General Health: Getting Healthy Again!

One of the biggest things we see in our work with our chronically ill patients is that once their symptoms start to subside, they are gradually able to resume more activity.

In some patients, this can be an incredible challenge after years of illness, stress, and sometimes the other side effects of treatments. But, There is good news! By applying specific timed steps, many patients do far better than they ever imagined.

Here’s 3 simple tips to make it go easier.

Start easy! We always teach our patients the importance of pacing, doing less than you think you actually can. Take extra special care of rest needs. Its’ OK, and even advisable, to rest during the day, even if you don’t nap. Trying to take on too much too soon can cause frustrating setbacks in your recovery process. Baby steps are key in this phase of your recovery.

Watch what you put into your head! Shut off the TV. Grab a good book instead, or simply meditate in a comfortable spot. Focus on health generating thoughts and mind pictures. Stress can be a hindrance to recovery, so try to find ways to reduce the stress in your life, at least for the immediate future.

Finally, enlist the help of your coaches, doctors and friends along your journey back to health. ASK for help and guidance. You don’t need to do this alone, and shouldn’t. A good support group goes a long way towards helping you on the road to recovery.

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

Chiropractic Treatment: Backpacks and Back Pain

Maybe you have more important things to worry about. Yes, it may lead to back pain, but it’s not like carrying a heavy backpack with a lot of school books can cause serious illnesses, like scoliosis – as far as we know.

Still, carrying a heavy backpack can cause your child to suffer from chronic shoulder, neck and back pain.

Is carrying a heavy backpack to school causing health problems for your kids? It might be. Are they carrying more than 10-20% of their body weight in their backpack? And do they tend to carry their backpack on only one shoulder? If so, chances are their backpack is causing some health problems.

Fortunately, the fashion of carrying a backpack on only one shoulder seems to be fading. On a visit to The University of Texas at Austin, I saw that most students had their backpacks strapped over both shoulders, instead of the single shoulder look that was ‘fashionable’ in my day. Also, some backpacks now come with wheels, which allow the student to roll the bag rather than carry it.

  • Does your child complain of back pain?
  • Does your child walk bent over sideways to try to adjust for the heavy load of a backpack?
  • Does your child complain of numbness and tingling in his arms or hands?
  • Does your child carry more than 10-20% of her body weight in her backpack?

If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, you might want to take some steps to minimize the chances that carrying a backpack will cause your child back pain or other health problems. 

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

Sources:

Iannelli, Vincent MD – Wondering Whether Your Child’s Backpack Is Too Heavy? – 25-Sept-2016
Leffert RD – Orthop Clin North Am – 01-Apr-2000; 31(2): 331-45  

Chiropractic and Fitness Training

In today’s age of health and fitness, more and more kids are involved in sporting activities requiring chiropractic treatment at a younger age.

Although being part of a football, soccer or Little League team is an important rite of passage for many kids, parents and their children could be overlooking the importance of proper nutrition and body conditioning needed for preventing injuries on and off the playing field. Chiropractic care can sometimes be a great alternative to other types of medical treatment

Highly competitive sports such as football, gymnastics and wrestling follow rigorous training schedules that can be potentially dangerous to an adolescent or teenager.

The best advice for parents who have young athletes in the family is to help them prepare their bodies and to learn to protect themselves from sports-related injuries before they happen.

“Proper warm up, stretching and weight-lifting exercises are essential for kids involved in sports, but many kids learn improper stretching or weight-lifting techniques, making them more susceptible to injury,” says Dr. Steve Horwitz, an ACA member from Silver Spring, Maryland, and former member of the U.S. Summer Olympics medical team. “Parents need to work with their kids and make sure they receive the proper sports training.”

“Young athletes should begin with a slow jog to warm up the legs and arms and stretch all the major muscle groups,” says Dr. Horwitz. “Kids involved in football, baseball, gymnastics and swimming should develop a routine that includes strengthening exercises for the abdomen, the low-back muscles, arms and shoulders.”

