Research Shows Stress Hides In Your Body: How Chiropractic Can Help!

Stress hides in the body.  If it is not forced out it will stay and get comfortable making you uncomfortable.

“The type of stress that human beings are under really differs from animals in the wild” according to Stanford neurobiologist Robert Sapolsky, Ph.D who wrote the book “Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers.  Animals in the wild normally encounter stress for around 3 minutes and then it is over or they end up deceased. But we are human beings and we have different types of stress.  For instance a demanding boss, work deadlines, unpaid bills, children to look after or elderly parents that need care on top of all of the other daily duties someone may have going on.

Stress left unattended and not taken care of will lead to symptoms.  Here are some of the places you will see symptoms and how chiropractic can help.

1. Hormones: When stressed, your body secretes a hormone called cortisol.  It can lead to memory loss, depression, and causes swelling in the body.

2. Your Hair: Researchers at the University of Western Ontario found that chronic stress contributes to heart attacks by conducting a study on individuals admitted to the hospital who had heart attacks and took hair samples from each.  They found higher levels of cortisol on these individuals which affirmed their hypothesis.

3. Your Nervous System: When you’re stressed, your sympathetic nervous system kicks in which elevates the same hormones used primitively when we were cave people.  This system is called “fight or flight” sharpens your vision, pumps your blood faster, makes you breathe faster and puts your muscles in active mode ready to flee or protect yourself.

The amount of stress each person has can lead to different levels but most times it leads to tightness in the neck, shoulders and back.  It can also lead to constipation/diarrhea, headaches, loss of sleep etc.  All of these areas and basically any area of the body are controlled by the nervous system.

4. Your Gut
Stress can even alter the way your body processes fat, causing you to store more acid in your abdomen.  This leads to acid reflux heartburn and pain in the abdomen.

So how does chiropractic help with this?  Well, we don’t only help people with athletic injuries and neck and back pain.  Those are things that we have great success with but when we administer our treatment we ignite the power of your nervous system to work at its best.

The nervous system (brain and spinal cord) is connected to all of the organs, muscles and basically anything in the body.  Stress builds up and tries to hide in these areas but once treatment has been administered to the spinal cord, the stress can clear its way out.  That is the amazing thing about what we do!   Not to mention, I use a machine that tracks stress in the body and tells me where it is so I can monitor it and track progress through care.

My sports background allows me to help with injuries and pain but while we are working on that, we might as well work on YOU to make sure you are getting the most out of life as stress free as you can be!

Doula Or Midwife? What To Consider When Choosing Between Them

Looking for some help during pregnancy?  Here is what to consider when deciding on whether you want to use a Doula or Midwife when you are pregnant:

First, lets talk about the differences between a Doula and a Midwife. A Doula provides emotional and physical support during pregnancy and childbirth. They are not medical professionals and do not deliver babies.

So, what do they do?
Doula’s have different roles and can provide certain services depending on what you need.
1. Support women who are on bed rest to help prevent early births
2. Provide support during the birth process
3. After birth they help the mom during the first few weeks to help with feeding the baby and household tasks.
How does this work?

Before the actual birth a Doula usually:
– Meets with you to go over how they can help you and get acquainted. (normally during the 2nd and 3rd trimester).
– Instruct moms on relaxation and breathing techniques.
– Answer any questions about the birth process and what to expect.
– Go over labor and delivery and talk to moms about any possible complications and how they are handled.
– Develop a birth plan.

When labor occurs a Doula will:
– Administer Constant support
– Massage to help mother relax
– Guide you to comfortable positions
– Make sure fluids and nutrition is kept up during birth process
– Be an advocate to communicate preferences to medical staff
– Support soon to be dad

– After delivery:
– Support to parents when bringing baby home
– Teach care methods to parents
– Breast feeding education
– Keep mom hydrated, fed and rested

Studies have shown that moms to be that use a Doula have shorter labor, need less medication and are less likely to have a C-section.

Now lets go over what a Midwife does:

A midwife is a trained health professional. They assist with labor, delivery, and after after birth. Midwives can deliver babies at birthing centers, home or at a hospital.
Most families who choose a Midwife want little medical intervention and have no complications during their pregnancy.

There are different types of Midwives:
1. Certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) are registered nurses who have graduated from an accredited nurse-midwifery education program and have passed a national exam. They can practice in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

2. Certified midwives (CMs) are non-nurse midwives who have a bachelor’s degree or higher in a health field, have completed an accredited midwifery education program, and have passed a national exam. Only a few states permit CMs to practice.

3. Certified professional midwives (CPMs) are non-nurse midwives who have training and clinical experience in childbirth, including childbirth outside of the hospital, and have passed a national exam. Not all states permit CPMs to practice.

What do Midwives do?

As stated above they can provide care before, during and after birth. They also can help with family planning, prenatal exams, order tests, monitor physical and psychological health, provide birthing plans, advise about diet, exercise, medicine and keeping healthy during pregnancy.

