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How Evolution Causes Back Pain

Mankind might be at the top of the food chain, but it’s not because we have perfectly adapted bodies. Evolution has done a fair job of providing opposable thumbs and an efficient brain, but perhaps the back could use some improvements.

A Body Made of Paperclips

Jeremy DeSilva said, “Evolution works with duct tape and paperclips,” and that applies more to the spine than most other body parts. It evolved to suit four-legged movement, and it’s not yet developed to suit bipedal postures perfectly. Richard Dawkins says the human spine is so similar to a gorilla spine that it’s barely adapted to a bipedal gate.

The back was built to arch like a bow so that it would carry the weight of organs in the undercarriage. Standing up threw the structure out of balance, curving the back in the other direction. This places pressure on the lower back, leading to pain.

The curvature of a normal human spine tends to cause a lesion between discs in the lower back. At its worst, it’s prone to scoliosis and sciatica. The spinal cord is also unable to heal fully if damaged because its neurons are too specialized.

Coping with Pain

The back is the most common region for chronic pain. Ergonomic living is an excellent preventative tool, but when the damage has already been done, more work is required. A pain management specialist may be needed to put together a treatment team for your unique problem. Stretches and other exercises may be used to release tight muscles, and specialized treatments such as low impact water therapy and neurological care may be indicated. Your Pain Stop Clinic will take a multi-disciplinary approach to your pain, giving you the best chance at relief.

Evolutionary Biologists Puzzled Over Pain

Painful tissue damage and inflammation tell you that they are there and need care, but even Richard Dawkins can’t find the evolutionary advantage of agony over a more tolerable, subtle ache or other signal. Without pain, you wouldn’t know that fire is dangerous or that your aching back needs treatment. Soreness is one of the crowning achievements of natural selection, but the body takes it to unnecessary heights.

Maybe the brain needs to tell us which sensations to prioritise. If you’ve not taken in fluids for two days, for example, your thirst is more important than your slightly bruised foot. If you’ve put your hand in a fire, though, it’s best to rescue your limb before you go hunting for the nearest stream. Varying intensities tell you what requires urgent action.

Neurology’s Viewpoint

People with disorders that prevent pain “usually come to a bad end,” says Dawkins. These patients must learn how to identify signs of harmful burns and breakages, but they often fail to adjust. They tend to suffer serious disabilities as a result.

It’s doubtful you’d take a more tolerable signal seriously, which lends credibility to the Darwinian explanation, but that doesn’t tell us the point of migraines and other painful disorders. Neuroscientist Vincenzo Bonavita believes that these seemingly useless pain signals force you to disengage from active life and get the necessary rest. In other words, even when that backache or headache isn’t pointing to tissue damage, you should take it seriously.

Pain is an important part of your health. Your nerves’ signals are as precise as a Geiger Counter. If you’re hurting, your body is telling you to hunt for a cause and some relief, so you need a pain specialist who takes your symptoms seriously. Pain Stop Clinics will do precisely that.

7 Bad Back Habits to Avoid

Back pain may result from a recent or past injury. It can develop gradually over time from repetitive motion, or from lack thereof. While seeking out assistance in diagnosing and treating your back can help clear up the problem, you can help yourself by avoiding these seven bad habits that cause back pain.

Not Exercising

Exercise prevents injury throughout your body by strengthening the muscles. Yoga, pilates and other core workouts strengthen the back and ease strain by also strengthening the abdominal muscles.

Poor Posture

Bad posture causes muscle strain and increases the level of stress on your spine. To improve posture, keep your shoulders back (to avoid slouching), sit against the back of your chair, and stand with a slight bend in your knees.

Improper Lifting

When lifting heavy items, bend your knees and use your leg strength to reduce strain on your back. Make sure you don’t curve your back over the object you’re lifting.

Baggage

As Erykah Badu soulfully reminds us, “Bag lady/ You gon’ hurt your back.” Remember that bags, briefcases and purses count as lifting. If you regularly carry a lot of stuff, consider a wheeled briefcase, a properly adjusted backpack or a downsized purse.

Smoking

There isn’t much good that comes out of smoking, and you can add back pain to your list of reasons to quit. Smoking cuts down blood flow to your disks, increasing back pain.

Calcium and Vitamin D Deficiency

These nutrients develop and strengthen your bones. Discuss increasing your daily intake with your doctor, because there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Too much calcium, for example, could result in kidney stones, which entirely defeats the purpose of reducing back pain.

