How Can Chiropractic Help With an Ear Infection?

I often get asked how chiropractic helps ear infections.  Let me explain…

At the very top of your neck there are nerves that control special muscles in the ear.  These muscles pump the fluid from the ear canal.

Then the bone at the very top of your spine becomes misaligned by poor posture, birth trauma, bike accidents, etc. it can put pressure on the nerve and interfere with those muscles.  In other words…”turn off the pump”

Think about this…

If you had a swimming pool and someone turned the pump off what would happen?  In about two days, it would turn green!  When water stands still it grows algae!

So what do you do about it?

You could throw a big bucket of shock or chlorine in the pool and that would turn it blue but it you don’t turn the pump back on, it would be green again in just a few days!

THAT is what most people do with ear infections!

They “shock” it with antibiotics but never address the CAUSE of the infection in the first place. This is why you are often back at the doctor getting a new antibiotic in just a few weeks.  And then again, and again.

When we adjust the spine we relieve the pressure off the nerve and allow the pump to start moving that fluid again.  We are allowing the body the chance to work the way God designed it!

Pain is Not the Problem

Many people begin their chiropractic care because of an ache or a pain.  I’m sure you did the same. The pain that you have can be distracting, debilitating, irritating or annoying.  Pain can be chronic, acute, intense or intermittent. Pain can be sharp or dull. And pain can be localized or general.  Pain may be a pain, but pain is not the problem!

Pain is a symptom.

A signal.   A sign.   An indicator.   A warning.

   *Pain is no more a problem than a traffic light or your alarm clock jarring you awake.*

If there’s a problem, it’s the meaning we attach to the pain.   When we meet patients who are in pain, our first thought is that they must have exceeded some physical, chemical or emotional limit to which they can no longer adapt. So, while we’re interested in the pain, we’re even more interested in what was the underlying cause of the pain. Did it just happen? Has it been present a long time? What circumstances brought it on? Plus, what change(s) should be made to avoid this in the future?

Do you know someone who thinks pain is a problem? Have them call the office today. The consultation is FREE. In our practice, pain is never a problem!

Dr. Jay Gargus

Carpal tunnel syndrome: What is it and do you have it?

Carpal tunnel syndrome

What is it and do you have it? Great question. I’ll answer that for you today so keep reading.

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is an injury caused by a pinched nerve in the wrist. The injury causes pain and numbness in the index and middle fingers and weakness of the thumb. Carpal tunnel receives its name from the eight bones in the wrist, called carpals, which form a “tunnel” through which the nerves… leading to the hand… extends. However, in some cases of diagnosed CTS, there is also nerve entrapment in the neck. This is called Double Crush Syndrome. The nerves that branch from the neck feed the arms and hands. If there is a problem in the neck, it can mimic carpal tunnel symptoms. It is very important to have your wrists and neck examined for there problems.

Signs and Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of CTS include:

  • Nighttime painful tingling in one or both hands, frequently causing sleep disturbance
  • Feeling of uselessness in the fingers
  • A sense that fingers are swollen even though little or no swelling is apparent
  • Daytime tingling in the hands, followed by a decreased ability to squeeze things
  • Loss of strength in the muscle at the base of the thumb, near the palm
  • Pain shooting from the hand up the arm as far as the shoulder

What Causes It?

The carpal tunnel is filled with tendons (bundles of collagen fibers that attach muscle to bone) that control finger movement. Tasks requiring highly repetitive and forceful movements of the wrist can cause swelling around the tendons, resulting in a pinched nerve and producing CTS.  Trauma, certain diseases, and pregnancy may also trigger CTS.  On rare occasions, CTS may be genetic (some patients with CTS have carpal canals that are narrower than average).

Who’s Most At Risk?

People working with small hand tools in manufacturing and those using a computer keyboard on a regular basis are at highest risk. Women are 2 – 5 times more likely than men to develop CTS. It most commonly occurs in people ages 30 – 60. CTS is associated with health conditions, such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, rubella, pregnancy, connective tissues diseases, obesity, and menopause. High caffeine, tobacco, or alcohol intake are other contributing risk factors.

If you know someone who has CTS, have them call our office today and we’ll do an examination and find out if they are a candidate for our specialized Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Rehabilitation Protocol.

There’s no need to suffer if you don’t have to. The longer they wait, the worse it’ll get.

Dr. Jay Gargus

Think a “Fender Bender” Can’t Damage Your Spine?

Chiropractic Evaluation is Essential after a Car Accident

When the body is subjected to the forces that occur in a motor vehicle accident, there is always some level of injury sustained by the person involved.  This type of injury is most commonly referred to as “whiplash”.  It is a common misconception that whiplash injury only involves the neck, when in fact the entire spine is often damaged.   The forces introduced into the spine during crashes at speeds as low as 3 to 5 miles per hour have been shown to cause significant damage to the supportive structures of the spine (your neck muscles, ligaments, and discs).

