Knee Pain & Chiropractic Care

What causes knee pain?

There is no single cause for painful knee joints, but there are generally 2 types of contributing factors:

  1. Traumatic injuries usually happen suddenly and with great force. Examples include falling hard on the knee joint, or being stuck on or near the knee.
  2. Chronic injuries develop over a longer period of time and are often the result of repeated stress to the knee. This stress can cause the knee joints to move out of normal alignment; in some cases, your kneecaps may either be closer to each other or farther apart than they should be.

Other possible reasons for chronic injuries may include: obesity, ligament weakness, not having enough protection from heel-strike shock, foot/ankle problems, improper exercise or lifting techniques, etc. Organic conditions would include infections and tumors. Your doctor will give you a thorough examination which may include a range of motion (ROM) and orthopedic testing – to search for possible alignment/tracking problems and to test for signs of muscle or ligament weakness to help determine the cause of your knee pain.

What are some of the causes of knee alignment problems?

The knee is actually made up of 2 joints involving 3 bones. As a hinge joint, the healthy knee bends in 1 plane of motion much more than it rotates, although some rotation is involved during the gait (walking) cycle. In a normal posture, the kneecaps point straight ahead over the feet. This is the knee posture, which gives the most support to the hips and spine.

Problems occur when a knee becomes misaligned. A cause for this misalignment can start in the foot or ankle. If 1 or both feet have a structural problem (e.g., flat feet, high arch, weak ankles), this condition can cause the leg to rotate improperly and apply tension to the knee. As knee muscles and ligaments weaken, the joint may begin to move out of its proper position. These imbalances have a potential ripple effect, which can affect the hips, low back, and neck. That’s why you’ll often encounter someone whose back started hurting after he or she began having knee problems.

How can my healthcare professional help me to get better?

Again, depending on the diagnosis of your condition, your healthcare professional has treatment programs to help restore your knees to normal function. Along with any determination of the need for rest or other therapies (ice, ultrasound, etc.), a 3-step program is often indicated:

  • Manipulation (adjustment) of the joint for proper alignment
  • Exercise to build muscle strength and joint stability
  • Use of functional orthotics to help reduce excessive internal and external rotation, and to help absorb heel-strike shock

Developing knee muscles helps to stabilize the joint and to prevent further serious injury. Your doctor may prescribe therapeutic exercises to help you rebuild strength in the knee area. Often these exercises can be done either in your healthcare professional’s office or in your own home.

Balanced support, stability, and proper movement are the keys to a healthy knee structure. Ask your healthcare professional if functional orthotics or therapeutic exercises would help you.

Take the Test

  1. Do you stand or walk on hard surfaces for more than 4 hours daily?
  2. Do you participate regularly in any physical sport (basketball, baseball, tennis, golf, bowling, etc)?
  3. Are you age 40 or over?
  4. Have you had a prior injury to your knee, back or neck?
  5. Do your shoes wear unevenly?
  6. Do you have joint pain while standing, walking or running?
  7. Is one of your legs shorter than the other?
  8. Do you have knock-knees or bow legs?
  9. Do you have obvious foot problems (bunions, corns, flat feet, etc)?
  10. Do your feet “toe-out” when you’re walking?

If you checked yes on any of the above, you may want to visit a chiropractor!

Give us a call to schedule an appointment @ 667-240-2923

Digestive Dysfunction

More than 100 million Americans have digestive problems including issues like irritable bowel syndrome, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, heartburn, reflux, and gas, etc. Most of us (including most traditional doctors) do not recognize or know that digestive problems wreak havoc in the entire body, playing a part in allergies, arthritis, autoimmune disease, rashes, acne, chronic fatigue, mood disorders, autism, dementia, cancer, and more.

The health of your gut determines what nutrients are absorbed and what toxins, allergens, and microbes are kept out. It is directly linked to the health of your whole body. Intestinal health could be defined as the optimal digestion, absorption, and assimilation of food.

Acid Reflux & GERD

Acid reflux is the backward flow of stomach acid into the esophagus — the tube that connects the throat and stomach. During an episode of acid reflux, you may taste regurgitated food or sour liquid at the back of your mouth or feel a burning sensation in your chest (heartburn). Sometimes acid reflux progresses to GERD, a more severe form of reflux. The most common symptom of GERD is frequent heartburn.

The most popular medical solution for acid reflux is taking antacids, which disrupt the natural stomach acid needed to digest properly, absorb vitamins and minerals, and keep harmful overgrowth of bacteria in check.

