Sciatica Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment
Sciatica, or sciatic nerve pain, is pain, tingling or numbness typically felt from the lower back or buttock which runs down the back of the thigh, knee, and calf.
Sciatic nerve pain occurs when the sciatic nerve is pushed against or irritated by pressure. The sciatic nerve is a large nerve that runs from the spine into the buttock, then into the back of the thigh and leg. Each leg has its own sciatic nerve.
The sciatic nerve controls sensation and function to the leg and foot, so when it is irritated by the pressure it causes the referred pain that shoots down the back of the legs. At JP Chiropractic in West Ashley Charleston, sciatica treatment is one of our most requested therapies.
The most common symptoms our patients report when they come in for sciatica treatment is the pain that runs along the back of the thigh and calf. Some patients will describe the pain as burning while others will report tingling or pins and needles.
Many patients at JP Chiropractic that we treat for sciatica find that:
It's hard to stand up or sit down for long periods as the pain becomes worse.
They have weakness, numbness or problems moving their leg or foot.
Generally, the pain seems to occur in one leg.
The causes of sciatica or sciatic nerve pain may vary. The most common reason patients seek chiropractic care for sciatica relief is due to a herniated disc or arthritis of the spine.
A herniated disc may also be called a slipped disc, ruptured disc, bulging or protruding disc or a pinched nerve. Sciatica is the most common symptom of these disc problems. A herniated disc is when the soft material inside the disc bulges out (herniates) and pushes against the sciatic nerve causing pain.
Arthritis of the spine occurs when your discs begin to deteriorate and breakdown, usually as the result of the aging process. The discs may then push against the sciatic nerve causing pain. Sometimes bone spurs develop which also push against the sciatic nerve and sciatica treatment is then necessary.
At JP Chiropractic in West Ashley Charleston, we will usually be able to diagnose sciatica based on the symptoms you describe. We will take into account your medical history and will generally perform a physical examination.
An MRI is the best diagnostic test for confirming the location and severity of a disc bulge. In addition, state of the art digital X-rays may be taken in the clinic to identify structural weaknesses that may have contributed to the herniated discs or nerve damage.
Sciatica treatment is necessary when the pain doesn't resolve itself after a few days. Sciatica treatment aims to relieve pain and the symptoms caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve and are based on your medical history and a physical examination. Surgery is generally a last resort for treatment as sciatica nerve pain relief can come from a range of non-surgical treatments which include:
medication for pain relief and to reduce inflammation
manipulative therapy performed by a Doctor of Chiropractic
steroid injections directly into the spine
complementary therapies, including acupuncture
One or more of the above sciatica treatments may be used in combination with an exercise program to provide sciatic nerve pain relief. At JP Chiropractic we offer you both chiropractic and traction treatments as well as an exercise program for sciatica nerve pain relief.
Exercise is usually better for sciatic nerve pain treatment than bed rest. Inactivity will usually make your sciatic nerve pain worse. Exercise and movement help exchange nutrients and fluids within the discs to keep them healthy and prevent pressure on the sciatic nerve.
The best exercises for sciatica treatment are tailored to address the underlying cause of your sciatic nerve pain. Generally, exercises are aimed at:
improving your core muscle strength
stretching the muscles that cause sciatic pain when they are tight and inflexible.
When you engage in a regular program of exercise as part of your sciatica treatment, you will recover more quickly from sciatica flare-ups and are less likely to experience episodes of pain in the future. We offer a comprehensive exercise program at our Charleston family chiropractic office as part of a holistic sciatica treatment regime
Chiropractors are experienced in treating disc pain which is one of the most common causes of sciatica. Chiropractic adjustment of the spine can improve spinal alignment and function and thereby remove or reduce the irritation to the sciatic nerve.
At JP Chiropractic we use one of the most researched chiropractic techniques in the world which we integrate with traditional Chiropractic treatment.
This is a scientific approach to spinal realignment and pain relief. When the spine assumes its healthy and ideal alignment it is performed at its best, which can aid in the prevention of further injury and damage. Our clinic is equipped with an expansive physical therapy area with unique equipment to complement our programs.
If you are experiencing acute or chronic sciatic nerve pain, then contact our friendly clinic at North Shore Family Chiropractors to book in for an appointment and find out more about how we can support you in the treatment of your sciatica.