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No More Restless Leg Syndrome
Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) has affected many for hundreds of years but only recently has RLS become a diagnosis. The disease was only identified approximately 20 years ago. RLS is quite real, and quite debilitating. RLS is a recognized medical condition, often under- and misdiagnosed, and can be quite distressing if it is severe. Restless leg syndrome plagues many people around the world, and occurs in both genders, although the incidence may be slightly higher in women. Fortunately there is a wealth of information available to those who suffer from this disorder. RLS is a chronic and slowly progressive disorder. Prevalence estimates vary widely, from 12 million to more than 30 million adults in the U.S. Secondary RLS occurs in conditions such as pregnancy, iron deficiency, diabetes mellitus, kidney disease, neuropathy, spinal disease, and Parkinson's disease. The people suffering from restless leg syndrome feel a very strange urge to move that is difficult to control. Restless leg syndrome is a common cause of painful legs and typically eases with motion of the legs and becomes more noticeable at rest.
Although the syndrome may begin at any age, even as early as infancy, most patients who are severely affected are middle-aged or older. RLS is a neurological disorder that makes it difficult to sit or lie still for long periods of time and often occurs in the evening and at night. RLS is a disorder that disturbs a person's sleep pattern causing the worsening of symptoms during the early evening or late at night. It is characteristic of RLS to lead to insomnia and other sleep disorders which leads to other problems for the patient.
RLS is treated with drugs similar to Parkinson's drugs -- drugs that function as dopamine agonists and due to the medications associated with it, with the prevalent side effects, other options are needed to better the present treatments used. Restless leg syndrome symptoms may be induced or exacerbated by medications such as antidepressants, lithium, and dopamine antagonists (neuroliptics, metoclopramide), H2 blockers. Caffeine also has been implicated in the worsening of restless leg syndrome symptoms. Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, arthritis and varicose veins, also increase the risk of developing restless leg syndrome. It is the use of dopamines or opioid peptide production of serotonin that offers promise for the use of interferential treatments(IFT) for the prevention and dimunition of RLS symptoms.
Interferential treatments are known to increase the production of natural opioid peptides which provide extended carryover pain relief. The use of interferential also eases muscle spasticity and relaxes the leg muscles themselves which appears to diminish the frequency of occurrences of the symptoms of RLS. Fortunately rather than having to increase dosages of drugs which happens for many RLS sufferers the use of IFT diminishes over time so less is needed rather than more.
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Click for the Cheapest Tens Unit On the Internet - $24.95
So many times an internet search is done to find the best price.
This is normal behavior as practically no one wants to pay more for a product than they have to. The search may be something like:
cheap tens unit, inexpensive tens, best price tens unit
or any other derivative of tens, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator. What is the real purpose though of that type search?
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Fibromyalgia is a serious medical condition and is generally associated with low serotonin levels. Fibromyalgia affects about 3 million to 6 million people in the United States each year. The disorder mostly affects women, aged 30 to 59 and typically develops in early-to-middle adulthood. Fibromyalgia pain is more common in the trunk , neck, low back, hips, and shoulders, and it is rare in the hands and feet. It usually develops gradually and can interfere with even simple daily activities. Often the diagnoisis requires having 11 of 18 identified possibly tender points on the body such as elbows, front of chest etc. Pain is the most prominent symptom of fibromyalgia and many patients report pain on the TPS pain scale of 8 out of 10 with 10 being highest. The pain cycle often results in the patient having what is described as fibromyalgia syndrome ( FMS) which is categorized by stiffness and constant fatigue. Often the fatigue is brought on by lack of sleep and that is the area where lack of serotonin is a factor.
Serotonin is an important initiator of sleep. In numerous studies 5-HTP has been shown to decrease the time required to get to sleep and to decrease the number of awakenings.
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Healing With Electricity
Unlike chronic pain where electricity is being used to stimulate nerves you have a multitude of potential applications using electicity - electromagnetic energy, to treat many of the illnesses found today. Today we've refined the application of electicity to the point we can define the flow of electrons and add or subtract them from an area in or around the body. This process of adding/subtracting electrons in an area increases the chemical responses throughout our body. A very simple example of this is if you place two magnets beside each other with the "south" ends facing then no matter what you do you will not be able to make the two magnets stay together as you have the similar poles repelling each other. If you switch one magnet to the "north" pole then they immediately come together. In a simplified form this is what happens when you have negative or positively charged particles (ions) in an area and you have receptor sites to utilize the chemicals the body is producing but if the charges are the same then no attraction, but if opposite then there is an attraction to the receptor site(s) and chemical changes do occur thusly facilitating healing. In the sick or injured state there may be the chemicals being produced by the body needed to facilitate healing but often those chemicals do not have a receptor site that can utilize them due to the electrical charge of the receptor. This process may have been prevented by the receptor site lacking the polarity to attract them. i.e. opposites attract, similars repel.