Proper nutrition and hydration are also extremely vital. “A student athlete may need to drink eight to ten 8-ounce glasses of water for proper absorption. Breakfast should be the most important meal of the day. Also, eating a healthy meal before and after practice or a game allows for proper replenishment and refuels the body,” adds Dr. Horwitz.

Young athletes today often think they are invincible. The following tips can help ensure your child does not miss a step when it comes to proper fitness, stretching, training and rest that the body needs to engage in sporting activities.

Encourage your child to:

* Wear the proper equipment.
* Eat healthy meals.
* Maintain a healthy weight.
* Drink water.
* Drink milk.
* Follow a warm-up routine.
* Take vitamins daily.
* Avoid trendy supplements.
* Get plenty of rest.

Chiropractic Care Can Help…

Doctors of chiropractic are trained and licensed to treat the entire neuromusculoskeletal system and can provide advice on sports training, nutrition and injury prevention to young athletes.

We can always 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 !

 

Effective Treatments for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

 You’ve likely heard of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, the painful disorder that can seriously limit the functioning of your wrists and hands, but did you know that chiropractic care can relieve your pain and discomfort?

What is carpal tunnel syndrome?

In a nutshell, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome happens when ligaments and tendons surrounding the tunnel that protects your nerves – called the carpal tunnel – swell and press against the carpal tunnel, which then pushes into your median nerve. The result is a discomfort or numb feeling in your hand.

What causes carpal tunnel syndrome?

Repeated, routine movements lead to carpal tunnel , particularly if your wrist is bent during the movement.

Examples of people who typically suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome include office clerks who spend a lot of time typing on their computers, carpenters, assembly-line workers, musicians, gardeners, and even golfers, to name a few.

What are the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome?

You might have carpal tunnel syndrome if you experience tingling in your hand and/or fingers, or if you have pain leading from your palm into your wrist or forearm.

Other symptoms can include:

  • Difficulty grasping objects, such as a hairbrush, writing utensil, or steering wheel of a car
  • Increased pain after long periods of using your hands and wrists
  • Intense pain that wakes you up from a deep sleep
  • Weakness in your hands and fingers

If you experience any of these symptoms, see us ASAP for a formal diagnosis. Once you know that you have carpal tunnel syndrome, you can begin working with us to alleviate symptoms.

Before your first visit, and between initial chiropractic visits, you may find yourself battling pain, tingling, and numbness.

To combat these symptoms, try propping up your arm when you lie down, resting the disabled hand as much as possible, and keeping your wrists straight – not bent downward at an angle – during routine activities.

What to Expect When We Treat Carpal Tunnel

Most people don’t associate chiropractic care with carpal tunnel syndrome, but the fact of the matter is that carpal tunnel syndrome is a disorder commonly treated by chiropractors, and patients very often report significant relief. In some cases, the need for surgery can be eliminated too!

Chiropractic treatment is comprehensive and often includes:

  • Manipulation and mobilization (massage) of the wrist, forearms and and spine
  • Spinal Care, which in some cases is 60% of the Carpal Tunnel like symptoms
  • The comfortable NEW Dual Frequency Nerve Stimulation treatments with special gloves
  • Special Wrist supports
  • Upper Body Rehab

Of course, the exact course of treatment will vary based on your condition. At Our Office, we can identify the severity of your carpal tunnel syndrome and determine the treatment plan that is just right for you.

Please call us at 781-659-7989 to schedule a  Evaluation for yourself or loved ones today

 

Diabetic Neuropathy Treatment And Conventional Dietary Approaches

Diabetes as well as diabetic neuropathy, is on the rise.

One of the most difficult and frustrating forms of peripheral neuropathy we treat is caused by diabetes.

As you probably know, diabetes as well as diabetic neuropathy, is on the rise. The reasons for this are many however it is widely agreed the most common cause is the significant increase in BMI or body mass index otherwise known as weight gain.

Unfortunately, this is one neuropathy problem that is not treated aggressively enough. Too many patients are simply told to lose a little weight, get more exercise etc. without any meaningful specifics.

