A 30-year-old mother bends over to pick up her four-year-old and feels a sharp stabbing pain in her lower back. The pain is so severe she can’t even sit down to rest.
The next day, she realizes she has pain and numbness radiating down one leg and has difficulty walking.
What's going on, how did it happen, and what can be done about it? A sciatica chiropractor can help.
To understand, a little basic anatomy is useful. In between each of the bones in the spine there are spinal discs which are the weight-bearing shock absorbers for the spine.
Spinal discs contain a gel-like ball-bearing center, which is surrounded by tough fibrous cartilage, arranged in concentric, overlapping circles.
Beginnings of Sciatica
As a person gets older, the spinal discs naturally lose some of their water content, and cracks and fissures naturally develop in the fibrous cartilage. If the weight-bearing stress on the spine is unusual or unexpected, the gel-like material in the center of the disc can push through one of the fissures creating a bulge, or herniation and possibly put pressure on and irritate a spinal nerve.
If enough of this material pushes through, the nerve can become inflamed and cause symptoms such as radiating pain and/or numbness, and possibly weakness, in one leg.
Typically, such pain and/or numbness radiates down the leg and can travel below the knee and possibly into the foot. This condition is called sciatica.
Sciatic symptoms, with or without back pain, are highly suggestive of an inflamed spinal nerve. In fact, the person will usually say the leg symptoms are much worse than any back pain.
Chiropractors and Sciatica
With sciatic symptoms, if the X-ray or MRI confirms a spinal disc bulge, or herniation this suggests an inflamed nerve and the diagnosis is complete. A sciatica chiropractor can then develop a treatment for that individual.
In the best scenario, conservative treatment, like that offered at Alpine Spinal Rehabilitation, may be sufficient to treat sciatic symptoms by allowing the nerve inflammation to improve with time.[2,3]
Relief from Sciatica
At Alpine Spinal Rehabilitation, we combine high-tech spinal physical therapy with computerized chiropractic care to treat sciatic pain. Our spinal physical therapy helps deliver the necessary nutrition to any problematic spinal disks to promote proper healing.
Our advanced chiropractic care helps relieve pressure from the spinal nerves for long-term relief from sciatic pain. Don’t wait! Come in today and find long-term relief from sciatica.
1Postacchini F: Lumbar Disc Herniation. Springer, 2004, Chapter 2.
2Rothoerl RD, et al: When should conservative treatment for lumbar disc herniation be ceased and surgery considered? Neurosurg Rev 25(3):162-165, 2002.
3Lumbar Disc Herniation. New Engl J Med 347(21):1728-1729, 2002.