Monday, April 23, 2018

Rotator Cuff

  Patients are sometimes confused about this, and wrongly think of it as part of their bones. 
But the rotator cuff consists of four MUSCLES that attach from the front, back, and side of the shoulder blade, and grip the head of the humerus (the bone in the upper arm) like a hand would grip a baseball.
These muscles stabilize the humeral head, or “knob” at the upper end of the bone, near the shoulder. They also act on the humerus to cause different movements, such as when we lift our arm out and up (abduction), turn our arm in (internal rotation) or out (external rotation).
The tendons attaching these muscles to bones act as mechanical “blockers” to excessive movements, helping to keep movements of the arm at the shoulder within normal range.
If the arm is taken beyond these normal limits of movement, tears in the tendons or muscles of the rotator cuff often happen.

Monday, April 16, 2018

A Lateral Sacrum

 Sometimes when everything---all misalignments and fixations---has been cleared,  and abnormal stresses have been detected, adjusted, and the pelvis balanced back to equilibrium. there is still discomfort in the sacrum or sacroiliac joint(s).
In this case, I have the patient, who is lying face down, lift each leg, without bending the knee, as high off the table as they comfortably can.
99.9% of the time, if one leg is harder to lift, or can’t be lifted as high, the sacrum is stressed laterally on that side.
A precise, directional adjustment with the Activator instrument fixes the problem and brings relief. 

Monday, April 9, 2018

Magnificent Magnesium

 One of the most abundant minerals in the body, magnesium is involved in a multitude of essential biochemical processes. 
It is important for the heart, brain, function of the mitochondria (tiny energy producing centers in our cells), cell health & function, metabolism of other essential minerals, regulation of blood sugar, muscle & nerve function, secretion of neurotransmitters, and blood pressure. 
An RBC (red blood cell) magnesium test measures your magnesium level.
Some common signs of magnesium deficiency include muscle spasms (such as “charley horses” in the calf muscles), eye twitches, numbness or tingling in the extremities, frequent headaches or migraines, heart arrhythmias, low energy, and fatigue.
Some foods high in magnesium are avocados, raw cacao, and seeds and nuts (pumpkin, sesame, and sunflower are highest). Herbs & spices---chives, parsley, mustard seeds, fennel, basil, cloves, and cumin seeds---are another good source.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Hyperextension of the Knee

Extension of the knee beyond its normal limit is a common cause of knee pain. Patients may be aware of what happened if it occurred during sports activities, a misstep, or a workout, but other causes of hyperextension may not be so obvious to them. 
For example, one common troublemaker is resting one’s foot up on an ottoman while sitting, resulting in extension stress at the knee.
Activator Chiropractic adjustments can correct the problem quickly and precisely, and bring relief. 

Monday, March 26, 2018

Functional Impairment

     How is your condition affecting your ability to function in your life activities? 
     This is now the standard criterion used to determine a course of care, and how long that care will be covered by health insurance. 
     Doctors, Physical Therapists, and other caregivers are expected to measure patient status and effectiveness of their treatment plan by “Outcome Measures”----tools that reflect how well the patient is returning to normal life functioning.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Posture - Induced Headache

     “Craning” the neck to look upward toward a TV or computer monitor, or tilting the head backward to see a monitor through the near-focus part of bifocals, is a common cause of headache. 
     This posture causes the occiput (the bone across the back of the head, just above the spine) to be stressed inferiorly. This inferiority may be more on one side or the other (unilateral) or global (bilateral). 
     When I see this in patients in my office, it  is often in combination with a superiority of the back part of the second cervical vertebra, which makes the headache even worse.
     My Activator Chiropractic Method has focused, precise adjustments that correct the problems without discomfort to the patient, and I offer ergonomic counseling to keep it from happening again.   

Monday, March 12, 2018

New Medicare Allowances

Medicare has increased allowances for Chiropractic care of the spine for 2018. This good news means smaller copays, or more money back from Medicare if patients pay at time of service.
In my office, all patients pay at the time of visit, including Medicare patients. I report the diagnoses and services to Medicare, and Medicare then reimburses the patient directly.   

Monday, March 5, 2018

Homeless Garden, Santa Cruz

Now in its 28th year of providing “job training, transitional employment, and support services” to homeless people in an organic urban farm setting, the Santa Cruz Homeless Garden Project is a successful, inspirational prototype for helping people lift themselves out of homelessness.
New work skills develop in the healing process of growing organic foods, social relationships are built with other workers & volunteers, and self esteem is nurtured by producing and sharing healthy foods.
Workers and volunteers enjoy 4 hot meals a week together from the garden. Customers can shop the Garden’s bounty at the Farmstand, which is open Tuesday - Sunday, 10 - 4, or sign up to get regular food boxes from the Garden. 
     To learn more, volunteer, or find out how to visit the Garden, go to:   

Monday, February 26, 2018

Kinematic Chain

      The shoulder, arm, wrist and hand function as what is known as a “kinematic chain.” 
     Think of this as an anatomical “connected movement” chain. Functioning of each part is connected to, symbiotic with, and consequential with, the other parts.
     In-other-words, what's happening at the shoulder may reverberate down and affect the elbow, wrist, and hand. Or in the reverse, dysfunction or injury at the hand, wrist, or elbow can affect the functioning of the shoulder.
      This is why, as an Activator Chiropractor, my precise adjustments to correct a problem anywhere in the upper extremity often include adjustments all the way up or down the arm to include all the component parts.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Five Keys to Healthy Sitting

      A healthy sitting position can be critical not only to your comfort, but also to good postural and spinal health. Here are simple things to pay attention to:

     ---have both feet flat on the floor,
     ---your knees should be slightly lower than the level of your hips,
     ---your back is resting comfortably against your chair, and
     ---your head is in line with center of gravity of your body (avoid head-forward postures).

