Ice or Heat?

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Living in Minnesota, you know it feels so good to be outside in the warm weather!  Maybe you are visiting one of the beautiful State or National Parks (http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/index.html), walking one of the many trails or touring Minneapolis by bike (http://minneapolisbybike.com). Regardless of the activity, what if you “overdo it” and the result is pain.  For relief, do you ice it or use heat?

Here are a few basics:

  • ICE – When you stress a muscle there are micro tears that occur which create inflammation. Ice will slow and minimize the inflammation. Athletes may crawl in a large whirlpool after hard workouts IF the whirlpool is filled with cold water and ice!  We suggest no longer than 20 minute intervals with 30-40 minutes between icing sessions.
  • HEAT – Heat is great before exercise to loosen up muscles and tendons but never after exercise. Heat may feel good after aches and pains from physical activity but will always increase inflammation, resulting in greater pain.

If pain persists, make an appointment to see us. Our chiropractic care, physical therapy, medical and massage options ensure that we are able to provide you with the care you need to get your health back.

3 Myths About Back Pain

 

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How much do you really know about back pain? The solutions for healing the spine or maintaining the spine are usually not straightforward. Many find it is a long and winding road to getting an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment plan. Let us shed some light on 3 of the more common myths about back pain.

Myth: I’m Physically Active, Back Pain Won’t Be a Problem for Me
Fact: Staying physically fit is one of the best things you can do to keep your back healthy, but it is not an assurance that you will never experience back pain. It is true that a healthy spine needs a regular regimen of stretching, strengthening and aerobic conditioning exercises, however, eating a well-balanced, nutritious diet, lowering stressors in your life and maintaining proper posture are all necessary too.

Myth: Back Pain is a Normal Part of Aging
Fact: While getting older is a normal part of life, adding back pain to your life isn’t normal. Aging may make you more susceptible to certain illnesses or diseases to which back pain may be a symptom, but regular chiropractic care can diminish it and keep your spine healthy.

Myth: I Must Be Very Careful to Protect My Back to Avoid Further Pain
Fact: Many people with back pain actually overprotect their backs and, as a result, are more prone to injury and pain due to lack of conditioning. Unless your doctor tells you differently, protect your back with proper posture, body mechanics and appropriate physical therapy instruction to ensure that you are exercising correctly.

As a full-service clinic, our Chiropractor, physical therapists, massage therapists, acupuncture specialists  and medical doctors work closely to ensure our patients see a better level of health, wellness and recovery.  Call today for a free consultation (952) 835-6653.

5 Things About Chiropractic Care You Might Not Know

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Did You Know:

  • Chiropractic adjustments are unique, just like you!
    At AdvaCare we will tailor an individual care plan just for your specific needs. We target problem areas and work on uncovering the root cause of the issue.
  • There are no age limits with Chiropractic Care!
    Chiropractic are is for anyone and everyone who wants to live and feel better. We see newborn infants to seniors. Adjusting techniques are tailored to the size, weight and each individual.
  • Pregnant Women Benefit from Chiropractic Care!
    Chiropractic care may be beneficial in making a woman’s pregnancy as comfortable as possible and increasing the likelihood of an uncomplicated labor and delivery. Our primary focus during pregnancy is to balance the pelvis, muscles and ligaments and relieve pressure on the uterus.
  • Chiropractic Care Supports the Immune System!
    The immune system is made up of a network of cells, tissues, and organs that work together to protect the body Regular chiropractic care allows the body to be in top shape and supports the body’s immune system to work most effectively.
  • Optimal results are a team effort!
    If you feel great after being adjusted, that’s wonderful. The best results seem to occur when locate and reduce nervous system interference and you work with your body through good nutrition, proper rest and exercise and reducing stress.  Our licensed Chiropractors, Physical Therapists and Certified Doctors that are focused on your optimal health.

Have more questions about chiropractic care and how it can help your family? Contact us today.

 

Stress is Everywhere!

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How do you handle stress? Do you stay awake worrying about something that you need to do that hasn’t been done yet? Do you turn to a bowl of ice cream or a chocolate bar hoping to relieve a little stress? Do you pour an extra glass of wine or beer?  These are common responses to stress but not necessarily healthy responses.

Stress is everywhere, it is inescapable. It is a medical fact that ignoring stress can wreak havoc on your mind and body. There is a connection between relaxation and your mental and physical health. Your sleep, your mood, your memory, and your physical well-being are all affected by your level of stress. This being the reason why de-stressing is so important.

