Month: January 2012

Weekly 1-Page Newsletter for the week of 1/30/2012

Mental Attitude: Do Video Games Enhance Cognitive Abilities? In a recent study, it was demonstrated that there is little solid evidence that games enhance cognition at all. On the other hand, it may be the people who have these enhanced abilities are more likely to play video games. Frontiers in Psychology, Dec 2011

Health Alert: Diabetes Worldwide! There are 366 million diabetics worldwide and 4.6 million die each year from the disease. In the US, 8.3% or 25.8 million children and adults have diabetes, with 79 million having prediabetes. Diabetes Atlas, Nov 2011 & American Diabetes Association, 2011

Diet: Remember Cholesterol. High cholesterol levels may be associated with a greater incidence of brain plaques, a marker for Alzheimer’s disease. Neurology, Sept 2011

Exercise: Wide Waists Trim Lifespan. Since the mid-1970s, when Harvard published “The Nurses Study,” we’ve been told women with waists over 40 inches raised their risk of early death by 40% vs. women who maintained waists in the 26-27 inch measure. Pounds add up. Studies show that obesity is starting earlier than ever. 18% of children ages 12-18 are reported as being obese and 66% of baby boomers (81 million born between 1946-1964) are either obese or overweight. New England Journal of Medicine, Sept 2011

Chiropractic: Chiropractic and the NFL. All 32 teams in the National Football League offer their players and personnel chiropractic physician services for both managing and preventing injuries. Most have Active Release Techniques providers. Professional Football Chiropractic Society

Wellness/Prevention: Too Much Booze, You Lose. Men are more likely to binge drink than women. Research shows that drinking even a small amount of alcohol increases cancer risks, though moderate amounts of alcohol can show cardiovascular benefits that outweigh such risks. Men can play it safe by having no more than two alcoholic drinks per day. University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Nov 2011

Quote: “A revolution is coming – a revolution which will be peaceful if we are wise enough; compassionate if we care enough; successful if we are fortunate enough – but a revolution which is coming whether we will it or not. We can affect its character, we cannot alter its inevitability.” ~ President John F. Kennedy

Guess who’s doing the Leadville 100 Trail Run and this week’s 1-Page Newsletter

No, it’s not me (Glenn). But Dr. Jeff Stripling, my esteemed colleague here at Denver Chiropractic Center will be there on August 18 / 19. Dr. Stripling donated a kidney to his dad a few years ago, and will be racing in Leadville to raise money and awareness for transplant research. Stay tuned for more info on this remarkable guy and this remarkable challenge.

Here’s this week’s 1-page newsletter:

Mental Attitude: A Good Laugh. When we laugh heartily among friends, we exhale repeatedly without drawing breath. This physical effort leaves usexhausted and triggers the release of protective endorphins, one of the complex neuropeptide chemicals of the brain that regulate pain and promote feelings of well-being. Watching 15 minutes of comedy in the company of others can increase your pain threshold by an average of 10%. Laughter is 30 times more likely to happen when we are with others than when we are alone.Proceedings of the Royal Society, Dec 2011

Health Alert: Antibiotic Resistance. Overexposure to antibiotics has longbeen a concern in the medical community, most specifically the development of antibiotic resistant infections as a result of repeated use. Ophthalmologic antibiotics have been found to promote antimicrobial resistance too, prompting a call from Vanderbilt Eye Institute physicians to be more judicial in the administration of certain classes of antibiotics. Archives of Ophthalmology, Dec 2011

Diet: Protect Your Bones. A calorie-restricted diet higher in protein (mostlyfrom dairy foods) and lower in carbohydrates, coupled with daily exercise, demonstrated a major positive impact on bone health. Bone health improvements were particularly evident due to the diet’s high density of bone-supporting nutrients, such as calcium, vitamin D and dairy-based protein.Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, Dec 2011

Exercise: It’s Harder To Run As You Age. Runners who find it more difficult to run as they age can make the experience easier on themselves by adding strength training and flexibility exercises to their fitness routine. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, Dec 2011

