Most people are aware that nonspecific anti-inflammatory drugs such as Advil, ibuprofen, Tylenol, or aspirin can, at times, be effective for general overall aches and pains. But what if pain is long-lasting? Is it good for a person to take Advil for long periods of time?
What if the pain lasts for 5 to 10 years? Sure, Advil has very little side effects when taken only for a week. But, what are the effects cumulatively after taking it for long periods of time? Is there a better answer?
As an evidence-based chiropractor, such as myself, I believe there are more effective answers. The research suggests that I am right. Take for example, if you were to go the traditional medical route for a musculoskeletal condition, what sort of treatment would you receive?
More than likely you would get muscle relaxers, anti-inflammatories, or pain pills. If the complaint were deemed serious enough, you may have the can kicked down to the physical therapist. But if the medical community is being honest with itself, they should admit that their training for general practitioners for musculoskeletal conditions could be better. They have no good solid answers for musculoskeletal complaints. Let’s be honest and fair too; they have a lot of big fish to fry such as internal medicine in general, gallbladder issues, different kinds of cancers, pneumonia, and a whole slew of medical conditions that can be much more pressing than a person’s sore back.
That is in no way taking away from the person with back pain. So please don’t misunderstand. I am simply trying to put things into proper perspective.
I like to highlight, in my articles, the fact that there are several randomized controlled trials having to do with the effectiveness of chiropractic manipulation and mobilization. This is a brief synopsis of one of those research papers. This one in particular highlights the effectiveness of chiropractic when treating chronic spinal pain.
I have broken this article up into four categories that make it extremely easy to follow along, to read, and to comprehend. I find that this format is much more effective when the reader relays the information to a friend or family member. I have also included the research citation and link information so that the reader is better able to visit the research paper and educate themselves further if they so choose.
Why They Did It
The authors wanted to test and compare effectiveness of chiropractic manipulation in chronic spinal pain complaints. They used several different protocols including needle acupuncture, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication, and/or chiropractic manipulation.
How The Did It
- 77 patients randomly assigned to receive one of the treatment protocols
- 30 days of treatments
- Symptoms and changes were assessed through Outcome Assessment questionnaires (Oswestry Back Pain Disability Index, Neck Disability Index, and VAS scales).
What They Found
- After 30 days, spinal manipulation was the only intervention to achieve statistically significant improvement. Wow! Of course, we knew that would be the case but it’s always good to have it confirmed.
- Chiropractic care = 30.7% reduction in Oswestry scores, 25% reduction in neck disability scores.
- VAS scores were 50% less for low back pain, 46% less for upper back pain, and 33% less for neck pain.
Wrap UpChiropractic is the treatment of choice in chronic spinal pain (low back, upper back, neck pain). Especially in regards to acupuncture and anti-inflammatory medication.
The research was highlighted in an article by Dynamic Chiropractic, Vol. 33, Number 5.
Citation:Giles LG, Muller R. Chronic spinal pain syndromes: a clinical pilot trial comparing acupuncture, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, and spinal manipulation.Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, July/August 1999:22(6), pp376-81.
Day in and day out we treat our backs poorly, mostly with improper and repetitive movements. It only makes sense that a big part of the problem is how we move and, more often, don’t move at work, where most of us spend a major portion of our lives. Other factors play a role as well, such as the number and variety of manual tasks performed on the job, along with age, genetics, schedule, desk setup and stress load. Experts say all these things combine to create unnecessary discomfort.
Back pain is a much more common problem than most people realize. As colds and the flu are No. 1, lower-back pain is cited as the No. 2 reason why Americans see their doctors. Despite the prevalence of the problem, most people don’t put in the effort to examine their regular work habits to prevent it.
Quit what is stressing you
- The biggest mistake office workers make is continuing to sit in their desk chairs for hours on end. Most people don’t take care of themselves until they’re in pain. Sitting for sustained periods of time puts too much pressure on the discs and joints in your back.
- To give your body a break, regularly move your rear around in your chair and shift your weight. If you spend a lot of time on the phone, stand up occasionally during conversations and try to take a short walk at least every half-hour, even if it’s just to the water cooler or printer.
- It’s also a smart idea to examine your work stations for potential causes of imbalances. Are the floors in your office uneven? Does your chair rest half on and half off a thick, plastic rug pad? Do you, as many men do, keep your wallet in your back pocket and sit on it all day long? Do you cradle the phone between your head and shoulder instead of wearing a headset? Over time, that pressure may cause a disc to bulge, which can be painful.
