Sciatica is pain radiating along the sciatic nerve, which runs down one or both legs from the lower back. The medical term for sciatica is lumbar radiculopathy.
Sciatica symptoms typically felt on only one side of the body. They may include a combination of leg and foot pain, weakness, tingling or numbness.
Sciatica most commonly occurs when a herniated disc, bone spur on the spine or narrowing of the spine (spinal stenosis) compresses part of the nerve. This causes inflammation, pain, and often some numbness in the affected leg. Sciatic pain can vary from infrequent and irritating to constant and incapacitating.
It is important to remember that sciatica is a symptoms of an underlying condition, not a diagnosis in itself.
Without exercise and movement, the back muscles and spinal structures become less stable. The weakening can lead to back injury and strain, which causes additional pain. In addition, active exercise is also important for the health and of the spinal discs. Movement helps exchange nutrients and fluids within the discs to keep them healthy and prevent pressure on the sciatic nerve.
Trauma can cause one or more discs to bulge. This crowds nearby nerves, causing irritation and inflammation. If neglected, the nerve irritation extends down one or both legs along the sciatic nerves. The pain appears in the leg, but the culprit is often the lower back.
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Low Back Pain is one of the most common conditions treated at a chiropractic office. There are many causes of low back pain. Some of these causes occur during our activities of daily living. For example, many people notice lower back symptoms after performing a simple activity such as bending over to pick up a young child, brushing their teeth, or loading a dish washer. Moving awkwardly while sleeping, getting up from a seated position too fast, prolonged driving or prolonged sitting at the computer can also aggravate the lower back. Some of the more obvious causes of low back pain may come from lifting heavy boxes, working very long hours, swinging a golf club or shoveling too much snow.
Whether the causes are obvious or not, low back pain usually occurs from repetitive micro traumas to the spine. These micro traumas cause little irritations, that left untreated over a period of time, end up causing significant changes to our spinal structure, and in many cases, chronic low back pain.
A Chiropractic treatment typically consists of a chiropractic adjustment which helps to restore normal spine and nerve function to the affected areas and also helps to eliminate pain. Physical therapy and Physio-Therapy such as stretches, exercises, massages and electric stimulation are also utilized to help reduce muscle spasm and tightness as well as increase strength. Hot moist packs and ultrasound treatment are effective in increasing blood flow to chronic muscle spasms. Also, in acute low back cases, ice is used to help reduce swelling and should be applied immediately following an injury. It is important in acute cases to avoid the use of heat therapy at home such as a heating pad on the lower back as this can cause increased superficial swelling and possibly additional pain.
If you or someone you know is experiencing low back pain, make an appointment at Balanced Care Chiropracatic!
Mid Back Pain usually occurs between the shoulder blades, posterior ribs or within the 12 vertebrae that make up the mid-back (thoracic spine). Most people who experience mid back pain or pain between the shoulder blades feel it when they twist, move in certain directions, or take a deep breath.
A common cause of mid back pain is a rib injury or subluxation. Anatomically speaking, the thoracic spine (middle back) attaches to the ribs. If a blunt force affects the ribs, even if the force occurred in the front part of the body, a mid back symptom may be felt because the muscles between the ribs were irritated or the ribs were subluxed at the spinal level. This can also occur very easily during a cough or a sneeze! The muscles extend from the front part of the ribs to the area that attaches to the spine of the middle back so an uncontrolled cough or sneeze can cause a great deal of middle back discomfort. Upon examination it is very common to find a lower back misalignment, or in some cases, a lower neck misalignment that has helped cause the mid back pain. Remember, the spine works as a unit. In the majority of cases, patients will complain about neck or lower back pain specifically. However, mid back pain is a reality for some patients, and that situation can be addressed using chiropractic treatment.
If you suffer from acute or chronic neck pain, then you know how painful and frustrating normal daily activities can be. Even simple tasks like driving and reading can become quite unbearable. In addition to disrupting your day, neck pain can also contribute to headaches, difficulty sleeping, shoulder or arm pain, muscle spasms, and chronic tightness in the upper back.
Neck pain usually occurs from a combination of events. Alterations such as poor posture, stress, muscle guarding, and trauma contribute to and often worsen an already fragile neck.
Chiropractic care is effective in treating chronic neck pain, stiffness, whiplash, muscle spasms and general aches and pains.
Headaches and migraines are often caused by stress and strain placed on the muscles of the head, neck, and shoulders. Chiropractic adjustments help to reduce stress and restore balance the muscles and hold the skeletal bones in their proper position. By restoring balance to both the muscular and skeletal structures of the spine, pressure is released; inflammation is reduced, and blood flow is re-established. When blood flow is restricted, the tissues of the brain cannot function efficiently, resulting in varying degrees of pain and discomfort. A chiropractic adjustment helps to dilate the blood vessels going to and from the brain, allowing the blood to flow more efficiently in both directions.
Roughly half of all pregnant woman report suffering from low back pain at some point during their pregnancy. Doctors agree that pregnancy related low back pain is often caused by a condition known as sacroiliac joint dysfunction. The sacroiliac joint is formed by the sacrum (tailbone) and the two iliac bones (hipbones). Large fluctuations of hormones occur during pregnancy, which relaxes the muscles, joints, and ligaments of the pregnant woman’s body. These hormones increase allowing the pelvis to open wide enough to permit the proper delivery of the baby. This relaxation, along with weight gain, postural changes, and stretching of abdominal musculature, disrupts the normal alignment of the spine and pelvis. This disruption stresses the joints, ligaments and muscles producing pain.