Blog 101

Confused about what your eating?

I was shopping at my favorite healthfood supermarket the other day and I saw various different terms that are used to describe how the foods are processed. The most popular terms are: organic, Non-GMO and free range. Lets see what these terms mean.

Organic-According to the USDA, organic standards cover the product from the farm to the table. This includes soil and water quality, pest control, livestock pratices and food additives (WHO,2015). This includes fertilizers, pesticides, genetically modified organisms, antibiotics, hormones and radiation. Non-organic standards have been associated with decreased anti-oxident capacity (Baranski M, Volakakis N, et al.2014) furthermore, decreased anti-oxident activity has been linked to cancer, heart disease, Alzeimer's disease and rheumatoid arthritis.

Non-GMO products refer to products that are not biogenitically engineered or genetically modified organisms. Genetically modified organisms (GMO) utilize a range of tools that alter living organisms, traditional breeding techniques, modification of products, develop microorganisms for specific uses and change the structure of plant and animal tissue. The purpose of genetically modifying these is to provide cheaper, more manageable products that are resistant to disease (WHO, 2015). Much has been reported on GMO products about their effect on our health. This topic will be talked about at a later date. For now, let's just keep in mind that non-GMO products have not been tampered with in the laboratory.

Free range-this term is associated with allowing the animal to move around outdoors. This does not imply that free range is not subjected to chemicals, but it has access to it's environmnet. For example, farm raised fish are fish that are developed in a habitat unsimilar to their natural environment. They may be bred in enclosed containers with an environment that is controlled by the supplier. Farm raised fish have been associated with higher amount of bad fats, decreased protein content and elevated levels of BPA (Foran J, Carpenter D, Schwager S, 2005). Conversely, animals that have free access to their natural habitat tend to be healthier for human consumption. An example of this is cattle. Cattle that is free range has the ability to move in it's natural habitat, eats grass instead of grain used to fatten them up prematurely, and are not crowded next to each other which can cause disease and stress to the animal. The purpose of free range allows the animal to live its life in a more natural, humane environment and provides better health benefits for the consumer such as leaner meat, higher good fat content and less likely to cause neurogenic inflammation in our bodies because of its grass fed compared to grain fed cattle.

This is a much simplified version of these terms but watch for a future blog on the harmful effects of agriengineering on our health.

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations, December 2015; retrieved from:

Food and Drug Administration (FDA), 2015; Retrieved from:

Independent Science News, 4/4/2015; New Research Links Neonicotinoid Pesticides to Monarch Butterfly Declines; retrieved from:

International Agency for Research on Cancer, World Health Organization; March 20, 2015; retrieved from:

NPR,2013 retrieved from:

Reuters, U.S. GMO Crops Show Mix of Benefits, Concerns-USDA Report; 2/24/2014; retrieved from:

U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, n.d.; retrieved from:, 2012; retrieved from:

Blog 102


Frequently Unanswered Question

Jeff: Doc, I love going to the chiropractor, it always makes me feel good. Now my wife has an issue she wants treated but does not want to come in for a lot of visits. She has been to several other chiropractors in the past and each one says something different. What is your recommendation?

Dr K: Jeff, you’re correct. You can go to ten different chiropractors and get ten different opinions. It reminds me a lot of going to the car mechanic. There are many different styles and techniques that chiropractors adopt according to their preferences. Sometimes people have multiple issues that have overlapping symptoms, so a working diagnosis is needed and followed up with the appropriate testing.

With acute injuries, many people just want to get better and get on with their life. An acute injury interferes with your regular daily activities, and nobody wants their routine disrupted. At my office, acute injuries require intense, short term treatments that are good at getting someone back on their feet again. Chronic symptoms-those that go on past six months may require longer treatment plans depending on the condition and the person I am treating. I try to make clear to the patients that if you want to make a change in your body, it doesn’t matter if you are trying to lose weight or learn to play the piano, repetition, consistency and desire all help in achieving your goal. Patients that have ongoing symptoms that may have been occurring for years sometimes have an unrealistic expectation of getting better within a few visits. You cannot undo years of problems with a few treatments. This office uses evidence based guidelines that have been shown to get people better. Not everyone responds in the same way so each patient has an individualized treatment plan.

Once a patient is better we show them how to maintain their health at home and recommend periodic check-ups when the need arises. Your wife needs to discuss with the doctor if her condition is acute or chronic. If it is chronic, she may need to invest some time in her health before she starts to see results. Remember, even if you want to lose weight, you don’t start seeing results immediately but ultimately it is her desire to get better that will make her feel good again.

Blog 103

What your Insurance Company Doesn't Want You to Know!

You’ve been in a car accident, now what? Well, don’t panic. That’s easier said than done. I have been in a few car accidents myself and it can be quite jarring. During these times, there will be two people that will be your best friends, your attorney and your chiropractor.

First thing that people typically do is either go to the hospital and get checked out, or get their car repaired. Getting checked out at the hospital is a great idea. The ER physicians are looking for fractures, dislocations and any life threatening trauma. Usually, motor vehicle accidents do not cause life threatening injuries, but you never know. The ER will send you home with muscle relaxants and pain medications. Nobody wants to be in pain, but just relieving the symptom does not address the cause. I look at the medication as a way for you to function. After a car accident some people may be in so much pain that they can’t put on their socks or go to the bathroom. And although this helps, your body has the ability to heal itself. Let me give you an example. If you fall on the sidewalk and break your arm, you can take a muscle relaxant and pain killer and do nothing else. Your body will naturally heal itself-it will heal itself wrong, but none the less, it will heal the injury. You can reassess the injury by taking x-rays of the arm and visually see how the bone didn’t heal correctly. The same type of healing goes on with your muscles after a auto accident. When you are rear-ended in a car accident, your muscles tear. Muscle relaxants and pain medications will make you feel better but the muscle will now start to heal through the body’s own healing. The body heals itself with inflammation and then scarring. Scar tissue build-up in a muscle will lead to shortening of a muscle fiber; shortened muscle fibers will not put a joint through its full range of motion. Decreased range of motion causes wear and tear of the joint. This results in degeneration of the joint-osteoarthritis. So, the soft tissue injury you are suffering with today, that was not properly taken care of can have detrimental effects on your body years down the road. Some people may never experience symptoms, initially. Symptoms can appear days, weeks or even months after an accident. Did you know that the amount of damage your car experienced does not indicate the amount of damage your body incurred? Did you know damage to your body can occur at speeds of 5-8 mph? Do you know that previous injuries or health afflictions do not limit your care?

The next person that you will be in contact with is the insurance adjuster. There are many great insurance adjusters but remember, adjusters are paid for by the insurance companies and although you purchased insurance from them, they are there to make a profit as well. They need to keep more of the money than they dish out. They will want to settle with you after the crash. This might be a tempting offer considering that you only suffered minor (or so you think) injuries and there is little damage to you automobile. Many insurance adjusters tape the conversations they have with you and may be used at a future time. At this point I would utilize your attorney that is representing you. If you do not have one, you should get one. Let them handle the interaction with the adjuster. You should also get examined by a chiropractor. Chiropractors will help you with your injury by finding the cause of your pain ( it’s not due to a deficiency in Flexeril). Certain chiropractors are proficient in working up personal injury auto accidents and some are not. Getting people healthy is only half of the issue. It is working well with insurance adjusters and attorneys that help to get your health back to where it was before you were injured. Once you are examined, a treatment plan will be determined for your particular condition. It is important that you follow the instructions of your chiropractor and attorney and don’t think you know more about it than they do. You probably will get more advice from people that were in a car accident before, co-workers, neighbors, etc. There are only two people you should be consulting on this injury.

So, to summarize, after an accident, even if there is major/minor damage to your vehicle, you should get a chiropractor and attorney. Do not discuss the accident with anyone until you get an attorney. If you feel the need to go to the hospital, go. When you have been cleared of any life threatening injuries, schedule an appointment with the chiropractor. Make sure you get someone that is familiar with all the intricate details of working up a personal injury case. Maintain communication with the attorney and chiropractor. Keep your appointments. Your health will improve.

Blog 104

Free Healthcare For Everyone !

Free healthcare for everyone ! Why not ? Identifying and treating conditions for everyone can decrease morbidity and mortality, make people more productive and decrease healthcare costs by eliminating diseases and disorders.

It sounds great but the United States is just not that healthy of a nation. We rank 37th on the World Health Organizations list of health but we spend the most on healthcare ( WHO, n.d.). Just like an NFL team that spends the most money, they don’t always win the championship. In the United States the number 1 and 2 causes of death are heart disease and cancer; both are largely due to lifestyle factors (CDC, n.d.). Giving free healthcare to everyone in the United States won’t make a difference because we rely on passive treatments to treat these illnesses rather than prescribe lifestyle modification. Prescribing medication for hypertension and hypercholesterolemia only make people dependent on these medications that typically have no timetable to reduce or eliminate their usage. Maybe lifestyle changes are too time consuming for our fast paced lifestyle? Maybe catching fast food is easier than preparing a meal? With people working two jobs, overtime, children, etc. Having time to exercise or prepare meals eludes us. I don’t have any magic to tell you other than you will need to make time ! Preparing meals ahead of time for several days, cooking in bulk and exercising before work can eliminate the hassle of doing these time consuming activities. For everyone that complains about subsidizing health insurance via the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies have been doing this for years! Why do people that eat right, exercise 6 days a week, get 7-8 hours of sleep experience increased health insurance costs? Why are people that are healthy penalized by paying more for health insurance when then don’t even use it?

