Heel Pain: Common Causes and Treatments

If you’ve been experiencing a sharp pain in your heel, particularly after long periods of sitting or resting, plantar fasciitis could be to blame. With this painful condition, the tissue that connects your heel bone to your toes – called the plantar fascia – becomes inflamed or irritated. One of the most common causes of heel pain, plantar fasciitis typically brings about a stabbing sensation with each step you take, although the pain usually decreases the more you walk (the tissue become more stretched, easing some of the tension on your heel bone).

What are some causes of plantar fasciitis?

Typically, the plantar fascia acts as somewhat of a shock absorber for the arch in your foot. Too much tension, however, can leave tiny tears in the tissue; excessive tearing can lead to irritation and, with it, the condition of plantar fasciitis.

A few factors that could lead to plantar fasciitis include:

Weight: Being overweight can add too much stress on your plantar fascia, stretching it to the point of inflammation and pain.

Age: Plantar fasciitis is most often found in patients between the ages of 40 and 60.

Gender: Women, particularly during pregnancy, are more prone to plantar fasciitis than men.

Activity: Exercises and activities that place an unusual amount of stress on the heel – such as running and certain forms of dancing – can lead to plantar fasciitis.

Long periods of standing: People who spend their days on their feet on hard surfaces, such as teachers and waitresses, often find themselves suffering from plantar fasciitis.

What are the symptoms of plantar fasciitis?

Often, plantar fasciitis is associated with pain that:

• Comes about gradually (as opposed to a noticeable tear or strain)
• Is experienced in just one foot (although it can occur in both feet at the same time)
• Is significantly worse after long periods of rest, such as first thing in the morning

If you’ve been sitting or resting for a long period of time, make an effort to stretch the affected foot before standing. Slowly flex your foot, pulling it gently toward your leg, and then move it from side to side. You might also move your foot in large circles or try writing the alphabet with your toes. These movements can help stretch the plantar fascia, leaving it less tense when you put weight on your foot (and therefore decreasing the pain of first impact!).

Get Your Feet Moving to Keep Healthy!

Depending on the severity of your condition, chiropractic treatment might consist of:

• Ultrasound treatments
• Soft tissue mobilization
• Stretching
• Chiropractic adjustments
• Cold laser treatments
• Taping/bracing the injured foot

We can work with you or your loved one to determine the best treatment for your condition. Please call us at 781-659-7989 at to schedule a consultation today

The PPW team

Why Carb Control Can Help Neuropathy, Fibromyalgia, and Many Forms of Chronic Pain

Carrying excess body fat can elevate blood sugars and triglycerides over time. Even mildly elevated blood sugars can cause some of these sugars to attach to protein molecules, causing chronic pain.

As a regular reader of my articles, you understand—in part, at least—the importance of controlling carbohydrates in our diets.

There are two forms of carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates include things like refined sugar, which is commonly contained in cookies, cakes, sodas, ice cream, etcetera. You probably also know that these items are forbidden on the NeuropathyDR Diet Plan!

There are also complex carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates are mainly starches like those found in fruits, vegetables, and grains.

The most dangerous part of high carbohydrate consumption is that it simply causes us to gain weight unnecessarily. The mechanism by which this happens is relatively complex.

In a nutshell, high carbohydrate consumption causes our bodies to produce excess insulin. Production of extra insulin actually causes a number of things to occur, but the most important is lowering of blood sugar by driving excess calories into fat cells.

This is how excess carbohydrates in our diet causes us to gain weight, seemingly very rapidly.

Another factor which many patients are unaware of is carrying excess body fat can elevate blood sugars and triglycerides over time. Even mildly elevated blood sugars can cause some of these sugars to attach to protein molecules. This is responsible for making us feel very stiff and sore.

This also makes it more difficult for our bodies to regulate insulin levels.

Of course, this response is dramatically altered in patients who are diabetic, creating all types of dangerous health effects, including eye disease, kidney disease, and of course peripheral neuropathy and other forms of chronic pain.

The good news is, pre-diabetes and borderline diabetes can often be controlled—and sometimes reversed—by improving the quality of diet.

The sooner we spring into action, the better our chances of impacting our current and future health.

There are, however, two circumstances in which higher carbohydrate consumption may be needed.

Number one, is if you take insulin. If you take insulin, you need to know that changing your diet, and certain dietary supplementation, especially with thiamine or vitamin B1, can influence your blood sugar and insulin requirements. That’s why need to work very carefully with prescribing healthcare professionals.

Also, if you are an athlete in training, you will need to consume more carbohydrates than average. To avoid excess weight gain, avoid overeating, and emphasize the complex carbohydrates, such as those contained in fruit and vegetables, as opposed to simple sugars.

