Posts

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.

On Air: RPT™ Strikes Again, Literally

Slapping pain away might sound contradictory, but Reflexive Pattern Therapy™ is a treatment that does just that. On Good Morning Washington, NewsChannel 8 reporter Eileen Whelan takes a closer look at the one-of-a-kind treatment with RPT™ creator Andrew Bloch, who uses gentle slapping, smacking and prodding to relieve chronic pain.

Whelan describes RPT™ as “a breakthrough treatment for pain” and watches as Andrew treats one of his clients, former NCAA basketball player Jon Larranaga. Before meeting Bloch and discovering RPT™, Larranaga suffered from chronic hip pain for a dozen years. Larranaga tells Whelan that “after seeing Andy for really the first treatment, the pain went away.” He goes on to describe RPT™ saying, “It looks weird, it sounds weird, but it works.”

Bloch tells Whelan about how the unusual treatment works and makes such a big difference. Bloch says “I discovered these involuntary pain patterns in the body, and once I treat them I kind of reset the neurological system, almost like a computer or phone. Once you reset that, the pain is relieved almost immediately.” Essentially, RPT™ is a fascinating solution for anyone who wants pain relief to be as easy as pressing a button. Of course, pressing that button might mean taking a little bit of light smacking.

On air, Whelan is so intrigued by RPT™ ,that she decides to test it out herself. After experiencing the full RPT™ treatment, Whelan is shocked by how well it works. Watch the video below:

Rave Reviews for RPT™ in The Post

“The unconventional method relieves pain in minutes,” according to The Washington Post reporter Danielle Douglas-Gabriel in an exclusive and in-depth look at Reflexive Pattern Therapy™ and creator Andrew Bloch. Douglas-Gabriel even tried the “slapping” treatment for herself and reports it resulted in immediate relief for her pesky lower back pain.

The Washington Post gets a first-hand account of how RPT™, a combination of physical therapy and acupuncture minus the needles, came to the rescue for 12 Labours CrossFit Columbia team member Teresa Luz. During the CrossFit Games regionals in Atlanta, she suffered what could’ve been a competition-ending injury if it wasn’t for Andrew Bloch, owner and physical therapist at Advanced Wellness Systems, and his breakthrough technique. “It was a storybook ending to the whole experience,” describes Teresa.

Read The Washington Post exclusive to see what happened to Teresa and 12 Labours, and how RPT™ treats even the most excruciating chronic pain.

RPT™ is covered by most insurance and can only be found at Advanced Wellness Systems.

GMW: Dr. Brian Paris Shows How to Wear a Backpack

Imagine hauling around a microwave. It’s no different than what students carry in their backpacks every day, according to Dr. Brian Paris. Backpacks filled with textbooks, gadgets and supplies are literally weighing students down. Nearly 22,000 U.S. students are treated for backpack strains, sprains, dislocations and fractures every year. Dr. Paris demonstrates the right way to wear a backpack on NewsChannel 8’s Good Morning Washington.

Dr. Paris says students shouldn’t carry more than 10 percent of their body weight. However, elementary and middle schoolers are carrying as much as 30 pounds every day. Dr. Paris sees more backpack-related injuries than hockey injuries at his office, Advanced Wellness Systems in Rockville and Columbia.

At the top of Dr. Paris’ list of recommendations for avoiding backpack injuries is better organization and strategy. Only bring the books and materials you need and take advantage of assignments available online. In addition to packing light and distributing weight evenly, lift with your knees and carry backpacks above the hips. If your backpack has a sternum strap and hip belt, use them!

Watch Dr. Paris’ backpack tips live on NewsChannel 8 above just in time for Backpack Safety Day on September 16.

GMW: Dr. Brian Paris’s Ways to Prevent Vacation Injury

Summer vacation is a time for relaxation and rejuvenation, but millions of Americans suffer from or worsen neck and back pain while having fun in the sun. Dr. Brian Paris of Advanced Wellness Systems sits down with anchor Autria Godfrey to discuss the surge in summertime injuries and tips for preventing vacation injury on NewsChannel 8’s Good Morning Washington.

