June 2017 - Northwest Pain Relief Centers

Monthly Archives: June 2017

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Eliminating Stress with Massage Therapy

We have officially accepted stress as an everyday, unavoidable black cloud that follows us wherever we go.  It’s in the car.  It’s in the office.  It’s at home.  Stress is waiting around every corner with its sharp edges ready to chip away at our most complete selves.  Stress heightens our blood pressure, making us irritable and tired.  It causes our bodies to lock up and feel limited in the activities we used to be able to do.  Whether we realize it or not, stress is a significant ingredient in what weighs us down.

It is a difficult concept to realize in one’s self.  We get lost in the day to day hustle and bustle; each new day elicits tasks and responsibilities.  We forget to take a moment to consider how we feel both physically and emotionally.  “But I have to take the car to the shop……”

Let me empower you with the idea of massage therapy.  My job, my passion in life is to help people feel good; to encourage each individual to gain control of their own well-being arm them with a protective shield against stress.  No phones, no traffic, no kids; a calm and soothing environment for you to let go and tune in.  To work the knots out, to replace the dull ache with vibrant mobility.  To bring you back to a place when you felt strong and energetic.

It’s seemingly too simple a solution.  How can a massage combat the negative effects of stressful situations that face us when we wake up every day?  The answer is that massage is part of the solution, and restitution happens a little in small steps.  “But I just don’t have the time…”

Saying you don’t have the time is just like saying yes to sore neck and shoulder muscles.  Saying you don’t have the time allows stress to work it’s dark magic and slowly suck the metaphorical breath right out of you.  Enough of the bad stuff; let’s talk benefits.

Massage improves circulation of blood and lymphatic fluid. Healthy, hearty oxygenated blood to limbs and muscles make the body happy!  Massage is an excellent complement to exercise and stretching, which also promote fluid movement.  Massage eases tense muscles.  Have you ever had that pain in the neck and shoulders that keeps you from looking over your shoulder?  The pain that intensifies after long days and commutes? Massage can really help that.  Better yet, massage can keep it from coming back; it’s just a tight muscle.

EASE TENSE MUSCLES+INCREASED CIRCULATION=A VERY HAPPY NECK

Massage increases immune system functions.  Healthy, non-restricted blood carries antibodies to all parts of your body, and contains cells that devour the metabolic wastes.  Keep it clean and flowing!  Keep your energy levels up.  “Go ahead cold, make my day…”

Massage improves joint flexibility.  Tight muscles anchor joints down.  Lighten the load; decrease the tension and you’ll be doing the backstroke all the way home.

Massage promotes the feeling of wholeness.  Do you ever feel disconnected from the waist down?  Do you feel like your hands and feet are numb and restricted in movement?  A full body massage works closely with your energy levels, bringing back into focus that you are a complete individual from head to toe.  Get grounded!

And that’s just to name a few.  Never mind massage facilitates recovery from injury, relieves anxiety, calms the mind, brings to light self-awareness, and overall feels really good…

No more excuses.  A reason to avoid your well-being and simply endure the negative effects of stress does not exist.  Get a massage.  For your body, mind and spirit.


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How Stress Affects Your Health

In our high-powered world of technology, we find our lives going at such a rapid pace that things seem to be spinning out of control. This and normal everyday problems with family and money contribute to a buildup of stress. This is one of the main reasons that we do not enjoy the good health we deserve.

Sometimes we are not even aware of the problem until a crisis occurs in our lives, by that time considerable damage can have occurred and it is difficult to turn our lives around onto the right path.

Signs of stress: Your body has ways of showing stress and it is important to be aware of them:

 

  • First you may be experiencing tension in your muscles, especially your neck and back

 

  • Fidgeting, you need to hold something with your hands (cigarettes, twirling pencils etc.)

 

  • You just have difficulty in relaxing

 

  • Depression.

 

We have all experienced aches and pains and are not sure why. This is often one of the first signs of stress affecting your body. Fidgeting and restlessness are very common in people with tension and stress. Depression is a common disorder that if left unchecked can lead to serious mental illness. It is very important to catch these initial symptoms of stress as early as possible, before they develop into more serious problems.

Your body’s reaction to stress:

  • High blood pressure

 

  • Lack of concentration

 

  • Irregular breathing

 

  • Strain on your heart

All these reactions to stress can turn into life threatening problems. High blood pressure is a well-known precursor of more serious problems like strokes and aneurisms. Lack of concentration can cause problems while driving or operating industrial machinery. Irregular breathing can develop into Asthma. Any strain on your heart is bad and can lead to serious consequences and even death.

