Tag: Jeff Stripling

Nutritional Post-Surgical Management of CTS

Obviously, the goal of all health care providers, including chiropractic management of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS), is to AVOID surgical intervention, but this is not always possible. Last month, we looked at herbal approaches to reduce inflammation with the focused goal of preventing surgical need. But, as chiropractors, we also care for patients post CTS surgery, and one of our treatment approaches beyond manual therapies includes nutritional management (In addition to Active Release Techniques to address scar tissue in the forearm muscles).

As we all know, during the surgical process, tissue damage occurs due to incisions, removal of injured tissue, and other factors. Depending on the “success” of the surgical procedure, damage to the nerves causing numbness, weakness, and/or other nerve related symptoms can occur. Often, nerves will regenerate during the healing process but not always 100%. This may be due to factors such as the amount of tissue damaged during the surgery, the length of time CTS had been present pre-surgery, how well the patient follows post-surgical instructions, as well as the general health and overall condition of the patient. A healthy diet along with certain specific vitamins can play a positive role in tissue healing and nerve regeneration. Here are some examples:

  1. Folate or vitamin B9 has been reported to have beneficial effects on the genes located within the nerve cells that help to regulate the healing process. One study published in 2010 reported that folate helped to promote nerve repair in the central nervous system (CNS) in rats, which is unique as typically nerve damage in the CNS does not usually regenerate. Anti-inflammatory benefits have also been reported with vitamins B6, B9, and B12.
  2. Cobalamin or Vitamin B12 has also been reported to facilitate nerve regeneration after injury. This, along with the anti-inflammatory benefits, supports the use of B12 in the post-surgical CTS patient.
  3. Vitamin D may also play a significant role in nerve regeneration after surgery. In one study, vitamin D2 was found to have a positive effect on nerve regeneration. Another study reported that D3 and calcium together has strong anti-inflammatory benefits.
  4. Vitamin B6: There is evidence that supports the use of B6 both before and after surgery. Some feel B6 acts directly on nerve repair and others report a diuretic (fluid reducing) benefit. One cause and/or complication of CTS is fluid retention, which commonly occurs in conditions such as pregnancy, the use of birth control pills, obesity, diabetes, and others. Thus, keeping fluids in our tissues under control can certainly help CTS patients. Most studies agree that less than 200mg of B6 per day is safe. The dosage should be carefully monitored as numbness/tingling (a common CTS symptom) can be a sign of B6 toxicity.
  5. Vitamin C has long been reported to facilitate in the wound healing process. It also is an effective anti-inflammatory agent, a common problem in the cause of CTS as well as a negative post-surgical side effect. A dose of 1000-3000mg/day spread out throughout the day is beneficial to the post-surgical healing process.
  6. Vitamin E: As far back as 1967, Vitamin E been reported to reduce inflammation. More recent studies report that when used in combination with vitamin C, the two together works even better in reducing inflammation than either one alone. Also, this combination was found to improve the body’s ability to use insulin, which may also facilitate healing in the post-surgical CTS patient.

There are many others we didn’t get to (such as B1, 3, 5; zinc, Bromelain, and Quercetin). Bottom line: Eat healthy, exercise, don’t smoke, and fortify your diet with these nutrients!

We realize you have a choice in who you consider for your health care provision and we sincerely appreciate your trust in choosing the Active Release certified chiropractors at Denver Chiropractic Center for those needs.  If you, a friend or family member require care for CTS, we would be honored to render our services.

Fibromyalgia and the Immune System

Fibromyalgia (FM) is a condition with a polarized audience comprised of those who believe it’s real and those who don’t. This interesting political-like conflict is, in a large part, centered around the topic we discussed last month concerning the causes of FM. This month’s article will focus specifically on the immune system and its relationship to FM.

“EXTRA, EXTRA, READ ALL ABOUT IT! New research published on 12-17-12 in BMC Clinical Pathology describes cytokine abnormalities were found in FM patients when compared to healthy controls.” OK! But what does that mean?

Very simply, this study reports that immune dysfunction is part of the cause of FM. The most exciting part is that this study identified a BLOOD TEST (finally!) that, “…demonstrates value as a FM diagnostic tool.” Looking at this closer, the researchers used multiple methods to examine cytokine (proteins that help regulate our immune response) blood levels in FM patients. They found the FM group had, “…considerably lower cytokine concentration than the control group, which implies that cell-mediated immunity is impaired in fibromyalgia.” This study’s findings of an immune response abnormality strays from previous study findings which largely pointed to the central nervous system (CNS – brain & spinal cord) as the origin of the FM syndrome.

