Chiropractor Highlights Link Between Depression and Back Pain

A leading chiropractor suggests depression could have the most common emotion associated with chronic back pain.

Medicically known as major depression or clinical depression, the mental symptoms that patients experience go beyond normal feelings of sadness that everyone encounters from time to time. Clinical or major depression is more likely to be diagnosed in patients suffering from chronic back pain than those who experience acute or short-term problems. A reputable team of chiropractors explain that being aware of the host of symptoms associated with chronic back pain goes a long way to understanding why depression sometimes develops.

For many patients living with long-term back pain, being able to get a good night's sleep is close to impossible. This can lead to fatigue and irritability during the day which can have continuous feelings of negativity. Difficulty with movement and physical activity can also mean many of those suffering from chronic back pain feel isolated, which can be contributory to depression. If the patient is unable to work, financial difficulties may affect the entire family and consequentially put additional strain on relations.

When evaluating the link between chronic back pain and depression, indirect factors should also be taken into account. Beyond the daily pain that many patients feel, there may be gastrointestinal discomfort brought on by anti-inflammatory medication and a general feeling of mental fogginess due to pain medications. It is also not uncommon for the distraction of constant pain to cause difficulties with memory and concentration.

A study by Strunin and Boden (2004) evaluated some of the indirect consequences of chronic back pain. Patients involved in the study reported a wide range of limitations on personal and social roles including physical limitations that hampered their abilities to undertake household chores, take care of their children, and take part in leisure activities with their partners. The research revealed that partners and children often took over family responsibilities once taken out by the patient suffering from back pain. As expected, these role changes often led to anger and depression among the back pain patients and to strain within family relationships.

The symptoms of major depression may include the following (reflecting for at least two weeks):

A predominant mood that is depressed, sad, blue, hopeless, low, or irritable, which may include periodic crying spells

Poor appetite or significant weight loss or increased appetite or weight gain

Sleep problem of either too much (hypersomnia) or too little (hyposomnia) sleep

Feeling agitated (restless) or sluggish (low energy or fatigue)

Loss of interest or pleasure in usual activities

Decreased sex drive

Feeling of worthlessness and / or guilt

Problems with concentration or memory

Thoughts of death, suicide, or wishing to be dead

If you or someone you know is suffering from these symptoms then it's critical that you speak to your GP.

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What Are The Popular Manual Chiropractic Treatments

As of now, there are numerous issues individuals experience everyday, from simple neck pains up to severe back pains. Most of the time, these issues are caused by fatigue, stress, and even lifestyle. Fortunately, there are now new ways to get rid of these issues. One of the best options is to visit a chiropractic clinic.

What is chiropractic treatment?

Chiropractic is a practice that focuses on improving the muscular and central nervous system of the body with the use of natural methods. Because of this, some experts state that these chiropractic techniques do not have any side effects on the body. As of now, there are numerous chiropractic techniques to choose from. Below are some of the most common manual based techniques.

Diversified

Joints are the most common areas where individuals feel pain. This is commonly experienced by individuals who use their joints frequently due to work and other activities. Luckily, Diversified is a process wherein practitioners of chiropractic apply low amplitude, high velocity thrust on the affected area such as the spine.

Gonstead

Gonstead is a variation of the Diversified technique since it primarily focuses on PA adjusting instead of rotary adjusting. To provide better results, X-rays, temperature gradient studies and palpitation are also used to clearly understand the problem which can help practitioners make better decisions.

Sacro-Occipital Technique

Another common area where individuals feel pain is in their lower back. Chiropractors can deal with lower back issues by using Sacro-Occipital Technique or SOT. It uses triangular-shaped blocks that are positioned under the pelvis. After which, low force and slow pressure are applied to adjust the pelvis to provide a soothing feeling.

Logan Basic

Logan Basic is a technique that uses concurrent light force. This light is applied on the ligaments of the sacrum and various spinal levels to reduce pain or other symptoms. With this technique, individuals can restore their balance.

Thompson

Thompson is a technique varied from Diversified and uses a special table for the treatment. This special table has several segments called drop pieces that can be elevated by an inch. When thrust is applied, these drop pieces will drop to help adjust certain parts of the body.

Co Flexon Distraction

Co Flexon Distraction is the best technique to deal with lumbar and cervical problems. This technique uses mechanical hands-on adjustments and a special table where experts can flex the spine. This technique is also ideal for treating non-disc disorder and improving spinal mobility.

With all these wonderful techniques, individuals are rest assured that their needs can be catered to properly and safely.

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What Causes Sciatic Pain? Can Exercises For Sciatica Help?

Sciatica is the name that is given to a common type of pain that radiates along the sciatic nerve, a large nerve that runs down the back of the leg. This article will help to explain what causes sciatic pain, and which exercises for sciatica may be of benefit.

What is Sciatica?

Sciatica is not a medical diagnosis as such, but rather a way to describe a particular set of symptoms that can occur due to an underlying medical condition that causes compression of the sciatic nerve.

These symptoms of sciatica are usually only on one side, and may be one of, or a combination of:

  • Pain that runs from the lower back down the back of the leg or buttock. The pain can vary from a mild ache to a sharp, burning or shooting pain that can become debilitating.
  • Pain that is worse when sitting.
  • You may experience numbness, tingling or weakness in the affected leg.
  • The pain can be made worse by coughing or sneezing.
  • Sharp pain that can make it difficult to walk.

The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body and is about the diameter of your thumb. It runs from the lower back all the way down your leg and as well as being the largest, it is also the longest nerve in the body. It is derived from the spinal nerves that exit the spine from L4 through to S3 joining together.

The symptoms of sciatica occurs when the any one of these nerve roots that form the sciatica nerve is being compressed or irritated in the lumbar spine. This is what people classically think of as a 'pinched' nerve. It is not usually the result of a single injury, but an accumulation over time.

Most cases of sciatica will do away over time. How ever you should seek urgent medical attention if the pain has a sudden sunset, is the result of a bad injury such as a car accident, it is not getting better after a week, or if you ever have trouble controlling your bowel or bladder.

What Causes Sciatica?

