Painful Ear Infections

While otitis media, otherwise known as painful ear infections, is very rare in adults, three out of four children will experience this painful condition before their third birthday. Can Chiropractic help? Let’s explore this issue a little bit. If you have young children of your own, or other loved ones that fall into the 3 and under age range, learning to identify the causes, symptoms, and treatments of painful ear infections or otitis media can help spare your little one some undue suffering.

What are some causes of painful ear infections?

The primary reason that young children are more prone to painful ear infections is because a child’s immune system is not yet fully developed until about the age of 4, making the child less able to fight off the infection. With this in mind, the main causes of otitis media are:

• Age, with an increased susceptibility between the ages of 6 months and 18 months
• Exposure to other children (and their viruses) in group child care settings
• Laying a baby down to drink bottles rather than sitting the child upright to eat
• Seasonal allergies and viruses, making middle ear infections more common in fall and winter (a.k.a. the cold and flu season)
• Exposure to tobacco smoke and high levels of air pollution
• A family history of otitis media

What are the symptoms of painful ear infections?

When a child is too young to vocally express the pain in their ear, it can be hard to identify an ear infection. Watching for the symptoms below can help alert you to this condition…so you can help your child find relief.  Common symptoms include:

• Tugging or pulling at the ears
• Unusual crying or fussiness
• Frequent sleep interruptions or insomnia
• Difficulty hearing (i.e. the child suddenly stops responding to your vocal requests)
• High irritability
• Fever of 100 degrees F or higher
• Clear liquid draining from the ears
• Headaches

Adults who suffer painful ear infections  might experience an earache, high fever (100 degrees F or higher), a feeling of dizziness, and even temporary loss of hearing.

When to Seek Help

Parents often fret whenever their children are sick, but middle ear infections aren’t often cause for immediate medical attention.

If your child’s ear starts leaking blood or pus,  schedule a visit to the pediatrician, they likely will save yourself a frantic trip to the Emergency Room… this new development is treatable and can actually bring pain relief to your little sufferer.

If symptoms of the ear infection don’t disappear on their own within 1-2 days, or if your child experiences frequent earaches, ask is if our treatment might be helpful

A Proactive Treatment Plan 

Acute middle of the night episodes may very well have you and your child in the Emergency Department. Chronic middle ear infections are not only uncomfortable for young children, but recurring infections can, in extreme cases, lead to permanent hearing loss, along with speech and other development problems.

And while traditional treatments involve antibiotic medications, in cases of chronic conditions the child can develop a resistance to the medication, leaving them unable to enjoy the pain relief that prescription medications offer.

There may be an effective complementary treatment for the treatment of painful ear infections A main reason for the often speedy recovery is chiropractic care may help to facilitate draining of fluids in the ear. More studies are needed.

The bottom line is that going easy on antibiotics as a first treatment might assist the development of your child’s natural immune system (and therefore a better barrier to middle ear infections), delivering lasting relief and decreasing the risk of complications.

We can always work with you or your loved one to determine the best treatment for your condition.

Please call us at 781-659-7989 at to schedule a consultation today

JPH

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Heel Pain: Common Causes and Treatments

If you’ve been experiencing a sharp pain in your heel, particularly after long periods of sitting or resting, plantar fasciitis could be to blame. With this painful condition, the tissue that connects your heel bone to your toes – called the plantar fascia – becomes inflamed or irritated. One of the most common causes of heel pain, plantar fasciitis typically brings about a stabbing sensation with each step you take, although the pain usually decreases the more you walk (the tissue become more stretched, easing some of the tension on your heel bone).

What are some causes of plantar fasciitis?

Typically, the plantar fascia acts as somewhat of a shock absorber for the arch in your foot. Too much tension, however, can leave tiny tears in the tissue; excessive tearing can lead to irritation and, with it, the condition of plantar fasciitis.

A few factors that could lead to plantar fasciitis include:

Weight: Being overweight can add too much stress on your plantar fascia, stretching it to the point of inflammation and pain.

