"The pain may hit suddenly like a lightning bolt or it may cause a constant nagging ache, deep within your hip area." Chances are, you may never experience anything quite as painful in your entire life. Sciatica sufferers say it's like having an excruciating toothache in the leg. According to Reuters Health, one in four older Americans has experienced this sharp, sometimes disabling, pain of sciatica and as many as 40% of people will get it during their life. If you are tall and/or overweight, you may be at a higher risk of developing sciatica. This risk increases as we age and is more common among men who are above 6 ft 1 in height.
You don't have to suffer needlessly from sciatic pain, and you shouldn't depend on drugs to get the relief you're looking for. Drugs only mask the symptoms; they can't correct your structural problem. What is Sciatica? Sciatica is a term that refers to the painful inflammation of the sciatic nerve, the longest nerve in the body.
Your sciatic nerve is formed from 5 nerve roots in your lower back, which join deep in your pelvis. From there, the sciatic nerve divides into many branch nerves that serve your muscles, joints, skin and other tissues in your legs and feet. What causes your sciatic pain?
- Improper lifting.
- Cumulative spinal stress.
- Sudden impact or trauma.
- Old injury.
- Lack of exercise.
- Over exertion.
These causes are from spinal misalignments or subluxations. These misalignments can occur following a car accident, a fall, sports injury, lifting improperly or weak muscle in your CORE from sitting all the time.
Left uncorrected, subluxations can cause the opening between your vertebrae to narrow and compress, irritating and stretching your nerves. Sciatica can often be traced to one or more misaligned vertebra. The most common cause of sciatica is an irritation of nerve roots as they exit from your spine. Eventually, damaged nerves can restrict your joint movement, which interferes with the transport of lubrication to your discs. When unhealthy discs dry out, this causes the gel-like center to bulge out or herniated. The bulging or herniated disc matter can press against your sciatic nerve, causing further irritation. Irreversible damage may occur if the nerve interference is not removed. That's where chiropractic comes in! The goal of chiropractic is to locate the specific misaligned vertebrae and remove the resulting nerve irritation. Gentle chiropractic spinal adjustments can correct these misalignments and the underlying cause of your sciatica. Early sciatic pain is often so mild that most people ignore it altogether. Prompt chiropractic care can help prevent sciatica or stop its progression. A recent Canadian study, published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, found that 90% of the patients reported improvement with chiropractic care that were experiencing low back pain and radiating leg pain or numbness. If you have any questions about how our team and Sheppard Chiropractic can help you, please schedule a consultation.