Archive Page 2

12
Nov
13

Applied Kinesiology Found To Benefit Chiropractic Patients with Urinary Incontinence


chiropractor Chapel Hill NCTwo American chiropractors have used applied kinesiology (AK) to aid the treatment of 21 patients experiencing urinary incontinence (UI), with considerable success.  Applied Kinesiology is a technique that uses the strength of a particular muscle (often a muscle in the arm) to diagnose problems in certain organs or in other parts of the body.  The practitioner places pressure on whichever of the patient’s muscles that corresponds the particular part of the body being assessed, and the amount of resistance it gives determines if there is a problem in that area.

Urinary incontinence affects 10% of men and 40% of women at some point in their lives, with women being particularly susceptible to UI following childbirth.  Current evidence suggests that weakness in the pelvic floor muscles, which leads to UI, can result from problems in other areas of the pelvis or lumbar spine as well as weakness in the pelvic floor itself.  Chiropractic manipulation may thus be of considerable benefit in correcting these problems with a concomitant improvement in the symptoms of UI.

Chiropractors Scott Cuthbert and Anthony Rossner assessed patients who had UI by using AK muscle testing to determine the presence and location of musculoskeletal disorders in the lumbar or pelvic regions.  The precise nature of the problem was then assessed by physical examination.  Muscle testing was again used to guide chiropractic manipulation treatment. Interventions that improved muscle strength were continued, and those that failed to do so were not pursued.  Patients were seen for up to thirteen treatments, and for no more than six weeks.

All of the patients treated experienced an improvement in UI symptoms, with nearly half (ten out of 21) reporting complete resolution of their condition following treatment.  It is particularly significant that ten of the patients had presented with long-standing symptoms of UI (at least five years, but greater than 40 years in two cases!).   Annual check-ups for at least two years confirmed that these improvements were maintained post-treatment.

In addition to positively demonstrating the benefit of using muscle testing techniques to aid with chiropractic diagnosis, this research is important in showing the relationship between UI symptoms and musculoskeletal weakness in parts of the lower back and pelvis.  A particular observation here was that the restricted breathing noted in many patients due to trauma to the diaphragm (and other muscle groups associated with inhalation such as the rectus abdominus and oblique abdominal muscles) was also found to impact on urinary continence.

This study suggests that combination of AK and chiropractic manipulation of the lower back and pelvis may be very helpful for patients with UI symptoms.  Please call us or visit our office with any questions.

 

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12
Nov
13

Reasons to run a 5k race


all things hot pink!

Joe Carey, President of the Houston Area Road Runners Association (HARRA.org), wrote something interesting about 5k races in the June issue of the HARRA newsletter, printed in Texas Runner & Triathlete magazine. His words were “5ks get no respect”.

That’s an interesting quote, and I think for many long distance runners it is probably an accurate statement. And, I realize that while many of you reading this blog may already be runners, some of you aren’t.  But, no matter where you fall in the running spectrum, whether you are new to running, whether you are a long-time runner, or even a seasoned athlete in general, are there reasons why you should run a 5K race?

Some thoughts for distance runners.

Mr. Carey’s article, outlined several great reasons why long distance runners should consider running 5k races (in addition to their longer races).  Here are some of his thoughts:

  1. The post-race food at 5ks are often just as…

View original post 417 more words

12
Nov
13

Shoulder Arthritis Causes and Treatment Options


While we generally think of arthritis as being associated with old age, shoulder arthritis is not uncommon among younger people as well. Any injury to the shoulder, such as a dislocation or a fracture, can eventually lead to shoulder arthritis.

The shoulder consists of two main joints. The first is the glenohumoral joint. This is a ball-and-socket joint in which the head of the upper arm (humerus) fits into the glenoid cavity of the scapula (shoulder blade). The second is the acromioclavicular. This joint is formed by the meeting of the collarbone (clavicle) with the top of the scapula (acromion).

Hyaline cartilage located on the ends of these bones generally allows for movement of the arm in the socket without friction, but a loss of cartilage here can cause the bones to rub against each other. Although not as common as arthritis in other parts of the body, shoulder arthritis can be extremely uncomfortable and debilitating. The principal symptom of shoulder arthritis is steadily worsening pain, especially when the arm is moved.  However, patients with this condition are also likely to experience considerable stiffness in the joint and weakness at the shoulder. Sleeping may become difficult as the condition worsens, especially on the most affected side.

Shoulder arthritis may be caused by any of the following:

  1. Osteoarthritis.  This is the degenerative wearing of cartilage, especially at the acromioclavicular joint.
  2. Loss of cartilage through acute traumatic injury to the shoulder, such as from a car accident, particularly when there has been a tear to the rotator cuff.
  3. Rheumatoid arthritis, an inflammatory autoimmune disease in which the body attacks its own cartilage.

Both osteo- and rheumatoid arthritis are more prevalent in older people (osteoarthritis in particular tends to occur in those over age 50).  It’s not surprising that the overall incidence of shoulder arthritis is increasing as the general population ages.

