Category Archives: Uncategorized

Winter Blues and Joint Pain

winter-bluesFor many people winter is a time of sadness and pain for no other reason than the season. It some times has to do with the cold, sometimes with the lack of light. During the winter we also decrease our activity and water intake while increasing our calorie intake. All of these things can contribute to winter depression and aching joints. While some winters are mild and some extreme you will likely still hear people lamenting their aching joints. Arthritis in particular is increased with no real known reason. Chiropractic can help.

It is a good thing that Christmas is in winter as positive social interaction is one way we can combat these mental and physical conditions. Other great ways are a good diet and exercise. Often the most difficult part about health conditions is knowing what is causing them. If you are aware of what happens to you in the winter then you may already know exactly what you need to do to feel better. If you know someone having difficulty please check up on them. Just a visit will help, but you can go the extra mile by inviting them to activities and encouraging healthy attitudes. Please let them know that your chiropractor is also there to help and can often provide relief from the pain and lifestyle guidance, as well as positive social interaction.

Remember to move well to be well. Give us a call Dr. Duncan and the Utah Spinal Care Team. 880 E 9400 S. Sandy, UT 84094 (801)523-0073

“Ugly giant bags of mostly water!”

This quote is from Star Trek the Next Generation. It is an alien life form describing humans and Hydrateis very apt. I don’t know about the ugly part, but we are mostly water. While estimates differ, our bodies are made up of 55-75% water. Water affects every aspect of our function. Many of us are not getting enough of it. Some experts feel that up to 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. While working out you can loose 6-10% through sweat, and everyone knows you need water when you exercise, but that is obvious and our body is demanding water at that point.

Chronic mild dehydration has unknown effects. We don’t know what it does to us to be a little dehydrated for years. We do know that as little as 1% dehydration can cause a 5% decrease in cognitive ability and physical performance. This is the first time that our body will start to feel thirsty. You should be drinking before you get thirsty. If you’re thirsty then you’re already having symptoms of dehydration. We also know how important water is for us. Here are some symptoms that you may not associate with dehydration.

Some Lesser known Symptoms of Dehydration:

  • Craving for sugar
  • Headaches
  • Bad breath
  • Irritability
  • Chronic Illness
  • Chronic Pain

Some lesser known benefits of drinking water are:

  • Weight loss
  • Increased cognitive ability
  • Increased physical ability
  • Clearer skin
  • Decreased joint and muscle pain
  • Improved immune system

The next time you get the munchies, or a headache, or feel a little out of control or tired, try a glass of water.

Merry Christmas – He is the Gift

We all know the reason for the season. Somewhere under the layers of stress and commercialism that have been heaped upon us we can still recall. God has given us everything. He gave us our life, and He gave us His Son. We need to take care of the life that he has given us so that we can share that gift with others. Take care of your body, mind and spirit this Christmas. Remember that you are a child of God. Merry Christmas!

New Office Celebration


Open HouseCome join us for a celebration of our new office opening. We moved to a new office within the same building. Come ask me questions in person, win prizes, and get a massage.  The more people you bring the more chances you’ll get to win.  You can also share our Facebook event to be entered for raffle prizes.

While your thinking about us like our Facebook page and come visit our website.


Human-Spine-Picture 2

“Normal” Spine – side view and from the back.

The spine normally has curves that help it to absorb shock. These normal curves can be seen when looking at your spine from the side. It curves back in the neck, forward in the area of the shoulders and ribs, then back again in the low back and then forward at your pelvis. When looking from the front or back there should be no curve in a “normal” spine.

Scoliosis is rated by the size or degree of the curve. The greater the degree the worse the curve. Anything less than 10 degrees is not usually noticed and for an actual diagnosis doctors usually don’t give you one unless the degree is greater than 20.  Your spine will usually stop growing at about age 18-24 and so does the degree of scoliosis unless you are sedentary and spinal degeneration can increase the angle

Scoliosis is an abnormal lateral curvature of the spine. it is not a disease just as having a small nose is not a disease, but it can predispose you to problems, just like a small nose may make it harder to breath or may cause you to be more likely to have certain nasal problems.

There are a few methods that are used to treat scoliosis.  There is bracing which while most research is inconclusive one recent study shows a decrease in the degree of curvature, but does not address functional improvement in the individual’s quality of life and can have negative impacts on the ribcage. Braces had recently begun to be abandoned as a useful treatment, but new research may change that. Surgery is effective at improving quality of life in some patients, but only in extreme cases and the risks are severe.

Physical Therapy is a treatment option that does emphasize function. It focuses on helping your body to cope with the strain that the scoliosis places on it through exercise and stretching for motion. This is a great start. The treatment with the best outcomes that I’ve seen for scoliosis is chiropractic. Chiropractors can prescribe braces if needed, they also do the physiotherapy work with a patient, but they also focus on joint mobility. The research for chiropractic does show show moderate corrections of 5-10 degrees with chiropractic adjustments. There are cases where chiropractors have seen complete correction, but those are the rare cases most get only moderate improvement. While sometimes the spine cannot be lined up perfectly chiropractors can help it to function better in what ever shape it’s in.  

If you have scoliosis you will always be more predisposed to certain injuries, but that’s just a good excuse to take better care of yourself than most people, and that’s not a bad thing.

