Monday, 26 November 2012

Chiropractic for Asthma

Asthma is a chronic disease of the lungs characterized by inflammation of the bronchial tubes, which leads to wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath. In 2010, 300 million people worldwide were affected by this condition and, in the previous year, 250,000 died from asthma-related causes. Despite advances in the medical treatment of asthma, the prevalence of sufferers has been increasing since the 1970s.

When we breathe, a wide variety of muscles are involved in expanding the chest cavity to bring air into the body. These include the diaphragm and intercostal muscles between the ribs, as well as several other muscle groups in the chest and upper back.  With this being the case, it is not surprising that any tightness in the upper body caused by injury or postural problems will have an adverse effect on the ease and effectiveness of breathing. Slight amounts of muscular tension and spinal misalignment may go unnoticed in a healthy person, but for someone with already restricted breathing, any further obstacle to taking a breath adds to the difficulty in bringing sufficient oxygen into the body.

Chiropractic treatment for asthma uses traditional chiropractic methods of manipulation and soft tissue massage in order to increase the mobility of the ribs and reduce any postural problems and tension that might obstruct the breathing process. Healthy spinal function, which is one of the aims and benefits of chiropractic care, also reduces stress, which is known to be a trigger that worsens asthma symptoms and which may lead to an asthma ‘attack’ (the acute exacerbation of symptoms typically experienced as chest tightness and fighting for breath). Chiropractors can also offer advice on exercises and lifestyle choices to promote healthy breathing and reduce asthma symptoms.

A recent paper in the Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association reviewed the current literature on chiropractic treatment of asthmatic patients, which included two randomized controlled trials. The evidence from this review suggests that chiropractic treatment may have a positive effect on observed symptoms and regularity of medication use as well as the measurement of peak flow (the force of exhalation) and other objective measurements. The paper concluded that, while it is in no way intended as a replacement for conventional asthma medication, chiropractic treatment could definitely be seen as a useful addition to primary health care. Although not all patients were found to benefit from chiropractic care, there were no cases in which symptoms exacerbated through treatment by a chiropractic doctor.

As chiropractic treatment is a holistic therapy, it helps to restore health to the whole body and not just the back and spine. This is especially true in the case of conditions such as asthma, in which postural problems and muscle tension can adversely affect the breathing process and exacerbate existing symptoms. With this in mind, chiropractic care can be a useful therapy for a wide range of conditions. 

Every body is different. If you have questions about this article or whether chiropractic is an appropriate choice for your specific situation, please ask. We are here to help!

Sunday, 25 November 2012

How to Move Large Furniture Without Hurting Your Back

This is an article written by Dr. Matt Ramirez, a Chiropractic at Salt Lake City who specializes in auto injury recovery and rehabilitation and has enhanced and improved thousands of lives as well as treated people of all ages over the years. He is also an expert in health and wellness, massage therapy, chiropractic care, and more...

Many people hurt their back by trying to move large, heavy furniture, which can happen even to big burly guys. Lifting furniture the wrong way can cause serious back injury that can take weeks or even years to heal; however, there are ways of doing it that are safer for your back. Following are a few tips:

1) Lift from the legs – Probably the most commonly-known technique for lifting heavy objects, this is a procedure still too often neglected. Squat in front of the piece of furniture you are moving, then, while keeping your stomach muscles tightened, grip the furniture securely and stand up by using your leg muscles. Be sure to avoid bending over as you stand up and try to keep your back as vertical as possible.

2) Wear gloves – Gloves allow for a better grip on the furniture you are lifting, in addition to helping avoid splinters and cuts from sharp edges.

3) Get help – Have another person help you. Two people moving a piece of furniture halves the weight and makes it easier to move, with less risk of damaging your back or the piece of furniture.

4) Use a dolly, hand truck or other sliding device – A dolly is an easy way to move a large piece of furniture if you have to go any distance. All you have to do is lift the furniture onto the dolly and off you go. If you just intend to move the furniture to the other side of the room, however, you can either slip some old pieces of carpet under the legs and slide it, if the floor is smooth, such as on linoleum, or if the furniture is on carpet you can purchase a set of furniture sliders for about $12 that will allow you to easily slide the furniture over carpeting.

5) Wear a back brace – Many professional moving companies require their employees to use a back brace when working. It gives extra support to both your lower back and abdominal muscles, and allows your back to move as one unit, making sure there is not any one area of your back doing all the work. They are inexpensive and can be found in most department stores.

