Ending Pain and Staying Healthy Is a Surprisingly Small Thing…

Here’s something interesting. Do you know how much money American Airlines saved in 1987 by eliminating ONE olive from each salad they served in first class?

You’ll never guess.Single-olive

$40,000!

Amazing, isn’t it? And if you translate that amount to today’s dollars—it would be a lot more!

You want to know what else is interesting and quite amazing? If you do, listen to this: It is estimated that 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated, which basically means three quarters of the country does not drink anywhere near enough H20.

And check this out—it is also estimated that in 37% of Americans, the thirst mechanism is so weak it is often mistaken for hunger. And even mild dehydration can slow down your metabolism by as much as 3%. And there’s more…

One glass of water shut down midnight hunger pangs for almost 100% of the dieters in a University of Washington study. But that’s not all! Lack of water is the number one trigger for daytime fatigue. A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on the computer screen.

As a quick aside related to computers—in 2006 one in eight people showed signs of being addicted to the Internet! Can you imagine? (And that was before smartphones and social media really hit the scene.)jyh63rhks5g3na9dsnhu-1-800x445

BACK TO WATER… SOME ESTIMATES SAY DRINKING FIVE GLASSES A DAY CAN DECREASE THE RISK OF COLON CANCER BY 45%, SLASH BREAST CANCER BY 79%, AND DECREASE YOUR CHANCES OF GETTING BLADDER CANCER BY 50%.

So what’s the point of all these interesting facts? Is all this just to get you to drink more water? Hardly…

Listen… although it’s obvious you should be drinking plenty of water—the REAL take home message here is: small things done consistently over a long period of time can have a major impact on your health and life.

Let’s face it. One olive is not a big thing. But removing just one from the in-flight salad meant $40,000 over the course of a year. Just five glasses of water a day might save you from one of those deadly conditions listed above.

And here’s something else you may find important: regular Chiropractic care may have a BIG impact on your life. How, you ask? If you came to us in pain and we helped you… it might stop your original condition from coming back. And not only that—just one visit per month may help you live a healthier, more pain-free life… in many ways.

Those olives and glasses of water add up and have a huge impact over time. So do Chiropractic treatments, even though they may be tough to actually measure.

Here’s one more interesting fact if you’d like to lose weight: Banging your head against the wall burns 150 calories an hour! Yeah… you’re right… there’s probably a better way… 🙂

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Chiropractic and Sleep

quality-sleep-dr.-michelle-robinChiropractic is well known for the management of pain in the back, neck, arms, and legs, but what about enhancing sleep quality? Chronic, long-term sleep-related disorders affect an estimated 1.5 million Americans each year and account for an estimated $16 billion in medical costs annually, not including indirect costs due to lost productivity and other factors! Sleep deprivation can interfere with work, driving, social activities, overall quality of life, and even cause serious health problems (even a shorter lifespan!). With over 80 defined sleep disorders, insomnia (difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, and/or poor sleep quality) is one of the most common followed by sleep apnea (interrupted breathing while sleeping), restless-leg syndrome (tingly/prickly leg sensations), and narcolepsy (daytime “sleep attacks”).

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), sleep is a “neurobiologic need.” Think of it like recharging a battery, except the battery is your brain! The optimum amount of sleep needed changes with age. Infants need nine to ten hours at night AND three or more hours of naps, while toddlers need the same nine hours at night but two to three hours/less daytime naps. School-age children do best with nine to eleven hours and adults with seven to eight hours. When sleep-deprived (>1-2 hrs of less than normal sleep), daytime napping needs increase as well as the need for longer nighttime sleep. Without establishing a sleep cycle or when interrupting the normal circadian rhythm (cycle of sleep and wakefulness), long-term problems can arise. This can occur as a result of missing as little as one to two hours a night. Though many claim and even brag about only needing a few hours of sleep a night, it is reported that they are less able to perform well on complex mental tasks compared with those who get closer to seven hours of nighttime sleep. It has also been reported that a higher mortality rate is associated with getting less OR much more than seven hours of sleep per night.

