Tag Archives: surgical alternatives

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!


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


Yoga for the Holidays!

During the busy times of the year, we tend to disregard our bodies and what our bodies are telling us.  One of the best preventative things you can do while busy this holiday season is Yoga.  We have aligned with one of Tampa Bays Premier Yoga Studios- Sun Yoga!

Some of the primary benefits of yoga include:

  • Increased range of motion
  • Increased flexibility
  • Increased blood flow
  • Overall relaxing feeling
  • Low impact –  great for rehab and elderly!

Yoga has many more benefits that range from better heart health to better overall psychological awareness and attitude.

We recommend yoga to any and all of our clients on various skill levels.  By engaging in yoga sessions, we can all feel the benefits and prevent further or future damage!

If you have any questions or would like to speak about yoga, please feel free to CONTACT us today for more information, or you can CONTACT SUN YOGA here!

Top Ten Treated Conditions by Surgical Alternative (Part 2 of 2)

In this section we will be discussing the top 5 conditions treated by Surgical Alternative.  If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of these conditions, please CONTACT US for more information, or you can SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT through our website, surgicalalternative.com.

Here are the top 5:

5.) TMJ Dysfunction

Known as Temporamandibular Joint Dysfunction, this painful ailment usually has symptoms such as tenderness, or pain in the joint that connects your jaw to your skull.  This is the joint that allows you to chew, talk and yawn amongst other things.  TMJ disorders can be caused by many different things such as grinding your teeth, an accident involving your jaw, or even arthritis.  If you have any pain in your jaw area and would like to find out more, you can CLICK HERE, or you can CONTACT US today for your evaluation!

4.) Sciatica Pain

Your sciatica nerve is a large nerve extending down your lower back, and down to the backs of your legs.  When damage or wear occurs, discomfort and chronic pain are common symptoms to the damage of this nerve.  Some symptoms of sciatica damage may include burning or tingling down your leg, weakness or numbness, constant pain, or even shooting pains that incapacitate you and not allow you to get up from a sitting position.  While usually only affecting one side of the body, sciatica some patients show symptoms on both sides of their bodies.   If you have sciatica pain and would like to relieve yourself from the discomfort, please CONTACT US today for your evaluation, or you can READ MORE ABOUT sciatica pain here.

3.) Bulging/Herniated Disks

Also called a ruptured or slipped disk, this refers to when the soft tissue between your vertebrae called disks encounters a problem.  When you have a herniated disk, it can irritate nearby nerve passages resulting in pain, numbness, and even weakness in an arm or a leg.  Some people do not experience symptoms of a herniated disk, making it a very hard injury to diagnose.  If you are experiencing back pain and believe you may have a herniated disk, please CONTACT US today for your evaluation or READ MORE HERE about your condition.

2.) Migraine Headaches

Though the exact cause of migraine headaches cannot be established, no one can deny the severity of these “showstoppers”.  Migraines tend to be quickly onset with severe pain and debilitating symptoms including numbness, tingling, temporary blindness, and other sensory warnings.  In some cases, medication is prescribed with hopes of treatment, but in many of those situations the medication does little or no good at all.  If you suffer from migraine headaches, please CONTACT US today for an evaluation, or you can READ MORE ABOUT these headaches here. 

The number one condition that we treat at surgical alternative institute is an elusive yet simple condition causing a spectrum of further symptoms that affect your entire body.  Some people get this condition by being in high speed accidents, while others can get this condition by just sleeping.  Some patients live with chronic pain and others come and go.


1.) Neck Pain

Neck pain can be caused by a host of issues ranging from trauma (car accidents, etc.) to just poor posture.  There are some degenerative diseases that will cause the neck pain, but it can also be just a simple muscle strain.  In some cases, the pain can work its way down to the shoulders and even the middle and lower back over time.  With proper treatment, most neck pain can be resolved in little time with little or no effort by the patient.  If you suffer from neck pain and would like relief, please CONTACT US today for your evaluation orREAD MORE HERE about your condition.

Why Use Surgical Alternative – Testimonials and Reviews (Part 1)

In the past months, we have not only grown as an institution, but also have touched many of the lives here in the tampa florida area by our methods of set bodywork, deep tissue massage, and other services.  Once a patient is affected by our services, they in many cases become advocates for those services.  In the next few weeks, we will be releasing testimonials from many of our existing clients so that new or upcoming patients can gain a grasp on what to expect when visiting our offices.

