Chiropractic Treatment: Beating Lower Back Pain

If you’re experiencing pain in your lower back, you’re not alone; about 25% of U.S. adults complain of low back pain at least once each year. The pain can range from mildly irritating to completely debilitating, keeping you or a loved one from enjoying simple, everyday activities such as walking, sitting, and standing.

What Causes Low Back Pain?

Low back pain can come from a wide variety of sources but is most often triggered by strain or injury to the muscles, discs, and ligaments surrounding the spine. In fact, repeated muscle strain can, over time, lead to an imbalance in the spinal structure itself. The constant tension on the spine leaves the back more susceptible to injury.

What often happens with lower back pain is that after injuring another area of their back, people tend to adjust the way they walk in an effort to avoid pain in the injured area. Unfortunately, this produces extra strain on the lower back, which might be moved or twisted abnormally…leading to pain in that area as well.

Other causes of low back pain include vertebrae fractures, a herniated disc, osteoarthritis, and spinal deformities such as those caused by scoliosis.

What Are The Symptoms of Low Back Pain?

Low back pain can come in several forms, including:

  • Muscle spasms or cramping
  • Sharp pains in the back or buttocks

Of course, symptoms will vary based on the cause and the severity of the injury or condition.

Add more pillows to help ease back pain

If you often find yourself waking up with a stiff back, the way you sleep might be aggravating it too!

Fortunately, there is a simple solution. Try either altering your sleeping position or adding pillows in strategic locations to help ease the strain on your lower back.

Side sleepers can add a pillow between their knees, and back sleepers could position the pillow beneath their knees.

Back sleepers might also try rolling up a small towel and placing it underneath their lower back.

Spinal manipulation can relieve pain and improve function.

One of the most commonly used treatments for low back pain is spinal manipulation, which should be performed by a trained chiropractor. During treatment, we use our hands or a special device to apply force to a particular spot on the spine in an effort to ease low back pain and improve the patient’s level of function in daily activities.

Research has shown that spinal manipulation can provide immediate relief of low back pain, with results still in effect as much as 18 months after treatments have been provided.

Side effects, if any, are mild.

Overall, spinal manipulation has been found to be a safe and effective treatment for much low back pain.

We will work with you or your loved ones to determine the best treatment plan for your condition.

Please call us to schedule a knee evaluation at 781-659-7989 today!

Chiropractic Treatment: Real Relief from Knee Pain

Did you know nearly one in three Americans over the age of 45 suffer from some sort of knee pain? In fact, many doctor visits and emergency room rushes are thanks to knee troubles. Common causes of knee pain include things like:

  • Injury, such as from a fall, accident, or contact sport activity
  • Arthritis
  • Infection (rare but very serious)
  • Misuse or overuse of the knee joints, such as performing the same actions over and over again is the one we see most.

In many cases, knee pain can be treated at home, with rest, anti-inflammatory supplements like glucosamine and MSM, and omega 3 fatty acids (fish oil), and ice applications, but there are some situations where immediate professional attention is required.

  • When Should You Seek Our Care?
  • You should call us ASAP when:
  • Knee pain is severely limiting your daily activities
  • At-home treatments don’t provide significant relief within two days
  • You can’t put any weight on your knee

If Your knee is remarkably swollen or you have redness, pain, and swelling in the knee, accompanied by a fever – which could point to an infection (in which case you need to be seen ASAP!) Let us decide if more aggressive care like antibiotics and an MRI is needed.

Getting to the Root of the Problem

In some cases, knee pain can be referred from other sources, such as the low back, pelvis, or hip joints, so a thorough examination is often required to find out what is really causing the pain. We will perform physical examinations that will lead to an accurate diagnosis of your situation. With the right diagnosis, we can prescribe an appropriate treatment plan for optimal relief – both short-term and long-term.

Lower Your Risk for Knee Pain

While anyone can experience knee pain for a variety of reasons, there are a few factors that could put you at greater risk. For starters, carrying excess weight can put undue stress on your knee joints, even during non-stress activities like walking, so try to keep your weight down to a healthy level.

Secondly, repetitive activities, such as riding your bicycle or running, can wear down the muscles that support your knee joints and lead to tissue damage if you don’t give your body enough time between sessions to heal properly. This is why most medical and fitness experts advise exercisers to avoid working the same muscle groups on consecutive days.

With that being said, it is important to strengthen the muscles supporting your knees, as tight and weak muscles aren’t able to absorb much stress. As a result, the stress of falls and accidents is transferred to your knee joint – often leading to knee injury.

