Infertility

Struggling With Infertility?

Infertility describes a couple that has not been able to conceive after having unprotected sex for at least one year. The cause of this emotionally draining problem can be one of many physical or chemical factors. At inHealth Clinic we’ve found that fertility is negatively affected by extreme stress which can wreak havoc with sex hormones, adrenal hormones and blood sugar levels.  Modern society values hard work and long hours without any consideration to how they affect a human being!

In most cases, fertility is most likely due to causes in a woman’s system.  A woman’s system is more complicated than a man’s with more things that can go wrong at any one time.  However this rarely means that there aren’t problems associated with both parties, that with some herbal intervention, can be fixed.

Some of the common causes of infertility are:

  • Endometriosis

  • Estrogen/ progesterone imbalances

  • Improper processing of hormones through the liver

  • A hostile uterine environment

  • Timing of sexual intercourse

  • Irregular cycles

  • Low sperm count

  • Adrenal fatigue causing a hostile environment within the body

  • Blood sugar dis-regulation disorders

  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome

  • Sexually transmitted infections

  • Delayed Childbearing


The average time that it takes to get pregnant is 3-6 months. However, a history of some of the above risk factors may make conceiving more difficult. The best plan for easy conception is to get your body healthy first. Then, if you haven’t gotten pregnant and you are wondering what to do next, we suggest being seen in our office.

During your appointment we will spend 90 minutes going over every detail of your health history.  What surprises people is that we won’t just talk about your reproductive function, but other areas of your health as well.  As you can see from the above list, problems like adrenal fatigue, blood sugar issues and stress can be the cause of your infertility as often as a true reproductive system issue.

One common approach to infertility is intrauterine insemination. Doctors will usually attempt this 3-4 times before recommending moving on to invitro-fertilization.  While these two procedures sound relatively simple, the hormones that a woman is placed on to stimulate increased egg release, as well as the strong hormones needed to maintain the pregnancy can leave a woman whose body is already stressed or under pressure even further away from conceiving.  At inHealth Clinic we work with our patients to make sure the body is optimally prepared to carry a child.  Even if natural solutions don’t work we can modify and work with you so that you will be able to sustain and conceive while doing IUI or IVF.

Here is a typical treatment program for infertility:

  • Stress reduction activities

  • Normalizing stress hormones both before infertility and those that occur with it

  • Acupuncture to improve pelvic blood flow or for improving sperm quality and quantity

  • Supplements for any vitamin deficiencies such as B12 or amino acids

  • Lab evaluation of hormone levels

  • Botanicals for balancing hormones or bringing levels back into place

  • Bio-identical hormone management


The above is just a sample as each treatment plan is developed specifically for each woman’s body and reasons for infertility. We are proud to have a history of success at inHealth Clinic and would like to help you on the road to parenthood. We offer a free 10-minute phone consult where we can determine if we can help you or if you would be better served with another professional.

Headache

What is a Headache?

Generally defined as a continuous pain in the head.  The medical term ranges from cervicalgia or neck pain to general Headache as a diagnosis.  Headaches can be hormonal and for example occur with a women’s cycle or they can be trauma related such as post concussive syndrome.  They can occur due to neck, back or jaw pain or be due to a hereditary condition.

What is the Most Common Type of Head Aches?

Headaches fall into two general categories, tension or migraine. The most common are tension headaches that come from tightness in the shoulders and neck. These headaches can come from prolonged sitting at a desk or poor posture. The tension headache starts from the base of the skull with pain above the eyes or even pain in the eyes. Some patients will have nausea and sensitivity to light leading to a misdiagnosis of a migraine. This type of headache is easily relieved by getting adjusted and by exercising to improve posture and decrease muscle tension. Regular adjustments can reduce dramatically decrease the incidence of tension headaches.

What are some of the Less Common Headaches?

Cluster headaches and migraines are less common and have varying pathological causes. Migraines usually begin in childhood, adolescence or early adulthood. Although much about the cause of migraines isn’t understood, genetics and environmental factors seem to both play a role. A man that has never had a migraine in adolescence and then gets one as an adult is a red flag for more serious problems and should bring to his health provider’s attention. Women more commonly have migraines, usually first occurring between the ages of 12 to 40 and declining after that.

