Swimming for Spinal Health

From a chiropractor’s perspective, when it comes time to get more activity into your life, swimming should be a top contender. The reason? Swimming is a healthy aerobic exercise that helps you shed weight and feel great without the joint damage inherent in more jarring activities such as running. You can start at your own pace and build a routine that works for you, and here are some reasons why now is the time:

Whole body workout: you are going to work out some muscles you didn’t know you had without even trying to! Water provides a natural resistance that builds muscle and tones the whole body. 1 hour of (vigorous) swimming can burn up to 500 calories.

Respiratory function: every cell in your body needs a constantly refreshing source of oxygen to provide you with the energy to perform well and feel great. Water is denser than air so your body must work harder to capture oxygen while swimming, which means you are toning the breathing muscles too!

Good for the mind: The feeling of being buoyant, when you are all but weightless, is great. Tension melts away and muscles relax; studies show that swimming is linked to improvements in mood for both men and women. 

Light on the repetitive trauma: running is great too, but the repetitive trauma to the joints can take a toll. You can get the same level of workout without the damage in the water. 

At Haynes Chiropractic, we are in the business of helping you feel better. To this end, we would love to see you take the initiative of getting wet, but if there are physical limitations holding you back, we need to resolve them first. Our treatment helps correct spinal imbalance and relieve muscle tension, back pain and improve a host of other conditions that could be keeping you out of the pool. Give our office in Bakersfield a call to schedule an appointment today. 

Dr. Jeff Haynes, D.C. 

A Stable Core


What does your core mean to you? For many people, “the core,” refers to an ambiguous group of muscles in the middle of the body that can be turned into a six-pack with enough crunches. In reality, the core is a complex network of muscle groups that influence almost every single movement you may perform during the day. There are three main functions of the core, as we see it:

  • Commence movement
  • Limit and stabilize movement
  • Transfer forces across the body

At Haynes Chiropractic, we focus on the last 2 as the essential functions of the core to help people with back pain improve their symptoms. To this end, we try to establish the core as a stabilizer: boosting its ability to control the forces we produce rather than producing forces which is what you will get with a six-pack. A healthy core can be used to share the burden of the upper body’s weight with the intervertebral discs and protect the spine and its surrounding muscles from damage done by extreme movement. 

The core can be used for a lot more than just looking good. Let us help you use your core to improve back pain symptoms and actually prevent them. Crunches are good for toning, but exercises such as planks, side-planks and bridges are better for establishing the core as a stabilizer. Call our office in Bakersfield to schedule an appointment today!

Dr. Jeff Haynes, D.C. 

Breathing made Easier


Breathing is our most essential bodily function: every last cell in the body needs a constantly refreshing supply of oxygen in order to stay alive, let alone produce the energy needed to perform their biological function and keep your systems working smoothly. And if respiration is so vital, then the main muscle involved in the respiratory system, the diaphragm, has a legitimate claim to most important muscle in the body. It is startling to learn that, with the transition to a more sedentary society, coupled with a lack of awareness, fewer people than ever are getting the oxygen they need. At Haynes Chiropractic, we believe that better breathing leads to better well-being, and we help you achieve this in the following ways: 

  • Poor posture – poor breathing: A vicious cycle whereby hunched posture hampers the ability of the rib cage to open properly during a full breath.
  • Abdominal strength: Insufficient strength in the abs means reduced lung capacity and this can be combated with simple stretching and strengthening techniques. 
  • The diaphragm and proper breathing technique: 70-80% of each breath drawn should be done so on the power of the diaphragm. Taking oxygen in through the nose to the base of the lungs requires coordination of the diaphragm and abdomen as well as many accessory muscles. 
  • Spinal misalignment: nerves exiting the spine between the C3 and C5 vertebrae make up the phrenic nerve which powers the diaphragm. A nerve irritation at this location can interfere with proper breathing function. 

Learning how to breathe better is perhaps the quickest way you can start feeling better on a second-by-second basis. It may be time to review your breathing technique and resolve the issues which are holding you back from getting the amount of oxygen you need; if this is the case, give our office in Bakersfield a call to schedule an appointment and start breathing better today!

Dr. Jeff Haynes, D.C. 



Trigger Point Therapy: What’s it Good for?

trigger point

In the adult human body, muscles make up between 60-70% of total body weight, meaning that there are a lot of them! Designed first for movement, a secondary purpose of the muscular system is to provide for maintenance of posture and body positioning. It’s no wonder that muscles are among the most sensitive parts of our body.

Trigger points are tight areas within muscles that create problems (namely, pain) in other parts of the body. Through a process called referral, whereby the actual pain is felt in a spot other than the point of painful stimulus, a tight muscle in the back can cause you a headache or neck pain. This is not a matter of scar tissue within the muscle, but of a heightened level of sensitivity in a specific muscle; with trigger point therapy, we seek to release this painful point from tension through targeted pressure and release. 

The most common method of treating trigger points involves using direct pressure from the chiropractor’s finger or thumb! This may not be the most comfortable part of the massage, but once the trigger point is released, we can follow it up with a more relaxing massage that increases circulation and provides an influx of oxygen and nutrients to the site, helping it recover quickly. 

Trigger points are a daily irritation that should not be allowed to exist; call our office in Bakersfield to schedule an appointment and find out how we can release these problematic points and teach you how to do it at home or in the office as well!

Dr. Jeff Haynes, D.C. 


