Rocks in Your Backpack???

Back to school…

                             Back to work…

                                                          Uh oh…    Back to pain!

 

Dr. Eric Kelly Doctor of Chiropractic

For thousands of adults returning to work, and hundreds of kids returning to school, after a grand summer of rest and relaxation, the month of September hails a return to routines that often put us under pressure, bend us out of shape, tire us out, stress us out, make us sick, make us sore, and commonly result in aches, pains, and health issues that are entirely lifestyle related and therefore avoidable.

The most common changes that occur in our lifestyle routines are as follows:  we sit more, we drive more, we work more, we exercise less, we get less sun exposure, we relax less, we incur more stress, we sleep more (but less well), we have less time, we eat less well (while often eating more), and the list goes on!   So is it any wonder why, as we go from summer to winter, that our health begins to suffer?

Even our children suffer as they return to school routines that include poor posture and long hours sitting, heavy and awkward school bags, and activity routines that often dwindle due to poor weather, decreasing daylight, and increased workload at home and school.

I suppose the point of this article is not to deceive you into thinking that all of these things are entirely avoidable.  They’re not.  However, I think it is generally possible to achieve some reasonable balance in one’s life through a little bit of good planning.  So I challenge any and all of you to sit down, preferably with your families, and review the common routine changes listed above.  I think you will find that many, if not most, of these negative routine changes can be better managed to reduce the overall impact that these factors can collectively have on our health and wellbeing.

Here’s a good analogy for you to consider:  Imagine you are in a pool treading water.  I’ll even give you arm-bands (floatation devices) to make it that bit easier so you can relax and tread water rather effortlessly.  Now imagine you’re doing this while wearing a backpack.  No problem you say, the backpack is empty!  Well of course, that’s easy!  Wait though… Now for every negative routine and lifestyle stressor (see the list above), you have to add a good sized rock to your backpack.  For example, when you sit more, add a rock, drive more, add a rock, work a lot more, hey add 2 or 3 rocks here, etc etc.  You get the point yes?  Some rocks are avoidable, some aren’t, and some are simply much larger than others.  Wouldn’t you agree that in this scenario, it’s how well you manage your backpack that will determine how well or poorly you float, and how efficiently you spend your energy?

You see, this is a very good analogy for our lives.  We are designed to tread water with ease, to float in good health and wellbeing, when our lives are in good balance.  We can even tolerate a few rocks (ie. stressors) in our backpacks.  However, for many of us, modern lifestyle and unhealthy work/school routines add so many rocks to our backpack that we quite literally struggle most of the time to just to keep our head above water.  This struggle alone fatigues us, and eventually we succumb to the weight, and our health and wellbeing are compromised.  What happens?  Ease becomes dis-ease.  We get sick, injured, and tired; we develop aches, pains, and chronic health problems; and it is often not until this happens that we realize that if we do not change something, and take a good few rocks out of our backpack, that we will suffer a significant health crisis.

This is the concept of ‘allostatic load’, and it has been researched extensively, however I think you will agree that it is really just common sense.  You see, keeping one’s head above water so to speak, is about reducing the number and/or size of the rocks that threaten to drag you under.

So as we all contemplate the end of our less than sunny summer, I urge you to consider the above and identify for yourself, and as a family unit, the various rocks that each of you can remove to help ensure you make it through the autumn and winter with the best possible health, vitality, and wellbeing.

And if, by chance, all does not go as planned, and you suffer an ache, pain, or injury, please remember that there is help out there, and go see your local Chiropractor for assistance.

Dr. Eric Kelly is the owner and primary Chiropractor at Glanmire Chiropractic Clinic. If you or anyone you know may have questions, feel free to call at 021 4824450.

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Why Haven’t People Who’ve Had A Car Wreck Been Told These Facts?

Why Haven’t People Who’ve Had A Car Wreck Been Told These Facts?

If you’ve recently been involved in a car wreck and suffer from any of the following…

  • Neck pain
  • Sharp, shooting pains in the arms
  • Numbness and tingling in the arms or hands
  • Painful headaches or dizziness
  • Unrelenting muscle soreness

 

…there may be cause for concern. This may be the most important article you will ever read about your injuries.

