Dealing With Sciatica Nerve Pain
When first described, people tend to think sciatic pain involves some kind of obscure health issue. Instead, the sciatica nerve connects millions of leg nerve endings to the spine. The specific nerve branch goes from the spinal cord down the back of either leg, and it will flare with significant pain sensations if the nerve has hard pressure put on it or it gets injured somehow. In 9 out of 10 cases a sciatica patient recovers and has no lasting issue. Our staff at Anderson Chiropractic can diagnose and treat sciatica.
Nailing Down the Sciatic Nerve Pain Source
The exact area most prone to the sciatica condition is the lower back to the leg at the hip and buttock point of connection. In some cases, the pain disables just one leg, but in other cases, it can be painful to sit, suddenly use the diaphragm such as sharp breathing or sneezing, or when stretching.
Pregnant women are frequent sufferers from sciatica mainly because the unborn child's weight tends to put temporary pressure on the nerve. This can cause the leg to suddenly go weak with a shooting pain, causing a falling safety issue for the pregnant mother when walking.
Bulging or herniated discs in the spine’s cushioning system can also trigger sciatica as the disc material puts pressure on the adjacent nerve channel. As one ages, the spine’s discs grow weaker, and bulging side-effects tend to be more common, especially if the patient has been involved in strenuous activity or exertion. Additionally, wear and tear on the spinal column itself can create pinch points in the canal nerves run through, and the vertebral bones can also trigger sciatica as a result. This condition, known as spinal stenosis, tends to be common in older patients over 60. Cancer tumors can also be the culprit of pressure points as the tumor material grows and starts cramping the nerve nearby. Men’s wallets, often kept in the back pocket even when sitting, can be an unexpected cause of sciatica. The wallet creates an uneven pressure on one side of the buttock, which can pinch the nerve after a long period of sitting this way. The surrounding muscle begins to cramp and tightens right onto the nerve.
How Sciatic Pain is Addressed
A doctor’s review tends to focus on what a patient was doing right before the pain started to be noticed. Then the patient will be asked to try to move certain ways to measure the extent of the pain versus motion. Further tests could include a physical examination to look for signs of localized swelling or an MRI to locate any pinch points occurring on the nerve path of the sciatica. Alternatively, an x-ray might be used to determine bone issues if the pain is severe. Most patients then are prescribed a treatment of alternative heat and ice pressure to make any swelling reduce and increase circulation to the area. Stretching and exercise motion will be advised as well to increase core strength and loosen muscles in the area. In severe cases with a herniated disc, surgery might be the needed option, but a doctor will need to confirm this.
If you're in the McMurray region and suffering from an inflamed sciatic nerve, a chiropractor can help as well. Anderson Chiropractic regularly deals with sciatica nerve pain using stretching and spinal alignment to address the problem. It can be a very effective approach, us at 724-941-5805 to schedule an appointment today!