Newsletter Archives > ChiroPlanet.com Monthly Health Newsletter: April 2010 Health Newsletter

April 2010 Health Newsletter


Current Articles

» Is Visiting The Chiropractor Better For Your Immune System Than A Flu Shot?
» Benefits of Cold Laser Therapy
» Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
» Foot-Body Connection
» Headaches & Migraines
» Manipulation Also Effective For Shoulder Problems
» Spinal Surgery Costs Surge
» Prescription Drug Overdoses Increase
» Sleep and Lose Weight

Is Visiting The Chiropractor Better For Your Immune System Than A Flu Shot?

Is Visiting The Chiropractor Better For Your Immune System Than A Flu Shot?

With all the news today about the flu and especially the Swine Flu, people everywhere are wondering whether to get a flu shot or not.† They wonder if they have other options to help prevent them from losing work or being out of commission from sports or child care this winter.† Has anyone considered chiropractic care as a preventative method?

When we are sick our immune system goes to work to fight off the offending virus or bacteria.† It also works to prevent us from getting sick in the first place.† Statistics show that those who receive chiropractic adjustment at least once a week kick their immune system into overdrive.† It can increase the function of their immune system by up to 400%.†

Chiropractic adjustments remove irritation in the nerves which are the pathway of information from our brain to our body.† If the pathway gets blocked or congested, the flow of information is slowed down or interrupted.† Symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, back pain, neck pain and more result from impaired nerve function.† When the doctor adjusts the body, he removed the irritation and restores the flow of information resulting in symptoms diminishing or disappearing entirely.†

While most people who visit the chiropractor do so in a reactive way as a result of an injury, headaches, and unexplained back pain, leg pain or neck pain.† What people do not realize is that aside from a known injury that caused the pain, other pains can often be caused by irritations that come from stress, viruses, bacteria and a variety of other causes.† A good way to be proactive is to visit a chiropractor during the winter months.

Frequent adjustments will keep the pathway clear and nerves in optimal health.† This increases the immune function and wards off any threatening bacteria or virus.† While you won't really know if it worked, you would get the same result with a flu shot.† Do you really know if the reason you didn't get the flu was because of the shot or because you wouldn't have gotten it anyway.† Same with the preventative measures taken with adjustments.† Will you know for sure if it prevented the flu?

Chances are if you work at an office, ride the train, are around children, or really anywhere out in public this winter and if you come out the other side this spring without having caught the flu or any bad colds, you can chalk it up to your adjustments.† In contrast to the flu shot, that can actually make you feel sick the day you get the shot, adjustments do not put anything foreign into your body and is also beneficial for more than just the flu.†

Author: Dr. George
Source: Catchfire Coaching
Copyright: 2010 2010


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Benefits of Cold Laser Therapy

Cold Laser Therapy Ė Painless Acupuncture

 

Want to try acupuncture but are afraid of the needles? If so then Cold Laser Therapy might be a more viable option for you than going the traditional route.

 

Cold laser therapy is also known as photobiomodulation or laser biostimulation. The theory behind it is that exposure to low level laser light can help stimulate the flow of blood, healing and tissue growth.

 

The term "cold laser" refers to the use of low-intensity or low levels of laser light to heal tissue. Proponents claim that cold laser therapy can reduce pain and inflammation for just about any condition. These lasers are used directly on or over the affected area.

 

Cold lasers are also sometimes used for acupuncture, with laser beams substituting for the pinprick. This treatment regimen appeals to those who want acupuncture but who fear the pain of needles.

 

Cold lasers can treat a variety of conditions including --

 

  • Back pain from an old or new sports injury or accident
  • Repetitive strain injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Lower back pain
  • Migraine headaches
  • Addiction to painkillers (as the cold laser treatment can bring relief from pain and spare the need for them)
  • Skin ulcers and bed sores
  • Acne
  • Scarring form a recent surgery
  • Cold sores due to herpes simplex

 

Cold laser therapy can also help smokers quit smoking. The laser can be directed over acupuncture points that simulate the effects of nicotine in the brain. This can help balance the body to relieve addiction.

 

Cold laser therapy is by no means a new or alternative therapy especially in Europe where they have been used for a long time.

