Dr. Ernest S. Caruso has been a chiropractor for 20+ years, and one of the conditions he's treated the most is sciatica. This condition is common among men in their 30's, 40's, and 50's, although it can affect people of any age.
What is Sciatica?
Sciatica simply means that one (rarely both) of the sciatic nerves in your lower back is being compressed by something—that "something" could be an injured disc, a bony spur, and inflamed or narrowed joint space, a spasming muscle, or even a tumor. These sciatic nerves are the largest nerves in your body and provide motor and sensory information to the buttocks and leg.
Why does this nerve compression occur? Sometimes, there's no clear reason. However, common risk factors and causes include:
- The presence of anything which narrows the joint space through which your sciatic nerve travels, including osteoarthritis, stenosis, degenerative disc disease, or bony spurs
- Disc herniation or disc bulge
- Having an overly sedentary lifestyle, or sitting a lot at your job
- Having a physically demanding job, or standing a lot at your job
- Slips, falls, and other types of acute trauma (especially a sports accident or car accident)
- Being overweight or obese
Signs & Symptoms of Sciatica
What happens when the sciatic nerve is compressed? Symptoms may arise such as:
- Shooting, searing, stabbing, or burning pain in the buttocks and back of the leg
- Numbness and tingling in the leg or sometimes the foot
- Weakness in the leg or foot
- Stiffness and tenderness in the lower back
- Reduced tolerance to activity, especially standing, sitting, and exercise
These symptoms may move up and down the leg (centralizes or peripheralize) depending on factors such as stress, activity, activity level, and body position.
How our Boca Raton Chiropractor Diagnoses & Manages Sciatica
Sciatica tends to respond well to the type of natural and non-invasive services offered by our Boca Raton chiropractor. If we diagnose you with sciatica, we may provide services such as:
- Chiropractic adjustments and spinal decompression, which can relieve pressure on the injured nerve, discs, and other tissues, allowing them to heal
- Massage therapy, to reduce muscle spasms and promote healing circulation
- Physical rehabilitation, including corrective exercises to restore the strength of affected leg muscles
- Lifestyle counseling, to reduce or eliminate factors contributing to your pain (e.g., ergonomics, poor posture, etc.)