BOUNCING ON A TRAMPOLINE
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SCAR TISSUE AND FIBROSIS ALL OVER THE BODY
IS THERE A SOLUTION?
Although it can be, the solution to these "Whole Body" Fascial problems is usually not simple. The very first thing you'll have to do is to deal with the list above. Fail to decrease the Inflammation in your body, and any work that I do here, while possibly providing amazing short-term results, will not last for the long haul. This means that in order to get better you may have to go GLUTEN FREE, have your house checked for mold, get off as many drugs as is possible for your particular situation (HERE), fix your LEAKY GUT, control your BLOOD SUGAR, get more active (), and deal with any underlying spinal issues you may have (HERE). The truth is, there may be any number of others. And if you are AUTOIMMUNE, you will have to deal with that as well.
Don't get me wrong; once I start treating CHRONIC PAIN patients with Tissue Remodeling, it's not uncommon to follow the Scar Tissue over large areas of the body. If you want more information on Systemic Problems -vs- Local Problems, you need to take a few moments and read some of my previous posts on the topic. They will probably sound rather redundant, but hopefully, they help you figure out whether or not you're like Pam.
- IS YOUR CHRONIC PAIN SYNDROME SYSTEMIC: There are lots of CHRONIC PAIN SYNDROMES out there, but THIS POST is an attempt to help you answer this question.
- MULTIPLE LOCAL PROBLEMS OR A SYSTEMIC PROBLEM: Sometimes people are like Pam above. More often than not, they aren't. Although it's certainly not fool proof, THIS POST helps you tell the difference.
- SYSTEMIC TENDINOSIS -VS- LOCAL TENDINOSIS: THIS POST helps spell out the difference between typical TENDINOSIS that is the result of overuse or an injury, and Tendinosis that is the result of a Systemic Health Problem. HERE is an example of what I am talking about.
- SYSTEMIC ADHESIONS OF THE FASCIA: While some people have SCAR TISSUE & FIBROSIS all over the place, this is a "red flag" as far as Systemic Problems are concerned. HERE is the post.
- CHRONIC PAIN: WHY FASCIAL ADHESIONS ARE MORE COMMON THAN THEY USED TO BE: Even though Americans don't work a fraction as hard as generations gone by, they suffer from far more health problems and Chronic Pain Syndromes. Find out why (HERE).
THIS IS THE CHRISTMAS GIFT AND NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION YOU OWE YOURSELF
Serious is a good thing when it comes to your weight and health. Serious makes you want to get an ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER, create a written plan (an EXIT STRATEGY if you will), figure out what motivates you, and then get after it. You've been talking about trying PALEO, so why not now? In fact, if you are one of the vast majority of Americans who's dealing with CHRONIC INFLAMMATORY DISEASES, AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES, or CHRONIC PAIN, why not just do an ELIMINATION DIET and figure out what foods your body is reactive against. Believe me when I tell you that it's better than the binge you're unconsciously (or maybe consciously) planning for the remainder of the year. Face it' you already know how crappy and DEPRESSED you're going to feel after your annual holiday season sugar bender!
HERE is a link to some simple Strength Training exercises DONE ON A BALL in the privacy of your own home --- the equipment will cost less than one month's gym membership (and for those who are in too bad of shape to exercise, there things like THIS or THIS). HERE is what I wrote a couple of years ago about a great WEIGHT LOSS program for those of you who are physically able. If you do this thing the right way, you'll not only get in shape, you'll get healthy while you do it! And for you hardcore SUGAR / CARB ADDICTS, I even have several articles to help you get out of the pit you're mired in (research shows that sugar addiction is not only real, for many people it can be as bad or worse than addiction to hard drugs). If you get your mind right; regardless of how many times you've failed in the past, success can be yours this time.
Bottom line; it's your life. It's up to you. No one can do it for you. Not me and certainly not your doctor. You're right; the first week will be a bear. Get started now because tomorrow doesn't get any easier. If you start today, not only will you be blown away at where you are this time next year, you'll be amazed at how far you've come by the first of the year --- just six short weeks away. Start today and in no time at all you'll be on cruise control.
Don't try and fool yourself by making the same old crappy New Year's Resolutions --- you know; the ones you've made for the past too many years count and never seem to keep for more than a couple weeks (or in many cases, a couple days). Take six minutes and listen to Prince Ea's message on New Years Resolutions. And then get started living the rest of your life better; today! And if you happen to be a person struggling with severe health-related issues, I created THIS POST just for you. It may not have all the answers, but it should at least get you thinking outside of the box that you've been confined to for way too long.
THE LINK BETWEEN CHRONIC NECK PAIN, LOSS OF
THE CERVICAL CURVE, AND SPINAL DEGENERATION
"The lordotic curve of cervical spine radiographs was measured by analyzing the Cobb angle in 138 consecutive patients in a rheumatology office practice. All patients met the ACR criteria for fibromyalgia and complained of moderate to severe neck pain. 88% of fibromyalgia patients in this study had a straight neck based on measuring the Cobb angle, and 90% had a straight neck (loss of the lordotic curve) by visualizing the lateral view of cervical spine radiographs. The cause of the straight cervical spine in fibromyalgia is unknown. Speculation of the pathophysiology [cause of fibromyalgia] includes chronic muscle contraction and tightness of other soft tissues." From a paper (The Straight Neck in Fibromyalgia) presented by Dr. Robert Katz at last year's Annual Meeting of the American College of Rheumatology
"Degenerative changes of the cervical spine are commonly accompanied by a reduction or loss of the segmental or global lordosis, and are often considered to be a cause of neck pain. Nonetheless, such changes may also remain clinically silent." The opening sentences of a study called The Association Between Cervical Spine Curvature and Neck Pain from the May 2007 issue of The European Spine Journal
"In a healthy spine, the cervical lordosis looks like a very wide C, with the C pointing toward the back of the neck. This can begin to straighten in a condition called cervical kyphosis, in which the curve straightens up or even bows in the other direction. Sometimes this is referred to as “reverse lordosis,” referencing the fact that the spine is still curved, but the curve is now running in the wrong direction." From What is Cervical Lordosis? on the website WiseGeek.
Dr. Payne is a retired Alabama Chiropractor, who, back in 1988, started a company dedicated to the manufacturing of quality equipment to restore abnormal cervical curves (Matlin Manufacturing, Inc). Dr. Payne follows Don Harrison's Chiropractic Bio-Physics (CBP) Technique, and in 2008 wrote a 60 page booklet called The Best Corrections of Your Career: An Introduction to Postural Chiropractic. Dr. Mark sets out the premise of the book by revealing to chiropractors that, "Failing to deliver real and meaningful corrective care to our patients is a real tragedy in terms of their long term health.... The laws of physics dictate that abnormal posture will harm your patients in any number of very real ways. When you relieve the pain but fail to to correct the underlying structural deficits you are shortchanging your patients and the consequences are very real and predictable." He then gives the book's "Five Principles".
- NORMAL IS NECESSARY
- POOR POSTURE IS SUBLUXATION
- ADJUSTMENTS ALONE CAN'T FIX IT
- YOU MUST HAVE ACCURATE AND REPEATABLE METHODS OF ANALYSIS
- YOU MUST HAVE THE RIGHT TOOLS FOR THE JOB
-NORMAL IS NECESSARY
The whole reason your body requires a "normal" lordotic cervical curve is to allow for normal joint motion --- joints can only move correctly when normal structure is present. In an age of relativism, this can be a bitter pill to swallow --- particularly if you do not have any overt symptoms or pain. In other words, many would have you believe that your "normal" is different than my "normal". Not true. Back in a 1959 study done by Borden, Hechtman, and Gershon-Cohen --- all M.D.'s (The Normal Cervical Lordosis), began to answer this question of what makes up a normal cervical curve. And although the measuring method was dramatically different than today's methods, their picture of what constitutes "normal" was just about identical to what would pass for normal today. Although there have been numerous studies on this topic since, a 2005 study in the medical journal JMPT summed it up nicely in a study called Determining the Relationship Between Cervical Lordosis and Neck Complaints. Listen to what the authors wrote after sorting patients into two main groups --- those with neck problems and those without.
"We found a statistically significant association between cervical pain and lordosis less than 20 degrees and a "clinically normal" range for cervical lordosis of 31 degrees to 40 degrees. Patients with lordosis of 20 degrees or less were more likely to have cervicogenic symptoms [symptoms arising from the neck]. The odds that a patient with cervical pain had a lordosis of 0 degrees or less was 18 times greater than for a patient with a noncervical complaint."
