Archive for the ‘Get Help’ Category

From Knee Pain to Bees Knees

With no apparent reason, my left knee started hurting when I walk. Very noticeably and enough to cause distress. So the self diagnosis alarm went off. What’s wrong? Is it serious? What action do I take?

So this is a little journey to get from knee pain to bees knees. What is the meaning of bees knees? It means really good, or cool. When bees go from flower to flower, nectar sticks to their legs so the knees of the bee are where all the sweet, good stuff is collected. Sounds much better than knee pain. So here’s my process.

  • First, reduce inflammation. That means taking antioxidants and anti-inflammatory herbs. Vitamin C is always great as a basic thing to take.
  • Second, posture check. Slouching or anything I’ve been doing differently? Posture watch throughout the day to improve posture. Maybe a few situps to tighten ab muscles which help hold the shoulders and neck in place. And time to be sure use those arch supports in my shoes to help the situation. I use the Good Feet Store arch supports and they make a huge difference.
  • Third, stretch and strengthen. I used a yoga class to determine if this is postural or an injury. The day after the class, it felt better, so the stretching helped, meaning some muscles are tight and pulling the knee out of wack. If it felt worse, then I would have most likely inadvertently injured my knee and I would not continue to exercise until the inflammation is down.
  • Fourth, reduce stress. I’m not running all over town or doing anything to aggravate the area, and I take some time to sit quietly and slow down.
  • Fifth, improve sleep. Getting my 8 hours. This is when the body heals.
  • Sixth, get help. I scheduled a visit to my favorite chiropractor to target the problem. Since I have determined that this appears to be structural and the other steps did not made it disappear, those steps now provide a foundation for a visit to the chiro that will hold the adjustment.
  • Seventh, self help. Drinking lots of fluids following the chiropractic visit. Staying on top of it until it goes away.
  • In my case, I needed to improve my posture, and the stretch and strengthen step was the most important. Don’t underestimate the importance of doing some exercises that specifically strengthen the muscles that hold the knee in place. Besides yoga, you can do exercises like these to help get things back in place.

    Knees are so important to mobility. If you have chronic knee pain, start with you spine and your feet to see if some adjustments will help. Then add some basic exercises to balance and strengthen the muscles as above. Don’t dismiss the big difference these things can make. If you reach a point that you think surgery is necessary, but sure to learn about single incision knee surgery. The more precise and less invasive, the faster the healing and better prognosis for results.

    Here’s to bees knees!

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    Oh My Aging Back!

    Well, I had another birthday this week. That how it goes, they just keep coming along. But there is good news, despite my age and my back conditions, I have a very active life!

    The truth is that I have less trouble with back pain these days than I did 30 years ago when I was so young! For years after the first car wreck, I had constant back pain, and it seemed like back pain would be a permanent condition. But alas, that is not the case.

    Even 5 years ago, I would go down with extreme back pain for weeks at a time, sometimes for months. My back would go out of socket, making it difficult to sleep, and requiring constant chiropractic care.

    But the last few years, I’ll get a twinge of back pain, jump into action, using the steps on the main pain-in-my-back.com website, and I’m good to go in a day or two. Sometimes the pain subsides in hours. So the difference as I’ve gotten older is that I made a commitment to take care of my back. I schedule my yoga classes like a meeting, and even give up dinner dates sometimes. It is my physical therapy. Plus, there are things I gotta do on a regular basis. Little things that make a BIG difference.  Here’s what I gotta do:

    • Keep the inflammation down with diet and herbs.
    • Watch my posture standing and sitting.
    • Stretch the muscles to keep things in balance.
    • Strengthen the muscles to stay balanced.
    • Reduce stress in lots of little ways., and do things that make me happy.
    • Get good quality sleep, and enough sleep to be refreshed.
    • Get help when needed from a chiropractor or massage therapist.
    • Keep my self-care commitment.

    See, simple. Over time the injuries can get worse, or can get better. Slow steady progress has reaped great reward for my previously aching back. Happy Birthday, you sweet young thing!

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    Down For The Count: Cold and Flu

    Just as I was counting my blessings, I went down for the count with the creeping crud, starting with one nostril, into the sinuses, the head, the throat, the chest, etc… you get the picture. We have all been there. It is cold and flu season and air-borne illness can become really serious. Mine got worse at first,  then it took a week before I could breath easy again and stop sniffling and coughing. Oooo, that awful croop cough. I coughed so hard I threw my back out, so then getting out of bed and moving around became a problem. See what I mean about down for the count?

    So I have two things to talk about here. First is a little primer on everything I know about fighting colds and flu without drugs, and second, what I did to get my back out of pain.

    The best thing for colds and flu is to catch it early, at the first sign, when you kinda know you aren’t feeling too good, but don’t really feel sick yet. At this stage you can often ward it off with vitamin C and the herb echinachea. You can also reduce intake of acid-forming foods, most generally meat and dairy. And be sure to get some good rest.

    If you miss this early stage as I did, then it is a different scenario. It will have to run it’s course, but you can shorten the course. The most important thing then is to take the herb elderberry, readily available in liquid cough syrups at the health food stores. This is what is in TamiFlu, but at a higher price.

    If it goes into your chest, then you need an expectorant, and my favorite is to make fenugreek tea, an herb readily available in bulk since it is used in cooking. There are other expectorants too that are in cough syrups, either herbal or chemical.

    Now onto the back pain issue. A nerve was pinched such that my leg was giving out unexpectedly, depending on position. Then it became inflammed and sore since I wasn’t doing anything about it. I finally realized I needed to take action.  I started by taking anti-inflammatory herbs. Then once I was no longer contagious, I went to my favorite chiropractor who greeted me with cheer and healing energy. I was still sore the next day, but the healing had begun and I started doing my stretches. That made a huge difference and within a few days the pain was totally gone.

    I’m telling you, this combination of getting help when needed and following the self-help steps on pain-in-my-back.com really does work. Repeatedly, over and over again. It is a matter of taking responsibility for our own health.

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    Dr James Vance Interview Is Posted!

    We interviewed Dr James Vance, DC, about his work at his clinic to help with back pain. Dr Vance uses a variety of methods to adjust patients of all ages, from new borns to the elderly. He is certified in clinical nutrition and detoxification and also treats allergies using advanced allergy therapeutics. His clinic also offers acupuncture and rehab training.
    Dr Vance Listing

    Here is the interview in three parts:

    Dr Vance Interview Part 1

    Dr Vance Interview Part 2

    Dr Vance Interview Part 3

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