Chiropractic: Bad Posture. Asymmetries in posture and motion can causetethering, the adverse prolonged stretching of the central nervous system. This can result in spinal cord ischemia (lack of blood flow) and consequently motor, sensory, and autonomic neurological dysfunction. Tethering of the spinal cord has been linked to demylenating diseases, such as multiple sclerosis. Koch, 2002

Wellness/Prevention: Cancer Prevention In Your 50s. Cancer is more likely to show up in men over 50 years old. That’s why the majority of cancer screening exams begin at age 50. Finding and treating cancer as early as possible is one of the best ways to beat this disease. In the case of prostate cancer (the most common cancer in men), treating the disease at an early stage means men may be less likely to experience long-term side effects, like impotence. University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Nov 2011

Quote: “Money cannot buy health.” ~ Dorothy Parker

Real Paleo diet / Primal Blueprint living –

As many of you know, I’m a fan of the primal/paleo style of eating. While I’m not rigorous or rigid about it, I do a pretty good job of being about 90% compliant.

The theory is simple- try to eat like our caveman ancestors. This means avoiding grains and processed foods. Doing this brings the total carb load on your body into a more realistic range, about 100-150 grams a day (the average American get over 300 grams of carbs each day). The benefit? You start losing weight naturally by eating primally.

Eating this way is really not as hard to as you might think, it just takes a little planning ahead and a little getting used to…

One of the first objections that I hear from people goes like this, “But I like my pasta!” I get it. I like pasta, too. But I also like weighing 15 pounds less than I did when I was eating pasta.

Enter the spaghetti squash. I don’t know who discovered this, but if you cut these big, yellow, football shaped things in half, put them face down on a baking sheet and bake for about 40 minutes at 400, you can scoop out several cups of squash that looks and behaves just like spaghetti. Now, of course it doesn’t taste exactly the same, but the general consensus amongst all who’ve tried it is, “Close enough!”

What about the meatballs? I like to use grass fed beef, about 3 pounds so we get 2 nights out of it. I add a couple of eggs, parmesan, salt, pepper and ground up gluten-free bread crumbs (from 2 slices of gluten free bread. I mix it all up and roll into meatballs which I cook in the sauce for about an hour.

Optional addition- ratatouille veggies. Sometimes Meredith roasts up these veggies and we add them on top of the spaghetti squash (meatballs on top). It’s surprisingly good.

1 medium eggplant cut into one-inch cubes

1 large sweet onion, chopped into small pieces

1 yellow bell pepper, cut into one-inch pieces

2 medium zucchini, cut into one-inch pieces

peeled garlic cloves, halved (use as many as you like, or just add chopped garlic to taste)

1 pint cherry tomatoes

¼ cup olive oil

2 t dried thyme

salt and pepper

Combine all veggies and garlic.  Add olive oil, thyme, salt & pepper.  Put mixture into a large roasting pan.  Place in 400 degree oven on lowest rack.  Mix veggies after 20 minutes.  Mix in cherry tomatoes.  Bake another 15 minutes.

Here are some facts about back pain that you’ll find interesting…

  • An estimated 80% of the US population will experience back pain at one time in their lives.
  • Most back pain is mechanical in nature – related to the muscles and ligaments – as opposed to a bulging disc.
  • Some researchers state that up to 30% of Americans have bulging discs in their low backs –with no symptoms.
  • A recent study by Blue Cross of Tennessee found that costs for episodes of Low Back Pain care initiated with a chiropractor were almost 40% less than episodes initiated with an MD.
  • Our combination of Active Release Techniques, chiropractic adjustments, and stretching/strengthening exercises can get back pain sufferers feeling better quickly, usually in 6-8 treatments over 3-4 weeks.

