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20/Oct/2021

It’s almost that time of year again. The weather is changing, the temperatures are dropping, and the holidays are coming! Some people may look forward to the winter season, but some… not so much. Especially if you’re struggling with chronic pain. You might be familiar with people complaining of how the cold weather makes their pain worse. But, how does it happen? What’s the correlation between pain and cold weather? Well, there’s a valid explanation for that! These are the 3 ways how cold weather affects pain.

Our bodies are naturally trained to tell the brain that we are in danger or pain once it gets cold. It’s a form of protection, trying to keep us out of the weather conditions that could potentially harm us. So, when the colder weather hits, our bodies begin to store heat by pumping more blood to the vital organs in the center of the body, such as the heart and lungs, to ensure survival. Therefore, it causes the blood vessels in other areas to constrict and experience less blood flow. It leads to stiffness, discomfort, and pain—especially in the arms, legs, shoulders, and knees.

Winter season
Winter season

The cold changes the barometric pressure in the air as well. Barometric pressure (also called air pressure or atmospheric pressure) is the force or weight of the air surrounding us. Generally, a rise in barometric pressure is deemed an improvement in the weather, while a fall in barometric pressure usually means that the weather is deteriorating. When barometric pressure decreases, it means that there is less pressure against the body, and thus, allowing the soft tissues and joints to expand and swell in an attempt to get more oxygen. Even just a slight drop in barometric pressure can lead to increased nerve fiber sensitivity, causing joint pain and discomfort—which explains why people with arthritis can “predict” the rain or cold weather.

Arthritis
Arthritis

Lastly, cold weather means reduction of physical activities. People don’t feel like going outside as much as they usually do when it’s warmer. Less time spent outside, less exercising, less movement… all of this can make us feel worse. Why so? Because when we’re actively moving, the brain releases endorphins, hormones that escalate feelings of pleasure and reduce pain. Physical activities also improve blood flow to different areas of the body. So, the lack of it may result in declining strength and flexibility.

Staying home during winter
Staying home during winter

Does winter sound awful to you? Well, you shouldn’t dread it! You can still enjoy the season, because we’ve got some practical tips for you on how to ease this cold-induced pain and discomfort.

First, keep yourself warm, obviously. Take a warm shower, dress in layers, snuggle under your thick blanket, relax on your couch in front of your fireplace with a glass of hot chocolate… sounds pretty dreamy, doesn’t it?

Second, perhaps you could try a paraffin bath. It’s a small machine that melts paraffin wax. It works by dipping your hands and feet in, and then you let the wax harden on your skin. Afterwards, your body absorbs the heat, which may soothe achy joints.

And finally, one of the most important things to do is to move around and stay active. Do exercises that are gentle on your joints, such as swimming or yoga. Going for a jog is also a good idea, just make sure to stretch beforehand.

Hot chocolate
Hot chocolate

If you are looking for further treatment methods to ease your pain due to cold weather, Hope Clinic Care is your answer! Located in Scottsdale, AZ, you can get non-invasive and non-opioid treatment for your joint pain and any discomfort you experience here. With an over 93% success rate, Hope Clinic Care offers excellent treatment procedures that are 100% drug-free! Using verified hands-on techniques and dual modality devices, Hope Clinic Care provides solutions to relieve pain by facilitating your body to maximize its healing and repairing ability. No drugs needed, yet just as effective—if not more.

Don’t let this winter season make you feel helpless or defeated! Make an appointment now at www.hopecliniccare.com, or call (1) 480 659 5470.

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10/Aug/2021

Why should we talk about chronic pain in women?

It is true that pain is a universal experience—something that everybody in the world has to deal with regardless of gender, race, age, and background. In a way, pain can be good, because it tells your brain that there is something wrong. Your body’s nervous system sends pain signals to trigger your brain, and by doing so, it’s trying to protect you from wounding yourself further.

Pain also helps you to discover what your body needs, and to get a proper diagnosis when ill. Experiencing it becomes a huge issue when it’s ongoing and recurring, which is referred to as chronic pain. It usually lasts for 6 months or longer, but some people even struggle with it for all their lives. Chronic pain affects millions of people around the world, and it tends to persist, although they have done everything to treat it.

