Manage sciatica naturally
posted: Apr. 19, 2023.
Sciatica is a condition characterized by pain, tingling, and numbness that radiates from the lower back down through the buttocks and into one or both legs. It is caused by compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve, the largest nerve in the body, and runs from the lower back down through the hips and legs.
Sciatica is a symptom of an underlying medical problem putting pressure on, or pinching, the sciatic nerve.
Frequently, sciatica stems from a herniated disk in the spine or an overgrowth of bone on the spinal column. More rarely, a tumor or a disease like diabetes can put pressure on or damage the nerve. Genuine injury to the sciatic nerve “sciatica” is rare. Still, “sciatica” is commonly used to describe pain originating in the lower back and radiating down the leg.
Symptoms of sciatica
A telltale sign of sciatica is pain that starts in your lower back and shoots down one leg, sometimes into your foot.
Some people describe the pain as sharp, shooting, or jolts. Others describe it as burning, electric, or stabbing.
The pain may be constant or may come and go and is usually more severe in the leg than in the back. You may be experiencing sciatica if:
- You have moderate to severe pain in the lower back, buttocks, and down your leg
- You have numbness or weakness in your lower back, buttock, leg, or feet
- Your pain worsens with movement and creates a loss of movement
- You have a “pins and needles” feeling in your legs, toes, or feet
- You experience a loss of bowel and bladder control in combination with these other symptoms
What causes sciatica?
There are several potential causes of sciatica, including a herniated or slipped disc, spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal), degenerative disc disease, or even pregnancy. Symptoms can range from mild to severe and may be accompanied by weakness or difficulty moving the affected leg.
About 40 percent of people in the U.S. experience sciatica sometime during their lifetime. Causes of sciatica include:
- An injury/previous injury to your lower back or spine
- Lack strong core muscles to support your lower back
- Have an active, physical job that requires heavy lifting
- Poor posture for weightlifting or other strength-based exercises
- An inactive lifestyle
How to avoid sciatica
Prevent sciatic pain using these common-sense health and wellness principles:
- Maintain good posture
- Don’t smoke
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Exercise regularly with proper posture
- Choose physical activities least likely to hurt your back
Incorporating these strategies into your daily routine reduces your risk of developing sciatica and other back-related issues. If you experience sciatica symptoms, seeking medical attention as soon as possible is essential to prevent the condition from worsening.
Easing sciatica symptoms
Most people will see improvement or a ceasing of symptoms without surgery. Many recover fully from an episode of sciatica within six weeks. These at-home treatments can help ease the symptoms of sciatica:
- Alternately applying ice and hot packs
- Gentle stretching working up to general strength exercise to increase core strength
- Drinking enough water
- Taking over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and naproxen
Options for chronic sciatica
Doctors may recommend extreme options with their risks and side effects to treat chronic or debilitating sciatica. These include prescription medication and spinal injections. But there is a better way. You can improve sciatica symptoms by addressing the cause of sciatica in the spine.
A 2015 review of multiple studies found that chiropractic care effectively treats low back pain.
Spinal manipulation is listed as a treatment option for sciatica by both the U.S. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) and the U.K.’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).
Chiropractic care can ease sciatica pain without costly and harmful side effects.
Chiropractic care can help treat sciatica, particularly in cases where the cause is related to spinal misalignments or vertebral subluxations. Chiropractors use various manual techniques to adjust the spine, reducing pressure on the affected nerve and alleviating symptoms. They may also recommend exercises or stretches to help improve flexibility and strengthen the affected area.
If you or someone you love is experiencing sciatica pain, there is no need to continue suffering. Contact True Potential Chiropractic today! (503) 574-4872.