If you’re dealing with pain in your lower back that travels down one or both legs, it’s likely that you’re experiencing sciatica. Other, more life-threatening conditions can mimic sciatica symptoms, therefore it is important to have a physician diagnose your symptoms. While sciatic pain can be crippling and make daily life difficult, fortunately, you can find relief.
Sciatica is pain that radiates along the sciatic nerve that runs from the lower back down one or both legs. There are many conditions and injuries that can be causing your sciatica. Keep reading to learn more about sciatica symptoms and their causes, and explore the different treatment options available today.
Symptoms and Causes
Lower back problems can cause aching, stiffness, cramping, or muscle spasms, along with tingling, numbness, or muscle weakness in the buttocks, legs, and feet.
There are many different causes of pain due to the complexity of our anatomy and the multitude of muscles, ligaments, and structures that make up the lower back. Causes include muscular dysfunction, nerve irritation, changes in the spinal column, sprains or strains from a fall or other type of injury, or chronic and long-lasting injuries stemming from overuse and poor posture. There could also be specific conditions that you’re dealing with such as herniated discs or degenerative disc disease.
The first step to treating your lower back pain is to determine what is causing the pain. Your physician will perform a series of medical tests and physical examinations to better understand your symptoms and pinpoint a cause.
Below are some treatment options that typically help relieve pain caused by sciatica.
Exercise and Rehabilitation
Adhering to certain workouts and exercises can help correct body mechanics and posture to minimize the effects of sciatica and help you regain range of motion. Therapy programs involve stretching, postural movements, and functional movements then strengthening activities are increased as your tolerance progresses.
Incorporating exercises involving flexibility and posture enhancement into your rehabilitation can help relieve the tightness you’re experiencing and enable your musculoskeletal system to function optimally.
One way to treat low back pain is through chiropractic care. Spinal manipulation is a therapeutic intervention performed on spinal articulations. Your chiropractor will use their hands to apply a controlled force to a joint in order to remove pressure on the sciatic nerve, restore movement and relieve pain.
This form of spinal manipulation for the lower back and hip area is a gentle, controlled distractive force that stretches individual spinal segments. This treatment utilizes a specialized table with hydraulics that create smooth, pumping motions to stretch the joints along the spine. This therapy can relieve a pinched nerve or arthritic spinal column.
Electric Muscle Stimulation
This treatment method uses varying voltage currents applied in specific frequency ranges and intensities to increase circulation, modulate cells to assist with repairing damaged tissue, and increase muscle control and coordination. This stimulation also decreases muscle spasms, as well as pain, inflammation, and edema. It’s typically used in early stages of care to boost healing.
Cold Laser Therapy
This advanced therapy applies photons at a wavelength appropriate to penetrate your skin and be absorbed into the underlying tissues. The cold laser speeds recovery, especially in conditions involving inflammation or spasm. Cold laser therapy can be used to treat muscles, discs, nerves, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, bursae, and fascia.
Cold therapy is meant to decrease metabolism and circulation which can reduce pain and muscle spasms. Cold or ice is applied to recent injuries and conditions in order to slow inflammation and relieve pain. Ice can also be used along with muscle stimulation at the end of your visit to reduce soreness.
If you’ve been dealing with sciatica, click here to contact Aligned Medical Group and find relief today.