There are many spinal stenosis treatment options you should consider before resorting to surgery. Most patients with spinal stenosis respond well to non-surgical treatments such as medication, physical therapy, and gentle chiropractic care. Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal, typically caused by age, injury, or congenital disorder. The condition can cause difficulty […]
There are many spinal stenosis treatment options you should consider before resorting to surgery. Most patients with spinal stenosis respond well to non-surgical treatments such as medication, physical therapy, and gentle chiropractic care.
Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal, typically caused by age, injury, or congenital disorder. The condition can cause difficulty with movement and can be debilitating. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgery, spinal stenosis affects 8 to 11 percent of the population.
What is Spinal Stenosis?
Spinal stenosis is a condition where the spinal canal narrows, putting pressure on the spinal cord. Bone spurs can cause a narrowing of the spinal canal. Bone spurs are one cause of spinal stenosis. They are small bony growths that form from calcium deposits and can put pressure on the nerve roots as they exit the spine. Other causes of spinal stenosis include:
- Disc degeneration
- Spinal arthritis
- Herniated disc
What Causes Spinal Stenosis?
The most common cause of spinal stenosis is osteoarthritis. It usually develops slowly over time. Most people who develop symptoms of spinal stenosis are over 50 with women at a higher risk than men.
Besides osteoarthritis, other conditions or circumstances can cause spinal stenosis:
- Narrow spinal canal
- Injury to the spine
- Spinal tumor
- Certain bone diseases
- Past surgery of the spine
- Rheumatoid arthritis
How Do Doctors Diagnose Spinal Stenosis?
Spinal stenosis is often diagnosed using diagnostic imaging. Diagnostic imaging can determine the exact location, type and extent of the problem.
What are the Symptoms?
The most common symptoms are pain and weakness or numbness. Stenosis can affect any part of the spine and often occurs in the lower back and neck.
Other symptoms of spinal stenosis include:
- Radiating pain
- Numbness or tingling in the arms, hands, legs, or feet
- Weakness in the extremities
- Neck pain
- Clumsiness in the arms and hands
- Abnormal reflexes
What are Non-surgical Treatments?
The majority of patients (70%) are able to manage their symptoms through nonsurgical treatments. 1
Treatments for spinal stenosis pain vary depending on the type and location of the pain. Non-surgical treatments include medication, chiropractic care, and acupuncture.
- Pain medications are prescribed to relieve the pain and reduce inflammation. Unfortunately, these medication can cause side effects.
- Gentle Chiropractic care is recommended to help relieve muscular skeletal pain. Chiropractic care improves the movement of the spine. This helps to relieve strain on the discs and nerves in the back. Gentle chiropractic care avoids the twisting, snapping and torque of traditional chiropractic adjustments.
Surgery may be recommended if non-invasive methods don’t provide symptoms relief.
Spinal stenosis is a common condition that affects millions of Americans each year. The symptoms can vary from person to person. Treatment options for spinal stenosis vary depending on how severe symptoms are and what other health conditions are present.
Acupuncture for spinal stenosis is effective for fighting the pain associated with the condition. Clinical studies 4 have shown that this holistic therapy can help relieve the types of pain caused by the condition of spinal stenosis.
Gentle chiropractic care is preferable to traditional chiropractic care for spinal stenosis.
Treatment Options for Spinal Stenosis
The most common treatment is nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). NSAIDS treat pain and inflammation.
In 2007, the American Heart Association issued a scientific statement warning of the long-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) 5 which included this warning:
“Consumers are advised that all over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications, including NSAIDs, should be used in strict accordance with the label directions. If use of an OTC NSAID is needed for longer than ten days, a physician should be consulted.”
If non-surgical treatments can’t provide adequate pain relief, you may need surgery. There are many kinds of surgery for spinal stenosis. The health care professionals at Advanced Wellness Solutions will help get you the care you need if they aren’t able to relieve your pain.
Call to schedule your appointment today at 772-403-7640.
Acupuncture has been used to relieve pain for centuries and is used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). It involves the insertion of needles into specific points on the body. The needles are inserted into the skin and manipulated. This promotes a healthy flow of energy, or “chi”, through the body. It is believed that this balance can help relieve pain and other symptoms.
