Each year thousands of Martin County residents are involved in car accidents. Here are 3 reasons to choose chiropractic care after a car accident. Some car accidents cause minor damage while others cause major damage. The severity of the damage to vehicles and the severity of the injuries vary. Did you know that the vehicle […]
Dr. Danielle Hurd, DC is a Stuart, Fl chiropractor who offers effective gentle chiropractic care, a unique style of chiropractic spinal and joint adjustments.
Accepting new patients. Call 855-509-5400 to schedule your appointment.
We Accept All Major Medical Health Insurance and Medicare.
Gentle chiropractic care allows patients to get the maximum benefit from a minimal number of visits.
WHAT IS GENTLE CHIROPRACTIC?
In Florida, a chiropractor is a primary care physician who treats spinal and musculoskeletal problems using manual manipulation to restore joint function and support the nervous system. Chiropractic care can reduce pain, increase movement and improve performance which may mean avoiding unnecessary drugs or surgery.
What does gentle chiropractic mean? Gentle chiropractic care is the subtle, gentle, manipulation of the neck, back and joints.
Gentle chiropractic care is performed with a gentle touch, targeting a specific area. Pain in your neck, back, wrists, shoulders, hips and knees can all be treated with gentle chiropractic manipulations. Dr. Danielle uses different techniques and patient positioning to deliver gentle chiropractic care. Gentle chiropractic care provides the same benefits seen from traditional spinal adjustments.
This approach allows patients to get the maximum benefit from a minimal number of visits.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TRADITIONAL CHIROPRACTIC CARE AND GENTLE CHIROPRACTIC CARE?
A traditional chiropractic neck adjustment begins with the patient lying face up on a table. The chiropractor cradles your head and performs a quick, thrusting movement. This position, along with being unaware of the safe and effective mechanics, leads some people in fear of seeing a chiropractor.
A gentle chiropractic neck adjustment is different. First is the setup. Beginning with the patient lying face down on the table. Second, Dr. Danielle carefully positions your head and delivers a gentle, downward pulse. If you prefer the traditional face up vigorous neck adjustment, Dr. Danielle will be happy to oblige, if appropriate. In the end, most of her patients prefer her gentle prone approach to chiropractic neck adjustments.
Chiropractic neck adjustment help to
- improve the mobility of the spine
- restore range of motion
- increase movement of the adjoining muscles.
GENTLE CHIROPRACTIC FOR EFFECTIVE DRUG FREE PAIN RELIEF
If are in pain, you probably don’t need to be sold on the benefits of gentle chiropractic care. Many people who’ve been seriously injured in an auto accident or are suffering from chronic pain are anxious during their first visit, especially if they’re not aware of the difference between traditional chiropractic adjustments and gentle chiropractic care.
The Activator Method is one of the effective, gentle chiropractic care techniques used at Advanced Wellness Solutions. Dr. Danielle uses a small, hand-held instrument to deliver a gentle impulse force to the spine with the goal of restoring motion to the targeted spinal vertebra or joint. There’s no twisting or popping with this gentle modality which makes it ideal for anyone suffering from severe acute or chronic pain.
About Dr. Danielle Hurd, DC, Chiropractor in Stuart, Fl.
Dr. Danielle provides gentle chiropractic care because knows what it’s like to be injured in a serious car crash. She suffered serious injuries causing her to have severe headaches and trigeminal neuralgia. Known as “the suicide disease,” some consider trigeminal nerve pain to be the worst pain known to medicine.1
Dr. Danielle found a chiropractor who used effective, gentle chiropractic care to treat her injuries. Her chiropractor was able to relieve her trigeminal neuralgia by effectively treating the injuries she suffered in her automobile accident.
Dr. Danielle’s injuries helped her to choose her career as a chiropractor. After graduating from Palmer College of Chiropractic, she worked in two high volume personal injury clinics. After treating thousands of patients who had suffered traumatic injuries, she opened Advanced Wellness Soltuions. Her goal has always been to provide gentle, effective pain relief to people who have been seriously injured like she was. Today she offers gentle chiropractic care at her Kanner Highway, Stuart Florida location.
