Tag Archives: mechanicsburg pa chiropractor

Whiplash “101.”

14 Dec

Whiplash diagnosis: The diagnosis of whiplash first and foremost requires a thorough history. Here, we discuss the factors leading up to the MVC (motor vehicle collision), the angle or direction of impact (front end, angular, side or T-bone, rear end), whether the head was pointed straight or rotated, whether the head hit anything inside the car, airbag deployment and any related injury, seat belt location and effectiveness, the conditions of the day (weather, road, lighting, etc.), the onset of each injured area including neck, upper/lower back, headache, memory loss, and radiating symptoms (time lapse to symptom onset), ER/ambulance involvement, the initial 24-48 hours, the point of maximum pain intensity, job and non-vocational capabilities, prior test results (x-ray, CT, MRI, lab, etc.), prior treatment effectiveness, and more! The physical examination centers on observation (posture, patient distress, mood); palpation or touching the injured areas; orthopedic tests (looking for positions that either relieve or increase symptoms); range of motion (how far forward, back, sideways, and in rotation can the head be voluntarily moved and its related level of comfort, speed/quality of motion); neurological exam (sensory, motor, cranial nerves, etc.); and special tests (x-ray, CT, MRI, lab, etc.) if not previously done.

Course of care: The type and length of treatment will vary based on the degree of injury (see last month’s “prognosis” discussion), the initial response to care (improvement vs. worsening), the compliance of the patient in modifying their activities, performing home-based care (ice, rest, exercise, etc.), and the patient’s motivation to get better. The latter may be partially dependent on factors like whether there is litigation planned or occurring, their belief that they will “get better,” and how the health care provider manages the care (the use of passive approaches where the patient must go and see the doctor vs. active approaches where the patient is taught how to self-manage through diet, exercise, activity modifications, education, etc.)

Treatment options: The patient has the choice of following a traditional medical model of initial anti-inflammatory medication, patient education, wait and watch, and/or a physical therapy referral. The chiropractic approach includes patient education, anti-inflammatory approaches (ice – NOT HEAT, anti-inflammatory herbs), exercise training and manual therapies including spinal adjustments. The latter, when applied properly, has been found to return patients to work faster than other approaches with a shorter recovery time and is less costly and more satisfying. When comparing treatment options beyond 6 or 12 months, the differences are more subtle. Other treatment options include acupuncture, massage therapy, and various forms of exercise. When necessary, injections, narcotics, and other pharmaceutical options exist but are not recommended as initial care approaches. Behavioral and cognitive therapy can help people cope with chronic, permanent pain related problems. There are many approaches to the management of whiplash and the patient needs a “quarterback” or someone to help them with these decisions. This is perhaps the most important role of the chiropractor!

We realize you have a choice in where you choose your healthcare services.  If you, a friend or family member requires care for whiplash, we sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence shown by choosing our services and look forward in serving you and your family presently and, in the future.

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Whiplash “Fun Facts.”

14 Dec

Whiplash is a slang term for cervical acceleration, deceleration syndrome, or CAD. There are facts and myths surrounding the subject of whiplash. Let’s look at some of the facts.

The origin of CAD. The history of CAD dates back to a time prior to the invention of the car. The first case of severe neck pain arose from a train collision around the time of 1919 and was originally called “railroad spine.” The number of whiplash injuries sharply rose after the invention of cars due to rear-end crashes.

Whiplash synonyms. As stated previously, the term “cervical acceleration-deceleration disorder, or CAD, is a popular title as it explains the mechanism of injury, where in the classic rear-end collision, the neck is initially extended back as the car is propelled forward, leaving the head hanging in space. Once the tissues stretch enough in the front of the neck, the head and neck flex forward very rapidly, forcing the chin towards the chest. This over stretches the soft tissues in the back of the neck. Another term for whiplash is WAD or, Whiplash Associated Disorders. In 1995, the Quebec Task Force categorized injuries associated with whiplash by the type of tissues that were found to be injured. Here, WAD Type I represents patients with symptoms/pain but normal range of motion and no real objective findings like muscle spasm. Type II includes injuries to the soft tissues that limit neck motion with muscle spasm but no neurological loss (sensation or muscle strength). WAD Type III includes the Type II findings plus neurological loss, and type IV involves fractures of the cervical spine.

