During my tenure at Soft Touch Chiropractic in Porter Ranch, CA, I noticed the speed with which my patients recover from pain depends on whether or not they follow my post-care recommendations at home. Those who follow my recommendations recover faster and their results last longer. One of the top recommendations I make is to stay away from anything that causes inflammation.
Meat, especially processed or salted meat, causes a great deal of inflammation. Remember these products can hide in dishes like pasta, pizza and stews. Products like deli meat, salami, pepperoni, sausage, prosciutto and canned meat can keep a person in prolonged pain. Undigested meat can remain trapped inside the villi of the small intestine anywhere from 72 hours to 1 year. When it ferments, it causes severe acidity and inflammation. Our bodies react by producing antibodies which cause allergies and greater inflammation.
If you need to find an alternative, you can eat a plant-based product such as Impossible Meat.
Cheese, yogurt, milk and milk products have the same effect as meat. Dairy contains casein protein which is also a source of inflammation. Instead, you can find cheese products made out of almond, coconut, cashew or rice. Coconut yogurt is just as tasty as cow milk yogurt. It is surprising how similar the taste of these alternative products is to dairy.
Sugar, Corn Syrup and Sugar-Filled Products
We’re all too familiar with cookies, candy, muffins, pastries and the like. However, sugar can hide in other products like ketchup, canned food, sports beverages and of course soda.
Sugar can overwhelm the nerve cells. Imagine standing next to a loudspeaker. Even if you like to listen to music, when it is too loud, it’s no longer enjoyable and you might lose your hearing. Glucose molecules play the same role in the nerve cells. The cells like the sugar but too much of it is like the loud music and over time the nerve cells get irritated and die. Thankfully we have billions of them, however, when you have severe musculoskeletal pain your nerves are under great attack and irritation already and you don’t want to stimulate your nervous system with sugar.
Also stay away from sugar substitutes such as xylitol or aspartame. Instead, I recommend you use stevia or coconut sugar.
This category includes: wine, beer, hard liquor and spirits, as well as over the counter medications which contain alcohol. Even the slightest hint of alcohol can bring back the inflammation which you are trying to get rid of.
If you are currently experiencing back pain, and have not seen a chiropractor, it would be in your best interest to stop eating these inflammatory foods and make an appointment to see your local chiropractor.
Parabens are a class of widely used preservatives in cosmetic and pharmaceutical products. They are considered xenoestrogens. In other words, these chemicals can mimic the hormone estrogen in your body. Parabens can cause a number of problems for your hair including drying, irritating your scalp, fading your color, and even hair loss.
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
PCBs can be found in coolant fluids and copy paper among other consumer products. Exposure to this toxin can cause damage to the prostate gland of fetuses, infants and children. It has been known to cause high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. PCB has also been known to cause brain damage.
Triclosan Trihalomethanes (THMs)
THM is found in many personal care products, carpets and toys.It causes birth defects and miscarriages. Currently, it is banned from use in food products in European Union countries.
As an herbicide, Atrazine is found in produce, turf, residential lawns and golf courses. Most alarmingly, it is found in drinking water. It has been known to cause fetal low birth weight as well as birth defects
Over the counter Acetaminophen can cause serious liver damage. It is responsible for 56,000 emergency room visits, 2,600 hospitalizations and 458 deaths annually in the US alone.
recommended reading by dr. Masoud
Doctor Yourself by Dr. Saul will teach you how to use vitamin therapy to cure many conditions that an average family might experience. There is advice for both children and adults.
Niacin: The Real Story is based on double blind research done in the 1950s by Dr. Hoffer himself. It tells about the many benefits of niacin also known as B3. The book lists recommendations for the use of B3 mega doses to treat conditions such as anxiety, arthritis, ADHD, schizophrenia and many others. Niacin: The Real Story gives advice for both adults and children.
