Oakland Spine News

Making Debilitating Migraines Go Away

NJ Migraine & Headache Treatment - Bergen/Passaic County

Just about everyone has experienced a headache now and again, whether from stress, as a warning sign of impending illness or something as mundane as missing your morning cups of coffee. They come and they go and are as individualized as the person suffering from them. Headaches are nothing to scoff at, but a migraine is a whole different animal, unrelenting and always a threat to return at any time, literally derailing your life for hours, even days. A primary headache, the most common type among 95 percent of headache sufferers, might also trigger a more oppressive migraine as if warning you of worse things to come.

The treatments we offer at Oakland Spine & Physical Therapy may be as seemingly simple as a change in diet or learning how to relax, but getting to the source of migraines and what the symptoms reveal requires knowledge, expertise, and experience to resolve. We also employ a powerful weapon in our anti-migraine arsenal— a breakthrough non-surgical treatment using the LCT 1000 Deep Tissue (Class IV) Laser along with spinal decompression as part of our exclusive Butler Spine Program.

Commonly Experienced Symptoms

Migraines may not always share the same symptoms among those whom they assail, but the common denominator is they are too disruptive and painful to ignore. Among the symptoms most commonly experienced are an intense throbbing pain often on one side of the head, nausea, vomiting and a tremendous aversion to light, sound, and even certain smells. Migraine attacks typically last from four hours to as long as three days and nights (72 hours) of unrelenting suffering which, when over, may leave you exhausted, confused, and weakened for another 24 hours.

The symptoms can be so severe that they interfere with your daily life. It is often intensified by routine physical activity, which means there is little you can do that is productive, either at home or on the job. Just functioning socially can be an ordeal.

Without the promise of relief, the only solution for some is remaining as still as possible while seated or abed, suffering in a dark, quiet place until it goes away.

Once a migraine is diagnosed, the obvious objective is to provide relief, of course, but we also strive to determine the cause so we can more accurately employ the treatment program that works for each patient. Our experience with headache and migraine sufferers will be of tremendous benefit, whatever the origin of your debilitating migraine or its peculiar symptoms.

The Butler Spine Program has been amazingly effective in circumventing surgery or being forced to seek relief through prescription drugs that can hold you prisoner the rest of your life. This treatment targets neck pain, headaches and migraines and, most of all, brings hope of migraine relief and has the potential of diverting future attacks.

When chiropractic care is integrative it includes an array of lifestyle changes that can make a dramatic difference in susceptibility to migraines. These include diet, exercise, and modifying work environment and postures (ergonomics).

—Call us today at (201) 651-9100 for an appointment at Oakland Spine & Physical Therapy.

 

Does Acupuncture Improve Immunity?

Most people not familiar with the intricacies of arthritis assume it is all about the joints. You may know that there are two basic types: osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Maybe you even know lupus is often lumped in with arthritis, and all three seem to be associated with joint pain and malformation, including fingers, knees, hips, shoulders and elbows.

But did you know that some people have arthritis in their eyes, mouths and in their chests, a source of pain during the process of breathing? That’s because arthritis and lupus can attack and weaken the immune system and are therefore known as autoimmune diseases.

There is a wealth of anecdotal evidence, attested to by millions of patients and their physicians, that acupuncture is effective in relieving arthritis pain as attested to by millions of patients and their physicians.

Mainstream medicine and some of our most respected rheumatologists have come to accept and respect acupuncture as an effective treatment for easing arthritis pain. Additionally, an estimated 10 million-plus acupuncture treatments in the United States for arthritis pain alone continues to link this ancient treatment modality to the immune system.

Modern medicine tends to shrug off anecdotal evidence because it supposedly lacks vigorous scientific analysis. However, the heart and soul of this healing treatment are the millions of Americans convinced that it works, returning again and again to seek relief from those expertly manipulated ultra-thin needles.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) tells us that almost a fourth of adults in the United States (54 million) have arthritis and about 45 percent of that number have to restrict their activities due to arthritis pain or impaired mobility.

Inflammation Spreads from Joints

With autoimmune rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, for example, the inflammation spreads from the joints. Aside from painful and deformed joints and restricted range of motion, symptoms may include weight loss, fatigue, anemia, itchy and dry eyes, pleurisy (inflammation of the lining of the lungs), dry mouth, sleep deprivation and more.

