As you know, the postural problems from spending time at computers and on phones is becoming an epidemic. No one wants that “hunched over” look, or the neck and mid back pain that come with it. These two simple exercises can help. As always, use common sense and make sure they are right for you by checking with a doctor first.
Yep. I rolled my ankle badly 2 weeks ago, went for an MRI last week, and found out I broke a bone in my ankle (the talus bone). So I’m in a boot for a month. Good news is that it doesn’t really hurt in the boot so I have not missed any work at all. But triathlon season 2017 might be done for me before it starts.
We have a short week this week. We’ll be in this Monday through Thursday but then are out Friday for a long weekend (and the kids last day of school). So if you need us, call us 303.300.0424 or email to get straight to Meg. Don’t go into the holiday weekend in pain!
Short Week Alert. We will have a short week this week in our office, so if you need to get in this week please don’t hesitate to call 303.300.0424 ASAP or reply to this email.
Monday 2/27: In the office
Tuesday 2/28: In the office
Weds 3/1: In the office
Thursday 3/2: Out of the office
Friday 3/3: Out of the office
Coming soon- Win Rockies Tickets!Yep, the Avs ticket giveaways have been so popular that I got Rockies tickets to keep the party going all summer long. Just keep watching for our emails!
Here is this week’s 1-Page Health News.
A new study suggests concussions may speed up mental decline among individuals already at risk for Alzheimer’s disease. In this study, researchers examined 160 veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and found that concussions seemed to accelerate Alzheimer’s disease-related brain deterioration and mental decline in the veterans at genetic risk for the disease. Dr. Jasmeet Hayes, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine writes, “Our results suggest that when combined with genetic factors, concussions may be associated with accelerated cortical thickness and memory decline in Alzheimer’s disease-relevant areas.”
Brain, January 2017
Diet: Eating Rare Meat Safely.
If you prefer your meat cooked rare versus well done, it is important that it is prepared safely. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics suggests: use a food thermometer to make sure rare meat is hot enough to destroy any germs; avoid using the color of meat, the color of juices, or the firmness of meat to determine if it’s sufficiently cooked; cook ground lamb, pork, veal, or beef to at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit (71.11 degrees Celsius) at its center; and cook steak to 145 degrees Fahrenheit (62.77 degrees Celsius) at its center.
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, January 2017
Exercise: Set a Health Goal That Lasts.
Did you make a New Year’s resolution to become healthier? The American Council on Exercise offers the following tips to help one continue to strive towards their goal as the year progresses: set a small, specific, actionable goal, such as going for a walk every other day; view your goal as a positive change that you want to see in yourself; don’t make your goal so challenging that you are likely to get frustrated; reward yourself for meeting the goal; and ask for support from family, friends, and loved ones.
American Council on Exercise, January 2017
Chiropractic: Surgery No More Effective Than Conservative Care for Disk Herniations in the Long-Term.
A recent study sought to compare the effectiveness of surgical and conservative treatment for patients with a lumbar disk herniation in regards to sciatica symptom severity and quality of life. Researchers followed 370 lumbar disk herniation patients for 104 weeks and found that surgical treatment did not show a benefit over conservative treatment during long-term follow-up. The findings suggest that conservative care has the same long-term effects as surgery for lumbar disk herniation but with less cost and associated risk.
BMJ Open, December 2016
Wellness/Prevention: How to Avoid Feeling Tired.
If you’re not getting enough sleep and feel groggy when you wake up, you don’t need to turn to caffeine to stay awake. The National Sleep Foundation recommends the following to feel more alert: avoid alcohol before bed; set a sleep schedule, waking and going to sleep at the same time every day—even on weekends; set your alarm for the time you truly need to wake up; open the curtains to let in natural sunlight as soon as you wake; exercise daily; and eat a nutritious and balanced breakfast.
National Sleep Foundation, January 2017
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
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,
Chiropractic may only be 114 years old, but spinal manipulation has been around for thousands of years. Massage and manipulation are two of the oldest remedies known to man. In fact, the first pictures depicting spinal manipulation were discovered in prehistoric caves in Point Le Merd in southwestern France. These drawings depicted crude, non-specific attempts to manipulate the spine that date back to 17,500 bc. The ancient Chinese were using manipulation in 2700 bc. and James Cyriax, in his Textbook of Orthopedic Medicine, included a picture of a Buddhist temple with a statue over 2,000 years old showing manipulation of the lumbar spine.
