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Sciatica 101: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

Sciatica is a type of pain that starts in the lower back and can radiate down the leg. It can be severe and may interfere with your mobility and your ability to do your normal activities. Fortunately, physical therapy can often help to resolve sciatica symptoms, so you can find relief without medication. Could sciatica be responsible for your pain? Here is what you need to know.

What causes sciatica?

Sciatica typically occurs when part of your spine puts pressure on the sciatic nerve, which runs through your lower back, hips, buttocks, and legs. Herniated discs, spinal stenosis, and bone spurs can all put pressure on the nerve and trigger sciatica. Sciatica is most common in older adults who experience age-related changes to their spines. Being obese, having an occupation that requires you to move heavy objects or sit for prolonged periods, and having diabetes can all also raise your risk of experiencing sciatica.

What are the symptoms?

The most frequently observed symptom of sciatica is pain in the lower back that goes down one leg. The pain is usually made worse by prolonged periods of sitting. Some people also experience numbness and tingling along the pathway of the sciatic nerve, into the foot. In severe cases, people with sciatica can have difficulty controlling their bladders and bowels.

How is sciatica treated?

Physical therapy can help to relieve sciatica symptoms and reduce the risk of future episodes. Chiropractor care to alleviate the pressure on the nerve may also be helpful. Some people with sciatica also benefit from muscle relaxants, anti-inflammatory medicines, and steroid injections. For serious cases that aren’t relieved by other remedies, surgery may be necessary.

Sciatica can have a dramatic impact on your life, but Manhattan Total Health is here to help you get back to normal. Get the relief you need with the help of our physical therapists in New York, NY. To schedule a consultation, please call (888) 614-9257.

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