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Besides seeing her shortly after her original accident 24 years ago, I saw Gretchen two years ago in January for TISSUE REMODELING, and had not seen her since (I originally treated her THORACO-LUMBAR SPINE and HIP AND BUTTOCK AREA). She returned yesterday for treatment of her neck & upper back (I also did a little bit of work on her low
While FASCIAL ADHESIONS are certainly not the only cause of pain that doctors sometimes cannot get a handle on, it is certainly a substantial one. For those of you coping with chronic pain, chronic sickness, or a chronic inability to do the things you love, I have a NIFTY LITTLE PROTOCOL that might help get you back on track. It's certainly not a solution for everyone or everything, but at least take a moment or two to glance at it, as it might prove to be a game-changer for you or a loved one (and best of all, it's completely free).
THE ANNUAL HEAD-SCRATCHER
EXPERTS CONTEMPLATE NEXT YEAR'S FLU SEASON
Baby even the losers.... get lucky sometimes. The late Tom Petty singing about the hopefulness of next year's flu vaccine in 1979's Even the Losers (Damn the Torpedoes)
Just yesterday the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report said that "Most (69%) influenza infections were caused by A(H3N2) viruses." They then said that vaccine effectiveness (VE) against this strain "was estimated to be 25%." Is this true? Firstly, if you click the previous link, you'll see that someone, whether intentionally or unintentionally, is wrong (VE is almost always exaggerated by the CDC before being quietly downgraded in the summer --- HERE). And secondly, even though Dr. L discussed the importance of targeting the correct strains, he failed to explain how difficult (impossible) it really is, because as I've shown you in the past, "matched years" (correctly guessing which three or four strains should be included in next year's vaccine that's being made this year) occur approximately once a decade. Not surprising considering there are literally thousands of variant strains of flu virus.
The CDC's Timothy Uyeki was then quoted about his opinion of antivirals --- the drugs many doctors recommend if you get the flu --- the Tamiflu that has been in such a shortage due to this year's panic. I'll not talk about what he said, but if you're interested in seeing just how badly you've been hoodwinked concerning this all-but-completely ineffective drug, take a look at THIS SHORT POST. As is is typical, there was the usual whining by government officials about not having enough of your hard-earned tax dollars for research ("this takes a lot more funding"). And as I often do with articles that can only be described as propaganda pieces, I headed directly to the comment section, where Dr. JP chimed in with his two cents.
"Correct that a flu vaccine is 100% ineffective if it is not taken. At present it seems to be 70-83% ineffective if it is taken. (that's 17-30% effective, right?) But the only way you know if a treatment or prophylactic is ineffective is if you get the condition you're trying to prevent. Wow -- 70-83 percent of people who get a flu shot get the flu anyway? That's a pretty useless vaccine. If you don't receive the treatment and you don't acquire the condition -- that's not ineffective, it is null data -- and who's going to report it anyway!"
Dr. JP went on to describe the science behind VE as "dodgy statistical manipulation". It is dodgy, considering that the director for the University of Minnesota's Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, Dr. Michael Osterholm, recently discussed how inflated CDC VE stats really are. I quote, "The vaccine is, at best, around 10% effective on H3N2." The words "at best" mean that it's doubtful it's even 10% effective.
The CDC created a built-in excuse for the future VE downgrade that is sure to come, when they admitted that, "the findings in this report are subject to at least four limitations." Yes they are, and if people would simply read my posts on FLU VACCINES, they would understand that the "science" behind those limitations is as dodgy as the statistics themselves. What does the science show? Follow a few of these links to see just how crappy these vaccines really are, which is creating a huge black eye on the profession. Think about it this way; if the scientific and medical communities truly believed everything they adoringly tout concerning EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE, they would treat the flu like what it really is --- A BAD COLD.
Notice that I earlier mentioned the word panic. This was not an oversight nor was it hype. Governmental organizations and their partners in crime from the private sector (BIG PHARMA), purposeful create, aggressively cultivate, and then actively promote an environment of fear (panic) surrounding each and every flu season for one reason --- to sell more vaccines. The same can be said for antivirals such as TAMIFLU, which are themselves no better than about 10% effective. Helen Branswell's article for Thursday's edition of STAT (Three Quarters of People Who Got Flu Shot This Year Weren't Protected Against Most Common Strain) quoted CDC director, Dr. Anne Schuchat as saying, "We are a bit concerned that the performance of the vaccine right now might reduce interest in getting vaccinated in the future, but we have the other side that flu was just so bad so far this season, so many people have been sick and see how miserable it is."
But was this year's flu really that bad, and could it legitimately be described as "worse" than other recent seasons? Or, was the media --- a group who is collectively and constantly looking for some "DIRTY LAUNDRY" --- selling fear and panic in order to juice their ratings? You be the judge after listening to Branswell quote from this week's CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (I am cherry-picking a bit here).
