Monday, January 30, 2017

Ribs---Like a Bucket Handle

Think of each of your ribs as being like a bucket handle:  on our right side, each rib is attached in our back at a thoracic vertebra, and curves around under our arm and across our chest, where it attaches in the front to our sternum. Ditto each rib on our left side at the matching spinal levels.

With inhalations, our chest expands. With deeper breaths, the ribs move up / out from their front & back attachments, in the same way that a bucket handle moves from its attachments on either side of a bucket.

An impact on a rib in the back can affect its attachment in the front of the body, and vice versa. Impacts on side(s) of rib(s) can disturb their attachment(s) in front and / or back. Careful assessment of the rib cage is part of my full-body balancing with Activator Chiropractic.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Using FOOD to Reduce Inflammation

Many things in the standard American diet (SAD) stimulate inflammation in the body. Avoiding these foods or food components can be an effective way to reduce inflammation in our joints and throughout our bodies. Here are some of the main “culprits:”
SUGAR in any form, including honey.
DAMAGED (oxidized or chemically altered) FATS & OILS including hydrogenated oils, which have trans fats (found in margarine, shortening, & many packaged or processed foods such as pastries, cookies, and chips). Damaged oils include vegetable (soy, corn, sesame, etc.) or nut oils, (except coconut) which oxidize at room temperature. Exposure to heat (even cooking at low temperatures) causes accelerated oxidation. Oxidized oils are highly inflammatory.
GRILLED FOODS and foods cooked at high temperatures or “blackened.”
WHEAT products, including white, whole wheat,&  sourdough breads, pasta, cereal, pretzels, crackers, or any product made with wheat flour, which includes most desserts and packaged snacks. Exception is any food made with heirloom wheat, which has not been hybridized.
Diet high in MEATS, which contain inflammation-promoting prostaglandins. Use healthy meats in moderation.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Scoliosis--An Unwelcome Spinal Curve

Our spines have normal front-to-back curves:  forward-facing curves in the neck & low back, and a backward-facing upper back curve.

But “sideways” curves in the spine, called scoliotic curves, aka "scoliosis," those that you would see if the person has their back to you, are abnormal and can cause trouble. They have the effect of weakening the stability of the spine, which affects the attached and related soft tissue, including muscles and organs. 

Severe or advanced scoliosis can impair the lungs & breathing, as well as the functioning of other essential internal organs, and may require surgical stabilization. 

In my practice, I have worked with scoliosis patients who have successfully chosen to avoid surgery, and instead relied on consistent, regular, specific exercises and regular chiropractic care to manage the effects of their abnormal spinal curve(s). 

Monday, January 9, 2017

What's That Pain at the End of My Collarbone?

Among the several joints of the shoulder complex is an articulation at the outer end of the collarbone, the end furthest away from the center of your chest, called the AC, or acromioclavicular, joint. 

It is a common site of injury, partly because it consists of two bones that essentially just “butt together” and their ends, and are fastened together by surrounding ligaments. It is a less efficient joint than many others in the body, and is vulnerable to injury. 

In my practice, an aberrant AC joint is a common cause of patients’ shoulder pain; I have very precise adjustments which I make with my Activator instrument that help.   

Monday, January 2, 2017

Can Chiropractors Opt Out of Medicare?

No. Medical doctors can choose to opt out, but Chiropractors cannot.

If a licensed Doctor of Chiropractic sees a patient who has Medicare, the Chiropractor must, by law, report it to Medicare. Medicare covers Chiropractic treatment to the spine, and patients with Medicare insurance have the right to have their Medicare pay for their spinal treatment. 

If your Chiropractor sees Medicare patients but does not accept assignment (accept payment from Medicare), you must pay at the time of service, your Chiropractor then sends the report of her / his services and charges to Medicare, and you will be reimbursed directly from Medicare. 

Medicare will process the statement of services and charges received from your Chiropractor, and then send the statement on to your secondary or supplemental carrier. Whatever amount your supplemental insurance will pay, they will also send the reimbursement directly to you.