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Heat or Ice for Sore Muscles?

When treating muscle pain, should you opt for cold or hot therapy? This tends to confuse people who have had different results with different methods of pain relief. Some think it’s better to go for hot, while others think it’s better to go for cold.

For muscle pain caused by an injury, it’s best to choose both, with cold coming first followed by hot. For chronic muscle pain, heat is usually best.

Cryotherapy

Cryotherapy is a form of pain treatment that exposes irritated nerves to freezing temperatures for a few minutes. The cold reduce blood flow and deadens the nerves, resulting in decreased inflammation and consequently, pain. Cryotherapy can be localized or general, though it’s more often used to treat localized nerves. Generally it’s advisable to treat muscle injuries with ice intermittently for up to 48 hours after the injury.

Thermotherapy

Thermotherapy is a form of pain treatment that uses heat to alleviate pain. The heat dilates blood vessels, causing tight muscles to relax and removing waste buildup of lactic acid. It also increases the oxygen delivered to the targeted muscles, facilitating faster repair of damaged tissue.

Both cryotherapy and thermotherapy can be simulated with a cold and hot compress, respectively. This DIY approach works for mild pain. Your pain management professional may recommend using one or both of these therapies at home.

For serious and chronic pain, these therapies may only provide temporary or supplemental relief. At Pain Stop Clinics, we take a holistic approach to treating pain disorders. Your treatment plan will be tailored to your diagnosis and individual needs. Heat and cold treatments are one simple, proven method that can be used in conjunction with several healing modalities.

Chronic Pain Syndrome: What You Need to Know

Chronic pain is a reality for a growing number of people. In fact, it’s estimated that nearly 50 million Americans live with chronic pain. If you’re one of them, you may be looking for alternatives to powerful prescription medications, as the side effects can be detrimental in the long run, not to mention the risk of addiction. The good news is that there is increasing interest in and knowledge about non-drug related therapies.

It takes time, commitment, and knowledge to find and utilize some of the therapeutic alternatives to pills. Here’s a partial list:

  • Massage
  • Heat or cold
  • Electrical Stimulation
  • Ultrasound
  • Exercise
  • Hypnosis

This list, while not complete, gives you an idea about where to start looking for solutions to your pain. Each of these alternatives should be carefully researched and used correctly to be effective, which is why you should seek treatment with a pain professional. It’s important to understand how each technique works, how it’s applied, and what you can expect to feel afterward. Many people find their way to pain clinics for advice they can trust and for correctly applied treatment. Seeing a professional can not only keep you off prescription medication, it helps you avoid causing further injury. Make sure you communicate with your treatment professional about your symptoms and responses to treatment.

Pain Stop Clinics works with you to design a program of alternative therapies to treat your chronic pain. Please feel free to contact us for information or an appointment.

Do You Need to See a Pain Management Professional?

Suffering from chronic pain can become completely debilitating. 50 million Americans live with chronic pain, yet many do nothing about it. They have simply accepted it as part of their routine. You should not allow your quality of life to dwindle because of the pain you experience. Perhaps you have gone from one doctor to the next, without any cure, treatment or idea of the cause. It may be time to see a pain management professional.

More Questions than Answers?

If primary care physicians are unable to identify the cause of your pain or develop a treatment plan, you need to see a pain management professional. Some doctors may prescribe pain medication, but this is not desirable. Medication does not treat the problem. It only masks it and it can cause alternative problems. You don’t want to cover up pain. You want to treat it.

Consult Your Insurance Provider

Your insurance provider may have specific steps to follow before seeing a professional. This can include the need for a referral from your primary care physician, so always contact your insurance provider before scheduling an appointment. This way, you’ll know for sure whether or not you’re covered.

You’re Ready for a Better Tomorrow

If you are ready to follow through with treatments that address the cause of your pain for long-term quality of life improvement, you should see a pain management professional. Contact Pain Stops Clinics to set up your initial appointment and begin your journey to freedom.

Car Accident Injuries Can Have Long-Term Affects

Car accidents can cause a range of injuries, from whiplash to broken bones to brain trauma. In some cases, the injuries may not even be noticeable until days after the accident. However, whether immediately noticeable or not, they often have long-term effects.

