Tag Archives: stenosis

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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Cervical Decompression with the DRX9000c

drx9000c san francisco
DRX9000c Cervical Decompression

We have been providing cervical decompression therapy in San Francisco for about 8 years now. We have been serving the SF Financial District for over 20 years. The spinal decompression machine we use is the DRX9000c.

The DRX9000c is designed and built to treat cervical neurovascular compression syndromes such as bulging discs, herniated discs, cervical stenosis, degenerative disc disease, and facet syndrome, nonsurgically.

The DRX9000c is set to the specific spinal disc level of the problem. For instance, if there is a disc herniation of the C6-7 disc then that is the disc we target. Decompression therapy enlarges the disc space, elongates the spine, strengthens the spinal muscles and ligaments, re-hydrates the injured cervical spinal disc, and pulls the herniated or bulging disc fragments back to the center of the disc and off the spinal cord and spinal nerves.

The decompression therapy is about 30 minutes. Then there is 10 minutes and muscle stimulation and ice. The muscle stimulation teaches the cervical muscles to work with the spine in it’s new position. The ice reduces inflammation and muscle spasms.

The protocol for cervical decompression with the DRX9000c is 20 sessions. These sessions are done over a 6 week period.

Some spinal decompression patients continue with ongoing maintenance and some just come in as needed when they feel they need it.

There is home care and exercises that decompression patients follow to obtain optimum results.

Success rates are high with cervical decompression at our San Francisco clinic. We try to only accept cases that we feel will achieve favorable outcomes.

Sometimes there is a little soreness in the beginning…but most patients are already sore. Otherwise, the treatment itself is very gentle and relaxing…it’s something you look forward to.

If you have been diagnosed with a cervical disc herniation or disc bulge, or any of the other conditions listed above, and would like to find out if you are a candidate for spinal decompression, you should find a doctor with a DRX9000c in your area.

If you live, work, or can travel to downtown San Francisco, then you can see us.

To schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our San Francisco Spinal Decompression Doctors please 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.

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Low Back Pain and Spondylolisthesis

Low back pain can arise from many conditions, one of which is a mouthful: Spondylolisthesis.

The term was coined in 1854 from the Greek words, “spondylo” for vertebrae and “olisthesis” for slip. These “slips” most commonly occur in the low back, 90% at L5 and 9% at L4. According to www.spinehealth.com and others, the most common type of spondylolisthesis is called “isthmic spondylolisthesis,” which is a condition that includes a defect in the back part of the vertebra in an area called the pars interarticularis, which is the part of the vertebra that connects the front half (vertebral body) to the back half (the posterior arch). This can occur on one, or both sides, with or without a slip or shift forwards, which is then called spondylolysis. In “isthmic spondylolisthesis,” the incidence rate is about 5-7% of the general population favoring men over women 3:1. Debate continues as to whether this occurs as a result genetic predisposition verses environmental or acquired at some point early in life as noted by the increased incidence in populations such as Eskimos (30-50%), where they traditionally carry their young in papooses, vertically loading their lower spine at a very young age. However, isthmic spondylolisthesis can occur at anytime in life if a significant backward bending force occurs resulting in a fracture but reportedly, occurs most frequently between ages 6 and 16 years old.

Often, traumatic isthmic spondylolisthesis occurs during the adolescent years and in fact, is the most common cause of low back pain at this stage of life. Sports most commonly resulting in spondylolisthesis include gymnastics, football (lineman), weightlifting (from squats or dead lifts) and diving (from over arching the back). Excessive backward bending is the force that overloads the back of the vertebra resulting in the fracture sometimes referred to as a stress fracture, which is a fracture that occurs as a result of repetitive overloading over time, usually weeks to months.

If the spondylolisthesis lesions do not heal either by cartilage or by bone replacement, the front half of the vertebra can slip or slide forwards and become unstable. Fortunately, most of these heal and become stable and don’t progress. The diagnosis is a simple x-ray, but to determine the degree of stability, “stress x-rays” or x-rays taken at endpoints of bending over and backwards are needed. Sometimes, a bone scan is needed to determine if it’s a new injury verses an old isthmic spondylolisthesis.