Get Yourself Back on Track

The primary role of our chiropractic treatment and knee pain is to return you to ease, eliminate or reduce chronic pain and return you to the best function possible. To do that, we’ll likely prescribe a full rehab program after doing some light manual therapy and pain reducing therapies. These might include:

  • Flexibility exercises
  • Strengthening exercises
  • Endurance activities

Of course we will work with you to determine the best plan of action, based on your activity level before the knee pain started, along with the current functionality of your non-injured leg. While these rehabilitation programs can be very intensive, by working closely with us, often you will be able to strengthen the muscles that support your knee enough to lessen pain and help avoid further injury.

We can help you assess your knee pain and determine the best treatment plan for long-term relief.

Please call us to schedule a knee evaluation at 781-659-7989 today!

Functional Health: Vitamin E and Your Health

Vitamin E is an essential nutrient for all of us, especially those who suffer from many forms of pain.

As a member of the fat-soluble vitamin family that includes vitamins A, D, E and K, it is also lacking in many modern diets.

This is also one key nutrient that occurs in eight different forms; two are the most biologically active. The most common are gamma and alpha. In your diet this will be found primarily in nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils.

Vitamin E is an antioxidant, which basically means it helps prevent cells from damage due to “free radicals”, or cell destruction generated by some biochemical reactions.

Although Vitamin E is best known for its role as an antioxidant, it does have some profound roles in protecting the nervous system. Vitamin E is essential to helping healthy nerve function, as it helps us repair and protect myelin, the sheath that insulates our large nerves.

Healthy myelin is largely responsible for normal nerve conduction.

In fact, studies suggest that Vitamin E, when given to diabetics can improve nerve conduction significantly.

But there are some precautions:

First, there are no overnight miracles. Supplementation for months may be necessary to see a significant effect.

Too much Vitamin E can cause the blood to thin; this has an additive effect for anyone who takes Coumadin and other anticoagulant medications, including aspirin. Be especially careful here!

In addition to seeds and nuts (almonds and sunflower in particular), there are some other good dietary sources of Vitamin E, such as palm oil, the principal ingredient in “Earth Balance”, a butter substitute and line of products we recommend. To a lesser extent, leafy green vegetables and avocadoes will provide some active vitamin E.

Generally, safe supplementation is in the range of 200 to 400 international units of mixed tocopherols for most patients.

There maybe other occasions where we may want to prescribe larger amounts of the d-alpha tocopherol form. This is sometimes done in other neurologic conditions including multiple sclerosis.

As we say all the time, there is no one single magic nutrient. But if you lack vitamin E, it will be impossible for your nerves to heal and function properly.

This is another reason why multiple nutrient components are necessary for effective health maintenance and treatment of disease; this is not a short-term proposition.

As always, with chronic pain, it is important to work very carefully with us and make sure that your progress is monitored.

Please call us to schedule a visit at 781-659-7989 today or simply leave your info HERE and we’ll call you ASAP!

Functional Health: Zinc and Your Health

As you know, zinc is a metal. It is used in a process applied to preserve metals from corrosion, especially in salt water. This of course is called galvanization.

What you may not know is that zinc also has a large role in your health, especially neurologic and immune system related issues.

But like so many nutrients, balance is everything. Too much zinc will suppress the immune system and cause difficulties with copper levels. Too little can create problems ranging from memory impairment to prostate disease. Yes, neurologic dysfunction can result when zinc is deficient.

According to Hambridge et al in 2007 in “Zinc deficiency a special challenge” it is stated that zinc is an element with “profound biologic significance”. In fact, zinc deficiencies worldwide are responsible for many disease states.

Perhaps the most important thing to understand is that zinc imbalances are relatively common. This is due both to low levels in foods of modern agriculture as well as elevated levels of copper due to plumbing and environmental sources.

In the clinic, we will measure hair and blood levels of these crucial elements when assessing nutrition status.

In our bodies, zinc can actually act as an antioxidant. This protects us against damage from environmental assaults, as well as natural aging. The presence of zinc is essential for normal nerve function.

It is well-known that zinc can speed the healing process and, in essential amounts, will help stimulate the immune system and possibly prevent prostate disease.

When zinc is used in shampoos and skin lotions, it can act as a sunscreen, a soothing dressing, and also help prevent dandruff.

The reason that zinc is so important is that it participates in many chemical reactions, especially in enzymes.

The recommended dietary allowance is around 15 mg per day.

However modern diets alone sometimes fall short of this.

The good news is, the diet our office recommends is high in nuts and seeds provide relatively good zinc levels. Seafood, shellfish in particular, can be great sources of dietary zinc.

For most patients, safe supplementation level is probably not more than 25 mg per day. More than 50 mg a day could be detrimental. Like so many nutrients, this is one area where working with trained healthcare professionals is essential if there are any questions at all about appropriate zinc dosages.

Please call us to schedule a visit at 781-659-7989 today and we’ll call you ASAP!