Friday, April 22, 2016

Does Popping My Knuckles Cause Arthritis?
We've all had a grandparent or mother tell us stop cracking you knuckles!  That will cause arthritis!
The Truth is, knuckle cracking or bone cracking is harmless and does not increase your risk of any chronic issues.
So What is the sound we hear?
Joints are the points of articulation between two bones. The joints of your fingers have small gaps (joint space) between the bones like all joints in the body. These joint spaces are filled with a fluid called synovial fluid.  The synovial fluid   lubricates joints and prevents bones from rubbing on each other.
When you pop or crack a joint, you increases the amount of space within the joint. This suddenly expanded space joint space creates negative pressure, and synovial fluid rushes into the area to fill the negative pressure void. The popping or cracking sound you hear is actually the sound of that synovial fluid rushing into the space between your bones.
Popping Knuckles is NOT Associated with Arthritis Risk

Many different clinical studies have examined patients with osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease), the most common form to determine how many of them are "knuckle poppers." Scientists have found no evidence to suggest that people who pop their knuckles have higher rates of arthritis or other bone conditions than those who listened to grandma and didn't pop their knuckles. 
Of course, popping a joint does cause the the material holding the joint and surrounding connective tissue to stretch. Over time, repeated joint cracking can loosen the tissue. This makes it easier to crack the joints  and that's why knuckle crackers have joints that are particularly susceptible to popping. However, this appears to be a harmless side effect of knuckle cracking. Loosened connected tissue as a result of frequent knuckle cracking has not been associated with any side effects.
When We Should Be Concerned about Cracking Joints
Cracking your knuckles should not be a source of pain or discomfort. Some patients with bursitis, arthritis or tendinitis find that their joints crack more often. If you do notice that your joints crack more often and cause you pain, call the office today to schedule an appointment.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Alternative Medicine Is Recommended prior to Painkillers according to the CDC

F4CP Lauds CDC Opioid Prescribing Guidelines, Chiropractic is Safer, Non-Drug Approach for
Pain Relief

CDC recommends conservative care and alternative options prior to prescription painkiller treatment.

HASBROUCK HEIGHTS, NJ – March 21, 2016 – In response to the new federal guidelines issued
by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding opioid prescribing, the Foundation forChiropractic Progress (F4CP), the voice for the chiropractic profession, notes that many individuals are prescribed opioids for pain associated with musculoskeletal conditions, including low back and neck pain. Individuals utilizing opioids may be unaware of the effectiveness of alternative care, which includes chiropractic.

“The growing opioid epidemic is finally gaining the attention it deserves," states Sherry McAllister,
DC, executive vice president, F4CP, referencing a report which found that in 2014, the increased
utilization of opioids led to 28,647 deaths – or 61 percent of total drug overdose fatalities in the U.S.
"Chiropractic care is a hands-on, non-invasive approach documented to yield improved clinical outcomes,reduced costs and high levels of patient satisfaction.”

According to a report published by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), spinal
manipulative therapy effectively and significantly reduced pain and improved function for patients with chronic nonspecific low back pain. Today, doctors of chiropractic (DCs) perform 94 percent of spinal manipulations in the U.S. Additionally, an earlier BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders study on upper cervical chiropractic care for neck pain, headache, mid-back, and low back pain concludes that 9.1 out of 10patients indicated a very high level of patient satisfaction.

“Collectively, we need to implement changes across the health care continuum, and the care provided by a doctor of chiropractic is the key to effectively managing pain and avoiding opioid drug treatment," adds Dr. McAllister, who notes that Americans consume 80 percent of the world’s opioid supply, despite comprising less than five percent of the global population. “Health care providers across all disciplines should consider safe and effective conservative care options prior to prescribing addictive and potentially fatal opioids – which have yet to be deemed effective for long-term pain management.”

Under the new guidelines, the CDC encourages doctors to utilize conservative care prior to prescription painkiller treatment, and prescribe painkillers only after considering non-addictive pain relievers, behavioral changes and alternative options. Additionally, the CDC recommends doctors prescribe the lowest effective dose possible, and only continue prescribing the drugs if patients show substantial improvement.

Doctors of chiropractic, who receive a minimum of seven years of higher education, are specifically
trained to diagnose, evaluate and provide non-pharmaceutical care and rehabilitation to individuals
suffering from acute and chronic musculoskeletal pain, headaches and general health concerns.