Here are some other tasks a Midwife can help with:
– Educating parents about childbirth and newborn care
– Support parents during labor
– Admit or discharge from the hospital
– Deliver babies
– Refer to doctors as needed

Reasons for a Midwife:

1. You want your childbirth to be as natural as possible with little medical intervention, such as an episiotomy, fetal monitoring, labor induction, etc.
2. You want the emotional, practical, and social support that midwives provide.

Hopefully this answers some of your questions about choosing a Doula or a Midwife. Good luck and Congratulations!

3 Phases Of Chiropractic Care… What Are They?

Most patients that see me for the first time usually have symptoms. I know that the major goal at that point is to GETTING out of pain but what about STAYING out of pain?

There are 3 phases of care that people must go through to make sure you don’t get back in pain and can live life without major restrictions.

1. Relief Care: This phase provides temporary relief of your symptoms. Normally, when a patient is in this phase and get relief it is because inflammation is decreased and joint function is restored through spinal adjustments.  Ice, heat or cold laser may also be used to help the symptoms start to subside.   However, symptom relief is likely to be temporary if the underlying cause is not addressed after the pain subsides. In many cases the cause of your symptoms are improper body mechanics, repetitive movements, micro-trauma or postural issues that need to be rectified before real change can occur. Faulty muscle patterns consisting of weak or overly tight muscles need to be addressed and monitored for lasting results.

2. Corrective Care: This phase takes longer because it addresses the cause of the issue that is normally a long term problem. Progress is analyzed and care is modified depending on consistent results. Some people respond quicker than others depending on the condition and integrity of the spinal column, the age and physical condition of the patient, the severity of the injury and the duration of the problem.  Consistency without exacerbation of the original issue is tracked as well as anything that may hinder your progress. Stabilization is the goal.

Maintenance: This is what ensures optimal health and is the final stage of health. Day to day activities put biomechanical strain on our bodies. We are constantly exposed to stress and we must continue to monitor the health and condition of your spine through periodic evaluations to make sure that you don’t go back to the beginning.  Regular chiropractic adjustments will help insure you are living at your optimum level of health and function.

The benefits of maintenance care are that minor misalignments can be detected before they become symptomatic or well-established. We have specialized tests to track the spinal column, muscles and organs to make sure you maintain health and can track any issues that may be festering and ready to become problematic. Maintenance chiropractic care allows for improved posture, enhanced function, better athletic performance, reduced injuries and an overall enjoyable pain-free lifestyle.  This type of preventative or wellness care can also save time and money by keeping minor problems from becoming more serious and preventing you from starting back from scratch.

16 Reasons Why People Stop Going To A Chiropractor

I hear a lot of reasons why people either start care and stop, or don’t see a chiropractor at all. Here are a few reasons people feel that they don’t need to see a chiropractor.

1. “Chiropractic is too expensive”:
Research clearly disproves this myth. Chiropractic care has been consistently shown to be cost effective in a number of government and workers’ compensation board studies. According to The Manga Report, a 1993 Canadian government commissioned study, “There would be highly significant cost savings if more management of low-back pain was transferred from physicians to chiropractors… Users of chiropractic care have substantially lower health care costs, especially inpatient costs, than those who use medical care only.”

According to an economic analysis conducted in Richmond, Virginia, “By every test of cost and effectiveness, the general weight of evidence shows chiropractic to provide important therapeutic benefits, at economical costs. Additionally, these benefits are achieved with apparently minimal, even negligible, impacts on the costs of health insurance.”

When the State of Florida’s Workers’ Compensation Board conducted research in 1988 on treatment costs associated with injured workers who received care from either chiropractic doctors or medical doctors, they found chiropractic treatment costs were 58.8 percent of the treatments costs rendered by medical doctors ($558 vs. $1,100 per case)

According to Web MD Report who performed research on 1 Million people over a 4 year period. One group had chiropractic care and one did not. Here are the results:

· Chiropractic cut the cost of treating back pain by 28% compared to those who did not have chiropractic care.
Back surgeries were reduced by 32% (that is 1 in every 3 people)
1/3 fewer surgeries which reduced hospitalization by 41%.

This study reported a 95% satisfaction rate with chiropractic care!
2. “I don’t need a chiropractor for general health, just for pain”.
Yes, we can help with back and neck pain, but we also affect the body in so many other ways.

Research has shown that the best way to prevent meningitis, colds, cases of flu, and other illness, is to maintain a strong immune system. This is not debated by either MDs or Chiropractors. Developing a strong immune system relies on optimal communication between all systems of the body. Chiropractic allows this to happen by taking misalignments out of the spine. Our goal is to remove interference in the nervous system. This system controls and coordinates all other parts of the body.

How can there be interference in the spine and nervous system? Interference is caused by subluxations or misalignments in the spine which hinder communication from the adjacent nerves.

