Non-Surgical Alternatives to Alleviate Knee Pain

There are numerous causes for chronic or degenerative knee pain be it an injury, arthritis, or old age. Patients may believe that surgery is their only option when it comes to finding long-term relief. While many patients find surgery beneficial, there are things that should be taken under advisement when deciding whether to undergo a surgical procedure. One important consideration is the recovery time involved with surgery as it will vary for each patient and could impact daily life and work activities. While infrequent in nature, infections can also occur with any surgical procedure which could lead to further necessary treatment and recovery. Additionally, surgery may not be able to fully alleviate an issue and patients can still experience underlying pain. Lastly, as healthcare premiums continue to increase, cost must be considered as surgery can be expensive.

Given all that must be considered with surgery, patients are often left looking for other non-surgical options to treat their knee pain. One option is working with a chiropractic acupuncturist. These practitioners use safe, natural treatments to alleviate pain and focus on therapies and lifestyle changes that will allow the patient to return to normal life without having to endure surgery. A chiropractor can help alleviate pain by manipulating, pressing on, or realigning surrounding painful joints whereas an acupuncturist inserts tiny needles into the skin around various pressure points or nerve centers. Some patients may find the reduced physical stress associated with acupuncture to be a good alternative to chiropractic treatments. Patients should note that for both acupuncture and chiropractic therapy, several treatment sessions may be needed before results are seen.

With the myriad reasons for knee pain, patients need a practitioner that is committed to understanding the full body system in order to identify the underlying cause of their pain and recommend treatment. Because our body systems are interconnected in nature, a chiropractic acupuncturist will use a complete physical evaluation and comprehensive laboratory testing to get a full picture of the patient’s overall health. With this whole-body focus, the practitioner can determine the underlying causes of pain rather than solely focusing on treating symptoms.

Beyond simply treating conditions, a chiropractic acupuncturist will also work to educate their patients on their health condition so that the patient is best equipped to make informed decisions regarding their health goals. Any lifestyle changes that could be beneficial to the patient, will also be communicated by the practitioner. These practitioners are a great option for patients seeking natural remedies to treat their pain rather than relying on the expensive medications and surgeries associated with traditional medicine.

For any patient that has been told they need surgery, injections, or medications to alleviate their knee pain, getting a second opinion from a chiropractic acupuncturist could be beneficial. While surgery may ultimately be the best course of treatment, the chiropractic acupuncturist will help you evaluate your health needs and provide the treatment and education needed to get you back to a pain free life.

Three Easy Floor Exercises to Help with Lower Back Pain

Two important concepts in a healthy lifestyle to consider are Balance and Moderation. In a sense they are synonymous with each other. If your diet is poorly managed and you don’t do exercise on a regular basis you are out of balance. If that diet is unhealthy and driven by packaged foods, fast foods or excessive sweets and sugars you are not exercising moderation.

The part of the core of the body that takes the brunt of this neglect, or abuse, is the back. In fact, eight out of 10 Americans will experience back pain in their lifetime. Lower back strength allows us to stand and lift objects. These muscles also support spinal function. They are important for your posture and to alleviate any lower back pain.

There are several exercises to strengthen the lower back muscles, but the following three are both simple and intelligent and also can be performed while you are having back discomfort. They can be easily done at home without a gym membership.

Bird Dog– The first exercise begins with you in the kneeling position with your hands on the floor directly below your shoulders. Now you begin by raising your right leg straight behind you, feeling like you are kicking your heel into a wall. Raise the opposite arm, the left in this case, and reach out as well as far as you can. Keep your core engages through the process. Do these ten times for each side and then repeat the set about four or five times. This floor exercise strengthens the abdominal muscles, your lower back muscles, your butt and your thighs.

Bent-Knee Hollow Hold– Now you are going to roll over on to your back. You want to concentrate on keeping your lower back flat towards the floor. No arching or space between the back and the ground. Raise both knees so they are not at 90 degrees but in front of your hips and let your legs bend at the knees, so your lower legs are parallel to the floor. Do not get the knees to 90 degrees or beyond or you will nullify the work being done by the abdominals. If you want to increase the challenge lift your arms up and reach your arms to the knees or parallel to the floor. Do this exercise five rounds holding those knees up for 20 to 30 seconds each time.

Side Plank– Finish your set of three exercises with the side plank. Chose a side to lay on, and then come up to your elbow or totally extending your arm. Now lift your hips off the floor. You want a nice straight line from your armpit to your knee and your ankle. This very simple exercise does marvelous things for your core as well as strengthening your wrists and shoulders. It can improve your balance and improve your concentration as well but most importantly it is the core work that we are focusing on to improve the back discomfort or pain. Do these for 10 to 20 seconds per side, four to five rounds total. As the exercise gets easier extend the duration of the hold.

