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Chiropractic and Medical Care: An Effective Combination

Woburn & Chelmsford, MA back pain treatmentWe see a number of back pain patients in our Woburn & Chelmsford, MA office, and Dr. James Ellis & Dr. Lyndsay Martin has been able to help many of them get relief with chiropractic care. However, recovering from back pain doesn't necessarily mean having to make a choice between chiropractic care and medical treatment, as many individuals use both types of care with great results.

Research Confirms Chiropractic and Medical Treatment Work Well with One Another

In a report published by the academic journal Spine researchers1 looked at a group of active-duty military personnel between the ages of 18 and 35 who were suffering from both acute soreness and restricted function due to back symptoms. Some of the patients received treatment via standard medical therapy, while the remainder received chiropractic care along with standard medical care, as researchers wanted to determine which group fared better.

Researchers found that the patients who received standard medical care in combination with chiropractic scored "significantly better" than the group that got medical care alone; 73% reported positive benefits in comparison to just 17 percent of the medical care only group who indicated the same amount of improvement. This was true regarding both pain and level of function at the two- and four-week marks.

Therefore, incorporating these two forms of treatment can greatly benefit you--the patient--offering advantages when compared to medical care alone. However, while chiropractic care and medical approaches can work together, chiropractic offers some unique strengths over medical treatment.

Where Chiropractic Care Is Successful

Although it may seem as if each approach plays a 50-50 role, there is one significant benefit that chiropractic care has over medical care and that is in patient satisfaction. In fact, a piece of research from UCLA2 that was printed in the American Journal of Public Health reports that, on average, chiropractic patients are generally more satisfied with their recovery than those undergoing medical care.

According to the experts, the main aspects that patients liked over medical treatment were "self-care advice and explanation of treatment." This isn't surprising, as chiropractors frequently spend much more time advising their patients as to how they can improve their health on their own, as well as discussing more thoroughly what to expect from chiropractic care.

Chiropractic Care Offers a Holistic Approach

Without a doubt, the methods associated with chiropractic are quite different than those offered with medical therapy, but a great deal of the distinction is the fact that chiropractic is a natural approach to health and wellness. In contrast to focusing on simply relieving the symptoms, chiropractic means tracking down the primary cause of your pain, which often translates to greater improvement as you are tackling the problem at its source.

Additionally, while medication is sometimes helpful for managing certain conditions, many health issues respond well to natural forms of treatment such as chiropractic care. This means fewer negative responses to drugs and lasting results.

You don't have to suffer from back pain or other health issues. Give our Woburn & Chelmsford, MA clinic a call today at (781) 460-0939. We'll do everything we can to help you get and remain free from back pain.

References

  1. Goertz CM, Long CR, Hondras MA, Petri R, Delgado R, Lawrence DJ, Owens EF, Meeker WC. Adding chiropractic manipulative therapy to standard medical care for patients with acute low back pain: results of a pragmatic randomized comparative effectiveness study. Spine 2013;38(8):627-634.
  2. Hertzman-Miller RP1, Morgenstern H, Hurwitz EL, Yu F, Adams AH, Harber P, Kominski GF. Comparing the satisfaction of low back pain patients randomized to receive medical or chiropractic care: results from the UCLA low-back pain study. American Journal of Public Health 2002;92(10):1628-1633.
 

Chiropractic Proven Safe

Woburn & Chelmsford, MA Chiropractic for familiesWe tend to a large number of patients in our Woburn & Chelmsford, MA clinic, and Dr. James Ellis & Dr. Lyndsay Martin has helped countless people eliminate a range of health challenges. However, one concern that seems to prevent a lot of folks from seeking treatment is whether or not chiropractic care is safe. Luckily, according to three separate studies (out of many on the topic), the answer to this question is a clear: "Yes! Chiropractic is safe!"

