Tag Archives: 415-392-2225

Is Neck Pain from a Herniated Disc or Something Else?

neck pain san francisco
Neck Pain Treatment

Neck pain can arise from many different sources, and the patient’s clinical presentation can be quite similar making it a challenge to diagnose. One of those related, and sometimes co-existing conditions, is called thoracic outlet syndrome, or TOS. Let’s first discuss the anatomy of the neck and the thoracic outlet so we all have a good “picture” in mind of what we’re talking about.

            TOS can arise from either blood vessel compression, nerve compression or both, making the ease of diagnosis difficult. Adding to the challenge, the “pinch” of the structure can occur at more than one place! The nerves and blood vessels can get pinched at the exiting holes in the spine (“neuroforamen”), by tight “scalene” muscles, under the collar bone (clavicle) and/or by a tight pectoralis minor muscle near the arm pit. Hence, the symptoms usually include pain and numbness in the shoulder, arm and hand (usually affecting the 4th & 5th fingers). It’s our job to run different tests to figure out where the primary pinch or pinches are located so we can treat the right area.

            The causes of TOS can be many, with one of the obvious being a fractured collar bone or clavicle. Another is from having an extra rib. As there is not a lot of room for an extra structure, this can be a point of compression for some (but doesn’t create TOS in everyone). An overly tight scalene muscle, scar tissue, an extra large muscle and so on can also result in pinching of the nerves and/or blood vessels.

            Purses, backpacks, carrying golf clubs, a mailbag and the like can also cause a pinch. A seat belt injury in a car accident is yet another cause, either from the direct trauma, or later when scar tissue forms in the area.

            Our posture alone (without trauma), such as a slouchy, slumped posture where the shoulders roll forwards can cause TOS and, large breasts and obesity also add to the list of risk factors. Women are affected 3x more than men. Certain jobs where reaching overhead or outwards such as waitresses, carpenters, electricians, increase TOS risk.

            You can depend on us to identify, locate and treat the areas that need attending as chiropractic includes many effective TOS treatment methods. The surgical outcomes are less than impressive so do EVERYTHING else first (a good surgeon will tell you that).

            We realize that you have a choice in where you choose your healthcare services.  If you, a friend or family member requires care for neck 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 neck pain treatment 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.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInGoogle PlusYouTube

Spinal Decompression Just Makes Sense!

decompression therapy san francisco
Lumbar decompression with the DRX9000

We have been providing spinal decompression in San Francisco for over 8 years now with the DRX9000. During this time we have helped over a thousand herniated disc patients return to more normal lives. We have also learned which cases to accept and which to refuse. We only accept patients we feel we have a really good chance of helping.

Typically, a patient will present with low back pain or neck pain that simply is not responding to conventional treatments such as physical therapy, chiropractic, cortisone, acupuncture, or medications. They have tried everything.

We will review the case and the MRI/ x-rays and medical records, perform our own examination…then decide if we will accept the case.

If we do accept the case we expect a favorable outcome.

Often times the lumbar or cervical disc is trapped in such a way that it is putting pressure on the spinal cord or nerve roots. There is usually lots of spinal degeneration and inflammation…as well as muscle spasms and pain. And sometimes this has been going on for years and the herniated disc patient is taking medications that cause a whole new set of problems (side effects).

Heck…nonsurgical decompression therapy with the DRX9000 is safe, gentle, and highly effective. And the risks of complications is low. Usually there is some soreness but rarely is it not tolerable.

Sure, sometimes spinal decompression does not deliver expected results but that is the exception and not the rule…especially if cases are screened properly.

So does spinal decompression make sense for you? Maybe!

We would first need to meet with you and your medical records. If you have an MRI or other films then please bring them to your appointment with us. If you do not have an MRI and we feel you need one we will order it for you.

If you are experiencing low back pain, sciatica, neck or arm pain that is not getting better, you may have a herniated or bulging disc. We can help you find out.

What you need to do is contact our San Francisco Spinal Decompression Center and schedule a complimentary consultation. To do this 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.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInGoogle PlusYouTube

Sciatica: How do you know?

herniated disc treatment in San Francisco
Pinched Lumbar Nerve Causing Sciatica

Low back pain (LBP) can be localized and contained to only the low back area or, it can radiate pain down the leg. This distinction is important as the former, LBP only, is often less complicated and carries a more favorable prognosis for complete recovery. In fact, a large part of our history and examination is focused at this differentiation. This weeks’s Health Update is going to look at the different types of leg pain that can occur with different LBP conditions.

            We’ve all heard of the word “sciatica” and it (usually) is loosely used to describe everything from LBP arising from the joints in the back, the sacroiliac joint, from the muscles of the low back as well as a pinched nerve from a ruptured disk. Strictly speaking, the term “sciatica” should ONLY be used when the sciatic nerve is pinched.  The sciatic nerve is made up of five smaller nerves (L4, 5, S1, 2, 3) that arise from the spine and join together to form one large nerve (about the size of our pinky) called the sciatic nerve – like five small rivers merging into one BIG river. Sciatica occurs when any one of the small nerves (L4-S3) or, when the sciatic nerve itself, gets compressed or irritated. This can be, and often is caused from a lumbar disk herniation (the “ruptured disk”), a mis-positioned vertebra (such as a forward slip of the vertebra called “spondylolisthesis”), pressure from an arthritic spur off the spine where the nerve exits (“spinal stenosis”), or, from a tumor near or around the nerve. A term called “pseudosciatica” (a non-disk cause) includes a pinch from the piriformis muscle where the nerve passes through the pelvis (in the “cheek” or, the buttocks), which has been commonly referred to as “wallet sciatica” as sitting on the wallet in the back pocket is often the cause. When this occurs, the term “peripheral neuropathy” is the most accurate term to use. Other “pseudosciatic” causes include referred pain from the facet joints which is described by the patient as a “deep ache” inside the leg, or from a metabolic condition where the nerve is affected such as diabetes and other conditions. Here again, the term, “neuropathy” is the better label when diabetes, hypothyroid, lead poisoning, alcohol toxicity and/or others is the culprit. Direct trauma like a bruise to the buttocks from falling or hitting the nerve during an injection into the buttocks can also trigger “sciatica.”

            The symptoms of sciatica include low back pain, buttocks pain, back of the thigh, calf and/or foot pain and/or numbness-tingling. If the nerve is compressed hard enough, muscle weakness can occur making it hard to stand up on the tip toes creating a limp when walking. In the clinic, we will raise the straight leg and if pinched, sharp pain can occur with as little as 20-30° due to the nerve being stretched as the leg is raised. If pain occurs anywhere between 30 and 70° of elevation of either the same side leg and/or the opposite leg, this constitutes a positive test for sciatica (better termed, “nerve root tension”). When a disk is herniated into the nerve, bending the spine backwards can move the disk away and off the nerve resulting in relief, which is very diagnostic of a herniated disk. Having a patient walk on their toes and then heels and watching for foot drop as well as testing the reflexes, the sensation with a sharp object, and testing the reflexes at the knee and Achilles tendon can give us clues if there is nerve damage. The GOOD NEWS is that chiropractic methods can resolve this problem FREQUENTLY, thus avoiding unnecessary surgery! So, check with us FIRST, before electing for surgery!!!

            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 sciatica treatment 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.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInGoogle PlusYouTube