What if we told you, that you could avoid the surgeons knife to treat your herniated disc? What if treatment did not cost an arm, a leg or your spine. What if prolonged recovery from surgery could be avoided? What if you could avoid countless appointments with a physical therapist for weeks to several months which is required after the surgery? What if natural movement of your spine could be restored without painful surgery, and what if we told you it is possible to avoid all of the above by seeing your chiropractor?
Chiropractic care is a nonsurgical treatment option for herniated discs. But what is a chiropractor’s approach to treating a herniated disc? Before we get to that, we need a quick review of what a herniated disc is.
What Is a “Slipped” Disc? Is It the Same as a Herniated Disc?
With the exception of the first 2 vertebrae in the neck—the atlas (C1) and the axis (C2)—there is an intervertebral disc between each of the 22 vertebra of the spine. Discs act as a shock absorber and a shock distributor, and provide flexibility.
Imagine if you jump up and down. What would happen to the stack of bony vertebrae that make up the spine without the cushioning and support of these discs? Now, move your back from side to side. Again, you can visualize the give and take of the discs between the vertebrae. Without these discs, your spine couldn’t function.
Intervertebral discs don’t really “slip”—although the phrase “slipped disc” has come into popular usage to refer to bulging, ruptured, or herniated discs. Throughout this article, we’ll refer to herniated discs, which is the more correct term.
Your discs are made up of the annulus fibrosus (the tough outer layer) and the nucleus pulposus (which contains a soft, gelatin-like center). When cracks occur in the outer layer of the disc, the material inside of the disc can begin to push out. Numerous factors can cause a disc to herniate.
For example, there may be too much stress on the disc due to poor posture or from being overweight. In fact. a heriated disc can be caused by a combination of factors or a physical injury.
Chiropractors consider the body to be a roadmap of nerve pathways leading to and from the spine. The spine is the neurological super highway which transmits all the motor, sensory and autonomic functions to and from the brain.
Chiropractors believe that the spinal bones must be in perfect alignment in order to enjoy optimal nerve function, and therefore health, throughout the body. Vertebrae are the bones which make up the spine and are subject to individual movement. When a vertebra is out of place, it is said to be subluxated. Vertebral subluxations are the focus of most chiropractic treatment.
Chiropractors evaluate the entire spine. Even if you only have lower back pain, your chiropractor will examine your neck, too, for example. He or she wants to see how well your spine is functioning overall, and remember: What happens in one area of your spine can influence other parts of your spine and/or body.
After reviewing this information, your chiropractor can determine if you have an intervertebral disc injury. The type of disc injury you have will determine what treatments your chiropractor will use to address your symptoms. When a known intervertebral herniation is being targeted, the Gonstead chiropractor will use specific adjustments to provide case-specific treatment.
Chiropractors see surgical patients who present with back pain after having gone through surgery. Their disc may be partially or fully surgically removed and/or the vertebrae are fused together and the problem they originally had is still there because the vertebrae that caused the herniation is still misaligned. Many times this herniation in the neck is due to a lower misalignment that may be left unaddressed which caused a disc to herniate higher. It is important to address the whole spine to correct all misalignments that could be contributing factors.
Most intervertebral disc injuries are related to a herniated disc, and your chiropractor can provide you with various treatment options to address your pain and other symptoms.
To treat a herniated disc, your chiropractor will develop a treatment plan that will include spinal manipulation—also known as adjustments—and other chiropractic techniques to help ease your herniated disc symptoms. This will be an individualized treatment plan, but it may include manual therapy and therapeutic exercises.
The specifics of what are in your treatment plan are particular to your pain, level of activity, overall health, and what your chiropractor thinks is best. As with any treatment option, don’t hesitate to ask questions about what chiropractic treatments are being recommended and why. We want to make sure you understand what will be done and how it can help relieve your pain. Chiropractic treatment is safe and effective for most patients.
In addition to the spinal adjustment the chiropractor will also pump the disc This is a common chiropractic technique, which is used to help address herniated disc symptoms. This allows the chiropractor to isolate the affected area while slightly “flexing” the spine using a pumping action.
There is usually no pain associated with this treatment. Instead, the gentle pumping to the painful area allows the center of the intervertebral disc (called the nucleus pulposus) to assume its central position in the disc. Flexion-distraction may also improve disc height.
This technique can help move the disc away from the nerve, reducing inflammation of the nerve root, and eventually any associated pain and inflammation into the leg (if there is any related to your herniated disc).. Gradually, specific exercises and nutritional recommendations will be incorporated into your treatment plan. Your chiropractor will monitor you throughout the treatment plan.
Misconceptions about Chiropractic
- It’s a misconception that chiropractors “pop a disc back in place” using forceful adjustments. The “pop” sound comes from the release of gas under pressure within a joint. It is similar to the sound heard when opening a can of soda.
- Another misconception is that chiropractic care involves a few quick treatments, which can “fix” your disc. Instead, as explained above, chiropractors treat herniated discs using gentle low-force techniques.
Your chiropractor will develop a treatment plan for your herniated disc, and if your symptoms do not improve with chiropractic care techniques, your chiropractor may recommend and comanage your condition with you being referred to a spine specialist. This will ensure you are getting the best treatment for your condition and speed your recovery.
