Fibromyalgia: Why Water Exercises?

By · Monday, October 17th, 2011 · No Comments »

Fibromyalgia (FM) is a condition associated with tight, sore muscles but no one REALLY knows where FM comes from or why it picks on certain people and not others.  Some feel it’s caused by lack of sleep, specifically deep sleep, eventually resulting in chronically tight muscles. Others theorize it’s the underlying stress of a person’s lifestyle that leads to the tight muscles. Either way, tight muscles lead to poor blood flow through the muscle and just like pumping up a blood pressure cuff too high and not releasing the tourniquet effect quick enough, pain results when the muscle is starved from lack of oxygen.  Dr. Doris Cope, MD, director of Pain Management at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, wrote that many people (especially FM patients) tense their muscles and probably don’t even realize it, which reduces blood flow to the muscles, resulting in pain. So, the question is raised, how can the FM patient get their muscles to relax so blood can flow through, bringing it the necessary amount of oxygen to the muscle so it doesn’t hurt?

One method of muscle relaxation is exercise. When the pulse rate increases, more blood reaches the muscle, which reduces pain. The studies are clear that walking, stretching and strength training all help reduce fibromyalgia pain. Exercise also relieves fatigue, helps sleep quality and reduces depression – WHAT A GREAT ANSWER for the FM patient! The key is finding the right combination of exercises and how much should one do. Our advice is to START SLOW and gradually increase the dose once you’ve proven good tolerance to the last workout session. Consider flexibility exercises (stretching) such as Yoga classes, walking around the block, or even playing golf (initially a few holes, then 9 and eventually a full round).

Many FM patients have found water exercises are uniquely helpful because of the weight reduction or buoyancy effect.  This is especially true for the overweight FM patient as land-based exercises may be too traumatic on the feet/ankles, knees, hips, or low back. Also, warm water can be quite comforting. Another nice advantage of water exercises is that you can do these anywhere, as long as there is a pool! The exercises can be taught in a formal water exercise class, which is a good place to start if one is available locally or through a health care service. Studies fromSpainreport that water exercises improve the FM patient’s quality of life not just for the moment, but also over the long term! Over a 12-week timeframe, they discovered women who exercised in warm water for 60 minutes, 3 times per week improved both mentally and physically, had less FM related pain, and more energy (“vitality”). They reported less depression and found an improved desire to be sociable.  The KEY for exercise to be successful is to increase the pulse rate. As Dr. Cope pointed out, a 20 minute, four times per week workout can make a big difference!

If you, a friend or family member requires care for FM, we sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence shown by choosing our services!

Blessings,

Dr. Troy Don, DC

The Neck and Headache Connection

By · Tuesday, October 11th, 2011 · No Comments »

When we hear the term headache, we don’t usually think about the neck. Rather, we focus on the head, more specifically, “…what part of the head hurts?” But, upon careful questioning of patients, we usually find some connection or correlation between neck pain and headaches.

The key to this connection can be found in looking at the anatomy of the neck. There are 7 vertebrae that make up the cervical spine and 8 sets of nerves that exit this part of the spine and innervate various parts of the head, neck, shoulders and arms, all the way to the fingers. Think of the nerves as electric wires that stretch between a switch and a light bulb. When you flip on the switch, the light illuminates. Each nerve, as it exits the spine, is like a switch and the target it travels to represents the light bulb. So, if one were to stimulate each of the nerves as they exit the spine, we could “map” exactly where each nerve travels (of course, this has been done).  When we look specifically at the upper 3 sets of nerves that exit the spine (C1, C2, and C3), we see that as soon as they exit the spine, they immediately travel upwards into the head (the scalp). Like any nerve, if enough pressure is applied to the nerve, some alteration in nerve function occurs and usually a sensory change is noted (numbness, tingling, pain, burning, etc.). If the pressure continues, these symptoms can last for a long time. These types of headaches are often called “cervicogenic headaches” (literally meaning headaches that are caused by the neck). These can be caused by the nerves getting pinched by tight muscles through which they travel as they make their way to the scalp.

