Posted by: Oscar Abraham in Acupuncture,Clinic,Health,Massage,pain on January 28th, 2012

Baby Steps was the name of the book the Richard Dreyfuss character wrote in the very funny movie “What about Bob”. It was supposed to help people overcome their psychological problems. However, I see “baby steps” or short steps as a major cause or contributor to severe sciatic pain. People who take short, stiff legged steps generate shock waves which travel up the leg to the back every time they hit the pavement. This severe trauma to the sciatic nerve splints the muscles along the sciatic nerve causing severe pain. Medical treatment including drugs (Percocet and the like) and injections to the spine mask the pain for a short time but does not provide long lasting relief.

Sometimes the pain is so great that the patient cannot move normally so that a proper evaluation cannot be made. In this situation, one or two treatments of acupuncture and massage can alleviate the pain to the point where the patient can move well enough so that an evaluation can be made. In many cases, there are multiple causes for the pain and there may be pain in other areas of the leg besides the lower back, hip area and upper leg. Both a postural and gait analysis must be undertaken to evaluate the causes of pain. If there are no clear postural or gait anomalies then a referral should be made for an MRI or a CAT scan to determine if there are any organic or histopathologic issues involved.

In complex cases, the method of discovery requires testing and eliminating causes of the symptoms one by one. This method is frustrating to the patient and the therapist as it takes time while the patient is in pain. However, acupuncture and massage do provide significant pain relief while testing is underway.

I would like to point out that “bulging” discs or other disc anomalies in the spine are not in themselves a cause of pain. Many people have disc issues and have no pain whatsoever.

If you or someone you know has sciatic pain then come in for an evaluation of your symptoms. Call 718 258 1829 for an appointment.

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