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Treating severe muscle cramps, a man receives massage therapy on his calf.

Treating Severe Muscle Cramps: Massage Therapy & Your Health

There are more than a few remedies to consider for treating severe muscle cramps, with massage therapy being one of the most powerful options available. In addition to receiving relief, massage therapy offers a host of additional healthy benefits.

Besides increasing blood flow to the muscles, massage therapy can also remove waste products and deliver oxygen and nutrients. As a result, cramps can be reduced in pain and inflammation by relaxing the muscles. This is especially good news for those who feel it the most in their quads. Cramp in quad muscle issues are huge red flags for many patients.

Moving down the leg, calf cramps are usually caused by sudden and sharp contractions of the muscle in the calf, lasting for a few seconds or minutes at a time. Muscle cramps can be eased by stretching gently in the painful moment. Maintaining a healthy diet and getting enough sleep can help prevent leg cramps, too. In fact, looking just above the calf, hamstring muscle cramps can be caused by a variety of similar reasons.

Massage therapy can ease tension and relieve cramps by relaxing the muscles. As a second benefit, this treatment increases blood flow to the muscles, which can help deliver oxygen and nutrients and remove waste products. Lastly, massages release endorphins, which are the body’s natural hormones that alleviate pain.

All in all, muscle tension is reduced through massage therapy, which may prevent cramps from developing in the first place.


Spasms and Attacks: Treating Severe Muscle Cramps

It’s fairly common for muscles to spasm or cramp, particularly in the legs — which means treating severe muscle cramps should be a victim’s first priority. Spasms can occur in any muscle, including your back, hands, feet, or toes. The duration of these attacks can vary from a few seconds to 10 or 15 minutes. Seeing a doctor may be a good idea if you have chronic muscle cramping.

Various muscles contract suddenly and involuntarily during a muscle cramp. Different muscle groups may be affected by these contractions. Affected muscles include those on the back of your lower leg, the back of your thigh, and the front of your thigh, such as your quad. Cramp in quad muscle problems are a big deal for many patients.

It’s also possible to experience cramps in the arms, hands, and feet, as well as in the abdominal wall. You may also experience aching calf muscles at night before or during sleep, or you might find it difficult to walk when you awaken due to the pain. Muscle cramps are characterized by a sudden sharp pain, sometimes lasting several minutes. Cramping can also be accompanied by a bulging lump of muscle tissue under the skin.


Overuse is an Important Factor

Overusing your muscles can lead to cramps. Ironically, exercise can be a cause of this, although that’s not a good reason to quite exercising. It’s how you exercise that’s important. Also, dehydration and muscle injuries can cause cramps. When the body loses excessive amounts of fluid, it is considered dehydrated.

When you exercise, walk, or engage in physical activities, you might encounter leg and foot cramping caused by reduced blood supply to those regions. Additionally, inadequate levels of essential minerals such as calcium, potassium, sodium, and magnesium can also impact proper muscle function.

Muscle cramps can be caused by certain medical conditions as well. Alcoholism, pregnancy, kidney failure, and hypothyroidism are conditions that can cause cramps in your legs when walking or standing.

What’s interesting and sometimes frustrating: sometimes muscle cramps have no known cause. This makes treating severe muscle cramps the number-one focus for many young, middle-age and older adults.


Science Behind the Pain: Treating Cramps

Rather than being caused by muscles themselves, muscle cramps are thought to be caused by hyperactivity of the peripheral or central nervous system, which makes treating severe muscle cramps that much more of a science for pain management specialists and doctors. Muscle fibers may be damaged due to inadequate blood supply or even a physiological response your body produces when it senses low energy and metabolite accumulation in muscle cells.

According to studies, electrode motor units that deliver electrical impulses throughout your body fire at about 300 per second during involuntary muscle cramping. This rate is significantly faster than during voluntary contractions. Muscle tightness and pain are caused by this rapid firing rate. A cramp occurs when a muscle contracts even further while already in its most shortened natural position. In patients with well-developed muscles, or those in pregnancy and those suffering severe cramps, all groups of individuals are more likely to experience cramps in the absence of fluid or when suffering from electrolyte imbalances.

Since the general definition of a cramp is an involuntary contraction of a group of muscle fibers, you may develop them in any muscle. However, they typically occur in the calves at night. Muscle contractions may precipitate cramping. In fact, cramp in quad muscle complications may transpire after contractions in this area of your leg.

According to recent surveys, more than one-third of respondents nationwide say they experience aching calf muscles at night before or during sleep. As people age, they are also more likely to experience these cramping problems.


PAD and Treating Severe Muscle Cramps

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is frequently a cause of leg and foot pain at night. This leads many PAD patients to look into treating severe muscle cramps. The most common areas of pain in your legs due to peripheral artery disease are your calf, thigh, and buttocks muscles. You may only be able to walk for a short distance if you’re in severe pain.

The symptoms of peripheral artery disease are progressive. Pain may only occur during the day for some people. For others, they experience pain when asleep or at rest.

Blood vessel claudication is characterized by leg pain or muscle cramps caused by peripheral arterial disease. Claudication symptoms can be triggered by activities such as walking and climbing stairs; however, pain usually subsides after resting for a few minutes.

Peripheral artery disease reduces blood flow to the lower extremities — usually the legs and feet — due to blocked arteries. Quite a few people suffer from it. Approximately 15 percent of people over age 70 in the United States have been diagnosed with it, and several million younger Americans have the disease. Atherosclerosis is to blame in many cases, where coronary artery disease and heart attacks can both be caused by hardening of the arteries.

If you’re experiencing quad muscle cramping problems, it’s crucial not to delay getting tested and discussing treatment options with your pain management specialist or doctor. This is especially important if you suspect peripheral artery disease. It’s important to get diagnosed as soon as possible so your specialist can determine if minimally invasive treatments can slow down or stop the disease’s progression.


Treating Cramps: Massage Therapy & More

Even though muscle spasms are usually short-lived and not serious, they can be painful and warrant researching why so many other patients are increasingly treating severe muscle cramps. An especially effective way to relieve muscle spasms is to stretch. Staying hydrated and using home treatments such as massage, ice, and heat may also be helpful.

Physical pain from muscle cramps — especially hamstring muscle cramps — can also be relieved with massage therapy. The muscle that spasms should be gently rubbed. Or if you have a persistent lower-back or buttock spasm, try pinching the area around it hard for several minutes. If you cannot reach the area, someone else may need to pinch it.


Getting the Most out of Massage Therapy

In order to get the most out of massage therapy for different types of severe muscle cramps, follow these tips:

  • Get a massage from a qualified therapist. People with cramp in quad muscle problems and other types of cramping should find a massage therapist who is qualified and experienced.
  • Describe your pain in detail.Tell your massage therapist where and how severe your pain is when scheduling your appointment.
  • The therapist should hear you loud and clear.Tell your therapist how you feel during the massage, explaining in detail. Don’t hold back. Let your therapist know if you’re experiencing any pain.

There are other treatments for general leg cramps and hamstring muscle cramps besides stretching and massage therapy. They include using hot or cold therapy, hydrating with water, light exercises before bed, anti-inflammatory topical creams, at-home hyperventilation therapy, prescription medication, and non-prescription remedies such as anti-inflammation drugs, pickle juice, supplements, and natural muscle relaxants.

Overall, you’ll need to find out the exact potential cause in order to find a long-term solution to your cramps. You should rule out potential underlying issues such as peripheral arterial disease or thyroid problems first. If you experience cramps that make it impossible to exercise, or if they seem to occur spontaneously without any cause, see a health care provider. Any underlying medical condition should be ruled out by a pain management specialist or doctor.


Wellness and Pain Can Help

A range of options for treating severe muscle cramps are available at Wellness and Pain. We offer conservative treatments, routine visits, and minimally invasive quick-recovery procedures. To ensure your well-being, we offer lifestyle education and home care guidance to prevent and effectively manage complications. Our aim is to promptly alleviate inhibiting conditions when you experience quad muscle cramping.

At Wellness and Pain, we personalize patient care plans based on each patient’s condition and unique circumstances to relieve pain, improve mobility and mental space, and improve your overall health.

An illustrative x-ray view of a man who requires knee pain treatment as he holds his knee.

Knee Pain Treatment Options for a Healthier You

It’s not unusual to have sore knees and seek out knee pain treatment the older you get. Fortunately, hurting or aching knees usually aren’t a sign of anything serious. Muscle strain, tendonitis, and arthritis are all possible causes. There are even times when a cause cannot be determined.

After a few days, you should start feeling better if you’re experiencing knee pain while at home. However, the pain is more likely to occur as you age. People who carry extra weight on their bodies are also more likely to suffer, and it’s also possible for pain to creep in from a sports injury.

It’s important to note that surgical interventions may not always be needed. Sometimes all it takes is some tender loving care. Some of the best non-surgical treatment for knee pain has been developed over the past several years. If you’re suffering, pain management experts have a variety of options to relieve your symptoms before the damage or inflammation becomes too severe.

For years now, many patients have reported in post-visit discussions that knee pain acupuncture is the best treatment for knee joint pain that relieves the pain without surgery. However, a qualified acupuncturist is required for this procedure, and proper consultation should be conducted before you begin treatment.

