Archives for November 2014

ADHD


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a relatively common condition that tends to emerge in children during their early school years. The most common signs of ADHD are:

  • Inattention
  • Hyperactivity
  • Impulsive Behavior
  • Difficulty Concentrating

It is estimated that between 3 and 5 percent of children have ADHD – approximately 2 million children in the United States – and is much more common in boys than girls. This means that in a classroom of 25 to 30 children, it is likely that at least one will have ADHD. However, because many normal children may show some of these same behaviors as well, it is important that a child receive a thorough examination and appropriate diagnosis before any treatment is considered.

It is not entirely certain what causes ADHD, but the current thought is that it is a combination of an overactive nervous system, coupled with a decrease in the brain’s ability to filter out extraneous sights, sounds, thoughts and emotions. Although chiropractors don’t directly treat ADHD, there are a number of things that your chiropractor can do to help eliminate things that stress a child’s nervous system, such as:

  • Remove spinal subluxations that irritate the nervous system
  • Suggest dietary changes to avoid common problem foods
  • Test for allergies that may be stressing the nervous system
  • Suggest changes to the home to help reduce exposure to toxic chemicals

The most common medical treatment is the use of the drug methylphenidate, also known as Ritalin. Ritalin is actually a stimulant drug that normally speeds up the activity of the nervous system. But for reasons that are not entirely clear, it tends to have a calming effect on those who suffer from ADHD; possibly by increasing the activity in the area of the brain responsible for filtering out extraneous sensation.The problem with taking Ritalin is that it does not do anything to resolve the cause of the ADHD, it only masks the symptoms. Continued use of Ritalin over long periods of time has also been shown to have detrimental effects on the brain itself. It is important as a parent to look at all treatment options before placing your child on Ritalin and chiropractic care is a great place to start. Contact us today!

Although chiropractors don’t directly treat ADHD, there are a number of things that your chiropractor can do to help eliminate things that stress a child’s nervous system.

View

Gluten Freedom


The concept of the value and benefit of gluten-free food has been gaining momentum for the last 10 years. Discussion related to gluten-free diets goes back to the mid-1950s, but those peer-reviewed articles were primarily focused on the treatment of celiac disease and related gastrointestinal disorders. Today gluten-free diets are being adopted as an overall health-promoting measure by broad segments of the population. Is this trend merely a fad or are there actual advantages for the average person in cutting down on gluten intake?

Gluten is a structural protein found in wheat that provides a glue-like property and helps dough stick together. Gluten-containing wheat works best for bread making, and a few thousand years ago gluten-containing wheat became the standard wheat crop. Similarly, the protein in barley and rye is predominantly gluten. Researchers posit that tens of thousands of years ago our digestive systems were optimized genetically to process a diverse diet of grains. But a modern diet is mostly composed of uniform, gluten-containing grains. Our digestive systems were not designed to process such a heavy load of gluten, and the result is the development of a range of gluten-sensitivity disorders and autoimmune diseases.1

Gluten sensitivity has been proposed as a culprit in numerous conditions, including autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, schizophrenia, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, and infertility.2,3 The link to such conditions is not clearly understood, but case reports identifying gluten sensitivity as a causal factor have appeared in numerous professional journals for more than 10 years.

For children, adolescents, and adults with such disorders, it may be appropriate to adopt a gluten-free diet to eliminate a potential source of tissue inflammation. Other persons with various nonspecific digestive complaints may also benefit from a gluten-free nutrition plan. For example, if you experience frequent, or even periodic, upset stomachs or other gastrointestinal problems, consumption of gluten may be part of the clinical scenario. Two months on a gluten-free food plan should be sufficient to determine whether gluten protein is a contributing factor to such complaints.

Going gluten-free takes a lot of dedication, time, and effort. The first step is to learn which foods in your diet contain gluten. As noted, wheat, barley, and rye are primary sources of gluten protein. Quinoa, teff, buckwheat, millet, and amaranth are gluten-free replacements for gluten-containing grains. It’s important to bear in mind that many foods contain wheat and represent hidden sources of gluten, including beer, potato chips, brown rice sugar, soy sauce, and processed food such as deli meats, frozen burgers, and bread crumbs. Being gluten-free requires diligence, but the payoff may be substantial in terms of overall health and well-being.

