What is Sciatica?
Nearly everyone will have back pain at some point in their life, but with sciatica — well, you’ll know something is different right away!
So, what is sciatica?
What is sciatica pain like?
Sciatica really describes a set of symptoms rather than a condition.
The most common symptom can be described as pain that begins in your lower back, travels down through your buttocks, and extends down your leg, usually on just one side of the body.
That shooting pain down your leg is often caused by compression of the sciatic nerve or one or more of the other nerves exiting your spine.
And it might surprise you to know that even a tiny amount of pressure can result in a tremendous amount of pain.
So, getting rid of the associated inflammation and then opening up space for the nerve are both essential steps on the path to finding relief.
That’s where we come in.
If you’re looking for a chiropractic-focused sciatica doctor in Irvine, you’ve come to the right place.
We specialize in providing gentle spinal manipulative therapy to help you fix your sciatica pain naturally.
Sciatica pain leads many people to think their “condition” must be so serious it can only be healed by a surgeon.
Or that they must need spinal injections.
Or that they must resort to prescription pain medications.
We’ve even heard patients refer to their pain as sciatica attacks!
So, when they are told that chiropractic treatment can provide the same level of pain relief as those invasive interventions — well, it sounds too good to be true.
Why it Matters:
Let’s talk about the function of pain for a moment.
Pain is your body’s way of signaling to you that something needs your attention.
So, what is sciatica pain?
Think of it as your body saying, “Pay Attention Inside Now!”.
When a problem occurs in the body, due to ergonomic stress, spinal misalignment, or degenerative changes, the body uses pain as a signal for us to pay attention and act.
And believe it or not, pain is usually the last thing to show up and the first thing to leave, whether we’re talking about injuries or spinal conditions.
To understand why we recommend seeing a chiropractic sciatica doctor in Irvine and why our non-invasive methods work, it helps to take a closer look at a common underlying cause of sciatica pain.
Just like you’ve probably Googled “What is sciatica?” a time or two in your life, you’ve probably also Googled “What is a pinched nerve?”
The pinching or compression of a spinal nerve can occur because of an injury to one of your spinal discs (such as disc herniation), the development of a bone spur, or even ligaments that have simply increased in size.
Whatever the underlying issue, it’s likely to cause noticeable levels of pain and discomfort until you’ve taken steps to decrease the inflammation and open up space for the affected nerve, and, in many cases, also taken steps to also improve the movement of the surrounding spinal joints.
Check, check, and check!
We can help.
You don’t have to live in pain, and you don’t have to settle for surgery, injections, or pain medications.
You deserve better.
So, what is sciatica?
A set of very specific symptoms signaling the presence of an underlying condition that chiropractic care can help resolve — no surgery, injections, or pain medications required.
Top research publications have shown that people struggling with sciatica pain can get fantastic results with chiropractic care.
In fact, in one recent study, researchers found that 60% of participants with symptomatic cases of sciatica benefitted from chiropractic adjustments to the same degree as if they underwent surgical intervention (again, without any of the risks!).
And what many may not know is that beyond adjustments, exercise and rehab can also help strengthen the muscles supporting your spine to reduce the likelihood of a relapse.
Yes, we do that too!
There’s no doubt about it.
At the end of the day, what is sciatica?
A seemingly sudden onset of pain, numbness, or weakness in your legs that can be scary.
So, if you experience any of these symptoms, take the signals from your body seriously, and give us a call.
We’ve helped many people recover from sciatica without the need for drugs or surgery.
Scheduling an evaluation with a holistically focused sciatica doctor in Irvine like us today is how you take the first step towards finding lasting relief from sciatica pain!
What You Need to Know About Sciatica
Let’s dive right into what you need to know about sciatica.
To understand what sciatica is, it helps to think of sciatica more as a set of symptoms than a condition.
When you hear someone say they “have sciatica,” what they have is pain, numbness, or tingling that starts in their low back or buttocks and extends through the lower extremity on one side of their body.
And wow, can it hurt!
It can also become chronic.
That’s why it’s a smart idea to seek out a chiropractor specializing in sciatica treatment in Irvine.
Here’s what you need to know about sciatica and how it develops.
If a nerve in your low back is compressed or “pinched”, your body is sure to let you know about it with a jolt of pain.
The sciatic nerves are the longest nerves in the body.
Several individual branches or nerve roots in your lower back combine to form the sciatic nerves which travel down into each of your legs.
Although you have two sciatic nerves (one on each side of your body), sciatica symptoms typically only occur on one side of the body as noted above.
If you have radiating pain down both of your legs, it is less likely that the pain is caused by a pinched sciatic nerve.
Some of the common symptoms people experience when one of the sciatic nerves is pinched or irritated include:
- Increased leg pain when sitting.
- Weakness in the leg or foot.
- Sharp pain that makes it difficult to walk.
Such symptoms need no introduction.
They’re probably what lead you to take some time to find out what you need to know about sciatica.
