San Francisco Chiropractor and Herniated Disc Doctor Comments:
Pinched nerves in the low back are usually caused by bulging or herniated lumbar discs. One of the primary symptoms from a pinched lumbar nerve is sciatica...or pain down the leg. If you've ever experienced sciatica you know first hand how painful it can be.
If you have low back pain but have never had leg pain...just be thankful.
If a lumbar nerve is really pinched good by a herniated disc, you can get weakness in the leg along with the pain. In fact, the leg can actually start to lose size over time. This is what we call atrophy...typically found in advanced cases of nerve compromise from degenerative (bony) spinal stenosis.
Bony spinal stenosis occurs when calcium deposits build-up in the spinal canal or vertebral foramina where the nerves branch off the spine (you want these passage ways clear). Not much fun. Stenosis can also be caused by bulging or herniated discs (non-bony stenosis).
But here's the good news... Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression for the lumbar spine can often times help patients with pinched nerves. At my San Francisco Chronic Back Pain Center, I have witnessed Lumbar Decompression Therapy achieve favorable outcomes with some of the worst looking spines I have ever seen. And...it's very safe.
The only side effect we have witnessed at our clinic is soreness sometimes...kind of like the soreness some patients occasionally get from physical therapy or chiropractic. I classify the treatment as gentle...but it can make you sore.