Do you ever wake up with a dull ache in your back, hips or legs? Is it a pain that seems to radiate throughout your entire lower body without rhyme or reason? Do sharp pains run down one leg or the other? It is possible that sciatica is to blame. The best way to get rid of sciatic pain is to understand its root cause. Sciatica is a condition that is often misdiagnosed and attributed to any intense lower back pain. Any pain in the lower back that limits your movement or stops you from enjoying life requires attention, but not all lower back pain is sciatic pain. This type of pain is unique and while it can be debilitating, it can be helped by a chiropractor.
Basics of Sciatica
The sciatic nerve runs from your lower back into each leg. It is the body’s longest and widest nerve. It controls all the muscles in your legs. When this nerve is compressed, inflamed, or irritated, the result is sciatic pain. There are several possible causes to the disturbed nerve. A patient may have a herniated disc, misaligned spinal bones, tense or tight muscles, or an injury near the nerve.
Sciatic pain can also be triggered by common lifestyle issues. Unsupportive shoes can cause pain in the sciatic nerve. Sitting in an uneven position for an extended time can cause pain as well. For example, if you have a large wallet or other item in one back pocket and nothing in the other, you will be sitting unevenly. Stress can also lead to sciatic pain.
People between the ages of 30 and 50 are most likely to suffer from sciatic pain. The most common symptom of sciatica is sharp pain in the lower back and/or down one leg. A patient may also experience dull aches, tingling, burning, or numbness.
Sciatic pain cannot always be prevented, but you can do some things to help make it less likely. One key is to maintain a healthy diet and healthy weight. Excess weight can put pressure on the spine. You should also watch your posture. Proper posture will help keep your spine aligned and avoid compressing the nerves. Avoid long periods of sitting. Be sure to use a proper lifting technique with heavy lifting. Regular exercise with stretching and flexibility exercises is a great way to ensure your spine stays healthy and properly aligned.
Treatments for Sciatica
A patient may have several options in treating sciatica.
Sciatic pain can be treated with pain medicine or muscle relaxers. Although this may stop the pain, it does not resolve the cause of the issue. The pain will likely return.
Epidural steroid injections into the area around the spinal cord can alleviate sciatica pain. The medicine in the injection will cover the nerve roots with anti-inflammatory medicine that can sooth the irritation.
There are surgical methods that can treat sciatica. These methods are more invasive than other treatments.
Heat therapy can ease the pain. It can also relieve stiffness. Heat can help heal damaged muscles and other tissues.
Cryotherapy, or ice and cold treatment, alleviates radiating pain by reducing the nerve activity. The cold will also temporarily decrease blood flow to the area.
6. Spinal Decompression
Spinal decompression is a motorized form of traction that can help relieve pain by gently stretching the spine. The machine helps the patient stretch farther than he or she could do on his or her own.
Therapeutic ultrasound is an advanced chiropractic technique using sound waves to generate deep heat around the painful areas.
TENS stands for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. A TENS device can transmit electrical pulses through the skin. These pulses release endorphins and reduce pain signals emitted from the nervous system.
9. Chiropractic Adjustments
A chiropractor can decompress a misaligned spine and improve blood flow. Many patients prefer chiropractic treatment because it is completely non-invasive and drug-free. People tend to be wary of more invasive treatments where their spine is concerned. Many people figure out quickly that taking pain medications is only covering up a symptom, and not really getting to the heart of the issue.
Having your spine adjusted by a trained chiropractor is proven to have long-term benefits for increasing blood circulation and stabilizing blood pressure. If you want a natural, non-invasive solution, Spinal Logic can help. Our chiropractors will take the time to assess every aspect of your lifestyle, medical history, and body to find a permanent solution to your sciatic pain. Contact our team today at 317-745-5111 to schedule an appointment or learn more. We look forward to hearing from you.
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Disclaimer: The information included in this article is for educational purposes only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.