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Monday, 18 March 2013

How Chiropractic Treatment Can Help With Your Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?




What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS), named from the carpal bones in the wrist that form a tunnel around the nerve leading to the hand, is an injury usually caused by repetitive and forceful movements that result in swelling around the tendons and pinching of the median nerve, causing painful tingling, lack of muscle strength and control in the hand, and pain shooting from the hand up to the shoulder. CTS is a risk to most workers, such as those who work on the computer and also store and assembly line workers, who receive micro-traumas to their hands and wrists on a daily basis due to awkward positioning, forceful and repetitive movements, and stressful activity. 

Chiropractic Treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

The usual treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can extend to heavy medication and surgery, however there are alternative methods of treatment that can alleviate the symptoms and effects arising from CTS. Chiropractic treatment for CTS has been studied against conventional non-surgical medical treatment by Davis et al. [1] and was found to be effective. This offers an alternative to sufferers who are intolerant to ibuprofen, or those who simply wish to avoid treating with medication. 

The median nerve in the wrist, which when trapped causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, connects to the spinal cord through the openings in the bones in the areas around the lower neck. If these bones in the spinal cord lose their ordinary position or motion, this can cause problems in the wrists or fingers. Through chiropractic treatment, these bones can be reset to the correct position and can help to treat CTS.

Chiropractic Treatment Can Be the Leading Method for Non-Surgical Treatment

If Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is detected early, then surgery can be avoided, and chiropractic treatment is the leading method of non-surgical treatment. Chiropractic treatment usually involves various methods [3], with a combination of rest, ice, ultrasound, and electrical stimulation, including:

·         By chiropractic manipulation therapy of the elbow and upper spine, where the joint’s soft tissue undergoes manipulation [4];
·         Nutritional supplements in the diet such as B6, a vitamin that has had long-term promotion in its treatment of CTS;
·         Electro-acupuncture treatment; bracing, a technique that has had extensive success, by limiting extension and flexion in the hand, and with compression on the median nerve may encourage recovery and ease the swelling in the tendons;
·         Exercises for the wrist and hand designed to encourage recovery;
·         Reassessing the ergonomics of the work place to minimize stress the best way as possible.

Recent studies, such as that by J. Burke et al (2007)[5], concluded that using manual therapy intervention such as soft tissue mobilization (STM) has been found to help improve the signs and symptoms of CTS, with improvements to nerve conduction latencies, wrist strength and motion.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can become a serious health problem, and if left too long may require surgery. If it’s caught early, then chiropractic treatment is an effective, drug-free method to ease the symptoms and pains caused by CTS, and provide long-term relief from CTS.  

Saturday, 16 March 2013

How to Treat Whiplash with Chiropractic Care




The answer to this question is not a simple one as many people tend to associate any type of neck pain with having whiplash.  The first thing is to find out is whether or not you have whiplash.

Is it Whiplash or a Pain in the Neck?

Whiplash is defined as an injury to the neck, by moving the head forward and then backward in a rapid fashion that places strain on the neck muscles and ligaments.  Whiplash is most common when the victim has been rear-ended, or hit from behind by another vehicle but can result from physical abuse (such as shaken baby syndrome) or contact sports. The symptoms of whiplash vary and are not limited to –
·         Restricted joint movement in spine or limbs
·         Displacement of spinal discs, also known as a herniation, which causes sharp pain down one or both arms; It also can create small tears in spinal tissue and damage the nervous system, which is followed by numbness, tingling and muscle weakness
·         Chronic pain in the neck area
·         Cognitive dysfunction that may include difficulty concentrating

When to See a Physician

If you have unrelated neck pain that persists for a period of time or you experience the following:
·         A shooting pain through one or both arms
·         Tingling or numb feeling in one or both arms or hands
·         Inability to touch chin to your chest
You may want to see a chiropractor or other medical professional as they can diagnose an underlying problem.  If you are not having any of the symptoms or find it goes away after changing positions, it may just be the result of poor posture.

The Severity of Whiplash

For some, neck pain resulting from an accident can be treated with ice and a light brace.  Other times, it may disappear on its own or a person may find themselves feeling:
·         Pain in their jaw
·         Significant damage to ligaments, discs, nerves or joints
·         Difficulty swallowing
·         Nausea
·         Irritability or unable to concentrate
If any of these symptoms persist, they should see a chiropractor so that x-ray as well as other tests may be performed to determine if there is an underlying problem.

Using Chiropractic Care To Address Pain

The primary objective of Chiropractic Care is to use gentle manipulations that treat the spine and discs so that they are aligned properly.  These manipulations are also designed to reduce muscle spasms and rebuild muscle strength with the aid of physical therapy.

The chiropractor will first focus on reducing inflammation and check the neck, mid and low back. From there, the range of motion, disc injuries and muscle spasms will be examined. Other factors that will be noted are walking, posture and spinal alignment.  A comprehensive exam provides an understanding of the individuals’ body mechanics. X-rays and /or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be taken along with the patient medical history to determine whether they can be treated.

Some cases of whiplash may only require ice and heat therapy to reduce inflammation and relax the muscles, respectively.  Non-medicinal treatment may include acupuncture, massage or Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS).

If you or someone you know may have experienced any or all of symptom described, then you may want to share this information with them or give our office a call to make an appointment.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Can Murray Utah Chiropractors Help With Your Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?



What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS), named from the carpal bones in the wrist that form a tunnel around the nerve leading to the hand, is an injury usually caused by repetitive and forceful movements that result in swelling around the tendons and pinching of the median nerve, causing painful tingling, lack of muscle strength and control in the hand, and pain shooting from the hand up to the shoulder. CTS is a risk to most workers, such as those who work on the computer and also store and assembly line workers, who receive micro-traumas to their hands and wrists on a daily basis due to awkward positioning, forceful and repetitive movements, and stressful activity. [1,2]

Murray Utah Chiropractors Thru Chiropractic Treatment can Can Alleviate Symptoms

The usual treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can extend to heavy medication and surgery; however, there are alternative methods of treatment that can alleviate the symptoms and effects arising from CTS. Chiropractic treatment for CTS has been studied against conventional non-surgical medical treatment by Davis et al. [1] and was found to be effective. This offers an alternative to sufferers who are intolerant to ibuprofen, or those who simply wish to avoid treating with medication. 

