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Feeling Sluggish and Bloated?

Literally Weighing You Down

Feeling sluggish and bloated are signs of the good old American diet.  A diet high in refined carbohydrates, saturated fats, dehydration and insufficient level of plant fiber lead to a slow digestive tract.  When our digestive tract is slowed by poor diet it actually slows our whole body down.  Sluggish digestive tracts lead to decreased absorption of food and decreased metabolism.  This sluggish digestion also leads to uncomfortable bloating and the distended abdominal appearance.

So it is no wonder that it is so common to see patients who feel sluggish and uncomfortable along with pain.  Once one system in our body is failing it stresses the rest of the body. I am sorry to say that I know of no herbal remedy or vitamin that can reverse the digestive issues related to improper dietary habits.

The proper diet consists of eliminating refined carbohydrates and replacing them with whole gluten free grains such as rice, beans and quinoa.  Limit saturated fat intake by mainly eating good omega 3 fats found in fish.  Start the good habit of 4-5 servings of fruit and 4-5 servings of vegetables every day.  Look into following the Anti-inflammatory Diet which is very similar to the Mediterranean diet.

The changes in how you feel will be your motivation to keep it up.


4 Common Types of Headaches

Types of Headaches

The 4 most common types of headaches people can suffer from are Tension, Migraine, Sinus, and Cluster Headaches.  The National Headaches Foundation has a list of 29 different types of headaches.  In our practice we do see some of the other types of headaches they list such as TMJ, Trigeminal Neuralgia, Post-Traumatic Head Injury, and Menstrual Headaches.  Many of the other headaches are classified due to severe health conditions such as aneurisms of the brain and cancer.  Although severe causes are rare to see they can exist and must always be ruled out with a recent onset headache.

 

Tension Headache

Tension Headaches are by far the most common headache complaint we see in the office.  Tension headaches are pain in the back of the head at the base of the skull.  The pain can be on one side of the head or both.  When they are intense they can radiate over the entire head to the eye.  The good news is that this headache is easily treatable with conservative care.  The pain is coming from inflammation within the sub-occipital muscles at the base of the skull.  These muscles get overworked from stress and poor posture.  When we hold our head too far forward these muscle work extra hard trying to hold the head upright.  Over time they get inflamed and will develop painful trigger points.  Trigger points in the sub-occipital muscles can refer pain into the head and the neck.  Chiropractic Care, Massage Therapy, and Lifestyle modifications can easily resolve this type of headache.  Life style modifications include home stretching, workplace ergonomic optimization, and in some case dietary avoidance of trigger foods.

Migraine Headaches

Migraine headaches are the most complex and least understood of all headaches.  Many theories have tried to explain what causes them to develop and it is probably the result of different factors from person to person.  The pain symptoms that arise from a migraine are the result of first vasoconstriction with the blood vessels within the brain.  The vasoconstriction results in increased chemicals being produced by the brain cells as a result of oxygen deprivation.  These chemicals then result in a rapid vasodilation of the blood vessels causing increased pressure and pain.  The different phases of the migraine are a result of this process.  Early in a migraine symptoms are related oxygen deprivation then late in the migraine pressure is causing the symptoms. Migraine headaches respond very well to Chiropractic Care and Massage Therapy especially if treated early during onset or used as maintenance to prevent the onset.

The 4 phases of a migraine

  1. Prodrome: 24 hours prior to the onset of symptoms people report feeling off not right.  Some have water retention, mood swings, yawning, or food cravings.  This phase more than likely correlates with what starts the process such as a dietary triggers, hormone shifts, or stress to name a few possible culprits.
  2. Aura: Just before or during the headache any neurologic symptoms could develop but commonly flashes of light, seeing zig zag lines, decreased visual acuity, numbness or weakness anywhere in the body.  This phase is a result of oxygen deprivation to the brain.
  3. Headache: This phase starts with gradual onset of throbbing pain to onside usually or both sides of the head.  As this phase progresses the headache can become severe followed by sensitivity to odors, light, and sound.  You may also develop nausea and vomiting.  It has been noted that any of the mentioned symptoms of this phase may be absent including the headache.  This phase is due to rapid vasodilation and pressure in the brain.
  4. Postdrome: This is felt after the symptoms of the Headache phase resolve.  During this phase you feel wiped out tired for a day.

