Four Back Injuries Caused by Slip and Fall Accidents

According to statistics compiled through studies sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control, the leading public health institute in the US, more than one million people suffer a slip and fall or trip and fall accident in the United States every year. The results of these falls range in the extreme, from no harm to the person to as many as 17,000 deaths a year. Commonly reported, are injuries to the back, including:

  • Back Strain vs. Back Sprain
    Initially, the person who has fallen may not be able to distinguish between a back strain and a back sprain because the immediate symptoms are similar. Typically, pain, back spasms and limited mobility accompany both types of injuries. The difference lies in the type of tissue that is injured; a strain involves injured or torn muscle and a sprain occurs where back ligaments are stretched beyond their normal limits. Due to the relative strength of the back ligaments, a sprain is most often the result of greater trauma than that which causes a strain. A back sprain is considered a more serious back injury than a strain.
  • Spondylolisthesis
    This is a condition where one vertebra in the back slides over the vertebra below it on the spinal column, most often occurring in the lower back. The impact from a fall can be the trigger that causes this misalignment.
  • Radiculopathy
    Many refer to radiculopathy as a pinched nerve. It can result when the bones, cartilage, muscles or tendons surrounding the spine are damaged. The trauma to one of these types of tissue causes the root nerve in the spinal cord to compress and become inflamed.
  • Vertebral Fracture
    As the name implies, a vertebral fracture is a break in the bones that comprise the spinal column. Although more often occurring in the lower and middle portions of the spine, a fracture can occur anywhere and may be categorized as mild or severe.

Latent Symptoms

If you have experienced a fall, you should be aware of the possibility of injury that does not immediately manifest itself; symptoms from latent injuries may take days, weeks or perhaps months to develop. This is particularly true when it comes to your back. Often some pain and stiffness will be immediately perceptible, but the more serious problems are masked and will not heal without specific treatment.

Seek Medical Treatment

Many people are embarrassed by falling and make the mistake of thinking they will heal by themselves. The reality is that you cannot make that diagnosis yourself; it is far better to have a trained medical professional make that evaluation.

Premises Liability

If you have been injured by someone else’s negligence, you may have a personal injury claim. If your slip and fall accident was due to an unsafe condition created by the owner or controller of some real property or the failure to correct or warn of the problem, you may be able to recover damages under a premises liability theory. It may be in your best interest to speak with an experienced DC personal injury lawyer to determine if you have a cause of action.

 

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A special thanks to our friends and co-contributors at Cohen & Cohen, P.C. for their added insight into the common back injuries reported by slip and fall victims.

Sunflower Health & Wellness’ Unique Approach

Sunflower Health & Wellness, founded by Brenda Stephens, combines traditional medicine with complementary therapies to treat the whole person–body, mind, and spirit. SHWC takes a more holistic approach to caring for patients and requires the active participation of the patient towards their healing. Dr. Brian Paris sits down with Brenda Stephens to learn more about her unique practice.

Dr. Paris: Can you share the history of the creation of Sunflower Health & Wellness?

Brenda Stephens: I am a family nurse practitioner who provides primary care, as well as a certified clinical aromatherapist. I wanted to combine the two into one practice, so I started SHWC in October of 2014.

Dr. Paris: Does Sunflower Health & Wellness accept insurance?

Brenda Stephens: Yes, we accept most major commercial insurances like BCBS, Cigna, Aetna as well as Medicare & Medicaid.

Dr. Paris: What are integrative medical therapies?

Brenda Stephens: Integrative medical therapies combine traditional allopathic treatments with complementary alternative therapies to treat a number of different conditions.

Dr. Paris: What is a “green” patient?

Brenda Stephens: A “green” patient is one that is very concerned about their health & wellness, preferring to use alternative therapies as opposed to allopathic medicines.    

Dr. Paris: Our culture is riddled with chronic diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol and obesity. How does your practice differ from the traditional approach to treating these common conditions?

Brenda Stephens: At Sunflower Health & Wellness, we approach chronic disease from three different perspectives: medical, nutrition and emotional. We aim to help patients find out why they are overweight and work towards solutions to help them lose that weight permanently.  

