Sciatica is an extremely common cause of chronic pain, affecting around 40% of all people in the United States. Unfortunately, there remains a lack of understanding about sciatic pain that leads many to dismiss it as a temporary cramp and forego the proper treatment. 

The team at Advanced Spinal Care wants our patients to understand their bodies and realize how important it is to seek treatment before their condition worsens. To learn more about sciatica, read the answers to some of our most frequently-asked questions on the condition:

What is sciatica?

Sciatica is a specific type of pain you might feel along your sciatic nerve (hence the name), which runs from your lower back to which  refers to pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve branches from your lower back through each leg, passing through your hips and backside in the process. This is why sciatica causes pain in these regions, and why you will likely only feel it on one side of your body or the other.

What causes sciatica?

In most cases, sciatica is a warning sign that pressure is being put on your nervous system by another part of your body that has become improperly aligned. Some of the most common causes of sciatica are:

  • Herniated lumbar discs, which can bulge and put pressure on your nerves.
  • Piriformis syndrome, which involves the muscle on top of the sciatic nerve tightening or going into spasm.
  • Outside pressure, such as sitting on an uneven surface for too long.

How do I know if I have sciatica? What does it feel like?

Sciatic pain will run along your aforementioned sciatic nerve: through your lower back, bottom and one leg or the other. You may even feel numbness, weakness or tingling as if your leg is asleep. While pain from sciatica is usually not severe, it can become extremely painful if the case is severe or left untreated, which is why you should never wait to discuss your pain with your doctor if you believe you may have sciatica. 

How will my doctor treat sciatica?

The good news about sciatic pain is that your treatment will usually be non-invasive. At Advanced Spinal Care, we treat sciatica using a combined effort that includes chiropractic care, deep tissue massage of your piriformis muscle, and a recommended series of stretches to relieve the pressure on your sciatic nerve. 

Can I find relief for sciatica pain at home?

If you’re living in pain while waiting for your appointment, there are a few things you can do to find relief at home:

  • Put ice on the pain area to reduce inflammation
  • Apply heat immediately after to encourage blood flow
  • Perform light exercise and do some gentle stretches

Sciatica worsens with time and is easily treatable, so don’t wait to talk to your doctor about your sciatic pain. The specialists at Advanced Spinal Care & Rehabilitation are ready to help you develop your treatment plan and live pain-free.

If you’re ready to treat your sciatica and find relief for hip pain. Request an appointment with us today for a consultation at our office in Coshocton, Ohio.