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By Dr. Layne Towery

Originally published December 13, 2016 at midnight,

 

I am a 56-year-old female who is having a lot of back pain that goes down the leg. Sometimes, it goes down the front of the leg, and sometimes, down the back of the right leg into the foot.

 

It all started several weeks ago after moving furniture for our family Christmas gathering. I went to the emergency room and my family doctor. I was given Tramadol and muscle relaxers but haven't gotten any relief.

 

My doctor says I may need back surgery and ordered a MRI. The insurance company says I need to try some conservative treatment like a chiropractor or therapy first before a MRI is approved.

 

I would like to have surgery before the end of the year before my insurance starts over Jan. 1.

 

How much therapy is needed before I can get a MRI or surgery? In the mean time, what can I do at home to give myself some relief?

First, I am sorry to hear that you are having these problems right at the holidays.

 

Insurances are now requiring you to try conservative treatments like chiropractic, acupuncture and massage therapy before they will approve expensive testing like a MRI (costing usually about $2,500).

 

Why? History has shown that most people get good results and relief with these conservative treatments and do not need expensive testing or back surgery. It is really all about cost containment.

 

Usually a series of 10-12 visits is needed to give conservative care a fair chance. If you do not respond favorably to conservative treatment then further testing and /or a back surgery may be warranted. The likelihood of getting major back surgery by the end of the year end is remote.

Here are my suggestions. First, call a local chiropractor and start treatments immediately. Give treatment a fair chance. Get an elastic back brace to help take some of the weight and pressure off the back.

 

This brace can be used at night if your back keeps you from resting. The brace is only temporary until things get better.

 

Next, you need to ice the lower back for 30 minutes at a time several times a day. No heat should be used.

 

Get a TENS machine and start using it off and on throughout the day for about 30-45 minutes at a time.

 

Take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory like Aleve gel caps or a all natural product called In-flam 95. They both work well.

 

Get your chiropractor to show you some exercises and stretches for the low back. These will help you now and later.

 

I also suggest your try some acupuncture and therapeutic massage along with you chiropractic treatments. I think you will find them equally helpful.

Happy holidays.

Layne Towery is a Victoria Chiropractor and Acupuncturist and can be reached at towerygl@yahoo.com or 361-570-6284.

 

 

 

 

Acupuncture for whatever ails you

By Dr. Layne Towery

Originally published November 8, 2016 at midnight,

 

I am a 67-year-old female who is having chronic neck and back pain. I have been diagnosed with neuropathy in both lower legs and suffer from insomnia, and digestive disorders. I can not take pain pills or most other prescription medicines. My body is very sensitive to many chemicals. Can acupuncture help me with these condition? Just how does acupuncture? Does it work to heal the body faster? Can I do chiropractic manipulation and acupuncture on the same visit? How about massage? How many treatments are needed?

 

First of all, acupuncture is a 3,000-year-old healing art that has stood the test of time. Acupuncture needle technique is used by Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners and many western doctors for all kinds of conditions. The most common is for pain control.

 

Acupuncture points are certain anatomic points on the body that when stimulation with a needle, massage, TENS or many other means helps heal the body faster and improves the body's function. When a needle punctures the body's skin, the body immediately sends hormone signals or neurotransmitters to the brain and tells the body that the skin has been invaded or something is wrong in this area.

 

The nervous system starts increasing blood flow to the area and starts sending white blood cells to help heal the the body faster. This is a very simple answer to a very complicated question.

 

Chiropractic manipulation is definitely another treatment that may help you. Many times, we do both treatments the same day and sometimes, add massage when indicated. These therapies all have their own place in helping the body heal itself faster.

 

The frequency of treatments differ from person to person. Some people experience good results after the first treatment. It usually takes multiple treatments for people with difficult or chronic conditions. I tell my patients to try 5 to 6 visits before you decide if acupuncture is helping you.

 

Layne Towery is a Victoria Chiropractor and Acupuncturist and can be reached at towerygl@yahoo.com or 361-570-6284.

 

 

Conservative care, acupuncture for sports injuries

By Dr. Layne Towery

Originally published October 18, 2016 at midnight,

 

If you have been reading the paper, watching the daily news or reading the latest PRNewswire-(Family Features), there is great concern about the prevalence of opioid use and abuse in the U.S. There is a new study that validates the effectiveness of acupuncture and other non-drug health treatments for acute and chronic pain.

 

The National Institute of Health National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health compiled evidence on how alternative health treatments including acupuncture, yoga, tai-chi, massage therapy and relaxation techniques help relieve both acute and chronic pain.

