January 2020 Newsletter

A recent article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed the benefits of chiropractic for the treatment of low back pain. Patients who received standard medical care and chiropractic care had greater improvement in pain and disability than patients receiving medical care alone. Article can be found here.

Green tea drinkers may live longer

According to an article published in European Journal of Preventive Cardiology , people who drink at least three cups of green tea per week live longer, healthier lives. Green tea drinkers had a 20% lower risk of heart disease and a 22% lower risk of fatal heart disease compared to those who drank little or no tea.
 
We are accepting new patients and welcome the referral of your family and friends.
We are a provider for the NC State Blue Cross Blue Shield Health Plan as well as many other health care plans.
Need an appointment? Click below to request a time for your appointment.

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Help for upper back pain

We see many patients who need help with upper back and neck pain at our office.  Often it is the result of frequent use of smart phones and sitting at the computer in a forward flexed posture.  This forward flexed or slouched position creates stress on the muscles of the neck.  Eventually the muscles and joints of the upper back and neck become fatigued and painful.  Try the “Brugger relief position” to reduce neck and upper back pain.  When you do this stretch, you strengthen muscles, improve circulation, and reduce joint pain.  We recommend doing one set of ten repetitions 4-6 times per day. 

Have a look at this video to see how to properly perform the “Brugger relief position.”   It is an effective technique that provides help for upper back pain.   We have shown many patients this exercise and most of them return to our office telling us that this exercise helps to reduce their upper back and neck pain.

You can find more information about back exercises at our back exercise page.  

Other causes of upper back pain are discussed here.

If you need help with upper back or neck pain give our office a call and start feeling better tomorrow. 252 355-5353

Click here to request an appointment

Dr. McGee is the team chiropractor for ECU Pirate Athletics.

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Studies endorse chiropractic

An increasing number of research studies endorse chiropractic for the treatment of low back pain.  In May 2018 the Journal of the American Medical Association (1) published an article that showed the effectiveness of chiropractic when used with medical care among active duty military personnel. The authors concluded: “patients who received usual medical care plus chiropractic care reported a statistically significant moderate improvement in low back pain intensity and disability at 6 weeks compared with those who received usual care alone.”   The study compared military personnel treated for low back pain at three different military facilities.  The subjects received either usual medical care or usual medical care plus chiropractic treatment for six weeks.  They found that participants who received both usual medical care and chiropractic had significant improvement in pain and disability compared to those who got medical care alone. Treating low back pain studies endorse chiropractic

The findings of that study were similar to research done by the AMA. In April 2017, the Journal of the American Medical Association published a study that showed favorable outcomes for the treatment of low back pain with chiropractic.  The authors concluded:  “Among patients with acute low back pain, spinal manipulative therapy was associated with improvements in pain and function with only transient minor musculoskeletal harms.” (2)  The study was a review of 26 randomized controlled trials that evaluated the safety and effectiveness of spinal manipulation for the treatment of low back pain.

As an effective non-drug, nonsurgical treatment approach,  chiropractic should be considered first as a “first line” treatment option for patients with uncomplicated low back pain.  We have provided chiropractic treatment for low back pain and related problems to patients for over 30 years.  If you are suffering with low back pain, give our office a call today and let us help you start feeling better tomorrow. 

  Click Here to Request an Appointment   

References:

  1. Goertz CM, Long CR, Vining RD, Pohlman KA, Walter J, Coulter I. Effect of Usual Medical Care Plus Chiropractic Care vs Usual Medical Care Alone on Pain and Disability Among US Service Members With Low Back PainA Comparative Effectiveness Clinical TrialJAMA Netw Open. 2018;1(1):e180105.
  2. Qaseem A, Wilt TJ, McLean RM, et al, for the Clinical Guidelines Committee of the American College of Physicians. Noninvasive Treatments for Acute, Subacute, and Chronic Low Back Pain: A Clinical Practice Guideline From the American College of Physicians. Ann Intern Med. 2017;166:514–530.

Dr. McGee is the chiropractic consultant for the Division of Sports Medicine at East Carolina University.

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Side Plank

Here is a safe and simple way to strengthen your low back.  Called the side bridge or side plank, it a safe exercise because it is non weight bearing on the spine and it is a “spine neutral” position.

