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If you’ve ever been in a fender bender, you were probably more concerned about damage to your car than damage to your body. After all, the airbags didn’t deploy and you felt okay. You might have been a little stiff the next day, but that’s no big deal, right?

Wrong, warns Dr. Marc Davis. Even if you received a medical examination, spinal injuries could still have ensued, which only a doctor of chiropractic may detect. Symptoms might not appear for weeks, months-or even years-later.

A common result of car accidents, whiplash is an umbrella term for injuries caused by sudden flexion followed by extension of the neck. Researchers have found that this chain of events triggers a complex set of distortions throughout the spine (Chin J Traumatol 2009; 12:305-14)

Whiplash also triggers sprains and strains. A sprain occurs when the sudden hyperextension of the neck tears ligaments that support spinal bones (vertebrae). Strains occur when muscles and tendons are hyperextended. Extreme cases of whiplash can herniate disks between vertebrae and damage nerves.

Always Get a Chiropractic Evaluation

If you are in a collision, depending on the severity, you may go to the emergency room or see a medical doctor. While you might receive painkillers to mask the pain, medication does nothing to remedy the underlying problem. This is why it is critical to have a chiropractic evaluation in addition to any medical exams you receive.

Whiplash often forces spinal bones (vertebrae) of the neck out of alignment. These misalignments, called verbal subluxations, interfere with the nerves that radiate from the spinal cord. Chiropractors detect and correct vertebral subluxations with precise and gentle chiropractic adjustments. These maneuvers relieve spinal stress and ease the myriad of disorders related to vertebral subluxations.

Chiropractic is a proven therapy for whiplash. In a variety of studies following whiplash patients, up to 93 percent of those receiving chiropractic adjustments showed improvement (J of Ortho Med 1999;21:22-5).

A review of 27 investigations reveals that chiropractic care is particularly effective in alleviating pain and improving range of motion in the neck following whiplash injuries (Work 2010;35:369-94)

Sooner is Better

It is important to get checked by a chiropractor as soon as possible after a motor vehicle accident. There are two reasons for this:

First, it is essential to identify all injuries before settling with insurance companies. Since the effects of whiplash are not always evident right away, a prompt chiropractic exam is crucial to avoid paying-out-of-pocket for debilitating symptoms that may emerge later.

Secondly, evidence shows that prompt care is more effective than delayed care for whiplash. In one study, 67 percent of patients experienced improvement in their symptoms if they received care for whiplash within three months of injury. In contrast, only 48 percent of those began therapy more than three months after injury improved (Arch Orthop Trauma Surg 2009;129:973).

Better Late Than Never

Although it is preferable to seek chiropractic care immediately following a motor vehicle accident, it is vital that anybody who has ever been in a motor vehicle collision receive chiropractic evaluation-regardless of how much time has passed.

“Minor” Accidents Can Cause Major Injuries

Just because a collision occurs at a low speed and causes minimal damage to the vehicle doesn’t mean it has not seriously impacted the spines of those involved. In fact, most cases of whiplash occur at vehicle speeds below 14 mph (23kph) (J Bone Joint Surg Br 2009;91:845-50).

What’s more, research shows that motor vehicle crashes at speeds as low as 2.5 mph (4kph) may cause injury, even if vehicular damage is nonexistent (J Manipulative Physiol Ther 1998;21:629-39).

A study presented at the Stapp Car Crash Conference examined people in simulated rear-impact collisions at 9 mph (14kph). Participants instinctively tensed their muscles to absorb the impact. However, they did not react until their necks (cervical spines) were flexed due to the G-force of their heads.

The average adult head weighs 10 lbs (4.5kg) and can experience forces of 17G at the speed used in this experiment. That means the head exerts 170 lbs (77kg) of force on the neck. And this is when the crash occurs at speeds less than 10 mph!

Delayed Onset of Symptoms

Even if you feel only mild pain after a car accident-or no pain at all-severe effects of whiplash can develop much later.

Studies comparing drivers who were in rear-end collisions found that those who suffered whiplash from the accident more likely to experience headaches, back pain, shoulder and neck pain, fatigue and sleep problems seven years afterward (J Clin Epidemiol 2001;54:851-6).

More Than a Pain in the Neck

The obvious effects of whiplash injury are pain and stiffness in the neck, but a range of other symptoms are also possible. For instance, chronic headaches are common.

A survey of 3,358 patients who suffered whiplash identified symptoms including low-back pain, fatigue, dizziness, numbness and nausea (Ann Rheum Dis 2005;64:1337-42).

Mental and emotional disturbances associated with whiplash include poor concentration, sleep disturbances, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (Emerg Med J 2002;19:499-506).

What Else to Do

In addition to chiropractic care, the doctor may recommend additional interventions to help you recover from whiplash.

For instance, the doctor may suggest that you use an ice pack to ease pain and reduce muscle spasms.

In most case, immobilizing the neck with cervical collar is not necessary and can actually slow recovery. On the other hand, normal activity helps muscles heal with less stiffness.

Stretching or strengthening exercise are also proven effective. Ask the doctor to instruct you on the exercises that are best-suited for your individual situation (Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2005;3:CD004250).

Minimize Your Risk

There are ways to reduce your risk of whiplash injury. Car design is constantly evolving to improve safety. Ideal cars combine a strong seat frame with a soft seat to absorb the force of the torso in an accident.

If possible, choose a newer car. One review of nearly 2,000 car accidents showed that the newer the car, the less likely passengers were to suffer spinal injuries (Traffic Inj Prev 2009;10:560-6).

No matter how old your car is, simply adjusting the head restraints high enough to align with the back of the head protects the neck in case of an accident. The restraint should be close to your head to minimize head and neck motion during a crash (Spine 2002;27:34-42).

Know Your Rights: Talk to the Doctor

Many accident victims mistakenly assume that their insurance company can dictate what type of care they receive or even chose their doctor. This is not the case. If you have been in an accident, schedule an appointment to talk to the doctor about your rights and your care options.

 Optimal Health University™ is a professional service of PreventiCare Publishing®. The information and recommendations are appropriate in most instances. They are not, however, a substitute for consultation with a health-care provider such as Dr. Davis. Copyright, 2017.

Dr. Marc Davis and Dr. Christina Alvira and Dr. Andrew Wade adjust patients at Davis Family Chiropractic & Massage, a thriving wellness-oriented office located next to Fred Meyer in Fisher’s Landing. For FREE monthly tips and community events like us on Facebook or become a member of our website www.davisfamilychiro.com. To schedule a time to meet with Dr. Davis or Dr Christina or Dr Wade, or to get information about having them speak at your club, church group or workplace, call (360) 823-2225. Mention “LacamasMagazine” and “Free Scan” to get your Computerized Back and Neck Scan (regularly $95) for FREE (limited time offer).

 Dr. Marc Davis & Dr. Christina Alvira & Dr. Andrew Wade

DAVIS FAMILY CHIROPRACTIC AND MASSAGE, PLLC

www.davisfamilychiro.com

“For a Lifetime of Standing Tall!”

2415 SE 165TH Avenue, Suite 105

Vancouver, WA 98683

(360) 823-2225

 

Presented by Marc Davis, DC & Christina Alvira, DC

In a world of rising health care costs, back pain can be an expensive problem.  It is the second most common cause of physician visits and hospitalizations.  Patients spend over $100 billion annually treating back pain.  Diagnostic tests, medications and surgeries account for much of the expenditure.  Plus, back pain is often a chronic condition requiring long-term care – and long-term expense.

But back pain doesn’t have to break the bank.  A review of 26 studies published in the European Spine Journal confirms what patients of Dr. Davis and Dr. Christina have known for years – that chiropractic is a cost-effective therapy for back pain.  Dr. Davis and Dr. Christina run the numbers on the different approaches to back pain and explain why the more economical option is also the best for your health.

What Is Chiropractic?

Hippocrates wrote that “the natural healing force within each one of us is the greatest force in getting well.”  Chiropractic is a revolutionary approach to wellness that focuses on tapping into the body’s ability to heal itself without drugs.

Chiropractors focus on correcting dysfunctional areas in the spine called vertebral subluxations.  These misalignments of the vertebrae (spinal bones) are quite common and can cause musculoskeletal pain.  Using gentle maneuvers called chiropractic adjustments, Dr. Davis and Dr. Christina correct vertebral subluxations, relieving pain and often improving range of motion in affected areas.

In addition to musculoskeletal pain, chiropractic adjustments can ease a variety of conditions related to the nervous system.  The core of the nervous system is the spinal cord.  If the vertebrae that surround the spinal cord are out of alignment, diverse symptoms may result – from digestive complaints to allergies and asthma to infant colic.

Dr. Davis and Dr. Christina also advise patients regarding other lifestyle changes to support optimal wellness, including nutrition, exercise, stress-reduction and ergonomics.  These components of well-being strengthen overall health and, in turn, the ability to fend off disease and recover quickly from injury.

Lower Cost of Care

Think that chiropractic care comes with an elite price tag?  Not so.  In fact, chiropractic is often considerably more affordable than other avenues of care.

A two-year study followed patients with back pain and tracked their health care costs through insurance claims.  The cost of chiropractic care was a whopping 60 percent lower per case than other types of specialty care for back pain.  (J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2009;32:734-9).

