Thursday, January 20, 2011

Is it a Pinched Nerve or Disc Pain?


If you’ve ever had really bad back pain, you know how awful it can be. Nothing feels right. But even worse, just for the sake of being gloomy, most of us don’t even know where our back pain is coming from! That’s a scary thought. Is it a nerve problem, like something being pinched? Is the pain caused by the disc itself? There are so many questions because our bodies are complicated machines. Living Well Medical in SoHo NYC is here to take care of questions like these for you, but for the sake of helping people learn more about their bodies, let’s explore the difference between the disc pain and a pinched nerve.

1. A Pinched Nerve
A pinched nerve is just like it sounds: a nerve root being squished by a problem like a herniated disc. Pinched nerves don’t actually relate to pain in the disc space itself. In fact, the pain is often felt in parts of the body not directly in the problem area. We call this referred pain and it is often found in cases of radiculopathy (radicular pain, related to nerve roots). Pain in the legs, ankles and feet associated with sciatica is an example of referred pain from a pinched nerve.

2. Disc Pain
Unlike a pinched nerve, disc pain is felt precisely in the disc space. This might be the result of wear and tear to the disc itself causing a loss of disc height. Often age plays a critical role as well as the discs tend to have a tougher time retaining water with time. Degenerative Disc Disease is an example of direct disc pain.

If we’ve gone so far as to say that the average person can’t tell the source of their pain, we might as well take it a step further towards being a downer: many of us have herniated or bulging discs and don’t even know it. That’s right! Not all disc irregularities are painful right away, but they may develop into a problem.

So between all this scary back pain talk, there is a point - if you have pain or suspect a problem, come see a doctor who knows a thing or two about back, neck and joints. Chiropractors study the musculoskeletal system and can help you find some relief. The thing that really sets Living Well Medical apart is what we offer beyond just chiropractic. Physical therapy, massage, acupuncture, spinal decompression therapy, cold laser therapy, medical doctors, pain management - we have so many alternatives for pain relief that we can cater to almost anyone’s needs.

If you live in NYC and are hurting, give us a call at Living Well Medical - 212-645-8151.

- Dr. Shoshany, NYC Chiropractor

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Snow Storm Blues

So the man on the radio said potentially 20 inches of snow from the upcoming storm, and I don’t know about you, but my back is already starting to wimper. Every year when it snows, we get blindsided by how tough and strenuous shoveling and clearing snow can be. Every year my office fills up with people who tweak a muscle or aggravate an old injury and need an adjustment. No one is immune to an aching back and we have to do our best to prevent the pain. I’ll go over a few quick pointers for fewer injuries when you are hoisting mountains of snow off of your steps and around your car. And of course, if you need us, Living Well Medical in NYC is only a phone call away at 212-645-1495.

First things first: Stretch! It might sound ridiculous since you aren’t “exercising” in the proper sense, but you are going to be engaging in some serious lifting. And frankly, if the forecasts are correct, it’s going to a lot of lifting, so it’s important to warm your muscles and joints up.

Remember to lift with your legs, not with your back. One of the biggest mistakes people make is angling their torso when they go to pick up snow. Using the innate strength of the legs is much more biomechanically efficient and less likely to cause you an injury. Lift somewhat they way you would do a squat - plant your heels and push downwards to raise yourself up.

Don’t wing it, move it. There is no need to chuck the snow over your shoulder - that only invites injury. Instead move the snow in as short a motion as possible and continue on.

Take breaks when needed. In our rush to finish the job, we sometimes do more harm than good. If you start to tire or ache a little, take a break, get a hot drink, and let your body rest some. It’s a simple enough thing that gets overlooked.

Stay warm! Make sure you are dressed properly. As with the stretching suggestion, warm muscles are happy muscles (when they are working hard), so give them what they need! Wear proper attire and don’t skimp on good gloves and boots. A nasty slip can be just as devastating and painful.

Get a shovel that works with your height. This is also going to depend. Do you have back troubles? Buy a shovel that enables you to move the snow without much bending. Are you very tall? Buy a longer-handled one. Use common sense, but don’t assume that all shovels are equally good for the job.

Mostly, listen to your body. If you get hurt, stop right away and get help. Living Well Medical in NYC is always there if you need relief. Call us!

- NYC Chiropractor, Dr. Shoshany

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Is it a pinched nerve?


Is it a pinched nerve?
One of the most common questions I get from my patients at out Back pain treatment office in NYC “Is it a Pinched Nerve?”

I will answer this question, but before I do I would like to discuss some of the common signs and symptoms associated with a pinched nerve and go over the anatomy of the area and the best non-surgical treatments to treat pinched nerves.
Pinched nerves problem most commonly occurs either in the Lumbar spine (low back) or cervical spine (neck) and can cause pain down the arm or down into the leg. This term is called a Radiculopathy or some other common terms are: Sciatica, Radicular pain, Radiculopathic pain and Root pain. All of these terms are synonymous and basically it means that that the patient’s pain is coming from the spinal root level as opposed to being referred from a joint or others spinal structures.

So when a patients present with shooting leg pain into their buttocks or a throbbing burning pain in the back of the thigh that has gradually gotten worse and has been associated with back pain their concern-is it a pinched nerve?

Most of the time when there is a shooting type of pain it is due to a nerve related issue, for example a classic presentation is a young women that complains of pain into her right arm that extends into her thumb and second finger and most of the time it started with neck pain and a lack of mobility in her neck.
Once she is cleared of any medical problems it usually is due to an irritated or pinched nerve.
Sciatica is a term which refers to a burning, stinging, and or numbing pain that is felt in the buttocks, thigh, leg and or foot and patient may or may not have low back pain.
With conservative treatment like Cox cervical distraction and Chiropractic care patients see results shortly. But if after a week or two of conservative care and a patient is making slow improvement the only way to truly know if the nerve is “pinched” that would be by ordering diagnostic tests like NCV nerve conduction velocities or EMG Electro Myography or a MRI that shows a disc putting pressure on a nerve root.

Very often the term pinched nerve is used without any documentation or proper diagnosis, all too often I have seen patients that have been labeled as having a herniated or bulging disc and a pinched nerve and the only thing that they had was a X-ray.
If the nerve is pinched by a herniated or bulging disc the most effective non surgical solution is spinal decompression. In our NYC Back Pain Clinic we integrate Non-surgical spinal decompression with Physical therapies for the most comprehensive solution to treating a pinched nerve or herniated disc in NYC.
When someone suffers with a pinched nerve due to a bulging or herniated disc, the pain can progress and interfere with daily activities like making putting on your socks in the morning painful and even impossible.

So to sum up the answer to the question is it a pinched nerve? The answer is probably, but we will not know 100% until we have some solid form of diagnosis be it a MRI or Nerve test to either confirm or rule out such a diagnosis.
If you suffer with low back pain or think you have a pinched nerve and live or work in New York City give us a call at (212) 645-8151 for an immediate appointment for a complimentary consultation. Or visit our website to learn more about our Comprehensive Multidisciplinary to treating bulging and herniated discs that can cause pinched nerves www.livingwellnewyork.com
Pain management on site, Digital xrays,Chiropractic care, Active release technique, DRX 9000 spinal decompression,Spine Force 3D Rehab, Acupuncture, Medical massage, Graston technique, Cold laser therapy are just some of the modalities that we offer all at our Convenient Manhattan location.
Dr. Steven Shoshany
Chiropractor NYC