As chiropractors, spinal manipulation, exercise training, dietary supplements, relaxation therapy, massage therapy, and acupuncture are all viable options to help in the effort to fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and improve the overall quality of sleep. Lifestyle coaching facilitating sleep improvement includes:

1) Establishing a regular sleep schedule

2) Relaxing (like reading) before bedtime

3) Regular exercise (≥2 hrs pre-bedtime)

4) Avoiding alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine!

Medication side-effects can be a culprit and sleep aid medications can leave one too sleepy the next day to optimally function. Herbal supplements can include the valerian (when taken for four to six weeks, it can improve sleep quality and reduce falling asleep time—it is often combined with others such as lavender, lemon balm, and skullcap); chamomile tea at bedtime; and kava. The supplement melatonin is another popular approach shown to help with insomnia, particularly falling asleep faster and for those with circadian rhythm interruptions. The amino acid L-Tryptophan converts to 5-HTP followed by serotonin (a brain neurotransmitter) and finally into melatonin. Other forms of therapy include music therapy and the use of sound machines, which can especially help older adults and children. Certain exercise such as yoga, tai-chi, and / or qigong act like a combination of both meditation and exercise. Combining some of these methods with cognitive-behavioral therapy (such as sleep restriction and stimulus control) has been shown to demonstrate some lasting improvements in sleep quality. The use of nasal dialator strips were also reported to be helpful in those with insomnia and sleep disordered breathing.

Chiropractic Care and Its Many Benefits

Primarily, chiropractic focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of neuromuscular disorders with an emphasis on treatment utilizing manual adjustments and other types of manipulation and/or mobilization of the spine. Chiropractic is classified as a form of primary care, as anyone can choose to see a doctor of chiropractic without a referral.

A 2010 meta analysis reviewed a number of published studies to determine the strength of scientific evidence regarding the effectiveness of manual treatment for both musculoskeletal (MSK) and non-musculoskeletal (non-MSK) conditions.

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Lead author Dr. Gert Bronfort reviewed 49 relevant systematic reviews and 16 evidence-based clinical guidelines and concluded that he and the other authors of the analysis found SMT/mobilization to be effective in adults for the following: acute, subacute, and chronic low back pain; migraine and cervicogenic headache; cervicogenic dizziness; and several extremity joint conditions. Interestingly, Dr. Bronfort and his team noted thoracic manipulation/mobilization as effective for acute and subacute neck pain, but the evidence available at the time was inconclusive for cervical manipulation/mobilization alone for neck pain of any duration.

The evidence was also inconclusive for SMT/mobilization for mid back pain, sciatica, tension-type headache, coccydynia, temporomandibular joint disorders, fibromyalgia, premenstrual syndrome, and pneumonia in older adults. Additionally, they found SMT/mobilization was not effective for asthma, dysmenorrhea (when compared to sham SMT), or stage 1 hypertension when added to an antihypertensive diet. In children, the evidence was inconclusive regarding the effectiveness of SMT/mobilization for otitis media and enuresis, and they also noted SMT/mobilization was not effective for infantile colic and asthma when compared with sham SMT.

In a 2014 follow-up study, lead author Dr. Christine Clar confirmed most of the previously “inconclusive” or “moderate” evidence ratings of the 2010 evidence report. However, the availability of new research motivated Dr. Clar to note moderate evidence for these conditions: manipulation/mobilization (with exercise) for rotator cuff disorders, spinal mobilization for cervicogenic headache, and mobilization for miscellaneous headache.

These two meta-analyses are significantly helpful for those considering chiropractic care for specific conditions. Reviews like this are planned for the future, and the list of conditions that respond well to chiropractic care should expand as areas that need further study are determined and more research is published.

