Posts by Dr. David DeFries

5 Mistakes people make when searching for a chiropractor

https://www.flickr.com/photos/notionscapital/7224617748I tried to show my father how Google works at dinner last night. I was trying to explain to him how patients use the internet to find pizza, current news and healthcare providers. My father practiced back when people went to phone books to find businesses and everyone read the advertisements in one or two newspapers. He has a hard time understanding how the internet works and how people use it for almost everything. I typed in "chiropractor 19014" and showed him how my office is listed on Google maps along with several other chiropractors in the area.  As I was explaining to him how there are paid ads, reviews, websites, blogs, Facebook pages and so many other areas of the internet that contain information for people inquiring about a chiropractor, he just shook his head and said " seems like a lot of work".
Yes, sometimes it is " a lot of work".
When a new patient comes to the office I ask them how they found us. I always hope to hear that they were referred by another patient or that they read one of my posts and quite often those reasons are given but I also hear, too much, that they searched " chiropractor near me" and I was the closest, and this saddens me because there are a number of things people should be thinking about when they look for a chiropractor and by expanding their search, they may find themselves unhappy with their choice. Below are some common mistakes people make:

Bypassing reviews: I enjoy hearing from my patients regarding what they like about my practice. I don't "like" hearing about the things they don't like but I need to hear these things because I want to make it the best experience that I can. Reading reviews can help you to learn what patients think and not just what the doctor feels is important. Perhaps you left a doctor in the past because you didn't find that he listens to you or that you spent more time in the waiting room than the treatment room. If a practice has enough reviews that you can see a common theme, most likely you are going to have a similar experience.

Not searching for "chiropractor + (your problem): If you Google " auto repair" you would get general results such as collision centers, auto parts stores and service stations which wouldn't all help if you were needing your transmission fixed.  Similarly, goggling " transmission" would yield transmission repair centers but also numerous other definitions and uses of transmissions. "chiropractor + sciatica" or " chiropractor + headaches" may help narrow down your results to someone who has experience with your particular complaint.

Leaving out your financial concerns: Does the chiropractor accept your health insurance and are they in network or out? Do they offer wellness packages, payment plans or accept credit cards? While finances should not be the sole reason you use to decide on a service or provider, the cost and ability to pay for care has to be taken into account.

 

Overlooking convenience: Does the chiropractor have hours that suit you? Do they have adequate parking, a handicapped bathroom, weekend appointments or online scheduling? Many conditions require frequent visits and any complication in you being able to follow your care plan can delay your progress. If you have a 9 to 5 job, you may find it difficult to get to your chiropractor if they close at 5 or 6 and are not open on weekends. Their office may be open later, but traffic or your distance from the office may prevent you from getting there without rushing.

Not looking over their website: Earlier I emphasized reading reviews to learn what patients think but getting a look at what the doctor thinks is important is also necessary. Chiropractors use many different techniques and procedures to treat patients and their website should give you n idea of what to expect. Do they perform manual manipulations? ( not all chiropractors adjust the spine manually) , do they focus mainly on supplements and nutrition? Do they offer laser therapy? Is there practice focused on pain relief as well as correcting the problem? Many clinics are injury oriented meaning they treat mostly car accidents and work injuries. If you were hit from behind yesterday these clinics can help but if you have a chronic complaint that has bothered you for months, they may not be the place to go. Given that nearly everyone refers to the internet for information, a chiropractic office that doesn't utilize their website or Facebook page to keep the public and their patients informed is, frankly, behind the times. Many chiropractic offices offer the ability to complete your forms online or to download them to be completed before your appointment. My office offers online scheduling so appointments can be made at the patients convenience. A website should not only act as the modern day Yellow Page ad, it should also be a source of information.

Hopefully this post will help you make an informed decision when searching for a chiropractor.

Ready to begin feeling better? Click here to schedule online (easiest) or reach us by phone 610-494-0412

 

Difficulty sleeping? Try hypnosis videos.

