Rochester Hills Chiropractor

Our Original Research Was Published!

This weeks blog is short and sweet.  Dr. Tully’s research on the cervical spine was published in one of the premier Chiropractic research journals!  Included is a link to the abstract (the full research requires a subscription).  If you would like a copy, contact us!  We may be able to help.

https://vertebralsubluxation.sharepoint.com/Pages/2016_1419_forwardheadposture.aspx

Structural Shift Affects Workout

Can a Structural Shift of Your Spine Affect Your Workout?

Spring is finally here, which means beach season is just around the corner. Many gyms will see an uptick in members as people recall that it took longer than two weeks to get in shape the previous year. It seems like a cruel joke that our body wouldn’t just change instantly. After all, there are plenty of commercials on television that would have us believe we can look like Brad Pitt after five workouts and the right combination of supplements, nutrition, and gopher milk (is that the miracle product this year?). Unfortunately, your body takes time to respond to a routine. Since this is the case, it is important for us to get as much out of every workout as is humanly possible. Structural shifts of your spine can unfortunately derail this.

Normal Range For Alignment

There is a normal range for the alignment of your spine just like there is a normal range for blood pressure, vision, and heart rate. When your spine is within this normal range, everything that connects with your spine works optimally. This includes your muscles, joints, nervous system (electrical wiring of your body), and more. The spine is literally the foundation of your body that provides support and mobility for everything you do. What happens if there is an abnormal deviation of your spine from normal?

Anterior Head SyndromeAs an example, let’s discuss how Anterior Head Syndrome affects your workout. Anterior Head Syndrome is the abnormal deviation of your head beyond what is considered normal (pictured above). When a shift of the inner framework of your spine occurs, it changes the resting muscle length and angle for all of the muscles that attach from your head to the upper back, shoulder girdle, scapula and more. Why is this a problem? For one, a force-length relationship occurs with muscles. This principle states that there is an ideal resting muscle length, and when it shortens it affects the contraction strength. Therefore, any muscles shortened secondary to Anterior Head Syndrome are now weaker.

Affect of Anterior Head Syndrome

Structural Shift Affects WorkoutIn addition, as your head moves forward of normal alignment it changes the resting angle of the muscles. Any muscles that use the angle as a mechanical advantage to complete their task are now affected. For example, if a muscle’s job is to raise the shoulder girdle up and down it will now be altered by the forward head position. Instead of the muscle fibers running vertically, they are now angled forward. When you contract these muscles the force will be split in multiple directions which weakens it. Think about it like a pulley. If a pulley is positioned directly above a weighted item and where it needs to go, you just pull the rope and the weight ends up where it needs to be. If instead the pulley is angled forward, pulling the rope will move the weight both up and forward. Changing the angle alters the function of the muscle.

Anterior Head Syndrome also affects your breathing. Breathing is a good thing when you work out (in case you didn’t know) because it brings oxygen to your muscles so they can replenish ATP for your workout. When your head is angled forward, the muscles of respiration don’t lift your rib cage as much as they should. When this occurs, there is less room for oxygen exchange with your lungs. Your body will take in less oxygen than it ideally can. This in turn means muscles may not have the oxygen they need to produce ATP – which is energy for your muscles. Without energy, you will not get the complete workout you are looking for.

There are many more ways that Structural Shifts of your spine affect your workout. Either way, it should be evident that you may not get the optimal results needed in time for beach season. Chiropractors that focus on Structural Correction are a good starting point to address these issues. You can always try gopher milk though. I’m sure Brad Pitt drinks it.

Chronic Preventable Disease and Health Care Costs

Are Chronic, Preventable Diseases the Reason Your Health Insurance Premiums Sky-Rocketed?

Chronic Preventable Disease and Health Care CostsIt is estimated that nearly 50% of the American population suffers from at least one chronic disease.  The conditions include heart disease, asthma, cancer, diabetes, obesity and more.  These disorders are often preventable, and frequently manageable through early detection, improved diet, exercise, and treatment therapy.  They are also unfortunately expensive to treat.  This is part of the reason many premiums went up when the Affordable Care Act required insurance to be offered at a reasonable price for those who suffer from chronic diseases.  When the chronically ill were added to the pool of insurance customers, the additional expenses were spread over the entirety of the group and many premiums rose.

