Sciatica Symptoms and Treatment
Noone likes being in pain, especially if it’s the sort that limits your movement or ability to perform everyday tasks. Sciatica is one type of pain which can make it more difficult to move around or complete daily tasks without discomfort – but there are things that can be done to help. Here we’ll explore some of the causes behind sciatica, symptoms, and how chiropractic treatment can help.
What is sciatica?
Sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve, which runs from your lower back to your feet, is irritated or compressed. If you have sciatica you’ll usually feel the sensation in your bottom, the backs of your legs, and/or your feet and toes. If you’re experiencing pain in your back only, it probably isn’t sciatica.
Symptoms of sciatica
Symptoms of sciatica can vary, but you’ll usually experience one, or a combination of the following, in your bottom, backs of legs, feet or toes:
- A stabbing, burning or shooting pain
- A tingling sensation, similar to pins and needles
- A weak feeling
- You may also experience back pain, although it’s usually less severe than the pain in other areas.
How long does sciatica last?
Sciatica usually gets better in around four to six weeks, although symptoms can last longer. There are some things you can do to ease the pain and help speed up recovery, such as:
- Regular sciatica exercises (ask your GP or a professional like a chiropractor to point you in the right direction)
- Carrying on with your normal activities as much as possible
- Apply heat packs to painful areas
- Placing a firm cushion between your knees if you sleep on your side, or several firm pillows underneath your knees when lying on your back.
What causes sciatica to flare up?
Sciatica flares up when something presses or rubs on the sciatic nerve. This can be caused by several things, including:
- A slipped disc – this is when the soft cushion of tissue between the bones in your spine gets pushed out.
- Prolonged bad posture
- Spinal stenosis – this is the narrowing of the spaces between your spine where the nerve passes through.
- A back injury
Should I see a chiropractor for sciatica treatment?
You don’t have to suffer with the symptoms of sciatica – chiropractic treatment can help! A visit to a chiropractor can pinpoint the source of your pain, as well as providing a bespoke treatment plan covering how to untrap sciatic nerves and get you moving again.
How does a chiropractor treat sciatica?
Your treatment will usually begin with a full chiropractic analysis that examines your spine, posture and any painful areas to identify where the problem lies. Your chiropractor may also take some x-rays to determine whether a spinal problem is causing your sciatica symptoms.
Treatment often involves a combination of chiropractic adjustments, joint manipulation and soft tissue massage. Your chiropractor may also give you some specific exercises to perform at home. Chiropractic care is great for sciatica, as it addresses the root cause of the problem, rather than just treating the symptoms. That said, you can still expect to find relief from the pain and mobility issues caused by sciatica!
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