Dr. Paris: Our current nutritional paradigm is a major factor in keeping people sick, overweight and unhealthy. What is the underlying philosophy of your nutrition program and why does it work?  

Brenda Stephens: Our nutrition program is intended to be individual and focus on whole, natural foods that are healthy and appealing, which makes it much easier to stick to the program. We really work together as practitioners to help the patient on their weight loss journey, customizing our programs to help the patient reach their weight loss goals.

Dr. Paris: What other conditions do you treat at Sunflower Health & Wellness?

Brenda Stephens: We are especially interested in patients with insomnia, chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia which are all conditions that can be difficult to treat allopathically. We use essential oils, acupuncture, massage, nutrition counseling, reflexology and sometimes medications to treat these conditions.

Advanced Wellness Systems is dedicated to empowering patients to live more active and healthy lifestyles, regardless of where they are in their personal journey. Call (301) 710-9777 to schedule an appointment today.

On Air: Dr. Brian Paris Shares Dangers of Sitting

“Sitting is the new smoking,” Dr. Brian Paris tells News Channel 8’s Larry Smith on Good Morning Washington. A sedentary lifestyle causes a host of problems which include digestive issues, diabetes and obesity. Sitting too much is even linked with an increased likelihood of developing cancer. It may seem like an unavoidable challenge for people whose jobs involve sitting at a desk all day, but Dr. Paris shares how easy it is to overcome a sedentary lifestyle.

The first recommendation Dr. Paris makes is for a wobble chair that allows your whole body to move around while your feet stay firmly planted on the ground. This allows you to exercise your back, legs and abdominal area. Larry Smith even takes a seat, demonstrating the wobble chair himself. Another useful tool is a regular desk that has the ability to transform into a standing desk, so you can switch between sitting and standing.

To avoid sitting too much without buying new equipment, Dr. Paris discloses his personal strategy for making a sedentary routine active. Dr. Paris suggests that for every 25 minutes of time spent working, five minutes should be spent moving around. It can be as simple as getting a drink of water or stretching right at the side of your desk.

Watch Dr. Brian Paris live on News Channel 8.

 

6 Tips to Reduce Back Pain at Home

According to National Institute of Health, back pain affects 8 out of 10 people at some point during their lifetime. No matter when it appears or what may have caused it, back pain can be a real burden. Here are 6 simple tips you can use at home to relieve troublesome back pain quickly and effectively.

1. Work It Out

Often, when your back is in pain, the last thing you want to do is exercise. But certain exercises can actually reduce back pain. Adding yoga, pilates and core strengthening exercises to your workout routine will increase flexibility, balance and strength which, in turn will reduce back pain.

2. Use a Heating Pad or Ice Pack

Applying heat to your back can reduce pain, stiffness, cramping and muscle spasms, as warm temperatures loosen up the back muscles and relieve tension. Administer heat to your aching back with a hot compress, a dry or moist heating pad or with a hot bath. Ice tends to work better to reduce inflammation and swelling. A cold pack, iced towel/compress, or cool bath are all great ways to reduce back pain. But be sure to always wrap heating pads or ice compacts in a towel before use, as these treatments should never be applied directly to the skin.

3. Sleep With a Pillow Under Your Knees

Place a small pillow under the back of your knees to reduce stress on your spine and support the natural curve in your lower back while you sleep. By slightly elevating your legs as you sleep, you can greatly reduce pressure on your back.

4. Lose the Heels

Sorry, ladies. If you suffer from back pain, it’s time to say goodbye to your favorite pair of pumps. Comfortable, low-heeled shoes are your best bet for back pain prevention, as they reduce the strain on the back while standing. If you must wear heels to an event, consider swapping them with a non-heeled shoe on your way to and from the location.

5. Straighten Up

Good posture is key to both preventing and relieving back pain. Perform posture checks throughout the day and avoid rounding your shoulders, slouching, or bending sideways while standing.