Succinctly stated, autoimmune diseases turn the body’s immune system against itself, attacking normal cells and, in the case of RA, the lining of your joints to intensify pain and inhibit mobility.

The most sobering aspects of autoimmune disease is that it is a leading cause of disability and death, again according to the CDC.

Adherents of acupuncture have long maintained that it strengthens the immune system, as well as fighting off bacteria, viruses and other invaders. A study in Evidence-Based and Complementary Medicine, as reported in the National Institutes of Health’s U.S. National Library of Medicine, reported in August 2015 what many suffering from autoimmune disease have discovered from acupuncture therapy:

Acupoints selection, combination of the acupoints, or different methods of stimulation of acupuncture may result in quite different effects on immune system. Further research is urgently essential to elucidate the relation between acupuncture and immune responses and what kind of stimulation might induce the best effect.

—Call us today at (201) 651-9100 for an appointment at Oakland Spine & Physical Therapy.

Massage Keeps Stenosis Pain at Bay

NJ Spinal Stenosis Treatment - Bergen/Passaic County

You might say massage is an effective way to rub out Spinal stenosis— or at least provide much-needed relief for months at a time. In fact, depending on how advanced the condition is, regular massage sessions may keep all that pain and discomfort at bay for the rest of your life without surgery or prescription drugs. There are various types of massage, and any or all could be effective in the healing hands of a chiropractor or physical therapist in alleviating the pain and pressure wrought by spinal stenosis.

Spinal stenosis, once it starts eroding the quality of your life, does not improve with age. The aging process is irreversible, but clinical trials show that massage therapy will not only counter the deterioration that aging brings, but it has the potential of reversing all the bad things stenosis does to your physical and emotional health.

Massage is More than Just Relaxation

Most people see massage as something that is supposed to relax you, knead away aching and sore muscles and get you back on an active track. It is not necessarily regarded as health care but as a luxury offered at a spa with saunas and facials. This is known as a relaxation massage, but relaxing and relieving everyday pressures certainly boost mental health. Then there is structural massage, or structural integration, which is the essence of massage therapy in that it is a range-of-motion protocol for the entire body relying on motion, pressure, and resistance.

Massage therapy deals with stiffness and pain associated with stenosis, without centering on the spine itself. We’re talking about massaging the surrounding and adjacent muscles in the back, lower back (lumbar) and buttocks.

Spinal stenosis constricts the spine by narrowing the spinal canal and stresses everything nearby, tightening and straining muscles, tendons and ligaments.  Massage loosens and relaxes affected muscles, bringing an amazing sense of relief.

Treatment methods for all back-related pain vary, but massage therapy for spinal stenosis is characterized by long strokes accompanied by a systematic kneading motion.

What Causes Spinal Stenosis?

There are various causes for spinal stenosis, which can become debilitating and result in loss of bladder and bowel function if untreated. The pain can be excruciating with advancing age. Many sufferers quickly turn to surgery or prescription drugs, despite proven noninvasive relief through chiropractic medicine via spinal decompression and massage therapy.

Pain, numbness, weakness, cramping and general discomfort can occur elsewhere in the body, including legs, arms, and buttocks. Extremely sensitive nerves in the spinal canal that result in stenosis may be affected by the following:

—Heredity plays a part if you are born with an unusually narrow spinal canal making you more susceptible to this condition

—Growths such as bone spurs inside the spinal canal

—Tumors attached to the spine itself

—Traumatic injury to the spine

— Arthritis

—Anything exerting abnormal pressure on the spine, and

— A condition in which strong tightening ligaments squeeze the spine closer together

Massage may not be a cure for more advanced spinal stenosis, but it can relieve pain, ease discomfort and, in some cases, maintain quality of life through old age.

—Call us today at (201) 651-9100 for an appointment at Oakland Spine & Physical Therapy.

Decompressing Herniated Discs

NJ Herniated Disc Treatment - Bergen/Passaic County

The discs that run from the bottom of your skull to the lowest part of your lower back have a tough job indeed. They cushion the bony vertebrae of the spine, which, in turn, protects the spinal cord, an information highway that magically transports complex messages from the brain throughout the body’s peripheral nervous system.

