20 Fun and Amazing Health Facts.

1 Jan

1.) Women have a better sense of smell than men. 2.) When you take a step, you use up to 200 muscles. 3.) Your ears secrete more earwax when you are afraid than when you aren’t. 4.) The human brain has the capacity to store everything you experience. 5.) It takes twice as long to lose new muscle if you stop working out than it did to gain it. 6.) The average person’s skin weighs twice as much as their brain. 7.) Every year your body replaces 98% of your atoms. 8.) On average, there are 100 billion neurons in the human brain. 9.) The lifespan of a taste bud is ten days.  10.) Dentists recommend you keep your toothbrush at least 6 feet away from a toilet to avoid airborne particles caused by flushing.  11.) Your tongue is the only muscle in your body that is attached at only one end. 12.) Your stomach produces a new layer of mucus every two weeks so that it doesn’t digest itself. 13.) It takes about 20 seconds for a red blood cell to circle the whole body. 14.) The pupil of the eye expands as much as 45% when a person looks at something pleasing. 15.) Your heart rate can rise as much as 30% during a yawn. 16.) Your heart pumps about 2,000 gallons of blood each day. 17.) Your heart beats over 100,000 times a day. 18.) Your hair grows faster in the morning than at any other time of day.  19.) Your body is creating and killing 15 million red blood cells per second. 20.) You’re born with 300 bones, but when you reach adulthood, you only have 206!

The “Many Faces” of Whiplash

19 Jun

Whiplash typically involves an injury to the neck, but it can often include symptoms outside of the cervical region, which is why the term “whiplash associated disorder” (WAD) may be a more appropriate description for the condition. WAD is most commonly associated with car accidents, but other forms of trauma, such as a slip and fall, can also result in WAD. So what makes WAD so unique?

Researchers have divided WAD into three primary classes: WAD I is basically pain with negative examination findings; WAD II includes pain with examination findings such as loss of motion; and WAD III includes the WAD II findings plus neurological losses (altered sensation and/or strength in the arm). There is also a WAD IV that includes fractures and dislocations.

Whiplash associated disorder may include a constellation of symptoms that are often wide ranging —from nothing to minor, short-term discomfort to chronic, permanent, disabling problems that greatly affect the rest of the patient’s life. Studies have shown that recovery is more likely in patients with a WAD I injury than those with a WAD II injury. Likewise, the chance of recovery is higher among those with WAD II than those with WAD III.

But the controversy in any classification system include the “outliers”, or those that don’t get better when the physical factors involved and the WAD class suggests they should. This is what has perplexed researchers and healthcare professionals since this injury was first described in 1928 among those injured in train accidents (under the term “railroad neck”).

A 2017 review of past studies suggests that physical factors may play a smaller role in recovery prediction than psychosocial factors, or how the injured person deals with the injury emotionally or mentally. The review found the risk of pain becoming a chronic issue (lasting longer than three months) is elevated in patients with greater post-injury pain intensity and disability, whiplash grades (WAD III > WAD II > WAD 1), cold hyperalgesia (more sensitive to cold sensation), post-injury anxiety, catastrophizing (thinking things are worse than they are), and how long a patient waited to seek treatment.

Doctors of chiropractic are trained to assess and treat patients with WAD as well as provide them with exercises and other self-help management strategies to better enable them to recover from their injury.

FOR A FREE NO-OBLIGATION CONSULTATION CALL 717-697-1888

Dr. Brent Binder
856 Century Drive, Suite C
Mechanicsburg Pa, 17055

Member of Chiro-Trust.org

This information should not be substituted for medical or chiropractic advice. Any and all healthcare concerns, decisions, and actions must be done through the advice and counsel of a healthcare professional who is familiar with your updated medical history.

Neck Pain and the Facet Joints

15 Jun

Neck pain is one of those conditions that virtually everyone has had at some point in time. The degree of how it can affect one’s life is highly variable—from minimal functional limitations to total disability. So where does neck pain come from and why are the “facet joints” so important?

