Unless chronic neck pain is caused by an injury, the chances are that it is caused by poor posture. Because of the neck’s placement on the body, neck strain can come from the curvature of the spine below, and/or the tilt of the head above. Poor posture not only causes neck pain, but it can also lead to joint degeneration in the spine.
More Americans are spending their work hours seated than ever before, with fewer than 20% of jobs today involving any level of physical exertion. This sedentary behavior has a pretty immediate effect on your physical condition; muscle degeneration, tightness and strain can lead to the back, neck, and shoulder pain that the American Chiropractic Association reports is experienced by 80% of the population.
Comparing neck pain relief options
Recent research reveals that chiropractic care and a series of carefully designed exercises provide better pain relief than pharmacotherapy (prescription drugs) for patients who are suffering from chronic neck pain.
This form of pain is incredibly common, according to the New York Times: three out of every four US adults are estimated to experience the condition at some point in their lives. Although many patients have turned away from drugs in favor of chiropractic care, the body of research comparing spinal adjustment to other methods is thin.
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.
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:
- easier to stretch and otherwise manipulate the body part
- 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):
- Quit or reduce smoking
- Maintain a consistent, healthy sleep schedule
- Get regular aerobic exercise
- Stretch multiple times a day
- Use techniques such as breathing exercises or meditation to reduce stress
- Adapt your physical activity to avoid motions that trigger the pain
- 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.
“American with Pain Statistics Infographic”
- An estimated 100 million people suffer from chronic pain (AAMP)
- 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
Sleep 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.
1.) Journal of Sleep Vol. 35:12 (2012)
Pain management is becoming increasingly popular among many people. Every day Atlanta experiences too many car accidents which can cause pain among other things. There are clinics that can help you find fast and effective relief. Atlanta Medical Clinic offers a variety of treatments under one roof in order to conveniently treat patients suffering from all sorts of pain. There is no need for you to go elsewhere in order to receive pain management treatments. We are able to treat several issues ranging from back related pain to migraine pain to pain associated with other issues such as stress or toxins. They even offer foot detoxification to help people feel better and energized.
Pain can sometimes reduce our energy levels and distract us from accomplishing ever day objectives. Pain can even affect us in the workplace, negatively influencing our performance. Nobody wants to be fired because their pain does not allow them to perform to their full potential. You do not have to live with this anymore.
Atlanta Medical Clinic offers non-invasive procedures such as physical therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic treatments, cold laser treatments, pain relief with instruments and injectables in a secure and comfortable environment. The physicians will utilize the latest in pain management technologies and protocols in order to achieve the maximum amount of pain relief possible. Upon a patient’s initial consultation, they will be examined to find out the cause of the pain in order to effectively tackle the problem at its source. This helps prevent future pain from making its debut again.
Nobody deserves to be in constant pain. Do something about it and find relief through safe and effective methods.
As a typical guideline, no matter if a person sleeps on their side or back, they need to be certain that their neck is not getting pushed frontward, upwards or sideways. The truth is that it really should be leveled. If someone is resting on their back, they should not look into sleeping with too many pillows considering it can stimulate terrible postures that might influence the body and pain. This is quite normal to happen since most people are not aware, and this is why it is a primary reason why people today arise with neck pain.
If someone sleeps on their back-side, they might prefer a cushion that maintains their head in a sensibly leveled spot according to the body’s position. No one should choose for their heads to be sinking in reverse towards the pillow nor should they need it pushed forwards.
If one lies on their side to nap or rest, they might not want their head getting too deep into the cushion or be placed too high up on it. If someone settles to rest on their side, they must feel that their head is basically in an impartial position in contrast to being bent too far left or right. Getting one’s head placed improperly while sleeping would be as if they were instructed to stand up or be seated with their head to one side for more than 5 pain-inducing hours… by the end of the day, it is almost certain that their neck and back would feel extremely sore! This is exactly what is taking place if one’s head is maintained in a poor position for hours on a lousy pillow or unsuitable pillow.
When considering the concern of whether someone should sleep on their stomachs, it could be somewhat challenging. A person’s head is positioned even more radically backwards, which could be even more damaging when compared to the average sleeper which rests on their back… even if we believe we are adding less stress on our neck joints.
One should know that our discs tend get bigger throughout the night as they pack with fluid, which places even more intra-disc tension on the spine and its neighboring ligaments, introducing even more pressure. For this reason, people should ensure they have got a good pillow that will place less stress on one’s neck, resulting in less neck pain. With regards to sleeping on our stomachs, this is certainly not good for our neck! So, don’t be fooled! Learn the right facts on how to prevent future pains and treat existing neck pain with Atlanta Medical Clinics who specialize in pain management therapies. Pain management help can surely help those who have made the mistake of using the wrong kind of pillow.