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Monthly Archives: March 2016

  • Why Does My Neck Hurt? Types of Neck Pain and Their Causes

    Posted on March 27, 2016 by Core Products

    By Brian Acton

    Neck pain comes in all kinds of varieties - like ice cream, but less fun. Unless you were recently karate chopped, it can be difficult to determine the source of your discomfort. Whether your pain is recurring or has just cropped up, knowing the cause can be a crucial piece of knowledge when determining how to deal with it.

    When determining the severity and treatment options for your pain, it can help to determine the nature of your pain and search for the root cause. Here, we break down the different types of neck pain you can experience, and what could be the contributing cause.

    If you find your symptom here listed next to a serious condition, please remember: this is a general guide to possible root causes of neck pain. If you’re experiencing serous neck pain, you should always see your doctor to diagnose the problem.

    Types of Neck Pain:

    While it’s impossible to diagnose the nature of your neck pain over the Internet, we can provide a rundown of the common causes based on your type of pain:

    Neck Pain that spreads down the Arm: Neck pain that continues down your arms – even going so far as to reach your hands – can be caused by a pinched nerve in your neck or a herniated disk. The pain may include numbness or tingling in your arms or hands. Luckily, this pain is entirely curable if properly treated with medication, physical therapy, or other techniques.

    Another potential cause of this type of pain – especially if accompanied by a lack of coordination in your limbs – is cervical stenosis with myelopathy, which typically occurs in older people and may require surgery.

    General Stiffness and Soreness: The most common type of neck pain (and the hardest to determine the cause) is neck pain that includes general stiffness and soreness. This pain is (usually) not sharp or as severe as the pain an injury would cause. If the cause is a sprain or strain, potentially due from sleeping position, poor posture or “tech neck,” the condition can be resolved by taking it easy on your neck and practicing better habits.

    Sharp Pain: Acute sharp pain can be caused due to an injury or whiplash (such as from a car accident). Minor injuries tend to heal with time, but sharp pain, especially after a car accident or other injury, should be checked by a doctor.

    Difficulty Turning the Head: Sometimes the neck can become twisted to one side, and it becomes difficult and painful to turn the neck to a “straightforward” position. Known as torticollis, this symptom is typically caused by minor injury or bad sleeping posture, but also can occur due to abnormal muscle movements known as cervical dystonia.

    Conclusion:

    The grand majority of stiff necks or aches and pains are minor in nature and will heal on their own. By practicing good posture and sleeping position, stretching, and living a healthy lifestyle, you can usually avoid severe neck pain. However, if your neck pain is getting progressively worse, is accompanied by other symptoms, or is severe, you should see your doctor immediately to determine the cause and begin treatment.

     

    Sources:

    http://www.spine-health.com/conditions/neck-pain/chronic-neck-pain-what-condition-causing-my-neck-pain

    http://patient.info/health/nonspecific-neck-pain


    This post was posted in Company, Education

  • Massage Therapy vs. the Chiropractor - Which is Right for You?

    Posted on March 18, 2016 by Core Products

    By Brian Acton

    There are many different forms of therapy and treatment for pain – including pain management, alternative treatment, and specialist care. When a specific part of your body starts hurting you’ll want to pick the treatment that’s right for you – and if you want a natural approach to pain relief, you’re likely considering massage therapy or visits to a chiropractor.

    While both practices can provide healing and pain relief to the body, their approaches are different and the pain they treat can be different, too. Read on to learn what each treatment is for, and which you may want to use for your specific physical circumstances.

    Massage Therapy

    Massage therapists are licensed professionals who have typically completed hundreds of hours of training and education (requirements vary from state to state). A massage therapist’s area of focus is solely the muscles. Muscle soreness, spasms, and muscle tension are conditions that are served by massage therapists.

    Massage therapists are not licensed to work directly on the spine, prescribe drugs, or diagnose medical conditions. However, massage therapy can help spinal health, as soft tissue massage can treat spinal alignment and lower back pain.

    If your issue is mainly muscular in nature – and a good doctor can help you determine if this is the case – a massage therapist may be the way to go. The benefits of massage therapy are varied, but include: relaxation, reduced soreness or muscle tension, aiding blood flow, and reducing anxiety.