In the years since Payne completed his short book, there have been great numbers of studies on this topic, many of which I covered HERE. Although many in the medical profession say it doesn't matter, the range I seen bantered around as "normal" is 30 to 40 degrees (I believe it was Dr. Shealy who said that normal lordosis of the cervical spine was 43 degrees). If you wish to see what that this normal curvature looks like, just take another glance at the picture at the top of the page. You will begin to understand more about normal once you begin to learn more about abnormal.
POOR POSTURE IS SUBLUXATION
SUBLUXATION is defined simply as bones (usually vertebrate) that lose their normal alignment or motion in relationship to each other. Study after study after study is verifying the devastating effects of poor posture / postural deformities on human health. I Googled "effects of poor posture research studies" and found studies linking postural abnormalities to diseases you would not suspect such as Type II Diabetes and High BP. Some of the others specifically mentioned in the peer-reviewed research included things as diverse as fear, sadness, emotional instability, mental acuity, mood, energy levels, back pain, coordination, constipation, and even certain types of cancer. There is even research linking poor posture to shorter life span. What I really want you to notice here is how few of these problems that were mentioned have anything whatsoever to do with pain. Suffice it to say that FHP (Forward Head Posture) along with trunk flexion (THE POSTURE OF AGE) have tons of peer-review showing how detrimental they are to human health.
ADJUSTMENTS ALONE CAN'T FIX IT
Chiropractors cringe at old standbys such as "How many chiropractors does it take to change a light bulb? Just one, but it will take him one year and 150 visits to do it." We deserve to cringe. For decades, the profession has been telling patients that all they need to solve their problem is more adjustments (HERE). Don't get me wrong; adjustments are extremely powerful (HERE). The problem is, simply adjusting patients over and over and over again without any sort of tangible goal in mind other than short-term pain relief is playing the same game that the medical doctors play, only without the nutty side effects of DANGEROUS & DEADLY DRUGS OR PROCEDURES. Listen carefully as Dr. Payne rares back and punches the chiropractic profession squarely in the mouth.
"The ugly truth about chiropractic adjusting is that there is almost no evidence at all to suggest that adjustments alone do very much to actually correct spinal structure." For those of you who didn't get this the first time, a few sentences later he repeats himself. "There's absolutely nothing in the scientific literature to indicate that you can actually change spines effectively with adjustments alone." He then says why. "The answer is painfully obvious to professionals in other fields like university biophyisics and biomedical engineering who are engaged in studying the more technical aspect of the human machine." In other words, chiropractors have failed to comprehend the importance of certain physical properties that all living tissues possess, "elasticity, viscosity, plasticity, and strength". We have collectively failed to grasp just how big a role that physics (BIOMECHANICS) plays in solving the problem of abnormal spinal curves.
When I graduated from Chiropractic College back in 1991, the big emphasis was on restoring joint motion. Not that this is a bad thing but me learning that restoration of joint motion (primary) takes care of joint misalignment (secondary) was about 180 degrees opposite of the truth. Don't get me wrong; restoration of motion (BOTH SECTIONAL AND SEGMENTAL) is critically important and can bring about rapid pain relief (HERE, HERE, and HERE are great examples of this). One of the chief things I like about our unique brand of Tissue Remodeling is the fact that it rapidly changes the VERY PHYSICS OF SCAR TISSUE so that long-term structural correction is easier to make --- much easier to make. However, it's important to understand that pain relief is not where the process ends for people wanting to live a long, fruitful, productive, and pain-free life.
YOU MUST HAVE ACCURATE AND REPEATABLE METHODS OF ANALYSIS
This isn't exactly rocket science. There are essentially two different aspects to this bullet point. Visual Postural Analysis and / or X-rays. The more accurate of the two will almost always be X-ray. I also love to use RANGES OF MOTION. This is simple to check, takes all of about 10 seconds to do, and in most cases, will tell me exactly where I need to focus my attention --- particularly with Tissue Remodeling.
YOU MUST HAVE THE RIGHT TOOLS FOR THE JOB
Thus far we have learned that there is a "normal" amount of cervical curve that you should have in order to up your odds of avoiding a myriad of health-related problems as well as chronic pain. Furthermore, we know that simply getting adjusted over and over and over again is never the solution. In order to restore an abnormal curve, you are going to have to engage in activities / forms of treatment that actually change the physical properties of the tissue mentioned a few paragraphs earlier --- things that actually cause TISSUE DEFORMATION. This takes time. Not time as in month after month of adjustment after adjustment --- adjustments that each last no more than a fraction of a second. But time as in changing tissues by stretching them into a normal position. Dr Payne puts it like this. "What we really need are ways to apply sustained corrective forces for a sufficient time to change the soft tissues."
This can be largely accomplished at home using the DAKOTA HOME TRACTION or COMPRESSION-COUNTER STRESSING TRACTION aka "The Stynchula Method" (Payne wants you to slowly work your way up to as much as a half hour a day). I think he's spot on. It was Dr. Rene Calliet's 1987 book Rejuvenation Strategy that stated, "Most attempts to correct posture are directed toward the spine, shoulders and pelvis. All are important, but, head position takes precedence over all others. The body follows the head. Therefore, the entire body is best aligned by first restoring proper functional alignment to the head". Dr. Calliet was the Director of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at USC's School of Medicine at the time he wrote this.
CONSEQUENCES OF SUBLUXATION / ABNORMAL CERVICAL CURVE
This, folks, is where the rubber meets the road. As the study at the top of the page said, some cases of subluxation / abnormal cervical curve are "clinically silent". In other words, because they might not be producing any overt symptoms, most people (physicians included) would not consider them as important or harmful. However, there are four symptoms that come up time and time again not only in the scientific literature, but in the clinical setting as well, that are associated with abnormal curvature of the cervical spine. These four are....
- ABNORMAL RANGE OF MOTION
- NEUROLOGICAL ISSUES
-ABNORMAL RANGE OF MOTION
I have written about what constitutes normal ranges of motion in the cervical spine (HERE), and the consequences of not having this curve. The biggest thing I want you to understand in this bullet point is that the proper lordotic curve allows "coupled motion" in the vertebra of the neck. Clear back in 1993, the brilliant spinal biomechanist Dr. Manohar Panjabi published a study in The Journal of Orthopedic Research called Posture Affects Motion Coupling Patterns of the Upper Cervical Spine. Very technical information, if you care to read it.
More recently in 2004, Physical therapist Gary Gray wrote that, "Functionally understanding that movement in any one plane of the vertebral column is accompanied by movement in the other two planes. With the three dimensional capacity of the cervical spine, the three dimensional spinal coupling concept is significant. Even when we load a bobble-headed doll in one plane of motion, it reveals that plane of motion plus the other two as it “bobbles its head”." How complex are these coupled motions in the cervical spine? A Chinese study last year (Three-Dimensional Analysis of Cervical Spine Segmental Motion in Rotation) was published in Archives of Medical Science stating that, "The movements of the cervical spine during head rotation are too complicated to measure using conventional radiography or computed tomography (CT) techniques".
Pain sucks --- especially if it is chronic (long term, relentless) pain. And unfortunately, the medical community's approach to dealing with CHRONIC PAIN is not known for having a fantastic success rate. I mean, let's be brutally honest with ourselves for a moment. Are PRESCRIPTION PAIN MEDS, NSAIDS, MUSCLE RELAXERS, CORTICOSTEROIDS, and ANTIDEPRESSANTS going to help a patient over the long haul who is struggling on a day-to-day basis with neck pain? How could they when they are not even attempting to address underlying cause(s)? Bear in mind that while it's usually pain that motivates people to come see me, it's often the easiest of the four bullet points to deal with. By the way, I am not minimizing your pain. It's just that there may be more to solving your problem than simply relieving your pain. After all, if pain relievers truly worked, you wouldn't be reading this post at 3 am with tears in your eyes.
This one covers a lot of ground. Technically, pain could have also been lumped into this class, as could things like RADICULOPATHY, most HEADACHES, and a large percentage of MIGRAINES. The bottom line is that a "Head Forward Posture" puts large amounts of excess mechanical stress on the cervical spine --- particularly the front (anterior) portion of the cervical spine. Clear back in 1974, Dr. Adalbert I. Kapandji, an orthopedic surgeon, wrote in his famous textbook, The Physiology of Joints, that, "for every inch of Forward Head Posture, it can increase the weight of the head on the spine by an additional 10 pounds." A few years later in 1978, Nobel Prize winner and Swedish neurosugeon, Dr. Alf Brieg, published a study in JAMA (the Journal of the American Medical Association) called Adverse Mechanical Tension in the Central Nervous System: An Analysis of Cause and Effect; Relief by Functional Neurosurgery.