That’s just one solution. Today’s research and development has brought an entire set of options into the medical spotlight for those who are in anguish, misery, or discomfort every day.


Acupuncture Essentials

In addition to reducing knee pain, improving function, increasing range of motion, decreasing inflammation and improving sleep, knee pain treatment through acupuncture can also enhance your overall health and wellbeing. A thin needle is inserted into specific points around your knee, a practice that dates back centuries to traditional Chinese medicine.

“Meridians,” which are energy channels throughout the body, are believed to be connected to these points. Pain is naturally relieved by needle insertion because endorphins are released. The benefits of acupuncture include a reduction of inflammation, improvement of circulation, and reduction of pain — all of which make your life, mobility, and health easier to manage. Combining acupuncture with other pain treatments, such as physical therapy and exercise, has proven to be the best non-surgical treatment for knee pain for hundreds of thousands of patients worldwide.

In most cases, a series of treatments are needed, each lasting 30-40 minutes. The needle is usually inserted without pain, although there may be a mild pricking sensation for some patients. After the treatment, you may feel tired or sore, but these symptoms usually go away within a few hours. With this established method, pain can be safely and effectively treated.


Non-Surgical Knee Pain Treatment Options

For some patients, a number of medications can be injected directly into the knee — a solution for some who are exploring several types of knee pain treatment. To reduce inflammation, corticosteroids are used. Infusion therapy reduces inflammation by delivering medications intravenously and directly into the muscles.

To improve flexibility and joint support for other patients, rehabilitation medicine and exercise programs can stretch and strengthen the muscles and soft tissues of your knee joint. You may also be able to alleviate knee pain by changing the way you perform your daily activities, thereby limiting excessive strain on your knees. Therapeutics and other apparel designed specifically for knee pain can help alleviate the pain.

Some patients use a special brace to stabilize their knee joint — and it can work for a long time. The purpose of knee braces is to support and balance your joint, reducing pain and inflammation, as well as strengthening muscles. This brace decreases friction between bone surfaces, reduces pain, and increases mobility by putting pressure on the sides of the joint.


If you Don’t Want to use a Knee Brace

You may be asked to modify your daily routine, which may include reducing your weight and avoiding activities such as running and performing low-impact exercises, which will reduce knee stress. Also, some patients benefit from nutraceuticals when using them to help maintain knee joint health. Bones and soft tissues may benefit from vitamin and other supplements that contain glucosamine and chondroitin. Nonetheless, the best treatment for knee joint pain for so many victims is out there, waiting to be utilized.

Knee pain is also commonly treated with over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen. Temporary pain relief can also be achieved with topical “analgesics” — essentially, pain medication that’s applied directly to the skin, such as muscle rubs. Other prescription medications may also be recommended, such as antirheumatic drugs and biological response modifiers.

At the end of the day, you should consult a qualified and trained pain management specialist for the best non-surgical treatment for knee pain.


Joint Anatomy & Knee Pain

Knees are the largest joints — and some of the most important — in the body, which makes knee pain treatment a top priority for so many patients. Your knee is composed of bones, ligaments, cartilage, and tendons.

Three bones meet at the knee joint. These are the thighbone (also known as the femur); the shinbone (also known as the tibia); and kneecap (also known as the patella).

Bones are connected by four major ligaments. The collateral ligament and cruciate ligament keep your knee in place by holding your bones together. However, your knee also has articular cartilage and meniscus cartilage.

Altogether, the combined toughness and durability of these special parts work to cushion and stabilize your joints — intertwined with tendons that connect muscle to bone. The best non-surgical treatment for knee pain starts with pain management specialists who use their knowledge and expertise of your knee to pinpoint the right treatment for your specific situation.


Advice for Daily Living: Knee Pain Treatment

Whether you have knee pain from a recent injury, chronic arthritis, aging, or a different life or health issue, there are many things you can try to alleviate the pain while simultaneously looking into the right knee pain treatment:

  • Your footwear should be a priority. You can reduce knee pain by wearing cushioned insoles. Putting special insoles into your shoes may be recommended by your doctor if you have osteoarthritis of the knee. Consult your doctor or physical therapist to determine which insole is right for you.
  • Make sure your home’s temperature is set at a comfortable level. To ease swelling and numb pain, use a cold pack for 48 to 72 hours after a knee injury. You can use a plastic bag filled with ice or frozen peas. For best results, use it three or four times a day for 15 to 20 minutes each time. Wrap your ice pack in a towel to protect your skin. After that, you can warm things up by taking a warm bath, using a heating pad, or using a warm towel three or four times per day for 15 to 20 minutes each time.
  • Consider using a walking aid if necessary. Your knee can be relieved of stress by using a crutch or cane. You can also maintain stability by wearing knee braces and splints.
  • Acupuncture treatment for knee pain shouldn’t be overlooked. It is commonly used to relieve many types of pain and may help. Many patients find that the best non-surgical treatment for knee pain comes through having needles inserted at specific points on the body by an expert acupuncturist.


Even More you can do

  • Stay physically active. You can reinjure your muscles if you rest too much. Make sure you stick with an exercise program that is safe for your knees. Talk to your doctor or physical therapist if you aren’t sure which motions are safe to participate in.
  • Take care of your knee by resting, applying ice, using compression care, and elevating it. The treatment is suitable for minor knee injuries or flare-ups of arthritis. Elevate your knee, rest your knee, apply ice to reduce swelling, and wear a compressive bandage.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. The stress on your knee will be reduced by losing weight. It isn’t even necessary for you to reach your “ideal” weight. There is still a difference to be made with smaller changes.
  • Maintain a healthy heart. The muscles of the heart are strengthened by cardio exercises. The goal is to keep your muscles limber while lifting weights. Your weight will stay stable and you’ll feel stronger overall if you do cardio. There are many cardio exercises you can do, such as walking, swimming, water aerobics, stationary cycling, and elliptical machines. Aside from easing stiffness and improving balance, Tai Chi may also help ease stiffness.
  • Limit your risks. Knee pain or instability can increase the risk of a fall, which can lead to further knee damage. If you need to reach something on a high shelf, use a sturdy ladder, foot stool, and make sure your home is well lit.
  • Don’t hesitate to ask the experts for help.Having a doctor examine your knees if you are experiencing new pain is a good idea. Identifying the issue as soon as possible can prevent further damage. The best knee pain treatment starts with seeing a pain management specialist.


Could My Knee Pain be Osteoarthritis?

Pain in your knee may develop over time, may strike suddenly, or may recur repeatedly — leading you to question the legitimacy or efficacy of knee pain treatment. Most of the time, the pain isn’t due to arthritis, but it just might be arthritis in some cases.

The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis. People of all ages can be affected, but those over 50 are most likely to suffer from it. You might feel that your knee is stiff and painful when you have osteoarthritis of the knee. One or both knees may be affected.

During the day, the pain might be worse, and when you move your knee, it might improve. It’s common to feel stiff in the morning, but it won’t last more than 30 minutes. You may feel osteoarthritis pain throughout your knee, or you may feel it only in a certain area, such as the front or side. When you go up or down stairs, your knee might feel worse.

“Degenerative joint disease” or “wear-and-tear arthritis” are terms people use to describe osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis. Knees, hands, and hips are the most commonly affected joints. As cartilage within a joint breaks down, bone changes underneath. Still, the best non-surgical treatment for knee pain that’s right for you can be discovered with proper medical consultation and planning.

Medications are not the only way to reduce arthritis pain in adults. Regular physical activity can be as effective as over-the-counter medications in treating arthritis pain in adults. Aside from improving physical function and mood, physical activity also reduces disability and anxiety. For most adults, walking, biking, swimming, and other water activities are great ways to ease arthritis pain.


Wellness and Pain Can Help

A range of knee pain treatment options are available at Wellness and Pain. We offer conservative treatments, routine visits, and minimally invasive quick-recovery procedures. We can keep you free of problems by providing lifestyle education and home care advice to help you avoid and manage issues, quickly relieving the conditions inhibiting your life by using the best non-surgical treatment for knee pain.

At Wellness and Pain, we personalize patient care plans based on each patient’s condition and unique circumstances to relieve pain, improve mobility and mental space, and improve your overall health.

A businesswoman experiencing acute back and leg pain when sitting at her desk.

Back and Leg Pain When Sitting: What Gives?

What causes some people to have chronic back and leg pain when sitting from something as simple as taking a load off your feet? The question doesn’t have a simple answer.

Back pain occurs when any of the regions in your back are inflamed, including the spine, different muscle groups, and various nerve endings. Your posture is the most common cause of lower back pain when you sit. If your back of legs hurt when sitting, something more serious with your spine is going on.

Nevertheless, if you sit too long, you might lose the cushioning in the discs in your vertebrae. The result is chronic back pain, particularly when sitting. Although society describes sitting as “natural,” it isn’t always so. Sure, we’re expected to sit all the time since that’s the usual semi-resting position.

However, from an anatomical standpoint, the human body is designed to stand upright. In this way, your body is more supported by your core, and your weight is evenly distributed. You essentially push your body out of alignment when you sit down.

In spite of the fact that pain can be caused by taking a rest for too long, poor posture behind an office desk can also be a big reason leading to back and leg pain when sitting. Your spine may also be affected by improper lifting, trauma, infection, or carrying a heavy load over a long period of time.


