Sciatica

The standard medical approach for sciatica varies depending on how severe it is. Treatment can range from muscle relaxers, pain killers, and NSAIDs, to rest and physical therapy. These treatments have proven ineffective at times, often requiring surgery, which also does not have the best success rate. While surgery has a time and a place, it should be a last resort, and even then it should be made through informed decision-making. In fact, the medical community has even coined the term ‘failed back surgery syndrome’ because of how common surgical complications have become.

Chiropractors have helped millions of people with low back and sciatic pain in a natural, non-invasive way. This is accomplished by realigning the spine to take pressure off the nerve causing the pain. The sciatic nerve originates in the lumbar spine, and although sciatic pain can radiate down the leg and possibly to the toes, most chiropractors focus on the low back to treat the condition at its source.

A case report conducted on two patients with sciatic neuropathy and confirmed disc herniation were treated with low force chiropractic treatment. Follow-up CAT scans in the first case revealed complete absence of disc herniation. Follow-up CAT scans on the second case revealed the continued presence of a silent disc bulge at the L3-4 level and partial decrease in a herniation at the L4-5 level. The bulge appeared to have shifted away from the nerve root. Both patients declared a decrease in pain levels from severe to minimal. The patients regained the ability to stand, sit, and walk for longer periods without discomfort, and lifting tasks also became easier. The patients were able to return to full work capacity at three and nine months, respectively.

Chiropractic consultation is a prudent first step for anyone suffering from sciatica. According to research, it has proven to be the most effective source of treatment for low back pain and sciatica. One study compared 700,000 people who were under regular chiropractic care and found that these people had saved an estimated $16 million on health care costs.

Stress

Three main factors can cause misalignments in the spine resulting in nerve interference: thoughts, traumas, and toxins. Thoughts are the most common causes of spinal misalignments. People suffer from a range of emotional, relationship, and financial issues, and unfortunately they are not entirely escapable.

In the 1950s, Dr. Selye studied the effect of stress on the human body and presented his work to the world in the concept of the “General Adaptation Syndrome,” for which he won the 1964 Nobel Prize. This was a revolutionary concept of mental and physical illness and it was, at the time, acclaimed as the most important and far-reaching idea in the history of medicine: the idea that stress is the cause of all disease.

The longer we are under stress, the more our immune system is weakened. Stress releases a chemical called cortisol, which in excess can cause an array of problems.

One of the best ways to reduce stress is through chiropractic adjustments. Chiropractors are trained to remove you from one of the most severe stressors of all: the subluxation (or nerve interference). Subluxation is common and can even be painless, but it can exacerbate physical and emotional stress. As chiropractors begin to remove these subluxations the body begins to heal and adapt to the environment instead of being stuck in the same chronic state. Many research studies have linked the chiropractic adjustment to increasing one’s state of well-being on an emotional level. Specifically the torque release technique has been linked to overall improvements in the state of one’s body.

Whiplash

The cervical spine provides structural stability and support for the cranium, as well as a protection for the spinal cord and vertebral arteries. It also enables flexible movement and balance adaptation while allowing for directional orientation of the eyes and ears. Nowhere in the spine is the relationship between the osseous structures and the surrounding neurologic and vascular beds as intimate or susceptible to injury as it is in the cervical region. Whether induced by trauma or not, cervical subluxation syndromes may impact the whole body. IVF insults, and the effects of articular fixations, can manifest throughout the motor, sensory, and autonomic nervous systems. Many peripheral nerve symptoms in the shoulder, arm, and hand originate in the cervical spine, as do some brainstem disorders.

It’s hard to believe that at such slow speeds your body may become injured, but researchers recently conducted low speed rear impact tests and concluded that 29% of people developed symptoms related to whiplash at speeds of just 2.5mph. Furthermore, it has been shown that a 10mph rear-end collision can produce up to 9 G’s of force in your neck! Keep in mind, the speed of the collision does not correlate to the degree of injury your body may sustain.

The appropriate chiropractic treatment is unique to each whiplash injury and is directed at the primary dysfunctions detected during the chiropractic exam. Chiropractors are trained to diagnose and treat many of the injuries that are typically associated with whiplash. The length of treatment depends on the severity of the whiplash and the results from the examination. The sooner you get checked after an accident, the smoother and quicker the recovery will be.

More than one million people suffer whiplash injuries each year, and about 10% of those end up with chronic pain that affects their daily activities. If you or someone you know is suffering from pain related to an auto accident, get it checked out by a professional. You don’t deserve to be in chronic pain.