The lumbosacral joint is the first place chiropractors start their investigation with individuals presenting with low back pain and possible sciatica. Because of the importance of the sciatic nerve, almost any lumbar condition has the potential to disturb the nerve that can lead to chronic nerve pain. For many low back conditions, the best way to start is from the bottom and work up.
Starting at the lumbosacral joint L5-S1, the chiropractor will palpate and massage the area. This is because the lumbosacral joint is a central nerve center with all kinds of possible sciatic nerve interference because of the proximity to the various nerve bundles and vertebral discs.
When sciatic nerve issues begin to develop, often the problem will be in this region of the spine. Beginning at the lumbosacral joint can generate vast insight into the root cause of radiating pain in the lower back and legs.
The Lumbosacral Joint
This pain typically presents when the nerve is inflamed, compressed, or irritated. Numbness or chronic weakness can also happen in the lower extremities and can cause unbearable discomfort. Some of the reasons that make the joint a prime suspect for sciatic pain include:
- The L5 vertebrae are vulnerable to slipping forward over the connecting S1 vertebrae. The sciatic nerve goes through this area, leaving it open to compression.
- A disc herniation and/or inflammation can also stress the sciatic nerves.
- Deterioration of the lumbosacral facet joints is common with older individuals. This can lead to nerve compression and sciatic nerve irritation.
- Piriformis syndrome can affect the area around the lumbosacral joint, causing nerve compression and inflammation.
The lumbosacral joint is frequently used making it a consistently stressed joint. Overuse, poor posture, and improper body mechanics affect this region of the lumbar spine. And, because of the closeness to the sciatic nerve, it is commonly affected.
Other Spinal Conditions
The lumbosacral joint also experiences problems that stem from chronic conditions, which can involve some form of sciatic pain as a symptom. They include:
- Degenerative disc disease
- Lumbar stenosis
- Sacroiliac joint dysfunction
Sciatica is a condition that represents a series of symptoms. But it is often a symptom of other condition/s that affect the sciatic nerve. If spinal conditions progress, it can bring undue stress and strain to the lumbosacral joint and the sciatic nerve.
Knowing Where To Begin
The key to a proper and successful treatment plan is an accurate diagnosis. Knowing and understanding the symptoms, spinal conditions, and having an idea of the origin of these types of pain promotes a rapid diagnosis. Our chiropractic and physical therapy team thoroughly investigate the pain source using imaging, palpation, observation, and other diagnostic tools to help get individuals back on track and healthy.
Facet Syndrome Chiropractic Treatment
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Grgić, Vjekoslav. “Lumbosakralni fasetni sindrom: funkcijski i organski poremećaji lumbosakralnih fasetnih zglobova” [Lumbosacral facet syndrome: functional and organic disorders of lumbosacral facet joints]. Lijecnicki vjesnik vol. 133,9-10 (2011): 330-6.