Headaches! What a pain in the neck.

Headaches are one of the more common ailments I see in my office on a daily basis. They range from minor irritation to full blown disability. The tricky thing about working with headaches is that there are so many things that can cause a headache. By far, however, the most common cause of headaches is neck dysfunction.

A headache that is caused by dysfunction in the neck is called a cervicogenic headache (cervico = neck, genic = derived from). It is estimated that 70% of all headaches are cervicogenic and that many other headaches are often triggered as a result of neck dysfunction. Based on the patients I treat with headaches I would concur.
When the neck becomes dysfunctional through injury or slow progressing trauma like posture, the nerves that exit the spinal cord in the neck get irritated. This irritation is transferred to the structures innervated by the neck like the muscles that connect the head to the rest of the body and the blood vessels that go to and from the brain. When these structures do not function as a result of improper nerve signals, they send a warning system in the form of pain, muscle spasm and either increased or decreased blood flow.
So, one of the best ways to treat headaches is to improve the function of the neck. Chiropractic is the best thing I know of to help improve joint and thereby nervous system function. More than likely when these things are taken care of, the patient either has a marked decrease in either the frequency or the severity of their headaches or the headaches resolve altogether.
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This is the last week in the old place. It has been fun but I am ready to move to a nicer place with better parking. I am moving this Friday and Saturday (any and all help those two days is welcome) and will be up and running Monday October 4th.

The new address is: 720 Sunrise Avenue, Suite 104
Roseville, CA 95661

It is just a few blocks down the street on the same side as the old office. Look for wrought iron fencing between the two creeks.

It’s Pro Football Season in Sacramento! (Win FREE tickets)

You gotta love football season! The cooler weather, tailgating, the excitement of the game. This year, I have been privileged to help out Sacramento’s brand new United Football League team, the Sacramento Mountain Lions as their chiropractor. They are coached by Dennis Green and their quarterback is 3 time Pro Bowler in the NFL, Daunte Culpepper.

As the team chiropractor, I will get to be on the field helping the medical and training staff keep the players healthy. As such, my tickets to each game need to be used by someone else. So, I am giving away two tickets to this coming Sacramento Mountain Lions game on Saturday at 8pm. To win, leave a comment about why it you would like to go. I’ll take all the names and draw the lucky winner by the end of Friday. Sometime Saturday we’ll make arrangements to get you the tickets. If you are not already a follower of my blog, please become one so I will have a way of contacting you if you win. Good luck!

Exciting New Things at Thomas Chiropractic!!!

WE ARE MOVING! Starting in October, the practice will have a new home at 720 Sunrise Avenue, Suite 104. We are about two blocks south (closer to Cirby

away from Douglas) from the old office but still on the same side of the street. The new office will be easier to find and have better parking. In addition, the inside is being remodeled and should be very comfortable with an efficient flow.

To celebrate the new office, we are hosting an Open House on Tuesday October 5th from 5:00-7:00 pm. Please come and enjoy some appetizers and dessert and take a tour of the new office. Although not critical, if you can RSVP by either commenting on the blog, Facebook, Twitter, or responding to the email, it would be much appreciated.

The first two weeks of October is our annual Food Drive! Anytime between October 4th-14th
your friends and love ones can receive their initial visit (exam, x-rays, report, and first adjustment) at no charge in exchange for a generous donation of non-perishab
le food items.
Finally, October 9th is Patient Appreciation Day! Stop by anytime between 10:00 and 2:00 for a FREE adjustment, FREE chair massage, and good food. Please also help support our food drive that day.
Hope to see all of you at any or all of these events!

Sciatica? Really, is that the best you can come up with?

Sorry for the tone of the title. It mostly reflects my attitude toward diagnosing these days and the overemphasis on trying to categorize illness as opposed to focusing on health and restoring or maintaining it. Don’t get me wrong, a diagnosis can be critical in certain situations. However, a diagnosis like “Sciatica” is completely useless!