At Vanderbilt Family Chiropractic, we are thankful for so many things this Thanksgiving, especially for the chance to help the wonderful patients we treat each day. Thanksgiving is a time to eat good food and have fun with relatives. It can also be a time for stress, over-indulgence and stomach aches.
Americans make a big deal over holiday meals, we make an even bigger deal over holiday eating. For some Americans, the worry of fitting into their jeans after the holiday season is a huge concern. Americans spent on average 2.3 billion dollars on Thanksgiving dinner foods. That’s a lot of food!
Here are some tips to make your Thanksgiving holiday and weekend healthier, enjoyable, and pain-free:
- Eat before you feast. Fasting throughout the day before your Thanksgiving meal can lead to overeating. Eating breakfast when you wake in the morning can curb your appetite, as can munching on crunchy vegetables throughout the day. If you’re having relatives over, encourage healthy snacking by making a vegetable platter with healthy dips for you and your guests to consume.
- Drink Water. Water is an appetite suppressant, so make the effort to drink lots of water throughout the day. Drinking ample water can prevent you from sneaking bites of pumpkin pie and ice cream as you prepare the meal.
- Pace yourself – It takes about 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain that you’re feeling full. In that time, many people overeat. Pacing yourself can help. Take pauses between bites. Draw out the meal by savoring your food, eating slowly, and smelling the delicious scent of each dish.
Go for a walk. Going for a walk can encourage the digestive juices to start flowing after your Thanksgiving meal. Get together your guests after the meal is over and go for a walk around the neighborhood where you live. This will help you burn off some of the calories that you’ve just consumed and will also help you get over any stomach ache that you may feel when you’re done eating.
- Manage your stress – Many people feel stress at the holidays, especially when entertaining guests. Using stress management techniques can help you enjoy your meal and may prevent you from stress-eating.
- Take deep breaths throughout the day. If you feel your muscles tensing throughout the day, take deep breaths to loosen your muscles and settle your emotions.
- Give thanks. Put things into perspective by taking note of the things that make you feel thankful.
- Plan ahead. Disorganization can lead to stress. Planning ahead can help. Cook dishes ahead of time and clean the house the weekend before the event.
- Avoid bending directly over the oven door to lift out that heavy turkey. Crouch and use your legs and knees for better balance. This will avoid putting all the weight-bearing stress on the lower spine.
- Road trips – If you’re going for a long drive to visit friends and relatives this Thanksgiving, make sure to take a break from driving and get out of your vehicle to stretch. This helps restore normal posture and prevent recurrence of painful neck or low back conditions.When loading your vehicle for the trip or from the grocery store, organize your luggage, packages and goods into smaller loads, as opposed to carrying them all in one load. Adjust you car seat’s headrest, making sure that the top is no more than two inches below the top of the back your head. Make sure everyone is wearing seat belts . Most of the estimated 20 million victims of auto accidents in America suffer from whiplash, which can easily be prevented by properly adjusting the seat headrests. Use the correct car seat or booster seat for your children and make sure they have a head rest or a child-sized neck pillow so they don’t strain their necks falling asleep in the car. Without support, your child’s head can flop forward and sideways and affect their breathing and even cause misalignment of vertebrae.
- Practice proper posture when sitting, standing and shopping! With the long weekend, you’ll most likely spend time sitting and slouching on the couch or recliner. Try not to sleep in these position because the joints in this position may irritate the nerves and blood vessels and cause muscle spasm.
See your Chiropractor – A well-timed chiropractic adjustment can help your Thanksgiving go more smoothly in a variety of ways. Chiropractic adjustments boost the immune system while preventing muscle pain and injury, so you can spend your Thanksgiving enjoying time with friends and relatives. In addition to chiropractic adjustments, a good chiropractor will use a variety of natural techniques to help you have a happier, healthier holiday.
- Stretches and exercises. Your chiropractor can teach you a variety of stretches and exercises that you can use to loosen your muscles, reduce stress and aid digestion after the meal is over.
- Lifestyle advice. Making small changes to your habits at the holidays can help you feel less anxiety while avoiding illness. Your chiropractor can give you lifestyle advice to help you make those changes.
It would be a good idea to come in for an adjustment prior to the holiday season so that you and your spine can be in good shape for this busy season.
With these few simple tips everyone can have a happy Thanksgiving. We wish you and yours a healthy, happy Thanksgiving.
Even while taking all these precautions we may still get colds or flu. There are natural ways to help us lessen the severity of these conditions. One good way is to do nasal irrigation at the onset of symptoms. This is a gentle way of washing the sinus cavity of congestion. The easiest way to do this is to use a Netipot. A netipot entails flushing out your nasal cavity with a saline solution. Benefits include improving or alleviating allergy symptoms, nasal/sinus congestion, runny nose, sinusitis/rhinitis infections, sinus headaches and reducing the frequency and durations of a cold or flu.
A study of 211 patients from the University of California Nasal Dysfunction Clinic who had sinonasal disease (including allergic rhinitis, aging rhinitis, atrophic rhinitis, and postnasal drip) and 20 disease-free control subjects were enrolled. Patients irrigated their nasal cavities using saline solution twice daily for 3 to 6 weeks. Patients rated nasal disease-specific symptoms and completed a self-administered quality of well-being questionnaire before intervention and at follow-up. RESULTS: Patients who used nasal irrigation for the treatment of sinonasal disease experienced statistically significant improvements in 23 of the 30 nasal symptoms queried. Improvement was also measured in the global assessment of health status using the Quality of Well-Being scale. CONCLUSIONS: Nasal irrigation is effective in improving symptoms and the health status of patients with sinonasal disease.