"The H3N2 vaccine effectiveness in children 6 months of age to 8 years old was 51 percent. The text of the report did not point out that in children aged 9 to 17, there appeared to be no protection at all against H3N2 viruses. So far this season 63 children have died from flu. While tragic, that number is actually low in comparison with other recent seasons. In older adults, the H3N2 vaccine performance was much less impressive. Seniors aged 65 and older saw their risk of needing medical care for flu cut by 17 percent, and in adults 50 to 64 — an age group with an unusually high hospitalization rate this winter — the H3N2 component’s effectiveness was 10 percent. Those numbers correspond to what was seen last year in those age groups in the U.S. and also to vaccine effectiveness estimates from Canada that were released earlier this month."
How can you tell this is statistical rubbish? Ask yourself how in the world Vaccine Effectiveness could be over 50% for children 8 and under, but 0% for those ages 9-17? This stat alone shows you how bogus the numbers are. And as for the elderly, the latest Cochrane Review on flu vaccines and the elderly from last week (HERE) showed exactly what the last Cochrane Review for flu vaccines and the elderly showed several years ago; that VE hovers in the nether regions for this age group. That's not me folks, that's Cochrane; the most prestigious and respected producer of medical meta-analytics on the planet (HERE). The CDC is MANIPULATING THE DATA (playing statistical games) to try and keep a lid on just how bad things really are with flu vaccines (VE).
Allow me to show you an example of data manipulation concerning the flu vaccine that I stole from the previous link. "A few days ago I was discussing the brand new Cochrane Review concerning flu shots in healthy adults with my brother (AN ER DOCTOR who has never been a fan of the shots). He brought up an interesting point. Even though the data of hundreds of studies since 1965, containing over 80,000 subjects, was crunched to show that the vaccine lowers a healthy adult's chance of contracting flu from 2% to 1% (a whopping 1 percentage point), he rightly predicted that industry would claim that the unvaccinated group had 100% more flu than the vaccinated group (after all, two is 100% greater than one)."
Here's another example of data manipulation concerning flu vaccines that you undoubtedly didn't hear about from the mainstream press. Enter Dr. De Serres. Dr. Gaston De Serres biography for CIRN (the Canadian Immunization Research Network) reads thusly. "Dr. De Serres is a medical epidemiologist at the Institute National de Santé Publique du Québec and a professor of Epidemiology at the Faculty of Medicine at Laval University. Dr. De Serres works in the area of control and prevention of infectious disease with a focus on vaccine-preventable diseases and respiratory infections, vaccine effectiveness and vaccine safety." His specialty is flu vaccine. I mention Dr. De Serres only because he was the lead author for a study (Influenza Vaccination of Healthcare Workers: Critical Analysis of the Evidence for Patient Benefit Underpinning Policies of Enforcement) published in last January's issue of PLoS One. Listen to the conclusions of his team of a dozen medical researchers from facilities around the world.
"Annual influenza vaccination for health care workers (HCWs) is widely endorsed and increasingly enforced on the basis that it will reduce influenza-associated morbidity and mortality in patients. Two pivotal systematic reviews and meta-analyses have been published summarizing and pooling these four RCT [studies] findings, but reached different conclusions about the strength of that evidence. Whereas the review conducted by investigators of the CDC characterized the overall quality of evidence as moderate, the Cochrane review concluded that the evidence was insufficient to support HCW influenza vaccination as an approach to reduce patient risk. Such uncertainty in the quality of the evidence warrants closer examination. This is particularly important given that compulsory or coercive (e.g. vaccinate-or-mask) policies have been extrapolated in some jurisdictions to not only include HCWs providing direct patient care, but also to include all staff in acute-care hospitals and other healthcare settings."
After making all of their calculations with extremely generous statistics (among other concessions, De Serres' team assumed a flu vaccine VE of 60% --- significantly better than what's seen in a typical year), they concluded that "Through this detailed critique and quantification of the evidence, policies of enforced influenza vaccination of HCWs to reduce patient risk lack a sound empirical basis. While HCWs have an ethical and professional duty not to place their patients at increased risk, so also have advocates for compulsory vaccination a duty to ensure that the evidence they cite is valid and reliable."
Because the evidence for MANDATORY FLU VACCINES FOR HEALTHCARE WORKERS is so "unreliable" (some HCW's understand this, therefore there is a significant segment of them who do not want the shots), De Serre's team concluded that the only viable way to protect patients is for all healthcare workers to wear a mask, not just those who declined to be immunized. "A coherent prevention policy to reduce risk to patients to the extent possible would dictate the wearing of masks by all HCWs, vaccinated or unvaccinated, for the duration of the winter respiratory season. We are unaware of such extreme policies anywhere to date." So, the only thing that might help stop the spread of flu in institutional settings isn't even being done.
This is an emotional, hot-button issue. Make sure to look at it logically, and not based on the fear purposefully created by people who either don't understand the evidence (those who are currently 'drinking the koolaid') or who completely understand it and realize just how crappy it really is. BTW, the second group is far scarier than the first.
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Hopefully I'm about done with flu season posts for awhile. It's just that misinformation about the flu vaccine needs to be refuted by common sense, truth, logic, and real science. If you are tired of the propaganda and want to reach others with this message, the easiest way to reach them is by liking, sharing, or following on FACEBOOK.
