One of the more frequent questions we get asked is about Techs Neck. Years ago, we used to call it bad posture. Now, with iPads and iPhones, everyone is walking hunched over all day, and we now call this "Techs Neck". How can this affect your body and what can we do about it?
It is a pretty important problem. We used to see bad posture as people got older. Now we see it in younger and younger folks as the first generation grows up with iPads and iPhones.
So a little explanation. When we look at the spine from the side, we have curves on the spine. The lower back curves in, the middle back curves this way, and the neck curves back. And that is how we stand up nice and straight. Now, when we look at the spine from the back, we want it to be nice and straight. To the side is scoliosis, which is not a good thing, and this is something else we can help with. From the side, we should have nice curves, kind of like this model here. When we sit looking at iPhones and iPads all day, what happens in the front of the neck is it starts getting flattened out at that curve. What this does is put a lot of extra pressure on the back of the neck.
So one of the ways we are able to assess it here is we have a digital posture assessment program. What we do is take pictures of you, and we are able to analyze your posture once we are done. Let us see for example one of the staff here. We take a front view. We want to see if everything is in nice alignment; the shoulders, hips, chest, eyes. This is where we can evaluate your alignment without X-rays. On the bottom is the lateral or side view where we can see those curves we are talking about. So we've got the ankles, knees, hips, shoulders, ears that should be in good alignment. We can see on this staff member that her ears are quite a bit from that front line. It shifted about 1.2 inches which does not sound like a lot. Her head weighs, according to the software, a little over 10 lbs., 10.9 lbs. We shift that head and neck forward about 1.2 inches forward. That should be the effect of carrying around a 24 lb. head all day. That is too much stress for someone this size to carry around and it can cause neck pain or headache.
So what that it should look like if we take our model again; the curves are all nice and steady. We can put a lot of pressure on that and it is pretty steady and probably pushing you down all day. But if we have that neck bending forward, putting straight pressure on it, we can see what will happen in the spine. It puts a lot of pressure on to your back here. So it tends to cause a lot of neck pain, headaches, different symptoms up in that area of the spine with this bad posture.
Chiropractic care makes the alignment better. It is a great method. Doing some rehab and physical therapy exercises to help strengthen those upper back muscles to hold this upright. Because unfortunately, during most of our daily lives we are leaning forward all day. It is important to have good posture for healthy breathing, and it is just one more problem seen in modern society called Techs Neck. Thank you.
One of the common questions we get at the clinic is about Plantar Fasciitis, or Heel Spurs is another name for it. It is a very common condition. This year we saw Peyton Manning miss five weeks for plantar fascia. This can be pretty debilitating. There are varying degrees of it, but we can explain it and some of the procedures that we use to help it.
At the bottom of the foot, there are a bunch of bones. We should have a nice arch of the foot. We can kind of see through here how we have a nice arch. Underneath these bones is something called the plantar fascia, a band of tissues that kind of hold that arch in place. This is where the plantar fasciitis comes from.
When everything is working well, the arch remains. We have a nice arch on the inside the foot and the plantar fascia is underneath. Unfortunately what happens with modern society is that we are all wearing these poor shoes all time and over time that arch starts flattening out. That plantar fascia is only so long in between there and it gets stretched and pulled and pulled eventually getting inflamed. That is "itis" part, that is our secret medical word which means inflammation. And what happens, that Plantar fascia gets inflamed.
There are usually pretty simple fixes for it. Typically we get rid of that inflammation. Two common ways will be the cold laser ultrasound therapy that can usually get rid of inflammation. We give home exercise as a good treatment. At home you can use a golf ball and roll your foot on it for a few minutes at a time to loosen that plantar fascia. Also if it is very inflamed, we recommend patients get a water bottle, fill it up with water and store it in the freezer and get it nice and cold. So when you get home from a long day at work, you can roll your foot on it and that will calm the inflammation down. Those are some of the best tips that you will get in the office along with ultrasound therapy.
