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?
Does the idea of having a chiropractor “crack” your back make you nervous? Many people say, “Yes.” They miss out on the potential pain relief because the “popping” sound can be nerve-wracking.
True story, the first time Dr. Jeff adjusted my neck, I screamed in surprise. Yep!
It turns out, there is a “non-cracking” and “no pop” version of chiropractic care. Whether you’re nervous or were in an accident and too sore for traditional chiropractic treatment, you can still reap the benefits of natural pain relief from chiropractic care.
For instance, Dr. Jeff Mcquaite in Doylestown offers a non-cracking chiropractor adjustment. To clarify, this technique offers pain relief without the crack. However, it’s worth mentioning that the “cracking” sound is nothing to worry about. It’s really just trapped gas escaping as your joints are realigned.
However, modern chiropractic care uses many options to help you feel your best. These two tools are simply part of this evolving practice.
Two Tools for a Non-Cracking Chiropractor Adjustment Technique
As you probably know, traditional chiropractic care uses bodyweight to realign your joints. After your initial consultation and x-ray, your chiropractic directs you to lay in a certain position on the table. Traditionally, they use their body weight to make quick adjustments that realign your joints. However, your chiropractor may choose to incorporate gentler methods.
These adjustments can use two tools that have funny names. The arthrostim and the vibracussor are hard to spell but they’re excellent tools for a non-cracking chiropractic adjustment.
As you can see, both tools are small and portable but they have different uses.
These “taps” work in a similar way as traditional chiropractic treatment. However, the “taps” are gentle, yet frequent. The Artrostim applies 10-14 micro thrusts a second to your spine. It stimulates your body’s healing and eases your joints back in proper alignment. Best of all, it’s gentle.
The Arthrostim tool offers an effective “non-cracking” adjustment. You can see it here”in action.”
Your chiropractor will develop a treatment plan based on your medical history and current physical concerns.
Yet, the Arthrostim can especially benefit people with:
-People with acute or chronic pain -Particularly sensitive individuals -Individuals who dislike being ‘twisted’ -Those with disc or related spinal conditions -Individuals with arthritic conditions -Individuals with osteoporosis -Elderly individuals -Even individuals who are larger and stronger (and may be difficult to adjust with a single thrust) can benefit from the use of the arthrostim.
The Vibracussor is helpful for breaking up scar tissue and loosening ligaments. Doing so improves circulation and speeds up healing. The tool works by delivering impulses deep into the body’s tissues. Yet, it goes deeper than a traditional massage. By going deeper, it breaks up fascial restrictions (scar tissue) and loosens ligaments. The entire process relaxes the muscles and fascia surrounding the vertebrae. As a result, you can feel pain relief.
Are You Ready to Try a “No-Crack” Adjustment?
In summary, both of these non-cracking chiropractor adjustment techniques are effective. However, they may be more suitable for certain people and conditions. Here at McQuaite Chiropractic, Dr. Mcquaite creates an individualized treatment plan to help you feel your best.
If you have questions or would like to book an appointment, please contact the office. Come in for a consultation! We’ll be happy to explain how these gentle non-cracking and no popping treatments work and if they may be right for you.
If you suffer from neck or back pain, you’re not alone.60-80% of adults do and some of it is debilitating. If your neck or back pain feels chronic, you might be a perfect candidate for spinal decompression.
What is Spinal Decompression?
Spinal decompression is a non-surgical treatment It’s used primarily to treat disc injuries in the neck and lower back. For example, chiropractors often work with patients on this gentle spinal stretching.
According to Dr. Murray Johnston DC, BSC in the Journal of Neuroimaging Volume 8, Number 2 1998, spinal decompression serves two functions:
It “sucks” in herniated discs or bulges so they’re back in their rightful place
Thickens and heals the disc
The spinal decompression procedure is gentle. Your chiropractor uses tools and techniques to gently separate the vertebrae from each other. This creates a vacuum inside the discs. Some call this “vacuum effect” a negative intra-discal pressure. While back pain relief may not be immediate, these microscopic separations happen over time (usually 4 to 6 weeks). The end results can be quite dramatic after 10 to 30 sessions.
Spinal Decompression Therapy was developed by Allan E. Dyer, Ph.D., M.D. It’s widely recognized as the only effective and non-surgical treatment for back and neck pain. This includes severe cases of disc herniation, degeneration, arthritis, stenosis, and pressure on the nerve. When patients follow directions and fulfill treatment, spinal decompression has an 86% success rate. Spinal Decompression has FDA clearance.
How Does Spinal Decompression Work?
According to the American Spinal Decompression Association (ASDA), “The patient lies comfortably on his/her back or stomach on the decompression table with a set of nicely padded straps snug around the waist and another set around the lower chest.” The patient undergoes the procedure fully clothed on this computer-controlled table.
