Tag Archives: Chiropractic

Numbness in the Hand?

hand pain and numbness in SF
Hand Pain and Numbness Treatment in San Francisco

We have been providing treatment for hand  pain and numbness in San Francisco since 1992. 

Hand pain and numbness is fairly common  with people that spend the majority of their day in front of a computer.  Unfortunately, many are misdiagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) or wrist sprains when the actual problem  is in the neck.

That’s right, the primary cause of wrist pain, numbness, tingling and weakness in office workers is pressure on the nerves in the neck and not carpal tunnel syndrome.

The nerves that exit from in between the bones in the neck, travel down the arms and into the hands. Pressure on these nerves as they exit the spine from tight muscles, bulging discs, herniated discs, misaligned vertebrae, facet syndrome,  or disc and spine degeneration is much more likely than CTS (which is rare).

This is good new because it is much more easier to treat most of the above than it is true CTS.

Traditional chiropractic care is very effective for neck, arm and hand pain.  Massage, stretching and exercise, and even deep tissue laser can also help accelerate healing.

In the event chiropractic care fails to deliver a favorable outcome, we have cervical decompression with the DRX9000c spinal decompression system.

Herniated and bulging discs can be difficult to treat in some cases and the DRX9000c is very safe, gentle and effective.

Often times a combination of chiropractic and spinal decompression makes the most sense.

So…if you have been suffering with numbness in the hands or pain in the hands, weakness, tingling or neck pain, we would like to meet with you to discuss your treatment options.

To find out if you are a candidate for treatment at our San Francisco Chiropractic and Spinal Decompression Clinic please call 415-392-2225. Ask for a complimentary consultation. 

Scott Calzaretta

Chiro-Medical Group is an innovative collaboration of health care professionals who work together as a team to promote optimal health. Our group includes experts in the fields of medicine, chiropractic, physical therapy, massage, nutrition, and personal athletic training.

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Can a Herniated Disc Heal Itself?

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Lumbar Decompression For Chronic Back Pain

We have been providing treatment for herniated discs in San Francisco for over 23 years.

Herniated discs in the low back and neck are fairly common.  In fact, many of us have a herniated disc and don’t even know it. That’s right…you can have a lumbar or cervical disc herniation and have no symptoms.

On the other hand, you can have a disc herniation that is causing severe low back pain and sciatica or neck and arm pain. The pain can be so bad that you are unable to function in a normal manner. It just depends on the nature of the the disc herniation and how it is contacting your spinal cord or nerves.

It is now known that disc herniations and disc bulges (a form of a herniation) can heal on their own. Some never even cause symptoms Other times, the disc can become positioned in such a way that the body is unable to fix it and outside intervention is necessary.

The most effective treatment foe a disc bulge or herniation is traditional chiropractic. Some medical doctors will scare patients into thinking that gentle chiropractic could make the problem worse or even cause permanent damage. This is very rare and most chiropractors will know when they should stay away.

What happens most of the time is a very favorable outcome. Sometimes this can happen right away and other times it may take a while. Each case is different.

In the rare event that chiropractic is unable to deliver a favorable outcome we have a “next-step”…Nonsurgical Spinal Decompression with the DRX9000.

Spinal decompression systems are designed and built to treat lumbar and cervical disc herniations nonsurgically. The treatment is very safe, gentle and effective. Sometimes a combination of chiropractic and spinal decompression works best.

Spinal decompression is not new. We have been offering it in San Francisco for over 10 years.

To find out if you are a candidate for care at our San Francisco Spinal Decompression Center please call 415-392-2225 and ask for a complimentary consultation. 

Scott Calzaretta

Chiro-Medical Group is an innovative collaboration of health care professionals who work together as a team to promote optimal health. Our group includes experts in the fields of medicine, chiropractic, physical therapy, massage, nutrition, and personal athletic training.

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Low Back Pain Relief in San Francisco

back pain treatment in san francisco
Low Back Pain

We have been providing treatment for Low Back Pain and Sciatica in Downtown San Francisco for over 22 years now.

Over 80% of the population will experience low back pain at some point in their life. Many will go on to develop chronic low back pain, which is low back pain that persists for over 90 days.

Sciatica, which is pain down the leg or both legs, is also fairly common and can result from the same underlying cause of the low back pain. Some patients have sciatica only or low back pain only or both.

 

Here is a list of the most common causes of low back pain:

  1. Low back sprain or strain.
  2. Vertebral Subluxation (misalignment).
  3. Herniated or Bulging Lumbar Disc.
  4. Spinal Stenosis.
  5. Degenerative Disc Disease.
  6. Facet Syndrome.

