Epidural Injections for Back Pain and Sciatica

If you have back prob­lems or sci­at­i­ca and your pain is bad enough and has last­ed too long, your med­ical doc­tor might rec­om­mend inject­ing steroids around the spinal nerve roots. This pro­ce­dure is known as an epidur­al injec­tion.

Some­times epidur­al injec­tions work effec­tive­ly. But there are a num­ber of prob­lems with the pro­ce­dure.

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My Son Got Off to a Lucky Start In Kindergarten

My son got off to a lucky start in kinder­garten — he had a teacher who ran his class­room to allow for plen­ty of (appro­pri­ate) phys­i­cal con­tact. Hugs and phys­i­cal play were impor­tant parts of the kinder­garten cur­ricu­lum.

Nowa­days, the pre­ma­ture intro­duc­tion of “aca­d­e­mics” – read­ing, writ­ing and arith­metic – is the rule. Par­ents are afraid that lit­tle John­ny and Saman­tha will fall behind if they’re not sit­ting at a desk “learn­ing” some­thing at age six.

Not only that.

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The Science of Chiropractic – After 120 Years, Still Ahead of the Times

You can hard­ly blame Dr. D.D. Palmer for his excite­ment back in 1895: he had just restored the hear­ing of a deaf man by using hands-on spinal treat­ment.

While he was enthu­si­as­ti­cal­ly try­ing his nov­el treat­ment method on more patients, he was also devel­op­ing a sci­en­tif­ic mod­el to explain the results.

His expla­na­tion of the new heal­ing art of “chi­ro­prac­tic” was insight­ful. In Dr. Palmer’s for­mu­la­tion, chi­ro­prac­tic fixed “ver­te­bral mis­align­ment” that caused “nerve inter­fer­ence.” Chi­ro­prac­tors use pal­pa­tion to iden­ti­fy spinal bones that are out of place which impinge nerves and inter­fere with the body’s abil­i­ty to con­trol its inter­nal envi­ron­ment.

Giv­en the state of med­ical knowl­edge in 1895, this sci­en­tif­ic mod­el was ahead of its time.

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Five Steps to Healthy Gut Flora

Back in the old days (and that was only ten or at most twen­ty years ago) life was sim­ple: germs were bad.

Now we know how ben­e­fi­cial gut bac­te­ria can be – they help you digest your food, pro­tect your body from tox­ic chem­i­cals, boost your immune sys­tem, and reg­u­late the hor­mones that con­trol your appetite, metab­o­lism, and mood.

Healthy colonies of intesti­nal flo­ra play a role in weight loss, bloat­ing, irri­ta­ble bow­el, ulcers, depres­sion, fibromyal­gia, aller­gies, and more.

Here are the five most impor­tant strate­gies you can use to ensure the health of the neigh­bors in your diges­tive tract.

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Food Stabilizers, Emulsifiers, and Flow Agents — Are They Safe?

Mag­ne­sium stearate
Guar gum
Xan­than gum
Carageenan
Gum ara­bic

I’ve always been a lit­tle ner­vous when I see these list­ed on a food label.

These ingre­di­ents are often added to foods to mod­i­fy their tex­ture – sta­bi­lize them, thick­en them, make them smooth, or allow them to flow.   They all sound nat­ur­al enough, but is there dan­ger lurk­ing? Are they safe?
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Three Groups of People Who Can Benefit from Non-Surgical Lumbar Decompression

About ten years ago I learned about a new treat­ment method for peo­ple with low back prob­lems – lum­bar decom­pres­sion with the DRX-9000.

The DRX-9000 is a sophis­ti­cat­ed decom­pres­sion table that was devel­oped to give peo­ple an alter­na­tive to surgery for her­ni­at­ed lum­bar discs.  Now I have many grate­ful patients who are thank­ful for the tech­nique.

But there are many dif­fer­ent vari­eties of low back pain.  Not every­one has a clear cut sit­u­a­tion involv­ing her­ni­a­tion of a lum­bar disc.  In my expe­ri­ence, there are two oth­er groups of patients for whom lum­bar decom­pres­sion is help­ful.
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Why Calorie Counts on Food Labels Have It All Wrong

The calo­rie counts on food labels are all wrong.

The way we mea­sure the calo­ries in food goes back to the nine­teenth cen­tu­ry.  Here’s the basic method that’s been used (with only minor mod­i­fi­ca­tion) since then: you burn the food to a crisp and see how much chem­i­cal ener­gy is released.

The prob­lems with this over­sim­pli­fied method were described in the Sep­tem­ber, 2013 issue of Sci­en­tif­ic Amer­i­can.  Based on the author’s analy­sis, the offi­cial calo­rie count of foods varies wild­ly from the num­ber of calo­ries actu­al­ly absorbed into your body.

Grow­ing, prepar­ing, and eat­ing food each involve many steps and each step intro­duces vari­ables. Here are some of the rea­sons that calo­rie counts can vary:

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Chiropractic and the Future of Healthcare

I have been prac­tic­ing chi­ro­prac­tic for more than 33 years.

In addi­tion to my exten­sive clin­i­cal expe­ri­ence, I’ve deep­ened my knowl­edge by keep­ing up with the sci­en­tif­ic lit­er­a­ture as best as a sin­gle per­son can.

Here is what I’ve come to under­stand:

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Sleep Your Way to Better Health

A full com­ple­ment of restora­tive sleep is an essen­tial health ingre­di­ent.

With­out ade­quate sleep your mood gets nasty, you’re less pro­duc­tive at work, and you might even snap at your best friend.  To make mat­ters worse, you gain weight, stress your immune sys­tem, and increase your pain lev­els.

Poor sleep is just ter­ri­ble in every way.  That’s why I’ve incor­po­rat­ed the devel­op­ment of rest­ful sleep as part of Step 7 of Dr. Lavine’s Ten Step Pro­gram to Con­quer Chron­ic Ill­ness.

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Warning: Consult a Physician Before Beginning Any Program of Physical Inactivity

Con­sult a physi­cian before begin­ning any pro­gram of phys­i­cal inac­tiv­i­ty.

I stole this iron­i­cal­ly-word­ed phrase from an arti­cle I just read “Seden­tary Liv­ing is A Dan­ger­ous State of Being” by Martha Peter­son in Pain Relief Through Move­ment. 

The arti­cle does a refresh­ing job of express­ing some of the themes I repeat­ed­ly stress with my patients, such as the need for a high lev­el of phys­i­cal activ­i­ty and the sheer bio­log­i­cal absur­di­ty of the seden­tary life.

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