Forget The Pain – Laughter and Music

According to the Mayo Clinic relieving stress with laughter is no joke and maybe just what the doctor ordered. Laughter increases your intake of oxygen, stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles. What does that add up to, Increased blood flow. Laughter has shown to improve your immune system . Stimulating endorphin's in the brain that make us feel good, even relieving pain. It's not just short-term; evidence shows there are also long-term health benefits .

A good laugh can be found anywhere, even by yourself and at yourself. Of course it's better to share the activity with another. My children are fun and playing with the grandchildren deliveries a belly laugh consistently.

Do you have a pet? I do not recall my fish giving me a chuckle but my little Pomeranian dog Dillon gives me a lot of pleasure. Playing with him cracks me up every day. Activity ups the ante on the benefits. Motion increases the blood flow. Any motion can be considered exercise. Laughter, motion, and blood flow, your body loves all three.

Charlie Chaplin said “A day without laughter is a day wasted.” Mark Twain wrote “Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.”

Music also has many beneficial and positive effects on a person's well-being. It has also been shown to get the attention of Alzheimer patients . Studies also show listening to music can reduce chronic pain and depression .

Music can be to be found everywhere. It's in the trees, the birds, and the breeze. I love the outdoors, fresh air and the sun. By the way, the sun vitamins vitamins D, C, K, B, and E, good stuff.

How easy is it to add motion to music? I have never been a great dancer but that's not a consideration for me. It's just plain fun. My dancing even has the ability to spread the laugh bug.

No matter what kind of music you enjoy, turn it on. There is always something new to discover when it comes to music.Listen to some music, laugh with a few friends, and see if you do not feel better. Even if you're healthy and happy it will not hurt. I'm positive there is someone for you to share a laugh with right now. One thing to remember, laugh is music!

“Take a music bath once or twice a week for a few seasons, and you will find that it is to the soul what the water-bath is to the body.” ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes

Add a healthy diet to the laughter and music and you're on your way to a happy and healthy life.

Share this strategy with your children and grandchildren because this is a great path to travel. You're never too young, or old, to start.

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An Overview of Osteonecrosis of the Knee

A condition cryptically referred to as 'bone death' is osteonecrosis. This condition is a relatively common cause of knee pain in middle aged and older individuals and occurs when a segment or portion of bone loses its blood supply and starts to die off. According to statistics, nearly three times as many women are affected by the condition as men; most of which are over the age of sixty.

Symptoms of Osteonecrosis

Symptoms of osteonecrosis include the following:

· Increased pain at night and with activity

· Abrupt pain along the inside of the knee that is triggered by activity or a minor injury

· Swelling along the front and inside of the knee

· Limited range of motion and flexibility due to increased pain

· The area becomes highly sensitive to touch and very tender, with increased pain when mobile

Cause of Osteonecrosis

The exact cause of osteonecrosis is unknown. One theory suggests that a stress fracture combined with activity and trauma may result in an altered blood supply to the bone. Other theories suggest that the build up of fluid within the bone adds pressure on the blood vessels and begins to diminish circulation.

No matter what the cause, if left untreated, severe problems may arise. It is important for the condition to be identified early and valued appropriately.

Various Stages of Osteonecrosis of the Knee

Osteonecrosis of the knee develops in four stages, which can all be identified via x-rays and through the symptoms reported. The following stages include:

Stage I – The symptoms are the most severe during this early stage of the condition. The x-rays are typically normal and reveal few problems, but the symptoms generally continue for six to eight weeks. Treatment for this stage does not require surgery.

Stage II – It takes several months for the disease to progress to this stage and at this point the symptoms begin to show up on the x-rays. An MRI or bone scan can be used to diagnose the stage and condition.

Stage III – This stage develops after about three to six months and is clearly visible on the x-rays at this point. The articular cartilage that covers the bone begins to loose as the bone dies. Surgical treatments may be necessary at this stage.

Stave IV – During this stage the bone begins to collapse and completely die. The articular cartilage is completely destroyed and the joint space narrows. Bone spurs typically develop and joint replacement surgery is almost inevitable.

If you are experiencing unexplained knee pain that is not improving, seek the advice of an orthopedic surgeon.

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What Every Chiropractor Should Know About Fibromyalgia

A current research was conducted about what every chiropractor should know about Fibromyalgia. The research was focused on Fibromyalgia and other related conditions. It was found out that Fibromyalgia was an outcome of a problem in the nervous system.

Chiropractors are the specialists who treat the patients with musculoskeletal conditions by using spinal manipulation techniques. The musculoskeletal system is made up of bones, ligaments, tendons, and muscles so chiropractors are very much familiar with how those parts of the body works. However, there was a misconception regarding Fibromyalgia. This “what every chiropractor should know about fibromyalgia” article is very important.

