Archive | Whole Body Health RSS feed for this section

Chiropractic Care and Its Many Benefits

31 Jul

Primarily, chiropractic focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of neuromuscular disorders with an emphasis on treatment utilizing manual adjustments and other types of manipulation and/or mobilization of the spine. Chiropractic is classified as a form of primary care, as anyone can choose to see a doctor of chiropractic without a referral.

A 2010 meta analysis reviewed a number of published studies to determine the strength of scientific evidence regarding the effectiveness of manual treatment for both musculoskeletal (MSK) and non-musculoskeletal (non-MSK) conditions.

Lead author Dr. Gert Bronfort reviewed 49 relevant systematic reviews and 16 evidence-based clinical guidelines and concluded that he and the other authors of the analysis found SMT/mobilization to be effective in adults for the following: acute, subacute, and chronic low back pain; migraine and cervicogenic headache; cervicogenic dizziness; and several extremity joint conditions. Interestingly, Dr. Bronfort and his team noted thoracic manipulation/mobilization as effective for acute and subacute neck pain, but the evidence available at the time was inconclusive for cervical manipulation/mobilization alone for neck pain of any duration.

The evidence was also inconclusive for SMT/mobilization for mid back pain, sciatica, tension-type headache, coccydynia, temporomandibular joint disorders, fibromyalgia, premenstrual syndrome, and pneumonia in older adults. Additionally, they found SMT/mobilization was not effective for asthma, dysmenorrhea (when compared to sham SMT), or stage 1 hypertension when added to an antihypertensive diet. In children, the evidence was inconclusive regarding the effectiveness of SMT/mobilization for otitis media and enuresis, and they also noted SMT/mobilization was not effective for infantile colic and asthma when compared with sham SMT.

In a 2014 follow-up study, lead author Dr. Christine Clar confirmed most of the previously “inconclusive” or “moderate” evidence ratings of the 2010 evidence report. However, the availability of new research motivated Dr. Clar to note moderate evidence for these conditions: manipulation/mobilization (with exercise) for rotator cuff disorders, spinal mobilization for cervicogenic headache, and mobilization for miscellaneous headache.

These two meta-analyses are significantly helpful for those considering chiropractic care for specific conditions. Reviews like this are planned for the future, and the list of conditions that respond well to chiropractic care should expand as areas that need further study are determined and more research is published.

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 Importance of the Cervical Curve

26 Jun

When looking at the neck from the left side, the cervical curve should look “C-shaped”, or lordotic. This develops when infants learn to lift and hold their head up while laying on their stomach and continues to progress when a child starts moving around on all fours.

When we bend our head forward and backward, the most active cervical vertebrae are the C4, C5, and C6 vertebrae that make up the mid-lower cervical spine. Therefore, this region normally “wears out” first, resulting in degenerative joint disease (DJD) and degenerative disk disease (DDD). This is part of the normal, natural aging process, and can flatten and/or reverse one’s cervical curve. However, trauma can significantly accelerate degeneration.

Among some practitioners and researchers, there has been speculation that abnormal cervical curvature may result in altered blood flow from the heart to the back of the brain.

A 2015 study looked specifically at the hemodynamics (the dynamics of blood flow) through the vertebral arteries in individuals with a normal vs. a flat or reversed cervical curve. The research team found an association between the loss of the normal cervical curvature and an alteration of the normal blood flow through the vertebral arteries that travel through small holes in the cervical vertebrae. In their conclusion, they commented on the importance of correcting the cervical curve in order to restore the altered flow of blood.

Altered blood flow through the vertebral arteries has also been implicated AS A risk FACTOR IN vertebral-basilar insufficiency (VBI) stroke. In addition, a flat or reversed cervical curve can increase tension on the vertebral arteries which may lead to weakening of the arterial wall making them more susceptible to injury and inflammation, which can cause the arteries to narrow, limiting blood flow to the back part of the brain.

One of the goals of chiropractic is to improve posture, which can include restoring the cervical lordotic curve. To accomplish this, your doctor of chiropractic may utilize several in-office and home-based therapies; however, please be patient as cervical lordosis retraining can take time!

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.