More Research on the Topic Here

D-Day Anniversary Treatment

I was honored to treat a WWII vet today on the 70th anniversary of D-Day. It was amazing to talk to him about his life, sad to talk to him about the condition of his spine. He used to enjoy riding dirt bikes and ATVs. We may not get him back to that, but he was unable to look me in the eye when he walked in the door because he couldn’t stand up straight or tip his head back. He walked out upright and looking at everyone in the eye, proud again. I tried to give him encouragement by suggesting the possibility of future ATV rides and his wife simply said, “Oh, no!”

These men and women who fought for the freedom of our world and our country deserve our best, not just what ever is convenient for us. Take a moment of your time today and contact your congressmen and senators about the VA care our veterans receive.

If you would like to I would also encourage you to support the current legislation to get a chiropractor in every VA center. You can find more info and how you can support that here:

Public Health: Teach Children What it Means to Eat Right.

Many of us were never taught what eating healthy is. Children learn their eating habits Colorful Foodfrom their parents. It is a learned behavior. It is not a chore. It’s not yucky. It doesn’t mean taking vitamins, or supplements. (If you have to take those every day it means that you are eating wrong.)

We as a culture have gone so far away from eating right that we have forgotten how. Most individuals who want to eat right feel the need to research it so that they know what to do. Now, if the culture around you has not taught you how to prepare foods like this then research may be needed. There are thousands of diets out there that will tell you what and how to eat.  All of them seem to be backed by scientific research and all of them will probably be proven and disproven multiple times over the next few years.  I recommend moderation in your diet. I have found, when you ask people how to eat better they already know. They’ll tell you that they should be eating less and what they should be eating is more vegetables and fresh food not processed or fast food. The principle is that basic.

Eating right will help reduce our risk of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and a host of other diseases. If we teach our children this habit then in a few generations these diseases could actually become rare rather than the most common diseases in our country.

Public Health: Be Healthy From the Start

Teach our children that breastfeeding is important and healthy by explaining to them why we do it and what the benefits are that they can look forward to seeing in themselves and their children when they do it.  We don’t need to have a big public breastfeeding rally, but this part of life should be discussed with children and not kept a secret from them until they have their first child.


From the National Public Health Week Website:

  • Breastfeeding is recommended for at least the first year of a child’s life, and exclusively for the first 6 months. Longer lifetime durations of breastfeeding are associated with decreased risks of maternal breast cancer, ovarian cancer, Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. In addition, longer durations of breastfeeding are associated with decreased risk of many common childhood infections and sudden infant death syndrome, as well as chronic conditions in offspring such as obesity, Type 1 diabetes, and leukemia.
  • Prenatal care can help keep mothers and their babies healthy. Babies of mothers who do not get prenatal care are three times more likely to have a low birth weight and five times more likely to die than those born to mothers who do get care.
  • Globally, an estimated 43 million preschool children were overweight or obese in 2010, a 60 percent increase since 1990. And children’s early-life experiences, such as lack of breast feeding, too-little sleep and too-much television can increase the risk of obesity later in life. That’s why early child care providers have such a crucial role to play in turning around the obesity epidemic.

New Site

ScreenShotI have outgrown and have decided to branch out.  The old address will still work as I have set it to forward to this one, but you might notice a new look as well as some changes in the future.  I want to make this primarily an info site for the public about chiropractic, and I will continue to orient my blog towards patients or others with questions.  If you have questions you want answered or recommendations please let me know.  Enjoy the new site, and thanks for visiting.  The new address is

In Honor of All Veterans

American-flagWe all know veterans.  Some are family members, some are friends.  My father, a veteran, is finally coming home from overseas and will be living near me.  He recently called me to ask about getting treatment when he gets back.  The answer that I had to give him was that it would be difficult to get any chiropractic care through the VA here or through Medicare.  I have treated quite a few veterans here in Sandy from all over the Salt Lake City area, and they all have had difficulty with the VA.  The VA told them that they don’t cover chiropractic care here in Utah.  That is not true, so, I provided them with this VA fact sheet and this guide to Veterans getting care put out by the American Chiropractic Association (ACA).  After being shown the law the VA does cover their treatment.  When asked about this discrepancy in thier policy the official reply from the VA was that there is no demand in the Utah VA for chiropractic care.

“In recent years, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has started the long-overdue process of providing veterans with access to chiropractic care by placing doctors of chiropractic on staff at VA hospitals. The process of integrating chiropractic care in the VA system was initiated after Congress enacted a series of statues—Public Law 108-170 and Public Law 107-135—that reinforced a permanent chiropractic benefit within the VA health care system and specifically directed the VA to hire doctors of chiropractic to provide care for veterans.

As a result of the above-referenced congressional directives, the VA now provides chiropractic care (via hired or contracted staff) at 47 major VA treatment facilities within the United States. Unfortunately, an overwhelming majority of America’s veterans still do not have access to chiropractic care because the VA has taken no action to provide chiropractic care at more than 100 of its major medical facilities.

Despite important data demonstrating a critical need for chiropractic services within the VA, the disparity in access has been allowed to persist. Recent VA data cites “diseases of musculoskeletal system/connective system,” such as back pain, as the number one ailment of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans accessing VA treatment.” -ACA Website

If you are a veteran or know one, or just appreciate the service that they have given then please give back.  Contact your congressman and Senator today.  There are currently bills in both the senate and the house that would require the VA to have a chiropractic physician on staff at all major VA medical facilities by 2016.  To make your voice heard on this topic you can visit the ACA Political Action Center

For more information visit the Chiropractic Veterans Affairs page