Home Remedies for Neuropathy Relief

At the Atlantic Medical Clinic, we treat many people for Atlanta neuropathy treatment. Since we are an integrative practice, we use both medical and natural modalities to help our patients recover. However, additional lifestyle recommendations and remedies implemented at home can be helpful too. This way, you can achieve maximum comfort and quality of life without the overuse of prescription medications.

To ease your pain and reduce your peripheral neuropathic symptoms, we suggest incorporating some of the following methods into your daily routine:

1.    Check & Manage Your Feet

If foot pain is one of your neuropathic symptoms, make sure that both your shoes and socks are loose-fitting to ease the pressure and allow for optimal blood flow (1). Additionally, ensure that your feet do not have any calluses or blisters.

2.    Improve Your Diet

Changes to your diet can often help alleviate neuropathy-related discomfort (2). Here are several dietary modifications that can help:

  • Reduction in alcoholic beverages
  • Reduction in fatty foods such as cheese and fried meat
  • Increase in fresh produce
  • Increase in whole grains.


3.    Quit Smoking

Per the National Institute of Health, one of the primary ways an individual can treat neuropathy is to stop smoking (3). Smoking causes vascular constriction, which in turn prevents vitamins and minerals from making their way to your extremities.

4.    Get Regular Exercise

The following types of exercise can be of help to reduce the pain of neuropathy:

  • Aerobic exercise
  • Strength-training exercise
  • Flexibility exercise
  • Balance exercise.

Aerobic exercise – such as walking, swimming, or cycling – should be performed for a half-hour at least every other day, though you can work up to that amount if you are out of shape. The other categories of exercise are more specific. Our physicians can be of help in this regard, but the Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy outlines a few suggestions (4).

5.    Massage Your Hands & Feet

The Mayo Clinic notes that enhanced blood flow and neural stimulation can be effective at treating peripheral neuropathy (5). Massage can meet these aims. Since working with a professional can be cost-prohibitive and inconvenient, self-massage (or massage by a friend or loved one) may be a viable alternative or addition to a licensed therapist.

Peripheral neuropathy (PN) affects thousands of people throughout the United States, so you are not alone. We can also help, with a comprehensive evaluation and customized treatment plan, so you can reduce pain and receive treatment with the highest quality professional care. Having both conventional and chiropractic methods at our disposal, the Atlanta Medical Clinic can guide you back to a full and active lifestyle.

 

References:

  1. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/147963.php
  2. http://www.livestrong.com/article/427623-neuropathy-and-poor-diet/#ixzz2UXYslb8t
  3. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/peripheralneuropathy/detail_peripheralneuropathy.htm
  4. https://www.foundationforpn.org/livingwithperipheralneuropathy/exerciseperipheralneuropathy.cfm
  5. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/peripheral-neuropathy/DS00131/DSECTION=lifestyle-and-home-remedies]

The Art of Pain Management: Diagnosis, Treatment, & Lifestyle

Pain management is not a simple science. Rather, it is an art form. Pain management presents an intricate blend of diagnostic, treatment, and lifestyle challenges – all of which must be overcome to achieve the fastest and fullest possible recovery. Let’s briefly explore how each of the three categories can be best approached to optimize your chances of mitigating your pain and reclaiming a full and active daily life.

 

Using Multiple Disciplines to Diagnose & Treat PainPain Management Atlanta

The fact is that pain is not always as easy as we would like to diagnose and treat. Because that is the case, multidisciplinary diagnosis and treatment is not just an optional strategy for doctors and patients. Instead, it provides a necessary framework to accurately understand specific situations and craft meaningful management plans. Pain management doctors are at an advantage when they have various modalities immediately available to meet unique patient needs.

It’s crucial to take a multidisciplinary approach from the outset rather than using an outmoded “piecemeal” strategy, says Dennis Thompson, Jr., of Everyday Health. The science backs up this claim: recent medical studies offer loud and convincing evidence for the use of multidisciplinary means to treat pain, especially in the areas of chronic back pain and fibromyalgia (1).

Example Multidisciplinary Technique: Ultrasound

An example of a specific technique that is one piece of a multidisciplinary pain management plan is the use of ultrasound in a physical therapy program. An ultrasound machine directs sound waves at the effected part of the body. According to Laurie Sweet, a physical therapist for Johns Hopkins Hospital (2), this process creates heat in the patient’s body, which in turn stimulates blood flow and loosens tissues. The end result is twofold:

  1. easier to stretch and otherwise manipulate the body part
  2. reduction in swelling and inflammation.

