Dr. Adam Tanase | Headaches & Neck Pain Relief in STL
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That Time I Had Headaches

It comes as no surprise to me that I grew up having headaches. I played soccer, basketball, and swam competitively. Add the goofy things I'd often do while riding my bike and roughhousing in the pool with friends, and it seems fairly obvious why I had headaches as often as I did.

I can remember being just 12 years old and knowing precisely which shelf in my parent's bathroom closet contained the pain relievers. I'd casually take one whenever my headaches bothered me for too long. It always seemed to do the trick.

When I look back, what troubles me is that I never really thought to communicate these issues to anyone. As far as I knew, everyone got headaches, and this problem was perfectly normal. I didn't know better...

Fortunately, these weren't the devastating find-a-dark-room-and-hope-it's-gone-by-tomorrow type of headaches that I help patients with in my Webster Groves chiropractic practice. Compared to the more frequent, chronic, and debilitating migraines that these patients are seeking relief from, mine were quite mild.

Some doctors tell parents that kids will grow out of their headaches. Mine didn't go away, however. They were fairly regular during high school and college. A headache or two per week was par for the course. When you add it up, that's 50-100 headaches per year! (Not okay)

It wasn't until I was half way through chiropractic school that it occurred to me... headaches weren't part of my life anymore. So what changed? 

That Time I No Longer Had Headaches

Around mid-2002, I began receiving a particular form of chiropractic treatment known as Upper Cervical Care. It was unique compared to conventional "diversified" chiropractic adjustments in three key ways.

First, this procedure entailed highly sensitive thermal imaging scans that pinpointed a distinct area of imbalance. A consistent pattern kept showing up and remained unchanged, even after standard chiropractic adjustments.

Second, I received specific x-rays of my neck and skull that mapped precisely how the top portion of my spine was positioned. Prior to this, the spinal x-rays I had received in school were only used to rule out fractures, tumors, and dislocations. Fortunately, my x-ray reports were always clear of any identifiable pathology.

Third, I rested for 20-30 minutes each time this procedure was given. There seemed to be a difference in how my body responded to adjustments when I didn't leap off the chiropractic table immediately. They "held" noticeably longer, and I needed fewer and fewer treatments.

After a short period of receiving this care, I remember talking to a friend about headaches. And that's when it occurred to me... I hadn't had a headache for quite a while. In fact, I completely forgot about those "normal headaches" that I'd been having for so long.  

That Time I Helped My First Patient Overcome Her Headaches

After training to become one of these Upper Cervical chiropractors, I opened my practice in 2004. One of my first patients was a sweet middle-aged woman with chronic headaches. She opened up her calendar book the day I met her and pointed to the month of September. She counted 27 blue dots on it. One dot for each day she had a headache. 

She told me, "I'm tired of counting these blue dots."

After receiving a small number of treatments, she returned for a progress exam about 6 weeks later. She pulled out the same calendar book and showed me the month of October... Instead of 27 blue dots, there were 5. In the first two weeks of November, there was only one!

With a big smile she said, "I think there's something to this Upper Cervical stuff of yours."

That Time a Patient Drove 6 Hours For Headache Relief

Fast forward a few years later, an older gentleman from a small town in rural Arkansas called to scheduled an appointment. Despite my best efforts to explain that there were plenty of qualified chiropractors significantly closer to his home, he insisted that the ride was worth it because I had helped his daughter-in-law while she lived in Kirkwood. She too was a headache sufferer who had received great results after receiving Upper Cervical Care. I'll never forget his response: "Doctor, no drive is too far when you feel as bad as I do."

After a series of trips to St. Louis, his headache frequency and intensity were significantly reduced.

That Time *You* Learned About Upper Cervical Care

If you're a headache sufferer, I want you to know that you have options.

Even if your headaches seem fairly minor, like the ones I had as a kid, it's important to know that headaches are your body's way of telling you something isn't quite right. I'd like to make myself available to you as a resource, and help you figure out what's going on in a safe, gentle, and painless way.

So if you're currently in the St Louis area, I invite you to experience what it feels like to be free from headaches. You can request an appointment here.

If you're in another part of the country, I'll see if I can find someone in your area who might be able to help as well. 

The Repetitive Driving Injuries Suffered by Rideshare Drivers

As an avid user of ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft, I enjoy conversing with drivers. These independent business owners are using their time, talent, and personal vehicles to transport passengers in a way that's often cheaper, cleaner, and more efficient than traditional taxi cabs.

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When time allows, I like to hear about their experiences and discuss their strategies for outsmarting other ride-share drivers.

Sometimes they learn that I'm a chiropractor, so we begin talking about the aches and pains associated with frequent driving.

They often tell me that before signing up to partner with Uber or Lyft, they didn't realize how sitting for long periods of time in a car would affect their body.