 

When I was nineteen years old I was involved in a car accident in which I suffered a brain injury which lead to several sleep disorders. My sleep schedule was erratic and when I did sleep, my lucid dreaming and restless brain would make getting a good night sleep extremely rare. 
I tired everything: sleep studies, medication, supplements...and nothing ever really seemed to work until I discovered hypnosis videos on Youtube. 
For the first few weeks I would often still be awake when the videos would finish so I started watching longer videos and searched for ones that caused me to drift off faster. I found that there are several different types of videos on Youtube that help me to not only relax and sleep:

Sleep Talk Down: A voice walks you through the relaxation process and can address issues that may be causing you stress or anxiety.

Music: Soothing music plays with no voice instructions.

Sound Effects: Rain, thunder, ocean waves or maybe even airplanes.

Delta waves: Artificial sounds which simulate sleep associated brain waves.

It is important to experiment and find which ones work for you. Do not expect instant results and keep at it as eventually you may find that your brain learns that it is okay to take a break and let you rest. After listening to the videos a few times a week for several months, I no longer need them to fall asleep but I do occasionally watch them for stress relief. 

Below are some of my favorites:


 

Ready to begin feeling better? Click Here to schedule online (easiest) or reach us by phone 610-494-0412

 

 

 

What is the best pillow for side sleepers?

Patients frequently ask what is the best pillow to use if they sleep on their side. I often explain that neck discomfort during sleep is more related to every day activities and posture than it is to sleeping position but proper support is needed during sleep in order to reduce stress on the neck.

There have been few studies which examined pillows but one did find something that we always knew: feather pillows are the worst for you!

Pillow use: the behaviour of cervical pain, sleep quality and pillow comfort in side sleepers.

"This study provides evidence to support recommendation of rubber pillows in the management of waking cervical pain, and to improve sleep quality and pillow comfort. The rubber pillow performed better than subjects' own pillow in most instances. Subjects' own pillow performed similarly to foam and polyester pillows, and there is no evidence that the use of a foam contour pillow has advantages over the regular shaped pillows. Feather pillows should not be recommended."

Although less than 1% of the population is allergic to latex, it is important to make sure you are not one of them before you buy a rubber pillow as many are made from latex.

best pillow for sleep chiropractor 19014

 

Ready to begin feeling better? Click Here to schedule online (easiest) or reach us by phone 610-494-0412

 

Traumatic Brain Injury: High Power Laser Therapy

"Treatments for traumatic brain injury (TBI) with emphasis on transcranial near-infrared laser phototherapy" is a study which was performed in August which is part of an exciting breakthrough in High Power Laser Therapy. The first phase of the project was "Near-infrared photonic energy penetration: can infrared phototherapy effectively reach the human brain?" which examined the depth of penetration of various lasers and found that high power class IV lasers can penetrate through bone. The second phase applied the laser to subjects who had suffered brain traumas and had symptoms including: headaches, sleep disturbances, cognition, mood dysregulation, anxiety, and irritability. They found that by using a laser in the power range of 10–15 W at 810 nm and 980 nm can safely and effectively treat chronic symptoms of TBI. They noted appreciable improvements in the test subjects over the course of the study.

I am excited about this research not only because I use this type of laser in my office but also due to my history of having a TBI myself when I was 19.
I have struggled with many of the symptoms addressed in the study so I am both personally and professionally intrigued by the potential benefits of laser therapy in treating brain injuries.


Ready to begin feeling better? Click here to schedule online (easiest) or reach us by phone 610-494-0412

 

What does a chiropractor do when his back hurts?

