How Chiropractic Care Can Help Your Sleepless Nights

If you’re suffering from a bout of sleepless nights, you’re not alone; the vast majority of adults will experience insomnia at some point in their lives, although only about 10% of Americans struggle with chronic insomnia.

What you probably did NOT know, is that spinal mis-alignments (subluxations) seem to act as a form of chronic nervous system irritation, often initially painless, which Chiropractors often find disturbs sleep for weeks or months!

What is insomnia?

Quite simply, insomnia involves a difficulty in falling asleep, staying asleep, or both. So if you regularly find yourself tossing and turning in the wee hours of the night, insomnia is likely to blame.  A sleepless night here or there is normal, but if you find yourself going a week or more without a full night’s sleep, and if it’s affecting your health and concentration, it’s time to seek professional help.

What are the symptoms of insomnia?

Not getting enough sleep at night can cause more daytime problems than you might be aware of. Insomnia of any length of time, but particularly episodes lasting several days or weeks, can lead to:

  • Trouble remembering details, from mundane to important
  • An inability to concentrate on the task at hand
  • Decreased coordination
  • Irritability and moodiness
  • Increased likelihood of a car accident, often due to falling asleep at the wheel

What causes insomnia?

Certain factors can actually help trigger bouts of insomnia, such as high levels of stress that can bring on short-term insomnia (which, if left untreated, can lead to chronic insomnia, so it’s best to act quickly before it becomes a lasting problem!). While people of all ages can experience insomnia, instances tend to get worse with age.  People with alcohol addictions and mental health problems commonly suffer insomnia, as do members of low-income families.

How Chiropractic Care Can Alleviate Your Sleep Problems

While too many patients don’t tell us about sleep disorders before their sessions, many report improved sleep even after being treated for conditions unrelated to insomnia, so imagine the relief you can feel if you report your sleeplessness to us!

Chiropractic may help you improve sleep by:

  • Opening up the airways so you breathe better at night.
  • By Decreases in pain and restlessness for those suffering an illness that keeps you up at night.
  • Improved body mechanics, which leads to improve overall functioning of the brain pathways that control sleep.

We can help identify the severity of your insomnia and determine the treatment plan that is just right for you. If you need a sleep study, need to see an ENT or an RT, we’ll help with that too!

Please call us at 781-659-7989 to schedule an evaluation! 

Chiropractic Treatment: Chronic Pain Answers

If you suffer from chronic pain the first thing you should do is reach out and look for answers.

As a clinician, the most common problems that present to us in private practice usually involve the skeletal system. For example, headaches and low back pain are the two most common chronic pain complaints heard by many primary care and medical practices.

This true for both acute or new health conditions and but especially chronic conditions.

Now I define chronic conditions as those that have lasted more than six months and have not effectively been treated or managed.

One only has to look at television ads and yes even newspapers from over hundreds of years ago to realize there is nothing new or unique here!

Let’s face it, some pains are just part of life. But when chronic pains and other annoying symptoms become long-term and interfere with our quality of live, they can have devastating consequences.

Now obviously, very little can be done about devastating accidents and injuries. Unfortunately, this is a real and unpleasant fact. Bad things can and do happen to all of us.

So even though we know that the best way to prevent chronic disabling pain is to treat pain appropriately is from the beginning.

This involves much more than just medication. In fact, this is a team effort.

Most of the time pain management should include some type of physical therapy. Physical therapy, chiropractic and other physical therapy is often extremely beneficial especially when applied early on for many types of chronic pain.

This does not mean that chronic pain is not treatable. It just becomes more difficult.

Chronic pain needs to be handled by very experienced physicians and physical therapists. In order to be truly effective long-term, a good portion of this care should include non-drug treatment methods.

And that is in fact what we do every day, all day long in our treatment centers.

So, if you suffer from chronic pain the first thing you should do is reach out and look for answers.

Don’t take no for an answer until you have left no stone unturned!

