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Tag Archives: back pain

Walnut Creek Chiropractor Warns: You Have More to Lose Than You Think By Ignoring Back Pain

As a Walnut Creek Chiropractor I know the debilitating effects of back pain. Though some people try to “ignore” their back pain in the hopes that it will go away on its own, the majority of individuals know that back pain is difficult, if not impossible, to ignore. Back pain is a constant. It interferes with a person’s ability to work and to enjoy daily life, and it makes it impossible to get a good night’s sleep. In addition, many people know that untreated back pain can cause further musculoskeletal problems. But it will, no doubt, come as a surprise to almost everyone that unaddressed back pain that lingers six months or more has been linked with a loss of brain volume that’s equivalent to 10 to 20 years of normal aging. That’s right! According to new research at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, back pain can significantly age the brain! A. Vania Apkarian, Ph.D. and co-author of the study, said that the decline has to do with how the brain adapts to pain, and such decline can damage a person’s ability to assess emotional cues and control emotion.

If you are someone who needed one more reason to make an appointment with your chiropractor to get the treatment you need for your back pain, the possibility of significant brain decline might just be the “inspiration” you needed! Be smart (and stay smart) by calling our office today!

Walnut Creek Chiropractor Reveals Recent Study on Failed Back Surgeries

As your Walnut Creek Chiropractor I feel that it is my obligation to pass along the results of a recent study regarding failed back surgeries: Did you know that complicated spine surgeries that involve fusing two or more vertebrae are actually on the rise? You may find it surprising, or even shocking, to discover that experts estimate that nearly 600,000 Americans opt for back operations each year, and according to a study published in Spine several months ago, in just 15 years, there has been an eight-fold jump in vertebrae fusion operations. That statistic has most chiropractors, many public health experts, and even some surgeons concerned. In fact, Dr. Charles Burton, medical director for The Center for Restorative Spine Surgery in St. Paul, MN, said that spine surgery and fusion has gotten way beyond what is reasonable or necessary, and that there are some areas of the country where the rate of spine surgery is three or four times the national average. What’s worse, according to the study, in many cases surgery can even backfire, leaving patients in more pain!

Researchers at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine reviewed records from 1,450 patients in the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation database who had diagnoses of disc degeneration, disc herniation or radiculopathy, a nerve condition that causes tingling and weakness of the limbs. Half of the patients had surgery to fuse two or more vertebrae in hopes of curing low back pain. The other half had no surgery, even though they had comparable diagnoses. After two years, just 26 percent of those who had surgery returned to work. That’s compared to 67 percent of patients who didn’t have surgery. In what might be the most troubling study finding, researchers determined that there was a 41 percent increase in the use of painkillers, specifically opiates, in those who had surgery.

Researchers reviewed records from 1,450 patients in the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation database who had diagnoses of disc degeneration, disc herniation or radiculopathy, a nerve condition that causes tingling and weakness of the limbs. Half of the patients had surgery to fuse two or more vertebrae in hopes of curing low back pain. The other half had no surgery, even though they had comparable diagnoses.

After two years, just 26 percent of those who had surgery returned to work. That’s compared to 67 percent of patients who didn’t have surgery. In what might be the most troubling study finding, researchers determined that there was a 41 percent increase in the use of painkillers, specifically opiates, in those who had surgery. The study’s lead author, Dr. Trang Nguyen, said that the study provides clear evidence that for many patients, fusion surgeries designed to alleviate pain from degenerating discs don’t work.

I have said it before (many times before), but it bears repeating: Before choosing surgery to get rid of your back pain, call your chiropractor for conservative chiropractic treatment first. Your chiropractor is a spine expert who is committed to helping back pain sufferers get out of pain through natural, non-invasive procedures. Call today. You have nothing to lose but your back pain!

