Sciatic nerve pain is one of the most uncomfortable types of lower back pain that is more than just painful — it can prevent you from moving comfortably. When the sciatic nerve, the largest nerve in the human body, becomes irritated by tight, tense muscles in the back, a spinal injury, muscles spasms, or as a result of age-related disc degeneration, it sends radiating pain through the hips, down the buttocks, and into the legs on one or both sides of the body.
When your sciatic nerve is acting up, you want to find relief right away, and your Littleton chiropractor can help. At Arne Wellness Center, Dr. Robert Arne and his dedicated team of medical professionals offer natural solutions for sciatica relief. From chiropractic care to massage therapy, we can apply different treatments to relieve the tension from your sciatic nerve, thereby reducing pain and improving mobility. Keep reading to learn more about sciatica and the treatments we offer to address this common condition.
At Arne Wellness Center, we offer natural solutions to target and treat sciatic nerve pain. While pain relievers may provide temporary relief for sciatica, they only mask the pain and don’t actually address the cause of nerve compression or nerve irritation that is triggering your pain. But by treating the cause of your discomfort and limited mobility, Dr. Arne and his team of massage therapists and medical specialists can help you find lasting relief while helping to keep the flare-ups at bay.
Along with chiropractic care, Dr. Arne, a Chiropractic Internist, specializes in acupuncture, natural medicine, and other therapeutic treatment modalities. You see, at Arne Wellness Center, we believe in a personalized, collaborative, and natural approach to sciatica relief.
Your sciatic treatment may include one or more of the following treatment modalities for optimal healing:
Sciatica is a common pain syndrome affecting as many as 40% of adults. As one of the most common types of lower back pain, it is also one of the most complicated musculoskeletal conditions. Also known as lumbar radiculopathy, sciatica is a type of radicular pain that is often a secondary symptom of a compressed nerve in the lumbar spine, or inflammation of a spinal nerve or supporting tissues. When the lumbar or sacral nerves are compressed as a result of an injury, spinal misalignment, disc herniation, disc degeneration, or even narrowing of the spinal column, it places additional pressure on the SI joint (sacroiliac joint), pelvis, and hips, which can aggravate the nearby sciatic nerve.
Because of the sheer size of the sciatic nerve, it can become irritated quite easily, which then causes many symptoms to develop that can be acute (short-term) or chronic (recurring or long-term). From pain, numbness, tingling, and radiating pain down one leg to limited movement and weakness, sciatica can cause one or more of these symptoms ranging anywhere from a dull ache to excruciating throbbing pain. But what causes sciatica?
Learning the causes and triggers of sciatica is one of the first lines of defense in preventing its onset. Generally speaking, sciatica is the result of some type of aggravation to the nerve itself, be it a misalignment, an injury, or a spinal condition, for instance. While it often only takes a slight pressure being placed on the sciatic nerve to trigger symptoms, there are several activities and circumstances that can cause sciatic pain to develop.
As we age, many changes occur in the spine due to years of wear-and-tear, poor posture, repeated strains, sprains, and other injuries, overuse, and just being human. As these changes take place, the shifts in the spine can irritate the sciatic nerve, causing pain, discomfort, and recurring symptoms. Some of the most common age-related causes of sciatica include:
The jobs we perform have a significant impact on the health of our spines. Whether your job requires you to frequently twist your back, lift heavy objects, or even drive for a living, these movements and activities can cause repetitive injuries, nerve compression, chronic pain, muscle tension, and spasms that could trigger sciatic pain due to increased stress on the lower back and spine.
Sitting for extended periods of time is one of the most common causes of sciatica. Whether you sit at a desk for eight hours a day or you sit frequently due to travel or occupation, prolonged sitting places pressure on the spine and the supporting structures of the lower back. As a result, you may experience sciatic pain or intensification of existing symptoms.
There are many types of trauma that can cause the onset of sciatic pain.
Being involved in an auto accident is one of the top causes of sciatica. This is because the sudden jarring motion that the body endures during a collision causes a misalignment in the spine, or worse, a serious spinal injury such as a disc herniation or fracture. Sciatica then often develops as a secondary injury as a result of the spinal discs, nerves, and supporting tissues being injured in an accident.