 

 

It’s amazing how different life can be after a split second collision.

One minute everything is fine, the next you are hurting for days and uncertain if life will ever get back to normal. Tasks you used to perform with ease, like reading, concentrating or even sleeping, now take more energy and cause annoying pain.

If you feel like this, or have any of the symptoms listed above, you could be suffering from whiplash. Whiplash is an injury to the spine caused by a jerking motion, either backward, forward or from the side.

Whiplash can severely damage your ligaments, even if you feel just a little sore after the accident. If not healed properly, painful scar tissue will develop,  causing misery in your neck joints for decades.

One medical study concluded 43% of patients “will suffer long-term symptoms following ‘whiplash’ injury, for which no conventional treatment has proven to be effective.”

This means that almost half the people who have neck trauma from a car wreck will suffer for years. Plus the traditional methods of treatment like neck collars, ‘wait-and-see’, and pain pills are not working.

Could This Non-Invasive, Natural Treatment Be The Answer To Your Pain?

My name is Dr. Eric Kelly, clinic director at Glanmire Chiropractic Clinic. I’ve been helping people heal and be pain free after car wrecks for 14 years. Chiropractic treatment has proven to be a very effective method of healing whiplash injuries. Here’s the results of one chiropractic study…

“The results of this retrospective study would suggest that benefits can occur in over 90% of patients undergoing chiropractic treatment for chronic whiplash injury.” — European Spine Journal

 

Special Opportunity To Have

A Professional Evaluation

 

For 14 days only, I’m running a very special offer where you can find out how bad your injuries are and if I can help you.

 

What does this offer include?  Everything I normally do in my “Car Wreck Evaluation”. Just call before July 11th, and here’s what you’ll get…

  • An in-depth consultation about your problem where I will listen…really listen…to the details of your case.
  • A complete neuromuscular examination.
  • A full set of specialized x-rays to determine if a pinched nerve in the neck is contributing to your pain. This is an important step in collecting proof of your injury.
  • A thorough analysis of your exam and x-ray findings so we can start mapping out your plan to being pain free.
  • You’ll see everything first hand and find out if this amazing treatment will be your pain solution, like it has been for so many other patients.

 

Until Aug 14th, you can get everything I’ve listed here for only €40. The normal price for this type of evaluation including x-rays is up to €265 — you’re saving a considerable amount on this offer.

 

Now you may be wondering why as a doctor, I would practically give away my services. It’s simple really. I’ve seen too many people come in years after their car accident, and have nasty, degenerative arthritis, most of which could have been prevented with the right care early on. I’m tired of seeing this scenario over and over, so I wanted to offer this special evaluation to help make a difference.

 

Here’s How To Get Rid Of Your Pain

With my Evaluation we’ll be able find the problem and then correct it.  Think of howyou’ll feel in just a few short weeks. You’ll be feeling your life change for the better. Starting your body on the way to a pain-free, normal living. Feeling tight joints rest, relax, free up. Feeling muscles tied in knots become more supple.

As you begin to see motion returning to your joints, you’re preventing and reducing chances of disability and a crippling future. You’re playing golf again, doing yard work or playing with the kids…without pain.

Here’s What To Do About Your Pain

Call 021-4824450 between the hours of 7:30 am and 6:00 pm Monday through Friday and tell the receptionist you’d like to come in for the Special Car Wreck Evaluation beforeAug 14th.

 

Call today and we can get started with your consultation, exam and x-rays as soon as there’s an opening in the schedule. Our office is called Glanmire Chiropractic Clinic and you can find us next door to the AIB Bank in Glanmire

Sincerely,

Dr. Eric Kelly, D.C.

 

  1. P.S. What will your pain feel like months, even years, from today?

 

A study published in the Journal of Bone and Surgery looked at people who had been in a car accident 15 years ago. They found that 70% of the whiplash injured patients continued to complain of problems related to the original accident.

With women it was even higher — 80% still had symptoms after 15 years!

