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NJ Pain Management

Making Smart Decisions on Joint Health

It has never been a more important time than now to be an educated consumer when it comes to joint health. In previous generations, perhaps as recently as your parents, bad backs, knees, hips, and other joints have relegated those in their forties, fifties and sixties to decades of restricted mobility.

There are so many options, so many decisions to make, that will affect the quality of your life for years to come, that will determine whether you get to live happily ever after.

Consumers will have to be more informed than ever in conquering, or a least living with, joint and back pain.

Educated consumers have to choose what is best for them.  Joint pain is a growing dilemma and it isn’t going anywhere.  Patients have to decide whether they want to treat what’s causing the problem — which is almost always a mechanical issue— or whether they what to wait until significant deterioration occurs and choose their fate?

Knee and hip surgery and replacements are becoming commonplace, with the latter already among the most routinely performed surgeries, approaching 10 million men and women with these implants. Many of them are young enough that they may face replacements of their replacements 20 to 30 years down the road.

Then there are those millions of Americans with ongoing back pain. Those who suffer with it are getting younger, and it is already the leading cause of disability in adults under the age of 45. And, yes, spinal implants of sections of vertebrae are already here.

Medicine has evolved into more treatments of the consequences of these conditions, but only physical therapy and mechanical adjustments can treat the mechanical dysfunction that created the problem in the first place.

It is also true medical advances will continue and that they will become less invasive and less traumatic at doing the same old thing — treating by masking the effects of the ailment once prevention or structural rehabilitation is no longer feasible.

Stimulating Bodily Repair

Mechanical treatments like chiropractic care and physical therapy are superior because they stimulate the body to repair itself, at the same time recovering the initial painful condition and redirecting it on a more healthful trajectory.

Joint pain leading to disability is a dilemma for a growing number of Americans in their forties, fifties, sixties, and seventies. That means increasing millions of people are soon going to have to make choices, including surgery, physical therapy, chiropractic modalities and even stem cell treatment in the coming decades.

According to researchers at the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are an estimated 15 million people in the United States suffering from severe joint pain.  Going by the pain scale many doctors use— with zero representing no pain and 10 being the worst possible pain— anything seven or higher is in the severe range.

Then there are those in the moderate range of four to seven on the scale, many of whom will shortly be suffering severe joint pain. Now is the time for them to start making educated decisions.

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

Feeling, Tolerating and Measuring Pain

Pain is both internal and subjective, and its impact on those who experience it is as diverse as how people deal with it. For some, it may have little impact on their lives and careers, because they manage it through medication, surgery or find relief through chiropractic care.

Pain is a part of the healing process in any injury, especially traumatic ones, and it is a sign of normalcy that it will eventually go away. Yes, the body seems sometimes to have mystical ways of dealing with pain when your life is on the line.  Science tells us that the body, when injured, will literally release what one study calls “natural opioids,” which are beta-endorphins and other pain relievers.

It is safe to say we all feel pain in different ways and cope with it differently. At the same time, it can be detected and measured so it is not something just solely perceived by the person who is feeling it. Neuroscientists can objectively measure pain through brain scans and other imaging, which may eventually replace the traditional way physicians measure our pain. They ask us.

So even if you have two patients and they, coincidentally, are both suffering from the same injury and you measure it at the same level, is it affecting both patients the same? The truth is that one may actually be able to function by doing basic tasks and the other may be unable to do anything but lie in bed, possibly in a protective coma.

What’s Your Pain Threshold?

Pain ManagementHow we handle pain is just one of the things that makes us different, and though the pain may be the same, the tolerance of it isn’t.

Pain tolerance is also known as the pain threshold. Our pain thresholds may be low or high. If your pain threshold is high, it means that you can handle a lot more of it than most people. When the threshold is low, you can’t take very much of it.

So does that mean that the person with high tolerance to pain is comfortable when most of us aren’t? Or is it that he or she has some kind of inner fortitude to ignore it or virtually will it away? It is true that you can ignore pain longer if distracted, but is that proof of anything regarding pain thresholds?

How we tolerate pain definitely has something to do with these natural pain-killers and how they are released.  These, too, can be measured, and we are told by neuroscience that women generally have a lower pain threshold than men, because they don’t release as many of those endorphins. Then again, the average healthy adult male has supposedly never experienced the pain that women feel in childbirth.

We also know we don’t have to live with a low pain threshold, because deep breathing, meditation and other so-called distractions have been shown to increase one’s tolerance of pain. You can hide your pain with medication, but the pain is still there and there is no healing taking place. So why settle for that when we can offer you true healing and escape from pain?

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