The field of medicine using electromagnetic energy is certainly not new.
Hippocrates used magnets to treat various ailments in his practice of 450BC. The use of magnets evolved out of the Greek dynasty and was practiced in Rome where Galen, a Greek citizen, may have been the first sports-medicine doctor, and electromagnetism the first sports-medicine technology as he wrote often of using it on gladiators for trauma and injury around 150 AD. He later became physician to the armed forces of the Roman Empire and personal physician to Emperor Marcus Aurelius.
Noted astrophysicist,Stephen Hawking,stated “electromagnetism controls all chemical reactions, all biologic response, and life itself” as he discussed microscopic events in his book, “A Brief History of Time”. Our biological processes
of staying healthy or healing are dependent upon our body and it's electrical properties.
Doctors have been using electrical and magnetic fields since the late 1970s to help mend certain kinds of severe bone fractures that would otherwise require a bone graft. The electricity appears to increase the production of calcium inside bone cells. Doctors in both Europe and the United States are obtaining astounding results using electromagnetic fields to treat damage ranging from ulcers to severe burns. Research studies show that magnetic fields predictably accelerate the healing time of soft tissue injuries as well as bones and joints.
Pulsed EM fields (PEMF) or pulsed magnetic fields (PMF) have been used therapeutically with great benefit. Areas of application include:
1. nerve stimulation for intractable pain, multiple sclerosis (Sandyk, 1997), Parkinson’s disease (Sandyk, 1994b; George, 1996), and spacticity reduction in cerebral palsy;
2. soft tissue repair (Lee et al., 1993), healing of surgical wounds with increased tensile strength, decubitous chronic ulcers (Salzberg, 1995), increased angiogenesis, and the healing of recalcitrant chronic venous ulcers (Cadossi, 1990; Stiller et al., 1992);
3. bone repair;
4. treatment of osteoarthritis, including reduction of pain, swelling, and increased mobility (Trock, 1994); and
5. neuroendocrine applications for epilepsy (Sandyk et al., 1992), relief from symptoms of drug withdrawal and alleviation of depression (Kirkcaldie, 1997; Conca, 1996), anxiety,
and insomnia (Erman, 1991).
Clinical studies indicate that biofield therapies are especially useful for treating anxiety (Keller et al., 1990) and pain (Quinn, 1984). A very limited number of studies suggest they may also stimulate immune function (Olson, 1997), hemoglobin formation (Krieger, 1976), and facilitate the healing of wounds (Wirth, 1992).
Today we are on the cusp of defining new, non pharmaceutical methods of treating disease and injury but research is still needed and of course the issue with research is always funding. With electromagnetic energy one has a basic not proprietary process that does not reward the research with a patent protected product that can fund research so many applications will not be properly researched due to the financial constraints.
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Welcome to our mini series on Our Electric Body and how our body reacts to electrical stimulus. You will receive one topic every other day for the next 10 days explaining the various ways electrical energy affects different systems in our body. This series is intended to "uncloud" the mystery that is so prevalent about how certain types of electricty are processed by our body to effect positive changes. It is extremely difficult for any patient to understand what is going on unless they receive proper education and instruction so they can be engaged in their own success. I'm not saying this will provide all the answers but you will receive quality truthful information to help you understand what can be done with electrictiy to alleviate your problem.
For many decades we have been using electricity to control pain. Actually we could go back several centuries to the oft repeated use of electric eels for gout pain. The patient would put the painful part in a bucket of eels and obtain pain relief from the shock of the eels. This is our first recorded use of electricity for pain control. It does not matter whether the pain is chronic or acute as the process of sensory input for the pain sensation is practically identical. Historically tens units have been used outside the clinic for the patient to wear and adjust during their daily activities to accommodate the pain being felt. If the pain is very severe, acute onset, or the patient has moments when the pain intensity is too great for them to bear, then interferential is used in the clinical setting. In rare situations a dorsal column stimulator (DCS) will be used and in the most severe a deep brain stimulator (DBS) will be used. I'll explain each of these farther along in this email.
Pain is symptomatic of a problem somewhere in your body. The pain signal triggers your brain to respond to the harmful stimulus, such as touching a hot pan, by rapidly withdrawing your hand. If the hand was harmed, tissue damaged, then a new process is started by the brain to make sure there is no infectious agents such as bacteria, germs etc. in the body where the pain was experienced. The brain will signal the release of T-cells ( natural antibiotics ) to the site and will precede the t - cells with histamines so they can break through the capillaries to the area the bacteria is and kill it. The brain will cause many physiological and biological changes with the latter two being a small part of the process.
