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Sciatica

Sciatic nerve

Approximately 25% of our patients come to us with a specific complaint of lower back pain running down the leg. Often referred to as SCIATICA, the discomfort can be described as a deep dull ache or a sharp and burning pain. The pain may be continuous from the back of the thigh all the way to the foot. It is not uncommon for patients to also complain of pins and needles or numbness in their limbs especially when sitting or driving.

There are two main causes of sciatica; the nerve may be trapped under or within the piriformis muscle, a muscle deep in the buttock, or there may be misalignments of the spine, causing irritation on the small nerves which form the sciatic nerve.

The symptoms can be brought on by old injuries, repetitive strains, poor posture, motor vehicle accidents or just everyday living.

In several studies conducted in the UK, Australia and North America to establish the efficacy of spinal manipulation as a treatment for lower back pain researchers reported that “the trend for spinal manipulation to produce better results than any other form of treatment to which it was compared was very consistent”. Patients have consistently reported to have had longer lasting results, fewer relapses and much faster recovery from back and leg pain.

If you suffer from
• Pins and Needles in the leg
• Sharp stabbing pain in the leg
• Difficulty sitting, standing or walking
• Lower back pain
• Muscle spasms and stiffness

– then it’s time to see your Chiropractor!

sciatic nerve pain

Planning a New Year Exercise Regime?

Has the festive period taken its toll and you are starting 2017 determined to be fitter and healthier?
January often sees a surge in gym membership with people wanting to loose some unwanted weight or fulfilling a new year resolution to live a healthier lifestyle. In recent years, it’s not just gyms that have see this seasonal increase, extreme programmes such as boot camps are popular too.

However, taking on exercise regimes your body is not used to can take its toll and the British Chiropractic Association urges people to prepare before embarking on their exercise programme.

According to research by the BCA, exercise is the trigger for 30% of those experiencing back or neck pain. For people embarking on an exercise regime, especially one that is new, the risk of suffering neck or back pain can be higher so it is important to be well prepared.

To help people who are preparing to take up exercise this new year, the BCA has developed the following top tips:

•    Seek professional advice to check that there are no medical reasons why you should not exercise, particularly if you are not normally physically active. Also, a chiropractor can help you address any injuries before starting an exercise regime.

•    Remember to warm up and warm down before and after any activity. Start with less strenuous activity like walking or jogging and finish with some light stretches at the end of an exercise session – this may help minimise muscle stiffness and reduce the chance of muscle strain.

•    Keep well hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids before, during and after exercise – this will help your muscles work more efficiently and will reduce aches and pains after exercise.

•    Make sure you wear the right attire for your chosen activity.  Wearing tight clothes when exercising could constrict your movement and lead to injury.

•    Wear appropriate footwear for the type of exercise you are doing – most specialist sportswear retailers will be able to advise you on this.

•    If you are enrolling in a gym, make sure you receive training on any equipment and if you are signing up to a programme, try and make sure you get proper training, advice and ongoing supervision.

Rishi Loatey, a chiropractor from the BCA, says: It’s great that people want to get fit and having a goal to aim for can really help achieve this but endurance activity can put the body under huge amounts of stress, particularly if it’s not used to it and you’re not prepared. A chiropractor can advise you on how to approach a new exercise routine and tell you what signs to look for if you’re overdoing it.

Stressed?

stressed-santa

The modern world is becoming increasingly complex, and the demands on our time and attention are many. It’s often said that stress is one of the most destructive elements in people’s daily lives, but that’s only a half-truth. The way we react to stress is more important than the stress itself!

There are three types of stress that affect the body: chemical stress, physical stress and emotional stress, all of which can create nerve interference in the body.

Chemical stress includes things you ingest or inhale. Preservatives in food, medications, alcohol, smoggy air and pollen are just a few examples of chemical stressors that can irritate the nervous system.

Physical stress includes repetitive motions, improper posture (such as leaning over your computer keyboard or falling asleep in an awkward position) and traumas such as car accidents or falling. Physical stress can result in muscle tightening or loss of muscle tone, which can contribute to joint and disc problems, ultimately resulting in the nerve disturbances that cause pain and immobility.

Emotional stress is less tangible, but often the bigger problem. Emotional stress includes worrying over finances, grief, anger or frustration, that result in tension in the body, particularly in any areas that are already weakened or overworked. This tension can lead to tight muscles and irritation of the nerves.

Chronic Stress means you never completely relax. Many studies of people who have been subjected to chronic stress have found evidence of negative health effects. These effects include high blood pressure, damage to muscle tissue, diabetes, infertility, damage to the immune response, and slowed healing from disease and injury. Stress reactions are also at the root of disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder, and stress has been linked in human and animal research with cardiovascular disease.

The Chiropractic Approach

Chiropractors work primarily with the spine, the root of the nervous system through which nerve impulses travel from the brain to the rest of the body. One effect of chronic stress is prolonged muscle tension and contraction. This muscle tension creates uneven pressures on the bony structures of the body, often leading to misalignment of the spinal column.

Chronic stress also leads to nerve irritation. Chiropractic adjustments release muscle tension and reduce spinal nerve irritation, which helps the body return to a more balanced, relaxed state. These changes can, in many cases, convince the brain to turn off the fight or flight response, beginning the process of healing.

A chiropractor cannot make a job less stressful, or create a quieter, calmer world. What chiropractic treatment can do is help you develop healthy responses to stress, reducing potential physical damage.

If you or someone you know has been under a lot of stress, maybe it’s time for a chiropractic check-up?

 
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