Tag Archives: pain

Numbness in the Hand?

hand pain and numbness in SF
Hand Pain and Numbness Treatment in San Francisco

We have been providing treatment for hand  pain and numbness in San Francisco since 1992. 

Hand pain and numbness is fairly common  with people that spend the majority of their day in front of a computer.  Unfortunately, many are misdiagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) or wrist sprains when the actual problem  is in the neck.

That’s right, the primary cause of wrist pain, numbness, tingling and weakness in office workers is pressure on the nerves in the neck and not carpal tunnel syndrome.

The nerves that exit from in between the bones in the neck, travel down the arms and into the hands. Pressure on these nerves as they exit the spine from tight muscles, bulging discs, herniated discs, misaligned vertebrae, facet syndrome,  or disc and spine degeneration is much more likely than CTS (which is rare).

This is good new because it is much more easier to treat most of the above than it is true CTS.

Traditional chiropractic care is very effective for neck, arm and hand pain.  Massage, stretching and exercise, and even deep tissue laser can also help accelerate healing.

In the event chiropractic care fails to deliver a favorable outcome, we have cervical decompression with the DRX9000c spinal decompression system.

Herniated and bulging discs can be difficult to treat in some cases and the DRX9000c is very safe, gentle and effective.

Often times a combination of chiropractic and spinal decompression makes the most sense.

So…if you have been suffering with numbness in the hands or pain in the hands, weakness, tingling or neck pain, we would like to meet with you to discuss your treatment options.

To find out if you are a candidate for treatment at our San Francisco Chiropractic and Spinal Decompression Clinic please call 415-392-2225. 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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Can a Herniated Disc Heal Itself?

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Lumbar Decompression For Chronic Back Pain

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

Herniated discs in the low back and neck are fairly common.  In fact, many of us have a herniated disc and don’t even know it. That’s right…you can have a lumbar or cervical disc herniation and have no symptoms.

On the other hand, you can have a disc herniation that is causing severe low back pain and sciatica or neck and arm pain. The pain can be so bad that you are unable to function in a normal manner. It just depends on the nature of the the disc herniation and how it is contacting your spinal cord or nerves.

It is now known that disc herniations and disc bulges (a form of a herniation) can heal on their own. Some never even cause symptoms Other times, the disc can become positioned in such a way that the body is unable to fix it and outside intervention is necessary.

The most effective treatment foe a disc bulge or herniation is traditional chiropractic. Some medical doctors will scare patients into thinking that gentle chiropractic could make the problem worse or even cause permanent damage. This is very rare and most chiropractors will know when they should stay away.

What happens most of the time is a very favorable outcome. Sometimes this can happen right away and other times it may take a while. Each case is different.

In the rare event that chiropractic is unable to deliver a favorable outcome we have a “next-step”…Nonsurgical Spinal Decompression with the DRX9000.

Spinal decompression systems are designed and built to treat lumbar and cervical disc herniations nonsurgically. The treatment is very safe, gentle and effective. Sometimes a combination of chiropractic and spinal decompression works best.

Spinal decompression is not new. We have been offering it in San Francisco for over 10 years.

To find out if you are a candidate for care 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.

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What Does Spinal Decompression Costs?

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

About 10 years ago, after considerable research, we decided to add nonsurgical spinal decompression to our clinic so that we could better treat these conditions. The results have been outstanding.   The machine we use is the DRX9000. The protocol for spinal decompression is 20 one hour sessions over 6-8 weeks. We were the first to offer spinal decompression with the DRX9000 in San Francisco and our cost at that time was $6000-$10,000 depending on the severity of the condition,  level of treatment and adjunctive therapies involved.