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN
ULTRA-PROCESSED FOOD AND CANCER
According to natural health expert, Dr. Adrew Weil (What are Ultra-Processed Foods?), UPF's "include soft drinks, packaged snacks and baked goods, and reconstituted meat products such as chicken and fish nuggets. Instant noodles and commercially produced soups also qualify." But as you'll soon see, UPF's go far beyond the obvious foods seen on this list. Another study from BMJ (this one published in 2016 --- Ultra-Processed Foods and Added Sugars in the US Diet...) concluded that......
"Ultra-processed foods were defined as industrial formulations which, besides salt, sugar, oils and fats, include substances not used in culinary preparations, in particular additives used to imitate sensorial qualities of minimally processed foods and their culinary preparations. Ultra-processed foods comprised 57.9% of energy intake, and contributed 89.7% of the energy intake from added sugars. The content of added sugars in ultra-processed foods was eight-fold higher than in processed foods. High intake of added sugars increases the risk of weight gain, excess body weight and obesity; type 2 diabetes, higher serum triglycerides and high blood cholesterol; higher blood pressure and hypertension; stroke; coronary heart disease; cancer; and dental caries. Moreover, foods higher in added sugars are often a source of empty calories with minimum essential nutrients or dietary fiber, which displace more nutrient-dense foods and lead, in turn, to simultaneously overfed and undernourished individuals."
Over-fed and under-nourished. That pretty much sums up a huge and growing segment of Western society (no pun intended). And even though it's on this two year old list, the latest study is specifically about the relationship between UPF's and CANCER. Speaking of UPF's and cancer; while most people have at least heard that SUGAR FEEDS CANCER, the medical community has been slow to embrace Dr. Otto Warburg's work --- odd considering he won the Nobel Prize for Medicine back in 1931 (HERE). Once you realize that added sugar makes up the largest portion of UPF's, it's not difficult to argue that the medical community needs to step up to the plate and change the way they deal with their average patient (HERE).
An interesting "proof" of a phenomenon routinely found in EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE is that less than six months ago the American Journal of Nutrition (Ultra-Processed Foods in Human Health: A Critical Appraisal) said this about the ADDICTIVE NATURE (or non-addictive as their authors determined) of UPF's. "This commentary challenges many of the basic arguments of [the relationship between] the link between food and health. We believe that there is no evidence to uphold the view that ultra-processed foods and drinks give rise to hyper-palatable foods associated with a quasi-addictive effect." This statement becomes especially interesting once you realize the study's lead co-author, Dr. Michael J. Gibney, "had primary responsibility for final content... serving on scientific committees for Nestlé and Cereal Partners Worldwide." Here's an article about NESTLE that will make you puke, and the CPW is a joint effort between Nestle and General Mills to develop BREAKFAST CEREALS.
After looking at 105,000 people without cancer and adjusting for confounders (sociodemographic and lifestyle characteristics, age, sex, occupation, educational level, smoking status, number of children, height, weight, dietary intakes, physical activity, personal and family history of diseases, drug use including use of hormonal treatment for menopause and oral contraceptives, and menopausal status) these authors determined that (quote is somewhat cherry-picked)......
"Main food groups contributing to ultra-processed food intake were sugary products (26%) and drinks (20%), followed by starchy foods and breakfast cereals (16%) and ultra-processed fruits and vegetables (15%). Ultra-processed food intake was associated with increased risks of overall cancer and breast cancer. The association with overall cancer risk was statistically significant in all strata of the population investigated. Ultra-processed foods have also been associated with a higher glycemic response and a lower satiety effect [it never makes you "full"]. Excessive energy, fat, and sugar intakes contribute to weight gain and risk of obesity, with obesity recognized as a major risk factor for breast, stomach, liver, colorectal, esophagus, pancreas, kidney, gallbladder, endometrium, ovary, liver, and (advanced) prostate cancers and hematological malignancies [leukemia]. For instance, body fatness in post-menopausal women is estimated to contribute 17% of the breast cancer burden."
And this is just for starters. The authors went on to talk about the effects of plastics, chemicals, and other "ENDOCRINE DISRUPTING" packaging materials commonly used in UPF's, as well as the effects that additives such as dyes, MSG, ASPARTAME, and several others, have on PHYSIOLOGY / HOMEOSTASIS, particularly when it comes to GUT HEALTH and MICROBIOME (remember that 80% of your immune system is found in the Gut --- HERE). Although you could correctly guess what the most common UPF's are (see pics at top of page), some might surprise you. The list included "fried potatoes, biscuits, bread, coffee, sweet pastries, dairy desserts, ice cream, fruit purée, fruit in syrup, fruit and vegetable juices, soups and broths, sandwiches, pizzas, salted pastries [crackers]." Also mentioned were processed "starchy foods (cereals, legumes, or potatoes)."
What's the solution to this mess? First, control your BLOOD SUGAR. This is done via controlling your intake of simple carbohydrates. Secondly, because generic LOW CARB DIETS can be loaded with all sorts of garbage, including TRANS or other junk fats, I suggest you go PALEO. Some of you might do great with a KETOGENIC DIET as well (click THIS LINK to watch a cool video by a researcher at Pitt using Ketogenic Diets in his lab to successfully address cancer). And for those of you struggling with serious chronic health issues and rampant inflammation (HERE), be sure and take a look at THIS POST for a nice little protocol that will at least point the average person in the right direction.
