Sinus Troubles: S’not What You Think

Chronic Sinus Trouble
Do you wake up with a stuffy head and mucus in your throat or nose? Do you feel as
if you always have a cold or that your last cold never left you? Do you have a chronic
“postnasal drip”? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, then you may be
suffering from sinusitis – an inflammation of the sinuses. Your sinuses (Latin for
“hollow”) can refer to any cavity or sac in your body. Here we are referring to eight
spaces in the cranial bones of your forehead and around your nose. Sinuses help you
to breathe, yet when they get inflamed and fill up with mucus it seems that healthy
breathing is the one thing they prevent.
What is Mucus?
It’s the butt of jokes and may be considered one of our less pleasant secretions and
yet mucus, that sticky, elastic, unappealing gel is nothing less than one of the
greatest protections that we have against infection and poisoning. Your nose, throat
and sinuses are line with mucus to help ensure that your air is moist, warm and free
from dust, dirt and pollutants; without this filtering gel your lungs and kidneys, and
even your blood, could fill with toxins.
There can be too much of a good thing. When too much mucus fills the sinus linings
the condition is called sinusitis. When too much mucus only involves the nose or
throat it’s called rhinitis and may mimic a cold.
Causes of Sinusitis & Rhinitis
Anything that irritates the sensitive mucus membranes can be a contributing factor
to sinusitis (or rhinitis): dust, mold or pollen, fumes, viri or bacteria, and hot or dry
air in buildings. Allergy sufferers often have sinus symptoms because of many
allergens first irritate the nasal passages. Less common causes of sinusitis are bony
growths, nasal polyps, deviated septum, facial injuries, tumors or diseases of the
upper teeth.
Treatment for Chronic Sinus Troubles
Drugstores are filled with all kinds of sinus remedies. The standard medical
treatment for sinusitis and rhinitis are the promotion of drainage and treatment
with decongestants, antibiotics and antihistamines. There are also other
complimentary therapies that can help alleviate sinus troubles. Many of them
include the use of a netti pot, breathing in moist air with essential oils, acupuncture,
massage and chiropractic. Although some of the complimentary therapies like
massage, nutritional counseling (removal of mucus producing foods), acupuncture

and chiropractic don’t treat the sinus trouble directly; they do bring relief for many
people who suffer from chronic sinus problems! How do those therapies work?
They work by relieving stress on the nervous and structural systems, helping your
body work more efficiently. Further, chiropractic care specifically ensures that the
bones in the neck and upper cervical region move freely and ‘breathe’ permitting
body fluids to drain without interference. Additionally much research has been done
on the benefits of chiropractic adjustments for children suffering from chronic ear
infections and sinus troubles, many times saving them from going through rounds of
antibiotics and having ear tubes placed in their head.
Anyone suffering from sinusitis, rhinitis, chronic ear infections, or other respiratory
problems should see a chiropractor for a check up where alternative therapy can be
prescribed and combined with traditional therapy to get the best results possible!


Stop The Beating (In My Head)

What Puts the Ache in Headaches?


The ache in headache does not come from your brain- your brain cannot feel pain. During brain surgery a patient is often wide-awake feeling nothing, even talking to the surgeons and nurses while his/her brain is being operated on (a local anesthesia numbs the scalp). So what puts the ‘ache’ in headache? It’s the non-brain structures: blood vessels, membranes and cranial nerves in the brain and skull and often times structures in the neck as well. When these structures are stretched, compressed, irritated, inflamed or infected, headaches often result.


The Headache Free Approach to Headaches


Anyone who suffers from headaches knows how debilitating they can be and often time headaches come during the worst of moments interfering with life. The typical treatment is to reach for over the counter medicines, feel better, then repeat for the next headache circuit. Over time and with repeated use even over the counter medicine like Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Excedrin and Aleve can have detrimental side effects causing harm to major organs such as the liver and kidneys. It’s important to recognize the need for a change if you find yourself or a loved one always reaching for medicine to help their headache and not reaching for answers and solutions to their problem. So here are the hard facts about headaches: the majority of headaches can be treated naturally and safely through physical medicine practices. Physical medicine practices focus on finding the cause of the headache and addressing the root problem through a variety of physical (non-pill) approaches!


How Well Does Physical Medicine Work for Treating Headaches?


