Effective Pain Management with Rehabilitation Therapy: How and Why?

Rehabilitation therapy Rehabilitation therapy – also known as rehab therapy, physical therapy, or occupational therapy – is a popular way to help manage pain after an accident or injury, or following surgery or illness. One of the main reasons for choosing to manage pain with rehabilitation therapy is the lack of pharmaceutical medications required – drugs can numb the pain but also bring side effects and overuse risks. Rehabilitation promotes healing in a more natural way, and also helps to restore movement and mobility, and stop injuries striking again in the future. Here’s how rehabilitation therapy can help you manage pain, and why you should consider it.

Rehabilitation Therapy and Recovery

Rehabilitation therapy can help you recover more quickly, and in a more complete way. When you have treatment from a trained professional over a significant length of time you will find that your recovery from injury is more complete than if you had not worked on your health in this way. Many people make a full recovery with the help of rehabilitation therapy, and where a complete recovery is not possible, others get back the majority of their pre-injury or illness function.

You may also find that you recover more quickly when you have rehabilitation therapy. This is important because you will no doubt want to get back to normal as soon as possible – you have a busy life with a family to care for and work to do. But it is important to manage your recovery in a controlled way because doing too much, too soon, can result in pain, discomfort, and a possible relapse. Rehabilitation therapy helps you recover in a controlled manner, without extra pain.

Rehabilitation Therapy to Improve Functioning

It is frustrating when an illness or injury results in your body operating at a sub-par level – you cannot walk properly, or you cannot use parts of your body as normal. Rehabilitation therapy seeks to return you to your pre-injury levels, and can help to get you walking again without pain, or back into exercise and sport. Rehabilitation therapy is particularly important if you are a professional or semi-professional athlete that needs to get back in the game as soon as possible.

If you have questions about rehabilitation therapy and whether it will help you recover from your injury or illness, schedule a consultation with a pain management specialist. 

Facts and Information about Herniated Discs

Herniated DiscsThe vertebrae (your back bones) are cushioned by a series of flat, rubbery discs that offer shock absorption and stability to the spine. The spinal discs are made up of a tough exterior with a softer interior. In the case of a herniated disc, the inner material is forced out of a crack in the disc’s casing and presses against a nerve – herniated discs most commonly occur in the lower back and are also experienced in the neck. Herniated discs can be very painful. What are the causes of a herniated disc and how can you treat the condition?

What Causes Herniated Discs?

  1. Age is a factor in the risk of herniated discs. As you get older you lose water from the discs in the spine, which leaves them at greater risk of damage as they are less flexible.
  2. Discs are damaged when you twist and turn when lifting a heavy object, when you bend awkwardly, when you are injured playing sports, or when you try to push a heavy object.
  3. When the disc has already been damaged by age, a relatively small movement or a fall could cause the disc to rupture or break.
  4. Herniated discs are associated with a genetic predisposition to disc degeneration.
  5. People who work in professions involving a lot of heavy lifting are more likely to suffer from a herniated disc.
  6. If you are overweight you put more stress on the spinal discs and are at greater risk of damaging the discs.



What are the Symptoms of Herniated Discs?

  1. Pain, discomfort, tingling, burning or numbness in the affected area – the buttocks, legs and feet when the herniated disc is in the lower back, and the shoulders and arms when the herniated disc is in the neck.
  2. Usually one side of your body is affected and pain is felt in one leg or one arm.
  3. Herniated discs can cause mobility problems.
  4. The pain from a herniated disc is usually more severe when you stand, sit, or walk.



How are Herniated Discs Treated?

Most herniated discs will heal without the need for surgery. Surgery is not normally the first or preferred treatment option because of the intrusive nature of the procedure. Treatment can be carried out with physical therapy – techniques like hot and cold applications, ultrasound, massage, manipulations and exercises can relieve the pain of a herniated disc. You can also help yourself to a recovery by taking care not to overuse the affected muscles and nerves, taking care when you lift and move heavy objects, and not sitting in an uncomfortable position for a long period of time.

Peripheral Neuropathy – How to Prevent and Treat

Peripheral NeuropathyPeripheral neuropathy is a painful condition that can be disabling – this condition causes pain, numbness and weakness in parts of the body like the hands and feet, and can significantly reduce your quality of life. Can peripheral neuropathy be prevented, and how can it be treated if you suffer from this condition?

