Although sciatica is a common manifestation of low back and leg pain, it is not a condition but actually a cluster of symptoms that stem from the irritation of a spinal nerve root. To understand how this irritation develops, it's important to look at where breakdown in the spine can occur. In between each of the bony vertebrae in the spinal column are cartilaginous disc structures made up primarily of water. These 'discs' perform the function of absorbing most of the stress that both gravity and daily activity place on the spine. Unfortunately, as we age, the disc material begins to lose its water content and becomes more susceptible to damage. As the disc breaks down, it can apply pressure to other structures of the spine, notably the sciatic nerve roots; this can ultimately cause sciatica pain.
Sciatica pain usually manifests as burning, stinging, tingling and numbing pain that radiates from the spine down through the buttock, thigh, leg, and/or foot. Sciatica pain can appear in conjunction with radiculopathy: a nerve root malfunction that results in weakness, numbness, and difficulty controlling specific muscles.
Several conditions are known to trigger sciatica. Herniated discs (or bulging discs) are defined by a tear in the outer ring of an intervertebral disc, which allows the soft nucleus to bulge out and pinch the nerve root (a pinched nerve). In the case of spinal stenosis, the narrowing of the spinal canal can compress both the spinal cord and the nerve root.
At Living Well Medical, we help patients find relief from pain like sciatica by bringing together cutting edge technology and care of the highest standard.
In many cases, patients with sciatica pain can benefit from non-surgical spinal decompression on the DRX 9000. This technology gently stretches the spine and pulls damaged disc material away from compressed nerve roots. Over time, this therapy aids the natural healing process by stimulating the flow of blood and nutrients back toward the damaged disc structures. When used as part of a complete program that may include physical therapy, cold lasers, chiropractic adjustment, and strength training, you can find relief from sciatica.