Another very common type is called degenerative spondylolisthesis and occurs in 30% of Caucasian and 60% of African-American woman (3:1 women to men). This usually occurs at L4 and is more prevalent in aging females. It is sometimes referred to as “pseudospondylolisthesis” as it does not include defects in the posterior arch but rather, results from a degeneration of the disk and facet joints. As the disk space narrows, the vertebra slides forwards. The problem here is that the spinal canal, where the spinal cord travels, gets crimped or distorted by the forward sliding vertebra and causes compression of the spinal nerve root(s), resulting pain and/or numbness in one or both legs. The good news about spondylolisthesis is that non-surgical approaches, like spinal manipulation in particular, work well and chiropractic is a logical treatment approach!

            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.

For a complimentary consultation with one of our San Francisco Chiropractors  to determine the cause of your low back pain, 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.

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Can Spinal Decompression Help Lumbar Stenosis?

We have been helping patients with lumbar stenosis at our San Francisco Spinal Decompression Center since 1994.

lumbar stenosis treatment san francisco
Sost Tissue and Bony Lumbar Stenosis

Lumbar Stenosis by definition means that there is a physical obstruction in either the spinal canal where the spinal cord is, or in the nerve channel (foramina) where the nerve roots exit before they make the journey out to the body. The latter is referred to as Foraminal Stenosis.

What happens is the bulging disc or spinal degeneration narrows the canal and puts pressure on the spinal cord or nerve root. This can lead to symptoms such as sciatica, numbness or tingling in the legs, leg weakness, night pain, foot drop, and back pain.

There are two basic causes of lumbar stenosis:

1. Bony stenosis from spinal and disc degeneration (includes spinal ligament degeneration and calcification).

2. Soft tissue stenosis from bulging and herniated discs and well as inflamed ligaments and soft tissues.

Spinal decompression like the DRX9000 work best if the cause of your lumbar stenosis is a bulging disc or a herniated disc. However, spinal decompression can also help bony stenosis as well.

Spinal decompression machines are designed and built to enlarge the disc space, elongate the spine, strengthen the spinal ligaments, re-position the injured disc, and create a negative pressure which help to re-establish nutrient exchange between the spinal disc, the surrounding tissues, and the blood stream.

To the extent the above is possible, depending on the level of severity, your age, and any complications, various stages of healing can take place…all the way to complete recovery.

Some stenosis patients only have a single disc herniation…but it is a big one…putting pressure right on a spinal nerve…most commonly at L5-S1. Well…this kind of case stands a really good chance at a complete recovery..especially if the patient is young without much spinal decay. If the herniation was small the chances would be even better.

Some patients have multiple levels of involvement, with disc herniations at several spinal levels, along with disc and spinal degeneration, enlarged ligaments from calcium deposits and inflammation, and bone spurs. A case like this is much more difficult to treat…but still there is much potential for improvement.

The DRX9000 can pump life into an unhealthy, degenerated spine and bring herniated and bulging discs back to life. Once a spine starts to regain lost motion and the discs re-hydrate…anything is possible.

It’s also possible to have a patient present with bony stenosis that is beyond help. There is just so much spinal degeneration and the disc are completely calcified. It;s possible…but this is rare. It’s mostly seen in the elderly.

So…can spinal decompression with the DRX9000 help you? Maybe.

I would certainly find out more about spinal decompression before I considered back surgery. Heck…you can always have back surgery if decompression fails. But even if spinal decompression does not help you are still left whole. Nothing cut-out. No cement. No metal.

It’s worth a shot.

To schedule a complimentary consultation at our San Francisco Spinal Decompression Center, 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.

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When should you have an MRI of the Neck?

herniated disc san francisco
Cervical disc bulge on MRI

We have been treating cervical disc herniations at our San Francisco Spinal Decompression Clinic since 1992. Most of the time we are the ones to refer a patient out for a cervical MRI, which is the gold standard diagnostic tool for herniated discs. And this is usually after the neck pain patient has had extensive medical evaluations. Go figure?

Almost every patient we refer for a cervical MRI turns out to have either disc bulges, spinal stenosis, disc degeneration, or cervical disc herniations.

Our spinal decompression doctors are highly trained in examination procedures so they are able to zero in on herniated discs in the neck and back.

