Sciatica Pain and Chiropractic Therapy

Woman being treated for back pain

About 10% to 40% of the American population has sciatica pain. Every year doctors diagnose about three million people with this condition. Luckily, people live with this condition and survive its symptoms either through medication, exercise or physician suggestions. In many cases, it does go away on its own. If you have sciatica pain or think that you do, check out this guide that goes over everything you need to know about the condition. 

What is Sciatica Pain?

Sciatica pain is the pain that a person experiences in their lower back that radiates down to their legs. While back pain or leg pain can happen from overexertion and other factors, sciatica pain comes from the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in your body. This nerve starts at your lower back and then continues down to your hips, legs and feet on both sides of your body. Once damage, pressure or other issues hit your sciatic nerve, then the pain will come into your life, which you know as sciatica pain. 

What Causes Sciatica Pain?

There are a few reasons why a person would get sciatica pain. Normally, this pain occurs when the sciatic nerve becomes pinched or pressured by a herniated disk or a bone spur (bone overgrowth) on your vertebrae. A herniated disk occurs after years of use or an injury. When this happens, it then adds additional pressure to all the nerves surrounding it. In some cases, this can cause serious health problems, especially if you have severe pain or cannot stand or place weight on the affected area. Some people can also get sciatica pain due to an injury, pregnancy or obesity. 

What are the Symptoms of Sciatica Pain?

The most common symptom that many people experience with sciatica pain is pain that feels like a shooting or burning sensation that begins at the lower back or buttocks and travels down the front or back of your leg or thigh. This pain can range from mild stings to jolting pain. Another symptom is numbness. This numbness isn’t all over but does affect the back of your leg. An individual would feel tingling or weakness in that leg. In many cases, only one leg experiences the brunt of the pain. This affected leg will feel heavier and, in more pain, compared to the other. Once you experience one or all of these symptoms, then you must see a doctor or chiropractor immediately. 

Who is Most Likely to Have Sciatica Pain?

Anybody can have sciatica pain. While it affects the adult population the most, young teens and children can experience this, especially if they have had past injuries or underlying bone or back issues like scoliosis. Sciatica pain normally affects older individuals, people who are overweight and diabetics. Individuals who have jobs that require you to sit for long periods or ask you to carry heavy objects may also eventually experience sciatica pain. In less common cases, some pregnant women also experience this pain. As their baby grows, it affects their back and sciatic nerve. Luckily, the pain may not last long and fades after the baby arrives. 

What are Medications You Can Take?

Luckily, you do not have to suffer every day due to sciatica pain. There are many over the counter and doctor-prescribed medications you can take. Over the counter medications like acetaminophen, aspirins and NSAIDS like Advil can alleviate pain. For more severe cases, your doctor may prescribe you muscle relaxers, antidepressants for chronic pain and other pain medications depending on how much pain you are experiencing. However, we want to note that you need to follow your doctor’s orders as prescription pain medications can be dangerous.

What are the Best Exercises?

If you do not want to take medication, many exercises can relieve your sciatica pain. Light exercises like walking, hiking, water aerobics and stretching are the best ways to alleviate pain. Many doctors recommend sciatica pain patients to try out yoga. Yoga poses that can reduce your pain include the reclining pigeon pose, sitting pigeon pose, forward pigeon pose, knee to the opposite shoulder, sitting spinal stretch, standing hamstring stretch and cat-cow pose. Before venturing into these exercises, consult your doctor. 

Does Going to a Chiropractor Help?

Another pain reliever that many sciatica nerve patients try out is visiting a chiropractor. Chiropractors have specific treatments for individuals that experience this pain. Your physician may try ice/cold therapy to help reduce inflammation around your sciatic nerve. They may also try an ultrasound treatment that sends sound waves deep into the muscles and tissues surrounding your sciatic nerve to reduce or alleviate cramps, spasms and other issues. The most common treatment many chiropractors perform on sciatica pain is spinal adjustments. This procedure is where your physician frees restricted movement and helps restore misaligned vertebrates. 

You do not have to suffer from sciatica pain. There are many treatments that you can undergo to relieve your pain. Apps Chiropractic and Wellness Center is here to help you. Schedule your appointment today to get rid of your sciatica pain.