Understanding Neck Pain Relief

plaz4712 : July 12, 2014 6:52 pm : blog

Neck pain is one of the most common health complaints in the United States. According to recent scientific studies, more than 10% of America’s adult population suffers from neck pain at any given moment. Many things can contribute to neck problems. Fortunately, most neck pain does not have a serious cause.

Muscle strain is probably the biggest cause of neck pain today. Overuse, such as too many hours hunched over a computer keyboard or automobile steering wheel, triggers muscle strain. Poor posture and long periods of sitting are also common factors.

Worn joints caused by daily wear-and-tear, age or osteoarthritis also cause neck pain. Nerve compression caused by bone spurs or herniated disks are another common cause. Neck pain can also result from injury, accidents and disease.

Chiropractic care can be extremely beneficial for people with neck problems. Unlike prescription medications, chiropractic relief for neck pain comes through procedures that address the pain’s cause rather than the symptoms. Chiropractic care is a safe and natural solution with no lingering side effects.

The doctors on the Old Bridge chiropractor team at Plaza Chiropractic perform numerous examinations to locate a patient’s pain. They ask questions regarding current symptoms and treatment remedies. They conduct physical and neurological tests to observe a patient’s physical condition, posture, range of motion and pain-causing movements. In some cases, they may order additional tests such as x-rays and computerized imaging tests.

Neck pain relief typically comes in the form of neck adjustments that improve mobility and range of motion. Chiropractic care includes a comprehensive treatment plan. Treatment therapy may include massage, rehabilitative exercises or something else the doctor prescribes.


Call (732) 723-0023 to schedule your appointment at Plaza Chiropractic today to relieve your neck pain. You can also “Like” us on Facebook for pain management tips, health tips and more!

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How We Heal Lower Back Pain

plaz4712 : June 12, 2014 6:52 pm : blog

Lower back pain is a common medical complaint that has many possible causes. Because your back is an intricate structure composed of many muscles, ligaments, tendons, disks and bones, a problem in any one of these can lead to pain.

Causes of Lower Back Pain
The most common causes of lower back pain include muscle strain, improper lifting or bending, making a sudden or awkward movement, poor posture, weight gain, herniated disks, arthritis, sciatica, osteoporosis and skeletal disorders. During pregnancy, many women experience lower back pain due to changes in hormone levels combined with weight gain.

How Pain Affects Your Back
Back pain makes it difficult for you to stand up straight, limits your flexibility and range of motion and interferes with the things you need to do on a daily basis. In some cases, the pain may extend down your legs, causing further discomfort and distress.

Chiropractic Treatment for Back Pain
When you are seeking relief for lower back pain, chiropractic treatment is a natural choice. Lower back pain is one of the most common reasons people visit chiropractors, and scientific studies have shown that chiropractic treatment is just as successful as conventional medical treatments for mild to moderate lower back pain. Chiropractic adjustment seeks to relieve your pain and restore normal functioning to the joints in your back. During a chiropractic session, Dr. Shapiro, a chiropractor in Old Bridge of Plaza Chiropractic Center will manipulate your spine to move the affected joint or joints beyond the usual range of motion to release pressure from within the joint.


Give Dr. Shapiro a call today at (732) 723-0023 to make your appointment today and be on your way to lower back pain relief. “Like” Plaza Chiropractic on Facebook for tips, specials and more!

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4 Things That Will Change How You Look At Good Health

plaz4712 : May 12, 2014 6:57 pm : blog

More people than ever are becoming aware of the importance of getting healthy. That includes getting more active, eating better, and staying focused on living a healthy life. This is a positive change!


If you’re one of the many eager to be more healthy, pay attention to these four tips. They may change your life.


1) Eat Fruit To Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth


If you want to satisfy your craving while still staying healthy, eat fruit instead of other snacks. Fruit is packed with nutrients and has a smaller calorie impact than other sweets, but it can still satisfy your craving.


2) Get A Fitness Buddy


Working out is easier when you’re not doing it alone. Find someone to take the journey with you. You’ll motivate one another, keep one another focused, and keep one another from getting bored. In addition, having a partner in crime can be a big help in keeping your eyes on your fitness goals.


3) Take Cold Baths and Showers


After a strenuous workout, you’ll want to have a nice hot shower – but maybe you should take a nice cold bath instead, preferably at around 50 degrees. Professional athletes use cold baths to relieve post-workout muscle aches and to soothe soreness. This gets your muscles back to form quickly.


