North West pain Relief Center Editorial Staff, Author at Northwest Pain Relief Centers - Page 2 of 11

Author Archives: North West pain Relief Center Editorial Staff

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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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Just What is Back Pain and Some Surprising Stats About It

Just What is Back Pain and Some Surprising Stats About It

For decades, the medical profession has been observing back pain to be common in society. Most noted victims to chronic back pain being our senior citizens. The annoyances of back pain causes distress and can also prevent people from their regular activities including their work schedule and play time with family. Back pain can be the most difficult and frustrating type of pain to treat for both patients and their doctors.

Here are some of the common causes of back pain:

  1. Muscles strains are considered to be the most common.
  2. A ruptured intervertebral disc, otherwise known as a herniated disc which can lead to discogenic back pain
  3. Improper posture, heavy lifting and repetitive motion can also cause back pain.
  4. At the ageing stage, the spinal cord is likely to get constricted which can cause back pain. This is known as Spinal stenosis.
  5. A person suffering from arthritis in the lumber region is commonly subjected to back pain.
  6. Due to generative changes, the adjacent vertebrae in the spinal cord can become unstable and start to slip, resulting in back pain. This is called spondylolisthesis.
  7. Sometimes psychological issues like fear, anxiety and depression too can add to discomfort and pain.

Types and treatments of back pain:

It can be classified into two categories.

  1. Acute or short-term pain – Also known as lower back pain, the pain is probably due to lower back trauma of some sort. Incurred sports or vehicular injuries may have been the root cause of this undesirable back pain.
  2. Chronic back pain: If the back pain persists for more than three months, it is considered to be chronic.

Here are some interesting facts about back pain:

  • Through 1997 – 2001, the average days of work lost due to back injuries was 45.
  • Around 30 to 40 percent of all workplace absences have been known to be due to back pain.
  • Back strain accounts for 25% of all claims to the WCB.
  • From 1997 – 2001 the WCB received 63,900 claims for back strain from males and 26,800 claims for back strain from females.
  • More than two-thirds of back strains are caused by lifting and other exertions like pulling and pushing.
  • Lower back pain accounts for two thirds of all back pain related cases.

Victims need to consult a Chiropractor if their back pain persists for more than 72 hours. Surgery is not a great solution at any time, sometimes pain relievers will lessen the pain followed by the consumption of anti-inflammatory medication. Certain exercises are also recommended to strengthen the muscles and to overcome back pain. But they should be practiced in the presence of a professional or else they might make the situation worse if practiced in the wrong way.

If the pain spreads to legs, numbness in legs, rectal area and foot, development of nausea, fever, stomach pain and vomiting accompanied by back pain a person should immediately be reported to a doctor.

The key to proper treatment of back pain is to understand the cause and take preventative and pro-active measures to eliminate the pain. Remember, pain is always a sign that something else is wrong and if continually ignored may lead to more serious harm.


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Your Total Guide to Cluster Headache

Two heads are better than one! A cluster of heads is still better! But this cluster headache is definitely not desirable! One should not suffer from this chasing disease.

It is chasing because once this headache starts, it occurs daily over a period of weeks extending up to several months! Then it may suddenly disappear and dramatically reappear during the same season in the ensuing year. Its timing is marked and it is perfect!

Who or what is responsible for this cluster headache? Nothing is known for certain. But it is reasonably proven that changes in the walls of blood vessels in the head have a role to play in the advancement of the cluster headache!

The brain by itself is a non-committal entity. It feels no pain. The pain of headache comes from the tissues surrounding the brain, the attaching structure at the base of the brain. The muscles, the scalp vessels, the vessel of the face and neck, may cause cluster headache. Or it may be specifically to blood vessels dilation or to inflammation of nerves behind the eyes.

The pattern of cluster headaches is very interesting. There are active periods and passive periods. Headache occurs in clusters. It may be days, weeks or even months, during which headache bothers you in clusters, every other day or ten times during a particular day. Head-ache free intermission may last for several months and years.

During the active period, you have to be careful about your lifestyles and discipline. Attacks may be triggered and intense suffering may bother you. The reasons may include: intake of alcohol, going to a place of high altitude, air travel, intense heat due to sunlight or due to any other reasons like taking of those items of food which are high in nitrates and many more.

Since cluster headaches are a serious type of headache, you have to budget your day, in all its aspects according to a strict schedule that is suitable to you. You can only know what is suitable for you by past experience!


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Your prescription for sinus headache

Your Prescription for Sinus Headache Relief

“Prevention is better than cure.” Well said and well understood! But there are certain types of headaches, which are part and parcel of you; gifted to you by birth! Sinus headache is one of them, unfortunately.

