San Diego Elite Physical Therapist/Personal Fitness Trainers Perspective On Low Back Pain and Treatment Options.

With over 13 years as a San Diego Personal Fitness Trainer whose niche is working with Special populations, seeing spine related problems is common practice. With my medical background as a Physician Assistant, I have learned to effectively help individuals manage back problems and greatly eliminate nerve related spine pain.  I have learned that identifying the root of the problems is the optimal way for me to navigate my approach to help people.

In due time we all will experience a lower back spasm or muscle lock up. The initial reaction is to do nothing, and crawl our way into a bed in hopes of relief. Although this may initially provide relief, the pain will return as soon as you stand up. To better manage your spine discomfort, it is important to understand the mechanism that created the lower back problem to begin with.

1. Mechanical strain and stress - The lower back  is subject to the weight of the upper body which overloads the lower back. With age, intervetebral discs shrink and wear away. This is known as degenerative disc disease.

2. Herniated Disc –  The lower back places pressure on the nerve that travels down the spinal column. This condition commonly causes pain to radiate or travel down the leg. This condition is also referred to as Sciatica.

3. Disc Tear -  The jelly like spacer in between the bony vertebra have torn due to trauma

4. Spondylolisthesis - Sloppy movements of vertebral bones which grind against each other. This is a result of normal wear and tear as we age.

5. Spinal Stenosis - Narrowing of the spinal canal which surrounds the spinal cord. Bone spurs press into the spinal cord nerve causing pain.

6. Scoliosis – Abnormal curvature of the spine shaped like an S. This condition also causes back pain.

There are some easy ways to alleviate lower back pain:

1. If you smoke. Kick the habit for all the obvious reasons, and yes this will reduce back pain.

2. Practice good posture when sitting at a desk, stand up straight without rounding your shoulders, and lift objects with your legs not with your back!

3. Do core exercises that strengthen back and abdominal muscles.

4. Fight that reflexive reaction to want to crawl into bed when your back pain strikes. Its better to use your body, versus establishing a pattern of muscle misuse!

5. Find a personal fitness trainer with high levels of spine rehab and pain management skills to help you along. Somagenesis Health and Fitness of San Diego, CA has the best personal fitness trainers with Medical back grounds to help you with your spine related problems.  go to the  somagenesis web site and submit a “contact form”  for your first consultation.

Its they day after Christmas, and people are preparing for the next hurdle, that being New Years 2014.  If your like most Americans’s, you went way overboard eating everything that didn’t crawl off your plate, and you drank more wine and liquor than an Irish sailor on shore leave. So what do you have to show for this recklessness?  Well, take a peak down south of your chin. Perhaps an expanded waist line choked to death by tight pants or  a skin tight skirt ripping at the seams. Perhaps your feet are so swollen from excess salt and carbs that which you consumed, that now your shoes feel extra tight. Yep, your hating looking like the Michelin Tire man. Hate feeling soft and mushy huh?

As a San Diego Personal trainer and Physician Assistant with over 15 years in the industry, I have seen just about everything. People generally meet, and often exceed their health and fitness goals though out the first 10 months of the year. They often spend good money to get there, and then for some reason, they subconsciously decide to sabotage the fruits of their labors over the course of 5 weeks! Go figure….

Yes, it’s the high time of the year, were family come together and graze like pigs at the trough. Hypnosis seems sets in,  and they live for the corpulent moment. A, “I don’t give a shit” attitude sets in.  The typical remark I hear from the weight control under achiever is:  “well its only 2 days out of the year!”  The reality depicts a different cause and effect.  A tsunami of food begins around the Thanksgiving holidays, followed by left overs, candy, bakery gift baskets at the offices. Then there are the seasonal employee office party’s, and local neighborhood festivity party’s. Moreover, the food continues to pour in for the weeks of  Hanukkah, Christmas and New Years day. By the time all is said and done, most people can barely walk, yet breath. It has been said that the average person will gain 8 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Years day.

So, I ask you why? I don’t want to hear because of the family influence! The answer is clear, you simply don’t have big enough balls or discipline to make it to the finish line. It’s just like stopping short of a 26.2 miles of marathon distance and decide to crawl to the finish line, like a  big pussy! Shame on you!

Now comes the New Years Resolution which is supposed to negate your bad judgement during the five week glutton onslaught.  Heres the rub, by the time you get back into fairly decent shape, the holidays are once again at your doorstep.  Then its right back through the unconscious holiday onslaught of food and alcohol. So in respect of the law of positive and negative integers, you really make no gains, just STASIS,  which in my book is the ulimate recipe for  being ordinary. Maybe your happy with this?

