Tag Archives: pinched nerve

Pinched Nerve in the Low Back?

pinched nerve treatment san francisco
Pinched Lumbar Nerve Root of Sciatic Nerve

We have been providing treatment for low back pain and sciatica in the SF Bay Area for over 20 years now. We use a combination of chiropractic adjustments, massage, motion extension traction, custom exercises, deep tissue laser therapy, and nonsurgical spinal decompression when indicated. During this time we have helped over 5000 patients with low back pain and related disorders.

A primary cause of low back pain and sciatica is a “Pinched Nerve” in the low back. Pinched nerves are generally caused by herniated or bulging discs in the lumbar spine, most commonly at L5-S1.

Nerve tissue is very sensitive to pressure. In fact, just the weight of a pencil erasure on a nerve can alter it’s ability to function by 60% and cause severe pain and dysfunction.

The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body…it can be the diameter of a quarter at it’s greatest circumference. Bulging discs, herniated discs, spinal stenosis, disc degeneration, and various conditions like “Piriformis Syndrome” can put pressure on the sciatic nerve or nerve roots causing “pinched nerves”.

Typically, a patient will feel various combinations of low back pain, leg pain, numbness, tingling, aching, weakness, and muscle stiffness and spasms that become progressively worse over time. There can also be pinched nerves with no symptoms at all…for a while and then BOOM…when you least expect it lightning strikes. This is fairly common actually, and can be very alarming.

The solution for pinched nerves in the low back depends on the nature and severity of the problem. Conservative chiropractic, massage, laser, and ice are always the first thing we try. That is of course unless the patient is unable to handle it. In rare cases such as this we do laser and ice to try to reduce inflammation and then maybe some muscle stim and light massage.

Spinal decompression with the DRX9000 is also an option in the beginning as it is very safe and gentle. The DRX is designed and built to treat neurovascular compression syndromes such as bulging and herniated lumbar discs. However, the cost is greater than chiropractic as is the time commitment…so typically we try more conservative chiropractic first.

In any case, many chiropractors that have included disc decompression and deep tissue laser therapy into their protocols (such as us) have become “one stop shops” for pinched nerves due to herniated and bulging spinal discs.

If you or someone you know requires treatment for a pinched nerve in San Francisco, please call 415-392-2225. Mention this blog post for a complimentary consultation.

Scott Calzaretta

Chiro-Medical Group is an innovative collaboration of health care professionals who work together as a team to promote optimal health. Our group includes experts in the fields of medicine, chiropractic, physical therapy, massage, nutrition, and personal athletic training.

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Herniated Disc Symptoms

We have been providing treatment for Herniated Discs in San Francisco for over 20 years.

herniated disc treatment san francisco
Herniated Disc Treatment

The bones (vertebrae) that form your spine are cushioned by small, spongy discs. When these discs are healthy, they act as shock absorbers for the spine and keep the spine flexible. But when a disc is damaged, it may bulge or break open. This is called a bulging disc or herniated disc. It may also be called a slipped or ruptured disc.

When a disc herniation is pressing on the spinal cord or nerve roots it can cause pain, numbness, and weakness in the area of the body where the nerve travels. A herniated disc in the lower back can cause pain and numbness in the buttock and down the leg. This is called Sciatica.  Sciatica is the most common symptom of a herniated disc in the low back.

If a herniated disc is not pressing on a nerve, you may have a backache or no pain at all. It’s also possible to experience the symptoms of a herniated disc without having one. This can happen with acute injury, say from a whiplash. The nerves in the low back become irritated from the inflammatory response of the trauma. This is called chemical sciatica and is temporary.

Usually what brings a herniated disc patient in to see a doctor is back pain or leg pain (sciatica). The back doctor will then do a series of orthopedic tests and maybe some x-rays to determine if an MRI of the lumbar spine is necessary. MRI is the gold standard diagnostic tool for confirming or ruling out disc herniation.

Herniated disc symptoms can be progressive. It can start out as slight low back pain, but then as the herniation progresses the back pain gets worse, then leg pain or numbness and tingling, or weakness in the leg can develop.

WARNING:   If you have weakness or numbness in both legs, along with loss of bladder function, seek medical care right away. This could be a sign of a rare but serious problem called cauda equina syndrome. 

If you feel you may have a herniated disc in the neck or low back it’s best to visit your spine doctor right away. A chiropractor is a good place to start.

To find out if you are a candidate for herniated disc treatment in San Francisco call 415-392-2225. Mention the article for a complimentary consultation.