The median nerve in the wrist, which when trapped causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, connects to the spinal cord through the openings in the bones in the areas around the lower neck. If these bones in the spinal cord lose their ordinary position or motion, this can cause problems in the wrists or fingers. Through chiropractic treatment, these bones can be reset to the correct position and can help to treat CTS.

Methods of Chiropractic Treatment Used by Murray Utah Chiropractors

If Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is detected early, then surgery can be avoided, and chiropractic treatment is the leading method of non-surgical treatment. Chiropractic treatment usually involves various methods [3], with a combination of rest, ice, ultrasound, and electrical stimulation, including:

·         By chiropractic manipulation therapy of the elbow and upper spine, where the joint’s soft tissue undergoes manipulation [4];
·         Nutritional supplements in the diet such as B6, a vitamin that has had long-term promotion in its treatment of CTS;
·         Electro-acupuncture treatment; bracing, a technique that has had extensive success, by limiting extension and flexion in the hand, and with compression on the median nerve may encourage recovery and ease the swelling in the tendons;
·         Exercises for the wrist and hand designed to encourage recovery;
·         Reassessing the ergonomics of the work place to minimize stress the best way as possible.

Recent studies, such as that by J. Burke et al (2007)[5], concluded that using manual therapy intervention such as soft tissue mobilization (STM) has been found to help improve the signs and symptoms of CTS, with improvements to nerve conduction latencies, wrist strength and motion.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can become a serious health problem, and if left too long may require surgery. If it’s caught early, then chiropractic treatment is an effective, drug-free method to ease the symptoms and pains caused by CTS, and provide long-term relief from CTS. 


References
[1] P.T. Davis et al., J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1998 (Jun);21 (5): 317-326 (1998)
[2] R.Valente and H. Gibson, J Manipulative Physiol Ther 1994;17(4):246–9 (1994)
[3] R. Perez de Leon & S. Auyong, J Chiropr Med. 2002 Spring; 1(2): 75–78. (2002)
[4] P.T. Davis and J.R. Hulbert, J Manipulative Physiol Ther 1998;21(5):356–62 (1998)
[5] J. Burke et al., J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2007 Jan;30(1):50-61. (2007)

Thursday, 14 March 2013

How to Avoid Injuring Your Back During Fall Yard Work




With summer at an end, the leaves are turning brown and falling, cluttering up your yard and garden – so it’s only natural you’ll want to get the rake out. However, as with all physical tasks about the house and garden, it is very important you take the necessary precautions against accident and injury.

Fall yard work, leaf raking and other outdoor maintenance activities carry numerous risks such as: upper and lower back strain, neck strain and shoulder pain. Just like with sports, if your body isn’t prepared for physical activity this can increase your chances of injury. You can avoid straining yourself by taking simple precautions, such as: doing warm ups, stretches and maintaining good posture.

Athletes are able to reduce the risk of strain and injury by doing warm ups. The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) recommends 10-15 minutes of stretching exercises: from trunk rotations, side-bends and knee-to-chest pulls. When these are also combined with a short walk, which helps to stimulate circulation, and with additional stretches at the end, this prepares the body for manual labor associated with raking and yard work.

While raking your garden or yard, good posture can also prevent back problems – make sure you keep your back straight and your head up. Use common sense while working: lift with your legs and bend with your knees, taking care you don’t strain your back while picking up bundles of leaves and grass. If you’re likely to carry heavy items, hold them close to your body to help prevent back strain. In order to take the pressure off your back, rake using the “scissors” stance: put your right foot forward and the left one back, then reverse after a few minutes. When using a lawn mower, try to use your body weight to move it as opposed to your arms and back.

It is vitally important to take breaks. Pace yourself, and whenever your body feels tired take a respite – this is particularly important if the weather is hot, so drink lots of water and wear sun-protection such as a hat, sun block and protective glasses. Investing in extra protective gear, such as gloves to prevent blisters, a mask if you’re prone to allergies and protective eyewear, can make life easier while taking on outdoor chores. Ergonomic tools with extra padding, larger or curved handles are less strenuous to use over a long-time period. Changing tasks regularly helps to prevent repetitive strain injury of certain muscle groups – change positions, or simply move onto another task for a short period of time before returning to the previous one. Make plans for your gardening tasks; make sure they’re realistic and unlikely to cause strain or exhaust you too much.

If you’re unaccustomed to physical labor, chances are you will feel sore and stiff the next day – in this case, use ice to soothe the discomfort, but if there is no improvement in your aches and pains, then see a Murray Utah Chiropractor.




Saturday, 9 March 2013

The Glycemic Index, Explained



The Difference Between High and Low Glycemic Food

Do you know the difference between high glycemic foods and low glycemic foods? If you’ve ever felt light-headed or shaky (and very hungry) a few hours after eating certain foods, then you’ve experienced the “roller-coaster ride” of high glycemic foods.   You’ve probably noticed that all foods don’t have this effect on you, and those that don’t are most likely low glycemic foods.

The Glycemic Index or GI is a scale that ranks high-carbohydrate foods according to how much they raise your blood glucose levels after eating. The GI ranges from 0 to 100. Foods with a high GI are digested quickly and cause a significant spike in our blood sugar levels. This increase in blood sugar causes a corresponding increase in insulin to bring those sugar levels back down. Low glycemic foods have less of an impact on your body because they are digested and absorbed more slowly, so you need less insulin to control your blood sugar levels. When sugar and insulin aren’t spiking, you won’t get that light-headed or weak feeling. You just feel normal.