Australian Study: Chiropractic is Safe

The first research paper(1) was published in Spine and included 183 women and men. Each individual was affected by spine-related pain, and half of the individuals received real chiropractic adjustments whereas the remaining patients received two fake chiropractic adjustments. Data was collected after each real or fake adjustment to identify whether or not any unpleasant reactions occurred as a result of the genuine chiropractic treatments.

The doctors reported that no participants reported any serious adverse adverse reactions whatsoever after receiving one or two sessions of chiropractic care. Some individuals did report that they got a headache (9 percent) or muscle stiffness (37 percent) post-treatment, but the results were not of a serious nature.

National Survey Reports that Chiropractic Care is Safe

The second study(2), also published in the distinguished medical journal, Spine, was done in an effort to determine the safety of chiropractic. The test group was much larger -- 20,000 individuals. Each participant received chiropractic adjustments of the neck, with over 50,000 total adjustments for all study participants.

Again, the investigators found no serious negative side effects. The authors computed the risk of total side effects to be about 6 out of every 10,000 consultations or every 100,000 treatment sessions. And, just as with the previous study, some participants did report non-serious, milder, unwanted effects such as dizziness (less than 2%) or a headache (4%), and this prompted the researchers to determine that "the risk of a serious adverse event, immediately or up to 7 days after treatment, was low to very low."

Chiropractic Is Safe for Children

This third research paper(3) is unique from the first two pieces of research, as it concentrates on the safety of chiropractic care for kids. In this case, researchers investigated results reported by both chiropractors and parents involving 816 children who participated in 7,173 chiropractic adjustments.

Out of 5,438 chiropractic appointments made for the young ones, chiropractors responding to the survey reported only three cases where there were adverse effects. When parents were questioned, they indicated only two adverse side effects out of 1,735 visits. Furthermore, both chiropractors and parents reported "a high rate of improvement with respect to the children's presenting complaints."

Based on studies like these, chiropractic care has been deemed safe and effective for everyone. To find out what chiropractic can do for you, call our Woburn & Chelmsford, MA clinic and make an appointment today at (781) 460-0939.

References

  1. Walker BF, Hebert JJ, Stomski NJ, Clarke BR, Bowden RS, Losco B, French SD. Outcomes of usual chiropractic. The OUCH randomized controlled trial of adverse events. Spine 2013;38(20):1723-9.
  2. Thiel HW1, Bolton JE, Docherty S, Portlock JC. Safety of chiropractic manipulation of the cervical spine: a prospective national survey. Spine 2007;32(21):2375-8.
  3. Alcantara J, Ohm J, Kunz D. The safety and effectiveness of pediatric chiropractic: a survey of chiropractors and parents in a practice-based research network. Explore NY 2009;5(5): 290-5.
 

Chiropractic Patients Miss Less Work

Woburn & Chelmsford, MA Worker Injury Treatment and RecoveryWhen you're trying to sustain your family, take care of your home, and pay all of your bills on time, every day at your job counts. Work injuries can be a huge problem for many folks, and we see many of these types of injuries in our Woburn & Chelmsford, MA office. Dr. James Ellis & Dr. Lyndsay Martin appreciates your situation and is here to help.

The advantages of chiropractic care for work injuries are well-documented. A 2013 survey involving over 600 adults who were suffering with either back or neck pain found that the people who didn't see a chiropractor missed work at twice the rate of those who were seeing a chiropractor.

So, why don't more people use Chiropractic?

According to the respondents in this study, two of the primary reasons were that they thought they needed a medical referral for chiropractic care (which is typically no longer true) and they overestimated the costs associated with chiropractic treatment sessions by almost 70 percent.

The truth is, chiropractic patients actually spend less on care than medical patients, plus they are less likely to use drugs for their symptoms.

Dr. James Ellis & Dr. Lyndsay Martin Can Help People Find Relief From Chronic Pain

If you live in Woburn & Chelmsford, MA and you've been injured at work, we can help. Give our office a call today at (781) 460-0939 for an appointment.