Another connection between the neck and headaches includes the relationship between 2 of the 12 cranial nerves and the first three nerves in the neck described above. These types of headaches usually only affect one half of the head – the left or right side. One of the cranial nerves is called the trigeminal nerve (cranial nerve V). Because the trigeminal nerve innervates parts of the face and head, pain can also involve the face. Another cranial nerve (spinal accessory, cranial nerve IX) can also interact with the upper 3 cervical nerve roots, resulting in cervicogenic headaches. People with cervicogenic headaches will often present with an altered neck posture, restricted neck movement, and pain when pressure is applied to the base of the skull or to the upper vertebrae. Other than a possible numbness, there are no clinical tests that we can run to “show” this condition, though some patients may report scalp numbness or, it may be found during examination.

Though medication, injections, and even surgical options exist, manipulation applied to the small joints of the neck, especially in the upper part where C1-3 exit, works really well so why not try that first as it’s the least invasive and, VERY EFFECTIVE! In some cases, a combination of approaches may be needed but many times, chiropractic treatment is all the patient needs for a successful outcome.

We realize that you have a choice in where you choose your healthcare services.  If you, a friend or family member requires care for neck pain, we sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence shown by choosing our services and look forward in serving you and your family presently and, in the future.

That’s it for now…

Blessings,

Dr. Troy Don, DC QME

Car Accidents and Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

By · Monday, October 3rd, 2011 · No Comments »

When you woke up today, you thought this was like any other Friday. You’re on your way to work, and traffic is flowing smoother than normal.  Suddenly, someone crashes into the back end of your car and you feel your head extend back over the headrest and then rebound forwards, almost hitting the steering with your forehead. It all happened so fast. After a few minutes, you notice your neck and head starting to hurt in a way you’ve not previously felt.   When the police arrive and start asking questions about what had happened, you try to piece together what happened but you’re not quite sure of the sequence of events.  Your memory just isn’t that clear. Within the first few days, in addition to significant neck and headache pain, you notice your memory seems fuzzy, and you easily lose your train of thought. Everything seems like an effort and you notice you’re quite irritable. When your chiropractor asks you if you’ve felt any of these symptoms, you look at them and say, “…how did you know? I just thought I was having a bad day – I didn’t know whiplash could cause these symptoms!”

Because these symptoms are often subtle and non-specific, it’s quite normal for patients not to complain about them. In fact, we almost always have to describe the symptoms and ask if any of these symptoms “sound familiar” to the patient.

As pointed out above, patients with Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI) don’t mention any of the previously described symptoms and in fact, may be embarrassed to discuss these symptoms with their chiropractor or physician when they first present after a car crash.  This is because the symptoms are vague and hard to describe and, many feel the symptoms are caused by simply being tired or perhaps upset about the accident.  When directly asked if any of these symptoms exist, the patient is often surprised there is an actual reason for feeling this way.

The cause of MTBI is due to the brain actually bouncing or rebounding off the inner walls of the bony skull during the “whiplash” process, when the head is forced back and forth after the impact. During that process, the brain which is suspended inside our skull, is forced forwards and literally ricochets off the skull and damages some of the nerve cells most commonly of either the brain stem (the part connected to the spinal cord), the frontal lobe (the part behind the forehead) and/or the temporal lobe (the part of the brain located on the side of the head). Depending on the direction and degree of force generated by the collision (front end, side impact or rear end collision), the area of the brain that may be damaged varies as it could be the area closest to initial impact or, the area on the opposite side, due to the rebound effect. Depending on which part of the brain is injured, the physical findings may include problems with walking, balance, coordination, strength/endurance, as well as difficulties with communicating (“cognitive deficits”), processing information, memory, and altered psychological functions.

The good news is that most of these injuries will recover within 3-12 months but unfortunately, not all do and in these cases, the term, “post-concussive syndrome” is sometimes used.

We realize you have a choice in where you choose your healthcare services.  If you, a friend or family member requires care for whiplash, we sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence shown by choosing our services and look forward in serving you and your family presently and, in the future.

Blessings,

Dr. Troy Don, DC QME

Low Back Pain and Scoliosis

By · Monday, September 19th, 2011 · No Comments »

Scoliosis is a term used to describe a curvature of the spine that is not “normal.”  The normal curves of the spine include an inward curve in the low back and neck and an outward curve in the mid-back when looking at the person from the side (“sagittal plane”).  However, there should NOT be any curves when looking at a person from the front or back (the frontal plane), the spine should be straight. When there is a curve in the frontal plane, this is called scoliosis and it’s usually either a singe curve, shaped like the letter “C” or, a double (or more) curve, shaped like the letter “S”. Though there is a diagnostic code specific for scoliosis, it is not in itself a disease or a diagnosis and frequently, there are no or at worst, minimal symptoms associated with it. For this reason, most of the time, scoliosis is not noticed until the curve progresses significantly and a friend or family member makes a comment about it or a school screening picks it up.