The first Testimonial is Adam Hayes in New Tampa, Florida.  Adam writes:

Since I was six years old, I have suffered from cluster headaches. These are excruciating headaches that are completely debilitating for hours or days. These would occur 5-6 times a year and last for 1-3 days at a time. The worst part is the stress of not knowing when they will appear or when they will disappear.
I have seen dozens of doctors, sat through every neurological test and even had doctors who wanted to perform cortizone injections into the base of my skull to try and alleviate the pain.
After dealing with this issue for over 25 years, I thought it was just an affliction that I’d have to live with forever. A friend of mine recommended that I give SET therapy a chance. I figured it was going to be yet another failed attempt and more money wasted. Boy was I wrong! After seeing Peggy and Pam, I have been relatively cluster free for almost 2 years now. The only time I’ve gotten a headache has been when I’ve gotten lazy and not attended my appointments like I should.
I can’t stress enough how much this has improved my quality of life. There is no more worry, no more stress, no more excruciating pain. Thank you Peggy and Pam!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              – Adam Hayes
If you would like to learn more about our services, and how surgical alternative can help you, please CONTACT US today for your evaluation!

Surgical Altnernative – Top 10 treated conditions (Part 1)

Over the past few years, I have seen many different injuries treated in Surgical Alternative’s Institute of Alternative Therapy, but many of them have been returning ailments.  We have taken a few minutes to create our top ten treated injuries from Surgical Alternative.  If you have any further questions, please CONTACT US TODAY for your evaluation and treatment.

Without further adieu, we present our top ten treated injuries by surgical alternative for with alternative therapy, deep tissue massage, energetic therapy, and other methods.

10.) Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a disease that affects the central nervous system causing extreme pain and discomfort and many areas of the body independently and simultaneously.  Symptoms may include but are not limited to debilitating fatigue, insomnia, and joint stiffness.  Other symptoms include numbness/tingling and trouble swallowing.  For more information on fibromyalgia, please continue here, or CONTACT Surgical Alternative today for your evaluation.

9.) Rotator Cuff Injuries

The rotator cuff in your shoulder is made up of tendons, ligaments and muscle that work in unison to create the range of motion for your arm and upper back.  By injuring any of the pieces of the rotator cuff, you are not only causing inflammation and irritation, but you may also be doing further damage by not attending to your injury.  For more information of rotator cuff injuries and what surgical alternative can do to help, please continue here, or CONTACT US TODAY for your evaluation.

8.) Plantar Fasciitis

This is the most common cause of heel pain.  It is caused when your plantar fascia ligament becomes irritated, weakens, swells or strains.  Since it is the tissue that supports your arch, some people call it “fallen arches”.  Plantar Fasciitis causes moderate to severe foot pain and should be attended to as soon as possible.  If you would like to learn more about your condition, please continue here or CONTACT US today for your evaluation.

7.) Hiatal Hernias / Hiatus Hernia

A hernia is simply described as part of your internal body moving somewhere it does not belong.  Your Hiatus is an opening in your diaphragm and acts as a muscular wall between your chest cavity and your abdomen.  When your abdomen and stomach bulge up through the opening in your hiatus, this is called a hiatal hernia, or hiatus hernia.  There are two types of hiatal hernias : paraesophageal and sliding.  Though extremely uncomfortable, surgical alternative can treat these hernias and make your life more comfortable and manageable.  If you have a hiatal hernia and would like to learn more, please click here, or CONTACT us today for your evaluation and treatment.

6.) Tight Muscles / Stiffened Joints

We all get older and we all get LESS mobile each day.  Even with an active lifestyle and proper stretching, we cannot always be that “21 year old” that we all remember was invincible.  We have many clients that have been unable to do some of the things that they love due to aging muscles and joints.   Many include hunters, golfers, fisherman/fisherwomen, and other active oriented people.  With our treatment most of them are able to return to what they love.  Whether its casting a rod, climbing into a tree stand, or any other activity, we can help you return to the things in life that you have worked so hard to enjoy.  If you would like to learn more about joint stiffness or muscle tightness, please click here, or CONTACT us for your evaluation.


Surgical Alternative specializes in alternative therapy for many conditions and ailments.  If you would like to learn more about our services, or symptoms that we treat, please CONTACT US, or VISIT OUR WEBSITE to begin feeling better soon.

NFL Draft Breakdown by Surgical Alternative: Part 1 – Andrew Luck

On Thursday April 26th the NFL draft was held in Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The event was a culmination of every team in the NFL and every qualified and desired NCAA football player. By the end of the first night, the top 32 picks had been chosen and we were all ready for day 2. In the following days and weeks we will be breaking down a number of the top draft picks to analyze what potential injuries that each of them are going to be prone to suffering in the NFL. Our first installment is going to be Andrew Luck, now with the Indianapolis Colts, and formally with the Stanford Cardinals.

Andrew Luck stands 6’3” tall and weighs in somewhere around 210lbs. Ironically enough, most analysts compare him to Peyton Manning, who stands only 2 inches taller and 20 pounds heavier. This would immediately bring to surface the neck injuries that Peyton has been known for lately. For more information on the neck issues that Peyton has, please CLICK HERE.

