How to talk to your family about your sciatic Pain: Describe Your Chronic Sciatica to Friends and Family

It is often difficult to talk to your family and friends about your chronic #pain and discomfort. If someone has never dealt with sciatica they don’t know what you are going through. Remember sciatica is a symptom of a condition not the condition it self always seek professional help to determine the cause of your #Sciatica.

From Spine Health “ How to Describe Your Chronic Sciatica to Friends and Family. No matter how long you’ve dealt with chronic sciatica, it can still be challenging to find the right words to adequately describe your symptoms. Your friends and family may want to help, but they don’t always understand what you’re going through.

Read Sciatica Symptoms


Sciatic pain can radiate into your leg, buttock, and foot.
Learn more:
Sciatic Nerve and Sciatica

Here are some tips to help you talk about your experience in a way that sparks a positive connection with those who care about you.

Read Chronic Pain As a Disease: Why Does It Still Hurt?

Use common experiences to describe sciatica symptoms

When experiencing chronic pain, we often describe it with terms like “terrible” or “awful.” Other times we might pick a number on a scale from 1 to 10.

Both approaches have their place, but it’s helpful to describe how you’re feeling in relation to common experiences because most people have never struggled with the physical and emotional effects of chronic sciatica.

See What You Need to Know About Sciatica

Here are some examples:

  • “My leg feels like I am standing in freezing water.”
  • “The pain in my calf feels like a throbbing toothache.”
  • “The sensation in my foot feels like it is asleep, combined with a sharp muscle cramp.”
  • “The discomfort in my buttock feels like pins and needles or an electric shock.”
  • “The weakness in my leg feels like I was in a boat for several hours and just stepped on dry land.”
  • “My loneliness or isolation feels like it’s the first day of school and I don’t know anybody.”

See Leg Pain and Numbness: What Might These Symptoms Mean?

Not all cases of chronic sciatica are similar, so if these examples aren’t relevant to you try brainstorming other common experiences that mimic how you’re feeling.

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Bring a loved one to your next medical appointment

The shared experience of a medical appointment can help friends and family better understand and sympathize with your chronic sciatica for several reasons:

  • Most medical professionals are skilled at describing symptoms
  • A description of your symptoms from an authoritative source can validate what you’re going through
  • Loved ones will see how hard you’re working to get back to your old self

See Pain Management Specialists and Sciatica Treatment

Assume friends and family mean well

The lack of visible chronic sciatica symptoms can lead to a variety of frustrating experiences:

  • A family member declares you’ve made a full recovery following a high-functioning day
  • A friend announces they have found a “miracle” cure for your sciatica symptoms
  • A loved one mistakes your happy demeanor for a lack of pain or discomfort

See Chronic Pain Coping Techniques – Pain Management

Taking the time to help a loved one better understand your chronic sciatica will make it more likely that you’ll avoid these frustrating experiences. You might also find that the road is easier with a sympathetic traveling companion.”

Watch: Invisible Diseases: Thriving With Chronic Pain Video

Learn more:

Sciatica Causes

Types of Sciatic Nerve Pain

News Letter Mahler Family Chiropractic Center – April 2017

dreamstime_xl_18739699Minimize Back Pain at Work: Six Ways

Lower back pain can throw a major wrench into your busy work day. To help minimize back pain at the office, try incorporating a few of these tips into your workday!

  1. Wear supportive footwear when standing. Avoid regularly wearing high-heeled shoes, which can affect the body’s center of gravity and negatively impact back support and posture. When standing for long periods of time, propping a leg up on a foot rest, wearing supportive shoe orthotics, or placing a rubber mat on the floor can improve comfort.
  2. Create ergonomic physical environments and workspaces. Undue strain will be placed on the spine unless the office chair, desk, keyboard, and computer screen, etc., are correctly positioned. Some considerations when creating an ergonomic workspace include choosing the surface height for the desk (standing, sitting, or semi-seated) best for the height of the individual worker and the task to be performed, adjusting the seat of the office chair so that the work surface is “elbow high,” and adjusting the computer screen where the gaze naturally focuses.
  3. Lift heavy objects correctly. Even if you’re young and strong, you can still injure your lower back if you lift a heavy object incorrectly. When lifting, be sure to bend at the hips—not the low back—and push the chest out, pointing forward. In this position, the back muscles will be used most effectively for maintaining good posture, as they are designed to do. The knees will also bend automatically so the muscles of the legs and hips will produce the power for lifting correctly.
  4. Practice good posture. Spending most the day sitting down can cause us to develop poor habits like sitting on the edge of the chair or hunching forward toward the computer screen. These poor posture habits overstretch your spinal ligaments and place stress on back muscles and spinal discs. To help minimize back pain, sit with your shoulders tall and your head level over your spine. Try to keep your back flush against your office chair, and place your feet flat against the floor. If you can’t reach the floor, a footrest is a great option. Avoid clenching your muscles or adopting an unnatural, stiff posture. The structures in the spine are designed for movement and any limitation in motion over a long period creates more pain and a cycle of less motion and more pain.
  5. Apply cold therapy. If your lower back pain flares-up at work, cold therapy may promptly alleviate your symptoms with minimal side effects. The benefits of cold therapy include reducing inflammation, numbing sore tissues, and decreasing tissue damage from injury. There are numerous discreet options for achieving these benefits, including disposable cold packs and a frozen water bottle. Just be sure to avoid direct contact between the cold source and your skin to prevent ice burn and limit the application of cold therapy to 20 minutes at a time.
  6. Speak with your boss. If you find that your pain is interfering with your day-to-day responsibilities, alert your boss of the situation. She or he may be able to provide you with special accommodations, such as an ergonomic chair or adjusted duties that require less sitting throughout the day. All the above advice may not completely solve your back-pain problems at the office, but it may can provide a little relief throughout the day. 

