Monday, November 9, 2009

Ask the Doctor Day

Tonight we are going to the YMCA for our monthly community service. We're having and Ask the Doctor day where members of the community can come get medical advice for free. It's always very popular and we're looking forward to another exciting event tonight. Our goal with each encounter is to have the patient explain their problem or concern and then we can give them advice on the best possible treatment/evaluation options. For no charge, they can be told if their problem will likely respond to chiropractic care or if they should see another specialist, such as an orthopedist, a neurologist, a physical therapist. etc. People love to get this sort of information, especially because they often avoid seeing their primary care doctor because of the cost. This way they get some good information and can move forward in their pursuit of health and we can help educate the community on the benefits of chiropractic care and the sort of conditions that tend to respond well to chiropractic.

Come down and see us tonight from 5-7!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Gait and Posture Analysis

Last week went went to the Embarcadero YMCA for our monthly visit. Every other month we offer and Ask the Doctor day and every other other month we offer video taped gait analysis and posture evaluations. This month was gait and posture, so we packed up our video camera and our spinal analysis machine and headed over there. We had a great time! Some months we don't see many people but this month was great. We had a lot of people interested in learning more about their health and in talking to us about their posture or their running or walking. It was a great chance to get out into the community and educate people about chiropractic and what we do. A lot of people think chiropractors only work on the spine and only perform adjustments. But we do so much more! As musculoskeletal specialists, there is a lot we can offer, especially to the average athlete.

Gait analysis, especially, is helpful for runners or those who want to become runners. We have the person walk and run on a treadmill while videotaping their ankles. Then we talk with the person about what healthy gait looks like (straight ankles, good heel strike, no toe-out, etc) and we show them their video. We often stop the tape at intervals to help them see any inconsistencies in their own gait. When we are done explain to them any problems we see in their gait, we talk with them about footwear choices that will be best for them. If it looks like they need further evaluation, they are of course welcome to come see us at the office. It's a great service for the people who participate because this kind of gait analysis usually costs about $100. We provide it free of charge, and only ask that they make a donation of $20 to the YMCA.

A lot of people are running with poor biomechanics or with the wrong shoes and they end up injured as a result. It's an easy thing for us to point out where they are going wrong and help prevent injury. If it's too late and they are already having pain with running, we can help them with chiropractic and physical therapy to get them back in shape and into the right shoes.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Massage Special

Happy October Everyone!

We've got a lot of exciting things going on in our office this month.

First, let's talk about massage! Who doesn't like a good massage? Our massage therapist, Sawanee, does an excellent job. She specializes in sports and deep tissue therapeutic massage techniques that will leave you feeling loose and limber and ready to take on the world. An this month, we're having a special: purchase two one-hour massages in October and receive a FREE bottle of Life Extension Multivitamins! Life Extension is a great company that has been providing high-quality supplements to chiropractors for many years. Their multivitamin will fill in the gaps when your diet isn't as complete as it should be.

Also, be sure to read the post about flu vaccines. I know a lot of you out there are on the fence about whether you should get one or not, and I hope the post is helpful.

We're also going to be visiting the Embarcadero YMCA near the end of the month for a gait and posture analysis event. Be sure to check our events schedule for details.

Also this month is Halloween, which we are very excited about. Send us some pictures of your costumes for our bulletin board!

Flu Shots

Let's talk about flu season. It's here and our patients are asking us the annual question: "Should I get a flu shot?" Here's what we have to say:

1) As chiropractors, we are not legally allowed to give any advice on medications, including vaccinations like the flu shot. With that in mind, there is some information we feel you should have.

2) Vaccinations are supposed to work by showing your immune system a small piece of a virus, thereby allowing your immune system to recognize and fight off the virus if you are ever exposed to it. This is a great idea, and it usually works very well. Unfortunately, there is no way to isolate a little bit of the flu virus without using a lot of chemicals that are NOT necessary to the immune response.

