Most people don’t spend a lot of time thinking about their sciatic nerve. However, the sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the human body. It is actually formed out of the five nerve roots from the lower spine and runs from your lower back through your hips and buttocks and down each leg.
If you have ever felt a burning, shooting or stabbing pain running along this path down your low back, through your backside or down your leg—you may be experience an issue with your sciatic nerve, or a problem with sciatica.
What is Sciatica?
Sciatica is actually a term that refers to the pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve and it is an unfortunately common condition that causes a lot of people a significant amount of debilitating pain. Typically sciatica forms because that nerve is inflamed or pinched.
Here at our Laurel chiropractic office, we see a lot of people dealing with sciatica and know how difficult that this type of pain can be. This is why we are here to help our patients not only understand sciatica, but to determine the best way they can treat this condition and get back to a pain-free life.
What Are the Signs of Sciatica?
Understanding the signs and symptoms of sciatica is a great way to determine whether or not you need to visit your chiropractor for an exam. Typically, sciatica only impacts one side of the body. Here are a few other signs to look for that could indicate you are dealing with sciatica.
- Numbness in your back, buttock or leg. Numbness is one of the biggest signs of sciatica, especially if it is only on one side. When the nerve is compressed or irritated, it can cut of feeling in that nerve and along that side of the body.
- Sharp or shooting pain. If you have sciatica, you may have a dull, throbbing pain in your leg, or a shooting pain that radiates from your back all the way down to your ankle, it may be sciatica. Many people describe the pain as shocking, stabbing or shooting. Depending on the damage, it can be consistent pain or may only be periodic.
- Loss of balance. When you have sciatica impacting one side of your body, it can lead to balance issues. Many times, this stems from an inability to stand on the affected leg.
- Muscle weakness. When your sciatic nerve is damaged, it can lead to muscle weakness since it makes it difficult to move. Muscle weakness can also lead to issues with standing, exercising or walking. If you notice this weakness is one leg instead of the other, then it may be sciatica.
Some sciatica-related symptoms and pain will resolve on their own, but this isn’t always the case. If the nerve damage is severe, it can get worse over time and may actually get worse when you’re at rest. If you find your pain is getting worse, or gets worse when you sit, it can be from sciatic nerve compression.
Any of these symptoms are a sign that you should visit a Doctor of Chiropractic right away.
What Causes Sciatica?
Sciatica is a very common and painful condition that can sometimes be difficult to treat. One of the reasons that sciatica can be difficult to treat is because there are a number of different problems that can actually cause sciatica.
The most common cause of sciatica is a herniated disc, or bulging disc. When this type of injury occurs, it can actually compress that nerve and cause severe pain. However, there are other known causes of sciatica, including:
- Bone spurs
- Chronic Inflammation
There are also many women who struggle with sciatica when they are pregnant.
Understanding the root cause of your sciatica is one of the most important steps towards finding real, lasting relief from your sciatica pain.
Here at McAuliffe Chiropractic Office, we know that there are countless people across Maryland who regularly struggle with sciatica pain. However, it doesn’t have to be that way.
Contact our chiropractic office today at 301-776-0755 or schedule an appointment online here. We proudly serve the greater Howard County and Prince George’s County area with our more than 40 years combined experience in quality chiropractic care.