Almost everybody suffers with back pain at one time or another. Back pain may vary from slight dull ache to sharp debilitating pain that can affect every part of the back and also radiate to other areas of the body.
Some causes of stress to your back include bad posture, poor seating, unsupportive beds and pillows, incorrect lifting, sedentary lifestyle, trauma, sports injuries, pregnancy, "wear and tear" and the list goes on. As these stresses build up, alignment problems and pain will occur. Dr. Oquist will identify the source of the problem, provide treatment to correct the cause, and advise how to best keep it from returning.
Sciatica is defined as a set of symptoms including pain caused by general compression or irritation of one of five spinal nerve roots that make up the sciatic nerve. This nerve stems from the spinal nerves in the lower back and runs all the way down the back of the leg, behind the knee and into the foot. Compression of this nerve creates pain, weakness or pins and needles down the leg. Leg pain doesn't always mean there is something wrong with the leg itself. Because the nerve stems from your low back the pain in your foot could be nerve compression in the lumbar spine or pelvis.
The intervertebral discs are the shock absorbers of the spine. On the outside they are layer upon layer of very tough fibrous material, while the inside remains more gel-like. Technically discs cannot slip, because of the way they are attached to the vertebra above and below. However, they can bulge, herniate, collapse and even rupture.
The physical changes in the disc will cause abnormal function in the joint and can result in local pain. The bulging disc can compress on the spinal cord and nerves and produce pain in an area distant from the site of the problem. Sciatic pain in the leg is a good example.