Chiropractic and Leg Length

Because the spinal cord is housed by the spine and the exiting nerve roots communicate with the autonomic nerves that basically run our organ function, maintaining alignment of the spine and pelvis is very important to minimize nerve irritation and subsequent health-related problems. The focus of this article is on leg length, its effect on our posture, methods of assessment, and treatment.

Leg length plays an important role in posture. When there is a difference in leg length, the pelvis cannot maintain a level position. Because the spine’s base is the pelvis, it cannot stay straight if there is a leg length discrepancy.

Doctors of all disciplines realize the importance of leg length, especially orthopedic surgeons as they consider a hip or knee
replacement! There are many causes which include genetic or trauma during bone growth years.

From a treatment standpoint, a heel lift can be placed into the shoe on the short leg side. Unfortunately, there is not a 1 to 1 mm correction of the leg length deficiency with heel lifts. In adults, it has been reported that about a 66% correction occurs, which means a 10 mm lift would result in around a 6.6mm leg length deficiency correction.

Many doctors have found that it is usually wise to GRADUALLY increase the amount of heel lifting.  So patients often start with a 5mm lift and at one week intervals, increase it to the next height. (such as 7mm, followed by 9mm, and so on) At 12mm (0.5”), problems with the heel lift being pushed out of the shoe and/or sliding forwards in the shoe may prohibit the use of these thicker lifts after which point the bottom of the shoe can be built up by a shoe cobbler (some services can be found online as well).

By Chiro-Trust.org, edited by Spine Intelligence

Balance & Dizziness How To Improve

Many people seek chiropractic care for low back, mid-back, neck pain along with pain in the extremities; but what about balance and/or dizziness, as they often go together? Can chiropractic management help people suffering from frequent falls due to balance and/or dizziness problems? Let’s take a look!

When considering treatment for balance, we must talk about the “proprioceptive system.” The way the body “communicates” between all the various body parts is by proprioceptors—which are located in skeletal muscles and joint capsules—that relay information to the brain. This information from the various body parts is then integrated with incoming information from the vestibular system (inner ear). The brain also relies heavily on the cerebellum located in the back of the head, which is largely responsible for coordinating the unconscious (automatic) aspects of proprioception.

The ability to maintain balance, such as when standing on one leg (eyes open and closed), is dependent on the ability for the ALL THREE of these systems to work properly, and like any other skill, “…practice makes perfect!”

Balance Exercise to Try

Please try standing on one leg and then shut your eyes. Can you feel your ankle, foot, leg, and the rest of your body struggle to keep you balanced? For those of us under age 60, it’s “normal” to be able to balance on one foot with eyes closed for 25 seconds (or 10 and 4 seconds if you are between 60-69 or, 70-79 years old, respectively)! Scary, isn’t it? But don’t feel bad, as most Call us todayof us can’t do this at first. With practice and the right exercises, you will be able to do it. Your “kinesthetic sense” CAN BE improved, and your doctor of chiropractic can guide you in the process.

So, how does dizziness fit into this picture? Let’s talk about the ear!

Our ears have two jobs: hearing and balance. The outer ear catches sound and funnels it to the eardrum which vibrates and moves three little bones that transmit the information to the cochlea and finally to the brain allowing us to hear sound. Deep inside the ear is the “vestibular apparatus,” which is the organ of equilibrium that assists in balance. Here, three semicircular canals are filled with fluid and two sac-like structures located at the base called the utricule and saccule. The fluid in the canals flows past little hair-like structures that are connected to nerves that relay information to the brain, telling it where we are in space (horizontal—laying down, vertical—standing) and if we’re moving forwards/accelerating or moving up/down (like in an elevator).

There are little tiny “stones” in these two sacs that move the little hair-like structures but they can dislodge into the canal and alter the flow of fluid (like a rock sticking out of a flowing river creating eddy currents), which alters the direction the little hairs bend, resulting in vertigo or dizziness as the brain is receiving conflicting information from the hairs bending in multiple/different directions. This is called “BPPV” (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo), which is brief episodes of vertigo immediately following a change in head position such as rolling over in bed, getting up from sitting or laying, etc. This is the most common cause of vertigo.

