Pain Archive


Is Your Attitude Making You Sick?

Is your attitude making you sick?

Health issues can be discouraging. Chronic illnesses like fibromyalgia , MS and others will most definitely lead to discouragement, frustration, depression and occasionally hopelessness. I see it in my chiropractic practice daily. The quality of your health will have an effect on the quality of your attitude! But does your attitude have an effect on your well-being?

About 30 years ago I met a man named CB Clausen. CB was in his late sixties I believe, but he had the demeanor of a young vibrant twenty year old. You would not have guessed he had a problem by just listening to his cheerful salutations but when you looked at CB you could not ignore his overwhelming bend at the waist. CB had severe arthritis and disc disease in his low back that caused him excruciating pain and suffering. But nevertheless, he never stopped smiling while in your presence and a handshake was always extended to you. Though CB was a joy to be around for everyone he met, to me he was an inspiration.

I never forgot this amazing man and his enthusiasm for life. Little did I know then that I would later in my own life suffer from a similar ailment of arthritis and fibromyalgia.  There are some days that I feel down right awful . But when I, or you, are feeling down we do have a choice to make, don’t we?. “Will I allow my fibromyalgia pain to ruin me today?”

There will be times that fibromyalgia will control us with an iron fist. Anyone who suffers from fibromyalgia or any chronic illness knows this all to well, but choosing to battle its negative effect on our happiness is something that we can try to do.

I know that your situation will be different from mine as every fibromyalgia sufferer’s symptoms and intensity is unique, , but I do know what I can do for myself. I want to be able to look my wife and my children in the eye and let them see that their husband and father loves them; and that no level of pain, fear or frustration will push away my love for them. Because I love them I want to share my best emotions and feelings with them. Happiness and peace are the emotions I enjoy the most. When I become self centered on my fibromyalgia pain I fail to acknowledge the feelings my loved ones have. When this happens, I become more discouraged and depressed; I lose my happiness. And guess what? my fibromyalgia gets worse too! However, when my attention is focused on them instead of my fibromyalgia, I feel joyful. It is not a chiropractic adjustment that I need but an attitude adjustment. Then, my fibromyalgia is weakened and I amin charge.

Now you know, the quality of your attitude will have an effect of the quality of your health!


Fibromyalgia and Children

Fibromyalgia and Children

As a fibromyalgia sufferer yourself, chances are you began having symptoms of fibromyalgia at an early age. Seldom are these symptoms noticed or associated with fibromyalgia and therefore are not identified at a younger age. Early detection and treatment  might have stopped its debilitating effects. Author Miryam Williamson wrote Fibromyalgia: A Comprehensive Approach in Copyright 1996. She shares in chapter seven the following quotes:

“… a study published in the Journal of Rheumatology in 1993, a team of doctors in Israel reported that 6.2 percent of 338 healthy schoolchildren between the ages of nine and 15 met the criteria for the fibromyalgia syndrome.”

“…Growing pains are a particularly pernicious myth. It should not hurt to grow, and the child whose pain is brushed off that way is a very unfortunate little person.”

“You should suspect fibromyalgia in a child who sleeps restlessly, kicks or twitches during sleep, and has a difficult time getting out of bed in the morning. […] Insomnia coupled with pains or aches is a trouble signal and should not be ignored, particularly if one of the child’s parents has FM..(Emphasis mine.) Sometimes an alert teacher is the first to notice a problem. […]Children with fibromyalgia often have trouble in school. A considerable amount of schoolwork requires memorization. The cognitive difficulties that often accompany FM may make this difficult, if not impossible.”

In my Mesa AZ chiropractic clinic I too have seen children that I suspected fibromyalgia. One example is a young man who has had to miss attending school due to a incessant headache. He has been treated for just about every thing. Treating him specifically for fibromyalgia is his best and perhaps only approach.

Chiropractic care can be useful but will not address all of the needs for the fibromyalgia child. The use of significant nutritional and life-style changes is required but here lies the true dilemma. Most parents do not know that their child has fibromyalgia, do not know what can be done and worse cannot make all of the necessary changes alone. Schools, doctors, extended family, social groups, etc. are potential contributors to the cause or the “cure” yet they are often beyond our positive influence for change. But, we do our best anyway. Education and patience is required to make a difference.

Begin at home first. What changes can you make to help your fibromyalgia child? Below is a short and incomplete list that may help.

  1. Create a home environment that is happy and positive. Stress is perhaps the biggest trigger for fibromyalgia.
  2. Make sure your house is free from known fibromyalgia irritants.
  3. Control refined sugar and bleached flour intake in the diet
  4. Use whole food supplements / vitamins in place of synthetics whenever possible. (Vitamin B from coal tar has been suggested as a significant contributor of fibromyalgia.)
  5. Boost the immune system during the cold and flu season.
  6. Get outdoors frequently. Exercise, games and the sun are all important factors to fibromyalgia control.
  7. Don’t forget that children (especially those with fibromyalgia) need chiropractic care too! A minor car accident, fall or sports injury may precipitate the cause of fibromyalgia.
  8. Dental and visual needs must be addressed promptly! It is believed that some possible causes of fibromyalgia begin with tooth disease/abnormalities or visual impairments.
  9. Help your child sleep sound through the night. Check for disruptions in sleep. Is his mattress or pillow supportive? Is she too cold or too warm? Restless Leg Syndrome for example is believed to be a possible early warning sign for fibromyalgia. (Iron may be needed if RLS is present but be sure to consult your doctor or nutritionist before supplementing with iron.)
  10. Above all, do not ignore a child’s complaint of aches or pain. Have it checked out and never pass it off as simply growing pains!

Fibromyalgia in children can be controlled and possibly eliminated. Many children, when properly cared for, have their fibromyalgia resolved completely.