How to Manage Pain with Lifestyle Changes

Always follow the recommendations of your pain management professionals, but there are several modifications to your day-to-day routine that can be pivotal in aiding your recovery. WebMD lists the following lifestyle changes to enhance your capacity for long term pain relief (3):

  1. Quit or reduce smoking
  2. Maintain a consistent, healthy sleep schedule
  3. Get regular aerobic exercise
  4. Stretch multiple times a day
  5. Use techniques such as breathing exercises or meditation to reduce stress
  6. Adapt your physical activity to avoid motions that trigger the pain
  7. Utilize assistive devices and technologies, such as voice-activation software.

As you can see, approaches toward pain management these days are broad and complex. Diagnosis, treatment, and lifestyle recommendations for proper pain management are best understood within a multidisciplinary approach. At the Atlanta Medical Clinic, we go beyond traditional medical care by offering not only neurological and physical therapy methods, but chiropractic care as well. If you think a multidisciplinary, integrative approach toward pain management might be right for you, please contact us today.

 

Sources :

(1) http://www.everydayhealth.com/pain-management/multidisciplinary-programs-for-pain-management.aspx

(2) http://abcnews.go.com/Health/TreatingPain/story?id=4047863

(3) http://www.webmd.com/pain-management/tc/chronic-pain-home-treatment

American Pain Statistics Infographic

Click to Download Infograph

american pain

“American with Pain Statistics Infographic”

  • An estimated 100 million people suffer from chronic pain (AAMP)

–       Headache

  • 16.1% of chronic pain sufferers suffer from headaches
  • Headaches can be triggered by environ-mental a factors (stress, noise, lighting, weather, and odors)
  • Headaches can also be triggered by diet (Nitrates, MSG, alcohol, caffeine, chocolate)

–       Back Pain

  • 28.1% of chronic pain sufferers suffer from back pain
  • Back pain is the leading cause of disability in Americans under 45
  • More than 2 million Americans between the ages of 20-64 experience frequent back pain
  • Back pain is more common as you get older
  • Poor physical fitness and being over weight can also lead to back pain

–       Neck Pain

  • 28.1% of chronic pain sufferers suffer from neck pain
  • Neck pain is a common condition and is more frequently seen in women than men
  • Neck pain is usually caused by trauma, injury, stress, sleeping in un-natural position, and pro-longed computer use
  • Neck pain can often lead to headaches

–       Knee Pain

  • 19.5% of chronic pain sufferers suffer from Knee Pain
  • Common knee pain problems stem from the patella
  • People often complain of dull achy pain of the knee made worse by running, squatting, jumping, or walking up or down stairs
  • Often knee pain is related to repetitive movement or direct trauma

–        More Chronic Pain Facts

  •   The total annual cost of health care due to chronic pain is around $635 billion a year
  •   Workers lose an average of 4.6 hours per week of productive time due to a pain condition
  •   $61.2 billion a year lost from loss of productive time from common painful conditions
  •   Side effects of Chronic Pain include depression, trouble concentrating, and inability to sleep well

 

Sources: American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM)
Created by Atlanta Medical Clinic | www.AtlantaMedicalClinic.com

 

 

Tips to Improve Sleep & Manage Pain

sleeping with neck painSleep is an essential part of healing and managing pain. We need to get enough to function properly (8 hours), but quality sleep is most important. When we sleep our bodies are healing and repairing the damage done from the stress of the day, and naturally during this healing process our bodies need optimum circumstances. Everyone’s body is different, some positions will benefit others and some will hinder them depending on the aliment.

“Sleep allows us to rejuvenate the proteins in our body, in fact, rest helps with increasing the pain threshold of the body…if you have a particular back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain or hip pain then quality sleep will help you.” says Dr. Dembowski.

Many people can find sleeping during the night difficult. But there are always ways in which it can be improved. Some listen to the sound of rain while sleeping, as it helps calm them down and transports them to places such as the beach or holidays. Others people may like sleeping with a fan or air conditioning to keep them cool throughout the night. Someone I know use to have such a hard time going to sleep that he would always sleep with the air conditioning on. Unfortunately for him, the one time that he needed the fan for more than sleep (to keep him cool during a heat wave), the air conditioning stopped working. While he looked into finding a company would could deal with an air conditioning replacement, he had to use the small fan that was hidden away in the cupboard for months. For him, it wasn’t as effective, but he did manage to get a few good night’s sleep. You just need to try and find out what works best for you and your sleeping arrangements.

