Chronic Back Pain Conditions


What Really Is A Herniated Disc? Why Scotch Plains Pain & Rehabilitation is the sought out facility in UnionCounty.

Posted OnWednesday, April 9th, 2014 at 7:31 pm
Filed under Back Pain, Chronic Back Pain Conditions, Disc Pain, DRX 9000, Neck Pain, Non Surgical Pain Relief Options, Physical Therapy, Spinal Decompression

disc.herniationA spinal disc herniation describes an abnormality of the intervertebral disc that is also known as a slipped, ruptured, or torn disc. (as a quick aside – the term “slipped disc” is old, out-dated and incorrect.  Discs do not “slip.”)

This process occurs when the inner core (nucleus pulposus) of the intervertebral disc bulges out through the outer layer of ligaments that surround the disc (annulus fibrosis). This tear in the annulus fibrosis causes pain in the back at the point of herniation. If the protruding disc presses on a spinal nerve, the pain may spread to the area of the body that is served by that nerve (like sciatica).

Between each vertebra in the spine are a pair of spinal nerves, which branch off from the spinal cord to a specific area in the body. Any part of the skin that can experience hot and cold, pain or touch refers that sensation to the brain through one of these nerves. In turn, pressure on a spinal nerve from a herniated disc will cause pain in the part of the body that is served by that nerve.

The causes of herniated discs are not entirely known, but are probably due to the function of the spine and long term wear and tear. The two most common locations for a herniated disc in the lower back are at the disc between fourth and fifth lumbar vertebra (L4-5) and at the disc between the fifth lumbar vertebra and the first sacral vertebra (L5-S1). These two discs account for 98 percent of all painful disc herniations. A disc herniation can occur elsewhere along the spine, but low lumbar herniations are by far the most common.

 Note:  The two most common discs for herniations can cause the symptoms associated with sciatica!

Usually a patient’s main complaint is a sharp, cutting pain. In some cases, there may be a previous history of episodes of localized low back pain, which is present in the back and continues down the leg that is served by the affected nerve. This pain is usually described as a deep and sharp pain, which gets worse as it moves down the affected leg. The onset of pain with a herniated disc may occur out of the blue or it may be announced by a tearing or snapping sensation in the spine that is thought to be the result of a sudden tear of part of the annulus fibrosis.

Disc herniations commonly occur as a result of an injury such as a fall, lifting something to heavy incorrectly or a sudden injury to the spine. Depending upon the extent of the disc herniation will dictate the treatment of choice. At Scotch Plains Pain & Rehabilitation we utilize the latest in the state of the art technology to remedy a disc herniation. Technology paired with a high level of skill set from our practitioners is what makes Scotch Plains Pain & Rehabilitation the facility of choice for many disc herniation sufferers.

Treatments offered to disc herniation patients of Scotch Plains Pain & Rehabilitation:

  • Spinal Decompression
  • Laser Therapy
  • Chiropractic
  • Physical Therapy
  • Acupuncture
  • Pain Management

When considering a remedy for Disc Herniations, Scotch Plains Pain & Rehabilitation should be your first stop. Our physicians come highly recommended by numerous physicians in Union, Middlesex and Somerset counties. Feel free to contact us for a Free, In-Office Evaluation. If you are looking for faster service, give us a call at 908-490-1800. Just tell them that you read this article and you will receive our complimentary in-office evaluation (a $145 value). 

By,

Eric Chludzinski, DC

 

 

Car Accident Injuries in Union County

Posted OnWednesday, April 2nd, 2014 at 3:45 pm
Filed under Back Pain, Car Accidents, Chronic Back Pain Conditions, Disc Pain, Non Surgical Pain Relief Options, Physical Therapy, whiplash

thA car accident can host a multitude of injuries for the person involved, the most common being a whiplash injury. Injuries can occur to virtually any other anatomical portion of the body depending on the extent of the accident.

I’m sure you have heard of a person who was involved in a very serious accident where the vehicle was flipped and rolled multiple times and still they walked away unharmed. On the other hand, there are minor fender bender accidents when someone sustains a serious injury like a herniated disc in their spine. There is not always a direct correlation between the amount of damage to a vehicle and one’s injuries. This is why it is highly recommended that if you are involved in a car accident, no matter the severity, you be checked for injuries by a doctor who is trained in treating auto accident injuries.

A great deal of the time the mechanism of injury will play a major role in a person’s auto accident injury. Speed of your automobile, speed of the other person’s automobile, position of the car on collision, were seatbelts worn, did airbags deploy, was the person aware of impeding collision are all some the factors involved.

