Pain, Weakness, and Numbness: The Degenerative Nature of Radiculopathy

There’s a lot of truth to the concept that, if not properly addressed, health problems will only continue to get worse over time. This is particularly true of pain issues rooted in the spine: namely radiculopathy. If ignored or left unchecked, it has the potential to become progressively and alarmingly worse.

The problem with degenerative pain conditions is that they often have insignificant starts. Occasional discomfort slowly bleeds into pain, which eventually becomes chronic and worsens with time. By the time many people seek help, their original condition has devolved far from what it started as. Had they just addressed it originally, they might have saved themselves tremendous amounts of strife.

Ideal Spine works with patients to help them understand the degenerative nature of pain and the need for action when addressing it. We aim to intervene early, to prevent minor discomfort from ascending into debilitating, ongoing pain.

Qualifying radiculopathy

Radiculopathy is radiating pain rooted in a compressed or inflamed nerve. It generally occurs at the site of the compression and stretches away, growing larger with time. It’s often a catalyst for different syndromes and pain conditions, such as sciatica or complex regional pain syndrome. Despite the many names for nerve-induced pain, it’s most often a form of radiculopathy.

Stages of degeneration

Radiculopathy pain devolves as fast as the underlying condition causing it. Someone might have a compressed nerve that generates pain yet doesn’t worsen in severity because the compression level remains the same. Likewise, what may start as minor discomfort due to displaced vertebrae can quickly devolve into numbness and a lack of mobility as a nerve is severely and continually depressed.

More often than not, radiculopathy pain follows a pattern. Understanding the signs of radiculopathy pain can help patients determine to what extent their condition has progressed and alert them to how it’s likely to develop as nerve impediment gets worse:

  • Discomfort generally characterizes the first stage. Here, subluxation, rotation, or spinal shift is taking place. The nerve may not be affected yet.
  • Pain signals the nerve is being compressed. The severity or onset rate of pain can help indicate the nature of the condition.
  • Weakness tends to follow pain. At this point, the nerve being affected is beginning to suffer permanent damage and is unable to function normally.
  • Numbness sets in as radiculopathy reaches its most severe level. Physical mobility may be limited and the chance that permanent nerve pain has occurred is high.

Observing the indicators of radiculopathy pain means being able to stay ahead of harm before it occurs. Acting on discomfort can prevent progression into pain, addressing pain can stave off weakness, and acting upon weakness may prevent permanent nerve damage. The sooner a person addresses their condition, the better the chance they have at preventing degeneration.

Preventing long-term harm

Radiculopathy is nothing to be ignored. Unfortunately, the everyday person simply isn’t able to qualify this type of pain and the catalysts causing it. That’s why it’s imperative to speak with an Ideal Spine chiropractor at the first sign of discomfort in the spine or radiating back pain. Not only can a chiropractor qualify radiculopathy, they may be able to provide decisive action that prevents it from degenerating further. With any luck, pain, weakness, and numbness may be avoided, along with long-term harm to nerves.

Chiropractic BioPhysics® corrective care trained Chiropractors are located throughout the United States and in several international locations. CBP providers have helped thousands of people throughout the world realign their spine back to health, and eliminate a source of chronic back pain, chronic neck pain, chronic headaches and migraines, fibromyalgia, and a wide range of other health conditions. If you are serious about your health and the health of your loved ones, contact a CBP trained provider today to see if you qualify for care. The exam and consultation are often FREE. See www.CBPpatient.com for providers in your area.

Small and Mighty: The Roles of the Piriformis and Psoas Muscles in Posture

There are upwards of 650 different muscles in your body, all working hard to support you and help you function. They range in size and shape, as well as what they’re responsible for. And while you’re likely familiar with the popular ones like biceps and quadriceps, there are countless others that are even more critical than you might ever imagine.

A prime example of two overlooked yet highly important muscles are the piriformis and the psoas. These muscles are two of the three that are responsible for connecting your spine to your legs (along with gluteus maximus). Keeping them toned and strong is absolutely essential in helping you maintain posture and lumbar support.

At Ideal Spine, we work hard to educate patients on the vital role their muscles play in overall spine health. In many cases, for patients with chronic low back, hip, and thigh pain, an introduction to the piriformis and psoas is long overdue.

The role of the piriformis and psoas

To understand what makes the piriformis and psoas muscles so important and vital to our everyday movements, it’s important to understand first what duties they have.

The piriformis muscle is minuscule, located near the sacrum. It assists in hip extension and flexion, supporting lateral rotation. This muscle is engaged in a wide variety of situations, including basic walking. When weak or compromised, a person is liable to experience pain throughout the low back, hips, and groin. Problems with the piriformis are even categorized by their own condition: piriformis syndrome.

