Best Regenerative Medicine Treatments for Chronic Pain

Over the decades, incredible advancements have been made in how doctors can treat and help patients who are dealing with chronic pain. While some patients still benefit greatly form taking medications to control the pain they feel, there are newer medical advancements that have made treating chronic pain easier and reduce the reliance on chemical medications, which can have a surprising number of benefits for patients. Those who visit a Utah pain management clinic to deal with these issues will quickly find they have a larger number of options to help them live their lives free of the pain they’ve suffered from.

What Is Regenerative Medicine?

First and foremost, it’s important to understand exactly what regenerative medicine is. In general, the body has regenerative properties, which is what causes the body to heal when it is injured or you become ill. However, this natural process doesn’t always work the way nature intended, leaving the body to suffer, such as with the presence of chronic pain. The good news is advancements in the field of medicine have introduced a number of treatment options that can give the body the boost it needs to restore its regenerative properties and help the body deal with chronic pain so the patient can live a more productive life once again. These regenerative medicine therapies introduce stem cells, platelet-rich plasma or other natural components into the body to stimulate the natural production of these elements so patients can enjoy the benefits.

How Do These Treatments Work?

As an alternative to the often used medications and surgery for chronic pain, regenerative medicine treatments offered at a Utah pain management clinic help supplement the body’s natural processes so you can get the relief you need without introducing unnatural chemicals into the body or undergoing potentially risky or painful surgery that may or may not produce the results you’re looking for. These treatments can be used for a wide variety of chronic pain types, including those caused by sports injuries or other similar injuries, lower back pain, osteoarthritis, other types of arthritis and more. Some treatments may also work to eliminate chronic pain related to headaches or migraines, nerve pain and muscle pain. The professionals at a qualified Utah pain management clinic can provide guidance regarding whether regenerative medicine is a viable option for your chronic pain, as well as which type will work best for your situation.

Platelet-Rich Plasma Treatments

Platelet-rich plasma treatments begin with the extraction of your own blood. The Utah pain management clinic then processes your blood through a centrifuge to separate your blood into its separate components, so they can use the plasma for the treatment. This is the element in your blood responsible for the natural regeneration of cells to heal injuries. Giving your body an extra boost of its own natural platelets encourages this healing and can help eliminate your chronic pain without the need for surgery or medication.

Once the platelets are separated from the rest of your blood, it is prepared to inject back into your body. This injection is placed at the site of your chronic pain, such as into nerves, muscles, joints, tendons or ligaments. The injection is placed at the site of the pain because one of the biggest reasons chronic pain occurs is due to the lack of natural blood flow to the area. Introducing platelet-rich plasma to these areas directly triggers the same effect as improved blood flow. While the effects may take some time to occur, this can be an effective way to eliminate the cause of chronic pain without the need for surgery. This treatment is most effective for osteoarthritis, arthritis and certain injuries.

Stem Cell Therapy

Another common type of regenerative medicine is stem cell therapy. Similar to the platelet-rich plasma injections described above, stem cell therapy involves removing stem cells from the patient’s body. These stem cells are typically extracted directly from the bone or pockets of fat. The Utah pain management clinic then uses a specialized machine to concentrate the stem cells into a substance that can be injected back into the body. However, this type of treatment is typically used to treat different types of chronic pain from those best treated platelet-rich plasma. This treatment is often best suited for repairing ligaments, bone, cartilage and tendons.

Prolotherapy and Neural Prolotherapy

This non-surgical treatment is often recommended by a Utah pain management clinic for the treatment of chronic pain in the joints, ligaments, muscles, tendons and nerves. When these injuries restrict the blood flow to the area, the damages aren’t repaired naturally by the body. Substances, such as sugar alcohols, are injected into the damaged area to help tighten up joints that may have been loosened as the result of an injury. The solutions are designed to dehydrate the area and reduce swelling. This also sends signals to the brain requesting more blood be sent to the area to stimulate repairs. This treatment is effective at restoring the natural healing properties of the body without removing and re-injecting components from the body itself.

Each of these treatment options has its own uses. This is why it’s essential to make an appointment with your Utah pain management clinic to discuss your condition with a qualified professional. The team can evaluate your injury or other cause of your chronic pain and recommend the most effective non-surgical treatment option to provide the best results and eliminate your chronic pain without the need for surgery or medication.

Stem Cells for Knee Pain: Promising Treatment with Great Benefits

Across the U.S., stem cell therapy is being referred to as the miracle cure for anything from skin blemishes like wrinkles to spinal repair. While there’s not an exhaustive amount of scientific research yet on stem cell therapy for these applications, many promising studies have been showing its effectiveness for the knees.

