Sciatica is a painful condition that occurs when the sciatic nerve becomes compressed or irritated, usually at the point where it exits the spine. The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the body, dividing into 2 branches in the lower back. One branch extends along the left leg, while one extends along the right leg. If the nerve becomes compressed or “pinched,” it can cause painful symptoms anywhere along the nerve, including the lower back.
Herniated discs are a common cause of sciatica, but other conditions like spinal stenosis and arthritis can also cause sciatica, as well as overuse injuries and trauma.
The most common symptom of sciatica is pain in the lower back, ranging from a dull or throbbing ache to a sharp or shooting pain. Other symptoms include pain and achiness in the buttock or down the leg, tingling or burning sensations, muscle weakness, or loss of coordination. Symptoms can feel worse when lying down, and many patients find their symptoms interfere with their ability to get a good night’s sleep.
Chiropractors are skilled in alleviating nerve impingements that can cause both local and widespread symptoms. Sciatica treatment begins with an evaluation of the patient’s symptoms and their physical condition, including hands-on techniques to pinpoint the source.
Dr. Bendis uses spinal adjustments to relieve nerve compression by realigning the vertebrae and gently coaxing discs into their proper positions. Adjustments combined with massage and other hands-on techniques also help stimulate natural healing by promoting circulation and lymphatic drainage.
Dr. Bendis also provides her patients with professional guidance to help them keep their lower back strong and flexible to relieve and even prevent symptoms.
In many cases, sciatica and lower back pain can be prevented with a few simple strategies, including:
Seeing a chiropractor for routine evaluations and adjustments also helps by keeping the spine properly aligned so nerve impingements can be prevented. If you have chronic lower back pain, Dr. Bendis can prescribe a treatment program geared specifically for your needs to help keep symptoms at bay.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!