Sciatica Diagnosis

Girl_sitting_down_on_the_ice-rink_(01913)If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of Sciatica, it is vital you get them checked in order to determine the root causes of the pain. This will help you understand the severity of your condition and what treatment options you have available.

Diagnosis

Sciatica diagnosis varies, depending on the duration and severity of the pain. It is recommended that you visit a chiropractor as soon as you see any sign of Sciatica, as the pain tends to get worse overtime and can even lead to more serious complications.

A Chiropractor’s Opinion

A Chiropractor will first look at your medical history, and then examine your symptoms. Like other medical problems, Sciatica is diagnosed using various clinical tests, which range from motion tests to X-rays and CT-scans. However, the latter is only needed in case of long term Sciatica or if the chiropractor thinks there is a deeper root to the problem, as the symptoms may signify other diseases as well.

The simplest and of these tests are the range of motion tests. The straight leg raise is the most commonly used test in this category. The chiropractor would ask you to lie down on a straight examination table or floor. He will then raise your legs, keeping your knees straight. If pain is experienced between the 30-70 degree range, it indicates a positive sign of Sciatica.

Other than that, the chiropractor might ask you to walk on your heels or toes to examine any signs of nerve damage. Reflex tests are also performed, using a reflex hammer on the back of the ankles or the knee.

However, in some complicated cases, these tests aren’t sufficient to determine Sciatica and the chiropractor may perform further diagnosis using imaging techniques such as X-rays or CT-scans. This is specially used if the patient has had a history of HIV or cancer. These advanced diagnosing techniques can indicate any tumors or broken bones in the spinal cord, but they usually only indicate long term Sciatica. In most cases of Acute back pain, these tests aren’t necessary, as the pain usually subsides within a few weeks on its own.

Some rare cases may also require some laboratory tests, such as blood count tests. An abnormal blood count suggests an infection or anemia, which can also cause Sciatica. Sedimentation tests can also tell if there is an inflammation present somewhere within the spinal cord. If you or a loved one has symptoms that indicate Sciatica, a chiropractor can be of service.

 

Image Used under Creative Commons license. Photo Credit: Girl sitting down on the ice-rink (01913).jpg

Chiropractor Battle Ground shares low back exercises for beginners.

Here is a simple exercises that you can do at home with no equipment.
It works the multifidus, erector spinae, transverse abdominus, oblique muscles.
The purpose of this exercise is to Increase low back strength and muscular endurance. By doing this exercise you can have the benefits of Improved stability, functional strength and injury prevention

Begin lying on your back.
Extend arms above head flat on floor.
Activate core and lift knees above hips and maintain a 90/90 hip and knee position.
Activate core.
Lift one arm off the floor and raise it towards ceiling until above shoulder level while simultaneously extending one leg downward towards floor.
Pause momentarily.
Return to start position, alternating sides.
Core activation should be maintained throughout entire exercise.
Repeat for recommended repetitions and sets.

© 2005-2010 WebExercises, Inc., Patent Pending, All Rights Reserved.

Dinner With Doc! – Save the Date

Save the Date!
Dinner with Doc
Monday, November 9th
at 6:15pm
at
the Mill Creek Pub

Join Dr. Max for dinner and learn the
importance of health and Gonstead Chiropractic. He will share his story about how chiropractic health has affected his life …

We encourage you to bring guests that can benefit
from chiropractic care with you!

Sign up today!
360-687-6307

Spondylolysis and Lower Back Pain

385px-Spinal_column_curvature_2011Spondylolysis is one of many conditions that chiropractic practices have to deal with. The condition occurs due to a weakness in the section of the vertebrae that is known as pas interaticularis. This is a thin piece of bone that is responsible for connecting the lower and upper portion of the facet joints. These join in the vertebrae’s upper and lower section to form a comprehensive network of bone that allows the spine to move.

The defect can lead to small fractures in the spine that cause certain vertebrae to slip out of place.

Some chiropractic practices say that Spondylolysis is a hereditary disease especially considering infants who are born with a thin vertebrae, a condition that puts them at a higher risk for fractures.   Repetitive trauma to the lower back may also cause the pars interarticularis to weaken over time.

Symptoms

Those who have spondylolysis do not experience any symptoms and which is exactly why they might not be aware of it once it does occur. Low back pain is the most common symptom once the pain from the condition spreads. It feels like a muscle in the lower back has been sprained and usually gets worse with exercise or activity. It can also occur during a teenager’s growth spurt after puberty which is why the typical age of a person who acquires the condition is usually between 15 to 16 years.

The condition usually occurs in 3 to 4% of the population and is the most common cause of lower back pain in children or people below the age of 26. Spondylolysis is more common in kids or teenagers who take part in vigorous activities that over extend their spines such as weightlifting, gymnastics and football.

Treatment

The condition calls for a more conservative approach. Chiropractic care of Spondylolysis would aim to reduce the pain, let the fracture heal and help return the patient to normal activities. Patients are also advised to refrain from any vigorous physical activities such as exercise or sports to help them heal faster. Treatments for severe cases often involve the use of a back brace or support which helps stabilize the back and prevent lower back pain to aid the healing process.

