couple exchanging presents on christmas

The holidays demand a lot from our bodies. Whether you plan to spend more time on your feet in the kitchen or get a workout playing with your grandkids, you need to feel at your best. Don’t let sore joints or back pain put a damper on your holiday plans. There are innovative, non-invasive treatments that can help you live pain-free.

PRP Injections

Our blood comprises several substances, including red blood cells, plasma–a clear liquid, and specialized cells that perform specific immune-related functions. PRP stands for platelet-rich plasma. It’s made by taking a blood sample from the patient and separating the plasma and some specialized cells called platelets. These are then combined and injected back into the patient at the site of their injury.

Platelets are specialized cells that send chemical messages to other cells to promote healing. The body uses these cells to begin the healing process when an injury occurs, but sometimes an area doesn’t receive enough blood flow for the healing process to complete. Joints are a good example of this. When a knee, for instance, experiences injury and cartilage degeneration, the body often has trouble getting enough immune cells to the area to heal it. Injecting platelet-rich plasma into the knee jumpstarts the healing process.

PRP injections are given as a series of three shots a couple of weeks apart from each other. 90% of our patients experience some relief after the first shot and see continued improvement with the second and third injections. PRP leads to long-lasting pain relief. For patients with a chronic condition like arthritis, a booster shot once a year is usually all that’s needed to keep their pain in control. Patients with acute injuries can experience complete healing and permanent relief after the initial course of treatment. Studies have shown that using PRP in arthritic knees improves pain and stiffness and can even slow the progression of the disease.

Since PRP uses the patient’s own blood, side effects are extremely rare. Real healing achieved with PRP can reduce your need for OTC and prescription pain medications with serious side effects.

Spinal Decompression Therapy

Back pain related to disc injuries or facet joint problems can make sitting or standing painful. Since no one wants to spend their holidays lying down, now is a great time to get the treatment you need. Spinal decompression therapy is a non-invasive treatment that can treat acute or chronic pain caused by herniated discs, sciatica, lumbar facet syndrome, and many other conditions.

Spinal decompression therapy is a form of traction, but instead of using pulleys and straps, it uses a computer to create exacting amounts of decompression. It’s the only form of traction proven to create negative pressures between the vertebrae. Negative pressure can suck bulging discs and herniated fluid back into place. It also encourages blood flow and takes the pressure off of nerves. Since the structures in the spine  don’t receive robust blood flow, they often have trouble healing. Decompression creates an optimal healing environment for discs and joints.

Spinal decompression therapy is safe and can often help patients avoid surgery. It successfully reduces or eliminates pain in 71-89% of patients with chronic back pain. Over sixty percent of chronic pain patients experienced complete, long-lasting pain relief.

Decompression therapy is done for several weeks. Usually multiple times per week for the first few weeks and then gradually tapering off. Most patients experience some relief after the first week or two of therapy. That means there’s still time for you to feel better for the holidays.

Medical Weight Loss

The holidays can be a challenging time for people watching their weight. The majority of Americans only gain one or two pounds over the holidays, but this becomes problematic if they don’t drop that weight afterward. Often holiday weight becomes winter weight that increases rather than decreases as the year goes on. An unhealthy body weight puts a strain on your heart, your joints, and your back. It also causes more inflammation throughout the body, putting you at a higher risk for chronic pain. But don’t panic. Holiday weight gain doesn’t have to become permanent, and you don’t need to resort to extreme diets or procedures to lose those extra pounds.

We offer the Ideal Protein Diet to our patients. This diet was created for Olympic athletes, and it focuses on high-quality protein-rich foods. It addresses many underlying reasons why people struggle to lose weight, including insulin resistance and other hormonal issues. Best of all, this diet teaches healthy eating habits and offers support for weight loss maintenance for over a year.

Ideal Protein is a type of ketogenic diet. It is safe for most people, but you should check with your doctor before starting it if you have any ongoing health problems, like kidney disease.

Most weight loss happens during the first two months of the diet. This is followed by a 12 month maintenance period where you will continue to receive support and may continue to lose weight. Since this program works quickly, it’s ideal for patients who need to lose a substantial amount of weight for the sake of their health. Many of our patients find that persistent joint pain goes away after they lose their excess weight.

Physical Therapy and Chiropractic Care

We see all kinds of patients with acute and chronic injuries needing therapy and chiropractic adjustment. Repetitive use injuries are some of the most persistent sources of pain for our patients. Many find that these injuries flare up during cold weather months or when they are busy or stressed. Repetitive use injuries come on slowly over time as the result of wear and tear. Carpal tunnel, tendonitis, and rotator cuff tears are common examples.

Physical therapy uses a variety of treatments, including stretches, strengthening exercises, kinesiology, and scar tissue reducing therapies to address chronic pain. Chiropractic care can also relieve pain from injuries caused by trauma or overuse that affect the back, neck, and other joints. All of these treatments are safe and proven effective. You don’t have to “live with” or “get used to” chronic pain from old injuries. Our providers will evaluate your injury and set up a personalized treatment plan that may include rehabilitation, injections (such as PRP), and chiropractic care.

Pain Relief in Houston

At Vanguard Spine and Sport, our goal is to help our clients heal. We take a holistic view of health care and offer many different treatments to meet individual needs. Come in today to see how we can get you feeling your best for the holidays and the New Year.