Dr. Kim Leis-Keeling

Dr. Amanda Boccio


Serving Albany and Guilderland

2021 Western Avenue, Ste 102

Albany, NY 12203


Posts for: March, 2019

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome VS Cervical Radiculopathy

By: Dr. Amanda Boccio

It’s just before lunchtime, and you’ve had a busy morning at the office.  Calls have been coming in non-stop, so you’ve had the phone clenched between your right ear and right shoulder as you simultaneously work at your computer.  You start to notice a faint pins and needles sensation in your right index finger, and your forearm starts to cramp and stiffen up.  You hang up the phone, shake out the hand and notice how tight your neck and shoulder feel from hunching over the keyboard.  “Thank goodness I can take a break to move and stretch out”, you think to yourself. “It’s been so crazy at work, I can’t tell if I’ve aggravated my disc bulge from two years ago, or if I’m starting to get carpal tunnel!”

Patients commonly seek advice from their health care provider when they experience numbness, tingling or pain in the hand or upper extremity.  The key to developing an effective treatment plan to address these symptoms is to find the source of the problem.The nerves that provide sensation, power muscles, and elicit pain in the upper extremity exit the spinal cord as nerve roots in the neck, or cervical spine. These nerves can be irritated in several predictable locations, especially at the wrist, as they traverse from the neck to the fingertips.  Irritation of the 7th cervical nerve root in the neck and irritation of the median nerve at the wrist can both cause symptoms into the hand.  How can we determine the difference between carpal tunnel syndrome and a cervical spine issue when symptoms seem to overlap?

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is the compression of the median nerve at the wrist.  Symptoms include pain, numbness, tingling and weakness typically affect the palm, thumb, index, middle and part of the ring finger.  These symptoms can be caused by arthritis in the wrist, repetitive motion, or even swelling and fluid retention during pregnancy.  With a true carpal tunnel syndrome, symptoms are often aggravated by repetitive hand and wrist motion such as with typing, gripping a screwdriver, or even using equipment that vibrates- like a snow blower.  Patients will complain of numbness and tingling when they sleep, especially if they curl their wrists and hands under the pillow.  They will have the urge to “shake out” their hand upon waking in the morning.  If symptoms persist, weakness in grip strength or clumsiness with fine motor activities may result.   Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can be treated conservatively with manual therapy, modalities, forearm and wrist stretching exercises, and night splinting.

Cervical Radiculopathy is a condition where hand and arm symptoms are caused by compression or irritation of the nerve roots exiting the spine in the neck.  Symptoms include pain, changes in sensation, muscle weakness and diminished reflexes in a predictable pattern based on which nerve is affected. The cervical nerve roots can be irritated by common neck conditions including disc bulge or herniation, and arthritis.  Degenerative changes in the cervical spine that occur with aging include decreased disc height, and formation of bone spurs.  Decreased disc space combined with bony hypertrophy leads to narrowing of the spaces for the cervical nerve roots.  Mechanical impingement of these nerves can lead to symptoms into the arm and hand.  C6-C7 disc pathology, or degenerative changes in this motion segment impinge upon and irritate the C7 nerve root.  This is the most commonly affected nerve root- and it just so happens to overlap the areas of the hand and arm innervated by the median nerve.

When hand symptoms are caused by cervical radiculopathy, patients often have concurrent neck pain, stiffness and decreased range motion.  Pain, numbness and tingling in the hand are often reproduced with neck extension and rotation (like when turning your head to check your blind spot in the car) or prolonged sitting with poor posture (like the office worker described above).  Conservative management is very effective for symptoms caused by cervical radiculopathy.  Treatments include cervical traction, chiropractic adjustments, soft tissue therapy, modalities, stretches and exercises to improve posture. 

Differentiating between carpal tunnel syndrome and cervical radiculopathy can be challenging.  At the Sports & Spinal Wellness Center, we are more than happy to work with you to determine the root cause of your symptoms and formulate a treatment plan to get you back to feeling well.  As always, if you have questions about the article, please feel free to contact me at 518-869-3415.  Follow us on Facebook or visit our website at www.sportsandspinalwellness.com.

March 04, 2019
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BY: Dr. Kim Leis-Keeling



What do you know about probiotics…other than they are in your yogurt? Maybe you have seen Jamie Lee Curtis on the commercials promoting Activia yogurt for intestinal regularity. Here is the scoop: probiotics are microorganisms that live in our gut (small and large intestine) and other areas of our bodies. These little guys are a major component of your immune system. Science has referred to our guts as a “second brain” because these organisms send signals to our brains to let it know what is going on below. This system is called the Brain-Gut-Microbiome Axis. Scientists are discovering more specifications as to their effects on the human body. Recent research suggests that by having a strong intestinal immune system it has a synergistic effect on the integrity of the brain. This communication through the endocrine system (hormones) and the immune system can result in reduced stress, anxiety, depression and appetite control to name a few benefits.  In years to come, you will start to see more information relating specific bacteria (or lack of it in our gut-biome) and causing illness in our bodies. Here is a list of some of the most common probiotic microorganisms that you may see on supplement labels:

Lactobacillus acidophilus: One of the main probiotics found in mouth, intestines and vagina.It aids in digestion and also treats diarrhea, Candida, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), UTI’s, leaky gut syndrome, reduces lactose intolerance, increases our absorption of calcium, B vitamins and can even improve appetite control. Helps balance pH of the upper intestinal track which may help with heartburn. It also facilitates the digestion of lactose.