IT band syndrome is not a hot new musical group but rather it’s a medical term. IT band is short for iliotibial band. IT band syndrome may also be called hip bursitis or greater trochanteric bursitis.
Try saying “iliotibial band” five times fast and you’ll understand why your chiropractor will refer to it as your IT band.
The IT band is a group of fibers that run from your hip to your knee along the outside of your upper leg. These fibers help the muscles in your thigh provide stability to the outside of the knee joint. If your IT band becomes too tight, it causes inflammation. Inflammation causes pain. You may feel this pain at the top of the IT band (at your hip) or at the bottom (near your knee). You can tell where the fibers are inflamed by the location of your pain.
One of the most common causes of IT band syndrome is a sudden increase in your activity level. If you’re on your feet at work all day and begin working longer hours, you might be feeling the effects of IT band syndrome. If you’re a runner who has increased your distance, duration or speed, hip or knee pain could be signaling IT band syndrome. Even golfers can experience IT band syndrome. If you’re a golfer who is experiencing knee pain in the leading leg, it could be IT band syndrome.
IT band syndrome is not limited to athletes. Anyone can experience IT band syndrome. If you’re having hip pain and/or knee pain on the outside of your knee, mechanical problems in your gait could cause IT band syndrome.
Since the IT band runs along the outside of your upper leg, it can present itself in a variety of ways.
- You may feel pain on the outside of your knee when you’re walking or running.
- You might hear a clicking sensation where the band rubs against the knee
- You may feel like your hip or knee feels hot and red.
- Your hip or outside of your knee may be tender to the touch.
- You might experience a rubbing feeling on the side of your knee.
- You might feel pain/tenderness in your buttocks.
IT band syndrome pain usually lasts beyond the activity, i.e. it hurts even after you stop the activity. IT band syndrome can be very painful, and often hurts even more if you try to run through it.
IT band syndrome responds well with chiropractic treatment. Treatment can take up to six weeks. In addition to the modalities used by a chiropractor to treat this issue, you’ll also need to avoid activities like running, cycling, golfing or taking long flights of stairs.
If you live in or near Stuart, Florida and need treatment for IT band syndrome, call 855-509-5400 to schedule an appointment.
It’s natural to focus on the extent of your physical injuries after a car accident. After all, even in a minor fender bender, your body is exposed to powerful and violent forces. Even if you were lucky enough to escape the accident without life threatening physical injuries, you might be surprised by the flood of emotions that can come after a car accident.
It’s natural to experience strong emotions such as shock, guilt, grief, helplessness, confusion, and fear after a motor vehicle accident. Some patients report continuing to feel afraid even though they know the danger posed by the accident has passed. Others report experiencing mood swings. Some report periods of crying uncontrollably. The feelings of sadness or depression after a car accident are very common, and can be intense. Be sure to tell your treating chiropractor or physician if these feelings are stopping you from doing your normal daily activities.
Another natural and common reaction to your car accident is increased anxiety. You may also feel anger, irritability, and agitation. These feelings may be directed at the other driver (even if you were at fault) or you may take your anger out on your loved ones, friends and co-workers.
On the other end of the spectrum are feelings of guilt, shame, and self-blame (even if you weren’t at fault). You may find yourself ruminating on what you could have done or not done to prevent the accident.
Immediately after your car accident, it is normal to feel a flood of emotions, like those listed above. However, if you are still battling these post-accident emotional symptoms more than 3 months after your accident, you may be suffering from PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). This is a condition that can develop after any type of traumatizing event.
Car accidents can trigger PTSD symptoms including experiencing flashbacks of the accident. In fact, research 1 has shown that an estimated 39.2% of motor vehicle accident survivors develop PTSD as a result.
Many suffering with PTSD also simultaneously have an intense fear of driving and/or a related anxiety disorder.
Returning to driving after a car accident
If your injuries won’t prevent you from driving for the rest of your life, at some point you’ll have to get back behind the wheel of a car. You’ll probably feel some anxiety the first time behind the wheel. You may even feel anxiety riding as a passenger in the car. Rest assured that this is natural.
Once back behind the wheel, you’ll probably find that you drive more cautiously than before. If your accident was at night, you may experience extra high anxiety around night driving.
