Thank You

Since I have been in practice, I have had the opportunity to work with many patients  who suffer from pain, injury and even those who seek chiropractic care, acupuncture treatment, massage therapy for health and wellness. 

I want to take this opportinity to THANK each of you for allowing me to be part of your life, and health and wellness.  I also want  to THANK each of you for your trust in me, for the lessons you have taught me, and for allowing me to be there with you through your struggles and pain and also in your wellness.

I am also THANKFUL for each of you that follow the facebook group, blog,  Twitter and website, and supporting me as a chiropractor.

THANK YOU!
Happy Thanksgiving!

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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Hi everyone,

This blog is going to continue with a theme about technology (as we discussed some Apps for Appetite in the previous blog).  However, besides using technology to help our health, I want discusses a condition that can be caused by the use of technology because our western culture is very tech savvy and everyone uses computers.

Because of the change in social and work use of technology the prevalence of a Carpal Tunnel Syndrome has increased.  Keep in mind the use of computers isn’t the only thing that can cause carpal tunnel syndrome.  It can be caused by repetitive use of the wrist leading to a series of events that ultimately over time can cause carpal tunnel syndrome.  Besides occupational factors leading to carpal tunnel syndrome, carpal tunnel syndrome is associated with several diseases and situations. Some of these are:

  • arthritis
  • diabetes
  • gout
  • amyloidosis (infiltration of the liver, kidneys, spleen with a starch-like substance)
  • hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid gland)
  • tumours of tendon sheaths
  • wrist fractures and dislocations
  • wrist cysts
  • pregnancy
  • use of oral contraceptives
  • menopause

So What is the Carpal Tunnel?

The Carpal Tunnel is a structure created by the bones and ligaments of the wrist. There two bones in the forearm.  These two bones run parallel and form a U-shaped cup at our wrist. Inside this cup sit the eight tiny bones, called carpal or wrist bones.

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These bones form what is known as the “floor” or the bottom of the Carpal Tunnel.  The “roof” of is a ligament. Between the roof and the floor, there are tendons going to the fingers (that control hand movement) and one nerve.  Basically, the carpal tunnel is a space where some tendons and a nerve go through.

So what? What is the big deal?

How does carpal tunnel syndrome develop?

Bending the wrist or moving the fingers moves the tendons that are in the carpal tunnel.  The tendons are encased in sheaths. These sheaths allow the tendons to slide.  The walls of the sheaths contain a fluid to keep the tendons moving smoothly.  With repetitive or excessive movement of the hand and/or wrist, the lubrication of the tendons in the sheath decreases.   This ultimately leads to friction between the tendon and its sheath causing inflammation and swelling.  The swelling then leads to squeezing of the nerve in the carpal tunnel. Repeated episodes of inflammation cause fibrous tissue to form, again putting pressure on the median nerve.  In non-occupational causes of carpal tunnel syndrome, there is still an increase in the volume of the contents of the carpal tunnel, resulting in compression of the nerve.

The symptoms of nerve compression can result in sensations of numbness, tingling, pain, and clumsiness of the hand. This combination of symptoms is called carpal tunnel syndrome. If left alone long enough a severe case can lead to weakness and eventually atrophy of groups of muscles in the hand.

Numbness and Pain

Numbness and Pain with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Muscle Wasting

Muscle Wasting with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Here is a good video visually showing the carpal tunnel.   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J11EIfiHMYw

Treatment options for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Traditional medical treatment options for carpal tunnel syndrome include such things as pain medications, cortisone shots and even surgery.  Since carpal tunnel is due to ligament enlargement and compression, and chiropractors specialize in treating joints/ligaments, consider visiting a chiropractor in your local area.  Chiropractors can offer treatment options such as joint mobilization(Chiropractic Adjustments), Acupuncture, Graston Technique®, Kinesiotaping, exercises and even ergonomic advice to help treat this condition.

I offer a great therapy in the office, called the Graston Technique® to treat carpal tunnel syndrome.  Here is a video demonstrating the treatment.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUYKIS3Ty8A

http://www.grastontechnique.com/file/sites|*|86|*|EDGE-Archives|*|DCs|*|Summary-of-Graston-Technique-Carpal-Tunnel-Syndrome-Research-Project.pdf

Anyways, I hope that explains how technology can be both helpful and harmful.

Thanks,

Dr. Reena

Appetite for Apps

Yesterday, July 8, 2013,  Apple was celebrating the fifth anniversary of its app store by offering some of its most popular games and apps for free.   The limited time offerings include: Barefoot World Atlas, Day One, How to Cook Everything, Over, Traktor DJ, Badland, Infinity Blade II, Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery, Tiny Wings and Where’s My Water?  These apps may remain free for a short time to celebrate.

The buzz around the apps for free got me thinking about apps for smartphones (whether they be iPhones, Androids, Windows Phones, or even Blackberry Phones).  Apps are used nowadays for everything from GPS to tracking a person’s run, to even calorie counting to name a few.  But what good apps are out there for the health-conscious?