It's tempting to think that the driver's seat in a vehicle is "better" than the chairs we use at a desk or table. Even though both involve sitting, these activities are actually quite different. 

While using a steering wheel, think about the position of your arms and hands. They're placed higher than they would be if you were sitting at a desk. This increases the demand on muscles and joints within your arm, shoulder, and upper back.

To brake and accelerate, you have to flex and extend your foot and ankle. Depending on the driver's height, they may have to stretch their leg further than they would while sitting at a desk.

If their car is a sporty stick-shift model, they have to use their left foot on the clutch, while the right arm/hand operates the gear shift.

Work desk chairs have it easy. They remain level all day... but seats inside cars, trucks, and SUVs experience vibrations from the road. Drivers get jarred while traveling over bumpy/uneven street surfaces. One would hope there's enough head room to prevent hitting the roof of the vehicle when this happens... Otherwise headaches could be in your future.

And let's not forget how the body sways while taking turns or driving around corners. These repetitive forces impact the body quite differently than sitting at a conventional desk all day.

By the end of these conversations, I've heard all about their tight shoulders, traffic-induced tension or stress. And then there's the foot cramps, low back pain, and neck stiffness. 

The tireless and devoted hours spent behind the wheel can lead to what's known as "Repetitive driving injuries" for rideshare workers.

Fortunately, these driving-related issues benefit from chiropractic care. One of the tools I use to help Uber and Lyft drivers is the Theragun G2 Pro. This revolutionary form of vibration therapy can quickly reduce the tension associated with days/weeks worth of driving. 

Unsurprisingly, it has quickly become one of the most popular treatments offered at Chiropractic Saint Louis, and we'd love to show it to you. If you're an Uber or Lyft driver in the St. Louis area, please let us know, because you may be entitled to a complimentary session with the TheraGun.

Click here to view our hours and location, or schedule an appointment.

Natural Relief From Chronic Headaches in St Louis, MO

Headaches are one of three conditions that respond most consistently to the "Upper Cervical" procedure performed at Chiropractic Saint Louis.

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Unfortunately, patients are often unaware that chronic headaches can develop as a result of spinal misalignment. They seek other forms of relief, but aren't satisfied with the results.

Here's the scenario I see most frequently: A patient begins suffering from chronic headaches. Daily, weekly, or throughout the month, a specific type of ache or pain develops in or around the head. They call their primary care physician who appropriately refers them to a neurologist. The patient undergoes a battery of tests, and if no obvious cause is identified, they're sent home with anywhere from 1-3 prescriptions: Muscle relaxers, pain relievers, and/or anti-anxiety meds.

"This could help" or "Let's see if this works" is what they're told... occasionally followed by, "Try meeting with a physical therapist."

Some patients accept this course of treatment. Others are concerned that the cause hasn't been found; they want more answers. That's usually how they find their way to my office. 

They bring me their MRI and CT results. They show me the list of medications they've been given. They explain that the physical therapist was really nice, but didn't quite address the frequency or intensity of their headaches. 

That's when we perform an Upper Cervical evaluation, using components they've not yet seen. Computerized thermal imaging, motion palpation, and other neurological testing can provide new insight they never received. We then perform a unique type of X-ray imaging that evaluates the relationship between the head and neck. (Read more about it here).

In many cases, we're able to identify a unique misalignment that's often (but not always) due to a previous injury or repetitive habit. We begin a very conservative course of treatment, coupled with a headache tracking system to evaluate progress.

Much to their satisfaction, patient's begin to recognize a connection between their neck alignment and the frequency of their headaches. 

If you're a St Louis area resident suffering from chronic headaches, consider meeting with me to receive a thorough evaluation. Click here to learn more about Upper Cervical Care.

 

 

Improve Recovery and Increase Range of Motion with the TheraGun G2 Pro

From serious athletes to the recreational CrossFitter, word is spreading fast about a new recovery tool that's making a big splash in functional fitness. 

The TheraGun G2 Pro is a device that helps reduce or eliminate muscle soreness, rapidly increase range of motion, and improve joint mobility.  

Kyrie Irving, Chuck Liddell, and Nick Foles are just a few of the big names actively using this form of percussion therapy on their own bodies to stay competitive.

Chiropractic Saint Louis now offers this remarkable technology to our patients. At first, we expected to see only modest improvements in patients suffering from the typical effects of poor posture... But we were WOW'ed by the response from tennis players with rotator cuff issues, and runners with chronic IT-band issues and hamstring tightness. The difference is rapid and obvious. We're excited for you to try it!

Schedule an appointment today. Click here to see office hours and location.

Adam Tanase
Insufficient Sleep May Be Adding to Your Waistline

Adults who have poor sleep patterns are more likely to be overweight and have poorer metabolic health, according to a new study from the University of Leeds.