The pain stimulus is sent to the spinal column to go to the brain. It is an electrical signal that imbalances certain nerves and the resulting actions by the nerves insure the pain message is received so no further harm is done. All of this is good until the message going to the brain is continuous or more frequent than is needed and unnecessary. It is at this point when the message is constant that the patient has a problem. Now the issue is not protecting the body but preventing further harm by the constant pain message which limits the patient's abilities to be functional. The pain impulse becomes an inhibitor to health. One comment you will hear often is the pain " is all in your head". Very accurate statement as all pain is in the head as that is where it is perceived so nothing new here. The danger of it not being in your head is most evident in a patient with diabetic neuropathy or other diseases where the sensory input is lost. That patient may have a cut, or burn to their foot/legs, and never know about it until infection has set in. The impairment of the sensory input to the patient's brain results in far more serious injury often resulting in systemic infection, amputation or in some cases death. For those patients the lack of pain being in their "head" can be tragic.
How Electrical Signals To The Body Work:
With chronic pain the nerves that are transmitting the pain signal are activated by minimal input. When the pain nerve going to the spinal cord is stimulated a message is sent and the spinal cord can only accept and transmit a limited number of messages to the brain. The messages to the brain come in from different types of nerves referred to as "A", "B", "C" fibers. These fibers carry different messages such as pressure, heat etc. so the fibers have different duties (jobs) to keep the brain informed of what our body is experiencing. Because there are more nerver fibers coming to the spine than there are pathways to the brain then some messages do not get transmitted. When that message is the pain message from the C fiber, then if not transmitted, obviously there can be no pain.
If not in the brain then no pain.
With electricity for the chronic pain patient we use devices to stimulate the "non pain" fibers.
For visualization I like to compare this process to the old fashion telephone system where you had an operator who physically routed phone calls to their destination. The operator might only have access to 10 outgoing lines so when there were 20 calls coming into the central system the operator had to decide which of the 10 were most important and allow them through while letting the other 10 know to wait or call back when less busy. This is similar to the process our spine goes through on deciding what messages are allowed or not allowed.
In order to prioritize non pain messages so the spinal cord will transmit that message, rather than the pain message, we use electricity to stimulate the non-pain fibers. The electrical impulse stimulates ( causing physical/chemical changes ) to the nerve fibers and therefore the input from the non pain fibers are transmitted and the pain message is not. When using electrical inputs the patient experiences non pain sensations since that sensation is what is being transmitted to the brain for our perception. The pain signal goes away or is never tranmitted therefore no pain.
At this point a word of clarification on the "blocking" of the pain message. Natually one would assume that by blocking the impulse the patient runs risk of real injury yet it would not be perceived. That is not the case with controlled electrical input from a device. The amount of electrical stimulus in the painful area is produced based upon the existing level of pain at the time the electrical stimulus is set up. If the electrical stimulus is too great then that stimulus itself will cause the patient to have pain. The patient would react by simply saying that the electricity is now painful so the level of the intensity would be lowered so the patient experiences no pain. If after the electrical stimulus is set up and the patient now has a new injury then the pain stimulus from the new injury will override the existing settings and the new painful stimulus will override and the new injury will be just that, a more powerful stimulus that is transmitted to the brain and the patient knows of a new injury and the body reacts accordingly. This is most common in the use of electrical devices for athletes. A football player wearing a unit during a game who has suffered a "hip pointer" or "sprained ankle" would still feel any new injury or stimulus such as reinjuring the ankle. The pain from the new injury is perceived, not overridden by the electrical device.
Devices to Stop The Pain Message
Listed below are the type electrical devices normally used to stop chronic pain:
1. TENS ( Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulator ) - A small portable device worn by the patient operating from generally a 9 volt battery. Device is worn constanly, or when pain present, and can be worn 24/7 if necessary. Characterized electrically by having range of 1 - 150 pulses per second ( PPS) of electricity. PPS simply means the machine comes off and on 150 times a second. Tens have no carryover pain relief which means if the unit is turned off then the pain immediaely returns. TENS are covered by most insurance companies, including Medicare.
2. Interferential Unit ( IF/IFC) - Somewhat larger than a tens unit and uses electricity from a plug in AC adaptor. The pulses per second are 8,000 - 8,150. The greater pulses per second mean an Interferential Unit can not be worn or used for any extended time period if using a battery system but needs to be plugged in to the wall. Interferential has considerable carryover pain relief and often after a 20 -30 minute treatment the pain will not return for hours/ days or weeks. Interferential is covered by some insurance companies when billed as durable medical equipment ( DME) but is regarded by Medicare as experimental.
3. Dorsal Column Stimulator ( DCS) - An external device power source that usually uses radio waves to transmit power to the receiver which is connected to wires embedded on each side of the spinal column. This is an implant requiring surgical intervention. The stimulus often results in immediate pain relief with some carryover in certain patients. Normally the surgery has to be preapproved by the insurance company and external devices have failed prior to the authorization of the implantation of a DCS.
