Dr. Beecher’s April 2011 Monthly Chiropractic Newsletter

To download Dr. Beecher’s Monthly Newsletter, please click here!


In Good Hands

A Free Monthly Newsletter For The Friends and Patients of Ward Beecher DC

“An intellectual is a man who takes more words than necessary to tell more than he knows.” Dwight D


“How 55-80 Year Olds

Increased The Size Of Their Brains!”

Scientific Study Shows How You Can Stay Mentally Sharp As You Age

Also In This Issue:

Study finds childhood obesity linked to health habits – not genes

New research shows trans fat intake linked to depression

Study shows children with ADHD benefits from dietary changes

30-50% of children use energy drinks – why they may harm their health

Scary trend: Why young people prefer “virtual computer lives” to the real world

Japanese researchers say dogs can be trained to sniff out cancer!

Want To Live To Be 96? A special tribute to Chiropractor, Jack LaLanne,

his amazing feats, special achievements and the health blueprint he left for you…

Houston – How would you like to have a bigger, more powerful brain?

Sadly, the hippocampus, a part of the brain key to memory and special navigation, is known to shrink as we age.

This shrinkage starts in late adulthood and is responsible for memory loss and impairment.

Now, There Is New Hope

According to the Los Angeles Times, a new study published by the

Journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has revealed

“a program of aerobic exercise, over the course of a year, can increase the size of the hippocampus… in adults ages 55- 80.”

In the study, 120 people from ages 55-80 who did not exercise previously were split into 2 groups; 60 were put into an aerobic exercise

How Man’s Best Friend Might

Save You From Cancer

According to Japanese researchers,

“a specially trained Labrador proved nearly as good at identifying those with cancer as a conventional colonoscopy examination.”

Furthermore, dogs can be trained to sniff out bowel cancer even in the early stages of the disease.

In a series of experiments, a specially trained Labrador sniffed either the breath or stool samples of patients and detected cancer as well as traditional colonoscopy.

In other experiments, trained dogs have been used to sniff cancers of the skin, lungs, bladder and ovaries.

According to an article in Guardian,

“In later tests, the dog correctly identified 33 of 36 people with bowel cancer after sniffing their breath, and 37 of 38 cancer cases after sniffing a stool obtained from the patient.”

program that consisted of walking around a track 3 days a week for 40 minutes per session; and the other 60 did a program consisting of stretching and weights.

Results: According to the

Los Angeles Times article, “The group doing aerobic exercise had increases in hippocampus volume: up 2.12 % in the left hippocampus, and 1.97% in the right hippocampus. The stretching group, on the other hand, had decreased hippocampus volume: down 1.40% on the left and 1.43% on the right.”

What’s important to note is the article said it is never too late to start and it suggested that some very simple exercise programs may be a cost- effective way to treat a


widespread health problem, without the side effects of medication.

Study Finds Childhood Obesity

Linked To Health Habits – Not Genes

A study found, when 1,003 Michigan 6th graders were examined, obese children were “more likely to consume school lunch instead of a packed lunch from home and spend two hours a day watching TV or playing a video game.”

According to an article in Science Daily, the study suggests unhealthy habits are feeding the childhood obesity trend. “For the extremely overweight child, genetic screening may be a consideration,” says study senior author Kim A. Eagle, M.D., a Cardiologist and a Director of the U- M Cardiovascular Center. “For the rest, increasing physical activity, reducing recreational screen time and improving the nutritional value of school lunches offers great promise to begin a reversal of current childhood obesity trends.”

Here’s a startling fact: Childhood obesity has

TRIPLED in the U.S. in the last 30 years, and obesity among U.S. children ages 6-11 has gone from 6.5% in 1980 to 19.6% in 2008.

According to the Science Daily article,

“researchers found that 58 percent of obese children had watched two hours of TV in the previous day, compared to 41 percent of non-obese children. Forty- five percent of obese students always ate school lunch, but only 34 percent of non-obese students ate school lunch.”

Significantly fewer obese kids exercised regularly, took physical education classes, or were a member of a sports team.

In the study, 15% of the students were obese, but almost all had unhealthy habits. Over 30% drank regular soda within the previous day, less than 50% remembered eating 2 servings of vegetables in the same time period, and only 30% said they exercised for 30 minutes for 5 days during that week.

