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5 Drug Free Options for Treating Pain

With the opioid crisis reaching nearly every community and family in the U.S., pain management has become one of the most discussed medical issues. For many people, pain is an inescapable part of their lives and no one can blame them for seeking relief from it. In fact, most people will experience some chronic pain. For example, experts believe that as many as 80% of people will experience back pain during their lives.

Pain is the uncomfortable sensation that occurs when the nervous system needs to alert the brain that something is wrong. Most frequently, pain arises from either tissue damage, such as broken bones, burns, tumors, and inflammation, or nerve damage, such as that caused by pinched nerves, diabetes, shingles, and multiple sclerosis. Pain can be acute, meaning that it subsides, or chronic, meaning that it is continuous.

Addressing and managing pain raises many difficult issues. On the one hand, the medical profession and the public agree that addressing pain is one of the most important roles doctors fulfill. On the other hand, many believe that prescription pain medications have at least contributed to, if not fueled, the opioid crisis. This raises the question: what options are available to treat pain without drugs? Here are five drug free methods for treating pain:

Fix the Cause

One principle of an integrated physical medicine practice is to treat the whole person rather than just focusing on one aspect of him or her. Associated with this philosophy is the idea that rather than focusing on treating symptoms, like pain, an effort is made to find the root cause of the pain. By treating the condition causing pain, the pain is eliminated.

For example, when a person suffers nerve pain in his or her legs resulting from a bulging or herniated disc, one treatment may be to prescribe an opiate like oxycodone. The oxycodone binds to opiate receptors in the brain causing the patient to perceive the pain differently and triggers a release of dopamine creating a euphoric feeling. To be clear, the disc is still damaged and the nerve pain is still there. However, the combination of the change in pain perception and the euphoria essentially allows the patient to “ignore” the pain.

By contrast, integrated physical medicine would seek to relieve the bulging or herniated disc, thereby causing a reduction in the severity of its effects, such as nerve pain in the legs. Examples of possible treatments include therapeutic massage therapy, acupuncture, osteopathic manipulative treatment, physical therapy, and posture correction. By treating the disc that is impinging on nerves and causing the leg pain, the severity of the leg pain should be reduced.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture has been practiced in China for centuries. Its basis in traditional Chinese medicine arose from the worldview espoused by Taoism in which qi, meaning life energy, flows through meridians in the body. Flow of qi could be altered by applying pressure (in acupressure), needles (in acupuncture), or heat (in moxibustion) at 365 points on the body where the meridians could be accessed. Treatment of specific illnesses, diseases, and pain was associated with specific points or sets of points. Modern acupuncture arises from these same points, which subsequent work in the 1950s correlated with pain trigger points.

Nutrition

What we eat has a profound effect on our health. Integrated physical medicine includes all those parts of our lives that can have an impact on pain. For example, some foods are known to reduce inflammation, while others are known to exacerbate it. Drug free pain management for someone with rheumatoid arthritis could include eating more foods with anti-inflammatory properties and fewer foods that contribute to inflammation.

Massage Therapy

Massage therapy is most commonly associated with loosening tight muscles. However, therapeutic massage therapy can also break up adhesions (another name for scar tissue) in the muscles and increase blood flow to specific muscles or muscle groups. Lymphatic drainage massage can aid the body in the circulation of lymph, a bodily fluid responsible for ridding the body of toxins and waste.

Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (or OMT)

OMT is used by osteopathic doctors in integrated physical medicine practices. The guiding principle of OMT is to manipulate the spine and other parts of the body to aid the nervous and circulatory system so the body can heal itself.

Does Acupuncture Actually Work?

Whether you are looking into natural accident recovery or stress relief, there a number of great reasons to consider acupuncture. First though, what exactly is acupuncture? If you aren’t familiar with naturopathic doctor methods, most likely the only thing you know about acupuncture is that it involves sticking a lot of needles into you. Well, there is a lot more to it than that.

