You’re sitting at your desk working when you notice the dull ache in your hip. No matter how you shift in your chair, you can’t seem to get comfortable and alleviate the pain that radiates into your buttock. When you get up to walk around, you feel a burning, tingling sensation down your leg on the same side of your body.
You don’t recall pulling a muscle or anything else that might lead to this kind of discomfort. Could it be sciatica? Sciatica is the name used to describe a painful set of symptoms — including hip, buttock, and leg pain — that occur as a result of pressure on a spinal nerve.
It’s usually the result of a bulging or herniated disc, the narrowing of your spinal column (spinal stenosis), or a bone spur. Whatever the cause, there’s no doubt that sciatica leads to pain and discomfort when you sit, walk, or both. Sometimes, it’s even difficult to find a comfortable sleeping position with sciatica.
So, what can you do about it? Do you simply have to live with the pain?
Fortunately, no. Here at Steel City Spine and Orthopedic Center, we have experience in diagnosing the underlying cause of your sciatica, and we take a multidisciplinary, integrative approach to treating the pain.
In most cases, we can treat your sciatic nerve pain and relieve symptoms through natural, nonsurgical methods — including physical therapy, massage, chiropractic care, and rehabilitation exercises. If you regularly feel like you need help for hip pain and other common signs of sciatica, come in to see us.
Why does my hip hurt if sciatica occurs in my spine?
This is a common question from sciatica sufferers. You have two sciatic nerves that run from your lower back through each of your hips and down each leg. When a herniated disc or bone spur puts pressure on that nerve, you feel the pain and discomfort anywhere along the nerve, from your lower back all the way into your foot in severe cases.
Sciatica may present as a dull ache or excruciating pain, and anywhere in between. It usually only occurs on one side of your body at a time. The pain might get worse when you cough or sneeze, or you might feel your hip and buttock go numb after you sit for a long time.
Driving long distances can be a challenge when you have sciatica, too, because you’re sitting in a car for a while, unable to change position to alleviate pressure on the nerve. When you first get up to walk, your affected leg may feel weak or unstable, as well.
Treating acute and chronic sciatica
You might have acute sciatica symptoms that go away on their own with exercises like walking and stretching. Alternating between applying hot and cold packs to the painful area can also help alleviate your discomfort.
Chronic sciatic nerve pain that doesn’t respond to at-home solutions may require a more customized treatment plan. Depending on your needs, that could mean regular physical therapy with prescribed exercises, steroid injections, or chiropractic adjustments.
At Steel City Spine and Orthopedic Center, we take a conservative, natural approach to alleviating sciatica so you don’t become dependant on prescription medications that mask symptoms yet don’t resolve the root cause of the problem.
Your long-term outlook with sciatica
With exercise, lifestyle modifications, chiropractic care, and physical therapy, your sciatica symptoms usually improve in a few weeks. We can also prescribe preventive measures so sciatica doesn’t recur, such as improving your posture and alternating between standing and sitting at work, if possible. Regular exercise can also help prevent sciatica from causing long-term pain.
If your pain persists, we develop a more strategic treatment plan to help you manage symptoms and avoid surgery or other invasive procedures.
To learn more about sciatica, and to understand its many symptoms, call our office to schedule a consultation. You can also book online anytime.