Kick your Plantar Fasciitis, Once and for All!

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar Fasciitis is an irritation and swelling of the thick tissue (plantar fascia) on the bottom of the foot. The plantar fascia is a thick fibrous band of connective tissue originating on the bottom surface of the calcaneus (heel bone) and extending along the sole of the foot toward the five toes. The plantar fascia helps hold up the bones on the bottom of the foot, creating the arch. When this fascia becomes inflamed, it makes walking painful and difficult. The pain is usually felt on the underside of the heel and is often most intense with the first steps of the day. Plantar Fasciitis is commonly thought of as being caused by a heel spur, but research has found that this is not the case. On x-ray, heel spurs are seen in people with and without Plantar Fasciitis.

Risk factors for plantar fasciitis include:

  • Foot arch problems (both flat foot and high arches)
  • History of low back pain or sciatica
  • Tight Achilles tendon (the tendon connecting the calf muscles to the heel)
  • Obesity
  • Running, extended amounts of driving or repetitive stress to the foot or leg
  • Sudden weight gain

What treatments are available for Plantar Fasciitis

Western medicine typically treats Plantar Fasciitis with oral and/or injectable anti-inflammatories. These may temporarily reduce the pain associated with Plantar Fasciitis but they do not treat the cause of the problem, and by no means heal it.

Long term correction of Plantar Fasciitis is a two step process.

First:  Heal the Damaged Fascia

Ending the pain caused by Plantar Fasciitis requires stopping the cycle of inflammation. Class IV laser therapy is an excellent method for this, because it is presently the only modality that can both reduceinflammation and heal tissue simultaneously. Laser treatments at Align Healing Center are done with the K-laser 1200 a Class IV Laser.  This laser does not cut or burn but is gently absorbed by the tissue. During Laser Therapy the infrared laser light interacts with tissues at the cellular level, increasing metabolic activity and improving the transport of nutrients across the cell membrane. This initiates the production of cellular energy (ATP) that leads to a cascade of beneficial effects, increasing cellular function and health. This creates an optimal healing environment that reduces inflammation, swelling, muscle spasms, stiffness and pain. As the injured area returns to normal, function is restored and pain is relieved.

Second: Correct the Foot and Gait Mechanics

This involves rehabilitation ofspine as well as the arch of the foot. Arch rehabilitation is achieved by utilizing specific insoles and/or specific taping of the foot in order to re-establish proper motion of the arch while walking, then specificstrengthening and stretching exercises are used to rehabilitate of the musculature of the foot and lower leg to ensure lasting results.

At Align Healing Center we are having great success treating plantar fasciitis, sciatica, shoulder and neck pain, migraines, arthritis, tendonitis, carpal tunnel, post surgical pain, sports injuries and more; even if it’s long-term residual pain. Even ar­thritis and degenerative disc disease sufferers can see long term benefits from this treatment without any of the negative side effects experienced with the long term use of medications.

Dr. Niele Maimone, DC is the founder of Align Healing Center in Danville, CA. To set up a complimentary consult call 925.362.8283 or visit for more information.

Diagnosing TMJ Pain

Sometimes life will guide you… if you let it.

More than thirty five years ago, being frustrated by my referrals to others for TMJ treatment, I attended a year long training to better my understanding of the disease. I had already taken many weekend courses, but felt more understanding was necessary. At that time, almost all the emphasis was placed on the way the teeth come together and how that related to the joint position.

At the time my two year old daughter was diagnosed with a very serious asthmatic condition and she received the standard medications, with side effects and limited effectiveness. At a local dental meeting there was a talk by an oral surgeon whose sister was saved from having near fatal attacks of asthma by alternative medicine. The oral surgeon was so impressed that he was retiring from practice to start an alternative treatment center in Idaho. I took him to lunch and, learning his story, became an enthusiastic student of alternative medicine. With this approach, I had my daughter asthma free within six months and she has gone on to become a world class athlete.

Incorporating a holistic approach to my diagnosis and to the establishment of a treatment plan has greatly improved treatment effectiveness. A simple two day course in acupuncture at UCLA, for example, helped me to discover that some migraines are related to colitis. Migraines are a good sized part of a TMJ practice and, in a non holistic practice, are usually treated with drugs.

