Monday, December 25, 2017

Insufficient Lumbo-Pelvic Stabilization

     Our pelvis is the bio-mechanical foundation for our whole body. Everything depends on and relates to the pelvis.
     If the pelvis becomes distorted and consequently unlevel, it becomes an unstable foundation for the body above, and negatively affects the extremities below.
     A technical term for this kind of abnormal disturbance is “Insufficient Lumbo-Pelvic Stabilization.” This is a diagnosis I see frequently in patients in my office.
     Left uncorrected, this will continue to cause problems---discomfort, secondary disturbances elsewhere above and / or below, abnormal gait, and fatigue. Chiropractic adjustments elsewhere will not hold unless the pelvis is balanced and corrected.
     In my practice, I always pay particular attention to the pelvis, no matter what the patient’s symptoms or complaints. I consider this critically important to my patients’ healing. 

Monday, December 18, 2017

Pronation---A Troublemaker in the Foot

     When the inside of your foot drops inward toward the floor when you’re standing, it’s called “pronation.”  It is often seen in combination with fallen arches, or “flat feet.”
     If you stand behind someone who “pronates,” or has pronation in their feet, it is easy to see how the inside of the foot falls in and down. You may also notice an inward curving of the Achilles tendon in the back of the ankle on the involved foot (feet).
     Pronation can cause foot pain and fatigue, but it also negatively affects the knees, and can reverberate upward to cause abnormal stresses in the hips and pelvis.
     Watch the legs of someone who pronates as they stand facing you, and have them lift and hold the inside of their feet out of pronation. Now focus on their knees and have them relax their feet back into their usual pronation.  
     See what happened? The dropping back into pronation caused a rotation of the knees. This shows how much stress pronation causes on the knees. These abnormal stresses cause wear and tear that can lead to osteoarthritis.
     Pronation should be corrected by proper orthotics, and they don’t necessarily have to be custom. My treatment plan includes precise adjustments of lower extremity, hip, and pelvic joints with Activator Chiropractic, orthotics, and exercises to strengthen the muscles that support the ankle and foot. 

Monday, December 11, 2017

Sugar "Awakens" Cancer Cells

     It has been known for a long time that cancer tumor cells break down sugars much more quickly than healthy tissues, a process known as the “Warburg Effect.”  However, it has not been understood whether this was a symptom, or a cause, of cancer.
     Research publicized in October, 2017 shows how this stimulates tumor growth. The research, done in the Netherlands, reveals “evidence for a positive correlation between sugar and cancer.”
     According to the lead researcher on the study, “Our research reveals how the hyperactive sugar consumption of cancerous cells leads to a vicious cycle of continued stimulation of cancer development and growth.”

Monday, December 4, 2017

Frozen Shoulder

The condition of “frozen shoulder” is technically called adhesive capsulitis. There is pain, stiffness, and limited range of motion in the involved shoulder. A common origin is inflammation, which can be caused by injury, overuse, or it can be related to chronic diseases such as diabetes.
It is sometimes related to a stroke, or after surgery, either of which can cause lack of use and progressive loss of range of motion.
My treatment plan includes evaluating and adjusting the joints of the shoulder complex, the neck, and thoracic spine, with accompanying anti-inflammatory home care. The patient does contrast therapy of alternating ice and heat, gentle range-of-motion exercises and stretches, and applies topical arnica for inflammation at home.

The Seymour Marine Discovery Center

                       "Jingle Shells" 

                     Arts and Crafts Festival 

is Sunday, Dec. 10 at the Seymour Marine Discovery Center, 12:00 - 5:30 pm.You can shop for gifts made by local artisans, enjoy the aquarium, kids' activities, hot cider, and music. Discounted admission all day.  Go to  for more information.

