Low back pain is the most common reason patients seek chiropractic care, and it comes in many different forms. Sciatica is a version of a low back pain condition characterized by nerve pain along the sciatic nerve. This pain travels down the back of a person’s leg and causes severe functional limitations in some cases.
Sciatic nerve pain is often described as a “sharp,” “tingling,” “cramping” or “burning” sensation extending from the low back into the hips/ buttocks and sometimes past the knee and into the foot. Sciatic pain typically occurs only in one leg but can be present in both legs. Sciatica can affect patients of any age due to a variety of causes. One of the most common causes is a bulging disc where the disc places pressure on the nerve causing pain. Another common cause of sciatica is disc degeneration. Disc degeneration leads to a decrease in disc height, which can put pressure on a nerve and cause pain. Another and much less common cause of sciatica is compression by the piriformis muscle. This is sometimes called “piriformis syndrome”.
Compression of the sciatic nerve can be caused by different mechanisms – ranging from too much movement to not enough. Sciatica is often seen in runners and other athletes that put repeated pressure on the hips and back. Moreover, sciatica is common in people who are sedentary throughout the day. Constant sitting can also irritate the sciatic nerve.
Regardless of the reason a person is having sciatica pain, a chiropractic evaluation is a good first step. When a person reports to a chiropractor for these symptoms, the chiropractor will be able to determine if conservative care is the right course of action or if other treatments such as pain management are needed.
Neck pain is the second most common condition seen in a chiropractic office. Common causes include things such as posture, an injury, and arthritis. The doctors will discuss the onset, symptoms, and pain patterns to determine what assessments can and should be done.
Combination of Dry needling, Active Release through jaw, suboccipitals, upper trapezius muscles, manual stretching and mobilization of jaw, Chiropractic adjustment through neck and upper back. Trial of care 2x/week for 2 weeks. Additional self management strategies such as a night guard or stretching may be recommended depending on the case.
Postural assessments, palpation, possibly X-rays, and tests of motion and mobility will be done to diagnose where the neck pain is coming from and why.
During treatment some progress/change should be noted at each visit. If no progress is being made after 2-3 visits a re-evaluation may be necessary leading to a change in plan. If the treatment is working, visits may extend past 2 weeks to achieve maximum medical improvement.