A few tips to help you manage Chronic Pain

A few tips to help you manage Chronic Pain

“Healthy Habits” are an easy and effective way to help you manage chronic pain. I have identified many different ways and habits that can help you manage chronic pain. The following five have worked with our patients and provided them relief. Although some may seem obvious, they are often overlooked.

Improve your lifestyle – The easiest way to do this is to replace bad habits with good habits. Instead of a cigarette after a meal, go for a 10 minute walk. Instead of a glass of wine, add some after dinner stretches to your routine. Yoga and meditation are shown to help with chronic joint pain. Replace your existing habits with healthier choices!

Reduce Stress – Everyone is stressed out these days and our health is suffering as a result. Stress is known to intensify pain but, there are many ways to reduce it.  Most stress is a part of our thought process, so you have to change your mind to change your level of stress. If you can change the way you see a situation, your priorities will change and your stress can be reduced.

Distract yourself – Find a great book, a book club, or a hobby – like gardening, painting or walking. A hobby is a great way that you can take your focus off pain and is an effective pain management coping skill. It is well known that patients that have hobbies take fewer pain medications.

Find an activity you love – Create a bucket list; follow your passion in your life. When you engage in activities that you have always wanted to do, your pain will be easier to manage.

Phone a friend – Stay connected with people will help you be strong and enjoy life. There are many support groups and clubs that can help you get started as no one understands your pain better than a person who is also in it.

Please feel free to call us at any time to schedule a consultation or if you need information on who and where to contact different groups.

The Benefits of Stretching

  1. When you look back, it was only in the last 25 years or so that we really started to understand the value and benefits of exercise. It was readily believed that just a good diet and rest was all that you needed to be and remain healthy.

    As the interest and the popularity of exercise grew, many studies confirmed that stretching is a proven and important part of all exercise routines for your overall health.

    There are many people who stretch instinctively and also for exercise. This elongation of the muscles, during stretching, provides many benefits as it primarily elongates a group of muscles. If you think of it, when you wake up, you stretch automatically. The goal of stretching is to elongate a specific or group of muscles. The flexibility that is provided creates a multitude of benefits. I have highlighted a few below:

    1. Improved Cardiovascular Health. Many studies have shown that stretching can improve function and flow of arteries. It can also help to lower your blood pressure.
    2. Reduce Stress. Stress causes muscles to constrict and become tense. Gentle stretching can relax these tense muscles as it releases endorphins, which also improves your mood.
    3. Help Alleviate Low Back Pain.There are millions of people who suffer from chronic low back pain. Stretching is an excellent way to strengthen the lower back muscles to help alleviate soreness and pain. Stretching helps with pain in the lower back, hamstrings, buttocks and hips.
    4. Improves Posture. Stretching can prevent muscles and joints from “locking”. It allows for better elasticity which naturally improves your posture.
    5. Balance & Coordination Improvement.Stretching improves your range of motion which provides better balance. This keeps you more mobile and less susceptible to falling.

    These are some of the top benefits of stretching. As you wake up and your body wants to stretch, go ahead, enjoy and build a healthy routine that will help your whole body. If you have any questions, please feel free to call us at our office.

Chiropractor Myths

Today, more people than ever are trying alternative medicine. Many people are turning to chiropractic care when modern medicine has failed them. However, there are many others that are afraid to try chiropractic care because they may have heard a story, rumor or myth.

I have attached the top “Chiropractic Myth’s” along with the associated facts on the profession:

  1. Myth:Chiropractic adjustments are dangerous.

Truth: Studies have shown that Chiropractic adjustments are safer than many common activities getting a haircut, dancing and star watching.

  1. Myth:Prescription and non-prescription drugs are safe.

Truth: Adverse reactions to properly prescribed medications are the third leading cause of death in America. Chiropractic care offers a safe, alternative to many ailments, drug free.

  1. Myth:Once you go to the Chiropractor, you’ll always have to go.

Truth: Regular adjustments are a part of a healthy lifestyle. The choice to continue is entirely yours.

  1. Myth:Chiropractic care is not effective.

Truth: Millions of people have benefited from regular Chiropractic care, including: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tiger Woods, Christie Brinkley and many others.

  1. Myth: Children don’t need Chiropractic adjustments.

Truth: Chiropractic care is safe for children of all ages.

  1. Myth:Childhood bumps and bruises are harmless.

Truth: OSHA estimates that a child sustains 1,500 spinal–related traumas before the age of 5. Regular chiropractic care can correct and help minimize the adverse effects.

