The Right Kind of Exercise Twice A Week May Be Sufficient For Chronic Pain Management

“Three times a week” – this is a frequently-cited “dosage” for movement therapies, be it physical therapy, yoga or some other exercise regimen. The chronic pain patient strapped for time may be pleased to know that “twice a week” may be just as effective a dose, at least for a certain type of physical therapy.

Researchers recently recruited individualized exercise therapy to a group of 58 people with chronic musculoskeletal pain three times a week, and to a group of 56 people with chronic musculoskeletal pain twice a week. Although the programs were individualized, each contained the components of muscle strengthening, motor control, mobility, cardiovascular exercise and health education. The physical therapy programs involved exercising in water, a method that provides resistance while de-loading the joints of the body.

Surprisingly, the researchers found comparative benefits in both groups at the one-year mark. The group receiving physiotherapy twice a week is labeled “G2,” while the group receiving it three times a week is “G3.” Improvements in the following measures after one year of exercise therapy were as follows:

Physical Health State: G2 = 16.55%; G3 = 18.89%
Mental Health State: G2 = 27%; G3 = 30%
Health-Related Quality of Life: G2 = 18%; G3 = 21%
Pain: G2 = 26.25%; G3 = 34.27%
Disability: G2 = 15.4%; G3 = 17%
Neck Disability: G2 = 35.82%; G3 = 37.82%
Arthritis Index: G2 = 19.1%; G3 = 9.32%

Overall, these comparable results may indicate that patients can reap similar benefits while saving both time and money by pursuing a regimented physical therapy program only two a week. See more on the study at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24819432?dopt=Abstract .

While this study is promising, its results should not be extended to just any type of exercise program. The program implemented in this study had three special characteristics: 1) the exercise plans were individualized; 2) they were well-rounded, incorporated work for the whole body via diverse exercises and for the mind via education; and 3) they incorporated aquatic therapy. This combination of factors could have been integral to the success of the two-a-week intervention.

A chronic pain management exercise program may reap substantial benefits without taking up much time. Of course, it's always a good idea to maintain a moderate activity level between your resumed sessions and avoid sitting for the majority of the day. If you have musculoskeletal pain, talk with a physical therapist well-versed in multimodal program implementation.

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Pain Management – Lower Back

Lower back pain among adults is one of the leading causes of the over use of over-the-counter pain medication. The lower back is a complex structure that has a number of overlapping elements including muscle, tendon, soft tissue, nerve endings, spinal discs and complex joints. Proper diagnosis, evaluation and treatment plans should be applied to acute or chronic lower back pain by a qualified pain clinic.

Evaluation and Diagnosis

Simply taking pain medication to alleviate lower back pain does not often solve the underlying causes of the pain. Instead it can cause ancillary problems like substance abuse or contributing to the long-term debilitation of the pain. When seeing a pain treatment specialist part of the evaluation will be to determine if the pain is short or long-term and acute or chronic which will determine the path of treatment. The causes of lower back pain can be from any number of sources for adults between the ages of 30 to 50 including spasms, muscle pulls, slipped discs, spinal stenosis, bone lesions, viral infections, spinal compression, or simple strain or sprain. Many of these lead to lower back pain and can be caused by any number of things in your everyday life including smoking, obesity, repetitive muscle strain, stress, poor physical condition, poor posture and even a poor sleeping position.

Treatment Options

The treatment options available for the pains are varied and many. And it's all depend on the diagnosis results that could explain the underlying causes. The following is a list of treatment options for short-term lower pains.

Painkillers – NSAIDs and ibuprofen are the most clinically prescribed drugs for lower pains whereas paracetamol is the most effective in treating lower back pain . Sometimes even drug such as codeine can be used to treat this pain. In certain circumstances a muscle relaxant such as diazepam may also be prescribed.

Hot and Cold Treatment – most people often find hot or cold treatments offer comfort and dissipation of pain in relation to back issues. Sometimes the best treatment can be an alternating treatment of heat and cold. Do not apply ice directly to the skin.

Relaxation – achieving ultimate relaxation can help alleviate pain quicker and more effectively than those that consistently stress and worry about their condition. Studies of proven those that maintain a positive attitude recover quicker. Avoid stress and find ways to relax.

Sleeping Position – sometimes changing your sleeping position slightly can help alleviate the pressure on the back part. By pulling your knees closer to your chest and putting a pillow between your legs if you are a side sleeper will help. If you sleep on your back placing a pillow underneath your knees will do the same thing.

An Active Lifestyle – an active lifestyle including keeping physically active will help alleviate lower back pain. Studies of shown that those with a sedentary lifestyle has increased lower back pain. Even by walking around the house or going for short walks of 20 minutes will help alleviate the condition in the long-term.

In order to be properly diagnosed see a pain clinic near you to establish an effective treatment plan for your short-term lower back pain.

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Hip Pain Has Several Causes

Your hips are one of the most frequently used joints in the body. It is used for any kind of movement, right from when we are born till the end of our lives. Also, this joint is the largest ball and socket joint which is present in the human body. A layer of cartilage is present between the bones so that no friction is caused during movement.

