Monthly Archives: November 2013

What Is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture, simply stated, is a health science which is used to successfully treat both pain and dysfunction in the body.

Acupuncture has its roots deeply planted in China. In fact, authorities agree the science is between 5,000 and 7,000 years old. Its use spread throughout ancient Egypt, the Middle East, the Roman Empire and later into Western Europe as merchants and missionaries to China told of the amazing discoveries the people of the Orient had developed. Acupuncture did not become known on a national level in the US until 1971 when diplomatic relations between China and America were relaxed.

At first glimpse, Acupuncture appears strange, as its primary notoriety is the utilization of needles placed in the skin at various locations to relieve pain or affect a body part.

Early Chinese physicians discovered there is an energy network traversing just below the surface of the skin which communicates from the exterior to the internal organs and structures over 1,000 “Acupoints” on the body. This energy works in harmony with the body’s circulatory, nervous, muscular, digestive, genitourinary and all other systems of the body. When this vital energy becomes blocked or weakened, an effect in a body system or anatomic location becomes evident. Stimulation of one or a combination of key “Acupoints” on the body may restore harmony to the affected area.

Historians have stated, “More people have benefited from Acupuncture over the course of fifty centuries than the combined total of all other healing sciences, both ancient and modern.”  Visit for more information.

Cervicogenic Headache – Results of Electrical Nerve Stimulation vs. Manipulation


A recent study (Li C, Xiu-ling Z, Hong D, Yue-qiang T, Hong-sheng Z. Comparative study on effects of manipulation treatment and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation [TENS] on patients with cervicogenic headache J Chin Integrat Med 2007;5(4)DOI:10.3736/jcm20070408)  compared alternative treatments for patients suffering from cervicogenic headaches, headaches related to/caused by your neck. Patients will typically have pain with neck motion and also limited mobility. There may also be a history of a neck injury such as a whiplash or head trauma. The study of seventy patients was randomized to minimize bias. Patients either had TENS (nerve stimulation) or manipulations. They were given treatments every other day for forty days (about 20 visits).

After treatments, patients’ pain scores were compared. The group receiving manipulations had significant reductions in the headache pain score, the frequency (how often) of headaches, and the duration of the headaches. There was a 94.5% response in the manipulation group compared to 64.5% in those patients getting nerve stimulation.

If you get headaches after your neck begins to give you trouble (pain, stiffness), then this could indicate you have a cervicogenic headache. Also, many patients do not fit neatly into categories that scientists and doctors conjure up. Many patients with migraines and tension-type headaches will complain of neck pains and problems. These types of headaches also respond favorably to chiropractic care applied to mechanical problems/subluxations in the neck when studied in randomized clinical trials. There are also fewer side effects when compared to drug treatments.

In Chiropractic, we direct treatment to the cause-the mechanical problem/subluxation in your neck. Drugs and surgery are ineffective options for these mechanical-types of problems. Chiropractic care has a low-risk safety profile, especially when compared to long-term drug use or surgery. As seen in the study above, electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) to block pain is relatively safe, but it also appears less effective than manipulations in combating headache pain from the neck.

After a thorough diagnosis, including x-rays, we can determine if it is indeed a neck problem that may be causing your headaches. We study small changes in the alignment of the vertebrae, as well the posture of the neck curve. Mobility tests are used to see if the joints are moving fully and symmetrically.  Visit for more information.

What is Neurofunctional Acupuncture?

Acupuncture Yankton

Acupuncture Electric Stimulation

Neurofunctional electroacupuncture treatments are easy to

replicate using a neurofunctional diagnostic approach. A neurofunctional

diagnostic approach does not seek a single hypothetical

source of pain; instead, it investigates, clinically, the

most common levels of dysfunction associated with a given

pain problem, namely neurological, biomechanical, muscular,

metabolic, and psychoemotional levels. Clinical examination

aims to determine, among other things, which muscles are

neurologically inhibited and which are weak due to atrophy;

which tissues have lost normal texture; which kinetic chains

are not working properly; and which peripheral nerves have

developed mechanosensitivity. Understanding all these aspects

allows the practitioner to design a truly individualized integrated

neurofunctional treatment plan.