The paper's abstract (he also published a book by the same name) started out by saying that, "Hidden behind this forbidding title is a text that is radical, revolutionary, and incredible. It gets at the roots of things, should overturn cherished concepts, and parts of it are difficult to believe. Using cadaver, animal, and clinical material, Breig shows how tension in the brain, brain stem, spinal cord, and nerve roots can give rise to local and distant signs and symptoms. There are ample illustrations of the mechanical analyses and principles that are used to support his therapeutic suggestions and practice." The study went on to say that some of these signs and symptoms are specifically caused by "abnormal tensile forces" in the cervical spine. Breig's list includes things as diverse as, "facial neuralgias, spasticity [TRIGGER POINTS], bladder dysfunction, as well as cervical and lumbar spondylosis, disk hernias, trauma to the spinal cord, confusional states, and multiple sclerosis." This is yet another example of "Subluxation" and / or postural deformities leading to a wide variety of symptoms that are seemingly unrelated to the spine. If you want to see a radical example of Subluxation's effect on neurology, take just a second and READ THIS.
Degeneration is the visible finale of abnormal biomechanical stresses over time that can be seen on imaging tests such as X-ray or MRI --- even though IT MIGHT NOT MEAN WHAT YOU THINK IT DOES. If you were to go back and look at the picture of the normal cervical curve at the top of the page, the first thing you would see is the "forward curve". This forward curve is critical because it is not only the very thing that allows coupled motions of the neck to occur, but it acts as a shock absorber as well. Springs are curves that bounce back, and the normal curve in the neck acts as a spring. Furthermore, the neck is created and designed so that the mass of the head is carried on the Facet Joints that glide on each other and are found at the back (posterior) portion of the spinal column. As the neck loses its normal curve (or especially if the curve actually reverses), the head's mass will be carried on the fronts of the vertebral column instead of the rear. To help you understand this, take a look at the pictures of the Reverse Cervical Curves below). These abnormal curvatures will virtually always lead to degenerative changes such as bone spurs, calcium deposits, and thinning discs. Despite what doctors want you to believe, this is not so much a "DISEASE," but the result of something called "Wolff's Law".
Wolff's Law says that bone grows / remodels in response to mechanical stresses put on it, whether said stresses are normal or abnormal. This is why doctors put people with broken legs in "walking casts" as soon as possible in order to facilitate bone growth and healing. It is also why some areas of a skeletal system are much thicker or knobbier than others. Where muscles attach to bone and pull at them constantly --- especially powerful muscles --- the attachment points will be enlarged / thickened. Dr. Payne does not mince any words when talking about Wolff's Law.
"Want to know why your patients absolutely, positively, must regain structural balance in order to have good health? It's because gravity is a complete bitch. Like Schwarzenegger's Terminator character, it can't be reasoned with, it has no pity, and it won't ever, ever stop. If you don't do something to restore the normal structure of your patient, the end game has already been decided."
X-RAYS OF THE REVERSE CERVICAL CURVE
CAR WRECKS AND LOSS OF THE
NORMAL THE CERVICAL CURVE
The films below are both of middle aged women who each presented with CHRONIC NECK PAIN, and a history of being rear-ended years previously. Notice the beak-like bone spurs and thinning taking place at the C5-C6 disc space. Again, inordinate amounts of decay at C5-C6 indicates that a whiplash-like injury took place there at some point in time --- quite possibly decades previously.
DEGENERATION OF THE CERVICAL SPINE
One more quick note here. Degeneration is not the end of the world. It would shock many people (therapists and chiros included) just how much range of motion can actually be restored by breaking up Scar Tissue and Fibrosis --- sometimes even in people you would swear already had "normal" ranges (HERE). All of this is why you cannot skip PHASE I and go straight to PHASE II --- something numerous practitioners do. Neither can you live in Phase I like many chiros tend to do. It's all about doing the right things in the right order (HERE).
These are some pics of x-rays (all are lateral pictures of the neck, and all are facing to your right). Notice the bone spurs, calcium deposits, and thinning discs (some areas are literally fused together because the discs are gone). Also notice the funky curves. These were a few that were randomly pulled from my files when I was getting rid of x-rays that were over a decade old.
GUT HEALTH AND THE ANTIBIOTIC EFFECTS OF NON-ANTIBIOTIC MEDS
"The frightening rise of superbugs resistant to all known antibiotics has been attributed to the accelerated use of antibiotics in medicine and agriculture. Mixing megatons of bacteria in the guts of billions of people with tons of antibiotics, and still more in sewage treatment plants and agriculture, is bound to produce bacteria with every type of multiple antibiotic resistance plasmid [DNA fragment] imaginable. But that is not the biggest problem, since fingering the commercial use and misuse of antibiotics ignores biggest exposure of bacteria to antibiotics. It ignores the fact that most popular pharmaceuticals, NSAIDs, statins, anti-depressants, anti-diabetics, etc., also have substantial antibiotic activity. Most of these pharmaceuticals started out as phytoalexins and then were found to also have pharmaceutical activity. Pharmaceuticals are just repurposed natural antibiotics. When you take an aspirin or Metformin or a statin, you are taking an antibiotic. When you take a pharmaceutical, you are selecting for multiple antibiotic resistance plasmids [DNA fragments] in your gut flora and you may be making the next superbug." Dr. Art Ayers from his June 25, 2014 blog post titled Antibiotic Resistance, Superbugs and Drugs found on his site, Cooling Inflammation
Practically any field of study or any profession has it's share of "dirty little secrets". The problem is, the medical and pharmaceutical industries are literally bursting at the seams (it's one of the things that makes EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE such a pipe-dream). Case in point, the topic of today's post. Don't you find it interesting that in this age of increased recognition about the importance of GUT HEALTH and "SUPERBUGS", we find two quotes, written over two decades apart, telling us the very same thing --- that virtually all drugs (that's all as in "all") have antibiotic activity.
In light of what we know about the DESTRUCTIVE AND DEADLY NATURE OF ANTIBIOTICS, this should provide at least some degree of wake up call for those taking pharmaceutical drugs (especially since they are almost always related to at least some degree of INTESTINAL PERMEABILITY and DYSBIOSIS). Throw into the mix the ridiculous amount of pharmaceuticals consumed by our society (HERE), and you have a true recipe for disaster on your hands. The lists found in the quotes above specifically mention......
- BARBITUATES: These are downers and SLEEPING PILLS.
- BETA-ADRENERGIC RECEPTOR ANTAGONISTS: These are mostly known by their other name --- BETA-BLOCKERS. These drugs work by slowing down your system and generally making people feel sluggish and cruddy.
- DIURETICS: These are "water pills" which are used mostly for people in Congestive Heart Failure or with HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE.
- ANTIHISTAMINES: These are taken by folks with ALLERGIES, and can have strong Antibiotic effects.
- MUCOLYTIC AGENTS: These are the drugs which, exactly like their name implies, break up mucous (the most common of these is currently Mucinex).
- NSAIDS: These are the Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs that not only dramatically increase your chances of fatal GI Bleeds, Cancer (HERE), and Death in general (HERE), but actually tend to weaken injured Connective Tissues (more info on NSAIDS).
- PROTON PUMP INHIBITORS: PPI'S are the ACID BLOCKERS that wreak such havoc on the body, and which are a significant cause of OSTEOPOROSIS.
- PSYCHOTHERAPEUTIC DRUGS: Although this covers quite a bit of ground, by far the biggest portion of this class would be ANTIDEPRESSANTS.
- STATINS: STATINS are another one of those drugs that will utterly destroy your health and leave you in pain. Click on the link to learn why.
- ANTI-DIABETIC DRUGS: If you have issues REGULATING YOUR BLOOD SUGAR, you will sooner or later end up on one of these drugs. Listen to what Dr. Art Ayers said about Metformin; one of the more popular drugs given to Diabetics (I am cherry-picking here) in a May 17 post called Metformin, Antibiotic with Autoimmune Side Effects. "Metformin is the treatment of choice for type 2 diabetes and yet, like many other common drugs, the full extent of its impact on the body (and the body’s essential microbiome) has not been studied.... Metformin has all of the properties of an antibiotic selected to lower blood sugar and have limited side effects."
