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Brilliant Botanicals

Recommending an adaptogen can be the perfect answer for your patients dealing with physical and mental stress. Adaptogens, a class of herbs that help the body adapt to stress, include many botanicals like ashwaghanda and rhodiola that are safe natural,and backed by clinical research.While adaptogens have been used medicinally for thousands of years,we are still learning about these unique medicinal plants. Most experts agree that the effects of adaptogens involve the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, inflammation,  and various gene pathways. Adaptogens not only affect the perception or qualities of mental stress they bolster physical endurance and recovery as well.

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CBD is emerging as one of the most exciting natural alternatives used to treat a wide range of common conditions,and for good reason. CBD is the major non- psychoactive component of Cannabis Sativa. Cannabinoids are anti-inflammatory,analgesic,anti-spasmodic,and they enhance circulation and cellular regeneration. CBD is used to treat a number of common conditions, including chronic pain, inflammation, seizures, insomnia, spasms, multiple sclerosis, and mental disorders such as anxiety and depression. As a topical agent, CBD oil can be directly applied to certain areas of the body as an effective means of relieving pain and soreness, reducing inflammation, and soothing inflammatory skin conditions such as psoriasis, dermatitis, and eczema. As CBD oil is non-psychoactive, applying it to the skin does not create mind-altering effects in the same manner that THC ingestion does.

The popularity of energy drinks is on the rise with adolescents and adults,with consumption rates highest among males 18-34 years of age.The energy drink industry generates astonishing revenues,with 2014 sales reaching nearly $50 billion worldwide. There is some evidence pointing to harmful physiological and psychological effects from energy drink consumption.For instance, the caffeine mixed with other ingredients may produce symptoms such as insomnia, hyperactivity, rebound anxiety and risk-taking behaviors.

What Is an “Energy Drink”?

Energy drinks are non-alcoholic beverages containing B vitamins,caffeine in concentrations similar to strong coffee, a variety of herbal ingredients that can have both stimulant and anti-anxiety properties,and often large amounts of sugar.An energy drink typically contains large amounts of caffeine,added sugars,other additives,and stimulants such as guarna, taurine, and L carnitine. These stimulants can increase alertness,attention and energy,as well as increase blood pressure,heart rate and breathing.Adverse effects related to caffeine include tachycardia,arrhythmia,increase blood pressure,anxiety,headache,insomnia, and nausea.

The rest of the story

Why sleeping position matters.

 

How do you feel when you wake up in the mornings?Refreshed,rested,and ready to go? Or stiff,achy,and wishing you could go back to sleep for another few hours? The difference may depend on your sleeping position.

Sleeping on your back

 

Most experts agree that sleeping on your back is the ideal position,but it’s not for everyone.When you sleep on your back you stretch your body out evenly on the mattress.Your head,neck,and spine are aligned in a neutral position-there’s no extra stress on on any part of your body.As a chiropractor,I recommend back sleeping,because it put the least amount of pressure on the vertebrae and discs of the spine.

If you have acid reflux,lying  on your back with your head elevated a bit by your pillow is a good way to keep acid from coming up.If you already snore,laying on your back makes it louder.This is the most likely to trigger “Honey,roll over” from your bed partner.It’s also the worst position for sleep apnea,a sleep disorder that makes your breathing repeatedly stop and then start again,sometimes with a loud snorting or choking sound,usually because the throat muscles relax during sleep and block the trachea.

Sleeping on your side

The side position,with your torso straight and legs stretched,keeps your spine elongated and unstressed.If you tend to wake up with neck and back pain,try this position-after a few days,you’ll notice a positive change in how you feel in the morning.Its also a good choice if you snore or have sleep  apnea,because it helps keep your airway open.If you have acid reflux,sleeping on your side keeps the acid from coming up.

The fetal position

Curling up on your side,much as babies and small children,is perhaps the idea sleeping position.With your torso and legs bent,you’re putting as little stress as possible on your spine while you sleep.Put a pillow between your knees to reduce the risk of lower back pain or stiffness.

Sleeping on your stomach

This position puts a lot of pressure on the back and neck.Because you have to turn your head to one side to breath,your likely to wake up with a stiff and sore neck and shoulder muscles; you might even wake with numbness and tingling in your arms.

