Duncan Blog

Dr. Eric Duncan Blog

Duncan Chiropractic Group P.C.


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Most Important Principles For Staying Young:

Are You Getting Enough Sleep?
By, Dr. Michael F. Roizen
Co-Author of 4 #1 NY Times Bestsellers including:
YOU Staying Young . The Owner's Manual For Extending Your Warranty,
YOU: BEING Beautiful . The Owner's Manual to Outer and Inner Beauty And
YOU: Having a Baby : The Owner's Manual to a Happy and Healthy Pregnancy
         Our basic premise is that your body is amazing:  You get a do over: it doesn't take that long, and isn't that hard if you know what to do.  In these notes, we give you a short course in what to do so it becomes easy for you and then to teach others. We want you to know how much control you have over your quality and length of life
          To summarize from last month: You want it. You need it. You crave it. The truth is that getting quality sleep is as important to your health and happiness as just about anything else. A lack of sleep puts you at risk for increased stress, drowsy driving, poor performance at work, mood issues, and many others.

          Teenagers need eight and a half to nine hours a night, us adults need 6.5 to 8 hours, and many of us don't get it. Now Sleep Q2: Why Go To Sleep?

          Sleep is actually a cool biological process and it's a little more complicated than just pulling the covers over your body and shutting your eyes,

          You fall asleep through the activation of a neurotransmitter called GABA, or gamma-aminobutyric acid, for you spelling-bee champs. The reason you're not asleep right now (we hope) is that your hypothalamus--the director part of your brain--secretes a chemical called acetylcholine. When you're asleep for a long time, you experience a buildup of acetylcholine that wakes you up.

          That's how caffeine seems to work, by influencing levels of acetylcholine. In contrast, a chemical called adenosine accumulates with activity and hinders acetylcholine, so we become tired. As the day wears on, your sleep drive builds as acetylcholine and other chemicals that induce wakefulness decline.

          The other big chemical that affects sleeping patterns is melatonin, produced by the pineal gland in your brain. Your pineal gland senses when you're exposed to light, much in the way that a security-type light sensor does. Interestingly, the gland is nestled way deep in our brain, far away from any direct access to light. In humans, it senses blue light though special receptors in your eyes that don't provide vision but do dictate your circadian rhythms.)
Please Turn Over...

          When the lights go out, your pineal gland starts producing melatonin to help you sleep. The hormone exerts other effects too, like helping to control the desire for mating, lowering your heart rate and blood pressure, improving immune function, and relieving stress.

          Now, what exactly is a good night's sleep? While the length of sleep is important, equally vital is getting through the sleep cycle several times. The cycle is comprised of four stages, each getting progressively deeper. Each cycle (stage 1 through REM) lasts about 90 minutes; you go through four to six a night.  It's important that you achieve REM or dream sleep, to really feel rested. Dreaming is also important for your learning and peak creativity. People who have sleep problems often don't make it to REM sleep because it can take up to sixty minutes to get there.

          More on Sleep, sleeping medications and your questions in the next month's issue (in the meantime you can send questions to youdocs@gmail.com), but now a tip:
          Roizen Rule for A Younger You Tip: The pineal gland--the part of your brain that senses light and helps wake you--doesn't sense red light wavelengths, so if you like to sleep with a night-light on, get one with a red bulb.

        Young Dr. Mike

        Feel free send questions coming to youdocs@gmail.com. You can follow Dr Roizen on twitter @YoungDrMike.

        The YOU docs have  a new web site: YOUBEAUTY.com and a new book: YOU: The Owner's Manual for Teens.    Thanks for reading.

About the author: Michael F. Roizen, M.D., is a professor of anesthesiology and internal medicine, and is is chief wellness officer and chair of the Wellness Institute at the Cleveland Clinic. The Wellness institute also features Lifestyle 180 and the integrative medical clinics (with features of medical acupuncture, rekki, obesity management and more) of the Cleveland Clinic, both located at 1950 Richmond Road in Lyndhurst. He is the co-author of 4 #1 NY Times Best Sellers including : YOU Staying Young and YOU: The Owner's Manual. He airs on WKH/1420 in Cleveland and 30 stations nationwide and streams on healthradio.net Saturdays from 5-7 p.m . E-mail him questions at YouDocs@gmail.com He is the co-author of 4 #1 NY Times Best Sellers including : YOU Staying Young and YOU: The Owner's Manual. He is Chief Medical Consultant to the new Dr Oz show-- The Dr. Oz Show" is number two in daytime TV now---see what's so much fun, and what he, the Enforcer is up to. Check your local listings or go to doctoroz.com for time and station ""And for more health info, log onto 360-5.com anytime.