6) Stretch your back before moving – Stretching will warm up your muscles and help prevent injury. Start by stretching your arms up above your head, then bring your arms down and bend forward, starting by dropping your head to your chest, then bending vertebrae by vertebrae, letting your arms hang limply. Don’t bounce when you reach the bottom, just let your weight gently stretch out your back. Remain there for about 30 seconds, then come up, again, vertebrae by vertebrae.

By following these simple suggestions, you can help avoid damage to your back. But be aware of your own limitations. If something is too heavy for you, it is far less expensive to hire a professional to move it than to pay the medical bills associated with a back injury.

Good health is a combination of many factors including your nutrition, preventative care, appropriate corrective care and the small choices you make every day in the course of living. If you have questions about this article, your general or spinal health, please ask. We are here to help!

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Therapy Methods – Craniosacral Therapy

At the end of the 19th century, osteopath William Sutherland observed that the bones of the skull, particularly those at the sides of the head, had the potential to move. Investigating further, he noticed a rhythmic movement between the cranial bones in the head and the large sacral bone at the base of the spine. This, he concluded, was due to the pulse of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) as it moves around the brain and down the spinal cord. He found that he could feel the tidal motion of CSF in his patients and used this in both the diagnosis and treatment of bodily disorders. This way of working has subsequently been developed by many other practitioners, and is known as craniosacral therapy.

Rhythmic contractions in the brain are said occur 8-12 times a minute and these can be constricted by a lack of movement in both the cranial and sacral bones, invariably leading to illness. Other longer ‘tides’ have also been found to exist, occurring once every 25 and 100 seconds, respectively. It is the job of the craniosacral therapist to detect any abnormality in the cerebrospinal pulse and correct it by using gentle, non-invasive pressure on the areas of the head and body that are restricting natural bodily rhythms. 

Constriction can occur through the buildup of stress, bad posture and physical injury, and may go undetected for years, manifesting only as a feeling of being ‘not quite right‘. Once the healthy movement of CSF is restored, the ability of the body to heal itself is greatly strengthened, and many ongoing health problems are thought to resolve as a result.

Craniosacral therapy, however, is not without its critics who suggest that although there is evidence of the presence of cerebrospinal rhythms, the possibility of a practitioner detecting and using these is limited. Further, there are no studies on craniosacral therapy that clearly indicate its use for specific conditions. This is not an uncommon criticism of complementary health practices, though, as the cost of setting up and analyzing such trials are can be prohibitive, resulting in few reliable studies.

Regardless of the criticism, craniosacral therapy has become relatively popular in the past several decades due to its gentle and non-invasive methods. It is carried out fully clothed and, as with other forms of osteopathy and chiropractic treatment, with the patient lying on a couch.  During treatment, the therapist will use their hands to first detect the cerebrospinal pulse, and then gently make adjustments that allow the spinal tide to flow unobstructed. Many patients report feeling very relaxed and light-headed throughout the session. The number of sessions and frequency required will depend on the type and longevity of the problem. 
As the number of patients presenting with stress and postural problems increases, the popularity of craniosacral therapy is also expected to rise, especially given the limited resources of conventional medicine to address these issues.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Tap Water versus Bottled Water

This is an article written by Dr. Matt Ramirez, Salt Lake Chiropractor who specializes in auto injury recovery and rehabilitation and has enhanced and improved thousands of lives as well as treated people of all ages over the years. He is also an expert in health and wellness, massage therapy, chiropractic care, and more...

Sales of bottled water have grown at a steady rate, and it’s estimated that people spend between $50 and $100 billion worldwide each year for the stuff. But is it worth it? In a nutshell, bottled water is expensive, bad for the environment and no healthier for you than tap water.

In terms of cost, bottled water can be up to 10,000 times more expensive than tap water. Municipal tap water costs $0.0015 per gallon, whereas bottled water can cost up to $10 a gallon. This works out to 7 cents an ounce. In comparison, gasoline (which most people find expensive) is less than 3 cents an ounce. Additionally, 40% of bottled water is drawn from the same municipal water sources your tap water comes from, but is simply filtered, something you can easily do yourself at home.

Bottled water is bad for the environment in a few ways. First of all, the production of water bottles is very resource intensive, using 17 million barrels of oil, enough to power 1 million cars for a year. Second, only 1 in 5 water bottles are recycled, amounting to 3 billion pounds of wasted plastic that ends up in landfills, and as they are not biodegradable, they will linger for generations, taking thousands of years to decompose, slowly leaching pthalates and other chemicals into the groundwater.