This cartilage protects the hip but lack of it may result in pain due to the friction that is created between the bones when there is no cushioning between them. Considering the hips are used all the time by the body, it is not surprising that the cartilage can often get worn out.

What Causes Pain In The Hips?

There are a number of possible reasons for someone to experience pain in the hip. In fact, finding out the cause of the pain can be a little tricky and it is necessary to find out the correct cause since this is the only way to be able to find some solution to the problem.

One of the common reasons for this is the wearing out of cartilage between the bones. This is often due to extreme exercise, especially when people run a lot on hard surfaces. The continuous movement on hard surfaces causes a strain on your hip and wears out the cartilage. Another reason could be a fractured hip. Since the joint gets weaker as you get older, a fall or any form of osteoporosis could cause a fraction any time. An alternate reason could also be due to swelling. Normally, a certain amount of fluid gets secreted into the hip to keep it running smoothly. For some reason, if there is an extra amount of fluid, the fluid could collect and a swapping may form. This swells presses against the joint and causes pain.

Hip pain is also caused by arthritis. In fact, even though it can be caused by many types of arthritis, it is a most common symptom of osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis causes wearing out of the cartilage as well as inflammation of the joints. This form of arthritis occurs more commonly in women who are over 50 years of age and it often gets to a stage where replacement surgery is necessary.

Another common cause could have due to a strain or problem with your back. If you are not sure as to what has caused your hip pain, it is advisable to see a doctor and get your back examined as well so that you can diagnose the problem early and rectify it as soon as possible.

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Pain Not the Only Health Concern for Many With Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is often more than an unpleasant sensation in the body. Its effects can permeate a person both in body and mind, significantly altering many aspects of life. When anxiety, depression, activity limitation, loss of fitness, lack of sleep and other correlations are present in the individual alongside pain, they can become problems as big as the pain itself. Treating only the pain, then, looks like an insufficient approach.

Patients and health professionals will likely see better results from treatment if they seek to identify and address all symptoms of poor health. Physicians who take a holistic approach to health will offer more well-rounded treatment, helping patients to improve their overall quality of life.

Recent research suggests that there may be different correlated health problems for men and women experiencing chronic neck pain. Researchers took several measures – physical fitness parameters, mental health scores, pain threshold and more – for 40 men and 40 women with chronic neck pain as well as 40 men and 40 women without neck pain who served as controls. They compared the scores of women with neck pain to the scores of women in the control group, and the scores of men with neck pain to the scores of men in the control group.

The researchers found different results for men and women. Compared to the control group of women, those with pain had worse handgrip, leg strength, pressure pain threshold, depression and anxiety scores. Men with neck pain, on the other hand, had worse aerobic capacity and body fat percentage than their control group. Both men and women with chronic pain had worse sleep index and quality of life scores than controls.

See more on the study at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24810182 .

Aside from suggesting that the sexes are affected differently by chronic neck pain, the study gives us a glimpse into the breadth of chronic pain fallout. It may not be apparent how neck pain would result in reduced aerobic fitness, leg fatigue or anxiety, but these indicate altered activity patterns and the emotional toll chronic pain takes on the individual. Health professionals should take these correlations seriously; they impact overall quality of life and the health of the patient.

A whole-body, whole-mind approach to treatment is most likely to yield positive results. Patients may require a combination of several forms of treatment, including physical therapy and psychotherapy (such as cognitive behavioral therapy) to adequately address their many symptoms. The first step for patients is to seek out a medical professional who will work with them on an individual basis to identify their unique symptoms of poor health.

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Frozen Shoulder Relief Through Chiropractic Care

Frozen shoulder or adhesive capsulitis has been treated very successfully for years by chiropractors across the country. Why? Chiropractors have an unparallel understanding of joint mechanisms and how bad mechanics contribute to pain and stiffness. Before we discuss how chiropractors treat frozen shoulder let's talk about what this condition is, it's symptoms, and who usually suffers from it.

What is Frozen Shoulder?

You might be confused when you suddenly feel pain in your shoulder because you did not sustain an injury. Chances are this condition has been building over a long period of time. This starts with inflammation of the joint capsule. The shoulder joint is comprised of a system of bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and cartilage that work together to form this complex joint. The inflammation in the ligaments of the joint causes pain, which over time turn into range of motion loss. With this extreme range of motion loss the joint feet “frozen.”

At this point brushing your hair, teeth, and even holding your coffee cup is going to be a major task. This will be hard not only from the pain, but from the lack of motion in the joint.

Who Gets Frozen Shoulder?

– Someone who recently sustained an injury
– Occurs mainly in people aged 40-70
– Often in postmenopausal women
– Suffered from chronic diseases
– Suffered from a cervical disc herniation previously or current
– Suffer from diabetes or hyperthyroidism

Your next move should be finding a health care practitioner capable to diagnosing and treating your frozen shoulder.

Chiropractor vs. Medical Doctor:

A medical doctor will take a history of the shoulder and perform a quick exam. At this point the doctor will want to take an x-ray or MRI of your affected joint. At this point they will see if arthritis or other factors are playing a part in your problem. Once they have enough information gathered they will make a diagnosis. Once the diagnosis is made they will recommend a method of treatment. They may recommend an anti-inflammatory drug with follow-up, a steroid injection, referral to physical therapy, or referral to a chiropractor.