Monday, November 27, 2017

The Cranial Rhythms

    The bones in our head have very subtle rhythmical motions, called the "cranial rhythms." 
    These motions are not synchronized with either our heartbeat or our breathing. They are related to the circulation of the cerebrospinal fluid, the fluid that bathes our brain and our spinal cord. 
     Aberrances, or abnormalities, in these rhythms can be associated with headaches, vertigo, or sometimes just a general feeling of "being out of sorts." 
     Every treatment in my office includes balancing the patient’s cranial rhythms as part of a full-body balancing.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Wearing Your Shoulders for Earrings?

Are you "trying to wear your shoulders for earrings?"
     Sounds like a joke, doesn’t it? But there’s a very real anatomical basis for saying this, and it can cause a lot of trouble in the upper back and neck. 
     If you carry your shoulders in a “perpetual shrug,” holding chronic upward tension, and pain runs from your shoulderblades all the way up your neck, maybe also involving a headache, you may be doing this. 
     Particular muscles, called the levator scapulae, attach to the upper part of the shoulderblade, and to the vertebrae in your neck. If these muscles are on chronic contraction in a “perpetual shrug,” they become exhausted and painful. 
     This can be relieved by precise Activator Chiropractic adjustments of the underlying bones and joints, re-setting the tension in the muscles with the Activator instrument, and stretches and exercises at home. 
     In my office, I include ergonomic counseling to correct stressful postures that may be aggravating the problem.  

Monday, November 13, 2017

Medicare = EXCELLENT Insurance!

     The current Medicare deductible is just $183 per year.  Where else can you get health insurance with such a low deductible?
     And, yes, Medicare covers care of your spine by your Chiropractor. 
     Be sure to inform your Chiropractor as soon as you are covered under Medicare.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Leave the Leaves!

     One of the best things you can do to support pollinators---bees, butterflies, beetles, & moths---is to let fallen leaves stay on the ground! Fallen leaves become food & shelter to insects that overwinter in our landscapes, protecting them from predators and the cold.
     Although Monarch butterflies migrate, most butterflies and moths spend the winter in the landscape as an egg, caterpillar, chrysalis, or adult, & all these stages use leaf litter for winter cover. Fallen leaves may become the first food of caterpillars in the spring.
     Some bees burrow into the soil to hibernate for winter; a layer of leaves helps protect them.
     Fallen leaves are free mulch. They suppress weeds and retain moisture, and the decaying organic matter enriches the soil. 
     Go to  to learn more.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Scoliosis---Early Intervention is Critical

     Schools offer scoliosis screening for good reason; the earlier it is detected and addressed, the better chance that conservative care can be effective. 
     My treatment plan, preferably begun early, includes chiropractic balancing of the entire frame, special exercises, and ergonomic counseling. 
     This approach has successfully stopped advancement of the curvature for several girls in their early teens.

Monday, October 23, 2017

The Brachial Plexus

     Nerves from the neck that go down the arm are called the “brachial plexus,” literally meaning “arm (brachial) network of nerves (plexus).” 
     Picture the wires inside an electrical box outside your house---multiple wires coming in, maybe different colors, bundled together in clusters of wires, going somewhere inside your home. A rough analogy, but your brachial plexus is somewhat similar. 
     Nerves exit the spine in the neck, join into “bundles,” and travel down the arm and into the hand.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Severe Pain, But There's No Fracture

     A not uncommon cause of severe pain in the ribs, when X-ray rules out fracture, can be strain of the tiny muscles between the ribs, the intercostal muscles. Some kind of trauma is usually involved, such as a fall, an auto accident, overexertion, etc. 
     These little muscles help with the movements of our chest when we breathe, so if they are injured, every breath can be painful. 
     Healing can be slow, but can be assisted by careful assessment of the rib cage for misalignments that put stress on the injured area.  

Monday, October 9, 2017

Pregnancy and Postpartum

A hormone called “relaxin” is generated in a woman’s body when she is pregnant. It has a loosening effect on her joints, partly to prepare the pelvic joints for passage of the baby through the birth canal, but it affects all the joints in her body. Because of this, her joints become more vulnerable to misalignments or distortions.
It is especially beneficial for expectant moms to come in for periodic full-body balancing. My Activator Chiropractic method is gentle, comfortable, precise, and especially suited for women in pregnancy.
After the birth, relaxin slowly dissipates, but for a while the mother’s joints remain susceptible. So continuing to get checked and balanced, while the body returns to pre-pregnancy status, is a good idea.

