions vary from normal to diminished to exaggerated or absent.
An accurate diagnosis takes into account the results of all the tests, your health history as well as your own account of the symptoms.
If you are a current patient, I encourage you to study your results by watching the video and reading your form, then come back to my office to discuss your treatment. Consider the following options in the meantime:
If you are looking for chiropractic care in the Los Angeles area and would like to schedule an appointment for a free exam, please call my office at 818-831-0100.
The most frequently asked question asked by my patients here at Soft Touch Chiropractic in Porter Ranch, CA is, “How often do I need to come back for adjustments?” I jokingly point to my belly and ask, “If I want to lose weight, how often should I exercise?” They always laugh and give me their estimation of what they think I should do. But the fundamental question is, “What is the goal? Or what am I trying to achieve? So I ask them the same question.
Chiropractic empowers a person’s body to get the results they want. So in essence, you are in control of the consistency and frequency with which you get adjusted by your chiropractor.
So the short answer to the question is: It’s your decision.
The long answer is: It depends.
In my practice, I give my patients three options to choose from and depending on how they answer, I will make recommendations for future care.
Most of you who come to see me are in pain and your only goal is pain relief. This goal requires intensive care, sometimes daily visits. The next step is to get you through the improvement and recovery phase which includes home exercises and adjustments. Once you feel better you can choose to end chiropractic care, but without follow up, it’s possible that you’ll relapse after that and end up in my office again to manage the pain. We call this the Clinical Care Strategy because you come only when you have symptoms. If this is your case you might have marked the first choice on the form that says, “I have a specific concern and I require help only with this.”
The next choice on the form is, “I want to ensure that my health concerns do not become an ongoing problem and that it will not impact my future.” If you marked this option then you have chosen Preventive Care, which is less intensive and less costly. Preventive care is designed to prevent relapse.
The last option says, “I want to be healthier five years from today.” This means you want to invest in your future health. If you checked this box you have chosen Wellness Care. With this strategy, you’ll be treated more often than with Preventative Care because it’s not symptom oriented. With Wellness Care you can achieve goals like: retrain your muscles, improve your body’s biomechanics, keep your spine aligned and stable which is the most important part of chiropractic care, improve your range of motion, prevent exercise injuries, and basically be at your best. It’s important that you invest in your future health especially if you have others who depend on you.
Regardless of what type of care you choose, we are here to help you and support you in your decision.
If you are outside of the Los Angeles area of California, contact your local chiropractor and ask about their wellness strategies. If you are local to Los Angeles, contact us at 818-831-0100 to make an appointment for a free exam and first consultation.