A chiropractor will take a history of your complaint; do an extensive exam of your shoulder, neck, and spine. If warranted will order further testing such as x-ray or MRI. Once the exam and testing is complete an accurate diagnosis can be made. It is likely the chiropractor will want to start treatment right away so you can experience relief and regain movement of the shoulder quickly.

Chiropractors offer a natural drug-free solution to beating frozen shoulder. A chiropractor will do gentle mobilization of the shoulder, and manipulation of the neck and spine. They will also work on the muscles of the shoulder that have tightened and developed scar tissue. They will also give you light exercises to do at home that will increase your range of motion.

Each visit to the chiropractor should increase your mobility and decrease your pain. Slight soreness and discomfort may be felt after the first few visits but this will gradually dissipate as the function of your shoulder goes up.

Regaining full mobility is really a gift as many people wait for their pain to go away and do nothing.

When frozen shoulder is detected it's best to get treatment as soon as possible to have the best possible exit and completely regain full function of the shoulder joint.

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TMJ and the Neck: What’s the Connection?

One of the most common and troublesome problems that I'm noticing in my practice is a condition known as Temporomandibular joint dysfuction, or TMD for short. In fact, many of you may have heard someone talk about their TMJ or having TMD, but did not quite know what it was.

TMD involves the joint that connects your jaw to your head. Proper movement of this joint is critical to proper function. When the jaw It has a profound affect on people because dysfunction of that joint can cause a variety of problems including:

TMJ
Sharp / stabbing jaw pain
Inability to open the jaw properly
Headaches
Neck pain
Painful clicking
Teeth grinding
Clenching
and much more

It has quickly become one of the more common reasons for visits to a neurologist and pain clinics, because of the dramatic impact that this sensitive piece of anatomy has on a person's quality of life. Many times, this condition is treated with medications like neurontin or anti-depressants. In some cases, muscle relaxers or injections to the joint.

What does this have to do with the neck?

A search of PubMed will show numerous references for increased incidence of TMD in conjunction with a whiplash injury, head / neck trauma. A systematic review of these papers show that people with whiplash / head injury actually have more severe pain and more pronounced dysfunction of the joint.

Another review showed that just treating the TMJ in these whiplash related cases showed poor results suggesting that the cause of the problem may be outside the joint itself. The whiplash associated cases showed just a 48% improvement compared to the non-whiplash cases which improved 75% of the time. That leaves a huge amount of people who are still in pain and suffering because the primary insult to the body was not addressed properly.

TMD usually comes in 2 varieties.

1. Muscular dysfunction – the muscles of the jaw (pterygoids, masseter, temporalis) become hypertonic and dysfunctional creating pain ful musculature and sloppy movement.

2. Articular dysfunction – the joint itself can have problems. Dislodging of the disc, arthritic degeneration, and inflammation can irritate the very sensitive nerve endings that cover the joint.

Not much can be done about arthritic breakdown of a joint. However, this is a less common cause of TMD. The most common causes of TMJ problems stem from muscular imbalance and dislodging of the articular disc. In a way, these two problems are intimately related. When you have bad jaw muscles moving the jaw abnormally, then it leaves more room for the articular disc to shift out of place.

So what can make these jaw muscles dysfunctional? To know that, we have to know what controls the muscle. Every muscle in your body is controlled by a nerve. Whether it be a big bulky bicep, an achy sore back muscle, the blood pumping heart muscle, and the food digesting stomach.

For the jaw muscles, a special nerve called the Trigeminal Nerve emanates from the skull and provides innervation for the face, jaw muscles, teeth, brain, and other important structures.

The trigeminal nerve is one of twelve specialized nerves called cranial Nerves. The unique thing about Cranial Nerves is that they do not exit out of the spell. They actually begin come out of the brain and the brainstem, and exit out of the skull. Therefore, a problem with one of the cranial nerves is usually indicative of a problem at the brain stem.

Atlas Displacement, Whiplash, and the Brain Stem

One of the reasons that my office gets referrals from dentists and neurologists for TMJ patients is because of how Atlas Displacement Complex impacts the health and function of the brain stem. While the top of the neck does not apply direct pressure to the brain stem, the movement and function of the neck has large implications for this important piece of anatomy.

When someone has an episode of whiplash, there can be substantial damage and injury to the neck, but the more concerned portion is what happens to the nervous system. A phenomenon known as Central Sensitization occurs. This problem occurs when the brain stem fires inappropriately to the limbic system and reticular activating system (the places where pain is interpreted in the brain). When this happens, even the slightest touch or movement can trigger a pain sensation in the brain.

This is why many doctors can find no physical damage to the body, but people will suffer with chronic pain issues like fibromyalgia. People recognize this quickly when the pain is stemming from the neck, shoulders or back, but the reality is that this same thing is occurring in the jaw muscles.

To get the root of someone's problems, we have to evaluate this critical, but under studied part of the nervous system. How does Structural Chiropractic address this?