Acupuncture for Pain Relief: How it Can Help You
Acupuncture facilitates the communication and activation of the nervous system, which releases specific chemicals within the body. These chemicals can help relieve pain and swelling. This is why acupuncture is used to treat headaches, back pain, arthritis, and joint pain.
Acupuncturists go through rigorous training and licensing. There are many different types of acupuncture. Each one is used to address a different health issue.
Acupuncturists are properly trained to stimulates points on your body that can relieve pain and promote healing.
What are the Benefits of Acupuncture for Pain Relief?
Acupuncture can effectively treat:
- back pain,
- neck pain,
- shoulder pain
- wrist pain.
The biggest benefit to acupuncture for pain relief is the safety of the procedure. The complication rate for acupuncture is low and the side effects are usually mild. Soreness and minor bleeding or bruising are the most common side effects.
In a German study1, only 0.003% of patients (13 out of over 4,441,000) experienced severe adverse events from acupuncture.
Acupuncture is also cost effective treatment the following conditions:2
- Allergic Rhinitis
- Low back pain
- Ambulatory Anesthesia
- Chronic Pain
- Neck Pain (plus usual medical care)
- Dysmenorrhea (painful periods)
- Post-operative nausea and vomiting
How does acupuncture compare to other treatments for pain?
Acupuncture pales in comparison to the risks associated with taking pain medication. Addiction is a very real risk with prescription pain killers.
According to Hopkins Medicine3,
It takes a couple of weeks to become physically dependent on an opioid, but that varies by individual. If you take an opioid for a day or two, it should not be a problem and, generally, you will not become addicted. However, some studies show even the first dose of an opioid can have physiological effects.
One study found up to 25% of of patients develop a life-long addiction.4 In 2016, there were 63,632 drug overdose deaths in the United States, a 21.4% increase from 2015.5 Two thirds of these deaths involved an opioid.6
A recent study concluded that any dose of NSAIDs for any duration increased the risk of heart attack.8 This means acupuncture is even safer than over the counter pain relievers (NSAIDs).
Acupuncture has treated pain and other chronic symptoms for centuries. It can supplement or replace other treatments, depending on the individual.
What is the evidence for acupuncture?
There have been over 8,000 intensive scientific clinical trials of acupuncture over the past 50 years.9
In 2017, the American College of Physicians began recommending acupuncture for both chronic and acute low back pain.10
The Acupuncture Evidence Project 11 found evidence for the effectiveness of acupuncture for 117 conditions, with stronger evidence for acupuncture’s effectiveness for some conditions than others. Conditions with strongest evidence supporting the effectiveness of acupuncture include:
- Allergic rhinitis (perennial & seasonal)
- Knee osteoarthritis
- Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (with anti-emetics)
- Migraine prophylaxis
- Chronic low back pain
- Postoperative nausea & vomiting
- Headache (tension-type and chronic)
- Postoperative pain
Why You Should Consider Using Acupuncture
Acupuncture has been treating pain for thousands of years. There are many reasons why acupuncture may be a good treatment option for you. Acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment for pain. It’s a safe, cost effective treatment option for many conditions.
Call Advanced Wellness Solutions at 855-509-5400 to schedule your appointment.
Gentle chiropractic is a safe, nonsurgical method of arthritis pain management. Gentle chiropractic care can help reduce inflammation and increase range of motion while reducing arthritis pain.
Movement is like lubrication for the joints. Gentle chiropractic adjustments can help to encourage full range of joint motion to provide safe arthritis pain management. In conjunction with the gentle chiropractic adjustment, electrical muscle stimulation is often used for immediate pain relief. In addition to in office therapies, patients are also given appropriate exercises to perform at home to promote increased joint mobility.
Arthritis is inflammation of the cartilage which causes swelling and tenderness in afflicted joints. Cartilage is the connective tissue that surrounds the ends of bones. It is dense, elastic tissue that supports and cushions the joints while helping joints to move smoothly. When cartilage becomes inflamed, joint pain and stiffness result.
The two most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. While the symptoms are similar, the cause of each is dramatically different.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease.