If you’ve been in a car accident, you probably have questions. Fortunately, Dr. Danielle Hurd, DC of Advanced Wellness Solutions has many of the answers you need including:
- Is what I’m experiencing normal?
- How long will it be until I feel better?
The Chiropractor You Choose Makes a Difference
Dr. Danielle Hurd, DC knows first hand the emotional aftermath of surviving a car crash. While attending USF to obtain her BS in biomedical science, she was injured in a car accident– a near head on collision on part of SR 60 that is only 2 lanes. The other driver had tried to pass a semi-truck on his way to work. It was early morning, so when she saw the other driver’s headlights emerge from behind the semi-truck, she veered off the road quickly. Had she not reacted as quickly as she did, the other driver would have hit her head on. Instead, his pick-up truck struck her just behind the driver’s door, tearing a hole in the rear door of the mini-van she was driving.
When the police arrived at the scene of the accident, they had been told they were responding to a fatality accident. They were relieved to see her standing outside her vehicle. Even though the vehicle she was driving was obviously a total loss, she thought she wasn’t injured immediately following the accident. Only when the adrenaline rush wore off did she realize how seriously she was injured.
The injuries from Dr. Danielle’s accident caused trigeminal neuralgia, which is described as the most excruciating pain known to humanity. While her injuries and resulting pain forced her to leave school for a semester, it helped her to choose her career. Thanks to the care she received from her chiropractor (who encouraged her to attend Palmer College of Chiropractic), she was able to return to USF the next semester and complete her bachelor’s degree. She went on to graduate in 2014 from Palmer College of Chiropractic in Port Orange Florida.
This is why Dr. Danielle makes it a point to create a soothing, nurturing office environment at Advanced Wellness Solutions. She’s had first-hand experience and understands the intense feelings that are very common—and very real – when recovering from an auto accident. It’s why her office has not one but two “office dogs.” Wanda and William both seem to know when patients need emotional support. However, they’re kept confined behind a glass door into the front desk in case patients are afraid of dogs.
The doctor you choose makes a difference. If you or someone you know has been in a car accident, call 855-509-5400 to make an appointment with Dr. Danielle Hurd, DC.
Florida has a reputation for “bad” and “aggressive” drivers. For those who live or work in Stuart, Florida, if you haven’t been in a car accident recently, you probably know someone who has. Just because we live in paradise doesn’t mean life here is perfect – or predictable. Being an accident is scary and confusing. That’s why we’ve created this checklist to help you know what to do after an accident in Stuart, Florida.
Being in a car accident, even a minor one, can be traumatic and frightening. The moments during a car crash are often violent. Your body is subjected to extreme forces that can affect your body in unexpected ways. Even a seemingly minor fender bender can result in injuries that need treatment for the driver and/or passengers.1
If you’re able to escape your vehicle after the accident, you may think you weren’t seriously injured. It’s important to know that it could be weeks – or even months – before the full extent of your injuries are known. Even if you go to the hospital immediately following your car accident, some injuries like whiplash, traumatic brain injury and even spinal cord injury may not be immediately evident, even with appropriate imaging!
Following a car accident, it may take time for you to begin thinking clearly enough to make sound judgments and important decisions. That’s why we’ve created this checklist to help.
#1: DO NOT LEAVE THE SCENE OF AN ACCIDENT.
Even if it’s a minor fender bender, stay at the scene. If it’s your fault, stay at the scene. Even if your car is the only one involved in the accident, stay at the scene. If you leave, you could face felony charges.
#2: CALL THE POLICE.
Even if there are no apparent injuries, you should still call the police. You’ll need a police report to file a claim with your insurance company.
#3: TAKE PICTURES.
Use your phone to take pictures of the vehicles and the scene while you wait for the police to arrive. If you have visible injuries, you should document them with photographs as well. The worst case scenario is you won’t need these images. It’s better to have these images and not need them rather than need these images and not have them.
#4: WHEN THE POLICE ARRIVE.
Tell the investigating officer(s) exactly what happened. If someone asks if you’re injured, you should reply that you’re not sure. This is the truth. There’s no way you can know immediately after your accident if you were injured.
