Saturday, December 31, 2016

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

At-home Relief - Advice from a Chiro

Ice / Heat Therapy
Heat or cold therapy can provide a surprising amount of pain relief for most types of back and neck pain. Muscle strains and pulls are some of the most common causes of back pain, and can be soothed with heat and cold therapy.

Cold packs help reduce inflammation and numb a painful area while heat packs help increase circulation to a specific area of the body and can promote healing.

It’s easy to make a hot or cold pack with materials you already have at home.  Making hot or cold packs yourself is convenient, because one will be ready whenever you need it, and it could save you some money.

Homemade Gel Ice Packs
These homemade gel ice packs are more comfortable than a bag of frozen peas, because they mold better to your body without the lumps and bumps. They can be made for under $3.

What you need:
1 quart or 1 gallon plastic freezer bags (depending on how large you want the cold pack)
2 cups water
1 cup rubbing alcohol

Fill the plastic freezer bag with 1 cup of rubbing alcohol and 2 cups of water.
Try to get as much air out of the freezer bag before sealing it shut.
Place the bag and its contents inside a second freezer bag to contain any leakage.
Leave the bag in the freezer for at least an hour.
When it's ready, place a towel between the gel pack and bare skin to avoid burning the skin.

Home-Made Pain Relief
Sometimes the simplest solutions are best.  Here we show you how to make your own gel ice pack or moist heat pack, and a simple low back massager to help ease your discomfort until you can get in to see your chiropractor.

Homemade Moist Heat Packs
Heat therapy increases circulation to aching muscles, and provides pain relief. There are two types of heat therapy, dry and moist.

Electric heating pads bring a dry heat, which some people find to be less comforting than moist heat. Moist heat packs are less dehydrating to the skin, and they allow heat to absorb better into the skin and relieve pain faster.

What you need:
  • Cloth container (sock, fabric)
  • 4-6 cups filling (e.g. uncooked rice, flax seed, buckwheat, oatmeal)
  • Needle and thread (optional, but recommended)
  • Flair (ribbon, fragrant oils; optional)

  1. Fill your container with the filling.
  2. Tie or sew the container shut.
  3. Add soothing aromatherapy before you microwave, if you want.
  4. Microwave container for 1-3 minutes.
  5. Whether you are using cold or heat therapy, do not apply them for more than 15 minutes at a time. The best way to apply either heat or cold is to alternate 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off for an hour or two.

Do-It-Yourself Massage

What you need:
  • 6 tennis balls
  • A roll of duct tape
  • A floor
  • 10-15 minutes daily

Align the tennis balls in a figure eight, and then use as much duct tape as needed to secure the balls in this shape. When completed, the compact tennis balls/duct tape contraption will look like a peanut.

Place the tennis balls on the ground and then lie on them face up, keeping the knees bent. The tennis balls should be parallel to your waist and centered just above the lumbar spine (lower back).

Attain balance and comfort, and then raise both arms with your fingers pointed towards the ceiling. Keep your arms as straight as possible.

Beginning with either your right or left arm, slowly lower your arm backwards toward your head (visualize a reverse tomahawk chop without the speed). Once again, keep your arms as straight as possible and feel free to bend your neck backwards when moving your arms.

Bring the arm backwards to the ground, hold this position for a couple of seconds, and then slowly bring it back to its original starting position.

Now repeat the same action with the other arm.

Alternate and complete for each arm four more times. Through-out this process, the tennis balls simulate the knuckles of a massage therapist.

Joint dysfunction

Joint dysfunction in the spine can produce pain, and mobilizing the spine joints through manipulations (also called adjustments) can decrease that pain.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Women with severe restless legs syndrome may face higher stroke risk

(Free registration on Medscape required to read whole article.)

An analysis of data from the Nurses' Health Study II found that female patients with severe restless legs syndrome may be more likely to experience stroke, especially ischemic stroke. Researchers, who examined data from 72,916 women ages 41 to 58, report an adjusted hazard ratio of 2.07 for stroke and 3.52 for ischemic stroke among women who experience RLS at least 15 times a month. The study did not establish a causal link, but RLS patients may warrant particular attention to the risk of cardiovascular disease, said researcher Dr. Xiang Gao. Medscape (free registration)

Monday, December 26, 2016

VIDEO: Sacroiliac Joint

Pain from the sacroiliac joint needs two things: for the source of the pain to be identified and treated and for the pain to be treated as well.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

How Cooler Weather Affects Chronic Pain

How Cooler Weather Affects Chronic Pain

Newsletter from Spine-health November 2016

Does cold weather worsen your pain? You’re not alone. Although various studies have shown no or very slight associations between pain and weather factors like temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, and wind speed, patient experiences tell a different story. Many people report that damp or cold weather worsens their pain. One study of 800 Europeans with osteoarthritis found that 67% reported that they feel the weather affects their pain levels. (1)

In another small but fascinating study, those who had osteoarthritis reported a greater sensitivity to cold and pressure than control subjects without arthritis—even when parts of the body not affected by arthritis were tested. This suggests to the study authors that chronic pain may alter the way nerves respond to stimuli and increase their sensitivity. (2) If the cold makes your pain worse, try incorporating heat therapy into your daily routine. Heat therapy decreases stiffness and promotes healing through increased circulation.

