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

July 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
» October is National Chiropractic Health Month, but ACA Asks: Why Weight?
» Glucosamine Doesn’t Appear To Lessen Low Back Pain
» "Mind-body" Therapy Shows Promise For Fibromyalgia

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 – 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 –

 

  • 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 –

 

  • 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 – 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. It’s 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? It’s a chain reaction. By stabilizing and balancing your feet, Foot Levelers orthotics enhance your body’s performance and efficiency, reduce pain, and contribute to your total body wellness. Our orthotics complement your healthcare professional’s 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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October is National Chiropractic Health Month, but ACA Asks: Why Weight?

National Chiropractic Health Month, sponsored by the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), is a nationwide observance held each October. This year's theme—"Why Weight? Get Healthy!"—and activities will focus on how doctors of chiropractic can play an important role in preventing and treating obesity.



More than 60 percent of adults in the United States are either overweight or obese, according to CDC statistics, and obesity is associated with an increased risk of diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and some types of cancer. However, many people don't know that even modest weight loss, such as 5 to 10 percent of a person's total body weight, could improve blood pressure as well as blood cholesterol and blood sugar levels. That's only 10 to 20 pounds for a person who weighs 200 pounds.



Yet losing weight can be a struggle, and many people wonder where to begin. The answer for some may be in the office of a doctor of chiropractic (DC). Consultation with a DC is particularly important when you consider that the effects of obesity on the musculoskeletal system—osteoarthritis, back pain, neck pain and joint pain—often cause overweight and obese people to avoid physical activity and exercise when they need it most. DCs also counsel their patients on good nutrition and offer dietary and lifestyle advice in addition to expert structural care.



"If you're carrying more weight than the load-bearing structures of your body—spine, legs, etc.—can handle, there's going to be pain, loss of movement and degeneration in the joints," explains James Powell, DC, a member of ACA's Wellness Committee. "Particularly if you're carrying most of your weight in your abdomen, the low back and the spine will need to work harder to hold you upright. This adds extra stress and tension on your muscles, which in turn creates stiffness."



Each year in October, ACA and its members raise public awareness of chiropractic care by observing National Chiropractic Month. Starting this year, the association will celebrate National Chiropractic Health Month in an effort to promote a broader understanding of chiropractic's approach to patient care—as natural, whole-body, patient-centered health care.



"National Chiropractic Health Month is an important opportunity to educate the public on the general health benefits of chiropractic care, which include so much more than simply the expert hands-on care that DCs are so well known for," said ACA President Rick McMichael, DC. "Doctors of Chiropractic focus on changing patients' habits—postural, physical activity, nutritional, etc.—to promote health and wellness, short-term and long-term. Patients are tired of quick fixes that don't produce lasting weight loss and better health; and they are always delighted to discover how doctors of chiropractic promote total health and wellness over a lifetime."



For more information about National Chiropractic Health Month, visit www.acatoday.org/NCHM. The American Chiropractic Association, based in Arlington, Va., is the largest professional association in the United States representing doctors of chiropractic. ACA promotes the highest standards of ethics and patient care, contributing to the health and well-being of millions of chiropractic patients.

Author: American Chiropractic Association
Source: Acatoday.com. July 6, 2010.
Copyright: American Chiropractic Association 2010


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Glucosamine Doesn’t Appear To Lessen Low Back Pain

With 80 percent of the population experiencing back pain sometime during their life, it would be nice if taking a natural supplement would be the cure. New research shows that supplementing with glucosamine, while potentially beneficial to the joints, doesn’t appear to be the silver bullet for low back pain. When Norwegian researchers randomly gave a group of 250 patients with chronic low back pain either glucosamine or a sugar pill for 6 months, there was little difference in pain outcomes. At both 6 and 12 months, there was no significant difference between those receiving the glucosamine or those receiving the sugar pill. And while glucosamine may still possess other benefits including success in certain cases of knee osteoarthritis, its ability to specifically lessen lower back pain does not appear to be one of them. If you’re suffering from back pain, don’t give up hope. Consult your local licensed doctor of chiropractic today to discover other safe and natural alternatives to reducing and eliminating your back pain.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: Reuters. July 7, 2010.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2010


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"Mind-body" Therapy Shows Promise For Fibromyalgia

A form of 'mind-body' therapy that focuses on the role of emotions in physical pain may offer some relief to people with fibromyalgia, a small clinical trial suggests.