Over-the-Counter Natural Cures is written by Shane Ellison, who previously worked for the pharmaceutical industry. He saw, first hand, the harm that pharma drugs can cause. He uses his knowledge of chemistry to prove with research that for many drugs, there are natural counterparts which don't cause harmful side effects. This is Dr. Masoud's favorite read as of 2021.
Thomas Levy, who wrote Curing the Incurable, is both a doctor and a lawyer. He focuses on the many benefits of vitamin C. He describes how to use it to treat many types of infections or toxicity. Especially during the time of COVID-19, many medical doctors and alternative care practitioners are using his recommendations.
You Are the Placebo, written by Dr. Joe Dispenza teaches about the body's power of self-healing through meditation. Although meditation is often linked to spiritual practices, Dispenza uses science-based research to show that the power of the mind and body connection is effective and real.
One of the services I offer in my practice - Soft Touch Chiropractic in Porter Ranch, CA is customized nutritional counseling to go along with a patient’s chiropractic care. Here are three of the most common areas that need nutritional support and their specific advice. Please watch the video below for more details.
Nutrition for Joint Support
Vitamin C helps synthesize collagen fiber which is an important compound for the joints. There are two types of Vitamin C, sodium ascorbate and liposomal Vitamin C. Both can be consumed in high dosages without side effects.
Glucosamine sulfate helps with cartilage formation and repair. If you are allergic to sulfate, you cannot take this, but if you are able to, this is great for combining with Vitamin C for joint repair.
MSM is a natural compound made of rain water and plant chloroform. It is a natural painkiller and anti-inflammatory supplement. Manufacturers will sometimes combine it with glucosamine, but a separate product is more effective. This works for any joint in your body that has cartilage.
You must keep in mind that these supplements work fundamentally better than a synthetic drug, but they work over time with longer lasting results and no side effects. They pose no threat to your liver and kidneys like synthetic drugs tend to do.
Our current health culture calls for immediate gratification, but for equipping your body better to heal itself, these supplements are better than drugs.
Muscle Health and Relaxation
My first recommendation for muscle relaxation is Epsom salt baths. Epsom salt contains magnesium sulfate which helps relax the muscles and relieve cramps.
If you don’t have a bathtub, you can still benefit by soaking your feet in the salts. If soaking is not your thing, magnesium chloride spray or magnesium glycinate pills are good alternatives to Epsom salt.
Arnica flower gel is a muscle relaxant. It’s also good for tendons and ligaments. I recommend it to reduce bruising. The gel is safe enough to use 3-4 times a day.
Valerian root is also a muscle relaxant and analgesic. It can be taken as a sleeping aid. I don’t suggest the gel, but rather the capsule to be taken at night, not in the morning.
Much of our muscle stress is aggravated during sleep, usually due to our natural hormonal system during our sleeping hours, which is why valerian root and passion flower are helpful especially if you have an existing musculoskeletal issue.
Nerve Analgesic and Repair
Passion flower is a natural analgesic. It also helps with sleep. The pills are fine to take but the liquid drops are better.
Vitamin B Complex helps to maintain a healthy nervous system. A complex is various B vitamins combined into one pill. Vitamin Bs are water soluble, which is why I recommend that a patient take 1 capsule in the morning and 1 in the afternoon.
The following activities and conditions rob the body of Vitamin B: recreational drug consumption, drinking alcohol, smoking, vaping, erratic dieting, working graveyard shifts, frequent traveling, chronic illnesses and stress. If any of these apply to you, I highly recommend you take a B complex as your body is being drained of this important nutrient.
If you are in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles, CA and would like to schedule a free consultation, call 818-831-0100.
The reason I prescribe neck exercises to my patients here at Soft Touch Chiropractic in Porter Ranch, CA, is for them to gain muscle strength and improve posture, which in turn increases the health of the spine along the neck and upper back area thus reducing pain.
Many of my patients experiencing neck and upper back pain, come to me as a result of a car accident or personal injury cases where they have suffered whiplash or severe injury to the neck.