The best course of treatment depends on the nature and severity of the underlying problem, your age, your overall health, and if there are any complications such as a short leg, Scoliosis, foot pronation, spinal fusion, etc.

Chiropractic adjustments are your best first choice when it comes to low back pain relief or sciatica relief. Sometimes you will see results after the first visit. Sometimes it takes or longer.

In the event you have a herniated or bulging disc that does not respond to chiropractic adjustments, nonsurgical spinal decompression is a logical next step.

Spinal decompression machines are designed and built to treat herniated and bulging discs naturally and painlessly. The machine we use is the DRX9000.

Often times a combination of chiropractic and spinal decompression works best. We also incorporate spinal rehabilitation, nutrition, and lifestyle modifications into our programs.

So…if you are looking for low back pain relief in San Francisco and would like to learn more about our program, please call 415-392-2225 and ask for a complimentary consultation.   

Scott Calzaretta

Chiro-Medical Group is an innovative collaboration of health care professionals who work together as a team to promote optimal health. Our group includes experts in the fields of medicine, chiropractic, physical therapy, massage, nutrition, and personal athletic training.

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Spinal Decompression or Chiropractic?

drx9000 in san francisco
Spinal Decompression Therapy with DRX9000

We have been providing chiropractic and spinal decompression services in San Francisco for over 20 years in the Financial District.

Often times patients present to our clinic with back or neck pain related to a herniated disc and say they are interested in nonsurgical spinal decompression with the DRX9000 or DRX9000c.

This is great, but it may not make the most sense. The reason I say this is that pinched nerves due to bulging or herniated discs respond favorably to conventional chiropractic care, which is cheaper and less of a time commitment than disc decompression.

Sure, a certain percentage of herniated disc patients will not respond to chiropractic and will end up on the decompression machine…but we find it works best when we try chiropractic first.

Some patients do not want to try chiropractic for various reasons and we will honor their wishes and initiate decompression. Some patients have already tried chiropractic without favorable results so we go right to decompression. And sometimes we do both chiropractic and decompression together.

All cases are different. When you have as much experience as we do treating lumbar and cervical disc herniations non-surgically, you get good at mixing and matching therapies. We also incorporate acupuncture, physical therapy, and deep tissue laser as needed into the mix and the results are outstanding.

So, if you have been diagnosed with a herniated disc and are wondering if you should try chiropractic or spinal decompression, why not go to a chiropractor that does both and has lots of experience. Chances are you will be glad you did 🙂

To schedule an appointment with one of our back pain doctors in San Francisco please call 415-392-2225.

Scott Calzaretta

Chiro-Medical Group is an innovative collaboration of health care professionals who work together as a team to promote optimal health. Our group includes experts in the fields of medicine, chiropractic, physical therapy, massage, nutrition, and personal athletic training.

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Sciatica Treatment in San Francisco

sciatica treatment in san francisco
Sciatica Treatment in SF

We have been providing natural sciatica relief in San Francisco for over 20 years.  We use a combination of chiropractic, spinal decompression, massage, exercise, and deep tissue laser therapy to achieve favorable outcomes in the majority of sciatica cases.

The primary cause of sciatica (leg pain) is a “pinched nerve” in the lumbar spine. The majority of pinched nerves are the result of bulging or herniated lumbar discs. There are other causes of pinched nerves, like degenerative disc disease, facet syndrome. Piriformis Syndrome, spinal and foraminal stenosis, and vertebral subluxations (misalignment’s).

Sciatica may or may not be accompanied by low back pain.

Spinal decompression with the DRX9000 in conjunction with chiropractic or as a stand alone treatment is a very effective sciatica treatment and often provides instant relief. There is also a chance it can cause an increase in symptoms…temporarily. After-all, the treatment is physical, albeit gentle.

If we accept your case there is a very good chance we will achieve favorable results. We do not accept all cases…only those we feel we can help.

Sciatica can be very painful and debilitating and can persist as long as the underlying cause remains. Back surgery is usually not necessary in our opinion in most cases. We recently wrote about this on our  other blog (Low Back Surgery or Chiropractic: Study).

To find out if you are a candidate for sciatica treatment in San Francisco please call 415-392-2225. Mention this article for a complimentary consultation.

 

Scott Calzaretta

Chiro-Medical Group is an innovative collaboration of health care professionals who work together as a team to promote optimal health. Our group includes experts in the fields of medicine, chiropractic, physical therapy, massage, nutrition, and personal athletic training.