Don’t let the word “cushion” fool you, because discs are tough as nails and as hard as a rock, to borrow a couple of similes, on the outside. That outside protective layer, known formally as the annulus fibrosus, is tough indeed. It has to be, because discs have a tough assignment, and they always seem to be under pressure from external forces. It might be the stress and strain of poor posture, constant sitting and slouching, sudden injury and strain, lifestyle issues or the prolonged process of aging.

All that stress may lead to a number of conditions resulting in pain and discomfort, diminishing quality of life. The pain may be dull, aching and unrelenting. It may be sharp and intermittent. Then again it could very well be a combination of both.

Discs, as it turns out, are soft on the inside (its nucleus), situated between each bony vertebra, keeping them from rubbing together and subjecting vertebrates from constant suffering. However, a hard-working disc in its assignment as the backbone’s shock absorber can only take so much.

How Herniated Disc Happens

Because of the aforementioned stress and injury, a piece of that gelatinous nucleus may poke through a tear in the outer layer and the result is a herniated disc, also described as ruptured, bulging or slipped. The displacement created by this protrusion often leads to the disc pushing rudely against a spinal nerve. Nerves don’t react well to being touched, let alone pressured, and the inevitable response is pain. It could be just the start of degeneration that will make a herniated disc increasingly painful.

You’re more likely to suffer a herniated disc in the lower back or neck regions, but the truth is that it can happen anywhere on the spine. It is a fairly common condition directly affected by aging and a lifetime of stress, ill use, and injury. Every year another 3 million cases of herniated discs are reported in the United States alone. The good news is that nine out of 10 people with herniated discs can find relief from treatment other than surgery.

One of the treatments we find very effective is spinal decompression, which reverses the stress that is causing the pain to begin with and applied directly to the spot where the pain originates. The herniated disc compresses the spine at a specific location, cutting off blood flow and nutrients  and a steady deterioration.

If a compressed spine is the cause of the pain, it makes sense that decompression would have the opposite effect. This is not just a theory. It works. We often use decompression in combination with our LCT 1000  to get right to the source of the pain. It consists of stretching the spine via nonsurgical decompression therapy, which, as the name suggests, is a proven effective alternative to surgery.

—Call us today at (201) 651-9100 for an appointment at Oakland Spine & physical therapy.

 

Five Benefits of Deep Tissue Laser Therapy

Deep Tissue Laser Therapy in New Jersey

Low back pain can make virtually every waking hour an annoyance, at the very least, and, at times, an ordeal.  You’ve been covering it up with painkillers, and you may, as a last resort, be risking surgery and its associated complications as hope fades for a pain-free future.  Technology has brought a truly noninvasive remedy that unleashes the innate power of the human body to heal itself.

Deep Tissue Laser Therapy in New JerseyIt is known as deep tissue laser therapy, due to its therapeutic effects, and that pain, whether chronic or acute as a result of injury, maybe eradicated in a just a few brief treatments. Patients are amazed at the warming, comforting feel of the therapy itself and often comment that they wish it would last beyond the typical five to ten minutes. After just a handful of sessions, depending on your individualized plan, low back pain will become just a memory.

Injury, arthritis and spinal or nerve damage lead to inflammation in surrounding soft tissue which, in turn, leads to pain. If we relieve the inflammation, we relieve the pain. Our deep tissue laser permeates outer layers deep into the tissue, stimulating the healing process and diminishes inflammation.

Perhaps our most effective low back pain tool at Oakland Spine & physical therapy is the LCT 1000 Deep Tissue (Class IV) Laser— one of the best and most affordable of its kind available for general patient care.

Reasons to Choose Deep Tissue Laser Therapy

Following are five sound reasons why deep tissue laser therapy may be the solution to resolving your low back pain.

