Articles in Category: Chiropractic

Low Back Pain (LBP) associated with Leg Pain/Discomfort

on Thursday, 14 February 2019. Posted in Newsletters, General Health, Ergonomics, Chiropractic

Low Back Pain (LBP) associated with Leg Pain/Discomfort

Practitioner: “Can you please describe your problem for me?”

Patient: “Yes. I have this Chronic Lower Back Pain that if it triggers, I can feel in my leg(s) as well. I start work from 9am, the pain will start crawling in after an hour of sitting, and then I can feel the pain down into my leg(s) after that. But, if I stand up and walk around a little bit, the pain will ease. This is why I have been putting treatment off for so long.”

 

Does this sound familiar?

The question is why does the LBP sometimes follow with leg pain? If the LBP is already a pain in the backside, why does the leg pain love to join the party?

If we look into the User’s Manual for the human body – lower body in particular, the question can easily be answered.

 

The difference between disc origin and muscular origin is if the pain travels below the knee. This is the reason why most practitioners are critical to the pain below or above the knee. If the pain travels below the knee, it is suggested to be disc lesion. If the pain does not travel below the knee, it is suggested to be muscular-related. Unfortunately, there is a User’s Manual 1.1 that specifies that each person is unique, and there could be an occasional case where the above situation differs.

 

Studies have shown that younger patients experience more discomfort in a sitting position due to increased disc pressure, but gain relief by standing up and walking (Souza, 2014). Whereas older patients have trouble when walking or standing due to gravity pull with a compressive effect that applies pressure onto the posterior (back) aspect of the region (Souza, 2014).

 

The patient sometimes describes the pain only in one leg or both legs at the same time. The difference between the two is disc-related pain for one leg and stenosis-related (narrowing) leg pain for both legs.

 

Pain below the knee is suggested to be caused by a disc lesion; chiropractic treatment usually has a beneficial effect and is able to achieve a good result.

 

Pain above the knee is suggested to be muscular-related. A trigger point is a term used to describe a tender area of the body that is irritated by a particular muscle group and has created a referral pattern to another area of the body. An example such as, an iliopsoas trigger point can cause referral pattern down to the front of the thigh, a piriformis trigger point can cause referral pattern down to the back of the thigh, or a Tensor Fascia Lata (TFL) can cause referral pattern down to the side of the thigh. These three muscles are located either deep inside our lumbar region or on the side of our hip region, which can mimic LBP. If by adding trigger point patterns into the equation, we have a lower back pain associated with leg pain/discomfort symptom.

 

Therefore, finding a practitioner with the advanced ability to diagnose this is essential to determine which type of treatment is most suitable for the patient. Once the partitioner is found, it would be wise to stick with them. If the partitioner provides effective treatment, plus a strong ethical view, it is considered hitting the jackpot.

 

 

Written by David Hsu

Dip Remedial Massage, Bachelor Rn. Diploma Osteopathy (Canada)

 

Reference:

Souza, T. (2014). Differential Diagnosis and Management for Chiropractors. Burlington: Jones & Bartlett Learning, LLC.

 

Musculoskeletal Development

on Thursday, 28 January 2016. Posted in General Health, Ergonomics, Chiropractic

Musculoskeletal Development

Musculoskeletal Development

 

When we are born we're usually around 50cm long. Once we're fully grown we have added another 115cm to that. It all seems normal and usually it happens without any issues, however there are very complicated processes at work that are influenced by so many factors. To name a few: hormones, exercise level, diet, and different pathologies.

 

Bone growth

 

At the end of your bone there is a disc like structure of non-ossified cartilage, this is the growth plate. By multiplying the cartilage the cells help expand the bone and this is how people grow. When we age, eventually all the cartilage ossifies and we stop growing.

 

Even though the growth plates have been ossified in adults this does not mean the bones are not operational. Bone is being broken down and relayed constantly throughout one’s life. The production of bone is being stimulated by Oestrogen a hormone this is the reason why the bone strength deteriorates in post-menopausal women.

 

Hormones

 

The growth hormone is important for development and is made in the pituitary gland within your brain. The hormone causes longitudinal growth by stimulating the growth plates. The release of this hormone into your blood stream isn't a continuous occurrence but more a collection of bursts. These bursts happen at night two hours after you've fallen asleep. Besides sleeping, physical exercise has a positive effect on the release of this hormone as well.

