Duncan Blog

Dr. Eric Duncan Blog

Duncan Chiropractic Group P.C.


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.