This is Columbia Advanced Chiropractic’s blog site, ‘Body at Work.’ A special thanks to Tammy Hepps for helping to get the blog going. Topics will vary and we would love to have your feedback regarding what you would like to see discussed. Please keep in mind that you are an integral part of the blog experience and the more information we cover, the more you can learn about your health and how to maximize it. We hope you enjoy Body at Work and help make it the best health blog in Columbia / Ellicott City, Howard County, Maryland, and everywhere else, for that matter! The old newsletters from ‘The Spinal Column’ are now here on the blog and you can read/comment as you wish.
Please feel free to send us comments on this page about what topics you would like to see discussed in future blog discussions. Although we will try to get your comments posted as quickly as possible, please allow up to 48 hours to do so.
It’s always great when a bright mind takes on a hot topic. Antioxidants and vitamins are about as hot a topic as it gets. There is plenty of scientific data to support the use of such, but as is the case with most any nutritional intervention, precautions are needed. As doctors know from their hippocratic oath, ‘Above all, do no harm.’ With that being said, it is very important to also check the data from naysayers to be certain that harm is not being done. In the case of Dr. Offit’s attack on vitamins, we need to clarify some things! I agree that mega-doses of most anything are bad, but Dr. Offit seemingly blurs the lines between taking vitamins and mega dosing them and I find this to be irresponsible. Also, is it better to eat real fruits and vegetables vs. taking vitamins? Yes and no. If our fruits and vegetables no longer have the nutrient density they once had, we are paying the price. In this case, supplementation is essential! However, supplements using natural sources are the best way to go. Read More »
The Gac fruit (Mormordica Cochinchinesis) is a fruit mostly found in Southeast Asia. It is a unique fruit in that besides being high in antioxidants (such as beta-carotene, lycopene, and Vitamin E), the Lipocarotene from the fruit has fatty acids that, along with beta-carotene, allow for efficient absorption and transport of beta-carotene and other fat-soluble vitamins. Significant amounts of long chain fatty acids are found in the seed and pulp of the fruit. These fatty acids has also been shown to have anti-tumor properties (Int J Oncol 2005 Apr;26(4):881-9). Read More »
I got the idea for this blog when one of my patients told me that he had just had his physical and the doctor said he was very healthy. He was very happy about this.
I told him this was great and then I started thinking to myself…how does the doctor know that he is healthy? He had no complaints? His heart rate was good? His blood work did not show any off the chart numbers? He told the doctor he felt good? How did his doctor know that he was healthy, really?
I remember learning in chiropractic school that health is not merely the absence of disease. How is this so? How can we maximize our knowledge of what is going on inside our bodies? Can we even see what is going on in our bodies? Is there a simple and validated way to analyze your chronic oxidative stress? Does anyone check to really see what is happening in our bodies before diseases strike?
Can our doctors tell us the likelihood of what ailment(s) we’ll get as we get older? Is diet/nutrition an important focus and indicator of long-term health? Read More »
When assessing a patient who presents with lower extremity pathology, we tend to get fixated on the chief complaint. A person complains of knee pain, and we look at the knee…they have right calf pain, we look at the calf. A hip is tight/sore, we look at the hip.
The longer I practice and the more well-versed I get with movement assessments, a certain pattern of dysfunction seems to dominate over others. Now, we know that no one condition is an absolute, but this one does play in significantly, and it will throw off your entire movement.
Elise Sole’s piece in Healthy Living on April 8, 2013 about ‘The Paleo Diet, Debunked’ is an interesting attack on a rather healthy lifestyle. In fact, I’m not convinced she even understands what ‘debunk’ means. What is she debunking…what claims does she think those on the Paleo diet make? It always seems that people on the outside of something find it easy to attack that which they truly do not understand. By definition, ‘debunk’ means to expose the falseness or hollowness of a myth, idea, or belief. Okay, uh, what is false or hollow about the Paleo diet’s insistence on eating naturally and avoiding processed foods?… Read More »
Raman Spectroscopy was discovered over 70 years ago by Sir C. V. Raman, an Indian physicist. He won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1930. Using sunlight and a filter to make the light monochromatic (in current day, we’d equate this to a laser), he would aim the ‘light’ onto a material of some sort and measure the scattered light. He also observed that some of the light would be ‘scattered’, thus changing the energy of the light.
