Joint Pain – Causes, Symptoms and Remedies

Joint pain can last for a few weeks (acute pain) or for many months (chronic pain). The membrane surrounding the joint is attacked by the body’s immune system which results in fluid collection around the joint that causes immense pain, swelling and inflammation.

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Phantom Limb Pain Relief

Having used hypnosis to assist my clients for the last 17 years, I had encountered it all. You name it; fibromyalgia, diabetic neuropathy, arthritis, cancer pain, bone pain, tendonitis, and phantom limb pain. Having first experienced the seemingly miraculous results that could often be facilitated with hypnosis, when I was the Senior Hospital Corpsman on the Oncology floor at the San Diego Naval Medical Center, my passion for helping other get pain relief was intense.

When my fiancé had a below the knee amputation of her right leg, or a transtibial amputation, her phantom limb pain was almost immediately. She was getting IV Dilaudid, a powerful narcotic, every two hours, and a significant dose, at that. She was also getting Hydrocodone, Valium and Flexeril. Nothing was touching it. Nothing. As excruciating as it was, and as hard as it was to see her in pain, I knew her personality all too well. If I attempted to help her with hypnosis before she asked me to, there would be a part of her that would fight me. I waited.

After about two weeks and tears, and at times, screams and groans as she writhed in agony, sometimes for 2-3 hours at a time, she finally said “Why in the hell will not you help me ?!” That was her way of saying “I'm ready for you now.”

Lisa is an RN and had worked several years as a labor and delivery nurse, so she was familiar with how her future could look, if she did not get this handled. 60% -80% of those who have an amputation experience phantom limb pain. For many, it lasts for years. For some, a lifetime. Clearly, she did not want that, and I did not want it for her, or, for us.

With a clear understanding of how the brain maps out every square inch of the body, and how it gets confused about how to handle those neurological maps when the body that had been mapped out, changes-as it does a body part is amputated- I knew that the brain was where she would have to make the needed changes.

In my first session with her, she experienced more of a decrease in her phantom limb pain than she had from anything else. At best, the narcotics and other medicines had taken the edge off, but she was still in terrible pain. After the first hypnosis session, she actually felt a surge in confidence and self-control. She fought, but these were not tears of pain. They were tears of relief. She had hope, and reason to believe that things were going to improve considerably.

Future sessions bought more relief, and a brighter outlook on life. More importantly, she has learned a skill set. She has tools that she knows she can use for the rest of her life, and at 39 years old, she likely has many good years left.

There is a reason why The National Institutes of Health recognizes hypnosis as a valuable tool for the treatment of phantom limb pain: It works.

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Can Magnetic Therapy Relieve Pain? Orthodox Versus Alternative Medicine

Orthodox medicine regards magnetic therapy as quack medicine – even for pain relief – arguing that it is the placebo effect. But when double-blind studies suggest otherwise, the defenders of the status quo cry foul and question the reliability of those studies. But is this carrying scepticism too far?

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A Simple Way To Get Over Sprains And Strains With Immediate Effect

In the fast paced life of today, suffering from injuries is something normal and commonplace.

Injuries are sure to occur if one is a sportsperson. And the injury could vary from regular muscle sprains and strains, to body ache, which can occur to anyone who is an athlete.

Injuries can happen to anyone who intends to lead a fit lifestyle, irrespective of the kind of sport that one is into. If one goes for tennis, or football, he could be sentenced to injuries and aches. Similarly, if one is fond of gymming, he could still suffer from muscle stretches. And one often finds himself wondering about how to treat a sprained ankle, a sprained wrist or a sprained knee.

And even if one is not into sports in a major way, it is still possible that it might be sooner to injuries. One could suffer from a sprain while doing housework, gardening or playing with one's kids.

In the same way, leg cramps at night are a commonplace occurrence, and can happen to anyone, even if one does not lead a very active lifestyle.

THE PHYSICIAN'S PAIN RELIEF CREAM

Physician's Pain Relief Cream is a remedy, which one could use if he suffers from any of these common strains or aches. This works very well if one is an athlete, for seniors, or even if one does not involve himself in high intensity sports or weight training.

There are some very single points which make the Physician's Pain Relief an ideal choice for anyone who is suffering from a muscle strain.

SMALL, YET VERY USEFUL AND EFFECTIVE

– Physician's Pain Relief Cream is easy to carry about, it is small enough to keep with itself, and yet powerful enough to ensure that you get the most effective relief from discomfort, and in minimum time.

SIMPLE AND EASY TO USE

– This comes as a tube, the cream is easy to apply and in most of the cases, it does not require any external aid or assistance. It is a non greasy and non sticky product.

If one is prone to suffering from pain at random times, especially something like a knee joint pain, the Physician's Pain Relief Cream can work wonders for him.

ABSORBED QUICKLY BY THE SKIN

– Rubs on easily and is absorbed quickly by skin.

