back pain

Take Aim at Chronic Pain – Low Level Laser Therapy

Using light as a form of therapy and healing has been around for centuries. Low-level laser therapy is a rapidly growing new field of therapy with which a large volume of research has been gathered to support its validity. You may have heard it under another name such as: cold laser, soft laser, biostimulation or biophotomodulation. These lasers are not the same as the high-powered lasers that are used in surgery for cutting and burning tissue. In fact, the treatment with low level laser is 100% painless. Regardless of the name we give them, today there is little doubt that properly administered laser light therapy has numerous positive effects on inflammation, pain and healing via biological pathways both at the cellular level and to the body as a whole.

Documented beneficial effects of laser therapy in medicine are: reducing inflammation and swelling, accelerating tissue/injury repair and wound healing, bactericidal and anti-fungal effects and pain reduction, particularly chronic pain. To add to the great story of laser therapy, there are next to no limitations to who can benefit and there are even less potential adverse effects or risks.

The physics of light is complex to say the very least. But we should understand a couple of fundamental things about it. The smallest particle of light is the photon. Each has a wavelength that is definitive of its energy. Einstein classified photons as wave particles. For our cells, hence our bodies to benefit from the light energy, these photons must be absorbed. Therein lies the essence of the clinical application of laser light. Laser power, wavelength, light intensity, duration of treatment and location of therapeutic target are all key factors in choosing and adjusting the therapeutic options with laser light.

Laser therapy affects the cells from both biological and physical interactions. Biologically some of the positive effects of laser therapy include: increased blood flow; increased/improved energetics of the cells (ATP production); positive effects on the cell’s chemistry, growth factors and proteins; improved cellular communication and release of the damaging effects of oxidation.

NMR utilizes the Erchonia FX635 laser, the only Class 2 laser that has been FDA cleared for all chronic musculoskeletal pain problems, including but not limited to: low back pain, neck pain, shoulder and knee pain and plantar fasciitis/heal and foot pain.  This non-invasive, pain-free therapy improves quality of life without surgery, downtime or side effects.  With this option patients avoid opioids and the long term effects of pain medications.

To learn more about how low level laser therapy can be an important part of your plan to combat chronic pain, take advantage of our new patient complimentary consultation by calling 908-252-0242.

Running Injury Prevention

Running, as part of your exercise routine, can provide many health benefits!  It decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease/death by 65% at any age, improves joint health, improves body composition and has positive effects on stress management and anxiety. Running is an easy exercise as it does not require specific equipment or being in a specific place, therefore it works with a busy schedule. Starting a running program can be done at any age but is best done under the guidance of a healthcare professional that specializes in running.  Dr. Clauda Tamas, DPT is a Certified Running Injuries Specialist and can help you get started on a running program or help an experienced runner recover and/or prevent injuries from occurring.

In experienced runners, most injuries are due to training errors, others are due to lack of muscular strength or endurance as it specifically relates to running. Experienced runners that are looking to improve performance or rehabilitate an injury as well as novice runners that want to enjoy the benefits of starting a running program while avoiding injuries can benefit from Dr Claudia’s expertise.

Do you want to start a running program but have been told that running was detrimental for your arthritic joints? Recent studies are showing us the opposite. With appropriate mechanical loading, the stress at the articular surfaces can improve joint health if correctly modulated. Dr Claudia can explain to you how this is achieved and guide you through this process in our office.  Those planning to return to running after a back or lower extremity injury can also benefit from the guidance of a healthcare professional specialized in running in order to avoid further injury or re-injury.

Running is an easy exercise for children to enjoy. As our young population spends more and more time with sedentary activities, starting a running program can be an easy way to promote healthy habits at an early age. Our running programs for children are fun and motivating!

Our services for runners include a detailed general musculoskeletal examination, running analysis, running shoe analysis and recommendations, treatment and rehabilitation of injuries or other musculoskeletal injuries. Running protocols are designed and based on the individual examination. While under our supervision the runners will be periodically reassessed and changes will be made if necessary.

Some of the most common running injuries involve the foot, knee and lower back/pelvis. The cause of injury can be identified in our office through a detailed evaluation and treated with specific interventions that target the structures involved. A return to running program is then designed. The program will be individually tailored to progressively load and stimulate the muscles and joints in a healthy way to produce adaptation.

All runners (experienced and beginners) or non-runners that are thinking of starting a running program can benefit from our services. Call for a complimentary new patient consultation.

