Posted tagged ‘chronic pain’

Plastic Rats

June 28, 2013

plastic rats[originally published in KCN, May 2008]

The word “Plastic” means different things to different people.   We all probably relate to the countless plastic products and materials that we have come to rely on.  Everything from drinking cups to dashboards — rain gear to baby toys — traffic cones to sunglasses.  Still others might reach for their wallets to show off their “plastic.”  And sometimes  plastic is the perfect word  to describe something that is fake or artificial.  But ask a scientist, engineer, or artist to define the word plastic, and you just might be in for an answer that you have never heard before.  For these professional fields have definitions of plastic that revolve around a material’s ability to change in shape — much like plastic does when it is heated.  Specifically however, when “plastic” is used in the biological sciences it refers to an organism’s ability to “exhibit adaptability to change or variety in the environment.”

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Brain Pain

April 26, 2013

Brain Pain 1[originally published in KCN, December 2005]

No one probably has to tell you that back pain is a drag.  It can be incredibly painful.  It can rob you of your ability to function normally.  It can cause you to miss work.  And, it can rack up a sizable bill!  But did you know, according to a study last year in the Journal of Neuroscience, it can also shrink your brain?

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Hope for Chronic Pain

April 12, 2013

doctor-said-it-would-go-away-2-flip[originally published in KCN, June 2005]

Pain, in its purest form, serves a very definite purpose:  it acts as sign, or a signal, to alert us of a problem.  It also serves to prevent us from doing things that would, perhaps, make our problem worse.  So pain, in a weird kind of way, is a “good” thing.  But what about pain “gone bad”  — pain that doesn’t go away or comes and goes on an all too regular basis?  Well, at the risk of sounding trite, then the pain really is a “pain.”  And what escalates this “pain” even more is that its one of the biggest challenges practitioners across the health care spectrum face on a daily basis.  We label it “chronic pain.”  Plaguing  approximately 35% of our country, chronic pain is responsible for categorizing 50 million Americans as partially or totally disabled.  What’s more, we don’t really have an adequate way of explaining it or even identifying its true source, let alone finding effective ways to treat it —  not a very comforting thought for those buried under a mountain of chronic pain.  And while all this may seem dismal, a couple of researchers from “Down Under” have very good reason to offer hope of an effective treatment option that just might help make pain “gone bad”… gone.
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TMJ and the Chiropractor

May 28, 2010

[originally published in KCN, June 2010]

There I sat in the dental waiting room, flipping through a magazine as my toe kept time to the Muzak.  Suddenly, the young dentist poked his head out from behind the door and called my name. He looked worried.  And to tell you the truth, I began to feel the same way — because I wasn’t there to be seen.  It was my wife’s turn in the chair, and I was only waiting.

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The “Elvis Pelvis”

March 26, 2010

[originally published in KCN, April 2010]

Every chiropractor who has been in practice for some time has had a population of patients that did not respond as he would have expected.  Oh sure, many of them got relief from the chiropractic care provided, but it only lasted for a few hours — a day, tops.  And mind you, we’re not talking about the first few visits, but, rather, a well-established pattern.  Or the patient did well with the adjustments, only to have the back misalign again from a trivial event.  It’s been my experience that not every patient falls into the typical “restore-motion-to-stuck-spinal-joint-and-watch-patient-get-better” category.  Sometimes we chiropractors need to acknowledge that not every case of mechanical back pain is due to spinal joints being” stuck” or “locked” — instead, sometimes it’s just the opposite: the joints are too loose.

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How ‘bout that weather?

March 12, 2010

[originally published in KCN, October 2001]

One thing I’ve come to learn about Northwest weather is that it definitely is not predictable.  And turning to the T.V. weathermen for guidance is, well, not predictable.  But for some, tracking the weather patterns can be quite predictable.  As a matter of fact it comes naturally, whether they like it or not.  No Hi-Tech weather equipment.  No degree in meteorology.  Just one or more arthritic joints is all that is needed for the perfect weather station.

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