NO SIDE EFFECTS

– Application of Physician's Pain Relief Cream soothes the skin without leaving a freezing or burning sensation. This has a fresh, clean smell and it will not stain clothes. The best part is that it ensures relief in a minimum time.

How does Physician's Pain Relief Cream work:

By decreasing inflammation which prolongs and increases pain, Physician's Pain Relief Cream helps overcome discomfort associated with the inflated tissues. On subduing infection, severity and duration of pain decreases significantly.

Physician's Pain Relief Cream is safe for long term use as it contains no steroid-based anti-inflammatory agents.

Developers of Physician's Pain Relief Cream are ranked among nation's leading medical experts, and the team includes doctors, pharmacists and biochemists. This is created after six years of intensive research, development, testing and clinical trials.

However, one has to take care that PPRC is for external use only.

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How to Treat Upper Extremity Pain in Spinal Cord Injury Patients

A study from the University of Washington shown patients with spinal cord injury (SCI) may complain of upper extremity (UE) pain. The study questioned 130 participants and reported 58.5% reported some form of pain, 71% complained of shoulder pain, 53% had wrist pain, 43% experienced hand pain while 35% had elbow pain. Upper extremity pain was more likely to be experienced with function activities, such as pressure relievers, transfers, and wheelchair mobility. This is a common problem in individuals with SCI and has an impact on daily activities. There needs to be prevention and management programs for SCI patients. Physical therapy is a good place to start and the most popular option for SCI patients suffering from upper extremity pain.

5 Common Types of Upper Extremity Pain and How to Treat Them

1. Hand pain: SCI patients often complain of hand pain, occurring initially at night. Weakness and atrophy can occasionally occur, leading to loss of grip strength. Hand dynamometers can be used to reliably measure and document muscle strength for SCI patients and their response to treatment.

2. Bicipital Tendinitis: Patients with bicipital tendinitis complain of pain over the front of the shoulder which can radiate down the arm, towards the deltoid or to the base of the neck. Using rest, medication and ice to manage the pain in the acute phase, gentle stretching along with heat and ice can be used once the acute phase of the injury has passed.

3. Tennis Elbow: Patients with SCI may experience another repetitive use injury, Tennis Elbow, because of the forceful elbow extension, maximum pronation, and wrist flexion needed to use a wheelchair. Electrical Stimulation can be useful in the treatment of Tennis Elbow for SCI patients by making the muscle contract which can help decrease muscle spasm.

4. Carpal Tunnel: The repetitive stress of using a wheelchair also predisposes the wrists of patients with a number of overuse tendinitis issues, specifically carpal tunnel. Heating modalities such as paraffin wax baths can help decrease pain and increase the range of motion of the wrist.

5. Shoulder Pain: The main reason an increase in shoulder pain in SCI patients is this population relations entirely on the upper limb for both ambulation and weight-bearing tasks. The shoulder is not designed for this type of reliance. Using Cold Compression Therapy wraps for the shoulder will help decrease inflammation and pain experienced in the shoulder, specifically in the rotator cuff.

The necessary reliance on the upper extremities place spinal cord injury patients at a higher risk for upper extremity pain. This pain, if left untreated, can hinder daily activities. Pain management programs must be created and implemented for SCI patients to be able to flourish.

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Podiatrist – Routine Exercises To Follow

The term podiatry was used since the early 20th century in the United States to describe the branch of medicine that is dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of disorders affecting the lower extremitudes like the foot and the ankle. Beside United States, this branch of medicine is now commonly used in a number of other countries like United Kingdom and Australia.

Who is a podiatrist?

A podiatrist is a specialized physician who is trained to diagnose and treat podiatric problems. Only seek the assistance of podiatrists who have a valid license to practice.

What are the routine exercises to follow?

The science of podiatry always emphasizes about the need to perform certain routine exercises by everyone to prevent or retard podiatric problems. Here is a detailed description of these exercises:

1. Warm-up : Warm-up exercises are meant to be performed to increase the blood circulation and prepare the body for serious exercise. The duration of warm-up exercise will be determined by your exercise type. If you intend to go for long, brisk walks, the warm-up timing will only be a few minutes but for more strenuous exercises, you require a longer warm-up time.

2. Flexibility exercises : These may also be considered as part of the warm-up program. flexibility exercises concentrate on certain points like the joints of your body and helps to increase the flexibility and mobility of the joints. Some of these exercises are as follows:

• Toe points: Stand on one leg and lift the other foot up with the toe pointed for a few seconds and then flex your feet to point your toes out. Repeat the steps with both feet.

• Ankle circles: This exercise can be performed while sitting, standing or lying on the back. Lift one feet up and rotate your ankle with the toe pointed out. Forms ten rotations each for each toe.

• The twist: This exercise helps to loosen up your shoulders, back and waist. Stretch your legs shoulder width apart and hold your arms straight out parallel to the floor. Swing your arms from side to side while keeping the lower extremity stationary.

