The Opioid Crisis — A Case of Mass Homicide?

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • The inappropriate treatment approach to back pain and post-surgical pain from tonsillectomies and wisdom teeth removal are driving forces behind the opioid epidemic
  • Insurance claims data reveal 60% of children between the ages of 1 and 18 with private insurance fill one or more opioid prescriptions after surgical tonsil removal. Dentists wrote 18.1 million prescriptions for opioids in 2017
  • Research shows opioids (including morphine, Vicodin, oxycodone and fentanyl) fail to control moderate to severe pain any better than over-the-counter drugs such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen and naproxen
  • The American College of Physicians’ guideline for low back pain call for the use of heat, massage, acupuncture or chiropractic adjustments as first-line treatments. When drugs are desired, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or muscle relaxants should be used
  • While clinical practice guidelines call for nonpharmacological intervention for back pain, most insurance plans avoid paying for such treatments, favoring opioid treatment instead

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Reducing The Effects Of Electromagnetic Pollution Naturally

Is earthing, or grounding really a cure for inflammatory diseases, back pain, headaches, arthritis, electrical sensitivity and other diseases?

I decided to try it myself to find out if it really works. Continue reading

Principles of Natural Posture for Health and Pain Relief

Story at-a-glance −

Chronic sitting is a risk factor for poor health, pain, and early death. But HOW you sit may have a significant impact on the risks of sitting Continue reading

Techniques for Practicing Mindfulness and Meditation

Story at-a-glance −

Meditation helps you take a deliberate break from the stream of thoughts that are constantly flowing in and out of your mind

Practicing “mindfulness” means you’re actively paying attention to the Continue reading

Simple, Effective Approaches for Safely Preventing and Treating Back Pain

Story at-a-glance 

An estimated 75-85 percent of Americans will experience back pain at some time in their lives; in most cases, the pain is due to a mechanical problem, such as poor posture, improper movement, and excessive sitting Continue reading

Gokhale Method: Banish Pain by Relearning Proper Posture

Story at-a-glance

Proper posture and properly using your body to work against gravity is the foundation upon which everything else related to your health is built

The Gokhale Method addresses the root cause of physical pain, which is typically caused by improper posture. The method teaches you to reclaim your primal posture, which is the way your body was designed to stand, sit, and move

Conventional advice tells you Continue reading

Modern Science Confirms Yoga’s Many Health Benefits

Modern science now confirms why humans have been practicing yoga since the beginning of recorded history: it is good both for the body and mind. Continue reading

The Alexander Technique

Did You Know…

… that a unique and practical method of moment called the Alexander Technique has been shown to help alleviate tension headaches naturally, as well as ease back pain, tennis elbow—and even asthma, sleep disorders and lethargy?

If you watch toddlers playing, you will notice that they move with ease: spines straight, joints free and large heads balanced easily on their small necks.  It doesn’t take long, however, before unawareness settles in, and the body’s innate ability to move Continue reading

Don’t Suffer Back Pain; Learn and Heal

Back pain is not merely ordinary discomfort. It is a teacher of life lessons instructing us about our bodies and the mind-body connection. If you work through the pain and deal with it in a mindful, natural way, you can find relief and gain a new appreciation for avoiding backaches and improving your life’s journey.

Back Pain Redux

Recurring, chronic back pain is nobody’s friend, although it offers a tough-love educational experience. In the search for relief, this type of pain can too often lead to drug addiction, depression, disability and many more problems if you let it get out of control. But you have to remember that neck pain, upper back pain, low back pain and tail bone discomfort can each have quite different causes. Consequently, each comes with its own lesson.

I became an uncomfortably close friend to low back pain during my college years. In those days, I was a constant athlete. I was a competitive swimmer from age 5 to 13. Then I got serious about tennis, football, basketball, skiing and distance running. During all those activities, I never had a problem with my low back until the beginning of my first year at Brigham Young University (BYU).

