When Looking For The Culprit Behind Foot Pain Tingling And Strange Nerve Sensations Start At The Source: The Lower Back
Again, odd nerve sensations in the feet and lower extremities could be caused by any number of conditions. Properly diagnosing the cause and determining an appropriate treatment could require extensive testing and some measure of trial and error. Each patient case is unique.
That said, the lower back can be a good place to start the discovery process. Since the major nerve conduits start here, resolving the issue close to the spine can relieve symptoms all the way down the leg. Further, many individuals suffer from lower back issues that can create symptoms in the lower nervous system, especially in individuals over 30 years of age.
Addressing stress factors placed upon your lower back can also have the effect of improving your overall health, helping you strengthen blood flow and nervous system functioning from the waist down.
Causes And Related Problems
Nerve irritation or compression in the lower back most often cause sciatica. Back painis also common. Two other problems, herniated disc and spinal stenosis, may also play a role:
Doctors may order MRIs or EMGs to learn more. They may also recommend medicine, physical therapy, steroid injections, or surgery.
What Does Sciatica Pain Feel Like
People describe sciatica pain in different ways, depending on its cause. Some people describe the pain as sharp, shooting, or jolts of pain. Others describe this pain as burning, “electric or stabbing.
The pain may be constant or may come and go. Also, the pain is usually more severe in your leg compared to your lower back. The pain may feel worse if you sit or stand for long periods of time, when you stand up and when your twist your upper body. A forced and sudden body movement, like a cough or sneeze, can also make the pain worse.
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Numbness In Buttocks Legs And Feet
Sciatica, piriformis syndrome, and herniated disks can cause numbness in the buttocks, legs, and feet. The pain usually radiates along the sciatic nerve.
Treatment for numbness in the buttocks may vary depending on the cause of your symptoms. Most of the time, numbness is the result of a compressed nerve, though different conditions can cause pressure on a nerve.
Think You Have Sciatica Its Not As Common As People Assume Says Physical Therapy Expert
U of A researcher recommends exercise over painkillers for treating the painful nerve condition.
Although 85 per cent of people will experience back pain in their lives, only two to 10 per cent will suffer from true sciatica, according to a U of A master’s student in rehabilitation medicine.
While sciatica is one of the most common forms of back pain, people often assume they have it when they don’t, says U of A physical therapy researcher Greg Kawchuk.
That’s because the condition-named for the sciatic nerve running down the spine and through the leg-is a general term for many different situations. It can come on suddenly in an acute, disabling way, resolving after a couple of months, or it can fluctuate over time, he said.
Since the pain tends to radiate, it can be felt in a number of places, from the lower back to the buttocks, groin and down the back or front of the leg. It usually results from compression of the nerve roots as they exit the spine, which is caused when jelly-like cushions between vertebrae herniate, said Kawchuk.
“Sometimes the jelly comes out and it will either push on the nerve root or create inflammation that bothers the nerve. What’s nice is that we know that in the majority of patients, it usually resolves and goes away over time-just not that quickly.”
It’s also possible to have sciatica without back pain, he said, just as it is possible to have symptoms of sciatica without involvement of the back.
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Can Sciatica Be Cured
People with Sciatica always ask, Can sciatica be cured? The answer is, typically, with the appropriate treatment method, you may be able to consider sciatica pain an afterthought.
Sciatica pain is a treatable condition, no matter how challenging it may seem.
Physicians can help you determine the cause of sciatica, and from there, you may be able to look into various forms of treatment programs.
Most people respond well to natural treatment methods, depending on the probable cause of sciatic nerve compression and are symptom-free after a few treatment sessions. So, instead of living with sciatica pain, give some treatments a try.
The Indirect Results Of Nerve Compression
Another reason you may be feeling pain in one of your hips is that when you have a pinched nerve in your back that affects one side of your lower body, you tend to favor that side. The pain may alter the way you move, which can place added stress on your already hard-working hips.
So, if your hip pain is more of a dull ache and youre also experiencing some of the more classic signs of sciatica, the two are likely related.
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Sciatica Pain Causing Numbness In Lips
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Chronic Idiopathic Peripheral Neuropathy
Neuropathy occurs when nerve damage interferes with the correct functioning of the peripheral nervous system . When the cause of the nerve damage cant be determined, its known as idiopathic neuropathy.
Neuropathy causes odd sensations in various parts of the body, often the feet, shins, and hands. A lack of treatment can cause long-term nerve damage.