What is the misconception about fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is actually a misnamed illness. The name suggests a fibrotic problem which is located in the muscle tissue and it was thought that the problem exists in the skeletal muscles of the patients. This misconception has been present for a lot of years until the research was conducted to prove that fibromyalgia is not an illness in the skeletal muscle but in a different part of the body.

What is fibromyalgia?
What every chiropractor should know about fibromyalgia is that this illness is not located in the muscles but it is a problem in the central nervous system. To treat such illness a right understanding of the illness should be made.

The overall findings suggest that the symptoms of FMS is not muscular related but neurological. The experts say that a person who has FMS has a problem in the central nervous system so the whole body is affected by it. If one understands how this illness works, then the doctors should know how to completely treat this problem.

More Information about Fibromyalgia
Typically, the symptoms of FMS do not come up until a person is an adult. Experts believe that the severity of the problem is caused by injuries. A stressful stimulus which is administered to the spinal cord can cause this certain problem. Some of the examples of these stressful stimuli are an extended dental work or doing a work which suggests the backbone to be narrowed.

Another interesting finding was revealed. It was found out that women who have undergone breast implant operations have a higher tendency of developing such condition. This was believed that FMS occurred due to some infections which caused after the surgery although the research concluded that it was due to the hyperextension of the neck while the patient is under anesthetic.

Typically, people who experience injuries develop FMS. There are a lot of studies which can prove this. As a matter of fact, it was indicated that 65% of FMS patients developed this condition after an injury. It was then found out that a neck injury is more prone to resulting to FMS than with those which are experienced in the different parts of the body.

Conclusion

Further studies are still conducted to find the right answers to a lot of questions that human kind has been asking. This “what every chiropractor should know about fibromyalgia” article should be a guide and information for those experts and common people who need to know FMS and the latest finds about this condition. This discovery can actually make the experts understand how to treat this condition easily and properly.

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Treating Diabetes and Sciatica

According to the 2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet, over 8% of the US population suffers from diabetes. This number is on the rise, with the CDC reporting that a third of children born in 2000 are expected to develop the disease at some point in their lives. Sedentary lifestyles and poor diets are responsible for the increasing rate of diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is by far the most prevalent. Type 1 occurs due to an immune disorder that leads to the destruction of cells that produce insulin in the body. Type 2 diabetes is associated with either a lack of insulin production or the body's inability to use insulin properly. Insulin is responsible for moving glucose from the blood into cells. A deficiency of insulin or improper use that causes high levels of glucose to build up in the blood, while cells go without. Type 2 diabetes is a diet-related disease.

Diabetes and Sciatica

One of the many complications that may arise from diabetes is peripheral neuropathy, which is pain, numbness or tingling in the limbs of the body caused by nerve damage. The exact mechanisms are not understood, but high blood glucose levels are known to adversely affect nerve function. The 2011 Fact Sheet states that 60-70% of diabetics have some level of nervous system damage. The sciatic nerve, the largest in the body, is often affected by diabetes. It runs from the lumbar spine down to the foot on each side of the body.

Sciatica may be common in diabetics not only because of high glucose levels but because of excess weight. Being overweight is a risk factor both for diabetes and sciatica. Excess pressure on the spinal can compress spinal discs, which can cause them to bulge or herniate. The disks may interfere with nerves as they exit the spine.

If you have diabetes and feel either pain, numbness or tingling in the lower back that travels down the leg, you probably have sciatica. Symptoms of diabetes are increased thirst, constant hunger, fatigue and slow healing. If you experience these in conjunction with sciatica symptoms but do not know if you're diabetic, it's a good idea to get tested.

Treating Diabetic Sciatica

The best way to treat sciatica caused by diabetes is to treat diabetes. In our culture, medicine is often seen as the first and last line of defense. However, medication should be seen as a temporary measure while pursuing changes in diet and lifestyle as a more permanent treatment. Losing weight and giving your body foods that are easier to process can reduce or even eliminate your need to use medicine to control diabetes.

The prime focus of any diabetes diet plan is keeping carbohydrates intake low and consistent, since carbs are converted to glucose in the body. It is important to eat only a small amount of carbs at a time and to eat them at regular times each day to prevent a spike in blood glucose levels.

Fat levels must be kept in check as well to ease the burden on the pancreas and liver. Saturated fats should be strictly limited while trans fats should be avoided altogether.

A dietician can help you work out a plan that ensured you get the nutrients your body needs while avoiding unhealthy foods. Light exercise will likely be part of your treatment; adding a 30-minute walk into your day can get your metabolism going and help you lose weight.

Some herbal supplements may help to naturally lower blood sugar levels, but studies on alternative medicine for diabetes are few and far between. Also, when considering a supplement to lower blood glucose, be sure to talk with your doctor; If these supplements are combined with medication, they may cause glucose levels to drop too low. See the National Center for Supplemental and Alternative Medicine's page at http://nccam.nih.gov/health/diabetes/CAM-and-diabetes.htm for information on supplements for diabetics.

