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sciatica

Ep 352 – Why Do You Go to the Gym?

Ep 342 – Standing QL Stretch for Low Back Pain

Chiropractic vs Physical Therapy (The Major Difference)

The Major Difference Between Chiropractic & Physical Therapy

When you get injured who do you go and see? What is the major difference between the two professions?

Physical therapists tend to look into rehabilitation, strengthening, and stretching exercises.  Basically, when you get injured you try and rehab that particular area.  In my opinion, my most physical therapist places are reactive in that they wait until you are injured (most people do that anyway).  Additionally, most physical therapist will see you initially and then send you to do self directed rehab where you will likely work with a rehab tech and not necessarily with the PT themselves.

Chiropractic on the other hand focuses on adjustments to the spine and other areas to help restore mobility, range of motion, and mechanics to the spine.  This in turn stimulates that brain and spinal cord (CNS) which controls all your body.  Many Chiropractors focus on quality of life, wellness, and being proactive not reactive.

In summery, you should likely being doing both!  You can achieve much greater benefits when you combine therapists and work together than independently.

Disc Herniations, Sciatica, Nerve Compression Explained!

Disc Bulge/Herniation, Nerve Compression and Back Pain Explained

Disc herniations, bulges, and compression to the nerve are common, especially in the lower neck and lower back area.  As a result of this many people can have pain, numbness, tingling, shooting pain, altered sensation, and a burning sensation.  One of the most common conditions we hear about and see is called Sciatica and it occurs when there is compression to the disc in the lower back and pain can run down the leg.

The spine is very important as you may know already because it houses part of our central nervous system (CNS) and relays messages, information, and fluid to our brain (which is the master controller).  The issue with disc compression usually occurs over time and with poor mechanics of the spine, the disc can wear out.  This can cause degeneration of the spine where the two surfaces come together.  In addition, if degeneration occurs long enough or serious enough it can cause spinal canal stenosis, which is where the area of the spinal cord has reduced space to move.  Also, what can happen is that the center of the disc can begin to migrate (most often backwards).

When a disc begins to migrate back, simply put it can put pressure on the nerve roots and/or spinal canal which may lead to some of the pain and symptoms we had mentioned before.  If the compression is serious enough it can cause weakness within the arms, legs, etc and may even need surgery.  Most cases do not require this, however, this type of disc pain injury can effect other areas of the body as the body will compensate.

Due to years of compression and poor mechanics it may take a few months to alleviate the symptoms but even after the pain is gone, patients will have stress and tension that has been placed on the spine and nerves (CNS).  This is particularly why it important to continue care, exercises, rehab, etc well after the pain has gone away.

Final thought, while these injuries may actually take some time to heal, with quality and persistent care you can most definitely recovery in full from these types of injury. MOST IMPORTANTLY, keep in mind that pain is often the very last symptom to come on and the very first thing to go away.

Ep 276 – When Should You Get An MRI?

Should You Get An MRI for Your Pain?

Most medical providers overuse the MRI technology.  Now before you or I jump to conclusions, I will say  that MRI and diagnostic imaging is important, there are times that it should be used, and you can get a lot of information from these images.

That being said, when you get injured the standard of care should be (and is) that you seek care first.  Essentially, you don’t just jump right into imaging an area.  First of all, its expensive.  Not only do you have to cover the costs of the imaging but the healthcare system has to cover the costs as well.  Seeking care and treatment first can often heal your pain, problem, and dysfunction.  As a result, if you “Fix” your problem then you not are only feeling better but you avoid excessive, unnecessary, and expensive procedures.

Realistically, you should wait and have had professional care for at least 4-8 weeks.  If after that time, then you should consider (notice I said consider) the possibility of the testing.  Symptoms or red flags such as worsening pain, increasing problems, traumas, progressive neurological changes should likely achieve or warrant such examination.

The truth is that many if not most people will get better and heal within time and with professional care.  That is the truth and stick with it!