Compression of the sciatic nerve is most commonly caused by a herniated disc at the L5-S1 spinal level.

Other causes of sciatica are:

  • Degenerative disc disease (breaking down of the spinal discs.)
  • Spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal nerve canals in the lumbar spine, usually as a result of calcification / bone spurs.)
  • Spondylolysthesis (a condition where one vertebra slips forward on the vertebra below.)
  • Piriformis Syndrome (a muscle in the buttock that can compress the sciatic nerve if it spasms.)
  • Sacro-iliitis (Dysfunction of the sacro-iliac joint can irritate the L5 nerve root)
  • Rarer causes of sciatica may include pregnancy, spinal tumor, scar tissue, or infection.

Exercises For Sciatica

It is important to obtain an accurate diagnosis from your health care professional before starting any exercises, particularly if you are suffering with sciatica. There is not much point in stretching your Piriformis muscle if you have a disc herniation! And this is exactly why you have to be very careful before trying any exercise regime. There is a real possibility that you could aggravate your condition if you do the wrong thing.

Below are some exercises that will help to relate sciatica, relevant to the cause. Try to start exercising as soon as possible, within a few days of the sciatica flaring up. The longer you leave it the worse the condition becomes.

Sciatica Exercises for Piriformis Syndrome .

If the piriformis muscle, which is located in your buttock, is to tight or spasming, it can compress the sciatic nerve causing sciatica like symptoms.

Pirimformis Stretch

By stretching the piriformis you can help to relieve this nerve pressure and get some relief.

Lie on your back with your legs stretched out flat. Cross the foot on the affected side over the other knee, then pull the unaffected leg towards your chest. Hold for 10-30 seconds then relax back down. You will feel a stretch, but it should not be painful, if it is then just back off a bit.

Sciatica Exercises for a Herniated Disc.

Often relief from sciatica that is caused by a herniated disc can be achieved by extending or arching the spine.

First off, try this in a standing position with your hands on your hips, and just gently arch backs over your hands.

If you have any pain aggravation then do not do this exercise. If it is okay, after doing this for 2-3 days you can progress to doing extension exercises on the floor.

Back Extensions

Lie on your tummy, and gently lift your head and shoulders off the floor using your muscles and propping your self up on your elbows for 10 seconds.

Begin this one very carefully and slowly as it can be quite painful at the start.

For some people, raising their pain leg is beneficial.

Lying flat on your back, slowly attempt to raise the affected leg 6 to 12 inches off the floor and hold there for 10 seconds.

This is also good to strengthen the abdominal muscles, which are important spinal stabilizers.

Sciatica Exercises for Degenerative Disc Disease.

The best exercises for DDD are stretching exercises to help to improve spinal flexibility.

Low Back Stretch

Start in a knee position, then sit back onto you feet.

Stretch your arms out in front of you along the floor.

Feel the stretch in your low back and hold for 10 seconds.

Move back onto your hands and knees, then gently lift one leg behind you as far as you comfortably can.

Kneeling Leg Raise

Hold for 10 seconds then do the same on the other side.

All the previous exercises are also helpful for Degenerative Disc Disease, as is walking.

Sciatica Exercises for Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis is often a result of degenerative changes in the spine, so all the above exercises can be of benefit.

Try them all, you should find that some feel good and some feel bad. Simply, do not do the bad ones, and do the good ones! Everybody is different, so try them for yourself.

Sciatica Exercises for Spondylolisthesis.

The idea of ​​these exercises for spondylolisthesis is to teach the spine to be more stable in flexion and extension movements (backwards and forwards). Abdominal strength is key!

Leg Raise

Start lying flat on your back, slowly attempt to raise the affected leg 6 to 12 inches off the floor and hold there for 10 seconds.

Repeat with the other leg.

Tummy Sucks

Lie flat on your back with your knees bent. Notice that your lower back is arched up off the floor slightly.

Suck your tummy in, and press your lower back onto the floor and hold for 10 seconds.

Sit-ups are great for really getting your abs strong.

Lying on the floor as above, lift your upper body (head and shoulders) off the floor by curling up.

Do not try to lift to high, just enough to get your shoulders slowly off the floor. Repeat 10 times.

You can do more sets of 10 as you get better!

Sciatica Exercises for Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction.

Inflammation of the Sacro-iliac joint can cause sciatica like symptoms. This is usually the result of abnormal joint movement and can be assisted by stretching.

Lie on your back with your knees bent. Pull the knee on the affected side up to your chest as far as you can, then hold for 10 seconds.

You can also pull the knee across your body towards the opposite shoulder to amplify the stretch.

Before beginning any exercise program, particularly exercises for sciatica, you should see a health professional to get a correct diagnosis for your pain to rule out any potentially serious problems.

The proper exercises differ based on the underlying condition that is causing the sciatic pain, so patients should not try to self-treat their sciatica before consulting a health professional.

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Is Your Large Purse The Cause Of Your Back Pain?

You can get back pain, neck pain or shoulder pain relief by changing what you carry around in your large purse. The fact is that most of us carry far too much in our bags these days – laptops, iPads, phones, makeup, wallets, personal hygiene items, books, documents, water bottles, snacks and the list goes on! This additional weight is destroying our backs. The contemporary woman loves to carry a large purse, but the truth is that larger bags result in heavier loads!

Sure, we want to be prepared for every event. But the “just-in-case” mindset comes with a hefty price. Heavy oversized bags carry a serious risk of injury. The combination of the weight of the bag against your muscles, tendons, nerves, and ligaments, plus the compensating shift in your post you make to carry the heavy load, can lead to back pain, shoulder pain, neck pain, pain in your buttocks , headaches and general body aches, especially if your upper-body muscles are already weak or tight. Over time, you could experience more severe nerve trauma or even degenerative joint disease, all due to injuries caused by carrying a bag that is too heavy.

If you lug around a large purse that is too heavy, you will probably end up with a sore shoulders, sore neck, sore back and / or sore arms. This is because the trapezius muscles in the upper back and the cervical para-spinal muscles in the neck become strained from carrying a heavy weight in one position over time.

