PAIN…it’s something we’ve all experienced
Pain can help prevent more serious injury. For instance, it can make you quickly pull your finger away from a hot stove or keep you weight off of a broken ankle. The causes of muscle and joint pain can usually be diagnosed and treated and the pain ends. But in some cases when the pain develops slowly or persist for months or even years, then it’s called Chronic Pain and it can be tricky to treat.
Chronic pain is a huge problem; over 115 million people nationwide suffer from some kind of long-term pain. Not only are drug therapies like addictive opioids not helping, they are harming record numbers of people.
Pain is not an input from the environment, it’s an output from the brain. Differences in how we think and feel pain involve our personality, mood states, emotions and even our fear of pain itself. Scientists are uncovering answers and physical therapist direct care can help. In one study, volunteers were told how pain works in the body and brain which led to significant improvement of their overall pain perception.
New treatment strategies involving pain education, progressive exercise, sleep hygiene and proper nutrition can significantly decrease chronic pain. There’s hope for people suffering with chronic pain and physical therapy can be part of the solution.
Who do you know that suffers with chronic pain? Do them a favor. Share this with them and you’ll be sharing some great resources that may just help someone finally cure their chronic pain. We are here to help!
8 out of 10 people experience lower back pain sometime during their life. Moreover, about 4% of people have ongoing or chronic lower back pain. Here is some important information for people who experience a new episode, also known as an acute case of lower back pain.
- YOU’RE GOING TO BE OK – The spine is a strong, mobile and dynamic stretcher. At times it can be very uncomfortable but the pain almost always goes away.
- DON’T RUSH TO GET AN MRI – MRI test show a lot of false positives. Abnormal findings on an MRI are often nothing more than the normal aging process of your spine.
- SEE A PHYSICAL THERAPIST FIRST – Scientific research has demonstrated that patients with a new episode of lower back pain that see a Physical Therapist first have fewer surgeries, fewer spinal injections, fewer expensive test and a decreased need for addicitve opioid medications.
- PHYSICAL THERAPY IS EASY TO ACCESS – It may take you days or weeks to see a medical doctor but in most cases you can see a Physical Therapist within 48 hours.
- IT COSTS LESS – Multiple studies have concluded that on average care for acute back pain cost significantly less when you see a Physical Therapist first.
As you can see, Physical Therapy has little to no side effects, it’s natural, it’s easy to get treatment and on average, it’s more affordable too. As expert clinicians in conservative, natural rehabilitation, we provide considerable value to those that have joint pain, muscle problems, and movement disorders.
We hope the message will provide you with confidence and information to advise your family members and friends when it comes to the treatment of joint pain, muscle problems, and movement disorders.
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Low Back Pain is so common that almost everyone experiences this problem at one time or another.
Conservative care for low back pain is usually in order and the best choice too. Here are 5 quick tips that might help minimize stress on your low back and help you get back to the quality of life you once enjoyed.
LIKE YOUR MOM SAID – SIT UP STRAIGHT
Sitting usually aggravates low back pain. It puts an unbalanced load on your discs, joints and the soft tissues of your low back. If you have to sit for a prolonged period of time, make sure you are using a lumbar/low back support and it is making contact with your low back just above your belt line. This will help maintain the normal curve in your low back.
ONE WRONG LIFT COULD RUIN YOUR DAY
Practice Safe Lifting Habits – you’ve heard the tip before. Bend at your knees, not at your low back, keep things close to your stomach when carrying objects to decrease the torque on your back too.
Use Pillows for Positioning – when lying down in bed on your side, make sure you put a pillow in between your knees to decrease rotation on your low back. When lying on your back, put a pillow under your knees so that they are bent. This puts the hamstrings on slack and lets the pelvis assume a position of comfort.
BED REST ISN’T THE BEST
Keep Bedrest to a Maximum of Three Days – contrary to common sense, lying in a bed for more than 3 days is likely to perpetuate your problem. Pain is not usually proportional to the problem. The best course of action is to get out of bed and resume normal daily activities to the best of your ability. Chances are very good that your acute low back pain will resolve.
SEE A PHYSICAL THERAPIST FIRST
Most low back pain is “non-specific” in nature. In a vast majority of cases, x-rays and MRIs are of little or no help. Only your doctor and physical therapist can decide if imaging is appropriate. However, most will fit into a category of treatment that responds well to hand-on techniques.
Bottom line, if you hurt your back, try to see a physical therapist as fast as you can. Physical therapy treatment is all natural, affordable, effective and has little to no side effects.
We are the experts when it comes to helping you overcome low back pain. Call and make an appointment today and feel better tomorrow.
Good posture is something we all intuitively know something about, but here is a little more detail.
Ideal posture is something we all strive for. Imagine if you were looking at yourself from the side and could draw a line from the top of your head down to the floor. With ideal posture, that line would pass down through the ear canal, over the tip of the shoulder, just in front of the middle back vertebrae, through the middle of the low back vertebrae, right over the pointy bone of the hip, through the middle of the knee and outer bone of the ankle.
Some people have increased curves and their head is forward. This puts excessive stress on
the neck muscles and can cause pain. Others have too large of a curve in the middle and or
lower back, which can also cause unusual stress on the middle and lower back. Finally, seniors may have a forward bent or kyphotic middle back. Often the bones become wedge-shaped making it impossible to stand up straight.
We can help you with your posture as well as the pains and muscle tightness associated with poor posture. If you or someone you know is having trouble with neck pains, low back pains, or poor posture have them give us a call. Our expert staff in both our Morgan City and Thibodaux Clinics are ready to help you overcome the pains and strains associated with poor posture.