One of the biggest take home messages (besides realizing that it’s habits making us overweight — not just our genes) is that almost all the students can drastically improve their diet and exercise, not just the 15% who are obese. According to the AmericanCollege of Preventative Medicine, heart disease and diabetes are two of the most common preventable chronic diseases. Both have their preventable causes

in what we eat and how much we exercise, and both start from the habits we obtain in childhood.

As adults, we can change these habits any time we want and live a longer and healthier life just about instantly, but children need guidance to make the same healthy choices.

Many In Younger

Generation Prefer Online

Fake Life To Real One

Have you ever wanted to change your life? Maybe even wanted to be someone else?

If so, you are not alone. Now, a younger generation has found a way to make this desire a reality. Well… sort of…

According to an article in Dailymail, “A study has found that children are often more happy with their lives online than they are with reality, as it allows them to be who they want… They say they can be exactly who they want to be – and as soon as something is no longer fun they can simply hit the quit button.”

Even more shocking, according to the study, one in eight young people are in contact with strangers and often lie about their appearance, age and background.

The study also reveals 45% of younger people between the ages of 11-18 surveyed said they were happier with their online life than their real one.

“One told researchers: „It‟s easier to be who you want to be because nobody knows you and if you don‟t like the situation you can just exit and it is over.‟ Another said: „You can say anything online. You can talk to people that you don‟t normally speak to and you can edit your pictures so you look better. It is as if you are a completely different person.”

What’s more, 47% said they act differently online than in real life.

Experts warn this may be creating a generation of people who will not function adequately in society.

And don’t forget, if you ever have any questions or concerns about your health talk to us. Contact us with your questions. We’re here to help and don’t enjoy anything more than participating in your lifelong good health.


Presented by Beecher Chiropractic Clinic 1001 Pineloch, Ste 700 Houston TX 77062 (281) 286-1300

Inspirational Story Of The Month –

(Names And Details Have Been Changed To Protect Privacy)

Who Else Wants To Live To 96 And Be As Healthy As A Horse?

A special tribute to Chiropractor Jack LaLanne, his amazing feats, special achievements and health blueprint he left for you…

I’m sure you’ve heard of Jack LaLanne. Everyone has – he’s a legend among legends. But, what do you really know about him? If you are like most people, you probably have no idea why he is truly one of the most important people to have lived in the last 100 years. For starters, Jack was an unhealthy child with anger problems who was addicted to sugar. He stated he had violent episodes directed at him and others. Jack described himself as “a miserable goddamn kid… it was like hell.” Besides having a bad temper, he also suffered from headaches and bulimia, and dropped out of high school at age 14. The following year, at age 15, he heard health food pioneerPaul Bragg give a talk on health and nutrition, focusing on the “evils of meat and sugar.” Bragg’s message resonated with LaLanne and it instantly changed his life. He said he was “born again” and focused on diet and exercise. He began working out every day and went back to school. LaLanne made the football team, went to college and became a Doctor of Chiropractic.

