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NOVA Chiropractic 

2014 Veterans & Military Calendar

Patients, friends, and family of NOVA Chiropractic can 
participate in the 2014 Veterans and Military Calendar!

Military Calendar
Dr. Sullivan is funding the creation and printing of these calendars, and everyone that provides a picture receives a FREE calendar! 
This program is a great way to bring together generations of your family and friends that have served our country. You can send your pictures to, or bring them into the office to be scanned, along with this information.

For more information on the Military Calendar, click here.

Check Out the Military Servicemen that will be Added to the Calendar!

Molly Raymond, a current patient at NOVA Chiropractic, sent in eight pictures of men that have served 19 tours. 
We look forward to having their pictures in our calendar!

The 411 About Sciatica
One of the Most Common Back Pains
The 411 About Sciatica
Nerve pain, numbness, tingling, weakness. Any of these symptoms can be associated with Sciatic. Sciatica is not a diagnosis, but a description of symptoms. 
Overuse, strain and injury to the muscles and ligaments supporting the back are the major causes of low back pain. The pain is typically more spread out in the muscles next to the spine, and at times patients may feel spasms within those muscles. It can start in the back, move down the buttocks, all the way down to the leg 
and foot. This kind of descending pain is not the norm, but as a result of more serious or chronic conditions, and is known as Sciatica. Sciatica is one of the most common forms of pain caused by compression of the spinal nerves in the lower back and the leg. The pain experienced is usually much worse in the leg than the lower back.


The sciatic nerve is the largest single nerve in the human body. It runs from each side of the lower spine through deep in the rear and back of the thigh and all the way down to the foot, connecting the spinal cord with the leg and foot muscles. The sciatic nerve supplies sensation and strength to the leg as well as the reflexes of the leg. It connects the spinal cord with the outside of the thigh, the hamstring muscles in the back of the thighs, and muscles in the lower leg and feet. 
Different Regions of Sciatic Nerve = Different Symptoms
The nerve roots that exit the spine to form the sciatic nerve are extremely sensitive, and the inner portion of the disc that may herniate contains proteins that are inflammatory and can easily irritate the nerve. If some of the inner portion of the disc (the nucleus) comes too close to the nerve, the nerve may be irritated and become inflamed, causing sciatic pain.
If you have felt these symptoms, it may be Sciatica:
  • Pain occurring in one leg instead of both
  • Pain starts in lower back or the buttocks, and stems down the back of the thigh into the calf and possibly foot
  • Pain is described as sharp or shooting, not dull or achy
  • Pain is typically felt more when sitting or standing vs. walking and lying down
The patient's pain and specific sciatica symptoms can usually be traced to where the injured/irritated nerve originates in the lower back:
  • L4 Nerve RootSymptoms of sciatica stemming from this level of the lower back can include pain and numbness to the medial lower leg and foot and weakness may include the inability to bring the foot upwards. The patient may also have reduced knee-jerk reflex. 
  • L5 Nerve RootSymptoms of sciatica stemming from this level of the lower back can include weakness in extension of the big toe and potentially in the ankle, aka foot drop. Patients may feel pain and numbness in the top of the foot, particularly in between the bog toe and the second toe. 
  • S1 Nerve Root - Symptoms of sciatica stemming from this level of the lower back can include pain and numbness to the outer foot, weakness that results in difficulty raising the heel off the ground or walking on the tiptoes, and reduced ankle-jerk reflex. 
Sometimes, if the condition is serious enough there is an inability to control the bowel or bladder, progressive weakness or loss of sensation in the legs, or loss of sexual function. This is a rare condition, called cauda equina syndrome. If this is occurring, it's important to seek medical attention as soon as possible.  
Common Causes of Sciatica

Most cases of sciatica are caused by a simple irritation to the nerve and will get better with time and nonsurgical care. Reasons that cause this irritation can stem from sitting at a desk or in a car, strenuous workouts, running, etc. Any of these activities can add pressure to the sciatic nerve, and sometimes lead into more serious conditions. 


Herniated/Bulging Disc

One of the common conditions is a herniated disc. Due to age, injury, or both, a disc's outer layer, the capsule or annulus, may dry out and develop tiny cracks. This causes the disc to bulge, break open (rupture), or break apart. Long-lasting (chronic) and recurring pain can develop because of continued tissue irritation caused by the disc pressing on the L5 or S1 nerve. 

