Sciatica, Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Sciatica is a common type of pain that impacts the sciatic nerve, which is a large nerve extending from the lower back down to the back of each leg. Sciatica typically impacts only one side of the lower body. However, often the pain extends from the lower back all the way through the back of the thigh and down through the leg. Depending on where the sciatic nerve is affected, the pain may also extend to the foot or toes.

The bad thing is for many people who experience sciatica it can often be debilitating in its most severe form, and for others just irritating.

Chiropractor Broomfield CO: Sciatica the Causes

Sciatica is caused by sciatic nerve compression. Disorders are known to cause sciatic nerve pain include lumbar spine subluxations (misaligned vertebral body/ies), herniated or bulging discs (slipped discs), pregnancy and childbirth, tumors, and non-spinal disorders such as diabetes, constipation, or sitting on one’s back pocket wallet for long periods of time.  On top of this, other issues such as peripheral neuropathy can compound this.

When it comes to sciatica nerve pain there are several more specific risk factors that you should keep in mind:

  • Weight: One of the major risk factors for sciatica is weight. Being overweight can put a lot of pressure on the spine causing damage to the disks. Extra weight can lead to herniated disks which can bring extreme pain and discomfort. Those that are pregnant can also have sciatica pain due to sudden weight gain and may need to seek alternative treatments to ease symptoms.
  • Age: The majority of people that suffer from sciatica nerve pain are between the ages of 30 and 50.
  • Your Occupation: Your occupation also plays a role in this painful condition. For those that have jobs which require them to lift heavy objects, often suffer from nerve pain. Lots of heavy lifting can damage disks in the back. While active jobs cause nerve pain so can sedimentary jobs. Those who sit for long periods of time can develop nerve pain as well.
  • Diabetes: Another common risk factor of sciatica is Diabetes. People with diabetes are more likely to develop nerve pain. Diabetes causes nerve pain that will often become worse over time. If left untreated it could cause serious pain that can become unbearable.

Chiropractor Broomfield CO: Sciatica Nerve Pain Symptoms In The Leg and Foot

In addition to back pain and pain in the buttocks, you may also suffer from sciatica in the legs and feet. The sciatic nerve runs from the spine down to the leg. Along this distance, you can have sciatica nerve pain in several different regions. Sciatica pain can be different in each of these areas. Below are several areas that may be affected.

  • L4 Nerve Root: In this region symptoms of sciatica nerve pain can include weakness, numbness, and pain. These symptoms can resonate from the middle-lower leg and foot. Those suffering from sciatica in this region may not be able to bring the foot upwards. Walking under these conditions can be a real struggle.
  • L5 Nerve Root: In this region, symptoms can include weakness in the big toe and also the ankle. Additionally, you may experience pain in the top of the foot as well as numbness. This can also affect the web between the big toe and the second toe.
  • S1 Nerve Root: Those that suffer sciatica in this area may have weakness, numbness, and pain on the outside of the foot. This often causes the inability to raise the heel off the ground making walking very difficult.

Chiropractor Broomfield CO: Treatment for Sciatica

The purpose of chiropractic treatment is to help the body’s potential to heal itself. It is based on the scientific principle that restricted spinal movement leads to pain and reduced function and performance.

Chiropractic care is non-invasive (non-surgical) and drug-free.

The type of chiropractic therapy provided depends on the cause of the patient’s sciatica. A sciatica treatment plan may include several different treatments such as ice/cold therapies, ultrasound, TENS, and spinal adjustments (sometimes called spinal manipulation).  Below are more details on these chiropractic treatment modalities.

  • Ice/Cold therapy reduces inflammation and helps to control sciatic pain.
  • Ultrasound is gentle heat created by sound waves that penetrates deep into tissues. Ultrasound increases circulation and helps to reduce muscle spasms, cramping, swelling, stiffness, and pain.
  • TENS unit (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) is a small box-like, battery-powered, portable muscle stimulating machine. Variable intensities of electrical current control acute pain and reduce muscle spasms. Larger versions of the home-use TENS units are used by chiropractors, physical therapists and other rehab professionals.
  • Adjustments (Spinal Manipulation) At the core of chiropractic care are spinal adjustments. Manipulation frees restricted movement of the spine and helps to restore misaligned vertebral bodies to their proper position in the spinal column. Spinal adjustment helps to reduce nerve irritability responsible for causing inflammation, muscle spasm, pain, and other symptoms related to sciatica. Adjustments should not be painful. Spinal manipulation is proven to be safe and effective.

Chiropractor Broomfield CO: Contact Fox Integrated Healthcare for Sciatica Treatment

Many people who experience sciatica have problems performing even the most basic tasks, such as walking or even bending down to pick something up off of the floor. At Fox Integrated Healthcare we have helped a number of patients address the reason for their sciatica and alleviate their pain.

Sciatica pain has a number of causes; in fact, anything that can compress the sciatic nerve may cause sciatica symptoms. However, the most common causes include bone spurs, spinal stenosis, disc herniations or bulges, or injuries. To get to the root of the problem, our doctors will perform a comprehensive physical examination as well as a diagnostic assessment to diagnose the cause of your pain.

Generally, sciatica symptoms will only affect one side of the body from the lower back down through the leg. Signs that you may have sciatica include:

  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Prickling sensations
  • Muscle weakness

In addition to making it difficult to move, these symptoms can also cause insomnia for some people.

Schedule a Consultation

If you’re like to schedule a FREE pain relief consultation, click here or call our office today at 303-469-7066. We’re ready to help you meet your health goals and help you start living pain-free.