The primary issues that I see with Andrew Luck lie in the coaching and the actual transition to the NFL. Most NFL teams take time to “re-teach” players how to throw, evident with Tim Tebow in Denver. This creates major issues, as most of these quarterbacks are used to throwing a certain way all of their lives and now they have to use the same muscles in a different manor, creating the opportunity for injury.

Repetitive motion injuries in my opinion are the greatest risk to any new NFL quarterback. In college, players have to go to class, and some have jobs as well as being an athlete. In the NFL, you are a football player, which are your classes, job and your sport. This creates a great strain on the bodies of these players as they constantly work, rather than having a break, regardless of physical shape entering the league.

Primarily, I fear that there may be tendon and muscle damage to the shoulder of Andrew Luck in the first few years of being in the league. When Indianapolis drafted Peyton Manning in 1998, they pretty much redesigned the offense around him, which I seriously doubt will happen in Luck’s case. This means that he will have to work harder to make the throws to the receivers that Manning has already groomed to his liking. This will cause Luck to make throws that he is not accustomed to making due to the sheer speed and precision in which the NFL game moves.

Our approach at Surgical Alternative would be to place Luck on a regimen of SET bodywork, deep tissue massage, and energetic release therapy as preventative maintenance to alleviate the stresses that he will endure throughout his career. This would involve focus on his throwing shoulder, his legs and his torso to make sure that all is working properly and that his tendons, muscles and bones all work as a finely tuned machine.

If you are an athlete and have questions or concerns about your durability or “pains”, please CONTACT

US today for your evaluation.

Massage as Medicine

If any of you have read my blogs or know, you know that I prescribe to the thought of massage as alternative medicine.  A lot of the time when you mention massage people assume relaxation but the truth is most perform more types of therapeutic massage.  Many of the passionate one in our industry including myself have been trying to get better recognition for the many benefits that we provide our clients.  The Wall Street Journal just released an article that is finally starting to shine light on the many benefits of massage.  Massage therapy boosts  immune functions, reduces stress and anxiety, improves  asthma symptoms in children and  as with our type of therapy increases grip strength in carpal tunnel patients while also being able to cure most non-surgically.

Most in our field got involved because they want to help others and believe that there are better methods of treatments than drugs, shots and surgery.  My clients are walking testimonials  for the benefits of massage.  The bigger issues that we face is that most insurance companies only cover a portion of the cost or don’t cover it at all.  It’s not a bad as you may think since massage isn’t like a doctors visit, most cost between $60-$100 an hour.

As the article reads, Don’t Call It Pampering: Massage Wants to be Medicine.  I am appreciative of all our efforts that are made that bring to light, how we can help!  Like other medical professionals, we have to  take continuing education to maintain our licenses ensuring that we are constantly learning new methods to benefit our clients.  I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject.


Shin Splints Treatment

The past couple of weeks I’ve seen an increase in people seeking treatment for their shins splints.  This time of year is when the weather is great for spring sports.   It’s also a time when the weekend warriors doing marathons, half marathons, and 5k’s are in full force.
Shin splints are one of those things that I ideally try to take care of in the off season when the athlete is rested and the irritation to the area is not so painful.  I rarely get to see athletes at that phase.  More of the norm is to see the person as they are being hindered from completing their workouts or see them at the point when every step hurts, even when just walking.  Treating shin splints and becoming pain free is a multi step approach along with time to heal.  It involves everything from stretching, icing, and bandaging, all the way to wearing proper shoes, evaluating the surface you are exercising on, and rest.    Many of the people we see are actively in their season and have urgency in needing to resolve the matter.  They do not have the luxury of waiting the 4 to 6 month period it can take to heal  from doing the above mentioned treatment approach.  Let me also mention that some of the people we have helped with shin splints have not been athletes at all.  Some have been those whom put long hours on their feet on hard surfaces.  We usually get a person who can only give us a 1- 2 day window of not working out in their sport.
Our approach to healing is a more direct one.  As part of our sessions, through body reading we visually assess how the body may be collapsing or compensating and contributing to the emphasis of stress to the shins.   Sometimes what we find is that the hips are out of balance or the arch has collapsed.  If this has been going on for a while we find that they are also suffering of other  sports injuries or pain underneath the feet like plantar fasciitis.  We work to release the tightened muscles that are restricting the pelvis and hips from being balanced. This helps the body come out of its collapse and helps the body go more into balance and allows for better body mechanics.  The calves and front of the lower leg musculature is a significant contributor in shin splints when tight.  This is can be due to a lack of stretching, hydration, but more often repetitive use.  We also release scar tissue that can be felt along the front shin area and address all the muscles of the lower leg and foot.  It is through our direct approach that our clients are able to recover in HALF the time of what other therapies currently offer!!!!! If you are suffering with shin splints, plantar fasciitis, or other sports injuries and don’t have the time to wait to get better, give our approach a try.

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