1. Restore healthy biomechanics to the neck – create a state of Normal Structure in the neck so that the proper signals get to the brain.

2. Increase circulation through the brain – proper alignment ensures that blood to and from the brain stem properly. Proper blood flow means better nerve firing.

3. Restore healthy biomechanics to the jaw – Once the neck alignment is restored, most of the time the jaw will reset on it's own. However, sometimes gentle jaw adjustments may be necessary. This can be done with the help of a skilled specialist called a Neuromuscular Dentist.

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Effective Daily Exercises to Help Prevent and Treat Jumper’s Knee

If you're struggling with jumper's knee then you're in the right place because I'm going to tell you what I've been doing for the last couple of months that has allowed me to play through jumper's knee with minimal pain.

I do not recommend playing through jumper's knee because you're running the risk of causing further damage to your patellar tendon, but I made the decision to play through my injury because I love the game of basketball.

Any, I just finished competing in a basketball tournament and I decided I'm going to rest my knees for 3 months while doing the exercises I'm going to reveal in this article.

So, the first exercise that I recommend you do is called a deep knee bend. A deep knee bend is what I like to call a full squat or a 170 degree squat. A normal squat requires you to bend your knees at a 90 degree angle and a deep knee bend requires you to bend your knees at a 170 degree squat.

Once you start doing deep knee bends on a daily basis you will start to gain more strength in your knee joints. I do 100 deep knee bends first thing in the morning when I wake up, but I recommend you start by doing 50 deep knee bends a day and add an extra rep every and every day until you reach 100.

The next exercise is good old-fashioned push-ups. I recommend this exercise because it is important to have a strong upper body and core in order to make-up for your lack of strength that you're experiencing in your lower body because of the pain caused by jumper's knee.

Lastly, I recommend sit-ups. Sit-ups help to build your core and it is a great way to burn the fat around your stomach. Dong sit-ups on a consistent basis in combination with a healthy diet, will lead to a nice set of abs.

You want to strengthen your upper body, core, and lower body muscles so that all your bodyweight is not focused on your knee joints when you participate in athletic activity.

There are a couple other exercises that are beneficial when treating jumper's knee such as leg raises, and lunges to name a few, but my daily routine only consists of 100 deep knee bends, 100 push-ups, and 100 sit-ups. I experimented with many exercises and that combination has allowed me to play through jumper's knee.

I recommend you give it a try, and if I had to recommend only one additional exercise to your daily routine it would be the deep knee bends. If you really want to get rid of jumper's knee for good, you have to stop playing any and all sports, start icing your injured knee 2-3 times daily, and you should be doing some kind of exercise routine every day or at least every other day. Do that until you notice your knee pain is no longer a problem.

It could take 3 months or it could take a year, but the key is to rest your knee and do not participate in any serious athletic activity. If you happen to irritate your patellar tendon further you will slow down the recovery progress, which is something you definitely do not want to do.

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Reduce Pain by Adding Serrapeptase Enzymes to Your Diet

The latest dietary supplement taking the health world by storm is, believe it or not, a gift from our friend the silk worm. In fact, the enzyme is isolated from bacteria found inside those little guys. They use it to break down the silk cocoon they spin, once they have turned from a silk work into a butterfly. They use their saliva, which contains the enzyme, to eat away a hole in the silk cocoons to make their escape.

This works, because the enzyme normally eats away at non-living matter, something other enzymes can not do. This process of breaking down non-living tissue, in addition to anti-inflammatory properties and pain killing abilities, makes it a miracle enzyme for people with a long list of different health conditions. Let's take a look the different health benefits thought about by supplementing your diet with Serrapeptase enzymes.

For starters, because of the way Serrapeptase breaks down non-living tissue while not hurting the living tissue, it's very effective in breaking down blood clots and clogged arteries. It even has been proven to reduce varicose veins. Reducing the amount of atherosclerotic plaque in blood means it's very productive towards a healthy heart and circulatory system.

One of the most important and well-known advantages of taking Serrapeptase is the way it reduces swelling. The enzyme is a natural anti-inflammatory, and works wonders in this way for a few reasons. One is that it thins out the fluids thought about by swelling and helps them to drain from the swollen area more quickly. Because of these natural anti-inflammatory powers, it's very useful to people recovering from injuries and invasive surgeries. Swelling hinders the healing process, so an all-natural anti-inflammatory without harmful side effects can come in very handy.

But reducing swapping is not the only way Serrapeptase helps the healing process. Since the enzyme eats away at non-living tissue, it erodes scar tissue and other dead tissue that may build up around an injured area of ​​the body. For this reason, it's hugely important to patients recovering from injuries such as torn ligaments and sprains.

Even more important to people with injuries or recovering from surgery is the pain killing ability the Serrapeptase enzyme has. No longer do you have to choose between taking large amounts of potentially harmful pain killers and simply living with the pain. Instead, there's an all-natural alternative that has added health benefits versus dangerous side effects.

How does a natural enzyme found in silk worms help with pain? It hinders the productions of chemicals released in the body that cause us to feel pain called amines. A study involving a large sample of patients all recovering from the same surgery concluded that patients taking Serrapeptase deal with less pain and are completely pain free more quickly than those not taking it.