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McGee Chiropractic Provider North Carolina State Health Plan

North Carolina state health planFor over twenty-five years, we have been a provider for the North Carolina State Health Plan.  We will continue to be an “in network” provider for your BCBS North Carolina State Health Plan for 2020 and beyond.  As always, we will file your claim for you and only collect your co-pay amount.  Let your coworkers know that, if they need chiropractic care, we are accepting new patients. There is no primary care referral necessary.  Click here for a list of additional health insurance health plans for which we are a provider.

Our office has been rated as a “Center of Excellence” by Health Network Solutions.   That’s because we have met strict standards of performance and efficiency regarding patient care.HNS Center of Excellence

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Annual Charitable Collection – Greenville Police Athletic League

This year our annual charitable collection will benefit Greenville’s Police Athletic League. The Police Athletic League provides outreach for children between the ages of 5 and 13.
Donations may be dropped off at our office between Nov 20 and Dec 11, 2019.
The Greenville Police Athletic League (PAL) is a youth crime prevention program that utilizes educational, athletic, and recreational activities to create trust and understanding between police officers and area youth. The Police Athletic League offers the opportunity for youngsters to interact with police officers and build positive relationships by participating in educational development, cultural development, character development and athletic activities. The PAL provides an after school program for students between the ages of 5-13. The program operates out of Eppes and South Greenville Recreation Centers. The Police Athletic League also sponsors 3 football teams in the American Youth Football League, a cheerleading team, and two baseball teams in the Jackie Robinson Baseball League.
You can help by donating the following items:
  • School supplies: Lined paper, pens, pencils, notebooks, folders, backpacks, highlighters, glue sticks, calculators, copy paper etc.
  • Winter hats and gloves
  • Sports equipment: Baseballs, bats, baseball gloves, baseball helmets, footballs, basketballs, rubber playground/kick balls
We thank you for your help.
Dr. McGee & Staff

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Back Exercise Cat-Camel

The Cat-Camel (in yoga it’s called the cat-cow) is an exercise we teach frequently at our office. Have a look at his video and try this exercise.  I think you will find it helpful for relieving back discomfort.  For more information checkout our exercise page.   We will offer more videos explaining other back exercises in the weeks to come.

 

 

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July Newsletter

Greetings:
A couple of articles about the brain and an article on chicken vs. red meat in this month’s issue.
Have a happy and safe Fourth of July..
Dr. McGee, Patti, Sue, Pam, Kris

Fourth of July Facts

fourth of July flags

Flags at Greenville Town Common

  • The 4th of July celebrates the signing of the Declaration of Independence, but most of the signers did not sign the document until August 2, 1776.
  • Massachusetts was the first state to make Independence Day a holiday in 1871. The 4th of July became a federal holiday in 1938.
  • There are more than 14,000 fireworks displays around the country on the 4th of July.
  • Americans eat about 150 million hot dogs on the 4th of July

New research shows Parkinson’s Disease may start in the gut

By studying mice, researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine have found evidence that Parkinson’s disease starts in cells in the gut and travels up nerves that connect to the brain. The study appeared in the June, 2019 issue of Neuron. Parkinson’s is characterized by a build up of abnormal proteins in the brain causing nerve tissue to die. You can read more here about this interesting study.

Chicken and red meat increase cholesterol

From the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition comes a study that indicates that chicken contributes to high cholesterol levels as much as red meat.  In the study, both white meat and red meat increased cholesterol levels compared to plant-based proteins.

Dietary supplements for “brain health” are a waste of money

An international team of experts (neurologists, nutritionists and researchers) reviewed the best available evidence regarding nutritional supplements for improving memory and cognition. They found no evidence that any of the products worked as advertised. It included products like apoaequorin (jellyfish protein), coenzyme Q10, turmeric/curcumin, ginkgo biloba, melatonin and omega-3 fatty acid.
The Food and Drug Administration does not regulate dietary supplements for safety and effectiveness.

State of North Carolina Employees

We are an “in network provider” for the NC State Employees Health Plan which is administered by BCBS.  We will file your claims for you. Give us a call if you would like us to verify your chiropractic benefits.  Click here to request an appointment.

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Why Sit Ups Might be Bad for Your Low Back

Many of our patients are surprised to learn that sit ups can be bad for the low back.  Sit ups and crunches are a common exercise done to strengthen the abdominal muscles, but researchers tell us that sit ups can damage the lumbar discs and they can even strengthen the wrong muscles.

