Get Your Kids Back-To-School Ready

Time for Back-To-School check-ups. One of the fundamental pieces of any back-to-school ensemble is the backpack. The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) offers the following checklist to help parents select the best possible backpack for their children:

1. Correct Size- The backpack should never be wider or longer than your child’s torso, and the pack should not hang more than 4 inches below the waistline, to prevent leaning while walking.
2. Shoulder Straps- Non-padded straps are not
only uncomfortable, but also they can place unnecessary pressure on the neck and shoulder muscles. Two wide straps are needed.
3. Does your child use both straps?- Lugging a heavy backpack by one strap can cause a disproportionate shift of weight to one side, leading to neck and muscle spasms, low-back pain, and poor posture.
4. Adjustable Shoulder Straps- This is so that the backpack can be fitted to your child’s body. The backpack should be evenly centered in the middle of your child’s back.
5. Back Padding- A padded back not only provides increased comfort, but also protects your child from being poked by sharp edges on school supplies inside the pack.
6. Have Several Compartments- This helps position the contents most effectively. Make sure that pointy or bulky objects are packed away from the area that will rest on your child’s back, and try to place the heaviest items closet to the body.
7. Weight- The child should never carry more than 10% of their body weight.
8. Pain- Seek care from a doctor of chiropractic or other health care professional for reported pain.

If you would like to have your kids receive a tune-up or a check-up as a preparation for the start of school, please give me a call at 650-593-3500.

Wishing your kids the best this school year,
Dr. Phil Kotzan, DC

Summer Grilling at its Healthiest


Grilling is one of the Bay Area’s favorite past-times. For all of you meat eaters out there, this common cooking technique can be done with an even healthier twist. All types of meats produce a type of protein called HCA, when grilled or cooked at high temperatures, that is carcinogenic. Our job as healthy eaters is to minimize the amount of HCA’s we create by cooking the meat properly. Here are a few ways to minimize the carcinogenic protein in our meat.

1. MARINATE the meat (for any period of time). Moisture prevents HCA formation.
2. MICROWAVE the meat before cooking to reduce the amount of time needed for the meat to grill.
3. TRY SEAFOOD because seafood produces lower HCA’s (so long as it isn’t charred).
4. KEEP IT MOIST. The drier and the more well-done the meat, the more the HCA’s produced.
5. BAKE, ROAST, OR STIR-FRY instead, since grilling creates more HCA’s.
6. FLIP FREQUENTLY to keep the surface temperature lower, preventing HCA formation.
7. SKIP THE PAN DRIPPINGS that prevent runoff HCA’s from coating the meat.
8. COOK IN LIQUID. Boiling, steaming, stewing all create lower HCA’s because the temperature never tops the boiling point of the water.
9. EAT YOUR VEGGIES. These create little or no HCA’s. Cruciferous veggies (broccoli and brussel sprouts actually help to detoxify HCA’s).

Enjoy the summer barbeques!

Enjoying Summer Health,
Dr. Phil Kotzan, DC

Osteoporosis And The Newest Solution…

Osteoporosis is a decreased bone density across multiple bones of the body. One study stated that over 34 million Americans over the age of 55 have Osteoporosis. This becomes problematic when we rely on our bone strength to act as our body’s framework, to protect our internal organs and soft-tissues, produce red and white blood cells, and to act as a bank for our body to store and release calcium and phosphate. When our bones can no longer absorb calcium as well, we lose more calcium than we take in and suffer from problems such as: nerve conduction, muscle contraction, blood pressure, and hormone regulation, bone fracture, insomnia, muscle spasm, heart palpitations, and numbness in the extremities. The physical activity that we perform decreases the likelihood of problems, while obesity increases our risk.


I now offer a product that is an all-natural, whole-food, complete bone-management system that has no negative side-effects and can be taken safely with other supplements or prescription drugs or even while undergoing other treatments. This is not a calcium supplement…but rather a supplement that allows the calcium that we intake to be more readily absorbed by the body. It is recommended for all ages…including pets. The product is taken with food, preferrably with dinner because it does it’s job during the sleeping hours. For those with Osteoporosis, I always suggest to maintain an active dialogue with their medical provider about the products they are taking. What better way is there to fight off and prevent osteoporosis?!?

