Category Archives: Peggy Boyd-Blog

Vitamin D: Essential for Health (4 of 4)


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Vitamin DOver the past month or so, we’ve touched on the importance of the steroidal hormone, vitamin D. We discussed the epigenetic role vitamin D plays in regulating potentially thousands of genes, catalyzing chemical reactions important in preventing certain cancers, maintaining healthy neurological function, and building healthy bones. We also talked how about how vitamin D plays a vital role in DNA repair (D1).
As the conversation progressed, we defined what vitamin D is and highlighted the active metabolites that interact with VDR’s(Vitamin D receptors), receptors now known to be in almost every cell and, in every organ in the body. Furthermore, we reviewed the blood serum levels outlined by the Institute of Medicine that indicate the amount of available vitamin D present in the body, as well as the recommended daily intake to maintain healthy levels of the available metabolite circulating throughout the blood (D2). In addition, we highlighted the best sources of vitamin D from our environment and discussed warning signs of vitamin D deficiency (D3).
To conclude the series, we wanted to share some really neat ways you can monitor your own biomarkers. As more people are taking charge of their own health and nutrition, technology continues to develop new, more efficient ways to manage your health. Private online health labs now offer a variety of different biochemical tests complete with a full analytical profile of your results. These analytics allow you to identify trends, spot possible deficiencies, and even add a licensed dietitian, nutritionist or physician to consult with you on new strategies to optimize your health. Typically, with these services you select the panel of tests that you would like the lab to run and pay at checkout. The cost to perform the test varies based on the options and conditions you choose to test but, to have the basic panel tested (typical of screenings performed by a physician during an annual physical) the average cost is between $30-$60. For many of us, the service cost about as much as a typical doctor’s office copay! After checkout you receive an email with instructions and a lab requisition form. Next, you simply take the lab requisition to an approved health office to have your blood drawn and your lab results are posted securely to your online account within a few days. These online options are making it more affordable and more convenient for everyone to take charge of their own health.
A few online companies that offer lab screenings:

*Surgical Alternative is not affiliated with, nor do we endorse any of the company’s listed below. Our intent is to share information so that you can make better informed decisions about your health.

1. Wellness FX-http://www.wellnessfx.com/

2. Direct Labs https://www.directlabs.com/

3. Health One Labs http://www.healthonelabs.com/

Surgical Alternative-Rehabilitative and Therapeutic Massage Therapy offers a combination of modalities designed to help people suffering from acute or chronic pain, return to a pain-free and active lifestyle. We can help treat pain associated with a variety of conditions including, but not limited to: degenerative discs, herniated or ruptured discs, joint pain, rheumatoid arthritis, carpel tunnel, neuritis, whiplash, muscle strains and sprains, plantar fasciitis, fibromyalgia, tendonitis, cluster headaches and migraines. In addition we also aid clients who experience pain from multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, lupus, and scoliosis.
For more information on the services we provide or for a free consultation, please contact us via the channels listed below or visit our Facebook page. Thank you for your support!
For an appointment please visit our website to use our interactive calendar feature or call us at (813) 948-6300.
Web: http://surgicalalternative.com/
Email: info@surgicalalternative.com

Vitamin D: Essential for Health (3 of 4)

Vitamin DOver the past few weeks we’ve discussed the importance of vitamin D in our diets and the epigenetic role the hormone plays in expressing a multitude of traits (D1). We also defined what vitamin D is and how much we need in order for our bodies to function properly (D2). To further our discussion, we will identify the best sources to obtain vitamin D, touch on risk factors for deficiency, and identify some of the signs that may indicate a person is vitamin D deficient. Additionally, we will highlight some easy new ways to monitor your baseline biomarkers to ensure you are maintaining levels of the nutrients your body needs for optimal health.

Sources of Vitamin D

For most of us, our primary source of vitamin D comes from sun exposure; UVB irradiates 7-dehdrocholesterol in the skin to synthesize the vitamin before it is metabolized into its active form. It is thought that 15 minutes of sun exposure every day is adequate for most (Holick, 2006). Food sources of vitamin D are relatively scarce. The most vitamin D rich foods include oily fishes; salmon, mackerel, and sardines while foods such as egg yolks and fortified dairy products also provide a source of the nutrient. Mushrooms also contain vitamin D. Because it may be difficult to achieve sufficient amounts of the vitamin from your diet, supplements also play an important role in order to achieve intake quantities recommended by the Food and Nutrition Board. It should be noted however that because vitamin supplements are not regulated by the FDA, you should look for supplements that have USP (United States Pharmacopeial Convention) verification mark. Supplements with the USP mark on the label have been verified to contain the amount of the nutrients they advertise.

