Understanding the Symptoms of Sciatica

September 7, 2012

sciatica symptomsOften misunderstood to be a diagnosis, sciatica is actually the term for a collection of symptoms, the most pronounced of which is low back pain combined with pain that extends through the buttocks and down one leg. It is one of the most common forms of low back pain and, as such, is regularly treated by our Fremont chiropractors.

Sciatica takes its name from the sciatic nerve, which branches out from the lower part of the back and stretches down the entire back of each leg as far as the foot. Deriving from a number of spinal nerves, the left and right sciatic nerves are the largest nerves in the human body. The compression or pinching of either sciatic nerve (or the nerves at the root of the spine) is the cause of sciatica, and this can occur as a result of a number of different medical conditions.

The pain that occurs with sciatica is the single most important factor in differentiating it from other kinds of low back pain. Although the pain may begin in the lower back, sciatica is also felt further down in the buttocks, the back of the thigh, the lower leg an even into the foot itself. The left and right sciatic nerves are rarely affected at the same time, so pain that occurs in only one leg is often a reliable indicator that someone has sciatica.

Sciatic pain is often described as shooting like electricity or burning like fire rather than a dull ache. A tingling or prickling feeling may also occur, often accompanied by numbness and/or weakness in the leg, just as when the leg 'goes to sleep' after you have been sitting on it for a while. A combination of pain and weakness can also be felt in the same leg. Sufferers of sciatica usually report that their pain tends to be better when they are lying down or walking and worse when standing or sitting.

The level of pain experienced in sciatica can range from moderate discomfort to severe pain, depending on the nature and severity of the underlying condition. In the worst cases, the degree of shooting pain or weakness in the leg may prevent standing and walking altogether. The frequency of symptoms may also vary from occasional through intermittent to ever present.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms then it would be wise to arrange a visit to your chiropractor. They can examine you properly to determine if you do have sciatica, what is causing it, and the appropriate treatment options for your case. Leaving a condition untreated can lead to a worsening of symptoms, so getting an early diagnosis could save you a lot of aggravation and pain.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Sciatica and Pain Relief

March 9, 2011

Sciatica is a pain that affects millions of people throughout the world. It’s one of those types of pains that shoots through your body and feels like a lightning rod. It often manifests itself around your hip area and can be constant and nagging, causing many people to lose sleep. It is not one of those types of pains that should be ignored.

The term sciatica represents a pain and inflammation of the sciatic nerve. It is one of the longest nerves in our body. The word “sciatic” comes from Latin word which means hip. The sciatic nerve because it’s so long that the pain can extend from your buttocks all the way down to your toes. In fact, this is how many people explained the pain that they feel, which often makes it difficult to diagnose the cause of the problem by a doctor.

When a patient visits a doctor to resolve their problem he/she must trace back the origin of the pain in order to treat the root of the problem. But as mentioned before the sciatic nerve branches out into many parts of the body, through one’s muscles, joints, and tissue. Tracing back the origin of the problem is a tedious and somewhat trial and error method. It is best for the patient to work with the doctor in explaining how long and how far the pain continues.

There are many reasons how sciatica comes about. For example, a person lifting something improperly could cause a misalignment in vertebrae, which then could lead to sciatic pain. In addition, many people sit in front of the computer for long periods of time in an improper position, this could also cause sciatica pain.

Chiropractors have been known to do a very good job in treating sciatica. The doctors thoroughly investigate where the pain begins and check the alignment of the vertebrae in your back. With that in mind, the doctor can trace the areas in which the pain is being propagated. Thus, the chiropractor can then present to the patient the best options to reduce sciatic pain. Exercise and manipulation are often recommended.

Relief For Sciatica Pain

May 1, 2008

Left gluteal region, showing surface markings for arteries and sciatic nerve.

The pain may come out of nowhere like a lightning bolt or manifest itself in the form of a constant, nagging ache deep within the hip area. Regardless of how it makes itself known, sciatic pain should not be ignored.

Many people often ignore the early stages of what is a serious condition by neglecting to see a chiropractor who can diagnose and treat the problem.

Sciatica is a term that refers to the painful inflammation of the sciatic nerve, the longest and largest nerve in the body. Sciatica comes from the Latin word which means “hip.” A sciatic nerve may extend from an individual’s buttocks to their toes.

The sciatic nerve forms from five nerve roots in the lower back which join together deep in the pelvis. From there, the sciatic nerve divides into many branch nerves that serve an individual’s muscles, joints, skin and other tissues in the legs and feet.

While sciatica flare-ups may or may not involve back pain, sciatica sufferers frequently have a history of lower back pain. What are some of the causes of sciatic pain? Among them:
• Improper lifting
• Cumulative spinal stress
• Sudden impact or trauma
• A previous injury
• A fall
• Lack of exercise
• Overexertion
• Poor posture
• Long periods of sitting

The spine is directly affected by the chemical, physical and emotional stress of everyday living which can result in spinal misalignments that are known as “subluxations.”

Left untreated, subluxations can cause the opening between an individual’s vertebrae to narrow and compress, irritating and stretching the sciatic nerve. Sciatica can frequently be traced to one or more misaligned vertebra.

The most common cause of sciatica is an irritation of nerve roots as they exit from the spine.
Eventually, damaged nerves can restrict joint movement which interferes with the release of lubricants to an individual’s discs.

When unhealthy discs dry out, the result is that the gel-like center begins to bulge out or herniate. The bulging or herniated disc matter can press against the sciatic nerve, resulting in additional irritation. As a result, irreversible damage may occur if the nerve interference is not removed. The consequence is that permanent damage to the musculoskeletal system may have already occurred by the time an individual begins to feel pain or numbness.

Chiropractors can identify the specific misaligned vertebrae and remove resulting nerve irritation. Once a diagnosis has been made chiropractors can use gentle and safe spinal adjustments to correct the underlying causes of sciatica. Patients frequently feel better after a few adjustments and continue care to prevent the spinal misalignment from returning. Chiropractors can recommend changes made to the work or home environment to also help prevent sciatica from returning. Just as a person takes time to take care of their teeth, they also need to take time to take care of their back. Similarly, just as a person needs a dentist to maintain healthy teeth, they need a chiropractor to maintain a healthy spine.