Oakland Spine News

There’s Nothing Passive about Deep Laser Therapy

Deep Tissue Laser Therapy in New Jersey

There are arguments, especially from mainstream medicine critics, that passive therapy, relieving low back pain with little or no participation from the patient, is no different that prescribing pain pills to do that job. These critics apparently include laser therapy among passive treatments while they accept physical therapy and chiropractic applications like spinal and manual manipulation as helpful due to the patient’s so-called participation.

According to “Choosing Wisely,” an affiliated website to the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM):

Passive physical therapies—such as heat, cold, electrical stimulation, and ultrasound—may give you brief relief from pain and discomfort. They may help you relax during spinal manipulation or before a physical activity like walking, biking, or swimming. But these therapies do not help you prevent long-term problems…

What is not recognized when including deep tissue laser therapy as passive, with no other value than temporary relief of pain, is that it promotes healing— something that pharmaceuticals and surgery don’t do. Additionally, laser therapy is not addictive like a drug— other than, as with a massage, it makes you feel better for a while. As we’ve stated before, the process of photobiostimulation assists the body in generating its innate healing powers through stimulation “that awakens cellular activity to relieve and eventually eradicate low back pain.”

The criticism that treatments which ease pain but require recurring treatments is somehow harmful because they do not correct the problem has long been directed at chiropractic medicine. Meanwhile, physical therapy is becoming increasingly respected and regularly prescribed by MD’s and surgeons as having curative and healing powers through strengthening and promoting flexibility in movement. Surgeons, in fact, prescribe PT before and after surgery.

Awakening Body’s Healing Powers

Oakland Spine & Physical Therapy is proof positive that physical therapy and chiropractic treatments overlap, and both have the propensity of awakening the healing powers of the body.

We specify lower back pain because of the massive numbers of people suffering from this condition (an estimated 80 percent U.S. population at some time in their lives) who want to avoid surgery and those addictive prescription medicines. That includes opioids which, despite the epidemic they have perpetrated, are still prescribed regularly, though more cautiously, by medical doctors.

Our gateway to relief and healing is a powerful, noninvasive tool called the LCT 1000 Deep Tissue (Class IV) Laser. We continue to describe it as “the most powerful healing technology available today” for conquering low back pain. In addition, as we have previously explained that it is part of a “multi-pronged approach” with minimally noninvasive treatments like massage, acupuncture, trigger-point injection therapy and physical therapy.

For a more technical explanation, the Oakland Spine team explains deep tissue laser therapy thusly:

This process involves the application of deep, penetrating photonic energy via a hot laser, which is a completely painless and side-effect-free process. Laser therapy increases the production of an essential substance called ATP (Adenosine-triphosphate), which is responsible for cellular energy production. An increase in ATP production greatly reduces pain and inflammation and promotes accelerated healing.

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


Chiropractic Care Promises Carpal Tunnel Relief

“The happiness of most people is not ruined by great catastrophes or fatal errors, but by the repetition of slowly destructive little things.”— Ernest Dimnet, French writer and philosopher


Injuries don’t always happen from a singular event, even if the symptoms sometimes indicate otherwise. The pain and other symptoms may take years to accumulate into something that requires attention from a healthcare professional. Such is almost always the case with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS), which evolves through “the repetition of slowly destructive little things.”

It is true that the author of the introductory quotation was not referring to illness or injury but to thinking and reasoning. It is an uncanny definition of CTS, nevertheless. That’s because this often painful and numbing malady is caused by repetitive motion on a regular basis over a sustained span of time. It was once regarded as a disorder of factory assembly line workers who repeated the same hand and arm motions day after day, as well as typesetters at newspapers and magazines.

Cases of CTS have also been verified as a result of sudden trauma, such as injuries from a car accident, but the majority of cases, by far, are the result of repetitive use of the hands, wrists, arms and fingers.

In the age of information technology, with its widespread use of computers for word processing and even gaming, CTS is affecting more people than ever. The surgery to correct the pain and side effects derived from this syndrome have become increasingly common, as is follow-up plastic surgery.

Compressing “Tunnel” Pinches, Inflames Nerve

Some people have smaller carpal tunnels than others, and that is a factor contributing to a person’s vulnerability. The carpal tunnel, situated in the wrist and just below the palm, is a tunnel-like enclosure around the median nerve and a composition of ligament, tendons and eight small bones. It is the median nerve that is damaged by repetitive motion and the “tunnel” compresses around it. Inflammation leads to pain and numbness.

