A Hawk Doesn’t Resent Gravity!

This past Sunday I was out riding my bicycle in Washington Township and was struggling up a pretty steep hill. I was about half way up and could see the top. My legs were hurting, I was breathing hard and all I could think was “I really hate gravity.”

Photo of man biking up a hill for The Back Care Center blog post about doing what needs to be done. Credit_Design Pics-Thinkstock.

Credit: Design Pics/Thinkstock.

Suddenly a hawk leapt from its perch on a low tree branch and passed in front of me just a few feet off the ground. It flapped furiously to gain some height and just managed to clear the trees in front of me. I watched as it kept on climbing until it was high enough to begin circling and gliding.

As I watched the hawk fly, I realized that unlike me on my bike, it didn’t seem to resent the gravity: it just did what it had to do to get high enough to fly and hunt. I felt inspired by the thought and I pushed my way up the hill.

During the rest of the ride, I had time to think. Many of us spend time resenting things we need to do instead of just doing what needs to be done. It doesn’t matter how important the issue, there always seems to be a reason why we avoid getting it accomplished. So it really isn’t a surprise that when it comes to health, some people don’t want to do what’s necessary.

When patients come into my office with pain, my job is to evaluate their problem and create a plan for a solution. If I am going to help, they have to stick to the plan and do things like keep their appointments, do their exercises, and make changes to their diet. Most work with me and get positive results; however, some resent the process, don’t follow through with the plan, and never get better.

If you are suffering with something like neck pain or back pain and it is stopping you from doing the things you love, you can do something about it. But if you decide to improve your health, then don’t get frustrated by the process. Pedal harder and get to the top of your hill.

We may not be able to help you fly like a hawk, but we can help you get the relief you need.


The Back Care Center is located in Dumont, NJ and we see patients from our surrounding towns including Bergenfield, Closter, Cresskill, Demarest, Dumont, Emerson, Englewood, Harrington Park, Haworth, New Milford, Ridgefield Park, Teaneck and Tenafly in Northern New Jersey. Call us at 201-387-7463 to schedule an appointment today.

Does the Future Belong to Health Care Hit Men?

Don't give in to healthcare hitmen - visit The Back Care Center of Dumont, NJToday I am on a bit of a rant. A patient came into the office after being involved in an automobile accident. She had a herniated disc in her neck, pinching a nerve going into her arm, causing pain and weakness.

When I first saw her, she couldn’t turn her head or use her arm at all. Luckily, we take care of herniated discs here and we started her on program of spinal decompression, cold laser and chiropractic adjustments. About a month later she had less neck pain, more motion and her arm was getting stronger.

I sent the patient’s insurance company a report outlining her progress and my plan to continue helping her. Two days later I heard back from them and was surprised to learn that my “request” for care was denied!

I was confused and called the insurance company. This woman was making terrific progress but clearly was still hurting and needed more work. They connected me to the doctor who had made the decision about her case. (Of course, he had never met her and the only information he had was my report outlining the need for care).

I reminded him of the case and told him why I was calling. I pointed out that my patient was still demonstrating symptoms and had significant findings on her examination. He told me that the testing I had done (the same testing which every MD or DC uses) did not, in his opinion, demonstrate a problem and that the improvement in my patient’s progress and her current symptoms were irrelevant.

The good news is that I ignored this “Health Care Hit Man” from the insurance company. The patient did very well and after about four more weeks of care she successfully recovered from her injuries.

The reason I am so upset is that the writing is on the wall. The insurance companies are all doing the same thing. They are hiring some “professional” who has never met you and giving them the power to make decisions about your health and the type of care you will require.

I am telling you now because forewarned is forearmed. You need to know your insurance company is not going to be looking out for you. They are cutting coverage for care and at the same time raising premium costs every year.

Fortunately, at The Back Care Center we and don’t let the insurance companies push us around. We make it a point to keep care affordable and to treat our patients, not their insurance company.

If that’s the kind of care you’re looking for, then give us a call.

The Back Care Center is located in Dumont, NJ and we see patients from our surrounding towns including Bergenfield, Bogota, Closter, Cresskill, Englewood, Harrington Park, New Milford, Ridgefield Park, Teaneck and Tenafly. Call us at 201-387-7463 to schedule an appointment today. 

Can Chiropractic Help With Headaches?

When people ask us whether chiropractic can help when it comes to headache management, our answer is, “Absolutely.”

But for some people, that’s not enough. There are many headache sufferers who have never been to a chiropractor or have not even ever considered it as an option.

The good news is that there is more than enough support in the scientific community to satisfy anyone as to whether chiropractic treatment can help with headaches.

In a meta-analysis conducted in 2011, researchers reviewed journals published through 2009. They found 21 articles that met their inclusion criteria and used the results to develop treatment recommendations.

