New Evidence Showing “No Excess Risk Of Carotid Artery Stroke After Chiropractic Care”

In this article they state that patients with carotid artery dissection can present with neck pain and/or headache before experiencing a stroke. These are common symptoms seen by both chiropractors and primary care physicians (PCPs). This study aimed to find out what risks there are of a carotid artery stroke after chiropractic care by comparing association between chiropractic and PCP visits and subsequent stroke.

Here is what happened:

A population-based, case-crossover study was undertaken in Ontario, Canada. All incident cases of carotid artery stroke admitted to hospitals over a 9-year period were identified. Cases served as their own controls. Exposures to chiropractic and PCP services were determined from health billing records.

Results

We compared 15,523 cases to 62,092 control periods using exposure windows of 1, 3, 7, and 14 days prior to the stroke. Positive associations were found for both chiropractic and PCP visits and subsequent stroke in patients less than 45 years of age. These associations tended to increase when analyses were limited to visits for neck pain and headache-related diagnoses. There was no significant difference between chiropractic and PCP risk estimates. They found NO ASSOCIATION between chiropractic visits and stroke in those 45 years of age or older.

Conclusions

No excess risk of carotid artery stroke after chiropractic care was found in this study. Associations between chiropractic and PCP visits and stroke were similar and likely due to patients with early dissection-related symptoms seeking care prior to developing their strokes.

References: 2016 National Stroke Association. Published by Elsevier Inc.

How Can Musicians Injure themselves?

Musicians must practice long hours and often times develop what is called a repetitive strain injury (RSI).  This can be anywhere in the body from the jaw, arm, leg, hand, fingers, low back, shoulder.  This can greatly effect their jobs and keep them out of work for long periods of time because the discomfort is too hard to deal with while working.   Unfortunately, a lot of musicians and people in general think that discomfort will go away on its own.  If you are experiencing discomfort in your body, it means there is a problem.  Your body is trying to tell you something and is trying to protect itself from further damage by giving you pain or some kind of discomfort so you don’t make your injury worse.

Most times, I see people who have pushed it so far that they now can’t play and can’t work and they want fast results.  Unfortunately, what has happened is an injury and injuries take time and dedication to heal, not to mention stay incident free.

So, how do RSIs happen?

Lets begin by letting you know that the brain and spinal cord (Nervous System) control everything in your body.  That means your organs (heart/lungs), glands (release hormones/substances), tissues, immune system.  As you know, your brain is involved in everything so this should make sense.

Stress interferes with your body, especially your nervous system.  When your body can not get rid of stress it stores in the body and presents itself as a symptom.  There are 3 different stress:

1. Physical: Stressful lifestyle choices like sitting slouched (posture), falls or accidents etc.

2. Chemical: Bad food, pesticides, toxic chemicals in the body (smoking/junk food)

3. Emotional: Stress from Family, work, relationship, death of a loved one or animal

Continued stress from these different areas will cause the body to tighten up and effect your posture, spine and muscles.  Then the nervous system will be effected and then will effect all the areas that the nervous system sends signals to.  This is called a subluxation.  Subluxations untreated will lead to diseases, sickness and discomfort in the body.

What is fairly common is for me to hear people say they felt great before and had no problems and then the symptom suddenly appeared.  Problems arise when the stress keeps happening and nothing is done about it to release it from the system.  Playing an instrument for 8 or more hours per day is stressful to the body.  Eating foods that aren’t good for you causes more stress, then if you are worried about anything else will effect the body as well.  Everything starts building up and the body will give you some signals.  It may be tight or you may feel a tweak or shock for a second and then it goes away.  This is a warning sign of things to come.  Don’t ignore this or next time it will be a harsher signal.  The problem is that people feel these signs and they ignore them until there is so much discomfort that they can’t deal with it anymore.  This is a great example of how built up stress will effect everything and lead to sickness and discomfort.

We can help by getting rid of such stress in the body.  We not only do any physical tests we need to do, but we have a diagnostic machine that tracks stress in the body.  It is non-invasive and will let us know where this stress is storing in the nervous system.  Pretty cool huh?   Give us a call today to make an appointment and see how we can help release stored stress in your body and keep you playing and feeling great at the same time!