  • Treatments themselves actually feel good and require only minutes of your time. Could it really be that years of chronic back pain will come to an end so quickly and effectively? It is proof— and the signature benefit of chiropractic care— that the cure is already within us at the cellular level. It’s merely a matter of accelerating the healing process.
  • Deep tissue laser therapy can be modified from patient to patient. Every individual is different, with immune systems responding divergently to inflammation and promoting healing. It is generally true that the sooner therapy starts after injury, the more immediate the impact on inflammation. Deep tissue laser therapy is literally dialed up or down to accelerate healing.
  • The only side effect is feeling better as your pain subsides from treatment to treatment. Without getting too technical, laser therapy penetrates deeply and triggers heightened cellular metabolic activity. In other words, there are no side effects— unlike virtually every prescription pain medicine or surgical procedure and its aftermath.
  • Deep laser therapy is particularly effective in reducing and eliminating chronic low back pain. Surgery is often considered the last resort for those who have suffered for years, but the LCT 1000 Deep Tissue (Class IV) Laser, a powerful, noninvasive tool, is a welcome alternative to the operating room.
  • For many low back pain sufferers, deep tissue laser therapy is a solution that was not available to previous generations. If this treatment is deemed right for you, it offers freedom from pain not available to your parents and grandparents. Your time has come.

—Call us today at (201) 651-9100 for an appointment at Oakland Spine & Physical Therapy.

Seven Strategies for Beating Back Pain

prevent back pain

Like love and marriage, perhaps more like loathing and divorce, back and neck pain combine to send more people to a chiropractor than just about any other reason. Lower back pain, in particular, has become the most prevalent American disability, keeping more of us away from work than any other health issue.

Missing Work Due to Back Pain

lowbackpainAs many as half of all working Americans admit having back pain symptoms in a given year, and it is among the most used excuses for calling in sick, according to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), and accumulated missed workdays. Would you believe 264 million lost workdays annually?

When you talk about work, it is not just about people who bend and lift as part of their jobs. It is also about those who slouch and sit in an office setting because the chair puts as many workers at risk for back pain as those who carry and lift. That’s why experts say that 80 percent of us will experience some kind of back pain in their lives.

The Leading Cause of Chiropractor Visits

Back pain is probably the most common reason for a person’s first visit to a chiropractor. In fact, the ongoing opioid epidemic promulgated by mainstream medicine and some overprescribing practitioners, along with growing concerns about addiction, is sending more people to chiropractors than ever. Even those who have not previously sought the services and skills of a chiropractor regard them as nonsurgical and non-medicinal options known to bring relief.

Although back-related pain tops the reasons people first visit chiropractors and continue to see them, the ACA reports that it is among the top reasons people make appointments to medical doctors behind only skin and joint disorders.

Back Pain Prevention

Of course, prevention is only common sense for avoiding back pain, and both medical doctors and doctors of chiropractic would agree with these seven simple strategies:

  • keep your weight down with a healthy diet
  • avoid prolonged inactivity, especially sitting
  • pay attention to your posture when standing and walking
  • stretch and loosen up before exercise and physical activities at home or work
  • lift heavier objects from the knees and close to your body
  • do not twist your upper body when carrying or lifting
  • sleep on a mattress firm enough to keep your spine as straight as possible

Age also plays a key role in the prevalence of back pain, affecting all of these strategies even more as the years go by and bad habits take their toll. Also remember that we can advise you on ergonomic solutions at both your home and on the job.

—Call us today at (201) 651-9100 for an appointment at Oakland Spine & physical therapy.

Treating Rare Cervicogenic Headaches

HeadacheMan

Life and its ongoing stresses can be a real headache at times, and most headaches are attacked medically through pharmaceuticals. Millions of Americans can say their lives are affected by headaches—more than half of the population is a typical estimate. Of that number, the least common type are those which may rival migraines in intensity and disruptiveness.

About 37 million Americans get migraines alone, and some are likely cervicogenic headaches in origin.

It is also the one type of headache where sufferers are turning to chiropractic care in greater numbers. The cervicogenic headache may not be as rare as the statistics indicate, because it is regarded as perhaps the most under-diagnosed or wrongly diagnosed type of headache.

Natural Chiropractic Solution

senior woman with headacheIt is described as a neck disorder which may result in “tensioning of the spinal cord,” but the key is apparently not a pill but finding the neck issue that could be something as simple as a lesion or nerve impairment. It may even be activated by an injury. With the neck and spine complicit, it doesn’t take a great leap in logic to surmise that relief could be in the hands of your chiropractor. Recent research confirms that chiropractic care brings “substantial benefit” to people plagued by chronic cervicogenic headaches.