But, LaLanne knew he could touch more lives if he didn’t practice Chiropractic, and that’s what he really wanted to do. So, Jack became a health and fitness pioneer. Since he did so many amazing things – the best thing to do is to list them: 1954 (age 40): Jack swam the entire length (8,981 ft/1.7 mi) of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, under water, with 140 pounds (64 kg; 10 st) of air tanks and other equipment strapped to his body; a world record. 1955 (age 41): Jack swam from Alcatraz Island to Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco while handcuffed. When interviewed afterwards, he was quoted as saying that the worst thing about the ordeal was being handcuffed, which significantly reduced his chance to do a jumping jack. 1956 (age 42): Jack set what was claimed as a world record of 1,033 push-ups in 23 minutes on You Asked For It, a television program hosted byArt Baker. 1957 (age 43): Jack swam the Golden Gate channel while towing a 2,500-pound (1,100 kg; 180 st)cabin cruiser. The swift ocean currents turned this one-mile (1.6 km) swim into a swimming distance of 6.5 miles (10.5 km). 1958 (age 44): Jack maneuvered a paddleboard nonstop from the Farallon Islands to the San Francisco shore. The 30-mile (48 km) trip took 9.5 hours. 1959 (age 45): Jack did 1,000 star jumps and 1,000 chin-ups in 1 hour and 22 minutes to promote The Jack LaLanne Show going nationwide. LaLanne said this was the most difficult of his stunts, but only because the skin on his hands started ripping off during the chin-ups. He felt he couldn’t stop because it would be seen as a public failure. 1974 (age 60): For the second time, he swam from Alcatraz Island to Fisherman’s Wharf. Again, he was handcuffed, but this time he was also shackled and towed a1,000-pound (450 kg; 71 st) boat. 1975 (age 61): Repeating his performance of 21 years earlier, he again swam the entire length of the Golden Gate Bridge, underwater and handcuffed, but this time he was shackled and towed a 1,000- pound (450 kg; 71 st) boat. 1976 (age 62): To commemorate the “Spirit of ’76”, United States Bicentennial, he swam one mile (1.6 km) in Long Beach Harbor. He was handcuffed and shackled, and he towed 13 boats (representing the 13 original colonies) containing 76 people. 1979 (age 65): Jack towed 65 boats in Lake Ashinoko near Tokyo, Japan. He was handcuffed and shackled, and the boats were filled with 6,500 pounds (2,900 kg; 460 st) of Louisiana Pacific wood pulp. 1980 (age 66): Jack towed 10 boats in North Miami, Florida.The boats carried 77 people, and he towed them for over one mile (1.6 km) in less than one hour. 1984 (age 70):Handcuffed, shackled, and fighting strong winds and currents, Jack towed 70 rowboats, one with several guests, from the Queen’s Way Bridge in the Long Beach Harbor to the Queen Mary, 1 mile.

Jack was also the first to: open a modern health spa, have a nationally syndicated exercise show on television, have athletes work out with weights, have women work out with weights, have elderly work out with weights, have a combination health food bar and gym, have a weight loss Instant Breakfast meal replacement drink, have a coed health club, combine weight training with nutrition, have an edible snack nutrition bar, sell vitamins and exercise equipment on television, teach scientific bodybuilding by changing the workout every 2-3weeks, encourage the physically challenged to exercise, and he also developed many of the exercise machines and equipment that are still used today. Jack said, “If man made it, don’t eat it.” He also said he NEVER ate dessert. Just doing those two things could change your life.

We love helping our patients and their friends and relatives through their tough times and getting them feeling better! We are here to help you stay feeling better and looking younger! Don’t be a stranger.


Presented by Beecher Chiropractic Clinic 1001 Pineloch, Ste 700 Houston TX 77062 (281) 286-1300

Did You Know?… Tea is a great food for health! 1. Tea, without sugar or honey, only has two calories per cup. 2. Steeping tea for three to five minutes produces the most antioxidants. 3. Milk in your tea doesn’t reduce tea’s health benefits. 4. The maximum amount of antioxidants contained in tea comes from brewing loose leaves or from tea bags. (Tea in powders or bottles has little or no helpful antioxidants!) 5. Tea in products applied to the skin has little or no health enhancing properties. Teas, especially white and green teas, can help with the following: Stimulate mental clarity, reduce the risk of certain cancers, reduce the risk of heart disease, lower blood sugar levels, help prevent viral infections, help prevent bad breath, and help prevent tooth decay. Also, because the water used in tea is boiled, this makes tea safer to drink than tap water…

Tip Of The Month – Dietary Changes May Help ADHD.

Also: Consumption Of This Is Linked To Depression.

You are what you eat. This is not just a catchy saying – it is the absolute truth. Yet, most people ignore this “truth” and suffer from preventable diseases, aches and pains. Most seem to think it is easier to eat junk and take a pill later. There is always a miracle medicine to save you, isn’t there? The truth of the matter is…No, There Isn’t. It is abundantly clear and becoming clearer

