Sciatica is a condition that results from the compression of the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back down through the legs. The compression can cause pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness in the affected leg. While sciatica can be caused by a variety of factors, some triggers are more common than others. Keep reading to learn about the most common triggers of sciatica and how Auburn Chiropractic Associates can help.
Common Triggers of Sciatica
1. Herniated Discs
A Herniated or bulging disc is one of the most common causes of sciatica in the human body. When a disc in the spine becomes damaged, the inner material can protrude outward and compress the sciatic nerve. This can cause pain and other symptoms associated with sciatica.
2. Spinal Stenosis
Spinal stenosis occurs when the spinal canal narrows and puts pressure on the nerves, including the sciatic nerve. This condition is most commonly seen in older adults and can be caused by age-related wear and tear or conditions like arthritis.
3. Degenerative Disc Disease
Degenerative disc disease, a condition where the discs between the vertebrae in your spine begin to break down, is also a common cause of sciatica. As the discs degenerate, they can compress the sciatic nerve and cause symptoms of sciatica.
4. Piriformis Syndrome
The piriformis muscle is located in the buttocks and often affects the sciatic nerve as it courses down the back of the leg. When the muscle becomes tight or spasms, it can compress the sciatic nerve and cause pain and other symptoms.
Trauma, such as a car accident or a fall, can cause damage to the spine and result in sciatica.
During pregnancy, the growing uterus can put pressure on the sciatic nerve and cause sciatica symptoms.
Wholesome Preventive Measures of Sciatica
Prevention is key when it comes to sciatica. While there are a number of factors that can trigger sciatica, there are also several steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing this condition. Here are some wholesome preventative measures for sciatica that we recommend:
Maintain Good Posture: Poor posture is a leading cause of back and neck pain, which can ultimately lead to sciatica. Make sure you sit and stand with your shoulders back, chest out, and head positioned over your shoulders. This is a healthy position of the spine, most effectively maintained with core strength.
Exercise Regularly: Regular exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight and strengthen your back and core muscles, which can help prevent sciatica. It is good to get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise, such as swimming or walking, at least 5 days a week.
Practice Good Body Mechanics: When lifting heavy objects or performing repetitive motions, use proper body mechanics to reduce your risk of injury. This includes lifting with your back straight while your knees are bent. Avoid bending at the waist and twisting-type motions while lifting.
Take Frequent Breaks: If you sit for long periods of time, take frequent breaks to stand up and stretch. This can help relieve pressure on your back and reduce your risk of developing sciatica.
Maintain a Healthy Weight: Carrying excess weight can put additional stress on your back and increase your risk of developing sciatica. To help maintain a healthy weight, look for highly nutritious foods for a balanced diet and strive to exercise regularly.
Seek Chiropractic Treatment: If you experience sciatica or back pain, seek professional chiropractic care for relief and receive beneficial preventive treatment methods.
How Auburn Chiropractic Associates Can Help You
If you are experiencing symptoms of sciatica, it will benefit you to seek conservative chiropractic treatment. Our team at Auburn Chiropractic Associates will provide a thorough assessment which may include on-site digital X-ray evaluation. Our team will create a personalized treatment plan to address the underlying cause of your sciatica. Treatment options may include spinal adjustments, decompression therapy, stretches and exercise, massage therapy, and other preventative and holistic treatment options. With proper care, most cases of sciatica can be successfully treated, allowing you to return to your daily activities with minimal pain and discomfort. If you have any questions or concerns about sciatica, please don't hesitate to fill out our contact form or call us at (334) 826-2225.