Monday, December 12, 2011

Dr. Riggs' December Schedule

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to Everyone.  Marty and I hope you have a happy holiday season.  Be safe and remember to not eat too much-it's hard to get back off.

The following are office hours for the Month of December:

Friday December 16 the office will close at 2:00 PM.  We will stay open through the lunch hour.  Dr. Riggs has to go out of town for a seminar.

Friday December 23rd we will close at 4 PM for the holiday weekend.
Monday December 26 we will be closed for Christmas.

Office News:
Dr. Riggs has recently become board eligible in chiropractic orthopedics and also became certified in low level laser therapy.  He is the only certified one certified in laser therapy in the area to his knowledge.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

November Blog


Dr. Riggs completed the remaining requirements for chiropractic board eligibility in October and hopes to take the exam next fall.


We are going to take a slight mini-vacation during Thanksgiving week.  We are going to visit family in Mississippi.  Our office hours will be as follows:
OPENMONDAY-TUESDAY: (November 21-22).  We are going to try to close at 4:00 PM on 21st.
RE-OPEN:  MONDAY (November 28)

  • Magnesium was found to help protect against diabetes (Type II) risk in a meta-analysis.
  • Chondroitin sulfate improved hand arthritis in a clinical trial (Arthritis & Rheumatism).
  • Lifestyle interventions (DASH diet, supplements Q10 & Potassium) are viable alternatives to lower blood pressure without drugs (Journal of Clinical Hypertension).
  • Doubling vitamin D could add 2 years to life expectancy (European Journal of Clinical Nutrition).  Current vitamin D recommendations are inadequate for African-Americans in another study.
  • Reduced cognitive function and brain volume are associated with lower levels of B12 (Neurology).
  • Squalamine found in sharks may help lower liver viruses.
  • Low levels of CoQ10 are associated with 790% increase in risk of melanoma metastasis (Journal of American Academy of Dermatology).
  • Curcumin (anti-inflammatory spice) shows promise in reducing neck and head tumor growth (Clinical Cancer Research).

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

October Health News

Clinic News
In addition to Dr. Riggs receiving laser certification (Certified Laser Practitioner) recently, he continually works on upgrading his skills.  He is enrolled in Palmer University completing the last year of requirements for board certification eligibility in chiropractic orthopedics and plans to take the exam new fall for DACO (diplomate academy chiropractic orthopedics) status.

Nutritional News: 
Following below is bullets describing briefly some of the benefits of omega 3 fatty acids that are evolving from research.  Diets rich in omega 3s tend to have populations that are healthier and live longer.
  • Omega 3s
    • associated with decreased cognitive decline in older men and women
    • protects brain from severe stroke damage
    • associated with less brain shrinkage
    • krill oil works synergistically with other omega 3s to target pro-inflammatory factors in arthritis
    • krill oil with astaxanthin suppresses pro-inflammatory agents
    • krill oil + hyaluronic acid + astaxanthin reduces pain and resolves in more than half tested
    • rich omega 3 diets decrease cancer risk and reduce inflammation.
    • omega 3s soothe anxiety and inflammation
    • combat stress and cortisol damage
    • battle depression and anxiety
    • slash risk for premature death
    • decrease risk factors for metabolic syndrome
    • fights cancer in early phases
    • provide vital protection for kidney and liver function
    • may help prevent osteoporotic fractures
    • may help mitigate triggering factors for COPD

Monday, October 17, 2011

October Blog Update

Dr. Riggs completed laser certification this past weekend completing the 24 hours required, in addition to 36 other laser hours.  He is one of less than 100 Certified Laser Practitioners in the country. 