Treating diabetes and the problems it causes requires a commitment to lifestyle changes. While diet and exercise may not be enough to manage your condition initially, they can ever reduce or eliminate your reliance on medication by enabling your body to function properly on its own.

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The Pain’s in Your Brain – How Law of Attraction and Neuroscience Provide the Keys to Pain Relief

Pain researchers now know that all pain exists only within the brain. And this is exciting news for anyone seeking to use the Law of Attraction to aid in injury recovery. In particular, it's significant for anyone with “persistent pain” – usually defined as pain which lingers at least three months after the damaged tissue should have healed.

Neuroscientists recently confirmed that the brain does not discriminate between “real” pain and “imagined” pain. The brain simply gives us the pain experience.

Not just the mysterious persistent pain from a long-healed injury, but ALL of it. The immediate agony of the original injury and the pain of every rehab session, too.

It's all in the brain. Not in the body, where it looks to live, but in the brain .

Cut your finger chopping veggies? Pain's in your brain. Pull a muscle in your leg? Pain's in your brain. Crazy killer migraine? Pain's in your brain.

How does this work?

All day long, 24/7, our body is receiving physical stimuli such as touch, heat, and so on. For each single incoming impulse, signals go through a system of “way stations” in the nervous system where they are assessed for importance. Crucial or confusing impulses are sent to the brain for further analysis based on a range of factors. Of course, all this is happening at lightning speed and without your conscious awareness. That analysis includes an assessment by the brain as to whether there is danger.

If your brain perceives risk, you'll feel pain. If not, you will not.

And here's the kicker: for as long as the brain believes there is risk, you will continue to experience pain.

This is why millions of people have persistent pain, long after injured tissues have in fact healed. The brain is convinced there is still risk. The brain is telling an old story.

If the brain believes it's safer to ignore the damage and allow you to move, it will delay the onset of pain. This can be seen in the reports of soldiers who are injured, but feel no pain until after they've successfully scrambled to safety. It even happened to me many years ago, when my nose was broken in a backstage mishap, mid-performance – and I did not really feel the pain until after we'd successfully completed the scene change, continued the show and stopped for interval .

Sometimes the brain can believe in risk and produce pain where there is no injury at all. We've all heard of the phantom pain which can occur in long-ago amputated limbs.

My favorite story to illustrate this phenomenon comes from a report in the British Medical Journal in 1995. A 29-year-old builder turned up at the emergency room after jumping onto a 15cm nail. He was in agony, especially when anyone tried to move the nail at all, so he was sedated before the nail was pulled out from underneath. Staff then removed his boot, expecting to see the horrible injury which had caused so much intense pain. But even though the nail had gone into his boot just behind the protective steel toecap, it had passed clean between his toes, leaving his foot uninjured.

That excruciating pain was all in his brain, based on its making a sufficient reasonable assessment of risk.

What does this mean if you're experiencing persistent pain, long after an injury should have healed?

You can not consciously convince your brain that the risk has passed by forcing or pushing or ignoring your pain. It's more complex than that.

But it is possible to change that danger signal in your brain, once you understand how it makes the decision about whether there is danger. That assessment of risk is based on incoming impulses – including thoughts and beliefs .

Pain researchers have even developed a term to define a thought process which is powerful enough to maintain a state of pain. They call it a thought virus

Thought viruses are basically the wide range of stories we might tell ourselves about our own offense. We may be aware of these thoughts; very often we are not. Some examples include:

  • this will never heal
  • I'm broken / fragile / frail
  • I'll sit on the couch until I have no more pain
  • I'll soldier on and ignore this pain, to prove I'm not a failure
  • what if I can never walk / play with my kids / work again?

In other words – what we think has a direct impact on our pain levels.

We know that the Law of Attraction says that what you focus on, you get more of. It turns out that neuroscientism says the same thing.

To discover your own thought viruses, reflect on what stories you've been telling about it – to yourself and to others. Are you ready to let go of them, and tell a better story? Sometimes simple awareness can be enough. Sometimes it needs a little more gentle, non-judgmental exploration.

Consider the now-accepted wisdom that your pain experience does not relate to the amount of damage present. That does not mean your pain is imagined or not real; it does mean that your pain indicates an altered (not broken) pain system is now in operation. And that means healing is possible. Adopting that one single belief – that it's possible to heal – is the first step on the journey.

FOOTNOTE:

I love this quote from pain researchers, Dr David S. Butler and Prof. G. Lorimer Moseley. It's worth remembering if you're experiencing any doubts about whether this means you're making it up:

“… anyone that tells you 'it' is all in your head, claiming that there is 'it' is not real – does not understand physiology” [their emphasis]

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All You Need To Know About Chiropractors

Chiropractors or chiropractic doctors are licensed doctors whose main function is to improve the relationship between structure and functionality of the body. The major area of ​​treatment for chiropractors is neuromusculoskeletal system and its effect on the performance of body.

