Blog - Northwest Pain Relief Centers in Washington and Alaska, USA

Advice on Treating Lower Back Pain

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Advice on Treating Lower Back Pain

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Lower back pain is a common complaint, and people are often willing to go to great lengths to find relief. It’s often difficult to pinpoint the cause of low back pain, because while it is sometimes caused by trauma like an accident or injury, it can also be the result of something as simple as improper lifting or bending. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce the occurrence of back pain, and your doctor can help you find ways to alleviate it.

While there’s no way to completely prevent lower back pain, there are some ways to help prevent it. By getting regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, managing your stress, and paying attention to proper posture, you can help keep your back strong, healthy, and less susceptible to pain and injury. At the same time, these measures can help you recover more quickly if something does happen to cause pain in your lower back. Other steps you can take to keep your back in good condition include avoiding high heeled shoes, quitting smoking, and experimenting with different sleeping positions.

If you do suffer from low back pain, try resting your back and using an ice pack for 20 minutes at a time during the first 48 hours, and then switching to heat, to see if that helps relieve your discomfort. You might also try gentle stretching, or an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, or acetaminophen. If none of these home remedies work, your doctor can help. Traditional treatment for back pain uses muscle relaxants and pain medication, and treatments like traction. In severe cases, doctors sometimes recommend extreme measures like epidural injections or even surgery. However, many patients find relief from holistic treatments, including:

  • Chiropractic/spinal manipulation
  • Acupuncture
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Massage Therapy
  • Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation

At our clinic, we utilize a wide range of treatments to provide a customized treatment plan for each unique patient. Whether a patient is suffering from acute pain (pain lasting three months or less) or chronic pain (lasting more than three months) we can help develop a strategy to help alleviate back pain and set the patient on the path to optimal health and wellness. Call us today for more information on lower back pain treatment


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Tips and Causes of Back Pain

Your sleeping position may be responsible for your back ache; to rectify this, place a pillow under your head to support your neck and a pillow between your knees when sleeping in a fetal position. Exercise videos or DVDS are available for purchase if you are keen on adopting an exercise regime that will help strengthen your back and body as a way to help alleviate back pain. Back pain has been medically classified into acute back pain, also known as temporary flare ups which are caused by sprains or swelling of ligaments and chronic back pain which encompasses back pain that is more long lasting and more complicated than the acute back pain.

The releases of endorphins occur during exercise and are natural pain killers; this is why exercise is advocated as an effective cure for back ache. Self-medicating when you feel the slightest ache in your back is not advisable because the odds are you will eventually become so hooked on the painkillers that you take them even if you have no pain.

Percutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (PENS) is an acupunctural procedure used for relieving back pain that involves the insertion of needles into the ankles, knees or fingers. Regardless of the fact that exercising a painful back will cause you a great deal of pain first, you should make a concerted attempt to do it because research shows that consistent exercise lessens the chances of the back pain ever returning. Handheld massagers are modern day versions of message therapists that come with heat functions which help in the treatment of deep heat message for aching back muscles and are quite affordable and effective.

Poor diet can be definite cause of back pain because insufficient nutrients deprive the body of the energy it needs to enhance the flexibility and mobility of the body. An alternative for back pain is a massage chair; this is a device that was introduced in the 1980’s and is equipped with various functions that include deep massage treatment for aching back muscles.

An alternative for back pain is reflexology a procedure that lessens the pain you feel in your back by the careful application of pressure in strategic places on the body that enhances blood circulation and aids in relaxation. A good mattress can ease your back pains because it cushions your body; if you have a mattress that is too hard, you are bound to suffer from back aches and an equally soft mattress can yield the same pain; the balance is to get a firm springy mattress that gives you comfort in your sleep. Pregnant women complain about back pain; over fifty percent of women who are pregnant suffer from back pain because of the increase in their weight which causes a change in the center of gravity; exercise in the form of stretching can provide relief.


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Tips For Preventing Back Pain

Doctors usually prescribe an inclusion of fish oils in your diet because they decrease friction between bones in the body and reduce the occurrences of pain caused by the rubbing together of two joints which may cause back pain for you. You can strengthen your back, leg muscles and hip by carrying out this exercise; stand with your back against the wall with your feel placed in alignment with your shoulders then, place your hands on your hip, exhale and inhale deeply as you slide down the wall at an angle of ninety degrees, hold for five seconds and return to your original position. To receive the right treatment for your back ache, you should see your doctor who will determine the cause of the pain and prescribe the right drug for you.

