Pinched Nerve in the Lower Back.
There is nothing quite as debilitating as a pinched nerve in the lower back. It can cause extreme pain, affect your basic movements and make the simplest of activities a nightmare. Fortunately there is a lot we can do to help, and it is actually something we see commonly in practice. Read further to discover what causes a pinched nerve in the lower back and how we at Align Corrective Chiropractic can help you specifically.
A pinched nerve in the lower back (also called a lumbar radiculopathy) is when the nerves from the lower portion of your spine get irritated or compressed. I see this most commonly at the L4/L5/S1 vertebrae of the lower back. These nerves control the muscles of your back, hips, legs, ankles and feet. Pinching of these nerves can cause a variety of symptoms from your waist down to your toes.
How does a pinched nerve affect you?
Some patients report extreme stiffness or restriction in their movements. They may find difficulty in bending forwards or backwards, or a sharp catch when moving suddenly. Severe, sharp shooting pain in the lower back, into the buttocks and down the legs is also very common. These nerves control sensation, so you may have no pain, but instead you may experience numbness, tingling or pins and needles. A severe pinched nerve may result in weakness of the leg muscles, inability to lift the toes or foot, and can even affect bladder and bowel functioning. Nerve compression’s are no joke, they can have a severe impact on your quality of life and cause a lot of problems over a long period if not treated correctly.
What causes it?
The most common underlying cause of a pinched nerve in the lower back that I see in practice is related to alignment and poor posture. The structures of the lower back, hips and pelvis function best when they are all in an ideal balanced alignment. Misalignment results in extra strain on the discs, joints and nerves. Over time this can lead to degenerative changes in the spine known as arthritis or spondylosis. This causes weakening of the structures, thinning of the discs and extra bony changes (bone spurs) which can all pinch the nerves.
How do we assess a pinched nerve?
We begin with taking a thorough history. We will listen to you, because we want to know exactly what is happening with you. Your symptoms will usually give us a fair idea if you are suffering with a pinched nerve. We will then perform some specific neurological tests, such as reflexes, sensation and strength. We will also take a good look at your posture and use specific X-Rays to measure the shape and alignment of your spine.
How do we treat a pinched nerve?
Patients will often be given strong painkillers, anti-inflammatory’s or receive injections to reduce the pain that they experience. I do not always agree with this approach, as these drugs often have serious long term side effects, and do not actually fix the underlying problem. It’s often the case that as soon as the medications wear off the pain returns. We develop a specific corrective program based on your individual findings and unique needs. The focus of a Corrective program, is to correct the underlying cause of your pinched nerve. We use a combination of corrective chiropractic adjustments, muscle release, exercises and traction to correct structural misalignment.
If you want to get your life back and solve the underlying cause of your pinched nerve then please give us a call or Whatsapp us on 031 562 9180.