This makes some sense as the study of immunology (in this case, “neuroimmunology” – the combination of neurology and immunology) has only been around for about 10 years, and as such, may hold some important answers as more evidence is uncovered to further support this potential “paradigm shift” in considering the primary cause of FM. The authors offer further excitement as this focus could lead to a better understanding of the cause of other neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis (MS)! They go on by describing how body temperature, behavior, sleep, and mood can all be negatively affected by “pro-inflammatory cytokines” (PIC) which are released by certain types of activated white blood cells during infection. PIC have been found in the CNS in patients with brain injury, during viral and bacterial infections, and in other neurodegenerative processes (like MS)!

To further support this advance in understanding, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reported, “…Despite the brain’s status as an immune privileged site, an extensive bi-directional communication takes place between the nervous and the immune system in both health and disease.” They describe multiple signaling pathways that exist between the brain and the immune system that function normally throughout our lifetime. When immune, physiological, and psychological “stressors” occur, cytokines and other immune molecules stimulate interactions within the endocrine (our hormone) system, nervous system and immune system.

To prove this, brain cytokine levels go up following stress exposure and similarly go down when treatments are applied that alleviate stress. They list other conditions such as stroke, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s disease, MS, pain, and AIDS-associated dementia as being similarly affected as well. They also report that cytokines and other neuro-chemicals play a role in our neuro-development throughout our lifespan, help regulate brain development early in life and brain function throughout life, and how this all changes in the aging brain. There are also interactions of these immune chemicals that result in gender differences on brain function and behavior.

Needless to say, it will be very interesting to watch for additional developments along this line of research as it pertains to the FM patient and future treatment recommendations! Also, immune stimulation by chiropractic adjustments has been postulated as a benefit and this too may be better understood using this new research approach!

If you, a friend or family member requires care for FM, we sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence shown by choosing Denver Chiropractic Center!

Our Denver Chiropractors are now in network with Cigna and Greatwest.

We are happy to announce that we have added Cigna to the long list of insurures with whom we are in-network. After years of patients sending letters asking that Cigna add us to the network, they listened. For those of you with Cigna policies, we will need to verfiy your coverage the next time you’re in the office. We are also now in-network with Great West.
Here are the other major insurers for whom we are in-network providers:
Anthem / Blue Cross
United Healthcare
Aetna
Federal Employee Benefits Program
Kaiser PPO
Mail Handlers Benefits Program
PHCS
Humana
MedPay for auto injuries and ALL auto insurance policies
Workers’ Compensation (Level 1 Accredited)

Why pay more for out-of-network providers? We do all the paperwork and file insurance claims on your behalf! We will continue to do all that we can to better serve our patients now and in the future in this changing health care world.

Weekly Health Update
Week of: Monday, August 19, 2013

“Healing is a matter of time,
but it is sometimes also a matter of opportunity.”
~ Hippocrates

Mental Attitude: Optimism and Stress.
A six-year study of 135 older adults (>60 years old) found that pessimistic people have a higher baseline level of stress and have a more difficult time handling stress than their more optimistic peers.
Health Psychology, May 2013

Health Alert: Decrease Your Heart Disease Risk. A 16-year study of nearly 27,000 male health care professionals found that those who skipped breakfast were 27% more likely to suffer from coronary heart disease.
Circulation, May 2013

Diet: Eat More Nuts To Decrease Risk Of Death From Cancer & Cardiovascular Disease.
Individuals who eat more than three servings of nuts a week had a 55% lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease and a 40% reduced risk of death from cancer. (But, of course, if you’re allergic like my son is, stay away from nuts.)
BMC Medicine, July 2013

Exercise: Moderate-Intensity Walking Timed Correctly May Help Protect Against Diabetes.
A moderate paced fifteen minute walk after each meal appears to help older individuals regulate their blood sugar levels and could reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes Care, June 2013

Chiropractic: Chronic Pain in the Neck Relieved With Chiropractic. Patients with chronic neck pain showed significant improvements in pain levels following spinal manipulation and showed positive changes up to 12 weeks post-treatment.
Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, March 2007

Wellness/Prevention: Retire Later In Life To Lower Dementia Risk. A very large study of self-employed people living in France found that individuals who retired at a later age had a lower risk of developing dementia. The study appears to confirm other research that suggests lifelong mental activity and challenge may protect against several forms of dementia.
International Longevity Center-France, July 2013

Video link- How to foam-roll your hips.