What causes migraines?

Researchers believe that migraine has a genetic cause. There are also a number of factors that can trigger a migraine. These factors vary from person to person, and they include

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Hormonal changes in women
  • Bright or flashing lights
  • Loud noises
  • Strong smells
  • Medicines
  • Too much or not enough sleep
  • Sudden changes in weather or environment
  • Overexertion (too much physical activity)
  • Tobacco
  • Caffeine or caffeine withdrawal
  • Skipped meals
  • Medication overuse (taking medicine for migraines too often)

Some people have found that certain foods or ingredients can trigger headaches, especially when they are combined with other triggers. These foods and ingredients include

  • Alcohol
  • Chocolate
  • Aged cheeses
  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
  • Some fruits and nuts
  • Fermented or pickled goods
  • Yeast
  • Cured or processed meats

Sinus Headache

Sinus headaches can be a seasonal pollen related issue or a year round issue from foods, dust, and pets.  The pain felt is the result of pressure building up within the sinus cavities.  The sinuses are located behind the bones of the forehead and below the eyes in the cheek.  The common symptom is forehead, eye, or face pain almost always to one side.  The nature of the pain is dull aching pressure.  Some people experience these headaches even though they have no congestion or drainage in the nose.  To treat these headaches it is necessary to treat the allergies.  We have found great success using our Allergy Desensitization treatment.  If the allergy can be eliminated the headaches no longer occur.

Cluster Headache

Cluster headaches are usually the most painful of all headaches.  Some people wake up in intense pain when one hits. The name cluster headache refers to clusters of time not location. These headaches will come and go with long periods of remission. Cluster episodes can last from a week to a year occurring daily. The attacks can happen multiple times per day. Most commonly the onset occurs at night waking a person up. The pain lasts from 15 minutes up to 3 hours.

Symptoms of a Cluster Headache

  • Excruciating pain that is generally situated in, behind or around one eye, but may radiate to other areas of your face, head and neck
  • One-sided pain
  • Restlessness
  • Excessive tearing
  • Redness of your eye on the affected side
  • Stuffy or runny nose on the affected side
  • Forehead or facial sweating on the affected side
  • Pale skin (pallor) or flushing on your face
  • Swelling around your eye on the affected side
  • Drooping eyelid on the affected side

The cause of cluster headaches is unknown at this time but it is theorized that the symptoms are related to dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system.  Using steroid medications has been shown to give some relief telling us that it has an inflammatory component.  We have found success combining Chiropractic Care to correct autonomic nervous system imbalances and the Anti-inflammatory Diet to decrease possible causes of inflammation


Vertigo and Tinnitus Caused By Middle Ear Pressure

In the last 3 years we have seen a large increase in vertigo and tinnitus caused by middle ear pressure cases. Some have been related to allergies while others have been related to a chronic upper respiratory virus. The inflammation of mucus membranes leads to the closing off of the eustachian tube, which is what drains the middle ear. When the Eustachian tube is blocked it causes pressure to build in the middle ear leading vertigo and sometimes even tinnitus (ringing or buzzing in ear). If the cause is related to a virus, the symptoms could last for months as the body
works to overcome the virus. If the cause is related to an allergy it responds well to alternative care. The past 5 years we have been perfecting an allergy technique which can reverse the effects of the allergy, allowing the eustachian tube to open again. In most cases this technique actually alleviates the allergy completely in 1 visit. The technique uses specific allergen samples to test for reaction to suspected allergens. The test is performed by grouping specific types of allergens such as tree pollens in one treatment and food allergens in another. Multiple allergens in one group can all be treated together. Such as if we find a reaction to oak and maple tree pollens, we can correct both allergies in one treatment. For cases that are viral we can see relief by performing spinal manipulations and massage that can temporarily dilate the Eustachian tube, hopefully allowing the pressure to release. Home care consists of moist compresses over the ear to help dilate the eustachian tube, zinc, Vitamin C, and Vitamin D supplementation to help fight the virus.

