Sciatica

This is one of the most common causes of pain in the low back, buttocks with symptoms that travel down the leg. It is commonly self-diagnosed, but immediate care is rarely sought making it one of the more common and frequently untreated conditions in our country.

What is Sciatica?

Sciatica is pain, weakness, numbness that descends from the low back, buttock and radiates in a pattern down the sciatic nerve. Symptoms generally are on one side of the body and can be from several causes. The medical diagnosis of true Sciatica is Lumbar Radiculopathy. Many soft tissue injuries will mimic radiculopathy and may be diagnosed with sciatica without a true lumbar issue.

What causes Sciatica?

Lumbar disc disease which is pressure or stimulus on the nerve causing radiation, caused by disc collapse, herniation or spinal stenosis. Muscular cause of sciatica is caused by tightness in the piriformis muscle(buttock), and can be a combination of piriformis with gluteus Medius, tensor fascia lata and quadratus Lumborum. Swelling in the lumbar disc area or surrounding muscles can also lead to a diagnosis of sciatica trauma or repetitive strain. The most common reasons for getting sciatica are the following:

During Pregnancy
Long hours working in a seated position
Jobs that have squatting regularly
Runners
CrossFit athletes
Commuters in a sedan style vehicle (angle of the hip puts them at risk)
Long or new workouts

How is sciatica diagnosed?

It is diagnosed by MRI and orthopedic testing that your Orthopedist or Chiropractor will do. Symptoms that a patient describes which will sound like the following:

Low back pain
Hip pain
Pain in the buttock and into the leg
Burning or tingling down the leg
Shooting pain in the buttock or leg
Aching pain in the buttock (early stages)
Pain is worse with sitting
Pain is better with standing and walking around

How is sciatica Treated?

The most common treatment in the USA for sciatica is massage to the piriformis muscle and the low back muscle complex. The second most common treatment and highly recommended to prevent re-occurrence is chiropractic care along with muscle therapy. The chiropractic treatment insures that there is alignment in the lumbar spine, pelvis and sacrum which can be common triggers to tightening up of the muscles responsible for the nerve pain in the buttock and low back. However, alignment alone is not enough to treat this condition and muscle work performed by your chiropractor or a trained massage therapist is required to get rid of symptoms and pain.

What happens if I think I have sciatica?

Begin by stretching or rolling out the piriformis; follow this up with ice to the area. If it is only aching and causing a mild limp and hasn’t progressed into radiating pain yet and rolling hasn’t taken care of the problem, contact your chiropractor or massage therapist. More serious cases may take injections or acupuncture in conjunction with the manual therapies.

We have a complete foam roller guide for your body and we would love to give one to you. Feel free to come by our office and ask for a foam roller sheet.

Holiday Bath Bombs

1 cup baking soda.
1/2 cup citric acid.
1/2 cup epsom salt.
1/2 cup cornstarch.
coloring pigment optional.
2 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil melted ( or olive for skin smoothing)
3/4 tablespoon water.
15 drops essential oil.
Peppermint – to be festive
Eucalyptus – to help clear the sinus and boost the immune system
Cinnamon – Festive and Fun

Turmeric-cumin roasted cauliflower

1 large head cauliflower, cut into bite size florets
4 tbsp avocado oil This has a high smoke point so I like using it!
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground turmeric
Salt and pepper ( use the coarser ground pepper) to taste
Optional: 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes to add some spice or add cayenne as well if you don’t want to visually see the flakes

Based on the recipe from www.thebigapplemama.com

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. (200°C)
In a large glass bowl combine oil and spices, add cauliflower and toss well to coat
Place cauliflower florets on large baking sheet lined with parchment paper this makes clean up easy
Roast for 40 minutes until fork tender and nicely browned and smaller pieces just a touch of char
Flip half way
Serve warm. Does go nicely on a budha bowl with peanut sauce as well.
Recommend making a double recipe our kids eat it all!!

