Have you been suffering from low back pain with buttock and/or leg burning, numbness or weakness? Have you gone to the doctor and have been prescribed a muscle relaxant or pain medication, but can’t seem to get rid of the pain? Have you been diagnosed with “sciatica” or “lumbar disc herniation?” If so, you may want to consider alternative means of care including chiropractic and/or acupuncture to help rid the agonizing pain and discomfort.

The lumbar spine consists of 5 vertebrae or bones. In between each vertebra is a disc, or a jelly-like substance that acts as a cushion between each of the vertebra. The discs can be thought of as “shock absorbers.” Between each vertebra are nerve roots which carry information to and from the spinal cord and various parts of the body. The spinal cord is surrounding the spinal column (or vertebra), nerve roots, ligaments, muscles and tissues. When damage is done to the discs and its surrounding tissue, the discs become weak and can protrude into the spinal canal or to the surrounding nerve root or surrounding tissue. The surrounding tissue is highly innervated by many nerves and has a great blood supply to the surrounding areas. When the nerve root is irritated, various forms of altered sensation occur including pain, numbness, and/or weakness along the nerve root.

Many times the patient can present with low back pain with pain going into the hip, or groin, or into the back or front of thigh and/or down to the toes.  Many people call leg pain “sciatica,” however few realize that the cause may be a disc herniation or pathology or some other problem such as disc pathology degeneration of the discs or joints (arthritis of the discs or joints), or spinal canal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal). Nevertheless, this type of presentation requires evaluation by a physician and possibly an Xray and/or an MRI of the lumbar spine.

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