Specifically, neurofunctional acupuncture interventions aim

to facilitate modulation of neurological activity at every level

identified as having been disturbed, such as autonomic sympathetic

and parasympathetic, motor and sensory somatic, and

central (autonomic centres,somatic areas, limbic system, cerebellum,


Following these functional subdivisions, neurofunctional

acupuncture treatments are then designed using a modular approach,

with local inputs, axial and trunk inputs, and systemic

regulatory inputs. Functional clinical outcome measures able

to reflect changes on these levels are used afterwards to evaluate


An important point is that neurofunctional acupuncture interventions

do not aim at eliminating pain directly. The goal is

to promote self-regulation of nervous system activity, facilitating

up- and down-regulation processes such as the production

and repair of myelin sheaths, the synthesis of protein-based

nerve membrane ion channels, and the secretion and metabolism

of neuropeptides, which will result in the clinical improvement

sought by the patient.  Visit for

more information.

Did You Know This About Low Back Pain?

If you have low back pain (LBP), you are certainly not alone. Almost everyone at some point has back pain that interferes with work, daily activities, and/or recreation. Americans spend at least $50 billion each year on LBP.  It is the most common cause of job-related disability and a leading contributor to lost work time. Back pain is second to headaches as the most common neurological condition in the United States.  Fortunately, most occurrences of LBP go away within a few days. Others take much longer to resolve or lead to more serious conditions.

There are two types of low back pain – acute and chronic.  Most episodes of acute LBP last from a few days to weeks, are not neurological and usually do not carry a high level of surgical risk. The cause of LBP can be difficult to isolate because often, while the cause is cumulative where multiple events over time, the last activity the patient recalls is “bending over for a pencil.” This, by itself is not likely to cause an acute onset of LBP.  Low back pain can be caused by trauma such as sports injuries, work around the house such as garden work, car accidents, and others. Chronic low back pain, by definition, is LBP that lasts more than 3 months and the cause can be more difficult to identify and is often cumulative and superimposed on a prior condition such as degenerative disk or joint disease.  A real problem is the rate of recurrence or, chronic, recurrent low back pain where pain may subside but returns at various rates of frequency and duration.  This category affects a high percentage of the population and represents the true challenge in spine care management.

As people age, their bone strength and muscle stretch, strength and tone usually decreases due to lack of activity. When the disks begin to lose fluid and flexibility, their ability to cushion the vertebrae and function as “shock absorbers” also decreases. Disks can tear, bulge, and/or herniate which results in localized LBP and/or radiating pain that follows the course one or more of the 31 pairs of nerve roots (eg., “sciatica” down the back of the leg).  Soft tissues such as joint capsules and ligaments lose their capacity to stretch and can tear more easily, resulting in a sprain or strain (muscle/tendon injury). Other conditions that either cause or contribute to LBP include arthritis, obesity, smoking, pregnancy, stress, poor posture and/or physical health, and can lead to unsatisfied patients if these co-contributors are not properly identified and discussed.  Less commonly, LBP can be caused by a more serious condition such as cancer, fracture, infection, spinal cord compression, and various internal conditions.  Emergency care may be indicated in these circumstances.

Your doctor of chiropractic will perform a complete examination, consider other contributing causes, and will treat the problem(s) causing the LBP condition.  If needed, working with other allied health care providers will be arranged.  Exercise, dietary recommendations, ergonomic or work modifications, spinal manipulation, and modalities will all be considered to help eliminate or control of the LBP. Methods of self-managing the LBP will be emphasized.  Visit for more information.








Low Back Pain (…or is it?)


Have you ever had leg pain and immediately blamed your low back?  Me too!  Many patients (and unfortunately, many doctors) conclude this to be “sciatica” or a “pinched nerve.”  When this diagnosis is wrong, it can lead to an inappropriate type of treatment, delaying appropriate care, or worse, it may result in death due to a missed diagnosis of a blood clot.  There is currently a government campaign seeking to warn the public about this hard-to-diagnose ‘silent killer.’

Here’s the news flash that was recently released (updated 8:28 a.m. CT, Mon., Sept. 15, 2008):

“WASHINGTON – Far too many Americans are dying of dangerous blood clots that can masquerade as simple leg pain, says a major new government effort to get both patients and their doctors to recognize the emergency in time.”

“It’s a silent killer. It’s hard to diagnose,” said acting Surgeon General Dr. Steven Galson, who announced the new campaign Monday. “I don’t think most people understand that this is a serious medical problem or what can be done to prevent it.”