each and every day that taking medication is no substitute for eating right, exercising and practicing proper maintenance care. Clearly, having your teeth pulled and replacing them with dental implants is no replacement for brushing and flossing your teeth and going to the dentist for routine check-ups. Eating fat, sugar and processed foods for 40 years and then thinking a drug or surgery is going to save you is even more foolish. Here is some research on what you and your children eat that you will find very interesting. Study #1: What You Eat and ADHD – A recent study found putting children with ADHD on a restrictive diet to eliminate possible, unknown food allergies decreased hyperactivity for 64 percent of kids. In the study, 41 kids completed the elimination diet and 32 saw decreased symptoms. Here’s a really important part: When certain foods thought to be “triggers” for each child were reintroduced, most of the children relapsed. The elimination diet, which lasted 5 weeks, consisted predominantly of rice, white meat and some vegetables. Among 50 kids given a “control” diet that was just a standard, healthy diet for children, significant changes were not noted. Due to the results, lead author of the study and a psychiatrist at the Nijmegen Medical Centre, Jan Buitelaar, recommended the elimination diet become part of the standard of care for children with ADHD. Here’s An Important Note About This Study – Many doctors frown upon the elimination diet, not because of its results, but because it is

“difficult.” Because it is perceived to be hard and many won’t do it, it is tossed aside for an easier approach. Of course, it is “easier” to take medications, but is the easiest approach usually the best? Study #2: Eating This Increases Depression Risk – According to Dr. Joseph Mercola’s health blog, “Consumption of trans fats can increase your risk of depression, according to new research. However, healthier fats may actually reduce your risk.” Participants in the study with the highest level of trans fat consumption had up to a 48% increase in the risk of depression. Study #3: Report Says Energy Drinks Unhealthy – According to a new report published in the Journal of Pediatrics, popular energy drinks may be harmful to children’s health. These risks are amplified if the child has diabetes, ADHD or a heart condition. The report also stated that 30-50% of children consume these drinks and they do not substantially increase performance or energy levels. Sales of products such as Red Bull, Full Throttle, Monster Energy and Rockstar are expected to reach about $9 billion in the U.S. this year, with children and young adults under 25 providing most of the revenue. Because these drinks are considered supplements, they are not regulated by the FDA.

Remember, we’re always here, to help your body heal and maintain the health you deserve.

This information is solely advisory, and should not be substituted for medical or chiropractic advice. Any and all health care concerns, decisions, and actions must be done through the advice and counsel of a healthcare professional who is familiar with your updated medical history. We cannot be held responsible for actions you may take without a thorough exam or appropriate referral. If you have any further concerns or questions, please call our office at 281-286-1300.


Presented by Beecher Chiropractic Clinic 1001 Pineloch, Ste 700 Houston TX 77062 (281) 286-1300

Dr. Beecher’s April 4th, 2011 Weekly Chiropractic Newsletter

For More Information, please download this week’s newsletter, here.


Week of Monday,  April 4th, 2011



Mental Attitude: Delay Alzheimer’s!  Mastering a second language seems to delay getting Alzheimer’s as bilingual patients did not contract Alzheimer’s until 5 years later than monolingual patients. Even if you’re not bilingual, there are other ways to exercise the brain like word games, crosswords, word search. Ellen Bialystok, York University, Feb 2011


Health Alert: Too Much Drinking! 5.9% of adolescents ages 12-14 drank alcohol in the past month and 44.8% received their alcohol for free from their family or at home. People who begin drinking alcohol before the age of 15 are six times more likely to develop alcohol problems than those who start at age 21 and older. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration, Feb 2011


Diet: Allergic To Food? 17 million people in Europe suffer from food allergies, with 3.5 million younger than 25 years old. Allergies in children under 5 have doubled over the last ten years and trips to the emergency room for severe anaphylactic reactions have increased seven-fold. Allergic reactions are probably increasing due to changes in nutrition patterns, exposure to environmental factors such as cigarette smoke and changes in lifestyle.

European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Feb 2011


Exercise: New Toy. A wireless device, the iSense, can predict and detect the status of muscles during training. The iSense helps optimize performance by building the bridge between what the brain is telling the athlete and what the muscles are actually doing. The iSense device detects the tiny electrical signals muscles produce when contracting. Muscle fatigue can promote muscle growth, but can also cause serious injury when the level of fatigue is high. When muscle fatigue is not detected soon enough, it can often lead to pain and injuries. The system will guide the user during training to act as a warning device, to avoid unnecessary strain on the muscles and avoid injury.

