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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. 

Neuromuscular reffered pain | El Paso

Neuromuscular Referred Pain, Is It Impacting You?

When it comes to Neuromusculoskeletal disorders, many techniques are available for one to learn. Some of these techniques include: 

Activator methods 
Applied Kinesiology
Atlas Specific 
Meric System 
Network Chiropractic 
Pro-Adjuster 
And Many More 

As a healthcare practitioner, upwards of 90% of your consultations involve a clinical investigation. The most often asked questions to patients include “How long have you had the pain?” and “What aggravates the pain?” However, it is imperative to determine the best course of treatment for patients. To properly do this, you do a functional history that includes all dimensions of wellness, not just physical and pain. These questions include: 

Past Medical History 
Occupational Status 
Social Status 
Medication History 
Surgical History 
Identifying non-neuro muscular disorders the patient may have like diabetes, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, and cancer 

Understanding all areas of injury is vital due to neurological referred pain. Neurological referred pain occurs when signals get mixed in your neurological wiring. Sensory inputs from different areas of the body combine into single neurons (the nerve cells) in the spine. In the spine, they are integrated and modified before being sent to the brain. To properly assess and have successful treatment, one must identify the proper tissue that has been compromised. 

Along with this, there are perpetuating factors that can lead to downfalls as well. 

Mechanical Stresses

The stresses that directly impact pain and the skeletal system include short leg, hemipelvis, long second metatarsal, short upper arms, postural stresses, misfitting furniture, poor postures, abuse of muscles, and immobility. 

Short leg is seen frequently and puts a biomechanical strain on the supporting muscle. This creates a distortion of axial alignment. The main muscle impacted is the quadratus lumborum. This muscle being compromised is one of the most overlooked sources of low back pain. Once this is identified, the shoulder girdle should be evaluated next. If individuals are suffering from low back pain frequently, nutritional inadequacies should be considered. 

There are research studies done showing nutritional deficiencies to be associated with chronic neuromusculoskeletal system disorders. For optimal health, we focus on the body down to the orthomolecular components. These include: 

B1
B6
B12
Folic Acid
Vitamin C
Calcium 
Potassium 
Iron 
Magnesium 
InBody

Part of obtaining a full history is having patients undergo an InBody scan. This scan focuses on body composition and inflammation. It provides a full report of water, percent body fat, phase angle, visceral fat, basal metabolic rate, ECW/TBW and contains multiple segmental analysis sections. The InBody 770 high power technology to accurately assess patients.

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

 

THE HUMAN BODY IS VASTLY INTERTWINED AND HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS SHOULD BE LOOKING AT EVERY AREA IF YOU ARE EXPERIENCING PAIN OR DISCOMFORT. A DETAILED HISTORY CAN HELP DOCTORS GET TO THE ROOT SOURCE OF YOUR PAIN. -KENNA VAUGHN, ACSM-EP, SENIOR HEALTH COACH 

References: 

Dr Ron Grisanti,D.C “Insiders Guide.” Functional Medicine University (FMU). 

Williams FH. Neuromuscular complications of nutritional deficiencies. Phys Med Rehabil Clin N Am. 2008 Feb;19(1):125-48, vii. doi: 10.1016/j.pmr.2007.10.006. PMID: 18194754.  

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

How Is Stress Impacting You?

Stress can be defined as any external or internal challenge that disrupts homeostasis in an individual. How stressed an individual feels varies depending on their coping skills and mechanisms. For most, stress is anything that causes a flight or flight response. There are several emotions that cause individuals to feel this flight or fight response. A few possibilities are:

Bitterness
Resentment
Retaliation
Anger
Trauma
Betrayal
Rage
Depression 
Gossip 
Self-hate
Being rejected 
Loneliness 
Shame 

A stressor produces different mixes of the nervous system and hormonal responses. One stressor may lead to the nervous system activation releasing catecholamines, but small amounts of adrenaline and cortisol. However, another stressor may result in the opposite reaction. In studies performed, it is stated that there are direct relationships between behavior, the brain, and immunity. One association that is well studied is the relationship between autoimmune diseases and self-hatred. By attacking ourselves with our own harsh words and negative thoughts, we see a direct relationship corresponding to an autoimmune response, ultimately ending in autoimmune disease. The study can be viewed below:

Dangers of Excessive Cortisol 

Cortisol is released in times of stress. It is necessary, but when too much cortisol is released for too long, the body sees side effects. The adrenal glands are consistently producing cortisol. Cortisol stimulates the conversion of noradrenaline to adrenaline. This creates an increased amount of adrenaline in the blood. Cortisol also blocks the conversion of the T4 thyroid hormone. Due to this, individuals under stress may develop systems of hypothyroidism. Additionally, cortisol suppresses the production of T-cell activity. This increases the risk of infection. 

