Leg pain that varies from mild to intense pain is often caused by sciatica, a condition that develops when one of the sets of five nerve roots in the lower back is compressed. Sciatica can cause pain, tingling, numbness, or weakness in the legs. The condition is bothersome, uncomfortable, and inconvenient. In the worst cases, sciatica can be debilitating.
Typical Causes of Sciatica
There are several spinal disorders that can cause this nerve compression, sometimes referred to as a pinched nerve.
- Disc bulge. When a disc protrudes slightly but has not yet herniated, it can apply pressure to a nerve and lead to back pain.
- Herniated disc. A herniated disc begins as a disc bulge but eventually ruptures, which allows the gel-like core of the disc to leak into the spinal canal. This severe pressure on a nerve root and causes chronic sciatica, and the release of the disc material causes nerve inflammation.
- Spinal stenosis. When the space through which the spinal cord runs narrows, it compresses the spinal cord and the sciatica nerve roots. This condition is usually exacerbated by the position a person is in, whether standing or walking or sitting down.
- Trauma. An injury sustained in a motor vehicle accident, a fall, or contact sports can traumatize the lumbar or sacral spinal nerve roots. This direct nerve compression leads to sciatica, caused by the impact itself or, sometimes, broken bone fragments.
Symptoms of Sciatica
Sciatica pain originates at the bottom of the spine and typically radiates down the back of the thigh and through one leg, affecting only one side of the lower body. Symptoms of this back or nerve problem, however, can vary. Sufferers of sciatica can find themselves with any of the following complaints:
- Lower back pain, sometimes constant.
- Leg or buttock pain that is worse when sitting.
- Tingling or burning in the leg.
- Hip pain.
- Weakness or numbness.
- Difficulty moving the affected leg or foot.
- Shooting pain that makes standing difficult.
Functional Medicine for Sciatica
You may visit your primary care physician for any back pain, hoping for, at best, a diagnosis of something innocuous and, at worst, a referral to a specialist with an excellent reputation for successful chronic pain treatment.
Quite often, sciatica can be improved and even eliminated with the right kind of functional medicine therapy. You may be able to avoid surgery entirely, especially if a disc has not yet herniated and receives the proper therapy. Specialized disc treatments and nerve repair treatments can erase the chronic problem of sciatica from your life.
Anyone with back problems wants the pain to go away, immediately. Non-invasive spinal decompression gently stretches the spine right where the disc problem has occurred, isolating the issue for more effective therapy. The pressure is removed from the nerves, allowing movement of water, oxygen, and nutrients into the disc to promote relief, regeneration, and healing.
Disc bulge therapy is a clinically proven alternative to surgery for spinal disc issues like sciatica. It is a pain-free, drug-free procedure that has an impressive success rate for reducing disc herniation.
If you are tired of living with back pain, if you are terrified that the sciatica you are experiencing will only get worse, schedule a consultation with Dr. Daniel Geck at the Restorative Wellness Center in Ann Arbor. You don’t just have to manage chronic pain, you can reverse it.