FASCIA, INFLAMMATION, FIBROSIS, AND CHRONIC PAIN / CHRONIC DISEASE
I've talked at length on my site about fibrosis, the debate as to whether it's really "scar tissue" or not (HERE), as well as a characteristic mentioned above --- "THICKENING" ("DENSIFICATION"). There is an inaccuracy above that I must clear up as well. When Oxford says that fibrosis is usually the result of injury, this is simply not true. Or at least not true in the sense that most people think of an injury as a physical trauma. Listen to what the authors of a study published earlier this month in Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews (Scarring vs. Functional Healing: Matrix-Based Strategies to Regulate Tissue Repair) showing that fibrosis goes way beyond CONNECTIVE TISSUES.
"All vertebrates possess mechanisms to restore damaged tissues with outcomes ranging from regeneration to scarring. Unfortunately, the mammalian response to tissue injury most often culminates in scar formation. Accounting for nearly 45% of deaths in the developed world, fibrosis is a process that stands diametrically opposed to functional tissue regeneration. Wound healing is guided by precise deposition and remodeling of the extracellular matrix (ECM). The ECM, comprising the non-cellular component of tissues, is a signaling depot that is differentially regulated in scarring and regenerative healing. Strategies to improve wound healing outcomes therefore require methods to limit fibrosis."
Allow me to take you through this bit by bit. First off, I've shown you previously that fibrosis is the number one cause of death, not just in America, but worldwide (HERE), directly accounting for almost one death in two. Secondly, bear in mind that there is a known reason for this --- inflammation always results in fibrosis (HERE). And while this inflammation can certainly be the result of a physical trauma, it can also be driven by other things, including food sensitivities (HERE is a common one), sugar and junk carbs (HERE), PARASITES, BLACK MOLD, DYSBIOSIS, POLLUTION, TOXIC METALS, OCCULT INFECTIONS, POOR POSTURE, CHEMICAL EXPOSURE, and on, and on, and on. And ultimately, it all leads to inflammation, which in turn leads to fibrosis (HERE), which itself leads to various sorts of dysfunction(s) depending on where it's found (heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, etc, etc), with the ultimate dysfunction being death. Today, however, we are going to focus on inflammation and fibrosis of the connective tissue fascia.
FASCIA is the tough membranous cover that permeates muscles (it's also the covering for nerves, blood vessels, bones, etc, etc). It can become "fibrous" (fibrotic) due to either local inflammation from an injury (HERE) or systemic inflammation from the many causes mentioned earlier (HERE). Either way, as joints become dysfunctional (even slightly so), BIOMECHANICS can become screwed up enough to start causing degenerative changes. While DEGENERATIVE CHANGES in and of themselves are not typically enough to cause pain in their earlier stages, few would argue that the less degeneration you have, the better. Enter TISSUE REMODELING.
As you can see from watching a few of our VIDEO TESTIMONIALS, it is important --- scratch that; it's imperative --- to get injured / insulted tissues moving and keep them moving in order to prevent fibrosis and the subsequent problems that follow. A study from the Tissue Repair Laboratory of the State University of Rio de Janerio (Mechanical Tension Prevents Fibrosis by Reducing Collagen Deposition After Injury On Subcutaneous Layer In Mice) provided some proof. Two groups of mice had their THORACOLUMBAR FASCIA "injured" by a microsurgical procedure. The first group underwent specific stretches, while the second did not. After later looking at the tissues under a microscope the authors concluded that, "Microinjury resulted in a significant increase on collagen deposition in the absence of stretch, but not in the presence of stretch. Brief tissue stretch attenuated the collagen deposition following tissue injury. These results have potential relevance to propose treatments of different types of excessive scars."
There are only about a million and one ways to mechanically load your soft tissues, including many that you can do on your own (HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, or HERE). What does moving injured or inflamed soft tissues do besides fire off PROPRIOCEPTON? Let's take a look at an issue of Molecular Basis of Disease (Tissue Mechanics and Fibrosis) that was published 5 years ago this month (everything in today's post is cherry-picked due to restraints on time and space). The study kicks off with the statement "Mechanical forces are essential to the development and progression of fibrosis." This means that if you can control (or at least manage) said forces, you will ultimately change the progression of the healing process and control / manage deposition of collagen (fibrosis) that I usually refer to as "SCAR TISSUE FORMATION".
The authors talked about the many different forces at work in tissue --- pushing forces, pulling forces, hydraulic forces, etc. What do these forces do and why is it important to learn how to harness them? "These forces collectively regulate the phenotype and proliferation of myofibroblasts and other cells in damaged tissues, the activation of growth factors, and the structure and mechanics of the matrix – all of which are central to fibrosis." This is why understanding FIBROBLASTIC ACTIVITY as it related to both normal and abnormal fibroproliferation is a big deal. And as for the fibroblasts, the authors state "It is important to note that changes in the mechanical properties of tissues can both cause and result from fibrosis." In other words, biomechanical / biochemical changes cause fibrosis, and fibrosis causes biomechanical / biochemical changes. And in similar fashion to compound interest, you can either make these changes work for you or they will likely work against you; quite possibly for the rest of your life (can anyone say 'Vicious Cycle'?). The authors ended by concluding....