3) Medication should be prescribed when the risk of not taking it outweighs to possible side effects of taking the medication. In the case of the flu vaccine, many people report feeling flu-like symptoms after receiving the shot. One wonders, then, how the vaccination was helpful to those people.

4) In the case of people with depressed immune systems, such as people with HIV, AIDs, small children and the elderly, the risk of getting the flu is serious. In these people, a vaccination is potentially life-saving. In the general population, the flu is mainly an inconvenience and not a life-threatening infection. One wonders why someone in the general population would choose to inject themselves with unnecessary chemicals to prevent something that may or may not even happen and, if it does happen, will most likely not be that bad.

5) There are a lot of ways to help boost your immune system naturally so that you can fight off infection on your own: getting plenty of rest, exercise and healthy foods is a good start. Limit your exposure to infected people, wash your hands often and make sure you maintain your over-all health to the best of your ability. This includes having regular chiropractic treatments to ensure that your body is not using up energy on muscle spasms and joint dysfunction.

Finally, we'd like to say that our main goal is to educate our patients. We cannot recommend for or against flu shots and it is something you should discuss with your primary medical doctor before you make a decision. When you have that discussion, however, be sure to ask them about your personal risk for contracting the flu and the chances of you having life-altering side effects from both the infection and the vaccine. Once you have all the facts, make your own informed decision.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Continued Education

Last Tuesday evening, Dr. Mazgaloff and myself we invited to a dinner being hosted by the local CCA (California Chiropractic Association) chapter and by Insight Imaging (a local MRI facility). Let me tell you, this is how all informative meetings should go! It was held at a really nice hotel in downtown SF, there was a three course dinner included free of charge AND the speaker was very informative. The topic of his talk was on reading MRIs, specifically lumbar films. While most of his talk was review, there were a few little nuggets of information that were new/interesting. Also, Amelia and I felt very good because of the four questions he asked the room, we each got one right! In a room full of chiropractors who were sitting silently, unwilling to guess and get the answer wrong, we felt pretty good about that. What's more, we now have a relationship with the readiologists at that imaging facility. That is such a great thing for our patients because it means that we can call and speak with the doc when we have questions about which type of scan will be best. This saves our patients a lot of hastle and, in the long run, will make us more informed decision makers.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Back to School

It's that time of year again. Kids all over are packing up and heading off to another year of school. In our office, this means something special: backpacks!

Have you ever considered the cumulative load put on a child's spine over weeks, months and years of carrying heavy book bags? Suffice it to say, the load is considerable! And with children's bodies still growing, their bones are not a strong as an adult's. This combination of too much weight and no enough support can lead to many kinds of skeletal problems, such as scoliosis, and can pre-dispose a child to injury during regular activities like sports.

For this reason, we are always trying to educate our patients on the proper way to fit their child for a backpack and then teaching the child the right way to wear the backpack. Thankfully for the sanity of chiropractors everywhere, the trend of wearing a backpack on only one shoulder seems to have passed. Still, it is important to remind children to use both straps when wearing their bags. Also, make sure the weight in the bag is well-distributed, with the heavier items at the bottom and nearest the child's back, and without having too much weight on either the left or right side of the bag. Finally, each time the child puts the bag on, they should loosen the straps to get them around their shoulders and then tighten the straps until the bulk of the backpack rest between the base of their neck and the base of their spine.
Incidentally, these same guidelines would benefit adults as well. Too many adults walk around with unbalanced loads on their spines, be it from a messenger bag slung over one shoulder, a briefcase always carried on one side or the dreaded over-sized purse filled to the brim with the weighty paraphernalia of life. These loads take their toll over time and cause neck and back pain and injuries. Next time you pick up your bag, think twice. Ask yourself if there is anything in it you don't really need today. Once you have it at the lightest possible weight, try to make sure you balance the weight's pull on your body.

For those who have adopted the rolling bag trend in an effort to save their neck and shoulders, I salute you. Please bear in mind, however, that the same rules I've listed above apply to you. Keep your bag's weight at a minimum and make sure to switch hands regularly to avoid over-using one arm or another. You can also alternate between pushing and pulling the bag.