    Chiropractor

    Chiropractors are fully licensed medical doctors who have completed a doctorate program in chiropractic care. They can perform many procedures massage therapists cannot, and can treat joints, perform spinal adjustments, make medical diagnoses and prescribe medication.

    Chiropractors can also refer you to other specialists and order x-rays, blood work, or other diagnostic procedures to help get to the root of patient conditions.

    You should consult a chiropractor if your issue is more of a serious condition – or if you need help diagnosing your condition. A chiropractor can help figure out the nature of your condition, and can treat your spine and joints if necessary. They also can refer you to a massage therapist if they believe this treatment could be beneficial.

    Choosing the Right Professional

    Generally, you should seek a massage therapist if your pain and soreness is more superficial in nature and concerns your muscles. You should seek a chiropractor if your issue is deeper – concerning your spine, joints, or other aspects of your musculoskeletal system.

    If you’re not sure of the nature of your condition, you may wish to consult your regular doctor if you’re suffering from aches and pains – they may be able to direct you to the right treatment.

    In fact, you may even end up seeing both – chiropractors often recommend massage therapy as part of ongoing treatment for aches and pains or spinal alignment issues. No matter what professional you end up seeing, taking steps to find the right treatment can make a world of difference for the well-being of your body and mind.

     

    Sources:

    http://www.100percentchiropractic.com/the-difference-between-chiropractic-and-massage-therapy/

    http://blog.integracareclinics.com/blog/when-you-need-a-chiropractor-vs.-when-you-need-a-massage


    This post was posted in Company, Education

  • Prenatal Precautions for Healthy, Pain-Free Backs

    Posted on March 10, 2016 by Core Products

    By Brian Acton

    Unfortunately for many pregnant women, discomfort and pain can be a daily reality. Among many other symptoms, back pain is a major source of this discomfort. Many estimates claim that at least half of pregnant women experience back pain due to their pregnancy.

    The causes of back pain during pregnancy can vary: increased hormones that soften ligaments in the joints, a shifted center of gravity, changes in posture, and stress can all be contributing factors. Of course, it can also be as simple as the fact that you are carrying additional weight around! And, if you’ve experienced back pain previous to being pregnant, you’re at a much higher risk for back pain during pregnancy than those without previous symptoms.

    Read on to find out how to avoid (or, at least, reduce) back pain when you’re expecting.

    How to Care for My Back during Pregnancy

    Prep: First, if possible, it’s a good idea to improve or maintain your physical fitness before you get pregnant. Maintaining a healthy weight, practicing good posture habits, and otherwise leading a healthy lifestyle will reduce the chance of back pain during pregnancy.

    Strengthen Your Abdomen: You can actually increase your back’s ability to handle pregnancy by strengthening your abdominal muscles. This helps your abdomen carry the load of your baby, thereby putting less load on your back. Fitness professionals or your doctor may be able to recommend the right exercises – but there’s a great introductory article here: http://www.livestrong.com/article/19025-abdominal-exercises-pregnant-women/

    Use the Right Products: There are several ways the right products can help with back pain. A pregnancy support belt lifts the belly, relieving abdominal stress and pressure on your pelvis and back. Firm mattresses (or a good, solid board underneath the mattress) also keep your back in the right position. Body pillows help you find comfortable positions in which to sleep on your side (sleeping on your back or, of course, your stomach, is not recommended). Finally, a good, supportive pair of shoes – no extreme high heels or completely flat shoes – are recommended.

    Practice Good Posture and Movement: Key to avoiding back pain – pregnant or not – is good posture and movement. With a few small tweaks in your posture habits, you can at least ease your symptoms of back pain. Even though you may want to lounge or slump in your chair or on the couch, sit up straight in a chair with a good supportive cushion. When sitting, elevate your feet with a footrest. When picking something up, squat rather than bending over.

    Seek Professional Guidance: If you still need help alleviating or avoiding back pain, talk to your doctor. Doctors can recommend best practices that are custom to your specific situation, and may even recommend you see a professional physical therapist, chiropractor, or massage therapist (try to find a licensed masseuse who specializes in prenatal massage).

