Sciatica is pain that begins in the lower back and radiates down your leg. In some people, the pain is excruciating, but any level of pain can be relieved with treatment from Richard R. Cobb, DC at Cobb Chiropractic in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Contact him to schedule an appointment to learn how chiropractic treats sciatica. He offers various chiropractic treatments, from gentle manipulation to massage and exercise, which effectively relieve the pain.
Sciatica is named after the sciatic nerve, which leaves the spine near the base of the spinal cord, then travels down each leg. Sciatica occurs when the nerve is pinched or compressed by the spine. When this happens, pain develops that begins in the lower back or buttock and follows the nerve, radiating down through the leg.
The pain, which ranges from mild to severe, usually affects just one side of your body. You may also feel tingling or numbness in the affected leg. Sciatica is more likely to hurt after you’ve been sitting for a long time.
Several conditions commonly cause inflammation, pain, and numbness along the sciatic nerve:
You’re more likely to get sciatica as you age because you’ve had more years of pressure on the lower spine, which increases the risk for a herniated disc. There are factors other than age that raise your chances of developing sciatica:
Chiropractic treatment offers a non-medical and non-surgical way to relieve sciatica. One key therapy, spinal adjustment or manipulation, restores misaligned vertebrae to reduce or eliminate pressure on the sciatic nerve.
Your personalized treatment plan may include other chiropractic techniques. A few examples include therapeutic massage and trigger point therapy to reduce muscle tension, and spinal decompression, which gently stretches the spine to remove pressure from the nerve.
Rehabilitative exercise may be added to your regimen to strengthen the back muscles that support the spine. Another factor that can lead to sciatica is poor posture. Occasionally slouching may not cause problems, but if you have poor posture for a long time, the added stress it puts on your back contributes to compressed nerves and sciatica.
Dr. Cobb may even evaluate the way you walk. The way that you stand and walk determines whether your spine is properly aligned. Proper walking and standing posture also affects the route of the sciatic nerve. A poor walking pattern can lead to misalignment and a compressed sciatic nerve.