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Texting a Pain in the Neck, Study Suggests

February 23, 2010 1 comment

By Andrea Thompson, Senior Writer
Texting long messages can be a pain in the neck — literally.
The repetitive action of working your fingers across the number pad of your cell phone can cause some of the same chronic pain problems previously confined to those who’d spent a lifetime typing, a new study suggests.
The possible connection is particularly worrying given how much teens and young adults — and increasingly those in professional settings — are texting nowadays, said Judith Gold of Temple University in Philadelphia, who carried out one of the first studies on the potential connection.
Text messaging is a fairly new technology, Gold says, so this is a new area of research for those who study ergonomics. But the links between carpal tunnel syndrome, bursitis, and tendonitis for office workers and others who spend much of their day typing are firmly established, and “given the similarities in body position, findings from research on overuse injuries from computers could be applicable” to texting, Gold said.
“The way the body is positioned for texting – stationary shoulders and back with rapidly moving fingers – is similar to the position for typing on a computer,” Gold explained.
Previous research has found pain in the elbow associated with too much thumb texting. Doctors’ case reports have also referenced individual instances of “texting tendonitis” and “Blackberry thumb,” Gold said.
“That suggests that there is something going on,” Gold told LiveScience.
To look for a broader link between texting and chronic pain, Gold and her colleagues sent a questionnaire to 138 college students asking them to report the number of text messages they sent per day (in four categories: 0, 1-10, 11-20, 21+ messages) and to point out any discomfort they felt on a body map.
The research showed an association between number of text messages sent per day and shoulder discomfort. The effect seemed to be particularly pronounced in males, though Gold says she doesn’t know why that would be.
“What we’ve seen so far is very similar to what we see with office workers who’ve spent most of their time at a computer,” Gold said.
However, Gold’s study did not control for the amount of time the people surveyed also spent typing on computers, which could be affecting the results.
Gold says that more research needs to be done to control for computer use and confirm the texting-pain connection.
“It’s a new issue and I think the jury’s still out,” she said.
Gold’s findings were presented at the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association, held last week in Philadelphia.

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Popular back pain therapy doesn’t work! Read here!

February 19, 2010 Leave a comment

From CNN

Bad back? Nerve stimulation won’t help
By Denise Mann

* Transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation doesn’t help back pain, study finds
* TENS transmits weak electric current through electrodes at pain site
* Other experts say research is insufficient to completely dismiss TENS’ value
* Back pain is the second most common cause of disability in the U.S. after arthritis

(Health.com) — A popular pain-relief treatment that uses electricity to stimulate nerves isn’t likely to benefit the millions of Americans who live with chronic low back pain and shouldn’t be recommended for that purpose, new guidelines say.

Transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation, or TENS, is delivered using a small battery-operated generator connected to a set of electrodes. The generator, about the size of a BlackBerry, transmits a weak electric current through the electrodes, which are attached to the skin at the site of chronic pain or at other key points.

Despite their popularity, there is little evidence that these devices are effective for chronic low back pain, according to the guidelines from the American Academy of Neurology, which were published Wednesday in the journal Neurology.

“Physicians are advised against ordering TENS for patients with chronic low back pain since it is proven not to work,” says the lead author of the guidelines, Richard Dubinsky, M.D., a professor of neurology at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, Kansas

Dubinsky and his colleague based the guidelines on a review of past studies that compared TENS with a sham TENS procedure (a mock treatment equivalent to a placebo) for chronic low back pain, which is defined as pain lasting three months or more.

They turned up just five studies in all. Two high-quality studies found that TENS produced no benefit; the other studies had mixed results, but they were considered to be less reliable.

The relative dearth of research on TENS and chronic low back pain suggests that the new guidelines shouldn’t be accepted as gospel, according to Andreas Binder, M.D., and Ralf Baron, M.D., neurologists at Christian-Albrecht-Universität Kiel, in Kiel, Germany, who wrote an editorial accompanying the new guidelines.

“[A]bsence of evidence is not evidence of absence,” they wrote. Although the research on TENS may be thin, they added, “there seems to be considerable empirical evidence that, at least in some patients, TENS is useful.”

Binder and Baron point out that, unlike opiates and other pain medications — which carry a risk of side effects, including abuse and addiction — TENS is a safe, fast-acting, and user-friendly treatment that has very few side effects, doesn’t interact with medications, and can be stopped at any time if it isn’t effective.

