Archive for August 2013

Doctor, Why Does My Child Twitch?

August 28, 2013

This month seems to be the month that I finally address this question. Parents, mostly mommies, will watch their children with an eagle eye and notice faint twitching happening throughout the body. Sometimes you will see a faint small one in an arm and within the next second one on the opposite leg. Then later the child is diagnosed as fidgety or worse ‘ADHD’ with suggestion that medication would help this hyperactivity. As they grow into the adult form of this symptom, they may still be labelled ADHD, and the twitching never goes away.

First, we need to answer, what is this twitching? It is not a full on muscular involuntary contraction. It is actually a fine muscle fiber contraction. I think that it is the body’s attempt to release or dissipate tension.

Second, how is this tension acquired? Because this is a blog about osteopathic philosophy, the tension is usually always traumatically acquired, and most of the time this is acquired through a high velocity impact. Of all my twitchy cases, there has not been one that was acquired slowly over time in the manner of a repetitive stress injury. They have been from falls (by rolling mostly) off the bed, pushed or shoved off the bed by a sibling, or at worse months to years after being involved in…a car accident.

After an accident, most parents don’t notice any problems that they can immediately attribute to the impact. They brush it off and soon it is out of their mind. Maybe a year or so later, mom will see something, get suspicious and then continue observing.

Why does it take months or years for this twitching to appear? At the time of impact, children are mostly water and their bones are mostly cartilage. They rarely break anything on impact. They just bounce. But that impact makes an impression of shock and the tissues (and future muscles) will seize up into that form. Later, when the child’s body attempts to growth out of that contractured state, tensions will develop along those lines. The child usually does not feel pain from these tensions primarily because their body, brain and spinal cord developed around these strains and mold them into the developmental pattern as ‘normal.’

Just like my “Doctor, Why are My Legs Heavy?” this post will answer a simple question that remains unaddressed or ignored by medical professionals all over the world. How do I know this with such certainty? Let me prove this to you and predict what will happen. Let’s prove this…First, have your child lay down. Have him or her pull he knees to chest, use the arms to hold the knees to chest. Have your child relax and keep the eyes closed…and just wait and watch…more twitching will come out! Sorry, I cannot explain to you how to disengage this activity from the brain and spinal cord, to reboot the system and reset it…too complex and esoteric…I only discovered this in the last several months. Let me now predict what will happen with the physical body. As your child growths up, there will be tensions on the lower extremity which might manifest in growing pains, tightness, or more twitching. From above, the development in the shoulders will be restricted, and they will be relatively narrow to the size and height of the child. Those restrictions will also impinge on the front portion of the head and neck. The neck will be pulled down and forward in hyperextension and the jaw and chin will be narrow and pointy giving your child an elfish or pixie look. Don’t worry…again, this is not painful…it is just evidence of constraints and tensions…it is not dangerous. It is a tension state that the body learns to accomodate. Later, when they grow up, these physical features remain. They will be relevant when your child has any further trauma or just ages. It becomes another load for the body to bear in addition to the gravitational work, at some point, somethings going to give…How do I know? I’ve seen it and I have treated it and the precise treatment results in instantaneous changes, which proves the theory.

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Villain #2

August 19, 2013

All right…here it is…after discovering The Intubated Head and Neck Syndrome as a huge contributing factor in human disease, pain and suffering, I have decided that I found the second most villainest villain in all the history of villainy to be… the…dentist…

Most doctors studying the development of the head and neck focus on the first 3 cervical vertebrae because their structure are significantly different for different functions. These neck bones form from different parts. As they mature, these parts fuse to form permanent solid adult bony structure. On average, stages of fusion occur at 3, 5 and 7 years of age…The dental associations now have a pediatric dental subspecialty. Pediatric dentists say that children should start their first dental exam at around 3 years of age. Supposing their primary teeth are rotted out because of milk bottle caries, it is so bad that they want/have to do baby root canals and other procedures…So these kids are anesthetized, their heads and necks are positioned for ease and convienence of the dentist to access and yank, tug, drill, etc. Their undeveloped brain and spinal cord, once they wake up, are now reset to a hyperextended head and neck position as being “normal.” They grow up not knowing any different. Until they age, have sports injuries, head injuries, get into car accidents, have babies and one day the wake up with a migraine, or have symptoms of a herniated disc. Then they have chronic pain for which the CMS prescribe meds, injections or surgeries. If they seek nonmeds, nonconventional options they have massage, deep tissue massage, chiropractic, acupuncture, PT, other types of “bodyworkers” whose imprecise hands at best help the injuries peripherally and at worst, imparts additional force and strain. it is unfortunate but the conventional medical system does not take into account all these procedures as injuries loaded onto and straining a system. even worse still, osteopathic medical education does not teach us this either. i had to come to this understanding on my own 13 years after becoming a pediatrician. In effect, these injuries are permanently embedded because no one in the world recognizes them as such. Even now that i am shouting out to the world the insidious pernicious dangers, the public may take heed, but to find an osteopathic physician who can undo them is pretty much close to impossible (other than me).

I am increasingly skeptical and cynical that human health and preventative services really serve to improve over health conditions. Maybe what we should do is practice common sense traditional ways of raising our children, eating whole unprocessed diets, staying in an active lifestyle and then waiting for problems to show up and then only intervening when they are severe. Maybe we should continue to be ever skeptical, cynical and vigilant against guilds and professional ‘trade associations’ and their proclamations of ‘preventative visits’ as a means of early intervention in the service of mankind.