Many patients are looking up to chiropractors these days for back, neck or muscle pain assistance that might have been caused by accident or muscle strain. Chiropractic is a non surgical treatment and an alternative therapeutic treatment for medical care. It is one of the oldest healing practices and is a kind of spinal manipulation. People usually go to see a chiropractor in conditions like back pain, headaches, sports injuries, arthritis and repetitive strains.

Chiropractic therapy is gaining a lot of popularity due to its effectiveness. The various techniques used by chiropractors include Activator Methods, Diversified technique, Thompson, gonstead, Applied Kinesiology, Cranial, Neuro-Vascular technique, Bio-Energetic Synchronization, Chiropractic Biophysics Vector Point therapy, Motion Palpation, Logan Basic and many others. A chiropractor may use one or more of these adjustments depending upon the kind of pain or injury. It is a manual therapy wherein a sudden and controlled force is applied to a joint. Chiropractic adjustment or manual manipulation helps improve functionality, reducing nerve ability and restoring the motion in the back.

Chiropractors can also educate you on the ways to take care of health through exercise, therapies and ergonomics. The search for an efficient chiropractor can be a bit daunting task. There are certain points that needs to be given due consideration to ensure that you are being diagnosed properly and receiving correct treatment.

You can consult your physician who can recommend you some experienced chiropractors who can offer you an effective treatment. Recommendations can also be taken from friends, family, collections or neighbors. It is always advisable to get multiple references that can help you to be assured about the competency of a particular chiropractor. It is also important to be assured of the qualifications and treatment style before you make a visit for consultation. You can also check information about the various chiropractors working in your area either in yellow pages or online. You can make a call and fix an appointment for consultation. By consulting you can get a fair bit of idea about whether you want to start treatment with the chiropractor or not. Also make sure to ask if they accept insurance in case you have any.

The increasing popularity of chiropractic treatment can be attributed to its non-dependency on medications or surgical treatments. It can not only treat your back issues but will also insure that with proper care and prevention, spinal problems in future can be avoided. Seeing a chiropractor is a healthy and affordable way to be relieved from pain and stress.

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An Overview of Wrist Fractures

What Is A Wrist Fracture?

The wrist is a complicated region of the body, consisting of eight small bones and two connecting forearm bones – the radius and the ulna. When a wrist break occurs, several factors come into play in determining treatment because of the complicated structure of the wrist.

The most commonly broken bones in the wrist are the radius and the scaphoid. The scaphoid is located near the thumb side of the wrist where the wrist bends.

Symptoms of a Wrist Fracture

If the break occurs at the scaphoid region of the wrist, pain and swelling may occur at the base of the thumb. The pain may become more noticeable and severe when the thumb or wrist is moved. You may also notice pain when you try to pick something up or grip an object.

Pain, swelling and reduced mobility or use of the wrist are all common signs of a wrist break or fraction. Since the bones of the wrist are connected to those in the hand, pain and swelling in the hand may also occur. The break may be visible to the eye. The wrist and hand may appear to be crooked or deformed.

Possible Treatment Options for a Wrist Fracture

Non-surgical treatment is less common than surgical treatment for a wrist fracture. In the case of a stress fracture, a brace or cast may be used to keep the bones stable and allow for time to heal. Rest may be required to allow for the healing process.

Surgical treatment is required for severe breaks. Metal implants, screws or wires may be used to help hold the bones in place until the bone is completely healed.

In some rare instances where the bone is missing or has been crushed beyond repair, there may be a gap in the bone that needs to be realigned. A bone graft may be required in such instances. This procedure requires taking a bone fragment from another part of the body and filling in the gap.

Wrist Fracture Recovery

Whether the wrist fracture requires surgery or not, stabilization through the use of a cast or splint is necessary for proper recovery. The process takes time, so patience is required. In fact, some breaks of the wrist may take up to six months to completely heal.

It is also important to follow the explicit instructions of your treating surgeon. During the healing process you may not be able to lift or carry items with the injured hand or arm, or avoid climbing and sporting activities. Any activity that could pose a risk of falling onto your hand or arm should be avoided during the recovery time.

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The Importance of the Chiropractic Neck Adjustment After a Car Accident

Your neck plays a major role in your overall health and wellbeing. If you were recently in a car accident, chances are your neck was jarred quite violently, causing damage to your spinal column. The physical trauma and side effects of the trauma from which you suffer could last for days, months or even years if it is not properly taken care of. When you are in a car accident, it is best to visit a chiropractor for a chiropractic neck adjustment.

Whiplash

Whiplash occurs when the neck is violently whipped one way and then another. This occurs quite often in car accidents and is a source of chronic pain for many victims. When you visit a chiropractor, he will first treat the pain. Depending on the level of trauma, the chiropractor might not be able to perform a chiropractic neck adjustment right away. He might have to use other techniques, such as massage and electric muscle stimulation, to help you minimize the pain. Once the pain starts to subside, the chiropractor can then help you achieve a range of motion and full movement.