Another similar study looked at insurance claims for a group of patients who had equivalent coverage and copays for both medical doctors and doctors of chiropractic.  Patients who sought care for low back pain had nearly 40 percent lower cost per episode of care from chiropractors compared with medical doctors (J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2010;33:640-3).

Woman having chiropractic back adjustment — a healing treatment.

Fewer Procedures, Less Recurrence

Why does chiropractic care cost less on average than conventional medical care?  One major difference is in the number of costly procedures medical doctors often perform.

A research review of 33 studies of primary medical care for back pain reveals some disturbing trends.  Medical doctors prescribed opioids – a highly addictive class of painkillers – for back pain at levels above clinical guidelines.  They also exceeded guidelines for X-ray use (Br J Gen Pract 2008;58:790-7).

Other studies show an excessive use of other expensive imaging procedures, such as computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) among medical patients with back pain.

On the other hand, patients who turn to chiropractic care for their back pain spend significantly less money on unnecessary procedures and surgeries (J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2005:28:564-9).

Furthermore, back pain patients have fewer recurrences of disability when they rely on chiropractic.  Researchers reviewed a year’s worth of data on 894 patients who filed workers’ compensation claims for on-the-job back injuries.  The claimants who received care from a chiropractor were less likely to endure later disability, compared with those treated by a medical doctor or a physical therapist (JOEM 2011;Epub).

In other words, choosing chiropractic care for back pain makes financial sense in to ways: it saves up-front costs and it reduces lost workdays.

Better Wellness Means More Savings

The chiropractic approach is unique in its focus on maintaining wellness with sound preventive care.  This comprehensive approach includes chiropractic adjustments, nutrition counseling, exercise advice and stress management.  By achieving better health through the chiropractic lifestyle, patients are often pleasantly surprised to find that their overall health care costs decline.

A particularly telling large-scale analysis included four years of health insurance claim data for more than 700,000 individuals who had chiropractic coverage as part of their plan plus 1 million who had no chiropractic benefit.  The plan members with chiropractic coverage spent on average 12 percent less on total health care annually (Arch Intern Med 2004;164:1985-92).

With savings like these, it is not surprising that those with a low to moderate income are likely to have more chiropractic visits (J Altern Complement Med 2010;16:995-1001).

Proven Effective

Any wise consumer knows that cheaper is not always better – something that doesn’t work is often more expensive in the long run.  But you won’t get a “lemon” when you choose chiropractic care.  Study after study shows that chiropractic is effective (Ann Intern Med 2007;147:492-504).

In fact, chiropractic often yields superior results to conventional medicine.  When scientists surveyed 2,780 back pain patients who had seen medical doctors or doctors of chiropractic, their patients reported more reduction of pain, less disability and greater satisfaction with their care (J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2005;28:555-53).

Chiropractic also diminishes the need for costly pain medication, which carries risks of adverse effects and is only minimally effective.  On the other hand, in a survey of over 2,000 adults, 61 percent of those using chiropractic care reported that it had been “very helpful” in relieving back pain, while only 27 percent of conventional medicine patients said the same of their treatment (Spine 2003;28:292-7).

Take the Next Step

Now that you know about the affordable and effective alternative to conventional medical care, don’t let the sagging economy keep you from reaching optimal health.  Call our office today to schedule a chiropractic evaluation.  Your body – and your wallet – will thank you.

Optimal Health University™ is a professional service of PreventiCare Publishing®. The information and recommendations are appropriate in most instances. They are not, however, a substitute for consultation with a health-care provider such as Dr. Davis. Copyright, 2017.

Dr. Marc Davis and Dr. Christina Alvira adjust patients at Davis Family Chiropractic & Massage, a thriving wellness-oriented office located next to Fred Meyer in Fisher’s Landing. For FREE monthly tips and community events like us on Facebook or become a member of our website www.davisfamilychiro.com. To schedule a time to meet with Dr. Davis or Dr Christina, or to get information about having him speak at your club, church group or workplace, call (360) 823-2225. Mention “LacamasMagazine” and “Free Scan” to get your Computerized Back and Neck Scan (regularly $95) for FREE (limited time offer).

Dr. Marc Davis & Dr Christina Alvira

To learn more, visit www.davisfamilychiro.com

(360) 823-2225

Inflammation is your immune system’s response to injury or infection. The inflammation process cleans out damaged tissue and sets the stage for healing to begin. But, if something interferes with the complex chemical balances of the immune system, the body fails to produce anti-inflammatory responses. In this case, inflammation becomes chronic.

Presented by Marc Davis, DC and Christina Alvira, DC

Dr. Davis and Dr. Christina are concerned about the negative effects of chronic inflammation, which range from allergies to life-threatening diseases. Headaches, back pain and neck pain may also be a sign of chronic inflammation.

Chronic inflammation also often manifests as an autoimmune condition, such as fibromyalgia, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. The body reacts to a non-existent threat and attacks its own tissues.

In other cases, chronic inflammation can be mild enough to go unnoticed yet cause significant cumulative damage over time to one or more organs or systems. The possible results can include cancer, heart disease, diabetes or osteoporosis.

The Food Factor

Fortunately, along with regular chiropractic care, you can reduce or prevent out-of-control inflammation with smart food choices.

Research tells us that what we eat is directly associated with blood levels of C-reactive protein (CRP). This protein is a key marker for measuring inflammation. A typical modern diet – heavy in refined grains, sweets and other processed foods – correlates with high CRP levels. Obesity, also rampant today, leads to higher levels of chronic inflammation (Arch Intern Med 2007;167:31-9).

Eating to prevent chronic inflammation is not complicated – an anti-inflammatory diet is in line with the smart food choices Dr. Davis and Dr. Christina already recommend for patients to maintain optimal wellness.

Beneficial Antioxidants

Fruits and vegetables are rich in anti-oxidants, such as vitamins A, C and E, and selenium. These nutrients protect cells from damaging chemicals called free radicals. In fact, antioxidant therapy shows great promise as a treatment for immunodeficiency conditions that arise from chronic inflammation. Intake of the antioxidants vitamins C and E, and selenium is associated with lower blood levels of CRP (Eur J Clin Nutr 2008;62:127-27).

Flavonoids are an array of chemicals found in foods, which also offer powerful antioxidant activity. Berries and cherries, for example, are a rich source of a flavonoid called anthocyanin. An investigation at the Harvard School of Public Health showed lower blood levels of CRP in women who regularly consume strawberries (J Am Coll Nutr 2007;26:303-10).

Carotenoids – responsible for the striking orange color of winter squashes, carrots and sweet potatoes – also have strong anti-inflammatory properties. Other foods reputed to be rich in inflammation-fighting antioxidants include asparagus, broccoli, peppers, tomatoes, spinach, red wine and dark chocolate.

Vitamin D also regulates inflammation. Vitamin D is synthesized by the skin in response to sunlight and also occurs naturally in liver and fatty fish.

Vitamin K is anti-inflammatory as well, suppressing key chemicals in the inflammation process (Med Hypotheses 2010; Epub). Get vitamin K from dark leafy greens, eggs, meat and dairy products.

Whenever possible choose organic, locally produced foods. Pesticide residue may trigger inflammation.

Dairy, Eggs and Meat

Several animal products contain anti-inflammatory compounds. One that is receiving a lot of attention lately is conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a fatty acid abundant in meat and milk from grass-fed animals (J Dairy Sci 2000;83:1016-27).

CLA is also found in eggs, particularly those from free range birds. Research shows that CLA is a potent antioxidant with anti-cancer traits. In addition, CLA appears to combat inflammation and heart disease (Nutr Metab 2010;7:5).

An additional weapon against inflammation – a sugar molecule called oligosaccharide – is plentiful in goat’s milk. Oligosaccharides may also be responsible for goat milk’s superior digestibility over cow’s milk (Clin Nutr 2006;25:477-88).

Other anti-inflammatory dairy foods include lacto-fermented foods such as yogurt and kefir. Numerous scientific studies show that regular yogurt consumption reduces intestinal inflammation. Kefir, a yogurt-like beverage, also appears to decrease inflammation in people with asthma and tissue swelling (Immunology 2007;212:647-54).

In contrast, a diet high in red meat may instigate inflammation.

Foods

Young people having a good farm dinner.

 

The Facts on Essential Fatty Acids

The essential fatty acids – omega-3 and omega-6 – are so named because they cannot be manufactured by the body. They must be obtained from food sources. Omega-6 functions to activate the immune system and trigger inflammation. On the other hand, omega-3 converts into powerful compounds that counteract the inflammatory response. Many modern health problems are blamed on a disproportionately high ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids in today’s Western diet.

The omega-3 known as docasahexaenoic acid (DHA) is an important building block of the brain. DHA consumption is critical to prevent inflammation of the brain, a precursor to many diseases of the central nervous sustem (J Neurochem 2007;101:577).

Fish is the most prominent source of omega-3, particularly DHA. Choose wild fish over farmed fish to maximize the anti-inflammatory effects since the DHA comes from algae and plankton in their natural diet. For instance, research indicates that farmed tilapia and catfish have a high ratio of omega-6 to omega-3, compared with naturally raised varieties (J Am Diet Assoc 2008;108:1178-85).

