WHAT IS SCIATICA?
Sciatica describes pain in the distribution of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body and extends from the low back to the bottom of the foot. Most often, this pain arises from an injured disc that either compresses or produces inflammatory chemicals that irritate the sciatic nerve. Sciatica is most common in people in their 40’s.
HOW DOES SCIATICA HAPPEN?
Low back pain and sciatica are often multifactorial in nature. However, sciatic typically occurs when the sciatic nerve becomes compressed or aggravated by inflammatory material. When the sciatic nerve is provoked, it can produce the common symptoms of leg pain, pain radiating to the foot/toes, numbness, and paresthesia. Patients will often describe the leg pain as being more bothersome than the back pain.
WHAT CAN WE DO TO HELP?
First, we want to figure out what is contributing to your sciatica by taking a history and performing an exam. This will involve orthopedic tests, movement assessments, and evaluation of the soft tissues of the spine and lower extremities. We want to look for any therapy that can lead to a centralizing effect. Centralization involves moving the pain from the periphery (leg), closer to the spine (low back). This may increase your low back pain temporarily, which is actually a good sign.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Temporarily reduce any activity that increases your pain. Perform the recommended stretching and strengthening exercises. Understand that nerve pain can take longer to change than the average mechanical spine pain. Consistency x time = results.
Your Elkhorn Chiropractor and Elkhorn Physical Therapist are trained experts in managing low back pain and sciatica. If you or someone you know is suffering from something like this, give us a call at 402-932-5394 and we would be happy to help!
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