The Impact of Inflammation and Cervical Neck Pain

For cervical pain, there is often more than one cause and more than one course of treatment. To begin, the first step is to perform an inspection. The inspection can let us know if there is a deformity, instability, abnormal head posture, asymmetry, torticollis, or lower limb weakness. This is a crucial first step as it sets the tone for the course of treatment. Next, we have palpitation. This is where we examine if there is tenderness or masses. The areas to check are posterior in the midline, lateral, supraclavicular, and anterior. Midline tenderness in the cervical spine can be due to whiplash injuries and indicate more neck trauma. Range of motion is performed next. To obtain a proper diagnosis, we check the cervical motion in flexion (normal range is 80 degrees), extension (normal range is 50 degrees), lateral flexion (normal range is 45 degrees), and rotation (normal range is 80 degrees). Finally, we check for sensory. Sensory include numbness, tingling, burning, and pain in the neck, back, or extremities. 

Causes of Neck Pain

Neck pain can be caused by a variety of things, as the list is long. However, the following list is used to rule out the most severe pathology to determine the root cause of a patient’s cervical pain. 

Injury and Accidents- hyperextension and/or hyperflexion (whiplash) 
Degenerative Disorder (osteoarthritis, degenerative disk disease, and spinal stenosis) 
Infections 
Inflammatory Disorder (Rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosis spondylitis) 
Tumors / Benign Tumors 
Cervical Fractures 
Inflammatory Disorders

As we take a closer look, we notice that at the root cause of any pain or discomfort occurring in the body is inflammation. Inflammation is needed to help the body heal. However, when inflammation is occurring for too long, problems begin to arise. Excessive inflammation begins to sends the wrong signals throughout our body, and additional hormones (like cortisol, the stress hormone) begin to be released. With additional cortisol, individuals begin to have trouble sleeping, weight gain, and headaches, eventually leading to an autoimmune disorder if not properly handled in the early stages. With inflammation running the body, orthomolecular health, and phase angle decline. 

Phase Angle 

The phase angle is how health care professionals can monitor the integrity of cellular membranes. If the phase angle begins to decline, it has been linked directly to a decline in overall health. Similar to if phase angle increases, overall health is increasing. The integrity of cellular membranes is essential as cell survival depends on solid membranes. When the cellular wall is weak, it can collapse. From here, it is difficult for the body to take up the proper nutrients it needs. Additionally, with a weak cellular membrane, the cell is left with little to no protection from outside invaders. Stress impacts phase angle by causing individuals to release cortisol, be under adrenal stress, gain weight and decrease their overall health.

We monitor a patient’s phase angle with the use of the InBody 770. This advanced machine allows us to not only track the phase angle of our patients but many other areas of their health as well, including but not limited to intracellular and extracellular water. 

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NonInvasive Hormone Testing | El Paso Texas Chiropractor

A Functional Approach To Hormone Imbalance

When treating the body with a functional medicine approach, it is necessary to give the body at least three months. A 3-month protocol allows the body a chance to get in sync with itself again, re-build the foundation and get back to the basics without inflammation. To begin, a case history is needed. This detailed history allows the practitioner to determine what diagnostic lab work will be most beneficial for you. 

Hormone Balance 

Many patients have some degree of hormone imbalance, especially females. Females’ cycles and hormones are typically imbalanced due to contraceptives such as birth control pills, patches, or shots. For tracking hormone levels, we use a diagnostic lab test from DUTCH. The DUTCH plus test uses a 24-hour collection method consisting of urine and saliva samples. This allows us to track and follow hormones all day to give us the best picture of what is occurring. Below is a sample of a male and female DUTCH Plus test. 

