What is sciatica?
The sciatic nerve, your body’s largest nerve, runs from your lower back down the back of each of your thighs. If this long nerve becomes irritated or compressed, it can cause pain that’s called sciatica.
Most people with sciatica experience pain on one side of their body that comes and goes. The pain typically extends from your lower back and hip, down through the back of your thigh and leg.
What are the symptoms of sciatica?
Sciatica affects people in different ways. For some, the pain comes and goes, flaring up from overuse during exercise or too much sitting at work. For others, the pain is constant and crippling. The most common symptoms of sciatica include:
- Hip pain
- Tingling down the back of the leg
- Burning pain
- A dull ache in your lower back
- Weakness or numbness in your legs or feet
- Pain that gets worse when you sit
Depending on the affected area of the sciatic nerve, sciatica can cause pain and numbness in your feet.
What causes sciatica?
Any injury or degenerative condition that can irritate your sciatic nerve roots can cause sciatica. The most common conditions that cause sciatica include:
Degenerative disc disease
The small discs that lie between your vertebrae cushion and support your spine. When these discs break down, they can irritate the sciatic nerve.
Spinal stenosis is the narrowing of the spinal column. If your spinal column narrows in your lower back (lumbar spine), it can irritate and pinch nearby nerves, including the sciatic nerve.
Muscle spasms happen for many reasons, including something as benign as pregnancy. When you experience a muscle spasm near the sciatic nerve, it can compress and pinch it.
While you can develop sciatica at any time, you’re more likely to have it if you:
- Have diabetes
- Are overweight
- Sleep on an uncomfortable mattress
- Sit or stand for long periods
- Wear high heels
- Don’t exercise regularly
Most people get sciatica when they’re older because age causes changes in the spine.
What are the treatments for sciatica?
The pain management experts at Radiant Pain Relief Centres have special training in Scrambler Therapy. This FDA-cleared device is a cutaneous (skin surface) electro-stimulation treatment that delivers targeted low-level electrical currents into your nerves.
These electrical currents work to replace any pain information in your nerves with non-pain information. Scrambler Therapy doesn’t just stop the pain with electrical currents, like the more commonly used transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) does. Scrambler Therapy rewires your brain to accept this new information as non-pain signals.
After a series of treatments, your brain will no longer recognize the previous pain signals, which effectively relieves your sciatica pain. Scrambler Therapy delivers these signals through electrodes placed on your skin, so it’s an entirely non-invasive treatment.
How long does Scrambler Therapy for sciatica take?
Most patients need at least one 45-minute treatment a day for two weeks. After about one week, you’ll take a two-day break before resuming treatment. Once you’ve completed your full treatment, you should experience lasting relief from sciatica.
To learn more, call Radiant Pain Relief Centres today or schedule an appointment online.