In a randomized controlled trial performed at the University of Odense, Denmark, those under physical medical care decreased their use of painkillers by 36% and the number of headache hours per day decreased by 69% (Nilsson N, Christensen HW, Hartvigsen). The effect of spinal manipulation in the treatment of cervicogenic headache. JMPT. 199;20:326-330) Some patients report dramatic relief after just one treatment and most patients find resolution of their headaches by following customized treatment recommendations. The aim of treatment is to find which non-brain structure is causing the headache and then treating the cause, not just chasing a symptom.


What about Hormone Related Headaches?


Menses, menopause, thyroid induced headaches got you beating your beating head against the wall? If there is a non-physical (nerve, muscle) reason for your headaches those can be helped too! There are natural approaches other than harsh hormone replacement therapies (HRT) to helping headaches related to these conditions. A board certified specialist in holistic medicine, Dr. Edward Pearson, MD has had incredible success in treating hormonal imbalances and tough to balance thyroid problems through gentle, natural ways that will rejuvenate your life!


A Disc You Want To Know About!

Between your spinal bones (vertebrae) are flexible, gel-like pads called “discs” (intervertebral discs) that give your spine its curve and flexibility (a curved, flexible spine is much stronger than a straight rigid one). Spinal discs are often times involved in lower back pain.


Disc Problems


As you age, your discs may lose fluid and small cracks or lesions may form in the outer walls. This damage may also be caused or accelerated by the presence of subluxations, a distortion in your structural system that chiropractors can correct. Your disc may bulge, irritate the nerves and cause lots of pain and discomfort. In severe cases disc damage may affect sitting, standing, walking or lifting and cause pain when sneezing, defecating or coughing. Numbness and/or tingling of the leg or foot or a loss of muscular control may also occur.


Can I find Relief from my Disc Problem?


If you know you have a disc problem or think your back pain may be due to a disc there are many different options for treatment depending on the type of damage. Some disc problems do end up in surgery, but the majority of disc problems are effectively treated through conservative care (Physical therapy, Chiropractic, Local Injections) measures.


Can I Prevent Disc Problems?


Improved mechanics of muscle and bone movement can prevent abnormal wear and tear and disc problems, so yes, disc problems and back pain can be prevented.  If you already have a disc problem or think you have one then conservative care, specifically chiropractic and physical therapy, can help you regain your life back from spine and disc problems. Other benefits of getting care for your spine (discs, vertebrae and nerves) is that you will feel and see improvements throughout your whole body! Conservative care is not limited to back and disc problems; it is for your entire body. Many times patients visiting their physical medicine clinic for a back or a neck problem have been pleasantly surprised at the holistic or whole-body effect of chiropractic and physical therapy. Why wait until a disc becomes ‘hot’ before exploring conservative care measures, prevention is the key.


Prevention is the Best Medicine.


Chiropractic and physical therapy care may help prevent your spine from deterioration and herniation. Conservative care practitioners have even helped people relieve the pain and frustration of failed back surgery. Please, before your problems get worse, have a simple spinal check up. You get your eyes, teeth and blood pressure checked, why not your spine?


Do I use heat or ice on an injury?

The short answer is both.  Ice is typically used for a newly injured, swollen tissue, and/or muscle spasm to reduce inflammation. Heat is typically used for stiffness and muscle pain greater than 72 hours post injury.

Ice is typically used for a newly injured, swollen tissue, and/or muscle spasm to reduce inflammation. It can be applied for 20 minutes at a time no more often than every 2 hours. Icing is most effective when the area is rested, iced, compressed, and elevated.

Heat is typically used for stiffness and muscle pain greater than 72 hours post injury. Heat promotes blood flow to the affected area in order to heal and decrease muscle tension. This therapy can be applied for 20 minutes no more often than every 2 hours.


Natural Stress Reduction Tips

Question: How Do I Reduce Stress Naturally?

Answer: Get out, smell the roses, relax, laugh, and get a support system.

Natural Stress Reduction 101

Get Out and Enjoy Nature

natural stress reliefWhile modern civilization has made our lives more convenient, it has deprived us of an essential source of stress reduction and relief—connection with nature. Studies show that interacting with nature can help lessen the effects of stress on the nervous system, reduce attention deficits, decrease aggression, and enhance spiritual well-being.

“Smell the Roses” for Better Mood

Aromatherapy, or smelling essential plant oils, recognized worldwide as a complementary therapy for managing chronic pain, depression, anxiety, insomnia, and stress-related disorders, can help you unwind. Orange and lavender scents, in particular, have been shown to enhance relaxation and reduce anxiety.

