Tag Archives: low

Low Back Pain? Things Not To Do

back pain treatment in san francisco
Low Back Pain


Here is a partial list of things “Not To Do” if you have low back pain or sciatica:

STAY STILL: You’ve heard, “…don’t do that – you’ll get a bad back!” There is something to be said about being careful, but one can be too cautious as well. In order to determine how much activity vs. rest is appropriate, you have to gradually increase your activities by keeping track of how you feel both during and after an activity. If you do notice pain, it may be “safe” to continue depending on the type and intensity of the pain. In general, a sharp, knife-like pain is a warning sign that you should STOP what you’re doing, while an ache is not. Until you’re comfortable about which type of pain is “safe,” start out with the premise, “…if in doubt, stop.” If the recovery time is short (within minutes to hours), then no “harm” was done. If it takes days to recover, you overdid it. Think of a cut on your skin – if you pick at it too soon, it will re-bleed, but if you are careful, you can do a lot of things safely without “re-bleeding.” Talk to us about the proper way to bend, lift, pull, push, and perform any activity that you frequently have to do that often presents problems. There is usually a way to do that activity more safely!


SURGERY IS A “QUICK FIX”: Though in some cases this may inevitably be the end result for your back condition, most of the time, it is not needed. As a rule, don’t jump to a surgical option too soon. It’s tempting to view surgery as a “quick fix,” but non-surgical care at least for 4-6 weeks and maybe several months is usually the best approach. As the old saying goes, you can’t “un-do” a surgery, so wait. UNLESS there are certain warning signs such as: a) bowel or bladder weakness &/or, b) progressive neurological losses (worsening weakness in the leg). If there are no “surgical indicators” meaning, no instability, no radiating leg pain, and only low back pain that is non-specific and hard to isolate what is generating the pain, DO NOT have surgery as the chances of improvement following surgery drops off dramatically in this group. There are guidelines that we all should follow and they all support non-surgical care initially for 4-6 weeks. Chiropractic is one of the best options cited in these guidelines because it’s less costly, involves less time lost from work, and chiropractic carries the highest patient satisfaction. If chiropractic fails to deliver then there is nonsurgical spinal decompression with the DRX9000.


DON’T STRETCH – IT’S HARMFUL: You may have heard or read that stretching can actually increase or worsen your time if you’re a runner, reduce your ability to lift heavy weight (if you’re a weight lifter), or cycle as fast.  Though this seems obviously silly, there IS a growing body of evidence that has found this TO BE TRUE! HOWEVER, it appears (at least at present), that is applies primarily to static, long hold stretching and NOT to dynamic exercising like jumping jacks, toy-soldier like high kicks, or core stabilization. Moreover, no study YET has found a negative effect for non-athletic competitive activities or for low back pain specifically. A good general rule is, if you feel better after exercising, or in this case stretching, it’s probably better for you than not. Also, as stated last month, there is a “right vs. wrong” time to exercise and WAY to exercise. For example, when LBP occurs in flexion but reduces in extension, there is plenty of evidence published that performing exercises INTO the direction of pain relief is VERY helpful. So until you hear differently, KEEP ON STRETCHING, but follow our advice!  


            We realize you have a choice in who you choose to provide your healthcare 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.

To schedule a complimentary consultation for low back pain relief in San Francisco call 415-392-2225. 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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Low Back Pain and The Way You Sleep

back pain treatment in san francisco
Low Back Pain

We have been providing low back pain and sciatica relief in San Francisco for over 20 years now in the Financial District.

Low back pain (LBP) and sciatica can arise from a lot of causes, most commonly from bending, lifting, pulling, pushing, and twisting. However, there are other possible causes, including sleep. This not only includes sleeping in a crooked or faulty position, such as falling asleep on a couch, in a chair or while riding in a car, but also from the lack of sleep. So the question is, how much sleep is needed to feel restored and how much sleep is needed to avoid low back pain?

            It’s been shown that the lack of sleep, or chronic sleep loss, can lead to serious diseases including (but not limited to): heart disease, heart attack, heart failure, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, stroke and diabetes. Sleepiness can also result in a disaster; as was the case in the 1979 nuclear accident at Three Mile Island, the oil spill from the Exxon Valdez, as well as the 1986 nuclear disaster at Chernobyl. With sleep deprivation, our reaction time is slowed down, and hence, driving safety is a major issue. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that fatigue causes more than 100,000 crashes per year with 1500 annual crash-related deaths in the US alone. This problem is greatest in people under 25 years old. Job related injuries are also reportedly more frequently, especially repeat injuries in workers complaining of daytime sleepiness which resulted in more sick days. It’s also well published that sleep plays a crucial role in thinking and learning. Lack of sleep impairs concentration, attention, alertness, reasoning, and general cognitive function. In essence, it makes it more difficult to learn efficiently. Also, getting into a deep sleep cycle plays a critical role in “consolidating memories” in the brain, so if you don’t get to a deep sleep stage (about 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep), it’s more difficult to remember what you’ve learned. An interesting study (U. of Pennsylvania) reported that people who slept less than 5 hours/night for 7 nights felt stressed, angry, sad, and mentally exhausted. As shown in another study of 10,000 people, over time, insomnia (the lack of sleep) increases the chances by 5-fold for developing clinical depression. Other clinical studies have published many other negative effects of sleep deprivation, of which some include aging of the skin, forgetfulness, weight gain, and more.