- ASPIRIN: Hopefully you are not still doing the Aspirin-a-Day thing? If so, you might want to read THESE POSTS.
By the way, I found ample evidence that SOY BEANS --- a known XENOESTROGEN --- also have a significant amount of Antibiotic activity. Furthermore, while Dr. Ayers is a proponent of Essential Oils taken externally to reduce INFLAMMATION, listen to how he answers a reader's comment about taking them orally. "Essential oils are just extracts of the polyphenolics compounds produced by plants to kill bacteria and fungi. These phytochemicals are called antioxidants simply because they have functional groups that react with superoxide and other reactive oxygen species, but their function in plants is as natural antibiotics -- they interact with the enzymes and receptors of organisms. In many cases they are toxic and we have bitter taste sensors to warn us of their presence."
Bottom line, if you are taking pharmaceutical drugs or certain other substances, you are destroying your health by destroying your Gut's health. Figure out what it will take to get off as many pharmaceuticals as you can, and get started. HERE is a place to begin.
TWO BIRDS WITH ONE STONE
MEAT IN THE FREEZER AND A WALL-HANGER TO BOOT
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SCAR TISSUE AND CHRONIC INFLAMMATION
"Tissue repair. Following inflammation, injured tissue is usually replaced by new cells and extracellular materials, with undamaged surrounding cells proliferating and migrating to fill the void. Although some tissues can grow back quite efficiently, complex organization is seldom matched in the regenerated site. Gaps are quickly filled by collagen fibers. A mass of collagen which replaces tissue that has been destroyed is known as a scar. Scars in other organs also exist as firm masses of collagen in which normal organ function cannot occur. For example, cirrhosis of the liver represents extensive replacement by collagen of damaged liver cells." Cherry-picked from a lesson on "Inflammation" found on the website of Southern Illinois University Medical School's Histology Class.
"Estimates from various disease-specific registries suggest that chronic inflammatory and fibrotic disorders affect a large proportion of the world's population, yet therapies for these conditions are largely ineffective." From the first sentence of the abstract of a January 2013 study found in The Journal of Pathology (Inflammation, Wound Repair, and Fibrosis: Reassessing the Spectrum of Tissue Injury and Resolution).
"Inflammation and fibrosis are fundamental aspects of two rheumatic diseases - lupus and scleroderma - each having pathobiologic pathways relevant to many other diseases characterized by inflammation and fibrosis such as arthritis, heart disease, pulmonary fibrosis and chronic kidney disease." The opening sentence from the Medical University of South Carolina's Center for Inflammation and Fibrosis Research.
"Inflammation and fibrosis are connected to every major disease that takes down mammals." From The Number One Cause Of All Disease, Fibrosis & Inflammation & How To Prevent It Naturally --- a November 21, 2012 podcast by Dr. William Wong on Extreme Health Radio.
- INJURY OR INSULT: Whenever there is ENOUGH INJURY to cause cellular death (this could be due to physical trauma, smoking, poor diet, chemical exposure, a sedentary lifestyle, alcohol or drugs -- prescription or recreational, infections, etc, etc), the contents of the deceased cells are ruptured into the fluid around them. This causes an almost instantaneous Immune System response that is linearly related to the severity of the injury / insult. The body ratchets up its healing process accordingly, of which one of the first aspects is.......
- ACUTE INFLAMMATION: Acute Inflammation is different from Chronic Inflammation and is characterized by the classic (Latin) signs of Rubor (redness), Dolar (pain), Calor (heat), Tumor (swelling), and Functio Laesa (loss of function). Although few realize it, almost immediately the body begins the process of.....
- SCAR TISSUE FORMATION: Scar Tissue formation is also known by its "official" medical term of Fibrosis. Fibrosis is tissue, which, instead of the fibers being strong, elastic, and aligned in a parallel fashion; is clumped, twisted, and knurled into a tangled wad. One of the chief purposes of Scar Tissue is to prevent infection from running rampant by walling it off and keeping it confined to a specific area. The problem is that because of advanced medical care and things like ANTIBIOTICS, we don't really worry about acute infections any more.
Scar Tissue or "Fibrosis" is not only different than normal tissue mechanically (it's weaker and less elastic), it's different neurologically as well. Nerves can get entrapped in Scar Tissue causing hypoxia (lack of oxygen), irritation, and even outright compression. And this is just for starters. As you might imagine, none of this is good; and the longer it goes on, the greater the chance of having the pain "locked" into your brain via a form of Chronic Pain that is said to be "CENTRALIZED". If you are interested in the specifics of this process from beginning to end, take a look at our COLLAGEN SUPER-PAGE.
Please understand that for the most part, these three steps represent normal physiology. Let me repeat. When you injure yourself, these steps are what are supposed to happen --- period. I can hear you asking the the question which this statement begs. "If Scar Tissue / Fibrosis and Inflammation are normal aspects of the body's healing process, why should we be concerned one way or another about either of them?" I am so glad you asked. Let's begin to unpack this by looking at a quote from one of the thousands of medical journals.
Here is where lies the problem. I can assure you that Chronic Inflammation leads to Fibrosis in much the same way that Acute Inflammation does (HERE). Chronic Inflammation leads to diverse problems over time such as fibrotic heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, and intestines. In fact, the paper mentioned above, while specifically dealing with neuro-degenerative diseases (MS, MD, etc) mentions "Chronic Inflammation" several times. Here's another one.
"Fibrosis in response to tissue damage or persistent [chronic] inflammation is a pathological hallmark of many chronic degenerative diseases. By using a model of acute peritoneal inflammation, we have examined how repeated inflammatory activation promotes fibrotic tissue injury. In this context, fibrosis was strictly dependent on interleukin-6 (IL-6)....... Thus, IL-6 causes compromised tissue repair by shifting acute inflammation into a more chronic profibrotic state through induction of Th1 cell responses as a consequence of recurrent inflammation." This study, from the January 2014 issue of Immunity (Interleukin-6 Signaling Drives Fibrosis in Unresolved Inflammation) kicks around the word "chronic" a number of times. What is IL-6? IL-6 (Interleukin 6) is one of the many chemicals made by the Immune System that we refer to collectively as "Inflammation". Furthermore, it is responsible for lots of bad things that go on in the body. Off the top of my head I will give you two (OSTEOPOROSIS and DEPRESSION / IBS). Allow me to show you yet another example proving just how serious this issue really is.
The April 2012 issue of Frontiers in Immunology published a study called Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms of Chronic Inflammation-Associated Organ Fibrosis. The study's abstract starts out by saying that, "Organ fibrosis is a pathological condition associated with chronic inflammatory diseases. In fibrosis, excessive deposition of extracellular matrix (ECM) severely impairs tissue architecture and function, eventually resulting in organ failure". Did you catch that? Forget about CHRONIC PAIN for a moment; this study says that Chronic Inflammatory Diseases are associated with fibrosis of one's organs. Bottom line; fibrosis kills --- slowly and painfully (HERE).
What causes the Inflammation that leads to fibrosis (Scar Tissue) throughout the body? When we are talking about the folks who see me for severe pain caused by FASCIAL ADHESIONS, it's invariably some sort of traumatic or repetitive injury, or postural situation over time (also, sometimes people are fooled --- HERE) . However, there are any number of other factors that can drive Inflammation in the body as well. Some of the more common are BLACK MOLD, DYSBIOSIS, poor GUT HEALTH, SUGAR, metals (MERCURY & ALUMINUM are two of the biggies), etc, etc, etc. OBESITY is a unique situation that both creates and is created by Inflammation. And lest we forget, GLUTEN is massively inflammatory for many people --- particularity Caucasians of Western European descent.
A 2009 issue of The Journal of Immunology (Novel Role of Tissue Transglutaminase (TG2) in Chronic Inflammatory Diseases) had something to say about this. Transglutaminases are enzymes that allow us to break down wheat protein, otherwise known as Gluten. In people with Celiac Disease (not to mention numerous people who do not have Celiac Disease --- HERE), the body makes anti-Transglutaminase antibodies. In other words, not only is the body attacking Gluten as though it were a foreign invader (HERE), it's attacking the enzyme that helps break down Gluten as well. The study mentioned at the top of the page revealed that, "Tissue transglutaminase (TG2) has a critical role in the pathogenesis of chronic inflammatory diseases." Not that I have time to get into it today, but Gluten is arguably the single biggest factor in developing AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES (HERE is a list of A.I. diseases). And how about this for a "fun fact"? The "Modern Pantry" website sells Transglutaminase for kitchen use. Listen to what they say about TG. "Transglutaminase (TG), aka Meat Glue, is a natural enzyme that has the ability to glue protein-containing foods together. When raw meats are bound with TG, they typically have the strength and appearance of whole uncut muscles."