Monday, August 29, 2011

September 2011 Blog

September Office Hours & Clinic News:
  • We will be closed Saturday-Monday Labor Day Weekend (September 3-5). If you have an emergency, please call 911.
  • Dr. Riggs will be completing Laser certification in October. He will be a CLP (certified laser practitioner) when he completes his last course. The only one in the area.
  • Dr. Riggs is also re-entering the orthopedics postgraduate program at Palmer with a targeted test date of fall 2012. He completed two years previously and has to complete the 3rd year. This will give him advanced credentials in chiropractic orthopedics (non-surgical orthopedics).
Health News:

Nutrition News:
  • Rhodiola helps combat the effects of excess cortisol (stress hormone). Excess cortisol can supress immunity; cause hypertension, hyperglycemia, insulin resistance, carb craving, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes (adult onset), fatty necks, faces and bellies, decreased libido and bone loss. It is akin to taking steroids frequently.
  • Too little or too much sleeping may affect cognitive decline (outside the 6-8 hour range).
  • Olive oil intake is linked to lower stroke risk.
  • Resveratrol's anti-inflammatory and anti-aging capabilities shows potential in anti-aging.  Grapes and red wine. 
  • Obesity leads to liver disease.
Medical News:
  • Trazadone and pregabalin combined improve fibromyalgia symptoms.
  • Men are at risk for osteoporotic fractures but about 10 years later than women. Men suffering hip fractures in the 76-84 age range do not fare too well-1/3 dying within a year. Low body weight, advancing age, and smoking increase the risk. Most fractures occur after age 70.
  • Risk for hip fracture increases if hormone replacement therapy is discontinued.
  • Jogging wins out in beating belly fat over resistance training

Friday, August 5, 2011

August Office Hours and Blog

Office Hours for August
  • Closed at 4:00 PM Friday August 5th Leaving for Houston Seminar
  • Closed at 3:00 PM Wednesday August 17 Leaving for Albuquerque
  • Closed All Day Thursday August 18 in Albuquerque at VA
Nutrition and Health News:
  • Green tea polyphenols provide protective benefits against ultraviolet light.
  • Human data supports caloric restriction as an anti-aging strategy
  • Nearly 2/3rds of americans are medically overweight or obese while 30% believe they are healthy and 70% of obese believe they are just overweight.  An obvious disconnect between perception and reality.
  • A dual blend of two plant extracts might combat fat storage.  Sphaeranthus indicus flower and mangosteen fruit were found to impede the generation of fat.
  • Low levels of CoQ10 were associated with increase breast cancer risk in a Cancer Epidemiology study.  Supplementation also improves the function of the endothelium.
  • Blueberries inhibit fat formation.  In spite of them being expensive, I love blueberries.
  • Low levels of vitamin D are linked to stiffness of the arteries, while higher levels reduced risk of macular degeneration in women. Low levels may also explain the higher rate of hypertension in African Americans.  Deficience could also play a role in the development of Parkinson's disease.
  • Omega 3 FAs help protect against diseases related to obesity.
  • John Hopkins scientists in a recent study linked dysfunctional mitochondria (cell powerhouse) to peripheral neuropathy.
  • Antioxidants lower risk of metabolic syndrome and protect against radiation.
  • Coffee drinks rejoice.  The Journal of Stroke reports coffee drinkers have fewer strokes.
  • Maritime pine bark extract and bilberry extract (standardized) show promise in reducing eye pressure associated with glaucoma and also in combination with the eye drop latanoprost (prescription).

Medical News:

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

July Office Hours

July Hours:  The office will close Saturday July 2nd and Monday July 4th for the Holidays.  We will be back to Normal Hours on Tuesday.  If you have an emergency call 911 or go to the emergency room.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

June Blog and Health News

June Office Hours: 
  • I will be open all day on Thursday June 9 and closed at noon on Friday June 10 to leave town for a seminar.

Clinical Topic of The Month-Tennis Elbow

What is it?
Tennis elbow is referred to medically as lateral epicondylitis, suggesting an inflammation of the extensor tendons of the forearm.  Studies suggest that chronic cases actually display degenerative changes in the tendon suggesting tendinosis instead of the inflammatory tendinitis.  The point of pain is at the outside of the elbow.

How do I know I have it?  (Signs and symptoms)
  • Pain on the outer part of elbow (lateral epicondyle).
  • Pain with gripping or squeezing, wrist extension and lifting movements.  Firm handshakes when squeezed can hurt.
  • Painful with any activities extending the wrist.
  • Grip weakness and pain with any activities gripping-turning a door knob, shaking hands, holding a heavy glass of water, turning a screw driver, etc..

