MRI… Mostly Ruling In?

October 31st, 2011

Many people are sent to get MRI’s for many different conditions in our medical system.  We at BCC even refer some patients to get MRI’s on their backs, hips, shoulders or necks.  We try to keep this imaging used ONLY as a farther investigation of a clinical history and in-depth physical examination to make our decisions on very challenging cases.  THIS ARTICLE FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES helps to explain why: MRI is a very SENSITIVE tool, but it is not very SPECIFIC.  This means that we can see MANY things on MRI, and many of these things are considered abnormal, but this does not mean that any invasive procedures are needed.  Many people go in for surgery based on an imaging finding, but if you haven’t found what actually causes pain in these patients, they frequently have sub-optimal results. Many things that are “normal” for that individual are seen as “abnormal” on MRI’s- this is why a detailed examination should be what dictates your doctor’s treatment options for each patient.

Here at BCC we pride ourselves on being very detailed and formulating the specific treatment plan/program for optimal outcome IN EACH INDIVIDUAL PATIENT.  The exam that we do is what allows us to be confident in these treatments.  If you have had an MRI and would like an opinion based on your SPECIFIC presentation and not just what you like like in pictures, please stop by BCC and talk to one of our Doc’s so we can help you!

Everyday Support System (aka Chair Fitting)

September 23rd, 2011

Many people sit for a living.  They workout, eat healthy, but pay no attention to the posture they assume from 9-5.  It is this very non-natural (we have been walking around on two feet being very active for millenia) posture that can be easily fixed and help people overcome may of their everyday aches and pains.  Simple modifications listed in this article from the Wall Street Journal show “optimal” chair position.  Our bodies have certain points that like to be supported, and when these points are not, muscles tend to tighten and produce pain.

If you need any advice on how to select a chair or how to help set it to the correct position at your desk, please ask your BCC Doc how they can help!

The “Shortening” of America

September 23rd, 2011

Many people joke about how they “shrink” as they get older. An article in the Wall Street Journal highlights the results of a long-term study done in Baltimore regarding our “shrinking”.

This “shrinking” is part of what the Doctors at BCC deal with every day.  Most people are unaware of the decline in their posture and specifically how it can create pain in their body. Besides thinning of the intervertebral discs mentioned in the article, there can be decreased room for nerves to exit the spine in this compressed spine posture.  Compression of these nerve exits frequently causes Neck, arm, low back and leg pain.

Understanding this process is only the first half of the equation, how to remedy the problem is where we at BCC excel at helping patients.  There are many, simple restorative exercises that can be done to: 1) help decrease  the rate of this “shrinking” and 2) alleviate the pain associated with this postural compression.

The rapid height loss we see in our society is due to an increased desk/computer based lifestyle that is sure to not get anything besides more complex in our future.  Help yourself by having your BCC Doc take a look at how you hold yourself against gravity and start the battle against becoming smaller!!!

What can Your MI DC Do For You?

September 12th, 2011

Many people are unaware of the fact that legislation has changed the Michigan Chiropractor’s Scope of Practice in the past year. THIS ARTICLE from the Free Press is a good story to help people understand what has happened.

We at BCC are very pleased with the expanded scope as it will help us to more fully utilize the evidence based practices that we have learned in our continuing education to help patients even more.  We would like to have any manual therapy tool that we could access and research says will benefit the patients available. The updated law on chiropractic scope helps us to be able to provide this level of care to a greater extent.

Give it a read and see what you think.  If you have any questions, your BCC Doctor will be glad to answer any and all of your questions!

Epidurals? A Pain in the Neck

September 10th, 2011

Frequently our patients are in need of interventional therapy when they present with issues of severe pain.  This can include traditional over-the-counter anti-inflammatories or sometimes, or if the case is severe enough invasive procedures may be necessary.  We do refer patients out to neurosurgeons and physiatrists whenever there is a need, and this happens more frequently than we would like to see.  Neck pain is more tricky to deal with than low back pain.  There has been much research in recent history to determine the safety of neck Epidural Steroid Injections (ESI).  The results are that Neck (cervical) ESI are surprisingly NOT safe.

This blog post by Craig Liebenson has many references by many doctors/researchers/facilities to help understand and weigh the options if this is a procedure that you may be considering for pain relief.

We hope that you consider us at BCC for help trying to figure out the best possible scenario for treating your physical pain. Your BCC Doc will work you up with every possible treatment in mind and hopefully help you to find the best possible option for you and your specific presentation.