References

"Thousands of Minnesotans with Back and Neck Pain Don't Seek Treatment." (2013, June 12). ChiroCare.

 

TMJ Pain Relief with Chiropractic

Woburn & Chelmsford, MA TMJ pain recoverySince trauma to the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is frequently rather painful, we do our best to help our Woburn & Chelmsford, MA patients find relief as quickly and effectively as possible. In fact, Dr. James Ellis & Dr. Lyndsay Martin will tell you that the medical literature shows just how much chiropractic can help ease discomfort in the jaw.

Research Supports Chiropractic Helps With TMJ Pain and Discomfort

For instance, a study published in Physiotherapy Theory and Practice involved 15 participants with jaw pain who were treated with neck adjustments, middle-back manipulation, and trigger point therapy via dry needling. Patients were examined prior to these methods and at two weeks and two months post-treatment. They reported positive outcomes such as reduced pain, greater jaw mobility, and lower impairment at both follow-ups.

Another research paper carried out an analysis of almost 800 papers involving manual and manipulative therapy for conditions such as TMJ and found similar findings. The group concluded that there is a "fair...level of evidence" that chiropractic care can help ease symptoms associated with TMJ and other upper extremity disorders.

This is great news since the origins of TMJ are largely unknown. While injury to the jaw area can cause pain symptoms, there are other factors to consider as well, such as grinding teeth, arthritis, and clenching of the jaw due to tension.

Dr. James Ellis & Dr. Lyndsay Martin Can Help Patients Find Comfort From TMJ Pain

No matter what is making your jaw ache, call Dr. James Ellis & Dr. Lyndsay Martin today and schedule an appointment to come into our Woburn & Chelmsford, MA practice. We'll do our best to help you smile pain-free!

Studies

  • Gonzalez-Iglesias J et al. (2013, November). Mobilization with movement, thoracic spine manipulation, and dry needling for the management of temporomandibular disorder: a prospective case series. Physiotherapy Theory and Practice;29(8):586-95
  • Brantingham J et al. (2013, March-April). Manipulative and multimodal therapy for upper extremity and temporomandibular disorders: a systematic review. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics;36(3):143-201
  • Oral Care. WebMD. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/temporomandibular-disorders-tmd on November 2, 2015
 

Research Shows Chiropractic Adjustments Beneficial at Preventing Sports Injuries

Woburn & Chelmsford, MA sports injury treatment and chiropracticWe come across a large number of sports injuries in our Woburn & Chelmsford, MA office, and Dr. James Ellis & Dr. Lyndsay Martin is generally able to help these athletes. Stanford Children’s Hospital reports that more than 3.5 million children aged 14 and younger are injured each year when playing sports. Add that to the nearly 2 million adults injured annually while participating in sports-related activities, as reported by statistics collected by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and you can begin to see the importance of preventing these sorts of widespread injuries. One approach to possible realize that goal, as stated in a study released in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, is to engage in regular chiropractic treatments.

In Australian Rules football, hamstring and other leg traumas are common, often sidelining the players and impacting their team's odds of securing a win. One specific study was administered using 59 semi-elite Australian Rules footballers to see if chiropractic could reduce these injuries and help keep them playing.

Research Supports Chiropractic Helps in Treating Sports Injuries

For this study particularly, all of the participants was given medical treatment. In addition, half of them also received chiropractic sessions at the rate of one treatment each week for the first 6 weeks, biweekly treatments for the following three months, and one session each month for the final three months of the study. The remaining half had no chiropractic intervention whatsoever and acted as the control group to assess the benefits of chiropractic.

Following twenty-four matches, specialists noted a lessened amount of lower limb muscle strains in the group that had been given chiropractic care. Moreover, that very group also missed fewer matches connected to non-contact knee injuries. This lead the researchers to conclude that chiropractic ought to be made an addition to sports training programs to effectively reduce the number of leg injuries.