"Mechanical forces are increasingly appreciated to play a role in fibrosis on a par with soluble [chemical] factors. Matrix stiffness is so far the best-appreciated mechanical stimulus in fibrosis, and liver and lung are the tissues best studied. Even for these tissues and stimuli, our understanding of forces, their effects, and mechanotransduction in fibrosis is rudimentary."
The first thing I want you to grasp is the concept of MECHANOTRANSDUCTION --- the process of turning mechanical energy into electrical / chemical messages that the body understands. As you might have guessed, it's compromised in fibrotic tissues. And as for the "soluble factors," this would not only cover INFLAMMATION (a chemical process that is not synonymous with either swelling or infection), but all sorts of growth factors and enzymes as well. Speaking of enzymes, thirteen researchers from the surgical departments of Stanford and the Oregon Health and Science University teamed up to publish a study (Focal Adhesion Kinase Links Mechanical Force to Skin Fibrosis via Inflammatory Signaling) in Nature Medicine.
The study kicked things off by saying, "Traditional cytokine-based paradigms for fibrosis largely overlook the role of cell-matrix interactions and physical cues in disease pathogenesis." In English, this means that although mainstream scientists have known about the effects of CYTOKINES (inflammation) on the development and proliferation of fibrosis for a very long time, only recently are researchers appreciating mechanical effects on the ECM (the gel part of the connective tissue). Listen as these authors talk about potential causes and solutions for "exuberant fibroproliferation ---- a common complication after injury."
Because inflammatory mechanisms are strongly implicated in fibrosis, we examined whether FAK modulates cytokine/chemokine signaling. One key component of wound repair that is often overlooked is mechanical force, which regulates cell-matrix interactions through intracellular focal adhesion components, including focal adhesion kinase (FAK). Here we report that FAK is activated after cutaneous injury and that this process is potentiated by mechanical loading. Fibroblast-specific FAK knockout mice have substantially less inflammation and fibrosis than control mice in a model of hypertrophic scar formation. Inflammatory chemokine pathways are a major mechanism by which FAK mechanotransduction induces fibrosis.
In other words, FAK --- an enzyme that controls, regulates, and essentially causes "focal adhesions" (can anyone say FASCIAL ADHESIONS?) is not only found in great concentrations in said adhesions, but is "activated" by injury, and "potentiated" by loading said tissues in a mechanical fashion (this process is known as TISSUE DEFORMATION). What does tissue loading entail? Tissue loading is any sort of mechanical stimulus that pushes or pulls tissue, and is accomplished by the very things mentioned earlier; exercise, stretching, bodywork, etc, etc. "It is possible that in addition to these chemokine-mediated mechanisms, FAK may also control fibrosis by directly activating fibroblast collagen production... Based on these studies, we propose a model for load-induced fibrosis whereby mechanical force activates both MCP-1 secretion and collagen production through FAK to perpetuate a ‘vicious cycle’ of fibroproliferation after injury." Stimulating the production of collagen through INCREASING FIBROBLASTIC ACTIVITY is a good thing, but in cases where inflammation (cytokines, chemokines, etc) is rampant or the mechanical loading is "abnormal," the end result can be crazy amounts of Scar Tissue.
SCAR TISSUE AND FASCIAL ADHESIONS
WHY DOES IT MATTER?
"It is fairly common for people to have an anesthetic, or numb, area around an operation site owing to inevitable damage to superficial sensory nerves in the skin; this usually recovers in time. Extreme sensitivity is most unusual. Your GP's reassurance suggests that this condition is not indicative of anything nasty. However, the pain sounds very unpleasant so do go and impress this on your doctor if the situation is still causing concern. Yours sincerely, The NetDoctor Medical Team."
Not common? Most unusual? Not nasty? Allow me to show you that if you are struggling with some sort of adhesion-induced pain issue (whether you realize it or not), it's not only common, it's common enough that numerous experts in the field are discussing it in some form or fashion. Below are some random quotes from the first couple pages of a Google search.