Common Causes for Back and Leg Pain When Sitting

Back and leg pain when sitting often occurs as a result of sciatica, herniated discs, muscle strains, degenerative disc diseases, osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis, inactivity, and poor posture.

  • Sciatica is a painful condition going down the back of the leg as a result of irritation or pressure on the sciatic nerve. From the lower back, down each leg, the sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the body. Sensations are sent to the back of the thigh, the outer and back parts of the lower leg, as well as the soles of the feet.
  • Herniated discs occur when the soft, jelly-like center of an intervertebral disc (the cushion between bones in your spine) pushes through a tear in the tough outer layer. Back, neck, arm or leg pain, numbness and weakness can result from pressure on the spinal cord or nerves.
  • Muscle strains are injuries to muscles or tendons, which connect muscles to bones. When you lift something too heavy or when you overuse your muscles, you can strain your muscles.
  • Over time, the discs in your spine break down, causing degenerative disc disease. Disks lose their cushioning ability as they break down, putting pressure on the nerves in your spine. If your back of legs hurt when sitting, it may simply be because of aging — which happens to everyone.
  • As the spinal cord and nerves are housed within the spinal canal, spinal stenosis narrows this space. Back, neck, arm or leg pain, numbness and weakness can result from this narrowing.


The Real Question

How can you determine if your back and leg pain when sitting is caused by sitting and not some other cause? Sleeping on your side may also cause back, neck, or even shoulder pain. Being honest with yourself is crucial for getting the right diagnosis.

Sedentary lifestyles are common among Americans. Does your chair meet ergonomic standards? What’s your posture at your desk? Are you slouching? Is the pain getting worse over time? Your problem may be solved by answering some of these questions.

Sitting isn’t the real issue. Most people would have back pain problems if that were true. Sitting in the wrong chair, sitting for too long, sitting in an unhealthy position, as well as ignoring these problems for too long are all contributing factors. Furthermore, you might want to research the concept of proper sitting so you can recognize if you’re doing something wrong. Calf pain while sitting is a constant reminder for many patients that something deeper is going on.

Anyone who works a desk job can relate to just how likely it is for all of these factors to coincide, even though it may seem like a perfect storm of coincidences to some. Additionally, they probably suffer from back pain from sitting at a desk all day.


Sedentary Lifestyle: Back and Leg Pain When Sitting

Back and leg pain when sitting is commonly caused by sedentary lifestyles and desk jobs. In spite of the fact there are many ways to treat this problem, prevention is always the best option.

The latest ergonomic trends for U.S. workers are eye-opening:

  • The average American spends more than eight hours a day sitting down.
  • The death rate increases by 71 percent with a sedentary lifestyle.
  • Physical fitness in the United States ranks 143 out of 168 countries.
  • Physical inactivity is more prevalent among women than among men.
  • Physical inactivity is linked to 6 percent of deaths worldwide.
  • The risk of death is 55 percent lower for people who sit for less than 30 minutes at a time.
  • Sedentary behavior increases the risk of cardiovascular disease by 147 percent.
  • There is a 66 percent increase in cancer risk associated with sedentary behavior.
  • The risk of diabetes increases by 112 percent when you sit for long periods of time.
  • Depression, dementia, and Alzheimer’s are much more likely to develop in people who sit for more than seven hours a day.
  • There has been an 83 percent increase in sedentary jobs since 1950.
  • By moving just two minutes every hour, premature death risks can be reduced by 33 percent.

A pain-free future begins with being aware of the dangers of these lifestyles and career choices. As your back of legs hurt when sitting, remember these facts. Use them to help you make some healthier, ergonomic choices.


Treatment for Back and Leg Pain When Sitting

So what does back and leg pain when sitting have to do with trigger points? We’re glad you asked.

A trigger point can develop in any muscle, but the most common muscles treated with trigger point injections include muscles in your jaw, neck, hip, a deep muscle in your low back, the muscle that extends over your back, your shoulders, the front of your neck, and the sides of your head. When touched, they are tender and painful areas of muscle. Despite coming from the trigger point, they can cause pain elsewhere in the body.

In the buttocks, piriformis syndrome can be caused by trigger points that affect the piriformis muscle. During this condition, your sciatic nerve is compressed by the piriformis muscle. You will feel pain or numbness in your buttocks and down the back of your leg as a result. If the back of legs hurt when sitting, you can envision what’s happening in that area of your body.

Injections for trigger points are used to treat pain caused by these trigger points. Various conditions can be treated with these injections, including neck pain, back pain, shoulder pain, arm pain, calf pain while sitting, myofascial pain syndrome, and even fibromyalgia. Professionals such as doctors and physical therapists perform the injections. Medications will be injected into the trigger point by your pain management professional. There are two types of medication that may be used: Local anesthetics and corticosteroids. With injections usually lasting only a few minutes, the local anesthetic will numb the area, and the corticosteroid will reduce inflammation and pain.


More on Trigger Point Injections

Whenever your pain management specialist locates a trigger point manually prior to injecting medication, you are likely to feel some pain. When the needle and medicine are inserted, you may feel a stinging and burning sensation. You may feel a brief increase in pain when the needle tip touches the trigger point. Despite being uncomfortable, this pain indicates the needle has been inserted correctly.

Physical therapy or massage therapy may be combined with trigger point injections in some cases. As a result, the injections can be more effective and provide long-term pain relief. If over-the-counter pain medication, heat therapy, massage therapy, myofascial release, and physical therapy have not improved your trigger point pain, a trigger point injection may be right for you. Pain relief, inflammation reduction, improved range of motion, and muscle function are all benefits of trigger point injections.

Injections in trigger points are generally considered safe and can provide pain relief to patients with back and leg pain when sitting who do not find relief with more conservative treatments, like over-the-counter pain medications or physical therapy. Depending on the affected muscle, injections can also improve range of motion and overall muscle functionality.

A pain management specialist needs to perform a thorough physical exam and rule out other possible causes of your pain before recommending trigger point injections. Among them are spinal issues, such as degenerative arthritis, a herniated disk, or spinal stenosis; structural causes of back pain; muscle strains; and calf pain while sitting.


Wellness and Pain Can Help

A range of options for back and leg pain when sitting are available at Wellness and Pain. We offer conservative treatments, routine visits, and minimally invasive quick-recovery procedures. We can keep you free of problems by providing lifestyle education and home care advice to help you avoid and manage issues, quickly relieving the inhibiting lifestyle conditions for when your back of legs hurt when sitting.

At Wellness and Pain, we personalize patient care plans based on each patient’s condition and unique circumstances to relieve pain, improve mobility and mental space, and improve your overall health.

Want to learn if trigger point injections are right for you?

A close-up of someone receiving acupuncture for back pain.

Acupuncture for Back Pain: Expectations, Benefits & More

Acupuncture for back pain can overcome many health issues. It can also help treat, chronic (long-term) pains such as arthritis, back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, knee pain, headaches, migraines, sports injuries, jaw pain, sinus congestion, facial pain, neuropathy, and menstrual cramps.

Scientists don’t yet understand the exact healing factors of acupuncture and back pain therapy. However, many believe it involves a combination of mechanisms. For one, your body releases endorphins, which relieve pain. By stimulating your nervous system, you can control mood, pain, and other bodily functions. Additionally, it relieves stress and helps you relax.

Acupuncture for chronic back pain is historically a form of traditional Chinese medicine that involves inserting thin needles into the skin at specific points on the body. Each point influences key things like organs, emotions, and senses. Acupuncture can also help with anxiety, depression, insomnia, headaches, migraines, nausea and vomiting, menstrual cramps, fertility problems, smoking cessation, and weight loss.


Benefits & Patient Dynamics of Acupuncture for Back Pain

There are several benefits of acupuncture for back pain when it comes to your spine and intertwined nervous system. It can reduce inflammation and pain while increasing flexibility, or range of motion. As well as reducing muscle spasms, improving sleep, and boosting overall mood, it can also help you with relaxation.

The severity of back pain and its response to treatment determine how many acupuncture and back pain sessions are needed. It usually takes 6 to 12 sessions for most people to feel relief. In some cases, more sessions might be necessary, while in others, fewer sessions may be sufficient.

How much acupuncture treatment for back pain is needed can be influenced by the severity of the pain, the individual’s response to treatment, the cause of the pain, and the patient’s overall health. To create the right treatment plan for you, a qualified acupuncturist can assess your individual needs.


Acupuncture for Back Pain: What You Can Expect

If you receive acupuncture for back pain, you’ll lie on a comfortable table and be cleaned by the acupuncturist. They will then insert very thin needles into specific points on your back.

The needles may cause a slight pricking sensation and you may feel some warmth or tingling after they are inserted. The average acupuncture treatment lasts between 15 and 30 minutes, but sometimes more, depending on your condition.

After your first acupuncture and back pain treatment, you might feel relaxed and calm and your pain might subside. Acupuncture is most effective after a half-dozen — or up to a dozen — treatments.

In addition to mild bruising at the needle insertion sites, acupuncture can cause lightheadedness or dizziness after treatment. An allergic reaction to acupuncture can occur in very rare cases. Your acupuncturist should be informed of any side effects experienced after acupuncture.

The first time you receive acupuncture for back pain, getting a ride home is always a good idea. Try to rest for five to ten minutes before driving home if that is possible. Following each session, your practitioner may advise you to take it easy.