Here is why. How would you feel if you took your car into the mechanic because there is a pinging sound at 50 mph and he came back and told you that you have “Pingatica Pentavra.” When you ask him what that means he says you have a ping in your engine at 50 mph and then hands you a pair of ear muffs so you can’t hear it anymore? Oh, and the bill, of course.
The only thing the mechanic did was give you a fancy name for something you already knew and then gave you a remedy that didn’t really solve anything. And yet, you are supposed to be comforted by both. Are you? We settle for this all the time in our sick care society.
So what about sciatica? The sciatic nerve is the biggest conglomeration of nerves in the body. It forms in the back/buttock area and runs down the back of the thigh to about the knee. If it is irritated, it is painful and they call it sciatica. Sciatica is not a diagnosis; it’s a fancy word that describes your symptoms.
The real question is what is causing the sciatica. Is it a bulging or herniated disc? Is it inflammation around the vertebrae and therefore the nerve roots which will form the sciatic nerve? Is it dysfunction of the sacroiliac joint? Is the piriformis muscle (or any other muscle in the area) tight or have lesions? Is the chair the person sitting on hitting the sciatic nerve and causing a direct irritation to it?
Furthermore, we need to ask what is causing all of the above mentioned things to happen! Why is the disc bulging or herniated? Why is there inflammation? And the list goes on. Then, we need to ask at what level do we want to treat? Do we mask the symptoms and hope the body will figure it out? Do we help the body restore function? Once we have, do we try and maintain or prevent?
At the end of the day, health is a sliding scale. There is proper function at the high end and improper function at the other. So often we try to pinpoint a single cause of dysfunction when the reality is that there are almost always multiple and complex causes. With that in mind, does it really matter what we call the symptoms if the goal is simply to restore function?

Going Paperless! My Journey Into the Realm of Electronic Health Records

I finally did it! I got new software that allows me to keep your records digitally so that I don’t have a bunch of paper files. The advantages are great but the learning curve is killing me. It is so much easier to hand write a few sentences, that only a few select people will probably ever decipher, and call it good. Now, however, I have detailed, thorough, professional notes in typewritten print that I can pull up with the click of a mouse.

So, the next time you come into my office and I am cleverly toting around my iPad and slowly trying to figure out how to input your concerns, taking more time than you or I am used to, just remember, when I get it all figured out, you will have pristine records… that no one will probably ever read.

Does Chiropractic Heal You?

I had an interesting conversation last night. The gentleman with whom I was speaking (he may even read this) had never seen a chiropractor and was a little skeptical. His comment was that it doesn’t really seem like chiropractic heals anything; only gives temporary relief of symptoms. He was partly right!

Chiropractic doesn’t heal anything, and neither do chiropractors. The body heals itself. The goal of chiropractic is to restore function of the joints and the nervous system that is directly connected to the joints. When there is proper function, the body will heal itself.
As far as his claim that chiropractic only brings temporary relief, that depends. I will concede to that being true if a patient just gets adjusted for temporary relief one or two times. Healing is a process and restoring function takes time. It’s not like your body is a machine where you can just go in and change the parts. In order to restore function, one must go through a course of adjustments that will eventually lead to proper function. The tricky part is figuring out how long one can maintain proper function considering all of the things they do to hamper it. This is why in the beginning a patient may get adjusted 3-5 times a week. After some time, however, the time in between adjustments increases and the goal is to get down to a maintenance of approximately once a month. Of course, if your lifestyle is such that you readily create dysfunction in your body, then once a month might not be enough.
In short, shy of performing a miracle (which is an entirely different topic), healing is a process that not only takes time but occurs every second in our body as we navigate mortality. Chiropractic is a great tool to help promote this constant healing and combat the constant degeneration!


The other day I had one of my favorite patients on my table complaining of a tooth ache. She asked if I knew a good dentist so I told her about my mine, Dr. Ashish Arya, and how great his staff, Lena and Corby are. I proceeded to adjust her neck and jaw, etc. and gave her a card for Dr. Ashish.