Vitamin D deficiency Pandemic

Despite the vital role vitamin D plays in our overall health, vitamin D deficiency is recognized as a worldwide pandemic (Holick & Chen, 2008). Across the globe, it is estimated that over 1 billion people are either vitamin D deficient or insufficient and in the U.S; an estimated 50 million teens, half of children ages 1-5 and 70% of children ages 7-11 are either deficient or insufficient (Holick, 2010). It is also estimated that between 50-100% of the elderly in both Europe and U.S. are vitamin D deficient (2010). If these numbers shock you…they should! As previously discussed, vitamin D facilitates numerous physiological processes essential for health. From neurological function to bone health, cardiovascular function to immune system regulation, and the prevention of many cancers…it has been well documented that insufficient or deficient amounts of vitamin D leads to a myriad of health problems. While I believe everyone should have their blood levels checked, some general risk factors include but are not limited to:

  • Obesity: vitamin D is fat soluble and is stored in body fat. The higher the body fat the lower the bioavailability (Patrick, 2013)
  • Insufficient sun exposure: sunscreens block UVB rays thus preventing vitamin D synthesis from taking place. Also, those in northern latitudes (above 37˚ N latitude) don’t receive sufficient sun exposure during winter months due to atmospheric conditions. Unprotected sun exposure should be limited to  15 minutes a day (2013).
  • Dark Skin Pigment: melanin acts as a natural sun screen, therefore darker skin pigment reduces the amount of vitamin D that can be synthesized through sun exposure (2013).
  • Aging: As we get older our bodies become less efficient at producing the active metabolite (2013).

So what are the signs of vitamin D deficiency?

As you’ve probably already guessed, the signs of vitamin D deficiency vary. Some symptoms you may be deficient include:

  • Bone and joint aches and pains
  • Depression
  • Muscle weakness
  • Tiredness
  • Frequent sickness or ailments

Because these symptoms are so general it is important that you see a physician, family practitioner, or a host of other outlets to have your vitamin D metabolite blood levels checked on a regular basis.

Next time, we will conclude are series on vitamin D. Please remember to share your questions or comments, either on our website or on our Facebook page. Thanks for reading and until next time, stay healthy!

References

Hoessein-nezhad, A., Spira, A., & Holick, M. F. (2013, March). (R. P. Moray Campbell, Ed.) Public Library of Science, 8(3). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0058725

Holick, M. F. (2006). High Prevalence of Vitamin D Inadequacy and Implications for Health. Mayo Clinic Proceedings (pp. 353-373). Boston: Elsevier Inc.

Holick, M. F. (2010, January). The Vitamin D Deficiency Pandemic: a Forgotten Hormone Important for Health. Public Health Reviews, 32(1), 267-283.

Holick, M. F., & Chen, T. C. (2008). Vitamin D deficiency: a worldwide problem with health consequences. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1080S-6S.

Norman, A. W. (2008). From vitamin D to hormone D: fundamentals of the vitamin D endocrine system essential for good health. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 491S-9S.

Patrick, R. P. (2013, August 14). The “Vitamin D Sweet Spot” and its Relationship To Aging. Retrieved from Wellness FX: http://blog.wellnessfx.com/2013/08/14/the-vitamin-d-sweet-spot-and-its-relationship-to-aging/

Surgical Alternative-Rehabilitative and Therapeutic Massage Therapy offers a combination of modalities designed to help people suffering from acute or chronic pain, return to a pain-free and active lifestyle. We can help treat pain associated with a variety of conditions including, but not limited to: degenerative discs, herniated or ruptured discs, joint pain, rheumatoid arthritis, carpel tunnel, neuritis, whiplash, muscle strains and sprains, plantar fasciitis, fibromyalgia, tendonitis, cluster headaches and migraines. In addition we also aid clients who experience pain from multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, lupus, and scoliosis.

For more information on the services we provide or for a free consultation, please contact us via the channels listed below or visit our Facebook page. Thank you for your support!

For an appointment please visit our website to use our interactive calendar feature or call us at (813) 948-6300.

