1.  What’s new for you from Diane [2:04]
2.  Shout Out: Diana Rodgers’ Homegrown Paleo Cookbook [7:28]
3.  This week in the Paleosphere: The WOD Doc [9:59]
Listener Questions

4. What is chiropractic [13:02]
5. How adjustments balance the nervous system [18:50]
6. What is a good chiropractor, and how do you find one? [23:12]
7. Can chiropractic adjustment alleviate earaches? [28:42]
8. When is it better to go to a chiropractor versus a massage therapist? [31:33]
9. Neck pain that radiates down the arm; how can I prevent this? [33:49]
10. Can kyphosis be corrected chiropractically? [38:39]
11. Chiropractic care for digestion, depression, etc. [41:30]
12. Chiropractic for SI joint pain [45:37]
13. Movements to watch out for, recognizing different types of pain [50:56]
14. Dr. Scott’s 2-minute fix videos [1:05:30]
15. Liz’s BMB tip of the week: Prenatal vitamin brands [1:13:13]
[smart_track_player url=”http://www.blogtalkradio.com/balancedbites/2015/03/19/183-chiropractic-care-faqs-with-dr-scott-a-mills.mp3″ color=”00aeef” title=”#183: Chiropractic Care FAQs with Dr. Scott A. Mills” artist=”Diane Sanfilippo & Liz Wolfe” ]


Get the “Homegrown Paleo Cookbook “

Subscribe to Real Food Liz!

Subscribe to DianeSanfilippo.com

The episodes are also available in iTunes, Stitcher & Blog Talk Radio.

Show sponsors:

Diane Sanfilippo: Hey everyone! Welcome to episode 183 of the Balanced Bites podcast. Diane here, and while Liz is on maternity leave, we still will hear from her with a fertility tip later in this episode, but let’s check in with our sponsors.

Pete’s Paleo is a friend of the Balanced Bites podcast. They’re bacon is insanely delicious, and sugar free, and their premade paleo meals make your life so much easier when everything is getting busy and getting real food on the table is still a top priority, as it should be. Pete’s paleo is now offering a 30-day gut healing kit containing bone broth, gelatin gummies, instant organic soup packs, and an E-cookbook. It’s the perfect complement to any anti-inflammatory diet. Get yours today at guthealingkit.com. Use code GRABACUPPABROTH to get $25 off; that’s an amazing deal. It’s GRABACUPPABROTH, c-u-p-p-a. And you can grab that code at any time at BalancedBites.com to just read and make sure you’re typing it in right. You can also use code BALANCEDBITES to get $5 off any of their regular meal plans. Check out PetesPaleo.com today. Pete’s Paleo; bringing fine dining to your cave.

1. What’s new for you from Diane [2:04]

Alright, so this week just a couple of things to update you guys on. Number one, if you will be in Austin at PaleoFx at the end of April, be sure to find me. I’m pretty sure I will have a book signing scheduled at some point with Victory Belt, my publisher, and also I’ll be giving a talk on business stuff. So that should be fun. I’m also going to be on a panel at the very end of PaleoFx, kind of closing it out. I think it’s similar to what we did last year; there was a talk on women’s health, and it should be a really good time. I saw the lineup of other speakers; Emily Deans, and a couple of others. It looked like a really good panel, so I’m excited about that. I’m excited to meet all of you who are there.

If you are interested in going, and you’re not sure; you’ve been kind of thinking about it, you don’t know if it’s right for you. It’s a fantastic event, I definitely recommend it. It’s a really fun one. It’s pretty casual but it’s also very interesting and thought provoking. The talks are always great, but it’s really great to kind of connect with the community. There are always lots of really yummy food samples, {laughs} so I think it’s a great time. I definitely recommend going. I will link you to a place to grab tickets. Actually, I think on the sidebar of BalancedBites.com you can grab tickets. So, that’s it for that.

One other quick thing I wanted to let you guys know is if you’re one of my email subscribers, make sure you are checking your inbox. If you don’t see an email from me pretty much every Sunday, you may be subscribed and your emails may be going to either a promotions folder or to spam. A quick way to find my emails is to just search in your inbox for an email from the address info@BalancedBites.com, and you may find that it just was being filtered somewhere that you didn’t see it or it was being sent to spam what have you. But that’s the way to find it, and all you need to do is add info@BalancedBites.com to your address book or sender list or whatever your email service recommends for that kind of thing.

The other thing is, I have brand new lists that are just coming out right now for shopping lists. So what you can do is make sure that you do sign up. I think we have new shopping lists for Costco Canada, Kroger, HEB, and then a store called Jewel. I don’t know if that’s just in Texas, or where else it’s located. But my team members all around the country are helping us to get a whole bunch of these shopping lists ready for you guys. I know everybody loves them, so check them out over at BalancedBites.com.

Ok, last update for you. We’re switching the podcast host. I know a bunch of you wrote in to me on Facebook, and on Twitter, and commented about the very strange ad that appeared at the beginning of the episode. It was not a joke, it was not something that we put in there, it’s something that the host that we’ve been using for the past 3+ years, I don’t know if they just decided to enact some right that they have to place on our show, even though we pay for hosting. I don’t know what the deal with it is, but I don’t feel that it’s right that they put ads into our show, and I know that you guys were kind of confused by it, maybe got a good laugh out of it, but I was not too pleased with it.

Definitely keep your eyes peeled. I’m not sure what’s going to happen, if I’m going to need you to resubscribe to the show or not, but I will let you know via all kinds of social media channels; Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc., and my emailing list. Like I said, that’s really the best place to make sure you’re getting all the information, because social media sometimes hides things. But I think we should be ok; if you’re subscribed here, you should be able to get it. Just kind of keep your eyes peeled for that. You may notice new album artwork, the main graphic that you see when you’re viewing or listening to the podcast, that may change as well, and that might be a sign that you have the new show where it’s hosted newly, and you’re good to go. So I just wanted to let you guys know about that.

