Sciatica affects as much as 40 percent of the population. It also occurs in a broad spectrum of people, including young and old patients. So, how can you tell if your back pain is just a garden-variety ache or something more serious, like sciatica? Do you have to rush to find low back pain relief in Broken Arrow? What are your next steps?
Sciatica patients describe their symptoms as tingling or numbing leg pain. Some report that their discomfort begins from their lower back or hips and eventually spreads toward the legs. Sciatica can either be acute or chronic, depending on the severity and frequency of your condition. It can be classified as acute if your symptoms disappear after a few weeks. However, if the discomfort and pain linger for months or even years, you can quickly tell that it's the chronic form. This warrants your close attention as it can lead to permanent nerve damage if left unaddressed.
We rounded up some questions to help determine if your pain is linked to sciatica, as most patients cannot easily tell if their symptoms are telling signs of sciatica. After working the whole day, some may downplay their tingling leg or hip and think it's just from a long day or they're tired. Many will choose to ignore the problem completely. Confirming your diagnosis as early as possible may be necessary if you have been showing major sciatica signs. This can help you find the best options for low back pain relief in Broken Arrow.
These questions may help you identify if that leg or hip pain is from your sciatic nerve or your muscles:
Professional athletes are prone to strained muscles and ligaments. This is because of your usual physical and training routine. You may expect muscle pain from workouts, regular practices, and other usual physical activities and notice the pain mostly in your back and legs.
If you're not an athlete but remain to be physically active, you may also usually experience muscle strain and stress. Gym rats who usually run on treadmills or lift heavy weights are prone to this too. Your pain may be experiencing piriformis syndrome, which irritates your sciatic nerve, hence the symptoms.
Piriformis syndrome happens when your hip joint compresses your sciatic nerve, leading to inflammation. As a result, you may notice pain or numbness from your buttocks that travel down the back of your leg. This may happen on one or both sides of your body.
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Apart from the usual pain, numbness and tingling in one of the legs may be a sign of sciatica. This may be due to the pinching of your sciatic nerve. This nerve runs from your lower back to the rest of your lower body.
When your sciatic nerve experience stress, the normal flow of brain signals to your lower extremity gets affected. This results in temporary loss of sensation in the affected parts. Acute sciatica may eventually go away, but we recommend seeking medical attention if your leg feels weak and the feeling of numbness persists.
It's essential to provide complete and specific details about your condition when talking to your doctor to let them help you better.
If you have been experiencing pain in your leg or hip, try pressing hard on the muscles in your lower back. If the same painful sensation is reproduced, your pain is not from the sciatic nerve but from muscle stress.
If you haven't yet, it's time to visit your trusted healthcare provider if a tingling sensation or muscle pain has been bugging you. Your doctor will need to confirm a sciatica diagnosis with a physical test. They will first ask you to lie down and stretch your feet. Your doctor will then raise one of your legs to 70 degrees. If it's sciatica, the pain you feel will extend down to your toes, but if not, perhaps it's localized muscle pain and will eventually resolve on its own.
Sciatica is usually not a cause for emergency care. The majority of the cases heal on their own. However, if severe symptoms such as loss of bowel control and bladder function occur, you may need urgent care. Albeit rare, it does not mean you must ignore your early symptoms. Instead, make sure you seek immediate medical assistance when severe symptoms occur. This can mean intense pressure on your nerves.
Exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle may help you ease your pain and discomfort. In addition, upper cervical adjustments can provide lasting relief for many suffering from sciatic nerve pain. That's because when the bones in the upper cervical spine (the neck) are out of alignment, it can pressure the nerves running through that area—including the sciatic nerve.
By restoring the proper alignment of your bones in the upper cervical spine, we can take pressure off these nerves and help them heal properly. If you're suffering from sciatic nerve pain and want to learn more about how upper cervical care can help, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with us today. Call our office at (918) 262-5082 or use this online contact form.
Ignoring your pain may lead to irreversible effects; book your appointment today and let us help you find low back pain relief in Broken Arrow that best fit your needs.
To schedule a consultation with Dr. Trapp, call our Broken Arrow office at (918) 449-9555. You can also click the button below.
If you are outside of the local area, you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at www.uppercervicalawareness.com.