Web:  http://surgicalalternative.com/

Email: info@surgicalalternative.com

 

Vitamin D: Essential for Health (2 of 4)

Vitamin DIn our previous blog we began a discussion about vitamin D and the wide ranging impact the steroidal hormone has on regulating a multitude of physiological functions necessary for human health. This week we will continue the conversation by describing what vitamin D is and what the recommended healthy levels of vitamin D are per the Institute of Medicine.

What is vitamin D and Why is it Important?

Vitamin D is essentially a steroidal hormone. There are two forms of vitamin D that are important to human health. The first is ergocalciferol or vitamin D2, derived from the ultraviolet exposure of mold or plant-based materials which has limited bioavailability due to its unstable chemical make-up (Houghton & Vieth, 2006). The second is calcipherol or vitamin D3, produced from the photoconversion of 7-dehdrocholesterol in the skin when exposed to UVB irradiation or, obtained through diet and supplementation (Norman, 2008). The vitamin D3 form is further metabolized by the endocrine system to produce 1α,25(OH)2D3, the steroidal hormone that binds to Vitamin D Receptor (VDR) located in our cells (Norman, 2008). These VDR’s are located throughout the cells of almost every organ in our body and according to a study in the open access journal PLOS one, may regulate the expression of up to 1250 genes in the human body, once activated (Hoessein-nezhad, Spira, & Holick, 2013). This is why vitamin D is so important to human physiological function. The expression of these genes affects a broad scope of vital biological functions from calcium homeostasis and blood pressure regulation, to immune system health and brain development. The synthesis of the metabolite 1α,25(OH)2D3 increases the bioavailability of the hormone in the bloodstream which makes the vitamin D3 form far superior than its D2 counterpart.

Recommended Amount of Vitamin D

To measure levels of available Vitamin D in the body, the Institute of Medicine recommends the following blood serum levels of 25(OH)D, to indicate status[i]:

Table 1: Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] Concentrations and Health* [1]
nmol/L** ng/mL* Health status
<30 <12 Associated with vitamin D deficiency, leading to rickets in infants and children and osteomalacia in adults
30–50 12–20 Generally considered inadequate for bone and overall health in healthy individuals
≥50 ≥20 Generally considered adequate for bone and overall health in healthy individuals
>125 >50 Emerging evidence links potential adverse effects to such high levels, particularly >150 nmol/L (>60 ng/mL)

* Serum concentrations of 25(OH)D are reported in both nanomoles per liter (nmol/L) and nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL).
** 1 nmol/L = 0.4 ng/mL

The recommended daily intake for Vitamin D varies by age as well as environmental factors. The following is the official Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for Vitamin D as per the Food and Nutrition Board at the Institute of Medicine of The National Academies[ii]:

Table 2: Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for Vitamin D [1]
Age Male Female Pregnancy Lactation
0–12 months* 400 IU
(10 mcg)
400 IU
(10 mcg)
1–13 years 600 IU
(15 mcg)
600 IU
(15 mcg)
14–18 years 600 IU
(15 mcg)
600 IU
(15 mcg)
600 IU
(15 mcg)
600 IU
(15 mcg)
19–50 years 600 IU
(15 mcg)
600 IU
(15 mcg)
600 IU
(15 mcg)
600 IU
(15 mcg)
51–70 years 600 IU
(15 mcg)
600 IU
(15 mcg)
>70 years 800 IU
(20 mcg)
800 IU
(20 mcg)

* Adequate Intake (AI)

[i] Table taken from: http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-HealthProfessional/

[ii] Table taken from http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-HealthProfessional/

 

Next week we will continue our discussion on vitamin D by examining the best sources of the vital nutrient, important signs to identify vitamin D deficiency, and additional information you can use to optimize your health! Stay tuned…

References

Hoessein-nezhad, A., Spira, A., & Holick, M. F. (2013, March). (R. P. Moray Campbell, Ed.) Public Library of Science, 8(3). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0058725

Holick, M. F., & Chen, T. C. (2008). Vitamin D deficiency: a worldwide problem with health consequences. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1080S-6S.

Houghton, L. A., & Vieth, R. (2006). The case against ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) as a vitamin supplement. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 694-7.

Norman, A. W. (2008). From vitamin D to hormone D: fundamentals of the vitamin D endocrine system essential for good health. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 491S-9S.

Surgical Alternative-Rehabilitative and Therapeutic Massage Therapy offers a combination of services designed to help people suffering from acute or chronic pain, return to a pain-free and active lifestyle. We can help treat pain associated with a variety of conditions including, but not limited to degenerative discs, herniated or ruptured discs, joint pain, rheumatoid arthritis, carpel tunnel, neuritis, whiplash, muscle strains and sprains, plantar fasciitis, fibromyalgia, tendonitis, cluster headaches and migraines. In addition we also aid clients who experience pain from multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, lupus, and scoliosis.