However, there are specific kinds of pain that only occur in women, such as endometriosis and vulvodynia. Meanwhile, other types of pain like fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoarthritis affect women so much more than men. Women generally experience pain more severely and long-lastingly, too. Why does this happen? There are several factors that affect chronic pain in women, including hormones, puberty, menstrual cycle, and reproductive status.

Chronic pain in women occurs in larger percentage compared to men.
Chronic pain in women occurs in larger percentage compared to men.

Now, let’s look deeper into each type of commonly found chronic pain in women.

  • Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a disorder where the tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus (the endometrium), somehow grows outside the uterus. The common symptoms for this are: painful periods (including lower back pain and abdominal pain), excessive bleeding, pain with urination and bowel movements, fatigue, nausea, diarrhea, and constipation—especially during menstruation.

  • Vulvodynia

As you may have guessed, vulvodynia is pain or discomfort that affects the vulva, which is the opening of the vagina. The types of discomfort and pain women may feel are burning, stinging, itching, and soreness around that area. It can be constant or intermittent, but it generally lasts over 3 months.

  • Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is referred to as widespread musculoskeletal pain that affects all over the body. It causes many other problems, such as fatigue, sleep issues, memory loss, anxiety, and mood swings. There are other symptoms as well, which are:

      • Abdominal pain, digestive problems, constipation, bloating, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

      • Pain in the face or jaw that may be diagnosed as temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ).

      • Tingling or numbness in hands and feet.


  • Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory condition that mainly affects the joints. It causes pain, swelling, and stiffness in the joints, particularly the hands, wrists, and feet. It changes the lining of your joints, and may result in bone erosion and joint deformity. However, rheumatoid arthritis may even affect the skin, eyes, lungs, blood vessels, salivary glands, etc.

  • Osteoarthritis

Being the most common form of arthritis, it occurs most often in hands, hips, and knees; caused by the wearing and breaking down of the cartilage in the joints, so that the bones begin to change. The symptoms develop slowly, starting from feeling pain in the impacted area, joint stiffness, swelling, loss of flexibility, and grating sensation (hearing popping or crackling).

Like previously stated, these conditions affect more women than men. Unfortunately, despite these differences, women are also the ones who have to deal with misdiagnosis and mistreatment from healthcare professionals. Many reported that they were not taken seriously when they ran to medical professionals for help. Gender biases do exist in the medical field, causing plenty of women who have reported their pain being shrugged off by the people who are supposed to help them.

Another instance, a study* published in The New England Journal of Medicine found that, due to the fact that the existing medical understanding and concepts are based on male physiology, women are seven times more likely than men to be misdiagnosed and discharged in the middle of having a heart attack. In conducting research on chronic pain, 70% of the sufferers are women, and yet, 80% of the subjects of the studies are men. Thus, leading to the current issues and barriers women face to receive proper treatment for their chronic pain.

This needs to change. Chronic pain in women is valid, too, and there’s no reason for them to experience mistreatment, ignorance, and misdiagnosis time and time again. It’s important for us to break the barriers together as a society.

 

Read more:

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20/Jul/2021

Usually, when we experience pain, especially the one that gets worse in every passing minute, it’s hard to focus on anything else. You feel paralyzed, unable to do anything, just wishing for it to end. Medicines might help, appointments with physical therapists are beneficial as well, but there is another thing that you can do: visualizing your pain and guided imagery.

Unfamiliar with it? Let us make it clear for you. Essentially, guided imagery uses mind-body connection by tapping into your imagination. It’s a relaxation technique that aims to lower the levels of your stress hormones and increase the cognitive functions of your brain. To do so, you are required to stimulate all of your senses and create an imaginary experience to reconstruct the current experience of pain or fear—this can be done on your own or with the help of a professional, such as a physician, clinician, and a therapist. If you can envision how the pain leaves your body, it will calm your sympathetic nerves and de-escalate your “fight or flight” tendency.

Here’s an example. Perhaps, your knee is in so much pain that you can hardly walk. You can start imagining a reality where your knee is completely fine, and you can walk without any problems. Then, you are going for a hike. You see a beautiful view, hear the birds chirping, smell the fresh, crisp air, and pick some flowers along the way, too. The idea behind this visualization is that doing this will cause you to be immersed in pleasant images and scenarios, redirecting your attention from the pain and giving a sense of comfort. In addition, you may regain strength and hope, believing that you can actually overcome the pain.