More recently, Hippocrates (460-377 bc), the father of Greek medicine said, “Get knowledge of the spine, for this is the requisite for many diseases.” He wrote over seventy books on healing and was a proponent of spinal manipulation. This great physician was also the first to deal with the anatomy and the pathology of human spine. In his books, he provides a precise description of the segments and the normal curves of the spine, the structure of the vertebrae, the tendons attached to them, the blood supply to the spine, and even its anatomic relations to adjacent vessels. Hippocrates devised two apparatuses, known as the Hippocratic ladder and the Hippocratic board, to reduce displaced vertebrae.
Hippocrates believed only nature could heal and it was the duty of a physician to remove any interference preventing the body from healing. Hippocrates taught that the essence of life and the ability of the body to heal was the result of a vital spirit.
People are always asking me (Glenn) where I workout. Meredith and I train using a blend of Crossfit and Crossfit Endurance in exactly 91 sq ft of our basement (plus the outside stuff of course). You’d be surprised how much you can do in 91 sq ft with kettlebells, a barbell bumper set, a pull up bar and some imagination. (Secret hint for our loyal blog readers- Stay tuned for an upcoming announcement regarding Crossfit, Dr. Stripling & myself – it’s gonna be a biggie!) Anyway, here’s my present Cossfit Gym:
Speaking of Dr. Stripling, his popular video series is back this week. This time around, Dr. Stripling shows you some quick and easy self-help strategies for the low back.The link is at the bottom of this email.
Health Alert: Childhood Obesity Rates Falling! During the first decade of the 21st century, childhood obesity rates among children in lower income families in the United States have decreased (14.94% in 2010 vs. 15.21% in 2003). The Journal of the American Medical Association, December 2012
Diet: Red Wine and Cancer. Resveratrol, a chemical found in red wine, is thought to help prevent cancer. Lab models designed to identify any benefits from consuming the amount of resveratrol in 2 daily glasses of wine found a reduction in the rate of bowel tumors by around 50%.(Note-Yay!) University of Leicester, December 2012
Exercise: Good Vibrations. Within 7 months of starting a poor diet, normal mice became obese, with significant damage to their immune and skeletal systems. Daily 15-minute treatments of low-intensity vibration, barely perceptible to human touch, helped restore the immune and skeletal systems of the mice towards those of mice fed a regular diet. If this effect translates to humans, it could have benefits for obese people suffering from immune problems related to their obesity. The FASEB Journal, December 2012
Chiropractic: Quit Smoking! Smokers suffering from spinal disorders and related back pain reported greater discomfort than those who stopped smoking during an 8 month treatment period. Patients who had never smoked and prior smokers reported significantly less back pain than current smokers and those who had quit smoking during their care. Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, December 2012
Wellness/Prevention: Sleep and Pain? In a recent study, participants who slept 1.8 hours more per night had increased daytime alertness and less pain sensitivity than those who slept their normal amount. Sleep, December 2012
Quote: “What is called genius is the abundance of life and health.” ~ Henry David Thoreau
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a condition characterized by pain, numbness and/or tingling in the hand. This includes the palm and the 2nd, 3rd, and half of the 4th finger, usually sparing the thumb. Another indication of CTS is weakness in grip strength such as difficulty opening a jar to even holding a coffee cup. CTS can occur from many different causes, the most common being repetitive motion injuries such as assembly line or typing/computing work.
Here is a PARTIAL list of potential causes of CTS: heredity (a small sized tunnel), aging (>50 years old), rheumatoid arthritis, pregnancy, hypothyroid, birth control pill use, trauma to the wrist (especially colles fractures), diabetes mellitus, acromegaly, the use of corticosteroids, tumors (benign or malignant), obesity (BMI>29 are 2.5 more likely), double crush (pinching of the nerve in more than 1 place such as the neck and the carpal tunnel), heterozygous mutations in a gene (associated with Charcot-Marie-Tooth), Parvovirus b19, and others. Again, repetitive trauma is still the most common cause. Once the cause(s) of CTS has been nailed down, then treatment options can be considered.
From a treatment perspective, we’ve previously discussed what chiropractors typically do for CTS (spinal and extremity joint manipulation, muscle/soft tissue mobilization, physical therapy modalities such as laser, the use of a wrist splint – especially at night, work task modifications, wrist/hand/arm/neck exercises, vitamin B6, and more). But, what about using other “alternative” or non-medical approaches, especially those that can be done with chiropractic treatment? Here is a list of four alternative or complementary treatment options:
- Anti-inflammatory Goals: Reducing systemic inflammation reduces overall pressure on the median nerve that travels through the limited space within the carpal tunnel at the wrist. An “anti-inflammatory diet” such a Mediterranean diet, gluten-free diet, paleo-diet (also referred to as the caveman diet) can also help. Herbs that can helps include arnica, bromelain, white willow bark, curcumen, ginger, turmeric, boswellia, and vitamins such as bioflavinoids, Vitamin B6 (and other B vitamins such as B1 and B12), vitamin C, and also omega 3 fatty acids.