How do I get Tennis Elbow?
  • Forceful blows or extension were thought to be early culprits suggesting tears at the tendons insertion into the bone.
  • There may be alternation of the radial nerve in the area.
  • Breakdown of the tendon due to overuse stress.
  • Rest or back down the activity causing it.
  • Maintain physical conditioning.
  • Use appropriate equipment.
  • Learn appropriate form.
  • Use a tennis elbow strap to help diffuse shearing forces.
  • Orthopedic testing (Cozen's).
  • Medical imaging tests-x-ray, MRI, ultrasound (usually cost prohibitive)
  • Generally made with signs and symptoms
  • Manipulation (Mill's maneuver)
  • Physical modalities-Ultrasound, electrical stim, ice, heat, vibration, laser therapy, exercises and stretching
  • Deep tissue therapy (transverse friction massage, Graston or other instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization)
  • Rest
  • Anti-inlammatory medications (OTC or prescription)
  • Bracing
  • Medical interventions-surgery, botulism, cortisone injections
Personally, I use a combination protocol of manipulation (Mill's maneuver), instrument assisted soft tissue therapy (Graston), cold laser therapy, temperature therapy (mainly ice), stretching and exercises.  This combination seems to get the best results.

Health Snippets
Heart Attack Symptoms:
  • Pain or pressure in the chest.
  • Discomfort spreading to the back, jaw, throat, or arm.
  • Nausea, indigestion, or heartburn.
  • Weakness, anxiety, or shortness of breath.
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeatsWomen: 
Note:  Women are more likely than men to have heartburn, loss of appetite, tiredness or weakness, coughing, and heart flutters

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

May Blog and Nutrition/Health News

Office Hours Notice for May:
  • We will be closed Memorial Day, May 30, 2011 to celebrate the holiday.  If you have an emergency, call 911.
Carpal Tunnel Treatment

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:  carpal tunnel syndrome is compression of the median nerve as it travels through the carpal tunnel causing intermittent numbness of the thumb, index, long and radial half of the ring fingers.  The pain is generally worse at night.  It it is chronic, permanent damage can be causes to the nerve with constant numbness, muscle atrophy and weakness of squeezing the hand.  Although consided a repetitive stress problem, studies have not confirmed this.
Treatment:  Medical treatment consists of night splints and corticosteroid injections or surgery.  Conservative/Chiropractic Treatment:  splinting is used by chiropractors as well as mobilization or manipulation of the wrist joints, deep tissue work (Graston technique) to stretch the carpal ligament, exercises, icing, activity modification, and in my practice cold laser therapy.  I get the best results with LASER therapy and Graston technique (instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization), stretching, exercises and splinting.  I also find working the whole shoulder arm and wrist complex helps relieve tension.  Sometimes CTS is misdiagnosed when it is real a pronator entrapment of the median nerve in the forearm.