The median nerve runs the length of a person’s forearm and to the juncture of the hand itself, but it is when the tunnel in the wrist constricts and squeezes that nerve when the symptoms eventually emerge. This usually develops over time, perhaps initially with a numbness in the wrist and in the second and fourth fingers.

CTS is one of the most common work-related injuries of the 21st Century. There have been a number of studies confirming the effectiveness of chiropractic medicine in easing the pain and other symptoms of this condition. Most notable was a 2007 study in which two different chiropractic protocols proved to be equally effective in the following improvements:  nerve conduction or functionality, wrist motion and strength and “daily activity function.” Perhaps most importantly, patient satisfaction of those tested was rated high.

As is the case with any condition influenced by stressors and damage to nerves, tendons and bones, chiropractic care is an option for relieving CTS symptoms. The approach at Oakland Spine & Physical Therapy, with its “nervous system experts” implementing the Butler Spine Program through holistic healing and non-invasive treatments, is to help restore normal use of the wrist and hand.

Massage a Possible Solution for Migraines?

Massage for Migraines

There is a certain degree of mystery about what causes migraine headaches, with its pain levels ranging from “throbbing moderate” to severe— or from bad to worse. It could be caused by one, some or all of the following: genetic, a disorder of the central nervous system, chemical imbalances and even heart related. Many of the causes of primary headaches and tension headaches, including stress, also trigger migraines.

Therapeutic massage professionals are convinced that their efforts bring relief, as do many sufferers of migraine headaches who swear by it and regularly receive treatments.

Migraines may literally rob one’s ability to function normally, which is imperative for most who have jobs to do and responsibilities to family and community.

Evidence of the Healing Power of Massage

The American Massage Therapy Association (A.M.T.A.) reports that they are waiting for mainstream medicine and science to confirm massage’s healing powers over migraines beyond the testimonial evidence of those who have experienced its healing powers.

“Data on the efficacy of massage for migraine are somewhat limited. This does not mean that massage is not helpful for migraine, but rather that there have been few studies, and they have had smaller samples and less rigorous designs, so we do not have the scientific evidence necessary to make a conclusive statement about its efficacy,” reports Dr. Dawn Buse, Associate Professor of Neurology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the Director of Behavioral Medicine at the Montefiore Headache Center in New York.

One of the limitations has been the lack of funding available for the comprehensive studies needed to affirm the pain easing impact of massage on migraine headaches. Pharmacological treatments, according to Dr. Buse, seem to have the inside track when it comes to funding testing of a growing number of new medications and their usual retinue of side effects.

Yet it’s really about the patients and the many who attest to feeling immense relief from massage therapy — a relief that lasts for days, even weeks at a time through regularly scheduled treatments.

Avoid Migraine Symptoms

Buse recently reported to the A.M.T.A. that she would encourage a growing number of patients who “find massage therapy helpful” to continue with regular massage therapy treatment plans. She also urged these same patients to maintain healthy eating habits and avoid a sedentary lifestyle that may lead to any of the following symptoms of migraines:

  • throbbing kinds of headaches, both dull and sharp
  • pain that becomes more intense with increasing physical activity
  • nausea and vomiting
  • pain on both sides of the head or behind the eyes
  • blurred vision
  • hyper-sensitivity to light and sound

Relaxation to Reduce Tension

It makes sense that stress and tension are major factors in both tension headaches and migraines. Sometimes just the anticipation of one of these crushing headaches can bring one on, patients affirm. The one condition that most people report after undergoing a massage from a trained professional is relaxation. Relaxation in turn keeps tension and stress at bay.

Migraine headaches affect about 12 percent of the adult population in the United States, which is a pretty good argument for aggressively testing massage and scientifically pinpointing where this relief comes from and which kind of triggers and symptoms upon which it seems most effective.

We know of a study that, for instance, measured heart rates, anxiety levels and salivary cortisol — the essential hormone produced when under stress— before and after treatments. The results provided conclusive proof that all of these levels decreased after each session.

—Call us today at (201) 651-9100 at Oakland Spine & Physical Therapy to learn how massage might ease and eliminate pain from your life.