  1. Myth:Chiropractors aren’t real doctors.

Truth: Chiropractic students receive 4,485 of college classroom instruction vs. 4,248 hours for Medical students.

  1. Myth:It’s safe and beneficial to perform self-adjustments.

Truth: While self-adjustments can give temporary relief and a false sense of correcting the problem. It could potentially lead to arthritis.

  1. Myth:Your bones grind against each other during an adjustment.

Truth: The noise is the release of CO2 gas from the spine that creates the popping sound you hear after an adjustment.

  1. Myth:Chiropractic care is expensive.

Truth: Many insurance companies, including Medicare, cover adjustments because they have statistically quantified the benefits of preventative care versus drugs and surgery.

The myths may continue to surround chiropractic care but continual research is confirming the results. Please call us at schedule a consultation.

The Benefits of Acupuncture

As you may be aware, Acupuncture is an ancient therapy that stems from thousands of years of art, science and philosophy. It is, and has been, a highly respected and scientifically proven valuable resource for the treatment of chronic pain, migraines, carpal tunnel syndrome, depression and much more. The acupuncturists at our practice have helped many patients with different conditions for several years.

Like many words we use every day, “acupuncture” is not an English word. It’s Latin, translated to mean, “to puncture with a needle.” The prefix “acu” is a form of the word “acus,” which means, “needle.” When connected to the term “puncture,” the meaning of the word is easy to understand.

The origins of acupuncture began in China. Acupuncture therapy has a long and interesting history that began long before we started utilizing it in our practice in Orange County, CA. In Chinese, the word acupuncture is a composite word, “zhen jiu”. This is similar to its Latin phrase, and translates almost precisely to describe what acupuncture does.

The Chinese term “zhen” means needles, while “jiu” refers to moxibustion. Moxibustion is the application of heat to the body, often through the use of heating herbs. Over the centuries acupuncture has evolved to what the acupuncturists at our practice use today.

The misspelling of the word acupuncture is very common and we would not want that to stop you from finding our office in Westminster, CA. and experiencing this therapy that can have a meaningful impact on your health. The good news is that even if acupuncture is misspelled as “accupuncture,” your body can still benefit from this treatment to overcome many serious health conditions.

If you are interested in learning more about Acupuncture Therapy, please call us at any time to schedule a consultation.

Active Release Techniques – The Gold Standard in Soft Tissue Treatment

I have been using the Active Release Techniques (ART) for patients for several years now. It is a patented, state of the art soft tissue based massage technique that treats problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves. I have been certified and have incorporated this technique and soft tissue treatment to help my patients who suffer from headaches, back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, shin splints, shoulder pain, plantar fasciitis, knee problems and tennis elbow. These are just a few of the more common conditions that can be resolved quickly and permanently with Active Release Techniques. I also remind patients that these conditions all have one important thing in common: they are often a result of overused muscles.

I am often asked from patients about how “overuse” conditions occur in muscles? All soft tissues and overused muscles change in many ways, but primarily three important ways:

  1. An accumulation of small tears (micro – trauma)
  2. Acute conditions ( including pulls, collisions and tears)
  3. Hypoxia – (muscles not getting enough oxygen)

The above changes can cause your body to produce dense scar tissue in the affected area. This scar tissue actually binds up and ties down tissues that need to move freely. As the additional scar tissue builds up, muscles become shorter and weaker. This tension on the tendons can cause tendonitis, and nerves can become trapped and seriously damaged causing reduced range of motion, pain and loss of strength. The affected areas can also experience tingling, numbness, and weakness.

An ART treatment session is actually a combination of examination and treatment. The evaluation determines the texture, tightness and movement of muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerves. Abnormal tissues are treated by combining precisely directed tension with very specific patient movements. The treatments are unique protocols, specific to the area, with moves and actions that are unique to ART. This technique and protocol allows me to identify and correct the specific problems that are affecting each individual patient.

Active Release Techniques have been developed, refined, and patented by P. Michael Leahy, DC, CCSP.  Dr. Leahy noticed early in his career that his patient’s symptoms seemed to be related to changes in their soft tissue that could be felt by hand. By observing how muscles, fascia, tendons, ligaments and nerves responded to different types of work, Dr. Leahy was able to consistently resolve over 90% of his patients’ problems. He now teaches and certifies health care providers all over the world to use ART.