Dizziness and Balance Problems

Dizziness — More Than Just A Feeling

By Dr. Ernesto Fernandez

A broad spectrum

Dizziness is what is known as a vestibular disorder. A vestibular disorder is a condition that affects your body systems that control your sense of balance and sense of awareness of the environment. Epidemiological studies have reported that dizziness including vertigo affects over 20% of adults yearly and has reached up to 40% in those older than 40.

Different individuals can experience various forms of dizziness. You know, like the feeling after spinning one too many times on the merry-go-round, or after having one too many cocktails and then lying down. Unfortunately, many suffer from dizziness on a regular basis, without having done either of those things. In certain people being dizzy may feel like the world is spinning or rocking. In others it may feel like an inability to concentrate or even light headedness. In more severe cases of vertigo one may experience nausea and vomiting.

Due to the complexity of causes and effects of dizziness, it is important for doctors to not give the same cookie cutter diagnosis to all. Dizziness is not just some insignificant feeling. It can hinder the level of independence in an individual. Something as routine as driving their car becomes a difficult and dangerous task. It can take a toll on the overall quality of life, affecting time with family or favorite hobbies. Imagine trying to return a serve in tennis while the court is spinning around you! More important, it may dramatically increase the risk of falling and becoming seriously injured.

It’s all about the brain

Dizziness can be more accurately diagnosed and treated with a better understanding of the sensory integration between three vital aspects of the body and the brain.

  1. The inner ear (vestibular apparatus)
  2. The eyes
  3. The proprioceptive system (muscle, joint, skin)

Dizziness can manifest as a primary condition such as positional vertigo or Meniere’s disease, or as a secondary condition due to head injuries, medications, and stroke.

The most common form of dizziness diagnosed is caused by problems in the inner ear also known as Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV). In brief; this type is caused by a disruption in the sensory organs in the inner ear and its ability to tell the brain where you are in the environment. This is normally due to a trauma, abnormal positional change, or viral infection. This piece of anatomy in the inner ear is called the vestibular apparatus and communicates with the brain through the vestibulocochlear nerve. Who knew the ears were responsible for much more than just hearing. Although, our spouses may believe our anatomy can’t even get that part right.

Other conditions, like a head injury or concussion for example, may affect the way your eyes move, fixate, and track targets in the environment. If your eyes are unable to register the appropriate and accurate information from the environment, your brain receives faulty signals and interprets it as a loss of balance. This creates a sensory mismatch between the eyes and the brain and can result in dizziness.

Furthermore, the proprioceptive system plays a critical role in the diagnosis and treatment of dizziness. The proprioceptive system includes receptors within the joints, muscles, tendons, and skin that communicate with the central nervous system to tell it where it is in space. Areas of the body with the highest concentration of these receptors include the hands, feet, and upper neck. A study done on the density of these receptors in specific muscles found a range of 190–242 muscle spindles per gram of tissue in the suboccipital muscles. These are tiny muscles of the upper neck that attach to the spine and skull. That is a whole lot of information coming from just your neck to tell your brain what position you’re in! Acquired or degenerative conditions of the neck like trauma, muscle spasms, and chronic postural abnormalities can cause structural shifts of the head and neck as well as tension in those joints, ligaments, and muscles. These shifts manifest as postural distortions away from the center of gravity and interferes with the important job those receptors carry. This creates another sensory mismatch between the proprioceptive tissues and the brain.

Dizziness and Balance Problems 1

A thorough investigation of each of these body symptoms should be done by doctors before making an accurate diagnosis of dizziness or vertigo. From there, different treatment strategies can be implemented to address the specific anatomy wreaking havoc in these patients’ lives. In Part II of this dizziness series we will discuss specific treatment strategies that may offer hope to those who continue to suffer from dizziness and can’t seem to find answers.

 

Sources:

[1]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27638063

[1]https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/2149881-overview

[2]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22999306

[3]https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/64bb/b1b73041418d1caefcd9b9a0273501743242.pdf

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Beat The Bloat During The Holidays

With the holidays fast approaching, there will be the inevitable temptations of sweets and calorie laden dishes at every party and gathering, waiting patiently to take your health goals and drag them through the proverbial mud. But fear not! You can beat the bloat. Here are a couple ways to stay ahead and come out of the new year looking AND feeling great.

