Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Ear Infections



My intent in any of these blogs is not to get too technical, but I am going to have to.

I very much enjoy treating children. The most common ailment at the medical doctors office for children is the dreaded EAR INFECTION. The medical community feels that they only have one choice and that is to medicate with antibiotics. (This is a long discussion that I will not go into right now.) Often times this approach doesn't work, so another round of antibiotics gets prescribed. I would like to describe possible reasons for ear infections and why this medical approach is usually not the answer. The number one cause, that I see in my office, for ear infections is allergies or a virus. BOTH of which are NOT treatable by antibiotics.

When I describe allergies to my patients I explain it this way. All of us have allergies to a certain degree, but some of us can fight against it easier than others. To help further describe this I will use a demonstration. We were all given a barrel, and each of us has a different sized barrel. There are things that come against us that fills that barrel. Everyone is different so some examples are pollen, dust, milk, gluten, cats, soy, etc... The more we are exposed to these different allergens the more the barrel is filled up. Once the barrel is overflowing we have symptoms of allergies such as sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, stomach problems, etc...

Then you might ask, "Why are some people's barrels bigger than others?" and that is a great question!! Our barrel size is determined by genetics, stress, diet, exercise, and whether or not we have subluxations in our spine. Subluxations are misaligned spinal vertebra that cause stress on a nerve. The nerves in our spine talk to everything in our body including our organs, our brain, our skin, etc... When our nerves are not working optimally our bodies are not working optimally. (This to is another long discussion that I will work on some other time.) We can definitely affect our barrel size by eating right, exercising and getting adjusted to minimize subluxations.

SO... How can we treat ear infections without antibiotics? The answer is simple, but important.

1. Avoiding the allergen is a huge possibility. Sometimes that can be difficult to figure out what the allergen is but most of the time it is pretty simple. In my practice, the majority of allergens affecting the ears is coming from a DIETARY source. Believe it or not, it is very true. I want to get even more specific in saying that the majority of the dietary allergy patients that I see the number one allergen is usually caused by DAIRY products. Drinking milk causes increased mucus production even in individuals that don't have allergies, so when you have poor drainage in your lymph system of your neck the excess fluid ends up in the ears.

2. Subluxations!!! If you have a subluxation in your neck it will cause your neck muscles to tighten and spasm. (Also a main cause of headaches.) When the muscle in your neck tightens it cuts of the drainage of the lymph system in your neck. Then your ears don't drain either.

How do you treat subluxations? EASY you get adjusted by a very trained Chiropractor. I have been treating ear infections on kids for years with much success. Children, for the most part, respond very favorably to chiropractic care because they don't have the 'baggage' that us adults have. Their bodies are so much closer to optimal and heal rather quickly.

Making the decision to take your child to a chiropractor is a very responsible and healthy decision. My kids have been adjusted since the day they were born. Neither one of them has ever had an ear infection. I just wish that I could say that about your kids too!!!

If after reading this you have questions please let me know. I welcome discussions on any of the topics I will bring up.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Why do we get subluxations?


I had someone ask, "Why do we get subluxations?" That is a GREAT question. This is my answer to that question.

There are three main causes of subluxations. I call it the 3T's. Thoughts, toxins, and trauma.

Thoughts: This is the number one cause of subluxations. Our emotional stress, whether it is good or bad, is by far the biggest cause of subluxations. When we get stressed our muscles tighten up and pull on our vertebra which can pull it out of alignment.

Toxins: This is the second main cause of subluxation. Some examples of toxins are poor diet, medications (especially when taking more than two), smoking, alcohol, etc.. We are all aware of these ideas, but probably never thought of it in this way. Also the opposite is true. When you don't get enough of the "good things" in your diet such as water, fruits, veggies, protein, etc.. that can cause subluxations too.

Trauma: This is probably the one most people think of first because it can appear to be the most obvious, but examples of this would include car accidents, slips/falls, giving birth or being birthed, sports related injuries, etc...

Some examples of children and why they might get a subluxation are:

A 6 month old: Birth process, improper carrying, formula fed or introducing solids too early, stress in the family, second hand smoke, improper nutrition during pregnancy, or it can be just as simple as the baby's head falling backwards once because it's head wasn't stabilized. I could go on and on. There is research to say that at least 50% of all babies fall from the height of a diaper changing table.

6 year old: These guys have just had more years to their little lives. They could have subluxations that stem back to inutero or infancy, but now you have to add on learning to walk and all the falling that is associated with that, adding solid foods into their diet and all that that entails. More exposure to second hand smoke or other environmental toxins. The stress of starting school or home life stress. Wearing backpacks. ETC...

16 year old: More stress in their life... hormonally, educationally, physically, etc... More car accidents or near misses. Introducing more toxins in their bodies such as soda, alcohol, cigerette smoke, etc... (We would all like to think that this isn't happening, but it might.) Educational stresses. Life stresses. Sports stresses. Girlfriend/Boyfriend stresses. LOTS AND LOTS!

Adults: We have a whole different stress. Not only have we lived longer, but some of can add children in the mix. That brings on a whole new stress. Financial stresses, Emotional stresses, etc... I think that we all get the picture. :)




Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Proper shoveling techniques


This is one of Minnesota's favorite or un-favorite past times. Shoveling snow!!! Whether we like it or not, most of us can't get around doing it. Here are some tips on how to keep from injuring your back in this must-do task.


1. Warm up for 5-10 minutes. Just like any other exercise you need to warm up before doing it. For this you can be inside where it is still warm and touch your toes a couple of times, rotate at the waist slowly without forcing it, bend and touch the opposite foot, walk up and down stairs. All of these activities, if done slowly and carefully, will help warm up the lower back muscles. Stretch your lower back, arms and legs.
2. Don't let the snow pile up. Going out to shovel several times during a snow fall is easier than doing it when it really deep and heavy.
3. When you are outside make sure that you are dressed appropriately for the temperature, and wear boots that grip to minimize slipping on the ice.
4. Take frequent breaks. Stop every 10-15 minutes especially if the snow is heavy. If you are feeling chest pain stop immediately.
5. Don't lift and twist.
6. Use a proper snow shovel that allows you to push and throw snow forward.
7. Lift with your knees, keeping your back straight.
8. Use a snow blower if you have one, or utilize a neighborhood kid.

Good luck, stay warm, and stay injury free!!!