Monday, May 30, 2011

Inflammation: Friend and Foe

Although I had worked with patients for many years who suffered with pain and inflammation, it was not a text book or journal article that made me think of the problem in a big picture.  It was Time Magazine.  After reading the February 15, 2004 issue of Time, shortly after it appeared on the newsstand, I was taken aback by the many diseases and problems with the common thread of inflammation.  It was obvious to me that we don’t suffer from a deficiency of anti-inflammatory drugs.  But what was the problem?  After I spent considerable time looking into the issu
e, it became clear that unwanted inflammation is an expected byproduct of having demanding our body’s to perform in a manner biochemically out of step with with our genetic design.  From poor food choices to excess stress, poor sleep and repetitive micro-trauma, many people have shifted into what is now called a pro-inflammatory state.

Inflammation, which should be a beneficial healing process, is making you hurt needlessly and maybe killing you.

Sunday, May 22, 2011


You may have heard of or read the book, Change Your Brain, Change Your Life, by psychiatrist Daniel Amen, M.D.   Without getting into specifics, the book deals with what Dr. Amen believes are measurable improvements in brain function and morphology (form and structure) that are possible after a special test (a SPECT scan) and customized treatment.  The treatment is used for addiction, depression, ADHD and many other conditions.   I think most people would find it sensible that treatments tspecifically intended to improve the brain can positively affect many things.  But would you have imagined that successfully treating back pain could also improve brain function?   It might be surprising to you that those with chronic back pain have problems with the ability to think, concentrate, formulate ideas, reason and remember.  They lose brain gray matter in parts of the brain associated with pain processing and the emotional components of pain, like depression and anxiety.  More surprising might be a recent finding that when back pain improves, brain function improves, including thickening previously thinned brain cortex.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Chiropractic Adjustments versus Surgery

Most chiropractic doctors, myself included, use spinal adjustments or manipulation as our primary treatment tool.  We are, however, legally able (in California and other jurisdictions) to examine and treat almost all human illnesses so long as we do not prescribe drugs, perform surgery or otherwise puncture the skin. 

While some seek chiropractic treatment for general health purposes, in my practice, as in the majority, patients seek care for spine and related muscle and joint related pain and injury.  Although I offer treatments other than adjustments, virtually all are focused on managing pain, be it by hands-on treatment or prescribing an anti-inflammatory diet.

As stated on my website, chiropractic adjustments improve spinal joint mobility and increase pain tolerance.  There are also studies that suggest adjustments release chemicals that improve blood flow to the area that is treated, may release pain relieving chemicals and decrease circulating inflammatory chemicals, all without the side-effects of medications. (For more information, there are convenient links to my website,, on the right-hand side of this page as well as at the bottom of the page).

Given the nature of my practice and the reason patients typically consult with me, it makes sense to address one of the most common problems, spinal or back pain associated with disc herniation. 

Exciting new research concludes that chiropractic spinal adjustments are as beneficial as surgery for sciatica.  On top of that, the cost savings of chiropractic treatment versus surgery may be enormous.

If you are curious, keep reading.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Find Your Way to the Healthy Road Ahead

Foz do IguaƧu
How do you find your way to the Healthy Road Ahead?

How do you get to the point of controlling or getting rid of pain?  How do find the right tools and  keys to improve your fitness, manage your stress and eat abundantly nutritious foods?  How do you find the Healthy Road Ahead?  Will you know the Healthy Road when you get to it?  Is it straight, windy, narrow or wide?  Is there only one Healthy Road?
First, you have to decide if you want to find the Healthy Road.  If you do, read more and, with later entries, you can learn what to do and how to do it.
Western Sierra Nevada, Hwy 49