Last Sunday night I started to feel a pain in my right lower back. I had been walking earlier that day in the park and I wore shoes that I had not worn in a few years, in fact I think I had only worn them a few times back then. By Monday morning my back was really hurting me and sleeping was difficult. I started to think back to what events could have contributed to my back hurting. Wearing different shoes most likely ill not cause the strain and joint irritation that I was experiencing unless there was an underlying condition prior to the walking. Then I realized that for the past two weeks I had been feeling pain in my right heel and even some in my knee.  I have been sleeping on the couch more because it is cooler downstairs 
I could have spent all day trying to find a singular cause of my pain but the truth was that it didn't matter WHY I was hurting. Had I fallen out of a tree, landed on my hand and then experienced swelling and pain in the hand, well then it would be easy to assume that I broke or sprained my limb. But this wasn't a clear cut case; it was a gradual onset which was made worse by one event which, In itself, was most likely unimportant. It was the straw that broke the doctors back.

So by Tuesday morning the pain was serious and limited my movement. I called a friend to come to the office and apply my laser to my low back and treat me with a special little "muscle jackhammer" to reduce the spasms. I felt much better a few hours later and had some pain during the night.
 

On Wednesday morning I had her come in again and repeat the procedures and then at lunch I went and got adjusted. By Wednesday evening I felt fine and the pain has not returned.

Would the pain have gone away without treatment? Maybe....but if it did, most likely it would return and with it an increase in the knee and foot pain. Treating conditions as soon as possible is the key to reducing he pain and, more importantly, reducing scar formation and degeneration.

Chiropractors are human too..we hurt and sometimes we try to ignore it like everyone else. I like feeling pain ( once in a while) because it reminds me of the frustration and agony my patients present with and better allows me understand their expectations.


Ready to begin feeling better? Click here to schedule online (easiest) or reach us by phone 610-494-0412

 

The pain of making others pretty!

Healthline: Volume 5 Issue 2 July December 2014

Background: Hair-stylists and barbers face the risk of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) due to awkward postures.

Study Objectives: The purpose of the study was to assess upper extremity and neck disability in  hairdressers.

Results: There was increasing disability with increase in age and increase in work experience.

Conclusions: It can be concluded that awkward neck posture and repetitive work done by upper extremity exacerbates degenerative changes and increases risk of disability in hairdressers with increase in age and experience.

Musculoskeletal Disorders among Cosmetologists

95 female and seven male beauty therapists were studied:

Neck pain was reported by 58% of the subjects while chronic neck pain was experienced by 10%.  Hand and low-back complaints were almost as prevalent as neck pain, but chronic pain was reported more frequently for these sites. Hand/wrist and low back complaints resulted more time lost from work and doctors visits. Neck and knee pain resulted less  sickness absence than the other complaints. It seems that regarding the burden of the specific complaints, hand/wrist and back pain followed by shoulder were the most important complaints among cosmetologists

The physical demands this profession strain the upper body more than in any other profession:

Work long periods

Use both arms

Stand/ sit for  long periods

Move the fingers  and hand constantly

Stay in one place for long periods

Bend and move in awkward positions

Due to these stresses,  hairdressers have a greater likelihood of developing the following:

Neck, shoulder, arm, elbow and/or wrist pain, numbness or tingling

Hip/knee/low back pain

Headaches

Plantar fasciitis

Carpal Tunnel

Over time, the continued stress put on the body may speed up degeneration and lead to other musculoskeletal conditions.

These studies point out the need for early treatment and intervention. Chronic low back and wrist/hand pain can threaten the livelihood of those in the beauty industry.

Ready to begin feeling better? Click Here to schedule online (easiest) or reach us by phone 610-494-0412

 

 

 

When should you see a chiropractor?

Patients frequently present with complaints that they have been experiencing for weeks, months and even years. Sadly, much of their suffering and possibly a great deal of their degeneration most likely would have been reduced or eliminated with prompt care.

According to the Chiropractic Rehabilitation Association, the following 5 situations as to when an individual should seek out a chiropractor with a complaint:

  1. All traumatic joint injuries: All injuries to a joint and its ligaments should be examined by a chiropractor because these injuries have the potential of becoming permanent and debilitating if proper treatment is not administered.
  2. Any injury accompanied by severe pain: Pain is a message that something is wrong. Blocking the pain does not correct the problem.
  3. Any pain in a joint, muscle or bone that lasts for than two weeks: Persistent pain may be an indication of a more serious problem or a sign of improper healing.
  4. Any injury that doesn't heal in three weeks: Again, if an injury does not heal in three weeks, there may be an underlying structural abnormality.
  5. Any injury that returns after rest: When pain returns after rest alone and without any treatment it is usually a sign of structural defect.