Without fail, Dr. Paris sees an uptick in visits from patients who come back from trips in pain every summer. He attributes the increase in seasonal injuries to people going on vacation and doing what they don’t normally do, whether it be participating in extreme sports, a poor diet, heavy lifting or extended periods of sitting.

In the video above, Dr. Paris shares some tips to help your next summer getaway safely and smoothly:

  1. When traveling by car, sit upright in the driver’s seat with your hands at 4 o’clock and 8 o’clock.

  2. Get up and move every two to three hours during long car and plane rides.

  3. Pack lighter to lessen the strain on your back and joints.

  4. When lifting luggage, use your legs and knees instead of back.

  5. Stay hydrated to keep your muscles from stiffening.

  6. Prepare your body for extreme recreation such as rock climbing and kayaking.

  7. “Work in” instead of workout by focusing on activities that rest and recharge the body–reading, walking and yoga.

For more summer travel wellness tips, click here.

 

8 Tips to Prevent Back Pain While Traveling

Summer is the season of vacations, barbecues and…burdensome back pain? Vacation is supposed to be relaxing, but in reality travel can take a big toll on your physical well being.

Think about it from your back’s point of view. First there’s the luggage haul. In the car, out of the car, through the airport and back again. Then there’s the flight. No leg room, comfortable seating, and of course there always seems to be a baby crying somewhere in the back to boot. Once you’ve finally escaped the person on the plane who insisted on reclining their seat all the way back and reached the hotel, you have to deal with a mattress that’s too firm, too soft or too springy. So now you see how all that bending, bustling, hoisting, and hauling can really aggravate an already bent-out-of-shape back.

Luckily for you, we’ve compiled 8 handy travel tips to prevent burdensome back pain and help you enjoy your summer vacation pain free:

  1. Pack Light The less you pack, the less you lift. Packing light will minimize any strain on the back from hauling luggage around.
  2. Lift Less Instead of lifting your luggage yourself, as cab drivers, skycaps, and bellboys to do the heaving hoisting for you. If you must lift, bend at the knees and use your leg muscles for leverage, as bending at the waist will make you more vulnerable to injury.
  3. Distribute Weight EvenlyIf you must lift, distribute the weight evenly on each side of the body. If you’re carrying shoulder, laptop or golf bags alternate sides to avoid placing too much strain on one side of the body.
  4. Use Rolling Luggage Using rolling luggage will minimize strain placed on the back and play a huge role in preventing your pre-existing back pain from flaring up.
  5. Pack a Pillow Hotel pillows are notoriously “Goldie Locks-Like”–too hard, too soft, never just right. Whether you’re boarding a plane or hopping into the family minivan, pack a lumbar support pillow for your lower back. If you don’t have one on hand, improvise by rolling up a comfy sweater and use that instead.
  6. Splurge for Space If not having enough room on a plane is going to cause a problem, it might be worth upgrading to a more spacious seating class. You can also ask to be seated in the emergency exit section of the plane where there is often extra leg room.
  7. Move Frequently To avoid stiff muscles and a stressed spine, move around as much as possible while traveling. Doing a few laps around the airport terminal or getting up and stretching on the plane or at a road trip rest stop is sure to work wonders for your back.
  8. Take It Easy Once you’ve reached your destination, take it easy. After all it is a vacation. Participate in activities you enjoy that also maintain back health. Swimming, walking and yoga are all activities that will benefit you back and make your vacation one to remember.

OMG: Texting is Damaging Your Spine

Time spent texting on your smartphone is reeking havoc on your posture, and you may not even realize it. According to a recent study and Dr. Brian ParisAdvanced Wellness Systems, that face-forward posture that’s become epidemic from constantly texting, typing and tweeting is bad for your neck and spine.

Our bodies instinctively hunch over when we use our smartphones and computers, but poor posture strains neck and back muscles, and makes joints work harder.

Dr. Paris admits technology has helped our work and personal lives, but we need to implement postural changes and be mindful of the time spent hunched over. It’s important to return back to an open, neutral and balanced posture. Our bodies function better when our head, shoulders, hips and ankles are aligned. If you insist on being hunched over when using devices, limit time spent hunched forward to 10 minutes.

Watch Dr. Paris’ explain the dangers of poor posture above.

Portfolio Items