Dr. Gray's Straight Talk

Honest and blunt healthcare discussion and advice.

Posts Tagged ‘General Chiropractic’

Back To School…

Posted by Dr. Gray on Wednesday, August 22, 2012

August/September… Summer is winding down… We’re getting the kids back to school. We can learn a lot from our children…

They go through their summer, sleeping in until noon, only waking to grab the phone to see who’s text messages they’ve missed. Once they’ve replied and made potential plans for the coming evening of blissful lack of responsibility, they grab a bite to eat and flip on the tube or Facebook and “check in.” However, once school starts back up (perhaps with a little coaxing), they’re up at 6:00 AM fixing their hair, organizing the backpack, grabbing a bowl of cereal, and catching the bus or driving themselves to school. In short, once they recognize that it’s time to get the job done; once they are expected to be responsible; once they know there is no alternative… they just do it. They may not be happy about it. They may complain and rebel. They may resist… but, in large part, they do it. Decision made, this is what has to be done, let’s go.

Now… as an adult… who are you responsible to? Let’s put this in perspective.

How many of you know and acknowledge that “It’s time to quit smoking?” … “It’s time to start exercising?” … “It’s time to start taking care of myself?” But who is there to kick your lazy butt into gear? The answer is: YOU. We teach our kids that we all have responsibilities, and when it needs to be done, you just do it. We EXPECT them to honor their responsibilities and do their chores. There are consequences if they don’t… but, do we hold ourselves to the same level of accountability? If you demand that your student get up and go to school, but continue with habits that you KNOW you shouldn’t be doing, then you’re a hypocrite. How can you expect to hold their respect, if you won’t practice what you preach? What kind of lesson are you teaching them; or, example are you setting if you tell them one thing then do another?

Let’s take this time to show our children what it really means to be responsible. Let’s make the decision that the time is now to “get it done.” No more “New Year’s Resolutions…” no more, I’ll quit ____ once I turn 40… 50… etc.” Do it now.

We’re here to help. At Gray Chiropractic, we have three doctors and a massage therapist on staff to help you achieve your health care goals. Combined, all of our doctors have over 30 years of experience in dealing with sports injuries, addictions, painful conditions due to years of hard work, acute injuries, chronic pains, tendinitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, headaches, lower back pain, etc. We have helped patients from the grandmother struggling with duties at church to the infant with a bad case of colic. We’ve helped people quit smoking. We’ve helped people lose weight. We’ve relieved years of pain. Traditional chiropractic care, acupuncture, supplementation, nutritional counseling, strength and conditioning, rehabilitation, … you name it, and we can help you achieve your goals.

So… get off your ass and make an appointment with us today. Whether it’s a simple, tune-up adjustment, or a full nutritional work-up, you know it’s time to start leading by example. If you want your children to make smart health decisions, then you must show them how it’s done. Lead by example. Hold yourself accountable. Make the decision that there is no alternative… there are consequences if you don’t… and, get it done. Do the right thing.

Dr. Gray

Posted in Acupuncture, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, General Back Pain, General Chiropractic, General Health, Headaches, Low Back Pain, Neck Pain, Nutrition, Stretches & Exercises | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Sports Injuries… Who Cares?

Posted by Dr. Gray on Wednesday, September 7, 2011

2008 Gold Medal winner Kerri Walsh supports her shoulder with kinesio taping.

2008 Gold Medal winner Kerri Walsh supports her shoulder with kinesio taping.

Who cares??? Sounds a little crass, huh? Well, the answer is: YOU CARE!

Just as auto racing often leads to advancements and new technology in our personal cars, health care treatment for athletes often leads to new procedures for everyday complaints. There are a ton of treatments used commonly today that began as experimental methods designed to find anything that could keep an athlete on the field. One of the most striking and recent developments that comes to mind is “Kinesio Taping.” This new form of therapeutic taping uses a specialized elastic tape that allows the athlete to continue with free motion of the joints and muscles, while decreasing pain, healing time and risk of re-injury. It first gained widespread notoriety when Kerri Walsh took to the volleyball court during the summer Olympic Games in Beijing, 2008. Due to pain and prior injuries, who knows if Kerri could have taken gold that year if she hadn’t been able to support it with this new technology. Today, kinesio taping continues to be used with athletes around the world, but is becoming increasingly common in non-athlete musculoskeletal conditions also. A waitress with planter fascitis… a carpenter with tendonitis… a school teacher with lower back pain… You name it, and chances are there’s an application. (… and, yes, we are trained and use this procedure at Gray Chiropractic!)

