Top 5 Sciatica FAQs
If you have a numbing, radiating or shooting pain sensation in the lower back, buttocks and legs, you may have sciatica. It is important to understand that sciatica itself is not an illness but a collection of pain symptoms describing irritation of the sciatic nerve. If you have recently been diagnosed with sciatica, it’s natural to be confused about this condition and what it means for your future health. There’s nothing to fear! The good news is that chiropractic care can naturally help to relieve this pain by treating the root cause for enhanced whole body health. Below, our chiropractor answers five of our patients’ most frequently asked questions about sciatica.
#1: What is sciatica?
Sciatica occurs when a bulging or herniated disc compresses the sciatic nerve. This compression can trigger a radiating pain sensation along the length of the nerve. Typically, sciatica only affects one side of the body. Sciatica pain can be very severe and significantly impact your quality of life. While some medical professionals may ultimately recommend surgery to relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve, in many cases, chiropractic care may be able to effectively address this pressure and manage your pain, eliminating the need for surgery and medication.
#2: What are the most common sciatica pain symptoms?
In general, most patients experience a radiating pain sensation the stretches from the lower back through the buttocks and legs. Oftentimes this pain sensation is limited to one side of the body. However, the pain is different for everyone. Some people may experience a severe, sudden pain in the lower back that feels like a sharp, burning sensation. The pain may worsen when you cough or sneeze or sit for extended periods of time. Some individuals also experience tingling or muscle weakness in the leg or foot.
#3: How does chiropractic care treat sciatica?
While some cases of mild sciatica pain may resolve themselves, in general, this pain will not simply “go away.” If your pain is caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve, then relieving this pressure is the first step for long-term pain relief. Chiropractic adjustments help to bring proper alignment back to the musculoskeletal system, alleviating nerve compression. Regular adjustments are the best way to keep the spine properly aligned for long-term pain relief.
#4: How do I know if a herniated disc is causing my pain?
Prior to beginning any pain treatment program, our chiropractor will conduct comprehensive diagnostic exams to determine the root cause for your pain. Should a herniated disc be compressing the sciatic nerve, then tractioning the spine can help to relieve this compression. We perform postural screenings to determine of poor posture habits may be exacerbating this compression. If so, corrective exercises can help.
#5: How can I learn more about sciatica treatment?
A diagnostic exam with our chiropractor is the best way to learn more about which sciatica treatment options are best for your pain management needs. Call Dr. Dower today at 647-931-6551 to schedule your diagnostic exam.