 

Scott Calzaretta

Chiro-Medical Group is an innovative collaboration of health care professionals who work together as a team to promote optimal health. Our group includes experts in the fields of medicine, chiropractic, physical therapy, massage, nutrition, and personal athletic training.

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Can Spinal Decompression Help a Pinched Nerve?

herniated disc treatment in San Francisco
Pinched Nerve: Herniated Lumbar Disc

A Pinched Nerve is mostly the result of a herniated or bulging disc in the neck or low back. Nerves can also be pinched or irritated by acute muscle spasms secondary to acute trauma or chronic overuse. Vertebral Subluxations of the spine can also result in inflammation and muscle spasms that can irritate nerves directly or indirectly (chemical irritation) resulting in symptoms such as sciatica.

Spinal decompression with machines such as the DRX9000 are considered by many to be the gold standard for the nonsurgical treatment of cervical and lumbar disc herniations and bulges.

drx9000 in san francisco
Lumbar Decompression For Chronic Back Pain

Nonsurgical spinal decompression machines are able to isolate on a specific spinal disc, say L5-S1 and repair the disc to the extent it is possible. Sometimes the disc is injured beyond repair…but this is the exception and not the rule.

The DRX9000 elongates the spine, enlarges the disc space, re-hydrates the disc, strengthens the spinal ligaments, re-positions the disc, and helps align the spine.

Over the course of say 6-8 weeks or 20-26 sessions, partial healing to complete healing takes place. And yes…occasionally spinal decompression fails to deliver. It’s not perfect…nothing is.

But here’s the deal…even if decompression therapy does not achieve a favorable outcome for you, you are still whole and able to pursue other treatment options. Surgery on the other hand is mostly a permanent change that cannot be undone. And once you have a fusion surgery you are forever disqualified from ever trying disc decompression with the DRX9000.

So…why not consider spinal decompression first…you can always have surgery?

If you a have been diagnosed with a pinched nerve secondary to a cervical or lumbar disc herniation you may be a candidate for spinal decompression.

To schedule a complimentary consultation at our San Francisco Spinal Decompression Center call 415-392-2225 and mention this blog post.

Scott Calzaretta

Chiro-Medical Group is an innovative collaboration of health care professionals who work together as a team to promote optimal health. Our group includes experts in the fields of medicine, chiropractic, physical therapy, massage, nutrition, and personal athletic training.

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What does spinal decompression do?

Nonsurgical spinal decompression is often times misunderstood…even by medical doctors and spine experts. Some say it’s just fancy traction. Others say it’s a complete waste of money.

decompression therapy san francisco
Lumbar decompression with the DRX9000

Well…all I can say is “everyone is entitled to their own opinion”.  But if you are going to give patients or friends advice about a chronic back pain treatment that could potentially change their lives forever…you better know what you are talking about.

So what exactly does spinal decompression do anyway and what makes so many herniated disc patients want to do it?

I like to refer to spinal decompression as a respirator for the spinal disc.  A respirator for the lungs helps the lungs to breath when they are unable to do so on their own…until they can. Spinal decompression machines like the DRX9000 help the lumbar spinal discs (DRX9000c for cervical discs) to do what they would if they could.

So what is a spinal disc supposed to do?

A spinal disc has two primary functions:

1. The spinal disc acts as a ligament to hold the vertebrae above and below together and create separation of the bones so the spinal nerves can pass through to all all the muscles, glands, and organs. Spinal nerves are branches off the spinal cord.

2. The spinal disc also acts as a shock absorber (like the shocks on your car) to prevent wear and tear on the joints and body parts. The discs give the spine flexibility.

When external physical, mental, or chemical stresses overcome internal resistance it can cause the bones of the spine and the spinal discs to lose their normal position. When this happens the discs wear abnormally (like the tires on your car when the front end is out of alignment). This can offend and irritate the nerves they are designed to protect when they are in alignment, which can lead to disc bulges, disc herniations, degenerative disc disease, pinched nerves, back or neck pain and sciatica.

The problem here is physical. The spine and spinal discs are not where they are supposed to be. To take a medication for this which is chemical, will only address the symptom. Hey…sometimes the back or neck pain is so bad you need a drug…but just understand…the problem is still there.

Spinal decompression machines are designed and built to isolate on a specific herniated spinal disc segment…say L5-S1 (the most common disc to herniate) and reverse the process that led to the herniation. Disc decompression separates the spinal bones and enlarges the disc space taking pressure off the nerves (which cause the pain).