First, the weight pulls on the network of nerves that can cause aching or shooting pain from the neck down the arm. Therefore, every time you throw your heavy large purse over your shoulder, the upper back muscles that support the shoulder blade must fight to counterbalance that weight; sooner or later they get overworked and painful. And the symptoms do not stop there, because if you load, say, 10 extra pounds onto one side of the body, and it can cause the trunk to tilt sideways to compensate, adding lower-back pain to the list of pains.

The pressure on the muscles in the back of the head and shoulders can cause symptoms such as:

1. Upper neck, shoulder and back pain

2. Poor posture

3. Muscle spasms

4. Sciatica (including nerve pain in the buttocks and down the legs)

5. Tendinitis of the elbow

6. Injury to the rotator cuff muscles in the shoulder

7. Tension headaches

8. Numbness or tingling in the arms, hands or fingers due to pinched nerves

9. Lower back pain

Over time you can end up with an increased risk of Scoliosis which is defined also as curvature of the spell; Kyphosis, also known as hunchback especially in women with weak bones; painful osteoarthritis; and / or full-blown degenerative joint disease in the shoulders.

According to specialist, Dr. Erickson, the reasons that your heavy large purse causes all these horrible symptoms is because:

1. Your natural gait is thrown off. Your gait is the way your arms and legs swing when you walk naturally. It keeps your body balanced. But if you put a heavy large purse on one side of your body, your arm on that side can not swing properly and your other arm has to swing more.

2. Your muscles are then off balance and you develop an asymmetry in your posture. Since all of the weight of your bag is on one shoulder, you're carrying an asymmetrical load, which throws off your posture. Most people tend to carry purses on their dominant side, ie if you're right-handed, you'll hang it over your right shoulder. But this causes the muscles in your dominant shoulder, particularly the trapezius muscle, to become enlarged.

3. A heavy asymmetric load causes muscles in your spine to compensate for the weight, which can cause the opposite side of your spine to go into spasm. This over-compensation can also affect your lower back and your sacrum, the bone at the base of the lower spine. The more asymmetric the load, the more the muscles below the shoulder have to work, and as a result, your muscles become stiff and painful.

4. Carrying that heavy purse can cause the trapezius muscle, which sits on top of your shoulders, to go into spasm and therefore, tighten, along with the muscles that go from your shoulder to the base of your neck causing a lot of stiffness in the upper back, the shoulder area and the neck. It can also cause a decreed curve in the neck, which is known as “military neck.

5. You can develop arthritis in your neck if you carry a heavy weight for a long period of time. The delicate muscles that help you carry your purse also aid with turning the head, making that action painful.

6. You can get tension headaches from the muscles being forced to do all of this heavy lifting. When the muscles in your shoulder and neck area spasm, it can cause pain in the back of your skull that radiates around to the front resulting in headaches.

How To Carry Your Large Purse Safely

Apart from the size and weight of your large purse, it is how you carry your purse that can cause aches and pains. Avoid injury by making these simple adjustments.

1. Change from side to side: Carrying a bag on the same side continuously can overwork muscles and permanently affect your posture. To prevent this, frequently switch sides from time to time.

2. Carry your bag diagonally across your shoulder. It is best to carry a heavy bag across your body and adjust the strap to minimize swing. This allows the core trunk muscles to carry more of the load.

3. Do not raise your shoulder to stop your bag from slipping. If your bag is so heavy that you have to scratch up your shoulder to hold it in place it will create a bad post which will lead to shoulder, neck, and upper back pain because muscles have to work extra hard .. Do not hike up one shoulder, in an attempt to stop your bag straps from falling off, because it will only tighten the muscles on that side.

4. Do not carry your heavy bag in the crook of your arm because it can lead to elbow injuries like tendinitis. Limit strain by carrying two small bags instead of one heavy one or use a backpack.

5. Maintain a good posture when you carry a large purse by keeping your abs engaged (like you're buttoning up a tight pair of pants), your weight centred over your feet, and your shoulder blades down and back.

6. Firm up your upper body with exercises: You are more likely to experience pain is your upper body muscles are weak or tight. Firm up with stretches and strength moves.

7. Resist the temptation to text while carrying your large purse. The double strain of texting and carrying that extra weight may cause the curve in your neck to get lost and get flat leading to pain.

8. Wear sensible footwear because the combination of high heels and heavy purses is a recipe for injury. High heels tilt your pelvis forward and predispose you to back pain and if a heavy purse is thrown into the mix, you have even more of a chance for chronic pain and irritating injury.

Change The Type of Large Purse You Carry

If you really need to carry a lot of items change the style of large purse you use. A messenger bag, cross body bag or a backpack distribute the weight more evenly. If your load is very heavy think about using a trolley bag.

Lifting any weight over 25 pounds has the potential of causing injury, especially if you're moving the object from a position below your knees to above your waist or holding it in front of your body. If carrying a heavy load, you need to counterbalance to prevent the muscles from being overstretched.

Choose the right type of bag for you which adds functionality; health and safety; together with style and fashion. Some tips:

1. Pick a bag with minimal hardware. Buckles, grommets, belts, and other trimmings add to the weight of the bag; a sleeker style inevitably lightens your load. Go for a bag that's classic and steam-lined without all sorts of accessories.

2. Pick a bag with a wide strap, one that is at least 2 inches (5 cm) wide to spread weight evenly. The thicker the better. A narrow strap focusses force and can dig into and irritate the ligaments at the acromioclavicular joint, where your collar bone meets your shoulder blade.

3. Better still, pick a bag with alternative strap options so that you can alternate how you wear it. Eg, choose a bag which has handles that you can hold in your hand, as well as longer straps for cross-body wearing to better disperse the weight to give your shoulders a rest.

4. Pick a bag that has straps that are the right length for your body and adjust the straps so they are set up correctly for you. If the handbag is too short or high up, it's going to affect the way your arm can swing. But if too long, it will affect the way your hips swing when you walk. You need to be able to swing your hips and your shoulders freely without being jarred by the bag.

5. Pick a bag made in a lightweight material, especially if you need a large purse to carry your daily essentials. A nylon or fabric shell is characteristically much lighter than leather though butter-soft leather boots may also be lighter.