The anatomy of a vertebrae in the spine is quite unique. There are seven vertebrae that make up the cervical spine. The top vertebra in the neck is called the atlas (C1), which basically swivels around the axis (C2). The atlas and axis allow us to rotate our head, such as when checking traffic or looking over our shoulder. The top two vertebrae (c1 and c2) are uniquely shaped, while the remaining cervical vertebrae (c3-7) are very similar in appearance with a vertebral body in the front and a bony ring with spinous process on the back that protects the spinal cord.

Between each vertebral body is a spinal disk and the processes are connected to the processes of the vertebrae above and below by facet joints.

The facet joints are a major source of neck pain, and injuries to the facet joints are commonly referred as “cervical facet syndrome.” Biomechanical studies show that the capsules that surround the facet joints have many nerve endings and can become highly strained when large amounts of force are applied to the body, such as during a motor vehicle collision.

When this occurs, the combination of inflammation and capsular deformation can lower the threshold in various pain producing receptors in the facet joint. This results in persistent neck pain which can increase with normal movement.

There are many treatment approaches available for persistent neck pain arising from the facet joints, such as spinal manipulation and joint mobilization performed by a doctor of chiropractic.

Home-based self-care recommendations may include specific exercises to stretch and strengthen the cervical spine, nutritional advice, home cervical traction units, a cervical pillow, and cervical curve-retaining techniques.

FOR A FREE NO-OBLIGATION CONSULTATION CALL 717-697-1888 

Dr. Brent Binder
856 Century Drive, Suite C
Mechanicsburg Pa, 17055

Member of Chiro-Trust.org

This information should not be substituted for medical or chiropractic advice. Any and all healthcare concerns, decisions, and actions must be done through the advice and counsel of a healthcare professional who is familiar with your updated medical history.

The Relationship of the Hip, the Low Back, and Knee

12 Jun

The hip is a very unique joint. The depth of the socket, the strength of the muscles and ligaments surrounding it, and the way it functions in weight bearing activities is unlike any other joint in the body. The focus this month is on the relationship between the hip and the rest of the body.

The hip joint is a synovial joint, meaning it moves freely. It is a ball-and-socket joint that is made up of the femoral head (the “ball”) and the acetabulum (the “socket”). The ball is largely contained within the cup or socket, though there are genetic and cultural differences with regards to the depth and shape of the hip joint in any one individual.

The relationship between the hip and the surrounding joints is intimate in that each joint affects the next. For instance, ankle pronation—or the inward rolling of the foot and ankle—results in a knocked knee, which can then shift the hip outwards. The pelvis then drops down on that side, the tailbone or sacrum becomes unleveled or sloped, and the lower spine curves to compensate with the ultimate goal of keeping your eyes level. Hence, when your hip hurts, your doctor of chiropractic will examine and treat the ENTIRE lower kinetic chain—the foot, ankle, knee, hip, pelvis, and spine—as ALL are so closely related to each other. When it comes to managing you and your hip pain, be prepared for management of any of the following:

  • Ankle pronation: This is the inward rolling of the ankle often associated with a flat foot. When viewing someone with ankle pronation from behind, the angle from the Achilles tendon to the ground will lean inward when it normally should be perpendicular. A valgus correction in a “rear foot post”—a heel wedge thicker on the inside—of a foot orthotic (customized arch support) is needed to correct this.
  • Knocked-knees: Ankle pronation can result in “knocked-knees” (genu valgus) which overloads or jams the outer knee joint, over-stretching the inner knee joint and ligaments. The knee cap (patella) then rides excessively hard on the outer surface of the femoral groove in which it glides as one bends and straightens their knee, causing knee cap pain.
  • Hip inward angulation (or coxa vera): As the knee shifts inward or knocks, the head of the femur moves outward, leaving the joint less stable. Leg length deficiency (LLD)—or a short leg—occurs when the pelvis drops on that side further destabilizing the lower kinetic chain.

Once ankle pronation is properly corrected with a rear foot post and the hind foot is repositioned back to neutral (if LLD persists) a heel lift can be placed under the foot orthotic to corrective this imbalance. ONLY then will the pelvis become level and stable so it can properly serve as a strong foundation for the spine the rest of the body to rest on!

We haven’t touched the subject of muscle imbalance, strengthening of commonly weak hip extensor muscles, or stretching of overly tight hip flexors and adductor muscles—topics for another day! The good news—doctors of chiropractic can help you with this common problem!