I distinctly recall my first low back strain. Continue reading

The Amazing Science of Auriculotherapy

How Pressing Specific Points on Your Outer Ear Can Help You Stop Smoking … Eliminate Pain … Shed Excess Weight … Quit the Alcohol Habit …and Heal over 350 Diseases

Did you know that when you massage or apply stimulation to a specific point on the outer ear (the auricle) … you can dramatically reduce or eliminate pain in a corresponding body part … and even reverse a disease or get rid of an addiction?

The discovery of the ear points and their therapeutic applications happened when Dr. Paul Nogier noticed that some of his patients who stimulated a specific area of their outer ear were able to successfully relieve low back pain. Dr. Nogier then conducted a similar procedure on his own sciatica patients and discovered that his patients were likewise relieved of their back pain.

After several experiments, he observed that the ear represents the human anatomy in an upside down orientation. He consequently identified the correlation of specific parts of the body to specific parts of the ear. Continue reading

Telemedicine in the Work Site

A feasibility study, with patient and provider satisfaction

We examined the use of telemedicine for improving access to care in a work-site clinic. A prospective study of 100 patients was conducted over a four-month period in a work site that housed 700 employees. Sinusitis (10 visits), upper respiratory tract infections (9 visits), otitis media (9 visits), hypertension (9 visits) and back pain (8 visits) were the most common reasons for the visits. In 99 visits, clinicians were of the opinion that the telemedicine visit felt similar to a face-to-face visit. For most of the visits (67), patients strongly agreed or agreed that telemedicine had a positive effect on their relationship with the health-care provider. The otoscope, microscope and stethoscope telemedicine peripherals were important in aiding diagnosis (and ruling out other causes) in about 55% of the visits (upper respiratory tract infection, sinusitis, otitis media, cough, sore throat, nevi, rhinitis and ear wax related concerns). The ability for the patient to watch their ENT examination and see any associated abnormalities was appreciated by many patients. Physicians, nurses and patients were capable of using the technology with little trainiing.

Source for Story:

Prathibha Varkey , Kay Schumacher, Claudia Swanton, Barbara Timm and Philip T Hagen
Division of Preventive, Occupational and Aerospace Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA

What is the Feldenkrais Method?

Feldenkrais is a form of movement re-education developed by nuclear physicist and engineer Moshe Feldenkrais after suffering a sports-related injury. Rather than undergo surgery, he explored alternatives and created his own form of rehab integrating physiology, anatomy, martial arts, psychology, and neurology.

A key principle of Feldenkrais is that the way that a person speaks, moves, and thinks is based on the self-image that person has developed over the years. In order to change the way we move and carry ourselves, we have to change how we see ourselves.

Feldenkrais recognized the importance of proper breathing to movement. He also believed that postures and movements reflected the state of the mind and body. For example, a depressed person may have hunched shoulders.

Conditions Treated

  • Muscle pain
  • Back pain
  • Neuromuscular conditions, such as cerebral palsy and fibromyalgia
  • Repetitive strain
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Performance enhancement for dancers, actors, athletes
  • Sports injuries

What a Typical Feldenkrais Treatment is Like

With Feldenkrais, there are two approaches:

  • Awareness Through Movement group classes – Led by a teacher, these classes increase mobility and help replace old patterns of movement with new, improving breathing and blood circulation. Classes are popular with actors, musicians, and dancers.
  • Functional Integration individual sessions – One-to-one sessions, using touch and tissue manipulation, where the practitioner actively directs the client’s body through various movements tailored to individual needs.

Sitting Straight is Bad for Backs

Sitting up straight is not the best position for office workers, a study has suggested.

Scottish and Canadian researchers used a new form of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to show it places an unnecessary strain on your back.
They told the Radiological Society of North America that the best position in which to sit at your desk is leaning back, at about 135 degrees.

Experts said sitting was known to contribute to lower back pain.

Data from the British Chiropractic Association says 32% of the population spends more than 10 hours a day seated.

Half do not leave their desks, even to have lunch. Two thirds of people also sit down at home when they get home from work.