And one of the best things to do is to get some othapedic support. If that arch is really falling, you will need some support to hold it upright. Now, unfortunately, a lot of shoes that patients use or that people are wearing these days do not have the supports they are used to. So a lot of times we have to buy supports. We can evaluate plantar fascia with a 3D laser scanner which is able to scan your feet, take measurements of the arches, how high they are, how much weight is on them, how much weight you are putting on your right foot versus your left.
Some people such as myself have a one leg longer than the other. Now if you are walking crooked on your feet all day, that is going to cause a lot of issues as well. So here at the Village Family Clinic, we have a 3D laser assessment which we can demonstrate for you now.
For more details about the available treatment for Plantar Fasciitis or Heel Spurs, contact Village Family Clinic.
One of the most common questions we get here at the clinic is in regards to disc herniations and disc bulges. There is a lot of misunderstanding and a lot of fancy vernacular regarding these issues. Hopefully, I will be able to explain these things a little bit better along with some of the treatment options available to you.
Very common problems of disc bulge or herniation: there are maybe about 15% of people who have one and don’t even know it. The disc can bulge or herniate before it even causes pain. And on top of that, there are many people suffering from disc pain. This is a pretty common issue.
A little anatomy lesson: On our back, between the neck and the back, there are 26 bones or vertebrae. At the lower back, there are 5. We’ll just number them with 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. And down here there is a lot going on in your pelvis. The distance or the spaces between the bones or vertebrae do two things for you. They space these bones apart and they are our body’s natural shock absorbers. So the bouncing around while doing stuff throughout the day, exercising, it absorbs that shock. The other important goal is to space these vertebrae apart.
You can see how these nerves exit in between each vertebrae. These nerves go down in different areas. In the neck, the majority go down to the arms. In the lower back, the majority go down to the legs. So most feel vertebral sciatica where patients are having leg pain at the back of their leg. Typically there is something pinching or irritating the nerve shooting down onto the leg.
So if these are synchronized and smooth, everybody is happy. Everything is working well. And we take a little zoomed in look at the top of this disc here and explain a little more about what a disc looks like. I explain to my patients that discs look like jelly doughnuts. There is a nice fiber that holds everything together and inside there is some soft liquid. And we are looking at the discs here, this part is the fiber that holds everything together and this part here is kind of like the jelly inside that absorbs the shock. That’s a good system.
What can happen with these discs is, overtime they can get worn out. Those fibers start tearing on the outside and they can bulge or herniate. There is a difference between the two. Some people use the terms interchangeably. They are not exactly the same thing.
What a disc bulge means is that the jelly doughnut still holds together, it’s just pushing out a little bit. So the outside of the doughnuts are still intact. It is just pushed out a little bit. What a herniation definitely means is that fibers have torn and some of that jelly is now coming out of the disc. One is worse than the other. Typically herniations are a little more serious than bulging discs, but not necessarily.
What that would look like is this model here, we got a nice disc here and we can see this piece coming outward where it is not supposed to be. We see the other side is normal. And there are big spaces in there for the vertebrae. Over here, with that disc bulging out, it could be compressing and putting pressure on that nerve.
So the interesting part about the disc is that it is the only part of the human body with no nerve supply and no blood supply. So that means that you do not actually feel the disc. So if somebody says you have disc pain, you typically don’t have disc pain, it’s the disc rubbing the nerve or something else causing pain because you can’t actually feel a disc.
The interesting part is there is no blood supply to a disc. So for example, when you cut your skin, blood flows and it heals. Everybody can kind of understand that. But if you cut a disc, it will not heal on its own because it does not have a natural blood supply. It does heal by movement. The discs move and the fluids pumps in and out and are able to heal it. But when the disc is herniated or injured, it does not tend to heal on its own.
So there are several treatments available. Chiropractors, physical therapy, and acupuncture for the minor disc issues can treat the pain and sometimes release some of the symptoms. However, when there really is a nice bulge putting pressure on the nerve, massage, acupuncture therapy, all of that stuff helps the muscle release some of the pain.
