Sciatica can be debilitating pain for anyone that experiences it. Sometimes people can be laid up in bed for days with excruciating pain. When sciatica hits, it can be very hard to do the simplest things.
What is it?
Sciatica is a term to describe irritation to the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is the longest and widest nerve of the body and it supplies the buttocks, legs and feet. People with sciatica experience sharp, shooting pain starting from the low back or the buttocks and then radiates as far down as the foot. Numbness and tingling, muscle weakness and burning sensations may also be associated.
However sciatica is a SYMPTOM and NOT the CAUSE!
There are many things that can cause sciatica. The most common causes include: herniated discs, spinal stenosis, spinal misalignments, degenerative disc disease, spondylolisthesis, and piriformis syndrome. Other causes can be cancer, diabetes or nutritional deficiencies.
How can sciatica be treated?
There are many ways to treat sciatica. What I can do as a chiropractor is to evaluate your condition and figure out the cause of your sciatica. Once I have determined the cause, I can use many methods including regular chiropractic adjustments, trigger point therapy for tight muscles, flexion-distraction (which I will go into more details in a moment), and additional therapies such as electrical stimulation, low level laser therapy, instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization, and taping techniques.
Flexion-distraction is pictured here:
Flexion-distraction allows me to stretch the back, which will loosen up the muscles around the spine and pull the disc material back into the correct position if it is herniated. This technique is gentle and offers substantial relief over a short period of time.
Some interventions from medical doctors could be muscle relaxers, cortisone injections, physical therapy or even surgery.
Choosing chiropractic care for sciatica, usually will result in greater relief of pain, fewer pain days during recovery, quicker return to work and fewer prescriptions needed.
Check out this article from the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) Network Open shows that the inclusion of chiropractic care to usual medical care for low back pain produces better results than usual medical care alone.
Do you have sciatica and want to find conservative, natural and non-invasive care? Call me at 512-387-3308 to schedule or you can go here.