No matter how old you are or what type of work you do, lower back pain shouldn’t be your “normal.”
Sure, you might get stiff after sitting at a desk all day or feel some aching and soreness after working out or doing strenuous physical activity, but day-to-day pain, the kind that prevents you from moving around easily and doing the things you enjoy, is completely treatable.
When the pain you experience radiates from your sciatic nerve, it’s known as sciatica.
What is Sciatica?
Sciatica is pain that radiates along the sciatic nerve, the long nerve that extends from the lower back through the hips, buttocks, and each leg. It splits and branches at the lower back, and it’s possible to only experience sciatica along one of these branches. That’s why some people feel sciatica pain in only one leg.
Sciatica has a few different causes. These include:
- Herniated disks
- Bone spurs on the spine
- Spinal stenosis
- Lack of a strong core
- Working a physically active job
- Being overweight
Spinal stenosis is the narrowing of the spaces along the spine, which puts pressure on the spinal cord and its nerves. This pressure leads to sciatica pain through the back, hips, and legs. Bone spurs and herniated disks create a similar pressure, and the resulting pain can be mild to severe enough to prevent the sufferer from working or conducting other daily activities.
Sciatica can manifest as any or all of the following symptoms:
- Numbness in the affected leg
- Pins and needles
- Foot numbness and/or weakness
- Muscle weakness and/or soreness
- Difficulty walking
- A burning sensation in the affected areas
As a first line of defense, many sciatica sufferers treat it with ice packs and massage. Many individuals who experience sciatica also seek chiropractic care, either alongside one or more of the treatments listed above or as an alternative to them.
How Can Chiropractic Treatment Relieve Sciatica Pain?
Sciatica is caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve, and chiropractic care is all about relieving pressure on all the nerves along your spinal column.
One of the techniques chiropractors use is spinal decompression, which involves gently stretching the spine to increase the amount of space between the vertebrae. This technique is often used for people whose sciatica is the result of a herniated disk because it promotes the flow of water, oxygen, and other fluids into the disks, allowing them to heal.
Chiropractors also treat sciatica patients through chiropractic adjustments, spinal manipulation techniques that realign the spinal column and, like spinal decompression, take pressure off the nerves in the spine. This type of care, paired with chiropractor-recommended stretches and exercise, can relieve and even eliminate sciatica pain.
Can Sciatica Get Worse if It’s Left Untreated?
In short, yes, sciatica can get worse if it’s left untreated.
But that’s not the biggest issue with it.
If left untreated, sciatica can cause permanent nerve damage. Once the sciatic nerve is damaged, it can be difficult or even impossible to alleviate the pain. At this stage, many patients develop chronic pain that seriously impacts their ability to conduct daily activities.
Get Sciatica Relief with a Personalized Chiropractic Care
If you’re experiencing pain, numbness, weakness, or a combination of these symptoms in your lower back, hips, or legs, it could be sciatica. Whether that’s the case or your pain has another cause, chiropractic care can help you get the relief you need.
Contact our office today to schedule your initial consultation with Virginia Family Chiropractic. We accept most major insurance plans, so don’t hesitate to give us a call and find out if we’re covered by yours.