A surprisingly large number of people are either misinformed or unaware of the range of symptoms that characterize sciatica. Plenty of myths abounds concerning its causes and ways of managing it which haven’t helped the situation. Here’s everything you need to know about sciatica, from the experts at Advanced Back & Neck.
What is Sciatica?
Sciatica refers to any form of pain that’s caused by the compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve. Sciatica pain is mainly felt in the legs and buttocks. While the pain might go away within some weeks in some people, it can last for more than one year in others. You should seek immediate medical attention when the symptoms are persistent, severe, or getting worse with time. Depending on your symptoms, your GP will diagnose the condition and recommend appropriate treatment.
Causes of Sciatica
When discussing sciatica, it’s important to understand all the underlying medical causes clearly. This is because effective treatment focuses on addressing the primary causes of the pain together with alleviating acute symptoms.
Here are the top six lower back problems that are normally sighted as the common causes of sciatica:
- Lumbar Herniated Disc: It occurs when your disc’s soft inner material herniates or leaks out.
- Degenerative Disc Disease: This happens when discs in your lower back degenerate or irritate the nerve root.
- Lumbar Spinal Stenosis: It causes the narrowing of your spinal canal.
- Isthmic Spondylolisthesis: The condition happens when a small stress fracture allows a single vertebral body to slide forward on another.
- Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction: The Sacroiliac joint dysfunction happens when there’s irritation of your sacroiliac joint that’s normally located right at the bottom of your spine.
- Piriformis Syndrome: This condition takes place when the piriformis muscle irritates.
Common Sciatica Symptoms
Sciatica signs and symptoms differ based on where the nerve is affected. To some people, the pain can be highly excruciating. To others, the symptoms might be irritating and infrequent but with the potential of worsening. Symptoms that characterize sciatica include:
- An intense pain that makes it difficult to walk or stand up
- Numbness, weakness or difficulty in moving your toes, foot and leg
- Pain that revolves around your leg and possibly to your toes and foot
- Constant pain in one side of your leg or buttock
- Weakness in your calf muscles
The treatment of sciatica usually focuses on addressing both the symptoms as well as the underlying causes of pain. In most cases, a combination of a structured exercise program and non-surgical treatments might be necessary to relieve pain. These include massage therapy and muscle relaxants.
- Non-Surgical Sciatica Treatments: The main goal of these treatments is to relieve not only pain but also all neurological symptoms caused by the compression of a nerve root.
- Other forms of treatment include manual manipulation, acupuncture, massage therapy, and cognitive behavior therapy.
- Massage therapy alleviates sciatic pain by loosening the tight lower back muscles that put stress on the nerve roots. It also helps prevent irritation or pinching.
- Massage therapy encourages the release of endorphins that fight pain.
- Prescription muscle relaxants to ease muscle spasms.
Advanced Back & Neck Can Help with Sciatica
Are you in need of massage or chiropractic services in Chandler, AZ? Have you been looking for the best providers of physical therapy and pain management services? If yes, the look no further than Advanced Back & Neck. As a patient, you’re guaranteed of the highest quality care. The staff at Advanced Back & Neck utilizes modern chiropractic technology and equipment. Call Advanced Back & Neck today at 480-814-7115, or contact us online to receive the relief and treatment you deserve.