Peripheral Neuropathy: The Facts

Peripheral neuropathy is a condition caused by damage to the nerves. It most often affects the nerves that lead to your feet and hands but it can also be a problem for other parts of the body. This nerve damage may be the result of nerve injury or trauma, infection, or metabolic problems. In the case that one nerve is affected, the condition is called mononeuropathy. When two or more nerves are affected it is called multiple mononeuropathy and when many different nerves are damaged the condition is called polyneuropathy.

Prevention

Peripheral neuropathy may be prevented if you understand the risk factors for this health condition. However, in some cases it is unavoidable. Risk factors to take into account are exposure to heavy metals, chemicals and other toxins, medications to treat cancer, and vitamin deficiencies. If you have diabetes it is more likely you will suffer from peripheral neuropathy unless your diabetes is properly controlled – this lowers the risk. Some factors which you may not be able to avoid include bacterial and viral infections, tumors, and injury or trauma to the nerves as the result of an accident.

Peripheral Neuropathy: Understand the Symptoms

Symptoms that normally affect people with peripheral neuropathy include a tingling or numb sensation in the hands and feet that begins gradually and can spread to other parts of the body. There may be pain – either a burning pain, or a sharp, stabbing pain. Other symptoms include sensitivity to touch, skin and hair changes, lack of coordination, muscle weakness or paralysis, intolerance to heat, digestive problems, and changes in blood pressure.

Treatment

When treating peripheral neuropathy a physician will control the underlying health condition that causes nerve damage and will also treat the pain and discomfort associated with the problem. Pain treatment is important so that you can live a normal life – massage, exercise, physical therapy and alternative therapies are used to keep pain at bay. Other factors in pain management and controlling peripheral neuropathy include eating a healthy diet, avoiding alcohol, and trying relaxation techniques.

How to Use Chiropractic to Benefit Your Health

chiropractic adjustmentIf you have back pain, neck pain, knee pain or any other health condition that prevents you from moving around easily and causes you discomfort, then you’ll be interested in finding a way to relieve the pain and live a more normal life. Chiropractic is the solution you’ve been looking for – here’s how to use chiropractic as part of an effective pain management strategy.

1. Understand Chiropractic and What it Does

Learning about chiropractic is one way to be able to take full advantage of the benefits this healthcare system has to offer. A doctor of chiropractic uses a variety of different methods in order to bring proper alignment to the musculoskeletal structure and help the body function well. As a consequence, muscle and joint pain and pain in the connective tissues – cartilage, tendons and ligaments – is also eased. Chiropractors will use manual manipulation techniques to align the spine and also make use of other techniques like massage and physical therapy in order to improve mobility and reduce inflammation.

2. Attend a Chiropractic Consultation

If you suffer from neck pain, lower back pain, osteoarthritis, headaches, sports injuries, or fibromyalgia then you could benefit from chiropractic treatment. When attending a chiropractic consultation you have the opportunity to explain how pain is affecting your life and also let the practitioner know about your general levels of health and any other ailments that are troubling you. Following the consultation, the doctor will draw up a personalized plan of treatment that takes into account your specific need for pain management and also your lifestyle.

3. Undergo Safe Treatment Sessions

You don’t need to undergo any surgical procedure and the chiropractic sessions are safe and pain free. In addition, you do not need to take any prescription drugs in order to bring about pain relief. This makes chiropractic an effective healthcare procedure without the reliance on drugs or surgical intervention.

4. Use Chiropractic with other Healthcare Procedures

A doctor of chiropractic recognizes that health is a whole-body concept and not just defined as the absence of disease. Chiropractic pays attention to how the body functions as a whole, and any problems that may be affecting the smooth-running of the system. As well as the techniques used in a chiropractic session, practitioners may make use of other healthcare procedures and give the patient recommendations on what to try to feel healthier.

14 Useful Facts about Supartz Knee Therapy

Supartz Knee TherapyIf you suffer from knee arthritis then you will no doubt be interested in any therapy that helps limit the pain associated with this condition. Osteoarthritis of the knee results in pain, discomfort, stiffness, and mobility problems. You may find it difficult to exercise, or to bend and straighten the knee, or osteoarthritis may make it difficult to relax or walk. One treatment for the pain of knee arthritis is Supartz knee therapy. This treatment helps you get back on your feet again and minimizes the effects of osteoarthritis.

