Monthly Archives: August 2014

Don’t Quit Before The Whistle Blows

What do you do when you find yourself down on the track while the race goes on without you? We all trip and fall. The question is what comes next?

Heather Dorniden, now Kampf, is a highly decorated runner with an impressive string of accomplishments. But what’s most impressive was the time she won first place in the 600 meter dash—after falling flat on her face.

In the final 200 meters of the race, right as Kampf took the lead she tripped and went sprawling. There are at least two versions of the video. If you watch this one, you can see her skidding forward as her momentum throws her legs up behind her.

It was a rough fall that instantly knocked Kampf to the rear of the pack. She could have become discouraged and admitted what everyone was already thinking—that her race was over. One of the announcers even tried smoothing it over. Since Kampf’s teammate had moved into the lead, he said, it was okay she’d fallen down.

But she didn’t stay down—or even behind.

Kampf got up as fast as she went down and started catching up. To the amazement of the announcers and spectators, she passed one runner, then another, then finally her own teammate to win the race

How often do we use our setbacks as an excuse to check out? We walk off the field before the whistle blows because it’s easier on our bruised egos and depleted resources than getting back in the race.

This is often the case when it comes to matters concerning our health. Giving up should not be an option.

Kampf’s comeback is a powerful picture of why we can’t afford to quit before the end. Sometimes the game is won in the final seconds—or even less than seconds in Kampf’s case.

The Sad, The Happy, and The Absurd

Today we explore the sad, the happy, and the absurd.

Here is a note I received from a colleague of mine Dr. Dennis Perman

perman

Sadly, we say goodbye to Robin Williams, a multi-faceted Hall of Fame talent who unfortunately caved to the pressure of being himself. Though he had drug abuse and depression problems along the way, he was sober when he took his own life, ostensibly because he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and could not face the challenge of his faculties deteriorating. His work was extraordinary, his loss is immeasurable.

Happily, we celebrate the accomplishments of Mo’Ne Davis, a thirteen year old young lady who happens to throw a 70 MPH fastball most young men cannot hit. Starring for Philadelphia’s Taney Dragons in the Little League World Series, she is blazing trails for women athletes with her vision of breaking the gender barrier in Major League Baseball, and earning our respect with her grit, her determination and her raw natural ability. Against world class competition, she’s mowing down batters and throwing shutouts.

Now, the absurd – best-selling medicine Lipitor is under siege, this time being sued by women who claim that Pfizer hid data that showed the danger of females taking statins like Lipitor increasing their risk of Type 2 Diabetes. Pfizer apparently knew the odds but did not inform the public effectively, and the legal machine is starting to whirr into action.

Why is this absurd, and not sad? The crazy notion that spanking Big Pharma for their transgressions would change anything significantly is nothing more than a wish by naturalists like us who would love to see the balance of power shift away from outside-in allopathic intervention, toward inside-out health and wellness methodology. In reality, such lawsuits are a cost of doing business – if Pfizer makes a hundred billion on a product and has to pay three or four billion back in reparations, they are still way ahead.

No, the way to deal with bad medicine is All-American – we need to vote with our feet and our money. Only a grass roots effort, where knowledgeable and educated health care consumers decide of their own volition when and when not to use such substances and instead choose healthy lifestyle habits, which would allow us to know who really needs how much medication, will resolve this seemingly insurmountable issue.

We can reminisce about Robin Williams, and applaud Mo’Ne Davis – but the back story is that Williams fought chemical dependency, and that Davis has yet to face the prejudices that confront women trying to win at a man’s game. This Lipitor story illustrates both – the need to break free from the iron claw of drugs, and the tipping point where women will step up and no longer settle for less than they really deserve.

It will take courage, resilience and personal power — and ultimately, our success depends on how we show up and what we do, not on the influence of special interests or the whims of an impressionable marketplace. There is opportunity to understand, appreciate and exploit the delicate and difficult time in which we live – let’s pay attention to the clues being left for us, and respond accordingly.

Cancer Breakthrough of the Year

 

Like many of you, I am frustrated by the slow and in some cases no progress in cancer therapy. Even after  the input of billions of dollars into cancer research, the prevailing philosophy of attacking the tumors with killer drugs shows little hope for any help soon.

science

Well, there may be a light developing at the end of the tunnel.

One of the world’s leading science magazines has labeled  cancer immunotherapy as the medical breakthrough of the year.

Researchers have identified proteins on T-cells that act as brakes on their ability to fight off foreign cells in the body.

By removing these brakes a super immune system is unleashed to attack cancer cells. Early results are remarkable.

What a unique concept (sic)…..getting the body to fight and destroy the cancer cells

Read the article here: (copy and paste in your browser)

http://www.sciencemag.org/content/342/6165/1432.full

 