RA is an autoimmune disease is when the body’s immune system attacks healthy cells by mistake. In the case of RA, the healthy cells in the cartilage cushioning the joints are attacked. The joints affected are usually in the hands, wrists, and knees. When the body’s immune system attacks the joint cartilage, it becomes inflamed, swollen and tender. Eventually, the inflammation damages the joint cartilage as well as the bones of the joint. This can cause long-lasting or chronic pain, unsteadiness (lack of balance), and deformity (misshapenness). 3
Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis.
OA is a degenerative condition that affects joint cartilage and bones. It causes pain, loss of mobility, as well as decreased muscle function and strength. Like RA, osteoarthritis causes joint pain and stiffness. It was once thought that in osteoarthritis, the joints were simply wearing out. Research has shown that OA is a complex process with many causes. It is not an inevitable part of aging experts say, but rather the result of a combination of factors.
While osteoarthritis can damage any joint, it most commonly affects joints that bear weight — like your knees, hips, feet, and spine. It often comes on gradually over months or years.2 Ten percent of men and 20% of women aged between 45 and 65 years report OA,4 with 80% of those older than 75 years showing radiographic evidence of OA.5
Treatments for Arthritis Pain
According to Scott Haldeman, MD, a neurologist in Santa Ana, California and Chairman Emeritus of the Research Council for the World Federation of Chiropractic as quoted in arthritis.org6,
Chiropractic care is one of the safest therapies you can use if you have back or neck pain due to osteoarthritis.
In addition to treating neck and back pain from osteoarthritis, gentle chiropractic treatment can also treat osteoarthritis of the hip 7 and other arthritic joints.
Gentle Chiropractic Care for arthritis pain
Gentle chiropractic care can help increase the range of motion in arthritic joints and reduce arthritic joint pain.
While gentle chiropractic care won’t repair or rebuild cartilage, it can relieve pressure on joints caused by arthritis. Gentle chiropractic care can also stop muscle spasms and tenderness caused by osteoarthritis through gentle manipulation of muscles and soft tissues surrounding arthritic joints.
Acupuncture for arthritis pain
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine have been used for thousands of years to relieve arthritis pain. While acupuncture can’t cure or reverse the process of arthritis, a study showed it can help you feel significantly less pain and function better. 8
It’s very common to reach for over the counter (OTC) pain medication for arthritis pain management. Unfortunately, all NSAIDs (including OTC pain medication) now carry a black box warning. This is the strongest of all FDA warnings and is reserved for drugs that pose a significant risk to the population. In 2007, the American Heart Association issued a scientific statement warning of the long-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) 9 which included this warning:
“Consumers are advised that all over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications, including NSAIDs, should be used in strict accordance with the label directions. If use of an OTC NSAID is needed for longer than ten days, a physician should be consulted.”
A practice based study of patients with acute and chronic low back pain found that patients receiving chiropractic manipulation as their primary treatment had significant reductions in visual analogue scale (VAS) scores within two weeks of care.10 This study also included evaluation of traditional medical management with a primary treatment using NSAIDs. The same level of pain reduction was not reported in the NSAID group until the 12-week marker.
Herbs and supplements for arthritis pain relief
There are many herbal supplements which tout anti-inflammatory properties. It’s important to exercise caution when taking supplements. Just because a product is natural does not mean it’s safe. The contents of supplements are not verified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Some supplements can interact with medications or can cause health problems.
You should always consult your doctor or pharmacist before taking any supplement.
Turmeric, ginger and cinnamon are supplements that reduce inflammation in the body. There is also evidence that vitamin C and fish oil may help with arthritis pain while providing other health benefits.
Glucosamine sulfate supplements have unique anti-inflammatory effects. In some laboratory tests, it demonstrated a protective effect on the cartilage as well. Chondroitin sulfate supplements also appears to have anti-inflammatory properties. Some laboratory studies suggest that chondroitin sulfate may slow cartilage breakdown associated with osteoarthritis and even stimulate cartilage growth.11
Trigger point injections for arthritis pain relief
If chiropractic treatment alone does not provide adequate pain relief, the medical professionals at Advanced Wellness Solutions may recommend a trigger-point injection. A trigger-point injection usually contains an anesthetic and a steroid to immediately help alleviate arthritis pain. These injections are rarely a standalone treatment. They work best when combined with other conservative treatment methods such as chiropractic care.
