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End the Pain in Your Sciatic Nerve

Your body is filled with nerves, but one, in particular, is known to be particularly associated with pain in your lower back. The sciatic nerve is formed by 5 nerve roots in the lower spine, which extends down your legs to the soles of your feet. If this nerve is in pain, the condition is referred to as sciatica. Call us today if you’re experiencing a burning, tickling, or prickly sensation in your leg; Dr. Rozenberg can determine if it’s due to sciatica and develop an appropriate plan for sciatica treatment in Culver City, CA, chiropractic office.

What is Sciatica?

Sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerves are irritated or compressed by nearby tissue. The most common cause is a bulging or herniated disc being pushed out from its normal location. It should be noted that sciatica often results in leg pain; this leads many patients to mistakenly think that the issue originates in the legs themselves. That’s why it’s so important to get in touch with our practice as soon as possible so we can narrow down the actual source of the discomfort.

Who is at Risk for Sciatica?

One of the biggest risks of sciatica is spending a good deal of time sitting down. This might include working at your computer, driving, or lounging. However, while people with sedentary lifestyles are more likely to suffer from sciatica, even active people can develop the condition, especially if they participate in an activity that involves twisting their backs or carrying a large amount of weight. Sometimes sciatica will resolve independently in just a few weeks, but therapy plans will be required in other cases.

What are the Symptoms of Sciatica?

The sciatic nerve covers a wide area from the lower back through the buttock and down both legs. As such, if you have sciatica, you may experience symptoms in any of these areas. Since there are different causes of sciatica, how you experience the symptoms might differ from that of other patients. If you’re not sure whether your pain is related to sciatica, you can schedule an appointment with us so that we can try to narrow down the underlying issue. Below are some of the common warning signs.

Common Causes of Sciatica

When it comes to back pain, there are a lot of possible types and causes. But, if you’re specifically experiencing pain that radiates down your leg, spinal disc issues could be the root cause. This type of pain is commonly referred to as sciatica and can be brought on by numerous underlying problems. Below, we describe some of the possible causes of sciatica.

  • Disc Herniation: A herniated disc occurs when the gel-like center of a disc breaks through the outer casing and puts pressure on the sciatic nerve.
  • Degenerative Disc Disease: When the discs in the spine begin to deteriorate, the spaces between the vertebrae can get narrowed, leading to sciatic nerve compression.
  • Spinal Stenosis: This is a condition marked by the narrowing of the space around the spinal canal, leading to a compression of the sciatic nerve roots.
  • Spondylolisthesis: One of the vertebrae may slip out of place and pinch the sciatic nerve.
  • Osteoarthritis: When the cartilage around the joints breaks down, you may develop bone spurs that pressure the sciatic nerve.
  • Injury: The sciatic nerve can be damaged by a fall, car accident, or other trauma.
  • Tumors: A tumor in the lumbar spinal canal can put pressure on the sciatic nerve.

Pain in a Specific Area

The most obvious symptom of sciatica is the pain that it causes. It usually radiates from the lower spine to the buttocks and down the back of your legs. The kind of pain you experience can vary quite a bit. For some patients, it’s just a mild ache, while others suffer excruciating discomfort. Also, some people describe it as a sharp, shooting pain, while others use words such as “burning.” Sometimes sciatica causes constant pain, while it comes and goes in other cases. It can sometimes be worsened by sudden body movements, such as those you make when you sneeze. Sitting or standing for long periods can also aggravate sciatica.

Weakness

Sometimes sciatica can weaken your legs, making them tired more quickly. This is particularly noticeable if only one leg is affected by sciatica; you may have trouble using the affected leg for extended periods, even if the other one still feels fine.

Numbness

The affected leg might feel numb when the sciatic nerve is compressed or inflamed. This sensation can extend to your feet, manifesting as a complete lack of feeling or as a constant pins and needles sensation.

Lack of Movement or Inability to Walk

Sometimes the sciatic nerve is so badly affected that you cannot move your leg or foot properly. Your foot might stay limp even while you’re trying to move it. As a result of this limited movement and other sciatica symptoms, you might find that it’s much harder for you to walk, and you could fall over more frequently.

How Can Sciatica Be Treated?

Spinal decompression is generally a good way to relieve the pain associated with sciatica. By decompressing the discs pushing on the nerves, we can stop the pressure along with the pain. Other forms of treatment might be recommended depending on your case, and you might also need to undergo at-home treatments (such as certain stretching exercises). Some sciatica will go away within a few weeks, but you should take the initiative in seeking care if the pain becomes severe.

Sciatica FAQs

Do you have any questions about sciatica and how we can treat it? We’re ready to help you get the answers you need! Dr. Rozenberg is an experienced chiropractor who regularly receives questions from patients about chiropractic medicine and pain management; you can trust her to point you toward the best decisions for dealing with sciatic pain. Check below to see the answers to some of the questions we’ve often heard. Don’t be afraid to reach out if the answers you’re looking for aren’t on this page.

Does sciatica ever go away on its own?

The simple answer is yes; sometimes sciatica will eventually go away on its own, even without treatment. In many cases, the pain will resolve after about two weeks. However, you’ll still experience considerable pain, so it’s still worth seeking proper diagnosis and treatment. Furthermore, not all cases of sciatica will resolve themselves.

If sciatica lasts longer than 3 months, or if the pain worsens to the point that it gets in the way of daily functioning, it’s in your best interest to call our office immediately. Also, sometimes sciatica goes away but then comes back later, which indicates that it’s a recurring problem that definitely requires intervention.

How can I prevent sciatica from returning?

Even after sciatica has been successfully treated, recurrence is possible. You can’t always prevent the problem from coming back, but taking the proper steps can significantly lower your personal risk. Avoid sitting for long periods without a break, as this puts much pressure on the sciatic nerve and your lower back. Make sure you’re exercising regularly to keep your abdominal and back muscles as strong as possible. And if you smoke, drop the habit altogether; it can contribute to disc degeneration over time, contributing to sciatica and other back problems.

Is Sciatica Pain An Emergency?

Most of the time, while sciatica might call for intervention, it does not necessarily rise to the level of an emergency. However, if the pain becomes severe and grows worse over time, it’s in your best interest to seek care immediately. Furthermore, if sciatica has reached the point where you can no longer walk, have partially or fully lost control of your bowels, or notice severe weakness or loss of sensation in the groin and/or legs, then the problem is serious enough to be treated as an emergency.

Should I Walk With Sciatica Even If It Hurts?

Walking can actually go a long way toward helping to relieve sciatic pain. The exercise helps release endorphins that fight your pain and reduce inflammation. It’s important to ensure that you’re practicing proper walking posture, so you don’t aggravate your symptoms. Keep a slow pace with shorter steps to avoid irritating the sciatic nerve. Make sure your head and shoulders remain upright, stay focused on your breathing, and keep your stomach tucked in; these steps help engage your abdominal muscles and take some pressure off your spine.

Why Choose Spinatomy Spine & Disc Centers for Sciatica Treatment?

  • Variety of Treatments Using Advanced Technology
  • Clean, Highly Comfortable, Highly Modern Practice
  • Chiropractor and Team That Aim to Over Deliver

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