Sitting for several hours at a desk has been known to cause back pain; if you do this, get up at intervals and stretch out your body. Chiropractors are recognized medical professionals who provide relief for back pain by applying pressure on certain parts of the back by massage or manipulating specific muscles to produce relief.

Many people who often complain about back pain are usually over weight and experience it because of the demand the weight places on their bodies; the best cure for this kind of back pain is to slim down and keep fit. Massage therapy involves the use of various soothing oils that are rubbed strategically into the affected area and can ease your back ache; however, in the case of a muscles spasm, a single session is not sufficient enough to produce results so, you should be prepared for more than one session to feel any relief. A slipped disc in your spinal cord can cause you back ache because it inevitably causes the surrounding muscles a lot of discomfort; a chiropractor can put this back in place with a few well-placed manipulation techniques, resulting in no pain at all.

If you are interested in turning to acupuncture to treat your back pain but have no idea about how to get an acupuncturist, you can contact the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture and select your choice of an acupuncturist. |In the event that you experience back pain when lifting heavy furniture or heavy equipment, the first thing you should do is to lie on your back on the floor with your knees and hips bent and place pillows under your knees to ease the pressure off your back.

A popular cure for back pain is a heat pack which is applied on the area that is affected for a maximum of thirty minutes intermittently the heat pack helps to ease painful muscles spasms and provide relief. Excessive body weight puts undue pressure on the back and can cause persistent back pain; losing weight in this case is the only way to reduce the pain. Knowing the source of origin of your back pain helps because it makes the prescription of a cure much faster and easier.


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Your Back to School Weight Loss Plan

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How does this time of year work for your weight loss goals? For many parents, the end of summer signals the beginning of the heightened stress season, as back to school amps up our commitments, with the holidays nipping at its heels. It’s often hard to stay on track with your fitness and weight-loss goals, when you’re bogged down by school day routines, extracurricular activities, and other time vampires. For others, the summer is the hardest time to maintain a weight loss routine, because the long lazy days have too little structure. No matter what, now is a great time to regroup, rethink your routines, and renew your commitment to a healthy lifestyle.  

  • Make breakfast part of your routine. You’ve heard over and over again that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and while some researchers disagree, there’s evidence to confirm that eating breakfast is a good way to boost weight loss. In addition, children who eat a good breakfast are more alert at school, performing better, with less of a decline in memory and focus than those who skip breakfast. With these facts in mind, you might find that breakfast is a great time to bring your family together for a simple but nutritious meal. It’s important to remember that what you eat for breakfast is what matters most. Opt for a fiber and protein rich breakfast over a cereal or pastry loaded with carbs and sugar.
  • Plan your lunches. It’s easy to focus on family dinners when you’re planning your weekly meals, but it’s a mistake to forget about lunch. If you’re someone who is at home during the day, set yourself up for success by keeping healthy snacks on hand, and making a plan for a light and lean lunch. If you’re stuck in an office all day, consider brown-bagging it to make sure your meal choice stays in line with your weight loss goals. You might even make lunch prep a family bonding moment, preparing sack lunches with your kids the night before.
  • As your schedule becomes more complicated, make sure that exercise is on the calendar. If after school commitments are going to infringe on your exercise time, consider a shift in schedule, perhaps exercising in the morning or on your lunch break. If you’re stuck at soccer practice or a softball game, walk around the track, or back and forth along the edge of the field, rather than sitting passively to watch. The most important thing is to have a plan, and make exercise a regular part of your routine.
  • Make dinner plans, and be sure to include local produce. Planning your dinners ahead of time makes weeknights less stressful, and also helps to ensure that your meals will be healthy and in line with your weight loss goals. You’ll be much less tempted to hit the drive-through if you know exactly what you have planned for your family dinner. While you’re making plans, remember that fall is a great time to pile on the produce! Harvest season means tons of healthy options, full of a wide variety of nutrients.

Sticking to your weight loss plan is just part of what it means to live a healthy lifestyle. At our clinic, we believe in working with patients to improve their overall health, through a holistic, natural approach that treats them like whole people and addresses medical concerns by looking at the big picture, not just treating symptoms. To learn how we can help you live your healthiest life, in a state of optimal wellness, visit our website or call for a free consultation today.


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Now That You’ve Lost Weight, How Do You Keep it Off?