Decompression therapy elongates the spine making it more flexible. Machines like the DRX9000 or DRX9000c help restore fluid exchange between the injured disc and the bloodstream by introducing a pumping action on the disc. This helps to get rid of toxins, inflammation, and waste products and bring in freshly oxygenated blood. This enlarges the disc and slows down the degenerative process.

Spinal decompression therapy strengthens the spinal ligaments, repositions the disc, and sucks herniated disc fragments back to the center of the disc and away from the spinal nerves….thereby reducing pain, inflammation, and spasms.

Like I said earlier…spinal decompression therapy is a respirator for the spinal discs.

Depending on how many disc herniations you have, your age, level of spinal degeneration, and any complications, the treatment process could be anywhere from 15-30 visits. But you have to qualify medically…not everyone does.

So what’s the next step if you want to try spinal decompression?

The next step is to find a spinal decompression doctor and see if you are a good candidate.

If you live or work near downtown San Francisco, you can visit our San Francisco Spinal Decompression Center in the Financial District. Simply call 415-392-2225 and mention this blog post for a complimentary consultation.

If you can’t see us in San Francisco you can check our list of The Best Spinal Decompression Doctors in America.

Or, you can send an email to me at ebendavis@yahoo.com with your city and zip code and I will try to locate a spinal decompression doctor for you.

Check-out our Spinal Decompression Reviews

 

Scott Calzaretta

Chiro-Medical Group is an innovative collaboration of health care professionals who work together as a team to promote optimal health. Our group includes experts in the fields of medicine, chiropractic, physical therapy, massage, nutrition, and personal athletic training.

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How To Finally Get Rid Of Your Sciatica!

Sciatica, or pain down the leg, is a very common symptom of a pinched nerve in the low back (lumbar spine). There are varying degrees of sciatica from mild to severe. Other symptoms in the leg such as numbness and tingling or pins and needles can be considered sciatica also…as long as the source of the problem is sciatic nerve compression.

herniated disc treatment san francisco
Pinched Lumbar Nerve Root of Sciatic Nerve

The sciatic nerve originates in the low back and is formed by nerve roots that branch off the spinal cord, exit from in between the lumbar vertebra, then come together. Kind of like a four lane highway merging into one lane. The sciatic nerve travels from the low back down to the feet. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body….it can be the diameter of a quarter at it’s largest circumference.

The most likely cause of sciatica is a herniated or bulging disc in the lumbar spine. Other causes are facet syndrome, degenerative disc disease, DJD, and spinal stenosis. Usually there is a little bit of everything.

The good news is, there really is a way to “Finally Get Rid of Your Sciatica”…even when conventional treatments such as chiropractic, physical therapy, acupuncture, and medicine fail to deliver. I’m talking about nonsurgical spinal decompression with the DRX9000.

drx9000 in san francisco
Lumbar Decompression For Low Back Pain and Sciatica

The DRX9000 is a machine that is designed and built to treat disc herniations and disc bulges. That’s what it does…and it does it without drugs or surgery. And, the DRX9000 has very high success rates even when all else fails. In fact, spinal decompression therapy is now considered to be the “Gold Standard” for the nonsurgical treatment of chronic low back pain.

So there is hope for sciatica patients that are living in pain. I can’t tell you how many sciatica patients we meet with have been told “you either get back surgery or learn to live with the pain”. Nice Huh?

Well…most laugh about that now. Will the DRX9000 fix your sciatica? Maybe.

You first need to make sure you qualify medically as not everyone does. If you have had a previous surgical fusion in your spine you are disqualified. If you have severe scoliosis or severe osteoporosis decompression is not for you. There are more. Most qualify though.

The next step is to call our San Francisco Spinal Decompression Center at 415-392-2225 and ask for a complimentary consultation.

If you do not live or work near downtown San Francisco, you can check our list of the Best Spinal Decompression Doctors in America.

Scott Calzaretta

Chiro-Medical Group is an innovative collaboration of health care professionals who work together as a team to promote optimal health. Our group includes experts in the fields of medicine, chiropractic, physical therapy, massage, nutrition, and personal athletic training.

