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A happy senior couple indoors at home, doing exercise on the floor, wondering how to protect your body while working out at home.

Protect Your Body While Working Out at Home!

Many of us are practicing social distancing by staying home to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. However, it’s vital to keep up as many healthy habits as we can. While it might be tempting just to crash on the couch and eat our favorite snacks, the best thing you can do for your body and mental health is to continue to exercise.

A great option to keep it up is to start working out from home. The good news is that there are countless resources available for you to do your favorite exercises from the comfort of your house, whether that involves dancing or yoga. But, because of this, injuries are more prone to happen when you don’t have a professional right next to you guiding you through your exercises.

To help the situation, the experts at Alliance Spine and Pain Centers are providing our best tips and tricks on how to protect your body while working out at home.

Develop the Right Routine

First things first, make sure you’re working out in the correct order. It’s never a good idea for your body to just go right into a run or right into a dance routine. Always stretch before you start a workout and also plan to have a cool down following.

When you give your muscles this attention, the chance to warm up, and warning that it’s time to rest, you not only prevent injuries but you also build strength in a healthy manner.

Make Sure You Have the Right Equipment

The good news is that there are thousands of online resources available to let you work out from home with zero equipment needed. However, if you want to do more complicated routines like lifting weights or yoga, there may be some equipment you need.

Before you jump into a new exercise, do some research beforehand. See if there is equipment you need to do things properly, like a yoga mat to support your joints or tennis shoes so you avoid injuries to your feet while dancing.

And, if you need equipment, don’t fret. Amazon and other online resources are still providing access to these items.

Pay Special Attention to Form

Whether you’re starting a workout routine you found online or plan to use a guided video, always pay close attention to your form. If you’re following a guide, read the instructions carefully. If you are doing a video, listen to your instructor. Doing so will inform you about the proper form for each exercise so you don’t accidentally overextend or end up hurting yourself.

For example, when you do lunges, make sure that your knee doesn’t go past your toes. Or if you’re jumping around, plan to land softly on your feet. These small decisions do wonders in preventing harm to your body and muscles.

Rest is Just as Important as Movement to Protect Your Body While Working Out at Home

For many people, it might be tempting to work out all day every day. But, it’s vital to remember that rest is just as important as movement. When you give your muscles and body a day off to relax and recuperate, you’re allowing them the chance to grow stronger and be ready for the next event you put them through.

That rest time is essential in preventing injuries, as you won’t be pushing your muscles to go too hard or too fast.

If you have any more questions about how to protect your body while working out at home, Alliance Spine and Pain is here to help. Reach out to any of our pain-alleviating specialists by clicking here or by giving us a call at 770-929-9033. 

Older lady with holding her hurt back on a bench,

Signs Your Back Pain Might Be More Serious

Back pain can, of course, cause back pain. That’s a given. But, if you are experiencing other physical symptoms in addition to your back pain, then something more serious may be going on.

“When your symptoms first appear, it is vital to head over to your doctor’s office to discover what may be at the root of your back issues,” Alliance Spine and Pain Centers Specialist Dr. Zwade Marshall stated. “If other medical symptoms begin to appear, it means you’ve either waited too long so that your back pain has begun to cause other side effects, or that a bigger medical issue is causing your pain.”

That’s why it’s best to stay aware of any physical symptoms you’re experiencing. Keep reading below to understand signs your back pain might be more serious. 

Symptoms That Point to Your Back Pain Being More Serious

  • Fever.
  • Pain that travels down the legs. 
  • Pain in both legs. 
  • Legs that are weaker. 
  • Pain worsened by coughing and sneezing. 
  • Unable to hold the bladder. 
  • More bowel movements. 
  • Fewer bowel movements. 
  • Difficulty and pain getting out of bed in the morning. 
  • Stiff back when first waking up. 
  • Feeling unwell on top of the back pain.
  • Weight loss. 
  • Extreme pain, as in lightly touching the back hurts horribly. 

If you’re experiencing any of the above physical symptoms in addition to your back pain, then it’s time to visit your doctor. Don’t let a serious medical problem go undetected. 

If you have any more questions about signs your back pain might be more serious, Alliance Spine and Pain is here to help. Reach out to any of our pain-alleviating specialists by clicking here or by giving us a call at 770-929-9033.  

