Chiropractic doctor performs consultation & examines x-rays; at followup visit, adjustment helps ease pain and release tension
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Sciatica: A Stubborn Symptom
_With simple adjustments, the chiropractor may be able to ease the pain of sciatica. Read on as Groupon digs deeper into the source of this pain.
The sciatic nerve resembles a long, skinny horseshoe, its two prongs reaching from the lower back all the way down each leg. This, the largest nerve in the human body, is the source of much discomfort for those suffering from sciatica, which can send spasms of pain shooting down one or both legs. Sciatica is not actually a spinal disorder in itself—rather, it’s a symptom of other spinal disorders. With thorough examination and imaging, a doctor can help determine the cause of sciatic pain.
One of the most common roots of sciatica is a bulging or herniated disk, which occurs when the gelatinous fluid inside a spinal disk either presses against the disk wall or actually leaks through it. Whether due to age-related degeneration or sudden injury, this can put painful pressure on the sciatic nerve. Several other conditions can also pinch the sciatic nerve, including a slipped vertebra (called spondylolisthesis), a nerve-compression disorder known as lumbar spinal stenosis, and piriformis syndrome—irritation of the sciatic nerve caused by the piriformis, a lower-back muscle. Pregnant women may also develop sciatica in the third trimester, when the baby starts to change its position as it takes up yoga practice. Although the root cause of sciatica may be difficult to diagnose, the pain is usually treatable with chiropractic care, physical therapy, over-the-counter medications, or alternative medicine such as acupuncture.