Injuries from a car accident can be to the head, neck, back or extremities. When someone violently strikes their head on a portion of the car there is the question of a brain injury. This can cause a concussion of the brain that can result in a TBI (traumatic brain injury). Even if the person has no cuts and bruises on the head or face, the brain gets jostled in the skull and can create a series injury or impairment. This can result in severe headaches and migraines, memory loss and recurring dizziness. Injures to the neck and back can range from a sprain/strain to the soft tissues of the spine to a bulging or herniated disc. These classes of injuries are the most common sustained in a car accident as a result of sudden hyperflexion and hyperextension of the spine, causing whiplash.

In the case of a whiplash injury the muscles, tendons, ligaments, discs, joints and nerves can all be injured.  While some times the condition is temporary, in some case these injuries can result in permanent disability. Any portion of the upper or lower limbs can be injured in an auto accident. For example, the shoulder or knee can get banged against the interior can door or dashboard resulting in injury to those joints.

As stated earlier, not matter how serious of an accident you feel you were in its very important to be examined by a trained professional to ensure your injuries are detected and remedied ASAP. Timing of treatment is of utmost important in proper rehabilitation and positive outcome. At Scotch Plains Pain & Rehabilitation, car accident injuries are treated virtually everyday. Our team of Chiropractors, Physical Therapists and Acupuncturists are well versed in handling these injuries.

When considering a remedy for Car Accident Injures, Scotch Plains Pain & Rehabilitation should be your first stop. Our physicians come highly recommended by numerous physicians in Union, Middlesex and Somerset counties. Feel free to contact us for a Free, In-Office Evaluation. If you are looking for faster service, give us a call at 908-490-1800. Just tell them that you read this article and you will receive our complimentary in-office evaluation (a $145 value). 

What is Scoliosis?

Posted OnWednesday, March 26th, 2014 at 12:45 pm
Filed under Back Pain, Chronic Back Pain Conditions, Neck Pain, Non Surgical Pain Relief Options, Physical Therapy, Shoulder Pain, Uncategorized

Scoliosis-picScoliosis is defined as a bend in a person’s spine from side to side.  A great deal of the time there will be an “S” configuration of the spine when looking an x-ray from front to back (Anterior to Posterior). Scoliosis tends to run in families and is more common in females than males. It usually first appears in late childhood or during the early teens. While there are many different causes for scoliosis, including polio, there is no known cause in the vast majority of cases. Doctors call this “idiopathic” scoliosis. Over 90 percent of the curves in scoliosis curve to the right.

Scoliosis can often be slowed or stopped by wearing a brace, but if the angle of the spinal curvature goes beyond 40 degrees in childhood, it will become even more pronounced in adulthood.

Since the spine and the ribcage are connected, a severe case of scoliosis affects the position of the ribs and can affect surrounding organs as well. Severe scoliosis not only hurts the individual’s appearance, but it can also compromise his or her health and ability to function.

Health risks from this severe spine curvature include neurological problems from pressure on nerves, arthritis, and even lung and heart problems. A curve in the lower spine can make participation in sports or athletic activities difficult.

If the curve remains under 40 degrees, it probably won’t get worse in adulthood, and can be watched by x-rays and annual spinal checkups.

A Doctor of Chiropractic should examine your spine yearly. He or she can also adjust your spine to increase movement and proper biomechanical function.  The chiropractor will also give you advice on improving posture to prevent further increase of curving. If necessary, they will refer you for bracing. Physical therapy exercises addressing postural abnormalities also help in biomechanical movement and strengthening of the spine.

DID YOU KNOW?

In a joint study performed by the Committee on Re- search of the International Chiropractor’s Association, Parker Chiropractic Re- search Foundation, the Kale Network and Kale Research Center, patients with Scoliosis/ Spinal Curvatures who received chiropractic treatment showed that 83 percent were much improved, 6 percent were slightly improved, 8 percent remained the same, and 3 percent became worse.

The majority of these cases had been previously diagnosed and treated by practitioners other than chiropractors.

 SCOLIOSIS SYMPTOMS:

  • The spine curving abnormally to the side (laterally)
  • Shoulders and hips appearing uneven
  • A compensatory curve
  • Backache or low back pain
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Decreased muscle strength, independent of exercise in the back

When considering a remedy for Scoliosis, Scotch Plains Pain & Rehabilitation should be your first stop. Our physicians come highly recommended by numerous physicians in Union, Middlesex and Somerset counties. Feel free to contact us for a Free, In-Office Evaluation. If you are looking for faster service, give us a call at 908-490-1800. Just tell them that you read this article and you will receive our complimentary in-office evaluation (a $145 value). 

