Word of the Day: Telomere

January 28, 2010

Telomeres

Telomeres are the little white ends

What if I told you one of the most important words in your health vocabulary should be telomere.  Let me give you a quick definition and you should immediately understand what I am talking about.  A telomere is the end of a chromosome. These specialized structures are involved in the replication and stability of linear DNA molecules.

Wait….what?

In all seriosness, anti aging experts now believe that telomeres may be the key to staying young and more importantly staying healthy.  What the experts now know is when the telomere shortens the cell it is living in dies.  This is important in that cell death can lead to serious disease as well as pre mature aging.

The experts are now focusing creating therapies to lengthen already shortened telomeres or even better yet, how to prevent them from shortening in the first place.

What have they found works well in preventing telomere shortening….Exercise.  Research shows that people who exercise have less erosion of their telomeres than people who are healthy but are not very active.

Last post I encouraged people to get out and vote.  This post I am encouraging you to just plain get out and get moving….your telomeres are depending on it.

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Get out the Vote!

January 11, 2010

First off, please accept my apologies for the space between posts.  Between the holidays and the start of high school hockey I have slacked here…no more I promise.  For those of you who are interested I coach a high school hockey team and you can follow our progress either through our website (www.ccchsboyshockey.com) or follow us on twitter where we live update the games between periods (www.twitter.com/cchsboyshockey).

While I have always refrained from talking politics in the office, I feel very passionately about the upcoming Massachusetts state election on January 19th, 2010.  The two candidates are:

Martha Coakley www.marthacoakley.com

Scott Brown, www.brownforussenate.com

This election will be crucial in the health care debate.

Ms. Coakley in a word is for the health care plan that is being voted on, while Mr. Brown in a word is against this plan.

While I don’t judge and do not want to turn this into a political debate, I would encourage everyone to take a few minutes out of their day and research both the pros and cons of the current health care plan that is being proposed.

For sure there are no easy answers.  While most people would agree that more people under insurance care is better, others would ask how are we going to pay for this.  These are all issues that you should research before you head to the poll on the 19th.

Given how close the health care vote is sure to be, many national political pundits believe that the winner of the Mass election may be the swing vote in whether or not this plan gets passed, it is imperative that we get out and show not just the state, but the entire country that we care and are passionate about electing our leaders.

Please do your homework and get out and vote on the 19th!


Case of the Month October 2009

October 26, 2009

Mrs. X presented to the office with bilateral carpal tunnel.

First a little background.  Carpal tunnel is a common term for pain in the wrist.  For many years it was assumed that because the pain was in the wrist, then the problem was originating in the wrist.  Chiropractors have worked to show there may be other factors that influence the pain in the wrist, including neck misalignment, muscle spasm and joint misalignment.

Back to the patient.  Mrs. X reported no significant history of trauma.  She did report that she spent between 8 and 1o hours at the computer, with about half of that on a laptop.  When asked to reproduce her work position I noted there was significant leaning forward with a lot of slumping of the shoulders.

Examination showed significant restrictions in the neck and muscle spasm in the shoulders and forearms.  X-Ray exam showed a 7 degree curve in the neck, where 45 is ideal and 36mm of forward head carriage.

After going through my findings with Mrs. X I suggested a 5 visit trial where I would get to see how she responded to the care and she would determine if this course of care was for her.  Care consisted of neck and midback adjustments, extension traction and trigger point therapy.  After evaluating the wrists, I made the decision to not mobilize the wrists as I judged they were already moving well.

On the first visit I asked Mrs. X to rate the pain in the wrists, it came in at a 7.  I adjusted Mrs. X, had her stretch and worked on the muscle spasm in the forearms.  This went on for 5 visits.

At the beginning of the fifth visit, Mrs. X reported her wrist pain had improved to a 3!!!  As excited as she was about this, her objective changes were what was getting me fired up.  The muscle spasm in the forearms was significantly better, the restrictions in the neck were clearing up and I was even seeing a change in her posture.

This is a classic example of the pain being in one area but the problem located in another area.

If you would like to see a research report that shows chiropractic as effective as taking a bunch of pain killers for carpal tunnel click here.  Please remember, what we did with Mrs. X involved no drugs, which for sure saved some wear and tear on the liver, stomach, etc.