Sciatica is a form of pain that begins in the lower back and radiates down the leg into the feet and toes. It is relatively common; however it can be easily misunderstood. Sciatica is not actually considered a medical condition, but instead is a term used to describe symptoms that are caused by other issues. Sciatica specifically, is compression of the sciatic nerve. Because sciatica is not a diagnosis in itself, it is important to visit a professional to correctly diagnose and treat the underlying cause.
What Causes Sciatica?
The sciatic nerve is the longest and thickest nerve in the body. It begins in the lower back, continues down the buttock and extends down the leg. The nerve provides feeling to the muscles of the leg and foot and when compressed by an injury or illness, sciatica is the result. Sensations that are felt from sciatica include pain, tingling, or burning in the buttock, leg, and feet and toes, typically on only one side of the body. Some describe it as feeling like being pricked with needles. The symptoms and sensations can be varied between patients depending on where on the body the nerve was compressed. Also varied is the degree of pain or discomfort ranging from mild to extremely intense. Generally, it is more painful to sit, however in some cases it can be very difficult to stand up or walk.
There are a number of causes and risk factors for sciatica. The most common risk factors include:
- Pregnancy - Hormones the body changes a pregnant woman experiences may affect the body structure enough to cause nerves malfunction and become more prone to sciatica.
- Muscle strain - The inflammation caused by muscle strain can become problematic enough to cause sciatica.
- Spinal Tumor - In rare cases, a tumor may exist causing pressure that can bring on sciatica.
- Infection – Infection can cause trauma in the lower back exposing the nerve to sciatica.
- Disk herniation - Irritation of the contiguous nerve root, from the inner core of the disc herniating through the outer core, results most commonly in sciatica as a symptom from this.
There are many other specific problems that cause sciatica. It is very important that if you are experiencing symptoms of sciatica you see a professional as the root cause can be
very serious to your health and quality of life. An experienced chiropractor like Accelerate Chiropractic & Rehab
can determine the cause of your symptoms and provide or recommend treatment for the cause. Some of the most common causes of sciatica include disc herniation, degenerative disc disease, lumbar stenosis, extreme coughing, and muscular hypertension.
Typical Treatment Options
Although sciatica can be very painful, it is fortunately rare that the condition will cause any permanent nerve damage. However, the cause of the sciatica can present permanent issues. Depending on the condition causing sciatica, often it is found that spinal adjustments, manual manipulation, and traction are the best options to relieve the pain. Using heat or ice and mild anti-inflammatory medication can also be helpful. Massage therapy or a physical therapy program may also be necessary. For extreme cases or major medical concerns, the use of steroid injections or even surgery may be necessary.
Accelerate Chiropractic & Rehab can help!
Accelerate Chiropractic knows what causes sciatica and can determine what the underlying problem is causing your symptoms. Our specialists are fully equipped to provide you with treatment to eliminate or improve the condition as soon as possible. Dr. Dave Yancey and Dr. Erika Yancey are passionate about providing treatment that allows you to continue your lifestyle in full and resolve your sciatica symptoms. Learn about our experience
and contact us
today to schedule your personalized consultation. It’s time to reclaim the freedom that comes with mobility and comfort through Accelerate Chiropractic & Rehab’s care.