Upper back exercises and neck exercises go hand in hand because if there is a problem in the upper back, it will cause neck problems and if there is a problem with the neck, it will cause upper back problems. So the exercises prescribed should target both areas.
If you are my current patient, please watch the video below several times, wait a few days after your initial appointment, then follow the video while doing the exercises at home.
If you are not my patient, I would recommend that you schedule an appointment with your local chiropractor to discuss your neck and upper back pain and ask questions about the exercises in the video.
If you are in the Porter Ranch, Northridge area of Los Angeles, call to schedule an appointment for a free consultation. 818-831-0100
You may or may not already be a patient in my practice in Porter Ranch, CA. If you are a patient, you have seen my exam form where I noted the findings of your exam. The video below will dive into a deeper explanation of my notes on your exam form, so please watch it so that all the information stays fresh in your mind.
If you are not a patient, I encourage you to continue reading and to watch the video below so that you know what to expect from a chiropractic exam in my office.
The following are seven components of my chiropractic exam:
Vital signs such as your pulse, respiratory rate and temperature will tell me if you are a candidate for chiropractic care or if you need to be referred to another professional. It will give me a sense of your overall health.
Your posture tells me a lot about you. During this part of the exam, I observe how you stand. I then manually check the levels of your pelvis, shoulders, head and their tilt. I’m also able to assess the muscle tone at these parts of the body.
RANGE OF MOTION OF NECK AND SHOULDERS
Range of motion exams help me differentiate between muscle issues and joint issues. I normally start at the neck where the patient bends the neck forward and back, also known as flexion/extension. This tells me about the health of the joints. Then I ask the patient to rotate the head from side to side and this tells me about the condition of the muscles in that area. Bending the neck from side to side, also known as lateral flexion, will tell me about both the joints and muscles.
The range of motion test is done two ways, 1) you do it yourself and 2) the doctor does it for you. If the doctor is exerting the force to move the body, it is called passive range of motion. However if you are moving on your own, it is called active range of motion. This gives me a great deal of valuable information to tell if the issue is a muscle or joint disorder.
Oftentimes, I will have to combine the range of motion tests for shoulder, neck and back with the postural, orthopedic and neurological tests to arrive at a more accurate diagnosis.
Also, known as the art of palpation, this test is designed for me to look for four things: misalignments, fixation of the joints, pain and spasms or muscle tone. This is the most important part of the chiropractic exam.
During palpation, I will use my hands to palpate the joints and muscles of the head, neck, shoulders, spine, back and pelvis.
When I palpate the joints, I’m looking for misalignments, which means a joint is out of place. I’m also looking for fixation, which means there is no movement in the joints. When I palpate the muscles I identify their tone, whether they are soft or stiff. I am also looking for spasms. All along the way, I am watchful for areas of pain.
This series of tests are designed to test the muscles, nerves and joints. Each has a particular function. There are over 100 tests available. I obviously do not perform all of them in each exam. Depending on your health history, I will choose appropriate tests for your exam. For example, the Thoracic Outlet Syndrome test helps me diagnose circulation issues and the Straight Leg Raise test helps me diagnose muscle and joint issues of the low back specifically.
Here are some tests that appear in your form:
Shoulder Depression Test
Foraminal Compression Test
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome Test
Straight Leg Raise Test
Patrick Fabere Test
If any of these tests are marked positive on your exam form you can do further research online to find out more about your condition.
The first step in the neurological test portion of the exam is called dermatome mapping. Using an instrument called a pinwheel, I check every part of the spine. I gently run the pinwheel on the skin. Although the test is painless, it does cause sensation. I am looking for sensation to be exactly the same on both sides of the body. Checking the sensory part of your nerves, tells us if there are interferences in your peripheral nerves closer to the spine. If one side is more sensitive than the other, that is a telling sign about the source of the nerve interference. If you have a history of numbness in your hands, feet or numbness that radiates from the back to the feet and ankles, it indicates a neurological problem such as a bulged disc.