Neck Pain Treatment Options

Neck pain is a very common problem. In fact, 2/3rds of the population will have neck pain at some point in life. It can arise from stress, lack of sleep, prolonged postures (such as reading or driving), sports injuries, whiplash injuries, arthritis, referred pain from upper back problems, or even from sinusitis! Rarely, it can be caused from dangerous problems including referred pain during a heart attack, carotid or vertebral artery injuries, or head or neck cancer, but these, as previously stated, are very uncommon. However, since you don’t know why your neck hurts, it’s very important to have your neck pain properly evaluated so the cause can be properly treated and not just covered up from the use of pain killers!

Barring the dangerous causes of neck pain listed above, treatment methods vary depending on whom you elect to consult. Classically, if you see your primary care physician, pharmaceutical care is usually the approach. Medications can be directed at reducing pain (Tylenol, or one of many prescription “pain killers”), at reducing inflammation and pain (Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Aleve, etc.), to reduce muscle spasms (like muscle relaxers) or, medications may be directed to reduce depression, anxiety, or the like. When a sinus infection affects the 2 deep sinuses (ethmoid and sphenoid sinuses which are located deep in the head), the referred pain is directed to the back of the head and neck. Here, an antibiotic may be needed and/or something specifically directed at allergies when present. In general, in cases that do not respond to usual chiropractic care, co-management with the primary care physician is a good option.

 

However, the good news is that chiropractic care usually works well, and the need for medication can be avoided since the side effects of medication can sometimes be worse than the benefits. Recently, The Bone and Joint Decade Task Force on Neck Pain published arguably the best review of research published between 2000 and 2010 regarding neck pain treatment approaches. They concluded that spinal manipulation and mobilization are highly effective for many causes of neck pain, especially when arising from the muscles and joints – the most common cause. Therefore it would seem logical to consult with a Chiropractor FIRST since manipulation and mobilization are so effective and safe. When we add neck exercises, the results are even better, according to some studies.

 

As chiropractors, we will often use different modalities including electric stimulation, ultrasound, hot and/or cold (which are usually given as a good home-applied remedy), and others. In particular, low level laser therapy (LLLT) has been shown, “…to reduce pain immediately after treatment in acute neck pain and up to 22 weeks after completion of treatment in patients with chronic neck pain” [Lancet, 2009; 374(9705)]. LLLT is a commonly used modality by chiropractors and when combined with spinal manipulation, the results can be even faster! We will also evaluate your posture, body mechanics, and consider “ergonomic” or work station problems and offer recommendations for improving your work environment. We also frequently utilize anti-inflammatory nutrients including vitamins, minerals, herbs, and more to avoid the negative side effects to the stomach, liver, and kidney negative that can result from using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin, ibuprofen, or Aleve. Make chiropractic along with Active Release Techniques (ART) your FIRST choice when neck pain strikes, NOT last resort!

We realize that you have a choice in where you receive 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.

Low Back Pain and Common Mistakes (Part 2)

Last month, we started a great discussion on “what NOT to do” for low back pain (LBP). Let’s continue that focus this month!

5. STAY STILL: You’ve heard, “…don’t do that – you’ll get a bad back!” There is something to be said about being careful, but one can be too cautious as well. In order to determine how much activity vs. rest is appropriate, you have to gradually increase your activities by keeping track of how you feel both during and after an activity. If you do notice pain, it may be “safe” to continue depending on the type and intensity of the pain. In general, a sharp, knife-like pain is a warning sign that you should STOP what you’re doing, while an ache is not. Until you’re comfortable about which type of pain is “safe,” start out with the premise, “…if in doubt, stop.” If the recovery time is short (within minutes to hours), then no “harm” was done. If it takes days to recover, you overdid it. Think of a cut on your skin – if you pick at it too soon, it will re-bleed, but if you are careful, you can do a lot of things safely without “re-bleeding.” Talk to us about the proper way to bend, lift, pull, push, and perform any activity that you frequently have to do that often presents problems. There is usually a way to do that activity more safely!