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Weight loss is an elusive goal for many, and it seems most people you meet are on some kind of a diet. The weight loss industry is a multi-billion dollar enterprise, with companies promising results with everything from shakes to wraps to pills to bars. It is interesting to note, however, that for most people, weight loss is simply a matter of expending more calories than are consumed. By changing some of your habits, you can take charge of your weight loss, and keep the weight off forever.

  • To change your body, first change your attitude. Having confidence that you can control your body weight is the first step toward successful weight loss. Take small and simple steps to gradually change your lifestyle and you will soon see results.
  • Add good habits rather than trying to ditch bad habits. Rather than focusing on what you shouldn’t do, focus on what you should, building good habits into your routine a little bit at a time. Soon, a healthy lifestyle will come naturally to you, and you’ll see your bad habits crowded out by the good ones.
  • Match your intake to your activity. People with an extremely active lifestyle need more calories than those who live sedentary lives. If you need to lose weight, it’s a good idea to raise your activity level as you lower your caloric intake. Start with simple things, like parking your car further from the building, or taking the stairs, and you’ll be surprised at how quickly your energy and stamina increase.
  • Focus on real foods. Sodas, sweets, and processed foods are empty calories, contributing nothing for your nutritional needs. Fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and lean meats, however, provide valuable nutrients to help you stay in good health. If you’re used to eating meat at every meal, considering swapping in a vegetarian meal every week or so, to gradually help you eat leaner and healthier.
  • Drink plenty of water. Water is important for the health of your tissues and organs, but it has an important function for those attempting to eat less, as well: it fills your stomach. Drinking water before your meal can help you to feel full, so you don’t eat as much.
  • Avoid extremes. Trying to give up entire categories of food is unrealistic for most people and limiting your calories significantly can cause you to feel deprived, setting you up to fail. Not only that, but restricting your food intake dramatically can result in a shortage of nutrients, causing you to become malnourished or lose muscle rather than fat.
  • Make a lifestyle change rather than going on a diet. Jumping into a diet can be stressful and ineffective. Changing your outlook and the way you live your life, however, can result in long-term positive shifts in your overall wellbeing.

Sometimes, even those who put an enormous effort into weight loss can find themselves stuck. If you’ve made the changes suggested here, and you find the scale still won’t budge, it may be time to see a doctor. Our clinic offers medical weight loss solutions to help patients achieve their healthy weight loss goals. Visit our website to learn more, or contact us for a free consultation.


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Yoga Tips for Expecting Mothers

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Pregnancy can be difficult on a woman’s body, and it’s certainly a time of change. Many experts believe that prenatal yoga can be extremely beneficial, both in helping relieve the stress of pregnancy and also in easing delivery. While pregnancy is not the time to start a new and hard-core practice of yoga, even a beginner can engage in some gentle yoga techniques.

Pregnancy is not just a time of change, but also one of empowerment. It’s a season in which women often feel strong and are committed to taking care of their bodies. The knowledge that everything she does completely impacts another person can give a woman the strength and impetus to take control of her life and get as healthy as possible. Yoga can be a big part of this, as long as you remember a few simple guidelines.

  • Don’t jump into anything too strenuous. A woman who is new to yoga should stick to prenatal yoga during her pregnancy, and avoid any of the more difficult aspects of practice. In fact, even seasoned practitioners are well-advised to shift to prenatal classes late in the 2nd trimester or early in the 3rd. This will allow them to learn the elements of prenatal yoga which prepare the body for labor but are not included in a regular class.
  • Avoid heat during all phases of pregnancy. If you’re already involved in a heated practice, it’s imperative that you shift to one that is not.
  • Skip twists and core work. Anything that stresses the abdomen is not a good idea during pregnancy.  Twists wring and compress the abdomen, and pregnancy is not a time to work on building abs. During the first trimester, you’ll want to avoid hardcore inversions, too, even if you’re already experienced. A good alternative for a pregnant woman is the Supta Baddha Konasana pose.
  • Focus on the meditation and breathing aspects of yoga. Nadi Shodhana, the channel cleaning breath, is good for calming the mind and settling your energy so that you can be truly present as you practice. Ujjayi pranayama, the victory breath, and Bhrami, or bee breath, are also good for helping you deal with emotional changes, and relaxing your mind. Meditation can help you remain positive, relaxed, and cheerful during your pregnancy.

Overall, yoga practice is a great way to help bring you to a healthy, happy place for your delivery. Under the direction of a trained teacher, proficient in prenatal yoga techniques, you’ll be able to use this discipline to strengthen both body and mind, which will ease your transition into motherhood. At our clinic, we focus on holistic practices that help patients thrive during all seasons of life, focusing on health and wellness. For more information, or a free consultation, call us or visit our website.


