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Conservative treatment options for sciatica

By Dr. Layne Towery

Originally published March 7, 2017 at midnight,


I hurt my back several weeks ago working in my garden. I am having pain down the back of my right leg into the calf. I get a shooting pain in my hamstring that feels like a electrical shock. My doctor will not give me any pain pills. He said that I need to try conservative treatment first. What type of conservative treatment options are available? Do I need a MRI before I get treatment? What can I do at home to give me some relief? What exercises should I do? I need some help.


It appears that you have aggravated the sciatic nerve. This nerve is the biggest nerve in the body. It starts at the lower back L4-S1 nerve roots and travels down the back of the leg into the calf and foot. It can give you intense pain, numbness, tingling, burning and weakness. It is one of the most common reasons that people visit their doctor.


Your doctor did not offer you any pain pills because of the new guidelines from the American College of Physicians (ACP). It suggests that doctors should recommend alternative treatments first before using pharmacology like opioids or even over the counter painkillers. These new guidelines offers a big departure from previous recommendations.


For lower back pain, the ACP recommends palliative symptom relievers like spinal manipulation, acupuncture, massage, rehabilitative exercises, yoga, tai chi and meditation. These alternative treatments should always be used first before prescribing any pain medication. The doctors group strongly discourages opioids, since research suggests these drugs are only modestly effective for back pain and carry serious risks, including overdose and addiction.


Here are some suggestions that you can do at home. Get you a big ice pack and start icing your lower back 30 minutes at a time four to five times a day.


Ice helps reduce swelling and inflammation along with relieving pain. Remember, no heat. Start walking as much as you can and sit for short periods only. Get yourself a back brace and wear it as much as you can until symptoms subside. Then only wear the brace when you are lifting heavy objects or doing strenuous activities like yard work. Low back stretches are also helpful and can be obtained online.


Most low back problems respond to the above alternative treatments. If you do not get major relief within two to three weeks, then diagnostic testing like a MRI or CT scan is warranted.


Layne Towery is a Victoria Chiropractor and Acupuncturist and can be reached at towerygl@yahoo.com or 361-570-6284.





Acupuncture for depression, sinus, allergies

By Dr. Layne Towery

Originally published February 7, 2017 at midnight,


I am a 57-year-old female who has suffered from depression for years. I also have a lot of sinus and allergy problems. My doctors have me on eight different medications, and I seem to be getting worse not better. On "The Dr. Oz Show," he praised acupuncture for helping the above conditions. Can you tell me what is your experience with these conditions. Could acupuncture cure me of my problems? How many treatments does it take to see improvement? Are treatments expensive? Does insurance pay for acupuncture? Do you suggest any other natural treatments that may help me? I am tired of taking pills without relief. Please help guide me.


It seems like everybody has some kind of allergy to something.


This time of year, we get calls from people asking if acupuncture can help with allergies and all its other accompanied symptoms: sinus pain, runny nose, congestion, headaches and sinus infections, etc. We tell our patients acupuncture is not a cure for anything. All it does is help the body heal itself naturally.


Acupuncture tends to help with all the allergy symptoms while strengthening your immune system.


This helps make you less reactive in the future. Acupuncture has a anti-inflammatory and analgesic effect on the body. This means it helps reduce inflammation in the sinus cavities and decreases pain levels. It also helps congestion and the movement of body fluids for elimination.


I suggest you start strengthening your body's immune system by taking a strong multivitamin and a Cobotic by Bio-spec. These two supplements will help boost your body's defense system.


I also suggest you try an all natural nasal spray Bio-Mint. It works wonders and it is nonaddictive.


Chiropractic adjustments and therapeutic massages are also helpful and recommended.


Depression is a sign that the body is not in balance. Acupuncture is a safe and affordable way to give your body a chance and a boost to heal itself.


Acupuncture is not going to take away the causes of depression but is likely to help you deal with the situation more effectively. I also use two natural supplements Mood Ease and Estero-Ease, which also helps with depression symptoms.


A study published in the January 2008 edition by doctors of Guangzaou, China concluded that acupuncture is an effective and safe therapy for depression; they stated, "The therapeutic effect of acupuncture on depression is probably better than or similar to that of Prozac, but with less or no side effects."


The needles I use are super small and are virtually painless. Treatments run around $50-$60 dollars.


Some insurances pay for acupuncture but most do not.


I hope this answers your questions.


Layne Towery is a Victoria Chiropractor and Acupuncturist and can be reached at towerygl@yahoo.com or 361-570-6284.





Acupuncture for weight loss, diabetes, blood pressure

By Dr. Layne Towery

Originally published January 10, 2017 at midnight,


I am a 47-year-old female with some mild depression. I went to my doctor last week, and he diagnosed me with diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. He said I was clinically obese, and I need to lose some weight (40-50 pounds). I have tried everything except acupuncture. I asked him about acupuncture for weight loss and he said go for it. How will it help me lose weight? How many treatments will it take? Where do you put the needles? Do they hurt? Do I have to change my diet? Will I have to exercise? Does it work better on women or men? I need help.


Well, trust me, you are not alone. You have asked a lot of questions, so let me get started with answers. According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination survey 2009-10:• More than two-thirds (68.8 percent) of adults are considered overweight or obese


• More than one-third (35.7 percent) of adult are considered to be obese

• More than 1 in 20 (6.3 percent) have extreme obesity

• Almost three in four men (74 percent) are considered to be overweight or obese


As you can see, we have a real problem here in the United States. Most of the people in the above survey also suffer from the same conditions you have been diagnosed with (i.e.: diabetes, high blood pressure, depression, heart disease, high cholesterol, etc.).


Acupuncture is the insertion of very fine needles into specific points along various energy pathways called meridians. Acupuncture is really more useful in treating a person's mental health (which led to weight loss) than it is in stimulating weight loss by itself. Believing that you are getting help is just as important for weight loss than the actual treatment itself.

For many patients, acupuncture can be life-changing, life-saving and a godsend. Without getting into a lot of scientific explanation, acupuncture will help with your energy levels and it is thought to stimulate the body's ability to produce Leptin - a neuro-hormone that regulates energy balance and inhibits hunger or cravings. It tends to give a person a sense of satiety or satisfaction, like you're full.


The average number of treatments varies from person to person, depending how much weight you want to lose. I would say 10-12 visits are common. The needles are placed in the ears, abdomen and lower legs. The needles do not hurt. Most people are so relaxed that they fall asleep.


You will definitely have to change up your diet and start an exercise program. A three-day lemonade fast is recommended, along with a one-week flush to get your metabolism jump started.


Sorry women, men almost always get the best results. Expect to lose about 12-15 pounds a months.


Along with losing weight, many of your other conditions that you have will indirectly get better.


Good luck and happy new year.



Layne Towery is a Victoria Chiropractor and Acupuncturist and can be reached at towerygl@yahoo.com or 361-570-6284.





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