Tension Headaches or Migraine?

There are some common ways to tell if you have a tension headache or a migraine:

Tension

  • Constant, dull pain, usually mild to moderate

  • Not incapacitating

  • Pain is often accompanied by muscle tightness in the shoulders and neck often on both sides of the head

  • May last an hour, a week, or anywhere in between

  • The pain is often described as a band of pain around the head, pressure behind one or both eyes “vise like pressure”

  • Some relief from over the counter medications or caffeinated beverages.


Migraine

  • Visual signs prior to headache

  • Familial history of migraines

  • Throbbing, intense pain, generally moderate to severe and often disabling

  • Usually one-sided, though the pain can move from side to side, and sometimes affects both sides

  • Pain is often near the eye of the affected side

  • May last hours, days, or even weeks

  • Often accompanied by visual disturbances and/or extreme sensitivity to light, sound, and odors

  • No relief with over-the-counter remedies


When should a Headache Lead me to call my doctor?

Some headaches can be a warning of something more serious. If you have any of the following symptoms, consult a doctor immediately.

  • An intense, severe headache that comes on quickly, without warning, especially if you are normally headache-free.

  • Sudden, severe headache if you suffer from kidney problems, heart disease or high blood pressure.

  • A headache following a head injury, especially if the headache includes feelings of nausea, dizziness, or blurred vision.

  • A headache accompanied by seizures.

  • A headache accompanied by memory loss, confusion, loss of balance, slurred speech or vision, pain in the neck, or numbness in arms or legs.


What can we do for Headaches in our Clinic?

Since headaches can be due to a specific incident of trauma or due to repetitive strain such as sitting hunched at your computer, we can use our extensive knowledge of the musculoskeletal system to reduce mm tension and joint mis-alignment which are common in the two scenarios.  We also do work with hormonal fluctuations that occur in both men and women to help them regulate their cycles and decrease cyclical headaches.  In some cases we have even found that food sensitivities are the cause of a lot of headaches and we do test for this in our office if this seems to be related to your condition.  Even hereditary migraine sufferers will get relief through manual medicine, even if every headache isn’t magically gone.

Graston Technique

How was the Graston Technique Developed?

The Graston Technique was conceived by David Graston, an athlete who suffered a debilitating knee injury and was frustrated by his lack of progress using traditional methods for rehabilitation. However, the origin of this technique is quite a bit older. In fact, many patients naturally call Graston “scraping”, which is the name of the ancient technique that was used by “medicine men” in many cultures. Graston is a new take on an old remedy that works very well.  What makes it more effective than it was 100 years ago is that through engineering and design, the tools are created using specific angles, which increases therapeutic usage on specific areas of the body.

Clinical studies and research at Ball State University and Ball Memorial Hospital in Muncie, Indiana found that the controlled micro trauma induced through the use of Graston tools actually helped initiate healing. The structure of the tissue is rearranged, and damaged tissue is replaced by new tissue.  Healthy tissue forms an organized lattice much like a thick rope, which is made up of many smaller fibers.  Once the tissue is damaged, those small fibers become rearranged and turn into small knots. The Graston Technique acts much like an iron that goes into those small damaged fibers and straightens them out restoring an injured weak tissue to its proper strength. Clinical studies continue to document that Graston Technique generally results in better outcomes when compared to traditional therapies in resolving injuries that have failed to respond to other treatments.

 Do practitioners require certification?

Yes. Graston Technique is part of the curriculum at 49 respected colleges and Universities.  The certification is post doctorate work that a practitioner can participate in to achieve full certification.  Both Dr. Ho and Dr. Walker are certified and part of the GT Provider Network.

How do the Graston tools work?

The technique is delivered through the use of six hand held stainless steel instruments. A specially designed lubricant is applied to the skin to allow the instrument to glide over the tissue without causing irritation. The tool acts much like a stethoscope allowing the doctor to isolate adhesions and restrictions and then treat them with precision. The skin of damaged tissue will feel gritty or sandy under your skin; these are the adhesions on the muscle and fascia.  Graston has the advantage of penetrating tissue at a deep level much the same way a deep tissue or cross friction massage does, but with the added benefit of being more comfortable during the treatment process.