Alright, my guest today; I’ll introduce him before we get into a quick shout out and this weeks’ this week in the paleosphere. Well, it will be more than the paleosphere. My guest today is my beloved. {laughs} My fiancé. It’s by popular demand, because you guys have asked that we bring him on the show, and have a little interview, and also ask a bunch of your questions, which I’m psyched. We posted a graphic this morning asking for questions, and we were hit with so many that we didn’t even need to leave it out there for more than a few hours to have a full list of questions to go through.

Dr. Scott A. Mills is a chiropractor with a master’s degree in exercise science, and a bachelor’s degree in athletic training. After 6 years helping athletes as a collegiate athletic trainer, he pursued his doctorate from New York chiropractic college, graduating first in his class. After 4 years of private practice in the Pittsburg area, he opened Plexus Performance Care in New Jersey; that’s in Fairfield and in Hoboken, if you’re looking for him; in 2014 with the focus of helping athletes of all levels. His blog and popular online video series, “The 2-minute fix”, can be found at http://drscottamills.com/.

Dr. Scott Mills: What’s up everybody! It’s Dr. Scott.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Dr. Scott Mills: With not the 2-minute fix, but we’ll do some stuff today and it will be fun.

Diane Sanfilippo: We’ll do some things. Alright, we’ll let’s first quickly; we’re sharing ear buds for anybody who is curious, sitting very close together.

Dr. Scott Mills: Very close.

2. Shout Out: Diana Rodgers’ Homegrown Paleo Cookbook [7:28]

Diane Sanfilippo: One ear bud each. We’re quickly going to do a shout out this week. Who’s our shout out for?

Dr. Scott Mills: This is for Diana Rodgers for release of The Homegrown Paleo Cookbook.

Diane Sanfilippo: So, for those of you who have been asking about sustainability and ways to take paleo to the next level, not to the sense of tweaking and refining exactly what you’re eating every minute of the day, but in ways you can contribute and, I don’t know, not necessarily give back in a community way because I think you can do this for yourself and for your family, and maybe a small community. But if you’re looking to really embrace more of the spirit of what paleo is about beyond just personal health, and look at the health of the planet, and look at all these questions that come up around sustainability, and is meat bigger of an issue than soy. No, we know that raising cattle is actually really good for the land, and we know that planting all different kinds of crops in your own garden or whether you have a farm, all that stuff is really important to sustainability.

What Diana has done in the book is make it more approachable. She has taken it, I think, down to a level where if you want to have a small homestead, great, she’s explaining how to do that. But she also has information just even on small potted plants. We live in a condo.

Dr. Scott Mills: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: We don’t have green space. We have a small area.

Dr. Scott Mills: But that’s what I like about this. It looks like no matter what level you’re at, no matter your resources available in the community, there’s something for you that you can get out and get some great ideas to kind of bridge that gap between trying to do better for yourself and family, and feeding yourself as well.

Diane Sanfilippo: I think the one other thing too that people ask us about a lot is, how to know what’s the best quality or how to know what questions to ask your local farmer. So if you’re not going to do this for yourself, and you want to support those who are doing it, this is a great book to be able to read more information about that so that you can learn it from their perspective, so the questions that you’re asking are relevant and on point. So I guess that’s it; Homegrown Paleo Cookbook. It’s available in bookstores everywhere and you can grab it on Amazon, and we’ll link to it from our show notes.

3. This week in the Paleosphere: The WOD Doc [9:59]

Dr. Scott Mills: Alright, this week in the paleosphere is actually going to be this week in the chirosphere, since this is our sort of chirocentric episode. I thought I’d give a shout out to one of the guys out there doing some great things in our community. He is actually in North Jersey here, he practices up in Bergen country. Dr. Tim Simansky. You can find him at http://thewoddoc.com/. He’s AKA the WOD Doc.

What he has been doing for, I think he’s over 250 episodes now, he’s been doing a video every day, so he’s project 365. I literally don’t know how he’s doing it. The guy is a beast in the gym, and he’s also an amazing doctor. He’s putting out great resources to help anybody who wants to help themselves move better. They’re great little videos; specifically targeted for cross fitters, those who are in the weight lifting community, but also anybody who really wants to try to take over some self care, and do some things, and learn some things, and how to help themselves. I just wanted to give him a shout out, because I try to put out my 2-minute fix videos once a week, and that doesn’t always happen, and he’s doing them once a day for a whole year. I don’t…

Diane Sanfilippo: I can’t even get a video out once every 6 months, so I can’t, I don’t know. We’re lucky that we get this podcast done every single week.

Dr. Scott Mills: {laughs} Yeah, so that’s again Dr. Tim Simansky, giving him a little shout out at theWODDoc.com.

Liz Wolfe: Support for this podcast is provided by Dragonfly Traditions; natural, nourishing skin care with absolutely no unnecessary chemicals. It’s natural nutrition for the skin. I am a huge fan of Dragonfly from their serum, to their night cream, and everything else the owner, Phoebe, has created. Your skin will be soft and happy with Dragonfly Traditions. If you head over to DragonflyTraditions.com and make a purchase of one or more of their skin care products, you can then add Balanced Bites to your shopping cart for 1 penny. Phoebe will not only send you 2 free lip balms with your order, she’ll also send you that penny back. Remember that’s 2 free lip balms with purchase from Dragonfly Traditions.

Diane Sanfilippo: Alright, so we have a bunch of listener questions, reader questions, etc. But I think before we get into the questions, I just wanted to give people a little bit of background. Rather, I want you to give people a little bit of background, Scott, on what is chiropractic, and just some of the basics. I think most people are familiar with the term, chiropractic, but I don’t know if everybody understands the point of it. I think there are a lot of myths out there, there is a lot of confusion and misunderstanding, so I think it would be great to have a really quick high level what is it. Then I’ve got a couple of questions that I think, after being close to you for so long, I’ve learned more about that I think other people would find valuable. So I’ll ask my questions.

