Mountain State Wellness

Back Pain

Strategies for Alleviating Sciatica Pain

By / Back Pain / Comments Off on Strategies for Alleviating Sciatica Pain

strategies-for-alleviating-sciatica-painSciatica pain stems from the sciatic nerve, which is the largest single nerve in your body and is made up of individual nerve roots that branch off from the spinal cord in the lower back.  All of these smaller nerve roots combine to form the sciatic nerve, which travels down the lower back through the buttocks and down the back of each leg. Parts of the sciatic nerve branch out in each leg, bringing feeling and function to the different areas of the leg.  The symptoms of your specific sciatica condition will vary based on where the nerve is pinched.

Possible causes of sciatica include the following:

  • Disc herniation
  • Piriformis syndrome
  • Pregnancy
  • Spinal disc degeneration
  • Lumbar spinal canal stenosis (narrowing)
  • Sitting on your wallet

Sciatica Symptoms

Sciatic nerve pain is known by the following symptoms:

  • A pain in one side of the lower back, buttock or leg – sciatica very rarely will affect both sides.
  • Sciatic pain is most often described as tingling or burning
  • Usually the pain is worse while sitting, and it may become extremely sharp while standing or walking
  • The affected leg could feel numb or weak, making it difficult to move the entire leg or sometimes just the foot or toes
  • Radiating pain that begins in the lower back and shoots down the entire leg and into the foot

Sciatica symptoms are generally similar from person to person; however, it can vary in severity as well as in presentation.  Even day to day, a person’s symptoms could be different, as sciatica can be relatively infrequent or constant and incapacitating.

Simple, Natural Ways to Get Sciatica Relief

If you are having a sciatica episode, there are a number of natural ways to help with the pain. Here are a few that do not involve the use of long-term medication and potential side-effects:

  • Try yoga or stretching.  Yoga is particularly helpful with flexibility and strengthening for your back.  Focus on the piriformis muscle, as it can be of particular benefit for sciatica sufferers.
  • Get up and get moving.  Being sedentary for a length of time can cause muscles and ligaments to shorten and cause overall stiffness and pain.  Adding more daily movement is highly beneficial for sciatica patients and includes numerous other health benefits as well.
  • Reduce inflammation.  Exercising regularly, eating a healthy, balanced diet, getting plenty of sleep, and ending a smoking habit are all excellent ways to lower inflammation that may be adding to sciatic nerve irritation.

Your Sciatica Pain May Not Originate in the Lower Back

This may seem surprising to hear, but once you understand the way that the spine works, it actually makes a lot of sense that sciatic nerve irritation could begin somewhere besides the lower back.  Your whole spinal column from top to bottom is connected by joints linking each vertebra. It is also composed of soft tissues (muscles, ligaments, and tendons) that travel down the length of your back.  Very similar to links in a chain, if one link gets weak or misaligns, it can change the way rest of the chain functions. Let’s relate this to the spine.

The most mobile area of your spine is not your lower back, but it is your neck.  Particularly, the uppermost vertebra of the spine is the one that supports the head and enables most of the head’s movement.  This uniquely designed bone is called the atlas, and due to its free movement, it is particularly susceptible to misaligning. Atlas misalignments often happen because of an injury (car accident, slip or fall, contact sports, etc.), or from wear and tear over time.  This causes a domino effect of compensations in your spinal column, which impacts posture. If the head is out of its normal position, this forces the shoulders and hips to compensate, putting an imbalanced, abnormal pressure on one side of the back. This means that one leg may appear shorter than the other, and to adjust, you may bear your weight unequally from left to right.  After looking at the spine in these scenarios, you can more easily see how greatly one area influences another.

Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care Brings Sciatica Relief That Lasts

When sciatica suddenly happens, the usual response is to focus on caring for the lower back using either medications or different therapies.  These can give some temporary relief, but unfortunately, they do not treat the underlying problem that is creating all the pain. When your atlas is positioned improperly, it could affect how your lower back feels and functions.  With time, this can lead to the onset of sciatica symptoms when left untreated.

