With more than 3 million US cases per year, sciatica is a common condition.
The sciatic nerve is the largest and thickest nerve in your body. It originates in your buttock/gluteal area and comprises five nerve roots: two in the lumbar spine and three in the sacrum. From the root, the nerve runs down each side of your body, through your hips, buttocks, and down a leg, ending just below the knee.
WHAT IS SCIATIC PAIN?
Sciatic pain is caused by nerve root irritation from inflammation, pinching, or compression in the lower back. The most common cause is a herniated or slipped disc that causes pressure on the nerve root.
WHAT ARE SYMPTOMS OF SCIATIC PAIN?
Sciatica pain most often affects one side of the body. The pain can be felt from the lower back, the back of the thigh, and down the leg. Depending on where the sciatic nerve is irritated, the pain may also affect the foot and/or toes.
The most common symptoms of sciatica include:
- Constant pain on one glute
- Shooting pain that makes standing difficult
- Pain in the buttocks or leg that gets worse when you try to sit down
- Tingling or burning sensations that seem to run down the leg
- A numbing feeling, weakness, or difficulty moving the leg or foot
If you are experiencing any signs or symptoms of sciatica pain, contact us today, and we’ll set up your initial health evaluation with one of our medical providers. As specialists in this field, our goal is to get you out of pain through our integrative conservative therapies.
WHAT CAUSES SCIATIC PAIN?
A herniated disc is the most common cause—a torn or cracked disc that bulges into the spinal canal, pinching the sciatic nerve.
Sciatica can also be caused by lumbar spinal stenosis, which is the narrowing of the spinal canal located in the lower back.
Another cause is the breakdown of cushion between the vertebrae, causing discs to rub together and irritate the nerves.
Spondylolisthesis—when one vertebra slips over another—is another condition that causes sciatica.
Pregnancy or a woman who has recently given birth is susceptible to sciatic pain.
WHAT ARE RISK FACTORS OF SCIATIC PAIN?
Several factors may increase the risk of developing sciatica:
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Occupations that put stress on your back like lifting & carrying heavy objects or sitting for long periods of time
SCIATICA THERAPY AND TREATMENT OPTIONS
Sciatica affects people in different ways. Most cases of sciatica are not severe, but symptoms can range from mild to excruciating. For some, the pain clears up within a few weeks, while others may require more treatments and monitoring to ensure that sciatica pain does not flare up again.
At OC Wellness Physician Group, we treat sciatica pain from a holistic standpoint, using non-invasive treatments first and moving to more advanced methods if necessary.
We offer the following treatment options:
- Chiropractic care helps restore mobility and relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve
- Acupuncture treatments for pain relief
- Physical Therapy and Pilates exercises for proper spinal alignment and posture
- Targeted massage therapy to loosen tight muscles
- Spinal decompression coupled with the class IV laser therapy
- Our doctors may also recommend medications such as NSAIDs, ibuprofen, or prescription pain medications such as muscle relaxers.
If these conservative remedies don’t bring complete relief, we may explore using epidural steroid injections or even surgery.
PREVENTATIVE MEASURES FOR SCIATIC PAIN
Keeping your spine healthy is often a matter of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. This includes keeping a healthy weight, daily movement & activity, and stretching before or after your workouts.
When sciatica strikes, stay active by taking 15 minutes walks to increase blood flow to your discs and nerves. Swimming and stretching are effective exercises to help combat sciatic pain.
When you are not suffering from sciatica pain, you can help stabilize your spine and reduce an injury’s likelihood by increasing core strength. Exercises like Pilates and yoga are excellent for flexibility and mobility.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT DURING MY FIRST VISIT?
At OC Wellness Physicians Medical Group, we have a well-rounded, holistic approach to your sciatic pain care. Our expert medical staff works collaboratively to provide comprehensive patient care and better results from a combination of treatments. But first, we want to know about you and what you are experiencing.
Here’s a summary of what to expect during your initial appointment:
- Let’s talk – we want to know the symptoms you are experiencing, and how long you’ve had the pain.
- You’ll fill out a detailed health history.
- We will perform an examination.
- X-rays or other in-house imaging will be taken if needed.
- Our staff will develop an initial diagnosis.
- Our doctors will provide recommended options for a treatment plan.
- If you are using insurance, our staff will contact your insurance company about coverage.
- If you are not using insurance, we have flexible cash options and easy-pay financing plans available.
You’re always involved in your care plan each step of the way. We can treat and manage your symptoms for both immediate relief and long-term success, all in one place.
Ready to start living pain-free?