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Chiropractic Tips for Expecting Mothers

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Chiropractic care is the art and science of adjusting misaligned joints in the spine and other areas of the body, in order to reduce spinal nerve stress. It helps to improve wellness, without drugs or surgery, and can even resolve issues like back pain, neck pain, headaches, extremity pain, poor overall health, and low energy levels. Some might wonder, however, if it’s safe during pregnancy.

The good news is that chiropractic care during pregnancy has no known contraindications. In fact, pregnancy chiropractic can offer many benefits, including less nausea, relief from back, neck and joint pain, a healthier pregnancy, and even improved outcomes for delivery. For women seeking back pain relief during pregnancy, chiropractic offers an efficacy rate of 72%. As long as it’s performed by a practitioner trained in prenatal chiropractic care, chiropractic care can be extremely helpful during pregnancy, especially when you follow a few simple tips.

  • First, get regular adjustments from a qualified practitioner.  As your body shape changes, it’s crucial to maintain a healthy skeletal structure, and chiropractic can assist with that, as well as helping to keep your nervous system functioning correctly.
  • Do your part to keep your body working well by gently exercising each day. Walking, swimming, and stationary cycling are all good options for exercise during pregnancy. Don’t do any sort of exercise that involves jerky or bouncing movements, and stop if you feel weak, nauseous, or dizzy.
  • Wear the right shoes. Flat shoes with arch supports are best during pregnancy, because your rapidly increasing body weight, and lax ligaments that support the feet, can make your feet more susceptible to injury.
  • Protect your lower back. Bend from the knees, not the waist, when you’re picking up anything heavy. When you sleep, lie on your side with a pillow between your knees, in order to take the pressure off of your lower back. You might consider a full length body pillow or a pregnancy wedge.

No matter what your phase of life, natural therapies like chiropractic and massage therapy can be beneficial to your health. At our clinic, we believe in using holistic healing treatments to help keep patients on the path to optimal wellness. To learn more about pregnancy chiropractic, call today for a free consultation.


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Five Smart Low Back Pain Relief Ideas

Low back pain is a common problem for most people as they age. With age, a person’s bone and muscle structure loses elasticity and strength which makes it prone to injuries that cause low back pain. However, age is just one of the many probable causes of low back pain. Other reasons include inappropriate posture, excessive weight gain, stress, and degenerative diseases, among others. Treatment for low back pain can be a long procedure depending on the cause but there are several ways a person can get low back pain relief easily and safely. Below are some ideas to relieve low back pain:

  1. Use heating pads to relax back muscles and the spine.

Applying heat therapy for 20-30 minutes on the lower back can soothe pain caused by muscle spasms and fatigue. A regular heating pad applied with a gentle massage on the lower back can provide instant low back pain relief. If no heating pads are available, soaking in a hot bath can also do wonders for low back pain.

  1. Take non-prescription painkillers.

Over-the-counter painkillers can reduce joint pain and swelling. Some of the most popular painkillers for back pain include naproxen, ibuprofen, aspirin, and ketoprofen. However, even if these painkillers are available without prescription, it is advisable to consult a doctor about over-the-counter drugs one can take in case of low back pain.

  1. Practice appropriate posture for specific activities.

Inappropriate posture can put undue strain on your lower back which can cause injuries over time. When standing, keep your hips, shoulder, and ears in a straight line while pulling your stomach in. This position ensures that your weight is evenly distributed so as not to burden your back muscles. If you sit for long hours, using a chair with good back support is essential to maintaining proper posture. It is important to keep your hips a little lower than your knees by propping your feet on a low stool or adjusting the chair’s height.

  1. Rest to soothe back pain.

When one experiences low back pain, it is important to rest. The best way to do this is to lie on the floor with pillows under the knees. This works by easing the weight and pressure off one’s back.  While this works as a temporary relief for low back pain, resting this way for a couple of days can help a person recuperate from a hurt or strained back.

  1. Stretch back muscles regularly.

Muscle elasticity and bone flexibility are greatly reduced as one ages or suffers from injuries. As such, even minor activities can trigger low back pain.  Although stretching before performing strenuous activities like sports or lifting heavy objects is already standard, it is also important to take regular stretching breaks during everyday activities like driving and sitting to ease the stress from one’s back.

Back pain need not be such a burden if one knows simple and safe techniques to soothe it. But if the pain in one’s back is chronic or prolonged, the best way to deal with it is to consult a doctor for treatment and medication.

