Traveling can be rough on the body. Whether you are traveling alone on business or on your way to a sunny resort with your family, long hours in a car or an airplane can leave you stressed, tired, stiff and sore.
“Prolonged sitting can wreak havoc on your body,” says Dr. Scott Bautch, an ACA media spokesperson. “Even if you travel in the most comfortable car or opt to fly first class, certain pressures and forces from awkward positions can result in restricted blood flow. One of the biggest insults to your system from prolonged sitting is the buildup of pressure in the blood vessels in your lower legs. Contracting and relaxing the muscles helps the blood flow properly.”
Dr. Bautch and the ACA suggest the following tips and advice to fight the pains and strains of travel before they occur.
Warm Up, Cool Down
Treat travel as an athletic event. Warm up before settling into a car or plane, and cool down once you reach your destination. Take a brisk walk to stretch your hamstring and calf muscles.
In the Car:
- Adjust the seat so you are as close to the steering wheel as comfortably possible. Your knees should be slightly higher than your hips. Place four fingers behind the back of your thigh closest to your knee. If you cannot easily slide your fingers in and out of that space, you need to re-adjust your seat.
- Consider a back support. Using a support behind your back may reduce the risk of low-back strain, pain or injury. The widest part of the support should be between the bottom of your rib cage and your waistline.
- Exercise your legs while driving to reduce the risk of any swelling, fatigue or discomfort. Open your toes as wide as you can, and count to 10. Count to five while you tighten your calf muscles, then your thigh muscles, then your gluteal muscles. Roll your shoulders forward and back, making sure to keep your hands on the steering wheel and your eyes on the road.
- To minimize arm and hand tension while driving, hold the steering wheel at approximately 3 o’clock and 7 o’clock, periodically switching to 10 o’clock and 5 o’clock.
- Do not grip the steering wheel. Instead, tighten and loosen your grip to improve hand circulation and decrease muscle fatigue in the arms, wrists and hands.
- While always being careful to keep your eyes on the road, vary your focal point while driving to reduce the risk of eye fatigue and tension headaches.
- Take rest breaks. Never underestimate the potential consequences of fatigue to yourself, your passengers and other drivers.
In an Airplane:
- Stand up straight and feel the normal “S” curve of your spine. Then use rolled-up pillows or blankets to maintain that curve when you sit in your seat. Tuck a pillow behind your back and just above the beltline and lay another pillow across the gap between your neck and the headrest. If the seat is hollowed from wear, use folded blankets to raise your buttocks a little.
- Check all bags heavier than 5-10 percent of your body weight. Overhead lifting of any significant amount of weight should be avoided to reduce the risk of pain in the lower back or neck. While lifting your bags, stand right in front of the overhead compartment so the spine is not rotated. Do not lift your bags over your head, or turn or twist your head and neck in the process.
- When stowing belongings under the seat, do not force the object with an awkward motion using your legs, feet or arms. This may cause muscle strain or spasms in the upper thighs and lower back muscles. Instead, sit in your seat first, and using your hands and feet, gently guide your bags under the seat directly in front of you.
- While seated, vary your position occasionally to improve circulation and avoid leg cramps. Massage legs and calves. Bring your legs in, and move your knees up and down. Prop your legs up on a book or a bag under your seat.
- Do not sit directly under the air controls. The draft can increase tension in your neck and shoulder muscles.
Safe Travel For Children:
- Always use a car seat in a car when traveling with children below the age of 4 and weighing less than 40 pounds.
- Ask the airline for their policy on child car seat safety. Car seats for infants and toddlers provide added resistance to turbulent skies, and are safer than the lap of a parent in the event of an unfortunate accident.
- Make sure the car seat is appropriate for the age and size of the child. A newborn infant requires a different seat than a 3-year-old toddler.
- Car seats for infants should always face the rear. In this position, the forces and impact of a crash will be spread more evenly along the back and shoulders, providing more protection for the neck.
- Car seats should always be placed in the back seat of the car-ideally in the center. This is especially important in cars equipped with air bags. If an air bag becomes deployed, the force could seriously injure or kill a child or infant placed in the front seat.
- Make sure the car seat is properly secured to the seat of the vehicle and is placed at a 45-degree angle to support the head of the infant or child.