Relax with a Cup of Tea

During stressful times, coffee helps us keep going. To give yourself a break, however, consider drinking tea. Research shows that drinking tea for 6 weeks helps lower post-stress cortisol and increase relaxation improving your stress reduction. Habitual tea drinking may also reduce inflammation, potentially benefiting your heart health.

Laugh It Off

Humor relieves stress and anxiety and prevents depression, helping put our troubles in perspective. Laughter can help boost the immune system, increase pain tolerance, enhance mood and creativity, and lower blood pressure, potentially improving treatment outcomes for many health problems, including cancer and HIV. Humor may also be related to happiness, which has been linked to high self-esteem, extroversion, and feeling in control.

Build a Support System

stress reduction by support systemRelationships are also key to health and happiness, especially for women. Women with low social support, for example, are more likely to increase blood pressure under stress. Loneliness may also contribute to stress in both men and women, also leading to poorer outcomes after a stroke or congestive heart failure. On the other hand, active and socially involved seniors are at lower risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Social support also helps cancer patients to boost the immune system and maintain a higher quality of life all which promoting stress reduction.


Peripheral Neuropathy

Do you suffer from pain, numbness, tingling or burning in the hands or feet? Been treated without success? Been told to “live with it?” Tired of taking drugs that don’t fix the problem? Have you been diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy?

Peripheral Neuropathy is the term used to describe disease and death of the peripheral nerves – the ones that control your arms, legs, hands and feet.  Even though over 20 million people in the US suffer with peripheral neuropathy, information is hard to come by and mainstream treatments only manage symptoms at best. Peripheral neuropathy is not just a disease of diabetics, many people using statin pills, also known as ‘cholesterol drugs’, are affected and millions of others have no explanation as to why they have peripheral neuropathy. Idiopathic (unknown origin) peripheral neuropathy is perhaps the most frustrating type to have and most difficult to treat.

A diagnosis of neuropathy means different things to different people. To some neuropathy means daily pills that treat symptoms and not the cause, anti seizure medications like gabapentin (neurotin) and lyrica (pregablin) can help for a time but dosages seem to increase and side effects can be irritating to harmful. To others neuropathy means missing out on activities they used to enjoy (chalking it up to ‘just getting older’) while knowing its because they are afraid to fall, can’t walk properly, or get tired easily because the nerves are dying in the legs. Maybe it’s missing feeling the sand between your toes or losing sleep because the neuropathy is now your nighttime ‘friend.’

Neuropathy is not just another diagnosis, it is a disease that sneaks up on you, eventually robbing you of your quality of life.

In it’s early stages neuropathy can be managed easily with medication and can trick someone into thinking “all is well” until the stages inevitably progress from the initial tingle or change in sensation to burning, numbing, and electric-like shocks, to stages 3 and 4 where motor functions cause trips, stumbles and eventually falls. Stage 5 is the end stage of neuropathy where a loss of independence and wheelchair use occurs. Most of these cases end up in nursing homes to spend their last days.

Many patients have been told that their peripheral neuropathy can never be cured. That is absolutely true – nerves that have already died cannot be restored. However, neuropathy is a progressive disease where nerves go through stages of dying creating different symptoms through different stages of death. Each stage of the nerve dying explains the myriad of symptoms a patient with peripheral neuropathy may experience. For those suffering with peripheral neuropathy you need to know there is hope beyond the medicine you take, if there are nerves dying and not dead yet they have the potential to be saved. Two things are necessary for nerves to survive and heal from damage – those two things are blood and oxygen. When treatment is aimed at helping the body to heal at the site of the problem, to slow, or even stop progression of the disease, relief can be found and quality of life can be restored.

At Back in Action Medical Center you will find innovative, customized treatments for peripheral neuropathy. Our Board Certified Neurologist, Dr. Hal Tobias, MD heads our team of physicians. The team will first classify whether or not you have enough nerves that are viable for treatment. We will then build a customized plan addressing the root cause of the problem and discuss with you expected outcomes.

Neuropathy is a progressive, degenerative disease with a terrible ending. Some choose to ignore that fact, others choose to do something about it. Relief beyond medication is possible and quality of life can be restored!  If you live in Palm City, Stuart, or surrounding areas, call for your free consultation today and find out if you are a candidate for our program.