Nerve Pain

Nerve Pain

Maybe you experience sharp, stabbing pain. Or perhaps a burning sensation running up or down your arm or leg is keeping you awake at night. You may even feel wide-spread pain in your arms, back, shoulders, neck, or legs. From work to play, exercise to rest, nerve pain can affect every aspect of your life. Fortunately, with treatment, nerve pain can loosen its hold on how you live.

What is Pain?

Before you can understand what nerve pain is, it is important to understand the role pain plays in the body. Pain is our early warning system. Designed to prevent lasting injury, your body experiences pain when pain receptors in your nerve endings are activated. In a fraction of a second, your brain processes these signals as pain and the body reacts accordingly. For example, you may touch a hot pan right out of the oven and jerk your hand without even consciously recognizing you are in pain.

What Causes Nerve Pain?

When the pain receptors in your body’s nerve endings are activated without the presence of a painful stimulus, you are left with pain without an obvious cause. For example, you may have foot pain without ever injuring your foot or burning in your legs without ever getting near a heat source.

Nerve pain generally comes from two sources, nerve damage or an impeded nerve signal. Every nerve ending in your body originates in the brain and spinal cord. When these nerves function the way they should, pain, touch, itching, or burning sensations start from a stimulus (like burning your hand on the stove) and travel to the brain, unimpeded. However, injuries, accidents, stress, or even daily impacts on the spine can impede the way these nerves function. As a result, the nerves begin to misfire, alerting the body there is something wrong, causing widespread pain without a known source.

How is Nerve Pain Treated?

There is a general tendency to treat neuropathic pain with medication that serves to either block pain receptors or flood the brain with synthetic opioids. The biggest challenge with using medication to treat nerve pain is that it does not address how well the nerve is functioning. Fortunately, there are safe alternatives to medication that combine relief with better nerve function.

Chiropractic Care

The basic premise of chiropractic care is that if you remove the impediment to the nerve’s function, you will solve the pain problem as well. As the bones in the spine are moved into place, the nerves that emanate from the spinal cord are able to send and receive signals freely. Pain receptors stop misfiring and nerve pain goes away.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture has been proven to relieve nerve pain throughout the body. By targeting specific nerves that are causing pain, acupuncture provides specific pain relief without the use of medications. Acupuncture is safe, effective, and is one of the most commonly studied pain-relieving alternatives to traditional medication available.

 

Regardless of where you are experiencing nerve pain, there is hope for a brighter tomorrow. Call our office today or schedule your consultation online to find out whether chiropractic care or acupuncture is right for you.

 

Sciatica / Pinched Nerves

Sciatica / Pinched Nerves

As if lower back pain wasn’t enough, the sense of burning, numbness, or tingling down one or both legs is enough to make a person crazy. You will do anything to make it go away, as long as the relief is permanent, right? Fortunately, there are treatment options for sciatica you may not be considering.

What is Sciatica?

The sciatic nerve is the longest and largest nerve in your body. It starts in the spinal cord near your lumbar spine (lower back) and travels down both hips, both legs, and stops in your toes. Along the way, it sends nerve signals to your legs and feet, making it possible to walk, run, sit, stand, jump, and bend without pain. Because the nerve is so large and so complex, irritation at any point can cause pain, numbness, tingling, or a burning sensation along the rest of the nerve. This is especially true when that irritation happens in the spine.

Your lumbar vertebrae are the largest bones in your spine. Cushioned by thick, bouncy discs, these bones take on a large amount of force as you move throughout the day. Over time and with injury, the intervertebral discs deteriorate, sometimes rupturing and leaking the gelatinous fluid inside. As this happens, the sciatic nerve becomes pinched near the spinal cord and can no longer effectively send and receive messages to its far-reaching branches. What results is radiating pain, numbness, tingling, or burning down one or both legs, known as sciatica.

How are Sciatica or Pinched Nerves Treated?

When you are in pain, the temptation is to get rid of the pain as quickly as possible, by whatever means necessary. This typically means taking either over-the-counter or prescription pain medication. While such drugs work to temporarily relieve the discomfort of sciatica or other pinched nerves, they do not address the way the nerve functions, or the pinched nerve at the source. Fortunately, there are other treatment options that restore function as well as relieve symptoms.

Chiropractic 

Chiropractic works by realigning the bones in the spine and reducing the pressure on the pinched nerve. Chiropractic care also has a cumulative effect. Over time and with continued adjustments, the body begins to accommodate the spine’s new position and hold it in place.

