Sciatica is a common condition that affects up to 40 percent of people at one point during their lifetime. Sciatica is a condition that results in pain stemming from the sciatic nerve, often caused by spinal compression.

As the largest nerve in the body, the sciatic nerve starts in the lower back and splits above the hips to travel down both sides of the buttocks and legs. At roughly the same width and depth of your pinky finger, the sciatic nerve is a mixed-function nerve — meaning that it is responsible for both sensory and motor function.

Individuals living with sciatica normally only feel symptoms on one side of their body. The pain associated with the condition can range in severity from a mild ache to constant stabbing pains. Even when sciatica cases are more severe it is often treatable without invasive care or prescription medication. Because of this, seeing a chiropractor remains one of the best options for addressing the condition.

chiropractic sciatica care 101

Symptoms

Individuals living with sciatica may only experience symptoms for a few days before the issue resolves itself. However, many cases of sciatica are more long-standing and impact the quality of life for many. If you are experiencing a combination of these symptoms, checking in with your chiropractic can be a good first step.

  • Lower back pain that radiates into the leg(s)
  • Hip pain
  • Numbness in legs/feet
  • Tingling in legs/feet
  • Weakness in legs
  • Bowel or bladder incontinence

What Causes Sciatica?

Sciatica is the result of the root sciatic nerve fibers being compressed or pinched by the spine or surrounding muscles. When muscles become overused or underused, their fibers can contract and create trigger points that cause nerve inflammation. However, the majority of cases still stem from unhealthy spinal pressure.

Common spinal misalignment issues that relate to sciatica include:

  • Spinal Stenosis – The narrowing of the spinal column.
  • Degenerative Disc Disease- the deterioration of the spinal discs, possibly leading to a herniated (bulging) disc
  • Spondylolisthesis – The misalignment of one vertebra in front of the other.

All these possible causes create negative pressure on the sciatic nerve and translate into a varying degree of inflammation.

Risk factors for the condition include:

  • Age – Individuals between the ages of 30 and 50 are the most likely to develop the condition.
  • Obesity – Large weight gains cause the spine to become compressed, and harm other parts of the body like the sciatic nerve.
  • Occupation – Jobs that consist of heavy lifting and constant twisting/turning motions are prone to sciatica.
  • Sedentary Lifestyle – Sitting for extended periods of time increases chances, along with a lack of physical exercise.
  • Pregnancy – Due to a growing baby and expanding uterus, extensive pressure can be placed on the sciatic nerve. Many women suffer from lower back pain as they progress further in their pregnancy, with sciatica sometimes being the cause.
  • Diabetes – The disease can cause damage surrounding the kidneys, including the sciatic nerve.

How A Chiropractor Can Help With Sciatica

Chiropractic care works to treat sciatica at the source, and not simply seeking to minimize symptoms, but treat for long-term sciatic nerve pain relief. By looking to properly realign the spine and reduce compression along the sciatic nerve, patients should not only see improvements in their pain but also have a lasting solution for the condition.

Here at Reinhardt Chiropractic, we know not all cases of sciatica are the same. Therefore, we offer a variety of treatment options to best fit a patient’s symptoms and comfort level. Common ways we help our patients restore proper nerve function could include hot/cold therapy, back stretches, targeted exercises, as well as lifestyle adjustments such as diet or sitting posture.

Soon after leaving our clinic, you should see improvements in:

  • Lower back and leg pain
  • Leg strength
  • Reduced numbness

Ways we treat sciatica include:

Denver’s Best Chiropractic Care for Sciatica

Through a combination of treatments, exercises, and lifestyle adjustments, Dr. Reinhardt and his team can help alleviate your pain and discomfort associated with sciatic nerve pain. Schedule an appointment today to start healing!