To get healthcare costs down, there should be a combination of efforts to decrease morbidity and mortality. Behavioral modification and perhaps an epiphany-a realization that your health not only affects you, but the rest of the United States.


Centers for Disease Control (CDC), n.d.; retrieved from:

World Health Organization (WHO),n.d.; retrieved from:

Blog 105

I Give A FUQ

(Frequently Unanswered Question)

Susan: Dr. Krys, I went to my doctor and told him I was going to you to treat my hypothyroidism. He says that you should mind your own business and just treat back problems. You can’t treat everything. Why does he say this?

Dr. K: Good question Susan, and one that is important to understand. The state of Illinois says that the scope of practice for chiropractors allows us to treat people without the use of drugs or surgery. When a medical doctor graduates from school they are considered general practitioners. Some continue their education and specialize in orthopedics, pediatrics, gynecology or radiology. The same occurs within the chiropractic profession. Some of us specialize in neurology, orthopedics or pediatrics as well. In my case, I found an interest in treating people with “internal” disorders like thyroid problems, intestinal issues or cardiovascular disease. My background and postgraduate education expanded on this. I like to treat people with a wide variety of illnesses. Your doctor assumes that because you have a thyroid condition that you need to be treated with medication. For many common health conditions, there are ways to treat the same issue without drugs. Your hypothyroid issue is one of them. I will be posting information regarding thyroid issues in the future. Stay tuned.

Blog 106

Is Monsanto Invading your vagina?

You probably have heard about Monsanto. They are the agricultural giant that uses herbicides on many of our crops. The purpose is to destroy organisms that are harmful to crops and at the same time introduce genetically modified DNA in the crops so that they are herbicide resistant. Their logic is that more crops will be sustained for the growing population. The top GMO crops are corn, soy and cotton. The same cotton that we use in our clothes and the same cotton that woman use in their tampons. Since the vagina is an entrance to the interior of the body and in close proximity to blood vessels and lymph nodes, will the additives in the tampons affect your health? Tampon use has been associated with disorders such as the potentially life threatening toxic shock syndrome and endometriosis. Toxic shock syndrome is not completely understood by physicians but they believe that this disorder is due to bacteria that enters the blood stream and the absorbability of the tampon itself. Alternatively, tampons have been linked to endometriosis- the disorder when the endometrial lining of the uterus grows outside the pelvic cavity causing severe pain.

If tampons can cause these disorders, can the content of the tampon cause a woman to experience health problems? The herbicide(s) have been associated with kidney disorders, endocrine disruption, cancer and birth defects. (Seralini, et al, 2012); (Garry, et al., 2002); (Eriksson, et al., 2008). Chronic exposure to such herbicides may prove to be a factor in the progression of such diseases. The World Health Organization recently said that glyphosate is a possible carcinogen to humans and has convincing evidence that it causes cancer in animals (WHO, 2015). What’s worse is that the tampon manufactures are responsible for the quality of the product, as there are no tests required by the FDA to ensure their safety. Do you trust your tampon company to detect this? With all of the chemical insults we take to our bodies on a daily basis, what can you do to limit your exposure?

**Use organic tampons. You can find some here: and here:

**Use organic cotton pads instead of tampons

**Reduce exposure to other herbicide containing foods like soy and corn.

**Maintain other healthy lifestyle habits like exercising, drinking water, not smoking and avoiding alcohol.

In this day and age it may seem like there is an overwhelming amount of food, toxins and other substances that we need to avoid. There is no way to determine if there is a cumulative effect of all life’s insults on our body. This is why people need to make healthy choices that may seem small at the moment but a lifetime of occurrences may be detrimental to your health.


Eriksson M, Hardell L, Carlberg M, Akerman M; Pesticide exposure as risk factor for non-Hodgkin lymphoma including histopathological subgroup analysis.; Int J Cancer. 2008 Oct 1;123(7):1657-63

Garry VF, Harkins ME, Erickson LL, Long-Simpson LK, Holland SE, Burroughs BL; Birth defects, season of conception, and sex of children born to pesticide applicators living in the Red River Valley of Minnesota, USA.; Environ Health Perspect. 2002 Jun;110 Suppl 3:441-9.

The Huffington Post Canada, 10/26/15; Tampons May Have Carcinogens; retrieved from:

Mesnage R, Arno M, Costanzo M, Malatesta M, Séralini GE, Antoniou MN; Transcriptome profile analysis reflects rat liver and kidney damage following chronic ultra-low dose Roundup exposure. Environ Health. 2015 Aug 25;14:70

Séralini GE, Clair E, Mesnage R, Gress S, Defarge N, Malatesta M, Hennequin D, de Vendômois JS; Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize.; Food Chem Toxicol. 2012 Nov;50(11):4221-31

World Health Organization (WHO):

Elmhurst, IL Chiropractor | Elmhurst, IL chiropractic Blog | IL |

Blog 107

I get a lot of patients in my office that are taking statin medications-meds that are used to decrease cholesterol. In my opinion, these are some of the worst drugs on the market today. They are bad for several reasons. First, they don't treat the cause of the problem. There are some people that have a genetic defect in cholesterol metabolism however for most people, it is due to a lifestyle issue. Rarely are patients given any advice on changing their lifestyle and there is no goal of getting people off of these medications. Most are on for years. It is a passive monotherapy that does not get the patient involved in their own healthcare. We used to be scared about eating too many saturated fats but there has been new information showing that eating excess carbohydrates causes the body to deposit more cholesterol in the blood vessel walls. Second, the cholesterol medication removes the cholesterol from the bloodstream and deposits it in the liver for removal. That is why the prescribing doctor wants to have people on these drugs come in for periodic blood tests to make sure they are not acquiring a non-alcoholic fatty liver. Third, recent research has implicated statin drugs with causing type 2 diabetes. Lastly, and what I have been coming across a lot is autoimmune statin myopathy. In other words, the statin causes the body to attack itself and producing symptoms such as, muscle/joint pain, muscle weakness and atrophy. I wonder if all of the people that have been "diagnosed" with fibromyalgia have been taking statins? You can read about the side effects here: And, an interesting case study from the New England Journal of Medicine can be found here: "Statin Associated Autoimmune Myopathy"; Mammen A. MD PhD; N.Engl J. Med, 374;7, 2/18/16.

Importance of Sodium and Iodine in Human Beings

Blog 108

Sodium often gets a bad rap. Its main influence has been on elevating the blood pressure. The sodium that we get usually comes from processed foods that are high in salt. Reducing these processed foods from our diet is one positive way we can reduce elevated blood pressure. This blog covers a few of the positive aspects of sodium intake

Sodium is a natural occurring element in the majority of the food’s group. Seaweed, artichokes, celery, and seafood are some of those eatable items that, naturally, have a suitable amount of sodium. The most frequent way through which sodium finds its way into our body is in the form of sodium chloride, also known as table salt and in processed foods like cured meats, boxed cereals and soft drinks to name a few.

The intake of sodium differs from body to body. A healthy adult should consume around 2300 mg of sodium. On the other hand, there is no specified amount for children, but it does not mean that children should be fed food that is high in sodium.

Sodium and Health

Sodium in our daily diet is mandatory for the stable functioning of:

  • ·Blood Pressure

Sodium is absorbed in our blood and attracts water to keep the volume in check. Low and high sodium means low or high blood pressure.

  • ·Healthy Nerve and Muscle Functioning

Electrically charged sodium serves as a medium of communication between different nerves and is required for muscle contraction.

Low sodium or hyponatremia can result in muscle cramps, nausea, fatigue, and tiredness. In severe cases, it can contribute to hallucination, coma, and reduced consciousness.

The changes, which a normal human body goes through, do not end there. Low sodium can have a drastic effect on the body’s thyroid gland.

Iodine & Thyroid Gland

Sodium is a compound mineral that organs require, to keep the functionality of one’s body in balance. Whereas, iodine is a trace mineral that is found in sodium, required by the thyroid glands.

A thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped organ that is located at the front of the neck just below the Adam’s apple. Its job is to release hormones which control the metabolism. The thyroid gland’s released hormones keep a check on breathing rate, heart rate, and muscle strength. Furthermore, it regulates the body weight, the level of cholesterols and menstrual cycles in one’s body. The thyroid gland is responsible for the production, storage and releasing of Triiodothyronine (T3), and Thyroxine (T4) hormones, respectively.

Thyroid glands need a specific amount of iodine to work properly and to produce the right amount of T3 and T4 hormones. Human bodies do not produce iodine, so it is necessary to consume such food that is high in iodine or sodium.

