Contributed by Dr. Rizaldy Ortiz
"My sciatica is acting up." You’ll probably hear this statement either from another driver or coming out of you own mouth. That’s because driving for long periods of time, carrying heavy loads or having a job that requires you to twist your back are all suspected risk factors that contribute to sciatica. Additionally, growing older, obesity and diabetes can all increase your risk of developing this condition.
Sciatica is caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve. The hallmark symptom is pain in the back of the leg and lower back, but there other symptoms that can point to sciatica.
Important Sciatica Symptoms To Know:
If you’ve been experiencing lower back or leg pain, here are some sciatica symptoms you should know.
1. You feel weakness in your leg along with pain: When the sciatic nerve is pinched, it disrupts the functioning of your leg and can cause weakness.
2. Your pain is just in one leg: In most cases, you’ll only feel sciatica pain in a single leg.
3. Your foot gets caught on the ground when you walk because of numbness: Again, a compromised sciatic nerve can keep your leg and foot from functioning properly.
4. Your pain gets worse after coughing, sneezing or laughing.
5. You find that you’re in more pain at night.
6. You are having difficulty controlling your bowels or bladder: Fortunately, this symptom isn’t common. But if you do experience it, seek medical treatment immediately because you may need surgical intervention to prevent your nerve damage from becoming permanent.
The vast majority of the time, sciatic pain can be relieved through a combination of therapy, stretches, traction, deep tissue massage, trigger point therapy and chiropractic care. When the cause is a bulging or herniated disc, decompression traction may be indicated. If the sciatica has produced leg weakness or nerve problems, then you must also address and treat the nerve damage.
Dr. Ortiz is a chiropractic physician and a certified medical examiner who provides ethical, fair and friendly DOT CDL physical exams and chiropractic in the Matsu-Valley. Please call Altair Chiropractic at 907-357-1818 to make an appointment.