As school starts the transition can be stressful for families, especially if it involves students. It is normal for parents to worry about shopping for school supplies, adjusting to new routines, and getting health checkups. What is not always at the top of parent’s minds is the stress and anxiety both parents and children can feel during this time, which can impact the emotional and physical well-being of our families. In our office we say…
“The most important school supply is “nerve supply”.
This vital school supply is received when the spine is in correct alignment. Many summer activities for both parents and children can cause spinal misalignments, stress is a contributing factor to misalignments. Chiropractic can help! These are both good reason to see us before school starts.
While children may feel excitement to see friends again or learn new subjects, going back to school requires a change from unstructured summer days to a more regimented routine. Suddenly, children need to make sure they are on time to catch school buses, remember to pack their lunches, and complete homework assignments. Other factors can include stress related to social dynamics at school, like fitting in, bullying, and dealing with peer pressure.
Although any transition can be difficult, there are ways to address these causes and ensure your family has a smooth start to the new school year.
What are the common causes?
The common causes of stress can differ based on the age of your children. Below are some of the themes depending on your child’s age:
Preschool and elementary school age: When your children are young, they may feel separation anxiety from you when they go to school. Some children may also deal with stress around adapting to new teachers and classmates.
Primary and middle school age: During this time, many children may find it difficult to adjust to a new school and establish their own identity. Some of the biggest concerns may involve making new friends, fitting in, or trying to become more independent.
High school and college age: Social situations like bullying, pressure to fit in, and appearance, can be a source of stress for teens. In addition, as they start thinking about the next steps after high school, they can deal with anxiety related to college applications and getting into a college of their choice. For students that are already in college, finances may be a source of stress as tuition bills start to arrive.
How do the causes of stress differ from parent to child?
The main difference between the stress that you may feel versus what your child experiences can be described as “responsibility” versus “expectation.”
Parents face stress related to “responsibility” because it is your role to take care of your children and keeping them safe. For example, they may push their children to participate in extracurricular or after school activities which can cause additional stress. Parents can also feel responsible if children are not doing as well as they should be academically.
For children, their stress is related to “expectations.” Their concerns are focused on trying to fit in with their peers, establishing their identity and independence, and finding balance in what is expected of them by their parents, teachers, and peers.
What can parents do to help alleviate stress for themselves and their children?
- First and foremost take the time to talk to your children about what worries them. When your child knows that they can come to you when there is an issue, this relieves a lot of stress and anxiety because they know they have your support.
- Be involved with your child’s school. The older your child is the tougher it is to be involved. Be a presence in their grade, middle and high schools. Your high schooler may balk at this but it’s important to stay connected in this way. When you talk to your child’s teachers, make sure you understand what is needed for a successful start to the school year. This is also an opportunity to be on the same page should a problem arise and know how to best communicate with teachers as you need to.
- Help manage potential anxiety. It’s normal for your child to have first day jitters. One of the ways you can help them overcome their anxiety is to visit their school and meet with the teachers. You can also create a simple goodbye ritual to help reassure your child.
- Talk to them about goals for the year. For younger children, you can prepare them for their first day of school by watching videos together and discussing what they can expect on their first day. For older children, talking through their goals is a great way to help them prepare mentally and look forward to the new school year.
- Give your child reassurance. Should an incident or concern arise, seek to understand and validate your child’s feelings and let them know that you will be there for them.
- Plan and practice your routine. There can be a lot to keep track of when school starts, and practicing the daily routine can help your family make a smooth transition. For older children, a part of their routine could include setting aside time each day for homework so they don’t wait to finish it. If bedtime enforcement has become less strict over the summer, then consider starting that routine the week before school starts.
- Encourage fun activities outside of school. Homework and school obligations are important, but giving your child an opportunity to do what they love will give them an emotional boost. You can also help them from overextending themselves by setting limits and giving them down time.
- Plan quality time together. Taking the time when everybody is back from school and work to spend time together is a great way to reconnect. You can engage in activities like taking a walk, playing a game, or just talking about your day.
- Give yourself a time out once in awhile. As hard as it may be, taking a deep breath to step back and think about the things that you can and can’t change will give you perspective. Though it may be difficult, letting your children learn to become independent is a part of growing up and your role as a parent.
- Don’t be afraid to seek help. When things feel too overwhelming, remember you are not alone. Chiropractic can help! Reaching out to trusted family, friends, or a counselor can help with stress and anxiety that you or your family may feel during this time. Remember a spinal adjustment can help you handle or alleviate day to day stressors..
Summertime Skin Care
Summer is a great time for people to engage in outdoor activities. Warmer temperatures and sunshine often lure us outside for swimming, boating, biking, hiking, sightseeing, picnics, gardening and much more. For those in occupations such as farming, construction, and landscaping, extensive time in the sun may be unavoidable. These activities may lead to increased exposure of the skin to sun and other weather elements. We enjoy spending time fishing or at the beach but it is important to protect your skin on the outside with a high quality sunscreen but more important protect from the inside out with good nutrition and important vitamins and minerals.
