Building Strong Bones

Posted on October 4, 2018. Filed under: Acupuncturist, Aging, Exercise, Health, Hormone, injury, rebuild, Joints | Tags: , , , , , |

gregmonicaweight1~by Dr. Greg Steiner

Everyone needs strong bones; they provide structure and protect us from injury.  Fortunately, there are many ways to build stronger, denser bones even at an older age.  One of the best ways to increase bone density is exercise, but certain types of exercise yield better results than others.  Bones remodel themselves according to the stress placed upon them.  Doing light weights with lots of repetitions doesn’t really tug and pull and allow enough force on the bones & muscles to strengthen them. To properly “stress” a bone, you’ll want to use heavier weights but not so heavy as to injure yourself.  Body weight used as resistance can also work and can include yoga, elastic tubing, pushups, etc…) Weight bearing refers to how much of your body weight you are holding up while exercising.  For example, walking would be more weight-bearing than bike riding and running is more weight bearing than swimming (due to buoyancy of water there is less resistance).

Changing the direction and various angles in which we move our bodies can strengthen bones as well.  The hips, spine, wrist and ribs are much more prone to density issues, so focus on these areas are important. Because most of the time we move our hips in a straight linear pattern, the bones get the message that they need to maintain density for that path only.  That’s why exercise which involves swiveling, twisting or turning can build strength all around.  Exercises that rotate the hips include dancing, martial arts, tennis and even tai chi.

The next best way to build bone density is through nutrition.  Ample protein is needed because 50% of our bones are made of protein and really low protein can weaken bones.  If you consume a lot of protein, be sure to balance it with lots of vegetables. Be sure to also incorporate calcium.  The RDA is 1000-1200 mg daily but it’s been found that its better absorbed if spread out over the day instead all at once.  Great non-diary calcium providing foods include sardines, salmon, almonds, kale and broccoli.  Vitamin d and k help build strong bones too.  Magnesium is important because it helps activate vitamin D.  Other nutrients that are great for bone health include collagen (for bone flexibility), zinc, and omega oils.  Specifically, omega oils provide an anti-inflammatory response and are protectors against bone loss as we age.  You can boost your omega 3’s with fish and plant sources like chia seeds, flaxseeds, and walnuts.

These recommendations as well as maintaining a healthy weight can not only keep you from losing bone mass and developing brittle bones but also actually increase it.  As we age, it becomes more difficult to build new bone, but not impossible; so work on building stronger bones and muscles to help battle osteoporosis, keep you more stable and  prevent injury in the future.

Dr Greg is an active resident of Twin Creeks in Allen, TX and his background is in acupuncture, health psychology, and chiropractic. He is with CA Acupuncture and Chiropractic Clinic located at 1101 Raintree Circle, Suite # 288, and can be reached for questions or appointments by phoning 972-747-0928.

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What Is Chronic Inflammation And How To Fight It Naturally

Posted on October 4, 2018. Filed under: Acupuncture Information, Healing, Health, inflammation, Pain | Tags: , , , , , |

bigstock-High-resolution-concept-or-con-38708455

~by Dr. Greg Steiner

Inflammation isn’t always a “bad” thing.  In fact, inflammation is what helps us to heal.  When the body has an injury, (ie. cut, bruise, infection, etc…) inflammation is the body’s first response. This process includes redness, swelling, heat, fluid increase to the injured area and altered function.  The intent is to repair, but sometimes it creates pain. This is called acute inflammation and its temporary and short term.  The other type of inflammation is chronic and ongoing.  Bad inflammation happens when the body thinks it has a danger when it really doesn’t. It keeps releasing its own inflammatory compounds where the body starts attacking itself mistaking areas like joints or intestines as an invader (think autoimmune disease, asthma, ibs, arthritis).

We often think of inflammation as a physical injury but it’s been found that putting the wrong kinds of food into our bodies can trigger it as well. Terms we hear often today like “leaky gut”, “gluten sensitivity”, “brain fog” and even the ability to lose weight could possibly be linked to chronic, low-grade inflammation.  With that said, one of the best ways to fight off inflammation is by changing our diet.  The biggest culprit that triggers inflammation is sugar.  This includes desserts, pastries, sodas, coffee drinks and even fruit juices.  Sugar goes by many names so look on ingredient labels for any word ending in “ose”, like fructose or sucrose and stay away from them.  Even artificial sweeteners like aspartame may trigger an inflammatory response.  Opt for a natural sweetener like stevia which doesn’t spike insulin levels, is low in calories yet gives the sweet taste desired.  I’ve seen patients with chronic headaches have a relief in symptoms by simply reducing sugars (especially artificial sugars) in their diets.