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Questions For Your Doctor
- What is the likely cause of my pain?
- Do I need any tests to confirm piriformis syndrome?
- Is it safe for me to exercise? What kind of exercise should I do?
- Will alternative therapies such as yoga or massage help relieve my pain? Do I need to take any medicine?
- What should I do if my pain doesnt go away?
Treating Sciatica With Chiropractic Care
Chiropractic adjustments are the best way to correct the cause of sciatica and relieve the pressure from the sciatic nerve. It is something we treat patients for on a daily basis. The doctors at Red Mill Chiropractic will first do a thorough comprehensive examination to determine the cause of your sciatic pain. These examinations include: orthopedic, neurological, chiropractic, physical exams, and X-rays if needed. We also use noninvasive computerized nervous system scans that will show how well the nervous system is functioning and pinpoint any problem areas. Based on these exams, we will be able to identify the root cause of your sciatica and work to eliminate the pain, correct the problem, relieve the pressure on the nerve and allow your nervous system to function normally.
The articles on the website are the property of Red Mill Chiropractic. They may not be reused without permission. You are welcome to link to this article.
The contents of this website are based upon the opinions of Dr. Marsh. The information on this site is not intended as medical advice. The information contained on this website is a sharing of knowledge based on the experience and research of Dr. Marsh and his staff. Dr. Marsh recommends that patients make their health care decisions after doing their research and consulting with a qualified health care professional.
Contact us at 757.918.7761 to set an appointment.
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View Hot Cold Packs On Amazon
Ice alleviate pain by reducing inflammation or swelling that compresses the sciatic nerve. On the other hand, heat packs can be useful in relaxing the tight muscles on the lower back.
If you are not sure when to use cold packs or hot compress, read this article on Ice and Heat therapy for lower back pain.
When Is It A Medical Emergency
Part of the problem with sciatic nerve pain is that it can obscure other more serious conditions. For instance, a recent article in World Neurosurgery indicated that lumbar radiculopathy can mask tumors growing alongside the nerve. If pain persists when palpating the cleft between the buttocks, further scans may be necessary. Any abnormal readings on those scans may indicate the presence of tumors.
As mentioned above, sciatic nerve pain symptoms can include weakness along the legs, urinary problems, and/or incontinence. These may indicate a serious medical condition, particularly if they occur suddenly. The most likely culprit would be cauda equina syndrome, a severe compression of the bundle of nerves at the end of the spine. The American Association of Neurological Surgeons notes that cauda equina syndrome most commonly results from a massive herniated disc in the lumbar region. A single excessive strain or injury may cause a herniated disc. However, disc material degenerates naturally as a person ages, and the ligaments that hold it in place begin to weaken. As this degeneration progresses, a relatively minor strain or twisting movement can cause a disc to rupture.
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What Does Sciatica Feel Like
The symptoms of sciatica are commonly felt along the path of the large sciatic nerve. Sciatica is often characterized by one or more of the following features:
- Pain. Sciatica pain is typically felt like a constant burning sensation or a shooting pain starting in the lower back or buttock and radiating down the front or back of the thigh and leg and/or feet.
- Numbness. Sciatica pain may be accompanied by numbness in the back of the leg. Sometimes, tingling and/or weakness may also be present.
- One-sided symptoms. Sciatica typically affects one leg. The condition often results in a feeling of heaviness in the affected leg.1 Rarely, both legs may be affected together.
- Posture induced symptoms. Sciatica symptoms may feel worse while sitting, trying to stand up, bending the spine forward, twisting the spine, lying down, and/or while coughing. The symptoms may be relieved by walking or applying a heat pack over the rear pelvic region.
The sciatic nerve is formed by the merging of spinal nerve roots from L4 to S3. These nerve roots converge into a single, large sciatic nerve. ReadSciatic Nerve and Sciatica
The sciatic nerve is the largest single nerve in the body and is formed by the union of 5 nerve roots in the lumbar and sacral spine. There are 2 sciatic nerves in the bodythe right and left nerves, supplying the corresponding lower limb.
A few anatomical characteristics of the sciatic nerve include:
Four Types Of Sciatic Nerve Pain
Dr. Nayantara Santhi
Dr. Nayantara Santhi holds an academic position at Northumbria University. After completing her Ph.D. at Northeastern University , she joined the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School as a post-doctoral fellow to research how sleep and circadian rhythmicity influence our cognitive functioning.