When subluxations are corrected, our nervous system can send signals efficiently optimally boosting immune functioning. In fact, individuals who receive chiropractic care have 200% greater immune competence than individuals who don’t. This is why it is vital to receive regular chiropractic adjustments. We not only help you function better for athletic competitions, we keep your body stress free and working optimally preventing illness.

How is that for total health!
3. “I don’t have enough time”:
Yes, staying healthy takes time and commitment, so does being in pain and unable to work! So does spending time in the hospital re-cooperating from a surgery that could have been prevented.

Editing your life because of sickness takes time too. Having to modify your life and not being able to do the things you enjoy in life not only takes time as well but prevents you from being the person you want to be. That is a big sacrifice!

Everyone tries to take the time to work out but it is only part of the process to optimal health. Eating well and taking care of your body to enable you to continue going to the gym injury free is also part of the process. We can help with that in addition to keeping the rest of your body healthy. Getting adjusted normally takes 5-15 minutes with a little time for travel. Most times you are not going more than 2x per week. That is a bit over 30 minutes per week.

Tip: See your chiropractor before a workout if you can…get both out together and then go on with the rest of your day!

You are worth the time, your body needs it and your body will thrive once it gets it.
4. “It takes too much time to see results”:
It may take some time but think about wanting to lose weight and get in shape, both of those take time. That is how the body works! You can’t eat one meal or work out once and think you are going to have long-term results. You have to continue to keep the results you have gained.

Eventually, after getting in shape, you don’t have to work out as hard or eat as lean as you did to get to your goal but you do have to continue…your body needs consistency to get consistent results.
Remember…. health is not an event it is a process!
5. “I feel good” (pain-free):
This is a very common response I hear. Pain is not an indicator of health. It is the bodies signal that it is in an emergency situation and needs help immediately. Pain will make you focus on the area of discomfort; that is what the body wants you to focus on because it is injured. Being pain-free doesn’t mean you are in good health. Everyone has heard the story of a loved one or friend who felt great and the next day they had a heart attack. There was no pain, but there was a health problem that was going on and they didn’t know it.

That is why we do scans to see what your health status is so we can address any issues that you may not feel now and prevent any unwanted health situation.

6. “The chiropractor does the same thing every time”:
It may feel like this ut that is because your body has developed a pattern and that pattern has to be re-trained. For example, if you are sitting all day long, there will be areas that will be stressed more than others. If you sleep in a certain position and don’t have proper posture, this will have a pattern too. Holding on to emotional stress will affect your body as well and eating food that is not good for you will store stress in the body leading to tightness and malfunction.

On each visit, we check to see what areas need to be addressed for misalignments of the vertebrae and improper movement. If there is a change, we will notice it when doing tests and palpation.

7. “I don’t feel any results after 1 or 2 visits”:
Again, think about wanting to lose weight, get in shape, all of those take time and you don’t see results right away. You should start to feel results of symptom relief within 6-12 visits. If there is still no result, then you will be referred to another practitioner that may be able to help.

8. “My MD says I should stop”:
Most of the time this is not warranted. There may be the rare occasion where there is a joint that should be avoided if there is a fracture or tear but even in those cases, cold laser or other modalities have been shown to increase healing time and aligning the spine will boost your immune system and allow for quicker recovery.

9. “Insurance won’t pay for more visits”:
Money is always an issue, but many insurance plans are not set up for you to get the necessary care you need. “Health” insurance plans are really a misnomer. They are really “sick care” plans. Insurance companies don’t want to pay out. They want you to use as little of your benefits as possible. Getting 12 visits per year is only in case something happens and you are in pain and need help. Other than that, keeping you healthy is not the real concern of insurance. It is set up on a “sick care” plan instead of a health and wellness care plan where you really see results.

I set up my plans to make sure you are doing well in life. I want you to be able to be the person you want to be and have a long plentiful life. This may not coordinate with your insurance. In such cases, we have affordable plans that are not much more than a gym membership. If you choose not to continue after your benefits have run out that is your health choice and I will respect your decision.

10. “Chiropractor doesn’t spend enough time with me”:
When you came in for care originally we did tests to determine what was going on with you and your general health. Most chiropractors spend a lot of time on your first visit to find out what is going on by doing necessary tests, asking questions and providing care. We don’t want to put a band-aid on your problem, we want to figure out the source and help you heal.

Since your body has a pattern it is easy for us to evaluate what is happening. Also, since most chiropractors have seen thousands of spines, it doesn’t take us long to see what the patterns are. So, it may seem a short time but we understand the body very well and it takes repetition of the plan to get results. We are fast and efficient at what we do and sometimes that looks as though we are not paying attention when in fact we are! We make it look easy but it is years of practice that allows us to make it look that way.

It is important to know that it is not the length of time spent with the doctor but what the doctor knows and applies.

11. “Massage makes it feel better for a while so I can just do that”:

Don’t get me wrong, massage is amazing and necessary for losing up joints getting better movement in the body. However, if your body is not aligned the muscles are not working right and will go back to doing what they were doing before. You are not really fixing the problem, you are making it more comfortable for the time being. Remember, the nervous system is the system that tells the muscles what to do so it is important that it is aligned and sending the proper signals to the muscles making your body function properly.