According to CIRM, California’s Stem Cell Agency, around 600,000 individuals in the U.S. each year undergo knee replacement surgery and this number is expected to potentially rise to three million by 2030. Treatment options, until recently, were either surgical or temporary. Today, in a number of cases, stem cell therapy for the knees is repairing cartilage and decreasing pain for patients. Because of this, many individuals have been able to avoid surgery and have experienced an improvement in their quality of life.

As studies are continually conducted, the combinations and forms of stem cell preparations are advancing ― and there’s the expectation that results will continue to improve as well. It’s an exciting time and promising treatment for many individuals experiencing knee pain.

What are Stem Cells?

Stem cells, which are actually mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), are precursor cells that don’t know what they’ll be yet in the body. They can differ in various forms, including:

  • Cartilage
  • Bone
  • Connective tissue
  • Fat

They play an important role in the human body’s reparative processes.

What is Stem Cell Therapy for the Knees?

Knee stem cell therapy is an approach of treatment that helps decrease the amount of joint inflammation and irritation you could experience on a day-to-day basis, as well as the long-term. It helps to postpone or prevent more severe health procedures like knee replacement. Each person will vary in how long ongoing stem cell therapy will last, but generally, once treatment is completed, results are permanent.

Many individuals undergo knee treatment options to decrease the pain they’re experiencing from nerve or ligament damage. They ideally would prefer to avoid surgery if possible. Knee stem cell therapy is a bit more complicated than stem cell therapy for other body parts since the supply of blood is more constrained in the knee area. However, when done correctly, you can experience very positive results.

With knee injections, physicians frequently take stem cells from your:

  • Fat tissue
  • Bone marrow
  • Blood
  • Umbilical cord

The injections have minimal side effects, and are typically limited to temporary and mild discomfort. Some patient have mild swelling at the injection site or stiffness in the knee joint.

Many doctors who perform stem cell therapy provide anecdotal evidence to validate the effectiveness of the treatment. Researchers are trying to find whether it’s the stem cells alone that decrease inflammation or if the stem cells release other substances that impact other cells. Researchers are also trying to find out if worn-out cartilage can be regenerated by the treatments.

Benefits of Stem Cell Therapy for Healing Damaged Knees

On a global scale, stem cell therapy is gaining traction. Centers are offering a number of treatments to tackle conditions like chemical imbalances and sclerosis knee issues, in order to restore normalcy to individual’s bodies and lives.

Some types of stem cell therapy are being developed without significant scientific backing to advance the methodology and to eventually benefit millions of individuals over time. Doctors and researchers are getting excited by the results they’re seeing in advanced and new stem cell therapy research and health sciences is literally evolving right before everyone’s’ eyes.

One 2014 study showed stem cell injections administered after a procedure for removing torn knee cartilage showed proof of lessened pain and cartilage regeneration. The findings of six studies showed researchers stem cells for knee arthritis produced good results for patients with no serious side effects.

Professionals in the field concluded that knee stem cell therapy works by:

  • Reducing inflammation
  • Forming essential ligament cells and providing tendons and nerves growth factors
  • Discharging proteins referred to as cytokines that regulate cartilage degeneration and reduce pain

The goal of ongoing research is to determine the most reliable and optimal results for stem cell therapy for the knee based on using ideal dosage amounts, proven methods and accurate cell choices.

Stem Cell Therapy for Knee Osteoarthritis 

Arthritis develops when your cartilage that lines your joints begins deteriorating and this leads to limited function and causes pain. Osteoarthritis is very common. Both are a huge cause of disability in the U.S.

A main effect of knee osteoarthritis is cartilage degeneration. Knee cartilage is important for the normal function of the joint since it offers protective cushioning for the joint’s bony surfaces and keeps them from directly contacting one another.

In many moderate to severe osteoarthritis cases, the disability and pain associated with this bone on bone contact is an essential factor in determining whether  to undergo a knee replacement procedure. Stem cell therapy for knee arthritis might offer individuals with a less invasive alternative one day to the common surgeries used today. Stem cells can not only possibly help ease pain that knee osteoarthritis causes, but they might also be able to slow down cartilage degeneration or reverse it altogether.

While stem cell therapy could pose potential risks when performed on other body areas like the spine or eyes, it’s fairly safe when used for the knees.

