A Natural Approach To Treating Sports Injuries in Kids

You have no idea how often I hear from my adult patients, how the sport that they played while they were kids has contributed to their long-term chronic pain. Of course, they have learned to minimize their pain through chiropractic care, laser pain relief, stretching, and postural exercises. However, every single one of these patients wishes they could go back to the time that their pain originated. They wish they could have fixed it back then. Instead, they let it fester for 20, 30, or even 40 years until one day they decide to do something about it. But at that point, the arthritis had already set in and permanent and irreversible changes have taken place.

This is one of the reason’s why I love working with kids so much. We have the chance to fix the problems now, before they become life-long chronic issues. It doesn’t matter what sport your child plays, they all have the capacity to inflict injuries upon our children. From soccer, gymnastics, golf, and even swimming, no athlete is spared from the risk of injury. Don’t get me wrong, sports are amazing and they teach our kids discipline, sportsmanship, and healthy habits. But it is very important to keep their bodies in tip-top shape.

What types of sports injuries do you treat?

I treat all types of sports injuries. They include but are not limited to:
• Sprain/strain type injuries in the ankles, knees, and wrists.
• Repetitive motion injuries, especially in the shoulder or spine.
• Misaligned joints due to impact or strain.

What methods do you use in treatments?

Depending on how your child presents at the time that he or she needs care, I will use a combination of the following therapies:
1. Gentle chiropractic care: If any of your son or daughter’s joints have become misaligned they will need a gentle realignment of their spine or joints in their extremities.
2. Laser therapy: Your child may be a candidate for laser therapy if they have inflammation that is contributing to their injury. Laser therapy is a form of light therapy that helps to pull away inflammation from the site of pain and help to increase the rate of healing, thus helping your child get back to playing as quick as possible.
3. Kinesiotape: Weakened muscles can get an extra boost of support with the use of kinesiotape. Unlike restrictive bracing, kinesiotape allows for full range of motion while also providing stability for injured joints. This helps prevent muscle atrophy from sprain/strain type injuries.
4. Therapeutic stretches and exercises: Once your athlete is on the mend, therapeutic stretches and exercises can help keep your child’s body functioning at their best.

How do I learn more?

The best way to find out if I can help your child with their sports injury, is to call my office and schedule a 15-minute complimentary consultation. This will give you, your son or daughter, and I, a chance to sit down and discuss the injury. I will then be able to let you know if there is anything that I can do to help.

I look forward to helping you and your family prevent chronic, longstanding pain!

Dr. Kristin Moore, DC is a prenatal and pediatric chiropractor at Align Healing Center in Danville, CA. She offers a complimentary 15-minute consultation to the readers of ALIVE magazine. Call Dr. Kristin at (925) 362-8283 to schedule your appointment.

Managing Chronic Pain Admidst the Opioid Crisis

The fact that the country is currently in the midst of an opioid abuse crisis doesn’t negate the reality that people are still living with chronic pain that deserves to be treated. When used appropriately and conservatively in the correct population of patients, opioids remain a valuable tool to alleviate chronic pain. While physicians are now more aware of the pitfalls of prescribing short and long term opioids, the discussion and use of other pain management modalities needs to be highlighted and appreciated more than ever.

The explanations of “you’re just getting old” or “just live with it” when patients ask their doctors for pain management options, are still unacceptable in my opinion. My fellowship training in Interventional Pain Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic Hospital not only taught me when to and when not to use opioids but also to integrate procedures, therapeutic injections and minor surgery into the treatment plan. It is important to devise a plan that considers the individual and caters to their needs, lifestyle and personality.

Two extremely useful procedures that I perform for the treatment of low back pain are the MILD, Minimally Invasive Lumbar Decompression, and Spinal Cord Stimulator (SCS). The MILD procedure is a great option for patients who have been diagnosed with low back pain due to Lumbar stenosis. Lumbar stenosis is narrowing of the spinal canal. It is a degenerative condition, basically arthritis of the spine, which may occur as we age. It causes pain in the low back that is exacerbated with standing and walking. The typical person with this problem needs to sit down or lean forward after a period of time in order to relieve the pain. Eventually, the ability to walk distances or stand for a prolonged of time diminishes to the point that the person is mostly sedentary.