Exercise Common Sense While Shoveling Snow

That first snowfall every year is so beautiful. There is something about the quiet white blanket draped over trees, bushes and lawns that is just so peaceful. Then the months roll by and its just not fun anymore. Driveways and sidewalks must be cleared after snowfalls. This is when that pretty snow shows her evil face. Thousands of Americans find themselves in the Emergency Room every winter thanks to shoveling snow. A recent study had over 11,500 patients in the ER. Another recent study documented 1,647 Americans dying from this activity. It’s time to exercise some common sense before you charge outside to shovel.

Shoveling Snow is like Exercising at the Gym

Lifting a snow shovel and throwing snow can be likened to pushing around weights at the gym. As your heart rate increases in the cold it can be like running on a treadmill. Shoveling puts quite a demand on your cardiovascular system. If you have heart disease, hypertension, high cholesterol or other medical conditions you might want to consider having the snow moved professionally.

Physical Common-Sense Ideas

  • Eat Light- don’t consume heavy food before you head outside. This only adds stress to your heart.
  • Don’t Smoke- this can change your circulation.
  • Caffeinated Beverages- any caffeine can stimulate your heart rate and cause the constriction of your blood vessels.
  • Stay away from alcohol- this can trick you into thinking you are not cold or are not working as hard as you are.

Outerwear Suggestions

  • Layers- anytime you head outdoors consider dressing in layers.
  • Comfortable- wear clothing that is easy to move in when shoveling or pushing a snowblower.
  • Stocking cap- you lose a lot of body heat through your head.
  • COLD air- consider breathing through a scarf to warm up that icy air entering your body.
  • Boots- not only will this help keep your feet warm it will help with your footing.
  • Gloves- in fact, don’t hesitate to buy some mittens. Keep those fingers warm as they grip the shovel.

The Ergonomics behind a Snow Shovel

  • Smaller shovel-consider using a smaller shovel to lighten the load when it comes to either pushing or lifting the snow. This will be easier on your body.
  • Ergonomics-a curved handle might help you keep your back straighter reducing stress on your spine.
  • Plastic or metal- don’t you think a plastic blade might be lighter than metal? Research this before you buy, after all, the snow is heavy enough.

Know your Body

  • Push don’t lift-handling wet, heavy snow if very, very hard on your lower back.
  • Watch your footing-pay attention to the surface and how slippery it is. Falling contributes to those ER statistics.
  • Take breaks often- it doesn’t have to be done immediately. Take your time, listen to your body.
  • Know when something is wrong- STOP shoveling! If you have chest discomfort, shortness of breath, or any discomfort in your back, arms, neck, jaw or stomach it might be a sign of cardiac stress or even a heart attack. Stop and consider calling a medical professional immediately.

 

Additional Chiropractic Therapies That Can Lead To a Pain-Free Life

Have you ever been to a chiropractor for an adjustment, felt great for the rest of that day, only to wake up in pain again the next morning? You aren’t alone. Thankfully, there are some ways to make those adjustments last longer, although they involve more than just a quick fix.

Instant gratification might make you feel better right away, but the results won’t last for very long. In order to get results that last, you’ll need to take advantage of some of the therapies offered by your local chiropractor in addition to your adjustment. It’s all about your health – so you need to make the
decision to choose the best therapies, not the ones with the fastest results.

It’s All about Spinal Health

Chiropractors believe that the spine is the source of many people’s misery. To put it a different way, a spine that’s out of alignment is the root of their pain. These misalignments interfere with the way that the brain and body communicate. Since the spine contains a large number of nerves, thanks to the
spinal cord, any misalignment can throw your entire system out of balance. All that it takes is one small injury, a tight muscle, a stretched ligament, or a damaged vertebra and you’re in quite a bit of pain. The back is quite complex!

This is why chiropractors first look at the spine as a way of alleviating your pain. In most cases, an adjustment can bring about instant relief. With that said, this instant relief doesn’t always translate into weeks of being pain-free. It’s only too easy to reinjure that area since it’s already weakened. Adding
therapy, such as the ones described below, to help support and hold the adjustment longer will allow for longer lasting results, actually fixing your problem.

Traction Therapy

Did you know that the posture and position of your head can put some stress on your nervous system? This can lead to headaches, plus neck and back pain. Traction therapy teaches you how to position your head and keep it that way correctly. The cervical curve will adjust over time as the therapy persists, leaving you with less pain and better posture.

At-Home Therapy

While some therapies, such as traction therapy, need to be done in a chiropractor’s office under proper supervision, others can be done at home. Your chiropractor can give you a list of instructions, complete with images so that you do everything correctly. These therapies include core strengthening. Your core are muscles consist of your pelvic floor, diaphragm, transverse abdominals, and your deep back muscles.

The muscles in your core are responsible for holding you upright and keeping your posture correct. You’ll need to exercise every muscle in your core – the front, back, and sides – in order to make everything stronger. This is definitely something that you can do at home because you’re less likely to injure yourself in the process.

Visiting a chiropractor can lead to instant pain relief thanks to an adjustment, but if you truly want results that will last, you need to ask your chiropractor about these additional treatments.

Reaves Chiropractic