Category: Health

My Daily Serotonin Balance Support Protocol

By Michael Dorausch, D.C.

Good nutrition is something we can’t talk enough about. As a chiropractor, I often take for granted that people (including other chiropractors) are making healthy nutritional choices. There’s going to be as many opinions as to what “good nutrition” is, as there are doctors of chiropractic. That being said, here’s my typical weekly protocol for maintaining a healthy serotonin balance.

spinach tomato cucumber salad

Photo: One of my made at home organic salads

To me, it’s important to maintain my mood and stay focused, and the neurotransmitter serotonin helps plays a role in the process. I do best when I get enough sleep, eat well, minimize sugar intake, limit alcohol, and get outside for sun and exercise. As I’ve grown older, I’ve found this daily balance makes a tremendous difference in how my week goes.

My Daily Serotonin Balance Support Protocol

  • adequate sleep daily
  • whole organic foods
  • daily exercise
  • daily sunshine
  • minimal chemicals
  • minimal gluten
  • minimal sugars
  • minimal alcohol

Sleep: I start my days early (typically 5:30 am), so getting to bed before 10 pm nightly is essential for me. There’s no television (I don’t watch TV), phones, or other electronics in the bedroom, as I prefer a deep, and hopefully uninterrupted sleep.

Foods: The salad I had before writing this article (see photo) is typical for twice a day food intake. For years I though one salad a day was enough, and then last year I began preparing fresh salads for lunch and for dinner (salad twice daily). Admittedly, having chiropractors hours with long lunch breaks helps make this possible.

Spinach, mixed greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, nuts, seeds, peppers, mushrooms, eggs, avocados, go into my typical daily salads. I do my best to go organic whenever possible, and we grow several items at home.

I eat less protein than I did a few years ago, but mostly I’ve changed my sources of protein. I’m not getting into paleo, vegan, vegetarian, or other approaches here, just sharing what’s working for me.

Exercise: Basically, when I’m moving daily, I function at my best. Thank God I am a chiropractor, as I get plenty of steps in daily. For years, I’ve incorporated a simple routine that includes push ups and squats done nearly every morning. Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday are workout days. Weekends have become more physically chore focused vs. workout focused, and I’m doing well with that.

Sunshine: Walking the dog is a great way to get sun and vitamin D. I’ve had five Labrador retrievers (and one rottweiler) over the past 25 years, and they all loved long walks and hikes. It rarely rains where I live (Southern and Central California) and walking three times a day is a daily year round activity.

Chemicals: I do my best to avoid chemicals and advise my patients to do the same. We can all do a better job in minimizing processed foods, packaging, plastics, etc. Years ago I used a processed coffee creamer product. Somehow it slipped through and I wasn’t consciously thinking about it as an unnecessary toxic chemical substance I added to my body daily. Long after the illusion had set in that it tasted good (and had become habit), I became aware of it’s ill effects. I stopped using it.

Gluten: Like the creamer, over the years I’ve noticed foods that may appear to be tasty (or comforting) but don’t provide any benefit to me. I’m not gluten free, but I’m fairly close to zero when it comes to consuming gluten, breads, things like pizza, etc. I don’t seek gluten free alternatives either.

Sugar: Same goes for sugar, although I can do better here. I’m not 100% sugar free, but after not eating sweets, chocolate, etc… for a few years, the taste is often awful. But a fresh and creamy avocado? Bring it on.

Alcohol: Quite simply, I don’t like the effects of alcohol or often even the taste of most alcoholic drinks (that I’ve tried), so not consuming alcohol is easy for me. When I first began practicing chiropractic in the 1990s I set up a rule for myself: no alcohol consumption the day of or the day before adjusting someone. That left Friday night and Saturday for drinking (mostly beer). That rule (of which I created several, and I have no recollection consciously why) applies to this day. For example, I had a margarita on Friday afternoon while out to lunch with my family.

I’m reminded of the words of Dr. Sid Williams… “I am excited, I act excited, I feel excited.” Sleeping (including naps if required), eating well, exercising, getting sun, keeping toxins out of my body, etc… helps me act feel and be excited.

Radiology Terms Commonly Seen on Spine Radiologic Reports

In the past I’ve shared how to use an iPhone to photograph a persons xrays, showed marking of an AP Pelvic Lumber x-ray, as well as a LMFAO acronym on a neck xray.

