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. 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 and buttock 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 spasms, stenosis, and inflammation.
Chiropractic care can provide effective means of targeting the lower back. Chiropractic interventions that have proven effective include spinal manipulation, Cox Flexion-Distraction, Active Release Therapy, and Graston technique.
A herniated, slipped, ruptured, or bulging disc refers to the damaging of the tissue that separates the vertebral bones of the spinal column. These small, spongy, structures 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).
Spinal Stenosis and Degenerative Disc Disease
Spinal stenosis refers to the narrowing of the central spinal canal. It is most commonly the result of degeneration arthritis of the discs between the vertebrae, which causes compression of the spinal cord therefore causing back and leg pain. 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, and is alleviated with rest.
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 Flexion-Distraction. Rehabilitation such as isolated spinal stabilization can be especially helpful with regaining normal function and improving your ability to perform daily activities.
From head to toe, the human body consists of working parts that have the tendency to become injured, break down from overuse, cause pain and require attention. These conditions may require attention including chiropractic care and rehabilitation which can be helpful in relieving these painful conditions.
Headaches, while not usually an indicator of serious illness, are a major cause of pain and suffering, lost work, and doctor visits. If a patient suffers from debilitating headaches, chiropractic care may offer drug-free relief from their symptoms.
Most headaches originate in the muscles (tension headaches), joints (cervicogenic), blood vessels (migraines) or sinuses, are a result of systemic conditions such as low blood sugar or a fever. Numerous studies have examined the efficacy of chiropractic manipulation for reducing the severity of some types of headaches. A recent study from the Duke University evidence based practice center found that chiropractic spinal manipulation was superior to other manual treatments, resulted in more sustained improvement for cervicogenic headaches and had significantly fewer side effects and offered longer lasting relief of tension-type headaches than commonly prescribed medicines.
Neck and Arm Pain
The area of the neck, from the base of the head to the top of the shoulders, is a common source of pain. Neck pain is often caused by strain or injury such as a fall, or whiplash suffered in an automobile accident. It can limit movement of the head and back, cause muscle spasms and swelling of the neck joints. Chiropractic care (such as manual chiropractic treatments, Active Release Therapy and Cox Flexion-Distraction) are all effective means of targeting neck and arm pain, relief for these symptoms and help speed recovery.
Automobile and Work-Related Injuries
If you have sustained injuries as a result of an automobile accident, suffered a personal injury or have been hurt on the job, prompt access to rehabilitative care may be essential for full recovery. The office of Drs. Abrams, Piazza and Julewicz specializes in treating these injuries by utilizing numerous techniques and tools to provide relief for both traumatic injuries and chronic conditions.
If a patient has been injured at work, they should contact their supervisor and inform them of the accident. If a patient is injured in an auto accident, they should contact their insurance company and inform them of the accident. Upon contact, they will provide the patient with the necessary paperwork to document their injury. It is important to be evaluated by a healthcare professional as soon as possible following a work-related or auto accident. This will minimize any long-term effects caused by the accident.
The doctors at the office of Drs. Abrams, Piazza and Julewicz understand the sensitive nature of these types of injuries, and are committed to working with our patients toward their complete recovery.
Pre-Natal and Post-Natal Conditions
Chiropractic care can offer safe and effective relief for many unique health challenges faced by pregnant women. The American Pregnancy Association recommends chiropractic care during pregnancy for controlling symptoms of nausea; reducing the time of labor and delivery, and the potential for cesarean delivery; relieving back, neck and joint pain; and for maintaining the expectant mother’s overall health and comfort.
Repetitive Overuse Injuries
Repetitive overuse Injuries, whether the result of occupational demands, poor posture, past injury or athletic activities, can take a toll on your body. Chronic soft-tissue stress from repetitive motion can cause your body to produce tough, dense scar tissue that can impair joint function and alter movement patterns. Signs of a possible overuse injury are pain, decreased range of motion, loss of strength and numbness and weakness if nerves are involved. Usually, these injuries have components of soft-tissue dysfunction, joint dysfunction and movement pattern dysfunctions, which all must be assessed and addressed to fully resolve the condition.
Exercise, while highly encouraged for its health benefits, can also be a cause of repetitive overuse injuries. For example, running and cycling can cause repetitive stress to your entire body. Stabbing pain that persists, or a mild discomfort that becomes severe, are signals that something is wrong and should be examined.
The office of Drs. Abrams, Piazza and Julewicz specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of overuse injuries, regardless of cause or origin. We offer tools and techniques to assess and eliminate tissue, joint and movement pattern dysfunction, chiropractic manipulation for joint dysfunction and functional rehabilitation for movement pattern dysfunction and stabilization. Our multi-dimensional approach offers a broad prescription for relief.