What causes acid reflux:

  • Alcohol
  • Coffee
  • Eating too late at night
  • Spicy foods
  • Citrus
  • Hiatal hernia
  • Fiber
  • Smoking
  • Lack of exercise
  • Food sensitivities

Natural solutions:

  • Add 1tsp raw apple cider vinegar (with “the mother”) to water, tea or smoothie in the morning. This will help boost the immune system, aid digestion, and decrease the number of bad gut bacteria that cause acid reflux.
  • Fennel seeds can help relax the stomach. Try steeping some crushed fennel seeds in boiling water to make a tea and sip it after a meal.
  • Aloe vera is a natural anti-inflammatory that can soothe an inflamed esophagus and stomach lining. Mix & drink 2oz aloe with 8oz of coconut water 15 minutes before eating.
  • Ginger is great for digestion and nausea. Try drinking some ginger tea whenever acid reflux strikes.
  • Peppermint is great for an upset stomach and all digestive disorders.
  • Sleeping in a more upright position and not eating 2 hours before bed.
  • Eat smaller meals.

Autoimmune Issues

The rise of autoimmune-related diseases can be attributed to a lot of factors, including the use of pesticides, toxins in our air and water, overuse of medications, chronic viral infections, mold exposure, chronic stress, and genetics, but the most important factor in the standard American diet (SAD). High in fast foods, carbohydrates, and genetically modified ingredients and low in fiber, vegetables, and antioxidants, the SAD isn’t doing us any favors when it comes to our weight, inflammation levels, or the health of our gut.

The gut is known as our second brain, and when the permeability of the gut lining has been altered, this allows toxins, bacteria, and foreign substances like food and antigens to enter the blood stream, causing something called “leaky gut.”

Leaky gut symptoms:

  • Chronic diarrhea, constipation, gas or bloating
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Poor immune system
  • Headaches, brain fog, memory loss
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Skin rashes and problems like acne, eczema or rosacea
  • Cravings for sugar and carbs
  • Arthritis or joint pain
  • Depression, anxiety, ADD/ADHD
  • Autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, celiac disease or Chron’s

How to heal:

  • Healthy diet & eliminate foods that cause inflammation or trigger allergies/sensitives.
  • Avoid over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like Advil, Aleve, Motrin, etc.
  • Avoid OTC acid reflux products like Maalox, Mylanta, Rolaids, etc.
  • Avoid excessive & unnecessary antibiotic use.
  • Getting enough probiotic foods like miso, sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, kombucha & yogurt.
  • Bone broth: the lysine, glycine, and collagen in bone broth all help repair the gut lining, which will improve the immune system over time.

Candida & Yeast Overgrowth

Candida is a yeast, a very small amount of which lives in your mouth and intestines. Its job is to aid with digestion and nutrient absorption, but when it is overproduced it can lead to many different health problems. The healthy or “good” bacteria in your gut typically will keep your candida levels in check, however, these following factors can cause candida to get out of hand:

  • High carb diets
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Fermented foods
  • Medications
  • Chronic stress
  • Autoimmune diseases treated with immunosuppressants

Once candida has penetrated your intestinal lining and caused “leaky gut”, undigested food particles, toxins, viruses and bacteria can pass through your intestinal wall into your bloodstream. This triggers an inflammatory response from your immune system to try to fight off the “invaders”. Your immune system will continue to send out “invaders”, soon becoming stressed, weakened, confused, and less accurate.

Common candida symptoms:

  • Skin and nail fungal infections like athlete’s foot, ringworm and toenail fungus
  • Chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia
  • Digestive issues like bloating, constipation, or diarrhea
  • Difficulty concentrating, poor memory, lack of focus, brain fog
  • Skin issues like eczema, psoriasis, hives, and rashes
  • Irritability, mood swings, anxiety or depression
  • Vaginal infections, urinary tract infections, rectal or vaginal itching
  • Severe seasonal allergies
  • Strong sugar and carb cravings

How to stop the overgrowth:

  • Remove all foods that feed the candida including sugar, alcohol, and limiting carbs like fruit, starchy vegetables, grains and legumes
  • Taking whole food supplements
  • Repopulate your gut with good bacteria

 

Do you or someone you know suffer from digestive problems? Give us a call at 410-717-6610 to set up a free 15 minute phone consultation!

We Are Women!

A woman’s body goes through many different changes throughout life. Following a healthy diet, exercise routine & mindfulness practice will help keep your body in balance and at ease for these various & sometimes difficult stages.