Next Steps

The results of the DUTCH Plus test often come back with some degree of irregularity. This test, along with the detailed history form, allow us to create a custom protocol per patient. The treatment protocol involves natural supplements, dietary adjustments, and lifestyle changes. For hormone balance, one of the best supplements to use is chaste tree. This natural supplement helps with: 

 PMS symptoms
 Dopamine
 those who have heavy bleeding
 irregular, short, or long cycles
 pain during ovulation
 Acne
Is safe for lactation, so it can be used to help reduce baby blues 
Dietary Adjustments 

When it comes to balancing hormones, it is crucial to consume healthy fats. Omega 3s are the building blocks the body needs to reduce inflammation and combat symptoms of menopause. Additionally, foods that contain selenium are important. Selenium is an antioxidant that helps to remove free radicals that cause damage to the body. A list of foods to consume while balancing hormones include: 

Salmon 
Mackerel 
Sardines 
Tuna 
Chia Seeds
Brussel Sprouts 
Avocado 
Walnuts 
Hemp Seed
Flaxseeds
Eggs
Coconut Oil 
Lifestyle Changes

One of the biggest endocrine and hormone disturbances come from the daily products we wear and use. Perfume is a major trigger to the endocrine system and scented laundry detergent, aluminum deodorant, body wash, and air fresheners. By removing these disturbances you are getting rid of a slow poison and reducing your chances of thyroid disruption. Additionally, changing to an all-natural deodorant, body washes, and free clear laundry detergent will help your body heal. This article by Patel shows how harmful these scented products really are: 

 “…It has been observed that this fragrance-laden unhealthy lifestyle runs parallel with the unprecedented rates of diabetes, cancer, neural ailments, and teratogenicity…” 

To many people’s surprise, even cleaning products advertised as organic or antibacterial contain these toxic chemicals. As a general rule of thumb, stay away from scented products. 

Additionally, regular exercise and stress management will help the body maintain homeostasis, reduce inflammation, and produce good sleep hygiene for optimal healing. 

Phase Angle 

Phase angle is a snapshot of an individual’s cellular health. The lower the phase angle, the more permeable and fragile the cellular membrane is. This means that individuals are more susceptible to infection, inflammation and will not be able to attack a virus as well. Those who have high phase angles have strong cellular membranes that are hard to infiltrate. When a virus enters the body, those with a high phase angle can fight off the virus and inflammation easier. Phase angle is important because if the endocrine system is off-balance, your body is already at war with itself. Hormone imbalance combined with a low phase angle is a recipe for disaster. We can improve a phase angle by reducing visceral fat (the fat held around the internal organs)

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwbIsPNUYqs[/embedyt]

In today’s society, everything smells “good”. These fragrant chemicals are being pumped into everything and constantly disrupting the endocrine system. Many people do not realize this but “clean” does not have a smell. Clean is not lemon fresh or fresh laundry. That is the chemicals. Clean is odorless. It has become so normal to cover up scents that trash bags are now infused with scents, when in reality, if the trash can smells, you just need to take it out. The first step is to get rid of all these added chemicals in the home. Ditch the plug-in air fresheners and get plants to naturally clean your air instead. -Kenna Vaughn, ACSM-EP Senior Health Coach

References: 

Patel S. Fragrance compounds: The wolves in sheep’s clothings. Med Hypotheses. 2017 May;102:106-111. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2017.03.025. Epub 2017 Mar 22. PMID: 28478814.  

Additional Online Links & Resources (Available 24/7)



 

Online Appointments or Consultations:  https://bit.ly/Book-Online-Appointment



 

Online Physical Injury / Accident Intake Form: https://bit.ly/Fill-Out-Your-Online-History



 

Online Functional Medicine Assessment: https://bit.ly/functionmed

 

 

 

Disclaimer

 

The information herein is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional. Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the musculoskeletal system’s injuries or disorders. Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.  Read More…

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, CTG*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

phone: 915-850-0900

Licensed in Texas & New Mexico

detox el paso

Detox To Improve Phase Angle

Detox

Detoxification is part of the body’s response to environmental stressors. In order for the body to properly detox, protein is essential. Physiologically speaking, detoxification is a secondary function in terms of protein allocation. In a proper detox, there are multiple phases/steps. 

Step 1: mobilization from fat-based storage sites 

Step 2: metabolism (phase 1 and 2 enzymes in the liver) 

Step 3: elimination via kidneys and GI Tract (phase 3) 

Lifestyle

The first lifestyle change that occurs along with a detox is to reduce environmental stressors. This ensures the body is not working overtime when it does not need to. Ways to reduce environmental stressors include: 

Reduce toxic exposure 
Reduced processed foods
Reduce proinflammatory foods
Reduce caloric intake 
Reduce excess worry and stress 

Next, patients will begin to introduce habits into their daily lifestyle. These introductions are critical for detoxification success. 

