How to Avoid Back Pain While Gardening

It’s finally Spring time and that means it’s also gardening season! Back pain can throw a wrench into the joy of gardening for many, but that doesn’t mean you need to cross it off your list! With a few adaptations and a dash of creativity, you can still exercise that green thumb by following these 11 strategies for minimizing injury.

Safe Moves for Your Back

Here are several tips on gardening in a way that is relatively gentle on your back:

  1. Warm up first
    Gardening can be a real workout, so warming up your muscles first is a good idea. Try a brisk five-minute walk and some stretching exercises. If you have back pain, then work with your physician or other health care provider to find the right stretches for you.

  2. Lift carefully
    It's easy to lift heavy pots, bushes, and full watering cans incorrectly and damage your back.

    To lift correctly, begin by squatting, not bending at your waist. Use both hands to hold the object, keeping it close to your body, and slowly straighten your legs as you lift.

    To minimize lifting, use a wagon, a dolly, or other aid to carry heavy items from place to place. Fill large watering cans just halfway, and consider alternative watering options, such as soaker hoses or automated irrigation systems.

    Depending on your back problem, some jobs that involve heavy lifting and twisting may be best left to others.

  3. Take breaks
    It’s easy to lose track of time when you love being out in the yard. Take a water bottle with you as a reminder to take frequent breaks.If you’ve been in one position for a while, do some stretches during these breaks. Also, avoid doing the same kind of job, such as pruning, for a long period. Switch to something else for a while.

  4. Get support from kneelers and chairs 
    Getting down on the ground—and back up—can be painful or even impossible, depending on your level of pain and flexibility. Heavy-duty kneelers, especially those with raised, padded handles to help you get up and down, allow you to use your arm strength to aid in the process. Kneelers usually include a well-cushioned base to reduce stress and impact on your knees and back. Many kneelers also convert to a low chair.

  5. Use garden scooters to avoid twisting
    Stretching and twisting put added stress on the joints and discs in your spine. One way to minimize twisting is to use a wheeled scooter. Scooters range in size from small scooters made to fit in tight garden spaces to larger scooters with baskets.

Have any other gardening tips that will keep back pain at bay? Drop them in the comments below!


Common Sleep Mistakes

Are you struggling to sleep and don’t know why? We want to help! To aid you in this process, here are 3 common mistakes that may be disrupting your sleep:

1. Overstimulation

If you are like most people, your workday doesn’t end when you leave the office. You are constantly checking emails, responding to calls, and reviewing slides right up until your bedtime—which can lead to overstimulation.

Additionally, you may overstimulate yourself by watching television shows with violence and/or horror elements, by reading the news, or by getting into an argument.

Engaging in these activities close to your bedtime may seem like no big deal, but this overstimulation within 1 hour of your bedtime can significantly disrupt your sleep.

2. Laying In Bed

This mistake may surprise you, but staying in bed too long can make it harder to fall asleep. If you lay down for too long, anxious thoughts, chronic pain or or anything else is likely to keep your mind up and activated.

The simple solution to staying in bed too long is to get out of bed if you can’t fall asleep after 20 to 30 minutes.

3. Inconsistency

You lead a busy life—so you likely try to get sleep whenever you can. For example, you may only get 5 or 6 hours of sleep a night during the week, so to make up for it you sleep as much as possible on the weekends. Or perhaps you don’t have a set bedtime, so one night you go to bed at 10 p.m., and the next night at 1 a.m.

An inconsistent sleep schedule can wreak havoc on your ability to both fall asleep and stay asleep. So your best bet when it comes to getting good sleep is to establish a regular time for both going to bed at night and waking up in the morning.

If you are constantly making any of the above sleep mistakes, you can begin by cutting one mistake out of your life at a time. As you do so, you will likely find that you wake up feeling more refreshed and ready for your day. Have other sleep methods? Drop them in the comments below!

How Does Hemp Oil Help Manage Chronic Pain?

According to the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), an estimated 25.3 million adults (11.2%) experience chronic pain on a daily basis. Even more startling, the analysis reveals nearly 40 million adults (17.6 %) experience severe levels of pain.

With growing awareness around our national opioid epidemic, many are turning to natural supplements for pain management such as Hemp Oil. What is Hemp Oil and how does it help manage chronic pain? Continue reading to find out!

What is Chronic pain?

Chronic pain is ongoing and lasts longer than six months. This is caused by pain signals remaining active in the nervous system for more than six months after the injury or illness has healed, causing uninterrupted and high levels of discomfort. Some examples of chronic pain are headaches, arthritis, cancer, nerve pain, back pain, and Fibromyalgia.

Healthy Options for Pain Management

There are some types of chronic pain, severe pain, and inflammation that require a physician prescribed medication. However, those cautious of pharmaceuticals are taking pain management into their own hands by incorporating changes in lifestyle; using holistic remedies such as acupuncture, heat therapy, herbal remedies, injections, and meditation; or using plant-based medicines such as Hemp Oil.