Age: Plantar fasciitis is most often found in patients between the ages of 40 and 60.

Gender: Women, particularly during pregnancy, are more prone to plantar fasciitis than men.

Activity: Exercises and activities that place an unusual amount of stress on the heel – such as running and certain forms of dancing – can lead to plantar fasciitis.

Long periods of standing: People who spend their days on their feet on hard surfaces, such as teachers and waitresses, often find themselves suffering from plantar fasciitis.

What are the symptoms of plantar fasciitis?

Often, plantar fasciitis is associated with pain that:

• Comes about gradually (as opposed to a noticeable tear or strain)
• Is experienced in just one foot (although it can occur in both feet at the same time)
• Is significantly worse after long periods of rest, such as first thing in the morning

If you’ve been sitting or resting for a long period of time, make an effort to stretch the affected foot before standing. Slowly flex your foot, pulling it gently toward your leg, and then move it from side to side. You might also move your foot in large circles or try writing the alphabet with your toes. These movements can help stretch the plantar fascia, leaving it less tense when you put weight on your foot (and therefore decreasing the pain of first impact!).

Get Your Feet Moving to Keep Healthy!

Depending on the severity of your condition, chiropractic treatment might consist of:

• Ultrasound treatments
• Soft tissue mobilization
• Stretching
• Chiropractic adjustments
• Cold laser treatments
• Taping/bracing the injured foot

We can work with you or your loved one to determine the best treatment for your condition. Please call us at 781-659-7989 at to schedule a consultation today

JPH

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Physical Activity, Neuropathy and Chronic Pain Patients

While your pain may make any kind of physical activity the furthest thing from your mind, a good clinician can greatly increase your potential for rehabilitation. Your neuropathy does not have to be a life sentence.

Peripheral neuropathy affects virtually every patient differently. Some neuropathy patients suffer strictly from nerve pain, some have issues with numbness, and still others have issues with mobility or some combination of symptoms.

Any neuropathy symptom can make functioning and carrying on a normal life virtually impossible.

If you suffer from any of these issues:

· Pain
· Weakness or numbness
· Increased nerve sensitivity
· Abnormal gait when you walk
· Decreased endurance
· Limited range of motion
· Difficulty keeping your balance
· Problems with bracing yourself
· Joints that are stiff or contracted…

A good therapist, chiropractor, or osteopathic physician may be able to help you.  Clinicians who specialize in treating neuropathy patients, like our NeuropathyDR® therapists and chiropractors, will have a strong knowledge base when it comes to addressing whatever your particular neuropathy symptoms happen to be.

What To Expect

We will do a complete history and physical, and find out where you need the most assistance and what course of treatment will work best for you. Therapy can be a crucial step to increase the likelihood of rehabilitation from your peripheral neuropathy.

Be sure to find a clinician with expertise in treating neuropathy patients.  A qualified clinician will be able to develop a treatment regimen that won’t make your neuropathy symptoms worse.

One thing to remember – in order for your insurance to pay for therapy treatment, you will more than likely need a prescription from your treating physician.

Therapy Treatment Options

Some clinicians will attack your particular issues directly or they may opt to work indirectly and work around the underlying problem to first address whatever your particular deficits may be.  If you have balance issues, they may work to build your muscle strength and allow you to be more grounded.

Every patient is different.  What worked for one may not work for the next.  A good clinician will take the time to fully understand your particular issues and prescribe a treatment regimen that addresses the areas where you need the most assistance and that will show the best opportunity for improvement.

If you’ve never sought treatment before, you may not really understand what they do.  Here are some basic treatment techniques used in a therapy regimen that might help you:

· Soft tissue manipulation techniques
· Peripheral and/or spinal mobilization
· Thermal treatments
· Electrical stimulation
· Ultrasound
· Near infrared phototherapy
· Balance systems
· Individualized therapeutic exercise
· Functional activities

Seeing an expert can give you a chance at a positive outcome and improve your ability to function normally. Give yourself every opportunity to get your life back and live beyond your peripheral neuropathy and chronic pain issues.

