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St. Louis chiropractic blog & videos by Dr. Jeffrey S. O'Guin

C.R.I.S.P

Clinical Reasoning In Spine Pain Clinical reasoning in spine pain (CRISP) is an evidence based approach for the evaluation and management of spinal pain conditions. It sorts out the multitude of theories and methods, leaving only the most practical and relevant treatment options. This approach combines and utilizes effective techniques from a variety of therapeutic disciplines. Most importantly, there is the recognition of the need for patient education and self-management strategies. The Current Model Could Benefit From Some Improvements There are several reasons why a new model is necessary. First, costs for the treatment of spine pain have been rising for decades. Recent estimates are as high as $87 billion/year. The  increase in cost can be attributed to unnecessary imaging studies and premature utilization of invasive procedures. Also, there are many chiropractic and physical therapy clinics that tend to treat more than necessary. CRISP advocates to treat as little as possible during acute...

Low Back Pain- In a Nutshell

Dealing with low back pain can be frustrating and confusing because what works for some may not work for you. The type of therapy that will be most effective depends mostly on what is causing the pain. In order to better understand your treatment options, it’s important to consider the different tissues that can be injured. Structures of the Spine There are essentially four different structures of the spine that can be injured and cause low back pain. Discs are the cushions in between vertebrae that allow us to be mobile. Over time they can become injured and basically wear down. Joints are where bones come together. There are small joints along the vertebrate in your spine and larger joints such as the in the hip; any of which can become restricted and cause pain. Muscles are the movers of the body and can develop trigger points or knots and muscle spasms....

How to Naturally Heal a Pinched Nerve or Disc Bulge

Learning that you have a pinched nerve or disc bulge can be discouraging. However, there is good news; our bodies are capable of healing these injuries on their own. Nerves can regenerate and discs can re-absorb, if not completely eliminating the pain associated with these injuries that at least minimizing it. In this video I lay out several key strategies to help your body along while it heals. Controlling Inflammation Aside from the tradition anti-inflammatory drugs that may be prescribed to you, nutrition plays a significant role in inflammation. Essentially, avoiding refined foods is the best course of action. Recovering from an injury is a big task for your body and nutrition can either help your body heal or get in the way of the healing. So this is the time to take extra care of your body while it works to put things back together. For a more in depth look...

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Chiropractor Says Yoga is Best Choice for Back Pain

Yoga had a really big year in 2017! Consumer reports found that yoga was the most helpful and preferred option for treating back pain (Real Relief From Back Pain, June 2017). Additionally, a published study in the Annals of Internal Medicine found yoga to be equally as effective as physical therapy for back pain. As a chiropractor and spine health specialist, I am not surprised by these findings. Extensive research is regularly showing that active therapies are usually the best option for managing back pain. I have been an advocate for yoga and have recommended it to my patients for many years. Therapies such as myofascial release and spinal manipulation were right behind yoga in effectiveness, and are additional measures to create optimal alignment, balance and symmetry. However, it is in actively being involved that has the greatest outcomes  in regard to spinal health. In this post, I am going to...

Is it Safe to Crack My Own Neck

Is it Safe? There is no conclusive research that would lead us to come down hard on this question. So in order to understand the relationship between joint popping and joint health we should take a closer look at what a spinal manipulation accomplishes. A spinal manipulation is meant to firstly increase the range of motion of a joint. For instance, if you find that you can turn your head farther the right than the left, a spinal manipulation would likely help the joint recover that extra mobility on the left side. Aside from increasing range of motion spinal manipulations can often relieve pain and even improve muscle relaxation for an individual. It is important to note that the popping/cracking noise that you hear during a spinal manipulation is merely a byproduct of the manipulation and not the goal of the adjustment. It is a result of the pulling apart of...

Refined foods and the overfed state

I was blessed with a speedy metabolism and ability to eat large quantities of just about anything with no consequences; or so I thought. I assumed that because I didn't gain weight it didn't matter what or how much I ate. As I've learned more about nutrition and implemented healthy eating plans, I have been able to change the way I feel and perform. When I look back on my childhood and most of my adult life, I can  recount underlying issues that were definitely related to the foods that I ate. I suffered from ADD and had an incredibly difficult time focusing (I made horrible grades). There were also digestive issues I thought I had to live with and a poor functioning immune system. I now know that avoiding refined foods and overfeeding = I feel better, think better, have more energy and an overall stronger/healthier body. When centenarians (people...

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What’s the deal with gluten?

With gluten free products springing up everywhere, many are left wondering what all of the fuss is about. They are asking; what is gluten and why is it so bad? Gluten is a name given to a group of proteins found mostly in wheat, rye and barley. Because these grains are used to make breads, pastas, flours, and to thicken most sauces/soups, they're encountered in almost everything the typical American eats. The reason that grains have been demonized lately is due to the popularity of diets such as the paleo and ketogenic diets. There's also the anti-inflammatory diet which uses the motto that 'grains inflame'.  Additionally, there has been a recent surge in people being diagnosed with gluten sensitivities (causes low grade digestive issues and inflammation). I'm not referring to Celiac disease which is a major health issue. The gluten sensitivity that is gaining attention causes people to suffer from digestive...

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What the hell can I eat?

With hundreds of diets to choose from and thousands of specialists and celebrities to listen to, figuring out what to eat can be crazy difficult. The ever changing research telling us what's good or bad is overwhelming. Eating whole grains is good for you but gluten is horrible (gluten is in grains)! If you find yourself questioning the bombardment of information, but at the same time want good relevant information, then keep reading. The first thing to understand is that there's not one perfect diet that works for everyone. This is because there are variations in metabolic and hormone responses between different people and the foods they eat. As just one example of this, consider eating something as simple as a banana. For some people there is a very slow and steady rise and fall of blood sugar levels after eating the banana. For others, there may be a sharp peak...

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Low Back Pain From Deadlifts

Getting low back pain after performing a deadlift is becoming more common with this exercise gaining so much more popularity. This used to be an exercise almost exclusively done by power lifters. With core stability becoming a big buzz word, this exercise is being recognized as a great option. The 'Core' muscles include all muscles that connect to the pelvis. Most importantly, the abdominal muscles and the glutes. The core is the center of gravity and the foundation for all other movements. Keeping these muscles strong can have far reaching health benefits, including helping with back pains. What makes the deadlift so appealing is that it uses so many muscles all with one movement. If the deadlift is so great, why do so many people hurt themselves while doing it? There are a couple of answers to that. First, most people don't use correct form and posture. Proper pelvis alignment while doing...