6. Ensure that the bag has different compartments to allocate the weight evenly. Without compartments, all your things will collect in one spot in the bag, creating a painful load to carry.

7. Pick a smaller sized bag. It's only logical: the bigger the bag the heavier it is and the more rubbish you lug around.

Reduce What You Carry In Your Bag

Weigh your large purse. If it is over 25 pounds it is much too heavy. Your full bag should not weigh more than 10% of your body weight, so if you're 150 pounds, your bag (and its contents) should not be more than 15 pounds. In fact, some specialists recommend that the limit should be only 5% of your body weight. Evaluate what you truly need to take with you and be brutal – health is more important than being prepared for any event! So put your bag on a diet:

1. The weight of the large purse itself- bags can weigh anything from less than a pound up to several pounds depending on the size, the material and hardware. If your bag is 8 to 10 pounds the drag from it may cause problems. Pick a bag which appeals to your fashion style but has functionality and safety built in.

2. A wallet may weigh a pound or more – remove unused cards, receipts and put coins in a jar.

3. Key chains can be 2 pounds or more – remove any keys you do not need. Choose a light-weight key ring.

4. Coupons together can weigh a pound or more – toss out all expired coupons – or upload them to your phone.

5. Make-up bags all up may weigh 2-3 pounds or more – only carry items you need to refresh your makeup.

6. Personal hygiene bags can weigh up to a pound – take just what you need but do not be done short.

7. Documents can add up in weight – say 2-3 pounds or more – be a planner and only carry what you need for the day.

8. Pens and pencils add weight also, up to a pound – select what you need and store the rest

9. Laptops can weight several pounds so choose a light weight model for travel

10. Mobile phones and I-pads can also weigh several pounds

11. Snacks and water bottles add significant weight

When you add everything up that you like or need to carry you can see it would very quickly get to be well over 5-10% of your body weight.

Do Upper Body Exercises To Strengthen

If you have weak muscles in your upper body you are more likely to develop pain from carrying a large purse which is too heavy. Strengthen your muscles with some routine exercises. If experiencing pain, consult a doctor before starting these exercises.

1. Neck Rotation – Slowly circle head to right, forward, and left; then reverse. Do 5 to 10 repeats per side.

2. Neck Stretch – Stand tall, with your right hand behind head near left ear. Gently pull down toward right shoulder; hold 10 seconds. Repeat on the other side.

3. Resistance Band Row – Place the left foot on a resistance band and the right foot back, and hold one handle with right hand. Slowly draw elbow up toward ribs. Hold for one count, and then lower. Do 12 to 15 repeats. Switch sides and repeat.

4. Shoulder Roll – Stand tall with shoulders pressed down. Roll shoulders up, back, down, and forward in a circle 10 times; repeat in the reverse direction.

5. Lat Pull- Down – Place center of resistance band firmly in a closed doorway, one end in each hand. Raise hands above head, and then pull elbows down to sides. Hold for one count, and then raise hands back to start. Do 12 to 15 repeats.

Other things that can help to strengthen your upper body are stretching, yoga, pilates, light weights and other forms of exercise which make sure that your shoulders are equally strong and toned. It's also useful to try walking without a bag from time to time to reinstate your natural gait.

Summary

I recommend that you totally empty out your large purse and start again with only the bare necessities of life. Decrease the load and you will be surprised at what an improvement it makes to your general health. Ease the pain by reducing the weight in your bag in order to avoid shoulder or back pain. Choose stuff which is lighter so that it fits into your large purse. If you've sorted out your large purse, but still have numbness or tingling in your hands, a decrease in grip strength, or increasing back pain, seek medical help.

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Treatment of Lower Back Pain With Ayurveda

In recent times due to tension, wrong food habits and out of order life style, the levels of sickness has increased at a high rate. Almost everyone is dependent on some type of medicines it may be allopathic or homeopathic. These medications have their side effects which can affect your health more badly. The role of ayurvedic treatment in curing constant problems is remarkable.

Severe pain in the spinal cord region can be very unbearable to patients. This pain can restrict an individual from working and diminishes health at a rapid rate. More than 70% of people suffer from back problems at some point in their life cycle. This is a very common type of problem among women. If this problem is ignored at the early stage then later on it can turn into a serious issue.

Pain in lower back is now a very common problem among people. This is a very persistent type of problem and is characterized with sharp or dull pain in the lower back region.

Basic Causes of Back Pain:

This chronic condition is caused because of many reasons that we will discuss below:

  • One of the most common causes for lower back pain is wrong posture habit. A proper balanced posture of the body decrees the amount of pressure of stress on your back by keeping the bones and muscles in a natural position.
  • Back pain may also occur due to some health problems like scoliosis, osteoporosis and spinal stenosis.
  • A blow or major fall can also tear or sprain tissues around spinal cord region which may cause severe back pain and neck pain.
  • Another cause back injury is doing incorrect exercise and lifting too much weight.

Most people follow the conventional treatment that involves short wave diathermy, temporary rest, traction, weight control and use of steroids to kill the pain. But if all these treatments fail then surgical intervention is considered as the final treatment.

Curing With the Help of Ayurveda:

Ayurveda believes that pain in the lower back region occurs due to the vitiation of one of the three “doshas” (principals). Lower back pain or 'Kateegraham' / 'Prishtasoola' is a sign of Vata aggravation. Strong medicines and drugs are not recommended as the can have severe side effects. Ayurveda believes that back pain occurs due to weakness in muscle and bone.

Internal as well as external treatments are followed for curing back pain. Ayurveda tries to bring the vitiated principal back to balance to restore healthy state. Regular purgation is highly recommended to restore the state of vitiated 'dosha' back to balance. Internal treatment includes herbal preparations like 'Asthavargam'.

Other ayurvedic treatments like 'Basti' and 'Abhyanga' are also very effective to counter back pain. Ayurveda also includes many 'Yogas' or exercises are also practiced to make the spain strong and properly aligned.

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Recovery Times and Tips After Laser Spine Surgery

Laser spine surgery is the least invasive option when it comes to having any form of spinal surgery. Unfortunately this type of technique can not be used on all spinal injuries, so you will have to discuss the options with your surgeon to identify which techniques will work best based on your particular spinal issues. In most instances laser spine surgery is only used on small back issues.

