Some may consider gardening a sport. It may not be a competitive sport (unless you’re competing with your neighbor for who can grow the biggest tomato), but nonetheless; it requires physical activity to perform and therefore may be considered a “sport” to serious enthusiasts. Digging, pulling weeds, adding mulch, and raking can all make you feel like you’ve had a workout at the gym, so it’s essential to use the following safety precautions to prevent injuries.
SAFETY TIP #1 - WARM UP
Take a few minutes to warm up the muscles you’ll be using. Do a short, brisk walk and then lightly stretch your shoulders, back, legs, arms, and wrists. If you need inspiration, consider these two stretches:
Wrist Flexor Stretch
Corner Pectoral Stretch
SAFETY TIP #2 – USE CORRECT POSTURE
Back pain is a common ailment in gardeners, so be mindful of your posture at all times, whether you’re standing or kneeling. When lifting, bend at your knees and keep your back straight. Imagine that your spine has been strapped to a broomstick. Do not bend at your waist or twist your torso. Keep the load you are carrying close to your body.
SAFETY TIP #3 – SWITCH UP YOUR TASKS
Vary your tasks often so that you are not holding the same position for prolonged periods. Walk around and stretch a little in between tasks to help prevent stiffness and improve your circulation.
SAFETY TIP #4 – USE THE RIGHT TOOLS
If you’re using a rake that is too short for your height, you’ll be forced to bend over excessively and cause yourself some back pain. If you need to bend down frequently, consider purchasing kneepads or a mat.
SAFETY TIP #5 –DRINK WATER
Staying hydrated should always be a priority, and it’s especially important when you’re out in the sun doing physical activity. Have a drink of water at least every 15-20 minutes.
If you feel any pain after a day of gardening, apply ice to the affected area. If you still have discomfort after 24- 48 hours, give us a call to schedule a check-up. Happy Gardening!
Previously, we discussed how herniated disks can resorb all by themselves, especially large herniated disks. But what about a damaged nerve—can it self-repair too?
First, it’s important to realize that damage can occur when enough pressure is applied to any living tissue. The anatomy of our nerves includes many micro-structures such as the blood vessels that bring needed oxygen to the several layers of the nerve. If the nerve is deprived of oxygen long enough, there can be damage to its infrastructure, similar to a heart attack damaging the heart muscle.
A pinched nerve results in symptoms that include numbness, tingling, weakness, and in some cases, burning sensations. There are three stages of nerve damage that can be simplified into mild, moderate, and severe, and the ability for nerves to regenerate depends largely on the amount of damage and the length of time that has passed before treatment is sought out.
Generally speaking, it has been well reported that the nerves that make up the peripheral nervous system (the nerves outside of the brain and spinal cord) have the ability to regenerate, while those within the central nervous system (CNS) generally do not. However, there is hope. Researchers have begun to identify the molecular mechanisms that can promote axon regeneration in CNS injuries. Much of the knowledge and insight derived from these studies comes from the experimental use of fruit flies, as is referred to as “Drosophila models of axonal regrowth.”
The activation of an important receptor (called “insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor or IGF-1R) appears to be an essential step for axonal regeneration to occur in adult CNS neurons. Studies utilizing Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1) as a form of treatment in animal models after a brain injury found IGF-1 to be “neuroprotective” in the early stages of brain injury, and blood levels are often elevated soon after an injury.
In a study of 45 patients who suffered traumatic spinal cord injuries, researchers detected higher levels of IGF-1 blood serum levels in those who had clinically documented neurological resolution as compared to lower levels that were found in those who did not have neurological remission.
Unfortunately, researchers need to identify some of the missing pieces of the CNS-injury recovery puzzle before a consistent and predictable outcome can be expected for people who have sustained a serious spinal cord injury.
Doctors of chiropractic are trained to identify injuries to peripheral nerves as well as to the spinal cord and they can also work closely with other experts who manage the more significant neurological injuries, all in the quest of getting you back on the road to as much recovery as possible!
"The Opioid Crisis for Athletes: A Case for Chiropractic Disrupting the Cycle of Pain, Prescriptions and Addiction."
No matter what the sport, athletes suffer injuries. This can happen in a second, such as a high ankle sprain during a football tackle, or gradually, such as a rotator cuff irritation in golf, baseball, tennis or other sports. Regardless of the cause, athletes pursue numerous treatments to prevent injury, reduce pain and improve their range of motion including rest, ice, chiropractic care, physical therapy, and, unfortunately, opioids and other medications. With the latter, this can lead to a vicious cycle of aggravating the injury and then consuming more opioids repeatedly until the athlete is permanently injured and/or addicted to the medication.