You may be wondering how harmful pain killers can really be. Well, many socially accepted, over-the-counter pain killers like Ibuprofen and Aspirin have been linked to liver trouble and kidney damage, which can lead to the failure of these organs and require transplant surgery or dialysis. In addition, they can cause stomach ulcers and bleeding.

And let's look back at the person recovering from a torn ligament, as an example. Traditional, cox-inhibiting pain killers can actually prevent the development of connective tissue like ligaments. So, while they may help with the pain, they actually slow the healing process of the ligament itself. People taking Serrapeptase users can recover more quickly than such an injury and with less pain.

Much like the way Serrapeptase eats away at blood clots and clogged arteries, it also prevails and helps to eliminate cysts in the body. Cysts can come in many different shapes and sizes and cause many different health complications. A specific example of such a condition is Cystic Breast Disease. One clinical study explained in over 85% of patients with the condition seeing reduction in breast swelling and pain as a result of taking Serrapeptase enzymes.

And the miracle enzyme even helps take care of infections, like the ones commonly problematic in the throat, nose and ears. The way it does this is very similar to the way it reduces swelling. When it comes to infections, there is usually a large amount of mucus or other fluid that builds up. Serrapeptase is able to thin out the mucus, helping promote drainage of that mucus and healing infections more quickly. But there are many other infections that can be healed with the help of Serrapeptase, such as the ones that develop after an invasive surgery. Such infections can be very dangerous, so an all-natural pain-killer that also fights infection is a huge medical breakthrough.

While those are the main advantages of supplementing your diet with Serrapeptase, the miracle enzyme, there are a whole lot more than that. Other conditions that can improve with the help of taking the enzyme are diabetes, prostate trouble, hay fever, Multiple Sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, swollen glands, lung congestion and more. All it takes is a small dose of the enzyme daily to take advantage of all these health benefits. No wonder Serrapeptase is taking the world of natural health supplements by storm.

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Internet-Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy May Benefit Pain Patients

In study after study, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has demonstrated remarkable effectiveness in helping patients improve their lives with a variety of physical and mental health conditions. Its use by chronic pain patients can lead to reduced disability, reduced depression and anxiety, improved quality of life and even a lessening of pain.

Cognitive behavioral therapy may be so effective for those with chronic pain because it focuses on the intersection of thought and action. By participating in CBT sessions and doing homework, people learn how to identify automatic thinking patterns that may be leading to counterproductive behaviors. For example, people with chronic pain often fear movement because they believe it may worsen their pain, so they become more sedentary, and then the pain, as well as overall health, worsens as a result.

A short-course therapy, usually lasting between six weeks and half a year, CBT equips patients with the ability to interrupt automatic thought patterns and replace them with more accurate and productive attributes. This in itself can lead to improved mental health, which in turn can have physical gains since the well-being of the body and mind are interconnected. Additional physical gains can result from more proactive behaviors such as exercise.

Some health insurance plans may cover the cost, whole or partial, of cognitive behavioral therapy if your doctor referes you. Although a short-course treatment, paying out of pocket can be expensive. Those who, for whatever reason, can not access in-person CBT, may be able to get the same benefits from an internet therapy program.

Internet-Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

A meta-analysis, which compiled results from several studies on internet-based CBT for patients with a variety of physical health conditions, found it to be promising for improving both mental and physical health. They noted that programs tailor to the individual's specific condition were likely to be the most effective. The improvements in physical condition were generally more pronounced than in psychological conditions, with the best results for depression coming from treatment durations longer than six weeks.

See more on the meta-analysis at http://www.jmir.org/2014/3/e88/ .

In another study, involving chronic pain patients, researchers randomly assigned some participants to internet CBT and others to group CBT sessions. Two months after therapy ended, the researchers found that pain intensity, coping, catastrophizing and quality of life scores were actually better for the Internet-based group than for the in-person group. Internet therapy was also deemed to be more cost-effective.

See more on this study at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24777973 .

It should be noted that the results of the above study are not necessarily transferable to one-on-one in-person cognitive behavioral therapy, as the control treatment was group therapy. It should also be noted that both studies discussed here concern internet-based programs that are guided by therapists, not pursued on one's own.

For patients with difficulty accessing mental health care, a therapist-guided online-based program may be helpful. Your thoughts and beliefs play a role in your general well-being, and psychotherapy may be the missing piece in your treatment plan.

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How To Treat Jumper’s Knee With A Very Effective Exercise

If there was an award for the most annoying injury, I'm sure that jumper's knee would be a nominee.

Unlike most injuries, jumper's knee seems to have an affectionate connection to its owner. I'm serious; I've heard stories of people who have suffered from jumper's knee for 10 years.

Personally, I've been dealing with jumper's knee also known as patellar tendonitis for five years, but I've slowly begun to realize that jumper's knee is an injury that will only go away with rest.

I almost got rid of my patellar tendonitis a year ago when I decided to stop participating in any sports or athletic activities for 3 months. I felt my knee recovering and I was so excited that instead of working my way up to playing sports again by doing exercises, I decided to go the basketball court and play like my life was on the line.