Head rest facts: Prior to the invention of head rests, whiplash injuries were much more common and more serious because the head was propelled in a “crack-the-whip” like fashion. However, headrests are frequently not adjusted correctly; they are either too low and/or too far away from the head. If the seat back is reclined, this further separates the head from the headrest. The proper position of the head rest should be near the center of gravity of the head, or about 9 cm (3.5”) below the top of the head, or at minimum, at the top of the ears. Equally important is that it should be as close as possible to the back of the head. When the distance reaches 4” away from the head, there is an increased risk of injury, especially if it’s also set too low. When the headrest is properly positioned, the chances of head injury are decreased by up to 35% during a rear-end collision.

Seat back angle. The degree of incline of the seat back can also contribute to injury of the cervical spine. As stated above, as the seat is reclined, the head to headrest distance increases, furthering the chance for injury. A second negative effect is called “ramping.” Here, the body slides up the seat back resulting in the head being positioned over the top of the head rest. Also, the degree of “spring” of the seatback contributes to the rebound of the torso during the CAD process.

Concussion: The notion that the head has to hit something to develop a concussion is not true. Also, the idea that a loss of consciousness is needed to develop a concussion is also false. Simply, the rapid forward/backward movement of the head is enough force for the brain (which is suspended by ligaments) to literally slam into the inner walls of the skull and can result in concussion. The symptoms associated with concussion are referred to as post-concussive syndrome or, mild traumatic brain injury.

We realize you have a choice in where you choose your healthcare services.  If you, a friend or family member requires care for whiplash, we sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence shown by choosing our services and look forward in serving you and your family presently and, in the future.

 

Neck Pain Treatment Options.

14 Dec

Neck pain is a very common problem. In fact, 2/3rds of the population will have neck pain at some point in life. It can arise from stress, lack of sleep, prolonged postures (such as reading or driving), sports injuries, whiplash injuries, arthritis, referred pain from upper back problems, or even from sinusitis! Rarely, it can be caused from dangerous problems including referred pain during a heart attack, carotid or vertebral artery injuries, or head or neck cancer, but these, as previously stated, are very uncommon. However, since you don’t know why your neck hurts, it’s very important to have your neck pain properly evaluated so the cause can be properly treated and not just covered up from the use of pain killers!

Barring the dangerous causes of neck pain listed above, treatment methods vary depending on whom you elect to consult. Classically, if you see your primary care physician, pharmaceutical care is usually the approach. Medications can be directed at reducing pain (Tylenol, or one of many prescription “pain killers”), at reducing inflammation and pain (Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Aleve, etc.), to reduce muscle spasms (like muscle relaxers) or, medications may be directed to reduce depression, anxiety, or the like. When a sinus infection affects the 2 deep sinuses (ethmoid and sphenoid sinuses which are located deep in the head), the referred pain is directed to the back of the head and neck. Here, an antibiotic may be needed and/or something specifically directed at allergies when present. In general, in cases that do not respond to usual chiropractic care, co-management with the primary care physician is a good option.

However, the good news is that chiropractic care usually works well, and the need for medication can be avoided since the side effects of medication can sometimes be worse than the benefits. Recently, The Bone and Joint Decade Task Force on Neck Pain published arguably the best review of research published between 2000 and 2010 regarding neck pain treatment approaches. They concluded that spinal manipulation and mobilization are highly effective for many causes of neck pain, especially when arising from the muscles and joints – the most common cause. Therefore it would seem logical to consult with a Chiropractor FIRST since manipulation and mobilization are so effective and safe. When we add neck exercises, the results are even better, according to some studies. As chiropractors, we will often use different modalities including electric stimulation, ultrasound, hot and/or cold (which are usually given as a good home-applied remedy), and others. In particular, low level laser therapy (LLLT) has been shown, “…to reduce pain immediately after treatment in acute neck pain and up to 22 weeks after completion of treatment in patients with chronic neck pain” [Lancet, 2009; 374(9705)]. LLLT is a commonly used modality by chiropractors and when combined with spinal manipulation, the results can be even faster! We will also evaluate your posture, body mechanics, and consider “ergonomic” or work station problems and offer recommendations for improving your work environment. We also frequently utilize anti-inflammatory nutrients including vitamins, minerals, herbs, and more to avoid the negative side effects to the stomach, liver, and kidney negative that can result from using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin, ibuprofen, or Aleve. Make chiropractic your FIRST choice when neck pain strikes, NOT last resort!

We realize that you have a choice in where you choose your healthcare services.  If you, a friend or family member requires care for neck pain, we sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence shown by choosing our services and look forward in serving you and your family presently and, in the future.

