Sciatica is a condition defined by injury, compression or inflammation of the sciatic nerve (at lumbar nerves L4 or L5 or sacral nerves S1, S2 or S3) and can be quite painful and troublesome. Typically, the pain appears along the back of your legs and thighs, ankle, foot and toes. It can also radiate to your back causing even more discomfort. Additional symptoms include those that are nerve-related such as pins and needles, a burning sensation, tingling and numbness in the leg. Many patients also report pain in the front of the legs and hips while other remark that experience pain in both legs (a condition known as bilateral sciatica).
Pain and Sciatica
On a scale of one to ten, pain from sciatica is often report as a five (moderate pain) and above. Many patients remark that the pain is aching and throbbing, while other use the words “knife-like” or “stabbing” when describing their pain. Sitting, walking or standing can be very difficult if not impossible. Changing positions when sitting or lying in bed offers pain relief to some and many patients uses pillows to find the most comfortable position. Most, if not all patients report having trouble sleeping. Some have trouble controlling the affected leg, leading to more restrictions on their activities.
Effects of Sciatica
There can be a loss of reflexes or even a wasting of your calf muscles in cases where the sciatic is severe. Mostly, the effects are manifested in limited activity by the patient including missing work days, changes in daily routine and avoiding otherwise pleasurable activities.
Chiropractic manipulative therapy can be quite effective for many sciatica sufferers and many patients show improvement in a few days. Changes in behavior as simple as no longer carrying or sitting on a wallet in the back pocket can prevent future bouts with sciatica. Pain medication are not known to offer much relief and there is little evidence the anti-inflammatory medication hastens recovery.
If you would like to have more information or would like to set up a consultation to see how we can help you (or someone you know) with Sciatica pain, give us a call in Tampa 813.254.5200 to schedule an appointment.