Don’t Let Back Pain Turn You Into a Zombie

Back Pain makes you feel like a zombie

You wake up in the morning, get out of bed, look in the mirror and swear you saw a zombie in the reflection. You shuffle across the floor in pain, feeling exhausted. You can’t sleep because the pain is so uncomfortable. Next, you open the medicine cabinet and reach for your daily dose of back pain drugs which only slightly relieve your pain temporarily and leave you feeling even more drowsy. You feel less and less like yourself every day. You can barely walk, hunched over, and feeling groggy. Is this really your life or have you joined the world of the walking dead?

All Natural Pain Relief Treatment

Dr. Eipe Kuruvila, MD, FRCA at the Denver Spine Institute in Lakewood, CO, is a board certified anesthesiologist that uses a non-invasive and drug free method of treatment known as the DRS Protocol to relieve back pain and neck pain. By using this treatment method, you are not subjected to harmful medications that cause drowsiness and other “zombie-like” symptoms that are commonly associated with pharmaceutical products.

Get Back to Being Human

By relieving the constant back and neck pain, your body can give you back the energy to do the things you enjoy most, such as playing with your children, getting back to work and being on top of your game, as well as elevating your quality of life. As a living human being, you were not meant to stumble around aimlessly like the un-dead zombies we see on TV and in the movies. So get back to living the life you were intended to live.

Have a happy and safe Halloween. When you see one of the Zombies out there roaming around aimlessly, you can take solace in knowing you are no longer one of them.


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Is it a herniated disc or a bulging disc?

Who cares what you call it, it hurts!

herniated disc

You’re having lunch with your co-workers and you tell them about your chronic back pain, and how it’s made your life miserable. One co-worker then says, “Sounds like you have a bulging disc.” But another says, “or a herniated disc.”

Bulging disc, herniated disc, both sound pretty serious, right? So, what’s the difference?

Difference between a herniated disc and a bulging disc

To understand the difference, you have to understand what a disc is and does for you. Discs are the cushions between your vertebrae, the bones that make up your spine. Each of these discs consists of a tough outside cover, with softer cartilage inside. With a bulging disc, the softer cartilage begins to move into areas it normally wouldn’t or shouldn’t be within this outer cover. This causes the disc to bulge in certain places. If that bulge comes in contact with a nerve, there will be pain. With a herniated disc, there is a tear in the outer covering so the softer material inside can escape More commonly, it is this escaping soft cartilage that is touching a nerve and causing your pain. Bulging disc? Herniated Disc? Most sufferers don’t really care which they have, they just want the pain to go away.

Non-surgical Herniated disc treatment at Denver Spine Institute

It is important to understand what is causing your pain so the proper treatment can be applied. You need to start with a thorough exam from a spine expert, such as Dr. Eipe Kuruvila, MD FRCA of the Denver Spine Institute in Lakewood, CO. Once Dr. Kuruvila has studies the problem with your discs, he can then determine if you are a candidate for the DRS Protocol. The DRS Protocol, a drug free, pain free, non-surgical treatment developed by a Doctor in the Midwest, it is the state of the art treatment for disc disease. Only a handful of doctors in the country are trained to use this treatment. In the Denver area, Dr. Eipe Kuruvila is one of these doctors with both the knowledge and technology available to offer the DRS Protocol to his patients.

Your co-workers and friends are well meaning, and may have had back surgery themselves to treat bulging or herniated disc problems. You need to rely on the experts. Call Dr. Kuruvila and get started today.

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Can Nutrition Ease Back Pain?

Healing Nutrition to Fight Back Pain

foods that fight back pain

While the benefits of a healthy diet are well-documented, recent research is indicating the a healthy diet also plays a key role in the body’s ability to heal itself and recover from pain and injury. A recent article in The Journal of the American Chiropractic Association* explores the positive effects that a healthy diet — particularly one that is considered “anti-inflammatory” — can have on healing and recovery. Inflammation is the stress that the tissue and joint cells can experience when they are fueled primarily by foods with low nutritional value (or by foods that contain high levels of artificial additives or chemicals). Inflammation that persists over long periods or frequently recurs is referred to as “chronic inflammation”. It can slow down or even prevent the body’s from being able to heal itself. This type of inflammation can exist as ongoing pain in the joints and tissues or flare up into an auto-immune disorder like arthritis.

Medical and health professionals are examining the results of eating an anti-inflammatory diet in helping the body fight inflammation and pain and promote healing. They are finding that cells that are properly fueled by natural and nutritionally rich foods perform better. High performing cells allow the body to recover more quickly — and stay healthy longer.

