Sciatica Treatment in Bradenton

WHAT IS SCIATIA?

Sciatica is the irritation of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is the widest (almost finger-width) and longest nerve in the body. This nerve begins in the low back at the 4th and 5th vertebra, extends through the tailbone and buttocks and down the back of the leg to the foot. Depending on the severity of Sciatica, pain may only be in the buttocks or the entire leg. Sciatic pain can be debilitating.

WHAT ARE SYMPTOMS OF SCIATICA?

Pain from Sciatica is typically felt on one side of the buttocks or leg, but rarely both sides. Pain originates in the low back or buttocks and continues along the back of the leg into the lower leg and foot. Sciatic pain can be described as sharp and searing. Some describe a “pins-and-needles” sensation, numbness, weakness or a prickling sensation down the leg. Sciatic pain can feel better when lying down or walking, but worse when standing or sitting. Pain can be constant or come and go.

WHAT CAUSES SCIATICA?

Sciatic nerve irritation can be caused by misalignment of the vertebra of the low back, tailbone or pelvis. This may be from injury or a chronic degenerative process. Spinal disc degeneration or bulging discs can also irritate the sciatic nerve. Bone spurs in the low back can press on the sciatic nerve pain causing pain in the buttocks or leg. Tight gluteal muscles and a tight piriformis muscle can cause sciatic pain. The piriformis muscle goes from the hip to tailbone and assists in rotating the leg to the side. All of these areas need to be evaluated to make a proper diagnosis to treat Sciatica.

HOW IS SCIATICA DIAGNOSED?

  • Detailed History
  • Physical Exam
  • Imaging Tests

A detailed history is a crucial first step in the diagnostic process.  It is important to learn about any past injuries or traumas, the nature of the problem as it presents for you, how long you have been suffering and any other complicating factors. 

In order to properly diagnose Degenerative Disc Disorder, a detailed exam by our medical provider or chiropractor is needed.  During the evaluation, they will look at your posture, range of motion, and muscular imbalances.  Supporting muscles of the spine will be evaluated for tightness, swelling, tenderness and trigger points.  Orthopedic, neurological and reflex testing will also be performed to evaluate the spinal joints, nerves and supportive muscles. 

Your medical provider or chiropractor may order imaging to further evaluate the alignment of the low back and identify possible signs of degenerative changes and arthritis.

  • X-Ray – Used to visualize bone, an X-Ray may be ordered to rule out fractures, loss of joint spacing, misalignment of vertebra and joints, and evaluate the stage of arthritic changes present. 
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) – Using a large magnet and radio waves, an MRI can help to better evaluate the soft tissue of the spine, like muscles, nerves and spinal discs.
  • Computerized Tomography (CT) – A CT Scan is another way to evaluate soft tissue for those who can’t have an MRI.  Computers and a rotating x-ray machine are used to take cross-sectional (slices) images of the body.

options

WHAT ARE MY TREATMENT OPTIONS?

  • Chiropractic

    Sciatic pain has been shown to respond favorably to chiropractic adjustments of the low back and pelvis. When your low back and pelvis are misaligned, extra stress can be put on the sciatic nerve. Chiropractic adjustments can help reduce this nerve irritation to help eliminate pain. An adjustment is used to mobilize a joint in the spine or limbs to restore the proper motion of that joint, reduce pain, relieve nerve irritation and slow down the degenerative process. There are multiple techniques that a chiropractor can use to mobilize a joint, such as by hand or using instrument assisted techniques.

  • Physical Rehab

    We practice corrective care at Synergy Medical. The focus is on identifying and correcting any functional limitations to create a long-term positive result. Physical Rehab can be a significant part of the care solution and is often prescribed by our providers. The goal is to increase motion and restore function to allow you to return to daily activities without pain. Specific stretching and strengthening exercises are performed to help relax tight muscles and strengthen week muscles due to poor posture or injury. We teach our patients exercises that they do in the office and continue at home to resolve their problem.

  • Spinal Decompression

    Spinal decompression is a non-surgical type of motorized traction to help relieve neck and back pain. This type of therapy works by gently stretching the spine. As the spine stretches, bulging or herniated discs may retract, taking pressure off nerves and other structures in your spine. These discs are cushions filled with a gel-like material that are located between the bones of the spine. This in turn, helps promote movement of water, oxygen, and nutrient-rich fluids into the discs so they can heal.

  • Orthotics

    Custom orthotics \o "custom orthotics" Orthotics may be prescribed to provide support, stability, and shock absorption to the arc of the foot. A shoe insert or wedge that slightly elevates your heel can relieve strain on the tendon and provide a cushion that lessens the amount of force exerted on your Achilles tendon.

If you are experiencing symptoms of disc degeneration, please be evaluated to determine the best course of action. The medical team at Synergy Medical will work carefully with you to promote success in your treatment.

Call us today at (941) 755-9355 to Schedule a FREE, no-cost consultation.