One of the main reasons people buy bottled water is due to the belief that it is healthier than tap water; however, this is a myth. Municipal tap water must adhere to strict monitoring standards as to water quality, something bottled water companies need not do. For instance, bottled water does not need to be checked for E. coli contamination, does not need to provide the water source, is not required to produce regular quality reports and can still be distributed when tap water level standards are not met. Municipal water must be tested for coliform bacteria upwards of 100 times per month, while bottled water is tested once a week. In fact, 22% of bottled water tested proved to have chemical contaminants at levels above state health limits.

The only real benefit of bottled water over tap is if you are traveling in an area where the water is not reliable or there is no access to clean water, or to have some on hand in case of a natural disaster. Apart from that, it is better to make up your own water bottles at home. If the taste of the water in your municipality is not great, an inexpensive carbon filter can easily be used to make it taste just as good as the bottled version.

Good health is a combination of many factors including your nutrition, preventative care, appropriate corrective care and the small choices you make every day in the course of living. If you have questions about this article, your general or spinal health, please ask. We are here to help!

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Chiropractic for Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a chronic disease that is occurring with greater frequency as the population ages, along with the skyrocketing rates of obesity that contribute to osteoarthritis by causing unnecessary wear and tear on the joints. Chiropractic care can help those who suffer from osteoarthritis by realigning the joints so they move properly, slowing their degeneration.

A normally functioning joint moves easily, supported by a cushion of firm, rubbery cartilage that allows the bones to slide smoothly over one another. Osteoarthritis is caused by a breakdown in the cartilage of the joint, which allows the bones to rub together as they move, leading to pain, stiffness and swelling.
It is estimated that 50% of the population over age 55 has some form of osteoarthritis. As a person ages the content of water in the cartilage decreases, hastening its breakdown. Some tissue from the breakdown of this cartilage can be released into the synovial fluid of the joint capsule, causing inflammation. Though any of the body’s joints may be affected, the most common complaints are of pain in the knees, hips and hand joints, the ones that bear the greatest load and do the most work.

Symptoms of osteoarthritis are pain, swelling, stiffness and crepitus, which is a term for the clicking or popping sound the joint makes when the ends of the bones in the joint rub together due to an insufficient cushion of cartilage. The first sign you may have osteoarthritis is frequently waking with “morning stiffness” in your joints that gradually improves as the day goes on. Pain may become worse when you are active, improving with rest.

Though there is no cure for osteoarthritis, there are things you can do to slow its advance and alleviate the pain. The least invasive treatments involve changes to diet and lifestyle, along with chiropractic care. Eating whole fresh foods and losing weight can take much of the pressure and stress off your joints. In addition, regular light exercise can strengthen the muscles that support the joints. Exercise can also improve range-of-motion, balance and posture. Swimming is an excellent form of exercise for those with osteoarthritis, as it allows you to exercise without putting stress on your joints.

A trained chiropractor can use a variety of safe and gentle methods to return your joints to proper alignment, which will help alleviate pain without having to resort to taking excessive pain medications. Studies have shown that chiropractic treatment can increase range of motion, improve joint coordination, relax tense muscles and reduce pain. A chiropractor can also recommend the best exercises and stretches targeted to your specific needs.

About the Author:
Dr. Matt Ramirez graduated with a degree in Bachelor of Human Biology in 2004 and received his Doctor of Chiropractic Degree in 2006. He specializes in auto injury recovery and rehabilitation and has enhanced and improved thousands of lives as well as treated people of all ages over the years. He is also an expert in health and wellness, massage therapy, chiropractic care, and more...

Friday, 16 November 2012

Home Care for Sprains and Strains

Sprains and strains are not only the result of sports injuries, they can occur when you bend or turn the wrong way when carrying heavy groceries, from gardening or putting more pressure than usual on your joints, particularly the ankles and knees. A sprain refers to torn ligaments, while a strain is the tearing of tendons or muscle tissue.

When a muscle, tendon or ligament is made to perform a task it is unaccustomed to doing, or is subject to repetitive stress, it can overstretch, causing the tearing of its fibers. The first symptom of a sprain or strain is pain, though the pain may not appear until a day or two after the injury. For instance, if you spent an afternoon trimming the hedges around your house, the inflammation and swelling that results from raising your arms overhead for an extended period of time, along with the muscle spasms that cause the strain, could show up a day or two later.

A severe sprain or strain may require surgery to repair the torn tissue. However, despite taking a number of weeks to fully heal, if the sprain or strain is relatively mild it can easily be treated at home. There is a simple formula for treating both these types of injuries, called RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation).