Spinal angles

The research was carried out at Woodend Hospital in Aberdeen.
Twenty two volunteers with healthy backs were scanned using a positional MRI machine, which allows patients the freedom to move – so they can sit or stand – during the test.
Traditional scanners mean patients have to lie flat, which may mask causes of pain that stem from different movements or postures.
In this study, the patients assumed three different sitting positions: a slouching position, in which the body is hunched forward as if they were leaning over a desk or a video game console, an upright 90-degree sitting position; and a “relaxed” position where they leaned back at 135 degrees while their feet remained on the floor.

The researchers then took measurements of spinal angles and spinal disk height and movement across the different positions.
Spinal disk movement occurs when weight-bearing strain is placed on the spine, causing the disk to move out of place.

Disk movement was found to be most pronounced with a 90-degree upright sitting posture.
It was least pronounced with the 135-degree posture, suggesting less strain is placed on the spinal disks and associated muscles and tendons in a more relaxed sitting position.

The “slouch” position revealed a reduction in spinal disk height, signifying a high rate of wear and tear on the lowest two spinal levels.
When they looked at all test results, the researchers said the 135-degree position was the best for backs, and say this is how people should sit.

‘Tendency to slide’

Dr Waseem Bashir of the Department of Radiology and Diagnostic Imaging at the University of Alberta Hospital, Canada, who led the study, said: “Sitting in a sound anatomic position is essential, since the strain put on the spine and its associated ligaments over time can lead to pain, deformity and chronic illness.”

Rishi Loatey of the British Chiropractic Association said: “One in three people suffer from lower back pain and to sit for long periods of time certainly contributes to this, as our bodies are not designed to be so sedentary.”

Levent Caglar from the charity BackCare, added: “In general, opening up the angle between the trunk and the thighs in a seated posture is a good idea and it will improve the shape of the spine, making it more like the natural S-shape in a standing posture.

“As to what is the best angle between thigh and torso when seated, reclining at 135 degrees can make sitting more difficult as there is a tendency to slide off the seat: 120 degrees or less may be better.”

Muscle Imbalances May Cause Back Pain

What I have discovered in practice is that there are usually only one or two main groups of muscles, setting up the imbalances that cause the joint to move or the pressure to build up in a muscle making the joint stiff or tight and painful to use.

If the muscles that set up the imbalances (usually the deeper structural muscles) are worked on correctly, the pressure that causes the twist, tilt or tightness is released, along with the pain.

When a back develops problems it is not normally something that has just happened but rather the result of a buildup of imbalances over time. It tends to involve the whole body in some way and therefore requires a holistic approach to get a lasting cure.

To demonstrate, reach to the right to pick something up and you’ll notice it is not just your shoulder and arm that moves, you will feel every muscle in your body adjust in some way to support that movement.

Any therapist who doesn’t get their hands onto the muscles and body regularly, which lets face it is most of them including a doctor, physiotherapist, chiropractor, acupuncturist, Pilates or yoga instructor, personal trainer etc, is severely handicapped right from the start when it comes to successfully treating back pain.

There is no way, without the vital information you get from the feel of the body, they could devise the best way of approaching a particular person’s back problem, or diagnose it correctly for that matter. In one hour you can significantly change how a person feels within themselves, simply by making a significant change to the muscle imbalances in their body and how those muscles feel to the touch.

The body will respond to the right touch as if it knows what is good for it, just as it will freeze up and resist the wrong treatment as a way of protecting itself. Have you ever gone for an adjustment from a chiropractor and had trouble relaxing?

When seeking out treatment for your back pain you need to tune into your body and instinctively you will know what is helping you and what isn’t.

A large number of people can’t afford to spend several hundred dollars on the medical merry go round hoping they would find someone who could help them.

I felt that if people were well educated on diagnosing their own problem and had effective techniques they could use daily at home to make progress on their own, they would get much better value from the therapy appointments they had and more importantly, they’d be able to recognize very quickly when a therapist they saw was going to be a waste of their money and time.

Introducing – White Willow Bark

White willow bark is a tree native to Europe and Asia. The name “white willow” comes from the color of the leaves, which are covered with fine white hairs.

