Monday, October 21, 2019

Foot, Ankle, Knee, Hip

 An aberrant condition in the foot often affects the related ankle, knee, and hip. This is known as a “kinematic chain.” Vice-versa, a hip or knee problem can reverberate downward and affect the ankle and foot.
For example, pronation in the foot causes ankle destabilization and results in rotation of the knee. This is easy to demonstrate in someone who pronates by having them stand barefooted, without support for the arch of the foot.
Abnormal rotation at the knee causes stress in the joint, leads to abnormal wear-and-tear, and contributes to degenerative breakdown of the joint tissues.
In turn, this aberrance at the knee reverberates upward and creates abnormal stress in the hip joint.
When patients present in my office with foot pronation, I check and balance their pelvis and entire lower extremities, and prescribe orthotics to support the foot and correct pronation.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Unrelieved Rib Pain

 Pain along a rib that has no preceeding trauma, is unresponsive to chiropractic adjustments, and persistently worsens may be the first stage of an outbreak of shingles. 
Anyone who has had chicken pox carries the herpes zoster virus in the nerve ganglia alongside their spine. The virus is dormant until conditions such as hyperthermia or stress trigger an outbreak.
A shingles viral outbreak follows the path of the related sensory nerve, called a “dermatome.” Dermatomes wrapping around from the thoracic spine resemble the paths of our ribs, so initial symptoms of shingles are often misinterpreted as rib pain.

Monday, October 7, 2019

Nature's "Pest Control Experts"

      Owls are Nature's "pest control experts"---they feed on rats, mice, and gophers.
      Rat poisons can sicken and kill wildlife and pets, because after rodents eat the poison, they go back into the wild and can take more than a week to die. Any animal that preys on them also becomes poisoned. 
     "Using poison to kill rodents has the long-term effect of actually increasing the rodent population, since the poison kills off the rodents’ natural predators, allowing the rodents to breed unchecked."
    Owls are one of the best non-toxic methods of rodent control. Attract owls to your property by putting up nest boxes; one owl can devour 1400+ rodents per year!

Monday, September 30, 2019

What Does Medicare Cover?

  For Chiropractic care, Medicare currently covers only treatment of the spine. So shoulder, knee, ankle, wrist, etc., problems aren’t covered. 
The Chiropractic profession is working on changing this---on getting Medicare coverage for the whole body---and hopefully, it will happen soon.
In the meantime, when I see Medicare patients, I make careful documentation of their spinal symptoms and treatment, and report these to Medicare on the required forms and according to the specific Medicare coding system. Medicare patients in my office pay my fee at the time of service. 
Typical allowances for Chiropractic patients in Santa Cruz County are between about $48.00 and $33.00 per visit, depending on the patient’s complaints and the concomitant treatment. 
        Of these allowances, Medicare will reimburse the patient 80%, and the typical Medicare supplement policy will cover the other 20%.  Allowances do change annually, but often by only a few cents.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Nerve Impingement in the Neck

 “Impingement” of a nerve simply means the nerve is somehow negatively affected. It might be pressure, abrasion, stretching, or other constriction, causing symptoms such as pain, numbness, tingling, burning, hyper- or hypoesthesia.
In the neck, nerves exit the spine and travel out into the shoulders and down both arms & hands. These nerves are called the “brachial plexus.” Impingement of the brachial plexus is called “thoracic outlet syndrome." 
There are several common sites of impingement of the brachial plexus, including between muscles on either side of the neck, and between the clavicle and the first rib. The patient may complain of pain or numbness or tingling in the arm(s) or hand(s).
This can be due to, among other causes, poor posture, trauma such as whiplash, over-exercising or imbalanced exercising, stress, or unaccustomed activities--often some kind of work with the arms over the head.
Once I identify the site(s) of impingement, I make precise, directional adjustments with the Activator instrument and give the patient ergonomic and home care counseling and appropriate stretches.