Wednesday, April 1, 2015

What does an adjustment do? Popping is bad right?

What is an adjustment, what happens when my back pops? Ah yes, the crux of the chiropractic practice, and maybe the most common question I hear in my office.

When young, my parents told me "don't pop your knuckles, or they'll end up looking like Grandpas!" Then Grandpa would show me his hands and I would swear off knuckle popping for a day or so, until the sight of those knobby wrinkled hands slowly left my mind. Inevitably I would go back to popping my knuckles ever now and then; it just seemed to feel good. As a matter of fact a good stretch in the morning , along with a few pops, just seems to be a good thing.

Research shows that popping your knuckles, done infrequently, doesn't lead to damage (yes, people research these things - go online, take a look). The reports show that the knuckles stay more flexible and tend to be less painful.

Could my parents have been wrong? Probably, yes. Likely the noise just bugged them, like it bugged their parents before them. I've got news, when we get that old our fingers will look like Grandpas too and not because we popped them. It's kind of like mom telling you not to cross your eyes or they may stay that way; it just bugs her.

Likewise, It's a shame that spinal "popping" has gotten such a bad name too. A lot of the people, even some in the medical profession, seem to think it's dangerous, borderline deadly. They couldn't be more wrong.

So what is the real story?

Truth is popping, spinal manipulation or adjustments, as chiropractors call it, have been going on for a very long time. Overall, it is extremely safe and effective. As a matter of fact, Hippocrates the father of modern medicine, wrote books on spinal adjusting as long ago as the first century AD. He practiced spinal adjustments, massage and herbal techniques. Father of modern medicine? Sounds more like a chiropractor to me! One of his famous quotes is "Look well to the spine for the cause of disease". I'd say he was way ahead of his time.

Other cultures throughout history have had health care practitioners that employed various forms of spinal adjusting. Even in early America, we had Bonesetters that did a version of just that.

So if adjusting isn't bad, why is it good?

In my practice, at the Frisco Chiropractic Center, I have decided that the best way to describe the effects of spinal adjusting to patients is "tune-and-lube". Like a machine, parts have to be in the right place and move through a normal range of motion while lubricated. If this happens, the machine doesn't squeal and grind, it doesn't wear out early and it tends to cost us less. In our body a similar phenomena happens.

Human joints and vertebrae also have to be in the right place and move smoothly while lubricated. All movable joints in the body have an inner lining (synovial membrane) that produces grease. Proper motion is what massages the grease into the joint. If a joint moves smoothly, it stays lubricated, it is able to pump nutrients into and waste products out of the joint. If the joint happens to be a vertebra, the motion also tends to pump fluid in and out of the disc; keeping it plump and hydrated. Joint motion also stimulates ligaments and tendons keeping them flexible and elastic. In the spine, normally functioning vertebrae are also better able to protect the sensitive spinal cord and nerve roots responsible for controlling nearly all of our body functions.

When I adjust a person, two things happen. The first is alignment. A joint that has either been jammed or allowed to heal improperly from a previous injury, must be aligned. The second part is lubrication. When a joint is stretched open, it makes a suction noise, much like pulling your boot out of the mud; hence the popping sound. This suction pulls in lubricant from lining of the joint, like I mentioned above. If I'm putting something in a better place and oiling it, that's tune-and-lube anyway you look at it. Once we get the joint moving more normally, it will begin to clean and lubricate itself, then stretching and exercise, done by the patient, will help greatly with rehabilitation.

Likewise, without motion, a joint becomes dry. It looses the ability to feed and clean itself. Scar tissue forms. Discs begin to dry out. When these issues exist for long periods, destructive changes happen leading to degenerative arthritis. If it becomes bad enough you may end up needing to see someone that has knives and needles! In the spine, scar tissue, calcification and degenerative discs can also end up compromising nerve function leading to neurological issues such as sciatica.

So to sum it up, popping isn't necessarily bad. The problem is, adjusting oneself therapeutically is tough, we tend to twist and torque ourselves; hoping we are lucky enough to get it right. Sometimes our contortions do the trick, generally they don't. To ensure an accurate specific adjustment, go see your chiropractor. A little tune-and-lube can go a long way to insuring healthy and proper spinal function!

Yours for better health naturally through chiropractic,

Flint Loughridge DC

Frisco Chiropractic Center
Frisco, Texas


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

I guess I'll just have to hurt, I don't have insurance and can't come see you.

