Lower Back, Hip and Buttocks Conditions
Lower Back Pain
Most back pain occurs in the lumbosacral region, or the low back. Back pain is referred to as either acute or chronic, and both conditions require treatment. Acute low back pain generally lasts from a few days to a few weeks.
Most acute back pain is mechanical in nature. Pain from trauma may be caused by a sports injury, work around the house or in the garden, or a sudden jolt such as a car accident or other stress on spinal bones and tissues.
Symptoms may range from muscle ache to shooting or stabbing pain, limited flexibility and/or range of motion, and an inability to stand straight. Occasionally pain felt in one part of the body may “radiate” from a disorder or injury elsewhere in the body. Some acute pain syndromes can become more serious if left untreated.
Treatment options are considered “conservative” when they are non-invasive such as chiropractic, physiotherapy, massage, acupuncture, cold laser therapy, therapeutic exercises, nutrition, electrical muscle stimulation, ultrasound custom orthotics, and ice or heat therapy than surgery.
So many scientific and government studies have proven the effectiveness of chiropractic care for back pain that in 1993, the government of Ontario, in a 216-page study of all available evidence, found chiropractic care of low back pain superior to medical management in terms of safety, evidence of effectiveness, evidence of cost, and patient satisfaction.
In general, surgery for lower back pain is considered if conservative treatments fail and the lower back pain (or leg pain) persists for an extended period of time.
Conservative treatment is not the first option of choice if the patient loses bowel or bladder control, or develops progressive weakness in the legs — these symptoms constitute a medical emergency and may require immediate surgery. However, surgical emergencies for back pain are extremely rare and most episodes of back pain can be treated conservatively.
The length of time that conservative treatment should continue varies widely.
In general, the goals of back pain exercises and physical therapy are to decrease back pain, increase function, and provide education on a maintenance program to prevent further recurrences.
Dysfunction in the sacroiliac joint causes pain in the low back and/or leg. The sacroiliac joint lies next to the spine and connects the sacrum (the triangular bone at the bottom of the spine) with the pelvis (iliac crest). Pain is often felt coming up from a stooped position such as lifting an object. It is a common cause of lower pain– pain that often extends into the buttocks and leg. When the SI Joint becomes misaligned or “locked up”, it becomes a source of pain, and requires re-alignment.
Symptoms include pain that is usually off to one side closer to your buttocks; aching and stiffness in the lower back; pain which radiates to the hip or groin.
A thorough examination including orthopedic and neurologic testing and X-rays, if necessary, will help to determine your exact diagnosis and individualized treatment plan. Manipulation (adjustment) of the spinal and extremity joints is very effective in restoring normal function to the joints, as well as to the surrounding muscles and nerves. This usually leads to a decrease in pain and faster recovery. Part of your treatment may also include some combination of the following: acupuncture, cold laser therapy, physiotherapy, massage, nutrition, electrical muscle stimulation, ultrasound, and ice or heat therapy.
Lumbar Disc Syndrome
Discs are the cartilage pads that separate and cushion and help connect the vertebrae that make up your spinal column. They serve as shock absorbers between each of the vertebrae and are constantly subjected to the pull of gravity and the torque from everyday movement. Discs can be injured by an acute trauma, or can be injured slowly over time by poor posture, lifting incorrectly, and loss of normal spinal function, such as joint restrictions and misalignments.
In other words, disc function is greatly affected by the alignment and motion of the spinal joints. A structural imbalance can force a disc to bulge, protrude, or herniate, which then can result in contact with the nerves and cause pain.
With lumbar disc syndrome, patients complain of low back pain, difficulty standing or sitting upright, radiating pain in legs, pain to cough or sneeze, and leg weakness.
There is often a past history of several bouts of low back pain that resolved. Before treatment begins, a thorough examination including orthopedic and neurologic testing and X-ray or MRI studies, if necessary, will help to determine your exact diagnosis and individualized treatment plan.
Chiropractic spinal manipulation of the spinal and extremity joints is very effective in restoring normal position and function to the joints, as well as to the surrounding muscles and nerves, thereby reducing the pressure on the discs and spinal joints. This usually leads to a decrease in pain and faster recovery.
