My Blog
April 14, 2022
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I want to talk about something I see a lot of in my office these days, and that is facet imbrications aka "joint jamming", for which decompression techniques can go a LONG way!
A facet imbrication occurs when there is compression and jamming of one of the joints of the spinal vertebrae, and it is entirely different than a spinal misalignment. Due to postural stress, emotional stress, injuries, teeth grinding, and more, I commonly see compressed joints in my patients in mostly their necks and lower backs. This joint jamming can lead to local and referred pain, nerve sensitivity and sciatica, and tight muscles in the area. Sometimes the compression is severe, as is seen with acute disc injuries and herniations. In any case, decompressing and thus relieving a facet imbrication can lead to a massive reduction in discomfort and a huge increase in function, which is why I wanted to put it out there as something that is just as important to check for as regular old spinal misalignments are!
I use muscle testing to assess if there is in fact a "joint jam". Often, if other work we've done during the session does not resolve all pain in the area, I will check for this facet imbrication (I always have more tools in the toolkit). If I do find that there is a facet jam, I will apply manual traction-a pulling that stretches out and decompresses the spine, varying in degrees of intensity depending on the patients case, for a few minutes. I will then often add a manual thrust aka a pull to literally separate and de-imbricate the joint/s. Voila- typically, joint jam fixed and pain gone as well as nerve flow restored.
It is important to note that muscle testing is crucial in determining if this is an issue for a patient and the style in which I should correct it ie more aggressive, less aggressive, etc. So, shout out once again to my Applied Kinesiology muscle testing training.
See you in the office this week to decompress some more spines! Thanks to patient Katie for modeling             </div>
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My patient Rodney had a super cool experience with chiropractic care here at the office, and he is willing to share it with us!
Rodney came into me initially with a number of different issues that we continue to work on, but one that he mentioned was that after suffering some trauma, he had lost a certain amount of hearing in one of his ears. He could no longer hear certain tones when listening to people talk or when listening to music etc. He noticed that the tone was in a certain range.
I treated Rodney head to toe, literally, per usual. We did chiropractic adjustments to his full spine, including extremities such as the shoulders, hands, and feet. We facilitated injured muscles, and released tight muscles, such as certain jaw muscles, which we were muscle testing to be tight and need treatment. I applied manual traction to both his neck and lower back. Traction is a wonderful de-compression technique that alleviates pressure on nerves and other structures. Come to think of it, post to come later on this....But back to Rodney!
Rodney came in to his next treatment ecstatic about something- he could hear all tones again in his left ear. He had attended a concert since our first session, and at this concert noticed that he could hear ALL the notes being played. Woah. Rodney was blown away. To this day, that new and improved hearing has maintained for Rodney. Considering he also plays guitar himself, this was huge.
Did you know that the first official chiropractic adjustment, given by DD Palmer in 1895, was done for a deaf janitor who was working in DD's office building. The janitor, Harvey, Lillard, complained of hearing loss after suffering an injury and hearing a "pop" in his upper back. DD Palmer noted a spinal misalignment in Harvey Lillard's spine and corrected it. This restored the man's hearing.
Maybe I was channeling my inner DD Palmer? In any case, I am glad that Rodney's hearing has been restored, and that he can fully enjoy all his music concerts from here forward.
 
January 29, 2022
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I've been seeing Marcus, his daughter, and his mother (3 generations!) since 2015. During the pandemic, Marcus took up a daily outdoor running routine, which has done worlds for his physical and mental health. So it became even more important that we address a right knee issue he began having years ago!

One of the first issues Marcus came into me with was right knee pain. This is a good opportunity to explain that holistic chiropractic kinesiology, the usage of applied kinesiological muscle testing, holistic health techniques, and chiropractic, can address NOT ONLY "back and neck pain", but discomfort in any area of the body. 

As always, I start with a full muscle testing screen of the knee-individual quad muscles, various hip flexors, glutes, and many more. We identify which muscles are inhibited aka not turned on and firing correctly, leading to instability and compromise of the knee joint (an injury just waiting to happen). Often, as was Marcus' case, we find multiple muscles shut off; however, not to worry! 