The psoas are also integral for stability and lower body movement. In addition, psoas muscles are responsible for upright posture, helping to create the natural lumbar curve as they connect your spine to your lower body. When weak or injured, psoas muscles tend to cause lumbar pain and chronic tightness. Just like with your piriformis muscles, we rely on psoas for walking, running and other upright movement.

Maintaining good posture

While primarily responsible for assisting with dynamic movement, the piriformis and psoas muscles also play a role in proper posture. Maintaining the strength and integrity of these muscles means contributing to a healthier posture and, in turn, better spine health.

A strong piriformis will make sitting easier. In fact, a weakened piriformis muscle is likely to get worse with a sedentary lifestyle, since compression of the sciatic nerve is common. If your piriformis is strong, you’ll be able to offset the flexion of quadriceps, which might otherwise compromise hamstrings and the low back. As you go from sitting to standing, your piriformis will be able to better handle the demands of your body.

Likewise, strong psoas muscles make for great standing posture. As mentioned, these muscles will help induce the natural lumbar curve of the spine and can lend strength to the core in a way that further supports the spine.

Stronger muscles; better posture

Just like you might strengthen your bicep to be able to lift heavier weights, it’s important to strengthen your piriformis and psoas to incite better posture. Keeping these muscles loose and limber, as well as strong and conditioned, will help you sit, stand, walk, and run with better posture – not to mention less of an impact on your spine.

Ideal Spine is happy to educate patients on the role of their piriformis and psoas, and will take the time to help develop a plan that strengthens these muscles to promote positive posture.

Chiropractic BioPhysics® corrective care trained Chiropractors are located throughout the United States and in several international locations. CBP providers have helped thousands of people throughout the world realign their spine back to health, and eliminate a source of chronic back pain, chronic neck pain, chronic headaches and migraines, fibromyalgia, and a wide range of other health conditions. If you are serious about your health and the health of your loved ones, contact a CBP trained provider today to see if you qualify for care. The exam and consultation are often FREE. See www.CBPpatient.com for providers in your area.

Using Holistic Chiropractic to Get a Grip on Total Body Wellness

The human body is a complex, interconnected system. This means when a problem develops, it’s not always going to present in the same way each time. To make matters even more complicated, each person is unique and different, which only increases the variability in how issues may come to fruition. Simply put: figuring out what’s wrong with someone is often like solving a puzzle.

The reason chiropractic is so effective at diagnosing problems across patients is because of its holistic approach to observation and assessment. There’s a foremost emphasis on the spine, but as the spine is central to all nerves and therefore, all of the body’s processes, it becomes simply a starting point for more accurate diagnosis. Ideal Spine chiropractors often look levels beyond presenting symptoms to understand the rippling ramifications of an underlying condition.

An exercise in problem solving

If you have back pain, it only makes sense to start looking for the problem at the point of pain. Here, you’re likely to find symptoms. For example, cervical spine pain may be assessed for rotation at the C4 vertebrae. A swift adjustment might set things right and leave you feeling better! But, what happens when the same condition arises again shortly thereafter?

At this point, it might be necessary to look beyond the localized area of the problem. This is where Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP) excels. Through comprehensive patient analysis, a chiropractor is able to learn all of the pertinent information they might need to look beyond the obvious. Let’s take a look at an example:

Jenny has chronic back pain that doesn’t seem to fade, even with good posture habits and regular exercise. After a thorough review of her symptoms and medical history, as well as a chat with her, Jenny’s chiropractor learns she has stress-trigger psoriasis. Further, her version of psoriasis – plaque psoriasis – is commonly linked to arthritis and joint stiffness.

Using the information gleaned from patient interviews and medical histories, CBP chiropractors can deliver a targeted, more holistic range of treatments. In the above example, Jenny’s chiropractor may advise stress-relieving techniques or massages, along with stretching and scheduled spine adjustments to make sure she remains in proper alignment.

Factoring in the spine

The spine is often mixed into health conditions that may seem to have no direct relation. Because of this, it’s also often overlooked when it comes to finding a long-term solution.

Take a gastrointestinal problem like GERD, for example. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease can cause chronic pain and discomfort, leading to everything from heartburn to nausea. Many people only take into account this condition at face value and seek relief from medications or dietary changes. The problem is, you’ll now likely need medication for life or have to drastically change your diet in ways you might not want to.

In this specific instance, it’s worth visiting a chiropractor. Unbeknownst to many people, GERD and other gastrointestinal conditions are often triggered by nerve compression in the thoracic spine and may be alleviated by addressing this compression. But, because it’s an example of a referred condition, spinal adjustments aren’t often even considered!