Correcting misalignments in the atlas addresses the problem that may be behind the symptoms you are challenged with.  At Mountain State Wellness, we examine our patients’ conditions thoroughly in order to accurately identify whether they have an atlas misalignment that is contributing to their lower back and sciatica problems.  When this is the case, we will gently correct the atlas to provide impressive results and lasting relief. A unique characteristic of upper cervical chiropractic adjustments is that they are both extremely precise and very gentle. Each adjustment is specifically tailored towards the individual’s needs.  After repositioning the atlas, the long-standing compensations return to their proper positions, allowing them to restore balance and to heal. As soon as the head returns to its neutral position over the spine, the rest of the bones respond. The shoulders and hips can come back into balance, which relieves pressure from the middle and lower back.  This will often reduce or even entirely remove irritation coming from the affected sciatic nerve and resolve sciatic nerve pain altogether.

 

References:

https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Low-Back-Pain-Fact-Sheet

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sciatica/symptoms-causes/syc-20377435

To schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Lucas Watterson or Dr. Amy Watterson call our Morgantown office at 304-292-7740 You can also click the button below.

Schedule a Complimentary Consultation

 

if you are outside of the local area you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at www.uppercervicalawareness.com.

Getting to the Root of Lower Back Pain at Mountain State Wellness

By / Back Pain / Comments Off on Getting to the Root of Lower Back Pain at Mountain State Wellness

Lower Back PainLow back pain is a common complaint that becomes more regular as a person ages. In fact, half of the people over the age of 60 are afflicted with lower back pain. It is listed as one of the most popular reasons for visits to primary care doctors. It is also a very expensive condition when it comes to disability payments, health care payments, and missed days of work. It does appear, however, that the amount of injuries to the back is decreasing, possibly due to better education and more preventative measures being taken.

The spinal column is made up of bones called vertebrae that are covered with a thin layer of cartilage and separated and cushioned by shock-absorbing disks made of jelly-like material and cartilage. These disks are held in place by ligament and muscles such as the following:

  • A number of short paraspinal muscles which run between the vertebrae
  • Two iliopsoas muscles which run along both sides of the spine
  • Two erector spinal muscles which run between the vertebrae

These muscles have the responsibility of stabilizing the spine. The abdominal muscles help as well. They run from the bottom of the rib cage and the pelvis and support the abdominal contents.

The spinal cord is located inside the spinal column. Along the length of the spinal cord, spinal nerves emerge through spaces in the vertebrae and connect to nerves in the body. The spinal nerve root is part of the spinal nerve closest to the spinal cord. Because of this, spinal nerve roots can be squeezed or compressed when an injury has occurred, and this leads to lower back pain.

The lumbar spine of the lower back connects to the chest, pelvis and legs. The lumbar spine makes it possible to turn, bend, and twist. It provides a strong basis for standing, lifting, and walking. Therefore, it becomes involved in almost every activity you do during the day. When you are in pain, your activities and quality of life become limited.

Types of Lower Back Pain

Referred pain: Pain that is felt in a different location than the actual cause of the pain is called referred pain. One example of this is when people have a heart attack, they actually feel pain in their left arm. When we are talking about referred lower back pain, it is often deep and aching. It may be hard to pinpoint the exact location. It is not generally worsened by movement, unlike pain from a sore muscle.

Local pain: This happens in a particular spot in the lower back and is the most common type of back pain. It usually occurs due to a muscle strain, sprain, or another injury. The pain can be intermittent and sharp or constant and aching. If it was caused by an injury, you might feel sudden pain. It can be relieved or aggravated by changes in position and the lower back may feel sore to the touch. Muscle spasms are common.

Radiating pain: This type of pain is a dull, aching pain traveling from the lower back down the leg and may be accompanied by sharp, intense pain. Usually, only one side is affected on the side or back of the leg, not the entire leg, although the pain may travel all the way to the foot or only as far as the knee. If you have this kind of pain, you might have compression of a nerve root due to a herniated disk, osteoarthritis, or spinal stenosis. Things that make it worse are coughing, straining, bending over, or sneezing. Muscle weakness may occur, along with a pins-and-needles sensation, loss of feeling, and even loss of bowel and bladder control.

To learn more about the connection between head and neck injuries and lower back pain and sciatica download our complimentary e-book

Free Back Pain Relief eBook Lower Back Pain

Common Causes of Lower Back Pain

The most known cause of low back pain is due to muscle strains or sprains. This may be due to exercising, lifting, or moving in an unexpected or awkward way, such as falling or getting in a car accident. Sports can cause muscle sprains — pushing against an opposing lineman in football, turning to dribble suddenly after a rebound in basketball, swinging a bat in baseball, swinging a club in golf, or lifting a heavy weight from the ground.