  1. Eat whole grains. A study showed that eating whole grains on a daily basis resulted in burning an extra 200 calories every day. In essence, pass on anything made with white bread, and choose organic whole grain breads. Sprouted grains are best. Whole grains also help fight constipation and bloating.
  2. Watch your milk intake. Milk is great for growing babies and can help athletes recover post exercise. But milk is designed by nature for GROWTH. If you want to prevent growth in your mid drift, limit your servings and consider nut milks as an alternative.
  3. Skip the elevator. Short yet intense periods of stair climbing (10 minutes) improve your heart and lung function and can help you lose weight and beat the bloat. Hit the stairs at home, work, or on the way to a holiday party. You can break up the duration as well. So devote a few minutes each day to the stairs and start improving your appearance and performance for 2018!Beat-the-bloat
  4. Plan your meals.  Yes, you have been looking forward to Grandma’s famous homemade lasagna and Aunt Susie’s made-from-scratch carrot cake that only makes an appearance once a year.  They will both be a featured item on you dish and you will enjoy them.  But think about your meal before you pick up the serving spoon or pie cutter.  A good rule of thumb you can try is allowing for one normal sized plate for dinner and one small plate for desert.  This limits your serving sizes and makes you choose your favorite dishes, not everything on the table.  Also think about the snacks and cheeses.  They will count the next day!

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Resistance Band Training Rehab Exercises

As a part of complete Structural Correction, often times complimentary recommendations will be made by your doctor. During the course of the initial phase of care, he or she may prescribe rehabilitation exercises designed to strength focused areas of the body that require retraining due to an injury or condition. Some may consist of movements with resistance coming from your body weight against gravity. Lunges are a great example of a simple yet great exercise to help with the recovery of certain back conditions. Other exercises may require additional resistance beyond your body weight. Resistance band training can be an effective way to rehab neck, shoulder, knee, upper back and low back conditions.

Resistance bands are rehab and exercise equipment that give steady resistance throughout the specific exercise performed. They usually consist of either rubberized bands or elastic cables with handle attachments. The advantage of a resistance band for rehab over traditional dumbbells is three-fold.

First, resistance bands are compact and easy to use no matter what your skill level may be. Worried about getting off track with your rehab program while traveling? Bands are easy to pack and take up little room. They can easily be used in a hotel room or while on the road.

Second, resistance bands allow for very specific rehab movements as compared to dumbbells that results in better use of your time. Instead of having resistance from one direction as is the case with a dumbbell, resistance bands allow multiple areas of the body to be rehabilitated with one functional movement. Athletes commonly use functional movement exercises to boost performance. They can also be an important recommendation to prevent structural shifts from returning after your adjustments.  Here is one exercise we use incorporating resistance bands:

“Resistance bands are compact and easy to use no matter what your skill level”

resistance-band-training-exerceses-palm-coast

Third, resistance band training allows for continuous resistance throughout the exercises prescribed to you. Continuous resistance engages your muscles while contracting and releasing. You can also hold the movement with the band stretched to add an additional element to the rehab of the injured area. This results in better overall stabilization to injured or underworked areas initially determined by your doctor.

We have an array of bands to choose from at our office. They are the most advanced and effective bands for structural rehab because of their hand and foot holds. We have developed a video series available to our patients to guide you through the exercises. Ask to see our selection on your next visit!

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Fight against cancer cells naturally

 

Do you or someone you know take aspirin on a regular basis for the prevention of disease? The answer is likely yes. The benefits of aspirin and the compounds contained in it it have been extensively studied. The result of digesting aspirin creates salicylic acid (SA). This is the active component contained in aspirin that helps decrease inflammation and can help cells from becoming cancerous. The fact though, is that nature is full of foods containing SA that fight cancer cells naturally!

Salicylic acid is found abundantly in fruits and vegetables, and herbs and spices contain the highest concentrations. Chili powder, paprika, and turmeric contain significant amount of SA, but cumin provides more than any other spice. It has been determined that eating a teaspoon of cumin is like taking a baby aspirin! Plus, cumin has none of the potentially harmful side effects of aspirin.

