If you are suffering from lower back problems, it may be due to a pervasive nerve problem known as sciatica. This occurs when something irritates the sciatic nerve, the largest nerve in the body. Since this nerve begins in the lower back and then extends down both legs, sciatica can come with a wide variety of symptoms and a varying range of severity. Here are some things that you should know about this condition and about how to find natural sciatica relief.
The Symptoms of Sciatica
If you tell someone that you have sciatica, the main thing that they are going to envision is lower back pain. While this is a definite symptom, there is far more to sciatica. What are some of the other common symptoms of this nerve condition?
Numbness, tingling, or burning sensations play a significant role in why sciatica is so disabling. While nerve irritation can cause pain, it will also usually result in sensory sensations such as numbness, tingling, or a burning feeling. Despite the fact that the sciatic nerve starts in the lower back, it also branches down both legs. Therefore, symptoms can occur in the hip, buttock, and leg of the affected side.
Severity Levels of Sciatica
Everything from the amount of pain a patient feels to the amount of numbness and tingling experienced can vary. The locations of the pain can range quite a bit, as well. In rare cases, sciatica may affect both sides, even though it usually only impacts one side. If the leg pain is severe, sciatica may limit a person’s ability to walk or drive. The most severe cases can also affect bladder and bowel function.
Don’t Confuse Sciatica for Sacroiliac Problems
The sacroiliac (SI) joint is located in the lower back. A problem can cause hip and lower back pain. The main difference is that when the problem is in this joint rather than in the nerve, there should not be radiating pain.
Be Careful When Calling Pain Medicine a Treatment
Pain medicine doesn’t really treat the underlying cause of sciatica. It just helps with one of the symptoms. While you are trying to discover the source of your sciatica and correct it, pain medications may be able to help you work and carry out your other normal daily activities. However, you should be cautious when taking pain pills. Over the counter drugs can cause problems if taken too frequently or for too long. Some prescription pain pills can be habit-forming. Remember that this is just covering the pain until you can find a real solution.
Surgery Should Be a Last Resort – It Is Rarely the Solution to Sciatica
Unless surgery is absolutely required to move what is irritating the nerve, this is rarely the answer when sciatica is the problem. Even if surgery may help, you still want to exhaust all your other options before taking drastic and invasive measures. Surgery can have a long recovery time and may extend the length of time that you need to be on pain medication. This may increase the risk of developing a dependency.
When Dealing with Spinal Problems, Always Start at the Top
When dealing with pain, the tendency is to look at the location of the pain to find the underlying problem. However, this cannot always be the process when it comes to the spine. This is because spinal health usually works its way from the top down. Let’s consider an example.
Let’s say you were in a car accident at age 16. The crash wasn’t serious, but your neck was sore for a while. Doctors checked everything and said you were fine, but looking back 10 or 15 years later, you wonder if that was really the case. From that time forward, you could remember having to pay more attention to your posture. Eventually, you started to notice that one of your shoulders was always higher than the other. Moving even further ahead in time, you began to see a difference in the height of your hips. In fact, when you get your pants tailored, you now have to have them pin both pant legs because your legs seem to be different lengths. It’s no wonder if you are experiencing sciatica!
The upper cervical spine balances the head. Even the slightest misalignment causes the body to make changes that maintain that balance. Unfortunately, this can affect the shoulders, hips, and legs, as noted in the example above. Sciatica is just one possibility, and yet the underlying issue goes all the way to the top of the neck. How can you find the natural sciatica relief that you need?
Natural Sciatica Relief – Is It Possible?
Are you searching for natural sciatica relief that isn’t found in a bottle or at the end of a scalpel? Upper cervical specific chiropractic may be right for you, especially if you have a history of head or neck trauma. This specific form of chiropractic care involves precise measurements of the C1 and C2 vertebrae. These are the vertebrae that balance the skull. Correcting misalignment in this location with safe and gentle adjustments can start the healing process and undo the effects of the misalignment.
If you are living with the pain and other symptoms of sciatica, it makes sense to give upper cervical chiropractic a try. Why not see if this is the natural sciatica relief that you have been searching for. Schedule a consultation today to learn more.