By: Dr Sonya Hamilton
In our clinic, one of the most common issues I get asked about is sciatica. So what actually is sciatica anyways? Sciatica is a term used to refer to pain which radiates along the sciatic nerve. Sciatic nerve pain is a symptom of an underlying musculoskeletal problem.
The sciatic nerve is the largest single nerve in our body. It begins from your lower lumbar region (L3), and travels through the buttock region, down the back of your thigh before it branches below the knee. When it becomes irritated, you may experience leg pain/tingling/numbness, lower limb weakness, burning or ‘electrical’ sensations down the back of your leg from the buttock to the ankle.
The length of the sciatic nerve, and the fact that it originates from the low back, makes it susceptible to irritation from a number of different sources. Most commonly, sciatic nerve issues result from lumbar disc injury or herniation, degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, and low back muscle strains. Additionally, it can arise from piriformis syndrome, as the nerve passes through the muscles in the buttock region. Pregnancy and sacroiliac joint issues can also lead to sciatic nerve pain. Some may find the pain is made worse with sitting, and sometimes the pain may not travel beyond the buttock.
Treatment for sciatic nerve pain is individualized for each patient, due to the fact that the pain may come from one of many sources. If you encounter sciatic nerve pain, you should work with your chiropractor to determine the cause of your pain, and the best course of treatment. Exercise and activity are important steps you can take towards improving your symptoms. Staying active will keep your muscles conditioned, and will encourage movement in the spine resulting in an improved flow of nutrients to your ligaments and joints. You should avoid high impact activities, and continue with your regular tasks and light exercise. Contrary to common belief, bed rest is not appropriate and may lead to your symptoms being prolonged or worsened. Bed rest is only appropriate in rare cases -if your pain is so severe you cannot move- and should be limited to only a day or two.
Some of the common recommendations I make to patients include walking, gentle strengthening of core muscles, stretching of target muscles, low impact aerobics, and nerve flossing. It is important to seek out advice on which activities would help your specific cause of sciatic nerve pain, as the wrong exercises may in fact worsen your symptoms. Chiropractic care helps to decrease your symptoms, and your chiropractor can provide advice on how to prevent future sciatic nerve pain from reoccurring. For most, symptoms of sciatica should resolve with appropriate conservative treatment.
Feeling some Sciatic nerve symptoms? Book your assessment with Dr Hamilton >>>>
By Charisse Manalil, RMT
What is KinesioTape?
More widely known as K-Tape, it is a taping technique that is intended to provide support and stability to muscles and joints without restricting the body’s available range of motion. It also assists to extend the benefits of any manual therapy that was applied to soft tissue within the clinic setting. It has and continues to become popular with sports such as basketball, tennis, soccer and long/short distance running to name a few. However, the use of K-Tape is also appropriate for the average individual who perhaps works at a desk sitting in front of the computer, someone who is constantly bearing heavy loads, or someone who is working with tools majority of their work shift. Whether our bodies feel pain due to repetitive movements, bearing heavy weight, or adapting to improper posture, K-Tape can help reduce tension and provide support depending on how severe or acute the injury.
Some Benefits of K-Tape
A proper assessment is very important with any treatment plan. With that said, in order to obtain any desired results from the use of K-Tape it is important to first determine if it is necessary. It is also important to remember that K-Tape does not target the cause of pain or work to eliminate it! It can be used in addition to other treatments such a chiropractic, physiotherapy, or massage therapy!
What influenced your decision to become a Psychotherapist?
Becoming a psychotherapist was an easy decision for me as I have a passion for people and being able to support individuals to live their best lives is my ultimate goal.
What are the top three most common issues you help clients address?
The three top concerns clients bring to counselling is mental health disorders (mainly anxiety and depression), children and youth struggling to manage their emotions, and difficulties in relationships (both family and intimate relationships).
What types of presenting concerns do you enjoy treating?
The presenting concerns I enjoy working with most is mental health. Having been passionate about this and spent majority of my career working in the field I have a great knowledge base and respect for those living with mental health challenges. Secondarily, I really like do pre-marital counselling with partners who are looking to face life together, and want to make sure they are beginning their journey in a fully open and honest way. The couples' love and passion shines in sessions and creates a light and productive session.
What types of treatment methods/approaches do you use?
I practice an eclectic approach to treatment and counselling. I do not believe in a one size fits all approach therefore allow the client(s) to guide me to understand their situation, and we develop a plan that works for them. For some people, they are seeking more talk therapy where they lead the sessions and have a sounding board to guide them to developing their own conclusions to things. Others are seeking a more solution-focused approach which follows a more structured approach to meeting goals.
What is your treatment philosophy?
My treatment philosophy is that everyone does the best they can in every moment with the tools they have at that time. I also believe we can all learn more effective strategies to manage various moments. Additionally, I believe that people are the experts of themselves and deserve non-judgmental support for any challenges they might be facing.
What is a common question patients ask you?
A common question is how long people generally see me. And I can never answer this question with an actual time frame. I think people generally see me until they feel they have achieved their goals. Depending on the goals and the individual circumstances of the person this time varies significantly.
What is a common misconception/myth you would like to dispel?
I would say a common misconception about counselling is that is it only for a specific demographic of people. This is not true. Counselling can be for anyone and everyone; no matter their age or personal circumstances. Counselling is something that anyone can benefit from if they are open to it. There is no issue too small to bring into the session. If it matters to you it matters to me.
If you could give everyone one piece of advice this spring what would it be?
One piece of advice I would want people to have this spring is to notice how they’re feeling and behaving and whatever it is getting in the way of living their best life as their best self, do something to break down the barriers. We often put a lot of effort in to our physical self maybe going to the gym or eating healthily but we can sometimes forget we also have to work on our mental and emotional self. Since we all have a brain we all have mental health that needs tending to.
What do you like to do for fun/or tell us something most people don't know about you?
For fun, I enjoy being outside as much as I can. This can be out with the dogs or training for my triathlon race season. With the weather heading into the warmer direction, I cannot wait to get back out on my bike, open-water swim and simply not have to bundle up!
Book a counselling session with Kristen online >>>
Written by the team at Rebound Health and Wellness