August 10, 2023
Did you know that the largest nerve in your body is located at the base of your spine and runs through your buttocks into your legs? The sciatic nerve is like many others in that when it’s pinched it leads to pain, tingling, numbness, or a burning sensation. If these symptoms occur frequently, you may have a condition called sciatica. But what exactly does sciatica look like? How is it diagnosed and treated? Keep reading to learn more about how your chiropractor can make sure this nerve doesn’t give you grief.
Range of Symptoms of Sciatica
Sciatica doesn’t always manifest in the same way for every person. For some, their legs occasionally tingle while others experience debilitating pain in one or both of their legs. In fact, in more severe cases, bed rest seems to be the only solution that relieves the intense pain. Regardless of your specific symptoms, sciatica can interfere with your ability to function and can cause significant discomfort.
Whether you have an ache or a burning feeling in your lower back, buttocks, or legs, know that sciatica doesn’t have to stop you from living your life!
Diagnosing and Testing for Sciatica
The road to overcoming sciatica starts by identifying it as the cause of your pain and discomfort. Through X-rays and a thorough examination, your chiropractor may discern that your sciatic nerve is the culprit. They may ask you to perform simple movements that can reveal the underlying cause of your back or leg pain as well.
Sometimes, an even more detailed scan, called an MRI, is needed. In this image, soft tissues are more visible, making herniated discs or pinched nerves, common causes of sciatic nerve pain, easier to diagnose.
Treatment of Sciatica
If you turn to a regular physician to treat your sciatica, you will most likely be prescribed medication at first. Anti-inflammatory medication may take the pressure off the sciatic nerve in certain scenarios, but not always. Depending on your pain level, your prescription could involve highly addictive opioids or steroid injections, which should never be a long-term solution to managing pain. In desperation, physicians may even recommend surgery for constant sciatica.
On the other hand, a chiropractor will do everything possible to avoid the use of opioids and invasive surgery. In many cases, the sciatic nerve is pinched or infringed upon because the spine and joints are not properly aligned. By adjusting them, a chiropractor takes the pressure off this major nerve, relieving pain and restoring function. Your chiropractor may also teach exercises that strengthen muscles surrounding the sciatic nerve to prevent them from sagging and placing pressure on it.
When the largest nerve in your body is causing trouble, you need to work with an expert in the nervous system. Instead of masking sciatic nerve symptoms with medication or addressing it through unnecessary procedures, your chiropractor can help you achieve healthier alignment, which naturally removes the pain and enables you resume normal life with less discomfort, no medication, and no surgery.
About the Author
Dr. Chad Wills has been a practicing chiropractor for more than 20 years. He studied at Life Chiropractic University in Atlanta and has since become one of only two chiropractors in the county to be certified in Chiropractic Biophysics. Active in his own life, he makes every effort to help patients be active as well. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Wills at Wills Chiropractic in Naples, you may call our office at 239-331-6060 or reach out to us online.
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