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Monthly Archives: April 2011

Tendonitis

Tendonitis is straining of the portion of the muscle that is closer to the bone. As muscles approach bone they need to be more ligamentous in nature to allow for the great amount of force neede to hold that muscle on the bone. If you look at a chicken leg, the ligemnts and cartilagenous material around the socket joint there are many tendons and ligaments. The difference between the two really is size and flexibility, as tendons have more elastin and tend to be flexible bouncy structures while ligaments hold muscles and tendons to the bone. And to understand the great force needed to hold structures stable in the body, if you look at the bones of any animal and where the ligaments and tendons attch, you will see the bone being pulled to the contour of the ligament, and this is precisely how many of the bony processes get made.

Tendonitis is not a problem if it is just the one time after playing tennis or too much video gaming, but if the action that is causeing the muscle to strain and the tendon beyond that is repeated ad naseum, then repetitive stress factors make vascularization and feeding the muscle/tendon/ligament difficult. How can blood seep into the muscle/tendon if it is seized with strain.

A one time irritation of the muscles and tendons can come and go, but constant irritation is a bane to the body and keeps it from healing itself in other areas. Chronic tendonitis may take months to correct, but left unchecked can lead to joint problems locally. If you have tendonitis of the shoulder muscles, then rotator cuff  problems could ensue, Forearm tendonitis leads to “carpal tunnel syndrome” (see earlier post on CTS), elbow tendonitis lead to elbow problems. etc.

Chances are you have some muscles that are experiencing tendonitis, but you don’t know that until they become strained with pain. There is a reason that the ancient Greeks massaged themselves with body oils before and after battle. They knew that to keep muscles flexible, constant maintenance is needed, so why is it that getting a massage is seen a decadent and wasteful expense, when it is seen as an occupation necessity in other countries. Asian nations do a lot of massage, not just the happy ending type, and getting a massage is seen as part of everyday lives, like going to the supermarket.

In future posts I will give some techniques that can help the chronic tendonitis patient, but for now go see your chiropractor.

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Posted by on April 29, 2011 in Health Restorations

 

Prevacid, indigestion, bad breath and the chiropractic solution.

I’m sure many of you have eaten a meal and felt horrible afterwards. This seems to happen to me every time I eat at burgerKing. Or every been on a trip to the mountains had a large meal and felt like you couldn’t do anything for a couple of hours. The problem is indigestion.

Indigestion is when food in the stomach has not been properly digested so the nutrients can be absorbed by the small intestines. Have you every eaten a big meal and tried to do physical activity? Or why is it that we are always told not to go swimming until half an hour after eating. Indigestion.

What is the major condition that advertisers of pepto bismol, Tums, and Rolaids fight over. The answer indigestion. A result of our faced paced lifestyle of fastfood, fast work, and fast sleep, indigestion has become a serious problem. When food is not properly digested the body is made to carry the extra weight until it can be digested.

A tell-tale sign of indigestion, halitosis, or bad breath. The same mechanism that breaks down garlic and makes a person’s breath smell like Dracula’s nightmare, can lead to putrid smelling food in the stomach if the food is not broken down. You must distinguish bad breath coming from the stomach from bad breath coming from an infection in the mouth or tooth, which is easy because the bad breath of indigestion smells like rotting food and not rotting teeth.

The problem is not indigestion because that is bound to happen to someone sooner or later, the problem is lifestyle related. Fast eating leads to indigestion which leads to TUms and Rolaids which leads to more indigestion. Let me explain.

The stomach is primarily a tissue covered sack that can release peptic acid at the right times and can hold a high acidic level. When the acidity is too low, or not being secreted, then the food is under digested. Physical activity shuts off the mechanism telling the stomach to release more acid, so the problem logically is that the stomach is not acidic enough. The problem with pepto bismol and Tums is that they are like milk, made to coat and neutralize the acid. Why make something less acidic when the problem is not enough acidity. Prevacid is like a doctor prescribed drug used to treat acid reflux or GERD (an entirely different condition than indigestion), which is when backflow of stomach acid hits the esophagus, but Prevacid is being handed around restaurant and chef circles like Viagra in the porn industry.

If you want to treat indigestion, then it’s logical that making your stomach more acidic will help to digest the material. My best remedy for this situation is drinking a shot glass of white distilled vinegar. Apple Cider vinegar will give it a taste other than burning acid, but won’t help much. The extra acid will jump start the digestion processes. You may be tempted to drink something right away, but don’t as it may dilute the vinegar. Doesn’t taste great but it works a lot better than peptbismol or milk.