Middle ear pressure that has become chronic can have a secondary bacterial infection associated with it.  These cases can be serious and usually present with fever and severe pain around the ear.  It is important to seek healthcare attention for any ear pain associated with fever.

Benign Positional Vertigo

Benign Positional Vertigo is a very common cause of vertigo in the absence of middle ear pressure.  This condition is believed to be caused by crystal formation in the fluid of the inner ear.  Within the inner ear we have circular canals filled with fluid oriented in the X, Y, and Z axis.  When we move the fluid shifts within the canals and receptor hairs sense the movement and relay the information to the brain.  When crystals form in the inner ear they can lay on these hair sensors telling us we are moving when we are not, resulting in Vertigo.  In many instances relief can be obtained by seeking out a healthcare practitioner that specializes in the maneuvers that will dislodge the crystal.  Many Physical Therapists and Chiropractors are trained in these techniques.


Should I Avoid Night Shades?

Night shades are a group of vegetables that contain similar chemicals within them that have been associated with toxicity and inflammation.  These vegetables are also very nutrient dense which begs the question should they be avoided. The answer is not straight forward because not everyone is affected the same by them.  Some people have reactions to a small quantity of them while others are ok with small amounts but have ill affects when they eat to much or to often.  I suggest that any patient I have that suffering from chronic pain, auto-immune disease, skin sensitivity or intestinal issues should do an avoidance for a 4 week period.  If they feel a difference in their symptoms they know that night shades affect them but the next question is do all of them need to be avoided.  We then suggest adding one at a time that they wish to have in their diet to test the affect on them.  I also use Allergy Testing as a guide if elimination attempts are inconclusive.  I always stress kinesiology has its limits but elimination followed by reintroduction is usually most accurate test.

What Vegetables are Included?

  • Tomatoes (all varieties, and tomato products like marinara, ketchup, etc.)
  • Tomatillos
  • Potatoes (white and red potatoes. However, sweet potatoes are not nightshades.)
  • Eggplant
  • All peppers (bell peppers, jalapeno, chili peppers, and hot peppers)
  • Red spices (curry powder, chili powder, cayenne powder, red pepper)
  • Paprika
  • Pimentos
  • Tobacco
  • Goji berries
  • Ground cherries (different from regular cherries)
  • Ashwagandha

What are the Common Adverse Reactions?

  • Joint pain
  • Inflammation
  • Fatigue
  • Migraines
  • Skin flares
  • Digestive distress
  • Flares to any preexisting conditions

 


Chiropractor Jeff Livingwell D.C. Leaves Profession to Become a Truck Driver

6-1-2021 Blissville Press Author: Joe Satire

 

Chiropractor Jeff Livingwell D.C. from Blissful, U.S.A. decided to quit his profession to become a truck driver at the local factory Envirocup.  He has found that 15 years of teaching healthcare is a rewarding career path but not a sustainable business model. He found himself going to work to only to see 5-10 patients every week that traveled from the next town over. This amount of patient visits was enough to only cover his cost to keep his doors open.  Sure he had new patients every week but he was finding that after he educated them on how to care for themselves through lifestyle changes they did not need his services often.   His advice was very simple he told his patients to exercise daily, eat only unprocessed food, and drink water.  Unlike his first job working with his mentor Frank Conundrum D.C. in the next town over he rarely had to discuss stress modification.  “The residents of Blissful had an unusually content lifestyle, in complete contrast to patients I worked with under Dr. Frank” Jeff told us.  Jeff also told us “Many of the patients he met in his Blissful practice seemed to have more free time and talked about their hobbies such as reading, crafting, gardening, and fishing.”

Blissful is a small town untouched by many of the common luxuries across the rest of the country.  The town is nestled in a valley which was blocked from satellite signals so no one had cable T.V. or internet access. It was such a small town that no cellular phone service was established in the area yet.  The only wires coming into town were power lines that traversed thru the town towards the next city 60 miles to the east Stressville.  Many of the 15,000 residents of Blissful were employed by 2 medium sized family businesses in town.  Blissfull Farms a local Whinery and Envirocup a factory which produces paper coffee cups for high end coffee shops in Stessville.