For more information on the services we provide or for a free consultation, please contact us via the channels listed below or visit our Facebook page. Thank you for your support!

For an appointment please visit our website to use our interactive calendar feature or call us at (813) 948-6300.

Web:  http://surgicalalternative.com/

Email: info@surgicalalternative.com

Vitamin D: Essential for Health (1 of 4)

Vitamin DIn April of 2003, scientist speaking on behalf of the Human Genome Project announced they had reached their goal. The collaborative efforts of scientist from across the globe had successfully mapped the entire human genome, the DNA sequences that make up Homo sapiens. The research findings gave rise to a whole new set of fascinating questions about human biology. For example, what caused the gene for a particular trait to be expressed or “turned on” in one person, while that same gene is “silenced” or inactive in another?  These inquiries sparked renewed interest in the field of epigenetics. Epigenetics studies heritable and non-heritable changes in gene expression that are not a consequence of altering DNA nucleotides. In other words, epigenetics is how our environment interacts with our genes to affect our appearance, behavior, and biological functions; the link between nature and nurture.

So what does this have to do with vitamin D…? Well, amidst all of the new biochemical studies, research suggest that vitamin D may be responsible for regulating the expression of over 1000 different genes (Patrick, 2013). Many of these genes regulate biochemical pathways associated with certain cancers, autoimmune disorders, transcriptional regulation (copying of a DNA segment to mRNA which will be used to make a protein), and cardiovascular disease (Hoessein-nezhad, Spira, & Holick, 2013), in addition to many other physiological functions. Of course, we are already familiar with the vital role vitamin D plays in the absorption of calcium and magnesium, necessary micronutrients needed to produce dense bones and prevent osteoporosis in adults or rickets in children.

Over the course of the next few weeks, we will dedicate a series of articles discussing the latest developments in vitamin D research, the essential role vitamin D plays in our bodies, and the source of vitamin D in our diets. We will also look at the current recommendations for vitamin D levels in the blood and discuss some easy ways to monitor your own baseline blood levels so that you can put the information to use and optimize your personal health! Until next time…

References

Hoessein-nezhad, A., Spira, A., & Holick, M. F. (2013, March). (R. P. Moray Campbell, Ed.) Public Library of Science, 8(3). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0058725

Patrick, R. P. (2013, August 14). The “Vitamin D Sweet Spot” and its Relationship To Aging. Retrieved from Wellness FX: http://blog.wellnessfx.com/2013/08/14/the-vitamin-d-sweet-spot-and-its-relationship-to-aging/

Surgical Alternative-Rehabilitative and Therapeutic Massage Therapy offers a combination of services designed to help people suffering from acute or chronic pain, return to a pain-free and active lifestyle. We can help treat pain associated with a variety of conditions including, but not limited to degenerative discs, herniated or ruptured discs, joint pain, rheumatoid arthritis, carpel tunnel, neuritis, whiplash, muscle strains and sprains, plantar fasciitis, fibromyalgia, tendonitis, cluster headaches and migraines. In addition we also aid clients who experience pain from multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, lupus, and scoliosis.

For more information on the services we provide or for a free consultation, please contact us via the channels listed below or visit our Facebook page. Thank you for your support!

For an appointment please visit our website to use our interactive calendar feature or call us at (813) 948-6300.

Web:  http://surgicalalternative.com/

Email: info@surgicalalternative.com

H2..Whoa! Water and Hydration Tips for Summer

Drinking WaterMost of us learned about waters’ distinct properties in elementary school. The agile molecule exists in all three physical states, (solid, liquid and gas) it’s a universal solvent, and it possesses an uncanny ability to absorb tremendous amounts of heat while at the same time, resisting rapid fluctuations in temperature. As an essential nutrient for all life on earth including the complexity that is the human organism, water makes up roughly 50% to 60% of our bodies.  It performs a multitude of functions within the body including the transport of nutrients in, and waste out, of our cells. Water also helps regulate body temperature and it lubricates joints, the brain, and all of our vital organs (Kravitz, 2014). It really is amazing that a single type of molecule is responsible for a plethora of essential tasks!

