Most people don't associate their sciatica with spinal stenosis. Yet, stenosis is one possible cause of radiating pain and other nerve symptoms that go down one leg (typically called sciatica).
A lot of people want to know which exercises are the most effective for sciatica pain relief. The answer? It depends on what's causing your symptoms. So if it's spinal stenosis, then check out my new article: Sciatica Exercise for Stenosis
A reader emailed me to tell me that my definition of chronic pain was wrong, stating that it is pain lasting 6 months or longer.
To this I say, the phrase is meant to express long term pain as opposed to acute pain.
But the distinction the reader points out may make a difference where treatment decisions are concerned. That's why I encourage researching and understanding your diagnosis, as well as your options for pain management.
My reasoning: If you understand it, you can can advocate for yourself, and you may come closer to the solution that best fits you where you're at - no matter how long it's been. In fact, many people, myself included (I admit sheepishly) have ignored the need for getting their neck or back checked immediately after an injury because the pain wasn't that bad or they were too busy with other things, or some other reason. Here's a case for why that is not such a good idea: Early Treatment May Help You Avoid a Chronic Back Condition.
The fact that I am the Back and Neck Pain Expert here on About.com does not exempt me from have a few issues of my own. (Read my bio for details.) I am currently going to physical therapy for injuries from an accident sustained last year.
Here's the Pearl: If I've learned nothing else from my years in physical therapy and other spine healing environments, it's that getting better requires following through on a home exercise program. Physical therapy offers other types of treatments, as well. They are called physical therapy modalities. Most of the time, anyone of these modalities feels great. But if long term relief is what you are after, there's no substitute for working your muscles, in my experience.
Earlier this month I blogged about central canal stenosis, an age and arthritis related spinal condition. How do you know if you have it? Definitively speaking, a diagnosis made by your MD is likely the best way to understand what your symptoms mean.
While we're on the topic of symptoms, you should know what they are, so that you can head to the doctor's office in a timely way. It's all in my new article Central Canal Stenosis Symptoms.
Sciatica, which is a collection of symptoms known in the medical world as radiculopathy, can be quite a bear. The biggest thing you notice when you have sciatica is nerve related pain going down one leg. (Note: the term radiculopathy refers to nerve symptoms down a leg or an arm, while the term sciatica is limited to such symptoms down a leg.)
Some people think sciatica is also called - and therefore caused by - piriformis syndrome. While it is true that piriformis syndrome is known to cause sciatica symptoms, in reality epidemiology studies (studies that try to understand the health if the population) show that this is the case only rarely. The most common cause is herniated disc, but other things such as stenosis and even cysts are sometimes implicated, as well. Learn more: Sciatica Nerve Pain
There are disc herniations and there are disc herniations. The distinctions are based on where the soft substance that normally lives in the center of the disc end up. And there are bulging discs.
Would you believe that science has a term to describe every type of disc extrusion? Here are a few short glossaries to help you clarify what may be going on in your spine.
- Free Fragment, aka Sequestered Dsic
- Bulging Disc, aka Prolapsed Disc
- About.com's Orthopedic Expert, Dr. Jonathan Cluett further clarifies disc herniation types in this article.
I don't know about you but when the weekend rolls around I find I am clearer about making exercise and fitness choices for myself. In other words, this may well be a good time to research and think over your options, approaches and/or strategies for using movement as a spine healer. To that end, here is some fodder for your thoughts:
- Try a Basic Back Exercise Program
- Yoga for Back Pain Overview
- What is Dynamic Stabilization?
- Spinal Arthritis - Neck Range of Motion and other Exercises
- Move Pain Out of Your Body - For a holistic approach, learn more about my book.
"Age Is Not For Sissies." Where have I heard that quote before? I think it's part of a title of a book by Art Linkletter. Regardless, this statement is nowhere better illustrated than when a person has central canal stenosis, which is (usually) an age related spinal condition. What is central canal stenosis? To find out, read my new article: Central Canal Stenosis.
Though rare, spinal synovial cysts can underlie painful back conditions such as spondylolisthesis, cauda equina syndrome and others. Here's what you need to know about synovial cysts in your facet joints (which is where they are usually found).
If you know the pain of neuralforaminal stenosis, you're probably interested in what you can do to relieve it. As I mention in my new article, the good news is most cases do not go as far as requiring back surgery. Quite a few non-invasive treatments for neuralforaminal stenosis exist, and you can check them out by reading: Neuralformainal Stenosis Treatments.