Call us today at 781-659-7989 to schedule an evaluation.

Chiropractic Treatment: Chronic Pain Management

Unfortunately, no one medication or therapy is usually the answer once chronic pain has set in.

With narcotics, each successive dose becomes less effective than the previous, setting up the pathway for overdose and abuse.

I recently read a rather frightening statistic that stated that deaths due to narcotic medications are at an all time high.

Unfortunately, this trend will not be reversed unless different steps are taken to manage the vast numbers of chronic pain patients in the world who suffer.

We’ve spoken extensively in the past about the two most common forms of pain. Most of us are very familiar with acute pain that is the pain of a cut, bruise, or even childbirth.

Fortunately, acute pain is relatively short-lived, and not imprinted firmly upon our nervous systems.

Chronic pain however has a way of becoming deeply embedded and tripped very easily, setting up deep circuits within the brain and nervous system, which can be difficult to change.

Unfortunately, no one medication or therapy is usually the answer once chronic pain has set in. With narcotics, each successive dose becomes less effective than the previous, setting up the pathway for overdose and abuse.

The best alternative is to first jump on any new injury or illness with pain as soon as possible. It is vital with any new condition or injury to reduce pain quickly, and as much as possible with non-drug methods.

This is why seeking therapy soon after injury or onset of a condition can produce much better long-term treatment results!

This is also the time to use powerful non-drug treatment methods, including physical therapy modalities such as massage and manual therapy, and various forms of electric neurostimulation–and even laser therapy.

The most important take away from this discussion is to use every non-drug tool available as soon after the onset of injury or illness as possible.

This helps explain why our treatments can be so very powerful in helping avoid drug dependence.

In summary, anything you can learn to do to better manage your chronic pain with non-drug methods will lead to a far better long term outcome!

Please call us to schedule a visit at 781-659-7989 today!

Biotin Deficiency

Biotin is one of those nutrients that are not commonly known any longer as a vitamin.

In the so-called “normal” healthy population, real deficiencies are rare because our normal intestinal bacteria can manufacture large amounts of this nutrient. There are, however, some things it has in common with other vitamins.

Biotin is another of those vitamins commonly added to cosmetics in products for hair, nails and skin. Unfortunately, the real hard evidence supporting such usage appears to be relatively slim.

Primarily, biotin deficiency, like other B-vitamin deficiencies, tends to show as a skin rash, as well as fatigue and depression. This deficiency can affect hair and skin health; such is the rationale for adding it to personal care products. This may be more severe in diabetics and alcoholics.

In diabetes, it may actually be that the need for biotin is greater than average. We also know that when diabetic patients are given this supplementation, along with the other B-vitamins, blood lipid and sugar profiles can improve.

It is largely available in a wide variety of foods. But unlike some other nutrients we have recently discussed, it is present only in very small amounts.

Follow our advice with regard to frequent leafy green and other vegetable consumption.

There are, of course, exceptions. If you have been on long-term antibiotics, which can kill normal intestinal bacteria, you could be at risk for a biotin deficiency.

Some genetic disorders means certain patients need higher amounts of biotin than others.

Lastly, intestinal surgery and gastric bypass procedures affect absorption of many vitamins. This is no exception.

Eggs and swiss are said to contain the highest amount of biotin foods. Raw eggs are not a good food source; cooked ones actually contains fair amounts of available biotin. Because of the danger of salmonella, we don’t recommend raw egg consumption anyway.

So you can see again that, like in so much of good nutrition, a wide variety of foods are really key to helping prevent deficiencies, low intakes, and the health problems they can cause.

Please call us to schedule a visit at 781-659-7989 today

Diabetes: A Not-So-Silent Enemy of Your Health

You probably know someone with diabetes. You might even suffer from this condition yourself.

But did you know that diabetes can often be improved or as in the case of milder forms of Type 2 Diabetes controlled naturally? Before we get into the details of treatment, let’s take a closer look at diabetes: what it is, who gets it, and how it affects the body.

