Tag Archives: Chiropractic

Low Back Pain Relief in San Francisco

back pain treatment in san francisco
Low Back Pain

We have been providing treatment for Low Back Pain and Sciatica in Downtown San Francisco for over 22 years now.

Over 80% of the population will experience low back pain at some point in their life. Many will go on to develop chronic low back pain, which is low back pain that persists for over 90 days.

Sciatica, which is pain down the leg or both legs, is also fairly common and can result from the same underlying cause of the low back pain. Some patients have sciatica only or low back pain only or both.

 

Here is a list of the most common causes of low back pain:

  1. Low back sprain or strain.
  2. Vertebral Subluxation (misalignment).
  3. Herniated or Bulging Lumbar Disc.
  4. Spinal Stenosis.
  5. Degenerative Disc Disease.
  6. Facet Syndrome.

The best course of treatment depends on the nature and severity of the underlying problem, your age, your overall health, and if there are any complications such as a short leg, Scoliosis, foot pronation, spinal fusion, etc.

Chiropractic adjustments are your best first choice when it comes to low back pain relief or sciatica relief. Sometimes you will see results after the first visit. Sometimes it takes or longer.

In the event you have a herniated or bulging disc that does not respond to chiropractic adjustments, nonsurgical spinal decompression is a logical next step.

Spinal decompression machines are designed and built to treat herniated and bulging discs naturally and painlessly. The machine we use is the DRX9000.

Often times a combination of chiropractic and spinal decompression works best. We also incorporate spinal rehabilitation, nutrition, and lifestyle modifications into our programs.

So…if you are looking for low back pain relief in San Francisco and would like to learn more about our program, 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.

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Spinal Decompression or Chiropractic?

drx9000 in san francisco
Spinal Decompression Therapy with DRX9000

We have been providing chiropractic and spinal decompression services in San Francisco for over 20 years in the Financial District.

Often times patients present to our clinic with back or neck pain related to a herniated disc and say they are interested in nonsurgical spinal decompression with the DRX9000 or DRX9000c.

This is great, but it may not make the most sense. The reason I say this is that pinched nerves due to bulging or herniated discs respond favorably to conventional chiropractic care, which is cheaper and less of a time commitment than disc decompression.

Sure, a certain percentage of herniated disc patients will not respond to chiropractic and will end up on the decompression machine…but we find it works best when we try chiropractic first.

Some patients do not want to try chiropractic for various reasons and we will honor their wishes and initiate decompression. Some patients have already tried chiropractic without favorable results so we go right to decompression. And sometimes we do both chiropractic and decompression together.

All cases are different. When you have as much experience as we do treating lumbar and cervical disc herniations non-surgically, you get good at mixing and matching therapies. We also incorporate acupuncture, physical therapy, and deep tissue laser as needed into the mix and the results are outstanding.

So, if you have been diagnosed with a herniated disc and are wondering if you should try chiropractic or spinal decompression, why not go to a chiropractor that does both and has lots of experience. Chances are you will be glad you did 🙂

To schedule an appointment with one of our back pain doctors in San Francisco please 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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Sciatica Treatment in San Francisco

sciatica treatment in san francisco
Sciatica Treatment in SF

We have been providing natural sciatica relief in San Francisco for over 20 years.  We use a combination of chiropractic, spinal decompression, massage, exercise, and deep tissue laser therapy to achieve favorable outcomes in the majority of sciatica cases.

The primary cause of sciatica (leg pain) is a “pinched nerve” in the lumbar spine. The majority of pinched nerves are the result of bulging or herniated lumbar discs. There are other causes of pinched nerves, like degenerative disc disease, facet syndrome. Piriformis Syndrome, spinal and foraminal stenosis, and vertebral subluxations (misalignment’s).

Sciatica may or may not be accompanied by low back pain.

Spinal decompression with the DRX9000 in conjunction with chiropractic or as a stand alone treatment is a very effective sciatica treatment and often provides instant relief. There is also a chance it can cause an increase in symptoms…temporarily. After-all, the treatment is physical, albeit gentle.