  • Apple polyphenols extend fruit fly life span by 10% by apparently working on SOD (superoxide dismutase) and catalase.
  • Cup of Joe:  a Swedish study found less strokes in coffee drinkers.
  • Parkinson's and Vitamin D:  vitamin D insufficiency was highly prevalent in cases of recent onset of Parkinson's Disease.
  • Vitamin D and Lung Cancer: increasing vitamin D could help prevent lung cancer recurrence.
  • Vitamin E Supplementation and ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease):  a 23% reduced risk for ALS was found in supplementing for 2-4 years and 36% for over 5 years of supplementing.
  • Peripheral Neuropathy:  old dysfunctional mitochondria (cell powerhouse) might cause peripheral neuropathy (John Hopkins).
  • Green Tea vs. Alzheimer's:  green tea consumtion may protect against Alzheimer's disease.
  • Green Tea and Kidneys:   green tea is rich in catechins and flavinoids is a potent anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant with health benefits against, cancer, cardiovascular disease, body weight and insulin sensitivity as well as protecting the kidneys.
  • Glaucoma Nutrition:  a nutritional formula of maritime pine bark extract and standardized bilberry extract shows promise in reducing intraocular pressure.
  • Aging Eyes:  a special topical formula of soy and rice bran extracts supported by phytonutrients found in blueberries and antioxidants from pemgranate and tea extracts have been show to quickly target dark circles and eye puffiness.
  • Triglycerides:  tocotrienols (class of vitamin E) in a recent study lowered triglycerides by 28%  At doses of 100-200 mg/day they have been shown to reduce LDL and total cholesterol by as much as 37%.
  • Echinacea: echinacea in one study resulted in a 10% decrease in cold severity and about a half a day less of symptoms.
  • Calcium Supplements for Osteoporosis: Calcium supplements with/without vitamin D moderately increase cardiovascular events including heart attacks and warrants a reassessment of their role in managing osteoporosis.
  • Optimal Heart Health:  Blood Pressure below 120/80 mmHg, Body Mass Index (BM) below 25, fasting glucose below 100 mg/Dl, and cholesterol below 200.
  • Prescription Drug Abuse:  The FDA has taken steps with the Department of Justice, Health and Human Services, Veterans Affairs, and Defense and others to deal with the recreational use of prescription drugs via focusing on removing unused prescription drugs from homes, and dealing with "pill mills" and doctor shopping through law enforcement.  Unused prescription drugs have shown up as party drugs where drugs are dumped in a bowl without knowledge of their effects, what they are for, or the risks and side effects of taking them.  The drugs are often stolen from parent's medicine cabinets and could include opiods as well as things like heart medications, and pain medications to name a few.
  • Allergies:  Allergies are inflammation.  The following foods can help fight allergies naturally:  Salmon: Fatty coldwater fish like salmon (EPA and DHA) are omega 3 fatty acids.  Trout, tuna, nuts and seeds are also omega 3 sources.  Grape juice: Grape juice is a good source of resveratrol and antioxidant (may reduce asthma inflammation), red wine (even more resveratrol), blueberries, (may help lower blood sugar) and peanuts all contribute to resveratrol Beans: loaded with the B vitamin folate which may reduce allergic reactions.  Cutting back of pro-inflammatory red meat is also good.  Apples have quercetin a flavonoid which may stem histamine production and cool inflammation. Yogurt: has loads of probiotics for gut bacterial which lowers immune substances that affect allergies. Carrots:  colorful diets (veggies) have cartoneoids may have an allergy-quelling effect.  Mix It Up: mix up your diet but avoid inflammatory foots:  sugar, high saturated fats, red meat, heavy carbohydrate diets, and heavy fast foods.
  • CAMS and Osteoarthritis:   What complementary and alternative medicines (CAMs) work with osteoarthritis.  A recent review found that capsaicin gel, SAM-3 were the most supported and some evidence that MSM, rose hips (vitamin C) and  Indian Frankincense (5-loxin or boswellia) may be effective.   
Sources:  Google images, Medscape, Real Age, Life Extension.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Office Hour Change for April
The office will be closed April 27 (Wednesday) and 28 (Thursday) and Saturday the 30th. 
Dr. Riggs will be out of town.  Normal hours should be in effect Friday the 29th.

If you have an emergency during my absence please call 911 or go to the emergency room

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

April Blog

OFFICE HOUR REMINDERI will be closed April 14th, Thursday all day (normally only morning hours).


Acute neck pain can be caused by many things.  Strains/sprains to the neck from whiplash, sports, or certain sudden movements can result in muscular or ligament pain.  Injuries to the muscles take about 4-6 weeks to heal and ligament and tendon injuries take somewhat longer.  Mechanical joint pain can also result from sleeping postures, physical activities, repetitive movement injuries, and simply moving wrong.  When the joint locks and prevents normal joint motion pain often results.  Osteoarthritis/degenerative disc disease can also lead to neck pain.  Calcium build up called spurs can sometimes press on sensitive nerve structures resulting in radiating pain and lack of normal movement.  Disc injuries (swelling or herniation) can lead to severe neck pain due to disc material pressing on nerves.  Vascular problems (heart disease, artery disease) can also cause neck pain as can viral infections, certain cancers, and some diseases.

Chronic neck pain frequently results from years of abuse and the development of degenerative changes in the spine such as decreased disc spaces, calcium spurs, narrowed nerve openings, structural changes, and abnormal muscle and ligament tension.  Chronic musculoskeletal problems are generally progressive-i.e., they get worse with time and age.