Ready to begin feeling better? Click Here to schedule online (easiest) or reach us by phone 610-494-0412

 

Cost of care Price vs Value

Last week I turned to social media and asked: what has kept you from seeking chiropractic care and the #1 responce was cost. I have to admit that I was not surprised as we live in a cost conscious society which often overlooks the efficiency or quality of services or products. 

The rising cost of health-care is a misnomner. What has risen in the cost of health insurance in the form of premiums, co-pays and deductibles, not the actual care. Now the health care consumer is forced to pay more while those providing the care get less and the insurance company benefits from the diffrence between the two.

Providers fees are already set by the insurance company. They pay a flat rate depending on the service performed so there isn't much room for them to increase profits by paying the providers of care less. As we have seen over the past ten years, th cost of insurance, for most people, has risen yet their benefits have decreased either in quality or quantity.

As a result, many people are settling for only the care that is covered or partially covered by their insurance. Too often patients care is 75 %  diagnostic (MRI's, XRAYS, bloodwork ect) and 25% treatment. You would think that with the imergance of so many diagnostic centers and specialists that we would see far fewer "sick" people and that the high quality healthcare system would decrease in cost because there would be fewer " sick" people but, as we have seen, that is not the case.

Why do we have so many people addicted to pain killers?

Why were more than 1 million joints replaced last year?

Why is it that the percentage of disabled people in the United States is nearly 25% higher than in the rest of the world?

The reliance on treating pain and not the actual cause of the pain can be attributed to not only why so many people are taking drugs but also to the increased incidences of degeneration and arthritis leading to joint failure and as such an increase in not only the number of people claiming disability but also the cost of health care to everyone. 

Ready to begin feeling better? Click here to schedule online (easiest) or reach us by phone 610-494-0412

 

High Power Laser Medicine Treatment - Gout

Gout (also referred to as gouty arthritis) is a painful form of arthritis caused by the accumulation of uric acid crystals in the joints and tendons. Gout can affect many joints such as the ankle, knee, digits and spine with the most frequent location of symptoms being the big or 1st toe. Gout may be associated with renal disease, diabetes, obesity, leukemia and also the result of the use of diuretics.

In the early stages of gout, the flare ups may be spread out over months and as the disease progresses these painful events often increase in both frequency and intensity. According to the study: Gout—Current Diagnosis and Treatment , after the first onset of pain is noticed : "treatment of gouty arthritis should be followed by determination of the cause of hyperuricemia, and long-term treatment to lower the uric acid level is usually necessary. The goal of treatment is to diminish the body‘s stores of uric acid crystal deposits and thereby to prevent the inflammatory processes that they cause".

High Power Laser Medicine is an extremely effective way to manage gout pain during a flare up and according to the study Photobiomodulation of pain and inflammation in microcrystalline arthropathies: "Both laser therapy and diclofenac ( a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug) achieved rapid pain relief in patients with acute gouty arthritis without significant differences in efficacy. Laser therapy was more effective than diclofenac in patients with chronic pyrophosphate arthropathy and in patients with chronic apatite deposition disease"

This study showed that the laser treatment decreased inflammation which was measured by blood tests and that it also was more effective than the drug in treating chronic gouty conditions.

It is important to be properly diagnosed when experiencing joint pain as many different conditions present with similar symptoms. Once the diagnosis of gout has been made, all conservative and dietary measures should be taken to reduce the crystal formation in the joints and to slow the progression of the disease. 

Click here for a list of food to avoid

 



If you are suffering from a flare up of your gout, High Power Laser Therapy is available to quickly reduce your discomfort. 

Ready to begin feeling better? Click Here to schedule online (easiest) or reach us by phone 610-494-0412