The truth is, however, most people who are in severe Chronic Pain are not necessarily concerned about "diseases". In other words, they don't really care that their heart is fibrosing, they just want their NECK to stop hurting. The thing you have to remember is that in many ways, these two problems should be addressed in a similar fashion. if you want to get to the root of your problem --- whatever your problem may be --- you need to address Inflammation. There's no way around it. Listen to what Dr. Rick Loos of San Diego's Torrey Pines Chiropractic has to say about the link between CHRONIC NECK PAIN, SCAR TISSUE, and INFLAMMATION.
"Chronic neck pain can be explained by starting with scar tissue, or what we call Fibrosis. Fibrosis is scar tissue that develops inside of your body, on muscles, tendons or inside of a joint capsule. Fibrosis always occurs at the end stage of inflammation, or swelling. While scar tissue on the outside of the body doesn’t cause any problems, on the inside, like in your neck, it can lead to chronic pain and even future re-injury. Fibrosis works like glue. The problem with fibrosis is that it isn’t all neat and perfect, like a band-aid. It’s a big mess. The scar tissue grabs the connective tissue and the surrounding muscles, wrapping it all up together into a three dimensional blob. It happens because your body is trying to protect the injury and anchor it somehow, so you don’t injure it again. That’s a good thing, of course, but once you heal not all of it goes away. The problem is some of the fibrosis sticks around. (Pun intended.)"
Dr. Rick summed it up pretty well; Inflammation and Scar Tissue are huge factors in in a wide variety of PAIN SYNDROMES. One of the things that separates my practice from others, is the emphasis I place on understanding and getting rid of fibrosis (Scar Tissue). If you are one of those people trapped on the MEDICAL MERRY-GO-ROUND, start by watching some of our VIDEO TESTIMONIALS or creating your own EXIT STRATEGY from chronic pain and chronic illness.
ABDOMINAL SCAR TISSUE
ADHESIONS OF THE ABDOMINAL FASCIA
It's not uncommon for me to see people with STRETCHED, PULLED, OR TORN MUSCLES. The thing you have to remember is that rarely is a muscle really "torn". What I mean is that it is not common to tear the muscle belly --- the meat of the muscle ---- even though that sort of language is used routinely. Most of these problems involve tears of the FASCIA (the thin, clearish-yellow, cellophane-like membrane that covers the muscle), and not the muscle itself.
For whatever reason(s) (SPORTS, MVA, falls, the things listed above) a person ends up with an abdominal problem. The sort of problem I am wanting you to get a picture of not only causes pain, but most frequently it causes at least some degree of lost motion and / or strength as well. We once had a phenomenal high school athlete brought in to us in a wheel chair with an abdominal "tear" that happened while playing Ultimate Frisbee (no rough stuff; he just came down wrong). Regardless of how it happened, whether it's a new injury or old, or how debilitating it might seem at the moment; knowing more about this common injury might help you get your life back on track or at the very least, save you some future grief. Allow me reveal to you some facts that make this and similar injuries not only potentially debilitating, but nearly impossible for the average doctor to figure out.
- THE AVERAGE DOCTOR HAS NO IDEA HOW TO DIAGNOSE THESE SORTS OF PROBLEMS: As you might imagine, the first step in providing effective treatment is to have some sort of idea what the problem is. This means providing a proper diagnosis. Rather than me telling you, HERE is a post that contains a study letting you know just how poor a job general doctors do diagnosing musculoskeletal problems in the first place.
- THE AVERAGE DOCTOR HAS NO IDEA HOW TO TREAT THESE SORTS OF PROBLEMS: I wrote about this YESTERDAY. As you might also imagine, the usual drugs (CORTICOSTEROIDS, PAIN PILLS, and NSAIDS) are not going to do it. Fail to deal with the SCAR TISSUE in the Fascia and sooner or later you will be suffering. Unfortunately, tests and drugs are what doctors do. Great for some things. Not so great for problems like this.
- MOST SCARRED ABDOMINAL TISSUE DOES NOT SHOW UP ON MRI: Mind you, I am not talking here about the sort of "internal" adhesions that are the result of female issues such as ENDOMETRIOSIS. I am talking about adhesions in the tissues --- most specifically Fascia (although sometimes TENDONS are involved --- think HIP FLEXORS here). I have shown you over and over on this site that Fascia does not image will with MRI (HERE are several posts attesting to this).
- FASCIA IS THE MOST PAIN-SENSITIVE TISSUE IN THE BODY: Not only is Fascia arguably the single most pain-sensitive tissue in your entire body, but according to Dr. Chan Gunn, a neurologist from the University of Washington, Scar Tissue has the potential to be "superconductive" (HERE is why). This means that Scar Tissue can actually be up to 1,000 times more pain-sensitive than normal tissue.
- SCAR TISSUE IS UP TO 1,000 TIMES MORE PAIN-SENSITIVE THAN NORMAL TISSUE: Whoops. We covered this in the previous bullet point. However, stop and ponder this fact for another moment or two. It's easy to begin to see why the medical community is usually missing the boat in this department. Case in point; how many doctors have shared this information with you?
- THE NATURE OF THE ABDOMINAL MUSCLES THEMSELVES: The thing about the abdominal muscles is that they are made up of layers --- lots of layers --- one on top of the other, that all run in different directions. Look carefully at all of the pictures on this page. The very reason I put these pictures up is to show you that the abdominal muscles run up and down, side to side, and criss-cross (oblique) in both directions. And that's just for starters.
By the way, if you pay attention to the pictures, you can't help but notice the intimate relationship between the ribs, the muscles on and around the ribs (intercostals, serratus, transversus thoracis, etc, etc) and the abdominal muscles. This is why I so frequently see these problems (RIB TISSUE PAIN and ABDOMINAL PAIN) living together in one big unhappy family (often times with their red-headed stepchild --- HIP FLEXOR PROBLEMS). If you think that this might be your problem, send me a PATIENT HISTORY. If I think your problem is something I could help you solve, I'll tell you. If not, I will tell you that as well (HERE). The first step is determining whether your problem is related to scar tissue in the abdominal wall or the abdominal cavity (HERE).
IS CHIROPRACTIC CARE COST-EFFECTIVE?
The study stated that, "Chiropractic manipulation was found to be less costly and more effective than alternative treatment compared with either physiotherapy or GP care in improving neck pain.... indicating that some manual therapy techniques may be more cost-effective than usual GP care, spinal stabilization, GP advice, advice to remain active, or brief pain management for improving low back and shoulder pain/disability." Are you surprised? You shouldn't be. Information like this has been around for decades (HERE). Cover ups and half-truths are the nature of "EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE". But stop and think for a moment about what this study is really saying.
CHIROPRACTIC is more effective than ADVICE, stabilization (simply putting people in a brace), or brief pain management (NARCOTICS, NSAIDS, and CORTICOSTEROIDS). And none of these even begins to delve into that dirty little secret of the medical community --- the fact that according to published research, the average family practitioner has utterly no idea how to diagnose or effectively treat musculoskeletal problems (and most particularly NECK PAIN), even though these are a huge part of their daily patient load (HERE).
What is effective for helping patients suffering with acute or long-standing musculoskeletal problems? For my two cents, a combination of SCAR TISSUE REMODELING, Chiropractic Adjustments, COLD LASER THERAPY, and NUTRITION with an emphasis on diminishing INFLAMMATION (HERE is a link to Dr. David Seaman's anti-inflammatory diet). It stands to reason that this regimen will require some degree of STRETCHING and STRENGTHENING exercises as well (much of this is built-in in my clinic's protocols). For proof that this combination is both effective and cost-effective, take just a moment to watch a few of our VIDEO TESTIMONIALS. When you watch, make sure to mentally take note of how much money people were spending prior to coming here (MRI & CT SCANS, tests, specialists, DANGEROUS DRUGS, etc)
HONORING THOSE WHO KEEP AMERICA FREE
Right now there are billions of people around the world, who, whether they realize it or not, largely owe any freedoms they have (INCLUDING HEALTHCARE), to the blood of American soldiers --- virtually all spilled on foreign soil (HERE is an example). Over the course of my 23 years in practice, I have treated slews veterans and heard hundreds upon hundreds of their amazing stories. While attending chiropractic school in St. Louis, I actually had the privilege of living next door to a WWI vet (the last US veteran of the 'War to End all Wars' died in 2011).
