Posts Tagged spinal

Looking for Answers to the Pain of Sciatica

The sciatic nerve is created by the gathering of nerves that extend from the spinal cord down through the pelvic bones. The sciatic nerve branches out and controls the organs in the pelvis and everything else from the hips to the toes.

Sciatica is the inflammation of the sciatic nerve, the largest and longest nerve in the body. Burning pain in the low back, hips, and legs are common symptoms of sciatica. Low back pain is not always part of sciatica, but often comes with it.

Usually, sciatica affects only one side. Pain often radiates down the buttock or leg and can range from a tingling, burning, pins-and-needles feeling to excruciating, shooting pain that makes standing up nearly impossible. Often, coughing, sneezing, and sitting make the pain worse.

In the past, long periods of bed rest were commonly prescribed for sciatic pain and malfunction. Recent studies have confirmed that lengthy bed rest is a waste of time and may interfere with healing. Another common prescription, epidural injections, does not help patients suffering from sciatica, either. Researchers in Germany did a six-month study published this year in Clinical Orthopaedics, and Related Research. These researchers found that spinal corticosteroid injections do not help patients with sciatica improve any faster than those not given such injections.

What does seem to be the correct prescription is conservative chiropractic adjustments to realign the misaligned vertebrae. According to the recently released United States Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) guidelines, “relief of discomfort can be accomplished most safely” with chiropractic adjustments. Chiropractic care (sometimes coupled with simple exercises) normalizes the joint mobility, returns the bones to their proper position, and takes the pressure off the sciatic nerve. Pain and inflammation leave the area. Function is restored. Health is restored. Sciatica is a horrible experience. Regardless of what you may have been told in the past, you may get rid of it. You may not have to “live with it” as you’ve heard. Correction of the cause of sciatica may be as close as a call to our office. We’d be happy to do our part in the restoration of your health and the elimination of the vertebral subluxations that have been interfering with it.


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Fender Benders and Back Pain

Recently, a patient came in and reported that, for some reason, he “just wasn’t feeling right”. We discussed his life over the last couple of weeks and figured out, to me, the obvious reason for his back pain flaring up.

It seems this fellow was in a minor “fender bender” a couple weeks previous. He said it really wasn’t much of an accident and there was very little damage to the car. He took his car in “just in case” and the only repair necessary was to have the wheels realigned. He added that he felt no physical discomfort at all right after the accident so he figured he was “OK”.

As he repeated the details of the growing spasms and tenderness in his mid and low back, I thought about how he had taken his car in “just in case” but had neglected to take his precious self in for a check-up “just in case”. I didn’t know absolutely that he might have avoided most of the pain had he come for a spinal check-up immediately, but I had a pretty good idea he would have.

We chiropractors see this fairly often. A man or woman in fairly good health, maybe with a history of infrequent back pain, suddenly comes up with horrible spasms or immobility due to back pain. Sometimes it seems to come out of the blue. We can often pinpoint a cause, but sometimes the cause of the breakdown and pain is an accumulation of mini-traumas that were never fixed. Lifting or twisting strain, plus family stress, plus bad eating habits, plus job demands all add up. All these mini-traumas together with, maybe a minor wreck or other accident and somewhere along the “beaten” path, you end up with pain and disability.

This “onion” layering of damage-added-to-damage makes for some real problems for many. Luckily, there is a solution. With evaluation of your spine and the damage that has occurred, we can carefully adjust the bones of the spine so they return to an appropriate, healthy alignment. Resolving and maintaining the proper position of the spinal bones again, gives the body the structural support it needs. Nerves, which were damaged due to the bony misalignments, regain their life-giving function. Pain and inflammation are relieved. Health returns as the layers of damage are fixed.

We were glad that this patient came in for his check-up. What we found was that, even though the wreck seemed minor, the damage to his spine was real. We were able to correct that damage using specialized chiropractic adjustments. No amount of waiting or any kind of pain medication would have worked. His spinal bones were realigned and the cause of his back pain was fixed.

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