Love exercise? Loathe exercise? Is it in your genes?

I’ve spent my entire career trying to inspire people to enjoy the pleasures of body movement. That’s one of the reasons I organized the 2016 Princeton Fitness Challenge – to motivate community members to establish consistent fitness habits.

Still, it seems that there’s a committed core of couch potatoes who – no matter how I try to motivate them — simply don’t enjoy exercise as much as I think they should.

New research suggests that the problem may lie in their genes. Read the rest of this entry »

New Research on Low Back Pain and Its Treatment

1.  A substantial percentage of low back pain patients (40 – 70%, depending on the measure used) did not show significant clinical improvement after their course of physical therapy.  And, if you smoke or are overweight, the odds are stacked against you even more.

More on adding chiropractic methods to the treatment of low back pain

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2. A patient does better in a pain management program if goals are set based on what’s important for the patient, rather than shooting for a pre-fab set of standardized goals.

More on the importance of personalization in the treatment of low back pain

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3.  Although medical guidelines try to eliminate the use of unnecessary MRI’s, many primary care physicians find it difficult to follow the guidelines.

More on unnecessary MRI’s

Craniosacral Therapy: More is More? Or Less is More?

There are two opposite philosophies about trying to heal the body: “more is more” vs. “less is more”.

I used to be most comfortable with a “more is more” approach. I wanted to give my patients the benefit of all of my knowledge, and heap on the entire range of my therapeutic methods, convinced that the more I added, the quicker they’d get better.

But that was before I got trained in Craniosacral Therapy (in the late 1980’s) and began to listen to the feedback I got from my patients.

Read the rest of this entry »

Food and Pain – The Top 8 Nutrition Strategies to Get Relief

“If we are not feeding our cells appropriately, or we are feeding our cells toxic products or inflammatory products, the end result is going to be inflammation and pain.”

That’s the opinion of Robert Bonakdar, MD, Director of Pain Management for the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine, who addressed the 2016 meeting of the American Academy of Pain Management.

Dr. Bonakdar went on to outline his top eight tips for using food to reduce pain.

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The natural treatment for pain that starts with your brain

Scientists agree: brain function is central to the pain experience.

The brain calculates and evaluates all of the signals that come from your body. The incoming signals aren’t experienced as painful until your brain decides they are.

That’s why optimal pain therapy must modify the way the brain processes the signals coming from your joints, muscles, and internal organs.

Read the rest of this entry »

A favorite quote of Buckminster Fuller

Buckminster Fuller“You never change things by fighting the existing reality.

To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

Self-Care of the Low Back, Part 2

Putting the McKenzie principles to work for you

Important note: this article suggests some self-care strategies for low back pain. Many cases of low back pain can’t be effectively addressed using self-care strategies. I’ve never examined you and I have no idea what the nature of your condition is. The information I’m providing is for educational purposes only; common sense dictates that the diagnosis or treatment of any condition should only be handled by your personal healthcare practitioner.

Please review Part 1 of this article before putting into practice any of the strategies suggested here.

Read the rest of this entry »

Questions and answers about joint cracking

What is happening when a chiropractor cracks your joints?

The sound of joint “cracking” occurs for nearly the same reason that a champagne cork pops.

Champagne is a liquid that has a lot of gas dissolved in it. The gas stays dissolved in the liquid only because it’s bottled under pressure. Once the pressure is relieved by pulling the cork, a popping noise occurs as the dissolved gases precipitate out of solution.

champagne bottle popping

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Did you see this article in the NY Times about chronic pain?

On June 22, 2016 the NY Times carried this article about the use of “alternative therapies” to alleviate chronic pain.

Read the rest of this entry »

The hidden side of fitness

When you think about exercise, you most likely think about your muscles. Your muscles generate the force to push, pull, jump, lift, or propel yourself through space. Along with your muscles, exercise also strengthens your heart and lungs, which are needed to keep those muscles pumping.

But your muscles, heart, and lungs are only half the picture. They’re useless unless they’re enacting a coordinated action plan.

Read the rest of this entry »

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