I am Addicted to Online Reviews

I am an online review addict! There I said it! Sometimes I will read reviews of products that I have no intention of ever buying. I will even read reviews of products that I have already bought to see if I agree with the reviews.

I should probably get some help for this!

In all seriousness, it got me thinking about online reviews for people like me, your dentist,  massage therapist,your orthopedic surgeon or even a therapist.

While I have read reviews for everything from a toast to a TV, I have never looked at reviews for doctor or therapist.

With all of the above providers, word of mouth is almost always the way that people find out about different providers.

But, what if you were new to town? Or maybe your family and friends don’t know someone in the area of expertise that you are looking for.

Should you base your decision to see someone based on their online reviews?

As a sole practitioner, should I be encouraging people to leave reviews about my practice?

Would a string of positive reviews make you more likely to see someone? What about a string of negative reviews, would that discourage you?

I would be very interested to hear what you have to say about online reviews and how often you look at them when deciding how to pick a doctor, dentist or therapist.

Please consider leaving a comment below and we can discuss online reviews.

 

 

Stress and Business Travel

I was envious this morning as a patient was telling me about all of the upcoming business trips he had coming up. As someone that works in a business that requires almost no travel, I may have a distorted view of reality of what business travel is all about.

When I asked my patient if he was going to have any fun on his trips, he gave me a look that could be described, at best, as odd. “Kevin, you don’t travel much do you?”, he asked. “It is absolutely miserable, I am twice as stressed out traveling than I am in any meeting.”

That got me thinking. Was it him or is business travel that stressful? Harvard Business Review tells me it is that stressful.

As someone that does not need to travel, I have always questioned if it was really necessary. According to an Oxford Economics survey, the Return on Investment of traveling is between 400% and 2000%

Maybe I should start traveling!

Now as they say, nothing in life is free. The cost of this great ROI is quite often stress on the traveler. The study identified the four most common areas of stress in travelers:

  • Delayed or lost baggage
  • Poor internet connections
  • Medium and long haul economy flights
  • Airport delays or layovers

What all of these issues really create is lost time. As the day to day office work accumulates stress levels rise. An international survey found that some managers, faced with a week or more of emails, would simply delete them all upon returning to the office.

Try a few of these tips to see if you can help yourself out:

  • Always have a go bag packed. You know what you will always need on a trip; phone charger, toiletries, etc… buy extras of everything and leave these in your travel bag
  • For men, a wrinked tie is a bad look…roll it up tight and put it in a toilet paper tube…no wrinkles
  • Beat jet lag with excercise, hydration and sunlight.
  • Download 30-40 emails to your laptop, take the time in flight to answer them … less work waiting for you on return is less stress!

While individuals can find their own ways to destress (hello, chiropractic!), companies can contribute in ways as well.

Ask your company about any of the following and see your stress levels shrink a bit:

  • Allow for work from home day after long trips
  • Paying for a spouse if the trip requires a weekend stay
  • If luggage lost, allow employee to purchase enough of a wardrobe for a day or two
  • Pay for access to business class lounges if you don’t automatically qualify

I think that everyone can agree that stress is very real and when a top executive is not working or is working at less than optimal firms lose money. If we can get everyone on the same page of reducing this stress, everyone will win.

Chiropractic is fantastic at reducing stress in the body. Consider seeing your chiropractor for an adjustment after business travel. Your body will thank you for it!

 

 

 

I Threw My Back Out Tying My Shoe!

Sadly, most people that come to see me for the first time show up with some form of pain. Low back, sciatica, neck pain, shoulder pain, etc…

I say sadly because here is a little secret for you…it doesn’t need to be that way.

We tend to be a nation of reactors instead of proactors … if that makes any sense!

Please allow me to explain.

When someone tells me they through their back out tying their shoe, they are often incredulous that something so routine could be causing them this much pain. As I listen, I smile, nod, empathize and then with varying degrees of success, attempt to explain to them that the act of tying their shoe really wasn’t what threw their back out.

When we do something as innocuous as tying our shoe and our back goes out; causing extreme pain, the act of tying the shoe was simply the final straw.

In the absence of trauma, it is almost never the final act that causes the pain that you are feeling. The pain is usually something that has been building up for some time. How we are sitting, sleeping, the stress we are under and even the food we are or are not eating all goes into the pot. What comes out the other side of that is often a stressed out body and brain that has little room for error.

Hence, the simple act of bending over to tie one’s shoe throws your back out and causes you we wear nothing but Crocs for the rest of your days, and that is the real tragedy!

As I tell people in my office, it is much easier to stay ahead of things than to always be catching up to them. Please pay attention to the little things like taking a break from the computer, drinking plenty of water, and even exercising a little bit everyday.

If you follow my advice, the next time you come in my office it will be for a checkup and not because you threw your back out getting the water from the fridge!

 

 

More Evidence That A Little Wine is Good for You

Dr. Tapan Mehta, a renal fellow at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Center, in Aurora is making the wine lovers very, very happy!

