Positive Expectations in Whiplash Patients Help with Recovery

443

 

“High expectations are the key to everything”

– Sam Walton

Now a new study found that this belief may apply to your health as well: Whiplash patients who have a positive expectation to improve tend to recover better and report less pain than those who harbor negative beliefs like fearing movement and re-injury.

If you or someone you know has been involved in accident, call our office today. Check out THIS VIDEO to learn more about resolving neck pain from auto accidents.

Advertisements

Advice for headache sufferers….

187

Get Moving.

A new study of 573 office workers found that “one hour weekly of strength training reduced headache frequency and intensity.” Timing and spacing of session times did not affect the positive outcome, but participants whose training was supervised used fewer medications.

So, if you or someone you know suffers from headaches, call us today. Our doctors have powerful natural tools for treating headaches and can help design an exercise plan to stay healthy. Learn more about headaches here:

Headache Info Video

Source:

page1image3519546256

Andersen, CH et al. Effect of resistance training on headache symptoms in adults: Secondary analysis of a RCT. Musculoskeletal Science and Practice, Volume 32, 2017, Pages 38-43 ”

TMJ dysfunction

Temporomandibular joint dysfunction is a blanket term that refers to pain and dysfunction of the jaw muscles and the tempomandibular joints which connect the mandible to the skull. The most common symptoms are pain and restricted mandibular movement as well as grinding noises coming from the joint. This condition is more common in women then in men, and affects a large portion of patients suffering from fibromyalgia. Trigger points in the muscles of mastication are frequently involved in TMJ dysfunction. Trigger points in the pterygoid and masseter muscles for example will not only refer pain into the tempomandibular joints, but will also cause a dysfunctional movement pattern that can restrict range of motion. Trigger point therapy can be an effective modality to treat TMJ dysfunction.

I smoke and I sit; does that matter?

Your thoracic spine is made up of 12 individual vertebrae stacked on top of each other. To allow for flexibility and movement, there is a cushion or “disc” in between each level. As we age, these discs can wear and become thinner over time. This leads to additional changes, including bone spurs and narrowing of the opening where your nerves exit your spine. This process is called “thoracic spondylosis”, or simply, “arthritis”.

How quickly you develop back arthritis is largely a trait you inherited from your parents. Other factors may play a role, including a history of trauma, smoking, operating motorized vehicles, being overweight and/ or performing repetitive movements (i.e. lifting, twisting, bending or sitting). Men seem to be affected slightly more often than women.

Symptoms often begin as back pain that gradually worsens over time. Stiffness may be present upon arising in the morning. Pain is relieved by rest or light activity and aggravated by strenuous work. Sometimes your nerves can become “pinched” in narrowed openings where they exit your spine. This can cause pain, numbness, or tingling radiating around your trunk along the path of the irritated nerve. Be sure to tell your doctor if you notice any weakness or if you have a rash (running along your rib), fever, abdominal pain, change in bowel or bladder function, or pain in your groin crease.

Arthritic changes can be seen on x-rays, but interestingly, the amount of wearing does not seem to correlate directly with the severity of your symptoms. People with the same degree of arthritis may have symptoms ranging from none to severe. Most researchers believe that the symptoms of osteoarthritis are not the direct result of the disease, but rather, from the conditions that preceded the disease and those that develop after it, like joint restrictions and muscle tightness. Fortunately, those conditions are treatable and our office has a variety of tools to help relieve your pain.

In general, you should avoid repeated lifting and twisting and take frequent breaks from prolonged sitting, especially in motorized vehicles. Avoid any position that causes an increase in radiating pain. Light exercise, like walking, stationary cycling, water aerobics, and yoga may be helpful. Smokers should find a program to help them quit and overweight patients will benefit from a diet and exercise program.

“I Popped A Rib”

You have 12 pair of ribs that attach to the “thoracic” region of your spine. The ribs serve to protect your heart, lungs, and other vital organs. Each rib is shaped much like a “bucket handle” arching from your spine to your breastbone (sternum) in front. Your ribs must move freely when you breathe, bend, twist, and reach. The term “costovertebral dysfunction” means that one or more of your ribs has become restricted or slightly malpositioned from it’s attachment to the spine.

You can visualize this as imagining one of your bucket handles is misaligned and not moving in sync with the others.

Rib problems can develop in many ways. Sometimes they are brought on by an accident or injury; other times, they develop from repetitive strains or poor posture. Rib malpositions are common during pregnancy or after a whiplash injury.

