Back - Leg - Arm pain
Pain between shoulders


Dr. Edward J. Hartey

600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Matamoras, Pa 18336

Office hours:
 Mon.Tues.Wed.Fri - 9 to 7
Thurs and Sat - 9 to 1

        Certified Chiropractic Sports Physicians 

  Call Us Today: 570.491.BACK








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Volume 16 No.3

Spinal Health


A Newsletter Promoting the Healing Power of Chiropractic Care.

                                                                     Volume 16  No.3



HELP FOR SCIATICA: Hip-to-Foot Burning, Pain, Numbness

   Sciatica is the inflammation of the largest and longest nerves in the body. Up to 40% of the population experience this pain at some point in their lives.

   What is the sciatic nerve? It first branches from the nerve roots that descend from the lowest part of the spinal cord and is about as wide as a thumb. Each of the two branches threads through the pelvis and deep into either side of the buttocks and passes down the hip, along the back of the thigh to the foot.

   What symptoms are associated with sciatica? Then sensation of the sciatic can vary widely, from a mild tingling to burning pain the to lower back, hips and legs. It may feel like a dull ache or numbness. For some, sciatica can be positively brutal, with excruciating pain radiating through the hip and down the leg into the foot and toes. Sitting for long periods and driving can increase the pain, and even sleeping and walking become difficult and painful. Twisting activities such as golf or tennis have a tendency to cause a flare-up in sciatic pain.

   What causes this nerve inflammation and pain? Simply stated, the nerve is pinched (impinged), becoming irritated, inflamed and hence, painful. The most common reason for this is a "bulging" disc pressing on the nerve root. The disc is the pad between the vertebra. The disc may bulge to one side resulting in what is frequently called a "slipped disc", although "herniated disc" is a better way of describing this condition. Degeneration or arthritis of the spine can also irritate the sciatic nerve. Trauma from falls, car wrecks sports injuries and other accidents may also result in sciatica. Some experts believe that one cause of sciatic pain is the entrapment of the sciatic nerve deep in the buttocks by the piriformis muscle--usually after an injury.

   How is sciatica generally treated? The medical approach to treatment varies. It may include using pain-killers. muscle relaxers or anti-inflammatory drugs. Traction, physical therapy or spinal injections may be used. In severe cases, surgery may be suggested. Note the success of back surgery varies. Pain returns within one year to approximately 50% of the patients that undergo back surgery.

   How effective is chiropractic treatment of sciatica? The fact is, chiropractic has about 90% patient satisfaction rate. Gentle, safe, spinal manipulations--possibly in combination with other non-invasive treatments, have proven very successful in treating sciatica. Chiropractic is the first choice of a conservative treatment method. And there are no undesirable side effects from the use of drugs and potential complications from surgery. Remember, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible from symptoms associated with sciatic. Needless to say, in the most severe cases, where we find a spinal fracture or some type of pathology such as a tumor, we will immediately refer you to the appropriate specialist.


   In years past, people used to have inexpensive fender benders, but not anymore. Even a minor accident can cost a thousand dollars or more to restore the car to its original condition.
  The greatest injury, though, is not to the automobile or truck, but the the vehicle's occupants. that has not changed. We hear survivors of accidents talk about walking away from an accident while their vehicle was totally demolished.
   Whether the accident was just a minor finder bender or a total demolishment, the human body can be injured without the individual(s) involved even realizing it---at least not immediately,
   Just because there is no bleeding or broken bones, doesn't mean that no harm has been done. If the spine has been suddenly and forcefully jarred out of it's normal balanced position, the first sign of an injury will usually be soreness and stiffness of neck and/or back muscles as they stay partially contracted in their attempt to pull the musculoskeletal system back into balance.
   Because the spine encases the spinal cord and spinal nerves, a slight distortion can produce an uncontrolled tendency toward emotional distress, headaches and other types of aches and pains that may not appear for months afterwards. Joint problems, with or without arthritis, may not show up until years afterwards.
   Just as you would have your vehicle checked following a minor fender bender, it is even more important that you be checked for possibility of a skeletal or soft tissue injury. An immediate examination also helps to establish and confirm the injury as it relates to the accident in question. Minor auto body damage can sometimes cause major human body damage.