In 2006, the US’s health expenditure per person was over $7,000 – more than twice the average of 29 other developed countries.  While we spend more, the life expectancy is far below many other nations who spend less annually.  What is going on here?  There are certainly many factors in play, but naturally when health care costs more the price of health insurance will go up.  Many people are trying to find a political solution to bring down the prices, but are they overlooking the biggest factor?  Should we instead be focusing our efforts on addressing these preventable diseases through lifestyle modification?  If we could reduce the number of chronically ill Americans, it isn’t crazy to think health insurance would become much more affordable.

CDC – Eliminating 3 Risk Factors

The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that eliminating three risk factors – poor diet, inactivity, and smoking – would prevent:

  • 80% of heart disease and stroke
  • 80% of type 2 diabetes
  • 40% of cancer

Obesity is a major culprit contributing to the progression of many diseases and has strong links with type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, certain cancers and more.  The total cost of obesity to U.S. companies is estimated at $13 billion annually.  This includes the “extra” cost of health insurance, sick leave, life insurance, and disability insurance.  Unfortunately, 1 in every 3 adults is obese.  In addition, 1 in 5 children between the ages of 6 and 19 are obese as well.  Given current trends, one in three children born in 2000 will develop diabetes over the course of a lifetime!

Some Costs Associated With Chronic Disease:

  • Cardiovascular disease and stroke – $313 billion in 2009
  • Cancer – $89 billion in 2007
  • Smoking – $96 billion in 2004
  • Diabetes – $116 billion in 2007
  • Obesity – $61 billion in 2000

Chronic disease is a huge threat to America’s health and wallet.  The answer goes way beyond political legislation.  That is merely a large band-aid for an enormous problem.  There needs to be a grassroots movement to make America healthy again.  If we eat healthier, exercise, and quit smoking, health care will become much more affordable and the population will benefit tremendously.

References:

  1. http://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/pdf/2009-Power-of-Prevention.pdf
  2. http://www.fightchronicdisease.org/sites/default/files/docs/GrowingCrisisofChronicDiseaseintheUSfactsheet_81009.pdf
Is Nerd Fitness a Revolutionary Concept to Promote Health

Is Nerd Fitness a Revolutionary Concept to Promote Health?

Is Nerd Fitness a Revolutionary Concept to Promote HealthDo you have a son or a daughter, friend, colleague, or spouse that spends all of their free time playing video games?  Does it seem like they never get enough exercise and eat poorly?  Is it something they want to improve but just don’t have the motivation?  I have some good news if any of this sounds familiar.  An entrepreneur, Steve Kamb, (who I stumbled across listening to podcasts) created a program that helps people learn how to work out, eat well, and provide motivation to achieve these goals.  Welcome to the world of Nerd Fitness.

What is Nerd Fitness?

I am blogging about his program today because as many of you may know – I am all about promoting wellness businesses that make America and its constituents healthier.  If we can get people to eat healthier and exercise more regularly, it isn’t crazy to think:

  1. Health insurance would become more affordable.  We could reduce the amount of people with chronic diseases that are expensive to treat
  2. Have an improved economy with reduced sick days and more productive hours
  3. A happier population in general that doesn’t have their life overshadowed by poor health
  4. And many more possibilities I am overlooking

The reason I love the concept of Nerd Fitness is because it uses principles that made certain games like Everquest, World of Warcraft, Runescape, etc. incredibly popular.  As a matter of fact, in 2015, the company that owns World of Warcraft announced it has over 7 million players worldwide!  The reason these games are/were so popular is because you can level up your character by completing certain tasks.  You can physically see your player progress, and other players will acknowledge it.  It is a sign of prestige within the games’ worldwide community to have certain stats, items, etc.  If you want to be the best character in the game (which many people try to be who play) you have to have a character that is good at everything.  That takes work within the game.  Imagine if you could apply this principle to daily life?

