Dale Sandvall, D.C., DIBAK 5920 Interstate 20 W # 110 Arlington, TX 76017
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Category Archives: Blog

Chiropractic Treatments, Auto Accidents, and Fort Worth

Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas has one of the highest drunk-driving rates in the state (second only to Houston.) It’s no surprise that so many of the clients that come into Dr. Dale Sandvall’s chiropractic clinic are suffering from the aftereffects of auto accidents — Fort Worth has more such wrecks than most towns by a significant margin. Most of those patients come in for relief from some variation of whiplash.

 

Whiplash: Too Much Back and Forth

One of the most common types of injuries in a car crash is called ‘whiplash,’ so named because of the manner in which your head ‘whips’ back and then forward and then back again when you crash into something in front of you (or get crashed into from behind.) Whiplash injuries can be mild or serious, and are often completely mistreated by the major medical providers.

That’s because painkillers and other pharmaceuticals only cover up the problem; they do nothing to solve it. They essentially expect the body to heal itself, but the nature of a whiplash injury is such that the body cannot. Muscles repair over time, but a misaligned bone or a pressured nerve will remain misaligned or pressured until an expert does something about it.

That’s what chiropractic medicine does: relax, realign, and literally straighten out your body so that its innate healing ability can take over and do the job evolution created for it.

 

The Facts About Whiplash

  • Whiplash injuries can happen at speeds as low as five miles per hour, especially if you’re not wearing your seatbelt, and almost certainly if you’re not wearing your seatbelt and your airbag deploys.
  • Whiplash injuries aren’t always immediately obvious. There are a few reasons why, but the most common is that people are often willing to ‘take it easy’ after an accident. It’s not until a week or more later when they attempt to return to full-time work that they realize that they still can’t turn their head to the left without a lot of pain.
  • There is no correlation whatsoever between the amount to which your car is damaged and the amount to which you are damaged. The amount of force that is transferred to your head and neck during an accident is actually reduced if your car’s body is crushed, so in some cases it’s actually more likely that you’re injured if your car stood up to the hit — but that’s hardly a hard-and-fast rule, either, because there are a lot of factors that go into the question of how badly an accident will injure you.

If you’ve been in an accident in the past few weeks and are noticing any level of pain or disability in your neck or back, call Dr. Dale Sandvall today. The longer you go untreated, the greater the risk of permanent damage.

Learn About Migraine Headaches from Kennedale’s Dr. Sandvall

Migraine headaches, Kennedale‘s Dr. Dale Sandvall would like you to know, aren’t just a pain in the brain. They’re often an indicator that something more serious is wrong, and deserves your attention.

Look at this list of things known to cause migraine headaches, taken from MayoClinic.com:

<blockquote>

  • Foods. Aged cheeses, salty foods and processed foods may trigger migraines. Skipping meals or fasting also can trigger attacks.
  • Food additives. The sweetener aspartame and the preservative monosodium glutamate, found in many foods, may trigger migraines.
  • Drinks. Alcohol, especially wine, and highly caffeinated beverages may trigger migraines.
  • Stress. Stress at work or home can cause migraines.
  • Sensory stimuli. Bright lights and sun glare can induce migraines, as can loud sounds. Unusual smells — including perfume, paint thinner, secondhand smoke and others — can trigger migraines in some people.
  • Changes in wake-sleep pattern. Missing sleep or getting too much sleep may trigger migraines in some people, as can jet lag.
  • Physical factors. Intense physical exertion, including sexual activity, may provoke migraines.
  • Changes in the environment. A change of weather or barometric pressure can prompt a migraine.
  • Medications. Oral contraceptives and vasodilators, such as nitroglycerin, can aggravate migraines.</blockquote>

 

It might seem at first glance that there’s isn’t a lot of similarities in the items on that list, but look deeper. Consider: research has recently shown that salt can have effects on the brain similar to that of cigarettes or cocaine, causing a rush of dopamine, a neurotransmitter than makes you feel ‘up.’

We’ve known since the 60s that tyramine (in aged cheese) causes your brain to release norepinephrine, a fight-or-flight neurotransmitter. Aspartame and MSG are both in the class of chemicals called ‘excitotoxins’ that overstimulate neurons and thus the release of neurotransmitters including dopamine. Alcohol and caffeine both stimulate the release of dopamine; stress triggers norepinephrine; sensory overstimulation can release both norepinephrine and dopamine…you get the idea.

 

Or In Case You Didn’t…

The idea is that literally every one of the common triggers of migraine headache triggers one of a very short list of neurotransmitters that is directly attached to the process of stimulating your brain — either positively (in the ‘high’ of a dopamine rush) or negatively (in the ‘panic’ of a norepinephrine rush).

The connection between norepinephrine and dopamine can be found in their relationship with a third chemical — serotonin. Serotonin’s function in the brain can largely be summarized as “modulating the way neurons response to dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine.” Serotonin levels, then, are directly relevant to dopamine and norepinephrine levels.

So it should come as no real surprise that recent research has proven that low serotonin levels are powerfully associated with the likelihood of a migraine headache. In practical terms, if you want to avoid a migraine, keeping your serotonin levels balanced is almost certainly part of the key.

 

To schedule a consultation with Dr. Sandvall on how you can best adapt your lifestyle to maintain a high serotonin level and thus minimize the impact of migraine headaches in your life, call the office today!

Managing Pain in Mansfield: Science & Applied Kinesiology

Pain. For some Mansfield residents, it’s an everyday part of life — but it doesn’t have to be, thanks to the work of holistic health techniques like Applied Kinesiology.