Does it hurt?

Patients may experience mild discomfort during the treatment and may also experience a bit of bruising. The bruising will look much like a small red area of dots. This is a common response from the body when a therapeutic process is taking place. Icing the area and rest should ease the discomfort. After you receive a treatment, gentle exercise will help to flush out any chemicals that are present in the body due to dysfunction and inflamed tissue. The exercise should be mild and not cause a great degree of discomfort to the treated tissue. Usually a 10-minute walk will do the trick.

ADD and ADHD

Currently the diagnosis for ADD and ADHD is becoming more and more common for students and children with extra activity.  The most common form of treatment is to give stimulant type drugs that enable the children to focus and harness their energy.  However we find that stimulants are not only hard on children’s health but also not a good long term fix.  What most parents want to know is what are the healthier and more of the long term options.  The answer is holistic medicine and diets can actually be a really great option to manage an ADD child.

The first option is diet.  Numerous amounts of children with ADD or ADHD have food sensitivities of some kind.  There are two types of immunoglobulin’s IgE and IgG.  IgE antibodies are the ones that cause an immediate allergic reaction.  An example of this is a child that eats a peanut and then has an immediate allergic reaction which can put them in danger of not being able to breath.  IgG antibodies are a delayed sensitivity that can cause numerous symptoms. The symptoms include but are not limited to: fatigue, behavior modification, headaches, Sore-throat, loose stool, constipation, mood changes and decrease in immunity due to body inflammation.

The second option is homeopathy.  Homeopathic medicine is very effective in treating not only ADD but also other childhood behavioral disorders.  This is a type of treatment that is easy for kids to take and produces remarkable results.  An example of Homeopathy is taking a specific symptom or personality and diluting compounds that would enhance that symptom.  By diluting the compound only a mild remnant remains and this stimulates a negative feedback loop causing the body to stop the over active symptoms of ADD.  This reaction helps the body to teach itself to adapt to its lack of concentration by knowing when it’s time to focus and when there is an appropriate time to be energetic.  This can be a very empower solution for both parents and child.

The third option is daily activity modification.  For most of us this can be very challenging as a parent since it requires you to get your child on a schedule that can sometimes be very strict.  This schedule would include exercise, a set bedtime and scheduled study or homework time.

Our office can help with any and all of these elements. We would love to answer any questions you have.

Allergies Part I : Overview

In California, every season can be allergy season. It’s hard to know whether sneezing and a stuffy or runny nose is a common cold or a reaction to the lovely tree outside your bedroom window.  With so many treatment options, we want to share InHealth’s tips on how to weather your allergic season, whenever it might be.

What causes an allergic reaction?

When any substance enters the body it is tagged as either “foreign” or “self”.  If the substance is tagged as foreign, the body’s immune system will attack it to protect you. The problem comes when your immune system attacks something that is either not harmful, or is something you are commonly exposed to such as trees, grass or wheat. Our body should not recognize these as foreign, but unfortunately that isn’t always the case.

Our immunity comes from cells that are made in the bone marrow.  We have two types of reactions; one is an immediate allergic response and the other is a delayed hypersensitivity. These two reactions are triggered by different cells that are produced in the marrow. The immunity cells live in the tissues around blood vessels and nerves, and in your blood stream. These are the areas that are most sensitive to an allergic material.

When a foreign substance is recognized, these cells surround the substance and release chemicals such as histamine that cause vaso-dilation and smooth tissue contraction with increased permeability to capillaries. This translates into basic symptoms, such as coughing, sneezing, itchy, runny eyes. A more delayed response might manifest as fatigue, bowel upset, and other nagging symptoms which can be prolonged due to tissue damage in multiple areas of the body.  These symptoms can eventually lead to chronic disease.

What happens to our cells when exposed to an allergen?