 

In addition to the growth hormone, the Thyroid hormones and sex steroids (testosterone and oestrogen) play an important part in an individual’s growth. Sex steroids cause rapid growth during puberty, up to 12cm a year! But even in adults the growth hormone has a number of important functions. It’s important to the musculoskeletal system, bone density, metabolism and our wellbeing.

 

What are growing pains?

 

Growing pains are pains felt by children and adolescents at night on both sides of their bodies.

 

There are many different theories on what exactly causes growing pains. One such theory suggests that the pain is caused by the stretching of the muscles and tendons as the bones grow. As discussed previously we don't grow the same amount from one day to the next so the pain can be present during one night and gone the next. It is nothing to be concerned about, as a parent you can try to massage the area. If the pain persists however refer to a healthcare practitioner.

 

Chiropractic care and developing children

 

As you'll understand by now, there is a lot happening in your body during your youth. And we've only been discussing bone growth. Your muscles need to elongate at the same speed and that can lead to diminished coordination. This is mostly seen during puberty as this is when you grow the most. It is important for youngsters to be exercising lots, this best enables the body to adapt to all the changes, what is more you are training your motor skills.

 

It is important however that you exercise and move in the correct way, using the correct motor patterns. This is where chiropractic can help. By making sure that the joints can move freely, the muscles can function better, which, can optimise growth and prevent injuries. By treating problem areas, addressing faulty movement patterns and explaining certain preventative measures, chiropractic endeavours to help our youths move without pain and diminish the risk of injury so that playing sports remains fun!

Osteoarthritis Vs Rheumatoid Arthritis

on Thursday, 03 March 2016. Posted in General Health, Chiropractic

Osteoarthritis Vs Rheumatoid Arthritis

By Jakob van Vlijmen

M Chiro, DC

 

Arthritis is often referred to as a single disease. In fact, it is an umbrella term for more than 100 medical conditions that affect the musculoskeletal system, specifically joints where two or more bones meet. Today we will discuss Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis as they are the most common and there is some confusion about their causes and possible treatment methods.

 

Between the bones and joints of our body sits our cartilage, this cartilage prevents the bones from rubbing against each other and helps joints move with ease. Some wear and tear of this cartilage is a natural process and happens to all of us when we age; this is called Osteoarthritis (OA). Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) however is an auto immune disease in which the body attacks its own cartilage causing it to break down. The cause of Rheumatoid Arthritis is not clear, it is believed however, to involve a combination of genetic and environmental factors such as smoking, obesity, and heavy drinking.

 

OA most often affects the knees, hips, lower back, big toe of the feet and the small joints in the hand at the very end of the fingers. While RA most often affects the small joints in the hand closest to the body, the feet and the cervical spine, however some bigger joints like the shoulder and knee can be involved. Patients complain of stiff and painful joints, the pain is usually worse on waking or after having been stationary for some time and decreases after movement. It takes a lot longer for the morning pain in RA to subside than it does with OA which usually subsides within the hour. Surrounding muscles can cramp up due to joint dysfunction which can further exacerbate the symptoms and cause difficulties in adjacent areas. For example OA in the lower back can give pain in the buttock area and OA in the hip can cause pain in the groin.

 

In most cases of RA a Rheumatologist may prescribe a number of different medications depending on your symptoms and the severity of your condition. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are commonly prescribed to reduce pain and inflammation. The disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) are a special group of medications used to decrease the abnormal function of the immune system that drives Rheumatoid Arthritis. Biological DMARDs are the newest class of Arthritis medication and work to stop the disease progressing by targeting specific molecules in the immune system. Often you may be on a combination of medications. Chiropractic care cannot stop the immune system from attacking the joint so it has a limited role to play in the care of RA. Chiropractic care can help however with symptomatic relief of pain that has a mechanical origin due to compensatory movement patterns caused by the RA. In simple terms if your left hand hurts due to RA using the right one more can cause a strain on it. Chiropractic care can help manage or prevent this.

 

In some cases of OA a joint replacement might be the best strategy however, depending on the degrees of discomfort and the patient’s lifestyle it might be managed with conservative care. In spinal OA conservative management is the only option as spine replacement is not (yet) possible. In this area chiropractic care can be of great service. How well a joint functions is influenced by many different factors; the quality of the articulating bones, the surrounding ligament and the muscles that move the joint. So there are quite a few factors that chiropractic care can influence and this makes a world of differences for some and for others less so. Talk to us today to find out if chiropractic care can help you.