1Sapone A, et al: Spectrum of gluten-related disorders: consensus on new nomenclature and classification. BMC Med. 2012 Feb 7;10:13. doi: 10.1186/1741-7015-10-13
2Isasi C, et al: Fibromyalgia and non-celiac gluten sensitivity: a description with remission of fibromyalgia. Rheumatol Int 2014 Apr 12. [Epub ahead of print]
3Herfarth HH, et al: Prevalence of a gluten-free diet and improvement of clinical symptoms in patients with inflammatory bowel diseases. Inflamm Bowel Dis 20(7):1194-7, 2014

Chiropractic Care and a Healthy You

A healthy nerve system is required in order to have a healthy gastrointestinal system. For example, when you eat a meal the cells lining your stomach need to know how much gastric juice to secrete to aid in proper digestion. The cells lining your small intestine need to know how many enzymes to release in order to properly complete the digestive process. These processes, whose details are hidden from our conscious minds, take place under the guidance and direction of the nerve system. In fact, a healthy nerve system is required for healthy functioning of all your body systems.

Regular chiropractic care helps your nerve system to do its job effectively. Regular chiropractic care helps to keep your spinal column in top condition and helps to reduce muscle tension and other sources of nerve interference. By participating in maintaining a fully functioning nerve system, regular chiropractic care helps you achieve high levels of long-term health and well-being.

View

Heavy Lifting


All of us who’ve experienced a back injury of one sort or another have been told at some point to “avoid heavy lifting.” That type of advice appears to be a no-brainer or at least redundant, as no one whose back is hurting is going to try to pick up an air conditioner or even a 100-foot reel of garden hose. In this context, it’s important to remember the words of Shakespeare’s Cassius: “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves”. The problem isn’t the heavy lifting, as such. The real problem is in us, that is, in our overall level of conditioning or physical fitness.

Most back injuries don’t occur as a result of heavy lifting, but rather are caused by a seemingly innocuous event such as bending over in the shower to retrieve a bar of soap that has fallen to the floor. Other likely pain-producing scenarios are bending over to place a bag of groceries in the trunk of a car bending over to tie a loose shoelace. None of these circumstances involved lifting extraordinary weight. Rather, the common elements are lack of flexibility and lack of appropriate muscle tone and strength to support the weight of your body in a forward flexed position.

The problem isn’t lack of big muscles. Picking up a bar of soap or positioning a 15-pound grocery bag doesn’t require bulging biceps or massive lats. The problem is lack of conditioning. Most of us no longer do actual physical work on a regular basis. We spend the large majority of our day sitting, either working, reading, or watching entertainment on television or other devices. The result of such lack of activity is twofold. Muscles lose strength and muscle fibers are replaced by fat. Additionally, tendons and ligaments contract and become tight, losing their necessary composition of elastic fibers. The functional loss associated with these physiological changes is profound. We experience these change every time we feel a twinge, or worse, in our backs.

The fix is easy and primarily focuses on building up core muscle strength.1,2 Core training is directed toward your deep abdominal muscles. The main such muscle is the transverses abdominis, which surrounds your entire waist, protecting and supporting your lower back. You can think of this critically important structure as your internal weight belt. Activation of the core muscles is required for all effective physical activity.3 Without this essential foundation, any minor attempt at work, even bending over to pick up a pencil, can lead to disaster in the form of excruciating back pain.

Core training includes exercises such as the scorpion, lying windmill with bent legs, pushups, squats, and the plank. Many good books and numerous online videos are available to provide instruction in the performance of core exercises. Your chiropractor is experienced in rehabilitative exercise and will help guide you to the training methods that are best for you.

