NJ Pain Management

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.

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.

Massage Keeps Stenosis Pain at Bay

NJ Spinal Stenosis Treatment - Bergen/Passaic County

You might say massage is an effective way to rub out Spinal stenosis— or at least provide much-needed relief for months at a time. In fact, depending on how advanced the condition is, regular massage sessions may keep all that pain and discomfort at bay for the rest of your life without surgery or prescription drugs. There are various types of massage, and any or all could be effective in the healing hands of a chiropractor or physical therapist in alleviating the pain and pressure wrought by spinal stenosis.

Spinal stenosis, once it starts eroding the quality of your life, does not improve with age. The aging process is irreversible, but clinical trials show that massage therapy will not only counter the deterioration that aging brings, but it has the potential of reversing all the bad things stenosis does to your physical and emotional health.

Massage is More than Just Relaxation

Most people see massage as something that is supposed to relax you, knead away aching and sore muscles and get you back on an active track. It is not necessarily regarded as health care but as a luxury offered at a spa with saunas and facials. This is known as a relaxation massage, but relaxing and relieving everyday pressures certainly boost mental health. Then there is structural massage, or structural integration, which is the essence of massage therapy in that it is a range-of-motion protocol for the entire body relying on motion, pressure, and resistance.

Massage therapy deals with stiffness and pain associated with stenosis, without centering on the spine itself. We’re talking about massaging the surrounding and adjacent muscles in the back, lower back (lumbar) and buttocks.

Spinal stenosis constricts the spine by narrowing the spinal canal and stresses everything nearby, tightening and straining muscles, tendons and ligaments.  Massage loosens and relaxes affected muscles, bringing an amazing sense of relief.

Treatment methods for all back-related pain vary, but massage therapy for spinal stenosis is characterized by long strokes accompanied by a systematic kneading motion.

What Causes Spinal Stenosis?

There are various causes for spinal stenosis, which can become debilitating and result in loss of bladder and bowel function if untreated. The pain can be excruciating with advancing age. Many sufferers quickly turn to surgery or prescription drugs, despite proven noninvasive relief through chiropractic medicine via spinal decompression and massage therapy.

Pain, numbness, weakness, cramping and general discomfort can occur elsewhere in the body, including legs, arms, and buttocks. Extremely sensitive nerves in the spinal canal that result in stenosis may be affected by the following:

—Heredity plays a part if you are born with an unusually narrow spinal canal making you more susceptible to this condition

—Growths such as bone spurs inside the spinal canal

—Tumors attached to the spine itself

—Traumatic injury to the spine

— Arthritis

—Anything exerting abnormal pressure on the spine, and

— A condition in which strong tightening ligaments squeeze the spine closer together

Massage may not be a cure for more advanced spinal stenosis, but it can relieve pain, ease discomfort and, in some cases, maintain quality of life through old age.

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

Decompressing Herniated Discs

NJ Herniated Disc Treatment - Bergen/Passaic County

The discs that run from the bottom of your skull to the lowest part of your lower back have a tough job indeed. They cushion the bony vertebrae of the spine, which, in turn, protects the spinal cord, an information highway that magically transports complex messages from the brain throughout the body’s peripheral nervous system.

Don’t let the word “cushion” fool you, because discs are tough as nails and as hard as a rock, to borrow a couple of similes, on the outside. That outside protective layer, known formally as the annulus fibrosus, is tough indeed. It has to be, because discs have a tough assignment, and they always seem to be under pressure from external forces. It might be the stress and strain of poor posture, constant sitting and slouching, sudden injury and strain, lifestyle issues or the prolonged process of aging.

All that stress may lead to a number of conditions resulting in pain and discomfort, diminishing quality of life. The pain may be dull, aching and unrelenting. It may be sharp and intermittent. Then again it could very well be a combination of both.

Discs, as it turns out, are soft on the inside (its nucleus), situated between each bony vertebra, keeping them from rubbing together and subjecting vertebrates from constant suffering. However, a hard-working disc in its assignment as the backbone’s shock absorber can only take so much.

