Do you have lower back pain that shoots down your legs? If so, it’s likely that you have sciatica. Sciatica is actually quite common, with 10%-40% of the population experiencing the condition.
The integrative medical team at BodyWorks Medical Center in Carol Stream, Illinois, is here to cover all of your health care needs with a compassionate and collaborative approach. Sciatica is one of the many conditions that we treat, so here are some things you should know about sciatica, as well as some treatment options to help you get back to feeling like yourself.
The basics of sciatica
Sciatica is a neurological condition that affects your sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve, the longest nerve in the body, originates in your lower back and runs down into your hips, butt, and legs. When this nerve is compressed or pinched in your lower back, pain starts in your back and radiates down to your feet.
There are a few things that can compress the sciatic nerve in your lower back, including:
- Spinal stenosis
- Herniated discs
Sciatica is also a side effect of age, a result of the wear-and-tear on your body that occurs over time. Accordingly, it’s more common to develop sciatica after the age of 30.
When your back pain is sciatica
Everyone experiences some back pain from time to time, so how can you tell if your back pain is sciatica? Sciatic pain is different in that it originates in your lower back then travels down the backs of your legs; it commonly affects only one leg at a time.
The radiating leg pain of sciatica may be felt in a few ways: You may experience stabbing or shooting pain, or the sensation may be dull and achy. Tingling and numbness in the back and legs are also common with sciatica. Symptoms usually worsen after walking, coughing, sneezing, and sitting or standing for prolonged periods.
In some cases, sciatica subsides on its own. However, when the pain lingers, treatment options are available to help ease symptoms.
Chiropractic treatment options include manual therapies to correct any misalignment in your spine. We can also use spinal decompression, which reduces the pressure that’s placed on your sciatic nerve. Massage therapy can increase blood flow to your muscles.
We can also use cortisol, an injection of an anti-inflammatory steroid into your spinal discs.
You don’t have to suffer through sciatic pain. Discover lasting pain relief by calling us or using our online booking tool to make an appointment today.