By,

Eric Chludzinski, DC

 

 

 

The Common Link Between Back Pain, Neck Pain And Carpal Tunnel Syndrome That May End Your Pain

Posted OnWednesday, March 19th, 2014 at 1:36 pm
Filed under Back Pain, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Chronic Back Pain Conditions, Neck Pain, Neuropathy, Numbness & Tingling, Physical Therapy, Shoulder Pain

neck_painDo you suffer from back pain, neck pain or carpal tunnel syndrome and want to know the common link that may exist that might end your pain? You are going to find this information very interesting. What’s this possible link? It is a condition you’ve probably never heard of. First, let me lay a little ground work so it all makes sense.

To make it simple, think of a light in your house. When you turn on the switch electricity flows from the source along the wires all the way to the light. When you turn on the switch, the light bulb will light as long as there is nothing stopping that flow of electricity. That’s kind of how your brain and nervous system works. Your brain sends electrical impulses along nerves to every part of your body. For example, if you want to close your hand and make a fist you first “think” it. Then, your brain sends the message, down nerves, to your hand and your hand closes and makes a fist. All this happens in tiny fractions of a second. Kinda like the light switch in your house. But, what happens if something is blocking the signals from your brain to your hand? If the signals are completely blocked, you will not be able to use your hand at all. An example of this is when someone tragically breaks the spinal bones in their neck. The trauma could have either completely cut or very severely damaged the clear pathway of connection between the brain and the rest of the body. But you didn’t break you neck so what does this have to do with you? Well, there are several ways your nerves can get “pinched” or the pathway of connection can be slightly obstructed without the extreme case of breaking your neck. And when this happens, instead of becoming paralyzed, you can get symptoms like back pain, neck pain and carpal tunnel syndrome. For example, you can have a malfunction in your neck such as a bone out of place affecting the nerves. This can cause pain in your neck. But it can also cause numbness, tingling and weakness to wherever that nerve goes. Some of the nerves in your neck go down your arm into your hands. This is why you can have symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome but actually the cause of the problem may not be in your hand or wrist at all.

 But listen to this: There is a condition called double crush syndrome. Double crush syndrome means you have… not one… but TWO… spots along a nerve that are getting “pinched” or interfered with.

 Why is this important?

 It’s important because when a nerve is pinched in one spot, it makes it much easier to cause interference in other spots. For example – your nerves have a certain amount of pressure they can handle in one spot before you start getting pain and other symptoms. But, if you have TWO areas of pressure, it can take a lot less pressure at the second pressure site to cause pain and other symptoms. If the first area was not pinched, chances are that the second “pinch” would not be enough to cause any pain or symptoms.

 Basically, having two small irritations along the same nerve can cause problems that each would not do alone.

 Here’s what that means for you:

If you have something pinching a nerve in your neck (that’s one spot) it may only take a teeny, tiny amount of pressure in your wrist to cause the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. Without the misalignments in your neck, the small problem in your wrist may not be enough to cause your pain or symptoms. This is why in my opinion, everyone with carpal tunnel syndrome should have a complete spinal examination by a Chiropractor. Because, if double crush syndrome is present, just working on the wrist will not solve the problem.

 But that’s not all: the nerve that goes to you hand and wrist can also get “pinched” by your elbow, forearm or shoulder. There are specific spots that MUST be examined there too.

How does back pain fit into all this?

Your spine functions as one big unit. If you have a problem in your lower back, it can throw your neck off and then nerves can be affected elsewhere like the double crush situation.

 Check this out – it’s probably the most important part: Your neck or back doesn’t even have to hurt to have a misalignment that is affecting the nerves. Many times the misalignment is not bad enough to cause pain… but… it is enough to be one of the two spots needed for double crush syndrome. Many times this double crush connection is completely overlooked.

When considering a remedy for neck and back pain or carpal tunnel syndrome, Scotch Plains Pain & Rehabilitation should be your first stop. Our physicians come highly recommended by numerous physicians in Union, Middlesex and Somerset counties. Feel free to contact us for a Free, In-Office Evaluation. If you are looking for faster service, give us a call at 908-490-1800. Just tell them that you read this article and you will receive our complimentary in-office evaluation (a $145 value). 

By Eric Chludzinski, DC

 

 

CrossFit & Injuries…What’s Overlooked?

Posted OnWednesday, January 22nd, 2014 at 8:02 pm
Filed under Back Pain, Chronic Back Pain Conditions, Disc Pain, Health Care Explorations, Non Surgical Pain Relief Options, Office Locations, Physical Therapy, Uncategorized

TC2011By definition, Crossfit is a series of constantly varied and functional movements operated at a high intensity. It has taken the fitness community by storm.

