Listen or Read Dr. Michael McClung’s Monthly Podcast Interview!
Topic – Neuropathy
Below you will find an easy to read transcript of Dr. Michael McClung’s interview on the razorcast™ monthly podcast. You can either click the video to listen to the podcast or simply read the easy to follow transcript below. Enjoy!
RC: Hello everyone, this is Liz Harvey coming to you from our razorcast™ studios in New York City where we are dedicated to bringing you cutting edge interviews from many of the leading industry professionals across the United States.
In today’s episode, we are speaking with Dr. Michael McClung. Dr. McClung is the founder of Creating Wellness Chiropractic in Austin, Texas where he is committed to improving the health and vitality of his community through chiropractic and wellness care. Dr. McClung was one of the first chiropractors in America to become board certified by the American Academy of Pain Management. He also has advanced certifications in Whiplash and Brain Traumatology from the Spine Research Institute of San Diego and Motor Vehicle Crash Forensic Risk Analysis. During his career, Dr. McClung has served as the President of the Central Texas Region of the Texas Chiropractic Association, as well as, the President of the Travis County Chiropractic Society.
Dr. Michael McClung is widely considered to be one of the top Chiropractors specializing in holistic and alternative health in the country and he is also a contributing member of our national network of industry professionals.
Today we are going to talk about a very important topic: Neuropathy
RC: Hi Dr. McClung, how are you today?
Dr. Michael McClung: Great Liz, thanks a lot.
RC: Well thank you so much for being here.
Question 1: Please explain what Neuropathy means and can you give us some examples of a Neuropathy condition?
RC: So can you please explain what Neuropathy means and can you give us some examples of a Neuropathy condition?
Dr. Michael McClung: Yes. ‘Neuropathy’ sounds like a big word but it really comes from two words. One word is ‘neuro’ meaning nerve and the second word is ‘path’ meaning pathology or disorder. So it’s literally a disorder of your nervous system.
Most of the time what we see as Neuropathy and what people are pretty commonly aware of is pain in your feet. Pain and numbness and burning. And also the second most common area of Neuropathy is pain and numbness in your hands.
The reason I got so involved in studying Neuropathy and treating Neuropathy was many years ago, my mother had foot pain and numbness and burning and I literally took her to close to a dozen different specialists trying to figure out what it was and what can be done. And each one I would go to see or take her to, they would just roll their eyes and they said there’s nothing wrong with your mom’s feet. And a couple of them actually suggested that it was a psychological thing, that she was just imagining this pain. But I knew that it was really a pain so I set out on this mission to learn about Neuropathy and learn ways to treat it. So it’s been a very very exciting journey for the last five years or so but I really really enjoy it.
Question 2: What types of nerves are affected by Neuropathy?
RC: So what types of nerves are affected by Neuropathy?
Dr. Michael McClung: They’re called the peripheral nerves. In your body, you’ve got the spinal cord which is the main nerve – it’s called the central nervous system – and it branches out and it goes into all the little nerves that go to the different components like your hands, your fingers, your feet and your toes. Well, when the nerve leaves the spine, it’s a continuous nerve all the way till it gets to its end point. But you can imagine when it leaves the lower belt (which is about the area of your belt) and it goes down to your big toe, that’s four feet or so, it’s a long way. So the nerves begin to lose their oxygen as they get further down there. They begin to lose their nutrition so they get less healthy and many times people have environmental toxins in their bodies that affect these things. So if we can devise ways to get these nerves healthier then they respond quite well.
Question 3: What are some of the causes of Neuropathy?
RC: Okay and what are some of the causes of Neuropathy?
Dr. Michael McClung: Before I got into studying Neuropathy, I didn’t realize that there were different causes. I just thought it was part of people getting old. It’s actually not. We’re not supposed to have things like that as we get old and it’s just much more common now. One of the things that we see a lot of are diabetics. And diabetes is rampant in this country. It has more than tripled in the last ten years and part of that is related to the obesity epidemic. These things go hand-in-hand. Obesity and Diabetic Neuropathy and Neuropathy. It’s an unfortunate thing but it’s actually totally for the most part reversible.