Trusted Information for #BackPain: Spine Health

Sleeping and #Sciatica Tips

The symptoms of sciatica are present at the most inconvenient times. Sciatic doesn’t care if you need to sleep or drive to work. It can create a burning in the leg pins and needles in the foot or just pain. Youdreamstime_xl_26305744 are often glad just to fall asleep for a few minutes.

There are several ways that you may find relief from the symptoms and fall asleep and stay asleep.

1: Bend your knees slightly. When your sciatica flairs up often one of the five nerves are being compressed and this may take the pressure off of the nerve by relieving the pressure on the lumbar discs. Try different positions and often a pillow under the knees may help.

2: Sometimes a warm bath before bed may help by promoting the production of endorphins which fight pain. I caution you here if he pains gets worse or returns within an hour the bath is increasing inflammation and ice may work better for you discontinue the warm baths.

3: Consider ditching the box spring. The box spring is often the worst part of your mattress system. You can test this out by putting the mattress on the floor for a week or more and if this improves your sleep invest in a platform bed frame. You will often find this more supportive and I recommend it to most of my patients.


By: Dr. Paul R. Mahler

Mahler Family #Chiropractic Center

For more information, also visit:

DJD what is it? #Degenerative joint Disease

 Watch this video to better understand #Degenerative joint Disease #DJD.



Mahler Family Chiropractic Center Kingston and Wilkes Barre PA.

Chiropractic treatment and deep tissue massage.

Deep tissue massage and chiropractic work well together it is not always one or the other.

We recently had a patient in the chiropractic clinic that trapped a nerve in their neck and needed a mix of treatments from the Chiropractor and deep tissue massage.  Through the first stages of the injury the patient shoulder and neck muscles had gone into spasm and proved to be too tender to receive a chiropractic manipulation. Deep tissue massage alternatively could be familiar with loosen from the muscle spasm allowing the region to wind down. The tenderness across the shoulder and neck decreased after receiving several massage treatments. The individual ended up being in a position to receive chiropractic manipulation to complete the treatment programme therefore regaining full range of motion without pain that helps and to prevent re-occurrences from the injury.

When asked which treatment methods are better deep tissue massage or manipulation with a chiropractor then the answer then is neither as both treatments put in place the procedure and repair off musculoskeletal health.

Mahler Chiropractic Comments

A lot of people believe most chiropractors just offer manipulation. We presume it is important to treat each complaint while using best researched answer to that specific case, in lieu of practising only that which you are comfy with or exactly what a particular clinic offers. It really is that is why we help GP, physiotherapists, sports masseurs and also cranio sacral therapists. We do this to ensure that each person gets the most appropriate maintain their complaint. As practitioners we’re constantly developing our skills, learning new techniques and researching alternative therapies.

Deep tissue massage is designed treat the soft tissues of the body including muscles and connective tissue (ligaments and tendons). Using such techniques as trigger pointing. Pressure is applied to increase blood flow to the injury to reduce pain and inflammation

Paul R. Mahler Jr. DC
Mahler Family Chiropractic Center
1144 wyoming Ave.
Kingston, PA. 18704
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We can treat car accidents including neck pain, back pain, rotator cuff, foot pain, carpal tunnel, and much more using these techniques.

Preventing Chronic Neck Pain and Back Pain

Treating chronic back pain and neck pain from a whiplash injury

Neck and hip joint © 7activestudio

After a car accident neck pain is one of the primary complaints. This is due to the fact the the head weighs around 10 lbs and during acceleration and deceleration that can create a lot of force on some of the smaller muscles and ligaments of the body, the result is whiplash and neck pain. After a whiplash injury, it is fairly common for people to suffer from chronic neck pain and back pain. During a chiropractic examination certain factors in a patient’s history an physical exam can be used to evaluate for this possibility. This process will help the chiropractor identify the patient who is at risk of developing chronic pain resulting from a whiplash injury, so that aggressive preventative measures can be taken.
At Mahler family Chiropractic Center, in Kingston Pa, the general approach to managing a patient’s chiropractic treatment is critical to the success of preventing chronic pain from a whiplash injury.

  • It is important that the patients pain be reduced in the first several weeks of treatment.
  • After This the focus shifts toward restoration of the function of the patients joints and muscles using both active and passive therapy procedures. This also means helping the patient return to work, home and recreational activities as soon as possible. The transition back to these activities is often gradual and takes time. It is important for the chiropractor to get the patient back to these activities even if the patient is not sure that he or she can engage in them fully.
  • It is important that the patient gets back to normal activities and restoring the patients confidence after a whiplash injury is an important part of the chiropractor s job and also important for rehabilitation.
  • Exercise, both for the purpose of correcting faulty movement patterns and instability, and for general fitness, is important in this effort to treat a whiplash injury.

Teaching the patient that hurt does not necessarily mean harm and the nature of chronic pain means placing focus on those activities the patient can do, rather than those they can not perform. This is a major part of treating chronic pain and in disability prevention after a whiplash injury. At Mahler Family Chiropractic Center we integrate the strategies explained above to develop the most effective approach for recovering from a whiplash injury and preventing future episodes of back pain.

Paul R. Mahler Jr. DC
Mahler Family Chiropractic Center
1144 wyoming Ave.
Kingston, PA. 18704
May be reproduced in whole only.
We can treat car accidents including neck pain, back pain, rotator cuff, foot pain, carpal tunnel, and much more.

