Spinal discs play a crucial role in the lower back, serving as shock absorbers between the vertebrae, supporting the upper body, and allowing a wide range of movement in all directions. If a disc herniates and leaks some of its inner material, though, the disc can aggravate a nerve, triggering back pain and possibly nerve symptoms down the leg. Excess stress on the spine, heavy labour, and obesity are some factors that can cause disc herniation and sciatic pain.(1)
Most health care providers would agree that first-line treatment of sciatic pain secondary to lumbar disc herniation should consist of nonoperative care in the form of lifestyle modification and physical therapy. There is growing evidence that chiropractic treatment is an effective way to treat this condition.(1)
Acute back pain from disc herniation causing sciatica is a major source of disability, with impairment of daily living activities. Many medical interventions are available, but the results are conflicting. Spinal manipulations are widely used. The rationale for manipulation includes reduction of a bulging disc, correction of disc displacement, release of adhesive fibrosis surrounding prolapsed discs or facet joints and entrapped synovial folds or plicae, inhibition of nociceptive impulses, relaxation of hypertonic muscles, and unbuckling displaced motion segments. Patients receiving active manipulations enjoyed significantly greater relief of local and radiating acute LBP, spent fewer days with moderate-to-severe pain, and consumed fewer drugs for the control of pain.(2)
Spinal deconditioning and a weakness of the lumbar spinal extensor muscles appeared to be related to the patient's symptoms. Patient education on proper posture, proper lifting techniques, core stabilization exercises, active strengthening exercise and chiropractic care are some of the many ways a chiropractor can help relieve lumbar disc herniation.(3)
Lumbar disc herniation is a condition better taken care of sooner than later. If you or you know someone who is experiencing Low back pain, call us to book an appointment, we would love to help you!
1. Cox J, Shreiner S. Chiropractic manipulation in low back pain and sciatica: statistical data on the diagnosis, treatment and response of 576 consecutive cases. Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics. 1984;7(1):1-11.
2. Santilli V, Beghi E, Finucci S. Chiropractic manipulation in the treatment of acute back pain and sciatica with disc protrusion: a randomized double-blind clinical trial of active and simulated spinal manipulations. The Spine Journal. 2006;6(2):131-7.
3. Estadt GM. Chiropractic/Rehabilitative Management of Post-Surgical Disc Herniation: A Retrospective Case Report. Journal of Chiropractic Medicine. 2004;3(3):108-15.
It is not news that offices have shifted towards the use of a standing desk to avoid the “sitting disease” to prevent low back pain. (Katilin) However, is standing really the solution to avoiding low back pain?
A previous study has shown that having a standing break from seated work may reduce the demand on the lumbar spine, however, standing work itself can be associated with increased levels of low back pain. (Colin). Between 40-70% of the population may develop acute back pain with prolonged standing work tasks (Colin). Another study had suggested that prolonged standing could lead to health risks such as low back discomfort, leg swelling and physical fatigue (Shuchi). Studies have also shown that there is an increase of low back pain when standing longer than 50% of the shift (Shuchi).
There are benefits, specifically for office workers from switching to a standard seated workstations to a sit-stand workstation (Colin). However, the frequency and duration of a sit-stand transition is still in question.
A recent study has suggested that onset of pain within the first 15 minutes when standing is the accumulation from tissue aggravation (Colin). This study was backed up by previous research that also suggested to limit standing to 15 minutes or less which had shown to be the starting point of low back pain (Jack). Once past the 15 minutes mark, early and frequent breaks within at least the first hour appear to be a solution to reduce accumulation of tissue aggravation that often occurs within the first 45 minutes of standing at work (Colin).
It is suggested to change positions more often and not wait for the feeling of discomfort because once pain has initiated, it may persist even if there is a postural change. It may be more effective when there is a balanced exposure between sitting and standing (Colins).
If you are struggling with whether or not sitting or standing is better for you, check in with us at Sprouting Health Chiropractic. We are all for helping you out!