Sciatica is a pain that starts in the lower back or buttocks region and travels to either one or both legs. The sciatic pain can vary from mild to severe, and can occur occasionally, from time to time, frequently, or constantly. Sciatica is a dull, achy, pins and needles kind of pain that can cause burning, tingling, or numbness. Not actually a disorder in itself, sciatica is actually a symptom of a disorder, and may also be referred to as neuralgia, radiating pain, referred pain, or neuropathy. If you suffer from this type of pain, chiropractic treatment can help.
What Causes Sciatica?
Sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve becomes compressed. Conditions such as herniated discs (also referred to as slipped discs), misaligned vertebrae (lumbar spine subluxations), diabetes, constipation, tumors, childbirth, pregnancy, or even constantly sitting on a wallet stored in a back pocket can attribute to this type of pain. Another cause of sciatica is what is known as piriformis syndrome. The piriformis is a muscle under which the sciatic nerve runs. Injury to this muscle can result in sciatic nerve pain.
Chiropractic Gets To The Root Of The Problem
When a patient comes to a chiropractor with symptoms of sciatica, they will perform a physical and neurological exam, as well as order diagnostic tests that may include X-rays, a CT scan, or an MRI. This will help the chiropractor determine what exactly is causing the pain in the patient. The information gathered from this testing will also allow the chiropractor to understand what types of treatment should be done to treat the sciatica.
Chiropractic Treatment For Sciatica
Chiropractic treatment is based upon scientific thinking that when spinal movement is restricted, it can cause pain and reduced performance and function. The chiropractic approach to treating sciatica symptoms is to do so without the use of surgery or medication. The treatment plan for each individual patient will be based upon what is found to be causing their sciatic nerve pain.
Possible Chiropractic Methods Of Treatment For Sciatic Nerve Pain
Treatment options for sciatic pain include chiropractic adjustments and spinal manipulations. This helps to properly position the vertebrae within the spinal column. Adjusting the spine can help the pain by reducing the nerve irritability that causes pain, muscle spasms, and inflammation related to sciatica. A TENS unit (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) or interferential current may also be used to stimulate muscles using mild, variable intensities of electrical current through conductive pads applied to the skin over the muscle.
Ultrasound can also provide gentle heat and can be used in treating sciatica. This heat deeply penetrates the tissues, alleviating symptoms such as cramping, swelling, muscle spasms, pain, and stiffness. The chiropractor may also recommend ice or cold therapy to help reduce the pain and inflammation caused by sciatica.
If you’re still suffering from pain caused by sciatica, call our office to schedule an appointment. Dr. Colette Cseszko has been practicing as a chiropractor in St Petersburg, FL since 2003 and has helped patients with a wide variety of health problems. Chiropractic adjustments get to the heart of the problem and several treatment options are available to help provide relief from this painful condition and its underlying causes. Consider seeing a chiropractor as an alternative to surgical intervention or prescription medications and you can be feeling better soon.