A massage feels great and will get stress out of the tissues, get blood flowing and relax the muscles. It feels great for a while but if you are not aligned properly and go back and doing stressful things to your body, it will come back. This is why it is so important to get adjusted. Not only for general health but for proper musculoskeletal health as well!

12. “Sometimes I am sore after adjustments”:
As with any body manipulation (exercise included), sometimes there is soreness because the body is not used to either being in the position it is now in or having a manipulation to that area. It can sometimes inflame after body work so that is why you are sore. Ice usually helps to take the swelling away. If it persists then there are other options we can use for your to help with inflammation.

13. “I Will never reach excellent health so why bother”:
We all can always work toward excellent health (if this is what you want. Excellent health is obviously a matter of living a full life without as much restriction as possible. Bad health is dealing pain, disease, and limits. You may not be excellent but you can keep that goal in mind and be the best that YOU can be. It is better than doing nothing and getting the same results that brought you into the office in the first place!

14. “I think I can manage on my own”:
I hear this a lot. Depending on what age you are, you have been doing a lot of things right and a lot of things wrong as far as your health is concerned. There are lifestyle habits that are hard to kick and probably brought you into the office to begin with. Knowing the proper exercises and trying to track your body’s health by how it feels will work for a while but eventually cause you some sort of discomfort. Why not make sure you are doing what worked to keep your body at ease and will continue to do so? You are worth it and why take a chance on your health?

15. “Yoga or workouts are all I need to stay healthy”:
Again, exercise is great for you; especially yoga and its focus on breathing and stretching. However, we are constantly exposed to stress in our lives. In the past, it didn’t take many adjustments or massages to get you functioning well and staying that way. Unfortunately, our society has constant stress. Long work hours, sitting for long periods of time, demanding deadlines, traffic, processed food, pesticides in food, and athletic injuries all lead to compromised nervous system function leading to problems with digestion, elimination, heart issues and some type of organ weakness.

As Arnold Schwarzenegger says: “Chiropractic is a necessity!”

Workouts take the stress out of the body but they can also put a strain on the body. Making sure the body is functioning properly will allow for a better workout and the muscles and organs to respond optimally.

16. My medical doctor, friends or family think it is not safe or a waste of time:
Most of the time people who tell you it is unsafe haven’t been to a chiropractor and haven’t read articles on both sides of the issue. They are either listening to old propaganda or focusing on only negative articles without seeing the latest data.

According to recent research:
Neck and spinal manipulation are remarkably safe procedures. While some reports have associated upper high-velocity neck manipulation with a certain kind of stroke, or vertebral artery dissection, the best evidence3 suggests that this type of arterial injury often takes place spontaneously, or following everyday activities such as turning the head while driving, swimming, or having a shampoo in a hair salon.

Patients with this condition may experience neck pain and headache that leads them to seek professional care—often at the office of a doctor of chiropractic or family physician—but that care is not the cause of the injury.

In addition to being a safe form of treatment, spinal manipulation is incredibly effective, getting patients back on their feet faster than traditional medical care. A March 2004 study in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics found that chiropractic care is more effective than medical care at treating chronic low-back pain in patients who have experienced symptoms for one year or less. Similarly, a study published in the July 15, 2003, edition of the medical journal Spine found that manual manipulation provides better short-term relief of chronic spinal pain than a variety of medications. Moreover, a 2012 study in Spine found that only 1.5 percent of workers with back injuries whose first point of treatment was a doctor of chiropractic required surgery, compared to the 42.7 percent of workers whose first contact was a surgeon.

People who see a chiropractor regularly have fewer injuries, better posture, fewer colds and fewer cases of flu. Just like going to the dentist is necessary to keep your teeth healthy, going to a chiropractor keeps your brain and nerves healthy. Your brain function is pretty important don’t you think?


What Do Chiropractors Really Do?

Chiropractors focus on the intimate relationship between the nervous system and spinal function as well as full body mechanics that help your whole body function optimally leading to great health.

Structural alignment and proper body mechanics are essential for the whole body and systems to function properly. If the body is holding on to stress and not moving correctly, this disturbs the nerves and put added stress on the body and its organs resulting in neurological issues.  These neurological issues lead to illness and disease.  What we do is more than just alleviate neck and back pain.  We affect the body from the inside out.  We are known for neck and back pain but the reason why we are so good at it is because we focus on the whole body.  We take stress out of the body that was restricting movement.  Lack of proper movement leads to problems in the spine, brain and organs.   A symptom will happen eventually if the body is not able to get rid of hidden stresses.  This may be heart, lung, digestion, reproductive issues or pain in tissues and joints.

We can help with almost any malfunction that is occurring because we work with the master system (nervous system).  Some of the things we can help are: ear infections, high blood pressure, headaches, digestion, allergies and many other issues that can be controlled by medication.  We just do it naturally!  What we do is safe, effective and has been proven scientific.

