Kids with Ear Infections and how Chiropractic can Help

Often, when I tell people that chiropractic can help children, I see very surprised faces. It’s something that not many people are aware of; even those that already are under chiropractic care.

Chiropractors around the world give care to thousands of children every day. Chiropractic care is a natural and noninvasive form of care and can help children better fight off chronic childhood illnesses, such as ear infections, that traditionally are being treated with medications. You may wonder HOW?

The nerve system controls and coordinates all systems of the body, including the regulation of the immune system. Is a healthy functioning spine important for the child’s nerve system? YES is the right answer! Why? The bony structures of the spine protect the nerve system, specifically the spinal cord and spinal nerve roots. When a vertebra is out of it’s original position, it can put pressure on the surrounding nerve structures – which interferes with the nerve messages between the brain and the body and vive versa. As a result the brain, that intelligently runs our bodies, is less able to create function and coordination, which translates into true health.

Ear infections (Otitis Media)

Otitis Media, one of the most common childhood illnesses, is referred to as ear infection. Typically the primary symptoms are pain and discomfort in the area surrounding the ear, as well as: fever, fluid draining, loss of appetite, grumpy behavior and trouble sleeping.

Traditionally, ear infections are treated with oral antibiotics or ear antibiotic drops. However, very few are aware of the poor effects of antibiotics:

  • Many ear infections are caused by viruses, which are unaffected from antibiotics.
  • It is a well-established fact that 80% of uncomplicated ear infections self resolve, without the use of antibiotics within 3 days.
  • Antibiotics have a number of devastating side effects such as imbalanced gut flora and digestive issues.
  • Overuse of antibiotics has caused an epidemic of super bugs; bacteria that are resistant to drugs!

According to Dr. Lawrence B. Palevsky (MD, FAAP, DABHM), a renowned pediatrician, lecturer and published author; a natural approach is not only more sensible, but also it’s more effective!! One of the natural interventions that Dr. Palevsky recommends is chiropractic.

A recent literature review in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine underlines how effective it can be, as children have benefited under chiropractic care for more than 100 years. The article, written in 2012, critically evaluated 49 articles and discovered that several case series, case reports and clinical trials all come to the same conclusion: chiropractic adjustments can help kids to heal natural even from ear infections! No adverse effects were observed during the treatment of the child.

Very few are aware of the benefits of regular chiropractic care and its role in wellness and functioning of the body. Not only does it help children/people with neck and back pain, it also allows them to express a greater state of health – even being able to overcome repeated infections when neuro-immune function is restored. We believe if every child was under chiropractic care, ear infections wouldn’t be the epidemic that is today.

References:
Otitis media and spinal manipulative therapy: a literature review (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3437347/)

How to save yourself from back pain when on holiday in Benidorm

Thousands of Brits come flocking over to Benidorm for their holidays to enjoy the sun, beach and to relax. It is a “home” from home offering British everything they desire. However, we see hundreds of holiday makers every year who have a flare up of back pain. They may have a chiropractor or osteopath in the UK who has treated previous episodes but now they are on vacation. Why now??. Here is the reason why:

They arrive in Spain after sitting for 3 hours in the most inconvenient and uncomfortable seat (Ryanair). Then in a twisted position they pull the hand luggage (which typically weighs that bit more than the 10kg allowance) out from the luggage compartment with muscles that are half asleep after not moving for hours. After that they get their suitcases which weighs 20.0 kilos and no more…, plonking all onto the trolley (which has a mind of it’s own) to go and sit on a bus for another hour to do the same routine again getting up to the hotel room.
Not surprisingly (at least to us chiropractors), the onset of excruciating back pain begins within 24 hours after the damage has been done.

If you are reading this and thinking “that’s me right now”, don’t wait, pick up the phone and call us to see if we can still save your holiday.

If you are reading this in hope to prevent any future back pain flaring up, good on you. Here are four simple steps to prevent back pain when on holiday:

1. When lifting your luggage always bend your legs (as opposed to your waist) and never ever stand twisted while doing so. Then you are asking for trouble. Equal amount of weight in boths hands if possible.

2. Make use of the trolleys. They cost 1GBP in England and they are free in Alicante.

3. Get up and activate your muscles 30 minutes before the plain expect to land. Walking, stretching, rocking your hips is sufficient. Before grabbing your overweight hand luggage from the overhead compartment tense your stomach muscles (in a good erect posture) which helps protect the back.