 

Acupuncture is an ancient holistic health practice that has its roots in TCM (traditional Chinese Medicine). During acupuncture, trained practitioners insert thin needles into the skin to stimulate specific points on the body. Acupuncture has been part of a wellness care practice in the West for a long time now and is gaining in popularity. In addition to being used for natural accident recovery, acupuncture also helps with pain relief and stress relief. Think of it kind of like an intense form of massage therapy, but with even more health benefits.

 

Because acupuncture involves needles, many people wonder if it hurts. Surprisingly, the treatments are relatively pain-free. In fact, many people who have regular acupuncture treatments do so in order to relieve chronic pain. One of the most common reasons for missed work is back pain, using acupuncture to alleviate back pain will not only make your life easier (because you feel better), but it may also help you get back to a regular work schedule.

 

Top Benefits of Acupuncture

 

Using acupuncture as a method of natural accident recovery is a great way to avoid unnecessary drugs and surgery. Always consult with a naturopathic doctor or physician to ensure you are getting the proper care. While we always advocate for natural when possible, there are situations where modern medicine is prudent and should be taken. That being said, here are some of the most common benefits of acupuncture:

 

Stress Reduction: Have you ever heard the saying that your body “holds stress” in certain areas? Perhaps you hold stress in your shoulders or neck, or maybe you hold the tension in your jaw. Either way, the body tends to latch on to stress if not properly managed. Acupuncture has been shown to lower stress hormones such as cortisol and reduce anxiety. Additionally, it promotes overall feelings of happiness and well being.

 

Alleviate Back and Neck Pain: Whether it is being hunched over at a computer all day, wearing a heavy backpack, or working labor-intensive jobs, there are a number of reasons you might be experiencing neck and back pain. No matter the reason, acupuncture is a drug free pain relief that can help reduce the swelling and inflammation that is causing your back pain.

 

Headache Relief: Most people don’t realize, but headaches are caused by restricted blood flow to the brain. This could be due to tense muscles in the neck and back or other reasons. Acupuncture has been used to treat headaches for thousands of years. Studies have recently shown that acupuncture can even help reduce the number of days a person experiences migraines. This is a great, non-invasive, drug-free option for those seeking headache relief.

 

Improved Eye Function: Don’t worry, we aren’t going to stick needles in your eyes. However one of the most common issues related to neck tension is eye strain. When your neck relaxes, so do your eyes, which can help ensure better vision as you age and help your eyes function properly. Acupuncture has been shown in some cases to treat eye ailments such as short sightedness, long sightedness, cataracts, glaucoma, lazy eye, and more. When attempting to do natural accident recovery or other natural pain relief methods, it is important to remember that the entire body is connected and works together as a whole unit. Neck tension can lead to eye problems. There are dozens of other similar connections throughout the body that acupuncture can help with.

 

Boost Energy and Mental Clarity: Often times, acupuncture patients experience increased energy and mental clarity after a visit. This could be due to proper blood flow being restored throughout the body or for other reasons. This is great for those who need improved sleep at night.

 

So no matter why you are looking for natural accident recovery or stress relief, acupuncture is a perfectly safe and natural method for helping your body recover.

The Advantages to Using an Experienced Accident Recovery Specialist

If you happen to be involved in an accident, accident recovery specialists can help your body heal so you can get back to living life on your terms. Accidents can be traumatic for a number of reasons, and it’s hard to recover without the assistance of a trained professional.

Depending on the severity of your injuries, many programs make it possible to heal without surgery. Thanks to the development of natural pain relief resources, you have more options for taking control of your recovery than ever before. In addition to traditional physical therapy, you may also want to explore more unique treatments such as acupuncture.

Acupuncture is a method of healing that uses needles to move and control energy throughout the body. While acupuncture is typically seen as a viable treatment for specific conditions, patients are finding success with acupuncture as a tool for recovery.