The F4CP is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness about the value of chiropractic care, and cites chiropractic care as an integral part of the solution in mitigating opioid misuse, abuse and dependency.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Neck Pain and The Office Worker

Attention Desk Jockeys

More people than ever sit in front of a computer for a living these days, and if you're reading this online it's likely that you're one of them. So before you get back to being productive for your boss, let's review some ways you can spare your neck in the process.
First, the basics: Your head weighs, on average, about 12 pounds. You have a fairly complicated series of joints and muscles holding that weight off your shoulders and giving you the freedom to look around. Like every other complicated system, the more moving parts to deal with, the more likelihood for something to go wrong. Some of the muscles that get tweaked and stretched when your head moves too far forward (the classic computer posture) are the deep flexor muscles. That would be these guys:
These muscles work in concert with others in the posterior aspect of your neck to give both stability and freedom of movement to the head. They also get beat up when we get our heads too far forward and keep them there all day, like you may very well be doing right now. Interesting fact--every inch forward your head moves takes three times more power to support the weight. Makes sense--if you hold a bowling ball close to your body it's easier to support than holding it out in front. And your head weighs about the same as a bowling ball. No disrespect.

Eventually, certain muscles get too tight which causes others to turn off ("reciprocal inhibition," again). This happens because muscles activated on one side of a joint cause the muscles on the other side of the same joint to become inhibited--when you flex your bicep, your tricep has to turn off so you can perform the movement. Your neck is no different, and when it happens for hours on end in only one direction neck pain is often the result. This is sometimes referred to as "upper crossed syndrome." It looks like this:

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis
One of the most common conditions of the lower extremities that presents to my office weekly is plantar fasciitis.  Plantar fasciitis is a condition that refers to a lingering pain on the bottom of the foot. It is a condition that normally does not respond well to traditional methods of treatment. This condition causes muscular dysfunction and pain that can cause serious drop in a persons movement especially with their physical activities.
There are many ways for a person to suffer from plantar fasciitis such as over pronation, walking with a flat foot, developing tight Achilles tendon, sudden increase in mileage when running and a high arched foot all adding for to a cause this condition. A patient who suffers from plantar fasciitis normally complains about experiencing pain localized at the bottom of their foot deploying to the inside of the heel. In a typical injury a pain from plantar fasciitis will make for a patient very difficult to place the weight on the foot due to the intense throbbing pain. Walking a few steps in the morning proves to be painful as well as doing other physical activities like running and jumping.

Common Causes of Plantar Fasciitis
  • Too much standing
  • Unpadded shoes on hard ground
  • Poor shoes
  • Repetitive stress
  • Diets low in vitamin C
  • A change or increase in activities
  • Being overweight
  • An injury
Affected Muscles
The plantar fascia is a band of fibers which runs from the heel bone to the base of the toes. Plantar Fasciitis occurs when these tissues are irritated and inflamed. Bone spurs often form on the heel if this condition is not correctly treated.  Biomechanical or training flaws such as over-pronation, flat feet, a tight Achilles tendon, a high-arched foot, or a sudden increase in training mileage often cause plantar fasciitis.  Long distance walking, running cycling, or just standing can overwork these muscles. As they are chronically over-worked, they start to shorten. When a muscle shortens, it is less resilient and is more easily damaged. As the Plantar aponeurosis and the muscles shorten, they produce pain in the bottom of the foot.

With the lack of success in traditional healing, chiropractic care has become one of the leading choice of treatment for patients suffering from this condition. Plantar fasciitis and chiropractic care go hand in hand with the administering of Myofacial Release technique, this method of treatment allows therapy to target the soft tissues in the feet. Its aim is to make the different parts of the foot and ankle to move through a typical full range and keep the stress located on the plantar fascia to a minimum.

Chiropractic Care for Plantar Fasciitis
Chiropractic care treatment done by a chiropractic practitioner often gets the job done in limiting the pain caused by plantar fasciitis. It helps bring the treatment into the root of the problem by getting rid of restrictions along the joints, muscles and other parts of the foot. The chiropractor will also help increase the work and movement range flexibility of the calf muscles by using special treatment protocols that help correct other functional risk factors such as tightness and weakening of the intrinsic muscles of the foot.

If a patient sees a chiropractor earlier than most, the more chances they will have in preventing further injury and the higher chances they will have at a full recovery. A successful chiropractic treatment will also avoid any further episodes of plantar fasciitis.