Medical Doctors Recommend Chiropractic Care for Back Pain Relief

Chiropractic-Treatment-1Harvard Study: Low Back Pain Patients Significantly More Satisfied with Chiropractic Than Conventional Medical Care.

In 2002, at the 17th annual North American Spine Society meeting, three medical doctors defended chiropractic by citing a Harvard study that found low back pain patients were significantly more satisfied with Chiropractic treatments compared to conventional medical care.

After researching “myths,” co-author , Dr. Jack Zigler, MD found chiropractic education is more similar to medical education than it is dissimilar.

Dr. Zigler had integrated chiropractors into his multi-disciplinary spine center where the chiropractors screen patients for surgical versus non-surgical care.

Another co-author, Dr. Andrew Cole, MD, stated, “overall, manipulation* has the advantage of reducing pain, decreasing medication, rapidly advancing physical therapy and requiring fewer passive modalities.” (*Manipulation is one of the primary treatment techniques used by Doctors of Chiropractic.)

He also recommends spine surgeons refer their patients to chiropractors.

Our goal is to give you, your friends, you co-workers, and your family the best treatment possible.

And thank you for your referrals.

Keep ’em coming!

We appreciate it!

References

Haldeman S, Chapman-Smith D, Petersen DM Jr. Time to recognize value of chiropractic care? Science and patient satisfaction surveys cite usefulness of spinal manipulation. Orthopedics Today February 2003:23(2), pp14-15.
Haldeman S, Cole A, Zigler J, et al. Spinal manipulation in spine care: who? why? when? Presented at the North American Spine Society 17th Annual Meeting, Oct. 29-Nov. 2, 2002, Montreal.

Chiropractic… Natural, Safe, and Effective!

The mission of chiropractic is to help sick people get well, as well as to help healthy people function better in the absence of drugs or surgery.

When people are asked, “…what do chiropractors do?” the frequent response is, “…they crack your neck and/or back.”

Chiropractic spinal manipulation (frequently called an adjustment) often produces an audible popping or cracking noise.

This sound is known as joint cavitation and it is reported to be caused by the release of pressure created by gases (nitrogen, oxygen, and carbon dioxide) within the joint.

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It is the same noise produced when one cracks their knuckles. One common myth is that cracking or cavitating a joint will produce arthritis in the joint—this is simply not true.

Several scientific studies of joint cavitation dispel this old wives tale. In fact, studies demonstrate that joint manipulation actually benefits patients with arthritis of the spine.

There have been a number of studies published on the topic of unwanted reactions to spinal manipulation.

In general, side effects, if any, are mild and transient.

When they do occur, they typically happen shortly after the first or second session of spinal manipulation, similar to the post-exercise soreness that occurs when first introducing a new sport or activity.

Unpleasant side effects such as this may occur in between 10% and 30% of patients. They occur more often in women than men, and as previously stated, they seem to occur more often after the first session of spinal manipulation.

The most commonly reported unpleasant reaction is temporary and transient increased pain or stiffness. This reaction usually resolves in 24 hours or less.

More rare reports of tiredness, light headedness, and occasional nausea have been infrequently reported.

The type and nature of these reactions may be associated with the severity and nature of the condition being treated.

It seems self evident that more severe problems have the potential to produce short-term increases in symptoms. The use of ice, ultrasound and or other modalities can help to minimize any irritation that may occur due to spinal manipulative treatment.

SPINAL MANIPULATION HAS BEEN FOUND TO BE SAFE AND EFFECTIVE FOR UNCOMPLICATED SPINAL PAIN SYNDROMES. MORE IMPORTANTLY, IT MAY ALSO BE A VIABLE ALTERNATIVE TO SURGERY FOR LUMBAR OR CERVICAL DISK HERNIATIONS.

There are many reports on both sides of this subject, with some stating spinal manipulation can increase compression of the spinal nerves in patients with disk herniations as well as the opposite—that it reduces nerve root pressure.