Other common causes may include the following:

  • Fibromyalgia
  • Lumbar spinal stenosis
  • A ruptured or herniated disk
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Compression fractures
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Sciatica

Rare causes can be:

  • Spinal tumors
  • Spinal infections
  • Digestive disorders — perforated peptic ulcers, diverticulitis, pancreatitis
  • Urinary tract disorders — kidney infections, kidney stones, and prostate infections
  • An aneurysm or bulge in the large artery of the abdomen
  • Disorders of the pelvis — ectopic pregnancy, pelvic inflammatory disease, and cancer of the ovaries or other reproductive organs
  • Shingles
  • Inflammatory arthritis
  • Ankylosing spondylitis

Finding Relief for Lower Back Pain

The vertebrae of the spine are very much like a set of dominoes placed on their side close together. If you tip one over, the rest are affected. In the spine, if a problem begins in one area, it does not take long to affect the other areas. Here at our Morgantown, West Virginia location, we focus on the top bones of the neck, the C1 and C2 vertebrae. When these bones are out of alignment, the rest of the spine shifts and twists to compensate, causing unequal tension and muscle spasms in the lower back.

In order to correct the misalignments in the upper cervical part of the spine, we use a gentle method that encourages the bones to realign themselves more naturally than popping and cracking them. Once these bones move back into place, the natural healing properties of the body take over and correct the problems that are causing the lower back pain. Many report having relief after just a few adjustments.

To schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Lucas Watterson or Dr. Amy Watterson call our Morgantown office at 304-292-7740 You can also click the button below.

Lower Back Pain

 

if you are outside of the local area you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at www.uppercervicalawareness.com.

An Alternative Look at Sciatica Relief in Morgantown, WV

By / Back Pain / Comments Off on An Alternative Look at Sciatica Relief in Morgantown, WV

Lower Back Pain, Lower Back, Back Pain, Back Ache, Pinched Nerve, Numbness, Tingling, Sciatica Pain Relief, Sciatica, injury, back injury, work injury, Disc Herniation, Disc Herniation Relief, Posture, Proper Posture, Back Pain, Back Pain Relief, Back Ache, Lower Back Pain, Lower Back Pain ReliefThe term sciatic describes a set of symptoms that can include lower back pain, hip pain, burning or tingling down the leg, and weakness in the leg.  Sciatica typically only affects one side of the lower body.  To understand sciatica, we need to look at how the sciatic nerve is formed and its course in the body.

The sciatic nerve is the largest single nerve in the body.  It is made up of the nerve roots that branch off of the spinal cord in the lower back.  The sciatic nerve can become irritated for several reasons, including narrowing of the lumbar spinal canal, lumbar disc degeneration, muscle spasm in the lower back or buttocks, and irritation due to pregnancy.

To learn more about the connection between head and neck injuries and lower back pain and sciatica download our complimentary e-book

Free Back Pain Relief eBook

Sciatica Can Be Related to Atlas Misalignment

While this may not be the first thought that comes to mind, many cases of sciatica may start as a result of a spinal misalignment that happens at the very top of the neck.  Your atlas (C1) vertebra bears the weight of the head, and also has the greatest range of motion of any other bone in the spine.  Because of how freely movable it is, it is particularly prone to misaligning.  When this happens and the weight of the head is carried off-center, it forces the entire spine to compensate.  This results in shoulders and hips that are uneven, which leads to abnormal muscle tension and unequal weight bearing from left to right.  Over time, this can cause significant strain on the vertebrae and discs in the lower back, which can aggravate the sciatic nerve.

In order to address the cause of the sciatica, it is necessary to begin where the problem started – at the top of the neck.  By doing so, we are not merely chasing around symptoms.  We are looking to accomplish lasting results by getting to the root cause of the issue.  At Mountain State Wellness, we use an approach to upper cervical chiropractic care that is very gentle and effective.  Once we are able to correct the position of the atlas, the compensations throughout the rest of the spine can clear up naturally, leading to relief that is more than just temporary.

 

References:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sciatica/basics/definition/con-20026478

 

To schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Lucas Watterson or Dr. Amy Watterson call our Morgantown office at 304-292-7740 You can also click the button below.

Schedule a Complimentary Consultation

 

If you are outside of the local area you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at www.uppercervicalawareness.com.

