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How Leaky Gut Affects Your Weight

At Team Health Care Clinic, we work with many people who are experiencing digestive symptoms. Leaky gut is
one of the most common problems, causing a number of health issues including weight gain and obesity.

So, just what is leaky gut?

Normally, the cells that line the intestinal tract are held together in tight junctions by linking
proteins. When these proteins break down, the junctions loosen and allow elements to enter the bloodstream that
should remain in the gut. This would include various bacteria, viruses and improperly digested food. This will cause
inflammation and put increased stress on the immune system. A recent study from the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart,
Germany shows that increased gut permeability or ‘leaky gut’ is related to weight gain, obesity and fatty liver. This study
concluded that improved diet and weight loss will improve leaky gut as well as fatty liver.

Besides fatty liver, other conditions have been linked with leaky gut:

Nutritional supplements are often incorporated into the treatment of leaky gut.

Nutritional supplements are often incorporated into the treatment of leaky gut.

● Multiple Sclerosis
● Rheumatoid Arthritis
Thyroid Disease
● Colitis
● Lupus
● Eczema
● Inability to Lose Weight
● Anxiety and depression

One of the main causes for leaky gut is an upset of the
microbiome, the beneficial bacteria that live in the digestive
tract. This upset can have many sources such as:

● stress
● poor diet with too many sugars and starches and not enough fiber
● antibiotics
● pain medications including over the counter pain relievers
● lack of exercise
● insomnia
● overgrowth of Candida
● hypersensitivity to various foods, especially gluten

Leaky gut can be identified through a blood test. It can also be treated, mostly by eating better and losing weight.
Additionally, it can be helped by utilizing nutritional supplement support like probiotics, glutamine and other nutrients.
If you are experiencing any of the above conditions your should consider having your gut evaluated take the necessary steps to stop the leak.

Tim Bertsch, DC, DABCI

 

  • Most of our kids have settled into their school routines, which require a greater use of computers and technology than ever before. Team Health Care Clinic’s physical therapists see many patients in our clinic with poor posture from technology use. With today’s technology we have seen a decline in good posture, and an increase in pain– often referred to as “tech neck.” Technology is here to stay, so self-awareness, education, and practicing good posture habits are necessary for our overall health. Posture Good Posture When you are in neutral posture the shoulders are back and the ears are in line with the shoulders and the arms hang at the sides with the palms toward the legs. Poor Posture There is an increased forward curve of the neck that causes the head to move forward. The head is perched forward, the shoulders are rounded and possibly a head tilt or rotation. Effects of Poor Posture The muscles on the front of the neck and the mid back are stretched from the forward movement of the head, and become weak. The muscles on the back of the neck and the front of the shoulders become tight. These muscle imbalances cause neck pain Continue Reading

  • You have probably heard the phrase “What a pain in the butt!” There are many for whom this becomes quite literal as they experience pain, numbness, tingling or a combination of these in the buttocks and can also radiate into the back of the leg and even into the foot. These symptoms can have a variety of causes but one less common one is Piriformis Syndrome. The piriformis is a flat band-like muscle in the buttocks that originates just above your tailbone(sacroiliac region) and attaches to the top portion of the femur or upper thigh bone. With overuse from things such as long distance running, prolonged sitting, dehydration or even electrolyte abnormalities the piriformis muscle may spasm. The sciatic nerve is nearby which can be affected by the muscle spasm and nerve irritations cause symptoms such as numbness and tingling along the back of the leg and into the foot. One way to help a muscle in spasm is to gently stretch it out. To stretch the piriformis, lay on your back with your knees bent. Cross your right ankle over your left knee and pull right knee up towards chest angled towards left shoulder. Repeat other side. Other conditions Continue Reading

  • It is has been known for some time that being overweight has an impact on and is related to developing conditions like cardiovascular disease and diabetes. In October, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a study showing that being overweight or obese gives one a greater chance of getting 13 different types of cancer. The CDC was able to make a statistical analysis of cancer and overweight/obesity trends between the years 2005 and 2014. Here’s what they found: Being overweight or obese is associated with increased risk of 13 different types of cancer. Overweight and obesity related cancer accounted for 40% of all cancers diagnosed in 2014. About 55% of cancers diagnosed in women and 24% of those diagnosed in men are related to being overweight or obese. The incidence of overweight and obesity related cancers increased significantly in adults during the 2005-2014 period. The list of cancers includes cancer of: breast, colon, kidney, endometrium, thyroid, pancreas, multiple myeloma, ovary, esophagus, stomach, gallbladder and meningioma. The definition of overweight was a Body Mass Index (BMI) greater than 24.9. As part of our regular care at Team Health Care Clinic we conduct an evaluation of body composition, including BMI. Our providers Continue Reading

