Causes, Treatments, and Common Misconceptions
Sciatica is a term thrown around when people complain of lower back pain or leg discomfort. But what exactly is sciatica, how common is it, and what does effective treatment for sciatic pain involve?
What is Sciatica?
Sciatica is not a condition itself, but a symptom that can occur due to irritation of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is a very long nerve that runs from the lower back area down the back of the legs. When it becomes irritated or compressed it can cause pain, numbness, and weakness all along its pathway. Typically, pain occurs on one side and can be made worse with standing or sitting for longer periods of time or during bending.
It is estimated that around 40% of people will experience some sort of sciatic nerve irritation at some point in their lives. It can affect both males and females of any age, but it is most common in individuals between the ages of 30 and 50. Various factors including lifestyle and degenerative changes can influence the susceptibility to sciatica.
Common Causes of Sciatica?
The most common causes of sciatica include a herniated disk, spinal stenosis (a narrowing to the spinal canal), piriformis syndrome (a small muscle in the buttocks that can irritate the sciatic nerve), trauma to the pelvic area, and spondylolisthesis (a slippage of a vertebra in the spine). Identifying the cause is important to being able to treat this symptom, which is why a proper evaluation by a professional is crucial. Our doctors at Chiropractic Health and Wellness perform a thorough examination and testing to determine the underlying cause of your symptoms and can help explain the best treatment for you.
Treatment involves treating the underlying cause. With many of the known causes being musculoskeletal in nature, chiropractic care is a great treatment option. With proper analysis of your spine, movement, and muscle testing, our doctors at Chiropractic Health and Wellness are equipped to not only help you identify the cause of your sciatica but also to help you resolve these symptoms and improve your quality of life. Schedule an appointment with our clinic today!