The below eBook offers an overview of opioid misuse among athletes and how the pressure to perform can cycle to drug addiction quickly and as early on as high school. We will also explore how chiropractic care can prevent this pattern by helping athletes prevent injuries and perform at their best without the risks associated with opioids.
Have you ever had neck or back pain and considered Chiropractic but feared you’d be required to commit to a long term plan?
You are not alone.
Even though there is plenty of research backing up Chiropractic, some patients just can’t afford the time or expense of long-term, corrective care.
That is why we now offer “pay per visit” Chiropractic for your neck pain or back pain.
This means you can call and come in on the same day and provided that there are no contraindications, get exactly what you want; an adjustment without pressure to keep coming back over and over again.
As a matter of fact, this mainstream approach is featured on www.Chiro-Trust.org… one of the most visited online back pain information websites in the country.
So, if you, your spouse, or a friend is complaining of aches and pains, rest assured that you can come in and get the care you want and can afford.
Give us a call at 772-286-5277. We’ll take good care of you.
The sheer magnitude of America’s prescription opioid abuse epidemic has evoked visceral responses and calls-to-action from public and private sectors. As longtime advocates of drug-free management of acute, subacute
and chronic back, neck and neuro-musculoskeletal pain, the chiropractic profession is aligned with these important initiatives and committed to actively participate in solving the prescription opioid addiction crisis. A profession dedicated to health and well-being, Doctors of Chiropractic (DCs) are educated, trained and positioned to deliver non-pharmacologic pain management and play a leading role in “America’s Opioid Exit Strategy.”
Data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that “opioid deaths continued to surge in 2015, surpassing 30,000 for the first time in recent history. CDC Director Tom Frieden said, “The epidemic of deaths
involving opioids continues to worsen. Prescription opioid misuse and use of heroin and illicitly manufactured fentanyl are intertwined and deeply troubling problems.”
The human toll of prescription opioid use, abuse, dependence, overdose and poisoning have rightfully become a national public health concern.
For the overwhelming number of people who suffer with chronic pain, chiropractic care offers a drug-free, non-invasive and cost-effective alternative to opioid drugs. Chiropractic is the largest, most regulated and best recognized of the complementary and alternative care professions. In fact, patient surveys reported in the Annals of Internal Medicine show that chiropractors are used more than any other alternative provider group and patient satisfaction with chiropractic care is very high. Patient use of chiropractic in the United States has tripled in the past two decades.
The importance of chiropractic care is further amplified since many individuals are prescribed opioids for back, low back and neck pain, headaches, neuro-musculoskeletal conditions and other related conditions. An estimated 126.6 million Americans (one in two adults) are affected by a musculoskeletal condition. Providers in multiple disciplines and throughout the health care continuum are now advocating chiropractic care as a leading alternative to usual medical care for chronic pain conditions.
"Chiropractic: A Key to America’s Opioid Exit Strategy’ is a follow-up discussion to ‘Chiropractic: A Safer Strategy than Opioids’ (June 2016), which examines the positive steps as well as the shortcomings of initiatives undertaken from July 2016 - March 2017 to address the opioid crisis. It also assesses the current landscape of opportunities to offer patients, doctors and payers meaningful programs to effectively address acute, subacute and chronic neck, low back and neuro-
musculoskeletal pain without the use of painkillers. Based upon the evidence articulated in this ground-breaking positioning paper, it becomes clear that chiropractic care is a key component of ‘America’s Opioid Exit Strategy’ on several levels.
Calls have come from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Institute of Medicine (IOM) for a shift away from opioid use toward non-pharmacologic approaches to address chronic pain.
Overdose deaths involving prescription opioids have quadrupled since 1999, as have sales of these prescription drugs. From 1999 to 2014, more than 165,000 people --- three times the U.S. military deaths during the twenty years of the
Vietnam War -- have died in the U.S. from overdoses related to prescription opioids. Today, at least half of all U.S. opioid overdose deaths involve a prescribed opioid. In 2014, more than 14,000 people died from overdoses involving these drugs with the most commonly overdosed opioids -- Methadone, Oxycodone (such as OxyContin®), and Hydrocodone (such as Vicodin®) -- resulting in death. Regrettably, overdose deaths resulting from opioid abuse have risen sharply in every county of every state across the country, reaching a new peak in 2014: 28,647 people, or 78 people per day – more than three people per hour. The newest estimates on the cost of opioid abuse to U.S. employers is estimated at $18 billion in sick days, lost productivity and medical expenses. An important non-pharmacologic approach in helping to solve this crisis is chiropractic care. This discussion offers greater understanding of the scope of the opioid situation the elements that have contributed to it and an approach that emphasizes non-pharmacologic care. Collectively, we must begin to extricate ourselves from our current ineffective, dangerous and often fatal reality.