I still treat a few WWII Vets, but unfortunately most are now gone (HERE, HERE, and HERE). The vast majority of our Korean Vets are gone as well (a recent patient was an Airborne Ranger there --- one of the "Frozen Chosin", who told me it was so cold in North Korea that there were times when the air itself was actually blue). The reality is that even our youngest Vietnam Vets are 60, and those who served in the first Gulf War are at least 40.
Today is about celebrating principles that are far more noble and lasting than politics --- the principles of freedom, courage, liberty, sacrifice, duty, and honor. Whatever your political persuasion, whichever party you happen to belong to, or however you feel about the politics behind some of our nation's wars; today is the day to put all that aside and remember our veterans. When you get a chance, be sure to thank a VET for their service to our country (a special shout out for my friend MURRAY ANDERSON)!
SCAR TISSUE REMODELING FOR PIRIFORMIS SYNDROME AND POST-SURGICAL PAIN
You see, Ginny's belly is not anything like most people's. She not only has a long, thick scar from the liver transplant, but she has numerous areas on her belly-area that could only be described as "hard" and restricted (this does not even get into the hernias). After watching one of our VIDEO TESTIMONIALS about a woman I had treated who had struggled for nearly two decades with pain and postural distortion due to POST-SURGICAL SCAR TISSUE (HERE), she was ready to give it a shot herself.
I called Ginny a couple of days later to see how she was doing. She was elated at the change. But rather than me telling you her story, I'll let her do it. Please take just a couple of minutes to watch this compelling video of a solution to chronic post-surgical pain. Unfortunately, Ginny passed away in 2016.
RIDING A HONDA GOLDWING IN ARKANSAS
At the end of 95, I grabbed Highway 160 just west of Theodosia and headed west. I could see the fog over the hills to the south coming off of Bull Shoals Lake. I stayed on 160 for about 10 minutes and took 125 south to the ferry in Peel, Arkansas, which crosses the lake. Even though I missed the ferry by a few minutes and had to wait a half hour, I had the opportunity to meet a couple of guys on a fishing trip who had grown up within just a few miles of where my parents now live near Melvern, Kansas.
After crossing the ferry, I stayed on 125 South until I got to Locust Road, which took me over to 14 W. Within a few minutes I was heading south on the most famous road in the Ozarks --- "Scenic Seven". After going through Harrison, winding my way past the old Dogpatch USA Amusement Park (long abandoned), and crossing the Buffalo River, I was in Jasper. In Jasper, I took 74 E. to 123 S., which has the best twisties and wildest switchbacks in a state famous for both (the best stretch is near Mt Judea -- pronounced "Judy").
After jumping back on South 7 for about three miles, I turned back east on Highway 16 at Sand Gap (it's labeled on Google Earth, but the same reveals that it is nothing more than a general store). Not only was this road amazing (great twisties), but the views from the bluffs / ridges into the valleys was spectacular --- especially with the Autumn colors and some of the leaves off so you could see. It was in this area that I believe I passed through the communities of 'Welcome Home' and 'Ben Hur' (Welcome Home was an actual town, while Ben Hur had little more than a church just past the Pedestal Rocks Scenic Area).
Instead of taking 377 north like I have previously, I went to 27. Both 16 and 27 were outstanding riding. The thing is, if you are trying to get somewhere quick, don't plan on it using these roads as both are all over the place --- one minute you are going south and the next, north (look at Google Earth). Parts of 27 between Marshal and Highway 66 were stunning. The best was rolling through a valley bathed in various shades of red, green, gold, and yellow, with a hayfield covered in big bales next to a clear rocky stream on my left, and surrounded by the tree-covered hills on either side. All along the way were breathtaking views. After passing through Mountain View and stopping for a couple of minutes to listen to some Bluegrass being played on the square (their Mountain Music Festival was in full swing), I headed over to Anglers to eat (it's on the White River at Sylamore Creek --- at the junction of several highways), not far from the road made famous by motorcyclists; PUSH MOUNTAIN ROAD.
From there it was north across the switchbacks on Highway 9 (again, the views of the White River Valley from the ridge tops were about as good as it gets). I turned north at Salem, Arkansas on the highway that becomes 17 just a few miles from town --- just after you cross the Missouri state line. 50 miles later I was at my office, which is itself on Highway 17. Great trip and look forward to a bit different route in the near future (with heated gear, cold is not really a problem as long as the roads are good).
I would love to take credit for the pics below, but when I ride alone, I'm by myself I typically crank my radio and ride. Hard. Rarely stopping to take pics unless I have a passenger (the pics below are all from Wikimedia, although they are all places I have ridden). The biggest problem with riding in Arkansas is that it's curvy roads are wearing down my foot pegs. Great problem to have!
ACETAMINOPHEN FOR BACK PAIN?
"Acetaminophen: Meta-analysis finds no differences between NSAIDs and acetaminophen in achieving pain relief. Practice guidelines of the American College of Physicians and the American Pain Society conclude that acetaminophen is a slightly weaker analgesic, but endorses it as a first-line treatment option because of its more favorable side-effect profile and cost." From Finding Relief for Lower Back Pain by Guido R. Zanni, PhD Published Online: Monday, March 14, 2011 for Pharmacy Times dot com.
"Acetaminophen as an Analgesic for Lower Back Pain: In the setting of acute low back pain, acetaminophen can be effectively utilized as an analgesic. Several studies have shown acetaminophen to be superior to placebo in the treatment of osteoarthritis pain, and because of its efficacy, it has been recommended as a first line agent in osteoarthritis treatment." From an article for Spine Universe called Acetaminophen in the Treatment of Acute Low Back Pain Written by Gerard Malanga, MD. By the way, this article cited two different studies (one from 1991 and another from 1982) as evidence that you should be using Acetaminophen for back pain. Probably why the makers of Tylenol,
McNeil Consumer Healthcare, recently made a public statement saying that the current research backs up the, "safety and efficacy profile of acetaminophen".
"Simple Steps to Help Relieve Back Pain: Take a pain reliever like Tylenol® (Use as directed) and avoid strenuous activity." From Tylenol's website.
"If you have back, neck, or shoulder pain Try this: Any OTC pain reliever Why? Strong prescription medicines called muscle relaxants are often used to relieve the spasms and sore muscles that can be the culprits behind very painful backaches and neck pain and other conditions. But those drugs have risks that include addiction, sedation, fatigue, and dizziness. And our analysis shows that they don't work any better than OTC acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen." From a recent issue of Consumer Report
"Acetaminophen helps relieve low back pain in some people, especially mild or moderate pain that has lasted less than 3 months. Acetaminophen at recommended dosages is safer than some other medicines. So many doctors suggest trying acetaminophen first to see if it helps." From Acetaminophen for Low Back Pain Your Guide to Acetaminophen for Low Back Pain as published by the queen mother of all medical advice sites, WebMD
"Tylenol can cause liver damage. The active ingredient in Tylenol is acetaminophen. Acetaminophen overdoses, half of them unintentional, are now the leading cause of acute liver failure in the United States. Four grams per day (about 12 regular-strength Tylenol tablets) is considered the safe upper limit, but that might be too much for some. Large doses are the main risk, but there are reports of people developing liver problems after taking small to moderate amounts of acetaminophen for long periods of time. People who drink alcohol regularly or have a less than healthy liver are more vulnerable to acetaminophen’s toxic effects, so the safety threshold for them is lower. Acetaminophen is an ingredient in many over-the-counter cold and headache medications. Some people may be taking more of the drug than they realize because of these “hidden sources.”" Harvard Medical School's Family Health Guide (12 Things You Should Know About Pain Relievers)
it's funny how CHIROPRACTIC has been pigeonholed as a treatment for back pain. Don't get me wrong; Chiropractic is great for most cases of back pain, but when you look at the origins of the profession (HERE), it had virtually nothing to do with back pain (HERE is another example). What's even funnier (not funny as in funny "ha ha" but funny as in "hinky") is how for decades, the medical and pharmaceutical industries have told us how good OTC pain relievers were as the first line of defense for people with back pain --- particularly drugs like Acetaminophen (Tylenol). This despite previous warnings that small amounts of this drug over time, can cause serious damage to the liver and kidneys. And it's not like this evidence is anything new.