 

Fibromyalgia and the Immune System.

14 Dec

Fibromyalgia (FM) is a condition with a polarized audience comprised of those who believe it’s real and those who don’t. This interesting political-like conflict is, in a large part, centered around the topic we discussed last month concerning the causes of FM. This month’s article will focus specifically on the immune system and its relationship to FM.

“EXTRA, EXTRA, READ ALL ABOUT IT! New research published on 12-17-12 in BMC Clinical Pathology describes cytokine abnormalities were found in FM patients when compared to healthy controls.” OK! But what does that mean?

Very simply, this study reports that immune dysfunction is part of the cause of FM. The most exciting part is that this study identified a BLOOD TEST (finally!) that, “…demonstrates value as a FM diagnostic tool.” Looking at this closer, the researchers used multiple methods to examine cytokine (proteins that help regulate our immune response) blood levels in FM patients. They found the FM group had, “…considerably lower cytokine concentration than the control group, which implies that cell-mediated immunity is impaired in fibromyalgia.” This study’s findings of an immune response abnormality strays from previous study findings which largely pointed to the central nervous system (CNS – brain & spinal cord) as the origin of the FM syndrome. This makes some sense as the study of immunology (in this case, “neuroimmunology” – the combination of neurology and immunology) has only been around for about 10 years, and as such, may hold some important answers as more evidence is uncovered to further support this potential “paradigm shift” in considering the primary cause of FM. The authors offer further excitement as this focus could lead to a better understanding of the cause of other neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis (MS)! They go on by describing how body temperature, behavior, sleep, and mood can all be negatively affected by “pro-inflammatory cytokines” (PIC) which are released by certain types of activated white blood cells during infection. PIC have been found in the CNS in patients with brain injury, during viral and bacterial infections, and in other neurodegenerative processes (like MS)!

To further support this advance in understanding, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reported, “…Despite the brain’s status as an immune privileged site, an extensive bi-directional communication takes place between the nervous and the immune system in both health and disease.” They describe multiple signaling pathways that exist between the brain and the immune system that function normally throughout our lifetime. When immune, physiological, and psychological “stressors” occur, cytokines and other immune molecules stimulate interactions within the endocrine (our hormone) system, nervous system and immune system. To prove this, brain cytokine levels go up following stress exposure and similarly go down when treatments are applied that alleviate stress. They list other conditions such as stroke, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s disease, MS, pain, and AIDS-associated dementia as being similarly affected as well. They also report that cytokines and other neuro-chemicals play a role in our neuro-development throughout our lifespan, help regulate brain development early in life and brain function throughout life, and how this all changes in the aging brain. There are also interactions of these immune chemicals that result in gender differences on brain function and behavior.

Needless to say, it will be very interesting to watch for additional developments along this line of research as it pertains to the FM patient and future treatment recommendations! Also, immune stimulation by chiropractic adjustments has been postulated as a benefit and this too may be better understood using this new research approach!

If you, a friend or family member requires care for FM, we sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence shown by choosing our services!

 

Could Diet & ADHD Be Related?

14 Dec

Dr. Michael F. Roizen

Co-Author of 4 #1 NY Times Bestsellers including: YOU Staying Young.

The Owner’s Manual For Extending Your Warranty (Free Press)

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.

The age-old question — which came first the fried chicken or the ADHD? — is not easy to answer. We know obese moms give birth to kids with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ) more often; people with ADHD (kids or adults) are more likely to be overweight (impulse control issues?); and consuming refined grains like white bread, sweet sodas, red meats, and whole dairy increases a child’s risk for ADHD.

Now, it seems that kids who eat diets high in saturated and trans fats (think fried food and red and processed meats) have a greater chance of developing several childhood disabilities including impulsivity, depression, anxiety, and ADHD.

Five to eight times as many kids are depressed today as they were 50 years ago (less play, more pressure, more obesity?) and anxiety is increasingly diagnosed. ADHD affects millions of U.S. children with diagnosis up 66%, especially among boys. These issues often lead to more problems in their teenage years and major depression in adulthood.

So, for your kids–and you too–adopt an eating plan packed with fruit, vegetables, 100% whole grains, healthy fats (olive oil, omega-3 rich salmon and ocean trout, and DHA supplements, and ALA in walnuts, avocados, and cannola and walnut oil).

Go for portion control: Keep servings of animal protein about the size of your palm; fill 2/3rds of your plate with veggies and whole grains.