Pain is your body’s way of saying “pay attention inside now!”
Each of the above symptoms is a warning sign from your body.
It’s your body’s way of letting you know you’ve pushed past its limits.
The good news?
With the proper care and a little time, you can get your life back!
Why it Matters:
Did you know that sciatica often resolves without you having to resort to risky medications or a dangerous surgery?
No – we’re not talking about sciatica pain that seemingly disappears on its own.
This is really what you need to know about sciatica and to commit to memory.
Trust us, that pain will return if the underlying issue is not addressed.
In fact, we’ve heard many of our sciatica patients describe their symptoms as sciatica attacks for this very reason – they come back!
Chiropractic is a safe, effective, natural, and popular treatment strategy for sciatica pain.
The numbers don’t lie.
In one widely circulated study, researchers observed that 89% of patients suffering from symptomatic sciatica responded very well to chiropractic adjustments.
As the leading chiropractor specializing in sciatica treatment in Irvine, we’ve seen it time and time again right here in our practice.
Movement-based strategies such as spinal adjustments, controlled exercise, and dynamic stretching are a few of the most effective ways to relieve low back issues.
This is also what you need to know about sciatica.
Chiropractic care currently ranks at the top of many leading healthcare organizations’ recommendations to relieve sciatica and low back pain.
Medications and injections and surgeries are no longer considered first-line treatments both because of their inherent risks and, ultimately, limited effectiveness.
And not only are movement-based strategies effective at providing relief, but research also indicates these may be able to offer a preventative effect when continued over time.
If you’ve thought about therapy that doesn’t include spinal mobilization, here’s something else to consider…
A recent study found that 20% more study participants experienced sciatica pain relief when spinal adjustments were included with a regular exercise routine.
Sciatica pain has the potential to severely impact your quality of life.
But when it comes to what you need to know about sciatica, rest assured that you don’t need to immediately resort to medications, injections, or surgery to correct the problem.
Top research publications have shown that risky prescription pain medications are hardly ever more effective than a spinal adjustment.
The best way to treat sciatica is with the care offered in our practice.
Spinal adjustments, stretching, and exercise have all been shown to be extremely effective at reducing sciatica pain by reducing the pinching (or compression) on your spinal nerves.
Starting with chiropractic care is the smartest decision you can make.
If you or someone you know is struggling with sciatica pain, schedule an appointment with a chiropractor specializing in sciatica treatment in Irvine like us today.
Our doors are open, and our expert team is here to help!
The Top Causes of Sciatica Revealed
Here’s something that might surprise you as you dive into the top causes of sciatica.
Sciatica is not a condition, disorder, or diagnosis in and of itself.
Sciatica pain can be described as dull, achy, sharp, or shooting pain in the lower back and hip, buttock, and leg on one side of the body.
Some may also experience burning, numbness, or tingling sensations.
When someone says they “have sciatica,” what they really have is a very specific set of symptoms hinting at an underlying condition.
Many of our sciatica patients often comment that they don’t know how they hurt their back.
Well, that actually makes sense.
What is that underlying condition 99.9% of the time?
Most all the top causes of sciatica are linked to the irritation, compression, or impingement of a sciatic nerve.
How do we know this?
When a nerve is compressed or irritated — be it from a herniated spinal disc, bone spur, or ligament overgrowth — it can become inflamed and painful.
And, as you may have noticed, the causes we just listed aren’t isolated to injuries.
Why it Matters:
Not all of the top causes of sciatica are injury driven in the traditional sense.
Natural changes that occur as we age, the pressure of gravity, and even stenosis (narrowing of the spinal column) can also contribute to the development of compressed or “pinched” nerves and sciatica pain.
The two sciatic nerves (or, more specifically, nerve bundles) are the longest nerves in the body and for that reason, there are lots of opportunities for either one to become irritated.
These are the major nerves to your legs, and they provide the sensation and motor fibers that allow you to stand up, walk, and run.
That should give you a better idea of how any irritation to either sciatic nerve related to the top causes of sciatica can result in those very noticeable and often disruptive symptoms.
Think of your nerves like small, high-powered electrical lines.
They transmit signals from the power station — your central nervous system — out to all of the muscles, organs, and cells in your body.
The electrical lines or nerves in your low back travel down your hips, buttocks, and legs to your feet to your toes.
If the nerve is irritated at the power station, it will affect everything along the path of that line.
That is why a spinal disc irritating a nerve in your low back can result in pain down into your leg!
Sciatica pain can occur at any point along the course of either sciatic nerve depending on where the irritation exists, and it can then radiate from there.
It’s possible to experience sciatica symptoms without low back pain.
It’s possible the pain in your leg isn’t related to an impingement of its sciatic nerve.
That’s why it’s so important to seek sciatica treatment in Irvine from a healthcare professional who not only has an in-depth understanding of the top causes of sciatica pain, but of pain in the lower extremities as well.
Back to our analogy.
Just like your local power company needs to perform maintenance on their equipment, you should also perform periodic maintenance on your body.
