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Sciatica refers to a group of symptoms that includes weakness, tingling, pain or numbness traveling down the sciatic nerve from the lower back to the back of the thigh and sometimes into the foot. The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the body and like all nerves, if it is pinched or compressed it can send out irregular impulses. Most sciatica sufferers experience discomfort on only one side of the body, but in rare cases the sciatic nerves on both sides of the spine can be symptomatic.
The discomfort of sciatica can vary greatly from one patient to another. Some people report a severe, even debilitating pain while others may feel only mild or occasional discomfort. Sciatica may be described as a dull ache, a burning sensation, a feeling like an electrical shock going down the leg, unexplained weakness on the affected side, tingling or numbness. The pain of sciatica may begin suddenly as the result of an accident or slowly increase over time.
The diagnosis of sciatica can be somewhat confusing because sciatica itself is technically a symptom of another problem. The most common reason for sciatica is compression of the sciatic nerve caused by a herniated or slipped disk. Other causes include a pelvic injury, spinal stenosis, piriformis syndrome or tumors.
Surgery is frequently suggested when a herniated disc causes sciatica or other types of pain. Chiropractic care offers a non-invasive, drug-free alternative to back surgery. Most patients respond to conservative care such as rest, exercise, ice packs, over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication, lifestyle changes and the non-invasive treatments available through chiropractic care. At Gremmels Chiropractic Center, Inc., our doctors have helped many people avoid surgery through a customized plan of non-invasive treatments. Your specialized plan may include:
Chiropractic spinal adjustments are recommended to return a slipped disk back into correct position and improve over-all spinal health. Spinal decompression therapy utilizes traction to increase space between the spinal vertebrae. Restoring the proper space between vertebrae allows the spine to naturally and gently move into the correct position. Massage therapy can relax the tight muscles that pull and push around a herniated disk and cause even more pressure on the sciatic nerve.
An important part of sciatica recovery is self-care. Overworking, over-exercising or doing the wrong types of exercise or using poor posture can re-injure the area and cause a return of sciatica pain. Our doctor will suggest a variety of self-care tactics and exercises that improve posture, relieve pain and prevent injury from reoccurring.
Gremmels Chiropractic Center is proud to offer our community a non-surgical alternative to sciatica pain for Birmingham and Jefferson County residents.
If you are experiencing the symptoms of sciatica, call our office for a comprehensive evaluation.