Don’t let scar tissue build up and be painful for life. Take me up on my offer and call today 021-4824450.

Research shows Doctors Back Chiropractic Finally!

Doctors finally BACK Chiropractic for treatment of lower back pain.

 

Well, the tides are finally turning and some might say that pigs are actually beginning to fly!  It would seem that more than one hundred years of competitive animosity between the medical and chiropractic professions is finally beginning to wear away and buckle under the strain of consistent proof now clearly evident thanks to the modern era of evidence-based health care. 

 

In a recent summary document on lower back pain, published by the American College of Physicians (the well known governing body for Medical Doctors in the U.S.) and endorsed by the American Pain Society, experts from the medical profession have finally conceded that for most forms of lower back pain, that spinal manipulation, when performed by a highly qualified professional such as a Chiropractor or Osteopath, is clearly one of the safest and most effective forms of treatment and management.  The study goes as far as to say that spinal manipulation is, in fact, the only first line treatment option and non-drug intervention with proven benefit.

 

The conclusions of the study were drawn from a comprehensive literature review performed by a panel of medical experts in an effort to provide Doctors, and the public in general, with evidence-based guidelines for the management of lower back pain and related musculoskeletal conditions.  It strongly implies that the Chiropractic approach to lower back pain, including spinal manipulation, is a highly effective and consistently reliable mode of treatment, and is even more effective as part of an overall plan of lower back rehabilitation, including exercise, postural control and lifestyle modification.  The ACP study joins the ever-growing body of research from the last few decades identifying Chiropractic treatment as both safe and highly effective, and the most appropriate form of intervention for back pain, neck pain, headache, and most other forms of physical ailment and injury.

 

Chiropractors are essentially highly trained Doctors specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal injuries and disorders affecting the spine and extremities.  There is an emphasis on correction and rehabilitation in addition to basic pain relief.  Chiropractors specialize in the administration of various manual therapies, including forms of spinal and extremity manipulation, to address and often correct the underlying cause of pain and dysfunction.  Chiropractic treatment is safe and effective for persons of all ages, including children and the elderly.  If you or a loved one are suffering from any form of physical pain or injury, it is very likely that a Chiropractor can help you.  Contact your local Chiropractor to book a consultation and take your first step toward recovery.

Arthritis begins in childhood

What the…!  Arthritis in children?  Is that even possible?  Sounds like a paradox.  And yet, research confirms that it isn’t just possible… it’s probable!

Osteoarthritis, or spinal degeneration, commonly touted as “wear and tear”, is a process most of us associate with aging.  And yet, as chiropractors, we see evidence of the early beginnings of this process in kids as young as six and seven years old.

Research shows spinal degeneration is detectable in at least 35% of people by age thirty.  Given that the first 5-10 years of this process are undetectable on x-ray, it stands to reason that these numbers are actually much higher.  This is confirmed by the fact that nearly 100% of us have some amount of osteoarthritis by age 60.

These statistics are bad enough, however a study by Lawrence a few years ago shockingly revealed that spinal degeneration can be seen on x-ray in at least 10% of fifteen year-olds.  Based on our understanding of the early beginnings of this process, most chiropractors will tell you the figure should be closer to 50%.

Translating that last statistic for you, this means that almost 5 out of every 10 teenagers already have the beginnings of arthritis developing in their young spines.  This is not as shocking when we understand that the processes of spinal degeneration often, if not usually, begin in childhood.

So what is causing this phenomenon of spinal degeneration in our kids?  And most importantly, can we slow it down, stop it, or even possibly reverse it?  Thankfully, the answer is yes, yes, and yes.

The notion of osteoarthritis as “wear and tear” is actually a common misconception.  In reality, science has shown that it is actually a self-contained and self-directed remodeling process.  In essence, it is your body attempting to repair and stabilize a joint that has been either damaged or is under undue pressure and no longer functioning properly.  In the spine, this is commonly due to an alteration in a vertebra’s normal movement or alignment, which leads to abnormal stresses at the joints and discs.  Chiropractors often refer to these areas of abnormal function and misalignment as “subluxations”.

