Posts for tag: Pain
As an active person, your favorite sport or exercise is an important part of your life. It gives you energy, it challenges you and it makes you come alive. You can't imagine a day without it until the day you get injured. Sports injuries are a natural consequence of the choice of being active. Keeping informed on how to manage an injury is just as important as taking precautions to avoid them.
The Standard Protocol for Managing Injuries
The first line of treatment and the standard protocol for managing acute injuries is a method known as RICE, which stands for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.
Rest means reducing physical activity in the injured area, for example, by using a crutch or some other method of taking weight off the injured part of the body. Ice is applied to the area to reduce inflammation to the muscles. Compression refers to compressing the area using any means like an elastic wrap to help reduce swelling, and Elevation refers to raising the area, also to help reduce swelling.
Painkillers Help With Pain, But They Aren't for Everyone
During the course of rehabilitation, doctors sometimes prescribe medication that can relieve pain. Common medications include opioids like morphine and methadone, which, despite their benefits, can lead to addiction and a number of side effects; and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, aspirin and naproxen. NSAIDs reduce swelling and help patients return to activity more rapidly than with the RICE method alone. The way NSAIDs work in the body, however, can be problematic:
- They are contraindicated for patients with a history of gastrointestinal bleeding and must be used cautiously in those with chronic kidney disease.
- Some patients can't tolerate the adverse effects, which may include stomach upset, vomiting and abdominal pain
- Others may have medication interactions that prohibit use of oral NSAIDs.
Two Scientifically Backed Alternatives to NSAIDs/ Painkillers
1. Precut Kinesiology Tape is an option that uses and supports the body's own natural neurology to deliver drug-free pain relief. These tapes work by lifting the skin to create a small space between the muscle and dermis layers of the skin. That extra space takes the pressure off injured muscles, allows muscle movement, and provides space for drainage and blood flow to muscles and joints, thus reducing swelling; while also soothing overworked muscles and strengthening weak or fatigued muscles.
A recent study conducted at the University of Toronto and published in the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine found that using precut kinesiology tape was as effective as using NSAIDs for relieving pain and improving function when used alongside physiotherapy for patients with shoulder injuries. In fact, the precut kinesiology tapes were better tolerated than NSAIDs because there weren't any chemical side effects.
Furthermore, using these precut tapes is convenient because one application of a precut tape lasts several days, which means, unlike medication, there won't be any hassle of retaking or reapplying the treatment every few hours. Additionally, because precut kinesiology tapes are designed keeping in mind human anatomy, you can apply them easily yourself after instruction by a health care professional.
Health care practitioners are increasingly using precut kinesiology tapes as a means to standardize patient care and provide drug-free pain relief option to patients. Professional athletes are turning to kinesiology tape, as it provides a DIY knesiology solution for performance enhancement and pain relief.
2. Chiropractic Care: Millions of people visit chiropractors every year for all kinds of sports injuries, including injuries to their back, neck, arms and legs. In the sports setting, chiropractors work by manipulating joints that are restricted due to muscle injuries. They help to improve joint alignment so the body can heal itself without surgery or medication.
Chiropractic care not only restores function; it also helps prevent future injuries, in addition to providing relief from pain. Research shows chiropractic treatment is safe, effective and helpful in treating sports-injury-related pains and is a great alternative to NSAIDs.
Professional athletes use chiropractic treatments as a regular part of their training. In fact, studies have shown that regularly incorporating chiropractic care enhances athletic performance and lowers the amount of subsequent injuries athletes experience.
Tip: Chiropractic care is complemented by the use of precut kinesiology tape. The two treatments are increasingly used together to provide further relief, hasten recovery and enhance performance.
The possibility of getting injured while being active is not a reason to avoid exercising or playing sports. Injuries are part of the deal and professional athletes and active people know this for a fact. You should stay active and have fun, while striving for prevention and keeping informed on all the options available to you for treatment and management of sports-related injuries.
Mehwash Zafar is a content writer. For questions or comments regarding this article, you can contact her via the SpiderTech Inc..
What is neck pain?
Neck pain can be so mild that it is merely annoying and distracting. Or, it can be so severe that it is unbearable and incapacitating.
Fortunately, most minor, posture-induced neck pain episodes clear up on their own after rest and efforts not to repeat the offending stresses on the neck.Most instances of neck pain and stiffness are minor, and commonly caused by something you did. That is, if you keep your head in an awkward position for too long, the joints in your neck can "lock" and the neck muscles can become painfully fatigued. The price you pay for carelessness in how you position your head and neck (for instance, while working, watching TV, using a computer, reading a book, or talking on the phone with the receiver held against your shoulder and under your chin), is a pain in the neck. You may be one of the many unfortunates who, after a long and tiring day, has "harmlessly" fallen asleep in a chair or in bed with your head propped up, only to awake with a stiff and painful neck.
