Many individuals suffer from painful sciatica, which is commonly confused with general back pain. Although this condition can range from minor to debilitating, regular visits to the chiropractor can, fortunately, bring much-needed relief. To help you understand what causes sciatica and how to best address it, here are four helpful FAQs.
5 Common Questions About Sciatica
What is sciatica?
Sciatica is defined as pain that’s triggered by irritation of the sciatic nerve. This pain can affect the lower back, hips, and outer sides of the legs. It’s often a result of compression of a spinal nerve root in the lower back.
How does sciatica develop?
Sciatica typically originates from a herniated disk in the lower spine. The herniation can be the result of injury, overuse, and age. A herniated disk often puts excess pressure on the surrounding nerves in your back. This pressure causes the nerves to compress, sending pain downwards. Since the sciatic nerve runs through your hips, buttocks, legs, and the feet, this can create a lot of discomfort throughout the body.
What are the symptoms of this condition?
The most telltale sign of sciatica is lower back pain that radiates into the back or side of your legs. Some sufferers of this condition will experience feelings of numbness and/or tingling in the legs and feet. Many describe the pain as dull, achy, and akin to that of pins and needles.
How Does a Chiropractor Help Alleviate Sciatic Nerve Pain?
Since different disorders can cause sciatica, a chiropractor will first need to determine its root cause. They will gather information through a physical and neurological exam as well as by reviewing a patient’s medical history. A chiropractor may also perform a range of diagnostic tests, including an x-ray, MRI, and/or NCV (nerve conduction velocity) test. Once the cause is determined, your chiropractor will administer appropriate non-surgical treatment. The treatment can be anything from ice/cold therapy, to spinal adjustments, to transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation.
What are ways to prevent it?
You can take preventative measures by relieving pressure on the back during the course of the day and moving. Sitting still for long hours can put too much pressure on the disks. Also, losing weight will help since more weight can lead to more pressure. Finally, if you do heavy lifting, make sure to wear the proper back supports and use correct form.
If you or a loved one is suffering from sciatica and need a chiropractor, look no further than Southgate Chiropractic. Located in Southgate, KY, this family-oriented business is a proud member of the Kentucky Association of Chiropractors. Led by Dr. Roger C. Jones, this friendly, professional facility helps patients achieve optimal health through chiropractic treatments. To learn more about their comprehensive health and wellness service, give them a call today at (859) 572-0029 or visit them online.