Doctor Uses Physical Therapy, Rather Than Opioids, To Help Patients With Pain

Doctor Uses Physical Therapy, Rather Than Opioids, To Help Patients With Pain

PASSAIC COUNTY, NJ — The ever-increasing use of heroin often starts with users getting injured. Whether it be a man in a car crash or a high school athlete, doctors will often prescribe pain medications to these people to help them manage the pain.

Then the pain medicine runs out, but if the pain persists, people often turn to heroin as a cheaper alternative.

Dr. Igor Voloshin has seen this happen too often with patients. But unlike an emergency room doctor, Voloshin’s job does not entail giving his patients a quick fix for the pain. He treats his patients for the long term.


Dr. Igor Voloshin/Courtesy of Dr. Igor Voloshin


“One of the biggest advantages we have over physicians is that we spent much more time with a patient over the course of their treatment than anyone else,” Voloshin said at his Woodland Park practice.

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Just as the opioid epidemic has taken years to occur, managing pain can take a long time too.

“Overprescription of pain medication has made it a challenge to work with patients who have had pain for a long time,” Voloshin said. “As a physical therapist, the big thing I find that works is education and getting patients to understand exactly what the pain is, why they have it and how they can go about treating it without relying on pills.”

Voloshin has seen the medical profession switch from prescribing people pain-killers and opioids to providing more long-term pain-management solutions like physical therapy.

“Years ago people were concerned about relieving the person’s pain and not thinking about the patient’s well being,” said Voloshin, who has been a practicing physical therapist for 13 years. “The entire medical profession went that route and said ‘first and foremost, let them feel as little pain as possible.'”

Voloshin emphasizes movement with his patients.

“We try to get them to focus on what they can do versus what they couldn’t do a week ago,” Voloshin said. “I try to get them as functional as possible and show them that they can do things without pills.”

 

https://patch.com/new-jersey/wayne/doctor-uses-physical-therapy-rather-opioids-help-patients-pain

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How to cope with endometriosis

Endometriosis can be a challenging condition to deal with, both physically and emotionally. But steps can be taken that enable you to battle the associated pain of endometriosis and improve your quality of life. Here are some of the best ways to cope with endometriosis.

Endometriosis is a painful disorder that is characterized by tissue that behaves like the lining of the uterus but that grows outside the uterus. This tissue can be found in various places, such as the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and pelvic lining, and even in or around the bladder and bowel.

Affecting around 1 in 10 women and girls in the United States, endometriosis can cause symptoms during the reproductive years, between the ages of 12 and 60. Many people with the condition remain undiagnosed.

The main symptom of the condition is pelvic pain typically associated with the menstrual period. While most women experience some cramping during their menstrual period, those with endometriosis describe pain that is worse than usual.

There is no cure for endometriosis, but there are treatment options and lifestyle changes that can ease your symptoms so that the condition does not interfere with your day-to-day life. Here are Medical News Today‘s top five ways to cope with endometriosis.

1. Watch your diet

Eating the right foods may provide some protection against endometriosis. The role of diet in endometriosis has been investigated in recent years due to the influence of diet on some of the processes linked to the disease, such as inflammation, prostaglandin metabolism, and estrogenactivity.

Pesticides and insecticides that can be ingested through certain nutrients have been suggested as a risk factor for endometriosis.

Increase fruit and vegetable intake

Research has uncovered a link between diets that are low in fruits and vegetables and high in red meat and the development of endometriosis.

colorful fruits and vegetables
Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables and decrease consumption of red meat to lower your risk of endometriosis.

A higher intake of fresh fruit and green vegetables reduced the relative risk of endometriosis by 40 percent, while a high consumption of beef, other red meat, and ham increased relative risk by around 80 to 100 percent.

Experts suggest that the high-fat content in red meats encourage the production of chemicals called prostaglandins in the body, which may result in more estrogen being produced. It could be these higher levels of estrogen that cause excess endometrial tissue growth.

Therefore, boosting the amount of fruits and vegetables in your diet and reducing your intake of red meat could have a positive impact on your health.

Boost intake of omega-3 fatty acids

Researchers have also found that the type of fat included in your diet makes a difference in your risk of endometriosis.

One study showed that people whose diets were heavily laden with trans fats increased their risk of endometriosis by 48 percent when compared with individuals who ate the least of these.

By comparison, women whose diets were rich in omega-3 oils lowered their risk of endometriosis by 22 percent compared with those who consumed the least amount.

Eating foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, flaxseeds, and walnuts, may be helpful for endometriosis.

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2. Work out regularly

Often, people who experience pain fear exercising, in case it causes more problems for them. But over time, regular physical activity may decrease the pain and discomfort that you feel.

woman on bike looking into the distance
High-intensity exercise can help to reduce the symptoms of endometriosis.

Exercise may help those with endometriosis in many ways, including:

  • encouraging the circulation of blood to your organs
  • maintaining nutrients and oxygen flow to all your body systems
  • decreasing estrogen production
  • reducing stress
  • releasing endorphins in the brain, which are pain-relieving, “feel good” chemicals

Women who regularly exercise are less likely to develop endometriosis. What is more, those who engage in frequent high-intensity physical activity are around 75 percent less likely to develop endometriosis than women who do not participate in regular strenuous activity.

High-intensity physical activity, such as running, swimming, and biking, may be beneficial for reducing your symptoms.

Low-intensity exercise, including yoga, may provide some relief in endometriosis, too. Yoga can stretch and strengthen your muscles, which may be beneficial for pelvic pain management and stress reduction.

