Your Back Pain May Be Due to Smoking

great american smokeoutGreat American Smokeout

On November 20, 1976, the American Cancer Society celebrated its very first Great American Smokeout by having almost one million smokers give up smoking for a day. Each year, the Great American Smokeout successfully helps people kick their habit. Although it only lasts one day, the idea is that the Great American Smokeout can help provide people with a reason to quit smoking. Hopefully, November 20 will be a day that many people give up the habit for good.

Smoking can Cause Chronic Lower Back Pain

Besides respiratory issues, smoking can also cause many other conditions, including back pain! In 2001, the results of a study lasting more than 50 years were released, showing that there is a direct correlation between smoking and lower back pain. The study, examining over 1,300 physicians found that smoking, along with hypertension and coronary artery disease, can lead to a disease called “lumbar spondylosis,” or more commonly – degeneration of the spine.

Besides relieving back pain, there are many other health benefits involved in quitting. Some of these benefits include:

  • A drop in heart rate and blood pressure within 20 minutes of not smoking
  • Next, within 12 hours the levels of carbon monoxide in your blood drop to normal.
  • From 2 weeks to 3 months after that last cigarette, circulation improves along with improved lung functions.
  • From 1 – 9 months later, the pains of being short of breath decrease and the cilia in the lungs start getting back to normal.
  • After 1 year of not smoking, the additional risk for heart disease is cut in half from that of an active smoker.
  • 5 years later, the risk of mouth and throat cancer is cut in half.

If you would like to quit smoking, and haven’t been able to in the past, why not join in the Great American Smokeout? With millions of other smokers participating, there is not a better time to quit.

Non-Surgical Back Pain Relief in Lakewood, Colorado

If you suffer from chronic back pain, it is time to finally relieve it for good! Dr. Eipe Kuruvila, of the Denver Spine Institute in Lakewood, CO utilizes the DRS Protocol – a highly effective back pain treatment option that has been proven to effectively and safely relieve back pain without harmful surgeries, injections or painkillers. For more information on how you can successfully relieve your chronic back pain, contact the professionals at the Denver Spine Institute today at (303) 456-4466.

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On the Road

Tips for Traveling with a Bad Back

The Holidays are here! It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Unless you suffer from back pain, that is. If you are one of the many people who suffer from back or neck pain, traveling can be a nightmare. Long car rides and heavy luggage can put even more stress on your already painful joints. If you’re traveling this year, follow these tips to help you manage neck or back pain while traveling during the Holidays.

Pack Lightly

For many people who suffer from back pain, lifting heavy objects can ruin your day. It might not seem like a big deal, but carrying around a heavy backpack can wreak havoc on your lower back. If you haven’t already, it might be a good idea to invest in some rolling luggage. The extendable handle and convenient wheels make it easy to haul around even the heaviest of luggage.

Be Careful Lifting Luggage

When it comes to lifting heavy luggage, you can’t be too careful. Be sure to lift with your knees, as opposed to your back. If you will be flying this holiday season, placing your carry-on in the overhead compartment can be a hassle. Make sure to lift your carry-on in smaller stages; and not all at once. That can be stressful on the back. First, lift (with your knees) your suitcase onto the seat below the overhead compartment, and then into the compartment.  Keep your carry-on light, and if needed, ask for help.

Riding in the Car

If you will be riding in a car for an extended period of time, your back may cause even more problems. The body tends to reject doing something for too long, even sitting in one position. Because of this, it is suggested to take breaks every hour or so. Stop at a rest stop and stretch your back – walk around, stand up, etc. This can provide a great deal of back pain relief.

If you are experiencing chronic back pain on the road, try placing a pillow or sweatshirt behind your lower back, in order to give your back some support.

By following these guidelines and talking to the professionals at the Denver Spine Institute in Lakewood, CO about comfortable travel techniques, you can enjoy your trips this holiday season.

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Herniated Disc vs. Bulging Disc

Who Cares What you Call it, It Hurts!

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 says, “Sounds like you have a bulging disc.”  But another says, “or a herniated disc.”  Bulging disc, herniated disc, both sound pretty serious.  So, what’s the difference?

What are Discs, Anyway?

In order to understand the difference, you have to understand what a disc is and what it does for you. Discs are the cushions between your vertebrae.  Each of these discs consist of a tough outer 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, it can cause a great deal of pain.

In the instance of a herniated disc, there is a tear in the outer covering of the disc, causing the softer material inside to escape.  More commonly, it is this escaping soft cartilage that is touching a nerve and causing your pain.  Bulging disc?  Herniated Disc?  Most pain sufferers don’t really care which they have, they just want relief!