At Denver Chiropractic Center, we have over 13 years of experience treating patients with back pain. If you or someone you care about is suffering from back pain, call us. We can help you get better quickly. We accept most major health insurance plans and do all the paperwork for you. We also offer affordable care for patients without insurance. Don’t wait- call us today. 303.300.0424. More info at

The Neck & Shoulder Pain Relationship

In our hectic lifestyles of driving, hunching over computers, talking on the phone, not to mention stress arising from multiple sources, the muscles in the neck, upper back and shoulders seem to tighten up and hurt at the same time. The question is, between the neck and the shoulder, which one is the “chicken” and which is the “egg?”

The neck gives rise to the nerves that innervate the head (C1-3 nerve roots), the shoulders (C4-5), and the arms (C5-T2). Hence, there are 8 sets of nerves in the neck, 12 sets in the thoracic (middle back region), and 6 sets in the lumbar or low back region and 5 sets in the sacrum, all of which travel to a specific destination allowing us to move our muscles and to feel hot, cold, sharp, dull, vibration and position sense.

When these nerves get pinched or irritated, they lose their function and the ability to feel, making it challenging to button a shirt, thread a needle, or pick up small objects.  It can also make it difficult to unscrew jars, squeeze a spray bottle, or lift a milk container from the refrigerator. Hence, the nerves arising from the neck, when pinched, can have a dramatic effect on our ability to carry out our desired activities in which the shoulder, arm and hand use is required.

On the other hand, when the shoulder is injured (such as a rotator cuff tear or strain), this can also result in neck problems. There are several ways pain from the neck affects the shoulder and vice versa. When the shoulder is injured, pain “information” is relayed to the brain starting at the nerve endings located in the area of the shoulder injury, transmitting impulses between the shoulder and the neck, and finally from the neck to the sensory cortex of the brain. That information is processed and communication to the motor cortex prompts nerve signals to be sent back to the shoulder through the neck and to the injured area (in this case, the shoulder).

A reflex muscle spasm often occurs as a result, serving as kind of an “internal cast” as the muscle spasm tries to protect the injured shoulder. This can become a “vicious cycle” or never-ending “loop” until the reflex is interrupted (perhaps by a chiropractic adjustment). Another means by which both areas become injured has to do with modifications in function. We tend to change the way we go about our daily chores when an injury occurs to the shoulder, such as putting on a coat differently by leaning over to the opposite side.

These functional changes can also give rise to neck pain. Because of this reflex cycle, as well as the close anatomic relationship between the neck and shoulder, not to mention the “domino effect” of soft-tissue injuries which seem to change the function at the next joint level, it’s not surprising that both the neck AND the shoulder require simultaneous treatment for optimal treatment benefit. However, the good news is, regardless which one is the “chicken or the egg,” your treatment at Denver Chiropractic Center for shoulder injuries will almost always include the neck and vice versa.

We use a unique combination of Active Release Techniques Soft Tissue Treatment, adjustments, and physical therapy exercises. Research shows that this combination is best. We realize that you have a choice in where you get 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.

Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos get Active Release Techniques, and you can too…

Many of you know that Active Release Techniques was created and developed by my friend and mentor, Dr. Mike Leahy. Dr. Leahy has been on the Broncos staff since 2001, providing Active Release Techniques to all of the players. I had the good fortune to assist him at Dove Valley during the 2001 and 2002 seasons.

Anyway, when you watch the Broncos on any given Sunday (or this upcoming Saturday night), you just might see some players getting Active Release work done on the sidelines.