Sport Specialization with Kids- Pro’s and Con’s

June 9th, 2011

All  across our country, especially in Birmingham and all across Oakland county, there are great youth opportunities to compete on very well coached and well respected sports teams across the gamut of sport.  This means that frequently we see in our younger student athletes, a very early “sport specialization”, or adherence to one sport for the entire year.  The practice of only competing in one sport is becoming more and more common for young athletes.    There are many reasons that parents/students will want to do this, and THIS ARTICLE from the Pathways to the Podium Research Project explains the positives and negatives of having a single sport child athlete.

As Doctors that deal with manual or mechanical problems, we encounter a lot of theses athletes.  Frequently the athletes that only do one sport have limitations in specific movements due to compensations of trying to be stronger in their one sport.   Athletes that do multiple sports are on the whole more rounded and have less imbalances.  It is important for all athletes, especially young ones, to have variation and different movements in their activities to keep their body as balanced as possible. If you or your child is does compete in only one sport for most of the year, there are always corrective exercises that can be prescribed by your BCC Doctor to help to mitigate the repetition that the body will be undergoing with constant one-sport use.

We love to see any student/children athletes at BCC as we think we can be a helpful link into maximizing their potential!  If you have any questions or would like to make sure your child athlete is performing to their best, stop by and have one of our BCC Doc’s help them out BEFORE they have any injuries!


May 6th, 2011

Functional Training has become a huge BUZZ word in fitness in the past few years.  At BCC we have probably given you a “functional” exercise or possibly recommend that you spend some time exercising with the newest member of our BCC Team, Brad Kegebein.  THIS ARTICLE by Craig Liebenson explains what functional training should mean, and what we mean here at BCC mean when we say FUNCTIONAL TRAINING.  Your life is function, and we want to make you the best at it, no matter what it is you like to do.

Since having you functioning optimally is our goal, if you have any questions regarding functional training that you may be doing  or how you can integrate more functional exercises into your routine please don’t hesitate to let your BCC Doc know.  Likewise, if you have not yet met Brad and would like to have him work on your exercise program with you, talk to us and we’ll get you functional!

Lethal Sitting

May 2nd, 2011

Here at BCC we often see people with pain syndromes or issues that deal with the fact that they are stuck at a desk doing work all day.  Many headaches and low back pain issues are result of muscular imbalances that we build up from lack of muscular activity and tightnesses that develop from prolonged sitting postures.  THIS ARTICLE highlights something else that may be happening as you sit- general health changes or weight gain!

Simple postural activities or quick exercises that can be done in the confines of any office space can be easily recommended by your BCC Doctor.  Come in and have them recommend some easy activities for you, and for your health, STAND and WALK as much as possible!

Movement aka Aiming Therapy at Your BRAIN

March 14th, 2011

If you are a patient here at Birmingham Chiropractic Clinic and have been seen more than once, there is a high probability that you have received some sort of therapeutic exercise. All the Doctors here utilize the Chiropractic Adjustment as a quick tool into your Central Nervous System for pain relief, but it is our belief that the “true healing” begins when we can teach you how to recognize less-than-optimal movement patterns and then provide exercises to help break this pattern.

THIS ARTICLE explains in good detail the idea of the brain mapping movements instead of specific muscle strengthening.

Whenever you hear someone explain how an exercise or activity is “Functional”, what should be meant is that the exercise incorporates a fundamental movement pattern and taps into the brain.  If you have any questions of how we incorporate exercises or how to add some of these movement therapies into your current program, please don’t hesitate to ask your BCC Doc!

For You Kettlebell Lovers

March 7th, 2011

Many patients walk into BCC doing more progressive workout routines.  Yoga and pilates are becoming much more of a staple in people’s workout routines, but many are adding “Functional Training” tools such as kettlebells to their routines.  These people, and if you’re reading this article you are most likely one of these people, want to know if kettlebells are an OK addition to their routine.

Kettlebell exercises, if coached correctly, are very beneficial.  This is dependent on 2 things: making sure that you are using a manageable weight (many people go too heavy), and secondly that you have a good certified instructor that will not make you do movements that you do not control well.  If you suffer from low back pain there is a very strict movement pattern and awareness that needs to be followed to do a lot of the common kettlebell exercises.

The following link is for a wonderful shoulder/neck/midback exercise that, if performed correctly, adds great stabilization to those regions.  As with any exercise or weight lifting program, make sure that you have a very light, manageable weight to begin with and slowly ramp up from there.

Mike Robertson explains the Kettlebell Armbar

As always, if you have any questions about what workouts you should be doing or if a workout is safe for you, please do not hesitate to ask your BCC Doc for their opinion of your movement- We’re always here to help!!