ANKLE SPRAINS
Q) I severely sprained both of my ankles, playing competitive tennis when I was younger. Now I run the risk of tripping over my feet (which I do quite often) or injuring my ankle from walking off a curb. What can I do?

A) The ankles and feet are similar to the tires on a car because they need to navigate the road. Continual injury to any joint can result in scar tissue buildup and damage to the ligaments. In your case the, ligaments have been overstretched and they cannot stabilize your ankle appropriately, so your muscles need to work harder to add support. Therapy is necessary to balance the ankle muscles so that they can work effectively to do the job that the ligaments in a healthy ankle would normally do. The sport of tennis has the potential to create hip instability due to the constant side to side movement. Tripping over your feet can sometimes be a symptom of misaligned hips which cause the feet to track improperly and sometimes trip. In addition to a program of physical therapy applied directly on your ankle, an examination of your hip would improve your posture and will help you to avoid reinjuring your ankle.



AUTO ACCIDENT

Q. How much money can I expect from my auto accident?

A.My first responsibility is to take care of healing your back pain and soft tissue after your accident, and after the good doctors at the emergency room are finished caring for you. My experience has taught me that the sooner a patient sees me after an accident, the sooner their body heals and the less pain they endure. A --- Chiropractor heals the spine and soft tissue naturally, so that normal pain free life begins again. This healing process can begin immediately if you see me right after the accident. Pain relief, pain management, and ultimately injury prevention are key components of our rehabilitation sequence.

It is important that you know that the longer a case goes after the injury the only real winners are the lawyers. The longer a patient is treated after the accident the higher the medical bills that need to get paid. These medical bills are your responsibility first and the insurance companies find ways to not pay their portion. Even if you were hit by someone that created great pain for you, soft tissue injuries are difficult to prove in court and generally do not receive the windfall payouts like amputation and paralysis. I realize that runners, marathoners, cyclists and triathletes, run the risk of encountering traffic and sometimes an accident, when training that changes biochemicalís and posture. These injuries definitely require rehabilitation.

Since a soft tissue injury can be difficult to prove it will not get you a lot of money in court. It is terrible that your accident left you in pain and my job is to help you to eliminate the pain. Do not let the attraction of a cash settlement distract you from healing your injury and getting on with your life. Call your Chiropractor today, because you deserve the right to live a pain free, active, and healthy life.



BACK PAIN

Lying on the bathroom floor motionless, hoping his back muscles wouldnít spasm and tie up in a knot, Bob wondered why he was in pain again. The scenario of bending over to pick something up, with an instant pain as he straightened, had happened before, but why was it happening again? He had been feeling so good in the mornings, that his exercises to promote his good posture had fallen by the wayside. He figured that it had been at least three months since he had done any of his postural exercises. He remembers thinking how he didnít need these exercises because his back was fixed, with the problem gone away forever, no need for further pain management.

Bob continued to do all of the same things in his life that had created the pain in the first place. Bob had a sales job and he was in charge of the Midwest Region for his company. He spent as many as six hours a day, driving for his sales calls. Prior to this most recent back pain episode it had been a very busy season at work. He realized that during the last three weeks, he had worked six days a week, averaging six hours of driving each day. His seats were not comfortable, but his company promised him a new car next year if his sales were up from the previous year. His back felt stiff in the morning until he had a few cups of coffee and then the pain would go away. The more he thought about it, the more he would remember the little electric shots that would be going down his legs at times when he would be driving for more than three hours at a time. He had stopped doing his exercises that would have improved his posture and discontinued the nerve pain into his legs. Changing from injury to wellness, takes time. Sometimes with poor biomechanics the change in posture to heal back pain with rehabilitation is a process





CUSTOM EXERCISES

In order for the body to maintain proper posturing, we need to constantly give it the correct care and attention. On a nutritional level which affects a personís biochemistry, this means eating the proper foods and avoiding habits which are cancer causing. Much has been written about simple behavior patterns such as getting enough sleep at night, and drinking enough water to keep the body functioning in balance. The bodyís muscle and skeletal system also needs constant care and attention to stay in balance and out of pain. Modern day jobs which require extended periods of sitting for hours on end or maneuvering into uncompromising positions, forces the muscle and skeletal structure to adapt in order to perform these tasks on a day in and day out basis.

A car mechanicís posture will differ from a computer technicianís posture primarily because one job requires standing and the other sitting. Since their postures differ, the physical injuries linked with that posture will also differ. Proper eating promotes healthy biochemistry. Proper exercise promotes healthy muscle, skeletal, and nerve function. Proper prescription physical therapy is necessary for the muscles, skeleton, and nerves to stay in balance.