 

First of all cold lasers should not be confused with conventional hot lasers which are also used in medicine. In general High power lasers are used to cut through tissue and shrink tumors on the skin or in internal organs. They are also used to remove tumors or cancerous tissue.

 

Low-level lasers, on the other hand, are used to stimulate tissue repair through a process of bio-stimulation. The shining of the laser on the skin injures it minimally and speeds blood flow to the area thus facilitating healing.

Laser biostimulation was first discovered quite by accident by a Hungarian Endre Mester at the Semmelweis University in Budapest. Mester was conducting an experiment to find out if exposure to laser light could cause cancer.

 

Mestar shaved mice and divided them into two groups. He gave one a group a treatment with a lower level ruby laser. Neither group of mice developed cancer but the shaved hair grow back quicker on the treated group rather than the untreated group. This is was the birth of the discovery of how exposure to low level lasers, also known as cold lasers could stimulate growth.

 

Since that Mester's surprising discovery about mice, cold lasers have been used to treat all kinds of chronic pain and injuries. They have also proven to be successful when it comes to speeding up the healing of wounds and nerves.

 

However the area where cold laser therapy shows it's greatest promise is in the treatment of inflammation where the irradiation from the low dose laser helps speed blood to the affected area.

 

In fact cold laser therapy is thought to be so effective for inflamed joints and muscles that the results are comparable to the pain relief experienced when one takes a NSAIDS. Of course the benefit is that cold laser therapy does not bring with it the stomach upset and ulcers that can be the side effect of taking anti-inflammatories.

 

The positive physiological effects of cold laser therapy include Ė

 

  • Improved metabolism
  • Increase of cell metabolism
  • Improved blood circulation
  • Pain relief
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Stimulation of wound healing

 

In Europe cold laser treatment has been used for quite a long time to treat sore muscles, joints and chronic pain of all kinds. The laser that has been in use since 1975 in Europe is called the HeNe laser.

 

HeNE is short for "visible red light" This laser, which sets the standard for the visible red light lasers used in cold laser therapy has a 632.8 nm with a continuous non polarized light. This type of cold laser is also a gas laser and therefore expensive to operate as it is powered with a high voltage. Still it is one of the most commonly used of lasers in physician's offices, as they are inexpensive and been in use for so long that many of them are second hand.

 

There is also a cold laser that is more specifically designed to be used with muscle and joint problems that are associated with problems such as the shoulders, back spine and other joints. It also helps with problems such as trsimus, lymph edema and whiplash. This is called the GaAs-laser . It is a very powerful invisible infrared laser.

 

For deep lying problems the GaAs laser is penetrating best (because of its high peak power) and for problems in skin and mucosa the HeNe laser is the most effective one (due to the high degree of coherency). The 808 or 890 nm lasers are more all-round types and often battery powered. There are single- or multi probes.

 

Cold laser therapy is a very gentle and effective therapy that is also considered to be quite safe. However both the operator of= the laser and patient should wear appropriate protection for the eyes (dense filter spectacles) in case of accidental or reflected exposure, and the laser beam should never be directed at the eyes. This is especially true if the clinician is using one of the older red light visible type cold lasers.

 

So does cold laser therapy work?

 

In a compendium of studies reported in the October 7, 1994 of Dynamic Chiropriactics D.C. James White and Kendra Kaesbery White discuss several studies in an article.

 

These two chiropractors mention many studies in this article that touts the benefits of using cold laser therapy. One study involved the use of cold laser therapy treatments over 4,000 subjects who had suffered from conditions such as degenerative arthritis; muscle pain; tendonitis and tension myalgia. Researchers found that at the end of the research period more than 80 percent of the subjects found a marked lessening of their symptoms following irradiation with a cold laser.

 

Another study discussed in this article involved over 100 subjects and over 500 laser treatments. It was observed that acute soft tissue pain syndromes showed a dramatic response following the initial laser treatment with a marked reduction in tissue swelling, bruising and a substantial increase in pain relief.

 

Yet another study conducted in Northern Ireland found that cold laser treatment was effective for the treatment of myofascial and postoperative pain syndromes; rheumatoid arthritis; muscle tears; hematomas; tendinitis; shingles; herpes simplex; scarring; burn and would healing.

