Thursday, November 17, 2011

2011 Toy Drive

Dear Patients and Friends:

As the Holiday season approaches our office wishes to celebrate in a way which will make a difference in other people’s lives. We have partnered with Azleway to coordinate a drive to collect new, unwrapped toys for underprivileged kids. The ages of these children can range from toddlers to teenagers, so toys, as well as appropriate gifts for teenagers will be greatly appreciated.

Each year, Azleway brings hope and opportunity to more than 1,000 Texas children at-risk and in crisis. For children of Azleway, Christmas can be a very hard time. Although most of the children of Azleway have been removed from homes full of abuse and neglect, Christmas is still a time when children miss home and family, no matter how destructive the environment may have been.

The mission at Azleway is to provide a home, school, and treatment opportunities with intervention and prevention strategies to children and their families from a faith based perspective in order to increase their abilities to succeed in life.

Help us make this a special year for children in need. Plan now to participate and share with us in this giving time of the year. For those that would like to donate, will be collecting toys and gifts at our office till December 12th.

Thank you for your donations!

Dr. Kyle W. Buchan

Dr. M. Cody McComb

Monday, October 10, 2011

Physical Management of Arthritis

October Article in Dockline Magazine page 28

Last month we talked about Nutritional Management of Arthritis. Now, let’s focus on what can be done physically to treat arthritis. You may think that if a joint is arthritic you should try to rest it as much as possible but that is not really accurate. What would work better, a rusty old hinge that gets used regularly every day or one that hasn’t moved in a year?

Obviously there are many factors that go into what type of activity you should do. The type of arthritis, the location and the severity are all factors that need to be considered. Talk to your chiropractor about your specific case. That being said there are many options for people with arthritis when it comes to exercise. One of the most important things is to maintain an active lifestyle. Either in your work, your leisure time or preferably both involve yourself in activities that require you to get up and move.

When it comes to exercise start off nice and easy and let your chiropractor know of any changes that you notice as a result of your new exercise program. We suggest that you start off with something that focuses on flexibility and movement such as yoga. Gradually, you can increase your workouts to include cardio and strength training. Swimming and biking are great low impact cardio exercises that can help keep you limber while strengthening the heart and lungs thereby promoting overall health.

Your strength training options are only limited by your imagination. If you need help coming up with some exercises talk to your chiropractor or find a qualified personal trainer to help you get started. Not only will strength training help with your arthritis it will strengthen your bones and muscles which also helps protect your joints.

If you lack the discipline necessary to exercise regularly look for activities that you can do outside of your daily routine to get your heart pumping and your body moving. Dancing is an excellent example of an activity that incorporates both. Go out dancing, take a class or check your local events calendar for dances. Thanks to Dancing With the Stars, ballroom dancing has become popular.

Last but not least is getting adjusted regularly. If a joint is locked up or subluxated it can’t move in its normal range of motion. A chiropractic adjustment frees up the joint and removes stress from the joint and nervous system. This allows the joint to move more freely and allows the brain to better understand the environment and adapt to changes in the environment.

So get moving. Talk to your chiropractor, find activities that you enjoy and are appropriate to your health status and get to it. If you do you will find that you will have greater energy and vitality, less aches and pains than those around you who choose not to move.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Nutritional Management of Arthritis article in Dockline Magazine

The role that diet plays on both RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis) and OA (Osteoarthritis) has been studied for over 80 years. Up to this point there is little consensus among researchers as to the role of nutrition and supplementation regarding both of these conditions. In this article I will list some of the most recommended and effective approaches.

In all the research that has been done on arthritis and nutrition, two things are clear. First, for osteoarthritis, consuming a diet that allows you to maintain a healthy weight is paramount. As I have mentioned before, each pound of body weight increases exponentially the stress on weight bearing joints, thus increasing the risk of developing OA. For both conditions, maintaining a balanced healthy diet is important. Remember the golden rule in nutrition, if you put garbage in you should expect to get garbage out. You can’t expect to consume poor quality foods and expect your body to turn a Twinkie into high quality tissue…

From here on dietary approaches diverge a little. So first, here is a list of popular supplement options for OA:

* Glucosamine (1500 mg daily) - believed to support formation and repair of joint cartilage.

* Chondroitin Sulfate (1200 mg daily) - naturally occurring in the body; lends elasticity to cartilage.

Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate are routinely combined into one supplement.

* Vitamins A, B6, C, and E help to support healthy cartilage

* Herbs, botanicals, and spices: blueberries, cayenne pepper, cherries, cinnamon, devil’s claw, ginger, hawthorn berries, turmeric and yucca have all been shown to reduce inflammation and/or support healthy joint cartilage.

* Inflammatone from Designs for Health - combination of enzymes and herbal extracts shown to promote a healthy inflammatory response.

Popular RA management options include the following:

* Some evidence suggests that limiting meat consumption or eating a vegan diet may reduce the symptoms of RA.

* Switching to an Omega 3 rich cooking oil such as canola, flaxseed, or olive oil has been shown to reduce inflammation.

* Fish Oil (1-2 teaspoons daily) - Good source of Omega 3 fatty acids, which are shown to reduce inflammation.

* Black currant oil, borage oil, and evening primrose oil (200-300 mg daily) are all high in gamma-linoleic acid which has been shown to reduce inflammation.

* Herbs, botanicals, and spices: ashwaganda, boswellia, ginger, turmeric, and green tea have been shown to reduce inflammation.

* Inflammatone from Designs for Health - may also be helpful in the regulation of inflammation in RA.