6. Increase Your Vitamin D and Calcium Intake

Vitamin D and Calcium are essential for bone strength. Studies indicate that deficiencies of Vitamin D and Calcium lead to chronic pain in the lower back. So be sure to load up on plenty of  orange juice, dairy products, leafy greens, eggs and fish throughout the day to help reduce symptoms of back pain.

If you suffer from back pain, give us a call at 301-710-9777 to schedule an appointment today.

Dr. Brian Paris Examines “Healthy Baller”

Dr. Brian Paris of Advanced Wellness Systems sits down with Blair O’Donovan, Co-Owner and Lead Trainer of Healthy Baller, to get the inside scoop on the state-of-the-art sports performance center that has a fresh take on training student athletes in Montgomery County.

Healthy Baller specializes in performance testing, training and nutrition, but Blair says what makes the performance center so unique is Healthy Baller’s personal, hands-on approach. “Part of working as a Healthy Baller team member is you have to know every little bit about your athlete, what their goals are and what their direction is,” Blair explains. Much like Dr. Paris, Blair is passionate about creating strong bonds and relationships with his clients at Healthy Baller — forming a “Healthy Baller tree,” as he calls it.

Blair and his Healthy Baller team also implement a dynamic training method, that prioritizes movement over weightlifting and bodybuilding. “We want movement to be a high priority here. Because if the kids are moving well, they’ll have a much less chance of being injured,” says Blair. Dr. Paris agrees, noting that although there are more trainers, knowledge and fancy equipment available in 2016, he sees more injuries today than ever before.

Over the last several years, Advanced Wellness Systems and Healthy Baller have developed a strong relationship, due in part to the value both Dr. Paris and Blair place on heart and hustle. “If there’s an [injury related] issue that we just are not familiar with or just feel like it needs a higher level of attention, the first call we make is to Advanced Wellness,” says Blair. “I’ve never experienced any group treat pain and treat clients as comprehensively as I’ve seen done there.”
Watch the full Healthy Baller interview here to learn how the sports performance center is bringing athletic training to a whole new level.

Knee Surgery Not Best Solution to Relieve Pain

A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine reveals that knee surgery combined with physical therapy provides no better relief of knee pain symptoms than physical therapy alone. The study involved participants who presented symptoms of a degenerative meniscus tear. Half of the patients underwent surgery, while the remaining participants experienced a sham procedure. The results? Patients who received the meniscus surgery reported no greater improvement than those who received the placebo procedure.

In the past, surgery was the best option to eliminate knee pain, but now there is a better alternative. Our “I HATE KNEE PAIN” program is designed to relieve knee pain quickly and effectively, while keeping our patients out of the operating room. This non-surgical treatment uses an all natural substance that is injected into the knee joint using a state-of-the-art Diagnostic Imaging device. This device allows the substance to be placed into the area surrounding the knee joint with 95% accuracy, resulting in significant knee pain relief with zero recovery time. This FDA approved procedure has revolutionized the way that knee pain is treated and prevents patients from going under the knife.

At Advanced Wellness Systems, we put our patients first with integrative, hands-on care. Our I HATE KNEE PAIN treatment program is tailored specifically to your needs so we can help you reach your health and wellness goals as quickly and effectively as possible.

If you suffer from knee pain give us a call at 301-710-9777 and schedule an appointment today.  

Hit with Copay Increases, AWS Puts Patients First

Blue Cross Blue Shield Federal recently raised their copay for chiropractic and osteopathic treatment by $5. Though on the surface a $5 increase seems minor, the impact on the patient is enormous, as those who sustain injuries requiring multiple treatments are forced to pay the price.

While patients take a hit at the hand of insurance companies, Advanced Wellness Systems continues to put our patients first, with integrative, hands-on care. All of our treatments, procedures, and policies operate with the single overall goal of a healthier, happier patient. Our patient-centric philosophy drives us to continuously develop new programs and initiatives with the health and wellness of our patients in mind–which is why we are excited to announce the upcoming arrival of two brand new treatments that will help our patients strengthen and heal more effectively than ever before.

The first of these treatments is cryotherapy, which uses subzero temperatures to help treat a number of conditions including fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, chronic pain, multiple sclerosis and inflammation, among others. A single treatment only lasts 2½ minutes, making cryotherapy extremely time efficient and manageable even with a busy schedule.