Many say about sinus, “that which cannot be cured, must be endured!’ You can control it, reduce its impact. Can it be ever eradicated? The answer is in the negative, as far as the present day medical research can take you!

In sinus, invariably you have the headache, but every headache is not sinus! Sinus and nasal passage problems are the cause of headache, mostly! It is not that you have pain in the sinus area and you need to conclude that you have a sinus disorder. When the nasal passage and sinus are inflamed, it can result in a severe headache. In acute chronic sinus, the intensity of headache varies with the severity of the sinus. Sinus patients complain about many other problems. The sinus patient is more likely to experience:

  1. Chills and fevers
  2. Swelling of face
  3. Nasal stiffness
  4. Tension in the upper teeth, which will give lots of pain
  5. Or, yellow or green discharge.

If you are suffering from sinus, you must live a controlled life, and must remain highly disciplined, with regard to the diet. There are strict laws as far as do’s and don’ts are concerned! Singers will have to take special care about maintaining the vocal chords of their throats! Sinus remains ever ready to sabotage their plans.

Pranayama and Yoga asanas go a long way in controlling and curing the sinus headache! Regular light exercise must be done and tough and heavy exercises need to be avoided. The use of steam vaporizer must become the part of your life, if you detect the sinus! Develop the habit of morning walk. Do not walk too briskly or too slowly, and avoid too chilly or too hot days. Breathe moist air.

Sinus and headache are two different problems. When they club together and make a joint attack on you, your only defense is to find out the root cause of their arrival and then check them. So far, it has not been possible for the medical science and research, to defeat the sinus headache. But to erect barricades in its onward march is certainly possible!


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Trying yoga for back pain part 2

Trying Yoga for Back Pain? Then Pick the RIGHT poses (Part 2)

I went over in detail the use of the shoulder stand sequence as ‘the’ Yoga exercise for back pain in part one of this article. Now let’s go over the rest of the applicable poses shall we.

FORWARD STRETCHES

Wind Relieving Pose: (Vatayanasan)

Lie down flat. Now take a deep breath and hold it. Now fold your right leg at the knee and press the folded leg against the abdomen. Make sure to keep the alternate leg straight while doing this. Now, switch legs and to conclude this use both legs at the same time.

5-15 Seconds

Plough Pose (Halasana)

Lie flat on your back on your blanket. Keep the hands, palms down near the thighs. Without bending the knees, slowly raise the hips and the lumbar part of the back and bring down the legs till they touch the floor or go as far as you can. The key here is to get as deep a stretch for the lower back as possible.

5-15 Seconds

Forward Bend (Paschimothanasana)

Lie flat on your back on the blanket, with arms overhead on the floor. Keep the legs and thighs firmly on the floor. Stiffen your body. Slowly raise the head and the chest and assume a sitting position. Now exhale till you are able to catch you toes, ankles or heels. You may even bury your face in between your knees.

5-15 Seconds

BACKWARD STRETCHES

Inclined Plane Pose (Purvottanasana)

Rest on your hands-on heels, keeping the body straight.

5-15 Seconds

Bow Pose: (Dhanurasana)

This pose is hailed as the best backward bending exercise. Lie Prone on the blanket. Relax the muscles. Now bend the legs over the thighs. Catch hold of the right ankle with the right hand and the left ankle with the left hand firmly. Raise the head, body and knees by tugging at the legs with the hands so the whole-body rests on the abdomen.

Wheel Pose (Chakrasana)

Lie down. Bend the arms and legs. Raise the body and rest on the hands and feet. Tuck your head firmly in between your shoulders.

5-15 Seconds

Spinal Twist: (Ardha Matsendrasana)

-Sit on the floor with both legs out in front of you.

-Bend your right knee, lift your right leg over your left, and place your right foot on the floor next to your left knee.

-Sitting with spine straight, place your left elbow on the right side of your right knee.

-Bend your left arm so that your left fingertips are touching your right hip, while at the same time, twisting to look over your right shoulder.

Since this actually involves a twisting of the back, make sure you go only as far as it is comfortable.  As a matter of fact, it is advised that depending on the severity of your case, you only go as far as the poses allow you to at any time.

5-15 Seconds

Corpse Pose (Savasana)

This is the relaxation pose. From experience, after the spinal twist above, if you immediately get into this pose, there is an indescribable feeling of relief from tightness in the back. You ought to try it out for yourself.

-Lay motionless on your back with the arms and legs slightly extended.