The earliest subluxations usually develop in childhood as a result of knocks, falls, and injuries.  Infants may acquire spinal subluxations through uterine constraint or birth trauma.  And in older kids and teenagers, the leading cause of spinal subluxations is poor posture.  It is now quite evident that the aches and pains we suffer as adults are actually the result of small unresolved joint problems that we picked up as children.  Just like cavities in your teeth – you don’t even know they’re there until a pain develops down the line.

Just like your dentist checks for cavities, chiropractors check their patients for subluxations.  If areas of problematic joint function or spinal misalignment are detected, chiropractors use gentle and precise techniques known as “adjustments” to safely and effectively correct the joint.  When function and alignment are properly restored, the process of degeneration will halt.  In many cases, and especially in children, normalized joint function can lead to a process of joint regeneration capable of reversing the effects of previously established degeneration.

Early detection is key.  A chiropractic examination for your child can identify problems while they’re still easily correctable.  If your child complains of an ache or a pain, do not assume it is a minor problem.  It is often a warning bell that should alert you to have your child assessed.  The other rule of thumb is to have your children assessed regularly.  A chiropractic check-up every 3-4 months (depending on the activity level of the child) is a fast and easy way to ensure your children are subluxation-free and in good musculo-skeletal health.

 

Tim’s Story

Chronic Lower back Pain – Tim’s Story.

Lower back pain is one of the most common ailments affecting modern man.  It is also one of the most poorly understood health problems out there.  When we consider that 75-80% of the population will develop significant lower back pain in their lifetime, and over half of those people will go on to experience either recurrent episodes or develop a chronic life-long problem, it becomes clear that we are dealing with an epidemic of sorts; one that greatly affects our productivity, our quality of life, and our general well-being.

I want to share with you the story of one of my patients.  To protect his anonymity, we will call him Tim.  A 67 year-old retired public servant, Tim came in to my office last year hoping I could help with his very severe lower back problem.  He had been suffering with recurrent episodes of lower back pain for over 30 years.  In the last 10 years his pain had become chronic and unremitting, and progressively more severe, and he was now experiencing very frequent episodes, weekly to fortnightly, where his lower back would just give way under his weight resulting in sudden, sharp and severe pain that would disable him for a number of days.  He could not stand nor sit for longer than 5-10 minutes without his pain increasing, and he could do no amount of light physical work, exercise, or activity without his back either giving way or becoming so painful that he was crippled for days. 

For over 30 years, Tim had never sought treatment of any sort.  His GP had told him it was ‘arthritis’ and that he would just have to live with it.  He was prescribed anti-inflammatories when his pain was severe, was told to rest, and was discouraged by his GP from seeking any form of treatment (or even a 2nd opinion) warning that it might make him worse.  Tim believed he was a lost cause, with no options and no hope.

Tim came to me for his consultation believing that no one could help him.  He was afraid to move and was terrified to even allow me examine his back.  We wore a lower back support belt, which he feared removing, and he moved with very stiff robotic motions guarding his lower back for fear it would give way.  With even the slightest touch to his back, Tim would tighten up in spasm and twist in discomfort.  Although it took twice as long to examine him, we were able to assess him thoroughly enough to determine that his back pain was structural (ie. related improper joint function) and not pathological (ie. related to disease or illness).

Tim’s x-rays did show moderate-severe degenerative (wear and tear) changes, however we know now from research that degenerative change on an x-ray does not equal arthritis unless it is allowed to progress to a very severe state.  We explained to Tim that degenerative change at a joint is simply the by-product of a long-standing mechanical problem caused by restricted or improper joint motion and/or faulty joint alignment.  This mechanical problem, often referred to as the Vertebral Subluxation Complex, is extremely common (meaning it is present in most of us) and, thankfully, is generally correctable.  If you correct the mechanical problem, restoring proper position and motion to spinal segments, a person can usually regain normal pain-free function.

