How Can I Know If I Have Sciatica
Sciatica is linked to certain conditions including pregnancy, osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease, and herniated or bulging discs. Doctors who suspect their patients have sciatica may ask their patients to perform some exercises or undergo x-rays and similar tests.
Physicians will also ask questions several questions including:
- Where do you feel discomfort?
- What is the pain like?
- How often are you uncomfortable?
- How long does the pain last?
- What triggers the discomfort and what helps it go away?
- Do you sit for a long period of time?
- Do you do any lifting or strenuous physical activities for your job?
- Do you have an active lifestyle?
What Are Sciatica Causes
Sciatica is caused by irritation of the sciatic nerve. Usually, there is no specific injury that is related to the onset of sciatica. Occasionally, the pain will suddenly begin after lifting something heavy or moving quickly. The following are causes of sciatica:
- A herniated disc : Disc herniation is the most common cause of sciatica. When a disc herniates near the spinal nerve roots that form the sciatic nerve, it can cause pressure on the nerve, or irritation, which results in the symptoms of sciatica.
- Discs are the cushions between the bones in the back. They act like “shock absorbers” when we move, bend, and lift. They are the size and shape of checkers.
- There is a tough ring around the outside of each disc and a thick jellylike center inside . If the outer edge of the disc ruptures, the center can push through and put pressure on the sciatic nerve, leading to the pain of sciatica .
Three Signs That Your Knee Pain May Be Originating In Your Back
Just about everything you think you know about your knee pain probably is wrong. Most physicians hold fast to what they learned in medical school, but the science of medicine is constantly evolvingfinding less invasive ways to treat our ailments and discovering the root causes of our pain.
An important thing to understand is that what hurts is not necessarily the problem, but a symptom of the problem. If your knee pain isnt the result of traumatic injury, a strong possibility exists that it could be caused by a problem in your back. Not determining the root cause of your pain could lead to an unnecessary knee replacement that doesnt address the source of the pain. Research studies consistently show an unacceptably high percentage of patients continue to have chronic pain after knee-replacement surgeries.
Your back houses the nerves that drive the muscles around the knees. A problem with a nerve in your back can affect how those muscles work. Low-level nerve irritation usually isnt noticed by patients as back or leg pain. It just causes the muscles to misfire, destroying the otherwise needed protection for the knee joint.
There are three signs that your back could be causing your knee pain.
You May Like: Inversion Table Benefits For Knees
Addressing Cervical Spine Instability With Prolotherapy Injections:
We have published dozens of papers on Prolotherapy injections as a treatment in difficult to treat musculoskeletal disorders. Prolotherapy is an injection technique utilizing simple sugar or dextrose. We are going to refer to two of these studies as they relate to cervical instability and a myriad of related symptoms including problems of digestion and a sense of chronic nausea in relation to the brainstem. It should be pointed out that we suggest in our research that Additional randomized clinical trials and more research into its use will be needed to verify its potential to reverse ligament laxity and correct the attendant cervical instability. Our research documents our experience with our patients.
In 2014, we published a comprehensive review of the problems related to weakened damaged cervical neck ligaments in The Open Orthopaedics Journal. We are honored that this research has been used in at least 6 other medical research papers by different authors exploring our treatments and findings and cited, according to Google Scholar, in more than 40 articles.
Hot And Cold Treatments
Many people have found that hot and cold treatments help relieve back pain. You might try both to find out which works better for you. Heat relaxes muscles and soothes painful areas. There are many ways to apply heat. Some people like hot showers or baths, while others prefer using heat lamps, heating pads or warm compresses. If you have arthritis, heating your muscles first might make it easier for you to do back exercises. Be sure not to fall asleep while using heat. Cold has a numbing effect. This often helps relieve pain. You might try one of these methods for applying cold:
- an ice bag
- a large ice cube used to massage the area
- a frozen package of vegetables
- a commercially made cold pack.
- Be sure not to leave ice on after the skin becomes numb. This could lead to localized frostbite. Do not use cold if you are especially sensitive to it or
- have decreased circulation or sensation. Read the pain management article for more information about heat and cold.
Recommended Reading: How Much Does Aflac Pay For Knee Surgery
How To Know If Your Knee Pain Comes From Your Spine
Many people assume knee pain is always caused by a problem in the knee joints. However, that is not necessarily the case. If youre suffering knee pain or discomfort, there is a possibility that a problem with your spine is the cause.
So how do you know if your knee pain comes from your spine? The muscles around your knees are connected to the nerves in your lower spine so if these nerves are irritated or compressed, your knees may be affected by symptoms such as intermittent back pain, hamstring tightness, weakness in the hips or quads, and the development of bunions on your feet.
