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Is Technology Causing Your Early Back Pain?

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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.

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…

You Can Avoid a Health Emergency

Pain Management

Why Wait for a Health Crisis?

You might call our system of health care “crisis medicine” as utilized by consumers (i.e. potential patients). That includes most kinds of illness and injury, and the luxury of having the best doctors and hospitals in the world. They are the best at taking care of the problem after it has arisen to crisis level, and there are few options other than surgery, drugs and severely restricting diets and activity.

“Patients should always take the most conservative approach possible before taking pain medication or ever considering surgery,” suggests Dr. Brad Butler, Chief of Staff at Oakland Spine & Physical Therapy. “I think the confusion for the patients out there is that they just don’t know where to go.

We are accustomed — you might say culturally educated— toward going to the medical world to resolve an ailment or injury when there is a crisis. Limiting the discussion to back and neck pain, we can more readily explain why we should be dealing with the initial symptoms to avoid reaching crisis stage. Statistics tell us that the majority of Americans will experience back pain at some time in their lives. The lucky ones, whether they deal with it or ignore it at that stage, happily and healthfully live out the rest of their lives without dealing with a chronic back condition. Then there are the 10 percent of the world’s adults who live with lower back pain, according to a study by the Annals of Rheumatic Diseases.

healthChiropractic care is a preventive approach that starts dealing with back and neck pain, stiffness or discomfort BEFORE it becomes an invasive health threat that changes the course of your life in terms of the things you love to do that make you feel happy and complete. Obviously, demanding physical activities will likely be affected, but consider that it also interferes with the things you do sitting down like driving, playing cards with your friends or even watching television and movies. It may even affect your job and career when you consider that more than half of the people who suffer from lower back pain, for example, spend the majority of their workday sitting.

Two of the top three treatments among adults that bring the most relief from back pain are chiropractic care and physical therapy, according to a nationwide survey by Research/America, charting at 54 and 48 percent, respectively, in terms of effectiveness. No. 1 in the top three, however and unfortunately, is prescription medication (58%)— the one least likely to correct chronic back pain.

Some critics have falsely proclaimed that going to a chiropractor is addictive, while remaining mum about pain medications. If the prospect of a productive life is addictive, we in chiropractic healthcare plead guilty.

 

Healing Thwarts Surgery

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Joint Pain: Healing Before Surgery

When joint pain becomes part of your life, you typically have two choices. Do you want to treat what is causing the problem or do you want to wait for significant deterioration and then choose your fate? At some point, when it comes to your joints, especially the knees, hips and ankles that carry your weight around, the only choice is surgery.

The first choice is almost always a mechanical issue, which is the core of chiropractic care. Most definitions of chiropractic care in the healthcare field mention “manipulation,” specifically of the spine and other bodily structures. Technically, manipulation does take place within the multiple disciplines of chiropractic care, but just in the physical sense.  Manipulation literally requires being manipulative, and that tends to be a negative characteristic when referring to feelings and emotions.

What we’re really talking about in both chiropractic care and physical therapy, are mechanical treatments,

“They stimulate the body to begin the repair process while, at the same time, recovering the condition that caused the pain to begin with,” explains Dr. Brad Butler, Chief of Staff at Oakland Spine & Physical Therapy. “What we have found is that at the extreme end stages of joint deterioration, there is a point of no return and surgery is typically the only option.”

Deterioration Complicates the SituationKnee Pain

Time flies and the initial phase of joint pain will ultimately pass. Eventually the mechanical treatments won’t resolve this dilemma of deterioration, even though we might be able to temporarily ease the pain and keep prescription medicines and surgery at bay.

Joint pain is a dilemma that is growing, and it appears medicine is evolving into an increasing number of remedies and techniques that treat the end-result of painful joint issues instead of actually striking early enough to heal.

We at Oakland Spine & Physical Therapy submit that only mechanical therapies can treat the mechanical dysfunction that created the problem that started it all. Medical advances, however, are still committed to treating and recovering the effects, even though surgical approaches, for example, are becoming less traumatic and less invasive. In the end they are offering the same old thing.

Replacing that knee, which is now your sole option after living with and medicating the pain over the years, is now a smoother, faster and more efficient surgical process. Additionally, its design and components are commonly giving that new knee a lifespan of thirty years.

What if the alternative were a healing process that corrects the mechanical dysfunction before it turns into a deteriorating arthritic joint that can only be resolved in the operating room? What if knee pain were only a fleeting memory, allowing you to remain mobile and pain-free for decades on the knees you were born with?

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

 

Why Website Words Seem Familiar

Computer

The Common Denominator of Chiropractic Searching

If you do much online research on chiropractic care, you are bound to see an amazing amount of repetition on practitioners’ websites. We’re talking word-for-word by the hundreds, and though this might be technically defined as plagiarism, nobody seems to complain too much.

That is because much of the purloined parlance is within the industry, so to speak. Quoting information that educates the public on the advantages of chiropractic care and mainstream studies that cite its many advantages, seems to be shared material for chiropractic practices all over the country. Plus it is proven and factual.

Aside from informational pages on these websites, you’ll also see this wholesale misappropriation of wordage in blogs on sites promoting everything from nutrition to acupuncture. Bloggers should know better, since they are usually professional writers and copywriters, but, then again, why not repeat someone else’s writing if you can’t state it any better?

Look at it this way. If it was your writing showing up on websites all over the country, you might actually feel complimented because so many people in the field preferred your words over their own.

WhiplashChiropractors are not alone. This seems to be particularly pervasive in the healing arts, including medical doctors, dentists and even healthcare financial advisors. Their websites are replete with hundreds of words lifted from elsewhere, and it is almost impossible to trace their origin.  

We’ve found numerous websites that are sharing writing without attribution, but we doubt anyone is going to mind all that much, because what’s good for one is apparently good for all— as long as the author doesn’t complain.

Take, for example, the following 65 words (part of several hundred but we don’t need to devote that many words to make the point):

In the United States, chiropractic is often considered a complementary health approach. According to the 2007 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), which included a comprehensive survey of the use of complementary health approaches by Americans, about 8 percent of adults (more than 18 million) and nearly 3 percent of children (more than 2 million) had received chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation in the past 12 months…

Even though this survey is pretty much outdated more than a decade later, we found the above passage unchanged on 54 different sites all over the country and once in the UK. Most were chiropractic sites, but it was also on sites promoting pain therapy, yoga, cancer treatment, Chinese martial arts, holistic nursing, massage therapy, a suburban newspaper and even Wikipedia (the subject was therapeutic touch).