What Is A Pinched Nerve?

Have you ever been diagnosed with a “pinched nerve?” What causes a nerve to become pinched or trapped? Pinched nerves are usually diagnosed in association with neck and shoulder pain, or low back pain. But this vague diagnosis, often accompanied by a hurried drug prescription, fails to illuminate what is actually pinching the nerve.

As nerves branch off the spinal cord within the spine, they must pass through numerous canals in the body to reach their respective target. The first canal a nerve faces is the tiny hole between any two vertebrae, called the foramina. If the vertebrae themselves are displaced or shifted, by even a tiny amount, the nerve can become irritated. If a spinal disc bulges or herniates, the jelly-like material that makes up a part of the disc can be squeezed out like an ice-cream sandwich, and this can directly impinge a nerve.

The initial impingement often cannot be felt because only a small fraction of the nerve carries pain messages. When this squeezing irritation breaches a “pain threshold,” it finally hurts. Depending on which fibers within the nerves are being compressed, symptoms may include: sharp, darting pain originating in the neck or low back that radiates into the shoulder, arm or buttock; dull aching; tight and sore muscles; numbness and tingling.

If a nerve is being pinched, wouldn’t it make sense to find out what is causing the pinching in the first place? Doctors of Chiropractic, who specialize in bone and joint health, can help your body regain its alignment and heal properly, un-pinching the nerve rather than just medicating the pain so your brain cannot register the damage. Call our office today and see if we can help you or your loved ones with this issue. We look forward to meeting you!

Written by Dr. Elliot Lysyk, DC
Arise Chiropractic
7-100 Kalamalka Lake Rd.

When Exercise Is Harmful

In order to combat daily aches and pains, many people turn to exercise, hoping to alleviate their pain by getting into better shape. There’s no doubt that such activities can increase blood flow to the joints, easing them through fuller ranges of motion—on top of countless other health benefits. I am a huge advocate of regular physical activity. Minor aches caused by an out-of-shape body will often be relieved by daily exercise, and the results can be felt immediately.  

I am, however, a little concerned by what I see when people begin fitness programs without giving proper consideration to what may be causing their pain. My experience after treating thousands of patients shows that the average person has at least 6 postural imbalances in their body. Most of these imbalances stem from the spine—the core of the body. Because gravity exerts a constant pull on the body, these spinal imbalances can show through as joint strain (back, neck, arm, leg pain), depending on where the imbalance is. 

If an exercise program is taken on board, the added strain can worsen the pain because it overloads an already strained area. I see a lot of patients who vow to get in shape, only to be met with areas of imbalance that suddenly become painful. Spinal imbalances increase spinal pressure, leading to disc disease and arthritis. Osteo-arthritis is a disease of wear and tear and happens in areas of the spine that aren’t aligned properly. In such cases, it becomes MORE HARMFUL to continue with the activity without giving appropriate attention to the cause, especially when pain persists and worsens with activity.

Chiropractors are trained to detect and correct these imbalances so you are able to achieve better fitness with less pain and long-term damage.  If you experience pain during or after exercise,  I urge you to find out the underlying problem before more damage is done! Every day I see long-term spinal damage and arthritis in patients who wish they would have been told to get a spine and posture check-up earlier in their lives. Maybe there’s an imbalance in your body that can be corrected?

Written by Dr. Elliot Lysyk, DC
Arise Chiropractic
7-100 Kal Lake Rd.


Chiropractic Care for Whiplash

By Dr. James Mayne, DC

Whiplash occurs when the muscles, ligaments, and tendons of the neck and upper back are damaged from a sudden impact that whips the head forward and then backward, or from side to side.  The curve and alignment of the neck may be altered, causing pain and decreased neck movement.  This type of injury can have many causes, from sports impacts to slips on icy surfaces, but by far the most common cause is a motor vehicle accident.  Most people don’t realize that even low-speed, low-impact collisions can cause serious, long-term whiplash injuries.  In the health presentations I’ve offered my patients, I notice in the audiences with a show of hands that at least 60-70% of people have been in a car accident.  My experience shows that impacts as slow as 5 mph are enough to cause damage to the small joints in the neck, especially if the head is turned while the impact happens.