Cumin is a powerful spice that can help prevent uncontrolled cell growth.

Cumin is a spice that is commonly found in Eastern foods including Indian cuisine. Studies done on Indian culture an incidence of cancer is astounding. Indian populations, who eat substantial amount of spices containing SA have much lower rates of colorectal cancer that is ascribed in part to high exposure to dietary SA throughout life from eating spices.

It is important to note that vegetables also contain other important organic acids that behave in similar ways to Salicylic acid.  Enough emphasis cannot not be put on the positive effects of a diet rich in vegetables.

Protection from cancer begins with healthy lifestyle choices. First and foremost, get adjusted when recommended by your doctor. The body cannot function optimally without proper alignment. Be sure to reach for organic vegetables and whole grains over processed alternatives, and consider adding these spices to your recipes to fight cancer cells naturally.

 

 

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Text Neck Pain and Repetitive Stress

We were born to move; its a part of life. From the instant a baby learns to crawl, its world opens up to new possibilities of exploration. As we develop, this ability grows to power our limbs to climb the proverbial (or literal) mountain and reach new heights. Inevitably, the climbing and conquering leads to scrapes and bumps from the journey.

At some point, more than likely when you were in the growth stage of your life, you may have done something small that caused a minor shift in your spine. As kids and teenagers, we are active and typically bounce back from injuries – or so we think.

More often than not, those little injuries have left behind minor shifts or displacements.

If those minor shifts or displacements are not corrected, they eventually progress – usually without pain until later in life. You may have heard the expression, ‘As the twig is bent, so grows the tree,’ – well, if you think about that expression, it contains a lot of truth.

Life is also made of little and big decisions. Our office often sees the effects of repetitive behaviors that result in serious consequences. Flexing your neck forward to read a text, check your social media post or change a music selection places the spine in a position of stress. People who sit a lot progressively shift their spines out of alignment – thus leading to a large variety of problems.

Below is one of many possible recommendations our doctors may prescribe to correct text neck and neck stiffness.

 

Text neck pain can develop in children as well as adults.

Think about it like this; If I drive my brand new vehicle down a road that has potholes, day after day, there’s a very good chance that I could do some damage to the frame. Right?
  Do you think that frame damage could cause secondary problems like asymmetrical wear on your tires…rattling inside the car…the car pulling toward one direction, etc.?

It’s no different when thinking about the spine.  We do things over and over again that challenge our spines. Those disruptions lead to shifts or displacements, and those displacements lead to a series of secondary problems that include pain, muscle spasm and stiffness that must be addressed to restore normal health.

 

Text neck pain and damage from repetitive stress does not have to be something you live with.  If suffering with similar health concerns, an examination by one of our doctors can determine if we are able to help.

 

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Heart Health and How To Lower Cholesterol Naturally

It pumps. It ticks. It pounds when we’re nervous. Whatever attribute you give to the heart, we know that heart health is important in overall health of our cells, tissues, and other organs.  More than ever, we are seeing the effects of an unhealthy heart.  Because people are developing conditions of the heart including atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), irregular heart rhythms, and heart failure, we must consider lowering cholesterol naturally. So what choices can be made to maintain a healthy heart?

To understand how the heart works the way it does, we must look at cholesterol. Cholesterol is a natural substance that is produced by the body and is essential for optimal health.

You may be thinking, “Of course, you must have low cholesterol to have a healthy heart.  I can lower cholesterol naturally or by taking a prescription drug.” But low cholesterol does not equal healthy.

Cholesterol is essential to life and found in every cell.  Many processes in the body from nerve function and hormone synthesis, to vitamin D production depends on cholesterol. If cholesterol is too low, this will lead to problems in health, including the heart.  But we must have appropriate ratios of HDL, LDL, Triglycerides, and total cholesterol.

There are ways to maintain and lower cholesterol naturally.

