What is Sciatica?
Sciatica’s not a disease, but the painful symptoms of compression of your sciatic nerve, which goes from the lower part of your spine down your hips, buttocks and legs. Sciatica usually affects just one side of your body and occurs when something presses on part of the sciatic nerve. It can have many causes. Some common ones are a bone spur or herniated disk that’s impinging on part of the sciatic nerve, degenerative joint disease, or a history of improper posture that’s increased stress on the nerve. Other possible sources of sciatic nerve pain can be misaligned vertebrae, a slipped disc, tumors, the aftermath of pregnancy and childbirth, and non-spinal disorders such as diabetes or chronic constipation.
How can sciatica affect me?
Sciatica’s can trigger lower back pain, and a tingling sensation, numbness, pain and inflammation in the affected leg. The pain can be quite severe and the overall affect of sciatica debilitating, limiting your mobility and causing weakness of your leg.
How does a chiropractor diagnose my sciatic pain?
Your chiropractor will first carefully determine your sciatica’s cause. There many possibilities. This is a diagnosis that requires a complete review of your medical history and a thorough physical examination. It may also include the results of recommended x-rays, MRI, CT scan, nerve velocity and electromyography tests. Besides helping determine the precise origin and best treatment for your sciatic pain, a thorough chiropractic evaluation will detect any condition that would make a particular therapy inadvisable.
How does a chiropractor treat my sciatica?
Chiropractic’s all about helping the body heal itself. Your chiropractor’s goal is to relieve your sciatic pain by treating it at its source without invasive surgery or the use of dangerous prescription drugs. How he accomplish this depends upon your treatment plan and ongoing progress:
- Spinal Adjustment The heart of chiropractic lies in its use of spinal manipulation to help restore proper alignment and functioning to your spine. In sciatic treatment, spinal manipulations aid your body in relieving the nerve compression causing your pain. With the spine freed of restriction and its vertebrae properly realigned, sciatic symptoms such as muscle spasm, inflammation and pain are alleviated.
Your chiropractor may also use other treatment methods to help ease your sciatic pain and restore your mobility.
- Ultrasound is used to generate deep-penetrating soundwaves to lessen such sciatic-caused symptoms as spams, swelling and cramping. The gentle heat it produces penetrates tissues and helps alleviate pain.
- A TENS Unit (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation), is a portable muscle stimulating machine that helps control pain and muscle spasms using variable intensities of electrical current.
- Ice-Cold Therapy lessens sciatic-caused inflammation and control sciatic pain.
Can I prevent my sciatic from flaring up again?
Chiropractors prefer natural remedies. Your chiropractor can suggest exercises to strengthen your back and core abdominal muscles to better support your spinal area. This will help you keep the gains you’ve realized through your chiropractic therapy. You’ll enjoy the benefits of a long-term, sciatic pain management regimen.