Our daily intake of iodine has dramatically decreased because almost all of the iodine in our food has been replaced by toxic halogens like fluoride, chloride, and bromide. These halogens compete with iodine for absorption in our bodies, and when they successfully replace iodine, our thyroid gland stops working altogether. This means that our bodies either have an excessive amount of T3 and T4 hormones or an inadequate quantity. Moreover, these toxic halogens are stored in fat cells, just like iodine. However, unlike iodine, they block the release of fat cells, which contributes to obesity among people.

Over the last 40 years, the intake of iodine has seen a drop of 50% and an increase in the toxic halogens. Due to which a lot of thyroid related diseases have risen. Diseases like hormonal imbalances, prostate cancer, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer and obesity. The deficiency of iodine and the absence of proper functional thyroid glands in pregnant women can result in their children being diagnosed with ADD, down syndromes and mental retardedness.

If you are suffering from symptoms like weak nails, cold hands, nausea, and hair loss, it is probably due to your thyroid glands not getting the right amount of iodine. These symptoms may be small but if left untreated, can turn into a life-threatening disease.

The best way to tackle a malfunctioning thyroid gland is by opting for a healthy lifestyle that includes the paleo diet. Furthermore, food like seaweed, salmon, shrimps and meat should be consumed in large amounts.

If your body continues to display thyroid related symptoms, you can reach me by calling 800-862-5914.

Blog 109

The Some Common Symptoms Associated With Neck Pain

There are different kinds of disorders that affect the human body in so many ways. The identification of such diseases mainly becomes possible with the correct interpretation of symptoms. This holds true in the case of neck pain as well. There are different symptoms associated with the neck pain and knowledge of these symptoms is crucial to know the reason behind this pain.

Neck pain is the feeling that arises because of intense stimuli into the neck. There are different bones, muscles, and ligaments present in the neck that help in the movement of the body and for providing support to the head. Any abnormality in these structures may result in acute or intense pain sensation in the neck that can either be short term or long term.
Let’s discuss a few symptoms that are correlated with the neck pain to understand more about its causes.

One common symptom of neck pain is the headache. There are many different types of headache. The most common form that I see in the office is the tension headache. This type of headache occurs when muscles in the neck tighten and restrict the motion of the vertebrae in the neck which can pinch the nerves in the neck. These nerves go to different parts of the body including the head, neck, shoulders and arms. These tight muscles can occur from years of repetitive movements, poor posture, incorrect sleep positions, etc. Other type of headaches include migraine and cluster headaches. Cluster headaches occir over regular intervals like days, months and certain seasons of the year. There appears to be a definite rynthmic nature to these headaches. The cause is unknown but people that get treated by chiropractors tend to get better so there may be a neuromusculoskeletal factor associated with these headaches. Migraine headaches can be caused by chemical factors such as hormones, food additives, and allergies. Migraines are usually more severe in nature and can present with nausea, vomiting, seeing spots in the field of vision, pain in the temples and sensitivity to light. It is important to get an exam by a chiropractor to properly diagnose the condition to rule out other factors that may mimic these disorders and give the appropriate care.

It is another symptom related to the neck pain and it is characterized by a radiating pain that emerges from the neck and runs through the shoulder into the arm. Patients often experience intense pain in the shoulders, neck, back of the head and into the arms.Typically, radiating symptoms involve a nerve that is getting compressed usually by a decrease in the hole that the nerve exits from the spinal column. This is called stenosis. By opening up the opening where the nerve exits, compression of the nerve is relieved and proper function can occur.

Neck pain is also linked with the desensitization and tingling in the arms. Numbness in the extrenities can be caused by several different factors-disc bulge in the neck, disc herniation in the neck, diabetes and thyroid problems can all cause similar symptoms.
In addition to the symptoms mentioned here, a few less common symptoms of the neck pain include weight loss, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and balance disorders. Proper diagnosis from your chiropractor can rule out these disorders through objective testing including advanced imaging, orthopedic and neurological testing and blood analysis. The deeper understanding of the symptoms associated with neck pain helps to find out the timely identification of the actual cause and helps a patient avoid any further damage in this way.

Call us if we can help you with any of these symtoms, 800-862-5914

Blog 110

When will we learn ?

Over the last few weeks in the news we have learned that antibiotics are overprescribed, medical errors are the third cause of death in the United States, opioid prescriptions are given out too frequently by doctors that do not know when to prescribe them and musician Prince dying of an apparent overdose of prescription medications. Throughout the years science has developed great advances in health. Babies that are born premature survive, we have the ability to surgically repair the body after trauma, but we continue to rely on medications to cure every ill there is. I don't watch the news often but when I do, every commercial is for a prescription medication. Disorders that were never disorders are now being treated with different medications. Rarely do doctors give alternatives or seek to ween patients of their medications. Many of these disorders can be fixed with lifestyle modifications. The top two causes of death in the United States are cancer and heart disease, both have associations to lifestyle choices. Unfortunately people have chosen to continue with their lifestyle choice without considering altering their lifestyle, or, if they do alter their lifestyle it is in a haphazard manner. There will be no vaccine or antibiotic that will be a substitute for a healthy immune system. O.K. , what about those people who do have a weakened immune systems? How did it get weak? Why did that happen ?

The lesson for today is that there are too many people relying on medications and surgery for every ailment. Healthcare in this country will never get any better or less expensive unless there is a change in how people maintain their health. Look for alternative ways of treating disorders that within your ability to modify. When those conditions cannot be modified by yourself, seek the assistance of a doctor that starts out conservatively and works their way up to more involved procedures depending on the severity and intensity of your problem.

Blog 111

In 1976, Dr. Chester Wilk and four other chiropractors sued the American Medical Association in a landmark anti-trust lawsuit. 2016 is the 40th anniversary of the initiation of that event. I sat down with Dr. Chester Wilk to talk about some of his memories of this lawsuit.

Dr. Krys: Dr. Wilk, thank you for taking some time to talk with me about the Wilk V. AMA case. It is the 40th anniversary of the lawsuit. Can you believe that?

Dr. Wilk: No I can’t believe it.

Dr. K: Has anything changed from this lawsuit?

Dr. W: Sure. Years ago medical doctors would not associate with chiropractors for fear that they would lose their license. Chiropractors would refer patients to medical doctors for x-rays or medication but they would not treat patients referred by chiropractors. Now, chiropractors and medical doctors work together and give referrals to each other.

{In the 1960’s the American Medical Association formed a committee on quackery which was to look out for “unscientific” healthcare practices. Practices such as acupuncture, massage, and they took a special interest to chiropractic. In the documents presented in deposition, it was revealed the AMA was looking to “eliminate and contain” chiropractic for the simple reason that the profession was “competition”. None of this would have been revealed if it wasn’t for a leak of information from the American Medical Association headquarters by a mysterious source}

Dr. Krys: I was reading in your book “Medicine, Monopolies and Malice”, and in that book you mentioned a person in the book called “sore throat”, which was the informant that leaked the information from the AMA. Why did that person give you that information? What motivated them to give that information to you?


Dr. Wilk: Well, he found out that I was traveling around the country doing radio and television talk shows because I wrote my initial book which was called “Chiropractic Speaks Out”. And so I was traveling around the country promoting the book and as I would go to different state associations I would meet different chiropractors who would say “If we can rally enough of people together, count on me”. This is how we found people like Dr. Mike Pedigo from California, he said “if you can find anyone, I would be more than happy to (get involved) with the case.” I spoke to another chiropractor out in Missouri, Michigan, different chiropractors who would all tell me the same thing-if you can rally enough support, let’s get this thing going. So eventually we got enough people together to where we were able to get this lawsuit started.

Dr. K: So the informant that was called “sore throat” knew about you because you would go out and do speaking engagements on chiropractic? Is that correct?

Dr. W: Yes

Dr. K: Did you ever find out who that person was?

Dr. W: No, I never did find out, but I would get collect calls from someone and the operator would say “We have a collect call from Dr. Throat!” I said I would accept and so that stimulated a lot of excitement that an informant that had worked within the AMA headquarters would smuggle out these internal documents and make them public.

Dr K: The AMA headquarters right here in Chicago?

Dr. W: Right

{the source was an employee working in the American Medical Association building in Chicago, IL. The person was a scientology advocate. The AMA was after scientology because they said they were practicing psychiatry without a license. Soon afterward, Scientology changed its name to the “Church” of Scientology. This disgruntled employee searched through the files in the AMA headquarters looking for information pertaining to Scientology. What he came up with was the information the AMA had stating they were trying to “eliminate and contain” chiropractic (the employee also found information regarding AMA donations to various politicians and political organizations)}

Dr. K.: At first the American Chiropractic Association was reluctant to help you out, why was that?

