Sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve in your lower back is irritated and/or inflamed. This condition can be quite painful and even debilitating if left untreated.
Sciatica Q & A
Central Park West Wellness
What is sciatica?
Sciatica is a common condition that occurs when abnormalities in your spine put pressure on your sciatic nerve, which is a nerve that runs from the lower back through your hips and down each of your legs. In most cases, symptoms will appear on one leg at a time, but some patients may have symptoms in both legs.
The pain you experience when you have sciatica ranges from mild to debilitating. You may also experience tingling, numbness, or weakness in the affected leg. Symptoms tend to get worse if you sit for a long time or if you cough or sneeze.
What causes sciatica?
In most cases, sciatica develops when a bone or disc in the spine isn’t in its normal position. Instead, it puts pressure on the sciatic nerve, which leads to pain and other symptoms. For example, if you have a bulging or herniated disc, you may develop sciatica. Sciatica symptoms may also occur when you have alignment issues in your lower back.
How does conventional medicine treat this problem?
Conventional treatments for sciatica usually include oral medications or injections to mask symptoms. In some cases, conventional doctors may also recommend surgery to remove the bone or disc material that puts pressure on the nerve. However, none of these treatments improve your disc structure or correct the problems with your spine.
How can chiropractic care help?
Chiropractic care for sciatica focuses on removing pressure from the area and making it more malleable. Chiropractic procedures also improve the alignment of your spine and strengthen the muscles in the area, so that you won’t experience as many problems in the future.
When you come to Central Park West Wellness with sciatica, your chiropractor begins by evaluating your spine thoroughly. Next, he develops a customized treatment plan designed to address specific problems and relieve your pain. Although some treatments require a visit to the clinic, you perform others on your own at home. In addition, your chiropractor teaches you how to maintain the strength and integrity of your spine so you won’t develop the same problem again in the future.
Leg Pain and Sciatica
The word sciatica describes the symptoms of leg pain, and possibly tingling, numbness or weakness that travels from the low back through the buttock and down the large sciatic nerve in the leg. For some, sciatica can be severe and debilitating. Clinical diagnosis of sciatica is referred to as a “radiculopathy,” which means simply that a disc or spinal bone has protruded from its normal position in the spine and is putting pressure on the nerve root in the lower back, which forms part of the sciatic nerve. Medications will not correct the aberrant spine, nor disc structure. Only procedures to make the compressed area more malleable, coupled with spine and disc rehabilitation protocols, and then spine and muscle strengthening, will correct this type of debilitating pain as well as prevent its recurrence. We often achieve excellent results in helping patients with sciatic pain.