General Health

Spinal Manipulation - Who Benefits Best From This Effective Treatment Option

Spinal Manipulation - Who Benefits Best From This Effective Treatment Option

Spinal manipulation, or the chiropractic adjustment, is the hallmark of Chiropractic Medicine, but what population of patients benefit from this safe and effective treatment option?

Sciatica Pain Relief Part 3: Self-Care & Everyday Actions That Make Sciatic Pain Worse

If you are tracking along with us on this journey of everything Sciatica, your patience and dedication is about to be rewarded. In Part 1 of our Sciatica Pain Relief series, we discussed what Sciatic Nerve pain is and the associated anatomy (always my favorite part). In Part 2 we went a little deeper with the 5 most common causes of Sciatica and touch on a few of the red flags we want to rule out as soon as possible. Having made it through those two very information-heavy articles, it is time to look at what YOU can do to improve your situation as well as some of the most common everyday actions that may be the primary cause for your Low Back and Sciatic Nerve pain.


EVERYDAY ACTIONS CONTRIBUTING TO SCIATICA PAIN

SITTING:

To some, sitting may seem like a crazy thing to make sciatica worse. However, for those who experience this daily, it is a very real thing. To put this simply, sitting compresses the muscles of the posterior hip, possibly putting pressure on the sciatic nerve. Also, the position of sitting puts tension on the entire posterior chain (back, hip, glutes, hamstrings) potentially irritating the sciatic nerve at the spine, hip, or back of the thigh. Many people with sciatica report finding relief by standing and walking around.

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TRAVELING:

Traveling is similar to sitting in that you take the nature of sitting and compressing the sciatic nerve, and add in the cramped, tight situation of traveling on a plane or car. In addition to this, a hotel bed, or worse, your second cousins blow up mattress in their spare bedroom is not making the situation any better.

EXERCISE ROUTINE:

Many patients will relate that exercises such as squatting, deadlifting, and rowing can cause their sciatic nerve pain to worsen. The end range of these exercises, tension on the sciatic nerve, and the repetitive nature of exercise all create the perfect storm to irritate a long-standing sciatic nerve issue.


HOME CARE OPTIONS FOR SCIATICA PAIN RELIEF

While many sciatica cases require some formal care, all can benefit from frequent attention through home and office-based stretches and exercises. Below are some of our favorite ‘moves’ to help relieve sciatica pain. The truth here is that sciatica relief and recovery takes time, effort, and focus. Do a stretch one or two times is not enough. You may need to perform one of these every hour. You may have to modify your workspace. Guidance here is one aspect of care in our office but the responsibility to complete these is on the patient. Simply put, the more you focus on care outside of our office, the faster your issue typically resolves.

*NOTE: If any of these stretches increase your symptoms, stop and seek professional care. These exercises are not intended to diagnose any condition. Understanding of these exercises and the prescription of these should be performed by a trained provider.

Seated Sciatica Relief - 2 Best Chair Stretches

Best Sciatica Stretch - Utah Sports Chiropractor

Sciatica Self Release - Foam Roller & LaX Ball

Flexion & Extension For Low Back & Sciatica Relief


RISKS & CONSIDERATION WHEN DEALING WITH SCIATICA

RED FLAGS:

We discussed these in Part 2 of our Sciatica discussion. They are worth reviewing, and if you are experiencing any abnormal or rapid increase in symptoms, professional care and imaging are most likely needed.

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STRETCHING:

Something as simple as a hamstring stretch can light up your sciatica like Christmas. As we work through rehabilitative exercises and stretches, gradual progression is a must. Just like any other injury that involves peripheral nerves, more stretching is not always better. Stretching into the pain, or the discomfort zone, when dealing with a nerve issue will likely exacerbate the condition. Start with the above demonstrated exercises, and take it easy!

OCCUPATIONAL & LIFESTYLE MODIFICATION:

Imagine your workspace. Without going through an extensive ergonomics evaluation, what can you change to help your sciatica? Are you able to stand up and work? Do you have a water cooler to frequent? Can you set an alarm on your phone to remind you to stand up and stretch every hour? It is this type of lifestyle modification that is the long game portion of real sciatica relief.