When shopping for seafood, it is essential to steer clear of varieties with high leve4rls of mercury or other contaminates, which may lead to heavy metal poisoning. Swordfish, bluefish and some varieties of tuna are among the most highly contaminated. For a quick and easy way to search if your favorite seafood is safe, visit http://seafood.edf.org/guide/best .

Besides fish, some nuts and seeds are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acid. They are particularly rich in a specific omega-3 called alphalinolenic acid (ALA). Flaxseeds, flaxseed oil and chia seeds are among the most potent sources of ALA, while walnuts contain a modest amount as well.

In contrast, many common vegetable oils are high in pro-inflammatory omega-6, which most of us need to reduce in our diets. These include palm, soybean, canola, and sunflower oils.

Spicy Solutions

Certain spices are revered around the world for their medicinal qualities. Two of these are proven effective against inflammation: turmeric and ginger.

Turmeric – responsible for curry powder’s yellow color – has been used in traditional Indian medicine for centuries to counteract inflammation. Modern research confirms that turmeric is particularly beneficial against rheumatoid arthritis (Arthritis Rheum 2006;54:3452-64).

Ginger is as effective at reducing swelling as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Research shows that is suppresses certain biochemical processes of chronic inflammation. Unlike conventional drugs, however, ginger has minimal side effects (J Med Food 2005;8:125-32).

Ongoing research indicates that a myriad of other herbs and spices may ward off inflammation. So it’s a good idea to cook with as many of these natural flavor boosters as possible.

Trans Fats & Sugar: Two to Avoid

When it comes to preventing chronic inflammation, two foods are best avoided altogether: Trans fats and sugar.

Trans fats are already an infamous nutritional villain. They are synthetically produced by adding hydrogen atoms to certain unsaturated fat molecules – hence they are also known as hydrogenated oils. A revealing study demonstrated up to 73 percent higher levels of the inflammation marker CRP in individuals in the top 25 percentile of trans fat consumption (J Nutr 2005;135:562-6). Common sources of trans fat to avoid include margarine, vegetable shortening and many processed foods.

Refined sugar and high fructose corn syrup found in many processed foods and drinks triggers spikes in blood sugar. These spikes lead to subsequently high insulin levels in the bloodstream. This causes hormonal changes that throw the immune systems out of balance and encourage inflammation. Research confirms that heavy consumption of sugar increases inflammation while a low-sugar diet can dramatically lower it (Physiol Behav 2010;100:47-54; Am J Clin Nutr 2005;82:421-7).

Optimal Health University™ is a professional service of PreventiCare Publishing®. The information and recommendations are appropriate in most instances. They are not, however, a substitute for consultation with a health-care provider such as Dr. Davis. Copyright, 2017.

Dr. Marc Davis and Dr. Christina Alvira adjust patients at Davis Family Chiropractic & Massage, a thriving wellness-oriented office located next to Fred Meyer in Fisher’s Landing. For FREE monthly tips and community events like us on Facebook or become a member of our website www.davisfamilychiro.com. To schedule a time to meet with Dr. Davis or Dr Christina, or to get information about having him speak at your club, church group or workplace, call (360) 823-2225. Mention “Lacamas Magazine” and “Free Scan” to get your Computerized Back and Neck Scan (regularly $95) for FREE (limited time offer).

To learn more, visit www.davisfamilychiro.com

2415 SE 165th Avenue, Suite 105

Vancouver, WA 98683

(360) 823-2225

An occasional headache is an unpleasant nuisance, but a migraine brings everything to a screeching halt. While most remedies are drug-based, your doctors at Davis Family Chiropractic & Massage have discovered a number of effective, natural solutions.

Presented by Marc Davis, DC & Christina Alvira, DC

Do You Have Migraines?

First, the warning signs appear. Sometimes migraines are preceded by visual disturbances, known as “aura,” or tingling in one arm or leg. There is also often a deep ache beneath the eyes and forehead (Pain Med 2008; Epub). Then, throbbing pain, nausea, light sensitivity and vertigo ensue.

Migraines are generated by the contraction and dilation of blood vessels in the brain, perhaps due to fluctuating hormone levels. Never theories indicate genetic factors.

According to the Chiropractic Resource Organization, at least 18 million women and 5 million men in the United States suffer from migraine headaches. One study blames female sex hormones, along with environmental and cultural factors, for the gender imbalance (Med Hypotheses 2008; Epub).

Your doctor at Davis Family Chiropractic is using the latest research to find the most effective strategies for each individual patient who endures this debilitating problem. From alleviating pain to prevention, your doctor at Davis Family Chiropractic offers several drug-free options for migraine sufferers.

Chiropractic

Chiropractic patient receiving a cervical spine adjustment.

The Burden of Migraines

People who don’t endure migraines may not understand the enormity of the problem. In Taiwan alone, migraines account for 3.7 million annual sick days, at an economic cost of at least $4.6 billion (J Chin Med Assoc 2008;71:74-8).

Those with chronic migraines also experience a variety of related health issues. Along with special migraine drugs, migraineurs often take additional prescription medications, and suffer from a spectrum of gastrointestinal and psychiatric issues (Headache 2007;47:65-72).

Several studies suggest that this condition is seriously under- or misdiagnosed altogether. As a result, it’s also undertreated, which leads to self-medication (Headache 2008;430-41).

Scientists took a look at one typical patient who had been freely treating himself. He used caffeine suppositories and ergotamine, a prescribed migraine preventive, but frequently ended up in the emergency room. Eventually his migraine trigger was correctly diagnosed as related to muscle spasm in the neck, which, when treated, helped break the cycle of pain (J Neurosci Nurs 2007;39:213-6).

Limitations and Dangers of Migraine Drugs

Many diagnosed migraine sufferers turn to medication with potentially hazardous side effects. Prescriptions range widely and include barbiturates, narcotics, serotonin receptor agonists, beta blockers and anticonvulsants. But there are questions about the effectiveness of these drugs. Studies indicate that over the long term, they may actually make migraines worse. And they all harbor dangerous side effects.

Some migraine studies showed that up to 46 percent of participants had pain relief from what turned out to be the placebo (J Pediatr 2008;152:527-33). Because of this, nondrug treatments should be folded into every comprehensive plan that targets migraines (J Am Osteopath Assoc 2007;107:ES10-6).

Chiropractic Corrects Migraine Triggers

Chiropractors have long been aware that spinal conditions cause headaches, including episodic migraines (JVSR 2006;1-9). Specific spinal culprits include reduced neck mobility, forward head posture and the action of certain facial and occipital muscles (Headache 2007;37:33-9).

Many types of headaches, including migraines, are accompanied by discomfort of the neck muscles (Expert Rev Neurother 2005;5:355-62). Specifically, fatigue in the neck flexor muscles appears to be tied to headache occurrence (Eur J Pain 2007;11:764).

In addition, if there is restricted movement in the neck, or if the spinal bones (vertebrae) in the area are slightly out of place – a common problem known as vertebral subluxation – nerves may become irritated and can induce a migraine.

Research shows that chiropractic care for vertebral subluxation has clear benefits for migraine sufferers whose migraines are related to dysfunction in the spine of the neck (cervical spine) (J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2007;30:408-18). Neck exercises also help to prevent this type of problem.

Research Shows Chiropractic Alleviates Migraines

Chiropractors and other health-care practitioners often recommend physical management of the neck problems that cause migraines. In an extensive analysis of clinical trials, Harvard Medical School researchers compared results for physical therapy, massage and other nondrug options as remedies for headache.

Outcomes showed that chiropractic adjustments helped with tension-type headaches that have migraine-like symptoms (Headache 2005;45:738-46). This type of care was found to be safe, with no serious adverse events, in a review of more than 19,000 patients (Spine 2007;32:2375-8).

Other Natural Solutions

Your doctor of chiropractic may recommend that, as an adjunct to chiropractic adjustments, you consider other natural approaches. These may be particularly helpful for preventing migraines.

Acupuncture, for one, has been proven to be a genuine migraine cure (Curr Treat Options Neurol 2008;10:20-9).

Other alternative methods have met with some success. For example, in wet-cupping, a vacuum is created by placing a special cup over a superficial skin cut to draw out small amounts of blood. Wet-cupping may increase oxygen flow to a painful area, such as the neck.

In one analysis, this ancient Chinese technique was credited with reducing migraine severity by 66 percent. It also lowered the monthly number of “headache days” for test participants (Am J Chin Med 2008;36:37-44).

Hypnosis, relaxation, skin-warming, biofeedback, endurance training and physical therapy have also been shown to work.

Aromatherapy is also recommended, with applications of essential oils to the “pressure points” on the face and neck. Try oil of peppermint, marjoram and lavender.

Finally, doctors of chiropractic often suggest:

  • Taking a warm bath or shower
  • Resting in a dark room
  • Applying a cold compress to the forehead or back of the neck
  • Drinking fruit juice, especially tomato juice
  • Massaging the face, head, neck and shoulders

Supplements for Headache Pain and Prevention

Your doctor of chiropractic may also suggest dietary supplements in conjunction with chiropractic care. For example:

Feverfew: The herb feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium) reduces migraine pain and frequency.

Butterbur: Butterbur (Petasites hybridus) is thought to prevent migraines.

