Emerging Technology Focused on Nerves

In a world of quick-fixes and a pill for every ill, I return to the philosophy of Chiropractic and the basics of human anatomy and physiology. I am not anti-technology or anti-science that’s for sure. Most of my studies were science-related and provided the basis for how I interpret life as we know it. Whats interesting to note as well though, is that most pharmaceuticals that exist today were based or made to mimic a natural substance or function. At what point however, do we not look to nature and respect what it has to offer? To respect what nature is capable of?

An article was recently brought to my attention about the latest research in one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. Big bucks and mega smarts looking for solutions to problems. The latest technology being developed is much different than creative chemistry, looking to raise or lower levels of substance “x” in our body. Instead, they are now looking to the nerves. Recognizing that the brain sends impulses down the spinal cord, to the organs of the body to elicit a response, and a nerve then sends a message back to the brain to either continue the response or to stop the impulse. This is not news. This is how the body works. So GlaxoSmithKline, recognizing this basic fact of anatomy/ physiology put two and two together and came to the conclusion that altering a nerve impulse could affect organ function. SO, to put it somewhat differently, if an organ isn’t functioning properly, the nerve impulse to or from that organ may be contributing to that dysfunction. The nerve communication can be affecting the health of that organ thus the health of that individual. The solution? Alter the nerve communication by either increasing stimulus or decreasing stimulus.

The complex belongs to GlaxoSmithKline, the $100 billion British pharmaceutical company, where (researchers are) developing a class of treatments called bioelectronics. The idea is to create implants the size of a grain of rice, or even smaller, that can be bolted directly onto nerves to treat diseases, augmenting or replacing drugs. With internal batteries to send tiny electric pulses, the implants could alter nerve signals to loosen up airways in asthma sufferers, for example, or reduce inflammation in the gut from Crohn’s disease. Even cancer is a long-term target. Side effects could be minimal, in theory, compared with those of drugs, which flood the body with foreign molecules. Doctors could stop worrying about patients forgetting to take pills.*

Interesting. So lets back this up. The brain sends a signal to the organ through a nerve. The organ performs a task. A nerve communicates back to the brain. So if the communication can be altered and affect the nerve, why is the body not doing this on its own? Perhaps (enter my Chiropractic goggles), there is interference to the nerve at some point between the brain and the organ. Perhaps, the point at which the nerve leaves the spinal cord, through the spine out to the body may be affecting that communication. Perhaps the nerve is experiencing interference due to adhesions that have developed along the connective tissue pathways because of poor biomechanics, injury or immobility. Perhaps the body DOES know what needs to happen but the message isn’t getting to the organ properly because there is intereference along the way. If you turn on a faucet connected to a sprinkler and step on the hose, your results are going to be affected. You can add in shunts and tubes to help move water through better, OR you could take your foot off the hose.

If anything, this article and the arguments they pose for the benefits of moving away from drug therapy is a testimony to Chiropractic care. Look to the nervous system. Optimize it with a functioning spine, optimal spinal curves, nutrition that supports health and healing, and movement to stimulate the brain and promote proper function. Whether you are suffering from a chronic condition or wish to prevent such from happening, get your spine and nervous system checked by a qualified professional. In the words of B.J. Palmer, "Nature needs no help, just no interference."


“Only One Big Drugmaker is Working on a Nanobot Cure: GlaxoSmithKline is experimenting with grain-size implants that treat disease” By Matthew Campbell (2016) Bloomberg Business Week

New Year, New Beginnings


Alright so it's not exactly a "new year" anymore, but I felt it was worthwhile to dedicate my first blog post of 2017 to my new space and the team I get to work alongside every day.

Many of you know, I moved my practice mid December to the SE community of Ramsay. With a gorgeous view of downtown, this space exudes warmth and a feeling of being home the minute you walk in the door. Working alongside Dr. Arnel Beaubrun, Dr. Andrea Beaubrun & Dr. Tricia Breckon of Integra Naturopathics, Kelsey Marshall of Fluid Movements and Kathy Teal of Classical Osteopathy of Alberta we share a common vision of helping people live healthier lives naturally.

