Sciatica is one of the most painful types of neuropathy that one can experience. Many people speak about lower back pain and sciatica interchangeably, as if they are one in the same. However, sciatica has a very specific presentation of symptoms with a specific origin. If you are experiencing sciatic pain, chiropractic care can be the answer for managing the pain and preventing future episodes.
What Is Sciatica?
Sciatica is a type of nerve pain which is caused by compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve. You have two sciatic nerves on either side of the body. The sciatic nerve originates at the L4-L5 levels of the back and traverses down the buttocks and extends into each posterior leg all the way to the foot. Sciatic pain can be mild to severe; it can be felt anywhere along the sciatic nerve distribution, usually originating in the buttocks and extending down the legs. The pain can be sharp and shooting and feel like a constant burning sensation as well as numbness and tingling along the sciatic nerve pattern. Patients can also develop weakness and spasm in the affected extremity. Sciatic pain can come on gradually or suddenly depending on the cause.
Causes of Sciatica
Sciatica can be caused by many different conditions including:
- Herniated Lumbar Disc
- Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
- Lumbar Degenerative Disc Disease (Osteoarthritis)
- Poor Biomechanics
When you have sciatica caused by one of these or another chronic condition, management of sciatica symptoms is extremely important, not only for your comfort, but for avoiding permanent damage to the nerve.
Acute cases of sciatica can be caused by almost anything or seemingly nothing. Many people report experiencing sciatic pain after bending over to lift an object, doing exercise, or other minor tasks. People who have strenuous jobs such as truck drivers, manual labor workers, machine operators, or any occupation requiring bending and rotation at the waist are more likely to develop sciatica. This usually means that something about the movement caused irritation of the sciatic nerve either due to compression, inflammation, or a disc bulge/herniation. Chronic cases may be due to repetitive motions with poor biomechanics/posture/technique resulting in recurring symptoms without proper intervention.
Treatments for Sciatica
Whether you have an acute or chronic case of sciatica, chiropractic care can be beneficial for managing your pain and resolving your issue. Depending on the underlying cause, chiropractic in conjunction with therapeutic modalities has been shown to provide positive outcomes. Some treatment options used include:
- Spinal Manipulation/Adjustments
- Spinal Decompression Therapy
- Infrared Laser Therapy
- Nerve ReBuilder Therapy
- Exercise Rehabilitation
Spinal manipulation helps to restore normal biomechanics back to the spine and pelvis promoting for a better exchange of nutrients and reducing muscle tension. Water and waste products are pumped out while water and nutrients are pulled into the disc and facets to properly hydrate and nourish it. Failure of this pump mechanism can result in a biochemical change that may lead to back pain.
Sciatica Specialists at Neurolink
Frequent or ongoing sciatica is incredibly painful and prevents you from living your life to the fullest. At Neurolink Chiropractic, we devise a specific treatment plan that addresses the root cause of your sciatic pain in order to resolve it. We can help you alleviate the pain and return you to your normal activities feeling better than ever. Give us a call today to learn more about how we can help you manage your sciatic symptoms.