The sciatic nerve is the largest in the body. It runs from the lower back through the back of each leg, connecting the spinal cord with the foot muscles. Pressure on this nerve can result in a number of painful and troublesome symptoms known as sciatica. The condition is hallmarked by persistent pain which originates with the sciatic nerve and runs from the lower back, through the buttock, and down into the lower leg. In addition to these symptoms, some patients report a sensation of pins and needles, numbness, and even muscle weakness in the affected foot and toes.
Risk Factors for Sciatica
While anyone can develop sciatica symptoms, there are certain groups of individuals who are at a higher risk of suffering from them. The determining factors for most of these groups will be age, medical conditions, and lifestyle. The most at risk individuals include:
· Middle-Aged Adults – Sciatica is rarely seen before age 30, and is most prevalent in those individuals age 30-50. This is typically due to age-related conditions of the spine such as deterioration of discs.
· Runners – The piriformis muscle which runs through the hip is continually contracting during activities such as running and walking. Over time this can irritate the underlying sciatic nerve in those who normally take part in these activities.
· Sedentary Adults- The sedentary nature of many jobs puts those who perform them at increased risk of developing sciatic nerve pain due to the amount of pressure placed on the nerve throughout the course of the day.
· Pregnant Women – The many changes that take place in the body during pregnancy can mean the appearance of a number of medical conditions, sciatica being among the most common. During pregnancy, organs shift, and the growing baby places an increasing amount of pressure on the nerve.
How Can Chiropractic Help Sciatica?
When any of the above factors results in additional pressure on the sciatic nerve, sufferers will search desperately for relief. The ongoing symptoms of pain, numbness, and weakness may even lead to surgery in the most severe cases. However, the vast majority can be vastly improved through gentle, non-invasive treatments such as traditional chiropractic adjustments or spinal decompression.
These treatment options will reduce inflammation surrounding the nerve and promote healing of damaged fibers in any surrounding bulging or herniated discs by allowing the water, oxygen, and nutrient-rich fluids to make their way into the discs. These two services give patients comfortable and holistic methods by which to restore comfort and their ability to move freely, without pain.
At SouthEast Chiropractic: The Motion Centers, we offer expert chiropractic care for sciatica and other conditions. Our skilled physicians provide services such as adjustments and spinal decompression to help.Simply click below to request an appointment with us