What is Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic health care a drug free solution!

Thoracic Spine Anatomy Pain concept © decade3d

Chiropractic is a health care system that targets the central nervous system via the spinal column to help maintain good health. A chiropractor leverages the recuperative power of the body to cure itself naturally and efficiently. Chiropractic health care focuses on the connection between the vertebral column alignment and performance as coordinated by the nerve network and how that association affects the preservation and regaining of health.

Chiropractic care involves analyzing and treating the cause of disease which occurs when the spinal column is misaligned or subluxated. The bones of the spinal column when misaligned interrupt the messages of the nerves in the central nervous system. These messages balance and control cells, tissues, and organs of the body. Chiropractors address these subluxations and by delicately changing the alignment of the vertebrae, reduce or alleviate abnormal communication in the nervous system permitting the human body to appropriately operate and repair.

A Chiropractic Physicians Treatment is Distinct from Traditional Medical Care

If you’re considering visiting a Kingston Chiropractors or a Chiropractor near Wilkes Barre PA for the 1st time, you’re most likely wondering what kind of results you can anticipate. Having realistic expectations is important. A Chiropractic specialist’s will explain the chiropractic process and therapy and how it is being presented may have a vital role in the satisfaction with the adjustment you receive. Your experience will be improved by an explanation leading to understanding of the service itself, but don’t mistake chiropractic treatment for medical therapy. A chiropractors is not meant to replace medical physicians. A Medical Doctor addresses disease while a chiropractic specialist focuses on health. Not having a disease is very different than actually being healthy. The purpose of chiropractic therapy is to improve your health and well-being not simply to treat your illness.

Before visiting a chiropractor it is important to under stand that chiropratic is not just for back pain, neck pain and othe phisical aliaments but for over all health. As well as over all health a chiropractor can help manage auto accidents, carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia, headaches, migraines, herniated disc, neck pain, sciatica, sports injuries, scoliosis, back pain, and much more. A chiropractor can treat infants, the elderly, children, audults, children with special needs, and pregnant women. Chiropractic physycians are for much more than just neck and back pain.

Can a Chiropractic Physician Help?

The short answer is often yes. Spinal subluxations are generally due to stress that overwhelms the body’s resilience and coping ability. This stress can be physical stress and can occur as the result of an automobile accident or slipping on a wet sidewalk, improper posture, occupational trauma, or birth trauma. It can be emotional stress as a result of heavy emotional shock or the inability to adjust to a stressful event, or even chemical shock as a result from the inappropriate usage of prescription or illicit drugs, inadequate food stuffs, or environmental poisons. These misalignments disrupt the standard function, reducing your body’s capability to operate, evolve, and heal from injuries by creating interference within the nervous system.

Chiropractic Physicians address these misalignments by delicately fixing the alignment of the backbones of the spinal column, reducing or alleviating abnormal messaging so permitting the body to properly self regulate, adapt and regenerate. The care and upkeep of the spinal column and nerve system is a necessary component of healthcare. Spinal hygiene is more important that dental hygiene but often neglected due to lack of understanding. Your Wilkes Barre and Kingston PA Chiropractors will assist you to start chiropractic care with this understanding so you will appreciate the whole process of recieving chiropractic therapy.

By: Dr. Paul Mahler
Mahler Family Chiropractic Center
Kingston PA
May be reporduced in whole only

What Ab Workout Assists In Reducing Belly?

Abdominal Workout

Ab Workouts If you have a killer ab workout share it with other in the comments section of this blog.

Individuals are continuously inquiring of me which the very best ab exercises are to get a flatter stomach. The typical belief that ab exercises should improve you to get rid of belly fat is among the main mistakes I encounter daily as a health and fitness professional. Almost every person has differing levels of too much body type fat in the ab region, and the best method to burn off that~ extra abdomen fat continues to elude a lot of people today.

The dilemma is that most people are looking for the incorrect workouts and exercise sorts to shed difficult belly fat. Most people are seeking for a miraculous combination of abdominals exercises combined into the best abdominal workout ever created that will burn off their stomach fat quicker than you can examine this article.

Regrettably, ab-specific workouts do not eat up fat off of the stomach. Abdominal exercise won’t help in reducing belly.  They only tone and reinforce the underlying abdominal muscles. The thing you really want to focus on is a total body strategic workout that will bring about a much better metabolism rise and fat-burning hormonal feedback from the training program as a whole.

In addition, basically carrying out cardiovascular exercises won’t essentially produce the best metabolic feedback or hormonal response either. The thing you genuinely need is a much more rounded exercise program which concentrates on working out the entire body  using  resistance work out routine and multi-joint exercises in a larger intensity style.

This kind of elevated intensity total body training routine merged with a healthy well balanced diet regime packed with nutrient denseness on a normal basis, is the real magic formula to losing the added stomach fat which covers up the ab muscles. Doing so is a considerably greater plan of attack in contrast to merely trying to do abdominal routines and wishing that simply carrying out a bunch of ab workouts like abdominal crunches and leg raises are will make you get rid of your stomach fat.

The incredible point is that the vast majority of the population still believes that to elimate belly fat, you need to do ab routines every day employing tons of of reps. I see individuals offering this sort of wrong advice daily on most of the physical fitness forums.  Please do not use up your time with this  breed of advice!

Now just before you say “how can an abs professional not propose ab workouts”, realize that I do strongly believe that a certain overall amount of abdominal-specific workout routines blended into your routines are useful. Abdominal workouts should improve you strengthen and tone the ab muscles and are helpful for other purposes such as a healthy back and posture when carried out correctly. But the actuality stays that ab exercises are not essential for fat loss.

