What is sciatica? If you’re anything like me, you could be very wrong on what you thought sciatica pain actually is. I always thought it was a pinched nerve from the front part of the hip. I suppose I was partly correct. It is a “pinch” of a nerve, just not in the location I thought.
What is Sciatica?
Sciatica is a commonly misused term for what people describe as a lower back pain that shoots down their leg. Sometimes this is a true sciatic nerve compression and sometimes it’s not. One of the first things your chiropractor will do is to rule out muscle involvement because the sciatic nerve travels through one of the buttock muscles. If that buttock muscle is tight, it can compress that branch of the sciatic nerve and create similar symptoms. However, true sciatica is a compression of the sciatic nerve at the spine itself, where it emerges from the spinal cord.
One of the defining characteristics of sciatic pain is a shooting pain that travels down the back side of the leg. It can travel all the way down the leg as far as the foot and can be accompanied by a numbness and tingling.
What are some things you can do to alleviate the pain?
The first thing you want to do is to make sure that you find out the source of the pain. If it’s compressed at the spinal level itself, through a subluxation or something else like a disc herniation, the only thing you can do is consult with a medical professional, namely a chiropractor, to discover the extent of the damage. This should be the first step for anyone. Once the problem has been identified, then the appropriate solution can be applied.
A lot of times someone will complain of sciatic pain but it’s really just the compression of the sciatic nerve by the buttock muscle. If this is the case, one thing you can do is to take extra time to stretch the buttock muscle. You can also use a foam roller to roll out the tightness of the buttock muscle. Another thing to do is to avoid sitting. Sitting increases the pressure on the sciatic nerve. If you have any type of sciatic pain, you want to try to avoid sitting at all costs.
Another thing you can do is to get a massage, acupuncture or even take an Epsom salt bath. All of these can ease the tension of muscles and release compression of “pinched” nerves.
Regular visits to your Chiropractor can also help. Chiropractors can find if there is an issue with the structure of the vertebra. Once this is identified, they are able to restore that structure to as close to normal as possible through specific adjustments and in-office traction, and in the process, alleviating pain.
Are you experiencing sciatica pain? Make an appointment with your Chiropractor and take care of your spine today.
For more information on sciatic pain and how it can be treated email Dr. B @ [email protected]