4. Deep Brain Simulator ( DBS) - Similar to the DCS except the wires are placed into the brain. Implant done generally by a neurosurgeon and often a last resort type treatment for patients who potentially suicidal due to the severity of their chronic pain.
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Lavender oil has been popular since ancient times. Lavender oil was used extensively on the battlefield during both World Wars when medical supplies became scarce to prevent infection and as a pain reliever. Soldiers suffering from the pain of their wounds would be administered lavender oil to ease the pain and often to kill the bacteria in the wound. Lavender oil would be applied directly to the wound itself.
Lavender oil is one of the most popular essential oils in the world due to its magical aroma and wonderful qualities widely utilized in the skin care, cosmetics, aromatherapy, flavor and medicine industries. A French chemist , Rene-Maurice Gattefosse, began his research into the healing powers of essential oils after burning his hand in his laboratory and immersing in it in lavender oil and being impressed by how quickly the burn healed. Lavender oil has many uses; it is a powerful antiseptic containing more than 200 compounds that are active against fungi, viruses and other microbes.
The oil has such a variety of practical uses and one area of special interest is the use of lavender oil for chronic pain patients who generally experience sleepless nights due to pain. The pain creates in the patient sleep deprivation which serves to aggravate the pain as well as lowering the body's ability to fend off other infections and disease processes. When rehabilitation is started the patient is often tired and irritable due to the loss of sleep and the pain cycle is exacerbated.
One older method of helping the pain patient to sleep is to take a cotton ball and drop a few drops of essential lavender oil onto the cotton ball and insert it between the pillowcase and the pillow. The heat and pressure from the patient's head releases the oil and for many patients the oil helps them sleep and relieves anxiety. Today with the advanced technologies of gel matrix the oil is combined with extra virgin olive oil and the lavender and olive oil are absorbed into the gel patch which can then be worn by the patient releasing the oils for up to 24 hours. Other oils can be mixed with the lavender oil to help the chronic pain patient. It may also help to relieve pain from tension headache when breathed in as vapor.
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Sciatic Nerve Pain or Sciatica
Sciatic nerve pain can make everyday activities such as walking, sitting and standing difficult. Sciatic nerve pain is a periodic severe pain that occurs throughout your legs, stemming from your lumber spine and goes into your gluts ( butt muscles) and even down into your legs. Sciatica is the secondary process created by sciatic nerve pain. It is common for a patient experiencing chronic low back pain (CBP) to develop sciatic nerve pain resulting in sciatica. Fortunately with proper maintenance, sciatica rarely return.
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The extreme discomfort of chronic low back pain (CBP) results in the patient changing posture and adjusting seating/walking patterns to accommodate the pain they are experiencing. Over time the behavioral changes necessary for the patient to not be in pain often result in sciatica pain. The compression or “pinching” of the sciatic nerve due to these changes may inflame the nerve resulting in muscle compression.
Sciatica is the inflammation or irritation of the sciatic nerve which originates in your lower back and travels down your back to the hips into the back of the leg and extends to the lower leg. You have two sciatic nerves, one in each leg. Sciatica can be painful, with numbness and tingling in the gluteal and hamstring area. Untreated, the muscles begin to atrophy and weakness occurs.
Sciatica Pain Treatment
The sciatica pain slowly begins due to the lifestyle and habits necessary created by the pain of CPB. It is a prolonged onset of symptoms culminating in the secondary diagnosis of “sciatica” or “sciatic pain”. Sciatica pain treatment is aimed at maximizing mobility and independence. Treatment is conservative in as many as 50% of all cases and sciatic pain will greatly diminish or disappear within a month with supportive treatments and proper stretching. Sciatic nerve pain relief has been found using moist heat in combination with stretching exercises such as hip swings ( face down, heels together, hips flat as you swing your legs back and forth to stretch the muscles) .
The use of interferential therapy in conjunction with moist heat prior to beginning the exercising can greatly benefit the patient and the interferential therapy can provide long term carryover pain relief for days. Immediately after the interferential treatment it’s important to keep moving, not too fast, but move. If you sit for too long at a time, your muscles will tighten much quicker. If you’ve ever noticed that your pain is worse in the morning, after sleeping all night, then you realize as you get up and move then you are able to move with less pain whcih helps ease the pain. This is why moving is an important treatment for sciatica. During any exercise or movement, such as walking, the interferential mode should be switched over to TNS ( transcutaneous nerve stimulation ) and worn while exercising.
If you want more information prior to signing up or calling us then enjoy our video below.
Stop Muscle Pain, Disc Pain, Arthritis and Back Pain
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Interferential stimulation is being used for Piriformis Syndrome as well as laser and heat. The post by Chiropractic Doctor first tries to rule out other potential problems such as:
1. Gluteus muscle strain
2. Ischial bursitis
3. Lumbar disc disease
and then goes on to prescribe treatment with interferential.