What is diabetes? Diabetes is a simple – yet very serious – disorder of metabolism, or the body’s process of digesting food for energy use. When we eat, the body converts the food into glucose, a form of sugar, which is then ushered into their body’s cells by the hormone insulin. From there, the glucose can be used to supply energy to the body. People with diabetes either don’t produce enough insulin to handle the amount of glucose being produced or their bodies can’t use the insulin as intended. Either way, the glucose pools in the body’s blood, potentially causing such serious complications as heart disease and nerve and kidney damage.

Who is at risk? Roughly 23 million people in the U.S.  have one of the two types of diabetes, and those affected vary widely in age, gender, and race. Regardless of the type a person suffers from, the condition is not contagious and therefore cannot be passed along from one person to another. 

Type 1 occurs most often in children of both genders, but is more common in Caucasians than those of other races. Type 2 is frequently found in people aged 20 and older, particularly those who are overweight.

What can you do to protect yourself?

According to recent studies, maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle can significantly lower your risk of becoming affected by this lifelong condition.

The True Threat

Diabetes isn’t just a lifelong condition; it can also be life-threatening if not diagnosed and treated correctly. In fact, diabetes is considered to be the fifth deadliest disorder in the United States, and has been called a growing epidemic worldwide.

What are the symptoms?

Some symptoms of diabetes include:

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Extreme hunger
  • Excessive thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Frequent, recurring infections

Many times, people with type 2 diabetes have no symptoms, which makes the condition much harder to diagnose and treat.

Let us help you maintain better health habits!

In our office, we often see the major impacts of pain and immobility. Many health conditions we treat in our offices every day interfere with exercise and walking in particular. Compounded by poor diet and exercise habits, the consequences can be devastating. We would be more than happy to examine your unique situation and determine the treatment plan that is just right for you. Plus, if you are already diabetic, we can help you implement better diabetic care.

Don’t wait for the devastating consequences of poor health and fitness. Your family and children will thank you!

Please call us at 781-659-7989 to schedule your balance and coordination visit, and start to feel better TODAY!

You Don’t Have To Live With Poor Balance

During our lifetimes, many factors come into play to make loss of balance and falls a serious threat. Did you know that neck problems are a very common overlooked source of balance issues?

While the majority of younger persons that fall can get moving again with no serious consequences, there is always a risk of falls resulting in life-threatening injuries. There’s no reason to even take such a risk when there are steps you can take to help prevent falls from happening in the first place. Following are a few tips to help you identify whether you or a loved one is at risk for a serious fall.

Are you taking multiple medications? Some medications, when mixed, can have side effects like light-headedness that could increase your risk of falling.

Do you have trouble walking? If you regularly experience neck pain, back pain or joint pain, or any other difficulties when you walk, we can evaluate your muscle strength and balance to identify your level of risk for falls. Are you exercising regularly? Regular exercise can also help strengthen your muscles and improve your balance and coordination so you won’t feel as unsteady on your feet.

Are you wearing the right shoes? Walking in shoes that don’t fit properly or have slick soles can increase your risk of falling. Banishing shoes in favor of roaming the house in your stocking feet is dangerous, too, so try to wear proper-fitting shoes with non-skid soles as much as possible.

Is your home full of fall hazards? Area rugs might add color to your home, but they could also add danger to your life. Make sure they have some sort of slip-resistant backing to them, even if you just use double-sided tape to secure them to the floor. Here are a few common sense but often overlooked tips:

  • Remove clutter from walkways.
  • Tape down electrical and phone cards so you don’t trip over them.
  • Use non-slip mats in your bath and/or shower.

Shed some light on the subject. It’s easy to trip over objects that you can’t see, so make sure that your home is well-lit. Use 100-watt bulbs whenever possible (make sure that you don’t exceed the wattage rating on your lamps and other lighting fixtures to avoid a fire hazard).

