John H. Keefe III, D.C.
IN THE NEWS: Phthalate Exposure Threatens Human Survival Total sperm counts in North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand dropped by nearly 60 percent between 1973 and 2013 and there’s no evidence to suggest this downward trend is leveling off. Reduction in sperm production is a warning sign that men’s health is in serious jeopardy, as poor semen quality has been linked to a higher risk for diabetes, heart disease, cancer and early death. Along with sperm, men’s testosterone levels have dropped in recent decades as well, and exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals in utero and beyond appears to be a driving factor. Environmental estrogens such as phthalates have generational effects, which is why males are successively becoming increasingly more sterile with each passing generation. Studies have also linked phthalate exposure during early childhood with delayed puberty in girls, while other research warns that phthalates in makeup and personal care products can trigger early menopause. Phthalates are particularly prevalent in personal care products, which is why women tend to have higher levels in their system than men. Higher levels are also evident in people who regularly eat fast food, as the food is packaged in plastic and/or nonstick wrappers. NOTE: You should consider detoxing once or twice a year. We can check for the need.
WELLNESS: Common Painkiller Is Causing Many Heart Attacks Nearly 25 million American adults suffer from pain on a daily basis, many of whom reach for over-the-counter (OTC) nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) drugs to ease their discomfort. Research shows a high risk of heart attack associated with diclofenac, an OTC NSAID researchers strongly recommend become a prescription drug; data revealed ibuprofen and naproxen increased heart attack risk 30 percent greater than taking no drug. Risks associated with NSAIDs include gastrointestinal bleeding, hearing loss, miscarriage and increased risk of bone loss. Consider using several natural strategies to reduce inflammation and pain without associated life-altering side effects, such as ginger, curcumin, astaxanthin and severely limiting sugar and grains. NOTE: Most pain conditions can be controlled through natural healthcare: chiropractic, acupuncture, nutritional therapy and electrotherapy. Don’t risk your life, seek solutions for your health problem.
CHIROPRACTIC: Is It My Low Back Or My Hip? When patients present with low back pain, it is not uncommon for pain to arise from areas other than the low back, such as the hip. There are many tissues in the low back and hip region that are susceptible to injury with have overlapping pain pathways that often make it challenging to isolate the truly injured area. Hip pain can present in many different ways. When considering the anatomy of the low back (lumbar spine) and hip, and the nerves that innervate the hip come from the low back, it’s no wonder that differentiating between the two conditions is often difficult. Complaints may include the inside, outside, front, or back of the thigh, the knee, the buttocks, the sacroiliac joint, or the low back and yet, the hip may truly be the pain generator with any of these presentations. To make diagnosis even more complex, the hip pain patient may present one day with what appears to be sciatic nerve pain (that is, pain shooting down the back of the leg to the knee if mild or to the foot if more severe) but the next visit, with only groin pain. When pain radiates down a leg, the almost automatic impression by both the patient and their healthcare provider is, “…it’s a pinched nerve.” But again, it could be the hip and NOT a pinched nerve that is creating the leg pain pattern. Throwing yet another wrench in the works is the fact that a patient can have more than one condition at the same time. So, they truly MAY simultaneously have BOTH a low back problem AND a hip problem. In fact, its actually unusual to x-ray the low back of a hip pain patient without seeing some low back condition(s) like degenerative disk disease, osteoarthritis (spurs off the vertebrae), or combination of these. So, how do we differentiate between hip vs. low back pain when it is common for both low back and hip pain to often coincide? When we ask the hip pain patient to point to the area of greatest discomfort, they usually point to the front of the hip or groin, and less often to the inner and/or anterior thigh or knee. Non-weight bearing positions like sitting or lying are almost always immediately pain relieving. When there is arthritis in the hip, motion loss is often reported and may include a shorter walking stride and pain usually gets worse the longer these patients are on their feet. Initiating motion often hurts, sometimes even in bed when rolling over. During the chiropractic examination, with the patient lying on the back with the knee and hip both bent 90°, moving the bent knee outwards or inwards will almost always reproduce hip/groin area pain. Pulling on or applying traction to the affected leg usually, “…feels good.” Knee & ankle reflexes and sensation are normal but muscle strength may be weak due to pain. Bending the low back into different positions does not reproduce pain if the pain is only coming from the hip. Though sometimes challenging, doctors of chiropractic are well-trained to be able to differentiate between hip and low back pain and will treat both areas when it is appropriate.
FUNNY BONES: I made a beginner’s mistake and went shopping on an empty stomach. I am now the happy owner of aisle 7@@ I have a very good feeling about my job interview today. The manager said they were looking for somebody responsible. “You’ve found your man,” I responded, “whenever there was a problem in my last job, they always said that I was responsible!”@@ Give a man a fish and you will feed him for the day. Teach a man to fish and he’s going to spend a fortune on gear he’ll only be using twice a year.