Sciatica and Leg Pain - Coordinated Health Center

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and relieve the pressure causing the pain. By ... Sciatica, like other health conditions that can be traced to the ... physical and chiropractic exam is performed,.
The chiropractic approach to treating sciatica is to find the source of nerve irritation and relieve the pressure causing the pain. By correcting the source of the problem, the body can heal naturally without nerve interference. Sciatica, like other health conditions that can be traced to the spine, often responds dramatically to the restoration of normal spinal function through chiropractic care. Your chiropractor's methods will vary according t0 the specific source of sciatica in each case. First, a c0mplete history is taken to determine when the problem first appeared and possible sources. Next, a complete physical and chiropractic exam is performed, and x-rays may be taken. These tests are reviewed and discussed with you along with recom mendations for treatment. Treatment will vary according to the severity of the condition. With most patients, a series of adjustments to move the related vertebra back to a more normal position is helpful to reduce the pressure on the nerve. In some cases, the use of ultrasound and ice is needed. Massage therapy to reduce the pain related to muscle spasms is frequently helpful. Combining adjustments with physical therapy has proven very successful in treating most sciatica.

needlessly. Long-term nerve damage may result from this delay in seeking treatment.

long-Term Results A 1990 British study compared patients who received traditional medical treatment for a variety of back related problems with others who received chiropractic care. 0f 741 patients followed over three years, researchers found that those seen by chiropractic doctors experienced better results and missed less time from work.

Don't lTait Whatever the cause of sciatica, it is important to seek treatment promptly. Too many people wait, hoping the pain will g0 away 0r get better by itself. However, it is usually easier to treat a problem when it is first noticed. To0 many people wait until the pain becomes unbearable, suffering

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ia Tickle, f).C. Greg Tickte, D.C. 104 7, Forrest Avenue Narberth, PA I9A72 (61 0) 667 -8412

Illhat Is $ciatica? Sciatica is a severe pain in the leg caused by compression, irritation, 0r inflammation of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerves are the largest and longest nerves in the body, reaching about the size of your thumb in diameter, and running down the back of each leg. Each sciatic nerve is composed of five smaller nerves that leave the spinal cord from the lower spinal column, join together and then travel down each leg. lt then divides into many smaller nerves that travel to the thigh, knee, calf, ankle, foot and toes. when these nerves are irritated 0r affected by the inflammation of nearby soft tissues, doctors refer to this as sciatica. Symptom$0f Sciatica People with "sciatica" can suffer from a wide range of symptoms. 0ften the pain will come and 90. At times, it may be constant, but then it may subside for hours or days. some people may feel only a dull ache 0r numbness, which travels down the back into the upper leg. F0r others, it may be intense "shooting pains" down the leg into the foot and toes. Many factors affect the pain of sciatica. sitting in one position for long periods of time as when driving or working at a computer can increase the pain. working out 0r running,0r even simple things like walking, bending, turning or standing up may be difficult and painful. Tennis 0r golf and other twisting activities can cause sciatica pain to flare-up. For some, the pain may be in both legs 0r change from side to side. For a number of others, back pain may occur before the sciatica itself.

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In the most severe cases, sciatica can damage reflexes, or even cause a wasting of the calf muscles. Causes 0f Sciatica

Because the sciatic nerve is so long,

This condition is known as a subluxatiOr, 0ne underlying cause of sciatica as well as many other health problems. Another source of sciatica can be disc involvement. Discs are the cartilage-like cushions occupying the spaces between vertebrae. Serving as spinal shock absorbers, they allow the back to turn and bend normally. Trauma or injury from car accidents or falls can cause a disc to bulge to one side resulting in what many peopre call a "slipped disc." The proper term is disc herniation. sciatica has also been rinked to various non-spinal conditions. Arthritis, advanced diabetes, tumors, constipation, and even vitamin deficiencies have been reported as causes. Finally, degeneration of the spine resulting from long-standing 0r neglected back problems can also irritate the sciatic nerve. cases of sciatica have even been reported following childbirth, usually due to pressure on the spine. Treatment I'or $ciatica The medical approach managing sciatica is to treat the symptoms. This may include :,: using painkillers, muscle relaxers or anti,{tii,, inflammatory drugs. Tracti0[, physical therapy or injecti0ns direcily into the nerve roots may also be used. In severe cases, even surgery may be tried.


irritation can occur at many points. The first place is the lower back. Commonly, a misalignment of one or more of the lumbar vertebra causing pressure 0n the nerve is responsible. ifr