The first thing to note is that cholesterol works synergistically with two other nutrients : sulfur and vitamin D.   Cholesterol requires these nutrients to make important substances the heart uses for normal function.  Sulphur is used in the presence of cholesterol to make cholesterol sulfate. This is mainly formed from regular sun exposure of the skin. Once made, cholesterol sulfate is then transported to the heart and all cells by way of the blood stream.  Once in the heart cells, the molecule helps to power the pumping action of the organ.

Taking these thing into consideration, There are two important things to think about to maintain and lower cholesterol naturally. First, consider adding sulfur-containing foods like fresh garlic, seafood, and cruciferous vegetables to your diet. This will provide your body with the needed sulfur to produce cholesterol sulphate. Plus, these foods taste great and add variety to your meals.  Second, get appropriate sun exposure. This helps with the formation of healthy cholesterol and vitamin D, helping you and your heart stay healthy naturally.

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Keywords: Sunshine, Vitamin D, Sulfur, Heart health, Lower Cholesterol Naturally

Lower cholesterol naturally

 

It pumps. It ticks. It pounds when we’re nervous. Whatever attribute you give to the heart, we know that heart health is important in overall health of our cells, tissues, and other organs.  More than ever, we are seeing the effects of an unhealthy heart.  Because people are developing conditions of the heart including atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), irregular heart rhythms, and heart failure, we must consider lowering cholesterol naturally. So what choices can be made to maintain a healthy heart?

To understand how the heart works the way it does, we must look at cholesterol. Cholesterol is a natural substance that is produced by the body and is essential for optimal health.

You may be thinking, “Of course, you must have low cholesterol to have a healthy heart.  I can lower cholesterol naturally or by taking a prescription drug.” But low cholesterol does not equal healthy.

Cholesterol is essential to life and found in every cell.  Many processes in the body from nerve function and hormone synthesis, to vitamin D production depends on cholesterol. If cholesterol is too low, this will lead to problems in health, including the heart.  But we must have appropriate ratios of HDL, LDL, Triglycerides, and total cholesterol.

There are ways to maintain and lower cholesterol naturally.

The first thing to note is that cholesterol works synergistically with two other nutrients : sulfur and vitamin D.   Cholesterol requires these nutrients to make important substances the heart uses for normal function.  Sulphur is used in the presence of cholesterol to make cholesterol sulfate. This is mainly formed from regular sun exposure of the skin. Once made, cholesterol sulfate is then transported to the heart and all cells by way of the blood stream.  Once in the heart cells, the molecule helps to power the pumping action of the organ.

Taking these thing into consideration, There are two important things to think about to maintain and lower cholesterol naturally. First, consider adding sulfur-containing foods like fresh garlic, seafood, and cruciferous vegetables to your diet. This will provide your body with the needed sulfur to produce cholesterol sulphate. Plus, these foods taste great and add variety to your meals.  Second, get appropriate sun exposure. This helps with the formation of healthy cholesterol and vitamin D, helping you and your heart stay healthy naturally.

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Keywords: Sunshine, Vitamin D, Sulfur, Heart health, Lower Cholesterol Naturally

Increase Your Range of Motion

Are your joints and muscles causing painful discomfort that limit your ability to do the things you love?  Do you find yourself waking up in the morning feeling no better, or even worse, than when you went to bed the night before?  Is your mobility limited, leaving you with a chronic issue like stiffness or soreness?  ?  If so, adding focused stretching to your daily routine may be of great benefit to you and increase your range of motion.

It is important to understand what kind of stretching you need to increase your range of motion.

As part of our complimentary recommendations, our doctors often recommend implementing a series of structurally rehabilitating stretches. It is important to note, these stretches are begun only after the area of concern is stabilized and ready for stretching.  Even more important to realize is these rehabilitating stretches are limited in their effectiveness for decreasing stiffness if not coupled with structural-fortifying adjustments to correct shifts in the spine.

But we have good news for you, too! New research is changing the long-held perception of stretching routines.  There is new evidence showing that stretches can begin to positively affect range of motion in only 30 seconds! The old thinking of multiple sets of the same stretches is out the door. A study found that a sustained stretch of 30 seconds, once per day, was sufficient to increase your range of motion in a short amount of time.

This is great news for those who loath to stretch throughout the day or simply forget.