The findings showed that people who were sleeping on average around 6-hours a night had a waist measurement that was 1.18 inches greater than individuals who were getting 9-hours of sleep a night.

The results strengthen the evidence that insufficient sleep could contribute to the development of metabolic diseases such as diabetes.

If that wasn't concerning enough, a study out of Washington University here in St. Louis suggests that just one night of disrupted causes an increase in a brain protein associated with Alzheimer's disease... And an entire week of poor sleep leads to an increase in another brain protein that has been linked to brain damage in Alzheimer's and other neurological diseases.

So don't ignore the importance of sleep. It has far reaching consequences beyond mere alertness and energy.

Adam Tanase
Protect Your Brain Against Alzheimer's With This Simple Ingredient

The Mediterranean diet has long been credited for its many health benefits, including a lower incidence of dementia.

Now, researchers from Temple University have identified a simple ingredient that wards off cognitive decline: Extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO).

Researchers were able to show that consumption of EVOO protected memory and learning ability, as well as reduced the formation of amyloid-beta plaque, a classic marker for Alzheimer's disease.

The research team also identified why these protective effects occurred. "We found that olive oil reduces brain inflammation but most importantly activates a process known as autophagy," explained senior investigator Domenico Praticò, MD. "Autophagy" is the process by which cells break down and clear out intracellular debris and toxins, such as amyloid plaque.

The next phase of this research will help determine whether EVOO is preventive in nature, or can be taken later to reverse the disease once it manifests.

Adam TanaseEVOO, Alzheimers
Parkinson's is Partly an Autoimmune Disease

New evidence from Columbia University Medical Center has revealed that Parkinson's Disease may be an autoimmune disease. 

"The idea that a malfunctioning immune system contributes to Parkinson's dates back almost 100 years," said study co-leader David Sulzer, PhD. "But until now, no one has been able to connect the dots."

These findings could provide a long overdue diagnostic test for Parkinson's disease, and could help doctors identify at-risk individuals who are in the early stages of this condition.

Adam Tanaseparkinson's
5 Ways Emotional Pain is Worse Than Physical Pain

Here's an excerpt from an article written by Dr. Guy Winch in Psychology Today.

"We tend to react to physical pain much more proactively than we do to emotional pain. Yet, short of catastrophic injuries or illnesses, emotional pain often impacts our lives far more than physical pain does." 

5 reasons emotional pain is worse than physical pain:

1. Memories Trigger Emotional Pain But Not Physical Pain

2. We Use Physical Pain as Distraction from Emotional Pain Not Vice Versa

3. Physical Pain Garners Far More Empathy from Others Than Emotional Pain

4. Emotional Pain Echoes in Ways Physical Pain Does Not

5. Emotional Pain Can Damage Our Self-Esteem and Long-Term Mental Health

"All these are reasons we should give our emotional health just as much (if not more) attention and care as we do our physical health."

Here's Dr. Winch's TED Talk, How to Practice Emotional Hygiene.

Adam Tanase
Daily Consumption of Tea May Protect the Elderly From Cognitive Decline

According to a recent study published in The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging, drinking one cup of tea per day can fend off dementia... even if you're genetically predisposed to it!

This new research suggests that tea-drinking reduces the risk of cognitive impairment by 50%, and as much as 86% for those who have a genetic risk of developing Alzheimer's.

What kind of tea, you ask? The neuroprotective role of tea consumption on cognitive function is not limited to a particular type, as long as the tea is brewed from tea leaves, such as green, black or oolong tea.

"Based on current knowledge, this long term benefit of tea consumption is due to the bioactive compounds in tea leaves, such as catechins, theaflavins, thearubigins and L-theanine. These compounds exhibit anti-inflammatory and antioxidant potential and other bioactive properties that may protect the brain from vascular damage and neurodegeneration," explained the author of the study.

I recommend developing the habit of drinking one cup of tea per day, either in the morning or evening before bed. Adding organic honey, a splash of MCT oil, and a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to the tea adds additional nutrients.

Adam Tanasealzheimers, tea
Key Ingredients Could Thwart the Growth of Prostate Cancer

From the journal Precision Oncology, recent findings at the University of Texas have shown that the growth of prostate cancer could be thwarted by key ingredients commonly found in the human diet.

Researchers evaluated 142 natural compounds to see which inhibited the growth of prostate cancer cells. Ursolic acid was the most promising active ingredient. It's a waxy natural chemical found in apple peels, rosemary, turmeric, and red grapes.

One of the authors of this study, Stefano Tiziani, said "The beauty of this study is that we were able to inhibit tumor growth in mice without toxicity. We only need to increase concentration beyond levels found in a healthy diet for an effect on prostate cancer cells."

So you might want to consider adding these powerful ingredients to your weekly meals.