The skin is the body’s largest organ and makes up about 16 percent of overall body mass. The epidermis, the outermost layer of skin, serves as a protective barrier against environmental threats, such as infectious pathogens, chemicals and ultraviolet (UV) exposure. It makes sense to take care of our skin so it can take care of us.
Various health authorities recommend reducing our exposure to UV light due to the potential risk of skin cancer. However, nearly 1 in 3 Americans suffer from vitamin D deficiency that may be caused by inadequate sun exposure. Insufficient sun exposure has been linked to an increased risk for hypertension, cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, macular degeneration and more. So, too much sun exposure which causes sunburn can increase our risk of skin cancers, but having a high level of vitamin D gives us an 80% reduction in all cancers. How much healthy sun exposure should we get is difficult to determine because it varies based on skin pigmentation, latitude, time of day and time of year. A good guideline would be to get 20 minutes of sun exposure to as much bare skin as you can expose to the sun daily. It is important to avoid prolonged sun exposure that would cause sunburn.
For overall skin health, it’s important to get proper nutrition. Fruits, vegetables, and other sources of antioxidants, such as green tea, dark chocolate, and nuts, are a basic foundation for healthy skin. Vitamins A, C, D, and E help the body protect itself against damaging free radicals.
Some good sources of these vitamins include
- Vitamin A: Beef liver, carrots, sweet potatoes, kale and spinach
- Vitamin C: Kale, broccoli, red peppers, oranges, brussels sprouts and strawberries
- Vitamin D: Fatty fish (salmon, tuna, etc.), cheese, eggs and mushrooms.
- Vitamin E; Almond, spinach, sunflower seeds, avocados butternut squash and Swiss chard.
The weather is turning warmer and the golf courses are prepped and ready for the golfing enthusiasts to return to their favorite pastime, golf. After a long winter it is important to hit those courses being mindful of what 9 or 18 holes of golf can do to a misaligned, unconditioned spine.
There are several avenues of care that chiropractic can offer golfers, including spinal adjustments, warm-up exercises and anti-inflammatory nutrition. Spinal adjustments are known to be effective in reducing pain and improving spinal mobility.
The golf swing can be stressful and injurious to the lumbar spine. In addition to chiropractic adjustments, exercises that impart the least amount of stress on the lumbar spine are important. Make it a habit to do a warm up routine before you start your round. Swinging your golf club 10 times in the opposite way of your usual swing. Do this before and towards the end of your game. Another good pregame exercise which pumps your spinal discs and loosen up your back is to push against your golf cart extending the spine backwards. Also when using shorter clubs bend at your hips instead of from your low back.
Nutritional factors should also be considered by golfers. Golfers commonly self-medicate with aspirin, acetaminophen or ibuprofen to help deal with inflammation and pain. These medications are known to cause gastrointestinal ulceration, harm to the liver and reduce connective tissue healing. It would be wise for golfers to adopt a diet that is rich in dark greens and other colorful vegetables, which are known to be sources of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, bioflavonoids and phytochemicals. Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids are eggs, flaxseeds, walnuts, salmon and organic beef. A good source of bioflavonoids are citrus, berries, legumes and onions. Glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate and Vitamin C are useful for enhancing the repair of connective tissues.
If after a round of golf you find yourself stiff and sore, apply ice to the affected areas using the 20 minutes on and 40 minutes off method; repeating as needed if pain persists. Drink plenty of hydrating fluids and keep moving. If in a day or two you are still feeling pain, a spinal adjustment may help get you ready for next weekends golf game.
Misalignments in your spine, hips or pelvis can and do adversely affect your game. If corrected with chiropractic adjustments your golf swing will improve but accuracy is up to you!
It’s that time of year again…
Allergy and Asthma flare ups?
How can Chiropractic help?
The strength of both the immune and respiratory systems depends largely on proper communication between the brain and spinal cord to control and coordinate their functions properly. When there is a spinal misalignment in the neck our immunity is compromised. This nerve interference can exaggerate or even produce allergic and asthmatic symptoms. A chiropractic adjustment can help restore alignment and open the necessary pathways of communication between the brain and spinal nerves which will improve allergies and asthma symptoms. So it’s time to get that spring tuneup for you and your family and get your adjustment.
How to relieve pain naturally.
The liver is a critical organ and we only get one. Yes, liver transplants do happen, but isn’t it better to take care of our liver so it will last our life time? Of course it is. Our liver and kidneys are the filters for everything we put in or on our bodies. Everything we eat, drink, spray or rub on and injected into our bodies with will eventually end up passing through these organs.
We should be mindful of this especially when it comes to what we take to relieve pain. We are fast to reach for Acetaminophen (Tylenol), Ibuprofen (Motrin/Advil/Midol) and Naproxin Sodium (Aleve). Ibuprofen and Naproxin sodium are called NSAIDs (Nonsteroidal Anti Inflamatory Drugs). The advertisement for Advil says “Nothing is proven stronger or longer lasting on tough pain”. What they don’t tell us is that even several days uses of these “pain medications” can effect our livers adversely.
Tumeric is a good way to relieve pain and much, much more. What doesn’t tumeric do?!!!
