CHRONIC JOINT PAIN REPORT:
TREATING CHRONIC JOINT PAIN
Finding Relief For Chronic Joint Pain
As the name suggests, chronic joint pain is discomfort that never seems to vanish, it just keeps persisting, or subsides for a time but keeps coming back. This issue affects millions of Americans and it can hinder almost any part of the body. In most cases, any type of recurring discomfort that lasts more than three months is considered chronic pain and it can severely reduce your quality of life, depending on the location and intensity.
Chronic pain in the joints can recede and reappear periodically or it can be a constant issue. Moreover, it can be caused for a variety of reasons, so it is important to identify the source in-order to achieve joint pain relief that lasts. The most effective course of action is to contact a joint care specialist that can run tests and assess your condition in-order to make a proper diagnosis.
At Olympic Spine & Sound Pain Solutions, we provide safe, effective, narcotic free, non-surgical treatments for joint pain sufferers in north Seattle, Edmonds, and throughout the north Puget Sound region.
Prolonged joint pain can affect many parts of your body. Some of the most common areas where patients experience difficulties include:
To treat chronic joint pain, the providers at Olympic Spine & Sound Pain Solutions take a comprehensive look at all the factors that contribute to your condition. Often, taking a systems approach using multiple therapies, produces results where traditional, single-focused treatments fail. And we do it without the use of prescription drugs or surgery!
Our treatment plans may include:
- Laser therapy to reduce inflammation and encourage regeneration
- Joint decompression to help pump inflammatory waste products out of joints
- Bioelectrical therapy to reduce pain and swelling
- Chiropractic treatment to improve mobility
- Infrared light therapy to improve circulation
- Trigenics manual therapy to reduce pain and restore strength & mobility
- Functional rehabilitation to regain stability and endurance
Non-invasive Laser Therapy
Unlike lasers used in surgeries, we do not use lasers to make incisions, we use them to heal. The human body can absorb very specific frequencies and wavelengths of light. Similar to the way plants absorb sunlight and perform photosynthesis to produce energy for growth, our bodies can absorb near infrared light and convert it into ATP.
ATP, or Adenosine Triphosphate, is the “energy currency” of human cells. Therefore, higher levels of ATP increase the fuel available for cellular function. As a result, it can increase the rate of regeneration. In our experience, high dose laser therapy allows us to use more powerful therapies so we can get faster results. The fact that laser therapy reduces inflammation and pain, so you feel better in the meantime, is a fantastic secondary benefit.
Non-surgical Joint Decompression
Though classically used for treating neck and back problems resulting from herniated/degenerated disks, non-surgical joint decompression can be a highly effective treatment for chronic joint pain. In addition to helping knee and hip pain, it can even help ankle pain.
All of these joints have one major thing in common; they’re classified as synovial joints. This means that the joints are encapsulated by ligaments and filled with synovial fluid.
When undergoing decompression, the ligaments are gently stretched. By distracting the joints this way, it creates negative pressure within the joint. As a result, water and nutrients are drawn into the joint, and the pumping effect helps remove waste products that cause pain and inflammation.
With sophisticated decompression equipment, we can control the rate at which force is applied, the maximum and minimum force exerted, and the frequency of the cycle. In combination with our other therapies, decompression can be a game changer for chronic joint pain.
In 2021 we added an innovative bioelectrical therapy that gets remarkable results. The NeoGEN machine by RST Sanexas uses communication level digital technology. It is not like standard TENS or muscle stimulation electrotherapies. The unit’s microprocessors continually vary the wave frequency, amplitude, polarity, and can pulse the signal up to 20,000 times per second. Additionally, for some patients, injections of anesthetics like lidocaine or vitamin supplements are used to enhance treatment effectiveness. This advanced therapy is described as electric cell signaling treatment because it activates second messenger signaling (cyclic AMP) resulting in accelerated healing, reducing pain, and restoring function. The revolutionary bioelectrical therapy and supplemental injections are performed by trained, license medical providers.
How does it work?
Studies have shown that electro-medical treatment can reduce pain and restore function through the following mechanisms:
Reduction of pain by:
- Sustained nerve depolarization resulting in a nerve block.
- Blocking pain signal transmission at the spinal cord via competition (Gate control theory Melzak and Wall).
Acceleration of cell repair by:
- Increased levels of cAMP
- Improved cell membrane stabilization/repair.
- Reduction of inflammation/edema.
- PH normalization.
- Increased circulation.
What does that science mean for your symptoms?
