Sciatica

Restorative Spine & Joint -  - Regenerative Medicine Specialist

Sciatica is the leading cause of leg pain, numbness, and disability among adults of all ages. To determine the cause of your sciatica, visit the team at Restorative Spine & Joint. Located in Santa Maria, California, the team offers gentle and effective treatments for sciatic pain to help you get relief and return to your normal activities. To schedule a consultation and exam, call the office or book online today.

Sciatica Q & A

What is sciatica?

Sciatica is a symptom of any condition that causes irritation of the sciatic nerve in your lower back. Sciatica symptoms include:

  • Hip pain
  • Buttock pain
  • Pain down the back of your thigh to your calf and foot
  • Numbness, tingling, or burning in your leg
  • Weakness or spasms in the muscles of your leg
  • Pain that is worse when your leg is stretched

The sciatic nerve travels from your lower back through your buttocks to your thigh, calf, and foot. Sciatic pain is typically one-sided, though it can occur on both sides of the body. The pain is worse when there is any tension placed on the nerve, such as stretching movements, bending to tie your shoe, or even walking.

What causes sciatica?

There are a number of conditions that cause sciatica, some of which are common and others more severe. The most common causes of sciatica include:

  • Poor posture
  • Pregnancy
  • Piriformis syndrome
  • Tight or spasming muscles
  • Lumbar radiculopathy
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Degenerative joint disease
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Herniated discs

Most cases of sciatica resolve with conservative traditional and alternative care and exercises along with stretches that the team teaches you. If your pain doesn’t resolve with this course of care, the team refers you to an orthopedic specialist in the area for further treatment.

How is sciatica diagnosed?

To diagnose sciatica, the team begins with a consultation and physical exam. During your consultation, you’ll explain the location of your pain, any known cause of the pain, and any activities that make your pain better or worse. The team then begins your physical exam by checking your flexibility, range of motion, muscle strength, and nerve sensations.

Orthopedic tests involve lying on your stomach or back while the team stretches your legs, buttocks, and hips. These tests may aggravate your pain, so let the team know if it’s too uncomfortable.

In some cases, the team may refer you for an X-ray or MRI of your spine. Based on their findings, the team explains your diagnosis and outlines a treatment plan.

How is sciatica treated?

Sciatica treatment depends on the cause of your pain. For muscular and postural conditions, the team recommends chiropractic adjustments and massage therapy, and teaches you exercises and stretches you can do at home to reduce your pain. For structural conditions that cause sciatica symptoms, the team may incorporate specialized traction procedures or exercises in addition to chiropractic adjustments.

To get relief from sciatica, schedule a visit online or call Restorative Spine & Joint now.

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