Physiotherapist doing healing treatment on man's back forMedical Conditions That Can Cause Spinal Pain

Medical Conditions That Can Cause Spinal Pain

You’ve heard about bad posture and previous injuries hurting your back. But what about the long list of medical conditions that can also cause spinal pain? The experts at Alliance Spine and Pain know all the well the many reasons someone can find themselves walking through our front doors.

In this blog, we’re breaking down the most common medical conditions that can cause spinal pain.

Illnesses and Diseases That Can Cause Spinal Pain

  • Ankylosing Spondylitis (or Bechterew’s Disease):This is a type of arthritis that directly affects the spine through inflammation and severe pain.
  • Arthritis: Since arthritis, the inflammation of joints, can cause pain and discomfort in all areas of the body, some people’s spine pain comes from this medical disease.
  • Cervical Radiculopathy (or Pinched Nerve): This disease happens when a nerve root in the spine is damaged or even inflamed. It’s a severely painful condition.
  • Degenerative Disc Disease: When the discs between the vertebrae lose their protective cushioning, this disease occurs. It’s a pretty common medical disease as people get older.
  • Endometriosis: Though this disease rarely causes spinal pain, this is a medical condition that happens when the lining of the uterus grows outside of the uterus. Though it doesn’t grow on the spine, the side effects often cause discomfort in that area.
  • Fibromyalgia: A musculoskeletal condition that causes widespread pain, sleep issues, and mood changes, fibromyalgia commonly causes spinal discomfort.
  • Herniated Disc (or Bulging Discs): If a spinal disc manages to push through a crack in the exterior casing, herniated discs happen.
  • Kidney stones: These are known to be painful, so it only makes sense that kidney stones can also cause spinal pain. They are small and hard deposits of calcium that form in the kidney and are then passed through the ureter and the bladder.
  • Osteoarthritis: The most common type of arthritis, this happens when the flexible tissue at the end of a bone breaks down. Since it can happen to any bone, it can certainly happen in the spine.
  • Osteomyelitis: When a bone is infected in the spine, the inflammation that occurs from this often causes spinal pain and discomfort.
  • Scoliosis: This disease causes a sideways curve of the spine, which often leads to discomfort and pain. It’s not clear what causes this, but it’s often a side effect of other diseases like cerebral palsy.
  • Sciatica: The sciatica nerve, which is a nerve that runs along the lower back down to the back of the leg, can often have issues that cause severe back pain. 
  • Spinal Disease: An umbrella term, this describes any sort of medical condition that impacts the spine.
  • Spinal Stenosis: When the spinal canal that contains the nerve roots and spinal cord becomes compressed, it pinches those areas and pain will arise.
  • Spondylolisthesis: One of the lower vertebrae slips during this condition and presses against the bone beneath it.
  • Tumors: Though this is very rare, tumors on the spine can happen. When they appear, they press against all the sensitive materials of the spine.

If you believe you may have any of the above medical conditions that can cause spinal pain, the experts at Alliance Spine and Pain are here to help. Reach out to any of our pain specialists by clicking here or by giving us a call at 770-929-9033.

A woman getting chemotherapy, wondering Exercises That Reduce Pain from Chemotherapy.

Exercises That Reduce Pain from Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is a necessary treatment for those suffering from certain types of cancer. While it can help you to get healthy, chemotherapy has many serious side effects. Some of the worst effects are various aches and pains. While you will want to talk to your doctor or a pain specialist about the best way to deal with this pain, you can do a few things yourself to help matters, too. Consider these five exercises that reduce pain from chemotherapy.

  • Strength Training – Did you know that strength training is an excellent choice for chemotherapy patients? When you think about it, it makes sense. Strength training improves muscle tone and can prevent loss of muscle that occurs while going through strenuous treatment.
  • Yoga or Tai Chi – Both of these forms of exercise are great choices for anyone in a chemo program. The best thing is that either can be started slowly and can improve stretching and balance—both things that may be useful as you’re fighting cancer.
  • Stretching with Bands – Using resistance bands to stretch is a good way to get the benefits of strength training without the risk of heavy lifting. It is easy to adjust your exercises to make sure you aren’t pushing too hard, and you’ll build muscle that can help reduce your overall pain.
  • Swimming – Swimming or water aerobics are great choices for a chemo patient. It is easy to move in the water, and you’ll get exercise without feeling heavy fatigue. Even if you find it hard to move on the ground, you will see that moving in water may not be so bad since the water reduces some of the strain your own weight puts on your joints. In addition, there is less worry about falling or balance issues than there is with exercise on ground.
  • Walk it Off – It seems like walking is a good exercise for nearly anyone—cancer patients are no exception. Get moving by walking, and you may feel a sense of relief. At the very least, regular walking can help you sleep better and give you a boost of endorphins!

