Sciatica Q & A
What is sciatica?
Sciatica is a term that refers to a condition resulting from compression on the sciatic nerve. This nerve starts in the low back and travels through the back of the thighs, buttocks, and knees until it reaches the feet. It is responsible for providing the sensation of feeling in the legs. Because of this, if any damage is done to the sciatic nerve will cause pain or numbness in the lower extremities. Pinching of this nerve can also bring about weakness in the legs, making it difficult to stand without needing rest when the nerve is irritated.
What are the symptoms?
Sciatica usually only affects one side of the lower body. Pain will radiate from the lower back into the back of the thigh and down the leg. Symptoms can intensify with any sudden movements or when changing positions. Some combination of the following symptoms is most common:
- Pain that worsens when standing or sitting
- Sharp, searing pain rather than a dull sensation
- Weakness or numbness when moving the leg or foot
- Pain and other symptoms in the toes, depending on where the sciatic nerve is affected
- Lower back pain that
- Difficulty standing, sitting, or walking
- Shooting pains from the buttocks downward through the feet
- Tingling and numbness in the buttocks, legs, or feet
- Pain or spasms while coughing or sneezing
How does chiropractic help?
Pain from sciatica causes the muscles to spasm and can decrease mobility. This can add to the pressure on the nerve. A thorough examination will be used to determine where your sciatic pain is coming from. After the exam, the spasms are relaxed using electromyostimulation on the area of pain. This is followed with specific chiropractic adjustments in order to alleviate the pressure on the nerve. Chiropractic adjustments will work directly on the spinal vertebra and discs. The procedure is typically painless, without the use of drugs or surgery, and most patients notice improvement after just one visit.