1Inani SB, Selkar SP: Effect of core stabilization exercises versus conventional exercises on pain and functional status in patients with non-specific low back pain: a randomized clinical trial. J Back Musculoskel Rehabil 26(1):37-43, 2014

2Brumitt J, et al: Core stabilization exercise prescription, part 2: a systematic review of motor control and general (global) exercise rehabilitation approaches for patients with low back pain. Sports Health 5(6):510-3, 2013

3Wang XQ, et al: A meta-analysis of core stability exercise versus general exercise for chronic low back pain. PLoS One 2012;7(12):e52082. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0052082. Epub 2012 Dec 17

Chiropractic Care and Core Training

Core training focuses on the deepest muscular layers of your body, including small muscles such as the multifidi and intertransversarii that lie directly on the spinal column and help move individual spinal vertebras. In order to train these deep muscles properly, the spinal vertebras need to be able to move freely throughout their full range of motion. This is where regular chiropractic care comes in. Chiropractic care identifies, analyzes, and corrects sites of limited spinal mobility, making it possible for you to optimally train your core muscles.

Returning to fitness requires an ongoing commitment of time and effort. In order to get the most out of your investment in yourself, it’s important to make sure that your body will respond effectively to your exercise activities. Regular chiropractic care helps ensure that you’ll achieve such success.

View

The Time Machine


The Macintosh operating system contains a subprogram called “Time Machine” that allows you to reset your status to any previously saved state. Provided that you have designated a location for backups, you can literally go back in time and recover documents, directories, and applications you may have overwritten, deleted, or otherwise lost. “Time Machine” is a marvelous productivity tool that permits us to recover from our mistakes. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we had a similar “Time Machine” that would enable us to recover our lost good health? The very good news is that we do.

In fact, you don’t have to be a real-life character in an H.G. Well’s fantasy tale to be able to achieve a certain degree of metaphorical time travel. You may recall the slogan, “50 is the new 30,” which spread quickly through worldwide media outlets about 10 years ago. The notion that “60 is the new 40” soon followed. Surprisingly, unlike most sound bites that propagate effortlessly along social media pipelines, these hopeful phrases actually contained meaningful content. Age 50 and age 60 could, in numerous respects, really be the new 30 and 40.

But not everyone is willing to do what it takes to either slow down time’s relentless ticking or to turn back the clock. Real time, that is, your personal time, and real effort are required to achieve the goal of prolonged good health. People age 50, 60, 70, and more-than-80 can enjoy the physical capabilities (mostly), the mental sharpness, and the appearance (within reason) that we used to think belonged only to persons 20 or more years younger. The price of admission to such a process is continuously engaging in the inner workings of the time machine that is available to each of us. We activate and maintain the operation of this “relativistic” system by eating a healthy diet, doing vigorous exercise for at least 30 minutes five times a week,1,2 and getting sufficient rest on a regular basis, which for most of us means 7 or more hours of sleep per night.

Upon being told of these requirements for good health,3 many people will push back. “I don’t have the time” is the primary reply. Of course, one is free not to eat right. One is free not to exercise. But the results of not following-through on these action steps are profound. Heart disease, diabetes, and obesity are the primary outcomes of not engaging in health-promoting behaviors. Interestingly, many people are aware that failing to participate in healthy activities will lead to cardiovascular disease and related disorders. Obviously, mere awareness is not sufficient. What is required is an active choice. If we desire to gain the benefits of our personal time machine we must be willing to pay the price of time.

1Phillips C, et al: Neuroprotective effects of physical activity on the brain: a closer look at trophic factor signaling. Front Cell Neurosci 8:170, 2014
2Lee JS, et al: Effects of 8-week combined training on body composition, isokinetic strength, and cardiovascular disease risk factors in older women. Aging Clin Exp Res 2014 Jul 6. [Epub ahead of print]
3Erickson KI, et al: Physical activity, fitness, and gray matter volume. Neurobiol Aging 35S2:S20-S28, 2014

Chiropractic Care and the Price of Youthfulness

If we define youthfulness as a consistent inner experience of being healthy and well, we will have an appropriate starting place for understanding how to achieve such a result. Health and wellness, over the long term, are the direct result of eating nutritious foods, doing vigorous exercise for at least 30 minutes 5 times per week, and getting the amount of rest you need to be energized throughout the day. Additionally, getting regular chiropractic care is the secret ingredient that helps us get the most out of our healthy behaviors.

Like enzymes that streamline chemical reactions and make them run smoothly, regular chiropractic care optimizes all your physiological functions and makes them more efficient. As a result, you get the most out of your exercise, nutrition, and rest. Your benefits are increased by saving energy, there’s reduced stress on all your bodily systems, and your overall experience of health and wellness is enhanced. Regular chiropractic care helps you achieve all these outcomes.