Rest – Allow the affected joint to rest, try to keep it immobile and don’t put any pressure on it if possible. A sling may be useful to provide support while the damaged tissue heals.

Ice – Apply ice to the affected area as soon as possible after the injury to help reduce swelling, and continue to do so frequently during the first 24 hours. After that time, either heat or ice may be used in order to alleviate pain.

Compression – An Ace bandage wrapped around the injury can help reduce pain and swelling. Wrap the bandage snugly, but be sure not to wrap it so tight as to overly restrict blood flow.

Elevation – Elevate the injured area to keep the swelling down.

After a few days, when the pain has somewhat subsided, the affected area should be gently moved and the movement gradually increased to help begin to restore flexibility and strength to the muscles, ligaments and tendons.

A sprain or strain can take up to 6 months to heal. But with proper care and conditioning, healing time can be reduced somewhat. Future injuries may be prevented by performing some light stretching on a daily basis or practicing yoga, which gently stretches and strengthens muscles, tendons and ligaments.
Though anti-inflammatory medications may be taken to reduce pain and swelling, chiropractic treatment has also proven to be helpful in reducing pain and increasing joint mobility.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

What Causes Aging?

Aging is influenced by our genes, environment, and lifestyle. By the time we reach middle and old age, these factors have had time to make a significant impact on our health. Some of these influences may be positive, others negative. Everyone ages, of course, but we do not all age in the same way or at the same rate. While much of the aging process remains a mystery, we are learning more about it all the time. Most importantly, we’ve learned that our chronological age has little do with our biological age.

The environment affects our health, particularly where we live and work. Our exposure to the sun, infectious diseases and toxic chemicals are important factors as well. Lifestyle choices such as the food we eat, the drinks and drugs we consume, how much we exercise and how much we sleep can all play a factor in our rate of aging. What scientists cannot tell us yet is which of these has more influence than the others, because that varies from individual to individual. Part of the reason for this variation is genetic.

Genes are powerful predictors of longevity – but there is more to the story. Family history definitely influences your health and how long you will live, but through your own choices you can make a difference in the power of genetic predisposition. You can affect your own longevity positively or negatively, to some degree. New genetic tests make it possible to know if you are predisposed to breast cancer, for example. Some women who are predisposed to breast cancer then choose to have their breasts removed to lower the chances of acquiring the condition.

Diet and exercise can play significant roles in health and longevity. According to current research, it is never too late to start eating better or exercising and reap the benefits. Even elderly people can see a significant improvement in their health and well-being and a reduction in the incidence of some diseases by starting on a balanced eating and exercise program suitable for their age and health status. No matter your age, maintaining a healthy weight and a moderate level of fitness will give you a far better chance of long life than someone who leads a sedentary lifestyle.

Smoking is another significant predictor of disease and death. Any smoker who quits reduces their chances of having a heart attack.

As you can see, there is no “magic bullet” to stop or reverse the aging process. However by examining our family history, lifestyle and environment, and by making thoughtful choices every day of our lives, we can affect the chances that we will succumb to diseases and disability early or late in our lives.

About the Author:
Dr. Matt Ramirez graduated with a degree in Bachelor of Human Biology in 2004 and received his Doctor of Chiropractic Degree in 2006. He specializes in auto injury recovery and rehabilitation and has enhanced and improved thousands of lives as well as treated people of all ages over the years. He is also an expert in health and wellness, massage therapy, chiropractic care, and more...He practices his Chiropractic Care in Salt Lake City.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Alcohol and Your Health

The effect of alcohol consumption on your health can be either positive or negative, depending on the amount you drink. Like most things, moderation is the key to getting the greatest benefits from alcohol. Those who drink moderately generally live longer and in better health than those who either abstain completely or drink heavily.

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), moderate drinking lowers your risk of heart disease by 40 to 60 percent. And people who normally consume one or two drinks daily have the lowest rate of mortality, according to the Nutrition Committee of the American Heart Association. The mortality rates of those who have suffered a heart attack are 32 percent lower than those of abstainers. The moderate consumption of alcohol leads to a lower incidence of strokes and can reduce your risk of cancer, heart disease, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, osteoporosis and prostate problems.

A European study found greater arterial elasticity in volunteers who had a drink of beer, wine or spirits each day, compared to those who were abstainers. In another study of over 18,000 men from the Physicians Health Study, those who increased the number of drinks they consumed from one to six per week showed a 29 percent lower risk of contracting cardiovascular disease. This was also found to be useful to diabetics, who achieved a 58 percent reduction in heart disease risk by consuming an alcoholic drink every day.