Menstrual Madness

Tips to ease cramps:

  • Foods to focus on: Getting enough calcium, magnesium, Vitamin D, good fats & iron are important during your menstrual years.
    • Dark chocolate, yogurt, salmon, broccoli, pumpkin seeds, eggs, nuts, bananas, chamomile tea, dark leafy greens like spinach, kale & bok choy, oats, ginger, etc.
  • Drinking lots of water actually prevents your body from retaining water, so even if you’re bloated make sure you are getting enough hydration. Avoid alcohol, carbonated beverages, and caffeine.
  • Raw cacao (1 tbs) is a great source of iron and magnesium, two minerals women commonly can be deficient in. So, chocolate is GOOD 😊
  • Raspberry leaf tea helps tone the uterus and pelvic muscles.
  • Focus on gentle & restorative workouts rather than high-intensity like barre, Pilates, yoga, walking & biking.
  • Chiropractic adjustments can help provide pain relief, especially in the lower back and uterus area.

PCOS

PCOS occurs when a woman’s hormones are out of balance, which can lead to problems with fertility and menstrual cycles, weight gain, and cysts on the ovaries.

Natural solutions:

  • Drinking 1-2 tbs of apple cider vinegar (with “the mother”) diluted in water/tea/smoothies every day. This will help improve the body’s natural elimination system while balancing pH levels to help control bacteria, candida, and yeast.
  • Eat a 95% whole foods diet focusing on vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, and leafy greens.
  • Eliminate processed foods & sugar.
  • Probiotic foods like kombucha, sauerkraut, kimchi & miso.
  • Iron-rich food like spinach, kale, goji berries, lentils & chickpeas are great if you have low iron.
  • Focus on gentle & restorative workouts rather than high-intensity like barre, Pilates, yoga, walking & biking.

 

FUN FACT: Women who eat at least 10g of fresh mushrooms each day (about one mushroom per day) have a 64% DECREASED risk of breast cancer & when you add in a daily cup of green tea, there is an 89% DECREASED risk of breast cancer!

 

Pregnancy

  • Raspberry leaf tea helps tone the uterus and pelvic muscles.
  • A nutrient-rich, whole food diet will nourish you and your baby. Focus on a good variety of fresh vegetables, fruits, beans, and lean meats. If you are craving sugar, eat protein & good fats instead.
  • Drink 2-3 liters of water per day and avoid artificially sweetened drinks and all sodas.
  • Natural magnesium supplements can help with morning sickness, fatigue & constipation.
  • Using an exercise ball as a chair can help keep the pelvis forward and in good alignment.
  • Balance physical activity with rest.

Menopause

  • Supplements: E-manganese, Symplex F, Pituitrophin PMG, Calcium Lactate
  • Foods:
    • Soy (unprocessed) contains high levels of estrogen-like compounds that mimic natural estrogen. It can help decrease hot flash frequency and severity – edamame is a good source for unprocessed soy. Stay away if there is a known breast cancer risk.
    • Black cohosh: can help reduce the production of LH (luteinizing hormone – causes hot flashes).
    • Eat regular meals throughout the day.
    • Healthy fats and fatty acids, dairy, eggs, leafy green vegetables, kelp.
    • Full-fat foods like walnuts/almonds, flaxseed, chia seed, berries, bananas, plain yogurt or coconut yogurt if you’re sensitive to dairy.
    • Avoid hot flash triggering foods like caffeine, alcohol, sugary and spicy foods.
    • Yoga, meditation & other relaxation techniques.

Open & Strengthen Your Hips

Women tend to carry their stress in their hips. Stretching and strengthening the muscles around the hips is a great way to release tension and stress on the spine. Always complete both sides/legs with stretching, and remember that one side may feel different than the other.

Cow Face Pose: For this pose, imagine a really tight “criss-cross” seated position. Bend your right knee to face the front of the mat, and then bend your left knee the same, and stack it right on top of your right knee. The soles of both your feet should ideally be facing up. It’s ok if you cannot come into the full position at first. Sit on a block or blanket for leverage and try again. Make sure both sit bones stay on the ground, or block/blanket, and breathe deeply. Fold forward for an added challenge. Switch after 3 minutes for a great release.

Half Pigeon Pose: For this pose, begin in a downward-facing dog position. From there, swing your left (or right) leg through your hands, bending at the knee and facing the sole of your foot up. Lay your knee flat on the mat and to the side just enough so that you are not lying on it as you lean forward. Ideally, your shin is parallel to the front of the mat, but this won’t occur until you are very open in the hips. For now, it is ok for the shin to be slanted. The most important part of this pose is that you first align your hips. Distribute your weight evenly so that you are not leaning to the left or right side. If you cannot align your hips, place a block under your left sit bone – this leverage will help you as you begin to open up tight hips.