Chiropractic Care Can Help…
“If you follow these simple tips, you can enjoy pain-free, safe travel,” says Dr. Bautch. “If you do experience pain and stress on your back, doctors of chiropractic are trained and licensed to diagnose and treat problems of the spine and nervous system.”
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, in the United States alone, more than 2 million people are affected by skin cancer, making it the most common form of cancer. One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetimes, which is greater than breast, prostate, lung and colon cancer combined. As doctors of chiropractic seek to become primary care providers, we are required to regularly educate ourselves on subject matter that allows us to better serve our patients. When caught early, skin cancer is among the easiest cancers to cure. Recognizing skin cancer lesions in our patients and making appropriate referrals can be a lifesaving step.
Skin cancer occurs when DNA damage to the skin cells triggers mutations that cause the skin cells to multiply rapidly and become malignant rumors. Cancerous skin lesions may spread and damage nearby tissues and, in some cases, spread throughout the body with deadly results.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology and the American Cancer Society, the five most common forms of skin cancer are:
• Most dangerous
• Originates in the pigment-producing melanocytes
• Often resembles moles and can develop from them
• Usually caused by UV exposure, which includes tanning beds
“ABCDE’s of Melanoma:”
A: Asymmetry of shape
B: Borders are uneven
C: Colors – multiple colors in the same lesion
D: Diameters – usually larger than W’
E: Evolving – changing in color, elevation, shape or size, or any new symptoms such as bleeding, itching and crusting
Basal Cell Carcinoma
• Most common of all cancers
• Affects two million Americans a year or 8 out of 10 people
• Arises in the skin’s basal cells
• Often looks like persistent open sores, scars or pink or red shiny bumps
• Can resemble psoriasis or eczema
• Reddish patch or irritated-looking area on the face, chest, arms or legs
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
• Second-most common of all cancers
• Affects 700,000 Americans a year or 2 out of 10 people
• Uncontrolled growth of squamous cells
• A bump or lump on the skin that can feel rough
• A bump or lump that grows; it may become dome-shaped or crusty and bleed
• A sore that doesn’t heal or heals and returns
• Flat, reddish, scaly patch that grows slowly
• Commonly appears on sun-exposed parts of the body, such as the face, ears, neck, lips and back of hands
• Most common pre-cancer
• More common in individuals with fair skin
• Small, pink, rough, dry scaly patch or growth on skin
• Rough patch or growth that feels irritated or painful when rubbed
• Itching or burning on a patch of skin • Lips feel constantly dry and have a whitish color or feel scaly
Dysplastic Nevi (atypical moles)
• Are benign moles that may resemble melanoma
• Can be predisposed to developing melanoma
• Look like normal moles
• Often larger than moles
• Abnormal shape or color
• Can appear on skin that is not exposed
A simple first step in the fight against skin cancer is encouraging an open and honest dialogue with your patients, Allow them to feel comfortable to discuss the changes they notice on their bodies, A second step in helping you and your patients recognize the signs of skin cancer is displaying posters in your waiting areas and patient treatment rooms, Skin-cancer posters are available through various sources, including the American Academy of Dermarology (www.aad.org) and the American Cancer Society (www.cancer.org).
Displaying posters in your waiting areas and treatment rooms is a valuable resource for you to refer to when examining a patient and also to stimulate your patients to talk about skin changes they notice on themselves.
All skin cancers are associated with UV exposure; there is no good UV exposure. The best advice to protect against skin cancer is to avoid excessive sun exposure and use sunscreens with an SPF of 15 or higher. The skin should be professionally examined by a licensed dermatologist at least once a year, along with regular self-examinations throughout the year, especially if the patient is frequently exposed to the sun.
Obviously, doctors of chiropractic get a good look at people’s backs. Any suspicious skin lesions anywhere on the body should trigger an immediate referral recommendation to a dermatologist. The most common form of treatment is excision; the most common is known as Moh’s surgery, especially for basal and squamous cell carcinoma. This surgery spares healthy tissue, while completely removing the cancerous cells. The cure rate for basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma is 98 percent with Moh’s surgery.
