Do you sometimes feel a sharp, shooting pain travel down the back of your leg? Or sometimes a dull, ache or tingling and numbness? These symptoms might be down to a condition known as Sciatica. This blog post will help you understand what sciatica is and some ways to help this.
Commonly people attribute any pain in the leg to being Sciatica but this is only when it affects one of the specific nerves that runs directly down the back of your leg called the Sciatic nerve.
Symptoms of Sciatica
Symptoms are radiating pain that travels from the low back, through the buttock, and down the back of the leg. This is normally down one leg rather than two. Sometimes Sciatica can give other symptoms other than just leg pain, this can include:
● Numbness of the buttock, leg, or foot
● Tingling that radiates down the leg
● A burning sensation in the low back, buttock, or leg
● Lower body weakness
So how can we help your pain?
With Sciatica we do a number of tests in the clinic to rule in and out certain conditions and make the best plan of management moving forwards to help.
Methods we use in the clinic to help:
Soft tissue massage
Active release techniques
Instrument assisted soft tissue massage
Home rehabiliation exercises
Most cases of Sciatica are best managed with conservative care but is also important to keep active and moving while avoiding bed rest where possible. This will help with your recovery.
A Useful Exercise
Important exercises to do for Sciatica are nerve gliding exercises. The goal is to use these techniques to increase blood circulation, reduce the swelling that is around the nerve and get the nerve back to its natural movement. This will decrease symptoms once these areas are restored. Below is a link to an exercise for the Sciatic nerve. Start with 10 repetitions, gradually increase the stretch on the neck and the leg, don’t force the motion, it will gradually increase with each repetition. If this exercise increases your symptoms, then stop the exercise.
If you suffer from Sciatica and would like an examination and treatment to help relieve your symptoms then contact the clinic today on 0578678904, direct message us on Facebook or book now.
Yours in Health
The Lawlor Clinic: Spine & Sport, Portlaoise, Laois
Shane’s talk from the Irish Strength Institute 2018 Symposium
“Building Better Senior Golfers”
Discussing a number of aspects including ▪️ Common Injuries seen in Senior Golfers ▪️ Assessing & Treating the Senior Golfer ▪️ Rehab Applications including Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization, McGill Method and Functional Range Conditioning ▪️ The Importance of a Warm Up
Pregnancy can be a daunting time for any woman with each pregnancy being different and new hurdles may crop up throughout. So it’s important to be as prepared as you can be both physically, emotionally and mentally, in order to deal with everything that may come as best you can.
Here are a few things that I commonly tell my mums when it comes to physical well being.
I can’t stress enough how beneficial it is for mum to stay active during pregnancy as it helps to prepare for the demands of carrying a child and for labour. A woman’s body goes through so many changes it’s good to be ready for these challenges. Exercise can help women through pregnancy not just physically but emotionally too, which must not be taken lightly. So if you’re active, fantastic stay that way. There may be days when you don’t feel up to doing much other than eat or sleep, please listen to what your body is telling you. It’s telling you for a reason. The key is to always listen to your body and adapt workouts to suit.
However, do not start something new if your body is not used to it as this can create problems and if there are any concerns always consult your health practitioner.
Chiropractic can help with maintaining healthy pelvic and spinal movement during your pregnancy by resolving discomfort such as back pain, sciatica, hip pain. Treatment aims to provide natural relief and works with your spine and pelvis as your body changes shape and different loads are placed on it. This along with Fascial/ soft tissue release encourages optimal fetal positioning for birth, which in the long run will help reduce likelihood of C-section. Exercises are also given to target the pelvic floor and core strength, primarily through developmental movements. (Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilisastion- DNS)
It has been shown that 80% of the population will suffer from an episode of back pain during their lifetime. A smaller number will also suffer Sciatica, a referral into the leg which can be caused by a disc bulge, bony narrowing of the exit canal or entrapment of the nerve along its path down the leg, for example at the piriformis muscle.
Walking: It is important that you keep as active as possible, so we recommend short frequent walks for our patients who suffer from back pain or sciatica. Depending on the severity of the leg symptoms we also ask the patient to shorten their stride so this will put less pressure on the sciatic nerve particularly during the swinging of the leg forward.
McKenzie Extension: This is one of the few positions that patients or athletes will feel any relief from their leg pain, The extension exercise has been shown to centralise the disc material taking pressure off the nerve. You should feel the leg pain reduce during the hold, the pain may also localise to the low back or buttock area.
Cat & Camel: Spinal flexibility and control is important for the lumbar spine. The Cat & Camel exercise is a great exercise that we give to every patient. If you struggle with either of the movements then we suggest you use a mirror for feedback.
Nerve Flossing: This exercise will help with leg pain and also improve the sliding of the sciatic nerve from the low back all the way in the foot.
With any of the exercises it is important to work within a pain free range of motion, if you see an increase in your symptoms then please stop the exercise and consult your local health professional or contact us today for a consultation.
Many of you who already attend the clinic may have had one of us use our LiteCure Laser on you. And as you sat there, feeling the warmth coming from that little machine, you were probably wondering, what’s this laser treatment all about?!
What is a Laser?
