Diagnosing Sciatica

Make no mistake: The most important thing you can do to end your sciatic nerve pain is to get a proper diagnosis. This is made difficult by the sheer number of conditions that can cause sciatica, ranging from structural to non-structural, the obscure to the obfuscated. At Family Chiropractic & Spinal Health Care Center, we seek to make the picture clear. We are concerned with providing you the most accurate diagnosis possible, based on a personal examination, medical history and all factors pertaining to your pain. We can determine if the root cause of your sciatic nerve pain is related to one or multiple of the following conditions:

  • Herniated discs
  • Vertebral subluxation
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Piriformis Syndrome
  • Spondylolisthesis

These are primarily structural conditions that often occur through no fault of the afflicted person.  We can also determine if the pain is non-spinal, created by unhealthy habits or ignorance of the condition. Poor posture, lack of exercise and obesity can all create pain in the sciatic nerve. Sciatic pain in pregnancy is common, due to the added weight of the baby creating undue strain on the spine.

The most basic service we offer is knowledge of the condition and extensive experience in treating its causes. Once we successfully verify the root cause of your sciatic pain, we can move forward with a program that involves manual therapy, massage and exercise. We want to make you comfortable with the treatment we offer and encourage your participation in the rehabilitation of your spine. If you are suffering from sciatica in in the Ramsey or Passaic areas, give our offices a call. Our Passaic office can be reached at (973) 471-9585 and our Ramsey office at (201) 995-9900.

Dr. Moe Abtahi, D.C.  

Fighting Back Against Sciatica

sciatica pain

Sciatica is a common impingement syndrome, with various causes and degrees of pain. Essentially, the sciatic nerve, which happens to be the largest nerve in the human body, becomes pinched. The symptoms associated with sciatica can range from cramp-like irritation and numbing in the buttocks and legs, to sharp and shooting pain throughout the leg and lower extremities.

As it can be caused by a multitude of factors, it is essential to get a proper diagnosis of the cause of your sciatica. We will begin with a series of diagnostic tests to determine the cause and severity of your condition. We can determine whether the pain is caused by disc herniation, piriformis syndrome, spinal misalignment, or simple things like sitting with a wallet in your back pocket that can put unnecessary pressure on the nerve.

Once an accurate diagnostic picture is achieved, we prescribe a course of action to scale back the pain by treating the underlying cause. We will treat the affected area with regular spinal adjustments, helping to recover lost mobility and encourage the nervous system to resume a natural schedule of healing. We also offer massage that targets specific points in order to relieve pain. Trigger point therapy and hip stretches can synergize with chiropractic adjustment to effectively, safely treat your sciatica. 

Impingement syndromes like sciatica need to be taken seriously if they are affecting your overall quality of life. If you are suffering from pain in the legs or want to find out more information about sciatica, come talk to us at Family Chiropractic & Spinal Health Care Center. We can be reached at  (201) 995-9900 in Ramsey and (973) 471-9585 in Passaic.  We will get you on the road to health and a pain free life.

Dr. Moe Abtahi, D.C.

What makes a herniated disc worse?

Here are some every day things that can be avoided, but will aggravate your injury. If you are in the midst of a herniated disc injury or are on the road to recovery, it is important to be aware of your posture.

Avoid soft furniture that you will sink into, or furniture that sits low to the ground. It may look ultimately comfortable and inviting, but it is not offering any support for you spine and is actually encouraging an unnatural positioning of the body that will harm you in the long run.

Sleeping on your stomach is very hard on the spine and its associated muscles. If you must do it, use an extremely soft pillow or no pillow at all to avoid raising the neck at an angle.

Addressing inactivity

If possible, when standing in the same position for long periods of time, alternate putting each foot up on a stool or box every few minutes.

If sitting for a long period of time, use a footrest or stool to keep the knees above a little above the hips.


For avid gym-goers, avoid the following exercises while in the healing process for a herniated disc:

  • Weightlifting
  • Leg presses
  • Twisting exercises

All of these can aggravate the problem. Instead, focus on these exercises:

  • Core-strengthening
  • Aerobic exercise
  • Stretching and flexibility exercises that help to relieve pressure on nerves.

These are exercises that offer benefit to everyone suffering from back-related conditions, and those who are looking to strengthen the back muscles. At Family Chiropractic & Spinal Health Care Center in New Jersey, we can show you exactly how these exercises treat the herniated disc injury. Let’s talk today: Call our Passaic office at (973) 471-9585 or our Ramsey office at (201) 995-9900.

Dr. Moe Abtahi, D.C.


Nutrition and Herniated Discs

nutrition and food

Good spinal health begins with good nutrition. No matter the degree of pain you are experiencing, providing your body with good nutrients is a simple and overlooked way that you can make a positive difference in your spinal health. At Family Chiropractic & Spinal Health Care Center, we can help you maximize the efficiency of your daily diet to help in the prevention and healing of spine-related conditions. Today I will go more in depth on the anatomy of herniated discs and how proper nutrition can help you on the road to healing.

Spinal discs are composed of 2 layers: the outer layer called annulus fibrosus, is made up of several layers of strong collagen fibers, designed for durability. The inner layer, called the nucleus pulposus is composed of loose fibers that allow for movement; this is responsible for the shock absorption that allows your spine its range of movement. When herniation occurs, the annulus fibrosus cracks or splits, allowing the nucleus pulposus to leak out and push against the weakened area. If this bulge is significant enough, it will put pressure on the nearby spinal nerve. This is what causes discomfort and pain to those who are suffering from herniated discs.

If disc herniation begins with the cracking of the annulus fibrosus, a structure composed of cartilaginous material, we want to focus on nutrients that support healthy cartilage. Here are some nutrients you can incorporate into your diet to support the natural healing of a herniated disc.

Foods and supplements to consider:

  • Vitamin C: forms collagen, which binds and supports tissue
  • Glucosamine sulfate: helps the body to form chemicals that repair cartilage
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: a natural anti-inflammatory
  • Sulphur-rich foods: support collagen production

A diet rich in fruit and vegetables and lean proteins, such as fish and chicken, can help to heal and prevent herniated discs! Getting these nutrients in the proper proportions will benefit you enormously. Contact us at (201) 995-9900 and set up an appointment today. With your help, we can create a multi-faceted plan for addressing your herniated disc pain and instill healthy habits that will benefit your whole life. 

Dr. Moe Abtahi, D.C.