Another incredibly powerful tool for injury recovery is massage therapy. Recently International Journal of Preventive Medicine published a study in which researchers concluded massage therapy could serve as an effective intervention in controlling blood pressure in pre-hypertensive women. As shown in the study, the immediate results of lowered blood pressure lasted up to 72 hours after massage. This is just one of the primary benefits of massage therapy. There are many others that include the promotion of tissue regeneration, stress reduction, and an overall lifting of mood. More and more researchers are discovering the diverse and long-lasting negative health effects that stress hormones such as cortisol can have on all parts of our bodies, from blood pressure to digestion. When you consider the severity of conditions related to stress, it may be wise to pursue massage therapy as one potential solution for you and your family.

When you’re dealing with an accident, it can be scary, daunting, and confusing. Trying to handle your recovery process on your own only makes things that much more complex. By consulting with accident recovery specialists, you are decreasing the time it will take for you to heal and get back to the things and people you love.

Top 6 Benefits of Drug Free Healing

More people are wanting to go vegan. Cosmetic companies are integrating more natural ingredients into their products. There is more of a push to live a healthy and natural lifestyle, now more than ever.

 

This philosophy also applies to natural healing as well.

 

Drug free healing options cab help rid the body of stress, toxins, and diseases.
Drug free healing options include:

 

  • chiropractic care

 

  • regular massage

 

  • acupuncture

 

  • improving your diet

 

  • exercise

 

Here are the top six benefits associated with some of these drug free healing options:

1. Natural pain relief

 

Ninety-two percent of individuals surveyed have been reported that massage therapy significantly reduced their pain. Professional therapists can work out all the knots and points of tension in the body. People of all ages can benefit from regular massage therapy. Since about eighty percent of people will experience lower back pain in their lives, it’s good to know this natural option is available to you.

2. Reduces insomnia

 

If you struggle with falling or staying asleep, you’re probably no stranger to certain sleeping medications. They do, unfortunately, come with many risks. They are habit forming and can lead to erratic behavior and memory loss. Taking a more natural approach can erase all of these negative and long term risks.

Chiropractic care can help by relaxing your muscles and leveling out chemical imbalances in the brain, allowing you to rest easy after a long day.

 

3. Recovery from sports injuries

 

Athletes can benefit greatly from meeting with a massage therapist regularly. Massages can help improve the elasticity of their muscles, help them with their athletic performance, and improve their range of motion. A qualified massage therapist or chiropractor can also help alleviate the pain from sports-related injuries and help speed up the healing process.

 

4. Reduced levels of stress

 

If you struggle with stress, you could be an excellent candidate for massage therapy. During a massage or acupuncture session, the feel-good hormone, dopamine is released, meaning you’ll feel less stress, anxiety, and depression.

 

5. Boosts your immunity system

 

No one loves being sick. If you find that your immune system is weak, consider chiropractic care to help improve your health and strengthen your body’s defenses.

 

6. Increased energy

 

Natural healing can help elevate your mood and help you feel more energetic. So if you’re done with feeling fatigued, natural healing could be the answer. Many people take caffeine for that necessary boost of energy. But too much caffeine can lead to headaches, insomnia, and rapid heartbeat. If you don’t want to risk these side effects, you’ll be happy to learn that chiropractic care can help increase your energy levels by lowering your stress and improving your overall wellbeing.

 

Natural healing could be the solution you’re looking for

 

Now you know the many benefits attributed to drug free healing. Check with your local massage therapist or chiropractic clinic to schedule a consultation and learn more about your drug free healing options and how they can improve your life.

The 8 Benefits to Going to to a Chiropractic Clinic

There was a time when people did not see the value of going to the chiropractor for problems with their health. Today, things have changed. It is no longer unusual for people to talk about going to a chiropractic clinic or seek out therapeutic massage therapy for health issues. Here are some reasons you may want to receive help from these practitioners:

