Sciatica is a common type of back pain that happens in your lower back. Sciatica affects as many as 40% of people during their lifetimes, and its painful symptoms can make it hard to do a lot of daily activities, including getting a good night’s sleep.
The team at Body Balance Chiropractic & Wellness Center is skilled in customizing sciatica treatment plans for patients in Houston, Texas, personalizing each plan for maximum pain relief. If you have sciatica, here’s what to know about the painful condition — and how our treatments can help you feel better.
Sciatica happens when the large sciatic nerve is irritated and inflamed. Commonly, irritation happens when the nerve is compressed or “pinched” where it exits your spine.
Many issues can cause sciatic nerve compression and irritation, including “slipped” or herniated discs and bone spurs, a common “side effect” of arthritis.
Anyone can develop sciatica, but it’s more common among people who:
Sciatica can also happen during pregnancy when the expanding belly puts extra pressure on the lower back. You can also develop sciatica following a car accident, fall, or another personal injury.
Chiropractic treatment is especially well-suited to managing sciatica pain because it focuses on optimizing the structure and function of your musculoskeletal system and nerves. However, there are some things you can do to improve symptoms now and even help prevent them from recurring.
Alternating an ice pack with a heating pad is one simple way to find some quick pain relief. Ice relieves painful inflammation around the nerve, while heat increases circulation for improved healing in the area.
Gentle stretching promotes healing, but it can also help gently coax a slipped disc back into its normal position.
A bad mattress can quickly lead to sciatica, but even if your mattress provides plenty of support, lying down can sometimes worsen symptoms. To keep your back supported while sleeping, lie on your side with your legs bent and a pillow between them.
“Sit up straight” might sound like nagging, but it’s good advice for your back. Slumping or hunching over your laptop or in front of the TV puts added strain on your spine, pulling the vertebrae out of alignment and increasing the risk of sciatica.
Many of us spend far too much time sitting down — during our commute, at our jobs, and again in the evening while relaxing. Try incorporating daily exercise into your routine, like a walk at lunch or after dinner. Exercise helps relieve pain while also strengthening the muscles that support your back.
Being overweight puts extra strain on your lower back and shifts your spine out of its normal alignment, significantly increasing the risk of sciatica. While this isn’t an immediate solution, losing weight can help prevent sciatica from returning or becoming a chronic problem.
If sciatica symptoms persist or get worse, it’s definitely time to schedule a visit with our team. With techniques like chiropractic adjustment, massage, and other therapies, we can work with you to develop a plan that finally provides you with much-needed relief.
Sciatica can clear up over a few days by following the home care tips listed above. But if your sciatica doesn’t go away or if it comes back, it’s important to schedule a visit with our team. Ignoring sciatica can result in permanent nerve damage and long-term disability.
To learn more about sciatica and how we can help you feel better, call 281-890-5599 or book an appointment online with the team at Body Balance Chiropractic & Wellness Center today.