If we accept your case there is a very good chance we will achieve favorable results. We do not accept all cases…only those we feel we can help.

Sciatica can be very painful and debilitating and can persist as long as the underlying cause remains. Back surgery is usually not necessary in our opinion in most cases. We recently wrote about this on our  other blog (Low Back Surgery or Chiropractic: Study).

To find out if you are a candidate for sciatica treatment in San Francisco please 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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Arm Pain Causes and Cures

Arm Pain treatment san francisco
The Neck and Arm Pain Connection

We have been providing natural solutions for neck, arm and hand pain in San Francisco for over 20 years in the Financial District.

Arm Pain has many causes from repetitive strain injuries (RSI) to herniated and bulging discs in the neck. If you are someone that spends the majority of your day at a desk in front of a computer (like most of our patients) yo are prone to abnormal wear and tear on the cervical spine (neck), shoulders, arms and hands.

If you have poor posture. either from hereditary predisposition or acquired from poor sleeping habits, ergonomics or injury, you are prone to disc bulges and disc herniations which can lead to pinched nerves in the neck. Pinched nerves in the neck is a primary cause of arm pain.

Arm pain usually presents with either hand pain, shoulder pain, neck pain, numbness in the hands, weakness of grip, or night pain. Arm pain can also present as a stand alone symptom.

The cures for arm pain vary depending on the cause. One thing you should know. Rarely is the cause a “Motrin” deficiency.  When you take a pain killer for arm pain or any type of pain, all you are doing is masking the problem. Pain is a symptom not a condition.

Chiropractic is probably your best bet for arm pain. A chiropractor can examine you to uncover the cause of the arm pain and provide drug-less, nonsurgical solutions on the spot like chiropractic adjustments, massage, ice, and deep tissue laser therapy.

If your arm pain is from a herniated or bulging disc in the neck, then a chiropractor may use nonsurgical spinal decompression to the cervical spine. The machine we use is the DRX9000c. Spinal decompression machines are designed and built to treat disc bulges, herniations and spinal stenosis naturally.

If you have arm pain and would like to find out if you are a candidate for care please call 415-392-2225 and ask for a complimentary consultation. Go here for more info on arm pain treatment in 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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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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Low Back Pain and Balance

back pain treatment in san francisco
Low Back Pain

We have been providing treatment for low back pain and sciatica in downtown San Francisco since 1992.

Statistically, most people (estimated to be about 90%) will seek care for Low Back Pain (LBP) at some point in their lifetime. Last month, we discussed the role foot orthotics play in the management of LBP by improving balance, and it seems appropriate to discuss other ways we can improve our balance, hence the topic this month!

            Balance is a skill that is learned as we develop. Initially, as infants, we have not developed the “neuromotor pathways” or, sequence of signals between the brain and our toes, feet, ankles, knees, hips, and so on. The constant flow of sensory information received and processed by the brain prompts motor messages to be sent back to our limbs and allows us to move in a progressively more coordinated manner as we develop. This natural progression of developing motor control starts with crude, rather uncontrolled movement of the fingers, hands, arms, legs, and feet, and soon, we learn to hold up our head, scoot, roll over, crawl, stand, and eventually walk (usually during the first 12 months of life). The learning process of recognizing sounds, voice quality and inflections, and words occurs simultaneously. This bombardment of sensory information to the brain leads to the ability to gradually perform highly integrated functions including walking, running, jumping, and dancing. As part of that learning process, falling frequently occurs. We all recall the challenges of learning how to ride a bike, swim, do a somersault, climb a tree, swing, dance, do gymnastics, ski, and on and on. As time passes and we enter middle age, we become more sedentary. As a result, we start losing our “proprioceptive edge” and become less steady, leading to more frequent balance loss and falls. Eventually, we have to hold on to hand railings or the wall in order to keep our balance and falling occurs more frequently. Couple this gradual loss of balance with bone demineralization (osteoporosis) and the risk of a fracture, such as a hip or vertebra, increases as well.