Turmeric is a spice that comes from the turmeric plant. It is commonly used in Asian food. You probably know turmeric as the main spice in curry. It has a warm, bitter taste and is frequently used to flavor or color curry powders, mustards, butters, and cheeses. But the root of turmeric is also used widely to make medicine. It contains a yellow-colored chemical called curcumin, which is often used to color foods and cosmetics.
Turmeric is used for arthritis, heartburn (dyspepsia), joint pain, stomach pain, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis hemorrhage, diarrhea, intestinal gas, stomach bloating, loss of appetite, jaundice, liver problems, Helicobacter phlori (H. pylori) infection, stomach ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome(IBS), gallbladder disorders, high cholesterol, a skin condition called lichen planus, skin inflammation from radiation treatment, and fatigue.
It is also used for headaches,bronchitis, colds, lung infections, fibromyalgia, leprosy, fever, menstrual problems, itchy skin, recovery after surgery, and cancers. Other uses include depression, Alzheimer’s disease, swelling in the middle layer of the eye (anterior uveitis), diabetes, water retention, worms, an autoimmune disease called systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), tuberculosis, urinary bladder inflammation and kidney problems.
Some people apply turmeric to the skin for pain, ringworm, sprains and swellings, bruising, leech bites, eye infections, acne, inflammatory skin conditions and skin sores, soreness inside of the mouth, infected wounds, and gum disease.
Turmeric is also used as an enema for people with inflammatory bowel disease.
In food and manufacturing, the essential oil of turmeric is used in perfumes, and its resin is used as a flavor and color component in foods. Quality turmeric supplements can be found at health food stores or you can use fresh turmeric.
How can we add fresh turmeric to our diets? Fresh turmeric root is much like ginger root and can be used similarly. It’s a finger-sized edible rhizome of the Curcuma longa plant? Turns out, turmeric root is surprisingly versatile: it can be used to add yellow color or orange and mild flavor to a broad range of dishes including smoothies, soups, rice dishes, omelettes, and more. Simply peel away the skin using a spoon and mash, crush or puree the yellow flesh before adding to your dishes.
Note: Be careful when using fresh turmeric root in your culinary creations – it can stain your hands, cooking utensils, and clothes, even more than turmeric powder!
How does tumeric work?
Turmeric contains the chemical curcumin. Curcumin and other chemicals in turmeric might decrease swelling (inflammation). Because of this, turmeric might be beneficial for treating conditions that involve inflammation.
Magnesium can relieve muscle pain. Although it is clear why magnesium can decrease muscle pain (it makes muscles relax), why it would help nerve pain was less clear. A new study on rats to be printed in The Journal of Physiology confirms clinical experience that magnesium decreases nerve pain — while also pointing to how it works.
A major mechanism of pain is the excessive stimulation of a brain chemical called “NMDA.” The few medications that help decrease and balance this pain-carrying neurotransmitter have the downside of causing significant side effects. Magnesium seems to settle down NMDA without the toxicity. The upside of magnesium is that is very inexpensive (pennies a dose). The downside is that it hasn’t yet made it through the FDA approval process to be used for pain relief.
The good news is that you don’t have to wait for the FDA. Magnesium can be found in supplement form at most health food stores. And magnesium citrate is best absorbed while magnesium oxide, is not as well absorbed.
For an especially powerful effect, the magnesium can be used intravenously, and is an important tool used by most holistic physicians (including those at the Fibromyalgia and Fatigue Centers). Many holistic physicians use IV magnesium to eliminate an acute migraine headache. It has even been shown to ease the incredibly severe nerve pain that can sometimes be seen in pancreatic cancer. It is also very helpful for settling down fibromyalgia pain, which has a muscle and nerve component.
The authors of the study suggest that magnesium deficiency can be a major amplifier of pain. Because of food processing, most people are magnesium deficient. If you have pain, taking magnesium each day can start to decrease these deficiencies as well as the pain, after just several weeks — while also leaving you feeling more energetic.
Turmeric and magnesium are liver and kidney friendly pain relief alternatives that don’t have the potential for dangerous side effects.
Chiropractic adjustments do not treat or cure conditions or diseases rather, it is the reestablishment of normal body function by performing gentle spinal adjustments. These adjustments reduce stress related interference to the nervous system, thereby enhancing overall body function. Many parents seek chiropractic care for their children who suffer from chronic ear infections and ear pain. All systems of the body—muscular, glandular, respiratory, circulatory, digestive, intestinal, hormonal and immunological—depend on the optimal function of the nervous system. With chiropractic, we focus on nerve system function to enhance all the body’s systems.
Because many parents are unaware of the variety of options available for the treatment of ear infections it is important to know you have some options when your child comes down with ear pain or an ear infection. You can either treat the ear infection, or not—that’s your right as a parent. We are happy to report that even the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a watch-and-wait approach, because the evidence-based research about antibiotics is showing that not only are they ineffective at treating ear infections, but they can actually lead to repeated ear infections in your child.
If you choose to go the usual route, to a Pediatrician, and after taking a watch-and-wait approach with no improvement in your child’s condition, it is more than likely your Pediatrician will prescribe an antibiotic. If, however, you would prefer to treat the ear infections more naturally, there are still several options for you to consider. A Chiropractor will restore proper nerve function so that your child’s glandular and respiratory systems can heal the condition. A Naturopath will explore herbs and nutrition; a Homeopath will assess your child for a specific remedy; an Acupuncturist will work with specific meridian points for healing.
