Dr. G’s December health news

Sciatica: beyond a pain in the butt

Ever have an acute pain running down the back of your leg?  Only get relief when lying down, or only get relief when walking, or no relief at all?  Well, this is usually due to compression of the sciatic nerve, which innervates the muscles of your pelvis and legs.  While trauma is not an uncommon cause of sciatica, it usually starts with prolonged postural overload or a strain/sprain of some sort.

You can create compression in between the vertebrae due to years of misuse and disuse, which will lead to disc protrusion and/or arthritis.  This vertebral imbalance can press on the nerve or cause muscular pressure from sitting all the time without any strategy for relief.

What to do about it?  Decompress.  The most effective ways to relieve your sciatic pain is to stretch and traction your low back.  Using a flexion-distraction table, I open up the disc space between each vertebrae and attempt to “suck” the disc material back into its original position and relieve the pressure on the nerve.  Additionally, deep-tissue bodywork and therapeutic exercises help the muscles relax and restore normal function.  This usually takes around 2 to 3 weeks to improve, which gives you time to learn some new exercises and modify old habits, but it will take a deliberate strategy of regular “decompression” to avoid future bouts of sciatica.



Check this out: 14 foods that will help with your circulation, and they are all tasty.



From Darius Foroux:


GTDsGetting Things Done

Eliminate distractions, which lead to loss of focus.  Set limits to do specific tasks; a time frame, ignore the phone, emails, etc.  Be fully present.


I know that this season usually focuses on planes, trains and automobiles, but I want you to focus more on swim, bike and run.  It is our natural tendency during the winter to slow down, stay indoors, eat more and move less, but what if you made appointments to meet friends for a walk, or take a bike ride with the grandkids, or swim at the gym?  If you do not make appointments for yourself to get some exercise, this month is going to whip by and it’ll be January and 10 extra pounds before you know it.  Be in charge of your calendar and your time, and don’t let the holidays trip you up and leave you dragging.


The unhealthy holidays: the 5 worst things you can do






It was Mark Twain who observed, “Comparison is the death of joy.”

You can always find someone who is prettier, richer, busier, smarter, taller, thinner, younger, wiser or more credentialed than you.  So, why look?
It is often a sign that we lack gratitude for what we have. This dissatisfaction has the germ that can so often blossom into suffering and whose siblings are envy and jealousy.

Joy is a spiritual quality; mere happiness its emotional counterfeit.

The temptation to compare ourselves is a form of mistrust. It stems from the wrongheaded belief that we live in a world of scarcity, limited resources and that it’s a zero sum game. But our success diminishes no one and our struggle is not due to someone else shining.

Conduct a social media fast. Listen for the unique beat of your drummer. Dance like nobody’s watching. That’s where joy lives.

Bill Esteb


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