Main Street Chiropractic

Hi I'm Dr. Carl Zaycosky, and this is my way of sharing the resources, insight, and experience I've gained in my years as a chiropractor. I hope they help you chart a course toward whole body health.
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Cracking Knuckles Part 3

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There are basically three things that will cause your joints to make a noise.
The most common in my estimation is gas trapped in your joints being quickly released forming bubbles in the process which make the popping sound. Some background, your joints are lubricated by a substance called synovial fluid. This compound contains gases, primarily nitrogen and carbon dioxide. They are contained in the joint capsule. The quick stretching of this capsule causes the quick release of the bubbles. This is what you hear during a chiropractic adjustment.
A tendon is structure that holds a muscle to the bone. A sound is sometimes created when the tendon snaps on a quick movement or slides over an abnormal bump in the bone that the tendon passes over. The popping sound you hear from your ankle when you move it quickly after it has been immobile for a while, say when you’re watching TV, is a tendon snapping.
Finally an arthritic joint surface will make a sound. This isn’t the popping sounds as mentioned above. This is more of a grinding sound commonly heard when you have neck arthritis. It’s easy to hear it in your neck because it’s close to your ears.

This sound is created by the joint surfaces which are normally very smooth. The joint surface is covered by hyaline cartilage. As you age this cartilage begins to fall off or pit. The pitted surfaces then rub together instead of gliding on each other creating the grinding sound.
If you get nothing else from this blog series remember this. Never force a joint to make it pop. Even though people who do finance my vacations, it is wise to avoid this activity.

 

Sincerely,

 

Dr Z.

 

Cracking Knuckles Part 1: here

Cracking Knuckles Part 2: here

 

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Cracking Knuckles Part 2

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      The argument you’ve probably heard somewhere along the line is cracking your knuckles causes arthritis. For a number of years this sounded logical to me and that’s what I told patients. Here was my reasoning. Popping your knuckles pulls on your tendons (the structures that connect the muscle to the bone). Too much stretching and the tendon loses some of its elasticity and as a result its ability to help in stabilizing the joint. A laxed or unstable joint is more likely to form osteoarthritis, bone arthritis. Good argument … but incorrect.

     The study which blows my old argument out of the water was conducted by a California physician over decades. He cracked his knuckles on his right hand for decades but not his left. He took x-rays of both hands over the years and there was no difference in the level of arthritis in either hand. I thought his self experimentation was cool if for no other reason I admire the self discipline this guy displayed in his quest to find an answer. There was a larger more conventional study done that arrived at the same conclusion.
     There is an old study from 1990 that points to some ill-effects of popping your knuckles. The study involved over 200 people which is a decent sampling size considering the topic. The study found a greater instance of hand swelling along with a diminishment of grip strength in those people who regularly cracked their knuckles.

I’ll finish up this series on joint noises next time.

 Dr. Z

 

Cracking Knuckles Part 1: here

Cracking Knuckles Part 2: here

 

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Diet Myths Part 1

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With spring time right around the corner there is a noticeable emphasis within media circles, whatever your platform may be regarding weight loss. I get questioned on weight loss issues consistently. If they don’t I bring it up to a patient where excessive weight, a high BMI, is contributing to their joint pain. Over the years I hear/read things about weight loss I assume to be true if for no other reason I’ve heard them repeatedly.
A recent trend in healthcare is for providers to use “best practice methods” to treat their patients. One would assume this has been the case for eons. Not so. Best practice methods are those substantiated by science as being clinically and well as cost effective. A doctor may think what they are doing is best approach based on their past experience, and I’ve been guilty of this, but the scientific literature says there is a better, cheaper way. Such is the case with 4 weight loss myths I thought were fact when in reality that’s not the case.
Over the next two blogs I’m going to talk about these common misconceptions and in 3 of the 4 cases provide the link to the scientific article that substantiates the claim that calls into question the dieting myth. Warning, do not read scientific articles while driving or operating heavy machinery since they have been known to cause drowsiness.

Your local chiropractor,

Dr. Z

Main St. Chiropractic

 Part Two:  http://www.drzmainstchiro.com/dr-carl-zaycoskys-blog/entry/diet-myths-part-two.html

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Plain Ol' Water Part 1

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I want to talk with you about something boring, so bland and tasteless one may even forget about it, passing it by for a more lively choice. Water, more specifically plain old water !This stuff has big benefits for your health and well-being but too often you may be guilty of passing by the tap and substituting a high sugar high calorie alternatives when all you and your body needs is plain old water.