Lastly, I perform a reflex test. While the dermatome mapping checks for your peripheral nerves, the reflex test checks your spinal cord. The reflex test will show if there are any abnormalities in the cord and at which level the abnormalities exist. This test is crucial for any patient with suspected or confirmed bulged discs or space-occupying lesions in the spinal cord. The test will show how severe the condition is. I use a reflex hammer to tap the tendons and note the reaction. The reactions vary from normal to diminished to exaggerated or absent.
An accurate diagnosis takes into account the results of all the tests, your health history as well as your own account of the symptoms.
If you are a current patient, I encourage you to study your results by watching the video and reading your form, then come back to my office to discuss your treatment. Consider the following options in the meantime:
If you are looking for chiropractic care in the Los Angeles area and would like to schedule an appointment for a free exam, please call my office at 818-831-0100.
The most frequently asked question asked by my patients here at Soft Touch Chiropractic in Porter Ranch, CA is, “How often do I need to come back for adjustments?” I jokingly point to my belly and ask, “If I want to lose weight, how often should I exercise?” They always laugh and give me their estimation of what they think I should do. But the fundamental question is, “What is the goal? Or what am I trying to achieve? So I ask them the same question.
Chiropractic empowers a person’s body to get the results they want. So in essence, you are in control of the consistency and frequency with which you get adjusted by your chiropractor.
So the short answer to the question is: It’s your decision.
The long answer is: It depends.
In my practice, I give my patients three options to choose from and depending on how they answer, I will make recommendations for future care.
Most of you who come to see me are in pain and your only goal is pain relief. This goal requires intensive care, sometimes daily visits. The next step is to get you through the improvement and recovery phase which includes home exercises and adjustments. Once you feel better you can choose to end chiropractic care, but without follow up, it’s possible that you’ll relapse after that and end up in my office again to manage the pain. We call this the Clinical Care Strategy because you come only when you have symptoms. If this is your case you might have marked the first choice on the form that says, “I have a specific concern and I require help only with this.”
The next choice on the form is, “I want to ensure that my health concerns do not become an ongoing problem and that it will not impact my future.” If you marked this option then you have chosen Preventive Care, which is less intensive and less costly. Preventive care is designed to prevent relapse.
The last option says, “I want to be healthier five years from today.” This means you want to invest in your future health. If you checked this box you have chosen Wellness Care. With this strategy, you’ll be treated more often than with Preventative Care because it’s not symptom oriented. With Wellness Care you can achieve goals like: retrain your muscles, improve your body’s biomechanics, keep your spine aligned and stable which is the most important part of chiropractic care, improve your range of motion, prevent exercise injuries, and basically be at your best. It’s important that you invest in your future health especially if you have others who depend on you.
Regardless of what type of care you choose, we are here to help you and support you in your decision.
If you are outside of the Los Angeles area of California, contact your local chiropractor and ask about their wellness strategies. If you are local to Los Angeles, contact us at 818-831-0100 to make an appointment for a free exam and first consultation.
What are these strange symptoms in my hands, arms and shoulders? It could be Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
It is not uncommon for me to see patients in my office - Soft Touch Chiropractic in Porter Ranch, CA with the following symptoms:
Numbness in the hands
Loss of grip strength
Discoloration in the hands
These symptoms could be signs of thoracic outlet syndrome or TOS. TOS is a muscle issue where the blood flow to the shoulder, arm and hands is being obstructed by a muscle spasm.
We have many muscles in and around our neck which have a profound effect on the health of our limbs. When the neck muscles are spasmed they will contract and block the blood flow at the brachial artery that stems from the aorta in the heart and passes right above the collar bone.
To detect TOS, I check the pulse and ask the patient to rotate the head from side to side. If the pulse diminishes or disappears then we know that the problem is vascular and not neurological.
