The Benefits of Yoga

I recently started practicing Yoga again on a weekly basis, and I wanted to share some of the Health benefits that I have found from practicing Yoga.  I always feel mentally and physically refreshed after practicing yoga, and here are some of the benefits listed.

Physical Benefits

Many people find that the relaxation techniques incorporated in yoga can lessen chronic pain, such as lower back pain, arthritis, and headaches.

Other physical benefits of yoga include:

  • Increased flexibility
  • Increased muscle strength and tone
  • Improved respiration, energy and vitality
  • Maintaining a balanced metabolism
  • Weight reduction
  • Cardio and circulatory health
  • Improved athletic performance
  • Protection from injury

Mental Benefits

Aside from the physical benefits, one of the best benefits of yoga is how it helps you manage stress, which is known to have devastating effects on the body and mind.  I see it every day with my patients…stress can reveal itself in many ways, including back or neck pain, sleeping problems, headaches, and an inability to concentrate. Yoga can be very effective in developing coping skills and reaching a more positive outlook on life.

Yoga’s incorporation of meditation and breathing can help improve a person’s mental well-being. Regular yoga practice can help create mental clarity and calmness; increase your body awareness; relieve chronic stress patterns; relax your mind; and maybe even sharpen concentration.

While there are more than 100 different types, or schools, of yoga, most sessions typically include breathing exercises, meditation, and assuming postures that stretch and flex various muscle groups.

Beginners Are Welcome

Because there are so many different kinds of yoga practices, it is possible for anyone to start.

There are more than 100 different forms of yoga. Some are fast-paced and intense. Others are gentle and relaxing.

Examples of different yoga forms include:

Hatha – the form most often associated with yoga, it combines a series of basic movements with breathing.

Vinyasa – a series of poses that flow smoothly into one another.

Power – a faster, higher-intensity practice that builds muscle.

Ashtanga – a series of poses, combined with a special breathing technique.

Bikram – also known as “hot yoga,” it’s a series of 26 challenging poses performed in a room heated to a high temperature.

Iyengar a type of yoga that uses props like blocks, straps, and chairs to help you move your body into the proper alignment.

Getting Started

Classes are a great way to get into yoga, even if you’re already pretty fit. In addition to yoga studios, classes are widely available at health clubs, community centers and spas. Most of these places offer introductory or gentle yoga classes that will familiarize you with the basic yoga format and style.

Give Yoga a go, you might be surprised how much you like it.

I believe that Yoga is a lot like Chiropractic in that they both focus on your body’s natural tendency toward health and self-healing.

If you have any questions about this Blog or your health in general you can contact me at: drtomball@performancehealthcenter.com

 

Bioelectric Medicine or Electroceuticals : The Future of Modern Medicine?

The future of medicine maybe closer than you think!  Bioelectric Medicine and Electroceuticals are top name contenders for this new branch of medicine.  As researcher’s better understand and learn how to manipulate the electrical impulses of the nervous system we will have more targeted and safer ways to treat disease and stay healthy.  Last year clinical trial was published demonstrating a small electrical device  implanted in the neck near the vagus nerve to eliminate the cause of inflammation in Rheumatoid Arthritis showed positive results in 12 out of 17 patients.   Medicare already pays for electrical treatments of Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy.  A well known example of Bioelectric Medicine are Pacemakers which have been used to electrically regulate heart rhythms for decades.

Venture capitalists have already invested $100 million in Biomedical Medicine.  Imran Eba of Action Potential Venture Capital located in Cambridge said, “If we can understand how…electric signals travel through the nervous system…then we can start treating disease in a totally different way.”   New advances in medicine are always exciting.  Influencing the nervous system is fascinating.  Influencing the nervous system to restore and maintain health is not new news to the chiropractic profession!  Chiropractors have been influencing the optimizing nerve energy in the body since its founding in 1895!

In 1895, chiropractic care began in Davenport, Iowa.  The founder, D.D. Palmer‘s first adjustment did not relieve low back pain, it restored deafness! The story goes; D.D. Palmer was a self -taught healer.  (Prior to the Flexner Report in 1910 medical training was not standardized and many healers were self-taught.  D.D. Palmer was on those self-taught healers).  Harvey Lillard was a janitor in the building D.D. Palmer had his practice in.    Harvey was almost completely deaf.  Seventeen years earlier while in a cramped, stooped position, he felt a pop in his spine and went deaf.