As your accident was happening, your body released a burst of the hormone adrenaline. This hormone decreases your ability to feel pain, increases your strength, and sharpens your mental focus. (If you watched the accident happen in slow motion, you can thank adrenaline for that.) Because of this adrenaline rush, it may be days before you realize the extent of your injuries.
#5: GET WITNESS INFORMATION.
If there are witnesses, you should get their contact information.
#6: SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION.
You should be seen by a doctor, ER physician or chiropractor within 14 days of your car accident. You should do this even if you don’t feel any pain or soreness. Many injuries – especially whiplash and head trauma are not immediately apparent. You can sustain serious, life altering injuries in seemingly minor accidents. If you lost consciousness or were dazed – even for a short period of time – you may have suffered a concussion or traumatic brain injury (TBI). Even if you just “bumped your head” in the accident, that minor injury can be deadly if it caused bleeding in the brain. The symptoms of TBI may not appear for weeks – or even months. That’s just one reason why it is so important to see a physician or chiropractor within 14 days of a car accident.
#7: CONTACT YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY
Car owners in Florida are covered under PIP, or No-Fault insurance. This means that you can receive treatments for your injuries even if you were at fault for the accident. In order to activate your PIP insurance benefits, you have to file a claim with the insurance company and you must schedule an appointment with a doctor or chiropractor within 14 days of the accident.
If your injuries are serious, you may need more medical care than is provided by your PIP benefits. If this is the case, Dr. Danielle Hurd, DC will give you the names of attorneys who expertly handle personal injury cases.
If your primary care physician refuses to treat you for injuries suffered in a car accident, don’t be upset. Would you be upset if if your dentist didn’t want to perform open heart surgery? Chiropractors are trained to treat the musculoskeletal injuries common in car accidents. Dr. Danielle is experienced in treating the trauma that can result from car crashes.
If you or someone you know has been involved in a car accident, call us today at 855-509-5400.
It’s only natural. You’ve been feeling pain in your upper back and neck for a while. You’ve also noticed your arm hurts and you’re starting to feel a tingly “pins and needles” sensation. So you do what EVERYONE with a smart phone or computer does these days – you ask Dr. Google. Just remember that online sources vary widely in credibility. Without medical education, it’s easy to jump to conclusions and worst-case scenarios.
When you’re searching for the cause of your symptoms on the internet, you might find that the online diagnoses tend to escalate quickly… alarmingly quickly. These sites may include a list of scary complications or symptoms that are red flags for which you should seek immediate medical attention. Many times, those symptoms are super vague and could apply to anything. Feeling lightheaded? Seek immediate medical attention! Feeling fatigued? Call 911!
While it’s frustrating, there’s a good reason why many REPUTABLE online medical information websites tend to catastrophize even the most benign symptoms and ailments. Their goal is to get you to contact your primary care physician to follow up.
Let’s take a look at our hypothetical symptom search. You’ve been feeling pain in your upper back and neck for a while. You’ve also noticed your arm hurts and you’re starting to feel a tingly “pins and needles” sensation. When you typed in your symptoms, you may have seen “T4 syndrome” offered as a possible diagnosis. As you read the symptoms, you realize that if you look at your hands for long enough, you could swear they’re turning blue.
What you may not know is T4 syndrome is a rare yet deceptive issue that can present in many different ways. In other words, you may or may not have T4 syndrome or T4 damage. To find out if you do, you’ll need to see your physician or chiropractor. T4 syndrome can be confused with carpal tunnel syndrome, myofascial pain syndromes, cervical spine degenerative conditions, thoracic outlet syndrome, cardiac pain or pain originating from the viscera. Dr. Danielle has the training and tools that allow her to make a medical diagnosis.
Dr. Google isn’t a licensed practicing physician – it’s a search engine that indexes and catalogs the trillions of web pages published to the internet. So while Google does its best to provide you with the most accurate information, how you word that search will greatly determine the quality of the results you see.
For example, when a member of the general public searches for symptom information online, they will see different information displayed than when Dr. Danielle Hurd, DC types those same symptoms into the very same search engine.
