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.

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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.

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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.

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Do You Get Wiser As You Get Older?

Along with other body functions, your brain activity slows down as you age. A seventy year old, even if she has a huge storehouse of knowledge, has zero chance of beating a 35 year old at Jeopardy, simply because she won’t be able to process the information in her brain and punch the buzzer quickly enough.

But is there a compensating factor for this slowing of processing speed in the brain? Do we gain wisdom as we age?’ Read the rest of this entry »

Chronic Pain and the Brain

“Chronic pain is a significant public health problem, affecting millions of Americans and incurring substantial economic costs to society.”

That’s a quote from Karen B. DeSalvo, MD, HHS acting assistant secretary for health at a recent scientific conference on pain.

The solution to chronic pain can’t focus entirely on trying to fix the original source of pain – whether it be from an auto accident, sports injury, a medical procedure gone awry, or anything else.

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For Bone Density – Let Them Eat Prunes!

Researchers have yet to develop a really good solution to the epidemic of bone loss that plagues older Americans.

Thinning bones are a major health issue. When bone loss is combined with a general decline of balance, muscle strength, and movement skill, seniors have an increased risk of falling and breaking something.

Adding extra calcium to your diet seems like good common sense, along with extra vitamin D and other trace minerals.  But unfortunately there’s little research to show that these strategies help build a significant amount of bone.

Pharmaceutical options have their limits, too, and introduce possible side-effects.

That’s why I was surprised to encounter an article from 2011 that tested an entirely novel strategy to combat potential bone loss – eating 10 prunes each day.

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Do You Need Spinal Fusion Surgery?

The latest research from Sweden evaluated the use of different types of surgery for patients with spinal stenosis.  Some of the patients also had degenerative spondylolisthesis.

One group of patients had decompression surgery to alleviate the pressure on the spinal cord from the stenosis.  The second group also had decompression surgery, and in addition had the affected spinal segments fused.

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Tendon Problems and Your Brain

You have pain in your elbow, knee or shoulder, but part of the problem is in your brain, too.

Chronic tendon issues include rotator cuff problems, patellar tendinitis, lateral epicondylitis (popularly known as tennis elbow), Achilles tendinitis, and more. If you’re physically active, sooner or later you’re likely to encounter one or more of these problems. And if you’re sedentary, you may be at even greater risk.

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