Clinic News Aug/Sept 2013

Jaw Pain  and Chiropractic

Does it hurt when you chew, open wide to yawn or use your jaw? Do you have pain or soreness in front of the ear or cheek? Do you have pain or soreness in your teeth? Does your jaw make noises loud enough to bother you or those around you?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you may have a temporomandibular joint dysfunction.
Signs may include:
• Radiating pain in the face, neck, or shoulders;
• Limited movement or locking of the jaw;
• Painful clicking or grating when opening or closing the mouth;
• A significant change in the way the upper and lower teeth fit together;
• Headaches, earaches, dizziness, hearing problems and difficulty swallowing.
For most people, pain or discomfort in the jaw muscles or joints is temporary and it may occur in cycles which will resolve once you stop moving the area. However, some people can develop chronic symptoms called TMD (temporomandibular joint disorders). In our office, we will help to determine the cause of you pain and provide conservative treatment if needed.
What Causes TMD?
Researchers agree that TMD falls into three categories:
• Myofascial pain—discomfort or pain in the muscles of the jaw, neck, and shoulders;
• A dislocated jaw or displaced disc- usually from a trauma: such as motor vehicle accidents, slip or fall, sports injury;
• Degenerative joint disease—rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis in the jaw joint.
In most cases, we can help relieve the symptoms with conservative treatment and we find that the following home care instructions are helpful.
1. Apply ice to the jaw to reduce inflammation and lessen the pain.
2. Avoid harmful joint movements; such as biting on an apple or hard candy.

All Sweeteners Are Not Created Equal
By Dawn Fichter, DC

Many people have been asking about Nectresse, the new monkfruit Sweetener! Is it really healthier than table sugar or Sucralose? Let’s find out.Nectresse is made by the makers of Splenda in response to the success of Stevia sweeteners on the market. It is said to be 100% natural and made from Monk Fruit. The problem is in the manufacturing. We can take even natural products like honey, maple syrup and molasses and move them from the natural state to a highly refined product by the way we process them and sell them in stores.
Monk fruit, like stevia, is 300 times sweeter than refined sugar. Lo Han sweetener and monk fruit sweetener have long been used in China and contain beneficial antioxidants. However, Nectresse, isn’t simply monk fruit. It also contains molasses, sugar and erythritol.
You might be wondering, how can this sugar substitute have 0 calories if it contains sugar? First of all, food producers can say something has 0 calories if it contains less than 5 calories per half teaspoon. Secondly, the sugar alcohol erythritol interferes with your body’s absorption of sugar, further lowering caloric intake. The problem with erythritol is that your body can’t completely absorb it and it can ferment in your digestive tract, causing bloating, diarrhea and gas. This kind of fermentation also raises acidity in your body.
Because foods are considered safe until proven otherwise, many food derivatives are put on the market without research beforehand. There just hasn’t been enough long-term and credible studies of many sugar substitutes. Of the studies that do exist, the FDA doesn’t consider those because they aren’t controlled and the results have not been validated by other researchers. Yale scientist Qing Yang conducted a mini-review of artificial sweeteners in 2010. He found that most of these were discovered when scientists violated laboratory protocol by tasting these substances and that most were never intended to be food products. Saccharin, for instance, came from research on coal tar derivatives. A scientist studying ulcer drugs produced aspartame and sucralose, and Splenda, was generated from a search for new pesticides.
While very direct physical effects may not yet be proven, there have been several substantiated studies that link the use of sugar substitutes to unhealthy eating and obesity. If you choose to use artificial sweeteners, please use them on a limited basis as much as possible. Also, make sure you read the ingredients of your favorite beverages; you may be surprised at what you find lurking inside.
Remember, we’re wired to crave sweet so you shouldn’t suppress that craving. Instead, discover the ways you can fulfill it as you’re meant to: eat real food. If you need to use a sweetener, consider minimally processed applesauce for baking, authentic Lo Han (monk fruit), raw honey or minimally processed maple syrup.

June/July 2013 Clinic News


Inflammatory Musculoskeletal Pain

By Dawn Fichter, DC

Inflammation is the body’s acute, natural response to damaged tissues. Most people normally think of this response when they have external injuries such as a sprain/strain or trauma to an area.
However, we are beginning to see chronic inflammation as a problem of the 21st century. Why you may ask? Our immune system is being overwhelmed by acquired toxins from the environment and our food supply. This leads to inflammatory reactions within our individual cells.

Science is discovering that chronic cellular inflammation can lead to health problems including inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease and chronic degenerative disease. Other factors that contribute to systemic inflammation include stress, inadequate sleep, and lack of exercise.

This systemic inflammation can then lead to inflammatory spinal pain. The fact that spinal pain may be inflammatory is evidenced by back pain patients who commonly find temporary relief with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS). It would then be recommended that these patients embrace an anti- inflammatory diet.

An excellent example is the Mediterranean diet which includes olive oil, green vegetables and salads, fish as the primary protein, lean meat, eggs and cheese. What is absent in this diet is sugar, refined grains, and legumes which are overtly inflammatory. It is not an easy change but if you can commit to this for a period of 12 weeks, you will begin to see significant reductions in chronic systemic inflammation and its resulting effects.

Supplements can be added to support this anti-inflammatory diet. Examples include Boswelia, ginger and Omega-3 fatty acids which are helpful in reducing inflammation as well as pain management. For more specific information, I offer nutritional consultations. The initial appointment is 40 minutes and I will ask specific questions regarding your diet and overall health. Before the initial appointment, I do ask that you keep a food journal for two weeks. This will help me determine specific areas of nutritional imbalances in your body. I will then outline small, yet specific changes that can be made in your diet and/or the addition of supplements to address these concerns in order to help you regain balance in your overall health.

