A spinal disc is a section of cartilage that separates the individual bones of the spine - a bit like a flexible shock absorber. Sometimes one or more discs can bulge or tear, exerting pressure on or irritating nerves that exit the spine. Symptoms can include "shooting" leg pain, buttock pain, numbness and weakness. This type of injury is often known as a "slipped disc" or bulging disc. The sciatic nerve is the main nerve in the leg that can be affected, hence the terms "sciatica".
Sciatica and related terms are some of the most frequently searched terms on google (paired with "Chiropractor"). Although fairly common there are other causes of back and leg pain. We work with people suffering these and other symptoms everyday. If this is you, get in touch.
Solutions, Options and Evidence
Finding expert help for sciatica/ sciatic pain and identifying a bulging disc can be tricky. There is a lack of people with suitable training and "high level" research studies are only gradually emerging. Back in 2010 a review attempted to decide what "conditions" Chiropractic had been shown to help according to published evidence. It did not find evidence to strongly support Chiropractic as helpful with sciatica. A more recent studyfound that 87% of patients have pain after spinal fusion. Try not to worry, you are probably in the right place... Read on!
The 2010 research claim does not leave you without options. In fact there IS evidence to guide the managment of this type of injury through a range of techniques including FLEXION DISTRACTION which we offer at Mendip Chiropractic. Find a professional who is confident assessing and helping you. Call us!
Chiropractic and Flexion Distraction at Mendip Chiropractic
Flexion Distraction combines specialist equipment and techniques. A local area of your spine, in the region of a suspected disc bulge, can be gently stretched in a specific, controlled movement. This has a local traction effect. Traction techniques have been shown to lower pressure in the spinal discs and nerves. The technique can also be applied to certain other spinal injuries and accrued damage. Not all Chiropractors have the training, equipment and experience with Flexion Distraction.
There is evidence that Flexion Distraction can be effective. Was this evidence even considered in 2010?!
We are trained in this and have invested in the specialist equipment necessary. It is just one of the ways that we might offer as help for your road to recovery. In fact we usually do many more things. We hope, by reading this you can understand the complexity of this issue, and that there are potential options available depending on your precise circumstances.
Chiropractic - Professional Spine Care
Chiropractors study for an initial 5 year Masters level degree qualification before they enter practice. Much of the experience gained in practice comes from working with people who have symptoms such as spine related pain as well as regular addtional extra courses. Chiropractic itself is not a specific technique but a profession and you may find that different Chiropractors use different techniques, ranging from a spinal adjustment, massage to advice and exercise suggestions. When you visit Mendip Chiropractic we will take time to understand your situation and advise you appropriately. We have taken additional courses specific to the identification and treatment of sciatic related problems.