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Arm Pain Causes and Cures

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The Neck and Arm Pain Connection

We have been providing natural solutions for neck, arm and hand pain in San Francisco for over 20 years in the Financial District.

Arm Pain has many causes from repetitive strain injuries (RSI) to herniated and bulging discs in the neck. If you are someone that spends the majority of your day at a desk in front of a computer (like most of our patients) yo are prone to abnormal wear and tear on the cervical spine (neck), shoulders, arms and hands.

If you have poor posture. either from hereditary predisposition or acquired from poor sleeping habits, ergonomics or injury, you are prone to disc bulges and disc herniations which can lead to pinched nerves in the neck. Pinched nerves in the neck is a primary cause of arm pain.

Arm pain usually presents with either hand pain, shoulder pain, neck pain, numbness in the hands, weakness of grip, or night pain. Arm pain can also present as a stand alone symptom.

The cures for arm pain vary depending on the cause. One thing you should know. Rarely is the cause a “Motrin” deficiency.  When you take a pain killer for arm pain or any type of pain, all you are doing is masking the problem. Pain is a symptom not a condition.

Chiropractic is probably your best bet for arm pain. A chiropractor can examine you to uncover the cause of the arm pain and provide drug-less, nonsurgical solutions on the spot like chiropractic adjustments, massage, ice, and deep tissue laser therapy.

If your arm pain is from a herniated or bulging disc in the neck, then a chiropractor may use nonsurgical spinal decompression to the cervical spine. The machine we use is the DRX9000c. Spinal decompression machines are designed and built to treat disc bulges, herniations and spinal stenosis naturally.

If you have arm pain and would like to find out if you are a candidate for care please call 415-392-2225 and ask for a complimentary consultation. Go here for more info on arm pain treatment in San Francisco.

Scott Calzaretta

Chiro-Medical Group is an innovative collaboration of health care professionals who work together as a team to promote optimal health. Our group includes experts in the fields of medicine, chiropractic, physical therapy, massage, nutrition, and personal athletic training.

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Neck Pain: Where Does It Come From?

neck pain san francisco
Neck Pain Treatment

 Neck pain can arise from a number of different tissues in the neck. Quite often, pain is generated from the small joints in the back of the vertebra (called facets). Pain can also arise from disk related conditions where the liquid-like center part of the disk works its way out through cracks and tears in the thicker outer part of the disk and can press on nerves producing numbness and/or weakness in the arm. It is possible to “sprain” the neck in car accidents, sports injuries, or from slips and falls. This is where ligaments tear and lose their stability resulting in excessive sliding back and forth of the vertebrae during neck movements. When muscles or their tendon attachments to bone are injured, these injuries are called “strains” and pain can occur wherever the muscle is torn. There is also referred pain. Here, the injury is at a distance away from where the pain is felt. A classic referred pain pattern is shoulder blade pain when a disk in the neck herniates. Let’s take a closer look at two conditions we often diagnose and treat as chiropractors:


Spinal Stenosis: This occurs when the canals in the spine narrow to the point of pinching the spinal cord in the trefoil shaped central canal (called “central stenosis”) or when the nerve roots get pinched in the lateral recesses (called lateral recess stenosis). This can occur from arthritis in the facet joints, disk bulging or herniations, thickening of ligaments, shifting of one vertebra over another, aging, heredity (being born with a narrowed canal), and/or from tumors. Usually, combinations of several of the above occur simultaneously. When this is present in the neck, it can be more serious compared to stenosis in the low back as the spinal cord ends at the upper part of the low back (T12 level) so only the nerves get pinched. Stenosis in the neck however pinches the spinal cord itself. Symptoms can include pain in one or both arms, but it’s more dangerous when leg pain, numbness, or weakness occur (called myelopathy). Rarely, loss of bowel or bladder control can occur which is then considered a “medical emergency” and requires prompt surgery.


Cervical Disk Herniation: As previously stated, the liquid-like center of the disk can work its way through cracks and tears in the outer layer of the disk and press on a nerve resulting in numbness, pain, and/or weakness in the arm. The classic presentation is the patient finding relief by holding the arm over the head, as this puts slack in the nerve and it hurts less in this position. The position of the head also makes a difference as looking up usually hurts more and can increase the arm pain/numbness while looking down reduces the symptoms. We will carefully test your upper extremity neurological functions (reflexes, muscle strength, and sensation as each nerve performs a different function in the arm), and we can tell you which nerve is pinched after a careful examination. This condition can lead to surgery so please take this seriously.