Magnesium: Some older studies have linked migraine incidence to magnesium deficiency. Supplementing with this naturally occurring mineral is still thought to help reduce severity and frequency of migraine events (Headache 2003;6:601-10).

5-Hydroxytryptophan: (5-HTP): 5-HTP is an amino acid compound produced by the body to help make two important neurotransmitters: serotonin and melatonin. Also available as a supplement made from Griffonia simplicifolia, 5-HTP may also prevent migraines, reduce their duration and lessen their overall impact.

Vitamin B3: While some people complain that niacin, or vitamin B3, sometimes causes facial flushing, it is exactly this mechanism that may relieve the blood flow disruption that brings on migraines.

Reishi: For some individuals, reishi mushroom applications work against headache pain.

Note: Always talk with your doctor before beginning any supplementation program.

Put an End to Migraine Misery

If you have migraines, don’t wait for the sinking realization that your next headache is on its way. Empower yourself by talking to a chiropractor about a preventive care program. Davis Family Chiropractic & Massage is here to help! (360)823-2225

Optimal Health University™ is a professional service of PreventiCare Publishing®. The information and recommendations are appropriate in most instances. They are not, however, a substitute for consultation with a health-care provider such as Dr. Davis. Copyright, 2017.

Dr. Marc Davis and Dr. Christina Alvira adjust patients at Davis Family Chiropractic & Massage, a thriving wellness-oriented office located next to Fred Meyer in Fisher’s Landing. For FREE monthly tips and community events like us on Facebook or become a member of our website www.davisfamilychiro.com. To schedule a time to meet with Dr. Davis or Dr Christina, or to get information about having him speak at your club, church group or workplace, call (360) 823-2225. Mention “LacamasMagazine” and “Free Scan” to get your Computerized Back and Neck Scan (regularly $95) for FREE (limited time offer).

 

Dr. Marc Davis & Dr Christina Alvira

DAVIS FAMILY CHIROPRACTIC AND MASSAGE, PLLC

To learn more, visit: www.davisfamilychiro.com

“For a Lifetime of Standing Tall!”

2415 SE 165TH Avenue, Suite 105

Vancouver, WA 98683

(360) 823-2225

 

Migraine headache pain can be excruciating: making accomplishing even the simplest of tasks daunting. The good news is that chiropractors offer all-natural solutions to this often-debilitating condition.

Chiropractor

Dr. Marc Davis

Presented by Dr. Marc Davis, DC, Wellness Expert

Dr. Davis is concerned about the increased prevalence of migraines and the growing number of sufferers who turn to prescription and non-prescription drugs to mitigate their pain: unaware of the potentially dangerous side effects.

Medication for migraines also has a marginal track record, according to numerous researchers. As one major study concluded, “Predictably reliable treatment for most headache types is often lacking” (Headache 2006; 46:212-20).

Not only that, medication may actually worsen headaches over the long term, transforming an acute disorder into a chronic one.

According to German researchers, medication-overuse headache (MOH) accounts for approximately 50 percent of all chronic headaches. The only known strategy to reduce the prevalence of MOH? Prevent its development “by restriction of anti-headache drugs and constant education of patients” (Curr Pain Headache Rep 2005; 9:430-5)

Basic Symptoms

Dr. Davis explains to patients that most migraines begin as a dull ache that develops into a constant, throbbing and pulsating pain felt at the temples, beneath one eye, and the front or back of one side of the head.

Migraines may also be accompanied by nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light and noise.

Common Types of Migraine

The two most common forms of migraine are migraine with aura and migraine without aura.

When a migraine headache is preceded by visual changes—such as wavy or jagged lines, dots, or flashing lights—the phenomena is known as an “aura.” Researchers estimate that approximately one-third of migraine sufferers experience an aura prior to headache pain.

Other types of auras include tunnel vision or blind spots in one or both eyes. The National Headache Foundation notes that “Aura can include vision or hearing hallucinations and disruptions in smell (such as strange odors), taste or touch. It can become even more disconcerting or frightening if it involves feelings of numbness, a ‘pins-and-needles’ sensation or even difficulty in recalling words or speaking the correct word. These neurological events may last sixty minutes and will fade as the headache begins.”

The Chiropractic Approach

When spinal bones (vertebrae) become misaligned, it sparks a condition known as vertebral subluxation.

Dr. Davis corrects vertebral subluxation with safe, gentle maneuvers known as chiropractic adjustments.

Carpal tunnel syndrome, earache and low-back pain are among the numerous conditions tied to vertebral subluxation. This common condition is also linked with neck pain and migraine headache.

Migraine

There is a chiropractic approach to treatment of migraine headaches.

 

Research Shows Chiropractic Quells Migraine

Scientific studies show that chiropractic may prevent migraine headaches. For instance, in one analysis involving 127 volunteers suffering from regularly occurring migraine headaches, 83 underwent chiropractic care over a two-month period. The remaining volunteers did not.

At the end of two months, those who received chiropractic care “showed statistically significant improvement in migraine frequency, duration, disability and medication use when compared with the control group” (J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2000; 23:91).

A similar analysis of 218 migraine sufferers was equally impressive. After eight weeks of either chiropractic care, the common migraine drug amitriptyline, or a combination of the two treatments, the chiropractic-only group had 40 percent fewer migraines. Researchers concluded that “there was no advantage to combining amitriptyline and spinal manipulation for the treatment of migraine headache.”

What’s more, researchers noted that –unlike drugs—there were no side effects linked to chiropractic.
“It [chiropractic care] should be considered a treatment option for patients with frequent migraine headaches” (J Manipulative Physiol Ther 1998; 21:511-19).

Chiropractic care is equally beneficial when migraines are sparked by injury. Take the case of a 23-year-old male patient who fell on his head from a height of ten feet. Following the accident, he began experiencing bipolar-disorder symptoms, sleep disturbances, seizures, neck pain and back pain. The patient also began enduring migraine headaches.

A chiropractic evaluation revealed a vertebral subluxation in the patient’s upper neck (J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2004; 27:E5).

After one month of chiropractic care, the patient reported an absence of seizures and manic episodes, along with improved sleep patterns. After four months of care, seizures and manic episodes remained absent and migraine headaches were reduced from three per week to two per month.

And, following seven months of care, the patient reported the complete absence of all symptoms.

Prevent Migraine

The chiropractic approach to ending migraines focuses on prevention. Along with spinal manipulations to ward off subluxations, the following strategies are often suggested:

Reduce Stress

According to researchers, “stress has repeatedly been shown to trigger acute migraine attacks” (Psychother Psychosom Med Psychol 2003; 53:432-9).

Manage stress by incorporating relaxation-inducing techniques into your daily routine, such as aerobic exercise, T’ai Chi, yoga, biofeedback, meditation, prayer or breathing exercises.

Engage in Aerobic Exercise

According to researchers in Switzerland, cardiovascular-friendly exercise may keep migraines at bay (Curr Sports Med Rep 2006; 5:29-33).

Results were clearly impressive when 40 migraine sufferers without aura exercised on a treadmill for six weeks. In every case, exercise had beneficial effects on all migraine symptoms. What’s more, it increased endorphin levels—the “feel good” hormone known to block pain (Cephalalgia 2003; 23:972-6).

Consider Dietary Supplements

Numerous studies show that vitamins and minerals may also help stave off migraine headache.

B-complex vitamins in particular may be beneficial. For instance, in one analysis, 400 mg per day of riboflavin (vitamin ) slashed the incidence of migraine headache among participants by a whopping 50 percent. “The effect of riboflavin on migraine began at one month but was maximal at three months.” Migraine attacks, when they did occur, were also shorter in duration (J Fam Pract 2006; 55:62).

The same publication also showed that magnesium reduced the frequency of migraine headache by 41.6 percent. Relief began after nine to 12 weeks of 600 mg per day.

Although controversial due to possible side-effects, research indicates that the herbs feverfew and butterbur prevent migraines.

Note: Always check with your doctor of chiropractic before beginning any dietary supplements regime.

Get Plenty of Sleep

The relationship between headache and sleep is well documented. That’s why doctors of chiropractic urge patients to get plenty of Zzzzzs every night!

In a study of 1,283 migraine sufferers, sleep complaints were common and associated with headache. “Migraines were triggered by sleep disturbance in 50 percent of patients,” with 71 percent reporting headaches severe enough to wake them from a sound sleep (Headache 2005; 45:904-10).

Beware of Food Triggers

A number of dietary factors can spark migraine headaches, including:

  • Alcohol and caffeine withdrawal
  • Skipping meals
  • Dehydration
  • Sulfites in red wine
  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
  • Aspartame (NutraSweet®)
  • Processed meat products
  • Yeast-containing bakery products
  • Meat tenderizers

Optimal Health University™ is a professional service of PreventiCare Publishing®. The information and recommendations are appropriate in most instances. They are not, however, a substitute for consultation with a health-care provider such as Dr. Davis. Copyright, 2016.

Dr. Marc Davis adjusts patients at Davis Family Chiropractic, a thriving wellness-oriented office located next to Fred Meyer in Fisher’s Landing. For FREE monthly tips and community events like us on Facebook or become a member of our website www.davisfamilychiro.com.

To schedule a time to meet with Dr. Davis, or to get information about having him speak at your club, church group or workplace, call (360) 823-2225. Mention “LacamasMagazine” and “Free Scan” to get your Computerized Back and Neck Scan (regularly $210) for FREE (limited time offer).

