Commonly people with back related leg pain arrive in my treatment room reporting that they are suffering with "sciatica"; and many of them are. But back related leg pain doesn't necessarily have to be sciatica. Sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve gets pinched or compressed somewhere along its course at the bottom of the back or in the leg. Very often this is because of some damage to a disc. Some people call this a 'slipped disc', although discs don't really tend to slip; rather, they bulge or herniate, causing pressure on and inflammation of the nearby nerve root. Sciatica is not the only type of back related leg pain. Damaged or dysfunctional joints and muscles in the back can also refer pain into the legs. A thorough physical examination will usually be able to determine where the problem is, although occasionally special imaging tests are necessary and are ordered.
New research published this month, has found that chiropractic treatment and home exercise along with advice, is more effective than home exercise and advice alone in the treatment of back related leg pain. In a 4 year study of 192 sufferers, those whose treatment included chiropractic spinal manipulation were found to have a clinically important advantage at 12 week follow-up. Even after 12 months those treated by a chiropractor still recorded decreased medication use, and greater satisfaction and global improvement than those who only were given advice and home exercises.
Chiropractic care uses no drugs or surgery; rather it is a hands-on treatment approach which aims to restore normal function to joints, muscles and the nervous system through manipulation and rehabilitation. When the body is functioning well, it is better able to repair itself. You should then start to feel well and begin enjoying life to the full. And that's what it's all about!