Here are a few ideas for adding heat to your routine:
• Apply a hot pack, warm towel, or heating pad to the painful area. Simply doing this for 20 minutes at a time may be enough for temporary pain relief.
• Use over-the-counter heat wraps. Available in most grocery stores and pharmacies, heat wraps can provide warmth for joint-related back pain and other symptoms for up to 8 hours at a time.
• Try water therapy. You may experience pain relief by swimming in a heated indoor pool a few times per week, or by soaking a whirlpool or hot bath.
• Stay active. It can be tempting to hibernate during the colder months, but inactivity can increase some types of pain. If you prefer to stay inside, consider getting a treadmill—you can walk while you watch TV or a movie. Weather changes are unavoidable, but you can take steps to manage the worst effects of it.


1. Self-perceived weather sensitivity and joint pain in older people with osteoarthritis in six European countries: results from the European Project on OSteoArthritis (EPOSA). BMC Musculoskeletisord. 2014 Mar 5;15:66.
doi: 10.1186/1471-2474-15-66.
2. Subjects with Knee Osteoarthritis Exhibit Widespread Hyperalgesia to Pressure and Cold. PLoS One. 2016 Jan 25;11(1):e0147526. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0147526.
eCollection 2016.
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328 Cowesett Avenue
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West Warwick, RI 2893


Chiropractic Manipulations

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Rhode Island Spine Health - Bad habits for neck pain

There are several everyday actions that can be bad for your neck. Break these 3 common habits to prevent pain and stiffness, and improve your overall neck health.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Try this simple stretch to help relieve sciatic pain caused by spinal stenosis.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Are you wishing for gifts that make your life more comfortable this holiday season? Get some ideas from this gift guide for chronic pain.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Monday, December 12, 2016

Foam Rollers for Neck Pain - RI Back Pain Clinic

Foam rollers have become a popular way to treat sore and strained muscles. Find out how you can use them to ease your neck pain.
Preparing for the holidays can be hard on your back. Try these 7 strategies to help you manage the upcoming holiday season.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Happy Lower Back - Happy New Year!

Happy New Year 2017 from Dr Rick Jardon

Cowesett Chiropractic: Dr Rick Jardon

328 Cowesett Avenue
West Warwick, RI 02893

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Keep your lower back healthy and happy with these 3 simple suggestions.

RI Back Health Newsletter, 2016 December

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The only time the muscles, ligaments, and other structures of the spine can completely relax is while sleeping. Sleeping on a mattress that is uncomfortable or does not provide enough support for the spine can cause sleeplessness and overall aches and pains. For people with back and/or neck problems, a mattress that isn’t a good fit can make pain worse.

A good mattress, on the other hand, will help a person sleep well so that he or she wakes feeling rested and refreshed— without pain and stiffness.

Although no single type of mattress will work best for everyone, the seemingly infinite number of mattress options can be overwhelming. The following tips can help you make an informed decision:

1. Consult with your doctor. If you have an underlying condition that causes back or neck pain, ask your doctor for a specific mattress recommendation. He or she may be able to offer some helpful advice based on years of experience with patients.

2. Shop at a store that specializes in mattresses. You may be able to find a better price online or at a big-box retailer, but the salespeople at a mattress specialty store typically know more about the product they’re selling. It’s also a good idea to shop at a mattress specialty store that carries mattresses from all the major manufacturers.

3. Try out the mattress. When deciding on a new mattress, lie on the mattress for at least 10 to 15 minutes while at the store. This may seem strange, but buying a mattress is a big purchase—and it’s a decision you may live with for 5 to 10 years.

4. Don’t default to a firm mattress for back pain. Many people assume that the firmer the mattress, the better it is for back pain. But the best mattress for most lower back pain sufferers may actually be a medium firm mattress. It’s important to note that there is a difference between firm support and firm
feel—typically, you want a mattress with firm support but a comfortable feel. Of course, comfort is determined by personal preference.

5. Consider an adjustable bed. As a general rule, if sitting in a recliner is better for your back or neck pain than lying down, you will benefit from an adjustable bed. An adjustable bed is not a type of mattress, but rather a base that can be adjusted to various positions. If you go with an adjustable bed, you will likely need to purchase a new mattress that is compatible with your new base. Follow these simple guidelines to help you to find the best mattress for optimal sleep comfort.

Learn more:

Cowesett Chiropractic: Dr Rick Jardon

328 Cowesett Avenue
West Warwick, RI 02893

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Friday, December 9, 2016

RI Local News - Chiropractor West Warwick - Sitting Epidemic Article

Cowesett Chiropractic: Dr Rick Jardon

328 Cowesett Avenue
West Warwick, RI 02893

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Follow these 4 tips to help you avoid the potential negative side effects of too much sitting.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Health Insurance RI: 6 Questions During Open Enrollment

Every year during open enrollment, you have the opportunity to review and alter your health insurance. Here are 6 questions that can help you make the right decision for the coming year.