Blood clots make headlines when seemingly healthy people collapse after prolonged sitting, such as long airplane flights or being in similarly cramped quarters. Vice President Cheney suffered one after a long trip last year. NBC correspondent David Bloom died of one in 2003 after spending days inside a tank while covering the Iraq invasion.

According to the Surgeon General’s new campaign, there are about 100,000 deaths associated with blood clots each year. Risk factors include increasing age (especially over 65), recent surgery or fracture, falls, car crashes, prolonged bed rest, smokers, obesity, pregnancy, and hormone replacement drugs including birth control pills. Other less controllable causes can include genetic conditions so it is important to tell your doctor if a relative has ever suffered a blood clot.

People with these factors should have “a very low threshold” for calling a doctor or even going to the emergency room if they have symptoms of a clot, said Galson, who issued a “call to action” for better education of both consumers and doctors, plus more research.

Symptoms include swelling; pain, especially in the calf; or a warm spot or red or discolored skin on the leg; shortness of breath or pain when breathing deeply.  Unfortunately, studies suggest only a third of patients who need protective blood thinners for major surgery get them. And patients can even be turned away despite telltale symptoms, like what happened to Le Keisha Ruffin just weeks after the birth of her daughter, Caitlyn. In her case, after being turned down by several visits to the doctor and ER, only after a very hot bath did her leg swell to 3-4 times its normal size, tipping off the doctors to make the right diagnosis.

Don’t wait for your medical doctor or our office to make the diagnosis if you’re suspicious of a blood clot.  Ask us if it’s a possibility. Rest assured that we have been properly trained to diagnose this condition and we work with other health care providers when needed.  Visit for more information.

Weight Loss and Genetically Modified Corn


Is corn a healthful grain or has science created a global toxicity effecting the human population?

Many us know the strategy of the company, Monsanto, has taken to genetically engineer a soybean that resists being killed by the very pesticide they also make.

If that wasn’t enough, they now have genetically modified corn to make it produce a toxin that kills the corn borer worm.

Do you think this toxin has deadly consequences for humans?

You bet!

In March of 2007, scientists reported in the Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology the results of the impact GMO (genetically modified) corn had when fed to rats for only 3 months.

These results revealed:

Increased weight gain Liver and kidney toxicity 40% increase in triglycerides, which leads to Metabolic Syndrome X, diabetes, and heart disease. Now we all need to know that us humans just don’t eat plain GMO corn products, but instead we consume products with corn sweetener which is found in commercial salad dressings, breads, snacks, sodas, and all sorts of processed foods, even tonic water.

Remember much of corn is changed dramatically in the factory into high fructose corn syrup.

Modified corn is an abnormal molecule for the body that will contribute to the obesity epidemic.

Dr. Norm Childers, the Ph.D. who discovered the relationship between human arthritis, tendonitis and dietary nightshade foods (tomatoes, potatos, peppers, eggplant) has seen that GMO corn may in fact lead to rectal bleeding, irritable bowel, joint pain that comes and goes, and arthralgias of all types.

The bottom line is foods that have been genetically altered are considered foreign to the human body and will behave differently than natural grown foods. This genetically changed food has long term detrimental health consequences.

These foods damage the chemistry for weight loss.

The bottom line would be to try to avoid anything with high fructose corn syrup, corn sugar or corn syrup in the ingredients. Visit for more information.

Low Back Pain: Fix the Problem First and You Won’t Need to Worry about the Pain


It’s gotten a bit confusing how we sometimes look at our health. When pain strikes the low back we usually think we just got a new problem or injury. But why then was coughing, shaving, or doing the laundry, so different this time? These are things we do everyday. Rarely is a new episode of low back pain brought on by a well-defined injury or trauma. Trauma in most cases is usually quite trivial. We confuse pain as a signal for something that is physically changing each time.

So what is the problem? The problem is joint sprain or subluxation. This is a ligament problem and occurs with small micro traumas over many years, or sometimes with acute events such as car accidents or falls. Over time the ligaments stretch, causing the joints and vertebrae to displace, irritating the delicate nerve fibers. But over a few days or weeks, the pain that accompanies this injury gradually lessens, and in many cases goes away all on its own. But has the problem also gone away? Likely not, because when ligaments are traumatized, the repair mechanism involves scar tissue, which is less elastic than the original, and makes the joint vulnerable to re-injury and sometimes impairs the free and symmetrical motion of the spine. The doctor of chiropractic examines for this type of joint sprain using palpation for tenderness and edema, and x-rays to see the directions the vertebrae have moved towards. These specific analyses can tell us the vulnerable directions and how the vertebrae need to be repositioned to promote good alignment and good posture.

