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Sciatica and Sciatic Nerve Pain Treatment in Jacksonville, FL

Sciatica is a medical condition that causes sciatic nerve pain along the nerves in the lower back, lower legs and bottom. It is one of the longest nerves in the body, so it stretches from the back to each leg. Normally, this nerve is responsible for the sensations felt through the feet, thighs and legs. Unfortunately, this medical condition is fairly common, so many people in Jacksonville Florida are likely to experience at some point. It is difficult to get a diagnosis because this condition is actually a way to describe certain symptoms. A different medical condition is normally the cause of the spinal irritation and sciatica. These symptoms normally affect people between the ages of 30 and 50 years old. It often develops following years of wear along the spine, although it can develop due to an injury

Symptoms of Sciatica

  • Nerve Pain, often radiating along the lower back and leg
  • Tinging or Burning Sensation
  • Dull Ache along one side of the body
  • Numbness
  • Pins & Needles sensation in feet
  • Muscle Weakness
  • Pain made worse by sudden movements
  • Pain worsens after bending over or sitting for a long time, or even sneezing

Causes of Sciatica

  • Spondyliolisthesis: A vertebrae moves over another causing a pinched nerve
  • Degenerative Disc Disease: Disc changes shape as you age causing pain
  • Trauma: Car accident, sports injury, slip and falls etc... causing injures to the nerves in body
  • Spinal Stenosis: The spinal canal narrows, putting extra pressure on nerves and spinal cord
  • Piriformis Syndrome: piriformis muscle develops a spasm that squeezes nerves
  • Pregnancy: Added weight increases the pressure on the spine
  • Spinal infections & tumors: these conditions can compress the sciatic nerve

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Diagnosis of Sciatica and Sciatic Nerve Pain

If you believe that you have a problem with the sciatic nerve, you should visit your doctor at once. The doctor will begin by taking down your entire medical history. You will have to discuss when the pain started and the type of pain. The doctor will also want you to describe the types of activities that increase or decrease the pain's intensity. Depending on the medical history and pain description, the doctor may want to conduct a physical or neurological exam. You may be asked to do activities that test your muscle strength and reflexes. 

On occasion, your doctor may want to perform additional tests like a CT scan, MRI or x-ray. This may be done to rule out any other causes for the pain like a spinal infection or a tumor. If your pain does not lessen after two months of medical care, your doctor may order additional tests to rule out any possible causes.

Do I Need Medication or Surgery ?

Most people in Jacksonville Florida respond well to conservative treatment options like visits to the chiropractor. Sciatic nerve pain is just a symptom of an underlying medical condition, so the treatment used will focus on the actual cause of the pain. If you want a drug free option, the chiropractor can help to alleviate pain and restore spinal movement. The chiropractor may perform rehabilitative exercises, ice therapy, spinal adjustments, various electric muscle stimulation modalities, heat therapy, non-surgical spinal decompression or an ultrasound. 

Spinal manipulation has been proven to be exceptionally effective at treating sciatic nerve pain. The Annals of Internal Medicine recommends spinal manipulation to reduce the pain and increase the flexibility of your back. You should talk with your doctor about activities that you can do to keep your spine in shape. Avoiding exercise or physical activities is not advisable because it normally makes your symptoms worse. With proper treatment, about 80 to 90 percent of patients recover without having to undergo surgery. If your condition does not respond to spinal manipulation and other techniques, your doctor may recommend a surgical intervention.

To prevent this condition, you should work on improving the flexibility of your spine and protecting your back. Exercising regularly, practicing good posture and lifting heavy items correctly help to prevent issues. It is also recommend that you quit smoking, eat a balanced diet and avoid long periods of inactivity.