Most of the causes of back pain are biomechanical in origin and respond well to the combination of techniques we have available at Kiama Family Chiropractic. In the unlikely event that a more serious problem is identified, we can arrange a referral to a GP or Specialist.
Getting the right professional help can not only speed up recovery time and help you get back to normal more quickly, but it can also help to prevent problems becoming chronic and recurrent. If back pain is a problem for you, call us today on (02) 4232 2614 to book in your initial appointment.
Types of Back Pain
Often, there is more than one reason why a bout of back pain occurs. Causes can include nerve root irritation, muscle spasms, strains or sprains to muscles and ligaments, and prolapse or degeneration of one or more intervertebral discs and other degenerative changes in the spine.
In some cases, back pain originates from an accident or injury, or simply the ‘wear and tear’ of growing older, for others postural problems or poor workplace ergonomics may be the cause. We commonly see patients who suffer with a large range of these problems, but we treat each case with a fresh approach as everyone’s biomechanics are different and is why we prescribe an individual care plan for each patient that is specific to you.
What is sciatica?
This is an ailment that is characterised by pain and which results from the irritation of the sciatic nerve. It develops when a herniated disk in the spine applies pressure around the nerves, including the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is longer than any other in the body. Its origin is in the lower back, splits to travel all the way to the hips, legs, buttock and feet.
Bones making up the spine are separated by flat, flexible disks of connective tissue. As such, when a disk bulges due to injury, the soft centre begins to push from the hard outer ring, exerting pressure on the nerves around it, causing pain. Spinal stenosis and bone spurs can also exert pressure on this nerve. The most common symptom of sciatica is the development of pain originating from the lower back to the legs, back or side, tingling, numbness or weakness in the legs or feet.
What Causes Sciatica?
Irritation of the sciatic nerve causes sciatica due to a herniated bone spur or disk. Other causes of the condition include:
- Thinning of the spinal canal in the lower back, which is a condition referred to as lumbar spinal stenosis.
- When one disc slips forward over others
- Worn out discs, which act as cushions for the spine (degenerative disk disease)
- Muscle spasm in the buttocks or back.
Who is Likely to Develop Sciatica?
The condition can develop in any individual, but some people have a higher risk. Here’s an overview of some risk factors:
As you age, the body begins to experience degeneration and develop symptoms that can cause sciatica. For example, you may experience spinal stenosis, intervertebral discs and bone spurs. The degeneration of intervertebral discs begins at the age of 30, so the risk of developing this condition begins then. Conditions like spinal stenosis are common in seniors aged 50 and above and can develop to sciatica. Generally, the age group of 30-50 tends to be very active compared to older age groups thus, increasing the probability of injury hence sciatica disease.
Regular lifting of heavy items can twist the spin repeatedly, causing disc hernia that develops into lumbar radiculopathy. The condition is caused by an irritation of spinal nerve root hence, Sciatica. Another work-related risk involves exposing the body to excessive vibration. For example, an individual who operates a jackhammer may develop sciatica or worsen its symptoms.
Individuals who sit for long periods, e.g. working from a laptop or driving are more likely to develop sciatica. This is because the sitting posture compresses the spinal discs, and depending on the condition, of the backbone, may irritate the spinal nerve root.
People who engage in walking or running as a sport are likely to increase the risk of developing sciatica due to the frequent contraction of the piriformis muscle. The muscle tightens when running or walking in a bid to propel the body forward. Continuous tightening can irritate the sciatic nerve located underneath it.
What To Expect From Your Treatment
Don’t let back & sciatic pain sideline you from the sports you enjoy, from doing your job or simply making everyday tasks a misery. Our holistic chiropractic approach helps us achieve the best outcome for our patients.
- Chiropractic treatments may include spinal mobilisation and adjustments to relieve the painful symptoms, releasing joint symptoms and improving mobility. Patients with general joint stiffness, degenerative spinal changes and disc problems will benefit from these techniques.
- Massage not only helps to increase the flow of blood to the painful area but also releases trigger points of tension in the muscles. Massage can be very effective when used in combination with Chiropractic.
If you are suffering with back or sciatic pain, then contact us today on (02) 4232 2614 to discuss how we can help you.