    Of course, if you have persistent, unbearable pain, or start experiencing symptoms far worse than your normal back pain, see a doctor immediately.

    Conclusion

    No two pregnancies are exactly alike, but there are pretty good odds that yours could include a painful back. It’s just the nature of pregnancy’s effect on your body. However, using the above tips, you can reduce the risk of back pain. You need to do a lot to take care of your unborn child – there’s no reason to add back pain to the mix if it can be avoided.

    Sources:

    http://www.thepregnancycentre.com.au/pregnancy/well-being/taking-care-of-your-back

    http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/back-pain-during-pregnancy/

    http://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/symptoms-and-solutions/backache.aspx

    http://www.parents.com/pregnancy/my-body/aches-pains/pregnancy-back-pain-when-to-worry/


    This post was posted in Company, Education

  • In a “Screen Slump?” Be Forewarned – Here’s How “Tech Neck” Affects Your Spinal Health

    Posted on March 1, 2016 by Core Products

    Screen Slump and Tech Neck
    By: Brian Acton

    You probably don’t think about it regularly, but you see people putting their spinal health at risk on a regular basis – and no, they’re not skateboarding or dodging through traffic.

    Perhaps they’re slouched in their cubicle at work, squinting at their computer monitor. Maybe they’re hunched over their cell phone, tapping away at a game and oblivious to the outside world. Or they’re crammed into a tiny airplane seat, at work on their laptop.

    No matter the scenario, habitually hunching over your phone , tablet, or computer monitor – known as “screen slump” – can cause major neck and back problems.

    It’s fairly well known that staring at screens can strain eyesight, and keyboard users can develop carpal tunnel syndrome, but an increasing amount of back and neck problems among young people has revealed another condition caused by our technology addiction, and it ‘s known as “tech neck.”

    A 2014 study indicated that looking down at your smartphone at a 60° angle can put 60 pounds of pressure on your neck. That’s six times the weight your neck holds when you’re standing upright. This pressure puts an abnormal amount of stress on the spine, and can cause neck pain, back pain, and potentially slipped or herniated disks.

    According to the British Chiropractic Association, 45% of 16-24 year olds suffer from back pain as a result. The body just wasn’t meant to crane the neck forward and round the shoulders – another similar posture position that is seen in cubicles across America.

    Now people are not likely to give up their smartphones and devices to increase their spinal health. Luckily, there are ways to use your computers and mobile devices without leaving yourself open to injury.

    How to Fight Tech Neck

    By reading this article, you’ve already taken the first step – an awareness of how your behavior can affect your spinal health!

    When you do use technology, make sure to practice good posture. Craning your neck towards your monitor at work is a great way to develop neck problems. Instead, sit straight in your chair – if you’re having trouble reading a document, zoom in on the monitor, not with your head.

    If you’re looking into your smartphone or tablet, hold the device away from you, preferably level with your face. That way, you aren’t hunching over your screen.

    You can also use a tablet holder or stand when you have place to put down your device. If you’re watching a video on your couch, stand your tablet up on a level surface nearby, rather than hunching over with the tablet in your lap. The same concept applies to your monitor – try and keep it at eye level and directly in front of you so you don’t have to crane or turn your neck.

    Finally, using best practices when it comes to your spinal health will go a long way in preventing injury. Stretching your neck and back will help keep you limber, as will massages. If you start feeling pain, limit your time on devices and go see a chiropractor or physical therapist for advice that’s specific to your spine.

    Conclusion

    While we don’t foresee the general public giving up technology anytime soon, the future of our collective spinal health doesn’t need to be bleak. With good discipline, we can train ourselves to use technology without putting our necks and backs at risk.

    Of course, if you want to leave your device at home next time you go out – you may just be doing yourself a small favor.

    Sources:

    http://magazine.foxnews.com/food-wellness/tech-neck-might-be-reason-your-neck-pain-and-headaches

    http://www.webmd.com/pain-management/news/20141124/text-neck

    http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/health/634318/Smartphone-tablet-gadgets-effect-health


    This post was posted in Company, Education

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