  1. They can help with back and neck pain. These are incredibly common all over the world. It has been estimated that it is the second leading cause of people taking their sick days. Respiratory infections top the list. Most people associate going to a chiropractic clinic with back problems. When a professional is able to put a person’s spine back into alignment, one of the first things they notice is a reduction in back pain. A proper alignment of the spine can also help with numbness and tingling.
  2. They can help with headaches. When Duke University looked at the way chiropractic treatments impacted headaches, they found that treatment at a chiropractic clinic is more effective than medications. Some headaches can be cured completely.
  3. They help with fatigue. Millions of people around the world suffer from fatigue. When people suffer from any kind of constant and consistent pain, it has an impact on us. This wears people down and causes more fatigue. When asked, about 92% of people who had received this kind of care saw a reduction in the pain they experienced.
  4. They help with insomnia. This is a very common problem around the world. The National Sleep Foundation has reported that few adults in the United States get the recommended amount of sleep every night. This can lead to a host of health problems such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and can increase a person’s risk of having a stroke. By getting rid of the pain that can cause insomnia, people can be healthier and sleep better.
  5. They can help people who suffer from stress. Life today is stressful. It is hectic and chaotic. Devices that were built to save time and work have ended up tethering many people to their jobs so the collective stress levels have gone up. Going to a chiropractic clinic can help with this. When it comes to drug free healing options, chiropractic treatment and wellness care can do a lot to reduce stress. Many liken the experience with massage therapists or at the chiropractic clinic to going to a spa.
  6. They help people recover from accidents. There are thousands of people who are injured in motor vehicle accidents every year around the United States. Many of these people are referred to local chiropractic clinics to help with the soft tissue injuries they experience. Chiropractors can do a lot to help injuries to muscles heal faster. They have a number of modalities at their disposal to help people recover and experience less pain along the way.
  7. They reduce the need for painkillers. Many people turn to pain medications for a number of reasons. Accidents and injuries are the top reasons for this. As was mentioned, when it comes to drug free healing options, chiropractic care and massage therapy are two of the best ways to go. By taking a more natural approach to dealing with pain, these practitioners can use the body’s own healing powers to help people deal with pain. It is almost an automatic response to pain, to reach for a pill, but these methods can work better and are healthier overall.
  8. They can help people with their immune system. Research has shown that going to a chiropractic clinic can help people strengthen their immune systems. Pain causes a lot of problems in the body. The same can be said for stress. Both of these problems can impact and weaken the immune system. By helping people experience less pain and stress, their immune systems also benefit. This means people who receive this kind of care for injuries, pain, and stress will be less vulnerable to a host of illnesses and problems.

Chiropractic clinics around the nation are becoming more and more popular as people discover all of the health benefits of this kind of treatment.

Our Pets Can Benefit from Chiropractic Care

Every day, chiropractors perform more than one million adjustments on people all over the globe. As more and more people are seeing the value of going to chiropractic clinics for their own health needs, they are also seeing the good it can do for pets. Veterinarians are quickly embracing this kind of healthcare for animals.

 

A clinic in Arnold, Missouri is one chiropractic clinic that uses chiropractic treatments to help animals. Dr. Miri Logan is a certified animal chiropractor. Every week, she administers adjustments to Blue Belle, a dog who has been a patient of the clinic since she was a puppy.

 

When Blue Belle was still a puppy she broke her elbow and had surgery to fix it. Despite going to physical therapy, she was unable to fully recover from her injury. She needed drug free healing options and found that and natural pain relief from her visits to the chiropractic clinic.

 

Dr. Logan says she looks at the way her patients walks and then examines their spine for any changes to its anatomy. She says that in animals, swelling can be hard to detect. It can also be hard to know what symptoms animals are suffering. She relies on years of training and experience to see and help with issues the animals are having.

 

The law requires certified animal chiropractors work with licensed veterinarians. Dr. Tom Shelton, a veterinarian in Arnold, Missouri says that he has been treated at chiropractic clinics and experienced first hand the benefits of this kind of treatment. After his experience, he decided that his patients could benefit from the healing without surgery offered by chiropractic care.

 

Shelton has said that his patients cannot tell people what problems they are experiencing and that their owners/companions are often on the lookout for non-invasive treatments such as physical therapy and now chiropractic care. He noted that most treatments available for people are available for animals. After he brought Blue Bell to Logan, he noticed she felt better almost immediately.