We also incorporate physical therapy as well as strengthening exercises for the abdominal and back muscles. Core stabilization is essential for prevention of subsequent disc problems.
In addition to physiotherapy and chiropractic, other means of treatment may also include acupuncture, electrical muscle stimulation, cold laser therapy, ultrasound, ice or heat therapy, massage therapy, and/or nutrition.
If your condition is unresponsive to conservative treatment, an appropriate referral will be made promptly. More invasive therapies should only be considered if conservative therapy fails.
Special Note: If one has symptoms of loss of bowel or bladder function, these symptoms constitute a medical emergency and may require immediate surgery, therefore, go to the nearest hospital.
Osteoarthritis is the degeneration of the cartilage and bones of joints caused by “wear-and-tear” processes. It is often associated with degenerative changes in the disc and results in friction between adjacent vertebrae. The friction causes a strain as well as a loss of motion in the facets (gliding joints) of the spine. If these joints are exposed to continued trauma such as strenuous exercise, weakened muscles, and the inevitable factors of aging and heredity, the results can be severe low-back and/or leg pain.
While we cannot halt the process of osteoarthritis, studies suggest that a conservative and multi-disciplinary approach, utilizing physiotherapy, chiropractic, massage, acupuncture, laser, and custom orthotics may slow its progression and can improve the quality of life while living with the disease.
If you’re suffering from osteoarthritis, your spine is usually less flexible; therefore, it becomes more vulnerable to injury. Under our care, your treatment may include spinal adjustments, physical therapy, and stretching and strengthening exercises. We can also recommend natural, drug-free ways to control your pain and discomfort.
The nerves of the low back join to form the sciatic nerve, making it the largest nerve in the body which in turn, travels down the leg into the foot. Sciatica is a low back condition characterized by pain radiating down the leg following the sciatic nerve. This can happen in one leg or on both legs. In 80% of sciatica conditions, there is a piriformis spasm which is commonly known as a pain in the buttocks. Sciatic pain can be caused by nerve compression, disc herniation, degenerative joint disease, sports or occupational injuries, fractures, infection, spinal tumors, back strain, or spondylolisthesis. Depending on where the sciatic nerve is pinched will determine where you feel the pain which can radiate to the front of the knee or right down the back of the leg to the foot.
Symptoms include pain traveling anywhere from the middle of the low back into the buttocks, down the back of the leg, and even to the ankle as well as numbness and weakness in the affected area. Also, pain increases when arising from a seated position making it very difficult or even impossible to straighten up.
A thorough examination including orthopedic and neurologic testing and X-ray or MRI studies, if necessary, will help to determine your exact diagnosis and individualized treatment plan. Conservative treatment of sciatica utilizing chiropractic adjustments of the spinal joints to restore normal function to the joints, physiotherapy, massage, cold laser therapy, acupuncture and electrical stimulation with ice are highly effective in reducing sciatic nerve inflammation and pain.
Taking medications may make the overall problem worse by masking your body’s natural defense mechanism. Your body is sending pain signals to your brain in order to prevent you from moving certain ways that could potentially further injure the back.
The hip joint is made up of the large bone of the upper leg and the pelvic bone. The hip is a very active part of the body, capable of incredible range of movement while maintaining a stable joint. Hip pain can develop for a variety of reasons. A common injury to the hip is what is known as a groin pull. This is an overextension or tearing of the muscles around the hips.
Other common causes of hip pain include joint and muscle stiffness and imbalance, tendon inflammation (tendonitis), bursitis, arthritis, and nerve irritation. A thorough examination including orthopedic and neurologic testing and X-ray or MRI studies, if necessary, will help to determine your exact diagnosis and individualized treatment plan.
Possible treatment options may include chiropractic joint manipulation, physiotherapeutic exercises and stretches to rehabilitate the affected muscles, ultrasound or electrical stimulation therapy, acupuncture, cold laser therapy, massage or myofascial therapy, and custom made orthotics. If after examination we conclude that your case cannot be helped with conservative care, a prompt referral will be made.