I know some of this may seem cumbersome, but a small amount of effort really goes a long way. If you cannot switch your bag's side every block you walk, try switching it every two. Or try having it on one side in the morning and the other at night. Or make the change everyday, with Monday being the right and Tuesday being the left. Find a way to make it work for you!
As always, we're here to help. Please call us at 415-546-1461 for an appointment and we'll be happy to help you fit your child's backpack properly.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Busy Week

Wow! We've been very busy lately. Our trip to the Chronicle was a success. Sawanee came with us and between the three of us we were able to see about 20 people. The workers were very appreciative of having us there, and we were able to give advice to a lot of people about problems they are having. Several have since made appointments at the office for either chiropractic or massage for their conditions, so we are very happy. It's always good when an event is a win-win.

Over the weekend we went to a DSE run that was less of a success. There were a lot of people, but few of them were interested in having their feet or shoes evaluated by us. We were able to answer some questions about chiropractic and exchanged information with a few people, but on the whole we were hoping for more. Usually at a road race like that we are very popular. People are happy to have us there and anxious to ask questions about their running, footwear, etc. We'll try again some other time. We have had a good relationship with the DSE in the past, so I think it was just a fluke.

Tonight we are off to the Embarcadero YMCA to offer gait and posture analysis for their members. We currently have two appointments for the Gait analysis and will hopefully have more by the end of the day. The gait analysis is always a great program. We use a video camera to film the member both walking and running and then watch it back with them in slow motion. We can help the member see irregularities in their gait and make suggestions to help them get into the right shoes (if they are not already) and to help them avoid injury. Runners and triathletes especially really appreciate the feedback.

Our patients are doing really well right now, which is always nice. We have several serious cases, currently, that are all responding really well to care. It seems we've had a run on disc hernations lately, but we are able to help and so far everyone is having a reduction in symptoms and in increase in function. Hopefully things will continue to progress positively!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Chronicle Visit

Today we are off to the SF Chronicle offices to treat their employees who are interested in chiropractic care. We are bringing Sawanee to do chair massage, so I think things should go pretty well. We'll let you know!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Gait and Posture

Today we are going to visit some area gyms and fitness clubs to introduce them to our Gait and Posture Analysis program. The program is a great one, and something that has been very successful at the local YMCAs. We visit the gym one afternoon per month and any interested members can sign up for a 15 minute time-slot with us. In that time, we can either evaluate their posture with the Spinal Analysis Machine and help to identify any problem areas or causes for concern in terms of their exercise program OR we can do a video gait analysis where the member runs on a treadmill and then we watch the tape back with them in slow motion; we offer advice on better strength training, footwear and information on why their gait might be causing knee, hip and low back problems.

The program always goes really well, because we can help to educate the public and we help keep the members healthier and injury-free. That way, they spend more time at the gym which means they get more out of their membership, and it doesn't cost the gym itself anything! Of course, it helps us as well because if there IS a problem, the member can always come see us at the office to have it worked on.

We're hoping to introduce the program to some other local gyms and to add them to our calendar of monthly visits.

Wish us luck!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

It's Been A While

Wow! It's been months since my last post. But it's time to get back on board

A lot has happened since my last post. Here's a re-cap:

We have started offering a free posture evaluation to participants in the free yoga classes on Sunday mornings at the Lululemon Athletica store on Grant Ave. We go once per month, on the first Sunday, and offer evaluations to anyone who is interested. Lululemon has been very gracious, and excited to have chiropractors in their store. A special thanks to Meghan for helping us out so much!

I went to a seminar on Women's Hormones and Aging that was really great. The speaker was Dr. Lani Simpson. She was very informative. I had attended hoping for a magic answer to the symptoms women experience during menopause. While she was unable to provide that (not really that much of a surprise) she did talk a lot about Vitamin D and bone health as it relates to osteoporosis and aging. It was really interesting and helped me to help more of my patients, especially those at risk for osteoporosis. I am hopeful that my new knowledge will help to prevent some future hip and wrist fractures in my patients as they age.