 

Back pain, osteoarthritis, neck pain, severe headaches and fibromyalgia were evaluated. The study showed acupuncture and yoga to be the most effective for back and neck pain and acupuncture and tai chi to be the most effective for knee pain and osteoarthritis.

 

Severe addiction and deaths due to prescription opioids like hydrocodone, oxycodone and methadone are on the rise. "Raising awareness of alternative therapies like acupuncture are more important then ever" states Kory Ward-Cook, chief executive officer of the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.

 

A recent study published in the "Mayo Clinic Proceedings" journal talks about how patients and doctors are shifting toward exploring conservative treatments for their pain syndromes. The findings in the article supported the benefits of non-drug treatments.

 

The study explored several non-drug treatments that are effective and used commonly for pain management they include the following: acupuncture, chiropractic spinal manipulation, tai-chi, yoga, massage therapy, and various relaxation techniques like meditation. The results were very positive and impressive.

 

The bottom line is don't always rush to take a pill for every little ache or pain. Pain medication like opioids are highly addictive and can be deadly. There are other conservative pain options right hear under your nose in Victoria, explore them.

 

 

Conservative care, acupuncture for sports injuries

By Dr. Layne Towery

Originally published September 13, 2016 at midnight,

 

My son injured his lower back and right neck the other night at a football game. The trainer and the walk-in clinic diagnosed a spinal stinger. X-rays were taken and nothing is broken. The orthopedist said it was "just a strain" and wants to take him out of sports for four weeks. That's almost half the season. Nobody has offered any type of treatment other than rest and pain pills which do not help. Can chiropractic or acupuncture offer any quick relief? I would like to no what kind of treatments he can do at home to speed up the healing process. He wants to get back on the field.

 

First of all, that is what every athlete wants is to get back on the field Chiropractors have special training in sports injuries, and some, like myself, even have post-graduate training in orthopedics and sports medicine that can ultimately lead to diplomat status. This an additional 300 hours of sports orthopedic training that can be achieved after chiropractic school.

 

Lets address a stinger. This usually happens after an intense blow to the top or either side of the head. It is very common in football and should be taken very seriously.

 

After the injury, the player may experience numbness, tingling, burning and spasms of the neck, upper back and affected extremity. This is basically a pinched nerve in the neck. It usually in the lower neck, but it can be in the upper neck also. Chiropractors specialize in pinched nerves.

 

Once the medical personal have ruled out any serious damage to the spinal cord, it is time to get evaluated immediately by a chiropractor.

 

A thorough exam should be performed and a treatment plan will be implemented.

 

At my office, there will be an intense series of spinal manipulation, therapeutic massage sessions, physical therapy treatments and acupuncture performed.

 

Home treatments will include ice massage, TENS therapy, orthopedic bracing if needed and special instructions on stretching.

 

Remember, sprain or strains of the joints and surrounding tissues are the most common injuries related to any kind of sports injuries. Pain, swelling, redness, purple skin discoloration, reduced range of motion and a dull ache are the most common symptoms.

 

Along with the conventional R.I.C.E. formula (rest, ice, compression, elevation), acupuncture has been found to be very effective in quickly suppressing inflammation and swelling and typically speeds up the healing process.

 

I know what you are thinking, my kid is afraid of needles and is not going to do acupuncture. Maybe or maybe not, but you would be surprised at how many kids are willing to try acupuncture to get better faster and get back on the field.

 

My son was 9 when he first tried acupuncture for chronic stomach problems. He had miraculous results and is now receiving acupuncture for his low back pain.

 

Layne Towery is a Victoria chiropractor and acupuncturist and can be reached at towerygl@yahoo.com or 361-570-6284.

 

 

 

 

Start with conservative treatment first

By Dr. Layne Towery

Originally published August 9, 2016 at midnight,

 

I am a 67 year old female who is very active for my age. I tripped and fell the other day and landed on my left shoulder. I am having a lot of pain in my left posterior shoulder and between my shoulder blades. I am also having pain in my left lower neck. I went to the emergency room and had X-rays and they said nothing is broken. The doctor said it may be my rotator cuff. What is that? I have limited range of motion and the shoulder is warm to the touch. I can not lay on it at night it wakes me up. Do I need a MRI? How about chiropractic/therapy? Will acupuncture help? Will I need surgery? I need some relief soon.

Sorry to hear about your accident. I have injured my right shoulder several times, so I know what your going through. First thing I would do is get yourself examined by a experienced chiropractor. All chiropractors are heavily trained in sports injuries and appendicular orthopedics.