“It is so important that you as a parent realize you have choices,” Anonymous source said. “The right to make these choices for your family.”
“Regardless of the choices you make, the chiropractic approach will improve your child’s inherent ability to function,” Anonymous source said. “Doesn’t it make sense to have your child function at an optimal level for healing no matter how or if you choose to treat? We will assess your child’s spine, make the necessary adjustments to improve the nerve system function and offer lifestyle suggestions to reduce nerve system stress for your child. We will also support any decision you make in your choice to treat the infection or not. This is your right as a parent, and we stand behind informed choice.”
It is important that parents realize the role chiropractic plays in whole-body wellness. So, too, is it important for parents to know, when reading the following testimonials, that chiropractic adjustments have allowed these children to express a greater state of health and wholeness, and that their systems were able to overcome repeated infections because neuro-immunology function was restored.
Chiropractic Testimonials—The Best Thing We’ve Done!
1) “I started taking my 2-year-old daughter to the chiropractor as a last resort. She had had monthly ear infections for about nine months. We had recently scheduled surgery for her to have tubes put in, but it just didn’t feel right to put her through surgery without exhausting all of our other options.
Taking her to a chiropractor was the best thing we could have done for her! We canceled her surgery, and she has not had one ear infection since we started going. It’s a miracle, especially since she has had a couple of colds that would have definitely turned into ear infections without chiropractic care. We took her to the chiropractor immediately after she came down with her last cold, and the cold was practically gone the next day. We have also seen an improvement in my daughter’s temperament since we started care. She gets sick less often, and seems more content overall. I recommend chiropractic for anyone wanting to improve his or her overall health and well-being.”
2) “Last February my son spiked a fever and I brought him in to see our medical doctor. It was decided that he had an ear infection. He was put on antibiotics for 10 days. We followed the prescription and the fever and any other symptoms went away. As soon as he was done with the antibiotic, he spiked a fever again. So again we went to see the doctor. The doctor agreed that the infection came back. We went through this cycle for 8 rounds of antibiotics!!! Our doctor finally said that there was nothing else he could do for him and it was time to see a specialist to get tubes put in my son’s ears. My son turned one last March. That last appointment with the doctor was in June!! In the meantime, I was talking to some people at work and they asked if we had ever tried a chiropractor. I had never been to a chiropractor and so hadn’t thought of it. I called 3 local chiropractors to ask if they work on children and if chiropractic could help children with ear infections. They all said they worked with children and that they all have had great success with helping ear infections. We chose one of those 3 chiropractors. The chiropractor we chose uses the Gonstead method. I talked to our Pediatrician to see if we could wait to schedule the appointment with the specialist for a month because I wanted to try the chiropractor. He was fully supportive and said yes! We started chiropractic care for my son on June 13th and by the end of July when we went back to see our “medical” doctor, he was amazed that both of my son’s ears looked PERFECT!! He said to keep going to the chiropractor and that we would wait to see what happened. He said that the real test would be to see how my son did in October/November when ear infections tend to return. I am happy to say that my son is a regular chiropractic patient and he has not had another ear infection since last June.”
We wish all Pediatricians like the one mentioned above saw the value that chiropractic can bring to the health and well being of their patients.
So how does a chiropractic adjustment help this condition? Ear pain can be caused by a build up of fluid behind the ear drum in the eustation tube of the inner ear. This fluid causes pressure, inflammation and pain. This fluid can also become infected with bacteria. Why does this fluid collect there? One reason could be from a kink in the eustation tube caused by a cervical vertebre being misaligned which causes the muscles to pull on the tube causing a kink. An adjustment to the cervical vertebra corrects this condition instantly and allows normal drainage to happen. Many times parents are told the only way to avoid chronic ear infections is to place tubes through the ear drums of their child. This will prevent fluid from collecting but will also open up the inner ear which is a protected environment. There are also reports of scar tissue formation on the ear drum which could diminish hearing from the insertion of the tubes.
It is important to weight the pros and cons when we make decisions for our children’s healthcare. Do your homework and be informed. We are here to help and would be happy to answer any questions you may have on how chiropractic can help you and your family live optimally.
Got Proof? Lack of Evidence for Milk’s Benefits.
“There is no biological requirement for cow’s milk. It is nature’s perfect food but only if you are a calf. The evidence of milks benefits are overstated, and the evidence of its harm to human populations is increasing.
The white mustached celebrities paid by the Dairy Council promoted the wonders of milk in their “Got Milk” ads. Scientists are increasingly asking, “Got Proof?” Our government still hasn’t caught on, in part because of the huge dairy lobby driving nutrition guidelines. When I once lamented to Senator Tom Harkin (from Iowa) that all we wanted to do was to make science into policy, he cocked his head and with a wry smile and said, “that would make too much sense.”
The media is also influenced heavily by advertising dollars. Once, when I was on Martha Stewart’s television show, the dairy lobby sponsored the episode, and her trainer was forced to mouth the talking points of the Dairy Council touting milk as a fabulous sports drink. Studies may show some benefit, but studies funded by the food industry show positive benefits eight times more than independently funded studies.