Our office has taken on a Massage Therapist names Sawanee. She has a lot of experience with sports massage, which is a great fit for our office. As of now, she is with us two days per week, but we are hoping to increase that as her practice grows. The patients have given us good feedback for her, and that is always nice to hear.

Our AIDS Lifecycle Riders did awesome this year. No one came back with a new injury, which is always a plus, but even more than that, they all did really WELL. All of the riders we treat were able to ride either more or better than they have in the past years, and we are very proud of them. Go going, guys!

This month in our office it's Foot Health Month. We are focusing on making sure our patients know the important of proper footwear and biomechanics, as well as re-evaluating their orthotics, if needed. Just this morning as I was walking to work I saw a woman whose feet were so over-pronated, I was cringing. Her knees must be killing her. I really wanted to approach her and ask if she saw anyone for her feet, but San Franciscans don't respond well to strangers talking to them, so I let her go. Rest assured, though, that no patient will ever walk out of my office with feet and shoes like that!

Proper foot biomechanics are so important to the health of the entire body, it's a wonder people don't talk about their feet more often. When your feet are improperly aligned or poorly supported, their ability to absorb the impact of your body weight when you walk or run is significantly diminished. Be evaluating the mechanics of the foot and correcting them, we can help resolve pain in the feet, knees, hips and spine, in addition to helping to prevent future injury. Can you imagine how much more likely you are to get a stress fracture when your feet are not absorbing force properly? Proper foot support is a simple thing, but it has big benefits.

There are a few shoe stores our office works with that we trust to treat our patients well. Their staff is knowledgeable, and one even has an orthotic lab right in the store. For runners, I usually recommend they see the people over at Metrosport on Fillmore. For walkers, office workers and anyone else with a unique foot problem, I send them to Shoes N Feet on Lombard. Both stores offer discounts to our patients, which is always nice.

In honor of Foot Health Month, we're offering complimentary foot evaluations to anyone who wants one. Please give us a call at 415-546-1461 to set up an appointment.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Our New Website

It's Finally Here!!!

We have a new website for our practice that we are really excited about. You can check it out and let us know what you think. It comes with some really fun features like a memership option that allows you to get practice updates and health tips emailed to you, and a way for people to refer others to the site.

We are hoping the new site serves both our current and future clients even better. We are also excited that the site will be providing us a new format for our monthly newsletters. Our old newsletter was my baby: The Chiro-Health Currently. It was fun to flex my desktop publishing muscles once per month, but it was very labor-intensive and I found it harder and harder to get the newsletter out on time. Now I know our newsletters will be sent out on time without me having to worry about it, and that is a great feeling.

Also, we have a better email system that will allow me to send out email updates to our patients when we have some office-specific news to share. Our previous email system only allowed 17 receipients per email, and with almost 800 patients, updating everyone was always a laborious process!

Speaking of new things in the practice, we will be having a massage therapy intern joining us very soon. Stay tuned to find out when her hours will be so that you can book your next one hour massage! I have already had her work on me and she is great! She is still in school, but she is eager to learn and we know our patients will be happy to help her.

So check out our new site, and check back in here in a week or so for updates on the massage!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Love Your Body

Hey Everybody! Happy 2009! This is the perfect year to form a new relationship with yourself. Take some time and think about what your body and your mind truly need to be happy and healthy. In our office, it's Love Your Body month. Yes, Valentine's Day is fun for some, but we want everyone to love themselves.

Our bodies are amazingly adaptive organisms. They can help us survive even extremely damaging conditions, or just the daily commute to the office!

But they can do so much more! Give the right care and attention our bodies can help us THRIVE instead of just survive. That's why we're encouraging everyone to take some time for their bodies this month. Get an adjustment, a massage, a personal trainer, or just drink more water.

In our office, we're encouraging everyone we see to remind their friends, family and co-workers of the importance of taking care of ourselves.

Visit our website at to learn more about how to help your body.