NJ Chiropractic Info

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.

 

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.

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. 

 

Relaxing Your Pain Away

Relax, Alleviate Stress and Get Off Meds

There are a lot of reasons to seek chiropractic  care. For starters, it is a proven preventive approach for everything from neck and back pain to the often debilitating effects of stress. And, unlike medication, we treat the root cause and not just the symptoms of whatever ails you. We’re not claiming it to be a panacea for all diseases, because some conditions need immediate attention through medication or surgery, including emergency injury care, viral  attackers and invasive diseases.

backHowever, you might be surprised by some of the reasons chiropractic care may be your best bet to conquer certain ailments and achieve optimal health. A recent  internet survey of chiropractors and patients revealed some reasons for treatment you might not expect unless you’ve benefited from them yourself.

Following are three key curative elements of chiropractic care that you might not know about:

            — Relax, Sleep and Heal… There is no question that your health will be compromised if you can’t get a good night’s sleep. In fact, 60 percent of Americans, according to a survey by the National Sleep Foundation, don’t get enough sleep or that the quality of their sleep is impaired. Chiropractic manipulation can actually improve blood flow and correct  misalignments— stress responses we can subdue without medications manipulating the synapses in the brain and inhibiting normal functions It is also why people come with us to assuage stress and conquer fatigue.

  • Improving Your Immunity… Your body is naturally endowed with the disease fighting power, thanks to the immune system with which most of us are blessed. Nutritional diets, a fundamental part of chiropractic care, play a key role in bolstering immunity as we age.  Pain, especially constant pain, weakens the immune system, too, enlisting the antibodies, white blood cells and other troops that leave the fort, so to speak, to fight these invaders
  • Get Off Those Meds… We mentioned that getting to the root of the problem is much more effective than treating the symptoms. Of course, pain relief has created an industry that subsists at treating the symptom ad infinitum without approaching the cause. Pharmaceuticals like opioids may temporarily disguise symptoms until it is time to take the next pill, but they may also lead to an unhealthy drug dependence. The one thing that chiropractors do best is not only relieving pain but getting right to the cause.
  • That’s just for starters. We’ll follow up soon on more surprising healthful features of chiropractic care.

One Stop For Chiropractic Care

Combining Chiropractic and PT

Multi-service practices such as ours are providing one-stop service through a combination of chiropractic care and physical therapy. You could say we’re among the new breed offering both preventative care and rehabilitation from injuries, as well as pre- and post-surgical needs, all under the same proverbial roof.

Yes our multi-skilled team of professionals is there for traditional chiropractic services by providing the basic spinal “corrections” chiropractics are known for,  as well as massage therapy, acupuncture and other techniques that heal, assuage and prevent pain and prevent further injury. But we also offer a service that has become an integral part of medical care and a constant companion of surgery. That, of course, is physical therapy or PT.

It’s all about healing, recovering and strengthening. You’ll often find that PT has done its job in getting you back in the swing of things after major or minor surgery or an injury that does not call for a surgical procedure. But there can be so much more that can be done, including getting you off the meds and free from pain,

“This is the model we utilize because I feel it’s giving the patient the overall best opportunity,” Dr.Brad Butler, Chief Administrator at Oakland Spine & Physical Therapy, has noted about the multiple avenues of healing available in “chiropractic rehabilitation.”

Exercises for Hip PainChiropractic rehabilitation, which is a field of its own with its own governing body, borrows modalities and techniques from physical therapy and often expands on and improves them. It’s all about utilizing movement and exercises expertly administered with the just the right intensity, which applies to both chiropractic care and PT. Beyond recovery it minimizes the probability of a relapse due to augmenting strength and flexibility.

So why do people who unquestionably agree to physical therapy seem hesitant about going to a chiropractor whose practice includes physical therapy as a component, whether distinctly separate entities or integrated as chiropractic rehabilitation?

Some of it has to do with misnomers, misconceptions and misunderstandings of chiropractic care as we’ve pointed out previously, such as it being dangerous, addictive or painful. All you need to do is Google reliable sources, even standard healthcare providers, to dispel these misconceptions.

Physical therapy is not only accepted in hospitals among their services in increasing numbers, but surgeons commonly prescribe PT to help patients recover— even before surgery to strengthen targeted areas. You’ll find that although chiropractors are rare on hospital staffs, there are starting to be included in mainstream medicine and an increasing number of hospitals give chiropractors admitting privileges.

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

 

Time For An Adjustment?

NJ Chiropractic Care - Bergen/Passaic County: New Jersey

Defining Key Element of Chiropractic Care

It is, by general definition, “a control for regulating.” It has been defined as “an adaptation to a particular condition.” In a medical terminology it has been described as “repositioning misaligned vertebrae and other joints.” Among its synonyms are “modification,” “alteration” and “adaptation.”

We’re talking, of course, about the word “adjustment,” which in the field of chiropractic care is the centerpiece of the treatment offered there. However, it is not the only kind of treatment in multidisciplinary specialties like those provided by Oakland Spine & Physical Therapy, which also includes the complementary discipline of physical therapy.

That’s why many chiropractors talk about treatments instead of adjustments, perhaps to avoid confusion among a population which, for generations, has been indoctrinated with traditional medical terminology. In most hospitals the word “adjustment” would more likely be used in a patient’s billing.

Chiropractors may also use the term “mechanical treatments,” which may sound impersonal, but they are essentially talking about adjustments and, by extension, treatments.  You may also see the terms manual, spinal or chiropractic manipulation. Manipulation, generally speaking, is not always a positive thing, but it is the heart of chiropractic care, and truly positive when it comes to relieving back and neck pain.  

massage“Mechanical treatments like chiropractic care, physical therapy and others stimulate the body to initiate the repair process while recovering the original condition prior to the cause of the pain,” is the mantra of Dr. Brad Butler, Oakland Spine’s Chief of Staff, “and not just the effects of the condition.”

