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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.

 

Screen Time to Back Pain

NJ Spinal Stenosis Treatment - Bergen/Passaic County

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…

 

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.

 

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).

 

How A Sneeze Can Lead To Back Pain

Back Pain

Is Back Pain Really Nothing to Sneeze at?

The idea that a sneeze can actually injure your back is not as farfetched as it may seem. It’s a fact that sneezes trigger back pain misery and, in some case, may be the first step in the painful journey wrought by the inclusive condition we call a “bad back.”

It is difficult indeed to acknowledge that a sneeze could have this kind of impact on your spinal health.

After all, you may have lived an active life up to this point, doing all kinds of things that may not be good for your back— playing football and enduring and initiating tackles and blocks, as well physical labor requiring lifting heavy objects, often incorrectly, and all kinds of pushing, pulling and straining.

It is almost laughable, therefore, that after taking such risks over all those years, something like a sneeze could embark you on a voyage through back pain misery, including slipped or herniated discs, upper and lower back spasms that may, in themselves, lead to back injury, as well as, in extreme cases, paralysis of the limbs. It is quite probable that because of the aforementioned activities a disc may be on the precipice of herniation, or protruding from the spine, which means that at least one part of the spine may be vulnerable to any jolt or spasm. Stress, pressure and the jarring impact of a violent sneeze can indeed cause harm, especially if you are not in a stable position.

Sneeze“If you already suffer from musculoskeletal issues, sneezing can make matters worse for you,” reports the Accident and Injury Center, which suggests bracing yourself for stabilization and maintaining the natural arch of your back.

Consider that most of us who suddenly sneeze with people nearby, politely turn away just before the sneeze. This results in turning the head and twisting the spine as it is jolted by this convulsive expulsion.

If you experience sudden sharp pain down the spine after a forceful sneeze, you might want to check it out with your chiropractor or family doctor, who may refer you to a specialist if disease is already present.

Analyzing a sneeze indicates that it does indeed have potential for injury, and the spine— especially one already compromised by injury or deterioration— takes on the brunt of the impact. It’s like launching a missile. You arm the launch by holding your breath and therefore tightening the chest muscles, increasing the air and pressure in your lungs.

The result of a so-called violent sneeze is high-pressured expulsion of mostly air and droplets of mucous leaving the body. The velocity is nowhere near 100 miles an hour as recent laboratory testing has disproved.

It just feels like it at times.

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

5 Stretches to Relieve the Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Stretches

It is no secret that as a society we have become accustomed to doing a lot of writing, texting and typing in our daily lives. As much as we think that it has little to no effect on us, it can. In fact, constantly putting a strain on both our wrists and hands can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. Luckily, there are many different stretches and exercises that can be done to help alleviate the pain, as well as prevent future symptoms. If you start feeling symptoms of pain, numbness, or tingling in the hand, wrist or elbow, try out some of these stretches:

1. Finger Extension

This simple and easy exercise can be done anywhere. With your arms extended straight out in front of your body, begin with your hands in a fist position. Slowly begin to open your hand until your fingers are pointed straight out, then spread them apart from each other as far as you can. Return to the starting position and repeat for 5 to 10 minutes, doing this multiple times a day.

2. Wrist Bends

Wrist bends are another great stretch to help relieve your pain. Begin with one arm extended out in front of your body along with your hand and fingers, your palm should be facing the floor. With your other hand, slowly start to lift your out-stretched hand by its fingertips and softly pull the hand upward toward your body. Once your hand is in the upright position, hold this position for about 30 seconds and then release, switch to your other hand after. Repeat this stretch as needed throughout the day.

3. Wrist Lifts

This stretch is a little more involved, as it requires a lightweight dumbbell. Sitting down at a desk or table, rest your forearm on the table while your hand is hanging over the edge. With the dumbbell in hand, slowly lift your wrist until it is level with the table while also keeping your arm flat on the table. Do this motion about 10 times, once a day.

4. Thumb to Finger

Possibly the simplest stretch yet are these finger exercises. Begin with your hand and fingers stretched straight out. Using your thumb as a meeting point, bring each finger one-by-one to the thumb, making the shape of an O. Do this about 5 to 10 times on each hand and repeat as needed throughout the day.

5. Stress Ball

Hold a stress ball in your hand with your palm upright, this stretch is as easy as squeezing the ball and releasing, repeating this motion about 10 times.

Our highly trained, dedicated and caring team is committed to relieving Carpal Tunnel Syndrome pain 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!

Whiplash Injury Prevention – Part II

Whiplash Injury Prevention

Last month, we discussed whiplash injury prevention by focusing on the physical characteristics of crashes. This included information about head restraints, collision speed, seat back position, body size differences, air bags, and more. This month, we’ll focus on the MOST important aspect of whiplash prevention: driver distraction!

According to a survey of 6,000 drivers conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 20% of those surveyed in the 18-20 years old age group and 30% of those 21-34 years of age claimed texting does not affect their driving.

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