The bottom line, stem cell therapy or the knees is still in its infancy and the FDA is taking caution when proceeding. But research so far has been extremely promising. Many individuals have avoided or postponed knee replacement surgery successfully and for the knee. The side effects of Utah stem cell therapy for knees are minimal and the intrusiveness is negligible.

Stem Cell Therapy for Rheumatoid Arthritis

There are about 1.3 million Americans currently living with rheumatoid arthritis, and according to the National Institutes of Health, about 41 people out of every 100,000 are newly diagnosed every year. Women are more commonly afflicted, with between two and three times the risk of getting the autoimmune disease. In most cases, rheumatoid arthritis is chronic and can last for years or even a lifetime.

This painful condition can be debilitating, with sufferers often having to miss work and skip out on regular everyday activities. Though it mostly affects the joints, it can also affect internal organs and bodily systems (such as the respiratory and cardiovascular systems) and result in even more limitations for the individual. There are various treatments to help manage symptoms (primarily when it comes to pain and inflammation), but the condition so far remains without a cure.

That said, a portion of research and experimentation with regenerative medicine has long been focused on treating rheumatoid arthritis. This biomedical approach focuses on developing new treatments for debilitating illnesses by using the body’s own resources. At the forefront of all of this (or at least making up the biggest part of the conversation) is stem cell therapy. Though considered controversial, this form of treatment is considered by many medical researchers and practitioners to have a promising future.

What Exactly is Stem Cell Therapy

To understand stem cell therapy, it is crucial to understand stem cells and their purpose. These cells are essentially the body’s base or “raw” materials, the cells from which all other cells are generated. The body naturally divides these cells and forms other cells that become parts of new tissue and perform specialized functions. In a laboratory research setting, stem cells can be subjected to certain conditions that mimic the body and cause them to divide into more cells.

These newly divided cells are referred to as “daughter cells”, and they will go on to either become new stem cells (known as “self-renewal”) or develop into specially functioning cells (differentiation) that will become brain tissue, blood cells, heart tissue or even bone tissue. Only stem cells have the ability to generate new cells that can become different types of cells and tissue, which is exactly why researchers are so interested in stem cells in the first place.

For therapeutic treatments, stem cells are collected either from adults or from embryonic tissue. They are then injected into patients intravenously in the hope that they will develop into new tissue to replace / rejuvenate older or damaged tissue.

Stem Cell Therapy Research for Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment

Studies are currently underway to examine how effective stem cell therapy may be as a rheumatoid arthritis treatment. However, past studies have already demonstrated promising results. For example, a study conducted in 2013 involved 172 people with rheumatoid arthritis divided into two groups. One group was administered regular doses of Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), which specifically develop into bone and cartilage. The other group served as the control and received a placebo. By the end of the study, the group that received MSCs demonstrated notably higher levels of disease remission and increased levels of regulatory T-cells (that prevent the body’s immune system from attacking its own tissue) when compared with the control.

It is important to note that all participants continued to take their regular rheumatoid arthritis medication at the time. Still, this study is not the only published findings current researchers can rely on. Though performed on lab mice rather than humans, a 2015 study yielded similar findings. The group of mice that received MSCs showed a spike in regulatory T-cell production. In the case of rheumatoid arthritis, higher regulatory T-cell levels is crucial in order to fight inflammation.

Despite these findings, the FDA currently holds the stance that research has not conclusively proven stem cells’ effectiveness for inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. As of 2017, researchers are working on developing more reliable (with lower margins for error) methods of gathering data in this area.

PRP Therapy

It’s tough not to include Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy when discussing stem cell therapy. Especially with rheumatoid arthritis treatments, the two practically go hand-in-hand. Both can be used to repair bodily tissues that have been damaged by disease. However, where stem cell therapy utilizes young cells from either adult or embryonic tissue, PRP treatments involve separating out the natural plasma in blood. PRP therapy is therefore more straightforward and requires far less prep time. It’s also worth noting that blood plasma donations are often more readily available than stem cells, although both forms of treatment are still often wanting in resources in order to meet research demand.

Platelet rich plasma has already been shown to effectively rejuvenate and expedite healing in individuals with wounds. However, more research is needed in order to demonstrate its efficacy with rheumatoid arthritis. Theoretically, however, blood plasma should help heal (or at the very least, ease the symptoms of) the disease’s worn joints and inflamed tissues.

That said, stem cell therapy still appears to be the more promising of the two when it comes to treating degenerative diseases.

What Does this Mean for the Future?