Here are some pointers to cut down stress:

  • Organize your time

 

  • Spend some time away from all your worries and cares-find time to relax

 

  • Stop worrying- it will not help you solve the problem

 

  • Be aware that you have stress problems

 

  • Try to eat well and sleep well

 

  • Try to train yourself to be positive

When you organize your time, you will find it easier to get things done. Prioritize your tasks and do them one at a time. You will get them done more quickly and easily this way. Take some time out for yourself and try to relax. Try some meditation –this is a good stress reliever. Do something that you like to do. Once you are aware that you are stressing out you can find out the main factors that are causing it and try to solve or alleviate the problems. Look after yourself and try to eat well, sleep well and above all be positive

Some nutritional supplements can help your stressed-out body heal itself. Supplements that supply your body with essential Glyconutrients can help when you are stressed. Why? Because glyconutrients become depleted when your body gets stressed out. When you have less of these vital nutrients your immune system becomes weakened and you are more susceptible to infections and diseases. Taking glyconutrients can help your body reverse these damaging effects caused by stress and enable you to live a healthier happier life.


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Herniated Discs and Back Pain

The disk at the back-spinal column divides the skeletal structures. Disk does not compose blood vessels or nerves like other elements of the skeletal structure. Instead, disks are made up of fat, water, and tissues that connect to the skeletal structure. During all hours of the day, the disks leak water, which is caused from forces of gravity. For instance, when we sit it is a gravity force in action, which one might think that it takes little effort to sit, but contrary to the notion, it is adding a lot of weight to the spine and disk.

The disk restores water that has leaked out during the day, yet the water is restored at slower paces. Fat and water is balanced in the disk, yet when it is not it causes a person to shrink height. Fat and water inside disks are thick, yet when a person starts aging, the substances begin to thin. When fat and water begins to thin, it can lead to osteoarthritis. Thinning water and fat of the disk is also the leading cause of back pain, especially at the lower region.

Disks exterior are covered by “Annulus Fibrosis.” Sometimes the connective tissues lead to abnormal thickening, which scars the tissue. Usually injury follows, then infection, and moves to restrained oxygen intake. Surgery is often the result. The inner area of the disk is shielded by “Nucleus Pulposus.” The pulp makes up the hub of the disk, which is polished and soft. The disks make up the primary supporting force that regulates the spinal column, bones, muscles, etc.

When the disk is not protecting the spinal structures, it is often dehydrated, pressured, or deformed. The disk has strength that combines with flexibility to withstand high loads of pressure, yet when that flexibility and strength is interrupted, it can result to herniated disk slips, or other injuries.

Slipped disks in medical terms are known as HNP. (Herniated Nucleus Pulposus) As outlined the intervertebral disks are ruptured, which interrupts the nucleus pulposus. In medical terms, slipped disks can include L4, L5, which is Lumbosacral and C5-7, which is Cervical. L4 is a single area of the spinal column and disks, which defines the numerical disk ruptured.

Slipped disks are caused from accidents, trauma, strain of the back and neck, lifting heavy objects, disk degeneration, weak ligaments, and congenital deformity of the bones. Disk degeneration is outlined in this article.

Symptoms:

Lumbosacral will show apparent symptoms, such as acute lower back pain, which radiates to the buttocks and down to the leg. The person will feel weak, numb, or tingling that stretches to the leg and foot. Ambulation also causes pain.

If cervical disk problems are present, the patient will feel stiffness around the neck. As well, the symptoms will make the patient feel weak, numb, and he/she will feel tingling around the hands. Neck pain often generates pain, extending it to the arms and onto the hands, which cause weakness to the upper region of the body. The weakness often targets the triceps and biceps, which become atrophy. The lumbar is affected also, which the patient will find it difficult to straighten the back.

What happens when a disk is slipped and/or broken the annulus fibrosis reacts by pushing its substance into the hollow spacing between the spinal column. The spinal column is made up of nerves, which travel to various parts of the body, including the brain. These nerves are affected when the disk is slipped. Learn more about the Central Nerve System (CNS) to relate to slipped disks. First, understand how the joints and connective tissues can cause back pain.


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Facts vs Myths About Back Pain

Let’s begin by learning some facts to separate truth from myth with regards to back pain. First, under one percent of acute lower back pain is the result of a serious infection or condition like cancer or a spinal injury. For those under 50, the rate is even lower. Back pain is the number one disability for those under age 45. And it runs second, after the common cold, as the top reason for visiting a healthcare provider in the United States.