  • Getting nervous or anxious is so common that nearly everyone will experience it at some time in their life. However, when anxiety is so severe or frequent that it begins to interfere with one’s life, it should be evaluated for the cause. Our providers diagnose and treat patients with anxiety regularly. In today’s post, we review some common symptoms and causes of anxiety along with a lesser-known treatment option: neurofeedback. What is Anxiety? Anxiety related disorders are the most common mental health disorders in the US, comprising an estimated 40 million adults. The following are a partial list of some of the more common early symptoms: A worrisome nature Sleeping difficulty Irrational Fears Self consciousness Stomach problems Tight muscles Rapid breathing/pulse Self doubt Diagnosing Anxiety There are many helpful questionnaires that can assist one in determining if they have anxiety. Whenever possible, I like to use a test called Qualitative Electroencephalography (QEEG) to help me identify anxiety in my patients. QEEG is a painless, non-invasive test that measures the electrical activity in the brain at 19 locations. Much like an EKG for the heart, abnormal patterns can be identified. The QEEG pattern most associated with anxiety is too much beta Continue Reading

  • At Team Health Care Clinic in Champlin, MN our team sees clients daily that have trouble with balance. Physical therapists offer many different techniques to treat balance with attention to your specific needs. Trouble with balance makes it difficult for people to hold themselves upright and steady when they are trying to walk, stand and even sit. Although the risk of having poor balance increases with age, balance issues are common in every age group. What causes loss of balance? There are 4 areas that help our bodies control balance: Vision Inner ear (vestibular) Proprioception and muscle control Brain – coordinates all of these systems to help us maintain our balance. Medical conditions and lifestyle factors may contribute to a loss of balance, including: Poor joint mobility Muscle weakness Inner ear problems Medications Sedentary lifestyle Medical conditions such as a Stroke or Parkinsons’ disease Poor Balance: What does it feel like? A person with a balance issue may feel swaying, dizziness, vertigo, tripping, stumbling, and many times touching walls and furniture as they walk. Balance can be fine in a static position doing just 1 thing at a time. But when you try dynamic movements with multiple tasks, such as Continue Reading

  • What can be more natural than using your own body’s natural healing properties to stimulate healing? Instead of taking drugs or another artificial means of treatment, Platelet Rich Plasma makes use of your body’s natural ability to heal itself. By concentrating healing properties and applying them directly to injured tissue, we can initiate or speed up healing in a previously unresponsive tissue or joint. At our mutli-specialty wellness clinic, we have seen an explosion of interest in Platelet Rich Plasma procedures and we’re excited to offer another treatment option that supports our mission of natural healing. Our patients have experienced fantastic results since we began offering Platelet Rich Plasma in mid 2017. PRP treatment requires a 2-step procedure: Harvesting and Administration The PRP is harvested initially by drawing blood from the patient’s own body and spinning it down in a high-speed centrifuge. This divides the blood into red blood cells at the bottom and plasma at the top of the tube. In the middle is a thin layer of platelet rich plasma that contains super concentrated healing constituents such as growth factors, cytokines, and platelets. These goodies are then carefully extracted and drawn into a tube, ready to be injected Continue Reading

  • People often ask me, “How do I know if my brain is degenerating?” At Team Health Care Clinic, we take the health of the brain as seriously, if not more, than any other aspect of the body and of one’s health. In many areas of our body, pain will help indicate when something is wrong. Pain is not the primary means of how the brain exhibits dysfunction and thus it shows up in other ways. Common signs of brain degeneration include depression or fatigue as a result of brain-related activity, such as reading or driving. Even when these signs aren’t apparent, degeneration may still be occurring. Having a better understanding of what each part of the brain does leads to a better understanding of what degeneration of that area may look like. Where does brain degeneration occur? Let’s review the two most common regions that we see degeneration in the brain occurring in our practice. Frontal Lobe The frontal lobe sits behind the forehead and is the largest lobe of the brain. This area of the brain is what separates humans from other animals, as it gives us personality. It allows us to suppress impulses such as violent tendencies and socially Continue Reading

  • Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) has been popular for treating joint pain, but there are other conditions that we treat with PRP at Team Health Care Clinic. After we saw how effective PRP could be for our patients with knee pain, tennis elbow, arthritis and other joint pain, our medical team decided to explore some of the lesser known uses for PRP. Research has shown that PRP can be used for conditions such as dry eyes, chronic sinus congestion, and acne. In today’s blog, we take a look at how PRP can help people suffering with these conditions. What is PRP? Platelet rich plasma (PRP) is a regenerative medicine derived from your own blood. It is obtained by drawing your blood and spinning it in a special device to separate the plasma from the red blood cells. By separating it in this way we can get concentrated levels of your own platelets, growth factors and other ingredients which stimulate a healing process. We then take all those concentrated ingredients and use them to supercharge your healing ability. What are some of the lesser-known conditions that can be treated with PRP? PRP is an all-natural treatment option for people who suffer from Continue Reading

  • Non-surgical spinal decompression was introduced to Minnesota by Team Health Care Clinic years ago.  Since then, we have continued to successfully perform this treatment protocol for people with back pain with Vertebral Axial Decompression (VAX-D).  In our clinic alone, there have been hundreds of patients that were spared surgery by completing VAX-D services. Since that time we have seen many clinics come and go claiming they have spinal decompression services.  It was the “wild west” with even simple traction units being touted as spinal decompression. But what is spinal decompression and how is better or different than simple traction? Spinal Decompression Reduces Pressure on Lumbar Discs When it comes to spinal decompression, it’s all about the pressure reduction achieved. Much like gauging the air pressure in a car tire, scientists have been able to measure the pressure on a disc in various positions. What they found is as follows: Notice that traction does not create a negative pressure on the disc. In other words, traction in the form of inversion tables, intersegmental traction units and many other devices claiming to be spinal decompression, are creating pressure reductions similar to lying down.  No negative pressure means no suction effect and that Continue Reading

  • Inflammation has been a buzzword in recent years as researchers have continued to find links between inflammation and symptoms like headaches, fatigue, memory loss, brain fog and many more. In previous blogs, we have talked about the three needs of a neuron, or brain cell. These include glucose, oxygen, and stimulation. Your brain cannot branch out and make new connections unless it receives proper stimulation to specific areas, and to do this, you must provide the proper chemical environment for those cells to do so. This means having an adequate oxygen supply, and just as importantly, a proper glucose (blood sugar) response.  So, what happens when blood sugar levels are too low or too high? How can this lead to inflammation? And what can I do to prevent this from happening? Blood Sugar Imbalances One of the most important things you can do for your brain is to maintain stable blood sugars. When blood sugar is chronically low, it’s called hypoglycemia. On the flip side, if blood sugar is too high, it’s called hyperglycemia or insulin resistance. Common Symptoms of Hypoglycemia Feeling agitated or nervous Eating to relieve fatigue Becoming light headed if meals are missed Increased energy after meals Cravings for sweets Continue Reading

4 Risk Factors for Alzheimer’s Disease

At Team Health Care Clinic, we work with people who have dementia or who are concerned and want to prevent it.  I was quite interested when I found an article from a study showing decreased brain size, and therefore risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s, is related to four controllable lifestyle factors.

The study, from the Radiological Society of North America, involved over 1,600 people during the course of seven years. It measured brain size and its relationship to risk factors.  Their conclusion was that decreased brain size and, therefore, dementia is related to these controllable factors.

Alzheimer’s Risk Factors

  1. Alcohol consumptionAlzheimer's is related to decreased brain size
  2. Smoking
  3. Diabetes
  4. Obesity

It turns out that alcohol consumption and diabetes were associated with smaller volume of the whole brain.  Smoking and obesity were linked with decreased volume of the part of the brain associated with memory retrieval as well as emotional and social behavior.

