You might have come across a relative or friend, stating that sciatica is one of the most uncomfortable aches they have suffered from. Without a doubt, sciatica can leave you feeling absolutely helpless, and you may have tried countless remedies to overcome it. If you have failed to relieve yourself from sciatica, then we suggest you try out sciatic nerve chiropractic adjustments that will surely make a difference!
While sciatica is a common condition, it can be challenging to treat it. However, through certain chiropractic adjustments, icing, and ultrasound techniques, you can feel a drastic change in the way you feel. Sciatica can be caused by nerve compression. But there are also other reasons that you can easily look out for to prevent sciatica.
If you are experiencing sciatica and have exhausted all relief methods, this article will surely be the difference you wish to see in your recovery curve.
How Do Healthcare Professionals Describe Sciatica?
Chiropractors offer regular treatments for sciatica. Sciatica manifests as a dull, achy, sharp, toothache-like, pins and needles or similar to electric shock. The pain starts in the lower back or buttocks and radiates into one or both legs.
Sciatic nerve pain differs in frequency and intensity. Some sciatica patients experience minimal or moderate pain that is occasional. In contrast, other patients could experience severe pain that could be intermittent or continuous. How chiropractors treat sciatica is based on these symptoms.
Besides pain, other sciatica symptoms may include a burning sensation, numbness, and tingling sensations in the limbs.
When someone experiences sciatica, it usually means they are suffering from some sort of irritation of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is inarguably the largest nerve in the human body. It originates in the lower back and goes down all the way to the hips, buttocks, legs, and finally the feet.
People suffering from an episode of sciatica often complain of pain or discomfort at the back of their legs. An important misconception that needs to be addressed is that sciatica is not a disorder itself – sciatica is a symptom of a disorder.
What Are The Causes Of Sciatica?
Sciatica can occur due to various reasons, but we have listed some of the most common causes below.
- An injury such as a slip or a fall
- An awkward move that makes your spine suffer. This could be something like a jerk or a suddenly missed step or even something unusual like a strong sneeze.
- Repetitive wear and tear motion (such as shoveling snow or raking leaves)
- They are applying pressure on a nerve being transmitted from a tensed muscle like the piriformis muscle that is present in the buttocks and close to the top of the hip joint.
- They are applying pressure on the nerve from a bulging disc from a lower lumbar spine.
Do We Need A Proper Diagnosis Of Sciatica?
Proper diagnosis of sciatica is essential to ensure the root cause and treatment plan for the condition. Since many disorders result in sciatica, the chiropractor’s initial step is to make sure what is causing sciatica. Reaching a final diagnosis involves a thorough review that goes over the patient’s medical history and requires a physical and neurological examination.
Diagnostic testing may be needed to rule out sciatica disorders. These tests include the following.
- CT scan
- Electrodiagnostic tests (such as electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction velocity (NCV).
You may need to get one or some of these tests as per the advice of your chiropractor. These tests are helpful in finding out potential contraindications that can occur due to sciatic nerve chiropractic adjustments.
What Does Chiropractic Treatment For Sciatica Include?
Chiropractic treatment aims to assist the body’s healing potential. The treatment plan is based on the principle that spinal movement restriction leads to sciatica pain and decreased functionality. Chiropractic care is a good option for anyone who is looking for non-invasive and drug-free alternatives for sciatica pain relief.
When we talk about chiropractic therapy, it heavily relies on the cause of the sciatica being experienced. A sciatica treatment plan can have a broad spectrum that includes ice/cold therapies, ultrasound techniques, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), and spinal manipulation. A vivid description of each of these chiropractic treatment modalities has been described below.
- Ice/Cold therapy, also known as cryotherapy, serves to decrease inflammation and control sciatic pain.
- Chiropractor for sciatica uses ultrasound that produces gentle heat through sound waves. These heat waves penetrate deep into soft tissues such as muscles. Ultrasound enhances circulation and helps decrease muscle spasms, swelling, tensing, tetany, and sciatic pain.
- A TENS unit is a small box-shaped, battery-powered, compact machine that stimulates the muscles. A wide range of electrical current intensities is used to control acute pain and bring down the frequency of muscle spasms. Chiropractors, physical therapists, and other rehab professionals used larger versions of TENS units to provide sciatica pain relief.
- Adjustments such as spinal manipulation are considered to be the core of chiropractic care. Manipulation of the spine lets go of the restricted movement of the spine and aids in restoring misaligned vertebral discs back to their original position within the spinal column. Spinal adjustment is a great way of reducing nerve irritability that occurs as a result of inflammation, muscle spasm, pain, and other disorders associated with sciatica. It should be kept in mind that spinal manipulation is not at all painful. If performed by trained professionals, it is rather a comfortable and painless procedure.
Is There A Way To Prevent Sciatica?
The primary factor that helps in preventing sciatica is to always keep your body moving properly. It can be done in a number of ways that have been described below.
- Stabilize your core by building it
Make sure you regularly indulge in core exercises so that you can strengthen your core, which will help in avoiding back pain. Try to design an exercise routine for yourself that will give you long term benefits. Add in core exercises along with some mobility moves that will target your pelvis and give you a better functionality. If you have a history of chronic back pain, then you may refer to your chiropractor and go over your exercise routine with them.
- Stretching daily
Stretching aids in maintaining flexibility throughout your lower back, pelvic region, and legs. It relieves pressure in your muscles that has been building inside your body. To help in dealing with sciatica, you should specifically work on stretching your piriformis muscles on both sides. If you feel that it is tough for you to stretch the muscles located in your lower extremity, try using a foam roller to assist your motion.
- Regular chiropractic visits
Visiting your chiropractor regularly throughout the year can reduce the frequency of musculoskeletal issues you may experience in the long run. Whenever you feel stiffness or low performance, head to your chiropractor immediately.
Author Michael Kaliko DC