Coping with Sciatica? See Your Chiropractor Now
I have known a number of people who have faced sciatica with all of its pain and difficulties. Many of them considered retiring or working less as they struggled with the pain.
Over time they recovered their regular routines, but the journeys were challenging. It was amazing to see active people who were used to calling their own shots, suddenly crumble and become desperate as sciatica took hold of their lives.
If you or someone in your family faces sciatica, see your chiropractor and learn what can be done now.
The American Chiropractic Association describes sciatica as persistent pain felt along the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back, down through the buttock, and into the lower leg. This nerve is the longest and widest nerve in the body. It controls the muscles of the lower leg and provides sensation to the thighs, legs, and the soles of the feet.
ACA says sciatica is actually a set of symptoms, rather than a diagnosis for what is irritating the nerve root and triggering the pain. It occurs the most in ages 30 to 50, and it tends to come from general wear and tear on the lower spine, not injuries.
What are the symptoms ?
The most common sciatica symptom is the sharp pain radiating along the sciatic nerve, from the lower back down one leg. But there can also be mild tingling, dull aches or burning sensations, all on one side of the body. Patients also report pins-and-needles sensations in the foot or toes, and numbness or muscle weakness in the leg or the foot. Pain can begin slowly, intensifying over time. Prolonged sitting, sneezing, coughing, bending, or sudden movements can trigger it.
Maintain a healthy diet and weight. Exercise regularly. Use good posture. Avoid long periods of inactivity or bed rest. Do not smoke and learn how to lift safely.
The Visit to the Chiropractor
Your chiropractor will take a complete patient history and asked you to describe your pain, explaining when it began, and what intensifies or reduces it. The chiropractor may test sensory, muscle strength, and reflexes having you lift your legs straight in the air, one at a time.
The goal of chiropractic care is to restore spinal movement, to improve function while decreasing pain and inflammation without medication or surgery. Depending on the cause of the sciatica, treatment may include ice/heat therapy, and rehabilitative exercises. In the cases that I saw, the patients worked with their chiropractors over a period of time, learning a lot about sciatica and happily regaining their lives.
If you or someone in your family is coping with sciatica, make an appointment now.