Two decades ago next month, Johns Hopkins University published a study in the New England Journal of Medicine called Risk of Kidney Failure Associated with the Use of Acetaminophen, Aspirin, and Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs. Listen to this study's shocking conclusions. "Heavier acetaminophen use was associated with an increased risk of ESRD [End Stage Renal Disease --- dialysis] in a dose-dependent fashion. When persons who had taken fewer than 1000 pills containing acetaminophen in their lifetime were used for reference, the odds ratio was 2.0 A cumulative dose of 5000 or more pills containing NSAIDs increased the odds ration of ESRD to 8.8."
What does this mean in terms that we can all understand? It means that if you take less than 1,000 Tylenol pills (in this study, a pill was 200 mg), your chances of having to go on dialysis doubles. If you take 5,000 tablets in your lifetime, the chances go up by nearly 9 times. Gulp! This is insane, especially when you consider that doctors actually recommend that the "safe" dose of Tylenol is up to 4,000 mg per day (the equivalent of 20 tablets). At this rate you would hit the 1,000 tablet mark in less than two months, and the 5,000 tablet mark in just over 8 months. And think about it; who knows where the curve goes from there? The crazy truth is that just one single Tylenol a day for only one year, doubles your chances of ending up on dialysis (and people complain that Chiropractic is dangerous). And now we learn that sugar pills are equally as effective as Tylenol for treating back pain .
Even though huge numbers of physicians have publicly denounced the results of a July study that was published in the oldest and most prestigious medical journal on the planet (The Lancet ---
Efficacy of Paracetamol [Acetaminophen] for Acute Low-Back Pain: a Double-Blind, Randomized Controlled Trial), the author's stated reason for doing this research is tough to dismiss. Even though, "paracetamol [Acetaminophen] is the recommended first-line analgesic for acute low-back pain; however, no high-quality evidence supports this recommendation". And what were the study's conclusions? "Our findings suggest that regular or as-needed dosing with paracetamol does not affect recovery time compared with placebo in low-back pain, and question the universal endorsement of paracetamol in this patient group." In other words, Tylenol taken for back pain is no more effective than a sugar pill. And when you couple these results with the conclusions of the paper from the Pharmacy Times at the top of the page (" Meta-analysis Finds No Differences Between NSAIDs and Acetaminophen in Achieving Pain Relief"), it quickly becomes apparent that the whole thing is a house-of-cards teetering in the wind --- particularly once you learn how dangerous NSAIDs really are (HERE and HERE). I also happen to have a post on the dangers of ACETAMINOPHEN.
The August 5 issue of Practical Pain Management (Acetaminophen Found Ineffective for Treating Low Back Pain) --- a medical journal for pain practitioners --- Dr. Forrest Tennant and Thomas Ciccone write that, "One problem with this study is that it may give some practitioners the erroneous impression that low back pain is best treated with a single, evidenced-based pharmaceutical." This itself begs the question of what they think does constitute a good "evidence-based" approach. Their list includes things like stretching exercises (maybe good, maybe not -- HERE & HERE), analgesics (ASPIRIN), topical agents (Ben Gay, etc), electromagnetic devices (most are worthless, but a few like COLD LASER are beneficial), homeopathy, prolotherapy (sugar water injections), and eventually CORTICOSTEROIDS and hardcore "pharmaceutical agents" (probably NARCOTICS), when the first group doesn't work. And while I am certainly not against homeopathy (in fact, I am quite for it), putting it on the list instead of some sort of manipulative therapy such as CHIROPRACTIC that has been proven effective for those with back pain time and time again (HERE) in the battle against SPINAL SURGERY and disability is nothing short of absurd. But then again, it's the nature of EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE.
WHAT TO DO AFTER FALLING OFF THE WAGON
Q: I was wondering how do you get back on the wagon once you’ve fallen off? A: I see people say things like this all the time… and I’m often confused. What wagon? The diet wagon? The bandwagon? Because if that’s the case, then I’m glad you fell off of it. Listen. I think questions like these – and statements like these, period – are problematic. It’s not a matter of “getting back on the wagon,” because that’s not how you approach something that is a substantial change to your lifestyle. It’s not “Oh, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” It’s “Wow, successfully changing how I live and adjusting my habits is hard work, and I’ve got to treat it as such.” - Excerpted from Erika Nicole Kendall's October 7, 2013 column on A Black Girl's Guide to Weight Loss (Q&A Wednesday: "Falling Off" (And "Getting Back On") The Wagon)
No matter how good our intentions and how hard we work, sooner or later we all fall off "The Wagon". It's life. Get over it --- literally. If you don't get over it and climb back on, you get discouraged, start to feel sorry for yourself, and start to get down on yourself. The next thing you know, you're telling yourself that you 'deserve' those things that you essentially gave up (or at least cut way back on) when you radically changed your lifestyle.
Let me get into the meat of today's post by saying that if you are constantly / routinely falling off the wagon, you probably have a problem with addiction. And when it comes to food, most of these could be classified as some sort of CARB / SUGAR ADDICTION. Don't feel like you are the only one. Carb addictions are so common that they could probably be considered 'epidemic' here in America. If I am describing you, take a moment and click the link before reading any further.
I have previously said that for most of us hardcore sugar / carb addicts, there is no such thing as having "just a taste". That might work for some people, but for many of us it simply lights the fuse that is our cravings, which typically leads to epic binging. What are you going to do when this happens, because no matter how strong you are at this very moment, something will prove to be your kryptonite and weaken you. So; again I ask you --- what are you going to do?
- HAVE A PLAN: Don't think that falling off the wagon is something you are incapable of. If you have already created a (written) plan, you will already know what you are going to do in any given situation. Always be thinking one step ahead and trying to head problems off while they are "potential" problems. It's an old cliche, but failure to plan is planning to fail.
- HAVE AN ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER: Without exception, every program that is successful at helping people break addictions (including food addictions) puts a huge emphasis on accountability. HERE is one that a buddy and I used a couple of years ago.
- GET BACK ON THE WAGON IMMEDIATELY: The following scenario is not something you want to be associated with (but unfortunately, far too many Americans are). You've been pretty good about what you've been eating for most of the year. You've been focused on eating your WHOLE FOODS, and have not slipped up for quite some time. Then you go to a couple of Halloween parties and mess up. After a few days of being "off the wagon" you tell yourself that since Thanksgiving really isn't too far away, you may as well climb back on the first of December. Yeah right; you already knew that wasn't happening. So after spending the entire month of December on a binge of biblical proportions, you make your New Year's Resolutions. But by this time, you are so DEPRESSED about the 25 lbs you've gained in the past two months that you just shank the whole thing. Bypass this whole scene by getting right back on the wagon after you've fallen off. When you fall off, treat the next day like Monday morning --- the first day of a New Year.
- FIGURE OUT AHEAD OF TIME HOW YOU PLAN TO DEAL WITH CHEAT DAYS: Know your weaknesses. A "Cheat Meal" or "Cheat Day" now and then, is not going to ruin everything you've already done. However, you cannot simply do CHEAT DAYS flying by the seat of your pants. You had better know ahead of time how you are going to deal with this issue or it could end up running your life. In other words, you end up living for your Cheat Days.
- GO TO THE PARTY FULL: This is particularly for this season. You have a holiday get together with your friends. You know there will be tables piled high with exactly the stuff you have been working on staying away from. Fine. Go to the party. But eat immediately beforehand. A chef's salad might not be as "sexy" as multi-flavored cheesecake, Christmas cookies, and rum punch right now, but trust me when I tell you that it will be later (HERE).
- MOTIVATE YOURSELF: These are different for everyone, but are usually quite simple. It may be nothing more than looking at some "Before and After" weight loss photos (yours or online). Or it may just take you telling yourself that you've come too far to give up now. Sometimes, just the fact that you feel like utter crap after falling off the wagon can be extremely motivational. Or it may be just a matter of forcing yourself back into your daily routine. I don't care what it takes, but don't wallow in the mud, thinking about climbing back on the wagon --- just do it! The longer you are looking at the wagon while it rolls down the trail without you, the more effort it will take to run after it, catch it, and climb back on.
- UNDERSTAND YOUR ADDICTION (AND YOUR EXCUSES): While this might not pertain to many of you, my guess is that it pertains to more of you than most would care to admit. If you know you have a problem with certain foods or food groups (carbs, for instance), for Pete's sake, stay away from them. It's really not much different than the "dry" alcoholic. That person might not have had a drink for 20 years, but they stay away from it because they know that it they don't, they'll wind up in the same ditch they drug themselves out of previously. You also have to realize that your excuses are identical to those of people hooked on drugs, alcohol, porn, or whatever else people get addicted to.
