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.

Neck Pain – Chiropractic and the Older Patient

NeckPain_N1606_ts140306319People of all ages suffer from neck pain, and many frequently turn to chiropractors for care because it’s been found to be one of the most effective and efficient forms of treatment available, and it carries minimal side effects! It has been projected that by 2030, nearly one in five residents in the United States will be 65 or older. Currently, approximately 14% of the patients treated by chiropractors are 65 or older, making it one of the most frequently utilized forms of complementary and alternative care used by older adults. What kind of care can a senior citizen expect when seeking treatment from a chiropractor? Let’s take a look…

Musculoskeletal pain—pain in the neck, back, arms, and/or legs—drives the majority of elderly patients to chiropractors. While low back and neck pain are the most common complaints, it’s not unusual for patients to also have one or two other conditions (or more) that they did NOT know chiropractic care could help. In fact, common “goals” for managing every patient (not just the elderly) include services related to patient assessment, maintenance of health, and prevention of illness, in addition to treatment of illness or injury. Common chiropractic treatment approaches include spinal manipulation and/or mobilization, nutritional counseling, physical activity/exercise, and (especially important for the elderly population) fall prevention.

Neck Pain 90We will now focus on neck pain as it relates to the elderly population and the various chiropractic management strategies that might be encountered by an elderly patient. Common reasons patients present regarding the neck include limited movement, stiffness, and pain. Neck pain can also interfere with sleep, as finding a comfortable position in bed can be quite challenging! Lifting, carrying, and playing with grandchildren is a very common issue for either causing a new complaint or irritating an existing one. Neck pain may also interfere with reaching and lifting. Thus, activities like yard or garden work may become more difficult and less enjoyable. Neck pain is often associated with headaches, which can make daily tasks even more challenging.

When an elderly patient visits a chiropractor for the first time or for a new complaint, he/she can expect to fill out some initial paperwork, as well as provide a history of the main complaint and any lesser complaints. This may also include providing a family and medical history. The examination usually includes general observations, palpating or feeling for muscle tightness, tenderness, warm/cool, range of spinal motion (neck, back, extremities), orthopedic tests, neurological tests, and possibly x-rays. Treatment of the neck may include massage or mobilization to loosen up the neck, manipulation to free up restricted joint motion, and even exercise training. The goal of treatment is to improve neck motion, activity tolerance, and quality of life (less pain, improved sleep, etc.). So, whether you are 10, 20, 50, 70, or 90 years old, give chiropractic a chance to help you manage your neck pain.

Fibromyalgia & Nutrition

What Is The Most Current Theory of Fibromyalgia?

Today, we look at fibromyalgia in a completely different way. There used to be little or no way to “see” this condition as anything other than 18 tender points in a doctor’s examination. (Which is silly, because fibromyalgia patients are sore everywhere!) Today we know that fibromyalgia patients show the following:
• Elevated inflammatory cytokines IL-6 and especially IL-17.
• Neuroimaging of the brain shows altered brain structure and disrupted white matter.
• Endothelial dysfunction disturbing blood vessels
• Sympathetic nervous system dominance
• HPA axis disturbance causing low pituitary and adrenal response to ACTH and cortisol
• Small fiber polyneuropathy is distal body joints are a driver of pain signals
• Non-restorative sleep
• Association with pathogens such as hepatitis B or C, HIV, cocksackie B, parvovirus, and Borrellia.
• Evidence of cell mitochondrial dysfunction

Science refers to fibromyalgia (FMS) as a mosaic disease, in other words, it is a condition that stems from a specific group of any or all causes. All the conditions in this group are part of Central Sensitivity Syndrome (CSS) or the Neuroinflammation Mosaic. Other conditions in the same mosaic include migraine headaches, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, PTSD, Restless Leg Syndrome, TMJ Disorder and others. Every patient’s mosaic is a little different so the approach to care has to be unique to each patient.css

What Does Research Tell Us From Previous Nutrition Studies about FMS?

There are very few studies that give us much information about FMS (Fibromyalgia Syndrome). Two studies from Spain found that there was “remarkable clinical improvement is FMS patients on a gluten-free diet” 1,2 This is consistent with the newest information that says that immunity, infection and inflammatory processes are a driver of CSS. In a random controlled trial in 2013 it was found that 300 mg/day of magnesium for 8 weeks reduced tender points, sensitivity and depression.3

How Do You Address the Four Areas of The Fibromyalgia Mosaic?