drx9000 therapy san francisco, 94111
DRX9000 Lumbar Decompresion

That was then and this is now. Now there are many more spinal decompression machines and the machines costs less…so the price has come down. Our prices these days for lumbar or cervical spinal disc decompression is $3500-$6000 depending on what you need. Quite a bit cheaper. Plus, we are much better at it…it’s an art. Over the past 10 years we have performed tens of thousands of spinal decompression sessions on thousands of patients. We are pretty good at this…and experience matters! Some of the conditions we treat are lumbar and cervical disc herniations, disc bulges, spinal stenosis, disc degeneration, and facet syndrome. The most common symptoms associated with these conditions are low back pain, sciatica, leg pain, numbness, tingling, burning, aching, neck pain, arm pain, weakness, night pain. There has never been a better time to consider spinal decompression therapy. We reserve the machine for your appointments so there is no waiting, and we validate your parking at the Embarcadero Center. It’s super easy and efficient.

To find out if you are a candidate for care 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.

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Do Spinal Decompression Results Last?

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Lumbar decompression with the DRX9000

We have been providing treatment for herniated discs in San Francisco for over 22 years now.

About 10 years ago we began to incorporate spinal decompression therapy into our herniated disc treatment protocols. The machine we use is the DRX9000.

The DRX9000 is designed and built to treat herniated and bulging lumbar discs naturally. We also have a DRX9000c cervical decompression system. This enables us to treat herniated discs in the neck.

Over the past 10 years we have treated thousands of patients with spinal decompression. Many were scheduled for back or neck  surgery. We are proud to say that the results during this time have been outstanding. Most of the time we are able to achieve favorable outcomes and about half of our decompression patients continue on with some sort of maintenance program.

So…Do spinal decompression results last?

For the most part YES! As long as you do not return back do the unhealthy lifestyle habits that caused the condition to develop in the first place. Most herniated discs develop over time. Some are traumatic or due to sports or auto injuries, but the majority are because of things like poor posture or ergonomics, obesity, stress, bad shoes, poor sleeping habits, etc. Things you have control over.

Once the spine becomes damaged and misaligned it starts to cause abnormal wear and tear on the spinal disc, which can then lead to disc bulging and herniation.

The DRX9000 re-positions the disc, enlarges the disc space, re-hydrates the disc, strengthens the spinal ligaments and muscles, and elongates the spine. Typically the results are permanent, but many that lead active lifestyles wish to be proactive and have a decompression session here and there to help ensure things stay where they are. This is optional and totally up to the patient. Maintenance care visit frequencies range between 4-12 sessions per year.

To find out if you are a candidate for spinal decompression in San Francisco please call 415-392-2225. 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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Hand Pain and Herniated Disc in The Neck

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Is it Really CTS?

We have been providing treatment for hand pain in San Francisco for over 22 years now. 

Hand pain is very common in people that spend the majority of their day sitting at a desk in front of a computer…like most of our patients.

When it comes to hand pain treatment the source of the pain is not always in the hand. In fact, more often than not the source of the arm or hand pain is from pinched nerves in the neck. That’s right, pinched nerves in the neck can cause the same type of hand pain that pinched nerves in the hand or wrist can cause (carpal tunnel syndrome).

This is why it’s so important for a doctor to examine the neck to the finger tips when a patient presents with carpal tunnel symptoms such as hand pain.

The primary cause of pinched nerves in the neck is a herniated or bulging cervical disc.

Chiropractors have great success treating pinched nerves in the neck with adjustments, massage, exercise and other non-invasive treatments such as deep tissue laser and Active Release Techniques (ART).

In the unlikely event that chiropractic fails to deliver desired results for hand pain due to a herniated disc, then nonsurgical cervical decompression is considered for the neck.

At our clinic we will often incorporate cervical decompression with the DRX9000c and chiropractic adjustments. This can work extremely well.

We also have a medical team and physical therapy team for difficult cases.

So, if you are suffering with neck, arm, shoulder, elbow, or hand pain, you should probably visit a chiropractor that has expertise in CTS treatment and repetitive stress injuries. And if they have a cervical spinal decompression machine that’s even better.