A recent unique lower extremity study, the first ever to demonstrate preventive effects of chiropractic care, is the Hoskins and Pollard trial, in which adding chiropractic care to standard medical and physical therapy approaches dramatically decreased the number of leg injuries and missed games among Australian professional football players. This has widespread ramifications in the everyday workday world. If regular, even asymptomatic, chiropractic care reduced the number of injuries and games missed for professional athletes, then the same applies for working people. Regular chiropractic care, as a part of your overall health care plan, can reduce your chances for work-related injuries and reduce time missed from work.

Call our office today and schedule your appointment. As noted above, you don’t have to have “symptoms” or pain to benefit from chiropractic care. In fact, most of the time, the best time to take care of a problem is before it gets started!

Dr. Gray

reference: Hoskins W, Pollard H. The effect of a sports chiropractic manual therapy intervention on the prevention of back pain, hamstring and lower limb injuries in semi-elite Australian Rules footballers: a randomized controlled trial. BMC Musculoskelet Disord.2010;11:64.

Posted in General Chiropractic, General Health, Other Pain Conditions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Dr. Gray’s Straight Talk… Awarded TOP 10!!!

Posted by Dr. Gray on Wednesday, February 16, 2011

On January 31, 2011, Nursingschools.net published their annual listing of the top 50 blogs in the chiropractic community. I’m happy to announce that we were listed as Number 10 on their list! How exciting is that?!?! After slacking off for a bit, I was wondering if anyone was actually reading this stuff. However, for the third time in the past week, I’ve had comments from people asking when the next article will be published. And then this… guess I need to get back on the ball! So, without further delay, I will get a new post finished and ready to go in the next couple days.

Thank you, again, for reading and enjoying our blog. Thanks, also, to the people and editors at Nursingschools.net for the accolades!

Posted in General Chiropractic, General Health, Testimonials | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Time For A Spinal Tune-Up

Posted by Dr. Gray on Monday, August 3, 2009

When you care about your car, you take it to the shop for the tuneups it needs – oil changes, tire rotations, new brakes, etc. Your spine is no different. It needs a regular “tuneup” as well, complete with chiropractic adjustments. Chiropractic tuneups can serve three purposes:

  1. Evaluate the state of your body, even if you have no pain. Even people who feel fine have areas of their spine or extremities that are out of normal alignment. When we adjust those bones back into place, people feel better in some way. If we waited until we felt pain, we would all wait until we needed root canals or crowns before going to the dentist!
  2. Address major or minor pains you currently have, but haven’t been too worried about. Have you had any nagging discomforts or pains coming from your spine or extremities? Do these discomforts prevent you from doing the activities you enjoy? Instead of wondering if the pain will continue to get worse or stay that way for the rest of your life, give chiropractic a try. You don’t have to live with pain.
  3. Prevent future problems that can and likely will arise from your joints being out of alignment and not functioning at 100 percent. Our society is moving toward preventative health care. Chiropractic has been at the forefront of this concept since the chiropractic profession was founded in 1895. Arthritis, overuse injuries (like carpal tunnel syndrome and tennis elbow), rotator cuff injuries and knee problems are just some examples of conditions that may be prevented with chiropractic care.

The most prevalent causes of death in this country are heart disease, cancer, and stroke. What is the first symptom most of those people that die of those diseases experience? … Death! Unfortunately, that’s true. Many that die of those diseases never know they’re sick until it’s too late. Think about it… how many people are walking around feeling fine, yet have a stage 3 cancer growing inside? We see cases on a daily basis where a lower back pain began with a simple movement, like getting in the car, or picking up a pencil, or mowing the lawn. Only after further investigation do we discover that they’ve had degenerative joint disease developing inside for several years.