Unfortunately, I ended up irritating my patellar tendon to the point where I had to hop off the basketball court.

So, I went online and started researching exercises and methods to get rid of patellar tendonitis. I recently stumbled across an exercise that quickly helped me gain strength in my knees. If you combine the exercise with rest I believe that it is a great way to treat your jumper's knee.

The exercise is called deep knee bends. Deep knee bends are basically a full squat. Instead of bending your knees at a 90 degree angle, you would bend your knees at a 170 degree angle. So, it should look like you're about to sit on the ground when you do a deep knee bend.

So, if you want to treat your jumper's knee you need to rest your knee for 3 months and you need to do 2 sets of 50 deep knee bends every other day.

I actually do 100 deep knee bends each and every day, but I worked my way up to that level.

I'm now going to start resting my knee for 3 months again because I was involved in a basketball tournament.

I was able to play in the tournament without much pain because doing the deep knee bends has helped me to play basketball without much pain.

So, if you have been suffering from patellar tendonitis, I recommend you start adding deep knee bends to your life. I have tried many exercises to help get rid of my jumper's knee and deep knee bends have given me the most benefit by far. After doing 100 deep knee bends my legs feel great and I follow-up the exercise with some light stretching and I ice my knees.

So, give the exercise a try. If it helps you gain more strength in your knees and minimizes the pain in your patellar tendon, then continue to use it in combination with rest, ice, and stretching.

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Sham Acupuncture May Have Therapeutic Mechanism of Its Own

That acupuncture is being treated as a promoting and legitimate form of therapy for pain management is attested to by the wealth of scientific research that has been and is being done into its use for many healthy conditions. However, much of the research has replied in the conclusion that acupuncture often does not outperform sham treatment. This calls into question the therapy's legitimacy.

Traditional acupuncture involves the placement of small needles into the skin at specific points on the body called acupoints. Eastern medicine holds that these points are located on energy meridians in the body, that disease and pain result when energy flow is blocked and that the needles help to unblock meridians. Some in the western world claim that the mechanism of action is the stimulation of nerves in the body, or the stimulation of blood flow.

The reason that sham treatment efficacy calls the legitimacy of real acupuncture into question is that it suggests that whatever effects are reaped from the procedure are attributable to the placebo effect alone. However, more research into sham treatment – and, specifically, the patients who experience results from it – reveals that it may have pain relief properties of its own.

A team of researchers provided that the patient's sensitivity to pain may be a factor in either or not sham acupuncture was effective for him or her. For patients with certain widespread pain conditions, such as fibromyalgia, therapies that stimulate sensations in the body can be helpful for reducing pain. Since sham acupuncture stresses fewer sensation in the body, the researchers hypothesized that only patients with high pain sensitivity would be good candidates for sham acupuncture, as less stimulation is required by these patients to feel results.

The researchers divided a group of 50 fibromyalgic women into either sham or traditional acupuncture treatment groups. Before treatment began, patients' pain sensitivity was measurable by a test that placed pressure on their thumbs, after which the patientsave a pain rating. The researchers also measured levels of neurochemicals associated with pain sensation. The thumb pressure test was given again after treatment. Sham acupuncture treatment contracted in a gentle pricking with the needles, but no skin insertion contrary to traditional acupuncture.

At the end of the study, participants who showed to be more sensitive to pain had much higher improvements in pain sensitivity after sham treatment than those who had low sensitivity to begin with. Both high-sensitivity and low-sensitivity patients showed comparable results for traditional acupuncture. See more on this study at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3616440/#!po=53.5714 .

The results of this study suggest that studies using participants with a high degree of pain sensitivity are not likely to yield significant differences in effectiveness between sham and real acupuncture treatments. It also suggests that patients with high pain sensitivity may require a less rigorous form of acupuncture than those who are less sensitive. Patients with chronic pain can consider acupuncture to be a worthy method of pain management.

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Could It Be Whiplash?

One of the most common and most overlooked after effects of a seemingly simple car accident is a case of whiplash. This can be particularly problematic because it may not have been obvious in the beginning. Perhaps it did not even really appear to be much of an accident at first. It looked like it was just a fender bender, really just a minor auto accident. The driver behind you was recently distracted and not paying close enough attention. You had to stop suddenly because of the car in front of you, but unfortunately the driver in back of you did not.

After changing insurance information, you were probably just grateful that the damage to your vehicle was not too bad. All things being equal, it could have been much worse, so you're feeling grateful. Now, onto the process of getting your car fixed. You've called the insurance company, the car has been towed and is being seen by the administrator.Things should return to normal in no time at all. You were lucky!

The car accident has left you feeling slowly shaky, but overall grateful. Luckily you have no injuries. Or do you? The next morning, it's a different story. You are keenly aware that something just is not right. You can barely move. Something is really wrong with your neck. Getting out of bed is almost impossible without extreme pain.and trying to turn your head is painful. Just trying to walk across the room hurts. What is wrong here? You knew you were raised up, but felt fine after the auto accident. Now this unforeseen pain and discomfort- what is it?

