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.
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.
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 altering. According to a study published in the Society of Automotive Engineers, 1 vehicle crash damage does not directly correlate to the degree of occupant injury.
Unfortunately, it’s common for people to develop chronic issues as a result of a seemingly minor accident. What’s worse, you may not be aware that you’ve been injured immediately following the accident.
Accepting new patients. Call 855-509-5400 to schedule your appointment.
We Accept All Major Medical Health Insurance and Medicare.
Chiropractic care is the best option for musculoskeletal injuries, including those suffered in car accidents. Many of these injuries can be effectively treated without drugs or surgery. Fortunately, the injuries suffered in most minor auto accidents don’t require surgery and drugs.
Here are the top three reasons to choose chiropractic care after a car accident in Martin County, FL
#1: Imaging can’t catch micro-tears that are caused by a car accident.
Unfortunately, medical imaging such as X-rays or MRIs can’t detect the micro-tears in ligaments and muscles after a traumatic injury like those resulting from an auto accident. These microscopic tears in the muscle are why you may wake up with severe pain the day after an accident. Whiplash is a soft tissue neck injury that occurs when the neck snaps back and forth in a rapid motion. That rapid snapping back and forth causes microscopic tears in the neck muscles.
Soft-tissue injuries (a.k.a. micro-tears in ligaments and muscles) like whiplash can take a long time to heal. One study found that more than 70 percent of people who visited the emergency room after a car accident were still in pain six weeks later. Other researchers have noted that nearly half of whiplash sufferers continue to experience symptoms three months later, while 25 percent remain symptomatic for six months.2
Traumatic injuries such as those suffered in a car accident often include micro-tears and micro lesions. These cause inflammation which in turn causes pain. 3 Studies show that chiropractic adjustments help the body release anti-inflammatory Interleukin 6 (IL-6)4. Interleukin 6 (IL-6) plays an integral role in the body’s healing ability, including trauma, burns, cancers and infections.5
#2: Chiropractic Care After a Car Accident Helps Heal Internal Scar Tissues
When you hear the word “scar tissue” you might think of the scar from a nasty fall off your bike when you were young. Your body also forms this special type of tissue inside your body when your ligaments and muscles are injured. Just as the scar tissue you see on your skin doesn’t look or act like your undamaged skin, the scar tissue inside your body doesn’t have the same elasticity or mobility of uninjured soft tissue.
When scar tissue forms in the ligaments, especially those in your neck or back, it can lead to long term pain and reduced mobility. Scar tissue continues to grow and change throughout the recovery process which may take from twelve to eighteen months.6 Prompt chiropractic care after a car accident is very effective at remodeling scar tissue. Chiropractic treatment and stretching of scar tissue helps align the collagen fibers, allowing it tolerate daily activities. 7
Studies show that car accident victims treated within one week of their accident saw the best overall improvement. 8 Many chiropractors refer to this time period as the “golden week” because the inflammatory reaction which occurs during this period, if left unchecked, will produce scars and adhesions that make future management more difficult.
#3: Chiropractic Care After a Car Accident Releases Pain Relieving Hormones
Studies also show that chiropractic care helps release pain reducing hormones.9 These hormones provide natural pain relief from both acute and chronic pain. They will help relieve the pain from the acute injuries suffered in a car accident. Fortunately, they don’t stop there! They will also help any other areas that were causing pain before the accident.
Unfortunately, turning to pain pills can actually make pain worse in the long run. Contrary to marketing messages that imply otherwise, pain medications do not speed up the healing process. Pain medications (both OTC and prescription) can be very beneficial for the first 7 – 10 days after a traumatic injury. Used in the short term, these 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. Studies show that when you use an opioid pain reliever, 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. 10
Prompt Chiropractic Care is Key
Gentle chiropractic care will help prevent long-term, chronic pain conditions and allow you to achieve optimal recovery after an auto accident. Gentle Chiropractic Care is a newer method of chiropractic care. It replaces high-velocity adjustments with low-velocity, low amplitude manipulations. It is performed with a gentle touch, targeting a specific area. Gentle chiropractic care is more comfortable and provides maximum benefit from minimal visits.
If you or someone you know has been in a car accident and you need gentle chiropractic treatment, call 855-509-5400 to schedule an appointment.
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?
Gentle chiropractic adjustments can be performed on the neck, back and every joint in the body. To show the difference between a “traditional” chiropractic adjustment and a gentle chiropractic one, let’s look at how the neck is adjusted.
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. Being put into this position combined with the quick snapping motion causes some people to be afraid of seeing a chiropractor.
A gentle chiropractic neck adjustment is different. The first difference you’ll notice is in how you are set up for the adjustment. A gentle chiropractic neck adjustment begins with the patient lying face down on the table. Next, Dr. Danielle will carefully position your head followed by a gentle, downward pulse. There’s no twisting or snapping involved. Many of Advanced Wellness Solutions patients prefer the gentle face down 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 you 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 Solutions. Her goal has always been to provide gentle, effective pain relief to people who have been seriously injured like she was.
Advanced Wellness Solutions has two gentle chiropractic locations in Stuart, Florida.
Accepting new patients. Call (772) 403-7640 to schedule your appointment.
We Accept All Major Medical Health Insurance and Medicare.
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
Call (772) 403-7640 to schedule your appointment.
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