Chronic Pain & Car Accidents 

Car accidents are unpredictable. Even when anticipated, they can cause severe, lasting injuries.

Research shows that of the nearly 100 million Americans who suffer from chronic pain, auto accidents are a leading contributor. It is estimated that 37% of chronic pain cases are neck and back injuries resulting from traffic accidents and whiplash.

Types of Pain from Car Accidents

Injuries derived from tra&c accidents can be vast, ranging from whiplash and general back or neck pain to broken bones and burns. Understanding the type of damage after a crash helps determine what kinds of treatment to seek.

Whiplash is one of the most common vehicular-accident related injuries. This neck strain occurs when there is an abrupt jerking of the head, either forward or backward. Typical symptoms include neck stiffness, headaches, general upper back or shoulder pain, neck tightness and pain and dizziness. CT scans and MRI might be necessary to diagnose the injury. Depending on the severity of whiplash, treatment can include physical therapy.

Back and neck pain are often due to muscle dysfunction but may also be more serious spinal injuries. According to the Mayo Clinic, car accidents contribute to over 35% of new, annual spinal injuries. Common spinal injuries include spondylolisthesis and disc herniation. Spondylolisthesis happens when vertebra slides out of place, which may cause pinched nerves, pain, and weakness. In severe cases, this injury can lead to a loss of bowel and bladder control.

Similarly, herniated discs occur when cushiony discs between the vertebra slip out of place. This injury may cause weakness and numbing of arms or legs. Physical therapy is the most common treatment.

Treating Chronic Pain after an Accident

Even minor car accidents can cause serious injuries that vary from person to person. After an accident, if you are feeling any pain, it is essential to seek medical advice. Initial minimal pain can signify a more serious injury. New Health Services understands how accident-related pain differs and goes beyond just the physical pain. At New Health Services, our comprehensive care philosophy evaluates pain on an individual basis to develop the best way to treat the whole person.

If you or someone you know is experiencing post-accident pain, contact us today.

Spring Cleaning Minus the Back Pain

Spring has arrived, meaning it is time to start cleaning up your house, gardening and preparing for summer! While these actions seem simple, an increase in such activities can be strenuous on your back. New Health Services believes spring cleaning is a necessity, but back pain isn’t—check out our three tips below to keep your house clean and back healthy! 

  1. Always stretch! Stretching is always related to physical activity, but not always associated with cleaning. However, cleaning is still a physical activity that can potentially strain your muscles. It is best to do some quick stretch starting with your head and neck. Don’t forget to stretch after your work is done!  
  2. Lift properly! Moving heavy equipment like garbage bags, soil, and even various cleaning tools can cause a lot of back strain. Always bend at your knees, not at the waist, use your glutessqueeze your shoulder blades, and tighten your abdominal muscles.  Remember NOT to twist your back at unhealthy angles. If the items are too heavy, don’t force yourself to get it done, ask for a little assistance!  
  3. Break up the work & be aware of your body! Spring cleaning can be lengthy, so don’t attempt to get everything done at one time. Spread out your tasks over a few days (or even weeks) to avoid overworking your spine. Be aware of your body’s signals and know when you should take a break. Remember, all bodies are different and range in capability!

Other things to consider: 

  • Make sure all equipment is functional and up-to-date 
  • Don’t work on wet surfaces 
  • Clear away clutter before working 
  • When vacuuming, don’t twist or maneuver by extending only your arms. Use your full-body by using our legs to help move the vacuum.

Spring cleaning is a great way to freshen up your home and make it safer, but it can cause significant back pain. Always treat your body correctly to avoid needing treatment. If you or someone you know is experiencing pain, New Health Services is here to help manage both your physical and mental strains. Find out more about our comprehensive care plan by contacting us today:  https://www.newhealthservices.com/contact-us/#top  

Coping Methods for Families with Someone in Chronic Pain

The impacts of chronic pain reach beyond those affected. Chronic pain is pain that lasts longer than 12 weeks and often changes family dynamics. Challenges and role shifts can negatively impact self-images and self-esteem and can lead to guilt, depression, anxiety, resentment and powerlessness. Practicing coping can help families deal with the impacts of chronic pain.  

Generally, coping practices deal with in-the-moment actions and are either problem- or emotional-focused. At New Health Services, we understand that coping, like our treatment, should be comprehensive. We recommend an adaptable, relationship-focused coping approach. While family members might feel overwhelmed and powerless as caregivers, relationship-focused coping emphasizes maintaining high-quality relationships.  

Relationship-Focused Coping

Relationship-focused coping is entirely adaptable per individual and generally includes the needs to communicate, negotiate, compromise and be empathetic. To do this effectively, chronic pain or illness must be viewed as a family problem, not that of just the affected individual nor primary caregiver. After the family accepts the pain as a collective responsibility, it is key to identify the varying coping techniques of each member of the family. Everyone has different coping methods and identification leads to complementing or compromising methods. Regardless of combined coping, it is essential for all family members to reassure unconditional love and genuine concern.  