Essex University, AlphaGalileo Foundation


Chiropractic: Watch Your Back! Half of working Americans suffer from back pain each year. 25% of American adults reported they suffered from back pain for at least a day within the last three months and lower back pain is the

5th most common reason people visit the doctor. CDC


Wellness/Prevention: Wear A Helmet. Severe head trauma is the most frequent cause of death and severe disability in skiers and snowboarders and accounts for 15% of all skiing and snowboarding related injuries. Injuries include epidural hematoma, subdural hematoma, other traumatic intracranial hemorrhage, skull fractures and cervical spine injury. Helmet use reduces head injuries 35%, with another study suggests head injury reductions range from

15-60%. Helmet wearers decreased the need for neurosurgical procedures, length of hospital stay, and incidence of death. Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics, March 2011


Quote: “The player who loses his head and his cool, is worse than no player at all.” ~ Lou Gehrig

This Weekly Health News Update is compliments of Dr. Ward Beecher and Beecher Chiropractic Clinic. If you have any questions or comments, please contact us at 281-286-1300 or www.BeecherChiropractic.Com.


Is Your Back Healing Correctly?

Clear Lake City Chiropractor Comments: It’s a good question. We want to do the things that promote and speed healing, and not do the kinds of things that cause more harm or are destructive. A lot of us know that a little rest when we injure the back is ok, but staying in bed for a week might not be a good idea. Studies have shown that bed rest for more than 2 days causes even more pain. Since our goal is to move, then lying down doesn’t seem like a worthwhile step towards that goal.

Some of us know that when the back flares up, ice is better than heat. Some of us still don’t, and instead throw gasoline on the inflammation fire by having a soak in the hot tub.

These things are obvious on the list of do’s and don’ts for the person with low back pain. But pain pills have a downside that a lot of us are not aware.

It seems like taking a pill for few days to help with pain is reasonable enough. Right? Maybe wrong.

For example, certain NSAIDs (e.g. ibuprofen) can make the scar formation in a muscle strain less effective. Instead of the scar being formed properly, it is in a more disorganized or scrambled fashion. If you have a poorer scar, the tissue will not be as strong and could lead to re-injury or a delay in your recovery. We don’t think about it but just not taking pain pills early on would help for a lifetime. Ice can be an effective pain killer and doesn’t come with medication-side effects.

Muscle relaxants are also prescribed for people with back pain. They are consumed by 49% of patients. The theory is that the muscle spasm should be relieved so that there can be less muscle pain. A study of patients who took muscle relaxants showed that these sufferers recovered more slowly. Unfortunately, the muscle spasm is there for good reason: to protect a delicate nerve.

Another thing that you have to consider besides poor scar formation and slowed healing is the actual purpose of these medications. You have to also ask yourself why your body wants you to feel this pain. The body wants you to protect the area from movement. If you block the pain with medications, you may move too much, or too soon in the healing process, delaying your recovery.

A study that compared chiropractic adjustments to muscle relaxants in patients with low back pain had interesting results. There was also a sham adjustment group and a placebo medicine group. The authors concluded that chiropractic care had superior results.

At Beecher Chiropractic Clinic, we can help guide you to when you can return to certain work or sports. By gradually integrating exercises into your daily routine as the function of the joints is improved, your injury can heal more naturally.

Dr. Ward Beecher practices at Beecher Chiropractic Clinic at 1001 Pineloch, Ste 700 Houston, TX 77062. You can schedule an appointment at BeecherChiropractic.com. or by calling (281) 286-1300. If you have any questions regarding this blog, please comment below!

Low Back Pain and Your Emotions

Clear Lake City Doctor Comments: This article discusses how anger and emotional expression may affect your back pain. For years many medical doctors thought back pain was more of an issue in the brain than the spine. Research has shown this to be the case in many who are disabled from work. But mechanical sprain injuries of the spine are also critical to body function and how much pain you may experience. You just cannot separate the brain from the body and expect to tackle a difficult problem like low back pain.

Researchers at Duke University looked at this complex problem by measuring the amount of emotional expression, anger, and back pain in patients. The studies included 61 persons with chronic low back pain. The results were quite interesting. Patients who reported greater conflict with regard to expressing emotions may be experiencing higher pain and anger.