The three major sleeping positions are side, back, and stomach. Around 57% of people sleep on their side, according to a nationwide survey of over 2,000 people conducted by Tempur-Pedic North America. Lying on the back is the second most popular, with around 17% of people; followed by the stomach at 11% and the rest is varying positions throughout the night. Each position has variations, benefits and drawbacks. Make sure your sleeping position is correct for the area that is causing you the most pain.

If you suffer from…

Shoulder Pain: Try to avoid sleeping on your side if you have shoulder pain, the best position is on the back or on the opposite side of the hurt shoulder. Also place a pillow under the arm to support the shoulder.

Neck Pain: For neck pain try and keep the neck supported in a neutral position with a pillow above the shoulders, too many pillows may put the neck in a bent position. That can put stress on the vertebrae and cause damage to the disc. When dealing with neck pain avoid sleeping on the stomach.

Back Pain: To reduce back pain experts suggest sleeping on the back with a rolled up towel or pillow under the knees and under the small of the back. If you are sleeping on your side place a pillow between the knees for added support, and to aid the hips and knees.

Knee Pain & Hip Pain: Sleeping in the side or fetal position with a pillow between the knees can reduce pressure on the knees and hips, also if lying on the back place a pillow below the small of the back and under the knees to help alleviate pain.

Snoring / Sleep Apnea: Try to keep off your back, sleep on your side or stomach to reduced the threat of tongue collapsing or the relaxation of tissues in the throat which can hinder breathing.

Acid Reflex: Sleeping on the side is best for acid reflex most experts recommend sleeping on the left side. Sleeping on the back is not ideal for acid reflex but it can help alleviate symptoms if the head is propped up.

For those with sleeping problems it is not recommended to sleep on the stomach as it can cause back and neck pain. Use these helpful tips to find out your ideal sleeping position, but be sure to change it up once and a while as sleeping in the same position to often can cause problems. If these tips do not help you with your symptoms then contact our clinic for a free consultation. You may need medical attention to relieve the inflamed areas of the body and help you get a good night sleep.

Sources:

1.) Journal of Sleep Vol. 35:12 (2012)

2.) WebMD.com

3.) SleepAssociation.org

 

How to Prevent a Total Knee Replacement

Knee Pain Treatment Atlanta

When your knee or any joint in your body is suffering from osteoarthritis, it’s important to remember that preventative techniques still apply. In other words, by treating your injury/symptoms wisely and conscientiously, you can keep it from growing in severity and requiring more extreme forms of interaction. In the case of knee pain treatment, combining two modalities – knee injections and physical therapy – can often be effective at preventing the need for total knee replacement surgery.

 

Naturally Derived Knee Injections

At the Atlanta Medical Clinic, we prefer not to inject our patients with drugs. We believe that a more natural approach provides more effective long-range results; real treatment and recuperation as opposed to just a reduction in pain. We also believe naturally sourced injections are safer for the body, especially when undergoing a physical therapy strategy that carefully and sustainably stabilizes the body to its fullest possible functionality. Our knee pain treatment protocol utilizes a substances called Hyalgan, which is injected directly into the knee joint. Hyalgan is so safe that it can be regularly administered for as long as 2 1/2 years. Its effectiveness is clinically proven to reduce knee pain for up to six months.

 

How Hyalgan Works

Medical drugs take their cues from body chemistry. The chemical components of a prescribed medication are effective to the extent that they reflect basic biophysical principles; Otherwise they will be rejected by the body. Knee pain treatment by Hyalgan injection uses the same basic approach as a medication but takes it a step further. Hyalgan is not just accepted by the body. It is made up primarily of a chemical that is already part of the body.

Hyalgan’s core ingredient, hyaluronan, lubricates and cushions the knee joint. Found in high volumes in the tissues of the joints and in their synovial fluid, hyaluronan works amazingly well for knee injections because what you are doing is adding greater quantities of the natural chemical your body already uses to protect the knee.

