Summer time comes once a year and it is an exciting time where many plans are made such as tending to the garden, visiting your local pool club, and hitting the highways for that family vacation. You’ve packed your bags, filled the gas tank, programmed google maps with your favorite destination, but an unexpected event takes place hours into the trip; sciatica pain. Although unexpected, understanding what sciatica is, the symptoms, and the various treatment options available to you at Monmouth Pain and Rehabilitation doesn’t have to be unexpected.
What is sciatica?
Pain that radiates from your lower (lumbar) spine to your buttock and down the back of your leg; which is commonly seen as the hallmark of sciatica. A person can feel discomfort anywhere along this path, but most typically from your low back to your buttock.
What are the symptoms?
Sciatica varies from person to person so can the symptoms. The various symptomatic occurrences can range from a mild ache to a sharp ache, excruciating pain or a burning sensation. Some patients have described sciatica as feeling like a jolt or electric shock. Usually one side of the body is affected and is aggravated by prolonged sitting. Others have experience numbness, tingling or muscle weakness in the affected areas such as leg or foot.
What are the some causes?
Most commonly, sciatica occurs when this nerve has become pinched. The most common causes for this pinched nerve are either by herniated disk in your spine or by an overgrowth of bone (bone spur) on your vertebrae. More rarely, this nerve can be compressed by a tumor or damaged by a disease such as diabetes.
What are the risk factors?
Age: issues such as herniated disks or bone spurs do occur with the aging process
Obesity: by increasing your weight one can add additional stress to the spine as well as spinal changes
Your occupation: although not scientifically proven, if your job requires lifting, twisting or prolonged periods at your desk this could aggravate the nerve
Diabetes: nerve damages can be increased due to the way your body uses blood sugar
We have identified the symptoms, causes, and risk factors now onto the treatment options available to you through Monmouth Pain and Rehabilitation. We are a one stop facility with several modalities available allowing us to can tailor your care and reach your treatment goals effectively and efficiently. Here are the options we can provide by our certified compassionate team of providers:
Chiropractic: Through manual manipulation of the spine and the treatment of the surrounding structures as well as the lumbar herniated disc, our chiropractic doctors have had great success with treating this condition. Through mobilization and stretching of the muscles and joints, an increase in range of motion in the affected area can be achieved and maintained.
Physical therapy: Our team of physical therapists along with their assistants will focus on 3 key areas in dealing with sciatica: strengthening, stretching, and aerobic conditioning.
Strengthening: A focus on exercises that will strengthen the muscles, ligaments, and tendons supporting the spinal column. Often times people think that the spinal column is the only area to focus attention on; but the abdominals, buttocks, and hip muscles are important as well to support the weight of the body as well as improve posture.
Stretching: This can alleviate pain and reduce the risk of future issues and injuries by reducing tension on the nerve.
Aerobic conditioning: This encourages the exchange of fluid and nutrients to promote a healing environment. Exercises such as walking, swimming, biking, low grade pilates, tai chi and yoga all release endorphins that can ease sciatica pain.
Acupuncture: Our acupuncturist, Nicole, has found great success with the use of traditional Chinese medicine through the following mechanisms:
- Stimulation of nerves that release endorphins which changes the process of pain
- The reduction of inflammation
- Increasing local microcirculation improving muscle stiffness by dispersing swelling
- Promoting regeneration of the sciatica nerve
As you now are aware, prolonged sitting isn’t the only cause for this condition. The practitioners at MPR in Wall Township and Shrewsbury, NJ are here to make an accurate diagnosis and customized treatment plan to return you to normalcy as quickly as possible.
Whether taking that scenic ride, dipping in that town pool, or tending to your herbal garden we are only a phone call away! Fill out the form on this page to request an appointment or call us at 732-345-1377. Let us know you read our blog and you will receive a FREE consultation (a $245 value).