Who’s in Charge of Your Health?

Woman looking into distance whilst thinking

The majority of Americans rely on conventional medicine for their healthcare needs.  The problem is most of this care is not ”healthcare” at all.  It is “symptom care” or “disease care.”  

Most people go to a doctor when they have symptoms.  A diagnosis (naming the symptoms as a disease) is usually given by the doctor along with a prescription drug to treat the symptoms.  Little effort is made by most doctors to determine what is causing the symptoms.  

Health experts are now understanding the actual cause of most symptoms and disease.  In the majority of cases IT IS THE PROCESSED JUNK FOOD WE ARE EATING and lack of regular exercise.  Eating these foods causes a systemic inflammatory reaction in the body which eventually leads to the development of any disease.  A vast amount of research has confirmed this fact.  If you are not familiar with Systemic Inflammation, you can read about it here.

“Healthcare” should involve strategies to prevent or attempt to reverse disease by addressing its underlying cause.  Healthcare screenings and tests, such as blood pressure and blood tests are an important part of evaluating and tracking one’s health.  More often than not the tests (if abnormal) provide grounds to prescribe a drug and are not used as an opportunity to suggest a dietary or lifestyle change to correct the problem.

Who is in charge of your health?  You or your doctor?  If you want to look and feel younger, live longer, be active in your later years, and avoid disease, you must be the primary person in charge of your health and be proactive.  No doctor can make you exercise, make sure you are making healthy food choices, not consuming toxic food additives, or taking your nutritional supplements.  

Staying healthy is a choice that requires responsibility if you wish to influence your path towards health.   

Medication in some cases can be life saving, but in MOST CASES IT DOES NOT MAKE YOU HEALTHY AND CAN EVEN BE DEADLY!  Drugs will not influence your path to health and wellness, they will only manage sickness and disease if you choose to stroll down that path.   

So who’s in charge of your health?  

PSA Test No Longer Recommended For Men Over 40

young man exercising in a park

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recently issued a recommendation that healthy men should no longer be screened for prostate cancer with the PSA test.  A PSA test measures the amount of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in the blood.  High levels of PSA may, but not always indicate the presence of prostate cancer.

The recommendation comes from a review in the Annals of Internal Medicine which  found no difference in overall survival between men randomly assigned to get a PSA test and other men who did not get a PSA.

Up to 13% of men getting a PSA will have a “false positive,” in which the results signal a possible cancer when men are actually cancer free. These false alarms can lead to stress, as well as invasive needle biopsies. Over 10 years, up to 20% of men who get a PSA screening will have a biopsy. One-third of men who undergo biopsies experience pain, fever, bleeding, infection, problems urinating or other effects that the men consider a “moderate or major problem.”

Up to 60% of prostate cancers never need to be found, because they grow so slowly that men are likely to die of something else long before their prostate tumor becomes a threat.

Prostate cancer surgery increases a man’s risk of urinary incontinence by 28%, from 21% among men who didn’t have surgery to 49% among men who had surgery.

Prostate cancer surgery increases a man’s risk of erectile dysfunction by 36 percentage points, from 45% among men who haven’t had surgery to 81% among men who have had surgery.

Up to one in 200 men die from prostate cancer surgery.




Are You Eating Enough of This Bacteria That Keeps You Healthy?


There is a type of bacteria called probiotics that is emerging as one of the most important things you can consume on a regular basis to improve your health and prevent many diseases.  Probiotics are live microorganisms that have been shown to be beneficial to many aspects of health.  These “good” bacteria naturally occur in fermented foods, such as yogurt, sauerkraut, kefir, pickled vegetables, and many others.

There are several ways in which probiotics can improve your health:

  • They attach and line the walls of the intestines creating a barrier to prevent foreign (“bad”) bacteria from binding to and passing through the intestinal wall and into the bloodstream.
  • They improve and maintain the structural integrity (strength) of the intestinal wall.
  • They reduce the acidity of the intestines and release antibacterial substances which prevents the growth and survival of foreign bacteria.
  • They block the absorption of toxins from foreign bacteria (a source of illness).
  • They help increase the healing of damaged intestinal walls (from ulcers, etc.)
  • They reduce bowel inflammation and systemic inflammation.

Probiotics have been shown to effectively treat and prevent eczema, allergies, asthma, irritable bowel, diverticulitis, colitis, ulcers, high blood pressure, chronic fatigue, and anxiety in people with chronic fatigue.

