Sciatica is the name of the pain that runs along the sciatic nerve, which begins in the lower back and continues through the buttock and down the lower limb. If you feel pain in the leg or the backside that worsens when you sit down or if you have trouble moving your leg or foot freely, chances are that you are suffering from sciatica.
Pain in the sciatic nerve can differ in intensity and frequency. It can cause from mild discomfort to even severe aches and can occur sporadically to quite frequently. Fortunately, this pain can be helped through chiropractic treatment. In fact, Doctors of Chiropractic (DC) regularly treat sciatica.
Chiropractic treatments allow the body to heal itself instead of relying on surgery or drugs. Chiropractors generally initiate the treatment by trying to find the disorders that cause sciatica.
These causes may include:
- Lumbar spinal stenosis – narrowing of the spinal cord in the lower back
- Spondylolisthesis – a condition where a disk slips forward over the vertebra below it
- Tumors within the spine – causes the root of the sciatic nerve to get compressed
- Infection – one that affects the spine
- Other causes – injury within the spine, pregnancy and etc.
- Cauda equina syndrome – a rare but serious disorder that compresses the spinal nerve roots
To form a proper diagnosis, a chiropractor in Mesa, AZ will assess the patient’s medical history and inspect his or her physical and neurological states through X-ray, MRI and CT scan. These tests allow the chiropractor to better understand which spinal adjustment therapy best suits the patient’s case. Once a diagnosis has been formed, the chiropractor may recommend one of the following treatments:
- Ice or Cold therapy: This reduces the swelling and controls the sciatic pain.
- Ultrasound: Sound waves are used to create gentle heat that penetrates into the tissues and increase circulation to decrease muscle spasms, cramps, stiffness, swelling and pain.
- TENS unit (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation): This involves the use of low-voltage electric current to treat the pain. The electrical current can be varied to alleviate muscle spasms as well as sharp pains.
- Adjustments (Spinal Manipulation): Chiropractic treatments are essentially adjustments made to the spine. Such adjustments help the spine regain movement and help to reposition wrongly placed vertebrae to the original locations in the spinal column. These adjustments are not painful; rather, they are considered safe and fruitful. They help to lessen pain, inflammation muscle spasm and other effects.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at LifeCare Chiropractic for their insight into chiropractic care and sciatica.