4. When you finally arrive in Benidorm go for a walk or take a swim as soon as possible. This might help get rid of any muscle stiffness you might have picked up.

At Advanced Chiropractic in Albir (no more than 10 min drive from Benidorm) we have licensed chiropractors with many years of experience helping people with acute back pain, sciatica, stiff necks and other conditions related to the spine.

If you would like to book an appointment contact us via email; info@bjargo.com  or phone; +34 9668 65432

Back pain, Disc Injury and How Chiropractic Can Help

Disc injury in the low back is commonly referred to as a “slipped disc“. This is a common cause of low back pain in the general adult population up to the age of 60.

Disc injuries vary in location and degree, from micro annular tears to full-blown hernias with displacement of disc material. As the name suggests, they involve damage to the Intervertebral Discs (IVDs) in the vertebral column.

IVDs provide the vertebral column with shock absorption and flexibility. They are rounded in shape and consist of a tough fibrous outer layer and a softer gel-like nucleus. Their unique physiological structure allows them to absorb compressive forces to the spine throughout the day by slowly releasing the water contained in their nucleus and decreasing in height.
The water is then reabsorbed during the night when the spine is relaxed and free from the loading of the standing posture. As the water is reabsorbed the discs regain their height and are ready to serve their functions once again.

So how can the disc be injured?

Injuries to IVDs are either caused by violent traumas, which exceed the shock absorption capabilities of the disc or by improper loading.
Improper loading is by far the most common cause of disc injuries. The curves in the vertebral column, namely the cervical, thoracic and lumbar curves allow for any weight acting on the body to be correctly distributed on the discs through movement. Often bad posture and incorrect movement patterns cause the normal curves in the lumbar and cervical area to be lost under loading. Flexion in the lumbar and cervical areas stretches the posterior outer layer of the IVD by pushing the nucleus material back against it.

Unfortunately, the IVD’s structure is not designed to withstand shear forces to its posterior margin, so it buckles and tears under load. If improper loading of an IVD is repeated long enough (months, years at times) even picking up a light object in the garden might be sufficient to cause the outer layer to reach its resistance limit and finally buckle.

How are the nerves affected?

Interestingly enough, direct pressure of a prolapsed or herniated disc on a nerve root is not very common. In most cases, it is the body inflammatory response to the tear in the IVD’s outer layer, which causes swelling and eventually irritation of a nerve root or spinal cord level.
The most common areas of the spine affected by disc injuries are the cervical area and the lumbar area. Symptoms can vary from local pain, to pain and/or pins and needles down one or both arms or one or both legs. Muscle function in the upper and lower limb might also be affected.

So how can chiropractic help?

In the acute phase, prone disc pumping (downward pressure at the injured level) can speed up the re-absorption of the inflammation and allow for a faster recovery.

Moreover, adjusting the dysfunctional segments in your spine allows for normal biomechanics to be restored and for the disc to start healing.
Finally, regular check ups on correct function of your spine and rehabilitative exercises (Redcord) will minimize the chances of re-injuries while allowing for the IVD to fully heal, a process that can take from 12 to 18 months after the symptoms have disappeared!

How do you know if you have injured a disc?

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You could be experiencing pain in the low back and down the leg or pain in the neck, shoulder, arm and hand. These symptoms could feel worse with coughing/ sneezing and could make walking or moving your arm difficult.
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms or you are concerned about improper loading of your spine while at work or at home book a neurostructural examination today with one of our chiropractors.

The chiropractor will test the responsiveness of your nerves to determine whether they are being affected or not. He will also assess the structure and alignment of your spine and provide you with a tailored corrective care plan.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

If you are experiencing intermediate numbness, tingling or pain in the thumb and adjacent two and half fingers in one or both hands, you might be affected by carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS).

CTS is by far the most common (90%) of all nerve compression syndromes with 1 out of 20 people in the U.S. affected by it.

People between the age of 45 to 60 and pregnant women in their third trimester are most affected. Specifically women are found to be three times more likely to suffer with this condition when compared to men.

CTS has been associated with a number of metabolic and endocrine diseases including diabetes and hypothyroidism, as well as mechanical reasons such as repetitive use of the hand and bad posture during office work.