• Arm circles: Stretch out your arms parallel to the ground and rotate them forwards and returns gradually increasing the circumference of the circles made by your arms.

3. Walk: In the beginning, try not to push yourself too hard. Walk briskly so that your breathing is elevated but do not walk so fast that you need to gasp for air. Increase the duration and speed of your walk as you move on with the exercise regime.

4. Cool down: Give your body sufficient resting time to recover back to a normal state after a brisk walk. The cooling time will be determined by the nature of your walk. The more strenuous the walk, the longer will be the cooling times.

5. Stretch: A quite neglected area, many people abstain from performing stretches after walking and cooling down. Stretch after every workout for a duration defined by your nature of exercise.

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Distract Yourself and Find Joy

On a recent visit to the Dallas Zoo, we came across a very confusing and interesting exhibit. I am not talking about the dinosaur exhibit, although this was definitely rather strange, especially because the raptors were not fenced in. No the interesting exhibit was one where the sign on the outside said cheetah compound, yet the animal I could see on the inside was black and looked very much like a Labrador. Our first thought was this could be a 'sport', a genetic mix-up because cheetahs are brown spotted animals. We looked closer at the animal and realized it really was, a black Labrador, with his tail wagging and his tongue hanging out. We surprised how he got in there and what the cheetah's might think of him.

We checked the information on the exhibit windows and found a silhouette of a dog and a cheater. Obviously, the display was indeed of a cheetah and a Labrador. We asked the zoo staff and found they were brothers, having been brought up together since a few months old. Winspear, the cheetah, took off for a different part of the compound. He almost immediately stopped and through some method, invisible and soundless to us, called to the dog, Amani, who got up and ran after his brother. The dog's name, Amani, is Swahili for peace, an apt name for a friendly animal who job is to help a skittish big cat feel less shy.

These two very unlikely companions have been raised together since they were each 2 months old. There were originally two cheetahs. Winspear had a twin brother, Kamau. He died of a respiratory illness when he was about 6 months old. Winspear and Amani have remained close even after this loss.

You may wonder what a dog and a big cat being best friends has to do with fighting pain and finding joy. Things are not always what they seem on the surface. Cats and dogs do not normally make friends. For some reason, they spend their time fighting. Big cats generally view dogs as dinner. If black Labrador lived in Africa, cheetahs would hunt and eat them. Yet Dallas zoo has looked at things differently. Using the knowledge of other zoos, they tried putting a dog with the young cheetahs and make them brothers. Even after Kamau died, it works; Winspear is easier to deal with because Amani is there. The zoo keepers have been able to take both animals on trips to local schools to show how well the dog and cheetah work and play together

If this strange combination works, what else might work?

This strange use for things is celebrated in many places. Sites such as multiple uses for vinegar or baking soda etc. For those of us with severe pain, we find we have to look outside of the box for pain relief because what is in the box does not help. I suffer from all four type of pain, mental, physical, spiritual and emotional pain, and I have tried a huge raft of things in the hope of beating the pain. some have been somewhat odd and I have found that some have been really strange. Having tried each of them, I have frequently become depressed after finding almost none of them work. You may have missed that positive statement. I said that almost none of them work, meaning that a small number of them do. It's a bit like the humorous statement, “Sometimes you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find your prince.”

For me, the various medications my doctors have prescribed for me, have not worked very well. Over the years since the car accident that left me in constant pain, I have tried dozens of medications with little or no success. I have been to pain clinics and been told that there was nothing they could do for me, one hospital used courser language to describe their lack of help. Some treatments have actually made me feel worse. I have settled on 4 medications taken 4 times a day and have found that they do help me manage the pain to a level I can, at least have an almost bearable life but that's about it. Like Amani with Winspear, the medications I now take are all for medical conditions other than the reasons I am being prescribed them. Pain relief is a side effect and my doctors, unable to get me any relief with the normal pain pills, have suggested I try them. One is an antidepressant and if I Forget to take one in the morning, by 5pm, I am a total mess mentally as well as in a lot of pain.

These medications only give me a small amount of relief, they take the pain levels down from a 10 out of 10, to maybe a 7 or 8 out of 10. Like the cheetah's I am can not really function. All the things that have failed to help, as well as those I have had success with, involve the brain. Our brain is the part of us that controls everything. As I talk about in Fighting Pain, Finding Joy, there are two parts to our brains, the automated part and your spirit, the you inside of the body which actually pushes the buttons to do everything .. All self-help ideas target the spirit and this is where we can use the idea of ​​having our own Amani. Medications are designed to work on the parts of our bodies having problems. Sounds obvious, I know. If we have an upset stomach, we take anti acid tablets or liquid, which block the acid producers in our stomach. Anti histamines block the production of histamine in response to an irritant we are allergic to. Scientists have found that many medications work because we expect them both to work and not work for the same reason. In what is called double-blind testing where only the person running the test knows who is who and who is getting the real medicine or the fake one, people have reported positive results when given the fake ones.

