Chiropractic and Acupuncture Help Sciatica

Hip and Back Pain Doctor Chapel Hill, NC

Sciatica occurs when there is compression of the lengthy nerve extending from the lumbar spine to the hip, down to the knee and foot. Irritation of this sciatic nerve usually affects the body unilaterally at the start, but, as symptoms worsen both sides of the body suffer. The disabling symptoms of sciatica affect many daily activities such as: walking, sitting, driving, many forms of exercise and even sleeping. The leg and hip and foot ankle complex may feel numb and tingly, or sharp pain may extend from the back to these regions of the lower extremity. Chiropractic and acupuncture at the office of Dr. Lisa Oskardmay can help sciatica sufferers overcome the pain and problems of sciatica that make it hard to walk and rest. Dr. Oskardmay has over 25 years of experience helping Triangle residents suffering from sciatica and other conditions. Using gentle effective therapies such as chiropractic adjustments and acupuncture meridian therapy, she can help you, too. Read more to learn how chiropractic and acupuncture help sciatica.

Causes of Sciatica

People of all ages can experience sciatica symptoms, although it afflicts older persons more than younger ones. About 40% of our population experiences sciatica at some time, causing serious pain and disability. Common activities that cause sciatica include lifting or twisting and pulling, and sciatica pain can occur suddenly. Dr. Oskardmay will perform a comprehensive physical exam to determine how best to treat and prevent episodes of sciatic pain.

The sciatic nerve is a bundle of nerves that start in the lower lumbar spine segments. The sciatic nerve passes through the hip under the piriformis muscle, before going to the rest of the lower extremity- thigh, knee, calf and foot. Pressure or irritation of the sciatic nerve caused by herniated spinal segments in the lower lumbar spine will adversely affect the nerve, hip and lower extremity. Other causes of sciatica include vertebral or hip subluxation and imbalance causing muscle and nerve inflammation along the nerve pathway. Dr. Oskardmay will provide treatment that helps reduce the pain and disability caused by sciatica.

Another possible cause of sciatic pain is piriformis syndrome. This painful condition results from irritation of the relatively small piriformis muscle in the hip. Inflammation in this area causes pain that can radiate from the hips to the back of the leg. Using good examination that may include xray and other diagnostics, Dr. Oskardmay can help you understand if the pain relates to the back or the piriformis muscle and provide beneficial treatments. Both chiropractic and acupuncture can provide helpful relief from sciatic symptoms.

A trained chiropractic physician and licensed acupuncturist, Dr. Oskardmay will mobilize the spine and connected areas, and apply beneficial massage as needed to restore painfree mobility and improve posture. She will evaluate meridian imbalance and use acupuncture and dry needling trigger point acupuncture where needed to balance muscle and meridians. Most patients feel better in a few visits and feel more relaxed and comfortable with the drug-free approach.

If you or a loved one experience back pain with leg, knee or ankle pain, Dr. Oskardmay can help. Alternative healing methods of chiropractic and acupuncture in combination with massage and exercise have helped thousands of Triangle residents and they can help you too. Call (919) 929-1400, email or visit our website to schedule your appointment today.

Storms Affect Arthritis

How does weather affect pain levels?  Many people say that they can tell when a storm is coming on because their arthritis flares up. Studies show that a 10 degree drop in temperature creates a commensurate increase in pain levels. A drop in barometric pressure makes people more physically uncomfortable. When it rains or humidity levels are high people also experience more pain. Arthritis can feel worse around the time a storm is brewing because factors that disturb the weather outside also increase inflammation in your body. Cold constricts already damaged joint surfaces causing more friction, humidity causes more swelling of already swollen areas and decreased barometric pressure irritates joints and muscles.

Arthritis is defined as painful inflammation and stiffness of the joints. A rheumatic condition, arthritis is associated with many things:  heredity and genetics, viruses, wear and tear, diet, immune system function, and stress. Joints affected may be widespread or limited to specific areas such as the hands, hips, feet, or back. Blood test markers such as ESR (erythrocyte sedimentation rate) or CRP (C reactive protein) to measure inflammation will be elevated in arthritis. While stormy weather may make you want to stay in bed and eat comfort food, this may not be the best approach to reduce pain and inflammation.

When pain intrudes it is important to remember to move your body to reduce stagnation of systems that heal you. Prepare in advance to include a bit of movement in your daily plan on stormy days. This can include walking around the house, attending to chores, or venturing outside if weather permits. Movement will mobilize tissues, detoxify, and warm the body.

