Fighting Sciatica

Few things ruin a good day like a flare-up of sciatica. The condition characterized by pain and stiffness in the lower back, aching in the buttocks, and numbness and tingling in the lower extremities can make it difficult to stand up, let alone get on with your day. The longest nerve in the human body, running adjacent to the piriformis muscle, the sciatic nerve is responsible for powering many of the muscles in the back side of the lower body, which means that when things go wrong with the sciatic nerve, the results can be serious. The most common things that contribute to sciatic nerve compression are herniated discs, impingement by the piriformis muscle and a stiff, imbalanced lower back. 

Chiropractic is a perfect treatment for easing the discomfort associated with sciatica. Chiropractic adjustment and the decompression associated with spinal traction are great modalities for responding to the kind of impingement to the sciatic nerve that results from a herniated disc or a subluxation. When muscles, especially crucial ones such as the piriformis, become strained, they can also put pressure on the sciatic nerve. This kind of condition responds well to trigger point therapy, which targets specific points and releases the area from tension.

But chiropractic is only the beginning; to truly break the grip of recurrent sciatica from your life means to make a commitment to regular exercise and stretching that will keep the area free of tension on a regular basis. At our office, we are concerned with your quality of life and we would like to help you improve it without the necessity of surgical or pharmaceutical intervention. 

Get Excited about Snacking

Meals are most important but snacking has its place too! 

And it’s right in between! Snacking helps regulate blood sugar, which is important for people who need to stay steady throughout the day. When blood sugar drops low, we feel light-headed, hungry and stressed out- this is the classic formula known as “hangriness.” This drives us to crave something quick and satiating- say a chocolate bar. Which then does the opposite, spikes blood sugar levels, causing the body to produce more insulin, uptaking the glucose faster and leaving you low again. Snacks can help us stay balanced.  

An equation for healthy snacking

  • 150-200 calories
  • Blend of carbs, protein and healthy fats
  • Nutrient density 
  • Leave out processed fats and sugars

Some snack-y ideas that fit the formula: 

  • Apple and peanut butter
  • Granola and yogurt
  • Lunch meat and low-fat cheese
  • Quinoa 
  • Hard boiled egg and hummus
  • Certain nutrition bars

In a very basic scenario, you could split the difference between breakfast, lunch and dinner; i.e.: breakfast at 8, first snack at 10, lunch between 12-1, second snack at 3 and dinner at 6. But every schedule is different and a snacking schedule is rarely rigid. The important thing is to stay in touch with your body- know the warning signs of blood sugar dropping and hasten to eat something healthy before you cave into your sweet tooth’s tastiest desires. When done right, snacking can be fun and keep you sane! 

Dr. Thomas

drthomas

In 1988, soon after graduating from New York Chiropractic College, Dr. Thomas opened her practice in Park Slope. She became a Diplomate in Chiropractic Neurology in 1990 and has maintained re-credentialing in this specialty. Dr. Thomas completed a 4 year Acupuncture program in Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, becoming a licensed practitioner in 1998.
She specialized in Neuro-Acupuncture, studying with the some of the most recognized TCM doctors in the field.
Dr. Thomas is also a certified Webster practitioner. This is a gentle technique that assists with a breech-presenting pregnancy by freeing the pelvis so the baby may move into a birth presentation.
Over her long career, Dr. Thomas established credentials as an expert in the fields of both Chiropractic and Acupuncture. She has given expert testimony in malpractice, personal injury and motor vehicle court cases. For several decades, she has taught Western Sciences at all 3 of the NYC Acupuncture colleges.
Currently, she sees patients on a limited schedule, helping those who can most benefit from her expertise.
Dr. T is an avid swimmer, cyclist and kayaker. In her glory days, she was a competitive swimmer, bike racer, runner and triathlete. Now she looks forward to visits with her grandchildren who live overseas with their parents who serve in the US military.

Dr. Fred Schmidt

Dr. Fred Schmidt has been in private practice in Long Island for more than
25 years. He is a graduate of Life University. He practices full spine
diversified technique, SOT, myofascial release, Thompson drop, Activator, and Flexion/Distraction traction. He is experienced in working with a wide
range of conditions & patients including athletes, weightlifters, pregnant,
and pediatrics.

In his free time, Dr. Fred keeps in shape by working out at the gym, jogging, and playing golf. He is happily married to his wife of more than 25 years,
who is also a chiropractor! He joins our practice Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Dr. Marlene Rivera

Dr. Marlene Rivera is a graduate of Sherman College of Chiropractic in SC.
She is trained in Webster Technique which is a gentle approach to treating pregnant women with a breech pregnancy. Without touching the baby, the technique mobilizes the pelvic joints and surrounding soft tissues. Not only does this relieve lower back pain but it helps the pelvis adjust to accommodate the baby. This may help provide room for the baby to more easily move into the birth position.
Dr Rivera is also a Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician (CCSP). She has a strong background in competitive athletics and brings this experience and expertise to her patient care. She is versed in Cox Disc Decompression Flexion/Distraction, Thompson Drop, Gonstead and Diversified
Techniques.
Originally from Puerto Rico, Dr. Rivera is fluent in both English and Spanish.
You may see Dr Marlene enjoying Prospect
Park and our lovely Park Slope neighborhood. She currently sees patients on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Dr. Josh Pickell

Dr. Josh Pickell graduated Cum Laude from Life Chiropractic College West in 2020.

Since then, he has worked in a high-volume clinic as well as a low-volume elite athlete facility.

His training and experience includes full spinal and extremity adjusting, as well as TMJ care. He is an experienced practitioner of ART (Manual Therapy), myofascial release, stretching and cupping.