Our patients look to us as highly trained health care professionals, for answers and guidance. The more prepared we are to meet their needs and answer their questions through continual learning, the better care we can provide .
1. American Academy of Dermatology
2. American Cancer Society
James Rosenberg, DC, is national director of chiropractic medicine at Cancer Treatment Centers of America’s Midwestern Regional Medical Center. www.cancercenter.com
Published in June 2012 ACA News.
Before stretching for any activity, breathe in and out, slowly and rhythmically; do not bounce or jerk your body, and stretch as far and as comfortably as you can. Do not follow the “no pain, no gain” rule. Stretching should not be painful. While sitting, prop your heel on a stool or step, keeping the knees straight. Lean forward until you feel a stretch in the back of the thigh, or the hamstring muscle. Hold this position for 15 seconds. Do this once more and repeat with the other leg.
- Stand up, balance yourself, and grab the front of your ankle from behind. Pull your heel toward your buttocks and hold the position for 15 seconds. Do this again and repeat with the other leg.
- While standing, weave your fingers together above your head with the palms up. Lean to one side for 10 seconds, then to the other. Repeat this stretch three times.
- Do the “Hug your best friend” stretch. Wrap your arms around yourself and rotate to one side, stretching as far as you can comfortably go. Hold for 10 seconds and reverse. Repeat two or three times.
It’s fun to get into the holiday spirit and participate in all the festive activities that abound this time of year, but the added demands of the season can also stress the capacities of our bodies. Remember to take the time to care for yourself, too. Try these tips for handling the holidays in a healthy, happy way.
Eating healthy can be a year-round challenge, but it’s especially difficult during the holidays with office parties and family get-togethers complete with cookies and holiday treats. You can enjoy the festive desserts-just don’t overload on them.
- Manage your stress better so it doesn’t affect your holiday fun. Try thinking positively, using aromatherapy, drinking tea or getting a massage.
- Treat travel as an athletic event. Warm up before settling into a car or plane, and cool down once you reach your destination. While seated, vary your position occasionally to improve circulation and avoid leg cramps.
- With all of the parties, the shopping, the decorating and the baking, sleep often takes a backseat during the holidays, but sleep is critical to good health and functioning. Exercise regularly, limit your intake of caffeine and keep your bedroom at a cool, comfortable temperature to help your body get the rest that it needs.
Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Holiday Survival October 20, 2014
October 15, 2014
While the nation and the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex have been gripped in fear over the 2nd US case of the deadly Ebola virus in Dallas, an even bigger threat has hit Texas — enterovirus-D68 (EV-D68), the respiratory killer that strikes children. Of the 691 cases of EV-D68 confirmed from by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now in 46 states and the District of Columbia, 14 of these cases are in Texas. On [9 Oct 2014], the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) confirmed that the children with EV-D68 were residents of Anderson, Bexar, Dallas (7), Denton, and Lubbock (4) counties. One additional confirmed case was in a resident of another state.
EV-D68 is one of the more than 100 non-polio enteroviruses, first identified in California in 1962, according to the CDC; yet, 28 patients in 7 states are experiencing non-characteristic paralysis symptoms, including an 11 year boy from Allen [Collin County, Texas]. He was taken to Children’s Health System of Texas in Dallas for a respiratory infection last July, the Dallas Morning News reported. The youngster was treated and sent home, only his symptoms got worse and he lost the use of his right arm. He returned to the hospital where he’s remained since the summer.
NBC-5 reported that doctors suspect the Reed Elementary 6th grader has EV-D68. He spent much of the past 2 months on a ventilator and continues to have a tracheostomy tube in his throat. He still needs the ventilator at night to breathe. He also remains partially paralyzed. He is improving and is not infectious and will be transferred to a rehabilitation facility where he faces ‘month, not years, of physical therapy’ and he may never fully recover. Part of his therapy is relearning how to talk. Children’s Health neurologist Dr Ben Greenberg said that although the boy tested positive for enterovirus, the hospital is waiting on a final determination from samples sent to the CDC to see if, indeed, it is the D68 strain, according to the Dallas Morning News article. Jeff Allard, Director of Pediatric Nursing at Medical City Children’s Hospital in Dallas, also told NBC-5 in their report that EV-D68 has a telltale sign — wheezing in kids. He said that the wheezing is of concern and when that symptom is present, families are being asked to contact their children’s doctors.
