What is a Spinal Disc? Dr. Lou Jacobs – Chiropractor Portland Maine

December 30, 2019

Spinal Discs

Discs Are Shock Absorbers. There are 23 discs in the spine. The discs have a rugged outer shell of sorts, the interior is soft and flexible. The discs are similar to the gum we had as kids with the thick liquid center. Discs need hydration. At birth, the disc is 80% water. Over a lifetime, hydration is critical for the health of the discs. When discs are under stress and poorly hydrated, they accumulate damage faster. They degenerate, herniate and debilitate (you). Discs are somewhat rubbery but firm.  When discs compress and lose their height under stress, nerves, joints, and bones become compressed. Blood vessels, lymphatic tissue, ligaments, and tendons become compressed too. You actually lose height over the course of the day, because of compression of the discs. When you sleep at night, your spine DEcompresses. With more spinal stress, there is more compression. More compression leads to more damage. Age is only a partial factor, a young ski jumper may have more spinal damage than a much older swimmer.   What is the difference between a disc bulge and a disc herniation? A disc bulge is a small protrusion of the disc that may begin to take...

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What is the spine? Dr. Lou Jacobs – Chiropractor Portland, Maine

December 20, 2019

What is the spine?

Why do you have a spine? The spine serves several functions. Protection. The spine protects the spinal cord. The spinal cord, which is the primary communication pathway from the brain to the rest of the body, is protected by the bones of the spine. Like the brain that is protected and encased by solid bone, it is so protected because of it’s importance. Support. The spine supports the upper body. Like a pillar made of many bones and joints, it bears a great load. Movement & Flexibility. Bending, lifting, extending, turning, looking at your child, gazing at the stars, making love, and reading books are all possible, because of flexibility and movement in the spine. There are 24 vertebrae in the spine, a sacrum, and the coccyx. There are over 120 joints of the spine, over 200 ligaments and tendons. There are discs between each of the vertebrae. There are 7 vertebrae in the neck, 12 in the mid-back, and 5 in the low back. All regions of the spine allow for movement in specific ways. The discs of the spine are tough. With longterm stress or acute trauma, discs may be damaged, which may result in bulging or...

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3 common mistakes people make on the toilet that lead to back injuries.

February 7, 2019

Careful! Toilet injuries are real! We don't fix toilets but we can help your spine! (207) 774-6251.

Toilet Injuries Are Real! You read that right. Injuries occur on the toilet all the time. Below are a few things you can do to avoid injury while sitting on the toilet while doing your business. Don’t strain. Sounds obvious, but a lot of people hold their breath and push too hard. Not only can this lead to hemorrhoids, but if you are vulnerable, injuries to discs may occur with what’s called “increased intra-abdominal pressure.” Push too hard while holding your breath and “POP” you could end up with a disc herniation, bulging disc or other injury. It’s not common, but it’s possible.  You could also strain a muscle in the back, which can be really painful. Straining too hard can also lead to stroke. As many as 400 people a year die for various reasons while on the toilet. Be careful leaning forward to pick stuff up. Leaning far forward to pick up toilet paper, a magazine or your coffee, could lead to a strained muscle or other soft tissue injury in the low back. Don’t stress out over what comes out (or doesn’t come out). Anxiety around bowel movements is more common than you may think. The...

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Which Should I Do First, Chiropractic or Massage Therapy?

January 24, 2019

Who should you see first, the chiropractor or massage therapist?

Which should come first? Both chiropractic and massage therapy are great and extremely helpful, but they are very different. The focus of therapeutic massage is the function of muscles and fascia, their function, and their relationship with the rest of the body. Massage therapists use techniques to work the muscles to a state of better function The focus of chiropractic is correcting nerve interference due to spinal stress on the nerves, that allows for better brain-body, body-brain communication, resulting in better healing, better adaptation, and better health.\   As a general rule, chiropractors have more objective testing for the nervous system and neuro-muscular system. Massage therapists who are not also chiropractors, generally have far less training than a doctor of chiropractic. But that’s ok, they are very well trained to do their job as a massage therapist. That being said, A lot of information from a chiropractic examination will translate into valuable information for the massage therapist. A test commonly used in chiropractic offices is called a Surface EMG. It measures neuromuscular activity and electrical activity in the muscles of the back, much like an EKG does with the heart. This test and many others are valuable to both...

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How Should I Teach My Child To Protect Themselves From Bullying?

January 23, 2019

Nothing is more upsetting than seeing your child's spirit broken by a bully who has likely been victim to the same type of abuse that they are dealing your child. KIDPOWER Maine is holding events on January 27 and February 3 in Portland, Maine. Call (207) 774-6251 for more information.

Worried about your child’s safety and wellbeing but don’t know where to turn? Bullies are in our lives from childhood to adulthood, and how we learn to deal with them impacts our lives more than theirs. Childhood bullying trauma can destroy an entire life. Empowering your children through education and peaceful strategies for controlling situations and escaping potentially harmful ones is at the core of success. Nothing is more upsetting than seeing your child’s spirit broken by kids who are likely victims of the same bullying, harassment and abuse that they themselves are delivering. KIDPOWER International and KIDPOWER Maine are hosting 2 upcoming events in Portland, Maine. Course facilitator, Bo Jespersen is trained to teach your child strategies of avoidance, empowerment, peaceful diffusion of difficult situations, and other techniques to avoid threatening, dangerous and otherwise unpleasant people. He empowers your children to stop bullying safely. The two upcoming workshops are each 1 hour long. The cost is $10/family.  This is not a “drop off” event, parents need to stay to help their children and to learn the techniques to help their kids remember and practice them after the workshop. The video below demonstrates some of what is taught in...