Choosing the right pillow

Your bed pillow is critically important for supporting your head and neck aligned while you sleep. Choose a pillow that matches your favorite sleeping position.Nevertheless,good sleep position won’t make up for a bad mattress.Anecdotal reports from patients that suggest the ideal mattress is made of memory foam.A memory foam mattress contours to the spine’s natural curves and distributes body weight evenly.With no pressure points or sags,memory foam mattresses promote comfortable sleep through the night.

 

Robert G. Silverman,DC

 

 

Ease their pain

Offering hope to headache and migraine suffers. 

By: Julie Knudson

Headaches. Just about everyone has experienced them at some point, and many people are afflicted with them on a recurring basis. Fortunately, chiropractors are adopting treatment strategies that rely less on medication to address the pain and more on a holistic approach that seeks out and corrects the root of the problem. Headaches with a purely mechanical cause may show improvements relatively quickly sometimes after just a handful of visits. But, Levy warns, “If it’s a migraine it’s a longer process, because there’s so much information that’s necessary but I may not have it.” It sometimes takes longer to zero-in on the cause of migraines and, as Levy explains, the patients themselves may not know how to (or may not choose to) contribute fully to the process. “With migraines, treatment compliance may be high because the patient wants relief quick!”

Uncharted Territory

The use of trans cranial low level laser therapy for the management of mild traumatic brain injury.

By: Daniel J. Bourassa, DC

Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) and concussion syndromes have been a subject of increasing interest in both medicine and the media. As neuromuscular specialists, chiropractors see a significant percentage of a patient population with a history of traumatic head and neck injuries resulting in mTBI. These practitioners are uniquely positioned to diagnose and treat this health problem. In cases of mild TBI, the term “mild” refers to the severity of the consequences of the injury. Secondary symptoms include chronic headaches, anxiety, depression, insomnia, social withdrawal, seizures, and other indications of CNS dysfunction. The WHO report recommends that DCs only “facilitate a path to good recovery for mTBI patients through early education and positive reassurance as well by providing treatments aimed at reducing associated spine and headache-related pain.”

 

Early symptoms:

  • Any loss of consciousness up to 30 minutes.
  • Any loss of memory of events immediately before of after the accident (up to 24 hours).
  • Any alteration of mental state at the time of the accident (e.g., dazed, disoriented, or confused).
  • A Glasglow Coma Scale score falling below 13 after 30 minutes (review ER Records).
  • Headache
  • Dizziness or vertigo
  • Lack of awareness of surroundings
  • Nausea with or without memory dysfunction
  • Vomiting

Later symptoms:

  • Persistent low-grade headache
  • Lightheadedness
  • Poor attention and concentration
  • Excessive or easy fatigue
  • Intolerance of bright light or difficulty focusing
  • Intolerance of loud noises
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Anxiety and depressed mood
  • Irritability and low frustration tolerance

Research has demonstrated low level laser therapy (LLLT) delivered thranscranially to be both safe and effective in the treatment of mTBI and other conditions of the central nervous system. Current research is a wake-up call for chiropractic physicians to consider transcranial LLLT in mTBI cases.

Over the last 15-20 years, a great deal of research has looked at the role fascia plays in pain, reduced function, range of motion and more.

For example, Stecco has shown that an increased concentration of hyaluronic acid in the extracellular matrix can cause stiffness and pain. By using a deep form of manual treatment, the clinician can actually reduce the concentration ( for viscosity) of the hyaluronic acid and thereby reduce pain and increase range of motion and function. We also know that fascia covers every cell in our body. There is a growing body of research showing that treatment in the eccentric position hastens recovery. Remember, there are no local problems and there are no local treatments, we must look at the body as a whole and look at how the fascia interconnects multiple body parts.

Scar formation is a natural part of the wound healing process. Scars are formed by fibrous connective tissue assisting would repair in the skin and other body tissues. Scars are formed on the skin, underlying tissue, and internal organs where an injury occurred, an incision was made, some part of the body was cut, or a disease infected and caused damage to the tissue. The damaged tissue is replaced by scar tissue to maintain the normal body processes (Waibel & Rudnick, 2015), but scar tissue is unlike normal tissue and may cause pain and limitations in motion, thus needing medical intervention.