Also try to confine higher carbohydrate consumption to within one hour before, and perhaps after, strenuous physical activity.

For more information, ask us on your next visit or refer to the NeuropathyDR Diet Plan.

In case you missed it, you can find it here: http://neuropathydr.com/the-neuropathydr-diet


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Are you Stuck on the Chronic Pain Merry-Go-Round?

Regardless of what caused your chronic pain, the bottom line is that good treatment has several things in common.

Unfortunately, you’re not alone.

This has become a huge problem in our society. It is estimated that over 100 million Americans suffer from some form of chronic pain.

And of this 100 million, approximately one fourth are patients, perhaps like yourself, who suffer from some form of chronic pain.

A significant number of these are secondary to conditions like diabetes, which can be lifestyle-related.

Regardless of what caused your chronic pain, the bottom line is that good treatment has several things in common:

One of the most important things to understand is that early active intervention in illness or other pain-producing conditions is critical.

But this is something we are not really good at!

Unfortunately, patients—and, yes, even their doctors—tend to blow off mild early symptoms rather than aggressively treating what may be happening underneath to cause a patients symptoms like tingling, numbness, burning, loss of sleep, and so on.

This results in serious consequences. The longer a disease progresses, or the longer the after effects of an injury linger, the more difficult and expensive it comes to treat.

Pain specialists have known for years that the single best way to prevent chronic pain is to address acute illnesses or injuries effectively.

We also know that when this is not possible, proactive treatment programs emphasizing physical rehabilitation, diligent home care, and recovery are far more effective than drug-only therapy.

Like it or not, you can’t depend upon anybody doing this for you!

Those patients who do the best are those who seek out the best available care and implement it into their daily lifestyle.

Remember, we are here to help you.

But it’s up to you to reach out and grab everything you can.

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

Functional Health: Natural, Long-Term Relief from Asthma IS Possible

Asthma is a chronic lung disease that affects more than 28 million children and adults. Sufferers experience periods of difficulty breathing, mostly due to constriction of the airways, tightening of the muscles around the airways, and irritation within the lungs. Untreated asthma can cause:

    • Loss of school or work
    • Costly emergency room and hospital visits
    • In some cases, death

What Causes Asthma?

For unknown reasons, instances of asthma have increased drastically in recent years. The exact causes of asthma haven’t been determined, but asthma is widely believed to result from:

    • Genetics, or a family history
    • Respiratory infections in young children
    • Exposing young children to certain allergens and viral infections when their immune systems are still developing
    • Exposure to cigarette smoke
    • Carrying too much extra weight

What are the Common Symptoms?

Asthma symptoms can vary in intensity and number of occurrences. Typical symptoms include wheezing, which produces a high-pitched whistle noise when you breathe; chronic cough that lasts more than three weeks at a time; the inability to catch your breath; and tightness in the chest – or a feeling that you can’t expand your chest enough to breathe properly.

The Effects of Stress        

Research is beginning to show – as many medical practitioners have believed for years already – that anxiety, depression, and stress can actually make your symptoms worse. By taking steps to alleviate chronic stress, sufferers can drastically reduce the severity of their asthma episodes. One such way to alleviate chronic stress is to see a chiropractor for treatment of spinal misalignment, a condition that can cause spinal irritation and have a significant impact on general health and stress levels.

An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure

If you can identify the triggers that tend to bring on your attacks, you can greatly reduce your amount and intensity of episodes. Plus, we can help you with your overall level of fitness and maintaining optimum body and chest mechanics, which are often disturbed in asthma and respiratory infections.

Some common triggers include animal dander, dust, pollen, mold, smoke, pollution, and strong fumes from things such as cleaning chemicals, perfumes, etc. You can minimize triggers by taking preventative measures such as changing your bed sheets weekly, regularly replacing the air filter in your home (and springing for air filters that filter out a greater amount of dust mites), limiting exposure to smoke and other strong fumes as much as possible, and keeping your pet away from your sleeping quarters (or, if problems persist, sending the pet to live with a family member).

Chiropractic Care in The Treatment of Asthma

If you or a loved one are suffering from asthma, we can perform a thorough evaluation to determine what could be causing some – or all – of their symptoms related to correctable causes…

Many asthma sufferers who undergo chiropractic treatments are able to decrease – and in some cases, eliminate – the use of asthma medications.

You should note, however, that because chiropractic care focuses on restoring optimal function of the spine and nervous system, chiropractic is not a “quick fix” for asthma.

We can help you determine whether spinal misalignment is prolonging or even causing your symptoms… and if so, we will develop a plan for long-term relief.

Please call us to schedule a risks evaluation for yourself, friend, or family member today 781-659-7989!

Pain and Scoliosis? Now We Have Answers

While people often find find some degree of curvature in a normal spine, scoliosis is defined as unusual side-to-side curves that can lead to abnormalities in the appearance and movements of the back.