Dementia, of which Alzheimer’s Disease makes up between 50%-70% of the cases, is a growing concern.  As our population ages the incidence of dementia is continuing to grow.  Deaths from dementia have doubled in the last 25 years and care costs are in the hundreds of billions.  Also, there is no treatment for dementia.  Prevention is the key.

The above list is not exhaustive and there are other causes for dementia.  However, these are the biggest offenders and they are preventable!  Dementia is a slow developing, chronic condition closely tied to lifestyle choices.  This means that we have the time and the ability to make changes.  The prescription never changes.  Eat a low starch and low sugar diet, exercise, don’t smoke and drink only in moderation.

Our clinic does provide nutritional and brain health support for all of this.  However, it’s up to you to do the work and help yourself.

Tim Bertsch, DC, DABCI

Tim Bertsch, DC, DABCI

 

Dizziness and Vertigo: The Vitamin D Connection

Each day at Team Health Care Clinic, patients come to us with symptoms of vertigo and dizziness. These may be symptoms that have been there for a matter of hours, or even years. People often experience severe bouts of dizziness, strong sensations of spinning and nausea. To help our patients get relief from these debilitating symptoms, we provide treatment and make recommendations that address the causes of dizziness and vertigo. 

What Causes Dizziness

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is the most common cause of dizziness that we see in our Champlin clinic. This condition is caused by calcium crystals that become dislodged from their usual position in the inner ear.

How Vitamin D HelpsCauses Dizziness Vertigo

The main role of vitamin D in the body is to help maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus. Vitamin D is responsible for absorbing calcium, which plays many roles in maintaining a healthy body, including strengthening bone and decreasing fractures. Vitamin D also helps in protecting against osteoporosis, high blood pressure, cancer, and other diseases.

We are now learning about the role vitamin D plays in helping patients with dizziness and vertigo. Past studies have shown vitamin D deficiency can lead to BPPV. Additionally, research has shown that those who have BPPV and are also deficient in vitamin D have more severe symptoms of vertigo.

This two-fold role that vitamin D deficiency plays in causing BPPV and making the symptoms more severe makes it even more important that your levels are in the proper range. If you haven’t had your vitamin D levels checked before, a simple blood test can be done to see if your levels are in a functional range.

Chiropractic and Physical Therapy for Dizziness

Our chiropractors and physical therapists work with a multitude of patients who have dizziness and vertigo, including BPPV. We provide chiropractic adjustments, physical therapy, nutrition support and more to help decrease symptoms and get our patients feeling better faster.

Each of the doctors and physical therapists in our clinic are trained in repositioning the crystals in the inner ear to provide relief from the vertigo that patients experience. The name of this procedure is called an Epley Maneuver. This safe, quick, and very effective maneuver can be done in just a minute or two. Patients often feel immediate relief. 

Erik Starr, DC

Erik Starr, DC

Abdominal Pain, Diarrhea and Bloating: Is SIBO the Cause?

SIBO or Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth is an all too common condition that can have profound health effects. It is a problem that many people have, but very few have even heard of.  The symptoms of SIBO include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloating and gas, especially after eating starch or sugar
  • Indigestion
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea

Many of these symptoms are associated with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).  In fact, some studies have shown that almost 80% of IBS occurs as a result of SIBO.  Also associated with SIBO are the following conditions:

  • 53% of people who use an acid medication
  • 66% of people with celiac disease with persistent symptoms
  • 15% of the elderly population
  • 33% of people with chronic diarrhea
  • 90% of alcoholics

So, what is SIBO?

SIBO is a condition where the bacteria that normally live in your large intestine, and are very beneficial there, have migrated into your small Diarrhea, Abdominal Pain, Gas caused by SIBOintestine. Unfortunately, they are not beneficial in the small intestine and will begin to cause digestive problems when they take up residence in that area.  When we feed these bacteria the wrong foods, which include starches and sugars, it increases their metabolism and they give off various gases causing many of the symptoms that are listed above.

The treatment for SIBO requires two things. First, one must nutritionally support the small intestine and its terrain. This involves the use of nutrition supplements but, more importantly, the avoidance of certain foods, particularly refined carbohydrates.

