The sciatic nerve is the longest and the widest nerve in the human body. It originates in the lower spinal cord, and extends through the lower back, each hip, the buttocks and legs. This nerve connects the spinal column to the legs and feet, making it responsible for any pain or sensation to the lower extremities. Chiropractic care always aims to restore the best possible function to the spinal cord and nervous system, and helps alleviate sciatic nerve pain.
What Is Sciatica?
Irritation at the nerve’s origin on the spinal column is the most common cause of sciatic nerve pain, or sciatica. To patients, it usually feels like a sharp or burning pain down one leg and buttock, or both. Other symptoms include numbness or tingling in the hips, buttocks, and legs. In the most severe cases, a patient may experience total loss of feeling or weakness in the legs, and loss of bowel and bladder control. These can be signs there is actual nerve damage and they should seek immediate medical attention.
Why Chiropractic Care?
Sciatic nerve pain is really a symptom of a herniated disc in the spinal cord. If one slips out of place, it can pinch the nerve responsible for sensations to and from any part of the lower body. Chiropractic adjustments are key to restoring healthy function to the spinal column. A treatment plan for someone experiencing sciatica will include different therapy depending on their specific condition, but usually over a course of several weeks the patient feels improvement after a series of adjustments and a complementary therapy. Some sciatica patients can be helped by spinal decompression therapy, a treatment that uses a special moving table and gentle motion to encourage herniated discs back into their natural position gradually. Massage therapy can relax a very tight lower back if that is contributing to the pressure on the spine. When your symptoms have been treated, a chiropractor will guide you through the appropriate physical therapy.
Can I Prevent Sciatica?
Patients usually experience incredible relief when shooting sciatic nerve pain subsides. It’s easy to kick back and relax once you feel better, but continued care is important or sciatica can return. Getting regular exercise and practicing good posture are two simple things you can keep in mind to prevent sciatica. Keeping your core muscles strong supports your spinal column. Correct posture, especially when you sit for long periods of time, is essential to keep your lower back healthy and stay pain free!