Contrary to popular belief, sciatica isn’t the name for a medical condition. Instead, it’s a term used to describe pain, irritation, or general discomfort felt along your sciatic nerve.
The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in your body and runs from your lower back, over your buttocks, down your thighs, and into your legs.
Sciatica may occur due to a variety of conditions, but it’s most commonly the result of a slipped or herniated disc.
The most common symptom of sciatica is a sharp, shooting, electric pain that starts in the lower back and travels down a leg or sometimes both.
Other common symptoms include numbness in your legs and feet and pins-and-needles sensations in your toes. The pain caused by sciatica varies in severity but is typically worse after long periods of sitting or lying down.
Sciatica mostly affects adults, but children may suffer from sciatica, too.
However, there are certain factors that increase your risk of developing sciatica, including being middle-aged, having a job that requires you to perform repetitive motions or heavy lifting, and living a primarily sedentary lifestyle.
You can significantly lower your risk by exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy weight.
To diagnose sciatica, Dr. Henze performs a physical exam, asks you questions about the symptoms you’re experiencing, and reviews your medical history. He might also recommend an X-ray or other imaging procedures to pinpoint the underlying source of your discomfort.
After gathering all of the necessary information, Dr. Henze develops a custom chiropractic treatment plan that aligns with your unique needs.
The goal of chiropractic treatment for sciatica is to alleviate your symptoms and increase your overall mobility. Typically, this involves a combination of chiropractic adjustments, light exercise, and ice or heat therapy. Dr. Henze might also recommend vitamin supplements or nutrition modifications to encourage your body’s natural healing processes.
Although chiropractic care is generally successful at treating and relieving sciatica, sometimes further intervention is necessary. If your pain persists or your symptoms get worse, Dr. Henze can refer you to a physical therapist or an orthopedic specialist.
If you’re one of the millions of Americans suffering from sciatica, help is available. Call Henze Chiropractic & Wellness or book an appointment online today.