In Lubbock, the Avalanche-Journal reported an additional case on [10 Oct 2014], although it was not recorded with the DSHS. If confirmed, this would bring the Texas EV-D68 tally up to 15.
EV-D68 is not new. What is new is the dramatic jump in numbers of children showing up at hospitals around the country in 2014. ‘In about 2 dozen cases reported in the United States and Canada, the patients developed polio-like symptoms. A smaller cluster of polio-like cases were identified in California from August 2012 to July 2013,’ the Dallas Morning News included in their article.
Additionally, Chris Van Deusen, spokesman for the DSHS told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal that concerns were raised about EV-D68 earlier this summer  in yet another part of the country. He said, ‘There were 2 clusters of illness that were unusual — one in Chicago and one in Kansas City. It was a really sort of intense cluster of cases. A lot of children were showing up in the hospital with respiratory symptoms around the same time. That caused concern because that was unusual. That sort of sounded the alarm and started people looking for the virus. We haven’t seen that sort of thing in Texas, but we have seen cases.’ Several years ago, another strand of enterovirus, human enterovirus EV 71, produced cases of illness and paralysis in South America and Australia [and hand-foot-mouth disease in South-East Asia – Mod.CP], according to the Dallas Morning News article on the Allen youth. Still, medical professionals caution against panic over EV-D68. Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS) Medical Director/Health Authority Dr Christopher Perkins said on [26 Sep 2014] that not all respiratory illnesses occurring are EV-D68. This also is cold and flu season.
The enterovirus season runs from July through October. Almost all of the confirmed cases of the virus this year  have been among children the CDC reported. Infants, children, and teenagers are at higher risk than adults for getting infected and sick with enteroviruses like EV-D68. The CDC stated that is ‘because they have not been exposed to these types of viruses before, and they do not yet have immunity (protection) built up to fight the disease.’ They emphasized that children with asthma or a history of wheezing are at greater risk for severe respiratory illness from EV-D68. The CDC site states that EV-D68 ‘has been detected in specimens from samples submitted for testing from 5 patients who died. None of these children were in Texas. FOX News reported a 6th case on [12 Oct 2014]. EV-D68 is now being blamed for the death of a Michigan toddler. These cases are all under investigation.
EV-D68 has flu-like symptoms. On the mild side of the spectrum that may include a fever, runny nose, cough, and body or muscle aches, while more severe symptoms include wheezing and difficulty breathing. The CDC recommends a few tips to prevent catching or even spreading EV-D68 [or any other enterovirus – Mod.CP]. Washing hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds tops the list followed by avoiding physical contact such as kissing, hugging, and sharing cups or utensils with people who are sick. Covering one’s mouth when coughing and sneezing into a tissue or shirtsleeve instead of a hand is also suggested. Parents are advised to clean and disinfect toys and doorknobs if someone is sick and to keep children out of school when sick.Posted in Blog, Viral Infections | Comments Off on USA – Human enterovirus D68 update September 12, 2014
The CDC says 6.1% of American children were taking an ADHD medication like Adderall or Ritalin in 2011 (the latest data available), up from 4.8% in 2007. Eleven percent of children were diagnosed with ADHD in 2011, also up from 7.8% in 2003. Despite the well-documented dangers of ADHD drugs (and legitimate questions about the diagnosis), the trend doesn’t seem likely to reverse any time soon.
A new study offers hope, however, finding that regular half-hour sessions of exercise before school helped quell ADHD symptoms, improving mood, attentiveness, behavior, even academic performance. Some allopathic doctors who treat kids diagnosed with ADHD say they already prescribe exercise as part of therapy, and teachers have found that exercise during the day helps their ADHD-diagnosed kids. The new research may make exercise a more commonplace treatment modality, however, perhaps one day, replacing harmful drugs altogether. The study followed 202 children in Vermont and Indiana over 12 weeks. It was published recently in The Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology.