Over the next few blogs I want to focus on an article I ran across in the Journal of Nutritional Dietetics (December 2014) dealing with water consumption and maintaining a healthy weight. Though keep in mind weight control is only one of several good reasons to consume boring water.               

Researchers from the University of Illinois examined data from over 18,000 adults who had recorded their drinking habits over a 7 year period ending in 2012. The sheer size of this study group makes the findings of the researchers very credible.

The people who participated in the study were asked to record the intake of their diet for 2 days. One of the items tracked was the intake of plain water. They were also asked to record their intake of other fluids, fruit drinks, energy drinks, pop even sweetened water.  Finally, they were asked to record how much “energy-dense, nutrient poor” foods they ate. Folks these are your chips, ice cream, cookies, etc.

I bet you can figure out what the results were already. I’ll talk about them next time.

Your local chiropractor,

Dr. Z

Main St. Chiropractic

Your local chiropractor,

Part two click here

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Sleeping Posture Part 1

We spend 1/3 of our lives or at least we should sleeping. You may have heard various people in your life comment about your posture. Don’t slouch. Sit up straight. A well intentioned local chiropractor devoted a blog series to proper posture. So, why do we simply plop down in any old manner when we go to sleep and neglect our sleeping posture? Over the next few blogs I’m going to talk about sleeping posture that may earn you some extra zzzz’s.

Let’s talk first of all discuss how not to sleep. Don’t sleep on your stomach. I know this is going to be tough for some of you. I’m a recovering stomach sleeper. Yes, the habit can be broken. First of all here is why it is bad. You may recall from my Perfecting Posture blog the concave (inward) and convex (outward) curve of your spine. The low back and neck are concave and mid back is convex. When you sleep on your stomach the inward curve of both the neck and low back is made larger. This is a problem because the surfaces of the joints in the spine are on the back part of the bone. Increasing the curve puts more pressure on the pain sensitive surface of the joint causing the back or neck to hurt.

A good way to break this habit and this is what I did; start out sleeping on your back put a small pillow next to both your hips. This hinders the ability to roll over and after a week or two you’ll be comfortable sleeping on your back.

Stay tuned! I will have more sleeping posture tips for you in the next installment.

Your local Chiropractor,

Dr. Z

at Main St. Chiropractic

For Part 2: click here

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The SI Joint: Part 1

I’m going to get a little technical on these next few blogs. But I think you’ll find this to be good stuff. I’m going to address a cause of low back pain that is at times overlooked by health care providers (including me). That is the sacroiliac joint commonly referred to as the SI joint.

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Here’s a brief anatomy lesson. Your pelvis is made up of three bones, starting at your side with the illium going to the center where the sacrum sits and another ilium on the far side. Or, as I tell people a hip bone, the tailbone and another hip bone. Where the tailbone meets the hip bone is called the sacroiliac joint. I find it curious that patients consistently refer to their SI joint as their hip joint. The hip joint is by definition the ball and socket type joint that the top of your leg fits into which lies at the lower part of the ilium.

The movement of the SI is important to understand in knowing why it can cause back pain. Slightly cup your hands. Place the palm of one hand on the back surface of the other cupped hand. Now glide the surface of your hands back and forth toward the wrists in a smooth movement over the top of each other. This is the type of efficient movement that takes place at your SI joint when everything is working correctly. When it’s not this can cause problems. More on that next time. 

Your local chiropractor,

Dr. Z

Main St. Chiropractic

For part 2, click here.

For part 3, click here.

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What Pillow is Best For Me? Part 1

I get this question a lot. My canned answer goes something like this, “pillows are not one size fits all. An NFL linebacker will not use the same pillow as a 120 lb. soccer mom.” The question is a good one. Practicing over the years, I’ve seen many occasions where an improperly sized pillow created a whole bunch of neck problems. For this reason I suggest patients with neck problems bring their pillow in for me to evaluate. Because, sometimes the pillow is a perfect fit and is not the cause of the neck issue, or a slight modification of the current pillow is all that’s needed as opposed to buying a new one.

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Even without a hands on evaluation there are some helpful things you can look for when making your next pillow purchase. I’ll be covering these points in the next few blogs.

To evaluate a pillow properly you have to mimic your sleeping position whether you sleep on your side or back. You need to assume that postion to do a proper assessment. Notice I did not include sleeping on your stomach. That is bad for both your neck and low back. Remember the concave (lordotic) curves I wrote about several blogs ago (Perfecting Your Posture: Part 1)? Sleeping on your stomach increases that curve resulting in jamming together the joints which are at the back of the bones in both the neck and low back. This isn’t good.