Pain from a lumbar herniated disc

Spinal disc protrusion or lumbar herniated disc  is a common condition we see here in our Mesa AZ chiropractic clinic and we can help the pain go away!.  The human spinal column consists of a series of vertebral bones.  Spinal disc is a cartilage consisting of an outer ligament layer called the annulus fibrous and a soft, jelly like substance in the middle surrounded by the annulus fibrous called the nucleus pulposis.  The spinal discs function as a shock absorber between each of the vertebral bones.  The spinal disc protects the spinal cord from the stress of our daily activities such as in heavy lifting.  It also helps to maintain flexibility of the spine.

A disc protrusion/lumbar herniated disc could be caused by trauma or injury. It can be an age-related degenerated change due to the loss of the water content inside the nucleus pulposis.  Each of these may lead to the tearing of the outer annulus fibrous allowing the jelly like nucleus pulposis to shift outward, pinch the spinal nerve root nearby, produce pain, numbness tingling and muscle weakness of the low back and lower extremities.  Common signs and symptoms of disc protrusion or lumbar herniated disc include:

  • Mild to severe pain in the low back
  • Numbness, radiated pain and weakness of buttock, legs and feet
  • Shooting pain  when coughing or sneezing
  • Back spasms

In our Mesa AZ chiropractic clinic, we combine chiropractic adjustment, physiotherapy and therapeutic exercises  for chiropractic patients with a lumber herniated disc.  As a Mesa AZ chiropractor, I teach my patients with lumbar herniated disc home exercises to relief pain and improve recovery of their low back.  There are three exercises for lumbar herniated discs I would like to share with you here:

The first exercise is called “Prop-up on stomach”, also known as pre-cobra exercises.  Patients lie on their stomach, prop up on their elbow.  Hold the position for about 2 minutes.  For some elder patients if this is too difficult or too much bending backward, they can put a pillow right under their chest with their elbows prop up on the pillow, which gives them support and they could just slightly maintain the prop-up position.  (See below)

The second exercise is called “cobra exercises” or “press-up on stomach”.  This is a press up on the stomach position, a continuation of “prop-up on stomach”  Patients start with the same position as the pre-cobra exercises mentioned above, keep the waist and leg flat with the ground, and bring their back up with elbow straight.  Hold the position for about 1- 2 seconds and down, then repeat several times.  It is suggested clinically hold up to 5 seconds for each repetition and up to 20 repetitions.  (See below)

The third one is called standing back bend.  This is a great exercise for patients who work all day long with lumbar herniated disc.  Patents stand straight, holding their waist with both hands, and bend backward.  An alternation is to put their hands on wall, perform same bend backward, also can be recognized as “take your belly button toward the wall”  Hold about 1 – 2 minutes.  (See below)

The idea behind these 3 exercises is to press the lumbar herniated disc, and move it forward away from the spinal nerve, relieve the symptom down to the leg and feet, and create negative pressure inside the annulus fiber to increase the absorption of the protrusion  lumbar disc.  Normally during these exercises patient will feel the symptoms from the leg goes up to the back, which is called centralization (which indicates you are on the right track of recovery)  Stop the exercises immediately if you feel your symptom is getting worst.

As a Mesa, AZ Doctor of Chiropractic, I see chiropractic patients with lumbar herniated disc conditions by using chiropractic, physiotherapy and therapeutic exercises.   If you have any questions about the above exercises, please contact me.  As your Chiropractor, my goal is to work with you and help to reach your goal of health. Call today and schedule an appointment for an evaluation and chiropractic consultation.


Chiropractic and Natural Healing

Treating Pain without drugs

In my Mesa, Arizona chiropractic office I see many suffering from pain. Most desire to rid them selves from the negative effects of pain medication, In order to treat pain without the use of drugs it is important to understand how pain occurs. Pain is a response to a signal transmitted by chemical reactions; the same chemical reaction that produces inflammation. When you sprain your back for example, the muscles and ligaments inflame producing pain. The use of anti-inflammatory medication reduces these chemicals temporarily. So, if we wish to reduce inflammation and pain without the use of a drug we need alternatives.

In every first aid course there is an acronym that must be learned: R.I.C.E. RICE stands for rest, ice, compression and elevation. Each contributes to the reduction of inflammation,, however it is the use of ice that I believe is most essential. When applying ice to your painful muscle or joint there are simple rules to follow. First, never apply ice directly to the skin. Second, you must leave the ice on the area long enough to feel the “burning” sensation; usually 15 to 20 minutes. This burning sensation will last for only a few seconds (30 to 45). Lastly, never leave the ice on for more than 20 minutes

Fish oil is very popular these days for the use of many things but did you know that it reduces inflammation? Studies have shown that fish oil is helpful for patients with neck pain and back pain, as well as joint pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and ulcerative colitis. You should not take fish oil if you are taking significant blood-thinning medications such as warfarin (Coumadin).

Calcium with Vitamin D is known to have anti-inflammatory properties. Low back pain and widespread pain that can be confused with fibromyalgia are also known to be associated with vitamin D deficiency. We get vitamin D from the sun and from our kidneys but the added supplementation is helpful especially for those couped up indoors.

Protease Enzyme is powerful at reducing inflammation and pain in the body. Be careful though, too much of this wonderfully natural product can cause stomach upset.

Magnesium: This important mineral works hand in hand with calcium to help reduce pain and inflammation throughout the body. The average American’s intake of magnesium is well below the recommended daily allowance (RDA) and this has been associated with the expression of numerous conditions including heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, osteoporosis, headache, chronic inflammation, and an increase in nervous system excitability. Approximately 400 mg of supplemental magnesium per day is thought to be adequate for most individuals.

Please contact your doctor or Dr. Mark Lee to begin a program right for you.

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