Sciatica Specialist

A.J. Hunziker, D.C. -  - Chiropractor

American Chiropractic

A.J. Hunziker, D.C.

Chiropractor & Rehabilitation Specialist located in Jacksonville, FL & Jacksonville Beach, FL

Lower back pain is one of the most common adult complaints. Sciatica causes back pain that runs down the thigh and into your leg, sometimes resulting in an intense burning sensation. It can make daily life impossible. Sitting down can become an excruciating experience. Dr. A. J. Hunziker, a chiropractor at American Chiropractic in Jacksonville and Jacksonville Beach, Florida, provides quick relief for his sciatica patients. Call the office, or schedule your appointment online today.

Sciatica Q & A

What is sciatica?

Sciatica is intense pain resulting from compression of the sciatic nerve, the largest nerve in your body. The pain can run from your lower back through the thigh all the way down to your foot.

If you have sciatica, you may have a herniated disc in your back. The bones in your back--your vertebrae--have protective tissue, called discs, between them. When a disc gets worn down, either from age, an accident, extensive use such as in jobs requiring a lot of lifting, or from years of being compressed from hours of sitting, the soft tissue in the middle can pop outside of the protective outer covering. This condition is called a herniated disc. That disc may put pressure on the surrounding nerves, including the sciatic nerve, resulting in pain that can be moderate to severe.

How did I get sciatica?

  • Sciatica can result from prolonged sitting. Add up the number of hours many of us sit at our desks each day, plus hours of TV watching and eating, and it’s easy to see why it’s a common ailment.
  • Being overweight or obese and even being pregnant can cause sciatica because the excess weight puts pressure on your spine.
  • Being overweight can cause diabetes, which can result in nerve damage and sciatica.
  • If your job involves heavy lifting, your chances of getting sciatica increase because the discs in your backbone are more subject to wear and tear, causing damage to the sciatic nerve.
  • Age is also a culprit. As we grow older, the discs become drier and less flexible, which can lead them to crack.
  • If you have a sports injury or have been injured in an accident, discs can crack, and the tissue inside the disc is forced out.  

What is the treatment for sciatica?

The first line of defense against pain and the burning sensation that often accompanies sciatica is over-the-counter pain relievers such as NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like ibuprofen and naproxen, as well as muscle relaxers, although these provide only temporary relief before you can get to the doctor. Dr. Hunziker’s treatment is drug-free.

Dr. Hunziker evaluates each case and determines the best course of treatment. Cold packs on your lower back and thighs for a few days, followed by hot packs, usually help relieve symptoms. He explains the steps involved in stretching exercises for your lower back that often result in curing sciatica. For cases that are more severe, Dr. Hunziker makes a chiropractic adjustment to your back: the Cox Flexion Distraction Technique, a non-surgical spinal manipulation technique to help restore the lumbar joints. He may also recommend physiotherapy or acupuncture.