 

Watch the full health talk on our Facebook by clicking here!

Immune Essentials

What can we do to keep our immune systems happy & healthy?

  • Avoid antibacterial soaps and hand sanitizers and wash well with soap and water
  • Avoid unnecessary antibiotics and focus on good probiotics
  • Get lots of rest & exercise regularly
  • Enjoying time in the sun & in nature
  • Take brief cold showers
  • Regular dry brushing
  • Do a coconut or sesame oil pull a few times a week or daily
  • Eat lots of wholesome root veggies and leafy greens
  • Incorporate healing herbs and spices into your diet like turmeric & ginger
  • Eat different species of immune boosting mushrooms
  • Drink half your weight in ounces of water per day
  • Avoid sugar
  • Decrease stress
  • Remove household molds
  • Shower before going to sleep

80-90% of the immune system is in the GUT

    Supplements:

  • Vitamin D (Cataplex D)
  • Vitamin C
  • Congaplex, Immuplex, Antronex, Epimmune, Echinacea C/Premium, Cataplex C, Catalyn

    Foods to focus on:

  • Healing bone broth
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Turnips
  • Carrots
  • Parsnips
  • Beets
  • Garlic & onion
  • Probiotic Rich Foods: kimchi, kefir, sauerkraut, miso
  • Citrus Fruit

How to Oil Pull

Oil pulling has many holistic benefits; it is great for clearing out bad bacteria in the mouth and toxins throughout the entire body. Put 1-2 tsp coconut/sesame oil in your mouth and swish it around for 15-20 minutes – this is long enough to break through plaque and bacteria but not long enough that the body starts re-absorbing the toxins and bacteria. The oil will get thicker and milky as it mixed with saliva during this time and it should be creamy-white when spit out. Spit the oil into the trashcan, then rinse your mouth with warm water. Finish by brushing your teeth as usual to remove any bacteria left.

How to Dry Brush

Dry brushing is a great way to help stimulate the lymphatic system which helps the body detoxify. It is also useful for exfoliation, cleaning pores, reducing cellulite & boosting energy. Starting at the bottom of the feet, brush upwards towards the heart in long, smooth strokes concentrating on one area for about 5 strokes; always brush toward the center of the body. Repeat the process with the arms starting with the palms. When focusing on the stomach and armpits brush in a circular clockwise motion, and be careful when brushing your neck; you may want to use a softer brush if doing the face.

Healthy Lunches

Nutrition & The Body

A school lunch box can potentially make up to 30-50% of our child’s daily food intake.

Effects of poor nutrition, especially with children, go beyond weight gain. A child who eats too much fat, sugar, sodium or processed food and too few vitamins and minerals is likely to develop a higher risk over time for several chronic health problems.

Proper nutrition is also tied to better academic performance, so kids who eat unhealthy lunches are more likely to score worse on tests and have a harder time with schoolwork. Lower IQ scores, memory difficulties, fine motor and language skills into early adulthood and beyond are all associated with lack of essential vitamins and nutrients.

A homemade lunch will keep your kids away from junk food temptations & ensure easy-access to healthier options that they will learn to love.

Better for their body & your budget

When you pack a lunch, you control the ingredients and choose items based on your budget and preference. In some cases, packing a lunch is not only healthier, but less expensive. For approximately the same cost as five days of school lunch purchases, you can buy enough ingredients to pack a healthy lunch each day, with the added peace of mind that your child has a wholesome and nutritious meal to eat.

Sugar Sabotage

80-90% of the immune system is located in the GUT

The body’s microbiome is made up of trillions of good bacteria that digest food, produce vitamins and protect the body from germs and disease. But when kids consume too much sugar, it can alter the balance between good and bad bacteria and weaken their immune systems.

One of the most common effects sugar can have on children are cold-like symptoms: chronic runny noses, excessive mucus, cough, allergies and symptoms of sinus infections. Eliminating sugars can drastically help improve these common symptoms.

Children who are “picky eaters” are most likely loading up on too much sugar, causing stomachaches and poor appetites. Crowd out high sugar foods with healthier options and soon their bodies will crave the real nutrients they need.

Approximately 80% of packaged foods contain added artificial sweeteners.