Spinal Traction

Once the bones are in their proper place, it is important to create space for the intervertebral discs to return to their proper place and begin the healing process. A patient lies on a computerized table that stretches the spine using gentle, precise pressure. The intervertebral discs slide back into place, relieving the pain and discomfort associated with a pinched nerve.

Acupuncture

For centuries, acupuncture has been used to relieve pain and discomfort throughout the body. By placing small, thin needles along the branches of the sciatic nerve, patients experience lasting relief without side effects. The same process can be used for pinched nerves throughout the body, not just in the legs and hips.

Massage

You may already know that massage is great for general relaxation, anxiety reduction, and relieving the negative effects of stress, but did you know that massage can also improve circulation and speed up the healing process? Additionally, massage is a fantastic, drug-free pain reliever for sciatica and pinched nerves. By working on the muscles affected by sciatica or pinched nerves, patients are able to improve their function while experiencing temporary relief.

Call today or schedule your consultation online and find out which treatment combination is right for you.

Sports Injuries

Sports Injuries

Whether you are a weekend warrior or a semi-pro athlete, sports are one of our favorite pastimes. When you find yourself sidelined with an injury, it’s hard to see your way back to full function. Any injury that happens while engaging in a sport from running to badminton is, by definition, a sports injury. The question becomes, how do you treat it?

Old Injuries vs New Injuries

One of the first questions any medical professional will ask is, “When did this happen?” Your response will determine your available treatment options. For example, your ankle injury during touch football last weekend will not have the same treatment as an ankle injury that happened 10 years ago. Why?

Scar Tissue

Your body has an incredible internal repair shop, capable of healing most injuries on its own, with a little assistance. When a sports injury is ignored, rather than strategically treated, you risk the build-up of scar tissue in place of healthy tissue. This thick, fibrous tissue is less flexible than its healthy counterpart and often limits a person’s range of motion.

Adhesions

Adhesions are bands of scar tissue that cause tissues to stick together. When an adhesion forms, the only way to separate the two tissues is to break the adhesion. This process is a painful one regardless of whether it is done accidentally as you move or intentionally by a medical professional.

Muscle Weakness

Unless a tendon is involved, new injuries do not usually impact the strength of a muscle immediately. Older injuries, on the other hand, are often accompanied by muscle atrophy from a lack of use.

Best Treatments for Sports Injuries

Fortunately, several treatment options do not differentiate between old and new injuries.

Chiropractic Care

While chiropractic care makes sense to a lot of people who have back injuries, it’s often discounted for injuries in other parts of the body. The truth is, chiropractic care encompasses more than just spinal alignment. Modalities like electrical stimulation, cervical and spinal decompression therapy, and kinesiotaping can relieve pain while treating the injury itself.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture has been proven to relieve pain, speed healing, and improve the body’s ability to heal itself. Thin, small needles are inserted below the surface of the skin and target specific channels of the body to reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation after an injury.

Massage

Yes, massage feels great, but it has also been shown to speed the healing process along. It also encourages blood flow, reduces swelling in the surrounding tissues, and helps reduce the likelihood of muscle atrophy.

Whether your sports injury is old or new, Pure Wellness can give you a treatment plan that will have you up and at ’em in no time. Call today or schedule your consultation online to find out more.

Stress

Stress

It’s no secret that Americans experience large amounts of stress in their daily lives. It’s also no secret that many insidious medical conditions are directly linked to the amount of stress we experience. So, if stress is making us sick, what do we do about it?

What is Stress?

Our bodies are equipped with a miraculous warning system called the “Fight or Flight” response. When it is activated, your digestion slows down, your pupils dilate, and your muscles store energy to prepare to either fend off an attack or run as fast as possible from a situation. Once the threat has passed, we naturally return to a state referred to as “rest and digest” where the digestive system resumes its function and the body rests before resuming its normal activity. The trouble is, your brain cannot distinguish between an encounter with a saber-toothed tiger and a looming deadline at work. As a result, most of us live in a perpetual state of fight or flight without ever returning to rest and digest.

Stress and Health

Chronic stress can lead to a host of health problems. These can include:

  • Digestive issues such as heartburn, acid indigestion, IBS, constipation, or diarrhea
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart problems
  • Weight gain, especially around the belly
  • Muscle pain
  • Headaches
  • Hormonal Imbalances

The problem is that most people cannot simply eliminate emotional stress in their lives in order to enjoy better health. Instead, they tend to treat the physical symptoms of stress. Fortunately, there are treatment options available to help your body cope with daily stressors and relieve any physical discomfort.