There are several healthy ways to “de-stress”.  Exercise is at the top of the list; it boosts feel-good endorphins. Even a 10 minute walk will help. Take a break from whatever you are doing.  Unplug from everything and breathe – this includes cell phones, computers and tablets.

Another healthy response to stress would be IV Nutritional Therapy. We offer a variety of IV nutritional treatments to correct nutritional deficiencies, boost the immune system and facilitate recovery from a sporting injury, surgery or a night out on the town.

Nutrients intravenously administered can achieve serum concentrations not obtainable any other way. They will hydrate and restore; energize and rejuvenate.

De-stressing can increase positivity to your life. It allows you to think more clearly on what’s important and how you can achieve your goals. Call us today at 952-835-6653 for an appointment!

How is Healthcare like a box of Cracker Jacks?

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Unless you have been hibernating like a bear you should be aware that nationwide we are experiencing significant issues with the delivery of health care in the good old USA. In Minnesota there are even deeper issues with the way the laws were changed to allow “vertical Integration” a “Minnesota nice” way of saying legal medical monopoly.

This is a factor as to why the largest health care insurer in the country that is based in Minnesota, United Health Care, only does business in 49 states.  The only state it does not deliver its usual product in??? YOU GUESSED IT!! DING! DING!!  Minnesota.  They use Medica as their tool/product in this market.

Basically they (the plans and the state bought into the idea around 1984) that if one entity owned and controlled all of the aspects of care; Hospital, Clinics, staff, all associated therapies and such, even Pharmacy, they would be more efficient and would do a superior job of keep cost down and quality up.

How’s that been working for you?????

The problem now is the lack of competition. There are only four plans operating in the state and they have all focused on areas and segments of the market and have a cozy set up; kind of like organized crime bosses splitting up Chicago or New Jersey. Every ones gets a piece of the turf and they can put the squeeze on their market.

Prices get too high? Nooo problem, the state will make all of us (tax payers) kick in some extra tax coverage for the poor stiff’s they (insurance carriers) squeezed too hard already, the self employed. The insurance companies are making the self insured look like they cost them too much to cover and the insurance companies will not look good leaving them out in the cold. Let’s not even consider allowing more competition into the market, it could (I mean would) make the current plans look bad.

Sorry, but this is just my thirty-eight years of being in practice, running a clinic, attending meetings, going to the capital and talking to a lot of insiders in the health care system and getting a chance to look behind the “Health care Wizard of OZ” curtain.

So let’s take a look at the managed care handling of Chiropractic delivery since 1984. In that year we were told that to be a “good doctor” delivering appropriate services we had to keep our treatment numbers at or below 24 visits on average. This was a consistent value based on research and accepted standards. All reimbursement was basically “frozen” at that level in 1984 and for all practical purposed has only gone down (LESS) since then. Most Chiropractors are losing money on treatments – hard fact based on a study back around 2000.

As of 2016, regardless of the plan  there is a “hidden cap” on the delivery of Chiropractic services state wide that is placed on the Chiropractor by the network they are in, not your insurance plan. This “cap” is now settling in at around 10 visits per person per year. SO, what happened to the 24 visits that were good back in 1984??? Good question!

The phenomenon is a takeoff on the Limbo dance. Basically, how low can the plans make the provider go before they fall down or quit, and now this applies to ALL health providers, not just Chiropractors, but that is another blog.

Your plan booklet may say “unlimited” or the ever great term ”usual and necessary” BUT you have to remember who gets to pick that answer and it isn’t you or the provider!! It seems that this initial fact is now a lost consideration in light of the average individual deductible settling in between $5000.00 to $7000.00. You will hit the provider limit long before you ever reach the deductible limit to get you plan to start paying on anything.

A key strategy is that all of us will have to change how we ask for and think of using health services.  It is actually more effective and cheaper to practice more wellness and prevention approaches to care than waiting to get care or for the symptoms to drag on. You have to actually plan on spending some or the entire deductible amount but you may not spend it in the plan. Each of you will have to have to determine the value of getting care. Many plans now have deductibles in the $30 to $70 dollar range which is also in the range of most cash payments for an adjustment. The average fee for Physical Therapy is $150 per hour in this area. Our cost for seeing our CNP for family care ranges in the $80 to $130 and procedures all listed on our web site. In the same range as most walk in convince clinics. Chiropractic care can range from around $35 to $150 depending on the extent of your problems and the level of therapy or services needed.