  • There is scientific literature that supports utilizing chiropractic care for the treatment of migraine headaches of either episodic or chronic migraine.
  • Similarly, they found articles supporting the chiropractic treatment of cervicogenic headaches, or headaches arising from the neck region.
  • In addition, joint mobilization (the “non-cracking” type of neck treatment such as figure 8 stretching and manual traction) or strengthening of the deep neck flexor muscles may improve symptoms in those suffering from cervicogenic headaches as well.
  • Finally, they found that low load craniocervical mobilization might be helpful for longer-term management of patients with episodic or chronic tension-type headaches where manipulation was found to be less effective.

Now, some of you are scratching your heads, wondering what all that means. It means that for some people, chiropractic care can help with headaches, and it can do it without serious drugs and their not-very-pleasant side effects.

The bottom line is that when people ask you why are going to a chiropractor for your headaches, you can say that not only do you know that it helps, but also that there are many scientific studies that say that, too.

The Back Care Center is located in Dumont, NJ and we see patients from our surrounding towns including Bergenfield, Bogota, Closter, Cresskill, Englewood, Harrington Park, New Milford, Ridgefield Park, Teaneck and Tenafly. Call us at 201-387-7463 to schedule an appointment today.

 

Three Years of Pain Is a Long Time… Sports Injuries and Chiropractic Care

A patient recently referred his son to my office because of some neck and back pain. When I saw the young man, he told me that he also very frequently gets headaches.

It turns out that the whole issue began while he was still in high school and was related to some injuries he suffered while competing on his school wrestling team. Not an unusual thing considering how hard they push high school athletes these days. What shocked me was that the patient told me he had suffered 5-6 concussions during the season and his coach still allowed him to participate.

Ever since high school, he has been living with neck pain and moderate to severe headaches just about every other day. By the time he came to my office the problem had been going on for over three years! Nobody, not even his old coach or his primary doctor, ever suggested checking out the problem.

Thankfully, we found that some of the issues in his neck were related to the head pain and with a little bit of chiropractic care we have begun to see good results. His headaches are going away and his neck pain is stopping as well. There was no question that his pain is a result of the injuries he suffered while in high school. The things I wonder about are, why was nobody concerned enough to help this young man and how many other student athletes have had the same thing happen?

School sports are very competitive and even though coaches try to keep kids safe, injuries happen more and more often. These injuries can be serious and effect these kids for years to come.

If your children are participating in sports, getting their spine checked can be the difference between being pain-free or suffering from neck or back pain for the rest of their life. Don’t wait three years until you get help… call the Back Care Center of Dumont NJ to make an appointment today.

 

 

Life goes on after the pain is gone!

couple on bicycles living healthy lifestyle

People never stop surprising me. Some patients wait in pain for days, weeks or even months before they come to me for help. When they finally make an appointment, the reason for their delay was that someone had told them, “Once you start seeing a chiropractor, you have to go forever!”

I can tell you that no two patients are really alike, but we can group them into three general categories. The first group wants nothing more than to get out of pain fast. The second group is looking for an overall improvement in their vitality. They not only get adjusted but also work on all other aspects of their health. The third group is a combination of the first two. They want to get out of pain but also want to enjoy the benefits longer-term chiropractic care can provide. They come in periodically to check and maintain their spine.

I take care of all three types of patients. While certain issues like a herniated disc may require longer term care, typically patients get out of pain relatively fast. If they are in the first group I described and want to stop after their pain is relieved, there is no “penalty.” They go back to their life and hopefully back to doing the things they love. I am thrilled to have helped them get what they wanted, and if they ever need me again, they are always welcome to come into the office.

If you are suffering with neck pain, back pain or sciatica, or know someone else who is, please let us help. Give us a call today. The sooner we get started, the sooner the pain will be gone.

The Back Care Center is located in Dumont, NJ and we see patients from our surrounding towns including Bergenfield, Bogota, Closter, Cresskill, Englewood, Harrington Park, New Milford, Ridgefield Park, Teaneck and Tenafly. Call us at 201-387-7463 to schedule an appointment today.

Imagine Being Pain Free for the Holidays!

It is amazing how fast the year is passing. Autumn is here and Thanksgiving is just around the corner. The worst way to spend the holidays is in pain. I get so many last-minute calls asking me to help with severe back pain or neck pain during this time of year. People tell me it has been bothering them for a while but now they just want to feel good enough to enjoy their time with friends and family. The shame is they have waited too long and their holidays are often spent in pain.

Getting better usually takes some time. While every condition is not the same, generally even our most difficult back and neck pain patients get great results within about 6 weeks. Please don’t misunderstand me. I am not saying that they are “cured” or that their conditions have miraculously disappeared. But we are different from many offices because we use a combination of chiropractic methods, spinal decompression, cold laser, massage therapy and exercises to fix the problem at the source.

Imagine, just 6 weeks to have less pain, more mobility and feel good enough to enjoy the holidays. If you or anyone you know is putting off taking care of your back or neck, remember time is running out! Give us a call today to start your journey back to health.

The Back Care Center is located in Dumont, NJ and we see patients from our surrounding towns including Bergenfield, Bogota, Closter, Cresskill, Englewood, Harrington Park, New Milford, Ridgefield Park, Teaneck and Tenafly. Call us at 201-387-7463 to schedule an appointment today.