Advantages of Low Glycemic Diet

There are many more advantages to choosing a low glycemic diet. Low glycemic foods are beneficial to our health because controlling blood sugar and insulin levels is one of the keys to reducing our risk of heart disease and diabetes. Low GI diets are also useful for controlling our appetite and aiding in weight loss.

When our blood sugar levels are maintained relatively stable, our bodies perform better. A study from the Harvard School of Public Health demonstrated that high GI diets are strongly linked to an increase in the risk of Type II diabetes and heart disease. The World Health Organization recommends that people in developed countries eat as many low-GI foods as possible, to prevent heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.

A hundred years ago, our foods simply took longer to digest. They came straight from the farm to our table, in its natural state, containing the original fiber and other natural components they were grown with. Modern food processing practices have stripped our food of many of its natural properties, making it easy to package and store, and extremely quick to digest. And the faster we digest the food, the quicker we get hungry again.

This is the “roller coaster” that happens when we consume too many high GI foods. High glycemic index foods may give you a burst of energy, but this is followed by a “crash” as the insulin takes the blood sugar back down and you feel hungry again. To make things worse, these insulin spikes turn all that excess blood sugar into fat, which is usually stored right around the abdomen.

On the other hand, when we consume low glycemic foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains, the rise in blood sugar is slower and more sustained over time. That means you feel fuller longer and are less tempted to eat again so soon. Our energy levels are maintained throughout the day, which not only provides health benefits but also makes us feel better, because we’re not on that up and down cycle from morning to night.

What to Eat More and Less to Increase Consumption of Low Glycemic Food?

If you would like to increase your consumption of low glycemic foods, here are some suggestions.
Eat less of the following:

•     Avoid sugary snacks, especially those made with refined sugar. Not only are they high GI foods, they are mostly empty calories.
•     Many salad dressings are very high GI foods.
•     While potatoes are nutritious, especially with their skins intact, they are also very high GI foods.
Eat more of the following:
•     Fruits and vegetables in their natural state, preferably organic. Many commercially grown fruits and vegetables have a higher sugar content than organic. Commercially grown foods also have added chemicals and pesticides.
•     Eat foods with lots of fiber, which tends to lower the glycemic index of everything you eat.
•     Choose breakfast cereals with whole grain barley, bran, and oats.

Interestingly, the cooking method can affect the GI rating of a food. For example, boiled potatoes are rated an 81 on the glycemic index, while baked potatoes rate as 119 and mashed potatoes 104.

However, rather than obsess about individual GI food ratings, remember that the most important goal is to have a low glycemic diet overall. Eating the occasional high GI food is OK, especially if you also eat a low glycemic food along with it.  Try to focus on eating a healthy, balanced diet including a wide variety of whole, natural, and fresh foods. By doing so, you won’t even have to consult the GI scale, because you’ll be eating a relatively low glycemic diet and gaining all the benefits described here.


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, 8 March 2013

What is the Atlas Orthogonal (AO) Chiropractic Technique?




Atlas Orthogonal Chiropractic Technique Explained

The Atlas Orthogonal chiropractic technique, often abbreviated AO, is a specialty within the field of chiropractic that focuses of the upper cervical region. Even more specifically, practitioners of the Atlas Orthogonal technique concentrate on the Atlas vertebrae – the very first bone in the neck. Their goal is to make the Atlas bone orthogonal (or exactly perpendicular) to the skull. This is where the approach gets its name.

The premise behind AO is that the first bone – the atlas – is central to the alignment of the remainder of the column. Imagine a marching band where the first member is out of position. All the other band members position themselves relative to the first member. When the first member is out of place, the entire band is out of formation. This is a crude analogy to explain the critical role played by the atlas in directing the alignment of the other vertebrae.

And, it’s not hard to imagine how the atlas may be out of alignment. The rather light atlas (it weighs about 2 ounces) supports the weight of the human head (which weighs about 9 to 17 pounds). Imagine the head as a golf ball and the atlas as the top of a golf tee. The small tee is best able to support the weight of the golf ball on top when it is straight up and down. The atlas can become misaligned as a result of chronic poor standing or sitting posture, an awkward sleeping position or improper lifting. These are all examples of gradual processes. The atlas can also be jarred out of alignment by an auto accident, bad fall, or a blow to the head.

When the atlas is out-of-alignment (non-orthogonal), the body will compensate in other ways to keep the heavy head centered over your feet. The other spinal vertebrae and the muscles in your neck, torso and lower back will alter their normal position and function in response (just like the marching band reacting to the position of the first member). Now you’ve created a situation where there may be excessive pressure on certain nerves, muscle spasms and tissue inflammation which can cause pain and dysfunction in other areas of the body.

Hopefully you are starting to see why the Atlas Orthogonalist focuses so intently on the atlas. A problem with the atlas alignment can manifest in many other distant places and cause a multitude of problems.

So how does the AO chiropractor restore the proper position of the atlas? By carefully evaluating each patients’ precise atlas position, and then, programming an instrument to deliver a precise percussive wave to reposition the atlas. First, an AO-trained chiropractor will take very detailed x-rays that can map the exact position of your atlas. The tilt and rotation of your atlas are as unique to you as your own fingerprints. Second, an instrument programmed with your exact settings will deliver a painless vibration to the affected area. There is no twisting or cracking. Since the adjustment is custom-programmed for you it can be simultaneously very gentle and very effective. Some patients that have had traditional chiropractic will often walk away from their first AO treatment thinking that nothing has be accomplished because an AO adjustment is barely felt by the patient.

This article is just a brief introduction to the Atlas Orthogonal Chiropractic technique. When you visit our office, you’ll be able to get answers to all your questions. And after an exam, we’ll be able to talk with you in detail about whether you can benefit from atlas adjustment the same way that tens of thousands of your peers have.
  

