The sciatic nerve begins from the spinal nerve, extending through the buttocks and to the back of the thighs and down to the lower legs and feet. Whenever a part of the sciatic nerve is under pressure or injured, it can lead to various types of symptoms. Sciatica refers to the sensation of pain emanating from the sciatic nerve and its branches. Patients may feel pain extending from the lower back to one or both sides of the buttocks, thighs, calves to sometimes directly reaching the sole of the foot.
Sciatica is a warning signal from your body. The most common cause of sciatica is intervertebral disc herniation and although sciatica is a painful condition, it rarely causes permanent nerve damage. Some cases of acute sciatica respond well after a few months of self-care measures.
Sciatica is a symptom not a disease. The most obvious and typical symptoms of sciatica is the patient's pain radiates along the lumbar spine to the buttocks, spreading to the posterior and lateral sides of the thighs and calves and even to the soles of the feet. Some patients may also feel paralysis of the lower extremities at the same time. The pain can be mild but persistent; it can be sharp but intermittent like the sensation of burning, electric shock or a needle stick. It usually affects only one side of the body and even when a patient coughs, sneezes, laughs or sits for a prolonged period of time, the nerve pain can increase.
Around 90% of patients can achieve standard recovery with non-surgical treatment such as medications, chiropractic therapy, physical therapy and home care. Depending on the condition and frequency of treatments, in most cases there will be an obvious improvement after one to two months. If there is no obvious improvement with non-surgical treatments and the pain progressively worsens or the patient is confirmed to be in a severe condition, the doctor generally will advise on surgical procedures. Non-surgical chiropractic treatments include spinal correction, 3D spinal traction, extra-corporeal focused shock waves and high-energy laser treatments.
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