All about Supartz Therapy

  1. Supartz knee therapy is a non-drug, non-surgical procedure designed to minimize the pain of knee osteoarthritis.
  2. Supartz therapy is administered via an injection directly into the knee joint.
  3. The active ingredient in the injection is a purified form of sodium hyaluronate (hyaluronan) – hyaluronan is naturally found within the cartilage and fluid of the knee joint where it acts as a cushion and shock absorber.
  4. Supartz therapy replaces and supplements the naturally occurring hyaluronan which may be lacking due to arthritis.
  5. The treatment by injection lasts a few minutes and takes place in the doctor’s office or the clinic.
  6. Supartz therapy injections are administered by trained professionals.
  7. The doctor may give a local anesthetic prior to the treatment, if necessary.
  8. Most people don’t experience any pain or discomfort as a result of the Supartz procedure.
  9. The procedure is associated with minimal downtime. You shouldn’t take part in strenuous activity immediately after the procedure but you can carry on with your normal everyday activities.
  10. The procedure is quick and easy.
  11. You don’t need to take any medication.
  12. The treatment is safe and effective and has been available for the public since 1987. Many people have benefited from the treatment during this time.
  13. Clinical trials have demonstrated that the treatment is more effective than placebo and significantly reduces pain in the knee.
  14. You may benefit from an additional program of physical therapy and exercise after the procedure. Your clinician can advise you how best to exercise and strengthen the joint.

If you have any questions about the procedure, schedule an appointment with your pain management specialist or your doctor. The Supartz knee therapy program can be an effective tool to treat knee pain as caused by osteoarthritis.

How a Chiropractor Treats Knee Pain

chiropractic treatment for knee  painAre you suffering from uncomfortable, knee pain? If so, have you considered the treatment options for easing the pain? If you think there is nothing that can be done to treat knee pain, think again. One way in which you can help heal your knee and prevent pain from occurring in the future is with chiropractic care. Fortunately, chiropractic treatment is usually effective at treating many different forms of knee pain. Here’s how a pain management specialist like a chiropractor treats your knee problems.

Six Steps to Treating Knee Pain

    1. In-depth examination. The chiropractor begins by making an examination of the knee joint and asking questions to find out the source of the pain, how the pain might have occurred, when the pain is most intense, and whether there is also pain in other parts of the body. It is important to remember that the knee joint may not be the only problem – pain may be transferred from other areas of the body such as the hips or the lower back. Once the examination has been completed, the chiropractor will draw up a treatment plan.

 

    1. Reducing inflammation and pain. In order to help improve mobility and reduce swelling, ice may be used on the joint. The knee will be elevated and rest is recommended for the initial period following the onset of pain.

 

    1. Chiropractic adjustments. Manipulations are needed in order to bring the knee back to its previous functionality as well as increase its strength and range of movement.

 

    1. Massage. Soft-tissue massage helps increase flexibility in the knee as well as ease pain. It is important that the massage is gentle enough not to cause any extra discomfort.

 

    1. Rehabilitation exercises. The long-term goal of the treatment is to remove pain as well as prevent it returning in the future. To this end, various exercises and rehabilitation activities are recommended for carrying out at home. You will also learn how posture affects the knee joint and how to sit and stand properly to minimize pain.

 

  1. Home care. Take steps to lose weight if you need to – excess weight puts extra strain on the knees. Eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly to improve joint health as well as your overall health.



Still have questions?  Contact Advanta Total Health in Marietta, GA today to schedule your FREE consultation!

Knee Pain: Why Does My Knee Hurt?

sciatica leg pain marietta gaA flexible, mobile knee joint is a wonderful thing because it allows you to live an active life – play sports, walk and run, sit and stand, and enjoy the full range of movement that a complex joint like the knee allows. However, the flexibility of the joint also causes problems – you are more likely to damage the joint or cause problems through overuse. You are on your feet for large portions of the day and the pressure bearing down on the knee often results in pain. Knee pain could come in the form of a dull ache. You may also experience swelling and redness, and there may be stiffness and weakness. You may not be able to bend the knee as normal, or put weight on it.

If your knee is painful there are many possible reasons for the discomfort. Here are the most common causes of knee pain and discomfort.

Ligaments, Cartilage and Tendons

  • Torn Ligaments. The ligaments are bands of tissue that connect your bones and muscles. A common cause of knee pain is a torn anterior cruciate ligament, which connects the shin and thigh. This injury is commonly caused by sudden changes in direction while pressure is put on the knee.
  • Torn Cartilage. Cartilage connects bones and muscle and you can cause inflammation and damage to the cartilage in the knee through overuse of the joint or injury.
  • Tendonitis. An injury may also cause swelling and irritation to the tendons, which are tissues linking muscles and bones in the knee joint.
  • Ligament Pain. Ligaments that are too tight and not flexible cause pain in the knee.