Alcohol has been shown to increase your “good” HDL cholesterol while reducing your “bad” LDL cholesterol, in addition to decreasing clotting and increasing blood flow to your heart. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found the risk of stroke to be cut in half for those who take two alcoholic beverages per day.

A standard drink is considered to be one:

• 12-ounce bottle or can of beer
• 5-ounce glass of wine
• 1 ½ ounce serving of distilled spirits (the equivalent of a shot glass)

“Moderate” drinking is considered to be the consumption of one to three alcoholic drinks per day, depending on your body size. Less than that provides only minimal health benefits and more than that leads to a number of health problems, including liver disease, cirrhosis, cancer, high blood pressure and depression. The over-consumption of alcohol is one of the leading causes of preventable death worldwide, according to a study in The Lancet.

Of course, those who are pregnant, suffering from alcoholism or have adverse reactions to alcohol should abstain, as the benefits do not outweigh the risks. But for most healthy adults, moderate alcohol consumption will help them live longer and healthier lives.

About the Author:
Dr. Matt Ramirez graduated with a degree in Bachelor of Human Biology in 2004 and received his Doctor of Chiropractic Degree in 2006. He specializes in auto injury recovery and rehabilitation and has enhanced and improved thousands of lives as well as treated people of all ages over the years. He is also an expert in health and wellness, massage therapy, chiropractic care, and more...

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Chiropractic for Chronic Back Pain

About a third of the millions of people who make appointments with chiropractors every year seek relief from back pain. Back pain can be acute, meaning it happens suddenly, lasts 6 weeks or less and often clears up on its own; or back pain can be chronic, meaning it comes on gradually and lasts 3 months or more. Chronic back pain can be particularly debilitating and can limit movement and mobility.

Traditional treatments for back pain include medication, physical therapy, surgery or steroid injections. While these treatments may provide symptomatic relief, they do not address the root cause of the pain. They can also be painful and expensive to carry out.

The foundation of chiropractic care for chronic back pain is the understanding that misaligned vertebrae can cause the pain. This misalignment can result in many additional problems, such as headaches, body pains and impaired joint mobility. Chiropractic treatment aims to restore alignment to the vertebrae, returning natural health to the spine and all the body parts the spinal nerves serve.

Chiropractors believe in the body’s natural ability to heal itself. Chiropractic care avoids medications and their possible side effects, and it also avoids surgery. As an example of the differences in treatment, surgeons may remove a herniated disk from the spine in order to relieve pressure on the nerves, while chiropractors use non-invasive spinal manipulation to achieve the same result.

Your chiropractor will treat your chronic pain based on the vertebral misalignments found in your body. A quick, sudden force is applied to the appropriate vertebrae in order to restore the motion of the joint. Another common treatment for chronic pain is known as the flexion-distraction technique. This treatment involves a special table that stretches the spine. It is particularly effective in treating injuries to the discs that have been the cause of long-term back pain.

Chronic back pain will probably also require additional treatments such as massage, exercise, and perhaps physical therapy. A good chiropractor will work with other health professionals as needed to ensure you get the best possible treatment for your pain. He or she will also look at the entire picture of your life, including your diet, health habits, medical history, family history, and other conditions you may have. This approach is holistic and has a better chance of eliminating the root cause of your chronic back pain than traditional treatments that only work on the symptoms. 

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Recognizing Signs of Depression

Just about everyone will experience depression at some point in their life. Depression affects about 10 percent of the US population each year, which amounts to 18.8 million people. The World Health Organization indicates that by 2020 depression will be the second leading cause of death after heart disease. Therefore, it is important to recognize the possible signs of depression as early as possible so effective treatment options can be found.

There are three different classifications for clinical depression. These include: Major depression, which interferes with your ability to perform normal daily activities such as eating, sleeping, working and your ability to enjoy activities; Dysthymia, which symptoms are not as severe, but persist on a chronic low-level for extended periods of time and interfere with normal enjoyment of life; and Bipolar Disorder, in which depression alternates with feelings of elation and increased activity.

