Chiropractic treatment is one of the best therapies to achieve Sciatica relief. Many patients come to us with ongoing Sciatica pain – for weeks, months or even years. They’ve tried many solutions, including medication, but nothing seems to make the pain go away.
You’ll feel better after your first chiropractic adjustment for Sciatica pain. After your appointment, your chiropractic doctor may also suggest additional therapies to enhance your healing, such as exercise, massage or hot and cold packs.
The good news is that most Sciatica pain can be resolved with chiropractic care and without medication. Many patients experience severe pain with their sciatic nerve. This radiating pain will start at your lower back, travel through your buttock and down the backside of your leg. At Liringis Chiropractic, with only a few treatments over the course of a few weeks we are able to greatly diminish or eliminate completely your pain providing Sciatica relief.
How Chiropractic Care Helps Your Sciatica
Chiropractic care is a drug-free, surgery-free approach to healing Sciatica pain. Through a functional medicine approach, your chiropractic doctor will determine the source of your Sciatica pain and manipulate your spine using his/her hands or a small, hand-held instrument called an Activator. Your chiropractor will use gentle adjustments or a targeted thrust to restore proper joint and nerve function.
According to a 2010 study in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 60% of people with Sciatica in the study experienced the same relief through chiropractic adjustments as those patients who had surgery for the same problem.
Chiropractic adjustments for your Sciatica pain will focus on relieving the compression of the sciatic nerve and reestablishing the correct alignment of your spine. Once we are able to restore proper joint motion and nerve flow, then your body will quickly begin to heal itself – without the need for medication!
Why Does Sciatica Pain Occur?
The sciatic nerve begins at the base of your spine in your lower back and branches out into both hips, buttocks, and legs. It is the longest and thickest nerve in your body.
Pain generated from the sciatic nerve typically occurs due to a herniated disc or a bone spur (bone overgrowth) on the vertebrae or spine. Sciatica pain can also be caused by lumbar spine subluxations (misaligned vertebrae). Sometimes women experience Sciatica pain during pregnancy (due to the changing alignment of the spine as the baby takes up more space) as well as during and after childbirth (due to stress on the spine).
These malfunctions will pinch, or compress, the sciatic nerve. This compression will then cause inflammation, radiating pain, and sometimes numbness in the affected leg. In rarer instances, Sciatica pain can be caused by a tumor or nerve damage due to a disease, such as diabetes.
Sciatica pain can be as mild as muscle weakness or a dull ache. However, Sciatica pain usually causes more discomfort, such as a tingling or a sharp, radiating pain. Sciatica pain can also cause a burning sensation or often agonizing discomfort. The pain can be made worse by simple acts, such as sneezing or prolonged standing or sitting. Usually, Sciatica will only affect one side of your body, and not in both legs, for example.
How Many Visits Will I Need to Achieve Sciatica Relief?
The number of visits needed to eliminate your Sciatica pain depends on the severity of your injury. Once your chiropractic doctor performs a physical, neurological, reflex, and range-of-motion examination, he/she can determine your course of chiropractic treatment.
Risk Factors for Sciatica
There are some known risk factors for Sciatica. If you are experiencing Sciatica pain, then we can talk about ways to reduce your future risk for this pain.
Age – Age-related changes in your spine, such as a bone spur or herniated disc, are the most common causes of Sciatica.
Obesity – Excess body weight can increase stress on your spine and influence spinal changes that cause Sciatica.
Prolonged Sitting – People who sit for extended periods, due to their job or a sedentary lifestyle, have a greater risk to develop Sciatica.
Occupation – A job that requires you to frequently carry heavy loads, twist or turn your back or drive for long periods may be a risk in developing Sciatica.
Piriformis Syndrome – The sciatic nerve runs under or through the piriformis muscle in your buttocks. If this muscle becomes tight, it can irritate your sciatic nerve.
Trigger Point Referral – Trigger points, also referred to as knots, in your buttocks or lower back muscles can mimic Sciatica and cause the sensation of pain shooting down your leg.
Diabetes – Diabetes alters the way your body processes blood sugar. This health condition can increase your risk of nerve damage, which can lead to Sciatica.
Chiropractic Care and Sciatica Pain Prevention
While you may not be able to completely prevent Sciatica, these suggestions can help keep your back healthy and improve your spinal health to give you Sciatica relief:
- Opt for a healthy diet
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Exercise regularly
- Seek help to quit smoking
- Use proper lifting techniques
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Avoid prolonged inactivity or bed rest