New Technology Promises Hope for Chronic Muscle Pain

It has been known for years that muscle pain is often a source of chronic discomfort for millions of people. One of the difficulties alleviating this type of pain has always been precisely locating the part of the muscle, or even the muscle itself, that is the original source of the problem. Many different types of muscle pain, often called “trigger points” can send pain to distant locations making finding the original source of the discomfort daunting and even impossible.

You have to find it before you can treat it…

Without knowing the precise location of where the pain is coming from, treatment such as manual therapy, injection therapy and physical therapy often fail. Recently a new device has been developed called the Muscle Pain Detection Device (MPDD) that allows physicians and physical therapists to precisely locate the root of the problem with an incredibly high degree of accuracy and reliability. Imagine being able to immediately determine the location and cause of your discomfort in as little as 15 minutes, safely and in your doctors office, all without radiation or the need for additional imaging such as MRI or X-Rays. The muscle pain detection device does not compete with current methods of pain diagnosis. Instead, the MPDD enhances current methods of diagnosis and treatment. The MPDD incorporates leading-edge technology patented and FDA cleared.

Recently our office has obtained one of the first devices in the New York area. Our preliminary results have been amazing. With a simple noninvasive technique we have been able to identify the root cause of pain for many patients, and treat that pain in as little as single visit rather than several visits or even weeks.

The Results Have Been Nothing Short of Impressive…

One of our patients, an active athlete presented to the office recently with complaints of low back pain. He had already had one back surgery for a disc herniation several years ago and he was fearful his new pain meant another disc injury and maybe a second surgery. With the MPDD we were able to identify that his current pain was actual related to a muscle problem near his waistline and the pain was actually referring to his low back, not a disc problem. After identifying the exact spot with the MPDD and a simple injection, his pain disappeared immediately and hasn’t returned since. Without the MPDD this patient might have had several unnecessary expensive and invasive tests or even unnecessary treatments.

The MPDD is a real breakthrough and we are proud to be one of the first to offer it in our area.

by Dr. Drew DeMann

How Well Does Your Orthopedist or Family Doctor Understand Back Pain?

A newly published research study indicates the knowledge most orthopedic surgeons and family physicians have in managing simple low back pain (LBP) is surprisingly far from stellar. The study concluded that… “Both orthopaedic surgeons’ and family physicians’ knowledge of treating LBP is deficient.” While no doctor is perfect, the general public needs to understand that the management of even simple back pain is frequently difficult and often requires a specialist with more focused training. Doctors of chiropractic spend a significantly greater number of years learning about the spine and back than the traditional family doctor. From there they go on to study natural, safe and effective ways to properly manage the many conditions that arise in this area. The result is that millions of people around the world have experienced relief from pain as a result of seeking the expertise of a doctor chiropractic first.  Something to think about the next time you or someone else you know has back pain.Dr. Drew DeMann
Source: Spine. July 1, 2009. Volume 34, Issue 15, pp. 1600-1603.

 

Frequent Breaks Better for For Blood Sugar

New study shows taking quick 2-minute activity breaks at 20-minute intervals as compared with sitting for hours straight after eating significantly improves blood sugar levels.In comparing the blood sugar levels of people who sat for extended periods of time after eating with those who took a brief 2-minute leisurely walk every 20 minutes after eating, there was a 24% decrease in the rise of blood sugar in those taking the leisurely walks. If the individuals participated in amoderate-intensity exercise, the decrease in blood sugar rise was closer to 30 percent – nearly the same benefit. These short occasional breaks from prolonged sitting after eating appears to have considerable metabolic benefits, effectively lowering both blood glucose and insulin. By just moving our muscles, such as in a brief leisurely walk, glucose is pulled into the muscle thereby reducing insulin levels. So if you’re sitting at a desk or on the sofa after a meal, try a quick 2-minute walk break a couple times per hour to help keep your blood glucose and insulin levels at their best. Source: Diabetes Care; online. February 28, 2012.

Dr. Drew DeMann

 

Chiropractic Care Improves Urinary Incontinence In Some

A recently published case-series report indicates chiropractic care may be beneficial for certain individuals suffering from urinary incontinence. The report reviews 21 patients aged 13 to 90 years with a history of urinary incontinence for the preceding 4 months to 49 years with associated muscle dysfunction and low back and/or pelvic pain. Incontinence was so bad in 18 of the 21 that they had been wearing incontinence pads during the previous days and nights upon presenting themselves for treatment. All patients were evaluated and treated chiropractically for muscle impairments in the lumbar spine, pelvis and pelvic floor and low back and/or hip pain. Treatments included chiropractic manipulative therapy, flexion distraction manipulation and/or the use of a percussion instrument for the treatment of myofascial trigger points. The urinary incontinence symptoms resolved in 10 patients, considerably improved in 7 cases, and slightly improved in 4 cases. Periodic follow-up examinations for the past 6 years, and no less than 2 years, indicate the improvements of urinary incontinence for each patient remained stable.Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: Journal of Chiropractic Medicine; online. March 9, 2012.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2012

 

A Simple Natural Injection Can Cure Rotator Cuff Tears, Knee Problems… and Other Sports Injuries Without Surgery!