Dr. Raman first used sunlight for his research as laser technology did not exist back in the 1920s. Fast forward to present day…with the advent of laser, his findings have garnered more attention as such light can be used extensively in the field of Raman Spectroscopy.
The big breakthrough with this science occurred in 1995 when the NIH gave a grant to the University of Utah to look for risk factors for macular degeneration. The scientists used the science behind Raman Spectroscopy to develop the first scanner and scientists were able to measure the carotenoid content in the cones and retina in the eye. When this research was published, ophthalmologists started recommending antioxidants to fight this process. This practice is still being used today as the antioxidants raise the carotenoid levels in your body this helps to reduce/suspend the macular degeneration. (Ophthalmology 2013;120:600–606) Read More »
Many of us have been exposed to different nutrient companies over the years and usually we come up with a product line or two that we really gel with. Although I’ve had the pleasure of working with quality pharmaceutical companies, I always felt as though something was missing. I believe the nutrients are of good quality and are tested by reputable sources for purity, safety, and consistency, but I could never know for sure if the products were ‘working’ for the patient.
Too many patients and friends of mine have always commented that they take nutrients and ‘hope’ that they are doing something good for themselves. I all too often get the ‘how do I know it is doing anything’ questions and to be honest, it’s not that easy to give a great answer. I know I recommend good products, but there is nothing to scientifically validate that one nutrient company is better than another. For that matter, ‘feeling better’ doesn’t mean much either. How you feel and what is going on inside of you can be two very different things.
In simple terms, how does a nutrient company assess what you actually need and how do you know that the company delivers on the quality of their products? Where is a good place to start in regards to figuring out if a particular multi-vitamin is doing anything for you? There has really been no way of doing this…until now! Read More »
We have covered a lot of information about Dry Needling in our last 3 blogs. We discussed the Radiculopathy Model, the Trigger Point Model, and the Spinal Segemental Sensitization and Pentad Model. Already, we can clearly see how Dry Needling can help to break down myofascial trigger points (MTrPs) and reduce pain. The fourth model will discuss another reason as to why Dry Needling can help you. Read More »
In our last two blogs, we went over models that help explain how Dry Needling works. These two were the Radiculopathy and the Trigger Point Models. The topic of this blog will involve the third model, or the Spinal Segmental Sensitization and Pentad Model. As we have with the last two discussions, we will try to explain any difficult terminology or ideas.
Spinal Segmental Sensitization and Pentad Model
The Spinal Segmental Sensitization (SSS) and Pentad Model was proposed by the late Andrew Fischer, M.D. (Physiatrist…pain management and rehabilitation medical doctor). This is a good time to discuss this model as it really incorporates both of the first two models. Dr. Fischer proposed that the SSS is a ‘hyperactive’ state of the dorsal horn of the spinal cord that is caused by damaged tissue sending nociceptive (pain) input into the spinal cord. This information then causes the over-sensitivity of the associated spinal level dermatome (skin), pain sensitivity of the associated spinal level sclerotome (bone, ligaments, joints), and Myofascial Trigger Points (MTrPs) in the associated spinal level muscles. All this occurs because the nerve coming from the spine is over sensitized, and by being in this pathological state, it stimulates these changes listed above. In effect, we have a pretty vicious cycle of pain and dysfunction. Read More »
In the last blog, we discussed the first model (The Radiculopathy Model) that helps explain why Dry Needling works. Now we will continue with the second of four models. This one is probably the most well-known one and there is a plethora of medical literature supporting it. Again, we will try to explain any concepts that are a little difficult to understand. These models really shed light into how our bodies work and they are great to learn about.
The Trigger Point Model
Myofascial Trigger Points (MTrPs, or TrPs for Trigger Points) are defined as ‘hyper-irritable spots in skeletal muscle that are associated with a hypersensitive palpable nodule in a taut band’ (Travell and Simons). The resultant pain/discomfort that one gets due to such points is referred to as myofascial pain syndrome (MPS). Simply put, MPS is defined as ‘sensory, motor, and autonomic symptoms caused by myofascial trigger points’ (Travell and Simons). Sensory symptoms refer to what you feel, motor symptoms refer to how the muscles work, and autonomic symptoms refer to the things that you do not realize. This seems a little odd, but consider what happens when you bang your arm really hard. You will feel the pain (sensory), the muscle might be painful and not contract properly (motor), and your heart rate goes up as does your respiration due to the ‘adrenaline rush’ (autonomic) of the injury. Read More »