After hearing Harvey’s history and feeling his spine, D.D. Palmer postulated that there was a bone out of place interfering with the flow of energy in the nervous system.  He got permission from Harvey to push the vertebrae back into place.  Immediately after Harvey’s hearing was restored.  D.D. Palmer proclaimed that he corrected the flow of nerve energy which restored his hearing.

I was deaf 17 years and I expected to always remain so, for I had doctored a great deal without    any benefit. I had long ago made up my mind to not take any more ear treatments, for it did me no good. Last January Dr. Palmer told me that my deafness came from an injury in my spine. This was new to me; but it is a fact that my back was injured at the time I went deaf. Dr. Palmer treated me on the spine; in two treatments I could hear quite well. That was eight months ago. My hearing remains good. HARVEY LILLARD,

D.D. Palmer named this new healing art that restores nerve energy flow chiropractic, which comes from a Greek work which means “done by hand”.  D.D. Palmer in his voluminous writings preferred to use the term “dis-ease” rather than disease to explain many human ailments.  He defined dis-ease as “too much or not enough nerve energy”.   Today research continues to prove D.D. Palmer’s theory’s correct on many levels.  Your body can not be healthy unless the brain can communicate properly to all the cells of the body, and this communication is electric.  Conventional wisdom now points to the fact that nerves can get pinched by herniated discs, but probably more often spinal joints don’t move correctly and get stuck which irritates the nerves.  The original premise of Chiropractic is that adjustments, or spinal manipulation, puts motion back into the spine which corrects the electrical impulses of the nervous system which control all the systems in the body.

Chiropractic care for those who keep up with the literature is the most effective, safest and most cost-effective treatment for musculoskeletal problems. Ninety-Five percent (95%) or more of my patients present for pain syndromes associated with the spine.  Sitting, computers, cell phones and just standing on 2 legs can be challenging to the spine and the delicate nervous system.  Maybe it’s time for all of us to stay healthy by keeping nerve energy flowing optimally to present dis-ease.

Medical advances are amazing and as a result we are living longer and more productive lives.  Maybe Bioelectric Medicine is the future of healthcare since there is promise that it can target cells and malfunctions in the body without the side-effects and cost of modern medicine.  Still, we should always start first with the body’s ability to heal itself naturally.  Chiropractic care has always been a big part of natural healing because it optimizes the function of the nervous system and optimizes nerve energy so the brain communicates properly to the various organ systems in the body.  In 34 years of practice it is amazing how many patients who came to see me because of back pain comment on how their digestive issues or allergies have improved or cleared up. How is your nervous system energy functioning?  If you are not sure, start the New Year with a nervous system function check-up at Performance Health Center.

For more information please email me at drbradweiss@performancehealthcenter.com

Zinc, It’s Not Just about Vitamin C Anymore…

With school just around the corner, so are all the GERMS that come with this time of year.  Fun times!  Generally speaking, most people reach for the bottle of Vitamin C if they feel a cold coming on this time of year, or to prepare in the event of a possible cold.  I am not saying that Vitamin C isn’t effective (as I do take it daily), but more and more studies are showing that Zinc has some very beneficial qualities when it comes to dealing with the common cold, also known as the rhinovirus.

Without going into great detail, and pulling multiple research studies at this time, some studies are showing that Vitamin C does not actually do much to prevent the common cold.  Sorry Airborne L.  Zinc, being the mineral that it is, seems to somehow interfere with the replication of the rhinovirus. Zinc influences the immune system in a few different ways.  Zinc helps the immune system recruit white blood cells for proper and better immune system function, helps reduce systematic inflammation in the body, and is also an antioxidant – not too shabby Mr. Zinc J.  Some studies that have also been done in the past few years have shown that people who started taking zinc after recently getting sick, had less severe symptoms from the cold, and the duration of the cold was not as long either.

Zinc is what they call a “trace element”.  The cells of our immune system rely on Zinc to function. If one is getting enough zinc into their diet, the T-cells and other immune cells in our bodies can be greatly affected.  Based on what Harvard Medical Researchers say, the suggested daily amount of Zinc is 15-25mg.  Taking in an excessive amount of this supplement can actually cause a reverse reaction on the body, and is usually best to follow the recommended daily amount, or the amount prescribed by your physician.

