Wednesday, July 30, 2014
After my first decade in practice as a
chiropractor, and seeing occasional patients who were not at all responding to
care as expected, I discovered that most often they had a common underlying
problem: they were stomach sleepers -- for either all or some portion of the night.
So what is the ideal way to sleep on one's side or back? Here are some postural hints to maximize your support and comfort... While side sleeping, it is good to use one pillow under your head that can be puffed-up to keep your neck more level horizontally, and another pillow between your legs to take pressure off the hip and back muscles. While back sleeping, it is good to use one thin pillow under the head, which allows the head to sink down, avoiding any propped-up neck position. Additionally, another pillow can be placed under the knees, raising them slightly to take pressure off the lower back. With regard to pillow type, I recommend either a ‘down’ or ‘down alternative’ filling, allowing it to be flatter for back sleeping while also being more puffy for side sleeping. I haven't personally found that the well advertised contour cervical pillows have been very helpful for my patients. I don’t believe they truly re-shape the neck curvature, and often they have appeared to aggravate certain neck conditions in some individuals. Thus, I am of the opinion that the most comfortable pillow is the best way to go. With regard to recommendations for the best mattress types, please see my website for a more extensive explanation:
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
I just received an e-mail which was very informative and quite alarming regarding the growing health and environment hazards posed by the use of plastic water bottles. It is definitely worth a quick read, and has some great information on safer alternatives... Here is a link to the website below.
Saturday, May 4, 2013
Even though I have taken numerous courses during my years of medical training and have passed tests before for food handling in my teens and twenties for summer jobs, etc., I can't believe how informative this 30 minute on-line course is.
There are so many opportunities for contaminating food due to our incomplete understanding of correct practices in the kitchen, I recommend everyone in your household who is involved in preparing and storing food watch this excellent presentation!
At the end of the course you are asked if you want to receive a Food Worker's Card good for WA State, but you obviously needn't apply for one. This is just a very good education to keep you and your family safe from food borne illness which can produce chronic intestinal problems and serious diseases.
Click on the following link to begin the course... it's truly worth a few minutes of your time ;-)..
Friday, July 13, 2012
ARE CHIROPRACTIC DOCTORS SIMILAR TO PHYSICAL THERAPISTS OR MASSAGE THERAPISTS? WHAT TYPE OF EDUCATIONAL TRAINING DO THEY RECEIVE?
Physical therapists usually have a minimum of 2 years of college, followed by 2 years of physical therapy school. They then become licensed "therapists" who require the orders of a medical doctor, a chiropractic doctor, or osteopath, etc., to legally treat patients.
Massage therapists are not required to have a college degree, and currently there is no statewide requirement in California for certification. Different cities have their own licensing requirements, ranging from a few month course of a minimum of 100 hours in Northern California to a minimum of 500 hours of massage education for most of Southern California.
After college, it may require as much as 5 to 7 years of further study before a Chiropractic Doctor enters into private practice! The education process for a Chiropractic Doctor (D.C.) is much like that of a Medical Doctor (M.D.), Dentist (D.D.S.), or Osteopath (D.O.). After college, the Chiropractic Doctor completes 4 years of education at an accredited chiropractic university. This is followed by 1 year of internship at a university affiliated clinic.
After graduating, Chiropractic Doctors must pass several stringent National Board Examinations, then take oral, written, and practical examinations for the states in which they choose to practice. Oftentimes, Chiropractic Doctors will then decide to enter a 1 or 2 year associateship or preceptorship in an existing clinic which emphasizes treatment methods in which they wish to specialize. This does not mark the end of the education process! Chiropractic Doctors are required to complete yearly postgraduate courses for license renewal and to stay current on the latest scientific research.
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Potentially Dangerous Yoga Postures Include:
(1) Bending while twisting -
Especially triangle poses and their modifications. Research has shown that bending as little as 30 degrees forward (or more) with any amount of twisting will rupture disc fibers!
(2) Straight leg lifts -
Such as Boat pose, leg lifts, the 'bicycle' are often advocated as "core" strengthening exercises for your abdominal muscles. They aren't, they actually use your "hip flexing" muscle (psoas muscle) which attaches to your spine and puts undue stress on your lower back. Many military personnel and athletes come to my office as a result of low back pain from doing leg lifts and full sit-ups.
(3) Full Sit Ups -
Again, while these are often advocated as "core"strengthening exercises, they also use predominantly your "hip flexing" (psoas) muscles. These exercises are one of the main reasons military personnel come to me for low back problems after basic training! A better alternative exercise would be "crunches", which strengthen only your abdominal muscles.
(4) Head or Shoulder Stands -
While there are many benefits to inversion, the dangers of head and shoulder stands greatly outweigh their benefits. The plough posture is o.k., but too much spinal stress occurs from these other weight bearing inverted yoga poses, and permanent ligament, disc damage, and cartilage damage could occur. Using a "Roman chair" or other form of inversion machine would be a much better alternative.
(5) Neck Rolls -
Rotating the neck for flexibility can and will aggravate underlying joint problems. There are many other forms of safe and effective stretches for the neck.
(6) Ballistic Movements -
Stretching should involve very conscious, slow, and precise movements, done over a 30-60 second period of time, without any bouncing, flinging, or fast (ballistic) movements. This will result in a more lasting length change for the muscles being stretched, and minimize the chances for injuries.
Please click on the following link below for a chart of some examples of
dangerous yoga poses you should avoid. This chart is not comprehensive,
and depending on your spinal condition, there may be more exercises your doctor would suggest avoiding for the long term or just temporarily.
CHART OF POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS YOGA POSES
* ALWAYS CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE BEGINNING ANY FORM OF
STRETCHING OR STRENGTHENING EXERCISES! *
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
When attempting to treat spinal problems primarily with yoga or exercise, if you are unsuccessful, or if your problem worsens, further yoga or exercise may prove dangerous. Yoga and exercise are designed to restore movement and function to the spine as a whole, but research has shown that individual inflammed, fixated, or degenerating joints of the spine may persist and even be worsened by attempted stretching or strengthening exercises. Once a skilled chiropractic doctor treats you and restores proper function to the problem areas of your spine, when inflammation subsides, stretches and other exercises can then be very beneficial and supportive to healing. Chiropractic care, proper stretching and strengthening exercises, and massage are each vital parts of a "holistic" approach to successfully treating spinal and joint conditions.
I have treated many yoga students as well as many yoga instructors, and I often have found that about 25-30% of the postures they are doing are potentially quite dangerous. If you have any questions about your individual yoga routine, it is good to consult a chiropractic doctor who can examine your spine and make specific recommendations to you for your ideal exercise routine.