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Sciatica Relief with Spinal Decompression

The term Sciatica refers to pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness in the leg, that originates in the low back (lumbar spine).  The sciatic nerve originates in the low back and travels through the piriformis muscle in the buttocks, then all the way down the back of the leg.

pinched nerve treatment san francisco
Pinched Lumbar Nerve Root of Sciatic Nerve

The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body and in some people can be the diameter of a size of a quarter at it’s largest point. It is formed by branches of nerve roots in the lumbar spine that come together to form one large nerve.

The most common cause of sciatica is a herniated or bulging lumbar disc causing a pinched nerve. Degenerative disc disease and spinal stenosis can also cause sciatica. As can Piriformis Syndrome.

Nonsurgical spinal decompression, which isolates on a specific spinal segment, say L5-S1, is in most cases, able to reduce pressure on the sciatic nerve by reducing the lumbar disc herniation or bulging disc. The spinal decompression machine we use is the DRX9000.

drx9000 in san francisco
Spinal Decompression Therapy with DRX9000

The DRX9000 enlarges the disc space which creates a negative pressure inside the disc, which creates a suction type action which repositions the herniated and bulging discs into a more normal position. The DRX9000 also elongates the spine, re-hydrates the disc (which increases disc height), and strengthens the spinal ligaments.

Spinal decompression therapy helps the spine to do what it would if it could…just like a respirator does for the lungs. The DRX9000 is a respirator for the spinal discs.

What this does is help to reduce inflammation and muscle spasm and gives the injured lumbar disc a chance to heal. It also reduces the pressure off the sciatic nerve which is the primary source of sciatica in most people.

Sciatica relief with spinal decompression usually happens within a few sessions. But we don’t want to stop there. We want to work through the entire program to make the sciatica relief permanent. At least that’s the plan.  Outcomes are excellent.

Will spinal decompression with the DRX9000 get rid of your sciatica? Maybe…probably.

It depends on your age, your over-all physical condition, how many disc herniations you have and spinal degeneration. Do you have any complications such as scoliosis or a short leg, etc.

The best thing to do if you are suffering with back pain or sciatica is to find a back pain doctor that has a spinal decompression machine like the DRX9000. There are also other fine decompression systems out there.

To find out if you are a candidate for the DRX9000 at our San Francisco Spinal Decompression Center, call 415-392-2225. Mention this blog post for a complimentary consultation.

 

Scott Calzaretta

Chiro-Medical Group is an innovative collaboration of health care professionals who work together as a team to promote optimal health. Our group includes experts in the fields of medicine, chiropractic, physical therapy, massage, nutrition, and personal athletic training.

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What Causes Low Back Pain?

“Were does the pain come from?” is probably the most commonly asked question we hear as chiropractors and spinal decompression specialists…and frequently, the patient is not told the answer to this simple question. WHY?

back pain treatment san francisco
Low Back Pain

Here’s the problem…the question is really not so simple.  This is because there are many structures in the low back that share a common nerve supply and hence, the pain arising from those structures is located in the same area of the back.

For example, the back portion of the disk, the facet capsule and some of the deep muscles in the spine are all innervated by the same nerve and therefore hurt is a similar location. In all honesty, the only way to try to isolate the pain generator is to inject a local anesthetic to block the pain for a short while.  This is like when you go to the dentist and they “numb” your tooth so you don’t feel the pain when they work on it.  After a few hours, you start to feel some “life” coming back to your mouth and soon it regains its full feeling. Of course, no one would consider “numbing” the back just to figure out exactly where the pain is arising as really, it’s not that important.

This is because the chiropractic treatment approach is similar regardless of the exact tissue that is involved.  However, it DOES matter in cases where a nerve root is shooting pain down the leg caused by a herniated disk vs. a localized pain in the back that doesn’t radiate.

This is where spinal disc decompression is considered. Nonsurgical disc decompression with the DRX9000 actually isolates on a specific spinal segment to remove bulging or herniated disc fragments that may be pinching a lumbar nerve root and causing sciatica and back pain.

Hence, we doctors of chiropractic will work hard to differentiate these two distinct types of conditions as the treatment is definitely different. As a spinal decompression specialist this is what I do.

In 1995, the Quebec Task Force recognized the importance of this distinction and recommended all health care providers concentrate on differentiating the nerve root / herniated disk case from what is called “mechanical low back pain.”  Common structures that cause nerve root pain (the herniated disk) and mechanical low back pain (the facet joint) need to be treated differently.

