There are five nerve roots in the lower back that connect to your sciatic nerve. If one of these is “pinched” or injured, you may experience pain, tingling, or numbness in your leg or foot. To heal from sciatica without drugs or surgery, visit Craig S. Rubenstein DC, DACBN, CCN. Using chiropractic and functional medicine techniques, Dr. Rubenstein helps patients with sciatica achieve pain relief and improved mobility. To get started, make an appointment at one of his offices in New York City or Medford, Long Island by calling or scheduling online today.
What is sciatica?
Sciatica describes a specific type of leg pain that originates from the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back down through each leg. People with sciatica often experience chronic pain that may be localized in one area or radiate through the buttock and back of the leg.
If the pain isn’t in the back of your leg, it isn’t sciatica, and a thorough exam is necessary to identify the true diagnosis.
What are the symptoms of sciatica?
The sciatic nerve is the largest single nerve in the entire body, and damage to this nerve or surrounding nerve pathways can lead to a wide range of uncomfortable symptoms. The most common signs of sciatica include:
- Pain: usually on one side of the body, but it can occur on both; radiates from the lower back down through the buttock and back of your leg
- Numbness: reduced sensation or inability to feel when the skin over the area is touched
- Weakness: occurs in the leg muscles
- Tingling: a feeling similar to when your leg “falls asleep,” but typically less intense
- Difficulty moving: trouble standing, walking, or performing certain movements without pain
For some, the pain associated with sciatica comes and goes, while others experience chronic, debilitating pain.
What causes sciatica?
Because you have several nerve pathways that connect to your sciatic nerve, the condition can develop if any one of these nerves is pinched, compressed, or inflamed. The most common causes of nerve compression include:
- Degenerative disc disease: long-term deterioration of the lumbar discs
- Herniated disc: when the fluid-like substance inside a spinal disc pushes out from the center of the disc and irritates or “pinches” a nearby nerve
- Spinal stenosis: a narrowing of the spinal canal common in older adults; often compresses multiple spinal nerves
Irritation or damage to other muscles and joints in the lumbar region, including the piriformis muscle or the sacroiliac joint, can also cause sciatic-like pain.
How is sciatica treated?
In most cases, you don’t need surgery or other invasive methods to treat sciatica. In fact, up to 90% of people with sciatica can recover with nonsurgical treatments. Dr. Rubenstein has successfully treated hundreds of patients with sciatica over the past 30 years, saving many from going under the knife.
Dr. Rubenstein uses a multifaceted approach to treat sciatica, developing a customized care plan to meet your needs. His methods include:
- Applied kinesiology: muscle testing to evaluate the functioning of your musculoskeletal system
- Chiropractic: specific, often gentle adjustments to help restore proper motion of the vertebrae in your lumbar spine and relieve pressure on affected nerves
- Clinical nutrition: a personalized analysis of how your body processes nutrients and a recommended nutritional treatment plan for nerve and joint support; nutritional products available from Thorne Research, Pure Encapsulations, and Metagenics
- Exercise: recommendations for physical activity that improves mobility and supports spine health
With just a few shorts weeks of treatment, you can end sciatica pain and enjoy new freedom in how you move and feel. Get started today by calling the office or booking a consultation with Dr. Rubenstein online.