Next time, I’ll talk about proper neck support you should have from the pillow.

Your local chiropractor,

Dr. Z

Main St. Chiropractic

For Part 2: click here

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Choosing a Good Chiropractor: Part 1

In my practice I get questioned on a fairly regular basis about how to find a good chiropractor. My immediate response is “you’re lookin’ at ‘im” (shameless self promotion). But, a patient often asks because he or she will be moving out of town or has a friend or family member living out of the area who wants to try chiropractic.

The first myth to bust is that although chiropractors hold what I consider a special bond (forged through the challenges we’ve faced from more powerful, well-funded organizations), we don’t all know each other on a personal basis. I don’t know a chiropractor in Omaha, Nebraska. 

The largest or slickest ad in either print or online does not make one a good chiropractor nor does it make one a bad one. So advertising isn’t of much help. 

Being a member of the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) or the state association does not make one a good chiropractor. It only means you pay your yearly trade association dues. Though, in my opinion the ACA is a great organization and every chiropractor practicing in the USA should be a member. The same holds true with the Ohio State Chiropractic Association (OSCA) for those docs practicing in Ohio. There is some value to the consumer in knowing your chiropractor is a member of his national and state association. A lot of clinical as well as insurance info is disseminated through the associations and at the very least the chiropractor you’re choosing is in this information pipe line.

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Next time, two tried and true methods for finding a good chiro.

Your local chiropractor,

Dr. Z.

at Main St. Chiropractic

For Part 2: click here

For Part 3: click here

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Fighting Fatigue: Part 1

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Are you feeling more and more like your “get up and go” has got up and went? By mid afternoon do you feel like you don’t have what it takes to keep on going? It’s fatigue. We all get tired from time to time. Fatigue, though, lasts, slowing you down physically and dulling you mentally, sucking the energy right out of you. Keep in mind that chronic fatigue can be a symptom of a more serious underlying problem that should be investigated by a healthcare professional. If in doubt, seek care. However, if this has been ruled out, I have some tips for fighting fatigue that I’ll cover in the next few blogs. These are proven to help recharge your batteries (as well as some that say they do, but have been proven otherwise.

Pacing yourself throughout the day is an important part of staying energized for what lies ahead during the day (without being exhausted by your daily tasks). Spread out your tasks into three sections: morning work, afternoon work and evening activity. A quick scan at the start of the day can help you compartmentalize or prioritize these chores to their proper location in the day, allowing you to break the day in thirds and pace yourself more easily throughout the day. Keep in mind that it is equally important to eat, drink water, and rest between these periods.

I’ll have more energy boosting ideas for you on the next installment.

Your local Chiropractor,

Dr. Z

at Main St. Chiropractic

For Part 2: click here

For Part 3: click here

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Is Sitting the New Smoking? Part 1

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Recently I’ve run across several articles in the popular media about the dangers of sitting. The Mayo Clinic and Harvard’s medical school have made mention of this news, also.

It appears to me that this interest in the negative health aspects of sitting stems from a 2012 article in The British Journal of Sports Medicine. The article compares smoking and sitting. The piece stated each cigarette smoked takes 11 minutes off your life, while sitting watching TV takes 22 minutes off of your life. Let’s assume these numbers are correct. If you compare people who don’t watch any TV to those who watch 6 hours a day the TV watchers live 4 ½ years less than the non-watchers.

It’s important to keep in mind that what the authors of the article are really saying is a sedentary life style is bad for you, and being a couch potato is an integral part of this lifestyle. Considering the amount of time most people sit in the course of a normal day—the drive home, eating, and sitting at your desk. Let’s face it: we sit a lot. Sometimes because we have to, other times because we want to. However, there are ways we can make sitting and watching TV less sedentary.

Stay tuned for the next installment to see how you can become a more active couch potato.

Your local Chiropractor,

Dr. Z

at Main St. Chiropractic

For part 2: click here

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Perfecting Your Posture: Part 1

One of, if not the, most effective ways to prevent neck and back pain is to maintain good (or at least adequate) posture. And there’s more to it than just, “sit up straight!” Over the next few blogs I want to go over some posture basics and give you 4 simple tips that will make maintaining good posture easier.

Posture is the way you hold your body when you’re performing various tasks, like standing, sitting or lifting. If your posture is good, then the bones of your spine are in the best position for that task. The bones in your spine, vertebrae, are in three groups: neck (cervical), mid-back (thoracic) and low back (lumbar). The curves, or the direction the vertebrae face, determine posture.