The benefits of whole body cryotherapy include:

  • Decreased Muscle Soreness, Pain and Inflammation
  • Improved Muscle Strength and Joint Functioning
  • Decreased Injury Recovery Time
  • Increased Energy and Athletic Performance
  • Improved Immune System and Blood Circulation
  • Decreased Fatigue
  • Reduced Cellulite and Tightened Skin
  • Increased Cell Rejuvenation–Leading to Improved Health of Skin, Nails and Hair
  • Decreased Signs of Aging
  • Increased Metabolism and Calorie Burn

The second breakthrough treatment, coming soon to Advanced Wellness Systems, also enables the patient to save time while experiencing incredible results. ARX is an exercise technology that removes all limitations of conventional, gravity-based equipment by delivering 100% resistance throughout an entire exercise movement. The speed of the motor is slow and controlled, giving patients safe and adaptable resistance throughout their full range of motion. This equipment is designed to provide patients with the safest, most effective form of rehabilitation available.
Give us a call at 301-710-9777 to schedule your appointment today!

Dr. Paris & Dr. Martinez Discuss Computer Vision Syndrome

Up to 90% of people who work on a computer all day long, complain of some type of visual problem, neck or back pain. Dr. Brian Paris of Advanced Wellness Systems sits down with Dr. Alberto Martinez of Visionary Eye Doctors to share some tips on how to optimize the workspace to protect your eyes, improve posture and create a more efficient and ergonomic environment at work. Here’s what they had to say:

Position Your Computer Near a Window

When you spend all day staring at a computer screen, you tend to blink less frequently. This decreased blink rate often causes the eyes to become dry, leading to redness or discomfort. To avoid dry eyes, look away from your computer screen every 20 minutes. If possible, try to place your computer near a window, as focusing on an object in the distance will help your eyes relax. For those with severe dry eyes, consider investing in a humidifier.

Decrease Eye Strain with the “Palming Technique”

Another way to give your eyes a break is to use a technique called “Palming”, which helps relax the eyes and increase productivity at work. Dr. Martinez shares the step-by-step instructions:

  1. Close your eyes.
  2. Place your palms over your eyes, blocking out all light.
  3. Take a deep, slow breath through the nose.
  4. Exhale very slowly through the nose.
  5. Repeat the breath 4 times.

With your eyes glued to a screen, your photoreceptors are constantly firing with the stimulus of light. Palming allows these photoreceptors to rest and recover. Dr. Martinez recommends repeating this exercise every 20 minutes for optimal results.

Reduce Glare

Working in a brightly lit room can create excess glare, which cuts down visibility and can lead to eye strain, tiredness, headaches and even migraines. Minimize glare by working in a low-light environment and try to position yourself without a window or bright lights behind you to avoid light reflecting off your computer and into your eyes.

Maintain a Natural Body Position

Avoid overextending the neck by looking too far up or down at your computer. Your head, neck and back should always be straight and in an upright, firm and comfortable position. Not only will good posture prevent pain, but you’ll also find that a healthy body position will encourage more positive thoughts and feelings, promoting overall well being in the workplace.

Position Your Monitor Appropriately

Most people position their monitor horizontally, however this often leads to the user overextending their neck. Instead, angle the computer the way you would a book–slightly low and inclined about 20 inches.

If you suffer from poor posture, give Advanced Wellness Systems a call at 301-710-9777 and schedule an appointment today.

Dr. Paris Discusses Benefits of Massage Therapy with Dana Durand

Dr. Brian Paris, licensed Physical Therapist at Advanced Wellness Systems, partners with Dana Durand, Licensed Massage Therapist, at Dana Durand Massage to provide patients with a full spectrum of wellness expertise.

Dr. Paris: What are some of the benefits of massage therapy?