The Effects of Car Accident Injuries

Long-term neck pain and back pain are two of the most common symptoms that have a delayed onset. For example, whiplash can result in neck pain, neck stiffness, headaches, back pain and even muscle or ligament injuries.

Then there are more severe long-term effects, such as loss of mobility or loss of limbs. Patients experience pain from the injury itself and during the rehabilitation process.

Unfortunately, many patients are prescribed pain medications long-term. Though effective, they can prove to be addictive, presenting car accident survivors with yet another hurdle to overcome. Pain medication abuse can be particularly problematic for patients who have developed PTSD symptoms.

Alternative Methods for Treating Pain

Fortunately, the pain medications often prescribed by medical professionals do not have to be the solution the long-term effects that you are experiencing as a result of your car accident. Here at Pain Stop, we can mitigate your pain as well as treat the affected area to help prevent further injuries. Contact us or walk in for a consultation.

 

4 of the Worst Sports Injuries of All-Time

Because athletes often push themselves to the physical limit, they are prone to experiencing injuries – even with all the training and conditioning they undergo. If you have a strong stomach, read on about some of the worst sports injuries ever:

1. Lacerated Throat

Back in 1989, goalie Clint Malarchuk collided with another player during a hockey game that resulted in a stray skate catching him in the throat. He managed to make it off the ice even while almost bleeding out. He was lucky to survive – and because of the horrendous injury, hockey goalies are now required to wear neck protection.

2. Collapsed Larynx

This injury occurred in another hockey game. Like Malarchuk, Mitch Callahan was lucky to make it out alive after his larynx was crushed by a hockey puck shot. The injury left him unable to speak for six weeks, and he was no longer able to play because his air passage was 15% narrower than before.

3. Broken Leg

Breaking your leg might not seem like the worst thing, until you see how soccer player Eduardo Da Silva broke his. In 2008, he was on the wrong end of a tackle that basically snapped his lower leg in two, breaking his left fibula and dislocating his ankle. Fortunately, he made a full recovery.

4. Baseball to the Nose

In 2002, baseball pitcher Kazuhisa Ishii took a line drive right to his nose, which basically crushed part of his face and required surgery in order to remove the bone shards.

When to Worry About Your Neck Pain

Neck pain is an issue millions of Americans suffer from. For many, the pain stems from poor posture or other easily corrected physical ailments. However, there are times where you should be more worried about your neck pain. If you experience any of the following red flags it is best to schedule an appointment with a professional right away.

Extended Neck Pain

Neck pain can stem from sleeping wrong, dehydration or stiff posture. However, if your neck pain has continued for six weeks or more, it’s time to go in and see a professional. There may be something more serious going on.

Pain Is Not Improving

Your neck pain typically is at its worst when it first happens. It should slowly start to feel better as the body naturally corrects itself. However, if your neck pain is either not improving or is getting worse, see a professional. The longer you let the pain linger the worse the situation might become.

Light Pressure is Painful

If someone taps your shoulder or you brush up against something along your back and you feel instant pain, you need to see a professional as soon as possible.

You Have Terrible Headaches

Do you suddenly experience terrible headaches? If so, they may be caused by a pinched nerve or another urgent issue.

Chronic neck pain is a serious condition. Pain Stop Clinics can assist with determining the cause of the pain and treating the problem. Contact Pain Stop Clinics to set up your consultation.

 

Suffering Daily Headaches? Here’s What to Watch For

Getting a headache once in a while is perfectly normal. Sometimes headaches are caused from stress, too much wine, or even from eating your ice cream too fast. But when you have a persistent headache every day, that is an entirely different matter. If you are suffering from daily headaches here’s what you need to watch out for, according to the US National Library of Medicine.

Serious Headache Causes Include

  • Dangerously high blood pressure
  • Tumors
  • Fluid buildup in the skull
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning (remember, you can’t see or smell this deadly gas)
  • Brain abscess or infection.