6.  SURGERY IS A “QUICK FIX”: Though in some cases this may inevitably be the end result for your back condition, most of the time, it is not needed. As a rule, don’t jump to a surgical option too soon. It’s tempting to view surgery as a “quick fix,” but non-surgical care at least for 4-6 weeks and maybe several months is usually the best approach. As the old saying goes, you can’t “un-do” a surgery, so wait. UNLESS there are certain warning signs such as: a) bowel or bladder weakness &/or, b) progressive neurological losses (worsening weakness in the leg). If there are no “surgical indicators” meaning, no instability, no radiating leg pain, and only low back pain that is non-specific and hard to isolate what is generating the pain, DO NOT have surgery as the chances of improvement following surgery drops off dramatically in this group. There are guidelines that we all should follow and they all support non-surgical care initially for 4-6 weeks. Chiropractic is one of the best options cited in these guidelines because it’s less costly, involves less time lost from work, and chiropractic carries the highest patient satisfaction.

7. DON’T STRETCH – IT’S HARMFUL: You may have heard or read that stretching can actually increase or worsen your time if you’re a runner, reduce your ability to lift heavy weight (if you’re a weight lifter), or cycle as fast.  Though this seems obviously silly, there IS a growing body of evidence that has found this TO BE TRUE! HOWEVER, it appears (at least at present), that is applies primarily to static, long hold stretching and NOT to dynamic exercising like jumping jacks, toy-soldier like high kicks, or core stabilization. Moreover, no study YET has found a negative effect for non-athletic competitive activities or for low back pain specifically. A good general rule is, if you feel better after exercising, or in this case stretching, it’s probably better for you than not. Also, as stated last month, there is a “right vs. wrong” time to exercise and WAY to exercise. For example, when LBP occurs in flexion but reduces in extension, there is plenty of evidence published that performing exercises INTO the direction of pain relief is VERY helpful. So until you hear differently, KEEP ON STRETCHING, but follow our advice!

We realize you have a choice in where you receive your healthcare.  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.

More great health info for you.

Mental Attitude: Sibling Fighting Linked To Mental Health Issues.
Fights between siblings (either verbal or physical) are so common they’re often dismissed as simply part of growing up. However, a new study finds that sibling aggression is associated with significantly worse mental health in children and adolescents. In some cases, the effects of sibling aggression on mental health were equal to those of peer aggression.
Pediatrics, July 2013

Health Alert: Third-hand Smoke a Danger!
Cigarette smoking has long been associated with risks to human health. Subsequent research has confirmed the dangers of second hand smoke. Now, scientists are noting the risk of environmental pollutants that persist even after the second hand smoke has cleared. These pollutants remain on the surfaces of buildings, furniture, floors, clothing, and other items exposed to smokers and are being referred to as third-hand smoke. Recent studies link DNA damage to third-hand smoke.
Mutagenesis, March 2013

Diet: Early Introduction of Solid Food Increases Type 1 Diabetes Risk.
Infants have an increased risk of developing type 1 diabetes later in life if they’re started on solid food before the age of four months.
JAMA Pediatrics, July 2013

Exercise: To Lose Fat, Don’t Eat Before Workout.
Exercising on an empty stomach may not be such a bad idea. Researchers found that cyclists who trained without eating beforehand burned significantly more fat than their counterparts who ate before training.
Journal of the American College of Sports Medicine, April 2010

Chiropractic: Chiropractic Adjustments Produce Immediate Changes on MRI.
Compared to acute low back pain patients who received either non-manipulative care or no treatment, MRIs of patients who received two weeks of spinal manipulation showed the most substantial improvement in spinal gapping in the facet joint (L4/5 and/or L5/S1). This supports the premise that adhesions (think internal “scar tissue” that restricts healthy joint motion) formed in these small spinal joints are released by spinal manipulation, thus restoring normal joint motion and ultimately reducing pain and improving the patient’s function.
Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, April 2013

Wellness/Prevention: Deadly Belly Fat.
According to Dr. Robert R. Henry, a leading endocrinologist and professor of medicine at the University of California at San Diego, belly fat is toxic to the body. Fat around the midsection secretes chemicals that spark a cascade of intricate interactions that can weaken your heart, damage your blood vessels, dampen your immunity, and inevitably, if you continue to gain weight, will shorten your life or will lessen your ability to enjoy it to the fullest.
Prevention, June 2013

Fibromyalgia – Where Does the Pain Come From?

