5 Things To Know If You’re Experiencing Pain Or Numbness In Your Buttcheeks

Everyone is familiar with the numb feeling that occurs in your leg after sitting for extended periods of time. This is similar to what people with sciatica experience, however with sciatica, the tingly, painful feeling does not go away. Sciatica nerve pain affects up to 40 percent of people at some point, according to data from Harvard Medical School.

While sciatica is very common, it’s also quite misunderstood. The misconceptions about sciatica can range from the definition to how it affects the body and the treatment options. Many people believe sciatica is a medical condition and don’t know that it is actually a symptom.

Sciatica is a symptom of different conditions and causes pain along the sciatic nerve. This nerve begins in the lower back and runs down through both legs into the buttock, thigh, calf, and foot.

Below are five things to know about sciatica pain:

1. Sciatica pain can occur in many places

The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the body and pain can occur anywhere. This helps better understand why sciatica can effect so much of the body. Sciatica can impact the lower back, the buttock, go down to the knee or calf and even cause issues into the foot.

2. Sciatica can manifest in a wide variety of ways

Sciatica can affect multiple body parts and also present different sensations. For some it can cause numbness, muscular weakness and most commonly it causes pain. Regardless of how it manifests, sciatica can interfere with daily life and feel debilitating. In addition to the physical symptoms, it can affect your sleep and mood.

3. Anyone can experience sciatica

Sciatica symptoms can happen to people who are out of shape and well-trained athletes alike. A common misconception is that sciatica is a result from trauma such as an accident or herniated disc. Some people experience sciatica simply from sitting incorrectly at their desk or in their car seat. In addition, sciatica can arise from an injury, repetitive stress, a herniated disc or variety of other causes. While rare, it is also possible to experience sciatica from stenosis (narrowing) of the lower back, arthritis, spinal tumors or simply from a person’s physical anatomy.

4. A musculoskeletal specialist should be seen for medical attention related to sciatica

If you experience sciatica for three or more days or if it is interfering with daily activities, you should seek medical attention. Because sciatica can be so broad, it is critical to determine the root of the problem. It is recommended that patients consult with a medical professional who specializes in back and musculoskeletal conditions. The specialists can include chiropractors, physical therapists or orthopedists. An evaluation may include a simple orthopedic and neurological assessment or more complex diagnostic tools such as X-rays or MRIs.

5. Treatment options can vary

Treatments for sciatica can range from conservative, natural approaches (i.e. physical therapy or chiropractor visits) to more aggressive measures which can include injections or surgery. Most medical professionals recommended pursuing the less aggressive treatments first. Recovery times can vary widely regardless of the treatment approach. As an example, recovering from sciatica caused by a slipped disc can take a few months while a more simple issue may be resolved after a few physical therapy appointments. A common misconception is that once you develop sciatica, it is something you have to live with for the rest of your life. Fortunately, that is not true.

Increased number of kids with back issues from backpacks

Chiropractors are continuing to see an increased number of children with back and spine issues as a result of wearing their backpacks incorrectly. Backpacks allow students to conveniently carry school books and other essentials when traveling to and from school. In addition, backpacks are able to effectively distribute heavy loads evenly across the back and shoulder muscles.

Unfortunately, overloading a backpack or wearing it incorrectly can cause strain the back, neck, and shoulders and ultimately cause lower back pain. Overweight backpacks can affect a child’s legs and cause spine issues including pelvic unleveling and even scoliosis.

Some students may overfill their backpack with equipment, tennis shoes and other accessories. This extra weight only worsens the problem. In addition, backpacks for teens are often larger in size and allow heavier weight loads which contribute to back problems.

Children and teens will sometimes carry a backpack on one shoulder. This creates additional problems to compensate for the uneven weight distribution. With the imbalance, the spine leans to the opposite side, stressing the middle back, ribs, and lower back more on one side.

Researchers continue to debate heavy backpacks and the associated issue of back pain. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that the weight of a child’s backpack should not exceed 10-20 percent of the child’s body weight.

Additional strategies below can aid in minimizing the strain and pain cause by carrying a backpack:

  • Ensure the backpack is not too heavy and has equal weight distribution
  • Use the waist strap for additional support, when needed
  • Encourage the use of both shoulder straps and proper positioning
  • Fit of the backpack is crucial. Adjust the shoulder straps so the backpack fits high on the back and shoulder straps are comfortable. The pack should sit above the hips and not extend beyond the waist
  • Encourage the re-adjustment of straps depending on your clothing so they fit as designed
  • Avoid letting the backpack sway from side to side. This can result in chaffing as you walk
  • Encourage wearing a backpack only when necessary. The child can put it in a locker or set it on the floor to reduce the impact and strain
  • If your child or teen experiences continuous lower back pain, purchase backpacks specifically designed for back pain
  • Your chiropractor can also recommend good backpacks to alleviate back pain

Lower back pain is a common driving factor for making an appointment with a chiropractor. This is a resource which is often under-utilized and can help relieve lower back pain by addressing the cause.

If your child or teen experiences any amount of back pain, but especially lower lumbar pain, it is recommended to schedule an appointment with a chiropractor. Medication is often a temporary solution to block or lessen the pain. Chiropractors focus on identifying the cause of pain and effectively treating it.

Children and teenagers should not have to suffer from lower back pain. Correcting the underlying causes can help minimize or eliminate pain as they become adults. A physician or chiropractor can help correct persistent lower back pain. These strategies can help ensure your kids have a healthy, happy school year.

Reaves Chiropractic