- While you’re looking at your desk, check on the positioning of your chair, computer and phone. Ask your company for an adjustable chair that will help maintain the natural curves of your spine, supporting your lower back. Placing a pillow behind you will also help.
- Your feet should lightly rest on the floor or, if you’re short, on a footrest. You shouldn’t have to crane your neck forward, up or down to see your monitor, and you shouldn’t have to strain to reach your phone. The goal is to square yourself.
- Work-related stress can take its toll on your back too. While people manifest stress in different ways, it usually creates muscle tension. That constant contracting, over time, can cause muscle spasms and headaches and possibly make you more vulnerable to injury.
- If you’re too tired and stressed out after a long day of work to do anything but pass out on the couch, you could be compounding the problem. Just as you should be stretching your muscles throughout the day, you should also be giving them a regular workout, either at the gym, on the court or in the yoga studio.
- As with any change you make to your daily habits, there’s no guarantee an exercise regime will protect you from back problems. But it might decrease the frequency of recurrent episodes. For people in pain, it’s a move in the right direction.
For chronic and recurring back pain, it must be checked by a doctor. you can check on Dr Manuel Ybarra.
Almost all pains are caused by strains or sprains. Strains like injured muscles or tendons and sprains as damage to the ligaments or tough fibrous tissues located where your vertebrae connect to joints. Your everyday activities such as, sitting at the computer, crawling into bed at night, slipping on a pair of shoes, strenuous exercises are among other things that can make or break your spine health. Injuries typically happen due to excessive lifting, new activity, overuse or an accident. There may be times that a compressed nerve, such as herniated disk causes the pain.
Long hours in front of a screen. An average person spends nine hours of slouched or hunched over in front of a screen everyday. Increased texting, playing games or just browsing using your latest tech obsession is creating more pains in our necks, shoulders and backs. It is important to take breaks by doing some neck exercises, hold your head for 10 seconds for each of the following positions, forward, back, right and left. Do this five times a day. More importantly, occasionally leave your gadget out of sight.
Sleeping position. Sleep on your side or back to keep your spine elongated and neutral. Your pillow should be in line with your spine. As for your bed, it should not be too hard nor too soft to keep your back and joints out of whack.
Too emotional. Struggling with pain can make you very emotional. Studies have shown that people suffering from back pain are more likely to become more depressed. Antidepressants as well as mood enhancers such as exercise, meditation and deep breathing can help ease the stress and make the person feel better.
Smoking. Cigarettes are not only bad on your heart and lungs but also it can also result to back problems. Nicotine restricts blood flow to vertebrae and disks, so they may age and break down more fast. Smoking can also lead to osteoporosis because it interferes the ability of the body to absorb and use calcium. To avoid this, quit smoking.
Uncomfortable style. Not only the sky-high stilettos can cause you trouble but also the flats as well. Flats provide little arc support and continuous wear can lead to foot, knee and back problems. Alternate styles throughout the week, from high to flat and avoid wearing a particular pair everyday. Use bag that weigh only 10% less of your body weight.
One of the best ways to maintain a healthy back and chase away aches and pains is through exercise, but according to majority of experts, this can still cause a problem. When doing a lot of sitting, the muscles that support the spine gets weaker making you more prone to injury.
Exercising with improper form like, rounding the back when doing lifts or aching it during ab work, can place unwanted stress on the spine. Our spine has many nerves connected to it that damage can cause paralysis of the body. Tricity Pain Associates can give you the right care when it comes to your spine.
Unless you do some spine tuning like, strengthening your back through proper exercise and doing healthier habits, of course with the advice of a medical expert can greatly help relieved your back pains. Activities that should be avoided to keep your spine in good shape.
If you are experiencing frequent and too much pain that you can no longer tolerate, it’s time that you get help from a spinal doctor such as Dr. Urfan Dar. He could assess the problem you are experiencing and give remedy.
The main function of the neck is to hold up the weight of the head (which is about 5 kilograms) and allow the head to move sideways from left to right and likewise up and down. The neck also serves as a conduit for the spinal cord since it carries blood vessels to and from the head and contains passage ways for air and food.
Since the neck is a complex interlocking structure of joints, bones, nerves, muscles, tendons and ligaments, it is vulnerable to injury and disorders that can cause us pain and discomfort. For most of us, neck pain is a temporary condition that is often tolerable and disappears with time but in some cases neck pains need medical diagnosis and treatment.