Scar formation on organs or muscles can alter the way the tissue moves. Movement is altered around a scar because the flexibility of the scar tissue is different from that of normal tissue. The scar tissue is weak and less elastic. It is vulnerable to injury.

Smaller forms of scar tissue are called adhesions. Adhesions cause the inability of tissue to glide and slide over one another, resulting in stiffness and reduction in strength and range of motion. The nerves become entrapped in the tissue instead of being able to slide through the muscles, which limits range of motion of the involved limb.

Reduced range of motion can be avoided with a prescription of manual therapy and correct motion exercises to help avoid myofascial adhesions around the affected area. Treatment of scars can be easily performed in chiropractic, massage, or physical therapy clinics. For the best outcomes to improve scar tissue flexibility, intervene as early as one can without disrupting tissue healing. Using kinesiology tape can help lift the skin allow for fluid to move easier to the heart.

The latest CDC statistics show that , in 2012, 54 out of 100 people had self-reported musculoskeletal conditions. That is six times more than self-reported cases of cancer, double that of respiratory disease, and one-third more than circulatory disorders. If we extrapolate that to a more current population in the United States of 321 million, that equates to 173 million people reporting musculoskeletal problems in 2012.

Many of these are spine patients who suffer long term without any type of bio-mechanical assessment or functional case management. Why does health care fall short with spinal conditions despite the compelling literature that states the opposite in treatment outcomes?

The front line of medical care for spine-related pain is typically the prescription of pain medication, particularly at the emergency care level, and then if that doesn’t work, a referral is made to physical therapy. If physical therapy is unsuccessful, the final referral is to a surgeon. If the surgeon does not intervene with surgery, then the diagnosis becomes ” nonspecific back pain,” and the patient is given stronger medication since there is nothing the surgeon can do.  FOr surgical interventions that result in persistent pain, a commonly reported problem, there is an ICD-10 diagnosis for failed spine surgery.

According to Mulholland (2008), “[Surgery] Spinal fusion became what has been termed the ‘gold standard’ for the treatment of mechanical low back pain, yet there was no scientific basis for this.” Simply put, surgery does not correct the underlying biomechanical failure or the cause of the pain.
Opioid pain medication use presents serious risks, including overdose and opioid use disorder. From 1999 to 2014, more than 165,000 persons died from overdose related to opioid pain medication in the United States.

Clearly, there needs to be a nationwide standard for the process by which patients with spine pain are handled, including academic and clinical leadership on spinal biomechanics. The only profession that is poised to accomplish such a task is Chiropractic.

MDs tend to use medication, including analgesics, muscle relaxants, and anti-flammatory agents, for the treatment for acute nonspecific spinal pain, whereas DCs favor spinal manipulation therapy as the primary treatment for this condition.

 

Firefighters have very physically demanding, psychologically taxing, stressful, and dangerous occupations, resulting in frequent cardiovascular events, Musculoskeletal injuries, and behavioral health concerns.These issues compromise health, fitness, and well-being throughout their career and into retirement, severely impacting the ability to protect our communities.

The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of: the current state of wellness and fitness programs in the fire service, our firefighter wellness and fitness projects in the Tampa Bay region, barriers to implementation of these programs; and recommendations for successful implementation of firefighter wellness and fitness programs.

Many stakeholders agree that firefights need to be physically fit and psychologically healthy in order to have long and successful careers. Thus much emphasis has been placed on strategies to improve and maintain wellness and fitness, including fire service guidelines, such as the IAFF-IAFC Wellness Fitness Initiative. Low back pain and injuries are some of the most common and disabling disorders in firefighters.

Properly designed and implemented wellness and fitness programs will help transform fitness across the State of Florida and, ultimately, the United States. Based on our recommendations and the guidance of well-versed stakeholders, this is a real possibility. Regional implantation will serve as a model-enabling other fire departments to replicate and standardize and approach addressing all current and future needs for firefighters who serve and protect and protect our communities.

Through successful implementation at the regional and national levels, such programs will result in improvement health and wellness outcomes that will be delivered in a cost-effective and pragmatic manner, Stay tuned for our future updates from our Florida-based firefighters Wellness and Fitness initiatives.

Originally published in Florida Fire Service Magazine, October 2016, Copyright Florida Fire Chief’s Association