Source: “Researchers hope physical activity can stem growing use of ADHD medications,” Foxnews.com, September 9, 2014.Posted in ADHD, Blog, Exercise & Fitness | Comments Off on Exercise Offers Hope for ADHD/Prescription Drug Epidemic September 12, 2014
Tempted to reach for a “healthy” bottle of 100% fruit juice when thirst calls? How about a refreshing green tea or bottled fruit smoothie found in many health food stores? Beware of obscene sugar content. With dietary sugar now considered a major public health concern, it’s instructive to take a closer look at where sugar can “hide.”
To better understand dangerous sugar content in popular bottled drinks, point your patients to this recent set of infographics (see end of article). It’s no surprise, perhaps, that colas like Pepsi and Coke contain astronomical amounts-a 20 ounce bottle of Coca-Cola contains 65 grams of sugar (over 10 teaspoons!), the same amount in five Little Debbie Swiss Rolls. But who would have thought 100% apple juice is not much better? A 15.2 ounce bottle of Minute Maid apple juice contains 49 grams of sugar, which is equivalent to scarfing down 10 Oreo cookies. As you reach for your 23-ounce can of Arizona Green Tea, consider it contains the same sugar content as 20 Hershey’s Kisses (a 20-ounce bottle of Lipton = 12 Hershey Kisses). An all-natural Naked Berry Blast smoothie is like eating eight Chips Ahoy cookies. Feeling a little queasy yet?Posted in Blog, Diet | Comments Off on “SWEET” Infographics: How Cookies and Drinks Stack Up Sugar-wise July 22, 2014
By Nataliya Schetchikova, PhD
People with vertigo know that the law of gravity prevails, but their brains get confused. They experience an illusion of movement, feeling like they are tilting in space, or that the world is spinning or moving around them. Nausea, sweating, headaches, vomiting and fatigue may add to their discomfort.
Causes of Vertigo
Vertigo can be caused by many problems, most of which originate in the peripheral or central nervous system.
The causes of vertigo that stem from the peripheral nervous system include benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), acute vestibular neuronitis, labyrinthitis and Ménière’s disease.
Acoustic neuroma, migraines, cervicogenic vertigo and multiple sclerosis are all related to the central nervous system.
Vertigo can also be caused by a wide variety of medications such as antidepressants, anticonvulsants, antihypertensives, diuretics, barbiturates, salicylates (e.g., aspirin), sedatives or hypnotics, some prescription and over-the-counter cold medicines, and some antibiotics and antineoplastics.
Diabetes mellitus, hypothyroidism, high blood triglycerides, hypoglycemia, and food allergies or gluten sensitivity can also cause or worsen vertigo.
Motor vehicle accidents, falls or other types of traumas or illnesses can also be associated with vertigo.
To diagnose the cause of vertigo, your health care provider will perform an examination, including a variety of positioning tests, to check if they will reproduce the sensation of motion. Other tests may also be necessary.
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo
About 65 percent of vertigo is diagnosed as Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)—a result of calcium debris in the inner ear.
BPPV is usually treated through the Epley maneuver—a procedure in which the patient is rapidly moved from lying on one side to lying on the other, to move the calcium debris to a less sensitive location in the inner ear.
Studies show that up to 80 percent of patients recover after a single treatment with Epley maneuver, and most BPPV cases respond to two to three treatments with Epley.
Epley maneuver is contraindicated in patients with severe carotid stenosis, heart diseases and severe neck problems, such as cervical spondylosis with myelopathy or advanced rheumatoid arthritis.
Even without treatment, BPPV tends to resolve in weeks or months and also has a tendency to recur.
Vestibular rehabilitation exercises (called the Brandt-Daroff exercises) can also be performed at home to help treat BPPV.
Other Types of Vertigo
Treatment for vertigo caused by other conditions depends on the individual case.
Ménière’s disease patients can benefit from a low-salt diet.
Treatment for vertigo associated with migraine headaches should include dietary changes, such as reduction or elimination of aspartame, chocolate, alcohol and caffeine, in addition to exercise, stress reduction, adequate sleep, and vestibular rehabilitation exercises.
Vestibular neuronitis and labyrinthitis, which are often attributed to viral infections, can also be treated with vestibular exercises.
Working with your doctor of chiropractic to improve postural issues can also bring relief to the patients whose vertigo is exacerbated by sedentary lifestyle or working in certain positions for extended periods.