Dr. W: Because they thought it was an overwhelming case. The AMA has a lot of money, influence and it would be a very difficult case. Actually they were correct because it was an enormous undertaking. What (attorney) George McAndrews had to do by taking the case, he had to assume a tremendous amount of liability. Had it not been successful, he would have been out of all of that money. When the case was finally settled we were in debt to his law firm at one million dollars. And it’s not that he had that much money where he could absolutely afford it, but he did it because it was something he absolutely insisted had to be done because he came from a family of chiropractors, like twenty-something chiropractors. His brother is a chiropractor, his father was a chiropractor and he could visualize his father suffering the agony and pain of being discriminated against because he was a chiropractor. (His father) wanted to join a golf club but because he was a chiropractor, he was denied membership to the golf club. So, George (McAndrews) could visualize his dad kicking the vault off the grave and saying “I put you through school, now you have to come to the defense of my profession.” So he felt a real moral obligation to do it. And if there are any hero’s in this case it is George McAndrews. I think (the lawsuit) would make a tremendous motion picture that would be like a John Gresham novel except that it’s true. So if there is any enlightened producer out there, you have a tremendous source for an incredible motion picture.


I remember there were some funny scenes in there, McAndrews was in the office of the American Medical Association and he was talking with one of the lawyers there. They said “Mr. McAndrews, you will never win. We’ve got a forty-fifty million dollar, whatever it was budget, you’ll never win the case.” And McAndrews, being kind of a big guy, he stands well over six feet tall, looked him straight in the face and told him “I’m going to bring the battleship down to St. Lawrence seaway and park it at Navy Pier for your unconditional surrender.” “And by the way, bring top hats!” Another funny case, he was in the courtroom. He was surrounded by twenty-five of the biggest law firms in America and one of them said “Hey George, where is your assistant?” McAndrews said “Well when I get busy, I’ll get one, but in the mean time I’ll just get into a phone booth and disrobe.” With a little humor he was able to sustain the pressure that he was under.

Dr. K: You said that the American Medical Association had all of this money, did you ever find out or realize how much money they had spent on the case? Do you know?

Dr. W: I understand from what I gathered from the news that the AMA said probably twenty million dollars on the suit. And the money that we got, the settlement, was distributed to the colleges for research. None of the members of the antitrust committee profited from it.

It is an interesting point because during the lawsuit, I went to the Justice Department and I remember speaking to a fellow by the name of Edward Eliasburg, he was an attorney with the Justice Department. And I brought another chiropractor with me, and we had a tape recorder, we even taped the whole conversation, we had permission to tape it. I told him, this Edward Eliasburg, this is an anti-trust violation, you are the Justice Department, this is your responsibility, we are doing your job for you. Will you at least come in as a friend of the court? Of course, they wouldn’t do it. Because pharma and the drug companies have them in their back pocket.

Dr. K: When the lawsuit was going on, what did other chiropractors think about that? Were they for it? Were they skeptical? Were they scared about it?

Dr. W: Well, chiropractors generally thought that it was an impossible dream. But it was something, probably naivety on my part not realizing what a major undertaking it was. If it wasn’t for George McAndrews and the fact that he took this case on, there was no one on this planet that could have done what George McAndrews did. He had the courage, tenacity, knowledge, commitment, all of these necessary ingredients to make it the success that it was.

Dr. K: While this lawsuit was going on, did you ever experience any death threats or violence toward you, any weird situations going on?

Dr. W: No, nothing of that nature.

Dr. K: I noticed in your book that the lawsuit was initiated in 1976 and the first round did not go as you expected. Basically, you lost the case but then you went back and in 1981, you started the process all over again. You were going to go back for a retrial. Is that correct?

Dr. W: Yes, there was an awful lot of information that was brought into the case which wasn’t really relevant so it was retried. During the lawsuit, and I think you’ll find this interesting, we had known that the American Medical Association actually did some research on the effectiveness of chiropractic during World War 2. This is back in 1945. It was being headed by an officer within the American Medical Association. They found that chiropractic was very effective and yet during out trial, we knew that the study was done, the lawyers of the AMA said “No, there is no such study, we don’t have it.” McAndrews told them “Hey, I know you’ve got it, either you produce that or, we’re going to move for a contempt of court citation. Well, guess what, it surfaced. And here it showed that back in 1945, that chiropractic was very effective, in fact it was very effective, for example, it made pregnancy easier for women. Even during the trial, one of the (defense) lawyers got up saying “What’s all this stuff about woman having an easier time with pregnancy and chiropractic care? “He starts scoffing at it. And at that time (Judge) Susan Gatzendanner kind of sat up twelve inches taller, glared at his and said “Apparently you never gave birth to a child.” He then realized he stuck his foot in his mouth right up to his epiglottis and he sat down and shut up. That was kind of the humorous part in this trial.

Dr. K: Do you know what happened to that study? Do you know the citation?

Dr. W: Yes, I had copies of it and I gave it out to one of the chiropractors doing research on it. He never returned it so I don’t have it anymore but I know it would be available or McAndrews could pull it out, I’m sure he would have a copy of it. The person that did the study was called Hendryson. He was a member of the board of trustees of the American Medical Association.

Dr. K: Do you know what journal it was in?

Dr W: They just buried it. The propaganda that they were coming out with against chiropractic was going on when they already knew that chiropractic was safe and effective. The thing that was irritating was that they knew it was safe and effective, but they buried it. In the meantime, they were supporting this negative propaganda showing gross negligence and dishonesty on the part of the American Medical Association.

Dr. K: When the lawsuit was going on, it started in 1976, it was retried later and finally, I think the final date was 1992, that everything was completed is that correct?

Dr. W: I think it was 1990.

Dr. K: During that time from 1976 to 1990 was there any, rather did the American Medical Association continue with the propaganda or did they stop it? How did that turn out from all of those years?

Dr. W: Well during the lawsuit, they kind of backed off some of the propaganda.

Dr. K: When you were going through the lawsuit, you were seeing your regular patients, did you get any feedback from your patients? What were they saying? Did they know about the lawsuit?

Dr. W: I don’t believe my patients really knew about the lawsuit.

Dr. K: In 1964, the AMA started their committee on quackery and that was the basic group or committee that initiated all of these negative comments and information on chiropractic, is that correct?

Dr. W: Yes, they were circulating all of this propaganda.

Dr. K: And they did that through medical schools? They would talk to the students and tell them not to associate with chiropractors? Would they go to doctors’ offices and just tell them not to associate with chiropractors? How did that work?

Dr. W: The policy of this committee on quackery was to work behind the scenes, never let your hand show and have other people do all of their dirty work for them. They would enlist labor unions like the American Federation of Labor….different labor unions, what have you, and do their dirty work for them and sit back and like they didn’t have anything to do with it. But they were behind it. They were behind the National Council of Senior Citizens. They were supporting it, they were using members of the National Council of Senior Citizens, they came out with a newspaper indicating that they did not want chiropractic. Which was nonsense because the seniors loved chiropractic. The last thing they would say is that we don’t want chiropractic inclusion in Medicare, but this is all propaganda. The head propagandist was a gentleman, we took him to court, and I wish I remembered his name now but…Doyle Taylor!

Dr K: So he was the one that started all of that? During the trial they found out that he left Illinois and he went somewhere warmer and he was playing golf when he should have been in the courtroom?

Dr W: Exactly. Doyle Taylor during the trial said he didn’t know the difference between a chiropractor and an antelope. That he was just doing his job. Disseminating all of this propaganda. So, he took an early retirement and he left the state, moved to Arizona and he claimed that he wasn’t fit physically to testify. So we had a detective go out there and they took pictures of him playing golf. Now how can you play golf, when certainly he can come in and testify? He ran like a coward, he spent millions of dollars trashing our profession, but then when we finally got him, I guess well, he ran like a coward and left the state.

Dr. K: So how did you get him? They required him to come back to Chicago to go to court?

Dr W: No, he never did come back, that was it. It was over with.

Dr. K: Do you know what happened to many of these people? People that were involved in the lawsuit? I know that you had the four other chiropractors that were involved in the case, do you keep in touch with them, do you know what they are doing?

Dr. W: I have not really, well, Mike Pedigo passed away and Bryden just recently passed away. And then there is a gentleman from Missouri, I can’t even think of his name….

Dr. K: Colin Haney?

Dr. W: Yes, he was one of them, he is still around. He is 90 years old and in North Carolina.

Dr. K; Allen Unra?

Dr. W: He was one of the men involved in our antitrust committee.

Dr. K: And then Claire O’Dell?

Dr. W: Claire O’Dell is no longer living, he passed away.

Dr. K: I know the judge passed away, correct? Susan Datzenganner.

Dr. W: Yes, she also passed away.

Dr. K: Do you have any special memories from this? What are your thoughts on all of this? Do you ever regret having gone through this lawsuit? Do you feel it was important?

Dr. W: I have no regret that I went through this lawsuit, the only sad part of it is that I lost my family from it. My wife was convinced that I loved chiropractic more than her, which was a lie.

I would like to thank Dr. Chester Wilk for taking the time to talk about some of his memories of this case. I would also like to thank George McAndrews for supplying information pertaining to this lawsuit.

