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Sciatica

woman running

Sciatica is a term often used to describe pain along the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back down through the buttocks and legs. This common condition can cause significant discomfort and impact people’s daily activities.

Causes and Symptoms

Sciatica typically occurs when the sciatic nerve is compressed or irritated. The most common cause is a herniated disc in the spine, which presses against the nerve roots. Other potential causes include spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal), degenerative disc disease, muscle spasms, and even pregnancy.

The typical sciatica symptom is pain radiating from the lower back through the buttocks and down one leg. The discomfort can vary in intensity, from a mild ache to a sharp, shooting sensation. Other symptoms may include tingling, numbness, or weakness in the affected leg or foot.

Diagnosis and Treatment: What to Expect

Our chiropractors will conduct a thorough physical examination, reviewing medical history and assessing symptoms. We may recommend certain imaging tests, such as X-rays or MRIs, to identify the underlying cause of the nerve compression.

At KIROMEDICA Health Centre, we offer many options to address sciatica:
Physiotherapy: Specific exercises and stretches can help improve flexibility, strengthen the core muscles, and relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve.

Acupuncture: This form of Traditional Chinese medicine may help with sciatica by stimulating specific points on the body that release natural pain-relieving chemicals, promoting blood flow and reducing inflammation.

Chiropractic Care: Spinal adjustments can reduce nerve irritability responsible for inflammation, muscle spasms, pain, and other symptoms related to sciatica.

Cold Laser Therapy: This modality uses low-level laser light to reduce pain and inflammation in the affected area.

Spinal Decompression: A non-surgical therapy, spinal decompression can also help by stretching the spine and relieving pressure on the sciatic nerve, allowing for proper healing to take place.

Other Therapies & Approaches to Consider

  • Heat and Ice Therapy: Applying heat or cold packs to the affected area may help reduce inflammation and alleviate pain.
  • Medications: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), muscle relaxants, and pain relievers may be prescribed to alleviate pain and reduce inflammation.
  • Spinal Injections: Corticosteroid injections directly into the affected area can temporarily relieve inflammation and irritation.
  • Surgery: In severe cases, when conservative treatments fail to provide relief, surgical intervention, such as a discectomy, may be considered to remove the herniated disc or relieve the pressure on the nerve.

Prevention and Self-care

While it may not be possible to prevent all cases of sciatica, adopting certain lifestyle modifications and practicing self-care can help reduce the risk and manage symptoms. These include:

woman stretching on the floor
  • Maintain good posture and practice proper body mechanics while lifting heavy objects.
  • Regularly exercise to strengthen the back muscles and improve flexibility.
  • Avoid prolonged sitting or standing and take breaks to move around and stretch.
  • Use ergonomic supportive furniture and equipment, especially for those with desk jobs.
  • Manage weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Book an Appointment

Take that first step toward relief and improved function. Contact KIROMEDICA Health Centre today to schedule an appointment at our North York or Scarborough location.
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Sciatica in North York, Scarborough ON | KIROMEDICA Health Centre