Pain is a “pain in the butt!”

We have a guest blog post today written by Dr. Bennett Hixson. Dr. Hixson is a Doctor of physical Therapy at Lifestyle PT and he introduces you to where pain comes from and how to treat it without medication, surgery, or injections. I hope you enjoy. Karen S Shuler PT, DPT

Where Does Pain Come From?

Pain is a “pain in the butt”, but what if I told you it was a pain in your brain? The brain plays a large role in the severity of pain. When dealing with pain the brain seeks a way to protect the body; like a mother would their child. When the brain chooses to protect the body, it increases the sensitivity of the overall nervous system which brings us to a “fight or flight” response. During the fight or flight response the brain increases how sensitive the body is, to gather as much information as possible, to protect against threats. Due to this “perceived threat”, the nervous system is so sensitive that otherwise normal body experiences are amplified and result in pain. Light, Noises, and light touch can now be perceived as a threat and produce a pain response.   This can happen due to a normal response to injury, but once that pain or injury becomes chronic, our nervous system continues to stay overly sensitive. The body keeps itself in this “fight or flight” mode and it begins to build anxiety and stress because our brain is constantly in fear of pain and is attempting to avoid these threats.

You may be thinking how does one correct this? Well, many people use pain medications whether it be over the counter or prescription, but here at Lifestyle Physical Therapy we utilize Alpha-Stim as a non-pharmaceutical based pain management option in conjunction with exercise to re-teach the brain what pain free movement is.

Alpha-Stim: How does it work?

The Alpha-Stim Aid is Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation (CES) that emits a current to the brain that reduces the sensitivity of the nervous system. (Sounds scary but we simply place clips along the earlobes to emit the current and it is pain free). The body has multiple frequencies it operates on with fight or flight being the peak. On the opposite end of the spectrum is Delta, or deep sleep (where the body performs a significant amount of healing) Right in between those two frequencies we have Alpha, which should be our baseline operating frequency.  This is the frequency targeted via Alpha-Stim. By sending this current to the brain we are assisting the brain to communicate with the rest of the body to relax and thus the body exits the fight or flight response.

Some patients can feel an instant reduction or relief to their pain while others may take more time to get their body on board with changing the body’s definition of “normal.” Many times, the immediate effect depends on the duration and severity of pain. In regard to joint or body part specific pain, Alpha-Stim also offers the Alpha-Stim M which comes with smart probes and AS trodes that can be attached directly to the site of pain. This allows the unit to provide Microcurrent Electrical Therapy (MET) to the affected nerve endings that are sending pain sensations to the brain.

How does Lifestyle PT utilize Alpha-Stim?

At Lifestyle PT we utilize both CES and MET in conjunction with therapy to get you back to life! We offer the ability to purchase or rent both Alpha-Stim Models: Model Aid and Model M; which includes education and learning on how to use the device on your own. A home unit can be helpful for upcoming surgeries, to accelerate healing and reduce post-surgical pain response.  The Alpha Stim AID; which offers CES only, is cleared by the FDA for treatment of anxiety, depression and insomnia.  The Alpha Stim M; which offers MET in addition to CES is FDA cleared for relief from acute pain, chronic pain, insomnia, anxiety, and depression.  

We do offer a 2 week free trial of Alpha-Stim, in the clinic, to determine if you will respond well to this type of treatment. If you have any questions or would like to set up an appointment, call or text our offices at 803-831-1454. Lifestyle Physical Therapy’s Doctors of Physical Therapy are ready to help you get back to doing the things you love with less pain and without medication, injections, or surgery.

For more information and to review the research behind Alpha-Stime you can visit www.alpha-stim.com

Bennett Hixson DPT
Physical Therapist at Lifestyle Physical Therapy

This Article is intended for education Purposes only. Never start an exercise program without first consulting your physician or Physical Therapist. Never Go against the medical advice of your physician, physical therapist, or healthcare provider. If you are not cleared for exercise, you need an evaluation from a physical therapist to determine the safest way to begin an exercise program.

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Exercise and COVID-19

I know many of you are wondering if your efforts at the gym will make a difference if you contract COVID-19. Dr. Abarno has been looking at the research and the results are interesting. I would like to introduce you to Ryan Abarno DPT.  Dr. Abarno is the new Clinical Director at Lifestyle PT and he has been looking into research studying Cardiorespiratory fitness and complications from contracting COVID-19. Dr. Abarno specializes in Orthopedic Physical Therapy and the science of exercise. He is a competitive power lifter giving him a unique perspective on how exercise influences the human body. I hope you enjoy today’s post.

At this point we all are probably feeling a bit of pandemic fatigue thanks to Covid-19 (and we’re all probably a little tired of hearing about it). It has impacted lives on a scale that has not been seen in generations and its effect on society may be long lasting. However, being the optimist that I am, every situation, good or bad, serves as an opportunity to learn. As we get closer to the one year mark from which Covid-19 made its appearance known, we have found that there are ways we can reduce our chance of getting the virus and there are also things that we can do to improve how our bodies respond to the virus.

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Lifestyle PT Wellness Spotlight: Resilient Health and Wellness

Do you have an Autoimmune illness? Is it hard to get out of bed and get moving?

If you said yes, then today’s podcast is for you. Use the following link to listen: Lifestyle PT Wellness Spotlight . The Spotlight is on Ginger Morrissey PT, FAAOMPT the owner of Pin Point Physical Therapy and Resilient Health and Wellness. Dr. Karen Shuler PT, DPT interviews Ginger Morrissey about her latest business adventure Resilient Health and Wellness. In 2019 Ginger completed training in Functional Medicine and opened Resilient Health and Wellness where she helps people with autoimmune disease reduce their pain and return to a healthy lifestyle with natural solutions.  The business is located in the South Park area of Charlotte, NC but all visits can be performed virtually.

Learn more at their website: https://www.resilienthealthwellness.com/ or contact directly via email: gmorrissey@resilienthealthwellness.com or Phone: 704-840-2361

Lifestyle PT Wellness Spotlight: Alpha Stim Podcast

Welcome to our very first Lifestyle PT wellness spotlight. At Lifestyle Physical Therapy, we are Committed to Improving Quality of Life. We want to stay true to that commitment by connecting you with Businesses and products that can assist you in living your best life. Our topic today is a drug free electrotherapy device called Alpha Stim. Alpha Stim is FDA Cleared for use with Anxiety, Depression, Insomnia, Acute pain, and Chronic pain. I had the privilege of speaking with Wil Dees a rep with Alpha Team Medical to learn more about Alpha Stim. We hope you enjoy the podcast. Click on the title to listen. Lifestyle PT Wellness Spotlight: Alpha Stim . To learn more about alpha stim you can visit www.alpha-stim.com or www.alphateammedical.com .