Remember that we are talking about a drug-free, nonsurgical path toward relieving pain that can become debilitating and eventually lead to surgery and a daily diet of pain medication. Adjustments are holistic and a natural healing approach, just as the body and its immune system tend to adjust toward self-healing under optimal conditions. Unfortunately, few of us live under such conditions and our ills and ailments are often self-inflicted by our unhealthy diets, lifestyles and reliance on quick-fix over-the-counter drugs.

Chiropractic care and its mechanical treatments are defined thusly by the Association of Chiropractic Colleges:

….a healthcare discipline that emphasizes the inherent recuperative power of the body to heal itself without the use of drugs or surgery. The practice of chiropractic focuses on the relationship between structure (primarily the spine) and function (as coordinated by the nervous system) and how that relationship affects the preservation and restoration of health. In addition, doctors of chiropractic recognize the value and responsibility of working in cooperation with other health care practitioners when in the best interest of the patient.

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

 

Diverse Techniques With Unique Results

Laptop

Diverse Techniques with Simple Priorities

One of the most common misconceptions about chiropractors is that we all do the same thing. Dr. Brad Butler, Chief of Staff at Oakland Spine & Physical Therapy in Oakland and Wayne, NJ, offers a two-word response to that:

“We don’t.”

“Much like the medical profession, there are many different styles of practice.,” explains Dr. Butler.

A traditional chiropractor typically uses just spinal manipulation or some basic modalities. Then there are chiropractors who follow more of a model of “spinal correction,” which is to use additional techniques to bring the patient’s spine back to a normal structural state.

Finally, there are chiropractic rehabilitation offices where multiple techniques, modalities, and even other disciplines such as physical therapy, massage therapy, acupuncture, and advanced technologies can be used.

“This is the model we utilize,” Dr. Butler adds, “because I feel we are giving the patient the overall best opportunity to heal and recover from more chronic and advanced spinal conditions.”

Women with Back PainModern medicine continues to improve and refine what it does best, and that is early detection and treatment. That’s where most of the research money and health insurance billing is going, with prevention continuing to get the short end of the proverbial stick. Chiropractors, as well as physical therapists to some extent, set the their priorities on prevention, utilizing the body to heal itself and immediate relief from an ongoing condition.

Robert Hayden, a spokesman for the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), has estimated there are as many as 150 techniques being practiced by chiropractors and promoted in chiropractic literature.

Looking at the 10 post-graduate programs being offered in the field for board diplomate clinical certification by the ACA, we can see where both manual (hands-on) and mechanical (instrument-applied) techniques would add up in those specialties alone:

—Chiropractic Pediatrics

—Chiropractic Physical and Therapeutic Rehabilitation

—Chiropractic Acupuncture

—Diagnosis and Internal Disorders

—Diagnostic Imaging

—Neurology

—Nutrition

—Occupational Health

—Sports Physician

—Orthopedics

There is so much diversity in chiropractic care, but the goals and priorities remain the same as exemplified in the following definition by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH):

Chiropractic is a health care profession that focuses on the relationship between the body’s structure—mainly the spine—and its functioning. Although practitioners may use a variety of treatment approaches, they primarily perform adjustments (manipulations) to the spine or other parts of the body with the goal of correcting alignment problems, alleviating pain, improving function, and supporting the body’s natural ability to heal itself.

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

 

 

 

Drugs & Surgery Are Not A Quick Fix

Whiplash

Why Risk Surgery, Drugs for Back Pain?

Because our healthcare system more readily responds to a medical crisis than therapeutic and preventive approaches that might avert such a crisis, the reliance on drugs and surgery has careened out of control. We need more educated consumers who understand that regular chiropractic treatment, as well as physical therapy, are the safest and patient-friendliest approaches  

“Two things we have observed is that first, people don’t understand how harmful and unsuccessful the risk of drugs and surgery are,” reports Dr. Brad Butler, Chief of Staff at Oakland Spine & Physical Therapy. “Second, most people aren’t aware of the newest developments in the rehabilitation field.”

Even the most emphatic advocates of surgery concede that any operation carries some degree of risk. If you are intervening in a crisis situation, whether it is surgery or a bank robbery, the risks are there and grow proportionately to the magnitude of the crisis. If you are intervening before the robbers are armed and have entered the bank, the risks may be negligible.

Dr. Butler's BookSome of the risks of surgery, such as bleeding and infection, are obvious. Blood clots may be dislodged and travel from the back or neck to the heart or brain—  a risk that might intensify the crisis. A heart attack or stroke may be triggered by a surgical procedure. Back surgery presents a potential for nerve damage leading to paralysis, loss of control of bladder or bowel, unremitting pain and even sexual impotence.

There is also the possibility of a negative reaction to anesthesia and other drugs administered before or after surgery.

Over-the-counter medication may or may not be strong enough and you’ll likely be popping pills several times a day for months at a time. Prescription drugs, especially opioids, have the potential for addiction that could destroy your health in other ways.

There is no question that technology and non-surgical innovations have allowed us to treat the causes of low back and neck pain, doing it safely and with greater effectiveness.  

“The good news is that because of the internet, more and more people aren’t just following doctor’s orders but are researching these things and realizing that the risks just aren’t worth the limited results they get,” Dr. Butler points out.

low back pain is experienced at some point by one out of every four Americans and the major cause of disabilities in adults under the age of 45.

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