Immune Vitamines

The immune system is an ever talked about topic in our modern world with auto-immune conditions on the rise and kids at school getting sick every other week it is import for everyone that we know which vitamins, herbs and minerals are most essential to keep us healthy.

We have 1 child that is school age and it is important to me that she stay as healthy as possible in our world and doesn’t bring everything home to her younger sister. We also work in health care were sick kids are coming to see us, just because they are sick. So how do I stay healthy during the year and cold and flu season especially since I am putting myself in the line of fire. I think this important for you to know and while you may not have 2 year old coughing in your face you might have the sick co-worker next to you that also covers their mouth like a two year old.

So, with supplements, vitamins, homeopathy and herbs all promising to help the immune system which are the best and most valuable herbs?

Were do I start to help have a baseline healthy immune system?
Make sure you have your basic nutrients in check. This is done in our office through vitamin analysis testing and we use Spectracell laboratories to determine the deficiencies you are face today and in the future. The test goes over vitamins, minerals, amino acids, antioxidants and a few other important facts.
Which Vitamins are best for baseline health if I am not testing?
Of course without testing this is just a guess but we do have an idea of the most common vitamin deficiencies that occur in our country today and here is a small list:
Vitamin D, Folate, Vitamin B12, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B1, Zinc, N-Acetyl Cysteine, Gluthione, Magnesium, Calcium and Vitamin E. (long list huh!)
So the common deficiencies list is a lot which one is best for my immune system specifically?
Vitamin D, Zinc, N-Acetyl Cysteine
Vitamin D – Does some many things and is famous for bone health and calcium absorption but it also supports immune function, brain function lung health and so much more.
Zinc – Supports immune function, enzyme function and wound healing.
N-Acetyl Cysteine – decreases inflammation, decrease muscle fatigue, liver detoxification and immune function.
What Herbs can I take if I keep getting sick that will support my immune system?
We use the term support since some herbs actually boost your immune system and this can be bad when you use them for too long they can flair up your allergies.
Elderberry – Is a powerful antioxidant that fight cold and flu symptoms while also reducing inflammation and protecting the heart. The berries and the flower are used in most preparations.
Astragalus - Is an ancient long used herb meaning it helps the body adapt to stressors. It is an adaptogenic so it addresses in this case deep cellular disease or recurrent illness as well as your cold or flu on hand.
Arabinogalactan – Is a herb that has been consumed for thousands of years and most commonly comes from the North American Larch trees it is show to naturally improve resistant to infection by positively influencing the Natural Killer cells in our immune system.
Reishi Mushrooms - Is been commonly used once someone gets sick but they have found that it supports and improves the function of our lymphocytes to help fit and prevent infection from occurring.
Ok I have been trying to support my immune system but I still got Sick what now?
So now that your sick we will employ both herbs and vitamins that are anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral to heal your body and get you back in action.
Herbs and vitamins: Andrographis, echinacea, Monolaurin, berberine, coptis, garlic, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, Zinc. These herbs we have in our office in different varying blends based on the cold and flu symptoms you present with like do you have a cough and chest cold, is it sinus or do you have a high fever. Most of these herbs are given to adults or older children.
My list for the little ones is different and they may also need something in a liquid for as we don’t get good at swallowing pills till around 13 years of age.
Elderberry, Rosehips, Astragalus, Arbinogalactan, echinacea, Mullein, ginger.
When you get sick consider reaching for an herbal biotic or going to your functional medicine doctor, Naturopath or Chiropractor if they are trained instead of taking antibiotic which destroy our gut and has other unpleasant side effects. We love seeing you and the little ones whether they are sick or well; keeping you in a healthy state is our passion.