Some Jobs Are More At Risk For Back Problems

An article from the October 7, 2006 BBC News in the United Kingdom reports on a survey study listing the 5 top jobs most likely to cause back issues among workers in the United Kingdom. The list, compiled and published by the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) has some surprising findings. The study conducted by the BCA surveyed 2,374 people, found that 59% of the working population, in the top category at risk for back problems, sit down all day. Many of these people do not leave their desks even for a lunch break. This sedentary lifestyle coupled with positioning and long hours puts office workers at a higher risk than the excessive lifting and carrying done by those employed in manual jobs. The top five list as released by the British Chiropractic Association is as follows:

1. Office Worker – Long periods of time sitting in awkward positions, often slouched over computer keyboards, or maybe sitting at chairs not properly adjusted for their needs.

2. Nurse – Long shifts, often on their feet all day as well as lifting and carrying.

3. Driver – Hours a day spent at the wheel, sitting in a poor position, along with limited movement.

4. Laborer – Repeated strain from lifting heavy weights and often twisting in awkward positions.

5. Teacher & Nursery Staff – Continuously bending down to a child’s height and lifting children can cause back problems Dr. Tim Hutchful speaking for the BCA comments: “This survey has highlighted what we chiropractors have known for some time. Lack of exercise and sedentary lifestyle is taking its toll. It is assumed that those most at risk from back pain are the ones who have very physical jobs however, as this research has unveiled, whilst lifting and carrying are still common triggers for back pain, it is those with less physically demanding jobs and who are often seated for the majority of the day that could be most prone to back problems.”

According to the BCA, one third of UK citizens will suffer from some sort of back problem. Dr. Hutchful added: “For many who work in an office environment, it is the day-to-day, mundane routines that are at the root of most back problems. Hunching over computer keyboards and cradling the phone between the ear and shoulder can all contribute to lower back and neck stiffness, not to mention the fact that many office workers sit for hours at a time with very little movement.”

References: www.chiropracticresearch.org

Study Of Acupuncture, Chiropractic And Medication For Low Back Pain

In this study, patients with chronic lower back pain of at least 13 weeks duration were randomly assigned either to medication, needle acupuncture or spinal manipulation. The results provided evidence that in patients with chronic spinal pain, manipulation results in greater short-term improvement than acupuncture or medication. The patients receiving spinal manipulation also reported a much higher full recovery rate (27%) than either those receiving acupuncture (9%) or medication (5%).

STUDY DESIGN: A randomized controlled clinical trial was conducted.

OBJECTIVE: To compare medication, needle acupuncture, and spinal manipulation for managing chronic (>13 weeks duration) spinal pain because the value of medicinal and popular forms of alternative care for chronic spinal pain syndromes is uncertain.

SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA: Between February 1999 and October 2001, 115 patients without contraindication for the three treatment regimens were enrolled at the public hospital’s multidisciplinary spinal pain unit.

METHODS: One of three separate intervention protocols was used: medication, needle acupuncture, or chiropractic spinal manipulation. Patients were assessed before treatment by a sports medical physician for exclusion criteria and by a research assistant using the Oswestry Back Pain Disability Index (Oswestry), the Neck Disability Index (NDI), the Short-Form-36 Health Survey questionnaire (SF-36), visual analog scales (VAS) of pain intensity and ranges of movement. These instruments were administered again at 2, 5, and 9 weeks after the beginning of treatment.

RESULTS: Randomization proved to be successful. The highest proportion of early (asymptomatic status) recovery was found for manipulation (27.3%), followed by acupuncture (9.4%) and medication (5%). Manipulation achieved the best overall results, with improvements of 50% (P = 0.01) on the Oswestry scale, 38% (P = 0.08) on the NDI, 47% (P < 0.001) on the SF-36, and 50% (P < 0.01) on the VAS for back pain, 38% (P < 0.001) for lumbar standing flexion, 20% (P < 0.001) for lumbar sitting flexion, 25% (P = 0.1) for cervical sitting flexion, and 18% (P = 0.02) for cervical sitting extension. However, on the VAS for neck pain, acupuncture showed a better result than manipulation (50% vs 42%).

CONCLUSIONS: The consistency of the results provides, despite some discussed shortcomings of this study, evidence that in patients with chronic spinal pain, manipulation, if not contraindicated, results in greater short-term improvement than acupuncture or medication. However, the data do not strongly support the use of only manipulation, only acupuncture, or only nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs for the treatment of chronic spinal pain. The results from this exploratory study need confirmation from future larger studies.