Please direct anyone you may know with osteoporosis or desires to prevent osteoporosis my way so that I may answer any of their questions. I now stock the product and would be more than happy to consult with them about their situation and how the product will work for them. Osteoporosis can be beaten and prevented. Call Dr. Kotzan today at 650-593-3500 to learn how.

In Fighting Osteoporosis,
Dr. Phil Kotzan, DC

White Health Lies…

The survey is in: patients tell white lies to their doctors! ::Mouthdrop:: As a doctor, I clearly know that patients tell white lies to me for various reasons. Lies are told to prevent having to talk about personal information, to make themselves seem more perfect in the health arena, or for various other reasons.

Below is a list provided by MDVIP, a boutique medical practice, of the most commonly told lies to their health care providers:

1. Smoke, Drink Excessively, Doing Illegal Drugs
2. Having Peeing or Pooping Issues
3. Take Herbs
4. Seeing a Chiropractor or Alternative Healer
5. Are Having Financial Trouble
6. Want Cheap Medicine
7. Feel Depressed, Anxious, or Stressed Out
8. Defied the Doctor’s Orders
9. Don’t Exercise and Eat Badly
10. Have a Small Problem That They Think is Unimportant

The best health care is delivered when the absolute truth is presented to the doctor. Therefore, it’s important to reveal information relating to the ten common white lies above. Personally, I want to draw attention to number 4. PLEASE tell your other health care providers that you are under my care, chiropractic care. I work closely with other health care providers and find that they are very inquisitive about chiropractic care and the Active Release Technique. If they have any questions about what I do, I am more than willing to address their curiosity and answer any of their questions. I currently have a steady stream of referrals from medical physicians of many of my patients.

In hearing the healthy truth,
Dr. Phil Kotzan, DC

Playing Safe: 10 Tips To Keeping Your Kids Injury-Free

1. Be fit first. Your child should be in proper physical condition for his or her sport before participating.
2. Get a physical exam. Take your child to the doctor before he or she begins participating in sports.
3. Know the proper techniques and rules of the game. Make sure your child is using the right positions and postures when playing.
4. Cool down and warm up before practices and games—and before any physical activity.
5. Wear protective gear at all times. Make sure the equipment fits properly and is appropriate for the sports in which your child is participating.
6. Stay hydrated. Make sure your child drinks adequate water or sports drinks before, during and after exercise.
7. Talk with the coach. Find out if your child’s coach has proper credentials, including experience coaching children and an understanding of their special needs, training in first aid, and knowledge about injury prevention and proper body mechanics, says Mathew Ryan, ATC-PTA, program manager of PAMF’s Sports Medicine and Athletic Training Department in Santa Cruz.
8. Ignore the “no pain, no gain” philosophy. If your child is too tired or in pain, he or she should stop playing says PAMF Dr. Harris.
9. Remember R.I.C.E. If your child does have a minor injury, remember Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.
10. Don’t overdo it. Play only one sport per season to avoid over-taxing the body, and rest at least one day per week, PAMF Dr. Harris advises. It is also important to cross-train and avoid playing the same sport year round, adds Ryan. “Even professional athletes take at least two months off from their sport every year, and kids’ muscles and tendons need even more recovery time,” he says. “You can’t use the same muscles over and over again without rest and expect to remain injury-free.”
–Palo Alto Medical Foundation

Keeping Kids Safe This Summer,
Dr. Phil Kotzan, DC

National Biking Month

May is National Biking Month and here is a list put together by the League of American Bicyclists on Overcoming Bike Commuting Excuses:

