Are you one of the 20.4% of American adults living with chronic pain? If you are, you’d probably like to find a solution.
Chronic pain can last for years and impact your quality of life in significant ways. At first, you make small adjustments to accommodate your pain. Maybe you find another family member to open the jars for you or you sit out your favorite activities.
Before you know it, you’re sitting out your favorite activities. Natural pain management can help you get your life back.
4 Ways Natural Pain Management Can Benefit You Mentally and Physically
Finding ways to manage chronic pain is important to your quality of life. Everyone is different so what works for you may not work for your spouse or friend, but these natural approaches have many benefits.
Yoga – From “lay on the floor” Yin Yoga to Power Yoga, there’s a yoga style to fit everyone. Of course, if you want to incorporate yoga into your pain management program, it’s important to assess your current activity level and find a teacher/class geared towards those in chronic pain. If you’re not a regular practitioner, you can find a beginner class to give it a try. Some yoga studios offer classes called “Yoga Basics” or “Yoga for Beginners.” You can also call and ask about classes for natural pain management.
Massage Therapy – Harvard Health Publishing shares that “A study published in Annals of Family Medicine in 2014 found that 60-minute therapeutic massage sessions two or three times a week for four weeks relieved chronic neck pain better than no massage or fewer or shorter massage sessions.”
It also benefits chronic back pain, shoulder pain, and other conditions. Massage therapy stretches and soothes your muscles and tendons which can reduce pain. It also relieves anxiety which helps reduce your pain too. We recommend interspersing massage with chiropractic treatments.
Chiropractic Care – Chiropractors use spinal manipulation and other therapies to help treat people with chronic pain. While chiropractors are often thought of for back pain relief, they can also help with carpal tunnel, headaches, and other chronic pain.
For example, at our chiropractic office, your first visit will include an x-ray and health assessment. That way, we can create an individualized treatment plan for your pain management. It may include some exercises and alternating heat and cold in between chiropractic adjustments.
Acupuncture – This ancient practice is part of Traditional Chinese Medicine. If you’re familiar with it, the practitioner uses tiny needles at strategic points in the body to release the body’s natural life force. The idea is that pain and illness come from blockages within the body. When the blockages are removed, blood and oxygen can flow freely.
Of course, this is only a sampling of natural pain management techniques. You might try physical therapy, hot and cold therapies, and a combination of other therapies. Fortunately, there are many ways you can feel better.
If you’re in chronic pain, you know the toll it takes on your physical and mental well-being. It zaps your energy and enthusiasm. You deserve to feel better.
First, you want to get at the source of why you have chronic pain. Maybe you know your knee pain stems from high school sports. Or, you suspect your shoulder pain relates to long hours at the computer. From run-of-the-mill chronic pain to sciatica and slipped discs, the right blend of therapies can help you feel your best.
If you’re in Doylestown, PA, why not visit us for more information about pain management? Dr. McQuaite will consult with you and develop a treatment plan for your specific body. We take most insurance! Why not come in and let us help you feel better!
Ballet dancers have excellent posture, but what about the rest of us?
Most of us spend hours every day sitting. We’re slumped over computers and phones. Then we slouch on the couch watching Netflix. All that slouching affects our breathing, energy levels, and yes, contributes to neck and back pain.
Imagine sitting in one position for a long time, for example, hunched over your computer. You’re cutting and pasting, typing, rushing to complete a project. If you do this day after day, then your body eventually adapts itself to the posture.
For many people, that means your head juts out slightly forward and your shoulders do the same. This puts constant pressure on your spinal column and muscles and eventually leads to pain because your body isn’t meant to hold such positions for long.
Does this sound familiar?
Ergonomics (and Chiropractic Care) Can Relieve Your Pain
Ergonomics is a term that’s applied to workspaces and it relates to having a healthy environment. Part of a healthy environment is having a work area that’s comfortable for your body. For example, you’ve probably heard of raising your computer monitor so it’s eye level. That’s because the positioning of the monitor at eye level helps your head remain in its natural position rather than bending forward for hours. This shift can improve your posture right away.
There are also ergonomic keyboards, desks, chairs, and mice. They’re all designed to help your body maintain better posture.
For example, having your chair at the right level ensures your hands and arms are able to rest in a natural way and still type while having your computer monitor at eye level means your neck is straighter.
Put them all together, the height of the chair, desk, and computer monitor can improve your posture so that you feel less neck and back pain.
Posture extends to other activities that find you hunched over for long periods too, like gardening, golfing, or gazing at your tablet or phone. If put yourself in the habit of thinking about your posture (thinking about it is half the battle), then you’ll straighten up which will help relieve any pressure in your body. See, habitual patterns of sitting and standing change your anatomy and can cause muscles to put pressure on your nerves.