            So the question arises, what can we do to slow down this process and maybe even reverse it? The answer is, A LOT!!! Just like muscles shrink and atrophy if they are not used, so does our ability to maintain our balance. We have to keep challenging our balance in order to keep those neuromotor pathways open. That need doesn’t stop after childhood, and in fact, becomes more important as we age. Last month, we talked about the “normal” length of time people can stand on one foot with the eyes open verses closed. If you tried the test, do you remember the steadiness difference? This “test” can be used at various time intervals, such as once a month, as you add balance challenging exercises to your daily routine. Frequently, people will find that within the first 2-4 weeks, they will feel more “sure” or secure on their feet, and even may not feel the need for a cane, or they’ll reach out less often for a hand rail. Start with simple exercises like standing with your feet together and hold that position for progressively longer times (eyes open and closed). We will continue this discussion next month with more balance stimulating exercises.

            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 treatment in San Francisco call 415-392-2225. Providing chiropractic and spinal decompression therapy since 1992.

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 Sleep: Part 2

 

low back pain san francisco
Low Back Pain and Sleep

            Last month, we discussed the relationship between sleep deprivation and low back pain (LBP) and found that LBP can cause sleep loss AND sleep loss can cause LBP. It’s a 2-way street! This month, we will look at ways to improve your sleep quality, which in return, will reduce your LBP. There are many ways we can improve our sleep quality. Here are some of them:

  1. Turn off the lights: Complete darkness (or as close to it as possible) is best. Even the tiniest bit of light in the room can disrupt your internal clock and your pineal gland’s production of melatonin and serotonin. Cover your windows with blackout shades or drapes.
  2. Stay cool! The bedroom’s temperature should be ≤70 degrees F (21 degrees C). At about four hours after you fall asleep, your body’s internal temperature drops to its lowest level. Scientists report a cooler bedroom mimics your body’s natural temperature drop.
  3. Move the alarm clock. Keeping it out of reach (at least 3 feet) forces you to get out of bed and get moving in the AM. Also, you won’t be inclined to stare at it during the night!
  4. Avoid loud alarm clocks. It is very stressful on your body to be suddenly jolted awake. If you are regularly getting enough sleep, an alarm may even be unnecessary.
  5. Reserve your bed for sleeping. Avoid watching TV or doing work in bed, you may find it harder to relax and drift off to sleep.
  6. Get to bed before 11pm. Your adrenal system does a majority of its recharging between the hours of 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. and adrenal “burn-out” results in fatigue and other problems.
  7. Be consistent about your bed time. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same times each day, including weekends. This will help your body to get into a sleep rhythm and make it easier to fall asleep and get up in the morning.
  8. Establish a bedtime routine. Consider meditation, deep breathing, using aromatherapy, or essential oils, or massage from your partner. Relax and reduce your tension from the day.
  9. Eat a high-protein snack several hours before bed to provide the L-tryptophan needed for your melatonin and serotonin production.

There are other “tricks” that ensure a good night’s rest that we will continue with next month as this is a VERY important subject and can literally add years to your life and life to your years.

            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 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.

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Spinal Decompression or Chiropractic?

drx9000 in san francisco
Spinal Decompression Therapy with DRX9000

We have been providing chiropractic treatment for herniated discs in San Francisco for over 20 years now. About 8 years ago we began to incorporate nonsurgical spinal decompression with the DRX9000 into our treatment protocols. The results have been outstanding.

So, how do we know if a herniated disc patient needs spinal decompression therapy or chiropractic care? Well…sometimes we don’t…yet!

Often times, a patient with severe low back pain and/or sciatica will present to our clinic and not have had either spinal decompression treatments or chiropractic care. Sometimes they have an MRI and sometimes they don’t.

We need an MRI to know where to apply spinal decompression, but since they are very expensive we don’t want to order one unless we really need it. And we always want to try chiropractic first if possible because chiropractic is much less expensive than spinal decompression and is covered by most insurance…decompression therapy is not.

