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What to Know About Sciatic Pain

What to Know About Sciatic Pain

If you have it, you know it. Sciatic pain (also called sciatica) is a common back ailment that impacts approximately 40 percent of adults at some point during their lifetime. The sciatic nerve is the longest and largest nerve in the body. About the same thickness as your thumb, it begins in the lower back and extends to the foot.

Characterized by shooting pain that travels the length of the nerve, sciatica can be mild or severe. It can prevent mobility or at the very least, be uncomfortable and irritating.

Symptoms Of Sciatic Pain

In addition to the shooting pain, people who suffer from sciatica may experience other symptoms such as:

  • Numbness or weakness of the leg
  • Difficulty moving the leg or foot
  • Inability to stand up
  • Burning sensation in their back, hips and legs
  • Chronic pain on one side

What Causes Sciatic Pain?

Sciatic pain occurs when the sciatic nerve is compressed. Conditions that could cause this compression include spinal stenosis, degenerated disc disease, a herniated disk, or a bone spur on the spine. Smoking, injury or regular wear and tear from age can also be to blame. All of these conditions result in numbness, pain, stiffness of the leg, or inflammation.

How Is Sciatic Pain Diagnosed?

Sciatic pain can be diagnosed by a chiropractor after a complete assessment. The doctor will begin with a medical history and ask about the location and severity of the pain. A series of tests, such as the Straight Leg Test or Braggard’s Test, will be conducted that focus on your reflexes. The doctor may ask you to perform certain stretches and exercises to determine what aggravates or relieves your pain.

How Is Sciatic Pain Treated?

The good news is most people usually get relief from sciatic pain without invasive procedures or medications. Here are a few treatment options that a chiropractor can offer:

  • Ice or cold therapy. Applying ice or cold compress to the area reduces inflammation and eases pain.
  • Ultrasound. A gentle heat that penetrates deep into the muscle, these sound waves increase circulation and reduce cramping, stiffness, inflammation and muscle spasms.
  • Spinal manipulations. At the core of chiropractic care, these adjustments restore misaligned vertebrae to their proper position and improve movement of the spine.
  • TENS. TENS therapy, otherwise known as transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, uses electrical currents to control pain and reduce muscle spasms.

Chiropractic care is an effective way to treat sciatic pain because it focuses on the musculoskeletal and nervous systems and the conditions that impact them.

At Live Well Chiropractic Center, our goal is to help you feel better so you can engage comfortably in the activities you enjoy most. If you or someone in your family is experiencing sciatic pain, you don’t have to suffer any longer. We can help you determine the cause of the pain and then develop a non-invasive treatment plan that is best for you. Give us a call at 513-285-7482 to schedule an appointment! Be sure to check us out on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for our latest updates and tips!

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How To Fight Stress With Chiropractic Care

How To Fight Stress With Chiropractic Care

Stress can have an overwhelmingly negative impact on your body and your health. If left untreated, it can lead to other issues such as tension headaches, migraines, back pain, sleeplessness, anxiety, depression, and physical problems including high blood pressure and heart disease.

Stress can be debilitating, impacting your work, relationships and general happiness. Fortunately there is a way to deal with stress that doesn’t involve extreme measures or medicines with potential side effects. Because it takes a holistic, mind-body approach to treatment, chiropractic care has proven to be successful in helping to minimize stress and keep you focused and calm.

Here’s how visiting your chiropractor can help you alleviate stress:

Chiropractic care reduces muscle tension

Stress and muscle tension feed off each other. The more stress you feel, the more your muscles tense. The more your muscles tense, the more stress you feel. Muscle tension impacts your posture, and how you walk, sit or stand. It can also have an impact on your focus and your sleep. But a visit to your chiropractor can help. Your chiropractor can adjust your spine, relieving muscle tension and restoring your body’s natural balance.

Chiropractic care restores physical function

Your backbone is the pathway your brain uses to communicate to the rest of your body. It controls every organ, tissue and cell. So when you feel stressed, it impacts your backbone. A spinal adjustment from your chiropractor can restore function to your body. It increases nerve flow to your brain’s limbic system, which regulates your emotions. All of this makes you feel healthier, more energetic, more relaxed and less stressed.

Chiropractic care reinforces good nutrition

Many people turn to comfort foods during times of stress. Unfortunately, overeating or choosing unhealthy foods can make you feel sluggish, bloated and oftentimes even more stressed.

Good nutrition is the foundation of your overall health, and that includes your ability to deal with stress. When you eat clean and healthy, it can have a big impact on your stress level.

Your chiropractor does a lot more than spinal adjustments. Because they take a whole-person approach to care, chiropractors can coach you on full-body wellness. This includes exercise, physical therapy and lifestyle habits including nutrition, food and any supplements you may be lacking. After considering your whole medical history, chiropractors can help you build healthy and sustainable life habits that will help you reduce stress and feel better overall.

Are you tired of feeling the effects of stress? Are you ready to get some relief? At Live Well Chiropractic Center, we believe that life is too short to deal with stress and the pain associated with it. Contact us today to learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment. Be sure to check us out on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for our latest updates and tips!