The good news is that the rate of occurrence is only about 1 in 1- 3 million cases, making spinal manipulation for disk problems an extremely safe treatment option for patient with herniated disks.

Chiropractors will often use low-force manipulation methods for treating herniated disks that do not require a standard type of manipulation thrust.

These spinal methods are sometimes preferred over traditional manipulative techniques for the treatment of herniated spinal disks, but this is case dependent.

To make an educated decision about any type of care you may be considering, you must consider “relative risks”. Simply put, relative risks compare the risk of one procedure with the risk of a second procedure for the same condition.

For example, if you are taking medications to relieve your pain, how do the risks of the medications compare with the risks of an alternative treatment, like chiropractic care?

An example is chiropractic treatment versus drugs known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which include aspirin, naproxen, and ibuprofen.

THE RISK FOR SERIOUS SIDE EFFECTS FROM ANTI-INFLAMMATORY DRUG IS FROM 6000-9000 TIMES GREATER THAN THE RISK FOR SERIOUS SIDE EFFECTS FROM SPINAL MANIPULATION, MEANING THAT CHIROPRACTIC CARE IS A MUCH SAFER ALTERNATIVE THAN ASPIRIN OR OTHER NSAID DRUGS FOR TREATING INFLAMMATORY BACK OR NECK PAIN.

Interestingly, studies have reported that patients receiving chiropractic care were able to reduce their intake of drugs, thus, reducing the risks of drug reactions/interactions.

If you are trying to avoid surgery for a spine-related problem, your condition is more serious and potential side effects of surgery should be compared with chiropractic.

You should understand any patient who is a potential candidate for spine surgery has a serious medical condition. There is pressure on a nerve and the potential for permanent damage to that nerve exists. Studies show that chiropractic care often can reduce the pressure on a compressed nerve in the lower back or neck, without surgery.

The following references were utilized in the preparation of this information.

References

The audible release associated with joint manipulation. JMPT. 1995 Mar-Apr;18(3):155-64.
Does knuckle cracking lead to arthritis of the fingers? Arthritis Rheum. 1998 May;41(5):949-50.
Efficacy of treating low back pain and dysfunction secondary to osteoarthritis: chiropractic care compared with moist heat alone. JMPT 2006 Feb;29(2):107-14.
Comparison of human lumbar facet joint capsule strains during simulated high velocity, low-amplitude spinal manipulation versus physiological motions. Spine J. 2005 May-Jun;5(3):277-90.
Safety of spinal manipulation in the treatment of lumbar disk herniations: a systematic review and risk assessment JMPT. 2004 Mar-Apr;27(3):197-210.
Side posture manipulation for lumbar intervertebral disk herniation. JMPT. 1993 Feb;16(2):96-103.
Magnetic resonance imaging and clinical follow-up: study of 27 patients receiving chiropractic care for cervical and lumbar disc herniations. JMPT 1996 Nov-Dec;19 (9):597-606.
Prospective investigations into the safety of spinal manipulation. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2001 Mar;21(3):238-42.
Risks associated with spinal manipulation. Am J Med. 2002 May;112(7):566-71.
A risk assessment of cervical manipulation vs. NSAIDs for the treatment of neck pain. JMPT 1995 Oct;18(8):530-6.
J Side effects of chiropractic treatment: a prospective study. JMPT. 1997 Oct;20(8):511-5.
Frequency and clinical predictors of adverse reactions to chiropractic care in the UCLA neck pain study. Spine. 2005 Jul 1;30(13):1477-84.
Complications of spinal manipulation: a comprehensive review of the literature. J Fam Pract. 1996 May;42(5):475-80.
Dissection of cervical arteries Presse Med 2001 Dec 15;30(38):1882-9
Vertebral artery occlusion after acute cervical spine trauma. Spine. 2000 May 1;25(9):1171-7.18. Spine Journal
Internal forces sustained by the vertebral artery during spinal manipulative therapy. JMPT 2002 Oct;25(8):504-10

