Sciatica – How to Identify It and Treat It


This information was provided by a chiropractor.

Lower back pain is something that many men and women live with each day. Yet, many of them who identify the cause, still seek only minimum treatment. The normal activities of daily life are certainly inhibited when a person has sever lower back pain. Things like putting away the dishes, standing while folding laundry and simply driving a car, can all become extremely hard tasks. Especially when the sufferer has sciatica.

Sciatica stems from a herniated disc, tumor, former or present trauma to the lumbar region or pregnancy. It occurs when the sciatic nerve is pinched. This is the largest nerve in the body and extends from the lumbar to the buttocks. However, in many cases the pain is so strong that the nerve sends a radiating signal through the lower back, buttocks and down the leg.

Many men and women who suffer with this are more apt to apply a localized liniment or get an occasional massage, rather than treat it. Perhaps, because many of these people do not know that a chiropractor can effectively work with you on easing and avoiding the pain.


Facts about Sciatica

  • It is caused by a pinched nerve or obstruction with the sciatic nerve.
  • The pain can radiate down your leg.
  • Daily chores become extremely hard to complete.
  • Has been a known affliction since the fifteenth century.

The causes of sciatica typically involve a trauma to the area. When a woman is pregnant her body releases hormones that can enhance her chances of pinching that nerve. The effect that the hormones have on the body actually loosens the ligaments in preparation for labor. These loosened areas are then more apt to become strained and sprained. Thus, women who are pregnant have a higher risk of developing sciatica.

Sciatica can also be due to another form of trauma. Those who have been in physically abusive relationships might have had an altercation that caused lower back trauma. This could be a kick, hit or other form of physical trauma to the body. The same can be said for those who have experienced a car accident.

Chiropractors advise patients who have had any trauma to seek out care immediately. In some cases the patient may not know that they have any pain for quite some time. That is because the body can take some time to wear and tear, and the symptoms of a compression on the sciatic nerve may take a little longer to become painful.

Signs of Sciatica

  • Numbness in the lower back
  • Inability to walk without a radiating pain
  • Unable to stand or sit for long periods of time

Lower back pain can be caustic, and anyone who is suffering form this should seek out medical attention. The chiropractor is trained in spinal manipulations and can also recommend a regime of exercises that will enhance your quality of life. This means that you may have to go  the office once a month for adjustments and thereafter complete a swimming routine, or a series of stretches.

Physical Activities Recommended for Sciatica

  • Swimming – Any water activity is healthy for the cardiovascular system and allows for a gentle workout without the pain.
  • Water Aerobics – Water workouts are great for lower back pain sufferers.
  • Yoga – Some patients have reported an absence of lower back pain when they start yoga.

Pain is relative and each person’s threshold is different. If the pain is making your daily life hard to navigate you should seek out other options. A chiropractor can ease the amount of pressure on the sciatic nerve and teach you how to prevent future relapses.

However, some patients with spinal stenosis, in which the spinal canal narrows may have to seek out treatment with both a physician and a chiropractor. The pain is manageable, and the conditions that cause this pain can also be treated. But, in order for this to happen you have to acknowledge that your lower back pain needs medical attention.


Melissa Cameron, is a full time freelance writer and a contributor to several newspapers and magazines. This piece was produced with the assistance of a chiropractor in Appleton.


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