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There’s Nothing Phony about Whiplash

Whiplash Treatment

There’s Nothing Phony About Whiplash

Whiplash has a bad reputation and has become stereotyped over the years as something of an imaginary injury.

Why? Many of us associate it with litigious people in neck collars trying to pull off an insurance or disability scam. In truth, it is not only the real thing, but one of the most common forms of neck pain. And that pain is not restricted to the neck.

The name itself indicates that the neck has been snapped like a whip, therefore causing a lasting injury that may become chronic. But historically it has been hard to prove, which why it became so popular among injury fakers after automobile accidents. A sudden jerk of your head forward or backward from a blow, impact or a quick, spontaneous movement of the head may lead to whiplash.

Modern medical technology makes it easier for a legitimate whiplash victim to prove that there is a spinal misalignment beyond the traditional x-ray, thanks to CT scans and MRIs.

Left untreated, whiplash may evolve into a chronic condition that could rob you of healthful sleep, resulting in fatigue and dizziness, the pain of severe headaches, ringing in the ears and back pain, just to name a few common symptoms. Basic symptoms of whiplash include headaches, numbness and tingling in the neck, and pain in the neck, shoulder, jaw and even down to your arm and hand. There have even been documented cases of brain injury from whiplash. Sometimes the symptoms do not occur until days or weeks after the injury.

Diverse Prescribed Treatments Available

Neck PainAt Oakland Spine & Therapy we use a variety of approaches or protocols to determine the extent of injury and misalignment of the spine, starting with an internal look through X-ray studies. We can then proceed with a diverse combination of prescribed treatments, notably spinal manipulation and physical therapy, as well as adjunct treatments like massage and acupuncture. Then there is laser treatment for pain, and our LCT 1000 Deep Tissue (Class IV) Laser is the most effective treatment for pain on the market today

More than one million people are diagnosed with whiplash every year and as many as 25 percent of those deteriorate into chronic conditions. Meanwhile, so many people put up with reduced quality of life without ever having it diagnosed or treated. As noted previously, there is nothing phony about whiplash.

There are all kinds of ways to treat whiplash, although there is not necessarily proclaimed a cure. As with any ailment, many turn to prescribed or OTC medications, even injections, while others receive relief through massage, physical therapy and ultrasound. And what about the most visible treatment, the neck brace or cervical collar? That is immobilization, and even the most traditional treatments are now advocating movement as some kind of treatment.

Various forms of laser treatment are on the cutting edge of treatment, and chiropractic professionals offer more alternatives for healing and pain relief when it comes to whiplash. Laser treatment is offered by many modern practitioners of chiropractic care, as are spinal manipulation and physical therapy which have proven results.

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

 

3 Ways to Handle Fibromyalgia Pain the Right Way

Finding the treatment that works best for your fibromyalgia symptoms can be difficult. When you suffer from pain, the quicker you find a solution the better. Although the exact cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, researchers believe that it is a result of genetics, stress or trauma and chemical/ hormonal imbalances in your body. Symptoms of fibromyalgia can range anywhere from muscle and joint pain or stiffness to fatigue, difficulty concentrating, unrefreshing sleep and even increased sensitivity to your surroundings and foods you consume. Below 3 of the best-known ways to handle your fibromyalgia symptoms the right way.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy seems to be the go-to method for fibromyalgia sufferers, and there is a reason for that. For many, this option can help increase your strength and improve the body’s range of motion. Regular sessions are necessary, but you learn a variety of techniques that are believed to reduce pain, fatigue and stiffness. Each case is unique and it is up to your physical therapist to create a routine that will best tend to your needs and goals. At Oakland Spine, our team uses a therapeutic deep tissue laser to alleviate pain and promote healing.

Massage Therapy

Natural pain relief remedies are preferred by many, and are considered to be the best way to handle fibromyalgia symptoms. Studies have shown that massage therapy can reduce fibromyalgia pain, and can also decrease both stress and anxiety. Remember that your muscles are sensitive when suffering from fibromyalgia, so it may not necessarily feel relaxing. Choosing the right massage therapist is key to seeing positive results from this method. If too much pressure is applied, more harm than good can be done.

Acupuncture

Many swear by acupuncture as a great way to relieve fibromyalgia symptoms and we have had tremendous success in our office. This method increases blood flow to inflamed areas of the body and is used most often when trying to relieve muscle and joint stiffness, as well as chronic pain. When choosing acupuncture as a treatment option, it is important to choose an experienced professional to increase your chances of success.

Our highly trained, dedicated and caring physical therapy team is committed to treating Fibromyalgia symptoms and improving your life. And our SAME DAY GUARANTEE* is our way of showing you just how committed we are. Call us in the morning…see us in the afternoon!

Neck Pain – Drugs or Chiropractic?

When you have neck pain, do you instinctively reach for that bottle of ibuprofen or Tylenol? If so, is that the best option? Who can we trust for the answer? Since between 10-20% of the population suffer from chronic or persistent neck pain, this is a VERY IMPORTANT question!