Our Endocannabinoid System and Hemp Oil

The endocannabinoid system is composed of a complex, biological network of cell receptors. The cell receptors oversee bodily functions such as emotion, pain, sensation, appetite, digestion, and sleep. Our bodies thrive when our endocannabinoid system operates at its optimum capacity to facilitate a condition called homeostasis.

Homeostasis can be achieved when we introduce our bodies to Hemp Oil, which is derived from hemp, a sub-species of the Cannabis sativa plant. Cannabinoids provide support to weakened cells and enhance the healthy ones. Hemp is non-psychoactive and doesn’t make you high. Research shows that the natural properties of Hemp Oil  provides pain management to chronic pain sufferers.

For more information regarding Hemp Oil, please visit our website!

4 Ways to Minimize Chronic Pain at Bedtime

4 Ways to Minimize Chronic Pain at Bedtime

Does your chronic pain keep you up at night? If so, you are not alone! Many people suffer from sleep insomnia due to their chronic pain issues. This is because during the day, you are distracted by work, family, friends, etc. However, when you lie down to sleep, you are deprived of many of these distractions, which makes it easier to focus on your pain.

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How to Help Others Understand Chronic Pain

Here are some ways to help increase understanding about the challenges of chronic pain:

  1. Know What You Want to Say  

    People who are looking for a job or pitching a business proposition are often advised to have a brief synopsis ready to describe themselves or their idea. Called an elevator speech or an elevator pitch, this conversation is usually about 30 seconds. Try adapting this idea to your chronic pain experience as you meet new friends or see opportunities to increase others' understanding. It's a quick way to boost awareness without getting too bogged down in the details.

  2. Help Others With Chronic Pain  

    Do you have a friend who has chronic pain as well and could benefit from a support group, but is reluctant to give it a try? Invite him or her to join you. Going with a friend to a support group meeting may make your friend more comfortable about attending.

  3. Join an Advocacy Group

    Advocacy organizations for a number of chronic pain conditions hold fundraisers and other events throughout the year. Checking these organizations' websites and Facebook pages can help you stay up-to-date on events.

  4. Spread the Word

    You could ask to set up a table and distribute brochures at a pain management open house, book-signing, or demonstrations of yoga or acupuncture to help others understand.

As you reach out to help others understand chronic pain, continue to expand your knowledge with us! We offer many educational articles on our website!

3 Techniques for Coping with Chronic Sciatica

1. Disassociation

As you likely know by now, the location of your sciatica symptoms can vary based on which of your sciatic nerve roots is pinched or irritated. This means it’s possible to experience symptoms in a variety of places, such as your calf, foot, or hamstring (and symptoms may be experienced in multiple locations at once).

Regardless of the location of your symptoms, you may find relief by imagining that a painful part of your body is separated from the rest of your body (a mental practice known as disassociation).

For example, picture your numb foot on the dresser located on the other side of your room. You can then tell your foot (or whichever body part is experiencing symptoms) to stay where it is (as you continue to hold this mental picture in your mind).

When your first start out, you can hold a particular image in your mind for as little, or as long, as you like. If possible, it is also a good idea to locate a dark, secluded room in order to practice the dissociation technique.


2. Biofeedback

Biofeedback refers to the process of using a monitoring machine (often a computer) to retrain physical states in your body that are not normally under voluntary control. Put another way, biofeedback measures a physical process, and then immediately reports the information to the person being monitored so that he or she can learn to consciously influence that physical state.

Biofeedback is used to train people to do such things as lower their heart rate, decrease muscle tension, and lower their blood pressure.

If your sciatica is provoked by muscle tension in your lower back, biofeedback treatment may help bring you relief by training you to reduce the tension and allowing your mind to focus away from your symptoms.

Biofeedback training for muscle tension involves placing electrodes on the skin over the area of the muscle that needs to be retrained. The computer can then measure the amount of muscle electrical activity that is present (this electrical activity is related to the tension in the muscle). On the computer screen, you will be able to see the amount of tension present in the muscle, and then you can slowly learn to decrease it.

3. Enjoy your favorite activity

It might seem too simple, but regularly engaging in your favorite hobby or activity can reduce your perception of your chronic sciatica pain. This is possible because your attention is drawn away from your chronic pain, and instead is placed on the pleasurable task at hand.

You may no longer be able to run a marathon or go mountain biking, but you can likely still engage in simple tasks like writing poetry or reading a good book. Another option is to call a good friend on the phone at least once a week.

As a final word on this technique, we often tell patients that when their pain is at its worst, the last thing you should do is give up on your hobbies. This is not only because engaging in hobbies can reduce your perception of your chronic pain, but it also places you at greater risk for developing depression.

Want some more information on coping with sciatica? Visit our website today! 

What is Supraorbital and Occipital Nerve Stimulation?

What is Supraorbital and Occipital Nerve Stimulation?

Chronic headaches of any type can destroy your life and make you unable to function. A new treatment, occipital and supraorbital nerve stimulation, offers a safe and effective treatment for chronic headaches. Nerve stimulation is done only in patients who have had all other treatments, including medications and Botox, for their headaches. Continue reading to learn what each of these treatments entail!

