Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Is Knee Surgery the Answer?

You hear about so many people today having knee surgery after suffering through years of chronic pain due to sports injuries or osteoarthritis. They may have tried pain medication (over-the-counter and prescription strength), massage therapy, bed rest, heat and ice application, even cortisone injections – but the pain continues. It often worsens to the point where the doctor indicates that a surgical solution is the only answer.

But is it?

Interesting story:

A study was conducted involving 180 patients, divided into three groups, who were told they required arthroscopic surgery on a knee to relieve pain and stiffness due to osteoarthritis. Arthroscopic surgery involves an incision into the knee to remove worn cartilage. The first group had surgery called arthroscopic debridement, which removes worn or loose cartilage. The second group had arthroscopic lavage, which flushes painful debris and inflammatory enzymes out from the knee. The third group was all prepped and an incision into the knee was made, but no cartilage was removed.

All three groups were followed and assessed at regular intervals over the next two years and at the end of that time, all groups reported “equal degrees of reduction in pain and increase in activity level.” Interesting, isn’t it? Yet, more than 650,000 of these same procedures are performed each year and, sometimes, healthy cartilage is removed with the worn cartilage, causing even further damage to the patient.

Is there an alternative?

Yes there is – and while surgery may be an option, it should always be the last resort. Chiropractic care offers a non-invasive alternative to drugs and surgery for the type of knee pain cause by osteoarthritis. We recognize that knee pain can be related to pelvic imbalances and spinal problems higher up the spine. Correcting these misalignments often resolve knee pain and ankle problems without the risk of surgery.

Please keep in mind that our practice is committed to helping you live a way of life that focuses on healing and preventing health problems. We don’t believe in masking symptoms with medication or advising that you engage in needless surgery when your body may be fully capable of healing itself.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

This is a Job for SuperFood!

If someone were to ask for a list of the top most nutritious foods, no list would be complete without mentioning the following:

1. Apples– Loaded with Vitamin C, fiber and antioxidants, these crunchy snacks might actually help keep the doctor away, by reducing cholesterol and your risk for cancer and heart disease. But remember to eat the skin!

2. Avocados– Did someone say guacamole? Also high in antioxidants, they help to reduce cholesterol and your risk for cancer and diabetes.

3. Blueberries– A low-calorie fiber and antioxidant source, blueberries may help improve short-term memory and slow down the effects of aging on the brain (i.e., Alzheimer’s).

4. Broccoli– This highly nutritious vegetable, a relative of spinach, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale and collard greens, contains vitamin C and beta-carotene. Broccoli may help prevent diabetes, certain cancers and heart disease.

5. Flaxseeds– Reduce the risk for heart disease by providing plenty of omega-3 fats.

6. Pomegranates– These are receiving a lot of press lately, and little wonder! They contain three times the amount of antioxidants as those found in red wine and green tea. Long-term use of this juice helps to prevent heart disease and reduces the risk of certain cancers and some of the not-so-nice effects of aging (i.e., Alzheimer’s).

7. Salmon– A major source of omega-3 fats, decreases your risk for developing heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, stroke, diabetes and arthritis and may help with depression. Choose wild salmon over farm raised.

8. Sweet Potatoes– They’re loaded with beta-carotene and are great metabolism boosters! They are also a good fiber source, fat-free and low in calories – so they’re ideal for dieters!

9. Walnuts/Almonds– These nuts are good for you! Loaded with nutrients, antioxidants and omega-3 fats, they help reduce cholesterol and keep you heart-healthy. The protein, fiber and healthy fats they contain may make you feel full, so you might not be as prone to over-indulge in foods that are not so good for you!

Proper nutrition, exercise, getting enough rest – all of these are part of a healthy lifestyle that we encourage when you come in for your regular chiropractic care. All work together to make the healthiest you that you can be!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Preservative Perils

ave you ever looked at the list of ingredients on the packaging of items you buy at your local market? Some of them you can’t even pronounce – let alone describe what they are. Should this concern you?

Many of those funny sounding names and abbreviations are food preservatives, and just because they’re on the shelves doesn’t necessarily mean they’re safe.

Naturally, the safest way to keep unwanted preservatives out of your system is to eat a diet that consists mainly of organic fruits and vegetables. However, if you eat processed foods, become mindful of some of the most common food preservatives:
  • BHT, BHA and Propyl Gallate – These are used to keep fats and oils in food from spoiling. In laboratory rats, they have been found to cause cancer. These preservatives usually show up in potato-based snacks, chewing gum, vegetable oil and cereal packaging.
  • Aspartame – A sugar substitute used in beverages and found in diet foods, such as soft drinks and sweetened snacks. This artificial sweetener has been linked to an increase in lymphoma (cancer), leukemia and brain tumors.
  • Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils – Found in products such as crackers, cookies, baked goods, and salad dressings, the process used to make these oils results in the creation of trans fats – prime fodder for the development of heart disease and diabetes.
  • Food Dyes – Blue Dyes 1 and 2, Red Dye 3 and Yellow Dye 6 have been linked to the formation of various types of tumors throughout the body. Read food and pet food labels carefully to avoid these dyes.
  • Sulfites (Sulphites) – These are used to prevent discoloration in certain dried fruits and frozen potatoes. However, they can destroy B1 vitamins in the food and may cause hives and difficulty breathing, particularly in those with a history of asthma and allergies.
  • MSG – Used to flavor food, MSG may cause headaches, nausea/vomiting, and difficulty breathing in those who are sensitive to it.
Become an educated consumer. Read food labels in order to avoid the negative effects of eating foods that contain some of the more dangerous preservatives. Naturally, the best strategy is to eat fresh foods. Try to limit your shopping to the perimeter of the supermarket where there are fewer processed foods.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

“Good” Stress

woman stressed at work
Whenever we think of “stress” we usually think “anxiety.” But is there such a thing as “good” stress?

Stress is the result of a sudden release of hormones which are activated by our body’s natural “fight or flight” response. This response is triggered when we are about to have a car accident or when we perceive some type of immediate (or imagined) danger. Your adrenaline starts pumping, your heart starts to race, your blood pressure elevates and all your senses are put on alert. The “rush” that you feel helps you to avoid potential danger.

It can also sharpen your skills.

Do you know anyone who always waits until the last minute to do things? They say things like, “I function better under stress.” What do they mean when they say that? They enjoy the burst of energy they experience when a deadline is fast approaching. They find that same release of hormones to be stimulating when it is put to useful purpose – such as delivering a work report on time.

Consider some of the recent research that points to the “positive” influence of stress on the body:
- Short bursts of stress hormones can strengthen the immune system and may protect against diseases   associated with aging, such as Alzheimer’s.
- Elevated stress levels prior to surgery increase the chances that a patient will have a better recovery.
- Stress reduces estrogen production in the body, which may help to prevent breast cancer.
- A research study done at Johns Hopkins concluded that children of mothers who had higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol during pregnancy were developmentally ahead of children born to women with lower levels of this hormone.
But, be careful! Long-term stress is debilitating to the body and weakens the immune system. A person who has experienced a loss, such as the death of a spouse or child, a divorce or the loss of their job may suffer from chronic long-term stress that wears them down.

If you are experiencing long-term stress, you’ll want to eat right, get enough sleep, exercise and keep to your regular chiropractic care schedule. Chiropractic helps your body cope with some of the negative effects of stress – to keep you healthy and functioning at your best. So… when you’re stressed out – remember to drop in!