September 17, 2013

Arthritis and those summertime thunderstorms.....

I often say that people who suffer from arthritis would make the best meteorologists. Every week in my office, I will hear an arthritis patient say, "It's going to rain". Although the weather radar is clear, sure enough, a pop up thunderstorm comes a couple house later.

So, how do these patients know it's going to rain? Do they have some secret, high tech weather instrumentation that no one else has? The answer is, when the atmospheric pressure drops outside, arthritic joints cannot adjust to the sudden drop the same way that healthy joints can. The sensation is an achy, throbbing sensation. Regardless of where the arthritis is at, when it's about to rain, most people who have arthritis can definitely feel it. Depending on which joint you have the arthritis, there are treatments available to help. Knees seem to be the most common joint that people struggle with. The good news is, there are multiple treatment options available, other than a knee replacement. Now that summer is winding down and fall is setting in, I hope those rainy day aches are subsiding :)

Woodward Medical Center

April 01, 2013

Benefits of combining Chiropractic care and Physical Therapy

Over the past year, millions of American's have been treated by both chiropractors and physical therapists. However, you don't often hear of patients receiving treatment from both, simultaneously.

Chiropractic care's primary focus is on the musculoskeletal and nervous system while Physical Therapy's focus is on muscle strength and mobility. Many patients strictly need Chiropractic care only and visa versa. For example, if you are someone who occasionally wakes up with a pinched nerve in your neck, seeing a chiropractor may suit you just fine. On the other hand, if you are an athlete who doesn't want to worsen an old sports injury, physical therapy may be ideal.

So, what kind of patient would be a good candidate for integrating Physical Therapy and Chiro? Really it can be anyone who is suffering from any kind of joint pain, along with weakness from muscles loss. There are plenty of people who suffer from back pain who get great results by incorporating PT and strengthening the muscles around the joint. Knee arthritis patients are also good candidates that are often accompanied with low back pain. The Chiro will treat the low back while the PT focuses on the muscles around the lumbar and around the knee.

Physical Therapy and Chiropractic are two different types of therapies. Although they have a common goal to of easing pain and enhancing the quality of life, each is very different by nature. Ask your doctor if combining the two would benefit you.

Woodward Medical Center

December 31, 2012

Start the New Year by being Pro-Active!

We see it every New Year. Fresh faces start showing up at health clubs and after a month or so, those faces start to disappear. Oh, and we can't forget all of those classic smokers who say they are going to quit but usually only make it only a day or 2. Maybe the goal is to start eating more healthy? What ever it is, most people don't last long or they never even make it out of the starting gate.

I don't fully criticize people for falling off the wagon so quickly because they at least had it in their mind that they wanted to make changes their life.Having set goals in life is a good thing. It's good for the mind and it's what keeps many people going. So, why do people never really get going?

Lack of motivation! We all have different stresses in our life and those stresses can have detrimental effects on us. Lack of motivation is one of them. 2 other things that can happen are, we don't exercise and we eat unhealthy.You ever hear that saying, "You are what you eat"?Well, it's true. When you eat unhealthy, you will ultimately feel unhealthy and become unhealthy.

Diet and exercise is one of the first places we look to. It is a fact that when people feel unhealthy they aren't very productful. There is no quick and easy fix for this and no one is going to do it for you. I think with most people that make change happen, a day of reckoning occurs where they have an inner conversation with themselves and say, enough is enough! Seeing and feeling changes by ones hard work is a great thing. Feeling healthy is even better. So, be Pro-Active and make it happen!

Here is to a happy and healthy New Year!

Woodward Medical Center

July 23, 2012

Knee Arthritis can be a real PAIN!

How do we know we have it OsteoArthrtis of the knee?

Stiffness- Getting out of bed in the morning is often the most difficult period of the day for man who suffer from knee arthritis. After giving the knees a nice long rest, taking that first step in the morning can be a chore. Stiffness is common complaint. The knee feels like it just doesn't want to bend.

Cracking/Clicking- In the medical world, terms that we often hear when talking about knee arthritis are "bone on bone". This is a catch phrase for grades 3 and 4 arthritis. Why? Well, it's because the joint is literally bone on bone. The upper and lower parts of the knee have come together because you know longer have that buffer of synovial fluid to hold them apart. Hearing the bones rub together is common.

Thunderstorm Blues- Have you ever felt a bit more pain in the joint when a storm is on the way? This is very common. When a thunderstorm is immanent, the atmospheric barometer drops. We naturally have joint pressure. In an unhealthy knee, the joint pressure cannot match and drop in the atmospheric pressure, out side of the knee. Therefore, the knee literally feels like it's going to explode. This obviously generates enhanced pain for many people who struggle with arthritis.

Trouble with stairs- One of the major complains of those who struggle with knee arthritis is going up and down stairs. When we go down stairs, we are shooting all of our weight onto the joint. We we go up stairs, we are using more strength. Either way, taking stairs can be a real challenge.

What causes knee arthritis?
Because we don't yet fully understand why we get arthritis, we do have some interesting theories as to why we get it.

Age- In today's society, when health issues arise, we have a tendency to to the easy road at times and just blame it on old age. The only thing age means is, we have had enough years go by for things to go wrong. If you hurt your knee when you are a teenager, the odds of you getting arthritis in that joint as you get older are very good. However, we have had knee arthritis patients in their mid 20's. So, is it really old age?