Monday, October 2, 2017

A Persistent Pain in the Neck

     Patients often present with tension and pain low across the back of their skull where the cervical spine transitions to the cranium. This area is called “suboccipital,” meaning just inferior to the occiput, the bone at the bottom of the back of the head. 
     Tension and discomfort here can be stubborn to alleviate, usually because of chronic bad postures, often at a computer. Suboccipital muscles work overtime with these stressed postures, resulting in fatigue, restricted blood flow to the tense tissues, and consequent buildup of cellular metabolic wastes, lack of oxygen & nutrients to the cells, and an eventual self-perpetuating, painful cycle.
     Precise Activator Chiropractic adjustments to balance the cervical spine & occiput, and to reset the tone in the suboccipital muscles, along with gentle cranial balancing, is the first step. But changes in postures and specific stretches done by the patient are key to a long-term solution.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Bee Better Certified

     “1 in 3 bites of food you eat is the result of insect pollination,” and “28% of North American bumble bee species are in decline,” according to The Xerxes Society for Invertebrate Conservation,
      The “Bee Better Certified” program partners with farmers and food companies whose practices support pollinator protection. Consumers alerted by the “Bee Better Certified” seal on food products can then make buying choices that support bees, butterflies, and beneficial insects. 
     Learn more about partnering to protect pollinators at  

Monday, September 18, 2017

5 Secrets of Neck Pain Relief

     which strain the muscles in your neck.
    especially when you're a passenger, with someone else driving.
    one that adequately supports your cervical spine.
    guard against sudden extreme movements, or repetitive motions 
    of your head.
    for underlying problems by your Activator Chiropractor. 

Monday, September 11, 2017

29 Problems, 29 Solutions

     As an Advanced Proficiency Rated Activator Chiropractor, I have 29 adjustments for the knee. 
     In-other-words, in Activator, the Advanced doctors, who are the most highly trained, have 29 tests for misalignment or aberrance of the structures of the knee. This includes the osseous components (the bones) as well as soft tissue (muscles and their tendons which act on the knee). 
     We even have new adjustments for the medial and lateral meniscus, which, in my practice, I am finding very helpful for my chronic knee patients.

Monday, September 4, 2017

YES, Medicare Covers Chiropractic

      Attention Seniors:  Medicare covers Chiropractic!
     Although it will only pay for adjusting the spine, Medicare does reimburse for chiropractic care. I see many Medicare patients in my practice, and I am happy to discuss how this works. 
     Questions? Give me a call, 831-476-2168.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Bicipital Tendonitis

       A common cause of pain in the shoulder is irritation of the bicipital tendon, the tendon that attaches the biceps muscle (your “Popeye” muscle) to the shoulder. 
      This tendon “rides” in a groove on the front of the humerus, the bone of the upper arm. It may become inflamed due to injury, overuse, or compensation due malfunction of components of the shoulder. 
      My treatment plan for bicipital tendonitis includes careful, precise Activator Chiropractic adjustments to correct abnormal internal or external rotation of the humerus, protection of the tendon so it can heal, and anti-inflammatory applications such as ice.

Monday, August 21, 2017

OUCH-!!! I've Got An Awful Pain in My Foot!