The second thing that needs to be done is that one must address the underlying mechanisms or the causes of SIBO. Those include such things as:

  • Neurodegenerative disease, particularly Parkinson’s syndrome.
  • Brain trauma/concussion
  • Poorly controlled diabetes
  • Hypothyroid disease
  • Celiac disease
  • Post intestinal surgical alterations
  • Immunodeficiency

As one can see, SIBO is a condition that affects many people. Unfortunately, quite often the standard gastroenterologist either doesn’t consider it or does not have a great treatment for it. It is a condition with which we are quite familiar at Team Health Care Clinic. If you are experiencing abdominal pain, bloating, constipation or diarrhea that no one seems to be addressing, please call the clinic for a consultation.

Tim Bertsch, DC, DABCI

Tim Bertsch, DC, DABCI

Physical Therapy and Joint Replacement

A joint replacement (arthroplasty) is a surgical procedure where an arthritic, injured, or damaged joint is replaced with an artificial joint. The artificial joint can be made of metal, plastic, or ceramic. Joint replacements are done in the knee, hip, and shoulder to name a few. Replacing a joint that is painful and not functioning helps to restore the movement like a healthy joint. Physical therapists play a large role in the joint replacement process.

Physical Therapy Before Replacement

  • Education:

You will be educated about your joint replacement procedure, what to expect at the hospital, and aftercare at home. Your doctor may even have an education class they require you to take prior to your procedure.

  • Exercises:

Often times, people physical therapy to start strength exercises before surgery. You will also become familiar and confident with your exercises, and will be able to resume them right after surgery. Increasing strength in the muscles around the joint will improve your recovery and decrease the level of therapy services needed after surgery.

  • Assistive device preparation:

If your joint replacement is in the hip or the knee you will be using a cane or a walker initially after your surgery. Physical therapists fit your device and help you practice walking and climbing stairs.

Physical Therapy After Replacement

Patients will continue with therapy after their surgery for several weeks.

After joint replacement our goal is to decrease pain and swelling, monitor healing, start strength exercises, and walking.

  • Pain and swelling:

This can make it difficulty and uncomfortable to perform your therapy exercises. We monitor the swelling, incision healing and help with techniques to decrease the pain.

  • Exercises:

We will teach you range of motion exercises that are safe to perform with your new joint. We will also work on exercises to gain strength in the muscles around your new joint to provide support with movement. Over a brief time of doing your exercise routine you will gain better function of your joint.

  • Gait training and balance:

If you have a hip or a knee replacement, our Champlin physical therapy providers will guide you in walking with your assistive device and progress to walking without it. We will work on balance and agility with you movements, so you feel confident walking on uneven surfaces such as grass or stepping off a curb.

 

We continue to progress your tailored therapy program to meet your needs and, returning you to your activity level the injured joint was limiting you from.

Andrea Newport, PT

Andrea Newport, PT

Neurofeedback: Natural Treatment for ADHD and Brain Based Disorders

Parents of children with ADD, ADHD and other brain based disorders are increasingly searching for non drug treatment options for their children. They are right to be concerned. For over 20 years, researchers have studied the long term effects of drugs used to treat the symptoms of these conditions. Several years ago, our search for ADD ADHD non drug treatments led the doctors at Team Health Care Clinic to Neurofeedback.

Neurofeedback therapy has proven to be safe and effective for individuals with brain based disorders like  ADD, ADHD and Autism. At our Champlin, MN clinic, we have successfully used neurofeedback training to address the cause of these brain based disorders.

Understanding the ADHD Brain

To determine if Neurofeedback training is an appropriate course of action, we use an EEG test to understand the electrical activity of the brain. An EEG test is conducted when electrodes are attached to scalp to measure brainwaves in 19 different locations. The electrodes only receive information and do not put electricity into the brain. People with brain based disorders have commonalities in their EEG test results that help us to understand when a treatment protocol using Neurofeedback is necessary.

Neurofeedback: ADD ADHD Non Drug Treatments 

ADD ADHD non drug treatments Think of neurofeedback training like a brain that has a mirror to itself. When the brain receives cues about itself, it is able to self correct. It is not magic. The self correction happens through a visual or auditory feedback  in the form of a TV screen or music. When the brain does the correct thing, the patient is rewarded with watching a movie or listening to music. There is no medication used and nothing introduced into the body.