The treatment is also relatively affordable. TENS units can be purchased for less than $100, although some models cost several hundred dollars or more.

There certainly is a market for the devices. Back pain is the second most common cause of disability in the U.S. after arthritis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Eight out of 10 adults will experience low back pain at some point in their lives by some estimates, although 95 percent of those cases will get better within three months.

Charles Cranny, the director of outpatient physical therapy at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, says that because of the treatment’s upside, TENS may still be worth recommending to patients with chronic back pain for whom other treatments have come up short.

“We use TENS as a last resort in people with chronic back pain who are not improving with other measures,” he says. “I say, let’s give it a try in these patients. We have had some who swear by it and a lot who say, ‘It worked for a couple of weeks, but then I returned it to the vendor.'”

Exactly how TENS works — or whether it does work — isn’t known. Experts believe that the electrical current may overstimulate the nerves that sense pain, confusing the brain in the process and blocking out the real pain signals.

“TENS likely has a placebo effect, but its safety and side effect profile makes it an ideal tool in approaching chronic pain syndromes,” says Derk Krieger, M.D., Ph.D., a neurologist at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.

In contrast to the findings on low back pain, the new guidelines state that TENS may be useful in treating nerve pain associated with diabetes, which affects up to 70 percent of people with the disease.

Two studies have found that TENS has some positive effects on diabetic nerve pain, but because neither of them compared TENS with any other treatment options, it remains unclear when TENS is most appropriate to use in such cases, the guidelines say.

“No recommendations can be made about when to use TENS compared to other treatments for diabetic nerve pain,” says Dubinsky.

Cranny says that, in his experience, TENS has indeed proven effective for diabetic nerve pain. “This is a whole different type of pain than typical low back pain, and my patients with diabetic nerve pain swear by it,” he says. “If they don’t use TENS they will have a bad day, and if they do use it they will feel better.”

In the new guidelines, Dubinsky and his colleague call for more studies of TENS, particularly in people who have never used the devices before. Future studies should also try to determine the optimal way to administer TENS, they write.

In the meantime, says Cranny — and the new guidelines notwithstanding — patients have little reason not to try TENS.

“Try it, see if it works; if it doesn’t, return it,” he says. “It’s worth a shot, because there aren’t too many significant side effects.”

Copyright Health Magazine 2009

Find this article at:
http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/12/30/back.pain.tens.nerve.stimulation

Office Announcement!

February 19, 2010 Leave a comment

I am pleased to announce our merger with Azzatori Chiropractic Center!

Dr. Jeff McQuaite and Dr. John Azzatori, owner of Azzatori Chiropractic Centers have merged practices to better serve the Doylestown community. Dr. McQuaite and Dr. Azzatori bring a combined 30+ years of committed and compassionate patient care along with chiropractic excellence to the residents of our quaint, progressive Bucks County town of Doylestown. We successfully outgrew the location at 8 West Oakland Avenue and have moved across town to accommodate the expansion of the merger. The new home of Azzatori Chiropractic of Doylestown is 295 Logan Street. We are located directly across from C.B. West with convenient access to Route 202 and Route 611. The 2000 sq. ft. office has plenty of on-site parking with easy access from Lafayette Street. In addition, there is ample, safe on-street parking for further convenience. “We are proud to be associated with Azzatori Chiropractic Centers as they have been consistently voted by local businesses and the community to be the top chiropractic office in the area.” Dr. Azzatori stated, “I am thrilled to be affiliated with Dr. Jeff, a second generation chiropractor with strong, deep ties to the area.”

Welcome to Dr. Jeff McQuaite’s Blog

February 17, 2010 Leave a comment

Welcome to my first blog! I plan on using this blog to inform Doylestown, Jamison, Warrington, Buckingham and the entire Central Bucks area on the benefits of chiropractic and its related success stories. I have been in practice for over 14 years and have recently merged my practice with Dr. John Azzatori, owner of Azzatori Chiropractic Centers. We bring over 30 years of experience to the community and look forward to be a vital part of our neighborhood. Our new office is located at 295 Logan Street, directly across from CB West. We have on site parking and plenty of safe on street parking. For more information, please see our websites:
http://www.mcquaitechiropractic.com
http://www.azzatorichiropractic.com

Hello world!

February 17, 2010 1 comment

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