Most common causes of neck pain are injury or prolonged wear and tear of soft tissues. One common cause of neck pain which is very typical to people ages 40 and older is the degeneration of the cervical disc.
The cervical disc acts as a shock absorber between the bones in the neck and it contains a gelatin like tissue in the center. When this degenerates, the space between the vertebrae narrows this will cause pain in the neck.
The neck is so flexible and because it supports the head, it is exposed to injury. Vehicle accidents, contact sports and falls are some of the causes of neck injury. Severe neck injuries with dislocation or fracture of the neck can damage the spinal resulting to paralysis.
The following are symptoms of neck pains that should not be disregarded.
Headaches . It is usually a dull aching type of headache and not the sharp pain. Headaches are common in connection to neck problems. Very often, headaches are felt at the back of the head. But there are cases that the pain may radiate to the sides and even the front head.
Nerve Pain. Neck pain can branch down the arms and legs. It is a feeling of sensation of needles and pins or tingling in the arms which are often accompanied by burning, weakness or numbness. The pain becomes worse during the night.
Muscle ache. The muscles in the neck may have hard knots that are tender to touch. Usually the pain is felt up the middle of the neck or on one side only.
Stiffness. Neck muscles are tight that if you spend too much time in one position and tend to become even tighter. Pain and difficulty in neck movement is the result of stiff neck.
Muscle spasm. A sudden, powerful, involuntary contraction of muscles is the cause of spasm. You can feel pain, stiff and knotted. You may also not able to move your neck.
Unable to move in normal range. This is when you feel limited in how far you can lower your head to your chest or you can’t turn your head from left or right and can’t tilt your head back.
Giving proper care and treatment that concerns our neck is vital to avoid further problems. It is also vital to consult medical professionals that can prescribed needed medications and remedies. To get rid of neck pain you can ask assistance from Tricity Pain Associates.
Just like a weird and scary monster out of science fiction, sciatica is also something that should concern every patient who experiences it. This is not a medical condition itself but rather a symptom of an underlying medical problem. Sciatica is pain in the leg, with possible tingling, numbing sensation or general weakness from the lower back that travels towards the buttocks and the leg.
Symptoms of Sciatica
Sciatica pain is felt along the area where the sciatic nerve runs. It is also felt in the buttock area with the pain travel towards the back of the leg, in some cases even to the foot. Sciatica is felt only in one leg at a time. Some patients also complain of an electric shock like sensation along the leg.
This kind of condition can range from mild to incapacitating pain, which will require medical intervention. The pain is usually felt during times when you cough, sneeze, go to the toilet or do anything that may involve stress on your lower back.
The good thing is most sciatica pain will usually go away in a few weeks and does not result in any permanent damage. Nevertheless, for patients who continues to feel the pain they need to get medical attention. Emergency treatments are also necessary for those who can no longer control their bowels or bladder or if there is uncontrollable weakness and numbness of the muscles.
What Causes Sciatica Pain?
There are a number of reasons why you may experience sciatica pain. The most common reason is irritation of the nerve root of the lower lumbar and lumbosacral spine. There are also diseases that may cause sciatica pain. These diseases should be addressed in order to take out the sciatica pain for good. Disease like lumbar spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease (such as breakdown of the spinal disc), and Spondylolisthesis are common reasons why you experience sciatica pain.
Aside from these spine related problems, pregnancy can also cause sciatica nerve pain. The extra pressure on the mother’s lower back may irritate the nerve. Lastly, other culprits are being overweight or obese, lack of exercise and sleeping on uncomfortable mattress can also result to sciatica.
Doctors will usually check your lower back using imaging tools like MRI, X-rays, and even CT scans are all used to check for nerve damage or back problems.
Taking Out The Pain
SApaindoc.com in San Antonio, Texas shares that there are now a number of ways to take out sciatica. For sciatica pain that is not caused by lower back related condition, pain killers using NSAIDs can be used. Doctors will also recommend using hot and cold compress to reduce the pain, the packs are applied alternatively on the buttocks and back side of the leg.
For chronic sciatica doctors will check if you have back related problems. In such cases, the course of treatment will most likely be to treat the medical condition first. Surgery to remove herniated disc or bone growth can be an option. Your GP may also recommend injection of corticosteroid to release anti-inflammatory medication directly unto the affected area.
Sciatica pain can cause major health problems especially in terms of movement. It is important that you get the right treatment to avoid further complications. There are various treatments for this pain available; you need to educate yourself to know which one will suit your condition.