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If you are suffering from sciatica, our Portland chiropractor understands what you are going through and is here to provide relief. One moment you feel fine, and the next thing you know you're struggling with weeks of leg and lower back pain at a time. This is the world of sciatica, a compression of the body's largest nerve that produces not just pain but other debilitating symptoms in the lower extremities as well. But you don't accept recurring bouts of sciatica as the "new normal" for your life -- not when you can turn to Dr. Samantha Stuart, DC. Our chiropractic clinic can provide you with safe, drug-free, non-surgical relief from your agony.
The chronic pain syndrome known as sciatica is so named for the nerve it affects. The sciatic nerve is a massive structure connected to the spinal cord via two lumbar nerve roots and three sacral nerve roots toward the bottom of the spine, so you could think of it as five major nerves in one. It extends through the hip and buttock down to the leg, where it then branches off into all the nerves that relay motor and sensory data to that extremity. So when you pinch your sciatic nerve or a sciatic nerve root, symptoms may occur anywhere along these nerve pathways. They typically include:
Lower back pain
Sharp or "electric" pain sensations running through the buttock and down the back of the leg
Numb spots in the leg or foot
Loss of muscular control in the leg, possibly causing balance or coordination issues
The exact location and extent of your symptoms may depend on which sciatic nerve root is compressed. (Extreme cases may even include incontinence.)
Anything that pinches the sciatic nerve or its roots can cause sciatica symptoms. A herniated disc is a common culprit. Traumatic injuries can dislocate lumbar joints and discs, sometimes causing the disc casings to tear and push inflammatory inner material into a nerve root. For many more people, however, sciatica is related to age-related conditions such as spinal stenosis or spondylolisthesis. Poor spinal alignment can make you more vulnerable to sciatica; the resulting muscular strain and spasms can also produce a kind of sciatic nerve impingement called piriformis syndrome.
Sciatica may last for days or weeks and then go away -- but only for a while. It will most likely keep coming back until you treat the problem at the source. Our Portland chiropractor, Dr. Stuart, can pinpoint where the nerve tissue is being pinched and then provide the appropriate treatment. If a spinal misalignment or degenerative spinal condition is behind your nerve impingement, chiropractic adjustment can help normalize joint motion and posture, taking the pressure off of the sciatic nerve. Corrective exercises can then build stronger back muscles to help you preserve that straighter alignment going forward.
Don't settle for sciatica as part of your daily life. Contact our Portland chiropractor at (503) 252-3560 and get relief!