Electroacupuncture for Chronic Pain          

By Laura Camus, EAMP

On a recent episode of Dr. OZ, electro acupuncture was considered an effective treatment for low back pain. Electroacupuncture is quite similar to traditional acupuncture in that the same points are stimulated during treatment. As with traditional acupuncture, needles are inserted on specific points along the body. The needles (1/50th the size of a hypodermic needle) are then attached to a device that generates continuous electric pulses similar to muscle “stim” used in physical therapy settings. In the United States, electroacupuncture has been studied for a variety of conditions. It has also been effectively used as a form of anesthesia; as a pain reliever for muscle spasms; and a treatment for neurological disorders.
Traditional acupuncture has also been found to reduce some of the major inflammatory markers in the body as well as stimulation of the body’s own anti-inflammatory response. This results in pain relief, relaxation and the ability for the body to continue healing. The best way to find out how it will work for you is to try it! If you are interested in experiencing electroacupuncture or traditional acupuncture, schedule an appointment today.


Wolf Chiropractic Clinic Welcomes Lisa Bliss, MD

We are pleased to welcome Dr. Lisa Bliss.   Dr. Bliss is a Physiatrist (pronounced “fizz-EYE-a-trist”), or rehabilitation physician, who specializes in nerve, muscle, and bone illnesses that affect how you move.

The job of a rehabilitation physician is to treat any disability resulting from disease or injury, from sore shoulders to spinal cord injuries. The focus is on the development of a comprehensive program for putting the pieces of a person’s life back together after injury or disease – without surgery.

Rehabilitation physicians take the time needed to pinpoint accurately the source of an ailment. They then design a treatment plan that can be carried out by the patients themselves or with the help of the rehabilitation physician’s medical team. This team might include other physicians and health care professionals such as: neurologists, orthopedic surgeons, chiropractors, and physical therapists, massage therapists and acupuncturists. By providing an appropriate treatment plan, rehabilitation physicians helppeople stay as active aspossible at any age.  Dr. Bliss sees new patients by referral only.

Massage and Low Back Pain

                              By Colene Lange, LMP

Low back pain can be a very frustrating thing to deal with.  Repetitive movements like sitting, standing, and transitions from a seated position can be very difficult to do.  As a result, many people suffer with discomfort due to muscle weakness or disc conditions. 

Think of the low back as a teeter-totter.  Understand that muscles assist in moving the spine and joints.  The stronger muscles attach to pelvis and hip joint allowing for movement of the legs.  If any one of these muscle groups is tighter than another, then they will pull or tip the pelvis in that direction.   At the time this is happening, the lumbar spine is the victim of a powerful game of tug-of-war. And all you know, is that your back hurts. 

Massage can help by reducing this muscle tension in the low back which will allow you to move more freely and with less pain. 


June 2012 Clinic News

 Acupuncture Now Offered

We are pleased to welcome Laura Camas to our staff. Laura has an undergraduate degree in Women’s Health from Western Washington University. She is nationally board certified through the NCCAOM in Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine. She graduated from the Seattle Institute of Oriental Medicine in 2008 with a Master’s of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Her training included apprentice-style teaching from Chinese and American Acupuncturists and doctors in a clinically based program. Laura has additional education in trigger point acupuncture for pain management.

Acupuncture can be used for preventative care, and for the treatment of both acute and chronic conditions. Many patients benefit from acupuncture for a wide range of ailments such as pain disorders, chronically tight muscles, anxiety/depression, sleep disorders, the common cold, gastrointestinal upset, and stress. Acupuncture is covered by most major insurance companies and Laura is a preferred provider with most health insurance companies including Premera, Asuris, Regence blue cross/blue shield, Cigna, Aetna, Group Health Options, United Health, First Choice Health and Providence Health Plan.

Nutritional Counseling with Dr. Dawn Fichter

Nutrition is a foundational building block for the body and today many of us are not eating enough variety or the right foods to sustain our body’s daily demands. Over time this depletes precious reserves and can create fatigue, toxicity and inflammation. Dr. Fichter will work with you to develop a personalized health regimen that will address specific needs by looking at your current health and daily diet. She will then determine if you can benefit from the addition of clinical whole food nutritional supplementation. By correcting imbalances with nutritional support, your body can begin to utilize the necessary nutrients needed to restore healthier function.

“I have spent the last ten years helping my patients restore their health with whole food supplementation. From digestive problems to chronic pain and fatigue, nutritional support is the answer for many people. I look forward to helping you achieve your health goals.” ~Dr. Dawn Fichter

For a limited time only, we are offering an Introductory Nutritional Consultation for $25 Schedule your appointment today!

Technology Coming Soon

Over the next few weeks we will be implementing a new electronic health record software system. You will notice that your paper chart will be replaced with a computerized system. This will not only enable us to more easily maintain your health record but it will allow us to communicate more effectively with your other healthcare practitioners. Please bear with us during this process as it may take a few extra minutes on your visit. We will also be collecting baseline information about your current medications, height, weight and blood pressure. This is something we will only need to do once and not on each subsequent visit. Our goal as always is to provide you with excellent and efficient service. Please let us know how we can better assist you.

New Auto-Remind Service

We can’t help you remember everything, but we can help you remember your next appointment in our office! This is a great new service that will allow us to remind you of your upcoming massage, chiropractic and/or acupuncture appointment via email, phone or text. Please let us know if you would like to take advantage of this new service by providing the front desk with the best contact number or email.