But ultimately, if that piece is still putting pressure on the nerve, there are going to be some symptoms. What we do here in the clinic is there are two tables behind us. These are nonsurgical spinal decompression devices. We have two of them here. State-of-the art, FDA-approved technology relieves disc bulges. And what the machine technically does is that it tractions or stretches to open the spine in order to suck a piece of that disc back in. So the disc is out. This table will traction the spine and the disc can get sucked in a little bit.
Our patients are not going to be right back to normal. They are not going to be a hundred percent typically. But if this is pushed out 3mm, we get it sucked in 1 1/2 or 1 mm, just enough to pull up the nerve, there will be no more pain. After the traction device does that, you will feel a lot better.
There are big advances of these tables. Years ago, we’d put you in the hospital on traction. You’d sit down on the traction table for a whole day pulling on the spine. We found out that the spine rarely likes being pulled for 8 hours of the time.
So what the
nonsurgical spinal decompression therapy in Hackettstown, NJ does is slowly pull, hold for a period of time, releases some of that pressure, and pulls in cycles. That allows your body a break. And that is how to plump the fluid in there. And that can help heal and regenerate that disc to some degree. So this is a great alternative for you.
Other alternatives available are epidermal injections where they do a cortisone steroid injection into the nerve to calm it down. And of course, for a little more drastic case is surgery. That’s pretty rare but it certainly happens that a disc is bad enough that it needs surgery to take it out. But obviously this is a very delicate area so we want to avoid surgery at all cost. Hope I answered all your questions about this.
“It’s been amazing. I’m a cancer survivor so I’ve dealt with a lot of issues in my life – long term effects from chemo therapy and fatigue. I get a lot of muscle aches so acupuncture has been incredible for me. I have more energy. I’ve always been into different modalities of healing. I think the best thing about it is that it is complementary to any other treatments that you may do. It works in accordance with everything: herbal medicine, acupuncture.
The approach here is all about the whole person. It is not just about seeing you. Everything is taken into account, your lifestyle, diet, all of it. You are not just seen as a statistic. The entire person is taken into account which is really important especially in our culture today. “
--- Tara Langella, a patient of Village Family Clinic
The acupuncture treatment in Allamuchy, NJ can help relieve chronic pain in the body and it can also be used to treat the crippling and long-lasting fatigue associated with chemotherapy in many cancer patients. This treatment can help boost energy levels among patients and radically improve their quality of life, combating the common side-effects of chemotherapy.
Acupuncture appears to work for a variety of conditions, even cancer. With this treatment, tiny needles are placed at certain points in the body which have been selected for their propensity to boost energy levels to help patients reduce fatigue after chemotherapy.
Marie Vernay, a patient in the Village Family Clinic, suffers from at least three debilitating diseases that cause a lot of pain – Parkinson’s, Spinal Stenosis, and Fibromyalgia. She comes to the clinic twice a week now for the last nine months. For about an hour and a half, she undergoes nonsurgical spinal decompression, chiropractic, and ends with acupuncture. She walks out of the Village Family Clinic totally pain-free. The set of treatments gives her relief in her life, so much so that it is the best medicine ever.
There are plenty of benefits of spinal decompression. Every year, this FDA approved treatment gives thousand of patients who suffer from chronic pain an option other than surgery. The therapy is designed based on your specific needs and issues, as well as on how well you progress after each session.
The nonsurgical spinal decompression therapy in Hackettstown, NJ, and the physicians performing it, are not created equally. You need to look for a clinic like the Village Family Clinic that performs a protocol specifically tailored for your unique case. This clinic does a full spectrum of therapies along with spinal decompression therapy in order to yield faster and better results.
Full body massage therapy that is done on a regular basis can generate numerous benefits for wellness that go beyond just relaxation. Because it is able to alleviate or relieve stress and tension, you can stop issues from emerging or becoming worse in your well-being.
Going for full body massage therapy in Hackettstown, NJ stimulates the production of endorphins. When released in the body, these hormones will promote relaxation and drowsiness. This is why patients will often sleep while receiving a massage and the leave the clinic feeling relaxed. Everything from your head to your toes is massaged, front and back, using an assortment of strokes such as kneading, pulling, wringing, gliding, and hacking.