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2011 in Health Restorations

 

When to see a chirorpactor and when to see a MD.

Well, coming from a chiropractor you may get only industry bias from me, but I will try to lay out the core principles for any of you out there who are skeptical of chiropractors.

When you see the MD, his “expertise” other than to be somewhat knowledgeable in all areas of medicine, are pharmaceutical drugs and surgery. That is simply what the doctors get paid most for. That is not to say they choose surgical cases for everyone, they know the inherent risks of surgery, but if that is how your bread is buttered…Now if you have an infectious disorder or extreme acute trauma like a car accident or brain hemorrhaging they are the go to guys, but for cases of chronic pain and disorders that are acquired through years they may be less effective. Think about this, if you save lives in the ER room, then some of those desperate chronic cases seem less of a concern.

Chiropractors, while no less or more knowledgeable in the general areas of medicine, the focus is preventative and neuromuscularskeletal or NMS. This makes us specialists when it comes to anything doing with the muscle, joints, nerves, and bones.

Now many people tell me, “Oh, you’re a chiropractor, i have back pain”. This is a double -edged sword for our professsion. Because we have become renowned as back pain specialists many people see us as only this when many of us are so much more. Muscular relation to many of the chronic diseases, carpal tunnel syndrome, neuropathies, tendonitis, plantar fascitis, etc makes chiros excellent choices for consultations regarding these injuries.

If you include nutritional supplementation (which has been essential to chiropractic education) chiropractors can assist and co manage systemic disorders such has diabetes, hypertension, malnutrition, gastrointestinal issues. etc. There are even chiropractors who can treat such neurological disorders as inner ear imbalance, autism, and epileptic seizures.

I was driving home listening to the radio one night when I heard a very well known doctor on his nightly radio program. The doctor’s name was Dr. Drew of MTV celebrity. His guest Christopher Titus, comedian, was expounding the benefits of chiropractic and how it had helped him through the years of dirt biking and extreme sports. I am a big fan of Dr. Drew, but to my dismay he slandered my profession saying, and I’m paraphrasing “I just don’t like it when these chiropractors who don’t have any education in pathophysiology begin diagnosing people’s disorders.” I was shocked to say the least.

Pathophysiology is learning the course of disease and how it comes to be realized in a person’s body through “pathogenic” factors like bacteria or virus, but also how a person gets longstanding back pain or diabetes. My retort is that Dr. Drew need to do some research before he makes certain claims, though chiropractors don’t have the extensive residency programs, the hours learning pathophysiology are on par with the MD degree. Furthermore, the state of California, gives chiropractors the right in this state to diagnose and treat. I doubt that we would be allowed to diagnose if we had no education on the subject of pathophysiology. Most physical therapists are not allowed to diagnose a problem only treat, and this is how the MD and American Medical Association want. They don’t want a PT telling an MD that muscular strain of the forearm is responsible for this patient’s carpal Tunnel because the MD wants to make money off the surgery, and the PT needs the MD for the diagnosis and prescription. What if you found a doctor that covers both of these services?

There are many chiropractors out there of various sorts and dispositions, but this profession would not have lasted the last 100 or so years in an environment where you opponent is the largest medical association in the world, had we not been effective.

 
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Posted by on April 27, 2011 in Health Restorations

 

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Median Nerve Peripheral Neuropathy/Neuritis, and exercise tip for the office bound.

This is a post that may interest any person who has had an office job and has had to type for hours on end. However, these are not the only people who should be interested. Anybody who does work with their hands, physical therapists, masseuses, garment industry workers, musicians, construction workers etc. will have some sort of pain in the hand, wrist complex. Many after years of suffering have carpal tunnel syndrome surgery. Let me say this with clarity: ONLY A SMALL NUMBER OF SURGERIES AND REPORTED CASES ARE TRUE CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME.

Unfortunately this is another case of misunderstanding anatomy function and cause of dysfunction. Now I am not saying that all carpal tunnel surgeries are ineffectual, quite the opposite, they are very impactful when a true case of carpal tunnel syndrome. But I think that there is no doubt in my mind or that of my colleagues that this was an over prescribed surgery in the last 20 years. I have met a number of patients who say the same thing. It helped for a period of time after the surgery, but the pain reappeared with a vengeance. So what is CTS?