Symptoms sometimes begin following a sudden or explosive movement, like coughing or sneezing, reaching, pushing, or pulling. Other times, a specific cause cannot be recalled. Rib dysfunction may cause pain near or slightly to the side of your spine with possible radiation of symptoms along your rib, sometimes all the way to the front. Some patients feel as though they were “shot by an arrow.” Rib problems are a frequently overlooked source of chest and abdominal pain.

Be sure to tell your chiropractor if your symptoms include any unusual cough, indigestion, nausea, vomiting, fever, flu-like complaints or if you notice a rash developing along the border of your rib. Seek immediate medical treatment if you notice chest “pressure” or “squeezing”, symptoms that radiate into your arm and jaw, or if you have chest pain or shortness of breath with exertion, as these are possible symptoms of heart problems and must be addressed immediately.

Most patients report rapid relief following chiropractic care. Our office can provide several tools to help ease your pain. To speed your recovery, you should avoid activities that increase your pain. Initially, you may need to limit reaching, pushing, and pulling. Women may benefit by temporarily switching to a sports bra to help better diffuse pressure over irritated ribs. Some patients report relief by using sports creams, NSAIDs, or applying ice for 15-20 minutes directly over the painful area.

What is a “Mild” traumatic Brain Injury?

A concussion is a blow or jolt to the head that disrupts normal brain function. Concussions, also known as Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries, most often result from falls, sports injuries, and auto accidents.
Concussion symptoms may begin immediately after an injury, but sometimes take hours or days to appear. The most common symptoms of a concussion include; headaches, light-headedness, dizziness, visual disturbances, ringing in the ears, confusion, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, irritability, and difficulty remembering or learning new things. Patients sometimes struggle to understand conversations or make simple calculations like determining a restaurant tip. Patients often feel as if they are “in a fog”. Symptoms can range from subtle to debilitating.

Patients and their attendants should be particularly alert for signs or symptoms that could indicate a more threatening injury like; worsening headache, growing irritability, repeated vomiting, difficulty speaking or swallowing, shortness of breath, unequal pupils, fever, visual disturbances, seizures, clear discharge from the nose or ears, loss of consciousness, or increasing light-headedness, numbness, or confusion. These symptoms warrant immediate emergency medical attention.

Recovery times are quite variable and are dependent upon a number of factors. It is critical that you allow your brain to recover completely before returning to physical activity. A concussion can be likened to dropping a computer – you will need to allow time to reboot before trying to use it. Suffering a second concussion before the first has completely resolved can lead to significantly worse symptoms and long-term impairments.

Athletes who have suffered a concussion must not return to activity before being evaluated by a healthcare professional that is very familiar with concussion management.

Meditation goes mainstream!

meditate-1851165_960_720

With growing evidence that meditation has significant health benefits, a 2016 study by a team of researchers from the United States, Spain, and France sought to explain how and why meditation actually works.

The study investigated the difference between “mindful meditation” in a group of experienced meditators vs. “quiet non-meditative activity” in a group of untrained control subjects. After eight hours of mindfulness practice, the meditation group showed a range of genetic and molecular differences, which in turn correlated with faster physical recovery from a stressful situation.

According to researchers, this is the first time a study has documented a rapid alteration in gene expression within meditating subjects. Interestingly, the researchers observed these changes in the SAME genes that anti-inflammatory and pain-killing drugs target! Thus, they speculate that mindful-based training may benefit patients with inflammatory conditions! This and prior studies have prompted the American Heart Association to endorse meditation as an effective cardiac preventative intervention.

Meditation has been found to be helpful for many conditions including stress management, lowering high blood pressure, heart disease, and depression. You can incorporate meditation into your life with three simple meditation exercises! The initial advice is “…go slow and be compassionate and gentle with yourself.” Your mind will try to wander (called our “default mode”) which consumes about half of our day, so try to focus (called “focus mode”)!

1)  WALKING MEDITATION: At a slow to medium pace, focus on your feet. Notice how your heel hits the ground and then feel the roll of your foot followed by the big toe pushing off prior to the swing phase. Feel for stones under the foot and other interesting sensations. If your mind starts to wander (default mode), gently bring your attention back to your foot (focus mode). You WILL get better with practice, and you’ll soon find it much easier to “focus” during stressful situations!

2)  NOVEL EXPERIENCES: It’s much easier to lose focus on the people you see everyday vs. those seen only one time a month. The next time you arrive home from work, pretend you haven’t seen your spouse/friend in 30 days. Give them your undivided attention. Then, try this on co-workers and other people you see every day. Believe me, they WILL notice a difference!

3)  GRATITUDE EXERCISES: When you’re not in their presence, focus on a person’s face and send them a “silent gratitude” for being in your life. Try this on family members, friends, co-workers, and others!