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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