The most common symptoms for whiplash injuries are pain in the neck and upper back region.  A headache can often be the main complaint, interfering with a person’s ability to work or go about their daily activities.  Sometimes, when the damage irritates the delicate nerve roots of the spine, a person can experience pain, tingling, or weakness radiating into the shoulders, arms, and hands.  It is important to keep in mind that sometimes these symptoms take days or even weeks to be experienced.

The focus of chiropractic care for whiplash involves realigning the forward curve in the neck, re-establishing the normal position of the vertebrae, muscles, and ligaments of the spine.  This allows the tissues to heal with proper alignment of the neck—the goal being to restore full range of motion and to prevent any permanent damage from occurring.  If whiplash damage is left uncorrected, it is possible that the natural curve of the neck can be lost, leading to wear-and-tear of the neck joints.  Over time, this causes the disks in the neck to break down, and osteo-arthritis is the result.

If you have experienced a whiplash accident or suffer from any of the above symptoms, you would benefit from seeing a chiropractor for a neck and spine evaluation.


Helping Boomers Stay Active

By Dr. James Mayne, DC

Have you ever noticed that each decade of life seems to bring its own set of challenges?  In my 20s my metabolism slowed down, in my 30s I didn’t heal from injury as quickly, in my 40s I didn’t have as much energy, and in my 50s…well, I’m not quite in my 50s yet, but what I’ve learned over the years is that while we can’t stop the aging process, we can attempt to slow it down.

One of the biggest complaints we see in our offices is that a large number of baby boomers are hitting retirement age and are finding it difficult to keep up with their busy new lifestyles. Now that they have the time to golf, fish, play with their grandkids, ski, and garden, their bodies are holding them up. Years of sitting at desks, manual labour, and running the rat race have taken their toll. Often this shows up in the form of neck or back aches, fatigue, or postural strain.

Helping improve the body’s mechanics and straightening out posture lets the bones hold us up properly, allowing overworked muscles to be used for recreational activities. While this may not allow you to hit a 400-yard drive or suddenly ski the double-blacks, we would love to see if we can improve your health so you can better enjoy your later years.

Is There A Dimmer Switch On Your Child’s Health?

Children come to our office typically because their parents are concerned about complaints like ongoing headaches, neck pain, back pain, pain between the shoulder blades, acute pain from falls and sport injuries, poor posture, or concern as to whether their child has scoliosis or some form of spinal misalignment.

Did you know that most children we meet have 8 or more postural imbalances caused by specific misalignments in the spine?

The spinal column is very durable, but is subject to the stresses and strains of our life, and does mis-align. These misalignments can be detected by a Chiropractor in a simple spine and posture exam. Doctors of Chiropractic train for years to detect these tiny imbalances, and its these imbalances that can put damaging stress on the vital nerves of a child’s spine. This nerve stress has been related to many health complaints. Nerve stress acts like a dimmer switch on a lamp, turning the body’s power down. Pain and dysfunction are the symptoms a child’s body expresses when the damage inside gets large enough.

Chiropractors are successful at helping the body overcome these health concerns because we help correct spinal and postural imbalances, reducing nerve pressure, and allowing the body to heal itself, naturally. The most cherished part of my day is how parents’ eyes light up in amazement when they see their child overcome their health concern.

It’s delightful to see how improved spinal alignment can lead to an improved ability to heal and be healthy.
I’d love to help your family!

Written by Dr. Elliot Lysyk, DC

Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy

Many changes occur to a woman’s body throughout pregnancy that can alter pelvic and low back function:

• Protruding abdomen: the center of gravity shifts forward and the low back is hyper-extended
• Altered walking pattern: at end of pregnancy this can become a “waddling” motion
• Hormonal changes: loosen the pelvis so the baby’s head can pass, but also loosens all ligaments in the body

These changes can increase stress on the spinal and pelvic muscles, increase joint stress, create spinal misalignment, and place pressure on delicate nerves. This often results in low back and pelvic pain, possibly radiating into the buttocks and down the legs.

