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Pharmaceutical Companies Cashing in on the Opioid Epidemic

Opioid Epidemic

The opioid epidemic is just epidemic - it's widespread and affects everyone.  Here are some interesting statistics.  The United States comprises only 4.6% of the world's population but we consume 80% of the world's opioids.  The United States consumes 99% of the world's Vicodin.  We spend $300,000,000,000 (that's billion) on pain-related medical costs each year, much of that is on medications.  According to the CDC, in 2013, nearly 2 million Americans abused prescription drugs. [1]  Each day, 7000 people are treated in Emergency Rooms across the United States for overdose or complications related to prescription drugs. Abuse Deterrent Formulations (ADF) are a good attempt to help curb the epidemic, but since insurance companies charge patients an arm and a leg for them over generics, addicts have a valid reason to ask for something that's cheaper and abusable.  More importantly, these ADFs are only one…

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How to Avoid Opioid Induced Constipation (OIC)

Opioid Induced Constipation

Constipation is defined as infrequent bowel movements or the passage of hard stools, causing discomfort.  In patients taking opioids for pain, Opioid Induced Constipation is a frequent occurrence.  While there are many effective medications on the market for treating Opioid Induced Constipation, you may want to try some of these helpful recipies first. How to prevent constipation: Below is a list of ways to avoid constipation.  Start with #1 and move down the numerical steps until bowel movements are soft and regular. 1. Drink 8-10 glasses of fluid per day, including fruit juices. Eat a high fiber diet including raw fruits and vegetables, dried fruits, and whole grains. Fiber is important. Cereals such as Quaker Oatmeal Squares are high in fiber. In addition, try the juice recipe below: Juice recipe: 1 oz prune juice 1 oz apricot nectar 1 oz…

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What Causes Neuropathy?

Ainsworth Institute

Neuropathic pain affects roughly 2-3%[1] of the general population with an estimated cost of $40 billion per year in treatment related costs.[2] But what causes it? Since Neuropathy is an umbrella term used to describe any abnormalities of nerve function and structure, the potential causes of neuropathy are seemingly endless. Causes of Neuropathy: Genetics - Family history plays a big role. People who have family members with Neuropathy are more likely to experience it themselves. Toxins - Exposure to lead, glue, solvents, and heavy metals like mercury can cause nerve damage. This can happen through proximity to these agents in the workplace, or through willful abuse. Physical Injury - The most common cause of nerve injury. For example, spinal cord injury or disc herniation due to a fall or accident can lead to Neuropathic pain. Neuropathy can also be caused by holding…

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Why Choose Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS)?

Spinal Cord Stimulation NYC New York City Manhattan

Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS) is a particularly appealing option for those with chronic who are hoping to avoid surgery. The field of Neuromodulation (aka neuroaugmentation, aka neurostimulation) was born from the need to find an alternative to surgery. SCS adheres to the fundamental principles of Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS) by avoiding the excessive tissue injury and scarring inherent to open surgery. The important thing to remember is a SCS trial is not surgery, in fact there is no cutting of any kind. Patients get to test out the neurostimulation in a fully reversible fashion to see if it works and is effective in treating their specific pain complaints. Everyone’s pain is different and no two person’s complaints are the same. This may explain why spinal surgery is successful in some (61%)[1] yet in others their pain is made worse – the…

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Did You Remember Stretching?


Stretching before your workout is just as important as the workout itself. It can prevent injury, reduce post-workout discomfort and reduce the likelihood of muscle spasms. Stretching can also be dangerous if not performed correctly. Flexibility training should be approached by addressing the specific needs of the individual. There are four main categories for stretching techniques: ballistic static passive neuromuscular facilitation. BALLISTIC This type of stretching employs the repetitive rapid application of force one would experience in a bouncing or jerking maneuver. The momentum of the movement carries the body part through the range of motion until the muscles are stretched to their limits. This method is less effective than the other methods listed here because of the fact the muscle will contract under stresses to protect itself, which can prevent a full stretch, or overstretching. PASSIVE This technique employs…

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Sitting Can Make Your Low Back Pain Worse

Back Pain

Did you know that the way you sit could make your low back pain worse? Disc herniations can occur due to any number of reasons – picking up something too heavy, car accidents, sports injuries, etc. The two most common intervertebral discs in your low back to become herniated are the L4/5 and L5/S1. The way we position ourselves can exert undue pressure on these discs making a herniation more likely or make existing low back pain even worse. Remember when your mother would tell you to sit up straight? Well she was right…when you slouch in your chair it can almost double the amount of stress and pressure on the discs in your low back. This means a herniated disc will have even more force exerted on it causing it to bulge even further. What other positions are bad?…

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