Do You Have Sciatica? Don’t Jump Into Surgery Just Yet.

The posted link is an article about some research performed last year comparing chiropractic care to surgery for sciatic patients. In summary, the study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, found that chiropractic care was equally as effective as disk surgery when it came to correcting sciatic problems. I do want to emphasize that the people who performed this research were neurosurgeons, with only one chiropractor! So, let’s compare these two treatment options. Surgery is much more expensive at around $25,000. Surgery is much more dangerous. During a surgery there is the risk of injury to any body tissue, not to mention the potential dangers of anesthesia. Finally, spinal disc surgery is going to include significant bed rest time, leaving the patient out of work and unable to function. It only makes sense that surgery not be your first option for this condition. Read the article for yourself.

I was having some trouble getting the link to work correctly. If that happens to you, try to copy and paste the URL instead.

What is CoQ10 and do I need it?

CoQ10, or Coenzyme Q10, is a supplement that has become more popular in recent years. I often get questions from patients about what CoQ10 is and if they should be taking it. In an attempt not to make it too complicated, here is my explanation.

CoQ10 is a coenzyme also called ubiquinone and it is found in the cells of your body within small organisms called mitochondria. Interestingly enough, mitochondria aren’t actually human and contain their own DNA! Despite this fact, the mitochondria are crucial for human survival because they are known as the “power plants” of cells, with their primary purpose being energy generation. Within the mitochondria is where CoQ10 is located. Without going into the chemistry too deeply, CoQ10 aids in electron transport that ultimately creates energy for the body in great amounts. Without CoQ10, your body will not be creating energy as efficiently as it should be.

Different tissues and organs in the body have different concentrations of mitochondria. The heart, for example, has very high levels because it is constantly working and needs a lot of energy. Makes sense. This is why CoQ10 is said to help the heart. More CoQ10 means more energy production from the mitochondria, translating into more energy for the heart (among other organs in the body).

This topic brings me to mention statin drugs. Statins are the drugs that people with high cholesterol are typically prescribed. The purpose of these drugs is to block the body’s production of cholesterol. This also makes sense, but here’s the kicker: The very bodily process that makes cholesterol also creates CoQ10. Therefore, blocking cholesterol production is also blocking our CoQ10. It’s funny that a drug intended to improve cardiovascular function is also reducing our heart’s energy. That being said, anyone who takes a statin drug for high cholesterol should also be supplementing with CoQ10.

Are You Getting Enough Vitamin D?

Let’s face it, Maine residents don’t get enough sunlight. We experience long winters, which translates into more days out the year spent indoors. In addition to that, more snow equals more cloud cover. Even in many months where we are outside, it is still relatively chilly and we are in long pants and jackets. This can develop into long term health problems because sunlight is crucial in converting vitamin D into an active form which the body can utilize. Many people already know of the dangers of osteoporosis, particularly in women, but what about other health issues?

There has been a lot of recent research conducted to explore the health benefits of vitamin D. There was one published research article in the journal Anticancer Research that found a 50% reduction in chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and multiple sclerosis when the vitamin D blood saturation level was above 50 ng/ml. This is especially important news for Maine residents, as well as any other community in the north where sunlight is scarce. Vitamin D supplementation should absolutely be considered in everyone’s diet. Not only this, many consider the FDA recommendations to be the bare minimum for vitamin D supplementation. Personally, I feel the bare minimum vitamin D intake should be around 1,000 IU, and even more benefit can be found at the 4,000-5,000 IU levels. Every individual requires a different amount, but generally speaking, everybody needs more vitamin D.

Chiropractic for Carpal Tunnel

The included link is a great article by Philip Vincent at When most people think of chiropractic care, they think of back or neck pain. Though this is true, chiropractors also have effective treatments for any type of musculoskeletal injury, including carpal tunnel syndrome. It simply makes sense to explore care options that are less invasive before looking into surgery. Though surgery does have it’s place in health care, patients may save themselves a lot of pain and money by considering conservative care first.

Cornerstone Volunteers at the Patriots Day 5 Miler

On April 17th, doctors Garrett Lewellen and Rob Liguori volunteered their time to treat athletes running in the Patriots Day 5 Miler in Portland. Garrett and Rob spent their time performing Active Release muscle work on any athlete that requested care. After the race, the docs treated many different conditions ranging from plantar fasciitis and hip pain to tight shoulders and calves. It was a great day and Garrett and Rob had the opportunity to meet many great people who loved their treatments. Congratulations to all of the the athletes who competed that day and we look forward to seeing you next year!

6 Common Gym Mistakes

This is an article that discusses how to protect yourself when working out at the gym. Exercise is great, and it is necessary, but it is always important to know how to exercise without increasing your chance of injury.