Worse yet, very common hospital-based diabetic nutrition programs are still far too high in carbohydrates, as are some very famous diet programs.

This also includes programs still prescribed by nutritionists who treat diabetics. In our opinion, this has perpetuated problems with weight control in diabetes.

We also see people eating so-called healthy diets, which are loaded with sugars, this commonly includes diets rich in fruits and grains.

The most important thing to realize in the treatment of diabetes and its cousin metabolic syndrome is that carbohydrates in your diet must be significantly controlled.

This means that carbohydrates need to be restricted to approximately 15 g per meal. For some of you, this will come as a shock.

This means no more than a half a slice of bread per meal with no other carbs, minimizing starchy vegetables, and eliminating sugars.

*Now this also means you will need to work with your doctors and nurses to adjust your medication dosages, especially, if you are insulin-dependent. Do not make these suggested changes without your doctors’ knowledge or consent.

Getting very strict about carbohydrate control and realizing that conventional nutrition approaches may not be enough to manage your weight, diabetes, but most especially your neuropathy goes a long way towards helping you regain control of your health, and thus your life.

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

Peripheral Neuropathies

Are All the Peripheral Neuropathies the Same?

No. All the peripheral neuropathies are not the same.

We find, though, that the patients who present with peripheral neuropathy, regardless of the cause, do have remarkably similar symptoms.

The good news with our treatment program has been that even in the presence of similar symptoms from different etiologies (causes), the corrective care for is often remarkably effective regardless of the primary cause. That is the beauty of the treatment system that we have been able to employ.

In order to find out what components of peripheral neuropathy you have, your doctor will conduct a very thorough evaluation. This will include things such as your vital signs, body mass index, the mobility and range of motion of your lower back and hips, and the overall health of your feet, skin, nails and hair, blood vessels and circulation. This might include Doppler ultrasound, a simple painless test to check for blood flow or blockages.

As the doctor performs her clinical examination, she’ll also perform a very thorough neurological examination including reflexes, muscle-testing, and sensation to touch using a device as simple as a pin, a brush or perhaps even a pinwheel. Doctors commonly will also check your vibration sensation, which very often is disturbed in peripheral neuropathy. This is done painlessly and very easily through the use of simple tuning forks. Your balance will be assessed.

Laboratory tests may very well be performed. These would include things such as a chemistry panel, kidney and liver function. Your doctor will also want to double check your blood sugar levels and more than likely perform a hemoglobin A1c.

This particular test is very good at identifying patients who may be borderline diabetic. I have found many patients who present with neuropathy symptoms have not yet been diagnosed with diabetes but may very well suffer from what’s called a metabolic syndrome.

This is when your body abnormally handles blood sugar, which may unfortunately lead to the development of neuropathy and other diabetic complications well before the formal diagnosis is made. You and Your healthcare professionals need to be aware of this research as well, two of the best synopses from the National Library of Medicine which are on-line.

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

Chiropractic Treatment: Herniated Discs

If you have slipped, ruptured, or herniated discs, you can attest to the truth of the old saying that when your back hurts, your whole body hurts.

The pain can be never ending.  It’s virtually impossible to find a comfortable position, either standing or lying down.

The pain can take over your entire life and lead to

  • Depression
  • Sleeplessness
  • Fear and anxiety
  • Inability to perform normal daily activities
  • Reduced social interaction with friends and family

If you notice any of these symptoms, you should seek medical treatment.

So What Causes a Herniated Disc?

First, it helps to understand what the discs in your spine do.  The bones in your spine are separated and cushioned by small discs that act as shock absorbers.  When they function properly, they allow your spine to remain flexible.  But when they’re damaged, which is much more likely as you age, the discs can bulge or rupture.

Any number of things can cause a herniated disc – plain old fashioned wear and tear, sitting too much, or a traumatic injury from lifting too much weight and lifting it improperly.

If you sit for long periods of time and frequently experience minor back pain and chronic back tiredness you could be at great risk for developing a “wear and tear” herniated disc. Something as simple as bending over to pick up a piece of paper, a minor fall, or even a sneeze can be all it takes to cause a disc to rupture.

