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Sciatica 101: The Essential Guide to Lower Back Pain

Sciatica is a debilitating condition that causes radiating on your lower spine and the rest of the lower extremities. Studies report several potential triggers of sciatica pain, including herniated or ruptured disk, a bone spur, spinal stenosis, and postural misalignments. When any of these health complaints occur, the sciatic nerve gets compressed or irritated, leaving you susceptible to inflammation, pain, and even numbness in the side of the lower body. Thankfully, there are several ways you can relieve your symptoms. One of which is going to a chiropractor for sciatica in Sacramento. 

Learn more about your options for relieving sciatica pain and how you can live a more comfortable life in our sciatica and lower back pain patient guide.

 

Where does it hurt when you have sciatica?

You will feel discomfort anywhere along the pathway of your sciatic nerve when it gets compressed or inflamed. That means you will most likely experience pain and discomfort in the following body parts: 

  • Lower back
  • Buttocks
  • Back of thigh 
  • Calf

 

Who is susceptible to developing sciatica?

Sciatica is more common in adults between 30 to 50 years old, but people as young as their 20s may also develop this condition. Men are three times more likely to develop sciatica than women. Also, those who are overweight or pregnant women have a higher chance of pinching their sciatic nerve due to excess weight leading to pain caused by sciatica.

 

What are the risk factors related to sciatica?

There are risk factors that can contribute to the development of sciatica; these are:

  • Age - Sciatica is common in adults between 30 and 50 years old.
  • Weight - Overweight or pregnant people are more susceptible to getting a herniated disc – a condition that can eventually lead to pinching or compression of the sciatic nerve.
  • Diabetes - Those who have diabetes are at a higher risk of developing sciatica due to nerve damage caused by the illness.
  • Heavy lifting or prolonged sitting - Those who do regular heavy lifting or sit long during the day have a high chance of damaging their disks, leading to sciatica.

 

How common is sciatica?

Sciatica is a common complaint among American adults. In fact, this condition affects about 40% of the US population. In addition, complaints about back pain are the third most common cause of why people visit their healthcare provider.

To learn more about the connection between head and neck injuries and low back pain, download our complimentary e-book by clicking the image  below.

What are the telling signs of sciatica?

Sciatica usually affects one leg, and the symptoms typically radiate from the lower back down to the leg. Sciatica may also cause pain in the front, back, and sides of the thigh and leg. Apart from these usual pain points, there are other symptoms associated with sciatica:

Pain 

Sciatica pain can be constant or intermittent. It can also feel like a searing or shooting sensation that spreads to several lower body parts, including the knees and calf. 

Altered sensation 

The changes usually include numbness, tingling, or a pins-and-needles feeling, mainly at the back of the affected thigh, leg, and feet.

Weakness

This usually happens in the leg and foot of the affected side. You can also experience a feeling of heaviness in the affected leg, making it challenging to lift the foot off the floor.

A change in posture can either worsen or relieve pain 

Specific postures may influence sciatica pain. When you sit down, try to stand up, stand for a long time, bend forward, twist, or even cough, your sciatica pain may feel worse. Lying down and having disturbed sleep can also cause pain to remain constant.

 

How long does sciatica last? 

Your pain will last depending on your sciatica's severity, type, and underlying cause. 

Acute sciatica

This form of sciatica usually triggers sporadic flare-ups that last from a few days to a few weeks. Once you resolve its root cause, it will likely not occur again. But if the underlying issue remains, the symptoms may recur several times and increase your risks for chronic sciatica.

Chronic sciatica

The more chronic form of sciatica causes discomfort for several days or months. There will be short periods of no pain or other symptoms. Additionally, the pain and other symptoms will persist until you discover and resolve the root cause.

 

What should patients do to achieve sciatica relief? 

Usually, people looking for quick and temporary sciatica relief turn to anti-inflammatory or pain medications. This works by dampening the body's inflammatory response and taking some pressure off the sciatic nerve. However, if you will opt for the same approach, stick to the recommended dosage. Also, avoid prolonged use of pain medications.

Instead, we strongly recommend sticking to natural remedies or making simple lifestyle adjustments. Some of these include:

  • Be mindful of your posture
  • Carve out time to exercise to build core strength 
  • Lift heavy stuff with strength from your legs, not your back.
  • Wear comfortable and proper shoes
  • Shift to an anti-inflammatory diet for long-term and natural reduction of swelling
  • Keep a healthy body weight to lessen pressure on your spine and sciatic nerve 
  • Consult with an upper cervical chiropractor for sciatica in Sacramento and receive cervical spine manipulations

 

How can an upper cervical chiropractor help with sciatica?

You may be wondering, “how can an upper cervical chiropractor help with sciatica when the approach focuses on the topmost spine bones?” The answer lies in the structure of your spine. Your spine's optimal health starts from the top down. Your skull's primary support is the C1 and C2 vertebrae. When these bones get misaligned, the rest of the spine and the surrounding soft tissues compensate and shift to get your head balanced again. When this occurs, the changes in the lower spine may result in sciatica.

 

Is there a chiropractor for sciatica in Sacramento?

Upper Cervical Chiropractic of Sacramento is a reputable upper cervical chiropractic practice in Fair Oaks. Dr. Brett Gottlieb, a trusted chiropractor for sciatica in Sacramento, has over 25 years of successful experience in helping patients ease pain and discomfort brought by sciatica and other health conditions through upper cervical chiropractic care.

You can book your appointment by calling their office directly at 916-965-7155 or filling out their contact form.

 

To schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Gottlieb, call 916-965-7155, or just click the button below.

If you are outside of the local area, you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at www.uppercervicalawareness.com.

Contact Dr. Gottlieb in their Sacramento, CA practice.

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