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Numbness and Tingling in Your Hands? Visit Your Neighborhood Chiropractor

Our spinal columns could be viewed as an electrical central relay system. Our brain, a biological computer, is directly connected to the “electrical wiring” of the spinal column and through it communicates wit the rest of the body.

When we feel tingling in the hands or fingers it is often a sign that there is some type of nerve compression along the nerve signal path from the brain to the fingers or hands. Often this problem begins with the vertebrae in your neck. Sometimes the hand or finger tingling is just something innocuous and relatively harmless, such as sleeping on your arm overnight.

Leaving your arm in a static position for an extended period of time can also cause the tingling sensations. Many people, at one time or another, have accidentally hit their “funny bone” near the elbow joint. This is simply a nerve plexus concentration area. While painful and causing arm or hand numbness, the sensation quickly dissipates as the nerve signals are restored to normal. But any time there is an extended period of time where the hands or fingers constantly tingle, there could be more serious underlying medical problems, and you should consult your doctor and/or chiropractor.

image of a tingling handsPotential causes of tingling in the hands or fingers could be due to any of the following; herniated disc , shingles or herpes zoster infection, injury to the nerve from infection, migraines, diabetes, stroke, seizures,  under-active thyroid, lack of vitamin B-12, multiple sclerosis, radiation therapy, animal bites, insect, tick, or spider bites, and seafood toxins. But for the majority of cases, a compression or restriction in the nerves of the neck or shoulders could be the source of the problem.

You may even be able to relieve the tension of the neck muscles by doing simple neck stretching exercises. A lot of tension is built up in the neck area, just from day to day living. Our specially trained Garland chiropractor can perform basic neck, shoulder, back and spinal manipulations to alleviate the nerve compression.

Your wrist has eight different bones, and any bone that isn’t working properly can cause nerve pressure or compression, leading to carpal tunnel syndrome. Our chiropractors will make sure that all those bones are in their proper configuration, and in many cases the result will be instant relief from any hand, finger, joint pain in the immediate area..

Sometimes the tingling in the hands or fingers could be caused by a compression of nerves in the chest area. Routinely stretching the pectoral muscles should help to relieve the problem, as will a chiropractic adjustment. Therapeutic massage:  done within our clinic or at a massage clinic of your choice will also help to keep the muscles and fascia loose and relaxed.

Here’s a  simple exercise that can performed at home. Stand in a corner of the room. Lift your arms so that your elbows are aligned with your shoulders and your hands are facing forwards. Next, place each hand on either side of the corner.  Now slowly lean in toward the corner. You will feel a stretch in the pectoral or chest muscles. Hold that position for three minutes. Perform this exercise twice daily for two weeks, and this may relieve any nerve compression through the chest area, which should decrease the tingling sensation.

Our doctors may also recommend using ices pack to relieve the inflammation, swelling, and numbness.

It’s important to understand that there a wide variety of potential causes of tingling in the hands or fingers. Nerve compression cases with most people  are relatively benign, but it’s important to get a full assessment from either your medical doctor and/or chiropractor, to ensure proper treatment for your individual case.

Our Garland chiropractic clinic is medically integrated and includes the services of a Nurse Practitioner, two Chiropractors, Massage Therapists and exercise rehab. If you’re feeling tingly, achy or stiff, we may have what you need to feel better.

Give us a call today to schedule an appointment. We have convenient office hours and work most Saturday morning. We accept all major commercial insurance plans and have affordable cash rates as well.

Heartburn Pain: Why Proton Pump Inhibitors Are Not Your Safest Option

Many people suffer from “Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)”, a complicated name for a chronic digestive disease. GERD results when stomach acid, pepsin and bile back up into the esophagus. This is “acid indigestion”, or, more commonly, heartburn. Because your esophagus runs down the center of your chest and behind the breastbone, that burning sensation can feel like it’s surrounding your heart, which is how the term “heartburn” came about.

Image of man with heartburn painThe burning heartburn pain from acidic influx often extends into the abdomen and the throat. The intrusion of very powerful stomach acid onto the sensitive esophagus and throat tissues is a misery! It can cause health issues such as ulcers, chronic coughing, vomiting, weight loss, difficulty swallowing, wheezing or hoarseness, and the unpleasant sensation of a lump in your throat!

