The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the body. It starts in your lower back and travels through your hips and buttocks all the way down your legs. Sciatica is pain that travels along the sciatic nerve. Sciatic pain can come on suddenly and often only affects one leg. You might also feel numbness or weakness in the affected leg.
The source of sciatica is usually a herniated disc in the lumbar spine. Intervertebral discs are flexible cushions of connective tissue that separate your spinal bones (vertebrae). When a spinal bone is out of place, it can cause the disc to wear down or protrude (herniate) from its original position. When a disc herniates, it can put pressure on nerves, including the sciatic nerve.
Over-the-counter medications help relieve the pain or reduce inflammation, but this solution is temporary. Other commonly suggested solutions include surgery. This solution is invasive and often unnecessary. Chiropractic care is a non-invasive approach with excellent success in relieving sciatica pain.
How Our Sciatica Care Plan Works
1. Be Heard
Quality time with a health professional, so you can be truly heard and understood, isn’t all that common. We understand that. This is why, on your first visit, you will meet with one of our doctors and share your health concerns and struggles so we can understand exactly why you are here and what you want to achieve. The doctor will determine what testing is necessary to find the source of your health concerns and answer the biggest question of all: Can Chiropractic Care Help?
2. Discover How We Can Help You
Every new patient should feel like they are making the right decision for their health. This is why our doctors explain what they are looking for in the testing, so our patients know exactly what is going on, instead of just being a bystander. We will share everything we discover from your testing and exams, including if we can help you. In the unfortunate event that we cannot help, our doctors will provide any additional resources they feel would be appropriate to assist you.
3. Achieve Your Health Goals Together
Whether you just want to be out of pain, or you want to get back to golfing without limitations, or you are desperate to get a restful night’s sleep, we will be with you every step of the way. We’ll achieve your goals
How We Treat Sciatica in West Omaha, NE
Comprehensive Consultation and Exam
In our office, the doctors focus on finding the cause of your sciatic pain. As a new patient, you will discuss your specific health concerns, including sciatica pain, with the doctor during your consultation. We must understand how your sciatic pain is affecting your life so we can create the proper plan to get you back to doing the things you love.
In addition to a full consultation, the doctors will perform a series of assessments to determine the cause of your sciatica. These tests include postural analysis, motion palpation, and range of motion. When necessary, our doctors also utilize digital X-rays to determine exactly what is happening within your spine. These assessments will help to determine the cause of your sciatic pain and how we can help.
Specific Chiropractic Care in West Omaha, NE
If the doctor finds subluxation in your spine, with misaligned vertebrae placing pressure on the spinal nerves, we can help. The doctor will present a care plan that includes a series of adjustments to correct your spine. Often, the corrective care program will also provide stretches or exercises that can help provide relief and support to your adjustment plan.
Gonstead Technique Chiropractic Adjustments
The doctors in our office are all trained in the Gonstead Technique, the most precise chiropractic method utilized to detect and correct subluxations. Once a person becomes a patient in our office, they will receive a sequence of adjustments designed by the doctor to address their unique subluxation patterns. With the goal of subluxation correction, our office looks to help alleviate aches and pains AND improve overall function within the nervous system. In addition to chiropractic adjustments, patients will have access to postural, exercise, and nutritional consultations to tackle their specific immunity concerns.
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Common Causes of Sciatica Pain in West Omaha, NE
Understanding the factors that play a role in the development of sciatica can help individuals take preventive measures to reduce their risk. Some key risk factors include:
Herniated Lumbar Discs
Flat, cushion-like discs separate each vertebra in the spine. These discs have a soft, gel-like center called a nucleus pulpous and an outer ring called an annulus fibrosus. The discs act as a shock absorber and support the vertebrae, allowing slight movement within the spine. The nucleus pulposus distributes pressure in all directions when there are compressive loads on the spine.
A herniated disc occurs when a bone is out of place within the spine. Pressure from the misaligned vertebra tears the outer layer of the disc. When a tear occurs, the gel-like substance from the center of the disc squeezes through that tear. Sometimes, a herniated disc is referred to as a ruptured disc.
When you have a herniated disc, it can put pressure on nearby nerves exiting the spine. This additional pressure can cause pain as well as dysfunction within the body. When there is a herniated disc within the lumbar spine, it can result in sciatica pain. Chiropractors relieve this pain by adjusting the spine back to its normal position. Restoring proper spinal alignment eases pressure on the disc.
Degenerative Disc Disease
Degenerative disc disease is often associated with the aging process. However, simply getting older does not cause vertebral discs to break down. If that were the case, everyone would experience disc degeneration as they get older. Degenerative disc disease occurs due to excessive wear and tear on the discs, which causes the discs to wear down or shrink, reducing their ability to absorb shock. This process can result in a person experiencing aches, pains, and arthritis. Chiropractors can help with degenerative disc disease by performing spinal adjustments and assuring the spine is aligned correctly to avoid continual degeneration.
Excessive sitting, improper movement, excessive movement, and dehydration can all contribute to muscle spasms. A weakness in the spine can also cause back muscles to spasm. When a bone is out of place, it results in a weakened joint. The body then tries to protect itself by tightening the muscles around the weakened joint to increase stabilization. When this happens to the joints around the sciatic nerve, it can cause or increase sciatica pain. Stretching, movement, and hydration can all aid in releasing tension in the muscles. A chiropractor, however, is the only trained professional who can restore the vertebrae to its proper position, relieving muscle tension and spasms.
Spinal stenosis occurs when there is little to no space between the bones in the spine. Many people with spinal stenosis don’t experience any symptoms at first. Although it may take a while for symptoms to appear, one of the most common symptoms of spinal stenosis in the lumbar spine is sciatic pain. The best way to help create and maintain proper spacing of the vertebrae in the spine is to visit a chiropractor.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I see a chiropractor for my sciatica?
Yes. Chiropractors are specifically trained to locate the source of sciatic pain and the mechanism behind the symptoms.
What can I do to relieve my sciatica pain in Omaha, NE?
Chiropractic care is the best way to relieve sciatica pain in West Omaha. At Family First Chiropractic, we gather a thorough history, conduct a complete spinal evaluation, and take any necessary X-rays to discover precisely what is causing your sciatic pain to occur.
How should I lay with sciatica?
When experiencing sciatica pain, it is best to lay on the unaffected side with the hip experiencing pain on top. Flex your knees with a pillow between them to aid in comfort and reduce strain on the lower back and sciatic nerve bundle.
Can stretching make sciatica worse?
Depending on the specific stretch, there is a possibility of making the symptoms worse. We design exercise and stretching routines based on your specific condition and situation to aid in healing and prevent further irritation.
What causes sciatica flare-ups?
Causes of sciatica flareups include excessive sitting, being overweight, tight pants, high heels, and sitting on items in the back pocket. In addition, improper lifting mechanics can irritate the sciatic nerve.
Should I go to the gym with sciatica?
Generally, we recommend avoiding exercises involving the core and lower body due to the possibility of increased pain and inflammation. Other exercises which do not involve those areas are usually acceptable.
What exercises help with sciatica?
The initial exercise recommended for a patient experiencing sciatica is to begin walking as soon as possible. This will reduce joint discomfort, inflammation, and muscular spasms often associated with sciatica.
How do I get my sciatic nerve to stop hurting?
The first step is to ice the affected area and discontinue whatever activity brought about the pain. A chiropractor’s thorough examination would be the next step to eliminate the pain.