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Diverse Techniques With Unique Results

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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.

 

Seek Joint Pain Treatment Now

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Haste Makes Waste? Not with Pain

“It’s now or never” is more than just an Elvis classic song.  Instead of a last chance at romance, it also applies to joint health..

“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,” reports Dr. Brad Butler, Chief of Staff at Oakland Spine & Physical Therapy. “This is pretty rare and most people will find that mechanical therapies will be even more effective and they won’t experience the pain or the complications accompanied by surgery.”

We continue to stress the message that too often medicine treats the effect of the condition. That doesn’t mean it is too late for chiropractic care and mechanical therapies, because what you are experiencing is a mechanical dysfunction.

It is only human after accident or injury to expect that the pain will eventually go away. That means toughing it out for a few days, maybe even a week or two. In the meantime, what do you do? You take some OTC painkillers so you can function normally at work, home or play. You’re very likely to find that you will back off from those daily demands, even call in sick, so you have a better chance to heal and allay the pain.

Don’t Wait! Seek Treatment

Deep Tissue Laser Therapy in New JerseyWe recommend that you seek treatment as soon as possible if the pain emanates from your back, neck or joints. For starters, waiting too long to see your chiropractor may endanger your health care coverage or workers comp, especially if the injury stems from to an accident. The sooner you get to us, the better chance we have of restoring you to original condition and the more likely you won’t have to pay for everything out-of-pocket.

We know the musculoskeletal system, including your body’s bone, muscle and tissue, better than your family doctor, an emergency room technician or whomever you may see in hopes of healing this injury by relieving the pain. Chances are most will either prescribe a drug or tell you to come back if the pain persists.

Chiropractic doctors do a thorough diagnosis and determine a critical part of our process— the source of your pain. Not only do we perform a thorough assessment, including asking you the right questions, but we have access to the technology to determine what lies beneath.

From there we have an array of healing techniques ranging from adjustments and manipulation to physical or exercise therapy.

There is no gain from waiting to stop the pain.

 

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

 

Drugs & Surgery Are Not A Quick Fix

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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…

Screen Time to Back Pain

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Is “Screen Time” Back Pain Culprit?

Even though many tend to think of back pain as something that is relegated to the middle-aged and elderly, Dr. Brad Butler, Chief of Staff at the Oakland Spine & Rehabilitation, recently reported a dramatic increase in young adult and even adolescent patients over his almost 20 years of practice.

Why?

You can blame that on technology, and even though it is a big reason why back pain is tormenting younger people, it remains a culprit in what might be called an epidemic of back pain in virtually all age groups except for children. However, childhood is the beginning of using laptops, tablets and cell phones, restricting their mobility.

It only gets worse when they reach their teens in terms of  “screen time,” which includes television, computers, cell phones and digital tablets. Surprisingly to some, adults are well ahead in the amount of screen time, but most of it is due to an older technology.

phoneVarious authoritative studies— all fewer than two years old— tell us the following: American adults spent an average of 11 hours a day staring at screens, according to a 2018 Nielsen study. Most of that time is likely in seated or reclining positions. Four years ago adult screen time averaged an hour-and-a-half less.

Although we might think that teens and pre-teens (tweens) would spend more time in front of the screen because of game consoles and social media, adults, who often have to work with computers on the job, are still the biggest devourers of screen time. That’s mostly because adults are still hooked on television— and the older they are the more so.

This is the older technology that puts them ahead of  tweens, teens and the youngest adults in their hours of screen time. Teens, by the way, devote at least 6.5 hours a day on screen media and tweens are at 4.5 hours and climbing. This was determined by a separate Nielsen study in 2015, but indications that has gone up dramatically too since that study. They are not as fond of television as their parents and grandparents, but they are definitely huge consumers of computer games, texting and other digital communication.  

Technology is designed to motivate us not to move. We don’t even have to cross the room and turn on a light switch anymore, because we now have Alexa and other voice-recognition devices there to turn off the lights.

Obviously, exercise and increased movement is one remedy, but holistic, chiropractic care often nips back pain in the bud and prevents more serious back pain issues as we age.

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

 

One Stop for Chiropractic & PT Care

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Integrating Chiropractic and PT Care

Physical therapists often separate themselves from chiropractors on their websites and in their advertising with an “us-versus-them” approach. The truth is they have much in common and both are being provided under one roof by an increasing number of specialists.

A typical disclaimer is offered by one physical therapy provider thusly: “Chiropractors have suggested that physical therapy… is a subset of chiropractic. That is not the case. Chiropractic and physical therapy are not the same and are two separate professions licensed by governing bodies in each state.”

Obviously, there are differences in the two disciplines, but the chief difference is that typically most of PT involves treating patients after an injury or surgery while chiropractic care is more preventive in its goals. This is not an either-or distinction, because there are times when the physical therapist offers preventive treatment and when your chiropractor does invoke a healing touch after injury or surgery.

Physical therapy generally associates itself with mainstream medicine and many hospitals have their own PT units or prescribe sessions with physical therapists before and after surgery. Hospital-affiliated physical therapists are not likely to ask you to avoid surgery or explore options to avert it, because they are part of the surgical agenda. Chiropractors, although they respect our doctors and hospitals as the best in the world when health issues reach a crisis stage, are dedicated to offering treatment that circumvents surgery and prescription medicine.

