LOW BACK, HIP & LEG PAIN
LOW BACK PAIN
Low back pain, technically known as lumbosacral pain, is a common problem that effects up to 90% of Australians during their lifetime.
Symptoms of lumbosacral dysfunctions include:
Pain and stiffness in the lower back and/or buttock, especially with movement
Pain that radiates down the front, side, or back of your leg
Pain with prolonged sitting, standing or walking
Pins and needles, numbness or weakness in parts of your leg.
There are many structures that cause lumbosacral pain are they are difficult to isolate, they also tend to respond to different directional loading patterns. As such, it is important to undergo a thorough assessment to identify the main structure causing your dysfunction as different structures will be treated with different techniques and in different directions.
The term ‘sciatica’ describes the symptoms of leg pain and possibly tingling, numbness or weakness that travels from the low back through the buttock and down the large sciatic nerve in the back of the leg. This is generally caused by a prolapsed disc putting pressure on a sensitive nerve root in the lower back.
It is important to note that sciatica is a symptom of something compressing or irritating the nerve roots that comprise the sciatic nerve rather than a medical diagnosis or disorder in and of itself. The vast majority of people who experience sciatica get better with time and find significant pain relief with non-surgical treatments including physiotherapy and chiropractic.
Intervertebral discs are tough fibrous pads joining each of the spinal vertebrae. Each disc is composed of a tough outer layer of ligament and a soft gelatinous core. The structure acts as a shock absorber to cushion the vertebrae during movements of the spine, and to minimise jarring when jumping or running. A disc prolapse occurs when the gelatinous core breaks through the outer layer of ligament causing inflammation and pressure on sensitive structures in the spine.
Osteitis pubis refers to inflammation of the Pubic Symphysis – the area behind the groin where the pelvic bones meet. It is most common in people who engage in sports that require the repetitive scissor action of the legs (i.e. running or kicking). Coupled with poor core strength, this action leads to constant movement through the two ends of pubic bones which causes friction on the pubic symphysis leading to inflammation.
Osteitis pubis can be particularly debilitating and frustrating for the athlete and needs to be diagnosed and treated early. Osteitis pubis refers to inflammation of the Pubic Symphysis – the area behind the groin where the pelvic bones meet. It is most common in people who engage in sports that require the repetitive scissor action of the legs (i.e. running or kicking).
Coupled with poor core strength, this action leads to constant movement through the two ends of pubic bones which causes friction on the pubic symphysis leading to inflammation. Osteitis pubis can be particularly debilitating and frustrating for the athlete and needs to be diagnosed and treated early.
The hip joint attaches the leg to the pelvis. In this joint, the head of the thigh bone (femur) swivels in a socket made up of pelvic bones, called the acetabulum. Pain can arise from structures that are within the hip joint or from structures surrounding the hip.
The acetabular labrum – A horseshoe shaped cartilage that lines the acetabular rim. It can gradually wear away or be torn acutely in accidents. this is known as a ‘labral tear’.
Bursa – The trochanteric bursa is a large fluid filled sac on the outside part of the hip that serves to protect muscles and tendons as they cross the greater trochanter (a bony prominence on the thigh bone). The bursa may become irritated and inflamed for a variety of reasons, often due to minor trauma or overuse, when this occurs it is known as trochanteric bursitis.
Ligaments – Thick bands of tissue that surround the hip joint, forming a capsule. These help maintain joint stability and can be torn leading to joint instability.
Muscles – Several small muscles run from the sacrum to the greater trochanter of the femur and all are prone to inflammation through overuse, this is known as tendonitis. The most common muscles that cause pain include the gluteus medius and minimus, piriformis, and the larger hip flexor muscles called iliopsoas (iliacus and psoas major) and rectus femoris.
If you have chronic pain and would like treatment and/or more information,
please call us or book an appointment today.