What is POTS?

What is POTS?

Ever heard of the syndrome, POTS? Most people would say no, though it has been rising in renown in the last decade. POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome) is a silent yet debilitating disease that can be near impossible for the outside world to see, let alone recognize and diagnose.

Roughly 500,000 people in the United States, between the ages of 12-50 have what is called dysautonomia. A blanket diagnosis that refers to a person’s autonomic nervous system (the body’s ability to function without conscious thought) not working.

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Do I have "Cervical Myelopathy?"

Do I have "Cervical Myelopathy?"

Cervical myelopathy, or more specifically called "cervical spondylotic myelopathy" (CSM), is the most common spinal cord disorder in those over age 55. A spine under repeated stress often undergoes degenerative processes.  This abnormal normal wear and tear, can cause a narrowing of the space through which the spinal cord passes, compressing the nerves. OUCH!  Sound like you have CSM or would like to avoid it?  We don't blame ya...

Longmont Chiropractor Dr Jay Breitlow refers to this narrowing of the spinal cord as "Subluxation".  If left untreated this disorder (both subluxation and it's chronic cousin CSM) can cause pain and possible disability.  As time goes by cervical disc degeneration, (often common, but still not normal, in those over age 40) creates a narrowing of the space between the vertebrae when the disc either shrinks or bulges. Unfortunately, this degeneration also has a tendency to accelerate if not properly addressed.

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What Does a Chiropractic Clinical Neurologist (DACAN/DACNB) Do?

What Does a Chiropractic Clinical Neurologist (DACAN/DACNB) Do?

A chiropractic clinical neurologist (DACAN/DACNB) is a member of a select group of chiropractors who have gone beyond general practice. A DACAN/DACNB specializes in the chiropractic treatment of conditions of the nervous system. In short these Chiropractors have a special certificate that involves the successful completion of a 3-year post-doctoral program. A DACAN/DACNB is something of a super-expert at treating the nervous system.  

So what does this mean to you as an average human looking to optimize your life?  We are so glad you asked...

A chiropractor, such as Longmont's very own Dr Jay and Christina Breitlow use techniques that involve an adjustment to the spine to improve the patient's overall health. In particular, he or she is trying to improve the relationship between the body's musculoskeletal and nervous systems by optimizing your structure - aka putting all bones in their proper place.

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Unrealistic Weight Loss Expectations for Gluten-Free Diets?

Unrealistic Weight Loss Expectations for Gluten-Free Diets?

Many people take up a gluten-free diet with expectations of losing weight but they may find themselves disappointed. As US News reports, "But there's no hard evidence that a gluten-free diet is appropriate for weight loss or is any more effective at whittling waistlines than other diet plans". However, the article goes on to say, "Still, cutting out gluten can lead to weight loss, since the plan forces dieters to shun high-calorie refined carbohydrates. 'Tell anyone to cut down on bread and pasta, and they're likely going to drop calories and lose weight,' Politi [Elisabetta Politi, nutrition director at the Duke Diet and Fitness Center in Durham, N.C] says.

But gluten-free is no weight-loss panacea, either. 'If you're going down the grocery aisle grabbing gluten-free cookies and pasta and bread, you probably won't be as successful.' A gluten-free brownie is still a brownie.

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Memory Foam Mattresses and Back Health: The Pros and Cons

Memory Foam Mattresses and Back Health: The Pros and Cons

Could a memory foam mattress help you get a better night's sleep? Could it help relieve your aching back? If you're not getting enough sleep every night or you're waking up every morning with a backache, you might be willing to pay almost anything to stop the suffering. But should you? It's important to start with one important idea: Everyone's body is different. Some people swear by memory foam mattresses, and some people hate them.

But first, let's examine what a memory foam mattress actually is. As the name suggests, these mattresses are made of a foam-like material that cushions the body. Designed for NASA in the mid-1960s, this material was perfect for cushioning astronauts from the heavy forces of acceleration during liftoff. The qualities of the memory foam mattress allow it to custom fit any person. The specially-made foam molds around the body, giving way to pressure and temperature to mold to each person's unique shape. The foam is designed to spring back to its original shape once the person gets up.

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Top Foods for Longmont Residents Concerned With Healthy Joints

Top Foods for Longmont Residents Concerned With Healthy Joints

Keeping our joints healthy is one of the most important things we can do to remain independent and active as we age. Life is awfully challenging for humanBEings who are immobilized by joint pain.  Captain Obvious says "it can result in reduced physical and social activity as well as a higher risk of psychological and emotional problems. "

When it comes to joint health, exercise is very important, perhaps just as important as what goes in the pie hole - but what you EAT also plays a significant part. Here are some of our Longmont area favorite joint-friendly foods:

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Are We Sitting Ourselves to Death?

Are We Sitting Ourselves to Death?

