Back pain due to sciatica can be disabling, which is why Texas professional NUCCA chiropractic services are there to help people get relief without having to take medications. Upper cervical chiropractors are fully aware that many patients prefer natural care to resolve their health problems, such as back pain caused by sciatica.
What Is Sciatica?
Before we tell what sciatica is, let’s be clear what sciatica is not. Sciatica is not a disorder in itself. To be more precise, it is a term doctors use to pertain to a group of symptoms that show due to inflammation or damage of the sciatic nerve.
The sciatic nerve is the largest and longest nerve in the body. It is connected to the lumbar spine and spreads through the buttocks, down the back of each leg, and ends in the feet. Back pain may result from the irritation, compression or trauma of the sciatic nerve.
Here’s a list of some conditions that can cause sciatica:
- Herniated or slipped discs
- Pinched nerves
- Spinal cord injury
- Muscle spasms
- Damage to the lumbar spine
- Degenerative disc disease
- Spinal stenosis
- Piriformis syndrome
Telling Signs and Symptoms of Sciatica
If these symptoms sound familiar to you, you may have sciatica. Better seek out Texas professional NUCCA chiropractic services for help.
1. Back pain and ache in the buttocks and one leg
Trademark symptoms of sciatica include radiating lower back pain that extends down the leg. The pain becomes sharp and more severe as it spreads through the leg. People with sciatica often feel pain where the sciatic nerve lies – in the lower back area and along one leg.
2. Pins and needles, sharp, or burning feeling
People with sciatica commonly experience burning feeling in the back, hip, or leg. Sometimes it’s mild and subsides, then returns. If ignored, it would cause back pain and other sensations may get more intense, resulting in different symptoms.
3. Pain on one side of the body
In general, sciatica only affects one side of the body. Why is that so? Trauma is often restricted to one of the nerve roots, leading to pain on one leg, buttock, hip, and knee.
As sciatica becomes more intense, you may feel numb anywhere in the area of your back, side of the hip, or back of the leg. Extreme numbness can leave a patient unable to walk properly.
5. Hip pain
This can affect both or either side of the hips. Sometimes, even the non-affected side of sciatica feels hip pain. This is because we naturally compensate when one side of our body is in pain. The tendency is we shift our weight to the other side, causing hip pain on both sides – one side due to sciatica and the other due to overcompensation for pain.
6. Pain that worsens when sitting, standing, or sneezing
It is quite common to hurt if you have been sitting or standing for extended hours using one position. It can subside when you move around or shift your weight. However, sciatica is far from ordinary. It worsens the longer you sit or stand. Changing positions may ease the pain a little but only for a while. Some patients experience strong pain when they sneeze or cough.
Risk Factors for Sciatica Back Pain
You are at higher risk of suffering from sciatica if you have these risk factors:
- A highly physical job
- Being older than 30
- People with poor posture
Exercises to Help Alleviate Sciatica Back Pain
Low-impact exercise can help patients stretch out their sciatic nerves and attain relief from pain. However, we urge you to discuss with your doctor before starting any exercise routine.
- First, straight out your legs while lying on the floor. Raise the affected leg toward your chest by holding onto your knee with the hand on the same side. Hold your ankle with the other hand. Using your ankle, guide, and pull your knee to the other ankle until you feel a stretch sets in. Do it without force. It should be a mild stretch. Stay still for a count of 30 and then do 3 times again.
- Next, lie on the floor and keep the affected leg crossed over the other leg close to the knee. Bend both knees slightly. Slowly yank the lower knee to your shoulder on the same side until you feel a stretch. Stay still for a count of 30 and then do 3 times again.
- Lastly, straight out your legs while lying on the floor. Bend and lift the affected leg, so the foot is on the ground outside the opposite knee. By using a towel or your hand, mildly pull the knee of the bent leg toward the middle of your body. When you feel a stretch, hold for a count of 30 and repeat 3 times. Do not use force in your knee.
These exercises can minimize the stress on the sciatic nerve and boost the blood circulation that will allow the body to recover naturally. This, combined with upper cervical chiropractic care, can relieve or eliminate your sciatica back pain altogether.
For Texas professional NUCCA chiropractic services, set an appointment with one of our chiropractors here at Symmetry Health Chiropractic Center in Cedar Park, Texas.