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Foot Orthotics and How Chiropractors Can Help


Good spinal health is built from the ground up, starting with the feet.  For years medical researchers and healthcare providers have recognized that problems there can cause posture changes that eventually trigger a variety of musculoskeletal issues in other parts of the body (particularly the ankle, knee, hip and back).  Studies have also shown that even slight foot problems can negatively affect athletes’ performance and predispose them to a broad range of sports-related injuries.  

What Are Orthotics and How Can They Help?

Orthotics are shoe inserts that are specially designed and manufactured to correct an abnormal or irregular walking pattern by promoting proper alignment and balance.  They have improved the quality of life for millions of people, and it’s become very common for physicians to recommend them to address many different patient needs:
  • Reducing pain and/or fatigue
  • Providing targeted foot support
  • Relieving pressure or stress on an injured or sensitive area
  • Preventing or limiting deformity
  • Improving foot positioning and function
  • Restoring balance
  • Reinforcing or supplementing other therapies (particularly chiropractic adjustments)

Foot orthotics are medical devices that can significantly change the way a person stands, walks and runs (and therefore the way his or her body absorbs and distributes related forces).  For this reason, it’s important that the person wearing them clearly understand their benefits, risks and limitations.  It’s also important that the person use them correctly.   

What Every Patient Should Know About Orthotics

  1. There is no “one-size-fits-all” answer when it comes to orthotics.  What works for another family member or neighbor will probably not work for you!  Getting the right prescription for your particular needs is all about working effectively with your healthcare provider to define your own goals and develop a complete understanding of your foot’s unique structure and function.  For instance, orthotics can be very sport-specific—the performance requirements of a hiker will not be the same as those of a skier or a football player.   
     
  2. Not all orthotics are created equal, and the differences matter.  The prefabricated orthotics that can be purchased at shoe stores, pharmacies and sporting goods stores are not the same as the custom orthotics prescribed by a healthcare provider.  Do not confuse them!  Mass-produced products are tailored for the “typical” foot and are unlikely to address problems specific to any one individual’s foot.  In some situations, such products can actually make a medical condition worse, cause new problems or increase the risk of injury.  So while they’re usually less expensive than custom orthotics, they may not actually solve your particular problem.
         
  3. Orthotics don’t actually correct foot or ankle problems.  They are intended to realign the structures of the foot to improve function, reduce pain and decrease the risk of injury.
     
  4. Needs can change over time and your orthotics should too.  The structure and function of the foot can change as people age.  So too can people’s lifestyle and priorities.  Your healthcare provider can work with you to ensure that your prescription is still the right one for you.
     
  5. Long-term use of orthotics may pose its own risks.  Any time that you provide outside help to the structures normally responsible for supporting and moving parts of your body (casts or braces are good examples), you are essentially asking them to do less.  And if you provide that help over a sufficiently extended period, you run the risk that your bones, muscles and connective tissues may become weaker as a result.  The unintended consequence is that you may actually become less capable and more reliant on your devices to do the work your body used to do.  Your healthcare provider will talk with you about how to use your orthotics correctly and manage any long-term risk that he or she believes may exist.     

  6. Prescribing orthotics is arguably as much an art as a science.  Don’t underestimate the role of professional judgment in prescribing orthotics.  Experts acknowledge that there are few widely-accepted standards and that we can’t always predict successfully how an individual will respond to a particular prescription.  In fact, recent research has demonstrated that individuals with the same condition can respond very differently to identical orthotic therapy.  There’s even evidence that the same patient can respond to a prescription inconsistently or can respond just as favorably to two entirely different (even contrary) prescriptions.  This means that some trial and error may be necessary to get the results both you and your healthcare provider are looking for and that good communication is critical.  Without accurate and timely feedback from you about how well your orthotics are doing their job, it’s impossible for your healthcare provider to make the adjustments that will eventually lead to success.

How Your Chiropractor Can Help

There’s a close relationship between the way your feet work and the way the rest of your musculoskeletal system supports your body.  So even if your feet themselves don’t actually hurt, they could be contributing to other health problems that you’re experiencing.  After your Salt Lake chiropractor has examined you carefully and talked with you about your situation, he or she can help you decide whether foot orthotics should be part of your broader treatment plan.  Call our office today to learn more.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Great Source for Reliable Information on Nutritional Supplements




Have you ever found yourself tuning out information about nutritional supplements because it all seems confusing and contradictory? If yes, you are not alone. One headline says 'get more X' the next headline says 'be careful about too much X' and another says 'X supplementation not necessary at all'. Headlines are meant to sell newspaper and magazines. They report on what's new not necessarily what is backed by the most evidence. And, the stories are often selected based on findings that are contrarian or against conventional wisdom. After all, who is going to buy a magazine with the headline, "No change in guidelines – eating more plant-based foods is still good for you."

Consumers really need a reliable source of evidence-based recommendations for nutritional supplements. Since these are not regulated by the FDA, there isn't a government run website that you can count on to be unbiased. There are several private companies, non-profits and even individuals that claim to offer comprehensive unbiased information on nutritional supplements, but who has the time to sift through all of these to figure out whose information is the best?

At the risk of offending a number of other great sources, this article is a plug for the Linus Pauling Micronutrient Information Center at Oregon State University at http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter. Chances are this is a source you've never heard of or looked at, but you should.

The website describes the Linus Pauling Institute as a “source for scientifically accurate information regarding the roles of vitamins, minerals, other nutrients, dietary phytochemicals and some foods in preventing disease and promoting health”. As you can see from the description, their mission extends beyond nutritional supplements to also include whole foods. This is critically important because sometimes nutrients are more potent together (as in a food) than they are separately.

When you visit the website, you'll have a chance to subscribe to the newsletter near the top of the page. Do it. This isn't another email newsletter but rather a printed, bound newsletter sent to your house containing all of the Institute's latest research.