A much smarter total body resistance training routine regimen and a clear wholesome diet are the prime factors. Quite a few of the full body workouts additionally indirectly work the ab muscles and core owing to the stabilization mandated in a worthwhile amount of the tough variations.

This Article was provided by an author from Seolink but has been red and approved by Dr. Paul Mahler of Mahler Family Chiropractic CenterKingston, PA for  posting on our blog. Check the comments section for Additional advice by Dr. Mahler.

How to avoid low back injuries when golfing.

© Karlien Du plessis | Dreamstime Stock Photos

The golf swing places a large amount of stress on the low-back, and over time the lower back becomes fatigued. This will results in a decrease in performance and possible injury.

So how do you prevent such an injury from occurring? Golfers can takes steps to prevent low back injuries. One of these steps is the implementation of a fitness program targeted at improving your golf game. Included in this routine will be exercises targeted at improving lower back flexibility such as the one above and strengthening the lower back to avoid injury and pain. This part of the program contains a series of golf-specific flexibility exercises geared to maintaining the range of motion within the lower back. One exercise to increase flexibility in the lower back is descried here. It is a simple exercise for the low back to improve flexibility and rotation during the back-swing, and it also helps keep the musculature of the lower back flexible.

Here’s how to perform the exercise. First begin the exercise by lying on your side with the left hip in contact with the floor, then bend both knees approximately 90 degrees, resting the right knee on top of the left. The second step is to extend both arms straight out from the shoulders, resting the left arm on the floor, and hands clasped together and slowly raising your right arm off the left. Finlay continue to raise and rotate the right arm until it is resting on the floor opposite your left arm and hold this position for 20-30 seconds, and repeat the exercise sequence by switching sides. This should be performed 2-4 times on each side. Remember, to go slow with a new exercise and, check with your physician before starting any new physical training program.

Keep in mind not all lower back injuries can be prevented, but with the implementation of a lower back flexibility and strengthening program, the possibility of one occurring to you can be greatly reduced.

Most acute low back injuries that occur during a game of golf will get better over a couple of days. The most common injuries from golf include, muscle strains which typically occurs with rough or forceful golf swings or a sudden shift during the downswing, muscle and tendon sprains which generally occurs due to excessive use, accidents or swing abnormalities while playing golf, and disc injuries which can occur from swinging abnormalities. It is important to not that disc injuries may be present but symptoms may not occur without the incorrect golf swing (see preventing golf injuries).

For relief of the miner low back pain and to promote healing from golf-related injuries and low back pain, it is generally advisable to rest for a day or two, and apply ice. It is advisable not to further stress inflamed muscles by continuing to play golf through an episode of low back pain. If you take time off the injury will often heal quicker allowing you to get back to golf sooner. It is important to continuing stretching and exercise programs between golf sessions. A low-impact aerobic exercise program, such as walking for 30 to 40 minutes every other day can be helpful and after the low back pain has stopped, slowly return to playing golf and apply the prevention tips to help avoid injuries.

It is well known one of the most common injuries in golf is the lower back. Research indicates more than half of all golfers will incur a lower back injury at some time during their playing careers. Professional golfers spend great deal of time and energy preventing low back injuries. So prevention in this case is the best medicine. If you do injure your low back and the pain continues for more than a few day to a week, a specific problem may be the cause of the back pain and a chiropractic professional should be consulted. Chiropractic are uniquely train in neuromuscular injuries and can often help get you back on the links sooner, you might even shave a stroke or two off your game.

Contact a chiropractor
By: Paul R. Mahler DC
may be reproduced in whole only

What is Scoliosis? Treatment for scoliosis.

Scoliosis and chiropracticScoliosis is not a disease it is a descriptive term that refers to an abnormal spinal curve. All spines have curves these are normal in the neck, upper back and lower back it is normal to find anterior to posterior curves. Humans need these spinal curves to help the upper body maintain proper balance and alignment over the pelvis. Scoliotic curves are a right to left translation not an anterior to posterior translation and this leads to weakness and instability in the spine.

Who is at risk?

Scoliosis affects 2% of women and 0.5% of men in the general population. Scoliosis may be caused through several mechanisms, including congenital spine deformities, genetic conditions, neuromuscular problems and limb length inequality. Additional causes of scoliosis include cerebral palsy, spina bifida, muscular dystrophy, spinal muscular atrophy and tumors. Over 80% of scoliosis cases are idiopathic, which meaning we do not know the cause. Most idiopathic scoliosis cases are found in otherwise healthy people.

Idiopathic scoliosis is found in three categories based on age. The first is infantile found in children ages 3 and under. The next type is juvenile scoliosis found in 3-9 years old. Finally we have adolescent scoliosis found in10-18 years old. Not often but in very rare case scoliosis can occur in adult hood due to trauma. The most common form of scoliosis, representing approximately 80% of idiopathic scoliosis cases, is Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS), which develops in young adults around the onset of puberty. Adolescent scoliosis is often due to a rapid growth cycle in which the bones grow faster than the soft connective tissue, tendons and ligaments, and leads to an imbalance from one side to another.

People with a family history of spinal deformity are at greater risk for developing scoliosis and early detection is essential. If a scolioses curve is discovered before the growth plates close in a persons early twenties there is high likely hood of partial or complete correction.