The second most common thing that we see are people that have had chemotherapy unfortunately. But the chemo, the drugs, actually do really severe damage to their nervous system. These are some of the worst cases. When they come in, many times they’re on a walker. Many times, they’re not even sixty. They have trouble walking, they have trouble with their balance and they can’t feel the bottoms of their feet. Part of our exam is we do a sensory exam on the feet or the hands and we do a temperature exam. We use the infrared thermometer and many times they have ten or twelve degree loss of temperature in these extremities and they’re actually wearing boots and heavy socks even in the summer time, gloves. They can’t get the blood to these extremities. So it causes people a lot of problems. There’s just a number of things that can cause these but those are the main two.
Question 4: What are some of the symptoms that people with Neuropathy experience?
RC: Okay and you touched on some of the symptoms that people suffering from neuropathy experience. What are some of the other symptoms that they might have besides loss of feeling?
Dr. Michael McClung: It affects their balance. Many times they stand up they can’t feel their feet so well. They can’t feel their hands so well so they’re prone to get cuts and bruises and do inappropriate things or burns on their hands. They can lose their grips. They lose strength in their muscles, in their extremities. They have trouble walking for any distance. A very exciting case that I’ve been working with for quite some time, very proud when she came in this week and she told me that when I first saw her, she could barely walk and that she had just gone out with her husband on a camping trip and they had taken a ten mile hike and she was just beaming. So there is hope for these things if people are willing to put in the time or the energy and the work. So we never give up on people.
Question 5: How can chiropractor care help treat people suffering from Neuropathy?
RC: Well that’s great and how can you help treat people suffering from Neuropathy?
Dr. Michael McClung: There’s a lot to it and very few chiropractors, very few of any special doctors treat Neuropathy. The most common treatments in the medical world are different medications which typically people come here and they’ve already done the medications. Those medications will just kind of numb up the extremity. Well it helps the pain but it doesn’t help the function of the nerve. We have a multi-faceted approach. First we look to see if there’s any spinal nerve interference to this, is this foot problem really coming from the low back, some kind of interference or a disc issue.
Once we rule that out then we can move on to some nutritional programs or we call them metabolic programs. So we look at them, their daily intake of food. We see what they should eat, what they shouldn’t eat, how they can improve their diet, how they can improve certain vitamins that affect the health of the nerves. Then we devise the metabolic program to support them in that. Nerves can’t heal if they don’t get the proper nutrition so it’s a significant component to the treatment plan. We use some very specialized nerve stimulators that were created just to treat Neuropathy and we actually encourage the patient to purchase their own system to use at home. And these are really quite affordable but you can’t buy these things online and we have to work with them to use the right frequencies.
And of course my favorite is the cold laser. Cold laser – it just does so many things. It’s just amazing. One of the most common things that it does (we’ve seen this over and over and over) it goes into the mitochondria of each cell in the body and inside the mitochondria that’s where all the energy is made for that cell. Well when cells get sick or injured or they get damaged by a toxin or a chemical, they just shut down, they just get sick. That’s why when you look at these people, they just look sick. They don’t look healthy. Well, laser goes into the tissue and it stimulates these mitochondria and it literally turns on the cell and it wakes the cell up and the mitochondria start producing all this energy. And they use this in burn centers and you can literally watch it on a video how fast a burn will heal. Well the same thing happens inside your body, you just can’t see it.
Massage, the next thing on the list, is very effective. We have two massage therapists on staff. We also have an exercise trainer and she works with them on regaining some of their strength and their balance. So there’s a lot of different things in this and the programs typically are several months long. This is not something people come in and just get a procedure done or a magic pill and they are happy forever. If that was the case, they certainly wouldn’t be in our office. So we love working with these people
RC: Well, thank you so much Dr. McClung. We know you are really really busy so we just want to say thanks for all your time and your help today.
Dr. Michael McClung: Great, I enjoyed it.
RC: Great and for our listeners across the country, if you are interested in speaking with Dr. Michael McClung, you can either go online at www.northwestaustinchiropractor.com or call (512) 250-2225 to schedule an appointment.
On behalf of our entire team at razorcast™, we want to thank you for listening and we look forward to bringing you more top quality content from our country’s leading industry professionals.