How is the "Affordable Care Act" working for you? How much has your premium gone down? Deductible less than ever? Quality of care better care than you ever imagined?

If your answers to the above are all affirmative, then this article may not be of much interest to you. However, if you feel like maybe "affordable" was a misnomer, keep reading. Chiropractic has always been valuable for helping people get better but now it may be proving to be one of the best health care values out there.

It makes me feel like pulling out the last hairs I have!

It seems that these days people feel if they don't have insurance, they can't go to the doctor. It's just way too expensive. The powers that be have hammered this into our heads - Health=Insurance. As a matter of fact it's so important that the government must step in to save us; take care of us. Fear sells (but that's a whole different story). If you do have a horrible issue that crops up requiring heroic intervention, some kind of safety net would indeed be helpful but, if we could just be allowed to have a catastrophic policy, covering "the big stuff", our health care costs would become reasonable. If people took an active part in their own health, the vast majority of the remaining day to day ailments could be managed like any other financial need that arises in a household. There are many factors that go into taking care of ourselves, however in this article, I would like to focus on how chiropractors are well suited to deal reasonably in our health care.

Chiropractors have extensive training in orthopedics, neurology, spinal biomechanics, radiology and a wide variety of other examination, diagnostic and treatment skills. A medical practitioners' training includes up to 30% pharmacology. Chiropractors take a similar number of hours to become a doctor, but take only one 3 hour course in drugs. So chiropractors use those hundreds of pharmacy hours taken by your MD to become expert in how to evaluate and correct problems manually.

A large percentage of nerve/muscle/bone problems respond well to manual chiropractic treatment techniques. Seeking chiropractic care is a good place to find out why we aren't feeling well. Because chiropractors do not use knives, needles or medications, the chances of having an unwanted reaction are minimal. 

The cost to be seen on a first visit at our office (without insurance), including x-rays, is  usually less than $200. If your case is uncomplicated, it could be less than $100. Follow up visits are as low as $40. These costs also include treatment. Nowadays some people have co-pays that are even more than our cash price! Some insurances can still be helpful, and as always, we will find out if yours is. We are still on most all plans and will happily file any applicable insurance for you.

Rather than starting out with much more expensive Orthopedic or Neurologist medical treatments, why not try our conservative chiropractic approach first. Most of the time it is effective, it's generally cost friendly, it has less risk of dangerous side effects and frequently leaves you feeling better than when you got here! If yours does happen to be one of those serious potential surgical issues, we will always point you in the right direction to deal with your issue.

It has been dictated that we spend more dollars on our health insurance, but that doesn't always mean you have to spend even more on your health care.

Value is getting something that is at least worth the cost and hopefully even more. At our office, we strive to make sure that you leave feeling you have gotten value from your visit.

Chiropractic Works - and that's what counts!

Yours for better health naturally,

Dr. Flint

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Health Care Crisis!

We have a health care crisis in America! Everywhere you turn it's in your face. The evening news wrings every bit of fear out of it as possible. Our politicians use it as an emotional tool to sway the masses to their side. People are put on medications at an ever increasing rate to try and stem the tide of our plummeting health. Cities, companies and families are struggling to find ways to pay for this monsterous catastrophe permeating our society. It is spiraling out of control. What O what are we to do?

Drug companies, hospitals, research facilities, doctors and all of our allopathic weapons are being brought to bear to try and mitigate this problem. With so many of our problems, they are being very successful. They are finding ways to surgically fix problems never thought possible. New drugs can now keep people alive and slow the onset of many disease processes. On the horizon are ways to even alter our DNA to prevent and treat all kinds of pathologies. It is an amazing age we live in.

One has to wonder though, with all the advances in medical care, why are we still getting sicker? Our children are now having diseases only adults had in the past. Heart disease, diabetes, immune system problems and a whole host of other degenerative problems are still growing in leaps and bounds. In my practice, I see very few people that are not on some kind of prescription, regardless of their age. It is very scary.

What is the problem? In my opinion, the problem is that no one takes care of themselves anymore. In the past people had to learn some basic healthcare knowledge to deal with the day to day trials of being a human. They had to know what was serious and what wasn't. They didn't abuse themselves and then run to the doctor expecting an instant cure that would allow them to continue the abuse. There were no junk foods, everything was fresh and scarce. It took knowledge and hard work to survive.

