pain

Shoulder Pain! UGH! Ways to help with that nagging shoulder pain.

Shoulders. Gotta love em! We take our most mobile joint for granted until…you can’t lift your hand over your head. I’ve been there. Trust me not fun. But why does it get this way and how can we keep it from getting to that point? This little blog is here to help with that problem. So keep reading!

As I said the shoulder joint is the most mobile joint in our body. Go ahead try it. Move it around. See if you can do all that with you low back. No? I thought so. So with this being the most mobile joint we have to keep it moving in order to pick up that drink in front of you, or do your hair.

One of the ways it gets stuck is what is called micro trauma that adds up over time. We slightly damage the shoulder and voila it heals but not the way it should have. Healthy movement after something is damaged is key. It allows the joint and tissues to heal properly. The important thing being “healing properly”. If that doesn’t happen then it continues to not work the way it should.

So what to do? Great question. Healthy movement! Okay I won’t leave you hanging on that one. Healthy movement is doing movement that makes the joint feel better. Usually you can find a movement that makes the joint not feel like it is on fire. So doing repetitions like moving your shoulder back behind your back over and over 10 times will help reduce the pain.

Sometimes it needs a little bit more tender loving care and that is where seeing a chiropractor or someone who can really dig into the muscles to find the culprit is good. It not only helps correct what is wrong but monitoring it for improvements is awesome as well.

Another way to decrease the pain is taking a supplement that has bromelain or turmeric in it. This helps tremendously to get the right type of healing and clear away all the bad stuff. It really is great stuff!

So those are a couple ways to help with that nagging pain in the shoulder. If you have more questions about shoulder pain then let me know in the comments! Ask away! Really I love answering questions!

Cheers!

Dr. K

Chronic Pain revisited: Ways to prevent chronic pain from getting a hold on your life.

Back pain sucks. Let’s just admit it. Pain of any type doesn’t feel good. But what it does is point to something wrong. What I mean is that it tells us that something bad is happening! When you accidentally cut yourself chopping up onions (or whatever it is you are cutting up for dinner) your bodies signals stop doing that! Which is good because if you don’t stop you could potentially harm yourself very badly.

The point of this is to alert you that something is amiss. Chronic pain on the other hand is a difficult thing to deal with because it doesn’t necessarily mean that something is being damaged. It is the interpretation that gets mixed up. Your brain thinks that there is something being damaged which is not always the case. It is faulty wiring so to speak. What we have to do is get those faulty wiring patterns to reset so that there isn’t a message saying,” You’re being damaged!”

So how to do this? It is complicated but in my experience it is a combination of healthy thoughts as well as movement. Healthy movements throughout the day is key. Don’t stand still for long periods and don’t sit for long periods. Every one is different on what is a long time but movement is so good for you that it not only helps your body but your mind! This is good news because you can knock out two birds with one stone.

Simple ways to move is to dance. Yes I know sound funny, but dancing can be a fun way to get healthy movement in as well as make you feel better because you can dance to music! Almost everyone likes some form of music. Music is also a way to unwind your mind and help to reset the pain pathways.

All of this won’t happen overnight. It will take time. And getting checked by a chiropractor or manual therapist can help with stuck joints or muscles that aren’t allowing you to move properly. That is basically what a chiropractor helps with. Getting things unstuck. Well at least in my opinion.

Life is movement. Life is not stagnant. When it becomes stagnant it starts to stink. NO FUN! So do whatever moves you! If it is dancing then dance. If it is playing sports then play sports. Or work out with weights. Life happens so every once in a while get a tune up from a chiropractor to keep the body moving the way we are meant to!

Cheers!

Dr. K

Chronic Pain

Hello again.

This blog post is all about chronic pain and different treatment options that are safe.

Chronic pain is classified as any pain that lasts for longer than 6 weeks. A lot of people fall into this category as people live with pain a lot longer than 6 weeks. It has become a very larger problem because the current conventional model for treating pain has led to an even bigger problem of prescription medications being abused and becoming addicted.

The new guidelines for pain treatment consists of complementary treatments such as massage, acupuncture, chiropractic, physical therapy and some feedback techniques to help your brain readjust to the pain to better interpret the pain.

I find the natural alternatives to medications fascinating as well. Things such as turmeric, bromelain and even magnesium for managing pain. In my experience bromelain and turmeric have provided very useful to myself for aches and pains that I experience from time to time.

Back to the recommendations for chronic pain sufferers. Pain is a stimulus that our brains detect that gets our attention. It doesn’t necessarily mean that a tissue is being damaged. I find it interesting that when we focus on the pain more then it seems to intensify. Similar to fears. If one is scared of say a snake and to even think of a snake image would produce the same type of fear even though there is no snake, in reality near them.

So how is this connection tied into pain? Great question and it is still being investigated. A somewhat new term is what is called central sensitization that occurs in the spinal cord and brain. It is almost as if the brain and spinal cord store memory of pain and any little thing can trigger that memory to feel pain. It is in a state of high reactivity to a stimulus in the persons environment.