How does  Nerd Fitness motivate?

Good news, Nerd Fitness has taken this concept and applied it to real life!  As a matter of fact, their slogan is “level up your life”.  They are basically using the same psychology that made the games mentioned above so viral and using it to motivate people to improve their lives.  In their online academy you are given certain tasks to perform involving workout exercises, nutrition, self-improvement skills and more.  Each time you complete a task, you get “experience” towards leveling up your character in their community!  You can gain respect within the online community, improve your health, and increase your self-esteem.  They even have videos and experts that provide quality information on how to perform exercises, what to eat, and much more.

In conclusion, if you know someone who is struggling with their health and needs a new system to guide them, definitely advocate Nerd Fitness.  Some people just need the proper type of motivation to get themselves going.  After all, who wouldn’t want to level up their life?

Image courteous of www.Nerdfitness.com

Can High Heels Hurt Your Back

Can High Heels Hurt Your Back?

Can High Heels Hurt Your BackFrom what people tell me, fashion hurts if you’re doing it right (I guess you’ll never see me on a magazine or red carpet).  If this is true, high heels must be the king of high fashion.  A few sources believe they may contribute to back pain and a number of other ailments.  Why is this and what can you do?  I will do my best to explain.

When you wear high heels, it raises the posterior aspect of your feet and legs.  This pushes your center of gravity forward of where it should be.  To counteract this, your body must bend backwards.  In particular, it is believed that the lower part of your spine, the lumbar spine, compensates by becoming hyperlordotic – or “curved” posteriorly more than it should be.

Normal Alignment Standards

There is a normal alignment for your spine.  This is no different than other accepted standards for your body.  For example, we know normal blood pressure is 120/80 mm Hg and normal body temperature is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit.  The farther you move away from normal, the more your body may suffer.  When your spine shifts away from the accepted standard, it puts stress on other parts of the body.  This is similar to a car out of alignment. The abnormal position will stress brakes, shocks, and other important parts of your car causing them to wear down.  With respect to your spine, misalignment can cause a number of issues including compensatory muscle spasm, back pain, ligament stress, facet impingement and more.

What Can Be Done Then?

Can High Heels Hurt Your Back
There seems to be a number of strategies that an individual may follow beyond the cessation of wearing high heels according to www.osteopathic.org.

  1. Wear high heels that are 1.5 inches or less
  2. Only wear heels on days that require less walking and standing
  3. Make sure the shoes are the correct size
  4. Alternate shoes during the day (for example flatter shoes most of day but heels for meeting, etc.)
  5. Stretch your calves

There definitely appears to be a reasonable biomechanical mechanism for back pain and wearing high heels.  Naturally, the best strategy is to avoid wearing them.  If you still plan on wearing them, however, follow some of the above mentioned strategies.  Fashion may hurt, but high heels don’t need to be the reason why.

This image is provided by Erik Dalton at http://erikdalton.com/media/newsletters-online/high-heels-and-back-pain/.

Does Your Fish Oil Brand Matter

Does Your Fish Oil Brand Matter?

Does Your Fish Oil Brand MatterRecently, I have found myself painting the office at Precision Chiropractic more than 5 hours per day (it turns out that it takes a long time for one person to paint a large suite with 12 foot walls).  While rolling a paint nap back and forth for hours on end is tons of fun, I have found that adding podcasts to the routine turns the “fun factor” up a notch.  Today, I listened to Dr. Rhonda Patrick discuss fish oil and factors to consider when deciding on a brand.  Did you know that fish oil supplements are not created equal?  I certainly didn’t.

Not All Oil Is Created Equal

To begin with, the standard fish oil you stumble across may be oxidized and rancid.  Why is this a bad thing?  This renders the oil ineffective.  This is a big deal since this super nutrient may have whole body health benefits thanks to its contribution of EPA and DHA essential fatty acids to the diet.  Buying ineffective fish oil would be like buying a space heater (it is winter after all) that looks nice in a room, but doesn’t actually do anything.  Decorations are fantastic, but more than likely you purchased a supplement for the perceived health benefits.

