Sciatica is a common type of pain caused by irritation or pressure on the sciatic nerve. According to Harvard Health, as many as 40 percent of people may experience sciatic pain at some point in their life. Sciatic pain originates in the lower back where the bilateral sciatic nerves — the largest and longest nerves in the body (about as the thick as your pinky finger) — are located. The sciatic nerves are found in the lumbar and sacral plexuses, which run down through the glutes (buttocks) and into the thighs, branching out into the leg, calf, and foot. The sciatic nerve is responsible for sending signals to and from soft tissues such as skin and muscles throughout the leg and feet. Therefore, when the sciatic nerve is irritated or pinched, it can cause mild to severe pain and discomfort in the lower back, one or both legs, and feet, and may even interfere with mobility and movement.
Chiropractic care, however, is an effective, conservative sciatic treatment which can not only help you manage your sciatic pain, but which can also treat and relieve the symptoms while and preventing surgical intervention. Contact your chiropractor in Overland Park at Adjust Your Health Chiropractic & Massage Therapy to learn more about our chiropractic and massage therapy sciatic pain relief treatments.
Understanding Sciatica Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments
In order to effectively relieve and prevent sciatica, it’s essential to understand the common causes and risk factors of this type of back pain, the symptoms, and the noninvasive, nonprescription drug treatment options available.
Some of the most common risk factors may include:
- Injury – Injuries from car accidents, occupation, and sports are a common cause of sciatica because an injury can entrap the nerve, causing irritation and pressure on the nerve.
- Obesity – Obesity, particularly carrying excessive weight around the midsection, places additional pressure and stress on the lower back, which can irritate the sciatic nerve.
- Non-Active Lifestyle – Prolonged sitting or lying down places pressure on the lower back and buttocks, which can pinch and aggravate the sciatic nerve in the glutes and thighs. What’s more, non-activity can limit blood flow and circulation, which is crucial for supporting cells and nerves with oxygen and nutrients for proper function.
- Aging – As we age, our spines become more susceptible to dysfunction, such as disc herniations, bone spurs, and spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal column), which can aggravate the sciatic nerve on one or both sides of the body.
Symptoms of Sciatica
The most common sciatica symptoms may include:
- Pain and discomfort beginning in the lower back and radiating down one or both legs.
- Dull ache or sharp, burning pain while sitting or standing.
- Numbness, tingling, loss of sensation along the nerve pathway.
- Limited range of motion and movement.
Sciatica Nerve Pain Treatments
There are safe and effective treatment options for sciatica, including:
- Gentle Chiropractic Care – Gentle (no twist) chiropractic treatments can remove pressure from the lumbar and sacral nerve plexuses, effectively removing stress and irritation on the sciatic nerve. Gentle spinal manipulation can restore spinal nerve function, circulation, and movement, while reducing pain.
- Massage Therapy – Massage therapy encourages circulation, relieves tension in the soft tissues, and alleviates stress in the lower back muscles, thereby relieving pain.
Begin Sciatica Treatments Today
If you or someone you love experiences any symptoms of sciatica, contact our Overland Park chiropractor at Adjust Your Health Chiropractic & Massage Therapy to inquire about our noninvasive sciatic treatments. Combining gentle chiropractic care and massage therapy, our treatments can effectively relieve your sciatic pain so you can feel better. Be sure to ask about non-needle, electro-acupuncture treatments for sciatic pain, too. Call your Overland Park chiropractor at (913) 681-7757 to arrange for a chiropractic appointment.
Join us next time as we look at ways you can relieve and prevent sciatic pain with self-care at home in conjunction with your chiropractic treatments. Thank you for reading!
Dr. Christina 🙂