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What is Sciatica?

Sciatica refers to any sort of back pain caused by compression or agitation of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is actually the longest nerve in the body that runs from the back of your pelvis all the way down the back of both legs. Injury or too much pressure on this nerve can cause pain in the lower back which often spreads to the buttocks, hip, and leg.

Signs and symptoms

· Hip pain.

· Lower back pain.

· Tingling sensation along the leg.

· Extreme pain in the leg or rear when sitting.

· Feeling weak and numb when moving the leg or foot.

· Persistent pain on either side of the bum.

Common Causes of Sciatica

· Irritation of the roots of the lower lumbar and lumbosacral spine

· A vertebra will slip over another vertebra (spondylolisthesis)

· Breakdown of discs that act as cushions between the vertebrae

· Muscle spasm in the back or buttocks

Ways to treat Sciatica

Chiropractic care

Manual manipulation by a well-trained chiropractor can promote the body’s natural healing mechanism to address the underlying conditions that cause sciatic nerve pain. Basically, the spinal manipulation creates a response in the central nervous system that helps alleviate pain and restore normal mobility to the affected part. Chiropractic manipulation is highly recommended because it is noninvasive and likely the least expensive of all treatments. If you are looking for treatment visit the doctors at Back and Neck Specialists.

This treatment method usually involves finding the right exercise movements to correct your posture, strengthen the muscles that support your back, improve your overall flexibility, and reduce pressure on the nerve to decrease sciatic pain. The therapist will recommend exercise programs designed to strengthen your back, abdomen, and legs to prevent future injuries.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is an effective practice that can relieve back pain, including sciatica. The practice is geared towards achieving and maintaining a healthy flow of blood and energy via specific pathways in the body. In this treatment method, painless hair-thin needles are usually inserted into the skin near the affected area to decreases the nerve pain.

Massage

The sciatic nerve sits beneath the piriformis muscle, which is located underneath the glutes. The tightening of these muscles normally results in pinching of the sciatic nerve, which causes tingling and numbness down into the leg. Massage helps apply pressure to inflamed and irritated areas, trigger points, in the piriformis muscles, and muscles in the lower back and glutes to relieve the pain.

Steroid injections

Sometimes the doctor might recommend the specific injection of a corticosteroid medication into the injured area around the affected root. Corticosteroids are very helpful as they reduce pain simply by suppressing inflammation around the compressed or irritated nerve. However, you should keep in mind that having steroid injections too frequently can increase the risk of serious side effects. It’s therefore very important to follow the doctor’s advice.

Surgery

This is a suitable option only when the compressed or irritated nerve causes severe weakness, loss of bowel, symptoms are getting progressively worse, or the pain doesn’t improve with other therapies. The procedure involves removing the bone spur or the portion of the herniated disc which is causing pressure on the nerve.

 

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