     One of the most important features of whatever chair you use is that you can change the height of the seat.
     In most cases, t's not necessary to spend lots of $$ for a fancy chair. You just need to be able to adjust the height of the seat, so that your knees can be slightly lower than the level of your hips.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Unhealthy Oils

Vegetable oils will oxidize when exposed to heat, even cooking at low temperatures. Even if stored in a cool place, these oils will oxidize over time at nothing more than room temperature. 
This is because vegetable oils (except coconut oil, which is saturated) are unsaturated fats, which means, chemically speaking, that they contain carbon-to-carbon double bonds, which are vulnerable to oxygen’s “hopping on” and attaching. 
The attachment of oxygen across these chemical bonds creates a toxic molecule which is not healthy to ingest. Millions of these unhealthy molecules may exist in a bottle of corn oil, or safflower oil, or other vegetable oils. 
  Thus it is never wise to cook with vegetable oils.
Monounsaturated oils, though still unsaturated, are less so, because they have fewer potential oxidation sites than polyunsaturated oils. An example of a monounsaturated oil is olive oil. Canola oil is also a monounsaturated oil, but it is processed with heat and toxic chemicals that make it undesirable.  
Choose healthy oils and fats:  organic, cold-pressed olive oil, organic, unrefined coconut oil, and organic butter.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Boys and Girls Clubs of Santa Cruz County

   Boys and Girls Clubs of Santa Cruz County have afterschool programs for youth aged 6 - 18. Activities include help with homework, tutoring, arts & crafts, computer training, gym and sports, and game rooms.
Programs offer music lessons, swim lessons & swim team, a Basketball League, special events for teens, and Summer Day Camps.
In Social Awareness groups for teens, participants discuss news events from the past week and talk about how these events may affect their personal world. They also talk about issues teens face in their everyday lives and how to safely and wisely navigate through them.
The Basketball League runs in partnership with the Golden State Warriors Jr. Warriors program, receives lots of support from the Santa Cruz Warriors D Team, and final playoffs of Boys and Girls Club basketball competition are held in the Santa Cruz Warriors Arena. Basketball games begin in early January each year.
Find out more about Boys and Girls Clubs of Santa Cruz County and their Downtown Santa Cruz and Live Oak centers at 


Monday, January 29, 2018

Suboccipital Tension

        The occiput is the bone across the lower part of the back of our head, just above the top of our neck. Along the lower edge of it are the suboccipital muscles, which help support our head, help us move and turn our head, and often bear the burden of stressful postures, especially related to computer use.
Many people are very familiar with this area because they experience chronic tension here. Tension in these muscles is a common prelude to headaches.
I have specific, gentle Activator Chiropractic adjustments to relieve this tension, and to re-position a misaligned occiput. After treatment, it is essential for patients to avoid stressful postures that cause the tension to become re-established.

Monday, January 22, 2018

An Often Forgotten Joint in the Pelvis

        In the front of our pelvis is a joint called the pubic symphysis. It is an essential, but often overlooked, part of our pelvic girdle. Many people are unaware that it even exists.
The pubic symphysis is an essential joint because it is integrally involved in motion of the pelvis during our gait cycle (walking), stability and equilibrium of the pelvic girdle, and is important in childbirth. It has a disc, like the discs in our spine, and is expandable during passage of a baby through the mother’s birth canal.
I often find this joint misaligned when the patient’s pelvis is distorted, especially when the distortion is more toward the severe end of the spectrum. Precise, directional correction of the misalignment with Activator Chiropractic relieves pelvic pain and helps the pelvis to stabilize. 

Monday, January 15, 2018

Plantar Fascitis

        Plantar fascitis is a painful condition caused by inflammation of the plantar (bottom of the foot) fascia. The plantar fascia is a sheath of fibrous tissue between the layers of muscles on the bottom of the foot. Microtears in the ligament that attaches these muscles to the heel bone may also be a source of the pain.
This condition often comes on slowly, and may be related to overuse, such as in runners or frequent walkers, or in people whose work or activities include a lot of standing. It can be difficult to resolve because weight-bearing constantly aggravates it.
My treatment plan includes appropriate orthotics to help support and protect the irritated tissues; precise chiropractic adjustments to the feet, ankles, knees, hips, and pelvis; ice and other topical anti-inflammatories; stretches and exercises for the feet; and nutritional advice re elimination of inflammatory foods. 

Monday, January 8, 2018

Medicare & Maintenance Care

     Medicare guidelines state that they will only pay for Chiropractic treatment that is Medically Reasonable or Necessary (defined as treatment that yields a significant improvement in clinical findings and patient functionality).
     To you, and in the clinical judgement of your Chiropractor, your treatment may be CLINICALLY APPROPRIATE:  it may enhance your life, relieve your symptoms, support your health and well-being, or prevent the deterioration of a chronic condition. 
     But treatment that is CLINICALLY APPROPRIATE may not fit Medicare’s definition of MEDICALLY NECESSARY. Your Chiropractor, by law, must inform Medicare when your care is Maintenance Care, so that Medicare understands that this care is not reimbursable, and you will be responsible for payment. 

Monday, January 1, 2018

Welcoming Winter Birds

     Birds migrating through in winter, and those who stay in our areas year-round, can use some help during the cold winter months. According to Audubon, we can support the winter birds by:
     (1) making a brush pile in the corner of the yard--it will offer shelter & night roosting places,
     (2) leaving the leaves---make piles under shrubs & trees, and they will harbor bugs and spiders for birds to eat,
     (3) creating a mini-meadow where grasses & weeds can grow; the plants here that naturally go to seed will feed many of the seed-eating birds.
     Go to to find out more.