Sciatica refers to pain related to the sciatic nerve and often radiates from the lower back down one leg. There are many causes of sciatica, from physical trauma to degenerative conditions. Fortunately, the majority of cases of sciatica can be effectively treated and managed.
What is sciatica?
The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the human body and runs from the lower back down each leg. Pain associated with the sciatic nerve is referred to as sciatica, and typically only affects one side of the body. The most common symptom of sciatica includes pain in the lower back that radiates to the back of the thigh and down the leg. Sciatica is normally the result of a protruding (herniated) disk in the spinal column that presses on the nerve roots in the lumbar spine.
How do I know if I have sciatica?
Common signs and symptoms of sciatica include:
– Pain that is limited to the buttock and leg on one side of the body
– Pain or numbness deep within one of the buttocks
– Lower back pain
– Nerve tingling, numbness or a shock sensation down one leg
– Pain that is characterized by a sharp, stabbing, burning or tingling sensation
– Weakness in the affected leg, affecting balance and the ability to stand after prolonged sitting
– Pain that is worse when sitting or standing, but improves when lying down
How is sciatica diagnosed?
Sciatica varies greatly from one person to another, with symptoms dependent upon the cause of the condition. In order to properly diagnose sciatica, a physician will go over a patient’s medical history.
This includes any recent injuries, where the pain is located, and how the pain feels. They may also ask what helps reduce pain, what makes it worse, and when it started. After a thorough review of medical history, a physical exam will be performed to test muscle strength and reflexes. To determine which activities cause more pain, the examining physician may also ask the patient to perform certain stretching and moving exercises. A nerve test may also be conducted, as this allows doctors to examine how nerve impulses are performing and learn if there are any abnormalities in their function. These tests may help locate the area that is affected and the degree to which the impulse is being inhibited.
What is the treatment for sciatica?
The best treatment for sciatica will depend on the area that is affected, the severity of the condition and how well the patient responds to treatment. The most common treatments for sciatica include:
Physical Rehabilitation — Sciatica can impede on one’s mobility and range of motion, in which case gentle exercises like walking can help stretch the spine without doing any additional damage. Stretching can help relieve sciatica pain and is an excellent way to improve range of motion and flexibility.
Chiropractic Care — As a non-surgical, non-pharmacological approach to sciatic pain, chiropractic care provides a long list of benefits. Regular chiropractic treatments are proven to be effective at treating sciatica, reducing pain and improving mobility.
If you or someone you love is affected by sciatica, come to Total Health Elevated for a higher level of care. We are dedicated to finding the underlying cause of sciatica to ensure the best treatment and most propitious prognosis. Call us today to book an appointment. We serve patients from Northridge CA, Santa Clarita CA, Kagel Canyon CA, San Fernando CA, Burbank CA, Pico CA, and Stevenson Ranch CA. Look forward to serve you!