Here are some of my favourite apps:

Fooducate

Fooducate

      1.   Fooducate  is an app that is available for iPhone and Android.  It automatically grades foods and beverages on a scale from A to D. (10 distinct grades: A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, and D). It actively allows you to use your phone to scan barcodes that are on food and food products.  It then processes this information and gives you a rating of the food.  The food is ranked using an algorithm according to the nutrients it contains, the ingredients, the processing and fortification of the food.  While the database isn’t always complete, you are able to send and request information to be added to the database.   I know many people dislike having multiple usernames and passwords for the vast number of services annd applications that are available.  This app is functional without creating a username and password.  You can browse their databases for food to see how it ranks as well.  Some advantages of creating an account is that it keeps track of the foods you scan and you can personalize it, track your health and create shopping lists.   For those who are following an allergy-free or gluten-free diet, there is also a new app that came out in May of 2013 to use for that purpose.

MyFitnessPal

MyFitnessPal

 2.      MyFitness Pal is a free app (you can use it from their website as well) that is available on iPhone, Blackberry,  Windows Phone and  Android platforms.  It is a way of tracking your physical activity and overall calorie intake.  Additionally, based on your height and weight and weight-loss goals, it tells you how many calories you should be taking to maintain a certain weight or to reach a goal weight   It allows you to enter food you eat, and using their database, estimate the calories per serving and also input your physical activity (which is converted to calories burned and taken away from your general calorie intake) to determine your net caloric intake.  You do require a username and an active e-mail address to use this app. Alternatively, you can link it to your Facebook account.  Their online database includes ways to calculate calories from recipes based on serving sizes.  Once you have done this, you have the opportunity to add it to your food diary.  There is also a quick way to calculate your BMR.  Additionally, if you love social networking or working out and dieting with friends it allows you to connect socially with your friends (via the app) and monitor progress and obtain accountability.  

Buycott App

Buycott

3.      BuyCott is a nice app.  You need to have an user account or have it linked to your Facebook account to be functional.   It allows you to buy from brands that support causes that you care about.  Additionally, it lets you see where the money you spend is going and to make sure it is not going to go to fund causes you oppose.  Buycott is basically a tool that lets you organize your consumer spending to help causes that you care for, and to oppose those that you don’t. According to Buycott, it “basically can be used to scan a barcode with the Buycott app and it will look it up in their database and try to determine who owns it. Buycott will then trace the product’s ownership back to its top parent company and cross-check this company against the campaigns that you’ve joined before telling you whether it found a conflict.”  For me, I find it to be a helpful guide to finding food products that are not genetically modified.  This is simply done in the app by adding non-GMO foods as a campaign.(When you are in the app, there are campaigns you can read about and join).   The general population is becoming more aware of the controversy surrounding GMO foods and their prevalence in our food system; that is where the app comes in for me.   Forbes reviewed of the BuyCott app.

Non-GMO Food Guide

Non-GMO Project Shopping Guide

 4.     Non GMO Project Shopping Guide is another app that is available in the AppStore for Apple.  I was unable to verify if it was available on any other platform.  For those who are interested but unable to get the app, you can use the resources at The Non-GMO Project, a not-for-profit organization committed educating consumers and providing verified non-GMO food choices.  While it isn’t a complete database, it is a great start.  I believe that knowing what’s in your food is a basic right.  I like the way things are heading in the European Union with the right to know if their food contains GMOs, the same goes for all Chinese, Russian, and Saudi Arabian consumers.  

That’s all for now.  I will be occasionally updating this blog with apps that I find useful.   If anyone out there has any suggestions for apps, please feel free to comment on the blog.

Thanks,

Dr Reena

What is Chiropractic Medicine?

Hi everyone!

Since this is my first blog, the first topic I would like to address is: Chiroprctic Medicine. I know most of you, if you are reading this, probably have some sort of idea, but here is some information that I had written on my website (http://www.HandsOnHealthChiropractic.ca)

What is Chiropractic?

Chiropractic is a non-invasive, hands-on health care discipline that focuses on the neuromusculoskeletal system. Chiropractors practice a manual approach, providing diagnosis, treatment and preventative care for disorders related to the spine, pelvis, nervous system and joints.

Chiropractors use a combination of treatments, all of which are predicated on the specific needs of the individual patient. After taking a complete history and diagnosing a patient, a chiropractor can develop and carry out a comprehensive treatment/management plan, recommend therapeutic exercise and other non-invasive therapies, and provide nutritional, dietary and lifestyle counselling.

For many conditions, such as lower back pain, chiropractic care is frequently the primary method of treatment. Where other conditions exist, chiropractic care may complement or support medical treatment by relieving the neuromusculoskeletal aspects associated with the condition.

Chiropractic care may also be used to provide symptomatic relief for patients with chronic conditions. According to patient surveys, by treating the neuromusculoskeletal elements of such disorders, chiropractic treatment has been shown to improve the general well-being of the patient.

