Back and leg pain is a common health issue today that affects at least 7 out of 10 people. It is a prevalent problem among Australians.
What Causes back and leg pain?
Accidents and sports injuries are the most common causes of back and leg pain. But sometimes, even simple activities or movements – like bending over to pick up an object from the floor – can trigger back and leg pain.
There are also a number of other factors that can increase your risk of back pain, such as:
• Poor posture
• Poor physical conditioning facilitated by inactivity
• Psychological/emotional stress
• Internal disease, such as kidney stones, infections, blood clots
• Osteoporosis or bone loss (as measured by the Z-score and not the young adult-based T-score)
Leg pain or numbness/tingling is usually the result of either nerve pressure or compromised blood flow somewhere between the low back and the feet. When a nerve is pinched it will usually result in shooting pain that travels down the leg. Often times it feels as though the pain wraps over the leg. This usually occurs down one leg but may occur in both. Nerve pressure may also result in a painful ache in part of the leg or sensations of numbness and tingling. When blood flow to the leg is compromised the result is usually numbness or tingling that may effect the whole leg or foot. These symptoms in the legs and feet may be alleviated by a change in position. The most common causes of nerve pressure or blood flow compromise to the leg include:
1. Bulging or herniated disc
2. Foraminal encroachment (narrowing of the holes where the nerves exit the spine)
3. Peripheral entrapment (pressure on the nerve or blood vessels away from the spine)
Leg pain, numbness or tingling can be very serious and should not be left untreated. Delay of care can result in permanent damage.
How to Relieve back and leg pain Naturally
– Back and leg strengthening EXERCISES and STRETCHES that not only helps your back and leg pain but also improve your physical conditioning and your over all health.
Some exercises you can do are: Situps, back extensions, squats and calf raises
Some stretches you can do are: abdominal and back muscle stretch, quads and hamstring stretch and also calf and front of the leg stretch.
– Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
– Improving your nutrition: Optimize your vitamin D (through regular and appropriate sun exposure) and vitamin K2 levels
– Chiropractic Care
Chiropractic is one of the most cost effective and safest form of care for back and leg pain. Clinical evidence suggests that chiropractic is more effective in dealing with back and leg pain than other more common medical treatments.
Chiropractic adjustments free the nervous system to communicate effectively so that the body can self-heal and self-regulate.
A 2011 study suggests that chiropractic can prevent recurring back pain better than traditional treatments. In the study, researchers analysed the data of a major US insurance company to determine the course and costs of treatment for nearly 900 cases of back pain.
They discovered that patients receiving traditional care relied more heavily on pain medications and were disabled for longer periods of time than chiropractic patients. Those under a physician’s care were disabled for an average of 119 days versus 58 days for physical therapy patients and just 49 days for chiropractic patients.
The researchers also examined the period after the initial episode of back pain to determine whether patients suffered from recurring pain. Chiropractic patients were less prone to recurring disability compared to patients in the physician and physical therapy groups. 16.9% of physical therapy patients had recurring disability versus 12.5% of physician patients and just 6.2% of chiropractic patients.
Chiropractic helps prevent future episodes of back pain by addressing the root cause of your pain, rather than masking the symptoms. If you’ve suffer from back pain or have chronic symptoms, chiropractic could help.
Cifuentes M, Willetts J, Wasiak R. Health maintenance care in work-related low back pain and its association with disability recurrence. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 2011; 53(4): 396-404.