Many of my patients have noticed positive results in their health by opting to follow an elimination diet where they exclude certain foods to determine if perhaps they were the reason for their malaise.  Not everyone has negative results when they eat certain foods but they might feel improved symptoms by removing some known triggers.  Besides sugar, these triggers include:

  • Peanuts
  • Alcohol
  • Dairy-frozen, yogurt, ice cream, butter
  • Gluten-wheat, rye, and barley products
  • Refined carbs-white bread, white rice, potatoes and pasta
  • Trans and Saturated fats-found in fast and fried foods, cookies, donuts and even crackers
  • Processed meats-bacon, lunch meat, hot dogs
  • Artificial chemicals-food additives, coloring, and preservatives
  • High Sodium products-often found in canned soups & frozen meals

So with a long list of foods we should stay away from, what can we eat that are actually good for us? These include green leafy veggies like spinach, celery, broccoli, bok choy, and kale.  Other anti-inflammatory foods include beets, berries, pineapple, along with wild caught (not farmed) salmon, bone broth, chia & flax seeds, coconut oil and spices including turmeric and ginger.

Remember, inflammation isn’t always a “bad” thing.  It’s excess and continual inflammation that prevents us from staying healthy.  Fortunately, we can fight it naturally by eating the right foods for our body, incorporating exercise and also reducing & managing stress in our daily lives.

Dr Greg is an active resident of Twin Creeks and his background is in acupuncture, health psychology, and chiropractic. He is with CA Acupuncture and Chiropractic Clinic located at 1101 Raintree Circle, Suite # 288, and can be reached for questions or appointments by phoning 972-747-0928.

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The Mind & Body Connection To Stress & How To Manage It

Posted on October 4, 2018. Filed under: Acupuncture Information, Chiropractic, Fatigue, Healing, Stress | Tags: , , , |

gregmonicapiggyb1

Dr. Greg & Monica beating stress & having fun at the same time!

~by Dr. Greg Steiner

Everyone encounters stress; it’s just a part of daily life.  Some have more than others but understanding how it impacts us physically and emotionally and building resilience and knowledge of how to combat it are keys to a healthier and happier existence.  Our mind and body are connected in that our minds control our thoughts and how we think affects how we feel.  Ever see someone who’s angry?  Usually their body is tense, with an aggressive type of posture.  Someone who is sad or depressed usually exhibits a slumping posture with shoulders rolled forward and chin downward.

Stress affects the body by influencing hormones.  If a tense situation occurs, hormones are released controlling heart rate, adrenaline, and breathing and getting the body ready for “flight or fight”.  The release of these hormones can result in a wide range of reactions to stress such as a decrease in testosterone (which decreases the ability to build or keep muscle) or increase in cortisol (which is often seen as fat around the midsection).  It can also cause fatigue, loss of appetite, pains in the body including headaches, lowered immune system, stomach problems, insomnia, and muscle tension.

Stress also affects our mind by causing us anxiety, restlessness, lack of emotion, inability to focus, anger, sadness and depression.  These type thoughts influence behavior and can lead to over/under eating, drug or alcohol use and social withdrawal.

Fortunately, stress can be controlled! We can decide to think in a way that will yield a positive outcome.  When you start to get control over something, no matter how small, you have a foundation of success to build upon.  When you adopt an optimistic attitude, organize yourself and tasks and work towards some type of end goal, you are able to get a handle over stress.  Some additional ways to manage stress include:

  • Get good, non-interrupted sleep
  • Exercise-running, weight training, any physical activity that makes you feel good
  • Find a support system- getting help from others, talking to a friend or loved one
  • Nutrition-eat foods with omega oils, include greens and nuts. Stay away from refined flours and sugars
  • Relaxation-yoga, meditation, deep breathing
  • Find a Hobby
  • Use a Planner-prioritize and make check lists
  • Listen to music
  • Play with a pet
  • Acupuncture

Changing our mindset can do wonders on combating the effects of stress on ourselves.  Instead of thinking of stress as a threat, view it as a challenge.  Instead of pressure, see it as an opportunity.  Instead of it being debilitating, see it as energizing.  All in all, by focusing on possibilities instead of problems, we change how we see things and can change our life for the better.