If you Google “BPPV,” you will find different exercises that can move these little stones back into position.  Brandt-Daroff and Epley’s maneuver, both of which work well often within a day or two. If the balance/dizziness (vertigo) doesn’t improve, then you should consider other possibilities.  For example, such as inner ear inflammation or acute vestibular neuritis or blood pressure issues, medication side effects, and more. Your chiropractor can teach you the BPPV exercises and perform cervical adjustments, which can also help significantly.

Article By Chiro-Trust.org

Maintenance and the Road to Spine Health

Maintenance keeps patients on the road to spine health.  Good posture with regular maintenance treatment can help everyone and is recommended after treatment for injuries, flare ups or chronic conditions.

Illustration of human spine; consider the importance of maintenance
Illustration of human spine

The University of Quebec conducted and published a study in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics.  The study had patients receive intensive therapy for their injury or flair up, specifically involving low back pain.  The study had two groups.  The first group had intensive therapy followed with monthly maintenance treatments. The second group had intensive therapy.  The results showed that the patients who received the maintenance program maintained their post-intensive therapy pain and disability levels.  The patients who did not receive the maintenance program did not maintain the post-intensive therapy disability levels.  The researchers concluded that the results seem to indicate that regular follow up treatment may be of benefit to patients.

Recommendation for Maintenance

Here at Spine Intelligence and the Healing Chiropractic Center of Dr. Jacques Bendavid, we encourage patients to schedule regular appointments to promote their spine health.

More information about the University of Quebec study can be found here

Improve Your Posture

Healthy Posture
The shortest distance between two points is a straight spine

Improve your posture.  Sometimes we forget to remember to maintain our posture and slouch.  Below are a few steps to keep in mind to help your body function better.

The human body has a specific design.  Good posture follows that design.  It is not that hard to have good posture.  Below are steps to that assist in obtaining and to improve your posture while standing.

1.   Find your center.  Proper standing posture is about alignment and balance.  It also lends an air of confidence.  Tips for achieving the correct upright posture:

  •  place your feet about shoulder width apart
  • stand up straight
  • rotating the top of the pelvis forward slightly brings it to a neutral position
  • thigh bones move under the hips
  • don’t lock your knees
  • the arch of the lower back supports the rest of the spine

2.  Keep your weight on the balls of your feet.  When you rest on your heels, your natural tendency will be to slouch.

3. Keep your shoulders squared.

4.  Pull your head back and up. Picture yourself reaching for the ceiling with the top of your head.  Keep your head square on top of the neck and spine as you pull your head back and up.  Not only will this improve your posture, you will look taller and leaner, too.  Try it!

Teach your body what it feels like to have good posture.  Stand with your back against a door or wall, with the back of your head, your shoulders, and your butt just touching it.  If it feels awkward and uncomfortable, don’t worry–as you develop good posture habits and train your body, it will feel uncomfortable to not stand this way.

Good posture starts with a strong core.  Weak core muscles are common for people with low back pain.  Poor posture can make back pain worse.  Core-strengthening exercises may help ease and prevent low back pain and will improve your posture.

Call us for an appointment to assess your posture.

The Mighty Little Sesame Seeds

The Mighty Little Sesame Seeds
Black Sesame Seeds

“Taking black sesame seeds can heal all the chronic illness after 100 days, improve skin tone on body and face after 1 year, reverse gray hair after 2 years and regrow teeth after 3 years,” says the Compendium of Materia Medica, the largest and most comprehensive medical writings in the history of Tradional Chinese medicine (TCM).

Experiements show that the content of vitamin E contain in black sesame seeds is the hightest in all foods of plant orgin.  It is well know that vitamin E can promote cell division and delay cell senescence. Long-term use can counteract or neutralize the delay againg and extend life expectancy.  Main chemical constituents of black sesame seed are up to 55% fatty oil, sesamin, sesamolin, sesamol, itamin E, phytosterols, lecithin, pedaliin, protein, oligosaccharides, planteose, sesamose, and small amounts of phosphorus, potassium and cytochrome C, folic acid, nicotinic acid, sucrose, pentosan and large amounts of calicum content.  In additon, fatty oil mainly contains approimately 48% oleic acid, approximately 37% linoleic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid, arachidonic acid, and glycerolipid of lignoceric acid.

