Archive for May 2013

Chiropractic for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

May 23, 2013

wrist-mobility-200-300

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS), named from the carpal bones in the wrist that form a tunnel around the nerve leading to the hand, is an injury usually caused by repetitive and forceful movements that result in swelling around the tendons and pinching of the median nerve, causing painful tingling, lack of muscle strength and control in the hand, and pain shooting from the hand up to the shoulder. CTS is a risk to most workers, such as those who work on the computer and also store and assembly line workers, who receive micro-traumas to their hands and wrists on a daily basis due to awkward positioning, forceful and repetitive movements, and stressful activity.

The usual treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can extend to heavy medication and surgery, however there are alternative methods of treatment that can alleviate the symptoms and effects arising from CTS. Chiropractic treatment for CTS has been studied against conventional non-surgical medical treatment and was found to be effective. This offers an alternative to sufferers who are intolerant to ibuprofen, or those who simply wish to avoid treating with medication. 

The median nerve in the wrist, which when trapped causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, connects to the spinal cord through the openings in the bones in the areas around the lower neck. If these bones in the spinal cord lose their ordinary position or motion, this can cause problems in the wrists or fingers. Through chiropractic treatment, these bones can be reset to the correct position and can help to treat CTS.

If Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is detected early, then surgery can be avoided, and chiropractic treatment is the leading method of non-surgical treatment. Chiropractic treatment usually involves various methods, with a combination of rest, ice, ultrasound, and electrical stimulation, including:

  • By chiropractic manipulation therapy of the elbow and upper spine, where the joint’s soft tissue undergoes manipulation;
  • Nutritional supplements in the diet such as B6, a vitamin that has had long-term promotion in its treatment of CTS;
  • Electro-acupuncture treatment; bracing, a technique that has had extensive success, by limiting extension and flexion in the hand, and with compression on the median nerve may encourage recovery and ease the swelling in the tendons;
  • Exercises for the wrist and hand designed to encourage recovery;
  • Reassessing the ergonomics of the work place to minimize stress the best way as possible.

Recent studies concluded that using manual therapy intervention such as soft tissue mobilization (STM) has been found to help improve the signs and symptoms of CTS, with improvements to nerve conduction latencies, wrist strength and motion.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can become a serious health problem, and if left too long may require surgery. If it’s caught early, then chiropractic treatment is an effective, drug-free method to ease the symptoms and pains caused by CTS, and provide long-term relief from CTS. 

Every body is different. If you have questions whether chiropractic is an appropriate choice for your specific situation, please ask. Call Dr. Carlisle or visit http://www.DrCarlisleDC.com

We are here to help!

 

How Coffee Affects Your Health

May 21, 2013

We seem to hear different things from the medical community every few years about either the positive or negative effect that coffee has on our health. So what is the most current information? Is coffee good or bad for your health? The answer, in short, is that it’s a little of both.

Too much coffee can lead to a temporary increase in blood pressure, anxiety and upset stomach, in addition to its ability to become addictive. And don’t forget that added cream and sugar contribute to weight gain. For example, a 24-ounce Starbucks venti double chocolate chip frappucino contains a mind-boggling 520 calories!

Despite these drawbacks, moderate coffee consumption can actually have a protective effect, helping to reduce your risk of many problems, including Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, liver cancer, gallstones and Type 2 diabetes, to name a few. It can also lower the risk of stroke in women.

Current research has indicated that there is no increased risk of heart disease or cancer from moderate coffee drinking. The studies done earlier that reached that conclusion were flawed in that they did not take into consideration other lifestyle habits that went along with increased coffee drinking, such as smoking and lack of exercise, two major causes of these diseases. In fact, coffee has been shown to protect against many kinds of cancer.

A recent study published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention found that there was a 25 percent reduction in cases of endometrial cancer in women who drank four or more cups of coffee per day. Scientists believe this may be due to the fact that coffee has the ability to lower concentrations of free estradiol and insulin, in addition to the cancer-fighting effect of coffee’s antioxidant phenols.

Even a few cups of coffee every day can cut men’s risk of developing prostate cancer by 30 percent, with those consuming six cups of coffee a day reducing their risk of a dangerous form of the cancer by a whopping 60 percent.

 

Coffee also reduces your risk of developing basal cell carcinoma by up to 20 percent, according to scientists from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and HarvardMedicalSchool.

Another study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that women who drink coffee (four cups per day) have a 20 percent lower risk of depression than those who drink no coffee at all.

It is recommended that you get no more than 500-600 mg of caffeine intake per day, the equivalent of about 6 to 8 cups of brewed coffee. Obviously, the amount of caffeine in a cup of espresso will be more than that in the equivalent amount drip coffee.