1. Immune/Infection/Inflammation: In any inflammatory condition we want to rule out any type of chronic infection causing ongoing chronic inflammation. Many patients with CSS suffer from gut inflammation due to poor gut bacterial balance (dysbiosis). Probiotics may give temporary relief to gut issues that lead to a leaky gut allowing bacteria and proteins to enter the bloodstream uninvited. To control inflammation herbs such as boswellia, turmeric and ginger will lower inflammatory cytokines. Strengthen the immune system with herbs like echinacea and astragalus. Green tea will upregulate your body’s ability to make its own antioxidants (Nrf2 cycle). One area with fibromyalgia that has been shown to help is to add these 5 things to your regular diet to manage inflammation, increase dietary nitrates, and reduce oxidative stress:

a. Boost dietary nitrate by juicing or baking beets and eating them.spoon
b. Increase cocoa intake (dark chocolate 85% or higher) rich in polyphenols
c. Increase berries and cruciferous vegetables for anthocyanins.
d. Eat ½ to 1 clove a day of raw crushed garlic in your food for the hydrogen sulfide.
e. Increase your use of herbs and spices, especially green tea, turmeric and ginger.

f. (Bonus) There was “remarkable clinical improvement” with patients who went on a gluten-free diet.4

2. Endocrine/HPA Axis Support: With fibromyalgia there is a loss of the normal stress response, disturbed sleep patterns and fatigue. The stress response of the body is mediated by the hypothalamus, pituitary and adrenal glands. (HPA Axis) Cortisol is the stress hormone created by the adrenal glands. With dysfunction the adrenals will benefit from adrenal tonic herbs like licorice and rehmannia. Whole food vitamin C is critical for adrenal function. Some herbs help the HPA axis better adapt to stress. They are called adaptogens. Ashwaganda and Rhodiola are two such herbs. Herbs that support sleep like valerian root and kava are also helpful.

3. Mitochondrial Support: 20% of all the mitochondria in the body are found in the brain. Magnesium is a mineral that is very important to energy production in the mitochondria. Tension-HeadacheHerbs and herbal extracts such as gingko, hawthorn and resveratrol are supportive of normal mitochondrial function.


4. Brain/Nervous System Support
: Two areas of concentration are important to support the brain; microcirculation and central sensitivity pain. Gingko is known to improve microcirculation in the brain. One of the key features of fibromyalgia is chronic pain. For peripheral pain (pain in the extremities) the best herbs are celery seed, boswellia, turmeric and willow bark. For pain related to the brain and spinal cord herbs such as California poppy, Jamaica dogwood and corydalis are herbs known to help.

You can now understand that fibromyalgia is NOT a figment of science’s imagination, but a real condition with real solutions… and that chiropractic, nutrition and herbs can serve as a solution.

1. Isasi C, et al. Rheumatol Int 2014;34(11):1607-1612
2. Rodrigo L, et al. Arthritis Res Ther 2014;16(4):421
3. Bagis S. et al. Rheumatol Int 2013;33(1): 167-172
4. Isasi C, Colmenero I, Casco F, et al. Fibromyalgia and non-celiac gluten sensitivity: a description with remission of fibromyalgia. Rheumatology International. 2014;34(11):1607-1612.

Whole Grain Truth

Who Sounded the Alarm When the Refining of Grains Began?

In the 1920’s when the refining of wheat flour began to catch on with the American public many doctors tried to warn the public of the nutritional dangers of refining whole grains. One doctor, Dr. Royal Lee, a dentist and an engineer, set out to create a home electric flour mill so the every family could have whole grain with all its nutrients, fresh with their meals instead of buying the lifeless refined grain. That wheat grinder is still available today and Dr. Lee went on to develop a company in 1929 that still makes quality whole food supplements.

In the 1930’s another dentist Dr. Weston Price gave up his dental practice to travel the world and study the nutritional habits of indigenous cultures throughout the world. One of the things that Dr. Price noted in his studies of isolated, so-called “primitive” peoples was that when white flour and other devitalized foods were introduced into these communities, rampant tooth decay and diseases of every sort soon followed.

