Do You Have Smart Muscles?

Hello, Manhattan Beach, today we’re talking about making smart muscles as opposed to walking around with dumb muscles. Our goal here is to correct subluxations to free the nerve channels of the spine. Then we use certain types of neuromuscular reeducation exercises to make the muscles smart again. This connects the nerve system with the muscles, because, as you know, nerves control muscles. The muscles have to integrate with the rest of the other muscles and joints of the body in order to function right. What coordinates all of that together is the Central Nerve System.

You can see throughout the office we have people working towards smartening their muscles with spinal molding exercises, such as wall work and stabilization of the pelvis.

We’re just turning the power on here at Bates Chiropractic! Have a great day.

Best Ways To Add Calcium For Optimum Bone Health

The question for you this week is if you had to choose one thing that would add calcium to your diet, to keep your bones strong, which food would you choose?

When I ask people this question, most people would say dairy, like milk.

But what is interesting is that it is not your richest source of calcium. If we take a look at the studies, the studies say that the countries that have the highest dairy intake have the highest rate of osteoporosis and hip fractures. In essence, the people that drink the most milk will have the worst bones.

We should realize that the sources that have the richest calcium are green leafy vegetables. For example, As far as the amount of absorbable calcium, it is far better in green leafy vegetables.

In our office, there are other ways to strengthen our bones to promote bone health. You can do it by doing weight-bearing type of exercises. This will add more stress to the joints, which will cause the body to start laying down more calcium in those weight bearing joints. The weight bearing joints, such as the hips, are the most frequently fractured bones of the body where people have osteoporosis.

What we do in our office is tell our patients to walk for 15 minutes with weights. We kill two birds with one stone when we do that, because we add weights on the body in certain areas that actually add stress to the joints as well globally correct the posture. So, our patients get two great health benefits: the weight bearing stress to the joints to get more calcium plus the correction to their posture.

Check out our video above to see examples of how we add the weights to our patients.

Chiropractor Manhattan Beach Talks About Posture!

Dr. Rob here! I want to talk to you all about Forward Head Posture, or FHP. FHP can be linked to many problems, including neck pain, upper back pain, low back pain, fatigue, headaches, and even carpel tunnel syndrome. Your head weighs approximately 10 pounds, and when your head is set forward, your posture follows. This causes tremendous pressure on your back. For example, every inch forward causes about 20 pounds of added pressure on your upper back. Essentially, your ears should align with your shoulders, and corrective care can help you achieve this! If you have any questions, or concerns about Forward Head Posture, contact me at

Dr. Robert Bates D.C. Talks About The Effects Of Breast Enhancements

A Word of Advice: Before you decide to get your breasts enhanced, you need to know this about your posture. If your head is set forward, and you have a hunchback type curve in your upper back, you could be at risk for more headaches, neck pain, upper back pain, carpel tunnel syndrome, and degeneration! The average enhancement weighs approximately 350cc. When the weight of the enhancement is combined with the weight of your head, you are more prone to trigger points for pain and degeneration in your spine. Ultimately, you should consult a chiropractor before you consider a breast enhancement to ensure that you have proper posture. Correcting your posture before receiving your enhancement will increase your chances for a more beautiful enhancement and less problems in the future.

Top 4 Core-Building Exercises

PlankThe human body has 29 core muscles located in the back, abdomen and pelvis regions.  They help to give a person a stable center of gravity, while helping in controlling movements, supporting whole of the back and giving out a semblance of stability.

These core muscles form the foundation on which the movement of the body is based.  Strong core muscles tend to resist injury and form a protective cushion for the whole spinal column.

However, weak core muscles can cause a person to develop a poor posture, pain all over the body, and make the individual more prone to injuries from everyday activities.

Exercise on a regular basis can make these muscles stronger, but it is necessary to get the posture right before getting on with the exercises.

Good Posture

Good posture not only makes a person look attractive, but it does wonders for the overall skeletal structure.  Chiropractic practice pays a lot of attention to proper posture.  Correct posture will ensure that a person’s muscles, organs along with joints and bones are in their correct, natural positions.

A bad posture can result in a lot of problems for the body, following are examples of a poor posture:

  • Drooping shoulders
  • Head or neck held forward
  • Lower back arching too much
  • Sitting with a wallet in the back pocket
  • Phone receiver being held between neck and shoulder
  • Drooping forward while sitting

These postures must always be avoided.


The person should lie on the back with knees bent.  Then the abdominal muscles should be contracted while the person slowly raises the hips off the floor then holding the position for around 10 seconds.

The hips should then be lowered to the floor and the same method repeated again.

Bird Dog

The person should get down on their hands and knees while keeping the head and neck aligned with their back. The core muscles are then contracted; one arm raised meanwhile raising the opposite leg.


The person should lie on their stomach with the palms facing down.  They should then slowly start to rise off the floor while resting on toes and elbows.  The back should be kept as flat as possible, core muscles in a contracted position and held for at least 12 seconds before lowering themselves to the floor.

