Sciatica is one of the most painful lower back pain conditions. However, that is far from being the only sciatica symptom. What is sciatica? What are the main sciatica symptoms? Why may you be better off seeking natural care than subjecting yourself to the side effects of pain medicine? Read on to learn about sciatica.
What Is Sciatica?
The sciatic nerve starts in the lower spinal cord between the 4th and 5th lumbar vertebrae along with the 3 sacral vertebrae. These five nerve roots form up together in the buttocks, but then branch back into two and travel down both legs. Sciatica occurs when this nerve is pinched, compressed, or irritated anywhere along the line. This is the largest in the human body!
It therefore makes sense that pain and other symptoms. may vary depending on the part of the nerve where compression occurs and what is causing the issue. However, to simplify the understanding of sciatica, we’re going to consider 5 primary sciatica symptoms.
Sciatica Symptom 1 – Lower Back Pain
This is the symptom that the condition is best known for. Problems in the sacral and lumbar spine areas can lead to chronic lower back pain, which also happens to be one of the most common causes of disability globally. However, it is important to remember that the location of pain is not always the source of the problem. As we will discuss later, lower back issues can be caused by a misalignment in the upper neck that leads to significant changes in the lower back. This, in turn, may cause the conditions to form that result in sciatica.
Sciatica Symptom 2 – Radiating Pain
Keep in mind the fact that the sciatic nerve branches down both legs. As a result, pain is rarely limited to the lower back. Pain may radiate down one side through the hip and buttock and down the leg. While it is not true in every single case, sciatic pain is often one-sided. Again, the location of the nerve irritation will determine which side suffers from this symptom.
Sciatica Symptom 3 – Numbness, Tingling, or Weakness
Many sciatica sufferers experience sensations other than pain throughout the affected areas. For example, patients may have to deal with numbness or tingling. This can affect the entire leg and even extend into the foot. This condition may also result in weakness in the affected leg. As a result, it can be difficult to stand or walk for long periods of time.
Sciatica Symptom 4 – Aching and Burning Sensations
The pain can also take on various degrees of sensation. For example, patients may experience acute and severe pain or may have to deal with long-lasting aching or burning sensations. Once again, the reason for these discrepancies in symptoms is often due to the location and degree of irritation of the sciatic nerve.
Sciatica Symptom 5 – Affected Bowel and Bladder Function
In the most severe cases of sciatica, symptoms may extend to a person’s bowels and bladder. This symptom can also span a wide variety ranging from pain when using the bathroom to loss of bowel or bladder control.
Why Medication Is Not the Answer
Pain relievers do play a valuable role when it comes to managing symptoms for patients suffering from chronic conditions. However, it is important to remember that NSAIDs are not a sciatica cure. They just mask the pain for a time. Without discovering the underlying cause of the problem and relieving it, the pain will be back again, and long-term use of NSAIDs and other forms of pain medications can lead to stomach problems as well as headaches.
This raises the question: Is there any way to get natural relief from sciatica and other forms of lower back pain? If you suffer from back pain, we’d like to introduce you to upper cervical chiropractic care.
Upper Cervical Chiropractic and Sciatica
Upper cervical chiropractic is a specialized form of chiropractic. What makes it so unique? How can adjustments to the upper neck help the lower back? Here is what sets upper cervical care apart:
- Focus – Upper cervical chiropractors focus on the top two bones of the spine. This is because the alignment of these bones has a profound effect on the entire body. From affecting brainstem function to shifts throughout the spine that can lead to conditions such as sciatica, the alignment of the top two bones of the neck plays a role in many health conditions.
- Precision – Upper cervical chiropractic uses diagnostic imaging to measure misalignments down to hundredths of a degree. Then, gentle adjustments are used to provide long-lasting relief. This gives the body the time it needs to heal naturally from ailments that may have been caused by this often-overlooked misalignment.
- Low Force – Gentle adjustments make this a practical form of care for every member of the family. From infants to the old and frail, the low force corrections used by upper cervical chiropractors provide a safe and gentle option for those who appreciate the health benefits of chiropractic.
- As-Needed – Since gentle adjustments can hold for a long time, you should be able to gradually spread your appointments out further once the corrections begin to hold on their own. That makes this a cost-effective means of care.
If you are suffering from sciatica or any other type of back pain, you should consider seeing an upper cervical chiropractor. Spinal health flows from the top down, so you need these top two bones in proper alignment in order to have an overall healthy spine. To learn more, contact a practitioner in your area.