Years ago, after surgery, patients would rest easy in their hospital beds often for up to two weeks. With todayís research, surgeons now get their patients up and moving the day of the surgery. I equate movement and exercise together. In order for the mechanic not to develop the risk of herniated discs in the spine and torn knee ligaments - all maladies implicit with his job - he would benefit from a doctorís supervision monitoring the condition of the muscle and skeletal system. Implementation of a prescription set of exercises custom tailored to meet his needs will ensure injury prevention and the ability to live a pain free life. For a complimentary muscle and skeletal evaluation.. call 815-337-7109 consult www.NWHealthcareCenter.com



FEAR

I have noticed among my patients who are in constant pain that they live with the fear of when their pain may escalate to a level they may not manage. I have noticed this fear make the strongest character relegated to tears. Offering a patient who has undergone several less than productive surgeries the opportunity to become pain free by improving postural alignment seems sometimes too easy. I see it in patientsí eyes often during an initial examination. I like patients to see for themselves by using digital pictures, how their misalignments and imbalances cause their pain. It does not matter if you are a Triathlete, marathoner, cyclist, runner or swimmer. Pain, because of injury is something they all have in common.

Patients will often inform me that they have arthritis, from an injury. I like to refer to the structural imbalance as the cause of the arthritis. The hardest part about ending pain is that this involves change. In order to live without pain a change will need to happen. The only one who can start this change is my patient. One of the reasons I searched for a system of exercises that offered pain relief proper rehabilitation, biomechanics, and improved posture, is that inevitably someone would injure their back on a Sunday afternoon playing with their kids. I donít take emergencies and I donít go into the office on Sunday. I do educate patients on a program they can do for themselves should they develop uncontrollable low back pain. The key here is they now have a tool they can use, should they injure themselves.

Uncontrollable back pain creates uncontrollable fear. Fear serves only to paralyze us and stop us from moving. Donít live in pain. Donít live in fear. Find out if there are tools that you can learn that may change your lifestyle of pain. The Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, made one of my favorite statements which is as true if not truer today than it was centuries ago: the only thing that is constant is change. It is never too late to change your lifestyle of pain. Not at twenty not at eighty. Not after a hip or knee replacement. Not after a car accident. Believe in yourself. Believe in your bodyís incredible ability to heal, and watch the pain fade away. Pain management and wellness can be yours. Sometimes the solution resides with orthotics. Physical therapy for an injury or pain takes, time and energy.



A HEALTHY SPINE

Maintaining the health of your spine requires constant attention. Anyone who has had a hip or knee replaced by a surgeon knows that they have committed themselves to a lifetime of movement, in order for the prosthesis to perform properly. Surgeons are now asking their patients to move the newly operated joint on the day of the surgery. Anyone who has cardiovascular surgery knows that they have committed themselves to a lifetime of movement and often to a dietary change, as well.

A cardiovascular patient, who walks, strengthens the heart muscle and improves the effectiveness of any surgical procedure along with preventing any further surgery for the future. Anyone who has dental concerns understands that cleaning and maintenance is a lifetime process so that they are not wearing dentures in their forties.

Recently a patient came to me reporting dizziness when lowering her head below her shoulders. This had already caused her to fall once and she didnít want to recreate that experience again. Upon examination I realized the muscles associated with the spine had created a misalignment that also affects the nerves which control balance. I have seen this happen with triathletes, marathoners, swimmers, cyclists and runners.

When the nerves controlling balance are pinched as a result of spinal compression, a patient will experience dysfunction and injury. After some spinal stretching and manipulation to put the muscles and spine into proper alignment, the patient got up and found that she had regained her balance. Once the spine is properly aligned, the nerves go back to functioning properly. Instant results can be guaranteed with proper treatment.



HERNIATED DISK

Q) I just discovered I have a herniated disk in my low back. Can you help this?

A) If the gel filled capsule referred to as the disk has been totally perforated, then surgery is needed to repair the disk. Most total perforations I see occur as a result of trauma, such as a car accident, and they need surgical assistance. If your herniated disk is a result of faulty alignment including poor posture then you will benefit from our services. By using manual treatments to the muscles and spine and postural exercises to put everything into proper alignment, the pressure on the disk will decrease. A disk herniation is something that involves pain management, with proper self care to maintain healthy posture and avoid further injury, creating wellness. Even if you are a triathletes, marathoner, swimmer, cyclist or runner, poor biomechanics and posture leave athletes at risk of this injury and pain.