Dr. Scott Mills: {laughs} That’s a good idea.

Diane Sanfilippo: And then we’ll get into listener questions.

4. What is chiropractic [13:02]

Dr. Scott Mills: So if I was to just kind of paint some broad strokes as far as what is chiropractic, I’m going to start always with the spine and nervous system. Many people know us as kind of the folks that work on back problems, and we like to take that a little bit deeper, obviously, and look at the body from a holistic perspective. And really, chiropractic is the science and philosophy of holistic health care. Where we start is as a specialist of the spine and nervous system. Obviously, that’s what we go to school to learn a lot about, how to take care of the spine.

I sort of use this dentist analogy a lot; in our society, we have an ingrained belief system about taking care of our teeth, right? You’re supposed to go to the dentist, get regular checkups, brush, floss, etc.; but that same belief system doesn’t really apply to our spinal health, or spinal hygiene even, if you will. So when we’re looking at chiropractic, we’re talking about primarily taking care of the spinal joints because of their important impact on how our nervous system functions.

So really when we’re looking at chiropractic as a holistic health endeavor, we’re talking about a function based proactive health care system. So what I mean by that, is looking at how can we best improve the function of our bodies, starting with the spine and nerve system, and then branching out from there into other things like nutrition and eliminating things like toxicity, and also improving our thought patterns. This is in direct response to really what the general mainstream health care system is out there, which is actually, really if you look at it, symptom based reactive sick care. You want to jump in there?

Diane Sanfilippo: I want to jump in there, because chiropractic seems like something that’s much newer than a more specific, like medicinal, we can think about plants and herbs being used for medicinal purposes many years ago. I don’t know, it’s almost something that I’m just thinking about as you’re talking now; it’s almost in response to, like you said, the medical system, and also our modern ailments, just of society and stress and the way that we live life now. So when people think, well, my great-grandmother didn’t need a chiropractor; it’s like, life was pretty different back then, and I don’t know, I’m just wondering if that’s one of the things that has spurred chiropractic as being something that is obviously much more valuable and even prevalent in existing.

Dr. Scott Mills: Yeah, I think so. And to your point about it arising, chiropractic was actually founded in 1895 by D. D. Palmer in Iowa, so we actually have been around coming up on our 120th year anniversary this September. So it actually has been around for a while, but to your point, this did arise out of a time where people were looking for alternatives to what was kind of a brutal medical system at the time, and it’s continued on to be sort of the most popular alternative health care provider system that we have in this country.

Diane Sanfilippo: You mentioned that the fine is obviously the integral part of what you take care of when you’re working with patients, and made the analogy between the way we take care of our teeth versus our spine. I think we do that because of vanity.

Dr. Scott Mills: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: We see our teeth, so we realize that they’re there to actually do something about. I do think that people, when there’s pain and they often find that it’s easy if they have tooth pain they go to the dentist, and people do that with back pain and come to the chiropractor, but people don’t realize that there’s so much more that chiropractic can help with. One of the things that I really didn’t think about at all until more recently, and I think it’s because I grew up in a family where chiropractic care was common, my parents went and it wasn’t just because they had back pain, they went for wellness care, and it was just normal for me to be in a room watching chiropractic adjustment.

But now that I’m older, and when you talk about what it does in the body to have a chiropractic adjustment done, in terms of resetting the signals that your nervous system is sending, and just how the flow of the signals that your nerves are sending, how that flow can either be uninterrupted or interrupted, or be more balanced between your sympathetic/parasympathetic nervous system, the whole fight or flight versus rest and digest. I don’t think I realized that a chiropractic adjustment helps you get into that rest and digest; that’s parasympathetic?

Dr. Scott Mills: Yep.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} State, better. And actually paying attention to that, and getting an adjustment and realizing that I kind of feel more relaxed after. That’s been kind of eye opening. Can you talk about how all that works? Because I don’t think realize that, and so many people that write in with questions are like, I’m so stressed out, and I’m eating perfect food but I feel like my digestion is still not working and I’m still allergic to 500 things, and there’s so much going on with their nervous system?

5. How adjustments balance the nervous system [18:50]

Dr. Scott Mills: Yeah, absolutely. I’d love to talk about that. I’ll try to talk about in a way that makes sense for everybody, hopefully. What your alluding to there, and I was going to actually bring this up, is the autonomic nervous system, and you guys talk about this in nutrition a lot as far as what can we do to balance that system out between the fight or flight, which is our sympathetic nervous system, versus the rest and digest, which is the parasympathetic. A chiropractic adjustment actually can help bring that system into balance.

I see it in my patients all the time; I use the analogy, hopefully he won’t mind, but one of our coaches who is a very hard driving character, when I adjust him, you just see him on the table mellow out, and he’s ready for a nap. So that can happen; it doesn’t always happen. And then the opposite can also happen, where people are sort of stuck in this low neural tone, and you adjust them, and it actually brings their level up and helps balance them out from an autonomic standpoint.

There’s also, if you just kind of think of it big picture, the connection between the brain and body, and then body and brain, there’s neural impulses headed both directions, right? So you have motor impulses from the brain to the body, and you have sensory impulses from the body to the brain. We want that traffic to be equal and symmetrical throughout the whole body. And that’s what I started talking about with function; that for us is a real measure of health. How are you functioning, right? And that’s why we’re trying to get away from really focusing on symptoms, to really assessing and correcting function.

Diane Sanfilippo: So what is the adjustment actually do? Because people think of an adjustment as just cracking and popping, and they don’t have a concept. I know I didn’t really, and until you adjusted me and I got used to the way you adjust, where I can actually tell that you’re looking to feel the way my joints are actually moving; I don’t think I ever picked up on that little bit of a test before, the manual test that you’ll do with your fingers on my spine. {laughs}

Dr. Scott Mills: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: Mostly my neck. I can always tell.

