Posts Tagged ‘Durham chiropractic

18
Apr
13

Is It Normal for Knees to Pop and Crack?


Many people experience a popping or cracking noise in their knees as they squat down or bend their knees, and this seems to happen with increasing regularity as we age. The medical term for this condition is called crepitus. It is a very?????????????????????????????????????????????????? normal phenomenon and, so long as it is painless, there is nothing to be overly concerned about. Whether young or old, cracking and popping of the knees is a common occurrence.

Crepitus can be caused by many things, and scientists are still not completely certain why it happens. One of the reasons for the popping sound may be that the patella is slightly out of alignment and is rubbing against the front of the femur or the adjacent soft tissue. Another condition called cavitation can cause a popping sound when small bubbles of carbon dioxide, which are normally suspended in the synovial fluid that lubricates the knee joint, form a larger bubble and make a popping sound as the knee is bent or twisted (think bubble wrap). Lax ligaments have been associated with an increase in cavitation. Changes in altitude or barometric pressure can often exacerbate the popping sound, such as on plane flights or when there is a change in the weather.

However, if the cracking or popping noise is accompanied by pain on a regular basis, or the knee catches or locks up, then you may have some cause for concern. Pain, sometimes accompanied by a grinding sensation, may be an indication that there is tissue damage to the articulating surfaces of the joint, such as tear to the meniscus. The cartilage behind the kneecap can fray, leading to the pain and popping sound of patellofemoral pain syndrome, which is generally caused by an overuse and misalignment of the hips, knees and ankles.

Swelling and/or stiffness may be indications of early arthritis, bursitis, gout or tendinitis. To be sure you do not damage the joint further, which may require surgery to correct, it is wise to consult with your physician or chiropractor to stop any further damage before it starts.

Your chiropractor can help to realign any joints that are misaligned, which may be contributing to the problem, in addition to suggesting specific stretching and strengthening exercises that you can do at home to support the muscles, tendons and ligaments surrounding the knee. Weak quadriceps is one of the foremost causes of knee pain, so exercises to strengthen this area may be a good idea.

Dr Dubois, DC, CCSP

Pierre DuboisDr. Dubois, a Swiss physician, and a Triangle Certified Sport Chiropractor has over 20 years of experience in the treatment and prevention of disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Amongst his patients, two world champions in martial arts (gold medalists in 2005 WMJA), one carrier of the Olympic flame in 2004, and numerous soccer players, swimmers and athletes of all levels who benefited from his chiropractic care.

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09
Apr
13

What Are Food Cravings? Is Your Body Really Trying to Tell You Something?


For some years, researchers had believed that having cravings for a particular type of food may be an indication that you are missing a particular nutrient in your diet. For example, if you crave red meat then you may have an iron deficiency,?????????????????????????????????????????????????????? or if you crave ice cream you must need calcium. Studies have shown, however, that cravings have nothing to do with a nutritional deficiency, but are actually caused by chemical signals in the brain. Nutritionist Karen Ansel says, “If cravings were an indicator of nutritional deficiency, we’d all crave fruits and vegetables. The fact that we all want high carb, high fat comfort foods, along with the research, is a pretty good indicator that cravings aren’t related to deficiencies.” Yes–it’s really all in your head.

When you crave a food, the same reward centers in the brain that are responsible for drug and alcohol addiction are more active: the hippocampus (memory), the insula (emotion and perception) and the caudate (memory and learning). These areas are all very receptive to dopamine and serotonin, neurotransmitters that are responsible for feeling relaxed and calm and which spur reward-driven learning. The reason you crave things such as ice cream, potato chips and chocolate is that these items are full of fat and/or sugar. Both fat and sugar are involved in an increased production of serotonin and other chemicals that make us feel good.

There is a large societal aspect to cravings as well. For instance, women in Japan tend to crave sushi and only 6 percent of Egyptian women say they crave chocolate. Approximately half of American women claim that their cravings for chocolate reach a peak just before their period. However, research has found no correlation between fluctuations in women’s hormones and cravings. In fact, postmenopausal women do not report a large reduction in cravings from their premenopausal levels.