Can Facial Numbness Or Pain Arise From A Bulging Disc Yes
It is interesting to note, that cervical disc bulges can also lead to facial symptoms . It is frequently seen as neck pain involving the shoulder and also extending to the face. However, sometimes it may even occur without any neck involvement. Earlier it was thought to occur due to an overt sensitivity of the patient. Sometimes it was even considered that the patient is feigning the pain for better insurance claims. And thus, the patient had to unnecessarily suffer an emotional predicament in making people believe that he/she does suffer from pain. And this was even after the cause of the disease , had already been seen on MRI but frequently ignored by physicians as normal. However, it has been documented in many research papers, that bulging cervical discs can cause facial pain, tingling or numbness along with neck pain or even without it. This is called cervicogenic facial pain.
Also Check: Ginger Poultice For Knee Pain
How Could A Low Back Spondylolisthesis Cause A Hip Or Knee Issue
The spinal nerves that exit the low back supply the sensation and the muscles in the legs. For example, if the extra motion caused by the spondylolisthesis leads to spinal nerve irritation, this can impact how the muscles in the legs fire. Lets dive into that issue in more detail.
Many of us take for granted that the muscles in our legs protect our joints. These include muscles that surround the hip and knee. If these muscles casnt fire properly, then the joints get extra wear and tear. In our example above of L5 slipping forward on S1, the exiting L5 nerves and the descending S1 nerves can get irritated with that extra motion. Hence, the butt and hamstrings muscles can begin firing abnormally, causing issues in the hip and knee.
Cervical Spine Stability And Restoring Lordosis
The cervical spine has a natural curve. It acts as a spring or shock absorber for the head. When this curve is gone because of injury, Joint Hypermobility Syndrome, or degenerative cervical disc disease, not only are the arteries and nerves between the vertebrae not protected from the impact of walking or running or jumping or a bumpy car ride, they are subjected to compression from cervical spine instability caused by cervical ligaments that have also been damaged by injury or wear and tear and no longer hold the neck in correct alignment.
The cervical spine has a natural curve. It acts as a spring or shock absorber for the head. When this curve is gone, injury, Joint Hypermobility Syndrome, or degenerative cervical disc disease
Also Check: How To Sleep With Lower Back Pain And Sciatica
Recommended Reading: Inversion Table After Hip Replacement
Common Knee Injuries That Cause Pain
Because the knee joint is a complicated set of moving components, the chance that you will injure it is high. We see quite a few knee injuries come through our doors, the most common of which are:
- Fractures: The bones of the knee, including the kneecap, can break because of accidents, sports injuries or even stepping wrong.
- ACL Injury: Tearing your anterior cruciate ligament , which connects your shinbone to your thighbone, can lead to excruciating knee pain.
- Torn Meniscus: You can tear this tough cartilage with a sudden jerking movement or by wearing it down over time.
- Bursitis: Bursae are small fluid sacs that prevent friction in the joint, but they can become inflamed because of overuse.
- Tendinitis: Inflammation or irritation in one or more of the knees tendons can lead to pain.
- Dislocation: Dislocation occurs when the kneecap slips out of place.
Treating Knee Pain In Central New Jersey
When you come to Metropolitan Pain and Spine Institute, we seek to offer a diagnosis quickly, so we can begin an individualized treatment plan as soon as possible. We always start with non-surgical solutions first and foremost. This could include physical therapy and medication combined with cold or hot compresses and other home remedies. We may also recommend a knee brace. Plus, our office specializes in the use of regenerative medicine, such as platelet-rich plasma injections.
If these techniques do not work, however, your knee issue may require surgical intervention. We offer a wide variety of methods, many of which are least or minimally invasive options, such as:
- Viscosupplementation of the knee joint
Read Also: Flying After Knee Replacement Surgery
Pad: Blocking Blood Flow To The Legs
Cholesterol, calcium, and other substances can build up in arteries damaged by smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, and other risk factors. Eventually, plaque starts to form and can harden. This causesatherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries.
Sometimes, part of the plaque will break off, and block the blood flow. This limits the flow of oxygen-rich blood to your heart, brain, and other organs, as well as your arms and legs. This is PAD.
PAD, also known as peripheral vascular disease , can cause pain and numbness in your legs, and raises the risk of infection. If severe enough, lack of blood flow can cause gangrene , and worst case, can lead to leg amputation.
People with PAD often show no signs of it. Thats why its important that you ask your doctor to check for PAD if you are older than 70 over 50 with a history of smoking or diabetes or under 50 with a history of diabetes and one or more risk factors for atherosclerosis.
Signs and symptoms of PAD include:
- Pain, numbness, tingling, aching, or heaviness in the leg muscles when walking or climbing stairs
- Cramping in the legs, buttocks, thighs, calves, and feet
- Weak or no pulse in your legs or feet
- Sores or wounds on your toes, feet, or legs that heal slowly or wont heal
- Pale or bluish skin color
- Leg feels cool to the touch
- Poor toenail growth and decreased leg hair growth
- Erectile dysfunction, especially in men with diabetes
What Does Spinal Stenosis
For some patients, spinal stenosis-related hip pain is mild and occasional. For others, the pain is severe and increases gradually over an extended period of time. It is also possible for the hip pain to extend through the buttocks and the groin or radiate down through the legs.