If you are a person interested in getting more Zinc into your diet naturally, chickpeas, kidney beans, mushrooms, crab and chicken, are all good sources of food where Zinc can be found.  Lozenges like Cold-Ez or syrups containing Zinc, can also help aid in support when you are not feeling well.  If you are a person who would prefer to supplement, or your doctor has told you to do so, Metagenics ( www.metagenics.com ) has a supplement called, Zinc A.G.  Zinc A.G. is a special formula with enhanced absorption to help better address zinc repletion in the body.  This is the brand I use, and that we carry or you can order at or through our office.  I do not necessarily take Zinc all year around, but I do use it through out certain parts of the year to help fight off pesky germs, and when I may be training at a higher intensity for something if needed.  I do not find that Zinc really has any bad side effects either, other than it doesn’t smell the greatest, and sometimes people complain of nausea.  If I don’t take my supplements with some type of food or little snack, I can become nauseous regardless of what supplement it is.  If you have any questions regarding Zinc or other supplements, please feel free to email me anytime at: drv@performancehealthcenter.com.  Happy Back to School everyone, and so not ready for the summer to come to an end!

 

 

Tips to Relieve Back Pain

Your first step should be to seek out professional help.  Whether you see your PCP, a Physical Therapist, an Orthopedic Physician, or a Chiropractic Physician, start by finding a professional trained to diagnose and treat back pain.  There are a multitude of factors that can cause back pain, and getting the proper diagnosis is the best place to start.  If you are looking for a non-invasive non-pharmacologic option, Chiropractic has shown in many studies to be statistically the best choice.

 

“Patients with chronic low-back pain treated by chiropractors showed greater improvement and satisfaction at one month than patients treated by family physicians. Satisfaction scores were higher for chiropractic patients. A higher proportion of chiropractic patients (56 percent vs. 13 percent) reported that their low-back pain was better or much better, whereas nearly one-third of medical patients reported their low-back pain was worse or much worse.”       

Nyiendo et al (2000), Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics

 

Keep moving.  Many PCP’s and Orthopedic Physicians recommend bed rest, but this can often make things worse.  We say every day to our patients, “Life is motion”.  We are designed to move each and every day.  Many of our patients tell us the prolonged sitting or standing they do is often their biggest contributor to their chronic back pain.  Let pain be your guide, any movement or motion that does not make your condition worse will usually help it get better sooner.  We find many times the cuase of the back pain are fixated vertebrae- that is they are not moving properly. These “fixations” can be caused by a multitude of factors, i.e. physical or emotional stress, some sort of trauma, poor posture, or even a poor diet can contribute to these vertebral “fixations”, which we refer to as “subluxations”.  Chiropractors are the only specialists that are trained specifically to locate and correct these vertebral subluxations.

If your chronic pain is related to emotional or work-related stress, try some relaxation techniques to help reduce muscle tension.  If your job or lifestyle requires lots of physical stress, make sure to use good posture and be sure to take stretch breaks often.

Exercise regularly- this helps in many ways: gets your spine moving; reduces stress; increases blood flow; and helps strengthen the muscles that support your spine.  What exercises are best for your back?  Well that may be different for each of us, but first find something you can currently do without pain, and make sure it is something you enjoy as you will be much more likely to stick with it.  My people find Yoga and/or swimming to help their chronic back pain, but as I mentioned earlier find what works best for you.  Make sure to warm up properly: including some foam rolling, then be sure to maintain good posture throughout your exercise, and be sure to stretch when you are done.

Get enough rest.  Make sure you have a good mattress to sleep on, and beware of your sleeping “posture” as well.  Avoid sleeping on your stomach as that can cause the neck and head to twist and put stress on your spine.  If you sleep on your back consider putting a pillow under your knees, and if you sleep on your side consider putting a pillow between your knees.

These are just a few more “tips” to help you improve your back pain.  If you have any questions about this Blog or about your health in general, please feel free to contact me at: drtomball@performancehealthcenter.com

 

 

 

It’s Summer and I’m Back on the Courts!

For several months in a row last spring I wrote about my experiences post-knee surgery and the grueling rehab process I was going through.  It’s hard to believe that is now 15 months post-surgery.  The good news is that I am back doing all the activities I was able to do prior to my ACL tear and surgical replacement!