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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Health Benefits of Foot Massage

Massage of any kind is relaxing and promotes a feeling of calmness. To many health practitioners, in fact, foot massage has been known to be good for health and well-being. Foot massage is common throughout the east as a healing method. In the east, foot massage is not only practiced on adults but on children as well.

Foot massage or reflexology works in the same manner as acupuncture. Each area of the foot corresponds with another area of the body and by massaging each part of the foot, you may be working on your liver, kidney, colon, stomach, etc. Thus, if you experience constipation, a massage through your feet can help in your bowel movement problems.

Health benefits are not entirely proven, but many claim they work. It is said that reflexology can get rid of toxins, help your circulation, improve body functions and even improve memory. A professional foot reflexologist can even diagnose the health problems that you are facing just by massaging your feet.

Foot massage can be really painful. This is especially if more pressure is applied. Screams of pain from a patient in a foot massage center is not uncommon. However, this should not deter you, if you are considering a foot massage. Just explain to the foot reflexologist about your low tolerance for pain and ask him to adjust the pressure applied.

If nothing else, a foot massage will help melt away the day’s stress. Your feet take the biggest beating throughout the day. They have to get you where you need to go and hold up your entire body weight. People tend to overlook their feet. However, hurting feet may just render a person immobile.

With many new age ideas filtering to the west, foot massage has also become more popular in areas like the United States. It is a natural way of treatment after a long hard day. The health benefits may be disputed but it never hurts to try it out and see what benefits it may hold for you.

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


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Migraine Headaches- What Are They?

The possibility of a migraine headache can easily become the worst fear of anyone who has ever suffered from one. These debilitating headaches are believed to be caused by changes in the levels of serotonin in the brain. When the levels are too low, this causes the blood vessels to swell, and this swelling causes quite a bit of pain. The level of serotonin that your brain produces is determined by many different things, including foods, light, estrogen, and blood sugar levels.

Those who suffer from migraine headaches know that the pain can become incredibly intense, literally preventing them from going about their day-to-day lives. Different people experience different levels of pain with their migraines – no two are alike.

Symptoms of a migraine headache may include nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, spotty vision, sensitivity to light, sound and smells, intense throbbing pain in various places on your head, feelings of exhaustion, confusion, being too hot or too cold, having a stiff neck and shoulders, dizziness, or feeling light headed.

Many people also report that movement or being touched increases the pain dramatically. Some people suffer from migraines so often that they know when one is about to start – well before it starts. They may experience fatigue, have mood swings, crave certain foods, or they may even experience increased energy that is not ‘normal’ for them.

There are different types of migraine headaches. Classic Migraines are described as migraines that are signaled by changes in the way one sees. Feelings of depression, irritability, and restlessness may signal these migraines. Common Migraines usually start slowly and lasting much longer than Classic Migraines. Classic Migraines and Common Migraines are the two most common types of migraine headaches.

Migraines can be caused by a variety of things, such as excess light, which causes the brain to produce more serotonin than is needed. Certain foods can cause migraines, and this varies from person to person. Unbalanced estrogen levels are another major cause, and more women than men have migraine headaches. Migraine headaches may last anywhere from a few hours up to three days or more.

For some people, over the counter pain relievers will help ease the pain of a migraine. For others, stronger prescriptions pain reliever is required. Again, treatment should be started at the first sign of a migraine in order to cure it faster. Some prescription medications used to treat severe migraine headaches can be habit forming, so caution should be used.

Other than medication, if you are suffering from a migraine, you should resign to a dark room that is very quiet and lie down. If touch doesn’t bother you, massaging your temples may help. Make sure that you apply pressure to the temples, and you should keep your eyes closed and place a cool damp cloth or cold compress either over your eyes or on your head – or both.

Migraines can be avoided in a variety of ways. For frequent headaches, medication may be prescribed to help avoid migraines. Wearing sunglasses, especially those designed for headache sufferers should also be used in bright light.. If certain foods tend to bring on your migraines, those foods should of course be avoided. You should also make sure that you get plenty of sleep and that you avoid stress.

Again, migraine headaches can be quite debilitating. Prevention of these headaches is important, and anyone who has had one of these types of headaches will do everything they can do to prevent another one from coming on. Prevention, however, doesn’t always work, so again, make sure you start treating your migraine headache at the very first sign that one is coming for faster relief.

Our center offers an innovative treatment which has been very successful with hundreds of patients. Ask our doctors about our Headache and Migraine Program.


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