Sports and athletics are notorious for causing all types of trauma to the body, including back injuries. Contact sports like football and basketball, as well as other types of athletics like gymnastics, weightlifting, cycling, and rowing place a great deal of stress on the spine and supporting structures. When a back or hip injury occurs as the result of a big hit, a fall, or repetitive movements, sciatica may develop as a secondary injury.
Injuries that occur from a slip and fall, improper lifting, or even moving awkwardly may also trigger the onset of sciatica.
Similar to prolonged sitting, long periods of inactivity may also increase pressure and stress on the lower back, hips, and sciatic nerve. Staying sedentary causes muscle and joint pain, stiffness, and cramping because your tissues aren’t getting a consistent delivery of nutrients by way of blood flowing through the circulatory system, which can cause irritation to the spinal nerves. On the other hand, when you stand, get up and move around, take a walk, or do really anything to get the blood flowing, it helps replenish tissues with oxygen and nutrients while flushing out toxins.
Pregnancy causes all sorts of changes to take place in the body to make room for and support a developing baby, which may cause sciatic symptoms. This is due, in part, to increased muscle tension, joint instability, and, of course, carrying the weight of a growing baby for nine months. As the baby continues to grow, the weight of the little one increases pressure on the lumbar spine, hips, SI joint, and pelvis, causing pain, discomfort, numbness, tingling, and reduced movement.
Carrying excessive weight in the body, especially in the midsection, places a great deal of stress on the spine, lower back, hips, and pelvis. As the spine shifts to adjust to the weight, the spinal discs and nerves may become compressed, thereby irritating the sciatic nerve in the process.
Now that you know the common causes of sciatic pain, keep reading to learn some interesting facts about sciatica, as well as those who are at a greater risk of developing this type of back pain, and the self-care techniques you can practice to prevent and relieve your symptoms.
Sciatic pain is one of the most common types of lower back pain. While it can affect people of any age, there are some individuals who are more at risk than others.
In addition to the chiropractic care, massage therapy, and acupuncture treatments you receive at Arne Wellness Center, you can relieve sciatic nerve pain by practicing a few simple self-care tips and healthy habits. Add these handy hints to your daily routine to help keep your sciatica at bay. Check it out!
Whether you work at a desk all day or you drive a vehicle for a living, sitting for long periods of time every day can have a major impact on your lower back health. In fact, prolonged sitting is one of the main culprits that can trigger the onset of sciatica.
Tip: Get in the habit of taking breaks every hour or so to stand for 10-20 minutes. Get up from your desk and move around to stimulate circulation and alleviate pressure on your lumbar spine, sacrum, and hips. Look into a desk that can be set to a sitting or standing position to help you stay productive while also relieving pain.
One sure-fire way to alleviate sciatic pain and stretch tight, tense muscles that can aggravate the sciatic nerve is to stretch regularly. Here are some basic low back stretches to work into your daily routine:
In a standing position, raise your arms to the sky to elongate your spine. Then, gently fold your upper body forward so you are parallel to the floor and slowly drop your arms down in front of you by reaching toward your toes. Hold for 10 seconds and return to a standing position.
In a seated position (in a stable chair) with your hips and knees leveled, carefully place your right outer ankle on your left knee. Keeping your back straight and your tummy tucked, gently lean forward so you feel a good stretch in the lower right hip down into your glutes and into your upper thigh muscles. Hold for 10-15 seconds, reset, and repeat on the opposite side. You can also try this stretch on the floor if it’s more comfortable.
Laying on your back with both of your legs out in front of you, gently pull one leg toward your chest and hold your knee to your chest with your arms for 10-15 seconds. Reset, and repeat on the other side.
From practicing self-care pain relief techniques to walking your way to health, your Littleton chiropractors have a few more helpful tips you can use to relieve sciatic nerve pain at home, at work, while traveling, or on the go. Explore these handy resources below.
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Dr. Arne’s knowledge of natural medicine treatments such as homeopathy, herbal therapy, nutritional therapy and detoxification allow him to use natural substances to treat your condition.
Spinal decompression works through specific, controlled, computerized mechanical traction applied to the spine, achieving decompression at a specific disc level. Contact us today for more information.
Massage services is a structural integration bodywork involving working with fascia to improve posture, function, and balance. Fascia becomes tense due to prior trauma, causing pain, mal- alignment and altered body mechanics.