Dr. Reheisse is a Board Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician practicing in Cottonwood Heights Utah. Revive Sport & Spine provides evidence-supported chiropractic care and conservative sports injury management.

New Year - New Goals: Running To Better Health

Improved health tops nearly every new year's resolution list ever made, 2019 will be no different. From this, running comes to the forefront of our ‘get in shape’ plan because of its ease (almost everyone can shuffle one foot in front of the other, not saying it is easy) and relatively low cost (a decent pair of shoes and some running gear is all you need). While this plan seems fool-proof, there is a reason 60%+ of the people we see in our clinic are runners, new and old.

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While running seems easy to do, there are many things to consider. Are you a runner? Have you ran since high school, or ever? Did you know your body type matters? Can you cover 1-2 miles and not be in misery the next day? Do you have good shoes? Do you have a partner to run with, accountability is essential for follow-through? You didn’t think about any of that, did you? While we will have more running and running-related injury articles to share with you in 2019, let’s start with some current research (Nerd-Alert).


Article 1: ‘How Do Novice Runners With Different Body Mass Indexes Begin a Self-chosen Running Regime?

Who:

  • In this study, the authors gave 914 novice runners a GPS watch and tracked them over a year to study their habits and direction of their running habits. The group was divided into 3 groups based on their BMI (Normal, Overweight, & Obese) to help determine if there were any differences and similarities in their training selection.

What They Found:

  • The first interesting finding was that in this self-guided exercise program, all categories selected similar training doses. The authors suggest that this may explain the higher injury risk among overweight and obese runners compared with normal-weight runners.

  • Normal weight runners ran faster and farther than their overweight and obese counterparts. This is anticipated as these are all novice runners, but the perceived effort was not established and could be an interesting metric to develop.

Suggestions:

  • Starting a new exercise program is exciting, but one must also be willing to understand and see that they are at a starting point. Novice runners are at high risk of injury if they start too fast, or do too much too soon. An initial dose of high volume can lead to an injury that causes you to become inactive, losing any benefits you sought to gain in the first place.

  • BMI is important to consider. Have a higher BMI does not mean you can or should not run, it means that the programming must be different. Training has to do with ‘load,’ and by that, we mean that if you are 200 lbs, it is a bit more challenging and harder on your body to run 3 miles than for someone who is 150 lbs. This changes as we continue training and adapt, but at first, we must take things slow.

  • Any activity is better than a sedentary lifestyle! Remember to take things slowly. Your body will be sore, but that is to be expected. If you have pain, or your soreness lasts longer than a few days after exercise, seek professional guidance on preparing your body and running programming.


Article 2: ‘Progression in Running Intensity of Running Volume and the Development of Specific Injuries in Recreational Runners:

Who:

  • The authors of this study followed 447 runners over a 24-week running program. Their goal was to determine the risk associated with high-intensity running plans and high-volume running plans.

  • Before the study began, they hypothesized that runners on the high-intensity program would have higher rates of Achilles tendinopathy, calf injuries, and plantar fasciitis while runners on the high-volume program would experience more runners knee, iliotibial band syndrome, and patellar tendinopathy.

What they found:

  • Over the 24-week training program, 80 runners sustained an injury. However, the authors found no difference in the risk of injuries related to training volume or intensity.

Suggestions:

  • The others suggest this discrepancy between these results and other related studies and running-related injury beliefs are related to the periodization of the running schedules, the scheduled running intensities, and the categorizations of injuries.

  • Runners or all shape, sizes, and abilities will eventually run into injury. Prevention by adhering to a solid warm-up routine, frequent attention to weaknesses and immobilities, while also modifying a training plan to one's abilities can help prevent injury.

  • When beginning a new running plan, or increasing your volume or intensity, it is suggested to do one at a time. Listen to your body and take time off as needed.

If you are taking up running again, or for the first time, and you have questions, we are here to help. Running injuries are common. You often do not have to stop running, just a rework and refocus of your training plan. Train Hard & Train Smart.

Happy & Healthy 2019!


Dr. Reheisse is a Board Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician practicing in Cottonwood Heights Utah. Revive Sport & Spine provides evidence-supported chiropractic care and conservative sports injury management.