Here’s the deal though…Even though we may suspect a herniated disc in the cervical spine, it does not automatically mean we refer out for MRI. It depends on many factors…such as the patients age, over-all physical condition, and presenting symptoms…and functional impairment.

The reason for this is because many times even though a patient has bulging or herniated discs, they still may respond favorably to a short course of conservative chiropractic, exercise, and therapy.

However…if the condition is acute and severe, we will refer right away.

When one of our spinal decompression doctors in San Francisco refers for an MRI of the cervical spine, we have the films and report sent to us. Why? Because we have a next step at our clinic…Nonsurgical spinal decompression with the DRX9000c.

drx9000c san francisco
DRX9000c Cervical Decompression

The DRX9000c is designed and built to treat cervical disc herniations, bulges, degeneration, stenosis, and facet syndrome.

So first we try gentle chiropractic, exercise, massage, and physical therapy. If there is no response we order and MRI of the neck. If there are positive findings we may recommend cervical disc decompression with the DRX9000c or refer out to an orthopedic surgeon (rare).

So maybe you need an MRI of the neck…maybe you don’t.

My recommendation is to find yourself a chiropractor that has a cervical spinal decompression machine and lots of experience using it. Chances are they will have a good relationship with a diagnostic facility and can prescribe an MRI if indicated.

If you live or work near downtown San Francisco you can visit our San Francisco Spinal Decompression Center. To schedule a complimentary consultation call 415-392-2225 and mention this blog post.

We also have a list of recommended spinal decompression doctors around the US. If you need help locating a doctor send an email to [email protected]

 Check-out this video: Spinal Decompression Review: Cervical

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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How To Finally Get Rid Of Your Sciatica!

Sciatica, or pain down the leg, is a very common symptom of a pinched nerve in the low back (lumbar spine). There are varying degrees of sciatica from mild to severe. Other symptoms in the leg such as numbness and tingling or pins and needles can be considered sciatica also…as long as the source of the problem is sciatic nerve compression.

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

The sciatic nerve originates in the low back and is formed by nerve roots that branch off the spinal cord, exit from in between the lumbar vertebra, then come together. Kind of like a four lane highway merging into one lane. The sciatic nerve travels from the low back down to the feet. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body….it can be the diameter of a quarter at it’s largest circumference.

The most likely cause of sciatica is a herniated or bulging disc in the lumbar spine. Other causes are facet syndrome, degenerative disc disease, DJD, and spinal stenosis. Usually there is a little bit of everything.

The good news is, there really is a way to “Finally Get Rid of Your Sciatica”…even when conventional treatments such as chiropractic, physical therapy, acupuncture, and medicine fail to deliver. I’m talking about nonsurgical spinal decompression with the DRX9000.

drx9000 in san francisco
Lumbar Decompression For Low Back Pain and Sciatica

The DRX9000 is a machine that is designed and built to treat disc herniations and disc bulges. That’s what it does…and it does it without drugs or surgery. And, the DRX9000 has very high success rates even when all else fails. In fact, spinal decompression therapy is now considered to be the “Gold Standard” for the nonsurgical treatment of chronic low back pain.

So there is hope for sciatica patients that are living in pain. I can’t tell you how many sciatica patients we meet with have been told “you either get back surgery or learn to live with the pain”. Nice Huh?

Well…most laugh about that now. Will the DRX9000 fix your sciatica? Maybe.

You first need to make sure you qualify medically as not everyone does. If you have had a previous surgical fusion in your spine you are disqualified. If you have severe scoliosis or severe osteoporosis decompression is not for you. There are more. Most qualify though.

The next step is to call our San Francisco Spinal Decompression Center at 415-392-2225 and ask for a complimentary consultation.

If you do not live or work near downtown San Francisco, you can check our list of the Best Spinal Decompression Doctors in America.

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 Relief with Spinal Decompression

The term Sciatica refers to pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness in the leg, that originates in the low back (lumbar spine).  The sciatic nerve originates in the low back and travels through the piriformis muscle in the buttocks, then all the way down the back of the leg.

pinched nerve treatment san francisco
Pinched Lumbar Nerve Root of Sciatic Nerve

The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body and in some people can be the diameter of a size of a quarter at it’s largest point. It is formed by branches of nerve roots in the lumbar spine that come together to form one large nerve.