Today I am sharng a list of words, along with brief definitions, that you may see in a spinal radiological report from a orthopedist, chiropractor or radiologist. The list is intended for individuals that have at least a basic education in radiology and radiologic terminology.

Anterolisthesis – anterior slippage of one vertebra with reference to the one below.

Biomechanical changes – diagnostic term referring to changes in normal motion of the spine. Flexion, extension, or lateral bending studies are nearly always included in the study if this term is utilized.

Congenital anomaly – a structure or defect of embryological origin that usually causes clinical signs or symptoms.

Convexity – lateral curvature of the spine that is less than 10 degrees. A convexity is named for the side toward which it bows outward (or outside of the “C” shape. A concavity is the inside of the “C” shape, the side toward which the spine curls).

Degenerative Disc Disease – a diagnostic term used to signify loss of disc height with little or no spondylophyte formation.

forward cervical flexion x-rayPhoto: Forward Flexion Cervical X-Ray

Degenerative Joint Disease (a.k.a. osteoarthrosis and formerly known as osteoarthritis) – a general term for degenerative processes that occur in any joint. Most commonly used for synovial joints. More specific terms are available to describe spinal degeneration.

Enthesopathy – a general term for disease process at the insertion of tendons, ligaments, or joint capsules onto bones.

Facet arthrosis – degeneration in facet joints (a diagnostic term).

Hyperkyphosis – an increase in the sagittal curve of a section of the spine that normally demonstrates a posterior convexity

Hyperlordosis – an increase in the sagittal curve of a section of the spine that normally demonstrates an anterior convexity.

Hypolordosis – a decrease in the sagittal curve of a section of the spine that normally demonstrates an anterior convexity.

Inclination – a lateral tilt of the spine without actual curvature.

Intervertebral osteochondrosis – a diagnostic term used for degeneration of the nucleus pulposus demonstrated by decrease in disc height with only minimal spondylophyte formation, subchondral sclerosis, and intradiscal vacuum phenomenon.

Laterolisthesis – lateral slippage of one vertebra with reference to the one below. This is rarely seen.

List – a lateral tilt of the spine without actual curvature.

Normal variant – a structure or defect present that causes no major change in appearance and is clinically insignificant.

Pelvic unleveling – viewed coronally, one innominate bone is lower than the other. The low side is the side that should be referred to.

Postural changes – diagnostic term referring to increased or decreased spinal curves, convexities of the spine, and unleveling of body parts.

Retrolisthesis – posterior slippage of one vertebra with reference to the one below.

Scoliosis – lateral curvature of the spine that is equal to or greater than 10 degrees.

Spondylolisthesis – diagnostic term describing slippage of one vertebra on another. May be subdivided into anteriolisthesis, posterolisthesis, or laterolisthesis. When using any of these terms, a measurement in millimeters should be given in the findings section, then a classification (grade) applied in the impressions section. The etiology should also be stated (i.e. dysplastic, isthmic, degenerative, traumatic, or pathologic).

Spondylolysis – a defect in the pars interarticularis of a vertebra. Spondylolisthesis is not necessarily present. Seen most commonly in the lumbar spine.

Spondylosis (a.k.a. Spondylosis deformans) – a diagnostic term used for spondylophytic (osteophytic) changes at the discovertebral margins of the vertebral bodies while disc height is maintained. This is degenerative disc disease involving primarily the anulus fibroslls.

Swayback – four criteria are necessary: Posterior weight bearing of the lumbar spine, extension of the lower lumbar spine, decreased lordosis of the upper lumbar spine, and lowering of the apex of the lumbar curvature.

Uncovertebral arthrosis – a diagnostic term for degeneration of the joints of von Luschka.

Grouse Grind Hike at Grouse Mountain Vancouver

A 2.9 km (1.8 miles) trail length with a 933 m (2800 feet) vertical rise makes Grouse Grind in Vancouver BC a perfect one hour (ish) cardio workout.