Quality, whole foods 
Meditation, yoga, exercise, music, etc. 
Sleep 
Other healthy habits that reduce stress and worry 

Detoxification has both a physiological goal as well as a biochemical goal. Biochemically speaking, the goal is to mobilize toxins we have stored in fatty storage deposits (heavy metals, etc.) and eliminate them via the bile (from the liver) through the stool or urine (from the kidneys).  Additionally, a detox will help to reduce inflammation and improve mental clarity. 

It is important to note that the nervous, endocrine, and immune system are all vastly connected and the stimulation of one can commonly trigger responses in all. 

By decreasing the inflammation and toxic load in the body, individuals’ phase angle may benefit. Phase angle is how health care professionals can monitor the integrity of cellular membranes. If the phase angle begins to decline, it has been linked directly to a decline in overall health. Similar to if phase angle increases, overall health is increasing. The integrity of cellular membranes is essential as cell survival depends on solid membranes. When the cellular wall is weak, it can collapse. From here, it is difficult for the body to take up the proper nutrients it needs. Additionally, with a weak cellular membrane, the cell is left with little to no protection from outside invaders. 

InBody

We monitor a patient’s phase angle with the use of the InBody 770. This advanced machine allows us to not only track the phase angle of our patients but many other areas of their health as well, including but not limited to intracellular and extracellular water. 

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwbIsPNUYqs[/embedyt]

PHASE ANGLE IS ONE OF THE BEST WAYS TO GET AN INSIDE PERSPECTIVE OF WHAT IS ACTUALLY HAPPENING INSIDE THE PATIENT’S BODY. THERE ARE MANY PATIENTS WHO APPEAR HEALTHY BUT HAVE A LOW PHASE ANGLE. BY SEEING THIS, WE ARE ABLE TO MAKE PREVENTATIVE LIFESTYLE CHANGES. -KENNA VAUGHN, ACSM-EP, SENIOR HEALTH COACH

References: 

Bosy-Westphal A, Danielzik S, Dörhöfer RP, Later W, Wiese S, Müller MJ. Phase angle from bioelectrical impedance analysis: population reference values by age, sex, and body mass index. JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr. 2006 Jul-Aug;30(4):309-16. doi: 10.1177/0148607106030004309. PMID: 16804128.  

Klein AV, Kiat H. Detox diets for toxin elimination and weight management: a critical review of the evidence. J Hum Nutr Diet. 2015 Dec;28(6):675-86. doi: 10.1111/jhn.12286. Epub 2014 Dec 18. PMID: 25522674. 

Additional Online Links & Resources (Available 24/7)



 

Online Appointments or Consultations:  https://bit.ly/Book-Online-Appointment



 

Online Physical Injury / Accident Intake Form: https://bit.ly/Fill-Out-Your-Online-History



 

Online Functional Medicine Assessment: https://bit.ly/functionmed

 

Disclaimer

 

The information herein is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional. Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the musculoskeletal system’s injuries or disorders. Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.  Read More…

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, CTG*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

phone: 915-850-0900

Licensed in Texas & New Mexico

Healthy Metals vs Toxic Metals

Metals in the body are essential for proper cellular function. That being said, in order to ensure the metals you are ingesting are good for you and what the body needs, you need to know whole sources to obtain them from and what each metal does. On the other hand, there are toxic metals as well. Toxic metals are an issue that can mimic many other serious health conditions. We are able to assess metal levels in the body and create a treatment plan that safely detoxes individuals from these toxic metals. 

Healthy Metals
Calcium 

There are different types of calcium. Dietary calcium and Erythrocyte calcium. In the human body, there are around 179 biological functions of calcium. Each and every cell in the body needs ionic calcium. This is what you find in teeth and bones as well as what we need to move our muscles. Additionally, it is needed for the rhythmic action of the heart and intestines. However, Erythrocyte calcium is associated with heart disease and stroke. Studies show that erythrocyte calcium is elevated in hypertension patients. 

Chromium 

Chromium accumulates in the spleen and in heart tissue. On top of this, there have been many studies done that show chromium impacts sugar metabolism through its role in uptaking insulin. 