Experts warn about the dangers of antibacterial soaps and cleansers

What was wrong with good old soap and water? That’s the question lying in the wake of an announcement from the Silver Spring, MD-based Food and Drug Administration that it is requiring manufacturers to prove the safety of its antibacterial substances in its soaps and cleansers, excluding antibacterial hand sanitizers. No proof, no chemicals will be allowed and the requirement could be in place by 2016 It’s a move that’s long been coming — health experts have warned the public and various health agencies for years about the use of antibacterial products. Using them, they argued, built up resistance to microbial variants a.k.a. building up “superbugs.” And as the FDA noted in its statement on the issue, not only was there no evidence that these antibacterial products were more effective at warding off sicknesses than the regular practise of washing hands with soap and water, but that these products often contain ingredients such as triclosan and triclocarban. In fact, triclosan, which was first introduced in 1972 in a surgical scrub, is already being regulated as a pesticide by the Washington-based Environmental Protection Agency. “New data suggest that the risks associated with long-term, daily use of antibacterial soaps may outweigh the benefits,” says Colleen Rogers, a lead microbiologist at FDA. “There are indications that certain ingredients in these soaps may contribute to bacterial resistance to antibiotics, and may have unanticipated hormonal effects that are of concern to FDA.” Some concerns include the effect of these chemicals on sex hormones and nervous systems. Back home in Canada, the concern over antibacterials traces back almost a decade: in 2005, Health Canada warned Canadians to avoid using bacteria-fighting cleaning products such as antibacterial soaps. In 2006, the Canadian Pediatric Society echoed the concern and put out a statement saying that antibacterials in the home were unnecessary. And in 2009, the Canadian Medical Association began its campaign to ban household antibacterial products because of the building up of bacterial resistance Yet, to date, Health Canada only has a limit set on products with the ingredient triclosan as it sits on their Cosmetic Ingredient Hotlist. The use of the chemical is allowed up to 0.3 per cent in products and Health Canada reports that the chemical is used in about 1,600 cosmetics and personal care products and 150 health products sold in Canada

Pain in the Forecast

It’s a running joke in our clinic that the most accurate method of predicting storms is to see how full the waiting room is. But why do some people seem to be able to predict coming rains based on their aches and pains? It’s a question I hear from my patients every time weather changes are on the horizon. It’s true that many people with back pain, neck pain or other joint complaints are often surprisingly accurate in predicting when storms are approaching, and believe it or not, there is some validity to their weather forecasting abilities.

pain is coming

The phenomenon is nothing new. As early as the 5th century B.C., Hippocrates suggested many illnesses were related to changes in the weather. Since then, a number of musculoskeletal disorders have been identified as being especially sensitive to changing weather conditions, including osteoarthritis, tension headaches, back pain and fibromyalgia.

A variety of meteorologic factors have been suggested as the culprit, including temperature, precipitation, humidity, thunderstorms and increased ionization of the air. But while reliable conclusions about the link between weather and musculoskeletal pain have yet to be established due to the lack of controlled studies, most research points to the lowered atmospheric barometric pressurethat often precedes storms and other weather changes.

In one of the first empirical studies on the effect of weather on joint pain, published in 2010 by the International Journal of Biometeorology, researchers established a direct connection between low barometric pressure, inflammation and joint pain in rats. For the study, scientists artificially produced a state of chronic inflammation in the feet of lab rats, mimicking the clinical features of neuropathic pain in humans. When the rats were placed in a low-pressure environment, they exhibited signs of exacerbated foot joint pain not seen in their control counterparts.

Additional research has demonstrated the same phenomenon occurs in humans. For instance, a 2002 study from the Journal of Spinal Disorders and Techniques concluded that “back pain may be aggravated by atmosphere depression in patients with lumbar disc disease.” And a 2007 study from the American Journal of Medicine determined that “changes in barometric pressure are independently associated with osteoarthritis knee pain severity.”

Various mechanisms have been proposed to account for this relationship, but the most likely explanation involves the expansion of fluid in swollen joints following fluctuations in barometric pressure. Inflammation due to dysfunction, disease or injury will lead to swelling in and surrounding a joint. Because materials of varying densities are affected differently by pressure changes, drops in barometric pressure expand this extra fluid more than the muscle, ligaments and connective tissue that make up the joint capsule, stretching sensitized tissues and activating a nociceptive (pain) response.

A good illustration for the layperson is a balloon in a barometric chamber. If the pressure outside the balloon drops, the air on the inside expands and stretches the walls of the balloon. When the same happens to a swollen joint, the expansion stretches soft tissue, irritates nerve endings and causes pain.

It’s important to note that this contraction and expansion of excess fluid in joints is happening on such a small scale that it cannot be quantified by any scientific means and the process is therefore entirely theoretical. But whatever the mechanism, the takeaway is that some degree of inflammation must already exist, whether we are aware of it or not, for barometric pressure changes to lead to joint pain. Weather changes can’t cause pain by themselves; they can only exacerbate inflammation that’s already there. After all, not everyone experiences pain when a storm is brewing, and those who do don’t experience pain in every joint.

It really drives home what chiropractors have been saying for decades: The absence of pain isn’t the same as good health! So while there’s validity to the idea of “aches and pains mean coming rains,” anticipation of weather changes shouldn’t interfere with patients’ motivation to decrease underlyinginflammation with the things they actually can control. Sunny days ahead are no substitution for proper exercise, good diet and supplementation, and regular chiropractic care.

 

Tiger..Tiger…what have you done.

Tiger Woods was forced to drop out of Bridgestone Golf Tournament this past weekend due to return of back pain and muscle spasms.
This after having disc surgery 3 months ago.
Somebody (a good chiropractor) should have informed him that the pain and spasms he was experiencing weren’t coming from the disc problem. The disc problem was the result of a longstanding mechanical problem which certainly appears to still be there

Up and Running

Hello everyone.

A few months ago a lot of  WordPress  websites were hacked. (mine included) Although the site remained up, I couldn’t add anything new to it. After numerous unsuccessful attempts to repair it, I decided that it was easier to simply scrap it and build another one…….so here it is.