American Canyon Chiropractor - Dr. Stephen Rasmussen, D.C.

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+1 (707) 864-2223Dr. Steve Rasmussen, D.C.
100 W. American Canyon Rd. Suite k6
American Canyon, Ca 94503


Fitness for your Herniated Disc

As you attempt to heal a herniated disc and resume a life free of back pain, we encourage you to start small: only undertake movements, stretches and exercises that are comfortable and then scale up. At American Canyon Chiropractor, we will provide a dimension of care that improves joint mobility and promotes excellent blood circulation in the damaged region. From here, we encourage our patients to take the initiative.

Goal number one is to relieve pain and get you moving: rehabilitation can only begin when you are able to move.

For people whose herniated discs are so painful they must remain sequestered to the couch or bed, a more serious procedure may be advisable. Otherwise, remaining immobile could be worsening your condition: your muscles need regular conditioning to recover properly. So leave the couch in the rear view and stretch it out by going for a walk. Light aerobic exercise is a great place to start: try walking for 10 minutes on the first day and then gradually increase your time over the following days. Swimming is another low-impact exercise that is great for bodily fitness and introducing movement to a stiff region.

Depending on the location, we also help you include stretches that lengthen restrictive muscles, restoring range of motion and improving muscle tone. As you scale up on the amount of movement that is comfortable and pain starts to fade away, we work on improving the muscles in the surrounding region. For example, a lumbar herniated disc is usually a result of the disc being overburdened. If we can improve trunk muscles and pelvic stabilizers, the burden of the body’s weight can be shared more equally with other parts of the body than just the lumbar vertebrae.

For help on creating a plan for healing your herniated disc, call our office in American Canyon at (707) 864-2223 to schedule an appointment today.

Dr. Stephen Rasmussen, D.C.

Just how vital is the neck?

The neck makes it possible for the brain and body to cooperate as symbiotic entities. Through the spinal cord, which exits the brain stem and makes its way down the body, the brain sends signals that influence movement, muscle and organ mechanics. The neck also contains a pivot point located between the first and second cervical vertebrae that allows you to move your head from side to side, up and down.

In the cervical region, eight nerves diverge from the spinal cord to form the cervical plexus, a complex network that allows for communication between the brain and the multitude of muscles of the head and neck. Exiting between the C3 and C5 vertebrae are the nerves that combine to make up the phrenic nerve, a crucial connection that allows the brain to influence breathing. Also meandering through the neck is the vagus nerve, which allows the brain to communicate with the heart and intestines.

Nerves in the mid-neck are responsible for communicating with the thyroid gland, meaning that they have a direct effect on the immune system. In the lower cervical region, nerves control the mechanics of the shoulders, arms and hands.

Neck pain, therefore, is something that should never be ignored. Pressure on these nerves means that nerve impulses from the brain are being delayed, or altogether broken. When left untreated, they grow over time in intensity. At American Canyon Chiropractor, we want to identify and correct any abnormality before it becomes a life-defining condition. Relieving pressure from these nerves influences a wide variety of healthful

Call our office in American Canyon at (707) 864-2223 to schedule an appointment today and find out how we specialize in protecting your neck.

Dr. Stephen Rasmussen, D.C.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is an age-old condition that is growing to prominence in the 21st century. With more jobs requiring committed chunks of time in front of a computer scrolling and typing, the hands, wrists and arms are exposed to repetitive motions that perpetuate the growing phenomenon of carpal tunnel syndrome. But data-entry workers are not the only ones at risk: data shows that line assembly workers are even more prone to carpal tunnel syndrome than their computer-savvy counterparts.

While surgery is a consideration for more serious cases, chiropractic provides a gentler, non-invasive alternative that can restore your hands to health.

Carpals are the bones in the wrist, which form, for lack of a better word, a tunnel, which houses the median nerve that travels into the hand from the forearm. Repetitive activities, such as typing, gardening and line assembly work will cause the tendons around the carpal tunnel to swell, pressurizing the median nerve. Any time there is inflammation or swelling around the This is, by definition, a repetitive stress injury.

Common indicators of carpal tunnel:

  • Numbness, tingling and weakness in the hands
  • Pain that shoots up the arm
  • Neck and shoulder pain

Because of its impact on the nervous system, chiropractic is an effective treatment for sufferers of carpal tunnel syndrome. Often times, there is an accompanying subluxation of the cervical vertebrae which causes yet another interruption in the neural pathways between the brain and the hand. After identifying and correcting any abnormalities in the spine, we focus on adjusting the wrist and arm to free the nerve from pressure. If your job is to blame, we can help you create ergonomic solutions that will combat the onset of repetitive stress. Once we relieve your pain and ensure that the nerve is free of pressure, we focus on strengthening activities that restore the carpal region to full health and make it more resilient moving forward.

Carpal tunnel is a modern malady that needs a modern, dynamic treatment. If your pain is getting in the way of your work or life, but you are unsure if surgery is the answer, give our office in American Canyon a call at (707) 864-2223 and schedule an appointment today.

Dr. Stephen Rasmussen, D.C 

Chiropractic for Concussion

A frequent and serious side effect of high impact sport is the occurrence of concussion. With the recent publicity of concussion studies and the feverish debate in the NFL, notoriety and misinformation about the condition are at an all time high. Chiropractic is not the first choice consideration for an athlete who is suffering in the aftermath of a concussion, but there are reasons to consider our practice at American Canyon Chiropractor.

Our office is trained in the identification of mild brain injury and we have a wealth of experience in supporting the patient through rehabilitation. We would like to see athletes of any age return to the field of their choice confident that they have overcome the concussion and its associated symptoms.