But neck pain that just won't go away after a day or so is a more serious matter. Neck pain that lasts for many days or keeps coming back is a signal that something isn't right.
Disease, an injury (such as whiplash in an auto accident), a congenital malformation, or progressive degeneration that can come with age may be responsible for the more significant pain you experience. An expert must determine the underlying causes of such neck pain. Examination, diagnosis and treatment by a doctor of chiropractic can relieve your mind and may quickly relieve your pain.
Who suffers from neck pain?
Almost everyone experiences some sort of neck pain or stiffness at one time or another. Because you are human and walk upright, your head is "balanced" atop your spinal column. If the muscles that support your head are not kept strong and in good condition, then the upper part of your spinal column is vulnerable to strains and injuries.
Older people, whose joints have been worn by much use over time, are subject to osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease, or DJD. When this form of arthritis hits your back and neck, you feel it as neck pain that gets worse over time. The pain may radiate into your shoulders and arms, and you may feel numbness or tingling in your hands and fingers. Arthritis can also involve symptoms including headaches, dizziness, and even a grating/grinding feeling when you move your head. It is very important for your chiropractor to examine you to rule out osteoarthritis or identify it and see that it is properly treated.
What can chiropractic do?
Doctors of chiropractic have the training and skills to relieve your neck pain, overcome stiffness, and restore the mobility and range of motion of any frozen neck vertebrae. They are devoted to helping you get back to your normal pursuits and start feeling like yourself again.
Perhaps their most important contribution is their ability to bring their specialized diagnostic skills, techniques, and equipment to bear in assessing what is causing your neck problems. Your chiropractor can determine if you have a relatively minor and treatable condition or a more serious underlying condition (from disease, degeneration, or trauma) that may require more intensive, extended treatment or referral to a specialist.
Your chiropractor will ask you for detailed information on your behavior, posture, physical condition, and work and home environment. He or she will obtain x-rays and other diagnostic images to pinpoint which of many possible causes is a responsible for your discomfort. Only then will the appropriate treatment be recommended.
Once your normal feeling and function is restored, your chiropractor will be available to keep the muscles and joints of your neck and back in optimum condition in order to prevent recurrent neck pain and related life-restricting symptoms.
- Cassidy JD, Lopes AA, Yong-Hing K. The immediate effect of manipulation on pain and range of motion in the cervical spine: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 1992; vol. 25, pp570-75.
- Coulter ID, Hurwitz EL, Adams AH, et al. The Appropriateness of Manipulation and Mobilization of the Cervical Spine. Santa Monica, CA: Rand, supported by the Consortium for Chiropractic Research, 1996.
- Hurwitz EL, Aker PD, Adams AH, et al. Manipulation and mobilization of the cervical spine: A systematic review of the literature. Spine, 1996; vol. 21, no. 15, pp1746-60.
- Jackson R. The Cervical Syndrome, 4th ed. Charles C. Thomas Publisher, Springfield, IL: 1978.
- Koes BW, Bouter LM, van Mameren H, et al. A randomized clinical trial of manual therapy and physiotherapy for persistent back and neck complaints: Subgroup analysis and relationship between outcome measures. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 1993; vol. 16, pp211-19.
- Koes BW, Bouter LM, van Mameren H, Essers AHM. The effectiveness of manual therapy, physiotherapy, and treatment by the general practitioner for nonspecific back and neck complaints: A randomized clinical trial. Spine, 1992;17, pp28-35.
- Koes BW, Bouter LM, van Mameren H, et al. Randomized clinical trial of manual therapy and physiotherapy for persistent back and neck complaints: Results of one year follow up. British Medical Journal, 1992;304, pp601-5.
- Zvulun I. Mobilizing the nervous system in cervical cord compression. Manual Therapy, Feb, 1998; vol. 3, no. 1, pp42-7.
As the 2007 Major League Baseball season approaches the All Star break and the halfway mark, Little League players all over the country are fantasizing about playing in the World Series and thousands of adult fantasy league players are living their major league dreams as well - at least in a sense.
You know the dream; you probably had it yourself as a child. It's the bottom of the ninth, two outs and the bases are loaded. Your team is down by three runs. You step out of the dugout to the cheers of an adoring crowd. You take a couple of practice swings and step into the batter's box, digging in and giving the pitcher a confident glance. The pitcher goes into his windup, and here comes the pitch...
The rest of the dream takes on a hero quality as we picture ourselves taking a mighty cut and sending the ball soaring into the outfield seats. The crowd goes wild, chanting our name, as we enjoy our trot around the bases. We round third base to see our teammates huddled around home plate, waiting to mob us in celebration and lift us to their shoulders. Family, friends and fans alike see our heroics on the highlight reel of ESPN "SportsCenter" and we are forever remembered as the one who brought our team and our city the championship.
