Do You Have Arthritis In Your Spine?

Have you been told you have arthritis in your spine? Have you heard a friend or family member mention they had this problem? Arthritis is common in the spine. Although, it isn’t normal. Big difference. So, what is arthritis, and can anything be done to help it? Arthritis, also known as degeneration, is abnormal wear of the bones. This can happen in the fingers, knees, feet, neck, low-back, etc. Anywhere there’s bone, there’s the potential for degeneration. This abnormal wearing takes place due to imbalance. Shifting in the spine, uneven musculature, repetitious movement, or injury can cause the degeneration. This sort of thing, unless it happens after a traumatic incident, typically takes many years to form. After a number of years symptoms can arise. Some of the more common symptoms are numbness and tingling, pain, achiness, loss of motion, etc. However, arthritis doesn’t always cause symptoms. It can be what’s called asymptomatic. People who have this typically won’t even be aware of it unless an x-ray is taken of their spine. Here’s the thing about arthritis…once it occurs, you can’t reverse it. But, you can keep it from getting worse. Over time, arthritis usually gets worse if nothing is done to correct the underlying problem of imbalance. However, if the structural problems that are leading to the degeneration are removed, then the progression of the arthritis will be halted. The first step that we would recommend is to see a chiropractor. A chiropractor is a doctor of the nervous system and will examine the spine for any degeneration as part of their initial exam. Follow the recommendations you receive...

Why’s It Important to Have a Curve In Your Neck?

It seems backwards doesn’t it…the idea of having a curve in something that looks so straight from the outside, your neck. When we think about our spine, we typically see it from the front or back. Only rarely do we have it pictured from the side. But it’s true…you should have a forward facing curve in your neck. In fact, it’s vital to your health. A curve in your neck, referred to as your “cervical curve” is there for a very important reason. It acts as a shock absorber. See, your head weighs approximately 10-12 pounds. So, positioned directly over your neck, it’s a lot of weight to carry. However, with the neck curve fully developed, the weight gets dispersed evenly and it’s much easier for your neck to carry. Problems arise when the curve decreases. Instead of having a nice cervical curve, the neck develops into what we call straight or kyphotic. This type of neck causes lots of problems. First, it’s a lot more stress on the structure of the spine to hold and support all the head weight. Therefore, degeneration begins and continues unless something is done to stop it. Degeneration is the body’s natural process to try and stabilize an otherwise unstable spine. Next, there tends to be lots of secondary conditions that occur from a straight neck. Symptoms like headaches, dizziness, loss of energy, sleep apnea, shoulder tension, and numbness and tingling can occur or be made worse due to the loss of neck curve. In chiropractic offices everywhere this has turned into an epidemic. The reason for it is the constant use of...

How Healthy Are You?

Are you a person who thinks health is based on how you feel or how you look? Maybe, you’re a person who believes health is based on how your body functions. Or, further still, maybe you feel as though good health equals being able to do all things you want to do today, tomorrow, and years down the road. All three of these concepts are common in America, with the first idea being the most popular. Truthfully, how you feel or look can play a role in how healthy you are, but ultimately, it’s a very small percentage. Function is a much more accurate indicator of overall health. Meaning, how well your brain is communicating to the rest of your nervous system and body. Is your heart working like it should? Lungs? You get the idea. There are hundreds of thousands of stories where people have felt good and looked good, yet been diagnosed with some sort of terrible disease, or even worse, died because their body wasn’t functioning as well as it could. When our bodies function appropriately, we’re able to perform all tasks asked of us during our daily lives. When function is not at 100%, we run the risk of not being able to live the life we deserve or imagined for ourselves. So, how do you ensure you have proper function? There’s five major requirements for proper function. The first is eating clean, healthy, organic foods. Second, make sure you’re getting proper movement, or daily exercise. Third, keep your negative emotions in check and deliberately focus on positive emotions and feelings. Fourth, ensure you’re getting...

Is Pain Medication Bad?

