If you live in Stuart, Palm City or Hobe Sound Florida, and are injured in a car accident here are 3 reasons to choose chiropractic care after a car accident. Car accidents can not only cause injury but anxiety as well. Even if your car accident was minor, your injuries could be serious, even life […]
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.
The professionals at Advanced Wellness Solutions are primary care physicians and have the training and skills that allows them 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 done by someone without medical training.
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.
For example, an Advanced Wellness Solutions patient received a copy of an imaging report after a knee injury ater a weekend visit to the ER. Concerned, she began searching the internet to help her interpret the results. Just a few days before, she had been searching to investigate a relative’s heart condition. Unfortunately, she made a typographical error in her search of the imaging report findings. Instead of seeing information about her knee injury, she instead was seeing articles about a deadly heart condition. Fortunately, she contacted Advanced Wellness Solutions. We helped her to correctly interpret her imaging and get her scheduled for much needed surgery.
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. Just remember, it’s the internet’s job to get you to call a trusted medical professional. You should never attempt to treat yourself without first consulting a health care professional.
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.
Sleep is important for health and wellbeing. It’s far from uneventful, According to the NIH, sleep is essential for vital bodily functions such as growth and development, energy conservation, brain waste clearance, modulation of immune responses, cognition, performance, vigilance, disease, and psychological state. Sleep is also critically important to healing from injuries. Chronic pain is just one of many conditions that can keep you from getting the healthy sleep you need..
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 for Health
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.
Sleep is Important for Health & Injury Recovery
While sleep is important for health, it 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 having trouble sleeping, it’s time to schedule an appointment with Advanced Wellness Solutions. Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years to:
- Reduce depression and anxiety 7
- Improved sleep quality, sleep efficiency and total sleep time8
- Increase energy and improve fatigue9
Dr. Heather J. Walden, Licensed Acupuncture Physician is accepting new patients.
Call (772) 403-7640 to schedule your appointment.
Pain medications often play a prominent role in pain management. Unfortunately, long-term painkiller abuse can lead to serious cardiovascular issues, liver and/or kidney disease or failure, decrease in immunity, gastrointestinal problems and even death resulting from toxicity or overdose.
Gentle chiropractic care can be a powerful tool in providing drug free pain relief.
Advanced Wellness Solutions is accepting new patients.
We Accept All Major Medical Health Insurance and Medicare.
Call 855-509-5400 to schedule your appointment.
In pain? Inflammation is to blame.
Pain is one of the body’s vital defense mechanisms. Injuries often cause micro-tears and micro lesions. These cause inflammation which in turn causes pain.
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 can also guide us in what to do and not do after an injury. Persisting in activities that cause sharp pain can cause even more damage and slow 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 behind this cue to your body’s incredible ability to keep you alive. During your Florida car accident, your body released an adrenaline rush. An adrenaline rush, like pain, is another of the body’s vital defense mechanisms. This hormonal 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.
When you’re in pain, you want fast effective pain relief. You want to get back to doing everything you were doing before your injury. The fastest easiest way to treat pain is by using pain medications for pain management. Unfortunately, we’re learning that pain relief medications – both prescription and OTC – have an unexpected dark side.
Painful Truth: Pain medications do not speed up the healing process.
Pain medications for pain management – used in the short term – can provide symptomatic relief. OTC and prescription pain relief medications can be very beneficial for the first 7 – 10 days after a traumatic injury. They are especially beneficial to use while gentle chiropractic care breaks up scar tissue and adhesions, providing long term relief from stiffness and pain.
Unfortunately, we’re learning that you can’t find chronic pain relief in a pill. Opioid analgesics also known as narcotic analgesics, modify pain messages in the brain. Often prescribed for chronic pain, these drugs can be dangerous and addictive. In a horrific catch-22, they can actually cause your pain to get worse,
Prescription painkillers cause the pain you feel to increase over time.
New studies on pain medications for pain management 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
Using prescription painkillers to manage pain is a lot like blowing your nose with a tissue filled with sneezing powder!
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.
Over the Counter Pain Relief
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.
OTC painkillers are easily available, aren’t habit-forming, and won’t leave you constipated. However, even OTC painkillers can increase the risk of heart attack or stroke. OTC painkillers 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 Relief
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.
Chiropractic Care for Pain Relief
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.6
Acupuncture for Pain Relief
Acupuncture has been providing effective drug free pain relief for thousands of years.