Presented by Dr. Marc Davis, DC, Wellness Expert

Chiropractor

Dr. Marc Davis

Vancouver, WA–In today’s pill-popping culture, drugs are often considered the first line of defense against headache pain. The problem? These drugs have a proven history of ineffectiveness. In addition, they are loaded with potentially perilous side effects.

All-natural alternatives, however—such as the type of chiropractic care provided by Dr. Davis—offer safe and effective ways to end headache pain.

As a provider of holistic health care, Dr. Davis believes it’s important for patients and doctors to work together as a team. With that in mind, Dr. Davis is focusing this week’s Optimal Health University® prevention topic on hidden headache instigators—and what patients can do to halt head pain in its tracks.

Vertebral Subluxation

When spinal bones (vertebrae) are misaligned, the result is a common condition known as vertebral subluxation. This, in turn, restricts the movement of nerves and muscles: an underlying cause of headache.

Dr. Davis restores alignment and movement to the spine with safe, gentle maneuvers known as chiropractic adjustments.

Neck Tension

Migraine and tension-type headaches are often present in patients reporting neck pain, according to researchers in Australia (Cephalalgia 2007; 27:793-802).

When neck muscles stiffen and contract—a chain of events frequently sparked by poor posture—the result is a tug-of-war with spinal bones: a scenario that often leads to the development of vertebral subluxation.

That’s why medications often fail to alleviate headaches; they focus on symptoms without addressing the root, underlying cause. Chiropractic care, on the other hand, gets to the heart of the matter.

Numerous studies illustrate that chiropractic care successfully relieves neck pain and related tension. For instance, in one study of 119 patients, neck pain was reduced by a whopping 54 percent after four weeks of chiropractic care (approximately 12 visits). And all without drugs (J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2000; 23:307).

Jaw Problems

Headache is commonly associated with temporomandibular disorder (TMD): the latter being a possible trigger or perpetuating factor (Dent Clin North Am 2007; 51:129-44).

TMD is an acute or chronic inflammation of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) that connects the lower jaw to the skull. A study of 1,940 children illustrated the TMD/headache link when it revealed that “the most common symptom of TMD was headache” (J Oral Rehabil 2003; 30: 1200).

Eye Strain

Another well-known instigator of headache is eye strain. Glaring computer monitors and vision difficulties (due to lack of corrective glasses or lenses) are two of the most common causes of eye strain. Flickering fluorescent lights also spark eye strain and headaches.

In the case of uncorrected hyperopia (far-sightedness) and astigmatism (irregularly shaped corneas), the eye’s muscles have to work harder to keep an image in focus—leading to tired or aching eyes, poor concentration, headaches and blurring of vision: particularly with close-up work.

Dehydration

Dehydration—another common origin of headache—is also one of the most simple to remedy. To demonstrate this, researchers in the Netherlands enrolled 18 patients in a pilot study. All of the individuals suffered from migraine headache. In addition, two also had tension-type headache.

Patients received either placebo (fake) medication or advice to drink 1.51 times more water than they typically consumed every day for 12 weeks.

There was no reported change in the placebo group. However, those who boosted their water intake “reduced the total hours of headache in two weeks by 21 hours.” Headache intensity also plummeted (Eur J Neurol 2005; 12:715-8).

Stress

Emotional anxiety is one of the most common headache instigators. Fortunately, you can diffuse this time bomb before it explodes.

To ward off headache, practice at least one stress-busting technique on a daily basis. Winning techniques include:

  • Yoga, T’ai Chi, or Pilates
  • Breathing Exercises
  • Meditation
  • Prayer
  • Hiking and nature walks
  • Laughter
  • Dancing

Obesity

Obesity is linked to a risk of severe headaches. One study indicated that “chronic daily headaches were more prevalent in obese and morbidly obese people than in those with normal body weight” (Nutr Today 2005; 40:118).

Obese people also reported severe pain more often than the other groups. Those with morbid obesity reported that the pain was usually severe 40.2 percent of the time.

If you are overweight, shedding a few pounds may do wonders to alleviate headaches. Healthy weight-reduction strategies, such as daily exercise and a nutritious diet, are also independent headache-prevention factors.

Medication Overuse

The continual use of headache and pain medications—particularly those containing barbiturates and caffeine—amplifies the odds of developing what’s known as medication overuse headache (MOH). According to scientists, “Medication overuse headache is a clinically important entity and it is now well documented” (J Headache Pain 2005; 6:199).

Painkilling medications also tend to lower blood levels of serotonin: the “feel good” chemical affecting emotion, behavior and cognitive processing. “The principal approach to management of MOH is built around cessation of overused medication,” note researchers. “Without discontinuation of the offending medication, improvement is almost impossible to attain” (J Headache Pain 2005; 6:199).

This is particularly true in the case of over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. It’s estimated that six out of every 10 patients with migraine treat their headaches exclusively with OTC products: ranging from acetaminophen and aspirin to ibuprofen and aspirin-acetaminophen-caffeine combinations. This excessive reliance “contributes to preventable morbidity [ill health] and drug-induced headaches” (Pharmacotherapy 2003; 23:494-505).

When it comes to OTC options, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may pose the greatest threat. In addition to contributing to MOH, these drugs up the likelihood of stomach ulcers and double the risk of developing heart failure (Arch Intern Med 2000; 160:777-84).

Hormones

According to another study, migraine headache is three times more common in women than men, “occurring in 18.2 percent of women and 6.5 percent of men. The prevalence significantly increases during the peak reproductive years of women (aged 20-50 years), which represents a period of cyclic fluctuations in ovarian hormones as a result of the female menstrual cycle” (J Fam Pract 2007; 56:13).

The researchers noted that pregnancy and menopause can also alter the frequency and disability of preexisting migraine attacks “or may lead to the new onset of migraine in some women.”

Instead of resorting to drugs—many of which have potentially serious side effects—talk with your doctor about adding a magnesium supplement to your diet. In a study of 20 patients with menstrual migraine, sufferers received magnesium (360 mg daily) or placebo beginning on the 15th day of their menstrual cycle and continuing until the next menses for two months. “The patients who received magnesium had a significant reduction in pain scores, number of days with headache, and perimenstrual complaints” (J Fam Pract 2007; 56:13).

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Although rare, one of the most preventable—and deadly—causes of headache is carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.

According to the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, “Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas produced by all internal combustion engines including diesel and propane-powered engines. It is also produced by burning wood, paper or plastic products and from welding when carbon dioxide shielding gas is used.”

Fortunately, specifically designed detectors can monitor your home’s air for the presence of this deadly gas. If you don’t already own a CO detector, make sure to pick one up today.

Other common fumes and odorless gasses may also spark headache.

Rely on All-Natural Relief

Regularly scheduled chiropractic care is the key to preventing pain and illness. The focus of the chiropractic approach is warding off health complaints before they occur. However, if headache does strike, don’t reach for drugs. Instead consider the all-natural relief options promoted by our chiropractic office.

Optimal Health University™ is a professional service of PreventiCare Publishing®. The information and recommendations are appropriate in most instances. They are not, however, a substitute for consultation with a health-care provider such as Dr. Davis. Copyright, 2016.

Dr. Marc Davis adjusts patients at Davis Family Chiropractic, a thriving wellness-oriented office located next to Fred Meyer in Fisher’s Landing. For FREE monthly tips and community events like us on Facebook or become a member of our website www.davisfamilychiro.com.

To schedule a time to meet with Dr. Davis, or to get information about having him speak at your club, church group or workplace, call (360) 823-2225. Mention “LacamasMagazine” and “Free Scan” to get your Computerized Back and Neck Scan (regularly $210) for FREE (limited time offer).

Presented by Dr. Marc Davis, Wellness Expert

Marc+Davis.jpg

Dr. Marc Davis

Unless you live under a rock, you’ve probably heard a lot about Parkinson’s disease (PD) lately.  In recent years, this formerly obscure disorder has captured the media spotlight.  Much of this attention is due to high-profile personalities with the disorder, including actor Michael J Fox, United State’s Attorney Genera Janet Reno and boxing legend Mohammed Ali.

Parkinson’s disease involves the degeneration of nerve cells in the brain region that control muscle movement (substanita nigra).  Destruction of these cells causes a drop in levels of dopamine, a brain chemical that transmits information between nerve cells.  Insufficient coordination problems, frozen facial expression, speech impediments and tremors.  Rigidity, memory loss and depression are also associated with this condition.

Although scientists have yet to discover the exact cause of PD – two out of 1,000 people are afflicted with the disease – genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors all appear to play a role.

Parkinson’s, like many others, affects members of every race and walk of life.  Although PD is more common in people over the age of 50, its afflicting younger adults at a rapidly escalating rate (as highlighted by Fox’s highly publicized struggle with the disease, which struck when he was 30 years old).

Despite the recent high profile cases, there is little published material on how to ward off the disease.  In contrast, most people remain unaware of research revealing that PD may be preventable.  As a wellness specialist, Dr Davis constantly strives to share information about disease prevention with patients.  One way that Dr Davis accomplishes this is by presenting weekly research based Optimal Health University handouts on various wellness topics, including this one on PD.  Read on to learn about how specific lifestyle changes may slash your odds of developing Parkinson’s disease.

