Lower Back Pain and Sciatica

Lower back pain is a common ailment, and most people can expect to suffer some form of it at some point in their lives.  Usually it is triggered by everyday activities, but also can be aggravated by accidents and sports-related injuries. Typically, symptoms of lower back pain signal that the structure of your lower back (the muscles, joints, discs and vertebrae) has weakened over time and has decreased in stability and functionality. This compromised structure cannot support your spine adequately, causing pain and loss of movement.

Sciatica is nerve pain resulting from irritation of the sciatic nerve, which is the largest nerve in the body.  Pain is usually felt from the lower back to behind the thigh, and radiates below the knee.  There are many reasons why the sciatic nerve can become irritated; most commonly, sciatica is the result of a lumbar disk herniation directly pressing on the nerve.  Other causes of sciatica include irritation of the nerve from pregnancy, adjacent bone, tumors, muscle, infections and injury.

Chiropractic care and physical therapy can provide effective means of targeting the lower back; both can offer relief for these symptoms and help speed recovery.  Chiropractic interventions that have proven effective include manual chiropractic treatments, Cox decompression, Active Release Therapy, and Graston technique. Physical therapy can especially help with regaining full functionality, as well as improving posture and exercise conditioning.

Disc Herniations

A herniated, ruptured, or bulging disc refers to the damaging of the tissue that separates the vertebral bones of the spinal column. These small, spongy, disc-like tissues are natural shock absorbers for the spine, but are vulnerable to strain and injury. When a disc is damaged, it may bulge or break open, resulting in a herniated disc.

The herniated disc may create pressure against one or more of the spinal nerves, which can cause pain, weakness or numbness. The severity of symptoms generally depends on the location and size of the herniation. If the disc herniation is extremely large, it can press on spinal nerves on both sides of the body, resulting in severe pain and weakness of the lower extremities. Herniated discs can occur in any part of the spine, but are most common in the lower back (lumbar spine). Some happen in the neck (cervical spine) and, more rarely, in the upper back (thoracic spine).

Chiropractic care and physical therapy can provide effective means of targeting disc-related problems; both can offer relief for these symptoms and help speed recovery. Chiropractic interventions that have proven effective include manual chiropractic treatments, Cox decompression, Active Release Therapy, and Graston technique. Physical therapy can especially help with regaining full functionality, as well as improving posture and exercise conditioning.

Spinal Stenosis and Degenerative Disc Disease

Spinal stenosis refers to the narrowing of the spinal canal. It is most commonly the result of degeneration of the discs between the vertebrae, which causes compression of the nerve roots or spinal cord by discs in the spinal canal. This most commonly occurs in the lower back, but can also occur in the neck and less frequently in the upper back. Symptoms of spinal stenosis depend on the location of the irritated nerves. When the stenosis occurs in the neck, it may cause unusual sensations in the arms, poor leg function and possibly incontinence. When the lower back is affected, the classic symptom is pain that radiates down both legs while walking.

Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD) refers to the gradual deterioration of the disc between the vertebrae. It is part of the natural aging process, and can also occur as a result of injury. While generally painless in its early stages, degeneration of the disc tissue makes the disc more susceptible to herniation, causing local pain, muscle spasms and inflammation in the affected area. Any level of the spine can be affected by disc degeneration.

Effective conservative treatment options for both spinal stenosis and DDD include chiropractic interventions such as manual chiropractic treatments and Cox decompression. Physical therapy, such as isolated spinal stabilization, can especially help with regaining full functionality, as well as improving posture and exercise conditioning.

In addition to the above conditions, we also treat: