Monday, July 24, 2017

Dermatomes of The Upper Extremity

      Areas of our skin receive sensory innervation from particular spinal nerves. 
      These sensory areas, called “dermatomes,” are predictable from person to person, and can be “mapped” on a model of the human body. 
      This is very useful when diagnosing a problem in the arm or hand. For example, numbness or tingling in particular finger(s) may be directly related to specific spinal nerve(s), and those nerves are discernible according to the dermatomal “map.” 
      Location of the symptoms in the upper extremity leads your medical doctor or chiropractor to the involved spinal nerve. As an Advanced Proficiency Rated Activator Chiropractor, my treatment would focus on careful, precise adjusting to relieve any impingement on the involved nerve(s). 

Monday, July 17, 2017

TMD---Temperomandibular Joint Dysfunction

Pain in the jaw is often due to problems with the temperomandibular (TMJ) joints---the right and / or left joint(s) may be misaligned or abnormally stressed. One example of abnormal stress is TMJ compression on one side and TMJ distraction on the opposite side. 
Treatment in my office includes careful assessment of the jaw complex and, if necessary, gentle adjustment with the Activator Instrument. This treatment is covered by insurance if the patient has chiropractic coverage. There are specific diagnostic codes which designate Temperomandibular Dysfunction, or TMD.
An interesting feature of the jaw structure is that symptoms may appear on one side, while the problem needing adjustment is actually on the opposite side. Because the mandible, or lower jaw, is one bone, a misalignment on one side may translate to pain on the opposite side.
       As an Advanced Proficiency Rated Activator Chiropractor, I am trained to evaluate and treat TMJ problems.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Once Upon a Time There Was Glycation

And it was found to be a big trouble-maker. Here’s the story: 
It is common that people with diabetes exhibit mental decline. Doctors & scientists noticed that the worse the hyperglycemia or erratic blood sugar, the greater the negative affect on mental capacity. They started wondering how sugar might be affecting the brain. 
They knew that neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Lou Gehrig’s share something---deformed proteins in the brain. They also knew that deformed proteins, called prions, occur in the brain in Mad Cow Disease.
What was causing the deformation of these proteins?
Back in the early 1900’s something called the Maillard Reaction was discovered, in which sugar molecules spontaneously bond to proteins, fats, and amino acids. But it wasn’t until the 1980’s that this became revealing in trying to understand diabetic complications and aging.
The Maillard Reaction creates advanced glycation end products, or AGE’s, and these AGE’s include misshapen and deformed proteins. Glycated proteins hook up with other damaged proteins in cross-linkages, which worsens their dysfunction.
AGE’s are connected with aging in lots of ways—aging of our skin, kidney disease, damage to blood vessels, and mental decline. They stimulate inflammation throughout the body.
       It appears that if we want to keep our mental functions healthy as long as possible, one thing we can do is try to minimize the glycation of proteins. And that means reducing the availability of sugar.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Organic Farm & Garden, UCSC---50th Anniversary

       One of the country's oldest organic education and research programs, the Center for
Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS), with the University of CA Santa Cruz (UCSC) Organic Farm & Garden, will celebrate their 50th anniversary on July 28 - 30, 2017.
       The UCSC Farm & Garden has pioneered sustainable food production methods that are now widespread. More than 1500 graduates of the CASFS Apprenticeship Program have started their own farms, organic businesses, and food projects.        􀀰􀁉􀁏􀁎􀁅􀁅􀁒􀁅􀁄􀀀􀁏􀁒􀁇􀁁􀁎􀁉􀁃􀀀
      The weekend’s activities will be open to the public. There will be tours of the 30 acres of fields, orchards, & gardens; "food hero" speakers from the Sustainable Agriculture community; food & farming workshops; and a banquet featuring guest chef Alice Waters.
       For more information about this celebration & how you can participate, go to, email, or call (831) 459-3240.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Painfully Snapping "Trigger" Finger

       Fairly frequently in my office, a patient shows up with a painfully “snapping” finger, commonly referred to as a “trigger finger.” The condition also often occurs in the thumb.
       This is an inflammatory condition for which the technical term is "stenosing tenosynovitis."
       It occurs when inflammation causes a narrowing of the space around the finger’s (or thumb's) tendon and its surrounding tendon sheath. (The sheath is like a tube through which the tendon passes.) 
       My treatment includes adjusting the involved finger and teaching the patient to use an anti-inflammatory protocol at home. This includes antidotes to inflammation, such as ice, topical and / or systemic arnica, and nutritional support.  
       Protecting the involved finger to allow it to heal calls for splinting it to keep it from becoming stuck in a bent position, especially during the night. 
       Chiropractic adjustment of the involved finger with my Activator instrument is quick, precise, minimally uncomfortable, and brings immediate relief.