It is important, as with any surgery, that you prepare in advance. Ensure you have plenty of groceries at home with someone who can cook and care for your family while you recover. Recovery time varies from patient to patient, so staying active and fit for as long as possible before your surgery can help you recover that little bit quicker moving forward.

The cause and severity of your spinal issues will determine what surgery is the best solution for you. There are two types of laser spine surgery; the first is decompression surgery and the second is stabilization surgery. Both will have similar recovery times.

On the day of your surgery, ensure you have someone who can drop you at the hospital at the agreed time, this can reduce your need to drive. Remember after the surgery you will not be driving for a while, until you are relieved and feel comfortable and confident in the driver's seat.

After the surgery, you may stay over night for observation. This is usually a decision which is made by your surgeon and medical team. Staying over night for monitoring ensures that your pain medication is working and you are not experiencing any unnecessary pain, which may get worse once you get home.

When you have been discharged, do not expect to be running any marathons any time soon or spend a day playing football with the family. Recovery time can feel slow, though with laser surgery it is much faster than if you had traditional surgery.

Take your surgeons recovery tips seriously. Write them down if you have to so that you know what you can and can not do and what you should be doing to aid your recovery. Depending on what your surgery was for, your surgeon may encourage you to get up and get moving within a few hours of surgery. Again, you are not expected to run a marathon, but you should move around the home just to get some movement in your body.

Take it easy for the next few weeks and do not over exert yourself. Up to eighty six percent of patients who have this type of surgery return to work in three months and can resume all their normal daily activities within the three month period. This is a massive difference between the six to twelve month recovery period if you were to have traditional surgery.

Start with baby steps. Ensure you keep a chair nearby when cooking, so if you feel you have overdone it, you can sit down and rest. Do a little more each day building your confidence and managing your pain accordingly.

The good news with laser spine surgery is that you do not have a large incision on your back which means that you do not have a long scar which has been stitched to deal with. You will have one or two small incisions which will heal within days, so all you have to focus on is getting up and moving and returning to daily life as quickly as possible.

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Benefits of Laser Back Surgery

Laser back surgery is a leading choice by surgeons and patients when it comes to surgery of the back. Any work or damage to your back is filled with risk. This is where you find the spinal, the spinal fluid and a host of nerves, all of which if get damaged can lead to serious long term problems moving forward.

Any form of back surgery requires an experienced and qualified surgeon with a steady hard and oozing with confidence. The last thing you want when your back is being operated on is for your surgeon to have the slightest wobble, accidentingly nicking one of the nerves or causing more severe damage in the long run.

Up until a few years ago, back surgery was exceptionally serious and you avoided it at all costs. This type of surgery, which is still used in some instances today, involves a large incision in the back and the doctor working directly where laser back surgery eliminates the need for long incisions, which comes with a host of great benefits for you to consider before making any final decisions.

Laser back surgery is used for small back issues and can not be used on the larger issues which would still require the old surgery techniques of a long incision. Remember that the decision to proceed with surgery is yours and yours alone with the advice and recommendation from your surgeon. Do not let your surgeon bully you into opting for the laser back surgery, but gather the information, identify the risks and your current pain levels and then make the decision you feel is the best option for you.

With this particular type of surgery, the surgeon will make one or two small incisions in your back in the location that requires work. They will then insert laser instruments which enable them to navigate angles effectively with limited risk of further damage moving forward.

Another benefit to this particular type of surgery is that it does not give off unwelcome heat. Everyone anticipates a laser to have exceptional heat, but this is not the case. This type of surgery has been used successfully for years with a high volume of happy patients who have enjoyed outstanding results, the major of which have returned to work within three months.

Of course recovery time is going to play an important part of your final decision on whether to proceed with laser back surgery. Traditional surgery with a large incision can have a recovery period of up to a year or more, where with the laser and the minimally invasive techniques used, you can expect to be back up on your feet and managing daily duties and returning to work within three months.

Always ensure you get professional advice. If you feel uneasy about your current surgeon and their recommendations for laser back surgery or if they advise you are not a candidate for this minimally invasive surgery, then get a second opinion. The final decision is always yours and you need to have all the facts at your fingertips to ensure that you make the best decision to meet your needs and pain levels moving forward.

Take the time to sit down with your surgeon and identify your pain versus the risks involved in laser back surgery. While it may sound petty, write down your own pro and con list for having and not having the surgery and see which list has the most number of pro attributes. Depending on your back issues, having the surgery may be the only action you can take to heal the pain and improve your quality of life in the future.

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Breathing and Low Back Pain – How They Are Related

Low back pain affects around 80% of all adults in their lifetime and is one of the most common reasons a person seeks medical help. As a chiropractor, low back pain is the number one complaint that I treat. Most often, the back pain that I treat is related to de-conditioning and bad movement patterns that the person has developed over their lifetime.

Oftentimes the de-conditioning of a person's body is related to the increasingly sedentary nature of our culture here in the United States. The longer a person sits, the less and less the core musculature is required to activate and stabilize the body and the spine. This inactivation of the core can eventually progress to the point that it affects the way a person breathes.

Do this experiment. In a separated position, place your hands on your lap and sit up straight in a relaxed position. Now take a deep, relaxed breath in and let it out. Did your shoulders move up towards your ears? Did your chest flare outwards? If you are like most people, when you take in a deep breath your shoulders will move up towards your ears and your chest will flare out some. This is a sign that you are activating your accessory respiration muscles to breath instead of your core muscles.

Deep abdominal breathing is key to activating the core abdominal muscles and providing support for your lower back. Whenever a patient comes into my clinic and I've finished evaluating and adjusting them, the first thing I do is teach them how to breathe deep into their abdomen.

The way I teach this is by having the patient lay on their back with their legs bent and feet on the table. I have them place their hands on their stomach just above the navel. I have them imagine that they have a long straw running from their mouth down to their stomach and on the end of the straw is a balloon that they want to blow up. Then I instruct them to take a deep breath in and focus on pushing their hands toward the ceiling. I will have them repeat this 3-5 times and then I will have them move their hands from the top of their stomach towards the sides of their stomach. This time when they breathe deeply, they will focus on moving their hands outwards towards the side instead of straight up.