Many people just don’t know that many of the top causes of sciatica pain can often be resolved without the need for surgery, spinal injections, or pain medications prescribed by an MD.
Staying active with daily exercise, stretching, and periodic chiropractic care can help prevent issues in your low back.
Chiropractic care is an ideal treatment for sciatica pain because it can directly address the root cause of that pain.
In fact, in one recent study researchers observed that over 90% of patients with symptomatic sciatica reported being “much better” or “better” after receiving chiropractic care.
Periodic chiropractic care has the potential to increase your flexibility and range of motion, help keep your spinal discs healthy, and it could even prevent future episodes of back pain and the development of the top causes of sciatica.
In our practice, we utilize various treatments, including adjustments, to correct spinal conditions such as herniated discs and minor vertebral displacements (subluxations) as well as joint restrictions related to scar tissue and muscle spasms to both help relieve your sciatica pain and prevent it from recurring.
So, if you don’t have your next visit on the books, be sure to reserve your appointment today!
And if you’re considering booking your first appointment, know that you don’t need a referral to see a chiropractor like us specializing in sciatica treatment in Irvine.
Simply pick up the phone, book online, or send us a message to get started.
A little maintenance today can go a long way towards a healthier tomorrow, and we’re here to help.
How to Prevent Sciatica Pain
As we discuss how to prevent sciatica pain with our sciatica patients, we often notice that many of them will make the comment that they don’t know how they hurt their back when they start receiving treatment.
And that’s a completely logical statement to make.
It’s easy to understand how lifting a heavy object at work or sustaining a blow of some kind or simply moving in an awkward fashion could result in an injury to your back.
The pain that comes with that injury tells you that you could have pinched a nerve and that’s why you’re experiencing sciatica symptoms.
But, what we’re about to tell you as we dive into how to prevent sciatica pain naturally may surprise you.
Research has shown that too much sitting may be one of the most common reasons you find yourself experiencing that sciatica pain.
That’s also completely understandable.
As the leading sciatica pain specialist in Irvine, we’ve seen the very real impact sitting too much has on our patients.
Why it Matters:
When you spend hours per day sitting down, the muscles that support your low back aren’t regularly activated, so they can start to atrophy or weaken.
This can lead to imbalances in your back that then result in increased pressure and stress on your spine.
Without the support of the stabilizing muscles your spine relies on to keep your vertebrae, discs, and nerves in balance and aligned, you’re more likely to injure your back.
To put that in perspective, we’ve seen patients who’ve injured their back from lifting lightweight items around the house.
Fortunately, the “how” in how to prevent sciatica pain is probably even easier than you think.
We like to say “motion is lotion” for your body.
When it comes to how to prevent sciatica pain, movement-based care is at the top of the list.
Stretching, for example, before and after any physical activity can help you both improve your flexibility and reduce your chances of experiencing a number of avoidable injuries.
Modern research also indicates that consistent exercise can stop or even reverse the effects of too much sitting.
Incorporating just 30 minutes of exercise each day can help strengthen the supporting muscles around your spinal column to help prevent future episodes of sciatica.
Other recent studies tell us that getting periodic spinal adjustments can have a part to play in both the correction and prevention of conditions that can cause sciatica pain.
In fact, the top research journal SPINE found that maintained chiropractic care can evaluate, detect, and potentially prevent future disc problems and low back pain episodes.
In other words, chiropractic can be a very effective “how” when you’re considering the actual steps of how to prevent sciatica pain and the recurrence of symptoms.
If you’re looking for a sciatica pain specialist in Irvine that takes a holistic approach, you’ve come to the right place.
When most people think of chiropractic care, they typically picture “getting their back and neck cracked.”
While It is true that chiropractic adjustments are a big part of the chiropractic treatment of sciatica, we actually use a variety of treatment methods to address sciatic nerve impingement and pain.
As chiropractors, we take a whole-body (holistic) approach to health and healing.
We combine techniques like adjustments, massage, exercise, nutritional advice, and weight loss management to create a wellness plan unique to each individual.
We’ve seen our patients enjoy significant relief from sciatica pain and improved mobility with continued chiropractic care.
Maintaining your body with movement-based care is key in how to prevent sciatica pain.
We recommend including regular chiropractic care in addition to implementing some level of planning to help get and keep you moving daily.
Even if time is tight most days, taking a few minutes every hour to get up and walk around can go a long way.
Starting small is better than not starting at all!
And, as days become weeks, months, and years, the exercise you do now will pay huge dividends down the road to keep you happy, healthy, and pain-free.
If you have struggled with recurrent or chronic sciatica pain, you’re not limited to invasive surgical procedures, injections, or prescription pain medications to find relief.
You deserve better.
Schedule an appointment with a holistically focused sciatica pain specialist in Irvine like us.
We’ll work together to pinpoint the root cause of your pain and come up with a plan that can help you get and stay out of pain for years to come.
You deserve nothing less!