When someone is in severe discomfort or pain a common solution is to reach for medication to alleviate the problematic symptoms. Most people are concerned with “getting rid of the pain”, but is that truly what they want? You may be thinking…“What a stupid question! Of course I want to get rid of pain.” We know. It seems obvious. But let us explain why you may consider a different solution, other than medication, to be a better choice. The common prescription medications to help alleviate pain are also known as Opioids. Opioid medications are created from the poppy seed, which has pain-relieving effects, among others. Opioids are also some of the most addictive substances known to man. This has created a problem. Hundreds of thousands of Americans have become addicted to these drugs in the past ten-years. As a safe guard against all the over-prescribing and addiction they’re seeing, the federal government has created a law to stop doctors from peddling the harmful drugs. However, due to the sudden stoppage of doctors renewing Opioid prescriptions, patients are left with no other option to feed their addictions. So, they turn to the closest thing they can get on the street…Heroin. Twenty to thirty years ago Heroin ripped through poor neighborhoods and destroyed those communities. Now, due to the Opioid epidemic, Heroin is terrorizing middle-class and upper-middle-class neighborhoods. This slippery slope isn’t something that an average American dealing with low-back pain or shoulder pain things about, which doesn’t help the situation. “Getting rid of pain” is something that should never be a goal. The first thought should be to explore why...

Are You Immune?

When you’re young, you think nothing could ever happen to you, right? It’s as if bad things only happen to other people, not to you. Then as you age things start occurring. Maybe a parent or loved one dies. Pretty soon you face the harsh reality that life isn’t always pretty. And more importantly, you are not immune to bad things happening in your life. Most people approach their health this same way. They assume that eating and living the lifestyle they do will never catch up with them. Until it does. Once it catches up, it’s oftentimes very hard to return to previous norms. Sometimes, the burden that has been placed on the body is simply insurmountable. Most every chronic disease in our country today: diabetes, heart disease, cancer, etc. is a lifestyle disease. Meaning, the disease occurs because of the daily choices we’re making in our lives. So, we find ourselves fighting an uphill battle that never needed to happen if we took care of ourselves. The next question asked is typically, “How do I take care of myself?” There are 5 key requirements to ensure the body functions in an optimal way. 1) Eating a diet consisting of clean, organic foods. 2) Proper exercise and movement daily 3) Positive mental and emotional outlook 4) 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night 5) A healthy functioning nervous system If we are missing any of these elements, then we are vulnerable to disease and health problems. By continually making sure we are getting the 5 requirements in our life, we can have the feeling of invincibility, for good...

Celebrating Our Independence

America…the land of the free. That statement might not mean as much as it used to do to how the world has changed in the past 50-years. However, we still live in one of the greatest societies the world has ever known. We still have opportunity everywhere. You only have to look. If you set your sights elsewhere, to most other countries, you will see corruption and violence that disrupt any chance for a better life. Hands For Life was created to bring chiropractic care to those who need it most. We’ve chosen to serve, out of our abundance, the people and communities around the world who need it most. Everyone deserves to know and benefit from a clear and functioning nervous system, regardless of money. In Tijuana, there’s thousands of orphans displaced by poverty, drugs, and violence. They deserve to have health care just like every other child. Many of those same orphans turn into drug addicts due to an absence of human connection. With our care, we aim to help those who need it most. Those who have been disconnected, hurt, and pushed down. By restoring proper nerve flow to the body, there’s better function and overall health. This allows the people to live their lives more productively, without as much discomfort and/or symptoms. We believe the more people under regular chiropractic care, the healthier and stronger the community will be. Stay healthy...

3 Ingredients That Make Your Sunscreen Dangerous

We use sunscreen to keep us safe from the UV rays that can cause nasty things like melanoma or skin cancer. The belief has been that sunscreen protects our body and cells from being altered by harmful radiation due to sun exposure. However, research keeps coming out showing the unfortunate truth…certain sunscreens are harmful to our bodies. Notice we said “certain sunscreens”, not “all”. This is because some sunscreens contain ingredients known to alter hormones in the body. When hormones are altered, it can lead to disease, such as cancer. There are three specific ingredients you want to stay as far away from as possible: 1) Oxybenzone 2) Retinyl Palmitate 3) Synthetic Fragrances All of these have been shown to disrupt our inner balance and hormones. They’re actually more dangerous to us than the sun exposure. Some other good things to pay attention to and avoid are super high SPF’s and spray sunscreen. These are usually loaded with high amounts of toxic chemicals. Finally, the last thing you should be aware of is there are two types of sunrays, UVA and UVB. Both can be harmful. To ensure you are getting proper protection from both UVA and UVB rays, select a sunscreen that contains both Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide. The most common sunscreens that have dangerous ingredients are Neutrogena, Rite Aid brand, Walgreens brand, Target brand, and Coppertone. If you are using any of these brands, look at the ingredients label to makes sure they don’t contain one of the harmful chemicals. At the end of the day, sunscreen can cause more damage to our bodies than the...