New Research Suggests that Chiropractic Care May Quell Parkinson’s

Although additional studies are needed before a firm link is established, preliminary research supports what many patients report: chiropractic care alleviates the symptoms of PD – and may help to prevent the disease altogether.  For instance, a just published scientific case study followed a 60 year old man with PD who underwent chiropractic care.  Physical examination revealed that the patient had a common condition of the spine called vertebral subluxations (J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2000;23:573-7).  These dysfunctional spinal segments result when movement is restricted or bones (vertebrae) are out of alignment.  Dr Davis corrects vertebral subluxations by applying a gentle, specific, force of the spine – a procedure called a chiropractic adjustment.

After nine months of receiving chiropractic adjustments to the upper neck, the patient in the study experienced a dramatic reduction in rigidity, tremor and speech difficulties.  These findings were confirmed by improved scores in the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale, a standard test used to measure PD progression (J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2000;23:573-7).

How may chiropractic adjustments avert PD? The spine houses the spinal cord, the lifetime of the central nervous system.  Experts speculate that vertebral subluxations may disrupt spinal cord activity, in turn restricting nerve flow back and forth from the brain to the limbs.  In PD, inhibited nerve flow may aggravate symptoms like tremor and rigidity.

Watch the Waistline

A trim physic isn’t the only reward of calorie counting, say scientists.  According to recent studies, watching you’re far and calorie intake may keep PD at bay.  Mice that consumed 24 percent fewer calories, according to researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, were less likely to experience the brain destruction associated with PD – compared to mice that are a higher calorie diet.  Specifically, the restricted diet inhibited genes that encode for brain degeneration.   Because the brain chemistry of mice resembles that of humans, scientists speculate that people who follow low calorie diets also slash their risk of PD.

Go Organic!

For decades, researchers studying PD have noted that the disease is more rampant in agricultural regions.  What accounts for this phenomenon?  Exposure to pesticides, say scientists.

Research with animals supports what geographic trends indicate: pesticide exposure is one cause of PD.  For instance, investigators in one experiment injected 25 rats with rotenone, a widely used pesticide.  Half of the rats exhibited Parkinson like symptoms immediately.  Scientists also observed the gradual degeneration of dopamine producing cells and the formation of brain proteins associated with disease (Nature Neuroscience 2000;3:1227).

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And, if you think that the pesticides used for home gardening are too mild to trigger PD, think again.  Even the common pesticides found at neighborhood garden supply stores increase a green thumb’s risk of PD, according to a report presented in May 2000 at the American Academy of Neurology’s 52nd annual meeting in San Diego.  The study, which compared 541 healthy people with 496 PD patients, found that people with Parkinson’s were twice as likely to have use pesticides for home gardening or pest control compared with healthy individuals.

“Certain chemicals that an individual is exposed to in the environment may cause selective heath of brain cells or neurons,” explained chief investigator Lorene Nelson, PhD, a neoroepidemiologist at Stanford University School of Medicine in Palo Alto, Calif.

In addition to pesticides, many workplace solvents are linked with PD.  In one study of 990 Parkinson’s patients, Italian researchers discovered that subjects exposed to solvents found in common petroleum based products, such as paints and flues, were an average of three years younger at the first sign of PD.

Curl up with a Cuppa Joe

Here’s a good excuse to sneak an extra coffee break into your daily routine: drinking java may prevent PD.  A small, but swiftly mounting, body of research reveals that people who curl up with a daily ‘cuppa Joe’ are significantly less likely to develop PD, compared with their peers who avoid coffee.

One article in the Journal of the American Medical Association compiled data on the 8,004 Japanese American men between ages of 45 and 68.  Over thirty years of follow up, 102 subjects developed PD.  Coffee drinkers enjoyed a 3 to 6 fold reduced risk of the disease, compared with non coffee drinkers.  Caffeine intake from non coffee sources was also associated with a reduced risk (JAMA 2000;283:2674-9).

Another study, conducted at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., enrolled 196 patients with PD and an equal number of healthy control subjects.  Findings showed that java drinkers were considerably less likely to have PD that non coffee drinkers (Neurology 2000;55:1350-8).

As with most things, moderation is key when it comes to coffee consumption.  Although coffee may avert PD, too much java is linked with an increased risk of other disorders, including esophageal cancer, heart disease and osteoporosis.

Antioxidant Attack Helps Prevent Parkinson’s

Scientists theorize that exposure to chemicals called free radicals may spark the deterioration of brain cells in Parkinson’s patients.  Free radicals have also been shown to initiate the cellular reactions associated with cancer and heart disease.

Free radicals are produced as byproducts of chemical reactions in the brain.  They are also associated with fried foods and high in saturated fat.  The good news is that specific “antioxidant” nutrients have been shown to quench free radicals, before they have the opportunity to wreak havoc.  Antioxidants include vitamins A, E and C, selenium, green tea, grape seed extract, coenzyme Q10 and plethora of nutrients in fresh fruits and vegetables.  Interested in giving some of these supplements a try? Talk to your doctor of chiropractic about what antioxidant combination is right for you.

(One note of caution: patients taking medication for PD should avoid supplements containing B vitamins, as they interfere with the effectiveness of certain medications.)

Take Charge of your Health Today!

Find out more about preventing PD and other conditions by visiting your doctor of chiropractic for regular checkups.  Don’t wait to take charge of your health – schedule an appointment for a chiropractic evaluation today!

Optimal Health University™ is a professional service of PreventiCare Publishing®. The information and recommendations are appropriate in most instances. They are not, however, a substitute for consultation with a health-care provider such as Dr. Davis. Copyright, 2013.

Dr. Marc Davis adjusts patients at Davis Family Chiropractic, a thriving wellness-oriented office located next to Fred Meyer in Fisher’s Landing. For FREE monthly tips and community events subscribe to Dr. Davis’ blog “Life Naturally” by going to www.davisfamilychiro.com and clicking on “Blog”. To schedule a time to meet with Dr. Davis, or to get information about having him speak at your club, church group or workplace, call (360) 823-2225. Mention “LacamasMagazine” and “Free Scan” to get your Computerized Back and Neck Scan (regularly $210) for FREE (limited time offer).

Dr. Marc Davis

DAVIS FAMILY CHIROPRACTIC, PLLC

“For a Lifetime of Standing Tall!”

2415 SE 165TH Avenue, Suite 103

Vancouver, WA 98683

(360) 823-2225

Presented by Marc Davis, DC

Many people consider visiting a chiropractor only after suffering years of unnecessary pain.  However, Dr. Davis knows that focusing on prevention is key to long- term well-being.  That means adopting a proactive approach to health.  Just as you schedule regular dental cleanings to prevent tooth and gum decay, it’s essential to arrange consistent chiropractic checkups to stave off spinal decay and related ailments.

What is chiropractic preventive wellness care?

Referred to as proactive care, spinal hygiene, maintenance care, preventive care, wellness or preventive wellness care, this revolutionary chiropractic program rests on the philosophy that long-term well-being stems from eradicating underlying causes of future conditions- stopping them before they start.

Who tries Chiropractic preventive care?

Dr. Davis finds that patients embark on wellness care programs in one of two circumstances. 

Today’s savvy health-care consumers are enlightened about the benefits of preventive care and the dangers of painkillers and other medication.  The health-care tide is turning as many individuals shift their attitude about health care from one of “damage control” to one centering on prevention.  This renaissance in the way we regard health care has sparked a growing number of forward-thinking, pain-free people to seek out chiropractic wellness care.

A second group of people discover the benefits of wellness care after receiving chiropractic care for pain relief.  When their pain subsides, they transition into a wellness care plan.

Why should I continue chiropractic care after my injury is resolved?

Not only is spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) effective, but ongoing maintenance care results in better long-term outcomes.  These findings are from a new study published in the journal Spine.

The prospective, blinded, placebo-controlled study tracked 60 patients, with chronic, nonspecific low-back pain lasting at least six months.

According to the article, patients “were randomized to receive either (1) 12 treatments of sham SMT over a 1 month period, (2) 12 treatments, consisting of SMT over a 1 month period, but no treatments for the subsequent 9 months, or (3) 12 treatments over a 1 month period, along with “maintenance spinal manipulation” every 2 weeks for the following 9 months.  To determine any difference among therapies, we measured pain and disability scores, generic health status, and back-specific patient satisfaction at baseline and at 1-, 4-, 7-, and 10-month intervals.”

Results revealed that “patients in second and third groups experienced significantly lower pain and disability scores than first group at the end of 1 month period.  However, only the third group that was given spinal manipulations (SM) during the follow up period showed more improvement in pain and disability scores at the 10 month evaluation.”

The study’s authors conclude: “SMT is effective for the treatment of chronic nonspecific LBP.  To obtain long-term benefit, this study suggests maintenance SM after the initial intensive manipulative therapy.” (Spine 2011;36:1427-37.)

What happens during a wellness care visit?

A preventive chiropractic checkup typically includes a posture analysis and a spinal examination to detect areas in the spine where movement is restricted or spinal bones (vertebrae) are slightly out of place.

These dysfunctional spinal segments are called vertebral subluxations.  Dr.  Davis corrects these areas with gentle and effective maneuvers called chiropractic adjustments (also known as spinal manipulative therapy or SMT).