There is still a lot of work to be done regarding stem cell therapy research (and PRP therapy), and even positive findings must be carefully assessed. Proposed treatments must then be researched and duplicated, and close collaboration with professionals across a wide variety of medical fields, as well as those in chemistry, computer science and other technology is also required. It’s also important to acknowledge that there are still various risks with each treatment, and medical professionals should keep patients well-informed throughout the process. It’s also worth noting that the FDA has yet to determine whether the risks outweigh the benefits, and therefore there are no stem cell treatments that are formally FDA-approved.

Basically, while stem cell therapy in the case of rheumatoid arthritis appears to be very promising and has already been shown to help a lot of people, it will most likely be years before the treatment becomes widespread. Furthermore, if stem cell therapy is indeed proven to effectively treat degenerative diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, it could unlock the key to treating a range of similar illnesses. The future for this form of treatment remains bright!

Regenerative Medicine: Stem Cell Therapy and PRP Therapy an Introduction

Regenerative medicine is a biomedical approach to finding new methods to treat different illnesses. At the forefront, are stem cell therapy and platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy. Specifically, these medical strategies are used to repair and rejuvenate damaged tissues to disease or injury. Both strategies are designed to perform similar functions, but there are differences in their prep and functionality.

The Differences Between Stem Cell Therapy and PRP Therapy

PRP is the autologous plasma of the blood that has high concentrations of plasma for healing. These are the platelets that are responsible for wound healing. On the flip side, stem cell therapy entails the primitive cells from adult tissue or embryonic tissue. It works by replacing damaged cells in tissue and organs.

The preparation in stem cell therapy takes time. The cells are isolated and cultured for several weeks in order to be applied. The preparation for PRP therapy is quick. There is a rapid separation of the blood. It’s important to note that stem cell therapy has delivered more promising results than PRP therapy. Likely, that is due to the differentiation into multiple cell types native to the site with the stem cell therapy mechanism.

A Closer Look at PRP Therapy

The preparation of PRP therapy includes blood collection, PRP separation and PRP activation. The blood is collected using citrate dextrose and centrifuged in different cycles. It enriches the blood up to 9 times. Then, the blood is separated into a bottom, middle and top layer. Depending on the application, the process may be activated or nonactivated. The activated process results in the release of cytokines, and the nonactivated process activates the platelets in the connective tissue.

According to The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), “Over the last few years, the use of PRP as a therapeutic tool has made a significant advancement in the field of regenerative medicine particularly in the field of wound healing and skin regeneration, dentistry, cosmetic and plastic surgery, fat grafting, bone regeneration, tendinopathies, ophthalmology, hepatocyte recovery, esthetic surgery, orthopedics, soft-tissue ulcers and skeletal muscle injury and others.”

An Inside Look at Stem Cell Therapy

Stem cells are divided into two groups-embryonic and adult cells. They are further classified into four types-unipotent, multipotent, totipotent and pluripotent. Each one of these classifications can differentiate into cells of three germ layers, but has a different function. For example, unipotent cells  can differentiate into a specific type of tissue, such as heart tissue. One of the major advantages of stem cell therapy is that it can provide a lifetime repository of cells for patients. It is a complex process that requires sophisticated lab equipment and very experienced staff. It is critical that no contamination takes place during the process. Stem cell therapy also requires close monitoring of the patients during and after the application.

The ability of stem cell therapy for self-renewal and differentiation into other types of cells shows great promise. It can be used for degenerative diseases like cancer where PRP is not suitable. It can also be used for:

  • Restoration of cognitive function
  • Muscle regeneration
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Lung diseases
  • Diabetes
  • Retinopathy
  • Bone regeneration
  • Scar tissue repair
  • Cardiac defects

The Combination of Stem Cell Therapy and PRP Therapy

Both therapies have been used in conjunction for chronic pain treatment and wound healing. According to the NCBI, “ Although their preparation, mechanism and action and efficacy have been shown to be different, studies have shown that both PRP and SC can complement each other and might have an added advantage when used in combination. For example, PRP offers a suitable microenvironment for MSCs to promote proliferation and differentiation and accelerates wound healing capabilities. Conversely, PRP can be a powerful tool to attract cell populations, such as MSCs, a combination of which provides a promising approach for the treatment. Some of the common injuries that are treated using combinational therapy include – tendonitis, rotator cuff tears, osteoarthritis, spine conditions, arthritic joints, overuse injuries, inflammation from herniated disc and others.”