About Scoliosis: Symptoms

The warning signs of scoliosis are shoulders are different heights, one shoulder-blade is more prominent than the other, head is not centered directly above the pelvis, appearance of a raised, prominent hip, rib cages are at different heights, uneven waist, changes in look or texture of skin overlying the spine, and leaning of entire body to one side. These can all be signs but don mean you have scoliosis you should see your chiropractor for a complete evaluation and remember that x-ray is the best way to diagnose scoliosis.

A standard exam that is often used by chiropractor is called the Adam’s Forward Bend Test. Most children should be tested in the fifth or sixth grade. For this test, the patient is asked to lean forward with his or her feet together and bend 90 degrees at the waist. The examiner can then easily view from this angle any asymmetry of the trunk or any abnormal spinal curvatures. It should be noted that this is a simple screening test scoliosis is usually confirmed with an x-ray of the spine. The curve is then measured by the Cobb Method and is discussed in terms of degrees. Generally speaking, a curve is considered significant if it is greater than 25 to 30 degrees. Curves exceeding 45 to 50 degrees are considered severe and often require more aggressive treatment or surgical intervention. The chiropractor may also conduct exams to test reflexes, motor and sensory functions, and breathing ability. After a diagnosis is made, your doctor will suggest a treatment plan.

Once scoliosis has been diagnosed there are several factors to take into account when discussing treatment. Spinal maturity, is the patient’s spine still growing and changing? Degree and extent of curvature, how severe is the curve and how does it affect the patient’s lifestyle? Location of curve, according to the Scoliosis Research Society, thoracic (upper spine) curves are more likely to progress than thoracolumbar (middle spine) or lumbar (lower spine) curves. Potential for progression, patients who have large curves prior to their adolescent growth spurts are more likely to experience curve progression.

After all the test and exams are assessed there are four treatment options for scoliosis: (1) observation, (2) orthopedic bracing, (3) surgery, (4) chiropractic care

Chiropractic Care:Spine Treatment

Chiropractic care is non-invasive Treatment for scoliosis. This means that when undergoing treatment you do not have to take any prescription drugs or go through a surgical procedure. The process is all natural and drug free. This is because the main principle of chiropractic is to focus on the body’s own natural healing abilities. Chiropractic treatment deals with the adjustment of the spine and according to the research conducted by the National Scoliosis Foundation, chiropractic adjustment has been found to be a good alternative treatment for those who suffering from scoliosis. Chiropractic treatment for scoliosis may involve several procedures depending on the severity of the condition. These treatments may include spinal manipulation, active exercise methods, and postural counseling.

So how can chiropractic treatment help you with your scoliosis? Chiropractic care does not only treat the current problems that are associated with scoliosis but it can also help in alleviating and controlling the symptoms that comes with it. Scoliosis patients who have been treated with chiropractic care have reported to have reduction in the size of the curves, measured using the Cobb Method. This does not happen overnight. Chiropractic care for scoliosis requires multiple visits in order for the patient to experience its full benefits. A chiropractor can also monitor your progress to ensure that you are doing the right thing and to see if the treatment yields favorable results. A chiropractor will recommend you to check with another medical specialist if he or she thinks that is the best course of action for you regarding your condition.

By: Paul R. Mahler Jr. DC
Mahler Family Chiropractic Center
1144 wyoming Ave.
Kingston, PA. 18704
May be reproduced in whole only.
We can treat scoliosis and back pain  including sciatica, disc, herniation,  slipped disc, stenosis, and much more.

Chiropractic: What is sciatica and sciatica treatment?

Chiropractic and SciaticaWhat is sciatica? Sciatica is a set of symptoms and not the disease itself. If you have some or all of the following symptoms you may have sciatica. These symptoms include leg pain associated with numbness, tingling, and weakness but the pain id coming from the nerve and it is a nerve pain. Sciatica is caused by pressure on nerves located in the lumbar spine or the sacrum, and is often present in conjunction with low back pain.  Sciatic pain and numbness is felt along the path of the nerve and travels trough the buttock and down the back of the leg into the foot. Sciatica is named for the nerve that it follows the sciatic nerve. sciatica is a symptom of an underlying condition and is not a condition of its own.  While often simple in nature there can be sever underlying factors associated with sciatica and medical intervention may be required  A chiropractor can diagnose and treat sciatica and will let you know if there is any immediate danger. There can be many causes for sciatica and many of them are simple.

What is the sciatic nerve?

The sciatic nerve originates from the lumbo-sacral spine and travels down the leg all the way to the great toe. Sciatica follows the path of this nerve. There are two lumbar nerve roots and three sacral nerve roots that are involved in the sciatic nerve. These nerve roots are the 4th and 5th lumbar nerve roots and three sacral nerve roots which are the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd sacral nerve roots. These are the five nerve roots involved in creating the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is what supplies the nerves to the leg from the buttocks to the foot.

The Six Common Sciatica Causes

It is important to understand the underlying causes of sciatic when treating it. There are six common causes of sciatica and several less common causes. The first 4 causes can be more difficult to treat but the final two are the lest degenerative cause and highly treatable, as well as the most common two reasons for sciatica.

  1. Herniated disk is one of the first causes to rule in or rule out.
  2. The second cause of sciatic that must be check out is lumbar spinal stenosis. Due to a narrowing of the spinal canal pressure is put on the nerve roots that make up the sciatic nerve. Stenosis is relatively common in adults over age 60.
  3. Degenerative disc disease is the next culprit to check out. Disc degeneration as people place stress on there low back over a life time disc’s can be damaged. When someone has one or more degenerated disc’s they can put presure on the sciatic nerve causing sciatica. Degenerative disc is an earlier stage of disc degeneration.
  4. The fourth cause of sciatica is isthmic spondylolisthesis. This condition occurs when a small stress fracture allows one vertebral body to slip anterior on another vertebral body.
  5. The next cause is piriformis syndrome. The sciatic nerve runs under the piriformis muscle and the muscle can irritates or pinches the sciatic nerve . This is not a true radiculopathy, but the leg pain can feel the same as sciatica caused by a nerve irritation.
  6. Finally we have sacroiliac joint dysfunction, which is commonly seen and treated by chiropractors. Inflammation or scare tissue in the sacroiliac joint can also irritate the fifth lumbar nerve, which lies on top of the sacroiliac joint, causing sciatica-type pain.