Although it’s a few years old now, this CNN news story  does a good job of explaining how neurofeedback works.

Neurofeedback is Effective

  • A search of the Pubmed website (National Institute of Health) revealed 152 medical studies for neurofeedback ADHD and 54 for neurofeedback and anxiety. These are just two of the more common symptoms of a brain not functioning as it should.
  • Neurofeedback trains the brain and doesn’t treat symptoms, so it can potentially have a benefit to most abnormal brain symptoms.
  • Incredibly, there were 830 medical studies on neurofeedback and its effect for a wide variety of brain conditions.

Neurofeedback brain training is just one of the methods we use at Team Health Care Clinic to help the brains of patients of all ages to function better. I have been fortunate enough to see some remarkable changes in my patients with ADD ADHD non drug treatments and I encourage anyone looking for a natural treatment option to check out Neurofeedback.

In our clinic, we offer a free consultation to those who are interested in learning more about brain based therapies for the treatment of Anxiety, ADD, ADHD, Autism, and other conditions. Click here to request an appointment.

Jay Bertsch, DC

Jay Bertsch, DC

 

 

 

Trigger Point Injections FAQ’s

Trigger Point Injections have become a popular treatment option for those with pain, numbness, muscle tenderness and decreased range of motion. I have seen great success with the use of Trigger Point Injections to help patients recover more quickly and improve healing outcomes. If you’re interested in learning more about this treatment option, continue reading as I answer some of the most frequently asked questions.

What is a Trigger Point?Trigger Point Injections

Trigger points, also known as “muscle knots” or “myofascial muscle pain” commonly occur in the neck and back. They can also occur in other muscles including those in the shoulders, arms, legs, and buttocks. They are hypersensitive, contracted muscles that cause a person pain and tenderness. Trigger points often form as the result of overuse or an injury. Sometimes trigger points can cause something called referred pain. This occurs when the taut muscle fibers compress or irritate a nerve causing pain in other regions of the body.

 

What is a Trigger Point Injection? What medications may be used in a Trigger Point Injection?

A Trigger Point Injection (TPI) is a procedure in which a needle is inserted into the painful trigger point to help break up the taut muscle fibers that have caused the trigger point to occur. Medications used in a TPI procedure usually include lidocaine and bupivacaine, which are both local anesthetics. These medications help to provide a numbing sensation to the injected region and provide pain relief for a short time. It is the needling procedure that actually helps to break up and alleviate the myofascial muscle pain over time, though. Corticosteroids are not used in TPI’s at Team Health Care Clinic.

 

When/why is a Trigger Point Injection used?

Trigger Point Injections are most often used in conjunction with physical therapy (PT) or massage therapy. Trigger Point Injections are usually performed prior to PT or massage therapy because we have found that the combination of these therapies allows us to work as a team to provide our patients with a better outcome from their myofascial muscle pain. After a Trigger Point Injection has been administered, the taut muscle fibers begin to break apart, then muscle work performed in either PT or massage helps to loosen the painful “knots” even more, giving our patients greater relief of pain.

 

What is the benefit to the patient?

There are a number of benefits that patients can achieve from TPI’s. Trigger Point Injections can help to alleviate pain by relaxing tight muscles, improve flexibility, improve range of motion, alleviate stiffness and weakness from the affected muscle, and alleviate referred pain.

 

What are complications and side effects of Trigger Point Injections?

The most common side effects of Trigger Point Injections include a “pinching” pain during the injection, numbness at the injection site for a few hours from the local anesthetic, mild bruising, and increased soreness for the first 24 to 48 hours. The soreness should then subside and benefit from the injection should be noticed after that time period. It is important to stay well hydrated prior to and for the first 24 hours after your Trigger Point Injection.

 

How frequently do Trigger Point Injections need to be administered?

Trigger Point Injections are usually administered one time per week for 3-4 weeks in conjunction with physical therapy or massage therapy appointments. The series of injections is necessary as positive results continue to build with additional injections to provide patients with the most benefit.

Tiffany Watson, CNP

Tiffany Watson, CNP

 

 

Understanding Numbness and Nerve Pain

A patient and I were discussing today how nice it would be if we could diagnose our health problems in a similar way to car problems. When we have problems with our car, our mechanic connects it to a machine that generates a diagnostic code. Unfortunately, with people, it’s not always easy to understand the source of pain or the cause of our limited mobility.  In healthcare we do have a variety of different testing or diagnostic tools but it still can be challenging to get to the root of the cause for what is going on when someone is having pain. 