Generally, spinal stenosis-related hip pain only affects one side of the body. It typically occurs when the space inside the spinal canal and between vertebrae narrows and compresses a nerve root in the lower spine. Nerve roots are structures that branch off the spinal cord on the left and right sides of the spinal column and travel out to provide motor and sensory function to the rest of the body. The pain caused by nerve root compression is often limited to the side of the body served by the nerve root being compressed.
Read Also: What Is The Best Knee Walker
Treatment Tips You Can Follow To Manage Knee Pain
Depending on your physicians diagnosis, they can create a specific treatment plan which will address the root cause of your problem and help you relieve knee pain. Surgery is often not the first option a specialist will propose for your treatment.
You can expect your doctor to recommend physical therapy, postural correction, and self-care to help you heal. Here are a few treatment tips you can follow to help you care for your body:
The Causes Of Spinal Stenosis
It may be a common problem, but spinal stenosis often goes undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. The symptoms are frequently dismissed as part of the aging process, but they should not be ignored. Chronic pain is debilitating. Depending on its cause, stenosis can be progressive, getting worse with time. “At my last job, it was really hard to work,” says Stanton, who points out that he eats right and stays physically fit. “Sometimes when I got up from my desk, my legs would give out and I’d collapse. The condition was rapidly getting worse. Besides the burning pain, my shins and ankles were starting to cramp, especially after I’d fall asleep at night. I’d be jumping out of bed every few hours. My social life was suffering, too. When I’d go to a movie, I’d have to get up and walk around. I couldn’t sit long in one position.” There are many causes of spinal stenosis. Spondylitis inflammation of the body’s joints and vertebral tissues is a common culprit. With age, the cushioning discs between vertebrae can become tattered, a condition known as degenerative disc disease or spondylosis, or discs can herniate or slip out of place.
Recommended Reading: Roller Knee Walker
Causes Of Spinal Stenosis
5 Causes of Spinal Stenosis
Spinal stenosis is narrowing of the open spaces within the spine. Narrowing can occur in the vertebral passageway that protects the spinal cord or in the bony passageways where spinal nerves exit the spine and travel to other areas of the body. By itself, spinal narrowing may not cause any noticeable symptoms. However, when the open spaces tighten enough to trap or pinch the spinal cord or nerve roots, spinal stenosis causes significant pain and symptoms.
Stenosis is most common in the cervical and lumbar spine. In the cervical spine, stenosis with nerve compression causes pain, weakness, numbness and tingling in the neck, shoulder, arm and hand. In the lumbar spine, stenosis with nerve compression causes pain, weakness, numbness and tingling in the low back, hip, leg and foot.
Some people experience severe and debilitating pain from spinal stenosis, and have difficulty walking or performing daily functions. Keep reading to learn the primary causes of spinal stenosis and the treatment options available to you.
The general symptoms of spinal stenosis include:
- Bladder problems
- Bowel problems
It’s Easy To Get The Care You Need
See a Premier Physician Network provider near you.
Are you bothered by leg pain?
Read on to learn more about the two conditions, how they differ, and what you need to do if you think one of them might be causing your leg pain.
Read Also: Nano Knee Surgery Cost
Can Cervical Stenosis Cause Fatigue
Fatigue is one symptom that can be caused by cervical spinal stenosis from the pressure put on the spinal cord or nerves. The goal of surgical intervention is to help remove pressure placed on the spinal cord or nerves to help combat the pain and fatigue it is causing.
Other symptoms associated with cervical spinal stenosis are the following:
You Have Tightness In Your Hamstrings
When you are getting ready to exercise and begin to stretch your hamstrings, do you notice if there is a tightness to it that wont go away despite frequent stretching? If so, this is one of the first signs in the lower extremities which suggest there is a nerve issue in your back causing knee pain.
The hamstrings are a group of muscles located in the back of your thighs. When these muscles are tight, the stability of your lower back is decreased. Stress builds up in the spinal joints and the normal curvature of your lower spine alters itself to adjust to the need. These changes cause lower back pain and stiffness to radiate down the knee and leg. As you move around with tight hamstrings, your knees are unable to function properly and may be damaged.
Hamstring tightness is also linked to a lumbar problem. The L5 nerve travels from the lumbar spine and connects through the outer hamstring muscle to power the biceps femoris. If this nerve is irritated or damaged, the hamstrings will become inflamed or even painful. Your knees will have to adjust when in motion to compensate for the strained hamstring.
After a few weeks of hamstring tightness, the meniscus cartilage in each knee joint will suffer. Your body will mobilize its stem cells to repair the damage but because the trauma is ongoing, the swelling will remain until the root problem is addressed.
Read Also: How Do I Get Rid Of Fat Around My Knees