20 Reasons Why You Need To Take Probiotics Every Day

Ideally, probiotics from fermented foods or a probiotic supplements should be consumed on a daily basis.  Since most people do not eat fermented foods on a regular basis, we recommend probiotic supplements.

The best time to take your probiotic supplement:

  • Take it when you first wake up in the morning at least 30-60 minutes prior to eating breakfast with a glass of filtered water
  • Avoid taking it within 3 hours of taking any antibiotic

Taking probiotics are imperative if you are taking or have taken antibiotics!
Antibiotics not only kill foreign “bad” bacteria, but they kill “good” bacteria as well.  If your population of good bacteria is significantly reduced or eliminated altogether, it can make you susceptible to any of the previously mentioned health problems as well as increasing your risk of developing yeast and fungal infections.

How much should you take?
There is a wide range of dosages per capsule on the market.  We recommend a minimum of 15 billion to 60 billion organisms per capsule (one capsule per day).  If you are taking antibiotics, a higher dosage may be required. 

We have available at our office:

Protocol Protodophilus         50 capsules   50 billion organisms, 10 strains/capsule  




  1. Sartor RB.  Bacteria in Crohn’s disease: Mechanisms of inflammation and therapeutic implications.  J Clin Gastroenterol.  2007; 41(Suppl 1):  537-43.
  2. Aragon G, et al. Probiotic therapy for irritable bowel syndrome. Gastroenterol Hepatic. 2010;6(1) 39-44.
  3. Packey CD, Sartor RB. Commensal bacteria, traditional and opportunistic pathogens, dybiosis and bacterial killing in inflammatory bowel disease. Curr Opin Infect Dis. 2009;22(3) 292-301.
  4. Beckham H, Whitlow CB. The medical and nonoperative treatment of diverticulitis. Clin Colon Rectal Surg. 2009; 22(3) 156-160.
  5. Lye HS, et al. The improvement of hypertension by probiotics: Effects on cholesterol, diabetes, renin, and phytoestrogens. Int J Mol Sci 2009; 10: 3755-75.
  6. Sullivan A, et al. Effect of supplement with lactic acid producing bacteria on fatigue and physical activity in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. Nutr J. 2009; 8:4
  7. Rao AV, et al. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study of a probiotic in emotional symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome. Gut Pathogens. 2009; 1:6.

The Development, Evaluation and Treatment of Musculoskeletal Disorders: Part 3 The Treatment and Correction of Musculoskeletal Pain


When you undergo treatment with a chiropractor, orthopedist, or physical therapist for pain, you should be concerned that the recommended treatment is addressing the underlying cause of the problem.  More often than not, many healthcare providers that treat musculoskeletal pain perform a less than adequate examination and simply take a “cover up the pain” or “treat the diagnosis” approach.  Asking a patient with back pain to bend over to touch their toes and then prescribing some anti-inflammatory drugs or muscle relaxers is not very difficult or thorough to say the least.  Injecting a cortisone shot is a quick, easy way to simply cover up pain as well.  Not only are these approaches not addressing the underlying cause of the problem, they can put a patient at risk for some serious side effects(1,2).  Orthopedic surgery may be necessary to repair a torn tendon or ligament or to replace a completely degenerated hip or knee, but most surgeries do not correct the underlying problems that led up to the pain and degeneration in the first place.  

In the “treat the diagnosis” approach, the doctor or physical therapist implements a pre-packaged treatment plan and pre-packaged exercises based on the patient’s diagnosis.  All patients with a rotator cuff syndrome, for example, would receive the exact same shoulder treatment and the exact same shoulder exercises.  This approach, however, may not be effective in many cases because two different patients with rotator cuff syndrome may have two completely different causes of the problem.  One patient, for example, may have a postural misalignment of the neck and shoulders that requires spinal adjustments to restore normal alignment.  Another patient may have abnormal motor (muscle) control of their abdominal and scapular (shoulder blade) stabilizing mechanisms that require some core and shoulder stabilization exercises.  A “treat the diagnosis” approach does not work for many people because the cause of the problem is not being treated.  These are the patients that do not get better or their pain does not completely resolve.  