To find out if you are a candidate for hand pain 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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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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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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Leg Numbness with No Back Pain?

Have you been experiencing leg numbness or tingling in the leg or legs but you have no back pain? Well, you are not alone as this is a very common finding and symptom of a herniated disc in the low back. This is actually a form of Sciatica.

That’s right…it’s possible to have pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness in the leg but have no back pain. The reason for this is that the nerves that exit from the lumbar spine travel down the leg to the foot and carry nerve impulses and chemicals that are responsible for motor (movement) and sensory (what you feel) functions. Any kind of pressure on these nerves from a herniated or bulging lumbar disc and you can feel numbness, pins and needles, hot and cold, or burning sensations.

If the leg numbness in your leg/s persists you should visit a chiropractor or orthopedic doctor to be evaluated for possible lumbar disc pathology.

If you are diagnosed with a herniated disc you should not rush to have back surgery even though it may be recommended as a primary option. The reason for this is that we now know ruptured spinal discs can heal on their own with a little help from a chiropractor or a nonsurgical spinal decompression machine like the DRX9000.

Sure, there are rare situations where surgery is the only option but they are far and few in between. Most of the time it makes sense to try non invasive treatments for herniated disc repair first. And in my experience favorable outcomes are achieved more often than not.

So…if you are experiencing numbness or tingling in the legs (sciatica) and you want to find out if you have a herniated disc make an appointment to see a chiropractor ASAP.

If you live or work or plan on visiting San Francisco in the near future you can come see us.

To schedule an appointment with one of our Spinal Decompression Doctors in San Francisco call 415-392-2225. Mention this blog post for a complimentary consultation. We validate parking at the Embarcadero Center where we are located.

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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Neck Pain and Cervical Disk Herniation

 

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DRX9000c Cervical Decompression

We have been providing nonsurgical treatment for herniated disks (also spelled herniated disc with a c) for over 21 years. We currently incorporate cervical spinal decompression with the DRX9000c into our treatment protocols and have had great success with the most difficult of cases. 

Neck pain can arise from many sources. There are ligaments that hold bones to other bones that are non-elastic and very strong. When injured, the term, “sprain” is applied. The muscle and/or its attachment (the tendon) can tear as well, which is called a “strain.” But, what is it that people refer to when they say, “…I slipped a disk in my neck!”?

           

The disks lay between the vertebrae in the front of the spine, and they are part of the primary support and shock absorbing system of our neck and back. There are 6 disks in the neck, 12 in the mid-back and 5 in the low back for a total of 23. The disks in the low back are big, like the vertebral bodies they lie between, and get progressively smaller as they go up the spine towards the head. When we bend our neck forwards, the disk compresses, and opens wider when we look up. It forms a wedge shape when we side bend left or right, and it twists when we rotate or turn the head.

           

The terms, “…a slipped disk, a herniated disk, a ruptured disk, a bulging disk” (and more), all mean something similar, if not exactly the same thing. A central part of the disk is liquid-like and can herniate in any direction. When it does, it can create pain IF it pinches something, or it may be painless if it doesn’t. In fact, since the invention of the CAT scan and MRI, many (“normal”) people have been found  on the scan to have some type of disk “derangement” (alteration of the normal integrity of the disk), with 50%+ showing bulging disk(s) and 21% showing frank herniations WITH NO PAIN AT ALL! So, in the absence of shooting pain down an arm from the neck, or when there is no numbness or weakness in the arm, why order an MRI? It may show bulges or herniations that are not “clinically” important, and may falsely lead a doctor to recommend surgery when it’s not needed.