The key to correction of mechanical lower back pain is always early intervention.  This is why Chiropractors, much like Dentists, encourage regular check-ups to help people correct problems as they develop and to maintain good spinal function for optimum health.  For patients like Tim however, when we are well past the possibility of early intervention, we talk more in terms of ‘spinal rehabilitation’.  A 30-year problem for example will never disappear in a few weeks.  Anybody who tells you different is misleading you.  While symptoms can often improve quite quickly through the process of corrective treatment, full resolution is another matter altogether.  Reality dictates (and research confirms) that chronic and longstanding back problems will generally respond in a reliable and steady manner over a period of many months.  If treatment recommendations and lifestyle modifications are adhered to with some degree of consistency and diligence, most people will find joy and a positive result at the end of a well targeted program of back or spinal rehabilitation.

Just ask Tim, who took a leap of faith when he started his lower back rehabilitation, and has been suitably rewarded for his courage.  Tim improved nicely from month to month through his Chiropractic treatment noticing steady improvements in his condition.  The sharp, severe, sudden episodes decreased steadily, and then disappeared after his 3rd month of care.  His more chronic, achy, and unremitting pain also improved.  At first he would only see a few hours of relief, but eventually a few hours became a few days, and more recently he can now claim a few weeks of pain-free function.  He can sit and stand normally now, and has gone back to regular walking with no problems.  He mentioned recently that he washed the car with no pain for the first time in over 30 years!  You should’ve seen the smile on his face. 

We are now 7 months into his program of care and I anticipate Tim will require another 3-4 months of work to eliminate his pain, optimise his back function, and ensure the best possible long-term outcome.  However, Tim’s story is one of extremes.  Thankfully for most of us, we encounter less severe, less frequent, and less debilitating forms of back and neck pain, and usually a shorter course of corrective treatment is required.  Early intervention is always the key, as the amount of work required to fix a neck or lower back problem is generally proportional to the amount of time the person has had the problem (and not necessarily related to the severity of one’s pain).  Keeping this in mind, there is never a bad time to address a back or neck problem, or even to arrange a spinal check-up with your local Chiropractor.

Through his lower back trials and tribulations, Tim has learned valuable lessons:  You will get out of your body what you invest into it!  And never lose hope or the will to get better.

 

Take this Sleeping quiz

 Sleeping Quiz

 

We spend about 33% of our life in bed! That’s a lot of time and if we “do it right”, our sleep will restore and rejuvenate us like clockwork.

 

I’ve created a little quiz for you on your sleep habits. To take the quiz, simply check off your answers, and when finished, simply count the number of true and false answers.

 

True  False      

 

___    ___        1. My mattress has lumps and bumps in it; it’s not firm.

 

___    ___        2. My mattress sags.

 

___    ___        3. I sleep on my stomach: it’s one of the most comfortable ways to sleep.

 

___    ___        4. I like to sleep with no pillow at all. 

  

___    ___        5. I like to pile up the pillows and sometimes (or often) sleep with more

 than one pillow underneath my head.

 

___   ___         6. When I sleep, my head is dropped forward, with my chin towards my

 chest. 

___   ___         7. I don’t use a feather pillow.

 

___   ___         8. I love to read in bed, and can prop myself up on my elbows to do so.

 

___    ___        9. I use a regular foam pillow.

 

___    ___        10. Sometimes I rest on the couch with my head propped up on the arm

 rest. 

___    ___        11. Sometimes I rest on the couch with a pillow and notice that I have to

 look up at the television set to do so.

 

Sleeping Score:     ______ True       _____ FalseImage 

 

Okay, now total up the number of “true” statements you have. The lower your number of “true” statements, the better your sleeping score. How did you do?

 

Let me explain how to sleep because there’s more to it than just plopping yourself into the bed and covering up with blankets. There are good sleep habits and bad sleep habits just like there is good cholesterol (HDL) and bad cholesterol (LDL).

 

It’s possible to have bad sleep habits for years without bad consequences. The problem with bad sleep habits is that you could be wearing down the joints in your neck. The constant wearing down of the joints is risky because once there’s a trauma to the neck; those joints “give out.” In chiropractic medicine, we call this degenerative joint disease.