What Patients Need to Know About PRP Therapy and Stem Cell Therapy

Blood is drawn from a vein just like blood donation. Then, the PRP is made, which takes about 30 minutes. An ultrasound is used to look at the area. The skin is numbed and cleansed before the PRP is injected. For ligament or tendon conditions, the needle may be used to break up any adhesions. It’s known as fasciotomy. The PRP is then injected into the tissue. For joint conditions, the PRP is injected into the damaged joint. All around, the procedure takes about an hour.

When stem cells are taken from bone marrow, a bone marrow aspirate concentrate (BMAC) is taken from the bone marrow inside the bones. BMAC has stem cells, including regenerative cells and platelets. The concentrate is injected into ligaments, joints, muscles and other areas. Like PRP therapy, an ultrasound is used to identify the injection side. The skin is then cleaned and numbed. The ultrasound guides the needle into the damaged area, and it’s injected. The procedure takes about two hours.

Patients undergoing PRP therapy or Stem Cell therapy should advise their healthcare provider if they’ve had any changes in health, are taking blood thinners, have had the flue shot or may be pregnant prior to undergoing the procedure. Patients cannot undergo either one of these procedures if they are taking antibiotics, have any signs of an infection or are running a fever.

Typically, complications do not occur after stem cell therapy or PRP therapy, but they may. Any bleeding from the injection site, swollen throat, rash or difficulty breather should be reported to a healthcare provider. These symptoms could be an allergic reaction and require immediate care. Keep in mind, that it is normal to have some minor pain after an injection into any area of the body.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Regenerative Medicine

Regenerative medicine is still in its early stages of development. Recent advances have marked a huge point in the history of medicine. At the same time, there is uncertainty. To ensure proper oversight of regenerative medicine, the FDA has regulations in place. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb states, “In terms of compliance, and with regard to our increased oversight and enforcement: In the last few days alone, the FDA has taken steps in Florida and California to address a number of especially troubling products being marketed. But unfortunately, these are examples of a larger pool of actors who claim that their unproven and unsafe products will address a serious disease, but instead put patients at significant risk. We will seek to take additional actions in the coming months as we address this field, and target those who are clearly stepping over the line, at the same time that they create a potential danger to patients. We have examples where some of these unproven treatments have clearly harmed patients. As the agency responsible for ensuring these therapies are safe and effective, I will not allow these activities to go unchecked. I’ve directed the FDA to launch a new working group to pursue unscrupulous clinics through whatever legally enforceable means are necessary to protect the public health.”

The Future of Regenerative Medicine

Without a doubt, the future of regenerative medicine is unfolding right now. In the near future, the waiting list for organs will be a thing of the past. Regenerative medicine could solve the problem of a lack of donors and organ rejection. Patients will one day be able to circumvent organ donation, and regenerative medicine will know how to repair organs on its own. Currently, research and education are fueling the advances in regenerative medicine. Research is being done right now at Duke University to study the mechanisms underlying regeneration of the heart, spinal cord and the brain. Instead of losing function from a damaged heart, it may one day be possible to place an engineered cardiac patch over the heart to totally restore its function after a heart attack.

Regenerative medicine certainly has the potential of radically changing how we treat disease and injury. There may even be a day when paralyzed patients may be able to walk again. Even diseases, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s may no deliver a sentence of neurodegeneration. Picture a world where medicine is not targeted to heal, but instead to regenerate.

In sum, regenerative medicine is a cross-disciplinary approach. It includes engineering, chemistry, medicine and computer science. It requires a lot of technical expertise from a wide variety of professionals. Many term regenerative medicine as the “cure of tomorrow.” Collaboration among many fields will be the key to this new genre of healthcare treatment. It’s innovative, and it will certainly improve the quality of life for millions. In the future, you can expect more developments in both stem cell therapy and PRP therapy. Using stem cell rich blood from an umbilical cord will soon be key to repairing injury and disease. Previously untreatable injuries and diseases just may become a thing of the past.


How Physical Therapy Can Help After Failed Back Surgery

Physical Therapy, often called physiotherapy or just PT is often used as part of a bigger, multidisciplinary program that’s designed to treat the majority of spinal disorders, which include those that result in FBSS failed back surgery syndrome. Sometimes, your doctor will recommend PT to help you manage pain, improve flexibility, restore function, reduce inflammation, correct posture, and build endurance and strength.

A physical therapist or physiotherapist is considered an expert in the healthcare field who is formulates a customized treatment program including active and passive therapies to meet the specific goals and needs of a patient. The PT you hire may start at any time, right after your diagnosis has been confirmed, and soon after acute neck or back pain has gone away or after it has been controlled, prior to spine surgery, if it is recommended, and during your post-operative rehabilitation and recovery.

