Tag Archives: leg pain

Treatment for a Bulging Lumbar Disc in San Francisco

herniated disc treatment in San Francisco
Pinched Lumbar Nerve Causing Sciatica

We have been providing treatment for herniated and bulging lumbar discs in San Francisco for over 23 years. 

The spinal discs, which are the ligamentous pads in between the bones have tow primary components:

1. The Nucleus Pulposus, which is the gelatinous center part of the disc that helps give the spine it’s flexibility.

2. The Annulus Fibrosis, which are the strong fibrous circular rings that help contain the nucleus and attach the disc to the vertebrae.

The spinal discs are very strong and can handle tremendous amounts of stress. However, like anything, there are limits. When the annular fibers weaken and give way to the nucleus, which then puts pressure on the delicate spinal cord or nerve roots, we call this a disc bulge or herniation. There are various names for the particular type of bulge or herniation depending on the nature and severity of the problem.

The spinal discs are living tissue so they are also subject to the overall health and integrity of the internal environment,which is for the most part a reflection of the patients lifestyle.

So, for various reasons, many that are unknown (trauma, lifestyle and cumulative physical stress), and some that are unknown, the spinal discs breakdown and bulge or herniate. Typically, the disc will bulge before it herniates in degenerative conditions that develop over time.

Of special note is the fact that much of the population has a bulging or herniated disc and has no symptoms. That’s right…it’s possible to have this and not even know it. Not all cervical or lumbar disc bulges or herniations cause pain and/or dysfunction.

Over the past 23 years, we have helped tens of thousands of patients with herniated and bulging lumbar spinal discs. Our results have been outstanding.

We use a combination of chiropractic, spinal decompression, and physical therapy. We also have medical doctors if needed to help co-manage difficult cases.

A herniated or bulging disc in the lumbar spine can cause low back pain, sciatica or leg pain, numbness, tingling, weakness, and even night pain. There is usually associated muscle spasm, swelling, and loss of motion.

If you have been diagnosed with a herniated disc (usually by MRI) or suspect you may have one, we would like to meet with you.

To find out if you are a candidate for bulging disc 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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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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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.

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Can Spinal Decompression Help Sciatica?

One of the more common causes of sciatica…which is pain, numbness, or tingling in the leg, due to nerve compression, is a herniated or bulging lumbar disc.

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

When a patient presents with sciatica at our San Francisco Spinal Decompression Center, the first thing we think is “herniated disc”. Sure, there are other causes of sciatica such as “Piriformis Syndrome”, Spinal Stenosis, Vertebral Subluxation, and Facet Syndrome…but a herniated or bulging disc in the lumbar spine is the most common cause.

Typically, we will use gentle chiropractic adjustments at first to see if the sciatica responds. We will not do this if the patient has already tried chiropractic adjustments or if there is just too much pain and inflammation.

If chiropractic adjustments fail to reduce the sciatica pain we consider spinal decompression therapy with the DRX9000. At this point we will usually send the patient out for an MRI of the lumbar spine if they do not already have one.

The lumbar MRI results are used to determine which spinal discs are bulging or herniated. The DRX9000 is able to isolate on a specific spinal disc segment to correct the herniation.

drx9000 in san francisco
Spinal Decompression Therapy with DRX9000

Spinal decompression enlarges the disc space, elongates the spine, re-positions the injured disc, re-hydrates the disc, and reduces inflammation of the surrounding tissues…including the sciatic nerve.

It is not uncommon for sciatica symptoms to begin to abate after just a few spinal decompression sessions.

So YES..spinal decompression can help sciatica!

Sometimes sciatica relief comes quick. Sometimes it takes a while…and sometimes it does not help at all (rare).

Of course it’s always nice when sciatica relief comes sooner rather than later…but sometimes it just takes a while. And it’s hard to be patient when you are in pain.

Low back and sciatica often occur together…but it is not uncommon to have sciatica with no back pain at all. or back pain with no sciatica. Every case is different.

So if you have sciatica, and you feel you have nowhere to turn…consider nonsurgical spinal decompression with the DRX9000. It will most likely be your last stop.

To schedule an appointment at San Francisco Spinal Decompression 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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