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Don’t Let Shoveling Snow Ruin Your Thanksgiving!

November 20, 2018

Back Breaking Snow Removal Doesn't Have to ACTUALLY Break Your Back. Questions? (207) 774-6251

You may want an excuse to avoid family drama, but don’t make it an injury.  With snow starting before Thanksgiving this year, you better take precautions so you aren’t eating your dinner in bed! Your back and body have been out of practice shoveling snow for a few months now. If you dive right back in, without proper planning, you may be compromising the next few days, or worse, the next few months! Here’s what you can do to protect yourself from early winter injuries! Warm Up – Treat shoveling like a sporting event. Stretch and warm up before the “competition”. Get Ergo – If you are using a shovel, get an ergonomic one (with a bend in it) to help reduce bending and stress on your low back and shoulders. Take Small Bites – Don’t fill the shovel with more snow than it is designed to hold, smaller shovels are less heavy. Lighter loads will be less likely to strain your body. You bought it for a reason – If you are using a snow blower, let it work for you, not against you. There should be no need to “man handle” it. Pushing and pulling the blower...

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The CHIROVAN Comes Bearing Gifts! Have You Seen It?

October 18, 2018

If you see this image on the CHIROVAN, carefully remove your magnet to take home!

If you see the CHIROVAN, claim your gift! If you aren’t familiar with the CHIROVAN, you’ll see it driving all over the state not only promoting the incredible benefits of chiropractic care but the incredible care you will receive at Jacobs Chiropractic Acupuncture Center in Portland, Maine. If you haven’t seen it, a picture of the CHIROVAN is posted below!   The free gift attached to the CHIROVAN is a magnet with information on how to get help when you are ready. You may not want help today, or even tomorrow. Maybe you need help this moment. The information on the CHIROVAN magnets will lead you to help whenever you want it. If you see the magnet below, the free gift magnets won’t be far. They’ll be right next to the magnet below! This is what your free gift looks like (below). It’s pretty easy to find us online, but these magnets make contacting us easier! Our phone number is (207) SPINAL 1 (774-6251). Unforgettable! Enjoy the magnet and call us when you’re ready. If you are prevention or wellness minded, call us today to an evaluation of your nervous system, spinal integrity and effect of stress on your...

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Why your Doctors don’t listen to you.

September 26, 2018

Health requires doctors who listen, patients who try, and recognizing that health does not come in a bottle.

Medical doctors can no longer put up with your bullshit. I have been seeing patients as a chiropractor for over 16 years. Most patients come to me because they want relief of symptoms so that they can get back to the things they love, or things they must do, like make a living to feed their family. What motivates you? People in my office also claim that they do not want medications, they don’t want surgery, and they want to do things naturally, or holistically. I believe most people tell the medical doctor exactly the same thing. Despite medical doctors having two primary tools to help you with, drugs and surgery, unless they are simply greedy members of the business of medicine, they really do want to help you be healthier. They will look at your labs, review tests, talk to you and usually listen at first. They will then tell you what you need to do to address the problem and will often also give you medications.  Your individualized instructions may be something like: “In the absence of lifestyle changes leading to regular exercise and a primarily vegetarian diet, Mr/Mrs. ________ will have this prescription for x,y and z, will...

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Prevent Back And Neck Pain While Traveling! 3 Secrets!

September 21, 2018

A neck pillow for sleeping on the plan may save your vacation!

3 Tips For Back & Spine Care While Traveling By Plane. Nobody wants to spend time and lots of money on a vacation they can’t enjoy! There are tried and true methods and tools that you can utilize while traveling by airplane that will give you the best chance of a pain free trip. Rule 1: Don’t sit still for too long Movement is life. Get up and move around. Sitting and bumping around compresses the spine and the immobility allows for “locking in” of tension. Moving around, even stretching before boarding will warm you up for sitting for hours on end and may prevent typical travel pain. Stretch the neck and low back with simple stretches on the plane if it’s a long flight. For flights over 3 hours, this is especially important. Rule 2: Keep your stress level down. There’s no point in allowing yourself to become mentally stressed when there is virtually nothing you can do about flights being on time. There’s nothing you can do about the food they serve. There’s not much to be done about your neighbors on the plane. I once had a lady I did not know, who took up 2...

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Identifying football injuries in Maine kids.

September 19, 2018

Football injuries are common. Some are painful, some are not. Both can cause real problems later in life if left untreated. Dr. Lou Jacobs, Maine Chiropractor, can be reached at (207) SPINAL 1

What Should Parents Be Most Concerned About Regarding Youth Football? It’s football season and we love it! Such a great game, such an exciting time of the year. The issue that should be most concerning to parents, is that football injuries are pretty common. While football injuries are not as abundant as they are in other sports, the types of injuries can be far more dangerous. Traumatic brain injuries like concussions and spinal compression and torsion injuries can lead to permanent disability or an increased risk of disability if left uncorrected or un-treated. Fractures need immediate orthopedic emergency intervention, but for all other lower grade injuries related to the nerves and joints of the spine, chiropractic is designed to help! Chiropractic focuses on the structural integrity of the musculoskeletal system (muscles, bones and joints) and how abnormalities in structure within that system impacts the nerves and nerve compression. Nerve compression compromises healing, function and regulation of all body processes and can spell real trouble for youth football players later in life. Evaluations of football players is simple, comprehensive and painless. The information about their spine, nervous system and musculoskeletal system in general is information that can be considered for...

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