Chiropractic Treatment: Chronic Spine Pain After Fusion

Chronic Spine Pain After Fusion

In our practices, we see many patients with less than optimal results from spinal surgery. Although in many cases surgery can save lives and improve immediate outcomes, problems can arise in areas adjacent to the surgical site, especially after fusion of the spine, sometimes resulting in chronic spine pain for the patient.

One of our discoveries has been that applying our treatment protocols in these cases can be very helpful in controlling pain, and helping to restore better function.

We once treated a patient who is several years after cervical fusion with unrelenting interscapular pain (right between the shoulder blades). I had taken care of this gentleman before surgery many years earlier.

This patient tried numerous drugs, pain blocks, physical therapy, all without significant improvements. As I have done in lumbar spine patients on several times, we applied treatment to the affected area.

He experienced almost immediate relief with our combination manual therapy and neurostimulator application. He gets some relief with a home care unit, but returns to the office for periodic treatments.

Here is another case where applying what we have learned about treating chronic pain has really helped this gentleman live a more normal life!

Save yourself years of chronic spine pain misery.

Please call us at 781-659-7989 to schedule an evaluation!

Functional Health: Chronic Pain Morning diet/daily plan

A winning morning routine for many chronic pain patients

If you or someone you love suffers the misery of chronic pain, you know how these can seemingly run your life.

Daily routines can make for a happier days.

And in times of acute illness or injury, they must!  But when conditions like shingles, fibromyalgia, and back pain linger, a real strategy is needed to best get control of your life.

Experience in the clinic for over 30 years tells me repeatedly that those patents with routines do far better, suffer less pain and life disruption, including depression.

So what does this Daily plan look like?

Something like this:

Get up at a set time every day. Be sure to stay well dressed and completely warm and comfortable year round. Next drink a warm beverage like coffee or tea. Use stevia instead of sugar or artificial sweeteners. Ideally, you’ll be sipping during quiet prayer or meditation, even if just for a little while. (There’s nothing wrong with longer periods either!).

Within 30 minutes of arising, eat a high protein meal. Could be a couple omega 3 eggs, or a protein shake. No bagels, toast or English muffins allowed this early!

Next, some light activity like a walk, gentle bike ride, and some stretching. It’s crucial that you stay well fed and warm to get the most pain reduction and healing benefits.

After a shower or bath, get yourself to therapy if it’s a treatment day.

If not, engage in some good self-treatment! Typically my patents use a home care kit of some type. Along with medications, this may include dietary supplements, heat packs, topical and often an electric neurostimulator. This could take up to an hour.

And then, get on to your day! Remember, a gluten and dairy free diet high in vegetables and lean protein works best for most chronic pain patients. Low carbohydrate, high quality snacks like nuts and small amounts of fruit should be consumed so your are never going more than 3 hours without refueling. Keep your life as simple and free of distraction as possible.

At the end of your day, repeat the all the great self care and stick to the diet plan above!

This has proven to be a winning morning routine for many chronic pain patients, and I hope for you too!

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

Chiropractic Treatment: Low Back Pain and Spinal Care

A few decades ago, the chiropractic profession practiced in a relative absence of good scientific data concerning its main therapeutic tool, spinal manipulation.

The success of this profession and this treatment with patient care was empirically based. The evidence basis of spinal manipulation, however, has changed dramatically in recent years with a large number of well done clinical trials that have filled the information void.

No other back pain treatment has been subjected to such examination…when numerous clinical trials are considered together, the evidence in favor of chiropractic manipulation is overwhelming.

Analysis of the volume of research available on the topic of spinal manipulation and low back pain can be surprising to many health care providers who do not practice this specialty. The volume of research on spinal manipulation for acute low back pain is greater than for any other single treatment used for this condition.

The majority of the clinical trials on spinal manipulation for acute low back pain have found this treatment to be beneficial, outperforming the comparative or control treatments which have included virtually all other commonly used therapies.

The bottom line is that spinal manipulation words to relieve low back pain!

Manipulation has consistently outperformed any other therapy, compared to ultrasound only, traction only, exercise, bedrest and medications.

In most cases, it has provided benefits with range of motion, cost-effectiveness, decrease in lost productivity, patient satisfaction and pain relief.