Previously, the options to treat this type of pain have been epidural steroid injections or surgery. Steroid injections are beneficial and still considered a first line treatment option, however, may not provide the prolonged relief that one needs. They are also dose limited, meaning that once the maximum dose has been reached, they can’t be repeated until after a certain “rest period” despite ongoing pain. Surgery has increased risks and many people are not healthy enough to tolerate or recover from it. The MILD procedure is a one hour outpatient procedure that widens the spinal canal by gently removing excess bone and ligament. It is a safe procedure, no anesthesia needed, no stitches and low complication risk. Clinical studies proved 79% of patients had positive outcomes with increased standing time from 8 to 56 minutes, walking distance from 246 feet to 3,956 feet, and 53% pain reduction.

The SCS is an outpatient procedure that is essentially a pacemaker for the spine. It has been used for decades to treat multiple causes of severe pain by blocking the pain signal at the spinal cord. The most common use is for chronic back and/or leg pain due to stenosis or nerve injury. It is a minor outpatient surgical implant procedure that is an option for people who have failed to obtain relief with conservative treatments, medications, injections and surgery. The advantage of this treatment option is that the patient does a temporary “test drive” of it in order to determine if it will successfully alleviate the pain and increase the level of function. The goal is to reduce the pain by at least 50% and increase function at least 50% to proceed to permanent implantation. The “test drive” is called a trial or screening procedure that is not a surgery and allows the patient to experience the benefits of SCS for one week in order to make the best decision about pursuing the option long term.

Individuals who have been using opioids carefully and responsibly under the guidance of their physician are worried that the medication that has been allowing them to function with a tolerable amount of pain will be discontinued due to the crisis. The effect of disallowing use despite the individual circumstance could be devastating for many. It is important to be mindful about when, why, and how much of an opioid analgesic is being prescribed, but the medications continue to have a legitimate role in a chronic pain treatment plan for appropriate patients. The amount of opioids needed to control pain may be reduced or eliminated by also using interventional modalities such as those discussed above.

Stress: The Unwanted Invited Guest

In my practice I find stress to be the number one cause of chronic pain and one of the most poorly treated diseases in Western medicine. I call stress a disease because it not only can literally kill you, but by creating hormonal imbalances it can alter your entire body chemistry. This can cause other diseases, possibly resulting in the use of other drugs, which may create even more stress.

Doctors should never forget that stress is a symptom. As I have said before, treating only a symptom is like treating a thorn in one’s foot. If you give drugs for the pain of the thorn, as modern medicine often does, and forget to remove the thorn from the foot, which is the cause of the pain, stress will return in the form of poor health, anxiety, depression, and a variety of other diseases. It is the clear responsibility of the professional treating the disease of stress to either address the underlying cause, or to refer the patient to someone qualified to do so.

One of the reasons that Western medicine and Western pharmaceutical science have failed in treating this disease is that they have departed from historical methods of treatment and ignored the importance of spirituality in the equation. Our ego is the cause of almost all stress. In addition, to achieve spiritual health, the ego must die! This is not just my opinion, but also the opinion of most spiritual leaders for thousands of years. Ego is a little brat that we create when we are children that causes us to defend ourselves and judge others rather than love them. It also makes us try to achieve unreasonable goals, based on what the ego decides is important.

With the guidance of Matthieu Ricard, the author of the book, Happiness, I have been attempting to destroy my ego for years, which requires continual effort. Matthieu exposes what he calls the veils of ego, whereby that little brat attempts to make us see through its veil and see only its way. This keeps us from appreciating all the wonderful beauty that is out there, including the beauty of people that one’s ego doesn’t like.
Shedding the control that my ego used to have over me was a big part of finding the true joy of life. A fabulous addition to this freedom came when I found a 2,500 year old prayer that I live by and also display in my office. It is entitled “Be Thankful.” The last verses of the prayer concludes:

“A LIFE OF RICH FULFILLMENT COMES TO THOSE WHO
ARE ALSO THANKFUL FOR THE SETBACKS.
GRATITUDE CAN TURN A NEGATIVE TO A POSITIVE.
FIND A WAY TO BE THANKFUL FOR YOUR TROUBLES AND THEY
BECOME YOUR BLESSINGS.”