In relationship-focused coping, some will take the protective buffering strategy, which encourages the avoidance of disagreements. However, this method limits expression and makes members feel constrained in conveying any negative emotions. Thus, families must openly and constructively communicate with one another with active and empathic listening skills. While respecting varying coping methods, family members should continually be mindful of what is being communicated, how it is being said and when it is being said. They must maintain a mindful outlook that is considerate of other perspectives.    

Relationship-focused coping does not only help maintain and foster the relationships of caregiver members but accentuates the needs of the individual in pain. For individuals in chronic pain, not all support is good. Families should consider how the member in pain wants to receive support—some want practical help, to be listened to or to feel strong and capable. To better care for these individuals, everyone in the family needs to be open to asking questions! Most importantly, ask how you can help the member facing chronic pain. They might feel guilty and are not ready to ask for help themselves.  

Coping: The Key to Effective Support

Understanding coping methods for everyone in the family is key to supporting mental wellness associated with chronic pain. It is important to always be genuine, believe in your family, be aware of nonverbal communication and accentuate the positives! Remember, effective coping systems will become less efficient when the family and member in chronic pain do not receive professional help. Choosing a provider who supports your needs and comprehensive wellness is the key to success.  

Contact New Health Services today to learn more about our comprehensive care and how we can help improve your family’s coping methods.  

Mental Health and Chronic Pain

Chronic pain and mental health are intertwined wellness paths. Although the two are often connected, for example, those with chronic pain are prone to depression and those with depression may manifest physical, chronic pain. Many treatment options do not address both physical and mental pain concurrently.

What is Chronic Pain?

Chronic pain is pain that lasts for over 12 weeks. Chronic pain reaches beyond physical injuries and includes such ailments as heart disease, arthritis, migraines, and diabetes. Many individuals suffering from chronic pain are not aware of its links to mental health or feel it is too complicated to treat both their psychological and physical wellbeing. Instead, they frequently avoid discussing mental problems with their doctors.

What is Mental Health?

Mental health includes an individual’s state of psychological and emotional health and wellness. Mental health issues range from bipolar disorder to depression or anxiety. An estimated 15 million Americans suffer from depression. Depression can be directly associated with chronic pain, as those with pain are three times more likely to develop depression.

Links Between Mental Health and Chronic Pain

Chronic pain can make individuals feel alone (or feel the need to isolate themselves), helpless, hopeless and uncertain about the future which can ultimately lead to depression. An estimated 35-50 percent of people facing chronic pain also struggle with depression and anxiety. This link stems from similar biological pathways for those in pain and those with depression. When an individual struggles with chronic pain, they can suffer from insomnia and guilt, which can begin a cycle of depression. Once the cycle begins, it is difficult to break.

There are other shared symptoms of chronic pain, anxiety, and depression that make it difficult to differentiate what is mental vs. physical. Shared symptoms include:

  • Weight and appetite changes
  • Changes in energy and libido
  • Insomnia
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Muscle tension
  • Body soreness
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue

Symptoms can be sudden or come-and-go. Once the cycle of mental and physical wellness strains begins, it is difficult to reverse.

Tips for Coping with Mental & Physical Pain

  • Research and become educated about your condition to avoid the fear of the unknown
  • Meditate
  • Exercise
  • Make time for yourself
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help and develop a support system
  • Practice mindfulness

To fully heal, individuals must integrate their care options. At New Health Services we emphasize our comprehensive care model and believe in treating the whole person. If you or someone you know struggles with mental or physical health, schedule an appointment with us today

Lift the Label & Addiction Support

The United States is in an opioid epidemic. More than two million Americans have become dependent on or abused prescription pain pills. Many switch to heroin as it is less expensive than prescription drugs.

Quick Facts About the US Opioid Crisis:

  • 1 million Americans with opioid addiction
  • From 1999 to 2016, more than 350,000 people died from an opioid overdose, including prescription and illicit opioids
  • 40% of all U.S. opioid overdose deaths involve a prescription opioid
  • During 2017, there were more than 72,000 overdose deaths in the US, including 49,068 that involved an opioid
  • Opioid prescriptions dispensed by doctors steadily increased from 112 million in 1992 to a peak of 282 million in 2012

The Colorado Opioid stats are not any better.

  • 558 opioid overdose deaths in 2017, 55% of all drug poisoning deaths
  • Heroin treatment admissions at state-licensed facilities have increased by 132% since 2013

Although many feel insulated from opioid addiction this crisis does not discriminate by gender, age, race or social class. It can impact anyone.  However, there is help and hope.

