Health & Fitness

Chris Scott Wellness: Know Your Options for Treating Pain

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At Chris Scott Wellness, experts can treat pain without using opiods. Learn what services are available and how alternate means of pain relief can work.

Left to Right: Jennifer Huls, Holli Burkhart, Chris Scott and Dr. Brittany McMullen

Left to Right: Jennifer Huls, Holli Burkhart, Chris Scott and Dr. Brittany McMullen

At a time when the opioid epidemic is a top news story because of its strangulating hold on society, with more and more people falling victim to addictive prescription or illegal painkillers, people need to know there are better options for treating pain, says Chris Scott of Chris Scott Wellness, 1752 Windsor Road, Ste. 202, in Loves Park, Ill.

In the business for more than 25 years, Scott opened his own clinic in 2014 and specializes in pain management with Medical Massage Therapy and Myofascial Release. He has two physicians and three therapists on staff.

“You can have success treating pain without drugs,” he says.

More than 80 percent of the aches and pains people experience are musculoskeletal in nature, usually involving muscular imbalance and tightness, especially around joints, he says.

People who suffer from chronic pain often have anxiety and depression as a result of their suffering, which can also be addressed and improved with pain management therapy, he says.

One of the easiest ways people can lower their pain and anxiety levels is by using deep breathing exercises. One example is called “box breathing” and is done by slowly inhaling air through the nose to get the deepest breath, then holding it a couple of seconds and exhaling slowly through the mouth, while thinking positive thoughts or visualizing beautiful nature scenes.

“Science teaches us the brain controls the body, but what controls the brain? It’s your breath,” he says.

Scott says he has helped hundreds of people either get off pain medication or greatly reduce their need for it.

Tips for Easing Back and Neck Pain

A bulging or herniated disc doesn’t happen overnight, but with one sneeze or another quick move, you can suddenly be aware of it, says Dr. Brittany McMullen, chiropractic physician with Chris Scott Wellness.

When struck with debilitating pain, people can turn to chiropractors for relief and get tips on how to prevent more back problems.

“Disc problems are the most common back ailment I see,” she says, adding that most disc problems affect either the neck or lower back. They have many causes, such as aging, dehydration, a prior injury or general wear and tear, and they most often affect those between the ages of 20 and 50.

For back pain, McMullen uses flexion/distraction (decompression) treatments, massage, ultrasound and electrical muscle stimulation. The best preventative medicine for back pain, she says, is regular exercise and activity, and not sitting for long periods of time without getting up and walking around.

“Exercise strengthens the muscles that protect and stabilize all bones and joints, including the back,” she says.

Some of the best moves for the back include core exercises that target the abdominals and lower back, such as planks. Stretching is also important. Some of the best stretches for the back include slowly rolling your back as you reach to the floor to touch your toes, and then slowly rolling back up and reaching for the ceiling.

Just lying on your back with bent legs and pulling your knees to your chin can open up the spaces between the vertebrae and release pressure, McMullen says.

A good stretch for the neck involves leaning the head to the left and then to the right, each time using the flat part of the hand to gently apply additional pressure. To stretch the back of the neck, look down and use the palm of your hand to gently apply more pressure to the back of the head. Hold each stretch for at least 15 seconds and try to do them twice a day, McMullen recommends.

For more information or to make an appointment, call the clinic at (815) 977-3747. The office is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays by appointment.

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