Trigger point injection therapy can provide immediate and ongoing relief from pain in the targeted area while chiropractic treatments address the underlying cause of the pain.
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) for arthritis pain relief
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) delivers a small electric current to specific nerves. Tens units provide neuromodulation treatments which can ease pain with minimal risks and offer an alternative to pain medication for arthritis pain management. According to Arthritis.org 12
These devices are generally safe. However, they involve sending electrical impulses though your body. So it’s important to talk with your doctor first if you have a pacemaker, another implanted device, are pregnant, have epilepsy, or have a heart problem.
Topical medications for arthritis pain relief
Topical medications that do not contain NSAIDs that Advanced Wellness Solutions recommends are:
- CryoDerm Gel: It contains almost 300% more of the active ingredient and pain reliever menthol than other topical pain relievers. Menthol is used clinically as an anti-inflammatory and pain reliever. It creates a cold sensation on the skin, by activating the peripheral cold receptors.
- Biofreeze Professional: Biofreeze is greaseless, stainless and has a vanishing scent. It is an optimized, fast-acting proprietary formula.
Topical NSAIDS are now available without a prescription. Diclofenac sodium 1% gel (Voltaren Arthritis Pain) is now available at many pharmacies. A 2016 Cochrane review 14 concluded, “Topical diclofenac and topical ketoprofen can provide good levels of pain relief beyond carrier in osteoarthritis for a minority of people, but there is no evidence for other chronic painful conditions.”
Safe Arthritis Pain Management
When arthritis threatens to immobilize you, gentle chiropractic care can keep you moving.
Accepting new chiropractic patients. Call (772) 403-7640 to schedule your appointment.
We Accept All Major Medical Health Insurance and Medicare.
You can find safe arthritis pain management at Advanced Wellness Solutions. Effective gentle chiropractic care can help to relieve the pain and slow the damage to cartilage from osteoarthritis. Gentle chiropractic maximizes the function of arthritic joints by encouraging full range of joint motion.
Using acupuncture for pain relief has been an effective drug free treatment for thousands of years.
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine have been treating pain and illness for thousands of years. Many studies have been performed to measure the effectiveness of acupuncture. The Acupuncture Trialists’ Collaboration compiled raw data from trials where the main outcome measures were pain and function. They concluded that acupuncture is an effective method of treating chronic pain. Their conclusions included: 1
- 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 2 states:
Acupuncture is effective for the treatment of chronic musculoskeletal, headache, and osteoarthritis pain.
Acupuncture for Pain Relief
Acupuncture involves the insertion of sterile, fine needles into specific spots to stimulate the body to heal itself. There are 2,000 acupuncture points according to Traditional Chinese medicine. These points are connected by meridians or energetic pathways. Energy or Qi (pronounced “chee” which means vital energy), flows through the body using these pathways.
In a healthy body, Qi (vital energy) flows freely. Pain, lack of function, or illness are signs that Qi has been disrupted.
By stimulating specific points on the body, Dr. Heather can help to restore healthy function to the body.
Advanced Wellness Solutions patients frequently tell us that they didn’t realize how much chronic pain was impacting their life.
The research makes it clear that chronic pain is bad for your physical health. Chronic pain can elevate blood pressure, pulse rate, adrenaline and cortisol serum levels. This puts hazardous stress on the cardio-vascular system. Chronic pain can cause elevated serum lipids and glucose levels.1
According Perry G. Fine, MD of the Department of Anesthesiology, School of Medicine, Pain Research Center, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA,1 the long-term consequences of chronic pain include:
- sleep disturbances
- cognitive processes and brain function
- mood/mental health
- cardiovascular health
- sexual function
Living with chronic pain makes everything more difficult. Chronic pain can make performing the simplest tasks more difficult. It also has a significant impact on your mental health.
Chronic Pain Affects Your Sleep
Acupuncture for Pain Relief and Insomnia
Insomnia has been treated with acupuncture in China for thousands of years. Western clinical studies confirm that acupuncture may have a beneficial effect on insomnia.3
Chronic Pain Affects Your Thoughts
Chronic pain doesn’t just harm your physical health. It affects your emotions and relationships. It even affects your state of mind. Chronic pain causes changes in the levels of stress hormones and neurochemicals found within your brain. This disruption can affect your mood, thinking and behavior.