When an allergen gets in and attaches to the outside of a cell, the cell’s antibodies react with the protein of that molecule. If enough of the allergen, or antigen as is referred to in immunology, accumulates in the body, there is a major release of inflammatory chemicals. The cells will de-granulate and release the chemicals they have been producing such as:

  • Histamine

  • Interleukin 1-13

  • Gama-interferon

  • Transforming growth factor

  • Tumor Necrosis factor

  • Lymphotoxin


What symptoms do allergies cause?

  • Runny Nose

  • Itchy watery eyes

  • Hives

  • Throat swelling and difficulty swallowing

  • Vomiting and abdominal pain

  • Cramps

  • Hives

  • Rashes and eczema

  • Fainting or blacking out

  • Anaphylaxis

  • Congestion and difficulty breathing

  • Mental confusion and dizziness


What is an allergy versus a sensitivity?

Typically allergies occur when the antibody most present is the IgE reaction. This reaction can be towards foods like peanuts or environmental allergens like pollen and grass.  The symptoms are immediate and include, but are not limited to:

  • Swelling of the throat

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Vomiting

  • Fainting or blacking out

  • Tongue swelling

  • Hives

  • Rash

  • Itching


Food sensitivities are a delayed immune response that occurs with IgG reactions.  The delayed sensitivity usually occurs about 2 to 72 hours after the contamination often causing chronic inflammation. Symptoms can include:

  • Sore throat

  • Decreased ability to concentrate

  • Achy joints

  • Skin conditions (eczema, rash, hives)

  • Trouble sleeping

  • Gas, bloating

  • Constipation or diarrhea

  • Headaches

  • Trouble sleeping

  • Aggressive or hyperactive behavior in children

  • Colic and increased spit up


What are the most common causes of food allergies?

Milk and dairy, soy, wheat, nuts and eggs.

Why is it important to treat allergies?

A simple allergy, if not properly treated, can develop into more severe health problems.  As we understand in medicine today, many modern diseases have a strong correlation to inflammation, which can lead to ill health.  Some of these diseases are:

  • IBS

  • Crohn’s

  • Ulcerative Colitis

  • Fibromyalgia

  • All types of arthropathy

  • Rheumatoid arthritis

  • Heart disease

  • Cancer

  • Weight gain

  • Auto-immune diseases

  • Thyroid conditions


When you have an immune system that is allowed to run rampant with inflammation, you basically turn that body into an autoimmune reaction which can damage sensitive organs, the thyroid being one of the most sensitive. These are some of the reasons that ignoring an allergy or sensitivity can be potentially hazardous to our health. Perhaps not today or tomorrow, but down the road chronic inflammation will begin to damage all tissues and organs.

How do you test for allergies?

  • Grid testing

  • Blood Test

    • IgE

    • IgG




Conventional medicine uses the grid testing (scratch test) to diagnose environmental allergens. However, if you eat dairy and develop a stomachache a grid test will not necessarily result in a positive response. A blood test that is done specifically for the IgE and IgG antibodies can determine sensitivity.

How are allergies treated?

  • Anti-histamine

  • Anti-inflamatories

  • Modulating stress

  • Increasing cortisol levels that naturally block inflammation

  • GI tract healing to reduce reactivity

  • Remove food allergies

  • De-sensitization drops

  • Homeopathic drainage

  • Lifestyle changes

  • Dietary changes

  • Acupuncture to calm the nervous system

  • Shots

  • Vitamins


At inHealth, we try and diagnose the cause of the problem, which includes food allergy testing as well as herbal and botanical non-drowsy anti-histamine and anti-inflammatories. De-sensitization drops help the body adapt to an allergen without having a major reaction. This is the same philosophy as the injections given by your allergist, but you can administer them to yourself.  The process typically begins with environmental allergens and then moves to food allergens. We also make sure that your digestive tract is free of dysbiosis that may cause bad bacteria and yeast to infest your gut resulting in an overload on your immune system. We test this through stool samples and get specific results that allow us to attack the specific bugs plaguing you.

Chiropractic for Children

Why should children see a Chiropractor?


