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Femoral Neuropathy

Femoral Neuropathy

What is femoral neuropathy?

Femoral neuropathy, or femoral nerve dysfunction, occurs when you can’t move or feel part of your leg because of damaged nerves, specifically the femoral nerve. This can result from an injury, prolonged pressure on the nerve, or damage from disease. In most cases, this condition will go away without treatment. However, medications and physical therapy may be necessary if symptoms don’t improve.

What causes femoral neuropathy?

The femoral nerve is one of the largest nerves in your leg. It’s located near the groin and controls the muscles that help straighten your leg and move your hips. It also provides feeling in the lower part of your leg and the front of your thigh. Because of where it’s located, damage to the femoral nerve is uncommon relative to neuropathies caused by damage to other nerves. When the femoral nerve is damaged, it affects your ability to walk and may cause problems with sensation in your leg and foot. View the femoral nerve on this BodyMap of the femur.

Damage to the femoral nerve can be the result of:

  • a direct injury
  • a tumor or other growth blocking or trapping part of your nerve
  • prolonged pressure on the nerve, such as from prolonged immobilization
  • a pelvic fracture
  • radiation to the pelvis
  • hemorrhage or bleeding into the space behind the abdomen, which is called the retroperitoneal space
  • a catheter placed into the femoral artery, which is necessary for certain surgical procedures

Diabetes may cause femoral neuropathy. Diabetes can cause widespread nerve damage due to fluctuations in blood sugar and blood pressure. Nerve damage that affects your legs, feet, toes, hands, and arms is known as peripheral neuropathy. There is currently some debate about whether femoral neuropathy is truly a peripheral neuropathy or a form of diabetic amyotrophy.

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), diabetes is the most common reason for peripheral neuropathy in people who’ve had diabetes for at least 25 years.

Signs of femoral neuropathy

This nerve condition can lead to difficulties moving around. Your leg or knee might feel weak, and you may be unable to put pressure on the affected leg.

You might also feel unusual sensations in your legs. They include:

  • numbness in any part of the leg (typically the front and inside of the thigh, but potentially all the way down to the feet)
  • tingling in any part of the leg
  • dull aching pain in the genital region
  • lower extremity muscle weakness
  • difficulty extending the knee due to quadriceps weakness
  • feeling like your leg or knee is going to give out (buckle) on you
How serious is it?

Prolonged pressure placed on the femoral nerve can prevent blood from flowing in the affected area. The decreased blood flow can result in tissue damage.

If your nerve damage is the result of an injury, it may be possible that your femoral vein or artery is also damaged. This could cause dangerous internal bleeding. The femoral artery is a very large artery that lies close to the femoral nerve. Trauma often damages both at the same time. Injury to the artery or bleeding from the artery can cause compression on the nerve.

Additionally, the femoral nerve provides sensation to a major portion of the leg. This loss of sensation can lead to injuries. Having weak leg muscles can make you more prone to falling. Falls are of particular concern in older adults because they can cause hip fractures, which are very serious injuries.

 

Diagnosing femoral neuropathy

Initial tests

To diagnose femoral neuropathy and its cause, your doctor will perform a comprehensive physical exam and ask questions about recent injuries or surgeries, as well as questions about your medical history.

To look for weakness, they will test specific muscles that receive sensation from the femoral nerve. Your doctor will probably check your knee reflexes and ask about changes in feeling in the front part of the thigh and the middle part of the leg. The goal of the evaluation is to determine whether the weakness involves only the femoral nerve or if other nerves also contribute.

Additional testing might include:

Nerve conduction

Nerve conduction checks the speed of electrical impulses in your nerves. An abnormal response, such as a slow time for electrical signals to travel through your nerves, usually indicates damage to the nerve in question.

Electromyography (EMG)

Electromyography (EMG) should be performed after the nerve conduction test to see how well your muscles and nerves are working. This test records the electrical activity present in your muscles when the nerves that lead to them are active. The EMG will determine whether the muscle responds appropriately to stimulation. Certain medical conditions cause muscles to fire on their own, which is an abnormality that an EMG can reveal. Because nerves stimulate and control your muscles, the test can identify problems with both muscles and nerves.

MRI and CT scans

An MRI scan can look for tumors, growths, or any other masses in the area of the femoral nerve that could cause compression on the nerve. MRI scans use radio waves and magnets to produce a detailed image of the part of your body that is being scanned.

A CT scan can also look for vascular or bone growths.