Chronic pain can influence your thoughts, feelings, and memory. It also affects your concentration. It can even affect your connections with others.
Chronic Pain Affects Your Emotions
The emotional effects of chronic pain include:
- Anxiety, and
- Fear of re-injury
Living with chronic pain can affect your mood. Chronic pain can make you more susceptible to depression, anxiety, and fear. Chronic pain can cause sleep disturbances, depression, and a heightened risk of suicide.4
Acupuncture for Pain Relief and Mental Health
According to studies, acupuncture may be a valuable for those suffering from mental health disorders.4
Chronic Pain Affects Your Heart
Chronic pain can lead to a chronic stress reaction. This in turn causes an increase in blood pressure and heart rate. This stress reaction can lead to a reduced ability to fight off illnesses and diseases. It can increase the risk for heart disease.5
Acupuncture for Heart Health
Acupuncture reduces stress and improves heart function, according to UCLA researchers.6
Chronic Pain Affects Your Sex Life
Chronic pain may interfere with sexuality for several reasons. One is the nature of the pain itself. Other factors associated with chronic pain, include mood disorders, decreased sex drive (libido), medications or stress. All of these can affect sexual function 6.
Chronic Pain – the Invisible Disability
Chronic pain is the “invisible” disability.7 What this means is it is possible to look like the picture of health but suffer from chronic pain. Chronic pain makes everything more difficult.
Advanced Wellness Solutions’ health care practitioners treat chronic pain. If they can’t find a way to relieve or manage your pain, they’ll refer you to someone who can.
Advanced Wellness solutions offers drug free pain relief treatments. Our goal is to help our patients achieve a better quality of life.
Florida car accidents are happening more frequently these days. Stressed drivers are causing injury and fatality rates to climb.1 If you’ve been in a car accident, you should choose gentle chiropractic care for those injuries.
Accepting new patients. Call 855-509-5400 to schedule your appointment.
We Accept All Major Medical Health Insurance and Medicare.
Gentle Chiropractic Care for Car Accident Injuries
There are 3 Compelling Reasons to Choose Chiropractic Care after a Car Accident, When choosing a chiropractor, you’ll want to choose one that practices effective gentle chiropractic care.
Injured in a Florida car accident?
The chiropractor you choose can make a difference!
What is Gentle Chiropractic?
Many patients in pain are afraid of the traditional spinal manipulation methods. They don’t want to be twisted, snapped or “crunched.” Different chiropractic techniques and patient positioning are used to deliver effective, gentle chiropractic care. This will allows for optimal recovery after a car accident.
One gentle chiropractic modality is the Activator Method. This provides a gentle spinal manipulation for patients in severe pain. This chiropractic technique uses a small, hand-held Activator Adjusting Instrument to deliver a gentle impulse force to the spine. This gentle modality is beneficial for patients who have suffered a traumatic injury. It avoids the twisting and contortion frequently involved in traditional manual adjustment modalities.
Gentle chiropractic adjustments can to help you get back to living the life you love.
Gentle Chiropractic replaces high-velocity adjustments with low-velocity, low amplitude manipulations. There’s no twisting you into a pretzel or snapping movements.
Gentle chiropractic can treat pain in your neck, back, wrists, shoulders, hips and knees.
Gentle chiropractic care is more comfortable and provides maximum benefit from minimal visits.
Car accidents are often violent. The force of the accident places a lot of pressure on the neck and back. The neck and back are easily injured by the force. It’s no surprise that the 4 most common car accident injuries are all forms of soft tissue injuries.
Gentle chiropractic care can prevent long-term, chronic pain conditions from developing.
If you or someone you know has been in a car accident, you need gentle chiropractic treatment. Call Advanced Wellness Solutions at 855-509-5400 to schedule an appointment.
A lot more people are working from home these days. For many, it brings to mind images of relaxing on the couch while working. Few realize the importance of creating an ergonomic home office until they’re in pain.
The image below was found by searching “working from home” on a popular image sharing site. If this is how you’ve been working from home, you may notice you have some new aches and pains. Your neck and back may be aching. Your wrists may hurt as well. Maybe you’re having headaches.