NEVER EVER GIVE UP

Every day in my office I see patients who are in pain. I have the privilege to hear about patientsí search for a pain free life, something we all have a right to have. Patients tell me their quest often starts with a surgical procedure of some type. If the first surgery doesnít meet expectations they will often opt for a second. If that doesnít work then patients turn to medication to make everything feel better. When one pill doesnít work then the dosage increases. When the pills relieve the pain they also numb out the other senses making patients feel like they are walking around in a gray haze.

There is lost sleep because the pain wakes them up from sleep. There are the lost social gatherings because the pain forced them to cancel, and there is the lost time playing with the children or grandchildren because sometimes these activities prove too painful. My hope is that these patients continue to search for solutions that grant them a pain free life. Improved Biomechanics, posture, orthotics and proper rehabilitation are key factors.

If one method isnít successful or one doctor isnít successful, keep looking around. Surgery and pain medication do not always empower the patient. I notice such a change in patients when they have a variety of tools to choose from that can provide pain relief, because one might be more successful than the others on any given day. They are in charge of choosing what will get them the greatest relief for the day. Keep searching to make sure you get the pain relief you deserve so you can live an active and happy life. Never ever give up. You have the right to live a pain free life!



OPPORTUNITY VS. OBSTACLE

Attitude directly affects the bodyís ability to recover from an injury. An injury is never convenient, never feels good and it interrupts lifeís consistent pattern. There is no disputing the fact that it is difficult to sustain an injury. Pain, which causes loss of sleep and loss of work, creates stress. During the upheaval created by an injury, a patient chooses an opportunity for healing or gets stuck with the obstacle an injury creates. I have noticed that people who heal low back pain, the quickest, move on with their life and begin the process of how to create wellness, rather than focusing on the past.

When a patient seeks my advice on how to relieve pain I feel it is my job to 1) educate them about what is happening with their body that is causing them to have pain and 2) give them the necessary tools out of the office for pain management and rehabilitation, proper posture and injury prevention. Creating an opportunity for healing relieves pain the fastest, and allows patients the ability to resume their normal lifestyle. This is important to triathletes, marathoners, swimmers, runners and cyclists



Chiropractor AND GOLF

Since Chiropractic is a field of physical medicine that emphasizes health of the muscles, tendons, and ligaments, and alignment of the entire skeletal structure, every golfer would benefit from Chiropractic treatments. Although golf is considered a recreational sport by some people, it actually places tremendous pressure on the body, and create low back pain.

Golf forces the body to rotate, which utilizes more muscles and ligaments then either forward or side bending. Since rotation creates the most movement through the body, if there is a misalignment, the chance of pain and injury after golfing, is possible. Physical therapy and rehabilitation are key factors.

Keeping proper posture is crucial for a pain free round of golf and also for performance enhancement. A Chiropractor uses manual manipulation of the muscles, tendons, and ligaments to move them into proper position. Once the body has achieved correct posture, a series of physical therapy exercises will remind the muscles how they should work. Muscles that work correctly guarantee proper posture, improved biomechanics and alignment of the entire skeletal structure, as well as guaranteeing a great golf game.



PAIN FREE SPRING TIME GARDENING

With the warmer days of Spring, I have begun working on my garden but my low back pain really bothers me and has started interfering with my sleep at night.

People who are sedentary during the winter months will feel the sorest after gardening for even several hours. Their muscles need to be strong enough to support bending, lifting, and twisting. Of all the movements in the garden, twisting and rotating the spine is the most risky. Raking leaves or throwing heavy bags of soil places tremendous pressure on the small disks which cushion the spine. Twisting and bending are normal movements performed by a healthy spine which is in proper alignment. Any imbalances will only make the twisting and bending more painful afterwards, while increasing the risk of injury. Injury prevention is the key to maintaining wellness and avoiding unnecessary back pain.

Having a program to maintain proper alignment before gardening will ensure a fun experience that is safe and rewarding. A prescription set of physical therapy exercises custom tailored to your specific needs, along with musculo-skeletal treatment, helps to maintain a healthy spine. Happy Gardening! Proper rehabilitation restores proper spinal biomechanics and improves posture making low back pain a thing of the past. It is possible to avoid such an injury.



PLANTAR FASCITIS

Q) I have been dealing with a condition called plantar fascitis. I would like to know what footwear you recommend for running.