What Happens to Whole Grains When they are Refined?

What happens to whole grains when we refine them? During the industrial revolution we learned that whole grains go rancid faster than refined versions due to the fat content. If we mill the bran and germ away from the grain it makes a product that won’t spoil. Thus, food processors started preserving grain shelf life by stripping away the bran and germ. That doesn’t seem so bad… remove some parts and now it will last a lot longer on the shelf and we can always keep a bag of the flour in the pantry that never goes bad, right? Here’s grainsthe part we forgot to tell you… what’s gone is the germ which is where all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients are, and the bran which is the fiber that aids in digestion. What’s still left over is the endosperm which is all starch. (Code for a whole bunch of sugar) Refined grains like white flour, white rice, bread, and pasta, are all endosperm, as the refining process strips away the bran and germ and all the nutrients they contain. Even though many refined grains are “fortified” with synthetic vitamins and inorganic minerals, fortification cannot replace all the lost nutrients. Additionally refined grains are digested and absorbed very quickly by the body, which can be rough on blood sugar levels and insulin levels.

Why Eat Whole Grains?

• Whole grains contain bran and fiber, which normalize blood sugar and insulin levels.
• Fiber helps move waste through the digestive tract.
• Whole grains are a good source of B vitamin and E vitamin complexes.
• Whole grains contain phytoestrogens (plant estrogens) which can be cancer protective.
• Whole grains contain essential minerals such as magnesium, selenium and copper.

Research Supports Chiropractic

What Are The Top Research Studies of the Past 10 Years?

1. Decreased Costs and Utilization of
Medical Services with Chiropractic.

Spectacular decreases in the utilization of medical services and their attendant costs were observed when Doctors of Chiropractic were used as first contact providers. In an Independent Practice Association (IPA) which permitted patients to sclockelect a doctor of chiropractic as their primary care physician, clinical and cost utilization based on 70,274 member-months over a seven-year period demonstrated decreases of 60.2 percent in hospital admissions, 59 percent hospital days, 62 percent outpatient surgeries and procedures, and 85 percent pharmaceutical costs when compared with conventional medicine. These were across the board savings, not merely back and neck cases.

Sarnat RL, Winterstein J, Cambron JA: Clinical utilization and cost outcomes from an integrative medicine independent physician association: an additional 3-year update. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2007 May;30 (4):263-9.

2. Blood Pressure Regulation and
Upper Cervical Chiropractic
Adjustment.

The scope of chiropractic is as broad as the scope of influence of the human nervous system. This landmark study was a randomized, controlled trial of hypertensive patients. Those in the intervention group received a form of upper cervical chiropractic care (NUCCA). The authors wrote, “We conclude that restoration of Atlas alignment (C1 vertebra) is associated with marked and sustained reductions in BP similar to the use of two-drug combination therapy.” This study received extensive positive exposure in the media.

Bakris G, Dickholtz M Sr, Meyer PM, Kravitz G, Avery E, Miller M, Brown J, Woodfield C, Bell B: Atlas vertebra realignment and achievement of arterial pressure goal in hypertensive patients: a pilot study. J Hum Hypertens. 2007 May;21(5):347-52.

3. Benefits of a Wellness Program
Implemented by Chiropractors.

A retrospective study of a standardized, 18 week wellness protocol was shown to improve weight, heart rate, blood pressure, strength, body-mass index, and forced vital capacity. The wellness protocol (Creating Wellness) focused on diet, exercise, nutritional supplementation, and one-on-one coaching. The author also reported, “All of the participating clinics practice a form of chiropractic that involves management of vertebral subluxation. This application of chiropractic is not solely directed at pain syndromes. It is based on the contention that misalignments and/or abnormal motion of vertebral motion units may compromise neural integrity and may influence organ system function and general health and well-being.”

McCoy M: Evaluation of a standardized wellness protocol to improve anthropometric and physiologic function and to reduce health risk factors: a retrospective analysis of outcome. J Altern Complement Med. 2011 Jan;17(1):39-44.