Other than helping you relax, guided imagery may help reduce the side effects of any medication you’re under, improve psychological well-being, increase pain tolerance, speed up your healing process, and break the negative association your brain has made with pain. How does this happen? Through the relaxation achieved through guided imagery, chemicals such as serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine are released, blocking the signals sent to your brain from the nerves that are responsible to detect pain. Guided visualization is often accompanied with deep breathing, soothing music, and body scan meditations. If you’re not used to it, you can begin the visualization by imagining something simple, something familiar, such as how the rays of sun touch your skin, the way the ocean waves hit the shore, etc.

Another thing you can do is to visualize your pain in shapes and colors. For instance, you may create a mental image of the pain, perhaps imagining it as a big, red ball. Play with it for a while. Afterwards, as you exhale, imagine the ball getting smaller and smaller. Then, think about many different ways to get rid of the red ball. Maybe you crush it with a hammer, maybe it just explodes—whatever comes to your mind.

When you’re finished, you might find yourself feeling slightly better. However, keep in mind that it doesn’t make the pain completely go away. This is just another alternative that can be implemented along with other forms of therapy or medications. Repeating the visualization process is recommended whenever you begin to feel that the pain is unbearable. By doing so, you are learning to manage your pain better, no matter where, no matter when.


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07/Jul/2021

by Efrem Lieber (Scottsdale, AZ)

Use it or lose it! That advice from my Mother resonated with me all through my life. She walked and cycled miles every day into her 80’s, so I vowed to emulate her.

I was a four-sport athlete in high school, two-sport participant in college and continued to play high-level baseball, softball, and basketball well into my 40’s. As I grew older and inevitably heavier, tennis and golf became my sports of choice, especially because I could enjoy them wherever my professional career took me: Long Island, the Boston suburbs, Chicagoland, Delaware, and Arizona.

Tennis requires quick reflexes for netplay, rapid side-to-side and forward-back movement for court coverage, and fast shoulder rotation for an adequate serve. After foot and hand broken bones, bad reaction to treatments for kidney stones, tennis elbow, peripheral neuropathy, and a sudden sciatica attack, I found I had lost these skills to leg, hip, and shoulder pain and weakness, at the age of 78. In addition, my sleep was interrupted by those pains and persistent discomfort. Even walking, to and from work or on the golf course, was painful and daunting.

I tried many possible treatments for relief: a competent chiropractor tried adjustments and acupuncture to no avail. Common NSAID’s had no effect; I even tried an opioid on two occasions to get some much-needed sleep. On the advice of one doctor, I took two weeks off from tennis and golf. The layoff did not help.  I was desperate to avoid the aches and pains, so I considered quitting tennis altogether.

My daughter suggested that an evaluation at Hope Clinic by Dr. Okky Oei might help; he had treated an injury of mine previously, using the LaserTouchOne pain relief device. The evaluation was very thorough; Dr. Oei analyzed all possible concerns and issues I presented. Then he and his dedicated staff began attacking every possible cause of my pain, using a comprehensive combination of unique devices, electrical, mechanical, and manual stimulation, plus old-fashioned elbow grease.

By concentrating on my particular needs, Hope Clinic treatments began to relieve my pain. Even better, the individualized two-month program restored my reflexes and mobility. The program included instructions on proper warmup and stretching exercises. Sleep became more predictable and productive. No medicines were necessary to help me cope with pain or intense play. I can walk the golf course pain-free. My tennis partners are pleased by the improvement because together we win more often!

Well, Mom; I thought I’d lost it, but I got it back! All of this improvement is thanks to The Hope Clinic.




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    Contact us


    Call us

    +1 480 659 5470


    Visit us anytime

    15030 N Hayden Rd ste 120, Scottsdale, AZ 85260 United States


    Send us an email

    info@hopecliniccare.com



    Subscribe


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      Copyright by Hope Clinic 2021. All rights reserved.



      Copyright by Hope Clinic 2021. All rights reserved.