This week, one of my old established patients came in for a minor eye infection. I had not seen her in a few months. In the meantime she completed the first phase of braces, which is palate expansion. i looked at the way her head sat on her first cervical vertebrae and her chin and nose seemed angulated/cocked upwards…Her head and neck thought that she was still sitting in that dental chair. I watched her through the visit and she and her mother were unaware. We discussed the problem but the parent reported that the dentists really want to get these corrections done early before dental permanence…but lets consider their rationale…the trade off then would be imparting changes in the head and neck and locking those injuries in permanently…

Yes…i am now an anti-dentite. My kids are 5 and 3.5 years. So what if their primary teeth have cavities? Those teeth would have to be rotted before i take them in. I am going to try to not take them in until they are 10 years old at least. Yeah, I know, some people are going to say…hmmm…bad mommy…well…i will just have to tolerate it quietly to myself…because i do know better…hopefully you will consider this for yourself and your family.

Update: It is 7 months later and my work on a daily basis, confirms my this post and my feeling that we are doing much too much, much too soon…this is something I label “The Dental Chest.” All you men out there who look at yourselves in the mirror, while you are showering, and wonder but have never thought to ask, “Doctor, why is my chest caved in?” Well, now at least this doctor will read your mind and provide you with some insight. Concomittant with sunken in chest, the structure of the rib cage is such that the lower ribs flare out and appear raised (when you lay down) and down the middle of the rib cage there is a narrowing. These are adaptations to the strain in the neck caused by the insidious dental positioning. Unfortunately, there are also long term alterations to the drainage of the veins in your skull. When I see this in my patients, I am always horrified at how heavy the head is and even more so by the fact that you patients are unaware of it. So yes guys, if this sounds and looks like you, I can predict that you had a lot of dental work and/or braces in your teenage years. The good news is that this is fixable, your body wants to change. The bad news is…they don’t teach this to us in school…you will have to find a good DO osteopathic physician who can understand this post and fix it for you.

This is Jason's sternum. Note the depression in the middle of his chest.  His sternum is caved in and sunken.

This is Jason’s sternum. Note the depression in the middle of his chest. His sternum is caved in and sunken.

Here is Jason's chest.  I call it The Dental Chest.  He had braces for 3 years in his mid teens.

Here is Jason’s chest. I call it The Dental Chest. He had braces for 3 years in his mid teens.

Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and the Intubated Neck Syndrome

August 7, 2013

Here i go again, haranging on this subject…it seems to be the top offender on my list of acquired iatrogenic traumas of the head and neck (#2 and #3 i will reveal in future posts) it might just be as dangerous as the all time top accidentally acquired sudden deceleration injuries of the neck from car accidents and falls…it is insidious because in the long term, it leads to a deranged structure that eventually influences our metabolism and how our body functions on a day to day basis and it just goes downhill from there. It is pernicious in that the patient may or may not have neck pain, maybe just chronic tension as a warning symptom. This week one of my patients reminded me that I stabilized her thyroid hormone levels just with osteopathic treatments. The reason I completely forgot about that is because another healthcare provider was monitoring her blood levels, and he was flummoxed as to how she was able to do it…so while we were in a treatment for a completely different reason (pelvic issues) i shared with her my recent discovery of the Intubated Neck Syndrome and my rationale for why it can eventually lead to Hashimoto’s. The gland is a very delicate tissue. It is adhered to the front of the neck and it can be felt just underneath the skin of the neck. Where does it get its blood supply? certainly not through the front…the answer is that it is fed from…underneath…so there are branches off the carotid arteries that flow in front of the neck and they pierce the underside of the thyroid gland that just sits right on top of it. so any injury that causes that neck to hyperextend will actually kink those blood vessels. over time, that poor gland is choking and struggling to survive…it starts to sputter in its function…i actually think that Hashimoto’s is probably on the rise. Why? The neck is a delicate structure that has no external bracing of support. Any sort of injury will almost always cause hyperextension. Very rarely do i ever see hyperflexion injuries of the neck. It is the very nature of the 7 neck bones stacked one on top of the other that leads to this problem and life in general. i see hyperextension injuries also in spinning, cycling, sitting at a desk, sitting at a computer screen, adults delivered by forceps as infants, falls to the tailbone, dental work, hair salon, lets not forget the intubations. although these are injuries that cause an upward shear of tissues, even downward gravitational drags on the neck from pregnancies, weight gain and aging can throw off the balance of tensions to affect the blood supply…how many of you out there know people who have at least 1 of theses types of injuries? i would venture to guess that we all have had some form and combinations of these injuries, which means we all have varying degrees of neck hyperextension…which means everyone in the world is potential sufferers of the consequences of neck hyperextension when i address the neck, my patients feel better, their head feels lighter, why shouldn’t their thyroid recover over time as well? I am treating a new patient with only half a thyroid gland, the other half was taken because it had too many nodules. She had surgery several years ago and is on synthroid (18 surgeries, so far, is her lifetime total). She asked that I blog about my theory so that others who are still searching may be helped…despite all the exercising, it is the insidious metabolic changes that makes Hashimoto’s so tough for patients. you feel like you do not have any control over what is supposed to be your body…i believe my words will resonate with many of you sufferers out there…seek osteopathic treatment…
ADDENDUM: If you want to take a look at some great before and after treatment photos, i have the new beverly hills website at http://www.holisticpaindoc.com