White sesame see is better for edible purpose but the black version is perferable if used for medicinal purpose.  To be specific, as the tonic black one is good at nourishing the liver and kidney and improving hair growth and hair color while white one is expert in relaxing bowel, nourishing yin and moisturizing to the skin.  Besides valuable seasmin and melanin.  As a result, it is widely used in treating hear loss and grey hair, inhibiting the growth of skin cancer cells from UV rays, lowering blood prssure, helping weight loss, improving fertility, and so on.  And its pharmacololgical actions can reflect these effects well.

1. It has anti aging effect, which postpone the aging phenomenon in experimental animals;
2. Linoleic acid can reduce blood cholesterol level, prevent and treat atherosclerosis;
3.  Linoleic acid can inhibit the adrenal coretex function to a certain degree in experimental animals;
4.  Linoleic acid can reduce blood sugar, increase glycogen content in liver and muscle, but decrese glycogen content in large does;
5. Fatty oil can lubricate intestines and relieve constipation.

 

Ping Shuai Gong Qi Gong

平甩功Follow up the holiday season with healthy habits, for example, practice Ping Shuai Gong Qi Gong.

Below  is a link to an instructional video on Ping Shuai Gong Qi Gong. You will feel the benefits right away, especially if you’ve been chomping at cookies, feasting with home cooked meals and sitting around too much these holidays.

Qi Gong exercises can help you with your digestion, back aches, leg and knee pains, and many other illnesses. Start with 10 minutes, then 20 minutes and eventually 30 minutes. The video has been translated in many languages. When you are familiar with the exercise, you can swing twice and then squat. Enjoy. (english is in subtitles)

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cX_rOySRCfs

Image credit from swinghandexercisepingshuaigong. blogspot.com

What is Acupuncture and how might it help me?

getty_rf_photo_of_acupuncture_needles_in_womanAcupuncture is based on Asian medicine which has been in existence for thousands of years to preserve health and diagnose, treat and prevent illness.

Acupuncture can restore proper balance to the Qi (pronounced “chee”) through a network of channels or meridians which are connected to all parts of the body including your organs.

The potential benefits of acupuncture include:

  • increasing peripheral circulation
  • augmenting skin and muscle blood flow
  • decreasing heart rate and reducing elevated blood pressure
  • helping autonomic nervous system
  • boosting immune function
  • balancing reproductive hormones

Other benefits of acupuncture are:

  • very few side effects
  • very effective combination treatment (such as with chiropractic treatment)
  • help patients who do not respond to pain medications or do not wish to take pain medications

Treatments such as acupressure, auriculotherapy, herbal medicine, therapeutic cupping, Gua Sha, moxibustion, Tui Na, and nutritional modification are known to be benefical when accompanied with acupuncture.

 

How Can Chiropractic Adjustments help you?

Healthy Posture
The shortest distance between two points is a straight spine

If you are reading this post, you might be asking yourself how can a chiropractic adjustment can help me. People come into our clinic in various shapes, sizes and conditions daily and chiropractic adjustment has helped.   If you took a poll, you would discover that people and or patients fall into two categories: one, never experienced the benefits of chiropractic treatment or two, they have already experienced the benefits.

Chiropractic adjustments make corrections to misalignments.  The technical term is that a patient may have a vertebral subluxation (misalignment).  As we in our day to day life become self-educated regarding our health along with technical advancements in diagnostics more people have discovered they have mild to moderate disc herniation without pain.  The advancement of imaging studies along with their increased use has helped.

Going to the chiropractor for preventive care is as important as going to the dentist.  You may not feel pain but preventive chiropractic treatment are vital for your overall optimal health.

The Relationship Between Good Posture & My Overall Optimal Health

postureYour posture is the natural position we hold our bodies while standing, sitting or lying down.  Your personal posture directly affects your health.  If you have good posture, your posture has correct alignment with the right amount of muscle tension balanced against gravity.  Proper posture helps you keep your muscles, ligaments, bones and internal organs in their natural position.   When your posture is out of balance or misaligned the pressure on your spine and neural muscular skeletal frame increases;  and can lead to tension, soreness, headaches, back pain and variety of other symptoms. The first step is educating yourself and then taking steps to address your posture.

Image credit: blog.bufferapp.com

The Healing Chiropractic Center of Dr. Jacques Bendavid DC