1. I’m out of shape
• Ride at an easy pace; in a few months you will be in great shape.
• Ride your route on a weekend to find the easiest way to work.
• You will improve your fitness level when you become a regular bike commuter.
2. It takes too long
• The average commuter travels at 10 mph; the more you ride, the faster you will become.
• Trips of less than three miles will be quicker by bike.
• Trips of five to seven miles in urban areas may take the same time or less as by car.
3. It’s too far
• Try riding to work and taking mass transit home, then alternating the next day.
• Combine riding and mass transit to shorten your commute.
• Ride to a coworker’s house and carpool to work.
4. No bike parking
• Look around for a storage area in your building or office.
• Stash your bike in a covered, secure place such as a closet or even your office.
• Formally request that your employer provide bike parking or lock it up outside.
5. My bike is beat up
• Tell a reputable bike shop that you are commuting and have them tune up your bike.
• If you can’t maintain your bike yourself, identify bike shops near your route.
• Make sure that your bike is reliable and in good working order before you ride.
6. No showers
• Most commuters don’t shower at work; ride at an easy pace to stay cool and dry.
• Ride home at a fast pace if you want a workout; shower when you get there.
• Health clubs offer showers; get a discounted membership for showers only.
7. I have to dress up
• Keep multiple sets of clothing at work; rotate them on days you drive.
• Have work clothes cleaned at nearby laundromats or dry cleaners.
• Pack clothes with you and change at work; try rolling clothes instead of folding.
8. It’s raining
• Fenders for your bike and raingear for your body will keep you dry.
• If you are at work, take transit or carpool to get home; ride home the next day.
• Take transit or drive if you don’t have the gear to ride comfortably in the rain.
9. The roads aren’t safe
• Obey traffic signs, ride on the right, signal turns, and stop at lights.
• Wear bright clothing.
• You are at no greater risk than driving a car.
• Wear a helmet every time you ride.
10. I have to run errands
• Bolt a rack to the back of your bike to add carrying capacity.
• Make sure that you have a lock to secure your bike while you are in a building.
• Allow extra time to get to scheduled appointments and find parking.
• Encourage your employer to provide a bicycle fleet for office use.

For more information on how to make your workplace more bicycle friendly visit

See you on the trails,
Dr. Phil Kotzan, DC

Slipped Ribs

Slip, flop, pop right out.

It’s hard to imagine that our ribs have the ability to slip out of their normal alignment.

Before I explain a little more about this situation, let’s explore the anatomy surrounding our ribs. We have 12 ribs total on each side of our body. The first seven ribs from top to bottom on either side are called true ribs because they attach to both our vertebral bones in the back and to a piece of cartilage in the front of our chest that then attaches to our sternum. The next three ribs down from those on either side, called false ribs, attach to the vertebral bodies in the back and then come around the front to attach to a longer strip of cartilage without fully connecting to the sternum. And then ribs 11 and 12 on either side connect to the vertebral bones in the back but have no connection to any cartilage in the front, therefore, being completely unattached to the sternum. These last two ribs are called floating ribs.

We rely on our ribcage to be fully moveable for full inspiration and expiration of our lungs. The ribs rotate ourward with inspiration and then rotate back inward with expiration thanks to the muscles between the ribs (intercostal muscles) and the nerves that innervate them (intercostal nerves).

But there can be many forces working against us that prevent normal ribcage movement. The part of the spine (the thoracic spine) that the ribs attach to provides us with most of our ability to rotate our body (although it also provides elements of flexion, extension, side-bending). We can twist and turn thanks to this part of our spine–which also requires our ribs, attached to these rotating vertebrae, to accomodate and rotate at the joint where they attach to the vertebrae. Poor flexibility of our muscles, tendons, and ligaments that attach to these joints can prevent the ribs from completing their full range of motion, possibly even forcing them to slightly slip from the cartilage or bone to which they attach if the demand we place on them is too great for them to handle due to their lack of flexibility.

Patients usually report a pain in the front of their chest or in the back of their chest, most commonly felt with rotation of their trunk, caughing, sneezing, a hard laugh, pushing or pulling items or lifting a heavier object. Often, the pain of a slipped rib radiates from the back of the chest or front of the chest all the way around to the opposite side at the same level (pain along the intercostal nerve). Sometimes a clicking/popping/clunking noise is also associated with certain movements.