To this end, we utilize the Sport Concussion Assessment Tool 2 (or SCAT2) to evaluate and asses concussions in athletes 10 years and older. Symptoms are great indicators that a brain injury may have been sustained. If you complain of any of the following symptoms, we recommend that you stop playing your sport immediately until a proper period of rest and rehabilitation is observed.

  • Unconsciousness
  • Blurry vision
  • Vomiting
  • Dilated Pupils
  • Headache
  • Weakness or numbness in extremities

Our assessment is focused on monitoring your injury until we are fully satisfied that it is healed. Until this point, we advise the athlete not to return to play. Rest and proper attention to hydration and nutrition are the primary considerations.

A blow to the head usually involves damage to the spine.

If preexisting subluxation was not already present, there is likely a new misalignment because of the impact sustained by the head and neck. This can cause a great deal of pain that will make the aftermath of a concussion worse. Cervicogenic headaches are very common adjuncts where concussions are concerned. Our gentle, hands-on treatment is effective at treating these conditions.

Call our office in American Canyon at (707) 864-2223 if you or your child has suffered from a concussion.

Dr. Stephen Rasmussen, D.C. 

Nutrition for a Herniated Disc

At American Canyon Chiropractic, we encourage you to eat and drink to the health of your annulus fibrosus. This is the structure that cracks and allows for the inner gel-like material to leak out and impinge on the nearby nerve. When it comes to healing your herniated disc, nutrition is a tertiary consideration. But once your head and back are clear of pain, it is worth adding diet as another dimension for managing your condition. Dieting for a herniated disc focuses on contributing nutrients that repair and maintain the health of cartilage.

Nutrition is linked with higher healing success.

Glucosamine sulfate occurs naturally in our bodies. But many people can use more: it is crucial for the healthy upkeep of collagen, which is the primary material in intervertebral discs.

Vitamin C is a great stimulus for collagen production. Sulfur is an auxiliary mineral that boosts the potency of vitamin C.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids, found in high concentration in fish oil, for collagen production and to help fortify the cartilage against wear and tear. Also found in flaxseed, Omega-3s are natural anti-inflammatories.

There are many other health benefits to be reaped from a wholesome diet. As with all dietary advice, we advocate against processed foods that contain nitrites and foods that are high in sugar or fat, but lack vitamins or derivable nutrition. Every sip and bite you take could impact your recovery from a herniated disc.

Call our office in American Canyon at (707) 864-2223 to schedule an appointment today.

Dr. Stephen Rasmussen, D.C 

Location of your Herniated Disc

Where is your back hurting? A chiropractic examination is extremely helpful in finding the true source of the pain, and treating it accordingly. When it comes to herniated discs, the presence of pain can be a confusing sign, because it can be radiated to other parts of the body, obscuring a clear diagnosis.

We generally differentiate based on their location: cervical, thoracic and lumbar herniated discs. Each location has a unique function and therefore a unique set of strains. What they all share in common is the weight bearing and torsion-sustaining burden of the body.

Move your head from side to side: this motion, repeated millions of times both voluntarily and involuntarily over your life span has most likely degraded the discs in the cervical region little by little. The cervical vertebrae and the discs in between are involved in supporting the weight of your head and allowing you to turn it. A herniated disc in the cervical region is most likely to involve localized neck pain that can radiate to the shoulders, arms and upper back.

The thoracic vertebrae are among the least likely to be herniated. However, they can still be injured do to direct trauma resulting from a car accident or repetitive stress. These can cause pain in the upper or lower back, depending on their location.

A lumbar herniated disc is perhaps the most common of the three, as the lumbar region bears the highest percent burden of the upper body’s weight and deals with a significant amount of torsion from the torso. These usually accrue years of wear and tear until they herniate, causing pain in the lower back and sometimes the legs.

Call our office at (707) 864-2223 if you are experiencing back pain of any degree. We can help you determine whether a disc is herniated or if another injury is presenting itself. As the body attempts to heal itself, we give it the extra edge it needs to achieve a full recovery and set it up to prevent further injury in the future.

Dr. Stephen Rasmussen, D.C

Herniated Discs

The herniated disc is a two-faced injury.

At its most casual, the body will heal itself without the person having any clue there was a problem. For the unlucky, the pain can be so pitiless that surgery is considered a necessity: with herniated discs, pain determines the frame of mind. Chiropractic is for those who are somewhere in the middle. For those who are unconvinced about surgery, but cannot live comfortably with their pain, we offer a course of manual therapy and mild exercise that attempts to mitigate the pain, allowing your body the time it needs to heal itself.

A herniated disc is a condition affecting the intervertebral discs that accentuate the spine. For such small structures, these discs play a pivotal part: giving our body the shock absorption and range of motion that makes us able to do the activities we love. But this means they have a fast-tracked lifespan, degrading faster than most other parts of the body.

The discs are composed of two main parts: the annulus fibrosus, or outer ring and the nucleus pulposus, a gel-like core. These structures are vulnerable to direct trauma but, more often, herniated discs are caused by years of wear and tear that end in a breaking point: herniation is when the annulus fibrosus cracks or tears, allowing the gel like core to leak outwards. Pain comes when this leak or bulge pressurizes the nearby nerve.

At American Canyon Chiropractor, we offer a dynamic form of conservative care that can heal your injury naturally and strengthen the back to prevent recurrence. For all but the most severe of herniated discs, the body will heal itself. To this end, our treatment is a supplement that helps to relieve pain in the meantime and speed the recovery.

Call our office in American Canyon at (707) 864-2223.

Dr. Stephen Rasmussen, D.C