Have you ever suffered from a pain that radiates from your lower back down one leg? If that sounds horribly familiar, you may have sciatica. What is this condition, what causes it and how can a chiropractor make it better? We’ll cover all the essentials you need to know about sciatica and share our best tips for preventing it in this blog post.
What is sciatica?
Sciatica is a condition that stems from problems with the sciatic nerve, which starts in your lower back and branches down through your hips and buttocks to the legs.
When part of the nerve is compressed due to narrowing of the spine, a herniated disc or bone spurs, the result is pain, numbness and inflammation.
What are the symptoms of sciatica?
The most common sign of sciatica is pain that radiates from the lower back through the hips and buttocks to the back of one leg. The pain can be mild to severe, and it may feel a bit like an electric shock or jolt. The pain may be worse when sneezing, coughing or sitting, and most people experience it on just one side of the body.
Other common symptoms include tingling, numbness or muscle weakness in the affected foot or leg. Some people report a combination of symptoms, like numbness in one part of the leg and pain in another.
When should I call the chiropractor?
If your pain persists for a week or more, becomes progressively worse or is severe, contact us to make an appointment at our chiropractic clinic in Vancouver WA. We offer a number of treatments for sciatica depending on the severity and origins of your issues, including spinal manipulation. We can also recommend a number of lifestyle changes and at-home treatments that can relieve pain and inflammation.
How can I prevent sciatica?
Sciatica can often be avoided by practicing good posture and getting regular exercise. When sitting, use a chair that offers good support for your lower back. To help your back maintain its natural curve, consider placing a rolled towel or a pillow behind the small of your back while sitting. Keep your hips and knees level to promote good posture.
Keeping your back strong through exercise is a key to avoiding sciatica. Any exercise that strengthens your core muscles can help, including yoga, pilates, strength training and Tai Chi.