Sciatica & Chiropractic Care
Do you have pain that extends from you lower back down into your legs and feet? If you do, the cause might be easy to identify. The pain could be coming from compression to your sciatic nerve, and it’s how sciatica got its name.
What Causes Sciatica?
Sciatica usually starts with an injury to your spine. Your spinal column contains five lumbar vertebrae in your lower back, and between those vertebrae are spinal discs that absorb shock and provide cushion to your spine. When a spinal disc gets injured or wears down, it can herniate, meaning that the inner nucleus layer can protrude out and tear the outer layer. This herniation can put pressure on the nerves around it, causing pain and discomfort. One of the nerves that can affect is the sciatic nerve.
Disc herniation is not the only cause of sciatica. The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the human body. It can be found in your lower back and extending to your hips, legs, and feet on both sides of your body. Sciatica can also be caused by other diseases, including degenerative disc disease (the natural degeneration of the spinal discs), spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal cord that is considered abnormal), and traumatic injury to the lumbar spine or sciatic nerve.
What are the Symptoms of Sciatica?
- Pain in your lower back that extends down your leg
- Pain that worsens with body movement
- Numbness in your lower back, legs, or feet
What are Some Risk Factors for Developing Sciatica?
Here are some risk factors that increase your chance of having sciatica at some point in your life:
- Weight or Pregnancy – the heavier you are, the more pressure that is put on your spine. The risk associated with these is also associated with herniated discs, which can cause sciatica.
- Diabetes – this can cause nerve damage, and with sciatica being pain caused by your sciatic nerve you are at an increased risk if you have diabetes.
- Job – if you do a lot of heavy lifting at work or sit at a desk all day, your spinal discs can become damaged, so you are at an increased risk for disc problems that might end up leading to sciatica.
If I’ve Been Diagnosed with Sciatica, What is the Next Step?
There are many treatment options out there for sciatica, ranging from physical therapy and acupuncture to more extreme treatments like surgery. Doctors don’t recommend Spinal surgery unless other treatment methods are not working. Therapies that patients with sciatica utilize include chiropractic treatment, acupuncture, massage, and physical therapy.
How Can we prevent Sciatica?
We cannot prevent Sciatica sometimes because of some of its causes (ie Degenerative Disc Disease) but we have some tips for you that you can use to help protect your back:
- Good posture – maintaining good posture is extremely important for spinal health. If you are feeling pain in your lower back, adjust your posture, since pain can be a warning sign that you are out of alignment.
- Exercise regularly – do exercises that keep your joints flexible. Strengthen your core so your muscles can support your spine.
- Don’t smoke – Nicotine is a drug that reduces the blood supply to your bones. This can put more stress on the spine and spinal discs and cause back and spine problems, so it is best to avoid smoking.
If you are experiencing pain from sciatica:
You can always reach out to Harmony Chiropractic and Wellness Clinic to book an appointment with Dr Harmony Mir. You can give the clinic a call at (250) 868-8086 or visit our online booking site https://harmonychiropracticclinic.janeapp.com .