View

Checkmate


In chess, checkmate occurs when a player’s king is under attack and has no safe place to go. The king is threatened and every possible escape route is blocked. Such an existential condition, an allegorical “no exit,” is known as checkmate.

In life, a person may be similarly threatened by a serious illness. For example, a person may receive a diagnosis for which there is no effective long-term treatment. Short-term, temporary solutions may be available, but these usually require enormous expenditures of resources, both financial and personal. Most often, when the temporary fix has run its course, the illness persists and the long-term outlook remains the same. Optimally, we would prefer to avoid such medical “checks” and avoid being faced with an untimely “checkmate.” As in chess, obtaining success with respect to our health and well being depends in large part on having a sound strategy in place.

Successful chess players think several moves ahead. High-level chess players such as grand masters have the ability to envision combinations involving ten or more future moves. Fortunately, being successful at the game of promoting personal health and well being is much less complicated. There are only a few elements involved in developing a strategy that works.

These elements are well known and include (1) regular, vigorous exercise; (2) a healthy diet1; (3) sufficient rest; and (4) a positive mental attitude. But despite being well known, only the minority of people actually implements these critical “moves.” The evidence for such lack of action may be seen in the United States, for example, where one-third of Americans are overweight and additional one-third are obese. Merely knowing something is not sufficient to obtain a result.

What is required is actual action.2 In terms of exercise, evidence-based guidelines agree that 30 minutes of vigorous exercise, done five days a week, will provide a sound foundation for health. Optimally, such exercise consists of both cardiovascular and strength training sessions, but the most important point is to do five 30-minute sessions per week. With respect to diet, all the evidence affirms that men, women, and children should follow specific calorie-intake guidelines.3 For example, a moderately active man, aged 31-50, should consume, on average, 2500 calories per day. A moderately active woman, aged 31-50, should consume, on average, 2000 calories per day. A man intending to lose weight, and then maintain an ideal weight, should take in about 1800 calories per day. A woman intending to lose weight, and then maintain an ideal weight, should consume about 1600 calories per day. Regarding daily food intake, the most important rule to follow is to consume at least five portions of fresh fruits and vegetables per day. It is also important, on a daily basis, to eat foods from all the major food groups. In terms of rest, most people require seven to eight hours of sleep a night. This may not be possible every night, of course, but over time people need to obtain the right amount of rest for them. The criterion is simple: if you do not feel rested after a night’s sleep, then you did not obtain sufficient sleep. Obtaining sufficient rest is an often-neglected component of a well-rounded health and wellness strategy.

Our strategy for helping ensure our long-term health and wellness contains only a few components, and involves many less moves than does a winning chess strategy. It should be easy to put such a strategy into place. What is required is a commitment and dedication to ourselves, our families, and our loved ones.

1Voeghtly LM, et al: Cardiometabolic risk reduction in an intensive cardiovascular health program. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis 23(7):662-669, 2013
2Carson V, et al: A cross-sectional study of the environment, physical activity, and screen time among young children and their parents. BMC Public Health 2014 Jan 21;14:61. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-14-61
3Wang YC, et al: Reaching the healthy people goals for reducing childhood obesity: closing the energy gap. Am J Prev Med 42(5):437-444, 2012

Chiropractic Care and the Game of Life

As with the game of chess, success in the game of life requires planning and preparation. Such success depends in large part on long-term health and well being. Chiropractic care is a key component of any winning strategy for supporting a happy and productive life.

In contrast to medical care, which focuses on symptoms and disease, chiropractic care focuses on your body’s innate ability to promote wellness. It may be necessary, at times, to utilize the medical model to treat specific problems, but obtaining wellness over years and decades depends on your body’s innate ability to heal itself. Chiropractic care facilitates these innate healing processes by aligning your spine. This, in turn, provides an environment in which nerve signals can flow freely from your brain to the rest of your body. This freely flowing exchange of information provides optimal functioning of all your body’s cells, tissues, and organs. The long-term result is enhanced health and well being, thanks to the assistance of chiropractic care.