When mentioning to a client, that I was traveling to Vancouver for Canada Day and some hiking, he said “you’ve gotta do the Grouse Grind hike at Grouse Mountain.” I’m glad I listened to him as it was the perfect start to my Vancouver hiking weekend. Hop on bus 236 to Grouse Mountain and join me…

Grouse Mountain Bus Route236 Grouse Mountain Bus to Grouse Grind from downtown Vancouver was a good choice. I opted to use the Metro transit system (Translink <- site has lots of maps) while staying in Vancouver, versus renting a car. I’m glad I did. The transportation system in Metro Vancouver was spectacular for getting to all my destinations. To hike Grouse Mountain, I boarded an early morning bus near the Marriott Hotel in the Coal Harbor area, with the 236 dropping me off within a few hundred yards of the Grouse Grind trailhead.

Grouse Grind Trail Baden Powell TrailThe Baden Powell Trail and Grouse Grind trail signs are nearby the trailhead. Once you’ve reached the Grouse Mountain parking lot, it’s easy to locate the Grouse Grind Trailhead, since lots of people seem to be heading in that direction. If you don’t see it at first glance just ask around or visit guest services.

Grouse Grind Trail Posted SignsAttention Hikers – New closing and opening times for the Grouse Grind trail will be posted and take effect (see photo). I am sharing the above photo because I discovered (unfortunately later) it’s really important to pause before heading up on the trail and go over your hiking plans (especially when traveling as a group).

I am an avid and active hiker, and living in Los Angeles, I most frequently hike Mojave/Colorado desert (like hiking to the rock of faith) and mountain terrain over long distances. Don’t let the seemingly short distance of the Grouse Grind fool you, it can be extremely dangerous, if proper preparations are not made and precautions not taken.

Hiker Responsibility Code Grouse MountainFollow the Hiker Responsibility Code and know your limits. On the day that I hiked, the weather on the mountain had changed dramatically for the worse (and it was July!). By the time I had reached my return to the parking lot, there were several paramedic vehicles at the trailhead, with emergency teams racing up to make rescues. Stay safe and have a plan.

Notice to Hikers Grouse MountainThe Notice to Hikers regarding exclusion of liability and assumption of risk appears at the main fence and along the trail (once that I noticed). This sign alone should be enough reminder for people to review their safety essentials and hiking plans and to take the climb seriously. I put my camera away at this point, and didn’t take it back out, until I reached the top.

Downhill Travel Prohibited Grouse GrindDownhill Travel Prohibited was the first thing I saw when I reached the top and that was where my disappointment set in. My intention was to return the way I came, but that apparently wasn’t permitted (although I saw people doing so), so I decided to explore the Grouse Mountain area (it was raining) before returning to the parking lot on the sky tram.

Grouse Mountain Grouse Grind SkyrideThe Grouse Mountain Grouse Grind Skyride will return you back to the parking lot, but there is a fee, I believe it’s $10 one-way. I encountered numerous people at the top of the trail that didn’t know downhill travel was not permitted and also didn’t know there would be a fee to use transportation back down the mountain. I don’t mind that there is a fee, but hopefully there is now some sort of sign clearly posted, near the beginning of the trail.

Grizzly Bear British ColumbiaWatch out for grizzly bears on Grouse Mountain. You won’t see any grizzly bears along the trail (at least I don’t think you will) but if you have the time while up on the mountain you can take a walk over to the grizzly bear habitat (it’s fenced in). There is also a lumberjack show in the summer time, which is nearby the grizzly bear area.

Grind Timer Program Grouse MountainThe Grind Timer Program on a Grouse Mountain TV screen was a very cool sighting for us techies. I noticed a marker at the trailhead where it looked like people were activating timer chips. When I got to the top and saw this display I discovered what the purpose was for. What an excellent way to measure one’s performance for hiking the Grouse Grind. Notice the posted times are from about 43 minutes to 52 minutes. Depending on your endurance and your pace (and the amount of people ahead of you) you could finish in under 30 minutes (extremely fit) or take more than an hour and a half to complete the near two-mile all uphill hike.

Canadian Flag Grouse MountainCanadian Flag at Grouse Mountain underneath where the aerial tram boards to take you back down to the parking area. Look for the huge flag on your exit and take the tramway back down (don’t forget anybody from your party up on the mountain).

Hope you enjoyed the trip. In my next hiking post (it may be a while) we will visit Lynn Headwaters Regional Park and a trip through a Vancouver rainforest to Norvan Falls.

How to iPhone Chiropractic X-Rays

By Michael Dorausch, D.C.

