Chiropractic Health

Sciatica

Posted: March 24, 2014
By: Dr Jonathan Dale Chiropractor

Sciatica:

 
Have you ever said or heard someone say, 'my sciatica is acting up again?' Today the term 'sciatica' has become a general term for lower back pain and discomfort.  There are many conditions that may present as sciatic pain and are actually caused by other conditions; as a result, these causes are over looked and a patient suffers continually from their condition.
 
Lets talk about the sciatic nerve.  The Sciatic nerve is one of the largest nerves in your body.  It often is the size of your pinky finger.  Nerve roots exit on both sides of your lumbar spine (low back) and join into one large nerve yielding the sciatic nerve.  This nerve runs along the back of your buttock, thigh and leg into your foot.  As the nerve runs along the  back of the leg, divisions of the nerve disperse.  
 
True sciatic is the irritation of the nerve roots as they exit from small openings in the spine.  If these nerves become irritated, symptoms may present as buttock pain, posterior leg pain, weakness in leg muscles and changes in sensational touch of the involved leg.  It is here that the symptoms become tricky. Other conditions  which people present with may show similar symptoms.
 
Have you heard of piriformis syndrome?  This conditions is caused by a muscle having an impact on the sciatic nerve.  Research and studies have shown the sciatic nerve has three different ways to pass the piriformis muscle.  The sciatic nerve has been found to pass through, under or over the piriformis muscle.  Consequently, a change in the structure of the piriformis muscle (due to sitting, squatting, driving etc.) can press on the large sciatic nerve in the buttock region. 
 
Your sacroiliac joints are located at the very bottom of your spine and may present with a large amount of pain.  Since this pain can refer into the buttock region some mistake this for their sciatic pain.  These joints can present with dysfunction due to both tight hamstring and hip flexor muscles as well.  Chiropractors have special tests which help them differentiate between the causes of discomfort  in these regions.
 
Another overlooked cause to a patient's discomfort in the low back, gluteal region and leg can be something known as 'trigger points.'  These are hyperactive regions in muscles which refer pain in a pattern to different parts of your body.  Some muscles which have trigger point referral patterns to this area include Quadratus Lumborum, Gluteus Maximus, Gluteus Minimus, Piriformis and the Gemellus group of muscles. 
 
Studies show chiropractors have great success working with Piriformis Syndrome and trigger points in additions to Sciatic conditions.  A chiropractor will help move the joints in your low back to make sure proper biomechanics is restored and nerve interference is eliminated.  Furthermore, they will address the muscle imbalance which may be present.  Once proper biomechanics is restored,  the doctor will provide exercises and stretches to decrease the amount of possible relapses.  

Ear Infections A Chiropractic approach!

Posted: March 24, 2014
By: Dr Jonathan Dale Chiropractor

Ear Infections:

 
No two ear infections are created equal.  They occur more frequently in the younger population, often children and infants.  The reason many children receive an ear infection is due to a poor draining ear canal.  There is a inner ear canal called an Eustachian Tube  drains from the inner ear to your "throat region."  Many times in children this tube is in a horizontal position; as a result, this tube has difficulty draining causing a wonderful place for bacteria to grow.  As the body develops into an adult, the tube elongates and repositions into a more vertical position.  Consequently, this is why most people who suffered with ear infections while younger no longer have infections at an older age. There are two different types of ear infections. 
 
1.  Acute Otitis Media is usually the cause of a bacterial infection to the inner ear. This type of condition presents with symptoms of fever, red eardrum, pus in the ear and tenderness of the ear to touch.  Those who suffer with this type of condition also present with a decrease in the ability to hear properly.  The medical treatment of Acute Otitis Media (AOM) is to prescribe a course of antibiotics to the individual to kill the bacteria.  A holistic why of dealing with AOM is to have the child take garlic (either ingested or rubbed on the bottom of their feet) to help kill off the infection.  Furthermore, the essential oil oregano has the ability to kill bacteria.  Be cautious not to drop oregano into the ear as this will irritate the ear drum.  However, putting a small drop onto your pinky finger and put on the opening of the ear.  Additionally, the oil can be applied to the area on the outside around the ear. 
 