           

There are “KEY” findings in the history and examination that leads us to the diagnosis of a cervical disk injury. From the history, the disk patient often has arm pain, numbness, and/or muscle weakness that follows a specific pathway, such as numbness to the thumb/index finger (C6 nerve), middle of the hand & 3rd finger (C7) or to the pinky & ring finger (C8). Certain positions, such as looking up, usually irritate the neck and arm, and bending the head forward relieves it. Another unique history and exam finding is if the patient finds relief by putting the arm up and over their head. Similarly, letting the arm hang down is often associated with irritation. Other examination findings unique to a cervical disk injury include reproducing the arm pain by placing the head in certain positions such as bending the head back and to the side simultaneously. Another is compressing the head into the shoulders. When lifting up on the head (traction), relief of arm pain is common. The neurological exam will usually show a reduction of sensation when we gently poke them with a sharp object, and/or they may have weakness when compared to the opposite side.

Often times, patients will present to our San Francisco Back and Neck Pain Center with carpal tunnel like symptoms without neck pain. They end up with a diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) when the true cause is a herniated disk in the neck Or, they may have both CTS and a herniated disk in the neck. This is called “Double Crush Syndrome” and is a common diagnosis at our clinic.

           

Chiropractic treatments can be very successful in resolving cervical disk herniation signs and symptoms, and should CERTAINLY be tried before agreeing to a surgical correction. Often, the surgeon will recommend a fusion of 2 or more neck vertebrae, sometimes with a metal plate in the front of the spine. This increases the load on either side of the fusion and can create problems above and below the fusion leading to more surgery down the road.  Trust me, try chiropractic first or cervical decompression with the DRX9000c first. You’ll be glad you did!

           

We realize that you have a choice in where you choose your health-care 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 a complimentary consultation for cervical herniated disk treatment 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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Low Back Pain Travel Tips

treatment for low back pain in SF
Low Back Pain Travel Tips

Low back pain (LBP) is a common complaint when it comes to traveling, whether it’s in a car, bus, train or airplane. Traveling is hard on our joints, muscles and nerves for many reasons. Traveling requires us to do something our bodies are not used to, such as prolonged sitting in a cramped area. Remember the last time you had the middle seat on a plane? Also, unless you have a very unique exercise routine, injuries commonly occur from hoisting carry-ons into overhead bins or yanking them off the baggage claim belt. This month’s article will offer tips about traveling and things you can do to minimize risk of irritating or creating LBP. Bon voyage!

Luggage Wisdom

Lifting (in preferential order of lowering the risk of LBP injury):

a)      Ask for help if you know your carry-on is too heavy for you to place into the overhead bin safely. There are many kind co-travelers who will jump at the chance to facilitate (especially if you ask them nicely). If that fails, most flight attendants will be happy to help if they know you are struggling with LBP (be honest with yourself; now is NOT the time to be in denial of your back issue!)

b)      When it is possible, try to ship your heavy items ahead of time. It’s not only good for your back, but it’s often cheaper than the cost many airlines charge per bag! If you do this, all you need is a small carry-on that can easily fit under the seat in front of you.

c)      Why NOT simply check a bag, especially heavy items? You still have to be careful removing it from the luggage carousel, but again, ASK FOR HELP!

d)      Try a backpack. It sure beats slinging a heavy briefcase over only one shoulder, which should be reserved for a light hand bag only.

e)      If no one comes to help, and you end up having to complete this often unpleasant task yourself, think before you lift. Break the lift into small movements or actions. For example, when placing your carry-on into an overhead bin, keep the luggage close to your body since the farther away from your body you hold the bag, the heavier it becomes to your lower back (up to 10x the load!). Try this method: 1st lift the bag to the arm of the seat that lies below the overhead bin; next lift it to the top of the seat back top; and then (the hard part), squat down, arch your low back, grip the bag, and in a smooth continuous movement, raise the bag up and onto the edge of the overhead bin. At that point, wiggle it in the rest of the way. Another important point about lifting is to try to avoid twisting, ESPECIALLY if combined with bending. A bend / twist combination is often the cause of a low back injury. Try to pivot your feet to move your body to avoid your back from twisting.

            There are MANY other traveling tips that we have not yet discussed. Look forward to next month’s Health Update for LBP for more!

            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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