Topics in this article include buttock pain when coughing; hip pain from sitting; what are trigger points in muscles?

 These questions were answered on Dr. Steve’s TV show Natural Health Today. To see the show, click on for “Natural Health Today”. Or, click on broadcast schedule under the community access tab, for airing times on which stations. Or you can watch Natural Health Today on Comcast channel 99.

 Q: Joanne from Beverly: I get some pain into my buttock when I cough lately. My Medical Doc thinks it is a disk problem and wants me to have an MRI. Paying a 20% copay on a $2000 test sounds like a lot of money. Should I have the test?

 A: If you have no other signs of a disc herniation, like loss of feeling or loss of movement into your legs or feet it does not make sense to have an expensive test done first. It is wiser to have treatment directed to a common cause of pain into the buttock on coughing; such as a trigger point in the quadratus lumborum muscle. Because this muscle attaches to the ribs it can be irritated when you cough which shakes your ribs, and the pain referral area for the quadratus lumborum muscle goes right into the buttocks. When you receive hands on trigger point care and your pain goes away when you cough you will find that you did not need to have the expensive test done first.

 Q: Ed from Middleton: After driving back from New York City my right hip is bothering me a lot. It’s not too bad when I walk but it kills me to get up after I have been watching TV. Does this sound like I need a hip replacement?

 A: Prolonged sitting will hurt the low back, sacroiliac joint and a muscle called the psoas muscle. These will hurt more when getting up from sitting than when you are walking. Walking will make a true hip problem hurt. But thinking of replacing a hip without first getting good hands on conservative care is not only more expensive it is entering into greater danger. Hip replacement is a major surgery and something that only lasts about 15 years. So you should have it only as a last resort.

 Q: Evan from Essex: I have a hard time sleeping. A friend said that you have a list of foods that will help you sleep better. Can I get that list, because I have had a hard time sleeping for years?

 A: Yes we have a short article called “Eat Your Way To Better Sleep”. We also give people a  list of common foods with the glycemic index listed. The basic idea is to eat every 3-4 hours and avoid foods with a high glycemic index. Your sleep will be interrupted if you skip a meal or eat a meal of high glycemic index foods. You can call our office at 978-535-6155 and we can send you these two important little papers.

 Q: Eloise from Danvers: I have heard you use the term Trigger Point in your show when you talk about muscles. Don’t we all have spots that are sore in our muscles?

 A: Sore spots are not the same as Trigger Points. Trigger points don’t necessarily hurt all the time and when you press on them the pain ‘radiates’, it sometimes  travels a long distance away from where you press. (There is a trigger point in a muscle near the hip that can be felt all the way into the foot) Also trigger points if left alone do not go away like a common sore spot, at best they just become ‘quiet’. Trigger points not only need hands on therapy but they usually require special stabilization exercises to make you have more steady and stable support muscles so that you don’t develop pain so easily.  We treat trigger points and give these special exercises to help you stay healthy.