Shooting pain from the low back through the back of the legs is a telltale sign of sciatica. At North Andover Chiropractic in Andover, Massachusetts, John Broderick, DC, and the team have more than 20 years of experience treating this potentially debilitating condition. Sciatica often worsens without treatment, so it’s important to seek professional help at the first sign of trouble. To schedule an appointment with North Andover Chiropractic, call or book online today.
The sciatic nerve stretches from the bottom of your lumbar spine (low back) through the back of your legs. When this long nerve becomes compressed, it can cause pain in your back, buttocks, and in the back of your thighs and calves.
While the sciatic nerve runs on both sides of your spine, sciatica typically only affects one side of your body.
Common signs and symptoms of sciatica include:
Sciatica often comes and goes, worsening during times of strenuous exercise and after sitting for long periods of time.
Sciatica rarely develops on its own. It typically happens after the sciatic nerve is irritated, due to:
In between the vertebrae in your spine are discs that provide cushion and flexibility. These spinal discs have a hard casing and soft center. When the discs deteriorate, the soft center can break through and irritate your sciatic nerve.
The piriformis muscle is located in your buttocks. It plays an essential role in helping you walk and run. When this muscle is tight, it can spasm and put pressure on the sciatic nerve, causing pain and discomfort.
Spinal stenosis occurs when the spinal column narrows. It can compress your sciatic nerve and lead to pain in the back, buttocks, and legs.
The sacroiliac joints connect the spinal column to the pelvis. Overuse or underuse of these joints can irritate the sciatic nerve and cause pain, numbness, and tingling.
Pregnancy, obesity, and poor posture can also agitate the sciatic nerve, leading to one-sided pain and numbness.
The first step in treating sciatica is determining the cause of your symptoms. Once the team at North Andover Chiropractic diagnoses the cause, they can design an individualized treatment plan to relieve your sciatica pain. Common treatments to treat sciatica include:
Cold laser therapy uses low levels of light to accelerate healing around your sciatic nerve. This nonsurgical, noninvasive treatment can reduce inflammation to relieve sciatica pressure and pain.
Flexion distraction is a nonsurgical treatment in which the team uses a motorized table and manual therapy to gently relieve pressure and tension from your sciatic nerve.
If you have sciatic nerve pain from tight muscles or damaged tissues, soft tissue therapy is a manual treatment to reduce inflammation and promote healthy blood flow near your sciatic nerve.
To learn more, call North Andover Chiropractic or schedule an appointment online today.