Your sciatic nerve is the largest and longest nerve in your body. Rooted in your lower spine, it runs through each side of your hip and all the way down each leg, giving you the ability to feel and control your lower body. If sciatic nerve pain, or sciatica, has stopped you in your tracks, Michael R. Lodes, DC, and the top-notch team at Lodes Chiropractic Center can help you find natural, long-lasting relief. To learn more, call their Wilmington, Delaware office or book an appointment online today.
Sciatica Q & A
What causes sciatica?
Sciatica occurs when something compresses or irritates the sciatic nerve where it’s rooted to your spine. While it often begins as general lower back pain or discomfort, it can easily progress into a more severe, disabling type of pain that radiates down one of your legs, reaching as far as your calf. The most common causes of sciatica are:
Spinal disc problems
When an intervertebral disc in your lumbar (lower) spine bulges or herniates, it can put intense pressure on your sciatic nerve.
This age-related narrowing of the spinal canal in your lumbar spine can push on your sciatic nerve and cause chronic pain.
Spinal compression or misalignment
When the bones in your lower spine are slightly compressed or out of alignment, either due to poor posture or trauma, they can crowd and impinge on the sciatic nerve root.
Situated directly over your sciatic nerve, your piriformis muscle increases pressure on the nerve root when it becomes too tight or spasms.
Any injury along the nerve’s path, such as a broken pelvis, can produce sciatica.
What are the symptoms of sciatica?
The most common symptom of sciatica is pain that starts in your lower back and extends down into your buttock, through the back of your thigh; it may also travel down your calf and into your foot. It usually affects just one side of your body.
Sciatica may produce a mild burning sensation or a sharp, electric-like jolt. While it’s possible to feel this pain at an isolated point along the path of the nerve, you’re more likely to experience radiating pain that follows an uninterrupted path.
Sciatica usually gets worse after long stretches of sitting or standing. In severe cases, sciatic nerve pain can be triggered or aggravated by minor movements like reaching or coughing.
How does chiropractic care help sciatica?
Sciatica may begin gradually, but it usually intensifies over time. Left untreated, it may become a long-term problem or even a permanent one. Fortunately, this type of nerve pain usually responds well to a combination of noninvasive, natural treatment solutions, including targeted chiropractic care, deep tissue massage, physical therapy, and stretching exercises.
Hands-on chiropractic adjustments can take the immediate pressure off the nerve itself, while spinal decompression therapy can help create more space between the bones of your spine to give herniated or bulging discs a chance to heal properly.
If you’re ready to put sciatic nerve pain in the past, call Lodes Chiropractic Center or schedule an appointment online today.