You may have heard the term "sciatica" countless times in the past without giving it much thought or even knowing what it meant -- but when you experience leg pain and other debilitating symptoms, you need to understand what is happening to you and have it treated effectively. Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about sciatica from our chiropractic team at Lifetime Health and Wellness.
- What is sciatica? Sciatica specifically refers to irritating impingement of the major nerve roots that connect the sciatic nerve to the spinal cord. The sciatic nerve is your body's largest nerve, serving as the primary conduit for all the nerve signals that travel back and forth between the spinal cord and the buttock, leg, and foot. When this flow of information gets cut off, serious impairment and discomfort may occur in any of these structures.
- What causes sciatica? In many cases, age-related spinal degeneration is to blame for sciatica, which may explain why it usually makes its first appearance after the age of 30. As your discs lose some of their height and your spinal configuration changes, discs or other structures can push against the sciatic nerve roots. This problem can also result from an acute injury that suddenly throws your spine out of alignment and/or produces herniated discs. Even pregnancy or obesity can lead to sciatica.
- What are the symptoms of sciatica? While low back pain sometimes occurs with sciatica, the most recognizable symptoms include pain down the back of the leg, buttock or hip pain, tingling or numbness in the leg or foot, and loss of strength or motor control in the affected extremity.
- How long does sciatica last? A typical bout of sciatica may last for several weeks and then stop troubling you -- for the moment. Unfortunately, you are likely to keep experiencing future such attacks until you deal with the underlying impingement. Some people experience constant sciatica symptoms.
- How can chiropractic treatment help my sciatica? Your chiropractor at Lifetime Health and Wellness can adjust any imbalances in your vertebral alignment that are compressing sciatic nerve tissue. These adjustments can also free the nerve tissue from inflammation caused by bulging or herniated discs. We may also prescribe ice/heat therapy to reduce inflammation, corrective exercises to build your spinal support, soft tissue therapies to relieve muscle spasms, or weight loss to minimize spinal compression.
- How can I prevent sciatica? Keeping your weight under control and maintaining good muscle tone in your back can help you avoid sciatica. Periodic spinal screenings and adjustments can also help by enabling us to make any tiny corrections as needed for a lifetime of healthy posture.
Your Lifetime Health and Wellness Chiropractor Can Solve Your Sciatica Puzzle
The solution to your puzzling case of sciatica could be waiting for you right here. Call 303.423.4610 for an appointment with one of our four chiropractors!