Dr Greg is an active resident of Twin Creeks and his background is in acupuncture, health psychology, and chiropractic. He is with CA Acupuncture and Chiropractic Clinic located at 1101 Raintree Circle, Suite # 288, and can be reached for questions or appointments by phoning 972-747-0928.

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Stay Hydrated in the Summer Heat

Posted on July 20, 2018. Filed under: Health, Hydration | Tags: , , , , , , , |

water for hydrationBy Dr. Greg Steiner

Staying hydrated is one of the best things we can do to help keep our body running efficiently.  It’s recommended we drink at least 12-16 glasses daily.  Our bodies depend on water and every cell, tissue and organ in it needs water to survive.  Our bodies are comprised of about 70% water and it has a myriad of functions.  It’s a lubricant which helps keep joints more supple and flexible and provides a protective cushion against shock in vulnerable areas like the brain and spine.  It also helps regulate body temperature by producing sweat which evaporates as a means of cooling the body.  Furthermore, it necessitates chemical reactions which make proteins and carbohydrates usable to the body.  Water is also used to transport nutrients all throughout the body.  We could live without food for a few weeks, but not water!

Knowing when we’re getting dehydrated may be difficult to recognize, but here are some signs of dehydration:

  • Headaches or dizziness
  • Low blood pressure
  • Darker colored urine & decreased amount
  • Difficulty concentrating or thinking clearly
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Bad breath or dry mouth
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue
  • Heart palpitations
  • Scaly dry skin or lips

Drinks that work against your hydration goals include caffeine containing liquids such as soda, tea, and coffee, and even energy drinks.  Caffeine causes a diuretic effect in which you lose water content thereby making you more dehydrated.  Alcoholic beverages like wine or beer can also dehydrate because liquor removes water from your tissues causing the need to increase water intake even more to offset the effects.  If alcohol is consumed, make it a point to consume one glass of water per alcoholic drink consumed (can help stave off a hangover as well).   Also avoid overly sugar laden drinks like sweet tea, lemonade and sweetened fruit juices.

Obviously good ‘ol plain water is best to stay hydrated but for flavor and variety you can add an infusion of fruit.  Milk works well and so does watermelon (though it isn’t a drink, it’s helpful in fluid retention).  Sports drinks with electrolytes are great if you’ve been involved in athletic activity and want to replenish.  Just be sure to read the labels and check sugar and carb content.  Also try caffeine free tea sweetened with a little stevia or drink unsweetened coconut water.

Tips to help you stay hydrated:

  1. Carry a reusable water bottle with you throughout the day and fill it up when empty. Some folks even carry around a gallon jug filled with water and sip off it all day long so they know they are drinking enough!
  2. Add a slice of lemon or lime to enhance the taste of your water
  3. When you feel hungry, drink water. Thirst is often confused with hunger.  It can also help you feel more full
  4. If you have trouble remembering to drink water, schedule times to do it such as the beginning of every hour or right away when you wake up, at every meal, etc…

 

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Headache from the Neck? Dealing with the “Cervicogenic Headache”

Posted on October 3, 2017. Filed under: Acupuncture Information, Cervicogenic headache, Chiropractic, headache, Health, Neck Pain | Tags: , , , , , |

cervicogenic

Almost everyone has had a “headache” but did you know there are at least 150 different types of headaches?  There are vascular, condition specific, tension, cluster, migraine, environmental, disease related and the list goes on.  One of the most prevalent headaches I see at the clinic is that which is called the “Cervicogenic  Headache”.  It’s classified as a secondary headache which means that its caused by another issue other than directly in the head.  Pain is perceived as occurring in a part of the body other than its true source, a type of “referred pain”.  Simply put, perceived in the head from a source in the neck.