How Acupuncture for Back Pain Does the Trick

In order to understand how acupuncture for back pain works, researchers have developed two hypotheses. According to one theory, the needle stimulates pain-sensing nerves, which trigger the brain to release endorphins, which are similar to opium. A placebo effect, in which the patient’s thoughts release endorphins, is another theory regarding acupuncture.

Acupuncture therapy restores your Qi (pronounced “chee”) balance by pressing needles on acupuncture points throughout your body. The body contains hundreds of acupoints that compose the energy-carrying channels known as meridians. The insertion of needles releases endorphins, a natural painkiller and neurotransmitter produced by your body.

Causative factors for lower back pain caused by internal disorders can be quite complex, as various pathogenic factors are often present at the same time. After identifying the chief and secondary causes of chronic back pain, one can apply a corresponding acupuncture treatment.

Stagnation of Qi and Blood usually causes chronic lower back pain. Both herbs and acupuncture points can promote Qi and Blood circulation and relieve pain; however, acupuncture points in the local region are crucial to relieve pain. It is crucial to differentiate which channel is mainly involved when selecting acupuncture points to treat lower back pain. Your acupuncture for back pain treatment will not be effective without this step.

The causative factors of lower back pain are not easy to eliminate completely with acupuncture, despite the fact it can successfully control lower back pain. Chronic cases often require regular, ongoing acupuncture treatment for back pain.


Acupuncture for Back Pain: Easing a Group of Symptoms

Lower back pain is expected to increase significantly as the global population ages, becoming one of the most common medical conditions for which the aging population seeks acupuncture for back pain treatment. Working adults (ages 18 to 64), who account for 63 percent of the population, make the majority of low back pain health care visits.

Low back pain affects all age groups across the lifespan, as it is not a disease. The prevalence of this is higher in women between the ages of 35 and 55. Acute, subacute, and chronic low back pain can be classified based on onset, duration, and severity. In addition to occupational posture, depressive moods, obesity, gender, and age, a combination of these factors most likely affects the risk.

Acupuncture and back pain research is growing, but interpreting it is still a challenge. A well-trained practitioner may provide acupuncture to most people with low risks of side effects and some beneficial effects. You may want to try acupuncture if other treatments have not worked. The right acupuncture for back pain may not be acupuncture if it does not improve within six to eight weeks.

Studies have found that non-pharmacological interventions such as acupuncture for back pain can provide safer benefits than pharmacological or invasive treatments. In acupuncture trials, the harm level warnings were lower than those for spinal manipulation, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), a combination of opioids, or steroid injections.


Four Common Scenarios According to Acupuncturists

Acupuncturists who specialize in acupuncture for back pain diagnose patients within four common categories:

  • Symptoms of trauma, such as a car accident, may include local stabbing pain in the low back as a result of stagnation of blood.
  • People over 40 often experience kidney Qi deficiency. In addition to the kidney meridian, the spine, the low back, and the knees are all part of the kidney meridian. Joint pain and stiffness can occur when kidney Qi is weak. Western-style diseases of the kidney may contribute to the deficiency of kidney Qi.
  • The management of anger, emotion, and stress is another cause of back pain. Road rage, frustration, and things of the like often result from this. In this case, an acupuncturist might consider liver chi stagnation as the diagnostic pattern
  • Lastly, there’s always the chance of a wind-cold scenario. Cold temperatures tend to cause blood to stagnate, which can cause pain — especially if the wind is blowing. Cold climates or iced backs may put you at risk for wind-cold infection. This pattern is characterized by a tight and painful low back, low energy, and frequent urination.

Most Americans think about and pay attention to health through our Western medical system. It has only been in the last 30 years that holistic therapies — especially for neck, back, and other joint problems — have made their way into the mainstream. Acupuncture for back pain is one of these treatments.


What Makes Acupuncture Different

Unlike Western medicine, acupuncturists think differently. Chinese medicine takes the personality of the patient into account when prescribing a medicine or therapy. Westerners think in terms of that particular medicine or therapy for that particular problem. It’s an incredibly complex structure.

That’s why decades of development of acupuncture for chronic back pain has been making huge inroads across the nation as a well-respected alternative — if not a “go to” — for so many patients nowadays.


Wellness and Pain

A doctor who cares about your health and wellbeing is a better choice if you’re considering acupuncture for back pain. Wellness and Pain offers acupuncture therapy options. Our treatments include conservative treatments, minimally invasive procedures, and surgery. We can help you avoid and manage problems by providing lifestyle education and home care advice, and we can quickly relieve the conditions inhibiting your life by using state-of-the-art acupuncture treatment.

We customize our care plan to each patient’s medical condition and unique circumstances, aiming to reduce pain, improve mobility, enhance mental clarity, and improve overall health.

A patient receiving vein ablation treatment in an operating room with doctors.

Vein Ablation Treatment: Procedure and Recovery

The purpose of vein ablation treatment is to reduce discomfort and alleviate your symptoms so you can get back to living a healthy life. The procedure also reduces complications as a result. Treatment for venous insufficiency will depend on the severity or stage of the condition.

Some of the benefits of vein ablation treatment include the fact that it’s a minimally invasive procedure that doesn’t require any incisions or stitches. The procedure usually takes place as an outpatient, and patients are able to resume their normal activities within a few days of the procedure. Moreover, researchers have proven its long-term effectiveness and safety for the treatment of varicose veins.

You should not only discuss the benefits of ablation in leg veins with your doctor but also how this unique treatment is applied and what you can expect.


How Vein Ablation Treatment is Performed

A vein ablation treatment procedure involves inserting a thin, flexible tube into the affected vein. Using a laser or radiofrequency energy, doctors close off the vein. Eventually, the vein will collapse and disappear.

In essence, vessel ablation seals or closes veins using heat or laser energy. Using a small probe, radiofrequency ablation (RFA) can destroy veins — also known as ablation RFA.

The two main types of vein ablation treatment are radiofrequency ablation and laser ablation. In spite of the frustration associated with recurrent varicose veins, rates of recurrence are low with newer techniques, and patterns of recurrence are easily recognized. Clinical outcomes are excellent when physicians treat these new refluxing veins with multiple tools.

Sclerotherapy, phlebectomy, and saphenous ligation are other non-invasive and somewhat invasive techniques. Sclerotherapy involves injecting saline water, foam, or a chemical solution into the affected vein to harden it. Other veins grow around it to bypass the one that the body is no longer using, as a result. A phlebectomy involves a surgeon removing the damaged veins through small incisions made near the vein. Lastly, a saphenous ligation involves tying off and removing the affected vein, allowing other veins to fill in for it.


Post-Procedure Recovery: Vein Ablation Treatment

Depending on the extent of the vein ablation treatment procedure, doctors use different types of anesthesia. For small varicose veins, local anesthesia is often used to numb the area around the vein. Patients with larger varicose veins or anxious about the procedure may require general anesthesia, which puts them to sleep. However, most doctors usually recommend non-invasive local anesthesia for a smooth procedure and healthy recovery period.

In the recovery room, the patient will rest after the procedure. They will need to wear compression stockings for several weeks afterward to prevent blood clots.

After the procedure, patients may experience some bruising and swelling, but these side effects usually disappear within a few weeks. After deep vein ablation surgery, varicose veins may recur. Overweight or obese patients are more likely to develop varicose veins if they have a family history of them.

In most cases, procedures are accomplished in a clinic or on a day-case basis. Overnight stays are rare. To reduce bruising and promote healing, doctors firmly apply bandages to your leg (or legs). It’s possible to replace the bandage with a stocking after a couple of days and wear it for up to one week. Wearing the stocking day and night may be easier during the first few days. You can then wear the stocking only during the day if the leg feels comfortable without it at night. Get up and move around your house, or even outside in a yard or garden, either laying with the leg elevated or elevating the ankle. Stand up slowly and avoid crossing your legs for an extended period of time.  Many patients find they can walk at least a mile, if not more, every day during the recovery process.


After Treatment

It’s possible for the treated deeper vein to become sore within three to five days after your vein ablation treatment procedure. Treatment reactions like this will settle in time as a result of the treatment.  For a few days, anti-inflammatory painkillers can ease the discomfort. Instead of stitches, skin glue or tape is usually used to close small cuts on the leg after a phlebectomy. In most cases, stitches can be dissolvable.

It can take up to four days to recover from ablation RFA or endovascular ablation (without any phlebectomies). However, a phlebectomy, which uses a small scalpel or needle to remove varicose veins, would also unavoidably result in some discomfort and bruising. As a result of vein removal, the severity varies.

In most all cases, the soreness will subside within five days or shorter, but it will take a while for the bruising to completely disappear. You can reduce this bruising by keeping mobile after the procedure and wearing the provided stockings. It’s rare for wounds that are this small to become infected.


Untreated Varicose Veins and Vein Ablation Treatment

Untreated blood circulation, venous disorders, and varicose veins can lead to even more pain — putting vein ablation treatment on your radar. Leg pain and heaviness are common symptoms of varicose veins, especially after prolonged standing. The pain, itching, and other symptoms of varicose veins can get worse over time, since varicose veins often progress.