As you can see, there are many ways that you can get moving, and hopefully, help reduce aches and pains even when you are undergoing cancer treatment. While these exercises are usually safe if you start slow, make sure you chat about your exercise goals with your doctor before you begin. Our pain management specialists, nurses, and physician assistants work together to make sure that a care plan tailored for your unique needs can be created if you have more questions about exercises that reduce pain from chemotherapy.

An African American female holding her head in pain, wondering if can a stroke cause pain.

Can A Stroke Cause Pain?

While ‘mind over matter’ can help in some situations, central and post-stroke pain is an important exception. Wondering can a stroke cause pain? With a better understanding of the pain signaling process, it becomes clear why many stroke victims require pain management.

Inside the Pain Signaling Process

Most painful experiences are what is known as local pain. This involves a system of connections from the site of bodily injury through the spinal cord to the region of the brain ‘mapped’ to that body site. When chronic or abnormal, local pain may involve neuropathy, abnormal sensations in nerves, as well as spasticity, abnormally stiff or rigid muscles.

Damage that occurs within the brain or spinal cord can reverse the direction and nature of pain perception. It can cause a body site to spontaneously feel pain because the area of the brain mapped to that location has been injured and misfires. Also, damage to the thalamus or parietal lobes, the areas where sensations of heat, cold, and touch are processed; can cause all stimuli to become painful. This can be an important component of what is referred to as an ascentral post-stroke pain (CPSP) syndrome.

Characteristics of Post-Stroke Pain

Up to one-half of people who suffer strokes will experience post-stroke pain. Of these, about one in ten people will have features of CPSP syndrome. Patients who have hemorrhagic strokes are at greatest risk of central pain symptoms.

The frequency and intensity of post-stroke pain can vary from intermittent abnormal sensations to constant pain. Abnormal sensations may include a feeling of burning, tingling or ‘pins-and-needles’ that occur spontaneously or as a response to normal stimuli. Another abnormal sensation that can accompany post-stroke pain is hyperalgesia, an abnormally heightened perception of pain. This can cause previously painless stimuli to cause pain. Emotional stress, cold, and movement can worsen the symptoms of post-stroke pain.

The Impact of Post-Stroke Pain

Pain from any source can significantly impact the quality of life. Post-stroke pain may appear immediately following a stroke but often occurs weeks, months, or years later. Whereas physical and occupational therapy often comprises of an important part of stroke recovery, post-stroke pain can inhibit movement and rehabilitation. Untreated pain slows recovery and can lead to the weakening of the muscles in affected areas. Pain, along with decreased recovery capacity, are important risks for emotional distress and depression.

Treatment Options for Post-Stroke Pain

The first step toward improvement from post-stroke pain is an in-depth understanding of the nature of the problem. At Alliance Spine and Pain Centers, a thorough assessment to elucidate the central from the peripheral pain symptoms allows these pain management professionals to provide customized and targeted pain treatment. Individualized pain management plans may include pharmacological as well as interventional treatments that are tailored over time. With 15 locations in neighborhoods throughout Georgia and the Atlanta metro area, the specialists at Alliance Spine and Pain Centers are available to help on the road to recovery from post-stroke pain. We have locations in Augusta, Austell, Canton, Carrollton, College Park, Conyers, Covington, Dallas, Dawsonville, Decatur, Douglasville, Lawrenceville, Lithonia, Piedmont, and Roswell, Georgia. Give is a call today at (770) 929-9033 if you have any more questions about can a stroke cause pain.

Man holding his neck in pain in front of the computer, wondering Is Your Chronic Pain Causing You to Look Older?

Is Your Chronic Pain Causing You to Look Older?