I’ve never had a serious injury before and never had to be a committed and compliant patient.  I worked hard and followed the advice of the skilled professional that I put my trust in.  I was able to ski by mid- winter and since the spring have been playing tennis several times a week.  My knee is strong and pain-free.  I have no limitations.  At times I do get swelling, but regular icing keeps it to a minimum (and feels good on these hot summer days we are experiencing).  I know I am not 100% rehabbed, but am getting closer every day!

This has been a learning experience on many levels.  Most importantly, I have a much better appreciation for the trust and confidence my patients put in me.  It is not easy being compliant with appointments and the homework I prescribe to get out of pain and optimizing function.  Between family and work responsibilities we all have busy lives.  Squeezing in one more appointment is not always easy.  I always remind my patients that it is not easy and there is never the right time to do this, but if they do the work now, they will be glad they did short term, and more importantly long term.

George Burns when he turned 90 said, “If I knew I was going to live this long I would have taken better care of myself”.  I want all my patients to say when they turn 90, “I knew I was going to live this long so I took great care of myself”.   Of course there are bumps in the road, like my knee injury, and when that happens extra care is needed.  That’s how I live my life and I hope I inspire my patients to do the same.

Now that the hard part of my rehab is over, I will continue with my “extra” exercises to make sure my knee serves me well for the many years I plan to work as a chiropractor and play hard.  Many thanks go to my team of professionals who helped me get to this place.  Dr. Brian McKeon has been my go to orthopedist for 14+ years.  I’ve always told my patients when I made a referral, if it was me, Dr. McKeon is who I would go to.  When it was me that is exactly what I did.  Steve Crowell and his amazing team of physical therapists at Rebound Physical Therapy got me moving.  Rebound Physical Therapy is my “outsourced” physical therapy department and they always make me look good when I refer my patients there.  Drs. VanNederynen and Ball, were instrumental in keeping me functional and relieved the physical stress I was putting on my body from walking funny- 1st with crutches, then with my brace, and then from limp that lasted longer than I expected.  Bernadette, Performance Health Center’s amazing massage therapist accelerated my healing with incredible massages and cupping.  Lastly, Anita Luck, my Functional Movement Therapist, has taught me how to use my body in 3-D so my body can handle the demands I put on it, even when the unexpected happens.

I have and will continue to refer my patients to these exceptional providers I have now experienced firsthand, and have even more confidence in them than ever.

I hope you all have an enjoyable, safe and healthy summer!  Now get out there and have fun!

Brad Weiss, D.C.

drbradweiss@performancehealthcenter.com

It’s Summer and I’m Back on the Courts!

For several months in a row last spring I wrote about my experiences post-knee surgery and the grueling rehab process I was going through.  It’s hard to believe that is now over one year post-surgery.  The good news is that I am back doing all the activities I was able to do prior to my ACL tear and surgical replacement!

I’ve never had a serious injury before and never had to be a committed and compliant patient.  I worked hard and followed the advice of the skilled professional that I put my trust in.  I was able to ski by mid- winter and since the spring have been playing tennis several times a week.  My knee is strong and pain-free.  I have no limitations.  At times I do get swelling, but regular icing keeps it to a minimum (and feels good on these hot summer days we are experiencing).  I know I am not 100% rehabbed, but am getting closer every day!

This has been a learning experience on many levels.  Most importantly, I have a much better appreciation for the trust and confidence my patients put in me.  It is not easy being compliant with appointments and the homework I prescribe to get out of pain and optimizing function.  Between family and work responsibilities we all have busy lives.  Squeezing in one more appointment is not always easy.  I always remind my patients that it is not easy and there is never the right time to do this, but if they do the work now, they will be glad they did short term, and more importantly long term.

George Burns when he turned 90 said, “If I knew I was going to live this long I would have taken better care of myself”.  I want all my patients to say when they turn 90, “I knew I was going to live this long so I took great care of myself”.   Of course there are bumps in the road, like my knee injury, and when that happens extra care is needed.  That’s how I live my life and I hope I inspire my patients to do the same.