Dr. Scott Mills: Right. Yeah, one of the things, I’m going to say and kind of plug my blog here real quick, at drscottamills.com, I wrote a piece called Mythbusters: The chiropractic edition. {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: There’s no excuse for your tongue twisting.

Dr. Scott Mills: I know. If you go onto that, and just search Mythbusters, I wrote a long article about this sort of phenomenon about there’s a lot of misconceptions about chiropractic out there, and one of the big ones is that my spine is out, or my back is out, and my chiropractor puts it back in. That’s sort of a very inaccurate way of describing what happens. What you’re alluding to, and how modern chiropractic is really practiced is, we are looking for relative motion of vertebral segments, so how the spine is moving individual segments, one on top of the other. So if you think of a spine, it has 24 moveable joints, they should all be moving through their full ranges of motion. If there are one or two or multiple segments that are stuck and not moving well, that negatively affects that communication system that I talked about between brain and body and body and brain. What the chiropractic adjustment does is restore motion, and the body basically takes care of the rest. It says ok, now there’s no interference in that nervous system, now we can function properly.

In chiropractic, the word we use to describe that interference is subluxation. So if you’ve ever been to a chiropractor, and they’ve used that word “subluxation”, that’s what they’re talking about. So the answer to the question, what does a chiropractic adjustment do? It corrects subluxation. In this case, I’m using it as a term to talk about restoring relative motion to the spinal vertebrae in order to clear the body of any interference between the body and brain and brain and body.

6. What is a good chiropractor, and how do you find one? [23:12]

Diane Sanfilippo: Alright. Let’s get into some reader/listener questions. I think one of the ones we’ve gotten a lot, and I know you’ve gotten this a lot on the blog, too, is how can somebody find a good chiropractor? What does that even mean? What is a good chiropractor?

Dr. Scott Mills: {laughs} Well that is a good question. What does that mean? Again, I wrote this out, if you guys want to read in addition to kind of listening to me talk about this. I did write a post called “How to Find a Good Chiropractor” at drscottamills.com. But one of the things I guess when I hear this, there’s lots of different kinds of ways to take this, and one of the things I wanted to cover, because a few folks had asked, what do we need to know about credentialing, and licensing, and this and that. The reality is, we all kind of go through the same process. We all have to go to an accredited college, we all have to take the same board exams, learn the same information in order to legally practice in the state, whatever state we choose we have to get licensed by that state board. So as far as just seeing somebody being board certified or licensed in their state, that doesn’t mean anything. It’s just like any other profession.

To really find the best chiropractor for you, and that’s kind of the argument I make in the blog post, you’re going to have to do a little bit of work. And I think it’s like anything; you have to keep searching and finding until you get the right vibe from the right person, and they have the right tools to meet whatever problem that you’re dealing with is. That can take going to a couple of offices, honestly, and saying thanks, but I’m going to keep looking {laughs}. Which has definitely happened to me.

And that’s the biggest thing, I think. What does it take to be a good doctor? I think it takes the ability to know when you’re not the right doctor for that case. I certainly have gotten to the point in my career where I don’t let ego dictate who I help and who I don’t, and I think if you’re getting a sense from somebody that they’ve treated you a few times, and it’s not really helping, or you just get the wrong vibe from them, it’s time to find somebody else. And if they’re not ok with that, that’s on them, not on you. It’s your job to take care and continue to be your own health advocate, to keep finding somebody who has the right tools for your specific condition.

That being said, there are a few things that I do recommend, and part of this is, over the course of doing this 5+ years from a chiropractic standpoint, and 15 years from a health standpoint, that I do recommend, and one of those is I’m a big fan of chiropractic neurology, and so this can be one of the things you could look for. If they have additional diplomats or certifications in chiropractic neurology, or have been through the Carrick Institute, those are definitely good things to look for. The ACNB and the IACN are two of the national bodies that certify chiropractors and chiropractic neurology. It’s a really good program.

Some of the other things, you can certainly go to paleo physicians network or primal docs to find somebody who at least will be on the same page as you from a nutritional standpoint. We haven’t even talked about chiropractors and nutrition yet, but maybe we’ll get to that in a little bit throughout the course of the interview. I’m also a huge fan of active release technique; Its’ something I’ve been certified in since 2005. This is the gold standard, in my opinion, of soft tissue care. Very specific treatments, very quick results for a whole host of things, anywhere from carpal tunnel syndrome to IT band problems, to hamstring issues, to low backs, to headaches, tension headaches. Somebody asked about that. ART active release technique. You can find a provider at activerelease.com. They have a provider search there.

Like I said, I wrote a whole post on this. You can certainly go and find that on my website, and you can see all the links to all the things I just mentioned.

Diane Sanfilippo: I think also word of mouth referral is probably the best in terms of personality, and making sure it’s somebody who you just think you’re going to jive with. You can read review on Yelp, or wherever. Checkout any testimonials of specific patients if they have them on their website where you see the types of patients that they’re working with a lot. I do think that word of mouth is great, and asking your friends. It’s one of the things I’ve seen a lot of people using Facebook for; it’s just great for that sort of social proof of, I trust my friends to tell me what’s great. If they’ve got a chiropractor, and I know that’s been huge for a lot of the athletes who are coming to Scott’s practice now, is that they’re hugely based on word of mouth, and they’re getting treated and feeling better so quickly that it’s really helping everyone want to tell everyone else about it.

Dr. Scott Mills: Yeah, word of mouth referral is definitely my favorite kind of referral {laughs} because that is the highest compliment that I can get, right? That I took care of someone to the point that they would recommend someone that they care about to come in and get checked.