Our Approach to Musculoskeletal Pain
Instead of taking a “cover up the pain” or “treat the diagnosis” approach, we take a “treat the cause” approach.    What makes us different is OUR TREATMENTS AND CORRECTIVE EXERCISES ARE BASED MORE ON THE MISALIGNMENT AND MOVEMENT PATTERNS OF EACH PATIENT AND LESS ON THE DIAGNOSIS OR LOCATION OF PAIN.  As we discussed in Part 2, misalignments, abnormal motor control, and muscle inhibition are the major reasons why people develop musculoskeletal pain.  Our treatment approach involves “resetting” and “reprogramming” the musculoskeletal system in terms of alignment, motor control and movement. 

Short-Term Treatment For Pain and Inflammation
When treatment begins, we may recommend some treatments or other strategies to reduce inflammation (swelling, pain, etc.) associated with an injury.  These may include  ice, high concentrated fish oil and other natural anti-inflammatory supplements, or ultrasound. 

Traditional Chiropractic Manipulation
In some cases, treatment may include more traditional spine or extremity manipulation.  When spine and extremity misalignments are present, pain can occur and joints can become fixated (stuck) and lose their normal mobility.  Muscles that cross these joints can also shorten, tighten, and in severe cases go into spasm.  Manipulation involves a short, quick thrust to relieve pain, release joint fixations, restore joint mobility, and reduce the muscle tightness and spasms associated with spine and extremity misalignments.  Manipulation may be recommended, but not absolutely necessary for all patients, depending on their condition or treatment preferences.  For these patients, we may chose to use more gentle methods, such as flexion distraction, instrument adjusting, or drop table adjustments (see below).

Chiropractic Biophysics Technique (CBP)
The primary chiropractic technique we utilize in our clinic is Chiropractic Biophysics Technique, or CBP.  CBP is the most scientifically advanced and researched method in the field of chiropractic.  CBP chiropractic treatment involves “mirror image” adjustments, “mirror image” exercises, and “mirror image” traction to correct posture and spine alignment(3).

Mirror Image Adjustments
Mirror image adjustments involve placing the patient’s spine and posture in the exact opposite position of their misalignment (the mirror image) and introducing a stimulus to “reset” normal alignment (the adjustment).  If your back is misaligned to the left, for example, we will position it to the right prior to the adjustment.  Once your spine and posture are in the desired position for correction, we will use an adjusting instrument that “taps” in key areas of your spine, such as the upper neck, back or hips.  The “tapping” sensation from the adjusting instrument stimulates posture control centers in the brain to “reset” normal alignment.  We also use other methods to “reset” normal alignment, including a special table with sections that “drop” during the adjustment.

Mirror Image Exercises
Mirror image exercises complement the mirror image adjustments by having the patient perform exercises in the exact opposite direction of their misalignment.  If your spine is misaligned to the left, we not only want to adjust it to the right, we want to exercise it to the right as well.  Mirror image exercises are designed to lengthen short muscles, shorten long muscles, and strengthen weak muscles to help restore normal spine and posture alignment.

Mirror Image Postural and Spinal Curve Traction
Depending on your posture and spinal curves, we may recommend traction to correct your posture and spinal curvatures.  Traction provides a slow, sustained stretch to the spine which allows it to gradually reshape and remodel into a more normal, aligned position.

For further reading on CBP technique, click here.


Muscle Activation
In situations where the nervous system cannot fully activate certain muscles (inhibition), activation techniques can be used to restore full strength to the muscles.  This can be accomplished by massaging the origins and insertions, the ends of the muscles where they attach to the bones.  We can also activate muscles by “tapping” the belly of the muscles with an adjusting instrument.  By activating inhibited muscles we are restoring the neurological connectivity so that muscles can once again function with full strength.  

Mobility, Motor Control and Stabilization Exercises
We utilize several types of corrective exercises to improve your mobility (movement), motor (muscle) control, and stability (strength, support, control).  The exercises you perform are tailored to your specific problem or “weakness.”  The type of exercises may be isometric (muscle contraction with no joint movement), isokinetic (muscle contraction with joint movement), or isolated to help reactivate muscles that are “inhibited” or “weak.”  We may also utilize more advanced corrective exercises, such as reactive neuromuscular training, reverse patterning, or functional “chain” exercises to improve mobility, motor control and stability.