The most common spinal location for scoliosis to develop is in the middle to upper back (called the thoracic spine) but it can also be located at the junction between the mid back and low back, as well as in the low back only or more rarely, in the neck only. Since there are rarely symptoms associated with scoliosis, the way it’s found is by observing one or more of the following:

The use of x-ray usually is appropriate to confirm the diagnosis, to measure the amount of curve, which can then be used for future comparison, and to rule out a possible unusual cause of scoliosis. Rarely is an MRI required – only in cases where neurological signs and symptoms exist and, in younger children (ages 8-11 years old) as scoliosis almost always occurs during the puberty timeframe when hormonal systems are kicking in, such as ages 12-14. When scoliosis occurs at ages less than 11, when there are neurological changes (reflex, muscle strength and/or sensory functions), and/or when the mid-back/thoracic curve bends to the left (as it almost always curves to the right), an MRI is appropriate to rule out spinal cord pressure.

The decision to treat or not to treat is dependent on 2 factors: 1) The “skeletal maturity of the patient” (how much growing is left for the person) and, 2) The degree of the curve. In general, the bigger the curve and the younger the patient, the greater the chance for curve progression or worsening.  With that said, curves less 10° reportedly don’t require treatment but over 20° should be watched at 4-6 month intervals. If a curve progresses >5° and/or when the curve is >30° in an adolescent, the person should be treated – most doctors would utilize a back brace. Chiropractors can offer additional care by applying spinal adjustments, reducing leg length deficiencies when a compensatory lumbar/low back curve is present and by offering scoliosis-specific exercises.

We realize you have a choice in who you choose to provide your healthcare services.  If you, a friend or family member requires care for low back pain, we sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence shown by choosing our services and look forward in serving you and your family presently and, in the future.

Blessings,

Dr. Troy Don, DC QME

No Movement and Your Back Pain

By · Wednesday, September 14th, 2011 · No Comments »

After 6 months of seminars and travel I feel I am now able to get back to blogging. I’m excited to share with you some thought and ideas that I’ve had over the months… and I think you’ll find these interesting as well.

Today I’d like to share with you some interesting findings in some studies that have been done that pertain to movement and back pain.

I’m sure you’ve heard it before – “my back hurts… I just want to rest” or perhaps “oh boy my back has been a problem for so long that I’m afraid to do anything for fear that I’ll hurt my back.”  Or maybe you’ve heard “my back hurts all the time now even though I don’t do anything!”

If you have had back pain you know what I’m talking about.  If you have had severe pain, you know realize how easy it is to put limitations on yourself and on your activities.

This is the trap…

Your pain conditions you to be less active… so much so that you become de-conditioned or even worse yet, sedentary.  That decrease in activity and movement leads to something called spinal wind-up.  This spinal wind-up leads to a neurological self feeding spiral of more and more pain, EVEN THOUGH you are not active or moving.

In other words, if you don’t move your joints you are destine to have more and more pain!

How do we fix this?

Easy. Get moving!

Will this hurt? Maybe… BUT it will start the process for breaking the cycle of spinal windup.

Chiropractic is fantastic at getting the joints moving.  The chiropractic adjustment floods the nervous system with positive nerve message to seize spinal windup.  Exercise and movement is great at helping to fall into the trap.

If you are hurting “even though you’re not doing anything”, I strongly encourage you to seek chiropractic care.  Then start some type of EASY movement program to help you get more years out of your life and more life out of your years.

That’s it for now…

Blessings,

Dr. Troy Don, DC QME

 

Effects Of Massage Therapy On Connective Tissue!

By · Thursday, June 16th, 2011 · No Comments »

Connective tissue is the material between the cells of the body that gives tissues form and strength. This “cellular glue” is also involved in delivering nutrients to the tissue, and in the special functioning of certain tissues…Cartilage, blood and bone are specialized forms of connective tissue” (www.about.com). This type of tissue is the structural component of the body that is the most abundant.  Its function is to support, structure, space, stabilization, and scar formation. When our bodies become injured from an unfortunate accident or just every day wear and tear, scar tissue can begin to form in some of the connective tissue of the body in order for it repair itself. Although this is a necessary process for the body to heal, it also can cause shortness of muscles and tendons that cross the joints and can restrict joint mobility. This most often is a result of the lack of pliability in scar tissue in comparison to the original tissue, which in turn can cause a decrease in your range of motion and flexibility.