Have you ever considered that how you express your emotions could affect how much the back hurts? Do you hold on to angry thoughts and feelings? Ignoring these issues does not make the problem go away. And covering-up your emotions with a cocktail of medications doesn’t seem like a good long-term solution, especially with the unhealthy side effects that can sometimes occur.

Of course there is a difference between “blowing up” at someone and expressing emotions appropriately. Have you tried opening up to someone? A friend or counselor can help show how your emotions can be dealt with constructively. Some patients have severe emotional conflicts and may require psychological support. Others can become more “in tune” with the emotional side of life through simple awareness. Does your back flare up around emotional periods of your life? We can help with the mechanical stresses of the spine, but to maximize your potential you have to consider emotions and the brain. By integrating a mind-body approach to health, the complexity of back pain is addressed more fully. This may get you more engaged with life, more active, and with a healthy outgoing attitude.

Being in chronic pain is no fun, for us, as well as our friends and family. So if you think your emotions (or lack of emotions) may have something to do with your back pain, consult a competent health care provider who addresses the whole person. When patients can confront these issues in a calm and supportive environment, the need for medications if often reduced.

Dr. Ward Beecher practices at Beecher Chiropractic Clinic at 1001 Pineloch, Ste 700 Houston, TX 77062. You can schedule an appointment at BeecherChiropractic.com. or by calling (281) 286-1300. If you have any questions regarding this blog, please comment below!

Headache Triggers and Causes

Clear Lake Chiropractor Comments: We often think headaches are caused by different stressful triggers. It could be long days at work, or staring at a computer screen all night, or the aggravation of a long commute in a traffic jam. Some of us get headaches after drinking red wine, or eating certain foods. While these triggers make headaches develop and worsen, they are not the underlying cause of the problem. Some people get headaches after exercise or working in the garden but these activities cannot be considered the cause-they are aggravating factors.

What is often overlooked is: why are your defenses no match for these minor life stressors? Why do you get the headache and your friend who has the same experiences does not? Even in the case of the flu you have to consider the strength of the person’s immune system more so than the virus. Older adults who get the flu tend to have a worse problem than someone younger.

In the same way you have to look at symptoms such as head pain. Serious causes such as tumors or strokes have to be ruled out, but these types of problems are very rare. Headaches are common in society today. Have you seen the pain reliever aisle at the supermarket recently? I think over-the-counter medications are one of the new ‘food” groups.

But consider common causes for headaches. Is there a spinal problem that causes the neck to go forward creating tightness and muscle tension? What is the underlying weakness that needs to be corrected? We rarely look at the causes of things. Our healthcare system is more concerned with covering up bothersome symptoms with medications. A more long-term and natural solution is to seek out the underlying cause of a problem and get it fixed. In many cases it is the spinal injury that is producing weakness that causes the headache. Getting these problems corrected can get you back in the game and improve your quality of life. Imagine a future where exercise will no longer be a headache trigger, but a way to further strengthen your body.

Pain is an expression by the body of a problem. It is a signal to your brain that something is wrong and action needs to be taken. Rather than masking the symptoms, why not consider consulting a doctor of chiropractic to see if there is an underlying spinal cause?

Dr. Ward Beecher practices at Beecher Chiropractic Clinic at 1001 Pineloch, Ste 700 Houston, TX 77062. You can schedule an appointment at BeecherChiropractic.com. or by calling (281) 286-1300. If you have any questions regarding this blog, please comment below!

Headaches: A New Perspective on an Old Problem

Clear Lake Chiropractor Comments: It’s remarkable to consider how many different types of pain relievers there are for headaches. Not just the corner drug stores but also supermarkets, convenience stores, and gas stations keep an abundant supply. Aspirin, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen, is consumed daily in America by the truckloads.

Have you ever thought about how we approach a health problem or symptom? Too often it’s a knee-jerk reaction were we pop a pill for whatever ails us. Rarely do we ask why there is a headache? What is causing this headache?

It is very well established that there are many causes for headaches. Chemical imbalances in the body can of course cause head pain such as in dehydration or intoxication.

