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Posts for: December, 2020

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
December 10, 2020
Category: Osteopathic Care
Tags: Whiplash  

Getting Help for Your Whiplash

Whether you were recently in a car accident or experienced a head or neck injury from a sports-related accident or bad fall, you may be dealing with whiplash as a result. Whiplash usually appears 1-2 days after an accident or injury and is often characterized by neck pain, stiffness, inflammation, or limited mobility. If you are dealing with whiplash here’s how an osteopath can help.

Here at our practice, we offer various gentle but effective hands-on techniques that improve range-of-motion within the neck. Soft-tissue massage can also help to alleviate tight, spasming, or painful muscles. Mobilization techniques and stretching exercises help to realign the discs of the cervical spine, to improve how the body functions as a whole.

An osteopath will also provide you with a variety of exercises that you can perform between treatment sessions to help ease symptoms and speed up the healing process. Depending on the severity of your injury, your osteopathic doctor may recommend anywhere from two to six sessions.

How quickly will whiplash heal with osteopathic care?

Our goal is to help restore full function and get rid of the pain as quickly as possible. With that said, it can take anywhere from several weeks to several months, depending on the severity of your whiplash. If you notice symptoms returning, you must call your osteopath right away.

How can I ease my whiplash symptoms?

The way you care for yourself during this time is just as important as the treatments you get from our osteopathic team. You must rest as much as possible, avoiding any activities that would require fast, sharp neck movements. Light movement and stretching can help keep the ligaments and muscles limber and loose, which can reduce pain.

You may wish to apply ice to your neck for the first 48 to 72 hours after your injury; however, you will want to avoid using ice after 72 hours, as this could impede the healing process and may even lead to more inflammation.

What are the signs of whiplash?

Anytime the ligaments in the neck are overstretched or pulled out of alignment the result is often pain, stiffness, and limited mobility. Those with whiplash often notice trouble moving or turning their head. You may experience more headaches or trouble sleeping. Those with more severe symptoms may have pain that radiates to the shoulder blades, back or arms.

For musculoskeletal complaints and injuries, an osteopath can help you find natural, alternative ways to get back on track. Our osteopathic team wants to help you get the treatment you need.