The most common cause of sciatica is a herniated or bulging lumbar disc causing a pinched nerve. Degenerative disc disease and spinal stenosis can also cause sciatica. As can Piriformis Syndrome.

Nonsurgical spinal decompression, which isolates on a specific spinal segment, say L5-S1, is in most cases, able to reduce pressure on the sciatic nerve by reducing the lumbar disc herniation or bulging disc. The spinal decompression machine we use is the DRX9000.

drx9000 in san francisco
Spinal Decompression Therapy with DRX9000

The DRX9000 enlarges the disc space which creates a negative pressure inside the disc, which creates a suction type action which repositions the herniated and bulging discs into a more normal position. The DRX9000 also elongates the spine, re-hydrates the disc (which increases disc height), and strengthens the spinal ligaments.

Spinal decompression therapy helps the spine to do what it would if it could…just like a respirator does for the lungs. The DRX9000 is a respirator for the spinal discs.

What this does is help to reduce inflammation and muscle spasm and gives the injured lumbar disc a chance to heal. It also reduces the pressure off the sciatic nerve which is the primary source of sciatica in most people.

Sciatica relief with spinal decompression usually happens within a few sessions. But we don’t want to stop there. We want to work through the entire program to make the sciatica relief permanent. At least that’s the plan.  Outcomes are excellent.

Will spinal decompression with the DRX9000 get rid of your sciatica? Maybe…probably.

It depends on your age, your over-all physical condition, how many disc herniations you have and spinal degeneration. Do you have any complications such as scoliosis or a short leg, etc.

The best thing to do if you are suffering with back pain or sciatica is to find a back pain doctor that has a spinal decompression machine like the DRX9000. There are also other fine decompression systems out there.

To find out if you are a candidate for the DRX9000 at our San Francisco Spinal Decompression Center, 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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Chronic Back Pain Treatment in San Francisco

I have been treating back pain in San Francisco since 1992…almost 20 years now. For the most part I have used modern chiropractic techniques, physical therapy, exercise, yoga, and laser therapy. About 6 years ago I added nonsurgical spinal decompression to the mix. The decompression machine we use at our San Francisco Spinal Decompression Center is the DRX9000.

eben davis
Dr. Eben Davis

Chronic back pain (CBP) is one of the most common conditions a spinal decompression specialist deals with on a day to day basis. Previous episodes of back pain are the #1 predisposing factor to CBP. If the underlying cause of back pain is left to heal on it’s own, like most are, the injured structures, such as the spinal discs and muscles can heal inappropriately and set the stage for chronic back pain and disability down the road.

The DRX9000 lumbar decompression system is designed and built to treat disc conditions in the low back. We also offer cervical decompression with the DRX9000c.

Chronic back pain or chronic neck pain can take over your life. Sure, it may seem like the pain went away on it’s own…but what if it comes back? And what if it keeps coming back and stays…then what?

This is why I recommend that patients get checked by a chiropractor on a regular basis to make sure that their spine is in it’s proper alignment.

As for as chronic back pain is concerned…it can most likely be managed with chiropractic care, exercise, and good sleeping and ergonomic habits. However, there is a sub-set of chronic back pain patients that have problems that simply do not respond to chiropractic…or anything for that matter.

This is where decompression therapy with the DRX9000 may make sense. Heck…it’s 100% natural…and safe also. Sure, there is physical therapy, and cortisone, and muscle relaxers, and acupuncture…blah, blah, blah.  But none of those back pain therapies reposition the spinal disc, or strengthen the spinal ligaments…or create a negative pressure that actually pulls herniated disc fragments back to the center of the disc…only nonsurgical spinal decompression does that.

So, my advice…if you have chronic back pain or chronic neck pain secondary to disc herniations, bulging discs, disc degeneration, spinal stenosis, or facet syndrome…consider disc decompression therapy. It’s just a smart thing to do!

Dr. Eben Davis is clinic director of Executive Express Chiropractic and Spinal Decompression in San Francisco.

Directions to SF Spinal Decompression 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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