Tag Archives: alternative therapy tampa

Sciatica Pain- How to get relief! Part 1

Helping those suffering from a pinched sciatic nerveWhen I was in massage school, we were taught that sciatica (shooting nerve pain that travels down the back of the leg) was most often caused by a tight hip rotator muscle called the piraformis ( a muscle in the gluteal region of the lower limb).  The piraformis connects our tailbone (or sacrum) to the top of our femur (or leg bone) and when contracted or when the muscle constricts, pulls the leg and knee to the side away from the body, opening the hip. Since this muscle crosses over the sciatic nerve, if it is overly contracted then it can pinch the nerve and cause pain. If someone came in complaining of sciatica pain, we would release their piraformis during the session using several techniques including structural bodywork and cranial rebalancing.

In these sessions, the piraformis release “hurts good” at the time of the session but the clients often don’t receive lasting benefits from this release. A tight piraformis does not live on its own; it often a symptom of an imbalanced structure. Though we can get the piraformis to release and let go, this is not done within a session where all the muscles of the hips contributing to a pattern are also released so the body can find a new way to balance more efficiently. If the muscles don’t release then the body will often return back to the starting pattern and sciatica pain returns. Addressing pain as a symptom of structural issues is our objective at Surgical Alternative. We utilize SET Bodywork and CranioStructural techniques to release the muscles and rebalance the body.

This became very clear to once, we started to study structural approaches to pain rehabilitation. The piraformis, we discovered, is certainly not the only culprit to sciatica pain. Determining how to most effectively address this issue depends on adequate evaluation of the body’s structure. This is way we first visually assess the structure by observing the client standing so their weight-bearing structure emerges. Almost every client we have seen reporting a painful condition presents an imbalance in the pelvis with one side rotating forward and one rotating backward.

Although massage has been around for hundreds of years we are still discovering the power the body and mind having in the healing process.  We have seen and lived this process with many of our clients, that is why we feel very fortunate and excited to do what we love to do, help others that are suffering from herniated discs, bulging discs, peripheral nerve damage, degenerative disk disease, nerve entrapments, sciatic nerve issues and many more symptoms that people think they either have to have surgery for or are told they just have to deal with the pain.  At www.surgicalalternative.com we can help!  Check back for Part II

Herniated Discs- Cause/Treatment?

Herniated discs can cause painMany patients complaining about back pain, leg pain, or other weakness of the lower extremity muscles can be diagnosed with herniated discs. Herniated discs occurs when the cushion that sits between the spinal vertebra is moved outside its normal position. The pain caused by a herniated disc occurs because the spinal nerves are very close to the edge of spinal discs. As the spinal disc becomes less elastic, it can rupture. When the disc ruptures, a portion of the spinal disc pushes outside its normal boundary causing herniated discs. When a herniated disc bulges the spinal cords, nerves can become pinched. Normally there is a little extra space around the spinal cord and spinal nerves, but when the herniated disc is pushed out of place, these structures compress. When herniated discs rupture it begins to pinch the nerves. Herniated discs can be caused suddenly by such things as a fall or an accident, or can occur over time with repetitive strain put on the spine.  Herniated discs occur when the space for the nerves is further diminished, and irritation of the nerve results. Common symptoms of a herniated disc include:

  • Pressure on the nerve can cause abnormal sensations, commonly experienced as electric shock pains. When the compression occurs in the cervical (neck) region, the shocks go down your arms, when the compression is in the lumbar (low back) region, the shocks go down your legs.
  • Patients often have abnormal sensations such as tingling, numbness, or pins and needles. These symptoms may be experienced in the same region as painful electric shock sensations.
  • Because of the nerve irritation, signals from the brain may be interrupted causing muscle weakness. Nerve irritation can also be tested by examining reflexes.

All of these symptoms are due to the irritation of the nerve from the herniated discs. All of these symptoms can be caused by a herniated discs pressing against the nerves.

While some herniated discs may require surgery, very often they can be treated through non-surgical means. The cranial and structural bodywork we perform at Surgical Alternative has been effective at treating herniated discs. Our goals is to help some of those people that suffer from these and many other painful conditions.   For more information or to read other testimonials and blogs Check US OUT!