Trauma- This pertains to any joint. If you have a bad twist, sprain or even a ligament tear. The likelihood of getting arthritis in that joint as time goes on is great.

Weight- We do know that weight plays a roll. The weight that you carry from the head down, all shoots straight down, though your knees. The heavier you are, the more weight is put on the joint. After time, the joint simply wears out.

Heredity- Of the theories that we have, this one may be the most difficult to understand. We often times see arthritis run through families. Are they families full of athletes that are extra hard on their joints? Are the families who carry a little extra weight or are they families that are just accident prone? It really does make for interesting debate. We can simply state that we do believe that heredity does in fact play a roll in arthritis.

What can we do to treat knee arthritis?

In today's age, there are 2 words that we frequently hear.....Knee Replacement. Although having a replacement is inevitable for many patients, surgery is always the last option. Once you go down that road, there is no turning back
When a knee goes arthritic, it stops producing synovial fluid. This fluid is what gives us that cushion between the upper and lower parts of the knee. Getting some of that fluid back is key.
Through medical preparations, ultrasound and therapy, we have been able to achieve that with thousands of patients, giving them back the range of motion they have been lacking and freeing them from that excruciating pain.
If you have been diagnosed with OsteoArthritis of the knee, remember that you want to exhaust all alternatives before you go down the path of knee replacement.

June 25, 2012

Bug Off? Naturally!

Did you know that most bug repellents on the shelf contain toxic chemicals, like DEET, which can be harmful? Instead, try using herbs and pure essential oils for a far safer protection.

The herbs thyme, lemongrass and basil oils are often used for repellents and smell really good also! When using essential oils, be sure to dilute them with a carrier oil or a lotion.

Tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic and is also antibacterial and anti-fungal. The natural solvent proprieties in Tea tree oil actually help dissolve insect toxins in existing bites, stop itching and heal the bitten area. In fact, making Tea tree oil a part of your home first aid kit would be ideal.

Citronella candles can help keep away ticks, flies and misquotes. The ingredients in these often contain these same essential oils and have a pleasant smell.

If you like the convenience of just buying a bug repellent off the shelf, go for an all natural, organic brand from the health food store. Chances are, these will contain most of the ingredients above.
(I like Badger Anti-Bug Balm)
If your home is being invaded with ants this summer, try peppermint oil. Add two teaspoons to a cup of water and spray it anywhere you see ants. You can also use peppermint oil on your skin.

Enjoy a bug-free summer in the back yard or at the park, without bugs and without harmful toxins!

April 06, 2012

Wine and Chocolate: A Happy Easter Indeed!

The festive holidays that mark the beginning of spring come with many temptations. Choosing to live well is to take these temptations and turn them into healthy treats that celebrate the season. Wine and chocolate can be good for you- or evil.

A glass of red wine is packed with powerful antioxidants that have been found to reduce the risk or heart attack and stroke, all while improving brain function, increasing lifespan, fighting cancer and decreasing the effects of aging. Phytochemicals, such as flavonoids and resveratrol, act as antioxidants and prevent “free radicals” from causing cellular damage in the body.

The benefits of red wine (and dark beer like Guinness) favor the cardiovascular system by relaxing the blood vessels and inhibiting the oxidation of unhealthy cholesterol. In moderation, alcohol can raise your good cholesterol (HDL-cholesterol) and thin your blood, preventing clotting and lowering the risk of heart disease.

When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better!

On a month where multitudes of chocolate bunnies fill the grocery store shelves, it’s easy to feel like a kid in a candy store. It’s O.K. to give in to temptation, just be smart about it.chocolate is good for you

The benefits of chocolate have been known for thousands of years and some native tribes who regularly consumed cocoa showed very low rates of cardiovascular disease. Epicatechins, the natural compound found in cocoa, may offer significant benefits to those who’ve previously suffered from a stroke by its ability to restore function to blood vessels. Chocolate even contains chemicals associated with happy emotions.

Remember that not all chocolate is created equal. The more processing, like heat and light, chocolate is subjected to, the less antioxidants it has. Added ingredients like sugar and dairy can turn the otherwise beneficial treat into something quite the opposite; the milk in milk chocolate interferes with the absorption of beneficial antioxidants. Consuming a moderate amount of an organic, unprocessed, dark chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa is ideal.

Limiting alcohol to one glass per day is recommended for optimal health benefits. Keep in mind that drinking heavily can lead to weight gain; one bottle of wine is about 480 calories (that’s the equivalent of two 20-ounce Cokes!) For some, sulfates and tannins in wine can even trigger migraine headaches.

So indulge on these plant phenol-rich super foods during this holy season… but keep well by indulging in moderation. Happy Easter, everyone!

February 28, 2012

Tackle Knee Arthritis!

12 milliion americans have knee arthritis and the number will rise quickly as young athletic people sustain injury at a young age. take care of your knee injury with strengthing exercise as you age you become more stiff.

yoga and activigties that keep you moving in unusual ways, not just your routine ways keep your abilities in everyday life have you seen olympic athlets with pink and blue tape on their joints??
Kenisio taping was created by a japanease chiropractor in order to relieve swelling, poor scar tissue and to keep joints stable. you are "treating"
your joint the whole time you have the tape on. learn how to tape if you have a joint concern.

Woodward Medical Center