FOR A FREE NO-OBLIGATION CONSULTATION CALL 717-697-1888

Dr. Brent Binder
856 Century Drive, Suite C
Mechanicsburg Pa, 17055

Member of Chiro-Trust.org

This information should not be substituted for medical or chiropractic advice. Any and all healthcare concerns, decisions, and actions must be done through the advice and counsel of a healthcare professional who is familiar with your updated medical history.

The Most Important Principles for Staying Young: Chose Only Foods You Know You Can Have a Relationship with— That You Love and Love Your Body Back.

8 Jun

Our basic premise is that your body is amazing. You get a do over. It doesn’t take that long, and it isn’t that hard if you know what to do. In these notes, we give you a short course in what to do so it becomes easy for you and for you to teach others. We want you to know how much control you have over both the quality and length of your life.

This month, I hope to inform you why I am so cautious about coconut oil; it has nothing to do with fats in your blood leading to heart disease or not, but rather that researchers in the lab next to mine at NIH in the early 70s used coconut oil to accelerate brain dysfunction and the development of Alzheimer’s and dementia in animals. And more recently, a scientific article published in a respected peer reviewed journal indicated coconut oil accelerates the inflammatory changes in multiple sclerosis that lead to nervous system dysfunction. (Multiple sclerosis is a disease thought to be caused by or accelerated by nervous tissue inflammation just like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease(s) are.)

Now this side effect relating to accelerating the development of dementia caused by coconut oil in mice and rats and guinea pigs oil isn’t a minor acceleration—it is the human equivalent of bringing it on 16 to 20 years earlier—so instead of 14% of US women developing serious degrees of memory problems at age 83, that 14% would develop them at age 63 to 67 or so if they had used coconut oil as the major fat in their food choices. If just 35% of Americans chose to use coconut oil as their main fat, this earlier development would cost the US an additional $100 billion dollars a year in medical costs by 2024. That mistake to use coconut oil would also lead to too much personal and family costs to even consider. Hopefully 35% don’t and won’t. I realize I am going against the grain of at least two very prominent docs and the marketing might of the coconut oil industry.

Due to the scientific articles I want to inform you about, this article would run the normal length of eight articles (as it is, it will run 2 to 3 time longer than I want). So I will abstract much data here, but place more reference material on my and Jean Chatzky’s AgeProof website and blog site, AgeProof.life.

The recent paper that triggered my desire to remind you of my concerns about coconut oil use is an abstract (from April 2017) by a different group (a different group means the data are reproducible by others than those who made the original observation—meaning the original observation is much more likely to be real rather than a statistical aberration). That abstract confirms a 2015 publication in the journal Immunity. I won’t discuss the confirming abstract cause it is only an abstract rather than a full peer reviewed scientific paper (abstracts are not scrutinized or vetted to even 10% of the degree papers are). In that memory triggering paper (memory triggering for me) on the effects of dietary coconut oil on MS, entitled “Dietary Fatty Acids Directly Impact Central Nervous System Autoimmunity via the Small Intestine”, coconut oil added to soybean oil in a typical rat diet made the rat’s equivalent of your immune system attack the protective sheath (myelin) that covers your nerve fibers. That inflammatory attack causes the equivalent of communication problems between your brain and the rest of your body.

Studies on memory change, even in rats or mice or guinea pigs, require a long time to complete as they need the inflammation to develop and then destroy the neuronal connections that cause what we know as memory or human brain functioning. Your hippocampus is the only organ where size matters in the human body, as size shrinks as memory and learning problems occur in humans.

That hippocampal size and inflammation reference relates to the 2008 study by Granholm and colleagues in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease (Effect of a Saturated Fat and High Cholesterol Diet on Memory and Hippocampal Morphology in the Middle Aged Rat, 2008;14: 133-145) that showed that eight weeks of a diet with hydrogenated coconut oil (most coconut oil is hydrogenated or saturated in nature and as you might buy it) added to the normal diet was associated with inflammation in those key to memory hippocampal nervous tissues. Note they used middle-aged, not young, rats and gave the equivalent of 20 or more human years of the diet to the animals. So I urge you if you do your own research, or if you are a doc in the field, before you advocate something like coconut oil, to make sure the studies you are basing your recommendations on are long enough and look for the changes well enough to ensure that what they advocate isn’t short-term beneficial and long-term hazardous.

