If you’re experiencing pain in the back that runs down one of your legs, this could be sciatica (sounds like sigh-at-i-ca). It can also come with numbness or tingling in the legs and may be worse when you sit down. The root cause of sciatica pain is typically an issue in the lower back. In most cases it is acute (meaning that it lasts a short period of time following an injury), but it can become chronic (meaning it lasts an extended period of time or may even be permanent), depending on what’s causing the sciatic nerve to be pressed upon.
In your lower back there is a bundle of nerve roots. These form the sciatic nerve, which sends signals down through the hip area into each of your legs. Pressure on the sciatic nerve causes pain to radiate from your back down into your leg (usually only one leg, but occasionally both). It can also cause a tingling sensation. Although much of the pain of sciatica is in your leg, the root cause is always in your spine.
Sciatica can cause several different types of pain – from the lower back to the hip and/or leg. The pain in the leg is usually a burning, tingling, or searing pain that radiates down, sometimes all the way into the toes. Some individuals have difficulty moving the leg and foot or may experience weakness in the leg that can make it hard to walk.
Sciatic pain is most often caused by a herniated or bulging disc at or near the point where the sciatic nerve leaves the spine, resulting in a pinched nerve. However, there are some other things which can cause sciatica:
Sciatica tends to become chronic more often in older individuals due to age-related changes in the spine.
It is not always possible to prevent all causes of sciatica, especially those associated with aging. However, here are a few tips to protect your back and help reduce your risk:
Because sciatica is usually a symptom caused by another condition, the best way to reduce sciatica pain is to treat the underlying problem. Sciatica treatment can range from pain management to, in extreme cases, surgery. Dr. Thomas will typically review x-rays to establish the cause of the sciatica, and to help determine a treatment plan. Bed rest is no longer prescribed for sciatica, as recent studies indicate it is not the most effective method and that exercise can be crucial to the healing process. Sciatica pain relief can achieved using the following treatments:
Most cases of sciatica are acute and resolve in four to six weeks. Chronic patients may need regular visits to a chiropractor and may be referred to a pain management specialist.
If you are experiencing sciatic pain, then chiropractic care, especially spinal decompression can help you. If you are looking for sciatica treatment in The Woodlands area and see what we can do to help you relief your pain.