This is the harder of the two positions because the transversus abdominis muscle that runs laterally along the stomach to the back is harder to activate. I will have the patient perform 3-5 breaths focusing on pushing their hands out towards the side. I recommend that they perform this exercise daily in the morning and the evening at the very least, more often if possible.

With consistent practice, a person can “wake up” these core muscles again and gain the much need support for their lower back that they need. This added support will go a long way in helping to prevent further back pain.

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Whiplash Injury – What Is It and How to Deal With It?

First things first – what is a definition of a whiplash injury?

Whiplash injury is a layman term for a sudden distortion of the neck and the surrounding areas. It is a common injury in car accidents of all sorts and in other activities that can put a sudden huge strain on someone's neck (for example – a huge concert, falls from heights etc.). Whiplash is a very colloquial term, but due to the fact the condition is not fully researched, “whiplash” is a commonly accepted name for it.

How do you know you suffered from a whiplash?

Diagnosing a whiplash might be hard, as there are many symptoms related to it and not all of them appear at the same time. The most common one is, of course, a constant neck and back pain – if you were a victim of a car accident or a train collision or you are sure you have strained your neck recently, this pain might be the result of a whiplash.

Here's a list of the most common whiplash symptoms to make it easier for you to recognize it:

• Constant neck pain

• Back pain (especially in the middle of the spine)

• Shoulder pain

• Recurring headaches

• “pins and needles” felt in the neck and shoulder area

The most common situations in which a whiplash can occur:

• Car accidents (especially a collision hitting the back of the car that causes a sudden neck strain – the process is also called CAD, or Cervical-Acceleration-Deceleration)

• Train accidents (collisions, sudden stops etc.)

• Huge strains on neck (head banging during concerts, falls straining the neck and back)

If the pain lasts longer than a day or two it is best to see your doctor immediately – the symptoms may get much worse than that.

Furthermore, the quicker you are diagnosed with whiplash injury, the sooner you can claim compensation for it. Whiplash is one of the most common physical injuries and as such, courts are used to such cases and the rulings are usually swift. You just need to contact a good medical solicitor who will guide you through a whole process.

Whiplash rehabilitation process

Time to cure whiplash symptoms vary greatly between the victims and the methods for cure are also different – in some cases a physical rehab, exercises, regular back massages and other default back pain injuries are insufficient, while in some more cases a long physical treatment, pain medication regimen and even surgery are needed. The whole treatment may be subject to a damage claim for whiplash, so the victims do not have to pay for the treatment themselves.

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An Insight Into the Causes, Symptoms and Herbal Treatment for Back Pain

A usual misconception is associating back pain as a sign of aging. However, this is not true as back pain can affect any age group as it is caused due to a number of reasons. In short, back pain refers to the pain that emerges at the upper, middle or lower portions of the back. The location and position of the pain are dependent on numerous factors such as age of the individual, medical condition, physical condition of the body and so on. The exact root cause for the pain has to be diagnosed accurately for a speedy recovery.

Common Causes for Back Pain:

A common reason for back pain would be accidents. But one must understand that sometimes even doing simple actions such as picking an object from the floor can also lead to immense pain.

Some of the other factors that could lead to pain are listed below.

  • Poor posture
  • Inactive lifestyle habits which reduces the body's fitness level
  • Infections or any kind of disease
  • Physiological and emotional disorders
  • Obesity

Specific causes of lower back pain include

  • Disc malfunctioning
  • Arthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Spinal infections and irregularities
  • Hernia, kidney infections, irritable bowel syndrome etc.

Symptoms

  • Neck pain and headaches depending on the cause of pain.

For upper back pain:

  • Weakness in the arms
  • Uneasy feeling while breathing
  • Neck movements would be restricted
  • Muscle spasms

For middle back pain:

  • Restricted body movements
  • Difficulty while performing activities
  • Stiffness

For lower back pain:

  • Pregnancy
  • Kidney infections
  • Bladder malfunctioning

Herbal treatment for back & Neck pain

  • Diet

According to Ayurveda, the human body is healthy when its vata, kapha and pitta are in balance. Back & Neck pain is a vata symptom and hence, foods that increase the vata factor needs to be completely avoided. Till the pain disappears, one must avoid consuming rice, curd and lemons. Foods that can be easily digested need to be taken.

  • Ayurvedic oil massage

Complete body massage with sesame oil before bathing is extremely effective

  • Various techniques such as Upanaha (medicinal analgesic) or dhanyamla (applying fermented medicated oil over the affected parts of the back) are available. One of these techniques would be suggested depending on the exact cause of pain.

Home Remedies:

  • Combination of garlic and coconut oil

Garlic is said to have pain relieving characteristics. In a frying pan, add 50 ml of coconut oil along with 10 garlic cloves. Fry till garlic turns dark brown. Apply this oil over the affected area when it is warm.

  • Wheat and milk mixture

Soak around 50 grams of wheat in water overnight. To this, add 2 teaspoons of each coriander and cuscus powder in the morning. Make it into a smooth paste and add 250 ml of milk. Boil this mixture for 20 minutes and consume when warm.

External Ayurvedic Remedy to Cure back Pain: Kalyani Lepa

Due to wrong diet and lifestyle habits, the frequency of sickness has increased tremendously in the last few years. Nowadays, only the symptoms are treated by the oral intake of medicines, many of which do have side effects. But by opting for this Ayurvedic external application treatment one can be assured that pain be it at the back or neck is completely cured. Kalyani Lepa is kind like a paste that needs to be applied and spread over the affected

A combination of the above remedies along with proper sleep and exercise is a must to ensure that the pain does not reappear.

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Decompression Back Belt – Physical Therapy for the Spine

If you have been suffering from backache, physical therapy is sure to work very well for you. Physical therapy is useful for healing all strains of backache, irrespective of whether the pain has occurred without any particular cause, or if it is caused due to a more serious under factor, like arthritis.