The effects that massage therapy has on connective tissue are mechanical Massage may reduce the formation of adhesions and scarring that often results from soft tissue injury as well as relieve pain. This will help increase the mobility, help to lengthen shortened muscles and increase flexibility that can sometimes be lost due to injury. Massage therapy also activates the parasympathetic nervous system which helps create connective tissue pliability.

For more information on the effects that massage therapy and other manual manipulations have on connective tissue you can also take a look at an article at http://www.thefreelibrary.com/The+effects+of+manual+therapy+on+connective+tissue.-a013309993

Blessings,

Kandace Fields, LMT

 

June 2011 Newsletter

By · Thursday, June 16th, 2011 · No Comments »

Popular Obesity Surgery Worse Than They Thought

Study believed to be the first to track long-term effects of laparoscopic gastric band surgery finds problems

 

Also in this issue:

 

To download click here or go to the download section.

Blessings,

Troy Don, DC QME

 

 

 

May 2011 Newsletter

By · Thursday, June 16th, 2011 · No Comments »

In this newsletter:

Is Cutting Your Risk Of These 4 Deadly Diseases IN HALF Really This Easy?

New research shows a simple way you may be able to decrease your risk of breast cancer, colon cancer, multiple sclerosis and Type 1 diabetes by a whopping 50%!

Also in this issue:

Go ahead and download this month newsletter by clicking here.

Blessings,

Troy Don, DC QME

 

April 2011 Newsletter

By · Thursday, April 14th, 2011 · No Comments »

Hello everyone,

This month’s newsletter discusses the following topics:

  1. “How 55-80 Year Olds  – Increased The Size Of Their Brains!” Scientific Study Shows How You Can Stay Mentally Sharp As You Age
  2. Study finds childhood obesity linked to health habits – not genes
  3. New research shows trans fat intake linked to depression
  4. Study shows children with ADHD benefits from dietary changes
  5. 30-50% of children use energy drinks – why they may harm their health
  6. Scary trend: Why young people prefer “virtual computer lives” to the real world
  7. Japanese researchers say dogs can be trained to sniff out cancer!

Go ahead and download this month newsletter by clicking here.

Blessings,

Troy Don, DC QME

Massage Therapist Reports on 2011 Health Freedom Expo

By · Monday, April 11th, 2011 · No Comments »

The weekend of March 25-27th 2011 brought the bustling sights and sounds of the Health Freedom Expo to the Long Beach Convention Center in Long Beach California. I had the pleasure of attending this exciting event for the first time this year. For three exciting and information packed days I attended lectures from some of the worlds leading experts in natural medicine and alternative health care. In addition to that I was also introduced to some of the most up-to-date all natural health care products available to the public.

Some of the speakers that were featured in this event included Jonathan Emord who is one of the nations leading free speech attorney, Dr. Sherri Tenpenny the forerunning speaker on the use of alternative medicine and the dangers of vaccines, Dr. Tony O’Donnell who spoke on detoxing safely and the great importance of ph balance and green foods in our diets. Daryl Hannah was also one of the keynote speakers, bringing her unique perspective on harmonious living, Dr. Geronimo Rubio, Jr. who spoke on Immunotherapy for the treatment of cancer patients, Kevin Trudeau an outspoken consumer advocate and Dick Gregory formulator of the Bahamian Diet as well as many others.  You can see the picture of me with Kevin Trudeau.

I left this event with a renewed sense of purpose and drive. I was truly motivated to continue on in my goal to live a truly healthy life and do whatever I can to encourage others to do the same. There were many themes circulating through many of the lectures given throughout the expo. However there were a few that stood out to me that I will carry with me in my personal and professional life. First, you are responsible for your own health, so don’t allow ANYONE to make your health care decisions for you. Second if you believe in a cause fight for it, do your part. And lastly share your knowledge. We all have a unique perspective on the information that we receive and that perspective CAN help someone else.

Until Next Time,

Kandace Fields,LMT