Initial management of shoulder arthritis is usually non-surgical. Possible treatment options include:

  • Chiropractic care
  • Targeted exercise programs to increase shoulder mobility
  • Heat and ice treatment
  • Nutritional supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin, both of which build cartilage and can slow joint degeneration
  • Rest and shoulder immobilization
  • Modifying shoulder movements to minimize irritation
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Corticosteroid injections and other medications may be used in the case of rheumatoid arthritis

The National Arthritis Foundation reports that regular chiropractic care can help prevent the damage caused by arthritis. Chiropractic treatment can help reduce pain and restore movement and increase range of motion in the shoulder joint.

In severe cases, surgery for shoulder arthritis can help to reduce pain and improve motion if non-surgical treatments are no longer working. Glenohumeral surgery can consist of either replacing just the head of the humerus with a prosthesis (hemiarthroplasty) or replacing the entire joint (both the humeral head and glenoid cavity, a total shoulder arthroplasty).

 

11
Nov
13

Fighting Back Against Insomnia


InsomniaDo you struggle to fall asleep at night?  Or do you find yourself wide awake at three in the morning staring up at the ceiling and wondering if you’ll fall back to sleep at all before your alarm goes off?  If you answered “yes”, you are not alone. Research has shown that up to 50 percent of the population suffers from sleep problems, with up to a third having struggled with it for at least a year.

The average adult requires a little over 8 hours of sleep each day.  However, very few people are able to manage that with lives that are more hectic than ever. Jobs, children and other obligations require us to be up with the birds and to go to bed far later than we would if we were following our own biological rhythm. A disruption to our circadian rhythm, which governs our hormone production, body temperature and sleep, can lead to insomnia.

We need adequate, restful sleep in order to perform at our best. Prolonged insomnia can cause mental fuzziness and interfere with how you perform your daily activities. It also increases your risk of depression, headaches, auto accidents, and can lead to substance abuse. Of course, worrying about the lack of sleep you are getting rarely helps you get more sleep! Stress, anxiety, and widespread use of coffee and alcohol are some of the greatest contributors to insomnia.

Learning how to manage stress effectively is one of the best ways to increase your chances of getting a good night’s sleep, and making some changes to your lifestyle may make a difference in the number of hours of sleep you get. Following are some strategies you can use:

  • Get regular exercise before dinner, which can help put your body in a restful state by bedtime. Just be sure not to exercise too close to bedtime, as this will likely make you restless.
  • Try to get out in the late afternoon sun as often as possible to stimulate melatonin release, which will help get your circadian rhythm back on track.
  • Use stress reduction techniques such as yoga, meditation and Tai Chi, which are great ways to help teach your mind and body to relax.
  • Caffeine and smoking keep the body stimulated. Try to avoid them from mid-afternoon on, and keep your consumption of alcohol to a minimum.
  • Eat a small snack of protein with a complex carbohydrate just before bed, such as peanut butter on a whole-grain cracker. It can keep your blood sugar from dipping too low and waking you up in the night.
  • Keep to the same sleeping and waking schedule every day and don’t change it by more than an hour on weekends.
  • Avoid television or computer use at least an hour before bedtime, as it stimulates the brain, making it difficult to fall asleep.
  • Keep your bedroom dark, quiet and cool.
  • If you are lying awake for more than about 20 minutes, get up and go sit in another dimly lit room until you feel sleepy.

 

These strategies have proven useful for many people in getting them back to a regular sleeping rhythm. Give them a try — they may help you too!

 

 

11
Nov
13

Should You Have a Bone Density Test?


??????????Osteoporosis is one of the most prevalent conditions among older people. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, one in two women and one in four men over age 50 will have an osteoporosis-induced fracture at some point in their lives.

A loss of bone mass becomes more common as we age, causing bones to become more brittle and increasing the risk of a fracture or break. Many fractures that occur are asymptomatic.  However, some may cause shooting pain or chronic pain in areas such as the back, where a fracture will only be evident on imaging tests. A bone density test can be a very useful tool for helping to keep your chances of having a fracture to a minimum.

There are a few good reasons why you may want to have a bone density test. First, it can tell you if you have osteoporosis or if your bones are weak before you experience a break or fracture; second, it can predict the likelihood of you experiencing a break in the future; and third, it can measure if your bone density is getting better or worse based on any actions you are taking (such as medications or exercise).

The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends that people who are likely to be at greater risk for osteoporosis have a bone density test done.  You should consider having one if any of the following descriptions apply to you:

  • You are a woman age 65 or older
  • You are a postmenopausal women under age 65 with risk factors
  • You are a women of menopausal age with risk factors
  • You are a man age 70 or older
  • You are a man between the ages of  50 and 69 with risk factors
  • You have broken a bone after the age of 50
  • An x-ray has shown a break or bone loss in your spine
  • You have back pain that may indicate a break
  • You have lost ½ inch or more of height in one year
  • You have lost 1 ½ inches from your full grown height

 

The bone density test uses a DXA machine (dual energy x-ray absorptiometry) to measure the density of bone in your hip and spine, and occasionally other bones, depending on your particular situation. The density of the hip and spine is measured because these are the bones most likely to break with osteoporosis, and because breaks in these areas are also among the most debilitating. The test is painless and non-invasive and is performed with the patient fully clothed. It takes about 15 minutes and the level of radiation from the machine is minimal.