There’s a new breakthrough in sports medicine that has surgeons running scared, but patients jumping for joy. It is the ability to use a natural injection to heal rotator cuff tears, knee inquires, ankle problems, tennis elbow, and many other typical sports/exercise problems, without risky surgery!

Recently researchers made a breakthrough in what is known as “platelet rich plasma injections“, also known as “PRP”. Through a simple injection of a substance which is found naturally in our own bodies doctors have made a real advancement in the field of Regenerative Medicine.

Regenerative Medicine is the area of sports medicine focused on regeneration of injured tissue rather than surgical “repair” (which usually means just “cut out”).

Here doctors have been working for years looking for something they could easily inject into a ligament, tendon or muscle injury to really “fix the problem” rather just surgically removing it or just masking the pain with pain killers. PRP just might be that “Holly Grail”.

Researchers have found that there is a substance in our own blood designed to stimulate the repair of injuries when we get them. The problem is that some times an injury doesn’t get enough of these tissue “growth factors” to properly heal…which may be one of the real reasons why some people end up with chronic injuries and pain that just won’t go away.

By obtaining a small sample of a patient’s own blood and then filtering out only that part that promotes healing and the repair of injured tissue, these “growth factors” can be isolated and and concentrating to as much as five times their normal levels. This supercharged concentrate is then
simply injected back into injured area (usually under ultrasound image guidance) finally stimulating the body’s own response to heal.

The results have been nothing but extraordinary. This simple, natural, and safe approach is now available to patients with a multitude of problems such as rotator cuff tears, knee pain, and a host of other injuries. Best of all the procedure can be done in the doctors office in less than one hour and without the risks of surgery!

So next time you’re told by somebody that you need surgery, there may just be a much simpler safer alternative for you called PRP.

Dr. Drew DeMann

Who Knew Simple One Minute Intervals Can Improve Your Health!

All of us are pressed for time these days so anything we can do to get more out of our precious exercise time the better off we are. It turns out that short intense exercises known as interval training are better for us then longer periods of moderate exercises.

Here is a really interesting excerpt from a recent article in The New York Times by Gretchen Reynolds that discusses how to get more from less of your time.

How 1-Minute Intervals Can Improve Your Health… by Gretchen Reynolds

While many of us wonder just how much exercise we really need in order to gain health and fitness, a group of scientists in Canada are turning that issue on its head and asking, how little exercise do we need?

The emerging and engaging answer appears to be, a lot less than most of us think — provided we’re willing to work a bit.

In proof of that idea, researchers at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, recently gathered several groups of volunteers. One consisted of sedentary but generally healthy middle-aged men and women. Another was composed of middle-aged and older patients who’d been diagnosed with cardiovascular disease.

The researchers tested each volunteer’s maximum heart rate and peak power output on a stationary bicycle. In both groups, the peaks were not, frankly, very high; all of the volunteers were out of shape and, in the case of the cardiac patients, unwell. But they gamely agreed to undertake a newly devised program of cycling intervals.

Most of us have heard of intervals, or repeated, short, sharp bursts of strenuous activity, interspersed with rest periods. Almost all competitive athletes strategically employ a session or two of interval training every week to improve their speed and endurance.

But the Canadian researchers were not asking their volunteers to sprinkle a few interval sessions into exercise routines. Instead, the researchers wanted the groups to exercise exclusively with intervals.

For years, the American Heart Association and other organizations have recommended that people complete 30 minutes or more of continuous, moderate-intensity exercise, such as a brisk walk, five times a week, for overall good health.

But millions of Americans don’t engage in that much moderate exercise, if they complete any at all. Asked why, a majority of respondents, in survey after survey, say, “I don’t have time.”

Intervals, however, require little time. They are, by definition, short. But whether most people can tolerate intervals, and whether, in turn, intervals provide the same health and fitness benefits as longer, more moderate endurance exercise are issues that haven’t been much investigated.