Scheduling chiropractic tuneups allows you to take care of your body so that your machine functions as well as it possibly can. Please remember to make time to care for yourself; you are worth every penny. Call your chiropractor today.

Posted in General Back Pain, General Chiropractic, General Health | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Does Your Insurance Pay For Oil Changes?

Posted by Dr. Gray on Monday, July 20, 2009

Last time, we talked about the importance of maintenance care and the role it plays in keeping your car from breaking down. We also discussed how this same level of care and respect needs to be extended to our bodies. If you change the oil in your car, or do a tune-up to avoid potential problems… how much more important is it to do the same for your body?

In most states, we are now required to carry automobile insurance. Even with “full coverage,” we understand that this is for unexpected, unearned, and excessive costs. If you’re in an accident, insurance will cover your return to pre-accident status. Car get stolen? Insurance will help you replace it. Tree fall on your car? Auto and homeowners insurance will make good. However,… does your insurance pay for an oil change? Does your insurance cover tire replacement? What if you need a new battery? Need a front end alignment… does insurance cover that?

No? Why not?… Because that’s not what it is for! Insurance, as mentioned above, is for unexpected, unearned, and excessive costs. General maintenance is not unexpected. It is not unearned. And the cost is not excessive. General maintenance is an expected necessity due to the normal affects of normal use. One could argue that many repairs are not covered by insurance because they don’t meet these three requirements. If your alternator quits working, it may be unexpected when it happens but it has been earned by use over the many miles and hours the engine has been running; and the costs are not excessive to have it replaced. If your brake pads wear out, that is expected, earned… and again, the costs are not excessive. Transmission faulty? Both unexpected and can be cost excessive, but you’ve most likely earned (meaning caused) that trouble. Therefore, it’s not covered.

So who pays for these costs that are not covered by your auto insurance? You do, of course, and you pay it willingly because you know it keeps the car doing what you’d like it to do. Insurance will be there if you are in an accident. You will be covered if your car is stolen. Warranties (another form of optional insurance) cover you if something goes wrong within a certain time frame, but again, only if those problems are unexpected, unearned, and have excessive cost… and you pay more for the warranty. In fact, some things may be covered by your insurance, but you still may choose to pay anyway because it doesn’t exceed your deductible. And… if you submit those costs to your insurance plan, you know they’re going to raise your rates.

Health insurance and your responsibility for your own health-related decisions are no different.

If it’s so important to cover these auto expenses out of your own pocket, why is it so difficult to place that level of importance on your health care decisions? Think about it. When you need a general check up, why should you expect your insurance to pay for it? If you do expect them to pay for it, you realize that you are paying more in higher premiums than they will ever cover in general costs, right? If you need treatment for a mild sinus infection, are the costs “unearned or excessive?” If you work in the yard all weekend and throw your back out, do you refuse to visit your chiropractor if the insurance doesn’t cover it?

Furthermore, when you submit general/simple/ordinary expenses for reimbursement, your insurance company uses that information against you to raise your premiums and justify “the rising cost of health care.” While reimbursements go down, premiums go up, and coverage diminishes, you’re getting less and less for your insurance dollar… all because you didn’t want to cover a brief office exam.

What’s you best alternative? Sign up for a low-cost, high deductible catastrophic coverage insurance policy with an attached tax-free health savings account. Your costs stay low, you’re covered if anything serious happens, and you pay for your own general health care with pre-tax money. What’s even better? Your doctor’s office will love you, because they know they’re getting paid now… without all the billing expense… and without the wait. In fact, most health care facilities I know offer a 10-25% discount for paying at the time of service. Need a little more care than you can pay right now? Most offices will let you make payment arrangements, and you pay them out of the health savings account which saves you a bundle on your income tax.

Don’t kid yourself… universal or government-provided health care won’t fix this problem. The real rising cost of health care starts with our individual expectations that someone else is responsible for it.

Posted in General Health, Political | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

What’s More Important… Your Car or Your Body?

