Maintain Your Spine

This week I’d like to talk about a concern of mine for others. A statistic came out stating that about 80-90% of all Americans will have a serious bout of back pain sometime in their life. It wouldn’t be the case if people learned how to maintain their spine.

Think about it. How many people maintain their spine? How many people actually know how to maintain their spine? Were you taught how to? No, because we weren’t taught that way.

We’re taught how to take care of our teeth. We know we have to brush and floss regularly, eat right, and get regular check-ups with a dentist, but we aren’t taught how to take care of our spine.

It’s a big concern of mine. I had a lady come in yesterday. Her first visit was in 2006, she had a serious bout of back pain; I adjusted her and her back pain went away. But, people don’t realize that if you don’t maintain your spine, it can create problems. One thing that can happen is that your spine can form a situation called Degenerative Disc Disease; most of the time is a silent process.

When you look at the neck, there should be a nice arc. But if you look at the patient who came in 2006, you can see she had a reverse forward posture. The posture resulted in decreased discs and a big bone spur in her neck. We went ahead and adjusted her, she felt fine after one adjustment, so she thought she was fixed. We talked about how to correct and maintain her spine, but the problem was that she thought that if she felt okay, she was okay. That’s the way we were taught to take care of our health and this concerns me.

She came back just yesterday, 5 years later, she had back pain again. We took another picture of the neck, and you can see that the area where she had the bone spur before is almost fused together and that there are other bones that are starting to do the same thing. She was completely shocked; she couldn’t understand. She hadn’t experienced pain since the last time she had come in.

“How can that be?” she asked. “Because,” I said, “if you don’t maintain your spine, it will degenerate.”

If you don’t maintain your spine, it will go down hill. That’s what we do here at Bates Chiropractic, we correct and maintain the spine. You want to maintain your spine and not your problems. Unfortunately, a lot of people only manage their problems. So, the key to it is really maintenance.

If you want to learn more about maintaining your spine and that of your family, you can contact us at Bates Chiropractic at (310)545-4188 or online at www.chiropractormanhattanbeach.com

Do You Have Smart Muscles?

Hello, Manhattan Beach, today we’re talking about making smart muscles as opposed to walking around with dumb muscles. Our goal here is to correct subluxations to free the nerve channels of the spine. Then we use certain types of neuromuscular reeducation exercises to make the muscles smart again. This connects the nerve system with the muscles, because, as you know, nerves control muscles. The muscles have to integrate with the rest of the other muscles and joints of the body in order to function right. What coordinates all of that together is the Central Nerve System.

You can see throughout the office we have people working towards smartening their muscles with spinal molding exercises, such as wall work and stabilization of the pelvis.

We’re just turning the power on here at Bates Chiropractic! Have a great day.

Chiropractics is a Proactive Approach to Healthcare

A nurse practitioner came into our office and talked to me about the differences between chiropractics and our present healthcare system with medicine. He said that their approach was more of a reactive type of approach to healthcare as opposed to a proactive type of approach to healthcare. The reactive type is when your body’s breaking down, you’re starting to get symptoms, and you need a first-aid situation, like medication or surgery. This course of healthcare is the most expensive and the least effective, because it doesn’t really get to the cause. This was pointed out by the nurse practitioner, which I believe is an accurate portrayal of our present form of healthcare with medicine.
What we do here at Bates Chiropractic is more proactive, because we practice corrective care. Corrective care is designed to correct the cause so that the body can self correct and heal on its own.
More on that later, but for now, just a friendly reminder that our Nutrition Talk will be held @ the Manhattan Beach Library on Tuesday, April 20th @ 6:45pm. Call us @ (310) 545-4188 to reserve a seat for you and your loved ones.

How To Prevent The Flu

This week we’re going to talk about flu season. As we go into the holidays, it gets colder; people wrap themselves up, stay inside and don’t get enough sun. Typically people have a tendency to get the flu and upper respiratory infections during this time.

I’d like to go over ways to prevent the flu; since we know that getting the flu shot is not 100% effective, we will go over some ways that will build up our immune response:

One of the best ways to do so is to make sure your nerve system can properly communicate with the immune system. You do that by making sure your spine is free of spinal subluxations.

Studies show that regular spinal checkups help improve the immune response.

Another thing you can do is take vitamin D, because we’re not out in the sun as much, we’re not getting the sunshine vitamin. The studies show that taking vitamin D helps improve the immune response. You want to take 2,000 to 5,000 IU a day.

Also, you want to avoid sugar, excessive sugar, which is tough to do during the holidays.

You want to get plenty of rest and make sure you’re washing your hands. You also want to work on breathing exercises to reduce the stress and also regular exercise.

All of that is very important to boost your internal environment so that you can be passed by the flu where other people would drop like flies.

Make sure you spread the word to your loved ones. Many people blindly go get the flu shot, and that, by no means, is going to completely protect you against the flu.

