Have you ever felt that persistent feeling shooting pain or numbness from your lower back down through one of your legs? I’ve seen patients where this kind of pain was nearly debilitating. At best, for some patients, it’s a huge nuisance.
Sciatica is a term that describes symptoms including pain, numbness, and/or weakness that radiates from the lower back to the buttocks and leg, which is where the sciatic nerve is located. It’s the longest nerve in the human body. A variety of issues could cause sciatica and it’s important to figure out the cause to get the right treatment. Diagnosis is usually through tests such as CT, MRI or electrodiagnostic testing.
Generally speaking, sciatica is caused by compression of the sciatic nerve. This compression can be caused by anything from lumbar spine subluxations to even constipation in some cases. Pregnant moms and those who have recently given birth often suffer from sciatica.
The good news is, many times sciatica can be treated with various forms of chiropractic treatment including:
Adjustments Spinal manipulation is the basis of chiropractic care and helps free up the restricted movement of the spine by putting it back into proper alignment. A properly adjusted spine reduces irritable (and therefore painful) nerves and reduces muscle inflammation as well.
Ice/Cold therapy reduces inflammation that causes pain and is usually the first line of defense against sciatic pain.
TENS unit (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) is a small battery-powered, portable muscle stimulating machine. Variable intensities and modalities of electrical current control acute pain and reduce muscle spasms. Chiropractors and other health professionals such as physical therapists often have larger, more powerful versions of a TENS unit.
Appropriate exercises Once sciatic pain is reduced, a chiropractor can give appropriate exercises to help strengthen muscles and keep the spine in proper alignment. These exercises are often in conjunction with regular adjustments to keep the body as pain-free and functional as possible.
Are you experiencing pain that sounds like it’s sciatic pain? Give me a call and we can determine if chiropractic care is the right choice for you.