Treatment options

The first step in treating femoral neuropathy is dealing with the underlying condition or cause. If compression on the nerve is the cause, the goal will be to relieve the compression. Occasionally in mild injuries, such as mild compression or a stretch injury, the problem may resolve spontaneously. For people with diabetes, bringing blood sugar levels back to normal may alleviate nerve dysfunction. If your nerve doesn’t improve on its own, you’ll need treatment. This usually involves medications and physical therapy.

Medications

You might have corticosteroid injections in your leg to reduce inflammation and get rid of any swelling that occurs. Pain medications can help relieve any pain and discomfort. For neuropathic pain, your doctor may prescribe medications, such as gabapentin, pregabalin, or amitriptyline.

Therapy

Physical therapy can help build up the strength in your leg muscles again. A physical therapist will teach you exercises to strengthen and stretch your muscles. Undergoing physical therapy helps to reduce pain and promote mobility.

You might need to use an orthopedic device, such as a brace, to assist you with walking. Usually, a knee brace is helpful in preventing knee buckling.

Depending on how severe the nerve damage is and how much trouble you’re having moving around, you might also need occupational therapy. This type of therapy helps you learn to do regular tasks like bathing and other self-care activities. These are called “activities of daily living.” Your doctor might also recommend vocational counseling if your condition forces you to find another line of work.

Surgery

Your doctor might recommend surgery if you have a growth blocking your femoral nerve. Removing the growth will relieve the pressure on your nerve.

Long-term outlook after treatment

You might be able to heal fully after you treat the underlying condition. If the treatment isn’t successful or if the femoral nerve damage is severe, you might permanently lose feeling in that part of your leg or the ability to move it.

Tips to prevent nerve damage

You can lower your risk of femoral neuropathy caused by diabetes by keeping your blood sugar levels under control. This helps protect your nerves from damage caused by this disease. Preventive measures would be directed at each cause. Talk to your doctor for advice about what preventive measures would be the best for you.

Maintaining an active lifestyle helps to keep your leg muscles strong and improve stability.

Last medically reviewed on September 13, 2017

 

Article Provided ByHealthline

 

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CRPS, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, Chronic Pain, Pain Management, Carolina Pain Scrambler, Greenville South Carolina

Causes of CRPS

What is complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)?

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), also called reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome (RSDS), is a type of chronic pain condition. It typically occurs after an injury or medical condition and affects one limb (arm, leg, hand or foot).

What are the causes of complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)?

Though complex regional pain syndrome is not yet completely understood, it is believed that CRPS develops when the central or peripheral nervous system is damaged or malfunctions. When the nerves are damaged, they are not able to properly control blood flow, sensation and temperature in the affected area; this leads to the symptoms of CRPS, including pain and skin changes.

CRPS can be triggered by an injury or a medical condition. Triggers for CRPS include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Sprain or strain
  • Soft tissue or nerve injury
  • Surgical injury
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Infection
  • Immobilization of a limb (such as using a splint or cast)

In addition to nerve damage, CRPS may also be caused by pain receptors in the injured part of the body becoming receptive to different nervous system messages. It may be caused by dysfunction between the central and peripheral nervous system.

The immune system may also play a role in the development of CRPS. After an injury, an immune response is triggered. This leads to inflammatory symptoms, such as redness and swelling in the affected area. In the case of CRPS, this immune system response may malfunction and continue after the original injury has healed.

It is likely that a combination of these different factors leads to the development of complex regional pain syndrome .

Article Provided By: PainScale

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Neuropathic Pain, Chronic Pain, Pain Relief, Pain Management, Carolina Pain Scrambler, Greenville South Carolina

How Does Neuropathic Pain Develop?

What is Neuropathic Pain?

If you are involved in an accident and an injury occurs, under normal circumstance, your nerves will send messages to the brain, signaling pain at the site of trauma. Neuropathic pain is coming directly from the nerves without the occurrence of trauma or accident. In other words, there is no reason the nerves should be sending pain signals.

How Does Neuropathic Pain Develop?

A damaged nerve may lead to dysfunction. Nerves can be damaged in a previous injury or surgery. As a result, the damaged nerve may send false signals of pain to the brain, despite there being no real cause of pain. In the case of a previous injury, the site of trauma may have completely healed but the central nervous system is still registering the site as a location of trauma.

