Sciatica, medically defined as a set of symptoms rather than a single disorder, is commonly characterized by pain in the lower back and buttocks. This pain can radiate down one or both legs to the thigh, calf, ankle and foot. True sciatica occurs when pain begins to travel below the knee.
Sciatic pain frequently results when the nerve roots surrounding the spinal column are compressed or when pressure has caused the impingement of the spinal roots of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve systems are found in in the sacral regions of the back and the lumbar spine. Sciatic pain or sciatica could be identified as sharp, dull, burning, tingly, numb, constant, or intermittent and usually affects only one side of the body. It may radiate throughout the whole length of the nerve, in certain cases, all the way to the toes.
Sciatic pain is usually the result of a herniated disc, spinal stenosis, or in exceptionally rare instances, infection or tumour. The cause of your pain determines your treatment options to relieve sciatica.
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Sciatica Treatment Options
Several of the most popular sciatica treatment options include: alternative treatments, such as acupuncture, chiropractic care, drugs, physical therapy, and surgical interventions.
Once a qualified and experienced healthcare professional has diagnosed you with symptoms of sciatica, many individuals with prevalent lower back pain are prescribed bed rest as a way to offer relief for aching bones and joints. Current research, however, has implied that bed rest alone cannot offer relief for those suffering from nerve pain due to sciatica.
Remaining active might be more beneficial for people who suffer with back pain. Not to say that you should be running marathons! Action means being mobile and active for periods of time which aren’t enough to cause additional pain and/or to aggravate other symptoms of sciatica. Specific exercises may be recommended by your healthcare professional or some may simply suggest walking.
Sciatica Pain Relief
Pain is best treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) such as ibuprofen or codeine (in acute cases).
In some instances, a cortisone-like drug may be injected to the epidural space enclosing the spinal column. This process is similar to the epidural used during childbirth, and it’s called an epidural steroid injection. A class of this sort of treatment may offer temporary relief, but it does not address the source of the issue.
Surgery for Sciatica Symptoms
Some patients with sciatica may discover significant relief from surgery. In the case of herniated discs, a surgical procedure called a laminectomy may be performed. In this process, a percentage of the posterior arch is removed to relieve pressure on pinched nerve tissues.
In cases of spinal stenosis, the part of bone that is putting pressure on the sciatic nerve system may be removed.
Operation is not for everyone. Nonetheless, for people who have shown no sign of improvement in 4 to 6 weeks and who have had CT scans (computed tomography) or MRI that show a herniated disc or spinal stenosis, surgery may offer considerable relief.
The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic and spinal injuries and conditions. To discuss options on the subject matter, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 .
By Dr. Alex Jimenez
Additional Topics: Chiropractic and Sciatica
Sciatica is a common group of symptoms reported by a majority of the population alongside symptoms of back and low back pain. Sciatica, or sciatic nerve pain, is frequently the result of compression or impingement of the sciatic nerve and its nerve roots, generally from a spinal misalignment or subluxation. Chiropractic care is a safe and effective form of alternative treatment utilized to restore the natural alignment of the spine, ultimately reducing the pressure being placed against the sciatic nerve and relieving symptoms of sciatica.
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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN* CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
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