Patients have many options when it comes to what type of healthcare provider to consult and what type of treatment to undergo for their musculoskeletal pain.  The most important factor for a patient to get well is that the cause of the problem is being treated and the pain is not simply being “covered up.”  This can only happen with a thorough examination that looks for abnormal alignment and abnormal motor control that may be contributing to the problem.  When this happens and the correct treatment plan and exercises are implemented, the majority of patients invariably get well.  



  1. https://www.medicinenet.com/nonsteroidal_antiinflammatory_drugs/page2.htm
  2. https://www.drugs.com/sfx/cortisone-side-effects.html
  3. https://www.idealspine.com/pages/cbp_technique.htm


Ginger Tea (Anti-Inflammatory)


Soda (regular or diet) and other sugary drinks promote disease.  This beverage contains no sugar, is full of flavor, fights disease and helps keep you healthy.  

The compounds (catechins) in green tea are antioxidants, anti-cancer, anti-heart disease, and increase fat burning because it boosts metabolism.  

Ginger is a powerful, natural anti-inflammatory spice that is also anti-cancer and anti heart disease.


Spicy Green Tea with Ginger

Boil 1 Gallon of filtered water 

Add 1/4 to 1/2 pound of sliced fresh ginger root and continue to boil for 5 minutes
(we recommend starting with 1/4 pound and increasing to 1/2 pound if you like it spicier)

Remove from heat, add 4-6 organic green tea bags and cover the pot 

Remove the tea bags after they steep for 30-60 minutes

Keep the pot covered and let the ginger soak for 4-12 hours

Strain out the ginger and place tea in a glass jar or BPA-free plastic container in the refrigerator 

Drink cold or reheat


Drinking Water or Green Tea Instead of Soda May Just Save Your Life

Golden granulated, light muscovado and dark muscovado sugar

A recent study published in the medical journal Circulation has found just one soda a day can increase a man’s risk of heart attack by 20 percent.  A typical 12-ounce soda contains a whopping 10 teaspoons of sugar in the form of high fructose corn syrup.  This much sugar, particularly fructose, is known to increase triglycerides, lower HDL (good) cholesterol, and increase a marker of inflammation known as C-reactive protein (CRP).  Excessive amounts of sugar are known to cause a release of inflammatory chemicals inside the body and inside blood vessels resulting in plaque deposits (atherosclerosis) which can lead to a heart attack. 

Previous studies have shown that sugary beverages and other sugary foods cause inflammation, weight gain, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and many other diseases.  Heart attack is the newest disease associated with the consumption of sugary drinks.

Diet Soda is Even Worse!
Diet soft drinks may be considered a “healthier” alternative to regular soda, but the truth is new research has shown that diet soda can double your risk for a heart attack (and stroke) compared to regular soda!

The study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine concluded that people who drank diet soda on a daily basis were 43 percent more likely to experience heart attacks, stroke or vascular death.





The Development, Evaluation and Treatment of Musculoskeletal Disorders: Part 2 The Evaluation of Musculoskeletal Pain


When you consult a chiropractor, orthopedist, or physical therapist for pain, you should be concerned about what is evaluated during your examination so the underlying cause of your problem is determined and the recommended treatment will correct the problem.  

As we discussed in Part 1, injuries causing misalignments, abnormal motor control, and muscle inhibition are the major biomechanical reasons why people develop musculoskeletal pain.  These are very important factors that need to be evaluated in any examination of musculoskeletal pain.  We will discuss why these are the most important factors that need to be assessed during an examination and how they are performed.

Assessment of Posture and Spine Alignment
The evaluation of posture and spinal alignment is by far one of the most important parts of any examination.  Posture is one of the most common studied topics in the medical field with over 65,000 studies on the subject(1).  Many of these studies have documented the importance of normal posture and the subsequent pain, joint degeneration, and other adverse health effects of abnormal posture.


Normal Aligned Posture and Spine


Misaligned Posture and Spine
There is a shifting (translation) misalignment
of the thorax and head relative to the pelvis.


Posture assessment and x-rays are the two ways we evaluate alignment.  Posture assessment is performed by observing the patient in their natural standing position.  This will reveal if there are any shifting (translation), twisting or tilting (rotation) misalignments of the pelvis, thorax (ribcage) or head relative to each other.  X-rays are also performed with the patient in their natural standing position.  X-rays help determine if there are any misalignments of the spinal vertebrae.  They also show if there is any arthritis, disc degeneration, or other pathology of the spine.  X-rays are cross-correlated with the posture assessment to determine the exact misalignment pattern.  This is absolutely critical because this information will determine what type of chiropractic adjustments and in which direction the adjustments (and corrective exercises) must be made in order to restore normal alignment.