Undisputed Benefits of Spinal Manipulation

The evidence basis of spinal manipulation has changed dramatically in recent years with a large number of well done clinical trials filling the information void.

The majority of the clinical trials on spinal manipulation performed by chiropractors for acute low back pain have found this treatment to be beneficial, outperforming the comparative or control treatments which have included virtually all other commonly used therapies.

If you have low back pain, then you should strongly consider spinal manipulation as a form of treatment. It is low risk, and the results are quick and often painless. As licensed chiropractors, we understand the significant value of manipulation, and can assure you of its benefits. (NSAIDS are drugs like Motrin and Alieve, to name just two).

Time to FIX the Pain and Stiff Movement!

If you are looking for pain relief, then look no further. We are here to help you.

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

Chiropractic Treatment and The Immune System

In today’s age of health and fitness, more and more kids are involved in sporting activities. Although being part of a football, soccer, or Little League team is an important rite of passage for many kids, parents and their children could be overlooking the importance of proper nutrition and body conditioning needed for preventing injuries on and off the playing field.

“The majority, if not all, sports are good, provided that the child prepares appropriately,” says Dr. Carl Heigl, president of the American Chiropractic Association’s Council on Sports Injuries and Physical Fitness. “Without proper preparation, playing any sport can turn into a bad experience. There are structural and physical developmental issues that need to be taken into consideration before children undertake certain sports.”

Highly competitive sports such as football, gymnastics and wrestling follow rigorous training schedules that can be potentially dangerous to an adolescent or teenager.

The best advice for parents who have young athletes in the family is to help them prepare their bodies and to learn to protect themselves from sports-related injuries before they happen.

“Proper warm up, stretching and weight-lifting exercises are essential for kids involved in sports, but many kids learn improper stretching or weight-lifting techniques, making them more susceptible to injury,” says Dr. Steve Horwitz, an ACA member from Silver Spring, Maryland, and former member of the U.S. Summer Olympics medical team. “Parents need to work with their kids and make sure they receive the proper sports training.”

“Young athletes should begin with a slow jog to warm up the legs and arms and stretch all the major muscle groups,” says Dr. Horwitz. “Kids involved in football, baseball, gymnastics and swimming should develop a routine that includes strengthening exercises for the abdomen, the low-back muscles, arms and shoulders.”

Proper nutrition and hydration are also extremely vital. “A student athlete may need to drink eight to ten 8-ounce glasses of water for proper absorption. Breakfast should be the most important meal of the day. Also, eating a healthy meal before and after practice or a game allows for proper replenishment and refuels the body,” adds Dr. Horwitz.

Young athletes today often think they are invincible. The following tips can help ensure your child does not miss a step when it comes to proper fitness, stretching, training and rest that the body needs to engage in sporting activities.

Encourage your child to:

  • Wear the proper equipment
  • Eat healthy meals
  • Avoid high-fat foods
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Drink water
  • Drink milk
  • Avoid sugar-loaded, caffeinated and carbonated drinks
  • Follow a warm-up routine
  • Take vitamins daily
  • Avoid trendy supplements
  • Get plenty of rest—Sluggishness, irritability and loss of interest could indicate that your child is fatigued.

Chiropractic Care Can Help…

Doctors of chiropractic are trained and licensed to treat the entire neuromusculoskeletal system and can provide advice on sports training, nutrition and injury prevention to young athletes.

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

 

Chiropractic Treatment: Backpacks and Back Pain

Maybe you have more important things to worry about. Yes, it may lead to back pain, but it’s not like carrying a heavy backpack with a lot of school books can cause serious illnesses, like scoliosis – as far as we know.

Still, carrying a heavy backpack can cause your child to suffer from chronic shoulder, neck and back pain.

Is carrying a heavy backpack to school causing health problems for your kids? It might be. Are they carrying more than 10-20% of their body weight in their backpack? And do they tend to carry their backpack on only one shoulder? If so, chances are their backpack is causing some health problems.

Fortunately, the fashion of carrying a backpack on only one shoulder seems to be fading. On a visit to The University of Texas at Austin, I saw that most students had their backpacks strapped over both shoulders, instead of the single shoulder look that was ‘fashionable’ in my day. Also, some backpacks now come with wheels, which allow the student to roll the bag rather than carry it.

