If you’ve ever dealt with back pain, you’re well aware it’s an unpleasant experience. Sciatic nerve pain, also known as sciatica, can be much worse. What causes sciatica and how is it treated?
What is Sciatica?
Sciatica is pain in the lower back, which occurs due to the irritation of the sciatic nerve. This pain often radiates from the lower back to behind the thigh and even as far down as below the knee. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body, extending from the lower back through the buttocks and sends nerve endings down the lower limbs.
Although sciatica is often associated with lower back pain, it can be present without low back pain. Severe sciatica can make walking difficult, if not impossible. Walking and bending at the waist can aggravate the nerve, which can cause more discomfort.
What Causes Sciatica?
Most commonly, the cause of sciatic nerve pain is a lumbar disc herniation, but any cause of irritation or inflammation can cause symptoms. Sometimes, sciatica can occur during pregnancy due to irritation. There are many risk factors for sciatica including, but not limited to, degenerative arthritis of the lumbar spine, slipped disc, trauma or injury to the spine, and lumbar disc disease.
Treatments of Sciatica
There are several treatment options available to help provide relief of sciatic nerve pain.
- Spinal adjustments, by trained chiropractors, help address numerous underlying conditions that can cause sciatic nerve pain.
- Acupuncture helps relieve sciatica by opening the flow the energy through the use of hair-thin needles.
- Massage therapy increases blood flow, aids in muscle relaxation and releases endorphins, which are the body’s natural pain relievers.
Lower back pain isn’t something that you should ignore. It’s important to seek treatment at the onset of symptoms to prevent further damage to your spine. Regular chiropractic adjustments can help you keep back pain at bay while strengthening your immune system. It’s a win-win!
To your health,
Dr. Roger Sahoury