If sciatica is interfering with your ability to accomplish your daily goals, chiropractic treatments can relieve the discomfort and get you back on track. Dr. Scott M. Lund is an experienced and trusted chiropractor who serves the residents of San Diego and North San Diego County at Lund Chiropractic in Encinitas, California. He can design a treatment plan that relieves your sciatica pain. Better yet, he can diagnose what’s causing the nerve irritation responsible for sciatica and treat that as well. Call the clinic today for an appointment or try their online scheduling service.
What is sciatica?
The sciatic nerve is the largest single nerve in your body. It exits the end of the spinal column in your sacral area. From there it journeys deep through the buttocks on either side and runs down the back of each leg into the foot. It connects your brain with the muscles in your legs and feet. Sciatica isn’t a disorder. Rather, it’s a collection of symptoms that point to sciatic nerve irritation or injury caused by an underlying condition.
What are the symptoms of sciatica?
Sciatic nerve pain typically begins with a problem in the lower back. Symptoms vary greatly and may be mild or severe and constant or intermittent.
You may notice symptoms in the buttocks, thighs, calves, or tops or your feet into your toes that include:
- Dull, achy, sharp, or toothache-like pain
- Numbness, tingling, or burning discomfort
- Difficulty walking on your toes or heels
- Weakening of the ankle and foot muscles
What causes sciatica?
Several lower back conditions can cause sciatica, but it’s most often related to a herniated disc in the lumbar spine causing irritation and eventually injury to the sciatic nerve.
Other fairly common conditions that can cause sciatic nerve pain include:
- Degenerative disc disease in the lumbar spine
- Spondylolisthesis, which occurs when one vertebra in your spine slides forward over the bone below it
- Narrowing of the spinal canal (stenosis)
What is the treatment for sciatica?
Dr. Lund first completes a thorough examination and evaluation that includes detailed questions about the location and nature of your pain. This helps him determine what portion of your lumbar spine is causing the nerve issues.
For instance, damage affecting the lowest two vertebrae in the lumbar spine (L4-L5) can cause you to drag the front of your foot along the ground when walking (foot drop). He also typically recommends X-rays to help determine what’s causing the bony abnormality in your spine.
To relieve your discomfort and address the underlying cause of your sciatica, Dr. Lund may recommend a combination of therapies, including:
- Spinal adjustments to correct misalignment of the vertebral bodies
- Physiotherapy techniques such as massage therapy
- Exercises to relieve muscle strain and tension
- Lifestyle coaching to help you avoid injuries or other health problems
- Nutritional counseling to help speed healing