Try These Sciatica Remedies Before Popping a Pill

By / Back Pain / Comments Off on Try These Sciatica Remedies Before Popping a Pill

Lower Back Pain, Lower Back, Back Pain, Back Ache, Pinched Nerve, Numbness, Tingling, Sciatica Pain Relief, Sciatica, injury, back injury, work injury, Disc Herniation, Disc Herniation Relief, Posture, Proper Posture, Back Pain, Back Pain Relief, Back Ache, Lower Back Pain, Lower Back Pain ReliefSciatica can result in debilitating pain that springs from an irritation of the sciatic nerve. Because this nerve is so large, symptoms can vary based on the location of the pressure. For example, one person may experience pain and numbness in the hip area while another may suffer a pins and needles feeling down one entire leg.

Oftentimes, medical professionals prescribe pain medication and just encourage patients to wait out the discomfort. However, if the underlying issue is not corrected, it is likely that sciatic pain will flare up again. Here are a few natural remedies for sciatica that are drug-free.

Natural Sciatica Options

We’re going to focus on 3 options for natural relief of sciatica.

Ice – Inflammation can put pressure on the sciatic nerve. Ice helps to reduce swelling and may, therefore, relieve some of the pain. While this does not resolve the underlying problem, it can provide temporary relief without pills or side effects.

Acupuncture – Many patients have been able to get some relief using this ancient Eastern medical technique. However, some squirm at the idea of having a bunch of tiny needles shoved under their skin. Also, insurance doesn’t always cover an alternative therapy like this. Therefore, many seek other options.

Chiropractic – Numerous studies back up the benefits of chiropractic for sciatica, even over other physical techniques such as physical therapy. However, you may be reluctant to have your hips or back twisted or jolted in an effort to realign the spine. If that is the case for you, then I would like to introduce you to a far gentler technique.
To learn more about the connection between head and neck injuries and lower back pain and sciatica download our complimentary e-book

Free Back Pain Relief eBook

Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care

Using a low force correct that does not involve “popping” or “cracking,” upper cervical chiropractic restores neck alignment gently. This, in turn, brings the rest of the spine into proper alignment. It is a long-lasting adjustment, and because it gets to the root problem area, pain is often relieved on a more long-term basis than just adjusting the part of the back where symptoms appear. That also means fewer visits and less expense.

If you are looking for drug-free sciatica help, upper cervical chiropractic is a cost-effective solution.
To schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Lucas Watterson or Dr. Amy Watterson call our Morgantown office at 304-292-7740 You can also click the button below.

Schedule a Complimentary Consultation

 

if you are outside of the local area you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at www.uppercervicalawareness.com.

Try These Sciatica Remedies Before Popping a Pill

By / Back Pain / Comments Off on Try These Sciatica Remedies Before Popping a Pill

Lower Back Pain, Lower Back, Back Pain, Back Ache, Pinched Nerve, Numbness, Tingling, Sciatica Pain Relief, Sciatica, injury, back injury, work injury, Disc Herniation, Disc Herniation Relief, Posture, Proper Posture, Back Pain, Back Pain Relief, Back Ache, Lower Back Pain, Lower Back Pain ReliefSciatica can result in debilitating pain that springs from an irritation of the sciatic nerve. Because this nerve is so large, symptoms can vary based on the location of the pressure. For example, one person may experience pain and numbness in the hip area while another may suffer a pins and needles feeling down one entire leg.

Oftentimes, medical professionals prescribe pain medication and just encourage patients to wait out the discomfort. However, if the underlying issue is not corrected, it is likely that sciatic pain will flare up again. Here are a few natural remedies for sciatica that are drug-free.

Natural Sciatica Options

We’re going to focus on 3 options for natural relief of sciatica.

Ice – Inflammation can put pressure on the sciatic nerve. Ice helps to reduce swelling and may, therefore, relieve some of the pain. While this does not resolve the underlying problem, it can provide temporary relief without pills or side effects.

To learn more about the connection between head and neck injuries and lower back pain and sciatica download our complimentary e-book

Free Back Pain Relief eBook
Acupuncture – Many patients have been able to get some relief using this ancient Eastern medical technique. However, some squirm at the idea of having a bunch of tiny needles shoved under their skin. Also, insurance doesn’t always cover an alternative therapy like this. Therefore, many seek other options.

Chiropractic – Numerous studies back up the benefits of chiropractic for sciatica, even over other physical techniques such as physical therapy. However, you may be reluctant to have your hips or back twisted or jolted in an effort to realign the spine. If that is the case for you, then I would like to introduce you to a far gentler technique.

Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care

Using a low force correct that does not involve “popping” or “cracking,” upper cervical chiropractic restores neck alignment gently. This, in turn, brings the rest of the spine into proper alignment. It is a long-lasting adjustment, and because it gets to the root problem area, pain is often relieved on a more long-term basis than just adjusting the part of the back where symptoms appear. That also means fewer visits and less expense.

If you are looking for drug-free sciatica help, upper cervical chiropractic is a cost-effective solution.

 

To schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Lucas Watterson or Dr. Amy Watterson call our Morgantown office at 304-292-7740 You can also click the button below.

Schedule a Complimentary Consultation

 

if you are outside of the local area you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at www.uppercervicalawareness.com.

Looking for Back Pain Relief? Medication May Not Be the Answer

By / Back Pain / Comments Off on Looking for Back Pain Relief? Medication May Not Be the Answer

Lower Back Pain, Lower Back, Back Pain, Back Ache, Pinched Nerve, Numbness, Tingling, Sciatica Pain Relief, Sciatica, injury, back injury, work injury, Disc Herniation, Disc Herniation Relief, Posture, Proper Posture, Back Pain, Back Pain Relief, Back Ache, Lower Back Pain, Lower Back Pain ReliefBack pain is something that nearly everyone will experience at some point in life.  From picking up your children to poor posture behind your desk at work, back pain can range from just a dull ache to sharp, severe pain.  Up until recently, the prevailing thought was to reach for some over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medications, such as aspirin or ibuprofen.  However, new research suggests that there is no significant relief to be gained from those drugs and that the risks associated with NSAIDs may not be worth the small benefit they might provide.

In the study, data on over 6,000 patients with back pain were analyzed, and it was found that only one out of every six patients reported a clinically significant decrease in their pain after two weeks of NSAID use.  This was determined to be no better than the results of using a placebo, but the NSAIDs came along with risks of developing gastrointestinal bleeding and cardiovascular problems.

To learn more about the connection between head and neck injuries and lower back pain and sciatica download our complimentary e-book

Free Back Pain Relief eBook

Addressing Back Pain Without the Risk

Many causes of back pain are spinal in origin.  The spine is a complex network of vertebrae, muscles, tendons, and ligaments that all work together to keep things functioning properly.  A normally working spine allows us to go about our daily activities comfortably, whether they involve sitting, standing, walking, participating in sports, or anything in between.

When back pain arises and doesn’t resolve within a few days, then there’s a good possibility that the spine is not doing its job as it should.  The spine houses and protects the delicate tissues of our brainstem and spinal cord.  When vertebrae shift away from their normal alignment, it can put pressure on these nerves and cause muscle spasm, postural distortions, abnormal sensations, and more.  

Many spinal issues begin when the atlas, the topmost vertebra in the spine, misaligns.  Like a chain of dominoes, the spine must twist and turn to compensate for the fact that our head is not being carried in a neutral position.  This can manifest as mid-back pain, low back pain, sciatic nerve pain, and even problems with the knees.

Correcting the atlas gently and specifically is our focus at Mountain State Wellness.  When the atlas is restored to its normal position, the rest of the spine can relax and realign. Upper cervical chiropractic is a natural way to address ongoing episodes of back pain, without the risks associated with medication use.
To schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Lucas Watterson or Dr. Amy Watterson call our Morgantown office at 304-292-7740 You can also click the button below.

Schedule a Complimentary Consultation

Sciatica and Your Spine

By / Uncategorized / Comments Off on Sciatica and Your Spine

Lower Back Pain, Lower Back, Back Pain, Back Ache, Pinched Nerve, Numbness, Tingling, Sciatica Pain Relief, Sciatica, injury, back injury, work injury, Disc Herniation, Disc Herniation Relief Posture, Proper Posture, Back Pain, Back Pain Relief, Back Ache, Lower Back Pain, Lower Back Pain ReliefBack pain is an almost ubiquitous condition.  Across the United States, more than 3 million visits per year to the emergency department are because of back pain.  When the pain in your low back begins to radiate through the hip and buttock down the back of the leg to the calf, it is affecting your sciatic nerve.

Your sciatic nerve is the largest in your body.  It starts in the lower back, formed from nerves branching off of the spinal cord, then travels through the pelvis, buttock and down each leg.  There can be many things that cause sciatica, and there are several things that might aggravate the condition, such as:

  • Sitting
  • Standing
  • Sneezing or coughing
  • Walking

Since your sciatic nerve and all nerves in your body, for that matter, originate from the spine, looking at the spine for a solution to the problem only makes sense.

