John came into the office recently with a complaint of low back pain and sciatica. He said he had symptoms similar in the past and wanted decompression therapy. He saw our Chandler decompression page on the internet and wanted to sign up for another 20 visits because it helped before.
In the past he went to a facility that told him decompression therapy will help but it needs at least 20 visits. He felt much better with the treatment and was happy with the treatment because his back pain was gone.
During the examination we found signs of radiating pain to the knee, but it didn't travel past the knee very often. He was right to use the term sciatic pain, but not all radiating pain is the same. His injury was not a lumbar disc, it was from a facet joint. Facet injuries can also produce sciatic pain.
Decompression therapy would help relieve the facet pain and help it to heal. but he wouldn't need 20 visits. in addition, there are other options that might provide faster relief. i showed him the flexion distraction table and explained how it worked. we talked about how flexion distraction and decompression are very similar, except flexion distraction can combine rotational movements and bending which help more in facet injuries.
We used the flexion distraction table that day. Since he was very adamant about wanting decompression we combined that into his therapy treatment plan. After 6 visits his pain was gone. We did decompression therapy, flexion distraction, physical therapy exercises and stretches on every visit. Goals were to relieve his pain and show him strengthening exercises that he could perform at home to reduce his future injury risk.
Moral of the story, not all sciatic pains are disc injuries and not every person needs a 20 visit package.
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