Sciatica is a painful condition that affects many Americans and one that brings many patients to seek chiropractic care with Dr. Robert Sazama and Dr. Eric Liebl. Residents living in and around Mesa, Arizona can find relief from sciatica through services offered at Mesa Chiropractic and Rehabilitation.
Sciatica Q & A
What is sciatica?
Sciatica is a form of nerve pain that results from irritation of the sciatic nerve, which is the largest nerve in the human body. The term sciatica describes symptoms of leg pain that can extend from the lower back all the way down the back of the leg and into the feet. The most common cause of sciatica is a herniated disc in the lower back that is placing pressure on the sciatic nerve. Other causes include irritation of the sciatic nerve that can result from a number of factors, including tumors, muscle damage, piriformis syndrome, infections and internal bleeding. People who suffer from sciatica often experience a mix of symptoms that include sensations of burning, tingling or numbness in the lower back, buttocks and back of the thigh.
What diagnostic techniques are used to identify the source of sciatica?
In a chiropractic setting, x-ray technology is a powerful tool for diagnosing sciatica. In some cases, additional imaging, such as an MRI, is required to uncover the underlying cause of the condition. A physical exam and comprehensive health history also help chiropractors to determine the cause of sciatic pain. There are specific orthopedic tests that can be performed to aid in diagnosis as well. As with so many medical conditions, patients can play an important role in the diagnostic process by providing detailed information about their health histories and their experience of symptoms.
What are the treatment options for sciatica at Mesa Chiropractic and Rehabilitation?
We can treat sciatica using a number of different approaches. In some cases, patients respond well to a series of medically supervised stretching and conditioning exercises. Strengthening the muscles that support the structures of the back can help reduce a number of problems, including sciatica. The use of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, commonly referred to as TENS, can provide pain relief and massage therapy can be used to reduce muscle spasms and relax the muscles. Spinal adjustments are also commonly used to correct misalignment of the spine, improve spinal movement and reduce the pain associated with sciatica.