-Breathe deeply in counts of 5 that being in a ratio of 5:5:5

(inhalation-retention-exhalation)

-Lay as such for as long as you desire and you could mentally send relaxation messages to your body parts such as “My …. is hereby relaxed” (filling in the space with whatever body part. Remember to start from the toes working upwards.)

Other factors to keep in mind when I say try ‘yoga for back pain’ are that Yoga involves the consumption of a healthy diet. This brings to mind Hippocrates’ quote: “Let your foods be your medicine…”

That considered, do make sure your diet is primarily made up of the right stuff, raw and cooked fruits and veggies.

This will relieve constipation and this reminds me of a true experience with my father years back. He had suffered a severe back pain for weeks and an alternative health consultant told him to eat a meal of plain fruit on a given night and 2-3 hours afterwards, he was instructed to drink a laxative tea. After a really good bowel movement the next day, the pain magically subsided. That said you may want to try this tip as well.

It is my hope that all these pointers above will come in handy in your use of yoga for back pain relief-with the right poses. So, go on and give it a shot today.


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Trying yoga for back pain part 1

Trying Yoga for Back Pain (Part 1)

Studies have shown that Yoga may be one of the most effective exercises for back pain relief. In fact Health-First reporter Leslie LoBue says twisting your body into those sometimes awkward positions may actually be just the thing for lower back pain.

However, as effective as Yoga may be to reduce the pain of back problems, knowing exactly what poses to use, for how long, what to offset the poses with and in what sequence to execute them, are other factors that should be taken into consideration before using it as a therapeutic relief from back pain.

I can see a reader go “Wait a minute…if I have to go through all that, then maybe I should just take some painkillers and call it a day.”

If that applies, it is hardly my intention to scare you away from Yoga for back pain, in fact I’d rather you embraced its use as an alternative to drugs-prescribed or otherwise-for your problems, however, for your success with its use, a little bit of awareness of the correct poses to use for back pain is required and will come in handy for a lasting use of this drug-free alternative.

I will go over the common, simple yet very effective poses for back pain and also give you instructions on the proper poses to offset the spinal motions when applicable. Moreover, I will discuss the factors of the duration of time needed when executing these poses as well.

Though some of these poses may best be learned under the supervision of a certified Yoga Instructor or avid expert, with the descriptions given below-and if need be, the use of image searches on related Yoga sites and search engines-

I believe you should be able to get a good concept to at least be able to practice these poses at home.

Here are some of the best poses for back ache and since the aim here is more so back pain relief versus exercising, it is not mandatory that you hold them more than 5-15 seconds, depending on your level of comfort. Moreover, a use of a yoga mat or any other soft surface is highly recommended in the execution of these asanas.

The Shoulder-stand (Savangasana)

This, folks, is a noted panacea for near any human ailment.

Don’t panic, it is extremely easy to execute, however, depending on the severity of your case, use discretion in its use.

-Spread a thick blanket on the floor and place your yoga mat on it. Lie on the back.

-Slowly raise the legs. Lift the trunk, hips and legs to a vertical position.

-Rest the elbows firmly on the floor and support the back with both hands.

-Raise the legs till they become vertical. Press the chin against the chest..

-While performing this pose, the back of the neck, the posterior part of the head and the shoulders should touch the floor. (I can assure you that you will say “Hey, I’ve done this before as a kid…this is yoga?”)

-Breathe in counts of 5-5-5 (inhalation, retention and exhalation).

-Don’t allow the body to shake.

Now for the counter poses to the Shoulder-Stand, try to incorporate the following:

Bridge Pose (Sethu Bhandasana)

From the Shoulder Stand position, stretch the legs and slowly touch the floor with the feet. It is done to bend the spine in the opposite direction.

Fish Pose (Matsyasana)

Lie on your back. Stretch the legs and keeps the hands palm down under the thighs. Raise the chest with the help of the elbows and, bending the neck as much as possible backwards, rest on the top of the head.

Suggested Duration:

Try to use the ratio below to time the execution of these three poses.

6:1:2 (meaning the fish pose is held for a third of the time spent in the shoulder stand and the bridge pose held for half the time spent in the fish pose (or a sixth of the time spent in the shoulder-stand)

Or as an alternative, you could simply forego the bridge pose and apply a 2:1 ratio (shoulder-stand to fish pose) but this is only advised if you intend to do the parent pose (the shoulder-stand) for only a few seconds.

Obviously, a lot of detail has gone into the description of these poses, however, that is because my intention is for you to be well informed, but for the sake of time and space. I will briefly go over the other poses you could do well to include AFTER you try the sequence above. This is if you decide to use it by the way. If not, you could do very well to simply start from the stage to be depicted in part 2 of this article.


 
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