There are two reasons for this. First, Dr. Danielle will use medical terminology when composing her search query. This effectively weeds out the unreliable results that might appear in a “general” search. Second, Google know you and your typical search patterns. For example, let’s say your typical search pattern takes you to “hysterical cat videos” on the reg. When you suddenly start searching for the cause of your wrist pain, Google knows you’re not a primary care physician. That’s why it’s not going to show you peer reviewed research publications in your search. While Google may know your search patterns, but it doesn’t know your individual health history.
There’s nothing wrong with searching for your symptoms online. You should educate yourself . You should ask questions. You should consider yourself a partner with your physician or chiropractor in your own medical care.
Dr. Danielle Hurd, DC encourages her patients to be active participants in their own care. When you come into her office with information you’ve found online, it provides a great starting point for the conversation.
You should know that “text neck” is not an official medical diagnosis. Instead it’s a description of a repetitive stress injury from the way you hold your head while using a mobile device.
Text Neck Causes
Text neck a.k.a. postural syndrome is caused by forward head posture and rounded shoulders. When you’re in this position, muscles in the neck, chest, and upper back can become imbalanced due to prolonged forward head posture. Over time, this imbalance can make it difficult to maintain good posture.
A healthy cervical spine has curves that begin by gently curving forward from the base of the skull. A healthy spine then curves backward into the top of the chest/upper back. When the head drifts forward in poor posture it causes an unnatural, forward positioning of the head and cervical spine. This creates additional stress on the inter-vertebral discs, vertebrae, and facet joints, which may accelerate spinal degeneration.
Text Neck Pain
Text neck isn’t limited to pain in your neck. Instead, you may feel pain in your upper back, and/or your shoulders. You may have a stabbing or intense pain in one spot or you may feel sore over a broader region. For example, you might have pain spanning from the bottom of the neck and into the shoulder(s). In addition to upper back pain, shoulder pain and neck pain, you may also be experiencing headaches.
If you notice that your pain increases when your neck is flexed forward into the position that originally caused the problem, then that’s a sign that you may have text neck.
Text Neck Impact
The stiffness resulting from text neck can reduce your mobility. Your neck, upper back, and shoulders may all experience tightness and reduced mobility. This reduced mobility can make driving dangerous.
Text neck can also cause headaches. These headaches are a result of muscle spasms in the neck and shoulders.This pain can then be referred from the neck and shoulders up into the head. Excessive amounts of time looking at screens, regardless of posture, may also increase the risk for eyestrain and headache.
Text Neck Treatment
Chiropractic care is ideally suited to treating neck pain, no matter what the cause. A careful patient history and physical exam can help to determine whether the pain and/or stiffness in your neck is caused by a repetitive stress injury, such as text neck or tech neck.
If a more serious cause of your neck pain is suspected, such as nerve root compression, fracture, or a serious underlying medical condition, Dr. Danielle will order imaging, nerve conduction studies and other tests to confirm her diagnosis.
Schedule your appointment today by calling 855-509-5400.
Pain can keep you from getting healthy sleep. Sleep is critically important to healing from injuries as well as maintaining good health.
If you’re not getting a good night’s sleep, you’re not alone. The American Sleep Association estimates that 50-70 million adults in the US have a sleep disorder.
Though the exact mechanisms are not fully understood, the current research suggests that individuals with a sleep disorder may be more likely to develop chronic pain and people with chronic pain are more likely to have trouble sleeping.1
A growing body of evidence suggests that sleep problems pose an important risk for the development of musculoskeletal pain in adolescents. A large cross-sectional study involving 6986 adolescents found short sleep time to be a risk factor associated with regional musculoskeletal pain, particularly chronic regional pain and chronic widespread pain.2
Why Sleep is Important
When you crawl into bed to go to sleep, you might think your body is shutting down and resting. We now know nothing could be further from the truth. Sleepy time is when your body performs many “heavy lifting” tasks that repair, restore and maintain your mind, body and health.. These processes are so intensive that the body waits until you’re asleep to perform them. This is why getting proper sleep following surgery or an injury is an important part of the healing process.
If you been injured in a car wreck or suffer from chronic pain, getting that healthy sleep is easier said than done.