There are many symptoms of depression, which may be expressed not only a psychological level, but on a physical and social level as well. Some of the most common symptoms are:

• Losing interest in things you previously enjoyed
• Feeling anxious and irritable
• Feelings of hopelessness
• Overwhelming feelings of sadness
• Suicidal thoughts
• Reduced interest in sex
• Frequent crying
• Difficulty concentrating
• Feelings of inadequacy or self-loathing

• Insomnia or frequent waking (can also sometimes be sleeping excessively)
• Lack of energy
• Decreased appetite and weight (though could sometimes be an increase)
• Constipation
• Aches and pains of unknown origin
• Frequent headaches and/or flu-like symptoms
• Stomach or digestive upset

• Lack of interest in socializing
• Problems with coworkers or boss
• Problems with partner or family members

Feeling sad or depressed is a normal expression in times of increased stress or bereavement and does not require the same treatment. Feelings of stress or sadness after you have lost a job or your relationship has ended is quite normal. However, if these feelings or any of the symptoms listed above persist for two weeks or longer, you may be clinically depressed and should seek help from a mental health professional.

Depression can strike anyone, regardless of their gender, age or socioeconomic status. Women tend to suffer from it more than men (12% and 7%, respectively), and surprisingly, even children are increasingly found to be suffering from depression. A study conducted by Harvard University found the rate of depression among children was increasing by 23% annually, the greatest increase of any age group.

There are a number of effective treatments, and if you suffer from depression you are not alone. A good mental health professional can help you choose the right treatment that can make your depression a thing of the past.

Author Bio:
Dr. Matt Ramirez graduated with a degree in Bachelor of Human Biology in 2004 and received his Doctor of Chiropractic Degree in 2006. He specializes in auto injury recovery and rehabilitation and has enhanced and improved thousands of lives as well as treated people of all ages over the years. He is also an expert in health and wellness, massage therapy, chiropractic care, and more...

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Chiropractic for Hip Pain

Your hips and legs support your entire body. They provide stability, strength, mobility, and flexibility. Misalignment or subluxation of the spine can cause both hip and leg pain by irritating the nerves and creating muscle spasms. As these areas of the body receive nearly continuous usage, they can suffer a great deal of stress. In fact, hip pain may be mistaken for backpain, due to the connections between the pelvis and the spine. A chiropractor is likely to be able to treat your hip pain if it is the result of a misalignment in your spine.
The thighbone (or femur) connects with the hipbone (pelvis) in a ball and socket joint. There is a cushion of cartilage between the bones that helps prevent wear. However, eventually the cartilage itself wears down, which can lead to swelling and pain. Arthritis is the typical result. Pain can also occur due to sprains or fractures, which usually only happen to older people who have osteoporosis. Sprains and fractures result in limited mobility, stiffness and swelling.

Another common cause of hip pain is sitting for long periods of time, as well as poor posture. Sitting and posture problems can lead to a slipped intervertebral disc or leakage of the contents of the disc through small cracks, resulting in pressure on the tissues. This usually leads to pain in the hips and legs. Sciatica can occur when the disc presses against the spinal nerve, and can lead to weakness and numbness in the legs. In severe cases, surgery is required to remove the leaked disc material and relieve the pressure.

Chiropractors can treat some kinds of hip pain without surgery or medications.  They cannot reverse age-related arthritis, but they can help slow the progress of the disease and delay possible surgeries. The first thing your chiropractor will do is determine the reasons for your hip pain, because some conditions, such as fractures or metastatic disease, will need to be referred to another kind of health care professional. Most other kinds of hip pain can be treated through manipulations and spinal adjustments. In addition to adjustments, your chiropractor will recommend appropriate exercises to help rehabilitate the hip joint and stabilize the misaligned components. He or she will also work with you on posture, work habits (such as sitting posture and ergonomic office furniture), and perhaps even diet to resolve the root causes of your hip pain. 

Author Bio:

Dr. Matt Ramirez is a Chiropractor in Salt Lake City

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Do all Chiropractors Provide the Same Type of Care?

No. While all certified Doctors of Chiropractic have undergone the same basic training, how and what they practice is as varied as the number of individual chiropractors. Different chiropractic colleges have different philosophies or approaches, and so naturally their students do as well.

One basic distinction you may find is whether the individual chiropractor or chiropractic office is more "straight," meaning adhering to the basic description and philosophy of Chiropractic developed by its founder D.D. Palmer in  the 1890s. Such an approach tends to focus on spinal adjustments as the primary mode of treatment. Far more common these days is a more "mixed" approach, meaning that the practitioners are open to advances in conventional medical techniques. The latter practitioners are more open to working hand-in-hand with medical doctors or practitioners of other healing techniques, and may expand their practice to include recommendations on exercise, proper diet, and other therapies that promote holistic health.