If your job or your lifestyle require you to do frequent heavy lifting and you lift with your back instead of your legs, you’re pretty much a herniated disc waiting to happen.  Always lift with your legs, with your spine straight to equalize the pressure on the discs to avoid serious problems.

Treatment Options

When you’re diagnosed with a herniated disc, the first goals of treatment are:

  • Pain relief – first and foremost
  • Address any weakness or numbness in your feet, legs and lower back
  • Prevention of additional injuries

Find a practitioner with extensive experience in treating herniated discs and their accompanying issues.

More than 90% of patients with herniated discs (if treated early on) will improve within 6 months without surgery.  But you need to start treatment at the first sign of problems.

For the most part, you can expect:

  • Bed rest followed by increased, prescribed and controlled activity
  • Chiropractic manipulation to get the spine back into proper alignment and take pressure off the herniated disc and nerves
  • Exercises to reduce your pain and strengthen the muscles in the back

Save yourself years of back pain misery.

 

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

 

 

Painful Ear Infections

Can Chiropractic help?

While otitis media, otherwise known as painful ear infections, is very rare in adults, three out of four children will experience this painful condition before their third birthday.  Let’s explore this issue a little bit. If you have young children of your own, or other loved ones that fall into the 3 and under age range, learning to identify the causes, symptoms, and treatments of painful ear infections or otitis media can help spare your little one some undue suffering.

What are some causes of painful ear infections?

The primary reason that young children are more prone to painful ear infections is because a child’s immune system is not yet fully developed until about the age of 4, making the child less able to fight off the infection. With this in mind, the main causes of otitis media are:

• Age, with an increased susceptibility between the ages of 6 months and 18 months
• Exposure to other children (and their viruses) in group child care settings
• Laying a baby down to drink bottles rather than sitting the child upright to eat
• Seasonal allergies and viruses, making middle ear infections more common in fall and winter (a.k.a. the cold and flu season)
• Exposure to tobacco smoke and high levels of air pollution
• A family history of otitis media

What are the symptoms of painful ear infections?

When a child is too young to vocally express the pain in their ear, it can be hard to identify an ear infection. Watching for the symptoms below can help alert you to this condition…so you can help your child find relief.  Common symptoms include:

• Tugging or pulling at the ears
• Unusual crying or fussiness
• Frequent sleep interruptions or insomnia
• Difficulty hearing (i.e. the child suddenly stops responding to your vocal requests)
• High irritability
• Fever of 100 degrees F or higher
• Clear liquid draining from the ears
• Headaches

Adults who suffer painful ear infections  might experience an earache, high fever (100 degrees F or higher), a feeling of dizziness, and even temporary loss of hearing.

When to Seek Help

Parents often fret whenever their children are sick, but middle ear infections aren’t often cause for immediate medical attention.

If your child’s ear starts leaking blood or pus,  schedule a visit to the pediatrician, they likely will save yourself a frantic trip to the Emergency Room… this new development is treatable and can actually bring pain relief to your little sufferer.

If symptoms of the ear infection don’t disappear on their own within 1-2 days, or if your child experiences frequent earaches, ask is if our treatment might be helpful

A Proactive Treatment Plan 

Acute middle of the night episodes may very well have you and your child in the Emergency Department. Chronic middle ear infections are not only uncomfortable for young children, but recurring infections can, in extreme cases, lead to permanent hearing loss, along with speech and other development problems.

And while traditional treatments involve antibiotic medications, in cases of chronic conditions the child can develop a resistance to the medication, leaving them unable to enjoy the pain relief that prescription medications offer.

There may be an effective complementary treatment for the treatment of painful ear infections A main reason for the often speedy recovery is chiropractic care may help to facilitate draining of fluids in the ear. More studies are needed.

The bottom line is that going easy on antibiotics as a first treatment might assist the development of your child’s natural immune system (and therefore a better barrier to middle ear infections), delivering lasting relief and decreasing the risk of complications.

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

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

The PPW team

 

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.

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