Sciatica pain is very common, and its pain can be debilitating, making it hard to work and even sleep. The sciatic nerve is the largest and longest nerve in the body. The sciatic nerve, containing five (5) nerves, starts in the lumbar spine (lower part of the back) and runs down into the toes. Due to the length of the sciatic nerve, pain can be felt in the lower back or even in your toes.
What is Sciatica?
When there is irritation, pressure, inflammation, or pinching of the sciatic nerve or around the nerve, the pain felt is known as sciatica. Sciatica is not a disease, it is a physical problem. Sciatica can be treated successfully with chiropractic care and adjustments.
Here is a list of some ways sciatica pain can manifest itself.
- Buttock pain
- Low or Lower back pain
- Muscle weakness
- Numbness in legs or feet
- Numbness or pain in your big toe
- “Pins and Needles” sensation in your leg
- Tingling sensation running down your leg, and it can extend into your toes
Causes of Sciatica Pain
Potential causes of sciatica pain include the following:
- Disc bulge or disc herniation
- Disk degeneration
- Piriformis muscle spasm
- Pregnancy puts pressure on the nerves
- Spinal stenosis (a narrowing of the spinal canal)
- Subluxations or misalignments of the spine
- Tumor pressing on the sciatic nerve
Subluxations, or misalignments to the spine, are the most common cause of sciatica. When the vertebrae are misaligned, it can put pressure on the sciatic nerve, causing pain.
Causes of subluxation (spinal misalignment) to the lumbar spine that can produce sciatic pain.
- Lifting an object incorrectly
- Muscle strain and its inflammation
- Playing sports
- Poor posture (both sitting and standing)
- Pregnancy (the physical changes the body goes through can put a lot of pressure on the lumbar spine)
- Slip and fall
Often individuals take painkillers or wait to see if sciatica pain will go away. However, this is not advisable for various reasons.
- Pain medications mask the problem and do not correct it.
- When your spine is misaligned, it needs to be restored to its proper position so your nervous system can function optimally.
- If your sciatic pain is not corrected, you will continue to experience sciatica pain. Often it will appear to come and go, but that is because only 10% of your nervous system can feel pain. I’m sure you have heard people say “their sciatica is acting up again.” This is because the cause of their sciatica was never corrected.
- Subluxations left uncorrected will lead to spinal degeneration diseases, such as osteoarthritis, disc degeneration, disc bulges, protrusions, or a herniated disc.
- Sciatica can cause other physical problems due to pressure on the nervous system. Sciatica can lead to constipation, edema (swelling in the legs or feet), erectile dysfunction, incontinence, menstrual problems, urinary problems, and more.
Chiropractic care is the recommended first course of action in treating sciatica pain. At Summit Spine and Wellness, we will work to determine the underlying cause of your sciatica pain and correct it. Subluxations to the spine, the number one cause of sciatica, is easily treated through chiropractic adjustments, which gently correct the alignment of your spine. Once your spine is correctly adjusted, the pressure on the sciatic nerve is relieved, allowing your nervous system to function better and alleviate your pain.
Sciatica is a problem we treat patients for every day. When you come to Summit Spine and Wellness to have your sciatica treated, the first thing we will do is determine the underlying cause of your sciatica. Determining the cause of your sciatica can involve exams including chiropractic, orthopedic, neurological, physical exams, and x-rays as needed. We will develop a treatment program specifically for you that may include adjustments, treatment for soft tissue injuries, specific exercises, and more.
The doctors and our team at Summit Spine and Wellness have been treating patients dealing with sciatica, finding and correcting the underlying cause, and alleviating their pain for years. Call (215) 487-2500 for more information, or schedulue your first appointment online. If you or someone you know is dealing with sciatica pain, please recommend this article on sciatica to them.