Aurora Center for Well Being in Waukesha
Relief from Sciatica pain
Suzie Raether knew that something was terribly wrong when what began as a "little ache" in her lower back quickly turned into sharp pains shooting all the way down to her toes.
"I had never experienced anything like that in my life," says the 34-year-old Waukesha woman. "The pain started in my lower back one day and within a week, it was so bad I could barely get up from a sitting position." That's not good when you're a full time office worker and also the mother of a very busy seven-year-old girl. "I need to be mobile," she says with a smile. "But here I was, just hobbling around, having a hard time getting in and out of the car or doing anything. It was a real pain, no pun intended. After a week of taking ibuprofen with no results, I decided to check out a chiropractor."
Suzie had a classic case of sciatica, according to Thomas Siegel, DC, the chiropractor she saw at the Aurora Health Center in Waukesha. "Sciatica is an irritation to the sciatic nerve, which is the long nerve extending from the lower back and down the back of each leg," Dr. Siegel explains. "The irritation can be caused by a number of things ranging from traumatic injury to postural stress related to prolonged sitting. The nerve itself becomes inflamed, or a muscle spasms and pushes on the nerve. It also can be irritated from vertebrae misalignment where the nerve originates." In many cases of sciatica, Dr. Siegel notes, no specific cause for the inflammatory flare-up can be identified.
The symptoms of sciatica include:
- Pain shooting down the back of one leg from the tailbone to the knee, and depending on where the nerve is affected, on to the foot or toes.
- Weakness, tingling or numbness of the lower leg muscles to the point where it is difficult to move the leg or foot.
- Constant pain on one side of the buttocks.
- Shooting pains that cause difficulty standing up or walking.
The pain that comes from sciatica can vary from a mild ache to excruciating discomfort that some patients describe as "jolting" or "shocking." On a scale of 1 to 10, Suzie told Dr. Siegel at her first visit that her pain was at "9." Six visits later, she was "totally back to normal."
"Dr. Siegel was wonderful," says Suzie. "After the first appointment, I actually felt a little worse, but from that point on, I just kept getting better and better." In addition to chiropractic spinal adjustments, Suzie's course of treatment included interferential current therapy (mild electric stimulation of the muscle), cryotherapy (ice) and a recommended regimen of stretching and exercises to improve muscular function of the spine.
Sciatica pain is one of the most common reasons that people seek chiropractic help, says Dr. Siegel. Other conditions he routinely treats includes back pain, arthritis, disc conditions, headaches, knee or ankle pain, pinched nerves, and shoulder or arm pain. To evaluate such conditions, doctors of chiropractic use a number of tools including personal health history, physical examination, laboratory tests and x-rays as medically necessary. As part of the Aurora team, chiropractors also have access to state-of-the-art diagnostic procedures such as imaging services, computerized tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Aurora chiropractors also work in the same clinics as physicians, rehabilitation specialists, acupuncturists, massage therapists and other health care professionals to provide convenient, comprehensive care and the best possible outcomes for patients.
For an appointment
To schedule an appointment for chiropractic care at the Aurora Health Center in Waukesha, call (262) 896-6000.