Our Garland Chiropractic Clinic wants you to feel your best and live a pain free, active life. This is one of the reasons we offer a range of nutritional options that can reduce or eliminate the discomfort of heartburn pain.

What Causes Heartburn Pain?

There is a narrow band of muscle located around the base of your esophagus called the “esophageal sphincter.” When this sphincter relaxes, food and liquid can enter your stomach. Once food is safely in the stomach, the muscle retightens. This is the body’s simple, direct means of protecting the esophagus from the stomach.

It’s the health of the esophageal sphincter that prevents, or causes, acid indigestion. If something happens to the sphincter that either makes it relax abnormally or makes it weak, reflux and heartburn pain can occur. An open sphincter is an easy route for fluids to flow back up the esophagus. The influx is even worse when you bend over or lie down.image of gastroesophageal-disease

Stress, anxiety, and fear have long been linked with heartburn symptoms. In addition, the risk of heartburn increases for people who are overweight or pregnant. With more than 36% of Americans being overweight, heartburn is a major issue across the country!

The initial trigger for heartburn pain in some people results from the types of food and drink they consume, including but not limited to:

  • Spicy foods like peppers
  • Chocolate
  • Peppermint
  • Citrus products
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Vinegar
  • Tomato products like ketchup or salsa
  • Fatty foods
  • Fried foods
  • Alcohol, caffeinated beverages like coffee, tea or soda, and carbonated beverages
  • Large high-fat meals

Problems with Proton Pump Inhibitors

When faced with heartburn many people reach for over the counter antacids. When that doesn’t work, people will often turn to their doctors for a prescription. One of the most common categories of drugs used for heartburn are  proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), which directly block the millions of tiny pumps in your stomach that generate acid.

One commonly known proton pump inhibitor is Prilosec. Ideally, this drug should only be taken once a day for two weeks.

Absorption of the drug doesn’t begin until it reaches the intestine, about an hour after being swallowed. The drug isn’t a quick relief for heartburn, instead providing more substantial relief over a longer period of time. PPIs are usually eliminated from the body within 90 minutes of absorption, but their effect continues for more than 24 hours.

PPIs are effective as a treatment for ulcers, improve pancreatic enzyme absorption, provide healing of erosive esophagitis, and prevent stricture formation.

However, there are side effects. Many people tend to use the drug for relief long after the recommended two week cycle, and the longer it is used, the more PPIs reduce stomach acid. It doesn’t matter that PPIs don’t remain in the blood for very long. The problem is the manner in which they bind to proton pumps is irreversible! That affect suppresses the body’s capacity to absorb necessary minerals, including iron, magnesium and B-12.

Here is a list of many adverse effects that can develop from long term use of PPIs:

  • increases the risk of wrist, hip or spine fractures
  • acute pancreatitis
  • anxiety
  • cough
  • depression
  • drug toxin-related hepatitis
  • erythema multiforme
  • flu-like symptoms
  • myalgia
  • Stevens-Johnson syndrome
  • thrombocytopenia
  • toxic epidermal necrolysis
  • ulcerative colitis
  • upper respiratory hypersensitivity reaction
  • upper respiratory infection
  • vomiting
  • reduced kidney function
  • may mask the symptoms of stomach cancer
  • may increase infections in the colon
  • may increase the risk of heart attacks
  • allergic reactions

Of great concern is how PPIs suppress stomach acid keeps ingested microorganisms from being destroyed. This allows them to reach the intestines, which can significantly alter the bacterial balance in the Gastrointestinal (G.I.) tract. That imbalance leads to an increase in bacterial strains dangerous to the system, such as streptococcus. This type of bacteria causes diarrhea and abdominal pain. These bacteria also increase the colon’s susceptibility to serious infections from clostridium difficile, a bacterium that releases toxins into the linings of the intestine.

Considering the potential side effects from long term use, it’s important to keep PPI usage to low doses and short duration. In fact, the best approach is, when possible, to avoid PPIs altogether.