   In 2002, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued a policy letter indicating that physical therapists are not qualified to perform spinal manipulation.
   The policy statement includes the declaration: "to perform manual manipulation of the spine to correct a subluxation as a Medicare covered service," the CMS referred to section 1861(r) of the Social Security Act. "The statute specifically references manual manipulation of the spine to correct a subluxation as a physician service. thus, Medicare+ Choice organizations must use physicians, which include chiropractors, to perform this service. They may not use non-physician physical therapists for manual manipulation of the spine to correct a subluxation."


   The Secret of Longevity Revealed?

   Want to live longer than the average person? Win an Oscar! Men's Fitness magazine, in it's January, 2002, issue, reports on a study which revealed that Oscar-winning actors live nearly four years longer than average.

   Get a Boost from Blooms

   March's issue of the magazine, Natural Health, offers one way to brighten your mood. Flowers Several studies conclude that receiving flowers makes you feel more sociable and more satisfied with your life and even helps relieve mild depression. According to this research, you don't have to wait for someone to send flowers to you. You can get the same uplifting effect if you buy them for yourself.

   Eating Right to Make You Happy

   According to a study released by Cardiff University's School of Psychology in Wales in February of 2002, a diet high in fiber may improve mental ability and mood. those who included a good amount of fiber in their diets were less emotionally distressed, were more positive, and had less difficulty falling asleep compared to the individuals who did not eat adequate fiber.

   Sleep Your Way to Better Health

   Lack of sleep, even if you are generally fit and healthy, can create a risk factor for obesity, diabetes, and hypertension. A small study published 2001 in the journal Diabetes, appears to support another 1999 study in the British journal, Lancet. The findings suggest that inadequate sleep causes your body to stop responding to the sugar regulating hormone, insulin. this is a known risk factor for metabolic disorders. Experts maintain that seven to nice hours is necessary to maintain your health.


   Try this. Which part of your enters a room first? If it is, in fact, a situation where your head thrusts forward, way ahead of the rest of you, we have some health issues to discuss. Do you have headaches? Shoulder pain or weakness or numbness in your hands and fingers?
   If you are the person we are discussing or you know someone who has this problem (because it is a problem, with or without symptoms, right now), the name you can give this problem is "forward head syndrome". It is not simply an issue of looks; it is an issue of physical illness, pain, and weakness that can be associated with this particular series of misalignments of the spine.
   As a further example of what can happen with forward head syndrome, this "kyphosis" or forward bending spine, puts strain on your internal organs. You may find it difficult getting a deep breath. If the lungs are unable to fully expand, they lose their effectiveness in moving oxygen into your blood stream and toxins out. Other associated symptoms are tension of muscles at the base of the skull, thoracic (upper to mid-back) and lower cervical (neck and upper shoulder) imbalances, acute or chronic cervical strain or sprain and instability.
   So, now that we've named it, what do we do about it? We visit our favorite chiropractor. What chiropractor. What chiropractors do is make specific adjustments to the spine to encourage realignment of the vertebra to normal structure. For these misalignments, the only correction is from a trained doctor of chiropractic.


   "The most common treatment for neck and back pain -- prescription nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) --may carry risks significantly greater than those of manipulation/chiropractic adjustments may also be used carries risks many times greater than those of chiropractic. Even prolonged bed rest carries some risks, including muscle atrophy, cardiopulmonary deconditioning, bone mineral loss and thromoembolism."


   We are pleased to announce that chiropractic took part in at least three Olympic medals for the United States. Doug Sharp, a chiropractor himself, was part of the U.S. four-man bobsled team that took the bronze medal.
   Dave Juerhring, D.C. who is the Director of Sports Injury at the Palmer College of Chiropractic main clinic acted as the U.S. men's and women's bobsled team leader.
   Two medals, the gold in the 15000 meter and the silver in the 5000 meter men's speed skating event went to chiropractic patient, Derek Parra. "I've used a lot of other treatments for injuries and pain, but the problem doesn't get fixed until I go to a doctor of chiropractic" said Parra.
   All we can say is, if it's good enough for Olympic gold, silver, and bronze medalists, perhaps, it's time you investigated the natural performance-enhancing opportunities chiropractic could provide you.