Neuropathy Symptoms

There are several key symptoms associated with Neuropathy:

  • Normal movements become painful
  • Mobility is limited
  • May lead to a sedentary lifestyle
  • Pain will range from mild to severe
  • Pain may be experienced differently – For example: sharp, shock-like, shooting, etc
  • Numbness
  • Feeling of coldness
  • Tingling
  • Persistent numbness, tingling, or weakness
  • Sleeplessness
  • Insomnia

Neuropathic Pain Relief Treatments

First, your doctor will attempt to find the cause of the Neuropathy. Tests such as an MRI and Electromyography are conducted. If a cause is discovered, such as a herniated disc as the central cause of the pain, the appropriate measures are taken.

If no obvious cause is discovered, your doctor will focus on prescribing an effective pain relief method. The pain relief will depend on the individual and the severity of the neuropathy. Treatment options typically include medications, an active method of recovery such as physical therapy, and spinal cord stimulation for more complex cases.

Article Provided By: PainScale

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Chronic Pain, Peripheral Neuropathy, Nerve Pain Treatment, Pain Management, Carolina Pain Scrambler, Greenville South Carolina

Chronic Pain and the Immune System

Chronic pain can impact physical and mental health in various ways. One of the physical consequences of chronic pain is the effect it can have on the function of the immune system, making the body more susceptible to illnesses. This can occur due to changes in T-cells, stress, or immunosuppressant therapy.

Changes in T-cells

The article, “Chronic Pain Changes Our Immune System,” published on painnewsnetwork.org (an online non-profit news source focused on chronic pain and pain management) on January 16, 2020, cites a study in which researchers at McGill University in Montreal found that chronic pain may affect DNA methylation (a process that changes the activity of a DNA segment). The study, conducted on rats, found that the genes in certain immune system cells that fight infections, called T cells, appear to be altered by chronic pain. Therefore, the body may not be able to fight illness or infection as well as it otherwise would.

Stress

Pain causes a stress response in the body, which leads to a rise in the stress hormone cortisol. Higher levels of cortisol reduce the immune system response. Stress can also decrease lymphocytes, which is a type of white blood cell that helps fight off infection.

Immunosuppressant therapy

Chronic pain can be associated with autoimmune conditions, such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. Autoimmune conditions, along with various other health conditions, may be treated with immunosuppressants. These medications, including corticosteroids and biologics, are often necessary to treat autoimmune and other health conditions, but a major side effect is lowered immunity to infections and infections that are more difficult to treat.

Helpful tips

Tips to help prevent illness despite having a weakened immune system include the following:

  • Support the immune system by getting plenty of sleep, eating a well-balanced diet, and staying as active as possible.
  • Engage in proper hand hygiene (frequently wash the hands with soap for at least 20 seconds).
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces in the home, office, and car.
  • Stay away from others who are sick or may be sick. Stay home as much as possible. Practice social distancing.

Article Provided By: PainScale

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Peripheral Neuropathy, Diabetic Neuropathy, Chronic Pain, Pain Management, Carolina Pain Scrambler Center, Greenville South Carolina

Home Remedies for Diabetic Neuropathy

There are many complications due to diabetic neuropathy. Here is a list of lifestyle and home remedies to help manage diabetic neuropathy.

Watch your blood pressure

Hypertension, high blood pressure, is commonly seen in people with diabetes which increases the complications of diabetic neuropathy. The damaged blood vessels reduce blood flow. Always check your blood pressure to avoid any future complications.

Eating Healthy

The best way to control your blood sugar levels is watching what you eat. Focus on eating a well-balanced healthy diet full of fresh, unprocessed, whole foods. Reduce simple carbohydrates, and any added sugar or additive. Limiting your saturated and trans-fat intake and sticking to unsaturated fats. Eating lean proteins, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids help lower or maintain complications. Triglycerides are high risk factors for diabetic complications. In place of table sugar, use stevia to avoid spikes in your blood sugar levels. Drink lots of filtered water and avoid soda, juices, and other sweetened drinks. Always read the nutrition label to know what is entering your body.

Staying active

Daily exercise and activity is the best way to control your diabetic symptoms, blood sugar, high blood pressure, healthy weight, and flexibility. According to the American Diabetes Association, about 30 minutes of moderate-intense exercise should be performed at least 5 times a week. If severe neuropathy is present, you might be recommended to non-weight-bearing activities such as bicycling or swimming.

Quit Smoking

If you have diabetic neuropathy, you are more prone to develop kidney problems. Therefore, reducing additional stress on the kidney from the toxins in smoking can help. Smoking is a risk factor for diabetic neuropathy and developing circulations issues in your feet. You have a higher chance than a nonsmoker to die of a heart attack or stroke.

Contact your healthcare provider if you need further assistance in controlling your diabetic neuropathy.