Assessment of Mobility
Mobility, or freedom of joint movement, is another very important aspect of the examination process.  Normal degrees of mobility should fall within a certain range throughout all joints of the body.  The range of mobility should also be symmetrical.  Hip flexion, for example, should be 120 degrees (normal range) and equal on both the right and left side (symmetrical).  

If there is a musculoskeletal problem causing pain, there is usually a loss of joint mobility in the painful area or in other areas distant to the site of pain.  We assess mobility actively and passively.  When assessing active mobility, THE PATIENT moves a particular joint or body part so we can observe their range of movement.   When assessing passive mobility, the patient is relaxed (usually lying down) while THE DOCTOR moves a particular joint or body part so we can observe their range of movement.  Determining if there is a mobility problem helps us determine what tissues may be involved and what treatment and corrective exercise may be required to restore normal mobility.

Assessment of Motor Control and Muscle Inhibition
Injuries and misalignments can lead to abnormal patterns of muscle inhibition and motor (muscle) control(2).  If a joint becomes injured or misaligned, the subsequent swelling or ligament damage causes the nervous system to automatically send signals to reduce strength in certain muscles (inhibition) and increase strength in other muscles (facilitation) to reduce stress in the area.  

We can assess for the presence of muscle inhibition by testing the strength of various muscles we suspect may be problematic.  We can assess for abnormal motor control by analyzing various types of movement. Determining if there is muscle inhibition and abnormal motor control helps us determine what muscles will require treatment and what muscles require corrective exercise to improve strength and restore normal motor control.   

What Does a Diagnosis Really Mean?
The purpose of most examinations is to arrive at a diagnosis.  A diagnosis is the naming of a group of symptoms based on the case history, orthopedic tests, specialized imaging (MRI, X-ray, etc.), or other testing.  A diagnosis may be necessary for insurance reimbursement, but it does not always help in determining the underlying cause of the problem or the appropriate treatment plan.  An examination may lead to a diagnosis of rotator cuff syndrome, herniated disc, or plantar fasciitis, but it DOES NOT TELL WHAT IS CAUSING OF THE PROBLEM.  This is why a thorough evaluation of alignment, mobility, and motor control is necessary so the underlying cause of the problem can be identified and the appropriate treatment can be implemented to correct the problem.   

In Part 3, we will discuss the treatment methods we use to correct alignment, mobility, muscle inhibition and motor control.



  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=posture
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=arthrogenic%20muscle%20inhibition

Why You Should Be Avoiding Artificial Sweeteners


If you are eating or drinking anything that says, “diet,” “sugar-free,” “light,” or “zero,” you are likely consuming artificial sweeteners that may be toxic, addictive and hazardous to your health.  There are several types of artificial sweeteners, each having unique physiological effects on the body that can cause a variety of symptoms and may be responsible for many diseases.  The most common artificial sweeteners are Aspartame and Sucralose.

Aspartame is one of the most common artificial sweeteners.  It is a synthetic chemical that is used in over 6,000 products around the world.  It is in most diet sodas, powdered drinks, chewing gum, breath mints, and other sugar-free products. It is also in NutraSweet, Equal, Candarel, Benevia, Sweet One, NutraTaste, TwinSweet, and Spoonful.

Since the mid-1980s when Aspartame came on the market, its manufacturers have continued to assure the public that this low-calorie sweetener is safe.  However, several independent studies have shown that aspartame is not as safe as it appears to be.  Aspartame is metabolized (broken down) in the body into wood alcohol (a poison) and formaldehyde, a known carcinogen (cancer-causing chemical).  It has been associated with approximately 40 conditions due to its toxicity.  Some of these include headaches, dizziness, depression, insomnia, irritability, weight gain, abdominal pain, menstrual cramps, asthma and other allergic reactions.  Aspartame can also mimic or worsen diseases such as fibromyalgia, arthritis, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, attention deficit hyperactivity disorders (ADD and ADHD).  It can also cause birth defects, premature birth, nerve twitches, muscle tremors, brain damage and even lymphomas, leukemia and other types of cancer!

