Back pain can reduce your mobility and keep you from enjoying your daily activities. For some, it is a long-term issue that impacts their quality of life. While this type of pain is often caused by injury, it can also be caused by sciatica, or the compression of nerves leading to the legs. Here, the wellness care experts at Back to Life Chiropractic in Thornton, CO explain the causes and treatments of this painful condition.
What Is Sciatica?
Sciatica is a symptom, not a diagnosis. It refers to the pain that runs along the sciatic nerve which runs through your lower back, hips, and buttocks, then down each your legs. Sciatica can occur if you have a herniated disk or narrowing of the spine which compresses part of the nerve and causes pain and sometimes numbness on one side of the body. You may also feel tingling, weakness or discomfort along the nerve; in some cases, you may only feel these sensations along part of the nerve, and in others, you may feel it along the entire length.
The intensity of pain ranges from a dull ache to severe discomfort. Sitting for long periods of time can aggravate this condition and increase its severity. Risk factors including, age, occupation, obesity, and diabetes may increase your chance of developing sciatica.
How Do You Treat It?
Treatment options vary depending on the severity of your pain. Many mild cases of sciatica resolve themselves without any treatment. More serious cases may require surgical intervention. However, there are gentler, more conservative measures that can help you find pain relief from your symptoms. Stretching exercises and walking may help alleviate sciatic pain by decreasing pressure on the nerve. Spinal manipulation is also a viable solution because it helps align the spine and decompress the sciatic nerve.
There are also some preventative measures you can take. Getting regular exercise and learning the proper technique for lifting or moving heavy objects can help you avoid putting pressure on the nerve. If your job requires long periods of sitting, maintain good posture or use a lumbar support and take frequent breaks to stand or walk to prevent spinal compression.
If you are suffering from sciatic pain, contact the chiropractors at Back to Life Chiropractic. They’ll develop a personalized treatment regimen to eliminate your pain and address its cause. Call (303) 457-2040 to schedule an appointment. For more information on their back and neck pain treatments, visit the office online.