How You May Prevent a Stroke… Especially if You Experience Headache, Neck Pain, Chest Pain, and/or Visual Disturbance

29 May

We all know it’s smart to write down our symptoms before a visit to our healthcare provider, but most of us simply don’t take the time. In many cases, it may be only subtle symptoms that trigger a proper diagnosis. This is certainly true when it comes to stroke.

There are basically two types of stroke: hemorrhagic stroke and ischemic stroke. A ruptured aneurism, or a leak in an artery, can result in a hemorrhagic stroke while a blood clot that blocks an artery can give rise to an ischemic stroke. Both types often give immediate and obvious nervous system signs and symptoms that typically prompt a call for emergency services.

There is however, a less common and quite subtle type of stroke that is far less discussed and understood. This is called vertebral-basilar insufficiency (VBI) stroke, which is caused by vertebral artery dissection (VAD). This type of stroke is very rare and only occurs 0.75-1.12 times per every 100,000 person years. In VAD/VBI, there may not be ANY history of trauma or event that the person can identify, and it’s most common in 30-50 year olds (not in older-aged people like the other more common types of stroke), which also makes VAD/VBI far less suspect. Symptoms of VBI can be subtle but may include headache, neck pain, chest pain, and perhaps some transient or short-term visual disturbance (blurred vision or double vision, for example). The KEY is a sudden and/or “different” kind of headache, especially if it’s accompanied by some other unusual symptom.

In one case study, a 30-year-old female experienced an “unusual headache” and a short-term loss of her peripheral vision in her left eye with eyelid numbness. This patient also had a history of migraines that typically occurred at menstruation, which led to an inaccurate diagnosis of “ocular migraine”, and she was sent home from the ER. Soon after, she developed right-sided neck pain with a transient right-sided visual disturbance prompting her to visit a chiropractor. The “unusual type of headache” and the visual complaints that she didn’t previously have with her typical migraines caught her chiropractor’s attention. He then ordered a consult and an urgent MRA (magnetic resonant angiography) and MRI of the head confirmed the diagnosis of VAD. With a proper diagnosis and prompt treatment, her symptoms quickly resolved, and the follow-up MRA at the three-month point showed resolution of the VAD.

Neck pain and headaches are COMMON complaints for which people seek chiropractic care. In fact, chiropractic adjustments are strongly recommended in a number of current treatment guidelines. Had “a typical” chiropractic adjustment occurred and the diagnosis of VAD NOT been made, the patient may have progressed to a VBI stroke (which was already in progress BEFORE she even scheduled her chiropractic appointment). Other studies show that neck pain and headaches related to VAD precede visits to both doctors of chiropractic and medical doctors equally and subsequent treatments are typically NOT the cause, as the problem is already present. The good news is that VAD is very uncommon and will hopefully be caught by your doctor and promptly treated so stroke can be avoided.

 

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.

Are Daily Cold Showers Good for You?

24 Apr

Since ancient times, as far back as the days of Hippocrates (the father of medicine), people have taken cold baths in the belief it could both treat serious illness and maintain one’s good health.

In a 2016 study conducted by a team of Dutch researchers, a group of roughly 2,800 participants were split into four groups: three of which were asked to take a 30, 60, or 90 second shower every day for a month while the last group avoided cold showers to serve as a control group.

Nearly 80% of participants completed the study, of which two-thirds continued to take regular cold showers after their initial 30-day commitment had ended. Outcome assessments revealed those in the experimental groups experienced an increase in quality of life as well as a 29% reduction in sick days from work that researchers did not observe in the control group. Some participants even noted their cold showers increased their energy in a manner similar to drinking a caffeinated beverage. Of note, the results were consistent across all three groups, suggesting a 30-second cold shower was just as beneficial as a 60- or 90-second cold shower.

Presently, the authors of the study can only speculate on why the study participants benefited from cold showers. Possible explanations include: the shivering induced by cold exposure increases hormones in the body that can affect the immune system; cold exposure creates some type of neurological benefit; or the effect among participants was entirely psychological, as they had volunteered for a study about how cold showers might improve one’s health.

Lastly, the researchers even speculate that routine cold showers may affect the body in the same manner as engaging in regular physical activity, thus improving the participants’ fitness levels. They write, “In the present trial, reduction of sickness absence of a routine cold shower (29%) was comparable to the effect of regular physical activity (35%).” Of course, more research is necessary to understand why frequent cold exposure has been historically observed as having healthy benefits.