Get moving with 30 minutes of aerobics (minimum) daily for you and your kids, and  perform strength training exercise with weights or stretch bands (for you, the parent) 2 to 3 times a week.

Thanks for reading,

Young Dr. Mike Roizen (aka, The Enforcer)

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  (and get updates on the latest and most important medical stories  of the week) on twitter @YoungDrMike. 

Feel free to continue to send questions to youdocs@gmail.com. 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 a new web site: YOUBeauty.com  and its companion BeautySage.com the only site we know of where you can find skin products proven to meet the claims (opened for business on June 1st, 2012), and a new book: 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.healthradio.net  Saturdays from 5-7 p.m . E-mail him questions at YouDocs@gmail.com.   He is the co-author of 4 #1 NY Times Best Sellers including : YOU Staying Young and YOU: The Owner’s Manual. He is Chief Medical Consultant to the two year running Emmy award winning Dr Oz show– The Dr Oz show is #2 nationally in daytime TV.  See what all the fun is about, and what he, The Enforcer, is up to. Check local listings or log onto DoctorOz.com for channel and time. And for more health info, log onto youbeauty.com anytime.

 

Nutritional Post-Surgical Management of CTS.

14 Dec

Obviously, the goal of all health care providers, including chiropractic management of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS), is to AVOID surgical intervention, but this is not always possible. Last time, we looked at herbal approaches to reduce inflammation with the focused goal of preventing surgical need. But, as chiropractors, we also care for patients post CTS surgery, and one of our treatment approaches beyond manual therapies includes nutritional management.

As we all know, during the surgical process, tissue damage occurs due to incisions, removal of injured tissue, and other factors. Depending on the “success” of the surgical procedure, damage to the nerves causing numbness, weakness, and/or other nerve related symptoms can occur. Often, nerves will regenerate during the healing process but not always 100%. This may be due to factors such as the amount of tissue damaged during the surgery, the length of time CTS had been present pre-surgery, how well the patient follows post-surgical instructions, as well as the general health and overall condition of the patient. A healthy diet along with certain specific vitamins can play a positive role in tissue healing and nerve regeneration. Here are some examples:

Folate or vitamin B9 has been reported to have beneficial effects on the genes located within the nerve cells that help to regulate the healing process. One study published in 2010 reported that folate helped to promote nerve repair in the central nervous system (CNS) in rats, which is unique as typically nerve damage in the CNS does not usually regenerate. Anti-inflammatory benefits have also been reported with vitamins B6, B9, and B12.

Cobalamin or Vitamin B12 has also been reported to facilitate nerve regeneration after injury. This, along with the anti-inflammatory benefits, supports the use of B12 in the post-surgical CTS patient.

Vitamin D may also play a significant role in nerve regeneration after surgery. In one study, vitamin D2 was found to have a positive effect on nerve regeneration. Another study reported that D3 and calcium together has strong anti-inflammatory benefits.

Vitamin B6: There is evidence that supports the use of B6 both before and after surgery. Some feel B6 acts directly on nerve repair and others report a diuretic (fluid reducing) benefit. One cause and/or complication of CTS is fluid retention, which commonly occurs in conditions such as pregnancy, the use of birth control pills, obesity, diabetes, and others. Thus, keeping fluids in our tissues under control can certainly help CTS patients. Most studies agree that less than 200mg of B6 per day is safe. The dosage should be carefully monitored as numbness/tingling (a common CTS symptom) can be a sign of B6 toxicity.

Vitamin C has long been reported to facilitate in the wound healing process. It also is an effective anti-inflammatory agent, a common problem in the cause of CTS as well as a negative post-surgical side effect. A dose of 1000-3000mg/day spread out throughout the day is beneficial to the post-surgical healing process.

Vitamin E: As far back as 1967, Vitamin E been reported to reduce inflammation. More recent studies report that when used in combination with vitamin C, the two together works even better in reducing inflammation than either one alone. Also, this combination was found to improve the body’s ability to use insulin, which may also facilitate healing in the post-surgical CTS patient.

There are many others we didn’t get to (such as B1, 3, 5; zinc, Bromelain, and Quercetin). Bottom line: Eat healthy, exercise, don’t smoke, and fortify your diet with these nutrients!

We realize you have a choice in who you consider for your health care provision and we sincerely appreciate your trust in choosing our service for those needs.  If you, a friend or family member require care for CTS, we would be honored to render our services.