What if you are experiencing numbness, tingling and/or pain in your fingers or hands?  As medical providers, we understand that this could be caused by issues stemming all the way to your neck.  It could also be coming from issues in your shoulder, elbow or wrist.

You may have what we call radiating symptoms, which include pain or a feeling that is not just in one area but moves to another area.  Sometimes it will follow in a line that you can feel numbness from your shoulder blade into your forearm or you might feel tingling only in your fingertips.  When there is degeneration in your neck or cervical spine this can cause damage or irritation to the nerves which travel all the way down to your fingers. 

There are 3 main branches of nerves:

  1. Median Nerve: This nerve runs along the inside of the arm and travels through into the 1st through 3rd fingers or thumb to middle finger.
  2. Ulnar Nerve: Runs along the inside of the arm and elbow and into the outer part of the hand and 5th digit or little finger. 
  3. Radial Nerve:  Runs along the back of the arm and into the 1st through 4th digits or thumb to ring finger. 

There can be many causes but there are also a wide variety of treatments for these very uncomfortable symptoms.  Because our bodies are so complex, we often need to address several areas to stimulate healing and help you feel better. Finding a well rounded team of providers will help you achieve the best outcomes from any necessary treatment. In our Champlin, MN clinic, we have medical, physical therapy and chiropractic providers that work together to understand the cause of pain and recommend the appropriate plan of action. 

Emily Franklin, PTA

Text Neck, Computer Neck, or Forward Head Posture? Here’s Your Solution

 

Do you find yourself on your tablet, computer, cell phone or other hand held device more and more?  Have you noticed, or even worse, have others noticed that your posture has gotten worse over the years? At Team Health Care Clinic, we have seen an incredible increase in injuries and pain from what is commonly called “Text Neck,” “Computer Neck,” or Forward Head Posture. If not corrected, it leads to stubborn neck pain, upper and lower back pain, headaches, shoulder pain and even poor breathing. It later can lead to bulging and eventually degenerative disc disease.  How can a forward head posture create all of these conditions?neck pain

The problem with Forward Head Posture

We first need to consider that the head is a 10-pound weight sitting on the top of the spine if one has ideal, perfect posture.  However, for every inch one’s head moves forward, we add 10 pounds of adjusted weight to the neck and back.  So a patient with one-inch forward head posture is applying 20 pounds of weight to the neck and back musculature, vertebra and discs. Two inches forward is 30 pounds of weight and so forth.

Hour after hour, day after day, this extra strain creates an accumulative injury. Vertebral misalignment, knotted muscles and damaged discs eventually develop. The body tries to compensate by altering posture and kinetics, resulting in injuries in the low back, shoulders and arms as well.

This has become an epidemic due to our increasingly sedentary lifestyles and poor posture.  Fortunately, at Team Health Care Clinic, our combination of providers developed a unique Forward Head Posture (FHP) rehab program that has proven success.

How does it work?

The FHP program incorporates principles from The Pettibon System, the experience of our chiropractors, and the expertise of our physical therapists. In addition to regular chiropractic adjustments, the patient is engaged in rehab “stations” each time they come in. These stations may include, forward head posture supine traction, standing traction, an innovative rehab chair with a weighted head band, and more. The 20-30 minute treatments are pleasant and not particularly strenuous, just precise for this condition.

Are you a candidate?

The success is high due to our patient selection process.  A patient starts with neck x-rays to determine if they have a forward head posture. This requires the doctor to make a series of measurements that is reviewed with the patient.  If the measurements confirm the condition, a second x-ray is taken while wearing a rehab, weighted head band.

This x-ray determines if the patient’s neck responds well to the procedure.  If the x-ray demonstrates some immediate improvement, it gives the doctor more certainty that the patient will respond permanently with the full FHP program.  Approximately 5-10% of patients will be screened out.  Midpoint and final x-rays are performed to determine the patients progress.