The folks at OSU are doing excellent work to bring us all trustworthy, evidence based recommendations on the tens of thousands of nutrients in our foods. Take some time to look at their website, bookmark it and share it with others. If there are concepts or terms you don't understand, feel free to ask us during your next appointment or send us an email. 


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, nutritional support and more...

Friday, 1 March 2013

Does Chiropractic Help Back Pain Associated with Pregnancy?




If you are pregnant and suffering from low back pain, a neighbor or a friend has probably suggested you visit a Salt Lake Chiropractor because a chiropractor was able to help them during their pregnancy. The discussion probably left you curious, is that good advice or just a single success story? Additionally, you may be wondering whether chiropractic is safe during pregnancy and how much low back pain improvement the average pregnant woman can expect to get.

After looking at several scientific publications on these exact topics, the appropriate conclusion seems to be that “chiropractic evaluation and treatment during pregnancy may be considered a safe and effective means of treating common musculoskeletal symptoms that affect pregnant patients. The scarcity of published literature warrants further research.” (Borggren, 2007)

So basically the answers are:
·         Yes, chiropractic is safe during pregnancy.
·         Yes, chiropractic helps common musculoskelatal problems during pregnancy  (including back pain).
·         Your friends experience isn’t just one woman’s story. Many women are finding relief and the results are being sporadically published in medical journals too.
·         More research under more controlled conditions is needed for the purposes of educating primary care physicians and obstetricians about chiropractic care during pregnancy.

Here are a few additional details about the prevalence of low back pain during pregnancy and the number of women being referred for treatment.
·         57 – 69% of women complain of low back pain during pregnancy
·         Only about 32% of women report these symptoms to their primary doctor
·         Only about 25% of primary doctors recommend seeking treatment for the pain.

Clearly this is a big problem with 2 in 3 having pregnancy-related back pain. Also a big problem is that they are generally not talking to their obstetricians and primary care physicians about it and that these professionals are not referring them to effective treatment options.

Chiropractic treatments can be quite effective for pregnancy-related back pain with just a few visits for the majority of women seeking help. In a small study of 17 women:
·         Sixteen of 17 (94%) saw clinically important improvements in low back pain with chiropractic care.
·         The average pain rating went down from 5.9 to 1.5 (on a scale of 0 to 10).
·         It took an average of 1.8 visits and 4.5 days to get clinically important pain relief.

We hope this article gave you hope that many pregnant women do get significant, rapid relief from low back pain. If you are currently pregnant with low back pain, you probably have many questions not answered by this article. Perhaps you’ve never had chiropractic care before or you want to know how we adjust our techniques to work with pregnant patients. The best way to get answers to your questions is with an initial consultation. The only way for us to know whether you are a good candidate is for you to come see us, so call for an initial appointment today.

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Shortening the Road to Recovery After an Auto Accident Injury: Your Chiropractor Can Help




It’s a great success story that most of us probably haven’t heard very much about.  America’s roads have become far safer across the past 20 years.  By just about any measure, travelers are much less likely to experience an auto accident injury than they were in the late 1980s and early 1990s. 

Fast Facts:  Motor Vehicle Accidentsby the Numbers

Vehicle Miles Driven.  Americans traveled 2,172 billion miles in 1991 and 2,979 billion miles in 2009.  That’s a 37% increase.

Motor Vehicle Accidents.  During the same 1991-2009 period, the number of accidents on U.S. roads actually decreased by 10%, dropping from 6,117,000 to 5,505,000.  So even though we’re traveling more miles, we’re having fewer accidents.

Occupant Fatalities.  The number of motor vehicle occupants killed in accidents during 1991 was 31,934. That number declined by 23% to 24,474 in 2009.  The fatality rate per 1,000 accidents dropped from 5.2 to 4.4 persons.  That means that when we do have an accident, it’s become less likely that someone traveling in the vehicle will be killed.    

Occupant Injuries.  The statistics show an even more positive trend with respect to injuries.  The number of occupants injured in accidents fell 29% from 2,850,000 in 1991 to 2,011,000 in 2009.  The injury rate per 1,000 accidents declined from 465.9 persons to 365.3.  Simply put, our motor vehicle accidents seem to be injuring fewer drivers and passengers when they do occur.
It’s likely that this general trend toward safer roads is being driven by a combination of factors.  It could be the way we’re driving that’s producing fewer, less serious crashes.  It could be the way our roads are designed, maintained or policed.  It could also be the active and passive safety features now included in many of our vehicles.  But whatever the reasons, we can all agree that this is good (if under-reported) news for our nation’s travelers.  

 

But What if I’m One of the Two Million Unlucky Ones this Year?


As encouraging as this trend is, it obviously means little to you if you or someone you care about is actually injured in a car accident.  Even in cases where drivers and passengers walk away from a wreck believing they’re “uninjured”, accidents can have profound, long-lasting health consequences for those involved.  It’s not uncommon for some types of symptoms to appear only gradually days or weeks after the event itself, delaying effective diagnosis and treatment.  Symptoms may also come and go intermittently, making it more difficult to associate them with the accident.        
Fortunately, there are things you can do to safeguard your health and improve your chances of a more rapid, complete recovery following an auto accident.  Clinical studies have demonstrated that chiropractic care can shorten recovery time and decrease the amount of permanent physical damage sustained in a collision.

Take Care of First Things First. 

Always address any life-threatening injuries first.  If you experience (or have reason to suspect) significant bleeding or bruising, broken bones, internal pain, difficulty breathing, loss of consciousness, or shock, you should seek immediate help from healthcare professionals who specialize in treating trauma injuries.

Recognize Signs that You May Be at Increased Risk of Developing Chronic Problems. 

