Tag Archives: sciatica

lower back pain shown by Dr. Peever in Mississauga

What do discs in your back hate?

What do discs in your back hate?

As a Chiropractor I see many patients who have injured the discs in their low backs, often times experiencing very painful back pain and sciatica pain.  In this post I cover what a disc is, how Chiropractic can help disc injuries, and how to avoid injuring the discs in your back.

But first…. What do discs hate?

Repetitive bending and prolonged sitting!

(Keep reading more and watch the video to learn why discs hate repetitive pressure and constant poor pressure – or ask Dr. Peever)

What is a disc?

The discs in your back are between the vertebrae (back bones) and all movement between the bones. I sometimes describe them as jelly donuts, as the fluid in the disc can get squished out similarly to a jelly doughnut. When this happens it is called a disc herniation and can be very painful.

What can you do about injured  Discs? Can a Chiropractor help?

Chiropractors work with people who are suffering with disc herniations often to help their bodies recover.  They do this by helping the patient create the best position of the spine for the disc to heal, often times by adjusting the spine into a proper alignment.

Here is a great article showing a person recovering from a severe disc injury with the help of specific chiropractic adjustments.

Improvement in a Patient with Disc Protrusion and Extruded Fragment Following Subluxation Based Chiropractic Care: A Case Study & Selective Review of the Literature

Testimonial from one of our Mississauga Chiropractic patients who suffered from multiple disc herniations and was unable to weight bear or work:

“Pain, mobility, daily functions, mood, hope, painfree.  These are all things we take for granted.  Regular medicines help to get through the critical stages of illness.  We must also work on the cause behind the problem. My Chiropractor has taken me from traditional medicine towards medicine free.  Hope and optimism were given back to me.” – R.KM.

What if my disc herniation is creating sciatica pain down my leg?

The following are excerpts from a research study of Chiropractic manipulation used for helping disc herniation patients.  The study had 102 patients who had disc herniation injuries in their low backs and were suffering from sciatica.

Chiropractic Manipulation in the Treatment of Acute Back Pain and Sciatica with Disc Protrusion: A Randomized Double-blind Clinical Trial of Active and Simulated Spinal Manipulations

“Acute back pain and sciatica are major sources of disability, with impairment of daily living activities.”

“Spinal manipulation is widely used in the treatment of low back pain and sciatica.”

“Active manipulations have more effect than simulated manipulations on pain relief for acute back pain and sciatica with disc protrusion.” –The Chiropractic adjustment had a good pain relieving effect for patients who had sciatica due to a disc injury in their low back.

“At the end of follow-up a significant difference was present between active and simulated manipulations on the percentage of cases becoming pain-free (local pain 28% vs. 6%; radiating pain 55% vs. 20%).” – The patients who were manipulated by the Chiropractor had less local pain and less radiating pain.

“Patients receiving active manipulations enjoyed significantly greater relief of local and radiating acute low back pain, spent fewer days with moderate-to-severe pain, and consumed fewer drugs for the control of pain.”

The authors from this study concluded that Chiropractic spinal manipulations may relieve acute back pain and sciatica with disc protrusion.  We see this often in our Chiropractic clinic in Mississauga.  Patients whose spines are well adjusted have a greater ability to adapt and heal to back injuries such as sciatica and disc herniations.

What if I want to avoid a disc injury in the future?

Ideally, we help people avoid injuring their backs. This requires listening to your body and it does require effort.  Proper maintenance can go a long way. I go through some of the things that discs hate in this presentation I did for the students at CDI College. Take a look and don’t hesitate to contact us at the office about discs in your back.

Here is a video of Dr. Callum Peever presenting on discs:


Transcript of Dr. Peever’s talk on low back discs

Continued from talk to CDI College 2014

Do you know what discs hate?

Prolonged sitting and repetitive bending.

The discs in the back are between the bones. They are like jelly donuts in that they have fluid in them that can shoot out, which is called a herniation. Some people will describe it as a slipped disc. This pressure from the disc on the nerves is very painful and can completely disable you. Lots of people describe this as sciatica as the disc can put pressure on the nerves that make up the Sciatic Nerve.