More than likely, you have suffered from what is commonly called Whiplash, a term for damage to the soft tissue the neck.area caused by a sharp jolt. Medically speaking, it is a soft tissue cervical hyperextension injury. Your Dr. may use terms such as cervical sprain, a cervical strain, or a hyperextension injury. All you know is that your neck hurts, you can not move like you normally can, and it all looks to have stemmed from the car accident. Whiplash is caused by an abnormal motion or force, such as what happens in a rear-ender. When your car was run into, it caused your head to be thrown forward quickly, and then to snap back with an unnatural force, resulting in your neck injury. Whiplash injuries can range from a mild stiffness to actual vertebrae damage. Symptoms range from stiffness and general neck pain to headaches, dizziness, and sometimes even blurred vision. In extreme cases, fractures and dislocation may occur.

You do not need just a Doctor, you need a lawyer. A personal injury lawyer will negotiate on your behalf with the insurance company. Remember, the insurance company just wants to settle your personal injury lawsuit for as little as possible, as quickly as possible. You need someone who is on your side to get you the right medical care and compensation in your fender bender car accident.

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Top Tips to Achieve Great Posture at Work, All Day, Every Day

We all know the importance of great posture at work. Poor posture can lead to back and neck pain and tension, headaches, nerve pain, stress, poor digestion, insomnia, the list goes on …

Poor posture can manifest from bad habits that are repeated daily. Small things can develop into big problems very quickly but with some simple and easy adjustments, great posture is achievable.

1. Correct Workstation Ergonomics.
Today many employees sit in front of the computer for the majority of the day so its important to have the correct workstation setup. The Computer monitor should be directly in front of you, the top of the screen at eye level so your head has a slight tilt down.

To check your head tilt stand against a wall with your whole body including your back and head against it. Note how your chin tilts down slightly. This angle should be maintained at your workstation so set up the monitor screen height to support that tilt.

Sit as far back in the chair as possible to support your lumbar spine (lower back). Hips and knees should be at least 90 degrees, and both feet should be flat on the floor. I use a footstool to create the perfect alignment but you can also adjust the seat height too.

Keyboard, mouse, telephone and documents should all be within easy reach. If you use the mouse a lot or for certain tasks, move the keyboard to the side so the mouse is in front of you, and vice versa. If you use the telephone a lot, get a headset.

2. Schedule Regular Posture Checks.
Getting entrenched in a task often leads to bad habits; crossed legs, rounded back, raised shoulders. Clients often say to me “I do not have enough time to focus on my post, I'm too busy” Initially pop up reminders might be required to 'check in' on what our shoulders, neck, back and legs are doing. After a while bad habits will be replaced with good habits as our bodies relearn how to sit well. Your body will thank you for it in the long run.

3. Take Regular Breaks.
Creating focused, productive and efficient work hours means our body and mind have to be in tiptop shape in order to operate effectively.Tension, fatigue, and stress hinder the ability to work well. Mini breaks blast away the cobwebs and shake things up – literally. A walk to the water dispenser, a chat with a colleague, laugh and breathing are all great ways to recharge and refresh tired eyes, sagging shoulders and a stiff neck.

4. Awareness is Key.
A holistic approach to our health and wellness has many knock on effects. Greater awareness of cause and effect of posture, or lack of it in turn creates a greater understanding of pain and tension and how to manage it. Being aware of bad habits means small steps can be implemented to correct the small yet significant elements that cause poor posture. The effects are comparable with less pain, tension and headaches.

5. Yoga Stretches.
Its important to take regular min breaks and leave your workstation for small durations but it's also just as important to stretch regularly to stop stiffness and pain settling in. Stretch for 1 minute every 30 minutes of sitting and you will feel more energized, focused and less tense. Five of my favorite stretches for neck and shoulders, rhomboids (upper back) and pecs (chest) follow.

Part a. Neck and shoulder stretch. Sit comfortably with both feet flat on the floor. Put your right hand up and over your head, resting on your left ear. Keeping your eyes facing forward, gently tilt your head sideways, so your right ear tilts towards the floor. When you feel a comfortable stretch in your trapezius, (muscle running from your ear to shoulder), count for five seconds. Release and do the same on the other side.

Part b. A variation on Part a, but first turn your head 45 degrees to the left so your chin is near your left shoulder. Tilt your head to the right and you will experience stretch in a different part of your trapezius. Repeat the process on the other side, moving your head in small increments to the left and then right to stretch the whole range of the trapezius.

Part c. Rhomboid Stretch.
A great stretch to open up the deep muscles in the back, areas that hold onto stress and tension. Stretch your arms out in front, palms together. Cross your elbow and twist your hands to form a figure eight. Bend your elbows so forearms are at right angles. Gently raise your hands up and you will feel a stretch in your rhomboids (in between your shoulder blades.) Hold for 5 seconds. Ahh … Bliss …

Part d. Overhead arm stretch. Link your fingers together and raise your arms straight up over your head, in line with your ears, arms as straight as you can. Hold for 5.