Reducing stress as we get Back to school

Get a system in place that works for you on a daily basis.
Your kids are old enough in first grade and maybe even kindergarten to put their clothes on, so lay them out the night before or let them pick them out. This can be one less item for mom to scramble with in the morning. Be detailed; if they are wearing tennis shoes, make sure the outfit has socks. Get their backpack all set up and lay it by the door. We have a hook where it goes in our house so everything is easy to pick up as we leave the house.
Make lunches the night before and as you use up lunch items, write them down on your grocery list. Use Pinterest to help you utilize healthy foods in your kids lunches as well. We moved to a bento box style lunch box to reduce the number of sandwich’s and help us mix it up.
Get the school calendar out and input it into your home calendar.
This way you can have baby-sitting lined up for when you need it and also prepares you for field trips, teacher training days so you/your spouse can plan for time off work.
Get your kids into bed earlier than summertime.
This may sound mundane; but if they get adequate rest then you won’t have to drag them out of bed.
If you can get your planning done for the next day and get the kids into bed at a reasonable time- then mom and dad will be healthier and even happier.
Plan a baby sitter for Date night.
The school year is busy and kids have after school activities such as music lessons, swimming or soccer; but studies have shown happy families begin with happy mom’s and dad’s and reconnecting with your relationship is essential to your health and happiness and your kids as well.
Your date night doesn’t have to be too extravagant. Make it simple since you have to work tomorrow and take care of kids. Take the time to chat with each other often to keep connected.
Also consider doing what’s called “ home dates.” Check out this website that has some great ones. https://www.artofmanliness.com/articles/18-at-home-date-ideas/

How to keep cheerful when the weather looks grey.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) effects about 4% of the population in a severe way, 10% to 20% in a mild to moderate way and many more people may just feel a little lower when looking up at a grey sky. It is also 4x more common in women than in men. If you have a family history of depression, anxiety or mood disorders and you add the seasonal weather on top of that it can cause big problems in a person’s life.

Some of the things that occur naturally in the winter are: feeling more fatigued and gaining weight. This is because in cold whether we are naturally programmed to move slower; a sort of human hibernation period to protect us from injuries.

Some of my favorite tips to combat this are as follows:

Don’t fight it: hibernate and choose activities that make you feel warm, nourished and cared for. Some examples may be choose a nice book or to read for winter, fluffy wool socks or going to a cabin with a large fire-place.
Reduce training schedule: Athletes will often have less events or races in the winter so they can reduce the intensity of the work out to help the body recover and restore for another season.
Recover and Restoring foods: Soups with a nourishing broth and the root vegetables can be a healthy way to replenish the nutrients that got depleted over a years time.

Light Therapy: Philips the company makes a wide range of light therapy alarm clocks and energy lights to help with your mood and wake time. Our favorite is GoLITE BLU Energy Light. It’s $122 (This has been independently studied to improve energy levels in about 70% of participants making it a very effective therapy for Seasonal blues). A cheaper option is a full spectrum light bulb in your vanity while getting ready in the morning and this will run $9-$15 but not as effective for more severe cases.
Exercise in the morning: Brisk exercise in the morning by either walking the dog or push-ups for 15-20 minutes improves blood flow, improves metabolism and mood.

Water: Drink 32 oz before exercise and breakfast and continue to drink lots throughout the day. Average male 150lbs should drink 75 to 150 oz per day. If you struggle with enough water then download an app or get a water bottle that tells you how much you have been drinking.

Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy

What is ESWT?

Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy, also known as ESWT, is a non-surgical treatment option for chronic plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, tennis elbow, shoulder tendonitis, and other chronic tendinopathies. “Extracorporeal” means “outside the body.” Shock waves, also known as pressure or sound waves, are generated by a special ESWT device and focused onto the targeted tissue. The shock waves are delivered to stimulate and reactivate the body’s repair mechanisms to advance normal tissue healing.

What is involved in the procedure?

On the day of the procedure, you will arrive at our office at the designated time prior to the scheduled appointment where you will meet your physician and technician. You will lie back comfortably with the area to be treated resting on the machine on a soft, water-filled membrane. The practitioner will make sure you are comfortable throughout the procedure. During the treatment, you will hear repetitive clicking sounds.

ESWT benefits patients because their condition can be treated extracorporeally, meaning outside of the body. Since ESWT is non-invasive, there is no lengthy recovery period, virtually no time off from work or risk of causing further damage. The same cannot be said with surgery.