The adjustment is designed to reduce this misalignment, and induce more symmetric motion. When movements are asymmetrical in the spine, they can lead to premature degeneration of the spine and arthritis. This may be why a simple task such as lifting a laundry basket can flare up the back so easily. You may be lifting with good form and posture but with an asymmetrical spine, the loading is very off balance. Sometimes the disks are so damaged that a simple sneeze is enough to cause excruciating pain. So when these trivial events seem to trip you up, it means there is an underlying problem that is not getting corrected.  Visit for more information.

Low Back Pain – Is It On The Rise!

As stated last month, the prevalence of low back pain (LBP) is REALLY high! In
fact, it’s the second most common cause of disability among adults in the United
States (US) and a very common reason for lost days at work. The total cost of
back pain in the US, including treatment and lost productivity, ranges between
$100 billion to $200 billion a year! Is low back pain on the rise, staying the
same, or lessening? Let’s take a look!
In the past two decades, the use of health care services for chronic LBP (that
means LBP > 3 months) has substantially increased. When reviewing studies
reporting insurance claims information, researchers note a significant increase
in the use of spinal injections, surgery, and narcotic prescriptions. There has
been an increase in the use of spinal manipulation by chiropractors as well,
along with increased physical therapy services and primary care physician driven
non-narcotic prescriptions. In general, LBP sufferers who are chronic (vs.
acute) are the group using most of these services and incurring the majority of
costs. The reported utilization of the above mentioned services was only 3.9% in
1992 compared to 10.2% in 2006, just 11 years later. The question now becomes,
why is this? Possible reasons for this increase health care use in chronic LBP
sufferers may be: 1) There are simply more people suffering from chronic LBP; 2)
More chronic LBP patients are deciding to seek care or treatment where
previously they “just accepted and lived with it” and didn’t pursue treatment;
or, 3) A combination of these factors. Regardless of which of the above three is
most accurate, the most important issue is, what can we do to help chronic back
pain sufferers?
As we’ve discussed in the past, an anti-inflammatory diet, exercise within YOUR
personal tolerance level, not smoking, getting enough sleep, and obtaining
chiropractic adjustments every two weeks are well documented methods of
“controlling” chronic LBP (as there really ISN’T a “cure” in many cases). You
may be surprised to hear that maintenance care has good literature support for
controlling chronic LBP. In the 8/15/11 issue of SPINE (Vol. 36, No. 18,
pp1427-1437), two Medical Doctors (MDs) penned the article, “Does Maintained
Spinal Manipulation Therapy for Chronic Nonspecific Low Back Pain Result in
Better Long-Term Outcomes?” Here, they took 60 patients with chronic LBP (cLBP)
and randomly assigned them into one of three groups: 1) 12 treatments of sham
(fake) SMT (spinal manipulation) have over a one month period; 2) 12 treatments,
over a one month period but no treatment for the following nine months; or 3) 12
treatments for one month AND then SMT every two weeks for the following nine
months. To measure the differences between the three groups, they measured pain,
disability, generic health status, and back-specific patient satisfaction at
baseline, 1-, 4-, 7-, and 10-month time intervals. They found only the patients
in the second and third groups experienced significantly lower pain and
disability scores vs. the first group after the first month of treatments (at
three times a week). BUT, only the third group showed more improvement at the
10-month evaluation. Also, by the tenth month, the pain and disability scores
returned back to nearly the initial baseline/initial level in group two. The
authors concluded that, “To obtain long-term benefit, this study suggests
maintenance SM after the initial intensive manipulative therapy.” Other studies
have reported fewer medical tests, lower costs, fewer doctor visits, less work
absenteeism, and a higher quality of life when maintenance chiropractic visits
are utilized. The question is, WHEN will insurance companies and general
practitioners start RECOMMENDING chiropractic maintenance care for chronic LBP
We realize you have a choice in whom you consider for your health care provision
and we sincerely appreciate your trust in choosing our service for those needs.
If you, a friend, or family member requires care for back pain, we would be
honored to render our services.  For more information go to