If you have it, you know it. Sciatic pain (also called sciatica) is a common back ailment that impacts approximately 40 percent of adults at some point during their lifetime. The sciatic nerve is the longest and largest nerve in the body. About the same thickness as your thumb, it begins in the lower back and extends to the foot.
Characterized by shooting pain that travels the length of the nerve, sciatica can be mild or severe. It can prevent mobility or at the very least, be uncomfortable and irritating.
Symptoms Of Sciatic Pain
In addition to the shooting pain, people who suffer from sciatica may experience other symptoms such as:
- Numbness or weakness of the leg
- Difficulty moving the leg or foot
- Inability to stand up
- Burning sensation in their back, hips and legs
- Chronic pain on one side
What Causes Sciatic Pain?
Sciatic pain occurs when the sciatic nerve is compressed. Conditions that could cause this compression include spinal stenosis, degenerated disc disease, a herniated disk, or a bone spur on the spine. Smoking, injury or regular wear and tear from age can also be to blame. All of these conditions result in numbness, pain, stiffness of the leg, or inflammation.
How Is Sciatic Pain Diagnosed?
Sciatic pain can be diagnosed by a chiropractor after a complete assessment. The doctor will begin with a medical history and ask about the location and severity of the pain. A series of tests, such as the Straight Leg Test or Braggard’s Test, will be conducted that focus on your reflexes. The doctor may ask you to perform certain stretches and exercises to determine what aggravates or relieves your pain.
How Is Sciatic Pain Treated?
The good news is most people usually get relief from sciatic pain without invasive procedures or medications. Here are a few treatment options that a chiropractor can offer:
- Ice or cold therapy. Applying ice or cold compress to the area reduces inflammation and eases pain.
- Ultrasound. A gentle heat that penetrates deep into the muscle, these sound waves increase circulation and reduce cramping, stiffness, inflammation and muscle spasms.
- Spinal manipulations. At the core of chiropractic care, these adjustments restore misaligned vertebrae to their proper position and improve movement of the spine.
- TENS. TENS therapy, otherwise known as transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, uses electrical currents to control pain and reduce muscle spasms.
Chiropractic care is an effective way to treat sciatic pain because it focuses on the musculoskeletal and nervous systems and the conditions that impact them.
At Live Well Chiropractic Center, our goal is to help you feel better so you can engage comfortably in the activities you enjoy most. If you or someone in your family is experiencing sciatic pain, you don’t have to suffer any longer. We can help you determine the cause of the pain and then develop a non-invasive treatment plan that is best for you. Give us a call at 513-285-7482 to schedule an appointment! Be sure to check us out on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for our latest updates and tips!