For most of us, this is just a fun daydream that carries over from childhood. But for New York Yankees center fielder Johnny Damon, this scene became a reality - more than once. Damon is in the middle of what arguably is a Hall of Fame career and has been the hero for more than one team. In 2004, he helped turn back the 86-year-old curse and bring a world championship to the long-overdue Boston Red Sox. He holds dozens of MLB records dating back to his rookie year with the Kansas City Royals in 1995. With the grind of a 162-game, physically demanding season, and a highlight reel of spectacular plays demonstrating a work ethic that requires giving everything in every at-bat and with every play, how does Damon keep his health intact?
"Without chiropractic, I wouldn't be able to play consistently throughout the season," Damon said in an exclusive interview with To Your Health. "I've been under the care of a chiropractor for eight years. I first went [to a chiropractor] because my body was really out of whack from the constant grind of a 162-game schedule. Initially, I admit that I was a little freaked out about the whole neck [adjustment] thing, but now, chiropractic is a must for me."
And Damon knows what it feels like to have a body "out of whack." In Game 5 of the 2003 American League Division Series, while Damon was with the Red Sox, he sustained a concussion when he collided with second baseman Damian Jackson as they pursued a 7th-inning fly ball hit by Jermaine Dye of the Oakland Athletics. Damon regained consciousness but continues to suffer the effects of that collision.
"I suffer from headaches about every 2-3 days, normally. When I use DiskForce [a spinal decompression machine utilized by some chiropractors], my headaches are gone for 2-3 weeks. It really takes care of the problem," Damon said. "I'm getting older, and older backs lock up. Last year, we had tons of back problems [on the Yankees]. There is no way we could get back and ready for another season without chiropractic."
Damon hasn't let injuries stop his career. In 2006, Damon finished 3rd in the major leagues in runs (115) and 9th in the American League in stolen bases (25). He also hit 24 home runs - a career high - and was one of only four players in the majors to hit at least 24 home runs and steal at least 24 bases. Damon attributes his success, in part, to a healthy lifestyle.
"I also use massage therapy on a regular basis as well," Damon said. "But, not the massage therapy most people probably think of when they think of massage. I use a real deep tissue form of massage. It really helps to not only relax my muscles, but also improve my circulation and get the toxins out of my body."
"Maintaining your health just leads to a better way of life for each individual," Damon said. "Chiropractic, specifically, can improve your posture, your circulation and just really benefit your quality of life in the long run."
Snapshot of Johnny Damon's Career Highlights
Johnny Damon was drafted right out of high school in the first round of the 1992 amateur draft. He turned down a baseball scholarship to the University of Florida and signed with the Kansas City Royals. Here are a few of his career highlights:
- 1993: Midwest League All Star outfielder.
- 1994-95: Kansas City Royals Minor League Player of the Year.
- 1995: Texas League Most Valuable Player before being called up by the Royals.
- 1996: 6th in the American League in stolen bases (25) and 10th in sacrifice hits (10).
- 1997: 3rd in the league in triples (8).
- 1998: 2nd in the league in triples (10).
- 1999: 2nd in the league in triples (9), 6th in stolen bases (36) and 9th in doubles (39).
- 2000: In his last year with the Kansas City Royals, Damon led the American League in runs (136) and stolen bases (46), was 2nd in hits (214), 3rd in triples (10) and sacrifice flies (12), and 10th in batting. He also was named the Royals' Player of the Year.
- 2001: In his only year with the Oakland Athletics, Damon was 3rd in the league in at bats (644) and 7th in runs (108).
- 2002: Voted to the All Star team for the first time.
- 2003: Joined elite company in becoming one of the few players in Major League Baseball history to record three base hits in one inning (first inning of a game against the Florida Marlins).
- 2004: In his third year with the Boston Red Sox, Damon hit two home runs (one a grand slam) to help the Red Sox become the first team in MLB history to overcome a 3-0 postseason series deficit, in a 10-3 win over longtime rivals the New York Yankees in game 7 of the American League Championship Series. The Sox went on to capture its first World Series crown in 86 years.
- 2005: Voted an All Star again.
- 2006: In his second year with the Yankees, Damon hit two home runs, drove in 8 runs and scored 8 runs in the first three games of a pivotal five-game series between the Yankees and his former team, the Boston Red Sox.
Nobody likes headaches. They can strike with little warning and cause debilitating pain -- especially cervicogenic headaches (HA), which are defined as pain that originates in the cervical spine, or neck area, and refers up to the head.
Researchers investigated the effect of chiropractic treatment on HA in 20 randomized patients, specifically focusing on the relationship between the number of chiropractic treatments and pain relief. Participants were assigned to one of three treatment groups for comparison: Group one received a total of three office visits, one visit per week, for chiropractic manipulation; group two received a total of nine office visits, three visits per week, for chiropractic manipulation; and group three received 12 total visits, four visits per week.