 

Logan says that pet owners need to pay attention to how their animals behave to see what is wrong with them. She says that often animals tell people something is wrong by not doing things they normally like to do. When they stop playing or jumping, this can be a sign that they are hurting.

 

Logan’s career in healthcare did not start with animals. She started as a nurse but began looking at working with animals when her horse was injured in a competition. She took the horse to a veterinarian when he was seen limping but that did not help the animal. The horse was helped by one adjustment by a certified animal chiropractor and Logan decided to change her work. She said that after one treatment, he was fine. He placed 10th in that competition.

 

This experience inspired Logan to go back to school where she received a Doctorate of Chiropractic. Her studies were on people but she finished another 200 hours of training to become a certified animal chiropractor. Now she works with animals of all sizes. She treats dogs and cats but also show horses. Brilliant Lee, a five-time national champion, also known as “Billy,” is one of her patients. Billy is a 13-year-old Arabian Stallion.

 

Billy receives routine chiropractic adjustments to keep him healthy and happy. His training for competitions runs five days every week and he trains at least nine months out of the year. Logan says it takes less pressure to give a horse an adjustment than a person. She says she believes the adjustments make the horse feel like a rock star.

 

Massage therapy and the treatment received at chiropractic clinics have been known to help people who suffer from back pain. By some estimates, it can be about 92% effective in alleviating pain. In people, back pain is a serious and common problem that is one of the main reasons people call in sick to work.

 

While our pets and show horses do not call in sick to work or complain about back pain, they do suffer from injuries and pain. Given the number of other kinds of medical procedures they can have, it only makes sense that they benefit from chiropractic medical care.

Exploring 3 Basic Types of Massage Therapy

A national survey of consumers who received massages found that 92% reported it was effective in reducing their pain. That being said, massages come in many forms. From a classic Swedish massage to sports massage, aromatherapy massage, and more, it’s safe to say that everyone can reap the benefits of the right type for their needs. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the most basic yet beneficial types of therapeutic massage.

Swedish Massage

A Swedish massage, in many massage clinics, is considered to be the “default” in terms of healing without surgery and providing general health benefits. For example, in a recent study in the International Journal of Preventive Medicine, researchers concluded that massage therapy could serve as an effective intervention in controlling blood pressure in pre-hypertensive women. The study showed that the immediate results of lowered blood pressure lasted up to 72 hours after the massage. Swedish massages are available at most massage clinics and are intended to provide pain relief, comfort, and energy to the patient, who can also identify problem areas for extra attention.

Aromatherapy Massage

Similar to Swedish massage, aromatherapy massage uses the addition of essential oils and other aromatics to provide a more sense-oriented experience:

“Extracted from flowers and other plant parts, essential oils offer a pleasing scent and are believed to have healing properties. Lavender and rose, for instance, are known to promote relaxation. Although oils may be selected to address specific needs, the therapist typically uses pre-blended oils to relax, energize, or uplift,” writes Cathy Wong on Very Well Health.

Sports Massage

Finally, don’t be mistaken; massage and natural pain relief options aren’t just for adults. In fact, more than 775,000 children, ages 14 and younger, are treated in hospital emergency rooms for sports-related injuries each year. Most of the injuries occurred as a result of falls, being struck by an object, collisions, and overexertion during unorganized or informal sports activities. That being said, sports massages are intended to target troublesome areas to improve flexibility and limit pain.

Ultimately, massage therapy comes in a variety of types, and there’s bound to be a specialty therapeutic massage technique that works best for you. For more information about acupuncture and therapeutic massage therapy, contact Valleyview Injury and Physical Medicine.

Exploring the Top Medical Benefits of Massage Therapy

Contrary to popular belief, massage therapy isn’t just for those who want to pamper themselves. Massage therapy truly has a wide range of medically proven benefits, from pain reduction to increased circulation and more. With that in mind, here are just a few of the top benefits that massage therapy can provide.