Winspear uses a dog to distract him and everything is wonderful as long as Amani is around. My problem is pain. Can I live with the pain? It seems that I have no choice! So what do I do? I know one idea is to give up and stop trying, except the physical pain never goes away and the mental, spiritual and emotional pain increase when I give in and do nothing. I am not giving up, so what can I get to be my black Labrador? We have 5 adopted children at home and as strange as it may sound, being 60 and having a 5-year-old daughter as well as children aged 16,14,13 and 12 at home is the best medicine I could have, the best black Labrador in the world. I give all of my time and energy to them and find that I have very little or, as happens often, nothing left to use to beef and gripe about the pain I suffer. My wife would insist I am always giving it the old college try, but I would not agree! I know, especially when I do feel down and depressed, that I have a long long list of things to be depressed and even bitter about. I occasionally feel like writing them in my journal, but always realize that this is counter productive and would give me no solace and make me feel worse not better. I sometimes have to force myself to remember that I have a wife, 9 children and 9 grand children who I can give my time and efforts to do and that this will make me feel better spiritually, mentally and emotionally.

For this past school half term holiday, Ann and I took the children to the oddly named nine mile canyon. I say oddly named because it is 74 miles long. As with a lot of things geographical, even though it has only had it for about 150 years, no one knows exactly how it got its name. We stayed at Nine Mile Ranch which is named after the canyon and were able to get involved with the roundup of the cows and the separating of the calves from their mothers. The mothers made a huge amount of noise about, running up and down the roads trying to find their children.

I caused a major issue when we were trying to take a picture outside of the ranch with the children sitting on the entrance. They were all sitting nicely when I came to stand on the gate behind them and my excessive weight caused the gate to shake in fear and the children were all thrown off, into the weeds below.

Whatever the reason for its name, Nine Mile Canyon is a wonderful canyon especially if you like to view Indian pictographs. There are literally miles of miles of them scratched into the mountains by Indians sometimes in the past. Our youngest 5 children and 1 granddaughter loved climbing the mountains for a better look and I enjoyed walking along the trails, trying to decipher the pictures. In reality, a lot of them seem to me to be graffiti from several few hundred years ago, but they are neverless to look at.

We stayed in a rustic cabin with a wood burning cooker on which Ann cooked pancakes for the children. This was good because I managed to forget several items necessary to successfully cook our food. I thoroughly enjoyed the weekend, even though there were some down sides to it. We used the last of our savings taking the holiday, so that means that was / was the last break for the year. The other problem is purely personal, in that if I over extend myself; I always have to pay for it later. It took me two days to get over the four day weekend, but it was worth it because I now have the memories and pictures etc. I can ignore and forget the two days of pain and mind fog. This is, for me, the only way to have a happy life. Even on the days I am “paying” I do everything I can to distract myself, so that I do not concentrate on the pain.

The story of the dog and the cheetah teaches me that even something that would normally be used as food, ie the dog, can distract you from your problems and then become your friend. Pain is my constant companion and there seems to be nothing I can do about it. Not that I have not tried, I have. I know all the treatments that are available and none of them works for me. As I have already said, this includes some of the weirder sounding and looking possibilities. But then, what is weirder than a dog and a cheetah being brothers? One swipe from Winspear's claws and Amani would have seriously injured, possibly dead, but the cheetah never even considers doing it.

By distracting myself with my family I can make it through and almost beyond the pain. I can and do force myself to sound and seem happy and in control. I am! not, but it is important for my family and for me that I distract myself and appear to be OK .. Nine mile canyon is a wonderful place to distract yourself and if you ever get the chance to go there, I can recommend it. I can keep the memories of it, but it is much easier to use my family as my Black Labrador. We have pet dogs and some people can use their pets as a distraction. Even though we have 3 dogs, I personally do not like dogs and only have them in the house because my wife, Ann, and my children have expressed a need to have them. They do not provide me with sufficient, or in reality any, distraction possibly because relationship is generally a “backwards service” relationship. The dog is giving the service. Wit my family, I am the one providing the service and is looks that this is the secret to overcoming pain. Thinking outside of the box and distracting ourselves from the pain, whether it is physical, mental, spiritual or emotional, or any combination, requires us to think outside of ourselves and give service to others. In this way we forget about our own pain. Winspear and Amani are not that weird when you look at things in this light.

What is your Amani? What do you use to distract yourself from “life” when things are not going the way you feel you want it to? If the answer is nothing, that may be the problem! If your answer does not make you think outside of the box of having someone do or give things to you, you may want to re-evaluate and consider that what I have come to realize is that I am not Winspear looking for his Amani, I am Amani looking for Winspear.