Posted by Dr. Gray on Monday, July 13, 2009

What may seem like a fairly ridiculous question, in reality is not quite so simple. You may scoff and say, “Well, of course my body is more important,” but do you really believe that? If you do believe it, do you act on it? Are you being true to your beliefs, or are you just giving it lip-service? Are you a hypocrite? That’s a tough question, but a valid one if you really think about it.

Hypocrisy refers to believing and preaching one set of beliefs, yet not acting in a way that supports those beliefs. What do you think of politicians who claim their policies will be good for people… but won’t subject themselves to the same programs? What do you think of judgmental preachers who are found to be adulterous? What do you think of snarky people gossiping about others, while being guilty of the same offense? What would you think of a health-conscious, diet guru who weighed 300 pounds? These are all examples of people who claim to believe one way, yet act another.

Nearly every day, we use our vehicles for something. Going to the store… taking the kids to practice… driving to school… getting to work… going on vacation… visiting relatives… a ton of our activities revolve around our ability to get from point A to point B, and we use our cars to do it. When is the last time you changed your oil? More important, why did you change the oil? Did you hear metal grinding together in the engine? Were you having trouble getting the car to start or stay running? Was your gas mileage dropping? Did your “Check Engine” light come on? These are just symptoms of bad oil or engine trouble, so why would you change the oil if none of these things were happening?

Most likely, you just know that it’s wise to change the oil every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. We do this because we don’t want metal to start grinding in the engine. We don’t want to have difficulty starting the car. We don’t want our gas mileage to drop, or the “Check Engine” light to come on. Does changing the oil guarantee that none of these things will happen? Of course not, but it greatly diminishes the chance that they will. It also makes the car run better, operate more efficiently, and leads to a more pleasant experience by getting you from point A to point B without a bunch of hassles.

There is another functional item that you use everyday. In fact, you use this item much more than you could ever think of using your car. This item is, of course, your body. So, when was the last time you got a tune-up? Nope. Not talking about the car anymore. When is the last time you got a tune-up for your body? Do you wait for symptoms to show up before you decide to do something about it? When they do, do you unplug the “Check Engine” light by just treating the symptoms, or do you seek the underlying cause of the symptoms?

Like changing your oil, spinal tune-ups are an essential part of taking care of your body. Will regular tune-ups guarantee that you won’t have back pain or other complications? Of course not, but it will greatly diminish the chance that you will. (sound familiar?) Like a car, much of the work of the human body happens without us even realizing what’s going on. Our brain sends signals down the spinal cord to all parts of our body. When the body wants to move any of its parts, it contracts muscles, those muscles pull on the bones and movement happens. There cannot be muscular contraction without the bones moving in some way. When you take your car in for a tuneup, the mechanic analyzes the inner workings of the engine and other aspects that make the car function well. The same happens when you bring your body into the chiropractor for a tune-up. Chiropractors are trained experts in the way the bones, muscles and nerves function together. We can analyze almost every single joint in your body and determine if each one is working as it should.

So, if regular maintenance is good enough for your car, do you consider your body as important? If your car breaks down permanently, you can replace it with another one, but what are you going to do if your body breaks down? Most permanent changes in the body take place slowly over several years. By the time you begin to experience symptoms, permanent changes have often already begun.

When you’re 80… do you want to be the cleaned up hotrod still rockin’ the town, or the rusted-out clunker in the scrap yard?

There’s no better time to begin treating your body with the respect it deserves and the maintenance it needs than today. Set an appointment with your chiropractor and let him know you’re ready to start getting your tune-ups.

Posted in General Chiropractic, General Health | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Chiropractic For Chest Pain?

Posted by Dr. Gray on Tuesday, May 26, 2009

When we think of chiropractic, the first thing most people think of is lower back pain. Unfortunately, that is the only thing many people associate with chiropractic care. The fact is: Chiropractic deals with the entire neuromusculoskeletal system(nerves, muscles, bones). As such, more and more research is proving that chiropractic care can be beneficial for many conditions not regularly associated to it.

For instance: Chest pain, known medically as angina, affects over 6 million Americans every year. These frightening attacks can be brought on by physical overexertion or stress, but are ultimately related to your heart needing more oxygen than it’s receiving. In a recent study performed in Denmark, positive results were shown in patients with stable angina after a four-week session of chiropractic adjustments.