Back Pain and Physical Therapy are Interrelated

One of the most common implementations of physical therapy is for healing a sore back – which is a commonplace occurrence. By decompressing the spinal, physical therapy can work towards relieving any undering cause of pain, like a pinched nerve in the back.

Since older times, physical therapy has found its implementation in form of massage. A massage relaxes tense muscles, and when one massages the back, a massage also provides a traction to the back.

The Decompression Belt

The Decompression Belt is a device very effective for healing a sore back. And the best part is that when you use the Decompression Belt, you require no external assistance for the same.

The belt is based upon the principle of physical therapy for the spine, and comes with a manually operated air pump. On inflation the Decompression Belt rises vertically in height. This heals the back by multiple mechanisms.

1. It massages, or transactions the back.

2. As the belt rises in height, it decompresses, or creates more space between the vertebrae. This simply reverses the effect of gravity and our posture, so the back can relax.

3. The Decompression Belt takes the weight of the upper body off the lower back, which is known to be the undering cause of backache in most cases.

You can put the belt on and carry on with the activities that were earlier painful, like cooking, working before the terminal, playing sports and anything that involves bending, like lifting the laundry.

Now with the Decompression Belt, you can do more and be the way you always wanted to be. It makes it easier for you to play with your children, drive comfortably and even ensures better sleep at night.

Decompression Belt: It's A Snug Fit!

And the best part is, you can put the Decompression Belt on and carry on with your day, just like you always do! You can wear the belt under your clothes, and being a snug fit, other would not even know that you're wearing it.

How Do I Use The Decompression Belt?

One just needs to put the belt on and inflate it using the hand operated air pump. On inflation, the Decompression Belt rises vertically in height to provide traction to the back.

The Decompression Belt Lets The Nerves Breathe!

The belt decompresses the spine, or applies pressure to create space in between the vertebrae, such that there is more room for the nerves.

o One can get over any under conditions like a pinched nerve in the back.

o And this works not just when one suffers from a backache, but also for related conditions like a shooting pain in the arms or legs.

Who Can Use This Belt?

The Decompression Belt is highly recommendable for anyone with back pain or radiating neck pain. Some medical conditions for which the belt works effectively to relate pain include

• acute back pain,
• lower back pain
• scoliosis,
• spinal stenosis
• degenerative or bulging discs and leg pain caused by the same,
• sciatica treatment
• slipped disc
• sore back from sitting or driving

While relieving pain and discomfort, the belt has also shown to strengthen the back and core. With reduced pain, you can be more active, and this keeps your back healthier and stronger.

Say Goodbye to Back Pain!

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Lower Back Pain – Diagnosing the Severity and Cause of the Pain

Living in an era of technological advances with developments in every field, we have somewhere along the line been able to manifest the importance of our work and make it bigger than ourselves. All of us are so consumed in winning the race of making the best presentation, pitching the best product idea, giving the most impressive speech that we put ourselves and our health at the lowest on our priority list.

The effect of our Lifestyle on our Health

“Who needs to take a lunch break at work, I'll just have a coffee instead”

“A jog? No I'm too tired from the extra hours I logged at work last night” Everything seems to be just so much more important than our health. Except for a handful of people who have not been trapped in the vortex of technology, every other person seems to be spending their day hunched across their computer screens preparing assignments, proposals, presentations and documents. Our lifestyle claims that we stay put in a position for nearly 8 hours a day. A desk job may sound like an ordinary thing and something comfortable, but it can give rise to a variety of health problems, especially back and neck problems.

A significant number of people today complain of lower back pain, neck cramps, shoulder pain and even hip pain. There may be a variety of reasons behind the occurrence of such pains and to get it checked and treated is highly important.

Identify your Pain

Pain is a mechanism designed by the body to alert and inform us of its ailment. The nature of every pain that we experience is different. Some last short term, some long terms; some are isolated to a certain limit others spread out through the body.

Some pains are very distinct to identify others any come along as signs of uneasiness, temporary cramps and stimulate nausea.

No matter what the pain is like no one is able to understand your body better than you, if it is an unpleasant pain and something that you have never experienced before or do not know the cause of, then consult your doctor and find out more about it to prevent it from progressing.

Pain Management Techniques

Sometimes a general physician may not be able to cure your lower back pain or even figure out why you¡¯re having it in the first place. However, that does not aggravate that you now have to spend the rest of your life with a staining pain. Seek alternative medical help and consult a pain management team that specializes in identify and treating bodily pain.

A Pain Management Team

A pain management team consists of doctors of varying fields and practices. A typical pain management team may consist of clinical psychologists, physiotherapists, pharmacists, medical practitioners and occupational therapists. The group of professionals work together alongside the history given by your general physician and conduct a full work, keeping in consideration any mental or emotional instability along with a detailed physical examination.

Pain Management Techniques that can treat your lower Back Pain

A relatively new field in therapeutic medicine but significantly effective, pain management has enabled individuals to lead a pain free life. The distinct feature about pain management techniques is its approach towards the pain.

If a patient is complaining of lower back pain the team will first conduct a full examination on the patients and then prescribe not only drugs but may use methods from neuromodulation, pharmacological pain management, chiropractic techniques, minimally invasive surgeries and interventional pain management. This gives a greater spectrum for doctors to find a cure for your constant pain without using invasive and extreme measures.

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Sciatica Surgery – What You Need to Know

Thousand of patients undergo sciatica surgery each and every year around the world. There are times when this surgery should be considered. The first time you and your surgeon may decide it's time to consider this surgery is when you have been in constant paid for more than four to six weeks.

Before you consider sciatica surgery, it is important that you note that this is entirely your decision. Your surgeon, doctor and family can not make the decision on your behalf, this is down to you, how much pain you are in and whether you can manage with the pain moving forward.

Your doctor is likely to recommend you consider sciatic surgery in the event your pain is unbearable and has been constant for four to six weeks. They may also advise you to consider this surgery when the pain medications have been useless and you are still in ongoing pain.

Leg weakness often results in urgent surgery and the surgeon may not give you the option to go ahead or not as this can result in problems moving forward. There are two options that you need to know about when it comes to sciatica surgery; there is open surgery and then there is endoscopic surgery, both of which an provide you with improved results and ensure that you reduce the pain and give you your life back.