The therapies are classified as being active or passive based on if the treatment is given to the patient passively or if the patient is being actively involved in the therapy. Some examples of passive PT will include ultrasound, cold and heat packs, and therapist guided range of motion movements. Some of the most common types of active therapies including things like stretching and various strengthening exercises.

Components of Active and Passive Physical Therapy

A therapy is considered active or passed on if the treatment is administered to the patient, which is passive, or the patient is involved in this therapy, which is active. The most company types of passive PT will include the things mentioned above and the same with active physical therapy.

Passive PT

This type of therapist guided range of motion, ultrasound, TENS, and heat and cold can help to relax tense muscles, soothe soft tissues, and increase flexibility. Some passive therapies will also help to prepare your body for much more active movements, such as exercise. A passive modality is created to help you feel better while they are being applied, but they don’t help after the treatment is complete.

Active PT

An active type of physical therapy is exercise based. It means that your physical therapist is going to teach you several exercises or simple movements that are designed to help improve range of motion, strength, and flexibility. With active therapies, your therapist is going to show you exercises that are customized to your specific spinal condition.

After you have reached a certain level of conditioning and comfort, the therapist may begin to move on and teach you a much more structured exercise regimen that you are able to do on your own at home to help and maintain the overall health of your spine. Usually, the at-home exercises that you do as part of your physical therapy are extremely crucial for sustained effort.

If you want to ensure that your physical therapy efforts are successful, then it is a good idea to keep the information here in mind. This is going to pay off in the long run and ensure that you get the treatment and results that you want and need. Be sure to keep this in mind when you are ready to seek treatment and enhance your ability to recover from an injury that you have suffered.

Posture Correction to Fix Back Pain

There are many causes of back pain. While some of them are due to medical conditions that require medications or surgeries to correct, for most people, back pain can easily be fixed by correcting your posture and taking other steps to reduce pressure on the spine. The last thing you want is to suffer from so much back pain it affects your ability to go about your day comfortably.

What Is the Cause of Back Pain?

Because there are so many things that can actually cause your back pain, it’s important to see your doctor if your back pain persists, even after you’ve done everything you can to get rid of it yourself. However, for most people, back pain is simply caused by poor posture, either when you’re sitting, standing or both. Poor posture can have an impact on how you move, whether you’re running, walking, jumping, lifting or doing any other normal daily activities. If you fail to correct your posture, you are going to see more back pain in your future and can eventually cause permanent damage that will require more extensive treatment to resolve. This is why it’s important to pay close attention to your posture and work to correct it to avoid any long-term issues.

What Causes Poor Posture?

While some people fall into bad habits and laziness that leads to poor posture, this isn’t the only reason. It’s easy to get so wrapped up in what’s going on in your life that you forget to pay attention to how you’re sitting, standing or even sleeping. Unfortunately, it’s not always something as simple as thinking about it to fix it. In fact, you shouldn’t have to think about it regularly. In most cases, the cause of poor posture is actually muscle weakness. The muscles in your body simply may not be strong enough to properly support your spine, making it difficult to maintain the right posture, even when you’re thinking about it. Unfortunately, the typical exercise most people do on a regular basis like taking walks or working out at the gym simply isn’t enough to produce the results you need to improve your posture. It’s important to focus on every muscle that supports your posture, including the buttocks, shoulders, back, abdomen and pelvic floor. If even one of these isn’t as strong as it should be, you will experience poor posture, which can lead to back pain.

What Can You Do?

Most people think of recovering from an injury when they think about physical therapy. However, this type of treatment can be beneficial if you would like to correct your posture to eliminate your back pain. When you see your physical therapist, they will perform a full evaluation, which can identify any weak points and recommend exercises that can help strengthen the core muscles required to support good posture and get rid of the pains in your back. With a customized physical therapy plan, you will target the muscle groups that need the most work so you can enjoy better posture without having to put in a lot of effort or thought into supporting your posture.

If you experience back pain on a regular basis and an injury or illness isn’t the cause, it’s important to make an appointment with a physical therapist to go over what could be the cause of your back pain. They will help you with exercises and other tips so you can improve your posture, stand taller and experience less back pain in your future.