Many studies have been performed to measure the effectiveness of acupuncture. Researchers with the Acupuncture Trialists’ Collaboration compiled the raw data from trials where the main outcome measures were pain and function. The results from these studies concluded that acupuncture is an effective method of treating chronic pain. They concluded that 7
- acupuncture is effective for the treatment of chronic pain
- that the effects of acupuncture persist for up to 12 months,
- and that the benefits of acupuncture cannot be explained away solely by the placebo effect.
The report itself 8 states:
Acupuncture is effective for the treatment of chronic musculoskeletal, headache, and osteoarthritis pain.
Dr. Heather J. Walden, Licensed Acupuncture Physician is accepting new patients.
Call 772-403-7640 to schedule your appointment.
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 to schedule an appointment today.
If you’ve ever had a muscle spasm, you know how painful it can be. Muscle spasms can cause severe neck and back pain. They can make your life miserable.
Modern chiropractic care provides many treatment modalities that provide drug free pain relief. Before you turn to muscle relaxers for back or neck pain, here’s some things you should know.
If you seek usual medical care (UMC) for back pain, the doctor may prescribe muscle relaxants.1
New treatment guidelines from the ACP strongly recommend that people with back pain first try non-drug measures such as yoga, physical therapy, chiropractic and massage before resorting to over-the-counter or prescription pain relievers and muscle relaxants.2
What are muscle relaxers
The term “muscle relaxers” is definitely deceiving because this classification includes a wide range of drugs with different indications and mechanisms of action.3
Many muscle relaxers cause sedation throughout the central nervous system. In other words, they make all of your muscles relax, not just the tight ones. They also make you feel sleepy. If acute pain from an injury is making it difficult to sleep, this can be a good thing. Sleep helps you heal. However, this can make living your life during your waking hours difficult.
There is growing concern surrounding these drugs because it is not clear how effective muscle relaxers are when it comes to relieving pain. Concerns have been also raised about the adverse side effects involved with many of these drugs. In addition to sedation, potential adverse effects include drowsiness, headache, blurred vision, nausea, vomiting and the potential for addiction.3
Acute Pain vs Chronic Pain
Acute pain is immediate pain. You can often identify what you were doing to cause the pain. Sometimes the cause of acute pain can be a seemingly harmless movement, like lifting something heavy. On the other hand, chronic pain is pain that lasts beyond the typical expected healing period.
Jeffrey E. Keller is a Board Certified Emergency Physician with 25 years of emergency medicine practice experience before moving full time into his “true calling” of Correctional Medicine. His recommendations to physicians regarding prescribing muscle relaxers in his post Skeletal Muscle Relaxers Do Not Relax Skeletal Muscles.
1. Never prescribe muscle relaxers long term for chronic conditions.
2. If you prescribe a “muscle relaxer” for acute low back pain, use them only for a short time. The number usually bandied about is no more than 7 days.
Ignore Pain at Your Peril
Pain is simply one way your body communicates with you. It’s your brain’s way of saying, “STOP! BE CAREFUL! This part of your body needs your attention!”
Muscle relaxers mask the symptom of muscle spasm pain. A muscle spasm is not only a reaction to an injury, it’s also your body’s way of trying to protect itself from further injury.
Chiropractic is a health care profession dedicated to providing non-surgical treatment of disorders of the nervous system and musculoskeletal system. Chiropractors have a wide assortment of proven treatments and modalities that can provide drug free pain relief for muscle spasms.4
Advanced Wellness Solutions focuses on creating individualized treatment plans incorporating treatment modalities combined with the use of patient-driven care such as exercise, activity modification, and ergonomic modifications. In other words, Dr. Danielle has a lot of tricks up her sleeve to help you get drug free relief from muscle spasm pain.
Contact Advanced Wellness Solutions at 855-509-5400 to schedule your appointment today.
There’s no doubt about it. Chronic pain is a thief. It robs you of enjoying daily activities and can even damage your overall health. Here are five ways chronic pain affects you.
If you’re suffering from chronic pain, here’s what you should know about the way chronic pain affects you and your health.
There are two types of pain: acute and chronic. Acute pain is the pain you feel immediately after an injury. Chronic pain is defined as pain that lasts beyond the expected period of healing for an illness or injury.