 Severe, burning pain, often accompanied by red, swollen joint(s), and usually of sudden onset, may be a metabolic condition---gout. It most often shows up in the big toe, and is more common in men than women.
It is a type of arthritis caused when sharp crystals form in a joint because of too much uric acid in the blood. Your chances of getting it are higher if you are overweight, drink too much alcohol, or eat too many foods containing purines, such as meats, including steak, organ meats, and seafood, or drink beverages sweetened with fructose (fruit sugar).
There are other risk factors, including family history, medical conditions like diabetes or kidney disease, and certain medications such as diuretics.
Treatment may include medications, but a gout sufferer can often control the situation with diet. Avoid anything containing high fructose corn syrup (sodas, ice cream, fruit juices, sports drinks, breakfast cereals). 
Avoid high-purine foods---organ meat (liver), red meat, shellfish, anchovies, herring, mushrooms, asparagus, cauliflower, kidney beans, lentils, spinach, peas, and whole wheat
Keep alcohol consumption moderate or minimum, and drink lots of pure (devoid of chlorine or other chemicals) water to help your body flush out waste products and toxins.  

Monday, August 14, 2017


 A sensation that the room is spinning around, and a sense of dizziness, a loss of balance, is the unsettling and uncomfortable condition of vertigo. It may be of sudden onset, and can severely limit one’s ability to function in everyday activities.
Vertigo can be caused by problems in the inner ear, can be associated with head or neck injury, or can be a side effect of some medications.
After careful screening, including questions about a patient’s history, conservative treatment in my office includes assessing the cervical spine and making any precise, needed adjustments, along with examination & corrections of the cranial rhythms. 
Although there are no guarantees, I have had patients in whom vertigo completely disappeared after one or two of my gentle, precise Activator Chiropractic treatments.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Nerve Energy---What Is It?

Nerve energy is electrical energy, and it travels along our nerves by a process of chemical ion exchange. 
These electrical impulses transmit information in from the periphery to the brain, and out from the brain to all parts of the body. Information in includes the sensory system, for example the sensing of heat or cold, pressure or pain. Information out from the brain includes the motor system, commanding our muscles to move or act. 
Our nerves are like conduits along which electricity travels. Damage to a nerve interrupts the successful transmission of the electrical impulses of life. If a nerve is severed, transmission is blocked. If a nerve is impinged---not severed but interfered with in some way--- impulses are hampered, incomplete, altered, or inefficient. Examples of this are numbness, tingling, hypo- or hyper- sensitivity, or pain.
Nerve impingement might be pressure on, abrasion of, or stretching of a nerve. 
       As an Advanced Proficiency Activator Chiropractor, part of my job is to support the functioning of the nerve system by gently and precisely relieving nerve impingement. 

Monday, July 31, 2017

"It Hurts When I Take A Deep Breath"

      This is a common complaint from patients when they have a rib out of alignment. 
      The pain is usually at the junction near the spine where the involved rib articulates with a vertebra (called a costovertebral joint), although it sometimes presents in the front of the chest where a rib attaches at the sternum (costosternal joint). 
      At the painful joint, the rib may be pushing into the vertebra or sternum, causing the joint to be compressed, or it may be distracted away from the articulation, causing an extension stress on the joint. 
      A correctly placed and precisely vectored adjustment with the Activator instrument brings relief.

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.  

Monday, June 19, 2017

Your Pain----Medicare Wants to Know About It

       Documentation about a patient’s condition is very important to Medicare, and caregivers, including Doctors of Chiropractic, are expected to ask the right questions. Information about your your pain, where it hurts, how badly it hurts, the type of pain you are having (is it sharp? achy, dull, burning, deep, etc.), is expected to be documented for Medicare at every office visit.
       In my office, Medicare patients fill out a brief Pain Report before every treatment. Questions include the level, or severity of pain, that day, on a scale of 1 - 10, with 10 being the worst. 
       The Pain Report also asks whether they felt relief after their last visit, and if so, for how long. They write down what they can do, or do better, since their last visit, and whether anything is still hard, or impossible, for them to do because of their pain.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Pesticides' Effects on Beneficial Insects & Other Organisms

Common pesticides, even those previously thought to be minimally harmful to human & environmental health, such as neonicotinoids, are being found to be dangerously toxic to honey bees, bumble bees, and natural parasites of crop pests. These include beneficial predatory and parasitic insects, such as “assassin” beetles & spotted lady beetles, which feed on harmful pests, providing natural pest suppression on farms.
Pesticides also affect the health of the soil. Residues of chemicals applied to crops can have harmful effects on earthworms and other soil invertebrates.
Perhaps pesticide use should be guided by the “Precautionary Principle”----stop using until we understand whether they cause undue harm to beneficial organisms.