Tips To Relieve Sciatica Pain

If you’ve ever experienced sciatica pain, you know how debilitating this type of pain can be. It can dramatically affect your quality of life, leaving you in pain and unable to do the things you need to do on a daily basis. Not only do you feel pain from this issue, but you also may experience some tingling sensations. Instead of relying heavily on pain medications that may not work correctly and may leave you still longing for full relieve, there are some other things you can do to relieve your sciatica pain and help you get back to doing the things you love.

Change Positions Often

Remaining in the same position for long periods of time can actually cause your sciatica pain to get worse. This is because pressure is placed on the same areas of your spine for prolonged periods. This is why it’s so important to move around on a regular basis. This is even more important for those who work an office job or may sit at a desk for a majority of the day. Walking around and stretching a bit once an hour or every other hour can have a dramatic impact on the number of sciatica symptoms you experience.

Work on Your Hips

The condition of your hips can also play a role in how much sciatica pain you may experience. If your hips are weak, there is more pressure on the spinal cord and you’re more likely to experience symptoms of pain and numbness. Improving your mobility can also help. Taking regular walks or talking to your doctor about simple exercises you can do a lot to improve the strength and mobility in your hips, helping you enjoy less pain and fewer symptoms associated with your sciatica.

Increase Spine Flexibility

A flexible spine is less apt to fall victim to pinching the sciatic nerve, causing the symptoms of sciatica. However, any time you are targeting your spine, it’s essential to take extra precautions to ensure you don’t cause any serious damage. There are some exercises that help promote a more flexible spine, but before you start doing them on a regular basis, it’s essential to talk to your doctor to ensure you know your limitations. You may also want to work with a personal trainer or medical professional who can teach you the correct way to perform the exercises for the best results and minimal risk of injury to your spine.

See a Professional

While sciatica can affect individuals briefly, if you’ve experienced the symptoms for more than three days, it’s time to make an appointment with a medical professional. Sciatica impacts the musculoskeletal system, so you should make an appointment with someone who is trained in these conditions. Chiropractors are a great option for these treatments because they specialize in the musculoskeletal conditions and natural ways to alleviate the symptoms and heal the body. Unlike traditional doctors, these medical professionals are less likely to prescribe medication that simply masks the symptoms and are more likely to help you get lasting results.

If you’ve been experiencing any of the symptoms of sciatica, contact the professionals at Integrated Wellness to help you get the examination and treatment you need, so you can experience less pain and fewer of the other symptoms often associated with sciatica.

Benefits of Bioidentical Hormones for Menopause

Menopause brings along with it a vast number of unpleasant symptoms that can sometimes be alleviated with the use of bioidentical hormones. While many women are against the idea of putting foreign substances into their bodies, these treatment options naturally mimic the way the body works and can help women feel more comfortable as they go through this difficult time in their lives. Let’s explore why bioidentical hormones for the treatment of menopause may be the right solution for you.

Symptoms of Menopause

Many women don’t realize they are entering menopause until they notice changes with their menstrual cycle, such as longer times between periods or changes in the flow. However, this isn’t the only sign you will see and isn’t likely to even be the first one. Some other signs you may be going through menopause and should discuss treatment options with your doctor include:

  • Vaginal dryness
  • Sudden weight gain
  • Mood swings
  • Hot flashes
  • Thinning hair
  • Night sweats
  • Sleep disturbances

If you notice any of these signs are becoming a regular part of your daily life, it may be time to talk to your doctor about whether bioidentical hormones can help you.

How Do Bioidentical Hormones Work?

Women go through menopause as their bodies age and stop making hormones in the amounts they once did. This is what creates the unpleasant symptoms. The only way to correct these issues is to stimulate the body to produce more of the hormones once again. This can be achieved with the help of bioidentical hormones. These products, which typically come in the forms of lotions, tablets, creams or gels, trigger hormone production responses from the body. As the body begins to produce more of these hormones again, many of the symptoms of menopause begin to disappear. This provides great relief to women who may be struggling with a variety of problems that negatively affect the quality of life. For those who aren’t comfortable using these products at home, some doctors provide injections. This requires more visits to the doctor’s office.

What Are the Benefits?

While relieving your symptoms is one of the main reasons you may be considering bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, there are other benefits you will realize as you go through this treatment plan. While there are cheaper options like synthetic hormone therapy, bioidentical hormones are natural and just like what your body already produces, making them a much better alternative for many women. Most women who use them also experience far fewer side effects from them. Some effects individuals often experience when using synthetic hormones include:

  • Acne
  • Headaches
  • Nausea or stomach pain
  • High blood pressure

Many women also suffer from a low libido. While this is a natural effect that happens due to menopause, synthetic hormones won’t correct this issue and could potentially make it works. Studies have also shown synthetic hormones can also increase your risk of developing heart disease, breast cancer or gallbladder issues. When you use bioidentical hormones instead, you can expect fewer of these side effects and get the relief you’ve been looking for. In fact, studies have shown bioidentical hormones can actually greatly decrease your risk of developing a number of chronic health conditions that often plague the older generations. It can also help prevent bone loss, which decreases Your risk of developing osteoporosis, a common condition that affects the aging population.