The opioid epidemic

Here in America, the opioid epidemic continues to spiral out of control. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like much is going to change as long as pharmaceutical companies have so much to gain from the usage of the drugs. Opioid drugs are strong pain-killing drugs such as morphine, heroin, Percocet, Vicodin, etc. They are also some of the best selling medications on the market. The drugs have seen a dramatic increase in popularity due to the willingness of doctors to prescribe them for their patient’s pain. Rather than a short-term solution, patients tend to take the drugs long-term and may never get off them. Complicating the issue is the fact that opiates are some of the most addictive substances known to man and can cause crippling effects. Therefore, we are seeing a drug problem unlike anything we’ve seen before barrel through the American population. Many of the people suffering with addiction find themselves there after taking prescription pain pills for a period of time. After awhile, they find themselves unable to stop and let go of the substance. There is a very negative stigma attached to addiction, which is another issue in itself. Especially with opiod addiction, many of the current users were put on the drugs by their doctor. It wasn’t an “escape” so much as it was a way to reduce the chronic pain they were under. Which is why we’ve decided to discuss this problem. Pain is not something that should be numbed or covered up by medication and drugs. Pain is a signal from your body that something is wrong and needs to be fixed. If...

When In Doubt…Go Natural

Questions about health are endless. There’s no limit to how far down the rabbit hole we can go. In fact, the more questions we ask, the more seem to surface. For example, when we start looking at cells at a macroscopic level, we can see all the different pieces that make up a cell, the membrane, mitochondria, nucleus, etc. If we go even deeper, we can see the atoms that make up each cell and it’s parts. Then if we travel even further we get to the sub-atomic level and the neutrons and protons. Deeper still, is the electronic level where we find all the elements that make up an electron, like up-quarks, down-quarks, neutrinos, etc. At one point in time, nothing more than the cell was thought to exist. But the more we looked and asked questions, the more the curtain was pulled off and exposed what was truly beneath everything. The reason I bring this up is because the questions we started with evolved into hundreds more due to the discoveries. Fast forward to present day…although we’ve answered many questions, there are millions more we’ve created as part of our inquiries. This sort of process is critical to understand when it comes to health. Because with lots of questions and very little that we’re 100% certain of, due to all the constant research, it’s difficult to decide where to put your faith or belief. We’re going to try to make that a little easier today. When in doubt, our solution is to choose natural over the un-natural, or man-made. This can go for just about anything related...

What We Wish Everyone Understood About Their Health

Do you feel good? Do you look good? If you are one or both of these, does that make you healthy? Truthfully, answering “yes” to both questions matters very little when it comes to your body’s health. The only way to really know how healthy you are is through function. In other words, how are bodies are working and performing. How do you measure something like this? Well, many chiropractors utilize equipment like HRV, Static Electromyography, or Thermography to see how well you adapt to stress, or how well your muscles, circulation, and nervous system are working. Radiographs are another great tool to measure function. How could that be? Because structure determines function. What that means is a spine that is in-line and has great curves will be able to move and function much better than a spine with lots of degeneration and shifting of vertebrae. If you’re a basketball fan take LeBron James for example…the greatest player in the NBA. He’s 6’8, 260 pounds of muscle. His body is the perfect blend of size, speed, and leaping ability. In other words, his structure allows him to function as the best player in basketball. Compare LeBron with Stephen Curry. Also one of the greatest players, but Steph has a much different body type, or structure. He’s smaller, about 6’3, and not as heavy as LeBron, weighing around 210 lbs. When you compare the games of these great players you immediately notice the differences. LeBron excels at all things requiring athleticism, because the structure of his body allows for him to function at such a high level physically. Steph relies...