Be sure to tell your doctor if any of the following warning signs apply:
  • A prior history of back, neck or shoulder problems (including previous injury).
  • Distinct numbness, tingling or pain immediately following an accident.
  • Increased muscle tension or reduced range of motion after the crash.
  • You were involved in a rear-end collision.
  • Your head was turned at the moment of impact.
  • You have symptoms that don’t resolve or that become generalized.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Are You Sitting Properly?





If you are an office worker you probably spend at least six or seven hours a day sitting on the job. Add more time sitting in the car, at dinner and lounging with some late night TV and the total hours of sitting rockets up to somewhere around ten hours.

When is the last time you thought about how you sit?

Probably never or a long, long time ago!

Promise yourself that you’ll take a critical look at how you sit after you read this article. If you are sitting and reading this online, go ahead and freeze right now and really think about how you are sitting. Compare your sitting position to this checklist:  

Proper Sitting Posture Checklist  

Sit with your legs uncrossed with ankles in front of the knees.
Place both feet firmly on the floor.
Get yourself a footrest if your feet don’t reach.
Your knees should be lower than your hips and the back of your knees should not touch the seat.
If your chair has an adjustable backrest, move it to support the arch in your low back. If you don’t have a backrest, ask your employer about getting one or invest in it yourself.
Get up and move around every hour. Take a break from sitting even if you cannot stop working. Make a phone call standing up or close your office door and lie down for a few minutes on your stomach. At the very least, shift your sitting position occasionally.  

Why Sitting Posture is Important  

Good posture is important for long term health and disease prevention just like daily tooth brushing. And, similar to tooth brushing, habits are formed early and can be hard to break later in life.

Good sitting posture reduces the stress and strain on ligaments. Ligaments are responsible for holding the joints together, so ligament stresses can make you prone to joint injuries. Proper posture also reduces muscle fatigue. When muscles are able to work efficiently they use less energy and don’t get tired as easily. Abnormal motions or positions that are repeated over and over again on a daily basis are contributors to degenerative arthritis and joint pain.

Most adults would readily agree that posture is important. Most of that group would also admit that they don’t actively think about posture…it just happens. For the next 30 days, make an effort to really think about your posture and pause a couple times per day to compare your current position to the checklist provided above. It takes about 30 days of focus to break an old habit or develop a new one, so if you concentrate on your sitting posture for 30 days, you’ll be well on your way to a lifetime of better musculoskeletal health.

As always, if you need a recommendation for a good chair or back rest, ask any member of our team.


Author Bio:

Dr. Matt Ramirez 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... If you are searching for Murray, Utah Chiropractor, Dr. Matt is the best.

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Monday, 25 February 2013

Have High Blood Pressure? Check Your Mercury Levels




Mercury toxicity should be evaluated in any patient with hypertension, coronary heart disease, cerebral vascular disease, cerebrovascular accident, or other vascular disease.” This was the conclusion of an August 2011 study that appeared in the Journal of Clinical Hypertension. 

For those of you lucky enough to not know the term, hypertension is the medical name for high-blood pressure. About one out of every three adults in the United States has high blood pressure (National Center for Health Statistics, 2008) so the odds are that at least one of your parents or grandparents is affected. Or, perhaps it you that has high blood pressure? Either way, this is a study you’ll want to know about since it clearly connects how mercury toxicity (which can be tested for and reduced) can manifest itself as hypertension and other vascular diseases.

Most research studies you hear about on the evening news or popular science programs are full of data and statistics. These types of studies are typically trying to correlate two facts – such as people with higher mercury exposure have greater incidence of heart disease – and may go future to try to establish causation. However, statistical methods don’t ever really settle the causation question. For that we need biochemistry.

Biochemistry is all about understanding the different pathways that nutrients (and toxins) travel in our bodies. This particular study looked at the many internal processes that mercury interferes with in order to establish a biochemical basis for the resulting symptoms  - hypertension and coronary heart disease. Here’s what they found.

Mercury:
  1. Inactivates many reactions that depend on sulfer-containing enzymes
  2. Inactivates many sulfer-containing antioxidants
  3. Substitutes itself for zinc, copper and other trace minerals in certain reactions
As a result:
  1. Mitochondria – the energy powerhouses of the cell – malfunction
  2. The body’s oxidative defenses are diminished increasing oxidative stress and inflammation
Which manifests in the body as:
  1. Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  2. Coronary heart disease
  3. Myocardial infarction (heart attack)
  4. Cardiac arrhythmias
  5. Atherosclerosis
  6. Renal dysfunction, and
  7. Proteinuria
Even if you didn’t follow any of the preceding couple paragraphs, you can appreciate the need to ‘connect-the-dots’ between cellular-level processes and downstream diseases. This study connected the dots between high levels of mercury and the many downstream disease states listed. A brilliant piece of work!

So, what should you do if you have hypertension or other types of coronary heart disease? The study authors advise testing for acute or chronic mercury toxicity. Modern mercury toxicity tests are done using urine, blood, hair and toenail samples so they are minimally invasive and results come back fairly quickly.


About the Author:

Dr. Matt Ramirez is a trusted Chiropractic in 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...

Friday, 22 February 2013

Fun With Google Body Browser




If you remember the launch of Google Earth and your reaction the first time you saw satellite imagery that allowed you to zoom down and look at your own car parked in your driveway, you’ll be awestruck again by the Google Body Browser.

As the name implies this is a tour inside the human body. Peel back the layers, zoom, rotate and explore your innards in a brand new way. This project is still in the ‘lab stage’ over at Google, but is already an incredible tool. If you are a visual learner, you might find a new love for anatomy.

Google Body Browser allows you to isolate certain organ systems, individual organs and bones to get a better look at them. Once you have the view you want you can zoom and rotate it in three dimensions. All the supporting structures remain visible to keep the context.

