What is Aromatherapy Massage?

Aromatherapy massage is massage therapy but with highly concentrated plant oils, called essential oils, added to the massage oil or lotion. The nostrils are attached to a part of the brain called the limbic system. The limbic system controls emotions and influences the nervous system and hormones.
When you inhale essential oil molecules, messages are transmitted to the limbic system and affect heart rate, stress level, blood pressure, breathing, memory, digestion, and the immune system.
Essential oils are also believed to be absorbed through the skin.
Each essential oil has different healing properties. For example, some calm while others energize. Here are some widely used essential oils and their properties:
-calming – chamomile, lavender, geranium
-uplifting – ylang ylang, clary sage, rose, neroli
-energizing – rosemary
cleansing – rosemary
-decongesting – eucalyptus, pine, tea tree







Why do people get aromatherapy massage?
Aromatherapy massage is particularly suited to conditions involving stress or improving emotionally-related conditions.
-Stress and stress-related conditions such as insomnia
-Headache
-Digestive disorders
-Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
-Back pain

Research suggests that patients with cancer, particularly in the palliative care setting, are increasingly using aromatherapy and massage.

What is Trigger Point Therapy?

A trigger point is a tight area within muscle tissue that causes pain in other parts of the body. A trigger point in the back, for example, may reduce referral pain in the neck. The neck, now acting as a satellite trigger point, may then cause pain in the head. The pain may be sharp and intense or a dull ache.
Trigger point massage therapy is specifically designed to alleviate the source of the pain through cycles of isolated pressure and release. In this type of massage for trigger point therapy, the recipient actively participates through deep breathing as well as identifying the exact location and intensity of the discomfort.
The results and benefits of trigger point massage are releasing constricted areas in the muscles thus alleviating pain. You can experience a significant decrease in pain after just one treatment. Receiving massage with trigger point therapy on a regular basis can help naturally manage pain and stress from chronic injuries.






Relieve Joint Pain with the Best Foods!

Joint pain can result from many different conditions. The pain can range from mild to severe and usually stems from lack of lubrication in the joints or, more commonly, inflammationn.
-Berries
Vitamin C helps the body create collagen, which is a component of cartilage and may reduce wear and tear in joints. Good sources of vitamin C include raspberries, blueberries and strawberries.
-Fish
Omega-3 fatty acids are found in abundance in a variety of fish, including herring, salmon, sardines, tuna and mackerel. Fresh fish is the best source, but fish oil capsules are also readily available.
-Fortified Foods
Manufacturers fortify some foods, such as eggs and bread, with omega-3s. Read food labels to see whether a certain food is fortified.
-Plants
Several plant foods, such as flax seed, walnuts and green leafy vegetables, are excellent sources of alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA. ALA is the plant-based version of omega-3s and can also help relieve joint pain
-Wild Game
Buffalo and venison are both excellent sources of omega-3s. As buffalo meat’s popularity increases, many supermarkets now carry it.






What’s Chiropractic Adjustment?

Chiropractic adjustment is a procedure in which trained specialists (chiropractors) use their hands or a small instrument to apply a controlled, sudden force to a spinal joint. The goal of chiropractic adjustment, also known as spinal manipulation, is to correct structural alignment and improve your body’s physical function.
Low back pain, neck pain and headache are the most common problems for which people seek chiropractic adjustment.
Chiropractic care is an outgrowth of belief in these concepts:
-Your body has a natural ability to heal itself.
-Your body’s structure — nerves, bones, joints and muscles — and capacity for healthy function are closely intertwined.
-Chiropractic treatment helps balance your body’s structure and function and promotes self-healing
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Your Back Needs Therapy!

In developing a treatment plan, your NY Spine Medicine physician will assess the type of disease or condition you have and its impact. A team approach for the treatment of back problems is often the most effective. Medical treatments include surgical or nonsurgical care and self-care strategies. The goal is to restore function and prevent re-injury.
Self Care: We believe that most back pain resolves with self-care measures such as rest, ice or heat, massage, over-the-counter pain relievers, or gentle stretches. Applying ice and then heat is helpful to relax the muscles and decrease muscle inflammation. We generally recommend that you apply an ice pack for 20 minutes several times a day during the first 48 hours. A warm shower or a heating pad on the low setting may help relax tight muscles. A short period of bed rest is okay, but more than a couple of days does more harm than good. If home treatments aren’t working within the first couple of days, it is time to see one of our physicians.
Medications: We may prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) like ibuprofen or naproxen to reduce inflammation and relieve pain. If you have spasms, a muscle relaxant may be prescribed for 3 to 4 days. If the pain is severe, an analgesic that can be taken with the NSAID or muscle relaxant may be prescribed.
Steroids can be used to reduce the swelling and inflammation of the nerves. They are taken orally in a tapering dosage over a five-day period or as an injection directly into the source of pain, such as an epidural steroid injection or facet injection. Steroids may provide almost immediate pain relief within 24-hours.
Physical therapy: The goal of physical therapy is to help you return to full activity as soon as possible and prevent re-injury. Our professional physical therapists will instruct you on proper lifting and walking techniques, and they’ll work with you to strengthen and stretch your lower back, leg, and stomach muscles. Stretching and strengthening exercises are key elements to your treatment and should become part of your life-long daily routine. Massage, ultrasound, diathermy, heat, and traction may also be recommended for short periods of time.
Surgery: We believe that surgery should only be used after exhausting conservative treatment options. Before major “open back” surgery, we have many minimally invasive procedures that should be tried prior to making a decision to have surgery.