By identifying the type of headache, corrective measures can then be taken but it’s not always easy to determine the headaches because many symptoms and patterns are similar.  Cervicogenic headaches often feel as painful as a migraine and typically pain is located on one side of the head.  The pain seems to start at the back and wrap itself up and over the top to the side of the head.   Cervicogenic means that it’s coming from the neck, though neck pain may not be felt.  There are structures right at the base of the skull where it attaches to the spine along which arteries and nerves run.  If they get irritated or compressed, it can be problematic.  If you push at the base of the skull, it’s extremely tender, even light pressure above the nerve can hurt too.

For these types of headaches, a chiropractic adjustment can help dissipate that pain.  What happens here is that proper motion and relationship is being restored within the structures.  Abnormal tensions are reduced, pressure is lessened, muscles start to relax, and blood vessels return to normal flow and things start to heal in fairly short order.

Patients who are prone to neck and shoulder pain may experience these types of headaches more so than others.  It can be aggravated by sitting at computers or excessive cell phone use, especially with forward head posture because there is so much tension on the back of the neck.  If the head is dropped forward, the muscles then try to pull backwards, creating a kind of tug of war.  When the neck is out of alignment for long periods, chronic headaches can develop.  One of my top recommendations that you can practice at home and at any time is having good posture.  When you correct your posture, you take tension off the neck.  This can substantially reduce the occurrence of headaches.

Another recommendation is acupuncture. It can relax the muscles and also provide extra effects on the top of the head right in the muscular tension itself.  There are specific acupuncture points we use that directly target headaches. While chiropractic can work at the source of the headache, acupuncture can work directly on the source itself.  The good news is that there are natural therapies that can be used to help these headaches instead of ongoing dependence of medication.

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Stopping Neck & Shoulder Pain

Posted on April 6, 2017. Filed under: Acupuncture Information, Aging, Chiropractic, Exercise, Healing, Health, inflammation, injury, rebuild, Neck Pain, Pain, Posture | Tags: , , , , |

dr greg neck exercises cut out

Dr. Greg shows some simple neck exercises

By Dr. Greg Steiner
CA Acupuncture & Chiropractic

Neck and shoulder pain come in many shapes and forms.  There’s the sharp & stabbing type, sometimes coming from an arthritic joint or perhaps from something as simple as bending it in the wrong direction.  Sometimes it feels like it’s a grinding sort of pain and other times it feels heavy and stiff.  Whether the neck pain is a muscular or pinched nerve type, it usually doesn’t originate just in the neck but the uppermost part of the back, where a lot of muscles are activated and connect.  In order to be thorough and correct the problem, all these areas need to be addressed and assessed.

Oftentimes, headaches are caused by neck & shoulder issues.  If the muscles in the front of the neck are spasming, it can create a headache on the side of the head.  Tight trapezius and shoulder girdle areas can refer pain up the back of the head, and at the base of the skull, the deeper layer or muscles, when contracted or spasming can irritate blood vessels or nerves and produce “migraine” symptoms.

The feeling of an electrical shock or jolt running down the arm may indicate a nerve compression of some sort while a tightness or achy pain could result from a muscle strain from training at the gym.

The type of pain itself can often help identify the problem and therapies to be used for pain relief.  Ice packs are great to help reduce sharp pain while a stiff pain can be helped with ice and then heat.  The most effective therapy I have found is a combination of both chiropractic and acupuncture.  The chiropractic adjustment can help relieve muscle tension and restore some motion on just the first visit.  Subsequent visits keep increasing that range of motion, resulting in pain relief and longer term can restore proper alignment.  Add in the use of electrical stimulation and infrared heat and spasms and tightness can be also be reduced.  Acupuncture can also give a pretty satisfying analgesic effect by helping reduce muscle tension and inflammation.

One thing that can help reduce and prevent neck & shoulder pain is to focus on mobility and correct posture.  Gentle stretching and proper movement can keep the areas flexible and lubricated.  If you sit at the computer all day with your head leaning forward and hardly move, the strained position will eventually destroy the curve of the neck.  Inflammation also occurs, and nothing seems to fit in the right place.  The ligaments are no longer in the correct position and the front muscles start to shrink (because they are always contracted) while the back of the neck muscles are over stretched and weakened.  A great deal of this can be remedied by taking breaks to gently stretch the neck & shoulders, having the computer monitor & chair at the right height, as well as sitting tall and upright with the head in alignment with the shoulders.  The earlier you catch & remedy the problem, the faster you’ll see relief and following these simple suggestions can help deter that pain from the start.