What should we look for when it comes to a quality supplement then?  Dr. Patrick recommends purchasing fish oil that is manufactured and distilled in a nitrogen environment rather than an oxygenated environment.  After all, oxygen is responsible for the process of oxidation.  Have you ever seen rust on a nail before?  If you have, you’ve experienced oxidation.  One brand that is known for utilizing a nitrogen manufacturing process is Nordic Naturals.

Refrigerating Fish Oil

Also, she recommends refrigerating your supplements.  A higher temperature increases chemical activity, which contributes to oxidation as well.  By refrigerating the fish oil, you lower the risk of this adverse chemical process and extend the shelf life.  Finally, Dr. Patrick recommends buying fish oil in capsules.  Liquid fish oil in bottles will be exposed to oxygen when it is open.  The same oil in capsules is surrounded by a layer impervious to external conditions.

The majority of Americans do not eat enough fish.  Supplementation is a great way to receive the benefits that come with a diet rich in marine life.  However, many Americans are potentially buying rancid oil that may do more harm than good.  Next time you are looking for fish oil, check and see if it is manufactured in nitrogen, if it is in capsule form, and don’t forget to refrigerate it after you’ve purchased it.

Image provided by medicalnewstoday.com @ http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/content/images/articles/282/282192/fish-oil-supplements.jpg

Does Your Head Have Something in Common With a Bowling Ball

Does Your Head Have Something in Common With a Bowling Ball?

Does Your Head Have Something in Common With a Bowling BallDid you know your head has something in common with a bowling ball?  The average head weighs around 10-12 pounds (this doesn’t take into account outliers like Kanye West and Donald Trump who raise the average about 20 pounds).  When it is in normal alignment, the 10 to 12 pounds are balanced perfectly over the cervical spine, which is balanced over the shoulders, then hips, and all the way down to the feet.  Stress and strain are equally distributed by the body to the proper weight-bearing structures in the normal position.  However, when the head is not positioned correctly it can lead to issues similar to a car out of alignment.  Instead of tires and brakes wearing unevenly, your neck bones, muscles, ligaments and nerves are the recipients of stress and neurological degenerative strain.

On top of your neck is a 10-12 pound bowling ball you call your head.  For every inch it moves forward (relative to normal orientation), it increases the weight on the supporting structures by an additional 10 pounds.  If your head deviates from normal by an inch, you can add another bowling ball on top of your neck.  You say your head is 2 inches forward of normal?  You are now balancing 3 bowling balls on your neck.  Having a number of bowling balls may sound great to a pro in the Professional Bowling Association, but your body is an amateur playing with bumpers.  One bowling ball is all it needs.

What Are Potential Secondary Conditions (Symptoms) of This Abnormal Posture?

There are many:

  • headaches
  • neck pain
  • degeneration
  • muscle tightness
  • TMJ
  • upper back pain
  • and many more!

How Does This Happen?

For an example, we will use headaches.  When your head shifts forward, the muscles on the back of your head shorten and tighten.  This will constrict anything traveling through them like blood vessels (pipes of your body) and nerves (the electrical wiring of your body).  These nerves form little webs that surround ligaments, muscles, and blood vessels that travel to your brain.  They are also responsible for transmitting pain.  Much like the lighting in your house, your body depends on unobstructed electrical current to run efficiently.  When the nerves are obstructed, the body begins to function like a 75 watt light bulb that is actually designed to run at 100 watts.  This can cause a number of issues, including pain, and a number of secondary conditions listed previously.

That’s why at Precision Chiropractic, we build a comprehensive plan dependent on the analytics from our complete Structural Exam.  This allows us to personalize a stabilizing period of care to address the issues that boththe patient and doctor observe.  Anterior Head Syndrome is just one of the indicators we find during our full Structural Examination that occur secondary to Structural Shifts of the spine.  While no one has perfect posture, the further your spine moves away from normal, the more Secondary Conditions may appear.  In the end, your body is designed to carry only one bowling ball.

The image above is provided by http://www.drchadmorton.com/mt-albert/.

CTE & Chiropractic

CTE and the NFL – Can Chiropractic Help?