The facet joint, when sprained / injured, hurts worse when bending backwards and feels good bending forwards.  This is exactly the opposite for the herniated disk where bending backwards helps reduce pain and often reduces the shooting leg pain as well, while bending over even a little can create a sharp stabling pain in the back that may shoot down the leg. Of course, there are variations of this and, to make matters more complicated, BOTH the disk and the facet can generate pain at the same time, so it’s not always this cut and dry.

We realize you have a choice in who you choose to provide your health-care services.  If you, a friend or family member requires care for low back pain, we sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence shown by choosing our services and look forward in serving you and your family presently and, in the future.

Dr. Eben Davis is clinic director of Executive Express Chiropractic and Spinal Decompression in downtown  San Francisco.

Scott Calzaretta

Chiro-Medical Group is an innovative collaboration of health care professionals who work together as a team to promote optimal health. Our group includes experts in the fields of medicine, chiropractic, physical therapy, massage, nutrition, and personal athletic training.

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Best Treatment for Sciatica from a Pinched Nerve

Sciatica means pain down the leg. The Sciatic Nerve is the largest nerve in the body. It can be as large as the diameter of a quarter at it’s largest point in some people. It is formed from branches of nerve roots as they exit the lumbar spine (low back). The sciatic nerve then travels down through a muscle in the buttocks called the Piriformis Muscle, then all the way down the back of the leg to the feet.

pinched nerve treatment san francisco
Pinched Lumbar Nerve Root of Sciatic Nerve

All nerves are very delicate and sensitive to pressure. In fact, all it takes is the weight of a pencil erasure on a nerve to alter it’s signal by up to 60% and cause pain and dysfunction. Because the bones of the spine are movable, and the nerve roots exit from in between them, the nerve roots may be pinched or irritated from bulging discs or herniated discs that encroach on the environment of the nerve as it passes through the nerve channel in between the vertebrae. This is called a pinched nerve.

There are many terms used to describe the cause of a pinched nerve in the lumbar spine from a herniated disc. The most common terms are ruptured disc, torn disc, slipped disc, herniated disk, bulging disk, prolapsed disc, etc.

The bottom line is that the spinal disc is injured and the jelly like center (nucleus) of the disc is bulging out or has broke free of the disc and is pinching the lumbar nerve root.

Bulging discs and herniated discs are the primary cause of sciatica. The sciatic nerve can also be pinched as it passes through the piriformis muscle, if the muscle is in spasm…which is common with long haul truck drivers or men that wear thick wallets while they sit. This is called Piriformis Syndrome.

Pinched Sciatic Nerve in Piriformis Muscle

Sciatica can be mild, or it can be severe and debilitating. It can be acute or chronic (lasts for more than 3 months). Sciatica can also be used to describe ongoing abnormal sensations in the legs and throbbing.

So what’s the best treatment for sciatica from a pinched nerve?

The medical approach will usually be muscle relaxers, cortisone injections, pain pills, and maybe physical therapy. Depending on the age of the patient and over-all condition of the spine, surgical fusion may be recommended, or a micro-surgery like a discectomy (remove herniated disc fragments off nerve).

A chiropractor will want to adjust the spine into a more normal alignment with the idea that the disc will naturally want to be where it is supposed to be…which is not on the sciatic nerve or nerve roots. Chiropractors will often use soft tissue therapies such as massage and Active Release Technique as well as exercises and laser therapy.

Acupuncture can also help reduce the inflammation and pain associated with disc bulges, disc herniations, and piriformis syndrome.

Nonsurgical spinal decompression should also be considered as a treatment for sciatica due to a pinched nerve. Spinal disc decompression to the lumbar spine is done on a spinal decompression machine such as the DRX9000. The DRX9000 lumbar decompression system is designed and built to treat herniated and bulging discs naturally.

New York City spinal decompression doctor Steven Shoshany uses spinal decompression in conjunction with physical therapy, acupuncture, and physical medicine to achieve favorable outcomes for severe, chronic low back pain and sciatica.

Spinal decompression is a tool that can be combined with many other therapies and modalities to treat sciatica and low back pain.

If you would like me to help you find a spinal decompression doctor…simply send an email to ebendavis@yahoo.com. You can also check our list of recommended chiropractors. Most of them offer spinal decompression services.

To schedule an appointment at our San Francisco Spinal Decompression Center call 415-392-2225 and ask for a complimentary consultation.


Scott Calzaretta

Chiro-Medical Group is an innovative collaboration of health care professionals who work together as a team to promote optimal health. Our group includes experts in the fields of medicine, chiropractic, physical therapy, massage, nutrition, and personal athletic training.

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