Health and Wellness Newsletter
Back Pain and Herniated Discs
|Back Pain and Leg Pain
|Much more commonly, when lower back pain is accompanied by radiating pain, the radiating pain only travels into the buttock and thigh, and doesn't travel below the knee.
And, most commonly, the thigh pain is found in the back of the thigh, rather than in the front of the leg.
Most of the time, this radiating pain does NOT come from a herniated disc, and does NOT mean the problem is sciatica (caused by an inflamed sciatic nerve, likely caused by a disc herniation).
This type of pain that travels into the buttock and the back of the thigh is usually caused by mechanical changes in the sacroiliac joint and the spinal joints of the lower back. These mechanical changes relate to tight spinal muscles and inflamed spinal ligaments and tendons, with resulting loss of full mobility.
The good news is such problems are treatable with chiropractic health care. The underlying problems are structural, related to the joints and surrounding soft tissues, and chiropractic treatment is designed to restore balance and function. Symptoms typically begin to improve quickly.
In addition to treatment, your chiropractor will likely recommend stretches and exercises to help solve the problem and maintain physical health.
A 30-year-old mom bends over to pick up her four-year-old and feels a sharp stabbing pain in her lower back. A 60-year-old man bends over to pick up his five-year-old grandchild and feels an electrical shooting pain in his lower back. For both, the pain is so severe they need to sit down.
The next day, both the mom and the grandfather notice they now have pain and numbness radiating down one leg, and they are having trouble walking.
What's going on, how did it happen, and what can be done about it?
First of all, a little basic anatomy is useful. Spinal discs are weight-bearing shock absorbers. They contain a gel-like ball-bearing center, which is surrounded by tough fibrous cartilage, arranged in concentric, criss-crossing circles.1
As a person gets older, the discs naturally lose some of their water content, and cracks and fissures naturally develop in the fibrous cartilage. If a weight-bearing stress is unusual and unexpected, the gel-like material in the center of the disc can push through one of the fissures and possibly irritate a spinal nerve.
If enough of this material pushes through, the nerve can become inflamed and cause symptoms such as radiating pain and/or numbness, and possibly weakness, in one leg.
Typically, such pain and/or numbness radiates down the leg, traveling below the knee and possibly into the foot.
Such symptoms, with or without back pain, are highly suggestive of an inflamed spinal nerve. In fact, the person will usually say the leg symptoms are much worse and of greater concern than any back pain that may be present.
If the MRI confirms the disc herniation and suggests an inflamed nerve, the diagnosis is complete. What's next?
In the best scenario, conservative treatment may be sufficient and the nerve inflammation improves with time.2,3 Anti-inflammatory medication may be helpful. Chiropractic conservative therapy may include physical therapeutic modalities and gentle trigger point therapy to relieve associated muscle spasms.
A spinal surgeon should be consulted to provide an additional opinion and input. If pain is severe and there is neurologic loss, surgery may be the best option.
Of course, the best management, as always, is prevention. Pay attention to safe lifting procedures. Exercise regularly and get sufficient rest. Your chiropractor will be able to provide guidance and recommend effective protocols to help you achieve and maintain good health and wellness.
1Postacchini F: Lumbar Disc Herniation. Springer, 2004, Chapter 2.
2Rothoerl RD, et al: When should conservative treatment for lumbar disc herniation be ceased and surgery considered? Neurosurg Rev 25(3):162-165, 2002.
3Lumbar Disc Herniation. New Engl J Med 347(21):1728-1729, 2002.
Nutritional counseling is a type of assessment made which analyzes various health needs in regard to diet and exercise. A nutritional counselor helps people to set achievable health goals and teaches various ways of maintaining these goals throughout their lifetime. Nutrition is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Without proper nutrition, one does not have enough energy to make it through the day.
This type of counseling assists all ages, ranging from pregnant women, to vegetarians, to the elderly and people with different medical complications. Those who may benefit include those with:
Diabetes; Osteoporosis; Poor nutrition and eating patterns; Eating disorders (some of which may require eating disorder treatment); Digestive complications; HIV; Cancer; Hypertension; Nausea; Nutritional questions; Allergies; Organ problems; Obesity; Hypoglycemia; Menopause; Fitness goals; Heart diseases
Spinal Decompression (IDD Therapy)
The Accu-SPINA is one of the most scientifically advanced back pain treatment systems available today. Designed to non-surgically relieve disc pressure, this device employs force delivery techniques which mimic physical therapy approaches to spinal dysfunction. The Accu-SPINA™ system has the ability to target specific segments of the lumbar spine for treatment. Over the course of a full treatment regimen, this system enables the treating specialist to distract the intervertebral space by a distance of 5 to 7 millimeters, thus significantly decreasing pressure inside the disc.
Spinal Decompression (IDD Therapy) Testimonials
"I endured neck pain for so long, due to two herniated discs. I could not find a comfortable position. My sleep was constantly disturbed. After the treatment, I was back to normal and pain free. I can now sleep through the night without pain. Thank You!" - P.R.
"I had sever pain down my right leg and around the knee area. I'm 62 and I felt like I was 85! Since starting IDD therapy, there has been steady improvement. I was pain free after all of my treatments! I strongly recommend this therapy for anyone with bulging discs and leg pain." - A.E.
Call us now at 908-522-8989 for a complimentary consultation to learn more about the benefits of IDD therapy and how it can help you.
Our Physical Therapists are Licensed Certified Professionals with extensive knowledge and training in anatomy, physiology and the biomechanics of the body. Physical therapy is a branch of rehabilitative health that uses forms of exercise and equipment which are specifically designed to assist people to either regain or improve their physical abilities. Physical therapy helps to restore a person's best ability to function through minimizing physical impairment, disability-related congenital and acquired conditions, and functional limitations.
The type of physical therapy treatment a person receives is dependent upon their condition. Complete physical therapy treatment can include some different elements. Pain reduction might include the use of ice, heat, relaxation, massage, joint mobilization, stretches, or the use of electrical stimulation or ultrasound.
We have on staff Jeff Aleski, Board Certified Acupuncturist who specializes in back pain, tendonitis, carpal tunnel, pain management, irritable bowl syndrome, infertility, face lift rejuvenation, sinus pain and more. The goal of this dynamic and integrated 5,000 year old health care system is to activate the natural, self-healing abilities of the body. Acupuncture is safe, natural, drug-free and effective.
Ten key benefits of acupuncture include:
Improved Health and Quality of Life; Stress Reduction; Pain Reduction; Improved and Faster Recovery from Injury, Illness and Surgery; Emotional Balance; Respiratory Health; Insomnia Relief; Strengthening Your; Immune System; Premenstrual (PMS) and Menopausal Symptom Relief; Reduction of Side Effects of Chemo and Radiation Therapies
We hope to see you soon. Remember, for a better tomorrow, do something about it today!
Do not forget to stop by for a spinal checkup and an adjustment.
Please remember that everyone needs to be free from pain so bring your friends and loved ones for a spinal checkup.