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Exercises For the Lower Back

- Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Good morning everyone, Dr. Alex Hernandez here from Life Chiropractic and Acupuncture. I’m here with Janelle, and we’re going to demonstrate the top 3 exercises for your low back. Many people experience low back pain and they want to know what stretches to perform at home.

In this video we’re going to show you something you can do that is really simple, this is what we teach all our patients. We start out with Janelle lying face out. The first exercise, we call the 555 Stretch. Janelle bends her knees, brings her arms up, and let the legs just drop to the side. Do a count of 5 seconds. Great, let’s go to the other side, let’s bend arms and bend the legs, and what we’re trying to have you do is really stretch the low back out, between the low back and your sacrum. This takes pressure off of the nerves, it takes pressure off of the low back, it creates a very, very nice stretch. Let’s do it again, one more time. Some people may notice that they’re tighter on one side than the other, so ultimately your goal is to try to get both sides to move as evenly as possible. Do this 5 times to each side.

Alright the second stretch, it’s a common stretch called the simple knee to chest exercise. Start off again laying on the back, we’re going to bring the knee to the center, and we’re going to have you pull it as far as you can without causing yourself any kind of pain, and we’re going to hold that for 10 seconds. Then do the other side. You’re allowing yourself to stretch out the low back, you’re pulling in, creating some stretching of your low back, and this also gives you relief into your low back.

Lastly, bring both knees to the center, both knees to the chest and we’re going to need a nice pull, one side pelvis, second side the other pelvis, and then the third, both of them to the center. Again, you’re holding for 10 seconds. So this is the second stretch, and you can do it in that order. First the 555, then the knee to chest, and then the third and last one.

Then have a seat. This is what we call the piriformis stretch, the piriformis is a deep muscle inside the glute, very deep in, and you can only access that by doing this specific stretch. Basically you’re going to cross the leg over and stretch yourself all the way as far as you can and then again hold for a count of 10. Do the other side. We’re trying to stretch part of the hip muscles in here, part of the glute, this juncture in here that is known to cause back pain.

So when people are sitting at desks for 8, 10 hours a day, this area will tighten up and as you do this stretch, it’s going to give you a lot of relief. Let’s do the other side. Some people may find it very difficult. That’s okay, graduate yourself up little by little, until you’re able to reach as far as you possibly can, and that will give you a lot of relief in your low back.

So use these 3 stretches to help yourself out, this is a morning routine. It takes you less than 5 minutes, and hopefully that will help you relieve your back pain. If you have any questions, contact us.


When Do You Need an X-Ray?

- Tuesday, September 08, 2020

Good morning, my name is Dr. Alex Hernandez, Chiropractor here in North Bergen from Life Chiropractic and Acupuncture. Today I want to help you with the decision of "when to get an x-ray". Then, in my next segment we’re going to talk about "when you need an MRI".

At our Chiropractor's office we do routine x-rays for the spine, from the neck to the low back. Questions that are asked are "why do we take an x-ray?" and, "when is it necessary?" We take an x-ray when we feel that your spine, anywhere from your neck to your low back, may be out of alignment. I

Not everybody needs an x-ray, but in general if you’re having some sort of back pain, we want to check in; if you’re having some sort of neck pain, we want to check in and see what is going on with your spine, what is going on with your neck. There could be 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 segments out of alignment that are causing you pain. It’s important not to guess, not to assume we know what’s going on. We want to make sure that we get the appropriate diagnosis so we can create the appropriate treatment plan. For these reasons we use x-rays.

In our office we take digital x-rays. What does that mean? It’s a fancy term for x-rays that are high definition and we can actually manipulate the images -- we can make them brighter, we can make them darker. Here is an example of what we’re talking about.

In the video you see a normal spine. You can see the x-ray quality is very, very high. We see the ribs, we see all the low back bones, we see the hips, we can even see the gases going through the intestines. So I can take this image and basically manipulate it. I can look at it and contrast it and it shows me a different view. I can change the quality of it, and again I can make it lighter and darker. I can zoom in on the images and then zoom out so I can really look at all of the details as to what’s going on with your spine so that you can get the proper treatment.

An x-ray is a very valuable tool that will help us to understand what is in alignment, what is not in alignment, and then what we need to do in order to put your spine back to normal.

How long does it take to get an x-ray? Two x-rays for your low back take less than 10 seconds. For more information, contact us


Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Signs and Symptoms

- Friday, August 28, 2020

Good afternoon, my name is Dr. Alex Hernandez from Life Chiropractic and Acupuncture. Today we’re going to talk about Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. This is something that a lot of people are now experiencing because they are doing so much computer work. Some people spend anywhere from 6 to 12 hours on their computer as part of their job, and there is a hazard to doing this.