This is both for chiropractors and chiropractic patients. Those of you that are chiropractors who take x-ray, chances are you have already done some experimentation with digitizing analog x-rays. The most common technique I’m aware of is to place the analog x-ray on a on a lighted viewbox, turn the flash off on the camera, focus and hold very steadily, and snap your photograph.

Everybody has different techniques, but I’ve found that having lights off in the room, and not allowing too much light coming in around the x-ray (meaning the film should cover the entire viewbox) help to get better quality images. However, I discovered an easier way for myself to make “digital copies” of my x-rays using my iPhone. If you haven’t already done so, this simple technique may come in handy. See this hand x-ray as an example.

Right Hand X-rayRight Hand X-Ray

A hand x-ray (my right hand) is what’s shown in the photograph (it’s the same one as seen in this hand x-ray). It’s nothing amazingly special (except that it’s my hand) but it was taken with my iPhone. I think it’s a pretty good quality image, and that’s what I’m getting at. Many people have complained that their iPhone lacks a flash for taking photos, but in the case of photographing x-ray film on a viewbox, it’s perfect for the task. Not only did I get a good quality image with a single camera click, the phone automatically stores location data as well. Basically, if you upload the photograph to a site that can read the EXIF data, it will include location. That can come in handy.

AP Lumbar Spine X-RayAP Lumbar Spine X-Ray

I’m showing another x-ray for an example, this one is a close-up on an anterior to posterior lumbar spine x-ray (aka AP Lumbar). Like the hand x-ray taken above, I took this photo with my mobile phone. What I had not mentioned yet, is that for both images, I did a conversion to black-and-white before uploading (should have done that with this cervical spine x-ray). That’s fairly easy to do with nearly any photo software. I noticed converting from color to black and white helped increase the contrast on the photo. While x-rays themselves appear to be black and white, chiropractors know that sometimes the film appears to be in shades of blue or shades of amber (for contrast, the x-ray shown here includes shades of greenish blue). This simple conversion helps pull out the color and makes for a better quality image (in my opinion).

Lateral Lumber Spine X-RayLateral Lumbar Spine X-Ray

Here’s one more image, an x-ray of the lumbar spine taken from a lateral position, aka Lumbar Lateral. The image is not as good on contrast as the hand shown at the top, but that’s based more on the soft tissue surrounding the vertebrae and lack of contrast on the original analog film. I already mentioned it’s easy to photograph an x-ray using one’s iPhone, I also mentioned that the image will include location data as well. This can come in handy for the person visiting a doctor’s office or health care providers facility, who wants to make a quick copy of their x-ray or x-rays. Don’t forget the black-and-white conversion, here’s one showing amber tones, I don’t think it looks as good as B&W.

It’s not the kind of thing I’d recommend for clinical study, or method of transporting film so that a radiologist can write a report, but it is a quick and easy way for a consumer to have a copy of their x-ray film (with the original never having to leave the office).

Imagine that was your hand x-ray and a doctor had just put it up on a viewbox to show you that your fingers were not fractured. You could take a quick photograph with your iPhone (no worry about flash) and have a pretty nice copy lickety-split. Now you can take that same image, and e-mail or text it to someone that may want to have a look at it. Lets say for example your significant other is a chiropractor or orthopedic doctor and you are on the other side of the country thinking you may have broken one of your fingers. Let’s just say I have first-hand experience in such situations.

Chiropractor Talks about 2009 Belmont Stakes

By Michael Dorausch, D.C.

The third leg of the 2009 Triple Crown is upon us, with the Belmont Stakes taking place on Saturday, in Elmont New York. When reporting on the May 16 Preakness Stakes I mentioned how growing up as a kid, my parents used to take us to Belmont Park, for weekend horse races. The 2009 Kentucky Derby was only the second sporting event I watched on TV so far this year (I also watched Super Bowl 43), followed by watching the 2009 Pimlico Preakness Stakes. I don’t watch a lot of television (that may seem kind of obvious). I do love sports though and I’ll be checking out the Belmont Stakes via ABC HD television.

I had the chance to get in touch with Sacramento chiropractor,  Dr. Jeri Anderson, who’s an expert on competitive horseracing. While everybody’s been talking about Mine That Bird and his amazing upset at the 2009 Kentucky Derby, I’ve been wondering how champion jockeys like Calvin Borel manage being on a horse, traveling at such a fast speed. I figured it’s got to be incredibly tough on the body.