Still images don’t do the tool justice. You really need to use the online interactive version. Since this tool is from Google, it seems to work best in Google’s own Chrome browser. You can find it here - http://bodybrowser.googlelabs.com/body.html# 

A couple cool features to point out... You can turn on and off labels to all the different body parts as you explore. If you ever need to study for Jeopardy and learn the name of the muscle that controls your little finger—it’s in there!
Of course since it’s a Google product, you can search too. If you can’t quite remember where the sciatic nerve is you can type it into the search box and it will be highlighted for you. If there are muscles, bones or joints we discuss at an appointment and you want to share the explanation with your spouse or friends later, just search for it by name.

You can also send a link to a specific view that you have created. If you need to share an idea or diagram with another person or save it for future reference, you can create a link that will go right back to that view. Here is an example that should take you directly to a view of the C1 vertebra – also known as the atlas. http://goo.gl/8q0W2

Interacting with this tool makes me wish something like this had been available for anatomy classes. If you have kids or friends in any type of human biology class, forward them this link so they’ll know about this great learning tool.

Have fun exploring Google Body Browser on your own!


Author Bio:

Dr. Matt Ramirez specializes in auto injury accident injury 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, 21 February 2013

Apollo Chiropractic is a Complete Care Chiropractic Clinic specialized in auto injury rehabilitation.
Don’t suffer another minute after an auto accident. Start on the road to recovery today! (801) 685-2862
http://apollochiropractor.com
Managing chronic back pain through:
Physician services
Physical therapy
Psychological counseling
Occupational therapy
learn more here:http://www.webmd.com/back-pain/living-with-chronic-pain

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

The Benefits of a Cervical Pillow

Can your pillow really make a difference in your health and how you feel during the day? Absolutely! Cervical pillows are specially designed ergonomic supports for your neck. They hold it in the proper position during sleep, while also cradling the head and shoulders. It is important that your neck and head are at proper angles when you are lying down, in order to avoid strain and pain in the morning. Depending on how you sleep (on your back, side, or stomach), the proper angles for your head and neck will vary. You will want a cervical pillow that rises to the level of the neck and compresses where the head rests.

Cervical pillows are usually made with memory foam, which is excellent at compressing and decompressing around your neck and head. Memory foam provides superior ergonomic support and an excellent night’s sleep.

You’ll want to choose the right cervical pillow for you, based on how you sleep and on your personal preferences. Several options are available: ·        

  • Cradle Pillows: This type of pillow distributes the weight of your head evenly with the goal of reducing pressure on your neck and spine. It is also good for maintaining proper breathing alignment and preventing snoring. ·        

  • Neck Pillows: Neck pillows are designed to provide support to the natural curve of your neck, and are best for those who sleep on their side or on their back. These pillows come in a variety of sizes to provide comfort to a wide range of body types. ·        

  • Side Pillows: These pillows have a curved edge that is higher on the side and lower in the middle. This design provides proper neck alignment. Side pillows cradle the upper vertebrae because of the front edge, which is tilted forward. This frontal curve also offers space for your shoulders and provides extra comfort to this area. ·        

  • Cervical Rolls: Cervical rolls can be used in several places on the body: under the neck, under the head (offering superior back alignment), under the knees (good for lower back problems) and behind the back to support the lumbar region. ·        

  • Comfort Pillows: These pillows are more like traditional pillows in their shape and feel, for those who prefer that kind of support. However they provide better ergonomic support than a traditional pillow.  

To choose the best pillow, think about how you sleep most often. If you are a side sleeper, you’ll benefit most from side pillows, cervical rolls, and neck pillows. For back sleepers, try cradle pillows, neck pillows and comfort pillows. Whatever pillow you choose, avoid buying a pillow that is too small or too large as that may reduce the pillow’s ability to provide the support you need.


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...



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Saturday, 16 February 2013

Chiropractic for Spinal Stenosis




Spinal stenosis occurs when the spaces in the spinal column narrow, putting pressure on the spinal cord and associated nerves. Spinal stenosis usually involves one or more of the three main spinal areas: the spinal canal in the center of the vertebral column, the canals located at the roots of spinal cord nerves, or the spaces between the vertebrae through which nerves leave the spine and go to the rest of the body. The condition is most commonly acquired due to degenerative conditions of the spine, including normal aging, or it can be inherited.

Depending on the location of the stenosis, different areas of the body may be affected. Stenosis on the lower part of the spinal cord can cause pain or numbness in the legs, while pressure on the upper part of the spinal cord can cause similar problems in the shoulders. The condition most commonly affects men and women over 50 years of age. However, it may also occur in younger people who have been injured or have conditions that result in a narrowing of the spinal canal, such as achondroplasia (dwarfism).

Diagnosis of spinal stenosis may be made through taking a medical history, thorough physical examination, and imaging tests such as X-rays and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) scans. While there is no cure for spinal stenosis, traditional treatment may involve medications and/or surgery. Surgery is invasive, expensive and painful, and the medications may have significant side effects. In addition, medications often don’t do anything to resolve the cause of the pain; they simply mask it.

Chiropractic treatment for spinal stenosis avoids both medications and surgery. It is based on the idea that restricted spinal movement can result in pain and dysfunction. Chiropractic manipulation (adjustments) may be used to restore movement and function. Spinal decompression therapy, a treatment in which the bones of the spine are gently pulled apart using traction, can also be used to treat spinal stenosis. By increasing the space between the vertebrae, pressure on the nerves can be relieved and pain significantly reduced.

The degree of success of chiropractic treatment for spinal stenosis depends on many factors, including the patient’s age, the length of time the stenosis has been present, and the presence of concurrent conditions that may complicate diagnosis, treatment or rehabilitation. A good chiropractor will work with other health care professionals as needed to ensure that you get the most holistic and best possible care for your specific symptoms.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Buying the Right Exercise Ball




Exercise balls can be used to treat back pain and are effective in preventing, reducing and rehabilitating lower back pain in particular. Exercise balls are a wonderful addition to the fitness arsenal, but to get the most out of using one you must choose the right size ball for you. An excellent way to ensure you get the right ball is to schedule a personal consultation with a fitness and rehab professional. However, since that is not always possible, the following are some general guidelines these professionals have developed to help you choose a ball.