Despite the importance of the “life-giving” combination of hydrogen and oxygen, it is estimated that 75% of Americans fall short of the recommended 8-10, 8oz. (64-80 oz.) cups of water per day, required by the body to replenish water loss (Ericson, 2013).  The amount of water your body requires may be even more than 80 oz. if you maintain a high level of physical activity or if you live in a hot or dry climate.  According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, almost 7% of all hospital admissions are diagnosed as dehydration (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 2014). With the summer months upon us, the temperatures are already climbing. It’s not only important to emphasize good hydration habits but also to identify signs of dehydration. Symptoms of mild dehydration may include headache, muscle cramps, dry mouth, or dark yellow urine, while more severe symptoms consist of dizziness, confusion, fatigue, rapid heartbeat, unconsciousness, and even death if untreated (National Institutes of Health, 2014). In the event that you suspect you or someone you know is dehydrated, contact your healthcare provider or emergency service provider immediately.

For those who don’t find plain ole’ water particularly palatable, listed below are some creative ways to increase your H2O consumption. Try working them into your overall dietary strategy:

  1. Coconut water: a tasty way to increase your water consumption. It’s also chalk full of naturally occurring electrolytes to replenish salts you lose during perspiration.
  2. Fruit Infusion: cheap carafes are available online or in home good stores. Add lemons, oranges, strawberries or any of your favorite fruits to the infuser and fill the carafes with filtered water. This a great way to add flavor and nutrients!
  3. Eat fruits and vegetables: Nobody said that your daily intake must come exclusively from liquids. Fruits and vegetables are water dense and contain other essential nutrients. Fruits particularly high in water content include citrus, grapes, cantaloupes, berries, and you guessed it…watermelon! Vegetables that can provide a good source of H2O include cucumber, tomatoes, bell peppers, and broccoli, just to name a few.
  4. Kombucha: This fermented favorite is a great way to hydrate. Available in a variety of different flavors, it’s also loaded with probiotics, vitamins, and other nutrients that are essential for health. You can find Kombucha in the organic section of your local grocer or in health food stores.
  5. Frozen Juice pops: another fun way to hydrate is to mix fruit juice with soda water, pour into ice cube trays, and insert Popsicle sticks then pop them in the freezer.

If you have some creative ways of you own you would like to share that will help people “beat the heat” and stay hydrated please share your comments on our Facebook page or on the comments section of our blog, we would love to hear them. Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter for discounts, events, and announcements from Surgical Alternative. Thank you for all your support!

References

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. (2014, March 5). Dehydration: Hospital Admission Rate. Retrieved from National Quality Measures Clearinghouse: http://www.qualitymeasures.ahrq.gov/content.aspx?id=38564&search=Dehydration#Section566

Ericson, J. (2013, July 3). 75% of Americans May Suffer From Chronic Dehydration, According to Doctors. Retrieved from Medical Daily: http://www.medicaldaily.com/75-americans-may-suffer-chronic-dehydration-according-doctors-247393

Kravitz, L. (2014, January 5). Water: The Science of Nature’s Most Important Nutrient. Retrieved from University of New Mexico: http://www.unm.edu/~lkravitz/Article%20folder/WaterUNM.html

National Institutes of Health. (2014, May 16). Dehydration. Retrieved from MedlinePlus National Library of Medicine at NIH: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000982.htm

United States Geological Survey. (2014, March 17). Water Properties Facts and Figures About Water. Retrieved from USGS Science for a Changing World: http://water.usgs.gov/edu/water-facts.html

Please contact Surgical Alternative-Rehabilitative and Therapeutic Massage Therapy with your questions regarding services we offer or conditions we treat. We would love to hear from you via the web or other social media outlets. For an appointment please visit our website to use our interactive calendar feature or call us at (813) 948-6300.

Web:  http://surgicalalternative.com/

Email: info@surgicalalternative.com

Sciatica Pain…you have options!

Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain continues to affect millions of Americans each year. Some estimates suggest that 75-85% of all Americans will experience lower back pain during their lifetime. Over the last twenty years, surgery for conditions that cause sciatica pain, a specific type of lower back pain, have risen more than 200%.[a] Because this condition affects the quality of life for so many individuals, it’s important to let people know that surgery is an option but not the only option. In this article I want to give a brief description of what sciatica pain is and then share some thoughts on a popular randomized study I came across. Finally, I will discuss the Surgical Alternative therapies we integrate into a tailored treatment plan to help alleviate the pain and restore daily function so that our clients can enjoy an active lifestyle.

