Conditions of the Spine
Herniated 'slipped' discs
The soft tissue in the discs between your spinal joints has come out, this will be demonstrated by your chiropractor during your assessment. It’s usually caused by either genetic weakness, sudden trauma or by wear and tear. Herniated discs can irritate the nerves that come out of your low back and therefore causes symptoms in your lower back, groin, hip or down the leg.
The soft tissue in the discs between your spinal joints protrude outwards, but not as much as with a herniated disc. The majority of people do not have any symptoms from this.
Degenerative disc disease
The discs, or “shock absorbers” between your spine’s vertebrae, shrink or tear. It nearly always happens as we get older, but is often irrelevant to the real underlying cause of the pain.
Sacro-iliac (S/I) joints
These are at the base of your spine where it joins the pelvis. They don't move much, but the small amount of movement they should have is extremely important.
Chiropractors were expertly treating the intricate problems with this joint for over 50-years before the medical profession realised it actually moved. It took 35 editions of Grays anatomy before they finally believed us!
Problems with the S/I joint can happen after prolonged poor posture; an injury; because of one of the many forms of arthritis, or as a result of pregnancy.
If you have this, either your central or lateral spinal canal has narrowed. This causes major problems for the spinal nerves as they try to travel through the small spaces. As a result, walking may be limited and your legs might feel numb.
In many cases the pain can ease quickly and the walking distance improve dramatically. We will of course advise whether or not you need a surgical opinion.
This quite commonly happens to people over the age of 65.
This radiating nerve pain, pins and needles or numbness down the arm which is caused by an inflamed or ‘trapped nerve’. It’s often caused by severe wear and tear or a herniated disc.
Facet syndromes are typically felt as sharp, localised spinal pain. This condition is not only seen more often than disc problems but it is the single most common problem we treat.
There are about four dozen facets that can get problems, in any combination, in any part of the spine and in all planes of movement. Only chiropractors are qualified by their education and training to properly examine; X-Ray or MRI when necessary; diagnose and treat, using highly specialised chiropractic adjustments specifically designed for each individual problem.
The piriformis is a muscle between the sacrum (bottom of the spine) and the hip. It can sometimes go into spasm and cause pain radiating down to the back of the thigh.
When treated properly we expect it to respond quickly.
This is an X-ray or MRI finding of wear and tear, a slightly reduced disc height and reduced curve in the neck or low back. It is found in the majority of people over the age of 45 years. It has little or no relevance to pain. It is not really a diagnosis and therefore it does not need treating. We will examine you to diagnose the real cause of your pain and then advise you on the most appropriate treatment.
Clinical trials prove the effectiveness of chiropractic treatment for neck and low back pain.
The combination of an X-ray or MRI scan report showing spondylosis and no obvious cause for the pain often results in a diagnosis of spondylitis. It is not really a diagnosis and the real underlying problem, when accurately diagnosed by a chiropractor, can often respond extremely well to treatment.
This is a failure of bony fusion similar to a 'fracture' in a vertebra usually in the low back. This is rarely relevant to the pain.
The real cause of the pain requires accurate diagnosis and advice on treatment, the longstanding and painless spondylolysis remains.
We regularly see spondylolysis because it is found in about 1 in every 20 patients.
This is when a vertebra slips forward a small amount, but is not ‘out of place’ as some people think. It is almost invariably found in the lower back and can be one of two main types.
One type starts as a child, it is a bit like a discrete fracture and is often painless, although we will carefully and expertly treat patients with this condition in a slightly different way to someone who does not have it. Studies have show it to be present in up to 5% of people in England. It is usually not a painful condition, but because it is present very close to where the pain is felt, it is mistakenly diagnosed as the cause of the pain.
The other type is the degenerative form, which is more commonly found in women over the age of 60. This type is more likely to be painful, particularly when standing and walking.
Chiropractors are very well equipped to correctly diagnose problems in this area and we are expert in giving extremely precise treatment of the underlying problem, giving fast effective pain relief.
This is pain in the coccyx which can be a very debilitating. The last audit found that we see approximately fifteen cases of coccydynia per week. The causes of coccydynia are many and varied, making the diagnosis complex, as most have multiple causes.
Medical trials and Government guidelines recommend chiropractic treatment for this condition.
Scott has lectured on this subject and is very experienced in the treatment of coccydynia.