The use of white willow bark medicinally goes far back. Ancient Egyptians used white willow for inflammation. The Greek physician Hippocrates wrote about white willow’s medicinal uses in 5th century B.C.

In 1829, scientists in Europe identified what was believed to be the active ingredient in white willow bark—a compound called salicin. Public demand grew rapidly.

Extracting salicin from herbs was considered to be expensive and time-consuming, so a synthetic salicylic acid version was developed in Germany in 1852 and quickly became the treatment of choice (salicin is converted in the body to salicylic acid).

The problem was that it was harder on the stomach. At therapeutic doses, people using the synthetic salicyclic acid developed stomach ulcers and bleeding.

The German company Bayer eventually created a synthetic, less harsh derivative of salicylic acid, called acetylsalicylic acid (ASA), and mass-produced it under the name aspirin. Despite this, aspirin is still known for irritating the stomach lining.

Why do people use white willow bark?

White willow bark is used for conditions that cause pain, inflammation, or fever, such as:

    * Acute back pain

    * Fever

    * Flu

    * Joint pain

    * Osteoarthritis

    * Pain

People take white willow bark instead of aspirin because it does not appear to be as irritating to the stomach lining. It may be because the salicin found naturally in white willow bark is only converted to the acid form after it is absorbed by the stomach.

Researchers have also suggested that white willow bark is more effective than aspirin because of other active compounds that are found in the bark but not the drug. Animal research at Cairo University compared a willow bark extract to ASA and found that a willow bark extract was as effective as aspirin in reducing inflammation, even though the salicin content was lower than an equivalent dose of ASA.

What research has been done on white willow bark?

    * In a German study, the effectiveness of a willow bark extract providing 240 mg of salicin a day was compared to placebo in a 2-week randomized controlled trial in 78 people with osteoarthritis. After two weeks, the willow bark patients’ pain scores were reduced by 14% compared to the placebo group, which had a 2% increase in pain scores.

    * A randomized controlled trial published in the American Journal of Medicine examined the use of 120 mg or 240 mg salicin or placebo in 210 patients with an low back pain. In the fourth and final week of the study, 39% of the group taking 240 mg salicin were pain-free for at least 5 days, compared to 21% in the 120 mg group and only 6% in the placebo group.

    * Two randomized controlled 6-week trials investigated the effectiveness and safety of willow bark in 127 patients with hip and/or knee osteoarthritis and 26 patients with rheumatoid arthritis. In the osteoarthritis trial, patients received either willow bark providing 240 mg of salicin a day, 100 mg a day of the drug diclofenac, or a placebo. Patients in the rheumatoid arthritis trial received either willow bark or a placebo. The results found that the drug diclofenac was more effective than placebo in osteoarthritis patients but white willow bark was not. In rheumatoid arthritis patients, willow bark wasn’t found to be more effective than placebo.

Common Doses

Studies have used white willow bark extracts that provide 120 mg to 240 mg of salicin per day.

Safety

Because white willow bark contains salicylates, the same precautions as aspirin should be taken until research has shown otherwise. The following people should not take white willow bark:

    * People with an aspirin allergy or sensitivity. There has been a published report of a 25 year old woman who was admitted to emergency with anaphylaxis after taking 2 capsules of a weight loss supplement that contained willow bark. The patient had a history of allergy to acetylsalicylic acid. No other possible causes for anaphylaxis were identified in that patient.

    * People with peptic ulcer disease or kidney disease.

    * The herbs ginkgo, vitamin E, and garlic may increase the risk of bleeding if combined with white willow.

    * People with hyperuricemia, gout, and asthma.

    * Children and teenagers, especially with flu-like symptoms, chicken pox, or Reye’s syndrome.

    * Pregnant or nursing women.

White willow bark should be avoided two weeks before or after surgery.

Side effects

There have been few reported side effects. However, the same side effects as aspirin may theoretically occur, especially at higher doses: ringing in the ears, ulcers, stomach burning, pain, cramping, nausea, gastrointestinal bleeding and liver toxicity, rash, dizziness, and kidney impairment.