 

What it initially sounds like is you injured one or more of the four rotator cuff muscles of the shoulder. What I would do at my office is try conservative treatment first to see if it helps. If it does, great. If not, then I would refer you for a MRI and maybe an orthopedic surgeon.

 

Conservative treatment should consist of heavily icing the affected area to get the swelling and inflammation down. I recommend 30 minutes, five to six times a day.

I also recommend an all natural over-the-counter anti-inflammatory called inflam-95 or Aleve gel caps. Both of these work well usually. I suggest you get a home TENS unit so you can do home therapy to the shoulder several times a day. I recommend placing the TENS pads around the shoulder and at the base of your neck then putting the ice on top of your TENS pads so you are doing two treatments at once.

 

I would start you on some simple range of motion exercises and would suggest you do some non-weight bearing exercises in a pool if you have access to one. Chiropractic manipulation is very helpful, along with trying some acupuncture to help speed up the healing.

 

If the above treatments do not give you relief within two to three weeks, then a visit to a surgeon my be warranted. Your chiropractor will guide you in the right direction. Good luck.

 

Layne Towery is a Victoria chiropractor and acupuncturist and can be reached at towerygl@yahoo.com or 361-570-6284.

 

 

 

 

Answers for restless legs and neuropathy

By Dr. Layne Towery

Originally published July 12, 2016 at midnight,

I am a 67-year-old male who has chronic back pain and is a 10-year diabetic. I am having a lot of trouble during the day and especially at night with my legs and feet. My lower legs below my knees are numb, tingle, burn, and I have a hard time walking any distance. I feel really weak and unstable. I move my legs all night. My walking has slowly gotten unstable, and I seem to stumble or trip over my own feet at times. I am really afraid of falling. My doctor does not seem to be concerned. He said it is "all apart of getting old." I take 40 mg of Lipitor for cholesterol. My doctor prescribed Neurontin but that does not give me relief. My question to you is can acupuncture help this horrible condition? Are there any type of vitamins that may help? Does acupuncture hurt? Will Medicare pay for acupuncture? I am desperate.

 

Well, it looks like you are in some trouble. You have a lot of questions, so let me answer them one at a time. It sounds like you have peripheral neuropathy with restless legs. This is a condition caused by damaged to the nerves, usually in the lower extremities. This is often caused by a "pinched nerve," "old age" or getting older, and it can be caused many times from statin drugs. All you have to do is look on the internet for your medication side effects.

 

Your nerves are short circuiting to a certain extent. It is like "static" on a telephone line. Neuropathy distorts and sometimes interrupts messages between the brain and the rest of the body. Symptoms may include numbness, tingling, burning, prickling feeling, hypersensitivity and weakness. Restless legs at night are also a common symptom.

 

Diabetes and statin drugs are common causes for neuropathy. Your lower back can cause these unpleasant symptoms. What you need to do is get evaluated and try to decipher the causes of your problem.

 

Acupuncture and chiropractic manipulation usually work very well with neuropathy issues. It is nothing magical but usually most people see really good results. A series of 10-12 treatments is recommended. Patients are seen several times a week for 2-3 weeks then their treatments are tapered off. The acupuncture needles are extremely small and most people do not even feel them. Trust me, I treated my 9-year-old son and he did not even flinch.

 

In regards to supplements, I highly recommend a product called Nerve-cal and a product called Methyl-ease by Biospec. I have good results when these products are taken together. You see results in as little as a month or so. There are a variety of creams that you may also try that may help. My favorite is Bio-Freeze and China Gel.

 

I am sorry to say Medicare only pays for a chiropractic office visits/manipulation. The good news is they will pay for up to 30 visits. Medicare will not pay for any other services at a chiropractors office. Medicare does not pay for vitamins or supplements. Good thing about it is acupuncture is only $25, so it is affordable for most. I hope this helps you. Good luck.

 

Layne Towery is a Victoria chiropractor and acupuncturist and can be reached at towerygl@yahoo.com or 361-570-6284.

 

 

Conservative treatment for knee pain

By Dr. Layne Towery

Originally published June 7, 2016 at midnight,

I am a 69-year-old male who has been diagnosed with osteoarthritis of the knees. X-rays show my left knee is "bone on bone" and my right knee is worn some but not as bad as the left knee. The problem is my "good knee" hurts worse than my worn out one. I have been told that a knee replacement is my only option. How successful is knee surgery? Is there anything other treatments that I could try first before I submit to surgery? Is there anything I can try at home that would help with the pain?