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Physical Training & Avoiding Injuries

Posted on March 21, 2017. Filed under: Acupuncturist, Aging, Chiropractic, Exercise, Healing, injury, rebuild, Pain, Posture, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , |

monica back exercise

Monica Steiner at work in the gym

By Dr. Greg Steiner
CA Acupuncture & Chiropractic Clinic

“I keep getting hurt – how can I train to gain without getting injured anymore?” This and similar questions are only slightly less common than “What did I do to myself?”

Let’s face it, little is more frustrating than being knocked off the training track once again. Finding a sticking point or plateau is bad enough, but what I might call “break down points” is probably even worse. The difference is critical – a plateau is that inability to surpass a certain desired goal in size, strength or muscularity. A breaking point is one of those times when “Oops, it happened again,” such as when training weights approach a certain level at which a back, shoulder or perhaps knee always seems to give way.

The essential bottom-line point is that if you are injured over and over again, your training will suffer. If your training suffers, it is not possible to reach your peak cardiovascular fitness. So, what are we to do?  Whatever the most motivating end goals, the underlying requirement is training consistency. A week here or a month there is of no value, other than in giving one a sense that “efforts are being made, I’m trying…” Largely futile and possibly dangerous – it used to be called “the weekend warrior” syndrome, which helps fill the waiting rooms of Monday morning chiropractic clinics as these individuals exert beyond what is their safe capacity.

The next essential step is to do the exercises correctly. One of my physician mentors used to have a saying – “If it’s not right, it’s all wrong!” He didn’t pick up this phrase from school however, but from an elite military unit of which he was once a part. He himself was a super-fit, super motivated highly intelligent man with very big uppers arms and a fighting spirit to match. His relevant point in his saying however, was that in times of high stress, structures and procedures had to be tip-top, or something would break.

In weight training, this refers to cheating on form while the body is under the greatest load, usually when performing the hard reps late in a set, or when using very low reps and very heavy weights. It’s then that the weak links give way, and injury occurs.

Sorry, but no one training method or scheme produces the perfect size, fitness, strength while taking no effort, being fun to do all the time and perfectly safe.  But, the real baseline is consistency and ability to replicate useful workouts time and time again while simultaneously performing them correctly without error.  The principle behind training without getting hurt is to stress the muscles without damaging the supporting structures such as ligaments and joint capsules in order to grow and maximize them without causing them injury.  If you are not sure if you’re doing something correctly, find an expert who can help and get that extra insight.

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How to Naturally Boost Your Testosterone

Posted on December 29, 2016. Filed under: Exercise, Health, Hormone, Testosterone, Weightloss | Tags: , , , , , |

Dr. Greg & Monica bodybuilding

Dr. Greg & wife, Monica

~by Dr. Greg Steiner
CA Acupuncture & Chiropractic

Over the years, testosterone levels have diminished a great deal in men and women both.  Average numbers for young men used to range in the 800’s. In the 1940’s,  an average, 40-45 year old male’s numbers had decreased down to the 700’s and by early 2000’s,  it had dipped into the 500’s. In my clinic today, we are seeing numbers for the majority of males in the 100’s-300’s.  Clearly there is a generalized decrease.  So why is it?

Years ago, in past generations, work would be done by 5:30pm, the male would come home and eat, and usually would rest and just relax after a hard day of work. This included sleeping in on the weekends and taking it easy.  Food was less processed.  Fast forward to today and it’s usually go-go-go 24/7 for both men and women.  There are no breaks, there’s high stress levels and poor quality nutrition. Many people suffer from the following…

Symptoms of low testosterone include:
Fatigue
Depression
Irritability & mood swings
Inability to build and maintain muscle mass
Weight gain
Hair loss
Breast enlargement (in men)
Hot flashes and night sweats
Low sex drive
What does Testosterone do for us?

Having optimal levels of testosterone can help you:
Lose weight
Build muscle mass
Boost your sex drive
Increase bone density
Improve memory and cognitive function
Decrease hot flashes & night sweats

Fortunately, there are ways to naturally increase those testosterone levels…

1. Take Control of Your Stress. Several hormones work against testosterone, one being cortisol. If you’re under constant stress, your body will churn out a steady stream of the stress hormone cortisol. This hormone actually blocks the effects of testosterone so your body will be less able to create testosterone. So, controlling your stress is important for keeping up your testosterone.