7. Can chiropractic adjustment alleviate earaches? [28:42]

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, so I think asking people if they have a chiropractor that they love and recommend, and what kind of stuff they go to them for. I think that would be a really great way to find one. Alright, so let’s see. We’ve got another question here from Amy on Facebook, was asking “Can earaches and sinus issues with kids or adults really be alleviated by chiropractic adjustments?’

Dr. Scott Mills: Yeah, this is one I flagged that maybe we could cover, because it’s actually a great question and it’s very interesting. It actually has a very specific cause and effect. When it comes to otitis media, so an inflammatory build up or response inside the ear, a lot of times this is a drainage issue. In kids, when I would check them, we often find a problem in the upper neck, the upper cervical region. When that is addressed with a very gentle adjustment, what happens is it allows that drainage to occur through the Eustachian tube. So there’s actually a little muscle that attaches from the Eustachian tube that can be irritated or nonfunctioning, not allowing that drainage to happen in the ear. So the adjustment, the chiropractic adjustment, can actually help relieve this problem by allowing for drainage.

And it’s interesting about ear infections in general is we know that the majority of them are actually viral, and yet the most commonly prescribed reason for antibiotics is ear infections. Which antibiotics don’t address viral infections, they address bacterial infections. So, if you’re looking for an alternative to just a blanket treatment of antibiotics for what the majority of the time is a viral issue, a chiropractic adjustment can help.

Now one of the things I always want to say when we’re talking about specific conditions like this is, I want to mention scope of practice. Because, the reality is, our scope of practice is all about the spine and nervous system. So I wouldn’t go out saying, yes, chiropractic cures XYZ; what I would say is, when the body is functioning properly from a spinal standpoint and a nervous system standpoint, then a lot of things work better. So do I cure ear aches or sinus infections? No. I take care of the spine and nervous system, and the body helps take care of itself.

It’s one of the principles, we didn’t get to talk about yet, but essentially chiropractic has a viewpoint that the body has the innate ability to be self healing and self regulating when everything is functioning well and free of interference. So what we do is clear that interference, and allow the body to take care of itself.

8. When is it better to go to a chiropractor versus a massage therapist? [31:33]

Diane Sanfilippo: Alright. So Heather on Facebook was asking, “When is it better to go to a chiropractor versus a massage therapist?” I know you get that question a lot, if massage can help, or chiropractic, and when’s the right time for each, and are they great together or one or the other. What can you tell Heather about that?

Dr. Scott Mills: Another very common question I get a lot, and I’m going to try not to speak for massage therapists since I’m not one, I’ll speak for the chiropractic end of things. So a lot of times, the big difference I would say, I’m going to always kind of bring it back to the nervous system side of things. When we’re talking about that, we’re talking about any kind of imbalance in neural tone, especially neural motor tone in this case. So if somebody has a muscular issue, a very common one I see in desk workers, for example, is kind of that trapezius chronic pain coming down from the side of the neck, right? So that tension, what is the cause is the question to ask, right? So is the cause the muscle is just spasming for no reason, or is there something underlying that we can do about that. Is there a nervous system reason for that chronic spasm, or is it simply just a blood flow issue?

So what I would say is, they complement each other very well, because I think massage is great for a couple of different reasons. Blood flow to the local tissue; also you get a chance to lie down and relax, which many people do not do throughout their day or week, which can also have a very positive and palliative effect on muscle problems. Versus chiropractic, which we’re going to try to trace that muscular issue back to the source. Is there a nervous system irritation at the spinal level that needs to be adjusted and addressed, that can ultimately fix the root cause of that chronic muscular issue.

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok. I like the laying down and relaxing part of masses.

Dr. Scott Mills: {laughs}

9. Neck pain that radiates down the arm; how can I prevent this? [33:49]

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} Alright, we have a lot of questions about desk workers, and this one is from Cindy, and she asks, “I spend a great deal of time working on a laptop at home and a computer at work, and now I’m struggling with neck/shoulder pain that radiates down one arm. Can this be relieved through adjustments; more importantly, what can I do to prevent further strain and muscle stress?”

Dr. Scott Mills: So this is probably {laughs} I would say the bulk of the problems that I see in practice can really be traced back to what I would call an incongruent environment. So, our lives these days, as we know in this paleosphere, right, are not congruent with health. Sitting for a prolonged period of time is not congruent with health. It’s not good for our spines, it’s not good for our bodies, it’s not good for our muscles, it’s not good in general. Working at a computer, same thing. We’re sort of in that forward rounded shoulder position, our heads are forward. We’re sitting on our butts not moving, not firing our glutes.

It’s a whole wave of things, we actually have a syndrome named for it. There’s upper cross syndrome, and lower cross syndrome. And what these things describe is this whole cascade of events that happens when we sit too much. If you think, even about growing up in this society. We learn sitting for years, and years, and years, and then we go to careers and sit for more years, and years, and years. It’s no surprise, but I have this same constellation of complaint in my office; neck pain, upper back pain, tight hip flexors, deactivated glutes, short pecs, the whole gambit of this problem, right?

So this answer to your question, can chiropractic help? Absolutely. This is our bread and butter. It’s what we’re trained to do, and can help with corrective exercise, with adjustments, with therapeutic exercise, with active release getting the scar tissue removed from those areas, so the stretching that you’re doing at home actually works. Which we should probably talk a little bit more in detail, as far as what the difference between breaking up scar tissue is and just relieving muscular tension.

Basically, she’s talking about this shoulder pain that radiates down one arm, that’s typically going to be a nerve issue, and it’s the kind of thing that I do help quite a bit with a combination of chiropractic adjustments and active release techniques to free up these adhesions and scar tissue that can form around the nerves. So if you think of your nerve off of your spinal cord as kind of a long spaghetti string that goes all the way down your arm.

Diane Sanfilippo: Paleo spaghetti.

Dr. Scott Mills: Yeah, paleo spaghetti, of course.

Diane Sanfilippo: A zoodle?