Alternatives for Better Digestive Health

Dr. Ellen Cutler, DC, author of MicroMiracles: Discover the Healing Power of Enzymes” states:

image of fresh vegetables“Even if you eat good food every day, if you don’t digest it properly, undigested food can actually seep from the small intestine into the bloodstream, and the immune system reacts.”

Lack of energy and digestive discomfort are among the first symptoms of poor digestion, but there are many others: craving certain foods; weight gain; thyroid problems; bloating, heartburn, gas, indigestion or burping after meals; constipation or diarrhea; hair that is dull, thinning, or falling out; lackluster skin; weak or cracked nails; trouble getting up in the morning; sleep problems; arthritis or joint pain; feeling too tired to exercise; depression; mood swings; headaches or migraines; ADHD; rashes; hives; hot flashes; PMS; and, sometimes, fertility problems. Poor digestion also speeds up the aging process.

Just knowing the consequences of poor digestion encourages us to seek a remedy.

With our patients we use two powerful nutrients in a combination approach. Okra Pepsin, produced by Standard Process, works to soothe the symptoms of heartburn pain, while professional grade digestive enzymes, help the body by supplying dietary enzymes their body might be lacking.

The Power of Digestive Enzymes:

• Digestive enzymes help convert food into nutrients that produce energy in our bodies. They also work to repair and support our physical structures and their functions.
• Digestive enzymes are safe for adults and children.
• Raw fruits and vegetables contain the essential digestive enzymes needed.
• Many Americans don’t consume enough raw fruits and vegetables; therefore, enzyme supplements are beneficial.

Our digestive enzyme supplements contains all the enzymes required for a healthy digestive system.

The Okra Pepsin made by whole food supplement leader, Standard Process, includes okra, fat extracts from alfalfa, sunflower seeds, carrot roots, buckwheat, pea vine, gelatin, milk, water, and soy. This supplement supports the intestinal function of mucosal tissues and bowels, and provides a good bowel cleansing. It is excellent for easing gastric aches and heartburn pain.

Lifestyle Tips for Better Digestion

In addition to taking our recommended supplements, you might also want to make certain changes in your lifestyle and diet. Try to avoid stress, but if you can’t, work to reduce its influence by relaxing more often, getting more sleep, exercising, or engaging in an activity that calms you. Avoid foods that bother your stomach, and don’t eat within two to three hours of bedtime. Also important, chew your food thoroughly. As you chew you produce saliva. Your saliva contains key enzymes which start the process of digesting fats and starches.

Eating should be an enjoyable activity. Don’t let the unpleasant effects of heartburn pain make your life miserable! Contact us today to learn how these two supplements can help your enjoy your meals again.

Keeping Your Balance as You Age: 5 Simple Exercises for Seniors

Balance is important in every stage of your life. It allows you to walk with grace, easily see your surrounding and stay pointed in the right direction. Balance allows you to make automatic adjustments to your posture and stability during every activity.

exercising womenBalance is achieved via a set of  ‘sensorimotor control systems’, which includes input from your vision, touch, and vestibular system. The vestibular system involves equilibrium, motion, and spatial orientation. All that sensory input is directed to the muscles of your eyes and body.

Any one of those sensory components can be negatively affected by disease, Injury, certain prescription medications, or—that undeniable part of our life cycle—aging.

How Age Affects Balance

Balance problems as we age usually result from deteriorations in our sensory and muscular functions. After all, many people begin to exercising and move much less after middle age. Here are a few common reasons seniors are more susceptible to falls:

  • Vision decreases;
  • The legs and hips weaken, making walking difficult;
  • Spinal degeneration or the posture becomes poor and it’s difficult to stand up straight;
  • Often people can lift their feet like they used to, increasing the likelihood of stumbling;
  • Our reactions slow when we encounter a physical obstacle, which can cause a fall;
  • Prescription medicines can cause dizziness or affect balance;
  • Low blood pressure can cause light-headedness that increases the risk of falling.

For these reasons it’s a good idea for seniors to begin a gentle exercise program that addresses strength, endurance, and balance. Even a small amount of targeted exercise can help restore good balance.

Simple Exercises for Seniors

The main muscle groups should be exercised several days a week, including the legs and arms, shoulders, chest and abdomen.