The ‘ARTHRITIS’ Myth: Dispelling the common notion of “Wear and Tear” on our body’s joints

Back pain?  Hip pain?  Knee pain?  Neck and shoulder pain?  Etc, etc…  Regardless of where you ache or suffer pain, the question is, ‘Are you really ready for the scrap-heap?’, or, are you simply experiencing a very commonplace problem that may have a practical solution through proper diagnosis and intervention.

 The truth is most aches and pains we encounter in life, regardless of our age, are simply little alarm bells the body is uses to alert us to what is usually a very solvable problem.  Early intervention is always key.  To ignore your body’s distress signals (such as pain, ache, stiffness, tingling, etc) in the hopes the problem will simply disappear is to defy simple common sense and often invites greater trouble.

If, however, you are one of the many who find some comfort in the idea that perhaps your particular ache, pain or symptom is just ‘age taking its course’, you will find it easy to fall into the common trap of convincing yourself that no action is required and may set yourself at greater risk for future problems.

Even worse, if you are one of the many who have concluded on your own or have been told that your ache or pain is simply ‘arthritis’, and have therefore been led to believe that there is nothing you can do but live with the pain and manage on the best you can, you may be very surprised to discover that this is usually not the case at all.

Arthritis, or what is commonly referred to as osteoarthritis, is actually one of the most mis-diagnosed and poorly understood entities in health care.  Even within the Medical and Chiropractic professions, it is often referred to casually as ‘wear and tear’, and is therefore commonly trivialized and over-diagnosed.  Many, if not most, health care professionals nowadays use the term arthritis to describe just about any form of ache, pain, or physical ailment that recurs regularly, won’t go away with the use of tablets, and/or is of undetermined origin.  And this is especially true in older-age or elderly persons.  In other words, if you don’t know what it is and it won’t go away, it must be ‘arthritis’!  Don’t be too quick to write yourself off.

Even the use of X-ray or MRI imaging should generally be considered unreliable as concrete proof of the presence of arthritis.  The terms ‘degenerative change’, or ‘degenerative joint/disc disease’, are radiological terms that improperly imply wear and tear has occurred, and are often confused as ‘potentially arthritic’.   Did you know that it is entirely possible, and actually more common than not, for quite severe degenerative change to be present (on x-ray) at a joint or spinal segment with absolutely no pain or symptoms?  How can that be?  It’s because degenerative change and arthritis are not the same thing!

More accurately, the degenerative process is actually a natural process that the body initiates as a result of a common mechanical flaw known as ‘joint dysfunction’.  It can affect any joint in the body.  It is slow, progressive, and usually painless for much of its development, and it is actually a symptom of an underlying and established mechanical problem that arises from restricted motion, misalignment and/or abnormal-irregular movement forces at a joint.  The more severe or prolonged the joint dysfunction, the more the joint and surrounding structures will be susceptible to aches, pain, and potential injury, and the more the body will attempt to stabilize the joint through degenerative change.  But take note, this is not arthritis! 

Most importantly, joint dysfunction is a correctable problem for most, regardless of how long you have had it or how bad your pain is.  There is usually a solution available and most problems involving joint dysfunction can be successfully rehabilitated, thereby removing the pain and restoring people to normal function and activity.  ‘My arthritis is gone!’ you might say, albeit incorrect.  Correcting joint dysfunction not only removes the pain and restores normal joint position and movement, but it slows and often halts the degenerative process in its tracks, making you less susceptible to… you guessed it… arthritis.

If you are someone who suffers from regular or recurrent aches, pains, and/or joint and muscle problems, the likelihood is you are suffering from joint dysfunction and can be helped through appropriate treatment.  Be reassured, there may be a solution for you yet, and the balance of probability is that you do not have arthritis and can be helped.  Certainly do not write yourself off as such until you have consulted with a Chiropractor or health care specialist with similar expertise.  Chiropractors specialise in detecting and treating joint dysfunction and related disorders of the spine and extremities.  To determine whether you are a candidate for such care, or to simply receive an accurate diagnosis of your pain or problem, please consult a Chiropractor in your local area.