What is Sciatica and How Do You Know If You Have it?
The sciatic nerve runs from the pelvis through the hip and down the leg. This nerve has branches like a tree, which flow into your legs, thighs, and even down as far as your feet. The term sciatica is used to refer to a radiating pain that moves along this nerve path.
If you are experiencing pain and/or accompanied weakness in a single leg, numbness, tingling and feels mild to sharp like a jolt of electricity that can shoot up or down your leg you may be feeling sciatica nerve pain. It can begin slowly and gradually become more and more intolerable over time or have a sudden presentation. It may become difficult and unnerving to try and get up from a seated position as the feeling of electrified jolts can be so strong it may knock your legs out from under you causing you to feel as if you may fall. (And please do be careful, as it could happen).
The Fallacy of Sciatica
There is a misbelief out there that if you develop sciatica, you either have to just suffer through life with the pain or go to a medical doctor to get pain medication or a more invasive procedure in an attempt to just cut the pain. This simply isn’t the case. We have other options for you, please read on.
Standard Medical Sciatica Treatment
Standard medical treatment involves over the counter pain relievers, muscle relaxants, prescription pain medications and antidepressants for chronic low back pain. In some cases, steroid injections may also be recommended to be injected into the space surrounding the spinal nerve.
While all of these may offer temporary relief, they are band-aids only.
They cover and mask the symptoms so that you feel better for a time. The problem is that they wear off and more must be taken or injected. Many of these medications, especially taken over a long period of time, can lead to complications and side effects potentially causing even more health issues for the patient.
The Real Cause & Cure
It is important to uncover and correct the underlying cause in order to get full and permanent relief. That is where chiropractic can help. Sciatica is triggered by an irritation of the roots of the lower lumbar and lumbosacral spine.
Sciatica can be triggered by:
- Degenerative disc disease (lessens the cushioning discs in between vertebrae)
- Spinal stenosis (a narrowing of the spinal canal)
- Pregnancy or extensive weight gain (puts strain on the spine)
- Spondylolisthesis (one vertebrae slipping forward)
- Wearing high heels excessively
- Sedentary lifestyle with no weight bearing exercise
- Sleeping on a bad soft mattress
- Incorrect form during weight training
- Traumatic impact such as an auto accident
Regular visits to your Ponte Vedra Chiropractor can help to significantly relieve the sciatic pain. Your chiropractic physician will employ a variety and combination of techniques including stretching, deep tissue massage of the piriformis muscle as well as chiropractic adjustments to free any previously restricted spinal subluxations to get your body in the proper alignment. They may also use ice & heat therapy and ultrasound to reduce inflammation, muscle spasms, swelling, stiffness, and pain.
If you feel you may be experiencing sciatica, there is no reason to live in pain.
Here at Gordon Family Wellness, we can help. If you are in or around the Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida area we would love to see you in our office for a consultation. We are a Ponte Vedra Beach Chiropractor located at 228 Ponte Vedra Park Drive in suite 800, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082 and can be reached by calling 904-418-3937 or visiting us online at www.gordonfamilywellness.com.