2. Get Enough Rest.  If a person has unrelenting stress and cannot sleep, then it’s hard for the body to shut down externally to turn on internally to produce testosterone.  A lack of sleep affects a variety of hormones and chemicals in your body and rest is needed to restore them.  Make sleep a priority, aim for 7 to 8 hours a night.

3. Get to a Healthy Weight.   Overweight or obese men often have low testosterone levels.  Losing the extra weight can help bring testosterone back up.  For underweight men, getting weight up to a healthy level can also have a positive effect on the hormone. Studies are now showing that the more fat you carry, the lower your testosterone levels will be.

4. Reduce Sugar. Testosterone levels decrease after you eat sugar, which is likely because the sugar leads to a high insulin level, another factor leading to low testosterone.  Eat foods that increase testosterone production. These include:
Tomatoes
Red peppers
Cruciferous vegetables
Alfalfa sprouts
Apples and pineapples.
Olives & olive oil
Coconut oil
Grass fed butter
Raw nuts such as walnuts, almonds, pecans
Eggs
Avocados
Grass fed meats

5. Increase Omega Oils.  Most people lack a sufficient quantity of Omega oils which are the backbones of hormones.  Whether it is from a supplement or increased intake of food sources like fish, walnuts, chia, flax or hemp seeds, a person needs good fats to make a good hormone.

6. Reduce Carbohydrate Intake.  Immediately following any high-carbohydrate meal there is a temporary drop in testosterone levels. If you are eating 3-4+ carb dominant meals per day, this will lead to lower testosterone levels overall. Try to limit your consumption of starchy or simple carbohydrates to the 2-3 hour window after your training session for the day. This will ensure that your body is adept at handling the insulin spike a little better, and will also limit your consumption of carbs.  Try starting your day with a high protein/medium fat/low carbohydrate meal like eggs or turkey bacon, along with some green vegetables and avocado/nuts. Most people who switch from a high carb breakfast, to a high protein/moderate fat breakfast report increases in energy, satiety (feeling full), and almost always end up leaner from that one change.

7. Change up your Exercise.  Testosterone adapts to your body’s needs. If you spend most of your time lying on the couch, your brain gets the message that you don’t need as much to bolster your muscles and bones.  When you’re physically active, your brain sends out the signal for more of the hormone but know that longer workouts are not necessarily better. Exercise type and duration can influence your testosterone levels.  If you regularly engage in long, drawn-out workouts with lengthy rest periods or excessive endurance exercise, then your testosterone levels may actually see a reduction.  Workouts lasting longer than about an hour may begin to spike cortisol levels and subsequently decrease testosterone. Additionally, research has shown that a quicker rest period between sets (1 minute vs 3 minutes) triggered higher acute hormonal responses following a bout of resistance training. So, keep your rest periods short and engage in vigorous exercise like weight training incorporating big compound lifts like squats, dead lifts, bench presses and lunges or running hills in order for you to maximize your testosterone response.  Workouts should be between 15-45 minutes up to an hour but no longer, even with rest breaks included. While cardio is important and  it’s good for the circulation, it’s not the most effective way to produce testosterone.  You want to focus more toward the amount of exertion, not just how long you can keep endurance up.

Adding in supplements like zinc, vitamin d, and b-complex have also shown to help testosterone.  Even body building experts (like my wife) believe that eating at certain times during the day and frequent meals with controlled portions also help.  I recommend get your blood levels tested first to find out where you fall on the scale and devising a plan from there.

 

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The Concussion & Whiplash Connection

Posted on October 4, 2016. Filed under: Acupuncture Information, Children, Chiropractic, Health, injury, rebuild, Pain | Tags: , , , , , , , |

football-playerBy Dr. Greg Steiner
CA Acupuncture & Chiropractic Clinic

 

Head injuries can happen in a variety of ways and are more prevalent in activities that involve a lot of physical movement.  Playing an aggressive sport like football, soccer, wrestling, or any such type; one is bound to get knocked or bounced around a bit.  Following a hard hit to the head is a possible concussion.  A person can bounce back normally from a low-grade concussion but there are warning signs to look for and keep in mind:

