Leg pain can be a nuisance, and in some cases debilitating. Such a condition can make it difficult to perform simple day activities, including standing, walking, and even sleeping. Though your first inclination may be to think that the source of the problem may be in the leg itself, you shouldn’t discount the idea that it may be located somewhere else, such as the lower spine. In fact, it’s often the lower spine that is the root of the problem.
The spine is where the sciatic nerve originates. From there, this nerve branches to the front of the thigh, and on toward various parts of the leg and foot. If the nerve is impeded or stressed in any way, weakness, numbness, and pain can be felt in different parts of the leg. That’s why any leg or foot condition should always include an examination of the lower back.
How Spine Problem Translates to a Leg Problem
Your spine consists of 30 bones (called vertebrae) that are separated by soft discs and held together by muscles and ligaments. If the spine is healthy, spinal nerves will freely exit the spinal canal and extend to the different parts of the body, including the legs and feet. That said, the different bones, discs, muscles, and ligaments in the spine can compress the spinal nerves.
As you age, the ligaments in your spine may start to thicken and harden. Bone spurs may start to develop. Discs may start to bulge or collapse. When these things happen, the sciatic nerve can be impeded or blocked, causing pain and other related symptoms in the lower back, buttocks, and lower extremities
In some cases, a leg problem can go away on its own with rest, exercise and/or medication. If your pain doesn’t go away even after these treatments, it’s important for you to visit the Newmarket physio clinic to receive the proper mode of treatment.
Before a Newmarket physio can treat you, however, he must first rule out other conditions that produce similar symptoms. You may be required to undergo some tests, such as X-ray or MRI, to see how parts of your spine may be compressing your spinal nerve. Your doctor may also look into your family and personal medical history, and conduct blood tests, to see if they have any correlation to your condition.
Manipulation as a Treatment for Leg Pain
Manipulation is a type of therapy that involves the application of manual pressure or force using the hands or a small tool to realign the spine and release the pressure on the nerve. Manipulation can relieve pain and improve range of motion in the affected areas. Relief can come instantaneously, or after a few sessions, and this is why manipulation continues to grow as a favoured mode of treatment for various chronic pain conditions.
Graeme Hayhow is a qualified manipulative physio, so it’s important to visit a trusted clinic, such as the Institute of Sport Physio, for your treatment, as these facilities ensure that their physio holds specialty qualifications.