Another study states that animals genetically susceptible to insulin-dependent diabetes (Type 1 Diabetes) developed the disease more frequently when they were subjected to stress. While under stress, the elevated cortisol levels in the bloodstream block insulin, making it difficult to control blood glucose.  

Phase Angle 

Stress plays an essential factor in phase angle as it disrupts homeostasis. The phase angle is a snapshot at cellular health that provides practitioners with the integrity of your cellular membranes. The healthier an individual is, the higher their phase angle, making it harder for inflammation and infection to infiltrate. The more stress an individual is under, the higher their cortisol is. This increases their blood glucose level and can result in a higher body fat percentage. These combined decrease cellular health and cause a permeable cellular membrane. We evaluate and monitor our patient’s phase angle by using an InBody 770 machine. The anthropometric measurements show us where inflammation is and other significant numbers such as visceral fat, basal metabolic rate, and segmental water analysis. 

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

Diagnostic Testing 

Although we utilize many different diagnostic lab companies, we use the Adrenal Hormone Report from Doctors Data to measure cortisol levels. A sample report is shown below: 

 

 

CORTISOL IS NECESSARY, AND STRESS IS A NATURAL RESPONSE TO PROTECT THE BODY. HOWEVER, WHEN WE SEE THE “STRESS RESPONSE” ON FOR TOO LONG, WE KNOW OTHER ISSUES ARE GOING ON. IT IS CRUCIAL TO REMEMBER TO RELAX, TAKE TIME TO FOCUS ON DEEP BREATHING, MEDITATION OR YOGA, AND UNWIND. -KENNA VAUGHN, ACSM-CEP, SENIOR HEALTH COACH 

References: 

Maier SF, Watkins LR, Fleshner M. Psychoneuroimmunology. The interface between behavior, brain, and immunity. Am Psychol. 1994 Dec;49(12):1004-17. doi: 10.1037//0003-066x.49.12.1004. PMID: 7818221. 

Dr Ron Grisanti,D.C “Insiders Guide.” Functional Medicine University (FMU).

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

Mitochondrial Dysfunction: The Link Between Migraines & Fibromyalgia

Migraines and Fibromyalgia have one thing in common, they are both due to mitochondrial dysfunction. More often than not we see those with mitochondrial dysfunction suffering from more than one type of discomfort. The first thing we do is take a detailed history, to truly understand the patient’s history, environment, previous treatment plans, and symptoms. 

Mitochondrial function is a necessity for the body to perform properly. There have been studies that show that magnesium and malic acid is needed for mitochondrial function. In fact, giving magnesium malate 2 tabs, three times a day showed decreased pain in fibromyalgia patients. Magnesium also helps as a laxative and is often helpful in cleansing the gut and beginning to restore gut health. Another step we take to restore gut health is to perform a food sensitivity test to make sure they do not have any specific IgG reactions to foods consumed in their daily diet. We use the Food Sensitivity Test from Vibrant America. Genes

There is research supporting that individuals who have an MTHFR gene mutation are more susceptible to instability in the central neurovascular system. Those who have a MTHFR gene mutation can not convert folate to methylfolate. This is linked to migraines, mood problems, and increased susceptibility for fibromyalgia. For more information regarding MTHFR, please refer to GeneCards: MTHFR.

Nutrition / Supplements 

After analyzing lab work, and when implemented correctly, there are many foods and supplements that can help patients with symptoms associated with mitochondrial dysfunction. 

Some foods to eat include: 

almonds and other nuts and seeds
broccoli
beans
tofu
oatmeal
dark leafy greens
Avocado

The supplements we use are from Biotics Research and include:

Bio-Multi Plus
ProMulti Plus
Bio D Mulsion 
B12-2000
Optimal EFA caps
A.D.P

Health & Wellness: Vitamin Metabolism

Health & Wellness: Vitamin Metabolism

Vitamins are essential to the body as they are responsible for carrying out important biochemical pathways. Vitamins also play a significant factor in aging, medications, genetics, and can metabolize differently depending on gender. There are thirteen vitamins the body depends on. These vitamins are not able to be produced by our body so we must obtain them from our diet. 

The fat-soluble vitamins we require are vitamins A, D, E, and K. The water-soluble vitamins we require are vitamins C and B (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, and B12). 

Cancer: Holistic Supplements and Lifestyle Changes Post Treatment | El Paso Health

Cancer: Holistic Supplements and Lifestyle Changes Post Treatment

Cancer survivors have a lot on their minds, one being a recurrence. Studies have shown that natural supplements, diet, and exercise can help decrease risk of recurrence. A Mediterranean diet is based on a large diversity of plant-based foods and can help your body receive optimal nutrients post-treatment. Additionally, supplements like curcumin, green tea, vitamin D, and fish oils coupled with 150 minutes of exercise per week help reduce your risk.