Pain Management

Experts estimate that as much as 80% of the population will experience a back problem at some time in their lives, so it should come as no surprise that massage therapy can help reduce this pain. In fact, a national survey of consumers who received massages found that 92% reported it was effective in reducing their pain. This is especially important to consider if you were recently involved in some sort of physical accident. Many accident recovery specialists recommend massage therapy to their patients.

Improved Blood Pressure

A large number of Americans struggle with blood pressure and circulation issues. Fortunately, therapeutic massage therapy can help. In a recent study in the International Journal of Preventive Medicine, researchers concluded massage therapy could serve as an effective intervention in controlling blood pressure in pre-hypertensive women. The study showed that the immediate results of lowered blood pressure lasted up to 72 hours after the massage. That being said, if you’re consistently experiencing stress, massage therapy can help keep you calm and limit the physical risks that come with emotional stress.

Digestive Relief

Finally, massage therapy can benefit those with digestive issues as well. There are many different types of massage therapy, and your doctor can make the best recommendation based on your digestive issues and symptoms.

Ultimately, understanding the medical validity of massage therapy can help you understand why so many accident recovery specialists recommend it for their patients. After all, the Mayo Clinic said it best:

“Massage is no longer available only through luxury spas and upscale health clubs. Today, massage therapy is offered in businesses, clinics, hospitals and even airports… Brush aside any thoughts that massage is only a feel-good way to indulge or pamper yourself. To the contrary, massage can be a powerful tool to help you take charge of your health and well-being, whether you have a specific health condition or are just looking for another stress reliever.”

For more information about natural pain relief and other types of wellness care, contact Valleyview Injury and Physical Medicine.

Joint Care Is Important for Everyone

Joint pain can happen to anyone and joint care is important for everyone.

Many people suffer from chronic joint or ligament pain after an accident. Sometimes pain will occur immediately after an injury, other times the onset is delayed. You do not have to live with chronic pain. You have natural treatment options to recover. One effective way of helping your body heal is getting regenerative injection therapy with one of our naturpathic doctors. Through Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy (PRP Therapy) and Trigger Point Injections (TPI) you can treat pain and avoid invasive procedures. These treatments are effective in treating chronic pain from sports injuries and arthritis, including Osteoarthrits.

One effective way of helping your joints heal and maintaining joint health is with regenerative injection therapy in the affected joint to replace damaged fluids and boost your joint’s natural ability to take care of itself. There is no cure for damaged cartilage, arthritis, or osteoarthritis currently, but regenerative injection therapies can prevent the degeneration of the joint, relieve pain, and increase joint stability.

How We Can Help 

Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy, also known as PRP therapy, promotes pain relief by injecting a concentrated level of your own platelets into the site of your pain and repair your joint naturally. PRP therapy starts by drawing a small amount of your blood and separating the healing platelets using a centrifuge. Your platelets are then harvested and combined with a natural activating agent, and then injected in and around your joint or ligament. Platelets found in blood contain many proteins and growth factors that help heal the body and can relieve joint pain. It has been shown to be an effective treatment for reducing lingering pain from injury, several tendinopathies, and forms of arthritis. Many professional athletes including professional golfer Tiger Woods, previous Trail Blazers Brandon Roy, and professional tennis player Maria Sharapova have used PRP Therapy to treat joint and tendon pain.

 

Trigger-Point Injection Therapy (TPI) is used to treat painful ‘knots’ of muscle (trigger points) that form when muscles do not relax. The definition of a trigger point, is an isolated spasm affecting just a patch of muscle tissue (not a whole-muscle spasm like a “charlie horse”). Often felt under the skin, the knots may cause localized pain and may irritate the nerves around them, causing pain elsewhere in the body.

Stem Cell Therapy (Coming soon)
We are working hard towards offering Stem Cell Therapy to our patients in the near future. Please contact us if you have any specific questions about when treatment will be offered and what health issues this treatment is designed to help.