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

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.

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.

Sitting Properly: Decrease Pain and Improve Productivity

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

 Research has shown, sitting at work accounts for one-third to one-half of sitting time. Sitting at your desk, in meetings and in your car to and from work, are common for most people. You’re most likely sitting while reading this blog.

Sitting for prolonged periods can cause back, neck and shoulder pain.

Most think you’re more likely to injure yourself during activities like golfing or gardening, but sitting for extended periods of time while at work can produce chronic pain and can limit range of motion for many people. There are ways however, to ensure your office job doesn’t mean more pain than productivity.

Move Around

It may seem simplistic, but even getting up and stretching every hour or so can go a long way in preventing pain. Sitting in the exact same position for long periods of time can cause muscles to stiffen and can slow circulation.

A great device created with the intention to keep your blood circulating is a very simple desktop unit that allows you to raise your working surface with just two levers. The entire unit is on hydraulics, making it effortless to go from sitting to standing.

Posture

While it’s important to ensure you get up and move around, it’s equally important to ensure you have the correct posture while you’re sitting. Here are some tips to ensure your sitting posture is correct:

  • Always try to sit upright, with your shoulders down and back all the way to the back of the seat. The back of your pelvis should be butted against the back of the chair for support.
  • Keep your body weight distributed to both of your feet evenly. Try not to cross your legs as that rotates the pelvis backwards on the side that you are crossing over.
  • Try using a lumbar support, which is essentially a cushion for your lower back that rests on the back of your chair. A lumbar support can go a long way in preventing pain.

Your Chair

Your chair can be a big factor in whether or not you experience pain. If your chair height isn’t correct, you’ll have to extend your forearms downwards or upwards to type. This can cause pain to either shoot up to your shoulder blades or sit in your wrists.

Also, you should always try to have your chair under your desk as far as you can, this helps to prevent slouching forwards putting strain on your lower back. 

How Chiropractic Can Help

A chiropractor is trained to help you understand how you can prevent and alleviate pain with prolonged sitting.

Chiropractors are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions of the musculoskeletal system (the body’s bones, muscles, cartilage, tendons, joints and connective tissue). Your chiropractor will first assess your current condition or the source of your problem and then develop a treatment plan for you to help ease your pain.

Chiropractic for Treating Vertigo

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

How many of us loved the sensation of spinning around in a circle to make ourselves dizzy as children? We spun and spun and spun, were dizzy for a few seconds and laughed it off. Vertigo sufferers feel this dizzy sensation constantly and it can last for hours or even days and can come out of nowhere.

Chiropractic has been found to be an effective treatment for certain types of vertigo, which can be very frustrating for suffers.

What is vertigo?

Vertigo is the feeling of being off-balance and dizzy, as if you or your surroundings are moving, spinning, or swaying. Sufferers’ feelings of being off balance can differ greatly, from being barely noticeable to so severe they find it hard to keep their balance doing everyday tasks.

A lot of people misunderstand what vertigo is. Vertigo is actually a symptom rather than a condition itself. This means your dizziness is your body’s way of telling you something isn’t right.

Vertigo is most common in elderly people, but it can affect both sexes at any age.

What conditions is vertigo a symptom of?

Vertigo is most commonly a sign of a problem in an area of your body that plays a role in how your body orients itself and maintains balance. Vertigo may be a symptom of;

  • damage to the inner ear
  • damage to spinal joints or ligaments
  • misalignment or a partial dislocation of the vertebrae in the neck

How can chiropractic help?

Chiropractic is an excellent option for treating certain types of vertigo. Your treatment will depend on what your vertigo is a symptom of. 

One treatment option, is an adjustment targeting the joints that aren’t moving properly. In the upper neck, faulty motion patterns can result in mistaken information about body position and movement being communicated from your joints to your brain. A simple adjustment can often correct this problem.

If your problem is inner-ear related, your chiropractor may preform what is called the Epley Maneuver. This maneuver consists of repositioning debris that has collected in the sensitive areas of your inner-ear to a more harmless position. Another option for inner-ear related vertigo is specific exercises targeting the vestibulocochlear (inner-ear) system.

After an initial assessment, your chiropractor will decide the best course of action for you in treating the condition behind your vertigo.