Sciatica Treatment By Your Omaha Chiropractor
Sciatica is not a medical diagnosis in and of itself; it is a term that describes the symptoms of an underlying medical condition. The sciatic nerve is the largest single nerve in your body that consists of individual nerve roots that begin at your spine in the lower back, a combination that forms the sciatic nerve. Sciatic nerve pain occurs when the sciatic nerve is compressed or irritated at (or near) where the nerve begins in your lower back.
What is the Sciatic Nerve?
The sciatic nerve begins in your lower back, generally at the L3 segment of your spine. At each level of your lower spine, a nerve root extends from the inside to the outside of the spinal canal. The roots of these nerves combine to form the large sciatic nerve, which runs from your lower back through the buttock and then down the back of each of your legs. Sections of the sciatic nerve then branch out into your thigh, calf, foot and toes.
Common Causes of Sciatic
The three most common causes of sciatic nerve pain are the result of:
- Lumbar herniated disc-a herniated disc results when the soft inner material of a disc leaks out (herniates), through the outer core and then irritates or pinches the sciatic nerve root.
- Degenerative disc disease-some level of degenerative disc is often part of the natural aging process; however, a degenerated disc in the lower back may also cause irritation to a nerve root, which causes sciatica.
- Isthmic spondylolisthesis-this condition occurs when there is a small stress fracture that allows one vertebral body to slip forward onto another vertebra. The collapse of the disc space, the fracture and the slipping of the vertebra cause the nerve to get pinched and causing sciatica.
Symptoms of Sciatica Nerve Pain
Sciatica nerve pain can vary from casually and irritating to continuous and debilitating. The symptoms are generally based on the location of the pinched nerve. Sciatica is generally characterized by one of more of the following symptoms:
- Leg pain that is generally described as tingling, burning or stabbing
- Pain that worsens while sitting, especially lower back pain
- Numbness, weakness or difficulty moving your foot, leg and/or toes
- Pain that radiates down your leg, sometimes pain that travels down the leg and into your foot and toes
- Continuous leg pain and/or buttock pain on only one side
- A sharp pain that makes it difficult to walk or stand up
Omaha Chiropractor Nonsurgical Treatment for Sciatica
The good news is a visit to your Omaha chiropractor can help to relieve your lower back pain and leg pain that is caused by sciatica. Your chiropractor will recommend a variety of treatment options that may include:
- Heat and cold therapy
- Over-the-counter pain medications, such as ibuprofen
- Epidural steroid injections
- Chiropractic/manual manipulation
- Massage therapy
- Mild exercise
The good news is that for most people, sciatica generally gets better on its own and your healing process will typically only take a few days or weeks. For many people, sciatica nerve pain will subside within a 6-12 week time span when you follow a program recommended by your chiropractor in Omaha. It is important to do an ergonomic assessment of your workplace, which will be helpful in improving your posture, resulting in less spine problems that may ultimately result in sciatic nerve pain.
To learn more about how chiropractic care can help ease your sciatic nerve pain, lower back pain and/or leg pain, contact Faimon Chiropractic.