If you suffer from sciatica, you are one of around 3 million sufferers in North America each year with this condition in their spine and legs. The nerve pain actually originates in the spine and travels down the back of the leg, and if irritated will result in difficulty standing and sitting.
While there are a few more common options for sciatica such as medications and surgery, many are seeking alternative options that are less intrusive. Chiropractic care, for instance, has an extensive library of studies showing it’s effectiveness in reducing sciatic nerve-based pain.
Understanding the Sciatic nerve
It’s important to first understand more about the sciatic nerve and how it gets impaired. It is actually the longest nerve in the body that is used to provide strength and sensation to the legs. It consists of a bundle of three nerves that begin in the lumbar spine, and then group together in the buttocks and travel down the back of each leg.
Sciatica refers to an issue or impairment with this long nerve resulting in pain or numbness. It often occurs when a disc is herniated, spinal joints become injured and inflamed, or from other issues causing pressure on the nerve.
Symptoms associated with sciatica
If you’ve never experienced sciatica before or think you may have it, there are some common symptoms you can look for such as pain, weakness, and numbness in the low back and into the legs. It’s a misunderstood condition because it’s often not the root cause of the irritation but a set of symptoms.
A herniated disc is the most common cause behind sciatica, but it can also be caused by general wear and tear on the lower spine. Other conditions that can cause your sciatica include spinal stenosis (a narrowing of the spinal canal), piriformis syndrome (a spasm of the muscle in the buttocks), or spondylolisthesis, a slip of a vertebra that narrows the nerve exit.
The question comes into play with the treatment options of such a problematic condition. You sit and stand every single day making this condition highly problematic. One of the problems is that the risk for sciatic nerve issues increase with stress over time (sometimes thought of as increasing age, but these are NOT the same concept) and the risk for herniated discs or bone spurs. Other health conditions can also contribute as risk factors, such as diabetes, obesity (since excess weight can affect spinal changes), and sitting for long periods of time due to your occupation.
The good news is that you don’t have to take on such an extreme treatment method such as surgery. You can choose a less-intrusive approach, such as chiropractic care. Chiropractic care is a great choice for sciatica care because it can be used to adjust the spine to take pressure off of the nerve and make sure everything is in the proper place for optimal function. In fact, many times Chiropractic adjustments provide the same amount of relief that surgery does for sciatica patients.
When it comes to your sciatica, you don’t have to resort to invasive procedures to relieve your pain. Talk to us about your pain level and getting proper adjustments to relieve this condition affecting your daily life.