FROM:   Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2003 (Jul 15);   28 (14):   1490–1502

Giles LG, Muller R
National Unit for Multidisciplinary Studies of Spinal Pain, The University of Queensland, The Townsville Hospital, Australia. [email protected]

Forward Head Posture Can Cause Headaches

It is very common for patients to come into my office with headaches and stress on their neck.  This isn’t much of a surprise since most people work at a desk with a computer, have a laptop that they use at home and text on their phone.  All of these actions cause the head to move forward.

According to Kapandji (Physiology of the joints, volume III), for every inch your head moves forwards, it gains 10 pounds in weight, as far as the muscles in your upper back and neck are concerned, because they have to work that much harder to keep the head (chin) from dropping onto your chest.   This also forces the suboccipital muscles (they raise the chin) to remain in constant contraction, putting pressure on the 3 Suboccipital nerves.   This nerve compression may cause headaches at the base of the skull. Pressure on the suboccipital nerves can also mimic sinus (frontal) headaches.

Rene Cailliet M.D., famous medical author and former director of the department of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of Southern California states:

Head in forward posture can add up to thirty pounds of abnormal leverage on the cervical spine. This can pull the entire spine out of alignment. Forward head posture (FHP) may result in the loss of 30% of vital lung capacity. These breath-related effects are primarily due to the loss of the cervical lordosis, which blocks the action of the hyoid muscles, especially the inferior hyoid responsible for helping lift the first rib during inhalation.”

Persistent forward head posture (a.k.a. “hyperkyphotic posture”) puts compressive loads upon the upper thoracic vertebra, and is also associated with the development of Upper Thoracic Hump, which can devolve into Dowager Hump when the vertebra develop compression fractures (anterior wedging).  A recent study found this hyperkyphotic posture associated with a 1.44 rate of mortality. 

It’s not uncommon to observe 2″ of anterior head placement in new patients.   Would you be surprised that your neck and shoulders hurt if you had a 20-pound watermelon hanging around your neck?   That’s what forward head posture can do to you.   Left uncorrected, FHP will continue to decline.   Chiropractic can be very corrective, especially in the hands of a chiropractic rehabilitationist.   Our specialty is in reversing the joint fixations (what we refer to as “subluxations”) and in re-invigorating the muscles that normally retract the head.

http://www.chiro.org/LINKS/Forward_Head_Posture.shtml

Chiropractic vs. Outpatient For Low Back Pain

Low back pain can be debilitating.  It is hard to sleep, walk, work or move without feeling pain in the low back.  Chiropractors are experts in low back pain and get quick and safe results.

According to The British Medical Journal:

A study of 741 males and females with low back pain were followed up on after 3 years of treatment.  It was determined that chiropractic care was more effective and patients reported a higher satisfaction rate than those who received outpatient medical care.  It was reported that 29% of the individuals receiving chiropractic care had a higher rate of improvement opposed to those receiving out-patient medical care.

In addition,  it was found that patients stated chiropractic more helpful than hospital management. The conclusion of the study was that those subjects who were treated by chiropractors received more benefits and long-term satisfaction than those treated by hospitals.

If you would like to live a healthy and vibrant life without restrictions, give our Redwood City Chiropractic office a call today! (650) 353-1133

Whiplash Can Help With Chiropractic Care

In an article published in the Journal of Orthopedic Medicine in 1999, they pointed out the superiority of chiropractic care for patients suffering from long term whiplash.

The authors of the article noted that a previous study had shown that 26 of 28 patients, or 93 percent, of patients with chronic whiplash benefited from chiropractic care.

In the authors own study, they interviewed 100 consecutive chiropractic referrals of patients with chronic whiplash. Their results also showed that of the 93 patients who remained in the study, 69 of them, or 74 percent, found improvement. The researchers concluded their opening comments with the statement, “The results from this study provide further evidence that chiropractic is an effective treatment for chronic whiplash symptoms.”

10 Common Reasons For Seeing A Doctor!

According to the Mayo Clinic skin conditions are the #1 reason people see a doctor.  But, did you know that about 60 – 80% of adults in the U.S. have low back pain?   It is the second most common reason people visit their doctor (1st are skin conditions).  Most other conditions deal with the heart and lungs.  Since I am not a dermatologist, I can not address reason #1 but issues with the spine and nervous system I can address.  If you are one of the 60-80% you know that low back problems can really debilitate you and it affects your spine’s movement, stability and strength.  It affects every movement and can  keep you immobile for long periods of time.  You may lose a lot of time at work and time with your family and friends because of pain.