The Role of Sleep in Injury Recovery
Sleep plays a surprisingly important role in injury recovery . Whether you’ve been in a car accident or you’ve hurt yourself at work or play, you need to get healthy sleep so you body can repair damage to muscles, ligaments and tendon, and even bones.3
According to John DeLucchi, Physical Therapy Manager for OrthoCarolina, “If you want to upgrade your athleticism, decrease your risk of injury, decrease persistent pain, recover faster, boost your immune system, have more energy and perform better, sleep is critical.” 4
Your immune system relies on sleep to be able to fight harmful substances. When you don’t get enough sleep, your immune system can’t properly protect your body from infection. Your body makes white blood cells while you sleep. These white blood cells attack viruses and bacteria that can slow the healing process as well as make you sick.
Sleep is when the body manufactures hormones. During healthy sleep cycles, the brain triggers the release of hormones that encourage tissue growth to repair blood vessels. This helps wounds to heal faster and restores sore or damaged muscles. Some of the hormones your body makes and releases during sleep slow breathing and relax muscles. This process can reduce inflammation and assist with healing. Other hormones your body releases are the ones that make you feel hungry or full. When you don’t get enough sleep, the hormone levels of ghrelin go up. Ghrelin is called the ‘hunger hormone’ because it stimulates appetite, increases food intake and promotes fat storage. 5 At the same time the hormones that tell your body that you’re full (leptin) go down. 4 This is why poor sleep patterns often lead to overeating and obesity.
So – to recap – healthy sleep helps you
- heal and recover after surgery or injury
- relax muscles
- repair blood vessels
- fight infection
- restore sore and damaged muscles
- maintain a healthy weight
In a cruel catch-22, chronic pain sufferers find it difficult to get healthy sleep. Chronic pain can lead to sleep disturbances, depression and a heightened risk of suicide.5 Healthy sleep plays a vital role in battling chronic pain, but chronic pain often prevents healthy sleep patterns.
Good Sleep Hygiene
Here are some things to try to help you get a healthy night’s sleep.
- Make your bedroom a sleep sanctuary. Reserve the bedroom for sleep, intimacy, and other restful activities.
- Keep your bedroom cool. Between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal sleep.6
- Banish electronics from your bedroom.
- Be careful about napping. Taking a nap at the peak of sleepiness in the afternoon can help to supplement hours missed at night. However, daytime naps can also interfere with your ability to sleep at night.
- Instead of napping, try taking a brisk walk. Exercising – especially when you’re having trouble sleeping – is tough but worth the efforts. Make sure to avoid exercising within three hours of bedtime.
- Avoid caffeine after noon.
- Alcohol is not a sleep aid. While many people think drinking alcohol helps you sleep, studies show the opposite is true. 7 While alcohol will make you fall asleep faster, the quality of sleep you get is greatly diminished. The more you drink, and the closer your drinking is to bedtime, the more it will negatively impact the quality of your sleep.
If you’re logging in 8 hours of sleep at night but don’t feel refreshed in the morning, it’s time to schedule an appointment with Advanced Wellness Solutions. There are many medical conditions – including chronic neck and back pain – that could be responsible.
Pain is one of the body’s vital defense mechanisms. Pain lets the brain know that damage or death has occurred to the cells in the affected area. It’s also the way our body tells us not to use the affected area. Pain lets us know what to do and not do with an injury. Persisting in activities that cause pain often causes more damage and slows healing.
If you’ve ever been in a car accident, you may have refused treatment at the scene only to wake up the next morning feeling intense pain. The reason is your body’s incredible ability to keep you alive. When your car accident happened, your body released an adrenaline rush. An adrenaline rush, like pain, is another of the body’s vital defense mechanisms. An adrenaline rush triggers specific processes in the body to help you survive. It decreases your ability to feel pain, increases your strength temporarily and sharpens your mental focus. If you were being mauled by a tiger, an adrenaline rush is a good thing. It allows you to ignore your injuries and escape becoming a meal for a hungry tiger. However, the rush of adrenaline only decreases pain temporarily. After the effects wear off, you may be desperate to get your hands on immediate pain relief.
