ArchiveLeave a Comment
Do you struggle with low back pain? The relief you’ve been looking for may be a little farther than the medicine cabinet but as close as your local community centre or yoga studio.
If you spend a lot of time hunched over a computer keyboard, it’s not surprising that your back often suffers. While it may be difficult to fight the urge to reach for a quick fix in the form of pain-numbing pills, medication offers short-term relief without solving the problem.
Aside from headaches, low back pain is one of the most common complaints of Canadians today. In addition to stress-related causes, this pain may also be due to overuse or injuries such as those occurring after rigorous physical activity, or a mild-to-serious car accident.
Together with chiropractic, yoga offers another way to prevent low back pain by strengthening your core muscles.
Yoga consists of an extensive set of exercises (or poses) designed to promote muscle strength, flexibility and proper breathing. It has been studied as a treatment for lower back pain; carpal tunnel syndrome; osteoarthritis of the hands; depression; asthma; hypertension; and many more conditions.
There are various poses which can help relieve low back pain, and even just a few minutes of yoga on a regular basis can reduce pain and strengthen your core abdominal muscles.
As well as strengthening core muscles, yoga is also helpful if there are psychological factors involved in your back pain. The act of doing these poses promotes relaxation and calmness, which relieves the mental stress and anxiety that might have eventually lead to more back pain.
In addition to the mind-body connection, yoga also focuses on the spine.
In accordance with Dr. Noble and Dr. Fera’s chiropractic principles, many of the body’s aches and pains can be attributed to the misalignment of vertebrae. Yoga is a proven natural way to decrease your back pain, strengthen your core, and improve your overall sense of well-being. Doing yoga properly and having regular chiropractic care ensures a reduction of pain and treatment.
Yoga can be an effective and gentle tool to help manage your lower back pain. Its many benefits include relief from pain, stress and anxiety – it’s also fun and challenging!
Yoga can help you reduce muscle tension, increase flexibility and strength while improving your balance. Remember to warm up before trying yoga: you want to help your back pain, not make it worse.
Here is a list of yoga poses that are great for beginners and can be done at home! Always listen to your body and do not continue a pose if it is painful. If you’re unsure if yoga is right for you or feel pain once you try it, talk to your chiropractor.
Downward Dog strengthens the shoulders, core, back and legs while promoting back flexibility.
Warrior Pose helps separate hip and leg movement from pelvic and low back mobility.
Cobra Pose helps strengthen your shoulders and back while promoting flexibility in the upper back.
Pyramid Pose strengthens your legs and spine and teaches body awareness on how to hinge and move from the hip joint.
The wellness team at Pickering Village Chiropractic & Massage encourages you to improve your overall health by making exercise a part of your daily routine. If you want to learn more about managing your health with exercise, contact our clinic today at 905-427-3202.
With content from the Ontario Chiropractic Association and the Canadian Chiropractic Guideline Initiative.Leave a Comment
If you’ve ever had pain radiate from your low back, through your hips, and down one leg, you may have experienced sciatica.
What is sciatica?
Sciatica is a distinct and often excruciating type of back pain that originates from the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve runs down the length of each leg, starting in your low back and ending at the heels of your feet.
Sciatica is a term used to describe the pain caused by irritation of that nerve. You may find that are a variety of names for it, including lumbosacral radicular syndrome, discogenic sciatica, nerve root pain, and nerve root entrapment, but sciatica is the most common term.
How is sciatica different?
Sciatica is different from low back pain in that it results from the sciatic nerve, rather than the spine.
This nerve serves an important function, affecting the hamstrings, calf muscles, lower leg muscles, and some foot muscles. In many cases, the pain gets worse with twisting, bending, sneezing or coughing.
Causes of sciatic pain
Researchers estimate that 90 per cent of sciatic pain cases are caused by a herniated disc where the nerve root is compressed. This can occur as a result of an injury or age-related wear and tear. Other possible causes include lumbar stenosis and piriformis syndrome.
Common symptoms of sciatica
Patients most often complain about pain radiating down the back of their leg, reducing their mobility. “Leg pain from true sciatica can also be mistaken for many other medical conditions so please consult your chiropractor who has the most experience in this area,” explains Pickering chiropractor Dr. John Noble.
Who’s most at risk?
While more research is needed to determine the exact incidence and prevalence of sciatica, it’s estimated that five to 10 percent of patients with low back pain have it, and 10 to 40 percent of people experience it in their lifetime.
There are certain risk factors that increase the chance of developing sciatica, including age, height, mental stress and cigarette smoking. In addition, certain occupations are predisposed to sciatic nerve pain, including machine operators and truck drivers.
How is sciatica diagnosed?
When a patient complains of pain radiating down their leg, a chiropractor will typically conduct a full history and physical examination to determine whether the sciatic nerve is to blame. Chiropractors often work as part of a patient’s healthcare team. If there are red flags present – such as if Cauda Equina syndrome is suspected – the chiropractor will recommend advanced imaging to determine if surgery should be considered.
Treatment options for sciatica
There are a variety of treatments that chiropractors can offer, including recommendations on lifestyle changes, including:
- Physical activity
- Spinal manipulation
Home treatment for sciatica
Talk to your chiropractor to ensure you are doing everything you can to improve your condition at home. He or she may recommend one or more of the following:
- Use hot and cold packs for comfort
- Avoid sitting or standing for long periods
- Practice good posture
- Improve your core strength through exercise
- Gently stretch out your lower back and hamstrings
- Take a walk regularly, go swimming, or try aqua fitness
- Use the proper technique when lifting heavy objects
How can you prevent sciatica?
“Core strength is one of the most important factors in preventing sciatica,” says Ajax chiropractor Dr. John Noble. You can reduce the chances of developing sciatica by exercising regularly and paying attention to your posture. Try the following exercises if you’re looking for inspiration, but the most important thing is to find an activity you enjoy:
- Strength training
- Tai Chi
Understanding the causes, symptoms, and available treatments is crucial for effectively managing this condition. If you experience persistent back pain with radiating leg pain or other related symptoms, it is essential to seek medical attention promptly.
A healthcare professional can diagnose the underlying cause and develop an appropriate treatment plan to help you find relief and improve your quality of life. To learn more about how chiropractic care and massage therapy can help you manage your sciatic pain, contact the Pickering Village Chiropractic & Massage Therapy Clinic at 905-427-3202 to book a consultation with a member of our wellness team.