True CTS happens when for whatever reason the nerve that supplies most of the energy to close the hand gets cut off by swelling in the wrist area. You see the nerve and arteries of this particular nerve are covered by an fibrous band called the Flexor Retinaculum. The theory of CTS is that repetitive finger typing cause chronic irritation of the median nerve causing swelling which causes the contents underneath  the flexor retinaculum to become compressed leading to symptoms of numbness and tingling in the palm. Severe cases see the hand in a strange tiger claw resting position. This is because the nerve output is so low to the hand that Radial and Ulnar nerve overpower the median nerve.

Have you ever shook hands with someone and noticed that they could not grasp your hand, just hold it as if tey wanted you to shake their palm? I’ve seen real cases like these from bass guitarists from the the very technical strumming patterns they use.

I will tell you the real reason that cutting the flexor retinaculum is not the end all be all. The nerves are all covered by myelinating cells that help to increase the conductivity of the nerve charge. Furthermore all nerves also have a sheath (some more o r less ligamentous elastic or collagen based) that acts as an insulator to keep the conductivity focused. In the hand and wrist these sheaths become individual “socks” for the nerves. If you bought and wore a sock or stocking that was 3 sizes too big the sock would curl and bunch up and cause irritation. This is kind of what happens to the nerves of the hand. So the Flexor Retinaculum is not the only compression factor for those nerves. Also compression is not the word I like, how about irritation or inflammation.

CTS proponents say that repetitive typing causes compression and swelling of the nerve. HOGWASH. Repetitive movements irritate the nerves and muscles causing them to strain and affect adjacent muscles. Here’s the secret, FOREARM FLEXORS and FOREARM EXTENDORS. These are the muscle controlling hand and wrist motion and when we hold our wrists at one position too long the theses are the muscle groups that are affected, become strained and relay this strain to their ligaments which all coalesce at the wrist and hand juncture. So many of these “CTS” cases are just under attended forearm muscles! If you ask me cutting anything off the body is a fallacious argument of the medical profession unless that structure is infected, cancerous, or the last resort. I am a strong proponent for surgery when certain structures are involved, but you can’t make me believe that the appendicitis is not a working organ or has no use (in fact it does have a use and a later post will explain).

Now back to the point, when you cut the retinaculum and then don’t treat or change the offending action you are bound to get the symptoms again. Will ergonimcs help, yes. Will stretching the forearm muscles before you get to typing help, yes. Will taking short breaks often to rest those muscles help, yes. Many of us go to the masseuse for their back, but probably all of us should g o for a forearm session yet not many of us do.

Some may say that this is too simplistic an idea, how can massaging your forearm help carpal tunnel syndrome as it is a compression problem and not a muscular one? Remember now that most cases are not really CTS and that is just one diagnosis of a many and an umbrella term at that. No many of these diagnosis should be changed to neuritis (inflammation of the nerve) due to sprain/strain of the forearm musculature. Feel you forearm now, does it feel like mushy meat and no pain? good. If yours are like mine you may find tight bands of muscle that feel like rope, if you do I can bet you experience occasional hand and wrist pain.

Exercise:

1) Find a spot on the forearm that is painful when you press deep. I find that the closer you are to the elbow the more of these trigger points you’ll find.

2) Press down slowly and gradually deeper until the pain is noticeable

3) Move the wrist in an up and down and/or circular motion

4) Change the “point of attack” or area of massage as the pain subsides and repeat.

The point of the exercise is to self massage some of the forearm trigger points while providing circulation to the wrist and hand in the form of movement. Try not to bruise yourself, be intuitive with your touch especially when doing this on someone else, and drink lots of water to provide lubrication and to wash out the toxins that accumulate as a result of inflammation. If you are scheduled to get CTS surgery, please get several surgical opinions and/or see a chiropractor.

 
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Posted by on April 26, 2011 in Health Restorations

 

Are vaccinations safe for you and your children?

If you are a mother, or a health nut you may have heard of the controversy surrounding vaccinations. If not let me explain both sides and allow you to choose what side you are on or how to approach the material. Let’s just say that a more controversial subject hasn’t come up since abortion.

