Thursday, January 31, 2013

Looking for Quick Pain-Relief Tricks?

Easy Activities that Can Decrease Chronic Back Pain

Much of our body’s physical health depends on our mental health. It’s amazing how much impact our minds can have on the pain our body feels. We know from previous studies that positive thinking can lead to less pain, but we also know that other activities and mental tricks can play a role in fighting pain.

By taking part in activities that use your mind, you can lower the cortisol (stress hormone) in your body and give your immune system a boost at warding off illness and pain. Here are some of the activities other than positive thinking suggested by

Food Fantasies

Research has shown that having food fantasies, like thinking about warm, chewy cookies, or a tender piece of steak can help relieve pain from migraines, menstrual cramps and other pain-inducing conditions. The study found that thinking about a favorite food led to a reduction in the pain felt from participants sticking their hands in icy water.


Although it may not look like much, meditation can have a powerful effect on our physical body. In one study, mindful meditation focused on breathing reduced pain intensity by 11 to 70 percent and pain unpleasantness by 20 to 93 percent among participants. Making an effort to practice meditation every day can significantly lower the amount of daily back pain you feel.


Pain has the ability to cross over from a purely physical phenomenon to an emotional one. By focusing on things over than the pain, the level of pain intensity you feel can lower, simply because it’s not taking up all of your attention. Reading, watching a movie or playing a game are great ways to focus on something other than the pain.


Listening to music can also be considered a distraction from the pain, but one study found that participants with rheumatoid arthritis and chronic pain had lower pain, depression and disability and higher feelings of power after listening to music for one hour. Listening to music has also been seen to reduce anxiety levels in some people.


Studies have researched the effects spending a period of time writing can have on the amount of pain you feel. Results showed writing can not only lower pain levels, but enhance your immune system. Writing every night before bed is a great way to get your thoughts on paper, help you fall asleep faster and relieve some of the chronic pain you feel.

These are just a few of the simple tasks you can do to slightly lower the amount of back pain you feel every day. Although not a cure for the pain you’re feeling, these are easy activities that don’t require too much effort.

Is your chronic back pain to the point where you know you need a more long-term solution? Consider learning more about the minimally invasive back pain treatments in Dallas-Fort Worth at Capstone Pain & Spine Center. Learn more now or contact us with your questions.

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Monday, January 28, 2013

Chiropractic Treatments for Back Pain: The Facts

Do Chiropractic Treatments Cure Back Pain?

When most people injure their backs and the pain doesn’t go away, the first thing they think is “I need to see a chiropractor.” But are chiropractic treatments truly effective? Are they guaranteed to cure the pain?

spine center dallas Every year, 22 million Americans seek chiropractic care, with 35 percent hoping for relief from back pain. Chiropractic treatment is a non-surgical method used to treat pain from conditions of the musculoskeletal system. Typically, chiropractors use spinal manipulation to improve functionality, reduce nerve irritability and restore motion to the spine.

Just as minimally invasive spine treatments do, chiropractic treatments tend to focus on the following conditions:

  • Mid and lower back pain
  • Chronic neck pain
  • Headache pain
  • Joint pain

Chiropractic Treatments vs. Minimally Invasive Spine Treatments

By using hands-on, manual manipulation of the spine, bones and joints, chiropractic treatments are less of a sure thing when compared to minimally invasive spine treatments. Depending on the condition, spine treatments target the exact cause of the pain, whether it’s a nerve, herniated disc, spinal fracture, etc.
Because of this, chiropractic treatments are not always curative. Disadvantages of chiropractic treatments include:
  • Lack of consistency with results. Some patients feel immediate results, some feel results temporarily, and some never feel pain-relief.
  • The need to keep coming back. Many chiropractic treatments only produce pain-relief for a short period of time, requiring the patient to keep coming back several times.
  • Certain risks apply. Complications from chiropractic treatments include herniated discs and further nerve compression which can lead to more pain, numbness or tingling.
  • Chiropractic manipulation is not usually covered by insurance. Because the insurance companies know that chiropractic treatments aren’t always curative, they see the problem as a never-ending ordeal. On the other hand, minimally invasive treatments are typically covered by insurance.

When comparing chiropractic treatments to minimally invasive spine treatments, chiropractic treatments are often a temporary cure. Minimally invasive spine treatments, depending on the specific pain condition, can cure the pain for good, meaning you’ll never have to seek treatment for that pain problem again.

Do you suffer from back pain that won’t go away? Are you looking for an end to the misery? Explore the areas of pain treated at Capstone by the spine pain specialists in Dallas-Fort Worth today.

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Friday, January 25, 2013

Considering Back Surgery? Ask These Questions First

What You Should Know Before Choosing Surgery

Here at Capstone Pain and Spine Center, we treat surgery as a last resort. When all other noninvasive or minimally invasive treatments have failed to provide pain relief, surgery may be the last effective treatment.

Since surgery is such a serious treatment method, there are things you should definitely know about your pain and treatment options before you opt to go under the knife. What questions should you ask? Find out below.

Question #1: What’s the cause of my pain?

For any treatment to be effective, you and your physician should know the source of the pain. If the wrong area is treated, you could find yourself waking up with chronic back pain even after surgery. Before undergoing any minimally invasive or noninvasive treatment, make sure the exact source of the pain is identified.

Question #2: Will surgery even cure my pain?