If cold worsens pain, try to stay warm. Wear warm clothes and socks and shoes in cold environments. If you can get to one, an infrared sauna can be very healing. A warm Epsom salt bath can deep heat your muscles, joints, and bones to reduce arthritis pain. Warmth will reduce cold in the body and help to detoxify.

When the weather is bad, eating well can improve your mood and mental state and reduce pain. To reduce inflammation, try to eat more naturally occurring fruits and vegetables which will provide you with lots of fiber and vitamin C and A to heal your joints and reduce swelling. Drink warm tea to reduce inflammation and warm the interior.  Increase the consumption of healthy proteins and fats, especially Omega 3 rich fish and flax oil to help improve the inflammation fighting Omega3:Omega 6 ratio.

As always, it is a good idea to drink adequate water throughout the day. Drink water rather than sodas, fruit juices, or alcohol to keep arthritis pain levels down. Especially avoid artificially sweetened beverages using aspartame as these increase inflammation in the body. Stevia is a better choice for non-sugar sweetener.

Chiropractic adjustments to the spine and extremities can help reduce pain and inflammation and acupuncture treatments to the meridians and channels of the body are supportive therapies if you need additional help. These healing treatments can keep arthritis flare ups at bay for the long run.

While preparing for stormy weather keep these tips in mind to help you survive any weather related event. Arthritis may help you predict an oncoming storm, but it doesn’t have to incapacitate you.


Electro acupuncture shown to stimulate stem cell production and release in the body.

Stem cell therapy is a fairly new, but increasingly widely used medical treatment for many conditions. Promise using stem cell injections has been shown for rotator cuff repair, knee tendonitis, Parkinsonism and even Type 1 diabetes.  Stem cells derived from the recipient’s own body or another source are injected into specific regions to promote tissue regrowth and repair- stem cells then attach and rebuild missing or damaged tissue. While not FDA approved, the treatment holds promise and clinics are moving forward to provide such treatments. Nonethless, there are dangers and risks associated with this new treatment.

The human body utilizes stem cells naturally to heal itself in virtually every organ, muscle, ligament is contains. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could increase our own healing response internally using stem cells our body already makes?

In the NIH grant funded medical journal Stem Cells Journal (May 2017) (, its authors show that electro-acupuncture applied to specific points in the body stimulates significant release of stem cells by action of the hypothalamus. Release of stem cells may provide another reason why acupuncture treatment helps improve healing for such conditions as arthritis and asthma.  With the production of stem cells occuring in ones own body, this may obviate the need for harvesting and injection of stem cells back onto the body, a costly and potentially more dangerous route than allowing the body to use its own resources, stimulated by electroacupuncture.

People who receive acupuncture frequently experience healing on several levels. Stimulation of pluripotent stem cells may be one mechanism of action.


Chiropractic care is holistic care.

Most patients coming into a chiropractic office do so to reduce musculo-skeletal pain. Pain is a great motivator and educator; but the chiropractic adjustment does more than just reduce pain; used correctly, the spinal adjustment will improve health on many levels.  Since our nervous system  controls every aspect of the body- from muscles to organs to balance to mentation- the chiropractic adjustment has the potential to improve health, not just reduce pain.

A spinal adjustment is designed to mobilize subluxated spinal segments using specifically applied hands-on or mechanical means. The spine is an extension of the nervous system- bony vertebra protect the spinal cord while serving as attachments to muscles and ligaments to support the body. The healthy spine and nervous system support posture and daily activities without derangement- we normally don’t think about it much until something goes wrong.

The chiropractic examination involves the following procedures:  History, Inspection, Vitals, Palpation, Range of Motion active and passive, Orthopedic testing, Neurological exam, and Imaging. This complete exam provides insight into the condition of the spine- just like when you go to the dentist and have your teeth examined or go to the GP and have blood work performed, an annual chiropractic exam can alert you to the presence of spinal derangement early.  When a subluxation is detected, specific mobilization to that segment can be applied to correct it, thus reducing the local symptoms as well as the far-reaching implications of impaired nerve input to internal organs, muscles and ligaments.

When your spine and spinal cord are healthy, you are able to stand tall with improved strength and awareness. Schedule your annual exam today to take the next steps toward a healthier you- inside and out.

Serving the communities of Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Durham, Hillsborough, and the rest of the NC Triangle

205 Providence Rd. Chapel Hill NC 27514 | Phone: (919) 929-1400

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