If we look at the literature published in peer reviewed journals by authors who have no financial incentives in the outcome of the study, we can find accurate, non-biased information to answer this question. So, let’s start with a landmark study published in SPINE, a leading medical journal that reviewed ALL the publications printed between 2000 and 2010 on neck pain – a total of 32,000 articles with over 25,000 hours of review. (Haldeman S, Carroll L, Cassidy JD, et. al. The Bone and Joint Decade 2000-2010 Task Force on Neck Pain and Its Associated Disorders: Executive Summary. Spine 2008,33(4S):S5-S7). This resulted in a 220 page comprehensive report from a multidisciplinary International Task Force involving seven years of work from 50+ researchers from 19 different clinical scientific disciplines worldwide looking at the MOST EFFECTIVE approaches available (both surgical and non-surgical) for patients suffering from neck pain.

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It’s All in the Wrist… and Hand… and Fingers…

The carpal tunnel is located at the base of the palm. It is made up of bones, tendons and a thick ligament, all of which encircle the median nerve. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) occurs when this nerve becomes pinched or inflamed, usually a result of repetitive motion from typing or any other sustained activity that overuses this area. An injury to the wrist or hand can also result in nerve damage to the carpal tunnel.

Symptoms range from numbness, tingling and pain to loss of muscle strength. Numbness is most prevalent in the thumb, index and middle fingers, and is often first noticed upon waking.

Who Gets Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
CTS is the most common nerve disorder of the hands, but the majority of cases occur in women between 40 and 55, and 60% of all work injuries are due to CTS. Common occupations at high risk for CTS are secretaries, carpenters, weightlifters and meat packers. Young women can also develop CTS during pregnancy because of hormonal effects upon ligaments and tendons.

Treatment of CTS
Traditional physicians often inject corticosteroids into the area, which will temporarily relieve pain and swelling, but this does not actively treat the problem. When CTS is severe, surgery is often recommended, but this should be a last resort, since surgery can result in scarring and weakening of the ligament, and symptoms can eventually recur.

Chiropractic manipulation has been proven effective in treating CTS because chiropractors are nervous system experts. After X-ray or electromyography studies, your chiropractor can determine the extent of injury and the exact mode of manipulation necessary to alleviate the problem. Adjunct treatment LCT 1000 Deep Tissue (Class IV) Laser may be the most advanced and effective way to alleviate pain and promote healing for CTS sufferers.

Wrist support is very helpful in resting the area and relieving symptoms, even during sleep. Patients with CTS are also encouraged to take breaks and vary their activities during the day to avoid overuse of the area, and to wear fingerless gloves to promote warmth and flexibility in the hands and wrists.

What if it Still Hurts?
Some people do not respond to typical treatment of the wrist because the painful nerve compression is occurring not only in the wrist, but also further along the nerve path to the neck or at multiple locations. The effects of the compression at the lower area is exaggerated by the other higher up compression. This is called Double Crush Syndrome and can be helped with chiropractic management that includes spinal manipulation and physical therapy.

Reprinted with permission from Think Teachers Magazine.

What if Your Back Pain is a Herniated Disc?

What is a herniated disc?
Discs are shock absorbers for the spine – they’re flexible, almost gelatinous disks between vertebrae that cushion the spine and permit full range of motion. Sometimes these discs can degenerate and herniate, which means material from inside the disc can leak out. This can cause a great deal of pain, because when a disc herniates it presses on spinal nerves. Approximately 90% of disc herniations occur toward the bottom of the spine, known as the lumbar spine. A herniated disc with a pinched nerve can be extremely painful.

What are the symptoms of a herniated disc with a pinched nerve?
Symptoms of this nerve impingement are weakness in extending the big toe and ankle (foot drop), numbness can be felt on top of the foot, and can radiate into the buttock. If a different nerve is involved, the ankle reflex is lost and the patient cannot rise to their toes using their ankle. Pain in this case radiates down to the sole or outside the foot.

How is a herniated disc treated non-surgically?
Pain from a herniated disc often resolves on its own over time, as the prolapsed material is reabsorbed by the body, but until this happens (usually between four and six weeks) there can be considerable pain.

Bed rest is not recommended beyond a day or two for a herniated disc with a pinched nerve. Even in these cases, regular movement is advised to maintain muscle tone. Pain medication, cold and/or heat therapy, electrostimulation, bracing, traction, steroid injections and hydrotherapy are often used to control discomfort until the condition resolves.

While many people turn to medications and even surgery, they are very often ineffective and sometimes not necessary. It is during this period that chiropractic manipulations and physical therapy are often recommended, and in 80 to 90% of cases of a herniated disc with a pinched nerve, no surgery is required. New technological advances, such as class IV deep tissue laser and spinal decompression, comprise some of the latest non-surgical therapeutic modalities that can successfully resolve the problem and eliminate the need for surgery.

Other treatment options include medication to reduce the pain associated with herniated discs and, in severe cases where conservative treatments fail to relieve the symptoms, surgery may be performed to remove the protruding portion of the disc. Rarely, the entire disc may be removed and spinal stability may need to be provided by fusing metal hardware, or in some cases, an artificial disc may be implanted. Surgery should always be the last resort because of the statistically high failure rate and long recovery time.

Reprinted with permission from Think Teachers Magazine.