Dr. Scott Mills: A zoodle. {laughs} Ok, it’s a zoodle from your spinal cord down to your arm. It’s actually very common to have adhesions or scar tissue build up around these nerves that cause that radiating pain. Sometimes it’s in the neck where that adhesions occurs; sometimes it’s in the shoulder, sometimes it’s in the forearm, sometimes it’s in the wrist. So a skilled practitioner, somebody who knows anatomy and has the tools to fix it, certainly could address a problem like that.

As far as what you can do to prevent further problems, I definitely have a couple of 2-minute fix videos for seated desk workers, check those out. But basically, you have to take micro breaks. I kind of have the 15-minute rule; you need to get up, shake it out, shift your position, make sure you’re just breaking up that chronic posture. I have a Brugger’s Relief Position video you can watch that basically is trying to bring… hmm?

Diane Sanfilippo: A what release?

Dr. Scott Mills: It’s called Brugger’s Relief Position, which is basically bringing your chest high and your shoulder blades back in together, and then looking up towards the ceiling.

Diane Sanfilippo: I’m doing it now.

Dr. Scott Mills: Yeah, she’s doing it right now. The one recommendation I have is you can actually get an app or an egg timer at your desk

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Dr. Scott Mills: {laughs} and literally set it for 15 minutes, and make sure you’re taking even just 30 seconds every 15 minutes to try to offset some of these things. But yeah, it’s definitely a modern scourge, sitting and working at a desk and a computer, it’s not healthy for us so we need to do a lot of things to actively engage and undo that stress.

Diane Sanfilippo: Would a standing desk to alternate standing, sitting maybe?

Dr. Scott Mills: Absolutely. I’m a big fan of that, obviously, if you have that as an option. They actually make little desktop adjustable standing desk units you can get where you can throw your laptop or whatever up on top, and stand maybe alternate every 15 minutes, and go from there.

10. Can kyphosis be corrected chiropractically? [38:39]

Diane Sanfilippo: Alright. Lisa from Instagram asked, “My daughter had a kyphosis,” is that how you say it?

Dr. Scott Mills: Yes.

Diane Sanfilippo: “Which causes a slumped posture. She feels like there’s nothing she can do, mostly because her pediatrician and specialist were very negative. Do you have any solutions to help this?”

Dr. Scott Mills: Yes. Well, first let me define that word. Kyphosis is a word or term or diagnosis for an excess curve of the mid back or thoracic spine. So what’s she’s talking about, if you can visualize, I don’t want to be cruel, but the hunchback, that sort of position, where you are flexed forward in the midback. There are a couple of, I’m going to get into differential diagnosis here, but there’s actually a couple of underlying conditions you’d want to get screened for. Sherman’s disease is one that can cause this, if she’s been to a specialist hopefully they’ve screened her out of that.

But postures like this, I would never tell somebody, without knowing the full scope of their condition, that it’s absolutely correctable, but it certainly can be helped. And again, we would do this by the proper chiropractic adjustments, get that spine moving better into extension, so kind of the opposite of that flexed posture, strengthening the posterior chain, so the erector spinae, also the scapular retractors, like her rhomboids and traps. Kind of do some therapeutic exercise there to try to help bring her posture up. Elongate the opposite muscles, which would be her pecs and deep neck flexors, so trying to get that chest back and up. Sort of similar to our constellation desk worker syndrome.

There’s absolutely no reason why this couldn’t be improved. Again, I’m not going to use the word corrected without knowing her case, but yeah. There’s definitely hope. And that’s one of the things I like giving people the most, is hope. {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: We’d like to thank Vital Choice for supporting our podcast today, and we encourage you to visit their online store at vitalchoice.com. You’ll find an amazing array of some of the world’s best seafood, including wild Alaskan salmon, halibut, tuna and cod, as well as sustainably harvested shellfish. These foods are not only delicious, but vital choices for your health. You’ll also find grass-fed organic Wagyu beef, live fermented foods to promote gut health, wild organic blueberries, and dark organic chocolates. Eat better, think better, and feel better with deeply nourishing foods from Vital Choice. They’re offering our listeners 15% off any order using code BALANCEDBITES. Remember that orders of $99 or more ship free.

11. Chiropractic care for digestion, depression, etc. [41:30]

Diane Sanfilippo: So there are a lot of questions about, can chiropractic help XYZ, certain specific conditions, and then some where they were like that, they were specific to the spine. But there were a lot kind of, can it help my digestion, can it help colic, can it help autoimmunity, depression, etc. So do you have an overarching; I feel like you kind of answered that in some ways, and what I was talking about with the nervous system too, with a lot of questions that we get, but what’s the general take on that.

Dr. Scott Mills: Yeah, absolutely, and we kind of have covered a little bit of that revisit. Again, I would never use the word cure in chiropractic in any of these specific conditions, what we want to talk about and focus on is improving the overall health of this person, whether it would be digestion, depression, or otherwise by improving the impulses from the brain to the body and the body to the brain, balancing out the nervous system both from an autonomic perspective and a motor and sensory perspective.

One of the big things I kind of wanted to touch on was using this question to tie back in to how I even heard about paleo, and how that relates to this general question of, can this or chiropractic or eating better, it’s the same answer, right? I wouldn’t say going paleo cures stuff, you would say it helps remove a lot of the toxicity and problems that the modern diet has caused. So what was happening in my life in 2007-2008, I was in my first year of chiropractic college, and I just started hearing this guy, his name is Dr. James Chestnut, you can find him at thewellnesspractice.com, talking about getting back to our roots and eating like hunter/gatherers. He wasn’t using the word paleo, I don’t think, at the time, but it was making a lot of sense. His overall chiropractic wellness certification hinges on this idea of eat well, move well, and think well to live well. So that kind of covers the whole gambit of holistic health.