 

In the same study from Ireland, cold laser treatment was compared with four other modalities (interferential therapy, shortwave diathermy, ultrasound, and pulsed electromagnetic therapy), for use in pain relief and wound healing and came out first in terms of effectiveness.

 

The benefits of cold laser therapy are Ė

 

  • No need to take painkillers
  • Rapid relief in some cases
  • Spares the need for invasive surgery
  • Stimulates the immune system
  • Increases the blood supply in the affected area
  • Is an option for those who want acupuncture but fear needles?
  • Develops collagen and nerve tissue
  • Promotes wound healing

 

Low-level therapy uses cold (subthermal) laser light energy to direct bio-stimulative light energy to the body's cells without injuring or damaging them in any way.

 

The conclusion Ė cold laser therapy is precise and accurate; and offers safe and effective treatment for a wide variety of conditions.

To learn how they can help you call 817-358-3552, or e-mail info@mainstreetchiro.net

Author: Dr. George
Source: Catchfire Co. Inc.
Copyright: Dr. George 2009


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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:

Carpal tunnel syndrome is compression of the median nerve at the wrist, which may result in numbness, tingling, weakness, or muscle damage in the hand and fingers.

  • Numbness or tingling in the thumb and next two or three fingers of one or both hands
  • Numbness or tingling of the palm of the hand
  • Pain extending to the elbow
  • Pain in wrist or hand in one or both hands
  • Problems with fine finger movements (coordination) in one or both hands
  • Wasting away of the muscle under the thumb (in advanced or long-term cases)
  • Weak grip or difficulty carrying bags (a common complaint)
  • Weakness in one or both hands

Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by pressure on the median nerve at the point where it passes through the wrist. The median nerve supplies sensation to the thumb side of the palm, and to the thumb, index finger, middle finger, and the thumb side of the ring finger. It also helps with movement to part of the hand.

The area where the nerve enters the hand is called the carpal tunnel. Since the passageway is stiff, any swelling in this area can put pressure on the nerve. This may also be called entrapment of the nerve.

Injury to the wrist area can cause swelling of the tissues and carpal tunnel syndrome. This type of injury may be caused by sports such as racquetball and handball, or occur during sewing, typing, driving, assembly-line work, painting, writing, use of tools (especially hand tools or tools that vibrate), or similar activities.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is common in people who perform repetitive motions of the hand and wrist, such as typing. The condition occurs most often in people 30 to 60 years old, and is more common in women than men.

Some people go this route: BUT THIS SHOULD BE A LAST RESORT!!!!

MEDICATIONS

Medications used in the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen or naproxen. Corticosteroid injections, given into the carpal tunnel area, may provide relief of symptoms.

SURGERY - LAST RESORT!!!!

Carpal tunnel release is a surgical procedure that cuts into the ligament that is pressing on the nerve. Surgery is successful most of the time, but depends on severity and duration of nerve compression.

After surgery, the damaged nerve must heal for the symptoms to improve. This can take months. In severe cases, the nerve may not be able to fully heal. Certain types of damage (such as muscular atrophy) may not be reversible.

In severe cases, electromyography or nerve conduction studies may be used to check how well the nerve is recovering.

Avoid or reduce the number of repetitive wrist movements whenever possible. Use tools and equipment that are properly designed to reduce the risk of wrist injury.

Ergonomic aids, such as split keyboards, keyboard trays, typing pads, and wrist braces, may be used to improve wrist posture during typing. Take frequent breaks when typing and always stop if there is tingling or pain.

If the condition is treated properly, there are usually no complications. If untreated, the nerve can be damaged, causing permanent weakness, numbness, and tingling.

Call for an appointment with your health care provider if you have symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.

Call your health care provider if symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome do not respond to treatment, or if there seems to be a loss of muscle mass in the fingers.