Non-Surgical Relief from Neuropathy

NJ Neuropathy treatment - Bergen/Passaic County

The periphery of the central nervous system is one of the busiest networks in the human body, but it is also a source of a lot of pain and suffering in a myriad of forms. In fact, there are more than 100 recognized peripheral nerve disorders. Although the periphery of most things may be defined as of lesser or secondary importance, people suffering from peripheral neuropathy are not likely to agree with that.

Diabetic nerve damage has become one of the curses of old age when rising blood sugar damages the nerves, commonly in the legs and feet of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetics. It is often linked to diabetes, but there are a number of other causes.

Peripheral neuropathy is often misdiagnosed for other conditions with similar symptoms such as spinal stenosis. Mainstream medicine has practiced nerve decompression surgery for some time to effectively reduce pain and other complications of peripheral neuropathy, diabetic and otherwise. Its symptoms range from annoying to life threatening and include burning pain, paralysis and sexual dysfunction.

But why go through surgery and the uncertainty of its irreversible outcomes when you can opt for a non-surgical option relying on photobiostimulation, a deep tissue cold-laser therapy in concert with spinal decompression, to treat neuropathy? This healing potential is offered through the Butler Spine Program.

Spinal Stress Can Cut Off Nerve’s Lifeline

Neuropathy occurs when disease or damage is incurred in the nerves that transmit messages from the brain and spinal cord throughout the entire body. But the source of this damage may well be in the spine itself where a herniated disc squeezes the nerves, impeding blood flow carrying nutrients, even shutting it off altogether, until deterioration ultimately diseases or damages receptor nerves.

The key is easing pressure from the spine and reversing the stress on the nerves through spinal decompression. Non surgical spinal decompression therapy is a minimally invasive therapy which can offer such a result and is also part of the Butler Spine Program.

The peripheral system is comprised of three types of nerves that are directly influenced by the central nervous system— each with a distinct function—which explains why there is such a wide range of symptoms associated with neuropathy.

The three classes of nerves are:

√ Autonomic nerves — regulating blood pressure, respiration, heart rate, digestion and the bladder, etc.

√ Motor nerves — controlling muscle movement

√ Sensory nerves — receiving sensations from the skin of pain, pleasure, heat and touch

The sensory nerves are of particular interest because they are the source of both pleasure and pain and the accelerated healing power of decompression therapy is especially effective and noticeable with the sensory nerves.

Peripheral nerves originate from the spinal cord and extend along a network of lines throughout the body called dermatomes. The injury to one dermatome may be just the beginning as it radiates out to others and often, from there, to peripheral areas like the feet or hands.  Once it interferes with communication to the brain it might result in divergent sensations like numbness and intense pain.

There a number of factors, aside from diabetes, that might result in peripheral neuropathy, including heredity, infection, disease and even poor dietary habits.

—Call us today at (201) 651-9100 at Oakland Spine & Physical Therapy to learn how acupuncture might remove pain from your life.


Photobiostimulation Accelerates Healing

Deep Tissue Laser Therapy in New Jersey

Most everyone is familiar with the concept of laser surgery when it is used as a cutting tool, removing soft tissue that compresses nerves to ease pain from conditions like a herniated disc. But that is invasive, and that is not what we do at Oakland Spine & Physical Therapy. Our laser treatment is strictly nonsurgical and, as is usually the case in chiropractic medicine, we use this therapy to stimulate the body to heal itself.

Therapy is, after all, a word that means “healing power.” Surgery, on the other hand, is mostly dedicated to removal, replacement and invasive repair. Having pointed this out, we recognize there are times and conditions where both surgery and medication are warranted, .

. Pain can be intense, and you might want to hurry it along without turning to pain medication or steroid injections. We have physical therapy and chiropractic protocols that can help you get through early stages until the body takes over, but we recommend state-of-the-art therapeutic lasers like our LCT 1000 Deep Tissue (Class IV) Laser to safely and efficiently ease and eradicate pain.

There is nothing intimidating about the process unleashed by this therapy except for its name— all 19 uninterrupted letters of it. It is called photobiostimulation, and it is not even in most dictionaries, including medical volumes and major healthcare websites. There is no need to get too technical here, but the “stimulation” part of the word is the key.

