You know that stubborn pain in your upper leg and lower back that acts up after you tweak your back during spring cleaning? We do too! It is called sciatic pain, or sciatica, and it doesn't have to keep you down!
What is Sciatica?
Sciatic pain is one of the most common forms of nerve pain that we see at Sioux Falls Chiropractic. Studies have shown that 15 to 40% of people will experience sciatic pain at some point in their lives; most commonly between the ages of 25 and 45.
The sciatic nerve is actually the longest and widest nerve in the body. It travels from your lower back all the way to the soles of your feet. If you don't deal with your sciatic pain and the underlying causes, you can occasionally end up with nerve damage, persistent leg weakness, and even bladder and bowel dysfunction. It isn't something you want to ignore, especially when it is highly treatable!
Sciatica is often caused by a herniated disc or bone spur, but certain other conditions of the spine can also cause sciatic pain. Your chiropractor at Sioux Falls Chiropractic can do a full exam to help determine the cause of your pain. Chiropractic care is one of the most reliable ways to get relief, especially if you come in when you first begin to experience pain.
Here are some hallmarks of sciatic nerve pain so that you can recognize it and deal with it quickly!
- Constant pain in one side of your buttock (rarely in both sides).
- Pain radiating from the lower back down one leg.
- Feeling of shooting pain in the leg or foot.
- Weakness in your leg or foot.
- Pain in your toes.
- Pain improves when lying down or walking.
- Pain gets worse when sitting or standing.
- Pain occasionally increases when you cough, sneeze, or move suddenly.
The first step in your sciatica treatment plan will be for your chiropractor to determine the cause of your pain. This allows your doctor to choose a treatment plan that addresses your specific condition and triggers. Here are several treatment components we regularly use to treat sciatica at Sioux Falls Chiropractic.
One of the best defenses is a good offense, right? Well at Sioux Falls Chiropractic we consider regular adjustments one of the best things you can do to maintain the health of your spine. Regular adjustments also help you manage symptoms like sciatica.
Ice and/or Heat Therapy
Ice or heat packs can help relieve leg pain, particularly in its early stages. However, we recommend that you wait to treat pain with heat until you talk to your chiropractor. Heat is a great way to promote blood flow, but if you are dealing with sciatic pain from inflammation, it can make things worse. So always consult your doctor of chiropractic first.
Deep Tissue Techniques
Your chiropractor may use soft tissue techniques to reduce your healing time by helping improve your circulation. We love deep tissue techniques at Sioux Falls Chiropractic and our patients do too!
Depending on the cause of your sciatic pain, your chiropractor will most likely recommend a personalized set of rehabilitative exercises. These stretches and strength training exercises help to strengthen muscles that are contributing to your pain.
Electrical Nerve Stimulation
Don't worry, it isn't scary! For some of our patients, light electrical stimulation helps to decrease muscle spasms and help their sciatic pain heal more quickly. In fact, electrical nerve stimulation ends up being a patient favorite.
Sciatica is highly treatable. In fact, with proper chiropractic care 90 percent of sciatica cases resolve within three months. If you're in Sioux Falls, sciatica doesn't have to keep you down! Just call and make an appointment at Sioux Falls Chiropractic. We would love to help you get relief so you can live your life well!
You may also want to try these stretches. Click below to view our free video stretches!