“Avoid surgery. Eradicate Pain.” by Mike Matthew

Pain FreeAvoid surgery.  Eradicate pain.

by Mike Matthew

special to The Laker

Peggy Boyd, owner of Surgical Alternative, has found a way to end pain without costly and traumatic surgical procedures.  “My work goes far beyond massage therapy,” says Peggy.  “A better term for my work would be structural therapy.”

She graduated from massage therapy school in 1998 and started out doing sports massage.  Her work moved to a whole new level as she began to learn neuromuscular methods.  She saw significant results as she focused on rehabilitative massage.

“I began to see lasting changes in people’s bodies, in their posture and in their attitude toward their daily life,” says Peggy.  “Their quality of life improved as their pain was gone as a result of our work.”

“I want to help people eliminate pain, not just temporarily as is often what happens with standard massage therapy,” says Peggy.  “I want to get to the source of the problem and rehabilitate it.  Then the pain will go away long-term.”

“We want people to know this type of therapy exists,” says Peggy.  “We can help people avoid extreme physical actions like surgery.  This type of therapy also works well in conjunction with other non-invasive therapies like chiropractic, physical therapy, acupuncture, etc.”

The therapy as Surgical Alternative is designed to help people before they need surgery.  They also recognize that sometimes surgery is necessary.  This therapy can help clients recuperate faster, reduce their pain after surgery and help them get back to a normal range of motion pain-free.

“My focus is on rehabilitative work, helping people with injuries, and with those who want to prevent problems,” says Peggy.  “We pride ourselves on educating our clients about their bodies and helping them to see how their routines may be contributing to their painful conditions.”

Repetitive use injuries is a big problem they see all the time.  The therapists at Surgical Alternative help their clients understand where the source of their pain really is coming from.  The cause of their pain is not necessarily where the symptoms show up.

“We take the time to understand our clients lifestyle and work routines which often contribute greatly to their condition,” says Peggy.  “We can reverse many conditions without surgery.”

“Call us and make us explain to you how we can help release your pain,” says Peggy.

“We also see clients who fall between the cracks,” says Peggy.  “The doctor can’t find anything wrong, but the pain is real.  We can help clients find the source of the problem and release the pain long term rather than simply masking it with unnecessary medications.”  An example of this is hip pain.  Many times it is tightened muscles that are keeping a person’s structure out of balance. This improper alignment can cause uneven wearing at the joints resulting in pain.

Surgical Alternative offers packages as well as a monthly maintenance program for those who want to keep their body balanced.  Their typical session is 90 minutes and cost $120.  Peggy has been in business for 12 years and at her current location for a little under 4 years.  They have clients as young as 6 years of age and some well into their 90’s.  “We see everyone from triathletes with plantar fasciitis, to the person whom has lost range of motion and thinks that their body should not feel like this,” says Peggy.

Peggy and her staff want to help people get beyond merely existing and into truly living.

They’re having an open house on Saturday, August 2nd from 10 am to 4 pm.  They will also be celebrating the grand opening of their new store, Upward Spiral, where they’ll be offering products to support health and healing.  They’ll have product samples for you and giveaways too.

Surgical Alternative is located at 17886 N. US Highway 41 in Lutz.  You can reach them by phone at 813-948-6300 or visit their website at www.SurgicalAlternative.com to learn more or schedule an appointment.

How come Grandma can “FEEL” a storm coming?

storm-headache

The next time you watch the weather forecast, notice the barometric pressure. Numbers such as 30.04 will be followed by “rising,” “falling,” or “steady.” Typically, when a low pressure front is coming, it signals not only a change in the weather, but a drop in the barometric pressure, which is pressure against the Earth’s atmosphere. Remember when Grandma would say, “Rain’s coming, and I can feel it in my joints?” She actually knew this because of what happens to our bodies when the barometric pressure changes.

That means that the pressure against your body drops as well, and your joints and areas that are injured can begin to swell. This swelling causes increased inflammation, and we require hormones to deal with this increased activity in our bodies. Increased use of these hormones can cause them to deplete.