  • Place a lamp next to your bed that you can switch on if you need to get up at night.
    Make good use of windows and natural light whenever possible
  • Install night-lights in your bathroom and hallways.
  • Make sure your stairways are lit as well, and turn on the lights before going up or down stairs.
  • Keep flashlights in easily accessible places in case you lose power.

Improved balance can decrease your risk of fall-related injuries

You know what they say: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Through techniques known as kinesiology, we can help you improve your balance, which can help prevent falls by increasing your stability. We can also recommend balance exercises that you can perform both at home and under our supervision, depending on your current physical condition. We can help improve your balance and coordination to decrease the likelihood of falls.

Please call us at 781-659-7989 to schedule your balance and coordination visit, and start to feel better TODAY!

How Inflammation, Diet, and Lifestyle May Cause Alzheimer’s or Dementia

We already know from existing research the recipe that leads to Alzheimer’s risk.

Data coming from the Canadian Study of Health and Aging found that aging in general, fewer years of education (less brain exercise), and the apolipoprotein E epsilon4 allele (gene) were significantly associated with increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Other research has shown that heavy smoking and drinking speed the onset of Alzheimer’s. A sluggish thyroid also increases the risk.

On the other hand the Canadian researchers found that the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, limited red wine consumption, coffee consumption, and regular physical activity were associated with a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

There are many great anti-inflammatory nutrients that readily replace the concept of drug use, including the grape seed extracts of red wine (which have been shown to reduce Alzheimer’s plaque formation).

Natural vitamin E at the dose of 2000 IU per day has been shown to extend the life of Alzheimer’s patients by two years. DHA and folic acid have been shown to be protective against Alzheimer’s. Moderate coffee intake has a brain-activating effect, which would be synergistic with learning or other forms of constructive brain exercise that help keep your brain cells fit.

Physical exercise is proven to elevate levels of brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF) vital for your brain to withstand stress and inflammation and keep your brain cells living longer in a healthier condition. The common theme is that using your brain constructively helps keep it fit and factors that induce brain inflammation, of which there are many, send you in the wrong direction.

Besides the above, obvious factors that cause brain inflammation include a lack of sleep, emotional stress, physical exhaustion, cell phone use, and a poor quality diet. This means that there will never be a specific cause of Alzheimer’s identified, other than the idea that too much inflammation combined with genetic weaknesses will lead to the problem. Too much inflammation is the common theme behind all nerve-related diseases, heart disease, and cancer. Thus, the manifestation of various shades of cognitive decline will be common in the overall population and progression into full Alzheimer’s, compared to some other serious problem, will depend on genetic weak spots.

For example, healthy children of Alzheimer’s patients have adverse changes in their brain structure before any symptoms appear. The greater the amount of inflammation, combined with an individual’s ability to tolerate inflammation, will determine the age of onset.

Recently researchers did autopsies on the brains of individuals who maintained sharp memory into their 80s. Those with sharp memory compared to the brains of those with “normal aging” had far less brain tangles. Thus we see a sliding scale of tangles, going from virtually none in true health, to the common averages of “normal aging,” down into the diseased ranges of cognitive decline, and eventually into Alzheimer’s. With this understanding, “normal aging” can be seen as abnormal from an optimal health point of view. Such brain tangles are driven by inflammatory processes.

The Immunization-Alzheimer’s Controversy

The adjuvants used in vaccines (putting the mercury issue aside) are intentionally highly inflammatory so as to provoke a more active immune response to the weakened pathogen. The fact that American children are the most vaccinated in the world at such an early age, when their brains are setting up shop, runs the high risk that vaccinations will “train” nerves to become more hyper-active to future inflammatory stress of any kind.

Such issues would be magnified if a child had a history of stress in the womb, stress as an infant (unstable environment), poor nutrition in the womb or early life, other health problems as an infant, or has family-related gene weaknesses predisposing to Alzheimer’s (or any other nerve-related disease for that matter). These massive numbers of early vaccinations could easily set the stage for early onset Alzheimer’s.