Piriformis Syndrome 

Pressure on the sciatic nerve can also come from the piriformis muscle, which can tighten and irritate the sciatic nerve (called Piriformis syndrome). Piriformis syndrome can mimic the signs and symptoms of a disc herniation and is part of the differential diagnosis of possible causes of sciatica. Symptoms may include pain and/or numbness in the leg, usually more intense above the knee, that usually starts in the buttock rather than the low back.


Sciatica may also be felt if the nerve is actually mechanically compressed, such as from spondylolisthesis, spinal stenosis, or arthritis in the spine. 

Dr. Sullivan's Recommendations

Patients can sometimes perform exercises that will help relieve the tension and pain of the sciatica. 


Such exercises include:

In some cases, sciatica is more severe and most times is as a result of disc herniation. Approximately 30% of the patients I treat have herniated or bulging discs. To determine if patients has a herniated disc, I will often refer them to get an MRI to confirm disc herniation.


The most effective treatment for sciatica is spinal decompression to the lumbar (lower back) region.  Spinal decompression gently stretches the spine taking the pressure off of the sciatic nerve allowing the nerve to heal.  A typical case of sciatica takes between 8-12 spinal decompression sessions.

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Note: The material provided in this newsletter is for informational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein may not always reflect the views of the NOVA Chiropractic, nor do they imply an endorsement. 
In This Issue
NOVA Chiropractic Calendar Program
Patient Participating in the Calendar Program
The 411 About Sciatica
Different Regions of Sciatic Nerve = Different Symptoms
Common Causes of Sciatica
Dr. Sullivan's Recommdendations
NOVA Chiropractic Blog Article
The Best Exercises to Relieve Hip Pain
K-Laser Therapy is Catching Wind
Laser Therapy
Ingredient of the Week
Updated HIPPA Notice of Privacy Practices
Stay Fit with Local Events
The Healthy Alternative
Contact Information
8992 Fern Park Drive
Burke, VA 22015
Office Hours
Mon  8:00 - Noon   2:00 - 7:00

Tues  8:00 - Noon  2:00 - 7:00

Wed  8:00 - Noon   2:00 - 7:00

Thurs 7:00 - Noon  2:00 - 7:00

Fri      Closed 
Sat     Closed 
Sun    Closed 
Quick Links
K-Laser Catching Wind 
K-Laser Therapy is 
Catching Wind! 
K-Laser Therapy
 The Latest & Greatest at NOVA Chiropractic
The laser has proven to help dozens of patients at NOVA Chiropractic! Common conditions with current patients that laser therapy is helping to heal are:
  • Herniated discs
  • Knee arthritis
  • Carpel tunnel syndrome
  • Achilles tendinitis 
  • Neck and back pain
  • and much more!
For more information, call 703-912-7822 or email
Ingredient of the Week
Ingredient of the Week
The halibut is the largest flat fish. It's ultra low in fat, is rich in magnesium, and contains numerous other nutrients, including tryptophan, selenium, phosphorus, magnesium, protein, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins B3, B6 and B-12.

It is known to help reduce sciatic nerve pain and treating muscle spams. 

Halibut are often boiled, deep-fried or grilled while fresh. Eaten fresh, the meat has a clean taste and requires little seasoning. Halibut is noted for its dense and firm texture.

Updated HIPPA Notice of Privacy Practices
Click Here to Read the Updated Notice to Privacy Practices
Stay Fit with 
Local Events!
Old Town Manassas, VA 
10/5/13 10:00am - 5:00pm

10/5 - 10/6/13 10:00am - 7:00pm


10/05/13 - 12:00pm - 7:00pm


Sterling, VA
10/26/13 - 9:30am - 1:00pm
2013 Seminars/Events 
Active Release Technique 

Re-Certification Seminar 

Iselin, New Jersey


Medicare Seminar

Richmond, Virginia


Health and Safety Fair

Fort Belvoir, VA


Health Fair at the Naval Research Laboratory

Washington, DC


Neurokinetic Therapy Seminar

Washington, DC


The Healthy Alternative
The Healthy Alternative

A guidebook written by

Dr. Sullivan!

The Healthy Alternative: 

A Guide For A Pain-Free, Active Lifestyle empowers and educates the reader when confronted with back or neck on the treatment options available and integrating the safest, most effective ways to manage and prevent pain. Order Now!