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Chronic Pain, Pain Management, Pain Relief, Nerve Pain Treatment, Carolina Pain Scrambler, Greenville South Carolina, Ignore

7 Types of Pain You Should Never Ignore

Though it may be tricky to know if your pain is normal or if it is serious, certain types of pain should not be ignored.

Pain, pressure or a feeling of compression in your chest is a typical indication of a heart attack.  Heart attack pain expands to other parts of the body including the shoulders, arms, neck, jaw, and back.  Women may ignore symptoms like sweating but women have more atypical symptoms that could be due to something else.

A severe headache worries many people who think they may have a brain tumor.  A lot of the brain lacks nerve endings, so most headaches will have other causes.  Though it is uncommon, a severe pain in the brain may indicate stroke or blood clot.  Be watchful for other symptoms including stiff neck, fever, confusion, weakness, or numbness as well as throwing up and fainting.

Lower back pain may be caused by regular wear and tear but in serious cases, it may be caused by infection, tumor, ruptured disc, and kidney stones.  Pain in the lower back may also be caused by heart disease, and it may also precede an aortic dissection which is a  serious problem in which the blood vessel to the middle and lower parts of your body bursts.

Pain in the abdominal region may be caused by a burst appendix.  In this case, you would need to go to the emergency room immediately.  Pain in the stomach may also be caused by pancreas issues, blocked bowels and ectopic pregnancy.

Calf pain may result when your leg is swollen, red and painful.  This could be caused by blood clot blocking a vein.  Deep vein thrombosis can move from your legs to your lungs and can be deadly.

Hand and foot pain may be caused by diabetes, a condition that can happen any place but is most common in hands, arms, feet, and legs.  The longer you have been afflicted with diabetes, the greater risk of suffering nerve damage.  Pain caused by peripheral neuropathy is often described as “pins and needles” or “shooting.”

Pain that cannot be identified may be caused by depression or anxiety.  Mood disorders may make it difficult to pin down the exact cause of pain.  Pain may be present in the joints, arms and legs, back, and head.

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5 Coping Skills for Chronic Pain

Chronic pain not only affects the body, it also affects the mind. While medical treatments for chronic pain are essential, they work best when combined with mental and emotional coping skills.

Skill 1: Learning

When diagnosed with a chronic pain condition, learning about the condition can ease the fear of the unknown. Individuals should be well-educated by a physician or other reputable resource(s) about their condition and treatment plan.

Participating in self-management education (SME) programs for chronic health conditions may also be helpful. These programs teach chronic pain management strategies that help to reduce symptoms and improve quality of life. More information can be found at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website.

Skill 2: Accepting

Acceptance of chronic pain does not mean giving up or not investing any effort to reduce pain and increase quality of life. Instead, acceptance of a chronic pain diagnosis means recognizing the reality of the condition, which eases the emotional struggle with the situation. Acceptance of chronic pain allows individuals to focus on management and treatment.

Accepting chronic pain is a challenging skill that may be best addressed with a counselor or therapist. Both cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) have proven to be effective treatments for individuals with chronic pain conditions.

Skill 3: Relaxing

Relaxing while in pain can be challenging, but it is possible. Persistent pain can increase stress, and stress can increase chronic pain. It can become a vicious cycle.

Various relaxation techniques and practices, such as mindfulness, yoga, tai chi, diaphragmatic breathing and progressive muscle relaxation, can decrease the stress response, which can reduce chronic pain. Relaxation tapes, online tutorials or videos may also be helpful.

Biofeedback can also help with relaxation. During biofeedback training, a professional uses technology to help individuals learn to control bodily functions, such as heart rate and muscle tension. Once these skills are mastered, they can be practiced without the use of technology.

Skill 4: Pacing

Activity pacing is a skill in which individuals learn to pace themselves throughout the day in order to conserve energy and prevent increased pain. This often involves dividing large tasks into smaller ones. It can also include adjusting schedules. For example, if an event or activity is scheduled for the evening, activity pacing throughout the day helps conserve energy both physically and mentally.

Skill 5: Coping

The skill of coping involves using treatment tools, distraction techniques and learned skills when pain becomes severe. Coping treatment methods include taking pain medication, using hot and cold therapy, applying topical creams, getting a massage, etc.

Distraction techniques can also help individuals cope by focusing attention away from negative or painful thoughts. Watching a favorite movie, talking to a friend, or participating in a hobby or pastime are all examples of distractions.

