Have you experienced sheer agony from just standing up? Walking has became labored and now avoided all together due to the immense pain that shoots down one leg or the other. Unfortunately, this description is far to common. Your condition is diagnosed most often as sciatica. It is managed by medication until the point that the medication no longer works or leaves your incapacitated. The constant and never ending pain simply becomes accepted as a way of life. At this point you will be not only physically debilitated but emotionally exhausted.
Ready to walk away and leave this pain behind forever? Read on!
First Understanding the Sciatic Nerve
Your sciatic nerve is the longest and widest nerve in your body, and runs from the lower back, down through the buttock, and all the way into the lower leg, where it controls the muscles in that area. It also provides sensation to the thighs, legs, and the soles of the feet. When the sciatic nerve becomes irritated it causes pain. This condition is known as sciatica. Sciatica refers to the various symptoms associated with the irritation, and does not give any indication as to the root cause of the irritation.
Most often low-back and leg pain reported is sciatic pain, and it is most evident in the age bracket of 30 to 50 years old. It is more commonly a result of general wear and tear, rather than an injury.
Symptoms of Sciatic Pain
The most obvious giveaway that you are suffering sciatic pain is when it follows the route of the sciatic nerve and is typically apparent only on one side of the body. However, there are variations in how exactly that pain is felt, including tingling, pins and needles, aching or burning. Others may also exhibit pins-and-needles in the toes or foot, or muscle numbness/weakness in the affected leg or foot.
More often than not, sciatica first manifests slowly, then increases in intensity, often being accentuated after sitting or bending, or sudden movements such as sneezing or coughing.
This starts with your doctor of chiropractic taking a complete patient history. Your descriptions of where the pain is, how it is felt, when it began, and which activities cause you most pain, are all important in helping to form a diagnosis. It is also necessary to undergo a physical and neurological examination, with a particular focus on your spine and legs. Your ability to perform certain activities will be monitored to assess your sensory strength, muscle strength, and reflexes, and any pain resulting from these activities.
Diagnostic imaging, such as x-ray, MRI, or CT scan may be ordered by your doctor of chiropractic if it is felt there may be more at play, such as a serious underlying problem. This may happen if there is no improvement in symptoms following 6 to 8 weeks of conservative treatment.
Ready for Action!
To learn more about sciatica and how we may help you restore function and conquer sciatic pain once and for all do not hesitate to call our office. Our expert team is ready to help!
For Your Health,
Dr. Scott Van Dam