Everything You Need to Know About Sciatica
Sciatica is a feeling of pain, numbness, or tingling in the legs. Even though you feel the symptoms in your legs, the underlying cause of sciatica is pinching or irritation of the sciatic nerve, the nerve that connects your legs to your brain.
What Causes Sciatica
Misaligned or displaced vertebrae in the neck or back are the most common causes sciatica. This is usually the result of an acute injury to the back or neck. Whiplash from a car accident is the most common culprit, but sciatica can also follow sports-related injuries or even a night sleeping on an uncomfortable surface. When displaced, vertebrae apply uncomfortable pressure to the sciatic nerve, causing pain and tingling in the legs.
Pregnancy can also cause sciatica, according to Medicine Net. The rapid change in weight distribution associated with pregnancy applies unusual pressure to the spine, irritating nerve channels.
It may take a few days after an injury for symptoms of sciatica to emerge. The condition usually only affects one leg, and it may be more painful when sitting or lying down than it is when standing up. The amount of pain can vary widely from case to case. Some patients report mild aching, while others report a constant, excruciating burning sensation. In extreme cases, sciatica is associated with the inability to control the bowels
Several good treatment options are available to patients suffering from sciatica. In mild cases, rest and relaxation may be enough to abate the pain. In more severe cases, a doctor may recommend several treatments.
Following a traumatic event like a car accident, muscles in the back and neck spasm and contract, pressuring the sciatic nerve. In these cases, a quick round of prescription muscle relaxants can relieve the pressure and facilitate a full recovery.
Massage and Acupuncture:
These treatments work like natural muscle relaxants, allowing doctors to keep the prescription drugs behind the counter. Studies of massage and acupuncture to relieve sciatica have generated mixed results, but the treatments are effective for some people.
In cases where sciatica results from displaced vertebrae, chiropractic treatments can relieve pressure on the nerve. The chiropractor applies pressure to the spine at specific points, allowing misaligned vertebrae to slide back into place. Chiropractic care and physical therapy treatments are often preferred because they treat the source of the problem rather than the side effects.
Sciatica is a painful condition that can impact your day-to-day life. However, it is possible to make a full and rapid recovery with the right chiropractic treatment. If you are experiencing pain and numbness in your legs, contact our chiropractor clinic in Provo, UT today.