Best Stress Treatment

Stress treatments should be multi-faceted to address not only the physical symptoms but the emotional symptoms as well.

Acupuncture

Whether the stress in your life is real or simply perceived, acupuncture offers a safe, effective treatment for the physical effects of stress on your body. By inserting thin needles just beneath the surface of the skin, acupuncturists can safely release endorphins throughout your body to naturally decrease stress levels. Patients report a feeling of happiness and general wellness both during and after treatments.

Medically, acupuncture promotes a level of homeostasis in your body to lessen the extremes of your stress response. This treatment calms the nervous system and lowers blood pressure. Best of all, these effects last long after the treatment is over. Most notably, acupuncture reduces the irritability so often associated with stress. Instead of feeling tired and moody, acupuncture allows you to experience daily stressors without the mood shifts.

Chiropractic

Chiropractic care can also impact the way your body experiences stress. By eliminating any impediments to the nervous system, electrical impulses travel from the brain to the body and back to the brain the way they should. As a result, the entire body functions better while relieving the aches and pains that so often accompany stress.

Massage

Studies have shown that human touch lowers heart rate, relieves pain, and reduces physical stress. That is why massage is such a powerful stress treatment option. Massage doesn’t just take place in a relaxing environment, it eases pain, lowers blood pressure, improves immune function, and reduces tension in the neck, shoulders, and back.

Whether your job is overwhelming or you are feeling the effects of stress in your daily life, you don’t have to suffer through. Call our office today or schedule online to learn about our treatment options for the physical effects of stress and start living a fuller, happier life.

 

Women’s Health – Fertility / Menopause

Women’s Health – Fertility / Menopause

Whether you are frustrated with fertility issues or experiencing the early stages of menopause, maintaining your reproductive health at every stage of life is a challenge. Fatigue, weight gain, sleep disturbances, and irritability may make you feel emotionally unstable during times of extreme hormonal changes, but hormonal imbalances can also make pregnancy and carrying a baby to term nearly impossible. Where hormonal imbalances were once chalked up to a phase of life, new therapies have revolutionized women’s health at every stage of the reproductive cycle.

What Causes a Hormonal Imbalance?

Hormonal changes in women happen at several predictable places in their lives. The most common of which are:

  • Menses (the first period)
  • Pregnancy
  • Childbirth
  • Post-partum weeks or months
  • Peri-menopause (the years leading up to menopause)
  • Menopause

However, several factors may play a part in a woman’s hormone levels. These may include (but are not limited to):

  • Obesity
  • Endometriosis
  • Age
  • Diet
  • Stress
  • Problems

What are the symptoms of a hormonal imbalance?

While the causes of a hormonal imbalance are varied, many people experience one or more of the following symptoms.

  • Fatigue
  • Unexplained weight gain
  • Hot Flashes
  • Sleep Disturbances
  • Mood Changes
  • Irritability
  • Infertility
  • Miscarriage
  • Persistent, diffuse pain
  • Decreased Muscle Mass & Strength
  • Decreased Libido

While many of these symptoms are associated with other medical conditions, their combination is what generally points to a hormonal imbalance.

How are women’s health issues treated?

As tempting as it may be to take a one-size-fits-all medication for a hormonal imbalance, there is more to optimizing a woman’s health.

Acupuncture

In women wanting to become pregnant, acupuncture has been proven to work well with IVF for conception, maintaining pregnancy, and labor preparation. Even in women who are not participating in IVF, acupuncture promotes regular ovulation and menstruation, reduces PMS symptoms like migraines and cramping, and treats irregularities in menstrual flow. It also balances your entire reproductive system and stimulates the body to nourish the uterus so conception can occur.

Chiropractic

We often think about chiropractic care as a treatment for back pain. In reality, the nerves that supply a woman’s reproductive system originate in the spinal cord. When the bones of the spine are out of alignment, the nerves that control everything from ovulation to uterine contractions are not able to properly send and receive signals. Once the bones are aligned, the nerves can send and receive signals between the reproductive system and the brain, allowing for more regular menstruation, easier conception, a more comfortable pregnancy, and an easier recovery after birth.

Curious about which treatment combination is right for you? Call our office today or schedule your consultation online and begin to experience better health.