Do you have pain from your lower back through your hips and down you leg? You could be experiencing sciatica nerve pain, which is pain that radiates along the sciatic nerve. This typically only affects one side of the body.
This pain can be severe and greatly affect your quality of life. However, most cases of sciatica can be fixed with non-operative treatments (without surgery), such as chiropractic care.
Symptoms of Sciatica Pain
You may experience anything from a mild ache to excruciating pain. It can be dull, sharp, toothache like, or pins and needles. You may even experience burning, numbness or a tingling sensation. Symptoms of sciatica vary and can be different from person to person.
These symptoms are caused by the compression of the sciatic nerve. This can be caused by misaligned vertebrae, herniated or bulging discs, pregnancy and childbirth, tumors,and other non-spinal disorders such as diabetes, constipation, or even sitting on your wallet or phone in your back pocket. If you have a job that involves a lot of heavy lifting or twisting or even sitting for long periods of time, this could be contributing to you sciatica pain. Obesity also puts increasing strain on your spine which can cause changes to you spine that can lead to sciatica pain.
No matter what symptoms you are experiencing, you can get relief! Most treatment plans for sciatica are non-invasive, meaning you won’t need surgery.
Treatments for Sciatic Nerve Pain
Chiropractic care is a great first step in seeking treatment and relief from sciatic nerve pain. Due to the fact that there are so many different causes of sciatic pain, your chiropractor will give you a thorough evaluation. This will include your medical history, as well as a physical evaluation. You may also need further testing such as an MRI or CT scan. These tests are to ensure that chiropractic care is the correct route to go for your treatment.
Your chiropractor will use several different treatments depending on the cause of your sciatic pain. Your treatment plan may include cold/heat therapy, electrical muscle stimulation, and spinal adjustments.
Cold therapy will help to reduce any inflammation and can be done in the comfort of your own home. Just grab an ice pack, put a movie on, and relax while you have the ice on the area of injury. You typically want to apply ice for about 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off. This may reduce inflammation you have in the affected area.
When using electrical muscle stimulation, your chiropractor will put electrodes on the area(s) of concern and send tiny electrical pulses to that area. EMS promotes the release of endorphins, which are natural painkillers produced by the body. This helps to naturally ease pain.
There are many different stretches you can do to help your sciatica pain.
Lying on your back with a small cushion under your head. Bend your knees and keep your feet straight, about hip width apart. Make sure your upper body is relaxed. Next, you want to bend one knee towards your chest, holding it with both hands. Hold this for 20 to 30 seconds. Try this 3 times on each leg, while alternating between them. Remember, don’t stretch farther than feels comfortable.
In the same starting position, you want to bend one knee up towards your chest. Hold the back of your thigh (upper leg) with both hands. Slowly straighten your knee, holding for 20 to 30 seconds. Bend the knee and return to the starting postion.
Lying on your stomach, rest your forearms with your elbows bent at your side. Keep your neck straight and look at the floor. While keeping your neck straight, arch your back by pushing down on your hands. Hold for about 5 to 10 seconds. Repeating 8 to 10 times.
Remember, if you are experiencing Sciatica pain, you should seek treatment. Come see us at Gilbert Chiropractic in Cocoa Beach, Florida and start control of your pain!