Firstly, each treatment lasts about 30 to 45 minutes and consists of 20 to 28 treatments over 5 to 7 weeks. Treatment sessions may also include electric stimulation, ultrasound, thermotherapy (heat), and cryotherapy (cold) before, during, or after each session. Proper patient screening is imperative and objectives for treatment must be clear between patient and doctor for treatment to be successful.
According to Spine-Health, “Not everyone with a bulging disc is a candidate for decompression (traction). ” Treatment requires soft tissue muscle work to relax deep core muscles to reduce the body’s reflex reaction to guard. In case you were thinking otherwise, you do want to consult with a trained medical practitioner. They’ll help you determine the best course of treatment.
After consultation and or treatment with your chiropractor, you can adapt spinal decompression for your own home. As you may guess, successful home treatment requires following a set of prescribed exercises. Your chiropractor will help you with resources.
In Doylestown, Pa., and surrounding areas, Dr. Jeff McQuaite successfully treats patients for spinal decompression. Call to book your appointment today at 267-247-7000.
Several studies link weighty backpacks with persistent back, neck, and shoulder problems in students from elementary school to college. Research suggests that children with back pain often develop chronic symptoms lasting into adulthood, making it all the more important to tackle back and neck pain early in life.
According to Lisa A. Haney, Director of Rehabilitation Services at Pennsylvania Hospital, “More than 40 million U.S. students carry backpacks, and most of them are unaware that overloading them or carrying them incorrectly can set them up for a lifetime of problems,” says Ms. Haney. “It’s up to parents, teachers, and schools to help spread the word about backpack safety and help our kids lighten their loads.”
Such an overloaded backpack sends upwards of 8000 children to hospital emergency rooms many years.
A 2004 study from the University of California showed that 64% of students between ages 11-15 reported back pain from their backpacks, with 21% reporting the pain lasted more than 6 months. Two studies from Boston University showed that 84% of students reported pain and discomfort from backpack usage. Another study published in Work Magazine revealed that 31% of the students reported having difficulty participating in activities as a result of pain. Nearly 25% of students reported having difficulty carrying their books during school because of pain, and 19% reported having difficulty playing sports. To carry your essentials, you should look into thebest backpacks for school to help make your choice easier.
It’s Not Just Backaches
Dr. McQuaite notes “Each year, I grow more concerned as I see more and more children with problems associated with backpacks. Complaints include back pain, headaches, neck and shoulder pain, and numbness in the arms and hands. Studies show a direct connection to these problems with overloaded and ill-fitted backpacks. The body is trying to compensate for the change caused by the backpack’s added weight. The spine in particular can be affected as it bends and twists to reposition this added backpack weight. When this happens pain usually results.”
There are other problems associated with backpack overload too. Called “Cervicobrachial syndrome and or Thoracic Outlet Syndrome”, a heavily loaded backpack causes the shoulder straps to compress delicate nerves, arteries, and veins passing underneath. This can lead to numbness and tingling in the arms.
Dr. McQuaite says “A lot of these problems can be addressed by using proper body mechanics. While they may not be “cool”, it will help prevent the possibility of long term damage.”
In an effort to cut down on the number of these injuries, Dr. McQuaite offers parents the following backpack safety advice
10 Backpack Safety Tips
Never let a child carry more than 10-15% of his or her body weight in the backpack.
Load the heaviest items closest to the child’s back and arrange books and materials to prevent them from sliding.
Always wear both shoulder straps. Wearing only one strap can cause a child to lean to one side, curving the spine and causing pain or discomfort.
Select a pack with well-padded shoulder straps. Too much pressure on the shoulders and necks can cause pain and tingling.
Adjust the shoulder straps so that the pack fits snugly to the child’s back. The bottom of the pack should rest in the curve of the lower back. The backpack should never be more than four inches below the child’s waistline.
Use the waist belt, if the backpack has one, to help distribute the pack’s weight more evenly.
Check what your child carries to school and brings home to make sure the items are necessary to the day’s activities.
If the backpack is too heavy, consider using a book bag on wheels if your child’s school allows it.
Choose the right size pack for your child’s back as well as one with enough room for necessary school items.
If a student is experiencing back pain or neck soreness, consult your physician or chiropractor.
The Benefits of Ergonomics
If your child isn’t carrying a backpack but is taking classes online, you want to make sure they maintain good posture during computer time. Setting up anergonomic workstation for your child will help them remain pain-free. Otherwise, they’re at risk for similar injuries such as back, shoulder, and neck pain. Ergonomics is simply about the ability to maintain good posture with a computer screen, keyboard, and chair at the right height. It extends to backpacks and “text neck.”
Dr. McQuaite also points out that parents shouldn’t put a child’s name on the outside of a backpack, for safety reasons: When the child is walking home from school, you don’t want a predator to be able to call him or her by name.
He also recommends that parents put their child’s contact information somewhere in the bag, just in case anything happens to them.
Backpack Safety is critical for the long-term health of your child. Help your student have a terrific year and skip the backpack pain.
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.