A) The foot has three arches that form a triangle on the bottom of the foot. This triangle is how the body distributes weight evenly on the inside, outside, front, and back of the foot. A properly fitted shoe should assist the footís ability to use the muscles that make up the three arches on the bottom of the foot. Avoid running shoes which have a raised heel, placing extra tension on the muscles along the bottom of the foot. Due to your condition, finding the proper footwear specialist in your area would be prudent. Additionally I would be happy to provide an examination to determine if custom shoe inserts, called orthotics, would be appropriate for your condition. Wearing a proper orthotic is especially important for triathletes, marathoner, runners and cyclists.



INSIST ON THE BEST QUALITY NATURAL PRODUCTS

I conducted my own study with Vitamin E. In recent years there has been an abundance of research from Institutions like the Mayo clinic, promoting the benefits of this vitamin for maintaining heart health. I went to a local store where they had a sale on vitamin E - 40 capsules for $4.00. With this bottle in hand I went to the pharmacy counter where vitamin E was also stored but this bottle priced at 40 capsules for $10. I grabbed this bottle and asked the pharmacist about the price disparity in the two bottles. She mentioned that the products were the same but the labeling for the more expensive bottle lead to the price increase. Walking away from the pharmacy window I decided to examine the bottles myself. I noticed that they in fact were two different products.

The synthetic vitamin E which is not the product that Mayo clinic uses in their heart research studies sold for $4.00. The natural vitamin E provides the cardiac benefits and sells for more. I conducted another similar study with vitamin C. I noticed a local store carried six different brands of this wonderful vitamin. Looking further at the labels I noticed they all had preservatives to ensure a prolonged shelf life.

There are times when a patient may be in the midst of a cold or suffering from an episode that suppresses the immune system and I recommend taking 3 grams during this time. If a patient took three grams of vitamin C with fillers and preservatives they would suffer from upset stomach, gas, and bloating. When taking natural products insist on taking pharmacy grade products and you can expect the proper results!



SCIATICA

Barney had a sharp pain shooting down his leg whether he was sitting or standing. By the time he came to us, he had been experiencing this pain for nine months. The good doctors who were working with him to manage his pain diagnosed a condition called sciatica. This is a compression of a nerve that starts in the low back and breaks off into two branches, running down both legs. The nerve is compressed, and then it becomes inflamed and very painful, often resulting in sharp low back pain and sometimes an injury.

The good doctors helping Barney had tried pain medication, physical therapy, and pain shots but nothing provided relief for more than two weeks at a time. They had ruled out surgery as a possibility for help. Barneyís quest for a pain free life had gone on for a long time, and soon he was not comfortable in any position, because of his low back pain. After nine months he was wrestling with fatigue and depression, from not sleeping well at night.

The first visit opened up Barneyís eyes as to why his sciatic nerve was inflamed. He viewed a digital picture showing his right hip elevated three inches higher than his left. This hip imbalance created a subsequent rotation in the bones in the low back where the sciatic nerve begins, his biomechanics and poster were out of balance. Now that Barney saw the result of his pain we set out to create balance in the muscle and skeletal structures that created this imbalance in the first place.

After several treatments to loosen the muscles in his low back Barney was ready to start a posture based exercise program at home that would improve total body alignment, and biomechanics. Rehabilitation is crucial for pain management for low back pain. Proper physical therapy can prevent such an injury. This process of treatments and postural exercises continued for several weeks. Barney finally had his first breakthrough when he sat for two hours at a movie and drove home in his car without any pain. He continued with hands on treatments, and revised his physical therapy and exercises. As his posture changed, we noticed that his alignment and biomechanics had changed. The muscles from his exercises had helped to reposition both hip bones, and they were now both in proper alignment, helping to improve his posture. Barney had finally realized the full benefits of a pain free lifestyle! These benefits are not specific only to Barney. We use this for Triathletes, marathoner, swimmers, runners and cyclists. Eliminating pain is just a call away.



POSTURAL EXERCISES FOR SCIATIC PAIN

I ran into someone yesterday who had dealt with sciatic pain for a while year with no relief. He used physical therapy, and when his pain persisted he resorted to a spinal block to give him some relief, but unfortunately he did not experience any relief.

Pain for a whole year left him frustrated and asking questions about where to go next for help. He knew he had a herniated disk creating low back pain but heard from patients who opted for surgery that spinal surgery was not the way to go.

His injury made me think about the importance of proper diagnosis and evaluation. After his shot he had experienced more pain. Since he had already had an MRI, this made me think that they must have not hit the proper nerve root with the shot. An MRI, in theory, should provide the information about where to place a shot to reduce the inflammation in the nerve.