 

Science Doesn’t Understand Your Body

Modern medical science has one significant problem in dealing with the human body: science. The scientific method involves breaking things down into their smallest variables so that all but one of those variables can be controlled, and the last variable tested. But when you’re dealing with a human body, the scientific method cannot be vigorously applied, because human bodies cannot be separated into variables that are controllable. Thus, the term ‘holistic medicine’ developed as a way to label those medical practices that attempted to examine the human body as a whole — whole-istically — instead of as a series of controllable variables.

One of those holistic systems is Applied Kinesiology — the study of movement and its application to health. Applied Kinesiology draws on truths discovered in Ayurvedic Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), nutrition, and chiropractic medicine.

 

The Foundations

Applied Kinesiology postulates a three-legged ‘stool’ of health: the Chemical (including hormonal and nutritional), Structural (including skeletal, muscular, and connective), and Mental (including emotional) legs, when working properly together, keep your entire being healthy and working correctly. Those three systems are more tightly related than most modern Western minds want to understand; we’re taught, after all, to break things down into smaller parts for study!

The essence of AK is the understanding that because all three elements of health are closely interlinked, it is possible to use any one of the systems to accurately diagnose problems in the other two. Because the structural system is the easiest to test, AK practitioners are taught how to access information about the other areas by performing simple-seeming tests of muscle strength on their patients. For example, if you have mild pain in the area of the heart, the correct AK test is to test the strength of the muscles along what TCM calls your ‘heart meridian’ — the muscles along the underside of your arm.

Once the diagnosis has been established, an AK practitioner will question you about many aspects of your daily life, and often suggest a combination of nutritional, structural, and mental exercises. In the case of pain near the heart, they might suggest consuming more fish and less seeds and nuts, stretching your ribs and diaphragm regularly, and meditating to reduce your heart rate on a daily basis.

 

With all three legs of the stool of health satisfied, the client will improve, and the pain will slip away unnoticed — the kind of victory that modern medical science simply isn’t capable of.

Sciatica in Arlington Tx: A Local Chiropractor’s Tips

Sciatica — chronic pain caused by irritation of the nerve that carries sensory information from the legs to the spinal cord — can feel like it originates almost anywhere on the backside of your body below the navel. It can feel like numbness, shooting pain, ‘sleep’ (pins and needles), or an inability to precisely control part of your body. In most cases, it’s limited to one side of the body. If you have it and it’s affecting your life, take a gander at these tips from a doctor who treats sciatica in Arlington, TX.

 

Stretch, Even If It Hurts, Because It Hurts

Sciatica is an umbrella diagnosis — all it really means is ‘something is irritating your sciatic nerve.’ What that something is, we don’t know, and it’s often very hard to tell. But one thing is certain: if your sciatic nerve is already irritated, any minor thing going on around it can cause it to fire, causing pain. So start by keeping your sciatic nerve as unmolested as possible by regularly stretching all of the muscles around it. A good starter list can be found here.

 

Eat Anti-inflammatory Foods

Similarly, no matter what the actual cause of your sciatica is, inflammation from any source is going to make it worse. Ease up on that nerve by easing up on inflammation body-wide. Switch from vegetable (aka soybean), corn, sunflower, cottonseed, or peanut oils to safflower, palm, or coconut oils. Consume fatty fish like salmon or tuna twice a week, and cut back on grain-based foods, especially those borne of white flour. All of this will alter the balance of fats in your body and make it much less likely for systemic inflammation to exacerbate your sciatica.

 

Get Professional Help

If it’s not severe, sciatica might seem like it is more annoying than debilitating — but nerve damage isn’t anything to play around with. You should schedule an appointment to see a health professional immediately, and see if a diagnosis can be made. If you assume that your sciatica is idiopathic (in other words, that it doesn’t have any apparent source), and you’re wrong, you could be missing out on a treatment that could hugely improve your quality of life.

Living With Fibromyalgia: A Grand Prairie Tx Doctor’s Advice

Fibromyalgia is only starting to become acknowledged as a ‘real’ disease — for years, because there was no definitive test that established that someone had it or not, many skeptics believed that fibromyalgia was an excuse rather than a diagnosis. Today, we know better, and the world is starting to understand that fibromyalgia sufferers deserve help. That’s why Dr. Dale Sandvall, who treats those who suffer from fibromyalgia from Grand Prairie Tx to Arlington Tx and beyond, offers this simple advice:

 

Get Sleep

Sleeping can be difficult when you feel like you’ve recently been run down by a pack of unruly steamrollers. Even if you can’t afford a new mattress, you can afford a few small nods toward getting a good night’s sleep. Recent research shows that an ‘egg crate’ foam mattress topper, along with an electric blanket and/or mattress pad and a soft, sculpt-able (or contoured memory foam) pillow, is the best ‘budget’ option for a fibro sufferer.

 

Chill Out — Or Get Fired Up

Warm and cold therapies are both effective for treating fibromyalgia pain — and in fact even the most severe pain can be diminished by switching back and forth between the two (15-20 minutes warm, then 10-15 cold, then back to warm and so on.)  Invest in a seat for your shower so that you can take warm or cold showers without stress. On the higher end, acquire a pair of reusable hot/cold body wrap that you can put in the microwave or the freezer and keep one ready for cold and one ready for heat.

 

Learn the Relaxation Response

The relaxation response is the ‘equal and opposite reaction’ to the fight-or-flight response. Unfortunately, for people under chronic stress, including those with fibromyalgia, the relaxation response doesn’t happen naturally — it has to be learned, generally through meditation, guided visualization, or other mental tactics. Once you learn the relaxation response, however, you can deliberately engage it to dramatically reduce the effects of stress on your daily life, and that is incredibly valuable.

 

If you can manage to sleep, keep your muscles happy with hot/cold therapy, and learn to de-stress with the relaxation response, you’re well on your way to being able to cope with fibromyalgia and keep up your quality of life. For more potent and longer-lasting therapy, Contact Us today.

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