Having known Drs. Andrea and Arnel for years, it was rather serendipitous how the collaboration came about. What was interesting though, was that after making the final decision to take the leap to my dream neighborhood, I realized the office had been my dream for sometime too. Truly. As I started packing up my office materials and organizing some of my books and supplies, I came across a number of different files and notes I have hung on to over the years in which I had collected ideas and inspiration of a dream clinic I hoped to one day have. As I looked through the small and larger scale characteristics I aspired to acquire, it didn't take me long to see that they all existed in this "new" space, right down to the health-centered cafe, Bruhe, on the corner!

I am excited to share this environment with our practice members past, present and future. I think I speak for all of us at 1026 Bellevue in saying that we will continue to strive to deliver a world-class experience with professionalism, integrity and compassion, while facilitating a life of health and vitality. This is our community. This is our city. Shine bright!


Chiropractic for Tennis Elbow

Originally written and posted by the Alberta College and Association of Chiropractors

 Tennis elbow is a misleading name for a common injury.

Despite the name, tennis elbow is not just a concern for Serena Williams or Roger Federer.

While tennis players can be affected by this problem, it also affects baseball players, swimmers, carpenters, plumbers, meat cutters, or anyone who repeats an arm motion over and over. It can be so painful that lifting your morning cup of coffee to your mouth can become an ordeal. 

What is tennis elbow?

Tennis Elbow can be acute, caused by inflammation, or chronic, caused by degenerated collagen.

In acute tennis elbow, you will find the inflammation in the tendon and bony lump at the outer part of the elbow. This inflammation happens because of repetitive stress placed on the forearm muscles. The repetitive stress causes the tendons of the elbow to become irritated,and exert a force on the joint of the elbow leading to inflammation.

Chronic tennis elbow is most seen in non-athletes between the ages of 35-55 years old. In most cases, it is a result of tendon degeneration, which causes normal tissue to be replaced by a disorganized arrangement of collagen. It can happen as a result of a single traumatic event or repetitive stress.

 How do I know if I have tennis elbow?

Tennis elbow will cause pain in the bony knob on the outside of your elbow. This is where the injured tendons connect to the bone. You may also feel pain in the upper or lower part of your arm.

Tennis elbow sufferers may feel pain when you ;

  • Lift something
  • Make a fist or grip an object
  • Open a door
  • Raise your hand or straighten your wrist

How do I prevent tennis elbow?

Stretching – For those who know their work or play will involve a lot of repetitive arm motions, stretching will be your best preventive measure against tennis elbow. Stretching these muscles works to strengthen them over time. For a list of stretches, click here

Squeeze and release exercise – Strengthening your wrist muscles will help to avoid tennis elbow.  Ironically, a great tool to accomplish this, is a tennis ball. Grip a tennis ball in the hand of your injured arm. Squeeze and release the tennis ball for 2-3 minutes, 3-4 times a day.

How do I treat tennis elbow?

A recent study has shown chiropractic treatment to be effective for tennis elbow. Your chiropractor will assess your pain and first determine the cause of your tennis elbow.

Chiropractic treatment for tennis elbow may include: Active Release Therapy (ART), the Graston Technique, which is an instrument-assisted method your chiropractor uses to detect and resolve adhesions in the muscles and tendons, and extracorporeal shockwave therapy, where your chiropractor sends acoustic shock waves into the bone or soft tissue and breaks up the scarring that has penetrated tendons and ligaments.

Tennis elbow should not be ignored. Without the proper treatment it is unlikely to go away on its own. The pain can even begin to spread to the forearm and the wrist. Temporary bracing can help stop tennis elbow from worsening, but is a Band-Aid rather than a cure.

Chiropractic for TMJ Pain

Originally written and posted by the Alberta College and Association of Chiropractors

When most people think of the work a chiropractor does, their thoughts immediately go to correcting problems with the back, neck, spine, etc.

Perhaps, the last place you’d expect a chiropractor to relieve pain is in your jaw.

Your chiropractor may be able to relieve pain in your  jaw, specifically your temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which can be a common sore spot for many people. 

A study showed that specific adjustments of the TMJ may be appropriate for the conservative treatment of temporomandibular dysfunction (TMD). 

What is the TMJ?