Key aspects of an anti-inflammatory diet are:

  • avoiding all processed or packaged foods — instead focus on fresh (or frozen) whole foods
  • consuming a wide variety of greens, fruits, and vegetables
  • adding Omega-3 rich foods — like ground flax seeds, walnuts (raw), and wild-caught fatty fish such as salmon and tuna
  • adding in healthy fats from nuts (raw rather than processed), avocados and olive oil
  • eating foods high in fiber: beans, raw vegetables and whole grains
  • avoiding chemicals and artificial preservatives by choosing grass-fed, organic dairy products, poultry, meats, and eggs
  • replacing processed white sugar with minimally processed sweeteners such as maple syrup and honey
  • drinking lots of water (plain or sparkling; not artificially flavored or sweetened); also teas (herbal or regular), coffee, and raw fruit or raw vegetable juices
  • seasoning your food with natural items like: sea salt, olive oil, vinegars, herbs (fresh or dried), mustards, spices and natural flavorings like vanilla or almond (unsweetened)

The Denver & Lakewood area farmer’s markets are a great source for locally-grown fruits and veggies to get you on the path to eating a healthier, anti-inflammatory diet.

Nearby Farmer’s Markets include:

Denver Federal Center
Kipling and 6th Avenue
11 a.m. – 1 p.m., Thursdays, June-September

SE Corner of Wadsworth and Alameda, 303-442-1837
9 a.m. – 1 p.m., Saturday, June 7 -Sept. 27 (No market on Sept. 6)

For a complete list visit:

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Stand Up Tall for Feeling Happier and more Energetic

Good posture is good for your spine, and keeping your spine healthy is important to us here at The Denver Spine Institute in Lakewood, CO.  Stand up straight is advice you’ve heard all of your life, but here’s the real reason we want you to use good posture:  It will make your life happier.

Research has shown that walking while slouching can lead to feelings of depression.  However, you can reverse these negative feelings simply by walking in a more upright position, or by skipping.

Recently, Professor Erik Peper surveyed over a hundred students after they performed certain tasks either in a slouching mode, or in a more upright mode.  Students who walked and slouched reported feeling as if they had less energy, and had feelings of depression.  Those who walked in an upright, open manner, not only reported feeling better but also felt an increase in energy level.

Peper goes on to say that when we sit up straight, we are more likely to remember positive memories or think of something positive in general.  He also noted that if we skip, as opposed to walking, we will feel as if we have more energy.

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Reduce Pain by Thinking Positively

Thinking Positively: A Positive Approach to Pain Treatment

Time and again research shows us that people who possess a positive outlook on life are healthier and live longer. The Mayo Clinic cites positive thinking as a key part of healing — and of staying healthy. The frequent examples of the turnaround in health for patients in clinical studies who receive only placebos is evidence of what a powerful tool the mind can be in convincing the body to heal.

Positive thought processes can help for broader health issues, as well. Positive thinking techniques are frequently prescribed for people dealing with depression and anxiety. They help the mind learn to develop healthier ways of dealing with stress. Relieving stress, through positive thoughts, allows the body to have more energy to heal from pain and injury and boosts the body’s immunity to certain illnesses. A key factor in changing unhealthy behaviors like overeating and smoking is the practice of positive thinking techniques.

Positive results can grow from your positive attitude. Believing and imagining yourself healthy sends that message to your body. Regularly picturing yourself living in a healthy way and doing things you love, pain-free, can bring you closer to achieving these results. Positive thought processes help you stay focused on the actions you need to take to recover from injury or pain. And, they remind you which behaviors will help you stay healthy.

It is important to understand that it takes a conscious effort to replace negative thoughts with positive ones. Focusing on negative thoughts gives them more power — makes them seem more important than they are. But negative thoughts do nothing to help improve the problem or health issue. Positive thoughts will focus your energy on steps to make the problem go away, or to diminish the effects of poor health or injury. Positive thoughts processes turn your energy toward moving forward in a healing direction.

To get the full benefits of positive thinking methods, it is crucial to be consistent in using them. The Mayo Clinic suggests using positive conversations with yourself daily. If you are feeling negative thoughts or not, get into the habit of reminding yourself regularly to think about something positive. When you do find yourself focusing on negative thoughts — stop and immediately make an effort to replace them with a positive focus. Regular repetition will help to turn positive thinking into habit. Be patient with yourself if it is a struggle at first — don’t become frustrated. Remind yourself that it is an important part of a healthy, balanced life and will promote physical and emotional healing and support long-term health.

