Looking for Answers to the Pain of Sciatica
The sciatic nerve is created by the gathering of nerves that extend from the
spinal cord down through the pelvic bones. The sciatic nerve branches out and
controls the organs in the pelvis and everything else from the hips to the toes.
Sciatica is the inflammation of the sciatic nerve, the largest and longest
nerve in the body. Burning pain in the low back, hips, and legs are common symptoms
of sciatica. Low back pain is not always part of sciatica, but often comes with
Usually, sciatica affects only one side. Pain often radiates down the buttock
or leg and can range from a tingling, burning, pins-and-needles feeling to excruciating,
shooting pain that makes standing up nearly impossible. Often, coughing, sneezing,
and sitting make the pain worse.
In the past, long periods of bed rest were commonly prescribed for sciatic
pain and malfunction. Recent studies have confirmed that lengthy bed rest is
a waste of time and may interfere with healing. Another common prescription,
epidural injections, does not help patients suffering from sciatica, either.
Researchers in Germany did a six-month study published this year in Clinical
Orthopaedics, and Related Research. These researchers found that spinal
corticosteroid injections do not help patients with sciatica improve any faster
than those not given such injections.
What does seem to be the correct prescription is conservative chiropractic
adjustments to realign the misaligned vertebrae. According to the recently released
United States Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) guidelines,
"relief of discomfort can be accomplished most safely" with chiropractic
adjustments. Chiropractic care (sometimes coupled with simple exercises) normalizes
the joint mobility, returns the bones to their proper position, and takes the
pressure off the sciatic nerve. Pain and inflammation leave the area. Function
is restored. Health is restored.
Sciatica is a horrible experience. Regardless of what you may have been told
in the past, you may get rid of it. You may not have to "live with it"
as you've heard. Correction of the cause of sciatica may be as close as a call
to our office. We'd be happy to do our part in the restoration of your health
and the elimination of the vertebral subluxations that have been interfering