Monday, June 5, 2017

What Our Senses Can Tell Us

          We have nerves that sense cold, heat, pressure (touch), pain, proprioception (position of our body parts), smell, taste, sound, etc. There is a theory the human body may also be able to sense magnetic fields.
Birds and bees use magnetoreception to navigate, and there is evidence that frogs, worms, lobsters, and snails have magnetic sense. Some mammals, mice, rats & cattle, apparently have it too. Scientists have located and studied magnetoreceptors in certain bacteria.
A scientist at CA Institute for Technology (Caltech) thinks he has found a “magnetic sixth sense” in humans.
Whether we actually have it, how it might work, and what the implications might be are fascinating questions still unanswered.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Simple Solutions to Neck Pain

     One of the most important things you can do to relieve neck pain is to AVOID HEAD - FORWARD POSTURES. Put another way, avoid having your head out in front of the center of gravity of your body. Examples:
---bending your head forward to look down at a book or work at your desk,
---jutting your head forward, a very common, and often unconscious, posture when at your computer, 
---leaning forward from your hips when sitting.

     Think about it. In each case, your head is FORWARD of your body’s center of gravity. This causes the muscles in your neck to tighten up to support the weight of your head, which commonly weighs 10# or more!
     Practice awareness of where your head is. When you notice it’s FORWARD, gently bring it back over your center of gravity. You will notice immediate relief.

Monday, May 22, 2017

An Unsuspected Cause of Headaches

     Trying to identify the cause(s) of chronic, unrelenting headaches that plague some unfortunate patients is a challenge faced by Medical Doctors and Doctors of Chiropractic alike. There are many different types of headaches, and multiple causes.
     Food triggers may be involved, in which a person gets headaches when they ingest certain foods or food additives. Stress, both biomechanical and emotional / psychological, is often part of the picture.
     Now sleep apnea has emerged as a not-uncommon culprit. The mechanism is a disturbance in proportions of oxygen & carbon dioxide caused by interruptions or aberrance of breathing.
     For patients whose headaches seem insoluble, appropriate professional sleep assessment studies may yield a solution.  

Monday, May 15, 2017

An Unlevel Pelvis

     Our pelvis is the bio-mechanical foundation for our entire body. Its stability (or instability) affects everything above and everything below.
     Disturbances to the pelvis, aka the "pelvic girdle," can cause the pelvis to become unlevel.  
     An example is when your pelvis becomes distorted, or out of proper alignment. One or more of the component bones may become slightly twisted, or stressed abnormally in a superior or inferior direction. Pelvic ligaments may be affected by abnormal stresses due to joint misalignments. Any or all of these may cause pain. 
    A distorted, unlevel pelvis makes an unstable foundation for your spine. Uncomfortable, this may lead to problems above, in your neck or shoulders. An unlevel pelvis may also have consequences downward, into the lower extremities. 
     As an Activator Chiropractor, I correct and balance an unlevel pelvis as part of every gentle, comfortable full-body balancing.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Isn't Honey Better?

You may have heard that honey is healthier than table sugar. But is this true? 
     Perhaps it is, for these reasons: honey has ratios of glucose (30%) and fructose (40%) a bit lower than table sugar (50% glucose, 50% fructose). Table sugar breaks down quickly and causes a surge in blood sugar, whereas honey, which also contains other, different, and some more complex, sugars, breaks down slower. Dextrin, a starchy fiber in honey, also slightly slows the blood sugar surge. 
Table sugar is highly processed, and is devoid of minerals. Honey may have tiny amounts of minerals, picked up by the bees as they went from flower to flower, varying by the region(s) where the bees collected their nectar.
The “big picture” is that sugar is sugar, and is implicated in many health problems, so it’s better to minimize consumption of any sugar. But if occasionally you’re choosing, choose honey.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Co-Morbidities---Conditions for Which Medicare May Allow Extended Care