I asked Dr. Anderson (besides being a chiropractor, she has a long history in competitive horse riding) what it’s like being on a horse in a situation like the Kentucky Derby or Belmont Stakes.

Here’s what she had to say…

The power of a horse accelerating out of the gate is explosive! However, the jockey is already concentrating on placement of their horse in the pack. Like a human runner, every horse has its own unique pace in a race. Some are better leading the whole way, and some have a finishing burst at the end. Besides monitoring the pace, the jockey has to always look for a path through the pack so that their mount does not get boxed in on the rail, or expends too much energy running on the outside of the pack (which causes a longer trajectory to the finish).

Jockeys do not have much of their leg wrapping around the barrel of the horse in comparison to traditional riding styles like western or even hunter/jumper. Therefore, jockeys must have incredible balance (proprioceptive sense) and leg and core strength. Jockeys have one of the most dangerous jobs on earth, with many suffering spinal fractures, spinal cord injuries and/or head injuries during their careers (often ending their careers), even at the most elite levels of talent and experience.

One of the ways that a jockey communicates effectively with their horse is through their hands. They must possess a good feel in their hands to communicate with the horse without impeding the horse’s forward motion. Great jockeys become one with the horse. Looking at them in the distance, it just looks like one being moving, not a separate horse and rider. Great jockeys are fluid and move with the horse without impeding the horse’s effort. They can conserve the horses energy without fighting with it and unleash that energy at the perfect moment. Riding at that level is very exhilarating!

By the way, great horses are competitive and know and love their jobs. They have their unique personalities and quirks. Trainers and exercise riders communicate the horses unique traits and needs to the jockeys!

On the topic of New York’s Belmont Stakes, Dr. Jeri reminded me that most jockeys and riders functioning at elite levels in equestrian sports are receiving chiropractic care. She emphasized that their careers depend on it. She also reminded me that many of the race horses are adjusted as well (watch a chiropractic for horses video here).

For those of you watching on Saturday, the Belmont Stakes Post Time is set for around 6:27 PM Eastern time. It is a million-dollar horse race, featuring three-year-olds on a 1 1/2 mile dirt track. Belmont Stakes TV Coverage is provided by ESPN from noon until 5 PM (Eastern time) and the Belmont Stakes will be broadcast on ABC ( with live coverage from 5 PM to 7 PM).

This link to some 2009 Preakness coverage includes a video replay of the 2009 Kentucky Derby, where 50 to 1 long shot Mine That Bird, pulled off a monumental upset. The above photo (featuring horse Mine That Bird) initially appeared in this Pimlico Preakness Stakes article. Filly Rachel Alexandra won that race.

Medical Marijuana MD Referrals

By Michael Dorausch, D.C.

Who says medical doctors don’t want to work with chiropractors? While I’ve been in practice the number one type of medical doctor often seeking referrals from my office has been orthopedic surgeons and neurologists. They offer steak dinners and other incentives in hopes of introducing local chiropractors to the latest surgical procedures in spinal surgery. No worries by me, I’ve made quite a few referrals to local medical doctors, and they’ve made plenty more chiropractic referrals, back my way.

In the past two weeks I’ve seen an increase in medical marijuana marketing materials showing up at the office. It’s one of those things that I’d suspect both medical doctors and chiropractors across the US would shake their head at in disbelief. In case you are not aware, prescriptions of marijuana written by medical doctors for medicinal purposes, are not at all uncommon in the state of California.

medical-marijuana-evalsTo the left is a screenshot from one of the postcard like medical marijuana marketing materials I’ve received. One medical clinic sent a very detailed guide on prescribing marijuana for patients, not by chiropractors, but by medical doctors. They are looking for referrals and are hoping we send patients to their way.

For people that are used to the saying no to drugs message or the drug-free message, seeing even images of marijuana may be bothersome. To think that health care professionals are actively seeking referrals in order to get cannabis into the hands of more people, may really be throwing some people for a loop. But it is what it is.

Since I’m not sure which other states in the nation offer legalized marijuana when prescribed by medical doctors, I figured I’d share this information, even just so people can understand how different healthcare practices can potentially be, in the state of California.

Below is information from one of the letters my office received from a group of medical doctors providing marijuana prescriptions in three major California cities.

