Do you experience pain, burning, tingling, or numbness in the back of your legs? You might be dealing with sciatic pain. This neurological condition impacts the sciatic nerve, the longest nerve in the body. With up to 40% of people experiencing sciatica at some point in life, it’s one of today’s most prevalent pain conditions.
In this article, we’ll discuss what you need to know about sciatic pain, including its possible causes and treatment options.
What Does Sciatic Pain Feel Like?
The sciatic nerve extends from the lower back through the buttocks and down the backs of the legs. So, you may experience sciatic pain at any point along this pathway.
Sciatic pain is often accompanied by neurological symptoms like tingling, burning, numbness, weakness, and a pins and needles sensation in the affected area. The pain and neurological symptoms may worsen after extended periods of sitting, coughing, or sneezing.
What Causes Sciatica?
Sciatic pain occurs when the sciatic nerve becomes irritated or compressed. This may result from the following spinal conditions:
- Herniated disc
- Spinal stenosis
- Spinal injury
- Degenerative disc disease
- Spinal tumors or cysts
- Pregnancy: Sciatic pain can arise during pregnancy as the growing fetus imparts pressure on the sciatic nerve.
Additionally, you may be at a higher risk of developing sciatica if you have a sedentary occupation, are obese, have a previous spinal injury, or have poor posture.
How is Sciatica Treated?
Mild cases of sciatica can resolve on their own with at-home treatments like heat/cold therapy and over-the-counter pain medications. However, when sciatica doesn’t improve after a few weeks, it may require medical intervention.
Chiropractic care and physical therapy are conservative treatments that can help alleviate sciatic pain. An experienced PT can provide exercises that take pressure off of the sciatic nerve, often by strengthening the muscles that support the spine. A chiropractor can restore spinal alignment with manual adjustments, among other methods, to stimulate healing and reduce spinal alignment.
Schedule an appointment at Florida Wellness Group to learn more about the available treatment options for sciatica.