Dr. Greg's Blog

Monday, April 10, 2017

Untwisting a Pelvis


A patient came in to our Lakeville office this past Saturday looking for an adjustment.  The patient stated that he had been very active this past week and that his low back hurt and his pelvis felt very "twisted".

On inspection of the patient's spine it was obvious that his pelvis was indeed twisted/rotated.  On examination of the muscles in his thighs it was clear that his right quadracep, rectus femoris, was much tighter than that of his left rectus femoris.  The end result was the right quad tugging down on the pelvis, twisting it.

Treatment was straight forward - Graston Technique followed by Active Release Techniques to the patient's right rectus femoris and a classic pelvic adjustment.  The patient felt immediate relief due to unique combination of advanced soft tissue therapies and spinal adjustments that we administer here at Upright Health Muscle and Joint Care. 



Monday, January 19, 2015

My Path out of Pain


The path which led me to become a Chiropractic Physician began in the Army, or the Army National Guard, if you will.  Of my twelve years of service I was on federal orders for three years.  During these three years I spent seven months in the Balkans conducting peace keeping missions and sixteen months in Iraq during the height of the insurgency.  My job was straightforward:  do as I was told.  As an Infantryman, this was typically a rather simple affair that only required a bit of blood, sweat and tears.

I suffered from body aches and pains, just like the next guy.  We all sucked it up.  And on the days that we couldn’t, Doc was there handing out 800 mg “horse pills” of ibuprofen.  Doc used to say “now don’t take too many of these because I don’t want you bleeding out if you get hit!”.  Taking a blood thinner before going on a combat patrol isn’t advisable, but it was all we had to keep us going.

Fast forward to 2007.  The welcome home ceremony is over.  My body feels like it is falling apart.  The Veteran’s Administration’s answer to my knee pain?  “You’re getting old.”  Their solution to my back and neck pain?  Vicodin and muscle relaxers – as many as I can stuff down my throat.  Their solution to my shoulder pain?  A cortisone shot that hurt worst than the shoulder pain, could only be administered three times in a lifetime and only provided temporary relief.

None of these were sustainable solutions.  So, I went looking for one and and this search led me to Chiropractic.

Author: Dr. Greg Roberts; Lakeville Chiropractor and owner of Upright Health, with credentials in Corrective Exercise, Graston Technique® and Active Release Techniques®.


Monday, October 27, 2014

Why Sitting is So Bad


It is not news that sitting is bad for you. Phrases like “Sitting is the new smoking” and “it’s the next great plague on our society” are getting people’s attention. As a Chiropractic Physician, I subscribe to these dramatic statements, but not for the reasons many others do.

In an article recently published by Time Magazine titled “Sitting is Killing You”, the author discusses how sitting is bad for you because you burn fewer calories than you would doing most other things. Her message is almost as if simply burning more calories is the secret to good health. This is not the case.

The Real Problem with Sitting

It is not the burning of fewer calories that make sitting so bad for us; it is the lack of movement. Movement is the key to many of our body’s mechanisms that keep us healthy and in good working order.

Movement plays a vital role in circulating blood, especially the blood from your legs. If you have never heard of a pulmonary embolism, it is when blood pools and clots within the veins in the leg (usually) then makes its way to the lungs and blocks an artery – leading to death in 30% of cases. Think about that on your next overseas flight or when you’re hunkering down for a Netflix marathon!

The lymphatic system is totally reliant on muscle contraction. Your lymphatic system is a major component of the immune system. Our lymph nodes can also filter foreign material from our blood stream, such as bacteria and cancer cells. Without movement this system can’t function – a perfect environment for disease and infection to take hold.

Healthy joints require movement. Movement feeds hydrating nutrients to the intervertebral disks of your spine, as well as the cartilage lining the rest of our joints. Without this, joints become stiff and painful – we’ve all experienced this at times. Sit for six to eight hours straight each day and before you know it you’re not sitting because you want to; you’re sitting because you HAVE to. It’s a cycle that feeds itself; stagnation = pain = stagnation.

Sitting is terrible for your posture. Some people are more conscious of this than others, but you will find most people with their shoulders hunched and necks cranked forward when sitting. As if that is not bad enough, what you can’t see is the tightening of a muscle called the psoas; a major contributor to back issues. These postures create dysfunction across the entire musculoskeletal system and it’s scary just how long we can endure contorting ourselves in these ways when we’re focused on the screen in front of us.

What can you do?

For many people sitting eight hours a day is a fact of life. Behind a desk is where they complete their work and there is no changing it. Having access to a convertible sit/stand desk is best, but with price tags starting at $1000 this may not be realistic for everyone. Alternatively, incorporating a few simple habits can help:

- Keep your feet flat on the floor to promote better circulation
- Use a split keyboard to help keep your back straighter.
- Fidget or rock, if you can to promote better circulation in your lower extremities.
- Set reminders for you to get up and move. Shoot for every 30 minutes.
- Move your printer out of arm’s reach.
- Drink lots of water to stay well hydrated and so you have to walk to the restroom more often.

Author: Dr. Gregory Roberts; a Lakeville Chiropractor and owner of Upright Health, with credentials in Corrective Exercise and certifications in Active Release Techniques® and Graston Technique®.


