Monday, April 25, 2011

Suffering From Left Leg Pain for Four Years

Not being alarmist, that's a complaint that's not completely uncommon. People often suffer form years of pain and discomfort and only come in and seek care when they cant deal with it anymore. The other long term pain patient is a bit more proactive but what often happens is that they have shopped around for treatment for months, sometimes years with specialists and found no relief. People sometimes take a long time to do their research and read up online on their condition before they start looking for a doctor or specialist who can treat their condition.

So lets get down to it: What is a common cause long term leg pain?
Aside from a chronic overuse injury like tendinitis, or adhesions and knots that may come and go over time, radiculopahty is a common cause of leg pain that radiates down the lower back and can also cause a loss of sensation in the leg.

Sciatica: Is pain and numbness down the leg, which can cause a loss of sensation in the leg, or foot, and may also accompany lower back pain. So treating the leg itself may not accomplish the goal of long term pain relief, and can further frustrate the patient. Pain in the body can often be caused by problems further up the kinetic chain (the movement system).

When a nerve is impinged or irritated by blockage or interference the pain often radiates, unlike a pulled muscle or an injury to a bone when pain is often localized, nerve pain can radiate down. For example: An injury that effects the nerves in the left shoulder can cause a great amount of pain, and also cause it to radiate down the arm and can feel a lot like a heart attack.

Sciatica is not a condition itself, its is a symptom of radiculopathy - when a nerve root is dysfunctional due to a problem at the nerve root. Sciatica is specifically a lumbar radiculopathy and depending on the symptoms, the problem causing the pain, numbness, and loss of sensation can be located higher up in the spine or closer to the sacrum.

The spine is the center of all movement in the body and not treating an issue early on often leads to degradation or, not only the condition, but the ability of the entire system to work as a whole. Its important to talk to a professional and seek out treatment for chronic conditions, and at Living Well Medical we have one of the oldest interdisciplinary practices in New York City.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Spring Tips for Avoiding Back, Neck and Leg Pain

So it looks like the season is finally starting to change (I say this knowing full well that it’s disgusting and cold outside here in NYC), so it’s nearly that time of year where you can start doing your yard work and improvements to your home. We all get outside a little more, work a little harder and take on jobs that require a little more body power. It’s sort of an open invitation to an injury, especially if you aren’t very active in the winter or getting up there in age.

Although it’s true that our bodies are machines, preventative maintenance of that machine is hugely important to avoiding injuries. A couple of simple steps and tips can go a long way towards making sure you don’t get knocked out by an injury.

1. Stretch, stretch, stretch!
It’s so important and yet how often we forget! As we get older, our bodies need more time to warm up; a couple of solid minutes of stretching gets blood moving and can drastically reduce the likelihood of an injury. Make the time - it’s totally worth it.

2. Lift with your legs, not your back.
It sound simple but often times we use our waist as the main weight-bearing point when we lift heavy objects. That places the strain directly on the lower back. If you have to lift heavy thing, try to focus more on getting down as low as you can and pushing off of your heels. That puts the weight more on the quads and gets it off of your back!

3. If you’re tired, take a break.
Taking regular breaks helps your body stay fresh and reduces the strain that repetitive activities place the body under. Listen to the signals your body is sending you. If you’re muscles are tired, take a rest. If you have an ache, stop working for a while. But don’t just plow ahead needlessly. That’s a short route to a back, neck or leg injury (along with any other kind of pain!).

4. If the pain persists, see a doctor.
“Sucking it up” doesn’t really apply when the pain is severe. If an injury hasn’t healed after a long time, go see a pain doctor like the ones we have here at Living Well Medical in SoHo. Time alone isn’t always enough to get things right - the right doctors can help.

It’s true that there’s a lot more to maintaining your body than just good biomechanics and good sense. Diet and lots of other factors like stress can play a part too. Just take it easy, and if you need to, give us a call at (212) 645-8151

- Dr. Shoshany, NYC Chiropractor

Thursday, April 07, 2011

I Have a Pinched Nerve, What do I do?

Well is it possible to have a "pinched" nerve?
Can you actually "pinch" a nerve?

Sciatica is a symptom of rediculopathy, a condition when pain or numbness is felt down the leg due to nerve impingement in the lower back. Often times a "pinched nerve" in the back is referred to as Sciatica, and it can be easily and effectively treated with Chiropractic care, physical therapy, and spinal decompression.

Well generally speaking a never can become "impinged" or pinched and cause all sorts of problems, not the least of which is pain radiating down the leg. Often this can mean a disc herniation in the lumbar spine, and depending on where the herniation is there can be pain and a loss of motor function due to interference with the nervous system due to the pressure on the nerve.

A herniation is when the neuclear material in the spinal discs, which cushion the vertebral bones, extrudes, or bulges out and starts putting pressure on the passing nerves. This can sometimes cause a "pins and needles" sensation down the leg, and the associated pain can sometimes be very bad, and its can become chronic and increase over time.

The Spinal nerves and the cranium make up the central nervous system, and they in turn branch out to the peripheral nerves which provide sensation and proprioceptive feedback to the central nervous system, keep things moving, provide feeling and maintain the body's homeostasis.

When a nerve's ability to communicate is hindered, weather by a muscle, an injury, or a disc protrusion, its does not equate to a long term uphill battle. There are many non-invasive treatment options, that can easily be combined, to treat muscular and skeletal issues that may be causing the nerve interference.