If you’ve experienced pain that radiates from your lower back through your hips, buttocks, and down one leg, you’ve experienced sciatica pain. The sciatic nerve is a large nerve in humans—as well as in other mammals—and compression can cause a great deal of pain and discomfort. While not a distinct condition, sciatica pain is a set of symptoms that many adults will experience at some point in their lives.
The sciatic nerve goes from your lower back through your hips and then branches down each leg. Typically, sciatica pain affects one side of your body, so you’re likely to feel a burning or electric pain on one side only. Sciatica pain can also include some numbness in the affected leg.
Sciatica pain has some common causes, all related to nerve compression and which can include:
– Herniated disc. Discs are the cartilage pads in between your vertebrae in the lumbar (or lower) spine. When you have a herniated disc, one of these cartilage pads has broken open and is leaking fluid near the sciatic nerve. The increased fluid creates pressure on the sciatic nerve.
– Spondylolisthesis. In this condition, one of the vertebrae in the lumbar spine has shifted or slipped out of place. As a result, additional pressure is placed on the sciatic nerve.
– Piriformis syndrome. Spasms of the piriformis muscle can aggravate the sciatic nerve and cause sciatic pain.
– Lumbar spinal stenosis. A narrowing of the lower spine can compress the sciatic nerve and cause sciatica pain.
Sciatica pain can feel severe—and can really be distressing to sufferers. The good news is that many cases resolve with non-surgical treatment within a few weeks’ time. The first step is a definitive diagnosis of sciatica pain to rule out other conditions. As experienced chiropractors, our doctors are able to identify sciatica pain and help determine its cause. Once we have more clarity on what is causing the discomfort, we can work with you on appropriate treatment.
Those treatments may include:
– Ice/heat therapy. Alternating hot/cold treatments can help reduce inflammation and ease your discomfort and pain. We’ll help you determine what might be best.
– Gentle heat generated by ultrasound waves can be beneficial in reducing pain and inflammation.
TENS unit. A TENS unit (TENS stands for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) is a small boxlike device that is placed on the affected area to deliver controlled electrical therapy to the area. It’s especially effective for reducing muscle spasms that may be aggravating the sciatic nerve.
– Adjustments or spinal manipulation. By freeing restriction in the spine, we can reduce pressure in the area.
The actual therapy we use is highly dependent on the cause of your sciatica pain. Don’t suffer in silence, though—come to see us for clarity on what is causing the pain and how we can help.
At Sleigh Family Chiropractic, we offer exceptional chiropractic care for your entire family. With a warm and friendly atmosphere as our standard, we believe that what our patients encounter is different from that experienced in other doctors’ offices. What’s more, we strive to give our patients a path to optimal health with excellent chiropractic care as well as resources for home. Whatever your health goals are, Sleigh Family Chiropractic will help you and your loved ones achieve them. We invite you to visit us and experience our standard of care. Learn more or call us at 847-788-0880.