Sciatica can be a pain in the butt: Chiropractic topics.

Sciatica is a term that encompasses pain that travels down the leg from several sources. Disc herniation is one condition that may produce sciatica due to irritation of the nerves in the lower part of the spine. Other conditions of the lower back can produce sciatica that may be similar to the sciatica from a disc condition. Problems with the sacro-iliac joint may cause sciatica, however, the pain seldom travels below the knee. Piriformis syndrome is another common condition that may impinge the sciatic nerve and send pain down the leg.
Bruising or contusion of the sciatic nerve is another possiblity in cases of sciatica and can be the result of a blow or fall on the buttocks. Bruising of the sciatic nerve may cause pain that travels all the way to the foot or calf. There may even be numbness associated with this condition. It is important in bruising of the sciatic nerve to prevent stretching of the nerve while healing.
Bursitis of the hip may also cause pain that travels down the leg. This type of pain is generally on the outer part the the thigh and is somewhat different in character and distribution that other types of sciatica. The pain of bursitis of the hip is generally worse if lying on the affected side.
Dr. Tom Etter is a Chiropractor with over ten years of practice experience. Etter Chiropractic serves Olathe, Lenexa, Overland Park and the surrounding area.

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Lower back pain, hip pain and Chiropractic

Many people who consult a Chiropractor for lower back pain are concerned with painful and tender points in the lower back and hip region. The discs are not able to be felt bulging out under the skin and tender nodules are in no way related to the disc. The tender nodules in some cases are fat nodules. These nodules are very common in the lower back and may cause an aching sensation that radiates into the buttock when pressed on. It is important to note that not all tender nodules in the lower back are fat nodules. Many painful areas can be related to pain from irritated nerve roots as in the case of a herniated disc. Pain directly over the sacro-iliac joints (SI joints) is a common as well. The SI joints are located just below the belt line and are able to refer pain into the buttocks or thigh. The SI joints usually do not cause pain below the knee which helps differentiate SI pain from the pain caused by a disc condition.
Pain lower in the buttocks may also indicate a problem with the piriformis muscle. The piriformis muscle is able to impinge the sciatic nerve and directly cause sciatica. Piriformis syndrome usually presents gradually and may cause a dull ache over the side of the buttocks.
Dr. Tom Etter is a Chiropractor with over ten years of practice experience treating back pain, neck pain, and sports injury. Etter Chiropractic serves Olathe, Lenexa, Overland Park, Kansas and the surrounding area.

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Sciatica and lower back pain, Chiropractic treatments

Sciatica is one of the more common symptoms associated with lower back pain treated by Chiropractors. Sciatic pain is generally felt down and back of the leg and may extend past the knee to the foot. One key feature of sciatica is that coughing or sneezing may increase the severity of the pain. Persons suffering a severe attack of sciatica often find in helpful to walk with the knees bend and slightly bend forward at the hips. Sciatica sufferers also tend to put the foot slowly down on the floor to prevent irritation of the nerve during walking. Some back pain sufferers with sciatica however may have no problems walking and have little muscle spasms.
Usually a sudden onset of sciatica is associated with a bulging or extruded disc coming into contact with the nerve roots of the sciatic nerve. The distance the pain travels and its intensity is correlated to the amount of tension the disc material puts on the nerve root.
In some persons with severe sciatica the condition may suddenly disappear but muscle weakness and numbness may remain.
Chiropractic treatments for sciatica include lumbar flexion distraction technique. Lumbar flexion distraction technique seeks to reduce pressure on bulging discs and reduce nerve root irritation.
Dr. Tom Etter is a Chiropractor with over ten years of practice experience. Dr. Etter’s practice focus is back pain, neck pain and sports injuries.

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MRI and Back Pain

The current recommendations for back pain are to undergo one month of conservative care including Chiropractic, therapy and exercise before seeking further imagine via MRI. MRI is especially valuable in imaging the disc and can rule out such conditions as tumor or infection of the spine. Chiropractors are able to refer patients directly to have an MRI.
Other types of imagine include x ray which is less able to provide information about non bony structures such as the disc.
CT scans of the back are usually done if a fracture is suspected or in the condition of stenosis. Stenosis is a narrowing of the spaces in the lumbar spine which allow the nerves to exit the spinal canal. CT does have the disadvantage of higher radiation exposure than MRI.
Thermography or thermal imagine of the back is used by some Chiropractors. The practice is controversial due to the lack of specificity of the results.
Nerve conduction velocity tests are sometimes used in cases of pain or numbness in the legs. NCV is primarily used to differentiate between peripheral entrapment neuropathies (nerves entrapped other places than the spine) and radiculopathies (nerves entrapped at the spine).
Dr. Tom Etter is a Chiropractor with over ten years of Chiropractic practice experience. Etter Chiropractic serves Olathe, Kansas, Lenexa, Kansas and Overland Park, Kansas. Dr. Etter’s Chiropractic practice focus is care of lower back pain, sciatica, neck pain, shoulder pain, whiplash and sports injuries.

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Back Spasms and Chiropractic

Back pain and the muscle spasms that accompany episodes of back pain are among the most common conditions treated by Chiropractors. All of the three main causes of back pain may cause the back to go into spasms. The three main types of back pain include: disc problems, the S-I joints and the facet joints of the back.
In disc related conditions the back is often in a bent and twisted position as in lifting a box or bag from the floor. Disc conditions may produce immediate and severe lower back pain and limit nearly all movements of the spine. Persons experiencing this type of back pain may have had multiple previous episodes of back pain of various intensity over a period of several years. Men between 30 and 50 have the highest incidence of back pain caused by herniation of the discs. Younger persons with disc problems usually have more pain on sitting while older persons may have more problems with walking or standing. This difference is partially due to the condition of stenosis of the spine or narrowing of the spaces in which the nerves exit the spine. Pain that travels below the knee is generally indicative that back pain is related to the discs rather than the joints of the S-I and facet joints.
Back pain that occurs immediately after extending the back or leaning back is often due to injury to the facet joints. The facet joints are the joints at the back of the spine that limit twisting and turning. Facet joint problems often response very well to Chiropractic manipulation techniques.
Dr. Tom Etter is a Chiropractor with over ten years of practice experience. Dr. Etter’s Chiropractic practice focus is back pain, neck pain, whiplash and sports injuries.

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