Sciatica is a condition that affects the sciatic nerve. This is the large nerve that extends from the buttock to the back of the legs. In most cases, sciatica affects one side of the body, with the pain traveling from the lower back.
Irritation of the nerve can result in pain that goes through the thigh and extends down the leg. In some cases, the pain may reach the toes or foot, but it often reaches the calf or hamstring. For some patients, the pain can be very severe, while for others, it is less frequent but irritating.
The condition is due to the irritation of the lower lumbar roots and the lumbosacral spine. A common cause of sciatica is a degenerative disease that affects the discs. It is also caused by spinal stenosis, a condition where the discs that help cushion the vertebrae become narrow.
Spondylolisthesis occurs when a vertebrae slip can cause sciatica. Moreover, pregnancy can cause increased strain on the spine, resulting in sciatica. Excess weight, failure to exercise, sleeping on a very soft mattress, and wearing high heels can aggravate the condition.
Common sciatica symptoms are a sharp pain in the leg and tingling or burning running down the limb. Other symptoms are numbness or difficulty moving the limb and shooting pain when trying to stand. Some people experience constant pain on the rear side. Sciatic nerve compression can paralyze a limb or certain muscles, loss of feeling, and insomnia.
A chiropractor will examine the patient and review his medical history to determine the cause of the pain. Correct diagnosis is vital for proper management of the condition. Sciatica can sometimes be confused with back pain due to the origin of the pain.
Chiropractic therapy works on the principle that pain and reduced function is caused by restricted spinal movement. In addition, chiropractic care allows the body to heal itself through drug-free, non-invasive treatment.
Chiropractors use several forms of therapy to treat sciatica. Treatments include ice/cold therapy that helps to reduce inflammation, controlling sciatica pain and ultrasound or heat from sound waves.
The gentle heat penetrates deep into the tissues. It helps increase circulation and reduce cramping, muscle spasms, stiffness, swelling, and pain. Chiropractors also use spinal manipulations or adjustments to treat the condition. The manipulation helps to ease the restricted spinal movement. It restores misaligned vertebrae to their correct position.
Chiropractors use different adjustment techniques during treatment. They vary from gentle pressure with minimal force to high-velocity thrusts. The techniques need great precision and skill. Spinal manipulation is an important part of chiropractic care.
Sciatica can develop over time without any pre-existing injury, and this can be worrying. It may be painful, but it is not usually serious. It is vital to know that treatment can help deal with the pain. If you have been experiencing pain in your limb or lower back, visit a chiropractor. Sciatica will usually improve after four to six weeks, but it can take longer for some patients.
To know more about sciatica, visit Ellis Chiropractic at our office in Marlow, Oklahoma. You can also call 580-217-3300 to book an appointment today.