Nausea and vomiting
Headache
Blurred vision
Dizziness
Lethargic and slow to move
Unable to concentrate or remember
Balancing or coordination problems
Slurred speech
Ringing in the ears

With these symptoms there is some varying degree of concussion experienced and should be looked over by a physician to be on the safe side. Simply put, the impact on the head causes the brain to bang against the inside of the skull and create swelling or trauma.  The extra pressure can lead to cognitive impairment and some of the symptoms seen.  Something else that is often overlooked is the neck trauma.  If a person gets concussed, they often get whiplashed.  Sometimes with a hit, the head snaps which jerks the neck back and forth.  Maybe there’s a fall, so there could be a twist in there too.  So, the secondary damage is what happens within the neck area.

Recently I had a patient who took quite a hard fall and had symptoms of a grade 1 concussion but also had a quite painful neck afterwards.  Often the neck or back issue isn’t felt until after the concussion settles down.  Even if the concussion problem heals, there can still be a problem in the neck which could last for several days or even months.   With whiplash, such as in an auto accident, if the person is young and healthy, there could be damage up to a point but if you deal with a slightly older individual, who has an arthritic neck and their joints don’t fit or align properly, their tissues and muscles are less elastic and they are likely to be damaged far more seriously.

Chiropractic care and acupuncture can be very helpful.  It is important to gently work and mobilize the neck and examine for proper function and proper movement very carefully.  The upper back should also be checked because a certain amount of neck pain often originates from the upper back.  All the muscles and tissues are connected to one another so we work with the upper back to make sure the spine, joints, and muscles are working properly because they are the base that the neck sits upon.  The acupuncture can help with relaxation of the injured muscles helping reduce inflammation and being able to help with decreasing pain as well.

Accidents happen, it’s a part of life, but getting the proper treatment and care is an important step which shouldn’t be missed.

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Thinking About Acupuncture, Don’t Fear the Needle

Posted on July 29, 2016. Filed under: Acupuncture Information, Acupuncturist, Children, Health, inflammation, Pain, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

~by Dr. Gregory Steiner

Child receiving AcupunctureMany of us have heard about the benefits of natural healing, the thought of not being dependent on medications, the ability for the body to function optimally based upon proper diet and exercise, and holistic therapies that can heal us of afflictions. Eastern medicine has educated us on the benefits of massage, herbal and aromatherapy, and even acupuncture.  Unfortunately, many of us are reluctant to seek acupuncture treatment because we have a fear, a fear of the unknown and a fear of needles.  But what does the “typical” thought of needle conjure in the mind? Maybe we were traumatized when we received immunization shots as a child, anesthesia shots for fillings, or some other type of injection leaving our brains to associate needles with pain and uncomfortable situations.  Luckily, acupuncture performed correctly by a trained professional causes virtually no pain!

I’m afraid of needles, does acupuncture hurt?
Rest assured that acupuncture needles are in no way similar to hypodermic needles.  First of all, a medical hypodermic needle has a hollow point and sharp edge and must “break” the skin to either insert or withdraw fluid. Acupuncture needles are solid, round-point thin and wire-like and are sterilized and disposable.  With their small size, they are more comparable to a strand of hair.  They are hardly like needles at all.  The depth the needle goes is so shallow that it doesn’t even draw blood.  A helpful comparison is that  between 20 and 40 acupuncture needles can actually fit inside the hollow shaft point of a hypodermic needle (depending on size).  These needles are so small and thin that some of them can actually be passed through a balloon without popping it!

What does it feel like?
Many patients describe the feeling of the needle as either a tingling or pulsating sensation, or a dull ache which soon passes, or not feeling anything at all being inserted.  It only takes a second for the doctors to insert the needle and when working with an experienced practitioner, should relatively be painless.  If by chance, there is discomfort, the needle can be quickly removed and repositioned.  Pain isn’t something that should be felt or elicited; in fact, the acupuncture is used to do the opposite and help alleviate pain.

What is it used for?
Acupuncture can help with a variety of issues, including reduction or elimination of pain, whether it be for the back, neck, shoulders or joints to name a few.  It can help with headaches, stress & anxiety, and even help balance the body which in turn can positively affect the thyroid, menstruation issues, and hormones. It has also been used to increase energy levels and has been effective in weight loss and allergy symptom relief.  The list can go on and on for the benefits that acupuncture can provide.

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