Using a combination of muscle activation techniques, myofascial release, chiropractic manipulation to both the central spine as well as the knee joint, foot bones, etc, lymphatic reflex point therapy, and of course mind-body techniques (emotional stress almost always plays a role) and nutrition, we get ALL the shut off muscles back on board again by the end of the treatment 99% of the time. 

Years later, Marcus is able to maintain a regular running routine, despite the activity of running commonly resulting in inflammation and knee pain for people with compromised and/or weakened knee joints. 

Marcus, it's been the best to see you and your family throughout the years, and I am thrilled to help keep you able to do what you love-run!

It's been a while since I've done a book review/recommendation so here's my latest! Breath by James Nestor. I am especially happy to point out that this book actually directly influenced my treatments in the office lately. Read on to find out how!
Breath by James Nestor in summary draws from pulmonology, biochemistry, anthropology, psychology, and more sciences to ultimately relay the incredible importance of proper breathing in humans. Today, most of us breathe to our own detriment, which leads to neck and jaw imbalances as well as chronic illnesses such as asthma, sleep apnea, ADHD, anxiety and more. We have developed poor breathing over time as a result of poor diet, stress, mouth breathing instead of nose breathing, and the list goes on. Just know, the vast majority of us are currently NOT breathing optimally.
How did this influence my treatments in the office? I have been muscle testing the breathing muscles on almost every patient to ensure they are all firing as they should be and contributing to optimal lung capacity and breathing mechanics. Some of these muscles include the diaphragm, intercostals, serratus anterior, obliques, latissimus dorsi, and more. I typically do muscle activation techniques along with chiropractic adjustments to improve the function of these muscles. Also, another terrific and effective way to aid in proper breathing is through breathing techniques. There are many which can be found online as well as in this book. Most of my patients get sent home with instructions to do at-home breathing meditations or techniques.
I have really enjoyed and found fulfillment in contributing to helping my patients with one of the most fundamental aspects of health-Breath.
 
 
Just in case my patients need some extra motivation not to overdo the sweets this coming week, I thought it would be a good time to do a post on this crazy discovery of the sugar/low back connection I made with a patient of mine recently!
My patient Dustin came in with lower back pain that was recently very aggravated. He also had some occasional shoulder discomfort. We dug in with some Applied Kinesiology muscle testing and quickly discovered that his left latissimus doors, better known as the lat, muscle was neurologically inhibited aka shut off aka just not working well. The lat muscle is a major back AND shoulder stabilizer muscle, as it attaches into the back of the arm all the way down into the top back of the hip bone. The muscle name literally means "broadest muscle in the back" in Latin.
Commonly, I will see patients with back pain due to a simple injury or yes, postural stresses, etc. However, also commonly, I will see patients with back pain due to issues that are more internal in nature. This was the case with Dustin. The lat muscle happens to be related to the pancreas, which has multiple functions, a major one of which is regulating our blood sugar levels by releasing insulin. Oftentimes, blood sugar issues, including overconsumption of sugar or rapid spikes and falls in blood sugar levels, can cause the lat muscle to weaken, due to its relation to the pancreas. When I asked Dustin if he had recently been consuming higher amounts of sugar, he instantly admitted to it and it was as if a light bulb went off in his head. He couldn't believe his body had manifested his recent sugar habit in such a way, yet it made sense to him, and me.
We treated Dustin's latissimus muscle by stimulating the reflex point for the pancreas, adjusting at certain spinal levels, and putting him on a supplement to help with sugar metabolism. We even used mind-body techniques to treat some emotions that were a driving force behind his increased sugar consumption.
By the end of the visit, Dustin's latissimus dorsi muscle was fully functioning and firing again, and his lower back was stabilized, the pain drastically reduced. To maintain our corrections, dietary modifications definitely had to be made.
This is a great example of a scenario where an internal issue and diet can trigger a musculoskeletal issue, and further evidence as to why taking a holistic approach is the best possible way!
 




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