AMERICANS WANT AND DESERVE CHIROPRACTIC CARE
For the overwhelming number of people who suffer with chronic pain, chiropractic care offers a drug-free, non-invasive and cost-effective alternative to opioid drugs. Chiropractic is the largest, most regulated and best recognized of the complementary and alternative care professions. In fact, patient surveys reported in the Annals of Internal Medicine show that chiropractors are used more than any other alternative provider group and patient satisfaction with chiropractic care is very high. Patient use of chiropractic in the United States has tripled in the past two decades. The importance of chiropractic care is further amplified since many individuals are prescribed opioids for back, low back and neck pain, headaches, neuro-musculoskeletal conditions and other related conditions. An estimated 126.6 million Americans (one in two adults) are affected by a musculoskeletal condition.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could assess three common types of treatment for neck and back pain to determine which is the most effective? Here is a look at three studies that compared three popular forms of care for chronic spinal pain to determine the short-term and more importantly, the LONG-TERM benefits of chiropractic manipulation, acupuncture, and non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs, like Advil).
The FIRST published study included a pilot group of 77 patients complaining of chronic spinal pain (neck, mid-back, or low-back pain). These patients were separated into one of the three treatment groups and received either NSAIDs, acupuncture, or chiropractic manipulation. Patients received care for four weeks with outcome measures (questionnaires) used to assess changes in pain and disability. After a 30-day time frame, only patients who received chiropractic manipulation (CM) reached a level of statistically significant improvement, supporting CM to offer the best SHORT-TERM BENEFITS for those with chronic back/neck pain.
The SECOND study included 115 patients, again randomized, to receive either one of the same three treatments, but this time the outcome data was gathered two, five, and nine weeks after the start of treatment. Again, those who received chiropractic manipulation (CM) experienced the best overall improvement at nine weeks.
The THIRD study involved follow-up from the same patient group from the SECOND study two years later. Once again, participants completed outcome assessments that measure pain and disability. This time, the results showed that only patients in the chiropractic manipulation group maintained long-term improvements in pain and disability.
There have been other studies looking at the efficacy and benefits of SMT (spinal manipulative therapy) both in comparison with other forms of care (as presented here) as well as with different conditions or diagnoses. Perhaps the most exciting results were published in 2008 by the International Bone and Joint Decade 2000-2010 Task Force on Neck Pain.
They divided patients into four groups (Group 1: Neck pain with little to no interference with activities of daily living – ADLs; Group 2: Neck pain that limits ADLs; Group 3: Neck pain with radiculopathy or radiating arm pain from a pinched nerve; Group 4: Neck pain with serious pathology such as cancer, fracture, infection, and/or systemic disease.)
The researchers concluded that chiropractic care was highly recommended especially in Grades 1 and 2 (which includes the majority of neck pain sufferers). Interestingly, many multidisciplinary physician groups now incorporate chiropractic care as part of their “team” approach, which also offer pain management in the form of medications, injections, PT, and when necessary, surgery. They have seen the value of spinal manipulation for neck pain and often seek out chiropractic because it’s safe, beneficial, and cost effective.
Spinal manipulation is reaching a tipping point in the United States as a well-accepted treatment for Low back pain and disability. There are abundant studies demonstrating the benefit of SMT as a stand-alone treatment for LBP; however, manipulation, when combined with exercise has even better results. (1,2) To date, most studies have focused almost solely on adult populations. There are very few studies analyzing the treatment of children or adolescents with LBP. (3) And for studies of adolescents, there have been no randomized trials utilizing manipulation as a potential strategy. Many chiropractors treat adolescents with LBP pain on a daily basis. So, is manipulation and exercise beneficial for adolescents?
Chiropractic treatment of adolescents with LBP is growing. In fact, twelve percent of children age 4-17 utilized complementary healthcare approaches. SMT is strongly recommended in the treatment of LBP for adult populations. However, management of children suffering from LBP does not have a widely accepted treatment algorithm. There is an urgent need for non-pharmacologic LBP treatment options, especially in this young population. Evans et al. set out to answer the problem in a multi-center randomized trial comparing 12 weeks of spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) combined with exercise therapy (ET) to exercise therapy alone.
