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Many Seattle residents struggle with lower back pain, leg pain, numbness or tingling sensations in the feet, or inexplicable weakness in one or both legs. These issues are associated with what we call sciatica.
Sciatica is a group of symptoms rather than a condition, but it commonly accompanies well-known and well-understood spinal problems.
Here at Optimal Spine & Wellness Clinic in Normandy Park, WA, we offer non-surgical treatments that relieve not only the symptoms but also the dysfunction behind them.
The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body, essentially running from the base of the spine all the way down into the leg, where it branches off into the many smaller nerves that direct sensation and motor impulses to the feet. The nerve itself is made up of multiple nerve roots that extend from the lumbar and sacral spine, including the 4th and 5th lumbar vertebra and the 1st sacral vertebra. This structural characteristic makes the sciatic nerve vulnerable to impingements that may occur at the nerve roots due to a spinal misalignment or injury.
An auto accident or sports injury, for instance, may shift the lumbar or sacral vertebrae out of their normal alignment, causing the intervertebral discs to push against the nerve roots and creating sciatica symptoms such as lower back pain, leg pain, tingling or loss of sensation in the lower extremities, and muscle weakness that impedes walking or balance. (A similar impingement of the cervical nerve roots in the upper spine can cause neck pain or problems in the upper extremities.) Other sciatica cases evolve over time as a result of disc compression or poor posture that prevents normal nerve function in the lower spinal column.
Our Seattle chiropractic team has a great deal of experience in treating all kinds of nerve problems, including sciatica. We begin with a detailed examination that identifies the points where nerve roots are experiencing impingement. We also take care to eliminate similar conditions that present many of the same symptoms, such as piriformis syndrome (a pinching of the sciatic nerve by the piriformis muscle in the pelvis).
Whatever structural problem is impeding the patient's normal sciatic nerve function, we can provide the proper treatments for long-lasting relief.
Chiropractic adjustment, for instance, can relieve the imbalances placing pressure on the nerve, allowing it to heal as quickly as possible. Many of our Seattle patients experience prompt relief after just a few sessions. Massage therapy can also help by speeding the healing process in the injured area and loosening muscles that have tightened up as a reaction to pain, which in turn escalates the discomfort.
At the same time, we can help these same patients with any other nerve issues that may be causing them neck pain or contributing to a chronic illness.
We encourage Normandy Park & Burien sciatica sufferers to contact our office for an appointment!