A 2012 paper published in the Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism (2012; 32; 643-53) indicated that the inflammation associated with hydrogenated coconut oil (like the kind you might use in cooking) causes inflammatory vascular changes and breaks down that key area of the blood-brain barrier in their rat model. Now the research team gave the rats 10% coconut oil, the equivalent of 160 calories or less than 3 tablespoons for a human, and found inflammatory and disruptive changes in one of the proteins key for the tight junctions and thereby functioning of the blood-brain barrier. This breakdown of the blood brain barrier and inflammation in the hippocampus is exactly what the researchers in the laboratory next to mine in 1973-5 found as they tried to understand dementia. They administered coconut oil after causing an inflammatory stimulus (a bacterial skin infection as I recall). That process led to the mice in their studies not being able to learn maze navigation, as I remember it. Since then, other scientists have developed genetic models of dementia in rats and mice. I worry the data are too old for the young docs of today to be aware of that model of accelerated dementia associated with a coconut oil diet plus inflammation.

To summarize, because coconut oil is rich in the medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), it is supposed to be different than other saturated fats that are made of fatty acids with more than 12 or 14 carbons so called Long-term fatty acids (LCFAs). The LCFAs largely come with amino-acids such as carnitine (plentiful in red meat, pork, and even some fish like cod), lecithin, and choline (cheese and egg yolks) that select for bacteria inside your intestine. Those bacteria produce inflammation in your arteries, immune system, and brain (to name just a few areas). Those bacteria then produce fecal matter as they go after the C, H, and O of the red meat, cheese, egg yolks, or peanuts that contains the inflammation-stimulating substance. Soon I am told we will be able to block this red meat, cheese, egg yolk, etc. cause of inflammation and dementia by giving you something that prevents this type of bacteria from thriving. But while you and I are writing for that to happen, stick with fats that you can love and that love you back like the odd omegas in avocados, chia seeds, walnuts, and canola oil (all omega3s), or in extra virgin olive oil (omega-9) or in salmon or ocean trout ( both a lot of omega-3’s and 7’s). And if your doc advocates coconut oil, ask to see the long-term studies that look at learning and inflammation in the brain.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to send questions—to AgeProoflife@gmail.com

Young Dr Mike Roizen (aka, The Enforcer)

PS: Thank You for Making AgeProof: Living Longer Without Running Out of Money or Breaking a Hip (which was released on February 28th—grab your copy at your favorite bookseller if you haven’t already) a NY Times and WSJ Bestseller!

NOTE: You should NOT take this as medical advice.
This article is of the opinion of its author.
Before you do anything, please consult with your doctor.

You can follow Dr Roizen on twitter @YoungDrMike (and get updates on the latest and most important medical stories of the week). The YOU docs have two newly revised books: The patron saint “book” of this column YOU Staying Young—revised and YOU: The Owner’s Manual…revised —yes a revision of the book that started Dr Oz to being Dr Oz. These makes great gifts—so do YOU: ON a Diet and YOU: The Owner’s Manual for teens.

Michael F. Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer and chair of the Wellness Institute at the Cleveland Clinic. His radio show streams live on http://www.radioMD.com Saturdays from 5-7 p.m. He is the co-author of 4 #1 NY Times Best Sellers including: YOU Staying Young.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Inflammation, & Treatment Options

5 Jun

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) belongs to a group of disorders called “entrapment neuropathies” and as the name implies, it is caused by the trapping of the median nerve in the carpal tunnel of the wrist. There are MANY ways to treat CTS, with some of the most effective focused on reducing inflammation.

Inflammation (from the Latin inflammatio) is commonly referred to as “swelling” and is a sequence of biological responses to harmful stimuli that include pathogens such as bacteria and viruses, damaged cells, and other irritants. It is a protective response to something abnormal that has occurred and involves our immune cells, blood supply, and more. Inflammation helps to eliminate the cause of cell injury, clean up necrotic or dead cells from area, and initiate the tissue repair process.