Backpack Attack

It’s back to school week. One of the big problems we have when going back to school is Backpack Attack! We have severe problems with kids going to school, because their backpacks are loaded down with books, and kids start coming up with backpack injuries. In fact, some kids have backpacks that weigh 50 to 60 pounds. Compare that to their little bodies that only weigh 50-80 pounds, that is just way too much weigh for their bodies to take, and it creates postural imbalances as time goes on, and as their bodies are growing. It’ll create subluxations in the body and health problems down the line.

Now, one of the biggest problems heavy backpacks will create is Forward Head Posture, where the head goes forward in front of the shoulders. It creates a lot of undue stress on the ligaments, the nerves, the discs, and joints of the spine, and will set the tone for future degenerative disease like degenerative disc disease or arthritis.

So, what we want to do is keep the spine in alignment. One of the best thing you want to do for your kids regarding their backpacks is keep the straps tight with no more than 15% of the body weight in the packs.

Also, they need a strap or a buckle attached to the waist. So the weight of the backpack is more evenly distributed across the spine, this will help bring back the head a little closer.

Most kids wear their straps loose, which creates a lot of weight down low making the kids push their heads forward in order to counter balance the weight.

The key now would be to fix the cause, which is the backpack attack to where it is over-weighting the body and creating the turtle effect. Said effects create a lot of undue pressure on the areas mentioned before.

The other thing is to get your kids checked for subluxations, because if it’s already been going on for a few years, they’ll have degenerative disc disease building up. Since this is a silent process, their symptoms may then seem like they’re coming out of nowhere, such as severe neck pain, headaches, back pain, discs problems, and may end up with surgeries down the line.

Checking your children is a proactive, instead of a reactive, type of healthcare. First we have to fix the backpack problem, then get your kids checked for subluxations, and create the subluxation problem, so that they may lead a healthy life.

How You Can Dramatically Reduce Healthcare Costs and Save Lives!

Last week we talked about Drug Awareness Week that was being held in the local schools. Actually, there are a few schools that are having it this week. So, we’re going to continue on the D.A.R.E or drug awareness week. As you remember, last week we talked about the legal drug cartels.

This week, I want to talk about this interesting survey that came out about prescription drugs:

The National Health and Nutrition Survey was done over the course of ten years.

According to the study, over the last decade, the amount of Americans that took one prescription drug in the last month statistically went from 44% in 1999 to 48% today.

Those people that used two or more drugs increased from 25% to 31%.

The use of five or more drugs increased from 6% to 11%.

In 2007-2008, one out of every five children, as well as nine out of ten American adults, had taken at least one prescription drug in the last month.

Interestingly enough, the business of prescription drugs is actually booming right now, which is part of our drug mindset culture that we were talking about last week. The total spent on prescription drugs in 2008 was 234 billion dollars, which is double from 1999.

Another interesting study came out with a potential solution to the over-spending: The Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics revealed that after 4 years, 22,000 patients demonstrated a 51.8% reduction of prescription costs when care was directed by a doctor of Chiropractic.

If you extrapolate that 51.8% reduction of prescription drug costs that would have saved the U.S. Healthcare System 121 Billion in the last decade! It’s really amazing to think that by redirecting the focus away from drug therapy, such a huge change can happen on just the cost of healthcare.

I wanted to really bring that up, I’m not trying to say that medical doctors should be booted out of the primary care position; I think they should stay on as primary care physicians, but I think the way it should be thought of when we see our primary care physician is that when we have a certain complaint, the doctor should look at the complaint, and we should take those medications in an emergency situations, because that’s what they’re designed to do. Then, if the doctor rules out a medical emergency, then just go and see your chiropractor. That way you build your health through receiving adjustments that allow the internal mechanism of the body to enhance and work the way it’s designed to. The body works at its best, like it should, with no interference. So, when you correct spinal subluxations, the body can work at its optimum level.

If we can just get the word out where people start changing their attitudes on how they’re taking care of themselves, we can really affect the whole healthcare system. So, if you can spread the word to other people, you can probably save a life (and a lot of money).

Refer people to our website: www.chiropractormanhattanbeach.com and forward them this health blog.

We appreciate serving you!

Do You Have Health Insurance or Sickness Insurance?

Our topic today is whether you have Health Insurance or Sickness Insurance.

The question is when do you really use your insurance? Is it when you’re healthy or when you are sick?

Most of us are going to answer “when you’re sick, of course.”

When you have a problem or some sort of symptom is when you’re going to use your insurance. That’s when they will pay.

We should get out of our minds that our health insurance is going to bring us health. It is really there as first aid or when your body breaks down.

This brings me to another situation which just happened today. There are two sickness insurances called Health Care and Pacific Care who has contracted a manage care company called Optimal Health. The purpose of a manage care company is to not allow you to utilize your benefits.

For example, I was interviewed by the Optimal Health manage care doctor who was looking at my cases of patients who had said insurances. According to the national average, most people were going to the chiropractor an average of 8 times, where mine was an average of 12 times. He told me I was over-utilizing this type of care; however, if we look back at where they get their averages it stems from when the insurance companies had specific procedures implemented on the doctors. Forms had to be filled out with specific information on the care plans for the patient. They would then determine whether they would accept the recommended amount of care for certain conditions.