Headaches

Headaches are a common side effect of a neck injury that results from a car accident. When the neck is forced out of alignment, the head begins to hurt as a result of the pain in the neck. Some victims suffer from headaches only when the neck is moved in certain directions, while others suffer from chronic headaches as a result of their neck being out of alignment. Some victims also suffer from neck spasms, which can cause headaches as well.

Adjustments

Many people think of the chiropractic neck adjustment as cracking the neck. The adjustment is not a crack but a realignment of the cervical spine. With the proper techniques, your chiropractor will use short thrusts and gentle motors to realign your cervical spine. He will also use muscle relaxation techniques or stimulation to get the muscles loose and able to move pain-free once again.

If you have been involved in a car accident, it is important to visit a chiropractor to determine the amount of damage that was done to your cervical spine. Once the level of damage is determined, he can put together a treatment plan that will gradually bring your neck back to full functioning without daily pain. The treatment plan may include a combination of electric muscle stimulation, massage therapy and a chiropractic neck adjustment.

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Endorphines, A Natural Painkiller

Endorphins are a group of neurotransmitters inside of your brain and spinal column that carry messages along your nerves. They also serve as your bodies natural defense to stress and discomfort. Endorphins when released through your body act on the same areas of your brain that an opiate style drug would effect. The result is an all natural 'high' as ​​well as a release of tension and stress.

Stress, Anxiety, and Depression relief

Endorphins are one of your bodies natural strains of pain killers and mood enhancers. When endorphins are released our bodies start to naturally release stress and relax, what's more, it causes a mood boost to help combat depression. There are several tips on how to make your body release endorphins that happen to be listed below.

Exercise

Any physical activity can cause endorphins to be released into the body. Weight training, walking, running, swimming, playing sports, even sexual activity will all result in a discharge of endorphins. What amount is released will be different from one person to the next, according to body chemistry and physical conditioning. That being said, pretty much any work out will release endorphins. Therefore if your feeling down, take a stroll, even a short slow paced walk will result in your body to begin releasing endorphins. A daily exercise regimen will enable you to have a more balanced mood due to the frequent release of endorphins. Simple things like taking a walk on a daily basis will allow you to relax and be more relaxed. For an easy way to starting a walking regiment click here to read Walking For Stress Relief.

Foods

There are two different types of foods which have been known to release Endorphins, chocolate, and chilli peppers. Personally I am more of a fan of chilli peppers then chocolate. Chilli peppers are available in a number of types and 'strengths' and can be easily included with just about any food. Even hot sauce will give you an endorphin rush. Chili peppers can also be naturally low in calories so you're able to eat as much as you are able to stand. The down side is not surprising that not everyone likes chilli peppers, and not everyone can handle the spicy taste. Although if you wish to try it, I suggest mild peperoncinis as a first step. They're a sweet pepper and typically not all that spicy.

Of course then there's everyone's favorite … Chocolate. Everybody knows that chocolate has a calming effect as well as in general just makes you feel good. That is because when you eat it, your body releases endorphins that causes your stress level to lower as well as your mood to rise. The one down side of using chocolate as stress relief is that chocolate is usually high in calories. So if you're feeling down and want a quick pick me up, grab a small piece of chocolate and enjoy. But, I would avoid it on a regular basis, too much and you might put on weight which will harm your self esteem and cause more stress.

Massage and Acupuncture

Both massage and acupuncture have been known to cause an endorphin release. Probably because each cause mild variety of pain within the body. Who has not grunted or groaned while having a knot worked out of there back during a good massage?

Sunlight

Exposure to sunlight gives us vitamin D as well as causes a release of endorphins, but make sure to either limit your time in the sun, or to start using a good sunscreen. Tiny amount of sun exposure can cause you to feel much better, but large volumes will dampen your mood with a harsh sunburn.

Meditation

This can be one of my personal favorite strategies to release endorphins. Meditation is the mental art of focus and concentration. The self-discipline has lots of benefits just one of which is the release of endorphins. Simply one five minute meditation session could have a substantial impact on your mood as well as your mental clarity. However, if one makes mediation an integral part of your daily routine, the effects of meditation will build over time allowing you to create a much more focused thought process and a more relaxed and stress free disposition in your life.

Summary

Endorphins are a natural technique of pain relief and stress reduction. There are many approaches to release endorphins including physical exercise (walking, running, swimming, lifting weights, sexual activity), foods (chocolate, and chili peppers), massage, acupuncture, sunlight, and meditation. Incorporating any kind of these in your daily routine will enable you to become more relaxed and stress free, but incorporating each one of them can help even more!

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TMJ Syndrome – What’s It All About?