Sitting still really bothers the disc because the disc needs to move in order to get fluids. If you don’t move it doesn’t get fluids. If you slouch for a long time the disc gets stuck with old ugly jelly.

How do we minimize bad jelly in the spine?

Movement. The more movement that we have through our postures throughout the day, the more often we stand up and down, less injury will come to that disc.

If you have ever had this injury before, you have to do all that you can in the world to keep that disc as strong as possible or else you may be on a cruise ship to the nursing home.

Question –
What is the most amount of time that you can sit still before the problem happens?

Dr Peever – Who has kids? How long can they sit still? Not very long. We learn how to sit still at school, to stop fidgeting. Intuitively, innately, we want to move around and shift. If you can move every 5-10 minutes it will be better for you. Sometimes your job responsibilities can prevent you from moving around so that’s why we need to know ways that we can minimize the impact that these physical stressors have on our body’s health.  Chiropractic is one of those ways to reduce the impact that stress has on your body.

Chiropractic can make sure that those discs are moving as well as possible when you see us. Movement and walking and dancing are great. If you are stuck sitting all day you need to have strategies to minimize the negative health impact of prolonged sitting. Even shifting in the chair will be helpful. A chair that is not too comfortable will cause you to keep shifting your postures all day.  Who has seen those exercise balls? It is not comfortable, but it gets you to move all day.  Moving all day is better than the comfort of sitting still all day.

Question- isn’t that hard?

Dr. Peever- It will be harder. It won’t be easier. All the stuff I am teaching you isn’t easier but it is better for you to live a longer, more active career. That’s a tough thing to grasp. There is much easier ways to live. But taking care of your spine, your nerve system, your brain takes effort. You have to try to stay healthy.

Dr. Callum Peever – Chiropractor in Mississauga at Erin Mills Optimum Health

lower back pain shown by Dr. Peever in Mississauga

Sciatica Improved with Chiropractic

Sciatica Improved with Chiropractic

The case presented in the 2016 research study below resulted in the improvement of a person suffering with sciatica down both legs!

Read excerpts from the research study below.

picture from WolfBlur / Pixabay

Improvement of Bilateral Sciatica Utilizing the Pierce Results System to Reduce Subluxation: A Case Study and Review of the Literature


“A 77-year-old male patient presented to a private chiropractic practice with a complaint of bilateral sciatica after being involved in an automobile accident one-year prior. The sciatica pain was significant and prevented the patient from walking on his own for more than four steps at a time. The patient reported co-morbidities of diabetes, depression and constipation. He had never been to a chiropractor before this visit.”


“The examination resulted in the diagnosis of lumbalgia, cervicalgia, thoracalgia, lumbosacral nerve root disorder and sciatica.”


“After 11 visits spanning 1 ½ months, the patient was re-examined. Symptomatically, the patient stated that his sciatica pain was significantly reduced. He also reported moderately less pain and more endurance while walking.”

This patient suffered for almost 1 year before he sought chiropractic care for his back problem.  Within 1.5 months, this patient was in less pain and was walking with much greater e

fficiency!  Imagine if he hadn’t waited so long to seek chiropractic care!
-Dr. Callum Peever, Chiropractor in Mississauga at Erin Mills Optimum Health


“The case presented in this study resulted in structural correction of the sacrum and its positional relationship with the lower lumbar vertebrae. There was also evidence of autonomic nervous system regulation as shown via improved thermography scans. Kinematic and articular biomechanical improvements were identified using videofluoroscopy, and sciatica symptoms were markedly reduced.”

piriformis syndrome discussed using muscle picture

Chiropractic can help with piriformis syndrome in Mississauga

Chiropractic can help with Piriformis Syndrome in Mississauga

We see many patients present to our office recently with a diagnosis of piriformis syndrome from their medical doctor (or from WebMD). Possibly due to the sitting culture that we have or due to the awareness of piriformis syndrome it is much more common to hear patients commenting on it than previously.

What does piriformis syndrome feel like?

Piriformis syndrome usually hurts in the butt towards one foot. The leg pain is due to pressure on the sciatic nerve directly or indirectly from the piriformis muscle. The pain has also been theorized to originate from trigger points in the piriformis muscle.