NOTE: You should NOT take this as medical advice. This article is of the opinion of its author. Before you do anything, please consult with your doctor.

Monday, December 26, 2011

"Text Neck" What Is It And How To Avoid It

        The older you get, the more you realize there are pros and cons to everything. Even all the amazing new technology we have these days is no exception. For example, there is a new condition called "text neck" and it is said to be on the rise due to the amount of time people spend hunched over their cell phones, tablets and computer screens.
        Experts say cases of this repetitive strain injury are on the rise as smart phones and tablet computers (such as the iPad) become increasingly popular.In severe cases, the muscles can eventually adapt to fit the flexed position, making it painful to straighten the neck out properly.This can be serious because long-term effects of such postural changes are believed to cause neck pain, headaches, shoulder pain and even arthritis, later in life.
        "Imagine sitting on your ankle sideways for 10 minutes. It would feel stiff and sore when you returned it to its natural position. That is exactly what people are doing with their necks. If people continue to put their necks in these positions, the body will gradually adapt to the stresses,
 added one Chiropractor who sees text neck patients regularly. One of the best ways to avoid "text neck" is to simply move.  Don't stay in any one position too long.Tuck your chin and bend your neck to the back and to the front, then side-to-side and circles, as long as this does not cause any pain.
         And don't forget, if you ever have any questions or concerns about your health talk to us. Contact us with your questions. We're here to help and don't enjoy anything more than participating in your lifelong good health.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Tip of the Month

Do You Suffer With Migraines?
What Research Says About Chiropractic
Versus Popular Drug Treatments... 


        Although most headaches are not life threatening, they can negatively affect your quality of life.  In severe cases, a headache is debilitating. Headaches have a wide range of causes, including infection, hangovers from alcohol consumption, fasting, and even serious conditions, such as brain tumors and strokes. 

        The most common headaches include tension and migraine, which are associated with nervous system disorders. More than 90% of the U.S. population will experience some type of headache. 28 million Americans, including 1 in 5 women and 1 in 20 men, experience migraine headaches. In a migraine headache, the artery on the outside of the skull under the skin of the temple (temporal artery) enlarges. As this process occurs, nerves that surround the artery stretch and release chemicals that cause inflammation and pain. The larger the artery gets, the greater the pain. 

        Most people know Chiropractic care can be beneficial for tension/cervicogenic headaches. But, can Chiropractic care help migraines too? Here's what research dating all the way back to 1998 says... The study, published in the Journal Of Manipulative And Physiological Therapeutics, compared amitriptyline (a medication), spinal manipulation, and the combination of both therapies.  There was a 4 week baseline period, followed by 8 weeks of treatment and then 4 weeks of follow-up on a total of 218 patients diagnosed with migraine headaches.

        RESULTS: "Clinically important improvement was observed in both primary and secondary outcomes in all three study groups over time. The reduction in headache index scores during treatment compared with baseline was 49% for amitriptyline, 40% for spinal manipulation, and 41% for the combined group.  During the post-treatment follow-up period, the reduction from baseline was 24% for amitriptyline, 42% for spinal manipulation, and 25% for the combined group."  

        CONCLUSION: "There was no advantage to combining amitriptyline and spinal manipulation for the treatment of migraine headaches. Spinal manipulation seemed to be as effective as a well-established and efficacious treatment (amitriptyline). And on the basis of a benign side effects profile, it should be considered a treatment option for patients with frequent migraine headaches."

Did You Know?

      Citrus fruits contain a vast array of phytonutrients that are just now being respected for their extraordinary health value. Fruits and vegetables have been renowned for years for providing essential nutrients like Vitamin C. There is a group of bioactive flavonoids that enhance the effects of Vitamin C and provide a powerful defense against oxidative stress. Bioactive flavonoids, Vitamin P, are found in living fruits and vegetables. The various bioflavonoids found in citrus include hesperidin, quercetin, diosmin, naringin and rutin, among others. These phytonutrients are vital for the proper absorption of Vitamin C. Many Vitamin C supplements consist of synthetically derived ascorbic acid. This is virtually ineffective. Without the natural citrus bioflavonoids, ascorbic acid is easily oxidized. This is why whole food nutrition is so much better than synthetically derived supplements. 
        Studies show citrus bioflavonoids effect capillary permeability and blood flow due to the powerful anti-inflammatory effects of these phytonutrients. This is especially important for oxygenating tissues and maintaining normal blood pressure. They reduce swelling, venous backup, and edema... and also improve respiration in the lungs. 
        The best sources of citrus bioflavonoids are lemons, limes, grapefruits, oranges, and tangerines. They are in their most potent form when they are picked off the tree in their full ripeness. The longer they are off of the tree, the more nutrient value they lose. Once peeled, citrus fruit begin to oxidize and within days can lose a significant portion of their anti-oxidant value. 
        Enhance Your Citrus BioFlavonoid Consumption:  Do not throw away squeezed lemon... eat the pulp and membrane first. If the peel is organic, you can shred it into a lemon zest and apply it to meat, salads, etc. Avoid orange & grapefruit juices, due to the high sugar and instead eat the whole fruit which contains fibers and significantly more bioflavonoids.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Health Update: Neck Pain

The Neck and Headache Connection 
        When we hear the term headache, we don't usually think about the neck. Rather, we focus on the head, more specifically, "...what part of the head hurts?" But, upon careful questioning of patients, we usually find some connection or correlation between neck pain and headaches.      
        The key to this connection can be found in looking at the anatomy of the neck. There are 7 vertebrae that make up the cervical spine and 8 sets of nerves that exit this part of the spine and innervate various parts of the head, neck, shoulders and arms, all the way to the fingers. Think of the nerves as electric wires that stretch between a switch and a light bulb. When you flip on the switch, the light illuminates. Each nerve, as it exits the spine, is like a switch and the target it travels to represents the light bulb. So, if one were to stimulate each of the nerves as they exit the spine, we could "map" exactly where each nerve travels (of course, this has been done).  When we look specifically at the upper 3 sets of nerves that exit the spine (C1, C2, and C3), we see that as soon as they exit the spine, they immediately travel upwards into the head (the scalp). Like any nerve, if enough pressure is applied to the nerve, some alteration in nerve function occurs and usually a sensory change is noted (numbness, tingling, pain, burning, etc.). If the pressure continues, these symptoms can last for a long time. These types of headaches are often called "cervicogenic headaches" (literally meaning headaches that are caused by the neck). These can be caused by the nerves getting pinched by tight muscles through which they travel as they make their way to the scalp.

        Another connection between the neck and headaches includes the relationship between 2 of the 12 cranial nerves and the first three nerves in the neck described above. These types of headaches usually only affect one half of the head - the left or right side. One of the cranial nerves is called the trigeminal nerve (cranial nerve V). Because the trigeminal nerve innervates parts of the face and head, pain can also involve the face. Another cranial nerve (spinal accessory, cranial nerve IX) can also interact with the upper 3 cervical nerve roots, resulting in cervicogenic headaches. People with cervicogenic headaches will often present with an altered neck posture, restricted neck movement, and pain when pressure is applied to the base of the skull or to the upper vertebrae. Other than a possible numbness, there are no clinical tests that we can run to "show" this condition, though some patients may report scalp numbness or, it may be found during examination.

        Though medication, injections, and even surgical options exist, manipulation applied to the small joints of the neck, especially in the upper part where C1-3 exit, works really well so why not try that first as it's the least invasive and, VERY EFFECTIVE! In some cases, a combination of approaches may be needed but many times, chiropractic treatment is all the patient needs for a successful outcome.

        We realize that you have a choice in where you choose your healthcare services.  If you, a friend or family member requires care for neck pain, we sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence shown by choosing our services and look forward in serving you and your family presently and, in the future.

        We realize that you have a choice in where you choose your healthcare services.  If you, a friend or family member requires care for neck pain, we sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence shown by choosing our services and look forward in serving you and your family presently and, in the future.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Health Update: Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia: What Water Exercises Can I Do?

        Fibromyalgia (FM) is a condition associated with tight, sore muscles with generalized, whole body pain, which can dramatically affect a person's lifestyle.  However, there are ways to fight back!  Last month, we discussed the benefits of water exercises and this month, we're going to illustrate some specific exercises that can be performed in water. Remember to start slow and gradually introduce more exercises (as well as repetitions and the length of exercise time) AFTER you have proven to yourself that the previous exercises are well tolerated. MOST IMPORTANT, have fun with these, and modify them as needed to make them "yours."

Diving Forward
Prep: Arms straight, stretched out from sides, palms forward.
Action: Push hands together, then outward.

Diving Downward
Prep: Arms straight, stretched out from sides, palms down.
Action: Swing hands down and inward across front, then outward; repeat down and inward behind back, then outward.

Prep: Legs straight.
Action: Bend at knees to lower body down, then up.

High Kick
Prep: Legs straight, pointing forward
Action: Swing one leg forward to backward; repeat with other leg.

Backward Kick
Prep: Legs straight, hold onto support.
Action: Ben one knee to raise foot backward, then down; repeat with other knee.

Deep-water Walking
Prep: Start in a dog-paddling position
Action: Climbing motions with both arms and legs.

Horizontal Walking
Prep: Legs straight, floating face down holding stairs.
Action: Bend one knee forward and back, then other knee.

        Of course, there are many other maneuvers that can be done in water.  Simply walking in water at various depths works well.  Another good/easy exercise is taking empty 1 gallon milk jugs with the caps on and squat down in the shallow end of a pool so only your neck is exposed and move your arms underwater back and forth in different directions, at different speeds, gradually increasing the speed of the movement.  
         If you, a friend or family member requires care for FM, we sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence shown by choosing our services!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Health Update: Low Back Pain

 Low Back Pain: Spondylolisthesis

        Low back pain can arise from many conditions, one of which is a mouthful: spondylolisthesis. The term was coined in 1854 from the Greek words, "spondylo" for vertebrae and "olisthesis" for slip. These "slips" most commonly occur in the low back, 90% at L5 and 9% at L4. According to www.spinehealth.com and others, the most common type of spondylolisthesis is called "isthmic spondylolisthesis," which is a condition that includes a defect in the back part of the vertebra in an area called the pars interarticularis, which is the part of the vertebra that connects the front half (vertebral body) to the back half (the posterior arch). This can occur on one, or both sides, with or without a slip or shift forwards, which is then called spondylolysis. In "isthmic spondylolisthesis," the incidence rate is about 5-7% of the general population favoring men over women 3:1. Debate continues as to whether this occurs as a result genetic predisposition verses environmental or acquired at some point early in life as noted by the increased incidence in populations such as Eskimos (30-50%), where they traditionally carry their young in papooses, vertically loading their lower spine at a very young age. However, isthmic spondylolisthesis can occur at anytime in life if a significant backward bending force occurs resulting in a fracture but reportedly, occurs most frequently between ages 6 and 16 years old. 
        Often, traumatic isthmic spondylolisthesis occurs during the adolescent years and in fact, is the most common cause of low back pain at this stage of life. Sports most commonly resulting in spondylolisthesis include gymnastics, football (lineman), weightlifting (from squats or dead lifts) and diving (from over arching the back). Excessive backward bending is the force that overloads the back of the vertebra resulting in the fracture sometimes referred to as a stress fracture, which is a fracture that occurs as a result of repetitive overloading over time, usually weeks to months.
        If the spondylolisthesis lesions do not heal either by cartilage or by bone replacement, the front half of the vertebra can slip or slide forwards and become unstable. Fortunately, most of these heal and become stable and don't progress. The diagnosis is a simple x-ray, but to determine the degree of stability, "stress x-rays" or x-rays taken at endpoints of bending over and backwards are needed. Sometimes, a bone scan is needed to determine if it's a new injury verses an old isthmic spondylolisthesis. 
        Another very common type is called degenerative spondylolisthesis and occurs in 30% of Caucasian and 60% of African-American woman (3:1 women to men). This usually occurs at L4 and is more prevalent in aging females. It is sometimes referred to as "pseudospondylolisthesis" as it does not include defects in the posterior arch but rather, results from a degeneration of the disk and facet joints. As the disk space narrows, the vertebra slides forwards. The problem here is that the spinal canal, where the spinal cord travels, gets crimped or distorted by the forward sliding vertebra and causes compression of the spinal nerve root(s), resulting pain and/or numbness in one or both legs. The good news about spondylolisthesis is that non-surgical approaches, like spinal manipulation in particular, work well and chiropractic is a logical treatment approach!
        We realize you have a choice in who you choose to provide your healthcare services.  If you, a friend or family member requires care for low back pain, we sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence shown by choosing our services and look forward in serving you and your family presently and, in the future.