Other Conditions to Look out for

Not treating your issues and avoiding ablation in your leg veins can lead to the following conditions:

  • The presence of edema. A varicose vein causes liquid (water and protein) to leak into nearby tissues, due to the added pressure within the vein.
  • There is a condition known as superficial thrombophlebitis (STP). Varicose veins often lead to phlebitis, an inflammation of the vein walls. Inflammatory superficial veins form clots directly under the skin, which can cause a red-hot hard knot under the skin.
  • The most common type of thrombosis is deep vein thrombosis (DVT). The symptoms of DVT are caused by blood clots forming in deep veins of the leg. Symptoms include leg pain, swelling, redness, and tightness.
    • You should seek medical attention or vein ablation treatment as soon as possible if you have DVT.
  • The condition of stasis dermatitis. As a result of prolonged saphenous vein reflux, stasis dermatitis occurs. When it first appears on the inside of the ankles, it can progress to turn the entire ankle and lower leg red and brown.
  • Ulceration on the skin. The majority of venous ulcers occur around the ankles, where they simply do not heal. The brown and red skin color changes caused by stasis dermatitis result from long-term superficial venous insufficiency (improper functioning valves in the veins).

The United States is experiencing a major problem of Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI). Approximately 5 percent of all Americans have some changes associated with CVI. Adults with varicosities are estimated to have 5 to nearly 60 percent of them, with 35 to 45 percent of them experiencing clinical varicose reflux. Venous stasis ulcers affect about 500,000 people. A 92-per-hundred-admission rate for CVI is the average.


Tips for Dealing with Vein Pain at Home

For some individuals, vein ablation treatment is in sight but might be days or weeks away. The following are some steps you can take right now if you are suffering from venous insufficiency so you can manage the symptoms or slow its progression:

  • Dress loosely and avoid wearing high heels.
  • Keep your blood pressure under control by seeing a doctor regularly.
  • Keep an eye out for ulcer symptoms on your skin every day.
  • Maintain a daily skin-moisturizing routine.
  • Ensure that your diet is balanced, and do not exceed the daily salt or sodium recommendations.
  • Maintain a regular exercise schedule throughout the week.
  • You should avoid long periods of sitting or standing. Move around regularly during breaks.
  • Keep your legs elevated periodically throughout the day. Make it a routine to do so.
  • Keep your weight moderate.
  • With your doctor’s guidance, wear compression stockings or wraps to improve blood flow.

It’s easy to become disabled and for your venous insufficiency to worsen without having deep vein ablation. You may require clinical vein ablation treatment for several years in such cases. Even with ablation in leg veins, people can experience complications. Consult your doctor or health specialist first.


Wellness and Pain

When it comes to vein ablation treatment, you’re better off knowing all the facts up front and seeing a doctor who truly cares about you and your health. A quick evaluation may include a blood flow and circulation ultrasound test for vascular disease, or another simple test.

Practitioners at Wellness and Pain confidently provide these important evaluations, apply their professional expertise, and offer the caring and sensitive vein ablation treatment you need to improve and eliminate any symptoms you are experiencing.

The back of a woman's leg, where circulation issues have caused varicose veins.

Symptoms, Causes, & Treatment for Circulation Issues

From the heart to your blood vessels and arteries, the circulatory system is a complex network, which means circulation issues shouldn’t be ignored. Blood, oxygen, and nutrients travel freely through our body when our circulation is healthy, while waste is removed from our cells when our circulation is healthy.

Circulation can be poor when your blood cells don’t flow properly. Although blood circulation problems can have serious consequences, there are many everyday symptoms that show your blood is not pumping as well as it should — and they can affect anyone at any age.


What Are Symptoms of Circulation Issues?

You may experience short-term sensations of coldness, numbness, or pins-and-needles if your body is unable to transport blood and oxygen efficiently because of circulation issues. When your body restores blood flow, these symptoms usually pass fairly quickly and you won’t think about them again.

There are also a few unexpected symptoms you may want to be aware of, especially if you have medical conditions such as diabetes and high cholesterol. These can include an upset stomach, ulcers, dizziness, memory loss, and sometimes even loss of hair in your lower limbs.

This is where blood circulation therapy comes into play, a treatment that’s been a big help for tens of thousands of patients today.


Circulation Issues: What’s Actually Happening

You can get an upset stomach if it doesn’t receive oxygen-rich blood due to circulation issues — as with all vital organs. Symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, or even blood in your stools, although very rare, can indicate poor circulation. As a result of restricted blood flow, organ failure can cause digestive problems and decreased appetite. To rule out any serious underlying medical issues, always seek medical advice if you experience any changes in your bowel habits.

There’s actually some good news if you think you might have blood circulation problems, since some life changes can ease minor symptoms and prevent your issues from worsening. Fortunately, these healthier improvements are directly related to blood flow issues in feet and blood flow issues in legs.


Digestion and Other Areas

Occasionally, ulcers can result from poor circulation caused by blockages in our arteries. As a result, bulging veins and, in some cases, ulcers may not heal. Lower leg open sores are clear signals of circulation issues and should not be ignored. They should be treated immediately to avoid a broader infection.

Being dizzy, losing your balance, or becoming forgetful can all be signs that your circulation isn’t working as well as it should. Lack of blood flow to the brain can cause dizziness or forgetfulness. In this case, our brain will cut back on certain functions, like memory and balance, in order to focus on more crucial ones. Consult your doctor if you’re concerned about any of these symptoms.

Unintentional hair loss on the legs or feet may be a sign of poor circulation, even though some people appreciate a smooth leg. Hair follicles in the legs will not receive enough nourishment if there isn’t enough blood flowing to them. The problem is more evident in men, with many seeing a clear “sock line” of hair-free skin.

Ice cold feet are a known sign of circulation issues. Is it just a case of chilly toes or something more serious? In the case of icy cold feet, despite being warm throughout your body, or if you experience pain at the same time, poor circulation is likely to blame. Poor blood circulation in the legs can cause cold feet. As well as cold sensations, this can cause pain, numbness, and burning. Furthermore, numbness in your feet can mask potential foot injuries, as well as cause balance issues.  So it’s important to know what’s causing it.


Support Healthier Blood Flow for Circulation Issues

Getting your body moving is the most important priority when you’re suffering from circulation issues. The most common cause of poor circulation is living a sedentary life. Long periods of inactivity result in a low metabolic rate and little use of muscles.


Exercise is key

Exercise burns energy, which produces more heat in your body. As you move, you’ll notice your limbs warm up. The following tips will help you:

  • Don’t stop moving. Exercise such as long walks and exercise classes are key, but movement throughout the day is also important. Make sure you move every 30 minutes by setting a reminder. Keep in mind that you don’t need to move for long periods of time to prevent blood circulation problems. The effects of even three minutes of exercise every half hour have been demonstrated by research. Stand up often and take a break from your desk. Try running up and down the stairs while you wait for the kettle to boil.
  • You should either combine or alternate strength training and cardio. In terms of circulation, lifting weights offers different benefits than cardio. Weightlifting, for example, will mainly increase the circulation in that specific area, such as your arms if you use dumbbells. Blood will circulate throughout your body as a result of aerobic exercise. It’s important to do both cardio and weights in every session if you want to reap their benefits and beat your circulation issues. Any activity that increases your heart rate will improve circulation throughout your body, such as running or walking.
  • A strength training program can be helpful. It’s likely you will feel warmer if you have more muscle. Muscles allow for the growth of more blood vessels, which carry oxygen-rich blood all over the body. Strength training should be done at least twice a week, but equipment isn’t necessary. Performing body weight exercises, such as push-ups and squats, can work wonders.

You shouldn’t have to give in to blood circulation problems. Blood circulation therapy offers a positive, healthy way forward.


Blood-Enhancing Foods for Circulation Issues

To fend off circulation issues, it’s also important to ensure you eat foods that support healthy blood circulation, in addition to making lifestyle changes:

  • Consume foods rich in flavonoids, such as onion, pomegranate, and pomegranate juice.
  • It is beneficial to consume foods that contain nitric oxide, such as red chilies, garlic, cinnamon, beetroot, green leafy vegetables, and turmeric curcumin.
  • Ingesting Vitamin C in any form is always helpful. This includes citrus fruits rich in flavonoids, like oranges and limes, as well as watermelon’s lycopene (a natural antioxidant).
  • Increase your intake of nuts, including almonds, walnuts, and other healthy options.
  • Increase your consumption of lycopene, vitamin K, and flavonoids by eating tomatoes and berries.
  • Consume more omega-3 fatty acids by eating cold-water fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring, and sardines), plant oils, cod liver oil, chia seeds, flaxseed, nuts, and soybeans.

Blood circulation problems have a tougher time standing a chance against these pro-healthy options. You can mix them into your lifestyle to ward off circulation issues.


Wellness and Pain

A doctor who cares about your health and wellbeing is the best choice if you’re considering remedies for your circulation issues. Wellness and Pain offers non-invasive healthy options. Our treatments include conservative treatments, minimally invasive procedures, and surgery. We can help you avoid and manage problems by providing lifestyle education and home care advice. Not to mention, we can quickly relieve the conditions inhibiting your life by using state-of-the-art treatment.

Our care plan is customized to each patient’s medical condition and unique circumstances, reducing pain, improving mobility, enhancing mental clarity, and improving overall health.

A back and pain management specialist showing a patient where her pain is via a tablet.