Your stiff and sore joints could be helped by incorporating a few minutes per day into your morning routine.  Some stretches we recommend can even be done while brushing your teeth or taking a shower.

So if you are wanting to improve your flexibility and decreasing stiffness, ask our staff for handouts. Also, we are unveiling a complete series of stretches and exercises on video to benefit our patients!  Ask us how to view these structurally rehabilitating stretches during your next visit.

 

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Keywords: Increase Your Range of Motion, ROM, Stiffness, Rehab Exercises

Chiropractic Pain Sources

Synergy is very important in the body. Organs and tissues must work together in order to maintain optimal health and prevent the development of debilitating conditions. Just as a building must have a firm foundation to withstand the elements, so too must the structural basis of the human be sound to ensure normal function is maintained.

Each organ of the body functions because of nerve input from the brain stem. This is the area of the brain that controls your heart, breathing, and digestion, among other things. But if an imbalance is present in an organ, it can cause certain pain conditions to persist.

The Organ Connection

One such result of an organ imbalance is called the “viscero-somatic reflex.”   This simply means that an organ with a deficiency is sending irritating signals to the spinal nerves and up to the brain. Your brain interprets this correctly as pain but misinterprets what is causing the pain. The brain instead senses the pain is from another source.

A common example of this reflex is the sensation noted during the onset of a heart attack.   Pain or discomfort is commonly felt in their left arm or jaw. Intense pressure on the chest is another sign.  The explanation behind this phenomenon is because the nerves of the heart share common origins with the nerves of the jaw and arm. There are less extreme ways this occurs as well.

Chiropractic Pain Sources are Not Always Straightforward

Upper and lower back pain can be caused by an organ of the chest or abdomen, such as the gallbladder, kidney, and digestive system. In our office, we can screen for organ dysfunction and determine if it is the primary cause of your pain. By correcting the organ problem, many chronic back issues can be resolved. If you have questions or think you may be experiencing this reflex, please contact our office for more information on treatment options.

 

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Keywords: Chiropractic Pain Sources

Chiropractic Improves Antioxidant Activity

Antioxidants are a big buzzword today. If you happen to do any causal reading about health and healing, you will likely see the term mentioned. Currently, the major focus is studying which foods that contain antioxidants and what behaviors that can boost the antioxidant activity in the body. The importance of antioxidant activity in the body is essential and cannot be overstated. But you may be asking, “What do they really do?”

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as, “not merely the absence of disease [symptoms]” but complete well being. Based on this, it would be unwise to merely focus of symptoms as a gauge to health. We refer to “symptoms” as Secondary Conditions because they are the physical manifestation of deeper underlying cause. It is therefore vital to base our care on underlying FUNCTION rather than solely on how a patient is feeling. Function can measured in more than one way. We use functional testing during each visit to measure improvements from treatment. But did you know that Antioxidant activity can also be positively affected by Structural Chiropractic Care?

Your Cells Will Thank You

DNA is the genetic blueprints of our cells, providing information needed for growth and repair. Housed in the center of the cell, they ensure that the cell functions properly. DNA, however, is susceptible to damage from free radicals that cause oxidative stress. Free radicals are why antioxidants are needed in the body. Without them, free radicals react with healthy cells and cause mutations. Mutations prevent important activity, one of which is DNA repair.

Through exposure to things in the environment and metabolic activity, our bodies experience stress. A properly functioning cell is able to adapt and eliminate stress from free radicals through repair mechanisms contained within the DNA. Serum thiols in blood samples are a way to measure this DNA repair activity.

Chiropractic Improves Antioxidant Enzyme Activity

There is now science behind the chiropractic-antioxidant connection.  In one scientific study, serum thiols were measured in asymptomatic chiropractic patients, and those who were not under chiropractic care. It was found that patients under long-term chiropractic care had higher levels of serum thiol. This shows DNA repair was more active in chiropractic patients than those who were not under regular care.

DNA repair essential to prevent accelerated aging. Protection care in our office is not only recommended because we want you feeling better, but because we know your cells can function to a higher potential. Healthy cells mean healthy organs, bones, and tissues.

 

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Keywords: Chiropractic Improves Antioxidant