A Burlington Ontario Chiropractor on Stretches for Sciatica

One of our first blogs on this site was entitled “where do you get your health information”?  The purpose of this entry was to address the difficulty in searching the internet for health information.  Often times, you don’t know who is writing the article and you don’t know what they are basing their opinion on.  We provide references at the end of our entries to help reassure our readers that we’re bringing them quality information derived from good quality scientific journals…not just our opinion, but advice and treatment methods that have some objective evidence behind them.  It often surprises me how many patients forget to challenge the recommendations they read on the internet.  The following will illustrate the point…

Stretches for Sciatica – Ill Advised?

Quite often, patients present to our clinic with evidence of lumbar disc herniation.  This herniation causes symptoms in the lower limb (numbness, tingling, weakness) which are often described as “sciatica”.  Prior to writing this blog, I did a google search for “stretches for sciatica”.  The following is a snap-shot of what the first website gave me…sciatica cartoon

Lower Back Pain Stretches…Helpful?

You’ve probably already seen the stretches pictured above.  More than likely, you’ve tried them before.  These stretches are frequently used for low back pain management, yet to my knowledge, there is no scientific evidence to validate their use.  When a patient presents to our clinic with low back pain, and we have appropriately diagnosed them with lumbar disc herniation (“sciatica”), we usually start their care by eliminating these stretches.  We do this because there is no evidence supporting their use, and the balance of the evidence suggests that these stretches would more than likely aggravate or worsen lumbar disc herniation (sciatica).

Best Stretches for Sciatica

So what are the best stretches for sciatica?  What are the best stretches for low back pain?  As some exercises can be helpful for low back pain, some can be harmful.  To ensure that your condition is treated effectively, it needs to be diagnosed properly.  Once diagnosed, the appropriate management strategy can be implemented.  Although you’re reading this online, Google isn’t a doctor!

Chiropractors for Lower Back Pain?

Chiropractors are qualified to diagnose your lower back pain and the numbness and tingling in your leg.  Your chiropractor should be able to give you good advice on the appropriate rehabilitation exercises for your specific case of low back pain or “sciatica”.  If you choose to search on the internet for your advice, beware…a website can’t diagnose your condition and if the author hasn’t provided references, you can’t necessarily be certain that the information you are reading is correct!

Treatment for Sciatica

If you’re experiencing back pain, sciatica, or numbness and tingling in your leg, feel free to call our clinic today and have your condition examined by one of our practitioners.  There are various treatment options.  Physiotherapy, Chiropractic, laser therapy, active release technique…we have lots of options.  What’s right for you depends on many factors such as how long you’ve had your condition, what you’ve already tried and, of course, your comfort level.  If you’ve been to a chiropractor before and it worked, you might be best to try it again!  Regardless, give us a call or email us; we can help!  905.220.7858   info@burlingtonsportstherapy.com

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Hahne Aj, Ford JJ.  Functional restoration for a chronic lumbar disk extrusion with associated radiculopathy.  Physical Therapy  2006; 86(12): 1668-1680.

McGill S. Low Back Disorders. 2002 Human Kinetics.

McGill S. Ultimate Back Fitness and Performance 2nd Ed. 2006 Stuart McGill.

Rhee JM, Schaufele M, Abdu WA.  Radiculopathy and the herniated lumbar disc.  The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery 2006;  88-A: 2070-2080.