We hope you will give Dr. Josh an opportunity to treat you and offer you his services to start the year off right! He joins our practice everyday except Tuesdays & Sundays.

Dr. Sashana Fuller LAc.

Sashana Fuller, L.Ac. is a board-licensed acupuncturist; receiving her
Masters of Science in Acupuncture from New York College of Traditional
Chinese Medicine. Since graduating, Sashana has continued to develop and
expand her clinical skills through the study of energy healing and healing
psycho-emotional trauma with acupuncture. She is a certified Reiki II
Energy Healing practitioner and areas of particular passion for Sashana
include helping you gain relief from myofascial pain, stress & anxiety
reduction, improving digestive function, and mood & hormone balancing.

Prior to her career in Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Sashana
achieved her BA in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College of Criminal
Justice. She worked in the Social Services sector where she supported
social programs in delivering quality and compassionate care to people
struggling with chronic mental health and substance abuse conditions.

A transplant from the island of Jamaica and a long-time Brooklyn resident,
Sashana loves to spend her time admiring the beauty of nature, meditating, and nostalgically watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer reruns. She currently
sees patients: Tuesdays, Thursdays, and alternating Saturdays.

Dr. Ernst David

Dr. David is a graduate of Logan University in Chesterfield, Missouri where he obtained his doctorate degree in Chiropractic and a masters in Nutrition and Human Performance. Originally from Haiti, Dr. David is also fluent in English, French and Creole.

He is trained and experienced in full spine manual adjustment, Gonstead, activator technique, Thompson Drop, ART, and Graston. He stands by his motto, “Your health is my priority.”

Dr. David works with us part time on Tuesdays and Saturdays. In his spare time, he enjoys relaxing with his wife and three children.

Exercises to Help Rehabilitate & Strengthen

Here are some excellent back strengthening exercises to help rehabilitate & strengthen your spinal muscles.

First of all a 20 to 30 min Cardio-Vascular warm-up is imperative. Rowing, biking, jump-rope, swimming, elliptical are all good options.

Next, begin with EXTENSOR muscle work & strengthening. These are the muscles (triceps, latts, quads, buttock & back) that help us stand up straight, with straight arms & legs.

It is always best, whenever possible, to do ‘cross-crawl’ exercises. This means opposite arm & leg engagement. For example, imagine throwing a javelin – your eyes will be on the hand in extension & you will be standing on the opposite leg. We are designed this way & it is the best way to exercise.

Finally, wind down w/ flexor muscle exercise – only now do you do any biceps, pect & ab work! And finish w/ a few minutes of stretching.

Plan routine work-outs 3 to 4 times a week. Keep a well aligned spine with chiropractic adjustments & enjoy a long & healthy life!

Dr. Karen A. Thomas Park Slope Community Chiropractic & Acupuncture

 

   

Nutrition

Diet and Nutrition

They’re right. You ARE – and WILL BE – what you eat.

 

Foods. Fluids. Supplements. Dietary aids. Medicines. All contribute to the bio-chemical makeup of our bodies.

Many people do not maintain healthy diets and may suffer from digestive disorders and other conditions aggravated by poor eating habits. Studies show that 80% of American adults are chronically dehydrated. The balance of macro-nutrients (proteins, carbohydrates, and fats), as well as micro-nutrients (vitamins, minerals, and enzymes), is essential for the cells and organs of the body to function properly. Poor supplies of macro- and micro-nutrients to the cells and tissues make it difficult for the body to work properly. Sluggish cell activity may result in overall body fatigue, susceptibility to infection, chronic inflammatory disorders – including digestive problems, arthritis, and allergies.

In the emerging field of nutrigenomics studies show that all ‘sizes’ of nutrients do not fit all people. In other words, every individual has an optimal caloric standard, as well as a nutritional combination that best suits them. The science of nutrigenomics advocates that we adopt an ODA (Optimal Daily Allowance) to reflect this finding, and abandon the model of RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) that is based on a generalized global ‘minimum’ of nutrients necessary to avoid disease.

The current so-called “Modern American Diet” is high in meat sources, processed foods, sweets, colas, alcohol, coffee, tobacco, and pharmacologic medications. This diet contributes to a high-acid (low pH) condition in the body that injures cells and impairs the ability of the body’s organs – including the brain – to function optimally.

The American diet and its resulting high levels of systemic acids is made worse with the sedentary lifestyle many people have adopted. Inactivity does further damage to the internal workings of the body. Lack of fresh air, shallow breathing, and reduced oxygen/carbon dioxide exchange add to the body’s acidic state.

Systemic acidosis is associated with chronic inflammatory disorders (arthritis, lumbago, headache), auto-immune diseases (RA, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia), cardio-vascular disorders (leading to increased risk of heart attack and stroke) and even certain types of cancer.

The good news is that we are ever changing organisms and many high-risk conditions can be reversed with improvements in diet and nutrition.

At Community Chiropractic & Acupuncture, with re-education, instruction, and routine monitoring we help patients recover their health. We recommend dietary changes, vitamin and mineral supplements and new eating habits.

Increasing intake of healthy proteins like chicken, fish, or non-meat sources such as beans and nuts; fresh leafy green vegetables; complex carbohydrates, and thirst-quenching health drinks invigorate the cells, the organs, and the entire body.

With a helping hand, food choices and eating habits improve. Results become evident with more energy, less pain, clearer mental function and lost inches.

A healthy diet that includes appropriate, individually prescribed nutritional supplements, is essential to rebuilding lasting health and well-being. No one is ‘put on a diet’. We educate and encourage informed healthy choices. As you learn about and make improved food choices, you will begin to look better and feel healthier.