An inflamed sciatic nerve may cause pain in your lower back or buttocks, with pain that shoots down your thigh. With gentle, supportive therapy, Dr. Diane Grace Rossello at Rossello Family Chiropractic in Bowie, Maryland, takes the pressure off your sciatic nerve and relieves pain originating from sciatica. If you live in Bowie, Maryland, or the surrounding areas, call Dr. Rossello's friendly staff to have your sciatica treated, or book an appointment online.
Sciatica Q & A
What is sciatica?
Sciatica is a painful condition that arises when the sciatic nerve — the largest nerve in the human body — is inflamed or irritated. The sciatic nerve starts at the base of your spinal column, and then splits into left and right branches, each of which runs down a corresponding thigh.
Sciatic pain often begins in your lower back or buttocks and then continues down the outer or back part of your thigh. Symptoms include:
- “Shooting” pain down leg
- Weakness in lower back and leg
How did I get sciatica?
Approximately 85% of the time, sciatica occurs when one of your spinal discs slips out of alignment and impinges on the root of the sciatic nerve. Your spinal discs (also called vertebral discs) are rubbery cushions that keep the vertebrae (bones) in your spine from rubbing against one another.
Healthy discs act as shock absorbers, so that you can run, jump, and twist without hurting your spine. However, aging, injury, and certain health conditions may cause your discs to rupture or slip. Bulging or misaligned discs irritate spinal nerves, including the sciatic nerve.
The next most common cause of sciatica is inflammation in the sacroiliac joint. Muscle spasms, degenerative diseases such as diabetes as well as tumors from cancer or other conditions, may also irritate and inflame your sciatic nerve.
What are some risk factors for sciatica?
Most of the time, sciatica is caused by age-related changes in your spine. Diabetes and other conditions that damage your nerves also raise your risk.
Other risk factors include:
- Manual labor
- Heavy lifting
- Sitting for prolonged periods
How can chiropractors treat sciatica?
Sciatica is painful, but is not serious in most cases. Sciatica resolves spontaneously or with supportive therapy in 90% of the time.
Dr. Rossello examines you to determine the source of your sciatica. If your vertebrae are out of alignment (a condition known as subluxation), she adjusts your spine using chiropractic manipulation and massage. If you have a herniated (slipped) disc, she may use spinal decompression to alleviate the pressure.
Dr. Rossello may also recommend dietary changes and therapeutic exercise to strengthen the muscles around your spine and improve your overall health. When your pain persists for more than six weeks, or if underlying health conditions are at the root of your sciatica, Dr. Rossello institutes other therapeutic interventions based on your needs.
Don’t suffer silently with sciatica. Contact Dr. Rossello at Rossello Family Chiropractic for relief. You can call her friendly support staff, or just book an appointment online.