Staying safe while retraining the balance system is critical. Before beginning any kind of physical program, check with your doctor to be certain you or your family member’s balance problems aren’t the result of disease or infection. Make sure you or your family member aren’t alone while performing these exercises. Start slowly! There’s no hurry and it will take time for balance to return.

• Single Limb Stance
This is an exercise for seniors that can be done with either a chair or a counter to hold onto. An armless chair from the kitchen or dining room is good. Wear shoes with a smooth bottom so they don’t catch on the floor.

This is an excellent exercise to strengthen the hips and ankles. Keep your body weight over your ankles as you stand with your feet together and your arms as your side. Steady yourself with one hand on the back of the chair, which should be placed a bit to the side and in front of you. Bend the knee of the leg that’s closest to the chair, raising your foot back behind you so you’re balancing on the other foot. Hold that position for 10 seconds, then move over and do the same thing with the other foot.

Work up to standing on one foot for a full minute, and lessen your need to use the chair (or counter) by eventually using only a finger, then letting go completely.

• Eye Tracking
The exercises below helps the eyes track, and assists in the visual and vestibular systems, which in turns improves postural stability.

If you get dizzy while doing the exercise below, stop, sit, take a drink of water and look straight ahead until you feel better.

Begin by bending your elbow and holding your thumb in front of your face. It’s as simple as that. Now, move your thumb to the right, tracking it with your eyes until you can’t see it. Don’t move your head! Move your thumb back to the left until you can’t see it. Lift your thumb up, drop it down—track only with the eyes and not your head.

Now hold your thumb at arm’s length. Repeat the tracking exercise; this time follow the movements of your thumb with your eyes and your head.

Clock reach
This exercise is to designed to improve standing balance by strengthening hip and ankle muscles. It will also add motion range to the upper body and shoulders. Hold onto a chair to avoid a fall. If you want to add to the workout, use a one pound wrist weight.

As you hold onto the chair with your left hand, visualize a giant clock at your right side. Think of the 12, 3, and 6 o’clock positions. Stand tall, lift your right leg and balance on your left leg. Bring your right arm up to the 12 o’clock point then circle your arm back to the 3 o’clock. Don’t reach back too far because it might strain your shoulder. Now go to the 6 o’clock position. Repeat on the other side.

Staggered Stance
This is to strengthen the ankles so they can help keep the center of gravity, which improves standing balance. Remember your chair!

Start with your feet together and hands at your sides. Step forward on the right foot and stand that way for 10 seconds. Now alternate by placing the other foot in front of you. If you need more accuracy, put tape on the floor to guide your feet. To make it more difficult, close your eyes. Or try twisting at the waist. For a really big challenge, do it standing on a pillow.
And don’t do it alone!

• Knee Marching
One final exercise. This is a mild cardio exercise that also addresses leg weakness and helps your ‘moving’ balance.

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and arms at your sides. Lift one knee as high as you can and still be comfortable. Lower that leg and lift the other knee. You’re marching in place. Repeat the knee lifts 20 times on each side. Keep the chair or counter close.

Older people can achieve better balance and reduce their risk of falling by faithfully working to improve the strength in their ankles and hips, and by moving their arms to build flexibility in the upper body and shoulders. These 5 simple exercises for seniors will help you do just that.

If you would like to learn about our customized programs of exercise rehab, please contact Texas Spine & Wellness. Our doctors can help you achieve your goals and feel your best!

Garland Chiropractor | 5 Ways to Avoid the Damaging Effects of Poor Posture

Anyone who spends much time behind a desk, needs to consider how their posture may be affecting their back health. People who sit for long periods of time are at greater risk of a back injury.

Garland Chiropractor on Ergonomic Office Furniture

Now, many companies are beginning to recognize spinal health as a new area of safety management. This not only shows concern for employee’s welfare, and ergonomically designed work space can be a cost saving measure as well. In many cases, the employer will reap immediate rewards by employees taking fewer sick days and incurring less work related injuries.