What ends up happening is, through the carpal tunnel you have muscles and tendons that cross through along with two main nerves, and then you have a big ligament coming across as well. So it is a very small, tight area, and when you do a lot of repetitive functions like computer, sewing, or playing guitar, you can develop Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

What does that mean?

That means that you’re putting pressure on the nerves that are crossing through this tunnel, mainly the median nerve and the ulnar nerve. Those are the two main ones that cross through, and when you put pressure on these, you end up with numbness or tingling, maybe even a burning sensation, you can drop stuff, no longer have a proper grip, try to open a jar and can’t do it. Those are the signs when experiencing carpal tunnel. Some people shake their hand to try to relieve the pain and tingling.

What do you need to do?

First of all, you need to get checked. Find out where the nerves are being pinched, in the wrist or in the neck? So when we take a look we can find out if you are putting pressure on the nerves starting from the root, or pressure in this area here, something trapped in the nerve, the muscle, the ligament, the tendon. Until we look, we don’t know so it’s important to get checked.

So if you need a consultation, if you need somebody to help you with your carpal tunnel, please call my office, 201-861-2025 and we will help you.


Chiropractic Care: Everyday Activities Do’s, and Don’ts

- Thursday, August 27, 2020

This is Dr. Alex Hernandez from Life Chiropractic and Acupuncture Due to popular demand, I’m going to talk about some do’s and don’ts. I have some silly pictures here, but they’re going to prove the point. I’m going to show you how you don’t mess yourself up with simple things that we do everyday.

Let’s talk about one of the common ones: picking up luggage. This guy is picking up luggage the right way, you can see he’s balancing himself. The man on the left side, he’s not doing well, he’s about to really screw up his back. You can see what’s happening, he’s got a load on his shoulder, another bag here. This is a true story, people have gotten hurt - bad disc herniations -from doing this.

Alright, let’s look at another one: working on the car. When you work on a car, often if you are a do-it-yourself, if you’re bending over for 6, 7, 8 hours a day, you can get hurt. You have just got to watch out when doing repetitive bending for long periods of time.

Everybody has a cellphone, not too many people have house phones, however, the habit is the same. So if you’re crunching your neck this way, talking on your phone while you’re doing something else like writing, you’re going to get neck pain. Be aware not to do that.

Another big one is working with computers. We got a lady here sitting upright, this is the proper posture. Here we have her hunching really bad, this is an exaggeration but many people find themselves in this position, and you end up getting neck pain, shoulder pain, and carpal tunnel syndrome. This is a really terrible position to be in. So, again, look at the best possible posture. If you zoom in here you could see that this lady has a back support, right there. The other lady does not have a back support. You need to have that low back support to hold your posture upright, if not, this is how you’re naturally going to sit down.

Okay, let’s do another one, vacuuming. This is a big one, a lot of people get hurt vacuuming. Again, this silly photo proves the point, you need to walk right behind your vacuum. A lot of people twist. They end up vacuuming this way, and then they pull this way, and then they can duck underneath, and they’re twisting their spine, and they’re really screwing themselves up. I get a lot of people that get low back pain because of that.

Those were a few do’s and don’ts, hopefully you got some value out of that. And I’ll see you next time with some more valuable tips. Thank you.

For more information, contact us.


The Acupuncture Needle Compares in Size to a Human Hair

Joseph Coupal - Monday, March 23, 2020

Today we continue the subject of acupuncture and our most frequently asked questions regarding acupuncture: What is an acupuncture needle, and do they hurt? This video is offered by the professional chiropractic and acupuncture care team here at North Bergan’s Life Chiropractic & Acupuncture. Once again, we have with us today our licensed acupuncturist, Monica Gajiwala here at Life Chiropractic and Acupuncture Center here in North Bergan.

Hello everyone. This is Monica at Life Chiropractic and Acupuncture Center here in North Bergan. Today we are going to discuss the acupuncture needle and if acupuncture hurts.

I have a chart here which compares the needle with other needles and objects. For comparison, I have a matchstick here with the comparison with an injection needle, sewing needle, and the acupuncture needle. Looking at the diameter, the acupuncture needle is hair thin. We have next to it is a human hair which is comparable with the acupuncture needle. So acupuncture does not hurt. How it feels, many say, is that the feel nothing regarding the acupuncture needle insertion. Some feel the sensation of a pinch or prick. Acupuncture should not be a painful experience.