Foods to AVOID

  • Packaged fruit juice & sugary drinks
  • Flavored milk & excessive dairy
  • High sugar granola bars & processed snack packs
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Packaged dried fruit & desserts
  • Heavy pasta sauces & dressings

Foods to CHOOSE

  • Fresh fruits & veggies
  • Lean proteins
  • Healthy fats
  • Whole grains & carbs
  • Low glycemic options

SWAP THIS FOR THAT!

Instead of flavored yogurt

Try plain Greek yogurt with fresh fruit mixed in (you could also add local honey for a sweeter taste & natural immune booster).

Instead of canned fruit

Try chopping up the fresh stuff; a cup of fresh peaches has 13g of sugar, and 1 cup of canned peaches has 33g of sugar.

Instead of sweetened salad dressings & sandwich spreads

Try making your own balsamic vinaigrette or light ranch, choosing mustard, homemade guacamole or hummus vs mayonnaise.

Instead of sodas, juices & dairy

Try adding fruits & veggies like berries, lemon, ginger & cucumber to water for extra flavor.

Instead of lunchables or highly processed meats

Try getting your meat straight from the deli or pack some leftover proteins from dinner the night before.

Acid Reflux, what it is and what to do about it.

How many people do you know who take acid-reducing medications? You may take them yourself or have a family member who does.

It usually starts with discomfort after eating. Maybe it feels like heartburn, a burning feeling in your stomach that eventually becomes moderately or severely painful in your chest or back or even in your neck and head. The symptoms can be frightening and make some people wonder if they are having a heart attack. Maybe you’ve had this, and you figured it wasn’t a heart attack so you took Tums or some other over the counter antacid. The logic is fairly linear–because the pain is burning and acidic, decreasing the acid seems to be the thing that will help the pain go away. And when it happens again, you take the antacid again, and again. You make a list of foods that cause it and do your best to avoid them. But because of its frequency, you may find yourself wondering “what food could it possibly be this time?” The pain continues and eventually, it starts affecting your ability to participate in aspects of your life. It makes it hard to go out to eat with your friends, and it might even be difficult to plan meals at home.

Acid reflux is when stomach acid travels from your stomach back up into your esophagus, causing burning pain. The medical approach of symptom reduction is the prescription for even stronger acid reducers. But these prescriptions are only meant for temporary use. In some cases, when the prescriptions stop reducing the reflux,  it is likely that a doctor will recommend surgery. Many people stay on the medications year after year, which is dangerous.

So let’s take an alternate look at this whole problem. Let’s look at how the stomach works and what goes wrong to cause acid reflux.

When digestion goes well after you chew your food, it travels down your esophagus, a valve opens and your food goes into your stomach where it breaks down into smaller pieces with the help of strong stomach acid. It then goes through another valve into your small intestine where it gets absorbed so your body can use the nutrition you have just fed yourself. The valve that opens to allow the broken down food out of your stomach and into your small intestine only opens when the stomach contents are at a certain level of acidity.

There are a couple of ways that this system can go wrong.

The first is that there can be a hiatal hernia, a weakness of the area around the valve at the top of the stomach. In most cases, that problem can be handled by particular chiropractic techniques.

And the second is that there is too little acid in the stomach. We tend to lose the acid in our stomachs as we get older and so the food that we eat doesn’t get digested properly (the scientific name for the condition is hypochlorhydria). This causes the food to sit in the stomach longer than it is meant to, and go back up into the esophagus when it should be going downward into the small intestine, especially when a hiatal hernia is also present It is like your sink backing up when the pipes aren’t clear. Remember, the stomach needs to be at a certain level of acidity in order for the valve at the bottom of the stomach to open and allow the food to leave the stomach and continue down the digestive tract into the small intestine.

If there isn’t enough acid in the stomach, then reflux occurs.

If food doesn’t break down in the stomach due to low stomach acid, it doesn’t make it onto the small intestine in a form that is absorbable, the nutrition in the food doesn’t get into the organs and cells, and the end result is malnourishment of the body. And since our organs need nutrients to function well, we end up with organ dysfunction and illness.

So what is the solution? Correcting the acidity of the stomach with specific supplements, or even in some cases, something as simple as using apple cider vinegar (the kind that say “with the mother” on the label), improving the diet and correcting the hiatal hernia using noninvasive techniques works in almost all the cases I have treated in my practice.

Since the side effects of the medications are serious and dangerous, and since no two bodies are exactly the same, it makes sense to find out exactly why YOU have acid reflux and do what YOUR body needs in order to get better without drugs or surgery.

Call 410-717-6610 to make your appointment to start handling your digestive troubles naturally.