I would put down what was more accurate for the patient to get over their symptoms. For example, I would put down 20 visits for symptomatic relief NOT corrective care, and ALWAYS get rejected. This was before they had their national averages, by the way.

I would call other doctors and they would have the same problem, until I found one doctor who told me to send it in for 12 visits and then try to ask for more later. That way the patient could at least receive some Chiropractic Care, otherwise the patient wasn’t going to get any care. Once the doctors found out a way for their patients to receive some chiropractic benefits from their insurance, they started to recommend less visits. Unfortunately, the insurance companies developed a profile and would use that to back up statements of over-utilization violations. It’s a strong arm method, a sneaky method utilized by insurance companies so to not have to pay for care.

What we should realize is that the manage care system is not designed to allow you to utilize your benefits. Your best bet would be to get together and try to fire the manage care system that is not here for your best interest.

If you have questions about this, don’t hesitate in asking. I just brushed across one of the many thing we, as doctors, have to deal with when dealing with insurance companies. Unfortunately, our hands are tied, as doctors, when insurance companies manipulate statistics in order to justify their utilization of care.

Just a reminder, in our office we practice corrective care not acute care. So, insurance companies will pay for acute care and not full correction. Once those visits are up, however many they are, it will be up to you to shift into corrective mode. If you have any questions about that, do realize our fees are 30 – 50% less than chiropractors in our area, to allow you to get the care you need.

Any other questions, ask us here @ Bates Chiropractic!

Chiropractor Manhattan Beach Asks, “Which Direction Are You Headed With Your Health?”

When patients come into my office, I ask myself, “which direction are they headed with their health?”

It doesn’t matter where you are at this moment, it matters where you’re heading.

We have some patients whose spines are really poor and they’re not in good shape, but they really have that attitude and discipline where now they’re determined to go into the direction where they’re adding more to their health by getting regular adjustments, doing their spinal molding at home, working on their mental attitude, as well as their nutrition. Really, they’re committed to their health and have the attitude to do it. That type of person is in the right direction in building health opposed to some people that come in that may be in good health at that time, they look good and look fit, they get checked out with all their medical tests and the doctors says they’re healthy, but they’re in the direction where they aren’t practicing those good things, they aren’t getting their adjustments like they should to keep the nerve system working properly, they aren’t eating right, hey aren’t getting the proper exercise and working on their mental mindsets. Those guys are actually moving away from health. It really depends on which direction you’re headed. So, this week, let’s really give an honest evaluation to see which way you are honestly focusing on which way are you headed.

Just remember, every moment is a new beginning.

Giraffe Q&A

Hi, everyone, this is Dr. Rob, and I’m coming to you from the Wild Animal Park with a mini quiz of the day!

Q: The human neck contains seven bones. How many bones do you think are in a giraffe’s neck?

A: Seven; Just like us!

Keep charging just like my friends the rhinos!

The Damaging Effects of Forward Head Posture

The Journal of Geriatrics came out with a study in October 2004; what they found was that people with forward posture or a hunchback, the more their spine hunched forward and was stuck in that position, the closer to death they were. Let’s look at reasons why that could be:

If you look at Patty, she’s stuck in this forward posture. This posture is closing down on all the nerve pathways and it’s inhibiting her ability to breathe and move properly.

We’re going to do a little exercise. I want you guys to participate in this too. I want you to get into that poor posture that you usually are in front of the computer or maybe you’re stuck that way all the time or perhaps you’ve even noticed your kids in that position because of their heavy backpacks.

Go ahead and get into that posture, so you can join us and feel this. This is experiential; I want you to feel what happens in this forward head posture. Now try this: try to bring your arms all the way up and over your head. How far do you get? Notice how far Patty can bring her arms over.

Now go ahead and bring your head over center, so that your ears are over your shoulders. Now go ahead and try that again. See how Patty is able to get her arms up there with no problem? One of the things that happens with forward head posture is that it puts a lot of pressure on the nerves that feed out into the shoulder, and mechanically doesn’t allow the shoulders to open up which can lead to problems like carpal tunnel syndrome, chronic rotator cuff strains, neck problems, and headaches.

Now try this other exercise, get back into that posture again, as if you were in front of the computer, and take a deep breath; feel how that feels. Now bring your ears back over your shoulders and see how the posture pops back up. Now go ahead and take a deep breath. How does that feel? There’s a big difference. This will cause you to be unable to oxygenate your tissues. It causes nerve damage to the nerves that feed out to the lungs and the heart, the shoulders and the hands. Just by correcting posture is a huge thing.

That’s what we do: we correct the subluxation which allows those nerve channels to open up. But, we also do things to correct the posture so it’s not a problem either. You have to do both those things to be effective. Then your body would be healthier than it’s been in a long time.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate in contacting us at Bates Chiropractic at (310) 545-4188 www.chiropractormanhattanbeach.com.

Remember, we’re having our Health and Nutrition Workshop at Fusion Sushi on Thursday, February 24th at 6:45 pm. Space is limited, so make sure to sign you and your guest up at the front desk!

You and your guests will enjoy a great meal and learn life-saving information. We look forward to seeing you there!