The condition might not be preventable in some cases however certain steps can be taken to reduce the risk of fractures in the lower back.

Image Used under Creative Commons license. Photo Credit: Spinal column curvature 2011.png

 

Preventing Osteoporosis through a Proper Diet

SONY DSCDiet and Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a disease which thins bone density, leading to weaker bones and a higher risk of herniated disks, which can causes back problems such as Sciatica. Osteoporosis can be very tough to endure, as there is no proper cure for it besides chiropractic, and even then some patients may not respond positively due to the damage done. Therefore, chiropractors advise that a proper diet should be followed, as it can improve bone and muscle density, consequently reducing the chances of Osteoporosis.

The Proper Diet

There are some nutrients in the diet that can help you improve the quality of your bone structure. Vitamin D for example, found in flaxseed and fish oil, strengthens your bones and makes them less susceptible to diseases. However, other substances present in food, such as phytates, can reduce your body’s ability to absorb calcium. Here are some examples of foods that can affect bone health.

High Sodium Foods

Food items high in sodium can cause your body to lose calcium, which is essential in maintaining bone health. This can lead to weakening of bones, eventually resulting in bone diseases such as osteoporosis. Processed foods usually contain a high amount of sodium, so look for their nutritional values and avoid them if they have a high percentage of salt.

Legumes

Although it is true that beans and legumes contain a high amount of calcium, they also contain magnesium and phytates. You can reduce the amount of phytate by boiling the beans before the cooking them.

Wheat bran

Just like beans, wheat bran also contains a high amount of phytates, which reduce calcium absorption.

Caffeine

Similar to phytates, caffeine also interfere with the body’s absorption of calcium. The consumption of caffeine drinks such as tea, coffee or sodas should be moderated, if not completely avoided.

Alcohol

Research suggests that alcohol, among other health problems such as liver disease, can also contribute to loss in bone density.

Spinach

Spinach, though a very healthy source for other nutrients, shouldn’t be counted as a sole source for calcium as they contain oxalates, which doesn’t allow the body to absorb the calcium effectively.

High Protein foods

We all know Protein is good for our health, but too much protein in our diets can also cause our bodies to lose calcium. Eat meat and other high protein foods in moderation.

You may also contact a chiropractor who could recommend you nutritional supplements if you are lacking any of the basic nutrients required in the daily diet.

 

Image used under Creative Commons Licensing: Fish for dinner by Denise Mattox

Less Foot Pain with Chiropractic Care.

“Since I started chiropractic care I noticed that I have less pain in my feet.”

I had feet problems that caused me to seek treatments here at Dr. Max’s office.

I have had these problems for 1 ½ years, and it interfered with some of my normal life’s activities and relationships. Since I started care I noticed that I have less pain in my feet.

Thank you Dr. Max,
Clyde

Battle Ground Chiropractor shares ankle exercises for beginners.

Here is a simple exercise that you can do at home with no equipment.
It works the peroneus longus/brevis, tibialis anterior, tibialis posterior, gastrocnemius, soleus muscles.
The purpose of this exercise is to improve muscular endurance, ankle strength, and proprioception.
By doing this exercise you can have the benefits of Improved stability, functional strength and injury prevention.


Begin seated in a chair with good posture.
Extend leg.
Attempt to write alphabet from A through Z with toes, moving ankle in all directions.
Repeat for prescribed sets.

© 2005-2010 WebExercises, Inc., Patent Pending, All Rights Reserved.

Failed Back Syndrome – The Result of a Failed Spinal Surgery

380px-Spine_of_scapulaFailed back syndrome is a term that is used to define a failed spinal surgery that causes continued pain to the patient. Not much can be done regarding a case of failed back syndrome apart from performing a second surgery. Chiropractic care has, however, introduced means of therapy and adjustment to the spine that can significantly reduce the ill effects of the syndrome with undergoing surgery.

The truth is that outcome of a spinal surgery cannot be predicted precisely.  Sometimes an MRI scan can show an abnormal image which could lead to a wrong diagnosis of the problem.

Causes of Failed Back Surgery Syndrome

Some possible causes of a failed back surgery syndrome may include:

  • A wrong diagnosis of the patient’s condition
  • Incorrect surgery procedure performed on the patient
  • Surgery performed at an incorrect level of the spinal column
  • A failed spinal fusion surgery that had led to other complications
  • Continued pinching of the nerve despite the surgery
  • Scar tissue formation

Symptoms of Failed Back Surgery Syndrome

The symptoms of a failed back syndrome include:

  • Chronic pain that continues even after the surgical procedure
  • Pain around the treated level of spine
  • Slow or no recovery from the surgery
  • Moving around is difficult and flexibility is compromised
  • Throbbing pain in the back
  • Spasms
  • High levels of anxiety leading to depression

Alternates to Repetitive Surgery 

Before undergoing another surgery, chiropractors recommend trying the following:

  • Undergo physical therapy – Physical therapy has proven to be a great method in relieving back-pains of all kinds
  • Try Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation – This therapy is performed by inducing low voltage to reduce pain
  • Take non steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines – These medicine can help suppress inflammation which is a major factor in causing pain
  • Get injected with Steroids – Epidural Steroid Injections are a common method of treating inflamed spinal nerves
  • Carry out therapeutic exercises – Exercises help greatly in pain management
  • Have hot and cold compresses – Hot and cold compresses applied on the pain-stricken area can greatly reduce the inflammation and pain

Due to the vast nature of spinal surgeries, it is always best to consult with a physician or a chiropractor to find a solution that is suitable for a specific case.  Professional advice is necessary when it comes to severe cases.