Here’s a case history of a recent chiropractic, then spinal decompression patient we have been working with:

A 45 year old female presented to our clinic with severe low back pain and sciatica. She has a previous 15 history off on and off low back pain and sciatica but the symptoms have never been this bad. She had also had chiropractic in the past which helped. We decided together to try a month of chiropractic to see if it would help…and it did…a lot…at least for the low back pain…not the sciatica.

At this point we ordered a lumbar MRI which was covered by insurance. And we also satisfied the conservative care first requirements most carriers want to see before a chiropractor orders an MRI.

The MRI revealed a large extruded disc (disc herniation) at L5-S1 on the right which is contacting the nerve roots…OUCH! We are starting a 20 session spinal decompression treatment program today. We are excited because we have had great success with the DRX9000 with cases just like this. The patient is excited as well.

Now, if the low back pain and sciatica would have both resolved with chiropractic care than we would not have ordered the MRI. This happens frequently…more often than not. But if it doesn’t, than we need to go to the next step…which thankfully is not back surgery, it’s spinal decompression with the DRX9000.

So, whether we recommend chiropractic or decompression therapy for a lumbar disc herniation just depends…it depends on all of the above. There are also some patients who have such severe low back pain that we are unable to do chiropractic, but the patient can handle decompression….because it is very gentle…in these instances we order an MRI and move forward with spinal decompression.

The best thing to do if you feel you may have a herniated disc or if you already know, and want to find out if chiropractic or spinal decompression make sense, is to contact a spinal decompression doctor right away…most are chiropractors.

If you need help finding a doctor in your area with a DRX9000 I recommend doing a Google search like this “DRX9000 _________(your area)”. For example: DRX9000 San Francisco.  Let us know if you need help.

If you live or work in the SF Bay Area you can contact our San Francisco Spinal Decompression Center at 415-392-2225. Ask for a complimentary consultation. We validate parking at the Embarcadero Center.

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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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.

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Spinal Decompression or Chiropractic for a Disc Herniation?

drx9000 in san francisco
Spinal Decompression Therapy with DRX9000

We have been providing chiropractic in San Francisco for over 20 years now. About 8 years ago we began to incorporate spinal decompression with the DRX9000 into the mix.

In general, we always want to rule out chiropractic as a first choice for herniated discs in the neck or low back. Spinal decompression is more expensive and time consuming and is not covered by insurance.  Actually, most insurance will cover re-exams, exercises, ice, muscle stimulation, and some of the ancillary services we provide to decompression patients.

If a patient presents with a new condition, even though it appears to be a herniated disc (it’s not hard to tell)…we still want to try conservative chiropractic care first if the patient can tolerate it…and most can because we start out very gentle and easy.

On the other hand…if a patient comes to us and has already tried chiropractic without much success, or we treat them ourselves without any change, say after a few weeks, then we consider decompression therapy and will usually order an MRI.

A few weeks ago we had a 28 year old male present with severe back and leg pain with no apparent cause. He was listing to one side (antalgia) which is common with a lumbar disc herniation, and had all the positive disc findings…another-words chances are he has a herniated disc…we would need MRI to confirm.

Our game plan was to treat with conservative chiropractic for a few weeks and see if we could stabilize him and get him back on track. He really wanted to avoid an MRI and the  time and expense of spinal decompression.

The treatment started out slow with not much change…then after 4 chiropractic adjustments he started to come around, sleep better, stand straighter, feel better, and have hope that chiropractic can help.

As it stands he had to go on a work trip and will be back at the end of the week. This is not ideal so we will see.

I guess the point is this…We always want to try the more conservative, less expensive chiropractic adjustments first when it comes to treating bulging and herniated cervical and lumbar discs. But we have a Plan B if we need it, Nonsurgical spinal decompression with the DRX9000 or DRX9000c (cervical decompression system).

To find out if you are a candidate for spinal decompression in San Francisco, 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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