Effective Solutions For Sciatic Nerve Pain

What is sciatica? Sciatica is leg pain caused by a pinched nerve in the lower back. Although the pangs begin in nerve roots located on either side of the lower spine, they then course through the sciatic nerve, which runs the length of each leg from the buttock down to the foot.

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Here are 10 True or False Questions about Chiropractic. Let’s see how many you get right.

  1. True or False: Chiropractic adjustments are painful.
    • Most of the time spinal adjustments do not hurt at all. Most patients feel relief after an adjustment. In some cases, such as in an acute injury, an adjustment may be uncomfortable, but it should never hurt. If you do experience pain tell your doctor so they can try an alternative approach.
  2. True of False – Chiropractic neck adjustments cause stroke.
    • This claim is false. Current research suggests that the chance of suffering a stroke from a chiropractic adjustment is 1:8,000,000. Research into the safety of chiropractic care and manual manipulation has shown that is much safer compared to other forms of health care.
  3. True of False – Once you start seeing a chiropractic doctor, you have to keep going for the rest of your life.
    • Regular chiropractic adjustments are part of a healthy lifestyle, but every patient has a choice whether or not to continue with regular checkups. Checkup frequency is different for everyone. It could once a month, every six weeks or even less often for some. After becoming a chiropractic patient, you become better at listening to your body and knowing when you need an adjustment.
  4. True of False – Chiropractors only treat back pain.
    • It is true that people typically see a chiropractor for back pain, however chiropractors are able to treat people for an assortment of other conditions such as headaches, sciatica, vertigo, and extremity injuries such as carpal tunnel. Some chiropractic that are trained in soft tissue therapies such as Graston Technique, A-Stim or A.R.T can treat even more conditions such as shoulder tendonitis, elbow tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, and chronic pain associated trigger points an myofascial adhesions.
  5. True of False – Chiropractors have more schooling than medical doctors.
    • While is true that a chiropractic degree requires 2,887 of class hours and a medical degree requires 2,756, the training on the various topics in vastly different. Chiropractic schooling pays particular emphasis to body and spinal biomechanics, skeletal conditions, adjusting techniques nutrition, and neurology.
  6. True of False – Prescription medication and over the counter drugs are safe.
    • Adverse reaction to CORRECTLY prescribed drugs are the 3rd leading cause of death in America. So many prescription drugs can lead to the development of other conditions. Did you know that statin drugs can lead not only lead to aches and pain in the muscles and joints, but can contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes?
  7. True or False – Cracking my own back is the same as a chiropractic adjustment.
    • The purpose of the chiropractic adjustment is to restore motion to a restricted, dysfunctional joint. Positioning of those dysfunctional joints at certain angles is essential. When you attempt to adjust yourself, any joint that is capable of moving can achieve a sound, which makes people think that their self-manipulation was successful. Typically, a person who self- adjusts are furthering joint hypo-mobility and further restricting joints that are already dysfunctional.
  8. True of False – You need a referral to see a Chiropractor.
    • In almost all instances you do not need a referral for a chiropractor. You do not need a referral if you have insurance or you have been involved in a motor vehicle collision. If you have been injured on the job, you may choose to see a chiropractor first if you wish. If you open a claim with a medical provider first, then you will need a referral.
  9. True or False – Chiropractic Care is Cost Effective.
    • Studies have shown that chiropractic care is more cost effective than traditional medicine, especially for biomechanics issues such as back and neck pain. Studies have also shown that people who seek regular chiropractic care are sick less often and missed less time from work due to sickness or injury.
  10. True or False – The only way to be adjusted is with manual manipulation.
    • Chiropractors are taught multiple adjusting styles to suit the individual patient. Some people do not like the manual adjustment or should not be adjusted that way. Other people prefer the manual adjustment or Drop Technique, and do not like the Activator tool. Everyone is different. Let your chiropractor know how you feel before and after an adjustment so your adjustment is an enjoyable experience.