Here’s this week’s 1-page health newsletter:

Mental Attitude: I Can’t Remember. Older individuals’ complaints about memory lapses (such as trouble remembering recent events) may indicate they are experiencing cognitive problems that are greater than typical age- related changes. The incidence of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias is expected to rise in the United States as adults 65 and older are projected to double in number over the next two decades.  Clinicians are now incorporating cognitive screening tests as part of annual wellness visits for older people. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, Nov 2011

Health Alert: Low-Dose Aspirin. The risk of gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding needs to be considered when determining the potential preventive benefits associated with low-dose aspirin for cardiovascular disease and cancer. The risk is increased with the use of cardiovascular disease-preventing therapies. Low-dose aspirin is defined as 75 to 325 mg. Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Dec 2011

Diet: Soda Consumption. The average American drinks 44.7 gallons of soda a year. That much soda weighs about 375 pounds! AdAge, Dec 2011

Exercise: Benefits For Breast Cancer Survivors. For breast cancer survivors, the benefits of exercise outweigh the risks, including those who develop lymphedema, a chronic swelling that commonly occurs after breast cancer treatment. Balance the pros and cons of the activity one chooses, but keep in mind that even remaining sedentary has risks and being active is beneficial in many ways, including possibly reducing the risk of cancer recurrence. Journal of Cancer Survivorship, December 2011

Active Release Technique (ART): The Functional Movement Screen. Sometimes the pain can be in one area, but the cause is in another. The Functional Movement Screen is a 7-move test that we use to help figure out what’s causing your problem. Then we use ART and corrective exercises to fix both the symptoms and the cause.

Wellness/Prevention: Cancer Prevention In Your 30s. One begins to lose muscle mass after age 30. Strength training can prevent muscle loss, build bone density and help the body burn calories faster to keep you at a healthy weight. Maintaining a healthy weight can help decrease the risk of cancer. University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Nov 2011

Quote: “We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives” Dan Zadra

Low Back Pain & Spinal Manipulation: How Does It Work?

For many years, Chiropractic has been at the forefront of treating low back pain (LBP) with both greater patient satisfaction and less lost time at work when compared to other non-surgical treatment approaches. There have been many explanations as to why chiropractic manipulation therapy (CMT) works but many of these studies include other treatment modalities or methods and the benefits are ,therefore, not clearly derived only from CMT.  A recent study has tried to clear this up and the results are very interesting!

This study included two chiropractors and two a physical therapists (PT) from Canada and the US. What is unique about this study is that they measured clinical or symptomatic improvement by tracking improvement in activity tolerance using a standard questionnaire commonly used by chiropractors and PTs all over the world, as well as changes in the spinal stiffness using a valid/reliable instrument before and after CMT was utilized. The importance of these findings is that only CMT was utilized and hence, other forms of treatment commonly utilized by chiropractors did not cloud the findings. There were 48 patients included in the study and the initial 2 treatments were administered 3-4 days apart, followed by an assessment 3-4 days after the 2nd treatment. Assessments were also performed before and after each treatment. The assessments included use of the questionnaire and a stiffness measurement using the special instrument. Also, “recruitment of the lumbar multifidus muscle” (a muscle in the low back that helps stabilize the trunk or core) was measured by ultrasound. After each treatment, significant improvement was found in the overall pain level and in reduced spinal stiffness (which remained improved 3-4 days after the last/second treatment).

The study conclusions revealed less pain, more activity tolerance and less spinal stiffness after the administration of the 2 treatments. The greatest clinical improvement was found in those who had the most dramatic reduction in stiffness after each treatment. They found that the level of muscle recruitment was directly related to the degree of spinal stiffness.  They also found that patients who received thrust manipulation (CMT) had immediate improvements with reduced pain, stiffness and improved muscle recruitment measurements. However, this same effect was NOT obtained when non-thrust mobilization techniques were used. This means many non-thrust manual techniques such as mobilization, massage, and other soft tissue release methods do not create the immediate benefits that were produced by thrust manipulation.

With this new information, we are now able to explain with confidence to patients the reasons why they typically feel better after the spinal adjustment. The patient can then appreciate receiving an answer that makes clear sense and has been “proven.” It’s important to realize that the “bonus” of receiving chiropractic care for low back pain includes not only just pain reduction, but more importantly, improvement in tolerating activities such as vacuuming, washing dishes, golfing, walking and of course, working.

We realize you have a choice in where you get your healthcare services.  If you, a friend or family member requires care for low back 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. Call us at 303.300.0424