Spinal Disorders & Conditions
Back pain can seriously affect the quality of your life, whether it’s a constant niggling ache that won’t go away or a sharp pain when you move in a certain way. Chiropractic treatment can be an extremely effective way of managing back pain, but it’s essential to know what type of spinal disorder is causing the problems.
There are many different types of chiropractic treatments but not every one is suitable for all types of spinal disorders. Here’s a quick run-through of the most commonly seen spinal disorders and the chiropractic treatments we offer here at Advanced Spine and Sports Care.
The discs in your spine are essential to pain-free movement, providing a cushion between each of the bony vertebrae and preventing them jarring against each other. Each disc is made up of a tough outer layer and a soft, gel-like inner. When cracks begin to appear in the outer layer, the soft inner begins to bulge through; this is what’s known as a herniated disc. Some people may refer to this colloquially as a “slipped disc” but this term is a bit of a misnomer as nothing has slipped, just spilled out of position.
Herniated discs are only rarely caused by a traumatic event such as a blow or fall. More frequently they occur due to a combination of factors including wear-and-tear, straining, twisting and poor lifting techniques.
The symptoms you might experience includes:
- Leg or arm pain
- Tingling or numbness
- Weakness in the limbs
Degenerative Disc Disease
The back pain associated with intervertebral disc disruption is commonly used to describe disc-related pain is pain of degenerative disc disease.
Degenerative disc disease is a condition that’s linked to age, occurring when one or more of the discs within the spine begin to degrade and break down. It’s not caused by any type of disease, despite the name.
The discs in the spin begin to break down and thin, reducing the cushioning between the bone. As a result, bony spurs known as osteophytes can begin to develop, pressing against the roots of the spinal nerve and the cord.
Symptoms of degenerative disc disease includes:
- Back pain which may radiate down to the legs
- Upper spine pain which radiates to the arms
- Tingling and numbness in the limbs
- Pain which worsens upon movement or remaining stationary for long periods, but relieved by changing position.
Sciatic Nerve Pain Treatment
Pain that originates from the lower region of your back, what we describe as the lumbar area, and runs over your buttocks and down your leg is known as sciatic nerve pain. The sensation can vary between a mild ache to a sudden pain that’s similar to an electric shock.
There can be many different causes of sciatic nerve pain including:
- Degeneration of spinal discs
- Spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal)
- Piriformis syndrome (the piriformis muscle in the buttocks presses on the sciatic nerve)
- Spondylolisthesis (one or more vertebrae are out of line with the natural spinal curvature)
- Muscles that are too tight or out of position (due to overuse, injury or natural formation) pressing on the sciatic nerve.
Sciatic nerve pain can manifest in many different ways, and not always in the spine. Some of the symptoms that may be experienced include:
- Lower back pain
- Buttock pain
- Hip pain
- Thigh pain
- Knee pain
- General leg pain
- Leg numbness
- Leg tingling
Whiplash – Neck Injury Treatment
Whiplash is a type of neck injury that occurs when the head is rapidly moved sideways, backwards or forwards. This quick motion stretches the soft tissues in the neck, temporarily damaging them. Auto accidents are one of the most common causes of whiplash but it can occur after any injury which makes the head move quickly. Other causes could include a sports injury, a blow to the head or a trip where the head is jolted backwards.
Whiplash varies in severity; some people will suffer relatively mild symptoms for just a few weeks while others will be severely restricted for more than year.
Myofascial Pain Syndrome
Myofascial pain syndrome (MPS) is a type of pain disorder caused by pressure being applied to certain trigger points within the muscles, causing pain elsewhere within the body. This is known as referred pain. The body parts where the pain is experienced can seem completely unrelated to the trigger point which is being stimulated.
Myofascial pain tends to occur when a muscle has been overused or contracted repetitively, as happens with certain types of work. It can also be caused by tension within the muscles due to stress. A muscle injury and suffering from anxiety can increase the likelihood of this condition developing.
It is fairly common to experience muscle tension as a result of stress, worry or physical overuse. The difference with MPS is that the pain does not ease, remaining persistent and typically worsening.
The symptoms of myofascial pain syndrome include:
- An aching pain deep in the muscle
- Pain that won’t go away or gets worse
- A sore knot in a muscle
- Pain that disrupts your sleep
Back Sprains and Strains
A back strain or sprain is a condition that’s typically self-limiting but it can cause significant discomfort when it occurs. A strain involves the muscles or tendons becoming injured, while a sprain is the tearing or stretching of a back ligament.
These are common types of injury and can occur following sport, when excess stress has been placed on the back (such as with lifting a heavy object) or when you twist or move in an awkward way.
Symptoms of back sprains and strains include:
- Pain that worsens upon movement
- Spasms or muscle cramping
- Difficulty moving in a certain way, such as bending, twisting or standing straight.
How Chiropractic Care Treat Spinal Disorders
Chiropractic can effectively treat all of the above conditions. At Advanced Spine and Sports Care, we’ve regularly dealt with all of these spinal disorders and we offer a personalized treatment plan designed to tackle the cause of your pain. Some of the treatments we provide include:
- Physical Therapy
- Therapeutic Massage Therapy
- Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)
- Spinal decompression
- Corrective exercises
Chiropractic treatment has been scientifically proven to be as effective for conditions such as spinal stenosis and degenerative disc disease as surgery, leaving you with long-lasting relief without any of the risk of anesthesia.
Unlike surgery and other types of conventional treatments, chiropractic takes a non-invasive approach. Even conditions such as herniated discs can be successfully treated in all but a tiny majority of very severe cases by re-aligning the spine and allowing the disc to return to its proper shape.
By restoring the integrity of the spinal structure, chiropractic can release pressure on neurological tissue, alleviate irritation and also return reflexes to normal. At Advanced Spine and Sports Care, we choose the appropriate treatment for your condition, and we make sure you’ll fully informed at every step. Whether we’re treating an acute or chronic spinal disorder, our approach is incredibly effective in battling back pain.
Contact Advanced Spine and Sports Care
If you’re in Chicago and you need a chiropractor, we invite you to visit Advanced Spine and Sports Care. We can help treat any spinal disorder, leaving you more flexible and free of pain. Contact Advanced Spine and Sports Care today!