4. Surgery Less Likely if a Doctor of
Chiropractic is Seen First

A study looking at 1885 workers, 174 of which had lumbar spine surgery in the last three years, sought to identify early predictors of having lumbar spine surgery. The authors reported “Approximately 42.7% of workers who first saw a surgeon had surgery, in contrast to only 1.5% of those who saw a chiropractor. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of the multivariate model was 0.93 (95% confidence interval, 0.92-0.95), indicating excellent ability to discriminate between workers who would versus would not have surgery.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23238486

5. Chiropractic Care Associated with
Satisfaction, Functional and Self-
Rated Health of Medicare Patients.

This study used a model to determine “the effect of chiropractic relative to medical care on decline in 5 functional measures and 2 measures of self-rated health among 12,170 person-year observations.” The authors concluded from the study that “chiropractic is significantly protective against 1-year decline in activities of daily living, lifting, stooping, walking, self-rated health, and worsening health after 1 year. Persons using chiropractic are more satisfied with their follow-up care and with the information provided to them.”

Weigel PA, Hockenberry JM, Wolinsky FD: Chiropractic use in the Medicare population: prevalence, patterns, and associations with 1-year changes in health and satisfaction with care. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2014 Oct;37 (8):542-51. .

Main_Chiropractic6. Asymptomatic Persons Benefit
from Chiropractic Care

A review of literature was conducted using the terms “asymptomatic” “normal” “pain-free” “healthy” or “free from physical injury.” The author concluded, “The data reviewed lend support to the contention that chiropractic adjustments for the purpose of correcting vertebral subluxation, confer measurable health benefits to people regardless of the presence or absence of symptoms. A significant amount of preliminary evidence supports that people without symptoms can benefit from chiropractic care. Improved function can be objectively measured in asymptomatic individuals following chiropractic care in a number of body systems often by relatively non-invasive means. It is plausible that chiropractic care may be of benefit to every function of the body and have the potential for long-term, overall health benefit to those receiving chiropractic care.”

Hannon SM: Objective physiologic changes and associated health benefits of chiropractic adjustments in asymptomatic subjects: A review of the literature. Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research, April 26, 2004, Pages 1-9.

Preventative Chiropractic Care

Is There Any Benefit to Chiropractic Preventative or Maintenance Care?

Chiropractors have answered this question “YES” for decades. Patients who have regular adjustments have less illness, less medical intervention, take less drugs, have less hospital stays and remain ambulatory much longer in life than those people who don’t have chiropractic care.

Now a scientific study1 verifies this. If you hung around our reception room for a day and asked people why they have seen the doctor regularly for so many years they would each have their own story. “I came in for my asthma”, “I started chiropractic care for relief from splitting headaches”, “My digestion was horrible until I started chiropractic care”, “I was unable to get pregnant until after I saw the chiropractor.” Everyone has their own story. This study involves lower back pain. They started with 30 patients with chronic low back pain. They split the patients into 2 groups. Both groups had exactly one month of intensive chiropractic care. The first group received NO OTHER TREATMENT for 9 months. The Dr.-Liperuote_hands_smallsecond group received maintenance chiropractic adjustments for 9 months. The results showed that both groups had a significant reduction in both pain and disability levels after the first month of chiropractic care. After 9 months with no chiropractic care, the first group returned to their pretreatment pain and disability levels. The group that followed-up with 9 months of maintenance care not only maintained their original improvements but they also showed gradual continued improvement.

What Really Is The Proper Use of Chiropractic?

All too often patients will have significant improvements in their health under chiropractic care, only to discontinue their care when they begin to feel better. That’s not how chiropractic is intended to be utilized. Chiropractic, when used regularly, can result in gradual improvements in a person’s life throughout their lifetime. When patients use chiropractic for symptom relief only, they often feel better for a little while but eventually the symptoms return because there has not been enough time for their body to completely heal and repair. Using chiropractic care for symptom relief is like using a fork to eat soup… you can still get a taste, but it’s difficult to get any lasting flavor. The real problem is that by treating only the symptoms of any condition the underlying cause is ignored and the condition will deteriorate.

Imagine going to the dentist with a cavity and the dentist just injects the area with Novocain but leaves your cavity alone. You feel great… but you know that the cavity will keep decaying and get worse. It doesn’t make sense and yet that’s how we often treat our own bodies.

1. Descarreax, M., et al., Efficacy of Preventive Spinal Manipulation for Chronic Low-Back Pain and Related Disabilities, JMPT October 2004, 509-514.

