Sciaticais a term that describes symptoms of pain that are felt in the lower back and buttocks, often radiating down the back of the leg and to the foot. Many people use the term sciatica incorrectly. Sciatica is a symptom (like itching), it is not a diagnosis (like Parkinson’s disease). Sciatica can range from an occasional nuisance to excruciating pain that makes walking near impossible. There can be multiple underlying reasons for your sciatic nerve pain. A chiropractor can help find the root cause of the problem with an exam and may also order some diagnostic imaging such as an x-ray, MRI or CT scan to examine the underlying structures.
It has several causes. An unhealthy spine with a bulging disc can irritate the sciatic nerve. This nerve runs from your spinal chord to your buttocks and hip area, then down the back of each leg, thus sciatica can also be felt as weakness, tingling, and numbness in the leg. It is more frequently found in people over the age of 30 due to subluxations and the wear and tear they cause on the lower spine that the body to experience after subluxations have been around for more than a few years.
The medical approach to sciatica is usually symptom management with pain medication, anti-inflamatories, and muscle relaxers. Sometimes relief can be found with injecting pain killers directly into the nerve roots! Surgery is also an option. Fortunately surgeons are not quick to recommend it, due to the possible complications and risks. The reality is five years after surgery, many people do not have resolution of sciatica.
Treatment and symptoms also vary from patient to patient. Because of the individualized nature of the causes of sciatica, a series of different exams and tests are typically performed to locate the cause of your pain and an individual plan for your relief developed.
In many cases the back pain you are experiencing from sciatica will improve or even go away on its own if you give it at least 3 to 9 months, however, treatment can help offer relief for your pain in less time. If you are looking for a drug free, natural approach to pain relief, consider chiropractic care. Depending on the cause of your back pain, professional advice and care could ease your discomfort and pain.