The scientific community in the last 50 years has been resolved to solving the most major health issues of the 19th and 20th century mainly infectious diseases like pneumonia and influenza, as well as pandemic diseases like small pox, measles, rubella, etc. For this reason an emphasis was placed on vaccinations which fall basically into two categories, those with active particle and those with inactive. Vaccinations are usually just chopped up pieces of the infecting agent with other agents called excipients which may include aluminum, thimerasol, or MSG. These additions can be preservatives like the mercury containing thimerasol, or help to make the agent more bioavailable (easier for the body to absorb).

There is no disregarding the fact that vaccinations have eliminated some of the worlds most pandemic diseases like small pox. Short history of small pox, Edward Jenner heard a story of a milkmaid who said she would never get small pox because she had cowpox. So he took the pus from the hand of a milkmaid with cowpox and then inoculated an 8 year old boy. According to some texts they were inoculating small pox in India and China as far back as the 10th and 11th century (possibly even further back depending what scholars are to be believed) and Indian medical texts knew about microbial pathogens describing them as animalculae floating invisibly in the air that is the root cause of all epidemical disease especially small pox.

Autism is a disorder involving neural development. This means that while a child develops his nervous system a change occurs that “screws” with the way nerve cells interact with each other through synapses. Symptoms include social interaction and communication problems, as well as brain development and cognitive impairment. Jenny MCcarthy, a well known TV celebrity originally for MTV, has asserted that her son acquired autism directly following a vaccination series in 2007. She has been a strong influence on the autism debate since her claims were made. There has been criticism that one of the studies used to link autism and vaccinations  was flawed and the doctor who did the research has lost his license (see Dr. Andrew Wakefield).

Fact: Vaccinations halt the spread of major viral diseases. The invention of vaccinations stopped small pox pandemic.

Fact: Some parents have noticed that in some children that autism onsets immediately following a visit to the doctor’s office where the child was administered vaccines.

Fact: Autism is on the rise. America is like 1 out of every 150 and some reports in UK have their numbers at 1 in every 58.

Fact: Decreased use in certain vaccines has led to a rise in previously declining diseases like German measles which can be fatal to children.

Fact: Many 3rd World countries have less vaccinations and experience less cases of autism, though their count of those diseases may be greater.

Theory: Herd Immunity. When say 95% of a population is vaccinated the remaining 5% may be protected by sheer number of those vaccinated. This theory has been used in both sides of the argument.

A delayed vaccination schedule – Many babies are inoculated moments after they are born and sometimes as a group of 3 or 6 (ie MMR) together, not because of bioavaibility issues or interaction of the vaccines, but becuase of economic efficiency. The immune system of a baby and children are sensitive and though most times no adverse reactions occur, no parent wants to be the one who allowed a doctor or nurse to inject a substance that could harm the mentality of their child. A delayed schedule where the vaccinations are introduced slowly over time and not in heavy batches seem to provide less cases of autism following vaccination.

Other factor that influence the debate

– Pharmaceutical companies who produce millions of liters of vaccinations for the 1st and 3rd World countries have an incredible stake in research and can often times sway public opinion through funding non-independent research.

– Autism research, though plentiful, rarely is focused on it’s causes. The research is usually directed towards medication and behavioral therapies, not epidemiological studies (cause of the disease).

– Alternative medicines. So many exist  and all without regulation and or research that many parents desperate for a “cure” will try. Some have worked for individuals and some have not. Because of the regulatory agencies and laws regarding supplements, research on efficacy is difficult to deduce. Some methods include chelation therapy, supplementation, acupuncture, etc. None of these, I repeat none of these, even medical solutions is a cure for autism as no “cure” exists, but therapies to prevent the progression have been noted to be successful. There are also some highly specialized chiropractors that use their knowledge in Neurology to bring patients out of seizures and calm epileptic and ADHD disorders. They have been very successful with autism patients, but the Neurology Diplomate takes years of training and chances are that your chiropractor is not one of them.

Remember that if you wish to have a vaccination schedule different from normal hospital procedures, you must tell the nurse and doctor or they will automatically vaccinate them.

Let me know what you think. Would you vaccinate your children yes? no? delayed schedule?

 
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Posted by on April 23, 2011 in Health Restorations

 

Post edit and additions

Some quick additions to my some of my previous posts.

