Vaccination versus immunization

I've had this conversation at least ten times a day since the swine flu has been at the forefront of people's minds:  THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN VACCINATION AND IMMUNIZATION.  Vaccination is simply an injection of a virus, usually weaker or entirely killed, and immunization means that someone will never get the disease.

This week I'm actually writing this blog from home, with my son who has chicken pox.  He could have gotten the vaccination for this disease, but we (his mom and I) decided he didn't need it.  So now he's covered with blisters, and he's doing just fine, watching videos and playing games, reading books with dad.

Because he got the full-on wild type of chicken pox, he'll be immunized from the disease.  Our neighbors down the street decided for the vaccination.  Is their child immunized?  Maybe.

The difficult thing for any parent, especially for a chiropractor, is to limit the risks for our child(ren) if it's the right choice for you, it's the right choice.

Bar Coding

Thought I'd share the new binary logo of DCC.  It was posted on Google just a hew days ago, as it was the anniversary of the bar code.  It's interesting the many chiropractors use bar coding for their entry of charges, and I think its funny that something so huge (the chiropractic adjustment, a diagnosis for a dynamic human being) could be so coldly and tersely described with a bar code.   Well, here you are, Seattle!

Aww, our downtown symbol for Chiropractic for computer geeks!
Aww, our downtown symbol for Chiropractic for computer geeks!

Really? It's been that long since I wrote a blog entry?

It's something I've been meaning to do.  Lately I have been spending some time each day answering a question and my answers there have been a bit more than the average website. You can see that I'm now ranked # 4 in my field, and I've only been doing it for a couple of months (coinciding with my last entry here). If you are interested in what I'm saying, you should check it out there sometime!

*********UPDATE*****************, without any forewarning, closed down their site. Their site now states:

After more than 19 years, and over two million questions answered, is now closed. We apologize for any inconvenience.

You can find our latest Expert-answered content at is nothing more than an article site. It's so disappointing that all that time and effort to answer people's specific questions is all now for naught, and the answers given not only by me, but by everyone else there, are lost to the ether. Sad.

Ball training and sailing - Wow

Chiropractors for years have accepted that ball training is awesome.  It's something I certainly recommend for someone who is sedentary, like most of Seattle's chiropractors, we see a lot of patients who sit at a computer all day long.  I know I do working in Downtown Seattle!   I usually recommend ball exercses to almost all of my patients, telling them to lay over the ball and let gravity stretch them out.  However, sailors are a different breed... they need to do extended sit-ups to hike their weight out from the boat.  That's why I was so suprised to see this picture on Sailing, with top Laser sailors using the ball for better balance on the boat. Using a chiropractic ball for balance on a boat

You can see that this is a really small boat..  It's pretty ingenious to try and use it for sailing, and gets tme to thinking what other sports it could be incorporated into.  Bowling?  Tennis?  Seems like sailing may be the only one I can think of!  Cool, nonetheless.

Subject: C2 Vertebrae - Muscle Atrophy

In 2001, I fractured my C2 vertebrae in two places, as well as my skull in three. In the past couple of years, I have noticed that in my right side, I am experiencing muscle atrophy of my neck, shoulder, arm and hand.
I am wondering, what do I do? Will it continue to shrink, or is there any way I could fix it? Any kind of information you can give me, or any websites or resources you could refer me to would be greatly appreciated.
Answer: You need to get checked out immediately. Atrophy is serious, and can indicate something far more insidious.  I don't want to scare you, but I do want you to schedule an appointment with your local neurologist ASAP!!!!
As for online resources for your condition... it may be better to actually get evaluated instead of figuring it out on your own.   Having an actual diagnosis would be far better than guessing about it on the net.   If you need help finding a neurologist please access me through my website,

Blisters and blister prevention

For every year, I have been a part of the Breast Cancer 3 Day here in Seattle, always as a chiropractor.   I'ts remarkable to me that there are SO many blisters that form on the walkers' feet...  and the resulting infections.

Blisters are really simply a friction problem.  Sliding of the the skin back and forth over the underlying layer forces the body to lay down serosanguinous (blood and clear fluid) under the first layer, putting pressure on the delicate tissue underneath.  This is a blister!!  If left alone, the body will generally resorb the fluid, and the blister will dry, leaving a toughened area of skin called a callus.

How then, do you avoid a blister? AVOID FRICTION!  Wear ThorLo socks, the kind with two layers.  They will rub on each other instead of your skin.  Put talcum powder or BodyGlide on your feet... they act as a lubricant to reduce friction.  Often, I'll see walkers put duct tape on their feet, or the Band Aids for blisters.  Both of these products decrease friction, as well.

Of the best options I've seen are the "Strong Tea Soak", where one brews up really strong tea and soaks their feet in it every night.  The tannins from the tea help to "leatherize" your feet, and naturally reduce friction.  THe more scientific way to do this is to get tincure of benzoin, which accomplishes the same thing.  This is the product they use on the sled dogs of Alaska's Iditarod.