At this point there is absolutely no science that refutes this theory, and plenty of science to predict it.”

Please call us at 781-659-7989 to schedule a nutrition or functional medicine evaluation or to talk with our staff direct!

*Excerpted from Natural News On Line

Functional Health: Alcohol and Chronic Pain

Functional Health: Alcohol and Chronic Pain

One of the most serious—but rarely discussed—conditions resulting from extended alcoholism is chronic pain.  Medical science generally accepts that excessive use of alcohol can cause, or exacerbate, chronic pain symptoms. Unfortunately many people turn to alcohol as a way to cope with chronic pain symptoms.

Because of the areas of the mind and body targeted by the alcohol, it is common for alcoholic chronic pain sufferers to exhibit outward signs of intoxication even when sober, such as slurred speech, stumbling gait, and clumsiness.

If you frequently drink alcohol, let your doctor know! Generally, a pattern of heavy alcohol use for a period of ten years or more will be accompanied by symptoms.  Further, alcoholics typically exhibit erratic eating habits, resulting in poor overall nutrient intake, and the damage to organs reduces the absorption of nutrients from food, causing the individual further medical complications and pain.

The first order of business, of course, is to bring your drinking and nutrition problems under control!  If your alcohol consumption is not severely limited and adequate nourishment is not supplied, additional treatments will be futile and your symptoms will almost invariably compound.  Beyond this, treatment will seek three main goals:

  • To control symptoms
  • To maximize and restore function (quality of life)
  • To prevent further injury to the patient

Most treatments address these three tenets simultaneously.  Pharmaceutical treatments include the use of painkillers, either prescription strength or over-the-counter (such as analgesics).  Your doctor will probably recommend the lightest use of pain medication possible; this is very important if you, as an alcoholic, have a propensity for substance abuse.  During a period of withdrawal, you are especially vulnerable to new addiction.  Be aware of this danger, and monitor use of any medications very carefully.

Because of the underlying nutritional deficit, you may also benefit from a system of nutritional supplements and multivitamins.  Consult a dietician or your healthcare provider to ensure the proper replenishment of nutrients necessary to prevent or minimize your chronic pain symptoms.

Establishing healthier habits (which are themselves advisable for all any patient) can be instrumental in replacing the drinking routine that caused or exacerbated the problem with a healthier routine that may help decrease your chronic pain symptoms.

Although your chronic pain may be permanent, your prognosis can be very good if you are able to replenish your nutrition and stop drinking.  You probably won’t see substantial recovery from chronic pain symptoms for several months.  But, you’ll see subjective improvements in lifestyle and health almost immediately when you quit drinking, as a result of general detoxification.

It is vital to your quality of life that you find help!  Contact us right away—we are ready to give expert, judgment-free guidance to help you adjust your lifestyle and stop symptoms of chronic pain in their tracks.

Please call us at 781-659-7989 to schedule an evaluation!

What’s Vitamin B9? The Story of Folic Acid

If you’ve ever been pregnant, you probably know all about folic acid.

For some time now, it’s been added to pre-natal dietary supplements because it is helpful to prevent certain birth defects. The story of folic acid is much more than this.

Folic acid is a nutrient that is taken in by our diets and converted into active forms. The active forms interact in a variety of functions in the human body, and animals.

For neuropathy or chronic pain patients, it is critically important because deficiency can exacerbate their symptoms.

Folic acid is critical for normal repair of our body’s cells. It is a key nutrient in DNA synthesis and repair. It’s also necessary to prevent anemia or low red blood cells.

Some of the other signs that can occur in deficiency or low levels include mental health changes like depression, fatigue, and like many of the other B vitamin deficiencies, sores around the mouth and tongue.

Folic acid is so important that is one of the key nutrients that we check as part of the routine neuropathy evaluation. You may also remember, vitamin D and B12 are usually checked on a regular basis too in patients over the age of 50. This is something that should be repeated at least annually.