If you suspect you have worsening posture, start with neck x-rays and determine if you are even a candidate for the program.  If you are already a patient, we may be able to use your previous x-rays as a starting point.  Don’t wait until there are signs of damage from years of strain to your neck and back.

Joe Bertsch, DC

Joe Bertsch, DC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Allergy Relief with NAET

Many people are plagued by the symptoms of allergies which include sinus problems, rashes, headaches, joint pain and more. Over the counter and prescription treatments often have undesired side effects. For those looking for an effective way to eliminate the cause of your allergies, I suggest you look into NAET.

What is NAET?

NAET stands for Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Technique and is named after the doctor who developed it.

NAET combines healing techniques from various medical disciplines including allopathy, acupuncture, chiropractic, kinesiology and nutrition. It is a completely natural, non-invasive and drug free holistic treatment. The NAET protocol allows practitioners, with incredible accuracy, to test a patient to determine sensitivities. This includes substances that promote an immediate allergic response in a patient as well as substances that cause a delayed immune response (hypersensitivities).

Once a patient’s allergies have been identified, NAET allows the practitioner to assist the patient so that the body will no longer identify that substance as an “allergen,” thereby eliminating the body’s immune response to that item. In other words, patients can now safely consume the food or come into contact with the substance without getting sick from it! Up until NAET, avoidance and drug therapy were the primary choices for treatment for those suffering from allergies.

How does it work?

Allergies are identified by the doctor using kinesiology in the form of muscle response testing (MRT.)  MRT works as follows: any given muscle will display weakness in the presence of an allergen (incompatible energy), thereby indicating the allergen is adversely affecting the body. Conversely, a strong muscle response indicates the substance is compatible with the body and there is no allergy present.

If the muscle response is weak, the patient will then be treated holding the allergen in his or her hand, while the nervous system is stimulated up and down the spine by a series of gentle pressures. The patient will then be tested using MRT after the treatment. A strong muscle test in the presence of the allergen indicates that the substance has now been accepted by the brain as compatible.

The fact that a person’s allergies can be eliminated has already changed the lives of many of those who have taken NAET treatments. We have numerous examples of patients in our Champlin, MN clinic who have gotten rid of their allergies and been able to resume a more normal life.

Jay Bertsch, DC

Reducing Muscle Aches and Pains with Rapid Release Therapy

In the past week, Team Health Care Clinic has been excited to introduce a new adjunctive therapy to our clinic called Rapid Release Therapy.  This new therapy utilizes vibration technology to help alleviate muscle tightness, spasms, and minor aches and pains.  In a blog on Rapid Release Technology’s website, one chiropractor in Florida who uses Rapid Release has found great success with numerous top-level sprinters in the world.  So, how does this vibration therapy work?

How vibration affects muscles

To begin it’s important to understand how vibration works at a micro-level.  When a muscle is tight, muscle spindle fibers are “set” at a rate of contraction or spasm. When a vibration stimulus is applied to a tight muscle or knot, there is activation and subsequent relaxation of these muscle spindle fibers, allowing muscles to relax.

Muscle aches - Rapid Release

Dr. Starr demonstrates Rapid Release Therapy

In addition, vibration helps dampen and quiet pain fibers.  There are two major types of nerves that carry information to the brain.  Small diameter nerves carry information about pain to the brain at a very slow rate.  On the other hand, large diameter nerves carry sensation, joint position sense, proprioception, and of course, vibration information.  These are carried at a very fast rate. When more large diameter nerves are stimulated, it dampens and calms the small diameter pain fibers, causing a decrease in pain.  The perfect example of this is when someone hits their elbow on something.  What’s the first response? Rubbing their elbow.  This activates these large diameter nerves so that the pain lessens and it doesn’t hurt as much.

Why is Rapid Release Therapy better than the device I use at home?

What makes Rapid Release Therapy different from other vibration instruments is the frequency at which it works.  While most vibration tools work at lower frequencies anywhere from 40-80 Hz, Rapid Release works at a frequency of 160 Hz.  This major increase in the speed and frequency of which this tool works provides greater stimulation of these large diameter nerves to lessen pain.

We are excited to provide this therapy and utilize the benefits of vibration in conjunction with other therapies.  Interested in trying it out?  Stop in today to talk about how this new therapy in our clinic can benefit you.

Erik Starr, DC

Erik Starr, DC