Dr. James Ellis & Dr. Lyndsay Martin Can Help Clients Find Relief From Sports Injuries & Help You Recover Quicker

If you or your child are active in sports and you want to make sure greater time is dedicated on the field as opposed to on the bench, call our Woburn & Chelmsford, MA office at (781) 460-0939 and make an appointment today. We will do our best to keep you in the game!

References

  • Hoskins, W, & Pollard, H. (2010, April 8). The effect of a sports chiropractic manual therapy intervention on the prevention of back pain, hamstring and lower limb injuries in semi-elite Australian Rules footballers: a randomized controlled trial. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 11(64), doi:10.1186/1471-2474-11-64
  • Misra, A. (2014, March 17). Common sports injuries: Incidence and average charges. Department of Health & Human Services.
  • Stanford Children’s Hospital. (n.d.). Sports injury statistics.
 

Preventing Leg Injuries with Chiropractic

Woburn & Chelmsford, MA-sports-therapyWhen playing activities that require a lot of lower body movement, like football, soccer, and basketball, it's common to suffer some type of injury to your hips or legs. Between pulled hamstrings, sprained ankles, knee injuries, and more, many people have found themselves out of commission. Dr. James Ellis & Dr. Lyndsay Martin has seen all of these problems in our Woburn & Chelmsford, MA patients. Fortunately, chiropractic adjustments can help prevent some of these injuries from developing and research proves it.

Research Supports Chiropractic Helps With Sports Injuries & Recovery

Dr. James Ellis & Dr. Lyndsay Martin keeps up-to-date with all of the latest scientific research, and in a study published in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, researchers from Macquarie University in Australia studied 59 semi-elite Australian Rules footballers. Roughly half were placed in a control group and the other half were put in a therapy group that received sports chiropractic care at regular intervals. During the first six weeks, this meant getting care once every week. The following three months consisted of an adjustment every two weeks before decreasing those to one visit monthly for the final three months of the study.

The authors noted that there was a "significant" difference in the number of leg strains the players received in the treatment group when compared to the control. Furthermore, they noticed that the subjects who received chiropractic also had fewer weeks of missed practice and games as a result of non-contact knee injuries. This led them to determine that sports chiropractic treatment should be added to "the current best practice management."

Every major sports organization in the United States and the US Olympic Team has chiropractors on staff for their players, because they know that chiropractic works. If you live near our office in Woburn & Chelmsford, MA and would like to see if Dr. James Ellis & Dr. Lyndsay Martin can help you boost your performance or reduce sports injuries, give our office a call today at (781) 460-0939 for an appointment.

Dr. James Ellis & Dr. Lyndsay Martin Can Help Clients Find Relief From Sports Injuries and Recover Faster

If you're struggling with severe pain, Dr. James Ellis & Dr. Lyndsay Martin and our staff are here to help you recover. Give our Woburn & Chelmsford, MA office a call today at (781) 460-0939 for an appointment today.

Reference

Hoskins W, Pollard H. The effect of a sports chiropractic manual therapy intervention on the prevention of back pain, hamstring and lower limb injuries in semi-elite Australian rules footballers: a randomized controlled trial. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2010;11(64).

 

Enjoy Your Holiday Favorites Without Wrecking Your Diet

The Holidays can be a difficult time for anyone who struggles with diet and their own fitness goals. While it is important to enjoy some “R & R” you also don’t want to destroy all your hours of hard work in the gym! Quite the contrary, the influx of calories can actually lead to some great strength gains if used correctly. Follow these simple tips this holiday season to avoid metabolic melt-down.

1.) Don’t skip your workouts

Many people will find that they are “too busy to exercise” the 2 weeks surrounding Christmas and New Years. This is a big mistake for obvious reasons. The increase in often times empty calories and lack of exercise is a recipe for disaster. Do your best to stick to your normal routine, and don’t skip the cardio!