Fiber is an essential macronutrient that is necessary for everyday health. What roles does fiber serve in making you healthier? Fiber has been shown to lower cholesterol levels, triglyceride levels, can help maintain a healthy weight, promote satiety when eating, and reduce your risk of developing obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

There are two types of fiber, soluble and insoluble fiber. Each of the types have their own benefit. Soluble fiber when added with water greats a gelatinous goo that feeds the healthy bacteria of the intestines. It also help to regulate your blood sugar levels and lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Insoluble fiber adds bulk to your stool and helps it pass easier. Essentially insoluble is exercise for your intestines.

How much fiber do you need a day? It is recommended that women consume between 21-25g per day and men consume between 30-38g per day. What are the best high fiber content foods to add to your diet?

The highest content foods come from legumes (nuts, seeds and beans)


Split peas      1c     16.3g      * 1 ½ c of split pea and ham soup and you are set for the day!
Lentils           1c      15.5g      * A tasty bowl of lentil chili and your intestines will be a happy camper!
Black Beans  1c       15g       * Black beans are a tasty addition to many recipes
Almonds        1oz     3.5g     * A heart healthy snack
Pistachios      1oz     2.9g      * Sometimes you feel like a nut


Raspberries     1c               8g
Pear w/ skin     1 item     5.5g
Apple w/ skin   1 item     4.4g
Banana             1 item      3.1g
Oranges            1 item      3.1g


Artichokes        1 med        16.3g
Avocados          1c               10.5g
Green Peas       1c                 8g
Broccoli             1c                5.1g
Potato               1sm             2.9g
Carrots              1 med         1.7g

Whole Grains

Whole Wheat Pasta         1c         6.3g
Barley                                1c           6g
Oatmeal                            1c           4g
Air-popped popcorn        3c         3.6g

Lots of delicious soups can incorporate the legumes and the vegetables for a heart healthy, gut healthy lunch or dinner. The above mentioned fruits, veggies and nuts make fabulous snacks. Getting enough fiber in your diet is not as difficult as it may seem.

The Importance of Omega – 3 Fatty Acids

We live in a pro-inflammatory world. Back pain, depression, auto-immune diseases, type 2 diabetes, and obesity are at an all-time high. These conditions are all due to excess inflammation in the body. Commonly NSAIDS are prescribed for back pain and prescription meds for conditions such as type 2 diabetes, depression, and rheumatoid arthritis. What if we can combat these conditions naturally, without over the counter or prescription medications? Well you can, and the regimen is fairly simple but requires some changes on your part.

Before we discuss dietary changes that are required to combat these conditions, let’s discuss how the inflammation got there in the first place. Multiple recent studies and articles blame the ratio of Omega – 6 fatty acids to Omega – 3 fatty acids in the diet. Omega – 6 fatty acids are found in red meats, vegetable oils such as canola, safflower and soy products. Soy and corn are very frequently used in the American diet not only as a processed food but it is the primary feed given to live stock, as it is subsidized by the government and inexpensive for ranchers. Ranchers love it too as it really fattens up the cows!

All cell membranes of the body are made of lipids (aka fatty acids). If our fat consumption is comprised primarily of Omega – 6 fatty acids (pro-inflammatory fatty acids) our cells walls will be comprised of that fat type; promoting the release of inflammatory molecules throughout the body Ultimately resulting in inflammatory diseases such auto-immune diseases like Rheumatoid arthritis. type 1 diabetes, degenerative arthritis and atherosclerotic plaque. Even though type 2 diabetes is not an auto-immune disease, too much Omega – 6 in the diet has been shown to contribute to its development.

Now that I have scared the pants off you, what do you do about managing the inflammation in your body? The two key components of living a less inflamed life is supplementing with Omega – 3 fatty acids, reduce Omega – 6 fatty acid intake, increase fruit and vegetable intake, and participate in resistance type exercise.

