ACT Wellness Center

What Is Sciatica, and How Can Chiropractic Help With Sciatic Nerve Pain?

Sciatica is a condition characterized by intense, radiating pain that stems from pressure placed on a critical nerve pathway through the lower half of your body. Sufferers of sciatica may have lower back pain, pain in their thigh, or tingling and numbness in their extremities as a result of this abnormal nerve condition.

Because sciatic nerve pain can result from a host of possible conditions, it is not a complete diagnosis unto itself. Medical professionals like chiropractors will have to run imaging tests, exams and other diagnostic methods in order to find the root cause of your sciatic nerve interference.

With a comprehensive care plan and follow up visits, chiropractic for sciatica can be an effective treatment that heals the proximal cause of sciatic nerve pain, potentially relieving symptoms for good.

What Causes Sciatica?

Sciatica can be a general way to describe pain along the pathway of your body’s sciatic nerves. A sciatic nerve is the largest single nerve in the human body, with about the same thickness as a lamp cord. It combines several nerves extending from the sacral part of the lower spine right next to the hips as it travels down through your legs.

We have two sciatic nerves, one for each side of our body, which travel all the way to our feet.

These nerves are responsible for sending and receiving nervous system signals for almost all of our legs’ skin as well as the backs of our thighs and a large portion of our ankles, feet and lower calves.

Because sciatic nerves travel such a long distance and are responsible for a wide range of nerve signals, any interference with these nerves or abnormalities can result in a wide range of related symptoms. Some individuals may feel intense pain radiating from their mid thigh, while others may have a generalized pain running from their calf to their foot, which can include numbness, weakness or delayed mobility.

Low back pain is an incredibly common symptom of sciatic nerve interference, or sciatica. Around 5 to 10 percent of patients reporting low back pain are estimated to have sciatica as its underlying cause.

The Effectiveness of Chiropractic for Sciatica

Sciatica is usually caused by an underlying condition related to spinal alignment or pressure placed on sciatic nerves resulting from spinal abnormalities. One research review estimates that 2.2 percent of the general population could have sciatica as a result of complications within spinal discs, or vertebrae.

Lumbar spine disc herniations, where spinal fluids and tendons place pressure on the sciatic nerve roots, is an extremely common cause of sciatic pain. Other likely issues include spinal stenosis, which is an abnormal narrowing of the spine from trauma or bone spurs, degenerative disc disease, sacroiliac joint dysfunction, spondylolisthesis, and complications from pregnancy.

Less common root causes of sciatica include spinal tumors, which can be malignant or benign, serious infections, and cauda equina syndrome, which results from serious trauma or nerve damage near the base of the spine.

Whether you have a common or rare cause behind your sciatic nerve pain, a chiropractic professional can investigate it thoroughly and develop a comprehensive care plan in response. Through strategic adjustments, a long-term care plan, and follow-up care, you can gradually tend to the underlying cause of your sciatic pain and possibly even heal it completely.

No one deserves to live with chronic pain, so if you think you may have sciatica or a related condition, then please book an appointment with a local chiropractic office in Prince William County today.