Sciatica is a painful condition that occurs when a major nerve in the lower back becomes compressed or irritated. The sciatic nerve exits the spine in the lower back, dividing into 2 major branches that travel down each leg. When the sciatic nerve becomes compressed, it can cause symptoms that radiate into one or both legs. Sciatic nerve compression can be caused by different issues, including weight gain and pregnancy, long periods of standing or sitting, poor posture and poor lifting technique. Sometimes sciatica symptoms can be caused by spinal diseases or conditions like arthritis or spinal stenosis. Herniated discs are a common cause of sciatica.
In addition to aching or pain in the lower back, sciatica can also cause pain, numbness, and weakness radiating into the buttocks and legs. Without treatment, muscle weakness and numbness can result in a lack of coordination. Unlike other types of back pain, symptoms typically aren't relieved when lying down, and sciatica symptoms frequently become severe enough to interfere with normal sleep.
Sciatica typically is diagnosed with a hands-on evaluation and a careful review of the patient’s symptoms and lifestyle habits. In a few cases, x-rays or other diagnostic imaging studies may be performed to rule out other possible causes of symptoms. Treatment will be focused on relieving the cause of nerve compression. Often, the symptoms of sciatica can be relieved with a spinal adjustment to help realign the vertebrae, which may become displaced by weight gain, overuse, and strain, or repetitive activities like bending or lifting. Therapeutic stretching and exercises combined with lifestyle guidance can also play an important role in relieving symptoms and in preventing sciatica from recurring.
That depends on what’s causing the sciatic nerve to become compressed. Many patients with sciatica experience improvement or complete relief of their symptoms with 1 or 2 appointments, especially when symptoms are caused by minor misalignment and nerve irritation. Other times, a series of treatments may be needed to achieve long-term relief. It’s also very important to follow lifestyle recommendations including changes in habits that could be contributing to nerve irritation and compression. Dr. Salvatore’s goal is to ensure each patient gets the most out of their treatment, avoiding any unnecessary therapies.
Dr. Salvatore accepts the following insurances and several more. If you do not see your insurance listed here, please contact our office and we will be happy to assist you.