Sciatica is a set of symptoms including pain that may be caused by general compression or irritation of one of five spinal nerve roots that give rise to each sciatic nerve. It may also be caused by compression or irritation of the left or right or both sciatic nerves. The pain is felt in the lower back, buttock, or various parts of the leg and foot. In addition to pain, which may be severe, there could also be numbness, muscular weakness, pins and needles or tingling and difficulty in moving or controlling the leg. Typically, the symptoms are only felt on one side of the body. Pain can be severe in prolonged exposure to cold weather and can be exacerbated by cold and damp weather.
Sciatica is a relatively common form of low back pain and leg pain. However, sciatica is not a diagnosis, but rather is a set of symptoms by which it is identified. This point is important, because treatment for sciatica or sciatic symptoms often differs, depending upon the underlying cause of the symptoms and pain levels.
This morning when one of my patients, whom we were able to help with sciatica, came in with thrilling-for-her news. Originally, when she first came to see me, she was suffering with sciatic pain traveling all the way down to her foot for over 2 years. After we had begun treating her, she was gradually improving and by 12th visit, she reported to be absolutely pain free. However, when she would no longer come for care for 3-6 months, the tightness in the low back increased and she would come back for care, thinking that if she would not come for care, she would get sciatic pain again.
To help her maintain the benefit of being pain free and functional, I suggested that we would address some nutritional deficiencies. After determining that she is having hormonal imbalance, I recommended a few nutritional supplements that have been very helpful for numerous other patients who have come to the office with specific hormonal imbalance. Just 3 days after she began using the specific supplement, she states that she is no longer having the tightness in her muscles to which she has grown so accustomed to. There was so much excitement in her voice as she added that even three-hour drive in a car did not exacerbate her low back or the sciatica! Instead of tightness and pain, being on the supplements that she needed for hormonal support, she was able to maintain relaxed muscles even while driving for 3 hours each direction.