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The Education of a Chiropractor

Brad Farra - Friday, October 23, 2009

Someone asked me today about what it takes to become a chiropractor.

After undergraduate college education to complete pre-med/Chiropractic requirements, Chiropractic College is an additional 4 years of rigorous training with particular focus on the diagnosis and treatment of neuromusculoskeletal conditions. Chiropractors receive virtually the same thorough education as all doctors. It is concentrated on three areas of learning: basic biological and health sciences (anatomy, physiology, histology, biochemistry, clinical and radiological diagnosis, etc.), clinical science and specialized training in the chiropractic discipline, followed by extensive clinical training and experience.

For more specific information go to: www.chiropracticresearch.org/NEWSchiroeduaction.htm

Chiropractic Defined

Brad Farra - Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The word Chiropractic is a combination of two Greek words. Cheiros, means hand. Prakikos means practice. Chiropractic essentially means "done by hand". Chiropractic adjustments are gentle hand movements, applied to the spine, to reduce joint restrictions and nerve pressure. The first Chiropractic adjustment was performed in 1895, but the history of work on bone and joints goes back to ancient medicine. Today there are over 60,000 chiropractors in the U.S. who offer a variety of techniques to diagnose and design a program of care for each patient. There are over 80 different ways to adjust patients. That’s why chiropractic has been successful in caring for infants to the elderly.

Sneezing technique

Brad Farra - Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Most people have not been taught the proper way to sneeze. Here is Elmo showing us the proper technique.

Hip Joint Arthritis

Brad Farra - Monday, October 19, 2009

I had a patient tell me the other day that they had hip joint arthritis and their MD told them to be careful with the hip. Yes, of course be careful with the hip. A little further explanation needs to be made here because this patient took these instructions as an order to not use the hip. One of the factors in the onset of arthritis in any joint is immobility or abnormal motion. Getting an order to not use the hip is a recipe to make the arthritis worse. I'm sure the MD's intention was to have the patient not fall on the hip and protect the hip from trauma. What should be done to treat an arthritic hip is to move the joint. Exercise, strength training, and some regular Chiropractic adjusting. There are some amazing studies that show chiropractic adjusting procedures, which essentially remove joint restrictions from the hip, reduce pain and halt the progression of hip arthritis. This makes perfect sense; if you stop moving the hip and motion is restricted you are vulnerable to developing arthritis, but if you keep it moving and there are no restrictions to movement the hip is resistant to arthritis. In my practice I treat a great deal of athletes. Cyclists and runners have a lot of hip problems with muscle imbalance and tension being the top causes for hip trouble. Many of the stretches and exercises I give to athletes would benefit the non-athlete as well.

If you have any questions about hip arthritis and how I can help you don't hesitate to contact me.

Exercise to Improve Immunity

Brad Farra - Saturday, October 17, 2009

This is the time of year when everyone wants to do everything they can to boost their immune system. Moderate exercise is a great way to not only increase your immune system function, but also improve your overall health. There have been numerous studies showing the benefit of exercise on the immune system. Get out there an exercise every day. If you are new to exercise start with 10-20 minutes per day and work your way up to 45 minutes to an hour of exercise per day. The intensity level should be enough to get your heart rate up to a level where you can barely hold a conversation because you are breathing so hard. Consult your sports chiropractor if you have any injuries that might bother you during your choice exercise activity.

Here is an interesting article from the New York Times: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/10/14/phys-ed-does-exercise-boost-immunity/

Chiropractic Management of Fibromyalgia

Brad Farra - Saturday, October 17, 2009

The prescription drug ads you see on TV are not your only option for treating fibromyalgia. Chiropractors are specialists in treating pain, specifically the pain associated with the neuromusculoskeletal system. Fibromyalgia is a condition marked primarily by widespread muscle pain often accompanied by fatigue, sleep disorders, irritable bowel, and other symptoms. Fibromyalgia is treated by Chiropractors using therapeutic exercises, vitamins, herbs, dietary modification, and Chiropractic adjusting if indicated. There is strong evidence supporting the use of aerobic exercise in the treatment of fibromyalgia. Massage, muscle strength training, and Chiropractic adjusting can also be helpful. The best approach to treating fibromyalgia is a combination approach. Using all conservative treatments available and seeing what works for the individual. The prescription drugs should be a last resort.

Complementary Mesothelioma Treatment with Chiropractic Care

Brad Farra - Thursday, October 15, 2009

Chiropractors seek to restore mobility and alleviate pain through a variety of different treatments including spinal adjustment, massage, stretching movements, ultrasound, specific exercises and electrical muscle stimulation. But, in recent years chiropractic care has become more commonly used by cancer patients as a complementary treatment.

