Lower back pain can occur in people of all ages. If you’re experiencing a sharp pain that shoots down your lower back into your legs, it could be sciatica. According to the Mayo Clinic, sciatica commonly occurs with a herniated disk or bone spur on the spine. Typically, sciatica only affects one side of your body. It can feel like a mild ache or like an electric shock, when you move or cough. In many cases, the pain goes away over time, but it is uncomfortable.
What Causes Sciatica?
The sciatic nerve runs from the lower part of your spine, down your thigh, and divides at the knee. When the nerve becomes pinched, such from a herniated disk, it causes pain. Some of the risk factors include:
- Age – as your body gets older, the soft center of your spinal discs can push through a crack in the exterior casing.
- Obesity – having more body weight contributes to stress on your spine.
- Prolonged sitting – a sedentary lifestyle can increase your risk of sciatica.
- Diabetes – this chronic condition increases your risk of nerve damage, which increases your risk of sciatica.
How Do You Treat Sciatica?
Sciatica is usually treated with self-care measures. The first few days of sciatica pain, you can use ice to help ease the inflammation and over-the-counter anti-inflammatories, such as ibuprofen, to alleviate the pain. After the first week, heat treatments increase the blood flow to the area. Heat relaxes the muscles, to let you stretch those muscles. Although it feels counterintuitive, movement helps sciatica pain. You may want to rest because your back hurts, but staying in bed won’t make sciatica any better. Mild exercise strengthens your muscles and improves flexibility.
Chiropractic Care For Sciatica
A chiropractor is concerned about spinal movement, making chiropractic care perfect treatment for sciatica. Chiropractic treatment is a non-invasive and drug-free method that helps your body heal itself. The chiropractor can use massage therapy to soothe your sciatica pain, because of the knowledge of the musculoskeletal system. Applied pressure to certain points of your nervous system can relax your muscles and start the healing process. The chiropractor can help you with other non-invasive therapies that can help your body. Applying heat and cold to the right parts of your muscles and knowing when to use each one can be beneficial. Chiropractic adjustments can help take the pressure off your sciatic nerve to regain mobility. You’ll get long-term relief with regular chiropractic care.