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This week’s 1-Page health News from Denver Chiropractic Center

Health Alert: High Fructose Corn Syrup and Type-2 Diabetes. Researchers found a 20% higher proportion of the population has diabetes in countries with high use of High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), like the United States, compared to countries that do not, like the United Kingdom. The United States has the highest consumption of HFCS at 55 lbs (~25 kg) per year per person. The United Kingdom consumes 1.1 lbs (~.5 kg) per year per person.

Global Public Health, November 2012

Diet: Food Advertising. Childhood obesity has tripled in the past 30 years. Food companies spend $10 billion a year marketing in the United States, and 98% of that is on foods high in fat, sugar, or sodium.

Journal of Pediatrics, November 2012

Exercise: Walk Much? The more moderate physical activity (like brisk walking) you do, the better. Compared to doing nothing at all, seventy five minutes of vigorous walking per week was linked to living an extra 1.8 years. Walking briskly for 450 minutes or more per week was found to provide most people with a 4.5-year longer lifespan. The longer people spent each week being moderately active, the greater their longevity. Heart, November 2012

Chiropractic: Keep Your Disks Healthy. In normal healthy disks, the nerves (sinuvertebral) only sense pain on the periphery or outer regions of the disk. In grossly degenerated disks, nerves may penetrate into the center (nucleus) of the disk and be more vulnerable to degeneration and/or inflammation. Lancet, 1997

Wellness/Prevention: Cell Phone Addiction. Cell phone and instant messaging addictions are driven by materialism and impulsiveness and can be compared to consumption pathologies like compulsive buying and credit card misuse. Cell phones may be used as part of the conspicuous consumption ritual and may also act as a pacifier for the impulsive tendencies of the user. Impulsiveness plays an important role in both behavioral and substance addictions.

Journal of Behavioral Addictions, November 2012

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.

Back from the USAT certification

I just finished up at the USA Traithlon Coaching
Certification clinic in Colorado Springs. Had a great
room for 2 nights at the Broadmoor. What a place.

But that’s not why I’m writing. During one of the breaks,
a coach from New York asked if I could take a look at
her shoulder. Somehow she had been googling Active
Release and found my website. It was kind of strange that
she knew who I was.

Anyway, she had been dealing with shoulder pain while
swimming for over a year. It hurt to raise her arm
over her head, hurt to put a shirt on, hurt at night,
etc.

Fear of needing surgery had kept her from saying
anything about the pain to anyone. She was hoping
maybe I could give her an opinion.

I put her through some ranges of motion and her
problem was obvious. Scar tissue in her subscapularis
was keeping that muscle from firing. This was causing
her humerus to ride a little too high in the joint.
Classic impingement syndrome.

I treated her during the first two days at the clinic,
mostly breaking up the scar tissue in the subscap.
On the third day she swam and reported it was
about 90% better. I referred her to an ART doc in
NY to finish up. She was so excited that she cried.
I love that kind of case.

This was no miracle. Many shoulder problems start in
the subscap. They can usually be fixed. The first step
is finding the right person to help. I’ve treated
hundreds, probably over a thousand.

So, I’m back in the office after the certification.
If you or anyone you know is having shoulder pain,
I can probably help. Call 303.300.0424.

You can read more about shoulder pain here:
http://www.denverback.com/q_shoulder.html