Now that the hard part of my rehab is over, I will continue with my “extra” exercises to make sure my knee serves me well for the many years I plan to work as a chiropractor and play hard.  Many thanks go to my team of professionals who helped me get to this place.  Dr. Brian McKeon has been my go to orthopedist for 14+ years.  I’ve always told my patients when I made a referral, if it was me, Dr. McKeon is who I would go to.  When it was me that is exactly what I did.  Steve Crowell and his amazing team of physical therapists at Rebound Physical Therapy got me moving.  Rebound Physical Therapy is my “outsourced” physical therapy department and they always make me look good when I refer my patients there.  Drs. VanNederynen and Ball, were instrumental in keeping me functional and relieved the physical stress I was putting on my body from walking funny- 1st with crutches, then with my brace, and then from limp that lasted longer than I expected.  Bernadette, Performance Health Center’s amazing massage therapist accelerated my healing with incredible massages and cupping.  Lastly, Anita Luck, my Functional Movement Therapist, has taught me how to use my body in 3-D so my body can handle the demands I put on it, even when the unexpected happens.

I have and will continue to refer my patients to these exceptional providers I have now experienced firsthand, and have even more confidence in them than ever.

I hope you all have an enjoyable, safe and healthy summer!  Now get out there and have fun!

Brad Weiss, D.C.

drbradweiss@performancehealthcenter.com

 

 

Slow Rise Bread, Easier to Digest

If you are like Millions of Americans that are avoiding eating bread for one reason or another, maybe after reading this blog you might give bread a second chance.  I think most people love bread in one form or another, yet the current media perception is that most people should not include it in their diet.  I personally ate tons of bread in the form of bagels, muffins, pasta, etc… growing up with no ill effects.  As I got older I started to notice that many forms of “bread” caused me to feel really bloated.  Many people develop gluten intolerance as they get older and that could be what my problem was.

In March,2017 I wrote a blog about including fermented food in your diet: https://www.performancehealthcenter.com/time-get-pickled/

Recently a good friend of mine suggested I try some “slow rise” bread.  He told me that it was much easier for him to digest.  I have now become a happy bread eater again. This time I’m sticking to bread that has been made the “old fashioned” way.  This “old way” actually allows the bread to ferment some, which for many people makes all the difference in the world as to how their body digests it.

This article below explains some of the health benefits of eating slow rise bread.

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/aug/12/rise-sourdough-bread-slow-fermented-health-benefits

In the long slow fermentation that produces sourdough bread, important nutrients such as iron, zinc and magnesium, antioxidants, folic acid and other B vitamins become easier for our bodies to absorb. Diabetics should note that sourdough produces a lower surge in blood sugar than any other bread: in a 2008 study published in Acta Diabetologica, subjects with impaired glucose tolerance were fed either sourdough or ordinary bread: the sourdough bread produced a significantly lower glucose and insulin response. In the sourdough process, moreover, gluten is broken down and rendered virtually harmless. In one small Italian study, published in the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, in January 2011, coeliac patients fed sourdough bread for 60 days had no clinical complaints, and their biopsies showed no changes in the intestinal lining.

And what’s beyond doubt is that when people switch from supermarket to sourdough bread, they’re often delighted to find they can eat it without bloated belly discomfort. “We get people coming in who say ‘we can eat your bread without any problem unlike ordinary bread which just blows us up”, says Alastair Ferguson, of Brighton’s Real Patisserie, who sells his own sourdough all over the city.

You may ask why isn’t all bread made this way?  The answer is in the word “slow”, slow rise bread takes longer to make. In our fast-paced world… who has time to wait for bread to rise all night? That is where quick-acting yeast came in – oh yes, the big companies are always looking for short cuts. Mass production is more important to them than how your belly feels after eating their bread. They can make a lot more bread in the same amount of time, and sell it cheaper- since it is less labor intensive.

Personally, I think it is worth a few more pennies to eat something that I can digest more easily, and I also think it tastes better.  Where can you get some?  Well, there is a terrific bakery in West Concord Massachusetts called Nashoba Brook Bakery on the shores of the Nashoba Brook.  Don’t want to drive out there?  Well, Whole Foods in Framingham sells Nashoba Brook Bakery slow rise bread. Just look for it adjacent to the instore bakery.

Here is a link to Nashoba Brook Bakery’s web site:  http://slowrise.com/

Give it a try, you might be pleasantly surprised at how good it tastes, and more importantly, how good you feel after eating it.

If you have any questions about this blog or your health in general, please feel free to contact me at: drthomascball@gmail.com

 

Happy Marathon-ing Boston Runners!