Again, falling off the wagon doesn't mean the dark horse of the apocalypse is knocking at your door. It does mean you have to get up, dust yourself off, bandage your bruises, and get back on.
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Are you one of the tens of millions of Americans who is suffering from an AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE (click HERE for a list)? If you or someone you love is living with an Autoimmune Disease, you need to make it a point to sign up for Cyrex Lab's "AUTOIMMUNE SUMMIT". Autoimmunity (the state in which one's own Immune System decides to attack one or more of the tissues in one's own body) is rampant in the United States. How rampant? According to Dr. Amy Myers (watch the short video in the previous link), it's the third leading cause of death in America, right behind CANCER and HEART DISEASE. The list of presenters for this conference reads like a veritable "Who's Who" in FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE. If you or someone you care about is chronically ill, you owe to them (or yourself) to at least check it out.
IS IT REALLY AS GOOD FOR YOUR BONES
AS YOU HAVE BEEN LED TO BELIEVE?
- The March 1994 edition of the Journal of Epidemiology carried as study called Case-Control Study of Risk Factors for Hip Fractures in the Elderly. The Abstract stated that even though neither alcohol consumption nor caffeine were associated with hip fractures, "Consumption of dairy products, particularly at age 20 years, was associated with an increased risk of hip fracture in old age".
- A few years later, the June 1997 issue of the American Journal of Public Health carried a similar study (Milk, Dietary Calcium, and Bone Fractures in Women: A 12-Year Prospective Study). Beginning in 1980, the authors followed over 75,000 women between the ages of 34 and 59 with no history of calcium supplementation. Listen to their conclusions. "We found no evidence that higher intakes of milk or calcium from food sources reduce fracture incidence. Women who drank two or more glasses of milk per day had relative risks of 1.45 for hip fracture when compared with women consuming one glass or less per week. Likewise, higher intakes of total dietary calcium or calcium from dairy foods were not associated with decreased risk of hip or forearm fracture. These data do not support the hypothesis that higher consumption of milk or other food sources of calcium by adult women protects against hip or forearm fractures."
- A study that came out just last week in the latest issue of the British Medical Journal showed the same thing. Scientists have been following over 100,000 Swedish men and women for an average of 20 years in order, "to examine whether high milk consumption is associated with mortality and fractures". Their conclusions? "High milk intake was associated with higher mortality in one cohort of women and in another cohort of men, and with higher fracture incidence in women."
- Besides being the Chair and associate professor of health and wellness for the University of North Carolina Asheville, Dr. Amy Lanou is a senior nutrition researcher and director of the PCRM (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine --- an organization with 15,000 physician members and the stated goal of "Bringing nutrition into medical education and practice") PCRM's bio on her says that, "Dr. Lanou publishes regularly on the relationship between dairy products and health concerns.... Another paper in Pediatrics, titled 'Calcium, Dairy and Bone Health in Children and Young Adults: A Reevaluation of the Evidence,' shows that currently available evidence does not support the notion that dairy product consumption promotes bone health in young people." Lanou goes on to say that the, "Countries with the highest rates of osteoporosis are the ones where people drink the most milk and have the most calcium in their diets. The connection between calcium consumption and bone health is actually very weak, and the connection between dairy consumption and bone health is almost nonexistent."
Let me say that while I do not agree with everything espoused by Dr. Lanou and her organization (they have a strong vegan bent, and I firmly believe that a PALEO approach is better for both WEIGHT LOSS and dealing with CHRONIC INFLAMMATORY ILLNESSES), she is right on in her statements about Osteoporosis. Is you are interested in learning about the real causes of this all too common health problem, take a moment to read a few of the posts on OSTEOPOROSIS I have written over the past couple of years. Be warned; they might just shock you. Study after study has concluded that calcium supplementation not only does not prevent Osteoporosis, these supplements are actually associated with higher rates of mortality (death).
I think that in many ways, milk is in the same boat that grains are in (think GLUTEN here). It's not that grains are bad in and of themselves. However, all of the genetic modifications, hybridization, and OTHER FACTORS have made them something which, in many ways, bears little resemblance to historical grains of a mere century ago. Think about it. Milk is pasteurized in order to kill bacteria (the good and the bad), right along with ENZYMES and nutrients. Then it's homogenized (whole milk is forced through tiny holes at a very high pressure in order to keep the cream from separating from the milk). Before the milk ever gets to this point, it is generally "contaminated" with ANTIBIOTICS and various hormones (rBGH, XENOESTROGENS, etc). In many ways, processed milk is a "Frankenfood" along the same lines as a hotdog or CHICKEN NUGGET. On top of this, milk has been strongly associated with DIABETES, and certain types of CANCER (particularly PROSTATE and BREAST). Much of this is because processed milk is thought to create significant amounts of INFLAMMATION.
What do I recommend? Unfortunately, our local Organic Cheese Plant was shut down by the government (HERE), so I can't send you to Morningland any more. We used Whole Goat Milk for our kids when they were infants, and have access to fresh whole milk today. One thing I do not recommend is Soy Milk as it is a known XENOESTROGEN.
MYOFASCIAL PAIN SYNDROMES
In an article (Myofascial Pain Syndromes) written for the latest edition of Practical Pain Management --- a medical journal for physicians that run pain clinics --- Nikki Kean tells us how common MPS is. "Myofascial pain syndromes (MPS) are the most common diagnosis seen in pain clinics, accounting for approximately 85% of cases." Stop and read between the lines for a moment and grasp what she is saying here. We all know that pain doctors rarely if ever "fix" anything. They are, by the very nature of their practices, masking symptoms with a wide array of drugs and procedures (RFA, BOTOX, PRP, etc). For patients with Myofascial Pain Syndromes --- the vast majority of their patient load --- this typically means giving them HARDCORE DRUGS.
Dr. Harden is the source that Keen uses to write her paper, and his credentials are impeccable. He is an Associate Professor at Northwestern University's Pain Management, Rehabilitation, and Physical Therapy Center, as well as being the Medical Director, for the Center for Pain Studies of Chicago's Rehabilitation Institute. Dr. Harden is a pain doctor.
Keen writes that, "Dr. Harden does not follow any specific guidelines, but rather lets the patient’s symptoms guide therapy. “Medicine is an art, and it requires a hands-on approach. The most effective therapy for MPS is not “A” therapy but a combination of interventions...." What are these "interventions"? Unfortunately, he, like most pain doctors, uses CORTICOSTEROID INJECTIONS. And although he toes the old prejudicial medical lines and wants it done by osteopaths, MANIPULATION is at the top of his list. So are, "locally administered electromagnetic techniques". While this could mean any number of things, the "technique" that comes immediately to mind would be COLD LASER. Interestingly enough, this same issue of PPM ran a story called Ten Must-Have Devices for Your Practice. Up near the top was Therapeutic Laser.
Dr. Harden then makes a remarkable statement. He says, "Treatment should be targeted at the pro-inflammatory mediators causing muscle bundling and trigger points". What are pro-inflammatory mediators? If you want to see a couple lists of these mediators and the health problems they are associated with, just go HERE and HERE. If you want to read more about INFLAMMATION in general, just follow this link.
I am not sure how Dr. Harden is addressing this issue beyond prescribing people standard fare (Corticosteroids mentioned above, or NSAIDS (NON-STEROIDAL ANTI-INFLAMMATORY MEDICATIONS). The thing is, we don't have to reinvent the wheel. Two years ago today, Functional Neurologist, Chiropractor, and Nutritional Expert, Dr. David Seaman wrote an article for PPM (HERE) called An Anti-inflammatory Diet For Pain Patients. In this article he stated, "Eating a pro-inflammatory diet over a long period of time increases one’s risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, and pain syndromes. Switching to an anti-inflammatory diet can help reverse some of these conditions and reduce pain and inflammation." Wow. You mean to tell me that what you eat can make a difference in health and CHRONIC PAIN SYNDROMES? What a novel idea! Not sure when this is going to become the Standard of Care, but the seeds are slowly being planted. The process, however, is exceedingly slow because Big Pharma doesn't want pain patients getting better. They want chronically sick patients that they can provide huge amounts of drugs for over the course of a long lifetime. This is exactly what is happening as people are living longer, but in misery (HERE).
If you are looking for restoration of function and relief from the pain caused by Myofascial Problems and the SCAR TISSUE associated with many of them, give us a call. I might very well be able to provide a solution that no one else has offered yet. To better see what I am talking about, take a moment to watch a few of our VIDEO TESTIMONIALS.
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