Don’t wait until you’re in severe pain to ask yourself: Is your workspace helping or hurting you? Are you working productively? Or is working from home slowly crippling you?
(By the way, this article applies to children who are homeschooling as well.)
If the decision to work from home was a sudden one, you probably didn’t give much thought to ergonomics. You set up your computer where you could and got to work.
Most people don’t realize that the workspace provided by an employer is designed with ergonomics in mind. Ergonomics draws on many disciplines to optimize the interaction between you and the work environment. Ergonomics is how you and your workspace interact.
When your home office isn’t set up with ergonomics in mind, eventually you’ll experience:
Poor office posture injuries are repetitive use injuries.
Notice the word “eventually” above. You see, the human body is great at “making do” with whatever situation you put it in. This means, the first time you flop down on your couch to work, your body isn’t going to scream at you to stop. Instead, it will do its best to adapt.
However, if you continue to put stress on your back, neck, shoulders, elbows and wrists with poor office posture, eventually you’ll experience the aches and pains described above.
It’s not just people who work from home who can suffer from these injuries. Anyone who works in an office is susceptible to these repetitive use injuries. However, if you’re working from home and you haven’t set up your home office with ergonomics in mind, then you’re even more susceptible to these types of injuries.
Employers invest in trying to optimize workplace ergonomics because they want to increase productivity while decreasing injury and illness. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in 2013, musculoskeletal disorders cases accounted for 33% of all worker injury and illness cases. 1
Home Office Ergonomics Can Prevent Musculoskeletal Disorders
Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorders are among the most frequently reported causes of lost or restricted work time. These include:
- carpal tunnel syndrome (wrist pain)
- tarsal tunnel syndrome (ankle/foot pain)
- pinched nerves
- herniated disks (back/neck pain)
- rotator cuff injuries (shoulder pain)
- epicondylitis (elbow pain)
- trigger finger (finger pain)
- muscle sprains, strains and tears
- mid back pain
- low back injuries
- neck pain
These Musculoskeletal Disorders have one thing in common. They all have symptoms of pain, swelling, and numbness.
Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorders are often caused by :
- repetitive motion involving microtasks
- being rubbed, abraded, or jarred by vibration.
Creating an Ergonomic Home Office
You can reduce your risk of illness or injury by keeping workspace ergonomics in mind as you set up your home office.
Create an ergonomic home office by focusing on these key elements.
#1: Choosing The Proper Chair
It’s well worth the investment to purchase a quality chair. Keep in mind you will be spending 8 to 15 hours a day sitting as you work.
Don’t be fooled by clever marketing. The term “ergonomic chair” is used loosely at best and is lying at worst. Instead focus on finding a chair that fits you properly. If you are tall or short you may need to spend some extra time to find that perfect chair. One advantage to outfitting your home office is you can purchase the best chair for your body.
The height of the chair is paramount. You should be able to adjust your chair so your feet a flat on the floor and your legs are parallel to the floor. Tilts are helpful to get that angle just right.
The backrest of your office chair should be separate from the seat. You should also make sure you can adjustable the height and angle. Be sure the chair supports the natural curve of the spine. Pay close attention to the lumbar region of the chair. Make sure your chair offers proper support in the curve of your back.
What about Exercise Ball Office Chairs? While an exercise ball is great for working out, it is not your friend as an office chair. For most people, the height of the ball is not suitable for desk work. (See the image above for proper positioning.) While it’s good to exercise your core, these exercises should only be done for a short period of time, not for an entire 8-hour workday.
#2: Choosing the Proper Keyboard/Mouse
Many office workers suffer from tendinitis, carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive strain injuries caused by poorly designed keyboards and mice or positioning.
Finding the right keyboard and mouse is difficult because there is no “one size fits all” product or solution. While there’s no one product that is right for everyone, there are things to keep in mind to help you find the perfect match!
- Distance: Proper sitting posture dictates where you should place your keyboard.
- Angle: The keyboard should have a slight negative angle of about 15 degrees
- Height: Your posture and desk height dictates the correct height of your keyboard and mouse
- Mouse: the most important thing is make sure you don’t twist your wrist while using the mouse
What about Wrist rests?