CrossFit utilizes strength and conditioning training, olympic weightlifting, powerlifting and  gymnastics to name a few. If you are looking for a good balance of strength, power and conditioning, it’s an excellent training method in my opinion. However, it specializes in not specializing. That is to say if you are looking to break a powerlifting record or compete in the olympics then you NEED to specialize in training for your particular goal. Constantly varied movements won’t be a big help.

Personally, I love Crossfit…it got me back into training.

Professionally, as a chiropractor specializing in biomechanics and rehabilitation, I have seen first-hand numerous Crossfit-related injuries.

Why are people getting injured from Crossfit?

I hear all the arguments! Everyone has an opinion. Well, its because the trainers have not had a comprehensive nor thorough certification process to become teachers. …or…its because olympic lifts are not suppose to operate at high reps and sets…or…maybe its…yada yada yada…You get it.

Like many athletes, CrossFitters are willing to test the limits of their body’s potential. They are commited, they are driven. In my opinion, once someone drinks the CrossFit kool aid, so to say, they are hooked and have trouble staying away. There develops a heightened level of dedication to training and diet.

For the most part when put in a competitive environment, driven and commited people will do what they can to win. The game is on! This competitive streak could invite less focus on the fundamental good form of the exercises. Paying attention to the end result and not enough attention of getting there safely. Often, the correct, stable form will break down and that sets the stage for injury. This is the high-intensity component that everyone involved in Crossfit is aware of. There will be occassions where each individual is susceptible to this type of situation and might get injured.

The Crossfit community does an excellent job at educating their trainers about the importance of FUNCTIONAL mobility. That is to say…Kelly Starrett (Mobility certification teacher for CrossFit) teaches you how to properly brace, foam roll, remove muscular restrictions and ensure healthy stable movement. There are a variety of chiropractors and physcial therapists that utilize techniques such as Graston, ART, PNF & others to address functional issues as well. These services are very important for athletic performance. Here, I want to turn the focus on what I feel is missing from the equation…STRUCTURAL CORRECTION.

Our brain is the master control unit for our body. The brain sends out signals to the rest of our body via the central and peripheral nervous system. Our spine protects our spinal cord and the nerves. The spine’s position governs how the body will function. The nerve system controls all body functions—including balance and coordination, which are essential to a CrossFitter’s ability to get the most of a workout.  With everyday life, training, trauma, and other activities, our vertebrae can become misaligned. In turn, this puts stress on the immediate surrounding nerves and affects the innervation of the muscles. When your spine is not in the correct position it will predispose you to not only a poor performance but injury as well. 

I am a firm believer in the fact that STRUCTURE dictates FUNCTION. If your spine and joints are set up structurally abnormal your function and performance (maybe both) will be affected negatively.

So what’s normal?
Normal
As seen in the picture, from the front, the center of the skull, chest and hips should all line up as one straight line. From the side position, there are three distinct curves that make up the “S” shape of our spine. The most important curve is the neck curve. This curve protects the neck from damage, reduces the force, stress and strains on the spinal cord and nerves, and plays a tremendous role in allowing proper nerve energy to be transmitted to the rest of the body.

Noted Neurosurgeon, Alf Breig MD, PhD, established that loss of spinal curvature in the neck could create significant stress and strain on the spinal cord and nerves. It could even continue all the way down through the lumbar spine. These stresses can create dysfunction in the various systems of the body such as the muscular system. I see this commonly where someone injures themselves performing an overhead squat or overhead press. If you start off with poor curvature in your neck there is already a significant amount of stress and strain on the spinal nerves and muscles. When you add weight overhead to a system already under stress it results in injury especially if the form is compromised just a bit.

Just as there is a normal value for blood pressure there exist a normal value for spinal curves in the neck and lower back.  The Harrison Spinal Model is an evidenced based model for side view spinal alignment. It is the geometric path of the posterior longitudinal ligament or the backs of the vertebra from the 1st neck vertebra to the bottom of the lower back or top of the sacrum.

See the illustration below detailing the Harrison Spinal Model.

cbp CBP® (chiropractic biophysics) researchers have extensively published ideal and average models for the human spinal curvatures as viewed from the side. This research has lead to the finding of the ‘Harrison Spinal Model’. This model details both Ideal and Average geometric shapes for the curves of the spine from the side. Additionally, ideal and average ranges for the spinal segmental angles for each of the spinal regions have been identified. The neck or cervical spine should have a geometric shape that approximates a ‘piece of a circle’. The ribcage or thoracic spine should have a geometric shape that approximates an oval-elliptical shape. And the low back or lumbar spine should have a geometric shape that approximates an oval-elliptical shape.1-6

These are “evidence based” models. In fact, the CBP® neck-cervical circular model2 and the low back- lumbar elliptical model4 have both been found to have discriminative validity between pain and non-pain patients.