Making sure the bones and joints move properly keeps any irritation or disturbance of the brain and spinal cord at bay allows the body to move and function properly.  Signals sent to and from the brain can be sent without interference and the body can function optimally.  Organs and tissues are directly associated with the spine and will work better if the signals controlling them are working as they should.

If you are looking to be healthy without the use of drugs or surgery, then this is the method for you.

How To Find A Chiropractor in Redwood City, CA

Choosing a chiropractor can be hard especially with all the different types of techniques out there.  There are many misconceptions about chiropractors that have been in the media for years and many people have fears or apprehensions about visiting a chiropractor even when they are so uncomfortable it is hard to bear the pain.

Here are some things to look for when deciding on a chiropractor in Redwood City or any place for that matter.

1. Do they perform treatment on the first visit: Most people seeking chiropractors are in pain and in a lot of cases they have waited until it is unbearable. Of course when coming in there have to be exams performed, questions asked and tests to be done to see what is going on. I am a firm believer in treating patients when they come in. I can’t just let them leave with no treatment and in pain and dis-ease knowing that my treatment would help them greatly. Yes, data needs to be taken but in my office and I do many tests to confirm that treatment is necessary and it is safe.

I also have a machine that pretty much shows me what is going on quickly so I can administer a safe and effective adjustment to the patient and perform any tissue work that may be needed. Again, why have a patient wait and come back tomorrow when they have come in and need help now.

Even if a patient has been in a car accident, I can still work on the tissue and perform cold laser to help with pain.

2. How much time is spent with the doctor: Typically the first appointment is pretty long since the doctor needs to get all information gathered, do testing and answer any questions you may have. After the testing is done, the doctor pretty much ready and knows what to do and can safely administer treatment. After a treatment plan is figured out the doctor doesn’t need to spend another hour with you at each session, they just need to follow up with you and figure out any tweaks that need to be done as far as exercises, posture and lifestyle adjustments. They also need to check in and see how things are progressing with you.

Note: every time you see a chiropractor they are examining the spine when they are touching you. There is a “mini” exam each time you come in.

Chiropractors know how the body is supposed to look, feel and function. We are experts at this and it doesn’t take us long to figure things out. 5 to 15 minute treatment times are enough to find out what is going on, feel the spine, administer treatment along with any soft tissue concerns.

Often times patients qualify the time spent with the doctor in calculating the price. This is not always the case. There are some doctors that have quick analysis and have been working with patients a long time while others will spend time hooked up to a machine or on a massager. Modalities do have you in the office longer but treatment time with the doctor is usually 5-15 minutes just like a medical doctor.

I take a “hands on” approach with care and if there is anything to do with you personally, I am in the room with you the whole time and answer any questions you would like addressed at that time. I want to make sure you are taken care of and have all of your needs met.

3. Once you go to a chiropractor you have to go for the rest of your life:
Your health is up to you. Your brain and spinal cord run and coordinate everything in your body and in my opinion, it is critical and important to keep them working efficiently even in the absence of pain. As you know, you always FEEL great until you don’t. You don’t always know what is lingering until a symptom occurs. Well, keeping your body functioning well will keep you healthy and prevent a lot of sickness and discomfort from ailing you.

If there is a time where you have symptoms and are unconfortable, just like dieting, exercising, learning a new hobby it all takes time. Changing or maintaining optimal lifestyle patterns really determine how well your body functions. If you have very little emotional stress in your life, eat healthy and don’t have athletic injuries or repetitive movements you will need care less.

If you have higher levels of stress it will probably require more visits to keep your body functioning well. With this said, the choice is up to you if you want to continue with care. Most patients that do continue understand that it is beneficial for their health and are determined to stay as healthy as possible However, it is your health and your decision.

4. Are x-rays necessary?: Sometimes. Here are some examples of when an x-ray is necessary:

A. Significant traumatic injury (especially if over 50 years old)
B. If patient has had pain for long extended periods of time that has NOT responded to care. This is to rule out any pathologies that may be there that need to be addressed.

Note: many chiropractors do not have an x-ray machine in the office. We do not have one at our facility but will refer you out to a radiologist who can perform your xray and create a report for viewing.

5. Do I just go in for care or do I have a plan like when you go to a physical therapist?
Well, at our facility we give exercises, talk about ergonomics, nutrition and lifestyle changes. You have your homework and a lot of the exercises are similar to Physical Therapists. If you do decide you want to see one, we can work together. We will keep you aligned and functioning properly to get the most out of your physical therapy. Your muscles and bones are attached and need to work properly to get the most out of your exercises.

6. What other work is performed as part of my chiropractic treatment? 
There are many forms of treatment out there but we like to think that our method gets fast results because we work on the joints, soft tissue and nerves. We perform an adjustment to the joints (this can be spinal or extremities) and work on soft tissue with our SASTM tools (A Graston Technique) if it is necessary during your visit. If there is pain or inflammation, Cold Laser is used to provide some relief so you can move and function as pain free as possible.