Chiropractic helps in treating individuals with plantar fasciitis and coupled with the right kind of lifestyle that involves exercising regularly and a proper diet and nutrition it is not fat fetched that the therapy and chiropractic healing methods will do the trick. Manipulation, stretching, soft tissue work, ultrasound and home exercises are just some of the chiropractic therapies administered for patients suffering with this condition.
Do not risk your feet and your ability to gain strength and perform physical activities. Consult a doctor of chiropractic at the onset of feeling pain under your feet, as it might be the initial stage of a plantar fasciitis and let the treatment help you achieve great health and body condition that is always in great shape.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Mens Health and Testosterone

This one is for the men. Specifically for the men in their 40s and older. Men who want to maintain not just their libido, but their muscle mass and health as we move forward into our Golden Years.

Guys, we have to maintain, or increase (if it's low) our testosterone levels if we want to maintain our health. Low testosterone levels will also make you a weak girly man who can't open jars. And we can't have that. Your testosterone level is the rate limiting factor for how much muscle mass you can keep. Your muscle mass dictates the amount of organ reserve you have. In other words, a little extra skeletal muscle influences how well your heart, kidneys, liver, and all the other organs work. I don't know about you, but I want that stuff to work really well.

One of the greatest problems that comes along with excess adipose tissue (fat) is the reduction of testosterone levels. This happens because adipose tissue leads to the conversion of testosterone into estrogen. This can lead to, among other things, a phenomenon known as
gynecmastia--the development of female breasts on men. Not all that flattering. Increased estrogen leads to higher retention of body fat, and the vicious cycle continues until it's broken. My challenge: break it now.

The single best thing you can do to elevate your testosterone levels is resistance training with weights. Period
. I know for some of you this conjures images of muscle bound bodybuilders who can't scratch their own backs. Let me clear that image up for you by saying that this just doesn't happen unless performance enhancing drugs are used. Resistance exercise can literally be the fountain of youth for men with waning testosterone levels, but you have to be smart about it. The more muscle groups stimulated simultaneously, the more testosterone production is enhanced.

Of course, there are some diet related changes to be made--you've got to have the raw materials to make testosterone. The good news is that the raw materials for all the sex hormones are cholesterol and saturated fat. I'd advise most men to decrease their carbohydrate intake to around 150 grams a day and replace the lost calories with fat from grass fed beef, fish, coconut oil, butter, and avocado. Grass fed beef isn't that hard to find these days--go to eat wild and check your state. It takes some getting used to as grass fed beef is leaner than corn fed, but grass fed beef has a much better ratio of omega fatty acids, and the farms treat their animals as humanely as possible. Indeed, grass fed cattle live like kings compared to their feed lot brethren, and the end result is better for them, the environment, and you.

The one supplement I'll mention when it comes to elevating your testosterone levels is magnesium. Studies have shown that magnesium even helps increase testosterone in the elderly/sedentary population, so 400mgs a day for a 50 year old man who pushes some iron three times a week can make a world of difference.

A very important addition to this list is to get adequate sleep. Your body does its healing and rebuilding when you sleep, and inadequate sleep doesn't give your internal construction crew enough time to get the job done. You know, technically speaking and all. Magnesium supplementation is often helpful if you have a tough time getting to sleep, and getting your eyes off blinking lights such as television, computer, and cell phone screens at least 30 minutes before turning in can be huge when it comes to letting your brain power down. Incidentally, e-readers that have the gray background screen like the Kindle won't over-stimulate your brain like the color screens found on an iPad or Kindle Fire.

There are blood tests that can tell you where you are with your testosterone levels, but if you're over 35, you can count on your levels declining a few percentage points each year if you don't fight back. Low levels of testosterone has been linked to higher levels of clinical depression, and general malaise. A few hours a week is worth the time and trouble to keep your levels up, or even get them higher than they have been in years. You'll look better and feel better, and hey, this is the only body you have--treat it well for many happy returns.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Disc Herniation's

What can be done to help with a Disc Herniation?

A recent research study reviewed records from 1,450 patients in the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation database who had diagnoses of disc degeneration, disc herniation or radiculopathy, a nerve condition that causes tingling and weakness of the limbs. Half of the patients had surgery to fuse two or more vertebrae in hopes of curing low back pain. The other half had no surgery, even though they had comparable diagnoses.

