What Chiropractic Patients Want To Know About Sciatica
If you have ever experienced a shooting, nerve-like pain down one of your legs, you may be suffering from sciatica. The sciatic nerve can be impacted by a number of different things, including injury and degenerative diseases, that can lead to sciatica. Fortunately, chiropractic can be extremely effective for the treatment of sciatica. You may be able to get relief quickly through regular chiropractic care.
What is Sciatica?
The sciatic nerve is a large nerve that travels from the lower back down both of the legs and into the feet. When pressure is placed on the nerve, such as from a herniated disc, it can lead to the symptoms commonly referred to as sciatica.
Symptoms of Sciatica
Sciatica symptoms include:
- Pain in one or both legs
- Shooting pain that travels down from the lower back and through the leg and calf
- A feeling of electricity down one leg
- Burning pain
- Pain from a particular movement, or a jolt – like a sneeze
- Severe symptoms can include trouble controlling the bowels and debilitating pain
Causes of Sciatica
Causes of sciatica include:
Misaligned vertebrae, referred to as subluxations in chiropractic, can put pressure on nerves in the spine – including the sciatic nerve.
The discs that cushion the vertebrae are made up of a tough outer layer and a softer inner layer. When the outer layer is damaged and the inner layer comes out into the spine, it is referred to as disc herniation.
Often the symptoms of a herniated disc include back pain, as the inner layer of the disc puts pressure on nerves in the spine. A herniated disc can impact the sciatic nerve, leading to sciatica.
A car accident can easily damage the spine and soft tissues. An auto accident may cause a misalignment of the spine, a herniated disc, or other injuries that cause symptoms of sciatica.
Even the fittest athletes are susceptible to back injuries, which in turn can cause sciatica. The spine and discs can be damaged due to a large impact, repetitive motion injuries, or even twisting the wrong way.
Many sufferers of sciatica do not realize that their workplace activities – including repetitive motions and sitting in one position for long periods of time – can lead to sciatica.
How Chiropractic Can Help With Sciatica
A study cited by the health magazine Prevention found that sixty percent of sciatica sufferers who failed to get relief from other treatments found their symptoms improved after chiropractic care. In fact, they got the same level of relief as those who went through surgery – without any of the serious side effects that so often come with surgical procedures.
Chiropractic is effective for treating sciatica because it gets to the source of the problem – relieving pressure on the sciatic nerve. Chiropractic treatments for sciatica include:
Chiropractic Adjustments & Soft Tissue Therapy (ART)
The spinal misalignments that are often the cause of sciatica can be corrected through careful chiropractic adjustments. The chiropractor analyzes the misalignment, then applies specific pressure to the spine to relieve the misalignment. Effective Soft Tissue therapies like ART - Active Release Techniques can also be combined with Chiropractic adjustments to help release any soft tissue pressure irritating the Sciatic Nerve. Through a combination of Chiropractic adjustments and ART, once the pressure is removed from the sciatic nerve, symptoms improve.
For those whose sciatica is caused by a herniated disc, spinal decompression can bring real relief. Using a specially designed table, the chiropractor can gently stretch the spine – creating space for the disc to heal and pull back from the sciatic nerve.
Get Relief from Sciatica
Please contact our chiropractic team at (250) 382-7246 today to schedule an appointment if you are experiencing symptoms of sciatica. We are ready to help you feel better and get back on your feet again.