The term sciatica refers to any pain originating along the path of the sciatic nerve. This nerve branches off the spinal cord in the lower back region and runs through the hips and buttocks, down the leg to the foot. Usually, only one side of the body experiences symptoms. While sciatica pain may be severe, tingling and numbness may also occur, and it’s not uncommon for a person to have several sensations simultaneously. Sciatica symptoms typically respond well to chiropractic care.
Serious consequences for sciatica are rare, though they do exist. In severe cases, bladder and bowel function may be affected and extreme weakness in the leg may occur. Only in these extreme cases is surgery considered an option.
Pain usually starts in the lower back, toward one side, radiating down into the hip and buttock on that side. The pain can be sharp or it can be a dull ache, and it may or may not be accompanied by numbness and tingling further down the sciatic nerve path. However, any sensation may be felt anywhere along the nerve’s path, alone or in combination with other pain or sensations. Sometimes the pain has an electric shock nature to it, and sudden movements may generate short bursts of stabbing pain.
Sciatic nerve pain stems from pinching or irritation of the nerve itself. This pressure may be due to inflammation, a herniated disc, bone spurs in the spinal canal, or a simple misalignment of vertebrae in the spine. Relieving the compression on the nerve relieves the symptoms of sciatica. Most cases of sciatica respond to chiropractic adjustments, which reorient the vertebrae, encourage natural healing of herniated discs, while taking pressure off the sciatic nerve. Dr. Pinto may also recommend acupuncture to augment pain relief and natural healing.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!