After two years, just 26 percent of those who had surgery had actually returned to work. That’s compared to 67 percent of patients who didn’t have surgery. In what might be the most troubling study finding, researchers determined that there was a 41 percent increase in the use of painkillers, specifically opiates, in those who had surgery.

“The study  provides clear evidence that for many patients, fusion surgeries designed to alleviate pain from degenerating discs don’t work”, says the study’s lead author Dr. Trang Nguyen, a researcher at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.

So if surgery is not that effective for correcting a Disc Herniation what are some of the alternatives?
·         Medications- such as NSAIDs, pain killers, and muscle relaxers.

·         Injections-Steroid injections into the back in the area of the herniated disk may help control pain for several months. Such injections reduce swelling around the disk.

·         Non Surgical Spinal Decompression and Life Style Modification.
Medications and Injections definitely have their place in treating musculoskeletal conditions such as Disc Herniation’s because they can reduce soft tissue swelling around the Disc.  They can also give relief to patients in which the pain is unbearable.  The problem is this only masks the pain and without any outside correction will lead to further injury.  This is why at my practice for this condition I recommend Non Surgical Spinal Decompression along with life style modification (losing weight, exercising, proper ergonomics etc.)

What is Spinal Decompression you ask?  Decompression is a form of therapy that relieves pressure that builds up on the discs and nerves. The task of relieving pain comes about as a result of drawing areas of herniated disc back into place.

Decompression achieves this by creating negative pressure within the disc, referred to as negative intra-discal pressure. This creates essentially a vacuum to draw the bulging and herniated disc material back into the disc space and relieves pressure.  As the ligaments that hold disc material in place become stretched or torn due to bulging and herniation, decompression strengthens the ligament bands that hold the disc material in place to heal & prevent future recurrence.  The Decompression Table is computerized and the procedure is relatively pain free with many patients falling asleep due to the relief they feel during the procedure.

In most cases the healing process requires only a few weeks of treatment on an out-patient basis. Patients come to us to return to a normal pain free life.  While no treatment is full proof and Disc Herniation’s can take months or even years to heal.  Spinal Decompression offers patients a better non-invasive alternative from traditional surgery to correct  Disc Herniation’s.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Grains Inflame Part 2

6. Grains aren’t good for your joints.
Due to their inflammatory nature, grains – even   whole grains – are linked to joint pain and arthritis.     Grain’s amino acid composition mirrors that of the soft tissue in your joints.   Because both synovial tissue and grains are chemically similar, your body has difficulty differentiating between the two.   So, when your immune cells get all hot and bothered by inflammation caused by grain and begin to attack it as a foreign invader, they also begin to attack the soft tissue in your joint – leading to pain, autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and, of course, more inflammation.

7. Poorly Prepared Grains prevent mineral absorption.
When improperly prepared as they most often are, grains can inhibit vitamin and mineral absorption.   Grains contain substances like phytic acid which binds up minerals and prevents proper absorption.   Essentially, though your diet might be rich in iron, calcium and other vital nutrients if you eat improperly prepared grain, you’re not fully absorbing nutrients from the foods you eat.   However, please note that souring, sprouting and soaking grains neutralizes phytates and renders the nutrients in grain more absorbable.

8. Grains are bad for your teeth.
Due to those high levels of phytates in grain, grain is linked to dental decay.   With high levels of mineral-blocking phytic acid coupled with low mineral absorption rates and plenty of starches for bacteria to feed on, grain contributes to dental decay.   Anthropological records of our pre-agricultural ancestors indicates very little to no tooth decay; however, that changed after the dawn of agriculture.   Indeed, some anthropologists use the presence of tooth decay is an indicator of an agricultural society.

9. Grains aren’t good for your skin either.
Grains have a very high carbohydrate content, and while the carbohydrates in grain are complex they are still broken down into sugars nonetheless. These sugars instruct your body to produce more insulin and insulin-like growth factor (IFG-1).   Elevated insulin levels lead to a cascading hormonal response and these hormones activate the sebum-producing glands in your skin – encouraging them to produce more oil.   IFG-1 is also linked with the increased production of keratinocytes which also contribute to acne.

10. Eating grain makes you crave grain.

You know how the smell of bread creates a longing in.  Or consider a plate of cookies set in front of you.   Foods rich in carbohydrates give you quick energy, but that energy wears off just as quickly as it came. Since grains break down into sugar, they create a rise in insulin levels when those levels fall you crave more grains and, thus, the vicious cycle continues.