Studies have found that the more people try to deny their cravings, the greater the craving they have for the forbidden food. Researchers suggest that it is better to give in to the craving in a controlled way rather than denying yourself altogether. Just be sure to restrict what you consume to a reasonable amount. If your dopamine receptors are constantly bombarded with high-fat and high-sugar foods (or drugs and alcohol), they shut down to prevent an overload. This makes your cravings even greater and you end up eating more in an attempt get the same reward, but you never really feel satisfied.

Exercise and distraction are two good ways to reduce food cravings. One study found that a morning workout can reduce your cravings for the whole day. Smelling a non-food item can also help. Keep a small vial of your favorite perfume with you when a craving comes on and take a whiff when the craving hits you. It will occupy the aroma receptors that are involved in food cravings.

Dr Dubois, DC, CCSP

Pierre DuboisDr. Dubois, a Swiss physician, and a Triangle Certified Sport Chiropractor has over 20 years of experience in the treatment and prevention of disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Amongst his patients, two world champions in martial arts (gold medalists in 2005 WMJA), one carrier of the Olympic flame in 2004, and numerous soccer players, swimmers and athletes of all levels who benefited from his chiropractic care.

11
Jan
13

Your Best Options for Purifying Water at Home and on the Go


Whether you find yourself in a disaster situation or are just enjoying camping out in the wilderness far from modern conveniences, having access to pure water is a vital necessity.  We can survive for weeks without food, but only for a few days without water.  Even if you are surrounded by it, it is possible to be in a situation where ingesting it may be a dangerous prospect.  As the saying goes, “water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink.”  Untreated water may contain disease-causing bacteria that can cause severe vomiting, diarrhea and sometimes death.  If you do not have bottled water handy but you have access to a water source, here we provide you with the tools you need to make it safe to drink, whether at home or on the go.w

Boiling

The simplest method of purifying water is to boil it, particularly if you are at home and have access to a working stove.  This will rid the water of any viruses or bacteria that can cause serious illnesses, particularly to children, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems.  Diseases such as Giardia, Cryptosporidium, dysentery and hepatitis can be contracted through drinking contaminated water.  Pour the water into a clean heatproof vessel and boil it for a minimum of five minutes to ensure that all the pathogens are killed.  The water will have a flat taste due to the oxygen having been boiled out of it, but this can be reintroduced by pouring it back and forth between two vessels or simply shaking it up in a closed bottle.

Chemical Purification

Pharmacies sell water purification products that consist of chemicals that will destroy harmful microorganisms.  They are available either in liquid or tablet form and contain chemicals such as iodine, potassium permanganate, chlorine and halazone.  Use two drops or tablets per quart of water and wait at least 30 minutes before you drink it.  Iodine can leave an unpleasant taste in the water, which can be removed with the addition of some vitamin C (ascorbic acid).  However, this should be added only after the iodine has been allowed to do its work, as vitamin C interferes with the action of iodine.  A couple of drops of regular household bleach per quart of water will also work in a pinch, just be sure the bleach is less than a year old, as it degrades with time and old bleach may not be sufficiently effective.  Be sure never to use “color safe” or scented bleach.

Filters

A portable hand-held water filter is especially handy if you’re on the go.  Look for a filter with a pore-size efficiency less than 0.4 microns in order to remove bacteria as well as protozoa such as Giardia and Cryptosporidium.  Unless you buy the EPA-certified First Need water filter manufactured by General Ecology (which is expensive), your filter should also include some chemical purification such as iodine to kill any viruses that may be present in the water.  This is particularly important if you are traveling in countries in which water contamination from raw sewage is a danger.

Whichever method you choose, it pays to purify any water you drink it. It may take some time, but staying healthy and disease-free is definitely worth the effort.