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome:  This is another condition often accompanying neck pain and arm pain or numbness and tingling.  Generally, it is caused by mechanical pressure on the bundle of nerves and vessels coming out of the neck.  The increased pressure can be caused tight muscles in the neck or chest, an extra rib in the neck, postural problems, blocked arteries, and other causes.

View Image

Treatment options abound.  Conservative treatment may involve chiropractic manipulation, mobilization, stretching, exercises, structural changes, nutritional support and various physical medicine modalities to relax muscles and speed up healing.  LASER therapy also works well with neck pain.  Non-responsive cases may require steroid injections or surgical intervention.  Doctors of Chiropractic are trained to provide conservative treatment for acute and chronic neck pain.  By focusing on the normal structure and function of the neck we have various methods available to us.  My clinic focuses on manipulation (low force and traditional), traction, physical medicine modalities (ultrasound, electrical stim, exercises) and the use of low level LASER therapy to help return patients to normal in as short a time as possible.  Chronic cases and patients with radiating pain may take longer than normal due to tissue and structure changes and the nature of the condition.  Referals are provided in non-responsive cases.  Medical treatment may include:  medication, injections, or surgery.  X-rays may or may not be necessary depending on clinical findings and the patient's response to treatment.

View Image
  • There is evidence that fish oil, vitamin D, carnosine, multi-vitamins and a healthy life style can slow the rate of telomere shortening which is responsible for aging.  Recent research has made strides in discovering how to prevent telomere shorting and thereby extend life span.
  • Magnesium supplements may reduce diabetes risk.
  • Green tea may help prevent Alzheimer's disease.
  • Eating lots of fruits and vegetables can give you a healthy glow.
  • Increased zinc intake was found to be associated with lower risk of prostate cancer death.
  • Vitamin E was associated with longer life span in a Finnish group over 71.
  • High dietary fat, cholesterol linked to increased breast cancer risk.
  • Belly fat puts women at risk for osteoporosis.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Change in Office Schedule

My Schedule has changed for the end of the month.  I WILL be in the Office on March 31, April 1 and Saturday April 2.  I will be closed Thursday April 14 for an eye doctor appointment in Lubbock.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Losing Weight Eating Healthy

Saturday 3/12/11:  the office will open at 11 AM instead of 10 AM.  Dr. Riggs has to do a relicensing teleseminar from 8-11
Thursday 3/31/11 and Friday 4/1/11 and Saturday 4/2/11:  The office will be closed.  Dr. Riggs will be out those three days.  If an emergency go to the emergency room:

Eating healthy is a challenge in modern society with all the fast food restaurants, our busy lifestyle and our time constraints.  However, the highly processed food market appears to contribute heavily to our national obesity epidemic.  A recent article by Dr. Alex Vasquez (DC, ND, DO) has suggested a supplemented form of the paleolithic/mediterranean dietThe paleolithic diet is the diet eaten by our ancestors when they were hunter/gatherers.  The mediterranean diet is considered to be very heart healthy.

What does the diet recommend?  Here are the components.  As a side note, I have been following the diet and have lost 23 pounds since January.

Paleo-Mediterranean Diet:
  • Emphasis on fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and berries and lean proteins such as chicken, fish, lean meats, soy, and eggs.  This is a high anti-oxidant, high fiber and anti-cancer oriented diet.
  • Soy and whey protein isolates (anti-cancer, heart protective, mood enhancing).
  • Avoids:  potatoes, starchy vegetables, wheat, grains including rice (due to high glycemic index and load).  Avoid wheat, barley, rye (high glycemic index and gluten sensitivity)
  • Forbids:  colas.sodas, processed foods and manufactured foods.
  • Supplemented with multi-vitamin and minerals with limitation of 10000 IU of vitamin A in childbearing age women.  Helps reduce inflamation and is health promoting.
  • Vitamin D3:  4000 IU although some respond better to 10000 IU.
  • Fatty Acid Supplementation: 
    • ALA (omega 3 flaxseed), EPA (omega 3 -fish oil), DHA (omega 3 fish oil, algae), GLA (omega 6-borage oil), EPO (black currant seed oils),  Oleic acid (flax and borage seed oil).
    • Olive oil for salads and cooking (omega 9- oleic acid + other anti-inflammatory/anti-cancer phytonutrients).
    • Improves diabetic neuropathy, respiratory distress, Chron's, lupus, RA, cardiovascular disease, eczema, migrains, depression, osteoporosis, musculoskeletal pain, MS.
PROBIOTICS for gut flora modifications:
  • Good bacteria and yeast (probiotics), prebiotics (fiber, arabinogalactin, inulin), and fermented foods (kefir and yogurt if not allergic to milk).
  • Advantages-restores the gut microbial balance.
Iodine and Iodide:
  • 12mg/d is consistent with intake in countries like Japan
  • Antioxidant, antimicrobial, mucolytic, immunosupportive, anti-estrogen and anti-cancer.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Balance- March Blog


