Sciatica describes persistent pain felt along the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back, down through the buttock, and into the lower leg. The sciatic nerve is the longest and widest nerve in the body, running from the lower back through the buttocks and down the back of each leg. It controls the muscles of the lower leg and provides sensation to the thighs, legs, and the soles of the feet.
Although sciatica is a relatively common form of low-back and leg pain, the true meaning of the term is often misunderstood. Sciatica is actually a set of symptoms—not a diagnosis for what is irritating the nerve root and causing the pain.
How did this happen?
First we need to understand what NORMAL Anatomy is and why it’s important to protect against Sciatica and low back pain. It’s extremely important for the health of our bodies and to protect against spinal degeneration and subsequent pain that we understand normal and why it’s important. This normal structure as you can see from the side, has three curves, one in the neck, middle back and one in the lower back. This curves allow the spine to attenuate shock as we walk, run, play and go about our daily lives.Take a look at this picture in the red. The image to the right is what we call abnormal spinal structure, this person’s head is significantly forward over their shoulders, their middle back is rounded, and the curve in the lower back has flattened out. This abnormal structure puts undue stress on the vertebrae, the discs and the ligaments associated with the spine. When this happens, the discs become weakened and susceptible to bulging which leads to a host of Secondary Conditions such as: neck pain, shoulder pain, headaches, low back pain, sciatica, or leg pain just to name a few.
This is an image of a NORMAL MRI:
Notice the nice curve that this person has in their lower back. This discs are white in the center which represents a healthy disc that is full of fluid and nutrients.
This is an example of what causes Sciatic pain. Notice the flattening of the lumbar spine and the dark center of the L5 disc and subsequent herniation.
What are the symptoms of sciatica?
The most common symptom associated with sciatica is pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve, from the lower back and down one leg; however, symptoms can vary widely depending on where the sciatic nerve is affected. Some may experience a mild tingling, a dull ache, or even a burning sensation, typically on one side of the body.
Some patients also report:
• A pins-and-needles sensation, most often in the toes or foot
• Numbness or muscle weakness in the affected leg or foot
Pain from sciatica often begins slowly, gradually intensifying over time. In addition, the pain can worsen after prolonged sitting, sneezing, coughing, bending, or other sudden movements.
What are my treatment options?
The started treatment regime for low back pain and sciatica according to Medicine is this: Dangerous Medications, physical therapy, Injections of Cortisone, and surgery.
We utilized the latest technology in the field when it comes to treating low back pain and sciatica. It’s called Spinal Decompression therapy. Essentially we use the Triton DTS to decompress the lumbar spine. As the spine is slowly stretched it creates a pressure gradient that improves vital nutrient intake and helps retract the disc back to it’s normal position.
Read more about Spinal Decompression Therapy by clicking here.
An Ounce of Prevention Is Worth a Pound of Cure
It’s very important to make sure your spine has the most optimal Structure. Dr. Gaglioti will show you your Xrays and explain to you, in detail the condition of your spine and how it can be improved to ward off pain once and for all. Aside from receiving structural corrective chiropractic care there are some other things you will want to keep in mind:
• Maintain an Anti-Inflammatory diet
• Exercise regularly to ward off excess weight
• Maintain proper posture and good spinal structure
• Avoid prolonged inactivity or bed rest
• Use proper body mechanics when lifting