How Chiropractic Helps Sciatica

The sciatic nerve runs from the spine down your leg, stemming from 5 vertebral levels in your low back. This nerve can become pinched in a variety of ways, causing pain to shoot through the buttock and down the leg. Many people also experience low-back pain alongside their sciatic pain.

A thorough Chiropractic exam can reveal where the nerve is being pinched. If the pain has become chronic, or relapses several times, I like to take a standing x-ray of the low back to examine the tiny spaces between the vertebrae where the nerves exit from the spine. Spinal misalignments are a main cause of sciatic pain. Understanding and treating these imbalances can successfully relieve this condition.

Once the pain resolves, I like to teach patients home care exercises, such as core stability, so that the chance of it returning drops substantially. As an added bonus, improving low-back alignment helps more than just back pain and sciatica. It’s common for patients to comment on improved digestion and leg strength, which are also controlled by the nerves in the low back.

Written by Dr. Elliot Lysyk, DC

Active Okanagan: Why a chiropractor in Vernon?

I chose to be a Chiropractor in Vernon largely because of its amazing lifestyle, a lifestyle that attracts people from all walks of life: young families with kids, retirees, athletes, and regular people trying to make a living while enjoying life to the fullest. As a Vernon Chiropractor, this translates into a wide range of health conditions that I can help people overcome.

ID-100138179Many Vernon folks are quite active. They head to Silverstar or Sovereign for downhill and cross-country skiing. They rock-climb, hike, cycle and cliff-dive in Kalamalka Provincial Park. They hit Kal Beach or Kin Beach for swimming, boating and water sports. In Vernon’s great outdoors they reconnect to nature—back-country backpacking, camping, or zipping around on ATVs, snowmobiles and dirt bikes. And Vernon’s adrenaline junkies might find themselves parasailing, paragliding and sky-diving, or enjoying Canada’s best hang-gliding conditions right next door in Lumby. Everywhere you turn, there are activities and pleasures to be enjoyed.

I, too, am drawn to many of these activities, but I’m the first to admit that they can cause stress and injury on the nerve system. As a Chiropractic Doctor, my job is to help my patients’ bodies and spines withstand life’s common stresses and injuries so they can enjoy Vernon’s luxuries as much as possible.  Chiropractic care, massage therapy, spinal decompression therapy, acupuncture, counselling, physiotherapy, reiki, aromatherapy, a weight loss center, and a beautiful yoga studio are all available to help catapult your health, healing, and athletic performance to new heights!

I have built an extensive wellness centre, with many health practitioners and therapies, to help my adventurous community be at its best and make the most of this lifestyle. I feel that this is what life is all about!

Dr. Elliot Lysyk, DC

“Uncomplicated” Low Back Pain?

“Uncomplicated” low back pain is a medical diagnosis for the presence of low back pain, without pain radiating into the leg (no nerve deficits). Unfortunately, this diagnosis doesn’t really tell the patient anything other than that they have low back pain, which, I’m pretty certain, they already know!

“Uncomplicated” low back pain is usually treated with anti-inflammatory or pain-killing medication, in hopes that the pain can be masked long enough for it to somehow subside on its own. The term may mislead some patients into thinking that it’s no big deal. Yet it’s been estimated that one out of three people will develop osteoarthritis in their spine that will end up causing disability. Largely, this disabling arthritis is the end result of a wear-and-tear process related to the spinal imbalance that is initially felt in earlier years as “uncomplicated” back pain. The truth is that there is nothing “uncomplicated” about finding the cause of the spinal irritation.

When the spine becomes painful, it’s usually indicative of an underlying problem. Chronic low back pain later in life usually begins as minor episodes of low back pain earlier in life. The more it is brushed under the carpet with medication, the more damage is done over time, increasing the likelihood of future “complicated” pain that can become chronic.

Chiropractors are experts with joint and spine health.  We are trained to find postural imbalances caused by tiny spinal misalignments that irritate nerves and cause pain.  Maybe we can help?

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

What Is Posture and Why Is It Important?

Your posture is like the window into your spine. It is a measure of the balance of your spinal column, which is the core of your body. From the front, your spine should have perfect vertical alignment. From the side, your spine should have three flowing curves, all helping to support the weight of your body. In this balanced, symmetrical position, your spine houses the spinal cord, a vital nerve tract extending from your brain that acts as an intelligence line for your whole body. The proper function of this cord is paramount to excellent health.

You see, disease results when your brain and body lose communication. Your body’s cells become dysfunctional and confused when this vital communication is tampered with. Although the protection of your delicate spinal cord (by your spinal bones) creates a magnificent barrier to stress, the spinal bones can slip out of alignment, slowly compressing it overtime. If this happens, vital nerve messages from your brain become trapped and the cells that should have received them become chaotic. A “dis-ease” process is set in motion and, eventually, pain results.

If these misalignments of the vertebrae aren’t corrected in time, the cells of your body suffer. The normal programs of healing and repair that run through your nerves can no longer talk to your cells. Also, the vertebrae themselves begin to disintegrate and decay in a process commonly called osteo-arthritis. Arthritis happens in the areas of your spine that are misaligned. I have seen this in thousands of patients where I have taken x-rays to determine where the spinal imbalance stems from. The chance of arthritis forming in areas of your spine that maintain appropriate alignment is rare. So, quite simply, if you want to prevent the early onset of osteo-arthritis of the spine and other unfortunate disease states, ensure that your spine maintains its alignment and your nervous system is free of damaging interference.

Chiropractors are spinal specialists. We are trained to detect the subtle spinal imbalances that lead to nerve dysfunction.  Interestingly, these imbalances can be easily seen in your posture. Have you ever noticed someone who has a higher shoulder, or a head that sticks out like a goose?  Spinal misalignments weaken your spine and set the stage for poor posture. Also, sitting with poor posture can cause the spine to further misalign, compounding the problem. A well-aligned spine, on the other hand, creates excellent posture. Regular Chiropractic checkups and spinal adjustments ensure your spine is free of this damaging stress and allow your nerves to be healthy and strong. Visit your Chiropractor today!

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

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.


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

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