Dr. Livingwell is sad to leave his practice but is very excited about his opportunity working for Envirocup. “They are a great company to work for everyone gets 3 weeks paid vacation and they offered me the position as a wellness provider in the employee free clinic” he joyfully told us.  He ended our interview with “I am very proud of the work I have done in this community but it seems like they have no need for me anymore”.


Home Chiropractic Care in Brentwood and Franklin, TN

Many Chiropractic offices offer home care as part of their service or are exclusively mobile based.  The benefit of home visits you will never be stuck in a waiting room.  You will never have to drive in rush hour traffic rushing to be on time.  The doctor will not be in and out of the room seeing 3 patients at once just to make enough money to pay the employees and brick and mortar costs.  You will get the care you need on your schedule without driving to get there. Clients using this approach range from people who want to stay out of the public eye, stay at home moms that can’t find the time to get away, visitors staying at a local hotel, to groups of 4-10 people working together in a large office.

Home Chiropractic Care can be offered in different ways.  Some Chiropractors have a mobile van they use to drive to a location with everything set up inside their vehicle.  Others arrive with a portable table and bring everything inside the home, office, or hotel room.  Our office has a physical location before and after hours we do offer a mobile services performed inside the home, office, or hotel room.  Rates are different then offered in the physical location.   Higher rates reflect travel time and setup but treatment sessions are also longer then an office visit.  If house call services are something you are interested in feel free to call the office to discuss the details.


Bicipital Tendonitis

Tendonitis

Bicipital tendonitis is a very common condition affecting the front of the shoulder or elbow.  The biceps muscle flexes our elbow and aids in flexing of the shoulder.  The bicep muscle is made of 2 seperate muscle that share a common attachment. The muscle attaches to forearm bone called the ulna at a common site.  The origination of the muscle is in 2 separate location on the shoulder blade.  The first attachment is in the front of the shoulder just under the collar bone to a protrusion off the scapula called the coracoid process. The second attachment is just above the cup on the scapula where the arm bone ball articulates to make the shoulder joint.   The most common site of  tendonitis called proximal bicipital tendonitis occurs at the location where the bicipital tendon takes a 90 degree turn after passing through the bicipital grove before attaching above the shoulder cup.  The second site site of  tendonitis called distal bicipital tendonitis occurs at the attachment of the biceps muscle at the elbow.

Symptoms of Proximal Tendonitis

  • Pain in the front of the shoulder during hand elevation overhead.
  • Pain in front of shoulder while reaching backward.
  • Pain in the front of the shoulder flexing the elbow

Symptoms if Distal Tendonitis

  • Pain in the front of the elbow when flexing the arm.
  • Pain in the front of the elbow when carrying heavy items.
  • Pain in the front of the elbow when straightening the arm.

Treatment of Bicipital Tendonitis

First we need to rest the arm.  Usually this condition occurs due to overworking the muscle.  We then use Chiropractic Care and Massage Therapy to correct muscle imbalances around the scapula leading to poor mechanics within the shoulder joint.  We also instruct patients on stretching muscles to aid in making postural corrections of the shoulder and neck.  At home we also recommend Contrast Therapy to decrease inflammation and speed healing.


Contrast Therapy

Contrast therapy is a method of alternating cold therapy and moist heat therapy to optimize the healing process in tendonitis.  The benefits of cold therapy include inflammation reduction and pain control.  The benefit of moist heat therapy is increasing circulation which speeds the healing and sweeps away inflammation.  The timing within the healing process to use contrast therapy is important and should be followed correctly.

Initially first 36 hours after an injury research shows that moderate cold therapy is beneficial in preventing excess inflammation and pain control.  If used after this point it is actually inhibiting the healing process.   After 36 hours the goal is now to increase circulation to speed healing and sweep out the leftover swelling.  Heat therapy alone is effective at this and has been the standard of care for many years.  New research is showing that Contrast Therapy is even more effective than traditional heat therapy at stimulating healing and decreasing chronic inflammation.  When used in combination with dietary modifications optimal recovery of chronic swelling can be achieved.

How to Perform

You will need an ice pack or back of ice, a microwavable moist heat pad, and a wet towel.  Wrap the ice pack in a towel soaked in cold water then heat up your moist heating pad.