Sucralose (Splenda)
Sucralose is another common artificial sweetener.  It is a synthetic chemical that contains chlorine.  Sucralose is in many of the previously mentioned sugar-free products.  It can cause gastrointestinal problems (bloating, gas, diarrhea, nausea), skin irritations (rash, hives, redness, itching, swelling), wheezing, coughing, runny nose, itchy eyes, chest pains, severe menstrual cramps, heart palpitations, anxiety, anger, moods swings, and depression.

Studies of the effects of sucralose on animals have found decreased red blood cells (anemia), male infertility, brain lesions, enlarged calcified kidneys, spontaneous abortion rates of 50 percent in rabbits given sucralose, and a 23 percent death rate in rabbits given sucralose compared to six percent not given sucralose.

The symptoms created by Aspartame, Sucralose and other artificial sweeteners has lead health experts to call it “Artificial Sweetener Disease.”  The way to get rid of Artificial Sweetener Disease (and avoid getting it in the first place) is to stop consuming all products that contain Aspartame, Sucralose and other artificial sweeteners, including Acesulfame K, Alitame, Cyclamate, Neohesperidin, Neotame, and Saccharin.  

Products Containing Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners can be found on the ingredient labels of many of these products:

Soft drinks, over-the-counter drugs and prescription drugs (very common and listed under “inactive ingredients”), vitamin and herb supplements, yogurt, instant breakfasts, candy, breath mints, cereals, sugar-free chewing gum, cocoa mixes, coffee beverages, instant breakfasts, gelatin desserts, frozen desserts, juice beverages, laxatives, milk drinks, shake mixes, tabletop sweeteners, tea beverages, instant teas and coffees, topping mixes, wine coolers, fiber supplements (Metamucil), protein powders, etc.

It is also important to note that if you are suffering from artificial sweetener symptoms, it often takes at least 60 days without consuming any artificial sweetener to see a significant improvement.





The Development, Evaluation and Treatment of Musculoskeletal Disorders: Part 1 Why Musculoskeletal Pain Develops


Musculoskeletal disorders are a broad class of conditions that involve problems with muscles, joints, tendons, ligaments, and nerves.  There is an long list of conditions that people suffer from that fall in the category of musculoskeletal disorders.  Some of these include various types of pain, muscle tightness, tendinitis, arthritis, and nerve problems, such as numbness, sciatica or carpal tunnel syndrome.  There are several reasons why musculoskeletal disorders develop and there are several ways to treat these problems.  Some evaluation and treatment methods make more sense than others and these methods vary among chiropractors, orthopedists, and physical therapists.  In this series of articles, we will discuss why musculoskeletal disorders develop and the evaluation and treatment of these disorders and their associated pain.     

There are several reasons why people develop musculoskeletal problems.  Although people can have pain and other symptoms from inflammatory foods, food toxins, food allergies, and side effects from certain medications, the focus of this article will pertain to the development of musculoskeletal problems associated with misalignment and abnormal motor control. 

It All Starts With Injuries
It is inevitable that everyone goes through life with hundreds if not thousands of injuries.  Many people are even born injured due to the birthing process!  The injuries people acquire during their lifetime can be major (macro-trauma), such as a broken bone, ruptured tendon, or torn ligament or they can be minor (micro-trauma), such as a sprain, strain or overuse injury.  Either type of injury can have immediate, negative health consequences.   

Misalignments Leading to Musculoskeletal Problems
Major or minor injuries can cause misalignments of posture, including the bones of the spine and extremities.  Misalignments can occur SUDDENLY from an injury such as a fall, car accident or sports injury.  They can also occur GRADUALLY from working, sitting, or sleeping in a bad posture for extended periods of time.  Misalignments create increased loads (pressure) on joints and spinal discs, muscle strain, changes in muscle length (some shorten, others lengthen) and changes in muscle tone (some tighten, others relax).  This results in a loss of joint mobility (movement), loss of joint stability (strength, support, control), micro-trauma, and wear and tear over time.  Eventually, misalignments can lead to a variety of musculoskeletal conditions such as back pain, neck pain, arm or leg pain, headaches, tendinitis or arthritis.  