In other words, the Harrison Spinal Model has been found to be able identify pain subjects versus non-pain subjects by what their spinal x-ray shapes are.

There are several possible reasons for a change in the alignment of your spine. Poor postural habits, accidents, or injuries or a combination of some or all could contribute to misalignment. However, the end result is the same. It will impede nerve energy to various other structures in your body such as your arms or legs. This can affect your training. Your quality of breathing, normal hormone responses, as well as, oxygen and blood flow to your working muscles and could all be negatively impacted.  You don’t want those types of influences on your workouts.

Fortunately there exists specific spinal-remodeling techniques to correct abnormally aligned neck curves; which will in turn improve curvature and overall health. Chiropractors certified in Chiropractic BioPhysics specialize in helping people restore their proper spinal curvature.

What I have experienced personally and have also seen in my private practice when treating CrossFit athletes is that a high percentage of these athletes are only addressing the functional component of their injury. They are not even aware of a structural dysfunction such as abnormal spinal curvature.  By restoring the spine to normal though structural correction those nagging, recurring muscular issues have the opportunity to heal and functional normally. Is this the case every time? No. In some cases the reason for the recurring injury is due to technique breakdown or not warming up properly. But I do believe that if an athlete, CrossFit or any other, is striving for optimal performance normal spinal alignment and curvature is of utmost importance and should be a priority.

1 Harrison DD, Janik TJ, Troyanovich SJ, Holland B. Comparisons of Lordotic Cervical Spine Curvatures to a Theoretical Ideal Model of the Static Sagittal Cervical Spine. Spine 1996;21(6):667-675.
2 Harrison DD, Harrison DE, Janik TJ, Cailliet R, Haas JW, Ferrantelli J, Holland B. Modeling of the Sagittal Cervical Spine as a Method to Discriminate Hypo-Lordosis: Results of Elliptical and Circular Modeling in 72 Asymptomatic Subjects, 52 Acute Neck Pain Subjects, and 70 Chronic Neck Pain Subjects. Spine 2004; 29:2485-2492.
3   Janic TJ Harrison DD, Cailliet R, Troyanovich SJ, Harrison DE. Can the Sagittal Lumbar Curvature be Closely Approximated by an Ellipse? J Orthop Res 1998; 16(6):766-70.
4 Harrison DD, Cailliet R, Janik TJ, Troyanovich SJ, Harrison DE, Holland B. Elliptical Modeling of the Sagittal Lumbar Lordosis and Segmental Rotation Angles as a Method to Discriminate Between Normal and Low Back Pain Subjects. J Spinal Disord 1998; 11(5): 430-439.
5 Harrison DE, Janik TJ, Harrison DD, Cailliet R, Harmon S. Can the Thoracic Kyphosis be Modeled with a Simple Geometric Shape? The Results of Circular and Elliptical Modeling in 80 Asymptomatic Subjects. J Spinal Disord Tech 2002; 15(3): 213-220.
6 Harrison DD, HarrisonDE, Janik TJ, Cailliet R, Haas JW. Do Alterations in Vertebral and Disc Dimensions Affect an Elliptical Model of the Thoracic Kyphosis? Spine 2003; 28(5):463-469.

* Some of the information and illustrations contained in this article are borrowed from the Chiropractic Biophysics website. For more information please visit idealspine.com

When considering a remedy for your CrossFit injuries, Scotch Plains Pain & Rehabilitation should be your first stop. Our physicians come highly recommended in Union, Middlesex and Somerset counties. Feel free to contact us for a Free, In-Office Evaluation. If you are looking for faster service, give us a call at 908-490-1800. Just tell them that you read this article and you will receive our complimentary in-office evaluation (a $145 value). 

Eric Chludzinski, DC CSCS

  • New Jersey State Chiropractic License
  • EMT and CPR Certified
  • Physiotherapy
  • Chiropractic Biophysics Certification
  • Pain Management Certification
  • Manipulation Under Anesthesia Certification
  • Neuronal Conductive Studies (NCV)
  • Dermatomal Evoked Potentials & Somatosensory Evoked Potentials (SSEP)
  • CSCS
  • CrossFit Level 1 & Crossfit Kettlebell
  • USA Weightlifitng Coach

 

 

 

Decompression Therapy & Why Every Powerlifter Can Benefit From It

Posted OnWednesday, January 15th, 2014 at 3:18 pm
Filed under Back Pain, Chronic Back Pain Conditions, Disc Pain, DRX 9000, Non Surgical Pain Relief Options, Spinal Decompression