Weight

The more weight you carry, the more your muscles and joints strain to support you. Of course, pain makes exercise more challenging. Set realistic exercise goals, eat a balanced diet, and discuss any issues you are having with your physician or professional.

Not Moving

If your back hurts, you might want to settle into the couch, but unless you have a serious injury, rest may be counterproductive. Stretch out and get the blood flowing instead.

Back pain can make everyday tasks difficult to perform. Although there may be deeper causes or complicated symptoms, improving your habits can reduce pain and improve your quality of life.

Service Dogs for Chronic Migraines

Dogs are truly amazing creatures. They can be trained to work with anyone and to identify all sorts of health-related problems. Due to their strong sense of smell, they can identify odors we humans can’t. As any dog owner knows, they are also extremely keen on our behavior and are able to pick up on subtle changes. If you or someone you love deals with chronic migraines, you may want to consider a migraine alert dog.

Early Warning Signs

There is nothing worse than a full on migraine. From time to time there are symptoms you can identify ahead of time. These early warning signs help you prevent the migraine from fully developing. Now, every individual has unique symptoms and you likely will be able to identify some of these triggers and patterns over time. You’ll also learn how to cope with some of these triggers. Yet sometimes, migraines still seem to come out of no where.

Migraine Alert Dogs

A migraine alert dog perceives changes in both physical and psychological behaviors that precede a migraine. Dogs are able to identify the prodrome phase, which often begins a migraine attack. The dog is then able to warn you so you can take yourself out of the situation or seek preventative treatment. The prodrome phase can start up to 48 hours before a migraine attack.

If you have a dog who seems to be trying to get your attention before you suffer a migraine, you might have a natural migraine alert system. In this case, consider training and certifying your dog as a service animal. Any breed or size of dog can become a service dog if they are intelligent and attentive, and if they undergo the appropriate training. Consider meeting dogs at your local shelter to find a good partner in pain management.

What Exactly Are Muscle Knots?

You probably know the feeling. You have a sore back, so you ask someone if they can work on it. As they blindly attempt to massage your back, their finger rolls over a lump that causes a twinge of pain. You might scream out while they proclaim they’ve found something, which they then attempt to “work out” by vigorously beating and kneading like so much bread dough.
This is what most refer to as muscle knots. But what exactly is a muscle knot? You might be surprised researchers haven’t arrived at a consensus.

Myofascial Trigger Points

Those who study and treat knots define them as areas of muscle that tense and relax repeatedly. This is caused by overuse or misuse. A good massage therapist can identify what side you sleep on or what hand you use for your mouse based on where your tension shows up. Of course, not every bump your buddy can feel in your back is a muscle knot. Connective tissues and bones can feel like tense muscles to the untrained hand, which is one reason why you might need to see a professional for long-term relief.

One theory purports that tension causes a lack of blood flow to the tissue, so you should always stay hydrated. Of course, hydration is generally an all-around good idea for health and wellness. Though good advice, it doesn’t untangle the knot mystery.

Knots Showing Up on the Scanner

Some researchers say muscle knots don’t exist because they do not show up on scans. Instead, they contend the soreness is caused by neural pain. The symptoms are real, but the cause might not be an area of particularly tense muscle.

Whatever it is, if your back hurts, you are probably more interested in relief than knowing the specific cause. Massage should help relieve the pain you experience, and it’s best done by a professional therapist to avoid complicating any underlying issues with your back or neck. If you experience significant increased pain or no relief at all after a massage, there may be another cause. Ideally, your massage therapist should be part of a team of pain relief professionals. That way, you can try to pinpoint and treat causes while undergoing treatments for pain relief.

Protecting your Knees When Lifting

As you get older, your number one goal will be to stay just as healthy and active as ever. One of the critical ways to maintain good health is by protecting your joints, including your knees.

Knees can be tight or achy, and they can occasionally pop. Knee pain is one of the most common reasons people reach out for pain relief. Even just a slight misalignment in your knee joint can lead to a major misalignment in your lifestyle.

Caring for your knees is something you can easily do at home. It’s great to be involved in a healthy, active exercise regimen, but there are other things you can do to ensure proper joint care.