It’s not uncommon for your hips to be slightly uneven which affects the way you stand and walk. Over time, your body will make minute corrections which can lead to chronic back or neck pain (or both.) If you’ve ever been to a chiropractor, you may remember they’ll look at the length of your legs. The reason is that most people have one leg a little longer than the other. However, a chiropractic adjustment can even them out. As a result, you stand straighter and you feel less pain.
The spinal column is a complex structure made up of over 300 bones, discs, tendons, and thousands of nerves. You may have pain because a muscle is pressing on a tiny nerve. Your chiropractor can help that muscle return to its proper place and free your nerve. Through a simple series of manipulations, you can feel relief from your neck and back pain.
Once you find pain relief, you can do some simple exercises and adjust your habits to help you feel better more often.
Most people don’t think much about their bodies until they’re in pain, and then it’s common for someone to pop a pill for immediate pain relief. Of course, that doesn’t work in the long term.
Chiropractic care helps your body heal itself including your neck and back pain. Ergonomics helps you maintain better posture which also frees the pressure on your neck and back.
Together, you can feel less pain and do the things you want to do. If you’re in the Doylestown, PA area and you have neck and back pain, why not schedule a free consultation to find out how we can help?
If you’ve ever wondered what the difference is between a chiropractic adjustment and cracking your back, you’re not alone. After all, many people feel better after getting a friend to help “crack their back.”
So how does it differ from a chiropractic adjustment?
Of course, you know they’re not the same thing. One is done by a licensed chiropractor with years of medical training while the other isn’t. Sure, they can both feel good, but one offers proven health benefits and the other doesn’t.
I’ll explain more in a minute, but first, let’s address the “cracking” sound that sometimes happens when you crack your back.
What’s with the Back Cracking Sound?
People get a little excited about the “cracking” sound that can happen during a chiropractic adjustment. Some love it while others are afraid.
In reality, it’s not what you think at all. That popping sound is the sound of gas escaping your joint when it’s adjusted. That’s all.
It’s not your bones.
It’s your joints. Actually, that’s not quite it either. It’s the gas between your joints.
Here’s what I mean, as you know your joints are moveable. Your shoulders, knees, vertebrae, and so on are meant to have flexibility and they work kind of like a ball and socket. However, it’s typical for them to shift out of place. It’s nothing you’d notice by looking at you, but even a fraction of a millimeter off can cause you pain.
As a chiropractor, we want to keep your joints functioning well because that helps you maintain a good range of motion and stay mobile.
A chiropractic adjustment is a specific approach to a specific joint to restore mobility to that joint and help you feel better.
Sometimes it results in that “cracking” sound when the gas escapes.
The Difference Between an Adjustment and Cracking Your Back
When your joints are well functioning, your body has good mobility. You have a good range of motion in your neck and shoulders, meaning you can move them without feeling restricted.
The role of the chiropractor is to keep your joints and vertebrae mobile and in good working order. Imagine that you have a stiff back. You bend, stretch, and hear that “popping” sound. Aah… you think. It feels better.
It can feel better. For a little while. When you hear the cracking sound, it does release endorphins.
But a little while later you feel stiff again, in fact, it gets tougher and tougher for you to find long-lasting relief.
See, the body is a funny thing. Those stiff vertebrae haven’t loosened. Instead, the vertebrae above and below the stiff vertebrae are usually overcompensating for the stiffness in the middle. They become more mobile and are easier to “crack” while the stiff ones stay put.
Long term? You’re not doing anything for the stiff vertebrae and they can gradually worsen. However, the trained eye of a chiropractor (combined with an x-ray), can assess your vertebrae and find the problem. Then, a series of chiropractic adjustments will loosen the stiff vertebrae and give you greater mobility.
Over time, you’ll maintain that mobility easier. Is it time to make a chiropractor appointment?
If you feel tingling down your arms or shooting arm pain, you may have cervical radiculopathy. More commonly known as a “pinched nerve” in the neck, cervical radiculopathy can be excruciating. Or it can be a dull pain.
Firstly, no matter how it feels for you, you’re bothered by it, and it affects your life in some way.
For instance, below, you’ll see the typical symptoms of cervical radiculopathy.
But first, here’s what we mean by “cervical.”
Imagine the back of your head where the base of the neck meets your spinal column. Your shoulders extend from your neck, and from there are nerves, tendons, and ligaments that send messages throughout your body and contribute to your range of motion. When one of those nerves is pinched or compressed, that may be cervical radiculopathy.