Firstly we have to start with the basics- what is a laser? According to google, a laser is “a device that generates an intense beam of coherent monochromatic light (or other electromagnetic radiation) by stimulated emission of photons from excited atoms or molecules.”
Lets try to simplify that. LASER is actually and acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. So in other words, through some amazing process of science and physics this light coming out of the machine is a very intense, amplified beam of light.
How can the laser help me feel better?
So we now know that the little machine is sending out a high powered very intense beam of light. That’s great and all, but how does this light actually help decrease pain and help to stimulate healing of the area?
To put it simply, the light from the laser gives energy to the underlying tissues, helping the tissues to increase blood flow to the area and accelerate healing process!
What’s the catch?
A treatment that is painless for the patient, easy for the practitioner, and gets good results; there must be a downside right? Well, no. It is FDA approved, and with thousands of studies performed, there have been no reported side effects of treatment with the laser! It is as good as it sounds!
From acute to chronic conditions, muscle, tendon, ligament, bone, or disc injuries, laser therapy is a quick and easy way to help reduce pain and speed the healing. Treatments with just the laser last from 15-30 minutes and results are typically seen in 4-6 treatments. Contact us today to see if laser treatment is right for you!
Our last few blogs have been about pregnancy and the time after pregnancy, and some associated issues women experience during these times. One of the main concerns is an unstable pelvis. Aside from getting treatment, what else is available out there to help women have a pain-free pregnancy?
The main issue during pregnancy is that the pelvis becomes unstable due to the maternal hormones released during this time. Which can cause a lot of dysfunction and pain in some women. Treatment and exercises can help to keep the pelvis pain free, but those alone cannot fully stabilise the pelvis. So how can we stabilise something that is unstable?
Our top tip for an unstable pelvis:
The Serola belt. It is a support, worn around the waist, in a similar way to a belt, that actively gives support to the pelvis, helping to stabilise it. It provides the support that the pelvis desperately needs during this time. Providing relief for sacroiliac joint dysfunction and symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD) as well as lower back pain.
The Serola belt is not a permanent solution, as these hormones that relax the ligaments and joints are vital during labour to help the baby pass through the pelvis. But until that time, it can be a great companion to help take some of the pressure off that sore unstable pelvis! Keep a look out for our upcoming video on how to properly wear a Serola belt.
Yours in Health,
Chiropractic | Mums & Babies | Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization
You did it. You survived pregnancy and labour and now have a beautiful little person that will enrich your life! And all the little pains of pregnancy will magically go away right? In a perfect world, yes. But for many women, they find that their body is not quite what it used to be. This is especially true for the pelvis. We have talked about the pelvis, and how it changes during pregnancy before, but what happens with the pelvis after pregnancy and birth?
All about the Hormones:
Remember those lovely hormones that help prepare the body for the birth process? Relaxin is one of the main ones, and it does just what it’s name implies, relaxes things. It relaxes the muscles and ligaments so that the joints in the pelvis can spread to allow the baby to pass through. Relaxin remains in your system after the birth and can continue to cause problems for months after the baby is born. If you are breastfeeding, it may be even longer.
The pelvis continues to be unstable in most women after the birth of their baby.
Getting back to Normal:
After the maternal hormones have settled down back to a normal level, the pelvis can go back to being stable, although in some women, it remains unstable for years after the children are born. Even when the pelvis is stable again, that doesn’t mean that it has become stable in the right position. We see many women with pelvises that have stabilised, but did not stabilise correctly. Meaning one or both sides are out of balance, thus causing a lot of discomfort when walking, lifting the baby, or bending.
What about Treatment?
Don’t fret, this can all be corrected with proper treatment. Using different types of manual therapy on the pelvic ligaments and muscles including Active Release Techniques (ART®) and specific exercises to improve your core strength. To help the pelvis heal, it’s important to keep active, which may be difficult to do when you are in pain. We recommend gentle exercise such as light walking as a great way to start.
Book an appointment today to get your pelvis checked and get back to feeling like yourself again!
Yours in Health
The Lawlor Clinic, Portlaoise
Specialising in the treatment of Pregnancy Related Disorders
At the Lawlor Clinic we provide Chiropractic for all the family from newborn to old age. Many of the problems that patients present with as adults can be addressed in childhood and treated appropriately with Chiropractic care.
Some of the common conditions we deal with in the different demographics include:
Many women these days are seeking natural alternatives for pain and discomfort during their pregnancies. One of these is, chiropractic care. Treatment during pregnancy is a bit different than normal chiropratic treatment in the clinic. Naturally much care is given to the growing baby and the fact that the ligaments and joints are become more unstable due to the hormones. And with pregnancy there are a new set of challenges for the chiropractor and the mother to deal with that she may not have had while not pregnant, such as:
Pelvic and back pain
round ligament pain
To give you an idea about what treatment during pregnancy is like, check out this short video of the Webster Technique. It is a technique developed and taught by the International Chiropractic Pediatrics Association (ICPA), to help keep the pelvis aligned during pregnancy.
Wondering if chiropractic care during your pregnancy is right for you? Contact us today for more information!
Yours in Health,
The Lawlor Clinic
Chiropractic | Sports Injuries | Active Release Techniques (ART®)