4) Don’t Forget Your Footwear


Get shoes that are a touch roomy, enough so you can wiggle your toes. Also be sure they have good support. Good footwear can help prevent injuries and help keep you moving when your body is asking you to quit.


If you suffering from any muscles pain, or would like to schedule a massage to loosen those muscles, give us a call at (732) 723-0023 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Shapiro today. You can also “Like” us on Facebook for tips, specials and more!

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How Chiropactic Helps Athletes

plaz4712 : April 12, 2014 7:05 pm : blog

Athletes undertake rigorous fitness routines that often push their bodies to the limit. The performance of an athlete is based on the health and strength of their body and many need massage and treatments to stay in tip top shape. Chiropractic therapy in particular offers many benefits for athletes who are pushing their body to the max. Whether you need to recover from a sports injury, or improve your performance and flexibility, Plaza Chiropractic Center can be a valuable addition to your training regime!

Dr. Shapiro has served as an attending physician for many international, national and regional sporting events. He also serves as a team physician for the Union Rugby Club and Sayrewood South Rebels Pop Warner football team. With so much experience working with athletes, Dr. Shapiro can keep you in great shape for your lifestyle. Still unsure? Take a look at the many chiropractic benefits for athletes!

  • Improved postured
  • Improved immune system
  • Increased range of motion
  • Better focus and concentration
  • Increased blood circulation
  • Better joint flexibility
  • Reduced migraines or headaches
  • Reduced risk of injury
  • Increase blood and oxygen flow
  • Reduction of pain in major joints
  • Improved recovery rates after a sports injury

Many athletes only rely on chiropractors after they have been injured, but it is important to also include chiropractic therapy into a weekly training routine. Chiropractors can offer specialized treatments for marathon runners, football, tennis and basketball players as well as other athletes who are always on the move.

For high-performance athletes, natural methods of stress reduction are great and necessary for health overall. It can also help improve the patient’s posture, lessening the likelihood of future spinal misalignments.

If you do not participate in sports, you may place constant stress upon your spine during the course of a typical day. This causes the vertebrates to become misaligned, perhaps resulting in chronic back and neck pain as well as other impairments. Dr. Shapiro can adjust your spinal column and restore your body’s natural processes.

Whether you’re and athlete or not, come visit Plaza Chiropractic Center in Old Bridge to being your road to better health! “Like” us on Facebook to stay in touch!

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Looking At The Different Types of Spinal Adjustments

plaz4712 : March 12, 2014 6:57 pm : blog

As the chiropractic profession has grown, individual practitioners and institutions proposed and developed various proprietary techniques and methods. While many of these techniques did not endure, hundreds of different approaches remain in chiropractic practice today. Not all of them involve HVLA thrust manipulation. Most cite case studies, anecdotal evidence, and patient testimonials as evidence for effectiveness. These techniques include:

  •     Toggle Drop – this is when the chiropractor, using crossed hands, presses down firmly on a particular area of the spine. Then, with a quick and precise thrust, the chiropractor adjusts the spine. This is done to improve mobility in the vertebral joints.
  •     Lumbar Roll (aka side posture) – the chiropractor positions the patient on his or her side, then applies a quick and precise manipulative thrust to the misaligned vertebra, returning it to its proper position.
  •     Release Work – the chiropractor applies gentle pressure using his or her fingertips to separate the vertebrae.
  •     Table adjustments – The patient lies on a special table with sections that drop down. The chiropractor applies a quick thrust at the same time the section drops. The dropping of the table allows for a lighter adjustment without the twisting positions that can accompany other techniques.
  •     Instrument adjustments – often the gentlest methods of adjusting the spine. The patient lies on the table face down while the chiropractor uses a spring-loaded activator instrument to perform the adjustment. This technique is often used to perform adjustments on animals as well.
  •     Manipulation under anesthesia (MUA) – this is performed by a chiropractor certified in this technique in a hospital outpatient setting when the patient is unresponsive to traditional adjustments.