The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve bundle in the human body. Beginning at the fourth lumbar, the confluence of anterior and posterior nerve fibers run through the buttocks and down the back of each leg. Sciatica is pain associated with compression, pressure or irritation to the roots of the sciatic nerve. Symptoms related to sciatica include radiating pain in the lower back, shooting pain down the buttock or back of the leg, burning or tingling sensation along the pathway of the nerve, and numbness or limited muscle control in the leg. Typically, pain is localized to one side. Again, sciatica only refers to symptoms. There are a wide variety of conditions that cause sciatica. Multiple lumbar-spine associated disorders including herniated disks, degenerative disks, spinal stenosis, and spondylolisthesis can affect the sciatic nerve resulting in sciatica. It is also important to point out that not all lower back pain is caused by irritation of the nerve; soft tissue damage or injury can also play a significant role therefor, proper diagnosis is imperative in order to form an effective treatment plan.

Now that we have defined what sciatica pain is let’s delve into the aforementioned findings. The study was published in The New England Journal of Medicine; titled Surgery versus Prolonged Conservative Treatment for Sciatica. Participants in the study suffered confirmed sciatica pain caused by herniated disks, with onset of symptoms experienced between six and twelve weeks. Subjects were randomly assigned to two groups, early surgery and conservative treatment. The early surgery group had the procedure done within two weeks while the conservative treatment group continued therapy up to sixteen weeks with the option to have surgery extended. Data from each treatment group was collected on three different dimensions: functional status, intensity of pain, and perception of general health, then compared after one year[1]

As a therapeutic massage specialist who has helped clients find relief from sciatica pain, the results of the study did not surprise me. The rates of recovery on all three measures were nearly identical for both subject groups at the end of the one year follow up period. In other words, surgery did not improve the overall quality of recovery defined by the indicators mentioned above. While some benefits included a quicker rate of recovery from pain reported in the short term; the difference between the two groups in the level of pain diminished by week twenty-six. To me, the findings seemed to say two things; first, that there are different treatment paths that can achieve the same overall goal and secondly, people have the option to try non-invasive options before electing surgery.

Comparatively speaking, the only statistically significant benefit the study observed for early surgery was an increase in the rate of which the sciatica pain subsided. There is no question that this option could benefit someone who needed relief from debilitating pain immediately but many patients can find relief through other methods of treatment. For example, 16 of the 141 patients assigned to the early surgery group in this study recovered before surgery could be performed[b]. In addition, 61% of the conservative therapy group did not undergo surgery at all[c]. Remember, at the end of 1 year there were no differences in recovery between the two groups, an important note that should be emphasized to those faced with the option of surgery compared to alternative treatment methods. The point is that people are very diverse and each case is highly variable, so one treatment method will not work for everyone. Take time to learn the facts about each treatment option before charting a course to recovery.

As I mentioned before, surgery is a viable option for those dealing with intractable pain or for those who have exhausted all other treatment options. It is also important to recognize the benefits of surgical alternatives that have helped bring relief to individuals suffering from sciatica pain. We have helped hundreds of clients overcome the affliction of sciatica pain and return to happy, active, pain-free lifestyles through body and structural rebalancing techniques as well as therapeutic massage.

Our process is simple. In our first consultation we construct a pain profile which involves a description of symptoms the client is experiencing as well as visual observations to assess balance. Our goal is to verify that the pain the client describes matches what we are seeing.  Our next step involves kinesiology testing to assess for structural or musculature weaknesses / imbalances that are responsible for the symptoms. Once we have gathered all the relevant data we can begin treatment sessions and allow the body to begin healing. Our results-oriented approach is always focused on helping our clients alleviate their pain, regain normal function and, through our holistic approach; support a happy, healthy, pain-free lifestyle!

Please contact Surgical Alternative-Rehabilitative and Therapeutic Massage Therapy with your questions regarding sciatica pain or other conditions of which we may be of assistance. We would love to hear from you via the web or other social media outlets. For an appointment please visit our website to use our interactive calendar feature or call us at (813) 948-6300.

Web:  http://surgicalalternative.com/

Email: info@surgicalalternative.com

[a]Vega P, Charles MD http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/737594

[b] Peul, W. C., et al. (2007). Surgery versus Prolonged Conservative Treatment for Sciatica.

[c] Peul, W. C., et al. (2007). Surgery versus Prolonged Conservative Treatment for Sciatica.

[1] Peul, W. C., et al. (2007). Surgery versus Prolonged Conservative Treatment for Sciatica. The New England Journal of Medicine, 356(22), 2245-2256.