Holistic approaches yield better results

If you’re suffering from a chronic condition, you don’t want a series of temporary fixes that simply bury the problem. What you need is a solution that takes into account all facets of the problem and directly addresses the chief catalyst for your condition. Chiropractic can offer this opportunity by taking your condition into consideration in a holistic capacity. Learn more about the Ideal Spine approach to day.

Chiropractic BioPhysics® corrective care trained Chiropractors are located throughout the United States and in several international locations. CBP providers have helped thousands of people throughout the world realign their spine back to health, and eliminate a source of chronic back pain, chronic neck pain, chronic headaches and migraines, fibromyalgia, and a wide range of other health conditions. If you are serious about your health and the health of your loved ones, contact a CBP trained provider today to see if you qualify for care. The exam and consultation are often FREE. See www.CBPpatient.com for providers in your area.

Managing Juvenile Disc Disorder for Better Developing Spine Health

Disc deterioration and degeneration aren’t things most people have to worry about until they enter their golden years. That doesn’t mean it’s not completely out of the picture for juveniles and young adults, however. Juvenile disc disorder may be rare, but it’s a condition that demands rapid, ongoing attention to ensure the long-term spine health of younger individuals.

Juvenile disc disorder is characterized by degeneration not in just one or two discs, but throughout the spine. The discs themselves are generally too weak to withstand the pressure of everyday support demanded by the spine. As a result, the spine becomes prone to everything from disc displacement to vertebral compression fractures and painful nerve inflammation. Untreated, the entire situation exacerbates into full-blown degenerative disc disease and myriad other health problems.

Adolescents with persistent back pain issues need to be thoroughly examined by a chiropractor. At Ideal Spine, we know the value of an accurate diagnosis when it comes to administering proactive treatment for conditions like juvenile disc disorder.

When to suspect a problem

Back pain at any age is not normal, however in adolescents, it’s especially cause for concern. The wear and tear that leads to old-age spinal problems shouldn’t be present at such a young age and if it is, it’s a clear sign of an undiagnosed problem like juvenile disc disorder.

For parents who believe their child may have a persistent spine ailment or young adults with the power to seek relief on their own, keep apprised of the following potential symptoms for juvenile disc disorder:

  • Persistent pain throughout the back;
  • Back pain after long periods of sitting, standing, or laying;
  • Pain when transitioning from walking to running or vice-versa;
  • Pain when bending or lifting objects of moderate weight;
  • Pain when stretching arms over the head.

Other, more subtle symptoms to look out for include changes to posture to compensate for pain or problems getting a full night’s sleep.

Managing a disc disorder

Because juvenile disc disorder affects primarily the vertebral discs of the spine, management is focused on alleviating pressure and strain on these discs. And, surprisingly to most people, it doesn’t mean restricting activity! Managing this condition is all about improving strength and flexibility.

Starting with foundational support, many chiropractors encourage juvenile disc disorder sufferers to strengthen their hips, thighs, and hamstrings in order to stabilize their posterior chain. This, in turn, leads to better core stability and less concussion of the spine during activity. Stretching in these areas also helps maintain flexibility for dynamic movement, such as twisting or bending.

Aerobic activity is also a cornerstone of keeping this condition in check. Getting the heart pumping spreads blood throughout the body and ensures areas of inflammation or injury are getting oxygenated blood – namely the spine. Here, body mechanics are also something to be concerned with, such as proper heel striking while running. These will lessen the jarring impact of aerobics on the spine and promote long-term wellness.

Finally, chiropractic adjustments round out management of juvenile disc disorder. Traction may reduce pressure and compression on at-risk discs, while HVLA adjustments may reset vertebrae to take stress off of discs.

Preventing a lifetime of back pain

Addressing juvenile disc disorder early is the first step in combating what is sure to otherwise be a lifetime of back pain problems. Waste no time in seeking chiropractic assessment from an Ideal Spine practitioner as soon as you suspect a chronic back ailment. Using Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP), an expert chiropractor will map out a management approach that works to minimize juvenile disc concerns.

Chiropractic BioPhysics® corrective care trained Chiropractors are located throughout the United States and in several international locations. CBP providers have helped thousands of people throughout the world realign their spine back to health, and eliminate a source of chronic back pain, chronic neck pain, chronic headaches and migraines, fibromyalgia, and a wide range of other health conditions. If you are serious about your health and the health of your loved ones, contact a CBP trained provider today to see if you qualify for care. The exam and consultation are often FREE. See www.CBPpatient.com for providers in your area.