Not every back pain problem responds well to surgery. Some conditions that lead to chronic back pain may have better results after surgery than others. For example, degenerative disc disease usually cannot be cured through an invasive surgical procedure, whereas conditions like spinal stenosis and herniated discs are easily repaired through minimally invasive and surgical treatments.

Question #3: What are the success rates for this procedure?

Always know what odds you’re up against before you undergo any invasive treatment like laser spine surgery. Compare the odds with the chances of pain-relief from other less invasive treatments, like minimally invasive back pain treatments. If you have good changes of feeling pain-relief from less-invasive measures, why not try those first?

Question #4: What will my recovery be like?

Depending on your procedure, more invasive treatments can require you to be off your feet for weeks or even months. Less invasive procedures, however, usually require minimal downtime. In fact, most of them allow you to go home the very same day and be back to your normal self within days. Asking about your recovery time can help you decide which procedure is best for you, based on the desired results and success rates of that treatment method.

Question #5: What are my other treatment options?

Like we said above, not all pain conditions need to be treated with invasive surgeries. Many conditions can be treated with a simple minimally invasive procedure, like injections. It’s in the best interest of your spine and overall health to try all less-invasive treatment options prior to going with the one that will require the most recovery time and strength from your body.

It’s your body and your health, so don’t be afraid to ask every possible question before deciding which back pain treatment to go with. You should be aware of everything you need to know before choosing a more invasive procedure.

The pain specialists at Capstone are here to make sure you know everything you can about finding a back pain treatment in Dallas-Fort Worth. Don’t hesitate to contact us today or find your question in our list of Frequently Asked Questions. [] Let us help get you back to a pain-free state. Get in touch with us today.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Your Attitude and Chronic Pain

How Positive Thoughts Can Decrease Pain

Do you have a bad attitude? It’s normal to be negative once in a while. If you’re a glass-half-empty type of person every day, though, it may be increasing the amount of pain you feel.

According to results from a previous study, people with chronic pain who think positive thoughts are more likely to sleep better and feel less pain in their daily lives. The study examined 214 people with chronic jaw or face pain that is often linked to stress. All participants were females with an average age of 34.

After filling out questionnaires on their own sleep quality, depression, pain levels and emotional responses, researchers were able to correlate the participants’ negative thinking with both poor sleep and worse pain.

“We’ve found that people who ruminate about their pain and have more negative thoughts about their pain don’t sleep as well,” said study leader Luis Buenaver, an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in a HealthDay article. “The result is they feel more pain.”

These findings are also aligned with the pain conditions commonly associated with stress that include:
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Neck and back pain
  • Stress headaches
The results of the study are significant because they show the impact the mind can have on the body’s physical pain levels. Something as simple as thinking positive thoughts can play a role in decreasing your chronic back or neck pain throughout your daily life.

“It may sound simple, but you can change the way you feel by changing the way you think,” said Buenaver. 

Other surprising lifestyle changes can ease back pain, too. For example, dark chocolate has been seen to reduce painful inflammation in the body, along with other foods. Like us on Facebook to check out our articles, like:
If you’re at your limit and can’t deal with back or neck pain any longer, contact a specialist at Capstone to see if you’re a qualified candidate for our pain treatments. Don’t live with pain one more minute. Get in touch with us today.

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Link Between Sleep and Pain

Could More Shut-Eye Mean Less Pain?

Most of us would love to get a few extra Zzz’s every night. Sleeping is just all around good: it revitalizes us, helps our brains stay focused and sharp, keeps our immune systems strong and makes us less moody. One study, published in the December 2012 issue of the journal Sleep, found that getting more quality shut-eye could mean feeling less chronic back pain while you’re awake.

Researchers observed 18 healthy adults between 21 and 35 years old. First, pain was measured by how long participants could keep their finger held close to a heat source. For four nights, half of the group spent 10 hours in bed, averaging 8.9 hours of sleep per night. The other half stuck to their usual bedtime routines, averaging 7.14 hours of sleep per night.

Following the four days of sleep, the pain test was administered again. For those who’d slept longer, the length of time they kept their fingers close to the heat source increased by 25 percent when compared to the first pain test results. This shows that with extended sleep, the participants’ amount of pain sensitivity was reduced.

“For people who don’t get enough sleep, sleeping longer decreases pain sensitivity,” said researcher Thomas Roth, PhD, in a WebMD article about the study. “This likely holds for all types of pain, including chronic back pain and other painful disorders.”

Health Benefits of Quality Sleep

There’s no doubt about it—sleep has countless health benefits, so why not get more of it? The National Sleep Foundation recommends all adults strive for at least seven to nine hours of sleep each night. If you don’t sleep this long, consider trying to get to bed earlier. Your body and mind can benefit in more ways than one, according to the Huffington Post:
  • Improved memory
  • Longer lifespan
  • Less inflammation
  • More creativity
  • Improved attention span
  • Healthier weight
  • Lower stress
  • And more
Make an extra effort to get more sleep this year. It could lead to a healthier body and mind and, most of all, less back pain.

Further Reading

Want to learn more about ways to decrease your chronic back or neck pain or prevent it altogether? Like us on Facebook to check out our other articles, like:
If you’re sick and tired of dealing with pain and getting more sleep doesn’t help, feel free to talk to us at Capstone. We’re here to help. No one should have to suffer from non-stop back pain. Contact us today.