Hope for Fibromyalgia

May 28, 2008

There is soooo much foolishness on the net regarding fibromyalgia and so few good articles. When I come across a good one, I simply must share it. Here is the link for the full text. Below are a few highlights:

“It’s a strange and different pain that seems to be in the muscles but really isn’t,” Epstein said.

“It’s not a muscle disease,” Bushan said. “It’s a pain perception disease.”

Epstein said there is nothing wrong with the parts of the body that hurt. Instead the disorder is in the chemical messages that the nerves use to send pain sensation to the brain.

“That doesn’t mean the person is crazy,” Epstein said. “It means the pain nerves are turned on when they’re not supposed to be. The result is this pain that appears to make no sense.”

…………..Fibromyalgia often affects sleep, said Epstein.

“It is almost always associated with a chronic sleep disorder,” she said.

Addressing the sleep disorder is critical because if the underlying sleep disorder is not corrected, the fibromyalgia will not get better, Epstein said.

Fibromyalgia is a treatable condition.


Are you a candidate for disc replacement?

May 12, 2008

A recent review of the science was published asking who are the best candidates for disc replacement. The answer is……(drum roll)……we really have no idea. Though, the last time that I spoke to a neurosurgeon about this, he thought that they might have a future for neck pain, but he was very doubtful about it’s usefulness in the lower back.

Resurrection in Medical Journal!

May 12, 2008

An article in the latest issue of Spine, a highly-respected medical journal, is about “Temporary Mortality” (mortality means death).

Before you ask for re-prints and wonder where to send your checks…..temporary mortality actually refers to people dying in a short period (30 days in this case, I think) after surgery. Just an example of the wonders of medical terminology. 🙂

Migraines Change the Brain?

November 20, 2007

Ever wanted to look inside the brain of someone who suffers from migraines? The good people at Massachusetts General Hospital did just that. Fortunately for us, they were willing to share the results. It turns out that………………..THE BRAINS OF PEOPLE WITH MIGRAINES ARE DIFFERENT! No no no, not in some star-trekky kind of way. Actually, the area of their brain that is dedicated to “feeling” the head and face is larger.

The lead author of the study said that “It (migraine headaches) has to be taken seriously because it causes changes in the brain.” So, should we all panic (at least those of us with migraines)? Uhhh….no.

Our brains are plastic – though, not in the same way that a Barbie doll’s is. Plastic, or plasticity, means that our brains can change. If we learn how to play the piano or ride a bike, our brains change. If we are deeply traumatized, our brains will change. So, if we get lots of “feeling” or sensory information in our head from migraine pain, it is no surprise that the brain would change as a result.

So, what’s the take-home message? What you choose to do, or not and what you choose to think, or not will leave it’s imprint between your ears. Forgive the cliche, but choose wisely. 🙂

Chiropractic Care Effective for High Blood Pressure

May 14, 2007

A new study looked at chiropractic care for patients with high blood pressure. In the study those treated with chiropractic care decreased their blood-pressure by 17/10 mm. So, if someone started with blood pressure of 147/90 (high), they ended up with 130/80.

These results are incredible. I will look at the study, hopefully tomorrow and see how it checks out, but initially it looks very promising. (That’s really an understatement!)

“The procedure (chiropractic treatment) has the effect of not one, but two medications given in combination” according to study leader George Bakris, MD at the University of Chicago.

Here is a link.

Are you fat on the inside?

May 11, 2007

We all know that what’s on the inside is what counts……even the fat.

Now I know you are all motivated (even if not enough) to lose the external fat. We all want to look good, right? But, fat on and in our organs can be just as damaging – maybe even more so – than the fat that jiggles on the outside.

This is a bigger problem in people that don’t exercise – even if they are thin. Research shows us that it is better to be an overweight exerciser than a skinny couch potato. In fact, according to an article published on msnbc.com, many sumo wrestlers may be less healthy than their less active fans!

So, don’t just drop the danish (is that as hard for you as it is for me?) and pick up a dumbell! 🙂

(Click here to read more).

How do you diagnose a disc herniation?

May 9, 2007

This seems to be a popular question so, here we go.

Disc herniations are easy to find. 30 minutes in the old MRI machine and wham, there they are (or aren’t if you don’t have any). Case closed, right? Wrong!

Many disc herniations that show up on MRI are not causing any problems. They are innocent. I know what you’re thinking. My disc is torn or ruptured or slipped or something terrible like that and you are saying that is OK??!!

Actually, sort of. Studies have shown that if you go out to your local mall and grab the first 100 people you see that don’t have back pain and never have and take them to get an MRI…………..about 30 of them will have disc herniations.

But, you say, it must be about to snap!! Like a tinder box about to go up in flames!! Not really. Disc herniations are one of those things that don’t matter…unless of course they do.

Figuring out whether they do or not is what you need a doctor and a good old physical examination for. I guess you can’t outsource the docs yet. 🙂