Sciatic nerve pain, referred to as sciatica, is pain that originates in the lower back or buttocks and travels down one or both of the legs. If you suffer from lower back pain traveling down your leg, it may be from compression of the sciatic nerve.
What are the symptoms of sciatica?
Sciatica usually affects only one side of the body and is caused by an irritation of the roots of the lower lumbar and sacral spine.
Sciatic nerve pain is characterized by:
• Lower back or buttock pain traveling down your leg
• Pain that is worse when sitting
• Constant pain on one side of the buttock
• Burning, numbness, or tingling in the back of the leg
• Shooting pain down the back of the leg
Treatment options for sciatica vary by patient, based on the cause of pain. Treatment options include chiropractic adjustment, massage, physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, medical imaging, injection, and surgery.
Sciatica pain varies from patient to patient. Sciatica pain can occur intermittently, during prolonged periods of sitting, upon standing, or constantly. Sciatic nerve pain is commonly seen in patients with pre-existing back conditions, such as a herniated disc, who are already being treated with chiropractic care. Many sufferers of sciatic find relief in chiropractic treatment.
It is essential to determine the cause of sciatic nerve pain before establishing a treatment plan to treat and potentially cure sciatic nerve pain. Chiropractors can diagnose and treat sciatica by performing a physical examination of the patient. In some cases an x-ray or MRI may be ordered to ensure proper treatment. Once the root cause of the pain is established, a chiropractor will establish a treatment plan to relieve the compression of the sciatic nerve that is causing pain.
Chiropractic Treatment for Sciatica
Chiropractic treatment of sciatica is a non-invasive approach to pain relief from sciatic nerve pain. Chiropractic care focuses on alleviating the pain and discomfort caused by spinal restriction by increasing movement in the spine and surrounding areas. Chiropractic treatment for sciatica includes sciatic chiropractic adjustment in addition to other drug-free non-invasive treatments including massage, active release techniques, ice therapy, and ultrasound. The vast majority of the time, sciatic pain can be relieved through a combination of stretches, deep tissue massage of the piriformis muscle and chiropractic adjustment.
Chiropractic treatment for sciatica focuses on increasing movement, strength, and flexibility in the spine. Many chiropractors use massage or physical therapy to ease muscle tightness and soreness, which can pull the spine out of its natural position. Both massage and physical therapy work to reduce muscle tension and increase muscle strength to restore proper spinal alignment. Your chiropractor may suggest at-home exercises and stretches for you to do on your own between chiropractic appointments.
Sciatica Chiropractic Adjustment
Sciatica chiropractic adjustment is a physical manipulation of the spine. During a sciatic chiropractic adjustment, the misaligned vertebrae compressing the sciatic nerve are realigned to their proper position in the spine. The physical manipulation of this adjustment increases space between the spine and the sciatic nerve, decreasing the compression, spasms, and inflammation that cause sciatica. Chiropractic treatment is the only treatment option in which the spine is manually realigned by a certified medical professional.
Spinal adjustments are not painful. In fact, many patients report relief after their first appointment. The manipulation of a sciatica chiropractic adjustment varies by patient and may include swift “cracking” movements to realign the vertebrae, drop table technique, stretching, and massage to release muscle tension. Since the body is constantly in motion, a series of sciatica chiropractic adjustments is usually necessary to fully treat and relieve sciatica pain.
If you’re suffering from sciatic nerve pain or you think your symptoms are fit the description of sciatica, you don’t have to live in pain. Make an appointment with your chiropractor for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan today.