Abnormal Motor Control and Muscle Inhibition Leading to Musculoskeletal Problems
Motor control is essentially muscle control.  It is the ability of the nervous system to efficiently direct groups of muscles to contract in coordinated patterns and sequences for proper movement.  We are not born with motor control.  Motor control is something we acquire from the first few months of life until the age of four.  When we go through the developmental milestones of rolling, creeping, crawling, sitting, kneeling, standing, and walking we develop normal motor (muscle) control.  Normal motor control is required for normal, efficient movement and to resist musculoskeletal problems.

Motor control is something that can be altered very easily due to pain, injury, or misalignment.  Injury and misalignment can create excessive stress on joints, tendons, ligaments, muscles and nerves.  When these tissues become stressed, they automatically send signals to reduce the stress.  They do so by “inhibiting” (turning down) some muscles and “facilitating” (turning up) other muscles to reduce stress in the area.  In other words, muscle inhibition is the nervous system sending signals to reduce muscle strength to an area in order to minimize pain and further injury.  Muscle facilitation, on the other hand, is the nervous system sending signals to increase muscle strength to minimize pain and further injury.  Most people do not “feel” muscle inhibition or muscle facilitation, but they commonly feel the physiological effects as muscle knots (trigger points), muscle tightness or stiffness.  

Altered motor control occurs in everyone to some degree following an injury.  It is an automatic neurological (survival) mechanism designed to compensate for pain.  If the change in motor control is mild you may not notice a change in how you move.  If it is more extreme you will notice a change, such as limping due to pain or injury of the foot, ankle, knee or hip.  

A change in motor control may be a good short-term solution to compensate for pain, but not a good long-term solution. In many people, motor control DOES NOT return to normal after the pain is gone and after the injury has healed.  This can leave a person with inefficient patterns of muscle control that can lead to poor movement, poor alignment, excessive wear and tear, arthritis, and the development of pain later in life.

Misalignments, poor motor control and muscle inhibition are the major reasons why people have pain and other musculoskeletal problems.  These are very important biomechanical factors that need to be evaluated and treated in patients with musculoskeletal pain.  In Part 2, we will discuss the evaluation of patients with musculoskeletal pain. 



Toxic BPA Levels Increase by 1,221 Percent After Eating Canned Soup

Conceptual image – food safety, food scares, spooky, joke

Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health have found that eating canned soup can cause toxic levels of the chemical BPA (Bisphenol A) in the body.  In the study, 75 volunteers ate 12 ounces of soup each day for five days.  Researchers found that eating canned soup on a daily basis raised urinary BPA levels by a whopping 1,221 percent!

What is BPA and Where Does It Come From?
BPA is a toxic compound in plastics.  It is in plastic containers, food and drink containers, the (white) lining of canned foods, and dental sealants.  Studies over the past five years have shown that nearly everyone encounters at least trace amounts of this compound because of the widespread use of plastics, especially in food packaging.

Industries using plastics for packaging, as well as some mainstream medical experts, have long assured the public that small concentrations of BPA do not pose a serious health hazard.  However, mounting evidence shows that BPA is a health hazard for adults as well as children. 

BPA’s Dangerous Side Effects
Study after study has begun to emerge linking high BPA levels to serious health risks. The following are just a few of the problems caused by BPA:

  • High urinary BPA levels have been strongly linked with heart disease and diabetes.
  • Prenatal BPA exposure during pregnancy may increase breast cancer risk later in life.
  • Prenatal BPA exposure can cause aggressive behavior in toddlers. 
  • BPA can cause low sperm counts and reduced sperm motility which may lead to male infertility. 
  • BPA can cause arrhythmia (abnormal heart beat), heart attacks and possibly trigger sudden cardiac death in women because of the way the compound mimics estrogen’s effect on the heart.

How to Lower Your Risk

  • Avoid baby formula as much as possible.  According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), all U.S. manufacturers of formula use a BPA containing lining on the metal part of their containers.  Breastfeed exclusively if possible, or use a dry formula that is mixed with filtered water.
  • Eat fresh, whole food, not (plastic-lined) canned food or drinks.
  • Pay attention to the kind of plastics you use for food and drink containers.  The most BPA-containing plastics are rigid and clear.  They are frequently marked on the bottom with the letters “PC” and the recycling number 7. Plastics with the recycling numbers 1, 2 and 4 on the bottom are better choices.
  • Choose safe bottles and safe plastics.  Use glass, stainless steel, and “BPA-Free” plastic bottles and food containers.
  • Do not use plastic containers to heat food in microwaves.  Use ceramic or glass instead.