The neck and low back vertebrae should be in a concave, curved shape when viewed from the side. Think of concave being like a “cave.” The inner part of the C-shaped curve should face in for both the cervical and lumbar spine. The mid-back curve should face out in a convex manner, rounded like the surface of a magnifying glass.

As a side note, babies are born with a convex spine. As they crawl, they lift their head and push their pelvis forward and develop the secondary, or concave, curves of their neck and low back.  

Now that we’ve got the basics down, the next blog will deal with taking the necessary steps toward good posture.

Your local chiropractor,

Dr. Z

at Main St. Chiropractic

For part 2: click here

For part 3: click here

For part 4: click here

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Chiropractor Concerns: Choosing the Right Handbag, Part 1

One of the constants in my life as a chiropractor is picking up a patient’s handbag and giving it to them as they exit the treatment room at the conclusion of their visit. I pick the bag up and think, this thing weighs a ton; no wonder your back and neck hurt. So, for the next few blogs I’ll discuss handbags.

There are three things to consider when you purchase a handbag. The first is how heavy is it when it’s empty. Hardware, chains, buckles, etc. add weight. Leather is heavier than synthetic material. Remember, you’re going to be carrying this handbag every day.

If you are going to use a shoulder strap, wider is better. The more surface area to distribute the weight of the bag over the better. Thin straps may dig into the muscles across the top of your shoulder. As you shop for the perfect bag you may want to consider doing away with the strap completely and going with a model that has a handle.

Finally, your size and the size of the bag matters. There is a correct fit for the perfect handbag. The sweet spot for a shoulder bag is at, to slightly above your waist. If it’s too short your arms swing into the bag causing it to repeatedly pull on your neck and shoulder muscles, and if it’s too long it can interfere with proper leg and hip movement.

Now that you have the perfect mechanical look at your handbag, we’ll talk next about what you put in this thing.

Your local Chiropractor,

Dr. Z

at Main St. Chiropractic

For part 2: click here

 

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Ice vs. Heat: How to Properly Care for Your Injury Part 1

Washington Court House

Do I put ice or heat on it? This is definitely one of the top three questions I’ve gotten in my years of practice. Someone hurts their back lifting, say stacking fire wood, and though the body part and/or mechanism of injury may be different, the reaction is the same. They are aware that they should do something, but there is this ongoing cold/heat debate and, rightfully, confusion.  The following couple blogs will help you better understand the body’s response to injury and help clear up this debate.

It’s important to ask yourself: what is actually going on inside of me that cold or heat may or may not help? The body responds to a muscle injury by producing an inflammatory response. Inflammation is a term mentioned frequently in regards to health. The inflammation I’m discussing has to do with the reaction by the muscle to injury and the body’s automatic response to try to heal/correct itself. There is a well-studied process to how inflammation works in its response to a recent muscle injury. Basically, the body is responding by directing cells to the injured area that help in the healing process. One of the phases of this process is called congestion. Whether it’s traffic congestion on a crowded city street or an injured neck muscle, too much “stuff” is trying to get into an area that isn’t big enough. On the street if there isn’t some control of the vehicles there are obvious problems. The same for your muscles and the problem is called swelling.

We’ll talk about the control mechanism for your body’s congestion next time.

Your local Chiropractor,

Dr. Z

at Main St. Chiropractic

For part 2: click here

For part 3: click here

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Walking: An Excellent and Underrated Exercise Part 1

You may want to become physically active, but feel like one thing may be missing from your life and presenting a major hurdle in attaining this goal—time. It’s tough to carve out additional time from a 24 hour day that involves an hour of commuting time to a nine hour job commitment (you do have an hour for lunch), family responsibilities and all those other things we’re told we need to do to be happy and fulfilled.

The first thing you need to do before you take that first step—or do the first exercise—is to make attainment of physical fitness a priority. Making it a priority doesn’t always mean you have to give up or replace one thing with another. The context of priority I’m talking about is being aware of the opportunities for physical activity during the course of your day and taking advantage of these opportunities opportunity.

Wilmington Chiropractic

As our first example let’s use what I consider the most underrated physical fitness activity when it comes to cost and access: walking. A good pair of walking/running shoes and a sidewalk and you’re off.  Keep in mind the CDC recommendations from the last blog, a pace quick enough where you can talk but not sing. This is not sauntering. It’s walking at a moderate consistent pace for at least 10 minutes.  That’s the key to it. Think of it as 30 minute walks over the course of a day and within a week’s time you have your recommended 150 minutes for the week.

There’s more to come on this next time.

Your local Chiropractor,

Dr. Z

at Main St. Chiropractic

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