The sciatic nerve is the longest (and widest) nerve in your body – traveling from your lower back, through your glutes, and down the back of each leg. It controls the muscles in the lower part of your leg and is the source of sensation to the thighs, legs, and even the soles of your feet. In other words, it’s a big deal. So when pain starts to arise in the areas around this nerve, it shouldn’t be ignored.
What is sciatica?
A nagging pain running down the lower half of one side of your body. A burning sensation in your backside after prolonged sitting that ends up lingering for days. A slight tingle in the back of your leg that you just decided to get used to. These could all be signs pointing to sciatica. In some advanced cases, it’s not uncommon to experience numbness or muscle weakness in your leg or foot.
You’ll be able to easily distinguish sciatica from other issues because it typically only affects one leg at a time. Very rarely will you experience sciatic nerve pain in both legs simultaneously. Not only that, but it will start off slowly, and perhaps slightly more dull, only to gradually intensify over time.
What causes sciatic nerve pain?
Sciatica usually begins to occur between the ages of 30 and 50, and usually isn’t attributed to the result of an injury, but rather the result of general wear and tear on your body. Specifically, the structures of your lower spine.
Let’s make it clear: sciatica is not a diagnosis. It is simply a name for the set of symptoms related to an underlying medical condition. These conditions can include a trapped or pinched nerve (most common), herniated disc, piriformis syndrome, or trigger point referral. Even non-spinal disorders like pregnancy and diabetes can be triggers.
Sciatica isn’t always preventable, but there are some simple steps you can take to improve your spine’s health and protect yourself from future problems. Keep your diet and weight in check, exercise regularly, stop with the slouching, remember good body mechanics when lifting – the common sense suggestions that often get overlooked. They can make a world of difference.
If your day-to-day function is impeded by annoying sciatic nerve pain, or you’re frustrated by a chronic or recurring tingling, burning, or aching sensation, then it’s time to do something about it. Chiropractic care for sciatica is proven to relieve pain and prolong the possibility of it returning.
With non-invasive and drug-free treatments like adjustments, massages, stretches, cryotherapy, and ultrasound, the spine experts at Harper Wellness & Rehab will effectively decrease the pain associated with your sciatic nerve. Call or click to schedule your appointment today!