The letter reads as follows…

You or your colleagues may have chronically ill patients who are resistant or non responsive to their current treatment. As you may know, Proposition 215 and SB 420 were passed by California voters allowing qualifying seriously ill Californians the use of cannabis medicinally as an alternative medicine. At [medical clinic name witheld] our mission is to provide patients with a reliable, quality medical evaluation. Patients are evaluated to determine if their medical condition may benefit from a trial of medical marijuana or other alternative treatment protocols in a safe, confidential, and professional environment. Here at [medical clinic name witheld], we are committed to providing patients with both resources and support.

Some of the conditions that would qualify patients are: Cancer, H.I.V., chronic pain, Glaucoma, Anorexia, Arthritis, Insomnia, Multiple Sclerosis, Nausea and many others. Under these laws, California physicians are able to recommend the medical use of Cannabis as a form of treatment. You may find more information regarding the laws and our services on our website. We have found that by integrating traditional Western medicine with alternative treatment modalities our patients can benefit from a better treatment outcome and hence a better quality of life. We have physicians located in Los Angeles, Long Beach, San Diego and Palm Springs to provide patients with a complete medical evaluation. If you or your patients have the need for any additional information please feel free to contact us. We appreciate your time and support and hope to have the opportunity to work with you in serving patients in our community.


Whether people like it or not, health care in America is changing.

FLU SHOT Survey: Getting one? Got one? No plans to get shot?

By Michael Dorausch, D.C.

I was reading a Reuters report that stated fewer than a third of U.S. adults have received a flu vaccine so far this year and only about half said they intended to get one. The report goes on to explain why the authors feel this is the case.

Rather than rely soley on drug company (partially) funded surveys I created a survey of my own, and had results in about 15 minutes. (This isn’t intended as health care advice, it’s just a collection of what people have to say on the issue.) Using my @chiropractic Twitter profile I posted the following tweet…

FLU SHOT Survey: Getting one? Got one? No plans to get shot?

I performed a search for replies to my tweet and took screenshots. Here’s what people had to say about getting a flu shot.

Out of those three replies it looks like we’ve got one person that already had the flu and doesn’t plan on getting a shot, one person has gotten the shot a month ago, and one person got a flu shot and still got the flu. Total = 2 for shot + 1 for not.

In the next set of results we have one not having the time but wanting to get a flu shot, one person that’s already had a flu shot, and two people that have no plans to get the flu shot this year.

I had seven different replies regarding thoughts on the flu shot, so I began preparing this post. When I went to make the screenshots, there were more replies, so I’ve included those as well.

Out of the four replies shown above, we have one saying no way they would get the flu shot, one saying they’ve already had the flu so no go, a third one saying no, and a fourth saying never had a flu shot and no plans to get one. That’s 4 for NO on the flu shot (not good news for flu-shot manufacturers).

But we’re not done yet, I had three more replies.

In this batch we have never got a flu shot and no intentions to get one now, no flu shot for the strong and healthy, and no plans to get the flu shot. That’s a total of three more no’s for getting the flu shot.

Lets total up the numbers. 14 people replied. 3 people got the flu shot and 1 person is planning on getting the flu shot. 10 responded as not planning to get the flu shot. 1 is planning on getting the shot.

3 things I’ve learned from conducting this survey: 1) if these numbers represent general consensus there is going to be a massive surplus of flu shot available for the 2008-2009 flu season; 2) we could save the government and flu shot manufacturers tons of money by doing surveys like these; 3) people on twitter are wicked cool (at least the ones that are following me).

Many thanks to @Pamela_Lund, @steaprok, @TheMadHat, @bharshe, @DannyDover, @WordCures, @kwlow, @thesteffy, @pratt, @lyndseo, @MattMeeks, @CarrieHill, @kid_disco, @rumblestrip, and @BuySellDomains.

NOTE: After completing this post I noticed more replies on this topic. If you want to share your thoughts on getting the flu shot or not getting the flu shot, feel free to post them to the comments, and/or message me on twitter with the hash tag #Flu.

Cervical Spine X-Ray Lesson – LMFAO

By Michael Dorausch, D.C.

This post is real simple. The goal is to provide an easy to remember acronym to be used when identifying 5 important parts related to the human cervical spine (neck) as shown on the following x-ray. Landmarks highlighted with red letters identify the parts to be remembered.

