Seeking out a chiropractor can be the difference between actually relieving your sciatica pain and relying on medications for a lifetime. Far too often, people experiencing pain head directly to their medicine cabinet or their primary care physician for a prescription. However, you're only temporarily treating – or should we say covering up – the problem.
Definition of Sciatica
Sciatica isn't a condition as much as it is a symptom of a condition. Sciatica refers to pain that occurs along the path of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve begins in your lower back and goes through your hips, buttocks, and down each leg. Most people who suffer from sciatic pain experience it only on one side of the body. Sciatica causes pain along with possible burning, numbness, and tingling. In some cases, the person will have muscle weakness. Pain in the sciatic nerve can result from an injury that causes compression on the nerve. It can also stem from pregnancy.
A chiropractor is able to detect sciatica and may be able to establish the root of the problem from gathering information about your medical history. The chiropractor will conduct a physical and neurological examination to decide whether chiropractic care can assist you.
Chiropractic Treatment for Sciatica
A spinal adjustment, also known as spinal manipulation, is one of the principle treatments of a chiropractor and is beneficial to a wide range of back pain issues including sciatica. Through manual manipulation of the spine, a chiropractor can realign vertebrae that may have been compressing the sciatic nerve. It also allows for better movement of the spine, which can further prevent any parts of the structure of the spine from agitating or compressing the sciatic nerve.
Chiropractors use ice/cold therapy to relieve the pain associated with sciatica. The cold mass against the location of the pain can reduce inflammation, ultimately helping to manage the pain associated with sciatica. Hot therapy may be used as well.
An ultrasound is useful for receiving information about what's going on inside of the body, but it's also used as a treatment that targets deep into the tissue of the body. An ultrasound can provide relief from sciatic back pain using sound waves that produce a gentle heat. Ultimately, an ultrasound will enhance circulation and reduce swelling and pain.
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) utilizes a small, battery-operated box to stimulate the muscles. It's a portable unit that sends variable intensity electrical current through the muscles to reduce pain and muscle spasms.
The chiropractor may advise the patient to lose weight. Weight loss has the potential to reduce the amount of pressure placed on the sciatic nerve. An expert chiropractor can devise nutritional and lifestyle changes that are safe, yet effective for losing weight while experiencing back pain.
To learn more about what a chiropractor can do for your sciatica or to schedule an appointment, contact Lifetime Health and Wellness at 303.423.4610.