How Herniated Disc Happens

Because of the aforementioned stress and injury, a piece of that gelatinous nucleus may poke through a tear in the outer layer and the result is a herniated disc, also described as ruptured, bulging or slipped. The displacement created by this protrusion often leads to the disc pushing rudely against a spinal nerve. Nerves don’t react well to being touched, let alone pressured, and the inevitable response is pain. It could be just the start of degeneration that will make a herniated disc increasingly painful.

You’re more likely to suffer a herniated disc in the lower back or neck regions, but the truth is that it can happen anywhere on the spine. It is a fairly common condition directly affected by aging and a lifetime of stress, ill use, and injury. Every year another 3 million cases of herniated discs are reported in the United States alone. The good news is that nine out of 10 people with herniated discs can find relief from treatment other than surgery.

One of the treatments we find very effective is spinal decompression, which reverses the stress that is causing the pain to begin with and applied directly to the spot where the pain originates. The herniated disc compresses the spine at a specific location, cutting off blood flow and nutrients  and a steady deterioration.

If a compressed spine is the cause of the pain, it makes sense that decompression would have the opposite effect. This is not just a theory. It works. We often use decompression in combination with our LCT 1000  to get right to the source of the pain. It consists of stretching the spine via nonsurgical decompression therapy, which, as the name suggests, is a proven effective alternative to surgery.

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

 

Seven Strategies for Beating Back Pain

prevent back pain

Like love and marriage, perhaps more like loathing and divorce, back and neck pain combine to send more people to a chiropractor than just about any other reason. Lower back pain, in particular, has become the most prevalent American disability, keeping more of us away from work than any other health issue.

Missing Work Due to Back Pain

lowbackpainAs many as half of all working Americans admit having back pain symptoms in a given year, and it is among the most used excuses for calling in sick, according to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), and accumulated missed workdays. Would you believe 264 million lost workdays annually?

When you talk about work, it is not just about people who bend and lift as part of their jobs. It is also about those who slouch and sit in an office setting because the chair puts as many workers at risk for back pain as those who carry and lift. That’s why experts say that 80 percent of us will experience some kind of back pain in their lives.

The Leading Cause of Chiropractor Visits

Back pain is probably the most common reason for a person’s first visit to a chiropractor. In fact, the ongoing opioid epidemic promulgated by mainstream medicine and some overprescribing practitioners, along with growing concerns about addiction, is sending more people to chiropractors than ever. Even those who have not previously sought the services and skills of a chiropractor regard them as nonsurgical and non-medicinal options known to bring relief.

Although back-related pain tops the reasons people first visit chiropractors and continue to see them, the ACA reports that it is among the top reasons people make appointments to medical doctors behind only skin and joint disorders.

Back Pain Prevention

Of course, prevention is only common sense for avoiding back pain, and both medical doctors and doctors of chiropractic would agree with these seven simple strategies:

  • keep your weight down with a healthy diet
  • avoid prolonged inactivity, especially sitting
  • pay attention to your posture when standing and walking
  • stretch and loosen up before exercise and physical activities at home or work
  • lift heavier objects from the knees and close to your body
  • do not twist your upper body when carrying or lifting
  • sleep on a mattress firm enough to keep your spine as straight as possible

Age also plays a key role in the prevalence of back pain, affecting all of these strategies even more as the years go by and bad habits take their toll. Also remember that we can advise you on ergonomic solutions at both your home and on the job.

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

Is Technology Causing Your Early Back Pain?

Exercises for Hip Pain

Posture, Technology Lead to Back Pain among Young

“Oh, my back!” 

You turn around, expecting to see a middle aged or elderly man grabbing his back and grimacing in pain. Instead it’s a young fellow about college age who otherwise looks fit and trim. Back pain among young adults may not yet be an epidemic, but it is more prevalent than you might think, 

“More than eighty percent of Americans will suffer from back pain in their lifetime,” reports Dr. Brad Butler, Chief of Staff at the Oakland Spine & Rehabilitation Centers in Oakland and Wayne, NJ, “but what we are observing is that they are beginning at younger ages.”

lower back pain (LBP) has even been reported as more common than you might expect in adolescents. There has even been concern over this phenomenon in pediatric medicine, linking rising cases to prolonged sitting with electronic devices and earlier involvement in organized contact sports.