Fibromyalgia (FM) is a very strange condition. Can you think of any other condition that creates so many symptoms and yet all the blood and imaging tests are negative? FM symptoms include chronic fatigue, muscle aches and pains, depression, sleep disturbance, memory affects, and more. The degree or severity of FM varies from mild to severe, leaving some totally disabled and distraught. So, the question of the month is, where does the pain come from?

Since the usual markers of injury are negative (that is, blood and other tests), we can tell you first that the pain is NOT coming from damaged tissue such as muscle, bone, organs, and the like. If it did, abnormal enzymes &/or inflammatory tests would result. Rather, the origin of pain appears to be arising from within the central nervous system. That is to say, there are portions of the brain and spinal cord where pain signals are received and when they reach a certain level or threshold, the sensation is felt. When the sensory input is below that level, it will not be felt. In fact, there are MANY MORE incoming sensory signals that are NOT felt compared to those that are. This “thermostat-like” function is vital so we DO NOT feel everything that arrives to the brain. This is why we don’t feel the clothes hanging from our backs or the shoes on our feet (unless the laces are tied too tight!). It’s been said that if we DID “sense” all the incoming signals we would, in a sense, “…short circuit.”

In the FM patient, this thermostat is “messed up.” It is set lower than what is considered normal, and as a result, patients do sense or feel more than they should. This “nervous system overload,” sometimes referred to as a “sensory storm,” occurs in the FM sufferer. A more fancy term called “central sensitization” can be searched and you will find a LOT to read about this interesting subject (check it out)!

So how does this hypersensitive situation start? Fibromyalgia is classified into two main categories – type I and type II. In type I, or primary FM, the cause is unknown. The cause could include one’s genetic make-up, but the bottom line is, we really don’t know. In type II or, secondary FM, some other known condition or situation can be identified such as irritable bowel syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, after a trauma, or following an illness or infection. Some also feel the lack of sleep or sleep loss can cause FM. This is because it takes about four hours of sustained sleep to reach deep sleep, and because of frequent sleep interruptions, the person never reaches deep sleep. Over time, deprived of the relaxing deep sleep benefits, the body gradually tightens up, “re-setting the thermostat” and too much sensory information reaches the brain, resulting in overload, and a heightened pain level is perceived. Studies have shown that when sleep is restored, many FM patients gradually improve and function better. This focus on sleep restoration is important in the management strategies of FM treatment. We all know our tolerance to just about everything suffers when we are over-tired, similar to the toddler who cries at the drop of a dime when they need a nap.

Chiropractic adjustments, certain nutrients like melatonin, valerian root, and vitamin B complex can facilitate sleep restoration. Treatment for sleep apnea can also help patients with FM. As we’ve said before, FM is usually multi-factorial and including chiropractic in the FM treatment “team” is essential for a satisfying result!

If you, a friend or family member requires care for FM, we sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence shown by choosing our services!

“Harder than a Half-Ironman,” Dr. Glenn’s Race Report (pic), and the 1-Page Health News (w/video)

My friend and fellow Altitude Multisport club member Justin Chester summed up Xterra Beaver Creek perfectly, “That’s harder than a Half-Ironman!” I don’t know about that since I’ve never done a Half-Ironman. But I do know this: Beaver Creek, for such a posh place, serves up one tough off-road triathlon course. For the record, I did the Sprint version.

I’m never too focused to high-five my kids at the bike-run transition!

Overall, I had a good day. My swim was slower than last year, possibly related to my lack of swim training this year. I guess I shouldn’t have taken 7 months out the pool after last season? The bike and run were about the same as last year (maybe a tad slower). Overall I was only 4 minutes off of last year’s time. I’ll take it! Next up is Xterra Indian Peaks at Eldora ski resort this coming Saturday. That’s right, 2 Saturdays in a row.

Weekly Health Update
Week of: Monday, July 22th, 2013
“A healthy outside starts from the inside.”
~ Robert Urich

Mental Attitude: Obsessed With Forbidden Pleasures.
When individuals are forbidden from everyday objects, their minds and brains pay more attention to them. Obsession is not as strong if others are also denied. When an object is forbidden to a group, the allure of the object drops dramatically. This helps to explain why group diet programs can be more successful than dieting alone.
Cognitive, Affective and Behavioral Neuroscience, June 2013

Health Alert: Kids Poisoned.
Every 10 minutes a child in the United States is taken to the Emergency Room because of poisoning from swallowing a prescription or over-the-counter medicine. The most common drugs associated with children’s poisoning include those used to treat diabetes, high cholesterol (statins), pain (opioids), and cardiovascular diseases (beta blockers).
Pediatrics, June 2013