“There is nothing really wrong with you.” Myth! Chronic pain sufferers report that doctors generally tell this to about 90 percent of them and it is incorrect. In reality, most low back pain cases or some 90 percent generally come from an unknown cause, like an infection or a particular injury. And the duration of the pain runs generally from four to six weeks. “People don’t die from chronic back pain.” Wrong! The pain combined with depression and anxiety in long-term cases places sufferers at risk for suicide, which does happen from time to time.

“Most back pain requires surgery.” Myth! On the contrary, under two percent of patients with back pain need surgery. However, back pain is the third top reason for surgery. “Only a small percentage of workers suffer back pain on the job.” Wrong! The top occupational hazard in the USA is back pain.

“Lie down and rest for back pain.” Au contraire. Contrary to popular believe, bed rest can hinder recovery. Health care providers recommend remaining active to decrease down time for patients.

“Men suffer back pain more than women.” Not! With regards to gender issues and back pain, it is a myth that men suffer back pain more than women. In reality, the only main difference is with secondary pain to disk disorders during middle age. However, with regards to race, low back pain is reported more frequently among Caucasians than other races including African Americans. “If a patient’s pain description lacks a regular, consistent pattern, it’s probably imagined or exaggerated.” Myth! No two people, no two cases are totally 100 percent identical. Activities, events, pain and people themselves vary from day to day and there is no 100 percent correct way to describe pain in words to fit a perfectly accurate diagnosis.


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Managing Your Back Pain

Slouching when sitting down is bound to cause back pain because it creates undue stress in the lower back; a good sitting position reduces your back pain. Martial arts is not only good for the mastering of self-defense tactics… it is also a means of toning the muscles and making sure that back ache has a slim possibility of happening; one of such arts is tai chi, a martial art that increases the flexibility of the body through slow fluid movements. Make sure that you find someone who makes you comfortable and secure if you are looking for a person schooled in the art of acupuncture to help you ease your back pain.

The reason why experts stress on the use of exercises as an effective solution to back pain is because it enhances flexibility and mobility of the muscles, tendons and ligaments and facilitates the supply of nutrients to the disc spaces between the bones of the lower spine. The good thing about using heating pads to ease back pain is that they are designed in either patches or wraps that can be placed on the back and do not in any way intrude on your normal activities.

In as much as message therapists or chiropractors help you to feel relieved from your back pain, you should try as much as possible to understand and practice other back pain cures that you can apply by yourself in the event that it pops up again. More and more people are turning to herbal remedies to help them cope with back pain; such herbal remedies include the willow bark tree whose extract contains aspirin properties that ease pain. Massage therapy derives its effectiveness from its ability to loosen stiff muscles and ease pain hence, its application by an increasing number of people to lessen their back pain problems.

In vogue now are handheld massagers which automatically promote a back-pain sufferer to a back pain healer; it is a device that comes with services that are specifically targeted at working on the affected area and easing pain. An eleven percent decrease in brain mass has been noticed in sufferers of chronic back pain; the brain mass decreases as the pain increases therefore doctors advise that a positive mental attitude can help alleviate pain and promote overall health.

A variety of factors are involved in the treatment of back pain and include the extent of pain, the health and fitness of the sufferer and the cause of the pain. Minimal back pain may be a result of swelling in the muscles of the back and can be aided by deep treatment massage. A person who lives a sedentary life is more prone to suffer back aches than someone who is active because inactivity leads to stiffness of the joints and weak muscles which can give way under the slightest pressure.

 


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Simple Back Pain Solutions

You should know that back pain is a condition that can be easily avoided or treated with the right type of information; knowing more about back pain and its possible cures can help you deal with it if you are experiencing it or can help you avoid it completely. Back pain results from a variety of activities such as carrying heavy loads, making sudden uncoordinated movements, falling and landing in an awkward position or simply straining the back muscles as a result of strenuous sport activities. |Whatever the extent of back pain you are suffering from, whether it is mild or severe, the fact of the matter is that there are numerous alternatives in relief that you can choose from to alleviate it.

Back pain sufferers who are not comfortable with ingesting pills through the mouth can patronize back pain relievers that come in the form of creams or ointments. |Back pain is usually induced by a strain in the back muscles that may cause swelling in the muscles thus resulting in a dull throbbing ache or sometimes, a sharp stabbing feeling in the back.

