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What is pirifmormis syndrome?

One short answer could be that piriformis syndrome is a very popular, over-rated, and vague diagnosis.

I don’t have anything against the piriformis, it is a very important muscle and I am in the 20% of people who’s sciatic nerve pierces through the piriformis, rather than going around it- so I best look after mine!

But ‘piriformis syndrome’ gets thrown around so commonly and most of the time it probably isn’t a true piriformis problem. Even when it is, it doesn’t give you any useful information as to why the piriformis syndrome was there in the first place.

Rant over – read our sciatica page and blog posts for more information, and less ranting!

 

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I have got pins and needles in my hand and fingers

Not to worry, another very common symptom – however at this stage it’s best to get it checked by a GP or ourselves – don’t want to ‘wait and see’ too long with this type of problem as the longer it goes on for the more nerve damage there can be.

Is it worse when you move your neck to the sides? Does it come on with prolonged sitting or driving? is it both hands or just one side? Do you work at a computer? Is there any weakness in the hand? These are just some questions which will give us some clues as to where it is coming from.

We would perform a neurological exam to assess nerve function, check your neck for pinched nerves, your shoulder for sites of entrapment, and your wrist for carpal tunnel. We can then treat the right areas and give you the best advice.

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What is an 'adjustment' and why is it different to 'back cracking'?

The adjustment is a term Chiropractors use when we talk about the corrections we make to your spine, and we call it that as it relates to how specific the technique is.

‘Back cracking’ is the least specific term, you can crack your own back by twisting or get a big crack by rolling on a foam roller – it doesn’t mean anything was necessarily¬†corrected.

‘Manipulation’ is a generic term for a hands on thrust to get movement into the joints.

The Chiropractic adjustment refers to the exact correction needed for that joint, taking into account the exact angle, depth, force and speed needed to restore optimal joint and nerve function, specific to each joint in the body.

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Why have I got pins and needles down my leg?

Pins and needles (parasthesia) is a sign of nerve entrapment or irritation. The nerve pathway comes from the brain, down the spinal cord, out of the lower back, through pelvis and muscles around the hip, then down the leg.

There are lots of points there where it could get entrapped – just think of it like a kink in the hosepipe causing water to not flow properly.

The most common point of a trapped nerve is in the lower back itself, causing sciatica – one of the symptoms is pins and needles.

Sciatica is a big topic – we have a full page of information about it.

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My shoulder and arm hurts

First thing we check is to take history of what happened so we can classify the injury cause and rule out anything medical.

We then check your posture, nerves, muscles and joints.

Commonly this complaint will be from pinched nerves in the neck, tight muscles with knots that refer pain down the arm, and shoulder problems like impingement syndrome and rotator cuff tears.

We treat the underlying cause first, then advise on posture and exercises as required.

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What is the cracking sound when I get adjusted?

Nothing to worry about at all here that’s completely normal – the cracking sound (or audible release as we call it) when you get an adjustment from the Chiropractor comes from tiny gas bubbles within the joint itself once it is stretched.

Your joints have fluid inside them (synovial fluid) which acts like WD40 for the joint. This fluid has ‘potential gas’ inside just like a bottle of champagne – when you open the bottle you hear a pop, and when we adjust your spine you might get that similar sound! (The gas doesn’t go anywhere it stays inside the joint.)

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Why do I get pins and needles in my hand?

Pins and needles (parasthesia) is a sign of nerve entrapment or irritation. The nerve pathway comes from the brain, down the spinal cord, out of the neck, through the shoulder a down the arm, through and around the elbow, to the hand.

There are lots of points there where it could get entrapped – just think of it like a kink in the hosepipe causing water to not flow properly.

When this happens the nerve signals alter and it can give you weakness, pins and needles, numbness and pain.

(NB sudden pins and needles down the side of the face, one side of the body, or in one arm or leg with weakness could be sign of a stroke – call 999 but for your reference now see this NHS page)

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Can you treat shoulder pain?

Yes, a very common area that gets treated, but also a very common area we would look at if you have back and neck problems too.

We need to have full shoulder mobility for good neck and back function – and likewise we need to have good neck and upper back movement to have god shoulders.

We check the nerve supply to the shoulder, the muscles and tendons for strength or any tears, and your posture. We then treat to get things where they should be, and give you rehab exercises for further improvement.

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