   We all seek to achieve balance in our lives.  Excess tends to invite problems in many ways.  Excessive waste invites pollution, degradation of our environment and leads to things like a break down of the ecosystem.  Excessive intake of bad food can lead to a multitude of health problems:  diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease, and many degenerative diseases.  Excessive cell production is of course cancer. 
   Achieving balance can be difficult.  We are inundated with opportunities to engage in excess:  fast food restaurants galore, fast cars, drugs and alcohol, and media overload.  Balance on the other hand requires discipline.  The ability to temper impulses and desires with what is healthy and safe, right and wrong, dark and light, etc.  This is much the ying yang concept of the orient.  In the health area, balance can be a very difficult challenge.  We are busy as a society:  rushing, rushing constantly.  It is far too easy to grab a fast food burger or a donut than to fix a healthy breakfast or prepare some fruit.
   Some thoughts on balance:
  1. Take the time to find quiet.  Find or set up a special place in your house where you can just sit and have quiet with no interruptions, no phones or internet, no noise, and minimal light.
  2. Breathe.  Learn to breath properly and practice breathing.  There are many types of breathing exercises available from yoga, chi qong, tai chi and martial arts that have rejuvenating abilities.
  3. Clear the mind.  Practice prayer or meditation or whatever your method of getting in touch with the ethereal or energy of your spirit.  This is a good place to practice breath as well.  Learn to get all the noise that courses through our minds to be quiet.  One person said a long time ago that "all of mankind's ills come from the inability to sit quietly in a room and be alone."  Or something to that effect.
  4. Practice relaxation.  Relax the mind, relax the body, relax the breath.  Let all the tension progressively release from your body.  You can lie or sit and start with an area of the body and relax it totally.  Then move to another area and work through the whole body.
  5. Learn to make balanced decisions.  Help your body function best by choosing positive alternatives to fat, sugar laden fast food meals.
   Balance can also be addressed other ways in the body.  Often times musculoskeletal injuries are a result of imbalances in the function of muscles.  Over time muscle imbalances cause joints to break down and cause pain and dysfunction.   An example is low back pain caused by weak hip flexor muscles.  I find almost all the time in women with low back pain, for example, that either the major hip flexors or secondary hip flexors on one or both sides are weak.  The result is the body has to recruit other muscles to walk and perform normal activities.  Like a misaligned wheel on your car, over time your start having problems (breakdown) due to repetitive stress. 
   Muscular imbalances can be treated with the laser to restore the energy connections, unless there is severe nerve injury.  By fixing the connections further or future injuries can be prevented.  It allows balanced stressors and minimizes wear and tear.  Maintaining balanced muscle function is essential to an effectively functioning musculoskeletal and nervous systems.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

February Blog

  • I will be closed the normal office hours on SATURDAY, February 26th, 2011.  I will be in the area so if you need to be seen in the evening, contact my cell number at (770-3155).  I will be tied up from 9 AM to 5 PM at a seminar and I haven't figured out my voice mail yet so just call me after 5 PM.