New regulations are being implemented to limit pain pills and expand treatment options, including the distribution of $485 million in grant money across the nation. State Legislatures are also introducing measures to regulate pain clinics and limit the number of opioids doctors can dispense.

These new regulations are being matched by many public awareness campaigns that focus on the seriousness of addiction and the opioid crisis. These awareness campaigns are vital to breaking stigmas, developing support systems and ultimately solving the issue. Such campaigns are vital to helping those impacted by opioid addiction.

One Colorado-based campaign, Lift The Label, is making strides that focus on supporting those with opioid addictions and helping individuals seek effective treatment. Lift the Lable was developed by the Colorado Department of Human Services, Office of Behavioral Health and funded through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The campaign addresses challenges in overcoming addiction and effective ways to manage pain. Lift The Label provides information on treatment plans ranging from medication-assisted treatments that help an addicted brain recover to opioid detoxifications. Lift The Label offers more than just treatment plans.

A key to recovery is continuous education for addicts to overcome the barriers they face when seeking support. Lift The Label fosters support-groups by helping families and friends learn the facts about opioid addiction and recognize the signs and symptoms.

New Health Services participates in the Lift The Label campaign.  We continue to lead the way for better pain treatment, especially for patients who are currently underserved. Our focus is on providing a new approach to pain treatment by integrating traditional medical care with mental wellness—leading to better outcomes.

New Health Services’ very own Ozzie Cabral is involved in the Lift The Label campaign.

Leadership Spotlight: Ozzie Cabral

New Health Services is fortunate to have a staff of leaders in across many disciplines. Let’s take a behind the scenes look at our team and what they do outside of their daily routines at New Health.

Ozzie Cabral, the Director of Integrated Services, is part of the integrated team at New Health’s state-of-the-art facility.

Ozzie has worked in the mental health field since 2002 in both residential and outpatient addiction treatment facilities, as well as community mental health centers.

All of Ozzie’s expertise focuses on helping patients find a better way to manage pain. Ozzie’s methods include:

  • Addiction Treatment
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy
  • Skills Training
  • Aggression Replacement Training
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Trauma-Focused Therapies

Where else can you find Ozzie in the community?

Ozzie is the Board President for Rise Up Community High School, a part of Denver Public Schools.  Rise Up helps engage young people who have dropped out, or are at risk of dropping out, of school.

Ozzie is also proud to be part of the Lift The Label Campaign. He has been featured on two of their commercials playing on Hulu and Netflix.

Additionally, Ozzie is a national speaker at various addiction and mental health conferences.  He also facilitates staff training for organizations nationwide. Here are a few of his recent speaking engagements:

  • Colorado State 2nd Opioid Safety Summit sponsored by the Colorado Hospital Association (CHA) and the Office of Behavioral Health (OBH)
  • For Men in Recovery: hosting leaders in the community to share their stories of experience, strength, and hope.
  • Four Directions Indigenous Peoples March held at the Colorado State Capital. Learn more about Ozzie and his amazing wolf, Nakai.
  • American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM)’s annual conference in April 2019. ASAM sets the standards and criteria for treatment in addiction medicine.

Outside of the health field, Ozzie founded and currently operates Song of the Wolf Healing Center.  Song of the Wolf is a wolf and wolf-hybrid rescue located in Bailey, Colorado.

Ozzie is extremely passionate about everything he does in work and in life! Reach out to Ozzie to learn more about New Health Services or to find out where he will be speaking this year.

New Health: Compassionate Care is our Hallmark

Working at New Health is the culmination of a dream that began for me at the age of three, when I was already dressing up as a nurse, eager to follow in the footsteps of my mom. When she talked at home about the people she had helped during the day, her eyes would light up, and often tear up, and her compassion was contagious. I don’t remember a day when I ever doubted that I was meant to be in this role. Nursing was always in my blood.

I have cared for patients since 1984, working throughout my career with people who are struggling in some way or another with pain. Particularly with chronic pain patients, I have seen the emotional need that is almost always there alongside the pain. That is why I was excited to become a part of New Health’s vision, treating behavior health needs in coordination with pain management. Behavioral health is a huge piece that has been missing from chronic pain care treatment until now. Putting these two key components together is the right thing to do. It helps keep patients with chronic pain from becoming addicted to pain medication, or it helps free them from that addiction, and it gives them the necessary tools to rejoin society.

We have had patients come to us uncertain about how their appointment would go, and they leave New Health with tears of relief in their eyes. They have been surprised and so grateful to finally get the time they need to explain the full picture of their health struggles to a doctor who looks them in the eye and really listens. In addition, patients spend time with a therapist and with other patients who understand how hard it can be to hold everything together at home and at work while struggling through pain. They tell us they have never had an experience quite like this before. They have never felt like they were truly being heard until now.