Although folic acid has low toxicity, we never recommend self-diagnosis or supplementation without a blood test. The reason for this is that taking this supplement can actually mask vitamin B12 deficiency. Both vitamin B12 and folic acid deficiencies cause serious illness and damage to the nervous system.

If you are following our recommended diet, deficiency is unlikely. Folic acid is really available in leafy greens and other vegetables including asparagus, lettuce, and legumes such as beans, peas, and lentils.

Fruits, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, as well as bananas and pineapple juice are all good sources.

Because folic acid can break down in excess heat and sunlight, good food storage and preparation is critical.

So, now you know much more about this very essential nutrient. Be sure to include some of the aforementioned key sources in your diet daily! Your body will thank you!

Please call us at 781-659-7989 to schedule an evaluation!

Chiropractic Treatment: Chronic Back Pain

If you suffer from chronic back pain you’ve probably heard that saying “when your back hurts, your whole body hurts” more times than you can count.

And more than likely you know someone who has had or is thinking about having back surgery. If you’re reading this that someone might even be you. If so, you have a lot of company.

Back pain contributes $128 billion (yes, that’s billion with a B) to medical costs every year.  And it’s responsible for 100 million days off work.

If you’ve been suffering with back pain long enough, chances are really good that a doctor has recommended some kind of back surgery.  The surgery most commonly performed these days is spinal fusion surgery.

Of course, sometimes there is no alternative.

But, before you go under the knife, there are a few things you should know about spinal fusion.

What is Spinal Fusion?

Spinal fusion[1] is a type of surgery that joins or fuses two or more vertebrae in the back.  It’s a very serious surgery.  The vertebrae are fused using bone from the pelvic bone or from a cadaver.  Metal implants are used to hold the vertebrae in place until new bone grows between them to bridge the gap between them.

You will be in the hospital anywhere from 2 to 5 days and your recovery period is going to be about 12 weeks if you don’t experience any complications.

What’s Your Prognosis after Fusion?

Statistically, not the greatest.  In fact, you could be much worse off than you would be with a more conservative treatment.

In a study[2] conducted of 1450 people suffering from low back pain, 725 were treated with spinal fusion and 725 followed the more conservative route with physical therapy and exercise.

Check out these numbers for the people with spinal fusion:

  • 25% returned to work after 2 years (as compared to 67% of the non-surgical patients)
  • 11% were permanently disabled (compared to 2% of the non-surgical group)
  • Almost 85% of the spinal fusion patients continued using prescription painkillers (compared to 49% of the non-surgical patients) and the surgical patients increased their use of opioid painkillers by 41%.
  • 36 % of the spinal fusion patients suffered complications (meningitis, kidney failure and death)
  • 27% had to have another surgery
  • The spinal fusion group missed a total of 1140 days vs. 316 days in the non-surgical group

And The Alternative?

This same study found that the best treatment for back pain focused on physical therapy to increase flexibility and strength and an exercise program to improve the overall health of the patient. 

Our clinic and specialists adhere to a highly specialized protocol for the treatment of patients suffering from chronic pain. Our treatment protocol includes physical therapy, manual manipulation of the spine and skeletal structures combined with a unique NDGen spinal protocol developed in our clinics. Most often, we’ll instruct you in exercise, massage, diet, and nutrition counseling and other treatments combined specifically for each individual patient.

Most clinicians agree, barring a neurosurgical emergency that you should give your body a chance to heal itself slowly. Completely explore all your options before you let anyone do surgery on your back.  Given the right treatment in the hands of a trained specialist, you might be surprised at how much better your back and neuropathy symptoms feel without the risk of complications caused by an invasive back surgery.

And for a lot less than the $80,000 average cost for spinal fusion surgery.

Please call us at 781-659-7989 to schedule an evaluation!

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[1] www.webmd.com/back-pain/spinal-fusion-arthrodesis

[2] http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=650089