What conditions can be treated by ESWT?

ESWT can effectively treat a range of musculoskeletal conditions. Complaints involving attachment points for tendons and ligaments in major joints such as the plantar fascia, Achilles tendon, shoulder, elbow and knee are common areas for ESWT treatment. Please contact In Health Clinic to discuss your individual condition with one of our practitioners.

How can I prepare for ESWT?

You will need to be available for the full course of treatment.

You should not take any non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, for two weeks before your first procedure, and throughout your treatment. If you are unsure if any of your medicines contain NSAIDs then please check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

What kind of recovery can I expect?

ESWT forces your body to create new tissue cells in the damaged area. Expect gradual healing to take place over days, weeks or months. Though not typical, some have mild soreness or bruising after treatment. Some people experience no more pain from day one. Most will have noticeable to significant improvement by the thirteenth week. A second treatment after sixteen weeks may be necessary in approximately 20% of patients. As it took time to create the injury, healing also takes time. Total healing of the area can take up to one year.

The best thing about ESWT is that unlike surgery, you avoid getting worse before getting better. You do not need to plan lengthy time off from work or your life for painful post-procedure recovery.

Are there any side effects to ESWT?

Compared to invasive or endoscopic surgery, ESWT has fewer side effects and a much shorter recover time. The most common side effects include temporary pain (bruising and soreness,) swelling and petechiae (broken blood vessels that are generally of no concern.) These possible occurrences, however, usually clear within a few days. Moreover, the risks associated with surgical incisions and general anesthesia are eliminated.

How many treatments will I need?

The number of treatments varies depending on the indication and tissue response. The effect of the treatment is cumulative, so you will typically need more than one (3–5) treatment. Very often though, you will experience relief right after the first treatment.

When should I consider ESWT?

If you have had your condition for more than six months and have tried three conservative therapies with no results, don’t wait. It is natural to procrastinate, but it is not a good idea for tendonosis conditions, since continuously using degenerative tendon tissue can cause further damage.

For example, every time that you feel pain when you place weight on your heel or lift something with your arm, it’s because you are pulling against the tendon fibers. When the condition progresses to a rupture, ESWT is no longer an option and you will have no treatment alternative but invasive surgery.

Additionally, if left untreated, you can experience new problems. With heel pain in your foot you may naturally compensate by walking on your toes or limping to protect yourself from pain. These abnormal movements will, in time, cause strain to your knees, hips and lower back, or even worse, may result in the same condition in the other foot. Compensation issues occur whenever you have chronic pain left untreated.

If your pain has just begun, you may be able to avoid ESWT by early intervention. Please feel free to call us and we will recommend a specialist who can help you take care of the problem today. Take care of yourself. Fix the problem, don’t delay.

I’ve tried other things but they didn’t help. How do I know ESWT will?

Tendonitis sometimes resolves by itself or with the help of treatments such as strapping, physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, or cortisone injections. When the condition is new (usually less than six months) it is called acute tendonitis.

Acute tendonitis is an inflammation. All of the treatments used at this stage are meant to rest the area or deal with the inflammation. Those who do not get better in the “acute” phase have what is called chronic tendonosis. The difference between tendonosis and tendonitis is simple: Tendonitis is an inflammation. Tendonosis is degenerative or damaged tissue. You can use steroid injections repeatedly with no result if the problem has gone beyond inflammation. Surgery used to be the only option for tendonosis. ESWT treats tendonosis because ESWT forces the damaged tendon to heal.

How do I know ESWT is right for me?

Our In Health Clinic practitioner will perform a thorough examination and will decide if ESWT treatment is right for you after looking at all the options. For instance, you could be a candidate if you have been diagnosed with chronic plantar fasciitis for at least six months and if your symptoms have failed to respond to three conservative treatments which may include rest, physical therapy, heel cushions, non-steroidal medications (Motrin or other anti-inflammatories), cortisone injections, taping, orthotics, shoe modifications, night splinting and casting. In the past, surgical intervention for chronic plantar fasciitis was required when these other treatments had failed, but today, ESWT is available as an alternative, noninvasive treatment option.