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CBD Oil and Arthritis

Recent studies suggest that cannabidiol oil could play a role in the treatment of arthritis. Here at Integrated Pain Solutions, we want to present you with all the facts! Continue reading to learn the benefits of CBD Oil in regards to arthritis.  

What Is It?

Cannabidiol (CBD) oil, also called hemp oil, contains CBD extracts from cannabis plants. Some people use CBD oil to relieve pain associated with chronic conditions, such as arthritis.

CBD oil is the oil derived from hemp, which is a type of cannabis plant. CBD is a type of cannabinoid, which is a chemical that occurs naturally in cannabis plants and is not a psychoactive chemical.

How it Works

CBD may help manage chronic pain by affecting the brain's response to pain signals. Cannabinoids, such as CBD, attach themselves to specialized receptors in a person's brain and immune system. One of these receptors, called a CB2 receptor, plays a role in the immune system by managing pain and inflammation.

Researchers believe that when CBD enters a person's body, it may attach to CB2 receptors. Alternatively, it may cause the body to produce natural cannabinoids that attach to the CB2 receptors. Either way, scientists think CBD affects the way that these receptors respond to the signals that they receive, possibly helping reduce inflammation and pain.

CBD Oil and Arthritis

Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the United States, affecting over 50 million Americans. The two most common types of arthritis are:

· Rheumatoid arthritis (RA): An autoimmune disease in which a person's immune system attacks their joints, causing inflammation. RA commonly affects the hands and feet and leads to painful, swollen, and stiff joints.

· Osteoarthritis (OA): A degenerative disease that affects joint cartilage and bones, causing pain and stiffness. It often affects the hip, knee, and thumb joints.

Some studies on animals suggest that CBD could help treat arthritis and relieve the associated inflammatory pain:

· A 2011 study found that CBD helped to reduce inflammatory pain in rats by affecting the way that pain receptors respond to stimuli.

· A 2014 review of the existing body of research on animals concluded that CBD may be an effective treatment for OA.

· A 2016 study found that the topical application of CBD had the potential to relieve pain and inflammation associated with arthritis.

· A 2017 study found that CBD might be a safe and useful treatment for OA joint pain.

While findings so far have been encouraging, more research is necessary to confirm that CBD oil is an effective treatment for arthritis pain. Are you interested in trying CBD to help manage your chronic pain? Give us a call today at 844-939-7246!

Hemp Oil and Sleep

Did you know that over 50 million U.S. adults struggle with a sleep disorder of some kind? This number doesn’t even account for the individuals who experience sleep deprivation and anxiety on a regular basis.

If you are looking for a way to get a better night’s sleep, you may feel as if your options are limited. This is particularly true if you are wary of sleep medications, which often lead to negative side effects.

There is a potential solution for you, however, when it comes to sleeping restfully. Hemp Oil, a compound found naturally in the cannabis plant, can be your answer. Read on for insight into Hemp Oil and sleep!

Hemp Oil has the ability to reduce anxiety, which can be helpful in reducing sleep difficulties and improving sleep quality. Hemp Oil may increase overall sleep amounts, and improve insomnia, according to research. Hemp Oil has also been shown to reduce insomnia in people who suffer from chronic pain.

In smaller doses, Hemp Oil stimulates alertness and reduces daytime sleepiness, which is important for daytime performance and for the strength and consistency of the sleep-wake cycle.

Hemp Oil may also help reduce REM behavior disorder. REM behavior disorder is a condition that causes people to act out physically during dreaming and REM sleep. Typically, during REM, the body is largely paralyzed, a state known as REM atonia. This immobilization keeps sleepers from reacting physically to their dreams. In REM behavior disorder, this paralysis doesn’t occur, leaving people free to move—which can lead to disruptive sleep and to injuring themselves or their sleeping partners. 

Want to learn more about the benefits of  Hemp Oil? Visit our website today!

 

What Are the Benefits of Movement Therapy?

What Are the Benefits of Movement Therapy?

Are you tired of hurting every time you get out of bed? Are you tired of not being able to do daily activities because of pain? If this sounds like you, ask your provider about our program at your first appointment. These classes will be focused on corrective movements to reduce pain, improve your daily function, and increase activity levels throughout your day. Please call us at 844-939-PAIN (7246) for more information. 

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What is a Sympathetic Ganglion Block?

What is a Sympathetic Ganglion Block?

A Sympathetic Ganglion Block is a type of nerve block used to treat severe or chronic pain. A ganglion, the affected bundle of nerves, is injected with anesthetic to halt pain. These nerves help the body react to stress and are responsible for the fight-or-flight response.

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What Is Occipital Nerve Stimulation?

What Is Occipital Nerve Stimulation?

If you have had constant headaches throughout your life, you know that most treatments offer little to no help.  Occipital Nerve Stimulation is a surgical procedure that targets one or more of the occipital nerves (greater, lesser, and third occipital nerves) which transmit most of the pain. In certain headache syndromes, other nerves may be targeted (for example the supraorbital and supratrochlear nerves). During the procedure, a small amount of electrical current is used to suppress these nerves, which helps to mask the pain that you are feeling. This procedure is ordinarily non-destructive and reversible.

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