Word with Three Telling Parts

Now the first two parts— photo and bio— basically just tell us that light is involved and the target is the body, or, more specifically, the cells of the body. This is a power to heal that works because our cells react and respond to concentrated doses of light in what is known jointly as Class IV Laser and deep tissue therapy. This induces a substance called ATP, or Adenosine Tri-Phosphate, which energizes the targeted cells and, among other things, positively impacts blood flow, accelerates the production of collagen, a class of protein with reparative powers, and regeneration of cells. The combined effect is assisting the body in the healing process at a faster rate.

Not all the improvements apply to herniated discs particularly. Some do and some don’t. But the benefits that have been determined from Class IV Lasers include:

  • Bone and tissue repair
  • Reduction of inflammation
  • Improved cell metabolism for maintenance and repair
  • Elevating the pain threshold
  • Dilation of blood vessels for improved flow
  • Reduction of excessive fluid within tissue recesses
  • Increased DNA/RNA activity, which is involved in protein synthesis

As we describe it,

“The laser delivers deep-penetrating photonic energy that improves circulation and stimulates tissue healing, while also fighting off inflammation and pain.”

Most of all, this is the course to take to more quickly reduce or eradicate the pain of a herniated disc as a part of a larger, comprehensive therapy plan for patients who want their conditions resolved without surgery or drugs.

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

Physical Therapy Helps Sciatica Healing

NJ Sciatica Treatment-Bergen/Passaic County: New Jersey

Physical therapy is more than just a combination of exercises, massage and repetitive movements to improve physical function and mobility after injury, illness or surgery. The treatment of the pain and debilitation wrought by Sciatica is a prime example of that.

Physical therapists are here to improve your quality of life with a personalized program that works for physical recovery and healing. They not only work with you, but they also share lifestyle changes that will improve your quality of life by relieving sciatica pain. That includes prescribing an at-home program for you to follow that is specific to your needs and the parts of your body most affected.

Sciatica typically results in weakness, numbness and, yes, sometimes excruciating pain in the buttocks and down through the leg, usually tracking on one side of the body. It follows the path of the sciatic nerve which originates in the lower back and then branches out through your buttocks and hips and then down each leg, although it tends to be on one leg or the other.

The good news is that, in most cases, it is less invasive than the previously stated advanced conditions and can be healed in a matter of weeks with physical therapy and other non-operative approaches.

Following are some of the things we can do, each with its own detailed protocols, include:

  • Enhancement of Flexibility and Motion— Stretching tight muscles and teaching the patient how to do it can result in an amazing response it early stages of sciatica. We perform what are known as “passive” motions to stimulate more self-initiated motion and flexibility.
  • Increase and Restore Strength and Endurance— This is where the word “exercise” is the most accurate word for what we do, and repetition is often a part of it. Physical therapists will quickly discern muscle weakness or injury and teach the patient the exercises to bolster strength and endurance, including what is known as “core strengthening.” That core includes the back/pelvis, hips and abdomen.
  • Alleviating Pain— Pain is a symptom of a condition, disease or injury. Sciatica pain reaches beyond dealing with the pain itself. It affects your attitude, your morale and self-confidence in performing what were once common activities. Physical therapy relies on a number of treatments to reduce pain without drugs or surgery, ranging from electrotherapy for electrical nerve stimulation to mechanical traction and motion exercises.
  • Correct Posture Reduces Pressure— Your mother was right about not to slouch and to stand straight. A physical therapist will help you correct posture concerns, which often take the pressure off affected areas. Once that is attained, healing may more appropriately begin.
  • Getting Back to Active Living— The end result of what physical therapy can do through all or some of the above is allowing you to return to the activities you once enjoyed and were once an important part of your life.

—Call us today at (201) 651-9100 for an appointment at Oakland Spine & Physical Therapy or more information about how we can help you deal with Sciatica.



Making Debilitating Migraines Go Away

NJ Migraine & Headache Treatment - Bergen/Passaic County

Just about everyone has experienced a headache now and again, whether from stress, as a warning sign of impending illness or something as mundane as missing your morning cups of coffee. They come and they go and are as individualized as the person suffering from them. Headaches are nothing to scoff at, but a migraine is a whole different animal, unrelenting and always a threat to return at any time, literally derailing your life for hours, even days. A primary headache, the most common type among 95 percent of headache sufferers, might also trigger a more oppressive migraine as if warning you of worse things to come.