The aorta, which is the major artery, leaves the heart and from there the brachial artery branches out, goes slightly above the collar bone and all the way to the arm so the heart pulse at the wrist gives an indication of the strength of the blood flow to the arm. The brachial artery goes past the scalenus muscle. When the scalenus is spasmed it interferes with the blood flow. The tighter the spasm the greater the blockage of blood flow and that’s what creates all the symptoms listed above.
The following treatments for TOS are available in my office and in many other chiropractic offices:
Manual therapy: I use stretching and massage to increase the range of motion of the neck and shoulder.
Active electric therapy: Active means that the patient stretches or moves slightly while the electrodes are on the affected muscles. This is done for exponential benefits. Instead of relaxing only three muscles, we can relax twelve so long as movement is coupled with the electric stimulation.
Ultrasound therapy: This is like feeling the vibration from a very loud speaker. Ultrasound uses sound that we cannot hear but the vibration affects the soft tissues like tendons and ligaments. It is most effective at relaxing the muscles. It promotes better posture, so it relieves pressure off the upper back and neck. It also promotes better sleep.
Mindful meditation: Most muscle spasms are caused by stress so we ask patients to manage their stress with mindful meditation which is very helpful.
Chiropractic adjustments can also relieve the pressure off the nerves bringing relief to the neck.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed or anything similar, contact your chiropractor for an exam and evaluation. Watch the video below for a more detailed explanation.
Patients who come to my practice, Soft Touch Chiropractic in Porter Ranch, CA, for treatment of neck pain, arrive with a number of complications which have led to the pain. The video below explains in greater detail the causes of and solutions for neck pain. Here’s a brief summary:
Neck muscle spasms, which are involuntary muscle contractions, do not allow the neck muscles to relax leading to joint restriction and misaligned vertebrae. These two events will send pain signals. The restricted joints and misaligned vertebrae may consequently pinch or irritate the nerves and pain may radiate to the arms and hands. Restricted joints will also lead to joint degeneration, over a period of time, which causes herniated discs.
Muscle spasms are caused by: stress on neck and shoulder muscles caused by poor posture while using a phone, a computer, gym equipment, etc., exposure to cold, poor sleeping position and emotional stress.
Chiropractic care goes beyond adjustments of the joints for pain relief. Our office provides the following therapies to relax the muscles and dissolve spasms: electric stimulation, gentle stretches, massage, ultrasound, mechanical traction and of course, chiropractic adjustments.
If you are experiencing neck pain or discomfort, contact your local chiropractor to schedule an exam and evaluation.
If you have landed on this page, you may or may not have a tilted pelvis. You may be a patient of mine at Soft Touch Chiropractic in Porter Ranch, CA, in which case, you've had a consultation with me and you have been diagnosed with anterior pelvic tilt.
Your back pain stems from an imbalance in the foundation of your spine. Think of yourself as a building. If the foundation of a building is unstable, the walls may crack or break down. You can paint or patch cracked walls, but as long as the foundation is imbalanced, the walls will continue to break down. It is the same for your spine.
Your spine's foundation is made up of the ilium and sacral bones along with the sacroiliac joint that binds them. The walls of your "building" are your spine's vertebrae. During the exam we identified that your pelvis was tilted by palpating the ilium bones and found that they were not level. Your vertebrae are misaligned according to your pelvic tilt. The ligaments in your foundation are unstable, which means one side may be tighter than the other. This phenomenon causes your muscles to take over the job of your ligaments. While the muscles are doing the job of the ligaments, they spasm due to overwork, causing you pain. Your muscles, from your neck to your hamstrings and calf muscles, may be spasmed due to your pelvic tilt.
Both your vertebrae and your sacroiliac joints need regular chiropractic adjustments in order to correct this condition. Adjustments along with home exercises will not only fix your pelvic tilt, but they will also alleviate your muscle tone and return proper function to your ligaments.
Please watch the video below which explains pelvic tilt in a visual format.
If you are a patient, please faithfully follow all instructions given to you during your visit. If you are in pain and have not yet seen a chiropractor, I highly recommend making an appointment for an exam with your local doctor of chiropractic.