In more cases than not, people involved in motor vehicle accidents receive substandard care for their injuries.  Often when they are taken to the emergency room, not much is done unless the doctor suspects internal bleeding, head injury, fracture, or other life threatening conditions.  The emergency room physicians simply are not looking for soft tissue injury like muscle or ligament tears.  Even if x-rays of the spine are taken, the doctor is only looking for a fracture.  He or she is NOT looking at the biomechanical integrity of the spine nor the muscles, ligaments, or discs for injury.

The doctor will usually prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs such as Motrin, Naproxin, and pain killers and leave the patient with the impression that if their soreness goes away within a few days to weeks, then they are better and no serious injury has occurred.  This could not be further from the truth!  Unfortunately, even if the pain goes away as predicted, the damage to the spine remains to make its presence known again another day, usually when the patient least expects it.

When the spine and the muscles and ligaments surrounding it are injured and left uncorrected, the problems worsen as time goes on.  Most commonly, the patient’s spine has a mechanical problem (Ex: abnormal positioning of the vertebra) that produces excessive wear and tear on the spinal joints. Over time, this abnormal position and the resultant stress it produces causes joint swelling, disc degeneration, scar tissue formation, and eventually arthritis.

In most cases, the cause of the person’s pain is directly related to the abnormal positioning of their spine.  The technique that we practice here at Gargus Chiropractic, is the most modern approach to spinal rehabilitation available.  The goal of our care is to restore normal (or to as near normal as possible) structure to your spine, and then also more normal function.

It is essential to have a chiropractic evaluation of your spine and posture if you have EVER been involved in a car accident, no matter how long ago it was!   To schedule an appointment for your family and friends to determine the level of damage to their spine following a motor vehicle crash, simply have them call 205-345-5035 and tell the staff they would like to schedule an appointment as a new patient to determine their present spinal condition.

Dr. Jay Gargus

What can chiropractic do for people with suffer with headaches?

   If you have headaches, you will probably want to read this short introduction and then ask me directly what type of specific treatment this involves with your particular type of headache.

Headaches And What You Can Do.

What are the different types of headaches?

 Vascular Headaches
Produced by irritation and inflammation of the blood vessels of the brain caused by a variety of diseases (fevers, drugs, poisons, toxins, altered pH, nerve irritation, hormone imbalance).

Migraine Headaches
A neural-hormonal- vascular phenomenon of disabling proportions caused by a complex interaction between the nervous system, the hormonal system, and the affected vascular segment. Many times preceded by a prodrome or “warning signal” such as nausea, visual or speech disturbance, numbness, or dizziness.

Cluster Headaches
Called cluster headaches because the headaches come in groups. Pain generally lasts from 30-45 minutes, but can persist for several hours. Most sufferers experience one to four headaches a day during a cluster period.

Cervical Origin Headaches
Pain originates from the neck due to such things as subluxations, muscle spasm and nerve irritation.

Tension Headaches
Pain comes from irritated or inflamed soft tissues of the neck and head, primarily muscles, nerve endings and their connective tissues that can develop into trigger points (“knots”).

Organic Headaches
Include, sinus headache, hangover headache, allergy headache, caffeine withdrawal headache, pregnancy headaches, hypertension (high blood pressure) headaches, TMJ (jaw) dysfunction, reading headaches, hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) headaches. May also be due to tumors, brain aneurysm, hematoma, meningitis, brain abscess, etc.

Rebound Headaches
Due to the overuse of medications (exceeding label instructions or doctor’s advice). Precipitates a “rebound” into another headache. This is particularly true if your medication contains caffeine.

(No one should suffer from headaches.)
Have Your Friends Call (205) 345-5035 Today for a Free Headache Evaluation

What Do Chiropractic Adjustments Do?

Specific scientific chiropractic adjustments can reduce pressure on your trillions of delicate nerves.

Your nervous system is the control center of your body, and it is not without weaknesses.

Nerves and nerve bundles are soft tissue. They don’t function well under physical pressure.  In fact it has been shown that inflammation, a bulging disc, or fragment floating around can interfere with proper nerve conduction. The stuck joint as discussed previously can also physically be stuck pressing on a nerve, or could be causing inflammation that is pressing on the nerve, or could just be moving in a way that rubs the nerve. In any case, the adjustment can cause a relief of this health robbing pressure through movement of the joint to the correct position, or motion.

Adjustments provide improved nutrient supply. This is huge when you’re talking about being healthy. The cartilage and other structures inside of a joint have NO blood supply. NONE! These structures get their nutrients through movement and motion. The blood supply goes to the outside of the joint and nutrients move into the synovial fluid of the joint. Joint motion moves this fluid around thus providing “fresh” nutrients to all parts of the joint, as well as removing waste. If a joint becomes locked down by muscle spasm, scar tissue, a cast, or any other means, for a prolonged period of time the joint begins to feel “stiff.” You know the feeling of needing to stretch after sitting in the car for a long time. That’s why it’s so important to be adjusted on a regular basis. If you don’t, you’re going to get areas in your body that get ‘stuck’. Not a good thing and your body will suffer for this.

Don’t wait until you have symptoms. Make sure you’re tuned up and ready for the week. If you’re not, things can go wrong fast. Please have your friends or family members call to get a check up.

Dr. Jay Gargus