It’s understandable that you want to avoid pain. It’s understandable that you want to get back to doing everything you were doing before the injury. However, don’t be fooled by the clever marketing that’s been done to give you the impression that pain relief medications help the body heal faster. Of course, the ads never come right out and say that. There’s a reason for that – they can’t because it’s not true.
Pain medications do not speed up the healing process. However, pain medications can be very beneficial for the first 7 – 10 days after a traumatic injury. Pain medications – used in the short term – can provide symptomatic relief while chiropractic care breaks up scar tissue and adhesions, relieving stiffness, pain and the discomfort it causes.
We’re learning that you won’t find the solution to pain – even chronic pain – in a pill. Not only are opioid medications dangerous and addictive, they can actually cause your pain to worsen.
Prescription painkillers cause the pain you feel to increase over time.
New studies are painting an especially grim picture pointing to the long term effects of using opioids for chronic pain. It’s call Opioid-Induced Hyperalgesia or OIH. OIH is the increased perception of pain leads to needing higher doses to achieve the desired effect.
Studies show that when you use an opioid, it sets off a chain of immune signals in the spinal cord that amplify pain rather than dulling it, even after the drug leaves the body.1
Peter Grace, a neuroscientist at the University of Colorado Boulder is trying to trace hyperalgesia to the way opioids affect the immune system. His team injured rats to mimic the nerve pain humans feel. Ten days after the injury, half the rats received a 5-day treatment of morphine. Over the next 12 weeks, the researchers periodically measured the rodents’ threshold of pain. After 6 weeks, the injured rats that had received no morphine returned to the same sensitivity as uninjured control rats. Meanwhile, it took morphine-treated rats 12 weeks – twice as long – to return to the same pain sensitivity as the control rats. 2, 3
The higher the dose, more risk of overdose all the while with the patient experiencing increasing pain levels. Some studies suggest that it makes the pain even worse than when the patient began treatment.
- The treatment of pain with high doses of opiates may increase the chance of greater levels of pain at later times.
- Taking high doses of opiates for chronic pain may increase levels of postoperative pain, even when their opiate doses are increased.
- People who use or who have used opiates in the past, may have increased pain responses to such procedures as having their blood drawn.
The key takeaway here is that your pain can keep increasing not because of an injury, but due to the action of the opioids themselves.
Our bodies have natural opioids called endorphins. If your body becomes used to opioid pain medication, its ability to create and use natural endorphins will decrease. This makes you lose the ability to reduce pain on your own.
Using prescription painkillers to manage pain is a lot like blowing your nose with a tissue filled with sneezing powder!
There are many safer, proven ways to help relieve chronic pain. One is by using over the counter (OTC) painkillers. OTC painkillers include NSAIDs (non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs) and acetaminophen relieve (brand name Tylenol). NSAIDS relieve pain by reducing the production of prostaglandins, which are hormone-like substances that cause pain. Acetaminophen works on the parts of the brain that receive the pain messages.
These are easily available, aren’t habit-forming, and won’t leave you groggy, dizzy, or even constipated. However, these OTC painkillers can increase the risk of heart attack or stroke. They have also been known to cause stomach ulcers and bleeding as well as liver and kidney problems. These risks increase with sustained use. If you’ve been using OTC pain relievers for more than 14 days straight, you should probably talk to your health care provider about the risks. Just because its sold without a prescription doesn’t mean that OTC pain relievers are “safe” for long term use.
Topical pain relievers or liniments are also available without a doctor’s prescription. These products include creams, lotions, or sprays that are applied to the skin in order to relieve pain from sore muscles and arthritis.
Chiropractors specialize in treating the musculoskeletal injuries that cause acute and chronic pain. Chiropractic care includes a variety of pill free/drug free treatment modalities that allow your body to heal naturally.
Chiropractic care is proven effective. A study that compared the effectiveness of prescribed medications to spinal manipulation found that 94% of patients who underwent chiropractic treatment saw a 30% reduction in low back pain after 4 weeks. In comparison only 56% of patients who used regular medical care saw a 30% reduction in low back pain after 4 weeks.5
At Advanced Wellness Solutions, we would love to help you get back to living the life you love pain free! Call us at 855-509-5400 or contact us to schedule an appointment today.