2. Otitis Media with Effusion is the more common type of ear condition than AOM.  This type of ear condition is the one most often to cause build up in the Eustachian Tube due to improper drainage of the inner ear fluid.  The affected individual will not suffer from fever, red eardrum (will often be clear and shinny), pus and pain.  Although sometimes if the pressure builds up enough the individual may have pain from the pressure.  Contrarily, AOM pain is due to the infection.  The causes of Otitis Media with Effusion, in addition to a poor draining Eustachian Tube, may be from allergies, viral lung infections or an external irritant (smoke.)  Medically, doctors often prescribe antibiotics for this type of ear condition too.  However, antibiotics do not kill viral infections and they decrease your immune system (by killing good bacteria and kill the bodies resistance to other bad bacteria.)  The holistic chiropractic way to approach this condition, is adjusting the upper neck region to help the Eustachian tube to drain.  Consequently, this relaxes all the muscles which surround the tube helping the tube to open.  Furthermore, small controlled impulses to the external portion of the ear may provide the inner ear to drain. Decreasing dairy products and eliminated inflammatory foods will help decrease congestion and fluid build up.  This approach may offer a safe way of dealing with Otitis Media with Effusion yielding minimal to no side effects, like antibiotics. 

Pain and how chiropractic can help drug free.

Posted: March 24, 2014
By: Dr Jonathan Dale Chiropractor
Pain: 
 
What do you think of pain?  Pain is a perception which varies amongst each individual.  Some people have a higher threshold of pain then their neighbors might have. There are three types of pain physical, physiological and spiritual pain.  The one I would like to talk to you about today is physical pain.
 
Physical pain, pain due to a physical condition or injury can sometimes be a very good thing.  Now you think I am crazy, but before you judge listen to what I mean.  This pain is a neurological stimulant sending messages to protect your body.  You would continue to perform the same silly motion and damage would be done  if the pain was not present.  When too much damage happens it may be impossible for your body to return to a pre-injury state of healing.  As a result, this pain perception allows you to become conscious of the current damage done (say in your joints) and allow the joints to heal by seeking attention (chiropractic care.)  
 
When the pain threshold is reached not only does this signal bother you; but also a chemical response is released in the body helping attract healing cells to the area of concern.  This is where nutrition plays a role in healing.  When you decide to take nutritional supplements for a certain condition, these signals tell the body where the constituents of the supplements are needed. 
 
What do you mean by a pain threshold?  Did you know damage could be happening in your body right now and you are not even feeling pain.  The body requires a certain amount of pain fibers (nocioreceptors) to fire before your brain will signal pain. 
 
So now you may be wondering how does chiropractic help with pain?  Well, it goes much further than just helping with pain.  First, a chiropractic adjustment helps balance the two types of nerves in your body.  An adjustment helps stimulate the 'good nerves' (mechanoreceptors) which in turn inhibits the 'pain nerves' (nocioreceptors).  Ah-ha so is that why when I hit my finger or pinch it I shake it?  Yes, shaking your finger stimulates the mechanoreceptors causing a decrease in the level of pain you will feel.  This shaking your finger phenomenon is a natural reflex we experience.  Second, chiropractic does not focus on the symptoms as much as the problems.  We strongly believe as chiropractors that if we work on taking care of your problems (subluxations,) your symptoms will disappear as well.    
 
My pain went away after my first adjustment so why does my doctor tell me I should continue to come in and be adjusted?  This is a good question and after what has been explained, maybe you already know the answer. When damage occurs, the threshold of pain may not have been reached the first time.  However, you continue to damage the joint and eventually the pain shows up.  One adjustment may decrease the pain below this threshold but not fix the problem.  Pain is the last symptom to show up and the first one to leave.  So I want to leave you with this question.  Do you want your symptoms to go away or the problem and the symptoms corrected?       

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