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If you have been watching the news recently, a tragic accident occurred when a model suffered a stroke after going to a visit to see a chiropractor. This might put some fear into people when choosing to get treated by a chiropractor, but I will share some facts with you before you decide otherwise. The incidence of getting a stroke after visiting a chiropractor is 1 in 1 million (Haldeman,, 2001). There is a better chase that you can win the lottery, die in a car accident on your way to the doctor’s office or dying from taking aspirin (Lanas A, et. al, 2005). There have been many research articles written on the subject of strokes after visiting a chiropractor. A study from the non-chiropractic journal- Spine, 2/15/2018 by Cassidy, et al. showed that chiropractors did not cause stroke in people any more than a person visiting a medical doctor for a similar symptom-headaches. The study was performed over 9 years and showed that the people that were seeing a chiropractor (or medical doctor) for neck pain symptoms were already having a stroke and that a visit to either of these doctors did not precipitate the incident.

A great example of how little of a risk it is for you to have your neck adjusted and get a stroke rests in the malpractice insurance statistics. Let me describe how insurance companies work. An 18-year-old male driving a new Corvette pays more in auto insurance than a 35-year-old soccer mom. Why? Because insurance actuaries do their homework and have statistics to show that 18-year-old males driving a sports car are at more of a risk of getting in an accident than the 35-year-old soccer mon, therefore the soccer mom pays less in auto insurance. Likewise, a chiropractor taking out a million-dollar malpractice insurance policy pays about 5 thousand dollars per year in insurance. A medical doctor who is a primary care physician or internal medicine doctor pays 30 thousand dollars in malpractice insurance per year. Why? Because there is a greater risk of what the medical doctor does than a chiropractor. The insurance actuaries have their statistics and they know that medical doctors are sued more frequently. And to top it off, chiropractors see patients several times per week when dealing with health issues, so they are treating patients more often than a medical doctor. According to the CDC, medical errors are the number 3 cause of death, (CDC,10/2016); (John Hopkins University, 5/2016). In fact, acetaminophen (aspirin) caused over 400 deaths due to acute liver failure and opioid overdose caused 15,000 deaths per year (Office of Nat. Drug Policy). I can guarantee you there are only a few incidences of stroke following a chiropractic treatment per year. Some anti-chiropractic websites may try to ride this and perpetuate their professional bigotry, usually to accommodate their own goals.

It is an unfortunate accident that occurred and is probably getting a lot of attention because the person that was affected was a Playboy model. Many news outlets have reported on this but realistically, there is a very small chance that this occurs to someone. So, the next time you decide to take an aspirin or drive your car, realize that the chances of having a complication visiting a chiropractor is small compared to other events.


CDC; Leading Causes of Death, 10/2016; retrieved from:

Haldeman S, Carey P, Townsend M, Papadopoulos C: Arterial dissections following cervical manipulation: the chiropractic experience. CMAJ 2001;165:905

John Hopkins University, 5/2016; retrieved from:

Lanas A. et. al. A nationwide study of mortality associated with hospital admission due to severe gastrointestinal events and those associated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug use. Am J Gastroenterology 2005, Aug;100(8):1685-93

Office of National Drug Policy, Fact Sheet: Opioid Abuse in the United States,

Spine, 2/15/2008; “Risk of Vertebrobasilar Artery Stroke and Chiropractic Care”, Cassidy, et al.

Blog 113

5 Reasons You Are Not Getting a Good Night’s Sleep

  • Eating and drinking before going to bed. There’s nothing worse than having a meal before you go to bed and experiencing fullness or drinking and getting up to use the bathroom during the night. Some people can’t get back to sleep when they feel stomach distension or after they get up in the middle of the night to urinate. Do not eat or drink anything two hours prior to bedtime.
  • Your mattress. Memory mattresses and feather down tops are bad. These options are not good because they do not support your spine. They give in under your body weight. Do you know anyone that uses a waterbed anymore? These were popular in the 70’s and early 80’s but they were bad for your back. Same goes for sleeping on soft surfaces. In fact, many times when I get a patient with acute back pain, I recommend that they sleep on the floor.
  • Your pillow. Your pillow should also not give in under the weight of your head. Being soft is not important, maintaining the “c” curve in your cervical spine is important. You should have a roll that cocks your neck back a few degrees to maintain this position. It may not feel comfortable at first because your body is not used to this position. Kind of like getting braces on your teeth. There is no sense in having loose braces to make them feel better. It defeats the purpose of stabilization, and remember your teeth are made of the same material as the bones in your spine.
  • Sleeping on your stomach. In this position, you decrease the curve in your low back and accentuate the curve in your neck. Sleeping in this position for long periods of time and over years can cause you to experience tight muscles. Tight muscles do not allow full range of motion of the joints in your spine and decreased range of motion will cause degeneration (arthritis) in your spine. Think long term with this.
  • Don’t watch t.v., use your tablet or smart phone before going to bed. The lights can stimulate rather than sedate you and make it difficult to fall asleep. Try reading instead.

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I Give a FUQ

(Frequently Unanswered Question)

Last time I blogged about several reasons why you may not be getting a good night’s sleep. Today, I am going to elaborate on one of those issues-your mattresses. “What kind of mattress should I get?” This topic comes up frequently at my office. Usually I will hear something like “my back pain was killing me so I decided to get a new mattress.” Well, that’s great but there is probably a much larger issue here. First off, we spend a significant amount of our life sleeping. Lack of sleep has been associated with decreased health so getting a good night’s rest is important. Getting a mattress will help our sleep and maintain good spinal hygiene by supporting our spine. Mattresses that have memory foam or a soft quilted top are not good because these give in under your weight. For some reason people like to think that having a soft mattress will make them feel better. They imagine falling asleep in a cloud or some other similarly enticing object. The fact is, your mattress should support, not give in under your body weight. Compare this to putting braces on your teeth. You wouldn’t put loose braces on because it feels better. I mean what’s the point? Braces will be tight so that they can influence the way your teeth grow, your bones in your body are made from the same material as in your teeth. In fact, I commonly tell patients with acute back pain to sleep on the floor. The floor, assuming you are sleeping on your back, elongates the spine and the hard surface maintains, rather than gives in under your body weight. Many people find relief from sleeping this way. So, for a good night’s sleep, get a mattress that is firm, not soft, sleep on your back or your side. It helps to place a pillow between your knees when you are on your side to maintain proper pelvic leveling. Getting a new mattress is a start on proper spinal hygiene but most likely there are other issues occurring here.

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Should You Be Taking a Multivitamin?

I found an interesting article on the internet:

It’s a piece about someone taking a multivitamin regularly, but the woman’s doctor, (who probably has no nutritional training at all) informed her that her multivitamin isn’t doing anything so she should discontinue using it. I’ve had patients tell me that they stopped taking their vitamins because they didn’t think it was doing anything, or they saw a news report on T.V. that said they shouldn’t be taking them. I had several thoughts on this article now, as I did when my patient mentioned that she didn’t think her vitamins did anything.

First, the nutritional content of our food now is not as good as it once was. We ingest food that is high in preservatives, fat and carbohydrates. Animals are fed grains, corn and God knows what else. They pass this on to us when we eat them. Processed foods have nutrients added to them because they are diminished during the manufacturing process. Deficiencies in vitamins and minerals, as well as general nutritional content are declining. An interesting article on how our food has changed over the years:

Adding a multivitamin is probably a good thing. But just what type of multivitamin should you use?

Second, I see patients purchasing vitamins because they are low in cost or they buy one, get two for free, what a deal ! From what I have experienced, you get what you pay for. Some nutritional companies don’t even have the right amount of a particular vitamin in the pill after analysis. It costs money for a company to have the special equipment to make sure that 100 mg of calcium is actually in the pill ! They offset the cost of this valuable service by having a supplemnet that costs more than a few dollars and rarely do they give you any for free. Take a look at your multivitamins. Do they have fillers? Artificial ingredients? Colors or dyes? What for? That is like giving a Ferrari cheap oil and low octane gas. It is probably not going to harm the car, but it is not going to run optimally either.

Third, vitamins work silently. Unlike drugs that may make you feel tired, give you a dry mouth, etc., vitamins rarely produce these side effects. The only way you can determine if a vitamin is doing what it is supposed to is by measuring it in the blood. If your vitamin D is low, you will need a special test to check before supplementing, during and after. If a person has a specific deficiency, like vitamin D or B12, a multivitamin is probably not going to do enough to correct this. You will need to specifically supplement with more.

Lastly, your diet needs to be tight. If you are eating junk food, there is no supplement that is going to make you better. The supplement is just that-a supplement. It is supposed to enhance your already good diet and should be added as part of a healthy lifestyle.

In summary:

Don’t stop taking a multivitamin.

Make sure you get a quality multivitamin. The one you are getting at the grocery store that is cheap or gives you a good deal may not be doing anything. Put quality ingredients into the Ferrari. Treat your body right and go to a professional like a chiropractor, naturopathic doctor or nutritionist that uses supplements made by a reputable company. Remember, you get what you pay for.

Ideally you should have a blood test to determine if you have any deficiencies that need more than just a multivitamin.

Do not rely on a multivitamin to improve the quality of your diet. Start by upgrading your food to organic, grass fed animals, eliminate preservatives and avoid synthetics.