We have, nestled atop each kidney, a small gland that produces both adrenaline and cortisone. These two hormones help us with energy, mood, immune function, pain management and the famous “Flight or Fight” response. The steroid cortisone is fundamental in managing pain, immune function and energy. When cortisone levels drop, pain level and illness increase. Adrenaline is famous for energy and strength.

Did you ever notice how your cold or pain gets worse at night? That’s because our bodies slow production of both adrenaline and cortisone in the evening so we can go to sleep. It’s part of our circadian rhythm. The downside is the fact that we don’t have these hormones that help us feel better, either. So, our cough gets worse, and our pain goes through the roof.

Something similar happens when a storm is coming. Did you ever know someone who could “smell” snow or rain before it came? What they “smell” is a change in the electrical charge in the air. It’s been described as a “metallic” smell. All atoms have either a positive or negative charge so they can bind to form molecules. As the barometer falls, the positive charge, or “ions” increase which causes a depletion of cortisone in the body. This happens to all creatures that have adrenal glands—in other words, all mammals.

People who are chronically stressed either physically or emotionally may experience weather changes more acutely. The elderly will experience it more acutely as well, as their bodies don’t have the ability to overcome these changes as easily as they did when they were younger. Because of our dependency on caffeine, we drink another cup of coffee, eat chocolate or sip tea in order to suppress fatigue that signals a drop in pressure, but don’t understand why our knees hurt more. There’s only so much cortisone produced daily unless we take medicines or drugs that increase this steroid. Unfortunately, doing so, on a chronic basis, can kill you. Think about the athletes who have died of chronic steroid use after their heart gives out.

So what can we do to manage this, aside from moving to southern California? Well, depending on the problem, whether it is pain, mood, or energy, there may be a solution. If the problem is simply energy, then we are warned to stay away from simple carbohydrates such as sugar, starches, and junk food. Eat foods that will sustain you and not bring the “crash” you feel after that morning doughnut. Don’t assume that caffeine is the answer, either. Consult a nutritionist if you need to come up with ideas for controlling simple energy problems.

Chronic pain, chronic fatigue and depression all present unique challenges. They all can be affected by nutrition, exercise, sunlight and barometric pressure, as well as by chemical imbalances. It is not a good idea to self-diagnose and self-treat when there may be medical problems causing these fluctuations in mood, energy and pain. But once diagnosed by a professional, there are things that we can do to improve our response to the environment.

Chronic pain can respond to pain management techniques. To be effective, though, these techniques require daily practice. Choices include relaxation or hypnosis techniques, biofeedback, acupuncture, acupressure, Reiki, massage, chiropractic, and aquatherapy. You may have to try several before you find one that you like and that works well for you.

Chronic fatigue still is poorly understood, although it can have a profound effect on mood. Diet, particularly the avoidance of carbohydrates, can help.

Depression has been described as a “chemical imbalance” but that is only part of the story. There are theories of genetics or the environment, such as family influence, prenatal care, or biohazard exposure. It also can be a manifestation of electrical problems in the brain, and that can be treated with neurofeedback. But the barometric pressure can have a profound effect on mood as well. How we interpret changes in our mood will have major effects on the mood itself. For instance, if we interpret a simple burst of adrenaline as anxiety, then we may have a panic attack. If we are tired from a long week, we can see this as depression rather than a body that just needs a rest.

Can Grandma predict the weather? Yes, sometimes she can, especially if she has arthritis or bursitis. Most of us don’t need a sophisticated meteorologist’s maps and predictions to know if we are hurting. But perhaps we can take measures to diminish the impact that an impending storm may have on us. We can eat properly, exercise, avoid the negative effects of drugs or alcohol, and use pain management techniques to control the chronic pain. Beware, however, of rebound pain that we can experience the day after “extra” doses of pain meds, whether they are for a bad back, joint or muscle pain, or a headache. The pain often can be as bad or worse the next day because of withdrawal from the medicines taken the day before.

Consult a professional about your mood, pain, or energy. Help can be simply a phone call away. You can check on the Internet as well. For chronic pain, Google the type of pain you have and look at professional websites such as The American Chronic Pain Association or The American Council for Headache Education. For more information about neurofeedback, visit www.eeginfo.com.

« Older Entries