It is very important to incorporate a full body massage into your wellness plan. At Village Family Clinic, we offer a very affordable massage program with a plan designated just for you. Everyone has a different body and no massage should ever be the same. Massage at Village Family Clinic is different because your chiropractor and your massage therapist can work alongside each other; it is about therapeutic healing, rehabilitation, and overall relaxation. With life’s aches, pains, and stresses, massage is beneficial no matter what your body’s concern is.
Because the kind of pain, as well as its severity, varies from one patient to another, a specific set of chronic pain management guidelines are followed in order to diagnose each patient. The treatment that is chosen and provided will be guided by the patient health history, including a comprehensive history of the pain, specifically its duration, intensity, recurrence, and that which aggravates and relieves it.
With the coordinated effort of the medical team at the chronic pain management clinic in Allamuchy, NJ, we will put together a plan to relieve you of the chronic pain from which you are suffering. We will determine the root of the problem and this will become the basis of developing a treatment plan to ease suffering and improve quality of life for those living with chronic pain. Each treatment plan is developed specifically for each individual patient which means it will support and speed up healing.
Everyone experiences pain. However, chronic pain is recurring and repetitive pain over an extended period of time. It is recommended that those who suffer from chronic pain get evaluated for chronic pain management for relief. It is normal to consider yourself the best judge for your pain. While many try to live with pain, it is always best to consult your doctor because pain could be an indication that something bigger is wrong. Chronic pain should always be treated with immediate, safe, and effective medical care.
Nonsurgical spinal decompression therapy in Allamuchy, NJ is revolutionary technology used primarily to treat disc injuries in the neck and lower back. But iIt is also proven to be effective in treating bulging discs, pinched nerves, facet syndromes, radiating arm pain, leg pain, degenerative disc disease, and more. This effective treatment option consists of unloading through distracting and positioning the vertebra to create negative intra-discal pressure, In other words, it creates a vacuum inside the discs that are being targeted in treatment to alleviate pressure.
In nonsurgical spinal decompression, the negative intra-discal pressure gently separates the vertebrae. It may also induce the retraction of the herniated or bulging disc to the inside of the disc, as well as off the nerve root, thecal sac, or both.
There are numerous benefits of spinal decompression which is why this treatment has grown in demand. The cycles of decompression and partial relaxation that occur microscopically in this treatment can cause results that are quite dramatic. Over a series of visits to the clinic, the torn and degenerated disc fibers under consideration will begin to heal as water, oxygen, and nutrient-rich fluids outside the discs are diffused within.
Village Family Clinic hosted an open house on April 9th, 2016. It was an incredibly fun and successful event where many folks in the community found out how we can help them lead a better, more productive, relaxing, and pain free life. Watch the video and see how much fun was had by all!
More details can be found on our Face Book page as well: https://www.facebook.com/VillageFamilyClinic.
Dr. James Fedich is the Clinical Director and owner of Village Family Clinic and he gets a lot of questions. There are a lot of different conditions, but the most common condition he gets asked about these days is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
A big study that everyone has been talking about the last two years is sitting at a desk. It is the new smoking. We are all sitting at desks all day typing on computers, on the internet all night. Sitting is causing more health problems than smoking did in the 50's and 60's before we knew what that was doing to us. People are staying on their keyboards, typing all day and unfortunately, keyboards are in the improper positions which can irritate the carpal tunnel.
Have you heard of carpal tunnel syndrome?
It is probably the most misdiagnosed condition that we see in here. People think that anytime there is hand pain it is carpal tunnel syndrome. Or anytime there is any kind of numbness or tingling in the lower part of the arm that this may be carpal tunnel. Well, this is not necessarily the case. Proper diagnosis is very important. A lot the numbness in the hand can come from the shoulders, elbows, or neck. So it is important to rule that out.