 

Physical Therapy

The other crucial component of knee pain treatment for relief of the symptoms of osteoarthritis is physical therapy. Physical therapy is important for several reasons:

  • Ensuring that muscles and other physical fibers remain strong, preventing atrophy
  • Maintaining joint flexibility and range of motion
  • Controlling body fat percentage at healthy levels
  • Optimizing self-reliance and emotional well-being

 

Summary

At the Atlanta Medical Clinic , we customize strategies to help each of our patients maintain a healthy lifestyle, stabilize injuries and illnesses, and trend steadily toward a positive physical future. These treatment protocols all attempt to prevent and reduce the need for invasive surgical procedures.  Combining naturally-based injections, physical therapy, and chiropractic philosophies, we craft an ideal multidisciplinary plan to achieve and sustain wellness, one patient at a time.

Five Things You Didn’t Know about Your Brain On Pain

We all experience pain, but how does it work? Why do we stub our toe or strain our back and feel it, almost immediately, in our mind? Of course we understand that the brain is the central processor of our nervous system, but the specifics of how pain is felt in the brain is more complex than you might imagine. Below are five aspects of the human pain system that you might not know, followed by an assessment of how pain management can provide pain relief.

 

1.  The brain does not provide the pain reflex.

Neural tissue within the spinal cord reacts to the pain and tells the involved part of the body to remove itself from the situation. It is an automatic reflex occurring without the brain’s involvement.

 

2.  Past pain matters.

Areas of the brain that previously experienced the pain are re-stimulated. This pain memory partially determines the body’s physical and emotional response. Additionally, pain is increased or decreased due to the memory information obtained. This applies both to chronic pain and re-injury. An example of pain that is often chronic is neuropathic pain.

 

3.  Two different pathways

There is not just one but two different ways in which pain reaches the brain:

 

a.  Fast pathway – sharp and immediate pain.

This route to the brain hooks into the thalamus. Then A-delta fibers transmit the signal to the cortex’s sensory and motor components. The fibers, which also send temperature information, are myelinated. The myelination speeds up the pain signal because its insulation focuses the transmission, because the action potential jumps from node to node along the fibers, and because depolarization allows the signal to travel with less energy.

 

b.  Slow pathway – dull and prolonged pain.

C-fibers, which are not myelinated, become activated when pH levels drop and certain chemicals are released. The C- fibers send an electrical impulse through the dorsal horn to the spinal cord. This pathway allows the brain awareness of an injury that has not healed, i.e. chronic pain. It keeps the body from conducting normal physical activity, reminding the brain of the damage.

 

4.  Emotional pain response

Emotional pain processes through the slower response system, the C-fibers. We tie certain emotions to the pain because it is such a continual aspect of our brain functioning. Emotions related to pain are mediated through the prefrontal cortex and limbic system.

 

5.  The involvement of nociceptors

Nociceptors, also called free nerve endings, are neural axon terminals that connect to the spinal nerve. The two types of nociceptors are the fibers discussed above in #1: A-delta fibers and C- fibers.

 

Pain Management – The Integrative Solution

Pain management seeks to provide alleviation for pain so that individuals can operate effectively and lead normal, active lives. Pain relief can help to treat any type of chronic pain, including neuropathic pain. Integrative pain management can involve the combination of injection based treatments and chiropractic manipulation. Atlanta Medical Clinic, through this integrative method, seeks to diagnose what is causing the pain (the part of the body affected and the central source of the problem) and then manage it via rehabilitation to stop the continuous or recurring pain cycle.

Osgood-Schlatters Disease 101

osgood-schlatters-disease-reliefOsgood-Shlatters Disease is a common cause of knee pain and is known as an overuse injury. Typically, patients are children and young athletes between the ages 10 and 15 that are experiencing a period of rapid growth combined with a high level of sport activity. Young adolescents that participate in sports such as soccer, gymnastics, basketball, and dance are most at risk for this disease.

The pain from Osgood-Schlatters Disease is caused by inflammation of the tendon below the kneecap where it attaches to the shinbone. The inflamed area is almost always tender when pressure is applied.

Once diagnosed, the first and foremost treatment is aimed at reducing the swelling and inflammation. This includes anti-inflammatory medicine, knee wraps, and knee braces. Depending on severity, this may require several months rest in order for the child to enjoy physical activity without pain in the future.

It is always a good idea to check with a medical provider regarding any knee injury. Dr. Tim Dembowski is a trained medical practitioner that specializes in pain management. Dr. Dembowski and his staff at Atlanta Medical Clinic provide the best treatment options for knee pain and injuries, including Osgood-Schlatters. Further examination may also be suggested depending on the severity of the pain. Contact Dr. Dembowski and his staff today for more information on Osgood-Schlatters disease and other painful knee injuries.

1 2