First, there are a lot of misconceptions about what sciatica is. Sciatica is NOT a diagnosis but rather it is a term used to describe symptoms of low back, buttock, and leg pain that can be associated with numbness, tingling, and weakness. The sciatic nerve is a large nerve that originates from the low back and travels down the back of both legs to the calf. Sciatic pain is the result of the sciatic nerve being compressed or irritated by its surrounding structures. This compression or irritation can be caused by joint dysfunction, muscle tension, bulging or herniated discs, spinal stenosis, arthritis/degenerative joint disease, and inflammation. Due to the diverse causes of sciatic pain, treatment options can vary, so it is important receive a proper Chiropractic evaluation.
Symptoms of Sciatica
•Constant pain in only one side of the buttock or leg (rarely can occur in both legs)
•Pain that is worse when sitting, standing, or walking
•Burning or tingling down the leg
•Weakness, numbness or difficulty moving the leg or foot
•A constant pain on one side of the buttock
•A sharp pain that may make it difficult to stand up or to walk
Because there are a variety of causes for sciatica, it is crucial to seek prompt care by a Chiropractor to rule out more serious conditions than mimic sciatic pain. If you are experiencing changes in bowel or bladder habits including the inability to urinate or fecal incontinence along with sciatic pain, immediate medical attention is needed. Also, if you are experiencing fever, fatigue or unexplained weight loss in addition to sciatic pain, this could be a life threatening condition, so a proper medical evaluation is recommended.
Chiropractic Treatment for Sciatica
More often than not, sciatica responds to gentle, conservative management including:
Chiropractic Manipulation: Restoring proper movement in your joints reduces nerve compression, irritation, and inflammation.
Exercise: Dr. Sorensen develops individualized stretching and strengthening exercises specific to your needs to improve blood flow, equalize muscle imbalances, and correct pelvic/lumbar instabilities.
Hot/Cold Therapy: Alternating hot and cold increases blood flow in addition to reducing inflammation & pain.
Electric Stimulation: This therapy is great for acute spasming muscles. It decreases inflammation & pain while it increases blood flow to that part of the body to assist in accelerated healing.
Decrease Inflammation: Through nutritional supplementation in additional to dietary and lifestyle modifications, inflammatory processes which contribute to irritation of the sciatic nerve can be diminished.
Sciatica is a very common condition that Dr. Mike Sorensen sees frequently in his office and has a lot of success in treating. Call today to schedule your Chiropractic appointment – 541.516.1045.