We hope you found this information helpful and you take steps today to find a NeuropathyDR® practitioner in your area. Be an informed patient.

For more information on coping with neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to our newsletters at http://neuropathydr.com.

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Calcium and Your Health

Calcium is an element which is essential to life and health. Like potassium and chloride, too much or too little of this key element can literally kill us! Your body has some aging mechanisms built in to keep calcium levels in our blood nearly constant. So much so that, if we consume too little, our parathyroid glands send hormone messengers that break down bone to release more usable calcium.

Calcium is necessary for proper heartbeat and normal nerve function. A disturbance in blood calcium can cause fatal arrhythmia of our heart, and “tetany”, which is a severe disabling contraction of our muscles!

Now you probably have been lead to believe that dairy consumption is the only way to get adequate calcium. You might even have been told that calcium consumption alone can prevent or treat osteoporosis.

Neither of these assumptions, by themselves, are true.

For example, John Robbins was one of the first to point out in the ’90s that in cultures where daily physical activity and plant-based diets are the norm, osteoporosis was virtually non-existent. These cultures do NOT consume any dairy at all.

Instead, they eat lots of vegetables, nuts, and lean protein like fish, using animal products sparingly. This diet, which we recommend to our clients, is far healthier than the typical sugar, fat, and soda consumption of the average modern diet!

These cultures also have higher levels of active Vitamin D, secondary to sunlight exposure. Vitamin D helps us absorb calcium in our gut, and among many other things, helps us build stronger bones, ward off infections, and a whole host of diseases.

Calcium is a key player in your health! Unless you have a disease which requires careful monitoring, eating healthy and getting enough vitamin D and exercise are probably all we need.

Most of the time, large amounts of calcium supplementation may actually be dangerous, and could actually contribute to other disease risks.

In nature, calcium often occurs with magnesium. Effective supplementation delivers calcium and magnesium in near-equal concentrations.

Magnesium is another crucial nutrient—in fact, the most commonly deficient in the so-called modern diet. We’ll discuss more about that, and other supplements, in upcoming blogs.

For more information on coping with neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to our newsletters at http://neuropathydr.com.

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Your Neuropathy Treatment Plan

Make your Neuropathy Treatment Plan Today!

Those who use written neuropathy treatment plans have a far better chance at not only feeling better, but regaining significant quality of life.

If you or someone you love suffers from peripheral neuropathy, you know how devastating this condition can be. You probably are also aware of the immense life changes a diagnosis of peripheral neuropathy can bring.

But the good news is, as you read on these pages repeatedly there is a whole lot you can learn to better deal with your peripheral neuropathy.

This is where having a written neuropathy treatment plan goes along way. In fact you could apply this to almost any illness.

Here’s what to do next:

First of all take out a large piece of paper, or even on mobile phone. Actually, in this stage I am a huge fan of mobile notes sync across all devices.

On your neuropathy treatment plan should first be all your known risk factors. This would include things like cigarette smoking, excess alcohol consumption, inactivity, and perhaps diabetes. Maybe there are other known factors, such as consumption of medications known to produce peripheral neuropathy.

Once you have your list, then you need to divide it into things that you can change. The very next thing you need to do is to prioritize your neuropathy treatment plan. For example what is having the biggest impact on your health?

This is the very first thing, although perhaps the most difficult that you need to do first.

By first developing a neuropathy treatment plan and then using your own willpower and discipline, along with the help from your family and healthcare professionals, you can do a whole lot to help yourself feel better and function better!

What we do know is those who use written neuropathy treatment plans and not only work off them but share them with their neuropathy treatment specialists have a far better chance at not only feeling better, but regaining significant quality of life.

To that end, we are here to support you!

For more information on coping with neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to our newsletters at http://neuropathydr.com.

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Disuse Syndrome

In our last post, we discussed how exercise can help control the symptoms of your underlying illness (whatever caused your autonomic neuropathy). Today we’re going to discuss the effects of not exercising, which are called disuse syndrome.