Several years ago, the McMasters scientists did test a punishing workout, known as high-intensity interval training, or HIIT, that involved 30 seconds of all-out effort at 100 percent of a person’s maximum heart rate. After six weeks, these lacerating HIIT sessions produced similar physiological changesin the leg muscles of young men as multiple, hour-long sessions per week of steady cycling, even though the HIIT workouts involved about 90 percent less exercise time.

Recognizing, however, that few of us willingly can or will practice such straining all-out effort, the researchers also developed a gentler but still chronologically abbreviated form of HIIT. This modified routine involved one minute of strenuous effort, at about 90 percent of a person’s maximum heart rate (which most of us can estimate, very roughly, by subtracting our age from 220), followed by one minute of easy recovery. The effort and recovery are repeated 10 times, for a total of 20 minutes.

Despite the small time commitment of this modified HIIT program, after several weeks of practicing it, both the unfit volunteers and the cardiac patients showed significant improvements in their health and fitness.

The results, published in a recent review of HIIT-related research, were especially remarkable in the cardiac patients. They showed “significant improvements” in the functioning of their blood vessels and heart, said Maureen MacDonald, an associate professor of kinesiology at McMaster who is leading the ongoing experiment.

It might seem counterintuitive that strenuous exercise would be productive or even wise for cardiac patients. But so far none have experienced heart problems related to the workouts, Dr. MacDonald said. “It appears that the heart is insulated from the intensity” of the intervals, she said, “because the effort is so brief.”

Almost as surprising, the cardiac patients have embraced the routine. Although their ratings of perceived exertion, or sense of the discomfort of each individual interval, are high and probably accurate, averaging a 7 or higher on a 10-point scale, they report enjoying the entire sessions more than longer, continuous moderate exercise, Dr. MacDonald said.

“The hard work is short,” she points out, “so it’s tolerable.” Members of a separate, exercise control group at the rehab center, assigned to complete standard 30-minute moderate-intensity workout sessions, have been watching wistfully as the interval trainers leave the lab before them. “They want to switch groups,” she said.

The scientists have noted other benefits in earlier studies. In unfit but otherwise healthy middle-aged adults, two weeks of modified HIIT training prompted the creation of far more cellular proteins involved in energy production and oxygen. The training also improved the volunteers’ insulin sensitivity and blood sugar regulation, lowering their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, according to a study published last fall in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

Since then, the scientists completed a small, follow-up experiment involving people with full-blown Type 2 diabetes. They found that even a single bout of the 1-minute hard, 1-minute easy HIIT training, repeated 10 times, improved blood sugar regulation throughout the following day, particularly after meals.

Of course, HIIT training is not ideal or necessary for everyone, said Martin Gibala, a professor of kinesiology at McMaster, who’s overseen the high-intensity studies. “If you have time” for regular 30-minute or longer endurance exercise training, “then by all means, keep it up,” he said. “There’s an impressive body of science showing” that such workouts “are very effective at improving health and fitness.”

But if time constraints keep you from lengthier exercise, he continues, consult your doctor for clearance, and then consider rapidly pedaling a stationary bicycle or sprinting uphill for one minute, aiming to raise your heart rate to about 90 percent of your maximum. Pedal or jog easily downhill for a minute and repeat nine times, perhaps twice a week. “It’s very potent exercise,” Dr. Gibala said. “And then, very quickly, it’s done.”

Is Chiropractic Better Than Back Surgery?…Forbes Magazine Seems To Say So.

Why You Should Never Get Fusion Surgery For Plain Back Pain”

By ROBERT LANGRETH.  FORBES MAGAZINE.

A recent Bloomberg article should put the fear of God in anyone who wants to get a fusion operation for low back pain blamed on worn-out spinal discs…..This is one of the best indictments of this highly controversial and lucrative operation that has been growing like wildfire, despite multiple studies that say it is no better than a good physical therapy (and chiropractic is included in this) and exercise program –and a lot more dangerous.”

In the article he mentions that:

“..Another 125 patient study touted as having positive results for fusion is missing follow up data from a full 45 patients. In another study more than 5% of people who got complex fusion operations had life-threatening complications.”

And

“I’ll add another detail: the theory behind this operation is poor, as there is no surefire way to pinpoint the pain to the degenerated discs being operated on.”

He goes on to add:

“Another amazing fact: Even if the doctor performs the operation properly, you may still end up paralyzed from the waist down”

and then quotes a pretty horrible example of failed back surgery.

The main point of this is that in most cases with bad results, proponents of the op can blame the doctors who performed it, saying they could have done it better.  In his quoted case the surgeon was not to blame having carried out the op in a flawless manner – no, it was the op itself that was flawed.

His main thrust is that in the US the reason there is a huge surge in this operation is that both the surgeon and the implant manufacturer all gain from this op, and in the US, big time.

