Disc injury, sciatica and pinched nerves are an all too common complaint of clients that present at Sports & Spinal Albury. The spine is an amazing structure when it is healthy. Unfortunately, as it starts to breakdown so can the intervertebral discs. These discs can degenerate or breakdown allowing the soft central part of the disc to bulge and distort in shape, protrude or even in severe cases herniate or sequestrate. When this happens, the space the nerve passes through (intervertebral foramen) can become compromised.
Depending on how significant the compression is and what level in the spine it is happening will dictate the symptoms present. The lower back is the most common place for this to occur. When significant enough in the lower back, pain into the buttock and back of the leg or sciatica is a common presentation.
What are the signs and symptoms?
- Usually a fit young adult (20-45yrs old)
- Onset is highly variable. It can be from something as little as a minor strain such as bending, twisting or lifting. Sometimes there is even no apparent cause.
- Pain can be dull, aching, knife like, felt centrally or on one side usually in the lower back
- Initially it may be intermittent and changed by position.
- Pain is often aggravated by sitting, straining, coughing or sneezing
- Pain usually becomes severe and may disturb sleep
- Previous episodes are not uncommon
- Leg pain may follow back pain, usually it is just on one side
- Associated neurological symptoms may include paraesthesia, numbness, leg cramps and/or weakness.
At Sports & Spinal Albury we understand the importance of early diagnosis and treatment of a condition like this one. We understand the importance of not just looking at the problem but also addressing the underlying cause. As Osteopaths we are trained to look at the body holistically and thus looking at all these other contributing areas is something that comes naturally to us. Treatment will aim to improve the function of not only the area of dysfunction but also addressing the other areas that may be increasing the strain on these areas. We believe that treating the problem AND its underlying cause is the best way to restore healthy joint function