Give Your Joints a Little TLC

Lifting from the knees will surely help your lower back, but it puts the extra strain on your knee joints. At work or when you exercise using therapeutic heat to boost circulation is something to consider. A thermal wrap for up to 30 minutes will loosen up your knee joints and give you that increased mobility you’ve been looking for.

Put the Freeze On

Applying ice is one of the best ways to reduce inflammation, and to help with chronic knee pain. You can always place a towel in between your skin and the ice if your skin is too sensitive. If you do a lot of knee lifts during exercising, then ice applied for 20 minutes or more will help your knees immensely.

Exercise Designed For You

Know your limits, especially if you are older or just getting started with toning your body. There’s a reason athletes warm up before starting an exercise regimen and the same goes for anyone doing knee lifts. In fact, the best way to protect your knees is with daily stretching and strengthening exercises. You don’t even need special equipment for stretching, so it’s easily attainable at home. Hamstring stretches can go a long way to protecting and strengthening your knees.

Lift and Bend the Right Way

It’s so easy to wrench your lower back when lifting something too heavy. You always want to have your feet spread apart, and stand as close to whatever you’re lifting as you can. Bend your knees, not your back. Tighten stomach muscles as you lift, and go slowly. Don’t twist your back once you raise up, but place the object where it needs to be.

There are ways to cut the pain out of your life. If you have questions about pain management in Phoenix, call today to make your knee pain a thing of the past.

Protecting Your Back at Work

Nothing is quite as satisfying as settling into your office workspace to get a productive day’s work done. Did you know the longer you sit, the worse a back problem can become?

There are very effective ways to protect your back while at work, mays to minimize movements or positions that cause back pain. You can improve back tolerance with the following suggestions:

•Start With the Perfect Chair. There are ergonomically designed office chairs which support your body and spine all day long. They may be more expensive than a run-of-the-mill office chair, but they will pay for themselves when you no longer have to make doctor visits for an aching back. These chairs have lumbar support, which is most important of all, because it cradles your lower back right where it’s needed.
•Don’t Forget Your Arms. A good armrest will prevent upper back and neck pain from occurring. These happen because there is little to no support for your arms and shoulder muscles.
•Set Up Your Office Space Correctly. Correctly, in this case, means ‘just for you.’ Ensure that computer monitors are set at the correct height for you, not a tall or a shorter co-worker. If you use a telephone in addition to your computer, by all means get a headset. Never cradle a phone into your neck. If you type a lot, invest in a document holder which holds your typing up so you don’t have to strain your neck to read it.
•Put Your Feet Up. Lower back pain frequently starts with lack of movement. Invest in a foot rest for under your desk and make it a habit of keeping your feet there without crossing your legs.
•Stay Active. Use the stairs instead of the elevator, stand at your desk while talking on the phone, and be the one who gathers up the faxes and volunteers to make the copies during a meeting. Don’t stay immobile for long. If you do, your back will thank you for it later with a nice dull ache.
•After Work, Relax Your Back. At home, don’t forget good posture while sitting or doing chores. Never lift anything unless you bend your knees first, then lift from that position upwards. Low-impact exercises while watching TV or reading can also take the strain off.

There are many ways to relieve back pain, but if nothing seems to be working effectively, there is one more option. Make an appointment to talk about pain management in Phoenix today.

Neck Pain or Pulled Muscle

There is nothing as annoying as a stiff neck. That painful crick that makes itself known every time you try to turn your neck one way or the other. Sometimes it comes from sleeping in an uncomfortable way, or it can be for another unknown reason. All you know is that the pain is real, and you want it gone, ASAP.

Understanding Symptoms

Being able to describe and understand neck pain symptoms will go a long way towards helping to diagnose exactly what you have. Signs and symptoms of neck pain include:

•Pain that’s made worse by holding your head in one position for any length of time. We do this when working on a computer, playing endless video games, or even while driving.
•Pain that includes a tightness in the neck muscles and occasional spasms.
•Pain that is accompanied by a headache.
•Pain which prevents you from moving your neck very much, if at all.

Identifying Neck Pain Causes

Neck pain is rarely due to a severe medical condition. Unless you’ve been in a serious auto accident, neck pain will either clear up on its own, or respond nicely to pain management treatment.

There are any number of reasons for your neck pain. Probably the most well-known is muscle strain. Improper posture, poor sleeping pillows, constant computer use, hunching over your smartphone all day and night, will only increase your chances of waking up with a stiff neck.