It is that time of year!  Spring is in the air… Easter, Passover, April Vacation, and of course, the Boston Marathon are all too quickly approaching.  Woo-Hoo!!!

I wouldn’t be doing my job as a Chiropractor if I didn’t write something this month in regards to the marathon, and offering advice to my patients and friends how they can better take care of themselves during this exciting time of year.

In previous years I have chatted about how runners can be more proactive and take care better care of themselves leading up to the marathon. I want to switch gears and talk a little more about recovery and what runners can do “post-marathon” to help speed up their recovery and get back on the road to training afterwards.  There are so many words of advice, tips, recommendations etc., I am going to just focus on a couple of things that I find to be VERY true and that have worked for me in the past.

Usually the biggest or most commonly asked question by a runner is, “How long should I wait to run again after the marathon?”   Well this was one of the questions I did ask after my first marathon in 2008, it certainly wasn’t the first question I asked.  I am not sure about all of you, but I wasn’t sure I would run again after getting through all of that for the first time, and having no clue what I was doing, lol.  But, for all of those who are inquiring, general rule of thumb seems to be 1-2 weeks depending on how one feels.

Many articles say 5-7 days of rest post marathon, which I am totally fine with. BUT, those articles that people fail to read the entirety of, also state that after 5-7 days off, the next few weeks after that initial week should be taken lightly with training as the body is trying to recover.  Usually within 3-4 weeks a runner can return to regular training, or harder workouts, providing there are no subsequent injuries those runners is dealing with from before the marathon, or an injury resulting from the marathon.

Another hot topic, or should I say “cool” topic, are ice baths for recovery post marathon.  Most runners inquire about the effectiveness of ice baths and when or how long to soak in the tub of ice for.  The general idea in regards to this type of cryotherapy treatment is that the exposure to cold helps the body fight the micro trauma (tiny little tears) in the muscle fibers causing soreness by the repetitive exercise that just took place.  Constricting the blood vessels for a short period of time can help to flush toxins released by the body during the event, and intern, help to decrease or reduce inflammation, swelling, and breakdown of tissue in the body.

Some post-race and post-competition festivities have ice baths at the finish waiting for the competitors after they have cooled down a bit.  If that isn’t all that enticing to you, upon returning home or back to your hotel that day, and before you hop into the shower would be a good time to do so.  I recommend getting into the tub and filling it with cold water around you first (up to your waste), and then dumping the bags of ice into the water after you are submerged.  Or just hop in the tub in your race shorts, and sports bra ladies, and let someone else have the pleasure of dumping the ice in all around you.  It is best to stay submerged in the ice bath for about 10 minutes.  More time is not necessary, and I am sure no one will be jumping at the idea of soaking in a bath of ice any longer then they have to.

I really hope these tips helps you all in your road to recovery post Boston Marathon this year.  If you have any questions about post marathon recovery, please feel free and contact me at drv@performancehealthcenter.com.  And as always, I am a big fan of a post marathon chiropractic adjustment and ART to help realign your body, and a post-race massage within a few days’ post-marathon.  Happy Marathon-ing everyone, think positive thoughts to carry you through that day, and I will be there with you all in spirit!

New Study- Placebo as Good as Meds for Back Pain

Two important studies were published in February 2017 for the treatment of back pain.

The 1st was published on-line (e-publish ahead of print) in the Annals of Rheumatoid Disease.  The 2nd was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. 

For years I have advised my patients that pain medicine mask symptoms and have side effects.  What I should have advised my patients is that they would have had a similar benefit if they took a placebo instead of medication.  The 1st study was a meta-analysis of 35 studies comparing NSAIDs to placebo for pain and disability from spinal pain.  The findings conclude that, “NSAIDs reduced pain and disability, but provided clinically unimportant effects over placebo”.   In addition, “NSAIDs were associated with a higher number of patients reporting gastrointestinal adverse effects in the short-term follow-up.”  This study also looked at other recent studies looking at the clinical value of paracetamol (Tylenol) and opioids for treating spinal pain.  The study conclusion states, “it is now clear that the three most widely used, and guideline-recommended medicines for spinal pain do not provide clinically important effects over placebo.”