Diet: Soda, Illegal Drugs, and Teeth.
Drinking large quantities of soda can be as damaging to your teeth (tooth erosion) as methamphetamine and crack cocaine use. Tooth erosion occurs when acid wears away tooth enamel. Without enamel, teeth are more susceptible to developing cavities, as well as becoming sensitive, cracked, and discolored. The citric acid present in both regular and diet soda is known to have a high potential for causing tooth erosion. The ingredients used in preparing methamphetamine can include extremely corrosive materials such as battery acid, lantern fuel, and drain cleaner. Crack cocaine is also highly acidic in nature.
General Dentistry, June 2013

Exercise: Quantity Over Frequency?
A study of over 2,300 Canadian adults found that those who exercised 150 minutes over just a few days of the week received the same health benefits as those who spread out 150 minutes of exercise over the entire week.
Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, June 2013

Chiropractic: Success!
A study compared the effectiveness of manual therapy (performed by a Chiropractor), physical therapy (performed by a Physical Therapist), and medical care (delivered by a Medical Physician) for patients with neck pain. The success rate at 7 weeks was twice as high for the chiropractic therapy group (68.3%) compared to the medical care group. Patients receiving chiropractic therapy had fewer absences from work than patients receiving physical therapy or medical care for their neck pain. Manual therapy and physical therapy also resulted in statistically significant less analgesic (pain relief medication) use.
Annals of Internal Medicine, 2002

Wellness/Prevention: Prevent Stress.
Among women who reported stress, 40% had psychosomatic symptoms in the form of aches and pain in their muscles and joints, 28% suffered from headaches or migraines, and 28% reported gastrointestinal complaints. (Note- I’m sure men would have reported even more complaints, as everyone knows women are the tougher gender.)
University of Gothenburg, June 2013

As always, thanks for reading,

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – Nutritional Considerations

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a condition where the median nerve that arises in the neck and travels through the shoulder, arm, and into the hand becomes compressed. Compression of the median nerve results in tingling, numbness, pain and/or weakness that affects the 2nd, 3rd, and thumb-side half of the 4th fingers. It can wake sufferers up in the middle of the night, forcing them to have to shake the hand and flick the fingers to “wake it up.” This can occur multiples times a night, making for a long next day! We’ve discussed chiropractic management strategies such as manipulation/mobilization of the neck, shoulder, elbow, wrist and hand, the use of a cock-up splint (especially at night and at times when driving), but more information regarding the use of nutritional supplementation is lacking; hence the purpose of this Health Update!

 

Let’s look at what we are trying to accomplish by nutritional approaches for CTS:

  1. Anti-inflammation: Because of stomach, liver, and kidney side effects, NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, aspirin, and others may not be your best choice. Rather, consider Turmeric (300 mcg), Ginger (100 mg), Boswellia (100 mg), Rosemary (100 mg), Bioflavonoid (100 mg), Bromelain (50 mg), Vitamin C (1-3 grams/day), Vitamin E (400 IU/day), Vitamin D3 (2000-5000 IU/day), Vitamin B-complex (especially B6, 9, and 12).
  2. Muscle relaxation: Calcium (1500mg/day), Magnesium (400 mg/day), Potassium, valerian root (vervain), B-Complex, L-Arginine, Rosemary, Catnip, Kava root, Chamomile, Cayenne Pepper, Horseradish, Lavender, Licorice, Devil’s Claw.
  3. Nerve repair: Folate (B9), B12 (cobalamin), Vitamin D3, B1 (Thiamin; minimum: 1.2mg/day), B5 (Pantothenic acid), B3 (niacin; minimum 16 mg/day), B12.
  4. Managing systemic conditions:

a)      Diabetes (dysinsulinism): Chromium (picolinate or choloride), Alpha-Lipoic Acid, Omega-3 Fatty Acids (1000 mg of EPA & DHA), Coenzyme Q10, Polyphenols (dark chocolate, green tea), Botanicals (plant extracts such as garlic, prickly pear, aloe vera, fenugreek, bitter melon and ginseng).

b)     Thyroid dysfunction (hypothyroid): B-Complex (100 mg of B1, 3, 5, & 6 3x/day; B2, 50 mg 2x/day; B12 1000-2000 mcg/day; Selenium and iodine, Anti-oxidants (Selenium, Vit. C, Vit. E) Copper, thyroid extract, organic iodine.

c)      Obesity (BMI>30): Childhood obesity: Vit. D (ages 1-13, 5 mcg/day), B12, Vit. C, Fiber, Calcium (an extra 300mg of Calcium= >2 lb. weight drop); other fat soluble vitamins (Vit. A, E, and K), iron (iron is more commonly deficient in obese children and adults and can lead to fatigue and poor mental health and memory function).