Maybe grandma was right when she preached on the importance of good posture? 

Women with Back PainIt’s an interesting phenomenon in chiropractic medicine, according to Dr. Butler, who says the worsening mobility of younger people will continue unless there are fundamental lifestyle changes.

“Cases that we are used to seeing in thirty year olds, we are seeing in teenagers,” he says, adding that a growing number of people in their thirties and forties are coming to him with back and neck complaints typical of people in their sixties.

This seems to confirm what has been a highly publicized issue in Great Britain where studies reveal what appears to be a dramatic increase in the percentage of their citizens ages 18 to 24 dealing with back pain, particularly lower back pain. A recent survey of some 3,000 young adults by United Kingdom health provider, Simplyhealth, concluded that 84 percent of that age group reported back pain, both temporary and chronic, in the preceding year. 

People are becoming increasingly knowledgeable about the latest developments in rehabilitation and therapy, attributable in large part to the internet, making them more aware of the risks of drugs, surgery and assorted treatments. Learning more about back pain from reputable sources and gaining access to alternative solutions is a positive. However, some of the tools of the technology that may provide such knowledge and insight— devices that require hours of constant sitting— are part of the problem.

“People of all ages are fighting a constant battle with bad posture and its long-term consequences,” says Dr. Butler.

Slouching, slumping and too much sitting compress the lower back, and that is a typical posture observed in people of all ages with their electronic devices.  

Maintaining an erect posture, whether standing or sitting, may seem like an old-fashioned caution to some, but providers of both traditional and alternative health care seem to agree with Dr. Butler that correct posture may prevent and alleviate back pain. 

 

Relaxing Your Pain Away

Relax, Alleviate Stress and Get Off Meds

There are a lot of reasons to seek chiropractic  care. For starters, it is a proven preventive approach for everything from neck and back pain to the often debilitating effects of stress. And, unlike medication, we treat the root cause and not just the symptoms of whatever ails you. We’re not claiming it to be a panacea for all diseases, because some conditions need immediate attention through medication or surgery, including emergency injury care, viral  attackers and invasive diseases.

backHowever, you might be surprised by some of the reasons chiropractic care may be your best bet to conquer certain ailments and achieve optimal health. A recent  internet survey of chiropractors and patients revealed some reasons for treatment you might not expect unless you’ve benefited from them yourself.

Following are three key curative elements of chiropractic care that you might not know about:

            — Relax, Sleep and Heal… There is no question that your health will be compromised if you can’t get a good night’s sleep. In fact, 60 percent of Americans, according to a survey by the National Sleep Foundation, don’t get enough sleep or that the quality of their sleep is impaired. Chiropractic manipulation can actually improve blood flow and correct  misalignments— stress responses we can subdue without medications manipulating the synapses in the brain and inhibiting normal functions It is also why people come with us to assuage stress and conquer fatigue.

  • Improving Your Immunity… Your body is naturally endowed with the disease fighting power, thanks to the immune system with which most of us are blessed. Nutritional diets, a fundamental part of chiropractic care, play a key role in bolstering immunity as we age.  Pain, especially constant pain, weakens the immune system, too, enlisting the antibodies, white blood cells and other troops that leave the fort, so to speak, to fight these invaders
  • Get Off Those Meds… We mentioned that getting to the root of the problem is much more effective than treating the symptoms. Of course, pain relief has created an industry that subsists at treating the symptom ad infinitum without approaching the cause. Pharmaceuticals like opioids may temporarily disguise symptoms until it is time to take the next pill, but they may also lead to an unhealthy drug dependence. The one thing that chiropractors do best is not only relieving pain but getting right to the cause.
  • That’s just for starters. We’ll follow up soon on more surprising healthful features of chiropractic care.