Whether you suffer acute or systemic neck pain, regardless of the cause, Life Chiropractic & Acupuncture here in North Bergan can and will improve your quality of life. Click here to learn more about our North Bergen Chiropractic Care Clinic. Of course, call anytime!


Acupuncture: Can Reduce Pain, Inflammation, and More!

Darren Kincaid - Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Greetings again from the professional chiropractic team here at North Bergan’s Life Chiropractic & Acupuncture. Today we’re like to cover the subject of acupuncture, a term most of us know, but a subject most of us know little about. Today, our licensed Acupuncturist, Monica Gajiwala, helps shed light on this ancient practice that does much more than mitigate pain. 

Hello everyone. This is Monica Gajiwala, a licensed acupuncturist at Life Chiropractic and Acupuncture Center here in North Bergan. Today we are going to quickly define acupuncture and the benefits of acupuncture. Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine that originated thousands of years ago. Acupuncture uses healthy needle to various point in the different part of the body to reduce the pain, reduce inflammation, promote relaxation, and restore the body's energy.

Acupuncture helps with lower back pain, neck pain, Bell's palsy, plantar fasciitis, as well as allergy, sinusitis, insomnia, inflammation, and many more. A full list of ailments and conditions that acupuncture could help you out with are listed on our acupuncture webpage.

Whether you suffer acute or systemic neck pain, regardless of the cause, Life Chiropractic & Acupuncture here in North Bergan can and will improve your quality of life. Click here to learn more about our North Bergen Chiropractic Care Clinic. Of course, call anytime!


Chiropractic Treatment Returns Auto-Accident Victim to Pain Free Living

Joseph Coupal - Sunday, March 08, 2020

So, you’ve been victimized by an auto-accident. The hearts of the entire professional chiropractic team here at North Bergan’s Life Chiropractic & Acupuncture go out to you. We hope that by reading this blog post today that we might help prevent you from being victimized for a second time. We hope that you learn the value of assessing why a combination of chiropractic treatment and acupuncture treatment here in North Bergan can help you avoid painful and debilitating invasive surgery and/or dangerous prescription drugs.

In this video, we share the story of a patient who was involved in a serious auto accident that left the entire left side of her body in pain. She could not accomplish simple tasks like opening a bottle. She could not perform normal activities such as walking without pain, and a return to her favorite sport of running seemed out of the question. But then she turned to Dr. Hernandez and our staff at Life Chiropractic & Acupuncture. We delivered chiropractic treatment for her neck and back pain and empowered her to forgo invasive surgery and dangerous pain medications. She has returned to full health and pain free living. Her praise of Life Chiropractic is heartwarming to all of us.

For those of you who are not familiar with our North Bergan chiropractic clinic, here are some handy links to some of the services we provide that are proven to reduce and/or eliminate chronic and systemic pain:

Whether you suffer acute or systemic neck and/or back pain, regardless of the cause, Life Chiropractic & Acupuncture here in North Bergan can and will improve your quality of life. Click here to learn more about our North Bergen Chiropractic Care Clinic. Of course, call anytime!


Chiropractic Non-Surgical / Non-Drug Treatment Option for Ligament Pain

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, February 27, 2020

When it comes to pain management, it is important to research all treatment options, not only the types of treatment options but who will be performing them. That is why the professional chiropractic team here at North Bergan’s Life Chiropractic & Acupuncture invites you to not only read and learn from our blog posts, but to call and get to know us. For the better part of a decade now, our New Bergan Chiropractic & Acupuncture Clinic led by Dr. Alex Hernandez has returned countless patients to the pain-free quality of live that once eluded them all. And we can and will reduce and/or eliminate you pain as well.

Today’s blog post will hit home for those of you who have placed yourself on “injured reserved” from the gym or from normal daily activities due to ligament pain. We received superb feedback regarding this video because it is very common for you weightlifters in the gym (or those of you who lift things for a living) to ultimately succumb to ligament pain. In this video, Dr. Hernandez describes the cause of various ligament pains and a common technique that he used to treat ligament damage, the “Graston Technique”. The Graston technique is a patented form of instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization used to break down scar tissue. It is a non-surgical technique to benefit the connective tissues present throughout the body, including bones, organs, muscles, nerves, and surrounding blood vessels. We trust you’ll both enjoy and learn from watching this video.

For those of you who are not familiar with our North Bergan chiropractic clinic, here are some handy links to some of the services we provide that are proven to reduce and/or eliminate chronic and systemic pain:

Life Chiropractic & Acupuncture here in North Bergan can and will improve your quality of life. Click here to learn more about our North Bergen Chiropractic Care Clinic. Of course, call anytime!