  • Does your child complain of back pain?
  • Does your child walk bent over sideways to try to adjust for the heavy load of a backpack?
  • Does your child complain of numbness and tingling in his arms or hands?
  • Does your child carry more than 10-20% of her body weight in her backpack?

If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, you might want to take some steps to minimize the chances that carrying a backpack will cause your child back pain or other health problems. 

Please call us at 781-659-7989 to schedule an evaluation!

Sources:

Iannelli, Vincent MD – Wondering Whether Your Child’s Backpack Is Too Heavy? – 25-Sept-2016
Leffert RD – Orthop Clin North Am – 01-Apr-2000; 31(2): 331-45  

Chiropractic Treatment: Herniated Discs

If you have slipped, ruptured, or herniated discs, you can attest to the truth of the old saying that when your back hurts, your whole body hurts.

The pain can be never ending.  It’s virtually impossible to find a comfortable position, either standing or lying down.

The pain can take over your entire life and lead to

  • Depression
  • Sleeplessness
  • Fear and anxiety
  • Inability to perform normal daily activities
  • Reduced social interaction with friends and family

If you notice any of these symptoms, you should seek medical treatment.

So What Causes a Herniated Disc?

First, it helps to understand what the discs in your spine do.  The bones in your spine are separated and cushioned by small discs that act as shock absorbers.  When they function properly, they allow your spine to remain flexible.  But when they’re damaged, which is much more likely as you age, the discs can bulge or rupture.

Any number of things can cause a herniated disc – plain old fashioned wear and tear, sitting too much, or a traumatic injury from lifting too much weight and lifting it improperly.

If you sit for long periods of time and frequently experience minor back pain and chronic back tiredness you could be at great risk for developing a “wear and tear” herniated disc. Something as simple as bending over to pick up a piece of paper, a minor fall, or even a sneeze can be all it takes to cause a disc to rupture.

If your job or your lifestyle require you to do frequent heavy lifting and you lift with your back instead of your legs, you’re pretty much a herniated disc waiting to happen.  Always lift with your legs, with your spine straight to equalize the pressure on the discs to avoid serious problems.

Treatment Options

When you’re diagnosed with a herniated disc, the first goals of treatment are:

  • Pain relief – first and foremost
  • Address any weakness or numbness in your feet, legs and lower back
  • Prevention of additional injuries

Find a practitioner with extensive experience in treating herniated discs and their accompanying issues.

More than 90% of patients with herniated discs (if treated early on) will improve within 6 months without surgery.  But you need to start treatment at the first sign of problems.

For the most part, you can expect:

  • Bed rest followed by increased, prescribed and controlled activity
  • Chiropractic manipulation to get the spine back into proper alignment and take pressure off the herniated disc and nerves
  • Exercises to reduce your pain and strengthen the muscles in the back

Save yourself years of back pain misery.

 

We can work with you or your loved one to determine the best treatment for your condition.

Please call us at 781-659-7989 at to schedule a consultation today

The PPW team

 

 

How Chiropractic Care Can Help Your Sleepless Nights

If you’re suffering from a bout of sleepless nights, you’re not alone; the vast majority of adults will experience insomnia at some point in their lives, although only about 10% of Americans struggle with chronic insomnia.

What you probably did NOT know, is that spinal mis-alignments (subluxations) seem to act as a form of chronic nervous system irritation, often initially painless, which Chiropractors often find disturbs sleep for weeks or months!

What is insomnia?

Quite simply, insomnia involves a difficulty in falling asleep, staying asleep, or both. So if you regularly find yourself tossing and turning in the wee hours of the night, insomnia is likely to blame.  A sleepless night here or there is normal, but if you find yourself going a week or more without a full night’s sleep, and if it’s affecting your health and concentration, it’s time to seek professional help.

What are the symptoms of insomnia?

Not getting enough sleep at night can cause more daytime problems than you might be aware of. Insomnia of any length of time, but particularly episodes lasting several days or weeks, can lead to:

  • Trouble remembering details, from mundane to important
  • An inability to concentrate on the task at hand
  • Decreased coordination
  • Irritability and moodiness
  • Increased likelihood of a car accident, often due to falling asleep at the wheel

What causes insomnia?