But in large part, the pill stock in gas stations isn’t targeted to the occasional hangover, it supplies the masses who suffer with tension headaches, migraines, and headaches due to mechanical neck disorders (e.g. whiplash). So what is the pill actually doing chemically? This varies from pill to pill. The side effects can range from stomach bleeding, to liver and kidney problems. Most people who take these medications have pain for years and decades. It is long-term use that is especially detrimental to the body. Headaches are a chronic disease and it is likely there will be triggers for you for many years to come.

Prescription NSAIDs and pain pills are usually much more powerful unless you’re doubling up on over-the-counter drugs. With prescription patches and pills it is easy to get addicted if taken over the long run.

But there is a different way to see the problem than the chemical approach. Although the mode of action of these different drugs changes, an important fact remains that they do not treat mechanical problems of the neck. If your headache is being caused by a joint injury in the neck, no amount of drug can correct this postural fault.

How would I know if my headache is really a spine problem? It could be that you notice stiffness in the neck or maybe it’s harder to look over one shoulder. If your headaches are accompanied by a lot of shoulder and neck stiffness and tension, this is a sign of a spine cause. In some cases though, the spine symptoms are very mild, so it is easy to see why patients rarely make the connection in their minds.

A thorough examination is needed to determine if your headache is being caused by a spine injury. X-rays are often used to precisely determine the positions of your spinal vertebrae. They also show the condition of the discs, and any degeneration from older spine injuries.

Several clinical trials have shown chiropractic adjustments are effective for patients with tension-type and migraine headaches. After the spinal problem is corrected, we can show you ways to prevent future problems.

By identifying the cause of your headache, you’ve changed your thinking to looking past the pain and asking why? Now take the time to fix your problem.

Dr. Ward Beecher practices at Beecher Chiropractic Clinic at 1001 Pineloch, Ste 700 Houston, TX 77062. You can schedule an appointment at BeecherChiropractic.com. or by calling (281) 286-1300. If you have any questions regarding this blog, please comment below!

Whiplash and Muscle Weakness

Houston Chiropractor Comments: Whiplash involves the stretching of nerves, muscles, and ligaments. The forces are so great during even low speed collisions, that the muscles cannot resist the forces. The injury of whiplash produces inflammation to repair the damaged tissues. During this time, fast movements of your head and neck will result in pain, so most patients become overly cautious and move their neck very little. Unfortunately over time, because of the lack of muscle use, you become weak. This sets up the difficult combination of both damaged ligaments and weak muscles. Now there is little strength and support for the neck. This may make you very vulnerable to a future injury. Even slight movements can produces flare-ups when the muscles are too weak. The patient may feel their head to be heavy. Sometimes patients’ injuries can be so severe that dizziness develops due to the asymmetrical muscle and nerve activity. This is called cervicogenic vertigo. If you get dizzy when you move your head, then you may have this condition.

While it may seem intuitively obvious that addressing weak neck muscles are important to a full recovery, few patients will do them unless prompted and explained by their doctor. Specific muscles need to be strengthened in a way that does not cause further damage to the ligaments. If the muscles are tight in certain areas, then stretching or deep tissue massage, or trigger point therapy, can help to loosen areas and decrease pain.

But the most important thing you can do on a daily basis is to keep exercising. Studies have shown this to be effective in whiplash treatment when there is a mechanical neck disorder. A specific exercise program can be prescribed by a doctor of chiropractic. Special attention should be made to your posture and x-rays, and how specifically you were injured. Only in this way, will the treatment be effective and not risk further trauma.

Exercises such as rolling the head around the shoulders should be avoided since the neck is not a ball and socket joint like the shoulder. In some directions, the joints will have excessive laxity and the muscle exercises should be done in the neutral position versus at the end range or limit.

Because the ligaments are so badly damaged in whiplash, it’s important to maintain the supporting muscles (both strong and flexible), to keep the spine stable and pain free.

Dr. Ward Beecher practices at Beecher Chiropractic Clinic at 1001 Pineloch, Ste 700 Houston, TX 77062. You can schedule an appointment at BeecherChiropractic.com. or by calling (281) 286-1300. If you have any questions regarding this blog, please comment below!

