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.