There are many different conditions that people see a chiropractor for, and among the most common conditions is sciatica. If you don't know what sciatica is, it can sound pretty intimidating. Understanding what sciatica is and what you can do to reduce sciatica related pain can be liberating for many people. Here are some frequently asked questions about sciatica.
What Is Sciatica?
Most of the time when someone says they have sciatica, they are referring to flareups of discomfort in the sciatic nerve that can be brought on by a number of factors.
The sciatic nerve starts in the lower back, near the base of the spine and travels through the buttocks and down the legs all the way to the feet and toes. Most of the time, sciatic pain is felt primarily on one side, although the sciatic nerve itself branches to run down both legs, so discomfort can be felt in either side and in some cases, both. Usually, the word "sciatica" is used to mean sciatic nerve pain.
What Causes Sciatic Nerve Pain?
Sciatic nerve pain is most commonly triggered by a herniated disk, a bone spur, or by spinal stenosis. Any of these factors can lead to inflammation causing pain or numbness along the path of the sciatic nerve. In some cases, it can contribute to leg weakness, and may be associated with bladder and bowel control issues.
What Can I Do about My Sciatica?
In the early stages, most people treat sciatica in the same way they treat many other aches and pains, by taking over the counter medications. Pain medications only mask the pain temporarily and can cause long term liver problems. In some cases, treatment by medication only leads people to seek stronger prescription medication and invasive surgical treatments. There are other options that give you more control as a patient available at Circle Chiropractic Center in Fairfax. These include:
- Chiropractic Adjustments - repositions vertebrae to alleviate nerve compression
- Massage Therapy - reduces muscle tension
- Acupuncture - uses ultra-fine needles to tap into the healing energy with your body
- Spinal Decompression - a procedure that takes the pressure off the sciatic nerve to allow healing
- Cold Laser Therapy - a treatment that targets inflammation to trigger healing
- At-Home Exercises and Lifestyle Adjustments - our chiropractor can show you specific exercises that you can do at home that will reduce pressure on the sciatic nerve, as well as show you changes you can make to your workspace to prevent reinjury
Whether you are experiencing pain caused by sciatica, or have discomfort for some other reason, a chiropractor may be the unexpected answer to feeling better. At Circle Chiropractic Center, P.C. in Fairfax, VA, our chiropractor can help with a wide range of ailments from headaches to carpal tunnel to various sports injuries and more. To learn more or to schedule an assessment, contact us at Circle Chiropractic Center, P.C. in Fairfax, VA, at 703-385-2990.