Finding the right sciatica chiropractic specialist to diagnose the cause especially, when it is an abdominal aortic aneurysm can be a challenge. There can cause diagnostic confusion with the root cause never being discovered or identified. Fortunately, Dr. Jimenez is a sciatica specialist with over 30 years of experience in differential sciatica diagnosis, and treatment.
Abdominal aneurysms are usually discovered for another ailment like a hernia or for routine tests like an ultrasound of the heart or stomach. Diagnosis of an abdominal aneurysm depends on the condition, medical and family history, and the physical examination. If a doctor or sciatica chiropractic specialist suspects an aortic aneurysm, then specialized tests will help with a confirmation.
The simplest and most used diagnostic test is ultrasonography. It utilizes sound waves for diagnostic purposes that send the recorded images to a monitor. It gives an accurate assessment of the size and location of the aneurysm. The patient will lie on a table while a technician moves a wand around the abdomen.
This test is often used in conjunction with ultrasonography if more data/info is needed. Usually, this is to determine the exact location of the aneurysm in relation to the visceral or renal arteries. It provides cross-sectional detail with clear images of the aorta and can detect the size and shape. The patient lies on a table inside a machine. A contrast dye could be injected into the blood vessels to make the arteries more visible on the images known as CT angiography.
Magnetic resonance imaging or MRI uses a magnetic field and radio wave energy pulses to record images of the body. The patient lies on a table that slides into the imaging compartment. Contrast dye can also be injected into the blood vessels to make the images more visible known as magnetic resonance angiography.
Certain symptoms can indicate an emergency. The conditions are rare, but it is very important to seek medical attention should any of these symptoms present with back pain:
Abdominal aneurysms often don’t present any symptoms, which is why individuals go through their days unaware, and when back pain does present a doctor may only focus on the back pain symptoms and not the cause, leaving the aneurysm to continue to develop and worsen. Aneurysms do occur in women but are more common in men and those ages 65 and older. The main cause is atherosclerosis which is a hardening of the arteries. But injury and infection can also cause an aneurysm. Those with symptoms can include:
A diagnosis of the root cause of the sciatica is crucial for developing an effective treatment plan to alleviate the sciatic pain. If an aneurysm is present then referring the individual to the proper aortic aneurysm repair specialist is a top priority. If sciatica is suspected, a doctor or chiropractor will review medical history and perform a physical examination. Medical imaging tests and diagnostic nerve blocks could be used if necessary. Sciatica pain usually follows the dermatome or areas of the skin that is supplied by the sciatic nerve. The pain can also include deeper tissues called dynatomes.
During a physical examination, the sciatica chiropractic specialist will look for various responses when:
Two examples of clinical tests for sciatica include:
The patient lies on their back and the chiropractor lifts one leg at a time with the other leg remaining flat or bent at the knee. If pain presents while lifting the affected leg this is usually an indication of sciatica.
The patient sits upright with their hands behind their back. The patient then bends/slumps forward at the hips. The neck bends down with the chin touching the chest and one knee is extended as far as possible. If pain occurs in this position, sciatica could be present.
These tests could possibly be positive only when the nerve is mechanically compressed. Other causes like inflammation or chemical irritation of the nerve might not cause pain when performing these tests. This test could also help reveal a possible abdominal aneurysm as abdominal pain could present.
Manual manipulation improves the alignment of the spine. This technique helps address the underlying condition/s that can cause sciatic nerve pain, like herniated discs or spinal stenosis. Manual manipulation also creates an optimal healing environment. An aortic aneurysm specialist could work with a sciatica chiropractic specialist to help with spinal realignment if the aneurysm caused any kind of shifting or slipping of the discs along with releasing the sciatic nerve if it is compressed.
Massage therapy like deep tissue massage can also have benefits. Massage:
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