Another reason for neck pain is worn joints. As you age, joints begin to wear down. Chronic neck pain is often the result of osteoarthritis that is beginning to take over and cause joint damage. This results in the cartilage in-between your bones to deteriorate. Bone spurs form which can be very painful.

A third reason for neck pain is from auto accidents. Whiplash is when your head is jerked backwards, then forwards suddenly, causing the soft tissue in your neck to be damaged.

Herniated discs in your neck can put pressure on the nerves, causing neck pain whenever you move your head side to side.

Wherever the neck pain is coming from, all you want is pain relief. Don’t wait for your neck pain to increase or cause shoulder and back pain. There are targeted treatments that will make your neck pain a thing of the past.

Get the Facts About Back Pain

Back problems and back pain are different for everyone. This is because back pain can be difficult to diagnose. As a consequence, there are many diverse ways of looking at the treatment options and their risks and benefits.

There are many misconceptions out there when you go looking for back pain relief. So, how do you know what to believe about your back pain?

Here are some myths about back pain that are commonly believed.

It Will Never Happen to Me.

Think again. Back pain can happen to anyone, but there are some things which increase your risk of having it turn into chronic pain. The older you get, the more likely you are to experience back pain. This could be due to being overweight, not getting enough exercise, sitting at a desk all day, or injuring your back by lifting or straining in the wrong ways.

If You Have Bad Back Pain It Means I Have Severe Back Damage.

The only time this is true is if you have had a severe back injury. Then your level of back pain will correspond to that level of damage. With chronic back pain, the pain you experience does not necessarily correspond to the amount of damage.

Both My Parents Had Back Pain Which Means I Will Have Back Pain too.

This doesn’t mean you’ll have trouble with your back. Many things can be genetically disposed, but back pain is one problem that your parents won’t be passing along to you.

Low Back Pain Is Only Alleviated by Surgery.

Today there are low back pain treatments that provide relief without either medication or surgery. Because technology is so cutting-edge, your low back pain will be specifically targeted and you’ll find there are a number of options open to you for quick and lasting relief.

The Back Pain I Feel is Probably All in My Head.

Back pain always has an origin, although sometimes it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what is causing your back pain. If you experience muscle tightness, or dull burning sensations in your upper back, with occasional numbness in your limbs, you may have upper back pain. That’s not in your head, it’s in your back!

The good news is that all pain can be alleviated. There is no reason any longer to tough it out. A number of pain management solutions are available to help you get quick and lasting back pain relief.

Disabling Injuries in America

Serious disabling injuries affect many Americans. While some are work-related, they all can lead to missed hours at work, and a loss of pay. Employers are impacted by this as well. When workers are unable to work, there is a loss in productivity and costs.

While there are no common disabling injuries as a whole, however there are those which seem to occur with greater frequency. These include falling injuries, overexertion injuries, and bodily reaction injuries.

Falling Injuries

These injuries can occur anywhere, and can be from a great height or even just a few feet. Falling injuries can result in head or back pain. Depending on your age and physical condition, falls may not result in a serious injury, or they may have you turning to pain management in Phoenix for relief.

Falling can result in not just broken bones, but also time lost at work. Once injured, you may discover that things are never the same again. In any falling injury situation, the best solution is an early examination, undertaken with your doctor, so that full recovery and relief can be achieved.

Overexertion Injuries

These include lifting objects that are too heavy for you, stretching too far, or staying in a bent position too long. Of course, the older you are and the more out of shape you feel, the greater the likelihood that these incidents can lead to serious back pain and strain.

Once you suffer with back pain, it may occur again. In fact, chronic back pain is a major disabling injury for many, and without physio therapy the pain may not subside.

Bodily Reaction Injuries

This category of injury includes migraine headaches, sciatica pain, and other disabling injuries which may have been brought on by straining or overexertion.

Millions of people suffer with migraines. Nowadays, there is real migraine relief where once there was none. Pain management in Phoenix is very real and very accessible.

Sciatica pain is when you have sudden, severe pain which usually radiates down one leg. It can be at its worst when you go from a sitting to a standing position and may be accompanied by numbness or tingling. Sciatica can prohibit you from sleeping properly and having a full and productive life.

Don’t suffer with any disabling injury anymore. Pain management in Phoenix is only a phone call away. Your pain management doctors will prescribe a pain relief plan specifically with you in mind.

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