Bone and Other Joint Components

  • Bursitis. A knee injury inflames the fluid-filled sacs called bursae that cushion the knee joint. This results in pain and discomfort as well as swelling.
  • Bone Chips or Loose Cartilage. A tiny piece of bone may break loose from the joint or cartilage can be separated from the joint. The chips stay in the joint cavity and cause problems with knee mobility.
  • Dislocated Kneecap.

Arthritis

  • Osteoarthritis. One of the most common types of arthritis that affects the knee joint
  • Gout. Another form of arthritis that is caused by a development of uric crystals in the knee joint.

If knee pain is affecting your everyday life, seek help from a pain management specialist. There are many different ways to treat knee pain – see the following article for more details.

Shoulder and Neck Pain: What You Need to Know

neck and shoulder painMillions of people suffer from shoulder and neck pain but many are under the impression that waiting it out and suffering in silence is best. Others believe there is nothing a doctor can do to treat neck or shoulder pain that is not linked to another underlying health condition. But leaving shoulder or neck pain untreated is not a good idea. Not only does the pain and discomfort cause problems in your everyday life, including difficulties walking, working, and relaxing, but an untreated injury can lead to more problems further down the line. Arm yourself with the facts about neck and shoulder injury so you can resolve the problem in the best possible way.

Why Do I Suffer from Pain in my Neck and Shoulders?

While the benefits of having a flexible, mobile neck and shoulder joint are clear, the disadvantages are also obvious – the lack of stability in the neck, the weight it supports, and the reliance on the shoulder muscles all make it relatively easy to damage the neck or the shoulders and cause pain. Often a small movement made at the wrong time, or a sudden movement that forces the neck forwards or backwards, can have strong repercussions in terms of pain.

What are the Common Causes of Pain in the Shoulders or Neck?

Poor posture is one of the most common causes of neck and shoulder pain. Sitting in the same position for a long time, when your weight is not properly distributed over your chest, causes pressure in the shoulders and the top of the spine. Standing and walking in a way that puts strain on the shoulder muscles and ligaments is also a problem – poor posture is a major contributing factor to neck and shoulder pain.

You may be able to identify the moment when the pain struck – an auto accident that caused whiplash, for example, or a heavy football tackle. Sometimes pain is due to a dislocated shoulder.

If you are struggling to find a reason for your pain, it could be a condition called wry neck. Wry neck describes when the neck is suddenly painful, stiff or uncomfortable. Wry neck is not usually caused by an accident or an injury, but it could be the result of a viral infection. There may be spasms of pain that spread across the upper back.

7 Tips for Treating Headaches and Migraines

headaches & migrainesHeadaches are a common problem, with up to 90 percent of Americans suffering from the uncomfortable condition. If you frequently experience headaches it can be difficult to lead a normal life. Often, headaches interfere with work and with family time – you don’t want to socialize with a pounding headache, or finish that spreadsheet at the office. Headaches may sometimes be the sign of another illness or health condition but they are much more likely to be triggered by environmental stimuli or by bodily processes like stress, tension, or blood sugar levels. Fortunately there are remedies and techniques proven to help relieve the discomfort of headaches and migraines. Here are seven of the best ways to reduce the pain and live a normal life again.

1. Visit a Chiropractor.

You may not realize it, but many headaches are caused by tension in the neck and the upper back. In order to relieve this tension and stress and properly align the spine, it is beneficial to see a chiropractor. You will also be able to receive advice about proper posture and sitting positions in order to minimize the impact of stress on the joints in your head, neck and back.

2. Exercise Regularly.

Exercise can also relieve stress and release tension. Try a low-impact form of exercise so you don’t cause extra pain, such as yoga, a stretching class, walking, or swimming.

3. Drink Plenty of Water.

Dehydration can cause headaches. If you regularly suffer from headaches, check how much you are drinking. You need at least eight glasses a day.

4. Avoid Foods That Trigger Headaches.

Common culprits include cheese, foods with nitrates or artificial sweeteners, wine, smoked meats, pickles, and cold foods like ice cream or other cold desserts.

5. Improve Your Diet.

Include plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, and other whole foods and avoid processed foods in order to increase your vitamin levels and also avoid artificial additives. Avoid too much caffeine (and too much alcohol) and don’t smoke.

6. Practice Stress-Reducing Techniques.

Try meditation, yoga, or other deep breathing practices to regularly inject a little calm into your busy life. Simply sitting for a few minutes in a darkened room or listening to some calming music can make a difference to the severity of your headache.

7. Use a Moist Heat Pad.

If the tension in your neck is promoting a headache, sit quietly with a warm, moist towel wrapped around your neck. The heat will help remove tension.