Pain that radiates down the leg that is combined with numbness and tingling may be sciatica. The condition can be debilitating to the point of a person not being able to sit or stand. The discomfort can last for several weeks, and in some cases, it resolves within a few weeks. Patients may have symptoms for longer or experience bouts of sciatica symptoms.
What is the Sciatic?
The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the human body. It stems from each side of the spine on the lower back and follows a path through the buttock and down the thigh to the foot. The sciatic nerve sends signals from the spine to the leg and foot and vice versa. Sciatica pain is any type of discomfort that is caused by an impediment along this nerve. You may have sciatica if you experience:
- Pain in one or both legs in conjunction with a prickly, tingling or numb feeling
- Have symptoms that worsen when sitting or standing and subside when you lay down or walk
- Have a sharp pain that feels like a burning or jabbing discomfort
What Causes Sciatica Pain?
There is typically an underlying cause of the condition, such as a bone spur, narrowing of the spine or herniated disc that places pressure on the sciatic nerve in the lower back. Sciatic nerve pain is also known as “radicular pain” and “lumbar radiculopathy.”
Is My Sciatica Pain Caused by My Posture?
Poor posture and body mechanics are linked to herniated discs. Bulging or herniated discs may release proteins that cause inflammation around the sciatic nerve.
How Can Chiropractic Therapies Help with Sciatica Pain?
Sciatica pain typically does not require surgery or pain medications. Chiropractic therapies for sciatica may include spinal adjustments to realign the lower vertebrae and alleviate pressure on the nerve. This helps to resolve any inflammation. We may also recommend advanced treatments using specific types of energy to improve blood flow, eliminate muscle spasms and reduce inflammation.
More advanced cases of sciatica may require other medical interventions, such as pressure that is caused by a bone spur or degenerative condition. Chiropractic care can be integrated with these other approaches to enhance your outcomes and minimize the risk of future problems.
We perform a comprehensive physical examination during your first appointment to diagnose the underlying cause of your sciatica pain. Based on the findings, we will refer you to a medical specialist for further testing and treatment.
What Can I Do at Home to Alleviate Sciatica Pain?
You can take some simple steps at home to avoid sciatica nerve pain and manage your symptoms. Exercises that strengthen the spine help to keep the connective tissues, bones and muscles aligned. These exercises focus on the buttocks, lower back and hips. Stretching helps with tight muscles that place pressure on the sciatic nerve, such as the hamstrings. Some yoga positions also help with sciatica pain.
Nerve pain that interferes with your ability to sit or stand makes everyday life very difficult. Sciatica is one of the most debilitating conditions that is treated by a chiropractor. If you have symptoms of sciatica, contact us to schedule a personal consultation.