The carpal tunnel is a C-shaped tunnel formed by the small bones in the wrist at the top and a band-like ligament at the bottom. It acts as protection for a number of tendons and the median nerve as they pass from the forearm to the hand.

The textbook definition of CTS is “compression and subsequent inflammation of the median nerve as it passes through the carpal tunnel of the hand.”

However, chiropractors with their extensive knowledge of the nervous system know that often the cause is not as simple.

To this regard, a study published in the British Medical Journal the Lancet, found evidence of cervical neuritis (nerve irritation) in over 70% of all CTS patients suggesting a correlation between cervical subluxations and CTS.

This can be explained by the fact that the carpal tunnel in the hand is only one of the places where the median nerve can get entrapped and inflamed. The cervical and higher thoracic area of the spine and the elbow joint need to be assessed as well for misalignments causing pressure along the course of the nerve and the symptoms that come with it.

If you are experiencing any of the CTS symptoms or you think to be at risk of developing CTS contact one of our chiropractorstoday at Advanced Chiropractic to assess the alignment of your spine and peripheral joints.

Do I have a pinched nerve?

An irritated nerve is more common than a pinched nerve.

It is referred to as a facilitative lesion which is a technical way of saying an irritated nerve. Spinal bones and adjacent soft tissues rub, stretch, twist or irritate delicate nerve tissue, affecting how nerve signals are transmitted either to or from the brain. This can affect organs and tissues distant from the spine.

The least common is the pinched nerve, also called a compressive lesion.  This is the classic, hard bone on a soft nerve model. While easy to understand, as a practical matter, it’s relatively rare. Numbness and tingling are often present, but not always.

In either case, the chiropractic approach is to help normalize the relationships between the bones, discs and nerves. With restored positional and functional integrity, symptoms usually subside and health can return.

When patients say they have a pinched nerve, we know what they mean. The good news is, regardless of what you call it; at Advanced Chiropractic we have an unusually high success rate without the use of drugs or surgery.

What is chiropractic care?

Being a chiropractor in Spain, more specifically Albir, not to far from the better-known Benidorm, is very different from England. Why? Because Spanish people have very little knowledge about what a chiropractor does. We here about other therapists saying they “do chiropractic,” all the time and on a daily basis we have to clarify what we in fact are trying to accomplish with the patient.  First of all, let me first explain what chiropractic care is NOT:
Chiropractic care is not a quick fix or a patch job for your sudden “bad back”. It is not concerned with dealing drugs or surgery. Chiropractic care IS concerned about full structural correction of your specific spinal problem and maintaining just so.

There are 2 distinct parts to chiropractic care in order to accomplish this:
1. Correction phase going from RED zone (disease and symptoms) to GREEN zone (health and wellness). The corrective phase is the most challenging, but alos the most rewarding for both the chiropractor and patient.
2. Protection phase (some people like to call it maintenance or wellness care).

A lot of patients come to us as a last resolution and are happy that we can finally make a difference and move forward with their health issue. At Advanced Chiropractic we see problems like low back pain or sciatica up to very complex problems where people can hardly walk. All of which will require passing through the different phases of healing, a process that requires time. Some patients heal faster than others, but we are always looking after you, listening to your concerns and needs. Our goal is to get you to the GREEN zone as fast as possible.

Here is what Ian Black, who works as a hairdresser has to say about the chiropractic care:
“I came in with neck problems which were bothering me everyday. I found it very difficult to work without suffering. Everyday was a struggle. Since coming to see Dr.Ben at the chiropractic centre I feel more straight, have better balance and have stopped feeling the constant discomfort in my neck. Now I have moved forward to wellness care, which means I am holding my chiropractic adjustments very well. I have already recommended some of my friends to go, and they too are happy with the care they have received. A big thanks to chiropractic!”

Chiropractic, Backpain and Structural Radiographs

Backpain affects more than 80% of the general population at some point in their lives. It is the bread and butter in most chiropractic centres.

At Advanced Chiropractic this is how we deal with this:

After a complete Complete Structural Chiropractic Examination we often find that pain is coming from a structural problem in the spine. At this point we often take some structural radiographs (x-rays)

X-rays are very common to diagnose problems with the bones and joints. At Advanced Chiropractic we use x-rays differently to how a medical doctor would use them. We analyse the exact positions of the bones of the spine (vertebrae) and pelvis by a very specific line analysis.