In general, TMJ is a very poor term for a complex syndrome that can include a number of factors, the most common being myofacial pain, or pain in the muscles of the face, head, neck and shoulders. This pain can be so severe that it was necessary for me to refer one patient to emergency for attempting suicide.

Most of the time, it is just annoying, as it interferes with eating, talking and the general enjoyment of life. It can also be a true “pain in the neck,” with severe neck and shoulder pain. True TMJ or TMD is pain or dysfunction associated with the joint itself and can include popping or gravely sounding noises when moving the jaw, mild to severe pain and, sometimes, ringing in the ear.

The pharmaceutical industry would have us believe that the typical migraine is a disease to be treated with a drug, when it can be a symptom of an underlying disease. It’s like our body is crying out the only way it can for help, and the practitioner says, “shut up and take this.”

As I mentioned earlier, an irritated colon can cause migraine headaches. Crones disease, which is a name given to colon inflammation, can be the underlying factor, but wait, Crones is more a symptom, but is called a disease and, if only the symptom is treated, may continue to return and worsen.

In my practice several cases of this disease were caused by food sensitivities and in one case, by the body’s inability to handle raw vegetables. It was definitely not caused by a dietary prednisone deficiency, a steroid commonly used to treat Crones “disease”.

I have not strayed away from the original subject, TMJ. My purpose for using this example of incomplete medicine is to demonstrate the importance of the TMJ specialist understanding more than the limited field of his/her specialty. That practitioner could be missing the opportunity to discover the underlying factors that are causing the patient’s body to cry out for help. Many continue to view TMJ as a bite problem, and it may be just that, although most of the world has some kind of bite problem with no serious TMJ symptoms.

A good working relationship with other experts not only can be of extreme, even life-saving value to the patient, but makes a potentially boring practice become enriching experience. Belonging to professional organizations outside the field of dentistry can truly not only be of great benefit to the patient, but stimulating and refreshing, always opening new doors for the practitioner.

None of this would have happened had my daughter not contracted asthma and I did not develop an interest in holistic medicine!

Robert Brown, DDS has a TMJ, orthodontia, and sleep apnea practice in Danville and thoroughly enjoys discussing holistic medicine. You can contact him at 925-837-8048, at, or visit his web site at






The Thyroid Cascade – Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms?

Thyroid function is surprisingly complex, with hormones changing into other hormones, organs affecting other organs and the brain controlling it all. Because of this, effective treatment for thyroid imbalances just isn’t as simple as prescribing synthetic thyroid hormone and hoping for the best. More often than not, the standard medical approach is surprisingly ineffective after just a short time, leading to a slow (or fast) return of fatigue, hair loss and weight gain. My practice is filled with people who have the same symptoms before and after being treated this way.

Let’s take a patient at our clinic, Betsy, who didn’t suffer any symptoms of low thyroid whatsoever until she became pregnant five years ago. She then developed all the symptoms mentioned above, plus cold hands and severe constipation. After a confusing time with her doctors, who diagnosed her with depression, it was finally found that she had low thyroid function. She was put on Synthroid (levothyroxin) and felt a bit better, but only for about two months. Slowly all her symptoms returned, became much worse, and she had the additional problems of brain fog and insomnia. When I first saw her, she was so fatigued and un-functional that she thought she might lose her family, job and mind if something wasn’t done.

Our work up showed that her thyroid was functioning below par, in spite of taking prescription thyroid hormones. This was because of an under-conversion of T4 (thyroid hormone) to T3, the active form of the hormone that does all the work of increasing cell function, preventing fatigue and elevating mood. We then set to work correcting the problems she had with this T4 to T3 conversion. Using targeted supplements and a dietary change to decrease inflammation and alter the bacterial balance in her GI tract (the place where conversion happens) resolved her fatigue, brain fog and insomnia.

It is unfortunately very common that doctors (including most endocrinologists) don’t fully test all the indicators of possible thyroid problems. It turns out that there is a Thyroid Cascade–a series of steps–that must take place in order to synthesize thyroid hormone, and have it work affectively. These steps are listed below.

