2 Locations in Nassau County:

Oceanside

516.764.7760

Valley Stream

516.593.7990

April, 2014

Why Does My Leg Hurt?

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

 

Many things can cause leg pain – pinched nerves in the lower spine, lumbar radiculopathy, herniated discs in the spine, even spinal arthritis and space-occupying lesions.

However, sciatica is a term you often may hear people use to talk about pain they have in the buttocks, hip and then down one leg (sometimes both legs, but typically occurring specifically on one side).

 

Sciatica describes pain, weakness, numbness or tingling in the leg that is caused by injury to, or pressure on, the sciatic nerve. It is not a diagnosis but rather a symptom of an underlying medical condition. The sciatic nerve starts in the lower back at the 3rd lumbar segment and is formed by the exiting nerve roots of L3-L5, S1 and S2 to become the longest and widest nerve in the body. It runs down the lower back along the spine and down the back of each leg. Portions of the sciatic nerve branch out in each leg to innervate certain parts of the leg, e.g., the buttock, thigh, calf, foot and toes. Depending upon where the sciatic nerve is being affected determines where the pain is. Since the sciatic nerve controls the muscles of the lower leg and provides sensation to the thighs, legs and soles of the feet, sciatica can be felt as a dull ache or an intense pins-and-needles sensation.

 

What does the healthcare provider do to determine what is causing your pain and then treat your pain? The neurologist, physiatrist or chiropractor will first perform a clinical exam to determine exactly where the pain is. Imaging studies may be ordered (either CT scan or MRI studies) to see if bones, nerves, soft tissues, ligaments, etc are the source of the pain. If the pain is determined to be coming from a nerve, tests called nerve conduction studies can be performed to see if the signals are traveling properly through the nerves.

 

A course of treatment is then planned based on the information the healthcare provider has found in the course of your exam and diagnostic testing. This may include physical therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic care, stretching exercises, medication or injection therapy. It may be determined that a surgical consultation is needed. The good news is that back pain that radiates down the legs can be diagnosed, treated and managed. The key is to be able to discuss with your healthcare provider what your symptoms are and be able to describe them as accurately as possible. Try to note when you have your pain, where exactly you have your pain and what activities tend to make your pain better or worse. These are all pieces of information that will assist your healthcare provider in being able to treat you successfully and reduce the chance of recurrence.

 

Yours in Good Health!


In our blog, we continue to educate and inform you on a variety of topics that are of interest to many.  We have more plans for interesting articles for you to read right here on our website.  We may provide links for you, but we want you to be able to get the basic information you need right here.  If there are any topics you would be interested in having us cover, use the contact us link you see here on our website and we’ll try to add it to the list.  We might even mention you in our article!

Thanks for reading and we’re looking forward to having you check back for our next installment.

Car Accidents and Their Sequelae (What Happens After)

Friday, April 4th, 2014

 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports there were over 2 million car crashes with injuries in the US in 2010. The good news is that since cars are safer than ever before, fatal crashes are down to their lowest levels in more than 50 years.

 

But it’s very likely that in the course of your lifetime, you may have a nonfatal car crash.

 

So what happens to your body in a car accident? Maybe you remember physics class in high school. A body in motion stays in motion. So when a car hits something or something hits a car, the car might stop, but the people in the car (and any loose items in the body of the car) keep moving. That’s why it’s imperative to wear a seatbelt, to keep you from sailing right through that front window or side window. Okay, so the seatbelt stopped your movement, maybe even saving your life. But what happened to the bones and muscles and joints in your body?

 

Well, you might have fractured (broken) a bone. You might have a laceration (a cut) and be bleeding. You may have suffered a sprain or a strain in a muscle or joint. You may have ruptured (to break suddenly) or herniated (to protrude in an abnormal way) a disc in your spine along your neck or back. Maybe you hit your head and lost consciousness momentarily (you might have suffered a concussion – the most common form, and the most minor form, of traumatic brain injury).

 

Some injuries are obvious right away – like a broken bone or a laceration. But some become apparent that night, when you finally get home, or the next morning, when you wake up bruised and stiff and feeling worse than the day before. Your body has been through a traumatic situation or a traumatic injury that asked your muscles and bones and joints to move in ways that they aren’t naturally designed to do. If a bone broke, you may have gotten a cast or a splint. You might have had x-rays. But maybe there was an injury they couldn’t see right away.

 

Hopefully, you saw your doctor or went to the hospital ER or an urgent care center after the accident. If you haven’t already, the doctors in our practice specialize in traumatic injuries of the spine and extremities. We can take x-rays to evaluate your condition and, in most cases, quickly start an individualized treatment program tailored to your needs.

 

If you broke a bone, your doctor may ask you to have physical therapy after the accident to rehabilitate (restore to health by training or therapy) your body after the injury. Sprains or strains can prevent full range of motion. Our team of physical medicine and rehabilitation, neurology, chiropractic and acupuncture specialists can help restore those muscles, ligaments and tendons to their pre-accident state.


 

In our blog, we hope to educate and inform you on a variety of topics that are of interest to many. We have lots of plans for interesting articles for you to read right here on our website. We may provide links for you, but we want you to be able to get the basic information you need right here. If there are any topics you would be interested in having us cover, use the contact-us link you see here on our website and we’ll try to add it to the list. We might even mention you in our article!

Thanks for reading and we’re looking forward to having you check back for our next installment.

 

Yours in good health!