 

Dr Dubois, DC, CCSP

Pierre DuboisDr. Dubois,a Swiss physician, and a Triangle Certified Sport Chiropractor has over 20 years of experience in the treatment and prevention of disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Amongst his patients, two world champions in martial arts (gold medalists in 2005 WMJA), one carrier of the Olympic flame in 2004, and numerous soccer players, swimmers and athletes of all levels who benefited from his chiropractic care.

 

10
Jan
13

Why Playing is Important at Any Age


It was Plato who said “You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.”  Play is important not only for children, but for adults too.  All work and no play may “make Jack a dull boy”, but it also makes Jack a worse corporate manager.  According to a number of studies, those whose lives don’t include play have an increased risk of mental health issues, diseases related to stress, addiction and violence.man-and-woman-swinging-200-300

Dr. Stuart Brown, founder of the National Institute for Play says, “What do most Nobel Laureates, innovative entrepreneurs, artists and performers, well-adjusted children, happy couples and families, and the most successfully adapted mammals have in common?  They play enthusiastically throughout their lives.”  As we get older, however, we encounter barriers to playing.  We not only have far less time to play, given the demands of work and family, but play is often frowned upon by our peers, who feel we should not be “goofing off” during the day when we have important responsibilities to meet.  Nevertheless, play is as important to our long-term wellbeing as sleep, eating well and exercising.

Brown has researched the role of play in our lives and points out that most serial killers were deprived of play as children.  Play stimulates the areas of the brain responsible for memory and clarity.  It also encourages the development of creative strategies for dealing with problems.  Play can help make you more productive and innovative at work too.  When a problem comes up at work, studies have shown that those who take time out to play a quick game of basketball in the company parking lot or who take a break with colleagues to go out for a few laughs come back feeling refreshed and can approach the problem from a different perspective.

Play is also important to keeping relationships new and interesting.  Couples who play together develop better communication skills, foster a greater sense of trust and increase their ability to cooperate.  Play stimulates the area of the brain that processes emotions, allowing us to deal with stress in a constructive way rather than taking it out on our partner.

Children are often discouraged from roughhousing on the playground, but research has shown that this is actually an important means of developing social skills.  The practice it provides in give-and-take allows children to hone problem-solving skills that will be necessary for them to use as they get older.  Studies performed on rats showed that rats prevented from playing in a rough-and-tumble manner when they are young more often develop significant social problems when they reached adulthood and many are never able to mate.

No matter what your age, take some time each day to play and rediscover the joy and energy that play brings to your life.

 

Dr Dubois, DC, CCSP

Pierre DuboisDr. Dubois,a Swiss physician, and a Triangle Certified Sport Chiropractor has over 20 years of experience in the treatment and prevention of disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Amongst his patients, two world champions in martial arts (gold medalists in 2005 WMJA), one carrier of the Olympic flame in 2004, and numerous soccer players, swimmers and athletes of all levels who benefited from his chiropractic care.

 

 

10
Jan
13

ADHD in the Classroom: What Every Parent (and Teacher) Should Know:


Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is classified as a psychiatric or neurological behavioral disorder.  It is characterized by a significant inability to concentrate for more than a very short period of time and/or impulsive behavior and hyperactivity.R

The number of school-age children affected by ADHD is difficult to accurately assess, since diagnostic criteria vary.  Furthermore, the normal excitability of creative and energetic children can often be mistaken for a mental health problem by parents or teachers unable to unwilling to cope with it.  However, an estimated 1 in 20 children has ADHD, and it is important to note that approximately 70%-80% of referrals and diagnoses relate to boys.  Whether this is due to a real difference in the occurrence of ADHD or the natural tendency of boys to be louder and more impulsive has yet to be established.

Parents commonly worry about whether their child performs well in school.  The disruptive behavior and lack of attention that characterizes ADHD is clearly going to put an affected child at a disadvantage.  Additionally, if the underlying disorder is not recognized, the child may be blamed and stigmatized for being unable to control his or her behavior by both parents and teachers.  The fact that the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD has been the subject of considerable controversy for several decades has not helped to achieve any kind of clarity regarding the condition.  It is important for both parents and teachers to understand that ADHD is not caused by bad parenting, but is a physical disorder with a biological cause.