Whether we like to admit it or not, much of the technology in our lives is used, sadly, while sitting down.  As time passes and the year tick by, we are starting to see that sitting is contributing to a growing list of health problems in our society. Those who sit at a desk for long stretches of the day or sit behind the wheel of a car/truck with little or no exercise are big-time increased risk for a number of chronic health problems.

According to the Mayo Clinic, those who have such a sedentary lifestyle are in danger of things like "obesity, metabolic syndrome, increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, decreased energy, and abnormal cholesterol levels." Another study showed that those who spend a large amount of time in front of a television or other forms of screen entertainment had a 50% greater risk of death from any source.

It's not difficult to imagine why this might be the case. Greater body weight combined with lower strength, low stamina, reduced balance, little flexibility means we are seeing more humans with less agility, decreased durability, and frankly a litany of health concerns. Not even to mention the likelihood of more accidents and injuries. The same study showed a 125% greater risk of problems from cardiovascular disease.

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5 Exercise Tips for Better Posture

5 Exercise Tips for Better Posture

"Good posture" is more than an indication of whether you paid attention as a kid when your parents admonished you to "Stand up straighter" or "Don't slump your shoulders like that". Posture is the position in which you naturally hold your body when you are standing, sitting, and even lying down.

"Good posture" is what you do to maintain the correct alignment of your body parts.  This means you are supported by the right amounts of muscle tension against the pull of gravity. Most of us normally give no thought to our posture. Our muscles tend to "do it for us," without us even thinking about it.

The problem with this largely unconscious process is that over time our muscles can become weak or improperly trained to hold our bodies in less than an optimum position. This is bad-news-bears because proper posture helps us to keep our bones in correct alignment so that their supporting muscles are used correctly

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What you need to know about a "Pinched Nerve"

What you need to know about a "Pinched Nerve"

A "pinched nerve" refers to a condition in which a nerve is compressed by surrounding tissue, such as ligament, cartilage, tendon or bone. The term "pinched nerve" is not a standard medical expression, but it's an intuitive expression that almost anyone will understand.  And frankly it's a term I don't love.  The "better" term to use in my chiropractic world is "Subluxation". 

You see, the spinal cord radiates down from the brain, down your spine and where the nerves start is all the little "off-ramps" from the spine to all other parts of the body. Signals are sent from and to the brain along these neuro-superhighways, and if a nerve is compressed/pinched/SUBLUXATED, it will interfere with proper signal transmission.

After the subluxation has been there for a LONG time it will manifest as pain, not only at the site of compression, but also radiating from that point to surrounding parts of the body - including the organs. The reason why I say "a long time" is because only 90-95% of the nerve system transmits pain, depending on which research article you are reading. Once that misalignment of the spine (aka subluxation) has pinched nerves long enough is when you get that grey-cloud- day when the back pain shows up.  As the subluxation gets more "pinchy" and chronic with time it often turns into a deadening ache or sensitivity along your arms (aka cervical radiculopathy) or legs (the notorious sciatica). Any pain of this sort is a warning signal that there is a problem that should be treated right away!  Like last week!

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Chiropractic Care for Herniated Discs?

Chiropractic Care for Herniated Discs?

One of the most painful causes of lower back pain occurs when the spinal discs in the lumbar area become "herniated." A herniated disc happens when the soft inner core between the bones bulges out into the spine.  This places pressure on the spinal nerve root, and often the spinal cord itself!  OUCH!   The result can be pain in the lower back as well as numbness, tingling, or weakness in the legs and buttocks.  DOUBLE OUCH!

Medical doctors tend to treat acutely herniated disks with oral steroids and epidural injections of cortisone, both of which have limited success rates and adverse side effects. Recently, however, a major study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiologic Therapeutics has found that both chronic and acute herniated disks can be effectively treated by chiropractic adjustments. Woohoo!

The year-long study followed 148 patients whose lumbar herniations had been confirmed by MRI scans. All patients suffered from a form of back pain, sciatica, and radiating leg symptoms, and 79 of them had experienced these symptoms without noticeable relief for over three months. The patients in the study were treated with chiropractic adjustments appropriate for their individual cases, characterized by the researchers as "high-velocity, low-amplitude spinal manipulation." This is what your Longmont Chiropractors at New Leaf Chiropractic do! Triple WOOHOO!

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Understanding Inflammation

Understanding Inflammation

Inflammation is a natural part of the body's own self-healing mechanism, but is widely misunderstood and misrepresented in the popular press. First, many people confuse the term inflammation with infection-the two are not the same, although infection often causes the inflammation.

Inflammation is the body's reaction to the presence of harmful stimuli such as injury, damaged cells, pathogens, or irritants. It manifests as pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function in the inflamed area, but these symptoms are actually part of the body's own healing process, and an attempt to expel the harmful stimuli

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Keep Your Spine In Mind

Just because you can't see it doesn't make it any less important. Include regular chiropractic care to keep your nervous system functioning at its best. 

Just because you can't see it doesn't make it any less important. Include regular chiropractic care to keep your nervous system functioning at its best.