  1. Other considerations: General health: paleo diet, sleep quality, and exercise (see below).

 

You may notice that there is a lot of overlap in many of these vitamin recommendations. If one were to give nutritional recommendations for general health purposes, the anti-inflammatory “big 5” might include 1. A good quality multi-vitamin mineral, 2. Magnesium (often with calcium as a combined supplement), 3. Omega-3 fatty acids; 4. Vitamin D; and 5. Coenzyme Q10. For CTS specifically, the addition of a B complex seems consistently recommended above.  Controlling weight will reduce CTS risk and decrease the risk of acquiring type II diabetes which increases CTS risk by itself. Perhaps an “ideal diet” for everyone might include eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and the elimination of gluten (grains) – referred to by some as the “anti-inflammatory diet,” paleo diet, caveman diet, and Mediterranean diet. Fortifying a great diet with vitamins is the “take-home” concept!

Low Back Pain and Travel Tips

Low back pain (LBP) and the discussion of traveling tips will be concluded this month. Please refer to the last 2 months for other great traveling tips. Keep a copy of these in your travel bag!

 

BE PROACTIVE WITH THE AIRLINES: 1. Get an aisle seat. Request an aisle seat out of “medical necessity.” By stating it this way, the airlines will go out of their way to find you an aisle seat. It is easier to exit the seat in case you have to use the restroom or an emergency occurs. It also allows you to get up and walk around for exercise, which can reduce the irritation of LBP and reduce the chances of blood clots. We can provide a letter to travel with stating that you have LBP, which can help you get special considerations. 2. Request a wheelchair. Make sure the airline knows you would like a wheelchair. They will handle your carry-on, get you through security quicker, and get you to and from the gate in a safe, timely manner. Typically this request is done at the time you make your reservation, but you can also tell a flight attendant prior to landing and they will have it arranged by the time you de-plane at your arrival site. Since there is no way to know how long the security line will be or how long the distance will be between gates or to baggage claim, having a wheel chair pre-arranged is wise. 3. Request a row of seats. Typically, if the plane isn’t full, you can ask for a row of seats that are empty so you can put the arm rests up and spread out, lay down and be much more comfortable. 4. Recline your seat. Depending on your type of low back condition, you may feel most comfortable either in a vertical upright position or reclined position. Some seats, such as in the exit row or last row, do not recline so ask when booking your flight or when you check-in to make sure your seat is adjustable. 5. Stay stretched. Prolonged sitting has many negative effects on muscles, joints, and circulation. Performing stretches from sitting or standing can help a lot, especially on long flights. Ask us to show you some easy-to-perform exercises that can be done in confined spaces! 6. Pre-board. This option allows you to board the plane first and gives you extra time. 7. Handicapped parking sticker. Consider this if walking is challenging for you. We can assist you in this effort and it will allow you to park close to the entrance at the airport. 8. Get a seat assignment. Getting “bumped” is common practice these days due to airlines purposely over-booking. If you do not initially obtain a seat assignment, call the airlines immediately to obtain a seat. Getting bumped can mean a delay for a couple hours up to a couple days!

 

SIT WITH SUPPORT: 1. Back Support. Using a special back support (if possible) or even a rolled up towel, pillow, or airline blanket between your back and seat can really help decrease low back pain. A small water bottle (tighten the cap!) is also a good option. The “bottom line” is comfort. If it feels good and relieving, it will be of benefit and help you. 2. Sit “supported.” Sitting with your knees bent at a right angle (90°) pushing your feet into the floor can be relieving and offer good support, especially during take-offs and landings. Also, stretch your legs out straight periodically under the seat ahead of you. You may have to place your briefcase or carry-on behind your legs, in front of your seat to open up the space so you can stretch out. Lastly, drink plenty of water, slip your shoes off at times, get up and walk periodically, carry a note from us for special needs, and most importantly, ENJOY YOUR FLIGHT!!!