Walnut Creek Chiropractor Explains How Golf Injuries, As Well As Other Sports Injuries, Can Often Be Prevented

As a Walnut Creek chiropractor, I treat a lot patients who have sustained sport injuries. In fact, injuries are not unusual with any type of sport. You can often avoid getting injured in a certain sport, however, by finding out what injury is likely to occur, and then doing whatever it takes to avoid it. The truth is, though, that sports injuries can’t always be avoided. Consequently, it’s important to be physically fit to make injury less predictable, or less traumatic.

Prior to starting a sport, such as golf, the most critical thing you can do is to be certain that you have the proper fitness level. By maintaining a healthy lifestyle, keeping your joints mobile and your muscles limber, preparing your body prior to activity, using proper form and good postures during activity, and giving yourself plenty of cool down and relaxation time, you will probably keep your body safe from injury.

Golf injuries don’t only happen to amateurs. It has been conjectured that close to a third of pro golfers playing in the same time frame are playing injured. The good news is that all-round good health and fitness can reduce the number of injuries that you may experience and might possibly preclude some of them completely.

Proper body strength in the muscle areas most employed in a sport, such as golf, is crucial. However, it’s also still prudent to make sure your spine is in good alignment and that it has good mobility prior to setting out to build muscle strength. A proficient golf swing relies on your spine’s capacity to effectually move in a rotational manner. Back injuries are the most common kind of injuries sustained by golfers. To be certain that your spine is in appropriate alignment and there is effectual movement in the vertebrae, see your chiropractor. Chiropractic treatment can make a big difference in helping you to avert back injury.

Once you’ve “straightened,” it’ll be time to strengthen. A safe, injury-free day on the green depends upon your being prepared for your golf game. You can warm up your muscles and make muscle strain less likely by doing golf stretching and flexibility exercises. Whole body range of motion (ROM) exercises will enhance flexibility, often rather fast, in all parts of the body. Furthermore, elastic band conditioning can provide functional golf range of motion advantages and can increase needed energy in the shoulders, hips and deep muscles of the core. Sports professionals, such as chiropractors, are adding elastic band training to their golf conditioning programs because the bands offer dynamic resistance that ordinary weight lifting does not offer.

A large number of golfers have painful “Golfer’s Elbow” in addition to back pain. Despite the fact that golfer’s elbow and tennis elbow are nearly the same injuries, there is a minute difference between them. Tennis elbow affects the outside of the upper arm whereas golfer’s elbow disturbs the inner arm. Golfer’s elbow, like tennis elbow, can be a reaction to a single intense action, such as (in golf) hitting the mat at the driving range or thrusting down on a hard fairway surface. Repetitive stress from smaller shocks, though, is most often the protagonist. Moreover, it can come upon those who abruptly start playing too much golf. For example, if a person that generally plays golf once or twice a month elects to play in a tournament, he or she is conceivably at risk for developing the injury.

Golf makes distinctive requests of your body. The game is generally longer than the majority of other sports and that can lead to fatigue. Whenever the body is fatigued, poor posture and decreased coordination often follow. This combination can produce an assortment of injuries. In addition, the shoulder muscles are liable to injury due to the repetitive swinging of the golf clubs. Just as attention should be given to make sure that your muscles are stretched and warmed up prior to starting your golf game, be sure to rest your body properly between games.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is often a surprising injury associated with golf. But, this injury can be the result of numerous games of golf played over a number of months constantly. As it is an affliction that occurs as a result of repetitive stress, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can be a severe injury creating disability and, on occasion, requiring surgery. However, if a health professional, such as your chiropractor, discovers it at an early stage, chiropractic treatment and, sometimes, the use of a brace will relieve the problem.

Quite a few golfers seem to feel that injuries are merely an inescapable part of a golfer’s life. Nonetheless, a healthy, mobile spine, dedicated preparation, specific exercise and muscle conditioning, attaining and maintaining a an appropriate fitness level, and sensible rest and recuperation after your game is over, can make injuries much less a part of your golfing experience.

As a chiropractor, I know that risks are involved in any sport. I can help to relieve the pain of sports injuries you may have already sustained, and I can help you to straighten and strengthen to prevent injuries in the future. Let me help you to get on with your game!