What is Sciatica?
Sciatica is the emanating pain that originates in the lower back region where sciatic nerve roots are located. These incredibly long nerves weave through two vertebrae in the lower spine, travel behind the hip joint, down the buttocks, and throughout the legs, all the way down to the feet. When the nerve is compressed, it becomes irritated and generates a burning, shooting, throbbing, or prickly sensation. The type and severity of the symptoms depend on where the sciatic nerve is being compressed and can be felt as far down as the toes.
Sciatica can be caused by a number of things, the most common being a herniated disc. When a disc in the lower spine protrudes, it can come in contact with the neighboring sciatic nerves. Other reasons for irritation include spinal tumors, spondylolisthesis, trauma, or spinal stenosis.
While the pain associated with Sciatica can sometimes be very mild, it still has the potential to deliver excruciating and debilitating pain that can sideline the afflicted for weeks on end. If the underlying causes of Sciatica are never addressed by a professional, the symptoms can worsen over time and persist for much longer.
Thankfully, the general irritation of the nerve is rather simple to correct. In rare situations, however, Sciatica can cause permanent nerve damage. Indications of a more serious condition include bladder or bowel incontinence, weakness, or numbing sensation in the leg.
Who Experiences Sciatica?
It’s a common misconception that Sciatica only affects those who live a sedentary lifestyle and possess poor postural habits. While this demographic is more susceptible to the condition, Sciatica can be prevalent in active people as well. Anyone who regularly participates in activities that require the bending or twisting of the back run a high risk of experiencing Sciatica. Frequently carrying heavy materials is also intensive on the lower back and can cause nerve damage as well.
What are my Treatment Options?
While basic Sciatica cases can be resolved with exercise and rest, it can take weeks, even months. Fortunately, there are a number of options that can help speed up the recovery process which include painkillers, physical therapy, and corticosteroid injections.
Chiropractic care is a more natural, less invasive approach toward correcting Sciatica. A chiropractor can gently massage the spine back to its healthy state by relieving any unwanted pressures on the sciatic nerve.
If you or somebody you know resides in the Ronkonkoma, NY area and is suffering from Sciatica symptoms or experiencing any kind of back pain, feel free to call our office. Back pain usually worsens over time so don’t make the mistake of delaying your chiropractic care and relief!