Low back and leg pain:
Low back pain and leg pain can commonly occur together. All of our Newport chiropractors deal with patients suffering from sciatica. Sciatica by definition is any sort of pain that is caused by irritation or compression of the sciatic nerve.
There are a number of complaints and conditions which can cause sciatica:
A lumbar spine disc herniation causing pressure on lumbar or sacral nerve roots is the most common cause of sciatica. Disc herniations occur when you get small tears within the fibrous part of the disc (the annulus fibrosus) allowing the viscous material (nucleus pulposus) to gradually migrate outwards. Disc herniations generally occur gradually over time due to age related changes within the disc. However, traumas, lifting injuries and even sneezing have been implicated as a cause.
This occurs in certain individuals (approximately 10%) where the musculature in the buttocks, namely the piriformis muscle, compresses the sciatic nerve. In these cases it is important to release the piriformis muscle to help alleviate and ease the sciatic pain.
Spondylolisthesis (slippage of vertebrae)
Spondylolisthesis occurs when a spinal vertebra slips forwards or backwards out of position. When this movement is severe enough it can generate pain in the form of sciatica.
Spondylolisthesis is most commonly caused by degenerative wear and tear of the spinal joints. However, it can occur in younger people especially if their activities include excessive bending of the spine, for example trampolining or gymnastics.
Signs and symptoms of sciatica:
– Leg pain which radiates from your lower back and travels down one of your legs to your foot and toes
– Numbness and tingling along the same region
– Pain may be aggravated by coughing, sneezing or sitting/standing for long periods
– Occasionally muscle weakness on the affected side
They may present with general back pain accompanying the sciatica, although the sciatic pain most commonly affects the buttocks and legs much more than the back. Here at our Ridgeway Chiropractic Clinic in Newport we see patients regularly who are suffering from sciatica and use a wide variety of treatment techniques, which may including soft tissue work and dry needling.