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Must-Knows About Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic is a health care professional which focuses on disorders of the nervous and musculoskeletal system which can greatly affect the overall health. Chiropractic care is often used to treat neuromusculoskeletal complaints.

Be aware that chiropractic care practice a hands-on, drug-free approach to health care which include patient diagnosis, examination and treatment. These health care professional have a wide diagnostic skill and are likewise trained to recommend rehabilitative and therapeutic exercises. They also provide dietary, nutritional and lifestyle counseling.

Most Common Therapeutic Procedure

Spinal manipulation is the most common chiropractic technique performed by qualified practitioners these days. This is also known as chiropractic adjustment. The purpose of this manipulation is to restore joint mobility by applying a controlled force manually into joints which have restricted in their movement.

Tissue injury is the common cause of restricted movements. On the other hand, tissue injury can be a result of a single traumatic event like improper lifting of a heavy object or habits via repetitive stresses like sitting in awkward position with poor posture. In such cases, injured tissues will undergo both chemical and physical changes that may cause pain, inflammation and diminished function. To restore mobility, manipulation or adjustment of the affected joints and tissue becomes a necessity. This can help alleviate pain and muscle tightness, and most importantly, allow the tissues to heal.

Qualified professionals will assess the patient through clinical examination, diagnostic imaging, laboratory testing, and other diagnostic interventions in order to determine if the treatment is appropriate or not. They will refer patients to proper health care provider if such care is not possible for the current condition of the patient.

Benefits Of Chiropractic Adjustments

No involvement of drugs or surgery – Techniques like manual adjustments to correct misalignments will be used. Drugs or surgery will not be used. Such techniques will offer lots of health benefits beyond preventative care like keeping a person's body balanced, feeling great, and flexible.

Your body can heal itself – Apart from treating the symptoms of an illness, chiropractic will look to naturally maintain a person's health and assist their body to resist disease.

Work with other health professionals – Oftentimes, chiropractors will work with other healthcare professionals since everyone is different and unique. Apart from that, not every problem can be treated similarly.

Basically, these techniques will greatly help in preventing, relieving, and eliminating pain, relaxing the body, improving posture, and most importantly, in optimizing performance of the body. More information mentioned here .

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Here’s A Question – What Relieves Sciatica?

How To Stop Your Pain And Save Your Relationships!

Save your relationships I hear you say! Yes, that's right. For one thing I've discovered is, left untreated, sciatica not only affects you, it affects those close to and around you too.

Thankfully, I've never suffered with sciatica (touch wood), but my wonderful girlfriend and partner has.

Seeing her constantly suffer and struggle with the pain made me feel sad. But after a while, the constant sleepless nights where she would be tossing and turning because of the discomfort would leave us both feeling tired and drained in the morning.

Not exactly what you want before starting a day's work!

So, my girlfriend being Thai has several friends that practice Thai massage and pressure point therapy. They shared with us stretches and acupressure massage that, if practiced daily, really helped to relieve my girlfriend's sciatica pain.

What we discovered was a three-step process toward relieving sciatica and lower body pain.

Many fellow sufferers have since asked me: “what relieves sciatica?”

With that in mind allow me to share this three-step process with you.

Stretching

We were shown specific stretches that target certain muscles along with the sciatic nerve itself. Daily stretching not only helps relieve sciatica, it also keeps your spinal fluid and flexible.

When stretching it's important to keep things balanced. What I mean by this is after completing one particular stretch you need to follow-up with an opposite stretch.

For example, when extending the spine in one direction follow-up by stretching your spine in the opposite direction.

Two stretches I like to do every morning to start my day is the “cat stretch” followed with the “cobra stretch.” This ensures my spine is stretched in opposite directions keeping it balanced, fluid and flexible.

One common cause of sciatica is piriformis syndrome. This is a small muscle buried deep within our buttocks and it sure hurts if it gets damaged or inflamed. It'll put pressure on your sciatic nerve and you'll feel a stabbing pain in your buttocks and back of legs.

If piriformis syndrome is causing your sciatica then you'll need to stretch this tiny muscle.

Taken from yoga, the “pigeon pose” or stretch is ideal for stretching the piriformis muscle as well as opening your hips and loosing your lower body.

Acupressure Therapy

This was the eastern secret my girlfriend's friends shared with us. Manipulating and massaging certain pressure points really helped to relieve her sciatica pain, especially when used in conjunction with stretching exercises.

We tend to turn a blind eye to this type of therapy in the west but acupressure has been practiced for thousands of years in the far east. And the beauty of this is, you can do this alone in the privacy of your own home.

I used to have my doubts but I'm happy to say I'm a firm believer now.

Diet

“You are what you eat.” Food is probably the most underrated therapy in the western world.

After seeing what my Thai friends eat everyday I now realize why they always appear healthy and look younger than they really are.

They always eat foods that are known to combat infection and boost our immune systems.

Every Thai meal comes packed with spices including chili, turmeric, garlic and ginger along with leafy greens. If you add these to your daily diet you really do not need a medicine cabinet!

