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

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This weeks posts exercise and chiropractic, sciatic treatment, and review of adjustable beds

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#Exercise and #chiropractic care go hand in hand as part of a comprehensive treatment plan to back or neck recovery.
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When someone is suffering from #sciatic #pain, the first treatments should be heat or ice, chiropractic manipulations, massage, medications, and acupuncture, followed by exercises.

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Back pain patients also often suffer from troubles with #sleep and look to find the best type of #bed for them. An adjustable bed can be best for people with certain spinal conditions where reclined or forward-bending positions are the most comfortable.

PEH: Sciatica – What patients Need to Know

Sciatica describes pain that radiates along the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is the largest single nerve in the human body; It runs from each side of the lower spine through deep muscles in the buttock and back of the thigh, and all the way to the foot.

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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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Common postural abnormalities include rotations  distortions and anterior or posterior distortions. Examples of these are anterior head tilt, tilting of the pelvis, thorax and head and rotational distortions of the pelvis thorax and neck. Posture distortions fatigue and abnormal loading on the joints, discs, muscles and other connective tissues.

Posture problems aren’t self-correcting and unfortunately you can’t fix your own posture any more than you can fix a front end alignment problem in your car. But don’t worry because chiropractors are able to correct abnormal postures including even stubborn ones such as forward head posture, a high shoulder or pelvic unbalancing. Our methods spinal realignment coupled with exercises to strengthen and stabilise the supportive soft tissues (the muscles & ligaments which hold the spine together). You’ll feel better and look better too! Postural distortion may be the primary cause of back and neck pain.

Chiropractors are uniquely qualified to check and treat these abnormality and at Mahler family chiropractic center we are here to help you. If you think you may have postural problems contact your chiropractor today.

Paul R. Mahler Jr. DC
Mahler Family Chiropractic Center
1144 wyoming Ave.
Kingston, PA. 18704
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The Physiology of Pain


The physiology of pain can often be complicated. The bottom line is that pain is chiropractors can help with fibromyalgiaall in your head and is also based on your life experiences. Pain is also the bodies last warning system that something is wrong and often comes after months or even years of dysfunction.

So what is pain? Pain is the brains interpretation of the nerve signals being sent from the injured region of the body. There are several factors on how pain is perceived by an individual. One of the most important factors is life experience what is the worst pain ever to a child will often not phase an adult who has lived through several traumatic events. Second is the emotional state of the patient. Yes I did say the emotional state, people who are depressed or have other normal physiological factors may ether magnify painful symptoms or ignore them all together. Finally the quality of the signal is an important factor if the signal for pain that the brain must interpret is reduced or amplified by forces on the nerves themselves (chiropractic subluxations being one type), it is like using a dimmer switch on a light and the intensity of the pain may change. This is often seen when there is disc involvement or in sciatica.

As well as these three main factors on the quality of pain there are several factor that effect the location of the sensation of pain. Again location can be effected by interference with the nerve and how it transmits the signal. If there is pain in the right leg it may not be the right leg at all. In some instances pressure may be placed on the nerve as it exits the spine or even in the spine, but since the brain thinks this nerve ends at the foot it thinks you have foot pain. This is the same mechanism that causes phantom leg syndrome in amputees.

To further complicate the situation there are disease that excite the nervous system and produce the symptoms of pain in areas that may have no injury at all. Some of these conditions are fibromyalgia and RSD. Finely there is the double crush syndrome. This is often seen in Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS), and is when pressure is put on the nerve in two or more locations. In the case of CTS this is often the neck and wrist with some shoulder involvement. What happens is when the wrist puts pressure on the nerve there may be no symptoms but when the neck and wrist or shoulder and wrist or all three act up the hands go numb or become very painful to the point of being debilitating.

All of these factors make managing pain difficult in some case. If your pain doesn’t resolve in a reasonable amount of time you may have one or more of these factors. In these case it takes a professional with many years of experience to help track down the cause and place you on the road to recovery.

At Mahler Family Chiropractic Center we have over 10 years of experience helping people with these problems.

By: Paul R. Mahler Jr. DC

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We treat pain and  in some cases it can be cured neck pain, back pain, shoulder pain, rotator cuff pain, and more.