Sciatica is a form of radiculopathya mild to severe pain caused by the compression or pinching of a spinal nerve root. Sciatica radiates pain down the legs and feet, away
Sciatica is a form of radiculopathya mild to severe pain caused by the compression or pinching of a spinal nerve root. Sciatica radiates pain down the legs and feet, away from the source, and is a sign of nerve irritation or inflammation. It causes an electric shock sensation and numbness in the legs and feet.
While sciatica is often used to describe a sharp pain in the lower back and legs, not all sciatic nerve pain is sciatica. While the symptoms are similar from case-to-case, minor details signal different causes, such as whether your pain begins in your back versus your legs. Knowing the root of the issue is vital to treating sciatic nerve pain, as certain diagnoses require different treatments.
We discuss the most common types of sciatic nerve pain and an overview of what sciatic nerve pain is, its potential causes and risk factors, and various treatment options to give you a stronger understanding of the issue.
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Other Causes Of Foot Tingling
Of course, there are other causes to foot tingling out there. For instance, those who suffer from diabetes may be at risk for diabetic neuropathy, which can occur during bouts of very high blood sugar. This neuropathy damages nerves that send normal signals to your extremities, including your feet, and causing numbness and tingling. The sensation may even begin to feel like a mild burn. If you have diabetes and are experiencing foot tingling and numbness, its imperative to contact your doctor immediately, as diabetic neuropathy can quickly take a turn for the worse.
On another note, some women also experience this tingling sensation in their feet during pregnancy. With the massive changes that their bodies undergo, the shifting of the uterus may put pressure on the sciatic nerve, causing that all too familiar pins-and-needles sensation.
The moral of the story? If youre experiencing tingling and numbness in your feet, dont blow it off. Take it seriously and seek medical help immediately. Its best to know for certain what youre dealing with and have the right, informed help to guide you back to full health.
Causes And Related Symptoms
Peripheral neuropathy usually occurs when poor circulation leads to nerve degeneration. The lack of circulation causes problems in the legs, feet, and toes.
Doctors may order an EMG and prescribe medicine. They may also tell you theres nothing more they can do.
So, what do we do?
Chiropractic care can help, even if other treatments have failed. Algonquin Chiropractic, in Algonquin, IL, has treated thousands of patients from the Chicago area.
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Q How To Stretch The Sciatic Nerve In Bed
There are several stretches you can do in bed that might help your Sciatica. For instance, you can lie in your bed and then bend your knees in front of you.
Then, you can cross your right ankle on your other knee and make a ‘4’ shape. Then cross your fingers under your left knee and pull it towards yourself.
Hold this position for around 30 seconds and repeat the procedure for the other leg.
How Is Sciatica Treated
The goal of treatment is to decrease your pain and increase your mobility. Depending on the cause, many cases of sciatica go away over time with some simple self-care treatments.
Self-care treatments include:
- Appling ice and/or hot packs: First, use ice packs to reduce pain and swelling. Apply ice packs or bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel to the affected area. Apply for 20 minutes, several times a day. Switch to a hot pack or a heating pad after the first several days. Apply for 20 minutes at a time. If youre still in pain, switch between hot and cold packs whichever best relieves your discomfort.
- Taking over-the-counter medicines: Take medicines to reduce pain, inflammation and swelling. The many common over-the-counter medicines in this category, called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , include aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen . Be watchful if you choose to take aspirin. Aspirin can cause ulcers and bleeding in some people. If youre unable to take NSAIDS, acetaminophen may be taken instead.
- Performing gentle stretches: Learn proper stretches from an instructor with experience with low back pain. Work up to other general strengthening, core muscle strengthening and aerobic exercises.
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Do You Know What Causes Your Sciatica
Sciatica may have a variety of causes, each of them requiring a slightly different treatment. Whether or not surgery would get rid of your sciatica will depend on why the sciatic nerve is inflamed in the first place. Possible reasons may include:
Although most of these causes can be addressed with surgery, it is rarely the first line of treatment. The type of surgery would depend on the problem.
In addition, sciatica-like pain may result from irritation of the sciatic nerve by the piriformis muscle in the buttock. This condition is called piriformis syndrome and rarely requires surgery.
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I Have Sciatica Painnow What
If you are experiencing sciatica pain, dont fret! There are a lot of effective, conservative treatment options to employ in your road to recovery. Well preface this section by saying that we implore you to work with a medical professional if youre experiencing ongoing back pain. And, before beginning any new exercise regime, you should always discuss with your practitioner first, to make sure that the movements are appropriate for your specific injury.