The TMJ connects the lower jaw to the skull in front of the ear. Certain facial muscles that control chewing are also attached to the lower jaw. You can easily find your TMJ by placing your fingers in front of either ear and opening your mouth. You should feel changing shapes beneath your fingers. Problems with the TMJ or the surrounding structures cause TMD.

What are some of the problems that cause TMD?

There are number of causes for TMD. The most common is clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth during sleep. These moments overwork the jaw muscles and put pressure on the joint.

TMD can also be caused by the following:

  • Disc dislocation
  • when ill-fitting dental fillings, crowns, dentures, etc. make the bite uneven
  • trauma to the mouth i.e. a fall directly on the jaw or dental surgery
  • hereditary issues
  • specific diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout or fibromyalgia

What are the symptoms of TMD?

TMD can have many symptoms that can be present all the time, or come and go. Some of these include:

  • trouble opening and closing your mouth
  • jaw locking, clicking or popping
  • headaches
  • pain in the jaw
  • pain in the neck or face
  • difficulty chewing
  • ear pain

How can my chiropractor help?

Your chiropractor will first assess the cause of your TMD. Most TMJ conditions respond well to conservative treatment like chiropractic.

If your chiropractor decides your specific case of TMD can benefit from chiropractic treatment, they may proceed with a few different methods, such as chiropractic adjustments, Myofascial Release, which works to relax muscles and soft tissue in order to optimize their function, or active release therapy, which is meant to release scar tissue.

Your chiropractor will also work with your dentist to ensure that the treatment chosen is the correct one for you.

Your chiropractor may also advise you of certain postural changes you can make, especially in the upper-neck, which could be causing or contributing to your TMD as well.

Back to School - Backpack Safety for your Children

Originally written and posted by the Alberta College and Association of Chiropractors

 The Alberta College and Association of Chiropractors has long been a huge proponent of backpack safety for children.  

That’s why, as the pencils are sharpened, the smell of fresh Velcro litters the air, and your kids come to the realization their summer is coming to an end, we like to highlight the importance of protecting childrens' bodies when it comes to what is considered an essential back-to-school purchase. 

According to a study by the University of California, 61 per cent of school children analyzed had backpacks exceeding 10 per cent of their body weight. Those carrying the heaviest backpacks had a 50 per cent higher risk of back pain. This goes along with the fact that over 50 per cent of Canadian youth will suffer at least one back pain episode during their school years.

Choosing the right backpack, ensuring your child packs it light, and wears it the correct way, can go a long way in preventing them pain, both now and down the road.

Choosing the right backpack

Upon entering the store, your child may flock to the [insert popular kids movie of the summer here] themed backpacks, but it’s important to help them pick their backpack based on substance, not style.

When looking for a back pack you should look for the following things:

  • Choose a bag made of lightweight material, such as vinyl or canvas.
  • Pick a bag that has two wide, adjustable and padded shoulder straps, along with a hip or waist strap, a padded back and plenty of pockets.
  • Ensure the bag is proportionate to body size and no larger than needed. The top of the pack should not extend higher than the top of the shoulder, and the bottom should not fall below the top of the hipbone.
  • Explore other options like bags with wheels and a pull handle for easy rolling.

Packing it with the right weight

The type of backpack your kids are using is key, but the weight your kids are putting in them is of equal importance.

The total weight of the pack should not exceed 10 to 15 per cent of the wearer’s body weight. A typical 10-year-old boy’s weight in Canada is estimated at around 50 lbs. A child this size should only be carrying around 7.5 lbs. maximum.

Also keep in mind that the weight should be distributed within the pack evenly. It’s a good idea to pack the heaviest items close to the body as this reduces the strain because the weight is closer to the body’s own centre of gravity.

Wearing it correctly

It’s important to teach your child the proper way wear their backpack as well. Slinging the backpack over one shoulder can cause stress on the joints and muscles in the mid and lower back. Both shoulder straps should always be used and adjusted so the pack fits snugly against the body. You should be able to slide a hand between the backpack and the wearer’s back.

If you’ve bought a bag with a waist strap, ensure that they do it up as it reduces the strain on the back and transfers some of the load to the hips.

To ensure your child’s back is healthy and strong, consult your chiropractor. They can teach you and your child how to pack, lift and carry a backpack properly to prevent injury.