Sciatic nerves branch out from the spinal column in the lower back, traversing the buttocks, hips, and legs. Pressure on the sciatic nerve may affect part or all of the nerve, causing aches, discomfort, or numbness rather than sharp pain. Pressure on the nerve may be due to posture problems and minor spinal misalignment, or can be related to compression from herniated disks, spinal bone spurs, or spinal stenosis — the narrowing of the opening through which the spinal cord passes. Frequently, the piriformis muscle places pressure on the nerve. Typically, only 1 side of the body feels the effects.
Most patients with sciatica know they have this due to radiating pain. There may be a focused area of pain in the lower back, upper buttock, or outer hip area, with associated effects following in a line down the outer rear of the hip and leg. This pain may reach the knee and beyond, but usually isn’t constant along that path. The lower reaches generally project as numbness or tingling.
The pain center may vary from sharp and excruciating to a minor ache. Sitting usually aggravates discomfort, and sneezing and coughing may cause temporary stabs of more severe pain. Severe cases of sciatica may be felt anywhere along the nerve’s path right down to the feet. Muscle weakness and instability may also accompany advanced cases.
As well as several different techniques of chiropractic adjustments, Dr. Taheri may recommend ultrasound and electrotherapy as effect treatments. Massage and soft tissue manipulation help some cases where muscle inflammation puts pressure on the nerve. Dr. Taheri may recommend cold packs for use at home, as well as rehabilitation exercises to tone muscles that may contribute to the sciatica problem.
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