Your dilemma is a very common one. Just because your knee is "bone on bone" does not mean that you have to have knee surgery. First, you need to be thoroughly examined to determine if you knee is the problem or is your knee pain coming from the a pinched nerve in your back. Many times over the years, I have discovered that the back was the main culprit.

The primary goals of treating knee pain is to relieve pain and increase your function and mobility. First thing is losing some weight. Losing even a small amount of weight can significantly decrease knee pain. Start exercising more strengthening the muscles around the knee. Exercising the knee makes the joint more stable and decreases pain. Stretching the leg makes the knee more mobile and flexible.

Try taking an anti-inflammatory like Aleve gel caps inflam-95. Do not take for more than 10 days without consulting your doctor. Taking them longer increases the chance of bad side effects. Start icing the knee 30 minutes at a time several times a day. Remember our goal is to get the swelling and inflammation down around the knee.

Get a knee support. There are two types of braces: "unloader" braces, which take the weight away from the side of the knee and "support braces which provide support for the entire knee. I usually have you try both on to see which one feels the best.

I almost always try using acupuncture and chiropractic adjustments to help with the pain. Many times after three to four visits you are on the mend. If conservative care does not help then surgery is your next option. Good luck and never stop trying to get better.

 

Layne Towery is a Victoria chiropractor and acupuncturist and can be reached at towerygl@yahoo.com or 361-570-6284.

 

 

Sciatic nerve is biggest nerve in body

By Dr. Layne Towery

Originally published April 19, 2016 at midnight,

I have been having pain in the low back and down the left leg. It all started three months ago after some heavy lifting and a lot of yard work. The pain comes and goes throughout the day. My back and hip/leg spasms in my left buttock. Over the counter medications do not help. My doctor says I need to go to a chiropractor. Will massage help? Do I need a MRI or X-rays first? What other options do I have? I am miserable.

It appears that you have irritated the sciatic nerve - the biggest nerve in the body. It is about the size of your thumb. It starts at the low back and goes all the way down the back of the leg into the foot and toes. It can give you excruciating pain, burning, tingling, numbness and lack of sensation.

 

One of the most common causes is a herniated or bulging disc that pinches the nerve and and spinal cord. The first thing is get a thorough exam from a chiropractor to help determine the cause of your problem. Your history and exam findings will determine if you need a MRI or testing. Most of the time, you do not need any unless you do not respond to treatment.

 

I would first try some ice on the lower back and left hip for 30 minutes at a time. Do this several times a day. I would get a low back support/belt and wear it most of the time until things get better. This will give the back some support and take some pressure off the nerve. Wear the brace to sleep if needed. Aleve gel caps work well on the inflamed nerves.

 

Chiropractic manipulation is usually helpful along with some therapeutic massage and acupuncture for pain control. You need to get in 20 to 30 minutes of walking a day if possible. Keep moving and sit as little as possible. No soft couches. Sit in a straight back chair with arms on it when sitting. You should get relief with the following treatments and home remedies. If you do not respond to treatment within five to six visits then a MRI is needed to further evaluate your condition.

 

Epidural steroid injections are another option but are usually only done if you do not respond to conservative care. Back surgery should always be the last option. Good luck.

 

Layne Towery is a Victoria chiropractor and acupuncturist and can be reached at towerygl@yahoo.com or 361-570-6284.

 

 

Poor sleep is growing epidemic

By Dr. Layne Towery

Originally published February 9, 2016 at midnight,

 

I am a 65-year-old female who has chronic insomnia. I am overweight by 50 pounds or more. My back and neck hurt me all the time. I usually only get two to three hours of sleep a night. My husband says I stop breathing during the night and gasp for air.

Can acupuncture or chiropractic treatment help me with my sleeping problems? How about over the counter supplements? I refuse to take anymore sleeping pills. Do I need a sleep study? Any other suggestions to help me sleep better?

It appears that you have a lot of common problems. Here is some latest statistics according to a recent study by C.A. Czeisler in Sleep Health March 2015:• Nearly 60 percent of American adults report having sleep problems

• Only 37 percent get the recommended hours of sleep per night

• About half of the sleep problem are stress related

• Americans filled more than 60 million prescriptions for sleeping pills last year

 

The master clock in the brain is called the suprachiasmatic nucleus or SCN. It regulates our circadian rhythm or sleep patterns. Light regulates the body's master clock. When light passing into the pupils is inhibited (darkness) then the SCN sends a signal to the body to release melatonin. Melatonin is a natural neurohormone that helps the body regulate sleep.