Here is a basic pattern of how to apply contrast therapy:

  • Begin with 1 minute of cold
  • Apply 5 minutes of heat
  • Apply 1 minute of cold
  • Apply 5 minutes of heat
  • Apply 1 minute of cold
  • Apply 5 minutes of heat
  • Finish with 1 minute of cold

Hot and cold therapy should be carried out one to two times per day until the injury has healed. I have also found benefit in soaking the wet towel in a mix of Epsom salts and water before use.  It is a good idea to keep the wet towel in the freezer with the ice pack for ease of reapplication.


Tennis Elbow

What is Tennis Elbow?

Tennis elbow is a tendonitis of the finger/wrist extensor tendons at attachment of the elbow.  The finger and wrist extensor muscles originate from the same location at the elbow just above the elbow joint.  These muscles extend the fingers and the wrist.  The tendonitis can develop from repetitive use of the extensor muscles or from overly forceful activities on the extensor muscles.  A good example of an overly forceful use would be a backhand in tennis which gives this condition its name.  Respective use is seen inpatients with desk jobs with prolonged computer work or jobs using tools such a hammer.  Tennis elbow can lead to pain in most activities once it has developed but initially it is only felt during or after the activity which caused the problem.  I have patients that get so bad they have trouble lifting a cup of coffee.  Diagnosis of tennis elbow is very easy, an experienced doctor just needs to palpate the insertion point of the tendons which will elicit the pain when touched.  The location of the pain is just above the elbow on the outside of the elbow running into the back of the forearm to the wrist.  Pain can also be reproduced by muscle testing the extensor muscles which will also cause pain in the elbow.

How is Tennis Elbow Treated?

In our office we use Chiropractic Care and Massage Therapy in conjunction with homecare.  Chiropractic Care will correct muscle imbalances in the forearm which is a major factor in the development of this condition.  It is very common to have an imbalance of strength between the finger/wrist flexors and the finger/wrist extensors.  Finger flexors are usually overly strong and become tight making the extensor muscle work harder.  Massage therapy is used to work out trigger points within the extensor muscles and relax the flexor muscles.  Massage will also be used at the insertion point to break up adhesions within the tendon and stimulate blood flow.  For complete resolution of the condition we either have patients refrain from the activity causing the problem for a short period of time or we make work/lifestyle modifications to decrease strain on the tendon. We prescribe homecare stretches for the flexor tendons and alternating ice and heat therapy to the site of tendonitis. It is also recommended to purchase a brace to help reduce strain on the tendon during activity.

5 Homecare Ideas for Tennis Elbow

  1. Stretch Wrist Flexors.  Extend the elbow straight then pull fingers back.  Hold for 10 seconds repeat 5 times.
  2. Alternate ice and heat. Using Contrast Therapy Protocol is highly effecting at reducing inflammation and promoting healing.
  3. Massage the forearm by hand or purchase a hand held massaging tool.
  4. Purchase a compression brace for tennis elbow.
  5. Rest the arm refrain from working out with arms, carrying heavy objects, and using impact tools.


How Many Times a Week Should I See a Chiropractor?

How Many Times a Week Should I See a Chiropractor?

How Many Times a Week Should I See a Chiropractor is a question that varies depending on the office you go to. On average studies show that common neck or low back issues take 2-4 weeks of care at a 3x per week schedule with a chiropractic care.  If at the end of 4 weeks at 3x per week full resolution is not attained a re-evaluation will be performed.  In our office we see people 2x per week and at the end of 2 weeks I would expect most people to be close to resolution.  At that point we drop down to 1x per week until resolution is attained.  Simple low back pain usually takes 4 total visits and simple neck and shoulder pain around 6 visits.  If the neck or low back pain are also combined with radiating pain into arm or leg it takes longer.  When pain is radiating from the neck or low back it is usually the result of a nerve compression.  In these cases we usually need 10-12 visits to resolve the issue.

After care is completed and the presenting problem is resolved some patients benefit from maintenance care.  We do not always recommend it to everyone.  If you put excessive physical demands on your body at work or play I usually suggest a monthly visit.  I also suggest regular maintenance to people who have desk jobs. Sitting for prolonged periods of time with poor posture does put excessive physical demands on your body.