Omega – 3 fatty acids are essential nutrients meaning that you must get them from your diet. Dietary sources of Omega – 3 fatty acids include coconut oil, avocado oil, olive oil, fish oil from cold water fish, walnuts and flax seeds to name a few. Not only are Omega – 3 fatty acids anti-inflammatory, they block the pain chemical pathways and have repeatedly been shown to be safer than over the counter pain medications. Side effects of NSAIDs are gastro-intestinal upset, stomach ulceration, hemorrhage possible kidney failure, the potential for stroke or even death. The most common side effect of Omega – 3 fatty acids are fishy after taste, soft stools and the potential for bleeding in patients taking medications such as Warfarin. Omega – 3 fatty acids can even be taken safely during pregnancy and is even beneficial for the developing fetus.

In addition to its anti-inflammatory effects, when taken long term (75 days), reduced joint pain and stiffness has been reported associated osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, dysmenorrhea (painful periods) and fibromyalgia. It has even been shown to reduce cholesterol levels better than statin drugs. Even the American Heart Association recommends Omega – 3 fatty acid supplementation.

The recommended therapeutic dosage of Omega -3 fatty acids is between 2400 – 7200 mg/day. A lot of research that I have read recommends 3600mg mg/ day which has been shown to aid in the recovery of thoracic outlet syndrome, cervical radiculopathy, carpal tunnel syndrome and burns.

Other natural pain relieving anti-inflammatory supplements are White Willow Bark, Curcumin/ Turmeric and Bowswelia. White Willow is recommended at 240mg/day. It is a precursor to the active ingredient in aspirin, so patients with aspirin allergies or children should not take White Willow Bark. Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory supplement with no known side effects and is recommended at 400-600mg 3 x day. Bowswelia is both anti-inflammatory and pain relieving and is recommended at 300-500 mg 2-3 x day.

Shameless plug, we sell an Omega – 3 fatty acid here at the clinic which tastes like lemon meringue pie filling with zero fishy after taste. I can personally attest to that. If you are in the office we have an open bottle of the Omega – 3 emulsion that you can taste test. We also sell White Willow Forte which has White Willow Bark, Turmeric, Bromelain, and Boswelia all in one supplement. This product works great for acute pain and inflammation.

If you have any questions regarding Omega – 3 fatty acid supplementation please feel free to e-mail us at info@owenchiropracticps.com or call us at 253-942-3300.

Can You Lower Your Cholesterol Levels Without Statin Drugs?

Managing your cholesterol levels are important. High cholesterol levels in the blood raise your risk of heart attack and stroke. To combat this heath condition, the medical community usually promotes taking statin drugs.

How do statins work? Statins inhibit the enzyme that allows production of cholesterol in the liver. It does not have an effect on lowering the lipoproteins (VLDL and LDL) which are also a risk marker and are the transportation molecules that take the cholesterol to organs and tissues for the processing of hormones. New research has shown, that altering the amount of the lipoproteins, the transportation molecules, has a more positive effect on managing cholesterol levels. Research has also found that taking statin drugs does help reduce heart attack and stroke with PRE-EXISTING heart disease, but not in those that do not.

Statin drugs can also have some nasty side effects. Possible side effects are as follows:

  1. Frequent interactions with other medications
  2. Muscle and joint aching
  3. Nausea and vomiting
  4. Constipation or diarrhea
  5. Rash

More serious side effects are as follows.

  1. Possible liver damage
  2. Possible kidney damage
  3. Increased blood sugar levels
  4. Possible development of type 2 diabetes
  5. Myositis (muscle swelling)/ rhabdomyolysis (muscle break down)

If taking statin drugs is something you want to avoid, there are natural alternatives. The number one supplement for reducing cholesterol levels in taking Niacin (B3). Niacin has been shown to reduce the production of the VLDL and LDL’s and increase production of HDL’s. Studies have been shown that Niacin can reduce LDL levels by 15-25% and decrease triglycerides (fatty energy molecules) by 2-50%, and increase HDL levels by 15-25%. To achieve these results, Niacin must be taken at a dosage between 1-4 mg daily. Even niacin has some side effects, but they are not serious:

  1. Flushing
  2. Headache
  3. Upset stomach/ nausea
  4. Sweating
  5. Dizziness

In addition to supplementing with Niacin, adding garlic, fiber and Omega – 3 fatty acids is recommended. An anti-inflammatory dose of Omega – 3 fatty acids is 3600mg a day. Fiber consumption should be around 25-30g per day though fruits, vegetables and whole grain foods.