Chronic pain is a life-changing health condition that can impact every aspect of daily life. As the time and attention demanded by unrelenting pain increases, there can be less and less time for attention to other details. If you’re wondering is your chronic pain causing you to look older, this can have both direct and indirect effects on the appearance and can even contribute to a type of premature aging.

Reflections on Appearance

Even if true beauty is more than skin deep, overall personal appearance can provide insight on the state of physical and emotional well-being. Time devoted to good nutrition, regular exercise, and other basic self-care activities that support long-term health is often apparent in outward appearance.

Chronic pain can disrupt or disable many of the basic health maintenance activities that contribute to a sense of wellness and vitality. As these factors tend to decrease slowly over the lifetime, anyone with less capacity for health-supporting self-care activities can take on an appearance generally associated with premature aging. Recognition of such a change in appearance can become a vicious cycle for those suffering from chronic pain: looking older can further diminish emotional well-being and further discourage health-promoting activities.

In addition to the way in which chronic pain reduces the time for routine self-care, this condition can also alter the appearance by reducing the capacity to move, smile, and laugh as those without a chronic pain condition. As a result, people suffering from unremitting pain can simply appear frailer and infirmed in comparison to their peers at the same age.

A Friend in the Fight Against Chronic Pain

Alliance Spine and Pain Centers understands the myriad ways in which chronic pain affects quality of life. Whether it is decreased mobility or premature aging that is most distressing for a patient, Alliance Spine and Pain Centers aims to alleviate any and all direct and indirect consequences of the condition in the lives of chronic pain patients.

Find out today how the team at Alliance Spine and Pain Centers can provide a customized chronic pain treatment plan if you’re wondering is your chronic pain causing you to look older. With 15 convenient locations throughout the Atlanta metro area and also in Augusta, GA, pain relief is just around the corner.

Woman suffering whiplash after bad cars pile up, knowing When the Pain is Bad Try Focusing on Other Things.

When the Pain is Bad, Try Focusing on Other Things

The mind is a powerful tool that can act to both increase or alleviate pain. By employing subtle shifts in focus, bad pain and overall quality of life can be significantly improved. To make the most of the power of the mind in pain management, the team at Alliance Spine and Pain Centers recommend when the pain is bad try focusing on other things.

Stay Positive

Positive thinking is a powerful and integral part of effective pain management. Although often underestimated, studies have shown that staying positive provides a significant reduction in pain levels. The difficulty of managing chronic pain can lead to an accumulation of negative thoughts, particularly about one’s self. A focus on what has been lost may overwhelm thoughts of what remains possible. Consider using a journal to externalize your thoughts and attempt to explore a positive approach to what remains despite the pain. Try writing about improvements in previously bad pain levels or mobility, even if they are small or temporary, in order to train the attention toward these positive aspects of life.

Manage Stress

The body’s reaction to stressful situations releases many of the same biochemical mediators that are involved in creating the sensation of pain. Therefore, it is vital to combat the vicious cycle in which pain causes stress that causes more pain. Seek to identify and address any sources of stress that can be mitigated. Simply eating and sleeping better can work wonders to help keep stress at bay. Consider using additional stress management techniques like yoga or tai chi to help regularly release physical and emotional stress.

Keep Active

While bad pain can significantly hinder some activities, remaining active is essential to the physical and emotional management of bad pain. Aim for gentle physical activities that also provide a change of scenery, like a walk or a swim, in order to provide a temporary distraction brought about by such new stimuli. Consider walking with friends or family so that conversation can provide an additional distraction. The soothing effects of staying active can be felt both physically and emotionally.

Stay Connected

Feeling as if friends and family struggle to understand the significance of bad pain is a very common dilemma. Sometimes finding other sufferers of bad pain conditions can help reduce a sense of isolation that can accompany this condition. Finding someone else who has experience with painful conditions can remove some of the pressure to have friends and family understand more profoundly. Such connectivity with others suffering from chronic or other bad pain conditions provides a kind of distraction from the particulars of one’s own condition and can alleviate some strain on other social connections.

While social connections are essential, so is a supportive pain management team. Chronic and bad pain conditions should not be ignored and requires the support of experts in these often complex conditions. Explore the additional medical options such as when the pain is bad try focusing on other things provided by Alliance Spine and Pain Centers. With 13 locations in the Atlanta metro area, pain relief is just around the corner.