The hallmarks of inflammation include heat, redness, swelling, pain, and loss of function. With CTS, inflammation can arise from multiple causes. One common cause is from the rapid, repetitive rubbing together of the nine tendons that travel through the already tight carpal tunnel. This “mechanical” cause can be managed by modifying the activity by slowing down, taking breaks to allow the tissues to rest, and decreasing the force required by the job or task.

The inflammation associated with CTS can also arise from other causes that are less obvious and common than trauma or overuse. Some of these include (but are not limited to) rheumatoid arthritis (and other autoimmune forms of arthritis) and hormonal changes such as an overactive pituitary gland, an underactive thyroid, diabetes, taking birth control pills, or pregnancy.

Women are three times more likely to develop CTS than men. While hormones may play a role, women also have different shaped carpal tunnels and smaller wrists. Either way, the underlying cause must be dwelt with AS SOON AS POSSIBLE to reduce the pain, numbness, tingling, and loss of function. So how can we reduce inflammation?

An ice massage applied directly over the carpal tunnel/wrist is both easy to perform and very effective. Modifying activities that may be causing or irritating CTS is important but not always available. Night splints help to prevent extreme flexion or extension of the wrist and reduces sleep interruptions common with CTS. Chiropractic utilizes all the above plus manual therapies, like joint mobilization, and exercises/stretches that can be done at home.

As the Western diet may promote inflammation, your doctor may also recommend the Paleo diet, Mediterranean diet, or a gluten-free diet to aid in the recovery process.

FOR A FREE NO-OBLIGATION CONSULTATION CALL 717-697-1888

Dr. Brent Binder
856 Century Drive, Suite C
Mechanicsburg Pa, 17055

Member of Chiro-Trust.org

This information should not be substituted for medical or chiropractic advice. Any and all healthcare concerns, decisions, and actions must be done through the advice and counsel of a healthcare professional who is familiar with your updated medical history.

Exercises on a Swiss Ball Help Back Pain Patients!

1 Jun

In previous articles, we’ve explored how to individualize an exercise program for those with back pain. This month, we’ll look at why utilizing a Swiss ball may be more helpful for the back pain patient than simply doing floor-based exercises.

In a 2015 study published in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, researchers assigned twelve chronic (more than three months) low back pain (cLBP) patients to perform either floor- or ball-based exercises three times a week for eight weeks using four different motions or exercises.

Though subjects in both groups experienced improvements, the gains were much greater for those in the Swiss/gym ball group regarding functional improvement. CT scans of the participants in the ball group also revealed an increase in the cross-sectional area of the deep low back stabilizing multifidus (MF) muscles.

So why did the swiss ball patients fare better? A strong possibility is that the use of unstable devices such as a gym or Swiss ball forces the neuromuscular system to work harder to maintain balance. This process not only improves propropception— the body’s ability to sense where its various parts are in relation to one another for purposes of movement and balance—but it also works out additional muscle groups that are involved in normal everyday movement that may not be activated when exercising from the floor or another stable surface.

The four Swiss ball exercises included in the study:
1) Bridge-1: Lay supine (on your back) with the ball under your upper back and bring one knee toward the chest to a 90/90° hip/knee angle; hold ten seconds and repeat five times with each leg.
2) Bridge-2: Lay supine with your upper back on the floor with the ball under the pelvis; push down into the ball with the pelvis for ten seconds and repeat five times.
3) Bird-dog (kneel on all-fours—quadruped position): Place a small ball (4-6”) under one knee (kneel on it) and slowly lift and straighten the opposite leg and balance for ten seconds and repeat ten times with each leg.
4) “See-Saw:” Lay on your stomach with the ball under the pelvis/hips, balance on the forearms, raise the legs, and do a scissors-kick (as if swimming) for ten seconds ten times with each leg.

We encourage proper form and working safely within “reasonable pain boundaries” that YOU define. Gradually increase reps and sets as you improve, modify the methods, and most important, HAVE FUN!

FOR A FREE NO-OBLIGATION CONSULTATION CALL 717-697-1888 

Dr. Brent Binder
856 Century Drive, Suite C
Mechanicsburg Pa, 17055

Member of Chiro-Trust.org

This information should not be substituted for medical or chiropractic advice. Any and all healthcare concerns, decisions, and actions must be done through the advice and counsel of a healthcare professional who is familiar with your updated medical history.