Sciatica may also be cause by changes in the body that occur during pregnancy, including weight gain, a shift on one’s center of gravity, and hormonal changes. Sciatica can also be caused by scar tissue, muscle strain, and in rare cases spinal tumor or infection. It is important to know the underlying cause of sciatica so it can be properly treated. The cause of sciatica may change or modify the treatment used.

Symptoms of Sciatica

The symptoms of sciatica are different from muscle aches and pains. Some of the clues you many have sciatica are constant pain in one, or some times both, sides of the buttock or leg, pain that is worse when sitting, Burning or tingling down the leg, weakness, numbness or difficulty moving the leg or foot, a constant pain on one side of the rear, and a sharp pain that may make it difficult to stand up or to walk. These are all related to the pressure on the nerve and not due to actual dysfunction of the leg. Sciatic pain comes in many forms and flavors.  It varies from infrequent and irritating to constant and incapacitating pain that affects every day life. The symptoms are as varied as the pain and may change in location and severity, depending upon the condition causing the sciatica. Sciatica can be very painful but it is important to note that it is rare that permanent nerve damage will result. It should be noted at this time that the one symptom that should never be ignored when sciatica is present is loss of bowl or balder control if this happens seek immediate medical attention and call 911, this can be a life threatening condition.

Sciatic neuritis or sciatica is an irritation and inflammation of the great sciatic nerve which is also the largest nerve in the body. The pain quality ranges from dull, sharp, burning or electrical and it may be accompanied by numbness, tingling, muscle weakness in the affected leg and the feeling of pins and needles. The symptoms may vary in intensity and in the frequency. Classic sciatic pain radiates from your lower back into to your buttock and down the back of your legs. Sitting, coughing, or sneezing will increase the symptoms of sciatica by increasing inter abdominal pressure.

Sciatica symptoms vary based on where the compressed nerve root is located. The forth lumbar nerve root symptoms usually affect the thigh. Patients may feel weakness in straightening the leg, and may have a diminished knee-jerk reflex. While fifth lumbar nerve root sciatica symptoms may extend to the big toe and ankle. Patients may feel pain or numbness on top of the foot, and between the big toe and second toe. Finally in first sacral nerve root includes the outer part of the foot is involved and it may radiate to the little toe. Patients may experience weakness when raising the heel off the ground or trying to stand on tiptoes. If multiple nerve roots are compromised the patient may experience several of these symptoms at once.

In rare cases sciatica symptoms that worsen quickly may require immediate surgery. The following symptoms indicate a need for immediate medical care may be necessary. Sciatica symptoms that continue to get worse rather than improve, which may indicate possible nerve damage, especially if the progressive symptoms are neurological. Symptoms that occur in both legs and cause either bladder or bowel incontinence or dysfunction, which may indicate cauda equina syndrome. Cauda equina syndrome extremely rare but found in 2% of herniated lumbar disc cases.

Patients should seek immediate medical attention if they experience any of the above symptoms.

Chiropractic Approach (Treatment for back pain and sciatica)

Most chiropractor use several treatment to treat sciatic and it is often based on the location and cause of the sciatic. Chiropractic adjustments to the spine & lower extremities are some of the most common types of treatments used by chiropractors. Spinal adjustments and manual manipulation performed by appropriately trained chiropractor are focused on providing better spinal alignment, which helps to address a number of underlying causes sciatic nerve pain. Manual manipulation done to address the right indications by appropriately trained chiropractor can create a better healing environment and should not be painful. In addition to chiropractic adjustment your chiropractor will probably use a combination of physiotherapies, active care rehabilitation, nutritional support, and laser therapy (to reduce inflammation & provide specific nourishment to the peripheral nerves). This approach is safe, non-invasive and non-toxic. If you have been suffering with sciatica call our office to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. We can sit down together and discuss your case. I look forward to speaking with you soon!

Medical Approach to Sciatica

The medical approach to treating sciatica is with drugs including anti-inflammatories, analgesics and steroids. Drugs will not cure sciatica. They will only temporarily mask symptoms.

The surgical approach to treating sciatica often involves removing part of the disc (discectomy), or cutting away part of the vertebrae (laminectomy). 50% of all spinal surgeries fail (meaning that the patient’s symptoms are unresolved after a 3 year follow-up). There are always risks involved with surgery including complications, infection and even death. Surgery should ALWAYS your last resort, not your first approach.

By: Paul R. Mahler Jr. DC
Mahler Family Chiropractic Center
1144 wyoming Ave.
Kingston, PA. 18704
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Herniated Disc: About back pain and how to treat it.

herniated discLow back pain with pain radiating into the legs is one of the most common injuries in the United States. Many of the patients with these symptoms along with lower extremity weakness may have a herniated disc. Herniated discs are also called protruding, bulging, ruptured, prolapsed, slipped, or degenerated discs. A disc herniation occurs when the cushion that sits between the spinal bones, or vertebrae  moves from its normal position and enters the spinal canal. This is a problem because this is where the spinal cord and nerve roots are located.