- "Scar tissue pain occurs, for example, after an operation, and can result in chronic pain in and around the scar area. The cause of scar tissue pain is damage to a small skin nerve, or when a nerve is squeezed by the scar tissue. In scar tissue pain, which can occur after an operation, there sometimes mention of neuroma formation at the end of a damaged skin nerve. After some interventions, such as inguinal hernia, lung, heart, kidney, and shoulder operations, as well as breast amputations, scar tissue pain is more common." The Maastricht University Pain Centre in the Netherlands (Scar Tissue Pain)
- "Every time an injury to the skin penetrates through to the dermis layer, a scar will occur as a result of the healing process, this is the body’s way of naturally repairing itself. In response to a wound, the body produces collagen, a protein of which the rest of our skin is made from. Scar tissue however, looks and feels different – some researchers suggest that this is due to its alignment, which differs from that of normal skin tissue. Although many scars are trivial, some are extremely unpleasant causing not only aesthetic displeasure but also chronically painful symptoms. Scar pain, whether it be from an operative, or traumatic cause, is very common. The symptoms and signs can be similar to those of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. They include pain, itching, swelling, tightness, restriction of movement, skin colour changes, allodynia or hypersensitivity to touch, and hyperalgesia or marked pain to deeper palpation. Scar tissue pain is usually caused by damage to the nerves or when a nerve is compressed by the scar. In some cases..... firing uncontrollable pain signals to the brain." Dr. Mark Miller, owner of a number of Pain Management clinics in England, from an article called Scar Pain
- "Wounds take a variable amount of time to heal. The location of the wound makes a difference, as peripheries like your foot heal slower than your shoulder for example. Other factors such as smoking, using steroids, diabetes or low protein levels also slow wound healing. Scars are not just skin deep. They may involve several layers beneath the skin which are stuck together." My Ortho Clinic dot com (Stitches, Wounds & Sensitive Scars)
- "Many people have scars as a result of accidents, injuries and surgeries. While scar tissue is extremely helpful at repairing cells quickly to prevent further damage and/or injury, the characteristics of scars and their presence in the body can restrict and inhibit movement. This can lead to myofascial pain, musculoskeletal imbalances and ultimately impede athletic performance. Since the configuration of scar tissue is not the same as the surrounding muscle fibers it can alter the way these structures work." From an article on PT On the Net (How Scar Tissue Affects Pain and Performance) by therapist Justin Price
- "As of 2012, 33% of births ended in C-section. A common complaint after a C-section is the sensitivity of the scar itself. In addition, the scar may cause a slight postural change... that could result in back pain. But the possible consequences don’t stop there. The scarring can cause the adjacent muscles to develop trigger points that refer pain.... In addition, the adjacent connective tissue can become restricted also causing pain. Lastly, the scarring can irritate superficial nerves in the area of the scar. What’s more, the round ligament that attaches from the sides of the uterus to the labia can be caught in scar tissue after a C-section because the incision is also right over the area where the round ligament crosses the pelvic brim. Another symptom we have seen with our patients who have had C-sections is that they may have issues with lower digestion such as irritable bowel syndrome or constipation. This occurs because of the tightening created by the scar tissue pulls within the abdominal cavity and thus affects the organs." Cherry-picked from an article called C-Section Scar: Problems and Solutions by the physical therapists at the Pelvic Health and Rehabilitation Centers of California
- "After a trauma, a large cut or surgery around the nerves, scar tissue forms. Scar tissue is both good and bad. It helps the nerve attach to nearby structures, but when the patient moves, pressure is placed on the nerve because the scar tissue can pull on the nerve. Even without movement, the scar tissue can reduce the nerve's blood supply. All of this can cause significant nerve pain. The main symptom is constant, unrelenting pain coming from the nerve tissue." The University of Michigan's Medical School (Scarred Nerves)
- "Scars can be a big pain... When there is an initial injury (and yes, a surgical incision is an “injury”), the body goes through three phases of healing: Inflammation, Proliferation and Remodeling. Through this process, the body creates scarring to close up the initial injury. Scars are composed of a fibrous protein (collagen).... The difference, however, is that scars are not quite organized the same way as the tissues they replace, and they don’t really do the job quite as well. Scars can form in all tissues of the body. Scars are not super selective when it comes to tissues they adhere to. So, sometimes, scars will adhere to lots of tissues around them and this pull can lead to discomfort. Sometimes, small nerves can be pulled on by the scar which can lead to irritation." From Dr. Jessica Reale's (she's a DPT in Atlanta) article about Painful Scars....
In these articles, there's a common thread: injury or insult leads to scarring, which in many cases leads to pain and various sorts of dysfunction. If you are struggling with CHRONIC PAIN, there were terms used in these articles that you really need to be familiar with. HYPERAGLIA, ALLODYNIA, CRPS, Hypersensitivity --- uncontrolled firing of pain signals to the brain (CENTRAL SENSITIVITY), are just a few of the more common. And if you've been following my site(s) for the past decade or so (DCP is where I started), you are already aware of the fact that Scar Tissue is different from normal tissues in any number of ways, including both its physical structure and its increased propensity to act as a pain generator (HERE), via an almost infinite number of causal mechanisms. And on top of everything else, it's dysfunction is being touted as a "universal" cause of disease (HERE).
For instance, the August 2015 issue of Muscle & Nerve (Comparison of Nerve Growth Factor-Induced Sensitization Pattern in Lumbar and Tibial Muscle and Fascia) concluded, after injecting NGF into various areas of human fascia that, "Nerve growth factor (NGF) induces profound hyperalgesia. The mechanical hyperalgesia area was larger in tibial fascia than in muscle. Pressure pain thresholds were lower, tonic pressure pain ratings, and citrate buffer evoked pain higher in fascia than in muscle." This is all well and good, but the next sentence is where the rubber meets the road as far as chronic low back pain is concerned. "Thoracolumbar fasciae appear more sensitive than tibial fasciae and may be major contributors to low back pain." Once you start to understand the THORACOLUMBAR FASCIA, this all starts making sense.