Approximately 75 percent of the participants in the treatment group reported an improvement. 75%! That is a fairly stupendous amount! Do you realize that some medications are approved for use if they show a mere two or three percent improvement? … But 75%!?! That’s almost unheard of! … especially from your government! … On the website for the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the U.S. National Library of Medicine, there is the following statement: “The options for treating angina include medications and surgery.”

Not one mention or reference to safer or alternative treatment options… just drugs and surgery. Period. Their article was supposedly updated in July of 2008, but the study I referenced above was published (in a respected, peer-reviewed journal) in 2005. Three years? Seriously… three years and not one mention? We, in the chiropractic field, have known and witnessed these conditions respond to traditional chiropractic care for decades. The medical establishment, pharmaceutical industry, and government agencies have refused to acknowledge these treatment options in the past due to “lack of scientific evidence.” Okay, so we’ve got published scientific research in respected medical journals… now what’s their excuse? Oh, that’s right… chiropractic hasn’t contributed enough for those re-election campaigns.

Want the worst of it…? This is the same backwards, corrupted, ignorant, years behind, only-approve-the-highest-bidder organization that half of the country thinks they want in charge of their health care. Sorry… off the soapbox now and back on topic:

I’m not saying that chiropractic is going to cure 75% of chest pain cases. This study was done in regards to chest pains known as “stable angina.” However, this is a great example of a condition not normally associated with it responding to chiropractic care much better than expected. With regards to chest pains, it is imperative to start with a proper and accurate diagnosis. Realistically, chiropractic will be one small piece of an overall treatment regimen that involves lifestyle and diet modifications, safe exercise recommendations, nutritional supplementation, and coordination with your medical physician with an overall goal of improving your cardiovascular health.

Regardless of what you have thought about chiropractic in the past, recognize that your chiropractor is a “doctor” and is qualified to answer your questions and assist with the treatment of many conditions other than lower back pain. Remember to think for yourself, and do your own research. There are often tons of information and alternatives that are less invasive than traditional treatment methods.

Posted in General Chiropractic, Other Pain Conditions, Political | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Are You Too Old To Exercise?

Posted by Dr. Gray on Monday, May 18, 2009

How do I say this…? NO! Absolutely not! Are you crazy? I saw a research paper a few years ago that detailed the activities and health history of centenarians (people 100 years old or older). They had black, white, asian, male, female, European, American, Chinese, Japanese, Indian, thin, heavy (only a couple of these), recent, historical, etc.

Want to know what the only thing they all had in common?

They all walked regularly!

That’s right. Walking. Something that seems so simple, yet is so profound in its health benefits. Now, I’m not so naive to think that walking was the only thing these people were doing, however, that was the one thing they all had in common. Most participated in other forms of exercise, watched their diet, and efficiently dealt with stress, but their lifestyles, backgrounds, and ethnicities varied across the board. Physical activity was the only common denominator.

How many times have you seen an older person who’s still active, busy, driving, and looks healthy… and then seen another person who was significantly younger who looked like they were on death’s door? Why do you think the older, healthier person is still able to do so much while the younger was so limited? Due to hundreds of studies and experiments, we know it’s the exercise, activity, and healthy lifestyle, but I think there’s more to it than that. I think one of the biggest contributing factors is willpower. Willpower is the ability to exert one’s will over one’s actions. In other words, the ability to be decisive, determined, and persistent. Older people who remain active and vibrant are not perfect… they are not completely without pain or disease… they don’t feel great everyday… but they do have the willpower to get up and keep going regardless of how they feel.

You’re never too old to live healthy. Changes in diet and the addition of exercise into your lifestyle can make significant differences to your health and overall wellness. In a study published in the Journal of Aging and Health and conducted at the University of South Florida School of Aging, Professor Ross Andel and co-researcher Robert Simons, executive director of the Bonsai Holistic Spa and Wellness Center in Largo, Florida, demonstrated a noticeable increase in body strength, flexibility, balance and agility in study participants. The 64 volunteers, ranging in age from 66 to 96, were divided into a walking group, a resistance training group and a control group that did not exercise. In the training group, warm-ups, stretching and flexibility exercises were followed by workouts on resistance training equipment.