What It Is

The acronym TMJ actually refers to the temporomandibular joint, the joint located on each side of the head where the lower jawbone meets the skull right in front of the ears. Each joint is surrounded by 68 pairs of muscles and plays an important role since it allows us the ability to chew, yawn, speak, and swallow. Which means the TMJ is constantly in use in either a rotating or gliding motion. A soft disc of cartilage keeps this opening and closing motion of the mouth smooth and absorbs the shock of chewing. TMJ Syndrome is the term used for any chronic or acute pain due to damage to the cartilage or inflammation of the temporomandibular joints.

What It Feels Like

Those suffering from this syndrome often show a wide variety of symptoms. These symptoms may include pain in the facial muscles and jaw joints, ringing in the ears, swelling, trouble swallowing, and clicking / popping sounds. Grinding or crunching sounds may also occur when there is bone on bone contact within the joint. This often causes headaches and dizziness as well. Individuals with this syndrome may experience these symptoms temporarily, in cycles that come and go with time, or chronically.

What Causes It

One of the leading causes of TMJ Syndrome is severe injury. Such injuries could occur in a variety of ways, including obtaining whiplash in an auto accident; getting hit in the jaw while playing sports; Egypt overusing the jaw by chewing on one side of the mouth excessively. In addition, physical and emotional stress can lead to this problem. While the emotional tension itself does not cause the pain, the way the body exhibits stress may cause it (eg, continously clenching of the teeth). Misaligned or missing teeth can also periodically force the joint out of its proper position. Regardless of the cause, TMJ Syndrome is highly treatable with specialized chiropractic care.

The Best Way to Treat It

Because Doctors of Chiropractic are trained to correct ailments due to bone misalignments, they are a great choice for effecting this issue. A chiropractor will conduct a thorough examination during which he will assess pain, note any tenderness or sounds the jaw makes, and perform x-rays if necessary. Treatment plans will likely include a splint, biofeedback, exercise, heat, ice, or ultrasound. Fortunately, all treatment by a chiropractor will exclude medication or surgery. Chiropractic care is especially unique in that it focuses on the return of motion and healing through individually-designed treatment plans specific to each patient.

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SCIATICA – What You Need to Know

What It Is

The term “Sciatica” typically refers to pain, numbness, weakness, or tingling in the leg. Caused by injury or pressure on the sciatic nerve, the symptoms of sciatica are indicative of an underlying issue. The sciatic nerve is the longest and thickest nerve in the body, its branches transmitting motor and sensory signals throughout the leg. Any compression or inflammation of the nerve can potentially cause sciatica symptoms. A few of the most common causes of sciatica include a slipped disk, Piriformis Syndrome, and pelvic injuries. Chiropractic adjustments seek to alleviate the symptoms while also eliminating the root cause of those symptoms by restoring skeletal function and nerve compression.

What It Feels Like

Many individuals suffering from sciatica describe the pain as achy and sharp, like pins-and-needles. Others experience tingling and numbness with possible burning sensations. The pain usually occurs on just one side, beginning near the hip and radiating down the back of the leg to the calf, or even the foot. Sometimes sciatica symptoms worsen after standing or sitting, sleeping, sneezing, laughing, or bending backwards. Occidentally, the pain is sufficient enough to immobilize, rendering a person unable to walk.

How It is Tested

Patients with sciatica symptoms are physically examined to help determine potential causes. Often, these tests will show weaknesses in the knee bending, difficulty in the foot turning downward, weak reflexes, loss of sensation, or pain when lifting the leg straight up off a flat surface. A thorough review of the patient's medical history along with tests such as x-rays and electrodiagnostics will assist in determining the cause and most effective treatment.

How It is Treated

Doctors of Chiropractic have treated patients with sciatica for many years, eliminating pain without the use of drugs or surgery. A chiropractor's goal is to help the body heal itself by keeping all nerves, discs, and muscles healthy through non-invasive, drug-free methods. Depending on the degree and cause of the sciatica, possible treatments include ice / cold therapy (to reduce inflammation); ultrasound (to improve circulation and reduce swelling); nerve stimulation (to eliminate acute pain); and adjustment (spinal manipulation to reduce nerve irritability).

Chiropractors are trained in many adjustment techniques, allowing them to treat a wide variety of symptoms and their underlying causes. Re-establishing skeletal functionality and removing all nerve impingements are the keys to treating sciatica and the pain it causes. Chiropractic care is often the best option for this type of ailment, restoring health to sciatica-sufferers while preventing the future onset of symptoms.

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Broken Arm Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Broken arms are a common injury resulting from a variety of activities and health related issues. The arm is made up of three bones – the ulna, humerus and radius. The most common cause of a fraction is bearing weight onto an outstretched arm in an attempt to brace itself.

Broken arms vary greatly depending on the location and severity. A simple break can be treated with ice, rest and a sling, while more severe breaks require emergency surgery.