The best form of diagnosing a slipped rib is to get a proper case history and then to palpate the area around the painful region. Specific maneuvers requested to be performed during the exam may also indicate a slipped rib.

And then finally, what many people care about most, is the treatment of a slipped rib. The chiropractic adjustment to correct the slippage is extremely important. In conjunction with adjusting, it is important to loosen the tissue around the ribs with a stretching protocol and to monitor/adjust aggravating activities.

Should you want to learn more about slipped ribs or want to correct a slipped rip, please give me a call.

In correcting slipped ribs,
Dr. Phil Kotzan

Chiropractic Most Effective Therapy


On April 6th, 2009, the Consumer Reports Health Rating Center released the survey results of more than 14,000 Americans that asked participants to rate the most effective treatment option for people suffering with low back pain.

The survey rated doctors of chiropractic as the top practitioner, with survey respondents noting that they were more likely to be “highly satisfied” with the care received from their doctor of chiropractic (59 percent) than their primary care physician (34 percent).


“For the treatment of back pain, few options are better than chiropractic,” says the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) President Glenn Manceaux, DC. “As shown in this latest survey, chiropractic spinal manipulation is an evidence-based and effective treatment for low-back pain and other musculoskeletal injuries. Coupled with the high-levels of patient satisfaction, patients should turn to chiropractic as their first choice.”


To compare which treatments helped most, Consumer Reports asked its subscribers to rate a comprehensive list of potential remedies along with their satisfaction with the health care professionals they visited. Most survey respondents had tried five or six different treatments on average, and many found that their back pain interfered with their daily activities, including sleep and their sex life.


Doctors of chiropractic provide drug-free, non-invasive treatment options for many types of pain and inflammation. For example, chronic back pain, neck pain, joint pain and headaches can often be reduced with the appropriate combination of chiropractic manipulation, rehabilitative exercises and lifestyle counseling – all of which are offered by doctors of chiropractic in a patient’s personalized treatment plan.


A significant amount of evidence has shown that the use of chiropractic care for certain conditions can be more effective than traditional medical care, with many patients feeling improvement shortly after their first chiropractic visit.


To read the article as it appears on the Consumer Reports Web site, click hereThe American Chiropractic Association, based in Arlington, Va., is the largest professional association in the world representing doctors of chiropractic. The ACA provides lobbying, public relations, professional and educational opportunities for doctors of chiropractic, and offers leadership for the advancement of the profession.

Reported by the American Chiropractic Association.

Promoting Chiropractic,
Dr. Phil Kotzan, DC

Patient Thank-You Party!

As a thank-you to all of my patients and their continued support and great friendships, I am having a party on Tuesday, April 14th from 5:30-7:30pm.  Please come and enjoy an evening of appetizers, champagne, chair-massages, health product demonstrations, and great conversation.

Looking forward to seeing you Tuesday the 14th at my office,

Dr. Phil Kotzan, DC

The “Quiet”practor

How could I do anything but laugh when a three-year-old patient of mine misprounounced the term “chiropractor” into “quietpractor.”  Ha.  Although Ella, and all of her three years of vocabulary, simply misprounounced my title of “chiropractor” into “quiet”practor, she sparked a train of thought that made me think about just how vocal I am about what I do for a living and how beneficial my work truly is.  And then I thought I am anything but a “quiet”practor. 

I’ve spent my career thus far promoting the benefits of chiropractic and, therefore, my services of chiropractic and Active Release Technique (ART) treatments.  I’ve done lectures, fairs, and trainings in which I have highlighted that chiropractic adjustments are simply mandatory for so many different people.  People’s joints are continuously mal-aligning, locking up and inflaming the local area…therefore, causing many other symptoms such as pain, muscle tension, stiffness, numbness, and a poor quality of life. 

I’m proud of chiropractic and proud of my role within healthcare.  The next time you hear that I’m quiet, know that it’s a false accusation.  Ha.

I’m Dr. Kotzan and am proud of being the non-“Quiet”practor.  Cheers Ella!

Dr. Phil Kotzan, DC