In a recent study, Dr. Mehta found that drinking a little less than a glass of wine, yes you read that correct, a little less than a glass, could cut one’s risk of kidney disease by 37% if you had healthy kidneys to start with.

Now here is where it gets interesting. For those that already have chronic kidney disease there is a very serious increase in risk of cardiovascular disease.

Drinking a little less than a glass of wine a day for people with chronic kidney disease showed a 29% decrease in cardiovascular disease.

Dr. Mehta theorizes that drinking wine decreases protein in the urine. In those with kidney disease, high levels of protein in the urine are associated with kidney disease progression. Wine has also been known to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which may help explain the protective heart effects.

There did not appear to be any difference between red and white wine.

Now I know what you are thinking, if one is good, is two better? There are no studies yet that show if drinking more is better for you.

 

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Case of the Month March 2014

We had an interesting case here last month. As always the names are changed for privacy.

Have you ever been upclose with a really good dancer and watched the move? I can’t describe it any other way than this…they just move differently than the rest of us.

Beth is a 15 year old dancer that hurt her hip while getting ready for a dance show.

Now, like most kids, Beth didn’t say much about it to anyone and tried to dance through the pain and as the pain got worse Beth’s dancing got worse.

After consulting with her trainer, the trainer recommended she come and see us.

Upon exam I noted that Beth had very little range of motion without pain in her lowback and her SI joint was locked on the right side. Beth rated her pain a 7 on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being unbearable.

I adjusted Beth’s SI joint and lower midback. After the first visit, Beth reported her pain was significantly better, now rating it a 4. What excited me was how much more fluidly she was moving.

Within 4 visits Beth reported she was completely pain free and more importantly, was moving with a grace that I could only dream of being able to move with.

What makes my job the coolest one on earth is seeing the smile on a young patient’s face as they get to go back to doing what they love the most.

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Grilling with Beer

GrillingNot too many things say spring and summer more than grilling outdoors.

Unfortunately for the meat eaters, grilling at a high temperature is actually bad for you due to the presence of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the meat you are grilling.

What are PAHs and what does this have to do with beer? Excellent question.

When grilling meat at a high temperature these PAHs can form. High levels of PAH consumption has been linked to colorectal cancer.

Where beer comes in is as a marinade. Scientists found that marinating meat for four hours in a pilsner or dark beer can cut PAHs by more than half, according to a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Even Non-Alcoholic beer cuts PAH formation by 25%!

If you are looking for a beer marinaded steak recipe click here.

Case of the Month February 2014

Case of the Month February 2014

Imagine you have been driving your 6 cylinder car on 4 cylinders and didn’t know it. Imagine you have been driving on 2 cylinders and didn’t know it. You bring the car to the mechanic for a flat tire and he discovers your problem. He makes the fix and you drive away. You step on the gas and your car roars to life, it feels incredibly powerful and super responsive.

No this isn’t a mechanics blog, this actually relates to your body, I promise!

It is always shocking to me how much better people feel after they get adjusted and I just don’t mean from something that may be hurting them. I mean how much more energy they have. I have seen people literally hop, skip and spring out of my office.

See chiropractic isn’t just about back or neck pain. It is about getting the pressure off the nerves and allowing the body to work to it’s fullest potential. From the pregnant mom to the stressed out office worker.

In the past month I have seen a bunch of people that have all come in for various reasons. They have all left and reported back that,not only are their various ailments better, they feel like their energy is surging.

They tell me they feel lighter, more energetic and are sleeping better than they ever have.

Could it be that simple that getting adjusted gives people more energy?

Can I 100% explain why it is? No I cannot not, no one can. What I can tell you is this; when you get the pressure off the nerves that run the body amazing things will happen!

Shameless plug. If you are feeling a little off and would like to see if chiropractic could help please give me a call or just come over during office hours. You will be glad you did.

Keeping Your Balance

Balance through movementLet’s be honest, how often have you given your sense of balance any thought? If you are like most of us, never right?

Did you know that falling is the number one source of injuries for people over 65? Every 17 seconds someone is seen in the ER for a fall. Every 30 minutes, someone will die from injuries caused by a fall.

I have to be honest, I didn’t know that until a doctor I know brought it up.

Want to know the good news? Chiropractic helps with balance. Please let me explain.

A region of the brain, called the cerebellum, controls balance by coordinating three systems: vision, inner ear and where you sense your body is, also called propriocepetion.

It also works with the spinal cord, for as we know, the nerves control the whole body and spinal cord is where the nerves for the body originate.

What does Chiropractic influence? That’s right the spinal nerves.

If you would be interested in a case of vertigo that we helped please read our January 2014 Case of the Month.

Let’s discuss some other things you can do to improve your sense of balance.

Get Moving
As you perceive that you are getting a little shaky, people start to get nervous and become sedentary. That is the worst thing you can do.

Go for a walk in a park. Alternate between pavement, trails and grass as the different surfaces will force your muscles to work harder.

Create Unstable Surfaces
Try standing on a couple of pillows at home. Once comfortable, stand on one leg while swinging the other leg in the air.