Once we have performed our analysis we can then use the most specific corrective chiropractic technique to remove the structural distortion.

Pregnant women are not recommended to receive x-rays.

Forward head posture

We often hear that correct posture is important for good health but normally we don’t consciously think about it. Instead, certain muscles do it for us, that is, if they work correctly. Hours on hours in front of the computer desk, too many pillows under the head while reading, whiplash injuries and prolonged commutes in the car can overload these muscles making them less resilient and weak. This can cause premature arthritis (wear and tear) of the joints and discs.

The most common change in posture is a gradual reversion to the foetal position, meaning the head and shoulders shift forwards, the chest curls inwards and the spine crunches from a healthy S-curve to a less healthy C-position. You have probably seen it, the common hunched back we see in many elderly. Forward head tilt is so frequent today that it is given a diagnosis: Anterior Head Syndrome (AHS). For every inch of forward head tilt the load on the cervical spine is increased up to 10 pounds. In many cases AHS can be the underlying cause of a large variety of secondary conditions. Uneven pressure on the vertebral discs (the cushioning pads between the bones) can cause spinal stiffness and pressure on delicate nerves. Headaches, dizziness, numbness and tingling, shoulder- and neck pain being the most obvious ones, but since the lack of mobility diminishes healthy stimulation to the brain they are now linking the condition to more serious diseases like dementia and even Alzheimer.
Dr. Roger Sperry (Nobel Prize recipient for brain research) discovered that 90% of the stimulation and nutrition to the brain is generated by movement of the spine. It turns out maintaining a healthy posture is crucially important for preserving the amazing brain human beings have been blessed with.

Chiropractors are experts at analyzing your spinal structure and detecting abnormal spinal function. We search for the problems that exist underneath the poor posture and can create a plan of care to improve your structure. By obtaining optimal spinal function through chiropractic adjustments, doing specific spinal exercises and taking ergonomic considerations you can in most cases reverse the condition or even better, prevent it from ever happening. Our clients frequently rapport that they are more upright, they breath better and feel a general improvement of bodily functions.

The good news is that regardless your age it is never too late to improve the function of your spine.

Shoulder pain

Shoulder pain is second only to low back and neck pain in terms of what we treat in our clinic. Shoulder pain complaints are most common among athletes, in particular those involved in repetitive throwing and overhead motions such as tennis, volleyball players and swimmers. However, workers who use their arms repetitively in the horizontal or overhead position are also at higher risk.

So what is the cause of the problem?

With the exception of direct traumatic injuries to the shoulder joint itself (such as car accidents and falls) mechanical shoulder pain almost always stems from dysfunctional biomechanics in the neck and upper part of the back.

As we know a subluxated (dysfunctional) vertebra can cause irritation of the spinal nerve root as it exits the vertebral column to reach the part of the body it innervates. Most of the shoulder girdle muscles are innervated by nerves leaving the spine between the fifth cervical vertebrae and the second thoracic vertebrae, hence pressure on these nerves can cause referred pain to the shoulder.

Often however, faulty biomechanics in the neck and upper back cause shoulder problems indirectly. In fact, restrictions to the normal ranges of motion of the upper back and neck can affect the normal movement pattern of the shoulder blade and over time cause enough incoordination in the muscular activity of the shoulder girdle to cause adhesions, local inflammation and eventually chronic impingement of muscle tendons upon movement.

So how can chiropractic help?

With a Complete Neuro-Structural exam our chiropractors will be able to pin point the specific cause of your complaint and lay out the best treatment plan to attend to it.

In general, acute complaints of shoulder pain with a direct involvement of spinal subluxations are quicker to resolve and only require chiropractic care. On the other hand, long-standing problems with underlying muscular adhesions and neuromuscular incoordination will benefit best from a more comprehensive approach. This includes chiropractic treatment and physical therapy in the form of Active Release Technique. In the initial phase of treatment our goal is to restore normal spinal biomechanics and release any chronic adhesions within the shoulder muscles. As the symptoms improve, Redcord Neuromuscular Rehabilitation will re-educate the muscles into correct and coordinated movement patterns and guarantee long-lasting results.