Because children have healthy growing spines, they are the perfect chiropractic patients. A small spinal curve or other issue can be easily spotted in a chiropractic exam and quickly addressed. The spine is similar to a young tree that begins to grow crooked. If you don’t give it the support to grow straight, you’ll end up with a tree with a curved trunk. Children are much the same. It’s also important to protect children from the neurologic health changes that are often caused by a misaligned spine.

Do children like getting adjusted?        

Most children like getting adjusted and are often excited to come in for their visits.  Infants will frequently sleep through their entire visit or smile while being adjusted. We use various techniques on children depending on their health needs, and occasionally we can we give them a choice of the method they like best. We use techniques such as craniosacral therapy, activator and non-force techniques as well as manual adjustments using fingers and hands.

How often should children be seen? 

We recommend that children get their spines checked twice a year much like you would do for a dental check up. Keeping the spine aligned through chiropractic care can be very helpful in preventing scoliosis and other childhood problems such as ear infections, growing pains and sleep issues.

What role can chiropractic play in a child’s healthcare?

In addition to routine spinal assessment, chiropractic can play an important role in your child’s healthcare through many stages of development. Here is a break down of some commonly seen conditions in our clinic.

  • Newborn 0-12 months:  colic, trouble breast feeding, trouble sleeping, failure to thrive, constipation, reflux/stomach upset, ear infection

  • Toddlers 1-3 years:  low back pain, trouble walking, unusual stride pattern, clumsiness/tripping/frequent falls, failure to start walking, trouble sleeping, night terrors, ear infection, constipation

  • Start of school 5-7 years:  knee pain, growing pains, trouble adjusting at school, playground injury, colds, swimmer’s ear, bed wetting

  • Adolescence 11-15 years:  scoliosis, growing pains, menstrual troubles, sports injuries

  • High school 15-18 years:  Growing pains (more common in boys at this point), sports injuries, menstrual troubles

  • College to adult:  At this age their bodies start responding more like an adult so normal chiropractic rules apply


What are the goals of treating children?

Since children experience periods of rapid growth, our goal at inHealth Clinic is to keep the foundation of the musculoskeletal system strong and balanced.  Additionally we provide well and sick-child exams and offer natural alternatives to address many childhood illnesses.

Our practice blends the best of chiropractic and holistic health care using some of the following treatment options:

  • Adjustments (many technique options)

  • Careful and accurate testing

  • Thorough exams

  • Botanical medicine

  • Homeopathy

  • Nutrition

  • Vitamins and minerals


At in-Health, we pride ourselves in giving you honest and direct answers. We offer a complimentary 10-minute phone consultation and we promise to tell you if we are not a good fit for your healthcare needs.

Bursitis

What is bursitis?

Bursitis is caused by inflammation of a bursa, a small fluid-filled sac that functions as a gliding surface to reduce friction between tissues of the body.  There are approximately 160 bursae in the body.  The major bursae are located bordering the tendons near large joints such as the shoulders, elbows, hips, knees, and ankles. 

What causes bursitis?

Bursitis is most often caused by repetitive minor impact on the area, or a serious injury.  In addition, incorrect posture at work or home and poor stretching or conditioning before exercise can also lead to bursitis. The following risk factors have been associated with the development of bursitis:

  • Repetitive stress or overuse injury

  • Spine disease

  • Joint-related injury

  • Bone spurs or calcium deposits

  • Rheumatoid arthritis

  • Leg-length inequality


Who usually gets bursitis?

Bursitis is more common in adults, especially women over 40 years of age.

What parts of the body does bursitis affect?

Any part of the body that has a bursa can be irritated and inflamed.  However, the following joints have the highest risk factors for the development of bursitis:

  • Shoulder

  • Elbow

  • Hip

  • Knee

  • Achilles tendon


What are the symptoms of bursitis?

The symptoms of bursitis are directly related to the level of inflammation of the bursa.  The inflamed bursa can cause localized pain and tenderness.  If the bursa is so severely inflamed that swelling occurs, it can cause local redness and warmth.  The pain may increase gradually or sudden.  If calcium deposits are present, the pain can be severe. 

How can I prevent bursitis?