The Tarahumara or Raramuri Indians don’t run completely barefoot. They wear huaraches, a thick sole of leather that acts as a second layer of skin. Examples of these can be found on invisibleshoe.com along with Vibram among other sites that show you how to make your own from available material. Also check out this article about Christopher McDougal author of Born to Run, about the devolution of running shoes and gait patterns:

http://www.popsci.com/entertainment-amp-gaming/article/2009-05/running-barefoot

Variant Creutz-feld Jakobs or (vCJD) is what you call mad cow disease when it has crossed species from bovine to human. As it crosses species the incubation times double, meaning that the beginning of the first symptom may be set back for possible more than 10 years from the first infection. The incubation period is already very long for this type of disease and causes difficulty in studying. What this means for the meat eating population is that if they are infected with the vCJD, it may take 10 years until any symptoms arise making epidemiology studies (study of cause of a specific disease) and statistic gathering fairly difficult. Though the disease is rare in both cattle and humans, the fact may well be that some dormant cases of tainted beef may surface in the future.

Scariest of all the prions in kuru and mad cow disease are resistant to denaturing from cooking, so just cooking your beef well done may not be enough to kill these type of pathogens.

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2011 in Health Restorations

 

Yoga breathing

Many people start Yoga thinking that it will be an easy way to get in shape. However, if you start a Hatha Yoga program and are completely out of shape you can create low back problems simply because some of your muscles are not ready for the intense core loading. Yoga is a full body experience and your core strength will be taxed. Done properly with correct breathing Yoga can take 2-3 pounds off allowing the patient to feel slimmer. Proper breathing techniques can slim the abdomen because proper breathing can increase the resting volume of the lungs, exercises the diaphragm, and massages the internal organs.

Did you know that he abdomen is cover by a blanket of fat? It is called the greater omentum and it covers the abdomen, internal organs and muscles. It is what people call the belly fat, or love handles. When you breathe properly you force air into the lungs which pushes the diaphragm down and out enlarging the abdomen. This compresses the the internal organs of the intestines against the omentum and internally massages both. Ever wonder why you go for a massage, but no one ever massages the abdomen. The visceral contents of the abdomen are a kind of muscle and so will benefit from the better vascular support proper breathing techniques can bring.

When I was young I was taught the Chinese way of getting by indigestion. I would rub my abdomen, not just the stomach which is in the upper left quadrant of the abdomen, 30 times counterclockwise…pause… then rub 30 times clockwise. This would settle my stomach.

Proper breathing can give the body more oxygen to work with, massage the visceral contents of the abdomen, and slim the greater omentum, not to mention we need breathing just to live so why not do it efficiently. Warning: Please discontinue the exercise if the deep breathing causes sharp pain and do not do this exercise if coughing and sneezing create an inordinate amount of pain and loss of function (please go to see a chiropractor), or if you’ve had abdominal surgery within 6 months.

1) Place your hands on the area of the abdomen just below the navel.

2) Inhale naturally via the nostrils relaxing the abdomen from the lower part of the rib cage. Imagine that the lungs are cylinders orientated vertically. As you fill the imaginary container with air allow the lower part of the cylinder to inflate first. If your chest is heaving up and down you are performing incorrectly.

3) As the bottoms fills up and your tummy feels bloated with air allow the upper portion of the cylinder to inflate.

4) Open up your chest and roll the shoulder blades down to foster a better breathing posture. Often the volume of the lungs is limited by the rib cage and collar bone/sternum. Now let the air volume internally push up against those structures.

5) Hold the breath for up to 10 seconds and slowly exhale through the mouth at a consistent rate forcing the last bits of air out of your lungs.

6) Rest at least 20 seconds before repeating to avoid hyperventilation.

You will find after doing the exercise for some weeks you will begin to naturally adopt this breathing pattern for your involuntary breaths, it just takes time for the body to be retrained. Do not feel afraid that you will acquire a pot belly from doing this exercise. Although the belly may seem fuller and more extended after doing this, you will have more control over the abdominal contents and difference in your core strength should be noticeable. Not just that but some of you may find that you are able to tighten your abdominals and get a better six pack. Do as frequently as you desire and do not try to hold the breath too long as we are trying to give the body oxygen and not deprive the body of it.

Try this standing, sitting, lying on your back, and lying on your back with your knees pulled close to the body one at a time then both together. The latter gives a great internal massage for those of you with digestion problems. You can do this as frequently as you want to. In a later post I will explain why this is better than taking Prevacid or other known digestive OTC like pepto-bismol.

 
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Posted by on April 20, 2011 in Health Restorations