When on the course, I'd recommend that each night walkers allow their feet to dry out completely as possible.  Wetness simply leads to increased friction.  Walking with more than one pair of shoes is important, too, as one pair of shoes can become wet and yield to painful results.

What do you do about blisters?  Every podiatrist I know recommends that if the blister is smaller than a dime, LEAVE IT.  The skin is a great infection barrier.  If the blister is larger than that, drain it, disinfect it, and then apply second skin with moleskin on top of that.

After the walk, let your feet dry out.  the body can do amazing things, such as resorbing the fluid, but it needs time to accomplish the task.  If you want more advice, come see me in the medical tent!

Chondromalacia Patella

What is chondromalacia patella? It literally means the cartilage (chondro) malacia (bad or soft) patella (kneecap).

The kneecap (patella) has a ridge under it that rides up and down in a groove of the leg bones. If for any reason the ridge runs up and down the side of that groove, it will slowly grind away the cartilage, causing pain whenever the kneecap “rubs you the wrong way”.

There are a number of ways to treat the issue. The easiest way is to buy a CHO PAT strap, something that controls the motion of the kneecap, so that it doesn’t slide up and down. Symptom relieved!

The cause, however, is the real issue. The patella is essentially a part of the quadriceps muscle, which has four muscle heads. Two of the muscles are straight up and down, and two of them pull obliquely, pulling the kneecap out of alignment and causing the condition. More than 90 percent of the patients I have seen exhibit a weakness of the quadriceps muscle on the inside of their knee. This muscle, called the vastus medialis, is responsible for the last 15 degrees of extension of the leg. This means that to work it out, and make it stronger, only the last 15 degrees should be worked. The easiest way to do this?

Get on the leg extension machine and lift less weight, only lifting the last little bit. Build the muscle, change the direction of the patella, and get rid of your problem! Woo Hoo!

Shoe Selection

Okay, I have this conversation about shoes probably once a week: how to choose running shoes. I have a four part method to choose running shoes. First, you have to understand that the primary goal of both running shoes and orthotics is to supply support to the (hold on to your butt) talocalcaneonavicular joint. It’s called the “subtalar joint” to those in the know.

The subtalar joint is a torque converter, converting pronation to internal rotation of the leg, and supination to external rotation. Blah blah blah, right? What it really means is that the subtalar joint controls the rigidity of the foot. That means that the amount of force a runner can exert to the ground. (faster)

The subtalar joint is located in the middle of the foot, so this is an area of the shoe that needs to be supported. The only problem is that modern running shoes often feature a cutout in this area, weakening it. Sooooo. Now you have the reasons, let’s get down to how to choose choose, I mean SHOES.

FIRST, look at how the shoe is constructed, or the “last” of the shoe. There are really two major ways to make a shoe… one is to make a moccasin that fits the foot, and then glue it to the last, or the shoe can be made like a tent, and stitched around the outside.

On some support shoes, there will be a piece of cardboard that runs about halfway along the shoe. It helps with the shoes’ resistance to twisting… nice, if you weigh 200 pounds or more.

The next “step” is to take the shoe and bend it from the front to the back. If it bends in the middle at all, PUT IT BACK ON THE SHELF. Shoes should only bend in the forefoot.

Then, twist the shoe. If it twists in the middle of the shoe, then PUT IT BACK ON THE SHELF.

Lastly, squeeze the heel. It should be firm. If it’s too flexible, it won’t do you any good, so PUT IT BACK ON THE SHELF. If after all of these tests the shoe still looks good, by all means buy it… you’ve found a good one!!

The bent nail

Today I spoke to a patient at my downtown Seattle office and was spealing about a straight neck versus a curved neck.  It took me back to the days when I was doing construction, and hammering nails.  Hammering straight nails is easy... hammering bent ones is hard.. the force is no longetr transmitted along a straight line axis, and isw dissappated over the course of the nail, and it doesn't go into the wood very well at all.

Our neck, or cervical spine, is the same way.  It holds our neck up, hopefully on a curve.   If it doesn't, then there's the stright line axis agqain, and the force is transmitted along the axis of the spine, through the rest of the body. This results in decay and degeneration, which we see on the fils we take.  Cool explanation, huh?

Pictures of the remodeled downtown Seattle Chiropractic Office!

Chiropractic reception room - Seattle, WA
The reception room at Dynamic Chiropractic Clinic

Pretty cool.  I don't think anyone would recognize our office from five years ago.  It's amazing to see how cool it all looks! Are the baseboards green? They should be. We painted the office in these colors not for their coolness or warmness, only because they were cool. Downtown Seattle Chiropractic coolness is what we are going for.

Pretty neat wavy wall, it's from here in Seattle, too!
Pretty neat wavy wall, it was made, and picked up by Dr.  Carr in Ballard, and while most people don't notice it, we think it adds a certain flair.