Yoga serves as an excellent cure for back pain because it teaches its students to breathe properly, allowing the uninhibited flow of oxygen and stresses on stretching exercises that help the body to relax. Your back pain may be a result of all the stress you put yourself through in your job or at home; luxuriating in a hot tub of water or stretching can help you feel much better. A proper sitting posture can go a long way in preventing back ache so ensure that you sit straight to avoid any strain on your back muscles.

A diet that includes a fair amount of fish oils helps to lubricate your joints and lessens the risk of back pain for you. Back pain can be totally avoided if you engage in exercises on a regular basis because it builds your endurance level and prepares your body to effectively handle any injury.

In selecting the appropriate treatment for back pain, several factors are taken into consideration such as the fitness level of the person experiencing the back pain, the health status, the cause of the pain and the severity of the pain in the sufferer. An alternative to back pain that is gradually becoming popular because of its recorded success is acupuncture, an art that has been in practice in the Chinese culture for centuries and involves the insertion of needles into specific points of the body to stimulate a healing flow. Anti-inflammatory drugs such as Ibuprofen are usually prescribed to take care of back pain.


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Five Common Types of Massage

Have you ever wanted to go for a massage therapy session but didn’t know what type of massage to get? Massage therapy is a very diverse field of work and there are many types of massage to choose from that range from full-body stress relief to highly targeted methods that relieve muscular pain and dysfunction. Five of the most popular types of massage are Swedish massage, Deep Tissue Massage, Hot Stone Massage, Sports Massage, and Neuromuscular Therapy.

 

  1. Swedish Massage – this is the most common type of massage in the United States and perhaps the world. Swedish massage is known for its long gliding strokes, kneading strokes, friction strokes, and percussion as well as joint movements that feel great while improving range of motion. It’s most often thought of as a “spa” type of massage but it’s much more than that. Swedish massage is great for reducing stress, improving circulation, improving range of motion of your joints, and helping you actually feel better in your own skin. Swedish massage can range from light pressure to a heavier pressure depending on your comfort level. It’s more than just a “feel good” massage it is very therapeutic.

 

  1. Deep Tissue Massage – right behind Swedish massage in popularity and availability, Deep Tissue Massage is one of the best known and most often requested types of massage. This massage shares some strokes and techniques with Swedish massage and is used to root out chronic tension in the deeper musculature and connective tissues that contribute to pain and loss of range of motion in joints. While some massage therapy practitioners use a heavier, sometimes uncomfortable pressure in Deep Tissue Massage it should be noted that a more moderate pressure can reach deep tissues and achieve great results with little discomfort.

 

  1. Hot Stone Massage – this type of massage is probably the most relaxing and luxurious massage being given today. Heated basalt stones are added to the massage and are used by the massage therapist to perform a mini heat treatment as well as gliding massage strokes that seem to melt away stress and tension.

 

  1. Sports Massage – just like it sounds, Sports Massage is geared toward athletes at every level from professional to the “weekend warrior” and those who strive for a higher level of fitness. Rather than a specific form of massage, Sports Massage is generally a combination of massage techniques tailored to the athlete’s needs. The Sports Massage might be applied to one area to relieve pain or might be more general in nature to assure overall performance.

 

  1. Neuromuscular Therapy – also called “NMT” or Neuromuscular Massage, Neuromuscular Therapy is a well known massage technique for relieving muscular pain, and muscle spasm throughout the body. Neuromuscular Therapy is effective with myofascial trigger points causing “referred” pain that originates from someplace other than where it’s felt. This technique uses very targeted compression and friction massage techniques, positioning, and stretching to release the myofascial trigger points in muscles as well as restrictions in tendons, muscular attachments, and sometimes fascia surrounding the muscle.

 

All of the massage techniques described here can help you receive the health benefits of massage. Of course there are many more massage therapy techniques available that are relaxing, stress reducing, and that relieve chronic tension and pain. You actually don’t have to know what type of massage to ask for, you just need to know what you want to achieve. Do you just want to relax? Reduce muscle soreness? Relieve pain? Improve posture? Ask your massage therapist what they recommend for your particular health needs and get massaged today.


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Brief History of Osteoarthritis and Back Pain

At the spinal column are the elongated columns of bones, which the thoracic ribs support. The thoracic ribs push the bones the length of bone structure. The ribs join with the spinal column in various areas.  Joints connect with these ribs, which are field of studies, since they often wear and tear, causing gradual degenerative diseases, such as osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis is defined in medical terms as a metabolically dysfunction of the bones. The results of the drops in our life-sustaining chemicals, which promote activity causes the bones to reduce mass whilst increasing porosity. The disease can cause osteoporosis to set in and intensify risks of fractures.

