Various risk factors, such as injuries and medical conditions, can pinch the sciatic nerve, sending pain from the lower back through the hips and buttocks and down the legs. In most cases, a herniated disc or an overgrown bone puts pressure on the nerve. As a result, sciatica patients can experience pain, inflammation, and numbness in the legs.
If you believe you suffer from sciatica, our team of doctors, chiropractors, and physiotherapists can provide you with a Marco Island sciatica treatment plan. At Naples Community Injury Center, we tailor our treatment plans to suit the needs of each individual patient. Call us at (239) 631-5445 today to schedule an appointment.
Risk Factors for Sciatica
It can be difficult to tell if you have sciatica since the symptoms can mirror those of other health conditions, such as a pulled muscle or arthritis. Only a doctor can determine if you have it and how to treat it.
Certain risk factors can make a person prone to developing sciatica, such as:
Injuries to the lower back, hips, pelvis, and spine can lead to sciatica. Specifically, your injury may have affected your lumbar spinal nerve roots. This is where your nerves come out of your spinal cord, so it is a sensitive area.
Disc herniations are common culprits in sciatica cases. You may also have a tear in the outer ring of the cartilage that surrounds the disc, which causes inflammation and pain. Heavy lifting can cause herniated disc injuries, too.
Osteoarthritis affects the joints between your vertebrae and can cause sciatica if it damages your vertebrae at each side of your spine (facet joints).
Surprisingly, smoking cigarettes can affect your spine. Nicotine products accelerate the wear and tear on vertebrae discs, as well as weaken bones and damage spinal tissues. If you smoke, you can find resources to help you quit.
Our bodies sustain years of wear and tear as we age, so our muscles become less resilient and flexible. This can gradually lead to sciatica, which is more prevalent in older adults.
People who are overweight or suffer from diabetes can develop sciatica. With the additional weight straining your spine and pelvis, you could be prone to injuries or more extensive wear and tear on your body.
It’s important to strengthen your core muscles, such as your abdominal muscles, so that you do not put extra strain on your spine. A weak core, as simple as it may seem, could lead to sciatica.
Level of Activity
Inactivity can lead to muscle weakness and affect the spinal cord, which can open the road for sciatica.
Other Causes of Sciatica
Other causes of sciatica include:
- Tumors in your spine
- Spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal)
- Spondylolisthesis (misaligned vertebrae)
- Degenerative disc disease
- Facet joint arthritis
- Infection in the sacroiliac joint (SI joint), which is between the ilium and sacrum
If you know you suffer from one of these health concerns, and you are experiencing pain in your leg, buttock, back, or feet that does not subside over time, you could be suffering from sciatica, as well. You will want to get to the bottom of your symptoms so that you can rule out a serious medical concern. Seeing one of our doctors is the best way to do this.
Symptoms of Sciatica
There are a few different forms of sciatica, but general symptoms, according to Mayo Clinic, include:
- Pain in your buttocks or back that radiates down one leg
- Numbness in one leg when sitting for long periods
- Difficulty walking for long distances
- Loss of bowel or bladder function
- Pain that worsens when you sit down or walk
- Nerve root tenderness
If you are experiencing these symptoms, do not ignore them. You will want to rule out a serious condition and begin treatment that can help you improve your health.
How Our Marco Island Sciatica Treatment Team Can Help You
First, our team of doctors will determine whether you suffer from sciatica with a series of tests. They will examine you and review your medical history to get to the source of your symptoms. X-rays and MRI scans will allow us to get a good look at your spine and the surrounding tissues. If you receive a diagnosis of sciatica, our team can then design a treatment plan to relieve you of the symptoms and address the core issue.
Take a look at some of the Marco Island sciatica treatments we offer.
Chiropractic manipulations can reduce pain and inflammation while improving muscle strength and flexibility. This form of treatment is particularly effective for sciatica. The doctor will manipulate your spine and force it back into proper alignment, which will help take the pressure off the surrounding muscles, joints, and nerves.
In some cases, sciatica patients benefit from a dual approach of medication and non-invasive therapies. Your doctor will determine the best way to treat your discomfort while keeping your overall health a priority.
Physical therapy is more than just exercise. Our physiotherapists can use specific guided exercises to target your core muscles, improving flexibility and reducing pain. You can then practice the exercises regularly at home to keep making progress.
Chronic sciatica can call for rehabilitation if a patient can no longer perform the most basic movements. We can help get you back to living your life and resuming daily activities through our rehabilitation services.
We Can Build a Marco Island Sciatica Treatment Team Just for You
You do not have to guess when it comes to your health. If you are suffering from sciatica symptoms, our team of physicians can determine their cause and prescribe you a treatment plan to help get you back to normal.
Call Naples Community Injury Center at (239) 631-5445 to schedule an appointment. We can walk you through what to expect on your first visit and how we can help.