As you can see, the common theme for dietary therapy of both RA and OA revolves around reducing inflammation and maintaining a healthy weight, both of which are necessities in maintaining healthy joints. I hope you found this article informative and helpful. As always, please contact our office if you have questions. Also, if you are taking a medication it is a good idea to consult your doctor or pharmacist about any possible interactions any of the above recommendations may have.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Tips for Shoulder Pain (Rotator Cuff)

     Here are a few tips for those suffering from shoulder pain or rotatator cuff syndrome.  Shoulder pain is quite common and when you look at the anatomy of the shoulder it is pretty easy to see why.   The design of the shoulder predisposes it to injury with overhead activities.  Many shoulder problems begin with either repetitive overhead activities such as painting, cutting hair, assisting dentists, lifting weights, putting on makeup, pitching a baseball, cutting limbs from a tree, or swimming.  Of course the list could go on and on, but you see what I am talking about. 

     So the first tip is to avoid overhead activities as much as possible and when raising your arms, try not raise them above shoulder level.  We treat a lot of people who lift weights and workout on a regular basis, and the first thing I tell them when they come in with shoulder problems is that I will not take them as a patient if they continue to do military press and incline press.  They usually don't like to hear that, but the fact of the matter is that they will not get better if they continue to do those exercises.  I learned the hard way when I strained the rotator cuff in my left shoulder back in college doing incline press with a straight bar.  Once their shoulder is healed, I will then show them what I call a modified military press that they can do without aggravating the rotator cuff.

     The second tip is to use ice packs over the shoulder if there is significant pain or swelling.  Never use heat when there is swelling.  That's why you always see professional baseball pitchers with big ice packs on their shoulders in the dugout after pitching, to keep the swelling down.

     The third tip is that if it is not getting better to get it properly evaluated.  Just getting diagnosed with Rotator Cuff Syndrome doesn't really give you the full picture of what is truly going on.  Every condition can be different and after thoroughly evaluating the shoulder we can then give personalized care and instructions.

     Stay Healthy!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Mouse Shoulder Epidemic

     There is a growing epidemic in this country called Mouse Shoulder.  Well, that's what I call it. What is it you ask?  It is 99.9% of the time found on the right side.  It is located between the shoulder and the neck.  It can sometimes lead to neck pain, headaches and presents itself usually as a tender knot just above the tip of the shoulder blade.
     So, why do I call it Mouse Shoulder?  I call it Mouse Shoulder because the most common factor leading to this epidemic is the use of the computer mouse.  Mouse Shoulder is joining the ranks of Carpal Tunnel, Trigger Finger, and Elbow Tendinitis as common problems caused by computers.  Most people typically spend hours a day on the computer and almost always use there mouse on the right side. (I have met one person who switches back and forth between her right hand and her left hand, but that's just wierd)  The repetetive use of the mouse causes significant built up tension in the right shoulder and neck region leading to Mouse Shoulder. 
     So how do you prevent it?  The easiest way to lessen the stress caused by the mouse is to make sure that you are keeping it close to you and that you don't have to reach for it.  The reaching is what causes the tension in the neck and shoulders.  Often times a cordless mouse may be needed to keep the mouse close to you.
     Hopefully this little tip will help keep you from being a statistic in this growing epidemic. :-)  Now if you continue to have problems, give us a call and we will get you fixed up. 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Time for a new mattress? Here is some advice.

A question we often get asked is “What type of mattress do you recommend.” And the answer can be different for each individual. If you are sleeping on a 20 year old mattress then it is most likely time to look for a new one. There are a lot of different types of beds to choose from today and sometimes it can be overwhelming. There are coils, memory foam and even beds with air chambers (stay away from water beds). They can also range pretty significantly in price.

So here is how I feel. There are studies that show this and studies that show that, but it comes down to can you sleep comfortably with proper support and without pain. Ideally you want a mattress that gives your spine support and is not too soft. If it is too soft, this can be bad on the curvatures, discs, and ligamentous structure of the spine. If it is too hard, it may be too uncomfortable to sleep on. For most back sleepers I would recommend a medium firm mattress without a pillow top or very small pillow top. It is also worthwhile to compare the number of coils from mattress to mattress and the gauge (thickness) of the coils for durability. For most side sleepers, I would again recommend a firm mattress, but with a slightly thicker pillow top than that of back sleepers. The reasoning is that if a mattress is too firm for side sleepers it may irritate the shoulders and hips, thus aggravating and even causing a bursitis (which really hurts). The other types of mattresses like memory foam (ex. Tempurpedic) and air chambers (ex. Sleep Number) can be good also, but are usually much more expensive. Not all memory foam mattresses are built the same, so make sure to do your research on the brand and its durability. Most of the patients I know that have foam mattresses really like them. The only complaints I usually hear is that they can tend to be a little warm. The air chamber beds are good in theory because you can adjust the firmness on each side for each individual, since husband and wife tend to be different sizes. However, the problem is that what may feel like the most comfortable setting may not be best for that person’s spine and can make it worse. I have heard mixed reviews from patients with this type of bed.

When buying a mattress, it is a good idea to buy from someone that has at least a 30 day trial guarantee since a mattress will feel great in the store, but after sleeping on it a whole night may not feel so good. All mattresses are going to wear over time (no matter what the cost) and need to be replaced. So to make a long story short, I recommend a firm, but comfortable mattress. If you have any other questions on mattresses or want to know how each type of mattress may affect you individually, feel free to give me a call!