Symptoms of a Fractured Arm

Most people know when they have a fraction due to the popping or cracking noise that enterprises the fracture. There are several signs and symptoms of a fractured arm including:

· Immediate and severe pain that increases when the arm is moved

· Swelling of the area

· Tenderness in the extremity

· Bruising

· Deformity such as a severed bent or twisted extremity

· Inability to move it due to stiffness

If you experience any of these symptoms it is important to see a physician right away. Delaying the diagnosis of a fractured arm can cause it to heal improperly and lead to further complications.

Causes of a Broken Arm

Common causes resulting in a fraction include:

Falls – Bearing weight onto your arm while falling is the most common cause of a broken arm

Sports injuries – Falling or getting hit with a direct blow to the arm on the field or court is very common in sports. All types of fractures result from sports injuries that affect all three of the bones that comprise the arm.

Arm Trauma – Arm trauma can result from a motor vehicle accident, bike accident, sports injury, or any other event where the arm takes a direct hit that causes a fracture

Abuse – Unfortunately, many children experience a break due to child abuse. Children's bones are not as strong as an adult's and can be fractured easily.

Tests and Diagnosis of a Broken Arm

A simple x-ray is the most common diagnostic tool used to determine if the arm is broken or not. An x-ray can determine the location and extent of the fraction with relative ease. In some instances, a physician may also perform a CT scan.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms described above it is critical to see a health care provider as soon as possible for a proper diagnosis. Ignoring symptoms can cause the problem to become worse and lead to long lasting health consequences.

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Pain Management Guidelines

There are numerous types of pain treatments available, but which one is right for you? Some people find themselves turning to newer forms of pain treatment because the old standbys no longer work. Some are still confused on what type of treatment is best for them that can really give them relief. Here are some basic steps to follow when seeking guidance for pain treatments:

  1. Choosing a course of treatment begins with taking a history of it , including how long you have had it, how bad it is, and what you were doing when it actually started. The doctor will then do a physical examination to determine which physical structures of your body may be causing the suffering. In general, the parts of your body that cause suffering are those that can be injured are supplied by a nerve, and cause pain when poked or prodded.
  2. Next it is essential to determine what is causing the suffering because pain is actually a symptom of another problem. It can indicate a broken bone, a pinched nerve, or some other organic cause. A doctor can not recommend a course of treatment if the cause of the pain has not been discovered.
  3. In general, there are two main types . Most doctors divide them into neuropathic pain and nociceptive pain . Nociceptive indicates that the nervous system in your body is functioning properly, but there is an injury that the nerves are aware of and carrying to your brain. On the other hand, neuropathic indicates that your nervous system is not working properly because it is reporting pain even though there does not appear to be any injury that can be causing the pain.
  4. Most types of arm, leg, and back pain are nociceptive , which is either somatic or radicular pain. Radicular pain comes from an irritated nerve, like when a disc herniation causes a nerve in your back to pinch. This sends pain signals down your leg from your spinal cord. Somatic suffering is generally limited to the thighs or back. However, this type is exceptionally difficult to diagnose because it can be nonspecific. The greatest majority of back pain comes from the sacroiliac joint, the facet joints, or the back discs. The problem is that determining which of these is the culprit or if something else is causing the pain can take a long time and numerous tests.
  5. Neuropathic pains are even more difficult to treat , although medication is the go-to source for relief. Usually medication can change the way the body deals with the pain information by filtering it out at the spinal cord so that you do not even become aware of the pain. Many people discover that spinal cord stimulation and similar treatments work very well in the treatment of neuropathic pain especially, usually because stimulation delivers very small bits of electrical energy into the spinal. This makes it possible for the spine to operate correctly even though you are experiencing pain.

One of the newest forms of pain treatment is low level laser therapy, which is rapidly gaining ground as a treatment for pain. Laser therapy is easy to apply and works well on most types of pain. It is also non-invasive and non-toxic , unlike most pain medications that are on the market.

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Is the Butrans Patch Right For You?

Chronic pain management almost always involved medication. Doctors and patients face difficult choices when deciding what drug to use, since there are both short- and long-term concerns associated with any pain-killer. Adding to these concerns is the fact that opioids, a common form of pain medication, have not been thoroughly studied for long-term effects.

The Butrans patch has a short history of use in Europe and has now hit the US pain management market. This patch is made with the narcotic buprenorphine, an opioid. Patients wear the patch on their skin for 7 days, over which time the narcotic is released and absorbed through the skin. Opioids work by attaching to opioid receptors in the human body. Opioid receptors allow endorphins, the body's natural pain killers, and opioids from medication to create a sense of well-being and pain relief.

The Butrans patch comes with a host of warnings and contraindications. Aside from minor concerns like skin irritation, there are more serious possibilities like respiratory depression. Anyone with a history of respiratory problems should think twice before using this medication. Hypotension is another potential adverse effect. Use of this product is questionable in anyone who has a head injury, hepatitis, CPD, a gastrointestinal obstruction or uses other CNS depressants such as alcohol. On top of these health concerns, Butrans, as an opioid, has a high abuse potential. A person can become both physically and mentally dependent on an opioid drug for the feeling of well-being it produces, and dependence often leads to abuse. The serious health risks associated with the patch increase greatly if dosage instructions are not followed, making abuse a huge concern.