Bifidobacterium lactis: Main probiotic to break down body waste & aid in the absorption of various vitamins & minerals. Decreases lactose intolerance, IBS, constipation and diarrhea. It decreases cavity causing bacteria in the mouth, fights cancer tumors, reduces colds, flu and strengthens the immune system.

Lactobacillus plantarum: This probiotic produces antibiotics and lysine, an essential amino acid. It can help fight topical burn infections while accelerating burn healing. Fights fungal infection and postoperative infections. It decreases frequency of colds, flu and strengthens your immune system specifically in nasal and sinus passages.

Lactobacillus casei: Good for digestion, allergies, immune system. Helps to maintain remission of diverticular disease, resists ulcers by inhibiting H. pylori. It prevents colorectal tumor growth and inhibits tumor growth of carcinomatous peritonitis/stomach cancer.

Lactobacillus rhamnosus:   Helps maintain a healthy vaginal microbiota by increasing beneficial bacteria making this a great treatment for chronic vaginosis. Supports urogenital health. Boosts immune system to reduce colds and flu, respiratory infections and ear infections.

Bifodobacterium bifidum:  This probiotic directly competes with Candida & yeast overgrowth, fights E. coli infections, decreases allergies, reduces ulcers and inflammation.

Lactobacillus salivarius: Fast growing hardy probiotic that crowds out bad bacteria quickly. It produces antibiotics that target invading pathogenic bacteria such as E. coli, Salmonella. It aids in protein digestion, reduces cavities, gingivitis and strep throat. It can also reduces mastitis, ulcerative colitis and IBS. Supports intestinal epithelial tight junctions to reduce leaky gut or intestinal permeability.

Streptococcus thermophiles: Produces antibiotics that prevent infections like pneumonia, C. difficile and ulcers caused by H. pylori. Decreases ulcerative colitis, IBS, and acute diarrhea. Reduces symptomatic dermatitis, chance of kidney stones and has anti-tumor activity. Improves immunity.

If you would like to learn more about how probiotics can improve your health, we are here to answer your questions and help you boost your immune system. If you want to do your own research, GO TO GOOGLE SCHOLAR, not regular Google! This will give you research articles about whatever health topic you wish to learn about. As always, feel free to contact me at the Sports & Spinal Wellness Center at 518-869-3415 or visit our website www.sportsandspinalwellness.com, follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sportsandspinalwellness.





March 04, 2019
Category: Uncategorized
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By: Dr. Kim Leis-Keeling

Here we are again. A new year…a fresh start. Do you feel obligated to have a revolutionary resolution? I really get annoyed with New Year’s Resolutions articles and media discussions about it. But here I am writing about it. We all have the same goal – to be healthier. So let’s stop thinking about the perfect plan, the perfect goal and just start moving! By the time we ponder what our goals should be and spend 5-10 hours researching how to exercise and what program we need, downloading and figuring out fitness apps and how many macros we need (new fancy way to say we are counting calories), we could have lost 5 pounds. Let’s just start moving!

How many of you have said this to yourself? “I need to get in shape to go back to the gym.” I know I have. How crazy is that? Let’s just start moving! We are never going to be back in our twenty-something bodies. But we can improve our health at any age. How did exercise become so complicated? It seems that there is so much information out there that it feels overwhelming and confusing knowing where to start. Keep is simple – start by walking and moving your body more through the day. Let’s pay some homage and reminisce about the great fitness enthusiast that got us all moving and grovin’ back in the day – Jane Fonda, Richard Simmons and Arnold Schwartzenager.  Exercise used to be fun and not a burdensome chore. How many of you fitness junkies have tried these trends over the years? I have done most of these just to try something new. 

Jazzercise, Aerobics, Step Aerobics, Bodybuilding, P90X, Insanity, Billy Blank’s Tae Bo,

Tabata, Cross training, Spinning, Pilates, Yoga, Zumba, Crossfit, Orange Theory

Let’s start a new trend called…. PDYPAM, (pronounced: piddy-pam) Put Down Your Phone And Move! Occasionally The Husband will ask me to exercise with him. This drives me nuts. We have a treadmill and a cycling bike in our basement. My fitness prep includes one thing – get on the treadmill and start running. I’ll run in my bedroom slippers just to get moving …and to be funny.  The Husband’s fitness prep takes 30 minutes! He has to put on his special cycling cloths, make sure all the parts of the bike are synced to a computer, training program uploaded with a new route, heart rate monitor synced to his fancy Fitbit, a show ready on Netflix, the fan turned on and angled just right, 3 water bottles filled with water or Gatorade. Good grief! I have my workout done before he even gets on the bike. Stop monkeying around and start riding already.

Whatever you love to do, just start doing it. Let’s all just start moving! We don’t need to be fit to exercise. We don’t need a new outfit to look good at the gym. We don’t need a fancy watch to monitor our every move – while awake and asleep. Let’s just start moving!  If you don’t know where to start or are not sure if a certain program is right for you. We can help! We are more than happy to sit down with you and talk about your fitness goals, discuss your physical limitations and perform a movement assessment to help get going in the right direction. Simply call the office and ask us for a FREE 30 MINUTE FUNCTIONAL MOVEMENT ASSESSMENT. We would love to be a part of your healthcare team! For more information, contact me at The Sports & Spinal Wellness Center at 518-869-3415 or visit our website at www.sportsandspinalwellness.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sportsandspinalwellness/








Chiropractor - Albany and Guilderland, Sports & Spinal Wellness Center (Spinal Wellness Center), 2021 Western Ave, Albany NY, 12203 518-869-3415