- Acupuncture: Inserting very thin needles into specific acupuncture points both near the wrist and further away can unblock energy channels (called meridians), improve energy flow, release natural pain reducing chemicals (endorphins and enkephlins), promote circulation and balance the nervous system. For CTS, the acupuncture points are located on the wrist, arm, thumb, hand, neck, upper back and leg. The number of sessions varies, dependant on how long the CTS has been present, the person’s overall health, and the severity of CTS.
- Laser acupuncture: The use of a low level (or “cold” laser) or a class IV pulsed laser over the same acupuncture points as mentioned above can have very similar beneficial effects (without needles)! One particular study of 36 subjects with CTS for an average of 24 months included 14 patients who had 1-2 prior surgeries for CTS with poor post-surgical results. Even in that group, improvement was reported after 3 laser treatments per week for 4-5 weeks! In total, 33 of the 36 subjects reported 50-100% relief. These benefits were reportedly long-term as follow-up at 1-2 years later showed only 2 out of 23 subjects had pain that returned and subsequent laser treatment was again successful within several weeks.
- Active Release Techniques (ART): ART releases scar tissue in the muscles that surround the median nerve. This release takes the pressure off of the nerve, and often resolves CTS. We’ve been treating Carpal Tunnel with ART successfully since 2000, and Dr. Hyman is the only ART provider in Denver who is also an ART instructor. Call us today to schedule your CTS evaluation. 303.300.0424
In many cases, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) results strictly from overuse activities though, as we have discussed previously. Other conditions such as, pregnancy, etc. can also be involved as a contributor and / or the sole cause. When these conditions are present, they must be properly treated to achieve a favorable result. However, the majority of cases are the result of a repetitive motion injury. So, the question remains: What is the role of the patient regarding activity modification during the treatment process of CTS? How important is it?
To answer this question, let’s look at a fairly common type of CTS case. The patient is female, 52 years old, moderately obese (Body Mass Index 35 where the normal is 19-25), and works for a local cookie packing company. Her job is to stand on a line where cookies are traveling down a conveyor belt after being baked and cooled. She reaches forwards with both arms and grasps the cookies, sometimes several at a time, and places them into plastic packaging which are then wrapped and finally removed from the belt and placed into boxes located at the end of the line. Each worker rotates positions every 30 minutes. A problem can occur when other workers fall behind or when there aren’t enough workers on the line, at which time the speed required to complete the job increases.
So now, let’s discuss the “pathology” behind CTS. The cause of CTS is the pinching of the median nerve inside the carpal tunnel or muscles of the forearm, located on the palm side of the wrist. The tunnel is made up of 2 rows of 4 carpal bones that form top of the tunnel while a ligament stretches across, making up the tunnel’s floor. There are 9 tendons that travel through the tunnel and “during rush hour” (or, when the worker is REALLY moving fast, trying to keep up with production), the friction created between the tendons, their sheaths (covering) and surrounding synovial lining (a lubricating membrane that covers the tendons sheaths), results in inflammation or swelling.
When this happens, there just isn’t enough room inside the tunnel for the additional swelling and everything gets compressed. The inflamed contents inside the tunnel push the median nerve (that also travels through the tunnel) against the ligament and pinched nerve symptoms occur (numbness, tingling, and loss of the grip strength). The worker notices significant problems at night when her hands interrupt her sleep and she has to shake and flick her fingers to try to get them to “wake up.” She notices that only the index to the 3rd and thumb half of the 4th finger are numb, primarily on the palm side.
At this stage, the worker often waits to see if this is just a temporary problem that will go away on its own and if not, she’ll make an appointment for a consultation, often at her family doctor (since many patients don’t realize Active Release Techniques Soft Tissue Treatments REALLY HELP this condition). In an “ideal world,” the primary care doctor first refers the patient to the ART provider for non-surgical management. Other treatment elements include the use of a night wrist splint and (one of the MOST IMPORTANT) “ergonomic management.” That means work station modifications, which may include slowing down the line, the addition 1 or 2 workers, and reducing the reach requirement by adding a “rake” that pushes the cookies towards the worker/s. Strict home instructions to allow for proper rest and managing home repetitive tasks are also very important. Between all these approaches, our office is quite successful in managing the CTS patient, but it may require a workstation analysis.
It all starts with the initial examination. Call our office at 303.300.0424 right now to schedule yours.
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,
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: