Duncan Blog

Dr. Eric Duncan Blog

Duncan Chiropractic Group P.C.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tip of the Month

The "Technical" solution to kids getting a good night's sleep

Everyone wants the best for their children. And that's exactly why you will find this information so important...

So let's jump right in with the "technical" solution to kids getting a good night's sleep. Studies have recently shown kids are using forms of technology - such as cell phones, gaming systems and computers - late into the night. This not only keeps them up late, it can excite the brain so even when they try to sleep, it can be difficult. One of the worst things you can do right before bedtime is to surf the internet or play a video game. Your brain gets all "charged up" and it takes some time for it to relax so you can sleep soundly.

"Any factor that deteriorates the quality or quantity of sleep will lead to difficulty with school performance and behavior problems," said William Kohler, MD, Medical Director at Florida Sleep Institute. "When children stay up late at night texting in bed or playing computer games, they are increasing their risk for neuro cognitive problems."

According to an article published August 11, 2010 in Science Daily, "having a regular bedtime was the most consistent predictor of positive developmental outcomes in four-year olds. In this 8,000-person sample, language, reading and math scores were higher in children whose parents reported enforcing regular bedtimes."

It is important to keep the same bedtime and wake time seven days a week. Staying up late and sleeping in on weekends can make it difficult to re-adapt during the week. Constantly shifting sleep patterns is not a good idea. Maintaining a regular bedtime routine is important; doing the same thing every night like changing clothes, washing up and brushing teeth will signal the brain that it's time for sleep. Exercise, caffeine, and sugary foods should be avoided. The room for sleeping should be quiet, dark and kept cool... below 75 degrees. Technology should not be used for at least an hour before bedtime. According to the Science Daily article, "Insufficient sleep and poor sleep habits have been linked to health problems such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression, moodiness or irritability, reduced memory functioning, and delayed reaction time."

Did You Know?

The Human body is comprised of various body organs, cells and tissues which are functioning in a synchronized and cooperative manner. Each organ has its own very specialized function.

Following are the significant facts about the different organs and their functioning:

The purpose of eyebrows is to keep sweat from running into the eyes

Hair is the second fastest growing tissue on the body. Bone marrow is the first.

Hair is made out of the same substance as fingernails

Around 20% of the oxygen you breathe goes to your brain

You cannot properly tickle yourself as your brain knows that you are touching yourself and will not react in the same way as if something foreign were touching you

An adult human body requires around 90 pounds of oxygen per day

The heart produces enough pressure that it can squirt blood at a distance of over 35 feet

The human heart beats an average of 35,000,000 times per year - thus, the average human heart beats around 100,000 times per day

The volume of tears on the surface of our eyes is 7 micro liters (seven one thousands of a milliliter) when resting

Most common solid tissue to be transplanted in the world is the cornea.

Monday, October 25, 2010

A World Without Wrinkles or Skin Cancer?

...Have Scientists Finally Discovered How To Reverse Damaging Effects Of The Sun?

Have you ever gotten a sunburn? If you have, you are not alone. Most people, at one time or another, have played in the sun a little too long and turned a sweet shade of pink or even red. Until recently, the long-term damage done by sunburn was not fully known. Nowadays, most people now know the effects of a sunburn come out years later in the form of premature aging- like leathery skin, wrinkles and "sun spots." Even worse, overzealous sunbathing can cause skin cancer. But, what if there was a way to completely erase all the damage done to your skin by the sun? What if you could wipe out wrinkles, sun spots, rough skin and even skin cancer... and do it in a fraction of the time it takes you to blink an eye?

Wouldn't That Be Amazing And One Of The Best Scientific Discoveries Ever?

Well, scientists haven't quite discovered the ultimate cure for skin related aging and cancer yet... but with this incredible discovery, it looks like they are very close... Here's the discovery: Researchers have long known humans lack an enzyme that most other animals and plants have that reverses damage done by the sun.

Now, for the first time, researchers have actually seen how this enzyme works... on the atomic level... to repair sun damage. According to an article published in physorg.com, "The discovery holds promise for future sunburn remedies and skin cancer prevention. In the early online edition of the journal Nature, Ohio State University physicist and chemist, Dongping Zhong, and his colleagues describe how they were able to observe the enzyme called photolyase inject a single electron and proton into an injured strand of DNA. The two subatomic particles healed the damage in a few billionths of a second."

According to the article, Ultraviolet (UV) light damages cells by causing bonds in the DNA to form in the wrong places. Photolyase seems to break up the "wrong" bonds and "reset" them so atoms in the DNA can move back to their original positions.

Photolyase is present in all plants and most animals... even insects and bacteria. Only mammals are missing this enzyme. According to the article, "Now that researchers know the mechanism by which photolyase works, they might use that information to design drugs or lotions that heal sun damage, Zhong said. Normal sunscreen lotions convert UV light to heat or reflect it away from our skin. A sunscreen containing photolyase could potentially heal some of the damage from UV rays that get through." But until modern science actually comes up with the solution - the best thing to do is not get a sunburn.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Health Update: Carpal Tunnel

What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

So what IS CTS? According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (National Institutes of Health), CTS occurs as a result of the median nerve, which is located in the middle of the forearm and hand on the palm side, getting pinched or squeezed at the wrist. This results in numbness, or tingling and later, weakness in the part of the hand that is innervated by the median nerve (palm and index, 3rd and half of the 4th fingers). The reason this occurs so frequently is primarily due to the way the wrist is designed. There are 8 little wrist bones that make up the "tunnel."

There are 9 tendons that travel through the tunnel and the median nerve sits on top of the 9 tendons, just under the "roof" of the tunnel (a ligament). When the hands and fingers have to move rapidly such as when typing, playing piano, working on a fast paced, repetitive motion job (eg., packing cookies, meat packaging, etc.), the tendons rub together and create friction. As a result, the tendons swell and the median nerve gets squeezed or pinched between the swollen tendons and the roof (ligament). This process results in the symptoms: numbness, tingling, burning, itching, "half-asleep," driving numbness, difficulty picking up things with the finger tips, buttoning a shirt, grip/pinch weakness (opening a jar weakness), difficulty in differentiating between hot and cold, and sleep interruptions from the numb/tingling sensations. If not properly treated, the muscles at the base of the thumb can shrink ("atrophy").

Chiropractors are appropriately trained to diagnose and treat CTS - most importantly, WITHOUT SURGERY! The following represents a logical, effective chiropractic treatment approach for CTS: 1) Joint manipulation: this includes the hand, wrist, forearm, and in some cases, the elbow, shoulder, and neck; 2) Muscle release techniques: this may include deep tissue active release technique, spray and stretch, mobilization, contract/relax techniques, and teaching you how to perform some of these on your own; 3) Exercises: wall/wrist stretches, isometric and isotonic resistance; 4) Cock-up wrist splint use, especially at night; 5) Ergonomic modifications (workstation issues); 6) Physical therapy modalities such as low level laser therapy.

We realize that you have a choice in who you consider for your health care provision and we sincerely appreciate your trust in choosing our service for those needs. If you, a friend or family member require care for CTS, we would be honored to render our services.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Health Update: Low Back Pain

Running and Low Back Pain

Have you ever noticed every time you go running, you have lower back pain either during or after the run? If so, I'm sure you're wondering if you should quit running, find an alternative sport, or simply stop all activity and adopt a sedentary lifestyle. If you love the benefits of running and want to continue, is there anything you can do to make running tolerable? First, NEVER stop doing activity and adopt a sedentary lifestyle - it will start a slow decline with an unhappy ending! So let's see if we can make running work for you!

STRETCH: In general, stretching helps "warm up" your muscles and joints and can prevent the low back from hurting during or after your run. In past newsletters, we've reviewed simple stretches that can be done from a sitting position (when you're in a hurry), as well as others.

Yoga based exercises are also excellent!

FOOT STRIKE: The "proper" gait or, method your feet hit the ground is very important! To avoid low back injuries (not to mention foot, ankle, knee or hip injuries), run SMOOTHLY so the heel strike is gliding/glancing vs. a hard vertical load. The foot then "ROLLS" from heel to toe, first on the outside of the foot and then shifts to the inside during which time the arch flattens out, getting ready to "spring" you forward. The heel then lifts up and you push off the ball of the foot and big toe.

RUNNING POSTURE: Lean forwards when you run - DON'T run vertically like a Po-Go stick! By doing this, your momentum will be to move forwards - NOT downwards into the pavement (like a "jack hammer")!

CORE STRENGTHENING: By keeping your "core" (midsection) strong, your back is more supported and less likely to become injured. Core exercises include pelvic tilts, the "dead-bug", bridges, prone swimmers, lunges, squats, sit-ups, arch-ups, side bridges, 4-point kneeling/opposite arm/leg, and many others. These can be done on the floor and/or with a gym ball. Balance exercises are also very important!

RELAX: Have you ever noticed when some people run, they just look "tight" and uncomfortable.

RELAX - don't shrug your shoulders up to your ears; let your arms hang down bent at your sides; don't clench your teeth or make a fist - RELAX!!!

PADDED INSOLES: There are many brands of padded insoles - try some and see how they work for you.

RUNNING SHOES: The key here is TRY THEM ON and walk around inside the store. There are a lot of good supportive shoes so just find a brand that works for you!

FLAT FEET: This is common and NOT a reason to stop running. Ask us about foot orthotics and the function and importance of the arches.
We realize you have a choice in where you choose 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.