You may have sciatica if you struggle with a stinging sensation or pain that radiates from your buttocks down your leg. Mild sciatica often improves with pain relievers, but if it persists, you may need medical help. If you are looking for relief from sciatica, your trusted chiropractor, nutritionist Spring Valley has your back.
When to consult your doctor about sciatica
Sciatica is the excruciating pain that originates from your gluteal area and radiates along your sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is the thickest ad longest nerve, consisting of five nerve routes. An injury to the sciatic nerve is rare, but pain that originates from your lower and travels down your leg is known as sciatica. This pain is usually due to compression, pinching, irritation, or inflammation on a nerve along your lower back. Sciatica can be mild or severe and can result in numbness and an unpleasant tingling in your leg. Many people describe the pain as a burning sensation, while others describe it as a sharp, shooting pain. The pain may worsen with sneezing, coughing, or after sitting for an extended period. Mild sciatica often improves without medical intervention. However, if self-care measures prove futile or the pain worsens over time, inform your provider. Also, seek immediate medical attention if you experience sciatica after a traffic accident.
How pregnancy increases your risk of sciatica
While it is undeniable that many women develop sciatica during pregnancy, an increase in weight is not the major cause. A better explanation would be that pregnancy hormones tend to trigger the loosening of their ligaments, which leads to an unstable spine. Over time the disks might slip, leading to pinched or compressed nerves. The baby’s position and weight can also exert pressure on the sciatic nerve, resulting in pain. Fortunately, the Greenlight Chiropractic & Wellness Lab team offers effective ways to ease sciatica pain during pregnancy. Medications, massage therapy, warm showers, or heat can relieve the pain.
Treatment for sciatica
First, your doctor will discuss your symptoms, review your health history and perform a physical exam. Your provider may require you to walk around so that they know whether your spine can carry your weight comfortably. You may also need to walk on your toes for the team to evaluate the strength of your calf muscles. Depending o the results of your physical exam, your provider may order other tests like spinal X-rays to look for disk problems, MRI or CT scans, myelogram, or nerve conduction velocity studies. After diagnosis, the team educates you about the available treatments before developing a personalized treatment plan. If you have mild sciatica, using hot packs and taking over-the-counter medications may be helpful. If these remedies don’t alleviate your discomfort, your provider may recommend physical therapy, including stretching exercises to enhance muscle flexibility and aerobic exercises. Spinal injections like corticosteroids may relieve pain and minimize swelling around your nerve roots. During the injection, you may experience a stinging or burning sensation at the injection site.
Call the Greenlight Chiropractic & Wellness Lab office or book your appointment online if sciatica interferes with your quality of life.