Physiotherapy

BACK COMPLAINTS

 

What is a Hernia?

A hernia is when the soft middle of an intervertebral disc is pushed out through a small break in the disc wall. The shooting pain is caused by an intervertebral vertebra that is tearing due to incorrect loading.  Such a tear is called a herniation in the medical world.

 

A hernia is a damage to the intervertebral disc that bulges/pushes on a nerve root/spinal cord. An intervertebral disc serves as a shock absorber in movement of the spine and makes room for the nerve root as it exits the spinal cord. The intervertebral disc can weaken due to wrong movement patterns, for example by lifting, poor posture or a lot of repetition in a certain movement. Especially a combination of bending and turning can be very stressful. The pressure on the nerve root can cause neck pain with radiation to the arm, numbness and reduced strength.  

Most common symptoms of a lower back (lumbar) disc irritation/hernia:

  • Pain in the lower back, hip, pelvis and leg

  • Pain with certain movements (bending, twisting, lifting, sitting)

  • Radiation pain over the pelvis, buttocks and leg

  • Referral manifests as tingling or numbness in the arm/foot

  • Pain in the lower back when coughing/sneezing/bearing down

 

Do you recognise yourself in the above symptoms /information? Make an appointment with one of our chiropractors now.

 

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What is Lower Cross Syndrome?

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This muscle imbalance leads to joint dysfunction (ligamentous load and increased pressure, especially in the L4-L5 and L5-S1 vertebral segments, the SI joint and hip joint), joint pain (lower back, hip and knee) and specific postural changes such as: anterior pelvic tilt, increased lumbar lordosis, lateral lumbar shift, external rotation of hip and knee hyperextension.

 

It can also lead to changes in posture in other parts of the body, such as: increased thoracic kyphosis (mid back curve) and increased cervical lordosis (neck curve).

Tight Hip flexors: In the seated position, the hip flexor complex stays in the shortened position. This leads to chronic tightness and many times an anterior pulling of the pelvis.

Tight Erector Spinae: Thoracolumbar Fascia and Quadratus Lumborum: Tightness here is many times found with trigger points and dysfunctional vertebrae.

Weak Abdominals: Our abdominals are the most important aspect of stabilizing our spine. In lower crossed syndrome, many times they are inhibited. Weak abdominals can lead to an array of lumbar spine issues.

Weak Gluteal muscles: The gluteals muscles are an important stabilising muscle especially during walking.

 

What is Sciatica?

Sciatica is a nerve that starts in spinal cord of the lower back and runs along the buttock and the back of the leg until it reaches the foot. The complaints can therefore occur in the entire area, which is operated by this nerve. Sciatica is usually accompanied by a nagging, burning or stabbing pain in the lower back, buttock, leg and foot. In some cases, this condition can lead to failure symptoms and loss of function. ​

 

Symptoms of Sciatica irritation include: muscle weakness in the lower back, buttock or leg/legs tingling/numbness in the lower back, buttock or leg/legs muscle cramps in the lower back, buttock or leg(s), decreased reflexes in the area through which this large nerve passes, 'slap foot',  burning/nagging/stabbing pain in the lower back, buttock or leg/legs ​

 

Why is the sciatic nerve irritated?

Sciatica is caused by inflammation, damage or irritation of the sciatic nerve. 

It can occur in:

  • intervertebral vertebrae of the back that bulge (hernia) or are damaged

  • a pregnancy or childbirth

  • the wrong lifting posture

  • overweight

  • poor posture

  • inflammation in the nerve of cold and flu

  • other forms of overloading of the large leg nerve and due to (physical, chemical or emotional) stress.

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What is Lumbago?

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At Spit we experience an acute pain shoot, popularly we also speak of "going through your back". Sometimes one is then crooked for a few days (an antalgic posture). The shooting pain can be caused by an intervertebral disc that is tearing due to incorrect load. ​ The pain that we experience with digging is due to a compression / tightness of the large nerve bundle, which runs from the lower back into the leg: the Sciatica nerve.

 

The term Sciatica comes from here. With digging, the pain can be nagging or stabbing and sometimes extends all the way to the lower leg or even the foot. However, usually the pain remains only in the lower back, buttock and upper leg.

 

Sciatica, lumbago, hernia or all present? ​

The biggest challenge for chiropractors is to be able to distinguish sciatica from a hernia/intervertebral irritation. After all, the complaints are very similar. On the basis of data from an interview and neuro-orthopedic research, they can make a diagnosis.