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Sciatica FAQs

Sciatica is a painful condition that can be debilitating. It can be hard to diagnose, because patients often do not recognize sciatica pain for what it is. Dr. Stewart has put together these sciatica FAQs to help Rutherford Clinic of Chiropractic patients understand the true causes, symptoms, and treatment of sciatica, so they can put an end to their pain and regain their quality of life.

What Causes Sciatica?

Sciatica occurs due to irritation of the sciatic nerve, which extends from the lower back all the way down the back of each leg to the foot. Causes of sciatic nerve irritation can include:

  • Lumbar spinal stenosis, which causes the spinal canal in the lower back to narrow, putting pressure on the nerves of the lower back
  • Pregnancy
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Spondylolisthesis, a condition in which one vertebra slips forward, out of its normal position

Contrary to popular belief, sciatica symptoms are not caused by leg problems, although they can cause symptoms that affect the leg.

What Are the Symptoms of Sciatica?

It can be easy to confuse sciatica symptoms with symptoms of other conditions that affect the legs and feet, like shin splints. Sciatica symptoms can include:

  • Pain on one side of the buttocks
  • Shooting pain accompanied with difficulty standing upright
  • Tingling or burning sensations in the thigh or lower leg
  • Numbness or weakness in the leg or foot
  • Difficulty moving the leg or foot

Usually, sciatica symptoms affect only one leg or buttock. The pain can begin in the lower leg and extend all the way down the leg, even into the foot and toes. However, it can also affect just one part of the leg, such as the thigh or lower leg. 

Are Sciatica Symptoms the Same for Every Sufferer?

No. Different patients can experience different symptoms. For some patients, the symptoms of sciatica are merely irritating. For others, they can be completely debilitating, even to the point of interfering with the patient's ability to work and perform the activities of daily life.

Can Damage to the Sciatic Nerve Be Permanent?

Yes, some causes of sciatica can cause permanent damage to the sciatic nerve, and lasting pain. However, this is rare. Most patients experience a complete recovery from sciatica.

How Is Sciatica Treated?

Chiropractic manipulations can be used to remove subluxations in the lumber spine and relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve to allow healing. Other methods used to treat sciatica include physical therapy and special exercises. Corticosteroid injections can relieve inflammation in more severe cases. Most sciatica patients require only conservative treatment. Each patient requires a treatment plan tailored to his or her individual needs. 

Could My Sciatica Pain Be a Sign of Something More Serious?

Sometimes, sciatica symptoms can be a sign of a more serious condition, and could even require emergency treatment. Seek emergency medical care if you experience:

  • Progressive weakness in the legs or feet
  • Bowel or bladder incontinence
  • Feelings of numbness in the upper part of the thighs

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THIS ---->https://rutherfordchiropractic.com/pain-relief/sciatica/sciatica-faqs.html

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