Sciatica Pain

Sciatica and Nerve Related Back and Leg Pain

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Do you have lower back pain or pain literally in the rear that runs down into one thigh or below the knee into the leg and even the foot? A doctor may diagnose these symptoms as sciatica, which describes compression of the sciatic nerve.

Sensations include:

  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Pins and needles
  • Electric like shock running through the leg

Depending on the affected nerve, pain could radiate only into the buttock or down to the foot. A common cause is a lumbar disc herniation or bone spur that presses down on the spinal nerve. Sciatic pain radiates along the nerve, usually from the low back, down the buttocks, into the thigh and leg, below the knee, and sometimes into the foot and big toe.

Sciatica usually affects one side of the body.

 

 

Radicular Pain

A doctor may use the terms radicular pain or radiculopathy when talking about sciatica. Radiculopathy is pain/adverse sensation that travels along a nerve. When a spinal nerve root is compressed, pinched, or injured, it becomes inflamed. Low back conditions contributing to this problem are spinal stenosis, foraminal stenosis, or herniated disc.

Proper Diagnosis & Proper Treatment

The doctor will ask about your symptoms:

  • When did the pain begin?
  • Where is the pain most intense?
  • What activities worsen the pain?
  • What activities reduce pain?
  • Does the pain go all the way down the leg or stop at the knee?
  • Do you feel weakness or tingling in your legs or feet?

A doctor might perform a straight-leg test to see if there is an inflamed nerve. This is a simple exam where you lie on your back, and the doctor lifts each leg. If this causes or produces pain and sensations, it can indicate a bulging/slipped, or ruptured disc.

The compression of the nerve can also cause muscle weakness in the foot. Another exam may be to walk like you usually do, then on your heels, and finally on your toes. This checks your balance and lower-body strength.

 

A doctor will:

  • Check your posture
  • Range of motion
  • Movements that cause pain
  • Check the curvature and alignment of your spine
  • Check for muscle spasms
  • Note your sensations
  • Test your reflexes and muscle strength

A doctor may order x-rays, CT scans, or MRI.

The CT scan or MRI provides doctors with various images of your spine, which can help diagnose whatever is causing your symptoms. These tests are then compared to what the doctor noted during your medical history interview and the physical and neurological examinations. An accurate diagnosis is the first step in figuring out the best treatment plan.

 

 

Could something else be causing the nerve pain?

Only a doctor can tell if your symptoms are sciatica. Other structures in the spine can cause similar types of pain.

  • The sacroiliac joint between the pelvis and sacrum is the lowest part of the spine can cause sciatic pain.
  • The facet joint which connects the joints in the back of the spine gets sprained; it can also cause sciatica-like pain.
  • A tear in a spinal disc can cause pain down into the leg.
  • The hip joint can also cause pain in the thigh that can radiate outward.

Sciatica Nerve Treatment

Sciatica can be treated non-surgically with:

  • Chiropractic care
  • Physical therapy
  • 24 to 48 hours of bed rest
  • Over the counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen

Patients with sciatica feel better with time, usually a few weeks. If pain continues, other treatment modalities can be discussed. Muscle spasms can accompany sciatica symptoms and can be treated with heat or ice therapy. A doctor may advise light exercise like short walks, and once recovery is established, they may give you exercises to strengthen your back and core.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch with our chiropractic team today to schedule an appointment if you are experiencing symptoms of sciatica. We are ready to help you feel better and get back on your feet again.


 

Severe*Sciatica* Pain Relief El Paso, TX. (2020)

 


 

NCBI Resources

A study cited by the health magazine Prevention found that sixty percent of sciatica sufferers who failed to get relief from other treatments found their symptoms improved after chiropractic care. They got the same comfort level as those who went through surgery – without any of the severe side effects that so often come with surgical procedures.

Chiropractic effectively treats sciatica because it gets to the source of the problem – relieving pressure on the sciatic nerve.

Post Disclaimer

Professional Scope of Practice *

The information herein on "Sciatica and Nerve Related Back and Leg Pain" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional.

Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.*

Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.

We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.

We are here to help you and your family.

Blessings

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

Licensed in: Texas & New Mexico*

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