We cover the whole body at our office and want to make sure you feel happy and satisfied.  We would love to be the place you call first, before surgery or taking medications that can have ill effects on the body and have side effects. Start with us first, if it doesn’t work for you, the other options will always be there.

About Your Insurance And Chiropractic Care

Insurance is confusing. Especially when it comes to coverage.

If a doctor is “in network” that means that they have a relationship between the patient, the doctor and the insurance company in the a somewhat strange relationship. The patient pays the insurance company. However, it is the doctor and the insurance company that have the contract that dictates the patient care. Insurance tries to tell the doctor when it is appropriate for re-exams, treatment and closing out care. This harms the doctor patient relationship because the doctor may not be able to give the patient what they need because care is dictated by the insurance company. The purpose of the “in network” relationship is to SAVE money for the INSURANCE company. It is not to save money for the patient.

The term “In network”  as used by insurance companies, is basically a way for costs to be managed by the insurance company. Being an “in network preferred provider” for Blue Shield for example, we have to sign a contract each year in which we agreed to limit procedures and visits in order to cut costs for the insurance company. This can cut care plans short because the patient does not want to pay any further costs out of pocket.  Does that sound like it is in the best interest of the patients? We did not think so. What this means is even though your actual  Blue Shield insurance policy benefits may say  you get “20 chiropractic visits per year.”   Your insurance can stop paying because they don’t think it is medically necessary and we won’t find out that visits aren’t covered until the visits are already used. So, what this means is that you don’t have the insurance that you thought you had and are paying out of pocket for such visits.

The old fashioned way of insurance policies really utilized the patient/doctor relationship. The contract was between the patient and the insurance company as it should be. The doctor is not involved with the insurance company. Doctor prescribes best care and focuses only on that. Patient decides if they want the care. Patient pays insurance company. Insurance pays patient and patient either pays the doctor in full with cash or brings in the insurance check.

In the new, in network design, the doctor is obligated by their contract with your insurance company to limit visits.  For example, Kaiser Permanente they limit all coverage to 5 visits per year as an average. This is without even knowing about injuries. If patients go past 5 visits, enormous paperwork is involved with information begging for more visits.  If not approved, those visits will not be covered under their policy and the patient will have to pay for each visit not covered.  This occurs normally AFTER the visits have already been used.

If you are a chiropractic patient and your policy says you get 20 visits per year and your chiropractor tells you they can only bill 6 for you and you are in pain, how would you feel?  Most patients do not like this one bit and it was very hard for them to understand, especially if they clearly needed more visits. In most scenarios the patient gets angry at the doctor and their facility instead of the actual insurance company. Note: the doctor has no power or negotiation ability with the insurance company and if they are submitting billing to them, it is as a courtesy to you.

The visit limit is just one example of how preferred doctors are limited and controlled. Basically someone in a big office who has never met the patient is telling the DOCTOR what they can and cannot do for you. Telling them how many visits you can be seen. This is independent of what you may need or what you have paid for on your policy.

The bottom line?  What does this mean for you?

Your insurance coverage may actually be much better for chiropractic care if you see an “out of network” doctor.  This allows your doctor to provide the care that you and the doctor feel you need, not some adjuster that reads a piece of paper stating how much they are willing to allow you to use.

Any visits billed to Blue Cross or any other insurance company must still be “medically necessary” as most insurance does not pay for chiropractic “maintenance care even though there are many times when it is necessary. Just know that getting low cost insurance isn’t really saving you money, it is limiting your care and in most cases you end up paying out of pocket for visits that they do not cover.

High Costs of Hospital and Surgery vs. Chiropractic Care

I have heard from patients on several occasions that chiropractic care is expensive.  Health does cost money and lets look at the stats here:

Hospital and surgery costs in America was approximately $2.7 trillion in 2011.  $814 or 31% of the $2.7 trillion was spent on hospital bills.  For a one day stay in the hospital the average cost is $3,949.  Most patients average $15,734 each time they go into the hospital for care.  According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the total number of inpatient surgeries performed in 2009 was 48 million. Total spending for common hospital operating room procedures in nonfederal community hospitals was over $166 billion. These amounts don’t even take into account time off of work for rehabilitation or sickness!

So what are the top 3 surgeries performed?

1. Spinal Fusion surgery ($11.26 billion)

2. Heart angioplasty ($11 billion)

3. Knee replacement surgery ($10.36 billion)

Hospital Costs

There is no standard system that determines what a hospital can charge for any service or procedure. Hospital pricing depends on a few things, including the patient’s health circumstances, the cost of lab tests, X-rays, operating room costs and surgeries, medications, and each doctors’ and specialists’ fees.

This means that no two hospital bills are likely to be the same. So regardless of a hospital’s published fee schedules for a service or procedure, the best information that a prospective patient can receive is a good-faith estimate. Until the bill is actually processed, there is no reliable way to assess a patient’s final hospital costs.