The Healthy Way to Wear a Backpack

It’s back to school time for all the young scholars and with it comes the daily ritual of lugging school supplies around in a backpack. You may not realize it but ill fitting backpacks can put a significant amount of stress on your child’s body.
The long-term stress of wearing a poorly designed and/or excessively heavy backpack can lead to a back aches, neck stiffness, burning shoulders, headaches, tingling in the arms/hands, fatigued muscles and a stooped posture. These aches and pains can be a major distraction to your child’s focus in the school room, hamper their enjoyment of everyday childhood activities and increase the likelihood of future back problems later in life.

Loading a Backpack

  • Your child’s backpack should not exceed 15% of their body weight.
  • back pack2Load the heaviest items closest to your child’s back. Pack the bumpy or sharp edged items furthest away from the back. Arrange the school gear so it won’t shift and slide as they walk.
  • Many parents are shocked to discover just how heavy their child’s backpack truly is. To calculate how much the pack weighs have your child stand on a weigh scale with and without the pack on and subtract the difference.
  • On heavy backpack load days have your child hand carry a heavy book or item.
  • Pack up the bag on a table or ledge that is waist high as opposed to leaning forward over a pack on the floor.

Wearing the Backpack

  • Always use the two straps to spread out the weight evenly. Carrying a heavy load with one strap can lead to unwanted curvatures and abnormali
  • ties in the developing spine and musculature.
  • Make sure the straps are well padded (2 inches wide) to protect the blood vessels and nerves in the neck and shoulder region. Prolonged pressure in these areas can lead to pain and tingling in the neck, arms and hands.
  • Adjust the straps so that pack fits snugly against your child’s back. You should be able to slide one hand between the pack and your child’s back. Loose packs can pull your child back causing muscle strains.
  • The back of the pack should never rest more than 4 inches below the waist line.
  • Wearing a waist strap can take as much as 50 – 70% of the weight off the shoulders and spine helping to distribute the weight more evenly.
  • Teach your child to put on their backpack properly. Place the pack on a table and do up both straps before moving as opposed to twisting and reaching back or swinging the pack around the shoulder.Backpack21

It is important to be aware of your child’s daily burden because it could be detracting from their school experience. If they complain of back pain, headaches, numbness or weakness in their arms seek help to ease their discomfort and prevent future problems.

The Cause & Solution for Ear Infections

Ear infections are an epidemic in our society. 90% of children will experience ear infections before they are school age. Most children experience two to three episodes per year. There is an estimated 10 million new cases per year. Despite extensive medical intervention, children’s ear infection rates continue to soar. An estimated $3.4 billion is spent every year for medications and surgeries. A study published in Canadian Family Physician stated that 97.7% of American children diagnosed with ear infections were given antibiotics but there was only a “definite need for antibiotics in only 5-10% of those cases!”Happy Babies (4)

Rate of ear infections soaring and medical science has failed to find an answer. The reason why they have failed is because the cause of ear infections is not micro-organisms. The real cause is an abnormally lowered immune response in the inner ear.

There is a solution to the problem. The real solution lies in locating the cause of the lowered immune response in the ear. A leading German authority, Dr. Gutmann, found 800 of 1000 (80%) infants checked during the first month of life had Blocked Atlantal Nerve Syndrome directly related to birth trauma. Blocked Atlantal Nerve Syndrome interferes with the nerve impulses in the upper neck area, lowers immune resistance and leave the child vulnerable to ear, nose and throat infections.

The cause of Blocked Atlantal Nerve Syndrome is the modern day birth process. The stress that is placed on the infant’s neck during the normal birthing process causes trauma to the upper cervical spine.

How do you fix Blocked Atlantal Nerve Syndrome? Only a trained Chiropractor qualified to remove the interference with a specific adjustment to the Atlantal Nerve. A chiropractic evaluation is of “decisive importance” and Chiropractic care can often bring about amazingly successful results.