Chiropractic Works with Dr. Birk

Syndrome X Fibromylagia and Antioxidants

Posted: July 23, 2012
By: Dr Ruminder Birk

Syndrome X is called the lifestyle disease or metabolic syndrome. Patients with this disorder are overweight, have high cholesterol  (i.e. LDLs) levels, and high blood pressure. They may also have insulin resistance or even be diabetic. This syndrome leads to heart disease, stroke, type II diabetes, and even certain types of cancer. Most of the major diseases are caused by bad behaviors or lifestyles, and not our genes. Who our parents are is very important, but not as much as diet and environment.

Patients with fibromyalgia are more likely to have syndrome X. When you consider fibromyalgia treatment, a global and holistic approach is needed. Doctors of Chiropractic can help to keep your spine pain to a minimum so that you can exercise and get strong again. While these aspects of health care are critical, you need to also consider good nutrition when taking on the challenge of fibromyalgia symptoms. There are several nutritional deficiencies that have been noted in this disease.

Studies have shown that when the blood is measured in both fibromylagia and syndrome X patients, there are lower levels of antioxidants when compared to those without these diseases. Patients who had the greatest amounts of pain also had the lowest levels of antioxidants. Antioxidant blood levels are affected by how much stress you are under, and also your consumption of proper nutrients.

Most of us do not have large daily intakes of fruits of vegetables. Kale, broccoli, brussel sprouts, and bell peppers, need to take the place of soda and chips. Five daily servings at a minimum are needed. The western diet has far too much fat, especially saturated fat, too much meat, too little fiber and vegetables, and too many calories overall. A plant-based diet (e.g. vegan) has been shown in one study to lessen fibromyalgia symptoms. You may not have to go as far as vegan or vegetarian, but eating meat at every meal is the other extreme.

Supplementation of a balanced diet with vitamins C and E are recommended for most patients, to ensure adequate levels of anti-oxidants.

Maintaining a healthy body weight with also lower your oxidative stress and make you need less antioxidants to counter the excessive weight. Taking a holistic and natural approach by looking at spine structure, exercise and stretching, and diet will give you the best tools for fighting fibromyalgia without drugs and their untoward side effects.


Waking up with a stiff neck?

Posted: July 9, 2012
By: Dr Ruminder Birk

It is truly heartbreaking that it is difficult for many of us to get the restorative sleep we need each night. Insomnia caused by tossing and turning is an epidemic in Canada, but the worse part is that some of us wake up with actual pain and stiffness. What a way to start the day.

Sometimes it's the too thick hotel pillow or maybe it's the mattress being too soft or unsupportive. Sleep posture is very critical to spinal health. The neck has a forward arch, and this has to be preserved for there to be maximal relaxation of the spinal cord and nerves. Also the head needs to be supported when turning to side sleeping. The pillow needs to be thick enough so that the head does not fall towards the shoulder, stretching the muscles and delicate nerves on the side of the neck.

You need to rest your spine each night so that the tissues can repair and heal. It is important that muscles are able to relax, and that the bones of the neck are not placed into abnormal postures. Ever fall asleep on an armrest of a sofa, or in a car or plane? Most of us have experienced the stiffness that comes with this. But some of us have spinal bones that are already sprained and displaced from old injuries, which means good sleeping posture is even more critical. Simply a minor change from our usual bed or pillow is enough to make for a stiff neck in the morning. Or perhaps you thought a stiff neck in the morning was normal because it has gone on for years.

One of the more common problems for morning stiffness is neck and body position. Stomach sleeping is a definite no. In this position, the neck will be twisted excessively. The best positions will be side lying with adequate head support, or flat on the back with a proper neck-support pillow. These types of pillows allow the cushion to push upwards into the curve of the neck, while the head is cradled. Usually pillows are simply too thick and these can cause the neck to be in a forward stressed position which stretches the nerves and spinal cord.

If you’re waking up with a stiff neck, then it could be how you’re sleeping or whether your pillow is right for good neck sleeping posture. Discuss with a doctor of chiropractic your sleep habits, and which type of pillow is best for maximal rest.