Use Vs. Disuse

When you’re thinking about starting an exercise program and you’re thinking about how dangerous it can be, you also need to consider the effects of not starting an exercise program.

The effects of not exercising are called disuse syndrome.  If your level of activity seriously out of sync with your level of inactivity, you can develop:

• Decreased physical work capacity

• Muscle atrophy

• Negative nitrogen and protein balance

• Cardiovascular deconditioning

• Pulmonary restrictions

• Depression

The effects of any of these symptoms of disuse syndrome in combination with your autonomic neuropathy symptoms can make a bad situation even worse.

The very nature of your autonomic neuropathy can affect the systems that are most sensitive to the effects of exercise.  Any exercise program you begin should be designed and monitored by a medical professional well versed in the effects of autonomic neuropathy, like your NeuropathyDR® clinician.

Autonomic neuropathy can have a serious effect on the very systems in the body that are directly affected by exercise.  Make sure you talk to your healthcare provider before you start an exercise program and let them monitor your progress.

For more information on coping with neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to our newsletters at http://neuropathydr.com.

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Hypoxia and Neuropathy (Part 1)

The common link in all of these peripheral neuropathies, regardless of the cause, appears to be hypoxia.

Hypoxia is simply a word that describes loss of oxygen. This occurs at what are called the neuronal junctions: the areas in the human body where one nerve cell communicates to another.

At a simplistic level, nerve cells communicate electrochemically across a gap. In neuropathy caused by hypoxia, this neuronal gap widens, which is theorized to be responsible for the symptoms that include not only the burning and the tingling but the shooting pains as well.

Neuropathy and chronic pain is characterized by pain, numbness, loss of tactile feedback, and poor tissue perfusion. These symptoms may indicate that oxygen is not getting to all the cells causing dysfunction.

Because the patient’s quality of life is decreased, these results are often devastating.  Pain medications do not cure the condition; it only helps mask it and, eventually, leads to complications with adverse side effects such as mental confusion and intestinal problems.

As a result of conducting our own research and reviewing published studies from around the world, we have been led to new models concerning the causes of neuropathy and chronic pain.  We have concluded that it is not reasonable to merely label neuropathy and chronic pain symptoms as diabetic, peripheral, vascular, or “idiopathic”. What is needed is a more full understanding of the etiology of the condition so new technology can be brought to bear with both ameliorative and therapeutic benefits.

We’ll discuss hypoxia, neuropathy, and chronic pain further in our next post.

For more information on coping with neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to the Weekly Ezine “Beating Neuropathy” at http://neuropathydr.com.

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Questioning The Status Quo

One of the things that we find very challenging, and gets in the way of patient progress many times, is the patient’s unwillingness to question the status quo.

Now, if you suffer from neuropathy or indeed many forms of chronic pain, spinal stenosis, fibromyalgia, etc. know that often times the only answers presented to you are drugs and more drugs.

By and large, our system does a terrible job of educating patients the impact that their lifestyles, diet, and fitness have on the progression and wherever possible reversal of their underlying diseases.

Question the status quo.

One of the fundamental reasons for this is that very little time in professional education is spent in these critical areas.

Furthermore, the constant barrage in all forms of media with drug-only solutions does tend to brainwash people. Also, it’s a sad fact that these tools are made available to patients with little or no cost out-of-pocket before potentially less harmful, less invasive alternatives.

Thanks to patients like you, however, all of this is changing.

Social networks like this continue to grow and bring alternative solutions to patients literally around the world.

Oftentimes though YOU need to carry this a step further when dealing with your healthcare professionals.

Ask more questions.

Be sure you fully engage your doctors and therapists!

You have every right to. After all, this is the only body you’ll ever get.

Talk neuropathy and pain treatment side effects. Talk risks versus benefits. Talk about trying alternative solutions FIRST!

Above all do something more every day to improve the quality of your health.

You’ll be glad you did!

Your body will thank you day after day!