Certain factors can actually help trigger bouts of insomnia, such as high levels of stress that can bring on short-term insomnia (which, if left untreated, can lead to chronic insomnia, so it’s best to act quickly before it becomes a lasting problem!). While people of all ages can experience insomnia, instances tend to get worse with age.  People with alcohol addictions and mental health problems commonly suffer insomnia, as do members of low-income families.

How Chiropractic Care Can Alleviate Your Sleep Problems

While too many patients don’t tell us about sleep disorders before their sessions, many report improved sleep even after being treated for conditions unrelated to insomnia, so imagine the relief you can feel if you report your sleeplessness to us!

Chiropractic may help you improve sleep by:

  • Opening up the airways so you breathe better at night.
  • By Decreases in pain and restlessness for those suffering an illness that keeps you up at night.
  • Improved body mechanics, which leads to improve overall functioning of the brain pathways that control sleep.

We can help identify the severity of your insomnia and determine the treatment plan that is just right for you. If you need a sleep study, need to see an ENT or an RT, we’ll help with that too!

Please call us at 781-659-7989 to schedule an evaluation! 

Chiropractic Treatment: Chronic Back Pain

If you suffer from chronic back pain you’ve probably heard that saying “when your back hurts, your whole body hurts” more times than you can count.

And more than likely you know someone who has had or is thinking about having back surgery. If you’re reading this that someone might even be you. If so, you have a lot of company.

Back pain contributes $128 billion (yes, that’s billion with a B) to medical costs every year.  And it’s responsible for 100 million days off work.

If you’ve been suffering with back pain long enough, chances are really good that a doctor has recommended some kind of back surgery.  The surgery most commonly performed these days is spinal fusion surgery.

Of course, sometimes there is no alternative.

But, before you go under the knife, there are a few things you should know about spinal fusion.

What is Spinal Fusion?

Spinal fusion[1] is a type of surgery that joins or fuses two or more vertebrae in the back.  It’s a very serious surgery.  The vertebrae are fused using bone from the pelvic bone or from a cadaver.  Metal implants are used to hold the vertebrae in place until new bone grows between them to bridge the gap between them.

You will be in the hospital anywhere from 2 to 5 days and your recovery period is going to be about 12 weeks if you don’t experience any complications.

What’s Your Prognosis after Fusion?

Statistically, not the greatest.  In fact, you could be much worse off than you would be with a more conservative treatment.

In a study[2] conducted of 1450 people suffering from low back pain, 725 were treated with spinal fusion and 725 followed the more conservative route with physical therapy and exercise.

Check out these numbers for the people with spinal fusion:

  • 25% returned to work after 2 years (as compared to 67% of the non-surgical patients)
  • 11% were permanently disabled (compared to 2% of the non-surgical group)
  • Almost 85% of the spinal fusion patients continued using prescription painkillers (compared to 49% of the non-surgical patients) and the surgical patients increased their use of opioid painkillers by 41%.
  • 36 % of the spinal fusion patients suffered complications (meningitis, kidney failure and death)
  • 27% had to have another surgery
  • The spinal fusion group missed a total of 1140 days vs. 316 days in the non-surgical group

And The Alternative?

This same study found that the best treatment for back pain focused on physical therapy to increase flexibility and strength and an exercise program to improve the overall health of the patient. 

Our clinic and specialists adhere to a highly specialized protocol for the treatment of patients suffering from chronic pain. Our treatment protocol includes physical therapy, manual manipulation of the spine and skeletal structures combined with a unique NDGen spinal protocol developed in our clinics. Most often, we’ll instruct you in exercise, massage, diet, and nutrition counseling and other treatments combined specifically for each individual patient.

Most clinicians agree, barring a neurosurgical emergency that you should give your body a chance to heal itself slowly. Completely explore all your options before you let anyone do surgery on your back.  Given the right treatment in the hands of a trained specialist, you might be surprised at how much better your back and neuropathy symptoms feel without the risk of complications caused by an invasive back surgery.

And for a lot less than the $80,000 average cost for spinal fusion surgery.

Please call us at 781-659-7989 to schedule an evaluation!

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[1] www.webmd.com/back-pain/spinal-fusion-arthrodesis

[2] http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=650089