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If you have lower back and leg pain, you may have sciatica. Our Birmingham chiropractor at Back on Track Chiropractic can find the causes of your nerve irritation and recommend a treatment plan that does not involve surgery or powerful prescription pain killers.
Sciatica refers to a compression, irritation or inflammation of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve starts in the lower back and ends in the feet of both legs after branching in the buttocks. The sciatic nerve is an extremely long nerve, and any injury along the nerve can result in acute or chronic pain.
Sciatic nerve pain causes pain in the lower back and in one or both legs. However, pain in both legs is rare. The symptoms usually start out mild or intermittent, but if left untreated, individuals can experience permanent nerve damage.
Severe symptoms and signs of nerve damage include loss of bladder or bowel control, numbness or complete loss of sensations in the affected leg and muscle weakness. Individuals with severe sciatica often have difficulty walking unassisted.
Spinal Stenosis in the Lower Back
There are certain lifestyles and conditions that can contribute to the development of sciatica, including age, being overweight, having a manual labor job, sitting for long periods of time and having diabetes. As individuals age, they are more prone to developing bone spurs and herniated discs, which can put pressure on the sciatic nerve.
Being overweight puts excess stress on the back and can contribute to spinal misalignments. Sitting for prolonged periods of time or leading a sedentary life can also contribute to the irritation and inflammation of the sciatic nerve.
Individuals with diabetes are prone to developing peripheral neuropathy, which can damage the sciatic nerve and lead to lower back and leg pain and numbness.
Our Birmingham chiropractor understands that you want relief from your sciatic nerve pain that goes beyond taking powerful prescription pain medications. That is why we offer pain management with chiropractic or spinal adjustments.
Spinal adjustments are a non-invasive treatment option that involves using a light force to push your vertebrae back into alignment. When the vertebrae are out of alignment, the soft tissues surrounding the vertebrae become inflamed. This can put pressure on your sciatic nerve, making the pain, numbness and tingling worse.
By ensuring your spine is properly aligned, we are reducing your soft tissue inflammation and removing the pressure off your muscle, ligaments and other soft tissues. Chiropractic adjustments have even been known to help bulging or herniated discs retract into their proper places. It is important to note that chiropractic care cannot heal permanent nerve damage, but it can help lower your pain and improve your quality of life.
To learn how chiropractic adjustments can help manage your pain and reduce your reliance on pain medications and anti-inflammatories, call our Birmingham chiropractic office at 205-623-5782.