This could be an explanation to things such as fibromyalgia where the person’s nervous system is in such a high state that they hurt throughout the body and it moves and migrates to different spots.

I think a promising treatment is through coaching and cognitive behavioral therapy. It helps to reset the thoughts in your head to better form a clear interpretation of the pain. This therapy would help along with other treatment options such as acupuncture and electrical stimulation to help heal nerves.

One of the treatments that we do in office is micro current as well as other forms of electrical stimulation. This low current helps the cells respond and better heal. It is backed by science and is used to heal tendon, ligaments, muscle and skin injuries. This could be a potential in helping the body “turn down” the hyper reactivity of the nervous system along with coaching to find the thoughts behind the pain.

This is not a one-size-fits-all approach to chronic pain and it shouldn’t be. Every person is different with different backgrounds that need to be brought to the light in order to truly heal from chronic pain.

Chronic pain at the heart is a faulty reaction to a stimulus and that encompasses more than just mechanical pain such as an injury. It needs an integrative approach to better handle the person’s pain.

Moving forward in this type of approach I think more and more people can get well.

In good health,

Dr. Kauffman

How chiropractic can help with stress

Stress. We all have an overload of stress at some point in our lives. With the fast paced lifestyle we live in today is it any wonder we do? Finding balance seems harder than ever. If you are like the millions who try many methods to combat stress with little to no effect there is hope! Finding balance in your life is possible with practice. 

Discipline in key areas of your life can help you to not feel overwhelmed when the stress gets too much. I don't believe that stress just goes away. If you have lived long enough you know that to be true. One of those disciplines is health. When we lose our health we understand how important it really is and we always are searching of ways to get it back. What if I told you that by changing a few things, just simple things, can help to improve your response to stress and over time you will be able to deal with stress in a positive way?

Start off by paying attention to what you eat. If you notice you are eating out a lot as well as eating processed and refined foods such as the snack bars, then that might be contributing to your health. By taking out some of the snacks we eat and replacing them with healthy alternatives such as nuts or a veggie then you will start to feel better. Find a veggie you like or somewhat like and start eating that at for a mid afternoon snack. 

Another thing is the tension you feel when you get bogged down. Stress in any form can make us tense up. The key is to getting it to calm down after a little bit. That should be a normal response of our bodies but often times we get so used to thinking about the stress over and over that we forget to relax. It's not as easy as just telling yourself to relax but a committed practice of filling your mind with encouraging thoughts and hanging out with people who encourage you on. 

With this tension comes pain in the form of muscle pain and joint pain. When this becomes the norm we don't feel like doing active things that actually keep us healthy. It becomes this perpetual cycle of feeling pain and soreness. This can affect our minds as well. One of the best ways to alleviate this is by getting adjusted. When we are properly adjusted the tension melts away. When getting adjusted it calms down the muscle response to tighten and helps with overall stress. It not only affects your muscles but can indirectly affect your mood as well. We make sure that you are aligned to better move and not feel the tension and pain. When you feel that way you want to do more active things which is a must in order to stay healthy. 

Eating healthy alternative snacks in the form of veggies such as carrots or a fruit, keeping your mind sharp in the way of being around encouraging people who drive you, and getting adjusted on a regular basis will start you on the right path to feeling better about stress and you will find yourself not thinking about it as much. This will further drive you to discover more of what life has to offer!

Why doing this one thing will help with your pain

Pain. We all have had it at some point. Hate it or love it it teaches us what damages our bodies. But what happens when it becomes a long term thing? We get so used to having it that it's always there. Does that cause damage as well? We will discover the one thing that will help with pain and how you can get do more of it. 

I'll start with a story. It is a story out of my life that I will share. I tore my ACL...twice. So had the surgery and afterwards they want you to put you leg on this device that moves it constantly, for 24 hours a day for a week, only resting it when you do your exercises. I mean you have this thing on you when you sleep so it's not the greatest  to be able to sleep. But why would they do something like that? One word. Movement. If you don't move the joint that was injured it becomes stuck and scar tissue forms and then you have more problems than when you started. 

The importance of movement especially joints that have been injured is crucial. Pain tells us to stop for good reason but movement that is controlled is actually a type of therapy. What does this have to do with health? Actually a lot. See when we experience pain we want to sit down and rest which is good for really acute pain. Like spraining your ankle you probably want to rest and ice it but once that period of rest and ice is over you gotta move it. Slowly walking getting the joint fluid to move around and drain is key. 

I see this everyday. Joints that are not properly moving cause pain and can lead to degeneration of the spine or other joints of the body. It is my job to free up joints and get them to move better so pain does not set in long term. I am so passionate about seeing people moving well and getting better because they get to experience life again the way that they used to know it. They get to play with their kids or play that sport with a little more ease. When we have people that are not in pain their mood improves which is a fantastic benefit to getting adjusted. The list goes on and on. 

So even after getting adjusted it is good to rest but taking a short walk of 5-10 minutes can help keep the joints free and moving correctly. This one thing of getting movement and not sitting down all the time will help to ease the pain you are experiencing. When you experience movement and what it is supposed to feel like you will get to enjoy life again!