Non-Surgical, Non-Invasive Treatment in Denver & Lakewood, CO

Dr. Eipe Kuruvila, MD FRCA of the Denver Spine Institute in Lakewood, CO utilizes the highly effective treatment method, the  DRS Protocol: an all natural, non-surgical treatment that has been proven to successfully relieve back pain and disc problems.  If you are experiencing back pain caused by a herniated, degenerative, or bulging disc, give them a call today at (303) 456-4466 to find out more about this successful treatment for neck & back pain.

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50 Ways to Love Your Lumbar

50 Ways to Love Your Lumbar

We’ve got to give some recognition to our backs! They’re with us daily – supporting us, keeping us up, helping us get through the day, and even willing to put up with all of the stress that we put on it! Our backs handle so much pressure on a daily basis that it is no surprise that sometimes, it can become worn out and painful. If you are struggling with lower back pain, here are (not quite) 50 ways you can show your back you still care.

Stretch out your back, Jack

Regularly stretching your back can help you maintain healthy muscles and prevent injuries before exercising or performing any strenuous activity. When performing back exercises, move in a slow and consistent motion. Do not jerk or try to over extend your muscles.

Make a new plan, Stan

If you suffer with back pain, plan a course of action with a specialist. Back pain does not go away overnight. It takes dedication and persistence. Talk to your doctor about a treatment plan that is customized for your needs and particular situation.

No need to be coy, Roy

Tell your doctor how you feel and be honest. This is not the time to be tough and act like the pain is not a big deal. Tell the doctor everything from your work setting to your personal life style. This will help your doctor understand what may be causing the pain and will then be in a better position to begin treatment.

Just drop off the key, Lee

By giving your doctor key insights into your individual situation and life style, the doctor can customize a treatment plan that is personalized for you that will target your pain by using time tested procedures and treatments.

So hop on the bus, Gus

If you are living with chronic lower back pain, visit the Denver Spine Institute, in Lakewood Colorado, today. They have many friendly professionals that can help get you back on the road to recovery! For years, they’ve been helping people successfully treat a variety of painful back conditions, such as herniated or degenerative discs, spinal stenosis, sciatica, and much more. Living with back pain is no longer an option; It’s time to start treating your back pain!

Learn more about our non-surgical back pain treatment at: http://denverspineinstitute.com/DRS.html\

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A Problem in Your Neck could be a Pain in the Head

Your Headache Could be the Effect of Spinal Problems

Loud noises, lack of sleep, stress; these are all things that may cause you to experience an awful headache. Yet, other times, something as simple as chewing gum can cause a headache. Headaches can not only be a pain, but they also have the ability to ruin your day. Throbbing pain can make it hard to concentrate on anything else. If you are suffering from chronic headaches, the problem might be caused by a problem in your neck.

 

Your spine travels up and down your back all the way up to your head. The same problems that can cause chronic lower back pain, such as herniated or degenerative disc disease, can exist at the top of your spine, as well as at the bottom. It may be hard to pinpoint how you injured your upper spine. It may have been caused by an accident, injury, a rough game of sports, or just a lifetime of wear and tear.

If you suffer from neck pain, the pain could radiate across your shoulder and into your arm, through your forearm, and sometimes down to your hand. Headaches and neck pain are often symptoms of disc problems in your neck.

Temporary Pain Management

Common household pain relievers and rest may do the trick, at least for a while. You may experience some relief over a few weeks, but in many cases, the neck pain just won’t go away. If you are only temporarily managing the neck pain, rather than permanently relieving it, perhaps it is time to try something new.

Non-Surgical Pain Relief that Lasts

First, get a thorough examination so you can determine the correct cause of your headaches. Only then can an expert tell what the treatment should be. Some treatments could cause more harm than good. Surgery, for example, often prescribed for herniated or degenerative discs, may only work for only a few years before the pain is back, and more surgery is prescribed. Even standard chiropractic care could make the problem worse. You really need to see a doctor who specializes in neck pain conditions, like Dr. Eipe Kuruvila, at the Denver Spine Institute in Lakewood, CO.

All Natural Neck Pain Relief in Lakewood, CO

After developing the DRS Protocol to help alleviate back pain without surgery or drugs, researchers believed that a similar treatment using DRS techniques might work as well for neck or cervical pain. Their hard work paid off with the development of DRS Cervical Protocol that are pain-free, drug-free, and best of all, non-surgical. One of only a handful of doctors in the US who have been trained to use the DRS Protocol is Dr. Eipe Kuruvila MD, FRCA of the Denver Spine Institute in Lakewood, CO.

Now, there’s no reason to suffer every day with headaches caused by disc problems in your neck. There is a solution. Contact the Denver Spine Institute at (303)456-4466 today to find out if you’re a candidate for the DRS Protocol neck pain treatment.

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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

Belmar
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: http://denverbargains.com/denver-farmers-market-schedules

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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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