There are typically five different diameters of exercise balls to choose from, in centimeters: 45, 55, 65, 75 and 85 cm. They are each designed to fit a certain body type. Your height is not the only determining factor in terms of ball size; your weight and body composition are also considerations.

Be sure the various balls are inflated and available for you to test before purchase. Sit upright on the ball, ensure that your feet are flat on the floor and that your weight is evenly distributed. Your knees should be level with your pelvis, or just slightly lower. This position is key because you want an angle of 90 or greater at the knees and hips, to avoid stressing either of these pivot points. Your ears, shoulders and pelvis should form a vertical line, without your body leaning in any direction to maintain stability. You can check this alignment by gently bouncing up and down.

In general, people 5’ and shorter do best with the 45 cm balls, and people 6’8” and taller do best with the 85 cm balls. If you are heavier than average, you will compress the ball further when sitting on it. Therefore you should consider buying the next ball size up in order to ensure you have the 90-degree angle or greater for your knees and hips.

Also remember that you can adjust the ball somewhat yourself. For example, if the angle of your hips and knees is much greater than 90 degrees, you can deflate the ball a little. This can be useful if you are out of shape and/or new to using an exercise ball, as the flatter ball will be more stable and easier to use. However if you are in better shape or are more experienced with exercise balls, a flatter ball will be less effective at training your back muscles to improve their balancing and stabilizing abilities. If you initially buy a ball and deflate it, you can always add more air later to increase the difficulty level and train your muscles further. 


About the Author:

Dr. Matt Ramirez is a Chiropractor in Salt Lake City who specializes in auto accident 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, 14 February 2013

What is Spinal Decompression Therapy?




Spinal decompression therapy is a treatment option for people with long-term back pain, sciatica, leg pain, degenerative disc disease, herniated discs, numbness and other conditions that have not responded to initial treatments such as manipulation and physical therapy. All of these conditions may be the result of compressive forces on your vertebrae, which can cause spinal misalignment and compressed discs.

Compressed discs can lead to herniation or bulging of the discs, thus pressure on the nerves. In addition to the pressure and compression, the nerve itself may not be able to receive the nutrients it needs to heal and work properly.  Often, surgery is used to decompress the spine, which is invasive, painful, and carries significant risks. Medications to reduce pain are also often used, but they do not treat the source of the pain and only mask it.

Spinal decompression therapy is a non-invasive, non-surgical alternative that offers gentle spinal decompression through the use of specially designed, FDA-approved equipment. Prior to treatment, patients are thoroughly examined both manually and through the use of imaging technology in order to determine which spinal discs are compressed, and if the treatment is suitable and has a high likelihood of success.

Patients are placed on a decompression table in a comfortable posture that depends on which area of the back needs treatment.  The treatment applies a specific force to the compressed discs, and a computer alternates the decompression force with relaxation periods. Usually, there is a series of 15 one-minute alternating decompression and relaxation cycles, for an individual treatment time of 30 minutes. This process serves to gently elongate the spine and to create a vacuum that pulls the disc back into its proper location and shape within the vertebrae. Realigning the discs in this manner can reduce pain and promote healing. However, it may take up to 20 treatments for complete relief.

Not everyone is a good candidate for spinal decompression therapy. Research has shown it to be very effective for some patients but not for others, and it is not entirely clear which people it will work best on. Therefore, it is important to work carefully with your Murray Utah chiropractor to be sure you have a good chance of successful treatment. Your chiropractor may precede each treatment with soft tissue muscle work to reduce the body’s natural reflex reaction and prepare the muscles for the traction forces. He or she will also work with other health professionals as needed to determine the precise nature of your back pain and the type of treatments that are most likely to resolve your pain at its source. 

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Chiropractic for Upper Back Pain



While lower back pain seems to get all the attention, upper back pain is increasingly a problem, especially with more people spending time working at a computer, which often leads to bad posture if the computer is not ergonomically adjusted. Seeing someone hunched over a laptop is a common sight these days. It can also be caused by an acute trauma to the neck, such as whiplash from an auto accident. Chiropractic care can be a useful tool for this type of pain.

Also called thoracic back pain, upper back pain can either develop slowly over a few days or weeks, or may appear quickly as the result of an injury. You may first notice stiffness and aching between the shoulder blades or dull pain extending across your shoulders, which can become gradually more painful as time goes on. As the muscles and vertebrae of the upper back and neck are so closely connected, you may also feel neck pain and stiffness. This condition can make it difficult to move normally while doing daily tasks, and even make it difficult to sleep or roll over in bed.

Upper back pain may be caused by stress, tension and bad posture, or possibly may be related to arthritis, a disc injury or rib joint dysfunction. Both emotional stress, such as problems with job, finances or family, and physical stress due to a bad diet, lack of exercise or environmental pollutants, can contribute to this type of pain. As the thoracic part of the spine is designed primarily to create stability in the trunk, upper back pain is less commonly caused by degenerative disc diseases such as scoliosis, and is more usually due to muscle strain and tension causing pain and a slight dislocation of the vertebrae.

While anti-inflammatory medications or other pain relievers may be used to help relieve pain in the upper back, they do not address the underlying cause of the pain, which could lead to it becoming chronic. A chiropractor can treat the cause in a safe, comfortable way.

Your pain may be caused by a chiropractic subluxation, which is when one of your vertebrae becomes slightly out of alignment due to muscle tension or stress, putting pressure on a nerve. A chiropractic adjustment can realign your vertebrae, alleviating the pain. A certified chiropractor can treat the muscle strain and/or joint dysfunction that leads to upper back pain, and will work with you to develop an effective treatment strategy targeted to your specific needs, which may involve chiropractic adjustments and suggestions for changes in diet and exercise.