I think that it is a shame that he had to endure pain for so long, when he would have benefited from a protocol to change his alignment specific to the low back. Low back pain and nerve irritation is progressive, so it only gets worse if it is left untreated, resulting in possible injury.

Doing nothing is not an option. This is another example where postural exercises to realign the low back would lead to proper posture of the hips, resulting in the elimination of sciatic nerve irritation.



TMJ - TEMPORO MANDIBULAR JOINT SYNDROME

Q. My jaw has been popping and clicking lately and sometimes I get headaches at night. My doctor has diagnosed me with TMJ (temporo mandibular joint syndrome). Can you recommend anything?

A.A misalignment of the jaw and neck will definitely result in TMJ and even sinus symptoms. The body is telling you that the jaw and neck muscles arenít working properly, because of the constant noise they make when you use them. This is poor biomechanics. Stress plays a very important role because it contributes to increasing the tension in these muscles, leading to further misalignment, and poor posture. A postural program which eliminates the muscle tension at the jaw and neck will eliminate the joint from popping and clicking. Have someone observe you from the side position. Ask them if your ear position is directly over your shoulder or if it is forward of the shoulder. If your ear is forward of the shoulder, then extra tension exists that pulls the neck and jaw out of alignment. Simple posture based exercises to improve alignment and improve biomechanics, eliminates unnecessary joint tension. The prior popping and clicking will also be eliminated and the headaches will improve.



UNBALANCED SHOULDER

Q. I visited my doctor because my right shoulder pops when I move my arm overhead and I received instructions to take pain medication if my shoulder aches at night. Can you recommend anything?

A.Every time your shoulder pops with overhead movement your body demonstrates for you that something is wrong. Being able to lift your arms overhead is a normal movement which should not prove painful. This is normal posture, especially if there is an injury. Noise with movement illustrates muscle imbalance surrounding the shoulder. Since your doctor examined your shoulder and determined no structural damage we know that the position of the shoulder created the problem and not the shoulder itself. This results from poor biomechanics.

The unbalanced shoulder position over time, will lead to pain, inflammation, and ultimately loss of movement in the joint. The goal of treatment is to change the position of the shoulder joint by getting the shoulder muscles to work together properly. A prescription set of exercises specific for balancing the shoulder joints will eliminate the popping noise and will allow for full range of movement. With the proper shoulder position, lifting overhead becomes a pain free movement. We see this shoulder issue in triathletes, runners, marathoner, swimmers, and cyclists. Injury prevention and proper biomechanics are key.Proper rehabilitation and physical therapy, address this. Wellness programs limit the number of injuries from shoulder pain and back pain.



WHAT CAUSES BACK PAIN?

The spine has a tremendous design that allows for complex movement when properly aligned. The four spinal curvatures provide a fine balance that allows the spine to bend in all directions, improving biomechanics and proper posture.

The center of gravity is found in the hips. This core determines the position of the spine above it and the legs below. In order to remain pain free the hips and the spine must stay in proper alignment. This helps to avoid injury and pain while promoting pain management.

Long periods of sitting, work chairs with poor support, and stomach sleeping make it difficult to maintain correct hip and spine alignment. Chiropractor care helps to identify which area of your spine is out of alignment and causing nerve irritation and pain, and loss of biomechanics.

Stretching and manipulation of the muscles and spinal bones helps everything to go back into alignment. Eliminating nerve compression with Chiropractic treatment leads to pain free living.

Pain medication and muscle relaxers mask the pain and numb the nerves. Using drugs, unfortunately does not address the cause of the injury. Patients end up flat on their backs as soon as the medication wears off. This reliance on pain medication to eliminate the pain after injury in order to perform simple daily tasks, can lead to frustration and sometimes depression. Sleep cycles are interrupted and brain fogginess can make it difficult to perform throughout the day without feeling weary. Wellness is the key.

Chiropractor care also offers customized exercises that will offer pain relief. These simple exercises are easily performed at work or at home, and they have the intention of providing natural pain relief and increased vitality. This works great psychologically because you the patient are in charge of your pain. Pain medication is not the only thing that provides pain relief. A customized set of physical therapy exercises which helps to align the spine, done by you for yourself, also eliminates pain, and helps with pain management. This is helpful for triathletes, swimmers, runners, marathoners and cyclists. Rehabilitation and physical therapy along with orthotics, help the pain and promote proper posture.