When you think of low back pain, you may think of an older person, but back pain is the leading cause of disability in Americans under 45 years old!  Every year about 13 million people go to the doctor because they are experiencing back pain.

This is a serious problem.  Back pain causes approximately 2.4 million Americans to be chronically disabled and another 2.4 million temporarily disabled.

Signs and Symptoms:
* Tenderness, pain, and stiffness in the lower back
* Pain that spreads into the buttocks or legs
* Having a hard time standing up or standing in one position for a long time
* Discomfort while sitting
* Weakness and tired legs while walking

Why does back pain happen?
Most people who come into my office with low back pain describe the injury occurring from a strain from lifting, twisting, or bending.  One thing that a lot of people may not know is normally not a one-time occurrence.  It is frequently caused by chronic bad posture and long hours of sitting.  With all the Hi-techs now,  people sit for long periods in front of a computer.  Smartphones with texting is common and sedentary lifestyles are on the rise.  There are rare cases of low back pain that can be a sign of a more serious condition, such as an infection, a rheumatic or arthritic condition, or a tumor but most of the time it is a musculoskeletal issue and can be helped with proper posture, exercises and lifestyle changes.

Many people under the age of 40 can experience a ruptured or bulging disk.  This happens when the middle of the disk leaks out when there pressure or a tear of the disk that is between each vertebra.

Don’t ignore your body’s signals:
You may have had a twinge or a pull that went away and ignored it.  Well, that is your body’s way of telling you something is wrong.  In time, your body will force you to take care of this problem by putting you in pain and interfering with your life.

What are the Risk factors?
*Age (we get tighter when we are older)

*Smoking

*Becoming overweight

*Depression

*Sedentary lifestyle

*Physical labor (repetitive movements)

So what can help if you are experiencing Low Back Pain?  Chiropractic of course!
According to a comprehensive review conducted by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, chiropractic care was determined to both relieve pain and restore function.  Chiropractic care is effective for acute and chronic low back pain. We are so successful because we guide your body to its proper position and the stress is taken off the problem area, allowing for inflammation to go away and your body heal naturally.

Chiropractic has great success with back and neck pain!  We understand body posture and movement.  You don’t need to suffer with back pain our Redwood City Chiropractic office can help!

Here is the list of ailments people see a doctor for in the United States:

1. Skin disorders;
2. Osteoarthritis and joint disorders;
3. Back problems;
4. Cholesterol problems;
5. Upper respiratory conditions, excluding asthma;
6. Anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder;
7. Chronic neurologic disorders;
8. High blood pressure;
9. Headaches and migraines; and
10. Diabetes.

Chiropractors can help with all of these issues by having you incorporate healthy lifestyles.  Call us at our Redwood City Chiropractic office today and see how we can guide you to greater health.

3 Examples To Prevent injuries while doing Yoga

When done correctly, yoga provides you with a stronger, flexible body.   It relaxes you, increases your athletic performance, sharpens your concentration and promotes better breathing.   This is all wonderful but if yoga is done incorrectly, it can result in injuries including pulled muscles, joint pain, hernias or chronic problems leading to chronic problems and permanent disability.

Knowing what is good for you and not good for you will keep you healthy and prevent chronic injuries.  Partial poses keeping a strong core and proper body alignment is recommended rather than perform poses that puts added stress into the body. Yoga can be very physically challenging and hard on your joints so knowing your limits will allow you to prevent injuries.

How do Yoga Injuries Occur?

Injuries usually occur when:

  1. Trying hard poses when your body is not flexible or strong enough
  2. Not posing correctly
  3. If you have a physical problem already and you push yourself too hard, you may worsen it by pushing beyond their capabilities

What are some common yoga injuries?

  • knee popping or clicking
  • Chronic adhesions and scar tissue injuries happening over time because of long-term repetition of poor technique.

Neck: Poses like “plow,” “shoulder stand” and “headstand” if done improperly can put undue pressure on the neck and cause pain or discomfort. Beginners should try these poses only under the close supervision of an experienced teacher.

Wrists: Do you have carpal tunnel syndrome or weak wrists? Then do not perform poses that put excess weight on your wrists.

Knees: Don’t force your knees into Lotus or other vulnerable positions. Without adequate hip-joint flexibility you could tear a meniscus (cartilage) or you could stretch or tear one of the knee ligaments.

Lower Back: Forward and backward bends and twists, if done incorrectly, can result in back damage. Do not over-twist or push your back through a painful bend.  Your body is telling you that it is too much!