Studies that have looked at the expansion in these expensive back pain treatments have found no overall improvement in health.  In 2009, two large studies found that another common back operation to treat pain from severe spinal osteoporosis was no better than a fake operation.  Another op done for knee arthritis pain has been performed for years on thousands of patients before studies showed it did nothing more than a placebo operation.

And, so:

“In the absence of a rigorous placebo controlled trial there is simply no way to tell [if these are working]. Surgeons have all sorts of excuses for not doing these studies.”
Maybe they are afraid of what the results may reveal.

He adds that:

“Another great article in the Wall Street Journal found that some doctors who are performing the controversial fusion surgery like crazy just happen to be getting huge fees from Medtronic, maker of gear that is used in the operation. The article proves what everyone had always suspected, there is a huge correlation who is getting industry payments and how often the operation gets done:
Norton Hospital in Louisville, Ky., may not be a household name nationally. But five senior spine surgeons have helped put it on the map in at least one category: From 2004 to 2008, Norton performed the third-most spinal fusions on Medicare patients in the country.
The five surgeons are also among the largest recipients nationwide of payments from medical-device giant Medtronic Inc. In the first nine months of this year alone, the surgeons—Steven Glassman, Mitchell Campbell, John Johnson, John Dimar and Rolando Puno—received more than $7 million from the Fridley, Minn., company.”

So, the risk doesn’t appear to be worth it, especially given that a good rehab program gets you the same results with less cost and much less risk of side effects.  In many cases, there are simpler, less-controversial operations such as spinal decompression that may help without the hideous fusion of vertebrae.

Caveat: There are real reasons to do the fusion operation for certain spinal abnormalities and deformities.  But these non-controversial uses and there has not been a sudden outbreak of significant scoliosis that is driving the explosion in use of this dubious procedure.

45,000 People Tell Consumer Reports Chiropractic is Best for Back Pain

Consumer Reports survey of more than 45,000 people finds that three-fourths of us are turning to alternative therapies like yoga, acupuncture and chiropractic.

The new report says 38 million adults make more than 300 million visits per year to acupuncturists, chiropractors, massage therapists, and other practitioners of alternative and complementary techniques.

Most Popular Alternative Therapies

Chiropractic, deep-tissue massage, and mind-body practices like yoga dominated the list of alternative treatments that respondents said were helpful for back pain, neck pain, and the aches of osteoarthritis.

And though meditation is widely touted as an effective way to relieve anxiety, insomnia, and depression, the survey says prescription antidepressants are used by more people.

Among key findings of the survey:

  • Chiropractic care was ranked as the most effective treatment for back pain.
  • Consumers ranked prescription drugs as most effective for nine of 12 conditions — allergies, cold and flu, depression, anxiety, digestive problems, headache and migraine, insomnia, irritable bowel syndrome, and osteoarthritis.
  • Of the 46% of respondents who used prescription drugs for osteoarthritis pain, 53% said it helped a lot; 54% of respondents used glucosamine/chondroitin for osteoarthritis symptoms, and 25% said it helped a lot.
  • Of the 27% of respondents who used meditation, 42% said it helped “a lot” with anxiety.
  • 43% of respondents used deep-breathing exercises for anxiety, and 34% found it helped a lot.
  • Pilates, yoga, and deep-tissue massage all rated about the same as prescription medication for back pain.
  • Vitamins and minerals were the most commonly used alternative treatments for general health, with 73% of respondents taking them.
  • A majority of people who said they used alternative therapies had told their doctors about it.

Respondents were online subscribers of Consumer Reports.

Consumer Reports recommends that people who decide to try alternative treatments talk to their doctor first to set realistic expectations for improvement.

Source: Consumer Reports July 2011

 

Consumer Reports survey of more than 45,000 people finds that three-fourths of us are turning to alternative therapies like yoga, acupuncture and chiropractic.

Welcome to Our Blog!

I want to welcome everyone to our new website and our new blog. My name is Dr. Drew DeMann, the director of services. I am very excited to use this space to share with you interesting information on getting and staying healthy. Everyday I and my staff will scour the news headlines to find health and wellness information that we think everyone should know. The type of information that can really change your life… The one supplement that you should take to avoid heart disease? How to add years to your life with food and diet? The five stretches that can prevent low back pain.

In other words, practical essential information that we all need to live a healthier longer life.

Stay tuned and check back with us soon. I am sure that you will be pleased. Even better, follow us on Twitter and Facebook and get the information sent right to your computer. In either case, we think you will be glad you did.

Dr. Drew DeMann
Director