Is ESWT covered by my insurance?

Our Clinic are happy to contact your insurance company to find out if there is coverage for ESWT. Please call us for an informational packet and to discuss your condition and insurance coverage.

Gluten Free Granola

Making healthy snacks for your kids can be a real challenge and while we are not a gluten-free family I try to use it gluten as a treat, which means I am always seeking out yummy alternative recipes when I can. And let’s face it, lots of kid’s snacks are gluten based such as: pretzels, chips, crackers, Chex mix and the list could go on and on.

Why we are gluten-light? Well we have no allergens or sensitivities in our family but gluten is a food that isn’t easy to digest so by reducing the consumption in our house we boost a healthier digestive tract. Gluten as we age an in individuals with inflammation or diminished brain function can actually exacerbate problems so we reduce our exposure.

Fun Fact? Our family Gluten Splurges are usually for an amazing baguette. So last year when we went to Paris you can guess what we enjoyed.

Gluten Free Granola

Our family loves to use granola in so many ways such as, with yogurt and fruit, on oatmeal, plain or with rice or almond milk. I love this recipe since it has less clusters and more muesli without being muesli which makes it even better for sprinkling on yogurt.

Ingredients:
4 cups Rolled oats (not quick cooking) gluten free
¼ cup raw sunflower seeds
1 cup chopped nuts such as almonds or pecans (if you have younger children always use pecans they are not as hard)
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup canola oil
¼ cup maple syrup
1/3 cup honey
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 cup dried fruit (put in at the end after baking) Like acai berry for extra punch!

Steps:

Gather the ingredients.
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper for easier clean up and baking.

In a large bowl, combine the oats, sunflower seeds, chopped nuts, salt and cinnamon.

In another bowl whisk together the canola oil, maple syrup, honey and vanilla.

With a wooden spoon, stir the wet ingredients into the dry until the oats appear wet.

Place the mixture on a large baking sheet and place in the oven.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until very lightly golden brown (not brown at all if you wait this long the granola will taste burned)

Remove from oven, let cool. When mostly cool, mix in the dried fruit and store in an airtight container for best results.

This recipe is based off one I found on the internet a while ago and love but when I printed it out nothing about the original source stayed on the print out. So thank you to the un-sung hero out there. We love the granola, and would love to give due credit if you are reading this blog.

Dough Ornaments

Based on recipes.com
Ingredients: 4 Cups Flour
1 1/2 Cups warm water
1 Cup Salt

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C) or just shape and allow to air dry can take up to 5 days.
Combine the flour, salt and water; mix well and knead for 10 minutes. Roll out on a lightly floured surface. The thicker you roll out the dough, the more it puffs up when baking.
Cut into desired shapes and make holes for hanging. Bake for 30-40 minutes; allow to cool (usually 1 full day)
Decorate with poster paints or tube paints

Sport’s rehabilitation for kids

When a young athlete gets injured, it can set the stage for pain and growth abnormalities for their lifetime. We want you to look out for these injuries as they can occur during your family holiday football or basketball game.

Sprained ankles; just one can set you up for getting more and more sprains which eventually create weak ankles as an adult.
Getting your ankle adjusted and the muscles and ligaments worked on with hands or a tool will help speed recovery and prevent future injury
Pitching shoulder; can happen due to over-training but can also lead to shoulder pain, lack of range of motion, arthritis and even frozen shoulder as an adult. In severe cases, they may not be able to raise their arms above their head.
Massaging an injured arm by making sure that the arm is moving in its full range of motion and adjusting the spine and shoulder to make sure they are free from joint restriction
Spine mis-alignment and pain in the low back can be from falling off the monkey bars or from growing pains. Severe cases such as scoliosis need regular maintenance to help prevent progression causing heart and lung issues. Both are helped by making sure the spine is properly aligned
Children are less likely to have severe growing pains when joint and muscle alignment is more relaxed.