Adjustment techniques

There are many techniques which chiropractors in NJ can specialize in and employ in spinal adjustments. Some of the most notable techniques include:

  •     Activator Methods – uses the Activator Adjusting Instrument instead of by-hand adjustments to give consistent mechanical low-force, high-speed clicks to the body. Utilizes a leg-length analysis to determine segmental aberration.
  •     Active Release Techniques – soft tissue system/movement based massage technique that treats problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves.
  •     Bio-Geometric Integration – a framework for understanding the body’s response to force dynamics. Can be utilized with many techniques. Focuses on the body’s full integration of forces and on assessment for choosing the most appropriate adjustive force application, ranging from light pressure to traditional joint cavitation, for each particular case presentation.
  •     Blair Upper Cervical Technique – an objective upper cervical technique focusing primarily on misalignments in the first bone of the spine (Atlas) as it comes into contact with the head (Occiput).
  •     Cox Flexion-Distraction – a gentle, non-force adjusting procedure which mixes chiropractic principles with osteopathic principles and utilizes specialized adjusting tables with movable parts.
  •     Hole-in-one technique – developed by B.J. Palmer. He, at some point, claimed that the “pure, unadulterated & straight” chiropractors should only treat the upper two cervical vertebrae (C1-C2), which is the cause of most, if not all, disorders by being misaligned.
  •     Directional Non-Force Technique – utilizes a diagnostic system for subluxation analysis consisting of gentle challenging and a unique leg check allowing the body to indicate the directions of misalignment of structures that are producing nerve interference. A gentle but directionally specific thumb impulse provides a long lasting correction to bony and soft tissue structures.
  •     Diversified – the classic chiropractic technique, developed by D.D. Palmer, DC. Uses specific manual thrusts focused on restoring normal biomechanical function. Has been developed to adjust extremity joints as well.
  •     Gonstead Technique – Developed by an automotive engineer turned chiropractor, this technique uses a very specific method of analysis by the use of nervoscopes, full spine x-rays and precise adjusting techniques that condemns “torquing” of the spine, which may harm the Intervertebral disc.
  •     Kale Technique (Specific Chiropractic) – gentle technique which utilizes a special adjusting table that helps adjust and stabilize the upper cervical region surrounding the brain stem.
  •     Logan Basic Technique – a light touch technique that works to “level the foundation” or sacrum. Its concept employs the use of heel lifts and specific contacts.
  •     NUCCA Technique – manual method of adjusting the atlas subluxation complex based on 3D x-ray studies which determine the correct line of drive or vector of force.
  •     Orthospinology Procedure – is a method of analyzing and correcting the chiropractic upper cervical subluxation complex based on vertebral alignment measurements on neck x-rays taken from three different directions. The adjustment can be delivered by hand, hand-held or table mounted instruments along a pre-calculated vector using approximately 1 to 7 pounds of force. The patient is in a side-lying posture with a solid mastoid support. The procedure is based on the work of the late John F. Grostic, D.C.
  •     Thompson Terminal Point Technique (Thompson Drop-Table Technique) – uses a precision adjusting table with a weighing mechanism which adds only enough tension to hold the patient in the “up” position before the thrust is given.
  •     Toggle Recoil Technique – a quick thrust and release to the upper cervical vertebra, the recoil is to allow the vertebra to oscillate into its proper position.

For readjustments, therapeutic massages and more, call Plaza Chiropractic at (732) 723-0023. “Like” us on Facebook for health tips, specials and more!

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Getting The Right Home Exercise Equipment For You

plaz4712 : February 12, 2014 7:01 pm : blog

We all want to be healthier and more active.


The hard part is finding the time. You don’t want to spend money on a gym membership you’ll never use. If you have exercise equipment at home, however, you can get a quick workout whenever you have a spare 15 minutes.


The real trick is finding the right equipment for you. These tips should help.


  • Test it for comfort. Comfort is an important factor for a number of reasons. If it’s not comfortable, you won’t use it. Second is safety. If the machine is uncomfortable you’re at risk of using it wrong, which can lead to injuries.


  • Don’t buy what you won’t use. Even the most state of the art home gyms are useless if they don’t get used. Be sure to only get equipment you will use on a regular basis. Anything else will be a waste of money.


  • Know your space. Exercise equipment is going to take up some space in your home or apartment, so you should calculate exactly how big a piece of equipment can be before you buy it. Measure out your space first, and don’t forget to give yourself a little extra room for safety.


  • Make sure it’s the right size for you. If you are in the market for treadmills, be sure the belt is long enough to accommodate your stride. A model that is too big will waste valuable space in your home, one that is too small will make it useless for you.


  • Know your limits. If you are not deeply immersed in the world of fitness and exercise, it’s best to start modestly. Get yourself in the swing of things, and choose equipment that only just a little more than what you’re capable of doing. You can always scale up as you go.


And the most important tip of all? Be safe!