Because wellness visits are focused on prevention rather than pain relief, the doctor takes time to educate patients about factors influencing long-term disease prevention, with a holistic-whole person-emphasis.  Therefore, this visit incorporates late-breaking research information on topics like ergonomics, nutrition, stress reduction, the side effects of medication, environmental toxins, exercise and how emotional outlook affects the body.  The goal is to identify and remove any risk factors before they trigger disease.

Why should I schedule a chiropractic checkup when I’m not in pain?

Symptoms are not the “early warning signs” many individuals consider them to be.

Symptoms like pain or restricted movement usually do not appear until late in a disease process – often when it is too late for the malady to be reversed.

By maintaining a subluxation free spine, preventive checkups correct the underlying trigger of conditions like back pain, headaches, carpal tunnel syndrome and jaw pain.

Chiropractic wellness care also hold more sinister maladies at bay.  For instance, scientific studies show that unrestricted joints have better range of motion – making them less likely to be depleted of joint fluid and cartilage.  By keeping joints mobile, chiropractic helps prevent conditions like osteoarthritis before the advent of joint degeneration – and long before symptoms emerge.

It’s especially important to ward off arthritis before pain appears, because the severity of degeneration to the spine is not necessarily associated with pain.  In one study, 180 patients with neck pain completed questionnaires and a disability assessment.  They also underwent X-ray imaging to determine the extent of degeneration in the spine of their necks (cervical spines).

Results revealed no statistically significant difference in pain severity or disability between the patients with–and without—cervical degeneration.

“According to the findings, the number of levels of cervical degeneration and the severity of degeneration in the discs [and joint of the spine] are not related to the levels of pain and disability.” (Spine 2003;27:129-33.)

I have heard that chiropractic care may prevent problems not directly related to the spine.  Is that true?

Yes.  Exciting new scientific evidence indicates that people who follow a chiropractic wellness plan enjoy a better overall quality of life.  Wellness care patients often report a reduced occurrence of colds, allergies and other ailments.  Many professional athletes adhere to a chiropractic preventive care program because they say it enhances their performance.  Bolstered energy, sharpened mental functioning, decreased fatigue, more restful sleep and diminished stress are other benefits mentioned by preventive care patients.

And, research indicates that chiropractic wellness care may prevent a myriad of diseases not typically related to the spine.  These include breathing problems, hypertension, and multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, hearing problems, infertility, intestinal disorders, asthma, ear infections and infantile colic.  And that’s just for starters!

Is wellness care expensive?

As with all aspects of health, the old adage that “a stitch in time saves nine” applies to chiropractic care.  Savvy health-care consumers know that recurring chiropractic checkups ward off expensive and disabling conditions down the road.

By keeping you free of pain and disability, wellness care eliminates the need for costly medication and surgery, saving you money in the long run.

While health is priceless, we understand that cost is a concern for some.  This chiropractic office works with patients to develop creative, affordable individual and family payment plans to fit any budget.  Before assuming that your family cannot manage the expense of wellness care, please ask us about these opportunities – you’ll be surprised how reasonable they are!

How frequent are regular wellness checkups?

The frequency of preventative checkups depends on a host of factors.  Only your doctor of chiropractic can determine the optimal incidence for your wellness care visits.

At what point should I talk to the doctor about wellness care options?

It is never too early to start planning for preventive care.  Even if you are still under a pain management care plan, ask the doctor today about when you can transition to a wellness care plan, and what types of programs are available.

Optimal Health University™ is a professional service of PreventiCare Publishing®. The information and recommendations are appropriate in most instances. They are not, however, a substitute for consultation with a health-care provider such as Dr. Davis. Copyright, 2012.

Dr. Marc Davis adjusts patients at Davis Family Chiropractic, a thriving wellness-oriented office located next to Fred Meyer in Fisher’s Landing. For FREE monthly tips and community events subscribe to Dr. Davis’ blog “Health Naturally” by going to www.davisfamilychiro.com and clicking on “Blog”.  To schedule a time to meet with Dr. Davis call (360) 823-2225. Mention “LacamasMagazine” and “Free Scan” to get your free computerized Back and Neck Scan (regularly $210).

 

By Dr. Marc Davis

Do you know somebody with misconceptions about chiropractic?  As is usually the case with misleading information, confusion about chiropractic is based on rumors, not on facts.  

Marc+Davis.jpgHelp dispel the myths by sharing the following facts with friends, family and co-workers.

Myth:  Chiropractic is only good for back problems.

Although doctors of chiropractic, such as Dr. Davis, excel at providing swift, all-natural relief from back pain, chiropractors are much, much more than mere “back doctors.”

Doctors of chiropractic are prevention specialists.   Chiropractors focus on warding off disease and injury, rather than masking symptoms with medication.  By caring for the whole person, chiropractors help patients create winning wellness plans that combine regular chiropractic checkups with exercise recommendations, nutritional counseling, stress reduction programs and other lifestyle adjustments.

Spinal health is the cornerstone of the chiropractic approach to prevention.  Specifically, Dr. Davis works to keep patients’ spines free of vertebral subluxation, areas where movement is restricted or bones (vertebrae) are out of alignment.  This condition is linked with a myriad of ailments such as carpel tunnel syndrome, ear infection, back pain, vertigo, neck pain, headaches, high blood pressure and epilepsy.  Preliminary scientific evidence also suggests that vertebral subluxations may have a negative effect on the immune system (J Manipulative Physiol Ther 1992; 15:83-9).

Chiropractors correct vertebral subluxations with gentle maneuvers called chiropractic adjustments.

Myth: Chiropractic adjustments hurt.

New patients are often apprehensive about receiving their first chiropractic adjustment.  Much of this fear comes from knowing that a “cracking” sound results from some adjustments.  However, this sound (known as cavitation) is simply a drop in air pressure within a joint, which occurs when a “stuck” joint becomes “unstuck.”  Cavitation is NOT the sound of bones cracking or rubbing against each other.

Chiropractors are extensively trained to perform adjustments gently and to custom tailor these maneuvers for each individual’s unique body type.  The vast majority of patients experience no discomfort whatsoever from adjustments.  Rather, most patients report that they enjoy the procedure and find it relaxing.

Myth: Once you begin chiropractic care, you must continue it for the rest of your life.

The idea that chiropractic is “addictive” — or that patients must continue care forever to maintain relief from a specific injury — is a common misconception.   This myth is perpetuated by some factions of the health-insurance industry and other groups that focus on “quick fix” approaches like drugs and surgery, which often fail to provide lasting results and have potentially hazardous side effects.  In contrast, doctors of chiropractic concentrate on prevention.

The truth is, most chiropractic patients who seek care for pain relief recover from their symptoms within a short period of time.  In 1994, the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR), a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, confirmed this claim after intensive investigation.  The AHCPR states that: “For patients with acute low-back symptoms without radiculopathy, the scientific evidence suggests spinal manipulation is effective in reducing pain and perhaps speeding recovery within the first month of symptoms.”

True, popping a pill is faster than phoning your chiropractor for an appointment.  But unlike medication, chiropractic produces permanent relief — often in patients who have suffered from chronic pain for years.  That’s why many patients choose to continue periodic checkups, after their symptoms have subsided, to ward off other future ailments.

Focusing on prevention means averting disease before the onset of symptoms.  For example, prevention-oriented individuals visit their dentist regularly to remove plaque before it triggers tooth decay.  Concentrating on prevention also means exercising on a daily basis to prevent the buildup of fat on artery walls, which leads to cardiovascular disease.  In much the same way, patients who seek preventive chiropractic care don’t wait until vertebral subluxations multiply before taking steps to correct them.  These patients aren’t addicted to chiropractic any more than individuals who see their dentist regularly —  or who work out a few hours a week — are addicted to teeth cleanings or exercise.

Myth: Chiropractic is unsafe.

According to a wealth of scientific evidence, chiropractic is an extremely safe health-care option — especially when the alternative (medication or surgery) is considered.  Medication and surgery have staggeringly dismal safety records.  Even the seemingly benign class of over-the-counter medication called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) has disastrous side effects.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 76,000 people are hospitalized each year due to adverse reactions to NSAIDs.  And, an estimated 7,600 will die this year alone as a direct result of NSAIDs.

Myth: Chiropractors are poorly educated.

Think doctors of chiropractic aren’t well educated?  Think again.  Here are the facts:

Prior to applying to chiropractic school, college students must complete the identical “pre-med” curriculum that medical students follow.  This includes courses in physics, chemistry, biology, psychology and liberal arts.  These prerequisite courses take at least two years to complete.

Chiropractic school consists of another four years of full-time study.  The average number of basic science hours is 1,420, including approximately 570 hours of anatomy, 305 hours of physiology, 205 hours of pathology, 150 hours of biochemistry, 120 hours of microbiology and 70 hours of public health (Chiropractic in the United States:  Training, Practice and Research, 1997).

And that’s just the beginning.  Merely completing six years of intense study isn’t enough to become a doctor of chiropractic.  He or she must pass a series of four comprehensive national board examinations and a local jurisprudence examination before obtaining a license to practice.

Myth: Massage therapy produces the same results as chiropractic.