So, how is health care like a box of cracker jacks? Well, from my experience I always expected the prize to be more and give me more satisfaction that what I ever got from the cracker jacks. I think most of us are expecting more from the expensive plans we all are paying for and the “prize” of coverage really never meets our needs or expectations. I think we all deserve than a health delivery system that can only deliver “yah never know what you may get in your health coverage”.  I am willing to spend a buck on a box of Cracker Jacks to this lowering of expectations but none of us should be doing this with our lives and healthcare.

Chew on these thoughts while you are chewing on some cracker jacks!

Call Advacare clinics for a free consultation with our care coordinator to see how we can help you!   952-835-6653.

Dennis Lenselink

Clinic Administrator Advacare Clinics

Poor Nutrition, Vitamin C, Inflammation and Health

Poor Nutrition, Vitamin C, Inflammation and Health

 

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What do poor nutrition and inflammation have in common?  They are a “cause and effect” team that everyone should know about.  When a substance that your body doesn’t want is introduced into your body, your immune system comes to the rescue.  It begins to attack it, causing inflammation.  This inflammation may be swollen and painful joints, stress and anxiety, decreased range of motion, even fatigue. Chronic inflammation is the result of constantly eating foods that our bodies don’t want!

Unfortunately the SAD (Standard American Diet) is still very high in chemical preservatives, fats and too high in certain carbohydrates that promote obesity, inflammation and a long list of degenerative changes and diseases that are continuing to drive up health care costs.

What types of foods are known to promote inflammation?

  • Fast foods
  • Red Meat
  • Hydrogenated and Trans fats – found in margarine, shortening and lard.
  • White sugar and sweets
  • Fried foods
  • Synthetic sweeteners
  • Dairy products
  • Refined carbs (pastries and bread)
  • Wheat products

Inflammation-Fighting Foods

Now that you know what food to stay away from, what foods will fight inflammation? We’ve started a list for you:

  • Almonds and walnuts
  • Tomatoes
  • Salmon and other fatty fish and fish oils (EPA/ DHA)
  • Fruits including cherries, oranges and blueberries
  • Olive oil
  • Leafy veggies like kale and spinach
  • Tomatoes

Inflammation is one of the key factors in the ecosystem of just about all types of neoplastic tissues, illness or arthritic and degenerative conditions. (Your current amount of inflammation is your body can actually predict the chances and length of survival time for numerous types of cancer. A person that has the lowest inflammation levels are twice as likely to survive for at least two years with a cancer diagnosis.)

The simple way to see how inflamed you may be is to see how high or “HOT” the “soup” of your body tissues may be. There are several low cost tests (in the $30 to $200 range) we can perform in clinic to see how ACID or ALKALINE your tissues may be. There are numerous blood and urine markers that can get very specific for disease and tissues markers to check on your cell response to inflammation or functional levels of inflammation in your body.

Another key therapy approach to dealing with any form of inflammation is higher dose Vitamin C therapy. Daily use of oral Vitamin C and high dose IV therapy on acute illness has been shown to reduce inflammation. Much of this has been demonstrated in dealing with Cancer therapy where one of the leading causes of cancer is your body’s level of inflammation setting up the environment to enable the cancer to gain a foot hold and grow.

Do you know what foods are acid vs alkaline forming?  Try this simple test!

Question: What is more alkaline forming: organic whole grain bread, a 6oz hamburger/steak or a grapefruit?

Answer:  the grapefruit. It is often considered acidic as it is high in citric acid BUT in your body they actually have an alkalizing effect. Meats are alkaline before digestion, but leave very acidic residue and therefore is acid forming.

Our human blood pH should be (7.35-7.45) which is slightly alkaline.  Above this range or below means disease and a variety of symptoms.

If you have questions about inflammatory foods and/or foods to help your pH balance, just ask us for help at your next visit. If you are not currently a patient at AdvaCare call today 952-835-6653 to set up a free consult with our care coordinator to see how we can help educate you on health and wellness principles to enable you to have a healthier and more cost effective approach to your lifestyle and healthcare.

Dennis Lenselink

Clinic Administrator Advacare Clinics

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Feel Better From the Inside Out

psc

If you want to feel better from the inside out, consider PSC®  Embryonic Plant Extracts. These time-tested and proven effective dietary supplements are the best Nature has to offer. These extracts contain more nutrients, antioxidants, and phytochemicals than any other extracts.

Only fresh, never dried or frozen embryonic plant tissue is used and combined with organic solvents for maceration. The plants are harvested in the wild in the Apennine Mountains in Italy. Embryonic plants containing plant stem cells carry all the genetic information of the entire future plant.