Many of our patients come to us as Medicaid or Medicare patients, after frustrating experiences where they haven’t had access to the care they deserve in a timely manner. At New Health, we embrace those patients, we welcome them in and we get to work. We know that each patient who walks through our doors has a real struggle with pain, and they are likely someone’s parent or uncle or sibling or child.

Our doctors, nurses and therapists problem-solve together for our patients and work as a team toward one goal – to get to the root of the problem and fix it. We want each of our patients functioning, happy and back into what they enjoy doing that gives them a sense of purpose. To me, this type of all-inclusive health care setting is one-of-a kind.

Denise Finn-Zinn has provided direct patient care, oversight of surgical cases and management of nursing staff for more than 30 years. She is a graduate of Villanova University. At New Health, Denise actively participates in clinical care advancements and implementation of new surgery center standards with a focus on ensuring patient satisfaction, quality and safety.

Introducing New Health: A New Model for Pain Treatment

Accessing the right treatment plan can be a challenge for anyone suffering from chronic or acute pain. For patients without financial resources or private health insurance, the obstacles can be insurmountable.

That’s why we’re excited to introduce you to New Health Pain Treatment Centers, which offers comprehensive pain treatment to a range of patients, some of whom are currently underserved. We believe all patients deserve the best care possible and the opportunity to return to a high quality of life.

Chances are, you haven’t run across a delivery model like New Health. Pain treatment – like many other areas of health care — has historically operated in silos, with different entities providing diagnosis and treatment planning, imaging, physical therapy, surgery and other services. This can lead to disjointed care, where patients are more likely to fall through the cracks and receive less-than-optimum outcomes.

And almost always missing from the equation is behavioral health, despite more than 22,000 Coloradans reporting dependence on opioids. Chronic and acute pain can take a devastating toll on the mind and body, and difficulty in one area will affect the other. New Health believes it is irresponsible to provide pain treatment without behavioral health support. That’s why we require an initial assessment and ongoing behavioral health treatment for patients with chronic pain. Individual and group therapy provides patients with the treatment and tools to help them manage their pain from the inside out. Whether behavioral health symptoms are new or previously diagnosed, New Health patients will receive the services and support to help address mental health concerns throughout their treatment.

As you can see, at New Health, we take a whole-person approach. Offering a comprehensive range of services under one umbrella means patients receive the appropriate treatment in a convenient and coordinated fashion. Providers seamlessly share information in real time, and treatment plans are adjusted to reflect patient progress and individual needs.

I’m excited to be part of an organization delivering ground-breaking care to underserved populations. Everyone deserves high-quality care delivered with dignity and respect. At New Health, we’re breaking down silos and serving an urgent need for comprehensive pain treatment. And in health care, it doesn’t get much better than that.

Integrating Medical Care with Mental Wellness

When suffering from chronic pain, it’s not just the body that hurts. Physical pain also affects mental health, emotional well-being and quality of life. Chronic pain may also cause or increase worry, anxiety, frustration, anger and depression, making the physical pain worse and hampering abilities to cope.

That is why a whole-person approach is an integral part of health care at New Health. We understand that physical, emotional and mental health care are connected, especially for patients with chronic pain.

Our unique approach allows patients to experience optimal pain relief and feel empowered to more fully participate in their lives. Patients receive valuable tools and skills to help minimize or avoid opiates while learning how to successfully navigate the mental and emotional difficulties that almost always accompany physical pain. This is critical now more than ever since as a country we are seeing a high risk for addiction in patients with chronic pain as well as the overuse of opiate medications.

At New Health, our intake assessment helps identify the physical, psychological and social factors that are having an affect on a person’s health. Our doctors and therapists work together as a team to formulate a treatment plan and make sure each patient’s individual physical and mental wellness needs are met.

Regardless of where a person is in their journey with pain, we meet them there and help them find the best path forward through high-quality, integrated medical and behavioral health care.

Unlike most pain treatment centers, New Health offers group therapy, which allows patients to enjoy the support of other patients with similar struggles. We also provide individual sessions for those who need more emotional support or additional coping skills to overcome their challenges.

Aside from our chronic pain treatment, New Health is happy to serve people who come to us struggling with addiction to opiates, alcohol, stimulants and/or any other substance. We offer various levels of addiction treatment, including intensive outpatient therapy (IOP).Our qualified team carefully monitors progress to make sure each of our patients has the tools needed in recovery to succeed in their long-term treatment goals.

Our therapy is designed to help patients become physically, mentally and emotionally stronger so they can live happier, healthier lives. Even patients not struggling with chronic pain can enroll in our addiction treatment services. Regardless of a patient’s situation, they are welcome, and we can help.

If you or someone you know is suffering from chronic pain and/or addiction, you don’t have to fight this battle alone. We are not afraid to tackle this with you.

Connect with us today at 720.274.0341 or here so we can start helping you find a better way forward.