Often a wrist rest is used as a support rather than a rest. It should only be used, ideally, when a sharp or hard surface is present that you are constantly coming into contact.
#3 Laptop: Ergonomic Friend or Foe
Unfortunately, your laptop is an ergonomic foe! Laptop computers are much more convenient and portable than desktop varieties. However, it’s the ability to use your laptop anywhere that makes it an ergonomic foe! Using it while in bed or while seated on the sofa is a recipe for neck, shoulder and back pain. In addition, the keyboard is flat which means your wrists won’t be properly positioned.
If you must use a laptop computer, don’t use the laptop’s keyboard and mouse pad. Instead, purchase an ergonomic keyboard and mouse and attach them to your laptop just as you would to a desktop. Place the laptop on a flat surface and position the screen to the proper height. (See the illustration above.) When you do this, you will find it very uncomfortable to use the laptop’s keyboard/mouse.
#4: Using the Phone
Do Not Cradle Your Phone!
If you are on the phone and typing, cradling the phone between your ear and shoulder can be hazardous to your neck. Cradling the phone can lead to neck spasm, headaches and ear pain.
Using speakerphone is the fastest and easiest solution. If using your phone’s speakerphone isn’t an option, invest in a good headset. It will literally save your neck!
#5 Choosing a Desk
Height is by far most important factor in choosing a desk for your ergonomic home office. The Canadian Standards Association (CSA) recommends a general height desk of 28.7″ plus or minus 1″.
Many people work from home from their dining table. Standard dining table heights are 28″ – 30″so it’s possible your dining table is the proper desk height. It’s also possible that your dining table is just a bit too tall or short. In the Work From Home Office Ergonomics illustration above, make sure your arm rest allows your elbow to be at a 90° angle while working at your table. If not, shoulder, wrist, neck and back pain can result.
#6: Positioning Your Monitor
- Distance: Your monitor should be set up 20 inches away or at arm’s length
- Elevation: The top of the screen should be at or slightly below eye level. The monitor should be directly behind your keyboard. If you wear bifocals, lower the monitor an additional 1 to 2 inches for more comfortable viewing.Tilting your head back to try to read your monitor can lead to headaches and neck pain.
- Angle: 10-20 degrees A greater angle will cause you to hold your head at an uncomfortable angle, leading to neck strain.
- Glare: Glare on your screen causes eye strain. Placing your monitor and desk perpendicular to the window works best. Whatever kind of lighting you use, position the monitor so that there is no distracting glare.
Footrests are a way to shift postures or provide support for the feet if the chair cannot be lowered. Unfortunately, using a footrest when the chair is too high provides only one place for the feet to rest.
- Height: Footrests should be adjustable. Adjust the footrest until the thighs are parallel to the floor +/- 1-3 inches.
- Rocking: When using a footrest, be sure to shift postures frequently. The rocking action on all-plastic footrests tends to wear out quickly, so look for durable models.
Chiropractic Care Can Help!
If you haven’t set up an ergonomic home office, you may already be feeling the effects. Sometimes simply changing your workspace can help alleviate your pain. If it doesn’t, gentle chiropractic care can help. Chiropractic care focuses on treating all of your joints and muscles. If you work on a computer all day, be sure to ask Dr. Danielle about adjusting your wrist.
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
Call (772) 403-7640 to schedule your appointment.
Chiropractic treatment is a non-surgical option for disc herniation. Chiropractic treatment is often the first option for care because it is non-invasive and does not involve drugs or injections.
Your spine is made up of a series of bones (vertebrae). Between each bone is a rubbery disc that acts as a cushion. When the soft center of a rubbery disc is pushing through a crack in the tougher exterior casing it’s called a disc herniation.
With proper treatment a herniated disc does not mean a lifetime of unbearable pain.
Is a herniated disc serious? Yes. Many herniated discs can be managed successfully with proper care and monitoring.
Gentle Chiropractic Treatment for Disc Herniation
Gentle chiropractic care has been demonstrated to effectively treat lumbar disc herniation. A gentle chiropractic care technique (activator method) has advantages over traditional chiropractic techniques when treating symptomatic lumbar disc herniation.1
We [the case study authors] speculate that the use of an AAI, combined with Activator methods, may provide definitive benefits over side-posture manipulation of the lumbar spine in treatment of resistive disc lesions, because of the lack of torsional stress imposed upon the disc during instrumental spinal adjustment.