There are five stages of sleep. When you first fall asleep you are in stage 1 and 2 sleep. Stage 3 and 4 is a deep restful sleep with rapid eye movement. Stage 5 your brain is active and you dream a lot. Most adults need 7-9 hours of good sleep a night.

Our body heals itself when we sleep, especially in deep sleep or REM sleep. Good sleep is essential for growth and development. During deep sleep our body releases hormones, such as Leptin and Ghrelin, which keep our appetite in check and helps with fat storage. So, a person who does not sleep well has a hard time losing weight.

Tips to promote good, healthy sleep

• If you take a nap, make it 30 minutes or less, or better yet, a full 90 minutes

• No caffeine after 3 p.m.

• Limit alcohol to two drinks at night

• Turn off the TV, computer, cellphones and all other devices one hour before bed

• Make sure all lights are off - use a eye mask if needed

• Read or meditate; take a hot bath an hour before bedtime

• Eat before 7 p.m.

• Try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day

• Get sunlight an hour after waking in the morning to reset your clock

• Make sure your pillow and mattress are comfortable

 

Both chiropractic and acupuncture treatments are helpful not only for pain but for restful sleep. During acupuncture treatments, many people fall asleep in the treatment room. Most patients comment they sleep better after treatments.

Supplements may be helpful

• 1 mg melatonin one hour before bedtime

• 5-HTP promotes the release of serotonin

• DHA to support balanced levels of dopamine, GABA and norepinephrine

 

Try some of the above suggestions first. If you continue to have problems sleeping, a sleep study may be warranted.

 

Layne Towery is a Victoria chiropractor and acupuncturist and can be reached at towerygl@yahoo.com or 361-570-6284.

 

 

Natural solutions for stress, anxiety

By Dr. Layne Towery

Originally published January 19, 2016 at midnight,

 

I am a 57-year-old female who is stressed out. I have a lot of neck and upper back pain, and I carry all my stress between my neck and shoulders. I have bouts of anxiety and depression. My lower back hurts all the time but that I can handle. My doctor wants to put me on anti-depressants and pain pills for these problems, but I have bad side effects from the medications. I feel helpless and sad. I am wondering if acupuncture or chiropractic can help. What supplements can I take? What do you think about massage or yoga? Does insurance pay for these treatments? I need help.

We all experience some stress at one time or another.

 

Most of the time, stress is a healthy response to events in our lives we feel are out of our control. If we are feeling good and are in a healthy state of mind, stress is short-lived, and we are able to deal with it. However, if the stress experience is extreme or lasts a long time, it may effect us mentally, emotionally and physically.

 

The human body is built to handle stressful events. It is in our genes. When we are stressed or threatened, whether perceived or real our sympathetic nervous system is activated and we enter a "flight or fight" mode. At this time, your heart rate increases and pupils dilate. Respiration increases and digestion shuts down. We either address the threat or run if the threat is too much.

 

This response to a threat or stressful situation worked well in the caveman days but doesn't work so well in today's world when the stress is a wife or husband yelling at you or a boss or a co-worker that is pressuring you. Problems that do not resolve themselves tend to worry us also adding to our stress. Long-term stress results in a constant state of fight or flight, which take its toll on us over time.

 

Cortisol, the body's stress hormone is elevated and raises your blood pressure and causes you to feel bad. Over time, your immune system is dramatically suppressed, and you become physically sick and start developing anxiety, depression, headaches and feel tired all the time.

Acupuncture, chiropractic spinal manipulation, yoga and massage may help alleviate stress by stimulating the body to release natural pain-killing hormones called endorphins.

 

Acupuncture also improves circulation and blood flow throughout the body. Bringing more blood to the tissues helps remove cortisol and other waste blood chemicals. Acupuncture and spinal adjustments will tend to relieve pain and calm you. This will decrease your heart rate, blood pressure, stress and anxiety.

 

Along with acupuncture, spinal manipulation and massage, I recommend regular walking 20-30 minutes a day and a balanced diet of fruits and vegetables. Stay away from red meats and eat a lot of fish and chicken. Increase your filtered water intake to 8-10 large bottles of water daily and start taking a good gel-cap multivitamin. There are a variety of other supplements that may be helpful, but these are prescribed on an individual basis. Most insurances cover chiropractic care but rarely cover acupuncture, massage or vitamin supplements.

 

Layne Towery is a Victoria chiropractor and acupuncturist and can be reached at towerygl@yahoo.com or 361-570-6284.

 

 

 

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