LMFAO - Cervical Spine X-Ray

LMFAO – Cervical Spine X-Ray

L stands for Lamina – In the cervical spine, the lamina is thin area of bone that helps create a protective ring over the spinal cord. The surgical procedure involving the removal of lamina is referred to as a Laminectomy. The procedure may be performed in cases when a ruptured spinal disc may need to be removed or when bone spurs are putting pressure on the spinal cord.

M stands for Muscle – When taking x-rays on exceptionally muscular individuals, the seventh cervical vertebrae and first thoracic vertebrae areas of the spine may not be as visible on a lateral film. On the x-ray shown above, only six bones in the neck can be counted. In some cases, having an individual hold an object in each arm (such as a 5 pound weight) while relaxing their shoulder muscles, can help improve viewing of this area on x-ray.

F stands for Foramina – Two nerves exit the spine at each cervical vertebra and they pass through the foramina, one on the left and one on the right. Many people don’t realize nerves exit at each level of the cervical spine. It’s not uncommon that tingling or numbness felt in one’s arms and hands can be the result of pressure on nerves in one’s neck. Foramina is the plural term and neural foramen is the term to identify a single area.

A stands for Atlas – Positioned at the very top of the spine is the first cervical vertebrae, sometimes referred to as C1 or the Atlas. The atlas features two thick bony arches that form a large opening for the spinal cord to pass through. It is the spinal bone located nearest to the brainstem and it is often identified by chiropractors as the most important vertebrae to be in adjustment.

O stands for Occiput – The Occiput is an area of bone located at the base of the skull. It is an important lateral cervical spine x-ray landmark commonly used in identifying location and positioning of the first cervical vertebrae (Atlas). A skeletal abnormality sometimes seen in the upper cervical spine is known as atlanto-occipital fusion, or occipitalization of the atlas.

So there is your anatomy lesson for the day. Go ahead and show your friends how smart you are.

L amina
M uscle
F oramina
A tlas
O cciput

easily remembered as LMFAO

Fluoride is Poison

By Michael Dorausch

I was reviewing a news post from earlier today regarding a fluoridation hearing taking place in San Diego on June 10, 2008, and afterwards I performed a simple search for the phrase “Fluoride is Poison” and I was floored by the results. Far more resources that I had expected with information on fluoride being a toxic poison.

Watch this video on cities voting to remove fluoride from their municipal water supplies…

Planet Chiropractic fluoride, fluoridation, water related news archives can be searched here.

Think all this hubbub on fluoridation are the rantings of crazy whack jobs that want to live in an environmentally friendly world, or is the scientific evidence that initially supported the pumping of fluoride into municipal water supplies as bogus as getting warts from touching frogs?

Equine Chiropractic for Horses and Thoroughbreds

By Michael Dorausch, D.C.

With today being the 2008 Kentucky Derby (Big Brown was the winner) I thought I’d share a video of chiropractors adjusting horses.

That may come as a surprise to some but chiropractors in the USA have been providing care to horses, dogs, and other animals for more than 100 years. While the first years of chiropractic were focused on care for humans, the popularity of adjusting animals has continued to grow.

There are continuing education and school programs for chiropractors seeking to provide care to animals, I’d suggest doing some searches for things like Equine Chiropractic, Horse Chiropractic, Veterinary Chiropractic, Animal Chiropractic,  or Veterinarian Chiropractors.

Licensing for providing care to animals varies from state to state with some states requiring joint veterinary licensure of the overseeing of chiropractic care by a licensed veterinarian. I’m coming across more chiropractors taking care of animals each year, I’m also meeting more veterinarian practitioners that incorporate chiropractic care (and sometimes acupuncture and massage for animals) into their professional practices.

Check out this six minute video on a Caledonia chiropractor working on a horse. The video and the music is a little bit cheesy, but the chiropractor gets his point across.

As he mentions in the video, the horse is having a problem with her back leg. The chiropractor begins by checking the horses neck first, stating that he’s looking for muscle tightness throughout the joints in the neck. He palpates down the horses spine, checking the thoracic spine and the lumbar spine.

There’s plenty of chiropractic adjusting videos now online, including those involving adjustments for animals like thoroughbred horses. Do some searches for the terms listed above and add video to the search phrase to find what you’re seeking. Thanks to the chiropractor in Ontario that originally posted the video to YouTube. We’re glad it was available.