So, what are the signs of ADHD that parents and teachers need to look for, and what can be done to manage the condition to minimize its disruptive effect on both the affected pupil and his or her classmates?

The presence of either impulsive behavior or inattention that impedes a child’s ability to learn is a genuine cause for concern.  The type of impulsive behavior and hyperactivity observed in children with ADHD is far more extreme than the usual childhood displays of acting up.  The inability to concentrate is more than just boredom with the task at hand, and an ADHD child suffering from inattention may display many of the following signs:

  • Distraction
  • Inability to finish even simple tasks
  • Carelessness and sloppy mistakes in their work
  • Disorganization
  • Avoidance of anything that involves sustained mental effort, such as homework

Discussing these signs with the child (either at home or at school) can help to determine if they feel unable to help themselves and whether ADHD may be the underlying problem.  Teachers may have an advantage here over parents since they are able to compare the behavior and attention span of an ADHD child to what is typical for their classmates.  In contrast, parents without any other reference points may view their child’s behavior and attention span as normal.  In either case, it is important to avoid blame and labeling so that affected children do not feel guilty for behavior and attention lapses that may not actually be their fault.

If ADHD is suspected, then referral to a medical professional is necessary for an accurate diagnosis and to exclude the possibility of other conditions such as Tourette syndrome and learning disabilities.  Approximately two thirds of children with ADHD are also found to have another disorder.  Doctors, psychiatrists and social workers may wish to include visits to the school and home environment in their assessment to see how the child reacts in a range of situations.

Treatment for ADHD may involve strategies for managing behavior for both the child and his or her parents and teachers.  Changes may be made to their learning style and program, and depending on the severity of the condition, medication may be prescribed.  ADHD children have different learning needs and will thrive best if these are met.  These needs may include a structured and regular learning program and an absence of potential distractions.  Pupils with ADHD may need to be seated away from their classmates, with a clear indication that this is being done for their own benefit rather than as a punishment.  Similarly, an ADHD child will work best at home in a calm, uncluttered environment.

As with any learning disability, ADHD is best managed through support of the child rather than using punitive measures to attempt to correct behavior.  Consistency and good communication between parents, teachers and health professionals are also essential for successful treatment.

Dr Dubois, DC, CCSP

Pierre DuboisDr. Dubois,a Swiss physician, and a Triangle Certified Sport Chiropractor has over 20 years of experience in the treatment and prevention of disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Amongst his patients, two world champions in martial arts (gold medalists in 2005 WMJA), one carrier of the Olympic flame in 2004, and numerous soccer players, swimmers and athletes of all levels who benefited from his chiropractic care.

 

08
Jan
13

The Link Between DHA and Memory


For some time now, nutritionist have recommended that we eat fish on a regular basis in order to get sufficient amounts of omega-3 fatty acids (specifically DHA and EPA).  Not only are these nutrients good for the circulatory system, but they have also been proven to boost brain function, including both cognitive function and memory.  Until fairly recently, scientists have not understood the mechanism by which omega-3 provides these effects.finger-with-string-200-300

A study to be published in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism by researchers at the Center for Neuroscience at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada found a specific link between docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and memory.

The researchers fed one group of mice a diet supplemented with DHA and fed a second group a normal, healthy diet with no DHA supplementation.  When the mice that received DHA supplements were examined later, it was found that the part of their brain responsible for short-term and long-term memory, the hippocampus, contained levels of DHA nearly 30 percent higher than their counterparts in the control group.  The cells in the hippocampus communicated better with each other and relayed messages more efficiently in the mice supplemented with DHA.

Yves Sauvé, co-author of the study, said the researchers were interested in learning what it was about fish intake that improved memory.  He remarked, “What we discovered is that memory cells in the hippocampus could communicate better with each other and better relay messages when DHA levels in that region of the brain were higher.  This could explain why memory improves on a high-DHA diet.”