            Regarding low back pain, what comes first? Does LBP cause sleep interference or does sleep deprivation cause the LBP (or both)? It’s been shown that sleep loss can lower your pain threshold and pain tolerance, making any existing pain feel worse, so it works both ways. Specific to LBP, in a 28-year, 902 metal industry worker study, sleep disturbances (insomnia and/or nightmares) predicted a 2.1-fold increase in back pain hospitalizations with one and a 2.4-fold increase with both sleep disturbance causes (insomnia and nightmares). Other studies have shown patients with chronic LBP had less restful sleep and more “alpha EEG” sleep compared to controls. Similar sleep pattern differences using EEG (electroencephalogram – measures brain waves) have been shown when comparing chronic LBP patients with vs. without depression compared to controls (non-LBP, non-depressed subjects).

            So the BOTTOM LINE, talk to us about how chiropractic helps reduce LBP, stress and facilitates sleep. There are also nutritional benefits from Melatonin, valarian root, and others that we can discuss. Now, go to bed and get a good night’s sleep!

It IS possible to break this low back pain, sleep deprivation cycle with chiropractic adjustments and/or nonsurgical spinal decompression with the DRX9000.

            We realize you have a choice in who you choose to provide your healthcare 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.

To schedule an appointment for low back pain relief in San Francisco call 415-392-2225. Mention this 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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Low Back Pain and Obesity Part 2

low back pain relief san franciscoWe have been providing treatment for Low Back Pain in San Francisco for over 20 years now. The connection between obesity and low back pain is a strong one…so weight loss ranks very high on the list of things we want to help our patients with that need help.

Losing weight can dramatically reduce low back pain (LBP). Like last month, we will look at easy ways to lose weight without the need for fancy, hard to follow diets. As the saying goes, this is a “no-brainer.”

  1. Alcohol hints. When consuming alcohol, follow the first beverage with a glass of water. This will reduce calories and often reduces unhealthy snack intake such as chips or nuts.
  2. Go “green” as in tea! Studies show green tea can “rev up” calorie burning.
  3. Try Yoga! According to the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, women who do Yoga tend to weigh less. Plus, yoga is  calming and promotes self-awareness!
  4. Eat at home. According to Consumer Reports, eating at home at least 5 days a week was a top habit of “successful losers.” Emphasize foods like fruits and vegetables!
  5. Chew strong mint gum! Studies have shown a strong flavored sugarless gum can curb your risk for a snack attack. Chewing gum is a great substitute for “mindless eating” when socializing, watching TV, studying, or working on that computer project.
  6. Shrink your dishes! By choosing a 10” vs. 12” plate, the amount eaten automatically reduces by 100-200 calories a day (according to Cornell University research)!
  7. The “80-20 rule.”  Eating until you are 80% full vs. 100% can be accomplished 2 ways: 1. Stop eating at the 80% full point or, 2. Dish out 20% less food.
  8. Eating out options: A. Split an entrée with a friend; B. Order an appetizer as a meal; C. Use a small plate; D. Have them pack ½ the meal into a “doggie bag” BEFORE serving it and order a salad or extra veggies to substitute for the other half.
  9. Reach for Red Sauce: Choose marinara over Alfredo sauce as it has fewer calories and much less fat than cream-based sauces. A serving = the size of a tennis ball.
  10. Go meatless more often. Consider bean burgers, lentil soup, veggies and fruit and when you have to have meat, make it a lean variety, remove the fat, and cook in olive oil.
  11. Burn 100 calories by doing one of the following: A. Walk a mile, or about 20 minutes; B. Pull weeds or plant flowers for 20 minutes; C. Mow the lawn (walking) for 20 minutes; D. Clean the house for 30 minutes; E. Jog for 10 minutes.

            CELEBRATE! Once you’ve successfully kicked the habit of soda, ice cream or other “calorie-poor” foods, be PROUD of your accomplishment! You’ve also improved your quality of life, longevity, and reduced your chances of developing diabetes, heart disease and other health issues. PLUS, you’ll feel better!

            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.

To schedule an appointment for low back pain relief in San Francisco call 415-392-2225.

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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Spinal Decompression for Sciatica

drx9000 therapy san francisco, 94111
DRX9000 Lumbar Decompression

We have been providing treatment for Sciatica in San Francisco for over 20 years now. The primary causes of sciatica are bulging and herniated lumbar discs. During this time we have mostly used chiropractic adjustments, physical therapy, massage, deep tissue laser, and custom exercises.

About 8 years ago we began to incorporate spinal decompression therapy with the DRX9000. The DRX9000 is a machine that is designed and built to provide nonsurgical relief from neurovascular compression syndromes such as herniated and bulging lumbar discs, degenerative disc disease, facet syndrome, and spinal stenosis.

The results have been outstanding.

We also provide cervical decompression therapy with the DRX9000c.

Often times, sciatica patients will not respond to chiropractic care, physical therapy, cortisone, or pain medication. The sciatica symptoms resulting from the herniated discs can cause severe back pain and disability. Some patient are almost to sore and sensitive to even touch.

This is when spinal decompression makes the most amount of sense. Patients can be too sore to have chiropractic or physical therapy but they can handle decompression therapy. Typically, after  several sessions the inflammation starts to subside and the sciatica symptoms begin to abate….which is very nice.

Spinal decompression therapy with the DRX9000 takes about an hour for each session. The average sciatica patient requires about 2o sessions to achieve a favorable outcome.

We incorporate muscle stimulation, ice, exercise, and some chiropractic if indicated and tolerated. We will even apply deep tissue laser and advanced soft tissue methods such as ART and Graston as needed. The treatment is very comprehensive.

Not everyone qualifies for spinal decompression. If you have advanced spinal degeneration or osteoporosis, a previous spinal fusion, severe scoliosis, aortic aneurism, multiple sclerosis, to name a few, you may not qualify.

If you are interested in finding out if you are a candidate for nonsurgical spinal decompression at our San Francisco Spinal Decompression Center, please 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.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
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