Sciatica is the name given to pain caused by the irritation of the sciatic nerve.
Anything that irritates this nerve can cause pain, ranging from mild to severe.
Sciatica is usually caused by a compressed nerve in the lower spine.
Sciatica is often confused with general back pain, but sciatica isn’t limited to just the back.
The sciatic nerve is the longest and widest nerve in the entire human body, running from the lower back, through the buttocks, and down the legs, ending just below the knee.
The nerve controls several muscles in the lower legs and supplies sensation to the skin of the foot and the majority of your lower leg.
Sciatica is not a condition, but rather a symptom of another problem involving the sciatic nerve.
Experts estimate that up to 40% of people will experience sciatica at least once in their life.
Of so many people are at risk of experiencing sciatica, what are the best treatment options?
One of the most effective treatments is from a chiropractor.
In the article below, we will discuss sciatica and how chiropractic care can help ease your pain.
What Causes Sciatica?
Sciatica is caused by the compression of the sciatic nerve.
There are also spinal disorders known to cause sciatic nerve pain, such as spine subluxations, herniated or bulging discs, pregnancy and childbirth, spinal tumors, and even non-spinal diseases like diabetes.
A common cause of sciatica is piriformis syndrome, which is named after the piriformis muscle.
Your piriformis muscle is located in the lower part of your spine, connects to your thighbone, and assists in hip rotation.
Your piriformis muscle is prone to injury from a slip and fall, hip arthritis, or legs that are different lengths.
These situations can cause your piriformis muscle to cramp and spasm, developing a pinch in the sciatic nerve, causing inflammation and pain.
Sciatic nerve compression can result in the loss of feeling, paralysis of a single limb or group of muscles, and insomnia.
Other Causes and Symptoms of Sciatica
There are a few things you should look out for to be sure you aren’t suffering from sciatica.
- A constant pain on one side of the rear
- A shooting pain that makes it difficult to stand up
- Pain in the leg or buttock that worsens when you sit down
- Burning or tingling sensation running down the leg
- Weakness, numbness, or difficulty moving a leg or foot
In addition to the causes we talked about in the previous section, sciatica can also be caused by excess weight, not getting enough exercise, frequently wearing high heels, or sleeping on a bad mattress.
Proper Diagnosis Is Key
Since numerous things can trigger sciatica, your chiropractors first step in treatment is to determine what’s causing it.
Forming a diagnosis involves a review of your medical history, along with a physical and neurological examination.
Your chiropractor could use x-rays, an MRI, or CT scans while making your diagnosis.
These imaging tests will help detect possible contraindications to spinal adjustments and other chiropractic therapies.
Chiropractic Treatment Of Sciatica
The ultimate goal of chiropractic treatment is to give your body the ability to heal itself.
It’s based on the scientific principle that restricted spinal movement leads to pain and reduced function and performance.
Chiropractic care is all-natural, non-invasive, and drug-free.
The treatment provided by your chiropractor for your sciatic will depend on what caused it.
Your treatment plan could include several different treatments, ranging from cold/ice therapies, ultrasound, TENS, and spinal adjustments.
Cold/ice therapies will reduce inflammation and help control your sciatic pain.
Ultrasound produces gentle heat created by sound waves that penetrate deep into soft tissues. It will also increase circulation and help reduce muscle spasms, cramping, stiffness, swelling, and your sciatic pain.
TENS, or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, is a small box-like, battery-powered, portable machine that stimulates your muscles.
It has variable intensities of electrical current that control acute pain and reduce muscle spasms.
Spinal Adjustments are the bread and butter of chiropractic care. A spinal adjustment will free restricted movement of the spine and help restore misaligned vertebral bodies to their proper positions.
Adjustments will reduce nerve irritability responsible for inflammation, muscle spasm, pain, and other symptoms related to sciatica.
Find Relief Today
If you think you’re suffering from sciatic pain, don’t wait any longer to find the relief you deserve.
Contact your chiropractor today so they can make a proper diagnosis, and develop a treatment plan that will help get you back to normal.
If you don’t have a chiropractor, contact the Advanced Injury Care Clinic.
Their experienced chiropractors will diagnose and treat your sciatic pain, so you can get back to living your life.