The study, of 45 women with fibromyalgia, found that those who learned a technique called "affective self-awareness" were more likely to show a significant reduction in their pain over six months. Overall, 46 percent of the women had a 30-percent or greater reduction in their pain severity, as measured by a standard pain-rating scale.

Fibromyalgia is a syndrome marked by widespread pain -- including discomfort at specific "tender points" in the body -- along with symptoms such as fatigue, irritable bowel and sleep problems. It is estimated to affect up to 5 million U.S. adults, most commonly middle-aged women.

The precise cause of fibromyalgia is unknown -- there are no physical signs, such as inflammation and tissue damage in the painful area -- but some researchers believe the disorder involves problems in how the brain processes pain signals.

Standard treatments include painkillers, antidepressants, cognitive- behavioral therapy and exercise therapy. However, many people with fibromyalgia find that their symptoms -- pain, in particular -- persist despite treatment.

Part of that, according to the researchers on the new study, may be because standard treatments do not specifically address the role psychological stress and emotions can play in triggering people's pain.

That is not to say that the pain people with fibromyalgia feel is "all in their head," stressed Dr. Howard Schubiner, of St. John Health/ Providence Hospital and Medical Centers in Southfield, Michigan.

"The pain is very real," Schubiner said in an interview. But, he explained, pain and emotions are "connected in the brain," and emotional factors may act to trigger "learned nerve pathways" that give rise to pain.

Past studies have found that compared with people without fibromyalgia, those with the disorder have higher rates of stressful life events, such as childhood abuse, marital problems and high levels of job stress. There is also evidence that they are relatively less aware of their own emotions and more reluctant to express their feelings, particularly anger.

For the new study, published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, Schubiner and his colleagues tested the effects of affective self-awareness -- a technique Schubiner developed and uses in treating certain chronic-pain conditions -- on fibromyalgia.

They randomly assigned 45 women with the condition to either undergo the therapy or go on a wait-list for treatment, serving as a control group. Women in the treatment group each had a one-on-one consultation, then attended three group meetings to learn the affective self-awareness techniques so that they could carry them out on their own.

The therapy involves an educational component where patients learn about the emotion-pain connection. They learn specific techniques -- including mindfulness meditation and "expressive" writing -- for recognizing and dealing with the emotions that may be contributing to their pain. Patients are also encouraged to get back to any exercise or other activities that they have been avoiding due to pain.

Schubiner's team found that six months later, 46 percent of the treatment group had at least a 30-percent reduction in their pain ratings compared with scores at the outset. And 21 percent had a 50-percent or greater reduction.
None of the women in the control group had a comparable improvement.

The study is only the first clinical trial to test affective self-awareness for fibromyalgia, and it had a number of limitations, including its small size. In addition, the control group received no active therapy to serve as a comparison.

That is important because it is possible for patients to benefit from simply receiving attention from a healthcare provider, or being part of small-group sessions with other people suffering from the same condition, for example.

Schubiner also acknowledged that this general "model" for understanding and addressing fibromyalgia pain is controversial.

He said that he and his colleagues have applied for funding to conduct a larger clinical trial comparing affective self-awareness with standard cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Affective self-awareness and cognitive-behavioral therapy have similarities, according to Schubiner. Both, for example, try to show patients that they have the power to improve their own health.

A key difference, Schubiner said, is that affective self-awareness asks people to "directly engage" the emotions that may be helping to drive their symptoms.

Another difference is that, right now, only a small number of healthcare providers practice affective self-awareness, according to Schubiner.

Some components of the technique, such as teachings in mindfulness meditation, are more widely available. But whether those practices in isolation would help fibromyalgia patients' pain is not clear.

Author: Reuters
Source: Journal of General Internal Medicine, online June 8, 2010.
Copyright: Reuters 2010


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