Chronic pain can be irritating at best and debilitating at worst. If you are experiencing sciatica, the painful inflammation can take over your life, causing you to become less active and unable to participate in your daily activities.
The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the human body. Rooted in the lower back, it extends down to provide nerve endings through the leg. Sciatica, or sciatic nerve pain, is pain originating in the lower back that radiates down the back of the leg and extends below the knee. There are many other causes of back pain that do not extend below the knee. This information will help us to determine the cause of the pain and the location of the pain generator.
Sciatica is frequently caused by an injured disc in the spinal column that inflames the nerve. Less common causes can be tumors, damage to muscles and bone, and infections that cause inflammation of the sciatic nerve.
Treatment approaches to resolving the inflammation and pain of sciatica tend to vary. For some time, rest had been the first option many doctors suggest. There is now evidence that complete rest is the worst approach to take. We now understand that the earlier we begin rehabilitation, the better the outcomes.
Other treatment options depend on the cause of the pain, seeking to address the underlying issues in order to heal the involved nerve. There are many causes of radiating lower back pain. If the pain is truly coming from the spine, there are many conservative approaches including spinal adjustments, manual therapies, electric stimulation, and most importantly specific exercises that can help to reduce disc injury and stop the radiation of pain.
A variety of lower back conditioning and stretching exercises are typically employed in most cases in an attempt to help people build and strengthen the area surrounding the sciatic nerve. If the cause of sciatica is disc damage, this approach should only be attempted under the direction of a chiropractor.
In some cases, medications can be used to treat the pain and inflammation. Pain relievers, muscle relaxants, and anti- inflammatory drugs can be administered in order for patients to be able to move throughout their day more normally.
Understanding more about diet and what foods and supplements decrease inflammation in the body is also useful when dealing with sciatica. One focus of chiropractic doctors is to pursue a wellness approach to relieve the nerve pain by reducing inflammation in the body as a whole. Adding whole foods that are organic, increasing certain healthy fats and decreasing other pro-inflammatory fats, while also reducing intake of additives and preservatives, can increase the body’s healing potential, reducing the need for further more extensive treatments.
Chiropractors can also develop a plan of action to correct spinal conditions that are causing pressure on the sciatic nerve. With minor adjustments, over time the pain can be fully relieved, making the need for invasive surgeries unnecessary.
If you are suffering from the pain of sciatica, seeking professional help is key to gaining back your health. Drs. Press and Geleta at North Jersey Whole Health Center, LLC. can diagnose your condition and develop a personalized and innovative treatment plan to correct the root of your sciatic nerve pain.