Other Headaches Types & Causes

Painful, daily headaches are a reason to see your doctor or an emergency care provider right away, especially if these headaches are accompanied by any of the following:

  • The headaches started after a period of activity, such as playing a sport.
  • The headaches began after a head injury.
  • The headaches interfere with your daily life.
  • You have vision problems or slurred speech.
  • You have difficulty controlling motor skills.
  • You have memory loss.
  • You have a fever, stiff neck, nausea, and/or vomiting.
  • You have a history of cancer or HIV.

Lower Back Pain Treatments for Athletes

Lower back pain afflicts about 80% of athletes. Most suffer back pain due to pressure from vigorous exercise, twisting, turning and bending the back to extreme angles. Rather than directly resulting from one injury, minor injuries create the conditions that lead to chronic pain when untreated.

Athletes often shy away from seeking help as they are in fear of losing time, losing their position, missing a game or disappointing their team. Instead, they opt for over the counter medication or just bear the pain. This may ultimately lead to lower spinal injury.

Diagnosis of Pain

Pain management professionals use intake interviews, physical exams, scans and X-rays to identify areas that need treatment.

Treatments & Remedies for Lower Back Pain

Most treatments for athletes rely on more conservative and non surgical methods. These include:

  • Heat and ice treatments, which can be alternated.
  • Spine mobilization, which increases flexibility and blood flow to reduce spinal pressure and muscle tension.
  • Physical therapy aimed at strengthening the back muscles, relieving pain and increasing functionality.
  • Exercise routines designed to condition and rehabilitate your spine.

If you are an athlete experiencing lower back pain, don’t ignore it or try to cover it up. The sooner you treat your pain, the sooner you will perform at your best without resorting to risky medications.

 

50 Million Americans Living with Chronic Pain

50 Million Americans live and battle with chronic pain. With a population of around 320 million, nearly one in six suffers from some sort of recurring pain. With these kinds of startling (and growing) numbers, you can assuredly find a number of treatment service provides just about anywhere in the country. However, some treatment centers are better than others. How can you decide who to use? There are a few points to consider.

Offers a Variety of Treatment Options

If the treatment provider only focuses on one method of treatment you should look elsewhere. Don’t fall into a cookie-cutter mold for correcting pain, because the kind of pain, the location and the cause is unique to you. Your treatment should be as well.

Doesn’t Instantly Recommend Surgery

Surgery is always an option. However, there are usually less risky and less costly alternatives to consider first. Surgery is an extreme corrective measure and often requires weeks (if not months) of recovery time, so start with alternative treatments.

Reputation Matters

Pain professionals should possess not only the requisite degrees and certifications, but additional industry certifications and memberships that distinguish them. Groups such as the American Society of Anesthesiologists can vouch for excellent care centers. Your primary care physician may provide referrals. Online reviews can be useful of course, and finally, company representatives should demonstrate care and commitment to a positive reputation.

You are not alone battling chronic pain. You just need to make sure you select the right care provider. Consider choosing Pain Stops Clinics as you begin your search for a healthier, more comfortable tomorrow.

 

Buddha’s View Of Four Noble Truths To Suffering

Most of the world’s religions have something to say about pain and suffering. Buddhists believe that Siddhartha Gautama, the founder of Buddhism, was born wealthy, but left his wealth to learn the truth about life. In his journey he met an old man, a sick man, a dead man, and an ascetic. He came to understand how to be free from pain and suffering. Gautama spent the rest of his life teaching what he’d learned.

He called his first teaching The Four Noble Truths and traveled extensively to share his knowledge.

  • The First Truth acknowledges the existence of suffering. It says simply that suffering is a part of life on earth.
  • The Second Truth says that suffering has a cause. Buddhists believe the cause is related to ignorance and desire or wanting what we cannot have.
  • The Third Truth states that there is an end to suffering although it’s unclear whether the end is here on earth or after life on earth. One must attain Nirvana or become enlightened to end the suffering.
  • The Fourth Noble Truth identifies the Noble Eightfold Path to Nirvana or Enlightenment which leads to the end of suffering. It includes:
    • Right understanding
    • Right thought
    • Right speech
    • Right action
    • Right livelihood
    • Right effort
    • Right mindfulness
    • Right concentration

Whatever your faith or philosophy, our mission is to illuminate the physical cause of your pain and apply a treatment plan that does not merely mask the pain, but ends it.

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