What I really loved how he broke it down and how it made sense to me, was talking about toxicity and deficiency of nutrient, movement, and thought being that interference we were talking about. I was talking about nerve interference; well in the nutrition world, we’re talking about interference from what? Nutrient toxicity or deficiency. Are we taking stuff in that’s causing toxicity in our body or deficiency in our body? Are we not getting something in. And the flip side of toxicity and definitely of, again, nutrition, movement, and thought is purity and sufficiency. Are we pure in our nutrition, in our movement, and in the way we’re thinking? Are we sufficient in the nutrients we are getting, both from a food standpoint, a movement standpoint, and a thought standpoint.

So that’s how I actually got into paleo, through chiropractic. I just think that was so cool that those worlds converged. So to kind of get back to that question, that symptom specific question, or disease specific question, my answer is chiropractic can help. Why? Because we’re going to get in there, and depending on the practitioners specialty, address some of these interferences, some of these toxicities, some of these deficiencies, some of these movement issues, and help balance the body’s normal function. And that’s what it all comes back to, is function.

Diane Sanfilippo: It’s the same answer that we have for, can paleo or eating real food help XYZ? It’s like, of course, getting the junk out of your diet can help anything. Because if you’re body is not sufficient in nutrients, or your body is dealing with too much toxicity from your food, it’s obvious that just getting your body healthier from that standpoint is going to help a lot of things.

12. Chiropractic for SI joint pain [45:37]

We definitely had a bunch of questions; there was one, I know we had a lot of questions about SI joint problems; so sacroili… shoot.

Dr. Scott Mills: Sacroiliac?

Diane Sanfilippo: Sacroiliac {laughs} I know what I know, and I don’t know what I don’t know. It’s all good.

Dr. Scott Mills: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: We had a lot of questions about SI joint problems. I know that I’ve had them, so this is kind of one that I wanted to see if you had more thoughts on that or recommendations for people. I know we’re going to get into another more movement specific question next, but that’s kind of the one I wanted to touch on because we saw that a bunch.

Dr. Scott Mills: Yeah, definitely a very common one; sacroiliac joint. So this is where our sacrum and our pelvis meet, we have two joints, kind of the lower part of the low back, below the lumbar spine. It’s definitely a common source of pain. There’s no one way to fix these, is basically what I’m going to start by saying. I’ve definitely helped a lot of folks through them with the kind of care that I provide, and I’ve also seen ones that do not response to the kind of care that I provide. So that was kind of the general vibe we were getting in our questions; I know I saw a few that were like, I’ve been through PT, and chiropractic, and this SI joint pain is there and unrelenting. If traditional conservative manual therapy is not helping these problems, then it’s often a couple of things.

One, we see these a lot obviously in, I see them more in women, and I think overall in general the sacroiliac problems definitely occur more in the ladies, and especially those who have had children. A lot of times I know that we can trace some of this stuff back to pelvic floor stability; also posterior chain stability. Sometimes it just takes a little extra digging and a lot of extra work, and the right exercises. Basically, there’s no way for me to describe these on a podcast, so I’m going to use this as a chance to bump some of the resources I’ll be putting out this year, a longer video series which will address some of these things. I just can’t do a 2-minute fix on sacroiliac joint resolution, {laughs} because it just would be a 20-minute fix.

So these are the kind of resources that definitely will be available shortly, and I’m sure there are other great ones out there. But a lot of times, to kind of answer this question, it just takes a little extra digging and a lot of extra work. It can be tricky. And also, I think you and I were talking about this question; looking at the emotional side of health and healing, is there stress and emotional trouble that may be just centering itself in one spot in your body. Whether it’s the SI joint, or otherwise.

I definitely have seen this in the past where, we can’t separate the mind from the body, and if we’re holding stress in a certain part of our life, if we’re having trouble with negative emotion in a part of our life, it can manifest as physical pain. So if you’ve been through a bunch of care from a mechanical standpoint, a manual therapy standpoint, and it’s not resolving, maybe that’s a good opportunity to look holistically at the other parts of your life, the think well part of it, if you will.

Diane Sanfilippo: I like that. I definitely know lots of folks who struggle with a constant, something is not getting better, and after seeking a lot of care and the physical approach, and they’re so focused on the body, and so focused on what they’re eating and what they’re doing and all of that, that is that eat well and move well, they’re so focused on that. But the amount of stress in their life and the way they think, those patterns just, they’re tough to break because our body physically responds to some of those patters with repeating them, because it’s easy to do that.

I talked about this a million years ago with an adrenal fatigue episode, but when we have stressful thought patterns or negative thought patterns, anything that’s typical for us, it’s easier for our mind to go there, than to change our thought and have a positive thought. Or change our thought and not stress out when we’re sitting in traffic, because today we actually are not in a hurry, even though for 5 days during the week we’re trying to get to work on that same road. So on Saturday when there’s traffic, it’s like, there’s no reason to freak out. There was no reason to freak out Monday through Friday, either. You’re going to be in the traffic, it’s there, there’s nowhere to go. But it’s just kind of how that works in the body.

I find it really interesting because I know it just can help so many people to sometimes step out of the physical and remember that the mental and emotional side of health is so, so important. So I think that’s a really good thing to talk about.

13. Movements to watch out for, recognizing different types of pain [50:56]

Let’s see; we’ve got a bunch of folks who are just asking about movements and obviously I’ve been doing Crossfit for 5 years, and you’ve been doing it for a couple of years now, and I know you love it.

Dr. Scott Mills: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: And think it’s great for a lot of people. I know you put up a blog post that was, It’s Right for Every Body but not for Every One.

Dr. Scott Mills: Yeah, that was it.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yes! That was it. Ok, so can you talk a little bit about if there are some Crossfit movements; this was a specific one from Julie from Instagram; “are there any Crossfit movements I should watch out for? I want to stay well while pushing myself in the workout.” And then my follow-up to this is, well I’ll hold my follow-up.