“For adolescents with chronic LBP, spinal manipulation combined with exercise was more effective than exercise alone over a 1-year period, with the largest differences occurring at 6 months.” (4)
Participants included 185 adolescents aged 12-18 with chronic LBP. The primary outcome was LBP severity at 12, 26, and 52 weeks. Secondary outcomes included disability, quality of life, medication use, patient-rated and caregiver-rated improvement, and satisfaction. Adding SMT to ET resulted in a larger reduction in LBP severity over the course of one year. The group difference in LBP severity (0-10 scale) was small at the end of (12 weeks) treatment but was larger at weeks 26 and 52 weeks. At 26 weeks, SMT with ET performed better than ET alone for disability and improvement. The SMT with ET group reported significantly greater satisfaction with care at all time points. There were no serious treatment-related adverse events.
Adolescents should not have chronic pain. Unfortunately, the increase in sports specialization and year-round training has led to an epidemic of children with LBP. On the opposite end of the spectrum, there is a growing number of school-aged kids with a sedentary lifestyle. Both extremes result in LBP and should be addressed. Many patients with LBP benefit from SMT to restore motion to the lumbar spine and surrounding areas. SMT is safe in adolescents and shows a more significant benefit than exercise alone.
Many people seek chiropractic care when their back goes out or their neck tightens up. But how does this form of care actually work? What are the benefits of receiving chiropractic care for nerve dysfunction compared with other healthcare options? Let’s take a look!
First, let’s discuss how the nervous system “works.” We have three divisions of the nervous system: the central, peripheral, and autonomic nervous systems. The central nervous system (CNS) includes the brain and spinal cord, and it’s essentially the main processing portion of the nervous system. The spinal cord is like a multi-lane highway that brings information to the brain for processing (sensory division) and returns information back to the toes, feet, legs, and upper extremities from which the information originated (motor division). For example, hiking on a mountain trail or simply walking requires constant input to and from the CNS so we can adjust our balance accordingly and not fall. These “sensory-motor pathways” are essential and allow us to complete our daily tasks in an efficient, safe manner as information is constantly bouncing back and forth between the brain and the rest of the body.
The peripheral nervous system (PNS) includes a similar sensory/motor “two-way street” system relaying information back and forth from our toes/feet/legs and fingers/hands/arms to the spinal cord (CNS). And if this isn’t complicated enough, we also have “reflexes” that, for example, allow us to QUICKLY pull our hand away from a hot stove to minimize burning our fingers.
Reflexes allow the information to “skip” the brain’s processing part so quicker reactions can occur. The autonomic nervous system (ANS) includes the sympathetic and parasympathetic divisions that basically “run” our automatic (organ) functions like breathing, heart rate, digestion, hormonal output, and more. There is constant communication between the ANS, PNS, and CNS that allow us to function in a normal, balanced way… unless something disrupts them.
There are obvious conditions that interfere with this communication process that include (but are not limited to) diabetes (with neuropathy), frost bitten or burned fingers, peripheral nerve damage from conditions like carpal/cubital tunnel syndromes, thoracic outlet syndrome, and/or pinched nerves in the neck, mid-back, low-back spinal regions, as well as conditions such as multiple sclerosis (MS), Guillain-Barre Syndrome, after a stroke (spinal cord or brain), and after trauma with resulting fractures where nerve, spinal cord, and/or brain damage can occur. These are “obvious” reasons for delayed or blocked neurotransmission.
There are many other less obvious injuries or conditions that can result in faulty neuromotor patterns and nerve transmission of which chiropractic services can benefit. The “subluxation complex” is a term some chiropractors use to describe the compromised nerve transmission that may occur if a nerve is compressed or irritated due to faulty bone or joint position along the nerve’s course. Reducing such nerve compression typically allows for a restoration of function. A good illustration of this is a patient who suffers from a herniated disk in the neck with numbness and tingling down the arm to the hand. The goal of treatment (for all healthcare professionals) is to remove the pinch of the nerve.
To realize this goal, doctors of chiropractic utilize spinal manipulation and mobilization in addition to other non-surgical, non-drug approaches that may include exercises, nutritional advice, home-care such as a cervical traction unit, and other anti-inflammatory measures (ice, modalities like low level and class IV laser, electric stimulation, pulsed magnetic field, and more). Given the minimal side-effect risks and well-reported benefits, it only makes sense to try chiropractic FIRST and if you’re not satisfied, your doctor will help you find the next level of care.
Cliff Atwell, B.S., D.C.