Monday, September 29, 2014

Vaccine Facts


Vaccines have become a hot-button issue, with the two sides becoming ever more polarized in their opinions and the truth probably lying somewhere in the middle.

Like religion and politics, vaccines are a personal and private choice. But, this is a rare instance where your personal decisions could potentially (and negatively) affect others. That’s why it is *so* critical to make an informed decision about vaccines. Don’t just jump on the “anti-vax” wagon because Jenny McCarthy advocates for it and don’t blindly consent to everything your doctor wants to jab into your and your children’s limbs - whatever you choose to do, make sure you have the facts first!

One reputable source (Because you should get it from many!) for unbiased, factual information on vaccines and the diseases they protect against is a book written by a pediatrician called The Vaccine Book. Sure, you can find all the information you want on a disease like Pertussis from Wikipedia or WebMD, but this book contains information about every available vaccine that protects against it, who makes them, exactly what’s in them and the important considerations for each. It offers a handful of alternative vaccine schedules for those who believe vaccines are beneficial, but want to deviate from the CDC’s recommendations.

Perhaps most importantly, The Vaccine Book gives us the knowledge (and therein, power) to begin driving the vaccine industry by consumerism – No, not all vaccines are created equally and YES, you have a choice!

You can buy your copy of The Vaccine Book here:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Vaccine-Book-Decision-Parenting/dp/0316180521

Author: Dr. Greg Roberts; Lakeville Chiropractor and owner of Upright Health, with credentials in Corrective Exercise, Graston Technique® and Active Release Techniques®.


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Unintended Consequences: Pain Killers Amplifying Pain


Most of us at some point in our lives have had the need for a prescription medication of one kind or another. We are familiar with the length of paper which has been carefully and almost comically folded 17 times and included with the drug. On occasion this archaic scroll has been examined, often with great jest, as one squints to read the several page long paragraph in 3 point font. Key phrases may be picked out and shared with others for a good laugh.

Although most people likely ignore it altogether, this list of possible side effects is included with each prescription drug. While our Medical Doctors often do a good job of informing us of potential side effects of the drugs they prescribe, some things do not come to light until a drug has been in use for some time.

One such potential side effect has been increasingly in the spotlight over the past few years, with much thanks to the US’s increased love affair with the pain relieving class of drugs known as opioids. Dependency and withdrawal aside, this recognized potential side effect has the capacity to intensify a person’s pain, putting them in a potentially hazardous position where they may increase their intake of the drug, or combine it with others in an attempt to relieve the pain brought on by the very drug they took to relieve it.

What is an opioid?


Any drug which resembles an opiate, such as morphine, in its effects, and binds to opioid receptors within the nervous system and GI tract is known as an Opioid. Opioids are effective pain killers, but have an addictive nature due to the euphoric effect they may induce. Opioids such as codeine, oxycodone (brand name Percocet), tramadol, methadone and the ever abundant hydrocodone (brand names Norco, Lortab or Vicodin) are commonly prescribed for moderate to severe acute or chronic pain.

Americans love opioids - in 2012 the US consumed 249 million prescriptions of opioids. Of these opioids, hydrocodone is the most common, with 142 million prescriptions filled during 2012 within the United States –accounting for 99% of the world’s use of hydrocodone. With so many prescriptions being filled each year, and 46 people dying each day from opioid overdose, the medical community has been under fire for over prescribing opioids. While short-term use of opioids is certainly warranted in some cases, other solutions for pain management are preferable to long-term use.

Opioids Intensifying Pain: Opioid Induced Hyperalgesia (OIH)


As early as 1870 an increase in pain with morphine use was suggested by the English Physician Thomas Albutt. Well over one hundred years ago Dr. Albutt proposed the question “Does morphia tend to encourage the very pain it pretends to relieve?” Today we can say that Dr. Albutt questioned for good reason.

Opioid Induced Hyperalgesia, or OIH, is the term that has been forged to brand the name of symptoms which may appear to be drug tolerance at first glance. Unlike tolerance, OIH will not respond by taking more drugs, or the response may be spotty. Typically, with OIH the pre-existing pain will be increased, more diffused and less localized. OIH is thought to be able to occur after one large single dose, or prolonged use of opioids as is typically seen in chronic pain patients.

Most patients on opioids such as Hydrocodone for chronic pain are in fact mildly hyperalgesic, most notably to acute pain. This means that any small pain they may have or be subjected to will be amplified and made more generalized or diffuse.

The Bottom Line


With the common use of opioids in our Medical Community for acute and chronic pain it is important for the potential patient to understand that opioids, while often very effective, have the potential to backfire and should be used sparingly. If you are a chronic pain patient and opioid user, consult with your prescribing Physician if you have concerns regarding your opioid use.

Author: Dr. Greg Roberts; Lakeville Chiropractor and owner of Upright Health, with credentials in Corrective Exercise, Graston Technique® and Active Release Techniques®.

References
1.   Brooks M. Grim stats for opioid-related deaths, prescribing in US. Medscape Medical News [serial online]. July 2, 2014;Accessed July 6, 2014.
2.  Opioid painkiller prescribing: where you live makes a difference. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/opioid-prescribing.
3.  Silverman, S. (2014). Opioid Induced Hyperalgesia. Pain Week Journal, 2 (Q2), 4-19.


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