If you’d like to make your own workstation better for your back health, follow the tips offered by Garland chiropractor, Dr. James Mixon:

  • Avoid slumping or slouching forward in your office chair – This type of posture can add stress to the discs in the spine and may create problems over time. As you grow tired, the natural tendency is to slouch. The best way to avoid this is to adjust the lumbar support on the back of your chair, so that your lower back is arched forward slightly and your rear touches the back of the chair.
  • Adjust the armrest – If your office chair has an armrest, use it. To help take strain off of your shoulders and neck, raise the armrest so that it barely lifts your arms at the shoulder.
  • Adjust your computer monitor – Your computer monitor should be positioned so that your gaze rests comfortably on the middle of the monitor. If you find that you must look up or down at the screen, it should be adjusted to prevent neck strain.
  • Let your feet touch the floor – Adjust your chair so that you feet touch the floor and your thighs are positioned at a 45 degree angle (or slightly lower) to your hips.
  • Get up and stretch – Even if you have a comfortable, ergonomically designed work station, you should not remain seated in one position for a long period of time. As a rule of thumb, try to get up every 30 minutes. Stretch for a minute or so, take a a restroom break or a walk to the water cooler. Even a small amount of movement will in increase blood flow and help you avoid muscle strain.

If, after a long day at the office you find yourself trying to work out stiff, achy muscles or a throbbing backache, consider this… Pain is a warning indicator. It’s your body’s way of alerting you to a situation that should be addressed.

Many people camouflage the body’s symptoms by taking pain relievers or by using over the counter analgesic creams or patches. Others look for relief through exercise or massage. However, if the underlying spinal joints are not working properly, it can be like driving a truck with misaligned wheels.

Pain is a warning indicator. It’s your body’s way of alerting you to a situation that should be addressed.

It is important to get to the root cause of neck and back pain. In many cases this can be as simple as realigning the spinal vertebrae. This is where chiropractic treatment can be extremely effective. Chiropractic adjustments can help improve spinal functions. This natural treatment option is safe and gentle and is used by millions of people each year.

Even with the best prevention, there are times when many of us will find ourselves experiencing neck, shoulder, knee or back pain and in need of a Garland chiropractor. So if you find yourself in this position, don’t just mask the symptoms. Instead, consult a local chiropractor. Garland residents can turn to the team at Texas Spinal Health.

Every day, Garland chiropractor, Dr. Mixon, along with his staff members, help people get swift relief from neck pain, back pain, and joint paint, as well as headaches and migraines.

The advanced therapies offered through Texas Spinal Health ensure that you’ll also have access to specialized treatments such as spinal decompression therapy, laser therapy and therapeutic massage.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation, exam and treatment with Dr. Mixon.

To learn more ways our Garland Chiropractor can help you feel your best, return to our home page.

Explore the Benefits of Massage Therapy at Texas Spinal Health

Massage therapy is a time honored healing art. Not only does it feel fantastic, but it really does help muscles to heal and reduces pain and stress.

a massage therapy in garlandHere at our Garland chiropractor’s office, massage therapy is used to ease the pain after a traumatic injury, and to loosen the musculature before a chiropractic adjustment. Our patients report that they feel much more relaxed after a massage, have a lot less pain, and that they are more limber and flexible too. The calming effects of a massage have been noted as well. It’s a wonderful therapy for people who are really stressed out and need to relax and let go of all their built up tension.

Massage therapy dates back almost 300 years, when the Chinese started documenting its use. The great philosopher, Hippocrates, has been credited with many papers on the subject and its ability to heal, and today the benefits of massage are known around the world. In most countries massage therapy is an accepted part of any rehab program, and is valuable for ailments ranging from low-back pain to high blood pressure, arthritis, fatigue, depression and much more.

Chiropractic and massage therapy are great together as they complement each other beautifully. Chiropractic helps to put the spinal bones back into their proper position while massage helps to calm muscles that have been stressed out due to nerve compression that the misaligned bones were causing. If you’re familiar with the Chinese concept of Zen, massage therapy and chiropractic are very similar to yin and yang and are both helpful for healing.

If you have any questions about our Garland massage therapy services, please give us a call. After a session with our wonderful massage therapist, you’ll be glad you did.

To learn more ways massage therapy and our Garland chiropractor can help you feel your best, return to our home page.