Compression

During a sit up, the lumbar spine bends forward.  This forward bending causes increased compression on the lumbar discs.  The typical sit up creates about 700 pounds of compressive force on the intervertebral disc.  Doing sit ups repetitively, over time can damage the lumbar discs.   Over time, the disc begins to “wear out” and this can lead to disc bulging or herniation.

Sit Ups Might be Bad

Normal Disc (Courtesy of ChiroUp)

Why Sit Ups Might be Bad

Damaged Disc (Courtesy of ChiroUp)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another way sit ups may harm the low back is that they tend to work on a large group of muscles called the iliopsoas.  The iliopsoas muscle has attachments at the front of the low back and at the hips.  Making this muscle too strong or too tight can contribute to low back pain.   Additionally, sit ups tend to work the middle abdominal muscles in isolation.  Proper core exercises should train all of the regional muscles at the same time.   Isolating two or three muscles does not improve the functional strength or endurance needed for physical activities.

The Alternative

Plank exercises are a much better way to strengthen the abdominal muscles. There are many types of plank exercises and most of them are designed to strengthen the abdominal muscles in the front and on the side of the trunk.  Performing a plank while propped up on the forearms and toes strengthens the front abdominal muscles.   Side planks strengthen the oblique abdominal muscles.  The obvious advantage to doing plank-type exercises is that it places much less pressure on the spinal joints because the spine is in a neutral position.   The abdominal muscles can be trained to very high levels with plank exercises.  Here is an excellent video made by professor Stuart McGill that explains how to correctly perform some back exercises.

why sit ups bad

Front Plank (Courtesy of ChiroUp)

sit ups might be bad

Side Plank (Courtesy of ChiroUp)

 

 

 

 

Have questions about your back or neck problem?  We have helped many people over the past 30 years improve spine related problems.  Call our office today and start feeling better tomorrow.  Or click here to request an appointment.

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Safe Back Gardening Tips

Spring and summer means more time outside.  If you are like many of our patients, you enjoy getting out in the yard digging and planting in the garden.  Here are some safe back gardening tips to help you safely navigate the planting and growing season.

Get In Gardening Shape

Back Safe Stretch

Knee to Chest Stretch (photo courtesy of ChiroUp)

Gardening is a physically demanding activity.   One of the worst things a person can do is embark on a weekend of gardening after being inactive all winter!  Getting in shape before the gardening season will help to keep your back safe from injury. It’s a good idea to exercise at least a little bit prior to the busy outdoor season. Simple exercise like walking or some light weight training will help prepare your muscles for the upcoming tasks.  Be sure to warm up and stretch before going out.  A simple back stretch is to lie on your back and gently bring one or both knees to the chest.

Be Careful How You Lift and Bend

Safe Bending

Hip Hinge (courtesy of ChiroUp)

This is a big one.  Improper and strenuous lifting can create a lot of back pain problems.  The mechanics of forward bending places a lot of stress and strain on the muscles and ligaments of the low back.  A safe way to bend forward is to “hinge” from the hip, avoiding too much bending at the waist.  “Hinging” at the hip helps to reduce the amount of stress on the joints and muscles of the lower spine.  This is a technique that we teach our patients frequently.

Working on hands and knees can greatly reduce the amount of bending required for many tasks.  A good set of knee pads will enable you to work more comfortably at ground level when necessary.

 

 

Pace Yourself

Another one of our safe gardening tips is to take frequent breaks. Going too fast for too long can lead to injuries of the back and shoulder.  Break up your tasks into doable segments.  I recently had a patient in the office with a very sore low back.  He explained that he had been clearing brush and using a chainsaw during the weekend.  He admitted that he had worked nearly nonstop without a break and realized that if he had taken a couple of breaks during the day he might not have developed severe back pain.  Take regular rest breaks and remember to drink plenty of fluids.

Use the Right Equipment

Garden tools with longer handles allow you to stand more upright when hoeing, raking or sweeping.  Avoiding a flexed or forward bent posture will put less stress on the low back.   A continuous forward bent position leads to fatigue and pain in the muscles of the low back.  Wear proper fitting gloves to protect your hands and wear long sleeves when possible to limit sun exposure.

Try these safe back gardening tips this season.  If you find that you you need a little help with a neck, low back or shoulder problem, feel free to give our office a call or request an appointment here.

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