This study and others have noted that the body stores DHA in the brain, which is likely the reason why an increased intake of omega-3 is associated with a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease.  The early stages of the disease first affect the hippocampus.  Researchers have discovered that DHA is vital to the brain development of fetuses and young children.  It then seems to become important again as we age—brains with lower amounts of DHA have been shown to be smaller in volume.

Since the body does not produce its own DHA, experts recommend that people eat oily fish (such as salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel and anchovies) twice a week  and that they consider taking a fish oil supplement containing DHA and EPA once a day.  By getting enough DHA as an adult, it’s possible that you’ll be able to enjoy your later years a bit more and have an easier time remembering where you left your car keys!

Dr Dubois, DC, CCSP

Pierre DuboisDr. Dubois, a Swiss physician, and a Triangle Certified Sport Chiropractor has over 20 years of experience in the treatment and prevention of disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Amongst his patients, two world champions in martial arts (gold medalists in 2005 WMJA), one carrier of the Olympic flame in 2004, and numerous soccer players, swimmers and athletes of all levels who benefited from his chiropractic care.

08
Jan
13

How Much Sleep Do People Really Need?


There is no short, simple answer to the question of how much sleep people really need.  Our requirement differs depending on our age and individual needs.  For instance, preschool-aged children (3 to 5 years) need between 11 and 13 hours of sleep per night.  On the other hand, the elderly may sleep for only three or four hours at a time, with their sleep taken both at night and during the day.  What is not in question is that most people do not get enough sleep for their needs.  Researchers estimate that Yapproximately 10 percent of Americans are chronically sleep deprived.

Sleep deprivation is associated with a higher incidence of accidents, obesity, diabetes, heart disease and psychiatric problems such as depression.  Sleep specialists Donna L. Arand and Michael H. Bonnet say, “There is strong evidence that sufficient shortening or disturbance of the sleep process compromises mood, performance and alertness and can result in injury or death.  In this light, the most common-sense ‘first, do no harm’ medical advice would be to avoid sleep deprivation.”  But what exactly is sleep deprivation?

Everyone has a night or two when their sleep may be disturbed due to illness, being awoken by noise or the room being too warm, for example.  The National Sleep Foundation says there are two different factors at work in determining if you will be sleep deprived or not: your basal sleep need (what you require for functioning at your best) and your sleep debt (the accumulation of lost sleep).  Let us say, for instance, that you get your required eight hours of basal sleep for three nights in a row.  You might imagine that sleep deprivation should not be an issue.  However, you may still find yourself feeling sleepy and unable to concentrate.  Despite having slept well during the prior three nights, you may still have a sleep debt to “pay off” from the nights before that.

To make things even more complicated, it is also possible to get too much sleep.  Researchers have found that sleep regularly lasting nine hours or more is associated with an increased rate of illness, accidents and death.  Depression and low socioeconomic status are two factors related to sleeping for long periods of time.

Two surveys taken by the American Cancer Society that included over a million adult participants found that those who slept seven hours a night had a lower risk of mortality in the following 6 years than those who slept either more or less.  All else equal, experts suggest that for most healthy adults, getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night is ideal.

To judge for yourself the amount of sleep that is right for you, assess how you respond to different amounts of sleep.  Some people function better on less sleep and some need more than eight hours to feel at their best.  If you believe you are consistently not getting enough sleep, speak with your physician.  He or she will be able to give you some advice about how to increase the quantity and quality of sleep you get.  It is definitely worth the effort since getting the right amount of sleep can significantly improve your overall quality of life.

Dr P. Dubois, DC, CCSP

Pierre DuboisDr. Dubois,a Swiss physician, and a Triangle Certified Sport Chiropractor has over 20 years of experience in the treatment and prevention of disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Amongst his patients, two world champions in martial arts (gold medalists in 2005 WMJA), one carrier of the Olympic flame in 2004, and numerous soccer players, swimmers and athletes of all levels who benefited from his chiropractic care.




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