Massage therapy is a highly effective, drug-free approach to relieving strained muscles, increasing circulation, easing stress and inducing deep relaxation.  Preliminary research also suggests that massage therapy boosts the immune system.  Because of these benefits, doctors of chiropractic frequently recommend massage as an adjunctive to chiropractic care.  Many chiropractors even invite massage therapists to join their staff.

Despite its benefits, however, massage therapy is not a substitute for chiropractic care because it does not correct vertebral subluxations.  Unlike chiropractors, massage therapists are not doctors:  They do not have the same extensive training and are not qualified to perform spinal adjustments or diagnose medical disorders.

Myth:  Chiropractic is expensive.

Industry studies reveal that chiropractic costs less than traditional medical care when chiropractors are the first doctors visited (Med Care 1996; 34:191-204).

Researchers at Oakland University focused on patients suffering from one or more of 493 conditions.  Roughly one quarter of the 395,641 patients studied were cared for by doctors of chiropractic.  Findings revealed “patients receiving chiropractic care experienced significantly lower health-care costs.”  Specifically, chiropractic patients saved approximately $1,000 each over a two-year period (J Manipulative Physiol Ther 1993; 16:291-9).

Another study looked at 3,062 workers’ compensation claims for low-back pain.  The analysis found that the compensation costs of claims for injuries treated by medical practitioners were 10 times the costs of those handled by chiropractors (J Occup Med 1991; 33:847-52).

Dr. Marc Davis can be reached at 360.823.2225 or at www.davisfamilychiro.com

by Dr. Marc Davis, DC
Marc Davis

Dr. Marc Davis

A growing number of seniors are reaping the benefits of chiropractic care.  And, a growing body of scientific evidence demonstrates that chiropractic is advantageous for older people.

Chiropractors often detect vertebral subluxations- areas of dysfunction among the bones of the spine (vertebrae) – in seniors.  This common malady is linked with an array of conditions, ranging from low-back pain and arthritis to Parkinson’s disease and hearing difficulties.  Doctors of chiropractic, like Dr Davis correct vertebral subluxations with safe, gentle maneuvers know as chiropractic adjustments.

Chiropractic More Effective than Medical Care for Seniors with Back Pain

New research indicates that many medical doctors are ‘deficient’ in their knowledge of how to care for patients with low-back pain (Spine 2009;34:1716-21). As part of the analysis, 253 orthopedic surgeons and 145 medical family practitioners completed a questionnaire regarding the management of simple low-back pain (LBP), while attending annual professional meetings.  “Answers were scored based on the national guidelines for management of low back pain.”

The study concludes that “both orthopedic surgeons’ and family physicians’ knowledge of treating LBP is deficient.  Orthopedic surgeons are less aware of current treatment than family practitioners.  Although the importance of publishing guidelines and keeping them up-to-date and relevant for different disciplines in different countries cannot be overstressed, disseminating the knowledge to clinicians is also very important to ensure good practice.” (Spine 2009;34:1716-21.)

Seniors with back pain require care by doctors who are aware of the distinctive spinal issues that affect an aging spine.  Because of their extensive knowledge of the spine, doctors of chiropractic, like Dr. Davis are uniquely positioned to provide seniors with exceptional care.

A just published report, which compared chiropractic care with medical care for older patients with low-back pain, concludes that chiropractic care is more effective (J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2009;32:330-43).

The randomized controlled trial included 240 people (105 women and 135 men).  The participants were all at least 55 years old with sub acute or chronic LBP.

The patients were divided into three groups.  Two groups underwent chiropractic care, each with a different type of chiropractic adjusting technique.  A third group underwent minimal conservative medical care, which is the common standard of medical care for seniors with LBP.

The chiropractic intervention included six weeks of care for a total of 12 visits.  Seniors who received either type of chiropractic adjustments enjoyed a statistically significant improvement in function over medically-treated patients.  What’s more, chiropractic care is drug-free, which is particularly beneficial for seniors who may be sensitive to drug interactions and side effects (J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2009;32:330-43).

Avoid Unnecessary Medication

During one 12-week study, chiropractors from 32 states and two Canadian provinces collected data on 805 patients over age of 55.  “Pain” was responsible for 72.3 percent of the complaints – with 32.9 percent directly related to back pain.

Results showed a significant drop in the use of pain medication among those who completed the study.  An increase in the use of pain medications, however, was noted among the 20 percent who discontinued chiropractic care prior to the close of the experiment (J Am Geriart Soc 2000;48:534-45).

Growing Numbers of Seniors Seek Chiropractic Care

As baby-boomers reach their senior years, a growing number of older people are discovering chiropractic.  Just how popular is chiropractic care for seniors?  When researchers surveyed 2,055 individuals age 65 or older, they found that 20 percent had visited an alternative care practitioner during the previous year.  Most of these visits were to doctors of chiropractic (J Amer Ger Soc 2000;48:1560-5).

In one analysis, 61.9 percent of those using complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) sought chiropractic care.  Results revealed that the “most prevalent motivations for using CAM were pain relief (54.8%), improved quality of life (45.2%) and maintenance of health and fitness (40.5%).” (J Gerontological Nursing 2003;29:20-8)

Lisa Killinger of Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research, Davenport, Iowa, says that “chiropractors may be well-positioned to play an important role in health promotion, injury and disease revention and on geriatric care teams, due to their practice style and holistic philosophy.” (Clin Geriart Med 2004;20:223-35).

In fact, the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research recommends chiropractic adjustment for seniors with acute low-back pain.  In addition, Killinger says the American Geriatric Society Panel Guidelines for the Management of Chronic Pain state that “non-pharmaceutical interventions, such as chiropractic, may be appropriate.”

Stay Sharp

Believe it or not, cognitive decline isn’t an inevitable aspect of aging.  It’s obvious that daily social interaction and mental stimulation, such as reading and solving puzzles, keep the brain sharp.  But did you know that regular chiropractic care may also preserve mental acumen?

Researchers in Auckland, New Zealand, divided 36 participants into two groups: a chiropractic group who received chiropractic adjustments to the upper cervical spine (spine of the neck), and a control group who underwent a sham procedure.  All 36 patients exhibited upper cervical vertebral subluxations at the beginning of the study.

After both procedures, investigators asked participants to identify whether objects appeared normal or as mirror-reversed on a computer screen.  The researchers then measure each participant’s reaction time.  Individuals in the chiropractic group demonstrated a 14.9 percent “significantly greater” improvement in reaction time, while the control group showed a mere 8 percent improvement.

“The results of this study have demonstrated a significant improvement in a complex reaction-time task after an upper cervical adjustment.  These results provide evidence that upper cervical adjustment may affect cortical processing.” (J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2000;23:246-51).

Motor Skills Matter

Chiropractic may also help seniors maintain their motor skills.  In one study, researchers asked seniors in a specialized test group to use a computer mouse to move their cursors onto a target in the center of a computer screen.  The researchers used a range of widths and target distances to vary the level of difficulty.

“All participants in the experimental group (those receiving chiropractic care) had significantly improved movement times following spinal adjustments compared with only one participant in the control group (those not receiving chiropractic care).”

The results demonstrated significant motor-skill improvement among those receiving chiropractic care, leading researchers to suggest that “spinal adjustments may influence motor behavior.” (J Manipul Physiol Ther 2006;29:257-66)

Live Longer

Searching for the fountain of youth?  Look to your local doctor of chiropractic.  Left unchecked, chronic back pain is proven to shorten one’s lifespan.  Over a five-year period, researchers followed approximately 1,500 seniors aged 70 to 85.  Daily back pain was linked to reduced longevity, quality of life and mobility and increased risks for a coronary heart event (Spine 2007;32:2012-18).

Avert Arthritis

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis, occurring when cartilage in joints wears down over time.  OA most commonly affects joints in hands, hips, knees and spine.

Fortunately, research shows that chiropractic care helps reduce OA symptoms.  One study included 252 OA patients with low-back pain.  Researchers randomly assigned subjects to either a chiropractic group who received chiropractic adjustment plus moist heat or a moist-heat only cohort.  Both groups participated in 20 care sessions, over several weeks.

At sessions one, five, 10, 15 and 20, sufferers rated pain, activities of daily living and range of motion (ROM).  The chiropractic group reported greater and more rapid pain reduction and ROM improvement than the moist heat group.  Those under chiropractic care also enjoyed greater improvements in daily living activities in four of the nine areas measured.  (J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2006;29:107-14)

Optimal Health University™ is a professional service of PreventiCare Publishing®. The information and recommendations are appropriate in most instances. They are not, however, a substitute for consultation with a health-care provider such as Dr. Davis. Copyright, 2009.

Dr. Marc Davis adjusts patients at Davis Family Chiropractic, a thriving wellness-oriented office located next to Fred Meyer in Fisher’s Landing. To subscribe to Dr. Davis’ blog “Health Naturally” go to www.davisfamilychiro.com and click on “Blog” for FREE monthly tips and community activities.  To schedule a time to meet with Dr. Davis call (360) 823-2225. Mention “Lacamas Magazine” and “Free Scan” to get a free computerized Back and Neck Scan (regularly $210).

DAVIS FAMILY CHIROPRACTIC, PLLC

“For a Lifetime of Standing Tall!”

2415 SE 165TH Avenue, Suite 103

Vancouver, WA 98683

(360) 823-2225