Sciatica Chiropractic Treatment
What is Sciatica?
The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body, starting in the lower back and branching down each leg. Irritation to this nerve leads to a collection of painful symptoms called sciatica. People who suffer from sciatica may experience pain, numbness, weakness, or tingling in the lower back. These symptoms also often radiate down the leg.
The pain caused by sciatica can range from mild to severe. It can feel like an ache, a sharp pain, or a burning sensation. Certain positions or activities often aggravate the pain, such as prolonged sitting or standing.
Sciatica is diagnosed through a review of your medical history and symptoms as well as a thorough physical examination. Sometimes imaging exams such as an X-ray, CT scan, or MRI are used to determine the cause of the pain.
What Causes This Condition?
The most common cause of sciatica is compression of the sciatic nerve resulting from conditions such as:
- Bone spurs: bony growths on the spine
- Herniated discs: a spinal disc that is bulging or ruptured
- Spinal stenosis: narrowing of the spinal canal
- Injury: back injuries can pinch the sciatic nerve
Who is at Risk?
While sciatica can affect anyone, certain factors place individuals at higher risk for this condition:
- Obesity: excess weight increases stress on the spine.
- Sedentary lifestyle: periods of prolonged sitting and lack of exercise increase the risk for sciatica.
- Age: as we get older we are more prone to conditions such as bone spurs and herniated discs.
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How Does Chiropractic Treatment Help Sciatica?
In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to relieve the cause of sciatica; however, this condition can often be treated with conservative, non-surgical options such as chiropractic care.
Chiropractic treatment of sciatica is tailored to the cause of the condition and focuses on pain relief by easing pressure on the spine. One common treatment modality is spinal adjustment or manipulation. Spinal adjustment works to realign the spine, encourage unrestricted movement, and relieve pressure. Other treatments chiropractors may employ for this condition include cold therapy to reduce spinal inflammation, ultrasound to create gentle heat and encourage circulation to the tissues, and the use of a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation(TENS) unit to reduce pain and muscle spasms.
Pain from sciatica can be debilitating and limit your daily activities. If you are suffering from sciatica, chiropractic treatment is a non-invasive, drug-free solution that can provide relief. Take the first step towards easing your symptoms by calling The Spine and Wellness Centers for a consultation.