The 8 Steps of the Thyroid Cascade

1)      The brain (hypothalamus), realizing a need for thyroid hormone, sends messages to the pituitary gland.

2)      The pituitary gland sends a message to the thyroid to produce more hormone.

3)      The thyroid stimulates TPO to transport iodine to the thyroid.

4)      This leads to the production of T4 and T3.

5)      These hormones are then bound to protein (Thyroid Binding Globulin).

6)      The T4 is changed to a combination of T3 hormones in the liver.

7)      The gut bacteria change the inactive T3 hormones to active hormones.

8)      The unbound T3 hormones bind to the receptors of the target cells.

I won’t be able to describe the steps in detail in the space allotted, but the important take-away message here is that any of the eight steps of the cascade can bog down, leading to low thyroid output and that is why taking thyroid hormone (only step 4) usually doesn’t work. Betsy’s problem was with step seven, and if this wasn’t rectified, her condition would continue to degrade.

Each of these steps must be considered to fully understand the CAUSE of thyroid dysfunction, and this doesn’t even get close to addressing the important relationships with adrenal gland, glucose regulation, immune problems and gut function that can cause very similar symptoms. That’s why a comprehensive evaluation with very specific and comprehensive lab testing is required to discover the step or steps that are problems, and to outline your unique bio-individuality in order to fully understand the actual cause of your symptoms. The results can be long lasting and life changing. That’s what happened to Betsy, and hundreds of others who were willing to take the next step to wellness.

Dr. Don Davis, D.C., DACNB is a BOARD CERTIFIED CHIROPRACTIC NEUROLOGIST in Walnut Creek. He has been serving individuals with chronic pain for 30 years. For information about how you can get a free consultation with Dr. Davis, call (925) 279-4324 (HEAL). Visit us at


I Believe in Miracles… Since I-Lipo Came Along!

I Believe in Miracles… Since I-Lipo Came Along!

With summer fast approaching, women and men alike are focusing on how to get their body in beach-ready condition. Diet and exercise are the obvious first choice when contemplating how to look best in beachwear, but we’ve got the best kept secret everyone should know about to help reduce fat and cellulite and help reshape your body without surgery. I know, it sounds like one of those “it’s too good to be true” scenarios, but believe me, it’s not.

I-Lipo by Chromogenex is a technology that was introduced to the US and approved by the FDA in 2012, and since its debut has become a hot commodity. Clinically proven technology, it originated in Wales in 1985 and has been a popular alternative to liposuction throughout the UK and South Africa since 1986. It provides a safe and effective method to achieve often immediate and measurable results in inch loss.spa_treatment

Using low level laser technology (AKA: cold laser), I-Lipo stimulates the body’s already natural process of releasing energy being stored to essentially shrink fat cells and create body shaping results that you are looking for. Each session is just 20 minutes with no downtime whatsoever; we recommend two treatments per week. There’s no freezing or anything invasive with this method, and once your session is over you can go about your day as you normally would. While there are no dietary restrictions or required supplements during the treatments, this is by no means an alternative to maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine; it is more of an assistant in speeding up your results. Not only does it help to reduce inches but it also has a tone and tightening affect. In addition, it’s the only FDA approved laser to combat human kind’s mortal enemy: cellulite.

This technology can target the love handles you’re not in love with, the double or triple chin waddle, the unwanted bat wings on the arms, those pesky saddlebags and that muffin top you’re not enjoying. Oh, and did I mention the laser therapy can target that extra fluff on your inner thighs, bottom and hips? Well, I-lipo can!

Most clients who come in to receive I-Lipo treatments understandably have many questions about how the laser may affect their body. We are here to answer them. The technology used is non-destructive and does not affect the use of any of your internal organs. The laser can be used on all skin types and on virtually any area of the body except the breasts and face. Prior to beginning treatments, you’ll need to schedule a consultation with one of our specialists to go over medical history and water intake and if she thinks you’re good to go, you can start treatments that same day. Certain serious medical conditions may disqualify individuals.

We offer several different options for I-Lipo treatment packages. Give us a call today and we’ll be happy to schedule your consultation and get you on the road to your new, slimmer shape.

For more information on I-Lipo: visit our website at