NFLIf you have followed the NFL recently, you may know that concussions have been a huge area of concern.  The possible progression to CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) has been a hot topic of debate and was recently depicted in the Hollywood film Concussion.  The effects of CTE on former football players appears substantial.  Many suffer from dementia, headaches, depression and much more.  Recently, ESPN featured ex NFL quarterback Jim McMahon in a documentary that described his struggles with CTE.  Featured in the story was a therapy he underwent that provided him relief.  The therapy was a form of chiropractic that focuses on Atlas Displacement Complex using very advanced technology.  The Chicago Tribune even published an article about it.

I have blogged previously about the potential mechanisms involved in similar conditions and discussed it in this article on misalignment of the cranio-cervical junction.  I also have a pending research review article that goes more in depth on the topic.  However, a lot of what I know is from a pioneer in the field, Scott Rosa.  Dr. Rosa is the chiropractor who helped Jim McMahon in the Chicago Tribute article referenced above.  He utilizes standing MRI to show pre and post adjustment changes in the hydrodynamics of the head and neck.  It is very cool stuff and can even be seen on youtube!

Keep in mind, chiropractic focusing on Structural Correction is not a treatment for neurodegenerative diseases like CTE, and there is most certainly numerous factors that contribute to the pathology.  At Precision Chiropractic, our focus is to guide the spine back to what is considered normal.  In doing so, many of the conditions secondary to Structural Shifts of the spine will be relieved.  Could this help people like Jim McMahon?  It is certainly possible based on recent evidence that misalignments in the cranio-cervical junction can alter cerebrospinal fluid hydrodynamics.  However, a lot more research needs to be done before anything can be said for certain.  The story about McMahon is a good start though, and it may start a discussion that could benefit all healthcare professionals.

-Image provided by www.drjockers.com

Immune System

What is the Zika Virus & What Can We Do?

zikaIt is crazy how fast viruses can spread. The Zika virus is present in 20 different countries, and doesn’t appear to be slowing.  According to Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s chief medical correspondent, the virus is fairly mild and may show no symptoms in the majority of the population.  However, problems arise for pregnant women as the virus can pass through amniotic fluid and affect developing babies.

Is there anything we can do to stop proliferation of the virus?  The body has a natural line of defense against invading pathogens.  When it comes to viruses, the most effective defenses for a virus that the body has never encountered before appears to be NK cells – or natural killer cells, and the complementary system.  It is therefore important to keep these systems functioning optimally.

How Do We Strengthen the Immune System to Battle Zika?

According to Harvard Medical’s website, the following lifestyle choices enhance the immune system:

  • Don’t smoke
  • Eat a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and low in saturated fat
  • Exercise regularly
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Get adequate sleep

If these recommendations look familiar, it is because these are what entail a healthy lifestyle.  When you commit to these strategies you will strengthen your body against diabetes, fight cancer, overcome obesity and more.  Your body is like a house; and the mortar, brick, lumber and other building blocks come from your diet and healthy habits.

Precision Chiropractic has your back (pun intended).  Through our local health affiliate program, we will provide options for businesses that can help you with these habits and you will get a discount when you use them!

The Zika virus is achieving epidemic levels.  The best defense is to make sure your body is functioning optimally.  Commit to a healthy lifestyle today, and reap the benefits tomorrow.  After all, there is no better day to start than today!

structural-shift-example

What Does a Structural Shift of the Spine Look Like?

Technology is allowing us to see things we have never seen before. Recently, I discovered something that many dentists and orthodontists use called Cone Beam CT. Basically, the technology appears to work by taking a number of x-rays and then re-organizing them on a computer to create a 3D image of what is being evaluated. While browsing a number of images, I discovered one of the cervical spine that displayed Atlas Displacement Complex, a specific type of Structural Shift in the spine. The image below shows a lateral displacement of the Atlas vertebra. It appears to have misaligned to the left side. It is fascinating to see a misalignment like this on some of the newest technology around! Don’t forget, normal structure leads to normal function and abnormal structure leads to abnormal function.

structural-shift-example