Surgery Costs

Total payments are often broken down into hospital expenses (60-80% depending upon procedure), physician payments (13-19%), and post-acute care (7-27%).

In addition, surgery costs vary depending upon who pays for the operation. An individual who is self-paying will be charged a different amount than a private insurance company which, in turn, will be charged a different amount than Medicare or Medicaid.

For example, in 2005, the average total payment for back surgery in the United States was $26,515. But the difference between the lowest and highest payments for the procedure was $18,762. Coronary artery bypass surgery averaged $45,438, but the differential between the highest and lowest cost was $16,668. The gap was $10, 615 for hip fracture repair, and $12,988 for a colectomy.

The community in which a hospital is situated will also cause surgical costs to vary widely. In 2012, the California Public Interest Research Group (CALPIRG) Education Fund, a consumer watchdog organization, studied geographic variations in the state’s hospital charges for similar surgeries and found that facilities in California’s highest-priced region charged up to 2.7 times as much for the same surgery as did hospitals in the lowest-priced region.

So, how expensive is Chiropractic Care again?  Taking care of yourself not only saves you money in surgeries and hospital visits but it makes you feel great as well.  For each visit that you come in you may pay $65.00 per visit.  Even if you are coming in frequently, it will never equal the amounts stated above.   Take the steps that you need to stay healthy and save money!

What is the Impact of High Tech Companies in Redwood City, CA?

Redwood City has grown leaps and bounds since the beginning of the recession.  When I opened my practice in 2010, downtown was called “Deadwood City” and my space was actually vacant for so long that PG&E couldn’t estimate what the past years bills were when I asked.  In July of 2010, the city approved what now is called the “Precise Plan” to help get spaces rented that have been vacant.  This meant that ground floors could be opened up for office spaces which was great for me since I fell into that category.  I was excited to be downtown and loved the old town feel of things.  Though I am an considered an office, I see my business as a sort of retail because I do sell merchandise and help out other local businesses by having several people coming in and out each day and do recommend restaurants and other retailer to my patients.  High Tech companies unfortunately do not have customers going in and out and they take up the majority of parking spaces in the hard to park city because a high volume of people are not taking Caltrain and driving their cars to work.

Why do High Tech companies have to be on the ground floor?  It makes no sense to me.  There is more privacy upstairs and you still have access to the Caltrain and other amenities the city has worked hard to put together.  Don’t get me wrong, these companies have brought life to downtown but they have also changed the vibe.  In past years, family has always been the key point of Redwood City with free music, movies and festivals.  Now, families refrain from going downtown because there is no parking and it is becoming too expensive.

If you notice, vacancies are beginning to happen again and the reason for this is because the city allows building owners to charge more to office space rentals. Members of Redwood City thought that if rents increased too much, High Tech companies would be detered.  Right now in September of 2015, rent is $5.00 a square foot.  The effects of this didn’t effect High Tech but small business owners.  I don’t know about you but I don’t think small business owners or retail can afford that type of rent.  Building owners are now not renewing leases, putting people on month to month. These are people who have rented for over 30 years!  This is so property owners can charge enormous rates and the only people who can afford them are start ups.  On Main Street, there is only one retail office (Ralph’s Vacuum).  All of the other places are either High Tech, restaurants, or Salons.  Most business owners that I know are either hopping in on other businesses and sharing rents or moving out of the area all together.  I like High Techs and I get a lot of patients from them however, with the decrease of parking spaces and hustle and bustle of downtown, some of my other patients are frustrated with how long it takes to get to see me.

For those of you who love the way Redwood City is now, just know that there is a price to pay for all of this and it is the momma poppa stores that gave Redwood City its flare.

Top 10 Chiropractic Medical Research Studies

Chiropractic care is not only beneficial to correct long term damage to your health because of stress, poor posture or trauma; it is also real HEALTH CARE.

In my opinion, no other health profession can prevent nerve to muscle diseases and disruptions in the body like chiropractic can!

If you think that only chiropractors realize how beneficial it is, here are some examples of research and studies from the medical community.

1. Chiropractors help with Sciatica 

According to a clinical trial in 2014 by the European Spine Journal it uncovered how chiropractic care had a 72% success rate in treating sciatica cases and symptoms similar compared to the 20% success from physical therapy and 50% from corticosteroid injections.

2. Low Back Pain and Neck Pain

The British Medical Journal published a study performed in 2003. 183 patients with neck pain were randomly treated with manual therapy (chiropractic spinal mobilization), physiotherapy (mainly exercise) or general practitioner care (counseling, education and drugs) in a 52-week study.

The clinical outcome measures showed that chiropractic adjustments resulted in faster recovery than physiotherapy and general practitioner care. Moreover, total costs of the chiropractic-treated patients were about one-third of the costs of physiotherapy or general practitioner care.