In a editorial by two of the nation’s leading nutrition scientists from Harvard, Dr. David Ludwig and Dr. Walter Willett, in JAMA Pediatrics, our old assumptions about milk are being called into question. Perhaps it doesn’t help you grow strong bones, and it may increase the risk of cancer and promote weight gain.
It is bad enough that the dairy industry recently petitioned the FDA to sneak artificial sweeteners into chocolate milk. They want their “shake and eat it, too” by pushing milkshake-like flavored milk drinks into schools as a “healthier” option, even though they have 30 grams of sugar per cup. By cutting the sugar and adding artificial sweeteners to low fat or non-fat milk drinks, the idea is that they would be healthier. Except for the fact that recent studies have found that one diet drink a week increases your risk of type 2 diabetes by 33 percent and a large diet drink increases the risk by 66 percent.
What about low fat milk or non-fat milk? These are the healthier options, right? Wrong.
Ludwig and Willett note that there is scant evidence that fat makes you fat, despite this commonly held mistaken belief. Reducing fat in milk reduces its ability to satisfy the appetite (which fat does) and can promote overeating and hunger. Often, the fat in the diet is replaced with sugar and refined carbohydrates, which clearly has been shown to promote obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Studies show that reducing fat in the diet, which parallels an increase in starch and refined carbohydrates in the diet, not only increases hunger but also may actually slow metabolism. In one study. Dr. Ludwig found that those who ate a low fat, higher glycemic diet burned 300 calories less a day that those who ate an identical calorie diet that was higher in fat and lower in glycemic load. For those who ate the higher fat, lower glycemic diet, that’s like exercising an extra hour a day without doing anything!
More concerning still is that, in studies of kids and adults, those who consumed low fat milk products gained more weight than those who ate the full fat whole milk products. They seemed to increase their overall intake of food because it just wasn’t as satisfying as the real thing. In fact, those who drank the most milk overall gained the most weight. It makes logical sense. Milk is designed to quickly turn a little calf into a big cow and contains over sixty different hormones, most designed to boost growth.
But shouldn’t we stick to low fat milk to reduce our intake of saturated fat? The fact is that, while your LDL or bad cholesterol goes down by reducing saturated fat in the diet, the protective cholesterol, HDL, actually goes up by eating saturated fat improving the ratio of total to HDL cholesterol, which is the most important marker of your risk of heart disease. Switching out saturated fat for carbohydrates actually increased the risk of heart attack in a 12 year study of 53,544 adults. In fact, the whole story of the evil of saturated fats is in great debate. The evidence for linkage to heart disease turns out to be pretty weak indeed.
If you ate only whole foods, fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, and whole grains (not whole grain flour), you might be better off overall (although a recent scientific review of saturated fat dismissed the very notion that is it bad for you). But sadly, that is not what most Americans do when they switch to low fat.
The sad thing is that many schools and “healthy” beverage guidelines encourage the idea that flavored milk is better than soda and that getting kids to drink more milk by any means is a good idea. This is dangerously misguided.
There are 27 grams of sugar in 8 ounces of Coca Cola and a whopping 30 grams of sugar in 8 ounces of Nestlé Chocolate Milk. Sugar is sugar and drives obesity and diabetes. It is not a good way to get kids to drink milk.
But that begs the bigger question. Do kids need milk? Is milk necessary for healthy bones and preventing osteoporosis? The data is clear, but our government polices don’t reflect the science.
Dairy and milk products do not promote healthy bones. In a large meta-analysis, milk did not reduce risk of fractures. Other studies have shown it can increase fracture rates. And the countries with the lowest milk consumption have the lowest risk of osteoporosis and fractures. Calcium is not all it’s cracked up to be. Studies show that higher calcium intakes are actually associated with higher risk of fracture.
Milk may not grow strong bones, but it does seem to grow cancer cells. Milk increases the hormone called IGF-1 or insulin-like growth factor, one that is like Miracle-Gro for cancer cells. Dairy products have been linked to prostate cancer. And cows are milked while pregnant (yes, even organic cows), filling milk with loads of reproductive and potentially cancer-causing hormones.
There are other problems with milk, too. It increases the risk of type 1 diabetes. Dairy is a well-known cause of acne. And of course, dairy causes millions around the world (75 percent of the population) to suffer digestive distress because of lactose intolerance. It causes intestinal bleeding in 40 percent of infants leading to iron deficiency. Allergy, asthma, and eczema all may be triggered by dairy consumption.
The US Department of Agriculture’s new My Plate initiative recommends three cups a day of milk for everyone! If you are two to nine years old, you get away with only two to two and a half cups. And the “key consumer message” is to switch to 1% or non-fat versions.
There is absolutely no biological requirement for milk, and the evidence for low fat milk is lacking, along with the bone benefits. The dairy lobby has it’s tentacles deep in the US Department of Agriculture. One scientist friend who advises the government on food policy confided to me that when he protested that there was no evidence for the government’s recommendations that we all drink three glasses of milk a day and that, in fact, it may be harmful, he was patronized with a “yes, we know, but the dairy lobby makes it difficult to make science into policy.”
Let’s just forget the science and spend taxpayer’s dollars to promote foods that we know are harmful, because money runs politics. To heck with the health of our citizens.