Avoiding behaviors and activities that make the inflammation of the bursa worse is the best way to prevent bursitis.  For example:

  • Avoid repetitive activities that put stress on the bursa.

  • Maintain strength and flexibility of the muscle surrounding the joint/bursa.

  • Maintain a healthy weight.


How is bursitis treated?

The doctor will feel the joint for swelling or tenderness.  An x-ray may be taken or fluid from the bursa may be removed with a small needle to check for infection.

Drug therapies include:

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)  reduce pain and swelling.  Over the counter NSAIDs include: ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) and naproxen (Aleve). Be forewarned that using NSAIDs over a long period of time can increase the risk of stomach bleeding and heart attack.

  • Corticosteroid injections into the bursa can reduce inflammation.  Usually only one shot is needed.  Sometimes oral corticosteroids are used to treat chronic inflammation.


Natural therapies include:

  • A healthy diet including whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and fatty fish and avoiding sugary, fatty and processed foods.

  • Nutraceuticals such as glucosamine sulfate, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin C with flavonoids and bromelain

  • Herbs such as Boswellia (Boswellia serrata), Turmeric (Curcuma Longa), White Willow (Salic Alba)


The use of nutraceuticals and herbs can decrease the level of inflammation.  However, they can trigger side effects and can interact with other herbs, nutraceuticals, or medications.  They should be taken with care, and under the supervision of a health care provider.

While massage may be tempting to relieve pain, it is not recommended until an infection has been ruled out. Then it may help to reduce the discomfort from a sore joint.

Chiropractic and Movement Therapy

  • Mobilizing the muscles around the joints will help reduce the pressure on the joint and bursa.

  • Graston Therapy may help break down adhesion, increasing flexibility and reducing muscle tension.

  • Other therapies, including chiropractic adjustments and muscle release techniques, may also be helpful to improve muscles and ligaments and reduce the tension caused by repetitive motions.


Research:

Bron C, Wensing M, Franssen JL, Oostendorp RA. Treatment of myofascial trigger points in common shoulder disorders by physical therapy: a randomized controlled trial [ISRCTN75722066]. BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2007 Nov 5;8:107.

De Silva V, El-Metwally A, Ernst E, Lewith G, Macfarlane GJ; Arthritis Research UK Working Group on Complementary and Alternative Medicines. Evidence for the efficacy of complementary and alternative medicines in the management of osteoarthritis: a systematic review. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2011 May;50(5):911-20. Review.

Huang HH, Qureshi AA, Biundo JJ Jr. Sports and other soft tissue injuries, tendinitis, bursitis, and occupation-related syndromes. Curr Opin Rheumatol. 2000 Mar;12(2):150-4. Review.

Kimmatkar N, Thawani V, Hingorani L, et al. Efficacy and tolerability of Boswellia serrata extract in treatment of osteoarthritis of knee -- a randomized double blind placebo controlled trial. Phytomedicine. 2003;10:3-7.

Klein G, Kullich W. Short-term treatment of painful osteoarthritis of the knee with oral enzymes. Clin Drug Invest. 2000;19:15-23.

Lewis JS, Sandford FM. Rotator cuff tendinopathy: is there a role for polyunsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants? J Hand Ther. 2009 Jan-Mar;22(1):49-55. Review.

Paoloni JA, Orchard JW. The use of therapeutic medications for soft-tissue injuries in sports medicine. Med J Aust. 2005 Oct 3;183(7):384-8. Review.

Reginster JY, Deroisy R, Rovati L, et al. Long-term effects of glucosamine sulphate on osteoarthritis progression: a randomised, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Lancet 2001;357:251-256.

Schmid B, Ludtke R, Selbmann HK, et al. Efficacy and tolerability of a standardized willow bark extract in patients with osteoarthritis: randomized, placebo-controlled, double blind clinical trial. Z Rheumatol. 2000;59:314-320.

Vas J, Perea-Milla E, Mendez C, Galante AH, Madrazo F, Medina I, et al. Acupuncture and rehabilitation of the painful shoulder: study protocol of an ongoing multicentre randomised controlled clinical trial [ISRCTN28687220]. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2005 Oct 14;5:19.