Another study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics found patients with chronic low back pain that was treated by chiropractors showed greater improvement including patient satisfaction after one month of care than patients treated by family physicians.

56% of chiropractic patients reported that their low back pain was greatly improved opposed to 13%  of medical patients.  Nearly 1/3 of all medical patients reported that their pain was much worse.

NIH’s National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine funded a study to test the effectiveness of different approaches for treating neck pain.  272 participants were separated into three groups that (A) received either spinal manipulative therapy from chiropractor, (B) receieved pain medication (over-the-counter pain relievers, narcotics and muscle relaxants) or (C) followed exercise recommendations.

After 3 months, about 57 % who received chiropractic care and 48% who exercised reported at least a 75% reduction in pain, compared to 33% of the people in the medication group. After one year, approximately 53% of the drug-free groups continued to report at least a 75% reduction in pain, compared to just 38% pain reduction among those who took medication.

3. Headaches (Tension and Migraine)

Headaches are commonly the top 5 reasons why someone seeks out a chiropractor.  There are over 230 peer-reviewed articles showing that chiropractors help stop, and decrease the headache symptoms worldwide.

A group trial study found that 22% of people who had chiropractic treatment saw the number of attacks drop by 90%. In that same study, 49% said they had a significant reduction in symptomatic pain.

With this and several other studies in mine, it is clear that headache relief for patients should include chiropractic care over the medical field.

4. Colic and Ear Infections

Scores of case studies have been documented and published showing that children suffering from ear infections (otitis media) acid reflux and colic have had almost complete relief after just a few visits.

The reasons for this vary, but one common theme is that nerves controlling the gut and brain are intricately connected to each other and are quite sensitive to neurological insult caused by vertebral subluxations.

5. Neurological Conditions 

Exciting research is currently being conducted via upright MRI showing how upper cervical adjustments affect various brain-based conditions.

Not only are MRI scans revealing that cerebral spinal fluid and blood flow are markedly increased after a chiropractic adjustment, researchers are observing that cerebellar invagination (when the cerebellum drops down below the skull line) is being reversed and brain plaquing (common in multiple sclerosis) is disappearing!  This shows the power of what chiropractors do!

Montel Williams (TV host), was interviewed about his experience as a MS patient under chiropractic care. It changed his life and there are numerous videos showing his dramatic results.

6. Blood Pressure

George Bakris,  who is the world expert on hypertension, published a study in 2007 with researchers in the Human Journal of Hypertension.  They proved that having one upper cervical chiropractic adjustment had the same effect as taking two blood pressure-lowering drugs. Even more fascinating, the effects of just one adjustment lasted more than six months!

Compared to the placebo-treated patients, saw an average 14 mm Hg greater drop in systolic blood pressure (the top number in a blood pressure count) and an average 8 mm Hg greater drop in diastolic blood pressure (the bottom blood pressure number).

Other studies have shown similar findings with hypotensive patients, and their low blood pressure was raised to normal levels after chiropractic care. This is exciting because it highlights the body’s ability to create a homeostatic balanced environment once vertebral subluxations are removed. This is what DD Palmer was talking about when chiropractic was discovered in 1895.

7. Surgery Prevention

Chiropractic is always a good step to take if a patient has been referred for back surgery.

Now the Journal of the American Medical Association just published its low back pain guidelines and suggested that people suffering from back pain first try chiropractic before resorting to surgery.  This is not widely known by the public but should be so that many people avoid unecessary surgery and remain mobile and pain free.

8. Frozen Shoulder

Clinical trials have been published showing how patients suffering from frozen shoulder responded to chiropractic care.

Of the 50 patients: 16 resolved completely; 25 showed 75% to 90% improvement; eight showed 50% to 75% improvement; and one showed 0 percent to 50 percent improvement.

9. Scoliosis

Chiropractic adjustments for scoliosis coupled with muscular rehabilitation techniques may help prevent the progression of scoliosis. There are several trials out there that show significant improvements in the Cobb x-ray line which shows the angles of scoliosis several years after receiving chiropractic care.

10. Athletic Performance 

Many athletes like Michael Phelps, Jerry Rice and Joe Montana have been under regular chiropractic care during and after their career.  In fact, over 50% of NFL teams have a chiropractor on staff.  It is now common for most athletic teams to have a chiropractor on hand to help with injuries and rehabilitation.   Studies have shown that chiropractic:

  • Reduces inflammatory cytokines
  • Boosts your immune system
  • Enhances pulmonary function
  • Decreases mental and oxidative stress
  • Relieves muscle tension
  • And can naturally increase your energy level

Studies have even proved, objectively and subjectively, that chiropractic patients experience “overall increased bodily function,” which includes bowl regularity and mental clarity.

Basically, because it helps place your body in the position where it can heal itself, chiropractic adjustments can free your immune system up to focus on keeping you healthy, which enhances your ability to think, move and perform.

Think chiropractic is just for neck and back pain….it can help but it is for allowing your body to use its innate capabilities and heal all on its own!