If you feel you fit into any of the at-risk categories above, it may be beneficial for you to have a bone density test done so you and your health provider can develop strategies to reduce your chances of breaking or fracturing a bone.

 

09
Nov
13

Chiropractic Rehabilitation Significantly Helps Scoliosis Patients


Scoliosis and chiropracticScoliosis is a condition in which the spinal column appears curved rather than straight when viewed from the back. Symptoms include pain, restricted upper body movement and, in more severe cases, increased pressure on the heart and lungs. The misalignment of the vertebrae that is associated with scoliosis tends to worsen with age due to an asymmetric degeneration of the spine that is produced by the abnormal curvature.  This means that effective early management of the condition is important. As yet, however, there have been few published studies of exercise and rehabilitation programs specifically designed to help patients with scoliosis.

Michigan chiropractor Mark Morningstar assessed the progress of 28 patients after chiropractic treatment for scoliosis and a six-month follow-up program of remedial exercise and rehabilitation techniques. The specific therapeutic interventions used by each patient at home were based on Active Reflex Correction in 3 Dimensions (ARC3D) and included the use of corrective weights, exercises that rotate the upper body, and foam blocks to bring the spine back into alignment.

Six months after the initial treatment, patients exhibited an average improvement of 10 degrees in spinal curvature from a mean curvature of 44 degrees prior to treatment. Twenty-two of the 28 participants in the study were observed to have improved spinal alignment, with the remaining six receiving no apparent benefit. Without treatment, the angle of curvature would be expected to remain broadly similar, as it did in the six unimproved patients, or even to increase. Patient ratings of pain were recorded to have fallen by an average of 39 percent based on the Quadruple Numeric Pain Scale (QNPS) questionnaire when measured at six months after initial treatment, and by a further 21 percent at the 24-month follow-up. The Functional Rating Index (FRI) of disability similarly fell from a baseline average of 60 percent to 30 percent at the six-month check, and 18 percent at 24 months. A spirometer was used to measure the lung capacity of all patients before and after treatment, and a 7percent mean increase was observed at six months, with no further improvement 18 months later.

Improvements in curvature, pain and disability tended to be greatest in patients who began the study with the least severe condition. Patients presenting with double major curvature (an S rather than C-shaped spine) received no benefit in spinal curvature from the treatment, but even they experienced a reduction in pain and disability.

 

 

08
Nov
13

Can Mobile Phone Use Lead to Brain Tumors?


can a mobile phone create cancerThere are currently close to 6 billion mobile phone subscriptions worldwide, and increased usage of cell phones has understandably led to a greater level of interest in how safe they are. The main concern for our health is that mobile phones emit and receive electromagnetic radiation as a result of their need to communicate with relay towers, and some of this radiation is absorbed by the head when the phone is held up to the ear. Whether or not the radiation (both the amount and the frequency) that a typical mobile phone user is likely to receive is potentially damaging to their health has been the subject of debate for some time.

Anecdotal evidence that high mobile phone use can potentially lead to brain tumors is not hard to find. Newspapers and other media sources are only too ready to run such stories. However, given that there are so many people using mobile communication so regularly, the chances are that someone is going to have a brain tumor at some point, whether or not there is any link with the amount of time they spend on their phone. The obvious question is whether or not there is good reason to be concerned over how and how much you use your phone.

The most recent assessment of the scientific evidence of mobile phone safety was carried out by the European Commission Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR). They concluded that mobile phone usage was unlikely to increase the risk of developing brain tumors.

The most recent results from a long-term study by researchers from the Institute of Cancer Epidemiology at the Danish Cancer Society in Denmark also failed to find any link between mobile phone usage and the development of brain tumors or any other cancers of the nervous system. This study was particularly significant in that it used most of the Danish population to determine if there was any difference in the incidence of brain cancers between mobile phone users and non-mobile phone users. Unsurprisingly, this work has been quoted frequently, especially by cell phone companies, as evidence that their products have now been given a completely clean bill of health.

In contrast to the previous results, the conclusion of a 2010 paper published in the International Journal of Epidemiology on the subject suggested that while no overall link was found between two kinds of brain tumor and mobile phone usage, the data did point to a possible increase in the development of glioma-type tumors in the most intensive users. The authors also pointed out that since the new generations of smart phones are being used for even greater periods of time, especially by younger people, further and ongoing studies in this area are definitely merited.

In 2011, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified mobile phone radiation as “potentially carcinogenic to humans.” Following from this, many countries have adopted a precautionary approach and suggested moderation in cell phone usage. Using a hands-free kit to avoid holding a phone next to your head has also been advised. While the available evidence suggests that low and normal usage of a mobile phone does not increase your risk of developing a brain tumor, it is probably wise to reduce your exposure to electromagnetic radiation as much as you can, and certainly to avoid spending long periods of the day with a phone next to your ear.

 




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