Gall Bladder Syndrome

What Is Gall Bladder Syndrome And How Can It Be Prevented?

We must remember that any disease is at first a disturbance in cell metabolism brought about by interference with cell respiration or starvation, and that to survive the way nature intended we must avoid those things which produce these adverse biochemical changes. Gall Bladder Syndrome is one of the most expensive, easily preventable conditions affecting Americans, causing a reported 3,000 deaths and over 800,000 hospitalizations annually. Over 500,000 people undergo surgery for gall bladder disease each year! Amazingly we bring this on ourselves, and with a few key lifestyle changes this condition could be virtually eliminated.

The American lifestyle of unnatural foods, refined sugar, white flour and unnatural fats contributes to gall bladder disease. Follow that lifestyle and someday you too may be one of the unfortunate people who suffer a truly avoidable disease syndrome.

What Are The Warning Signs?

• Belching and Gas
• Indigestion
• Pain between the shoulder blades
• Pain in the abdomen (on right) under ribs and next to the belly button
• Bloating shortly after meals
• Intolerance of fatty foods
• Nausea and vomiting
• Constipation

What is gallbladderthe Gall Bladder?

The gall bladder contains bile which is produced by the liver and aids in the breakdown and assimilation of fats. The gall bladder holds and concentrates bile until a meal comes along for which the bile is necessary. Up to 95% of the secreted bile is reabsorbed… virtually all of the organic compounds in bile are taken back to the liver for later use. In addition to these organic compounds, the bile contains toxins and other waste products of metabolism which are released by the body through the bowel.

What does Bile Do?

Bile emulsifies fats, beginning their digestive process. Bile improves the absorption of the fat-soluble vitamin complexes: A, D, E, K and essential fatty acids. Bile helps bowel muscle tone and stimulates healthy bowel movement. Bile carries certain toxins away from the liver and out of the body through the bowels.

What is the Bile Duct?

Bile is carried from the gall bladder to the intestines through a tube called the bile duct. Gall Bladder Syndromes nearly all involve some type of restriction of the flow of bile through this tube. For example, pancreas health is very much involved with bile duct health. When the pancreas has been working overtime helping with refined sugars, carbohydrates and proteins, the pancreas can swell. Pancreatic swelling can restrict bile flow which affects proper digestion and causes symptoms. Additionally, toxins concentrating in the gall bladder are known to scar the bile duct and further reduce the healthy flow of bile.

What Is A Natural Approach to Gall Bladder Health?

Hundreds of thousands of people have their gall bladder removed every year, yet 25-43% of postsurgical patients continue to have similar pains and digestive complaints after the surgery. That means gall bladder removal may not be the answer to gall bladder pain. In fact, for those people surgery is only a short-lived attempt to resolve a lifetime of symptoms of indigestion. Gall Bladder Syndrome is associated with other serious health challenges, such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes and cancer. All of these conditions are associated with overeating sugar and unnatural fats, and with lack of exercise. Gall bladder surgery does not protect the patient from cancer, nor from heart disease, diabetes and obesity! For instance, research shows higher rates of colon cancer in patients who have gallstones, whether or not they have had gall bladder removal. Unless the cause of the Gall Bladder Syndrome is reduced or eliminated, regardless of whether one has a surgical removal of their gall bladder, the problem remains. Try these steps before you have your gall bladder removed and perhaps you never will.

1. Reduce or eliminate refined sugars. For many people this is the end of their gall bladder problems. By merely reducing sugars, people digest fats better and gall bladder symptoms are eliminated.

2. Eliminate all Hydrogenated and Trans-fats. These unnatural fats cause undue stress on the body, and block normal, healthy fat metabolism, leading to discomfort and disease.

3. Exercise regularly. Brisk walking for 45 minutes five times weekly has been shown to improve gallbladder function.

4. Consume natural foods. Choose salads, vegetables, fruits, seeds and nuts.

5. Drink water. Not soft drinks, no, not even diet drinks. Drink fluids before the meal, not during or after the meal, as this will dilute the digestive “juices” and negatively influence your digestive process.

6. Maintain regular Chiropractic adjustments. In two medical studies researchers found in postmortem examinations of gall bladder disease that 88-90% of subjects had spinal damage occurring at either the level of T7 or T8.