School has been in for several weeks, have you noticed your child struggling with a heavy backpack? Have you seen your child leaning to the left or right to support a heavy backpack on the opposite shoulder? If the load is too heavy it might cause the child to arch their back as well.
While it may seem a little far fetched, wearing a heavy backpack day-in and day-out over the course of months or years may increase the risk of spinal injury. Carrying heavy loads will cause your child to adopt compensatory and faulty postures. These compensatory postures cause undo strain on the neck, shoulder and back soft tissues. Spine disks are compressed unevenly, more muscular energy is required which can lead to fatigue and possible soft tissue damage.
In 1999, more than 3,400 pupils between the age of 5 and 14 years went to emergency rooms for injuries related to backpacks according to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission.
So how do you avoid back pain by backpack? Here are some simple backpack safety rules:
- Wear the backpack over the middle back, not high around the neck or low around the waist.
- Wear both straps. Don’t let your child carry the weight of the backpack on one shoulder.
- Minimize the contents in the backpack. The weight of the backpack should not exceed 10% of your child’s body weight.
- Keep the heavy objects closest to the body.
It is also important to recognize these backpack warning signs:
- Your child has difficulty lifting the backpack.
- Side bending, forward bent or arched spine postures to adapt to the weight of the backpack.
- Pain when wearing backpack.
- Tingling or numbness.
If your child is feeling the aches and pains of carrying a heavy load, we can help.
OBESITY: More Good Reasons To Avoid The Epidemic
According to a survey sponsored by ABC News, USA Today, and Stanford University Medical Center, over 50 percent of Americans are spending their lives dealing with reoccurring and chronic pain. If you’re one of those people, you just might want to check your waistline.
The survey showed that while about half the participants could pinpoint a condition or injury as a cause of the pain, just as many couldn’t come up with a specific cause. Other research suggests that pain may be the result of excess pounds. Among the most common areas that those surveyed indicated as a source of pain is the knee.
A study reported in the Journal of Arthroscopic and Related Surgery looked at how a person’s weight affected how well they responded to treatment for osteoarthritis of the knee. The study specifically looked at how women between the ages of 30 and 55 responded to knee surgery since the condition is more common in women than in men. The study showed that women who were overweight were much more likely to report less satisfaction with the results of the surgery than women of normal weight. This was especially true in relationship to their ability to perform everyday physical activities, like walking and climbing stairs, and in their general attitude toward life.
Sadly, it’s not just adults who are suffering the ill effects of excess weight. More and more children are being classified as overweight and even obese. In fact, another study published in Pediatric Physical Therapy states that the number of children and teens who are overweight increased threefold between 1980 and 2000, and that number just continues to rise. Childhood obesity poses many risks. Among the many problems that may occur in obese children are:
- SPINAL ISSUES: Overweight children don’t develop enough spinal bone mineral content to support the extra weight they carry. This may lead to a weakening of the spine and increased incidence of back pain.
- HIP PROBLEMS: Children who are overweight are at greater risk for a condition called Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis, or SCFE, which occurs when the growing end of the femur (the thigh bone) slips from the hip socket. Overweight children may experience the condition more frequently because of the excess pressure placed on the hip joint.
- BLOUNT DISEASE: Blount disease is a disorder of the skeleton that causes the legs to bow. There are two types of Blount disease -infantile and adolescent. Studies have shown that obese infants (between one and three years of age) are much more likely to have Blount disease than are infants of normal weight. Adolescent Blount disease is also most prevalent in those who are overweight. In fact, approximately 90 percent of all reported cases occur in black males who are classified as morbidly obese.
- INCREASE IN BROKEN BONES: Obesity has also been linked to a higher rate of broken bones in children. Fractures are most common in children during growth spurts. Children who are overweight may not have sufficient bone development to withstand blows that wouldn’t cause breaks in children of normal weight. This may be because of a lack of physical activity, which helps increase bone density, or it may simply be because an overweight child falls harder than one who is not overweight.
Although we know that obesity is caused by overeating, it’s a challenge to reduce weight in a healthy manner without following proper exercise. Your physical therapist will be able to suggest exercises that you can safely perform to help strengthen your body while reducing your weight.
Low back pain effects 26 million individuals nationwide. We bet that you aren’t aware of new guidelines from the American College of Physicians that recommend no pills for the treatment of acute lower back pain. When the pain is sever it’s tempting to pop a pill or think an MRI will reveal the cause of the pain. The problem is that pain pills come with side effects and MRIs aren’t very useful. An MRI starts the ball rolling towards surgery when it may not be necessary. Many people with no pain at all have the same abnormalities on MRI as people who are experiencing pain. This means that there is no way to know if these abnormalities are the source of pain in those who do have symptoms.
It’s tempting to believe that surgery offers the best results; that you need to fix the problem. The fact is, less invasive treatments like Physical Therapy are over looked.
If you are someone you know has experienced low back pain, please reassure them. Clinical research says the odds are overwhelmingly in their favor that they will get better soon.
Our mission is to spread the word that Physical Therapist are experts at providing patient education, therapeutic exercise and hands on treatment for back pain. All of which are recommended by the American College of Physicians before expensive test and invasive procedures.
Take home messages are for a recent episode of back pain:
- No pills right away
- See a Physical Therapist first before trying narcotics, needles or knives
Please pass this along to a family member or friend who has lower back pain and have them give us a call at either our Morgan City or Thibodaux clinic.