Bottom line: Milk is not nature’s perfect food unless you are a calf and should not be consumed in large quantities by most people, because it can promote weight gain, cancer, and even cause osteoporosis. Write to your congressmen to encourage them to support changes to our food and farm bill policies that shape our nutritional guidelines and make them evidence based. The answer to the question, “Got Proof?” Heck no!”.
So instead of cows milk there are a variety of nut milks such as coconut, almond and cashew. All these milks would be a great substitute in your morning cereal and coffee. The best beverage for us to drink is clean fresh water. If we start our children out with water to quench their thirst think of all the sugar, chemicals and empty calories they will avoid ingesting. There has to be a positive to that!
The above article is another example of big business dictating what is good and necessary for us. Follow the money trail to determine what is and who is driving these campaigns that tell us their products are good, healthy and necessary for good health
First lets look at what a fever is and why we run fevers.
Fever in children is defined as: rectal temperature over 100.5° F, or oral temperature over 99.5° F. Simply put, fever is an elevation in body temperature that is controlled by the brain and spinal cord (the central nerve system – CNS). A fever occurs when the body’s innate intelligence detects an imbalance in the level of bacterial or viral organisms within the body. As a result, an effective means of dealing with this imbalance is to create an environment (fever) where it is difficult for these organisms to live.
Most fevers due to viral causes range from 101° to 104° F and last for 2-3 days. Symptoms usually occur only when the fever reaches 102° F. According to research by itself a fever in the range 100° to 104° F is not harmful and is most commonly due to the body responding to a viral or bacterial imbalance. A small percentage of children (4%) will develop febrile convulsions due to a rapid rise in body temperature. This type of fever is generally harmless.
Many parents incorrectly think that a temperature of 104° to 105° F will cause brain damage to occur, or that if a fever is untreated it will rise higher. As a result, inappropriate treatment is frequently employed, such as: medications, herbal remedies, tepid and alcohol baths to reduce the fever. It is thought that brain damage can occur in a fever of 107 degrees or higher. Studies have shown that it is not the high fever that causes brain damage, it is due to the blood/brain barrier being weakened or compromised due to the effects of drugs, vaccines and chemicals such as MSG and aspartame crossing the blood/brain barrier. Irregardless a close watch of a child’s temperature and the rate at which it rises is advisable in high fevers. Parents may opt for medical evaluation/diagnosis to determine the course of care for their child at any stage.
How does a fever work? Fever has a direct effect on the immune system. When one has a fever, the CNS increases the body’s metabolism while decreasing its ability to disperse heat. A fever reduces the amount of iron in the blood stream that is needed by invading bacteria, thus starving the invader of needed nutrients. A fever also increases the activity of white blood cells that kill bacteria in your body. When the virus or bacterial imbalance has returned to normal the fever breaks and body temperature returns to normal. So running a fever is not bad, it is our bodies natural response to keep an infection from growing. Think of it as “burning out” a bacterial or viral infection. When we are quick to treat a fever to bring it down to normal we are interfering with the body’s defense mechanism. This sabotages our innate healing response, both now and for the future. Our bodies were created to fight illness on their own. Eliminating fever can cause a secondary infection because it suppresses the immune system. Fever plays an important role in our overall wellbeing. Once the body has healed from an illness the immune system is stronger and better equipped for the next illness. We can also enhance our immunity in several ways. Eating a diet that is rich in clean foods. lots of fruits and vegetables, healthy fats (coconut and olive oils,avocado and nuts) and other good sources of protein eggs, poultry, red meat and fish. Sufficient hydration is important. Regular exercise, about 30 minutes most days is sufficient. Managing daily stress is also very important.
So what is the best way to treat a fever? We feel uncomfortable when we have a fever but that doesn’t mean we need to medicate to bring the fever down. Both over the counter and prescription medications contain toxins that add to the body’s stress load by depleting their glutathione stores. Gloota What? Found in every cell in the body, glutathione protects the cell’s engine, called the mitochondria from bacteria and viruses as well as toxins. It’s considered “the mother of all antioxidants,” because all other antioxidants, including vitamin C and vitamin E, rely on it to give them a second life. As the most powerful antioxidant in the body, glutathione works around the clock to fend off infections from bacteria and viruses.. And yet, few people recognize its importance. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is the go to medications to treat a fever. Studies show that this drug has many adverse side effects. It increases toxicity and is a neurotoxin which depleats glutathione stores that are critical for the body for fighting infection. Studies have show that exposure to this drug both prenatally and postnatally is linked to autism, attention deficit disorder, hyperactivity and asthma. Every medication carries warnings of dangerous side effects, so it’s much safer to utilize natural remedies to keep you and your children comfortable while recuperating.
So if there is fever it would be (1) advantageous to see your chiropractor to make sure there is no nerve interference from a spinal misalignment which would inhibit normal functioning of the nervous system. Gentle chiropractic adjustments can improve immune function and speed healing. (2) Rest in a quiet, calm, and peaceful atmosphere to facilitate healing. (3) Hydrate with plenty of fluids, water, herbal teas, broths. Try to avoid sugar including juices and dairy products as they may interfere with the healing process because our digestive systems slow down when we are sick.(4) several warm baths each day will help “sweat it out”. Add epsom salts, baking soda or essential oils in the bath can help you feel more comfortable.