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

High-Intensity Interval Training – What Is That?

27 Mar

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is characterized by 30-60 second bouts of high-intensity output followed by a very low-intensity exercise (like walking or slow pedaling) which allows one’s heart rate and breathing to recover before the next high-intensity segment.

Studies have shown HIIT can produce similar results as low-intensity aerobic exercise, but with significant differences in intensity, duration, and energy output. HIIT participants can experience improved maximal rate of oxygen uptake (VO2max), improved skeletal muscle capillarization, increased enzymes of fat metabolism, and improved insulin sensitivity—all of which result in better overall health-status and physical performance.

Three separate studies report that HIIT can reduce one’s body fat percentage using durations of only nine total minutes high-intensity activity per week—without controlling food intake! A 2016 study looked at even shorter weekly time durations and included both male and female participants to see what differences exist between the sexes.

The study involved 24 men (average age 38) and 17 women (average age 41) who performed HIIT three mornings a week using a cycle ergometer followed by a blood sample draw over the course of twelve weeks. Their routine consisted of a two-minute warm-up (moderate intensity) followed by four bouts of 20 seconds at maximum effort (set at 175% of the workload attained in the VO2max test) separated by two-minute recovery bouts using very low-intensity cycling (~20% VO2max).

After the three-month study, the participants experienced a lower body fat percentage (average 1%), higher rates of fatty acid oxidation (average 13%), and a greater VO2max (average 9%). Women had greater gains in their VO2max than men, while men lost more fat than the women. Keep in mind the participants only engaged in high-intensity activity a total of 240 seconds per week!

The “TAKE HOME” message is that if you don’t enjoy spending 30-60 minutes per day doing aerobic exercises, then HIIT may be something to consider, as it can produce similar (sometimes even better) results in less time.

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

 

How Can I Improve My Sleep Quality?

27 Feb

Here are a few ways to improve your sleep quality in spite of a busy lifestyle:

  • SET A SCHEDULE: Set a time for BOTH going to bed AND getting up in the morning, preferably at the same times each day—even on weekends.
  • EXERCISE: Try to get 20-30 minutes of exercise every day (but NOT just prior to bedtime). FIRST thing in the morning is often the best time—before we can “talk” ourselves out of it!
  • AVOID CAFFEINE, NICOTINE, & ALCOHOL: These stimulate the brain and keep us awake. Caffeine sources include coffee, chocolate, soft drinks, non-herbal teas, diet drugs, and some pain relievers. Smoking promotes light sleep and early morning waking from nicotine withdrawal. Alcohol also interferes with deep sleep and REM sleep—especially when consumed before bedtime!
  • RELAX BEFORE BED: Take a warm bath, read (but not an action-packed book), and/or perform relaxation exercises before bedtime, as studies have demonstrated these to help one fall asleep.
  • SLEEP UNTIL SUNRISE: Try to wake up with the sun or turn on very bright lights in the morning. This helps “set” the body’s biological clock and exposure to morning sunlight can help people fall asleep later that night.
  • GET OUT OF BED: If you can’t sleep, do something like read, watch TV, or listen to music until you feel tired. Anxiety about NOT being able to sleep contributes to insomnia!
  • CONTROL ROOM TEMPERATURE: Keep the temperature comfortable. If the room is either too hot or too cold, it may prevent you from both falling asleep and also reaching deep, restful sleep when you do finally clock out.
  • SLEEP AIDS: These can include sleep supplements such as valerian root, melatonin, chamomile tea, and/or kava starting with a low dose and gradually increase it as needed.

Other “lifestyle” tips on getting a higher quality sleep include: 1) keep noise and light to a minimum (use earplugs, window shades, or an eye mask); 2) avoid large meals two hours before bedtime; 3) avoid afternoon naps; 4) stop mentally taxing tasks one hour pre-bedtime; and 5) avoid emotional discussions/thoughts right before bedtime.

This list is certainly finite and could go on much longer. The BOTTOM LINE is that if you need help, your doctor of chiropractic can offer a LOT of benefits and when necessary, can work with primary care physicians and sleep specialists—all in the quest of getting you to sleep!

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.