Digital Vs Conventional X-Ray’s

Joseph Coupal - Sunday, February 23, 2020

Greetings once again from North Bergen’s Life Chiropractic & Acupuncture. Today Dr. Hernandez will discuss with you the differences between a digital x-ray and a conventional x-ray. As you might guess, there are some distinct advantages to the digital x-ray. We hope you find this video informative.



Good Morning everyone. Dr. Alex Hernandez here, from Life Chiropractic and Acupuncture. I want to show you guys the differences between the digital x-ray and the conventional x-ray. So why is the digital x-ray better than conventional x-ray? This is an old conventional x-ray. Next to it is a digital x-ray. The advantages are now going to be covered.

I can things to the digital x-ray that I can’t with the other. I can zoom in. So right here I have a thoracic spine and mid-back. I can really zoom in as far as I need. I can't do that with a conventional x-ray. One of the other things that I enjoy about this program is I can look and I can turn it the contrast and I could really see the lung spaces here. I can see the bones it gives me another view that I can't get with the conventional x-ray. I can also increase the contrast which again I can’t do with the conventional x-ray. This is not to say that conventional x-ray is bad, but today you should be getting digital x-rays in most places.

Another thing that we can do is we can turn this x-ray as many turns this x-ray. I can turn it to the left. I could turn it to the right. When people come in with images from other places, I can just basically turn them so I could see exactly what I need to see. I can write text in here. I can take measurements. We can put them on a CD for you. So those are just some of the main advantages of the digital x-ray.

Not all of you will need a digital x-ray. We use them in the spinal & postural screening process here at our North Bergen Chiropractic and Acupuncture care clinic as part of the process to unlocking your door to improved spinal health and wellbeing. Start you journey to pain free living. Contact us today!


Let’s Talk Neck Pain and How Chiropractic Treatment Can End It

Joseph Coupal - Sunday, February 23, 2020
Life Chiropractic & Acupuncture - North Bergen, NJ

Greetings again from the professional chiropractic team here at North Bergan’s Life Chiropractic & Acupuncture. Today we’d like to cover the subject of neck pain. This is a very prolific condition that almost everyone will experience at one time or another. Your pain might be a very serious health issue, or it may not. What it IS is painful and we hope you learn a few things regarding assessing your pain and when it is time to seek treatment by a professional care provider.

The neck, also known as the cervical spine, has two main purposes: protecting the spinal cord and supporting the head allowing it to move with good range of motion. It is made up of bones, nerves, muscles, ligaments, and tendons that are organized in a complex way that allows the neck to be protective while also remaining flexible. This ability to remain flexible also creates quite a bit of vulnerability to damage due to the constant pressure from the head to keep it upright. Some movements whether gradual and repetitive in nature (like poor posture) or sudden and sharp (like whiplash) can result in strain and discomfort. Cervicalgia is a fancy term for an injury of the neck (cervical spine) that causes pain due to this strain without spreading to other areas such as the arms.

Most people will experience neck pain at some point in their life and it is often easily treated. Many cases of neck pain are reoccurring and can come and go from time to time or may become persistent and turn into a more chronic condition. Some common causes of cervicalgia may include:

  • Poor posture from sitting too much, many hours in the car or working at a desk and computer
  • Lengthy periods with the neck at an awkward angle, such as when sleeping.
  • Injuries that involve a sudden neck movement, such as whiplash from a car crash
  • Long-term stress and clenching of neck and shoulder muscles, leading to a strain on the neck.
  • Bone conditions, such as arthritis or osteoporosis. (more common in older populations)

The symptoms of cervicalgia are pain that is worsened by holding your head in one position, such as driving or working at a computer, muscle tightness and spasms, many patients will describe what feels like muscle knots in their shoulders, decreased range of motion and/or difficulty moving the head, and sometimes headaches can be associated with neck pain. Most neck pain is not severe and will improve gradually but, in many cases, it is important to seek treatment.

When is it time to see the chiropractor? Contact us if the pain in your neck:

  • Is severe
  • Persist for more than a couple days
  • Is reoccurring and/or becoming chronic
  • Spreads to other areas (arms, legs, upper back, shoulders, etc…)
  • Is accompanied by headache, weakness, numbness, or tingling

Whether you suffer acute or systemic neck pain, regardless of the cause, Life Chiropractic & Acupuncture here in North Bergan can and will improve your quality of life. Click here to learn more about our North Bergen Chiropractic Care Clinic. Of course, call anytime!