I am not suggesting that we avoid healthcare when needed. I am not suggesting that we return to a pioneer lifestyle. I am suggesting that people should take the time to learn some basics about health. That they do what it takes, no matter how uncomfortable, to keep themselves at roughly the right weight and to do regular basic exercise. We should learn to eat real food and not be swayed by unwise advertising. We should pass these ideals onto our children.

It's not the governments job to try and force us to do these things either. Our governments job is outlined quite well in our founding documents - thank you very much. Healthcare is not one of them. As a matter of fact, when they try to mandate activities, they always muck it up.

The job is ours. If the majority of people did just the basics of taking care of themselves, I truly feel that we wouldn't have a health care crisis. Just how bad do things have to get before the folks wake up? Apparantly much worse, because we don't seem to get it yet. I talk to patients about health daily. Some see it, most don't. I'm not giving up.

Yours for better health,
Dr. Loughridge

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Vitamin D - Wow! The findings just keep getting better.

The results just keep coming in. Vitamin D is truly amazing.

Vitamin D (D3 or Cholecalciferol) actually isn't a vitamin. It more rightly should be considered a hormone. Like any other hormone deficiency in our body (thyroid, adrenal, pituitary etc) a lack of Vitamin D can be disastrous. As a matter of fact Vitamin D may well be the most ancient factor evolved by man to deal with his environment. We get it from sunlight.

We all know that the sun is life. Is it so crazy to think that this doesn't pertain to us as well? Over the last few decades, the sun has been demonized as something terribly bad for us. It wasn't always that way though. Before modern drug based medicine, doctors knew the value of sunshine and would regularly prescribe sunbathing as a way to cure any variety of ailments.

My how things have changed. Over the last few decades, the line has been to shun the sun because it causes cancer and early onset aging and skin damage. Some specialists in the field of Dermatology are now beginning to question this logic. Some even are noting the lack of research present at all to support this line of thought. Some are even starting to say that a lack of sun causes skin cancer (as well as many other types of cancers and health problems).

The recommendation now is to get 20-30 minutes of direct sun to skin exposure per day. Burning isn't good but it only takes a few minutes for our bodies to make what it needs to be effective. For those that don't get sun everyday, most of us, taking a supplement is needed. 5000 IU's per day is a good amount to take. After 6 months, have your doctor check your blood levels to see how you are faring. The goal is to have between 50 and 80 ng/dl. Numerous medical doctors are now starting to check these levels routinely. Your doctor will not be surprised by your request.

For all the information you ever wanted to know about Vitamin D check out

With all the research appearing, why don't we hear more about it? Well......Vitamin D can't be patented and it's dirt cheap. Hmmmmmm

Yours for better health,
Dr. Loughridge

Monday, June 28, 2010

I hope you get to heaven ten minutes before the devil knows you're dead.

Translated into Chiropractic - If I can keep you from wearing out till you're 100, you win!

In Chiropractic college we spent a lot of time on Chiropractic Philosophy. My previous blogs incorporate some of those discussions. It's true that we must function mechanically well for our spines, the nerves and the tissues they control to work well; ultimately leading to "health". I find that sometimes when discussing what Chiropractic is to patients, it helps to make analogies. I have come up with many. Comparing us to a machine is one of my favorites. Here goes......

This comparison philosophy is straightforward. Our spines and related muscles, ligaments and joints must function in proper relationship, much like a machine.

Machines must have all of their parts working properly in order to run smoothly without wearing. When this happens the machine runs well. It will last a long time, be more reliable and rust slower.

We are not all that different from this machine. If our vertebrae are in the best possible alignment and are able to move through their proper range of motion without impingement, we tend to have fewer spinal problems. Proper motion and function keep us running smoothly therefore minimizing pain and degenerative arthritis "rust" in the future.

Another reason to keep our spines working well is to insure that the spinal cord and nerves that run between our vertebrae are free and functioning normally. When this happens, we feel better and information running between our brain and body is transmitted properly; allowing all of our parts to work better. This leads to better health overall.

Sound too simple? I used to think it was also. Agreed, there are lot of other factors: injuries, genetics, conditioning, occupational hazards, obesity.....yada yada yada, the list goes on. But still, if you make your machine work as good as it reasonably can then you will feel as good as possible. Changing parts generally isn't an option. Medicine helps some with symptoms. Prevention is ultimately the way to go and Chiropractic focuses on just that.

Maybe I should make a new saying. "I hope you get to heaven ten minutes before the devil knows you've worn out"! ......or not.

To better health naturally,

Dr. Loughridge

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Spring is in the air!

Spring is in the air ........ finally!!

