Sciatica Pain Treatment | Lakeland FL
Sciatic Nerve Pain
If you are suffering from sciatica pain in the Lakeland, Florida area, you need to call New City Chiropractic. Sciatic nerve pain or sciatica is a condition that plagues approximately forty percent of all adults at some point in their lives. Age, a sedentary lifestyle, a job that requires heavy lifting, and pregnancy can all increase your risk of developing sciatica. Caused by irritation of the sciatic nerve often due to compression, the pain caused by sciatica can range from mild irritation to severe discomfort. Left untreated, sciatica can make standing, sitting, or walking difficult due to pain and can lead to weakness or numbness in the leg or foot. If you suspect you have sciatic nerve pain, call or request an appointment with one of the experienced chiropractors at New City Chiropractic.
The Signs and Symptoms of Sciatica
The most telltale sign of sciatica is pain that spreads from the lower part of your spine to your buttocks and the back of one of your legs. Pain or discomfort can appear anywhere along the pathway of the sciatic nerve, but it will most commonly follow the path that the nerve forms from the low back to the buttock and the back of the thigh and calf. In most cases, only one side of the body is affected by sciatic pain.
The intensity of sciatic pain can vary greatly. Some sciatica sufferers have just a mild ache, while others experience a sharp or burning sensation and excruciating pain. Some patients with sciatica liken the pain to an electric shock or jolt. Coughing, sneezing, or sitting for prolonged periods can lead to increased symptoms.
In some cases, tingling, numbness, or muscle weakness in the leg or foot on the affected side can occur. For example, you could have pain in part of your leg while experiencing numbness in your foot.
What Causes Sciatica?
Sciatica can be caused by several different conditions or injuries. The pain of sciatica is often a symptom resulting from a pinched nerve in the lower spine; for example, the sciatic nerve can become pinched outside or inside the spinal canal as the nerve goes into the leg.
The most common cause of sciatica is a herniated disc (also known as a slipped disc) that places pressure on the sciatic nerve root. Sciatica can also be caused by piriformis syndrome, in which the piriformis muscle (located deep within the buttock) tightens or spams and causes irritation of the sciatic nerve. A narrowing of the spinal canal known as spinal stenosis can likewise place increased pressure on the sciatic nerve and lead to irritation. In some cases, spondylolisthesis, a condition in which one vertebra slips and becomes misaligned with the vertebra above it, can cause a narrowed opening for the sciatic nerve to exit the spinal canal and lead to irritation and sciatica pain.
The incidence of sciatica also increases greatly during pregnancy.
Studies show that between 50 and 80 percent of pregnant women have some form of back pain, with many experiencing the symptoms and signs of sciatica. While sciatica can develop at any point in pregnancy, it most commonly occurs during the third trimester. When sciatica arises during pregnancy, it’s usually due to one of several pregnancy-related causes:
The production of relaxin, a pregnancy hormone that can cause your ligaments to loosen and stretch, leading to back pain;
Pregnancy-related weight gain and fluid retention, which can place pressure on your sciatic nerve and compress it as it passes through your pelvis;
An expanding uterus, which can also exert pressure on the sciatic nerve and the lower spine;
A shift in your center of gravity due to your growing belly, which can stretch the lordotic curve (located right above your buttocks) and cause a tightening in the muscles of the pelvic area and buttocks; this tightening can in turn pinch your sciatic nerve; or
The baby moving into proper birth position later in the third trimester, which can again cause increased pressure on the sciatic nerve.
If your sciatica is caused by pregnancy, don’t expect that it will resolve immediately after giving birth. For many women, sciatica pain can linger for several months until the extra weight and fluids of pregnancy have gone away.
Sciatica Pain Treatment
Because sciatica isn’t a condition itself but the collection of symptoms resulting from another condition or injury, any treatment of sciatica pain is aimed either at providing direct pain relief or treating the underlying condition. While sciatica is sometimes treated through medication or surgery, New City Chiropractic offers noninvasive treatments to relieve the pain associated with sciatica. While medications may offer immediate, temporary relief from sciatic nerve pain, they do not treat the cause of your pain and may put you at risk due to the side effects of medication.
The first step to treating sciatica is a proper diagnosis of the cause of sciatic pain. Through a thorough examination and medical history review, the chiropractors at New City Chiropractic can devise a treatment plan that provides relief for both the painful symptoms and the underlying conditions causing your sciatic pain. Further diagnostic tests, including x-rays, C-T scans, and MRIs may be necessary for proper treatment and effective sciatic pain relief.
Your personalized sciatic nerve pain treatment plan may include spinal manipulation (chiropractic adjustment), therapeutic massage, ice/cold therapy, heat therapy, physical therapy, and nerve stimulation.
Benefits of Chiropractic Treatment for Sciatic Nerve Pain
Chiropractic treatment for sciatica pain offers noninvasive therapies that treat the condition that causes your pain, rather than just managing the symptoms. A primary tenet of chiropractic care is to help the body heal itself. Through chiropractic treatment, not only will you receive pain relief, but your therapeutic treatment plan will include ways to strengthen your spine and protect yourself from further injury.
A sciatica specialist will devise a chiropractic treatment plan that often includes lifestyle changes. While suffering from painful sciatica you may be tempted to be more sedentary and restful. While this may be necessary to address acute inflammation, your chiropractor will likely suggest physical exercises that will help relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve, improve posture, and strengthen the spine to reduce pain and prevent future sciatic never pain flare ups.
Schedule a Consultation for Sciatic Pain Relief
If you need sciatica pain relief in the Lakeland, Florida area request an appointment or call New City Chiropractic to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced, compassionate chiropractors. We can get you on your way to a pain-free life!