The treatments we offer at Oakland Spine & Physical Therapy may be as seemingly simple as a change in diet or learning how to relax, but getting to the source of migraines and what the symptoms reveal requires knowledge, expertise, and experience to resolve. We also employ a powerful weapon in our anti-migraine arsenal— a breakthrough non-surgical treatment using the LCT 1000 Deep Tissue (Class IV) Laser along with spinal decompression as part of our exclusive Butler Spine Program.

Commonly Experienced Symptoms

Migraines may not always share the same symptoms among those whom they assail, but the common denominator is they are too disruptive and painful to ignore. Among the symptoms most commonly experienced are an intense throbbing pain often on one side of the head, nausea, vomiting and a tremendous aversion to light, sound, and even certain smells. Migraine attacks typically last from four hours to as long as three days and nights (72 hours) of unrelenting suffering which, when over, may leave you exhausted, confused, and weakened for another 24 hours.

The symptoms can be so severe that they interfere with your daily life. It is often intensified by routine physical activity, which means there is little you can do that is productive, either at home or on the job. Just functioning socially can be an ordeal.

Without the promise of relief, the only solution for some is remaining as still as possible while seated or abed, suffering in a dark, quiet place until it goes away.

Once a migraine is diagnosed, the obvious objective is to provide relief, of course, but we also strive to determine the cause so we can more accurately employ the treatment program that works for each patient. Our experience with headache and migraine sufferers will be of tremendous benefit, whatever the origin of your debilitating migraine or its peculiar symptoms.

The Butler Spine Program has been amazingly effective in circumventing surgery or being forced to seek relief through prescription drugs that can hold you prisoner the rest of your life. This treatment targets neck pain, headaches and migraines and, most of all, brings hope of migraine relief and has the potential of diverting future attacks.

When chiropractic care is integrative it includes an array of lifestyle changes that can make a dramatic difference in susceptibility to migraines. These include diet, exercise, and modifying work environment and postures (ergonomics).

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


Does Acupuncture Improve Immunity?

Most people not familiar with the intricacies of arthritis assume it is all about the joints. You may know that there are two basic types: osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Maybe you even know lupus is often lumped in with arthritis, and all three seem to be associated with joint pain and malformation, including fingers, knees, hips, shoulders and elbows.

But did you know that some people have arthritis in their eyes, mouths and in their chests, a source of pain during the process of breathing? That’s because arthritis and lupus can attack and weaken the immune system and are therefore known as autoimmune diseases.

There is a wealth of anecdotal evidence, attested to by millions of patients and their physicians, that acupuncture is effective in relieving arthritis pain as attested to by millions of patients and their physicians.

Mainstream medicine and some of our most respected rheumatologists have come to accept and respect acupuncture as an effective treatment for easing arthritis pain. Additionally, an estimated 10 million-plus acupuncture treatments in the United States for arthritis pain alone continues to link this ancient treatment modality to the immune system.

Modern medicine tends to shrug off anecdotal evidence because it supposedly lacks vigorous scientific analysis. However, the heart and soul of this healing treatment are the millions of Americans convinced that it works, returning again and again to seek relief from those expertly manipulated ultra-thin needles.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) tells us that almost a fourth of adults in the United States (54 million) have arthritis and about 45 percent of that number have to restrict their activities due to arthritis pain or impaired mobility.

Inflammation Spreads from Joints

With autoimmune rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, for example, the inflammation spreads from the joints. Aside from painful and deformed joints and restricted range of motion, symptoms may include weight loss, fatigue, anemia, itchy and dry eyes, pleurisy (inflammation of the lining of the lungs), dry mouth, sleep deprivation and more.

Succinctly stated, autoimmune diseases turn the body’s immune system against itself, attacking normal cells and, in the case of RA, the lining of your joints to intensify pain and inhibit mobility.

The most sobering aspects of autoimmune disease is that it is a leading cause of disability and death, again according to the CDC.

Adherents of acupuncture have long maintained that it strengthens the immune system, as well as fighting off bacteria, viruses and other invaders. A study in Evidence-Based and Complementary Medicine, as reported in the National Institutes of Health’s U.S. National Library of Medicine, reported in August 2015 what many suffering from autoimmune disease have discovered from acupuncture therapy:

Acupoints selection, combination of the acupoints, or different methods of stimulation of acupuncture may result in quite different effects on immune system. Further research is urgently essential to elucidate the relation between acupuncture and immune responses and what kind of stimulation might induce the best effect.

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