Back and Pain Management: Disorders and Your Health

Back and pain management treatment is one of the most effective remedies for musculoskeletal disorders, back pain, spinal issues, and muscle spasms — all of which are closely related and require special medical expertise.

You can suffer from musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) when you experience pain in your muscles, bones, joints, or tendons. About 80 percent of people experience back pain at some point during their lives, making it the most common MSD and oftentimes requiring lower back pain management and treatment.


Back and Pain Management for Musculoskeletal Disorders

Back pain can be caused by a variety of factors, which usually leads patients to integrate a steady routine of back and pain management into their lives.

Injuries, such as falls or car accidents, can result in back pain. You can also experience back pain if you repeatedly use your back in the same way over and over again. Poor posture can also cause pain in the muscles and joints of the back.

In older people, the discs in their spine can break down, causing back pain. You may also experience back pain if you suffer from conditions such as arthritis or osteoporosis, making spinal pain management even more important as you age.

It’s common for older adults to suffer from musculoskeletal disorders due to a variety of factors. There are also certain occupations that are more likely to lead to MSDs, including those in construction and manufacturing. Depending on your genes, you may be at a greater risk for developing MSDs. In addition, obesity can increase your risk of MSDs by putting extra strain on your muscles and joints. Finally, smoking and a lack of exercise can damage your muscles and joints, increasing your risk.

Reducing Spinal Pain

Many patients find that reducing spinal pain through routine back and pain management is an optimal health and lifestyle choice. The term refers to a wide range of treatments for spinal pain. Bones, joints, ligaments, muscles, and nerves make up your spine. Injuries, inflammation, and degenerative changes can cause pain anywhere in the spine. In order to treat spinal pain, a variety of treatments are available. Individual patients will require a different treatment depending on the cause of their pain. A common choice in handling spinal pain include a lower back pain management specialist diagnosing your condition and discussing treatment options with you.

Lower back pain management treatments are available in a variety of effective forms. You will begin to feel better sooner if you start treatment right away.


Your Spinal Structure: Back and Pain Management

To understand the benefits of back and pain management, you must first understand the makeup of your spine. The spinal column (vertebral column) supports the entire structure and nervous system of your body. A spinal column has 34 bones that hold the body upright, yet also allow it to bend and twist easily while transmitting nerve signals from your brain to your toes.

There are four parts to the spinal column:

  • Cervical spine: The shoulders, esophagus, diaphragm, part of the chest, and arms.
  • Thoracic spine: Areas of your esophagus, trachea, arms, liver, gallbladder, small intestine, heart, and lungs.
  • Lumbar spine: Your lower extremities (feet and legs).
  • Sacrum: Sexual organs, bowels, and bladder.

Conversations with your doctor or health specialist around the history and development of back and pain management will underscore the importance of healthy spinal column support. Under the last lumbar vertebra, there’s a triangular-shaped bone called a “sacrum.” In the pelvis, the sacrum sits between the hip bones. On both sides, the sacroiliac joints (SI joints) connect the sacrum to the pelvis.

At adulthood, three to five small bones naturally fuse together to form the coccyx (or tailbone). It’s the tailbone that supports your weight when you sit, even though it’s small.

The spinal column isn’t just bones. To maintain its shape, support the skeleton, and route nerves, the spine also relies on a bunch of supporting structures. Discs, vertebrae, and facet joints are connected by strong, tough ligaments. In a limited range, ligaments let bones, discs, and joints move. Small and large spinal muscles and tendons stabilize and strengthen your spinal column while supporting and restricting extreme bends, flexes, and twists.

For those needing it, spinal pain management is oftentimes the best solution to your lower back issues.


Musculoskeletal Facts: Back and Pain Management

By 2013 and since then, back pain became the most common cause of health care visits among musculoskeletal disorders in the United States, leading many to seek professional back and pain management treatment. Back pain was diagnosed on almost one-quarter of Americans in that year and many subsequent years. Non-invasive spine treatment has also increased, such as lower back pain management and related treatment and procedures.

Over the past few years, the number of physician office visits for back pain has increased substantially, becoming the reason for nearly 75 percent of those office visits. In addition to previous years’ statistics, this is a significant increase. There were 32 million visits in 1998, 45 million in 2004, and over 57 million in 2013.

The number of people going to the doctor for lower back pain management has steadily increased since then, along with the share of the population who suffer from it. According to a 1998 survey, about 12 of every 100 doctor visits were attributed to back pain. In 2004, this number increased to 15 people per 100 visits. Since 2008, the ratio has fallen slightly, but by 2013, it has reached 18. Low back pain accounted for most of the increase.

Breaking Down the Numbers

Females made up 58 percent of back pain health care visits, but their total number of back pain visits per 100 patients was slightly lower than that of males. Patients aged 45 to 64 were diagnosed with back pain at the highest rate of approximately 10 per 100 visits, but people age 65 and older had the highest rate of 44 per 100 visits.

Across racial groups and geographic regions, back and pain management visits per 100 patients were similar. Non-Hispanic whites and northerners had the highest rates (23 and 30). The U.S. Bone and Joint Initiative collects and publishes many of these helpful statistics.


Also Important: Your Muscle Health

Muscle spasms in your back may occur occasionally, which is another area that proper back and pain management can help remedy. Depending on how you look at it, it may be light, in the middle, or pretty bad. Is that telling you anything about your body or your habits?

Muscle spasms in the back can range from mild discomfort and stiffness to sharp and severe pain, as well as muscle tightening that prevents you from moving. If you’re experiencing back discomfort or pain, it’s an indication there is a serious problem in your spine that needs to be addressed through effective spinal pain management.

Spasms in the Back

Spasms in the back often subside on their own. It is possible that you will see them again, but it is also possible that you will not. Depending on the cause, the situation at hand will differ. The severity of arthritis, for example, usually increases over time. When an individual is willing to try different medications, his or her symptoms may improve. Nevertheless, having lower back spasms that won’t go away is painful, frustrating, and calls for a lower back pain management plan.

The first step in treating your back muscle spasms with back and pain management treatment is to get an accurate diagnosis. A variety of factors can cause these types of spasms. The muscles use it as a way to protect themselves. Muscle, tendon, and ligament injuries can cause back spasms. This type of soft tissue injury usually results in muscle spasms lasting one to two weeks.

Muscle spasms can also be caused by anatomical problems. Back spasms may be a sign of an underlying anatomical problem in your spine if they don’t go away after a week or two. Disc degeneration, spinal stenosis, herniated discs, and osteoarthritis of the facet joints can cause back spasms.

Further, muscle spasms tend to repeat whenever the spine is inflamed or unstable. In addition to treating the symptoms through back and pain management techniques, you may want to seek medical attention for the underlying problem.


Wellness and Pain

When it comes to back and pain management, you’re better off seeing a specialist who truly cares about you and your health. An evaluation may include nerve and muscle testing (NCV/EMG) to evaluate for any problems relating to nerves or muscles, as well as blood flow and/or circulation ultrasound, massage treatment, acupuncture, or trigger point injections.

Practitioners at Wellness and Pain confidently provide these important evaluations, apply their professional expertise, and offer the caring and sensitive back and pain management treatment you need to improve any symptoms you are experiencing.

A woman sitting on the edge of her bed, massaging away pain in lower extremities.

Pain in Lower Extremities: Aches, Stiffness, & Relief

Conditions that affect your arteries and veins — and cause pain in lower extremities — are called vascular diseases or circulatory diseases. Your heart pumps blood through your body via a network of veins and arteries. While the veins and arteries of a healthy individual are elastic vessels that transport blood, veins in particular carry blood from your lower half back to your heart after arteries have transported oxygen-rich blood to those extremities.

The first symptom of vascular disease is usually leg pain, but each person experiences it differently and usually complains of entire lower body aches. There is a wide range of severity when it comes to leg pain. Active or inactive, you may feel the pain at any time. In the beginning, it’s easy to ignore the pain and hope it will disappear on its own. However, you should never ignore any sort of leg pain.


Leg Pain and Other Pain in Lower Extremities

Leg discomfort may also be a symptom of an underlying vascular condition related to pain in lower extremities, especially when you spend all day on your feet. When you are experiencing leg pain, you will no doubt become very uncomfortable. Depending on the severity of your pain, it may range from a dull ache to a sharp shooting sensation. It may be a temporary problem or a chronic one.

Although lower body aches and stiffness are a simple annoyances for many, the pain may affect mobility and quality of life for many others. You should never ignore leg pain, no matter how much you hope the problem will resolve itself.


Peripheral Artery Disease and Pain in Lower Extremities

Resting relieves the pain caused by arterial problems in the large muscles of your lower half. However, plaque buildup can cause pain in lower extremities when those muscles are exerted again. This is where Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) comes into play.

As a result of fatty deposits building up inside the arteries, PAD hardens the arteries in the legs. By stiffening, clogging, and narrowing the arteries, fat deposits reduce oxygenated blood flow to muscles and soft tissues. It is common for the limbs to have poor circulation. Treating the underlying disease (arteriosclerosis for most) improves circulation and reduces or eliminates most symptoms.


PAD and the Rest of Your Body

Temporary Ischemic Attack (TIA) is a condition in which the arteries of the brain and carotid artery harden. Heart disease occurs when the arteries supplying the heart become hardened or clogged. PAD occurs when the leg arteries harden, causing entire lower body aches.