What is Decompression Therapy?drx9000-lumbar-spinal-decompression

 Spinal decompression is a FDA cleared non-invasive therapy that provides decompression to the spinal discs. This computerized controlled machine alternates between periods of distractive stretch and relaxation of the spine.  As the decompression occurs the spine is gently pulled to elongate the spinal discs, muscle, tendons & ligaments to create relief of compressive loading on these structures.  Patients with chronic lower back pain, sciatica, and disc conditions (ie. disc bulge / herniation, degenerative disc disease, etc.) can greatly benefit from relief. The scientific theory is that this will create a negative pressure for the spinal discs allowing the bulging discs to retract. This in turn, helps to promote the exchange of oxygen, water & nutrient back into the disc. This offers the patient the opportunity to avoid invasive procedures such as injections or surgery.

Scientific research and studies evaluate how much intradiscal (pressure in the spinal disc) there is with various exercises, specifically spinal loading.  Recent studies showed slightly lower loads for sitting than for standing and comparatively low loads in all lying positions. High loads were measured for jogging and jumping. Differences between trends for intradiscal pressure and for flexion bending moments were found when the load was predominantly carried by the front of the body, as during flexion of the upper part of the body or when lifting and carrying weights.  Compared with the pressure of load in the upright standing position, reclining reduces the pressure by 50-80%, while unsupported sitting increases the load by 40%, forward leaning and weight lifting by more than 100%, and the position of forward flexion and rotation by 400%. Large increases in pressure were also observed when performing various commonly prescribed strengthening exercises such as the squat, deadlift and overhead press. Overall, vertical compressive forces (ie. squat & overhead movements) will greatly increase intradiscal pressures.

Foundational exercises, such as the squat, deadlift & press in my opinion are vital to improving strength, power & stability. They offer by far the greatest surges of testosterone & growth hormone release. These exercises give you the best bang for your buck in training. Using the cleanest technique helps to minimize the opportunity for bad compressive loading & injury. A good mobility warm-up and stretching routine will help to reduce the risk as well. However, one can not ignore the amount of compressive loading & increases in discal pressure these great exercise produce.

When I get done squatting or deadlifting heavy I feel like I need to be stretched apart. This is do to all the compressive stresses place on my spine. This is why DECOMPRESSION is of the utmost importance to my training regiment. It dramatically takes all that compression stress off of my spinal joints & discs and allows the renourishment of water, blood & nutrient to these & other surrounding structures. Not only does it feel great to get stretched it also speed up my recovery til my next heavy session. I feel this is vital to every lifters training program. I urge you to give it a try & see how you feel!

When considering spinal decompression therapy our clinic in Scotch Plains, NJ can offer you relief. Our physicians come highly recommended by numerous physicians in Union, Middlesex & Somerset counties. Feel free to contact us for a Free, In-Office Evaluation. If you are looking for faster service, give us a call at 908-490-1800. Just tell them that you read this article and you will receive our complimentary in-office evaluation (a $145 value). 

 

Snow Shoveling Tips

Posted OnFriday, January 3rd, 2014 at 5:29 pm
Filed under Back Pain, Chronic Back Pain Conditions

image It’s that time a year again…winter. And winter brings the ever-present possibility of snow. The only time I pray that it snows is Christmas Eve. Snow on Christmas makes the holiday that much more special for me and my family.

However, when it snows any other time of the year I absolutely dread it!

We have already had multiple snow days already and winter has not officially even started yet I feel the need to offer some back-saving tips while shoveling. Injuring your back while shoveling snow is very common and can range from a simple ache to a bedridden event. Below are some safety hints to avoid any injuries.

First, let’s start with the shovel. Make sure it is long enough where you do not need to excessively lean forward to scoop up snow. Also, I recommend a heavier shovel such as a metal or wooden one. The lighter plastic ones might be easier to lift the snow but I find that people tend to have to dig and scrape more forcefully to lift the snow and ice. A heavier shovel especially with a metal edge will more readily break up the snow and ice and will require a less forceful effort.

To avoid lower back pain and/or back injuries you need to lift with your legs and not your lower back. This means bend at the knees and do your best to keep your torso upright as much as possible. In addition, don’t turn your body or trunk rather than step in the direction you are throwing the snow. I also find that most people try to pick up as much as they can with each scoop, which can put a heavy strain on the lower back. Rather, lift smaller loads and sacrifice a little extra time for avoiding excessive stress and strain on the lumbar spine.

Lastly, take as many breaks as you need to. It’s not a race…an extra 10-15 minutes will save you a weekend in bed!

Always, always, always consult your neighbor chiropractor if you feel any pain whatsoever. The sooner the better….don’t wait…because the longer you wait the longer the duration of the injury. Nip it in the bud ASAP and get back to your life.