Seated Butterfly Stretch

ButterflyStretch CollageSeated butterfly stretch is a terrific way to mobilize and strengthen your hips and lower back. This exercise gently strengthens your abdominal and hip flexors and stretches your hip adductors (inner thighs), gluteal muscles and lower back.

Begin sitting tall with a straight spine, placing the bottoms of your feet together in front of you. Use your outer thighs to draw your knees towards the floor, while holding your ankles. Use your abdominal muscles to fold forward.

Hold the pose for approximately 30 seconds to 1 minute and repeat 3-5 times. Remember to breathe deeply throughout the exercise and try to release as much muscle tension as possible with each breathe!

*Modification: If you are unable to maintain a straight spine, sit on a rolled up towel/yoga mat/blanket.

Back Stretch

 

Thoracic Spine Stretch
Try this stretching exercise to help relieve pain
in the upper and mid-back

How to properly perform this exercise:

  • Sitting on bench/chair with arms crossed, hands on shoulders, ball
    between knees.
  • Back is upright, head/neck in neutral.
  • Breathe in and with exhale, rotate trunk to the left as far as able as the left arm opens to the side with palm up.
  • Head rotates left, turning toward hand. Hold for 3-5 seconds.
  • Return to neutral and reverse with right rotation and reach.

Technique:  Pelvis does not lift off bench/chair, upper body is relaxed, core muscles engaged.  Knees face forward.

 

Knee, hip & back pain caused by your FEET?

Knee, hip & back pain caused by your feet?

Feet – the foundation to a pain-free body.  Surprisingly, your feet may be the cause of your knee, hip and back pain.  Many pain syndromes and problems of the musculoskeletal system, including the spine, have their origin at the feet.  Although your feet may cause the problem, they may not be feeling any of the pain they are causing.

Your feet carry your body weight, help you stand tall and strong, and carry you through your daily activities.  Problems with your feet may cause you to change the way you walk, stand or move – which can lead to health issues and pain all the way up to your knees, hips and spine.

Flat feet cause the foot and ankle to roll inward when walking or running.  Shin splints, along with knee, hip and low back pain, are common problems associated with hyper-pronated feet because the muscles on the inside of the legs must work harder.  When your tibia (shinbone) rotates inward, it places extra pressure on the muscles around the knee and creates muscle imbalance.  A high arched foot causes the foot to roll outward, making the outside muscles of the legs work harder.  Ligament sprains, stress fractures and tendonitis are common problems with hyper-supinated feet.

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (Runner’s Knee) develops when there is an imbalance in the strength of muscles that move the kneecap, causing grinding, friction, and pain.  People with improper foot mechanics are at more risk.  Foot orthotics and therapeutic rehabilitative exercises can get the knee muscles back on track.

Shin Splints are usually related to improper biomechanics of the foot and knee.  Analyzing a person’s gait can detect mechanical foot problems, such as altered arch heights and weight bearing imbalances, which can determine the underlying cause of pain.  Foot orthotics and physical therapy focuses on returning the biomechanics of the foot and knee to proper function.

People who have Plantar Fasciitis experience heel pain.  They often find relief with foot orthotics and therapeutic exercises to help stabilize the foot and decrease the stress on the plantar fascia, or band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot.

When your foot function creates a rotation of your leg bones, muscle imbalances, and excessive stress on your knees and hips, it can also make its way up to causing you low back pain.  Changes to the alignment of your ankle, knee, hip and back also cause additional wear and tear on the body.

Symptom relief is often the primary goal of traditional medicine, but treating the cause of the problem should take precedence.  Foot orthotics can help correct the function of your feet, improve your posture and the alignment of your body.  The importance of good nutrition to help maintain a healthy weight is necessary to eliminate additional strain on the body.  A functional movement assessment to pinpoint and rehabilitate weakness in primary movement patterns is beneficial to people who suffer from chronic musculoskeletal problems.

Natural Medicine & Rehabilitation’s goals are to identify and treat the cause of the symptom as well as strengthen and stabilize the body so the patient can enjoy their health for years to come.

Call 908-252-0242
Mention this article for a free new patient consultation.

 

Natural Medicine & Rehabilitation

West End Physical Therapy, 10-12 West End Court, 2nd Floor, Long Branch, NJ 07740 | Phone 732.222.7799

399 Campus Drive, 1st Floor, Somerset, NJ | Phone 908.252.0242| Fax 908.252.0243