  • A study reported in the American Pain Foundation, Pain Monitor notes that flat feet may contribute to knee pain and ostearthritis in the knee in older adults.
  • Calcium and Vitamin C supplements may help protect against diabetes.
  • Increased consumption of Omega 3 fatty acids may help ward off macular degenration.
  • Pomegranate may help stop metastasis of prostate cancer.
  • Folic acid reduces hot flashes.
  • Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) luecone, isolucine and valine intake show an inverse relationship to being overweight or obese.
  • The polyphenols in blue berries may have the ability to combat high blood sugar, obesity, bad blood lipid profiles, hyper tension, insulin resistance and diabetes, in addition to its anti-cancer fighting agents.
  • Ginger's compounds have been linked to providing relief for dozens of issues:  cough, bronchitis and upper respiratory infections; migraines, motion and morning sickness, rheumatoid arthritis, pain from surgery, gas, loss of appetite, diarrhea, upset stomach and somache ache, colic, and nausea from chemotherapy.  It also helps with inflammation.  Fresh is better than dried.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

January Blog and Health News

Note:  I will be closed Saturday 1/22/11.  I will be teaching an Aikido seminar in San Antonio.

Thought for the day:  “A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.” —William James.

Nutrition Blurbs
  • Mitochondrial Dysfunction:  mitochondria are the power houses of cells.  Dysfunction has been linked to diabetes, cancers, heart problems, aging and brain function.  A natural compound may promote new mitochondria formation in cells.  PQQ (pyrroloquinoline quinone).
  • Magnesium may protect women against sudden cardiac death.
  • Higher vitamin D levels is associated with lower risk for bladder cancer.  Patients will leukemia and vitamin D insufficiency may face earlier mortality risks.
  • Olive Oil helps protect the liver from oxidative stress and aids in cardiac fat oxidation.
  • Curcumin (household spice) may help prevent and treat fatty liver disease damage.
  • Cinnamon Extracts may help reduce diabetes and heart disease risk factors.
  • Fish Oils may help diabetes and one component DHA may help promote recovery from stroke.
  • Ceramides (a fat-soluble constituent of normal cells) in addition to aiding skin aging may also help lower total cholesterol, increase HDLs, enhance insulin sensitivity and help prevent colon cancer.
  • Anthocyanins (pigmentary compounds in fruits) may help with free radical damage, cancer, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, and also enhance night vision.
  • Glucose-control can be assisted with chromium, Indian gooseberry (amla), shlajit (rich in fulvic acid), brown seaweed and cinnamon.
  • Carnosine in studies at high doses has been shown to boost longevity, helping cardiovascular health, combatting elevated glucose, safeguarding the brain, and containing anti-cancer properties.  Branched chained amino acids were also liked to increasing lifespan in mice.
  • Multi-vitamin use lowers heart attack risk in women.
  • Reduced testosterone levels is linked to increase mortality in men.
Herniated Discs

What is a Herniated Disc?  The disc can be viewed a lot like a jelly donut.  It is somewhat circular with an outer area and a center or core (nucleus).  When the core bulges into the outer layer it is a bulging disc and can press on sensitive nerve structures.  When it breaks into the outer layer (like the dough but with the consistency of crab meat) it is a herniation.  Sometimes it breaks totally out of the disc and becomes a free fragment which can be a serious condition causing loss of bowel or bladder function or numbness in the groin (cauda equina syndrome)-usually a surgical emergency.

What Causes a Herniated Disc?  The causes are many.  Basically, weakness in the outer layer of the discs or the inability of the disc to handle the pressure load of the nucleus causes the fibers to rupture allowing the nuclear material to escape its containment.  Lifting improperly, traumatic injuries, coughing, sneezing, and straining activities have all resulted in disc herniations.

What are the Symptoms of a Herniated Disc?
  • Pain:  pain can be severe in the back and leg(s).  If the pain is immediately more severe in the leg, we are concerned about a free fragment (sequestered disc).  Pain is usually worse with sitting.
  • Radiating sciatic pain (radiculopathy).
  • Muscle weakness
  • Numbness and Tingling
How are disc injuries diagnosed?  An orthopedic and neurological and x-ray examination normally needs to be performed to determine other possible sources (piriformis syndrome, osteoarthritic spurring, etc.).  A MRI may be necessary to establish the location and severity of the herniation.

What are my Treatment Options?
  • In less severe cases, conservative management works effectively including:  spinal manipulation (chiropractic), physical medicine modalities for pain control (interferential current, ice, laser), acupuncture, rehabilitation exercises, medications.
  • More severe cases may require epidural steroid injections, surgical excision of the herniation, disc replacement or fusion.
  • Cauda equina symptoms generally require emergency surgery.
Many other conditions may mimic a disc herniation and are effectively treated non-surgically.