Dana Durand: There are numerous benefits to receiving massage therapy that go far beyond relaxation. Many studies demonstrate that massage is an effective treatment for reducing pain, stress, and muscle tension. Some other benefits include:

  • Promotes muscle relaxation and increases flexibility and range of motion.
  • Helps improve circulation, which promotes healing and aids in recovery.
  • Decreases anxiety, depression, blood pressure, cramping and muscle spasms.
  • Increases energy levels, reduces fatigue, and enhances quality of sleep.
  • Strengthens the body’s immune system by stimulating lymph flow.

Dr. Paris: How can massage therapy help facilitate rehabilitation from surgery or injury?

Dana Durand: Countless studies have proven that massage therapy helps to accelerate surgical recovery, promoting healing and reducing pain and soreness from a recent surgery. Massage helps bring blood and nutrients to the affected area to repair soft tissue. It can also help to break up scar tissue and keep muscles supple to limit the development of scar tissue. Massage assists the body in pumping more oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs, while creating a pain-blocking sensation due to endorphin-like chemicals that are released by the body. Massage therapy also strengthens the immune system, which helps prevent post-surgical infections.

Dr. Paris: What have your patients said about the benefits they’ve experienced from massage therapy?

Dana Durand: My patients see real results from massage therapy. Here’s an example:

“I have been seeing Dana regularly for frozen shoulder. I was dealing with intense pain, a total lack of range of motion, and many sleepless nights. massage therapy, in conjunction with physical therapy have changed my life! After just a few sessions with Dana I noticed a complete difference.” ~Ray S.

Dr. Paris: What has your Advanced Wellness experience been like as a client or as a referral partner?

Dana Durand: Advanced Wellness Systems’ staff has been a pleasure to work with! They are very attentive, professional, and go above and beyond to make you feel comfortable.

Advanced Wellness Systems is dedicated to empowering patients to live more active and healthy lifestyles. Making massage a part of your self-care routine can contribute to your overall well-being and help improve and maintain your health. Call (301) 710-9777 to schedule an appointment today.

4 Tips for Protecting Your Joints This Winter

It’s that time of year again, winter weather is back bringing holiday greetings and frosty temperatures. But cooler months can also bring achy, swelling pain that takes a toll on your joints.

According to The National Institute of Health, change in weather has a direct impact on the pressure in your joints. When barometric pressure drops, the tissues around your joints expand, putting more pressure on your joints, which triggers swelling and stiffness. That’s why many people say they can predict the weather just by the pain in their joints.

Don’t let the winter weather stop you from staying active this season. Follow these 4 tips  to stay active and pain free this winter:

START SMALL

If you’re going to exercise, start with small warm-ups to reduce the pressure put on joints before you head out. Low impact warm-ups such as yoga or walking are not only easier on joints, but they also enhance your mobility and range of motion.

BUNDLE UP

If running is your go-to outdoor exercise, staying layered is crucial to protecting yourself from hypothermia and troublesome joint pain.

  • Start by choosing a base layer that is soft, comfortable and tight fitting. This will help regulate your body temperature by moving sweat away from your skin.
  • The second layer helps insulate the body in order to trap and retain heat. Be sure to find a layer that maximizes warmth and comfort, without unnecessary bulk.
  • Consider the final layer a shield against harsh winds, rain, and snow. Don’t rely on this layer for warmth, as the base layer is what secures body heat.

STAY HYDRATED

According to a study from the National Center for Biotechnology Information, dehydration can make the body more sensitive to pain. Keep in mind that you must match your hydration with the amount of exercise you are doing. After more than an hour, add electrolytes and carbohydrates to increase your fluid intake.

Doctors also recommend drinking warm or room temperature liquids, as the body absorbs them more quickly than cold drinks. When exercising in frigid temperatures, warmer liquids are also essential to optimizing internal temperatures.

EAT SMARTER

If you’re exercising outside, it is important to load up on foods full of Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Vitamin C and Vitamin K. The Omega-3 acids in foods such as salmon and nuts are known to curb inflammation and stop joint pain in its tracks. To up your Vitamin K intake, think green. Foods like spinach, kale, cabbage and more are crucial to soothing pain. Don’t be afraid to add color with Vitamin C rich foods such as red peppers, oranges, papayas, and broccoli. These foods are known to reduce cartilage loss that causes joint pain and stiffness.