What causes scoliosis?

In roughly 80% of cases, the cause of scoliosis is unknown. Known causes of scoliosis include heredity (if you have a family history of spinal deformities, you’ll be more likely to suffer the condition), and rarely more serious conditions.

Scoliosis can be found in about 2% of females and 0.5% of males. New cases have been found in all age ranges, from newborns to adults, but are most common in people over the age of 10.

What are the symptoms?

Persons with scoliosis often notice:

    • A more prominent shoulder blade due to one shoulder appearing higher than the other
    • An uneven waistline
    • The appearance of a raised hip – which can also cause one pant leg to be longer than the other
    • That their entire body leans to one side
    • Shortness of breath and/or chest pain in severe cases

It may seem that scoliosis would be accompanied by back pain, but most often in younger patients that’s not the case. In adults with scoliosis, back pain tends to be more common, recovery from episodes slower and treatment can take twice as long as usual If you or a loved one observes any of the above symptoms, visit us immediately a formal examination.

How is it diagnosed?

If you or your child’s pediatrician suspects scoliosis, we will perform a physical examination of the spine from the sides, front, and back. You will also be asked to bend over and touch your toes so the doctor can look for abnormal curves. Finally, we may order x-rays to confirm the diagnosis and measure the severity of the curve.

Compare Your Treatment Options

The earlier Scoliosis is discovered, the better the outcome. That’s why in our office, screenings are always performed as a community service prior to any formal evaluation.  Chiropractic care, with diligent attention to specialized exercises and general healthy lifestyles can be critical. We might also suggest a newer type brace when the curve is significant, which exerts strategic pressure on the spine. Always consider a pain-free, inexpensive, and relatively convenient treatment plan that has potential for help prior to more aggressive care.

Managing Your Condition with Chiropractic Care

After a thorough examination of your medical history and current physical status, we can often prescribe a treatment plan to significantly reduce the impact of scoliosis. Chiropractic treatments of scoliosis can include:

    • Spinal manipulation
    • Postural and balance therapy
    • Specific exercises and directed rehab

Your treatment will depend largely on the degree of your curvature, among other physical factors. We may recommend spinal supports, as the newest braces only need to be worn at night.

We can evaluate the severity of your condition and determine the treatment plan that is just right for you. Please call us to schedule a screening for yourself and your family today.

Adults with scoliosis can often be helped with the right care plan, despite what you may have been told before.

Call us today at 781-659-7989

Vitamin K and Your Healthy Lifestyle

Foods like romaine lettuce, Swiss chard, and spinach are particularly plentiful in Vitamin K. So if you follow our recommended Diet, you likely don’t need to worry about getting enough.

Vitamin K is another nutrient we don’t frequently hear much about.

That is unless, of course, you suffer from Afib or a clotting disorder. But more on that story later!

Like all vitamins, a deficiency here can kill us! You see vitamin K gets is name from a German word for coagulation (Koagulationsvitamin). The reason is, without proper levels of Vitamin K, we could bleed to death!

Like all nutrients, there is so much more. Vitamin K1 occurs naturally in green plants. Foods like romaine lettuce, Swiss chard, and spinach are particularly plentiful. So if you follow our recommended Diet, you likely don’t need to worry about getting enough.

Good dietary intakes of green leafy vegetables and this supplement they contain are associated with less risk of diabetes, some cancers, and heart disease.

Exceptions or those at risk for deficiency are those patients with bowel disease, alcoholism, or long-term antibiotic usage which can kill normal bacteria in our bellies.

In humans, K1 is converted to, and then stored as, K2. There are also several other forms—some are even used used in medicine for treating bone loss.

The three major areas Vitamin K has a role in are blood clotting (coagulation), helping the maintenance of normal healthy bone, and in normal blood vessel health. Bone health is of particular concern as we age. We do know that patients with osteoporosis or thinning of the bones have low levels of Vitamin K2.

The one area that concerns patients more than others with vitamin K is that its intake in your diet needs to be limited if you take Coumadin. Coumadin (Warfarin) is the drug given as a blood thinner when patients suffer from conditions like the heart disorder atrial fibrilation. Afib, as it is called, is common in diabetics

As a side note, lots of the preventive diet and nutrition strategies we discuss can benefit—and possibly prevent—Afib in the first place.

There are newer blood thinning drugs without Vitamin K interactions, but some of them are far riskier than the time-tested drug Warfarin.

So, now you know the essentials. But we have not heard the last on Vitamin K and good health, I am sure!

Please call us to schedule a visit at 781-659-7989 today or simply leave your info HERE and we’ll call you ASAP!