Nothing is a 100% guarantee of perfect health or longevity, of course. But extensive research has shown us that positive thinking techniques have major impacts on improving mental and physical health and promoting healing from pain and injury. The professionals at Denver Spine Institute work diligently to get to know you as a complete person. We work to understand and treat your pain — but we are even more focused on helping you find the healthy living tools you need to lead your most fulfilling life.

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Star Player for France Missing World Cup Because of Back Pain

Ribery Refuses Steroid Injections for Treatment of Back Pain

The star ringer, Franck Ribery, for France’s 2014 World Cup Team will not be playing in Brazil because of crippling back pain. The French team’s physician, Kevin Le Gall, prescribed an epidural steroid injection treatment when the pain first hit. However, Ribery refused the prescribed treatment for his back pain. This prompted Dr. Le Gall to inform the French press that Ribery would not be playing in Brazil because “he is afraid of injections.”

Ribery was quick to respond that “I’m not afraid…. But I didn’t want to have a cortisone injection. I know it’s not good.”

The use of epidural steroid injections is actually being questioned by pain management professionals as well. Recent research is increasingly calling into question the effectiveness of this temporary solution to back pain — even as use of the procedure continues to increase dramatically. Surgical Neurology International recently published a report that confirmed that steroidal spinal injections offer only short-term relief from pain and have a number of other risks.

The author of the report, Dr. Nancy Epstein, Chief of Neurosurgical Spine and Education at Winthrop University Hospital in Mineola, NY, indicated that spinal injections can expose patients to a risk of future health complications and exposure to disease. Epstein stated, “The multitide of risks attributed to these injections outweighs the benefits.” She summarized, “These procedures are not FDA approved, and, according to the majority of the literature, are both ineffective and unsafe.”

Some studies have even shown that saline injections (a placebo) are just as effective at treating pain as injecting steroids. Some studies have shown that these types of injections may increase a patient’s need for eventual back surgery. A high risk of exposure to contaminated injections is another concern of Dr. Epstein’s. Contamination can lead to stroke, paralysis, meningitis and even death. The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has reported that 14,000 patients were exposed to contaminated steroid injections. This resulted in illness in 337 patients and the death of 25.

The American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians, The American Pain Society and the American Academy of Neurology have all recommended that epidural steroid injections should only be used in the treatment of radiculopathy. This is a rare diagnosis that occurs in only a minority of back pain patients.

The popularity of steroid injections to treat back pain continues to increase, even as the medical community debates their effectiveness and safety. It may be true that this treatment provides short-term relief from pain, but the high risks associated may well outweigh the temporary benefits. After an initial thorough assessment to determine the cause of a patient’s back pain, the medical professional at Denver Spine Institute will prescribe only those approaches that we know are proven to give long term relief. Our patients know that our team puts the highest priority on each patient’s wellness, comfort and, above all, safety.

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Have fun and be Safe in the Mountains this Summer

Summer here in the Rockies can go by quickly, so it’s time to get out and enjoy the reason you live in Colorado.  Don’t let injuries cut your season short.  Take your time and think about what you may be doing to your spine.

The most injurious part of hiking isn’t’ the strain of walking, it’s the strain caused by not wearing a proper back pack.  So if you’re heading for Bear Lake or just Clear Creek Trail in Golden, don’t grab your kids school backpack.  Make sure you have a good pack with lumbar support, a chest strap to transfer some weight off your back, and a snug padded hip belt.  You don’t have to have the most expensive pack there is, but you do need a good one in order to prevent you from having to come see us with low back pain this fall.

Good strong back muscles are also important for hiking in the mountains.  Work out for a few weeks before you hit the trails.   It’s a good idea to warm up your muscles a bit before any stenuous summer activity from hiking, bicycling,  or working in the yard.

And don’t forget your sunscreen whenever you go outside.

If after summer fun activities you have any pains that persist for more than a few days, it could be a sign of serious injury.  Give us a call here at the Denver Spine Institute, in Lakewood, CO, and we can give you a full spinal examination using the most modern equipment available.

Have fun, but be safe this summer in the Rockies.

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AARP’s 2011 Advisory Against Back Surgery Still Holds True Today

A few years ago, The American Association of Retired Persons, or AARP, presented an article in their monthly magazine entitled “Four Surgeries to Avoid.”  The conclusions in this article are as valid today as they were in 2011 when first presented.  The numbers of these surgeries prescribed continue to rise sharply, even when the results of these surgeries are not consistently successful.

