Sciatic Nerve Treatment
Are you suffering from any sort of pain, numbness, or tingling in one of your legs? What might seem like leg pain could actually be sciatic pain. Millions of people suffer with this for years, which is a shame because non-invasive and long-lasting relief is readily available.
After explaining just what this nerve condition involves, we’ll discuss treatment for sciatica.
What is Sciatica?
The sciatic nerve runs from your hip region up through your spine, relaying sensations from your feet, lower legs, and thighs to your brain. It also sends instructions from your brain to control muscles in those areas. If it becomes irritated, you’ll experience sciatic nerve pain as leg and/or lower back pain. Pain often starts in the lower back then progresses downward over time. That’s “sciatica,” more generally called neuropathy or neuralgia.
This condition is surprisingly common, particularly for people between 30 and 50 years old. Fortunately, sciatica responds well to conservative chiropractic care in most cases.
As with any nerve irritation, you may be experiencing one or more of a wide range of symptoms. These include:
- pins and needles
- burning sensation
- dull ache
- shooting pain
- sharp pain
- muscle weakness
Sciatic nerve pain also varies widely in both intensity and frequency. Your symptoms may be anywhere from mild to extremely painful, and occur occasionally, intermittently, or continually.
Sciatic pain typically occurs in only one leg, usually not both.
Causes of Sciatic Nerve Pain
Sciatica is not a disorder in and of itself. It occurs as a result of the sciatic nerve being irritated by one or more disorders or imbalances. The underlying causes range from the trivial to the extremely serious, and include the following:
- sitting on a wallet in your back pocket
- a tight hamstring muscle
- muscle spasms
- injury from a fall
- differences in leg length
- misaligned vertebra (subluxations)
- slipped discs (herniated or bulging spinal discs)
- hip arthritis
Treatment for Sciatica
Strong prescription pain medications and even surgery are sometimes prescribed as sciatic treatment. But studies have shown that conservative treatment for sciatica, including treatments by a chiropractor are often just as effective (or even more effective) in resolving the causes and in relieving pain.
Over-the-counter (non-prescription) pain and anti-inflammatory medicines can provide temporary relief, but do not resolve the underlying causes.
Regardless of treatment, sciatic pain must first be properly diagnosed through a physical and neurological exam. X-rays, MRIs and CT scans may also be in order. In many situations it is also vital to eliminate the more serious underlying causes through medical examinations and lab tests.
Chiropractic Sciatic Treatment
Treatment for sciatica by a chiropractor is an effective, non-intrusive and drug-free alternative in providing sciatic nerve pain relief and removing its underlying causes. Sciatic treatment modalities may include various combinations of the following:
- ice or cold packs to reduce inflammation
- ultrasound to provide deep gentle heating to reduce swelling and relax muscles
- TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) to directly reduce pain and/or reduce muscle spasms
- spinal and extremity adjustments
Chiropractic manipulation has been proven again and again to be painless, safe, and effective.
Due to the numerous and varied underlying causes, your chiropractor will carefully evaluate your particular conditions and develop an individualized plan of sciatic treatment. In many cases complete sciatic nerve pain relief is achieved within a few weeks, although many individuals may need several months of treatment for a full recovery.
Particular exercises, such as hamstring stretching and simply walking, can be a helpful precautionary treatment for sciatica to prevent its re-occurrence. But some exercises should be avoided. So consult with your chiropractor or other health-care professional for specific home exercise recommendations and instruction in the proper way to perform them.
Remember, you can always contact me for a no-charge, in-person consultation.