Old disc problems, recurring knee pain, is low blood pressure bad? and what’s with chronic coughs even though lungs are good are the questions answered on this month’s Natural Health Today TV show. Here are the highlights.

“Natural Health Today” is on line at www.danverstv.org. Click on the public access tab in the middle of the page, then click on the broadcast schedule to find the show. Or you can watch Natural Health Today on Comcast channel 99. 

Q: Peg from Danvers: I had an MRI 20 years ago that showed a bad disc in my back. My MD said I have arthritis too and that there is nothing that can be done. So he gave me Vicodin but it’s no longer helping and I think the Advil is making my stomach hurt. Is there any way to help a bad disc that’s been going on now for 20 years? My doctor said they won’t do surgery on me.

A: Most people who have disc problems can be helped by good chiropractic care, but most MD’s do not know that so they don’t suggest it for their patients. After 20 years it is likely that the disc problem found on the MRI has actually dried up even if you still feel the pain. That is because stuck joints and muscle trigger points will continue to cause pain long after the disc has dried up. Once you get the stuck joints moving, the trigger points cleared up with fascial manipulation and stabilization exercises to make sure it doesn’t come back you man not need to take Vicodin or Advil which do not cure anything. We have had patients come into our office after years of pain even after having disc surgery and once they had the care they really needed their pain went away without drugs.

Q: Mark from Middleton: My wife has been after me to have someone look at my knee because I get knee pain from time to time when I have to stand or walk a lot. I have been telling her that I am too young to have my knee replaced because I am only 40. So I figure it’s best to tough it out and put up with some pain until I can get it replaced. Can you settle this because I have to hide my limping from her so that she won’t bug me about it?

A: There are so many ways to help knee pain without surgery, that surgery is always the last thing to do. However, your wife is right, you should have your knee looked at so that you can enjoy life without knee pain. At our office we find many people with knee pain lose their pain when we adjust their feet and make custom arch supports for their feet. Simple muscle work and freeing stuck joints also clears up knee pain even in people who have been told they have arthritis. Age 40 is way too young to have an unnecessary knee replacement if you can be helped by simple things that won’t leave you worse off.

Q: Jean from West Peabody: You hear a lot about how having high blood pressure is bad for you, but how about low blood pressure, you don’t hear much about that. Is that better or worse than having high blood pressure?

A: Low blood pressure can be worse because it will make you feel dizzy when you get up quickly and if it drops too low you can go into shock and die. People with high blood pressure can often treat their own blood pressure by not drinking alcohol, changing their and getting regular aerobic exercise. People on high blood pressure medication sometimes have a problem when they have a cold because their blood pressure medicine may work too hard and give them low blood pressure which can make them feel dizzy or even faint. If you have been on 1 or more high blood pressure medications for years and lost weight and exercise regularly you should ask your MD about coming off or cutting back on your medication so you don’t feel dizzy or light headed, especially when you get a cold or flu.

Q: Allan from Salem: I have a cough pretty much all the time for several years now. It doesn’t bother me that much but it bothers my wife. I have had every test possible and the lung specialist says he can’t find any disease. What do you think?

A: You can try going without gluten for 3 to 4 weeks. Many times people have a simple gluten sensitivity that causes a long term cough. It won’t cost a cent to try it and if after 3 or 4 solid weeks of no gluten if you are not having a little less cough you can go back to gluten. (Gluten is in wheat, oats, barley, rye, spelt, kamut and quinoa.)But if you are a little better you know you must stay off of gluten forever. This is often missed with all the high tech tests, but it can really help.