Copper 

Copper is very important as it is a co-factor in lipid metabolism, detoxification in the liver, and neurological control. In the body, copper is found in the liver, brain, hair, and other tissues. To get whole sources of copper in the diet, it is best to eat nuts, seeds, whole grains, beans, and shellfish. Copper binds to superoxide dismutase and protects our cells from oxidative damage. If there is not enough copper obtained through the diet we begin to see the reduced function of enzymes. 

Magnesium 

Magnesium is a cofactor to about 300 enzyme systems in the body. If an individual does not have proper magnesium levels, we see hypertension and diabetes. Studies done have also shown magnesium to be used in heart failure treatment. The symptoms we most often see in patients who have magnesium deficiencies are neuromuscular tremors, fasciculations, and muscle spasms. The relationship between magnesium and the nervous tissue is close. Due to this, one of the earliest ways to catch a magnesium deficiency is if the patient has nausea, loss of appetite, hair loss, and tremors. For whole magnesium sources, including nuts, beans, and dark green leafy vegetables into the diet. 

Manganese 

Manganese is involved with a number of enzymes that control metabolism, connective tissue maintenance, and the Krebs cycle. If deficient, we see glucose intolerance. Some of the best foods to keep manganese at a healthy level in the body are fruits, whole grains, leafy green vegetables, pecans, peanuts, pineapples, avocado, and hazelnuts. 

Potassium 

The nervous and muscle system strongly rely on potassium. Without proper potassium levels, the body will suffer from hypertension, heart arrhythmias, and muscle weakness. To increase potassium levels in the body, vegetable juice, citrus juice, and bananas will help. 

Selenium 

One of the main reasons we need selenium is to activate glutathione peroxidase. Mainly, we need this to activate the enzymes that protect our cells from oxidative damage. 

Vanadium 

This metal is in the liver and bone. It is shown that this lowers cholesterol synthesis and may also lower triglycerides. A great way to include this metal in your diet is by eating parsley, black pepper, dill, and mushrooms. 

Zinc

Zinc is incredibly important as it activates the cofactors for DNA/RNA polymerase. Additionally, it helps with healing cuts and skin disorders. Zinc is essential for normal immune function as well. 

Toxic Metals
Aluminum 

Aluminum can cause impaired memory, convulsions, and characteristics of EEG changes. Aluminum is found in many items consumers use daily. These products include antiperspirants, soda cans, baking soda, and toothpaste. There are many aluminum-free deodorants on the market that patients can switch to. 

Arsenic

 Arsenic has been linked to vascular disease and certain cancers that appear in the skin, bladder, and lungs. Unfortunately, arsenic is found in contaminated water supplies, paint, wood preservatives like outdoor decks, and playground equipment. 

Cadmium 

This metal competes with zinc down at the cellular level and impacts binding sites. This negatively affects the body as it causes a loss in enzyme activity. If an individual is exposed to cadmium for long-term exposure, we see damage to the kidneys. Common symptoms patients complain of are hypertension, femoral pain, and osteopenia. Individuals can be exposed if they are around engine exhaust emissions, canned evaporated milk, cigarette smoke, and paint pigments. A great way to combat exposure is to increase dietary fiber and eat items like beans, cooked vegetables, oatmeal. 

Lead 

If an individual has lead toxicity they experience pain in extremities due to axonal degeneration. Lead affects the inhibiting factor on enzymes in the biosynthesis pathway. Patients also report having kidney damage and nausea. Additionally, lead toxicity commonly affects sensory, visual, and auditory functions. This is due to the fact that it negatively impacts the nervous system. One thing patients can do is increase dietary calcium to help lower the amount of lead absorbed through the intestines. Lead can be found in newsprint, tea, art supplies, bullets, soils, balance weights, and drinking water from lead plumbing. 

Mercury 

Mercury has a tendency to form very stable bonds with amino acids. This makes it hard to detox from the body. One of the most important protective agents is dietary selenium. If someone has high mercury levels we typically see them have emotional disturbance and a lack of mental concentration. 

As one can see, there are many metals that benefit the human body and are essential for proper cellular function. However, we can also see that there are metals that can cause many problems. We are able to offer toxic metal testing to see the levels of these metals in your system. From here, we can provide a one-on-one plan to help your body safely detox.