When your health practitioner can get off the proverbial “Ivory Tower” and become a friend, sharing his/her spirit, not a prescription, true healing can occur.

Healing Pinched Nerves and Neck Pain

If you are suffering with neck pain from a pinched nerve or herniated disc, you know how debilitating it is and how the pain slowly leaks the vitality from your life. At Align Healing Center we specialize in treating pain naturally. It is our mission to help relieve pain without the use of drugs, invasive procedures and without inducing more pain. If you or someone you care about suffers from pinched nerves or disc related pain, it is worthwhile to explore the natural therapies that are available today.

What is cervical disc herniation?

The bones (vertebrae) that form the spine in your back are cushioned by round, flat discs. When these discs are healthy, they act as shock absorbers for the spine and keep the spine flexible. If they become damaged, they may bulge abnormally or break open (rupture), in what is called a herniated or slipped disc. Herniated discs can occur in any part of the spine, but they are most common in the neck (cervical) and lower back (lumbar) spine.

A herniated disc usually is caused by wear and tear of the disc. As we age, our discs lose some of the fluid that helps them maintain flexibility. A herniated disc also may result from injuries to the spine, which may cause tiny tears or cracks in the outer layer of the disc. The jellylike material (nucleus) inside the disc may be forced out through the tears or cracks in the capsule, which causes the disc to bulge, break open (rupture), or break into fragments.

What are the symptoms of a herniated disc in the neck?

Herniated discs in the neck (cervical spine) can cause pain, numbness, or weakness in the neck, shoulders, chest, arms, and hands. In some cases a very large herniated disc in the neck may cause weakness or unusual tingling affecting other parts of the body, including the legs.
Arm pain from a cervical herniated disc is one of the more common cervical spine conditions. Arm pain from a cervical herniated disc results because the herniated disc material “pinches” or presses on a nerve in the neck, causing pain to radiate along the nerve pathway down the arm. Along with the arm pain, numbness and tingling can be present down the arm and into the fingertips. Muscle weakness may also be present due to a cervical herniated disc.

How can I heal my pain without drugs or surgery?

1. Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression Therapy
Non-surgical spinal decompression is a state of the art treatment that has been helping thousands of patients with chronic neck or low back pain, sciatica, and herniated, bulging or degenerated discs. This is an entirely different treatment from traditional chiropractic adjustments. Many of the patients who are candidates for this procedure have already tried chiropractic, physical therapy, injections, and/or were told they would need surgery.

This breakthrough treatment works by gently separating the vertebra which decompresses the disc, thus causing the bulging material to be drawn back into the disc. Non-surgical spinal decompression is very effective, has a high success rate, and can be utilized for both cervical and lumbar disc injuries.

2. Class IV Laser Therapy
Laser treatments at Align Healing Center are done with the K-laser Cube Class IV Laser. Class IV Laser therapy gets to the root of the injury and treats it at the cellular level, providing energy to the cells so they can heal. This laser does not cut or burn but is gently absorbed by the tissue. During each painless treatment, laser energy increases circulation, drawing water, oxygen and nutrients to the damaged area. This creates an optimal healing environment that reduces inflammation, swelling, muscle spasms, stiffness and pain. As the injured area returns to normal, function is restored and pain is relieved.

There is hope!

We have found that a combination of Class IV laser therapy and spinal decompression offers outstanding results in healing stubborn neck pain due to a pinched nerve, bulging discs or spinal degeneration.

This unique combination of non-invasive therapy offers a chance for realizing a permanent cure for neck or back pain. This eliminates the long-term care commitment forced upon patients by other symptomatic low-back pain treatments, such as drugs, injections or surgery. With proper care and rehabilitation of your spine you can be back to your healthy self quickly!

For more information about Dr. Niele Maimone, DC or to set up a complimentary consult call 925.362.8283 or visit www.alignhealingcenter.com.