This is doubly true if you recall that the amount of degenerative change (HERE) or presence of disc herniations (HERE), are poor indicators not only of whether or not a person will have back pain at all, but how severe said back pain may be. Check out the results of a study from the University of Heidelberg's Dissertaitions Kurzfassung (Pain Sensitivity of Human Fascia and Muscle Sensory Findings After Chemical and Electrical Stimulation). And if you are one of the millions of Americans suffering from CHRONIC LOW BACK PAIN, be sure and read the paragraph until you understand it.
"ln many patients, chronic low back pain cannot be explained by abnormalities in the bony structures of the vertebral column. Due to their dense innervation, fascia and muscles of the lower back are potential alternative sources of nociceptive input in these patients with "non-specific low back pain". These studies suggest that the fascia of the lower back might be a key structure in the genesis of nonspecific low back pain, because of its high innervation density, its high pain sensitivity to several stimuli, and substantial pain amplification after its stimulation. Effects of muscle nerve stimulation in previous studies may have been at least partly due activation of afferents from the fascia that run through these nerves. Therefore, treatment of the fascia may be an important target for prevention and treatment of back pain."
We are seeing this phenomenon is studies over and over again. If you want another example, take a look at Dr. Stecco's, The Role of Fascia in Non-Specific Low Back Pain. And what do we see when we go to current peer review as far as treatment is concerned? We see that while far from perfect, bodywork of various sorts (stretching, MANIPULATION, exercise, etc --- things that move joints and fascia) is at least as good, or in most cases, better, than other treatments designed to get these people get out of pain and return to function. And they're certainly better than drugs (HERE). If you are interested in lowering your level of systemic inflammation and addressing the various roots of many, if not most of your fascial adhesions, I would suggest you take a moment to read THIS SHORT POST.
SKEWED STATS MAKE
DRUGS LOOK WONDERFUL
"About 11 percent to 20 percent of veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have been diagnosed with PTSD. The drug prazosin failed to effectively alleviate post-traumatic stress disorder in military veterans, according to a trial conducted by researchers with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Prazosin, which includes trade names Minipress, Vasoflex, Lentopres, and Hypovase, is also used to treat high blood pressure and anxiety. Although the drug has been effective in controlling nightmares or improving sleep quality associated with PTSD, the researchers concluded it was no better than a placebo, according to results published in The New England Journal of Medicine."
Riddle me this Batman; how can a drug specifically used by government physicians to treat Combat Veterans diagnosed with PTSD be both "effective in controlling nightmares or improving sleep quality associated with PTSD" and "no better than placebo" at the same time? This, my friends, is the sort of oxymoronical gibberish today's post is about. For the record, the study's lead author stated in GDN, "....the trial seemed like a good idea, but you know, live and learn.... I don’t think it should change clinical practice..." This seems to be a common conclusion in the field of evidence-based medicine. Don't like the research findings you come up with? IGNORE THEM until the government finally steps in with a drug ban. In the meantime, there are plenty of people who need prescriptions, and lots of money to be made. Here is a list of a few of the neat little tricks regularly employed by Big Pharma to make their products appear better / safer than they really are.
- MAKE THE ISSUE POLITICAL: Nowhere is it easier to see how industry deflects criticism than the manner in which they politicize VACCINES. And no vaccine is more politicized than the FLU SHOT. Despite the medical community's battle cry of nothing but "BEST EVIDENCE," the flu vaccine has shown just how hollow this statement really rings. Not only does the vaccine not work against the more virulent strains of the flu (HERE), the latest COCHRANE REVIEWS on flu shots from just last week showed essentially what they did in the last reviews done five or six years ago --- that the flu vaccine is woefully ineffective in light of the time, energy, and money the government and big pharma spend warning people (FORCING PEOPLE) to get their shots. Unfortunately, those who use peer review to question the staus quo are labeled as "ANTIVAXXERS," which in today's politicized environment, is similar to being called a neo-nazi.
- CREATE AN ENVIRONMENT OF DEPENDENCE ON BIG PHARMA: This is not only true of the general public, the average of whom is exposed to hundreds of thousands of DRUG ADS and PRESS RELEASES before they are out of high school, it's likewise true of doctors. The brainwashing starts in medical school and continues right on through practice. Think of it this way; with our university system garnering a significant part of their funding directly from BIG PHARMA, are these institutions really going to bite the hand that feeds them? Of course not. Click the link and fast forward the video to the 15:15 mark (you'll laugh your head off and gain a better understanding of yet another way that the system is being gamed). Dr. Gorski once argued that diet and exercise are not alternatives, but actually part of the "fortress" that makes up mainstream medicine (HERE). I would argue that you would never have any idea of that from looking at the average doctor visit. The powers that be want you sick, but living a very long time, T-totally dependent on drugs for your perceived well being. Thanks to people who refuse to step up and take charge of their own health, they are getting their wish (HERE).
- HIDE RESEARCH RESULTS YOU DON'T LIKE: INVISIBLE & ABANDONED research is another drum I've been beating for a very long time. For instance; how many of you were aware that TAMIFLU received it's FDA approval because 60% of the studies done were never published? The only reason studies are not completed, or completed and not published, is because the results were not what industry was hoping to see. Although oversight agencies such as the FDA and CDC are trying to get a handle on this problem, it's recently been estimated that half of all medical studies are I & A.
