Low Back Pain
The many causes of lower back pain include arthritis, sciatica, spinal stenosis, and herniated discs. However, the culprit is generally some form of overexertion or injury to one of the muscles, joints, ligaments, or discs that help sustain the spine.
It is critical to resolve lower back issues as quickly as possible because, when left untreated, they often lead to other injuries. For example, a pulled muscle in the lower back becomes less effective, so other muscles overexert themselves trying to pick up the slack for the original weakened muscle, leading to further injury and more discomfort.
What is Sciatica?
Sciatica is a condition in which pain originating from the low back or buttock area travels down one of both legs. The pain of sciatica has been described as achy, sharp, tingling or has sometimes been likened to electric shocks. Pain can be mild, moderate or severe, infrequent or constant, depending on the degree of nerve involvement.
What Causes Sciatica?
Sciatica is usually caused by compression of the sciatic nerve, a large nerve originating at the base of the spine. This compression can be caused by subluxations (misalignment) of the lower spine; herniated or bulging discs; pregnancy and childbirth (when pelvic bones shift and the tissues surrounding them are softer and more movable); tumors or diabetes.
Sciatica is often a result of Piriformis Syndrome. The piriformis muscle is located in the lower spine and is involved in hip rotation. The sciatic nerve is located directly beneath the piriformis muscle, so any injury or disorder affecting this muscle can result in pinching of the sciatic nerve.
How does a Chiropractor Treat Sciatica?
Initially the chiropractor will need to accurately diagnose the cause of a patient’s sciatica. This involves taking the patient’s medical history, conducting a thorough physical and neurological examination and employing various diagnostic tests, including X-ray, MRI, CT scans and, if needed nerve testing including electromyography.
Therapy will be customized based on the most effective way for the patient’s body to begin to heal itself, and may include Ice/Cold Therapy, electrical stimulation (TENS), spinal manipulation or ultrasound. The LCT100 Class IV Laser may be utilized to bring advanced, effective and safe deeply penetrating treatment to alleviate the pain of sciatica and promote rapid healing.