2 Your Health: Lower back and leg pain

Editor’s Note: “2 Your Health” is a new column in the SaddleBrooke Progress dedicated to health issues. Each month different doctors and or medical associations, from varying specialties, will be writing on issues of importance. Articles are based on experiences and independent research conducted by the doctors or medical associations. We encourage anyone considering changing medications and or altering medical therapy, as a result of information contained in these articles, to consult your doctor first. Robson Publishing, a division of Robson Communities, Inc. is not liable for information contained in these articles.

Dr. Craig Brue

Chiropractors see many patients for sciatica; the radiation of lower back pain into the hip and leg. The most common symptoms of sciatica include the increase of leg pain after sitting, difficulty getting up after sitting and the increase of leg pain with walking.

The solution for sciatica is to eliminate the cause. A new medical journal study documents that chiropractic care can help conditions related to lower back pain that radiates into the leg.

The recent study in the Annals of Internal Medicine investigated 192 patients who had back and leg pain for least four weeks. Half of the patients were given chiropractic adjustments, advice and exercises. The other half were given exercises and advice alone. The basic study ran for 12 weeks and patients received up to 20 chiropractic adjustments over that time.

The study participants were assessed at the beginning of the study, at 12 weeks and at 52 weeks after the beginning of care. The back pain study showed the following improvements related to chiropractic care.

After a 12 week follow-up: chiropractic patients had less back pain, less disability, better overall improvement and more satisfaction with their care.

A one year follow-up revealed that the patients who received chiropractic care maintained their overall improvement and increased satisfaction with their care.

There were no serious side-effects due to chiropractic spinal adjustments during the study.

The authors of the study concluded that chiropractic and home exercises were “a safe and effective approach to back and leg pain.” The authors also concluded that chiropractic care was better than the treatment of exercise alone.

What is sciatica? Sciatica is related to a pinched nerve in the lower back that radiates pain into the leg. Sciatica is a structural problem that is most often related to one of the following causes: spinal misalignment, disc degeneration, disc bulges, spinal stenosis and osteoarthritis.

What should you do for back and leg pain? Your problem is not coming from a deficiency in Tylenol, Aleve or ibuprofen. Medication may help the pain, but it isn’t going to correct the cause of the problem.

Epidural spinal shots will not correct the cause of your pain because this painful condition is not related to a cortisone deficiency. After a spinal injection you will walk out of the doctor’s office with the same problem you walked in with. The only difference will be that you now have anti-inflammatory drugs injected into your spine.

The most common cause of back and leg pain is bio-mechanical. Nerves get pinched because of spinal misalignment. Chiropractors specialize in spinal adjustments to correct spinal misalignment and faulty bio-mechanics. Spinal adjustments will help you eliminate the cause of your problem without drugs, painful shots or surgery.

My advice: Find a great chiropractor to be a part of your health team. The only thing you have to lose is the pain you are experiencing.

Dr. Craig Brue is an author, lecturer and chiropractic provider in SaddleBrooke, Arizona. To obtain a free factsheet, The 20 Ways to Prevent and Eliminate Lower Back Pain, send a request to Dr. Brue at [email protected]