Image used under Creative Commons Licensing: Spine of scapula.PNG

Benefits of Chiropractic for your Child

Soapbubbles-SteveEFThere are innumerable benefits of taking your child to a chiropractic doctor. Several of very serious and worrisome conditions that your child suffers from can be dealt with under this conservative care. The one major reason why chiropractic is considered a conservative mechanism is that it helps maintain the health and prevents it from unforeseen risks and issues.

Benefits

Several reasons worry you about your kids, and chiropractic treatments are a great way to tackle these reasons. You might have stumbled upon a few of these benefits earlier, however, chiropractic has success stories in a wide array of child related issues. Following is a list of benefits that attract parents to this form of care:

1. Alternative To Medicine– During pregnancy, women avoid all kinds of medication to ensure the safety of their developing baby from any physical or mental harm. Similarly, parents avoid medicines with their infants and young children. Chiropractic services are a healthy and active way of dealing with many issues.

2. Colic- For the first few months of an infant’s life, being in a colic state is one of the major headaches for the parents. With several spine manipulation techniques, this state can be overcome allowing the child to be at ease.

3. Sleep disturbance- Inadequate or disturbed sleep can constantly irritate the mood of an infant. Spine dysfunction is said to be associated with sleep issues and a chiropractic doctor can help alleviate the issues.

4. Bed wetting– Chiropractic practitioners manipulate the spine to adjust the functioning of the body. Running through the spine are nerve roots that carry signal and messages to and from different parts of the body. Spine manipulation can then allow the practitioner to adjust nerves that run to urinary system and treat the habit of bed wetting.

5. Attention Deficient Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) – A common psychological disorder amongst children, this is often dealt with the use of medication. The medications can have several negative side effects such as loss of memory etc. However, with a chiropractic doctor, the part of the brain that functions poorly can be stimulated through spine manipulation. Thus, conservative care can put forward promising results for ADHD.

Several other issues with which chiropractic care is effective include ear infections, allergies, asthma, headaches, constipation, cold, sore throat, body aches and many more.  The chiropractic doctor utilizes several manual therapies on the spine, and contributes to the healthy development and the overall wellness of your child.

Imaged used under Creative Commons Licensing: Soapbubbles-SteveEF.jpg

Dietary Tips

3829063385_8e46d16540_oA Good Diet Equals Healthy Living

In order to live a healthy lifestyle, there are some essential nutrients which need to be present in your diet. A good chiropractor will also include a diet plan in his treatments to reduce the risk of disease. Here are some dietary tips you can use to improve your health.

Avoid Junk Food

Avoid junk foods with low nutritional values and additives such as artificial flavoring and coloring, as most of them contain chemicals that your body isn’t familiar with and can cause certain problems such as abdominal pain, diarrhea and irritable bowel movements.

Eat Foods with Good Nutritional Values

Let’s suppose a person has a calorie requirement of 1600 calories a day. He can either get these calories from healthy foods with good nutritional values, such as beans, vegetables or salads, or he can get them through unhealthy foods such as bagels, donuts or junk food. The calorie requirement is the same but he would be getting a more nutritious diet by choosing the former option, thus making him healthier.

Add Unrefined and Uncooked Foods in Your Diet

Natural foods contain relatively more nutrients as compared to their refined counterparts. For example, refined flour lacks the fiber and other nutrients that whole grain contains. Cooking can also destroy many of the beneficial nutrients in food, so it is important to add some raw fruits and vegetables in your diet to balance out the nutrient requirement.

Avoid Fried Food Items

Though they may seem tempting, a high consumption of fried foods can directly lead to certain health problems such as high cholesterol and heart problems. If you live a busy lifestyle which doesn’t give you time to exercise, fried foods can also cause obesity.

Don’t Use Too Much Salt and Sugar 

Too much salt results in high blood pressure, increasing the likelihood of developing health problems. High levels of sugar can also increase the risk of diabetes. Try to reduce the amount of salt or sugar you use in food items.

Ask Your Chiropractor for Advice

As most chiropractors have information on nutritional requirements, you can ask your chiropractor to advise you further on what you should include and what you should exclude from your diet. A chiropractor can also formulate you a proper diet plan which you can follow to stay healthy.

Image used under Creative Commons Licensing: A Matched Set by Tony Alter