What is sciatica?
The sciatic nerve is a nerve that runs from the lower back through each of the hips and down the legs. Sciatica is a painful condition that develops when the sciatic nerve becomes compressed or irritated. While some cases of sciatica will resolve on their own, others will require professional treatment.
What are the symptoms of sciatica?
The most common symptom of sciatica is pain that radiates from the lower back into the hip and down the back of the patient's leg. Some patients experience this pain as a constant ache, while others notice a sharp, burning sensation. Patients may also notice numbness, tingling, or muscle weakness in the affected leg. Sciatica usually affects only one side of the body at a time, and it may worsen when the patient coughs or sneezes.
How does R2 Medical Centers treat sciatica?
In most cases, the medical team at R2 Medical Centers will be able to diagnose sciatica based on the patient’s symptoms and the results of a physical exam. The doctor may also order x-rays to determine the cause of the pain. Once the doctor has confirmed the diagnosis of sciatica, they will create a comprehensive treatment plan designed to address the patient’s pain and reduce the chances of recurrence. Some of the treatments that may be incorporated into this plan include:
- Corrective exercises - In some cases, a patient’s poor posture or other bad habits contribute to sciatica. Corrective exercises strengthen weak areas and teach patients how to protect the low back from injury.
- Spinal manipulation - Spinal manipulation works by improving the alignment of the vertebrae, which may alleviate some of the pain associated with sciatica.
- Decompression therapy – Spinal Decompression is computerized traction that uses pre-programmed patterns of distraction and relaxation that may reduce disc pressure allowing nutrients to accelerate disc healing.
- Trigger point injections - Trigger point injections contain special medications that alleviate pain in a specific area. If necessary our medical team can use these injections to reduce the pain from sciatica.
- Massage therapy - Massage therapy loosens the tense muscles in the back that may be aggravating the patient’s condition. This treatment also encourages nutrient-rich blood to flow to the area, which promotes healing.