The Power of the Pelvic Tilt

pelvic tilt

Lower back pain is epidemic and even the healthiest people we see in our office have had some experience with a stiff, achy lower back. While it maybe normal for a pregnant woman in the final trimester, an anterior pelvic tilt is not good news for anyone else. It is a positioning of the body that often results from chronically poor posture and regular inactivity, and it looks like this: 

  • shoulders rounded, 
  • abdomen protruding 
  • head tilted forward, also known as anterior head carriage

This is a position that, if carried on regularly, can lead to unhealthy curvature of the spine, leave the muscles of the back out of balance and magnify the weight of the head to the spine. If this is you, there has never been a better time to start fighting back! The pelvic tilt is a stretch that can be used just about anywhere to provide relief in the lower back. 

  • Lay on your back with knees elevated and feet flat on the floor. 
  • Place your hand in between the gap formed by the small of your back and the floor. This will be the space you fill with the stretch, so now remove your hand. 
  • Inhale and tilt your pelvis, lifting the buttocks and using the abdominal muscles until your back touches the ground. 
  • Hold for five seconds then exhale and return to the starting position. 
  • This makes 1 rep, repeat 3 times. 

15 seconds to provide relief from the daily accumulation of stress on the lower back. Be diligent! Try performing these stretches when you wake up and right before bed; consistency is the key to a successful stretching program. If you need help addressing postural deficiencies, structural and muscular weakness, or something more serious that is creating a drag on your life, give our office a call so we can help you start on the road to health today. 

Dr. Jeff Haynes, D.C. 



The syndrome of overtraining is a pitfall that only the human can have: under the influence of the reward system in the brain, we innately believe that more exercise should always bring more muscle or more stamina, but this is not always the case. There is a point of optimization beyond which you can actually cause more harm than good to your own body; it is not always easy to realize exactly when you have reached this point, but you can usually tell by listening to your body. Here are some key signs:

  • Feeling drained after a standard workout
  • Depression
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Abnormal aches and pains

The problem could be nutrition, especially if you are not hydrating fluidly or providing your muscles with enough protein after a heavy workout to help them rebuild. But even the most hardcore athlete, who thinks they have perfected their gym routine down to the perfect formula, can push themselves too far on a given day, particularly when you take into account the presence of nervous system imbalances. At Haynes Chiropractic, we offer specialist support for the athlete’s body to help them improve recovery time between workouts, rehabilitate injuries, work on stiff, strained muscles and keep the spine balanced, thereby influencing the efficiency of the nervous system as it relates to working out.

Chances are, if you have overtrained, you feel it. If you need help getting back to your personal standard of excellence, give our office in Bakersfield a call to schedule an appointment today.

Dr. Jeff Haynes, D.C.  

Athletic Performance Part 2


Regardless of your chosen sport, chiropractic can help keep your body in conducive shape for growing muscle, increasing stamina and avoiding injury. For competitors in high-impact, low-impact and no-impact sports, we can help ensure that your biomechanics are sound so that you can retain your maximum possible athletic advantage. Regular chiropractic helps to: 

  • Maintain range of motion, by contributing to more flexibility
  • Improve reaction times 
  • Improve pulmonary and respiratory functions
  • Naturally increases energy levels
  • Regulates the nervous system 
  • Improves immune function
  • Focus on relieving muscle tension build-up, inflammation and break up scar tissue. 

High-impact sports have been shown to deal as much damage to the human body as automobile collisions, and at a much higher rate of repetition. As a result, vertebrae are regularly out of alignment and muscles are strained, making it hard to avoid injury, let alone reach your peak performance levels. For low-impact athletes, chiropractic helps to reduce your vulnerability to injury, especially those sustained from twisting motions. At Haynes Chiropractic, our services act as an augment to the athlete:  we specialize in keeping your body resistant to injury during activity, and in receptive shape for regrowing muscle and rebounding between workouts. 

Dr. Jeff Haynes, D.C. 

Athletic Performance


Everyone is their own type of athlete: no matter where you find yourself in the spectrum, from novice to Olympian, the endeavor to specialize in a sport and discipline the body and mind is always worthwhile. At Haynes Chiropractic, we want to support your athletic ambition by keeping your spine balanced and your body lithe against injury so that you can enjoy your sport long into life.

Chiropractic works to remove interference from the nervous system by correcting slight misalignments of the spine, the body’s main conduit for nerve communication. In doing so, we effect improvements in key aspects of the body’s functioning involved in physical exertion, from helping you capture more oxygen in the respiratory process, to optimizing muscular development. Along the way, we help you preserve your range of motion and recover quickly and efficiently in between work outs. 

Chiropractic is for those concerned with: 

  • building muscle faster. By regulating the nervous system, we ensure that your muscles contract and release properly, helping you to build muscle quickly.
  • breathing better. Subluxation in the cervical region interferes with the nerves that power the diaphragm, limiting your potential for capturing oxygen and expelling CO2 effectively. 
  • staying flexible. This is a key to preventing injury. The more your body can bend without breaking, the harder you can go.
  • healing faster. Injuries happen, but they don’t have to keep you off your feet for long. We have the modalities that will help you get back to your pre-injury standard in a reasonable amount of time. 

Essentially, we want to help you optimize your athletic routine. If you are interested in our services, give our office in Bakersfield a call and schedule an appointment today. 

Dr. Jeff Haynes, D.C.