So with that in mind, millions of Americans will make the artificial leap of proclaiming, yet another feasible New Years fitness/ weight loss resolution. Now ,do you see the stupidity in this mindset?

Anyway, if you fall into this category of being a New Years Resolution Cycler, then you need a much higher sense of accountability, than your FitBit, your heart rate calorimeter,  or relying on your spouse or best friend to keep you honest. Hire yourself a reputable Personal fitness trainer, who lives the life of perpetual health and fitness. Most personal trainers have the tools and knowledge to keep you fit and honest even through the most difficult times of the year.  Generally they walk the walk, and talk the talk. Myself and my elite trainers and therapists at Somagenesis Health and Fitness of San Diego, California, pride ourselves on keeping our clients accountable and on track even through difficult holidays. If you live in San Diego County, feel free to  contact us for a complimentary consultation concerning your problem, or simply go to and fill out a Contact Form. We will get back to you. And don’t worry, we won’t bite!  Now enjoy the personal video below.

Somagenesis San Diego Personal Trainers, has a new addition to its team. Dr. Deniz Armagan  Dr. Armagan is a recent graduate from Loma Linda School of Physical Therapy, but don’t be fooled, he has worked as a mid level physical therapist for 15 years. Dr. Armagan’s passion is sports medicine and sports medicine therapeutics with Kinesio- tape. He is only one of four certified Kinesio-Tape therapists in Southern California If you watched the last Olympic Games, you may have noticed numerous athletes wearing Kinesio-Tape on their shoulders, backs, thighs and knees. These athletes had unresolved, or impending injures which required Kinesio-tape therapy. In the beginning I had my doubts about it as it seemed to abstract of a concept, or a flash in the pan fad. Well, as time passed, tons of clinic research backed by credible sources determined that Kinesio-Tape created high levels of stability in unstable joints or injuries, reduced chronic pain, and realigned bad muscle imbalances which contributed to spinal abnormalities. Very cool! However, not everyone can properly apply Kinesio tape without the proper understanding where the muscles and fascia lie, and where the pain receptors are located. Moreover, the crap knock off tape that you can buy at athletic shops, or big box sporting goods stores are worthless, and is just another example of taking advantage of the publics ignorance. So, Somagenesis health and Fitness has the real deal. He is not your run of the mill Dr. of Physical Therapy, in fact he is more of a renegade. Because of his Type A, think outside the box personality, Dr. Armagan graduated top of his class at Loma Linda, and invented physical therapy systems that his mentors roared about. Yes, he is unique, he is cool, and we consider ourself fortunate! Check out Dr. Armagan’s Intro video below, followed by my personal video endorsing him. To meet Dr. Armagan, simply go to and  fill out a Contact Form

What good is working out day in and day out, if your poisoning your body with inflammatory foods!  The body will never lose weight and you will eventually kill yourself. Don’t be an oblivious asshole and ignore what you put in your mouth! Be smart about your total body fitness. This includes nutritional choices.

Chronic low grade inflammation is involved in all stages of atherosclerosis, the stepping stone to clogging up your arteries, then eventually having either a myocardial infarction, stroke, peripheral artery disease and even dementia!                                                                                     Hey! Inflammation doesn’t just happen on its own, being stupid with smoking, eating fatty, sugary, high caloric foods, and not working out does!

Food Culprits:

1.Too much consumed refined sugars,

2.Too much consumed flour products

3. Too much Omega 6 vegetable oils such as  vegetable, soybean, corn and sunflower.

Are you wondering how sugar inflames your body? Well here is the short version.

Sugar acts like an abrasive. Visualize glass shards rubbing on the inside of blood vessels, turning them beefy red and raw. This in turn creates inflammation! Protein antibodies come to the rescue to heal, and plaques are formed acting like Band Aides! Got the picture?

Omega 6 is also an irritant. The body’s protectant mechanism is to produce cytokines, which are proteins that respond to infection, inflammation and trauma. The end result is MORE internal vessel trauma.

Think About it! and repeat after me!

The human body is not designed to consume processed foods. Nor is the human body designed to consume food packed with sugar or soaked in Omega-6 oils!

So whats the solution?  Simple!

1. Eat more protein

2. Consume colorful fruits and vegetables

3. Think food in its natural state!

4. Use olive oil or butter from grass fed beef. Think Omega 3s!!

5. See your MD and get a C-reative Protein test to measure inflammation.

6. Weight training 3 days per week for 30 sets per workout will reduce inflammation by 35%

*And, last but not least, if your are still confused about what to eat and do, contact me, Rivak Hoffman at I will get you back on track, and inflammation free.


