What is Sciatica? Sciatica is a condition that affects the nerves in the lower back. When these nerves become inflamed or damaged, they can create pain and weakness in the back that travels into the buttocks, down the leg, and into the foot. When the nerve that is affected is the sciatic nerve, the pain and weakness are called "sciatica."
Is Sciatica Similar to Back Pain?
Many think of sciatica as back pain because usually, the pain starts in the nerve roots that are located on either side of the lower spine. However, it is different from a case of back pain. In cases of sciatica, the sciatic nerves specifically are affected and pinched. This requires a different treatment than other cases of back pain.
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What are the Symptoms of Sciatic Pain?
Sciatic pain is usually felt in one leg and is described as intolerable. Its shooting pain feels like an electric shock or a burning sensation. You may also feel pain along with numbness in some part of the same leg. Some patients describe it as a pain that starts from one side of the lower spine, goes down to the buttock, and down to the leg. Others describe it as a hip pain and foot pain, which is hard to bear.
What are the Causes of Sciatica?
There are four main causes of sciatica. The first and most common cause is a slipped disc, it is the narrowing of the spinal canal in the lower back. Another is lumbar spinal stenosis which is a nerve compression disorder most often affecting older adults. Third is Spondylolisthesis, a condition in which one vertebra slips out of place.
Last is due to pregnancy, this is caused by hormonal changes causing the pelvic relaxation. The other reasons include lifestyle habits such as not exercising on a regular basis, wearing high heels, sleeping on a very soft mattress, obesity, and pregnancy.
How to Treat Sciatica?
Sciatic nerve pain is difficult to bear. Adjustments and electrotherapy can bring you back into alignment and help inflamed areas heal more quickly. Using ultrasound-guided needle injections can also cure sore tissues and nerve.
If you have sciatica, you often experience a gradual onset of numbness, prickling or tingling in your feet or hands called peripheral neuropathy. The mainstay of our peripheral neuropathy treatment program centers around infrared and near-infrared light therapy and a special type of painless electrical stimulation. These therapies effectively penetrate the skin to stimulate healing of the damaged nerves and to restore normal nerve function while assisting in new capillary formation and nerve growth.
If you or a loved one are looking for non-surgical treatment for sciatica in Harrisburg, Lancaster, Reading or any nearby area, call us today at (717) 652-5550 to schedule a free consultation. We can help you alleviate your pain through our proven pain management techniques.