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Patchogue Chiropractor >Patchogue Chiropractic News >    Sciatica: Fast Facts!
Sciatica: Fast Facts!

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Sciatica: Fast Facts!

Sciatica occurs when one experiences constant pain in the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back to the buttocks and on down through the lower legs. It goes all the way from the lower back to the bottom of the legs, making it the longest nerve in the body. This important nerve causes us to have feeling in our legs and feet by adjusting the muscles in the lower legs.

Often misunderstood, the lower back and leg pain known as sciatica is quite common. Instead of grouping all nerve pain into a general diagnosis of sciatica, in actuality it refers to a set of particular symptoms. Sciatica symptoms seem to affect those between the ages of 30 and 50 the most. Sciatica sufferers experience increased damage to the lower spine over time. Sciatica is usually not the result of an injury.

Signs of Sciatica
Discomfort experienced from the lower back down through the lower legs — where the sciatic nerve runs — is the main symptom. However, there is a wide variety of symptoms that someone can have; what matters is where the nerve is most problematic. The pain can be felt in a number of ways: a burning feeling, tingling sensation, weak feeling in the muscles, a dull ache, or numbness. It's usually just one side of the body that feels this pain or discomfort. People also sometimes feel a "pins and needles" type of sensation in the foot.

Often the pain isn't too bad when the symptoms first appear, but then it gets worse over time. Moving suddenly after sitting for an extended period can intensify pain. Even just sneezing or coughing when you have a cold can cause your pain to get worse.

Is What You Have Sciatica?
Your medical profile must be thoroughly evaluated by a doctor in order to determine if you have sciatica. First, your medical history is reviewed. Then, your legs and spine will be the focus of physical and neurological tests by your doctor of chiropractic. Give an accurate description of the pain, from when it began to how bad it can get to how to alleviate it. Your chiropractor may wish to test your muscle strength, sensory response, and reflexes by asking you to perform natural, everyday movements. These tasks will consist of basic movements; for example, lying on the examination table and lifting each of your legs up in the air.

Sometimes, tests like an MRI, CT scan or X-ray may be ordered to assist with the diagnosis. If an infection or tumor (or another serious condition) exists, it will be evident on the images from these useful tests. If a patient shows no signs of improvement or shows symptoms that are more intense, these tests can be useful in the process of diagnosis.

Ways to Treat Sciatica
The majority of sciatica patients respond well to regular, yet cautious treatment. Noting that sciatica is symptomatic, there is no one particular treatment that will work for everyone. One's care will depend on the root of the problem(s).

Going to a chiropractor will keep your treatment surgery- and drug-free. Chiropractic care aims to keep the spine functioning as it should, fix spinal movement when need be, and end a patient's pain in the spinal area. Various causes of sciatica dictate the use of various treatments. Therapeutic exercises, treatment with ice and/or heat, and spinal adjustments are just some of the methods of treatment chiropractors use.

How to Prevent Sciatica
You can usually keep sciatica from negatively impacting your health by making spinal and back health a priority. These can help:

  • Exercise often
  • Be smoke-free
  • Maintain good posture
  • Eat healthy and maintain a good diet
  • Make sure the body is moving smoothly while lifting weight
  • Keeping active

To reiterate, symptoms felt along the sciatic nerve is sciatica. To determine what treatment options are best for you, you will experience an evaluation of your symptoms, medical profile, and lifestyle. You can find out more about sciatica and how to treat it by calling your doctor of chiropractic. You'll then be able to figure out the right treatment option for you.


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