How do doctors consider osteoarthritis and/or osteoporosis?

Doctors often consider etiology aspects, including hyperthyroidism, deficiency of estrogen, Cushing’s syndrome, immobility, increases in phosphorus, liver illness, lack of exercise, deficiency of calcium and protein, deficiency of Vitamin D, and bone marrow conditions. Wear and tear of specific joints as mentioned above is also linked to osteoarthritis.

According to the Pathophysiology in medical terms, osteoarthritis is assessed by considering the rates of bone resorption that exceeds the rate of the bone structure or formation. Experts will often test the patient while considering rises in “bone resorption” and increases in phosphate (Salt of Phosphoric Acids) that stimulates the parathyroid activities. Phosphoric acids will form ester, which emerge from reactions via alcohol, metal, and radicals. If estrogen shows a decrease in resorption, it could also show traits of osteoarthritis.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms may emerge from Kyphosis or otherwise known as Dowager’s hump. Back pain, as well as damage to the thoracic and lumbar may be present. In addition, the patient may lose height, and demonstrate an unsteady walk. Joint pain and weakness is also present.

How do doctors determine if osteoarthritis is present?

First, they assess the symptoms and then request tests, such as x-rays and photon absorptiometry. X-rays of course helps the doctor to locate thinning of bone structures, porous structures in the bones, and rises in vertebral curvatures. The photon tests help the expert to spot decreases in minerals.

What if I test positive for osteoarthritis:

If you test positive, then the doctor considers treatment. The treatment often includes management, interventions, and further assessments. Further assessments help the doctor weed down potential complications. The complications often include pathologic fractures, which are complex.

How does the doctor manage osteoarthritis?

No two people are alike therefore medical management varies. Yet, most doctors set up a high-calcium, protein diet, as well as increasing minerals, vitamin regimens, and boron.

Doctors may include in the management scheme alcohol and caffeine restrictions. In addition, the scheme may compose tolerated exercise, monitoring, lab studies, specifically studies on phosphorus and calcium. Doctors may also include into your management scheme estrace increase, i.e. estradiol or estrogen intake. Supplements with calcium carbonates (Os-CAL) are often prescribed as well. Additional treatment includes mineral and vitamin regimens, exercise, and so on.

Our center offers an innovative treatment which has been very successful with hundreds of patients. Ask our doctors about our Back-Pain Program.


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Massage Therapy and Stress Relief

While the practice of therapeutic massage has been used for centuries in the east, it is a relatively recent phenomenon here in the west.  While the wonders of modern medicine have left many awestruck, more and more people are looking towards complimentary therapies and non-invasive treatments for their ailments.  Massage therapy has never been as popular as it is today in America.

A number of studies have shown that massage therapy is a highly effective stress reduction technique.  An earlier study, conducted by the University of Miami Medical School and published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child Adolescent Psychiatry, suggested that children receiving 30 minutes of therapeutic massage daily were less depressed and anxious than they were at the time of their admittance.

This particular study also observed marked differences in the health and behavior of the children in the test group, over the children in the control group.  The nurses taking part in the study also noted that the children were more cooperative, and were able to achieve a higher level of sleep quality.  On the biological level, the children in the control group exhibited lower levels of cortisol (a stress hormone) in their saliva and in their urine.  It quickly became evident to researchers that massage can play a significant role in stress reduction.

It is highly encouraging that both the medical establishment and the general public are starting to realize the impact that stress can have on an individual’s health and well being.  Some physicians and researchers have suggested that stress is responsible for over 75% of all disease in the western world, including skin disorders, high blood pressure, headaches, digestive ailments, muscle pain, and depression.  By employing the age-old techniques of massage therapy, there exists the distinct possibility of overcoming these terrible afflictions.

The eminent Victorian physician, Dr. Stretch Dowse, noted the following back in 1887:  “The mind, which before massage is in a perturbed, restless, vacillating and, even despondent state, becomes after massage, calm, quiet, peaceful and subdued; in fact, the wearied and worried mind has been converted into a mind restful, placid, and refreshed.”  While modern medicine is full of promise in certain areas, it is not wise to ignore the knowledge and insights of the past.  Massage therapy has helped countless people cope with the stress of modern life.  It could help you, too.


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