To learn more about the connection between head and neck injuries and lower back pain and sciatica download our complimentary e-book

Free Back Pain Relief eBook

How Is My Neck Connected to My Sciatica?

The vertebrae of your spine not only give you the stability that allows us to be upright and go about our day to day activities, but they also provide a tough layer of protection for the spinal cord.  The job of the spinal cord, and all of the nerves branching off of it, is to send signals to and from the brain.  When the topmost vertebra in your neck, the atlas, misaligns it can distort those signals.  This can lead to imbalances in your posture, muscle spasms, and pain.  These imbalances can cause unequal tension on one side of your body, causing compensations throughout your shoulders and hips.  One leg might draw up shorter than the other because of that, ultimately leading to low back pain and sciatica.

At Mountain State Wellness, we want to get to the root cause of your low back pain and sciatica, not just chase around the symptoms.  We use the NUCCA technique to address atlas misalignments that may be contributing to your condition.  This is a gentle, specific type of upper cervical chiropractic that realigns the atlas so that the imbalances throughout your spine can return to normal.  Proper atlas alignment is key in order to have good brain-body communication and optimal healing potential.  
To schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Lucas Watterson or Dr. Amy Watterson call our Morgantown office at 304-292-7740 You can also click the button below.

Schedule a Complimentary Consultation

Common Causes of Low Back Pain in Morgantown, WV

By / Back Pain / Comments Off on Common Causes of Low Back Pain in Morgantown, WV

Lower Back Pain, Lower Back, Back Pain, Back Ache, Pinched Nerve, Numbness, Tingling, Sciatica Pain Relief, Sciatica, injury, back injury, work injury,If you are dealing with low back pain, you’re in good company.  Approximately 80% of adults will experience low back pain at some point in their lives.  Low back pain is the most common reason for missed work days as well as injuries sustained on the job.  It’s a condition that doesn’t discriminate either, with men and women equally as likely to develop it.

Where does this pain come from?  There are a few likely sources – some that are faster to heal, and some that are chronic degenerative conditions:

  1. Muscle strain or ligament sprain – These injuries are often due to overuse or improper lifting technique
  2. Osteoarthritis – Degeneration of the discs and joints of the spine
  3. Compression of discs – This can lead to loss of normal disc height which can put pressure on the spinal cord or delicate nerve roots
  4. Scoliosis – Low back pain may result from a significant curvature of the spine

When looking for treatment options, it’s important to consider the spine as a whole.  In order to properly rid yourself of low back pain, you need to pinpoint the root cause of the condition.

To learn more about the connection between head and neck injuries and lower back pain and sciatica download our complimentary e-book

Free Back Pain Relief eBook

Your Neck Is Connected to Your Low Back

In many cases, the cause of lower back pain can be traced up to the top of the spine—the neck.  While this might seem strange at first, the entire spine is connected and works together to protect your spinal cord.  When the uppermost vertebra in the neck, your atlas, is out of alignment, it creates abnormal spinal cord tension which leads to a disturbance of signals being sent between the brain and body over the nerves.  The misalignment of the atlas can cause lower back pain because it causes abnormal muscle tension on one side of the body.  When the head is tilted, it causes the shoulders and hips to become unlevel, which can easily trigger low back pain and discomfort.

In a case such as this, treatments to the lower back might provide some temporary relief.  However, since the real source of the problem is coming from the upper neck, that is what needs to be corrected in order to realize a more permanent solution.  At Mountain State Wellness, we are focused on finding the root cause of the problem, which is the way to obtain lasting results.  Our upper cervical approach is extremely precise and gentle and can lead to the resolution of chronic low back pain.

References:

http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/backpain/detail_backpain.htm

To schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Lucas Watterson or Dr. Amy Watterson call our Morgantown office at 304-292-7740 You can also click the button below.

Schedule a Complimentary Consultation

Top 3 Causes of Sciatica

By / Back Pain / Comments Off on Top 3 Causes of Sciatica

Lower Back Pain, Lower Back, Back Pain, Back Ache, Pinched Nerve, Numbness, Tingling, Sciatica Pain Relief, Sciatica, injury, back injury, work injuryBurning, lancing, stabbing – these are all ways to describe the terrible pain of sciatica.  Sciatica refers to pain that occurs along the course of the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back, through the buttocks, and down the back of each leg.  In really bad cases, the affected leg might become numb or even weak.