3. Manage your stress levels

Endometriosis could contribute to making your stress levels skyrocket due to the impact that the painful symptoms have on all aspects of your life, including family and personal relationships and work.

Not only can stress be exacerbated by endometriosis, but so can endometriosis symptoms be exacerbated by stress, in a never-ending cycle.

woman relaxing with a cup of tea
Relaxation techniques can help to reduce stress that exacerbates endometriosis-related pain.

You can try to manage stress by using relaxation techniques. These can help you to increase your awareness of your body, refocus on something calming, and reduce the activity of stress hormones.

Below are several types of relaxation techniques that you could try.

  • Autogenic training. This method teaches your body to respond to verbal commands, which, in turn, tells your body to relax and control your breathing, heartbeat, blood pressure, and body temperature.
  • Progressive muscle relaxation. This technique focuses on tensing and relaxing each muscle group to increase your awareness of your physical sensations and promote deep relaxation.
  • Visualization. This relaxation method uses mental imagery to take a visual journey to a place or situation of peace.
  • Deep breathing. This involves inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth, with each breath deep enough that your lower abdomen rises and falls.

If you find that one relaxation technique does not work for you, try another. Finding the best technique for you can take time and practice.

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4. Try alternative therapies

At present, there is not enough research to support alternative therapies for treating endometriosis. That being said, some women find symptom relief from using a range of different complementary and alternative medicines.

Osteopathic manipulative treatment

Osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) involves an osteopathic physician using manipulation techniques, including stretching, gentle pressure, and resistance, to move your muscles and joints. OMT is used to ease pain, increase overall mobility, and promote healing.

While OMT is often used to treat muscle pain, it has also proven beneficial in other health problems, including menstrual pain.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture could potentially help women with endometriosis. Acupuncture may interfere with pain pathways, induce the release of pain-relieving brain chemicals, promote anti-inflammatory effects, and deactivate brain areas linked with pain sensation.

Research suggests that acupuncture could be a useful pain treatment for endometriosis and is particularly effective among young women.

Chinese herbal medicine

Chinese herbal medicine uses herbal ingredient preparations that are taken orally, through enema, or through injection. In China, herbal medicine is used to reduce pain, enhance fertility, and prevent the recurrence of endometriosis.

It is suggested that herbal medicine works by having an anti-inflammatory effect on endometrial cells.

Vitamins and dietary supplements

Deficiency in vitamin D may play a role in endometriosis. Other compounds that could be involved in endometriosis due to their antioxidant activity are vitamin A, vitamin C, and beta-carotene.

Speak to your doctor before trying out any alternative therapies, especially if you are taking other medications.

5. Consider medications

Your healthcare provider can provide you with a list of treatment options for endometriosis and outline the risks and benefits of each. They will take into account your age, your symptoms, whether you want to become pregnant, and any treatments that you have had previously.

Over-the-counter pain relievers

To help ease the pain associated with endometriosis, your doctor may suggest that you try an over-the-counter pain reliever such as the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs ibuprofen or naproxen.

Hormone therapy

Hormone therapy can help to slow down endometrial tissue growth, prevent new growth of endometrial tissue, and reduce or eliminate endometriosis-related pain.

two packs of birth control pills
Hormone therapy may help to relieve some of the symptoms of endometriosis.

Hormone therapies that your doctor may suggest include:

  • birth control pills, patches, and vaginal rings, to control the hormones responsible for endometrial tissue buildup
  • gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists and antagonists, to block ovarian-stimulating hormone production, reduce estrogen levels, and halt menstruation
  • a progestin-only contraceptive, contraceptive implant, or contraceptive injection, to prevent menstrual periods and endometrial implant growth
  • danazol, to suppress the growth of the endometrium

Although all of these hormone therapies are effective at treating endometriosis, they all have different side effects.

If none of these steps help to manage your endometriosis symptoms, your healthcare provider may suggest surgery. The approach that you and your doctor choose to take will vary depending on your signs and symptoms, and whether or not you would like to become pregnant in the future.

Before starting any treatment, it is important to know all of your options and the potential outcomes of them.

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319692.php

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Building Protective Qi with TCM

Everybody gets sick at some point in their life. For some, it’s just a quick weekend thing. For others, it can last for several days and even weeks. Why do some people always get sick whenever there is a bug going around and others don’t? It all comes down to immunity. People who have a stronger immune system, tend to be sick less often. Those with compromised or weak immune systems, seem to get sick at the drop of a hat. There are many things that can be done to strengthen the immune system though. And Traditional Chinese Medicine is probably one of the best and least invasive ways to boost the immune system, not just during the winter months, but all year long. continue reading »

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Five Ways to Increase White Blood Cell Count with TCM

Leukopenia is a term used when there are less than adequate white blood cells in the bloodstream. This condition may make those suffering from it susceptible to infections. Leukopenia is often seen in diseases such as AIDS, cancer and lupus, as well as in common occurrences like the flu or a cold. Leukopenia can also be medically induced, as is often the case for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiation. While there are several prescription medications available to battle this condition, most of them also have multiple adverse side effects. But there are alternative natural methods that can increase white blood cell count without the side effects. One of these is Traditional Chinese Medicine. continue reading »

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Acupuncture and Alcohol Detoxification

Alcoholism affects nearly 16 million adults in the United States, yet only approximately 1.5 million Americans actually seek and get help to deal with their addiction. According to the National Center for Statistics and Analysis, nearly 88,000 people die from alcohol-related deaths every year, which makes alcohol the fourth leading preventable cause of death in the United States. After all the research that has been done on alcohol, people in the United States are still dying from something completely legal. And ultimately, we are paying for it, not just with our lives, but also with our tax dollars. continue reading »

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