East Coast Injury Clinic
Auto Accident Injury Care & Chiropractic
located in Jacksonville, FL
Your sciatic nerve, which is the longest nerve in your body, is rooted in your lumbar spine, or the vertebrae of your lower back. Along with the network of smaller nerves that branch off it, your sciatic nerve extends through your hips, buttocks, and down each leg, where it helps you control and feel your lower body. Sciatic nerve pain, or sciatica, is a common car accident injury. The trauma specialists at East Coast Injury Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, provide comprehensive sciatica care, including diagnosis and treatment, for patients living in the northeastern region of Florida.
How can trauma cause sciatica?
Sciatica is a common problem that may be brought on by chronic poor posture, pregnancy, or age-related narrowing of the spinal canal, among other things. It’s also a common car accident injury, as the sciatic nerve is rooted in your lower back, an area that’s almost always affected to some degree by the rapid deceleration, sudden changes in direction, and forceful impacts that happen during a crash.
Sciatica occurs when something is compressing or impinging on your sciatic nerve, either where it’s rooted in your spine, or somewhere along its path. Some of the most common trauma-related causes of sciatic nerve impingement and pain include:
Spinal compression or misalignment: Having lower-back vertebrae that are even slightly out of alignment can crowd the sciatic nerve root.
Disc problems: When trauma causes an intervertebral disc to bulge or rupture, it can put pressure on the sciatic nerve.
Piriformis muscle damage: When the piriformis muscle, which is situated directly over your sciatic nerve, sustains damage or begins to spasm, it can put pressure on the sciatic nerve.
Injury: Any injury along the nerve’s path, such as a pelvic fracture, can result in sciatica.
What does sciatica feel like?
Sciatica may start as an annoying pain in your lower back, but it can quickly become the kind of debilitating pain that radiates down one of your legs, reaching as far as your calf. The pain, which is sometimes described as a burning sensation, may be a mild, ongoing ache, or a sharp, sporadic, electric-like jolt.
While it’s possible to experience sciatic nerve pain at any isolated point along the path of the nerve, sciatica is more likely to follow an uninterrupted path. It often gets worse after long periods of sitting or standing and can be triggered or aggravated by reaching, sneezing, and other minor movements.
How is sciatica treated?
Sciatic nerve pain may begin gradually after an accident, but it usually intensifies over time, and may even become long-term or permanent if it’s left untreated. However, when sciatica is addressed as soon as possible, it typically responds well to a combination of physical therapy, deep tissue massage, and high-quality chiropractic care. Anti-inflammatory medications and muscle relaxants are often used to control pain during recovery.
Other problems, such as a bulging or herniated disc, may need to be treated concurrently depending on the exact nature of your injury. Sciatica that progressively worsens or doesn’t get better may require surgery.