View

Your Own Personal Trainer


Back in the day, there were no personal trainers. If you needed to learn how to exercise, you got a subscription to one of a few well-known “muscle magazines” and read several issues from cover to cover. Then you joined a “Y” and began to discreetly observe what was going in the weight room, trying to match up what you had read in the magazine with what you were seeing in the gym. Eventually, you put together a series of exercises, sets, and reps that worked for you. Back then, any strength training program you developed would be strictly based on a seat-of-the-pants approach. You learned by trial and error.

Today there is a vast body of scientific literature focused on the various benefits of numerous forms and types of exercise.1 However, scientific studies are not good at evaluating the how-to’s of getting fit. Fortunately many informal resources are available, all intended to point you in the right direction. But not all of these resources are accurate or trustworthy, and the challenge is to identify a set of basic principles that will be applicable to your specific situation.

Firstly, before getting started you need to make sure that it’s OK to actually get started. Let your doctor (your family chiropractor, family physician, or internist) know what you’re planning to do and have her tell you what you need to watch out for, if anything. Next, you need to make a commitment. Consistency is the key to deriving lasting value from exercise. Additionally, irregular exercise sessions will often lead to injury. If you’re serious about getting fit, then make a commitment to yourself to participate in a 12-week program. At the end of 12 weeks, you’ll evaluate how you feel, what you’ve accomplished, and whether you want to keep going.

In terms of strength training (that is, weight lifting), three sessions per week is ideal. By doing “split routines” you can exercise all the major muscle groups each week. On one day you’ll do exercises for the chest and back. Another day you’ll do exercises for the legs. On the third day you’ll focus on the shoulders, biceps, and triceps. This set of split routines will produce optimal results for many people.

Importantly, you’ll be doing chest and triceps (and back and biceps) on different days, thus avoiding the potential for overwork and injury. But you may find that an alternate set of split routines works best for you. The key is to start slowly and build up strength gradually. Once you have some experience and an improved level of fitness, you may branch out and vary your basic routine, experimenting and seeing what works best for you. In terms of sets and repetitions (reps), three sets per exercise and eight to 12 repetitions per set represent the classical, tried and true method of getting fit and making gradual strength gains over time. For any strength training exercise, start with a weight at which you can do eight repetitions comfortably. This should be neither too easy, nor too difficult. Of course, it’s far better to err on the side of caution. You never want to do too much too soon.

As you go along in your fitness program, you’ll add core exercise routines2 and aerobics exercise such as walking, swimming, biking, and running. If you work out slowly and gradually and maintain consistency, you’ll have a great deal of fun and gain substantially improved levels of health and well-being.3

1Storer TW, et al: Effect of supervised, periodized exercise training vs. self-directed training on lean body mass and other fitness variables in health club members. J Strength Cond Res 28(7):1995-2006, 2014
2Kahle N, Tevald MA: Core muscle strengthening’s improvement of balance performance in community-dwelling older adults: a pilot study. J Aging Phys Act 22(1):65-73, 2014
3Huffman KM, et al: Metabolite signatures of exercise training in human skeletal muscle relate to mitochondrial remodelling and cardiometabolic fitness. Diabetologia 2014 Aug 5. [Epub ahead of print]

Regular Chiropractic Care and Personal Fitness

Getting regular exercise is not a cure-all. Although it’s very difficult to maintain good health if you’re not exercising consistently, exercise in itself is not enough. Additional components of a healthy lifestyle include good nutrition, sufficient rest, intangibles such as a positive outlook on life, and regular chiropractic care.

Regular chiropractic care ties together all the other things you’re doing to achieve high levels of personal health and wellness. By identifying, analyzing, and correcting spinal misalignments, your chiropractor is helping to reduce nerve interference and helping to facilitate optimal functioning of all your body’s physiological systems. As a result, you’re able to make maximum use of the good foods you’re eating and get the most out of your exercise time. By making these healthy lifestyle choices, including regular chiropractic care, you’re choosing to enhance your personal health and well-being.

View
Call now!

Let's get you feeling better.

281-496-3355

We believe in a healthier you!

Contact Us!

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Your Mobile (required)

Your Message (required)