Chiropractic adjustments can help re-establish pelvic balance and spinal alignment, taking pressure off the low back and allowing both the mother and baby to move more freely. Relieving pressure from the nerve roots helps normalize nerve function—allowing the muscles and ligaments of the low back, pelvis, and uterus to relax and providing optimal health for both mother and baby.

All chiropractors have been trained to safely work with pregnant women. Non-forceful treatments are utilized to avoid any unnecessary stress or pressure on the woman’s abdomen. As most pregnant women try to avoid using pain medication during their pregnancy, chiropractic is an excellent alternative treatment for expecting mothers. Finally, as a woman’s body begins to normalize following birth, the spine and pelvis do not always want to re-align properly as the ligaments tighten back up. Chiropractic care during this period can help guide the pelvis and spine into an optimal position, preventing pelvic unlevelling and misalignments which may lead to stress and pain in the future.

written by Dr. Elliot Lysyk, DC

Pain During Pregnancy

One big change a woman’s body goes through when she is pregnant is her center of gravity shifts as the baby grows. This can cause strain to the low back, pelvis, and neck muscles as they compensate for
this shift. These changes can also cause spine and pelvic misalignments, which are not only painful
for Mom, but may also put extra pressure on baby.

As posture changes to carry the weight of the developing baby, many women suffer from low back, pelvis, and neck discomfort. Many do not want to add pain killing drugs to their bodies at this time, and instead seek the help of chiropractic care.

Chiropractic care can help to alleviate the strains on the neck, back and pelvis, allowing a woman’s body to better carry the weight of the baby and decrease discomfort. It can also help to create space for the growing baby by ensuring a more optimal pelvic and tailbone position.

We invite you to contact us to see how chiropractic care can help with pregnancy, or call to make an appointment to see if we can help.

Written by Dr. James Mayne, DC

Moms In Pain

Parenthood is the most important job there is. That’s why it breaks my heart to meet so many mothers who feel unable to give their best due to physical pain and discomfort…

• Mothers whose back pain prevents them from freely picking up their child
• Mothers whose blinding headaches sap them of all energy and turn play-time into a chore
• Mothers whose aches & pains leave them feeling worn-out, irritable and older than they are
• Mothers who worry they’re missing precious moments, distracted by feeling lousy

Chiropractic is very successful at targeting the spinal misalignments that so often cause HEADACHES, NECK PAIN or “CRICKS,” mid-back pain, lower back pain, sciatica, arthritis, and many other health complaints…so that your optimal self (and Mom!) can shine through.
For more information on how Chiropractic healthcare can help our Moms and their precious children, please contact us. We are a family practice and are here to help.

Written by Dr. Elliot Lysyk

Back, Neck, and Hip Pain: Catch it Early!

Spinal pain is often noticed weeks, months, and sometimes years after the underlying problem actually began. Pain is like a ringing fire alarm that is triggered once the nerves are adequately irritated, which sometimes takes years. The key lies in identifying what the underlying problem is—what’s causing the pain. There are dozens of tiny spinal joints in your back and neck. They can become misaligned, or subluxated, by all kinds of stressors: poor posture, falls from playground equipment or down stairs, sport tackles, long hours of sitting, car accidents, and even the birthing process (often called “birth trauma,” and for good reason!).

Spinal inflammation often begins painlessly and is your body’s attempt to heal the irritation. As the inflammation mounts, and more and more damage is done by the grinding pressure of the misalignment, chemicals are released by the surrounding tissue to irritate the nerves for one important reason—to cause the damaged area to hurt so that you become aware of the problem!

Chiropractors are trained in spine, nerve, and joint health. We help by retraining the spine to a more optimal position, freeing nerves and joints of damaging stress so your body can heal properly. If these problems are caught early, years of chronic pain may be avoided. Chiropractor’s often see disillusioned patients who are tired of taking drugs, their tests all clear, and are living in pain not knowing where to turn.

Maybe something is causing the problem that can be overcome.

Written by Dr. Elliot Lysyk