In patients with cervicogenic vertigo, a general ergonomic assessment of work and life activities can help identify the factors contributing to the problem.
Nutrition and Stress Reduction
Alcohol, nicotine, fried foods and excessive salt intake are potential sources of trouble for patients of vertigo.
Vincopectine, vitamin B6 and ginkgo biloba may be helpful in reducing vertigo.
Chromium may be helpful in patients whose vertigo is caused by a blood sugar imbalance.
Physical exercise and meditation, adequate sleep and other stress reduction techniques can all help contribute to recovery from vertigo and should be a part of the treatment regimen.
Your doctor of chiropractic can help create an appropriate exercise program for you and counsel you regarding healthy lifestyle and stress relief.
Vertigo patients who present with the following signs should immediately go to the emergency room:
- Double vision
- Difficulty speaking
- Difficulty waking up or staying awake
- Difficulty walking
- Inappropriate actions
- Difficulty controlling arms or legs
- Abnormal eye movements
Whether you ride on-road or off, pedal casually or competitively, it’s important to pay close attention to how your bicycle fits your body. A properly fitted bike will allow you to ride comfortably and safely, avoid injury, and produce more power, so you can go faster with the same or less effort. In general, when fitting a bicycle, there are five basic components to consider.
Frame size is not necessarily dependent on your height; rather, it is more a matter of leg length. Simply, the frame should be easily straddled with both feet flat on the ground, and with an inch or two of clearance for a road of hybrid bike and about four inches of clearance for a mountain bike.
Saddle height should be set so that your knee is slighlty bent when the pedal is at its lowest position and the ball of your foot is on the pedal. A saddle, or seat, that is too high or too low can cause pain and lead to injuries of the back and knees.
Saddle position can be checked by sitting on your bicycle (hold onto a friend or a stationary object) and rotating the pedals until they are horizontal. Your forward knee should be directly over the respective pedal axle when the ball of your foot is on the pedal.
Saddle tilt can be gauged simply by feel or by using a carpenter’s level. Generally speaking, your seat should be level with the ground. If the saddle tips too much in either direction, pressure will be placed on your arms, shoulders and lower back.
Handlebar position and distance is mostly a matter of personal preference because it affects shoulder, neck and back comfort. Typically, handlebars are positioned higher for comfort (a more upright riding position) and lower for improved aerodynamics.
Always Wear a Helmet! A bicycle crash can happen at any time; however, according to the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration, a properly fitted bicycle helmet reduces the risk of head injury by as much as 85 percent and the risk of brain injury by as much as 88 percent. The following are tips to help ensure the correct helmet fit.
The helmet should be level on the head, and it must cover the forehead.
The Y of the straps should meet just below the ear.
The chin strap should be snug against the chin so that when you open the mouth very wide, the helmet pulls down a little.
Put your palm on the front of the helmet, and push up and back. If it moves more than an inch, more fitting is required.
Shake your head around. If the helmet dislodges, work on the strap adjustments.
Do not wear a hat under the helmet.
All helmets sold in bike shops must be approved by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and should carry a CPSC sticker.
Food allergies and intolerances are often misunderstood. Although many people have adverse reactions to certain foods, true food allergy-a reaction triggered by the immune system-is uncommon.
What is a food allergy?
Food allergies occur when the immune system has an abnormal response to an otherwise harmless food. Once the immune system mistakenly decides that a particular food is harmful, it creates specific antibodies to it. The next time you eat that food, the immune system releases neutralizing chemicals, including histamine, to protect the body. These chemicals trigger a cascade of allergic symptoms that can affect the respiratory system, gastrointestinal tract, skin and/or the cardiovascular system.
What is food intolerance?
A food intolerance is a digestive system response-not an immune system response. It occurs when something in a food irritates a person’s digestive system or when a person is unable to properly digest or break down the food-often due to a lack of a specific enzyme.
If you have a food allergy, eating even the smallest amount of the food may trigger a serious allergic reaction. But if you have a food intolerance, you can often eat small amounts of the food without a problem.Posted in Allergy, Blog | Comments Off on Food Allergy and Intolerance ← Older posts Newer posts →