Among the four surgeries the AARP advises you avoid is “Complex Spinal Fusion for Stenosis.”  Spinal Stenosis is a common cause of low back pain, as well as neck pain.  It occurs when the open spaces in your spine narrow, putting pressure on your spinal cord or other nerves.

Experts quoted in the article point at two problems with this surgery.  The first is the success rate is often no better than what can be accomplished with far less invasive procedures.  Second, by fusing one vertebra, you put much more pressure on the neighboring vertebrae, which then just moves the problem along to another place on your spine, requiring another surgery.

One doctor quoted in the article has concluded that fewer than five percent of all back pain actually requires surgery, so there may be times when surgery is the right answer.  But before you endanger your health on the operating table, remember, all surgeries carry risks, get a second opinion.

Who can you talk with?  How about Dr. Eipe Kuruvila, MD,FRCA of the Denver Spine Institute in Lakewood, CO.  Dr. Kuruvila is one of only a handful of doctors in the world who has been trained to use the DRS Protocols™.  The DRS Protocols™ were developed by a Midwestern doctor who was looking for a non-surgical, non drug, pain free answer for ending back pain in his patients.  While only a few doctors, including Dr. Kuruvila, are trained to administer DRS™, there have been thousands of patients over the years who have successfully utilized the process to get rid of their back pain once and for all, without surgery or drugs.

Read the AARP article yourself by clicking here. Then, learn more about the DRS Protocols™ by clicking here.

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Rest, or Stay Active, What is the Best Advice for Low Back Pain Relief?

When you are suffering from severe low back pain, you’ll get lot’s of advice from friends and co-workers.  Some will tell you to go to bed and rest.  Then other’s will tell you, don’t do that, keep moving because normal activity is good for your aching back.

Recently, an international organization that studies and evaluates research decided to take a look at the data.  Their review showed little support for either theory.  Bed rest offered very little benefit, while staying active proved to be only slightly better than resting.

Here’s the problem. If you have back pain is it probably caused by a medical conditon, such as herniated disc, degenerative disc disease, sciatic nerve pain (sciatica), or some other medical problem with your spine.  Neither rest, nor moderate activity is going to cure any of these ailments.  You need to consult an expert.

Many people with back pain do consult experts, and are told they need painful, expensive surgery to solve the problem, and that after a few months of rehab and missed work, they may be OK.  In too many cases, the pain either continues after surgery, or comes back within a few years.

You need to talk to a doctor with more solutions than just surgery, someone like Dr. Eipe Kuruvila, MD FRCA of the Denver Spine Institute in Lakewood, CO.  Dr. Kuruvila is one of only a handful of Doctors in the United States who has been trained on the DRS Protocol™ for back pain relief.  The DRS Protocol™ is surgery free, pain free, and drug free.  You’ll even start to feel better after a few treatments.

The next time you’re dealing with debilitating low back pain, don’t go to bed, call Dr. Kuruvila at the Denver Spine Institute and find out if you are a candidate for the DRS Protocol™.  Stop suffering, and take back your life today.

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Putting Your Wallet in the Wrong Pocket can lead to Low Back Pain

Do you carry your wallet in the “sucker pocket?”  According to Judy Artunian of the Chicago Tribune, pickpockets call a man’s back pocket that because it’s the easiest pocket to pick, and the one most likely to contain his wallet.  Fashion magazines also decry men putting their wallets in their back pockets because it doesn’t look good.  And now, even a respected member of the Denver area medical scene. Dr Eipe Kuruvila, MD, also advises men not to keep their wallets in their back pockets. Why?  Because sitting on your wallet is a common cause for chronic low back pain.

According to Dr. Kuruvila, sitting on your wallet sets off a kind of chain reaction of events with your spine that usually ends up badly. One common result is sciatic nerve pain. Often called Sciatica, this pain along the longest nerve in your body can keep you from working, and even off your feet for weeks.

If you already have low back pain, caused by sitting on your wallet, degenerative disc disease, sciatic nerve pain or sciatica, a herniated disc, or any other reason at all, it’s time to visit Dr. Kuruvila at the Denver Spine Institute, to learn about surgery-free, drug-free, and pain-free ways to eliminate your low back pain.

If you’re sitting on your wallet right now, move it to your front pocket or set it on your desk.  You may upset a few pickpockets, but you’ll keep the fashion police happy, and maybe avoid having to visit the doctor.

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