What is the piriformis muscle?

The piriformis muscle is a muscle that attaches from the sacrum to the femur. It supports the pelvis and allows for rotation of the leg.

The sciatic nerve exits the pelvis directly under (or through) the piriformis muscle which makes it susceptible to being irritated by the muscle.

piriformis syndrome discussed using muscle picture

How can a Chiropractor help with piriformis syndrome?

Because the piriformis muscle attaches to the sacrum (pelvis) and femur, by specifically adjusting the pelvis it allows the muscle to reflexively reset. This allows the muscle to reach towards normal muscle tone again and leads towards healing the area.

Since the sciatic nerve arises in the spine before exiting the pelvis, by also reducing any irritation on the sciatic nerve it can be beneficial to healing.  This is done through specific chiropractic adjustments to encourage proper function of the spine and to reduce nerve interference on the nerves comprising the sciatic nerve.

What are some other names for piriformis syndrome?

Piriformis syndrome is a specific form of sciatica pain (pain down the leg from the back / butt) that tries to describe the structures involved.  Some other names that people may hear when they are experiencing this pain are:

It is my clinical opinion as a Chiropractor that usually multiple components are affected when the “piriformis syndrome” is actively painful. Because of how interconnected the body is you can’t have one part malfunctioning without the function of other body parts being involved. That is why as a Chiropractor I will check and adjust not only the piriformis area, but also the sciatic nerve areas of the pelvis, hip, and spine.

What stretches target the piriformis muscle?

There are also stretches that can be taught to help address the tightness of a person’s piriformis muscle. These stretches can cause the piriformis muscle to clamp down harder on the sciatic nerve so it is best to discuss them with your chiropractor.

The stretch involves lying on your back with your feet flat on the floor. Then put on foot on the other knee to create a “figure four” with your legs. With light pressure on your rotated knee you will feel the stretch in your “butt”, or your piriformis. If pain is spreading down your leg it is definitely too much pressure on your sciatic nerve.

Because of the whole area being involved when someone suffers from piriformis syndrome, patients are usually taught to stretch out the hip flexors as well. The hip flexor is usually felt along the front of the hip when stretched. Keep the target foot behind you when standing and lunge slightly forward until you feel the stretch in the front of your hip. To ensure that you are stretching properly, ask you chiropractor for more detailed advice.

What behaviours are good for a person suffering from piriformis sydrome?

1. Try not to sit for prolonged periods of time if you are suffering from piriformis syndrome.

2. Walking (if possible) can help get motion through the hip, pelvis, spine, and piriformis.

3. Gentle hip motion while sitting or standing can also help encourage motion through the area safely.

4. Chiropractic check up is essential if suffering or beginning to suffer from piriformis sydrome.

5. Stretching the piriformis muscle regularly if tightness in this area tends to be a recurring problem for you.

What else can I read about Piriformis Syndrome?

Check out this article on Piriformis Syndrome or ask your Chiropractor for more info. Above all, get a specific chiropractic checkup to encourage proper function and to reduce the nerve interference through the piriformis!:

It is an article from 1999 but it highlights many case studies regarding piriformis syndrome. Many of the studies are very extreme examples. Realize that the majority of patients suffering from piriformis syndrome respond very quickly to specific chiropractic adjustments. Learning how to avoid the recurrence of the syndrome is the trick which requires encourage and support from your chiropractor and effort on your part!

Piriformis syndrome: an annotated bibliography (pdf 1.08 MB)

“One theory is that trauma sustained to the piriformis mus-
cle creates an inflammatory response, causing the muscle
and fascia to swell, compressing the sciatic nerve (3, 6, 8,
9, 10, 17). Another theory is that the symptoms are pro-
duced by a myofascial trigger point in the piriformis mus-
cle, also secondary to trauma (4, 12, 14, 20, 21). A unique
theory proposed by Sterner et. al. is that patients’ symp-
toms are a result of a chemical epineurial irritation (22).” – Piriformis syndrome: An annotated bibliography

Here to help,

Dr. Callum Peever, Chiropractor in Mississauga at Erin Mills Optimum Health