PAD progresses very slowly. Since the same biological processes as heart disease and stroke also cause PAD, the conditions directly connect to each other. If you have PAD, it is likely that arteriosclerosis affects more than just your legs, and you will need medical attention.

There are several symptoms associated with poor circulation. They include numbness, tingling, throbbing pain, and muscle cramps. Intermittent claudication characterizes PAD. Walking causes this to appear. Resting relieves it. The presence of severe pain in lower extremities while at rest may even indicate the disease is progressing. Known as Critical Limb Ischemia (CLI), severe blockages of blood flow to the limbs which causes skin ulcers, sores, and gangrene characterize your pain.


PAD and Smoking

Smoking may increase your risk of vascular disease throughout the entire body, which can also lead to leg amputations. Also, as a result of uncontrolled blood sugar levels, diabetic neuropathy destroys small blood vessels and nerves, increasing the risk of amputation. In the same way that heart disease and stroke are preventable, PAD is also preventable.

Over 200 million people worldwide suffer from Peripheral Artery Disease, again, a condition where leg arteries become blocked, reducing blood flow and increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke. Those who get less than five hours of sleep have a 74 percent greater chance of developing peripheral artery disease than those who get seven to eight hours of sleep. This has become the catalyst for lower body aches at night for so many millions of individuals according to a study recently published in European Heart Journal—Open, an academic journal of the European Society of Cardiology.


Deep Vein Thrombosis and Pain in Lower Extremities

Venous blood clots can also block blood flow completely or partially, causing pain in lower extremities. Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) occurs or develops in the deep veins of the leg. A clogged vein causes pain, tenderness, swelling, redness, warmth on the leg, and lower body aches and stiffness.

However, while some individuals experience entire lower body aches, many people do not experience any symptoms whatsoever. Some of the causes include major surgery, cancer, inactivity, pregnancy, trauma, hormone replacement therapy, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, obesity, and inherited blood diseases.

An illustration of a blood clot forming and causing pain in the lower extremities.

Pulmonary embolism (PE) is the most serious consequence of DVT. When they travel there, clots direly affect the lungs. It is a life-threatening complication when a pulmonary embolism occurs.

Recent media attention has focused on DVT, so much so that there is a bipartisan effort in Congress to establish an awareness month for DVT and PE. About 900,000 Americans suffer from these conditions each year, and it is estimated that 100,000 Americans die from PE every year. Early detection and treatment of pain in lower extremities can often prevent these deaths.


Chronic Venous Insufficiency and the Pain That Follows

Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI) results from leg veins failing, causing blood to pool in the legs, pressure to form on the walls of veins, and bad pain in lower extremities. There’s a possibility blood valves can fail due to heredity or damage to the vein after suffering from Deep Vein Thrombosis or a blood clot (see above).

Gravity can aggravate symptoms of mild pain, swelling, and heaviness in the affected leg. Even though there’s no threat of losing your limb, a painful ulcer can develop on the inside of the ankle. These related factors characterize CVI.

Additionally, CVI is a known cause of varicose veins. Pain, burning, and heaviness are symptoms of varicose veins. Inflammation of the vein causes CVI (also known as “phlebitis”) and leads to pain in lower extremities.

You can treat your venous disease by seeing a vascular specialist when and if you have aching legs with swelling at the end of each day, or if you suffer from entire lower body aches. The right experts can help with pain in the thighs, buttocks, and/or claves that rest does not relieve. Either way, you should see a vein specialist if you have CVI symptoms or DVT.

About 40 percent of adults are affected by venous insufficiency. As you age, your chances of developing venous insufficiency increase, especially when it comes to lower body aches at night. Women are also more likely to suffer from it than men.


Don’t Ignore Pain in Lower Extremities

Don’t ignore the pain in lower extremities if you are experiencing these symptoms. You should seek immediate medical attention if you are suffering from any of the above discomforts.

A range of orthopedic leg pain treatment options can treat lower extremity conditions. Through conservative treatments, minimally invasive procedures, or surgery, the right health specialist can offer a variety of treatments, providing medical massage therapy, acupuncture, radiofrequency vein ablation, hip and knee injections, arthroscopy, platelet-rich plasma injections, anesthetic injections, and viscosupplementation injections.

Depending on a patient’s condition and unique circumstances, a customized care plan can be created for entire lower body aches. Pain relief, range of motion improvement, and injury prevention are usually the goals of such a plan. Depending on the severity of the condition, a combination of treatments may be prescribed.

Patient care plans are usually personalized and developed based on their unique conditions and circumstances, as well as their input. Pain relief, range of motion improvement, and injury prevention are always the highest treatment objectives. Based on how bad the condition is, your doctor or health specialist may use a combination of treatments.


Wellness and Pain

When it comes to pain in lower extremities, you’re better off visiting us immediately to pinpoint what’s happening to your legs and body — and your health. Practitioners at Wellness and Pain confidently provide these important evaluations, apply their professional expertise, and offer the caring and sensitive non-invasive testing you need to improve any symptoms you are experiencing.

A woman with nervous legs syndrome awaiting diagnosis in a doctor's office.

Nervous Legs: What They Are and How to Treat Them

Many individuals know what it’s like to have nervous legs at night. As you lie in bed, ready for sleep, your legs start crawling, tingling, or itching just as your body begins to relax. Despite your best efforts, you can’t ignore the uncomfortable sensations, and eventually, you get the urge to move.

After stretching and pacing, you feel relieved for a moment. When you lie down again, your leg spasms start back up.

It’s estimated that one out of ten people suffers from leg spasms, and finding help and support isn’t always easy. There are a lot of people who don’t receive proper treatment for leg spasms. There aren’t many explanations for it, and sufferers are often dismissed simply as “nervous.”

Sometimes you don’t realize how much these distressing symptoms can affect your life until you’ve experienced them yourself. It’s possible that some doctors don’t even take symptoms seriously or realize that leg spasms are real. Meanwhile, twitchy legs are becoming more common and recognized in society. If your legs feel heavy and numb, or you suffer from aching legs, you can find relief through leg muscle spasm treatment.


Nervous Legs: Studies and Facts to Consider

There is a strong genetic component to having nervous legs, according to some studies, with 60 percent of people suffering from it having a family member with it as well. Approximately 40 to 90 percent of patients have a first-degree relative who has the disease, like their parents, siblings, or children. There are a few genetic changes that increase leg spasms, but more are likely to be found.

In a 2021 review published in the journal Sleep Medicine, scientists also found a link between nervous legs and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). While this is just one of dozens of other bodily associations, illnesses, and conditions, there’s still a lot to learn about all of them.

Approximately half of the patients in certain countries experience seasonal exacerbations in spring and summer too. Patients with moderate severity are more likely to experience those seasonal effects.

Regardless of the cause or a number of other associations, there’s help out there. You can calm your jittery legs and enjoy a peaceful and refreshing night’s sleep at home by practicing simple lifestyle changes, implementing self-help remedies, and ultimately getting the right treatment for your leg spasms.


Signs and Symptoms of Nervous Legs

It’s hard to describe nervous legs. You’ll probably feel itchy, tingly, prickly, crawling, burning, pulling, tugging, and aching. There are people who say it feels like bugs crawling up their legs, like a carbonated drink bubbling in their veins, or an itch deep within their bones. There are times when the symptoms are painful, but most of the time they’re just uncomfortable and disturbing.

Leg spasms are neurological. You may not be able to sleep for hours because of these sensations. Anyone can get them, but it’s more prominent in women and older adults. Early adulthood can trigger mild symptoms, which then get worse with age. Symptoms tend to get worse after 50 and can disrupt your sleep quite frequently after that point.

There’s a theory that nervous legs are caused by low iron levels in the brain. Dopamine imbalance is also thought to play a part in it.

Some interesting facts about muscle pain and spasms in legs are:

  • You can experience a strong, often irresistible urge to move your legs, accompanied by uncomfortable sensations deep within them.
  • Symptoms worsen when you rest. Whenever you’re sitting, lying down, or trying to relax, you can experience those uncomfortable leg sensations.
  • Symptoms worsen at night. Nighttime is when nerves flare up. If the symptoms are more severe, they will usually start earlier in the day and get worse at night.
  • When you’re sleeping, your legs twitch or kick. People with nervous legs at night are also more likely to have periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD), which involves jerking or cramping of the legs at night.

It should also be noted that in very severe cases, leg spasms can affect your arms too.


Self-Help Tips for Nervous Legs

You can overcome nervous legs by avoiding triggers, such as:

  • Finding out how your body reacts to caffeine. Caffeine triggers nervous legs in some people. However, recent studies show it might actually be good for others. Keep track of your symptoms after cutting out coffee, tea, and soft drinks.
  • Stress management. When you’re anxious and overwhelmed, your symptoms can get worse. Meditation and deep breathing are great ways to keep stress in check.
  • Exercise, but not too much. Getting regular exercise can significantly ease jittery leg symptoms, but be careful not to overdo it, especially close to bedtime. Strenuous exercise can exacerbate leg spasms, so don’t exercise so intensely that your joints or muscles hurt afterward.
  • Getting rid of cigarettes. Cigarettes, vaporizers, and e-cigarettes all contain nicotine, which can impair blood flow to the muscles.
  • Limiting or eliminating alcohol. Be cautious about drinking in the evening if you have leg spasms. In addition to disrupting sleep, alcohol also makes you more likely to wake up with nervous legs.

