Using spinal manipulation and other techniques, chiropractors address the underlying conditions that are responsible for symptoms like back pain, neck pain, and chronic headaches. Learn about some of the diagnoses that Dr. Mike Howell address at the South Pasadena Pain Relief Center.
Herniated Discs /
A herniated disc, also known as a “slipped disc,” or a “ruptured disc” is caused by the rupture of the gel-like substance at the core of the vertebrae bones. This leads the substance to break through the outer wall of the disc; squeezing or protruding outward and reducing the space between the vertebrae. A herniated disc is further damaged by a bulging disc and can occur in the neck, middle, or lower back.
Common symptoms of herniated discs are local and radiating back pain down the leg, numbness, weakness, problems walking or balancing, just to name a few.
Sciatica is characterized by severe pain that can radiate from pressure on the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the body, so the pain from sciatica can occur anywhere from the bottom of the foot to the base of the spine where the sciatic nerve is present, specifically in the L4-L5 or L5- S1 region. The more severe symptoms of sciatica include actual nerve damage, the inability to walk, stand, or balance, and even loss of bowel and bladder control. If experiencing the latter, please call 911. Based on the level of its severity, if sciatica is corrected, the nerve damage that has been inflicted will heal after the stress is relieved from the nerve itself.
Low Back Pain
According to experts, more than 80% of North Americans will at some time in their life suffer from the disabling confines of low back pain. Most lower back problems do not fully resolve without extensive treatment and proper rehabilitation. General medical practitioners generally lack adequate training in this area and have not learned the skills necessary to most effectively identify and treat most back conditions.
Fortunately, the chiropractic doctor is unique in the health care field in that, much of the training in chiropractic colleges is specifically aimed at identifying and successfully treating, and managing lower back conditions.
Neck pain affects a significant number of individuals. This is due to incomplete rehabilitation of past injuries, activities related to their jobs, everyday activities such as poor posture, prolonged sitting, and lack of periodic spinal alignments.
Thankfully, most individuals suffering from neck problems will find chiropractic care extremely beneficial. Unlike prescription drugs, most chiropractic procedures address the cause of most neck problems, not simply the symptoms. Best of all, chiropractic care is safe, natural, and noninvasive without any side effects!
Degenerative Disc Disease, also known as DDD, can be caused by trauma, infection or progressing in age. DDD may affect any different parts of the spine, but usually affects the lower back and neck. The findings of DDD are dehydration of the disk that is surrounded by the vertebrae that cushions the bones followed by narrowed disc space and then bony spur growths (osteophytes). As the DDD progresses, the narrowing of the space for the spinal cord and nerve roots can start to cause symptoms associated with back or nerve pain.
Spinal Stenosis is the narrowing of the spinal canal that weakens the affected area. It affects most people as they get older and can occur in any region of the neck, middle, or lower spine. Causes of Spinal Stenosis may include poor nutrition, lack of exercise, obesity, smoking, and medical conditions including osteoporosis, thyroid disorders, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. Other contributors include conditions such as arthritis of the spine, facet joint cysts, inflammatory scar tissue, degenerative disc disease, disc herniation, spine fractures, and certain deformities of the spinal column.
Spinal Stenosis sufferers may experience one or more of these diverse symptoms; back pain, sciatic nerve pain, numbness, weakness, problems balancing or walking, or a hunched over posture. In very severe cases a patient may experience muscle atrophy and loss of control of the bowel and bladder functions.