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The History of Spinal Manipulation

plaz4712 : January 12, 2014 7:02 pm : blog

Spinal manipulation is a therapeutic intervention performed on spinal articulations which are synovial joints. These articulations in the spine that are amenable to spinal manipulative therapy include the z-joints, the atlanto-occipital, atlanto-axial, lumbosacral, sacroiliac, costotransverse and costovertebral joints.


Spinal manipulation is a therapeutic intervention that has roots in traditional medicine and has been used by various cultures, apparently for thousands of years. Hippocrates, the “father of medicine” used manipulative techniques, as did the ancient Egyptians and many other cultures. A modern re-emphasis on manipulative therapy occurred in the late 19th century in North America with the emergence of osteopathic and chiropractic medicine. Spinal manipulative therapy gained recognition by mainstream medicine during the 1960s.

Current providers

Spinal manipulation is now most commonly provided by several health care disciplines. In North America, it is most commonly performed by chiropractors, osteopathic physicians, occupational therapists and physical therapists. In Europe, chiropractors, osteopaths and physiotherapists are the majority providers, although the precise figure varies between countries. In 1992, chiropractors were estimated to perform over 90% of all manipulative treatments given for low back pain treatment.


Manipulation is known by several other names. The British orthopedic surgeon A. S. Blundell Bankart used the term “manipulation” in his text Manipulative Surgery. Chiropractors often refer to manipulation of a spinal joint as an ‘adjustment’. Following the labeling system developed by Geoffery Maitland, manipulation is synonymous with Grade V mobilization. Because of its distinct biomechanics, the term high velocity low amplitude (HVLA) thrust is often used interchangeably with manipulation.

The effects of spinal manipulation have been shown to include:

  •     Temporary relief of musculoskeletal pain
  •     Shortened time to recover from acute back pain
  •     Temporary increase in passive range of motion
  •     Physiological effects on the central nervous system (specifically the sympathetic nervous system)
  •     Altered sensorimotor integration

Back pain

In 2007 the American College of Physicians and the American Pain Society jointly recommended that clinicians consider spinal manipulation for patients who do not improve with self care options. Reviews published in 2008 and 2006 suggested that SM for low back pain was equally effective as other commonly used interventions. A 2007 literature synthesis found good evidence supporting SM and mobilization for low back pain.

Neck pain

There is moderate- to high-quality evidence that subjects with chronic neck pain, not due to whiplash and without arm pain and headaches, show clinically important improvements from a course of spinal manipulation or mobilization.

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Treat Yourself to Exercise Equipment This Christmas

plaz4712 : December 12, 2013 7:02 pm : blog

These days, people are choosing to skip the monthly membership at their local gym and are instead getting fit at home. If you are in the market for fitness equipment, here are some of the most common types:


Spin Bikes- You probably know them as stationary bikes. These can be found in thousands of gyms and homes across America. These days, a spin bike can measure your speed, distance, time, calories burned, and more. They even come with pre-programmed “routes” to help with your training.


Treadmills – A treadmill is one of the most easy to use pieces of exercise equipment. It’s a motorized belt that lets you run, jog, power walk or walk in place. New models will even have computers that measure your mileage, calories burned and so on.


Elliptical Trainers –An elliptical trainer is a cross between a ski machine and a stair stepper. This equipment provides a low-impact workout. They are great for cardio and general toning, and are a great option for people who have the space.


Recumbent Bikes –These are similar to bikes, but you’re sitting in a reclined position, with the pedals on the same level as your hips. They provide a good workout and are recommended for people who stand or sit straight all day on their job.


Rowing Machines –This piece of fitness equipment simulates rowing a small boat. These machines build endurance and provide a great upper body workout perfect for toning and cardio.


Other equipment – The above is only the start when it comes to what is available for home gyms. There are countless pieces of equipment that allow for just about every kind of workout you can imagine.


The most important thing to remember is that your safety is paramount. Buy equipment that you know how to use, and when you do use it, use it safely. Fitness is pointless if you’re inuring yourself while getting fit!

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An Overview on Spinal Adjustments

plaz4712 : November 12, 2013 7:02 pm : blog

Spinal adjustment and chiropractic adjustment are terms used by chiropractors in NJ to describe their approaches to spinal manipulation, as well as some osteopaths, who use the term adjustment.

Spinal adjustments were among many chiropractic techniques invented in the 19th century by Daniel David Palmer.