The key point to keep in mind is to consume coffee in moderate amounts, especially if you are pregnant. But all in all, the benefits of coffee consumption far outweigh the risks for most people, so grab a café grande and drink up!

Visit Dr. Carlisle at http://www.DrCarlisleDC.com 

Choosing the Right Lumbar Support

May 21, 2013

Lumbar back support products are designed to help prevent neck and back pain, which can lead to pain in other parts of the body as well. Many of these products are pillows or cushions that offer additional support when you are seated for long periods of time.

The lumbar region of the spine is usually referred to as the lower back. It is the area just above your tailbone and below the thoracic (middle back) region. The lumbar area includes your spine and all the muscles, ligaments and tendons surrounding your spine. If your ligaments are pulled or torn, you will experience a lumbar sprain or strain, which can lead to muscle spasms and significant pain in your lower back.

What can cause lumbar sprains and strains? Poor posture, poor lifting technique, obesity, and other health-related factors can contribute. In fact, sitting for long periods without lumbar support can itself aggravate lumbar pain. Finally, one of the greatest contributors to back pain is using the wrong type of chair for your body. Surfaces that are too hard or too soft do not encourage proper posture and do not provide adequate support for your back.

Usually all that is required to relieve lower back pain is sufficient rest, but most of us are unable to rest for long enough to overcome lumbar problems. So preventing these problems with a good lumbar support is essential, especially if you spend significant amounts of time sitting down.

The first step to choosing the right lumbar support is to ensure that it fits perfectly in the chair you spend the most time in. An even better option is to choose an ergonomically designed chair that includes a built-in lumbar support, or an individual lumbar support that is specifically designed to be used with your chair. “One size fits all” lumbar support products rarely provide any benefits and should be avoided.

Make sure you test the product in the store before you buy it. If you can, sit with the lumbar support for at least 15 minutes to see if it feels good or aggravates back pain. The best lumbar supports are adjustable, so you can fit it to the chair’s height. Ergonomic chairs with lumbar supports included usually allow you to adjust the height and width of the support. Adjustable separate supports are particularly useful if you use more than one chair throughout the day.

Good health is a combination of many factors including your nutrition, preventative care, appropriate corrective care and the small choices you make every day in the course of living. If you have questions about your spinal health, please call Dr. Carlisle or visit http://www.DrCarlisleDC.com

We are here to help!

 

Patients’ Satisfaction with Chiropractic Care

May 17, 2013

When it comes to making important choices about treatment options for back pain,
it’s worth looking at the experiences of others who have found something that
works.  In recent years, the Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center has surveyed
the magazine’s subscribers to do just that.  In April and May 2009, Consumer
Reports released some of its findings publicly.  A summary appears below.

About the Survey Participants

* More than 14,000 participants who
had suffered from lower-back pain in the prior year but had never had back
surgery.
* More than half reported that pain severely limited their daily
routine for a week or longer.
* Many reported that pain interfered with
sleep, sex and efforts to maintain a healthy weight.
* 88% reported that the
pain recurred through the year.
* Most had tried five or six different
treatments.

How Respondents Ranked the Healthcare Providers Who Had
Treated Them

Healthcare Provider
Percent Who Were Highly Satisfied
With Treatment and Advice*
Chiropractor
59%
Physical
Therapist+
55%
Acupuncturist
53%
Physician,
Specialist
44%
Physician, Primary Care
34%*Defined as either
Completely Satisfied or Very Satisfied.
+Difference in ranking for Physical
Therapist and Acupuncturist were not statistically significant.

How
Respondents Ranked Selected Back Pain Therapies

Therapy
Percentage Who
Reported that the Therapy Helped a Lot
Chiropractic
Manipulation
58%
Prescription Drugs
45%
Over-the-Counter Drugs

22%
In July 2011, Consumer Reports published an updated report describing
how Americans use alternative approaches to healthcare as well as their
experience with various therapies and their providers.  Chiropractic care once
again was reported to be the most popular approach to back pain relief and was
ranked most highly in terms of patient satisfaction.

Your Doctor of
Chiropractic can help relieve back pain and restore mobility by using a
drug-free, hands-on technique called “spinal manipulation” or “chiropractic
adjustment”.  He or she may also use other manual therapies, such as massage, to
complement this primary treatment.  In addition, many chiropractors are skilled
in designing exercise and nutrition programs for their patients that will help
their bodies resist injury and function properly.  By focusing on both immediate
pain relief and the underlying causes of back pain, your chiropractor can help
you achieve a healthier overall lifestyle.

Every body is different. If
you have questions about this article or whether chiropractic is an appropriate
choice for your specific situation, please ask. We are here to help! Please visit www.DrCarlisleDC.com for more information


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