But typically, carpal tunnel is numbness in the half of the hand with two fingers and the thumb. It is because the median nerve is the main nerve that runs through the carpal tunnel and goes only in the thumb side of the hand. So any numbness or tingling in the other two fingers cannot be considered carpal tunnel syndrome. There is another syndrome similar but carpal tunnel is kind of a buzz word. That’s the first important thing to understand.
One way to test at home if you have carpal tunnel is what we call "the old prayer test". Just hold your hands in prayer position for about 30 seconds. What that does is put a little stretch on the carpal tunnel. If you start getting tingling in the first three fingers, there is a good chance you have carpal tunnel syndrome. But it is important to get evaluated by a qualified doctor. You can have nerve issues in the elbow, shoulder or neck causing it as well.
The reason why we have carpal tunnel problems is that we have two bones in the forearm. The rest of the carpal bones are the wrist bones. The wrist is made up of eight small bones and through this tunnel pass a bunch of nerves and tendons that control all the fingers. So if you actually move your fingers, the tendons you feel all the way up in the forearm are actually what is moving. Those muscles have tendons that run all the way through the tunnel to the top of the fingers.
A tendon of each finger and a couple of nerves run through and it is a pretty small area. You end up typing or putting your wrist in this position for hours a day. That nerve gets swollen or irritated in there and that is what we call carpal tunnel syndrome.
You can see all the tendons and nerves running through that small space. And over the top is this retinaculum which holds it all in position and allows these nerves to pass through with some protection. And again, they get inflamed, causing carpal tunnel syndrome.
The most advanced, newest way we are caring for carpal tunnel in the clinic is cold laser therapy. Dr. Oz has called this cold laser the "no pill pain buster." The reason is that it gets through all sorts of pain and inflamation, but carpal tunnel is one of the first that we are doing cold laser on. It has been FDA-approved for over ten years.
We have the cold laser device at the office. MLA-30 is one of the first FDA-approved lasers. And what it does is send light waves up to the end of this probe which gets rid of all the inflamation and swelling around those nerves. We used to ultrasound these problems, and we often still do. We still have multiple ultrasound therapy machines here in the office, but the laser gets a deeper penetration. Ultrasound maximum penetration is about one and a half centimeters to two at the most. The laser goes five centimeters which is more than double where the ultrasound will get. It is also painless. You do not feel a cold laser and there is no messy gel or clean up. If anyone has ever had ultrasound, it can be quite a messy experience.
If you visit the office we can demonstrate the laser. All we do is put it in place over the carpal tunnel and turn it on. You will be able to see just a little bit of light as it is coming out. Mostly we put it skin on skin so you will not be able to see it but this is just for demonstration. And now for a series of cycles here, we just take a few minutes and we will be able to get rid of that inflamation in the carpal tunnel and get rid of that nerve pain for you.
A couple of things we do to treat carpal tunnels is administer B vitamins, which are known for their speed in healing the nerves. Even if we get the inflamation out of the nerves with the laser therapy, we can still sometimes have issues. So we recommend a good B-complex for most patients. A lot of carpal tunnel patients have difficulty sleeping at night. Their hands get numb while they are sleeping. They will curl their wrist or have some funny sleeping patterns, which puts pressure on those nerves while sleeping. Thus, carpal tunnel braces are sometimes recommended for those who have a lot of night pain. Those can be bought at any local pharmacy. They are a little hard brace that will kind of hold the wrist in the right position to allow that tunnel to be open and allow those nerves to heal for you.
It is important to diagnose the carpal tunnel properly and once it is diagnosed properly, it is a pretty quick 3-minute treatment. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is something we treat a lot here at the clinic.
“"I work in health care & having the office open during this pandemic has been a God send! I always have been taken care of wonderfully by all the staff, especially by the chiropractors who give me my regular tune-ups! I so appreciate that I can walk-in & be seen promptly. Thank you!!!"
“The staff is amazing and truly helpful. I was able to get an appointment at the same time as my mother so we could drive together. They work quickly and are effective with managing my pain.
“Very thorough, informative and friendly. Highly recommend