According to the American Chiropractic Association, chiropractic doctors “have a deep respect for the human body's ability to heal itself without the use of surgery or medication. These doctors devote careful attention to the biomechanics, structure and function of the spine, its effects on the musculoskeletal and neurological systems, and the role played by the proper function of these systems in the preservation and restoration of health. A doctor of chiropractic is one who is involved in the treatment and prevention of disease, as well as the promotion of public health, and a wellness approach to patient healthcare.”

Cancer patients have included chiropractic care in their course of treatment to help control pain and alleviate headaches, tension and stress. Alleviating severe headaches and movement pains during cancer treatment may make the treatment process more comfortable for cancer patients, including those battling mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive cancer that is primarily caused by exposure to a naturally occurring mineral known as asbestos. The disease has an unusually long latency period as symptoms can take anywhere from 20 to 50 years before they start becoming noticeable. The diagnosis is usually made in late stages. This makes mesothelioma treatment options more limited and less effective.

Two studies published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics examined the cases of two patients combating cancer who used chiropractic as part of their treatment. A 57-year-old man diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer experienced significant pain relief and was able to reduce the amount of medication needed following chiropractic care. He also reported an increase in his quality of life during his journey with the cancer following a visit to a chiropractor.

A 54-year-old man diagnosed with lung cancer (a cancer often related to asbestos exposure) began seeing a chiropractor after experiencing little pain relief one year after he underwent surgery to combat his cancer. The man experienced pain relief immediately after beginning chiropractic care and discontinued use of all pain medications after two visits to his chiropractor. The Journal noted, “These clinical examples offer two specific instances of how chiropractic may improve the quality of a cancer patient’s life.”

This article was provided by the National Awareness Coordinator of the Mesothelioma Center.

Knee Strengthening

Brad Farra - Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Many of my patients with knee pain have been prescribed knee strengthening exercises. Here is a Great video from the New York Times that shows a demonstration of a few of the exercises I give for knee strengthening.

Running is NOT Bad for Your Knees!

Brad Farra - Tuesday, October 13, 2009

It's never my running patients that wonder if running is bad for their knees, it's the non-running folks that tell me running is bad for their knees. Running is not bad for your knees. It's been proven time and again with solid research that running can actually be good for your knees. This doesn't mean it's good for everyone or that there aren't reasons you shouldn't run. If you have specific questions about whether you should run or not, then speak with a Chiropractic sports physician or another physician that treats sports and extremity injuries. Below is a link to an article from the New York Times that references some current research highlighting the positive influence of running on your body. I think the most important thing for runners to keep in mind is that you must prepare your body for running and if you don't run regularly you must ease into the sport. Specific stretching and strengthening should be done before and after running to reduce the chance of injury.


Aging and Telomere Testing

Brad Farra - Monday, October 12, 2009

There is a new lab test available that tests sections of DNA called telomeres. Telomeres are present to take damage when the cell replicates instead of the DNA itself taking the damage. With aging the telomere becomes shorter and shorter eventually becoming so short the cell can not replicate. Testing can now determine the length of a person's telomeres in relation to age. It's important to know that regardless of your age according to the length of your telomeres you can do a lot to slow the damage to these telomeres and thus the aging process. I will touch briefly on the nutritional and lifestyle modifications that can be made to slow the loss of telomere length (aging).

Many things in our diet increase oxidative stress on our bodies and thus shortens telomeres: refined carbohydrates, fast foods, processed foods, soda, artificial sweetener, trans fats, and saturated fats. If you steer clear of these items you are a step ahead of most. A healthy diet would include "antioxidants" to defend against this same oxidative stress. Fruits, vegetables, monounsaturated fats, omega-3 fatty acids, beans, and nuts are all important components of your anti-aging diet. Other important lifestyle modifications important for slowing the aging process includes weight management and a regular exercise program. Decreasing visceral fat and increasing regular aerobic exercise are both very important. Sleep 8 hours per night, use stress reduction techniques, and eliminate use of all Tobacco products. The final recommendations involve supplements. There are many supplements that can provide support to slow aging. Antioxidants can be taken in supplement form, but the best way to get them is in the food itself. A multi-vitamin is a key supplement for anti-aging, and vitamin D is also crucial.

So, don't feel like you have to go have your telomeres tested, but do all these things to achieve optimum health and longevity.