sciatica problem - 3 Simple Tests for Back Pain
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3 Simple Tests for Back Pain

Back Pain affects over 80% of adults at some stage. Yes you have heard and seen this countless times before. You may be reading this is pain right now and are one of these statistics. But...


Causes The sciatic nerve is commonly injured by fractures of the pelvis, gunshot wounds, or other trauma to the buttocks or thigh. Prolonged sitting or lying with pressure on the buttocks may also injure it. Systemic diseases, such as diabetes, can typically damage many different nerves, including the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve may also be harmed by pressure from masses such as a tumor or abscess, or by bleeding in the pelvis.


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 Back Pain Test 1: Look at your self in a mirror. Stand without trying to get into the perfect position. Just stand in a relaxed fashion and observe any postural differences.

Sciatica refers to pain that begins in the hip and buttocks and continues all the way down the leg. This condition is often accompanied by low back pain, which can be more or less severe than the leg pain. The term "sciatica" indicates that the sciatic nerve, which travels from the lower back through the buttocks and into the leg, is thought to be the cause of the pain in this condition. True sciatica is a condition that occurs when a herniated lumbar disc compresses one of the contributing roots of the sciatic nerve. This type of low back pain is less common than other causes and conditions that produce back pain.

Sciatica refers to pain along the path of the sciatica nerve. It is usually caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve. Fortunately, most cases of sciatica are not serious and usually resolve within six weeks. The sciatic nerve branches off nerve roots at the lower end of the spinal cord - it's two branches run from the lower back through the each side of the pelvis, buttocks, back of leg to the foot.

If any of these occur, the test is positive which indicates there is pelvic and lower back imbalance and muscular imbalances. Lower back pain, sciatica or back pain in general is likely to occur.

Lie on your back and raise one leg slowly as far as you can. Rest your leg down gently and then do the same for the other side. Notice if it is easier to lift one leg compared to the other. Is there any pain or stiffness performing this test? Can you lift one leg higher than the other?

Sciatica's symptoms and complications The most important symptom of sciatica is that a pain in that runs down from the buttocks and unto the back of the leg and thighs. It not necessary that the pain stops there it may even continue down to the foot or can below the knee. The pain that one feels due sciatica has a variation nature: it can be sharp or dull, burning or shooting sensation, non-stop or may come in intervals. One of its properties is that the pain is felt on only one part of the body. Some complain about a acute or intense pain others complain about numbness or weakening in parts of the leg where it hurts the most. This can sometimes lead to serious neurological problems.

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Commonly the major cause can be pinned as disc herniation in the lumbar spine which presses directly on the sciatic nerve and any triggers by such a reaction for example by irritation of the nerve from adjacent bone which in turn produces the symptoms of sciatica. Besides a compressed or a pinched nerve, other causes could also be tumors, muscle, internal bleeding, infections, injury etc. thus sciatica is not really a disease by itself but rather many other dependants make it into a medical condition worthy of attention

Pain that radiates into the buttocks and down the leg is often referred to as sciatica. Yes, sciatica pain can be caused by irritation of the nerve root from a herniated disc. But, chances are your sciatica symptoms are the result of irritation of the sciatic nerve from a structure outside the spine.

Symptoms can vary from extreme pain in the low back radiating into one buttock and down the leg. Pain often increases on exertion or bending forward. Alternatively, there may only be a mild sensation in the leg or buttock. There may be numbness in the area, weakness in the leg and diminution of the reflexes. Pain may be triggered by coughing or straining and can be so severe that the lower back becomes locked in sideways bending position (scoliosis) caused by a strong contraction.

Treatment such as ultrasound, electrical stimulation, massage, and moist heat, while soothing, do nothing to address your muscle imbalances. Even surgical intervention is ineffective if you don't first address the underlying muscle imbalances.

The Truth About Herniated Disks May Shock You Did you know that if we were to perform an MRI on people with NO back pain, as high as 85% of those people would show evidence of a herniated disc? The truth is that if you have back pain, there's a good chance a herniated disc has NOTHING to do with your pain.

Back Pain Test 3: This is called a straight leg raise. If at any time performing this test you notice any pain, stop it immediately. Perform this test gently and slowly...

Bad news? Maybe but in all likelihood, it's not as bad as you may think. You may have heard people say they have a "slipped" or "ruptured" disc in the back. You may have even heard terms like "bulging" or "protruding" discs. These are common "street names" that describe a herniated disc.

It is the nerve that starts at the buttocks and runs down the back of the leg. It is a combination of multiple spinal nerves and is about an inch long in the buttocks. Generally, when people start complaining about pain in the sciatic nerve, it's not the sciatic nerve that created this pain, instead, it's a problem of the nerve being pinched when it leaves the spine.

2. Increase your awareness of specific symptoms that may implicate a more serious back problem. These include: Fever in addition to intense back or neck pain.

If your pelvis is twisted, when you lie down one side will put more pressure on your hand and less on the other side. This indicates a mis-alignment in the pelvis and lower back. This will commonly lead to back pain, whether it is lower back pain or sciatica.

Back Pain Test 2: Lie on your back and slide the back of your hands under your pelvis at belt height. Notice if one side is easer to place your hand under. There may be a height difference or it may appear that there is more weight crunching on one hand.

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Receive a free e-book on back pain when you subscribe to our newsletter, just click here - Back Pain Adviser - http://www.back-pain-advisor.com/back-pain-adviser.html

Dr Graeme Teague is an expert in the structural field, and has been in practice since 1991. His newly launched web site The Back Pain Advisor - http://www.back-pain-advisor.com - strives to give you valuable and expert advice, tips and information on your back pain issues.

You may notice one shoulder higher than the other, one shoulder may be turned inwards compared to the other. Take note of any difference in the gap between your arm and your body - it may be greater on one side.