Part e. Pec stretch. your body works in unison and when shoulders become rounded and slumped, pecs (chest muscles) are shortened which adds to poor posture. To create balance we need to stretch out pecs too. Stand next to a wall with your arm outstretched, hand at shoulder height. Slowly step forward while keeping your arm where it is and you will experience a lovely stretch in your rotator cuff and pecs. Hold for five seconds and repeat on the other side.

6. Exercise and Eat Great Food Everyday.
Prevention is better than cure and a healthy body procedures better, is more responsive and sick less often. Treat your body like a temple by eating well and exercising regularly and muscle tension, stiffness and headaches will make way for an energised, endorphin filled productivity machine.

7. Have Regular Corporate Massages
Implementing a regular corporate massage program at work is the best way to prevent muscle stiffness and pain taking hold in your neck and shoulders.

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Chiropractic Care of Subluxations

Subluxations go by a variety of different names including vertebral subluxation, nerve interference or vertebral subluxation complex. Subluxations occur when spinal vertebrae lose their normal positioning or motion. This can cause irritation to nearby nerves that pass out from the spinal column and on to the tissues and organs of your body. Nerves relay messages between your body and your brain. As as result, taking care of subluxations is very important to your health!

What Causes Subluxations?

There are three main reasons why subluxations usually occur:

1. Physical reasons. Being involved in a car accident, a sport injury, repetitive stress on the body, a slip, a fall, improper lifting techniques, poor posture and inadequate sleep can all lead to subluxations.

2. Chemical reasons. Smoking, drinking alcohol, poor nutrition and substance abuse can all read to subluxations. Toxins in your food and water can be a contributing factor as well.

3. Emotional reasons. Anger, grief and a negative attitude can affect your muscle tone, which can lead to a burden on your body.

Symptoms of a Subluxation:

1. Severe pain.
2. Visible displacement of a joint.
3. Low energy.
4. Stiffness or difficult moving.
5. Subluxations can trigger headaches, neck pain and joint pain.
6. Spinal muscle spasms.
7. Reduced mobility.
8. Balance issues
9. Tenderness of the back.
10. Pain in the neck or back.

How Can a Chiropractor Help With Subluxations and Associated Pain?

Chiropractors receive training that is specific to the spine. Chiropractors receive special training that is designed to help reduce nerve interference and allow the body to begin functioning normally again.

For individuals, who have longstanding subluxations, poor muscle patterns can begin to form and a series of frequent visits to your chiropractor may be required to help strengthen and retrain the muscles.

For many people with subluxations, they do not even know that they have one. How can you find out if you have a subluxation? Regular chiropractic visits – even if you are feeling great – can help to keep your nervous system in great shape. The pain and stiffness of a subluxation can often be too much to deal with on your own. As a result, many people seek the help of a chiropractor to help ease the pain and get themselves on the road to recovery.

If you have questions about how a chiropractor can help treat a subluxation or if you think you may have a subluxation, contact a chiropractor near you.

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Desk Jobs and Back Pain

Chances are when you accepted your desk job, you did not see anything in the job description regarding back pain. In fact, the thought probably never even crossed your mind that sitting at a desk all day could lead to back pain. Afterall, your job is not labor-intensive. Years ago, chiropractors frequently saw patients who were in labor-intensive jobs. Now, the tides have turned and chiropractors are seeing more and more patients who spend 40 plus hours per week sitting and staring at a computer screen. It sees that sitting all day can be just as bad for your work as performing intensive physical labor. Desks jobs and back pain can be a serious and painful problem.

Our bodies are meant to move; they are not meant to sit still for hours upon hours. Sitting all day long can be damaging for the spine. Spending too much time separated can lead to a herniated disc or pinched nerves. Spending too much time sedentary can also lead to obesity, which has a tendency to create back pain in the long run. Since a vast major of jobs require at least some time spent in front of a computer screen, there are actions you can take to protect your back from pain now or later on in life. Desk jobs and back pain do not have to go hand-in-hand.

1. Get up and move around. You should never spend your own 9 to 5 shift sitting in front of a computer screen. Be sure to get up and move around every 30 minutes. Get up and take a walk and do a few stretches. Your walk can be as simple as taking a walk to the kitchen for a healthy snack or to fill up your water bottle. Instead of e-mailing or calling a co-worker with a message, get up and delivery the message to them. If you have a headset, stand up while taking a phone call. You can even use your phone call time to walk in place or do a few stretches (this will be especially easy if you have your own office or are in a cubicle, where everyone can not needily see what it is that you are doing!).

2. Put good ergonomic skills to work to prevent back pain. Ergonomics is the science of good post while performing day-to-day tasks. Practicing ergonomics can help to prevent pain as well as injuries. If you work at a desk, practice good ergonomic skills by sitting with your feet flat on the floor and your back against the back of your chair. Your computer screen should be at eye level. Always avoid slouching.

3. Say no to elevators. Desk jobs and back pain do not have to be a fact of life even if the workplace is not the ideal location to exercise and stretch through the day. You can squeeze some fitness into your day that can do wonders for your back. Start by parking further away from your building instead of driving around looking for the closest spot. Do you use public transportation? Hop off the bus a stop early and walk the rest of the way to work. Always take the stairs instead of the elevators and make it your goal to do some walking during lunch.

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