Tis the season for flowers and grass ........ as well as the season for aches and pains.

Most neck and back problems do not require surgery or intensive therapy, but not taking care of them can lead to misery and problems in the future.

With today's large deductibles and shrinking coverage, conservative chiropractic care only makes sense. Why start with expensive orthopedic or neurologic evaluation when simple chiropractic adjustments generally do the trick? If your problem proves more serious, we can always refer you for further testing and make the appropriate referral if necessary.

At the Frisco Chiropractic Center, we pride ourselves on focusing on your problems, treating them in a timely, efficient and cost effective manner. Just taking medicine to mask the problem, can allow a more serious condition to form.

We have the abililty to diagnose, x-ray if necessary, and do treatment all in one facility.

We are also happy to see you in a timely fashion, without waiting days or weeks.

The clinic prides itself on straightforward care without gimmicks or fear tactics.

We also have fantastic REAL therapeutic massage therapists. You may not get your nails done with the massage, but we will get to the root of the problem.

Referrals are always appreciated. As always, if you send a new patient to the clinic, make sure they put you down as referring them and we will put a $10 credit on your account to use as you please.

Thanks for entrusting us with your musculoskeletal health care needs over the last 20 plus years.

Dr Loughridge
and the staff of Frisco Chiropractic Center

Friday, January 8, 2010

If I go to a Chiropractor,will I have to go forever?

A good many patients that come to my clinic have never been to a Chiropractor before. When I meet a patient for the first time, shake their hand and look into their eyes, I can sometimes see desperate anxiety lurking just beneath the surface. Often, they have been to numerous other doctors, undergone a variety of treatments and are still trying to find a better answer to their problem. Patients are generally sent by friends and family that are tired of seeing them suffer or they may have spent time on the Internet studying everything about Chiropractic and those doctors practicing in the area, before deciding on us.

I generally try to put them at ease by asking about any questions or concerns they may have. Once the subject is broached, most of them are more than willing to tell you just exactly what they are anxious about. Almost without exception, I am able to ease their fears and move forward helping them with their complaints. Over time, even the most stubborn patients not only have their health improved through Chiropractic but also become longtime friends.

However.....between the time of the first tenuous handshake and actual understanding, it can be interesting, challenging, heart warming and sometimes even humorous.

No matter how hard Chiropractors try to inform the public about the wonderful service we provide, it seems that some people still see us as an odd fringe profession. As a result, people come with all kinds of preconceived ideas. I have listed a few of the common concerns I have heard, as well as the paraphrased versions of my responses.

Patients will say.........

- Will it hurt? No more than you already do. At this clinic, we always start slow and easy, telling you everything we plan to do. The best knives or needles.

- The sound of joints popping scares me. The sound isn't bones grinding or breaking....I promise. A joint is a capsule, completely enclosed. When you stretch a joint, it creates a vacuum, sucking in air and making a popping noise. Along with the noise, lubricant is pulled into the joint. The lubrication and alignment of the vertebral joint is what makes it work better. If it works better, it feels better and wears out slower.

- My doctor said Chiropractic treatments only work temporarily. This one has always puzzled me. Almost nothing we do for our health is permanent. Taking medicine, even though it can be necessary, isn't a permanent fix either. Exercise, hygiene and diet are all things that must be continuously maintained to insure a good quality of life. Chiropractic is good maintenance.

- People say Chiropractors think they can cure anything. Not true, but if your problem is related to spinal dysfunction, not much else will work better. And if that dysfunction causes pressure on the nerves that come through the spine and control other areas, you could feel pain just about anywhere.

- Once you go to a Chiropractor will you have to go forever? No, but let's say you had never brushed your teeth in your whole life, and then one day you picked up a toothbrush and tried it. Would you now say "Oh no, now I have to do this the rest of my life" or did you just find a better way? Chiropractic is kind of like that. You don't have to do it, but it feels good now and can help a whole lot in the future.

The longer I practice, the more amazed I become at just what can be done with Chiropractic adjustments. No, Chiropractors can't cure everything, but I think that conservative care should always be tried first. Like almost everything in our lives, maintenance is required. Our spine is no different. Take care of it and it will serve you for a lifetime. Your spine is important, it supports your whole body, allows you to move around and protects the nerves that run through it.

Do you have questions or concerns about Chiropractic. I would love to hear them all. Call us up and come by. Find out if Chiropractic can help you.

Yours for better health care naturally,

Dr. Flint