Back pain alone can be bad enough, but when the pain starts radiating down your leg and causes numbness, tingling, or weakness, then you might have sciatica. The term sciatica refers to a problem with the sciatic nerve. It originates in the lower back and travels through the buttock down the back of each leg. Your sciatic nerve is the largest single nerve in the body. It is consists of nerve roots that branch off of your spinal cord in the lower back. As it courses down each leg, portions of the nerve branch out to innervate parts of the thigh, calf, foot, and toes.
Inflammation of the sciatic nerve can be due to several reasons which we'll explore below. Once you better understand what commonly causes sciatica, we'll talk about a way to gain natural and lasting sciatica relief.
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Sciatica can have very different presentations from individual to individual. Even the same person might experience changing symptoms from day to day as their condition evolves. Sciatic pain can range from an infrequent, nagging irritation to constant and debilitating pain. Because sciatica tends to be related to spinal degeneration which occurs over time, it often occurs in a person's 40s or 50s. However, it can certainly develop before or after that age range.
The site and severity of your symptoms will usually depend on the location of where the nerve is impacted. Sciatica can cause a great deal of discomfort, but the good news is that it's very rarely related to a serious medical issue. Also, sciatica relief is possible and accessible. That being said, red flags to look for when you're experiencing sciatica symptoms include:
The term sciatica is not a stand-alone diagnosis. To understand why the sciatic nerve is irritated, you need to trace back the problem to its source. Doing so can help you choose the most effective treatment option. As you're reading through the most frequent causes of sciatica, you'll notice that they have their origins in one place – your lower back.
If you are suffering from lower back pain and it has started to cause referred pain along the sciatic nerve, there are some things you should pay attention to in order to reduce your risk factors. Taking steps towards achieving a healthy weight if you are carrying some extra pounds, increasing your level of activity if you are sedentary, and learning solid lifting techniques can help protect your back and reduce the odds of developing sciatica.
Aging does not necessarily need to come hand in hand with spinal degeneration, and the best way to avoid this is by taking proper care of your spine. Upper cervical chiropractic care is a great way to address the underlying cause of many spinal issues, including lower back pain and the many causes of sciatica. Having a spine that is balanced and healthy starts by balancing your head properly on top of your neck. When the vertebra that holds your head up, the atlas, misaligns, it causes the rest of your spine to compensate. Your shoulders and hips can become unlevel over time, which puts abnormal strain and stress on one side of your back more than the other. This can unequally compress discs, cause muscle spasm, and create the conditions for sciatica to develop over time.
Many patients under upper cervical chiropractic care not only report that their lower back pain and sciatica improve, but they experience benefits in other areas that contribute to a better quality of life. If you have been dealing with back pain or sciatica, then consulting with an upper cervical chiropractor in your area can be the first step towards finding effective, natural, and lasting sciatica relief.
The content and materials provided in this web site are for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to supplement or comprise a medical diagnosis or other professional opinion, or to be used in lieu of a consultation with a physician or competent health care professional for medical diagnosis and/or treatment. All content and materials including research papers, case studies and testimonials summarizing patients' responses to care are intended for educational purposes only and do not imply a guarantee of benefit. Individual results may vary, depending upon several factors including age of the patient, severity of the condition, severity of the spinal injury, and duration of time the condition has been present.