Pain and restriction in the leg and knee is common and has many causes. The knees endure considerable stress and may, over time, be prone to the effects of ‘wear and tear’. Sports injuries, falls, poor posture or the effects of conditions in the foot, hips or pelvis may also lead to knee or leg issues. It’s also common for problems in the low back to cause nerve irritation which results in leg pain, weakness or pins and needles.All the conditions listed below are seen regularly in the clinic. Research has shown chiropractic treatment to have positive effects in treating the following conditions. The information is here to help, it is not a substitute to seeing a chiropractor or other qualified medical professional. In order to diagnose a problem effectively a full case history, orthopaedic examination, and neurological examination must be performed.
Lumbar disc injury with radiculopathy
Also known as a slipped disc, disc prolapse, disc bulge or herniated disc
In between each of the vertebra in the spine is a disc. These discs are full of fluid and act as shock absorbers. If too much force goes through the spine (one heavy load or multiple light loads) then the fluid in the disc can escape and irritate the nerves. This can cause lower back pain, buttock pain, leg pain, muscular tension and spasms, as well as numbness and pins and needles.
It is important to realise that there are many names for a disc injury (slipped disc, prolapsed disc etc) but it all means the same thing. If the fluid in the disc is pressing on a nerve it will cause pain, the amount of pressure on the nerve determines the extent of the injury.
Also known as sciatic nerve irritation
The sciatic nerve is the largest and longest nerve in the body that extends from the lower back into the lower leg. Sciatica is irritation of the sciatic nerve and describes a range of symptoms that may be felt.
There are many causes of sciatica with the main ones being disc injuries, and tightness of the muscles in the buttock. The usual symptoms of sciatica are lower back pain, buttock pain, thigh pain, calf pain, and foot pain. It may also cause pins and needles and/or numbness into any of those areas. It is important to understand that sciatica is not a diagnosis but a description of symptoms. In order to be treated effectively a correct diagnosis needs to be ascertained.
Hip & Knee Arthritis
Also known as hip & knee osteoarthritis
Arthritis is a progressive disease that causes painful inflammation and stiffness of joints. Arthritis cannot be cured but the joints can be made more mobile and therefore less painful.
With arthritis the joints become worn, which in severe cases leads to fusing of the bones. Increased mobility and decreased pain levels can be achieved with chiropractic care right up until the point in which the bones fuse. Arthritis in the hips and knees can cause hip and knee pain, limping, stiffness, and muscular aches and spasms.
It is commonly thought that if you have arthritis nothing can be done, however, this is rarely the case. It is first important to determine how much ‘wear and tear’ is present and whether the bones have fused.
The plantar fascia is a thick connective tissue on the bottom of the foot that supports the arch. Weakness in the calf muscles and weight bearing more on one side can cause the plantar fascia to become inflamed and irritated.
People with plantar fasciitis usually feel foot and heel pain that is worse in the morning and after long periods of rest. It is important to understand that although plantar fasciitis affects the foot it can lead to other conditions that affect the hip, knee, and ankle if left to progress.
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