The livers function is to process nutrients, drugs and other junk in the blood that has been delivered from the intestines. Hopefully the body can use most of it. The liver is fragile and it provides over 500 functions to help the human body thrive! Amazing huh?

Screw the liver up, and pay the price. Your metabolism will plummet, then comes obesity and a host of many other health issues including the big MI!

A very cool research study was published in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition, looking at the effects that simple sugar had on accumulation of fat in the liver. Study participants were fed 1000 kcal of simple carbs per day for 3 weeks straight. Then liver functions, size , metabolism and body fat changes were calculated. All study participants saw a 27% increase in liver fat and swelling as well as a 2% increase in body weight! Mind blowing statistics!

What doe this mean?   The liver will get back up and result is a fatty liver disease. The same thing can happen to alcoholics. Too much drinking will scar and enlarge your liver. The end result is the same; significant weight gain, a slowed metabolism, insulin resistance, diabetes and even liver failure.

Can liver disease be reversed?  Yes, because the liver must degrade by 75% before it shuts down.  Now the good news!  In the same study published in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The study I just discussed, the overfed simple carbohydrate test subjects were placed on a high protein, good fat diet This much clean healthy diet reversed the side effects after 6 months. However it is important to understand that damage to the liver took place in 3 short weeks, but it took 6 long months to get the livers back to normal! A big price to pay for sugar indulgence!

Does exercise help?  Yes, aerobic exercise oxygenates blood, and helps cleanse the liver. If you already have a liver condition, listen to your body when participating in any exercise program. Excessive fatigue is a common symptom of liver disease, and you should consider this when setting exercise goals. When first getting started, it is recommended that you only exercise three times per week. Each session should include 10-20 minutes of aerobic exercise, and a few weight-bearing exercises. Gradually build upon this until you are exercising five or more times per week.

Where does Somagenesis Health and Fitness come in?  We are the physicians choice for safe and effective personal training, medical exercise prescription and rehabilitation for the special populations of San Diego California. Visit our website for more information and a phone number. You will be glad you did!  PS Check out my personal video describing everything I discussed in this blog post. Please leave comments!

I you have struggled with losing weight in the past through hybrid diets or unconventional style of workouts, you understand this paradigm. Perhaps you have found a system that works for you. In short weight loss is determined by the number of calories that go into the body and then the number of calories that are expended through metabolism or exercise burn.  For many people it is impossible to out exercise a bad diet. Example to burn off 3000 calories in meals would require 4- 5 hours of intense working out! 60 minutes on the elliptical trainer isn’t going to burn off that Cinnabon you had for lunch! But Geez folks is it freaking worth it? And who has that amount of time.

I know I don’t, so I limit my intake, and always plan on at least a 100 minute workout session every day. But I am a San Diego Personal Fitness Trainer , and this is what I do!

Most people will tell you that diet is responsible for 80-90% of weight loss. This is only partially true. You can work out like a mad man or woman, but if your food intake isn’t in check, you will always look soft,round and unhealthy. Overall, both diet and exercise are equally important to weight loss success, as well as acquiring a lean healthy body composition. To validate my point, a new study was recently published the Annals of Behavioral Medicine. Test subjects were divided into four (4) groups.

Group 1. Adjusted their diets first, than 4 months later added a strict exercise program.

Group 2. Started a strict exercise program, than 4 months later integrated a diet plan.

Group 3. Adjusted a diet and integrated a strict exercise program AT THE SAME TIME

Group 4.  Did absolutely nothing. This was the “Control Group”

So the researchers wanted to see which group would best comply with the regimens for 12 months.  And the winner was, Group 3 !!! (Those who did diet adjustment and strict exercise at the same time)

And as the Master trainer with Somagenesis Health and Fitness San Diego, I have had many successful clients lose weight when both diet and exercise are in check. If not, then weight loss is stymied.  I also lecture clients who focus on diet alone and lack the fitness prowess, how diet alone will SLOW YOUR METABOLISM.. Yes, this is a known fact. Moreover your weight loss with be from muscle and bone catabolism, not actual fat.

So people, get with the program. The entire program! If you need professional guidance, then don’t be shy. Hire a professional personal fitness trainer and nutritionist who can design you a personalized fitness program, get you on a consistent workout schedule, and help you make the necessary change to your food  intake to get on the road to health and wellness.

It’s what we do at Somagenesis Health and Fitness!   Amongst many other things. So please click on the Somagenesis link to get started today.

And please enjoy the enclosed video, which will surely bring back memories.