The lower lumbar portion of the spine is the home to the sciatic nerve, which is a continuation of several spinal nerves coming out of the low back. Radiculopathy, commonly known as Sciatica, is the irritation of the nerve root located in the lower back. This condition can be debilitating and prevent a person from maintaining their daily routine.
The spine is a wonderfully complex system which is made up by multiple small bones called the vertebrae. Each vertebra is made to be a passage for nerves that spread throughout the body. These passages can sometimes shift along their alignment, causing the nerve to flow less freely through the passage and therefore irritating or constricting the nerve from transmitting information.
Located between the bony vertebrae are the cushions of the spinal cord known as discs. These discs provide the spine with the shock support needed to function. These discs are formed with a softer center and a tough exterior. The herniation of the disc is characterized by the softer portion of the disc protruding from the tough exterior, causing irritation of the correlated nerve resulting in a related numbness or weakness in a limb.
As you would expect, the vertebrae within the spine have joints in order to bend and move freely. These joints are called facet joints and, like any other joint, they can succumb to arthritis. When located in the spine, arthritis breaks the cartilage of the facet joint which cause pain and nerve irritation.
Swelling and Irritation
Characterized along with the above, or simply on its own, swelling and irritation within or around the spine can cause the pain of the sciatic nerve.
How to prevent it?
Keep the muscles strong!
Your muscles are what keeps your body stable, therefore, they need to be kept strong to help your spine with mobility and durability.
Keep proper posture!
Your body is aligned for proper posture. If you are hunching your back, you are putting stress on facet joints and discs that normally would not be under such pressure. Keep that proper posture and maintain that proper alignment!
Chiropractors are trained to go to the source of pain. In regards to sciatica, the cause is within the spine and can be treated through a series of alignment and vertebrae adjustments. If you, or someone you know, is experiencing sciatic nerve pain, send them to Lowcountry Chiropractic!
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