It is important to note that even when these coping skills are mastered, unusual levels or unfamiliar types of pain should be discussed with a physician.

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Chronic Pain, Pain Management, Pain Relief, Pain Treatment, Pain Therapy, Carolina Pain Scrambler, Greenville South Carolina

Manage Pain when Stuck at Home

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, patients with chronic diseases can find that stay-at-home orders pose added challenges. In many areas, medical care has been pared down to mostly urgent doctor visits, procedures, surgeries, and diagnostic tests. Many pain patients may find access to medical care or treatment more limited than ever. And stay-at-home orders can also mean spending more time around spouses, family members, or roommates, which can add even more stress to what is already a very high-anxiety situation.

If you are finding that being sequestered at home seems to be making your pain management all the more difficult, here is some food for thought to help you work through this time period:

  • Telemedicine and telehealth are part of the new normal right now. Physicians are relying on telemedicine more than ever during this pandemic, and there seems to be a rise in other virtual health and wellness services being offered. Besides having your typical doctor visit handled on-line or by telephone, you can also look for other complementary virtual resources from physical therapists, psychological counselors and therapists, life-coaches, yoga instructors, Pilates trainers, and nutritionists. For more social bonding, consider joining an on-line support group. Finding the right telemedicine and telehealth resources for your particular situation can be tricky, and it is always a good idea to talk to your physician first before starting something new.
  • Staying at home can easily break down the normal structure and boundaries that we are typically accustomed to. Not leaving home to go to work or run the usual errands can mean more idle time at home. Try to combat this by creating a schedule and some structure around your day that jives with others who are home with you. For example, schedule time to do things together, like perhaps preparing meals, cleaning the house, and watching a movie, while carving out room for everyone to have some time for themselves. Now might be harder than ever to find the time and space for self-care activities like meditation or exercise, so consider working out a plan with your house-mates that allows you to have important time for you.
  • There are some medical treatments that need to be put on hold right now. For example, most experts are recommending postponing routine pain procedures like epidural cortisone injections. In addition to the added risk of being at a medical facility during this time, there is also hypothetical risk that exposing the body to added cortisone could diminish its immune response. If there are medical treatments or procedures that have been put on hold that you typically rely on for pain relief, then this can be a trying time for you. But letting your angst get the best of you during this time period will only make your pain that much harder to control, so consider adding specific stress management techniques and relaxation tools to your routine at home.
  • Stepping outside of your usual routine can also be a chance to explore new ideas or treatments that you may have not otherwise considered. Never talked to a pain management psychologist before? Perhaps this is a time to give it a try. Research done on telemedicine counseling has looked pretty good so far. There might be a list of things that you have always wanted to look into but never had the time. This might be the opportunity for growth, development, and exploration that you’ve been waiting for.

While staying at home is what is needed right now, this can be a really challenging time for those with chronic pain. Consider re-calibrating your pain management strategies so you can get back on track.

Article Provided By: WebMD

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Chronic Pain, Peripheral Neuropathy, Pain Treatment, Pain Relief, Carolina Pain Scrambler, Greenville South Carolina

How Chronic Pain Affects Your Immune System

With so many questions right now about the dangers of the coronavirus (COVID-19), you might be wondering how chronic pain might affect the immune system’s ability to fight off disease.Since COVID-19 surfaced a few months ago, we’ve learned that certain people are more susceptible to it than others. Some of the factors that seem to increase severity of the illness include age, smoking, gender, co-existing chronic medical problems, heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and underlying lung problems from diseases like COPD. This has led to a general view that those with more compromised immunes systems are more likely to experience the worst coronavirus episodes and a higher mortality rate.Both chronic pain and ongoing stress can impact immune function. According to past research done in laboratory mice at McGill University, chronic pain may reprogram the way genes work in the immune system. In fact, chronic pain seems to prompt changes in the way DNA is marked in special immune cells known as T cells. While it is unclear how much these changes affect the ability of these T cells to fight infection, there does appear to be a strong connection between chronic pain and DNA marker changes on these important infection fighters.

The experience of ongoing pain can certainly trigger a stress response, and if the pain remains chronic, this can lead to a state of long-term stress in the body. Think of the stress response as a combination of neurologic, endocrine, and immune system changes that come together to help the body ward off some type of perceived danger or threat. If the stress response persists, then levels of the hormone cortisol start to rise. Long-term elevations in cortisol levels are connected with a decline in immune system function. As an example, older caregivers have been found to have lower levels of immune cells like lymphocytes, slower wound-healing times, and are more susceptible to viral infections.