Segmental Rotation

In this exercise, the individual is to lie on the back with their knees bent and the feet should be flat on the floor.  While keeping the shoulders flat on the floor, they should let their knees fall slowly towards the left. After returning the legs back to the original starting point, the same action should be repeated.

Image Used under Creative Commons license. Photo Credit: Plank.jpg

Giraffe Q&A

Hi, everyone, this is Dr. Rob, and I’m coming to you from the Wild Animal Park with a mini quiz of the day!

Q: The human neck contains seven bones. How many bones do you think are in a giraffe’s neck?

A: Seven; Just like us!

Keep charging just like my friends the rhinos!

The Damaging Effects of Forward Head Posture

The Journal of Geriatrics came out with a study in October 2004; what they found was that people with forward posture or a hunchback, the more their spine hunched forward and was stuck in that position, the closer to death they were. Let’s look at reasons why that could be:

If you look at Patty, she’s stuck in this forward posture. This posture is closing down on all the nerve pathways and it’s inhibiting her ability to breathe and move properly.

We’re going to do a little exercise. I want you guys to participate in this too. I want you to get into that poor posture that you usually are in front of the computer or maybe you’re stuck that way all the time or perhaps you’ve even noticed your kids in that position because of their heavy backpacks.

Go ahead and get into that posture, so you can join us and feel this. This is experiential; I want you to feel what happens in this forward head posture. Now try this: try to bring your arms all the way up and over your head. How far do you get? Notice how far Patty can bring her arms over.

Now go ahead and bring your head over center, so that your ears are over your shoulders. Now go ahead and try that again. See how Patty is able to get her arms up there with no problem? One of the things that happens with forward head posture is that it puts a lot of pressure on the nerves that feed out into the shoulder, and mechanically doesn’t allow the shoulders to open up which can lead to problems like carpal tunnel syndrome, chronic rotator cuff strains, neck problems, and headaches.

Now try this other exercise, get back into that posture again, as if you were in front of the computer, and take a deep breath; feel how that feels. Now bring your ears back over your shoulders and see how the posture pops back up. Now go ahead and take a deep breath. How does that feel? There’s a big difference. This will cause you to be unable to oxygenate your tissues. It causes nerve damage to the nerves that feed out to the lungs and the heart, the shoulders and the hands. Just by correcting posture is a huge thing.

That’s what we do: we correct the subluxation which allows those nerve channels to open up. But, we also do things to correct the posture so it’s not a problem either. You have to do both those things to be effective. Then your body would be healthier than it’s been in a long time.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate in contacting us at Bates Chiropractic at (310) 545-4188

Remember, we’re having our Health and Nutrition Workshop at Fusion Sushi on Thursday, February 24th at 6:45 pm. Space is limited, so make sure to sign you and your guest up at the front desk!

You and your guests will enjoy a great meal and learn life-saving information. We look forward to seeing you there!

Understanding Ergonomics – How Seat Design Plays a Vital Role

FreedomChairIt is estimated that at least 50% individuals in the industrialized world suffer from some kind of back problem, most notably due to a poor or inadequate seat design. How we sit all day in front of our workstations has a marked impact on the overall health of our spine. As a result of bad posture, the lumbar region in the back bone is what takes the most pounding. Here’s what you need to know, and many chiropractors will stand by it.

There is no universal seat that’s designed to accommodate every single person. But there are a number or ergonomic factors that come into play when we’re talking seat design. These generally work well for the average person.

Seat height should be set in a way so as to support a knee angle of 90 degrees. This takes undue stress off the thighs and buttocks. A chair that’s too high will increase the pressure at the underside of the knees, reducing blood flow and increasing unnecessary pressure on the nerve.

A chair that’s too low places pressure on the ischial tuberosities – this is where the upper thigh originates in the gluteus maximus region. Normally, the glutes cover them in the upright position, but they are exposed and at an ergonomic disadvantage when we’re sitting.

Optimal seat depth is recommended at 16.5”; between 14” and 18.5” for adjustable seats.

You should avoid hard seats. Seat pan contouring and cushioning should be designed in a way so that pressure is distributed over a larger area and the pelvis rotates forward – this encourages better posture.

Ideal seat cushioning is about 2” thick. The cushioning needs to be firmer and thicker in the back, while being less firm and thinner at the front. Too much cushioning and your body is going to sink into the chair, restricting movement. A soft chair may be very welcoming and comfortable at first, but it goes against basic ergonomic sense; as the body sinks, blood flow is reduced and skin temperature rises as you experience more compression under the thighs. At the end of the day – more discomfort.

A seat width that’s between 20” and 23” generally works well.

An ideal seat angle helps you maintain good contact with the backrest; a 5 to 10 degree angle is good.

There many more ergonomic factors related to optimal seating, and these are just some of them at a glance. A good chiropractor can help you determine exactly what type of chair best suits your body type.

Image used under Creative Commons Licensing: FreedomChair.jpg