You might have heard that a herniated disc in your lower back can cause your sciatica symptoms, but what exactly does that mean? In this guide, our team at Back to Health Wellness Center – your chiropractor in Sarasota – breaks it down.
The Anatomy of the Lumbar Spine
To understand the link between a lumbar herniated disc and sciatica, it’s helpful to understand the components of the lumbar spine. There are five bones in the lumbar spine or lower back. Between these bones are cushions that help absorb shock and prevent the bones from rubbing together. These cushions are referred to as discs. In the midst of these bones and cushions is the sciatic nerve. It branches off in two directions: down the right and left hip, through the buttocks, and down to the feet.
How a Lumbar Herniated Disc Affects the Sciatic Nerve
The discs of the lower back sometimes bulge or herniate. It can occur due to misalignment, aging, injury, poor posture, degenerative disc disease, and several other issues. Regardless of the cause, the inner filling of the disc spills out from between the bones onto the surrounding components.
As the sciatic nerve is in such close proximity, it is a prime target. If the disc’s filling spills out onto the sciatic nerve, it becomes compressed or pinched. This creates a great deal of pain, but the suffering goes beyond that. Since the sciatic nerve travels down to the foot, sufferers often deal with numbness, tingling, weakness, or even sharp, shooting pains in their extremities. Whether this affects the left or right side depends on which branch of the nerve is compressed.
How a Chiropractor Treats a Lumbar Herniated Disc
True and lasting healing comes from retracting the disc and its filling so that it no longer lies on the sciatic nerve. Typically, this is done through spinal adjustments to restore proper alignment and spinal decompression, which stretches the spine and creates a vacuum-like effect that pulls the disc back in.
Treat Your Lumbar Herniated Disc with Our Chiropractor in Sarasota, FL
You have the power to put your pain to rest. Give Back to Health Wellness Center a call today at (941) 351-2555 to schedule an appointment with our team.