Low back pain will affect 80% of the American population at some point in their life. And, of the 80% who experience a first time episode of back pain, the pain will resolve with little or no intervention. In fact, only 10% of all back pain sufferers ever require surgery.

 
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4. Stop or reverse your spinal aging process by exercising and retraining your affected back muscles. Tight back muscles need to be stretched and weak back muscles need to be strengthened. Too many times back treatment is geared towards symptom management rather than addressing the specific muscle imbalances, which are responsible for your back pain problems.

If you are experiencing back pain now, you should aim to correct it now before it becomes worse or chronic. If you are not experiencing back pain, and one of these tests is positive, then you should correct the imbalances now. After all prevention is easier than cure. Learn to correct your back pain issues before they become painful.

Treatment and prevention This can be cured by treating the cause that lead to sciatica such as slip disc. Doctor's can prescribe painkillers, muscles relaxants, corticosteroids to reduce inflammation. Average amount of exercise should be considered if pain becomes minimal. Therapy sessions are advised to strengthen abdominal and back muscles once the symptoms have minimized.

So if you have any of these tests positive, and it could be one or all of them, back pain is likely to occur. It may be weeks or even months, but it will happen.

What if you are not experiencing back pain now. Is there a simple and reliable way to determine if back pain is likely to occur? After all if you know it is going to happen you can do things to avoid it or remove it before it happens.

To make this determination, a thorough physical examination must be performed and the findings corroborated with MRI films. WARNING: Your report of symptoms and a study of the MRI film DOES NOT constitute a thorough physical exam. It should include a detailed medical history, an actual assessment of your movement, strength, reflexes, sensation and any pertinent clinical tests plus a review of the MRI film.

5. Stop pursuing treatments that will have zero effect on your herniated disc problems. Instead you should seek out a musculoskeletal specialist that has the skills to identify and address underlying muscle imbalances. Chances are that once identified and treated, your back pain and sciatica pain will go away completely.

This will save you a lot of pain, time, money and grief, as back pain affects your daily enjoyment of your working and social life. The following is a simple testing procedure to work out if you are likely to suffer back pain in the not too distant future. It could be lower back pain, sciatica, upper back pain or even neck pain, but if these tests are positive, then back pain is likely to occur.

3. Realize herniated disks don't just happen because you leaned over to pick up a Kleenex. Spinal discs are tougher than what was once thought. They can tolerate a tremendous amount of physical abuse. Just ask the Navy SEAL recruits who entered SEAL training with diagnoses of herniated disc problems. After 14 weeks of the most physical and mental challenging training on the planet, they experienced no changes in their herniated discs.

How to End Your Worrying & Your Back Pain 1. Understand that the presence of low back pain, pain radiating down the leg, and a positive MRI do NOT necessarily implicate a herniated disc as the source of your back problem.

Place your hands on your hips and see if one side is higher than the other. One foot may point straight and the other not. Any changes, especially significant changes, indicate postural changes that are usually a sign of muscular imbalances. These muscle imbalances will lead to extra pressure on areas of your back leading to back pain.

Yet, despite these favorable back pain statistics, a herniated disc diagnosis continues to cause concern in people suffering with back pain. To alleviate this concern, it's important that you understand the process for determining the significance of a herniated disc. Plus, you should know the steps you can take to reduce the chances of a herniated disc ever becoming an issue.

Reasons for sciatic nerve pain There are various causes that lead to sciatic nerve pain, but the major reasons that can lead to this type of pain are: 1. Excessive pressure on the sciatic nerve: Sciatic nerve pain can be a result of unwanted pressure put on the body due to improper posture, strain in the muscles, pregnancy, overweight, using a very soft mattress for sleeping purpose. It can also have excessive pressure on the sciatic nerve due to slip disc. Some cases of sciatic nerve pain have been recorded by due to the compression of the sciatic nerve by a tumor encircling the spinal cord in the lower back. 2. Degenerative arthritis: It is also a common cause of sciatica. Degenerative arthritis also known as Osteoarthritis can be identified by certain specific characteristics like creation of bone spurs or a set of protruding bone which presses on the nerve roots. Older people sometimes may develop a medical condition called spinal stenosis, where the nerve is compressed due to narrowing of space in and around the spinal cord.

Degenerative disc disease and subsequent herniated discs are linked to two factors: Aging Genetics As we age, the deep muscles of the spine begin to deteriorate. This creates a dynamic instability to your back. At the same time, the discs begin to lose their water content resulting in a loss in disc height and strength. This ultimately leads to failure of the disc material.

Does this scenario sound familiar? You bend over to pick a Kleenex off the floor. Your back locks up. You begin to experience lower back pain radiating into the buttocks and down the leg. You consult with your doctor who orders an MRI. The MRI report identifies a herniated disc.

Inability to manage daily activities. Severe pain, which worsens over a period of weeks. Pain returning often. Seek immediate medical attention if you should experience:

Symptoms The most common symptom of sciatica mimics the pain of a severe leg cramp. Depending on where damage to the nerve occurs, pain may be accompanied by numbness or tingling, a burning sensation or general weakness in the leg.

Sciatic pain usually starts in the buttocks and extends down the rear of the thigh and lower leg to the sole of the foot and along the outer side of the lower leg to the top of the foot. Pain may also be present in the lower back.

About the Author:

Malton Schexneider PT, MMSc, provides simple, easy and safe back pain relief strategies for people suffering with low back pain, sciatica, herniated discs and degenerative disc disease. Now, for the first time ever, Malton reveals top insider secrets that will erase your back pain. Now with this limited time offer, you can get his NEW eBook,"Back Pain Relief Secrets" for FREE at: eraseyourbackpain.com/free-patient-guides


Julian P. Porter

 
 
     
 
 





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