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Examining the Causes of Migraines

Migraines are extremely painful and disruptive. Chronic migraine sufferers may find it difficult to keep up with their everyday responsibilities because of the intensity and frequency of their headaches. Fortunately, acupuncture and treatment by chiropractors can help, but what makes some people experience migraines and others never have them?

This video examines some potential causes of migraines. Doctors suspect that differences in brain development during childhood and imbalances of neurotransmitters may be to blame for migraines.

At Manhattan Total Health, we’re committed to helping people get out of pain without medications through acupuncture, physical therapy, chiropractic adjustment, and more. To make an appointment for acupuncture in New York, NY or one of our other treatments, please call (888) 614-9257.



Can Acupuncture Help to Manage Anxiety Symptoms?

Anxiety is a complex condition that typically requires a multifaceted approach to treatment. One treatment more patients are embracing is acupuncture. Through acupuncture, some people with anxiety report feeling less intense symptoms and being able to reduce or stop the anxiety medications they are taking. Because of the serious side effects of medications, alternative treatments that ease symptoms can significantly improve anxiety sufferers’ quality of life. Here is what you need to know about the use of acupuncture to treat anxiety.

Acupuncture Basics

Acupuncture involves the use of thin needles strategically inserted in various locations throughout the body. It is derived from Chinese medicine and is based on the idea that a wide range of medical issues is caused by problems with the flow of qi, or energy, through the body. In Western medicine, qi is analogous to metabolic functioning. Acupuncture is performed to restore to flow of qi to a healthy level in order to resolve whatever condition is being treated.

Needle Placement

There are specific points on the body, called meridians by acupuncture practitioners, which are responsible for certain functions. Needles are placed to restore qi along the meridian that your acupuncture specialists believe are affected. After listening to the symptoms of your anxiety, your acupuncture provider will determine exactly where the needles should be placed to give you the greatest relief. Because the needles are thin, most people report that they don’t feel them at all or that any pinprick sensation is minor and short-lived.

Treatment Effects

Although the exact way acupuncture helps anxiety is not known, it may help in a number of ways. Acupuncture may reduce the release of stress hormones and help to balance your body chemistry. As a result, with repeated treatments, you may experience a reduction in your anxiety symptoms. Like any treatment, acupuncture does not provide the same effects for everyone, but because it has no side effects, it is a low-risk treatment for nearly anyone to try.

Could acupuncture become an important part of your anxiety treatment plan? At Manhattan Total Health, we offer acupuncture, as well as physical therapy, chiropractic care, and medical massage in New York, NY to help you feel your best. To make an appointment, please call (888) 614-9257.



Answering Common Questions About Nerve Testing

If you are living with chronic pain, identifying the cause is the first step to getting the relief you need. When you visit a physiatrist for diagnosis and treatment, one test he or she may recommend is an electromyography diagnostic test, also known as EMG, to see how your muscles respond to stimulation by your nerves. The results of this test can help you physiatrist decide which treatments may work best for you, including the use of chiropractic care, physical therapy, acupuncture, and more. Patients often have questions about this kind of test. Here are the answers to questions that may be on your mind if your doctor recommends you undergo an EMG.

Why is this test performed?

EMGs tell your physiatrist how your muscles respond to nerve signals from the brain. During the test, your doctor will measure the response of your muscles to these nerve signals to determine if there is any kind of abnormal reaction. EMGs can be used to determine if you have a neuromuscular disorder. In some cases, additional nerve testing is done alongside an EMG. A nerve conduction study, or NCS, is used to see how fast and strong the activity inside a nerve is.

Will it hurt?

During an EMG, your physiatrist will insert needles into your muscles in order to see how your muscles act when you contract and relax them. The needles are thin and are only needed in areas being studied. Although there is some minor discomfort involved with inserting the needles, the test is very tolerable for most people. Older EMGs used to be more painful, and many of the stories people have heard about these tests refer to the older version.

What happens after the test?

You may have some muscle soreness for a few days after the test. Your physiatrist will review the results with you and design a personalized treatment plan. A combination of modalities, including physical therapy and acupuncture, may be used in the treatment plan.

The physiatrists at Manhattan Total Health are very experienced in the use of EMG testing and can help you get on the road to recovery from your chronic pain. Find out more about all of our treatments, including acupuncture in New York, NY, by calling (888) 614-9257.



Tips for Talking to Your Physical Therapist About Your Migraines

Migraines aren’t like ordinary headaches. They can be disabling, causing patients to miss time from work, sports, and family commitments. Migraines can also be tricky to treat, especially for people who would rather avoid taking medications for a long time. If you’ve been suffering from migraines, you’ve probably tried several treatments already. But have you given physical therapy a try?

Be honest and open when discussing your pain level.

Lots of patients downgrade their pain level because they feel like they ought to tough it out. Remember that the better your physical therapist understands your pain, the better he or she will be able to help you. Your pain is valid, and shouldn’t be compared to anyone else’s pain. When asked to describe your pain intensity on a scale from zero to 10, remember that the number on the scale doesn’t have anything to do with how well you can tough it out.

Keep track of all of your symptoms.

Migraines can cause many other symptoms besides throbbing pain in the head. In order to design a professional physical therapy plan that’s right for you, you may be asked to keep a symptom journal for a few weeks. Bear in mind that the symptoms can start one to two days before an actual migraine, so write down all of your symptoms, even if you don’t think they’re relevant. Make a note of symptoms like:

  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Constipation
  • Moodiness
  • Weakness
  • Neck stiffness

Give honest feedback when something is or isn’t working.

Your physical therapist will continue to make adjustments in your treatment plan. Let him or her know when something is bringing you relief, and when something isn’t working. You may try the following techniques during your treatment sessions:

  • Manual therapy
  • Heat and cold therapy
  • Stretching exercises
  • Posture education

Migraine sufferers can find compassionate, professional physical therapy in New York, NY. Manhattan Total Health, which is available at multiple locations around the city, is comprised of a multidisciplinary team of genuinely caring professionals who want to help you live life well. You can reach a friendly staff member at (888) 614-9257.



A Look at Our Diagnostic Testing Services

At Manhattan Total Health, you’ll find a full range of nonsurgical sports medicine services, including preventive, diagnostic, and therapeutic care. We understand it can be tough to fit healthcare into a busy schedule, which is why we offer diagnostic testing services under one roof for your convenience. Our testing services include nerve testing, x-rays to evaluate bone health, and electromyography (EMG) testing to assess the electrical activity of the muscles.

Our sports medicine experts can perform ultrasound exams to take a close look at soft tissue injuries. These high-tech tests are helpful for the individualized treatment planning process. We also perform functional diagnostic tests, including range of motion, muscle, and trigger point testing. Our trigger point exam includes an injection of lidocaine, a local anesthetic, to deliver rapid relief to painful areas.

Our physiotherapists in New York, NY look forward to meeting you and helping you achieve your goals for your health. Call Manhattan Total Health at (888) 614-9257 to schedule an appointment at our Midtown, Wall Street, or Gramercy locations.


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