Have you ever had lower back pain? The prevalence of lower back pain is from 49% to 70% in a lifetime. Estimated 5% to 10% of lower back pain patients have radiating pain down to their legs, called sciatica. Sciatica greatly affects the quality of life and increases the rate of disability.
The Symptoms Of Sciatica
l Varied pain (moderate to severe) in lower pain and radiating down to the buttock and leg
l Pins and needles sensation or burning sensation in the leg, foot and toes.
l Numbness or weakness can occur when the condition progresses
A majority of sciatica cases are contributed by a disc herniation that put pressure on the sciatic nerve. The location of the referring pain is based on which level of the nerve is being compressed. Other causes such as spinal stenosis, bone spurs and tumours (rare cases) can also lead to sciatica pain.
Risk Factors Of Sciatica – Chiropractor Near Me
Age – herniated disk patients are commonly aged between 45 and 64 years old. However, adults in their 20s can also have sciatica pain.
Height and weight – the taller and heavier you are, the higher risk develops sciatic nerve pain. Men whose height is above 185 cm are more prone to suffer from sciatica.
- Smoking and Mental stress – the research notes that both smoking and mental stress are associated with lumbar radicular pain
- Prolonged sitting – inactive and sedentary lifestyle is more likely to develop sciatica
- Strenuous physical activity – frequent repetitive lifting combined with twisting
- Driving – whole body vibration especially prolonged driving trucks can increase the risk of lower back pain and sciatica
Treatment Options – Chiropractor Near Me
An epidural steroid injection – is a relatively less invasive procedure that alleviates lower back pain and sciatica. Both a corticosteroid and anesthetic numbing agent are injected into the epidural space in the affected area of the spine under CT scan. The steroid injection is an anti-inflammatory and nerve blocker, which can reduce inflammation and ease pain.
Surgery – surgery is recommended for severe herniated disc patients or patients who have tried all other conservative treatments. There are different types of surgeries. According to the condition, the surgeon will recommend one of the procedures.
Discectomy is one of the most common procedures to remove part of the disc that compresses the nerve root for the herniated disc. Other surgeries are laminotomy, artificial dis surgery and spinal fusion.
Prescription Medicines For Nerve Pain
Antidepressants are used to reduce pain perception in the brain to relieve sciatica. There are two main types: Tricyclic antidepressants and serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). These nerve pain medications can reduce neuropathic pain, but they cannot help what causes sciatica. Opioid drugs are effective painkillers to help with nerve pain.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are not just pain relievers but also can reduce inflammation that keeps irritating the nerve and its radiating leg pain. Some sciatica sufferers can get temporal relief by using NSAIDs. Acetaminophen and aspirin are other common over-the-counter painkillers.
Non-invasive or conservative treatments
Chiropractic care is one of the widely used physical therapies that is non-invasive, safe and effective. The treatment plan is made individually on a case-by-case basis and tells you how often to visit a chiropractor is given after the full physical examination. The chiropractic adjustment is the main treatment method to promote the joint’s range of motion and decompress the compressed nerve by the cavitation of the lumbar joint.
The acoustic sound (popping sound) occurs as a result of collapsing the air bubble formed by the joint fluid. The cavitation can increase joint space and ease nerve impingement.
Apart from spinal manipulation, there are other modalities that utilize in chiropractic treatment to enhance the effectiveness of conservative therapy.
The List Of Modalities:
- Dry needling
- Soft tissue mobilization
- Exercises and Stretches (Rehabilitation)
Kings Park Chiropractic – Chiropractor Near Me
All the above methods combine with chiropractic adjustment in order to increase blood circulation, reduce inflammation and relax the muscle spasm.
There are more treatment options for lower back pain and sciatica, but they are not listed here. Each treatment comes with certain side effects or complications. You should always consult your general practitioner, surgeon or allied health practitioner to choose the most suitable treatment, which will not be the same for different cases.