Until next time
- Dr. C

When considering a remedy for your back pain, Scotch Plains Pain & Rehabilitation should be your first stop. Our physicians come highly recommended by numerous physicians in Union, Middlesex and Somerset counties. Feel free to contact us for a Free, In-Office Evaluation. If you are looking for faster service, give us a call at 908-490-1800. Just tell them that you read this article and you will receive our complimentary in-office evaluation (a $145 value).

Does The Use of a Low Back Pain Brace Really Make a Difference?

Posted OnWednesday, December 21st, 2011 at 2:29 pm
Filed under Back Pain, Chronic Back Pain Conditions, Non Surgical Pain Relief Options, Office Locations, Physical Therapy

“Do you think a back brace will help my condition?”

This is a question that is frequently asked of many health care providers who treat low back pain.  The answers typically vary, as there is support for and against the use of a brace when low back pain is present.  In a Feb. 2009 study, the use of an elastic lumbar belt was studied in a group of subacute low back pain patients for its effect on functional capacity (lift and carry types of activities), pain intensity, and the effects on health care service costs.  This study was unique in that it was carried out in several different locations and, the patients were randomized and received either a lumbar belt or nothing (“control group”). 197 patients were included in the study, which is a good sample size for research purposes.  The results of the study, at the end of 90 days, revealed a higher score for the back brace treated group than the non-braced control group.  The pain scale improved greater in the brace treated group as an improvement of 42 points vs. 32 points was reported.  Similarly, 61% in the brace treated group used no medication compared to 40% in the non-braced group.  It was concluded that patients with subacute low back pain improved significantly in functional status, pain reduction and medication utilization.

The use of back braces has been considered a “standard” in the treatment of patients with LBP for many years. One argument against using back braces centers around becoming “dependant” either physically or mentally on its use and this has long been a concern amongst health care providers.  For most patients, this is not a concern as most do not “enjoy” the use of a brace and they look forward to discontinuing their use of it.  Braces are particularly helpful when the patient cannot stop performing needed activities, such as work.  This is especially true for farmers who have to tend to the animals and crops during planting, cultivating and harvest times of the year.  In addition, single moms or dads who have to go to work in order to provide for their children are driven to stay on the job.  In these cases, the use of a back brace can be of utmost importance.

There are many types of back braces.  Some are narrow and are particularly favored when frequent bending and/or twisting movements are required by a job, sport, or other daily activity. Other braces are taller in the back and taper in the front, which give better support but still allow some bending / twisting movements.  Some braces are more rigid and can actually stop movement in certain directions.  These types include a hard, rigid surface that is placed in the area of the back where movement is not desired.  These are used at times when there are fractures of the spine, after spinal surgery and in scoliosis bracing. Some braces are to be worn low on the pelvis to support that area, while most are placed in the center of the low back region.  There are also rib belts sometimes used when ribs fracture, soft and rigid neck braces sometimes used after car accidents, and braces for the arms or legs.  The decision to use a brace rests on the degree of injury and the patient’s ability to avoid certain activities or positions.  When the injury is significant and/or the patient cannot control his/her activities (such as work), then the use of a brace may be one of the most important treatment approaches for that patient.  It’s similar to having stitches when a deep or wide cut occurs.  Ask us about the use of supports, braces, or belts if you or your family or friends are suffering with low back pain.

When considering a back brace for your back pain, our chiropractic and physical therapy clinics in Bayonne and Scotch Plains NJ can offer a professional recommendation for you. Our physicians come highly recommended by numerous physicians in Hudson and Union Counties. Feel free to contact us for a Free, In-Office Evaluation. If you are looking for faster service, give us a call at one of our two New Jersey locations. For our Bayonne, NJ location, call 201-339-8889, and for our Scotch Plains, NJ location, call us at 908-490-1800. Just tell them that you read this article and you will receive our complimentary in-office evaluation (a $145 value). 

Why is My Lower Back So Stiff in the Morning?

Posted OnMonday, August 16th, 2010 at 11:54 am
Filed under Chronic Back Pain Conditions

Forget waking up on the wrong side of the bed – when you wake up with a stiff lower back in the morning, it can feel like you’ve woken up after a night of heavy lifting.