Designated Doctors In The Texas Worker’s Comp System

Clear Lake City Chiropractor Comments: Recently I was asked again to co-chair a conference in Dallas, Texas to help teach all types of doctors (medical, osteopathic and chiropractic) how to become Designated Doctors in the Texas Dept. of Insurance, Division of Worker’s Compensation. The course was co-sponsored by the American Academy of Disability Evaluating Physicians (AADEP) http://www.aadep.org/ and the Texas Council of Chiropractic Orthopedists (TCCO) http://www.texascouncilofchiropracticorthopedist.org . The Designated Doctor Training Seminar is designed to provide doctors and other health care providers with methods of determining maximum medical improvement (MMI) and of calculating the appropriate impairment rating using the AMA Guides, Fourth Edition, to follow the Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers’ Compensation (Division) approved core curriculum for doctors seeking full authorization to perform the new functions of the DD under HB7 and for health care providers performing ROM, sensory, and motor testing for those doctors, to fulfill the MMI and impairment rating requirements per the new Rules of the Division to introduce the use of ODG and MDA and to introduce the issues involved in determining causality.

The 2005 legislature made significant changes in the Texas workers’ compensation system with HB7. The TDI Division of Workers’ Compensation has new Rules that require the Designated Doctor to have completed new training in order to be and stay on the Designated Doctor lists. In addition, the Designated Doctor role was expanded in HB7 to include determining and resolving issues regarding MMI, the impairment rating, return to work, causality, and treatment.

While there is a substantial amount of material to cover over a 2 day period, the course went very well. Being able to be well versed in the AMA’s Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, Fourth Edition takes time and a concerted effort. As always, the seminar was well received with many interesting questions and discussions. To all doctors who wish to be on the approved doctors list with TDI-DWC, study the AMA Guides and take the course and you will have a good understanding of how to help the injured workers in Texas.

Dr. Ward Beecher practices at Beecher Chiropractic Clinic at 1001 Pineloch, Ste 700 Houston, TX 77062. You can schedule an appointment at BeecherChiropractic.com. or by calling (281) 286-1300. If you have any questions regarding this blog, please comment below!

Are Physical Therapists Like Chiropractors?

Clear Lake City Chiropractor Comments: This is a fairly common question that I get asked in my office. While the simple answer is no, physical therapists do have some similarities in treatment to chiropractors. First and foremost, each individual practitioner in each profession treats in his/her own unique way so the comments below are generalities.

Doctors of Chiropractic (DC’s) diagnose, treat and prevent mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system which affect the nervous system and therefore one’s general health.

Chiropractors aim to maintain, restore, maximize and develop one’s functional ability through specific spinal adjustments, physical modalities and rehabilitative or therapeutic exercises. Physical therapists use rehabilitation therapy and general mobilizations, usually under the orders of a doctor, to help restore a patient to their pre-accident or illness status. Chiropractors use a holistic approach to treatment that focuses not only on the physical, but the psychological, social and emotional well being of the individual through diagnosis, treatment and intervention. The chiropractor then will typically give the patient home based exercises and stretches to prevent a reoccurrence after care is completed.

Chiropractic doctor’s practice combines aspects from both alternative and mainstream medicine. Most chiropractors work with the patients other doctors to coordinate the necessary care of the patient based on the diagnosis that we determine thru our own specific examination. Depending on the specialty of the chiropractor, he/she may have a more nutritional, neurological, sports or in my case orthopedic type of practice.

Physical therapists (PT’s) on the other hand practice in different settings such as outpatient clinics, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, extended care facilities, skilled nursing facilities, hospices, education and research centers, occupational environments and fitness centers. Care is typically directed by the diagnosis and orders of a doctor, though some PT’s are currently allowed direct access.

Chiropractic doctors and physical therapists are both currently using evidence based research to expand their knowledge and further help our patients. Hopefully in the future DC’s, PT’s and other providers of physical medicine will work together for the greater good of our patients with all providers knowing the strengths and limitations of their care.

Dr. Ward Beecher practices at Beecher Chiropractic Clinic at 1001 Pineloch, Ste 700 Houston, TX 77062. You can schedule an appointment at BeecherChiropractic.com. or by calling (281) 286-1300. If you have any questions regarding this blog, please comment below!