What is the spinal disc?

The soft structure that sits between the each vertebrae is referred to as the spinal disc. The disc is composed of a soft center similar to the center of jelly donuts and referred to as the nucleus pulposus. The nucleus is surrounded by several layers of connective tissue that is composed of material similar to ligaments and tendons called the outer annuls and looks like concentric rings, like the annular growth rings of a tree. This spinal disc becomes more rigid with age. In a young individual, the disc is soft and elastic, but like so many other structures in the body, the disc gradually looses its elasticity and is more vulnerable to injury. As early as 30 a disc may show signs of deterioration and on MRI about 30% of people demonstrate deterioration.

What happens with a ‘herniated disc’?

As we age and the spine becomes less flexible and when this happens the disc may rupture. When a disc ruptures a portion of the nucleus pushes outside of its normal borders and may be completely extruded, outside the disc, this is called a herniation. When this herniation enters the spinal canal pressure can be put on the spinal cord and nerve roots, often referred to as a pinched nerve. There is normal some extra space around the spinal cord but if there is not enough to accommodate the herniation then the nerves are compressed.

What causes herniated disc symptoms?

Once the herniation occurs and a nerve is pinched that is when symptoms arise. A herniated disc may occur suddenly in an event such as a fall or an accident, or may occur gradually with repetitive straining of the spine. Often times when a disc is herniated the person may already have spinal stenosis or a narrowing of the spinal canal. This leads to less space for the herniation and increased pain due to further irritation of the nerve.

What are the symptoms of a herniated disc?

When the spinal cord becomes compressed it does not function properly and may lead to a range of symptoms. Abnormal signals may get passed from the compressed nerves, or signals may not get passed at all. There are several common symptoms of a herniated discs. The pressure on the nerve will cause abnormal sensations, commonly experienced as electric shock pains. When the compression occurs in the cervical (neck) region, the shocks go down your arms, when the compression is in the lumbar (low back) region, the shocks go down your legs. Tingling, numbness or pins and needles are often abnormal sensations associated with disc injuries. These symptoms may be experienced in the same region as painful electric shock sensations, but may not be in the area of the actual injury. Because of the nerve irritation, signals from the brain will be interrupted causing muscle weakness. Nerve irritation can therefore be tested by examining reflexes, testing muscle strength, and assessing sensory input. Of all of the symptoms associated with disc problems the most serious is bowel or bladder problems. These symptoms are important because they are signs of cauda equina syndrome, a possible condition resulting from a herniated disc. This is a medical emergency, and your should see your doctor immediately if you have problems urinating, having bowel movements, or if you have numbness around your genitals. These symptoms are all due to compression of the spinal nerves but that may not be the full extent of the damage, as seen in the cauda equina syndrom organs can also be effected leading to issues with breathing, digestion, or even heart problems..

How is the diagnosis of a herniated disc made?

Most often, your physician can make the diagnosis of a herniated disc by physical examination performed by a chiropractor. By testing sensation, muscle strength, and reflexes, your chiropractor can often establish the diagnosis of a herniated disc.

Often this diagnosis will be confirmed using MRI and other advanced imaging. The MRIs is only useful in conjunction with the physical examination and should not be performed by itself. It is normal for a MRI of the lumbar spine to have abnormalities, especially as people age. Patients in their 20s may begin to have signs of disc wear, and this type of wear would be expected on MRIs of patients in their 40s and 50s. This is the reason that your physician may not be concerned with some MRI findings noted by the radiologist.

The diagnosis and treatment of disc issues are dependent on the physical findings and symptoms. Your chiropractor will also take into account the patients experience and asses the imaging studies. Only once this information is put together can a reasonable treatment plan be considered.

Chiropractic Treatment

Chiropractic care is an excellent treatment choice for the management of herniated disc problems. Chiropractic is safe, non-invasive and non-toxic and it also works! Chiropractic care is a modern treatment approach for herniated discs. Typically chiropractic care involves spinal adjustments, physiotherapies, muscle therapies, such as massage and trigger point work, nutritional support and active care rehabilitation.

What is Lumbar Flexion Distraction technique?

Lumbar flexion distraction technique is, a chiropractic treatment, used in our clinic. It is often referred to as Cox flexion distraction. Cox Technic is non-surgical, doctor-controlled, hands-on spinal manipulation used to help treat  herniated disc symptoms. It is performed with the patient lying on The Cox Table a specially designed chiropractic instrument. This table permits an effective decompression adjustment and manipulation. This is a widely used approach to treating symptomatic disc injuries involving back pain and accompanying leg pain. During the treatment the spine is gently distracted or stretches which allows the chiropractor to isolate the area of disc involvement while slightly flexing the spine in a pumping rhythm. There should be no pain involved in the treatment.

The tractioning or distraction of the disc combined with isolation and gentle pumping of the involved area allows the central area of the disc, the nucleus pulposus, to assume its central position in the disc. Flexion distraction is also thought to improve disc height. Well-researched and documented, flexion distraction and decompression help relieve spinal pain and return patients to their desired quality of life by dropping intradiscal pressure, widening the spinal canal foraminal area, reducing pressure on the spinal nerves, and returning motion to the spinal joints. Cox Technique is appropriate for conditions causing low back and leg pain as well as neck and arm pain. It also reduces pain attributable to disc herniation, a slipped disc, a ruptured disc, facet syndrome, stenosis, spondylolisthesis, and other conditions.