In a pilot study on reduction of opioid use, patients suffering with chronic back, joint and nerve pain reported marked reduction in pain. Patients received an average of 23.4 treatments. They reported a reduction of opioid use by an average of 67%, with 50% being able to stop their opioid use all together!
Chiropractic Adjustments/Joint Mobilization
If you hear “chiropractic adjustment” and you picture a doctor forcing a dislocated shoulder back into place, you’re not alone. However, we want to set your mind at ease; we don’t do that. We never use forceful manipulation for chronic joint problems. By using gentle joint mobilization, low force instruments, or table adjustments, these therapies should be virtually pain free. If a treatment causes pain, we don’t use it!
To understand the value of joint adjustments and mobilization it’s important to understand why they’re needed. Often, when a joint is injured or degenerates, scare tissue forms in the muscles and ligaments around the joint. These are called periarticular adhesions. This scar tissue can limit motion and alter loading patterns, creating further degeneration and pain. Adjustments and mobilization can stretch and release these adhesions.
As one of the most effective therapies in our treatment toolbox, adjustment and mobilization can address impairments and pain that no other treatment can.
Infrared Light Therapy
In the study of nerve physiology, there are two components that are essential for healing of the nerves: fuel and activation. Glucose and oxygen serve as fuel for our nerves, and exercise is activation.
Infrared light therapy helps feed the nerves and muscles by improving circulation. Research shows that infrared therapy increases the production nitric oxide. This in turn can accelerate the repair of blood vessels and nerves. Studies using infrared thermography demonstrate an improvement in circulation for 2 to 3 hours following treatment.
Infrared therapy is typically applied using specialized pads to surround the joint. Infrared therapy is an entirely pain free treatment. The only thing patient’s feel is a warm, relaxing sensation. This makes infrared therapy an enjoyable, effective treatment for many of our chronic joint pain patients.
Trigenics Manual Therapy
Also known as myoneural manual medicine, Trigenics Therapy consists of three key components:
– Resisted exercise
– Nerve receptor activation
– And a neurological breathing technique
Trigenics retains the way the nervous system controls muscles associated with a joint. Often, it can reduce pain, improve motion, and restore strength and stability. For many of our patients, the results are immediate and dramatic. First, it’s important to understand the underlying reason a patient may need Trigenics.
When an injury occurs, our body goes into a “protective mode” to limit further damage. For example, if you sprain an ankle it will swell up and the muscles surrounding it will “splint”. They do this to protect the joint and prevent further injury. However, if the muscle contraction persists after the injury has healed, it can allow an acute injury to progress into a chronic and degenerative condition. The same process can occur because of repetitive use disorders or from chronic postural stress. Regardless of the root cause, injury or imbalance, the solution is the same; joint motion and stability must be restored. That is where Trigenics comes in. Here’s how it works:
Trigenics restores joint motion and stability by retaining the way the nervous system controls the muscles associated with the joint. Trigenics is not a soft tissue technique, meaning that it does not break up or stretch out scar tissue in the muscles. Trigenics is applied with two specific goals in mind, lengthen shortened muscles or strengthen weakened muscles. Both of these objectives are accomplished by changing the neurologic integration of the muscle.
A Trigenics treatment program begins by examining the length and strength of the muscles associated with the joint. Findings are noted, and patterns are evaluated. From these initial findings, a sequence of treatments can be devised. From there, we utilize the appropriate combination of resisted exercise, nerve receptor activation, and breathing techniques to restore joint motion and stability. As part of comprehensive treatment program, Trigenics can yield immediate, dramatic improvement for chronic joint pain patients.
Integrated Functional Rehabilitation
The final component of our comprehensive treatment program is integrated functional rehabilitation. When an injury occurs, the sensation of pain causes what is known as a “neurogenic inhibition”. This is a neurological “blocker” that reduces how much force the muscle can generate. Our body does this to prevent additional injury. However, once pain, compression, and inflammation have been successfully reduced, these blockers are no longer necessary. That is where integrated functional rehabilitation comes in.
To overcome these inhibitions and promote recover, we work to re-engage and re-activate the local muscles involved in an injury. These initial re-activation exercises are designed to retrain proper joint motion and muscle activation sequences. Once relatively normal joint motion is possible, patients then progress to force control training. The goal here is to reacclimate and train the body to cope with real world dynamic environments. Ultimately, patients progress to endurance training to develop sustainable strength to cope with real situations and avoid further injury. This is the “functional” in integrated functional rehabilitation.