Evaluating MRI Scan Results

First, the difficulty with the results of an MRI scan, as with many other diagnostic studies, is that the “abnormality” that shows up on the MRI scan may not actually be the cause of back pain. Numerous clinical studies have shown that approximately 30% of individuals in their thirties and forties have a lumbar disc herniation on their MRI scan, although they do not have any back pain.
Therefore, an MRI scan cannot be interpreted on its own. Everything seen on an MRI needs to be well-correlated to the individual patient’s situation, including:
-Symptoms (such as the duration, location, and severity of pain)
-Any neurological deficits on their physical examination
Another important consideration with MRI scans is the timing of when the scan is done. The only time an MRI scan is needed immediately is when a patient has either:
-Bowel or bladder incontinence
-Progressive weakness in the legs due to nerve damage.
Fortunately, both of the above situations are rare.






How’s that Pain in the Neck?

Neck pain is discomfort in any of the structures in the neck. These include the muscles, nerves, bones (vertebrae), and the disks between the bones.
When your neck is sore, you may have difficulty moving it, especially turning to one side. Many people describe this as having a stiff neck. If neck pain involves nerves, you may feel numbness, tingling, or weakness in your arm, hand, or elsewhere.
Home Care
For minor, common causes of neck pain:
-Take over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB) or acetaminophen (Tylenol).
-Apply heat or ice to the painful area. Use ice for the first 48 to 72 hours, then use heat after that. Heat may be applied with warm showers, hot compresses, or a heating pad. To prevent injuring your skin, do not fall asleep with a heating pad or ice bag in place.
-Stop normal physical activity for the first few days. This helps calm your symptoms and reduce inflammation.
-Do slow range-of-motion exercises, up and down, side to side, and from ear to ear. This helps to gently stretch the neck muscles.
-Have a partner gently massage the sore or painful areas.
-Try sleeping on a firm mattress without a pillow or with a special neck pillow.
-Ask your health care provider about using a soft neck collar to relieve discomfort. Do not use the collar for a long time. Doing so can make your neck muscles weaker.
You may want to reduce your activity only for the first couple of days. Then slowly resume your usual activities. Do not do any heavy lifting or twisting of your back or neck for the first 6 weeks after the pain begins. After 2 to 3 weeks, slowly begin exercising again. A physical therapist can help you decide when to begin stretching and strengthening exercises and how to do them.






Back Pain and Stress

The causes of back pain are varied, but stress often plays a part. Our bodies are bombarded with stress every day, whether chemical stress in the form of ingested or inhaled chemicals and toxins, emotional/mental stress in the form of worry, fear, anger and other thoughts or emotions, or physical stress in the form of overtaxing of certain muscle groups.
A typical “day at the office” includes plenty of all three types of stress: you may sit at your desk, hunched over your keyboard in an unhealthy posture for hours, anxious about meeting a deadline and skipping a healthy lunch in favor of a quick snack of preservative-laden junk food. All of these stressors take their toll on the body, and soon you find you have pain in your back and possibly elsewhere.
Finding ways to reduce or eliminate stress can go a long way to preventing back pain and problems. But in the meantime, learn about a safe, natural back pain remedies as an alternative treatment to help address your back pain at its source.
Healing Back Pain Naturally- The key to effectively dealing with your back pain is to identify and work with the cause, rather than just treating the symptoms. Chiropractic does just that. It’s a natural, drug-free, non-invasive method of working with the body to restore proper function and health. And chiropractic is so successful with back pain that it has become the foremost alternative health approach in the world!






Alternative Treatments to Back Pain

If you’ve got chronic back pain, you know that one type of treatment by itself doesn’t always stop your pain.
Think of your treatment plan as a recipe. You and your doctor may need to add or take out ingredients to make it work.
Here are some choices to think about:
-Acupuncture is a treatment based on traditional Chinese medicine. Very thin needles are inserted into the skin at certain points on the body to produce energy flow.
-Biofeedback is a way to train your mind to control a body function that is normally not under your control.
-Cognitive-behavioral therapy can teach you stress management and pain control skills.
-Chiropractic is a treatment that affects the muscles and bones.
-Massage involves rubbing the soft tissues of the body, such as the muscles, to help reduce tension and pain, improve blood flow, and help you relax.
Video: Joint Pain






Back Pain? Release Your Inner Endorphins!

Endorphins are the body’s natural pain relievers, and they can be as strong as many of the strongest pain relievers. They are chemicals that occur naturally in the body, and when released they help block pain signals from registering with the brain. Endorphins also help alleviate anxiety, stress and depression — conditions that often turn a chronic back problem into a life problem.
The body produces endorphins during aerobic exercise. A “runner’s high” is not just for those running long distances — any activity that gets your blood pumping for a sustained period will release pain relieving endorphins into your system. Try to incorporate any form of exercise that is tolerable into your daily routine – water therapy is usually tolerable for those with severe back pain, or walking if the pain is not too severe. A treadmill has less impact on the lower back than walking on a sidewalk.
In addition to exercise, other activities can also help release endorphins, such as massage therapy, breathing deeply, meditation and acupuncture.