Causes of leg pain can be many and varied. There are of course the obvious injuries incurred directly to the area, but other causes are not so clear. The nerves of the lower back are responsible for movement, strength and sensation in the legs, amongst other functions. Problems derived in the low back may cause pain referral to the buttocks, legs and feet.’ Sciatica’ is a term often used inappropriately for general thigh pain but true sciatica is isolated to the posterior thigh and follows a particular pathway. Hip and knee pain can refer to other parts of the leg too. Correct diagnosis can prevent months or even years of inappropriate treatment regimes.
Back pain can manifest in many ways. As above low back pain, can cause referred pain and dysfunction to the legs but also the groin, buttocks and abdomen. We feel pain when the nerve pathways are interfered with due to inflammation, compression, impingement or disease processes. Identifying the cause helps to provide the correct approach to solving the problem. If you suffer with sudden sharp, shooting, hot pain in the back which may radiate and produce weakness or pain somewhere else, never apply heat without first consulting an appropriate professional. This might be a disc problem and heat will only make things worse, if not immediately then in the longer term. Ice (cryotherapy) by far is a safer mode of pain relief.
Wrap an ice pack (improvise from your freezer) in a tea towel and place on the affected area of the back for a maximum of 10 minutes, then remove for 10 minutes and repeat 3 times, so in 1 hour you have had 30 minutes of ice and 30 minutes without. This is more effective than a straight 30 minutes of ice.
Heat has its place in pain relief particularly in dealing with muscle strains. Chiropractors’ training ensures that they are specialised in identifying and treating the underlying cause of pain, thus making chiropractic an effective and in many cases a lasting and cost effective approach. Back problems can cause immobility and have a considerably negative impact on our life style. Chiropractic treatment can be very effective in restoring mobility and reducing pain, especially in chronic back pain problems.
Problems associated with the neck are often not initially so obvious. Joint stiffness is often the first thing we notice when we have a neck related issue, turning to park the car becomes less easy. Seeking treatment for just this is certainly good enough reason but then you notice that the headaches you have suffered for years reduce in severity or frequency. Joint pain in the neck often manifests itself in such ways due to nerve irritation feeding pain signals back to the head; this is called cervicogenic headache and is often migraine like in nature. Neuromuscular impingement in the neck can be caused in many ways. High velocity impact, often referred to as ‘whiplash’, is one such way. The high-speed change in direction of the neck and head changes the biomechanical positioning and relationship of the components within the cervical and often thoracic spine (neck and upper back). This can be the root cause of often chronic pain which at times can be severe. Referred pain can manifest in the arms, wrists and hands and can produce symptoms such as weakness and pins and needles. Chiropractic manipulation (adjustments and mobilisation) combined with exercise can often prove very effective at reducing such symptoms.
General joint pain can really impact our lives, affecting our sense of health and wellbeing. There can be many reasons for this and inflammatory conditions such as the group to which Arthritis belongs are but one cause. Whilst Chiropractic treatment is contraindicated during periods of inflammation in Rheumatoid arthritis and some other arthritidies, it is effective in maintaining mobility during the non-inflammatory stages. Osteoarthritis often referred to as ‘wear and tear’ responds very well for both pain relief and improved mobility. Beyond those conditions already mentioned, joint pain can be very specific and localised, caused often by a recent (acute) specific injury. The complementary approach taken at Greenacres Chiropractic Centre means that working with chiropractic techniques along side, Activator techniques, Kinesio taping, dry needling and other soft tissue massage methods, many peripheral (limb) joint problems can also be addressed. Sometimes we work in conjunction with other healthcare professionals, recommending participation in other modalities but we always strive to support you the patient. We are happy to work along side the NHS system, please contact us to discuss you options..