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Sciatica: Sciatic Nerve Pain

Sciatica: Sciatic Nerve Pain - El Paso Chiropractor

Sciatica is best characterized as the common symptoms of pain and discomfort in the backs of the legs. This painful condition generally develops due to complications affecting the region of the lumbar spine, or lower back, affecting these areas of the body as well as an individual’s legs and feet. The pain which travels down the person’s legs through the sciatic nerves which are the nerves found surrounding the lumbar spine, characteristic of sciatica.
The lumbar region of the spine is made up of five vertebrae which are labeled from top to bottom, L1 to L5, between the ribcage and the pelvis. Below these is the sacrum, which is labeled as S1. A spinal nerve can be found above each of these vertebra with its root in the spinal cord. These nerves form the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerves, found in each leg, are the longest and broadest nerves found in the human body. When the root of one of the sciatic nerves becomes irritated or inflamed, leading to the compression of the nerve, it can cause the common symptoms of pain and numbness in the buttocks, legs, and/or feet.

Causes of Sciatica

From lumbar disc herniation, spinal stenosis and degenerative disc disorders, among other conditions and injuries, there are numerous factors and reasons which may cause sciatic nerve pain, or sciatica, to occur. If symptoms of pain and discomfort manifest, especially around the area of the buttocks, legs and feet, it’s fundamental to seek immediate medical attention to receive a proper diagnosis and determine the cause of the symptoms.

Symptoms of Sciatica

The most common symptoms of sciatic nerve pain include lower back pain and/or numbness. Additionally, the individual may also experience these same symptoms in a single leg or buttock or on both limbs, although the probability of both sciatic nerves becoming compressed and irritated or inflamed at once are rare. Other common symptoms associated with sciatica include:
  • Sharp pain in the lower back, leg or buttock
  • Numbness or tingling in one leg or foot
  • Weakness in one leg or foot
  • Inability to control bowel movements or bladder, indicating a serious condition that requires immediate medical care

Diagnosing Sciatica
If you’ve experienced any of the symptoms mentioned above, you may be suffering from sciatica which could have been caused by an injury or condition. Because sciatica is defined as a group of symptoms rather than a single disorder, the presence of these symptoms may not necessarily indicate it as sciatica. Seeking immediate medical attention after experiencing this collection of symptoms, especially after suffering an injury or aggravating a previous condition, is important to avoid further complications and begin treating the issue as soon as possible. If the symptoms are intense or if they’ve been constant for several weeks, a proper diagnosis can help determine the source of the pain and discomfort to help reduce and improve sciatica.
Chiropractic care is a popular, alternative treatment option that focuses on the musculoskeletal and nervous system, utilizing spinal adjustments and manual manipulations to carefully correct issues and complications relating to the spine and its surrounding structures. When visiting a chiropractor for symptoms of sciatica, the healthcare professional will thoroughly examine the individual’s medical history and conduct a physical evaluation to determine the root cause of the pain and discomfort. The use of X-rays or MRI scans may additionally be used to learn the diagnosis and determine if sciatica or any other type of injury or condition is the cause of the symptoms. A qualified and experienced chiropractor will follow through with the best treatment plan for each individual.
Treating Sciatica
Utilizing chiropractic adjustments, a chiropractor can restore the original health of the spine, helping to reduce the pressure of the vertebrae which is frequently caused by a misalignment of the spine or subluxation. Furthermore, the irritation and inflammation around the spine can be reduced with these treatment procedures, relieving the painful symptoms of sciatica and regaining the individual’s strength, flexibility and mobility. A chiropractor may also follow chiropractic adjustments with an appropriate set of stretches and exercises to speed up the treatment process and ensure the individual finds quicker relief from their sciatica symptoms to continue with their original, everyday lifestyle.

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The information herein is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional. Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to contact us. Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN* email: phone: 915-850-0900 Licensed in: Texas & New Mexico*