Chiropractic Treatment for Sciatica
The sciatic nerve is the longest and widest nerve in the body. When it becomes compromised, the results can be dramatic and painful. Although the most common complaints from a compressed sciatica is pain in the lower back and leg, it can also lead to pain in the lower back that extends all the way through the hip, buttocks, legs, and sole of the foot. When left untreated, severe sciatica can lead to leg weakness, loss of bladder function, or chronic pain. Fortunately, chiropractic treatment for sciatica can help reduce or eliminate these symptoms.
Causes of Sciatica
Sciatica is commonly caused by compression of the sciatic nerve. Irritation of the lower lumbar and spine can trigger sciatica. Patients report feeling shooting pains, tingling or burning sensations, or dull aches from the lower back through the leg. Compression of the sciatic nerve can even cause paralysis of a muscle or limb. Often times the pain seems to worsen over time. Sitting for long periods of time or sudden movements can intensify the pain sensation. Pregnancy or childbirth, lumbar spine subluxations (or misalignments of the spine), spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, bulging discs, diabetes, constipation, or other health-related problems are causes of sciatic nerve pain. Piriformis syndrome is another common cause of sciatic nerve pain. Because the sciatic nerve runs beneath the piriformis muscle that is located at the lower part of the spine, any injury to this muscle can compress or pinch the sciatic nerve, causing many painful symptoms. While sciatica is painful, it doesn’t have to be long lasting. Regular consultations and visits with your chiropractic doctor can help.
Chiropractic treatment is a non-surgical, non-invasive way to treat your body and has shown to help the body heal itself over time. At the heart of chiropractic care are spinal adjustments. Spinal manipulation and alignment can reduce inflammation and nerve pain related to sciatica. Your chiropractor will work to find the right chiropractic technique to relieve the symptoms of sciatica. Spinal adjustments are a common treatment for sciatica but it is not the only treatment your chiropractic doctor might suggest. A transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, or TENS unit, is a muscle stimulation machine that chiropractic doctors may use to offer relief from sciatic pain. Electrical currents can control pain and reduce muscle spasms. Applying ice or heat is another way your chiropractor may treat sciatica. Ice therapy can reduce inflammation and muscle spasms. Ultrasound, a gentle heat created by sounds waves, can increase circulation while decreasing swelling, stiffness, cramping, and pain in muscles. Spinal adjustments couples with chiropractic therapy are sure to reduce or eliminate your sciatic nerve pain. In a vast major of patients, chiropractic treatment of sciatica will completely get rid of the painful symptoms after three to four months. If you or someone you know is suffering from a painful compression of the sciatic nerve, contact Dr. Jennifer Good at Atlanta Health and Chiropractic for care and treatment of your symptoms.