There are many reasons to seek chiropractic care:

  • Back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Headache
  • Whiplash
  • Strains and sprains
  • Repetitive strain injury (RSI)
  • Work and sports injuries
  • Arthritis
  • Limited range of motion in the back, shoulder, neck or limbs
  • General health and well-being

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History of Chiropractic

Chiropractic is the largest  form of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) in the United States. It is highly regulated. Spinal manipulations or “adjustments” were discovered by David D. Palmer in 1895 and have been safely used for over a century to treat a variety of musculoskeletal conditions.

The purpose of an adjustment is to restore muscular balance to a joint that is not moving correctly or causing pain. This imbalance in the muscles surrounding a joint is sometimes called “dysfunction” or “fixation”. If the imbalance in the joint is significant enough, it can even cause nerve injury in the area.

Thorough Examination

First, we analyze your spine. This usually involves a case history, examination and possibly x-ray pictures of your spine. We may have you turn and bend to feel how your joints move. We may also check your posture, alignment, balance and leg lengths.

If a vertebra in the spine is noted to be out of alignment, the mis-alignment can affect more than just your spine. The health of your spine directly affects your nervous system, which in term affects the functionality of muscles, organs, and other systems in the body.  A vertebral subluxation, also known as the vertebral subluxation complex, is the improper motion or position of the moving bones of the spine causing nervous system interference, thereby compromising the body’s self-healing and self-regulating potential.Image

There can be many causes of subluxations

Physical causes are acute trauma to the body or repetitive motions that affect the spine. These could include slips and falls, accidents, poor posture, improper workstation habits, repetitive motions, poor sleep positions and improper lifting.

Emotional causes refer to stresses such as grief, anger, anxiety and fear. Excessive stress and inadequate stress management have been shown in research to have significant effects on the immune system.

Chemical causes include poor diet and nutrition, alcohol or drug use, pollution and/or chemical toxins ingested in foods, air, and water.

The Adjustment

With the dysfunction of one or more joints identified, a specific manual thrust is administered. The direction, speed, depth and angle that we use are the results of experience, practice and a thorough understanding of body’s mechanics. Sometimes, the energy delivered during the thrust produces a slight “popping” sound from shifting gas and fluids in the joint. This sound is not an indicator of the value or effectiveness of the adjustment. While improving spinal biomechanics can reduce pain, virtually all joints of the body can be adjusted to help restore proper range of motion.

After Your First Adjustment

It is normal to feel anywhere from slightly sore to entirely pain-free after your first adjustment. Your body has been through a dramatic alignment change and may take some time to relax. For minor discomfort, we suggest taking a hot shower or using an ice pack on the area. However, if your pain becomes severe or unusual, please call our office or receive emergency medical attention.

My Goals

I like to focus treatment on both the neuromuscular and skeletal systems by using chiropractic manipulation, stretches, exercises, Graston Technique, KinesioTaping and acupuncture to lessen pain. Through these alternative healthcare measures, I believe that most people can avoid the dangerous side effects of drugs and surgery.

My goal is to find the root of the issue, and to improve your quality of life by treating underlying conditions, not just symptoms. I will work with you to develop a treatment plan that will provide relief and heal your current condition. I will also counsel you in preventative care and work with you to develop an on-going program to lessen pain and promote good health.

I have a true passion for what I do, and I am always learning.  I have continued my education by attending seminars and acquiring post-graduate certifications:

Yours in Health,

Dr. Reena

PS: I hope that explains things, as always if you have questions, please feel free to contact me via http://reenapathakdc.webs.com/apps/contactme/sites/show or comment below on the blog

Dr. Reena Pathak – Windsor Chiropractor – Hands on Health Chiropractic & Massage

Dr. Reena Pathak

Dr. Reena Pathak

Hi Everybody!

My name is Reena Pathak and I am a chiropractor in Windsor, Ontario.  Thank you for taking the time to check out my blog.

The goal of this blog is to allow for discussion, and to educate anyone that is interested about Chiropractic, Acupuncture, Massage, or any of the services that the office offers.

To specify, my office is located in Windsor, Ontario.  That being said, let me tell you a little about myself.

As I said, I am a chiropractor and I received my degree from the National University of Health Sciences.  In addition to having a doctor of chiropractic degree, I have a Bachelor of Science, and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Windsor. Additionally,  I have a diploma in Medical Laboratory Technology from St. Clair College.

I have always had a passion for health care and as well as teaching.  The passion for teaching  and medicine started when I was young and I used to line up all of my stuffed animals and “teach” them.  One beloved stuffed animal, a teddy bear, used to even go in bike rides with me.  If “he” got injured, I would “treat” him.

For anyone that knows me, they know I like to talk, educate and spend time to form good personal relationships with everyone.   Through a series of events, (migraines and finally seeing a chiropractor) I eventually decided on chiropractic  medicine because it had the most contact with patients and a closer bond was formed than with any other profession.  The bottom line: I would have the opportunity to educate and spend time with patients to make them well. (two of my passions).

I am hoping to have regular blogs, but what the “regular” means, I haven’t decided yet.  It may be weekly, or monthly.

If you have any questions please comment below or e-mail me at dr.reenapathak@gmail.com

Thanks for reading!

Yours in Health,

Dr. Reena Pathak