 

 

 

Join us now through Nov 16th at Surgical Alternative’s shoe drive for Soles4Souls ! This will be followed by the Patriot Run at Carollwood Day School.

securedownload

Now through November 16, 2013, We are collecting used shoes for Soles 4 Souls at Surgical Alternative.  This will be immediately followedby the Patriot Run at Carollwood Day School for ages of 2 years old and up.

What is Soles 4 Souls?

Founded in 2004, Soles 4 Souls is a global not-for-profit institution dedicated to fighting the devastating impact and perpetuation of poverty through the distribution of shoes and clothing.

Soles 4 Souls distributes shoes and clothing in two ways. Most new items collected primarily from corporations and retailers are given directly to people in need, both in the U.S. and overseas. The organization has relationships with several of the world’s leading apparel brands, which provides Soles 4 Souls with new but non-marketable overstocks, returns, discontinued models and other shoes or clothing items.

At the same time, Soles 4 Souls receives millions of articles of used shoes and clothing that have been collected by individuals, schools, faith-based institutions, civic organizations and corporate partners.  After sorting items in its national warehouse system, Soles 4 Souls typically sells the used shoes and clothing, as well as some new items allocated by manufacturers, to carefully selected micro-enterprise organizations. These both private and non-profit companies are contracted to provide shipping, financing, inventory, training and other support to ultra-small businesses in countries like Haiti where there are virtually no jobs to generate personal income.

Through the collection and sale of used (and new) clothing and shoes, Soles 4 Souls helps create self-sustaining jobs that generate desperately needed revenues throughout those communities. The sale of footwear and apparel to support micro-jobs also provides the majority of funding to sustain Soles 4 Souls operations and further expand its donations of new shoes and clothing.

What is the Patriot Run?

The Patriot Run is a CDS fundraising event that takes place Saturday, November 16, 2013. This is the fifth year of this event. The first four events were a huge success averaging 350 entrants per event and several thousand dollars raised for CDS. It includes a 5K Run and Walk, a One Mile Fun Run and short distance kids’ races. There will also be concessions, inflatable obstacle courses, and crafts!  If you would like to read more about the Patriot Run, check out their FAQ.

You can find out more information about the Patriot Run or register for the event by clicking HERE!

Florida’s PIP law has changed, but for how long?

car-accident-by-daveynin

A Florida judge has upheld his injunction to block portions of the state’s no-fault auto insurance law because it infringes on drivers’ access to the courts.  Because of this, regulators are now appealing to an even higher court.

Judge Terry Lewis, a Second Circuit Court judge, has his decision in a case [Myers V. McCarty Case No. 2013 CA 73] that was filed on the behalf of chiropractors, massage therapists, and acupuncturists.

The massage therapist and acupuncturists claim the new law is a threat to their livelihood due to the fact that it excludes them from the list of PIP providers and it prevents them from receiving payments for treating injuries caused by car accidents.

Chiropractors also argued that the new law restricted payments, since the law put limits on coverage as drivers with “emergency injuries” are given $10,00 in coverage, while “non-emergency injuries” only receive $2,500 in coverage.

Lewis said, in his initial ruling, that the restrictions in coverage no longer made PIP a “reasonable alternative” to a tort system.

Lewis said that after reviewing the new laws he is still sensitive to the medical providers’ concerns; however, the injunction is foremost to protect individuals’ rights to access the courts.

Lewis stated, “The reason for issuing the injunction was to protect the constitutional right and prevent the potential harm to citizens injured in auto accidents who, under the present PIP statute, may not receive necessary medical care.”

Lewis is also quoted in saying, “equities tip in favor of allowing the temporary injunction to remain in effect.”

The Florida counsel for state relations for Property Insures Associations, Donovan Brown, said that the association is disappointed in the ruling and what it means for the PIP law.

Brown said, “Florida consumers deserve the full benefit of the 2012 reforms,” and “This ruling gives way to the fraud and abuse those reforms were designed to eliminate.”

The Office of Insurance Regulation filed a motion with Florida’s First District Court of Appeal seeking an immediate review of the injunction.

The Office of Insurance Regulation’s motion is to question the validity of Lewis’ injunction; however, is not a response to the issues raised in Myers V. McCarty.

If you would like to read more about Florida’s Injunction on their PIP law, Click Here.