Nature gives us everything we need, it's all too easy to overlook that in today's world.

So, Back To Our Question – What Relieves Sciatica?

Well put simply, nature does!

I know sciatica can be debilitating but you really do not have to keep popping pills everyday to stop your pain. Do things the way nature intended and you can not go too far wrong.

Follow a daily routine of stretching and acupressure, eat the right healthy foods and you'll be surprised how quickly you can stop your sciatica pain – and for good!

Surely that must be worth it to get the quality of your former life back – would not you agree?

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Chiropractic – A Natural Treatment for Chronic Back Pain

Chronic back pain or back pain is a common problem affecting people of all age groups. It prevents people from living an active life and makes them depend on various medications, which may provide temporary relief but can lead to prescription painkiller dependency.

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Some Very Basic Facts About Knee Joint Pain

Topical medications are particularly effective for conditions like knee joint pain and muscular discomfort. These are often considered more useful and a safer alternative over oral medications because they are applied externally and act locally, so they are free from any side effects. A topical medication often provides faster pain relief than oral analgesics and can safely be used as many times as required.

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Drug-Free Pain Relief For Spinal, Hip and Shoulder Pain

Many suffering people have concerns about taking pharmaceutical drugs for their aches and pains. They see newscasts, documentaries and newspaper and magazine articles citing the harmful effects of medicines. Awareness of possible addiction from opioid drugs, side effects of gastrointestinal, kidney and heart disease from nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and the dangers of steroids cause us to be leery of taking chemicals that can cause deleterious reactions.

Fortunately a recent research study reveals that there is an alternative called chiropractic care for musculoskeletal pain that is drug-free, effective, less costly and has high patient satisfaction. The scientific information was published in August 2015 in the Respected Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics (JMPT). This research journal has been in existence for 38 years and is a superior resource when considering conservative alternative approaches to traditional medicine.

The study consulted of 403 patients who initially saw a medical doctor and 316 patients who initially saw chiropractors for spinal, hip and shoulder pain. The purpose of the research was to identify differences in pain outcome, patient satisfaction and financial costs of patients who first visited either a medical doctor or a Doctor of Chiropractic.

The researchers of the study found a marked difference between patients of the medical and of the chiropractic groups. Patients who initially saw a chiropractor had a significant improvement of their pain versus those who had thought medical help. Also, patients had a much higher satisfaction with the chiropractic care they received versus those who had taken the medical path. It was also determined that patients saved an average of $ 368 per case if they took the route of seeing a chiropractor instead of medical care. This equates to over $ 100,000 of savings for the chiropractic group and would be greater than $ 225,000 if all 719 patients had received therapy from a chiropractor.

For those unfamiliar with chiropractic care a brief explanation of this healing approach is in order. The chiropractic profession basically began in the United States 120 years ago in 1895. To become a chiropractor requires schooling at undergraduate colleges and universities. Following this, five years of education is required at one of the 17 chiropractic colleges located in the United States. This education is similar to that found in other healthcare fields such as medicine, dentistry and optometry. Education in subjects such as anatomy, physiology, pathology and other classes make up the basic sciences. Clinical education involves diagnosis, x-ray / imaging, treatment methods and internship. Of course national and individual state level testing and certification must be met.

What makes chiropractic care unique for patients is the conservative approach that it takes. Chiropractic therapy involves hands-on manual therapies to correct disorders of the neuro- musculoskeletal system. It does not involve the use of drugs and surgery.

This is exactly what many people suffering from pain are looking for and the research study published by the JMPT confirms what many patients have already experienced and what previous research has already determined.

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Stress and Pain: Exploring the Causal Connection

In 1931, Dr. Albert Schweitzer was on to something when he told the world that “Pain is a more terrible lord of mankind than even death itself.” He knew then what millions of people know and experience right now, which is that pain is not only debilitating, but for many people it makes living near unbearable at times. While pain is something that we have all felt from time to time, there are many people around the world who suffer from it on a continuous basis, so taking a lot of the thrill of living out of their experience.

In fact, according to the Institute of Medicine, there are around 100 million adult Americans who suffer from chronic pain. Not only does this bring a lot of misery to those who are suffering, but there is also a high financial cost to the country, with the loss of productivity and medical treatment adding up to around $ 635 billion per year.

What many of the millions of people who suffer from chronic pain do not realize, along with those who help care for them, is that there is a fundamental correlation between stress and pain. The more we understand about the causal connection that stress has pain, the more we can begin to see effective ways to manage the chronic pain that people experience.

Chronic Pain and Stress

According to the National Institutes on Health (NIH), chronic pain is the most common reason that people in the country access the health care system. It is also considered the leading cause of long-term disability in the country. Pain, as we all have experienced, is a nervous system response that lets you know or have been injured or there is something wrong.