We’re learning that even low grade chronic pain can affect every aspect of your life. Patients suffering from chronic pain are often at risk for developing further complications, including altered mental states and physical dysfunctions. Studies show that chronic pain actually changes the way the human brain responds to acute pain.1
The constant assault of chronic pain can affect your life in a number of ways. According Perry G. Fine, MD of the Department of Anesthesiology, School of Medicine, Pain Research Center, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, in the Long-Term Consequences of Chronic Pain include:
- sleep disturbances
- cognitive processes and brain function
- mood/mental health
- cardiovascular health
- sexual function
Chronic pain affects your thoughts, feelings, sleep patterns,, memory and concentration and your relationships. This robs you of the pleasures of everyday life, not to mention harming your sexual, mental and physical health.
5 Ways Chronic Pain Affects You :
#1: Chronic Pain Robs You of Healthy Sleep
Your skeletal muscles possess the amazing ability to completely regenerate following injury. Muscles and tissues repair during sleep.2 However, pain disturbs your sleep. This sets up a catch-22. Sleep helps your body heal. If you’re not getting good quality sleep, your body can’t heal effectively. However, because you’re in pain, you can’t sleep. As this cycle repeats, it affects your mental, sexual and physical health.
According to SleepFoundation.org,
We know that pain triggers poor sleep. For instance, someone experiencing lower back pain may experience several intense microarousals (a change in the sleep state to a lighter stage of sleep) per each hour of sleep, which lead to awakenings. However, microarousals are innocuous for a person not experiencing chronic pain. Pain is a serious intrusion to sleep. Pain is frequently associated with insomnia and these coexisting problems can be difficult to treat. One problem can exacerbate the other.
#2: It Robs You of the Ability to Think and Remember
If you’re in chronic pain, you’re not operating at your cognitive best. Cognitive processes such as memory and attention have been shown to be impaired in up to two thirds of patients with chronic pain.3 A comparative study assessed the cognitive functions in adults with chronic pain. Forty participants had chronic pain while twenty-nine were pain-free. The chronic pain participants performed significantly worse than the pain-free participants on the cognitive measures of long-term memory, selective attention, processing speed, and executive functioning. Significant differences between groups were evident in all cognitive domains. 4
#3: It Robs Your Emotional Healthy
The emotional effects of chronic pain include:
- Anxiety, and
- Fear of re-injury
Chronic pain can influence your thoughts, feelings, memory, concentration, and even connections with others. Living with chronic pain can affect your mood, making you more susceptible to depression, anxiety, and fear. Chronic pain can has been demonstrated to sleep disturbances, depression, and a heightened risk of suicide.5
Such mood disorders can also promote a dependence upon prescription medications designed to treat the pain, such as opioids. The more scared, alone or sad you feel, the more likely you are to depend upon medications which temporarily mask the pain by providing a “euphoric” feeling. However, when the effects of the medication wear off, the negative feelings return. If you’re suffering from chronic pain, this is yet another catch-22 cycle you can find yourself in.
#4: It Robs You of Your Cardiovascular Health
Chronic pain can lead to a chronic stress reaction that causes an increase in blood pressure and heart rate. This stress reaction can lead to harmful health effects, such as a reduced ability to fight off illnesses and diseases. It also can increase the risk for conditions such as heart disease.6
#5: It Robs You of Your Sexuality
Chronic pain may interfere with your sexuality because of the pain itself. However, other factors associated with your chronic pain, including mood disorders, decreased sex drive (libido), medications or stress, can also affect your sexual function 7.
Gentle Chiropractic Care Can Provide Drug Free Relief from Chronic Pain.
Let’s be honest, there is no “one size fits all” solution to chronic pain. (This is the type of thinking that has lead to the opioid crisis.) However, there are many drug free therapies and modalities which can dramatically reduce and even eliminate chronic pain.
Gentle Chiropractic Care harnesses the body’s innate ability to heal itself without resorting to dangerous drugs or life altering surgery. This is accomplished through manual manipulations of the spine and joints. The goal of chiropractic treatment is to restore the neuro-skeletal system to fully functioning capacity.
Gentle chiropractic spinal mobilization is used to restore or to enhance joint function. Unlike traditional high-velocity spinal manipulation, gentle chiropractic modalities utilize slow movement, usually to a firm endpoint of joint movement.
One of the benefits of gentle chiropractic care is that it can be tailored to meet your specific needs. Dr. Danielle uses modified modalities that target a specific joint or area of the spine.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a surprisingly common condition that causes pain, numbness, and tingling in the hand and arm. At Advanced Wellness Solutions, we take a two pronged approach to carpal tunnel syndrome treatment, using both gentle chiropractic care and acupuncture to provide carpal tunnel syndrome treatment.