In a section titled “Spinal Manipulation: The Chiropractic Adjustment”, chiropractic authors and researchers Meeker and Haldeman write that the core clinical method that all chiropractors agree upon is spinal manipulation, although chiropractors much prefer to use the term spinal “adjustment”, a term which reflects “their belief in the therapeutic and health-enhancing effect of correcting spinal joint abnormalities.”

The International Chiropractor’s Association (ICA) states that the “chiropractic spinal adjustment is unique and singular to the chiropractic profession”, and that it “is characterized by a specific thrust applied to the vertebra utilizing parts of the vertebra and contiguous structures as levers to directionally correct articular malposition. Adjustment shall be differentiated from spinal manipulation in that the adjustment can only be applied to a vertebral malposition with the express intent to improve or correct the subluxation, whereas any joint, subluxated or not, may be manipulated to mobilize the joint or to put the joint through its range of motion… Chiropractic is a specialized field in the healing arts, and by prior rights, the spinal adjustment is distinct and singular to the chiropractic profession.” The definition of this procedure describes the use of a load (force) to specific body tissues with therapeutic intent. This ‘load’ is traditionally supplied by hand, and can vary in its velocity, amplitude, duration, frequency, and body location (p. 218) and is usually abbreviated HVLA (high velocity low amplitude) thrust.

The intention of a chiropractic adjustment in NJ is to affect or correct the alignment, motion and/or function of a vertebral joint. Specifically, they are intended to correct “vertebral subluxations”, the term given to the signs and symptoms that are said by chiropractors to result from abnormal alignment of vertebrae. (p. 218) This intention forms the legal and philosophical foundation of the profession.

The effects of spinal adjustment vary depending on the method performed. All techniques claim effects similar to other manual therapies, ranging from decreased muscle tension to reduced stress. Studies show that most patients go to chiropractors for musculoskeletal problems: 60% with low back pain, and the rest with head, neck and extremity symptoms. (p. 219) Also the article “Chiropractic: A Profession at the Crossroads of Mainstream and Alternative Medicine” states that, “chiropractic was to be a revolutionary system of healing based on the premise that neurologic dysfunction caused by ‘impinged’ nerves at the spinal level was the cause of most dis-ease”.

The American Chiropractic Association promotes chiropractic care of infants and children under the theory that “poor posture and physical injury, including birth trauma, may be common primary causes of illness in children and can have a direct and significant impact not only on spinal mechanics, but on other bodily functions”

The effects of spinal manipulation have been shown to include: temporary relief of musculoskeletal pain, increased range of joint motion, changes in facet joint kinematics, increased pain tolerance and increased muscle strength.

he World Health Organization states that when “employed skillfully and appropriately, chiropractic care is safe and effective for the prevention and management of a number of health problems.”

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Chiropractic Adjustments When Pregnant

plaz4712 : October 12, 2013 7:07 pm : blog

Pregnant women often seek chiropractic care when they are experiencing neck or back pain, yet you don’t have to wait until pain hits to seek treatment. In fact, chiropractic care can benefit you greatly, as well as your precious child. Dr. Ira A. Shapiro, at Plaza Chiropractic Center is experienced when it comes to pregnancy and chiropractic care. Visiting regularly can maintain and improve proper alignment in your spine and pelvis, as well as reduce the risk of breech presentation during labor. Regular care at Plaza Chiropractic can stimulate your immune system function too! We know you only want what’s best for you and your little one during pregnancy. To ease your fears or apprehensions, here is a little information about chiropractic care and your pregnancy.


Seeing a chiropractor can keep you and your baby in great health. As a mom, during pregnancy you will ingest many substances that are passed to the baby. Pain will be subdued without the use of drugs that could be harmful to your baby.

During pregnancy, your hormones cause your muscles and joints to relax. This makes your body prone to misalignments that can cause pain. Chiropractic manipulations can safely restore the proper alignment in your body.

Other benefits that you can expect include relief of joint pain, reduced amount of morning sickness, increased likelihood of normal delivery and a shorter time of labor and birth.


During pregnancy women tend to have an increased appreciation of their time spent at the chiropractor. Because of the relaxation brought on by your hormones, spinal adjustments are done with modified amounts of force. Treatments are preformed using special tables that allow you to lie without adding pressure on your stomach. Your comfort and safety if our top priority.

Dr. Shapiro is aware that you want what is best for you and your baby, and we do too here at Plaza Chiropractic Center! Whether you’re experiencing pain or not, regular care with us can provide you with a more comfortable and healthy pregnancy. Call us today at 732-723-0023 to schedule an appointment. For more information on our office and services, “Like” us on Facebook!

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