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What Is Sciatica Pain, and What Are the Symptoms?

Sciatica is a term used to describe pain that radiates down the back of your leg, most commonly caused by a herniated disk in the lower back. Sciatica pain can range from mild to severe and occurs most strongly when sitting or standing for long periods. It is sometimes referred to as “sciatica neuropathy” for the tingling sensations that usually accompany the pain.

Other common sciatica symptoms include numbness and weakness in the arms and legs, difficulty walking, and pain in movement. It can affect anyone at any age but is most common in people aged 30-50. The symptoms of sciatica usually start gradually and worsen over time. This condition can be extremely painful and significantly affect your quality of life, making it essential to understand it and how to eliminate the pain effectively.

What Causes Sciatica Pain?

The sciatic nerve is the longest in your body and originates in the lower spine. It extends from your lower back down to your calf muscle and provides sensation and motor control to your legs. Any condition that affects the spine can cause sciatica. The most common causes of are herniated discs and degenerative disc disease.

When discs become injured or damaged, they can push against the nerves in your back, causing irritation and inflammation of the surrounding tissue. Another common cause of sciatica is lumbar spinal stenosis, which is a narrowing of the spinal canal that can cause compression of the spinal cord and nerve roots. 

How Is The Pain Treated?

Traditional treatments for sciatica pain range from anti-inflammatory medications and pain relievers to steroid injections and surgery. In many cases, however, these treatments do not provide lasting relief from your symptoms and may even cause more harm than good. Many natural treatment options can relieve your pain and improve your overall health and well-being without the potential side effects of traditional treatments.

These include chiropractic care, acupuncture, massage therapy, and stretching and strengthening exercises. Chiropractic care, in particular, is highly effective at treating sciatica and reducing its associated symptoms. Unlike traditional treatments, chiropractic manipulation can safely realign your spine and reduce pressure on your affected nerves without any harmful side effects.

What Are the Risks Associated With Sciatica Pain?

With low back pain conditions such as sciatica, there is a greater risk of developing chronic pain in the future if you do not seek proper treatment. Left untreated, the compression of your nerves in the spine can lead to permanent nerve damage and degenerative changes in the spine that can lead to other conditions like osteoarthritis. If you suffer from sciatica or any other type of back pain that is causing you discomfort, you should consult your doctor to determine which treatment option is right for you.

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How Can You Prevent Sciatica Pain From Occurring?

Sciatica pain can result when one or more of the bones in your spine become misaligned or compressed from injury or chronic misuse. The condition can impact your quality of life significantly, but there are steps to help you avoid developing it in the first place. 

A healthy lifestyle that includes good nutrition and regular exercise is one of the best ways to reduce the risk of experiencing pain. Maintaining a good posture while sitting and standing are also essential to minimize the strain on your back. Staying active helps strengthen your muscles and improve flexibility, reducing the risk of developing back problems.

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For some people, sciatica is an acute problem that will resolve after a few days of rest and simple home remedies such as over-the-counter pain relievers and ice packs. However, many people with the condition experience unbearable sciatica pain and may require ongoing treatment to address the underlying cause and prevent it from recurring. 

St. Johns Chiropractic & Performance offers services to treat various chronic pain problems, including sciatica. As an experienced chiropractor in St. Johns, FL, we provide spinal adjustments and therapy treatments to help relieve pain and improve your mobility so you can start moving pain free again. For more information on treatment options for sciatica pain, contact us at 904-217-7078 to schedule an appointment.