Chronic pain is different in that, according to the NIH, those pain signals go on for a long period of time, ranging from weeks to years. Some people know their origin of their pain, such as an accident, injury, or disease, while others have no idea where or why the pain first originated. Whether people are aware of it or not, there is a big causal connection between the chronic pain someone is feeling and the stress in their life.

Some people are aware of the stress they have in their lives. They can easily identify what it is that makes them feel stress, but millions of others have been unable to pinpoint what it is, or be honest with themselves about the origin of it. There are a variety of things that research shows is stressing people out, including their own poor health. Identifying the stress factor is a major component in being able to manage it, and then manage the chronic stress, too.

While acute stress is the most common, it is experienced in short dosages, such as right before you go to give a speech. Episodic acute stress is typical of someone who is considered a “worry wart,” or spends a lot of time worrying about everything, and often unnecessarily. Chronic stress is that which is there day after day. It's the kind that people get used to having in their life, so they are often no longer able to identify it. The chronic stress is debilitating, because it takes a heavy toll on one's mind, body, and have a negative impact on those around the person who is chronically stressed, too.

Examining Stress Levels

If you feel stress in your life, you are not alone. According to the American Psychological Association, although stress levels as a whole have been decreasing since 2007, only a small percentage of people polled report a decrease. They report that many of those feeling stress tend to lose sleep, lose interest or motivation, feel tired, are nervous and anxious, and are depressed. Also, many Americans report that the stress takes a big toll on their physical and mental health.

The NIH reports that the idea of ​​our brain playing a role in pain perception began with the early Greeks and Romans. Since that time, a lot of information from scientific studies around the world has come to support the fact that our mental health, and particularly the amount of stress in one's life, has a major impact when it comes to suffering from chronic pain.

Many people become stressed as they have difficulty coping with the day-to-day demands of their life. Others become stressed when they experience things such as death of a family member or friend, divorce, a job loss, pregnancy, financial problems, work problems, sudden negative changes, accidents or disasters, war, and natural disasters. The causal connection between stress and pain has been demonstrated in numerous studies regarding various types of pain and debilitating conditions.

Some of the Research

Research has been done in many areas, looking at the impact that stress has on pain and in people's lives. Whether someone is suffering from chronic pain in their back, head, or other areas, there is a good chance that it has been bought on the stress in their life, or is at least being exacerbated by the amount of stress they are experiencing.

According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, some of the common signs of stress include headaches, upset stomach, back pain, and general aches and pains. Some of the various scientific research studies that have been done that show the causal connection between stress and pain include, but are not limited to:

  • Headache: A study issued by the journal Headache in March 2013 reported that nearly 17 percent of adults have reported having one or more migraine or sever heads within the prior three months. They also report that headaches are a common and major public health problem. In a December 2012 issue of the journal Pain, researchers found that headache activity was highest when there was high stress and low sleep occurrence.
  • Back pain: The NIH reports that back pain is one of the most common medical problems, with approximately 80 percent of the adult population experiencing it at some point. Chronic back pain is estimated to impact around 31 million people in the country, according to the American Chiropractic Association. In a 2008 issue of Pain, doctors reported their research findings, stating that life events and the emotional distress factor play an important role in the development of disability.
  • Abdominal pain. In the 2008 issue of the journal Pain, researchers reported that exposure to stress exaggerated abdominal pain experiences in children in both human and animal subjects that were studied. Those who underwent a stress test prior to the pain task tend to have lower levels of pain tolerances than those who did not first experience the stress test.
  • Cardiovascular issues: Millions of people suffer from a variety of cardiovascular diseases in the country. A 2009 report out of the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, reported that unexplained chest pain can be due to stress. They found that those suffering from the pain had a higher rate of depression, anxiety, and work-related stress.
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: It is estimated that around 7.7 million Americans suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. The incidence rate is especially high among combat veterans. PTSD is a psychological condition that someone experiences following a traumatic experience. Research reported in the October 2012 issue of Techniques in Regional Anesthesia and Pain Management finds that the rates of chronic pain among those diagnosed with PTSD is unexpectedly high. Further, they report that psychological and neurobiological factors are interacting together with PTSD.
  • Depression: It was reported in the June 2014 issue of European Neuropsychopharmacology, that depression can influence pain, and vice versa. Aches and pains in the body are one of the common symptoms of depression. The NIH reports that those who are depressed have higher levels of the cytokine proteins that can impair the immune system and promote inflammation in the body, which leads to pain.

Chronic pain is something that plagues millions in the country, but not everyone experiences the effects of it in the same way. While some people may experience chest pains due to the stress they are feeling, others may find that they have chronic headache pain, while still others have ongoing abdominal pain and discomfort. Many of the people who suffer from these conditions seek medical treatment, often in the form of looking for a cure or medication that can take to keep those symptoms at bay. What they too often overlook is the important role stress plays in all of this.