Yet another concern with opioid medications like Butrans is that the level of sedation they cause can interfere with your quality of life as much as chronic pain can. You may not be able to operate a vehicle or concentrate on work while using these pain-killers.

Why do people use a drug with such serious risks? Unfortunately, most pain medications come with potentially serious risks. The Butrans patch is convenient and has helped many people to reduce the amount of other medications they take. Many patients in the chronic pain community find themselves juggling 3 or more different medicines on a daily basis, so consolidation is a huge benefit. See patient reviews of this medication at http://www.webmd.com/drugs/drugreview-155153-Butrans+TD.aspx?drugid=155153&drugname=Butrans+TD&pageIndex=0&sortby=3&conditionFilter=-1 .

Opioid Over-prescription

Given their risks, opioids are not an appropriate first line of defense against chronic pain. Natural methods like physical therapy and less addictive pain medications like NSAIDs should be tried before considering opioids for pain management. The Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center conducted a survey of 14,000 people who experienced lower back pain within the past year; of those who were prescribed pain relievers, half received opioid medication. This signifies an over-prescription of opioids. See http://consumerreports.org/health/best-buy-drugs/opioids.htm for more on the Consumer Health Report assessment of opioids.

The Butrans patch should only be considered for use in people with chronic pain that has not responded to other methods of pain relief.

It is important to continue the search for a treatment that addresses the cause of your pain. Medication only mask pain and should not be the beginning and end of your pain management strategy. New research into back pain, fibromyalgia and other conditions is constantly being processed that offers new hope for effective treatment. Keep up-to-date and informed on your pain condition. If the doctors and specialists treating you are not looking for options beyond medication, considering seeing an osteopathic doctor; these doctors take a more whole-body approach to health conditions and may be more likely to find an effective treatment for your pain.

When considering the Butrans patch for chronic pain, be sure you know all the risks. Safer treatments should always be tried before considering an opioid narcotic.

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Don’t Live With Pain: How Physiotherapists Can Help With Radiculotherapy

Physiotherapists can pinpoint the source of your pain and help it go away.

You've probably never heard of Radiculopathy, but it could have been the source of that mysterious pain in your shoulder, arm, wrist or pain. Difficult as it may be to believe, the source of the pain may actually be the neck.

In this article, we'll explain what Radiculopathy is and how it can be treated. After all, there is no reason to live with pain. A little knowledge goes a long way in making an informed decision about how to proceed.

First, a few words on what to look for. In most cases, the affected joint is tender to touch. The joint is usually restricted in some movements. All of this could easily be mistaken for tendonitis or other joint dysfunctions. All the more reason to seek the expert advice of a physiotherapist.

Second, this could be very similar to low back pain that could radiate pain down to buttock, thigh, leg or even foot or neck dysfunctions as well could refer pain to shoulder arm, wrist or even fingers.

This condition when pain travels down to limit calls Radiculopathy. One cause of Radiculopathy is a harmful pressure of the nerve root due to deformities of the disc or disc herniation.

Sometimes, people may not even be aware of theirspinal problem. Their necks or backs may not even hurt. But they may still have Radiculopathy.

MRI scans can detect disc disease and confirm Radiculopathy. But MRIs are not universally available or affordable. In many places, you have to wait for months for an MRI. While you wait, the pain continues. So you have to take pain medication and wait in pain. And it's all because it can take so long for the MRI test to get done.

So remember this key point: the sooner the Radicuopathy is detected, the sooner the treatment can begin. And the sooner the treatment begins, the sooner the pain will subside.

Fortunately, physiotherapists are trained to treat Radiculopathy. With a proper examination, an experienced physiotherapist can easily differentiate radiculopathy from a joint dysfunction.

What comes next, once the diagnosis has been made? There are several treatment options. Physiotherapists can apply electrotherapy treatment including such modalities as ultrasound, laser, or interferential currency. This reduces radiating pain, muscle tension and numbness. It also improves blood circulation.

Physiotherapists can also apply manual therapy for soft tissue release and joint mobilization.

But that's not all. Physiotherapists teach proper stretches and exercises to prevent or improve movement restrictions. Physiotherapists will also give you advice on pain management techniques, and all the do's and don'ts of daily activities.

Many people believe that a doctor's referral is required to see a physiotherapist, but that's not so in most places and in most circumstances.

The bottom line, once again, is this: why live with pain? If you are suffering from shoulder, arm, wrist or hand pain or any kind of radiating pain, do not suffer any longer. And do not delay. Seeing a physiotherapist is a wise decision. Make an appointment today.

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