Get regular exercise and stretches every day, improve your sleep, and avoid long periods of inactivity.


Treatment for Leg Spasms: Your Next Step

Knowing what you want from a visit to your healthcare provider will help you get the most out of finding a remedy for your nervous legs. Make a list of questions you want answered before your visit. Ask your provider questions.  Take notes, if necessary, so you can remember what he says.

If you get a new diagnosis, write it down, along with any new medicine, treatment, or test. If your provider gives you any new instructions, be sure to also write those down. Understand why you’re getting a new medicine or treatment. Make sure you know what the side effects are.

Check if there’s another way to treat your condition. Make sure you know why a test or procedure is recommended and what the results could mean. If you choose not to take the medicine or not to have a test or procedure, you should know ahead of time what to expect.

Make a note of the date, time, and purpose of your follow-up appointment. If you have questions after returning home, know how to reach your provider.

Several research papers have found that self-education and using other valuable resources may help patients with nervous legs. This can be used, along with appropriate and targeted treatments for leg spasms, to get better results.

Note that leg spasms can be a lifelong condition that might get worse with age, but some people go into remission and don’t have any symptoms for days to years. Keep your doctor updated on how you’re doing. If you start to feel worse, they might suggest different lifestyle changes or medications. It can help to talk to other people who know what you’re going through, whether it’s a family member who has it or a support group.


Wellness and Pain

When it comes to nervous legs, you’re better off seeing a doctor who truly cares about you and your health. Physical therapy, vein ablation, massage therapy, and acupuncture therapy are vital options you should consider.

Practitioners at Wellness and Pain confidently provide these important evaluations, apply their professional expertise, and offer the caring and sensitive leg muscle spasm treatment you need to improve any symptoms you are experiencing.

Poor circulation to feet causing an elderly man's bare feet to be bruised, mottled, and swollen.

Poor Circulation to Feet is Serious: Here’s the Best Treatment

Poor circulation to feet can cause cold feet, as well as swelling and cramping — and sometimes it may even be a sign of deeper issues like diabetes or high blood pressure.

You might have circulation problems if you have red toes, tingling in your feet, or hair loss on your legs. Also, blood clots in the leg can happen when veins are damaged, slowing or even stopping blood flow entirely. Controlling bad blood circulation in feet usually starts with managing unhealthy behaviors. Among them are smoking cigarettes, lack of exercise, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.


The Science Behind Poor Circulation to Feet

Poor circulation to feet can settle in when the blood vessels in your legs become hard and narrow. Consequently, your feet and legs don’t get enough blood, thereby making it much harder for nutrients and oxygen to reach those areas of the body.

When waste products build up in your soft tissues, you’ll have poor circulation. The skin on the feet and legs can become thin and dry, hair can fall out, and feet can become cold. When you walk short distances, it can also hurt your calf muscles. If poor circulation is present, foot and leg skin easily get infected, inflamed, and ulcerated.

It’s possible to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels by eating healthy, exercising often, and quitting smoking.


Poor Circulation to Feet: The Facts

A plexus of small veins with a diameter of 1 – 2 millimeters makes up the intricate network of your foot’s sole — a structure that’s key to understanding poor circulation to feet. From a functional and biological standpoint, the deepest veins in your foot are the most fascinating ones.

Multiple complex compartments that work like muscle pumps produce the energy needed for blood to overcome what is termed “hydrostatic pressure,” the distance between the heart and leg when you’re standing. This sophisticated network is an amazing part of everyone’s body, as it provides the oxygen and fluid needed to meet the most basic, yet complex, part of living every day. This includes walking.

Medical and health specialists have been experimenting with a variety of successful treatments for veins in the foot. Fortunately, these treatments for bad blood circulation in feet are based on long-term and reliable research.


Causes of Poor Circulation to Feet

Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) and peripheral artery disease (PAD) can cause poor circulation to feet. What’s more, cold feet due to poor circulation, foot pain from poor circulation, and itchy feet due to poor circulation are usually all related to these main causes.

With PVD, your blood flow slows down and gets worse. PVD is caused by blood vessel narrowing, blockages, or spasms. Blood vessels outside the heart can be affected by PVD, including arteries, veins, and lymphatics. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 10 million Americans have PVD. This condition, which affects nearly 20 percent of Americans over 60, can interfere with wound healing, especially in the lower extremities.

When it comes to PAD, plaque buildup results from too much calcium and cholesterol in the bloodstream. Atherosclerosis can be caused by other conditions as well, like obesity and inactivity. These conditions need to be handled once they’re detected. PAD and atherosclerosis can have similar symptoms. Mild cases are usually absent of any symptoms.


Some More Information on PAD and Other Diseases

PAD affects both men and women. The risk of PAD is higher among African Americans. However, there’s a possibility that Hispanics have a similar or slightly higher rate of PAD than non-Hispanics. In the United States, there are 6.5 million people over 40 with PAD. Atherosclerosis may not always be the cause of PAD and other health conditions can mimic those symptoms. There can be a restriction in the amount of blood flowing through the arteries because of this. Vasculitis, or inflammation of the blood vessels, can cause bad blood circulation in feet, as well as your legs.

When you experience stress or cold temperatures, Raynaud’s disease can make your fingers and toes feel icy or numb. Narrow arteries reduce blood flow to your skin, which in turn causes the symptoms.

High blood glucose levels for long periods can damage your blood vessels if you have diabetes. Those same high blood sugar levels can lead to foot ulcers and poor circulation to feet.

Do you have high blood pressure? Arteriosclerosis could be the cause. Artery sclerosis happens when the arteries harden so blood can’t flow easily. Symptoms include chest pressure, shortness of breath, irregular heartbeats, and confusion.

Lastly, physical inactivity and smoking can also cause poor circulation to feet.


Treatment for Swollen Feet and Poor Circulation

The underlying cause of poor circulation to feet needs to be handled. You should make an appointment with a health specialist for a complete exam.

Additionally, if you want to improve your foot circulation and live a healthier life as you start your treatment journey with a doctor, consider the following tips:

  • Exercise often and get moving. You can’t beat walking for exercise. Avoid sitting for long periods. Get up and move by setting a reminder. Caffeine and alcohol can constrict your blood vessels, so you should try to avoid using both.
  • Wear compression socks and raise your legs above your heart for 20 minutes a day to improve bad blood circulation in feet and reduce swelling. Socks like these apply pressure to the legs and feet, forcing blood back to the heart.
  • Needless to say, you should try to kick the habit of smoking. Cardiovascular disease becomes more of a risk when you smoke.

You won’t get better on your own if you don’t do something about your foot circulation problems. Poor circulation to feet can get worse. With lifestyle changes and the right treatment options, you can improve your situation. It’s important to keep up with your medical appointments, take any medicines you’re prescribed, live a heart-healthy lifestyle, and know the warning signs of serious problems if you have poor circulation.


Something Extra

Here’s what you should ask your doctor:

  • Should I take a baby aspirin every day?
  • Can I just make life changes or do I need treatment?
  • Can you recommend exercises and give more tips for living with foot circulation problems?

Look for a vascular specialist who offers noninvasive diagnosis and intervention, minimally invasive treatment, and state-of-the-art care by a highly skilled multidisciplinary team.

On a side note, remember that blood delivers oxygen and vital nutrients to cells, tissues, and organs throughout the body. Poor circulation to feet can also slow down wound healing, increasing the risk of infection. Supplements are not a treatment for circulation problems; however, they may help with symptoms for some people or generally support heart health.

You can research more about capsaicin, omega-3 fatty acids, beetroot powder, vitamin B3, L-arginine, garlic, curcumin, and more. Supplements don’t guarantee circulation problems will go away, but they may be worth trying. Some supplements and their benefits don’t have much evidence to back their ongoing use for specific health issues. The effectiveness of supplements depends on the underlying cause of circulation problems. A person who’s low in B vitamins might benefit from taking them. Those with underlying diseases might need to take steps to prevent or control those diseases.

Remember that coldness, itchiness, and pain are all signs of bad blood circulation in feet, but there’s more to it than that. A correct diagnosis will shed light on your specific underlying problem and cause.

Despite foot circulation problems that cause pain, numbness can be just as uncomfortable. When your feet become numb, it’s common to experience that pins-and-needles feeling.  Not only can this be uncomfortable, but that same numbness can cause balance issues and hide possible foot injuries.


Wellness and Pain

Poor circulation to feet should not be ignored, as it is a serious condition with daily implications for your life and health. You’re better off seeing a doctor who truly cares about you. An evaluation or treatment may include a nerve conduction velocity and electromyography (NCV/EMG) test for nerve damage, orthopedic leg pain remedies, trigger point injections, massage therapy, acupuncture therapy, or IV hydration.

Practitioners at Wellness and Pain confidently provide these important evaluations, apply their professional expertise, and offer the caring, sensitive, and proactive foot circulation treatment you need to improve any symptoms you are experiencing.

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Wellness and Pain accepts most major insurance plans. Here is a list of some of the major insurance plans we accept. If you do not see your insurance plan listed, please call our office to confirm.

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