For some, having an occasionally stiff lower back after a night’s sleep can come as a result of too much exercise the day before, rigorous activity or a combination of the two.  However, for those who are dealing with chronic lower back pain, there are many reasons why your mornings may not be so bright.  Take a look at the list below and see if any of these solutions help to alleviate that troublesome lower back pain:

  • Before pointing the finger at your back, it might be time to let your mattress take some of the blame.  Recent studies have reported that mattresses lose up to 70% of their support after just ten years – and if you’ve got a mattress that’s older than your kids, then you might want to consider trading it in for a new model.  For additional support, consider getting a memory foam mattress, which molds to the contours of your body and relieves pressure from sensitive spots like your spine and joints.
  • If your mattress isn’t the culprit, then it’s time to look at a medical reason for why you’re waking up with a stiff lower back.  If you suffer from arthritis, then it’s possible that you’re dealing with ankylosing spondylitis, which is a form of arthritis that affects the spine.  However, other kinds of arthritis can affect the spine as well.  If it’s an infrequent arthritis attack, try applying heat to the lower back and take an anti-inflammatory.  If the pain is more frequent (i.e. more than once a week), then see your doctor and physical therapist for gentle exercises that can alleviate your arthritis.
  • If you feel the pain in your leg as well as your lower spine, then it’s possible that you might have a herniated disc.  A herniated disc occurs when the disc presses on the nerves and bones in your lower spine, otherwise known as the lumbar region.  A doctor can diagnosis you with a herniated disc and give you medicine; however, the most relief is often attained by visits to a chiropractor, who can use gentle exercises to stretch the spine and relieve the pressure.

If you are suffering from a stiff lower back when you wake up in the morning, we encourage you to visit our Spinal Care clinics in Bayonne and Scotch Plains NJ.  Both clinics come highly recommended by numerous physicians in Hudson and Union Counties.  Feel free to contact us for a Free, In-Office Evaluation.  If you are looking for faster service, give us a call at one of our two New Jersey locations.  For our Bayonne, NJ location, call 201-339-889, and for our Scotch Plains, NJ location, call us at 908-490-1800.  Just tell them that you read this article and you will receive our complimentary in-office evaluation (a $145 value).

What Kind of Mattress Should I Buy?

Posted OnThursday, August 5th, 2010 at 3:33 pm
Filed under Chronic Back Pain Conditions, Neck Pain, Shoulder Pain

When it comes to choosing the perfect mattress, there’s plenty of advice out there: choose a firm mattress for the best back support.  Comfort is the biggest indicator of a quality mattress.  A great mattress can last for decades.

Most of us accept these pieces of advice without as much as a second thought.  But have you ever stopped to think that these “pearls of wisdom” may actually be contributing to your back and shoulder problems?

That’s right: according to expert chiropractors, an unsupportive mattress can cause some of the most frequent complaints regarding back, neck and shoulder pains.  And considering that we spend more than a third of our lives on our mattresses, it’s vital that you take the time to choose the perfect mattress for your posture – not to mention your quality of sleep!

So what kind of mattress should you buy?  Take at look at the following tips; once you’ve had a good night’s sleep on a great mattress, you’ll never sacrifice quality for price again!

  • First, it’s important to educate yourself about what you should expect from your mattress.  A great mattress should support the contours of your body, which will relieve pressure from your joints, nerves and spinal cord.  Thanks to rapid advancements in “slumber technology”, today’s mattresses offer individuals a range of styles and comfort levels that can offer a unique and healthy sleep.  From memory-foam topped mattresses to hypo-allergenic latex mattresses, you can count on finding exactly what you’re looking for.
  • Forget about accepting that secondhand mattress from your mother-in-law; according to Lisa Helmanis, author of “Sleep Better Naturally”, after ten years, a mattress deteriorates by as much as 75% from its original shape and condition.  With this statistic in mind, it’s easy to see why it’s worth shelling out the extra cash on a top-quality mattress.
  • Learn your mattress types before shopping for your perfect fit.  Open-sprung mattresses (or spring mattresses) are the most common; however, they offer little support for those who suffer from persistent back and neck pains.  Pocket-sprung mattresses are perfect for sleepers who differ in size and weight, while memory foam mattresses mould to the shape of your body, which offers you a significant amount of support and comfort.
  • A latex mattress is perfect for allergy sufferers, in addition to being lost-lasting and highly durable.  Finally, synthetic mattresses work to correctly align your body thanks to a unique memory foam composition.  It’s definitely one of the most expensive types of mattresses out there, but back sufferers often report getting the best pain-free slumber from this kind of mattress.

When considering treatment for back, shoulder and neck pains, our physical therapy clinics in Bayonne and Scotch Plains NJ come highly recommended by numerous physicians in Hudson and Union Counties.  Feel free to contact us for a Free, In-Office Evaluation.  If you are looking for faster service, give us a call at one of our two New Jersey locations.  For our Bayonne, NJ location, call 201-339-8889, and for our Scotch Plains, NJ location, call us at 908-490-1800.  Just tell them that you read this article and you will receive our complimentary in-office evaluation (a $145 value).

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