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5 Health Apps You Must Have !

Today’s technology allows us to track and keep score of all our goals. This applies to health tracking as well. I am listing the top 5 free mobile apps that you must have on your smart phone. In no particular order:

1) Google Fit- This app will track any of your personal fitness goals. If you want to track steps, calories and distance plus more this app will do that for you. It works well with hardware such as watches and sensors in your shoes. I enjoy using this app to keep track of my mileage as I jog. It tabulates your accumulated stats and makes for some interesting number crunching.

2) Lose It !- This handy app tracks your calories. You can search for foods that you eat manually, you can scan a package with the bar code scanner or even take a picture of it. The app gives you weight loss plans that are specific for the information you set up with them. The app also will help you achieve your weight loss goals by planning a routine to meet your exercise, nutritional and health goals.

3) MyChart- excellent app that keeps your healthcare records in one convenient place. You can access lab results, doctors’ appointments and your family’s health history.

4) Water Drink Reminder- Most of us don’t drink enough of water. This app sets up reminders throughout the day for you to drink water. You just set the time that you want to drink water, let’s say from 7AM to 7PM, enter your weight and enter the time when you drink water so the app can determine when you need to fill up again. Water helps cleanse the system by removing bacteria from the urethra, decreases hunger and prevents kidney stones as just a few of the benefits.

5) Just for the ladies-Period Tracker-for woman who are looking to conceive or not, this app tracks and records your menstrual cycle. It also tracks your temp, symptoms and moods, as recorded by you, and gives reminders for birth control use. This can be a very useful tool for woman experiencing infertility or just want to stay healthy.

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Is This the Secret to Losing Weight?

Losing weight and keeping it off is one of the most difficult actions for someone to complete. Often people are accused of being lazy and although exercise is important, there may be one more thing that is missing in the quest to lose weight and keep it off.

Have you ever heard of the hormone leptin? Leptin is a hormone that is found in fat cells. Leptin is the hormone that gives you satiety. It is the hormone that stops you from overeating. The body has a great way of protecting itself. When something is too much, your body has the ability to reduce or increase it through a negative feedback loop. Ironically, when you have increased body fat, there is more of this hormone available. That should tell the body to stop craving dfood and as such, you stop eating.

If it were only that easy. There are several situations that can complicate this process. Having elevated cholesterol is one of them. The other is inflammation. Did you know that the foods we eat can cause inflammation ? So, what are those foods? Sugars, trans fats, simple carbohydrates, preservatives and excessive alcohol use. The other is having too much leptin hormone secreted in your body. This causes a resistance when the hormone is released naturally.

What are you to do? Well you can start by doing what I call is the cave-man diet. If a caveman couldn’t eat it, you shouldn’t either. That removes the sugar, preservatives, simple carbohydrates and anything that is packaged. Another tactic you can do is to adopt the ketogenic diet. This is a diet that is high in protein and fat and very low in carbohydrates. Before you jump into this diet, make sure you talk with someone who is familiar with this type of diet. Both of these ideas can decrease inflammation in your body. You can also include exercise in your regular routine to lose weight and make sure you ae getting enough sleep as this helps your immune system and the regulation of the leptin hormone.

So start slowly integrating these into your lifestyle. For some, this may be completely foreign, so start slow. Over time you will see that you are not craving foods. This, combined with the exercise will decrease inflammation, burn fat and allow you to maintain a healthy weight.

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Numbness and tingling in the arms or legs, or both, can be a sign of a serious disorder. For some people, they may experience something called neuropathy. Usually this is caused by complications from diabetes. Thyroid disorders also cam cause symptoms like this. For the sake of this blog, and maybe later there will be a blog on neuropathy, but for this blog we are going to discuss numbness and tingling in the extremities as it relates to the musculoskeletal system. This is not the only ways people can experience these symptoms but musculoskeletal causes are very common.

From a chiropractic viewpoint, numbness and tingling in the extremities occurs when the nerves either from the neck area or low back area are getting “pinched”. The nerves get irritated, inflamed and can cause symptoms. The term for a nerve that is getting pinched is stenosis. What that means is the hole where the nerve leaves a space is compromised and it is touching the nerve. Radiculopathy is when the nerve is getting pinched when it exits the spinal cord. Usually this will affect only one side of the body resulting in numbness in one upper extremity or lower extremity. Sometimes you will see it on both sides. Associated more with bilateral (both sides) numbness and tingling could mean that the nerve is getting pinched from the spinal cord or myelopathy. Spinal cord involvement can not only give patients numbness and tingling sensations but weakness of the muscles, diminished reflexes and muscle atrophy. The stenosis, or narrowing of the hole where the nerve leaves can be closed off by singularly, or in combination with a disc bulge, disc herniation, arthritis in the spine, fracture of the spine, tumors in the spine and ligament enlargement.

The solution for this should first start with a solid diagnosis, prognosis and treatment plan. Many times, when there is nerve involvement an MRI in combination with x-rays and a nerve conduction test (NCV) and an electromyogram (EMG) can be performed. This tells us exactly where the nerve is getting compromised. Spinal stenosis can be treated conservatively, and surgery is not the recommended first choice for treatment. Chiropractic treatments, muscle strengthening, stretching, spinal traction, inflammation and pain control as well as rehabilitation will improve the patient’s condition. The purpose of the combination of these treatments is to relieve the pressure from the nerve. It takes approximately 10mg of pressure to irritate the nerve. This is the equivalent to placing a dime on the nerve, which is all the pressure that is needed to cause symptoms. Once the pressure is lifted off the nerve, pain is reducing and muscle spasm is lessening, then you can perform the rehabilitation to strengthen the area around the spine. Stenotic cases can take weeks or months to resolve. If the condition is not progressing after a significant amount of time, pain management measures like spinal injections can be utilized to calm down the inflammation occurring when the nerve gets irritated. This can help a patient get through the treatments and ultimately get functional again. If this fails, then a surgical consultation would be in order.

If you have been experiencing numbness, tingling in the extremities, headaches, neck pain, back pain, or if you have been dealing with spinal stenosis for some time and not getting results, call Integrative Healthcare Associates at 800-862-5914 , 24/7 if you are in Chicago, Elmhurst, IL. Villa Park, Lombard, Oak Brook, Stone Park, Northlake, Melrose Park, Addison, Berkeley areas.

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Does Posture Affect Your Health

Posture, or how you hold your body. How you stand, sit and lay down are postural positions that we participate in on a daily basis. Our posture is dictated by a collaboration of our nerves, muscles and joints. Within these tissues, we have nerves that interpret and transmit sensations to the spinal cord and then the brain. When the information from the nerves, joints and muscles are corrupted, most commonly by damage to the structures, we can have alterations in posture.

Let me give you an example. You have your job, maybe you’re a mechanic, data entry person or dental assistant. When you perform the same repetitive movements often, you can teach your body bad habits. Let’s face it, even with our good intentions we catch ourselves in an awkward position that gives us discomfort. These habits may occur when you slouch during your activities, when you utilize muscles that normally should not be activated while you are working, or even trauma like a car accident or slip and fall. When the muscles, nerves and joints relay improper information to the brain, you develop postural anomalies. The problem is people will go years doing the same repetitive movements before they start to experience symptoms. People may experience symptoms like tight and tense muscles, pain, radiation of pain from one area to another and sensory alteration like numbness and tingling in an extremity. The only way you will be able to determine the extent of your condition is by having an exam of the tissues previously mentioned.

Assessing range of motion of the joints, tension of the muscles and movement of the spinal vertebra, orthopedic testing, neurological testing, imaging like x-rays or MRI will all give the chiropractor a picture into your health. Once the areas where alterations are occurring, a proper treatment plan can put into place. Remember, most people have been doing the wrong postural movements with their body for a long period of time. These postural anomalies won’t correct themselves in a few days, weeks or months. There needs to be a collaboration with the chiropractor working on the patient, and the patient consistently doing the home stretches, exercises and postural routines daily. If there is one detrimental attribute, I don’t care if it’s learning to play piano, exercising to lose 50 pounds or correcting postural anomalies, you need to be consistent!!

So, if you are experiencing back pain, low back pain, neck pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, headaches, numbness and tingling in your arms, hands, legs or feet or wake up in the morning stiff, you need to give Integrative Healthcare Associates a call at : 800-862-5914 24/7.  Call us today to make an appointment to get out of pain!

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Should You See a Chiropractor ?

I hope if you’re reading this you have seen a chiropractor sometime in your life and if you haven’t, this is a good place to start. Chiropractic is a healing philosophy that is over 125 years old. The premise is that the bones in the spine, the vertebrae get “stuck” and don’t move properly. They don’t move properly for a variety of reasons but the most common are trauma and overuse injuries. When the vertebrae are not moving completely, the limited range of motion can result in a multitude of issues including arthritis, disc degeneration ( the cushions between your vertebra), localized back pain, impingement of the nerves coming out of the spine resulting in numbness and/or tingling in the extremities and weakened muscles just to name a few.