During open surgery a piece of disc is removed. The piece removed is the portion that is irritating the nerve, leaving the rest of the disc to reduce ongoing and further damage. Open surgery comes with a number of risks that you do need to be aware of, such as muscle damage, irritating muscles surrounding the area. Of course the benefit to the open sciatica surgery is that that up to ninety five percent of patients experience relief after surgery.

With the closed or lumber laminectomy surgery, a small incision is made with a piece of bone or disc material is removed which is pinching the nerve. With this surgery the risk may be reduced when it comes to muscle damage and up to eighty percent of patients experience relief after this sciatica surgery.

Remember that having sciatica surgery is completely your decision and there are a number of important factors to take into consideration to ensure that you make the best decision to meet your particular needs and ongoing requirements. If you are in constant pain and you are living on pain killers, then having the surgery can eliminate all of this, enabling you to live a normal life completely pain free.

In addition to this, it is important that you discuss the options with your surgeon to identify which of the sciatica surgery options is the right choice for you. Discuss the consequences and speak with your surgeon to see which of these two surgeries they feel is going to benefit you the most now and in the future.

Do not be shy to ask your surgeon questions about your sciatica surgery. Take someone to your appointment with you so that they can take notes, if there is anything you have forgotten later, then ensure that they have the answers for you. Questions such as how long you will have to remain in hospital, how long recovery takes and when you can return to work should be the most important questions to ask.

You may also want to ask about success rates and recovery rates, ensuring that if you elect to go ahead with the sciatica surgery, you can have peace of mind that your chances of a speedy and full recovery are high.

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Understanding Endoscopic Spine Surgery – Is It the Right Choice for You?

Getting news that you need spinal surgery can be quite a daunting experience. There are so many risks associated with any surgery to the spine that it's imperative that you understand what surgery you are having and how it will be performed.

These days most surgeons try and manage your surgery using minimally invasive techniques, often referred to as “MISS,” which stands for minimally invasive spinal surgery. With open surgery you will be subjected to a long incision and the skin and muscle is dropped away from the area being operated on to give the surgeon access to the site and help them perform the surgery. This should be a last resort or only considered in the event that the surgery you require can not be performed using endoscopic spinal surgery.

The benefit to this particular type of surgery is that the risk of damage to the muscles surrounding the spinal is reduced. With open surgery, the risk of muscle damage is exceptionally high, but with endoscopic spine surgery you will find that the chances of you struggling with muscle damage is greatly reduced, which is a major benefit on it's own.

Another another benefit to endoscopic spinal surgery is that the pain after surgery is dramatically reduced. As you can imagine, after open surgery you are not only dealing with the pain of the work that has been performed, but also with the sensitivity caused by a long incision and stitches. With endoscopic surgery surgery you will have one or two small incisions to manage, which can help you speed up your recovery time considably.

During surgery, the surgeon will use specialized instruments to access the spine through small incisions. The instruments help the surgeon pinpoint the problematic area and repair any damage. This also helps reduce the risk of heavy bleeding and keeps the area clean and clear for the surgeon to work with complete ease and confidence.

What many people appreciate about endoscopic spin surgery is that you will have a shelter stay in hospital. Let's be honest, no one enjoys spending time in a hospital bed and you will find being able to go home to your own space and comfort can speed up your recovery time considably.

It is important to note that not all spinal surgeries can be treated in this way and some do require open surgery. In the event you have been advised that you need spinal surgery, discuss the options with your surgeon. Remember in most instances it is your decision on whether to go ahead or not with the surgery. See if endoscopic spinal surgery is an option with your particular condition to reduce your stay in hospital, reduce post surgery pain and help you recover that little bit faster.

Remember there are a few things to take into consideration when it comes to endoscopic spinal surgery. You have the right to ask your surgeon about their experience, whether they will be performing the surgery and ask them to explain the surgery in detail, putting your mind at complete ease.

Ask your surgeon how long they will keep you in hospital and when you will be able to return home. It is also always worthwhile to identify how long recovery will take, giving you the ability to book your time off work and ensure that you have help at home to assist you when you first get out of hospital to ensure that you know exactly what to expect moving forward.

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The Psoas Major And Its Role In Back Pain

There are many causes of low back pain, and it comes in so many different forms – some people have sharp pain, some have a dull ache, while others have it spread down the back of the leg, sometimes right into the foot.

Regardless of how you feel 'your low back pain, one of the major muscles always involved is the Psoas Major muscle. Part of the Iliopsoas muscle, it is an “s” shaped muscle that extends from the 5 lowest spinal vertebra, through the pelvis, to the femur bone.

While involved in many movements, one of the primary jobs of the psoas major is to stabilize the lower back as you lift your knee upwards. This is critical for balance and is a muscle that you use with even the most basic movements of locomotion.

The psoas major will limit lower spinal mobility when tense and tired. It is often involved with the type of low back pain that is aggravated by walking up the stairs, standing for long periods of time, or kneeling on both knees with an upright body.

The main thing that causes chronic psoas major tightness is sitting. This is unfortunate, since many people nowdays have to drive a lot, or sit at a desk most of the day. When we sit, we are always in a position that shortens the psoas major muscle. With enough hours behind the desk or in a car, the psoas major becomes perpetually shortened, and its ability to stabilize the lower spine is inhibited. This negative impact is increased for those that also have weak abdominal support muscles.

Having said that, this muscle shortening and tightness is also a problem for athletes, not just for those with weak abdominal muscles. Since the psoas major is supposed to stabilize the lower back as you lift the knee upwards, athletes who exercise with a tight PM elevate their risk of injuring their low back, hip and groin.

The psoas major is supposedly to support the lower back as an athlete takes off at a high rate; such as sprinting in basketball, running the bases in baseball, and taking a quick stride in hockey.

It is for this reason that it is important to stretch and warm up the hips and lower back before activity, and to incorporate a regular routine of stretching and strengthening the core muscles for anyone who has to sit every day at school or work.

If you think that you may have a muscle imbalance caused by repetitive sitting, contact a chiropractor today for help. Hire them as a part of your health team – you'll be glad you did.

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