11 Effective Solutions To Relieve Sciatica Pain11 Effective Solutions For Sciatica Pain

What is sciatica?

Sciatica is leg pain caused by a pinched nerve in the lower back. Although the pangs begin in nerve roots located on either side of the lower spine, they then course through the sciatic nerve, which runs the length of each leg from the buttock down to the foot. The leg agony, called radiculopathy, “is often worse than the back pain,” says William A. Abdu, MD, medical director of the Spine Center at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. Usually felt in one leg, the sensation “can be intolerable,” says Birgit Ruppert, a physical therapist at the Spine Center. “Some people liken it to the nerve pain you experience if you have a toothache.”

Symptoms of Sciatica

The symptoms of sciatica include:

  • Severe discomfort in your lower back, buttock, and down your leg.
  • Your lower back, buttock, leg, or foot might be numb or have muscle weakness.
  • Pain that gets worse when you move. Loss of mobility
  • You might feel pins and needles in your legs, toes, or feet.
  • Bowel and bladder control can be lost as a result of the cauda equina syndrome (due to spinal cord injury).

Why it happens

The most common cause is a herniated disk in the lumbar spine: When a disk develops a tear or crack and bulges into the spinal canal, it can pinch the sciatic nerve. Usually, symptoms clear up within about six weeks, but for some people, the sciatic nerve pain can last far longer.

Ready to start feeling better? Here is how sciatica is treated:

Chiropractic Care

Sixty percent of people with sciatica who didn’t get relief from other therapies and then tried spinal manipulation experienced the same degree of pain relief as patients who eventually had surgery, found a 2010 study in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. The 120 people in the study saw a chiropractor about 3 times a week for 4 weeks and then continued weekly visits, tapering off treatment as they felt better. In people who responded to chiropractic care, benefits lasted up to a year. “Spinal manipulation may create a response in the nervous system that relieves sciactic pain and restores normal mobility to the injured area,” says study researcher Gordon McMorland, DC, of National Spine Care in Calgary, Alberta. “It also reduces inflammation, creating an environment that promotes the body’s natural healing mechanisms.”