Many times people will visit a chiropractor after they have an injury, but often they have a spinal issue that has been dormant and now is brought out by a traumatic event like a slip, fall, car accident or even a typical benign, mundane activity like bending and twisting that throws a back out. When you first visit a chiropractor you’ll get an examination which includes a physical exam and possibly x-rays or an MRI if your condition necessitates one. Once you have a diagnosis and prognosis, you can get a treatment plan. Any imaging studies like x-rays will be explained so you know what is going on with your body. Some conditions require multiple visits. I explain to my patients that if you want to make a change in your body, you must work at it. You can’t expect to lose 50 pounds going to the gym for only one week can you? The same applies when making a change to your spine. If your condition has been going on for weeks, months or years, you shouldn’t expect the condition to get better in 1-2 visits. That is why we develop a treatment plan that is specific for the individual. There are 3 phases of care that occur. Pain relief, stabilization and finally rehabilitation.

To move the spinal segments back into place, chiropractors perform a high velocity, low amplitude thrust to the vertebrae that “unsticks” the vertebrae and they regain their mobility. Many times people will get immediate relief. Sometimes because of the chronicity of the condition, pain relief will be gradual. When the vertebrae are moved back into place, many times there is an audible popping sound. Some people may be afraid of this sound but it is actually good to have this happen. Let me explain. The joint surfaces that the bones of the spine rest on top of one another. The joint surfaces are moist and when they are separated, there is a popping sound. Kind of like taking two plungers, putting them together and then pulling them apart. You’ll hear a popping sound. For your spine, it is good because the joint surfaces do not get blood flow like the rest of your body. The only way these joints get nutrition is for them to move against one another in a free-flowing fashion, not being stuck together. This gets the joints lubricated and healthy. When the joints are not moved by chiropractic manipulation, the joint spaces can develop arthritic changes in as little as six months. These changes can be seen on x-rays.

Many chiropractors use different modalities to help with the chiropractic adjustment. These may include, electrostimulation to relax tight muscles and give pain relief. Ultrasound can be used to bring deep heating to a joint in the spine to decrease any inflammation, especially after an injury, or a chronic spine condition. Heat and ice are used to decrease inflammation. Rehabilitation exercises after your spine is moving well and you are out of the pain relief and stabilization phases, rehabilitation can occur. Some chiropractors also perform acupuncture, use laser therapy, decompression or other techniques to align your spine and get you out of pain. Chiropractors can continue their education after they graduate to specialize in different areas like pediatrics, family practice, orthopedics, neurology and radiology. That is why you need to do a little homework to see if the chiropractor you want to go to is in alignment with your needs. If chiropractic is good for people in an auto accident, construction workers, teachers, fire fighters, professional athletes like football players, hockey players and even Mr. Olympia, why not you ?

If you are experiencing pain like neck pain, back pain, low back pain, headaches, whiplash or numbness in your arms and legs, give Integrative Healthcare Associates a call 24/7 at 800-862-5914. 

Blog 123

What is Spinal Stenosis?

Spinal stenosis has become a catch phrase that it seems people use to refer to ALL back problems. Stenosis just means a narrowing of a space. In this case, the spine. The spine consists of consecutive bones called vertebrae that have a space gapper in between every bone. This is the disc. You may have heard of terms, herniated disc, slipped disc, bulging disc, etc. These terms sometimes are used interchangeably (incorrectly), but when you have a disc derangement, inevitably you will develop spinal stenosis. The amount varies, but when you combine a disc bulge with arthritis in the spine and other abnormal pathology, pinching of the nerve may occur. When someone has spinal stenosis, the whole where the nerve exits the spine gets narrow and puts pressure on the nerve. This can cause people to experience many different types of symptoms like numbness and tingling in the arms and legs, pain, not only locally in the back, but radiating pain to different areas of the body. Depending on the severity of the condition, people may have muscle weakness and muscle shrinking. Oftentimes spinal stenosis can be treated successfully with chiropractic treatment. The goal is to remove the pressure from the nerve and then preserve the integrity of the spine so that the symptoms don’t come back, or if they do, the symptoms are minor, and intervention will be small.

If you are near the Elmhurst Illinois area or surrounding areas like Melrose Park, Bensenville, Lombard, Villa Park, Oak Brook, Berkeley, Northlake and are experiencing low back pain, neck pain, numbness and tingling in the arms or legs, headaches, pain or have been told you have spinal stenosis, you need to call us for an appointment. Remember, most episodes of spinal stenosis are not surgical candidates and conservative measures should be employed first. Before you call us to schedule an appointment at 800-862-5914, 24/7, make sure you have any x-rays or especially MRI’s of your spine ready!

Blog 124

So You Have a Headache?

Besides a cold, I think probably everyone has experienced a headache if you have lived long enough or if you haven’t, consider yourself lucky. Headaches are never normal, they are common so don’t think that having them is something that is typical or fine to have. In fact headaches can be a symptom of serious health issues like hypertension or a space occupying lesion in the brain. For the sake of this blog, we are only going to explore tension headaches. There are many other type of headaches like migraine and cluster headaches but tension headaches are the most common so we’ll discuss them here. Approximately 30% of headaches are caused chemically. It could be hormones, reactions to food or allergies. The other times tension can cause people to experience tight muscles in the neck and upper back area. This tension will cause several issues. It will limit the range of motion of the vertebra. The muscles are attached to the bone and if they get taut, they displace the vertebra. When the vertebra are out of alignment it will interfere with nerve impulses that can give people different symptoms. Some people may feel a constant, dull throb. Others may experience a feeling of warmth. Since the nerves from the spine go to different parts of the body, headaches may be located in the back of your head, over the eyes, forehead, etc. We can also experience symptoms from the muscles being taut when it compresses superficial nerves and blood vessels. Lack of superficial blood flow to areas of the head and neck can cause pain and discomfort.

The repetitive nature of many of our lifestyles can cause people to stress their neck. Like sitting at a computer, texting, doing overhead work, etc. Many of these movements are repetitive and strain muscles in the neck. This reinforces improper biomechanics with the vertebra and a vicious cycle where the body becomes conditioned to think that the improper movements are now normal because you have repeated the movements day in and day out. So, what’s one to do?

Well, the most important treatment you can get is chiropractic treatments. Since the vertebra are misaligned they need to be “put” back into proper function order. The issue is that the muscles are tight and remember their original position. So you have this internal struggle with the chiropractor moving the vertebra into proper alignment and the muscles remembering and/or getting reinforcement by doing the same repetitive movements again. This is why when you go to the chiropractor you will need to have frequent visits. Basically, we “reteach” your body the correct way to hold itself. Anytime you want to make a change in your body like losing 20 pounds or playing the piano, you need to be consistent in exercising or practicing before your body learns or unlearns the correct motion. This is why in order to correct a problem, repetition needs to occur. Along with chiropractic treatment, ergonomic assessment/change, massage, rehabilitation exercises and ice/heat works well to reduce muscles spasm, align vertebra and hold them. These all work well together to get you better.

If you have any headaches, it may be a stress or tension headache, migraine headache, whiplash headache or if you are experiencing radiation of symptoms into your arms, hands or face. You need to schedule an appointment at Integrative Healthcare Associates. We serve Elmhurst IL, Lombard, Villa Park, Northlake, Melrose Park, Stone Park, Oak Brook, Bensenville and Chicago. You can contact us at 800-862-5914 24/7.

Blog 125

Societies Bane-Shoulder Pain

There are two musculoskeletal conditions that you do not want. That is a herniated spinal disc and shoulder pain. Today I am going to talk about shoulder pain from a musculoskeletal perspective. The shoulder is the most mobile joint in your body. Think of what you can do with your shoulder-you can touch your low back with your shoulder, you can take your right hand and place it on your left shoulder, you can raise your arms up above your head and you can comb the back of your head. These movements include flexion, extension, abduction, adduction and a combination of all of these movements. Because of the mobility of the shoulder joint, this opens up the joint to being more prone to injury. There are many different disorders that manifest as shoulder pain but a common one is rotator cuff tendonitis. Tendonitis is just a fancy way of saying that the tendon in your shoulder is inflamed. Usually tendonitis occurs when there is improper biomechanics combined with repetitive stress. Think of a baseball pitcher, they perform the same repetitive movement with their shoulder. If the biomechanics are off, it can cause irritation of the tendon. When this happens, inflammation occurs and with-it pain. Let us take a more realistic view of shoulder pain for us non-professional athletes. If you are a painter and you are doing overhead work, day in and day out, if the biomechanics are off, let’s say due to weak rotator cuff muscles, the tendons will get pinched by a bone in the shoulder area called the acromion. Acromion - Wikipedia 

The constant rubbing and ensuing irritation cause inflammation. The worse part of this, most people only do a few things-they either take oral medication to get the inflammation down, or they elect to go to their doctor and get a cortisone injection in the shoulder. The injection can help but if the rotator cuff muscles are not strengthened, you will always have a recurrent problem. A more sensible approach to getting rid of shoulder pain, also called bicep tendonitis (the bicep tendon attaches up in the shoulder area), is to get the inflammation down by utilizing a combination of ice, ultrasound, electrical stimulation for pain management, chiropractic manipulation of the shoulder and mid-back,  rehabilitation to strengthen the muscles of the rotator cuff and modify the repetitive motion to make sure the biomechanics are corrected. The good news is this helps most people, the bad news about shoulder problems is that they take a LONG time to treat. Because it is unavoidable that we use our shoulders regularly to perform typical activities of daily living and we definitely do not want to immobilize the shoulder, they can take months to get back to normal. One point I want to make about ignoring shoulder problems is that at the worse, it could be a serious health condition, like a heart issue or by ignoring a musculoskeletal shoulder issue there can be scar tissue that forms and can cause something called a frozen shoulder. THIS takes a long time to cure and sometimes it is uncurable without surgical intervention.

