I have Sciatica… Now What?

I have low back pain that goes down the back of my leg!” This is a common complaint that I see in my office on a daily basis. Most of these patients suffer from sciatic pain.

This type of condition occurs when there is pressure or irritation to the sciatic nerve, which is one of the biggest nerves in your body, that goes from your low back all the way down the leg to the sole of your feet. Sciatic pain affects nearly 10% of the population in the United States and it is most common between the ages of 25-45 years.

How is it diagnosed?

Sciatic pain is a clinical diagnosis that can be determined using physical examination. In some cases, if the examination is uncertain, we might order imaging to confirm.

What are the signs and symptoms?

If you have sciatic pain you might suffer from:

  • Low back pain 
  • Pain shooting down the back of the leg
  • Burning or tingling sensation down the leg
  • Numbness, weakness or difficulty moving your leg
  • Low back pain that is worse with sitting and makes it difficult to stand

It is important to know that sciatic pain will only present shooting through the back of the leg. If you feel the pain towards the front or the side then most likely you are dealing with a different type of pain. 

 

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What are the causes?

Sciatic pain can be caused by many different factors that include:

  • Spinal stenosis– narrowing of the spinal canal in the lower back caused by a misalignment can produce pressure on the sciatic nerve
  • Disc injury– inflammation or herniation of a lower back disc can put direct pressure on the roots of the sciatic nerve
  • Piriformis syndrome– the piriformis is a small muscle located deep in your buttocks area and the sciatic nerve passes through it. Inflammation or hypertrophy of this muscle can also put pressure on the sciatic nerve.
  • Pregnancy– during pregnancy your lumbar spine can suffer more strain than normal therefore causing the sciatic nerve to get irritated

How can chiropractic help?

If you suspect you suffer from sciatic pain you should consult your chiropractor. Here at Vitality Chiropractic we will perform a thorough examination to find the cause of your sciatica and create a treatment plan that will help you get back on track. Our treatment for sciatic pain includes:

  • Spinal manipulation– corrects the spinal misalignment, therefore fixing the spinal stenosis and reducing the pressure on the nerve
  • Myofascial release– reduces muscle tension to help maintain the spine aligned and take pressure off the nerve
  • Ultrasound– reduces inflammation and alleviates irritation of the muscles and nerves. 
  • Heat packs– reduce inflammation and increase blood flow to promote healing.
  • Stretching– helps keep your muscles with the least amount of tension possible and corrects posture

What is the prognosis?

Most of the sciatic pain cases I see at our office resolve within 12 weeks with conservative treatment without the use of medication or surgery. 

Are you suffering from sciatica? Don’t know what to do? Give us a call and make your appointment today! 941-777-3375

 

Yours in health,

Dr. Juan Caceres

 

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