What patients get wrong about their pain

After over 25 years of practice I am still amazed at the way some people think about their pain and where it comes from.

A patient came to my office and told me that she had lower back pain that started recently. She insisted that the only thing it might be from was lifting a heavy bag a few months ago. I examined and x-rayed her spine. We found that she had a huge amount of damage to the bones and discs in her lower back. It was obvious that picking up a single bag didn’t cause all of the damage. I explained my findings and showed her the films but she insisted that the x-rays couldn’t be right because she “never had any problems before this pain.”

Another patient came to me complaining of numbness in her leg. The examination indicated many signs of severe spinal problems that were probably affecting the nerves going into her leg. I sent her for an MRI of her lower back and it confirmed my suspicions. She had two very badly damaged discs that were compressing the nerves going into her leg and causing the numbness. When we spoke about the findings she maintained that her numbness was not due to the discs but was only because she had been standing in front of her sink and doing the dishes.

It is hard for people to understand that most spinal problems are not because of a single event – they develop over a period of years. Pain is from a lifetime of small injuries and changes that add up and finally get to the point where your body is screaming for help.

Taking care of your injury isn’t as simple as not doing the thing that hurts. It takes time and work on both the part of the doctor and the patient. In our office we use a combination of chiropractic adjustments, spinal decompression, laser, massage and exercise to get you back to where you want to be. Instead of focusing on limiting what you can do, we work with you to give you your life back.

If you are having back pain, neck pain, sciatica, headaches or some other type of injury, this is the office for you. Give us a call at 201-387-7463 and let’s start working on it together.

Why Is Your Back Like A Toilet?

The other day I found myself answering a very familiar question. A patient wanted to know how he could have done so much damage to his spine for so many years but still not feel any back pain until just recently.

After over 25 years in practice, I am used to patients asking me this question. I explained to him that spinal damage often accumulates over time but doesn’t become apparent until it can affect function. It isn’t the final and often small event, like bending down to pick up a piece of clothing off the floor, which caused the problem, although that is when you finally become aware of the problem and suddenly realize you have back pain or neck pain.

As I said, this was a familiar conversation and I have had to think of many different ways of illustrating this fact to my practice members. However, this patient, after hearing what I had to say, gave me something new to think about.

“OH,” he said, “so your back is like a toilet!”

I had never heard this analogy and the confusion must have shown immediately on my face. “How is that?” I asked. He went on to explain that toilets frequently flood because of pipes that become blocked over time. You usually don’t know it is happening until one day you flush and the toilet overflows all over the bathroom.

I thought about it and had to laugh. He was right, your back is like a toilet and here was a man who truly understood chiropractic adjustments!

If you’re feeling a little clogged, why not call the Back Care Center of Dumont, NJ and make an appointment? Better to deal with the problem now, before it turns into something really messy.

 

Why muscle weakness can lead to back pain and other injuries

In my previous blog post I wrote about a patient who had lower back pain caused by a problem in another area of his spine. His condition was due to a loss of motion in his middle back which he compensated for by twisting his lower back while playing golf.

In over 25 years of practice, I have seen many other patients who came in with injuries caused by weakness that was far removed from the area of pain. One person had a hamstring tear because of a long-standing weakness in the muscles of his hip. Another patient had headaches because he was using the muscles in his neck when trying to lift his arm with a damaged rotator cuff muscle. One patient hurt his shoulder while trying to lift something because he was unable to use the muscles of his back properly.

When examining my patients, I have found that it is important to look at all of them, not just the spot that hurts. Their injury is often due to compensations for deeper problems and fixing those issues may become the primary focus of my treatment. Simply “cracking” the part that hurts doesn’t do the job! Treatment here at The Back Care Center of Dumont, NJ could include spinal decompression therapy, chiropractic adjustments and massage therapy, as well as newer techniques like kinesio taping.

If you are suffering with a problem and would like to investigate the cause, please give us a call at 201-387-7463 to schedule an initial exam or an appointment.

When tears of joy replace tears of pain…

Last time I blogged about how I have been using a combination of chiropractic adjustments and spinal decompression therapy to deal with my own disc injury and get out of pain.

Today I want to tell you about a patient of mine who was suffering with constant neck pain as well. Her pain was in her neck, shoulder and into her arm. It had been going on for a very long time and after going to several doctors, physical therapists and even another chiropractor she came to my office after another patient convinced her to try just one more time.

It took a little while, months in fact, but after some hard work, including spinal decompression therapy, her pain began to go away.

I didn’t realize just how impactful this was for her until she came into the office one day almost in tears. She told me “Doctor, you just don’t understand how much of a relief it is not to be in pain every day!” By the time she left we both had a good cry. I was happy for her, plus I was reminded myself just how badly chronic pain affect your life.

This type of patient is one of the reasons I love what I do. I have seen hundreds of patients get those same results over the years and know that without chiropractic these people would have ended up either on pain medications for life or cut open by a surgeon on an operating room table.

Maybe it was going through a period of incredible pain myself that reminds me just how grateful I am to be part of a profession that allows me able to change so many of my patients’ lives for the better.

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