Bradford ButlerSome physical therapists widen the separation with chiropractors by dismissing them as providers of “alternative health care,” even though their goals are remarkably similar.  Their common healing ground is the injured or afflicted musculoskeletal structure. No need to be oppositional. We believe that both can be used in an integrated system and benefit a wider range of patients. By combining the two— not necessarily in the treatment sessions themselves — we can provide a program that works best for you in what you might call a one-stop shop.

Dr. Brad Butler, who provides such an integrated system at Oakland Spine & Physical Therapy, describes how he was first introduced to chiropractic care as a youngster:

In the eighth grade, I had an injury and my mother brought me for chiropractic treatment and the results were miraculous. I thought it was the coolest thing and made up my mind right then and there. And you know what? I have been doing this for (more than) eighteen years, and there is nothing I’d rather do than help people heal and get better naturally.

Instead of taking an adversarial approach to physical therapy, he has developed an integrated practice where patients benefit by using the best of each.

 

Chiropractic Care & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Neck Pain

Healing Hands Assuage Chronic Fatigue

It is difficult to diagnose and there is no acknowledged cure in medicine. It is known as chronic fatigue syndrome, and for some sufferers getting out of bed is a triumph. It doesn’t seem like something that would involve chiropractic care, but, believe it or not, there are documented cases where patients proclaim they are energized after chiropractic adjustments.

As its name suggests, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) means that you always feel tired. You might call it dead tired, because there is no drug or surgery that is known to be a remedy. Others dismiss it as laziness or lethargy and that often leaves the person who has it feeling guilty or somehow at fault. Then, even after it is diagnosed, the solution is often up to the patient, with appropriate counsel of the health care provider, to “manage” your activities. There are apparently random periods when the patient feels better. Naturally, the patient wants to take advantage of them and live like an active “normal” person, even if briefly. There is even a temptation to overdo it and “get stuff done” while you have the energy to do it.headache

This is known as “push and crash,” because the former usually leads to the latter among those diagnosed with CFS. And the crash might make it worse than it has ever been before.

To understand how chiropractic care might help people with CFS (also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis) you might take a closer look at the so-called “contributing factors” that mainstream medicine recognizes as opening the door for full-blown CFS. They include chronic headaches, arthritis pain, restless leg syndrome, allergies and stress. These often combine to rob you of the healing properties of sleep. Of course, pain issues are often resolved or assuaged by chiropractic care, so it is logical that relieving any of the aforementioned without medication and its side effects could make a difference.

We all have those days of fatigue and listlessness, but we can somehow jump start ourselves to get important things done or to make sure we are there for the people we love. Sufferers of CFS may even be able to temporarily push beyond the constraints of CFS for something important in their lives, but the crash might be extremely devastating.

There is only one natural treatment for CFS and that is in the healing hands of a chiropractor. Is it a cure? A recent report in Chiropractic Now put it this was:

“Although chiropractors do not know the cause of this ailment either, the chiropractic approach to helping the body to help itself is often a welcome and winning approach to helping those who suffer from this condition.”

 

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.

 

Is Surgery Your Best Option?

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Surgery: Quick Fix or Best Choice

When is surgery the sole solution? It is often a quick fix to a condition that has taken years to develop, and a missed opportunity to correct a problem naturally, allowing the body to achieve its healing potential..

“In our clinics, we have a significant number of patients who were headed for surgery,” reports Dr. Brad Butler, Chief of Staff at Oakland Spine & Physical Therapy. “They experienced such significant healing and improvement that they no longer needed to have surgery,”

As many as 20 percent of all surgeries are statistically shown to be unnecessary, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a medical research agency under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. A significant number of those surgeries were performed on the spine and complex joints.

Whiplash Injury Prevention“Strikingly, in the 21st century, we still have to come to terms with the absurd reality that it is significantly safer to board a commercial airplane, a spacecraft, or a nuclear submarine, than to be admitted to a U.S. hospital,” stated a January 13, 2017, NIH report entitled, “Why Do Surgeons Continue to Perform Unnecessary Surgery?”

Medical errors ranked third among the leading causes of death behind heart disease and cancer at the time of the NIH report.

What is unnecessary surgery? The NIH defines it as surgical intervention of any kind “that is either not needed, not indicated, or not in the patient’s best interest when weighed against other available options, including conservative measures.” 

This has long been realized in chiropractic medicine, although we are not anti-surgery or other mainstream medical care by any means. We will all need it at some point in our lives and should be grateful that we have the best medical doctors in the world in our country.

We see ourselves as among the “other available options” to surgery and the use of prescription drugs. Sometimes our care is more of an intervention that works if we are able to treat patients before it is too late.

“Sadly, we also see a very significant number of people who came to us after a failed spinal surgery. In many cases, their lives are permanently affected and the possibility of having a normal life again is limited,” Dr. Butler explains. “The good news for these patients is that we can get significant improvement for them as well, but once you have spinal surgery there is no going back.”

 

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