For example, if you’ve heard of the cervical spine, that’s the area relating to your neck. Seven bones make up this region, and just like the entire spine, there’s a special disc that separates each bone. Those discs are known as intervertebral discs, and they help your spine stay limber. For instance, when you twist your neck to look over your shoulder, these special discs help with that mobility.
On a related, yet separate note, you may have heard of having pinched nerves in your lower back. As you may guess, this can cause similar feelings but down your legs instead of your arms. That’s lumbar radiculopathy. It’s similar but usually contributes to lower body pain. For the purposes of this article, we’ll stick with the upper body.
Now that you know cervical radiculopathy is a pinched nerve in your neck or shoulder region, you may wonder about the symptoms.
What are the Symptoms of Cervical Radiculopathy?
The symptoms vary, as you can see.
Pain radiates down your arms.
Numbness in your arms
Dull pain in your shoulders/arms
Tingly sensation in your arms
Less range of motion.
Left untreated, cervical radiculopathy or a pinched nerve in your neck can lead to permanent nerve damage.
According to Orthoinfo.com, radiculopathy has two common causes. In those of us of a “certain age,” it’s often caused by a breakdown of the discs in between bones, similar to arthritis. In other cases, a traumatic injury could cause it.
No matter the cause, it can be frustrating and debilitating. You might find yourself having to sit out of things you want to do in life. For example, maybe you no longer have the strength to pick up your little dog, or you find yourself in the kitchen unable to pick up a stack of dishes.
You’re probably tired of the pain.
What Treatment Options are There?
Fortunately, there are many treatment options.
Spinal decompression therapy
Traditional chiropractic treatments
Over the counter painkillers
It won’t be one treatment option in many cases but rather a range of things that will help. Each case is individual, so you’ll want to see your medical professional see what type of treatment plan will work well for your situation.
Yet, before you can treat it, you need to know your diagnosis, your physical abilities, lifestyle, and other specific concerns.
According to a recent study, some benefit from manual therapy, such as physical therapy or chiropractors. This can improve your range of motion and reduce inflammation. With some lifestyle adjustments and medical care, you’ll likely find pain relief.
In conclusion, in Doylestown, PA, Dr. Jeff McQuaite helps many people find pain relief from cervical radiculopathy or pinched nerve in the neck pain. He’ll conduct an x-ray and talk with you about your medical history to work out a treatment plan that makes sense for you. He offers traditional chiropractic care, spinal decompression treatment, and even non-cracking adjustments in his Doylestown office.
One of the things people don’t always realize is how damaging car accidents can be to your body. Even it seems “minor” and there’s only a little dent in your fender, your body sustained a jostle big or small.
Think about it, if you’ve ever hit a large pothole, you know how much that can damage your car alignment. It’s no different with your physical body.
You can get out at the scene of the accident and feel fine at the time. Yet, in the next day or two, you might start feeling achy. This is not unusual. In fact, you may not even connect it to your car accident if it’s several days later or a week later.
For instance, let’s say you were rear-ended by a car going 5 miles an hour. You have a dent in your fender, but otherwise, everything seems fine. Then, a few days later, you have neck pain. Most people don’t realize even such a minor seeming impact is strong enough to cause whiplash and other painful injuries. That’s why chiropractic treatment after a car accident can really help.
Factors in Possible Car Accident Injuries Include:
1- The type of vehicle – both the type of vehicle you’re in as well as what hit you. If you’re in a small car like a Prius and a jeep hits you, your car may have more damage.
2–Angle it hit you – We’ve all seen those roadside accidents where it’s obvious that the vehicle sustained a blow at one of the corners. The direction the vehicles made impact affects the damage on the vehicle and the person inside.
3-How fast it hit you – A light tap on the rear in stop-and-go traffic is not the same as a head-on collision, yet, if that “light tap” damages your fender, that could be enough to knock your body out of alignment too.
4-The location of your headrest to the location of your head – For example, the headrest can offer protection if it cradles the back of your head, but if you have it down and your head whips front and back, then you could have whiplash.
5 – Did you tense in anticipation or was it a surprise? (Surprise car accidents can cause injury to your ligaments whereas if you tense up, the injury is more likely to be in your muscles.)
These are all factors that go into whether your body sustained an injury after a car accident.
Chiropractic Treatment After a Car Accident is a Good Idea
Just like your car may need realignment your body needs realignment periodically. This is especially true after an accident. Even a “minor” accident can knock your spinal column out of place. Fortunately, a chiropractic adjustment will put everything back where it needs to be. In our Doylestown office, we can also run an x-ray to see if there’s any reason for concern internally speaking. Plus, your insurance may cover all or part of your treatment.
If you have a car accident, please don’t delay seeking chiropractic treatment. You deserve to feel good.