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Posts for category: Health

By High Desert Family Medicine
December 29, 2020
Category: Health
Tags: Sciatica  
Did you know that the longest nerve in the body is the sciatic nerve, which runs from the spinal cord in the lower back down the leg to the foot? Sciatica refers to nerve pain that radiates from the lower back to the buttock and down the leg. This problem usually affects only one side of the body. If you are dealing with sciatica it can make it difficult to sit or stand without pain. Luckily, an osteopath can help you get your sciatica under control.

What causes sciatica?

Several conditions could be to blame for sciatica including,
  • A herniated disc
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Traumatic injury to the sciatic nerve or lower spine
  • Piriformis syndrome
What are the risk factors for sciatica?

Certain risk factors can increase your chances of developing sciatica. They include,
  • Normal aging
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Previous back or spinal injuries
  • Weak core muscles
  • Having a labor-intensive job
  • Poor posture
  • Improper lifting (especially when weight training)
  • Diabetes
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Being pregnant
What are the symptoms of sciatica?

Since the sciatic nerve starts at the lower back and extends down to the foot the most common symptoms of sciatica include,
  • Lower back pain
  • Hip pain
  • Pain in the back of the leg that intensifies when seated
  • A throbbing or shooting pain on one side
  • “Pins and needles” in the legs, toes, and feet
  • Burning or tingling of the leg
  • Weakness or numbness in the leg or foot
While it is possible for sciatica to affect both sides of the body, it usually affects one side. Since the sciatic nerve also connects to the foot, you may also experience these symptoms in your feet or even your toes.

How can an osteopath help?

An osteopath has extensive training to be able to provide non-invasive spinal manipulation and other techniques and yes, they can help with treating painful sciatica. The goal of an osteopath is to restore full function into the body by focusing on the body as a whole.

We will focus on taking pressure off the sciatic nerve through soft tissue manipulation and mobilization techniques. Along with providing non-invasive treatments to ease sciatica symptoms we will also try and pinpoint the cause to help you prevent this problem from occurring in the future.

If you are dealing with back, hip, or leg pain and you’re wondering if it’s sciatica, an osteopath can provide you with the answers you need and treatments to restore mobility while reducing pain and swelling.
By High Desert Family Medicine
November 10, 2020
Category: Health
Tags: Stress  
How Stress Affects the BodyEvery time you’re rushing to finish an assignment on deadline, you get a call from your child’s school, or you’re dealing with rush hour traffic, something in your brain triggers a release of stress hormones. While this “fight or flight” response is important for say, swerving just in the nick of time to avoid a collision, long-term stress can be detrimental to your health.

How does stress impact my health?

Having cortisol coursing through your body for a long time can put you at risk for:
  • Digestive issues
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Chronic pain
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Weight gain
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Memory loss or difficulty concentrating
  • Hypertension
  • Insomnia and sleep problems
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
How can an osteopath help?

When tackling stress, you may think about how a regular doctor or psychologist can help, but you may also benefit from seeing an osteopath. An osteopath is a medical doctor that focuses on treating the body and all of its systems as a whole to ensure that everything is working together. An osteopath provides hands-on manual therapy and spinal manipulation.

Why focus on the spine?

This, along with the brain, is a crucial part of the central nervous system and for those dealing with prolonged stress, a lot of muscle tension can put unnecessary pressure on the spine, which in turn can lead to pinched nerves, trigger points, and tense muscles. Through regular osteopathic adjustments, we can realign the spine as well as the muscles around the spine to improve function and reduce pain and inflammation.

An osteopath also provides massage therapy, which is incredibly therapeutic and can help promote deep relaxation while flushing toxins from the body. If you’re looking for safe, non-invasive, and gentle treatment options to help ease the physical symptoms that stress is causing, osteopathic treatment may be right for you.

Regular osteopathic care can:
  • Restore functionality and mobility
  • Reduce swelling and eliminate pain
  • Get rid of muscle tension and spasms
  • Prevent joint degeneration
  • Promote relaxation and reduce stress
  • Enhance sleep quality
If you’re having trouble getting your stress under control or experiencing tension headaches and unexplained muscle aches due to prolonged stress, know that an osteopath can help you.