Another distinction is that many Doctors of Chiropractic have gone on to advanced studies, and have taken courses to become certified in chiropractic specialties. Doctors who have received post-doctoral certification as a CCEP (Certified Chiropractic Extremity Practitioner), for example, specialize in the treatment of displacements of the arms, legs, shoulders, feet, ankles, or the soft tissue surrounding these extremities. A Certified Chiropractic Wellness Practitioner (CCWP) may focus more on the overall health of his or her patients, and on helping them to adopt healthy lifestyle changes. Similar post-doctoral certifications exist for Certified Chiropractic Rehabilitation Doctors (CCSD), Chiropractic Certification in Spinal Trauma (CCST), and Certified Chiropractic Sports Practitioner (CCSP). The latter tend to focus on sports-related injuries and on performance enhancement therapies for athletes. So there is a wide variation in the training that individual chiropractors may have received.

In addition, although many of the basic techniques of spinal manipulation are the same, there are many specialized treatment methodologies that individual chiropractors may offer. For example, the Active Release Treatment (ART) developed and patented by P. Micheal Leahy, or the Cox Flexion Distraction Technique developed by Dr. James M. Cox, or the Sacro-Occipital Technique (SOT) developed by osteopath and chiropractor Major Bertrand DeJarnette. All of these specialized approaches may be of benefit when dealing with specific disorders, and not every chiropractor is trained in all of them. Many clinics either specialize in one or one set of these treatment methodologies, or provide a balance of them by hiring several chiropractors, each of whom specializes in one or more of them.

In general it is best, when looking for a chiropractor to help you either regain your health after an injury or maintain a high a level of good health, to research the individual chiropractor or their clinics by reading their websites or asking for referrals from other health practitioners you trust. Every chiropractor can help you to achieve the more balanced state of natural health you seek, but some may have specialized training or approaches that can help you to achieve it more quickly.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

What is Chiropractic Cold Laser Therapy?

Cold laser therapy (also called Low Level Laser Therapy or LLLT) involves the use of light (a specific wavelength and frequency of coherent light, generated from a low-wattage therapeutic laser) to stimulate the body's cells and cause them to accelerate the healing process. The therapeutic use of lasers (LASER is an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) is not a new idea; they have been used to stimulate healing since 1967. 

The term "cold laser" refers to the specific wavelength of light used, which is usually in the 630 nm to 980 nm ranges of the electromagnetic spectrum. This wavelength allows for the least energy to be absorbed by surface tissue (meaning that the patient does not experience any sensation of heat or warming), while allowing the healing properties of the light to facilitate wound and tissue healing. Low-level laser therapy has been shown to reduce inflammation and accelerate the body's own healing mechanisms. When cells are exposed to laser light, cell functions are stimulated, improving immune system function, increasing collagen synthesis and enhancing tissue regeneration.

In chiropractic practice, cold laser therapy has been show to be effective in treating inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and bursitis. The use of laser therapy also accelerates the healing of connective tissue disorders such as sprains, strains and tendonitis, and has proven effective in reducing or managing chronic or acute pain in the neck, thoracic regions or lower back. Lasers have also been used to effectively treat muscle injuries or bruises, and neurological injuries such as herniated or ruptured discs. Chiropractors also commonly use laser therapy to increase the patient's range of motion, and to build or increase the strength of damaged muscle tissue. In many cases the use of cold laser therapy has cut rehabilitation time following an injury in half.

Obvious benefits of cold laser therapy over drugs or surgery are that it is safe, pain- and drug- free, non-invasive, and has no known side effects. The results are quickly perceived by patients, and laser therapy can be used immediately after an injury. Cold laser therapy has also been studied in over 3000 clinical trials, with proven clinical results. If you are interested in finding out whether it could be of benefit to treat your conditions, consult with your Salt Lake chiropractor

About the Author:
Dr. Matt Ramirez graduated with a degree in Bachelor of Human Biology in 2004 and received his Doctor of Chiropractic Degree in 2006. He specializes in auto injury recovery and rehabilitation and has enhanced and improved thousands of lives as well as treated people of all ages over the years. He is also an expert in health and wellness, massage therapy, chiropractic care, and more...

Monday, 5 November 2012

Chiropractic/Manipulation Therapy for Shoulder Pain

Shoulder pain is a common complaint that patients present with to both primary care physicians and chiropractic practitioners. There are several underlying conditions that may cause discomfort in this area, many of which may be assisted by chiropractic treatment and manipulation. A proper diagnosis is important in order to determine what kind of treatment is indicated in each case.