     Some things that often go along with aging are considered by Medicare to justify an extended, or longer term, of chiropractic care.
     These include degeneration of spinal discs, usually associated with spondylosis, which means bony spur formation around vertebral edges. Another term for this is DJD, or degenerative joint disease. Sciatica, or low back pain with sciatica, as well as spinal stenosis, are other conditions that may warrant extended care.
     Other co-morbidities, or health conditions which may complicate or impede healing, are diabetes, osteoporosis, and spinal curvatures such as scoliosis or kyphosis. 

Monday, April 24, 2017

Supraspinatous---An Essential Muscle of the Shoulder

     The supraspinatous is a small but powerful muscle located in our back, along the top part of our shoulderblade, or scapula. It connects the scapula with the top of the humerus, the bone in our upper arm, and is essential in our ability to raise our arm (abduction).  
     Technically, it is one of the muscles of the rotator cuff, and is commonly affected in rotator cuff injuries.
     A simple orthopedic test rules out an injury to this muscle. However, if the test is positive and involves a tear in the supraspinatous, treatment may require surgery.  

Monday, April 17, 2017

Over-The-Counter Orthotics

Patients who have fallen arches or who pronate need to support their feet with orthotics, not just for comfort, but also because these conditions in the feet reverberate up into the knees, hips, and pelvis and cause problems. Some may need prescription orthotics, but many people will find over-the-counter orthotics can do the job.
I commonly recommend a patient try one of two types that they can buy “off the rack.” One is softer, made of foam, with a mild arch support, that is easy to get used to. The other is a harder, molded orthotic appropriate for people who need more support. Either should be appropriately fitted by a staff person at the store who knows how to size them.
It’s not a bad idea to start with an over-the-counter orthotics and see if they will be sufficient. Certainly they are kinder on the patient’s wallet. If it turns out more fine-tuned or specialized support is needed, prescription orthotics are the next step.   

Monday, April 10, 2017


Literally, this means “the simultaneous use of multiple drugs by a single patient for one or more conditions.”
There are now patients coming into my office who are taking upward of eleven or twelve different medications. Often their meds are prescribed by different doctors, and there may be no one doctor who is overseeing or coordinating the mix. Potential harmful drug interactions are not being monitored, and the patient is subject to a myriad of side effects of the various drugs.
Sometimes the pharmacist who fills the patient’s prescriptions may be serving as overseer or monitor, but this is not always the case.
For patients on multiple medications, I advise them to talk with their primary care physician about making sure some caregiver is fulfilling this role.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Numbness, Tingling in Arm or Hand

Nerve impingement of the brachial plexus, the nerves exiting the spine in the neck, can be the cause of numbness or tingling in the arm and / or hand. If the alteration of sensation is diffuse throughout the upper extremity, all or most of the nerves in the brachial plexus may be affected, sometimes due to impingement between the clavicle and the first rib, or in passage between the scalene muscles at the sides of the neck. However, if only parts of the arm or hand are affected, it may be possible to pinpoint the specific spinal nerves that are being impinged. This can guide the specific Activator Chiropractic adjustment which can help alleviate the problem.

Monday, March 27, 2017

From Ribs to No Ribs: Transition Areas of the Spine

     There are two areas of transition in our spine, one at the base of our rib cage and one at the top of it. They are called “transition” areas because they are where attachment of the ribs begin at the lower and upper borders of the rib cage. 
     These are often trouble spots because they are “transitions” from regions of comparatively less mobility to ones of comparatively more mobility. For example, in the low back, the lumbar region, where no ribs attach, is comparatively more mobile than the thoracic region, where, from T12 and up, ribs attach on each side at each vertebral level. 
     Similarly, where ribs cease to attach in the upper back, around T2 & T1, there is a transition to the cervical, comparatively more mobile, region. 
     These transition areas are more vulnerable to biomechanical stresses, and can be recurring trouble spots for some people.