How Does a Chiropractor Diagnose Sciatica? Our Doctor in Hollywood, FL Explains
If you believe that your leg pain, balance issues, low back pain, and other odd extremity symptoms are related to sciatica, you want to get the treatment you need so you can get back to your normal quality of life.
But before that can happen, you have to receive a diagnosis. What evaluations and procedures go into confirming a case of sciatica and determining the proper methods for relieving your discomfort? Let’s look at some of the ways our sciatica chiropractor in Hollywood FL gets to the root of sciatica symptoms.
The Signs of Sciatica
Sciatica can present a variety of different symptoms. Most of them — including numbness, tingling, and pain — are noticeable in the leg, buttock, or foot. You may also seem to be losing strength or balance in the affected leg. But in some cases, sciatica also causes lower back pain.
These symptoms can easily lead you to believe you’ve injured the specific part of the part giving you trouble. It’s more likely, however, that all of your pain can be traced back to a pinched sciatic nerve root.
How can these nerve roots cause so much trouble? The sciatic nerve, the largest single nerve in the body, doesn’t attach to the spinal cord directly; instead, it depends on the nerve roots that thread their way through little spaces between the vertebrae. When a spinal misalignment, bulging discs, or other obstruction pushes its way onto a nerve root, the communications through the nerve root become impaired. This affects the information that sciatic nerve nerve sends to the leg and foot, resulting in loss of motor control, pain and other discomfort.
Diagnostic Evaluations From Our Hollywood FL Chiropractor
Confirming sciatica isn’t as easy as you might think, partly because the syndrome has so many potential causes. There’s also the fact that sciatica symptoms can mimic other issues, from inflamed muscles to diabetic neuropathy. A chiropractor, such as Dr. Gady Abramson at Back to Mind Chiropractic, typically performs the following series of evaluations to find out exactly what’s behind your sciatica:
- Medical History – It’s important for us to understand the “vital statistics” of your medical history. Those number include your age, since sciatica usually bothers individuals between the ages of 30 and 50. If you’ve had a history of back or leg pain or injuries, we can determine whether your symptoms are actually related to those older problems instead of a new one. we may also ask your about work work environment or athletic activities to see if these activities could be contributing to your sciatica.
- Physical Examination – A physical examination is a must when trying to track down the source of sciatica. Our Hollywood chiropractor will note any potential musculoskeletal issues that might stress the spine and promote sciatic nerve root compression, such as unequal leg length, uneven muscular development, weak back muscles, and any obvious swelling that might put pressure on nerve tissue. We will also ask you to describe your symptoms in detail, including their location, intensity, how long you’ve had them, and whether they get better or worse in different circumstances (such as when you’re sitting down or sneezing).
- Neurological Examinations – Neurological examinations allows us to see exactly how your nerve responses and function are affected by a possible case of sciatica. We can analyze your leg reflexes, stance, and gait to observe muscle weakness and balance problems. We will also ask you to flex your spine, knees, and hips to determine whether discs or other structures are pinching your sciatic nerve.
- Imaging Procedures – Looking inside the body can show exactly where your sciatic nerve compression may be occurring. X-rays give us a clear view of your spinal alignment, including any disc compression, bone spurs, or other possible causes of sciatica. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology and computerized tomography (CT) can pinpoint a bulging or herniated disc.
From Sciatica Diagnosis to Sciatica Treatment
Once we’ve diagnosed your sciatica, we can prescribe chiropractic adjustment, spinal decompression, physical therapy, and other non-surgical form of sciatica treatment. Call one of our 4 locations in the Hollywood-Ft. Lauderdale FL area for quality chiropractic care to get started!