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How to Explain Your Pain to a Doctor

April 20, 2016

By Dr. Michael J. Cooney

(I’m honored to have this article featured on SpineUniverse.com):

An experienced chiropractor has tips to help you get the care you need at your next appointment

Prescription
Prescription

For more than three decades, I’ve been treating patients with acute and chronic pain from around the corner here in Rutherford, New Jersey to as far away as Australia and South Africa.

From our patient’s first consultation to the last treatment office visit, the success of any pain treatment we prescribe is contingent upon us (the health care provider) accurately treating the root cause of your pain.

As the patient, precisely describing your acute pain or neuropathic pain is a “high stakes” conversation.

I can read your medical history, referring doctor reports and lab results, but this is all secondary to understanding each patient’s pain mechanics.

It is absolutely essential that this is communicated to your pain management provider as accurately as possible.

(Read the full article here)

Exercise can help lessen pain in chronic pain patients

spine-universe logoI’m thoroughly enjoying my blogging experience on SpineUniverse.com.   I’ve interacted with some interesting colleagues and offered advice to several readers.  Now that we are all online, the world seems much more compact!

I’d like to repost a recent article I wrote earlier this week about the value of exercising, even for patients in pain. Several of my Calmare scrambler therapy patients used walking (starting slow and building distance and speed) as the first exercise they undertook once their pain was under control.

Just be sure to consult with  your treating doctor about how much and what exercise is right for you, depending on your medical condition.

Now. Water aerobics anyone? 

From a doctor’s perspective, treating chronic pain is one of the most difficult professional challenges. Every patient is completely unique and so is their body and mind’s reaction to pain.  As a chiropractor who does not support invasive therapies or drugs, it’s my job to help patients discover additional ways to minimize pain that works uniquely for them.

Depending on the severity of your medical condition, this can range from the warm embrace of a beloved pet, wrapping the affected area with a warm towel, sipping a soothing cup of tea or ─or working up a sweat!

Although it may seem counterintuitive, exercise can most certainly be an excellent option to lessen pain.

How?

  • Your body releases endorphins when you exercise, which puts you in a better mood, combats depression and even helps block pain receptors.
  • Exercise also makes your body stronger, which can take some of the stress off areas causing you pain. For example, strengthening your core (belly muscles) can help reduce back pain because your back doesn’t need to work so hard to support your body.

You may be surprised at the positive response your body gives you after even a light workout. First and foremost, however, be sure to discuss starting an exercise routine with your treating doctor first. Once you’ve received the green light to go ahead, consider two of my favorite exercise options:

Yoga

Yoga is low-impact and incorporates stretching, strengthening, and meditation. Remember, you don’t need to be able to contort yourself into a pretzel to enjoy the benefits of yoga and, in fact, you are encouraged to go at a pace that is comfortable for you.  Most gyms and yoga studios offer classes for beginners, so you’re sure to find the class that suits you.

Swimming and Water Aerobics

If yoga isn’t for you, get in the water and consider a water aerobics program. According to the National Council on Exercise, your body weighs 90% less underwater. This takes a lot of stress off of your joints and muscles, allowing you to move more easily. Proper hydration is key with water aerobics because you won’t realize if you’re actually sweating.

You may be reluctant to get out and start exercising at first, but with the permission of your doctor, gently give it a try. Often, my patients will tell me they were skeptical about the benefits of exercising until they tried it.

And even though you’re excited to get started, take it slow at first so your body can adjust to the new level of activity. Starting a safe exercise program empowers patients in pain to be active and fight back against pain on their own terms.

Let me know if you find an exercise that works for you and I’ll be happy to share it.

My interview in Entrepreneur Magazine

entrepreneurI was delighted to be interviewed by Entrepreneur Magazine’s health writer, Lisa Evans, for the article, “Four Ways to Eliminate Back and Neck Pain at Work” about how to overcome and avoid spinal pain when your job requires you to sit at a desk all day.

So many people are strapped to the desk in order to make a living. Here’s hoping this can help lessen the pain of the daily grind.

Charles ends lifelong chronic neck pain with Calmare

January 2012

Charles Bartel has lived a rich and full life. He splits his time between owning a hotel in Ghana and living in northern New Jersey. He has endured severe chronic neck pain from an accident as a baby (more than 40 years). As a result, Charles has lived with restricted mobility most of his life. After exhaustive research, he heard about FDA-cleared Calmare Pain Therapy and reached out to Dr. Michael Cooney at Rutherford Allied Medical Group for help. Here, Charles talks about his experience.

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