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Pros and Cons of Standing Desks

Pros and Cons of Standing Desks

If “sitting is the new smoking,” when can we stand? We sit at work, we sit at school, we sit as we drive from one place to the next and we sit on the couch when we get home. Since the average office worker spends about six and a half hours per day sitting at a desk, standing desks have been introduced as an alternative in the workplace. But do they really work? What are the pros and cons? Here are some things to think about as you decide if a standing desk is right for you.

Standing Desk Pros

  • It improves posture. Standing while working forces you to stand up straight and have good posture. Some employees report less back, neck and tailbone soreness.
  • It keeps the blood flowing. It’s harder to nod off or feel sleepy when you’re in a standing position, so you may feel more alert while standing at a desk. Work may feel more urgent, so you may be more productive as a result.
  • It reduces some types of diseases. Standing reduces the risk of developing diseases such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease. It can also reduce back and neck pain by 54 percent.
  • You will burn more calories. When you stand at a desk for 3-4 hours during the workday, your heart beats about 10 times more per minute. That’s the equivalent of running 10 marathons a year.
  • It’s easier to engage with co-workers. If you are in a shared office space, you are at eye-level with co-workers walking by, which may encourage brief exchanges that take the place of an email.

Standing Desk Cons

  • It can be uncomfortable. Some workers have complained about stiff legs, aching backs and sore feet after standing for long periods of time, especially if they have a health issue. Watch out for swelling in your feet and ankles, stiff knees and varicose veins.
  • It stifles the creative juices. Some workers have reported that creative work, like designing or writing, is more difficult to do in a standing position.
  • It’s hard to eat at your desk. Standing over your desk to eat lunch can be awkward and messy. It might be better to find a comfortable place to sit.

If you do decide to invest in the standing desk option, we suggest you consider the following:

  • Invest in an anti-fatigue mat. These are mats that cushion your feet and may reduce the discomfort in your body.
  • Wear supportive shoes. Standing all day won’t be possible in heels or in bare feet. Find a pair of shoes that will give you the support you need to be on your feet the whole day.
  • Take your time. Ease into your standing desk. You may need to work your way up to standing the whole day, and/or take frequent sitting breaks.
  • The best of both worlds. Consider a standing desk option that raises and lowers to allow you to both stand and sit throughout the day.

Do you have questions about the impact sitting or standing has on your body? Live Well Chiropractic Center is available to answer your questions, help you determine the cause of your pain and develop a treatment plan so you can start healing. Contact us today at 513-285-7482 to schedule an appointment! Be sure to check us out on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn for our latest tips and updates!

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Managing Knee Pain With Non-Invasive Treatment

Managing Knee Pain With Non-Invasive Treatment

Whether it pops when you bend it or there’s a persistent ache or stinging, dealing with knee pain is difficult. Knee pain impacts millions of people, whether it’s caused by a minor or serious injury, aging, arthritis or other medical issues. Left untreated, knee pain and injuries limit mobility and impact daily activities including walking, climbing stairs, getting out of bed in the morning and even using the restroom.

Types of Knee Pain

Knee pain falls into one of two categories: acute or chronic. Acute knee pain often occurs when tendons are injured, causing swelling and limiting range of motion. Left untreated, this can lead to a serious injury such as a tear or ruptured tendon.

Chronic pain is caused when joints and cartilage wear down, resulting in steady, regular pain as joints rub directly against each other. Often this is due to arthritis or osteoporosis, a bone disease. Other causes of chronic knee pain include degenerative joint disorders, which cause joints to quickly wear down.

Common Causes of Chronic Knee Pain

The knee is comprised of interconnected tendons, ligaments and cartilage, which can wear down over time. Because the knee is a major weight-bearing joint, any increased stress can lead to inflammation, chronic pain and/or injury if left untreated. Knee pain can take a variety of forms. If your knees lock or click when you bend them, you have difficulty with your knee’s range of motion, or experience swelling, numbness or discoloration, it’s a sign that something’s wrong.

One of the most common causes of knee pain is bursitis, which affects people who spend a lot of time on their feet. Like our shoulders and other joints, our knees have fluid-filled sacs called bursae that cushion the outside of the joint. Bursitis is caused when these sacs swell or become inflamed.

Other common causes include fractures, bacterial infections, and uric acid build-up, which occurs when uric acid crystals build up in the joints and cause inflammation.

How Chiropractic Treatment Can Help

Luckily, these problems can be treated with non-invasive chiropractic treatment. Not only can an experienced chiropractor provide physical therapy along with knee and hip manipulation that can help reduce pain and inflammation, but she can also help reduce stress on your knees with spinal readjustments and realignment.

Whether you’re dealing with acute or chronic knee pain, Dr. Kimberly Muhlenkamp-Wermert of Live Well Chiropractic Center can help you understand the underlying causes of knee pain, and reduce inflammation with a customized treatment plan so you can start enjoying a pain-free, active lifestyle again. Contact us today to schedule an appointment, and be sure to check us out on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn for our latest updates and tips!

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