Preventing Future Problems
Taking the time to heal and maintain your joints in good condition can help protect your body against future problems. As we age, it’s normal to experience joint issues more frequently. If you are starting to notice mild discomfort and aching joints, taking care of them now will help prevent long-term complications later on.
Non-narcotic, Non-surgical Solutions For Chronic Joint Pain
Thank you for taking time to learn about your treatment options. If you are suffering from persistent knee, hip, shoulder, wrist or other joint pain, call us at 425 774-2411 and schedule a free consultation. We will evaluate your condition and let you know whether or not you are a candidate for our safe, effective, non-surgical, prescription drug free treatment. Your consultation is free of charge and could dramatically improve the quality of your life. We look forward to helping you find a solution for your chronic joint pain.
"I was sure I would soon be in a wheelchair for the rest of my life."
“I had horrible pain in both knees, especially the right one, they said the cartilage was gone. I went to physical therapy which worked for a few months, but then the pain came back. My husband had seen Dr. Shelley for peripheral neuropathy and had good results, so I decided to see if he could help my knees.
I started to feel better after my very first treatment. I’m using less than ten percent of the pain medication I was on before and I no longer rely on my walker to get around. Now that I am no longer limited by pain, I can do things I wouldn’t have even considered before such as traveling to my 55th class reunion in Oregon, watch my grandkids play softball, going out to dinner with friends, and even drive myself again!”
– Bobbie F, Shoreline
"Treatment at Olympic is unique, and you can't find it anywhere else."
“This summer I started experiencing extreme tingling in my hands and shoulder impingement after doing extensive yard work. It got to be so bad I could not sleep at night and I had arm weakness. I had been a patient here before and knew that I would have success with treatment. I started to get relief from my symptoms within a month. I now have been able to return to the tasks I was able to do pre-injury. I have less limitations, and I can go on walks again with my wife with no flare up of symptoms. Treatment at Olympic is unique, and you can’t find it anywhere else. It is an integrative approach to holistic medicine.”
– Darin P, Bothell
"It's crazy how much it has improved!"
“I used to hate my shoulder workout days. Before, when I lifted weights, my shoulder limited what I could do. I could tell it didn’t match my right side. Now, I’m 95% better. It’s crazy how much it has improved! My back and neck are better too. My x-rays showed I reduced the misalignment from 45mm to just 8mm. I’m so thankful I did this treatment.”
– Fillip G, Everett
"By the first of 2019 the symtpoms had become debilitating."
“I’m 71 years old and have been an avid athlete all my life. I started experiencing pain in both of my shoulders that was bothersome. By the first of 2019 the symptoms had become debilitating, causing constant pain from my shoulders to my hands. I started treatment at Olympic Spine & Sport in late January 2019. By the end of April, I was over 90% improved! The pain is largely gone, and the range of motion has greatly improved. Now I’m back on the squash and pickle ball courts and in the weight room.”
– Jay D, Edmonds
"Now I can sleep through the night, I can cook without assistance, and my symptoms are improved by over 90%"
“I had an electrical nerve test performed and they said I had carpal tunnel syndrome in both wrists. Last summer, after spending all day pruning, I developed shooting pain in my arms and hands along with numbness and tingling. I couldn’t lift a coffee pot; even using cooking utensils was difficult. One of the worst things was waking up because of the shooting pain. I started feeling improvement from my treatment at Olympic within a few weeks. Now I can sleep through the night, I can cook without assistance and my symptoms are improved by over 90%. They said I needed surgery, I’m sure glad I tried this first!”
– Jeanne J, Mountlake Terrace
"He was able to create a treatment plan that addressed the entire spinal problem, not just the symptom."
“I originally came to Olympic Spine & sports Therapy because I had intense pain in my right shoulder. I wanted massage and physical therapy to relieve the symptoms. At the time, I knew that I had some previous back and neck injuries, but I did not know that they were contributing to my shoulder pain. Dr. Shelley deduced that my prior back and neck injuries were contributing to my sore shoulder. He was able to create a treatment plan that addressed the entire spinal problem, not just the symptom.
I believe the total treatment plan, with a combination of chiropractic, physical therapy, and massage therapy, was the key to my pain reduction which resulted in lifestyle changes. I began to sleep less often and I had an increase in energy, I used all of my extra energy to cook and exercise more frequently. The best news is that the overall lifestyle changes, along with the treatment, have helped me lose a little weight and normalize my high blood pressure!”
– Linsey G, Shoreline