If you’ve ever fallen to your knees in pain because of sciatica, you know how scary it can be. Pain that locks up your low back and travels down your leg after sneezing, coughing, or bending over is one of the least welcomed surprises you can experience in your life.
Sciatic pain is caused when a spinal disc, excess bone, or overgrown ligaments begin to pinch the nerves in your low back that travel down your buttocks and legs all the way to your feet. While the sciatic nerve itself runs down the middle of the back of your leg, the term "sciatica" is commonly used for any leg pain from coming from the back. Sometimes we even hear people calling back pain "sciatica"
You may be surprised to learn that disc bulges and herniations are quite common as we get older, and a majority of the time, they don’t cause any pain. That’s right. You can and may have various spinal disc issues that aren’t causing you any pain. However, if a nerve in your low back is pinched, your body is sure to let you know about it with a jolt of pain.
It may seem like the only way to “take care” of a bulged or herniated disc is by cutting it out with surgery, but that’s not the case. The best way to treat it is with the type of care offered in our practice: Stretching, exercise and spinal adjustments have all been shown to be extremely effective at reducing the pain associated with sciatica because they reduce the pinching (or compression) on your spinal nerves. And they work better when you use them together.
- Controlled movement of your spinal joints can help reduce the inflammation and pain.
- Surgery is a last resort, and it’s estimated that less than 5% of people with sciatica are good candidates for surgical intervention.
- A recent study found that people with lumbar disc herniations had more relief (over 60%) with spinal adjustments than with spinal injections.
Having sciatica doesn’t mean that you are destined for surgery. In fact, the majority of people with disc issues and sciatica can get well-using chiropractic care. Remember, your spine is resilient, your spinal discs can heal, and that we’re here to help!
Low back pain, Disc and Sciatica