Call office today if you have these symptoms, 817-358-3552

 

Author: Dr. Payne
Source: Conditions
Copyright: Dr. Payne 2009


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Foot-Body Connection

Your feet are the foundation of your body. They support you when you stand, walk, or run. And they help protect your spine, bones, and soft tissues from damaging stress as you move around. Your feet perform better when all their muscles, arches, and bones are in their ideal stable positions. The foot is constructed with three arches which, when properly maintained, give exceptional supportive strength. These three arches form a supporting vault that distributes the weight of the entire body. If there is compromise of one arch in the foot, the other arches must compensate and are subject to additional stresses, which usually leads to further compromise. Itís a chain reaction. Healthcare professionals know alleviating pain in one part of your body often requires treating a different part. The pain you feel in your neck could be caused by a misalignment in your spine that is caused by unbalanced positioning in your feet. See? Itís a chain reaction. By stabilizing and balancing your feet, Foot Levelers orthotics enhance your bodyís performance and efficiency, reduce pain, and contribute to your total body wellness. Our orthotics complement your healthcare professionalís treatment when you stand, walk, and live your active life.

Nearly everyone can benefit from wearing high-quality, flexible, custom-made foot orthotics. You do NOT have to be suffering from foot pain or have 'fallen arches' to benefit from high-quality custom orthotics. I have fitted hundreds of folks with custom made orthotics with great results. Patients report less pain and/or improved athletic performance! In my clinical experience, custom orthotics are vastly superior to 'over the counter' foot inserts. Lastly, when dealing with orthotics the clinician MUST look at the "big picture' and examine the patient 'above the foot'. I perform a thorough history and appropriate gait assessment and palpatory exam on the entire biomechanical structure. Below is a pretty good summary of my philosophy regarding orthotics. Click on the image to learn more.

Dr. R. Brett Payne, D.C., C.C.C.N.

Click on image to learn more...


Click on image for more information

Author: Dr. Payne
Source: Foot Levelers
Copyright: Dr. Payne 2009


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Headaches & Migraines

Headaches

According to the latest research, 9% of men and 12% of women in the U.S. experience at least 1-2 headache episodes per month. And, more than 4% of the U.S. population suffers from frequent headaches, defined as headaches that occur at least 180 days a year. Needless to say, headaches have become a social and economic burden in the United States, as well as other parts of the world.

Scientists have identified over 300 causes for headaches. Various pain-sensitive structures and tissues including the skin, subcutaneous tissue, muscles, arteries, periosteal bone covering, and the upper cervical and facial nerves produce headaches when irritated or injured. Fortunately, only a handful of causes are responsible for the majority of headaches.

The most common of these headaches include:

  1. Cervicogenic- problems within the neck
  2. Muscle-tension- neck and upper back muscular spasms
  3. Post-traumatic- following head/neck trauma, i.e. whiplash
  4. Drug-induced- from analgesic overuse
  5. Migraines
  6. Cluster

Doctors of chiropractic successfully help thousands of individuals everyday obtain safe, effective, long-term relief from their headaches. This is because most headaches have a spinal, muscular, or habitual component which the chiropractor has been trained to identify and treat. In fact, surveys show that 10-25% of patients initiate chiropractic care for the relief of headaches.

To learn more about specific headache types, headache treatments, prevention tips, or to view various articles related to headaches, choose from the links menu above.

Author: Chiroplanet
Source: Chiroplanet
Copyright: Chiroplanet 2009


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Manipulation Also Effective For Shoulder Problems

Itís no secret chiropractic care works wonders for many suffering from back, neck and spinal related problems. However, many are unaware that chiropractic care also provides excellent results in a number of non-spinal related conditions including those related to the extremities. Manipulative treatments chiropractors often apply to the spine are similarly used by chiropractors on the joints of the extremities including the hip, knee, ankle, foot, hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder joints. Manipulation of these joints involves a safe, controlled and specific force that is skillfully applied in order to restore normal joint motion that in turn provides nutrients to the joint, reducing inflammation and pain. Researchers recently conducted a study to compare the outcomes of treating patients with shoulder complaints with usual care from a general practitioner (medical doctor) both with and without the additional care of manipulative therapy applied directly to the shoulder girdle. At 12 weeks after initiating care, those receiving the additional manipulative therapy had better outcomes related to shoulder pain, neck pain. At 26 weeks, those receiving the additional manipulative therapy had statistically superior outcomes in shoulder pain, shoulder mobility and mobility of the neck. If youíre suffering from extra-spinal problems such as problems with the legs, hips or arms, call our office for an appointment to see if safe, natural and effective chiropractic care might be the solution for you!