Inversion Poses: Inversion poses like shoulder stand and headstand put the head lower than the heart and raise blood pressure. If you have cardiovascular problems, hypertension, diabetes or glaucoma please don’t do these poses.

A great rule of thumb…make sure you are supervised if you are beginning so you prevent injuries.  If you have been doing yoga for a long-time, periodically have someone look at your posture and poses to make sure you are still doing them correctly.

Is Swimming Good For Back Pain?

In many cases, swimming can be a very helpful exercise for back pain sufferers.  Athletes commonly become injured and swimming is a great way to keep active without putting excess strain on a swimmers back.  However, that is not to say that swimming can’t cause back pain or injuries as well.

Sometimes lower back pain can be caused from swimming when the muscles in the lower back become hyper extended, or over stretched, during the breaststroke or other forward stokes. In addition to hyper extension of the lower back, the cervical spine, or upper spine and neck, can also become injured while swimming. Repetitive jerking motions of the head during frontward stokes could also seriously injure the area.

The neck and cervical spine are particularly prone to injury while swimming. The anatomy of this area of the spine is very complex and is composed of seven vertebrae surrounding the spinal cord, which extends downward from the brain. Stretching outward from the spinal cord are nerves which travel to muscles and other tissue throughout the body.

To prevent back pain while swimming, it’s crucial that you use proper form and techniques. Unnatural or awkward movements while swimming can easily damage tissue through the back, so it’s important to maintain the correct stokes and movements. In addition, swimming with sidestrokes or backstrokes can also minimize stress on the back when compared with frontward strokes. When doing the front crawl or other forward strokes, make sure to roll your body when taking a breath and avoid jerking the head backwards so that you can reduce strain on the neck. Using a snorkel can also help reduce the awkward movement of the neck by reducing the need to adjust the head when taking breaths. Wearing a mask or goggles can also reduce unintentionally jerky head movements while trying to get water out of the eyes. Boards, life vests, or other types of floatation devices can also help maintain proper form while swimming.

If you are actively involved with swimming and are experiencing neck or back pain, seek the advice of a coach or more experienced swimmer. If they spot you while swimming, they may be able to determine if something is wrong with your stroke and can advise you on proper technique.

Specific swimming strokes can cause their own unique back injury problems. Here are some items to be aware of when doing certain strokes:

  • For the freestyle, make sure you do not rotate your head too much when taking breaths. In addition, do not let your head move up too much or deviate from the axis along the length of the body. Deviating from this axis, or over rotating the head, can easily lead to neck and back injury while swimming. Also, when you’re not going up for breathes make sure you keep your head looking downwards. As already mentioned, rolling too much can easily lead to damage.
  • With the backstroke, muscles along the front of the neck tend to become fatigued if you have not done that stoke in a long time. Make sure to ease into this stoke and avoid over doing it.
  • When doing any flipturns, tuck your head in and don’t have it extended outward from your body.
  • For the breaststroke, keep your head and neck still, while gently raising the head and back to take breathes.

When back pain becomes a problem there are several methods to help relieve discomfort:

  • Stretching, icing, and using over the counter medications such as ibuprofen are also very conservative ways to help reduce discomfort with mild cases of back pain.
  • However, with more serious pain, more serious forms of treatment may be required and seeking the help of a chiropractor or physical therapist may be more beneficial. With chiropractic manipulations, pain can often be relieved in many instances, but not necessarily for everyone.
  • Physical therapy is a common treatment for back pain ailments. Physical therapists design specific exercises and routines that are intended to both strengthen the tissue in the back while increasing flexibility, helping to minimize back pain.
  • Back braces are also a common way to treat back pain since they help to limit awkward movements and aid in the treatment of injured tissue.

If swimming continues to be painful it’s important to stop and seek the advice of a physician in order to stop back pain. By continuing to swim despite continual or worsening pain, the condition affecting the back may become worse and more serious forms of treatment may be required to reverse discomfort. Only in rare cases is surgery required to reverse ailments that affect the back. However, there are still instances where surgery may not be enough to completely reverse back pain conditions.

In many cases, swimming can actually help back pain. Swimming is an activity that is good for you, and it also does not usually strain or add significant weight to the back. This makes it a great alternative for those looking for an exercise that won’t aggravate their neck or back, as well as any other conditions that may be affecting their bodies. However, repetitive or awkward movements in the pool can lead to injury, so it’s important to learn the proper safety methods and techniques to avoid injury to the back