For more information on coping with neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to the Weekly Ezine “Beating Neuropathy” at http://neuropathydr.com.

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Hydration is Crucial to Feeling Our Best

Maintaining adequate hydration can help you suffer less chronic pain and yes less neuropathy pain too!

Almost invariably when we see a new chronic pain patients in our practice, we discuss health habits and we find that more often than not, failure to drink adequate amount of water is almost universal.

So why is that?

Why would not drinking enough water tend to cause more widespread pains? There are several reasons and the answers are not complicated.

You see the vast majority of our body is made of water. Blood and all the critical fluids keep us functioning like well-oiled machines.

Our kidneys, brain, and all our other vital organs use these fluids to communicate and also perform daily purifications.

Yet most of us don’t pay nearly enough attention to this key fact.

So rather than going through our days drinking fluids, most especially water that will keep our blood and fluid volumes high, we tend to over consume caffeine, or worse yet soft drinks, and perhaps even alcohol which depletes our water reserves even further.

If we don’t drink enough water we can suffer an impaired ability of our vital organs like kidneys and liver that help rid our bodies of toxic wastes. These toxic wastes can make us stiff sore and uncomfortable.

If you already suffer from neuropathy or chronic pain, becoming even slightly dehydrated will make you feel a whole lot worse.

So how much water do you need to drink?

In the absence of kidney or heart disease, the proverbial eight glasses a day is about right.

A more accurate consumption is approximately half your body weight in ounces in a 24-hour period. This is not 100 percent accurate but it’s a darn good approximation.

There are of course other factors which may require more or less water consumption.

This of course includes how much you perspire, the outside air temperature, and yes even the humidity.

So for example, if you weigh 200 pounds, you’d be consuming approximately 100 ounces of water during the course of the daily 24-hour period. That may sound like a lot, but it’s under a gallon in 24 hours.

As always you need to work with your doctors on your own personal medical issues that you may have questions or concerns about.

You may want to ask for the simple blood tests which measure your electrolytes and relative hydration.

Working together maintaining adequate hydration can help you suffer less chronic pain and yes less neuropathy pain too!

For more information on coping with neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to the Weekly Ezine “Beating Neuropathy” at http://neuropathydr.com.

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Eating More Often Can Manage Neuropathy and Weight

Eating more frequently will stimulate your metabolism—or, how efficiently you burn versus store fat, keep your blood sugar even, and help keep you warmer. Eating more frequently can also help patients who are dealing with neuropathy and weight issues that can arise from their medical condition(s).

On the surface, a statement like that might seem wrong. After all, isn’t eating at the root of weight gain, obesity, and its complications? To a point, yes. This is especially true when we consume far more calories in one sitting then we need, and load our meals with carbohydrates and poor-quality fats.

But a little-known fact is that when we eat less frequently, we become much more efficient at storing fat rather than burning it.

So what does this have to do with managing peripheral neuropathy?

Neuropathy and Weight

The bottom line is, eating more frequently will stimulate your metabolism—or, how efficiently you burn fat versus store fat, keep your blood sugar more even, and actually help keep you warmer. For patients who suffer from peripheral neuropathy, all of these improvements are crucial.

But this does not mean you can eat anything you want. What we do know is that by consuming relatively low amounts of carbohydrates in our meals, along with periodic snacks, we become much more efficient metabolically.

What I tell all my neuropathy patients—and, indeed, every patient—is to try to eat something not more than three hours apart. For example, you will start your breakfast with something like a protein shake, or a small serving of steel-cut oatmeal with a little added fat, perhaps some berries. Approximately two hours later, you’ll have six to 10 almonds, or perhaps another lean, low-carbohydrate snack if allergies are a problem.

Now, if you are insulin-dependent diabetic, some of what I say here will not apply, so please be careful here.

Again, this points out the need to work with well-trained neuropathy treatment professionals to truly manage your peripheral neuropathy and weight issues, indeed, your health in general.

For more information on coping with neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to the Weekly Ezine “Beating Neuropathy” at http://neuropathydr.com.

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