There can be many causes of sciatica, but far and away, the most common three are as follows:

  1. Disc herniation
  2. Osteophytes (bone spurs)
  3. Spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal)

No two sciatica cases are exactly alike.  Walking might give some people relief while sitting is painful, or it can be the complete opposite.  Regardless, if you’ve experienced the pain of sciatica, you’ve found yourself looking for relief.  While medications may take the edge off the pain temporarily, if there’s a spinal issue, the results won’t last.

To learn more about the connection between head and neck injuries and lower back pain and sciatica download our complimentary e-book

Free Back Pain Relief eBook

Look to the Neck for The Cause of Low Back Pain

The entire spine is connected by a series of joints, discs, muscles, tendons, and ligaments.  A problem in one part of the spine will, sooner or later, impact other areas of the spine.  The most common pattern we see is that a misalignment in the upper part of the neck will start a domino effect of compensations throughout the spine and ultimately cause muscle spasm and unequal tension on the lower back.

Many times in our practice, we see patients who have had various types of treatments on the lower back to try and get relief from sciatica.  The one thing that these people have in common is a specific misalignment of the uppermost vertebra in the neck, the atlas.  Because the atlas has the most range of motion of all of the other vertebrae in the spine, it is more vulnerable to misalignment.  This is what sets off the compensation in the lower back, leading to sciatica.  Correcting the atlas is correcting the problem at the root.  Given enough time for the body to heal, maintaining normal atlas alignment can allow for those compensations to clear up naturally, relieving the tension on the lower back and sciatic nerve.  This is what will give you the lasting relief you’ve been looking for.

References:

http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/musculoskeletal-and-connective-tissue-disorders/neck-and-back-pain/sciatica

To schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Lucas Watterson or Dr. Amy Watterson call our Morgantown office at 304-292-7740 You can also click the button below.

Schedule a Complimentary Consultation

3 Low Back Pain Prevention Tips

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Lower Back Pain, Lower Back, Back Pain, Back Ache, Pinched Nerve, Numbness, Tingling, Sciatica Pain Relief, Sciatica, injury, back injury, work injuryLower back pain is so common that it is often written off as just a normal part of life.  Approximately 80% of adults will have lower back pain at some point in their life, most often due to a job-related injury.  Low back pain does not discriminate between young and old, male or female.  It can be caused by an acute incident, or over time, poor posture and repetitive stress to the lower back can lead to strain and injury.  Fortunately, there are a few ways to address the most common culprits of low back pain, and to try to keep the muscles, joints, and discs of the lower back as healthy as possible.  Focusing on the following three things can be part of a plan to try and prevent a bout with low back pain:

  • Core stabilization – Having strong core muscles provides much-needed support to the lower back and can be important in avoiding injury.
  • Improve your posture – If your job involves sitting, use an ergonomic chair.  You can also use your phone to set a timer to remind yourself to get up and walk around a bit at least once an hour.
  • Lift correctly – We’ve all heard “lift from your legs and not from your back.”  Proper lifting technique can help you to avoid injury to the muscles, discs, and joints of the lower back.

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The Spine & the Key to Low Back Pain Relief

The function of the spinal cord is to transmit signals to and from your brain.  All of the nerves in your body have their origins in the spinal cord.  In order to function normally, the spinal cord should not have any stress or torque present.  The entire structure of the spine functions as a unit.  When the topmost bone in your spine, the atlas, misaligns, it creates spinal cord tension.  This tension leads to a distortion of signals that can cause imbalances in posture.  This chain reaction causes unequal muscle tension and weight distribution, ultimately causing pain and discomfort in the lower back.

In many instances, the patients who find their way to our offices have tried a general chiropractic approach consisting of repeated adjustments to the low back.  Oftentimes, this would provide some measure of relief, but it wouldn’t last.  The upper cervical approach we take at Mountain State Wellness looks at the entire picture.  While it may not seem logical at first—knowing that the entire spine is connected and that low back pain is often a compensation—addressing a primary misalignment that happens at the very top of the spine can be key.  Getting the atlas corrected will remove the stress and tension on the spinal cord, reduce muscular imbalances, and allow normal posture to be restored.  

 

References:

http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/backpain/detail_backpain.htm

http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/backpain/detail_backpain.htm

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