Cyberchondria vs. Informed Caution

The next time you have a headache…

Or indigestion…

Or even muscle cramps or twitching…

Go online and “Google” any of those terms and see what you come up with. I’m willing to bet you’ll be terrified by the results.

For headache you’ll see anything from brain tumor to bleeding in the brain to meningitis and encephalitis.

Indigestion will lead you to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), peptic ulcer disease, cancer, or even abnormality of the pancreas or bile ducts.

And muscle cramps or twitching will run the gamut from Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease to ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease).

Your search will also give you the more common reasons for any of these symptoms.  Many people latch on to the more dramatic reasons and begin living like every day is their last.[1]

Others will downplay symptoms, assume that they have something simple to treat and go to the corner drug store and buy whatever over the counter remedy “seems” to treat their symptoms.

Either of these reactions could be courting disaster.  Especially if you have a condition that can lead to more serious complications.  Delaying medical treatment may lead to severe lifelong ailment that could destroy your quality of life.

Expecting the Worst

If you fall into the “I know I’m dying” category, you will probably begin doctor shopping.  Going from specialist to specialist looking for someone to confirm the worst.  Even beyond the physical damage the stress of this process can do to your body, your emotional well-being is destroyed.

You live day to day expecting the worst with the specter of the Grim Reaper hanging over your shoulder.  That is no way to live.

The first thing you need to do is make appointment with your primary care provider.  Tell them your symptoms and let them do some diagnostic testing.  If the results warrant it, they will get you started on a treatment protocol to not only alleviate your symptoms but treat the root cause of your medical problem.  Our treatment protocol includes nutrition counseling, diet planning, stress management techniques, and hands on adjustment to properly align your nervous system.

If you actually do have a serious condition, the earlier you start this process, the better off you’ll be.  The earlier you receive appropriate treatment, the less your chances of developing permanent issues.

Ignoring the Obvious

The other end of the spectrum is the patient who does their own research, opts for the condition easily treatable with over the counter meds, and puts off seeing a specialist until their symptoms are much worse.

Let’s take the muscle twitching or cramping symptom as an example.  Yes, this could be caused by overworking the muscle or even a vitamin deficiency.   Either of those are easy to fix. But what if it’s something more serious?

If the condition lasts longer than a few days, you need to see your healthcare provider. For instance, you could have a condition leading to peripheral neuropathy.  Failing to treat the underlying cause quickly can lead to lasting nerve damage, muscle degeneration, and ultimately, even amputation of the affected limb.[2]

Cyberchondria vs. Informed Caution

Before you think we’re advocating running to the doctor every time you have a hang nail, that is definitely not the case.  We’re not advocating the spread of Cyberchondria[3] (i.e., the rising epidemic of online diagnosis and treatment), just asking that you approach any medical condition with informed caution.

An informed and educated patient is a gift for any physician.  Informed patients are much more likely to participate in their own care and keep their physician apprised of any changes in their condition.  That’s a win for both sides.

Instead of using the internet as a tool to diagnose (or, in many cases, misdiagnose) your own conditions, choose to use it as a means of educating yourself enough to provide your health care provider with all the information he needs to accurately and quickly diagnose your illness.

You’ll be making your life, and your healthcare provider’s life, much easier.

Call us today 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!

Learned Helplessness: A Pill for This And A Pill For That

I once the opportunity to film a video and write an article about “learned helplessness”. Learned helplessness was discovered many years ago, as a response by animals that are under tremendous stress. In a nutshell, this is a behavioral response that occurs when animals or in fact people believe there is no way out of their current situation.

Unfortunately, too much of drug advertisements and naming of this syndrome and that syndrome, a pill for this and pill for that mentality has led many patients to believe they have 10 more things wrong with them. And the reality is so often many conditions for which patients are treated have single underlying causes!

These could include things like acute infection, inflammation, elevated blood sugars, and perhaps even genetic disorders. More often than not, it is simply the accumulation of years of poor health habits.

But all of this consumer direct drug advertising helps make patients both consciously and unconsciously feel out of control. This is not healthy, not by a long shot.

No this is not to say that sometimes multiple medications are not necessary.

I’m more specifically talking about patients who self-medicate and will present with perhaps up to five or more prescription medications and then 15 or more dietary supplements, home remedies etc. I am not exaggerating.

It is not at all unusual for patients to literally bring half filled shopping bags into the office full of bottles, tubes, and creams.

Now some of this is certainly a byproduct of the times we live in, with poor access to qualified healthcare professionals. The problem is, when we feel helpless, we tend to reach in numerous different directions instead of focusing on one at a time.

When we feel empowered, we make different choices. We have a focus, purpose, and direction. This is why we strongly recommended patients take a very hard look at everything they are doing, and why, on their journey back to health. This is also why investing in some confident professional guidance can go along way towards restoring your mental, physical, and emotional health.

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