            The good news is that chiropractic care can manage both spinal stenosis and cervical disk herniations BEFORE they reach the point of requiring surgery. So, make chiropractic your FIRST choice when neck pain occurs!

In the event that conservative chiropractic care fails to deliver a favorable outcome, you should consider nonsurgical spinal decompression with the DRX9000c.

To find out more about natural neck pain treatment in San Francisco call 415-392-2225


            We realize that you have a choice in where you choose your healthcare services.  If you, a friend or family member requires care for neck pain, we sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence shown by choosing our services and look forward in serving you and your family presently and, in the future.


Scott Calzaretta

Chiro-Medical Group is an innovative collaboration of health care professionals who work together as a team to promote optimal health. Our group includes experts in the fields of medicine, chiropractic, physical therapy, massage, nutrition, and personal athletic training.

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Pinched Nerve in the Low Back?

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Pinched Lumbar Nerve Root of Sciatic Nerve

We have been providing treatment for low back pain and sciatica in the SF Bay Area for over 20 years now. We use a combination of chiropractic adjustments, massage, motion extension traction, custom exercises, deep tissue laser therapy, and nonsurgical spinal decompression when indicated. During this time we have helped over 5000 patients with low back pain and related disorders.

A primary cause of low back pain and sciatica is a “Pinched Nerve” in the low back. Pinched nerves are generally caused by herniated or bulging discs in the lumbar spine, most commonly at L5-S1.

Nerve tissue is very sensitive to pressure. In fact, just the weight of a pencil erasure on a nerve can alter it’s ability to function by 60% and cause severe pain and dysfunction.

The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body…it can be the diameter of a quarter at it’s greatest circumference. Bulging discs, herniated discs, spinal stenosis, disc degeneration, and various conditions like “Piriformis Syndrome” can put pressure on the sciatic nerve or nerve roots causing “pinched nerves”.

Typically, a patient will feel various combinations of low back pain, leg pain, numbness, tingling, aching, weakness, and muscle stiffness and spasms that become progressively worse over time. There can also be pinched nerves with no symptoms at all…for a while and then BOOM…when you least expect it lightning strikes. This is fairly common actually, and can be very alarming.

The solution for pinched nerves in the low back depends on the nature and severity of the problem. Conservative chiropractic, massage, laser, and ice are always the first thing we try. That is of course unless the patient is unable to handle it. In rare cases such as this we do laser and ice to try to reduce inflammation and then maybe some muscle stim and light massage.

Spinal decompression with the DRX9000 is also an option in the beginning as it is very safe and gentle. The DRX is designed and built to treat neurovascular compression syndromes such as bulging and herniated lumbar discs. However, the cost is greater than chiropractic as is the time commitment…so typically we try more conservative chiropractic first.

In any case, many chiropractors that have included disc decompression and deep tissue laser therapy into their protocols (such as us) have become “one stop shops” for pinched nerves due to herniated and bulging spinal discs.

If you or someone you know requires treatment for a pinched nerve in San Francisco, please call 415-392-2225. Mention this blog post for a complimentary consultation.

Scott Calzaretta

Chiro-Medical Group is an innovative collaboration of health care professionals who work together as a team to promote optimal health. Our group includes experts in the fields of medicine, chiropractic, physical therapy, massage, nutrition, and personal athletic training.

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Low Back Pain and Balance

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Low Back Pain

We have been providing treatment for low back pain and sciatica in downtown San Francisco since 1992.

Statistically, most people (estimated to be about 90%) will seek care for Low Back Pain (LBP) at some point in their lifetime. Last month, we discussed the role foot orthotics play in the management of LBP by improving balance, and it seems appropriate to discuss other ways we can improve our balance, hence the topic this month!

            Balance is a skill that is learned as we develop. Initially, as infants, we have not developed the “neuromotor pathways” or, sequence of signals between the brain and our toes, feet, ankles, knees, hips, and so on. The constant flow of sensory information received and processed by the brain prompts motor messages to be sent back to our limbs and allows us to move in a progressively more coordinated manner as we develop. This natural progression of developing motor control starts with crude, rather uncontrolled movement of the fingers, hands, arms, legs, and feet, and soon, we learn to hold up our head, scoot, roll over, crawl, stand, and eventually walk (usually during the first 12 months of life). The learning process of recognizing sounds, voice quality and inflections, and words occurs simultaneously. This bombardment of sensory information to the brain leads to the ability to gradually perform highly integrated functions including walking, running, jumping, and dancing. As part of that learning process, falling frequently occurs. We all recall the challenges of learning how to ride a bike, swim, do a somersault, climb a tree, swing, dance, do gymnastics, ski, and on and on. As time passes and we enter middle age, we become more sedentary. As a result, we start losing our “proprioceptive edge” and become less steady, leading to more frequent balance loss and falls. Eventually, we have to hold on to hand railings or the wall in order to keep our balance and falling occurs more frequently. Couple this gradual loss of balance with bone demineralization (osteoporosis) and the risk of a fracture, such as a hip or vertebra, increases as well.

