Sciatica is a term that you hear often from Doctors and friends when talking about their pain in the lower back and legs, but what is it really and how can it be treated?
WHAT IS SCIATICA
Sciatica is a condition that affects more than 3 million people each year and is essentially pain that stems from your sciatic nerve that runs from your lower back and down the back of your legs. The pain is often severe and can interfere with your quality of life. Sciatica is generally caused by compression of the sciatic nerve and is actually a symptom of another medical condition. Some conditions that cause Sciatica include, degenerative disc disease, herniated and bulging discs, spinal misalignments and sometimes non spinal issues such as sitting on your wallet and pregnancy.
WHO IS AT RISK?
Sciatica is most common in people in their 40’s and 50’s due to age related changes to our spine. Other risk factors include improper lifting and bending, poor posture and prolonged sitting.
- Shooting pain down the back of the leg
Tingling and numbness in the back of the leg
Pain that gets worse when you sit
A sharp pain that makes it hard to stand up and or walk
HOW IS SCIATICA TREATED
Fortunately, Sciatica is rarely permanent and easily treatable. Since Sciatica has many causes, your Chiropractor will begin with a thorough consultation and physical examination. Most often an X-Ray or MRI will be taken to determine the root cause of the pain. Once the diagnosis has been made, a custom comprehensive treatment plan will be developed. Often a combination of treatments will be prescribed, depending on the cause of the Sciatica. Some possible treatments include:
- Ice/Cold therapy is used to minimize the inflammation and control the pain
Massage therapy is often prescribed to stretch and relax the tight muscles
TENS therapy is a machine that sends stimulating electirc currents across the nerve pathways which interefere with the transmission of pain. Tens units have multiple settings and are used for acute and chronic pain relief.
Ultrasound uses sound waves to penetrate the deep tissues and helps to reduce muscle spasms, stiffness and pain.
Physical Therapy is designed to gently stretch soft tissues and improve posture, using exercises and rehabilitation.
Spinal Decompression is also used to help decrease swelling in the discs and help alleviate nerve pressure/irritation
Spinal Manipulation (Chiropractic Adjustments) Is a gentle procedure to help restore misaligned vertebrae which help to remove the nerve irritation that is causing the muscle spasms and pain.
If you are suffering from any of these symptoms, Dr. Johnson, your Baltimore Chiropractor can help! If you would like more more information on Sciatica or would like to set up your FREE consultation, give us a call at: (410) 744-1233or visit our website at: www.MyPainReliefCenter.com