If you are in the Elmhurst Illinois, Villa Park, Lombard, Oak Brook, Chicago, Stone Park, Melrose Park, Northlake, Berkeley or Bensenville areas and have been experiencing shoulder pain, neck pain, low back pain, spinal stenosis, headaches, knee pain or disc degeneration, call
Integrative Healthcare Associates today at 800-862-5914 24/7.

Blog 127

Acupuncture 101

Acupuncture is thousands of years old and originated in China. The premise is based on the yin/yang symbol of balance. Throughout the body there are channels that correlate with different organs in the body such as, liver, spleen, gallbladder, lungs, etc. These channels coalesce throughout the body and store and maintain Qi (pronounced “Chi”). Qi is not visible; it is not a liquid. Sickness or disease occurs when the Qi is either too much, or too little. An alteration of the yin/yang or balance within the body. In order to balance out the body, acupuncture-the process of stimulating the acupuncture points that are within the channels of the body to either stimulate, excite or slow and sedate. This process can occur by different, or a combination of techniques. Typically, a fine needle that is thinner and flexible compared to a needle that we get blood from someone’s body is inserted into the specific points based on the practitioner’s diagnosis. Other means of manipulating the points is by moxa-heating the points through a cone, stick or directly on the acupuncture needle inserted into the skin, electrical stimulation of the pints with a probe, bleeding, to treat certain conditions by manipulating a needle over a certain point, and using a method called cupping where oxygen is removed from the glass “cup” and placed over areas on the skin. This leads to increased blood flow for certain conditions that need it. You may have also heard of Tai chi- this is using specific motions of the body to manipulate the channels in the body and get the Qi moving in the right way. You can take classes in Tai Chi, it does not cause undo stress to the body and there is no needling, burning or bleeding associated with moving the Qi this way.

I tell my patients that acupuncture is like martial arts. There are different techniques, branches, alterations and variations depending on what kind of practitioner you go to. Some may only utilize points in the ear or foot, while others will use the entire body to balance the bodies Qi. So, the ancient philosophy of acupuncture is that the Qi is not balanced and by manipulating points on the body located in channels, it will cause the disturbance to subside. In the West, we have more analytical thinking applied to the why, acupuncture works. One possibility is the gate control theory of pain. An example is when you bump your elbow, you rub the area to decrease the pain. The reason why this works is that your body is stimulating superficial nerves that “gate” or close off pain channels that go to the spinal cord and brain. Acupuncture works in the same way. Another reason the West believes acupuncture works is by having endorphins released in the body when the acupuncture points are stimulated. Endorphins are a hormone that is released in your body during times of stress. These hormones give you a “high” to get you through the stressful event. So, if acupuncture is applied while, let’s say someone is dealing with a tennis elbow, the endorphins will help decrease or eliminate the pain. Next blog we will discuss some of the conditions that acupuncture is good for. 

Blog 128

Acupuncture 102


So, what can you use acupuncture for? Anything! There is always an application for acupuncture with any health issue. When you first arrive for your visit, you will do everything you would typically do at a doctor’s visit. Fill out paperwork, examination and treatment. The examination will not only incorporate western medicine’s procedures but also typical acupuncture protocols like checking your pulse, inspecting your tongue, nails, hair-just to get an idea about your overall health and give the examiner a starting point as to where they should start treatment. The acupuncture needles vary in length from under an inch to several inches long. The thickness is very fine. It is not like a needle that you take blood with. These needles are ridged and have a hole in them for getting the blood into the tube. Acupuncture needles are bendable and have no hole in the tip. Usually, patients do not feel the needle going in. In the previous blog, acupuncture 101, we talked about channels throughout the body. These channels traverse the body from head to foot. The practitioner will decide based on your examination where to place the needles. Some may even go into your ear. The ear has many points that are beneficial for issues internally and externally on the body. The number of needles in the body does not mean that it is more beneficial. Sometimes only a few needles will have a great impact on someone compared to placing many! The time a person has the needles in their body depends on the severity of the condition. Acute conditions may require less time compared to a chronic condition. Usually times are between 15-20 minutes- not including the act of the practitioner inserting the needles. Some people will experience relief of their problem quickly whereas others may take some time. Treatment plans range from 2-3 times per week for 4-8 weeks depending on your condition. If you have a health problem that you want advice if acupuncture could help, contact Integrative Healthcare Associates if you are in the Elmhurst, IL, Lombard, Villa Park, Stone Park, Oak Brook, Addison, Melrose Park, Berkeley or Bensenville areas. Call 24/7 at 800-862-5914.

Blog 129

Golfer’s Elbow


Maybe you have heard of these terms: tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow. What these terms are describing is an overuse injury to the elbow. If the symptoms of pain, soreness, decreased grip strength, you may be experiencing tennis or golfer’s elbow. The difference between these two conditions is the location of the symptom. Usually, golfer’s elbow is located on the outside part of your elbow while tennis elbow symptoms occur on the inside of the elbow. If you press on these areas if you have these conditions, it will most likely be painful to the touch. The reason people get the symptoms that they do is because of improper biomechanics when performing the activity. The help of an instructor is useful to determine what you are doing incorrectly that is causing the problem.

People with golfer’s or tennis elbow, besides the tenderness to the touch on the inside or outside of the elbow, can have decreased grip strength because of pain, tightness or immobility of the forearm muscles, pain after performing the activity and inability to perform as they once did. These symptoms can go on for weeks or months depending on the level of activity, rest and therapy.

There are many conservative therapies that can be performed to the elbow. Ultrasound to decrease inflammation of the tendon, ice over the affected area, electrical stimulation for pain relief and muscle relaxation, massage of the forearm muscles to decrease stiffness and increase flexibility, stretches to lengthen the muscles and increase flexibility, chiropractic manipulation of the joint to decrease pain and increase mobility, therapeutic exercises to develop strength of the forearm muscles and as mentioned before, seek professional instruction for the proper way to develop biomechanics that will help your form.

If you think you may have golfer’s elbow or tennis elbow as well as other conditions like knee pain, shoulder pain, neck pain, low back pain, pain from spinal stenosis, foot or ankle pain, call Integrative Healthcare Associates 24/7 at 800-862-5914.

Blog 130

Why are we talking about Feet?


This is a chiropractic office, why are we talking about feet? Well, the feet are the foundation of our gait. How we walk, run and stand are influenced by our feet. When someone who is a jogger, athlete, or worker who is on their feet most of the day, I not only assess their back problem, but I also evaluate the feet. The biomechanics of the feet can affect the position of the rest of the body in motion or at rest. The movement of the lower extremities are referred to as the kinetic chain. Meaning, the way the foot interacts with the surface will determine what parts of the body get stressed. For example, people that have feet that are “flat” pronate excessively. With this pronation, there will be stress applied to the foot, ankle, knee, pelvis and the back. The kinetic chain can cause problems to any or all of these areas. Same goes for people that supinate or walk on the outside of their feet. Walking in this position will put stress on the above-mentioned structures. When someone enters my office with back pain, I will also check the feet visually in the static position, and as they walk. This will give me an idea about the gait cycle and correlate this with the symptoms the patient is having. Not only will I attend to the back issue but ignoring the lower extremity kinetic chain will only bring the condition back. To assist in getting the back or other part of the kinetic chain better, I will fit the patient for a custom made orthotic that is placed in the shoes of the patient. Orthotics are custom made specifically for the patient that will only be useful for that specific patient. Everyone’s foot is different. These custom-made orthotics are different than inserts you buy off the rack at the drug store. Those are cushions, not orthotics. Orthotics will support the areas of your feet that are not performing during the gait cycle. So that patient that hyperpronates or has flat feet, will have orthotics that support the flattened arch. This will elevate the foot and make the gait cycle closer to normal. Although some feet are only off by millimeters, walking on a pronated or supinated foot over the course of your lifetime, day in and day out will eventually lead to breakdown of the tissue. In my line of work this is usually the low back, hips, knees and foot/ankle.

If you are in the Chicagoland area including, Elmhurst, Lombard, Villa Park, Bensenville, Stone Park, Berkeley, Northlake, Melrose Park, Oak Brook or Westchester and are experiencing low back pain, Spinal stenosis, neck pain, headaches, knee pain, foot pain, ankle pain, hip pain, call us. We can be reached 24/7 at 800-862-5914.

Chiropractor adjusting patient

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