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Low Back Pain and Breathing

“Can breathing help my low back pain?”

Low back pain is a common ailment found in every chiropractor’s office. In my Mesa AZ chiropractic clinic it is no different. In chiropractic school we learn several techniques to assist low back pain sufferers and to help establish a speedy recovery. Because low back pain prevents much movement, home stretching can be difficult. However, there is a breathing exercise that actually stretches and strengthens the muscles for low back pain sufferers.

My colleague, Dr. Paul Salinas put together this breathing video for his low back pain patients and posted it on YouTube. I felt that it would be helpful to you too so please watch it and practice the breathing technique shown. You’ll be glad you did.

Please share what you have learned about breathing with others who have low back pain. Then invite them to call our Mesa AZ Chiropractic clinic at 480-644-0644.


This may be a reason for fibromyalgia pain – Oxygen (Or the lack thereof!)

Out of BreathThis may be a reason for fibromyalgia pain – Oxygen (Or the lack thereof!)

Recently, I was asked to talk about a condition called Hypoxia and the possible cause of muscle pain and weakness as it relate to fibromyalgia. Sometimes, as an adjunct professor of a nationally acclaimed nursing college and Fibromyalgia chiropractic physician, I get “scientific” and “wordy” with my explanations’ of things. But|I will endeavor to keep it simple to and to the point in this article.

It is important to start with a simple understanding of how oxygen is used by the muscles and the body as a whole.  When we breathe in air, our lungs absorb the microscopic molecules found in the atmosphere. Oxygen, carbon dioxide, hydrogen and nitrogen are the main ones but there are other molecules as well. When we exhale, mostly carbon dioxide is released back into the air. Our body’s muscles need oxygen in a constant, balanced amount to be used as energy in muscle contraction. For those with fibromyalgia, this is where problems can begin!

There are a number of things that can keep those with fibromyalgia from getting enough oxygen into the muscles. The lack of iron (anemia) in the diet is a common cause. For example, if you are a woman with fibromyalgia you may have notice that you fibromyalgia is worse during or right after your menses. If you smoke or live or work with a smoker you may be inhaling a heavy metal called cadmium that can block iron from carrying oxygen to the muscles. If you have fibromyalgia, find a way to quit smoking now. If you don’t have fibromyalgia, find a way to quit smoking now. Asthma, COPD, severe allergies, a bad cold or pneumonia can decrease the amount of oxygen that your body needs.

Is your house making you sick?

Poor circulation is another cause for fibromyalgia pain in muscles. Whether it is due to age, obesity, injury or related diseases, circulation of oxygen can become reduced to the muscles; especially if you have fibromyalgia. A research article written by Ratchakrit Srikuea; et al. entitled: Association of fibromyalgia with altered skeletal muscle characteristics which may contribute to postexertional fatigue in postmenopausal women( shares insights to how circulation is a factor in women with fibromyalgia.

Lastly, much of the latest research has suggested that oxygenation to the muscles of patients with fibromyalgia may not be the primary factor at all but that it may be the lack of oxygen to the nerves and or the hormonal glands.

Breathing article for fibromyalgia and low back pain

So what can you do about oxygenation and fibromyalgia? The simple answer is to breathe and breathe often. Simple breathing exercises can help. Exercise can help. CPAP machines (for sleep apnea patients) can help. Stop smoking can help. Iron, calcium and magnesium supplementation might help (be sure to have blood work done before and after supplementation).

Here is the good news. No more are scientists and doctors dismissing fibromyalgia as a non entity! There are many research studies being conducted to support the validity of fibromyalgia and perhaps someday, there just might be a solution to everyone’s favorite nightmare: fibromyalgia.

Dr. Mark E. Lee is a chiropractic doctor, Adjunct professor of Pathophysiology, community leader, family man and a fibromyalgia sufferer.  He has helped hundreds of fibromyalgia sufferers overcome the daily misery often associated with fibromyalgia syndrome. He owns and operates a fibromyalgia clinic in Mesa, Arizona and a fibromyalgia support group on Facebook. You may visit his website at or email him at





A Cure for Sciatica

Is there a cure for sciatica? As a doctor of chiropractic here in Mesa AZ, I am privileged to help many people find a cure for sciatica. Chiropractic colleges teach several methods and techniques designed to help the sciatica patient. Chiropractors therefore are in an unique position with their advanced chiropractic training to help eliminate sciatica pain (a cure for sciatica); in most situations.

Leg pain or sciatica (also known as radiculopathy) specifically from a herniated disc is commonly caused by the center of the disc protruding backwards  irritating or compressing a nerve, which in turn causes pain to radiate along the sciatic nerve. This is by far the most difficult cure for sciatica to treat, but as a chiropractor it is done all of the time. When you visit your chiropractor for your cure for sciatica, he / she will most likely recommend and or perform sciatica exercises for you.

Specific chiropractic exercises for sciatica due to a herniated disc are recommended according to which positions will cause your symptoms to move up from the leg and into the low back.

For many, getting the pain to move up from the leg to the low back is a true cure for sciatica; accomplished by getting into a backwards bending position, called extension exercises or press-ups.

  • The low back is gently placed into extension by lying on the stomach (prone position) and propping the upper body up on the elbows, keeping hips on the floor This should be started slowly, since some patients cannot tolerate this position at first.
  • Hold the press-up position initially for five seconds, and gradually work up to 30 seconds per repetition. Aim to complete 10 repetitions.

After practicing this cure for sciatica exercise, your chiropractor  may recommend a more advanced form of the extension:

  • From the prone position (lying flat on the stomach), press up on the hands while the pelvis remains in contact with the floor. Keep the lower back and buttocks relaxed for a gentle stretch.
  • This position is typically held for 1 second, repeated 10 times.

For many people with herniated discs, extension exercises that arch the spine backward rather than flex it forward will provide more relief

If you are unable to lie flat, a similar exercise can be done standing by arching backward slowly with hands on hips. However, the position described above is usually better.

These extension exercises are done regularly, about every two hours. More importantly, your chiropractor may recommend that the patient with this condition avoid getting into a “bent over” position. This tends to counteract the effects of the extension exercises. The specialist may ask the patient to correct any forward flexed positions immediately by doing an extension exercise.

As your pain gradually works it’s way out of the lower leg and into the low back, the chiropractic exercises advance to strengthen the low back and abdominal muscles to prevent recurrences of sciatic pain. This is your cure for sciatica!

If you are looking for a cure for sciatica, seek chiropractic help immediately! If you live in the Mesa AZ area, call us at Lee Family Chiropractic and begin feeling better today.

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