Sciatica is a condition that ranges in seriousness from mild to severe. If you experience it, you’ll likely be experiencing lower back pain that can extend to your hips and legs that will either be moderate or cause you to be unable to function. If you suffer from sciatica, you’ll want to relieve that pain as soon as possible. Here’s what you need to know about sciatica and how a chiropractor can help.
What Is Sciatica?
Sciatica refers to pain that results from your sciatic nerve being pinched. Your sciatic nerve covers a large portion of your body which makes it more vulnerable to irritation and injury than other nerves. It branches from your lower back through your hips and buttocks all the way down into your legs. As such, pain can radiate from any of those areas.
Sciatica can either be a mild pain or a debilitating pain that makes it impossible to move, depending on severity.
What Causes Sciatica?
Sciatica is a result of your sciatic nerve being pinched. This can happen in a number of ways, ranging from a herniated spinal disk to a bone spur on your vertebrae to compression from a tumor or disease.
There are some factors which can increase your chances of sciatica. They include:
As we get older, our spines can change, which can lead to herniated disks and bone spurs.
Obesity puts more stress on your spine than a healthy weight does, which can lead to problems causing sciatica.
Since diabetes affects the blood sugar in your body, this results in an increased risk of nerve damage.
- Prolonged sitting
Sitting puts a lot of stress on the spine, especially if you have poor posture. This can lead to damage over time.
People who work in fields that require frequent twisting of the spine or frequent lifting of heavy objects are also at higher risk of developing sciatica due to the strain put on their spines.
Sciatica can be identified by the pain in your lower back down to your butt and leg. It typically only affects one side of the body and can range from an ache throughout the sciatic nerve pathway to unbearable pain that can have a burning or electric shock sensation. It can also include tingling and numbness in your leg, as well as weakness and loss of bowel or bladder function.
The treatment options for sciatica vary based on severity. Treatments can range anywhere from simple self-care to surgery. Surgery is generally only used in the cases where other treatment options didn’t work and where your pain continues to worsen. Generally, physical therapies and stretching and rest can help relieve the pain, especially in more mild cases.
How Chiropractors Can Help
Chiropractors are experts when it comes to your spine, so they are a great first stop when it comes to sciatica treatment. Many doctors will refer their patients to chiropractors for this pain because of this. Chiropractors can pinpoint the area the pain originates from, as well as work to relieve it.
Chiropractors will generally consult a physical examination and ask about your history in order to get a better understanding of the cause of your condition. With this information, they can then create a treatment plan that is personalized to you.
Chiropractic treatments generally involve massage, spinal manipulation, exercises, and stretches. These are designed to relieve the pressure on your sciatic nerve, which then will resolve the issue. It typically isn’t something that can be healed in one session, so if you suffer from sciatica, you can probably anticipate going to the chiropractor a few times in order to find relief.
Can Sciatica Be Prevented?
The best treatment for sciatica is prevention. A strong, limber back is less likely to be injured, so there are some lifestyle changes you can make in order to reduce your risk of this condition. These include: regular exercise, proper posture, and being aware of how your body works and how you are using it. If you sit a lot, don’t hunch, and if you lift objects, keep them close to your body.
These little changes can go a long way in helping you stay strong and healthy and pain-free.
Do You Need Help With Sciatica?
Elite Chiropractic knows how painful sciatica can be and how useful chiropractors can be for healing it. If you suffer from sciatica, we can help through our spinal manipulation techniques and other chiropractic treatments. If you would like to learn more or if you would like to set up an appointment, please feel free to contact us at Elite Chiropractic today!