Sciatica is a term used to describe the symptoms of leg pain and possibly tingling, numbness or weakness that travels down the lower back, down via the sciatic nerve in the back of the leg. Sciatica (sometimes known as radiculopathy) is a description of symptoms, not a diagnosis. A herniated disc, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, and spondylolisthesis can all cause sciatica, but it’s up to a patient and his or her doctor to determine the proper course of action.
The most common form of leg pain from the sciatic nerve is characterized by the following symptoms:
- Occurs in one leg (not both)
- Starts in the lower back or buttock, and radiates down the back of the thigh and typically into the lower leg and/or the foot
It is usually experienced as a sharp pain, as opposed to a throbbing or dull ache. Words people often use to describe sciatic nerve pain include burning, searing, sharp pain.
- Is usually worse when standing or sitting still, and feels better lying down or walking.
- In addition to pain, other common symptoms include pressure, numbness, tingling, or a prickling sensation that radiates down the leg. Leg or foot weakness may also be present.
These symptoms should be treated immediately to ensure that no neurological structures are compromised. Chiropractic care is an effective treatment option to consider when experiencing sciatica. Depending on the cause, when sciatica pain is at its most severe it may be advised to rest and avoid lifting or bending. Regular movement is important to provide healing nutrients and stability to the injured structures that are causing the pain. Chiropractors who specialize in providing appropriate physical therapy, exercise programs and instruction, may be better in effectively treating sciatica.
What to expect from your Chiropractic treatment for sciatica?
Your doctor of Chiropractic will take a detailed history to determine the possible cause and severity of your sciatica. A detailed examination will be performed. X-rays, or MRI may be obtained to rule out degenerative disc diseaseor bulges, structural imbalances or soft tissue abnormalities that may be causing the back and leg pain. Proper diagnosis is the key to successful treatment.
Typically, pain reducing therapies and chiropractic spinal alignments will be administered if deemed appropriate, in an attempt to bring down the patient’s pain. You may be placed on a special table designed to relieve nerve pressure and decompress the lower back vertebrae. Some pain relieving creme with ice or deep heat may be applied to the affected areas.
Work or home instructions to avoid certain activities such as heavy lifting or prolonged bending/sitting may be provided to avoid prolonging the injury or making it worse. Some home exercises or stretches may be provided to help speed up the recovery time. If conservative Chiropractic treatment is not resolving the pain often a consultation for back injections may be discussed.
Thousands of people a day choose Chiropractic care for sciatica and back pain relief. Chiropractors specialize in spinal related conditions and our goal is to properly diagnose your conditioning relieve your symptoms as quickly as possible so that you can return to your normal state of health.
“Dr G was great! I went to him for severe pain in my back. It was hard to put weight on my legs because the pain went from my back, down my legs. He was able to diagnose me and do some adjustments. Dr Gerdes and his staff are excellent! They are very helpful, full of information, and sympathetic to everyone’s needs. I am a patient for life!!!” – Kristine Kratzer
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