If you’ve ever known someone that had sciatica, you know the excruciating pain they feel is real. But, it seems difficult to comprehend due to the fact that it’s happening at a nerve level that is unseen. And, sciatica isn’t a medical diagnosis, but rather a symptom of something else ailing you.
What Causes Sciatica?
Sciatica is typically caused by problems in the lower back, including:
- A lumbar herniated disc
- Degenerative disc disease
- Spinal stenosis
What Are the Symptoms of Sciatica Nerve Pain?
Those who suffer from sciatica nerve problems can experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- Nonstop pain in one leg or on one side of the buttock (it’s rare to have it in both legs)
- Pain intensifies while sitting
- Burning, searing (as opposed to dull) or tingling pain in the leg
- Numbness, weakness, or trouble moving leg, foot, or toes
- Stinging or sharp knife-like pain making it impossible to walk or stand
- Shooting pain that travels down the leg and into the foot
What is the Sciatic Nerve?
It’s the single largest nerve in the body. The sciatic nerve starts at the lower back. The nerve roots branch out from the spine and then collect to form the sciatic nerve. Here is more detailed information about the sciatic nerve:
- It begins in the lower back, lumbar segment (L3)
- Roots exit from inside the spinal column and eventually bind together to form a large sciatic nerve
- This large nerve comes out of the lower back to the buttock, and then runs down the backside of each leg
- Branches come off the sciatic nerve and innervate other areas of the leg, like the thigh, knee, calf, foot, and toes
What Treatments are Available for Sciatic Pain?
There are several well-known non-surgical remedies to reduce and relieve the pain associated with sciatica. Regular exercise and stretching can go a long way to help those with sciatica pain. Here some more suggestions:
- Ice & Heat – For those with acute sciatic pain, an ice pack or heat compress have been reported to alleviate leg pain.
- Chiropractic Manipulation – Trained professional chiropractors focus on helping patients with spinal column alignment. Proper spinal column alignment assists in treating several related conditions that can be the cause of sciatica nerve pain.
- Manual manipulation or chiropractic adjustments – These are high-velocity, short lever arm thrusts that are applied to improve range of motion in the back.
- Mobilization – These are low-velocity manipulation, stretches, and movements of the muscles and joints to increase the range of motion.
- Acupuncture – This therapy is centered around the philosophy of maintaining a well-balanced energy flow throughout the body. Tiny, hair-thin needs are used to pinpoint the area of the body where the pain is felt. The practice is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a treatment for back pain as well as sciatica.
- Pain Medicine – There are prescription drugs and even over-the-counter medicine to help reduce sciatica pain. Anti-inflammatory drugs such as Ibuprofen or naproxen, and even orally ingested steroids have been useful to reduce the pain. Likewise, narcotics and muscle relaxants have been shown to alleviate pain for as much as a few days to a few weeks.
- Epidural Steroid Injections – In some of the worst cases, an epidural is administered directly into the area affected by pain near the sciatic nerve. This method takes a while to show results, but it has been shown to bring pain relief for as little as a week all the way up to a year.
Contact a Chiropractor for Sciatica at the Pinto Chiropractor Center
Are you experiencing pain that could be the symptom of a misaligned lower back that is creating sciatica pain? Don’t delay, contact our Chiropractor for Sciatica at the Pinto Chiropractor Center to discuss possible non-surgical therapy.
Call us at 1 720-408-7355 or email us using the form at the side of the screen. You’ll find our facility is very inviting and you’ll leave feeling better and free of motion in no time.