Once that gets easy, try closing your eyes. Add in upper body in by swinging your right arm and your left leg for 15 seconds, then switch to your left arm and right leg for 15 seconds. Repeat this cycle 3 times.

Strengthen Your Core
People often mistake the core for being your abs only. Your core actually consists of you abdominal muscles, your legs, both front and back, and your low back.

If you are looking for core work a quick Google search will give you more than you could ever want. Hiring a personal trainer is never wasted money!

Yoga
It is well known that yoga can boost balance ability as it increases flexibility as well as strengthening tons of different muscles.

The key to yoga, however, is the emotional component. Studies have shown that people are more confident in their body when they have done yoga.

If you or someone you know is having a hard time with their balance, have them give me a call. We may be able to help them more than they realized.

Rotating Your Running Sneakers

JoggerI am always asking my patients that are serious runners if they change their shoes out every six months or so.

It turns out I should be asking them a different question…are you rotating between two pairs of shoes all the time?

In a groundbreaking study, researchers in Luxembourg looked at a variety of different things with shoe usage being the most interesting.The study consisted of 264 adult recreational runners.

Of the 264 runners, 116 were classified as single-shoe wearers; runners in this group did 91% of their mileage in the same shoe, and ran in an average of 1.3 pairs of shoes during the study. The other 148 were classified as multiple-shoe wearers; runners in this group tended to have a main shoe, which they wore for an average of 58% of their mileage, but they rotated among an average of 3.6 pairs of shoes for their training during the study.

After processing the data, the researchers found the shoe rotating group had 39% less injuries. 39%!!! That’s huge!

The researchers wrote that this could well be because different shoes distribute the impact forces of running differently, thereby lessening the strain on any given tissue.

When I asked some of the runners that are shoe rotators why they thought this was, they consistently echoed what the researchers thought… midsole height and midsole firmness create differences in gait components such as stride length and ground reaction time.

As the researchers put it, “the concomitant use of different pairs of running shoes will provide alternation in the running pattern and vary external and active forces  on the lower legs during running activity. Whether the reduced [injury] risk can be ascribed to alternation of different shoe characteristics, such as midsole densities, structures or geometries cannot be determined from these results and warrants future research.”

Supporting this idea of reducing injury risk by varying tissue loads, the researchers also found that runners who reported more cross-training had a lower incidence of injury.

“Multiple shoe use and participation in other sporting activities are strategies leading to a variation of external and internal loads applied to the musculoskeletal system that could have a beneficial effect on [running injuries]. Although speculative, it could be that any training paradigm that limits excess repetitions will decrease the risk of [running injuries], especially overuse injuries,” the researchers wrote.

I will add in one more thought, however, this one is mine alone and not backed up by research yet. Wearing multiple pairs of shoes allows the shoes you are wearing a longer time to dry out. This makes for a lighter shoe.

No matter what the reasons are, if you are serious about running, get yourself multiple pairs of shoes and make sure that you are rotating them consistently!

Shameless plug time…the runners who keep up with their chiropractic care tell me they run faster, further and with greater ease. If you haven’t had your spine checked in a while, drop in and we will help keep you in top running shape.

Case Study January 2014

Picture you are walking down the street and all of a sudden what’s up is down and what’s down is up.

This is what it is like for people with Vertigo.

Recently I had a woman come in, let’s call her Gertrude. Gertrude was incapacitated to the point where walking down the street was a chore, forget about driving.

Gertrude had been to every doctor under the sun, had every exam done, and felt she was at wits end.

Upon exam I noted that Gertrude had significant restrictions in her upper neck. The muscles were very tight and the spine was not moving near the way it should. In addition when I looked at Gertrude’s posture I noted that she was carrying her head quite far in front of her shoulders.

After explaining why I thought chiropractic care might, and the key word here is might, help her, we set out a plan of care. Give it a one week trial and if we both don’t agree there is progress then we would refer her out for further testing., although to be quite honest, I didn’t know what else she could have done.

After the first visit, Gertrude reported that her neck moved better than it had in years….good start!

After the second visit, Gertrude reported that not only was her neck better but she also went for a walk today with no dizzyness! I’m starting to like this as I am also feeling her neck loosen up.

After the third visit, Gertrude, came into the office with a big smile on her face. As she sees I am puzzled she brings me over to the window and points out into the parking lot. Sitting in her car was her husband….in the passenger seat! Her dizzyness was so much better that she was driving again.

How cool is that!!!

Did we fix her dizzyness? No. Important point here. Her dizzyness got better when we got the neck moving and allowed the body to express itself the way that it knew how. See she got herself all twisted up in the neck and we simply removed the interference and allowed the body to function at the highest level it could.

Needless to say Gertrude and I are thrilled!

Shameless plug here…if you know someone that needs help, please let us know. We don’t care if they are next door or across the country. Heck, I was on the phone with a woman from Canada last week helping her pick a chiropractor in her hometown.

We will work hard to help them, or get them someone that can help them.

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