2.) Stick to your normal eating schedule

Many people will often times skip meals and get out of their normal routine in hopes to “save the calories” for the big feast or sweets. This is a mistake and will most likely lead you to eating yourself into a slumber. This is a perfect recipe for weight gain!  Instead try this, If you are use to eating 3 meals and 3 snacks, skip 1 snack and 1 meal and replace it with your favorite holiday meal.

3.) Take smaller bites and chew your food

We all have that one uncle who is just ravenous at the dinner table and seems to inhale food. This is a mistake. It takes your body about 30 minutes to register your appetite after eating, so by taking smaller bites and chewing your food it will take longer to eat, allowing your body to digest and preventing you from over-eating.

4.) Drink plenty of water with each meal

Water is a necessary component for digestion. It also allows us to feel fuller and more satisfied by adding bulk to our food. Sure some wine is great, but don’t skip the water and be sure to sip throughout your meal.

5.) Catch some ZZZ’s

Between trying to wrap up work for the year, shopping, cooking, and prepping your house for guests there can be little time for sleep. It is no secret that sleep is very important for us on a cellular level. What’s more, when we don’t sleep enough we feel very lethargic which enables us to eat more in hopes up kicking up some energy.

 

Keep Moving.

 

6 Drills to Improve Your Skiing

Now that the snow is about to start falling many of us will be hitting the slopes. If this is your only sport and you have not done much physical activity since last year you will likely find that your feet and lower legs are pretty sore the first few times out!

Skiing is a very physical activity. It requires coordination and harmony particularly among the muscles of the legs and hips. If you are more of a “weekend warrior” you are at greater risk of injury  since skiing requires both mobility and flexibility (both of which will likely be lacking if untrained). The following drills and stretches are aimed at correcting and coordinating the balance of the muscles of the leg and trunk. If done regularly they can prevent injury and even improve you skiing!

Since skiing requires first and foremost adequate length of the gastroc and soleus complex (calves) it should be made a point to begin stretching these daily (twice if you can). Hold each stretch about a minute.

1.) Hamstring stretch with towel- lying on your back and keeping your leg straight wrap a hand towel around your foot and pull up while maintaining full extension. Stop once you feel the stretch and hold.

2.) Seated Glute stretch- Sitting, cross one leg across the other creating a figure 4. Slowly bend at the waist, noting a stretch in your hip and glute. Stop once you feel the stretch and hold.

3.) Double knee to chest- Lying on your back, pull both knees into your chest. Stop once you feel the stretch in your lower back and hold.

Foot Drills:

Perform these drills daily or every workout day. Repeat each drill once for 25m. All should be done barefoot with the exception of walking on the heels which should be performed in shoes.

1.) Walk with feet in Inversion (Inside up)

2.) Walk with feet in Eversion (Outside up)

3.) Walk toes pointed in

4.) Walk with toes out

5.)Walk backwards on toes (Heels up, backwards)

6.) Walk on heels (toes up shoes on)

 

As always, if an injury does arise please call us or another provider for a professional evaluation before attempting to self treat.

 

Keep Moving.

 

All About Intermittent Fasting

Like most people interested in fitness I have tried many different diet methods from keto to carb cycling. The problem that I along with most people struggle with is finding balance and an eating schedule that is sustainable and not stressful!
Obviously, if you want to get shredded you have to suffer a bit; that’s part of the process. But what about the average person who just wants to look good and have a six-pack, but isn’t willing to risk their social life? Enter Intermittent Fasting (IF).

What’s The Science Behind It?