Twenty-four people diagnosed with cervicogenic headaches were divided into three groups in one study separated by frequency of weekly chiropractic treatments, according to the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. All reported some pain relief, but the two groups with the most visits — three and four visits a week over the span of three weeks—  not only received “substantial benefit in pain relief” but the benefits continued to last when they were examined three months after the end of the study.

This and other reports of promising results from patients finding long-sought relief are prompting even more research and studies, so stay tuned for even more promising news about the advantages of chiropractic care in treating this unconventional headache. Spinal manipulation has been used to ease the pain of this headache for some time. Now its effectiveness is no longer a secret to mainstream medicine.

The pain of a typical cervicogenic headache has been described as one-sided, moving from the back of the neck toward the front, with accompanying pain often reported to a shoulder, even an arm, on the affected side.

Cervicogenic Headache Treatment

Spinal manipulation, as noted previously, may be provided in a controlled force on the upper part of the spine or cervical/neck area by hands or a device.

Also deemed effective is the use of exercises triggering prolonged and repetitive contractions of muscles in the neck known as overseen by a professional physical therapist or chiropractor.

There are all kinds of headaches, including cluster, tension, cluster, sinus, rebound and, of course, the most debilitating of them all, migraines.

If you suspect a cervicogenic headache is the cause of your chronic pain, the key to successful treatment is, first of all, getting the right diagnosis. Although regarded as mysterious because its source can be elusive, it may also be discovered by something as simple as an x-ray. The next step is to move ahead with the treatment plan that works for you.

Is Technology Causing Your Early Back Pain?

Exercises for Hip Pain

Posture, Technology Lead to Back Pain among Young

“Oh, my back!” 

You turn around, expecting to see a middle aged or elderly man grabbing his back and grimacing in pain. Instead it’s a young fellow about college age who otherwise looks fit and trim. Back pain among young adults may not yet be an epidemic, but it is more prevalent than you might think, 

“More than eighty percent of Americans will suffer from back pain in their lifetime,” reports Dr. Brad Butler, Chief of Staff at the Oakland Spine & Rehabilitation Centers in Oakland and Wayne, NJ, “but what we are observing is that they are beginning at younger ages.”

lower back pain (LBP) has even been reported as more common than you might expect in adolescents. There has even been concern over this phenomenon in pediatric medicine, linking rising cases to prolonged sitting with electronic devices and earlier involvement in organized contact sports.

Maybe grandma was right when she preached on the importance of good posture? 

Women with Back PainIt’s an interesting phenomenon in chiropractic medicine, according to Dr. Butler, who says the worsening mobility of younger people will continue unless there are fundamental lifestyle changes.

“Cases that we are used to seeing in thirty year olds, we are seeing in teenagers,” he says, adding that a growing number of people in their thirties and forties are coming to him with back and neck complaints typical of people in their sixties.

This seems to confirm what has been a highly publicized issue in Great Britain where studies reveal what appears to be a dramatic increase in the percentage of their citizens ages 18 to 24 dealing with back pain, particularly lower back pain. A recent survey of some 3,000 young adults by United Kingdom health provider, Simplyhealth, concluded that 84 percent of that age group reported back pain, both temporary and chronic, in the preceding year. 

People are becoming increasingly knowledgeable about the latest developments in rehabilitation and therapy, attributable in large part to the internet, making them more aware of the risks of drugs, surgery and assorted treatments. Learning more about back pain from reputable sources and gaining access to alternative solutions is a positive. However, some of the tools of the technology that may provide such knowledge and insight— devices that require hours of constant sitting— are part of the problem.

“People of all ages are fighting a constant battle with bad posture and its long-term consequences,” says Dr. Butler.

Slouching, slumping and too much sitting compress the lower back, and that is a typical posture observed in people of all ages with their electronic devices.  

Maintaining an erect posture, whether standing or sitting, may seem like an old-fashioned caution to some, but providers of both traditional and alternative health care seem to agree with Dr. Butler that correct posture may prevent and alleviate back pain.