The surgical approach to treating a herniated disc is removal of the disc (discectomy), surgically fusing two vertebrae together with hardware, or cutting away part of the vertebrae (laminectomy) in order to decompress the spine. Spinal surgery has a very poor track record, a 50% failure rate. It is also the most invasive treatment option. Because of this, surgery should only be considered as a last resort not a first choice. You should try everything else available to you before allowing anyone to operate on your spine. Most surgeon would never even consider operating on you until you have first tried all the conservative treatment choices. This would include chiropractic care, physical therapy, massage therapy, medications, acupuncture, etc. Is surgery ever the right choice? Yes, absolutely, there are certain times when the problem is so severe that it is no longer treatable via conservative methods. That being said, you should still always start with the least invasive approaches first and progress from there.

If you have been suffering with a herniated disc call me to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.

By: Paul R. Mahler Jr. DC
Mahler Family Chiropractic Center
1144 wyoming Ave.
Kingston, PA. 18704
May be reproduced in whole only.
We can treat herniated discs and back injuries and pain  including sciatica, disc, herniation,  slipped disc, stenosis, and much more.

What is lower back pain and how to treat low back pain?

Eighty percent of individuals suffer from some form of back pain in their lifetimes, and back pain is the second most common cause for people visiting the doctor. Back pain, particularly lumbar pain, is outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections. Seventy five million Americans will have back pain every year, and 80 percent of the adult population will have some type of low back pain. It is the most frequent reason for disability for people in the 30-50 year age bracket, and since these age groups are typically the most productive in the work force, the economic effect of low back pain is huge. Back pain can be explained as follows:

The low back area is prone to injury and pain because it is in a highly unstable portion of the spine, just like the neck is. That instability is one of the reasons for our mobility. This mobility is resposibal for our ability to stand upright, pick something up off the ground, tyeing our shoes and touching our toes, but at the price of increased chance of injury and low back pain.

When the low back is healthy and working properly, it can handle great forces without injury. One illustration is a professional weight lifter who is able to lift several hundred pounds and not injure his lower back. But, if the low back is compromised and out of adjustment or has lost strength in the supporting muscles, an act as basic as lifting a bag of groceries from the trunk of the car, picking up a young child, or bending down to feed the cat can cause a lower back injury.

The old belief that back pain would disappear by itself has been found to be inaccurate. While back pain may disappear for some time even without medical intervention, the latest scientific reports indicate that it will probably reappear. Low back pain should be taken seriously, and it is important to get professional chiropractic treatment. That is particularly true with recurring pain.

Although back pain patients make up the second largest diagnostic group examined by medical professionals, the recommended treatments from these professionals (drugs) are frequently discovered to be less than helpful. A highly regarded medical researcher has suggested that family doctors consider referring their back pain patients for chiropractic treatment, since it has shown to be beneficial for this disorder. Medical intervention is appropriate for lower back pain; a chiropractor can provide that. More and more people every year are visiting chiropractors for help with their lower back pain.

The Causes of Low Back Pain:

Because there are many factors that might cause low back pain, and a few of these factors may be very serious if not treated, it is vital to get the help of a professional. Chiropractors are leaders in determining the causes of lower back pain along with establishing the correct treatment for low back pain.

Lower back pain can be the result of various factors. Among these causes are stress and emotional tension that makes muscles tighten and contract, which results in stiffness and pain. Extra back pain might be due to bad posture and being on your feet for long periods, or sitting improperly (so be careful when you are at the office). A third cause of lower back pain is frequently linked with heavy physical labor, lifting or forceful movement, twisting or bending or awkward positions. This is worsened because of incorrect lifting practices, in other words, mechanical trauma and work. The most routine home or work tasks involving bending, twisting and lifting can stress your lower back muscles resulting in lower back pain. A few of those activities are tennis, biking, gardening, golf and even horseback riding and any of these might potentially injure your back. Finally, mechanical lower back pain might be caused by injuries and accidents, such as car wrecks, sports injuries and slips and falls. Carrying excess weight is another risk for low back pain, since it puts stress and pressure on the back, particularly the low back. Simply getting older is the last risk for back pain. As we get older, the ligaments thicken and discs dry out and we are more prone to back pain. Those age-related changes in the spine can lead to disorders that put pressure on the spinal nerves. The symptoms of pain might be combined with weakness or numbness. You may feel your discomfort on either or both sides of your back.

Our Approach To Your Care:

(treatment for back pain) We provide an all-inclusive, unique approach to treat back pain.

We believe back pain can best be alleviated by chiropractic adjustment. A chiropractic adjustment is an easy, low force correction that realigns the vertebrae, reduces stress to the spine and central nervous system and restores normal joint function. Trigger point therapy is a system of putting pressure on certain points in the body to lessen or get rid of muscle pain. Muscle contraction and lack of flexibility are characteristic of the majority of patients who have long-term back pain. To repair these issues, we create a flexibility and stretching routine that is intended to restore a pain-free range of motion. If the spine has been injured or if an old injury exists that was never properly evaluated and treated, we will frequently combine balance and stabilization rehabilitation to enhance coordination and spinal structural integrity.

The strength of the spine ultimately depends on the strength of the soft tissues supporting it, specifically, the muscles. Back muscles support spines the same way cables support bridges. Back pain can reappear again if any back muscle is not sufficiently strong. To fix this issue, we do a functional evaluation to locate weak spots. The back must be assessed to discover which areas need strengthening to alleviate the condition.

By: Paul R. Mahler Jr. DC
Mahler Family Chiropractic Center
1144 wyoming Ave.
Kingston, PA. 18704
May be reproduced in whole only.
We can treat low back injuries and pain  including sciatica, disc, herniation,  slipped disc, stenosis, and much more.