I followed up with her last night and she told me that when Dr. Ashish did the exam, not only was there nothing wrong with the teeth, but she did not have any discomfort or pain. He gave her some stretches for the jaw and sent her on her way.
Though not an every day occurrence, a tooth ache that is really jaw dysfunction does happen frequently. The technical term for the joints of the jaw are the temporomandibular joints (TMJ). Dysfunction is known as temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) or TMJ syndrome. (Side note: I hear people say they have TMJ, a lot. I always chuckle because everyone has TMJ. What they mean is that they have TMJ syndrome.)
TMD or TMJ Syndrome can be very painful. The temporomandibular joint is a very sensitive joint. Dysfunction can cause headaches, tooth aches, mouth pain, face pain, popping or clicking, and even earaches.
Chiropractic adjustments have been very effective in managing TMD. I work on the jaw and surrounding musculature on a good portion of my patients with great success. So, the next time that you get an earache, headache, or toothache, check with your chiropractor, it could be your jaw!

My Chiropractic Response to Health Care and the Economy

Health care and the Economy have been hot topics for some time. So many people pay through the nose for health insurance that covers little or cannot afford health insurance at all. In addition, so many doctors are struggling either to make a decent living, or are working twice as hard for half as much. This has created a whole new paradigm in the offices around the country

Health care has become consumer driven. In the recent past, you went to a doctor and did what he said and the insurance paid for it. Not so anymore. First, due to the vast amount of information available to us on the internet, we approach the doctor less as a true doctor (in Latin doctor means teacher) and more like a physician (one who is licensed to apply remedies). Secondly, because of the shift in cost responsibility, each doctor’s visit is a buying decision. We want the best care for the least amount. We want options so we can decide what is best because it is our health and our money.
This is my response! First, your health is your responsibility. Please don’t ever let anyone take control of it. Because it is yours, you have choices on how to keep healthy. As a doctor, my job is to educate you on how you can either maintain or regain good health. As a physician my job is to administer adjustments as one facet of your healthcare. I believe that people who get chiropractic adjustments consistently enjoy better health. There is plenty of evidence to suggest that regular chiropractic care helps to maintain a good immune system and promotes flexibility, proper nerve flow and greater balance. If you want to wait until you are sick or hurting, that is yours to decide. Likewise, if you want to exercise preventative or maintenance care, you will reap the rewards. Some lucky people can function properly without chiropractic care for a long time. Others cannot. Some people see the importance of maintaining proper function of their joints and are willing to pay for it because they see that the benefits have value. They also believe that in the long run, it will save them money. Others would rather take the risk until they are affected by it. Whatever you decide to do, they are your options and you need to feel comfortable with them. Likewise, you need to realize that certain approaches have more value. Sometimes the more expensive option will save on future costs. Sometimes it won’t but has more immediate benefits. Either way, do your research and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Now, concerning the economy, we are all in this together. I get it. Because I get it, I put this verbatim in the booklet I give to people at their first visit:
We live in a world of financial instability. Healthcare is a major concern because of cost and access to care. Ultimately, your health is your responsibility and should be one of your highest priorities.

Because of my passion to empower others with the ability to live a healthy life, I believe in giving everyone who is truly desirous of attaining greater health, that opportunity. For this reason, I express to you my promise that if you cannot afford the recommended care to achieve your goals, I will personally arrange a comfortable solution, be it a longer payment schedule, a reduced fee (based on hardship), or something else. I have only Three rules should you need an alternate payment arrangement. 1. Stick to the program. 2. Don’t discuss the arrangement we have made with others. 3. Share your success.

In my office, health comes first!

Why am I willing to bend over backwards to help someone who may not be able to pay me what I am worth? Let’s just say that I truly believe that you reap what you sow. I look way beyond financial success for validation. If I can make a difference in someone’s life and lead them to good health, I feel confident that I will be sufficiently compensated in various ways including financially. So far, I haven’t been let down and have been able to support my family. Some call it Karma, I call it sticking to my purpose.

I cannot take responsibility for your health but I can show you an affordable way to dramatically improve your health. The question is are you ready to be an educated consumer? Don’t let the insurance companies or the government determine your health care. It’s up to you!

Thank You!

Just wanted to write a quick blog post thanking everyone for their participation in Patient Appreciation Week! All told, we saw over 180 patients, 30 of whom were new. Thank you for your kind referrals!