Chemical Changes

Although the information is out there to point to the fact that a lot of chronic pain is caused by the ongoing stress in one's life, many people still find it a bit confusing how that happens. What it brings down to is that stress triggers chemical changes within the body. Those chemical changes can trigger inflammation, and increased susceptibility of the pain transmitting nerves. This takes place as an automatic, physical response-that you are not even aware is taking place. That's why when you are feeling the headache, back pain, or other pain: you do not realize that there is a strong likelihood that it is being brought on, or intensified, by the stress in your life.

Everyone experiences some sort of stress in their life, and a little bit of stress can be good thing, because it can excite your senses, and create an energizing 'fight or flight' response. This short-lived stress is not the problem that is associated with the chronic pain that millions of people experience. The APA (the American Psychological Association) reports that chronic stress can take a toll on the body, as well as make any existing symptoms you may be having even worse. They report that in a study, people found their chronic headaches were reduced when they learned how to stop thinking negative thoughts, and focused on becoming more positive.

Chronic stress, as the APA reports, can lead to a number of ailments, many of which are associated with chronic pain. These include having even having a higher risk for coronary disease and depression.

Understanding the Connection

Chronic pain is not something that is likely to go away anytime soon. Yet the more we can understand about it, the better off we will be in finding ways to manage and reduce it. Whatever you are someone who helps care for others who suffer from chronic pain, you suffer from it yourself, it is important to understand the causal connection between stress and the pain people are feeling. Our brains have a lot to do with how tolerant we are to pain and even if we end up causing ourselves to feel more pain with our thoughts and fears.

Once people gain an understanding about the important role stress plays in chronic pain, the more able they will be to help reduce their own pain. We are moving into a realm of pain management that involves more stress reduction and management. The benefits of stress reduction are immense. Not only has it been proven to have a beneficial impact on the chronic pain one feels, but it also helps get rid of and reduce anxiety, sleep issues, tension, concentration difficulties, and helps provide more clarity of mind.

Pain Reduction Treatment

Reducing chronic pain and managing it is within reach for millions of the people who suffer from it. Taking on stress and winning is a great way to go about no longer being a victim to it. When you tackle the stress, you will be tackling the pain. In my next article, you can learn about how to reduce stress effectively, so that you can reduce the chronic pain and get back to enjoying your life once again. Stress and chronic pain go hand in hand, but the good news is that it's in your hands, and you can make a difference when you understand the connection and take action against stress.

The bottom line is that when people are ready to confront chronic pain, there are answers. Understanding chronic pain and the factors that cause it is just part of the overall picture. But when you understand the causal connection between the stress in your life and the chronic pain you are feeling, then you are ready to confront it. Only when you really confront it will you see a reduction in the chronic pain. It is within reach, the first step is choosing to confront your chronic pain!

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Chronic Abdomen Pain and Other Symptoms of IBS

Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, is a chronic abdomen problem that affects roughly 15 percent of the United States population and 25 percent of people worldwide. Characterized by pain and non-healthy bowel movements, you usually need to see a specialist in order to get treatment. Here's what you need to know about this illness.

What Exactly Is It?

IBS is a dysfunction of the intestinal nerves' connection to the brain. Often something causes a problem with the central nervous system, sending mixed messages through your body.

Symptoms

IBS usually presents itself with the symptoms of chronic pain in the abdomen area, constipation, and diarrhea which may be accompanied by heartburn, the feelings of fullness, nausea, bloating, urgently needing a restroom, sleep problems, sexual problems, lower back pain, and headaches. These continuous issues may cause problems socially, physically, and mentally for the people it affects.

What Symptoms Are NOT Related?

If you have any of the following symptoms along with anything listed above, you may be able to rule out irritable bowel syndrome as your problem. These symptoms are bloody stools, anemia, fever, or unexplained weight loss. These symptoms should prompt you to seek medical treatment as quickly as possible.

Who Is Affected by IBS?

Irritable bowel syndrome affects mostly young people under the age of 50. However, it is seen in people of all ages.

What Causes Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

The causes are still undetermined. Scientists have figured out that although stress does not cause it directly, it can dramatically increase symptoms.

How Is It Diagnosed?

Many patients diagnosed with IBS, about 2,000 of them, reported officially being diagnosed nearly seven years after their problems began. Because of the social stigmas associated with mentioning bowels or anything similar in public or to strangers, many people who experience these problems never seek treatment. The best place to find treatment is a gastroenterologist, who specializes in gastrointestinal problems. A variety of tests and cultures will be performed to rule out any other issues before it is officially diagnosed. Do not feel shy about visiting a clinic; between 20-40 percent of all appointments at gastroenterologists are related to irritable bowel syndrome symptoms.

You should not feel as badly as you do. Your stomach should not be constantly upset, and you definitely should not be in pain when trying to use the restroom. There's no reason to be embarrassed about your condition. You will not be the first person with this problem and doctors have seen many patients with the same symptoms.

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