            So the question arises, what can we do to slow down this process and maybe even reverse it? The answer is, A LOT!!! Just like muscles shrink and atrophy if they are not used, so does our ability to maintain our balance. We have to keep challenging our balance in order to keep those neuromotor pathways open. That need doesn’t stop after childhood, and in fact, becomes more important as we age. Last month, we talked about the “normal” length of time people can stand on one foot with the eyes open verses closed. If you tried the test, do you remember the steadiness difference? This “test” can be used at various time intervals, such as once a month, as you add balance challenging exercises to your daily routine. Frequently, people will find that within the first 2-4 weeks, they will feel more “sure” or secure on their feet, and even may not feel the need for a cane, or they’ll reach out less often for a hand rail. Start with simple exercises like standing with your feet together and hold that position for progressively longer times (eyes open and closed). We will continue this discussion next month with more balance stimulating exercises.

            We realize you have a choice in who you choose to provide your healthcare services.  If you, a friend or family member requires care for low back pain, we sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence shown by choosing our services and look forward in serving you and your family presently and, in the future.

To schedule an appointment for low back pain treatment in San Francisco call 415-392-2225. Providing chiropractic and spinal decompression therapy since 1992.

Scott Calzaretta

Chiro-Medical Group is an innovative collaboration of health care professionals who work together as a team to promote optimal health. Our group includes experts in the fields of medicine, chiropractic, physical therapy, massage, nutrition, and personal athletic training.

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Low Back Pain and Sleep: Part 2

 

low back pain san francisco
Low Back Pain and Sleep

            Last month, we discussed the relationship between sleep deprivation and low back pain (LBP) and found that LBP can cause sleep loss AND sleep loss can cause LBP. It’s a 2-way street! This month, we will look at ways to improve your sleep quality, which in return, will reduce your LBP. There are many ways we can improve our sleep quality. Here are some of them:

  1. Turn off the lights: Complete darkness (or as close to it as possible) is best. Even the tiniest bit of light in the room can disrupt your internal clock and your pineal gland’s production of melatonin and serotonin. Cover your windows with blackout shades or drapes.
  2. Stay cool! The bedroom’s temperature should be ≤70 degrees F (21 degrees C). At about four hours after you fall asleep, your body’s internal temperature drops to its lowest level. Scientists report a cooler bedroom mimics your body’s natural temperature drop.
  3. Move the alarm clock. Keeping it out of reach (at least 3 feet) forces you to get out of bed and get moving in the AM. Also, you won’t be inclined to stare at it during the night!
  4. Avoid loud alarm clocks. It is very stressful on your body to be suddenly jolted awake. If you are regularly getting enough sleep, an alarm may even be unnecessary.
  5. Reserve your bed for sleeping. Avoid watching TV or doing work in bed, you may find it harder to relax and drift off to sleep.
  6. Get to bed before 11pm. Your adrenal system does a majority of its recharging between the hours of 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. and adrenal “burn-out” results in fatigue and other problems.
  7. Be consistent about your bed time. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same times each day, including weekends. This will help your body to get into a sleep rhythm and make it easier to fall asleep and get up in the morning.
  8. Establish a bedtime routine. Consider meditation, deep breathing, using aromatherapy, or essential oils, or massage from your partner. Relax and reduce your tension from the day.
  9. Eat a high-protein snack several hours before bed to provide the L-tryptophan needed for your melatonin and serotonin production.

There are other “tricks” that ensure a good night’s rest that we will continue with next month as this is a VERY important subject and can literally add years to your life and life to your years.

            We realize you have a choice in who you choose to provide your healthcare services.  If you, a friend or family member requires care for low back pain, we sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence shown by choosing our services and look forward in serving you and your family presently and, in the future.

 To schedule an appointment for low back pain treatment in San Francisco call 415-392-2225

Scott Calzaretta

Chiro-Medical Group is an innovative collaboration of health care professionals who work together as a team to promote optimal health. Our group includes experts in the fields of medicine, chiropractic, physical therapy, massage, nutrition, and personal athletic training.

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