It’s important to feel great as you age. While there are many problems that begin to appear as we get older, the good news is there are now many ways to help prevent these conditions and help you feel great so you can maintain a more active lifestyle. The use of bioidentical hormones to treat menopause can help you take back your life and live out your senior years to their fullest potential.

Surprising Benefits of Massage Therapy

Many people view getting a massage as a luxury that allows them to relax and unwind from the stresses of life. Some also see the benefits massages can give to relieve sore muscles and help them feel at ease. However, these aren’t the only benefits of going for a massage. There are others many people don’t recognize. Learn more about some of these advantages so you can see why you should schedule yourself a massage and give it a try.

Lowers Blood Pressure

It’s easy to simply write off your reduced blood pressure as the stress relief you feel after you get a massage. While this is partially true, it’s not the only reason. Massages themselves actually work to promote good blood circulation, particularly the areas worked on. This can help lower your blood pressure as a result. When you have lower blood pressure, you can reduce your risks of heart attack, stroke and other heart-related conditions. It may even help you stop taking medication to reduce your blood pressure, which can have many benefits of its own.

Reduce Anxiety, Depression and Fatigue

Numerous people suffer from some form of anxiety and depression. Others may experience bouts of fatigue or may even constantly feel tired. However, regular exercise can often help with all of these problems. Unfortunately, not everyone has the time or the desire to exercise. The good news is you can get many of the same results if you go for a massage on a regular basis. Loosening the tension in your muscles can help you feel more relaxed, which can have a positive effect on your mental health as well. You will sleep better and may find you don’t feel as down as often.

Improve Your Posture

You probably had grownups telling you to stand up or sit up straight at some point during your childhood. While it may seem like an insignificant thing, having good posture can have an impact on many aspects of your life, including whether you suffer from back pain. One of the causes of poor posture, or at least one of the contributing factors, is poor muscle tone in the back, negatively impacting the amount of support your spine has. Getting regular massages can help strengthen these muscles and encourage better posture, potentially eliminating your back pain and certain other issues you may suffer from.

Strengthen Your Immune System

Many factors can affect how strong your immune system is. However, few people realize massages can actually help strengthen your immune system so you get sick less often and the duration and severity of any illnesses you do catch are reduced. This is because your stress levels can actually affect your immune system. If you are too stressed, you may not eat as well and likely aren’t getting the amount of exercise you should. When you get a massage, you will feel that stress melt away and you will feel better overall, allowing your body to better fight off illnesses.

Treating Your Neck Pain

If you notice your neck hurting by the end of the day or if you wake up with stiffness, there might be an underlying issue that needs to be addressed. Neck pain is an incredibly common occurrence and there are endless reasons as to why you are experiencing pain.

Some of the most common causes of neck pain:

  • Accidents and/or Injury: A sudden forced movement of your neck or head can result in whiplash. The “whipping” motion that occurs injures the supporting tissues of the head and neck and can lead to serious issues if not assessed by a medical professional.
  • Daily Life: If you suffer with weak abdominal muscles or poor posture, you might be experiencing neck pain. Stress and tension can cause the muscles of the neck and head to contract and tighten, resulting in pain and stiffness.
  • Disorders: Degenerative disorders can directly affect the spine. Degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis and osteoarthritis are a few of the most common.

Addressing the situation causing your neck pain is extremely important. Whether you are sleeping wrong on your neck, or there is a deeper underlying issue, it is of high importance to contact the trained professionals at Integrated Wellness to help bring clarity and medical assistance to the pain you are experiencing. Do not let your neck pain go untreated.

The doctors at Integrated Wellness are proud to embrace an integrated approach to healthcare, using chiropractic, physical therapy and other natural remedies to alleviate a wide range of conditions that a patient might be experiencing. After a thorough examination and evaluation, doctors can determine the best course of action and develop a neck pain therapy that is personalized to the patients situation to help alleviate any distress. If you are experiencing neck pain and are looking for an effective treatment option, contact us today: (801) 816-0332.