Exercise, particularly resistance training is an essential component of lower LDL levels and increasing HDL levels. Resistance training should be performed three to five days a week.

Always consult your physician before changing or stopping your medication regiment or there could be potential negative side effects.

Pregnancy, Exercise and Chiropractic

Times are changing! Gone are the days of pregnancy and bed rest. Doctors and researches alike are singing the praises of chiropractic and exercise during pregnancy. In this article we will discuss the positive aspects and precautions of exercise as well as the positives of chiropractic care.

Why should you consider seeing a chiropractor when going through a pregnancy? Chiropractic adjustments can help decrease the aches and pains associated with the changing body. Low back and sciatic pain are very common due to the accentuated curve of the low back, increased gravitation pull on the low back and the developing fetus sitting on the sciatic nerve. The mid back can also be aggravated due enlargement of the breast tissue.

Towards the end of pregnancy, when it is time for the baby to face and prepare for the birthing process, it is unable to do so due to restricted joint motion of the pelvis and pubic symphysis. Chiropractic adjustments help restore motion to these joints so that the baby is able to turn freely. In additions to allowing the baby an easier time to face, unrestricted joints allow the joints to expand properly during the birthing process making the experience less traumatic for both mother and baby.

Other positive effects of receiving chiropractic adjustments during pregnancy is that is helps to maintain a healthier pregnancy, it helps control nausea, and reduces labor and deliver time.

Now let’s talk exercise. Exercising during pregnancy has several benefits. It prevents excess weight gain, reduces the risk of gestational diabetes, reduces the risk of pre-eclampsia, helps maintain the strength of the abdominal muscles, and prepares the body for childbirth.

What are safe levels of exercise? That fist depends on if the mother exercised before pregnancy. If exercise is new, begin at a low to moderate intensity walk for about 20 minutes, working your way up to 45 minutes per day. Newer research suggests that working out hard enough to break a sweat is okay. Older established recommendations suggest not to exceed a heart rate of 140bpm. If you do not have a fitness device, the rate of perceived exertion scale works well (zero is at rest and 10 is running for your life.). The best level is to be able to carry on a conversation and not be completely out of breath. Other cardiovascular activities are swimming, water aerobics, and bicycling. Yoga and Pilates geared toward pregnancy is also highly recommended.

Even resistance training can be safe during this time. Exercise should be focused on increasing core strength such as the transverse abdominal, obliques, glutes, QL muscles, and long thoracic muscles. Strengthening the arms and the upper back can improve the ability to carry the infant, carry diaper bags, car seats and anything else you might need. Exercise can even help prevent low back injuries while putting the baby in their crib or putting and taking them out of the car seat.

It is a best to consult a physician before starting an exercise program, especially if you are pregnant. It is a very good ideas to know your baseline blood sugar and blood pressure before your start so precautions may be taken as needed.

Combining exercise and chiropractic care during pregnancy can make the experience much more enjoyable for the mom to be. Pass this information along to a expectant woman in your life so that she may feel good through this wonderful time.

Chiropractic Care for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Typically, chiropractic care, for CTS is to address the problematic wrist and elbow, as well as adjustments of the upper spine. It may be advised to rest the affected arm, apply cold to reduce inflammation, perform recommended exercises, or wear a splint and or brace to immobilize the area.

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Ease Lower Back Pain at Home

Back pain, especially lower back pain, is an ailment that will affect more than 85 percent of Americans at some point. For those that suffer from chronic back pain, looking for natural ways to alleviate pain is much preferable to living on pain meds. Often, these painkillers don’t offer much relief and only treat the symptoms.’

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