Cost effective, only 1/3 of the dose is required as compared to adult plants; this is due to the higher concentration of anti-inflammatory fatty acids, amino acids, nucleic acids, immune hormones and embryonic plant stem cells.

Environmental protection is a fact of life. Embryonic plant extracts are effective natural detoxifying agents that clean intoxicated cells yet never removes necessary nutrients.
The synergistic combinatorial PSC® Vegetable Embryonic Serum (VESTM ) Complexes are all made from embryonic plant extracts. These address a number of common health concerns:

  • Bone Health,
  • Breathing & Pulmonary,
  • Circulation, Detoxification
  • Digestion
  • Endurance
  • Environmental Protection
  • Failing Memory
  • Feminine Well-Being
  • Headaches
  • Immune Defense
  • Male Well-Being
  • Metabolism
  • Muscular & Skeletal
  • Relaxation & Sleep
  • Seasonal
  • Skin & Hair
  • Vision

The product line can be found on the PSC website, Health Concerns page . AdvaCare Clinics will shortly be offering these products on the Doctors Discount to our patients.

Are You Paying More to Stay Healthy?

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If you are hoping to buy health care under the old model of “fix it when broke” and praying you still have the old $500 deductible or 80/20 plans – that ship sailed five years ago. High-deductible insurance plans are here to stay; in fact they’ve tripled in the last four years. These controversial plans are advertised to save money to the average consumer when in reality the cost is being passed to the consumer.  Your premium goes up and you get to pay the first $3K to $15K, what a deal!

The high-deductible plans have deductibles that range from $1000 to $15,000. The average in Minnesota is $3000 to $7000. The premiums for these plans are enticing as there is definitely a savings compared to the current lower deductible plans, however, the out-of-pocket expenses can balloon quickly.

There are several things to think about when considering a high-deductible plan or any plans for 2017:

  • High co-payments
  • Caps on hospitalization costs
  • Out-of-pocket costs can be hidden within high deductible plans. One of the biggest considerations is: what is your clinic and network availability!
  • Statistics show that consumers on high-deductible plans are less likely to get care at emergency rooms and tend to skip preventative services or lower cost intervention like massage.
  • Chiropractic and other wellness services may be limited. We see the “Sticker Shock” in your eyes every day where you, the patient, stops when your insurance finally tells you what the REAL COVERAGE is.

Metro Area Insurance Options

All health insurance plans are not the same, nor do they offer the same “in-network options.  Right now in the metro area you basically have four plan options; Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS), Health Partners (HP), Medica and Preferred One to work with. It is our opinion as an independent clinic that BCBS and Preferred one still offer the best products in a crazy market. A few details are listed below:

  • Health Partners in which you are only allowed to go to their clinics they own and control.
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) is still fairly open but certain managed care plans for individuals will only allow you access to Allina clinics.
  • Medica is similar to HP, in only allowing you to be seen at Allina or Medica/Fairview clinics. Basically Medica and HP are considered “closed business systems” which means you will only get care in clinics they control be aware that neither will contract or work with smaller independent clinics, which have been forced to be assimilated into larger clinic systems or lose their contracts.
  • Many of these plans also cut services with Mayo so you really need to watch this.

There is a strong push to squeeze out good doctors in private practice which forces you to go to large specialty clinics and practices. Just this December about 60% of all Orthopedic and Neurosurgeons across the state got the “Pink Slip” from BCBS as “in- network” providers. They are choosing to contract with more regional clinics and cutting costs. However, many great doctors got the axe not based on skill levels, but just because they were in solo or small practices.

Medicaid, Medical Assistance and Medicare
Medicaid or Medical Assistance (MA) is another situation entirely, as is Medicare. The plans that give you the best coverage under MA really depend on which county you live in. In Hennepin County its Hennepin Health and then BCBS. In any other county I would still look to BCBS. If you have HP you are locked into their clinics systems, basically you lose choice. Ucare is better than HP but they really limit services with prior authorizations the others don’t do. Medica is dropping out of the MA market in 2017 which I feel is a good thing. They were also a closed network like HP.

For those of you on Medicare, the best plan option with the best coverage is still getting good old “Plain Jane” Medicare from UNCLE SAM and supplement. Many people, due to the marketing from the big 4, think they can only get advantage plans or supplements from the BIG 4: Ucare, HP, Medica and BCBS. There are actually over 350 supplemental plans offered, much cheaper and all work the same.  If you are retired, this gives you the best coverage.

