Sciatica is characterized by sharp, intense pain that runs the entire length of the backside of the leg. This can occur when certain nerves become pinched in the lower part of the spine running along the sciatica nerve, which is the longest single nerve in the human body.
Strong, shooting pains in the limbs and lower back -Numbness and tingling in the lower extremities -Difficulty moving and exercising
Feeling stiff and unable to properly move feet -Pain when sleeping
Throbbing around the thighs, glutes, and low back when sitting or standing for long periods of times
Since chiropractic care is the direct interaction with the nervous system, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that chiropractic adjustments can greatly improve sciatica! In fact, a 2010 study in the Journal of Manipulative Physiological Therapies found that 60% of patients benefited from chiropractic adjustments AFTER having received failed medical interventions.
Exercises to strengthen the low back AND the core are very important as well to treating sciatica. Try exercises such as forward fold, cat-cow, and plank. A standard yoga class will incorporate these moves – along with much more – so it is well worth giving yoga a try!
Don’t sit for long periods of time. Movement equals life when it comes to your health! Unfortunately, most of us have sedentary jobs that require us to sit for extended periods of time. Try getting a standing desk or utilize a wobble cushion to keep your spine moving throughout the day. After all, 90% of the stimulation that goes to your brain is controlled by the spine directly.
Lastly, eat a healing and non-inflammatory diet. This may not seem as obvious at first, but chronic and systemic inflammation lead to many underlying pains and diseases. A healing diet consists of things like healthy fats (think coconut oil, olive oil, and ghee!), high quality meats such as grass-fed beef and organic, free range poultry, and finally, reduce grains and sugars as much as possible from the diet. Turmeric is another fun spice to add into the mix due to its anti-inflammatory properties!
Do you know that it is estimated that 25 to 40 percent of Americans suffer from acid reflux? By definition, acid reflux is dysfunction of the lower esophageal sphincter. If this sphincter doesn’t close all the way after food has passed through, acid from the stomach will creep up the digestive tract and cause a skew of symptoms. Symptoms include: heartburn, bitter taste in mouth, bad breath, dry mouth, gum irritations, black stools, bloody vomiting, regurgitation of acidic food, pain in the abdomen, and belching, flatulence, and nausea.
Conventional Solutions – The Risks:
Over the counter medications such as antacids (TUMS) and H2 Blockers (Pepcid), might treat a symptom in the short-term, but are very detrimental to your health. For starters, these medications are designed to block the body’s natural production of HCl. Therefore, the body is no longer able to produce pepsin, which is the body’s digestive enzyme responsible for breaking down proteins. This can cause further abdominal pain and increases your risk of infections from bacteria that would normally be killed by a healthy pH in the stomach.
1) Apple cider vinegar
This home remedy is so simple it is definitely worth a try if you suffer from acid reflux. Apple cider vinegar works by balancing your stomach’s pH and therefore normalizing stomach acid. Try 2 tablespoons with 8 ounces of water before meals.
2) Eat green, leafy vegetables
The benefits of leafy greens are endless! Cruciferous vegetables are amazing at balancing the pH in your stomach and alkalizing your whole body. The precursor to your body’s strongest antioxidant, glutathione, comes directly from these greens. Load up with vegetables like broccoli, kale and spinach – or try others to find your new favorite!
3) Fermented foods/drinks
Probiotic foods can help nourish the healthy bacteria in our digestive tract. Research has shown that these fer- mented foods can protect the stomach lining and even prevent regurgitation. Try out foods like kombucha, kefir, and sauerkraut. Better, yet – experiment making your own fermented foods!
4) Get adjusted
Stress from sitting all day, car accidents, sports injuries, or other traumas can lead to compression of the spine, specifically in the mid back region where nerves lead directly to the stomach. Moreover, an issue in the upper part of your neck can put pressure on your vagus nerve. This nerve controls the parasympathetic system and tells your body to relax and digest food. What ends up happening is your body is put into a chronic stress response (sympathetic overload), and in turn your body is not able to function and heal like it is designed to. It is is clear to see why a healthy, functioning spine is essential for not only acid reflux, but also overall health!
What is your migraine trying to tell you? If you suffer from migraines, it is crucial to ask yourself: “What is causing my migraines?” Instead of: “How can I treat my migraines?” Functional medicine is medicine by CAUSE, not medicine by symptom. So what are some common underlying causes of migraines?
1) Food sensitivities
2) Hormone imbalances
4) Posture and
The good news is there are simple steps you can take to treat underlying causes
1) Elimination diet
By removing common food allergens, you can test which foods might be causing your migraines. These foods include eggs, dairy, gluten, and peanuts.
Be sure to reintroduce each food slowly.
2) Balance your hormones
Some migraines can be caused by too much estrogen and not enough progesterone. That is why some women get premenstrual migraines! Some things you can do to restore this balance naturally are eliminating caffeine and alcohol, reducing sugar and intake of flour/starches, eating a diet rich with plant based foods, getting quality of sleep, and reducing stress. Also, reduce or eliminate pharmaceutical medications with high levels of estrogen if possible.
Furthermore, hormone imbalances can be caused by a B vitamin
deficiency. Try adding 400 mg of vitamin B2 or riboflavin daily.
Finally, sleep cycles can cause hormone imbalances so a melatonin supplement has been shown to be effective at reducing migraines.
3) Restore magnesium deficiency
Magnesium is known as the relaxation mineral and so deficiency
can cause elevated levels of stress and in return, migraines. Try
adding 300-600 mg of magnesium 2x per day into your routine.
4) Make chiropractic care a part of your wellness routine
Unfortunately, many people have sedentary jobs requiring them
to sit for the majority of their day. This can lead to poor posture
and tense muscles, specifically around the neck region. In a
randomized control trial by the Journal of Manipulative and
Physiological Therapeutics, a 90% reduction in migraines was
found after only 16 treatments.
Article written by Lauren Oljar with Queen City Health Center
Queen City Health Center is a Charlotte Chiropractic and total wellness center for individuals and families. With locations across Charlotte, NC and Matthews, NC, we specialize in helping individuals and families find true health and ways to maximize their lives through nutrition, lifestyle classes, detoxification and spinal correction.