- RESEARCH IS NOT REPRODUCIBLE: What does it mean when scientists cannot reproduce pharmaceutical research --- either their own or someone else's? In many cases it means we are no longer dealing with science. This problem is so rife in some fields (CANCER, for instance) that select research teams have not been able to reproduce as much as 90% of the profession's most important experiments (HERE).
- SET THE STUDIES UP TO PROVE WHAT YOU WANT THEM TO PROVE: I belong to a group run by a specialist in FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE (he's an MD) that has members from every specialty imaginable, many of them researchers. What I hear concerning a large portion of studies that are discussed on the board is just how poorly designed many (some would argue most) experiments really are. There are DOZENS OF TRICKS easily employed to create experiments in such a manner that they can prove anything you want them to. And no one is shocked by the fact that when industry pays for the study, the results are far more likely to be beneficial to industry than if done by an independent third party.
- DRAMATICALLY UNDERREPORT DRUG SIDE EFFECTS: Make sure that drug side effects are rarely reported. Because if the proper governmental reporting authorities don't get accurate reports on AE's (adverse events), those AE's never make it into the statistical analysis of the drug's safety profile. Naturally, this makes most drugs appear much safer than they really are. This problem is so rampant that hundreds of studies have estimated the overall rate of reporting side effects at between 1% and 5%. In other words, somewhere between 1 in 20 and 1 in 100 serious drug side effects are ever reported to the agencies specifically created to take these reports (HERE).
- USE STATISTICAL ANALYSIS TO YOUR ADVANTAGE: A few days ago I was discussing the brand new Cochrane Review concerning flu shots in healthy adults with my brother (AN ER DOCTOR who has never been a fan of the shots). He brought up an interesting point. Even though the data of hundreds of studies since 1965, containing over 80,000 subjects, was crunched to show that the vaccine lowers a healthy adult's chance of contracting flu from 2% to 1% (a whopping 1 percentage point), he rightly predicted that industry would claim that the unvaccinated group had 100% more flu than the vaccinated group (after all, two is 100% greater than one). It's like Mark Twain once said, figures never lie, but liars figure. If you get a good enough statistician on your research team, you can prove the moon really is made of green cheese! This is why everyone should learn the difference between ABSOLUTE & RELATIVE.
- THE LAB IS DIFFERENT THAN THE REAL WORLD: This was just dealt with the other day, although the exact post escapes me at the moment. Variables are far more easy to control in a lab setting, many times giving us experiments that look nothing like real life. Because of this the results look nothing like real life either.
- CREATE HYPE & CREATE DISEASES: Whether talking about ADHD, flu, GERD or a myriad of other health issues, be sure and make things sound far worse (or mysterious) than they really are. And by all means talk about these problems in terms of "diseases". You no longer have heartburn, you have Gastro-Esophageal Refulx Disease. You no longer have OSTEOARTHRITIS, you have DEGENERATIVE JOINT DISEASE. Tacking the word 'disease' or 'syndrome' onto the end of a descriptive term is a surefire way to create hype and fear, and ultimately sell more drugs.
- DISCREDIT ANYONE WHO DARES OPPOSE YOU: My site is littered with names of individuals who have come forward with their discoveries only to be blasted as quacks and crackpots by those in power --- something we routinely see in politics as well (who could forget the number of times that Hillary covered for Bill's sexual "escapades," many of which would now be classified as "assaults," while residing in the Arkansas Governor's Mansion and White House?). What's cool is that we are seeing more and more people willing to step forward and take a bit of heat for what they are publishing in peer-review (HERE is a recent example).
Any one of these bullet points can be a big deal. But when you dump them all together into a big cauldron and bring the whole sordid mess to a boil, you get a witches brew that skews and distorts truth in a way that creates maximum amounts of fear. And face it, fear is what sells drugs. This despite the fact we already know just how dangerous (scratch that, deadly) drugs and surgical interventions can be (HERE). If you want to see this entire process in action, take a look at this video interview of chemist Boyd Haley on the neurotoxicity of MERCURY.
Dr. Schierling completed four years of Kansas State University's five-year Nutrition / Exercise Physiology Program before deciding on a career in Chiropractic. He graduated from Logan Chiropractic College in 1991, and has run a busy clinic in Mountain View, Missouri ever since. He and his wife Amy have four children (three daughters and a son).
Brain Based Therapy
Can You Help
Cardio Or Strength
Cold Laser Therapy
Death By Medicine
Degenerative Joint Disease
D's Of Chronic Pain
Evidence Based Medicine
Gluten Cross Reactivity
Ice Or Heat
Jacks Fork River
Leaky Gut Syndrome
Number One Health Problem
Platelet Rich Therapy
Post Surgical Scarring
Re Invent Yourself
Rib And Chest Pain
Scar Tissue Removal
Sleeping Pills Kill
Stay Or Go
Stretching Post Treatment
Tensegrity And Fascia
The Big Four
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
Whole Body Vibration