Smart Healthcare “Cents”

As a healthcare consumer you need to know your options and have a plan in order to make informed decisions and stretch your healthcare dollars and cents:

  • Put aside funds to meet your deductible.
  • Do your homework on what office visits, procedures and treatments will cost. Often cash prices (such as AdvaCare offers) is cost effective.
  • Prevention and wellness care saves money in the long run.  Prevention and wellness care. Health care that is more preventative to keep you healthier is still the most cost effective way to go.

AdvaCare Strides with the Times

We realize your healthcare decisions will be built upon a foundation of patient preference, experience, effectiveness and value.  Let us help you by making available our pricing information.  We’ll consult to assist you in the best preventative treatments, such as IV therapies for your wellness and to help deal with pain and inflammation or our Class 4 K laser which is very effective for pain, swelling, scar tissue and Neuralgia.

Advacare is getting our family practice providers contracted with all the plans that will work with us, which is all plans except Medica and HP. This should be completed by the end of January.  We are also adding more times for Prolo and pain management injections with our additions staff.

Great news for Aetna plans, which tend to be for groups that have a national foot print, you are now using the Preferred One network for MD, PT and DC care, so in our clinic you are now in network!!

Contact us today for you or any of your family members to set up a free consult to find out how we could be helping you today! 952-835-6653 www.advacaremn.com

 

 

 

Massage = Stress Relief!

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The holiday season is in full swing – a joyful time that presents opportunity for connection with family and friends. However, the holidays can be stressful. Massage is the best tool to use against stress.  Stress has a tendency to manifest itself in the shoulders, neck and lower back.  We’ll combat the painful effects of stress and help your body and mind to relax.   We’re here to help you find your comfort zone and are focused on giving you a retreat to rejuvenate.

Let our Professionals be your Guide
Whether you’re interested in a Swedish massage, Deep massage, Sports massage or trigger point massage, we can do it all.  You may not know which type of massage you might need, we’ll help with that too. In fact, we can give you the results of a deep tissue massage without the side effects this type often brings.

Benefits of Massage
Besides stress-relief, there are several benefits of receiving regular massages, we’ve listed some below:

  • Massage can help reduce pain from exercise.
  • Massage can lower blood pressure.
  • Massage can help cut down on painful migraines.
  • Massage can increase circulation.
  • Massage can keep your face looking healthy and younger.
  • Massage can help relieve chronic soft tissue pain.
  • Massage can decrease anxiety.
  • Massage can lessen symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.
  • Massage can reduce fatigue and allow better sleep.

The best way to ensure you get the most out of you massages is to make regular appointments. Studies have shown that you can benefit from massage even in small doses. Until the end of the year, we are running a few specials to make massage available to everyone.

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Are You a Desk Jockey?

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Are You A Desk Jockey?

If you have a job that requires you to sit down at work for overwhelming majority of your work day, then go home and sit more at dinner, in front of TV or PC, etc. – you may be a Desk Jockey.  Are you sitting more than you stand, walk or move? Whereas sitting is not bad for the body, putting your body into one position for hours upon hours certainly is.

Did you know the following habits cause the following musculoskeletal problems:

  • Sitting too long – this can inhibit blood circulation and lead to neck, joint and severe back pain
  • Slouching forward – weak back and shoulder muscle can cause the upper body to slouch and lean forward straining the shoulder and neck.
  • Looking downward at a computer – when a computer screen is below eye level it encourages dropping the neck forcing it out of alignment, which can cause upper back and neck pain.
  • Crossing legs for too long – this causes the hips and spine out of alignment, causing back pain.

Don’t despair, Advacare Clinics can help with both practical suggestion you can d during the work day AND a variety of in-house options to optimal health.

  • No Crossing!    Uncross your legs and keep your feet flat! Try a footrest under your desk – it’s worth it.
  • See Straight!    Elevate your computer screen to eye level.
  • Get Hip!    Make sure you are equally distributing your weight between your hips – no leaning to either side.
  • No Slumping!    If you pull your shoulder blades back, they will come in line with your spine. Retrain your body – you can do it.
  • Move it!    Take periodic breaks, stand up, walk around and move your body.
  • Stretch!    While you are still sitting down, do several arm, shoulder and neck stretches.
  • Breathe!    Deep breathing will oxygenate your body and even lower blood pressure.

If you are experiencing back pain, shoulder pain and neck pain, call for an appointment today!