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: JMPT. Volume 33, Issue 2, Pages 96-101 (February 2010).
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2010


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Spinal Surgery Costs Surge

Older patients with lower back pain are increasingly getting more complex and costlier spinal fusion surgeries, resulting in higher rates of life-threatening complications and increasing costs for the healthcare system, U.S. researchers said on Tuesday. A study of records from the federal Medicare program for the elderly and disabled between 2002 and 2007 revealed a 15-fold increase in the rate of complex surgeries to treat spinal stenosis -- a common condition in the elderly in which the spinal canal narrows, causing pain in the back and legs. And while the number of overall procedures to treat this problem dipped during the period, hospital charges for those surgeries rose by 40 percent on an inflation-adjusted basis, Dr. Richard Deyo of the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland and his colleagues reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association. In a telephone interview Deyo said the trend in part is related to the introduction of new technology, such as spinal cages and special screws used to fuse vertebrae together. But it also reflects savvy marketing by orthopedic device makers such as Stryker Corp., Medtronic Inc. and Johnson & Johnson's DePuy unit, that has convinced surgeons more complex surgery is better, Deyo said. Studies, however, suggest complex spinal fusion surgeries offer little benefit over simpler procedures for most patients, and increase the risk of complications. "It is driving up the cost of care without much evidence that it is improving care," Deyo said. A study last year published in JAMA found that the cost of treating spine problems in the United States rose 65 percent in the past decade to $85.9 billion a year, rivaling the economic burden of treating cancer, which costs $89 billion. Yet, for all of the spending, they found people with spine problems actually felt worse. Deyo's team studied three specific surgical procedures for lumbar stenosis: decompression, in which part of the vertebrae is removed to ease pressure on nerve roots; simple fusion, in which one or two discs are fused together through an incision in the back or abdomen; and complex fusion, in which more than 3 vertebrae are treated or the surgery is done from both the back and front. Overall, the procedure rate fell 1.4 percent during the study period, but rates of complex fusion surgery increased from 1.3 per 100,000 patients to 19.9 per 100,000. "What happened was the most complex type of surgery increased 15-fold over that period of time, a far more rapid increase than we could explain just on the basis of more severe disease," Deyo said. "What we also found is these more complex operations are associated with a higher rate of serious complications." Patients in the study who had a complex fusion procedure had a nearly three times higher odds of a life-threatening complication compared with those who only got decompression. And overall hospital charges rose 40 percent in inflation-adjusted dollars, the team found. Dr. Eugene Carragee of the Stanford University School of Medicine in California said in a commentary that the study should remind patients, doctors and insurance companies to carefully weigh the options for spinal surgery. "... the efficacy of basic spinal techniques must be assessed carefully against the plethora of unproven but financially attractive alternatives," Carragee wrote, noting that "financial incentives and market forces do not favor this careful assessment before technologies are widely adopted."

Author: Julie Steenhuysen
Source: Reuters Health. April 7, 2010.
Copyright: Reuters 2010


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Prescription Drug Overdoses Increase

According to a newly released report in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, the number of Americans ending up in the hospital due to overdoses from prescribed painkillers, sedatives and tranquilizers is rising steeply. In just 8 years, 1999 to 2006, hospital admissions from prescription drug overdoses increased an alarming 65 percent from 43,000 to 71,000. Another stunning statistic - Unintentional prescription drug overdoses surpassed motor vehicle crashes as the leading cause of unintentional injury death in 2005 for those 35 to 54 years of age. There are many more jaw dropping statistics listed in the report that highlight the dangers of many prescription drugs, especially those prescribed for the purpose of reducing pain.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: American Journal of Preventive Medicine, April 2010.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2010


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Sleep and Lose Weight

What if you could simply lose weight by getting more sleep, would you be interested? Well, new research indicates that this isnít too far off. Researchers have found those who donít get adequate sleep actually consume more calories than those who do. Researchers followed 12 healthy young men for two 48-hour sessions while recording their sleep, calorie consumption and activity level. They found those who got 4 hours of sleep versus 8 hours of sleep actually consumed 22 percent more calories. Thus, the lack of adequate sleep resulted in a significant increase in their caloric intake. Other studies have also found shorter sleep duration is associated with higher body mass index but this is the first to study the effects of sleep duration to calorie consumption in normal-weight individuals.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, online March 31, 2010.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2010


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