In another case study, Activator-assisted spinal manipulative therapy had positive subjective and objective results for low back pain in a patient with degenerative disk disease.2
Yet another case study concluded:3
Conservative chiropractic treatment may provide an effective therapeutic intervention in selected cases of cervical disc protrusion.
This study specifically cited “instrument-delivered adjustments” (gentle chiropractic) as providing benefit in cases in which manual manipulation causes an exacerbation of the symptoms or is contraindicated altogether.
Seek immediate medical attention if you have:
- Loss of balance, bladder control or consciousness
- Loss of sensation
- Symptoms are rapidly getting worse
A disc herniation falls into a broader category of disc derangement.
Disc derangement is a general term for when a disc has been damaged. This damage can be minor or major depending on age and type of trauma. The disc is a made up of a gelatinous center called the nucleus pulposus surrounded by fibrocartilaginous material (annulus fibrosis). When the annulus fibrosus is torn due to stress, the gelatinous nucleus pulposus can ooze out.
How far that gelatinous nucleus pulposus oozes out is what determines what kind of disc derangement you have.
There are four stages of disc derangement:
- and sequestration.
This stage is when the nucleus pulposus is no longer in a contained. Instead it is oozing into the layers of annulus fibrosis.
Prolapse is when the nucleus pulposus pushes all the way out to the last layers of the annulus fibrosis.
Extrusion is when nucleus pulposus has left the confinement of the annulus fibrosis. This is the state where nucleus pulposus can physically start interfering with surrounding structures.
Sequestration is the most severe. The nucleus pulposus has left the confinement of the annular fibrosis and has broken off into little pieces. These pieces can travel and cause interference with the surrounding structures.
Any stage of disc derangement can cause pain.
How much pain depends upon the individual and the location of the derangement. Extrusion and sequestration pose the most serious risk of the four. Anytime nucleus pulposus has left its confinement, it can cause impingement and pain.
In rare cases, disc derangement actually pinches a nerve causing pain. Usually, the pain associated with disc derangement comes from the inflammatory response of the body to the change in structure. Inflammation occurs around the deranged disc, causing the nerve to become irritated. This in turn causes pain.
An MRI can tell show the location and what type of disc derangement is present.
What are the symptoms of a herniated disc?
Disc derangement can present in many different ways. If you’ve been involved in a serious accident you should be seen by a doctor or chiropractor.
Some people have herniated discs and do not demonstrate any symptoms. Symptoms differ depending upon location of the herniated disc.
Cervical disc herniation symptoms:
- Pain in the arm or hand, this pain often feels like it is traveling down the arm or radiating
- Numbness and tingling
- Weakness in the arms
- In severe cases reduced reflexes in the upper limbs with increased reflexes in the lower limbs
Lumbar disc herniation symptoms:
- Low back pain that travels down the buttocks, legs and feet
- Numbness and tingling
- Weakness in the legs
- Decreased reflexes
Risk factors for herniated disc:
- Overweight: excess weight puts extra stress and different weight loading on discs
- Physically demanding jobs
- Genetics: a family history of disc herniation
- Age: most likely to occur between 30-50
What causes a herniated disc?
Herniated discs can happen gradually with repeat stress. In other cases, trauma (like a car accident) can damage or displace one or more discs. Common car accident injuries include bulging discs (when a disc shifts out of place and bulges into the spinal canal), annular tears and herniated discs.
How do you treat a herniated disc?
Treatments for a herniated disc include:
- Gentle chiropractic treatment with adjustments
- Cervical traction
- Physical therapy
- At home exercises and stretches
- Postural correction
- Weight reduction
- OTC, muscle relaxers and other narcotics
An important thing to remember with a herniated disc is to avoid too much bed rest. Lying in bed waiting for the pain to go away is one of the worst things you can do. Taking it easy and not lifting heavy things is fine.
Chiropractic Treatment for Disc Herniation
Not every herniated disc needs gentle chiropractic. If you are experiencing symptoms of a herniated disc or have been in a Florida car accident and fear you have a herniated disc you should contact Advanced Wellness Solutions.