The walking and resistance training groups both benefited from the study, suggesting that physical activity can offset physical declines that come with aging and preserve functionality among seniors. Your doctor of chiropractic can tell you more about the benefits of consistent exercise and help outline a program suitable to your needs.

Reference: Simons R, Andel R. The effects of resistance training and walking on functional fitness in advanced old age. Journal of Aging and Health 2006;18(1):91-105.

Posted in General Health, Stretches & Exercises | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Headache Relief With Regular Chiropractic Care?

Posted by Dr. Gray on Thursday, May 14, 2009

Nobody likes headaches. They can strike with little warning and cause debilitating pain — especially cervicogenic headaches (HA), which are defined as pain that originates in the cervical spine, or neck area, and refers up to the head.

Researchers investigated the effect of chiropractic treatment on HA in 20 randomized patients, specifically focusing on the relationship between the number of chiropractic treatments and pain relief. Participants were assigned to one of three treatment groups for comparison: Group one received a total of three office visits, one visit per week, for chiropractic manipulation; group two received a total of nine office visits, three visits per week, for chiropractic manipulation; and group three received 12 total visits, four visits per week.

Researchers discovered a correlation between the number of chiropractic visits and positive outcome in headache patients. “For HA pain, substantial differences were found between participants receiving 1 treatment per week and those receiving either 3 or 4 treatments per week,” the researchers wrote. The researchers indicated that a larger clinical trial testing the relationship of HA and chiropractic treatment is warranted, and concluded that there are benefits to “9 to 12 [chiropractic] visits over 3 weeks for the treatment of HA/neck pain and disability. A larger number of visits than 12 in 3 weeks may be required for maximum relief and durability of outcomes.”

If you suffer with headaches, call your chiropractor today and tell him (or her 🙂 ) you’re ready to do what needs to be done to get them under control.

Posted in General Chiropractic, General Health, Headaches | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Activity or Bed Rest For Low Back Pain?

Posted by Dr. Gray on Friday, May 8, 2009

Considerable evidence in the past decade shows that bed rest is not beneficial to patients suffering from low back pain (LBP). However, the clinical relevance of these findings has been questioned because previous research did not differentiate between different types of LBP. Some speculation has also been put forth that because the supine position minimizes intradiscal pressure, bed rest may have different effects on LBP patients with vs. without sciatica.

This review by the Cochrane Collaboration Back Review Group analyzed all randomized studies up to March 2003, yielding two new trials comparing advice to rest in bed with advice to stay active for patients with LBP. Two reviewers independently assessed methodologic quality and extracted relevant data from the trials. In total, six trials compared bed rest with staying active for the management of LBP.

Results:

  • Advice to rest in bed is clearly less effective than advice to stay active for patients with acute simple LBP. There is high-quality evidence for small but consistent differences in favor of staying active for pain and functional status at 3-4 weeks follow-up. And at 12 weeks follow-up.
  • For patients with sciatica, there is moderate-quality evidence that advice to rest in bed has little or no effect on pain and functional status compared to stay-active advice at 3-4 weeks and 12 weeks.
  • For patients with acute simple LBP, there is high-quality evidence that advice to rest in bed will increase length of sick leave in the first 12 weeks, compared to advice to stay active. For patients with sciatica, advice to rest in bed has little or no effect on the length of sick leave compared to advice to stay active (based on moderate-quality evidence).
  • For patients with confirmed nerve root involvement, there are few or no differences between advice to rest in bed and advice to stay active.

Reference: Hagen KB, Jamtvedt G, Hilde G, Winnem MF. The updated Cochrane Review of bed rest for low back pain and sciatica. Spine, March 1, 2005;30(5):542-46.

In other words… for simple cases of lower back pain, your best bet is to stay active, stretch it out, and don’t baby it too much. If it is more complicated or involves the nerve roots, chiropractic care is your first line of defense.

Posted in General Back Pain, General Chiropractic, General Health, Low Back Pain, Other Pain Conditions, Stretches & Exercises | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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