Researchers discovered a correlation between the number of chiropractic visits and positive outcome in headache patients. "For HA pain, substantial differences were found between participants receiving 1 treatment per week and those receiving either 3 or 4 treatments per week," the researchers wrote. The researchers indicated that a larger clinical trial testing the relationship of HA and chiropractic treatment is warranted, and concluded that there are benefits to "9 to 12 [chiropractic] visits over 3 weeks for the treatment of HA/neck pain and disability. A larger number of visits than 12 in 3 weeks may be required for maximum relief and durability of outcomes."
If you suffer from headaches, your doctor of chiropractic can help. Make an appointment for a chiropractic evaluation today.
Reference: Haas M, Groupp E, Aickin M, et al. Dose response for chiropractic care of chronic cervicogenic headache and associated neck pain: a randomized pilot study. JMPT2004;27(9):547-553.
By Brian Jensen, DC
Sit up straight! Stop slouching! Don't stare at the floor when you walk! These are the classic phrases children hear from their well-intentioned parents regarding posture. As children, we learn early on that posture is important, but generally never fully understand its role in our health, what causes poor posture or how to positively influence it. Let's start with a simple definition from the Merriam-Webster dictionary, which defines posture as "the position or bearing of the body whether characteristic or assumed for a special purpose." Want to know more? Read on...
Let's focus for just a moment on the characteristic aspect of posture, the basic form we take while standing or walking. The human body is designed to stand with the eyes level with the horizontal plane of the Earth. Viewed from the front, the shoulders and hips are level and the spine is vertical. From the side view, the ear is over the shoulder, the shoulder is over the hip and the hip is over the knee, which is over the ankle.
Think of it like the foundation of a house. The foundation can settle, creating structural stress that can crack the plaster on the walls or ceiling. The same is true for our bodies. Unequal support in the foundation of our body, our feet,can create stress in our structure that can show up as poor posture. This poor posture can lead to tight muscles, stiffness and ultimately contribute to joint degeneration in the knees, hips and spine. Basically, small imbalances over time can lead to big problems for our bodies.
Common Postural Problems
The most common signs of postural stress are one ear being higher than the other and unlevel shoulders or hips. You can also detect postural stress from the side if the ear looks as if it has moved forward of the tip of the shoulder or if the hips appear to have moved forward.
The first thing to do is find out where your postural stress is coming from. Certain jobs require you to sit, stand, twist or bend in repeating patterns, which can create postural stress. If you sit at a computer for long periods of time, that can have a tendency to create a forward head positioning, causing stress in the neck and upper back. Bending and twisting motions can cause an overdevelopment of muscles on one side of the body compared to the other side, which can also be a source of postural stress.
The foundation of posture is actually the feet. It is very common for there to be slight differences in the arches of the feet, which create a slight imbalance. This imbalance can cause a chain reaction all the way up the spine, affecting postural balance. One sign of foot imbalances is when one foot flares out more than the other. Both feet should point forward with only the slightest outward flare when you walk.
Flat feet, a condition also known as excessive pronation, can produce slight twisting movements in the knees and hips, causing one hip to be higher than the other. This is usually more pronounced on one side and is not typically painful, but it explains why one knee or hip can develop soreness or stiffness more than the other one.
A Few Things You Can Do
Get checked - If your posture is breaking down as a result of improper foot balance, it is important to have your feet examined to determine if a custom-made, flexible shoe orthotic will be beneficial. Orthotics create a solid foundation for your pelvis and spine by limiting excessive motion in the feet. Having a stable foundation helps to improve your posture. Your doctor can provide you with more information.
Improve flexibility - This is important because postural stress causes some muscles to work harder than others, creating tension and stiffness. Mirror image exercises are stretching and strengthening exercises designed to restore muscle balance by stretching in the direction away from the postural imbalance. If you are looking in a mirror and one shoulder is higher than the other, you will want to stretch and strengthen in the direction that makes the shoulders level. The same concept works for the lower back. (Note: For a list of easy stretching exercises to help keep the entire body flexible, read "You've Got to Be Flexible" in the January issue of TYH.)
Work with your chiropractor - Be sure to work closely with your chiropractor in developing a plan of action, and then check your progress with a postural analysis. It is important to remember that the body works best when it is in balance, so that should be the goal of all of your stretching and strengthening exercises
Good posture does a whole lot more than just allow you to stand and walk tall. It's a full-body improvement that benefits you from head to toe.
- Joint mobility
- Injury prevention
- Improved balance
- Overall wellness
Consequences of Poor Posture:
- Muscle tension
- Degenerative arthritis
Brian Jensen, DC, is a graduate of the University of Nebraska and Palmer College of Chiropractic. He specializes in structural biomechanics and has been in practice for 17 years.