Dr. Scott Mills: {laughs} Yeah, so for those who don’t know, my practice is actually in a Crossfit gym, two different locations here in New Jersey. So I obviously know quite a little bit about this. I know how to navigate it, and I know also the stigma that’s out there about Crossfit being a high injury risk activity, etc. I think I’m going to start the answer here by talking about ego. Because I think that’s the biggest issue when it comes to getting hurt, no matter what we’re doing. Whether it’s going to train for a marathon, or trying to get better in a Crossfit gym.

I know myself, I have to listen to my body. This is especially true; we’re turning 37 this year. {laughs} I’m listening to my body more and more. And some days I go in, and I don’t have. And that’s ok, I’m still there, I’m still going to move well through those motions, but I’m not going to push it as hard. I’m going to let my coach know, hey, I’m going more at 60% today, and I’m ok with that. Now, just because the girl next to me is lifting the same amount {laughs} I can’t let that get to my ego because she’s having a great day and I’m having a mod day, that’s going to make me on a bad day put a bunch of weight on the bar and get hurt. So that’s kind of part one, listening to your body, not letting your ego get in the way of your progress. Because remember, the biggest setback you’re going to have is pushing through a little something that turns into a big something, and then you’re shut down for a couple of weeks.

As far as any specific movements, I know Julia was asking, is there anything I should watch out for. Well, it’s really, I think individual dependent. So this is where somebody like myself or even ask a coach to analyze your movement and say, I noticed your right shoulder doesn’t go back as far as your left shoulder. Well, that’s going to expose you to some trouble when it comes to overhead squats, snatches, pull ups, anything where we’re using both arms on a fixed bar, fixed axis. So I recommend that everybody kind of go through a screening with somebody who can analyze your movement and give you some recommendations based on those results. Obviously, I’m going to recommend you do that with a professional. Somebody who can do a functional movement analysis and give you some feedback.

Certainly, in our society, the toughest movement ends up always being overhead squat, or snatch, and the reason for this is it requires a lot of strength, mobility, and stability of our shoulders in an overhead position, and actually in a kind of behind our position, as well. So, the reason for this is kind of what we already talked about with our desk worker syndrome, because we spend this whole life in our forward flexed, forward rounded position, our shoulders really don’t like that position. That’s probably the number one, for a beginner, somebody just starting out, spend a lot of time getting your movement right, getting your form proper before adding a bunch of weight. I know our gym does a really good job of that. I know that not all do.

Diane Sanfilippo: One thing I’m going to say, too, when I first started Crossfit, I came into it at a time when I had been working with a personal trainer for many years, and there was a lot of stigma that people were getting hurt very often doing Crossfit, and I was very, very cautious and went very, very slowly with everything that I did in Crossfit, and I was capable. When I started I had come off of probably, I think I was not training with the circus center anymore by the time I started Crossfit, so I had strong pull-ups and when they showed me a kipping pull-up, I was already able to do strict pull-ups, maybe even up to 10 reps at the time. I was really strong with pull-ups, so with me a kipping pull-up I was like, whoa, that’s amazing, and so easy, and awesome. And I don’t have to do a strict pull-up, what?

But it was something that for most people to go into something like a kipping pull-up without enough strength and stability, it’s a really tough call. For some people, it’s not going to be a problem, and for some people it’s going to cause a lot of problems. I think the point about ego is really the biggest thing. I feel like any movement that you do, whether it’s a lunge, something low impact, or an air squat, or a box jump, and then into all this overhead stuff, no matter what you do, you can hurt yourself if you’re trying to do things without kind of paying attention and without having had that assessment.

I came from a world of so much of assessment, that I was so cautious, and it actually worked in my favor because, knock on wood, again, our big wood table here, I’ve never had a major injury in Crossfit that’s caused me to be out for any serious amount of time. I’ve definitely gone into the gym, and this is kind of what we were talking about before the show in terms of my follow-up question to any movements that you should avoid; I’m really cautious when it comes to pain, and my ego is not such that, you know, if something hurts I will work through it because I’m more annoyed if I’m going to have to be out of training for a month or 6 weeks because I get an injury, and I can handle it for one day, or two days, or even 3, or 4, or 5 days, or whatever it’s going to be to feel better and then not be out for that much longer. I’d rather sort of reserve that control of the situation than allow it to get to the point where I didn’t listen to the pain that my body had, and I just did the work anyway.

I did do that, actually, at one point, I was not listening to my body and dead lifted. That was right before the Mediterranean Paleo Cooking tour. It was hurting, it was my SI joint actually that was hurting, and I dead lifted, and I did a couple more reps anyway, and I shouldn’t have. It was that kind of sharp pain. So maybe you can talk really quickly about the difference between the normal or typical or expected common, etc. “workout pain” versus a pain that could be damaging. I just think it’s so hard for people to gauge that, and I think it’s hard for people who are the type A Crossfit type who don’t want to admit to pain. It’s hard for them to identify that, and just say, ok, I’m not doing this today. I’m stopping.

Dr. Scott Mills: Yeah, definitely. That’s a great question. I think the easiest way to answer or approach this is to think about, say you haven’t gone for a run in a really long time, and then you went for a run. Maybe even just a mile. The next day, your quads, your calves maybe, would be sore. You’d have that muscular soreness. That’s ok, that’s expected normal for working the muscles getting stronger “pain”. Again, pain is so subjective to every individual, but that’s kind of normal, expected muscular fatigue and rebuilding. That’s ok.

The kind of pain we want to be careful of first of all, anything that feels sharp, that’s a definite red flag. Anything that feels radiating; if you’re doing, like I said, an overhead squat or even a pull-up, and you’re feeling some sort of shooting pain from the core down, away, down to an extremity, whether it’s your arm, or you’re doing another movement down through your leg. Any kind of shooting, sharp, radiating pain, that’s a red flag. That’s nerve pain often times or any kind of pulling, sharp pul

Show more