Though research is still in its infancy; what has been studied has shown great promise. The idea itself is not new. In fact, there is research dating back to 1930’s showing that mice who ate less often lived longer. Today, much has been discussed in the form of potential weight loss and benefits that occur from that.  IF works because when we eat, much of what we eat eventually breaks down in to some form of sugar which raises blood glucose. In order to transport this sugar the pancreas releases insulin which acts as a shuttle to the liver which will produce glycogen for energy. Without insulin the glucose in the blood will continue to rise and one will develop symptoms of hyperglycemia eventually leading to diabetes. This process of metabolizing will continue to work to maintain stable blood sugar anywhere from 8-12 hours. After this period our body will switch to burning body fat, as glycogen has been depleted, for energy and equilibrium. Several benefits have been noted from fasting including:

Increasing insulin sensitivity
Decreasing systemic inflammation
Increased Growth Hormone (anti-aging hormone)
Stimulates production of Protein BDNF (brain-derived neurotropic factor) which is neuro-protective

Still, many are still weary of the effects of IF. Some studies have shown that long term fasting could actually increase inflammation. Majority of the studies have been promising however.

How Do You Do It?

This is my general recommendation, however there are many ways to structure your schedule.

First, IF is not a diet, it’s an eating schedule in which you establish a window of time you will consume all of your calories for that day ( from 4-8 hours), then when that time is up you will fast until that window of time the next day (anywhere from 16-24 hours). Since a 500 kcal/day deficit will yield a 1lb weight loss per week many people achieve consistent weight loss by simply cutting out breakfast.

I myself have been experimenting with fasting for about a year now, and I have helped several people using this method. I recommend starting at a 16 hour window of fasting simply by skipping breakfast. I personally follow a fasting schedule of 10pm-2pm daily. This can be increased over time pending progress.

I have noted the following:

Leaner body composition while eating more calories
Decreased appetite
More energy

IF is a simple and efficient way to eliminate calories (a lot of times empty calories!) from your day-to-day diet.

Quick Tips:

What you eat during your window matters! ( for recommendations Click Here.)

Exercising in a depleted state will aid in depleting glycogen

IF is an eating schedule, not a diet. Good eating habits must still be practiced or your results may suffer. It’s about making healthy choices you enjoy!

Consider hiring a professional to help you plan your schedule

IF is not for everyone. As always, please consult a professional before starting any dietary regimen.

 

Want to Improve Your Squat? Improve Your Ankle Mobility

A very common question that I get from many people is: “how do I increase the depth of my squat?” The squat is not only an extremely effective, full-body exercise (if done correctly) but also a valuable tool in determining dysfunction  (tight muscles, imbalances, compensations, etc.)

In order to squat well ( and pain-free) several events need to occur:

On the descent (Lowering):

1.) Hips Flex

2.) Knees Flex

3.) Ankles Dorsiflex

On the Ascent (Standing back up): 

1.) Hips Extend

2.) Knees Extend

3.) Ankles plantarflex

Obviously, the perfect squat is much more complicated than that. There are several muscles and muscle groups that can greatly affect your mobility in your squat. Some of the more common culprits are Tight hip flexors, hamstrings, and gastrocs.

For many of you reading this, you have likely already foam rolled and stretched your muscles into oblivion. Some of you may have noticed results while others are left scratching their head. It all starts at your feet. Your lack of ankle mobility could not only be the reason that your squat depth is lacking but also the reason that you have hamstring, calve, or lower back pain.

Your feet are your foundation in the squat, so it is necessary to address the mobility of the ankle, particularly dorsiflexion (think toes to shins.) Many of us have restrictions in mobility in our ankles (especially those who have suffered some serious sprains causing the ligaments to shorten.) Runners, swimmers, tennis players, gymnasts this is likely a problem! 

Quick Test for Ankle mobility:

Shin to Toe Test:

-Place one foot about 4″ away from a wall.

-Assume a kneeling lunge position facing the wall

-With your front foot planted, lean forward trying to get your knee to touch the wall

Could you do this?  If not you likely have ankle mobility issues!

Try This: This same test above can be used a drill to improve your mobility in your ankles. Simply lean forward bringing your knee to the wall until you feel a stretch, then back off. Perform 3 sets of 10 reps.

The most of effective solution to improving your ankle (and likely your hip mobility) is a combination of stretching, drills, and chiropractic.

If you are interested in improving your mobility give us a call or schedule online: (781) 460-0939

Keep moving.