The 2nd study updated the clinical practice guidelines for low back pain from the American College of Physicians (ACP).  It recommends spinal manipulation and other non-invasive non-drug therapies, including massage and acupuncture, as a first option for treating acute, subacute and chronic low back pain rather than medication!

So, how long will it take mainstream medicine to adapt these new ACP guidelines for treating low back pain?  How long will it take mainstream medicine to tell their patients that pain meds are as good as placebo for spinal pain?  In the 33 years I have been in practice it hasn’t happened yet, even with multiple valid studies documenting the benefits of chiropractic care in relieving pain and optimizing function.

The good news is that there are a handful of MDs who refer their patients to Performance Health Center.  Unfortunately this still tends to be the exception.  It still amazes me how many new patients tell me during their initial consultation that their MD said they would have to live with the pain.  Part of the problem is that MDs don’t learn about chiropractic health care, or other alternatives to drugs and surgery, during their training.  I know this first hand.  For 8 years, (4 in Vermont and 4 in Massachusetts), Family Practice Residents spent a one day rotation in my office.    I would always ask these residents three questions when I first met them:

1-In all you years in medical school and residency what did you learn                          about chiropractic health care?    Nothing

2-In all you years in medical school and residency what did you learn                          about the musculoskeletal system?   Very little

3-How many vertebrae are in the spine?   Only 1 resident in 8 years knew                     the answer is 24.

After spending one day observing me most of these residents were impressed on the variety of conditions chiropractors treat in our offices every day, and patient satisfaction with their care and results.  If every family practice and internal medicine resident could have the same experience there would be a lot less medicine prescribed for pain and less people suffering with spinal pain.

So what is the moral of this?  Next time your PCP prescribes pain meds for your spinal pain, you’d be better off popping a sugar pill, and making an appointment with your favorite chiropractor at Performance Health Center!  For more information about how to get out of pain without drugs or surgery please call 508-655-9008, or email me at drbradweiss@performancehealthcenter.com

Time to get “Pickled”

I happen to have a friend that I swim with 3 times a week that is an excellent Nutritionist.  She often gives nutritional tips to me and the other guys that swim in our lane.  One thing that she recently suggested was to “eat something fermented every day”.

Personally, I have started eating “Pickled Beets”, about one serving every day, and now my digestion has been noticeably better.  I was intrigued by this and I started to read about many of the other benefits of eating fermented foods. I wanted to share a few links that highlight many of the benefits of eating fermented foods on a regular basis.

This first link is to an article written by Dr. David Williams- he is a medical researcher, biochemist, and a Chiropractor.  Dr. David Williams has developed a reputation as one of the world’s leading authorities on natural healing.

A couple of the highlights of his article are how fermented foods balance the production of stomach acid, they help produce acetylcholine- which also aids in digestion, and they improve pancreatic function- which is beneficial to people with Diabetes.

http://www.drdavidwilliams.com/gut-health-and-the-benefits-of-traditional-fermented-foods/

This next article explains how eating fermented foods helps balance the bacteria in our digestive systems, and how they improve bowel health and improve our immunity.  Another bonus, fermented foods will also help you absorb more nutrients from the food you eat.

https://wellnessmama.com/2245/health-benefits-fermented-foods/

One more link for you to look at here was written by Dr. Josh Axe, DNM, DC, CNS.  He is a certified doctor of natural medicine, doctor of chiropractic and clinical nutritionist with a passion to help people get healthy by using food as medicine.  He lists his 10 Healthiest Fermented Foods and Vegetables here:

https://draxe.com/fermented-foods/

Dr. David Williams says: “Modern Society is Losing Fermented Foods”.  Unfortunately, over the past century many probiotic foods have fallen from favor due to changes in the way we now preserve foods, particularly vegetables.

“When fresh vegetables weren’t as readily available throughout the year, they were often preserved through fermentation. Nowadays, thanks to improved transportation and storage, we can buy various vegetables all year around; and when it comes to preserving vegetables, freezing and canning have become the methods of choice. These techniques are convenient and help retain vitamin content, but they provide little benefit in terms of digestive health compared to fermentation.”

Dr. Williams top fermented foods: Homemade Sauerkraut; Fermented Veggies; Fermented Soy Products; and Kefir.

So, do your gut a favor and try adding some fermented foods to your diet.

If you have any questions about this blog or your health in general, please feel free to contact me at drtomball@performancehealthcenter.com