Patients with painful autoimmune disorders, like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, who are treated with immunosuppressive medications, are also at a greater infection risk. By their very nature, immunosuppressive agents inhibit the body’s natural immune response.

Chronic pain can also be associated with other chronic diseases that also impact the effectiveness of the immune system. Factors related to pain like the stress response and prolonged inactivity can lead to  changes in your body that elevate blood pressure and promote weight gain, which in turn become risk factors for developing heart disease, strokes, diabetes, and other chronic diseases. In fact, studies have found the incidence of cardiac disease to be significantly higher in those with chronic pain.To limit pain’s effect on your immune system, do what you can to decrease your body’s stress response. Consider calming down an over-anxious nervous system through simple relaxation techniques like breathing exercises, meditation, gentle yoga, or maybe learn special techniques from a psychologist or therapist. Other ways to lower stress include exercise, getting some fresh air, watching a funny movie, and just unplugging from your devices.Also, don’t rely only on your immune system – take steps that will minimize your risk of exposure to the virus in the first place:

  • Wash your hands – often – for at least 20 seconds with soap.
  • Avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces in your home and car.
  • Practice social distancing. Stay at home as much as possible, away from public places and crowds.

And don’t forget to practice the practical steps that will keep your immune system working at its best: eat well, try to get plenty of sleep, and stay active.

Article Provided By: WebMD

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Pain Management, Chronic Pain, Pain Relief, Peripheral Neuropathy, Carolina Pain Scrambler, Greenville South Carolina, Yoga

Can Yoga Ease Your Pain?

Have a pain problem and wondering if yoga can help? Yoga has many benefits other than improving chronic pain such as, bettering your mood, teaching you to better manage stress, and just plain helping you smile after a rough day. Yoga’s popularity in the U.S. has grown rapidly over the last decade. An estimated 36 million Americans now practice yoga regularly, and about one in three have tried it at least once. While it is most popular with younger and middle-aged women, the number of men practicing yoga has more than doubled in the last several years, and those 50 and older with a yoga practice has tripled during that same time frame. But how exactly does it fit in to building a better pain management strategy? 

Pain relief

There’s growing evidence that yoga may be helpful in a wide variety of pain scenarios – arthritic knees, aching necks, fibromyalgia, and headaches. Perhaps the strongest evidence of yoga’s effectiveness is in the treatment of chronic low back pain. A number of studies have found it to be effective in reducing back pain, and in at least one study, patients practicing yoga were able to reduce their use of pain medications. Recent evidence-based guidelines from the American College of Physicians strongly recommend yoga for treating low back pain.

Function

Research also seems to indicate that yoga has the potential to improve function with daily activities. A regular yoga practice can increase strength in the legs, upper body, and core, while also improving flexibility and balance, which are especially important for seniors. A number of studies have found that both low-back pain patients, as well as arthritis sufferers, become more active when engaged in a yoga practice.

Well-being
Yoga can also offer some indirect relief by boosting a better sense of well-being, helping reduce stress, and increasing optimism and resilience. Studies also suggest practicing yoga can be associated with other healthy lifestyle habits, like quitting smoking, eating healthier, and losing weight. It also holds mental health benefits; research shows that it can play a helpful role in treatment plans for depression and anxiety. But incorporating yoga into a pain management program can be a bit tricky, and it is recommended that you first talk to your physicians and physical therapists before getting started. There can be a lot of bending in many typical classes, which can be problematic for back and neck pain sufferers. Poses that require being on all fours, like a plank position or the traditional downward dog pose, can over-stress a symptomatic shoulder problem. And for those with knee problems, squatting and kneeling can be hard to handle. The good news is that most yoga movements and poses can be modified or altered in some way to avoid flaring up or aggravating a symptomatic part of the body. Some yoga studios even offer classes that can be done while sitting in a chair for those who need that type of accommodation. Yoga is something that is therapeutic for both the mind and the body, as opposed to just exercise. If you are a beginner, it may seem a bit intimidating figuring out where to start, especially since there are so many different types of yoga. Names used to describe practices that are more movement-based include Ashtanga and vinyasa, while other versions, like yin, iyengar, and restorative, are more focused on alignment and holding postures. Make sure to verify ahead of time if a class is going to be held at room temperature or will be heated, and always start with a class that is geared toward beginners. Seek out yoga teachers that like to give students personal attention and want to help them modify poses. And, if you have the means, you may want to start with a few private lessons.And above all else, make sure you have some fun!

Article Provided By: WebMD Blogs

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