What is Carpal Tunnel
The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway in your wrist. This passageway comes up through the bones (carpals) and ligaments on the palm side of your hand. The median nerve passes through this narrow passageway to control the muscles in your hand, thumb and 3 of your 4 fingers. (The median nerve doesn’t control your pinky finger.)
When the median nerve is compressed, the symptoms can include numbness, tingling and weakness in the hand and arm.
Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the tunnel becomes narrowed or when tissues surrounding the flexor tendons swell, putting pressure on the median nerve. 1 This swelling causes pressure on the median nerve causing pain, numbness and tingling in the hand and arm.2 Left untreated, this pressure on the nerve can eventually cause permanent nerve and muscle damage.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Symptoms
One of the most common symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome is pain, numbness or tingling in the hand and arm. These symptoms are usually mild at first but it increase in severity as the condition progresses.
Carpal tunnel syndrome stiffness and immobility is often most severe in the morning. However, the pain from carpal tunnel syndrome is often most severe at night, preventing healthy, restful sleep.
Since carpal tunnel syndrome affects the nerves and muscles that control the hand, performing common everyday tasks like picking up a glass can become difficult. Weakness is often mild at first, increasing as the conditions progresses.
Because carpal tunnel syndrome involves the nerves, other symptoms include other symptoms such as:
- a burning sensation in the hands/fingers
- itching in the hands/fingers
- feeling as if the hands/fingers are swollen, even if they’re not.
- reduced sensitivity to hot and cold in the hand/ fingers.
In its early stages, carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms may include your hand tingles and feels weak, or the fingers numb, or both.
Diagnosing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome involves nerve pain due to compression in the wrist. Unfortunately, pressure on nerves in the neck due to disc problems or arthritis can cause similar symptoms. To confirm the diagnosis, diagnostic imaging may be required. A nerve conduction study can measure the severity of the compression on the nerve if surgery is needed.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treatment
Numbness, tingling and pain in your hands, fingers and wrist is an example of an ounce of prevention being worth a pound of cure. Early correct diagnosis and treatment can dramatically improve your outcome. Treatment modalities depend upon the cause and severity of your symptoms.
Advanced Wellness Solutions offers natural, drug free carpal tunnel syndrome treatment. Gentle chiropractic care can treat the mechanical nature while acupuncture can address the underlying symptom of inflammation that causes the tissues inside the wrist to swell.
Early intervention is important to avoid surgery. We’ve had outstanding success using our two pronged approach to treating carpal tunnel syndrome.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Left Untreated
It’s important to seek treatment if you have signs and symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome that interfere with your normal activities and sleep patterns. Permanent nerve and muscle damage can occur without treatment.
You should always seek treatment for symptoms of tingling, numbness and radiating pain. These are possible symptoms of nerve impingement. Symptoms will progress if carpal tunnel syndrome is left untreated. You’ll begin dropping things. Activities that require fine finger movements, such as writing or fastening buttons, will become more difficult. You may begin to feel you are losing coordinated movement of your fingers. Moving your thumb may also become difficult. Again, these could also be symptoms of pressure on nerves in the neck due to disc problems or arthritis, so if you don’t schedule treatment with Advanced Wellness Solutions, be sure to discuss your symptoms with your health care professional.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is the compression of the median nerve which can lead to permanent nerve and muscle damage without treatment.
Should I Start with Chiropractic Care or Acupuncture to Treat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
It’s up to you which path you wish to take on your journey of carpal tunnel syndrome treatment.
Chiropractic care addresses the mechanics of musculoskeletal pain while acupuncture addresses inflammation (causing the swelling) and helps natural healing to occur in the body. Choosing to take a two-pronged approach by combining chiropractic and acupuncture can accelerate natural healing. Our patients who have chosen to take this approach have been delighted with the results.
Chiropractic care and acupuncture can work alone, together or even along side other medical treatments.
Which ever path you decide to take, your first appointment will take approximately 60 minutes. This gives you plenty of time to communicate your concerns to our health care providers. Whichever path you take, rest assured that the health care professionals at Advanced Wellness Solutions will work together to resolve carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms. If we can’t help, we’ll get you where you need to go for your best treatment options.
Revised July 2, 2021