Running towards your goals!

sport

When I first met with Tricia, I knew she had been put through so many different medical procedures that all she wanted was some relieve.  The pain was so unbearable, that she had issues walking or even just standing.  I knew that not only could we help her release her from the pain, but we would get her to her normal activity level in no time at all.  The following is Tricia’s side of the story.

Ten Months Ago, I was diagnosed with Plantar Fasciitis on my left foot.  In an effort to heal the injury, I pursued the advice and therapies of podiatrists, an orthopedic, a physical therapist and chiropractors.  After unsuccessful treatment attempts via Cortisone shots, rounds of ultrasounds and muscle stim, electo-shock therapy, anti-inflammatories, orthotics etc., my final resort seemed to be plantar facial release surgery.  I knew that I didn’t want to have surgery.  My friend suggested I try Peggy.  Approximately 9 weeks ago, I “hobbled” into her office.  My goal was to walk with less pain.  My dream was to run again.  As an avid runner, this injury took away my favorite hobby. On our first visit, I explained to Peggy that my pain level was about a 9 as I tried to walk. I couldn’t even stand on my left foot at that time. Peggy worked on my core muscles as she explained that my hip alignment could be a factor in my injury. At that point, I was hoping anything would work to alleviate my pain.  The week following my first session, I had some slight relief. Fast forward about four sessions, I was walking fairly pain free and attempted to run again. At that time, I felt like Peggy’s therapy was like magic! I couldn’t believe my progress. After eight sessions with Peggy, I am walking pain free and running again! It is truly a gift.  She has given me an important piece of my life back…running! In fact, I am up to a 60 minute run on any given day.  I am now entertaining the thought of doing some racing again. It is truly remarkable. Peggy told me on the first visit that I would run again and she was right! I am truly grateful to her for giving me my life back! She is incredibly knowledgeable, professional and confident. Her confidence that I would improve helped me to commit to the eight sessions.  I feel at times that I have to pinch myself…I cannot believe that I am at this point. In my health partnership with her, I am nearly 100%!  Tricia (Tarpon Springs, FL)

$mart Health, Inc. Benefits of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)

Health Savings Accounts, HSA

Coverage for your health care and a savings account for your costs

An Health Savings Account (HSA) gives you access to quality health care.  Plus, it gives you a way to manage what you pay.

A typical HSA includes:

  • A high-deductible health insurance or benefits plan for medical coverage.
  • A health savings account to pay for qualified out-of-pocket costs.

HSA benefits

You own it.  You decide whether to spend or save the funds in your health savings account.  If you decide to change employers or health plans, the account is yours to keep.

You don’t lose it.  Any money not used at the end of the plan year rolls over to the next year.

It can grow.  Your HSA is a savings account opened at a local bank that earns interest.  You can save money in your account and let it grow, to pay health care costs down the road, even during retirement.  And after you build up a certain amount, you may have investment options.

Tax advantages of an HSA

With an HSA you also get:

Tax savings.  Money you put into the account can reduce your taxable income.

Tax-free earnings.  Money you keep in your HSA earns interest tax free.

Tax-free spending.  Money you take out to pay for qualified health care costs in never taxed.

How an HSA works

  • Visit your local bank and enroll in an HSA.  You must be covered by a high-deductible health plan, and you must not be eligible for coverage under any other health plan.
  • You’ll get welcome and debit card materials in the mail.
  • Contribute anytime.  You, your spouse and family, and your employer can contribute up to the yearly limit set by the Internal Review Service – 2013 is $3,250 for an individual and $6,450 for a family.
  • Know how much you have.  You can only use the money that is in your HSA to pay for qualified medical expenses.
  • Visit the doctor, hospital and other healthcare providers.  Pay for your health care expenses with your HSA Debit Card account, or pay out of pocket and save your account.  Either way, pay until you reach your yearly deductible.
  • Then pay a copay or coinsurance after each visit.  Use your HSA if you want.
  • Once you reach the plan’s out-of-pocket max, your health plan pays the rest at 100%!

$mart Health, Inc. tips on using your HSA

Make the most of your HSA! Here’s How:

Stay in your network.  Doctors, hospitals and other healthcare providers in the network have a contract to provide reduced rates to our members.

Know before you go.  Unless it is an emergency, compare what doctors and hospitals will charge you for some common services before you make an appointment.

Keep track of your deductible and fund balances.

Pay only for qualified health care expenses.  Otherwise you could face tax penalties from the IRS.

More help for using your HSA

Do you have HSA questions?

Contact Capt. Rob Hamilton at $mart Health, Inc.  (813) 944-5399.

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