Commonly observed causes of shoulder pain include:
  • Bursitis or tendinitis of the rotator cuff (inflammation of the shoulder joint, also called impingement syndrome, since the inflammation impinges on the ability of the shoulder to move fully)
  • Frozen shoulder (restriction of joint movement by the shoulder capsule, also known as adhesive capsulitis)
  • Rotator cuff tear (tearing of the shoulder tendons away from the bone). The rotator cuff refers to the group of four muscles and tendons that are responsible for moving the shoulder joint
  • Shoulder dislocation and shoulder instability (repeated dislocation, which may follow the initial occurrence as a result of the weakening and tearing of shoulder ligaments)
  • Synovitis (inflammation of the synovium that protects joint bones from rubbing together)
  • Calcific tendinitis (calcium deposits in the shoulder tendons)
  • Referred pain from the neck or elsewhere in the body
  • Arthritis (wearing away of shoulder cartilage) 
  • Fractures

The precise nature of chiropractic treatment for shoulder pain depends on which of the above diagnoses is made by your practitioner, but will likely include some degree of manipulation to ensure correct spinal alignment (especially in the neck) and improved shoulder mobility and function. Additional measures such as heat and ice packs, stretching and strengthening exercises, anti-inflammatory medication, rest and cortisone injections may also be discussed. Furthermore, your chiropractor will want to look at your overall health, diet and lifestyle to see if any improvements can be made to assist with your healing process.  Chiropractors are specialist health care professionals who deal with shoulder pain on a daily basis.

Signs that you should your chiropractor about your shoulder include the following:

  • Pain when carrying objects
  • Shoulder pain at night and when resting
  • Being unable to raise your arm
  • Pain that persists beyond a few days and is unimproved by rest and painkillers
  • Warmth, redness and/or swelling of the shoulder and/or fever, which may indicate infection
  • Bruising around the shoulder area

About the Author:
Dr. Matt Ramirez graduated with a degree in Bachelor of Human Biology in 2004 and received his Doctor of Chiropractic Degree in 2006. He specializes in auto injury recovery and rehabilitation and has enhanced and improved thousands of lives as well as treated people of all ages over the years. He is also an expert in health and wellness, massage therapy, chiropractic care, and more...

    Friday, 2 November 2012

    Obesity Facts and Figures

    Obesity is fast becoming the number one health problem in the world, contributing to an increased risk of other diseases and putting a strain on national health budgets. Following are some interesting facts and figures related to obesity:

    • About 17% of medical costs in the US are due to obesity and its related diseases, totaling an estimated $168 billion per year.

    • Obesity adds about $2,800 to a person’s medical bills annually.

    • An estimated 300,000 premature deaths in the US each year are caused by obesity.

    • One third of US adults are obese, indicating a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher.

    • If an 18-year-old remains obese throughout their adulthood, it will cost them $550,000.

    • 80% of cases of Type 2 diabetes are related to obesity. The rate of diabetes has doubled in eight states since 1995.

    • 70% of heart disease is obesity-related.

    • Low-income women are more likely to become obese than high-income women. Over 33% of people earning less than $15,000 annually are obese, as opposed to a 24.6% rate of obesity in those earning $50,000 or more.

    • The highest rates of obesity are found among non-Hispanic African Americans (44.1%), followed by Mexican-Americans (39.3%), Hispanics (37.9%) and non-Hispanic whites (32.6%). Asians have the lowest rate of obesity at 16.7%.

    • In the last 30 years childhood obesity has tripled, from 6.5% in children aged 6 to 11 years to 19.6% today. The obesity rate in teenagers aged 12 to 19 years has increased from 5% to 18.1%.

    • Of children who are overweight at age 10-15, 80% will be obese as adults.

    • As a percentage of the population, the US has the highest number of obese people (33.9%), followed by Mexico (24%), the UK (23%), Slovakia (22.4) and Greece (22%).

    • College graduates have an obesity rate of 20.8%, which is lower than the 29.5% rate of those who have only graduated high school.

    • Obesity begins to decline after age 60. The population of those over age 69 has an obesity rate of 20.5%.

    • The rate of obesity is increasing in the US. In 2007 only one state had an overall obesity rate of over 30%. In 2011, 12 states had a greater than 30% obesity rate.

    • 40% of obese Americans aged 50 to 84 have osteoarthritis of the knee, caused by the wear and tear to the joints from excess weight stress. One extra pound of weight is equivalent to four pounds of stress on the knee.

    • Author Bio:
      Dr. Matt Ramirez graduated with a degree in Bachelor of Human Biology in 2004 and received his Doctor of Chiropractic Degree in 2006. He specializes in auto injury recovery and rehabilitation and has enhanced and improved thousands of lives as well as treated people of all ages over the years. He is also an expert in health and wellness, massage therapy, chiropractic care, and more...