Chiropractors believe that good health is determined by a healthy nervous system, particularly a healthy spinal column. Occasionally, vertebrae become misaligned and place pressure on the nerves exiting the spinal cord. The misalignment of a vertebra is called a chiropractic subluxation.
When subluxations occur, chiropractors use specific techniques to return the vertebrae into their proper positions or mobilize them so they can move freely. These techniques are called spinal manipulations or adjustments. During an adjustment, the vertebra is freed from the misaligned position and returned to the proper position in the spinal column. Once performed, the adjustment allows the body to heal and maintain homeostasis.
Chiropractors are trained in a variety of adjustment techniques. Some are done by hand; some require the use of specialized instruments. Since each patient is different, your chiropractor will choose the best technique for your condition. However, feel free to ask the chiropractor which technique he or she will be doing and how it will be done.
Approximately 80% of the population is plagued at one time or another by back pain. Associated leg pain occurs less frequently. Pain can be bothersome and debilitating, limiting daily activities. Leg and back pain can be caused by a variety of reasons, not all of which originate from your spine.
For the purpose of this article, we will focus on lumbar radiculopathy, which refers to pain in the lower extremities in a dermatomal pattern. A dermatome is a specific area in the lower extremity innervated by a specific lumbar nerve. This pain is caused by compression of the roots of the spinal nerves in the lumbar region of the spine. Diagnosing leg and back pain begins with a detailed patient history and examination.